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.

OVI checkpoint underway in Dayton

Updated: Saturday, October 22, 2016 @ 9:58 PM
By: Breaking News Staff

The Montgomery County OVI Task Force announced that an OVI checkpoint was set to begin at 9 p.m. tonight in the area of North Gettysburg Avenue and Kings Highway.

OVI checkpoints, funded by federal grant funds, are used deter and intercept impaired drivers.

Dayton officers will also conduct saturation patrols in conjunction with the announced checkpoint.

Police advise if you plan to consume alcohol, designate a driver or make other travel arrangements before drinking.

Race for 43rd House district has turned ugly

Updated: Saturday, October 22, 2016 @ 6:59 PM
Published: Saturday, October 22, 2016 @ 2:13 PM
By: Lynn Hulsey - Staff Writer

Race for 43rd House district has turned ugly
David Sparks and Jeff Rezabek (Staff Writer)

Democrat David Sparks of Clayton is seeking to unseat first-term state Rep. Jeff Rezabek, R-Clayton, in one of the region’s most competitive statehouse races in a once-firmly Democratic district that became more evenly balanced in the 2012 redistricting.


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The race pits a Bernie Sanders-supporting businessman who advocates a higher minimum wage and green energy against a Republican attorney whose top priorities are advocating for the communities in the district and battling the region’s opiate addiction problem.

The district covers parts of Englewood, Clayton, Trotwood, western Montgomery County and all of Preble County. In a district with a political index that is about 51 percent Democrat and 49 percent Republican, Rezabek in 2014 unseated State Rep. Roland Winburn, D-Harrison Twp. In 2012, when President Barack Obama was on the ballot, Winburn won easily.

Rezabek previously ran unsuccessfully in 2012 for Montgomery County Juvenile Court judge.

Sparks, owner of, a digital development and e-commerce consulting firm, was a delegate for Sanders at the Democratic National Convention this summer in Philadelphia.

The Rezabek-Sparks race turned ugly this summer, with Rezabek supporters producing ads and a website calling Sparks “Creepy Dave” and saying he made inappropriate comments about girls and drugs in his online videos.

Sparks, in turn, accused Republicans of putting him in personal danger by falsely implying he was a pedophile and said his videos on subjects such as Planned Parenthood, drugs and prostate cancer were supposed to be informational, funny or both.

In a 2015 video Sparks, now 48, advocated against defunding Planned Parenthood and sang a song about putting his hand on a 14-year old girl’s breast when he was 14. He sang about how it made him want to have sex and argued that since teenagers think that way it would be a mistake for the state to cut funding for the planning family and women’s health services agency.

The Ohio Republican Party also held a news conference that Rezabek participated in this summer criticizing Sparks’ videos. Television ads paid for by the Ohio House Republican Organizational Committee (OHROC) knock Sparks for his videos, state tax liens and a court judgment against him for accepting $25,814.58 from a bank for a certificate of deposit that was not his.

Sparks was sued by Fifth Third Bank after accepting the money in 2001 and was ordered to repay it, but the debt was discharged in 2010. He said he thought the money was his and that $5,523 in state tax liens were mistakes by the state except for $172.65 he paid in early October.

Dan Tierney, spokesman for Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine, confirmed that all but one tax lien is closed, but he said the office is in the midst of a computer update so he could not confirm that Sparks’ October payment cleared that final debt. Tierney also said he could not provide details about what taxes Sparks did or did not owe because it is not a public record.

Sparks sees the Republican attack ads as a sign that he’s making inroads with his low-budget campaign against Rezabek and says the TV ad is putting his name in front of people who might otherwise not have seen it.

“I think its ridiculous and I got a big chuckle out of it,” said Sparks, who estimated the cost of his campaign at less than $10,000. “I don’t think it’s hurting us.”

Rezabek said he has tried to distance himself from the mailers and TV ads even though he participated in the ORP news conference. He said the ads are not his doing, and that he wants to stay positive and talk about the issues.

“It’s about relationships, so if other entities are doing these things and my opponent may be trying to smear me as much as he can as well, what that does is I have to work harder to redevelop those relationships,” Rezabek said.

Jeff Rezabek

He said his work with families and juveniles as a Dayton attorney informs his job as a state legislator. He co-sponsored HB 410, a bill that passed the House and is in committee in the Senate, that would help children who are truant before charging them with delinquency.

He also was a sponsor of a bill that eased access to Naloxone, the drug that can reverse an opiate overdose, and supports more efforts to get people addiction treatment.

Rezabek said he has worked with Democrats on bills, including one dealing with kinship care, and has bucked his party when Republicans voted to de-fund Planned Parenthood. He said the family planning agency does good work in preventing pregnancy and providing needed women’s health care. He opposes abortion and is also a co-sponsor of the Heartbeat Bill, an anti-abortion effort that passed the House and is pending in the Senate.

