breaking news


Local names, addresses used in phony public comments on net neutrality

Published: Thursday, December 14, 2017 @ 9:27 AM

Stolen identities linked to fake net neutrality comments online

Millions of comments have been submitted to the Federal Communications Commission’s public portal in advance of a vote today to roll back net neutrality rules — which say that internet service providers must treat all web traffic equally.

The high volume of comments and the fact that many statements in opposition to net neutrality appear to be from faked sources or duplicates, has supporters of a free and open internet crying foul.

RELATED: State attorneys general ask FCC to delay net neutrality vote

The Pew Research Center analyzed the comments that were submitted between April 27 and Aug. 30 of this year. During that time period nearly 22 million comments were submitted, dwarfing the 4 million that were submitted during a comment process on the same topic in 2014.

The analysis found:

  • 57 percent of the comments used duplicate or temporary email addresses.
  • Of the 21.7 million comments, 6 percent were unique. The other 94 percent were submitted multiple times — in some cases, hundreds of thousands of times. The seven most-submitted comments (six of which argued in favor of changes the FCC wants to make) comprised 38 percent of all the submissions.
  • On nine different occasions, more than 75,000 comments were submitted at the very same second — often including identical or highly similar comments.

Further investigations by multiple news outlets have found real people whose names and addresses appeared on comments they didn’t submit.

A search of the FCC comments by this news organization found names and addresses in Centerville, Kettering, Fairborn and Beavercreek to name a few, linked to fake comments used to lobby the feds to get rid of net neutrality rules.

RELATED: Here’s what you need to know about net neutrality

Former Miami County resident Carol Bayse has heard of the net neutrality issue, but said she doesn’t have strong enough opinions on it to write to the FCC. Yet her name and a former address in Franklin County showed up with a statement against net neutrality rules.

She said she was confused and concerned when she found out her name was attached to a fake comment.

“That’s where the internet is a scary thing,” Bayse said. “Our identities are being taken and it’s just, how do you stop it?”

A recent Politico poll shows 52 percent of Americans are in favor of maintaining net neutrality, while only 18 percent were actively opposed to it.

In response to media requests and a letter from New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman expressing concern over the volume of fake comments, the FCC said it plans to vote on the “Restoring Internet Freedom” rule change on Thursday as planned.

The commission acknowledged there is always a potential for abuse of the open public comment form. In the past the agency has received comments from Superman and Batman, among others.

“But the commission does not make policy decisions merely by tallying the comments on either side of the proposal to determine what position has greater support, nor does it attribute greater weight to comments based on the submitter’s identity,” FCC General Counsel Thomas Johnson, Jr. said in response to Schneiderman’s inquiry.

The FCC said it did not consider any of the comments identified as fake in drafting the proposed rule change.

Shooter who killed man during sex act to be sentenced

Published: Thursday, January 18, 2018 @ 4:15 PM

UPDATE @ 7:49 a.m. (Jan. 23):

Sentencing is scheduled Tuesday for the man convicted of killing a man while a teen performed a sex act on the victim.

Michael J. Wood Jr, 19, is set for sentencing at 9:30 a.m.

Wood killed Elroy Facey on Hoover Avenue in May 2017.

NATIONAL NEWS: 7.9 magnitude earthquake off coast of Alaska

INITIAL REPORT (Jan. 18):

The man accused of shooting a 41-year-old man, ultimately leading to his death, was convicted of murder and felonious assault.

Michael J. Wood Jr., 19, of Dayton, shot and killed Elroy Facey on Hoover Avenue on May 3, 2017, according to prosecutors.

“The victim attempted to run away, but the adult defendant chased the victim and shot him a second time,” the Montgomery County Prosecutor’s Office said in a prepared statement.

Elexus Dawkins, 17, was convicted of murder in October 2017 and was sentenced to 15 years to life in prison for her role in the shooting.

Wood and Dawkins planned to rob Facey, prosecutors said.

Dawkins was in a vehicle performing a sex act on Facey when Wood shot him, according to the prosecutor’s office.

Sentencing for Wood is scheduled for Jan. 23 at 9:30 a.m.

Rough winter brings potholes ‘worse than normal’ to Miami Valley

Published: Tuesday, January 23, 2018 @ 7:11 AM

Local officials say potholes are worse this year than the past two winters. A Dayton crew patches a pothole on Gettysburg Ave. MARSHALL GORBY
Local officials say potholes are worse this year than the past two winters. A Dayton crew patches a pothole on Gettysburg Ave. MARSHALL GORBY

The worst winter weather in recent years also has spawned the worst potholes on area roads in some time.

