Church leaders: Lean on loved ones in wake of tragedy

Updated: Friday, September 23, 2016 @ 9:41 PM
Published: Sunday, July 22, 2012 @ 8:02 PM
By: Michael Cooper - Staff Writer

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.

Filmmaker Michael Moore playing free show here after saying he was banned in Columbus area

Updated: Thursday, September 29, 2016 @ 8:31 AM
Published: Wednesday, September 28, 2016 @ 1:20 PM
By: Amelia Robinson

            Filmmaker Michael Moore playing free show here after saying he was banned in Columbus area
FILE - In this May 16, 2016 file photo, Michael Moore attends the 20th Annual Webby Awards at Cipriani Wall Street in New York. Moore says he's not allowed to perform a one-man show about the presidential race at a central Ohio theater because officials there consider him too controversial. Moore says he will go ahead with his plans for the show at an undisclosed site in southern Ohio in Oct. 2016. (Photo by Andy Kropa/Invision/AP, File)

Days after saying his one-man show, an “October surprise” in the “heart of Trump Country,” was banned in the Columbus area, controversial documentary filmmaker Michael Moore announced on Facebook that he’s found a home for it in the Dayton region.

Moore plans to perform free shows at 8 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 6 and Friday, Oct. 7, at the Murphy Theater in Wilmington.

Tickets can be found here

In a Facebook post Sunday, Moore said  Newark's Midland Theatre "banned" him from presenting and filming the show there next month.


The Columbus Dispatch reported Tuesday that Midland’s operators say Moore was not banned. They said the decision not to finalize the contract was based on several factors.

Moore's films include "Roger and Me," "Fahrenheit 9/11," "Sicko" and "Where to Invade Next." 

Police: Victim in Lebanon shooting remains in critical condition

Updated: Wednesday, September 28, 2016 @ 10:49 PM
Published: Wednesday, September 28, 2016 @ 4:16 PM
By: Breaking News Staff

            Police: Victim in Lebanon shooting remains in critical condition
Police in Lebanon have arrested a man in connection with a shooting on Balsam Wood Lane on Tuesday night.

UPDATE @ 4:03 p.m. (Sept. 28): The man found shot and wounded in Lebanon on Tuesday night remains in critical condition at Miami Valley Hospital, Lebanon police said in a Facebook post Wednesday afternoon.

Police said they are continuing their investigation into the circumstances of the incident that left James Mullins, 27, of Morrow, suffering from gunshot wounds to his arm, abdomen and groin.

Thomas Jonathan Delong, 30, of Lebanon, remains in the county jail. He is to be arraigned Thursday, according to online court records.

UPDATE @ 4:25 a.m. (Sept. 28): Lebanon police have identified the man who was arrested in connection to a shooting on Balsam Wood Lane.

In a tweet sent at 1:45 a.m., Lebanon police said 30-year-old Thomas Jonathan Delong, was charged with Felonious Assault and booked into the Warren County Jail with bond set at $100,000.

Police have not given an update on the condition of the victim.

UPDATE @ 9:28 p.m. (Sept. 27): The victim of a Tuesday night shooting in Lebanon was found with gunshot wounds to his arm, abdomen and groin, according to a Lebanon police department release.

Police responded to the 900 block of Balsam Wood Lane after a 9-1-1 caller reported a shooting around 7:16 p.m.

Another man at the scene who identified himself to police as the shooter has been arrested, according to the release.

Lebanon police said an investigation into the shooting is ongoing.


A Tuesday night shooting in Lebanon has sent one man to Miami Valley Hospital, according to Warren County dispatchers.

Crews were dispatched to the 900 block of Balsam Wood Lane around 8:21 p.m. Tuesday on a report of a shooting. Our Cincinnati news partner, WCPO, reports the victim was transported to the hospital via helicopter and is in an unknown condition.

This is an area that sees little violence, according to Lebanon police Captain Dave Gehringer.

