2 escaped Warren County inmates turn selves in

Published: Monday, January 28, 2013 @ 10:52 AM
Updated: Monday, January 28, 2013 @ 2:35 PM

Two men who escaped from a Warren County correctional facility turned themselves in at the sheriff’s office Thursday night.

Michael Kline, 25, of Cincinnati, and Zacariah Williamson, 25, of College Corner, appeared at the Warren County Sheriff’s Office at around 8:15 p.m. Jan. 24 and were booked into the jail. Chief Deputy Sheriff John Newsom said previously the pair might have been sighted in the Dayton area, but that tip didn’t pan out.

“They are in our jail charged with those previous charges of escape,” he said. “They just walked in and gave themselves up.”

Kline’s wife, Suza Kline, 35, of Hamilton, has also been charged with third degree felony escape for allegedly helping the men get away. She was arrested in Middletown at around 6:15 p.m. Jan. 20 after she allegedly picked up her husband and Williamson at the basketball courts on the west side of the Community Correctional Center of Butler, Clermont and Warren Counties, according to sheriff’s reports.

She was arraigned in Lebanon Municipal Court on Jan. 24 and freed from jail. Her next court hearing is Thursday.

Jail records show her husband and Williamson will be in municipal court today. They are also charged with vandalism. Prosecutor David Fornshell said the pair could be looking at three years in prison if they are found guilty.

The two men allegedly used a fire extinguisher to break a window and escape at 6:30 a.m. that day. Police reports show a recorded phone conversation between Michael and his wife at at around 5:45 a.m. revealed the escape plan.

Kline was at the center after he pleaded guilty to several counts of petty theft and breaking and entering in three separate cases in Butler County. Judge Patricia Oney sent him to the center Sept. 24 and ordered he take corrective thinking classes and get drug and alcohol abuse counseling among other services.

She also ordered him to pay $1,359 in restitution to three different Walmart stores in Butler and Hamilton counties.

Judge Keith Spaeth sent Williamson to the center last October after he pleaded guilty to grand theft. He was ordered to get mental health treatment and counseling — among other things — and he was also supposed to enter the drug court program when he left the center.

Both men now face third degree felony escape and fifth degree vandalism charges in Lebanon Municipal Court.

Talbert House runs the correctional center, but spokesperson Teri Nau said because of HIPPA laws she cannot discuss the two men. She said the center is a lock down facility but they do not have armed guards.

Kettering qualifies for state auditor award

Published: Tuesday, May 23, 2017 @ 2:28 PM

            City of Kettering sign

A recent financial audit of the city of Kettering by Auditor of State Dave Yost’s office has returned a clean audit report, according to a press release by Yost’s office. The city’s record keeping has qualified it for the Auditor of State Award with Distinction.

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“Taxpayers expect accurate financial records from their local governments,” Auditor Yost said. “The city of Kettering’s dedication to accountability is evident.”

The Auditor of State Award with Distinction is presented to local governments and school districts upon the completion of a financial audit. Entities that receive the award meet the following criteria of a “clean” audit report.

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• The entity must file timely financial reports with the Auditor of State’s office in the form of a CAFR (Comprehensive Annual Financial Report);

• The audit report does not contain any findings for recovery, material citations, material weaknesses, significant deficiencies, Single Audit findings or questioned costs;

• The entity’s management letter contains no comments related to:

  • Ethics referrals
  • Questioned costs less than $10,000
  • Lack of timely report submission
  • Reconciliation
  • Failure to obtain a timely Single Audit
  • Findings for recovery less than $100
  • Public meetings or public records

Earlier this month, Kettering responded to a citizen-led mailer that critized the city for what they described as spending “in excess.”

Trump seeks $52B increase in defense spending

Published: Tuesday, May 23, 2017 @ 7:24 PM
Updated: Tuesday, May 23, 2017 @ 7:24 PM

            The U.S. Air Force F-22 Raptor. TY GREENLEES / STAFF

The Trump administration unveiled a $639.1 billion defense budget proposal Tuesday that it says is a step toward restoring military readiness levels that would boost the number of airmen in uniform.

As part of the budget, however, the administration is asking for a new round of military base closures in 2021.

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The proposed defense budget is a $52 billion increase over defense spending caps imposed under sequestration, and a 3 percent hike over an Obama administration plan, defense officials said. The budget proposes $574.5 billion in baseline spending and an additional $64.6 billion in wartime spending for overseas operations.

“This is not a historic buildup but a repair budget,” defense analyst Mackenzie Eaglen of the conservative American Enterprise Institute, said in an email. “The president’s request is attempting to plug the holes and fill the gaps across the Defense Department and military services.”

