Guns, drugs confiscated in lengthy investigation

Published: Thursday, October 04, 2012 @ 2:25 PM
Updated: Thursday, October 04, 2012 @ 3:35 PM

A joint investigation into gun and drug trafficking in Dayton has led to one arrest and more than 30 guns being confiscated, Montgomery County Sheriff Phil Plummer announced Thursday.

Officers with the Montgomery County Regional Agencies Narcotics & Gun Task Force said the investigation spanned nine-months and there could be more arrests to come.

“These are violent criminals selling guns on the streets and causing problems in our neighborhoods,” Plummer said as he praised the work of the RANGE officers.

Dwight Stargell Sr., of 223 S. Ardmore Ave. in Dayton, is being held in the Butler County Jail and will be charged with being a felon in possession of a firearm, dealing in firearms without a license, possession of a firearm in the furtherance of a drug trafficking crime, distribution of cocaine and possession of a sawed off shotgun.

He was arrested at his home Wednesday where Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives agents and RANGE task force detectives served a search warrant and confiscated three firearms, cocaine and marijuana.

A total of 35 firearms, nine of which have been identified as stolen, were recovered from Stargell’s home during two separate searches and through purchases by undercover officers. Three of those weapons are connected to the death of Dayton business owner Tommy Nickles in April, for which Stargell’s nephew Anthony Stargell Jr. has been indicted on murder and 22 other felony counts.

The firearms are mostly handguns, but also included a sawed off shotgun, two assault rifles with high capacity magazines and other rifles and shotguns.

“That will rip through your car, your vest, everything,” RANGE field commander Sgt. Mike Brem said about one of the assault rifles.

“Firearms trafficking is a crime that affects everybody,” said ATF Resident Agent in Charge Scott Chard. He said agents will work to track the weapons, determine where they came and return the stolen firearms to their owners.

RANGE detectives had been conducting an undercover investigation of Stargell for four months when his nephew was arrested April 11 in connection with Nickles’ slaying.

“We got information that one or multiple guns from a homicide had made their way over to Dwight’s house,” Brem said.

A search warrant was executed at Stargell’s home on April 19 and detectives found cocaine, marijuana, the sawed off shotgun, a pistol and ammunition. A firearm used in Nickles’ death was recovered at that time.

Anthony Stargell’s trial date has not been set. Prosecutors are seeking the death penalty, but his lawyer submitted a motion to dismiss the death penalty specifications on Monday along with a dozen other motions requesting disclosure of various State’s evidence.

Anthony Stargell is accused of shooting both Nickles and his golden retriever to death in an apparent robbery at Nickles’ Quality One Electric business at 838 S. Main St. on April 3.

Dwight Stargell was convicted of carrying a concealed weapon and trafficking in counterfeit drugs in 2007 and sentenced to six months in prison.

Lift a glass to Oktoberfest

Published: Wednesday, September 23, 2015 @ 3:45 PM
Updated: Wednesday, September 23, 2015 @ 3:51 PM

Since 1972, Octoberfest, the Dayton Art Institute’s largest fundraiser, has been untapped for the community.

The event was started by the DAI’s Associate Board to “encourage the community to have a fun weekend at its museum and have a chance to buy good art objects,” according to a Journal-Herald newspaper article from the time.


While it began primarily as a community event intended to attract a diverse audience to the museum, the Associate Board’s intent was expansion. With the success of that first event, and its subsequent rapid growth, it quickly became an important fundraising event for the museum, according to DAI Director and CEO Michael Roediger.


The first year 7,000 people attended and a glass of beer cost 10 cents. Receipts for admission and beer totaled $11,000. The funds raised now by Oktoberfest assist the DAI’s general operations. Roediger said that in good weather the event can net between $350,000 to more than $400,000.


Without those funds, “our programs and staffing would be cut significantly,” said Roediger. “Just by the numbers, Oktoberfest covers the annual cost and benefits for 10 salaried positions.”


Since its beginning in the 1970s, Oktoberfest has not only grown in numbers but expanded to a larger part of the grounds. Early Oktoberfest activities took place in the cloisters and in a garden where the contemporary gallery is now located. Today scores of artisan exhibitors display and sell their work in sprawling tents in front of the museum.


Attending the event is a tradition for many area families who have collected the commemorative beer steins created for the event since the late 1970s.

“The DAI’s Oktoberfest brings our community together to celebrate art, friendships and Dayton,” said Roediger. “The festival is a great opportunity for the community to get together and celebrate the museum and enjoy a beautiful weekend at one of the most gorgeous settings in town.”

