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Dayton focus of Daily Show with Jon Stewart immigration story

Updated: Friday, October 11, 2013 @ 11:11 AM
Published: Friday, October 11, 2013 @ 12:58 AM
By: Amelia Robinson - Staff Writer

Dayton and my former downstairs neighbor Tim Riordan landed in the middle of a “Daily Show with Jon Stewart” story on immigration Thursday night.

The story spotlighted the the city’s Welcome Dayton campaign. Daily Show correspondent Aasif Mandvi sat down with City Manager Riordan at City Hall.

“The influx of immigrants into Dayton has been a good thing,” Riordan said. “Do you know how much money we get in tax monies from immigrants? They create jobs, they create businesses.”

Riordan stood firm during the interview with Mandvi, one of the show’s ‘fake reporters.’ He called the influence of immigrants in the city a good thing.

“We want to solve problems and have a better community,” Riordan said.

Officially launched in 2011, the Welcome to Dayton immigrant-friendly campaign has garnered Dayton increased attention in recent weeks.

The New York Times profiled the campaign championed by Dayton Mayor Gary Leitzell and Ahiska Turkish American Community Center founder Islom Shakhbandarovl in an Oct. 6 article.

Praising Welcome to Dayton, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation lists the Dayton among its top enterprise-friendly cities.

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Body of woman, kids with local ties recovered from Gatlinburg wildfire

Updated: Sunday, December 04, 2016 @ 2:42 PM
By: Will Garbe, Sharahn D. Boykin and Breaking News Staff

A Centerville man’s two granddaughters and daughter-in-law — missing since Monday following the Gatlinburg, Tennessee, wildfires — have now been recovered. The body of Constance Reed, 34, was recovered hours later and, although unconfirmed by authorities, the family believes Lily, 9, and Chloe, 12, died near their mother.

  • Home found destroyed north of Great Smoky Mountains National Park
  • Road to home reopened Saturday, Dec. 3
  • Constance, Chloe and Lily Reed last seen Monday

Grant Reed hoped his daughter-in-law and two granddaughters were alive early Saturday morning, somewhere on the other side of Gatlinburg, Tenn., where roadways were made impassible in the aftermath of devastating wildfires.

“Today is a day of hope,” the Centerville grandfather wrote on Facebook at 7:36 a.m. “The road to my son Michael’s home opens at noon. We will find them.” Reed left Centerville on Thursday to join his son Michael and grandson Nicholas to help search for his family members.

That proved not to be the case, his later social media posts revealed. “With profound sadness that is now a part of my soul I am sorry to share the passing of Constance, Chloe and Lily,” Reed wrote around 2 p.m. on Facebook. “Please continue to pray for my son Michael and his son Nicholas.”

Michael Reed last spoke with Constance Reed before the fire consumed their home Monday, north of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park.

“She called me about 8:15 p.m. and said there were flames across the street from our house and she didn’t know what to do,” he said during a Nov. 29 interview with a local news station. “I told her to call 9-1-1, and that was the last time I talked to her.”

He and Nicholas were traveling home, but were stuck in traffic. After an hour of driving through fallen trees and brush fire they reached their home. It was “completely engulfed,” he said.

The Sevier County Sheriff’s Department told the family it was apparent the Reeds were fleeing the wildfires on foot, according to WHIO-TV affiliate WVLT-TV. It was not immediately clear where the bodies were found proximate to their residence. The department did not publicly identify the remains, although family and their church made a series of confirmations to local media.

“Our hearts are broken to receive this news,” said the Rev. Phillip C. Morris Jr. of the Parkway Church of God. “We ask for everyone to continue in prayer for this family.

“We appreciate the outpouring of love from around the nation and specifically here in Sevier County,” the pastor said. “Your strong support means so much, and this family is going to really need your support even more in the days and weeks to come.”

Grant Reed’s afternoon Facebook post about his grandchildren and daughter-in-law was shared 3,000 times within four hours Saturday, with more than 2,000 comments of support for the family.

The Reeds church in Tennessee established a fund for the family. Many also have reached out to help and make a donation to the family’s GoFundMe account established Dec. 1. On Friday, 144 people contributed $6,378 to the fund’s $15,000 goal. Late Saturday, more than 377 people donated $20,805 to the fund.

“I wish we could do more,” said a woman who donated $20 to the cause Saturday evening. “My prayers are going up for you and your son. Lean to God to get you through this. I’m so sorry.”

UPDATE @ 7:29 p.m. (Dec. 2): Grant Reed, the grandfather of the missing girls in Gatlinburg, sent a picture of what’s left of his son Michael’s house in the Chalet Village neighborhood.

“We can go up there tomorrow,” Grant Reed said tonight in an email to WHIO-TV.


As the death toll from the Gatlinburg wildfires continues to rise, a Centerville grandfather remains hopeful that his daughter-in-law and granddaughters will be found alive.

