Church leaders: Lean on loved ones in wake of tragedy

Published: Sunday, July 22, 2012 @ 8:02 PM
Updated: Sunday, July 22, 2012 @ 8:02 PM

Area church leaders on Sunday said the best way to deal with a tragedy like Friday’s shooting at a movie theater in Colorado which claimed the life of Springfield native Matt McQuinn is to spend time with loved ones and remember that God has a plan for our lives.

“There’s no better a reminder than an incident like this that life is short,” said Fellowship Church youth and campus pastor Jeremy Hudson, who developed a friendship with McQuinn while they were both members at Maiden Lane Church of God.

McQuinn, a Vandalia Butler High School graduate, his girlfriend, Sam Yowler, formerly of St. Paris, and her brother, Nick Yowler, also formerly of St. Paris, all attended a midnight screening of the “Dark Knight Rises” on Friday at a suburban Denver cinema in Aurora where a lone gunman entered the theater, threw gas canisters and opened fire on the crowd. He killed 12 people, including McQuinn who spent his last moments shielding his girlfriend from the bullets. There were 58 peole injured in one of the deadliest shootings in United States history.

In a time like this, Hudson said, it’s best to not let things go unsaid or unresolved with family members.

“There’s unsettled business in each one of us where we could stand to pick up the phone or go knock on a door and clear the air,” said Hudson, who had just run into McQuinn at Chipotle in Springfield a few months ago.

Tim Cary, worship pastor at Cornerstone Baptist Church, said residents should rely on God in these times of need.

Cary also had a small connection to the shooting. He recently started following Jessica Ghawi, an aspiring sportscaster who also went by the name Jessica Redfield, on Twitter and saw her tweet about going to see the midnight showing. The next morning, he was shocked to hear she was one of 12 killed in the shooting along with McQuinn. Ghawi had recently survived shootings at a mall in Toronto last month.

Cary said hearing the news about Ghawi, who he only knew through social media, was an eye-opener.

“It was one of a bunch of tweets (about the movie), probably hundreds,” Cary said. “I remember reading that, and for me personally, you have to stop and realize that life is a vapor. We have plans and ideas and hopes and goals and dreams of what our lives are going to be, and we never really know where our next breath is going to come from.”

Two of McQuinn’s former band mates and friends said he exuded a lighthearted spirit even in the midst of having a bad day. Mark A. Robey, 29, of New Carlisle, and Aaron J. Snow, 29, of Springfield, said they all met at a youth study group at Maiden Lane Church in Springfield where they played together in a worship team band. McQuinn played bass guitar. Robey and Snow played the drums.

“He was always a happy guy,” Robey said. “There wasn’t a time where we got together that he wasn’t laughing. Even on bad days, when he was having a bad day, he would find the joy and laugh and lighten the mood.

“He was always thinking about other people,” Robey said. “He would drop anything he was doing to spend time with his friends.”

Aaron J. Snow, 29, of Springfield, similarly described McQuinn.

“Matt was a goofball,” Snow said. “He always had something funny to say, (he was) a guy to laugh with. One of those people to lighten the mood regardless of the situation.”

The two would spend hours talking and stay up playing video games into the “wee hours of the morning,” Snow said.

“He was a very good guy,” he said. “One of my closest friends. I don’t have very many, and he was definitely one of those.”

“That’s just where our friendship between all three of us got real solid,” Robey said.

Robey and Snow said they weren’t surprised by reports McQuinn used his body to shield Samantha during the tragedy.

“Matt definitely died a hero protecting Sam,” Snow said. “That’s definitely Matt, too. Didn’t surprise me when I heard that. He’ll drop everything if you need (him) to be with you.”

“I think when Matt had his mind set on something, he would do it, and if it involved a friend, or family member or someone he cared about, he would step up to the plate and help out,” Robey said. “I would say he definitely died a hero.”

Hudson said church officials from all walks of faith are ready to help area residents make sense of the tragedy.

“All it takes is the effort to reach out,” Hudson said.

Centerville boy with visual impairments goes viral for music talent

Published: Friday, February 24, 2017 @ 1:57 PM

A Centerville boy with visual impairments is getting national attention after his mother shared a video of him playing Adele songs and pleading to meet the Grammy-award winning musician.

Avett Maness, 4, was born with underdeveloped optic nerves, which means he relies entirely upon hearing and touch when he plays music, according to his mother Sara Moore.

In addition to his musical talents, Maness uses a Braille typewriter and sometimes uses a cane to walk.

However, when he gets behind a piano, or holds a child-size guitar in his arms, there’s nothing holding him back.