This page will be updated as new details are learned.

Oregon District business ready to sell gin and make bourbon

Updated: Wednesday, September 28, 2016 @ 5:39 PM
Published: Wednesday, September 28, 2016 @ 2:25 PM
By: Amelia Robinson

In a matter of days, it will be possible to order a gin and tonic made with gin distilled in the Oregon District.

In two years or so, you’ll be able to buy bourbon produced in the historic district.

Belle of Dayton plans to start selling its new gin in October. The retail price will be $27.95 a bottle.

Mike LaSelle, co-owner of Belle of Dayton. (Photo by Amelia Robinson)

Michael LaSelle, co-owner of the 3-year-old distillery at 122 Van Buren St., said the business could begin mashing its bourbon as early as today, Wednesday, Sept. 28.

It will be ready in about two years.

LaSelle said the gin -- like Belle’s trademark vodka and Hell’s vodka -- will have the distillery's striking new label and detailed descriptions of the crafted product contained in each bottle.

Back label of Belle of Dayton's new gin. (Photo by Amelia Robinson)

He talks about the gin in the video above.

“Every single spirit you see from our distillery is literally what we believe our vodka or gin or Hell’s vodka ... should taste like. It is our expression of what our spirit should be,” LaSelle said. “It is uniquely different and it is made and crafted by us."

Belle plans to release its four-grain Ohio rye whiskey made in new Ohio charred barrels with a list of ingredients that include white sweet corn instead of yellow corn, and its 1800s style bourbon barrel cask rum next year.

The small batch rum has been in barrels from Heaven Hill, Maker’s Mark, Jim Beam, Wild Turkey and other distilleries for a year and half, LaSelle said.

Mike LaSelle pours a tasting of Belle of Dayton's four grain Ohio rye whiskey, expected to be bottled next year. (Photo by Amelia Robinson)

Mike LaSelle holds bottles containing Belle of Dayton's four grain Ohio rye whiskey and bourbon barrel cask rum. They will be released in 2017. (Photo by Amelia Robinson)

EXCLUSIVE: City of Dayton unveils new logo, website

Updated: Wednesday, September 28, 2016 @ 5:08 PM
Published: Monday, September 26, 2016 @ 9:00 AM
By: Amelia Robinson

 The city of Dayton unveiled a new logo and redesigned website today, Monday, Sept. 26.

Dayton spokeswoman Toni Bankston said the website -- which was nine months in the making -- is designed to make it easier for citizens, businesses and visitors to find city services, city forms, and report concerns. The site also features a new event calendar. had not been updated since 2007 and was clunky and cluttered, she said.

“It wasn’t easy to navigate,” Bankston said.

Note: you may have to clear your browser's cache to see the new design.

The website now has microsites for the water, fire, police, and recreation department. The three had independent sites before now.

Among other things, residents can sign up to receive text/sms message alerts about road closures, water main breaks and other issues.

The site has a new “I want to...” tab designed to make most requested pages easier to find, Bankston said.

Screen grab of the city of Dayton's new website design.

Kansas-based CivicPlus, a municipal website developer, designed the website and provided content management services at a cost of $59,200.

The three-colored logo and other custom branding work was created by Dayton-based Ohlmann Group for $25,000.

The logo and branding will be phased in during three to five years on Dayton-owned vehicles and other property, Bankston said.

City of Dayton's new logo

The city hopes to improve the website’s permit search tool this year, and is planning a public works tool that will allow residents to subscribe to weekly email, phone, Twitter or text message reminders for waste collection.

Its public affairs department is launching the podcast “Birthplace of Next,” which will feature city leaders discussing livable, sustainable and innovative issues in the community.

Screen grab of  art of the city of Dayton's old website design. 

What do you think of the new logo? Leave a comment or share your thoughts on Facebook.


Downtown Dayton Sep 28, 2016 - 5:08 PM