Friday marked the fourth day Grant Reed’s daughter-in-law Constance and his granddaughters — Lily, 9, and Chloe, 12 — were missing. The last time anyone heard from them is when Reed’s son Michael spoke to his wife Constance on Monday. She called to tell him the fire was close to their Wiley Oakley Drive home in the Chalet Village neighborhood.

“She called me about 8:15 p.m. and said there were flames across the street from our house and she didn’t know what to do,” Michael Reed said during a Nov. 29 interview with a local news station. “I told her to call 9-1-1, and that was the last time I talked to her.”

VIDEO: Man searches for wife, 2 daughters in evacuations

On Thursday, Grant Reed and his daughter, who lives in Toledo, traveled to Gatlinburg to help in the search. In an News Center 7 interview, Grant Reed said 20 percent of the Chalet Village neighborhood had not yet been searched.

The elder Reed said he appreciates everyone’s prayers here in the Miami Valley. He posted the following update on Facebook earlier this week:

“Thanks to everyone who continues to pray for the safe return of my daughter in law Constance Reed and my two beautiful granddaughter Chloe and Lily. There was a forensic team at the home site today but we have not learned yet if they have found anything. We are still holding out hope that they found their way to another house in the area that was not burning. Roads are still impassible and much of the area has not been searched yet. Thanks again and please continue to pray.”

In a News Center 7 interview, Reed said his daughter is spending time with her 15-year-old nephew, who is Michael Reed’s son. They will be checking with the animal shelter set up at the Sevier County Fairgrounds where stray animals are being kept in an attempt to find the family’s missing dogs and cat.

In the interview with a local news station, a tearful Michael Reed described how he and his son got in their van to drive home, but got stuck in traffic. It took him an hour of driving through fallen trees and brush fire before he reached his home, according to a family member.

RELATED: Tips for driving in smokey areas

“I actually drove our van all the way up the road in the fire to get to our house and when I got there it was completely engulfed,” he said.

By the time Reed was able to make his way to Wiley Oakley, everything was gone, he said.

“I’m just hoping for a miracle,” said Reed, who choked up before pulling up pictures of his family on his phone to show viewers in hopes that someone has seen his wife and daughters.

Reed said he went back into Gatlinburg, before he was allowed, to find his family. He and a friend checked with other shelters in the area without any luck.

Many have reached out to help and make a donation to the family’s GoFundMe account, which was set up on Dec. 1. On Friday, 144 people had contributed $6,378 to the fund’s $15,000 goal.

While the search for the missing Reed family continues, the number of wildfire-related deaths rose to 13 on Friday, said Sevier County Mayor Larry Waters. An additional person died after suffering a heart attack, he said.

The number of those treated for injuries increased to 85.

RELATED: Gatlinburg wildfires: Area couple rescues honeymooners

Five of the people who died, including a 71-year-old man and his 70-year-old wife and a married couple, both ages 61, were identified by name by an Sevier County assistant medical examiner.

In addition to family members, nurses at the school the Reed girls attend said they are devastated and heartbroken about the situation, according to a CBS report.

“We are truly a family, and this is hurting all of us — our teachers, our principal, our assistant principal and us,” Donna Casey said, choking up on her tears.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Montgomery County budget calls for higher spending

Updated: Sunday, December 04, 2016 @ 1:33 PM
By: Cornelius Frolik - Staff Writer

            Montgomery County budget calls for higher spending
Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office is among 13 departments receiving less money than requested in the 2017 Montgomery County budget.

Montgomery County’s proposed 2017 budget increases general fund spending by about 1.5 percent from this year, driven in large part by higher personnel expenditures.

As proposed, the number of positions paid out of the general fund will be 1,324, which virtually is unchanged from the current year.

But spending on salaries, fringe benefits and other types of compensation will increase by 3.7 percent, or $3.4 million.

County employees on average will receive a 2.5 percent raise next year, and health insurance costs are expected to increase by nearly 8 percent.

The recommended budget increases allocations to nearly all departments under the general fund next year.

“Staff’s done a great job in working through all of these things and making sure we maintain our budget discipline,” said Joe Tuss, Montgomery County administrator.

However, 13 departments will receive less money than they requested, including the Montgomery County Sheriff, which will get almost $3.6 million less than the department sought.

Montgomery County commissioners this week are expected to vote on the county budget.

The proposed 2017 general fund budget is $150.2 million, up from $2.3 million from the 2016 adopted budget.

The county projects tax collections to climb more than 3 percent to $99.7 million, even despite anticipated sales tax revenue declines tied to changes in Medicaid managed-care taxation.

The county plans to spend $94.7 million on personnel costs (up 3.7 percent from the 2016 adopted budget), $13.8 million on operating expenses (up 7.7 percent) and $25.1 million on professional services (up 3.9 percent).