‘Will not be enough’

While the budget increase stands out against cuts to many domestic programs, some defense hawks said the amount proposed doesn’t reach the levels necessary to rebuild the military, restore readiness and address combating terrorism and rising adversary threats.

“While I support President Trump’s commitment and intent to rebuild the military, this budget request will not be enough to do what he has said is needed to improve military capabilities and readiness,” U.S. Rep. Mike Turner, R-Dayton, a member of the House Armed Services Committee, said in a statement.

A Pentagon official defended the size of the increase in a briefing Wednesday.

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“Fifty-two billion is not chump change,” said Defense Department Comptroller John P. Roth. “We’re not going to solve the readiness problem in one year. We’re not going to modernize in one year.”

Under the Trump administration proposal, Air Force spending would rise to a total of $183 billion compared to $171.1 billion this fiscal year, and add 4,100 airmen and dozens of F-35 fighter planes, documents show. Acquisition spending, a key mission at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, would also rise. Research and development spending would be “stable,” said Michael Gessel, Dayton Development Coalition vice president of federal programs.

“On its face, it looks like good news for Wright-Patt,” but Congress isn’t likely to pass the federal budget President Donald Trump wants, said Loren B. Thompson, a senior defense analyst with the Virginia-based Lexington Institute and a defense industry consultant.

Gessel said the budget “positions Wright-Patterson for future growth.” He also said the defense plan is significant because it marks the first time the Trump administration asked for a round of base closures.

The budget did not include any major military construction dollars for Wright-Patterson.

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The Air Force has struggled to restore readiness levels, which dropped to “historically low levels” four years ago and “will take years to fully rebuild,” an Air Force budget document says. The military branch wants to boost incentives to pilots and mechanics to reverse manpower shortages in the ranks.

Airmen in uniform would receive a 2.1 percent hike in military pay and civilian employees a 1.9 percent pay boost under the proposal. Military personnel would receive a 3.2 percent hike in a housing subsidy and 3.4 percent for basic allowance for subsistence, budget documents show.

More airmen in the ranks

The administration’s Air Force budget proposal raises the number of active duty airmen to 325,100, up 4,100 troops versus the prior year. The Air Guard would add 900 — boosting troop strength to 106,600 — while the Air Force Reserve would add 800, for a total of 69,800.

Research, development, test and evaluation spending would jump sharply to $25.4 billion, from $20.2 billion this year.

Procurement spending would jump to a total of $42 billion, an increase of about $1.1 billion compared to the current fiscal year.

The service branch plans to purchase 46 F-35A Joint Strike Fighters, part of a Defense Department plan to buy 70 of the jets for $10.3 billion.

The Air Force would purchase 15 KC-46 Pegasus refueling tanker jets for $3.1 billion, and spend $2 billion on research and development of the future B-21 Raider stealth bomber, the top acquisition priorities in addition to the controversial F-35, which has faced cost overruns and technical delays.

In a closely watched Wright-Patterson managed program criticized by Trump, spending on development of a future Boeing 747-8 to replace the current fleet of two presidential jets will rise to $434 million versus $322 million the year prior.

The budget spends millions to update the F-22 Raptor, F-16 Fighting Falcon and the F-15 Eagle and unmanned drones. It removes a retirement date for the long-serving U-2 spy plane.

Dead on arrival?

Eaglen acknowledged the proposals won’t get through Congress without revision.

“Members from Sen. (John) McCain to Sen. (John) Cornyn have said this budget is straight up DOA. They’re right,” he said. “But it is still a useful framing document for where DoD will invest the money once it comes even though that is likely a long time from now.”

Edison State to build student career center with help of $2.5M gift

Published: Tuesday, May 23, 2017 @ 5:21 PM

(Courtesy/Edison State Community College)

Edison State Community college will be building a student career center with a $2.5 million donation from the Robinson Fund.

According to officials with the college, the funds will be used to create a 5,200-square-foot student career center at the Piqua Campus.

It will be used to integrate students into a growing regional workforce, Edison officials said.

President Dr. Doreen Larson said, "I feel that this project denotes a new phase in the growth and improvement of Edison State Community College.

"This project represents a focus of Edison State's international outreach to the community and particularly our business partners."  

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Kings Island free for military service members Memorial Day weekend

Published: Tuesday, May 23, 2017 @ 4:56 PM

Kings Island is letting the military get in free this Memorial Day weekend.

From Friday through Memorial Day, the largest amusement and waterpark in the Midwest is offering free admission to active and retired members of the U.S. military. 

A valid military ID must be presented. 

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Continuing this deal, implemented in 2010, admission at no cost will be given to active and retired military, National Guard, veterans with honorable or medical discharge and Reserve Officers' Training Corps with government issued ID. 

In addition, military personnel can purchase admission at a special price of $32 for up to six family members.

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