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breaking news


Dayton superintendent put on leave; board leader says ‘nothing to do with students’

Published: Wednesday, November 22, 2017 @ 12:36 AM
Updated: Wednesday, November 22, 2017 @ 2:04 PM

DPS Superintendent Rhonda Corr placed on leave

Dayton school board member Joe Lacey said Wednesday that allegations of racial discrimination mentioned by the board Tuesday night are not the main reason Superintendent Rhonda Corr was put on leave. 

In fact, Lacey said attorney Beverly Meyer’s report clears Associate Superintendent Elizabeth Lolli of those charges, and clears Corr of nearly all of them, while acknowledging that some of Corr’s behavior may have been “unprofessional.” 

MORE: The tumultuous tenure of Rhonda Corr

But Lacey said there are separate allegations against Corr only, not related to the racial discrimination issue, that are the reason Corr has been put on leave. He declined to comment on the nature of those separate allegations.

Corr has not responded to requests for comment.

DPS superintendent on leave

Lolli echoed Lacey’s statement that allegations of harassment or discrimination against her were unfounded.  

“Never in 40 years have the words discrimination and or harassment been associated with my name and reputation,” Lolli said. “They won't be in the next 40 years either because they do not describe who I am or what I stand for.”

MORE: Who is acting Dayton superintendent Elizabeth Lolli?

EARLIER: Dayton school board members late Tuesday night placed Superintendent Rhonda Corr on administrative leave and promoted Elizabeth Lolli, associate superintendent, to acting superintendent.

School board President Robert Walker was very limited in his comments Wednesday morning. 

MORE: What Dayton school board said about superintendent in evaluation

Asked why Corr was put on leave and Lolli promoted if both were named in allegations of discrimination and harassment, Walker said he “cannot get into those questions.” 

He said the pre-disciplinary hearing notice against Corr, which is supposed to detail the reasons for her potential discipline, is still “in process.” 

But Walker did clarify one issue, in light of recent accusations against other educators. 

“I can say emphatically that it has nothing to do with students,” Walker said. “As a matter of fact, her relationship with young people as she went through the schools and engaged with them was really healthy and positive.”

RELATED: Harris fills Baguirov’s seat on Dayton school board

According to a DPS online video stream of the meeting, the school board approved four resolutions when they came out of closed executive session:

  • Approving a Nov. 21 report and recommendation of compliance officer Beverly Meyer concerning allegations of racial harassment and discrimination alleged against Corr and Lolli.
  • Relieving Corr of her duties as superintendent and placing her on paid administrative leave effective immediately.
  • Agreeing to issue a pre-disciplinary hearing notice to Corr, detailing the reasons for potential discipline.
  • Naming Lolli as acting superintendent, effective immediately, at the salary level set forth in Corr's current contract, but retaining the benefits set forth in Lolli's current contract.

On all four resolutions, the vote was 6-0. Board member Hazel Rountree was absent.

Corr could not immediately be reached by phone for comment.

Three newly elected Dayton school board members whose terms have not yet started participated in a portion of an executive session last night before the vote on Corr. 

Corr was placed on leave by the school board just before midnight Tuesday after a long executive session.

Jocelyn Rhynard, one of the new members who will not take office until January, said she does not yet have detailed information about the existing board’s decision to place Corr on leave. 

“I have not had any discussions with anybody (since last night’s votes),” Rhynard said. “I look forward to doing that, and when it is appropriate for me to become privy to information, I’m sure that I will be part of that conversation.” 

Rhynard, Mohamed Al-Hamdani and Karen Wick-Gagnet – who were elected to the school board Nov. 7 – were in the audience at Tuesday night’s school board meeting. 

Rhynard said those three were invited into a portion of the closed executive session near the end of Tuesday’s meeting “to discuss some matters that we needed to be brought up to speed on.” 

RELATED: Waynesville school issue passed by 7 votes, recount ahead

She said she could not comment on what matters were discussed in the closed session, and added that she, Wick-Gagnet and Al-Hamdani were gone from the meeting when the board emerged from executive session around 11:30 p.m. 