Rezabek said the state should restore some of the funding that was cut from the Local Government Fund during the post-recession budget troubles to help communities fund infrastructure and other improvements. He said if there are going to be further state tax cuts they need to put money back into people’s pockets.

Rezabek would not answer whether he supports increasing the minimum wage but said raising the base would lead to further increases that will cost jobs.

“Then whatever number you pick — eight, ten, 15, 50 dollars — as a minimum wage, everything will adjust and then everyone will be saying that’s not enough either,” Rezabek said. “Because what happens is you lose jobs.”

He said he also would like to improve education funding and reform unemployment compensation and the Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation.

“My philosophy is simple,” said Rezabek. “Is it good for the 43rd district? Is it good for the state of Ohio? (And) does it solve a problem.”

David Sparks

Raising the minimum wage to $15 an hour is a key campaign theme for Sparks. He said the nation’s economic recovery has left too many people behind.

“I’ve seen a general overall malaise in employment, well-paying employment specifically, which is one of the biggest challenges we face,” Sparks said.

He said there is no real evidence that raising the minimum wage leads to fewer jobs and he believes it would improve the economy.

“That spending goes into the economy,” Sparks said.”Republicans have it completely backwards as to how economies develop. They develop from the bottom up.”

Sparks wants to eliminate the tax abatements and job creation tax credits that are used to attract businesses, saying they lead to a loss in tax revenue for communities and schools and shift a larger share of the tax burden onto individuals.

He opposes the state’s privatization of economic development through JobsOhio, the non-profit corporation that was funded with state liquor profits.

Sparks also wants to ban hydraulic fracturing, an oil and gas extraction method known as “fracking,” and replace government subsidies to fossil fuel industries with support for solar farming and wind energy.

Sparks also opposes right-to-work laws and said people should have the right to form unions. He believes marijuana should be completely legal and be regulated like alcohol. Drug addiction should be decriminalized and addicts treated as patients, Sparks said.

Sparks also wants the state to restore cuts made to the local government fund and improve school funding, particularly to reduce class sizes.

He supports a woman’s right to choose abortion.

A major issue for Sparks is removing money from politics. He supports convening a Convention of the States to overturn the U.S. Supreme Court’s Citizens United ruling.

“People realize that the entire political system is bought and paid for by multimillionaire interests,” Sparks said. “I would expect a democracy to serve citizens fairly and equally.”



Jeff Rezabek

Age: 47

Party: Republican

Home: Clayton

Job: member Ohio House of Representatives 43rd District and attorney

Education: University of Dayton, bachelor’s in psychology and juris doctor

David Sparks

Age: 48

Party: Democrat

Home: Clayton

Job: Owner

Education: Bachelor’s in liberal studies Wright State University

Reports: AT&T reaches $80B deal for CNN parent Time Warner

Updated: Saturday, October 22, 2016 @ 5:30 PM
Published: Saturday, October 22, 2016 @ 5:15 PM
By: Breaking News Staff

            Reports: AT&T reaches $80B deal for CNN parent Time Warner
CNN is part of the Time Warner empire. RODNEY HO / RHO@AJC.COM

In a deal with implications for Atlanta-based Turner’s many television properties, AT&T has reached a agreement to acquire Time Warner, multiple media outlets reported Saturday.

Both companies are expected to announce the purchase as early as Saturday evening, the Wall Street Journal reported.

AT&T is expected to pay between $105 a share and $110 a share per Time Warner share in cash and stock, reports said. The deal reportedly is worth $80 billion, perhaps more.

Turner properties include CNN, HLN, TNT and TBS. A little under half of Turner’s employees – about 6,000 – are based in Atlanta, the Atlanta-Journal Constitution has reported .

The deal likely would bring strong scrutiny from regulators, the Washington Post reported , because of its potential effect on competitors.

In fact, Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump spoke out against the merger.

“As an example of the power structure I am fighting, AT&T is buying Time Warner and thus CNN — a deal we will not approve in my administration because it’s too much concentration of power in the hands of too few,” Trump said at a speech in Gettysburg, Pa.

Elderly woman has hard fall chasing Target purse-snatcher

Updated: Saturday, October 22, 2016 @ 4:51 PM
By: Breaking News Staff

Miami Twp. police are asking the public to help find a man they say robbed an elderly woman in a Target parking lot Thursday.

In surveillance video from the store at 2300 Miamisburg Centerville Road, a man can be seen approaching the woman and grabbing her purse before running away.

The woman attempts to run after the man and after a few steps falls in the parking lot.

Police said the man appears to have numerous tattoos on his arms and legs and was last seen leaving the store in a gold and silver 2-door car.

Anyone recognizing the man in the video is asked to contact Detective Dan Wessling at the Miami Township Police Department at 937-531-4046.