Wittenberg student studying in Mexico safe following deadly earthquake

Published: Wednesday, September 20, 2017 @ 12:02 PM

A Wittenberg student studying in Puebla, Mexico, near the epicenter of Tuesday’s deadly earthquake, is safe, according to university officials.

“The student's university was evacuated, and she is safe,” said JoAnn Bennett, director of international education at the university.  “The university did not sustain significant damage, and the institution expects to resume classes on Friday. Our thoughts and prayers are with all of those impacted by the natural disaster." 

RELATED: Mexicans dig through collapsed buildings as quake kills 225

More than 200 people have died following the earthquake, which caused significant damage in the country on the anniversary of the 1985 Mexico City earthquake. Buildings collapsed across the area.

Right now, search and rescue missions are underway in the country, which is something many who work on Ohio Task Force 1 are familiar with.  The team specializes in search and rescue, including when buildings collapse.

Following the September 11th terrorist attacks, members of the team, including Xenia’s Doug Cope, traveled to New York City to help with recovery efforts at the World Trade Center.

Watching the dozens of buildings collapsing in Mexico brought back the thoughts of all that goes into rescuing people buried in the remnants of collapsed buildings.  He even compared the damage to another earthquake from 2010 in Haiti.

“What they're facing in mexico city is much like what they faced in haiti in 2010 with the earthquake there,” Cope said. “The buildings that have collapsed are heavy concrete buildings with reinforced concrete, where a lot of large pieces that are either going to have to be lifted out by crane, or going to have to be cut into smaller pieces to be removed by hand. So that's one of the things that they're facing there and it's probably the most challenging thing."

Natural gas leak reported in Brookville

Published: Wednesday, September 20, 2017 @ 10:03 AM

A construction crew hit a gas line this morning in Brookville.

UPDATE @ 11:45 a.m

Vectren is currently on scene repairing a gas leak on Vine Street in Brookville. Brookville’s Fire Chief stated the leak was caused by a paving company that struck an unmarked utility line. 


Fire crews are on the scene of a natural gas leak in the 500 block of Vine Street in Brookville Wednesday morning. 

Dispatchers confirmed firefighters were dispatched around 9:30 a.m. after a gas meter was struck. 

Vectren has arrived on scene for a reported gas leak in Brookville

Neighbors have reported to this newsroom that there are evacuations in the area, but dispatchers were not able to confirm those reports. 

A Vectren Energy crew has been requested to the scene. 

We have a crew on the way and we’ll update this page as new details become available. 

Dayton Children’s proposing new medical office

Published: Wednesday, September 20, 2017 @ 11:16 AM


Dayton Children’s Hospital is planning to expand with a new medical office where an old factory once stood.

The independent pediatrics hospital doesn’t have specific plans on the scope or timeline of the project, which a spokeswoman said is still in the early stages.

But the plans to build on the 1030 Valley St. site are part of the longterm growth plans for Dayton Children’s, which has been expanding in recent years including the addition of the Springboro campus and its new main campus patient tower.

The proposal to rezone the property for a new office, contracted to Beavercreek-based Synergy Building Systemts, will be considered by Dayton Plan Board in October.

RELATED: Dayton hospital buys industrial property

The site had been home to Dayton Electroplate but was demolished four years ago.

The Dayton Electroplate property was vacant for 20 years, was aquired by developer Garrett Day LLC to remediate the property, and then was acquired by Dayton-Montgomery Port Authority who held it on behalf of Dayton Children’s.

The request to rezone the site follows Dayton Children’s buying a neighboring industrial property now home to Progressive Printers, which is moving to Vandalia. The hospital said it is still deciding what to do with the property, which is also part of its longterm growth plans.

The growing hospital saw 339,131 patients last year, up 16 percent since 2012.

RELATED: Take a look at Daytoon Children’s new patient tower

Dayton Children’s new $168 million patient tower at its main campus is wrapping up construction, with the project led by Danis. The tower was unveiled to the public in June, though the last pieces of the project are still in the works and the seventh and eighth floor are still being set up for use.

The children’s hospital expansion raised the number of licensed hospital beds from 155 to 171 and added about 260,000 square feet of space.

RELATED: Construction firms benefit from spending by area’s biggest health group

The hospital also employs about 400 more people since the tower construction started in August 2014, now up to around 2,500 employees.

Dayton Children’s expansion follows a recent boom in new hospital construction around the Miami Valley, as health systems with the $8 billion local industry renovate existing facilities and expand to meet demand.