The fourth person who was elected Nov. 7, William Harris, was actually appointed to the board at the beginning of Tuesday’s meeting to fill the last six weeks of Adil Baguirov’s term. So Harris did participate in both the executive session discussions about Corr’s status, as well as the votes to place her on leave and name Lolli acting superintendent. 

“This is certainly a surprise. There have been a lot of dramatic upheavals in the last year and a half, which is one of the reasons I decided to run,” Rhynard said. “I look forward to finding out more information. And I look forward to being part of a board that will bring stability to the district. There are lots of changes that I would like to make and I look forward to being a part of that process.”

Reached early Wednesday, school board member John McManus declined to say much.

"We have been advised by (legal) counsel that we are not permitted to comment on a pending matter," he said.

Corr was hired by DPS in June 2016 to her first full superintendent post after 25 years in Cleveland schools, then brief stints as a high administrator in the Chicago and Indianapolis school districts since 2013.

After Corr was hired, the district had some highlights — escaping the threat of state takeover, solving some long-running busing problems and improving textbooks, computer access and career tech options.

But during that same period, Dayton Public Schools were also put on OHSAA probation for trying to rig a football game, had a long, painful contract fight with teachers that nearly led to a strike and on the most recent state report card, ranked second to last in Ohio on state test scores.

After the teachers' contract fight was resolved, the teachers union issued a vote of no confidence in both Corr and the school board.

At Tuesday night's meeting, the "yes" votes to put Corr on leave came from four members who will remain on the school board next year -- Walker, Sheila Taylor, John McManus and Harris -- plus the outgoing Ron Lee and Joe Lacey.

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Crews battle fire in Dayton home; 1 injury reported

Published: Saturday, December 16, 2017 @ 9:06 AM

Firefighters were dispatched to the first block of South Westview Avenue around 8:50 a.m. on reports of house fire.

At least one person has been injured after a fire broke out in a Dayton home Saturday morning. 

TRENDING: 18-year-old killed in overnight shooting; SWAT surrounds suspect’s home

Firefighters were dispatched to the first block of South Westview Avenue around 8:50 a.m. on reports of house fire. 

RELATED: Roof collapses after fire breaks out in Dayton house

First units on scene said one person inside the home was injured and requested to a medic to the scene. The condition of the victim was not immediately known.

Firefighters also reported smoke showing from the structure when they arrived, according to initial reports. 

We’re monitoring this developing story and we’ll update this page as we learn more. 

Dayton SWAT activity connected to overnight shooting

Published: Saturday, December 16, 2017 @ 7:47 AM
Updated: Saturday, December 16, 2017 @ 8:30 AM

UPDATE @ 8:30 a.m. 

Police confirm SWAT activity in the 1400 block of Tampa Avenue is connected to an overnight shooting on Caliph Court where an 18-year-old was shot and killed. 

RELATED: Teen shot, killed in overnight shooting; SWAT surrounds suspect’s house

The story in the link above will be updated with the latest details on the shooting and SWAT activity. 

FIRST REPORT

We’re working to learn more about police activity reported at a home on Tampa Avenue in Dayton Saturday morning. 

TRENDING: Teen shot, killed overnight inside Dayton apartment

Multiple Dayton police officers currently have the house in the 1400 block of Tampa Avenue surrounded and are demanding the occupants to exit, according to initial reports. 

Scanner traffic indicates SWAT has been requested to the scene, but dispatchers were not able to confirm those reports. 

Our crew is on the way and we’ll update this page when we learn more. 

Teen killed in overnight shooting identified; SWAT currently surrounds suspect’s home

Published: Saturday, December 16, 2017 @ 1:40 AM
Updated: Saturday, December 16, 2017 @ 8:45 AM

Dayton police and SWAT have surrounded a home in the 1400 block of Tampa Avenue where investigators said a suspect from an overnight shooting is believed to be barricaded inside.

UPDATE @ 8:45 a.m. 

The Montgomery County Coroner’s Office has identified the woman killed in an overnight shooting on Caliph Court as Dontiaunna Brown, 18, of Dayton. 

Brown’s cause of death has not been officially ruled and an autopsy is scheduled for later today. 

Dayton police and SWAT continue to surround a home in the 1400 block of Tampa Avenue where investigators said a suspect is believed to be barricaded inside. 

