Soldier from Springboro killed in Africa

Published: Friday, October 06, 2017 @ 12:19 PM

Soldier from Springboro killed in Africa

One of three U.S. soldiers killed in the West African nation of Niger on Wednesday was a Warren County native, the Department of Defense said in a release identifying the service members Friday. 

Staff Sgt. Jeremiah W. Johnson, 39, a Springboro native, was killed during a joint operation that was being conducted by U.S. and Nigerien forces. Mali-based militants in Niger's Tillaberi region is responsible for the attacks, the release said.  

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“Unfortunately, we lost another one,” said Springboro Mayor John Agenbroad, whose grandson, Jackson Book of Springboro, shipped off today to Iraq. 

“We’re so stretched out with all the wars,” said Agenbroad, who is also a veteran. “It’s a shame our young men and women have to spend so many deployments in these places. The odds are against them.”

Johnson was a chemical, biological radiological and nuclear soldier who was assigned to the Fort Bragg-based 3rd Special Forces Group. He enlisted in the Army in October 2007.

“Staff Sgt. Jeremiah Johnson was an exceptional Soldier in all regards. We, as a nation, are fortunate to have men like Jeremiah," said Lt. Col. Megan Brogden, commander of Group Support Battalion, 3rd Special Forces Group. "He not only represented what we should all aspire to be, but he lived it. His loss is a great blow and he will be missed and mourned by this unit."

 Two other soldiers killed during the attack were identified as Staff Sgt. Bryan C. Black, 35, of Puyallup, Washington and Staff Sgt. Dustin M. Wright, 29, of Lyons, Georgia. All three were stationed in Fort Bragg. 

Eight Niger soldiers were also killed, Niger's Army chief of staff said in a statement. 

"A joint patrol of the Defense and Security Forces and American partners operating in the border area of Mali fell into an ambush set by terrorist elements aboard a dozen vehicles and about 20 motorcycles," the statement said. The deaths and injuries came "after intense fighting, during which elements of the joint force showed exemplary courage." 

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The statement welcomed "the constant commitment of the American partners in the fight against terrorism."

Niger's President Mahamadou Issoufou and the U.S. Ambassador to Niger Eunice S. Reddik met before Issoufou presided over a meeting of the National Security Council made up of senior officers and ministers. 

"Our country is once again the target of a terrorist attack, with a large number of victims," Niger's president said earlier Thursday. 

No group has claimed responsibility for the attack about 200 kilometers (124 miles) north of Niger's capital, Niamey. However, Islamic extremist groups, including al-Qaida in the Islamic Maghreb, operate in the region and sporadically launch cross-border raids. Despite the intervention of French troops in 2013 that pushed the extremists from their strongholds in northern Mali, they continue attacks. 

Boko Haram, based south in Nigeria, has also staged several attacks in Niger near its border.

U.S. Africa Command said the U.S. forces are in Niger to provide training and security assistance to the Nigerien Armed Forces in their efforts against violent extremists. 

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The two wounded U.S. service members were evacuated in stable condition to Landstuhl Regional Medical Center in Germany, U.S. Africa Command said in its statement. 

The commandos, who were Green Berets, were likely attacked by al-Qaida in the Islamic Maghreb militants, said U.S. officials who spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss the incident publicly. 

The White House said President Donald Trump was notified about the attack Wednesday night as he flew aboard Air Force One from Las Vegas to Washington. 

Mali, Mauritania, Niger, Burkina Faso and Chad are putting together a 5,000-strong G5 Sahel force to fight the growing threat from extremists in the vast Sahel region. The first units are expected to deploy in October and all battalions should be on the ground by March 2018. 

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The Security Council unanimously adopted a resolution in June welcoming the deployment, but at U.S. insistence it did not include any possibility of U.N. financing for the force. 

The countries have been pressing the international community to help funding and in equipping troops and ensuring their mobility and help with logistics, communications and protection in the field. 

That force will operate in the region along with a 12,000-strong U.N. peacekeeping mission in Mali, which has become the deadliest in the world for U.N. peacekeepers, and France's 5,000-strong Barkhane military operation, its largest overseas mission.

Moraine police shooting vigil: Jamarco McShann’s death ‘senseless’

Published: Saturday, October 21, 2017 @ 7:45 PM
Updated: Saturday, October 21, 2017 @ 9:10 PM

Vigil for Jamarco McShann ends with balloon release

Community members and family gathered tonight for a candlelight vigil to remember a man shot and killed Friday in a Moraine police shooting.

Local activist, the Rev. Jerome McCorry, spoke at the vigil and said he represents the family of 23-year-old Jamarco McShann.

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“This was senseless,” he told the crowd in the Pinnacle Park lot that marked the spot where McShann was shot and killed.

Moraine police said he pointed a gun at them, which family members dispute.

Jamarco McShann

A large photo of McShann was held up at the vigil, which ended with a balloon release and a vow from organizers to seek justice.

“It’s about a bunch of scared cops who use the excuse ‘I feared for my life,’ ” McCorry said. “In the name of Jamarco a federal lawsuit will be filed.”

