Dayton mom shoots 2 children: Neighbors create memorial

Published: Thursday, May 18, 2017 @ 10:21 PM

Not long after two children were found in the yard of a home on Lori Sue Avenue, shot in the head by their mother, police said, a neighbor installed a makeshift memorial. 

"It was just in my heart as a mother. I have three kids myself," Lashawnda Jones told News Center 7's Mike Campbell on Thursday afternoon. 

"Those babies didn't deserve that." 

>>RELATED: Mom previously accused of child endangering

A stuffed bear and an array of balloons were among the first expressions of sympathy to be placed in the yard as a reminder of 8-year-old Khmorra and 6-year-old Kenden Helton. 

Both remained in Dayton Children's Hospital on Thursday in critical condition. Their injuries are considered life-threatening, police and hospital officials have said. 

Their mother, Claudena Helton, remained in the Montgomery County jail Thursday night, detained on single counts of felonious assault. 

>>RELATED: Police: Dayton mom shoots 2 children 

Another neighbor said people drove up and down the street all day, some stopping to drop off things to add to the memorial. 

"I just feel sad. I just feel sad about the kids," said the neighbor, Roman Gibson. 

He said he's holding onto hope that the children will pull through. 

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7 displaced, no injuries in massive fire at Dayton townhouses

Published: Tuesday, June 27, 2017 @ 6:19 PM
Updated: Tuesday, June 27, 2017 @ 7:12 PM

UPDATE @ 6:55 p.m.:  Seven occupants have been displaced because of the fire that caused major damage to four townhouses in the 5100 block of Northcrest Drive in Dayton. 

ELSEWHERE: All-clear called after threat at Islamic Center of Greater Cincinnati

A woman who said she is a resident there said someone in one of the units was cooking and that may have led to the fire. 

Dayton Fire District Chief Rennes Bowers confirmed that someone cooking food led to the fire that spread into the walls of the units and the common attic area that connects the four townhouses. 

The incident was dispatched just after 6 p.m. on a report of a structure fire with people possibly trapped. Bowers said everyone was out by the time fire crews arrived and a search of the units found no one trapped. 

The seven occupants will have to find alternative housing because the damage is extensive, the district chief said. 

Bowers could not put a dollar estimate on the damage because the investigation is still in its early stages.


Dayton fire has been dispatched on a report of an apartment building fire with entrapment, 5112 Northcrest Drive. 

The incident was called out just after 6 p.m. 

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YWCA of Dayton raises $13M to renovate housing units, domestic violence shelter

Published: Tuesday, June 27, 2017 @ 7:06 PM

(Cornelius Frolik/Staff)

Officials with the YWCA of Dayton said they have raised about $13 million to help renovate the organization’s housing units and domestic violence shelter.

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The YWCA building has been on the 100 block of West Third Street for 150 years and though it's been through a couple of renovations, it is long overdue for an overhaul, Yvonne Isaacs, YWCA Dayton board of directors chairwoman, said in a Facebook Live session broadcast Tuesday evening.  

"This board is committed to creating spaces that create dignity for the women and the children who call this building home and whom we serve every day," she said.  

The YWCA of Dayton's flagship building turned 104 years old this spring.

The housing units will be transformed from dorm-like little spaces into individual apartments that help women and children in transition and give them a safe space, board member Jane Marx announced at the organization's annual meeting.  

SEE ALSO: Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Med Center among nation’s best

The renovation begin in January on floors three through seven, which is the organization's core programming spaces.  

"We will break ground in the winter of 2018," she said.  

The YWCA of Dayton is launching the final phase of its capital campaign with a goal to raise an additional $1 million, officials said.

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Students, parents show support for Dunbar coach at school board meeting

Published: Tuesday, June 27, 2017 @ 6:39 PM

Dunbar head football coach Darran Powell addresses the Wolverines during practice in September 2016. MARC PENDLETON / STAFF

Dozens of Dunbar High School supporters came to Tuesday night's Dayton school board meeting in support of football coach Darran Powell whose future as coach is in limbo. 

The only order of business for Tuesday's meeting was a closed, executive session to discuss the hiring of unnamed school personnel. 

But the Dunbar crowd, including players, parents, Powell and several assistant coaches, crowded into a tiny sixth floor conference room to make their presence felt as the meeting began. 

School board members thanked the group for their interest, and encouraged them to get their issue added to the agenda for the July 11 school board meeting. 

The board then went into executive session which was ongoing as of 6:15 PM. 

Powell's contract as head coach was not renewed for the 2017 season at a school board meeting last week. The board has assigned a temporary head coach but both Powell and players said last year's coaches continue to work with the team.

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Notion of Fentanyl-laced marijuana prompts local warning

Published: Tuesday, June 27, 2017 @ 4:27 PM

Local health officials are warning those in the Miami Valley of a dangerous drug combination, marijuana laced with fentanyl.

“The dealers are savvy and know how to get young people involved in drugs,” said Ann Stevens, spokesperson for Montgomery County Alcohol, Drug and Mental Health Services.  “Anytime there is a synthetic in any street drug it becomes dangerous.”

Fentanyl has led to numerous fatal drug overdoses in the Miami Valley and while health officials are warning of its mixture with marijuana, local law enforcement said they have not had any confirmed cases.  

RELATED: Task force seizes 66 pounds of heroin, fentanyl, marijuana in raids

Area police said they are continuing to be on the lookout as the areas highway systems often provide ways for drugs dealers to enter communities.

“I just don’t think it is something to joke about.  I think it is very serious,” said Fabrizzio Arenas, a Dayton resident who said she recently lost friends due to the opiod epidemic.

RELATED: Officer’s overdose leads to public health warning

Stevens said the new mixture is all the more reason for parents to keep close watch over their child’s behavior.

“They really need to look deeper into their child’s behavior,” Stevens said.  “You may not think your child is doing drugs, but you’d be surprised.”