Personnel costs include fringe benefits, such as health insurance, which is expected to cost the general fund $12.1 million next year, budget documents show. Operating expenses include supplies, utilities and rentals.

But the county budgeted $14.8 million for operating transfers (down 10 percent from 2016) and $1.8 million for capital outlays (-44 percent).

Operating transfers in part pays for deferred capital maintenance projects. Capital outlays pay for ongoing lease agreements and capital replacement items.

With few exceptions, county departments under the general fund will see their budgets grow next year.

The spending plan ensures the county has the work force it needs by compensating employees fairly and appropriately, Tuss said.

But overall, departments’ asked for $6 million more than they will receive.

The sheriff will get about $30.5 million, which is up nearly $660,000 from 2016. However, the sheriff requested $34.1 million.

The bulk of the additional funds requested by the sheriff ($2.2 million) were for jail operations. The proposed budget provides the jail with $771,400 more than the 2016 adopted budget.

Sheriff Phil Plummer did not immediately return requests for comment on Friday.

The county is in contract negotiations with NaphCare Inc., which is a correctional health care provider, said Amy Wiedeman, assistant Montgomery County administrator.

The jail has been seriously impacted by the opioid and heroin epidemic and from the significant number of inmates suffering from mental illness, Wiedeman said. The county wants enhanced addiction and mental health services.

Under the agreement with NaphCare, the jail will add new, skilled clinical staff — increasing the payroll to 27 from 21 — with additions including a psychologist and medical workers, officials said. The jail will offer medication-assisted drug treatment.

“We think this is the best opportunity to have better resources in the jail for the population that the sheriff’s department can manage,” said Tuss, county administrator.

Almost one out of every six inmates booked into the Montgomery County Jail in 2015 had a mental health problem, this news organization learned.

The county would have more money to spend on major community projects if its investment income was more robust.

The county projects earning about $4.3 million in investment income in 2017, which is up a little from this year.

But proceeds have fallen off a cliff compared to 2000, when the county collected about $29 million from investment earnings. In 2013, investment income was projected at $6.9 million.

Cuts to the local government fund and some other revenue sources pale in comparison to the reduced returns on the county’s investments, said Debbie Lieberman, Montgomery County commissioner.

“That’s really the big thing in the last 20 years,” she said.

Lieberman said the county used that income to support major projects, including the construction of the Schuster Center and Fifth Third Field.

Two arrested on rape charges in Trotwood

Updated: Sunday, December 04, 2016 @ 9:08 AM
By: Breaking News Staff

            Two arrested on rape charges in Trotwood
Jacob Wood (Montgomery County Jail/Contributed)

Two men were arrested on separate rape charges in Trotwood Saturday evening, according to court documents.

Dustin Hogue, 22, was arrested on one count of rape and Jacob Wood, 19, was arrested on one rape charge.

Hogue and Wood were arrested by Trotwood police at the same address in the 3000 block of Oliver Road.

Both men have been booked in the Montgomery County Jail, according to the documents, and both are awaiting formal charges.

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8 taken to area hospitals following U.S. 35 crash

Updated: Sunday, December 04, 2016 @ 7:05 AM
By: Breaking News Staff

            8 taken to area hospitals following U.S. 35 crash
Eastbound U.S. 35 is closed from Orchard Lane to Valley Road, according to Ohio State Highway Patrol dispatchers. (WHIO/Stock photo)

UPDATE @ 7:03 a.m.

Eight people have been sent to area hospitals, with one person in critical condition, following a crash on Eastbound U.S. 35 Sunday morning.

Ohio State Highway Patrol dispatchers said details surrounding the crash were largely unavailable at this time.

3 people were taken to Miami Valley Hospital, 2 were sent to Greene Memorial Hospital, one person went to Soin Medical Center and another 2 people were transported to Miami Valley Hospital South.

Dispatchers said crews were at the scene of the two-car crash for approximately three hours.

Callers into our newsroom reported waiting on the closed highway for nearly two hours following the crash just after midnight.

We are working to learn more information regarding the crash and the conditions of the victims.

UPDATE @ 2:51 a.m.

Eastbound U.S. 35 is now open following a crash that closed the highway Sunday morning.

Our crew at the scene says wreckers removed two cars from the scene, both with little damage.

Dispatchers are unable to confirm how many people may have been hurt in the crash.


Eastbound U.S. 35 is closed from Orchard Lane to Valley Road, according to Ohio State Highway Patrol dispatchers.

Dispatchers said crews were dispatched to a two-car, injury crash around 12:14 a.m.

Callers into our newsroom report traffic is at a standstill and many have been waiting for nearly an hour as crews respond to the scene.

Dispatchers said people have been taken to the hospital, but were unsure of exactly how many people have been injured.

We have a crew heading to the scene and are working to learn when the highway will be reopened.

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