Pumpkin glow highlight of ‘Saturday Nightmare’ in Germantown

Published: Saturday, October 21, 2017 @ 9:49 PM

There were 1,000 Jack-o-Lanters Saturday night, Oct, 21, 2017, for Germantown's Saturday Nightmare event.
DeANGELO BYRD / STAFF
There were 1,000 Jack-o-Lanters Saturday night, Oct, 21, 2017, for Germantown's Saturday Nightmare event.(DeANGELO BYRD / STAFF)

There were 1,000 carved pumpkins alight during the “Saturday Nightmare” in historic downtown Germantown.

The second annual event began at 3 p.m. with activities for all ages, including a car show featuring 300 to 400 hot rods, carnival rides, games for children, Halloween costume contest, beauty pageant, food, beer truck and live entertainment.

“It’s nice for us to be able to give back to our community we love,” event co-organizer Dave Eshbaugh said.

There were 1,000 Jack-o-Lanters Saturday night, Oct, 21, 2017, for Germantown's Saturday Nightmare event.(DeANGELO BYRD / STAFF)

The highlight of the “Saturday Nightmare” is the pumpkin glow, which this year featured 1,000 jack-o’-lanterns.

The festivities mark the final of four Saturday Night Out events, held the third Saturday of the month in June, July, August and October. Local businesses, sponsors and the city helps make the events a success, Eshbaugh said.

The summer events draw 2,500 each. But in October, the crowd is easily 5,000, he said, after one car show organizer came up with a Halloween theme.

“It became our flagship event,” he said. “It’s phenomenal for our community.”

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Germantown Fire Chief Dan Alldred said he opens the firehouse to the community and serves popcorn. It’s also an opportunity to interact with kids and teach fire safety.

“We think it’s great to have an event like this,” he said.

Homeless pets find families at SICSA’s free adoption event

Published: Saturday, October 21, 2017 @ 8:26 PM

VIDEO: Dog is adopted during SICSA event

Free adoptions on Saturday helped give homeless pets find a furr-ever home.

The SICSA Pet Adoption Center in Kettering partnered with Wagner Subaru for the “Wagner Subaru Loves Pets” free adoption event.

(DeANGELO BYRD / STAFF)

Wagner Subaru and the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals sponsored adoption fees of all animals.

The Society for the Improvement of Conditions for Stray Animals is the area’s first no-kill shelter that has served companion animals for more than 40 years.

(DeANGELO BYRD / STAFF)

More than 1,500 dogs and cats were adopted through SICSA in 2016, in addition to 3,400 low-cost spay and neuter surgeries, the agency reported.

The adoption center is open seven days a week at 2600 Wilmington Pike in Kettering

Bubble under construction over Lakota YMCA’s outdoor swimming pool

Published: Saturday, October 21, 2017 @ 6:43 PM

Local YMCA covering outdoor pool for year-round use

In the coming weeks, the Lakota Family YMCA will be blowing a huge bubble behind its building.

Work started Saturday as nearly 40 volunteers assisted YMCA staff to stretch out the material that will be used to construct an inflatable dome over its 25,000-square-foot outdoor pool to make it available year-round.

“There is so much demand for indoor swimming,” said John Schaller, Lakota Family YMCA executive director.

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Schaller said that demand has resulted in an investment of about $500,000 to build the inflatable bubble so members can use its outdoor pool year-round. The project also will include an enclosed walkway from the main building to the new bubble.

The 25-meter pool features eight lanes for competitive swimming and a zero-depth beach entry for senior citizens to participate in Silver Sneaker fitness programs. In addition, all of the other pool features, such as the water slide, will be able for year-round use.

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The bubble will go up in late October and come down in late April or early May to accommodate the summer swimming season for the 8,500-member facility.

“We not only have our own swim team, we are the home waters for the Lakota East, Lakota West and Monroe high school swim teams … and the sheer needs of the community for swimming lessons,” Schaller said.

He said the Powell Crosley YMCA in suburban Cincinnati also has a bubble over its outdoor pool.

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Sarah Matchison, the facility’s membership director, said they have coined this project the “Bubble” because it literally is a bubble (dome) that will go over our outdoor pool and our YMCA Families and the surrounding community will be able to use more than the Memorial Day to Labor Day time frame.

The Lakota Y also is the home of its YMCA/USA Swim Team, Lakota Y Stingrays. This past summer, the team sent swimmers to the YMCA National Long Course Championship Meet in Greensboro, N.C., for the first time in its history.

“By adding the bubble over the outdoor pool we will be able to provide family areas and family time to our community at the bubble,” she said.

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Matchison said the Lakota Family YMCA also works with the local Butler Tech and Lakota high schools for their Cardboard Canoe Regatta in May. Students use their education and engineering skills to build cardboard canoes and race them in the pool. For the past two years, the event has been held in the indoor pool.

“Moving it out to the bubble will allow for more spectators and possibly more than two boats racing at a time,” she said.