“Some counties are saying the potholes are worse this year,” said Ohio Department of Transportation public information officer Mandi Dillon in a statement.

Fred Stovall, director of Dayton public works, said there are more potholes than the past two winters. Those previous winters were milder and resulted in much fewer potholes, he said.

TRENDING NOW: Airfare remains high in Dayton; see how it compares

“We’ve seen colder temperatures, freezing temperatures, snow and salt in the street. That all gets in the cracks and makes (conditions for potholes) worse,” Stovall said.

Potholes cost American drivers about $3 billion a year in vehicle repairs, or $15 billion over the last five years, a AAA study revealed, according to AAA spokeswoman Kara Hitchens.

The cost to repair a vehicle can vary because of tire size and the extent of the damage. Jason Brown, store manager at AAA Auto and Tire store in Huber Heights, said replacing a tire can cost anywhere from $80 to $250. And replacing an entire wheel can cost more than $200.

“Today alone, I’ve seen five people come in with damage from potholes,” Brown said. “They’re everywhere.”

Riverside City Manager Mark Carpenter said his city has also seen an increase in potholes this winter.

“The potholes are worse than normal, over the top this year,” he said.

TRENDING: Board to rule on Dayton police sergeant accused of lying

Potholes form when water soaks into the pavement, then freezes and expands as temperatures change, according to ODOT press secretary Matt Bruning.

Bruning said ODOT has spent $726,000 on patching potholes statewide so far this year, most of it in recent days. The vast majority of that number is labor costs.

“This season ODOT crews have spent 21,669 hours— the equivalent of two and a half years— just patching potholes,” Bruning said.

TRENDING: Experts suggest resetting tone as Greater Dayton RTA, union resume talks

ODOT already this year has used the second highest amount of salt that it has used in the past 10 years, Bruning said. This is usually an indication of how bad the winter is, Bruning said.

“Kudos to our men and women on the roads. They are definitely earning that money they make,” Bruning said of the ODOT crews patching potholes and clearing snow and ice this season.

Local crews are also working every day to patch potholes. Stovall said that the city has 48 hours or two business days, not including weekends, to patch potholes after they are reported.

“This is certainly filling our time. And we haven’t even gotten to the residential streets yet,” Riverside’s Carpenter said.

Carpenter said the city appreciates citizens calling and alerting the service department to potholes in the area.

Stovall agreed, urging Daytonians to call (937) 333-4800 or use Dayton’s smartphone app to report potholes.

Drivers can report potholes to ODOT via an online form or if the pothole needs immediate attention, by alerting the highway patrol.

TRENDING NOW: Local schools find lead in water

Bruning also stressed that ODOT crews prioritize potholes in high traffic areas, like interstate 75 over residential roads.

“Just like when we’re clearing snow and ice, we try and make sure the main roadways get taken care of first, and I think most folks understand that,” Bruning said.

Board to rule on Dayton police sergeant accused of lying

Published: Tuesday, January 23, 2018 @ 7:27 AM

A city of Dayton board that is reviewing the firing of a female police sergeant accused of lying and falsifying official documents is expected to release its decision soon.

EARLIER: Dayton police sergeant who sued for discrimination is fired

Dayton police Sgt. Tonina Lamanna challenged her termination with the Civil Service Board, claiming it was in retaliation for her filing a federal lawsuit alleging the city and police department engaged in sexual discrimination. 

Lamanna did not knowingly make false statements, said her attorney Vince Pop, but the city was desperate to fire her. 

Dayton police officials claim Lamanna lied multiple times, which they say is unacceptable from a sworn police officer and requires discharge. 

“Dishonesty is incompatible with public trust,” said Mark Ecton, a Dayton assistant police chief, at Lamanna’s civil service hearing. 

MORE: Learn how the chief’s stolen gun is connected to this case

Last month, the Civil Service Board heard testimony from a variety of witnesses from the police and human resources departments about the circumstances that preceded and resulted in Lamanna’s firing on Oct. 3.

Employers to recruit at Springfield job fair

Published: Tuesday, January 23, 2018 @ 8:05 AM


            FILE
FILE

Local employers like CareSource and Assurant will be recruiting in Springfield this Friday.

CareSource Life Services is holding a job fair 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Friday at the Faith United Methodist Church at 102 W. High St.

RELATED: Dayton Children’s plans career fair

Life coaching, job readiness training and resume support will be available.

Some of the employers who will be there include:

Assurant

CareSource

Interim Healthcare

Mama Rosa’s

Ohio State Highway Patrol

RTA

Vocalink

I-Supply

The Greentree Group

Klosterman Bakery

Securitas