We’ll update this page as we learn more. 

UPDATE @ 8:20 a.m. 

Police and SWAT have surrounded a home in the 1400 block of Tampa Avenue in Dayton where an overnight shooting suspect is believed to be barricaded inside, according to Dayton police. 

Officers have blocked off the area and are demanding the occupants to exit the house, according to our crew on the scene. 

Police confirmed to our crew the subject of the SWAT callout is connected to the overnight shooting on Caliph Court where an 18-year-old woman was killed. 

We’ll update this page as we learn more. 

UPDATE @ 3:05 a.m. 

An 18-year-old woman was shot and killed inside an apartment on Caliph Court early Saturday morning, according to Dayton police. 

TRENDING: Passenger takes off in car, crashes as driver takes sobriety tests

The woman was found suffering from a gunshot wound to her neck around 1:25 a.m. and was pronounced dead at the scene, according to Dayton police Sgt. Theodore Trupp. 

CRIME: The Christmas Killings: Dayton’s worst crime spree

Trupp said it was too early in their investigation to determine what led to the shooting and police do not have any suspects.

>>Latest Local News

Additional details about the investigation were not available. 

The identity of the woman has not been released, pending notification of family. 

FIRST REPORT

Police and medics have responded to a report of a person shot on Caliph Court in Dayton early Saturday morning.

Emergency crews responded to the 5000 block of Caliph Court around 1:25 a.m. after the incident was reported. 

Officers are reportedly looking in the area for at least one suspect and have requested a K9 officer to the scene, according to initial reports. 

The condition of the victim was not immediately known. 

We have a crew on the way and we’ll update this page as we learn more. 

Christmas spirit alive in Xenia: Officer helps family targeted by thief

Published: Tuesday, December 12, 2017 @ 6:21 PM



Kate Bartley
(Kate Bartley)

A thief took some clothes and towels from an unattended dryer inside a laundromat, threatening to ruin Christmas for one family. But Xenia Patrol Officer Rob Swihart made sure that wasn’t the end of the story.

STAY CONNECTED: Greene County News on Facebook

On Saturday Gena Storer left towels, washcloths, her baby girl’s clothes and other items in one of the three dryers at the Xenia Laundromat on Charles Street, she said.  

Storer said she planned to return later that day to retrieve the items after they had dried.

“We went to get our clothes and everything was stolen,” she said. “We were completely devastated.”

The thief took new pajamas, pants and other items that she had recently bought for her toddler-aged daughter, Storer said.

Xenia officer Rob Swihart and family

“It was stuff that we had just gotten her for Christmas that we went ahead and gave to her because she had outgrown all of her pajamas so fast,” she said.

Storer said they planned to return Christmas gifts that were already wrapped and under the Christmas tree to help pay for replacing the items.

MORE >>> Groundbreaking set for first local medical marijuana plant

Xenia Patrol Officer Rob Swihart responded to Storer’s home to take the theft report.

Storer said Swihart took her daughter’s clothing sizes and other specifics of what was taken and left, promising to check with local charities to see if there might be help available. 

"He came back within less than two hours with Walmart bags of stuff that he had gone out and got with his own money and a $50 gift card on top of that,” Storer said. 

Swihart said it was a busy night, but he told his shift commander what happened and asked for permission to go to Walmart to help the family out.

Swihart, who is a new father of a 4-month-old, said he couldn’t bear the thought of the family going without during the holidays.

MORE >>> 2 Kettering home explosions leave residents asking about safety

“This isn't something that just goes on during the holidays,” he said. “I know that if I would have contacted any of the six other officers that were working with me that night and said, 'hey I need money for this,' they all would have ponied up money for it." 

Swihart added that it’s important for people to realize that "we're people too." 

"If we have the ability to help somebody out then that's what we want to do," he said. "In our line of work there's a lot of negativity. For us to be able to influence something in a positive manner that's important to us as individuals and us as a department.” 

Storer said she’s excited about Christmas this year. She can’t wait to see her daughter open the present that has Tickle me Elmo inside.  

“I'm still in shock,” she said. “It's like all the Christmas movies that you watch only it happened in real life for us."