Severe storms expected in region tonight

Published: Friday, February 24, 2017 @ 5:11 AM

Severe storms have started  to develop in Indiana and more activity is expected to reach the Miami Valley from east to west heading into the early evening.

  • Storms likely arrive at Ohio-Indiana border between 6-7 p.m.
  • Widespread activity expected through at least 11 p.m.
  • Widespread damaging winds the main threat
  • Storms may also contain large sized hail
  • A tornado may develop if conditions are just right

RELATED: NOW YOU KNOW: Slight vs Enhanced severe weather threat


Storms have begun to develop in the Indiana. More activity will develop and move into the Miami Valley from west to east heading into early evening. 

Storms across the Ohio-Indiana border will likely arrive between 6 or 7 p.m. Storms will continue moving east into the central Miami Valley by 9 p.m. with widespread activity through at least 11 p.m. 

Storm activity will then move out of the area by about 1 or 2 a.m. 

The potential for widespread damaging winds still remains the main threat, but these storms may also contain large sized hail. 

Though not a main concern, a tornado may also develop if conditions are just right, according to Storm Center 7 Meteorologist Kirstie Zontini.

Cold air will wrap behind the front quickly taking temperatures to the low 40s by early Saturday morning.

RELATED: SEVERE WEATHER: Difference between Watch vs. Warning

SATURDAY: A big drop in temperatures expected from Friday by more than 30 degrees. 

The Miami Valley will become colder through the afternoon, so we go from low 70s Friday to middle 30s Saturday. Gusty winds over 30 mph will make it feel colder and we have the potential for some hit or miss rain/snow showers during the first part of the day. Clouds break at night and we drop into the 20s.

SUNDAY: One of the coldest mornings since about Feb 16th. Temperatures will start in the low 20s. Temperatures remain close to normal for the afternoon in the low 40s with some sun.

MONDAY: A few passing rain or snow showers possible early in the morning. Highs climb to the upper 40s. Light rain may linger during the day.

TUESDAY: Better chance for scattered rain showers through the day with highs warmer than normal again in the middle 50s.

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Greater Dayton RTA’s downtown hub inspiration for Toledo system

Published: Friday, February 24, 2017 @ 1:39 PM

            Greater Dayton RTA’s downtown hub inspiration for Toledo system

Wright Stop Plaza — the Greater Dayton RTA’s downtown hub — is featured this week in a report by The Blade newspaper in Toledo as an example of how Midwest cities have created downtown transit hubs.

The Blade reports the Toledo Area Regional Transit Authority seeks to build a transit hub similar to the one built in Dayton nearly a decade ago. The Blade’s report is available here.

In recent years, Greater Dayton RTA and regional partners have taken steps to improve the area around Wright Stop Plaza.

MORE: The Market opens at Wright Stop Plaza

In 2015, the transit authority, Montgomery County, Homefull and Public Health - Dayton & Montgomery County partnered to open “The Market” at the facility. The effort is credited as a way for lower-income riders to access produce and other fresh foods.

Then, in 2016, RTA announced plans for more than $2.5 million in renovations to the facades and roofs of the downtown buildings at Wright Stop Plaza.

DETAILS: RTA plans big year of capital projects

In January, the plaza was the site of pickets during a four-day strike of unionized transit workers. During that time, the transit authority barricaded the plaza behind fencing in an effort to secure the system’s assets.

The plaza is also central to criminal proceedings against the head of that union, ATU Local 1385 President Glenn Salyer, who faces a criminal trespass charge following an incident at the plaza in August. Salyer has filed a motion to dismiss the case in Dayton Municipal Court.

MORE: Union president seeks to dismiss trespass case

Read more about Greater Dayton RTA:

» Film about RTA and Beavercreek feud wins ‘best feature documentary’

» Miamisburg bridge replacement will impact traffic, RTA routes

» 5 times American transit workers walked off jobs

» Ohio GOP legislators say ‘never again’ after RTA strike

Get an inside look at new $34M project at Wright-Patterson

Published: Friday, February 24, 2017 @ 1:28 PM
Updated: Friday, February 24, 2017 @ 1:28 PM

Get an inside look at new $34M project at Wright-Patterson

The world’s most advanced centrifuge is scheduled to launch operations late this year, an event that promises to stamp Wright-Patterson Air Force Base as the center of gravity for aerospace medical research in the military.

“This is definitely the most state-of-the-art, advanced centrifuge in the world,” said Scott Fleming, centrifuge program manager for the 711th Human Performance Wing at the Air Force Research Laboratory.

Years behind schedule, the $34.4 million centrifuge will test the limits of thousands of military pilots over the next several decades.

This news organization was given an exclusive look at the project, which is the only one set to operate within the Department of Defense.

Watch video and get more details of this state-of-the-art project