3 men charged in Middletown arson will face grand jury

Published: Monday, July 17, 2017 @ 7:22 PM

three suspects in a Middletown arson fire on Woodside Boulevard appeared in court.

A Butler County grand jury will now consider the cases of three men facing multiple charges in connection with a fire that destroyed a garage and damaged three houses on Woodside Boulevard.

Trevor Skief, 19, and Wesley Hudgel, 19, both of Woodside Boulevard, are charged with three counts of aggravated arson, one count of arson, one count of disruption of public services, one count of obstruction of justice, and one count of intimidation. James Thompson, 19, also of Woodside Boulevard, is charged with three counts of arson, arson and disrupting public services.

MORE: Children removed from home as part of fire investigation

The men shot a flare gun into the window of the garage in the 1203 block of Woodside Boulevard on July 5, according to a police report. 

During Monday’s preliminary hearing in Middletown Municipal Court, Police Detective Steve Winters testified there had been an ongoing dispute in the neighborhood involving racial slurs directed at Jacqueline Moore, the owner of the residence where the garage was destroyed.

“There was an ongoing situation in the neighborhood with people picking on her,” Winters said.

A previous case is pending against Hudgel for allegedly breaking into Moore’s house and stealing a vehicle title and air conditioning unit, according to Winters.

MORE: Bond set for 2 people charge in Middletown arson 

Hudgel was interviewing for a job at a Franklin business on July 5 when Skief and Thompson stole three flare guns from a nearby Walmart, Winters said.

“We pulled the tape from the store,” Winters said.

He said the video was also posted on a neighbor’s Facebook page, but has since been taken down.

The detective said the three men planned for the flare to be shot through a window of Moore’s house, “but Thompson refused to fire into the house.”

Hudgel, who was driving the van, then backed up, and Thompson fired the flare into the garage, Winters said.

MORE: Several people taken into custody after Middletown fire

Visiting Judge Hal Suderman found sufficient evidence to bind the case over to a grand jury for consideration.

Moore and her family attended the hearing and said afterward that the violence has to stop.

She said some of those involved have harassed her for about a month.

Moore has lived in the neighborhood for 17 years.

She added adults in the area had their children make racial slurs against her and her friends.

“Little bitty kids, probably don’t even know their ABC’s …. I just want it to stop. This is crazy. It needs to be stopped.”

5 things to love about the Ohio State-Michigan rivalry, even if you don’t like sports

Published: Tuesday, November 21, 2017 @ 8:07 AM

Brutus Buckeye directs the band after Ohio State's win over Michigan

It’s that time of year again — Michigan Week.

Ohio State and Michigan will battle Saturday during the 114th edition of the rivalry. OSU coach Urban Meyer is 5-0 against Michigan, and he’ll move into third on the Ohio State list of most wins against the Wolverines if the Buckeyes win on Saturday. He’s currently tied with his mentor, Earle Bruce, who was 5-4.

But even if you don’t care about sports, there are still plenty of reasons to find the Ohio State-Michigan rivalry interesting. Here are five:

1. Ohio and Michigan have been battling against each other off the field since the 1800s

Issues between Michigan and Ohio started during a dispute in 1835 and 1836. The states argued over ownership of the Toledo Strip, drawing state borderlines.

“This famed rivalry did not get started on the football field, but rather a conflict over the Toledo Strip. The conflict erupted when both Ohio and Michigan claimed Toledo as a part of their statehood petition. After a brief and bloodless battle, Ohio gained the disputed area from Michigan,” Ohio State said on its website.

2. Ohio State once insisted they play against Michigan in a blizzard

Ohio State insisted on playing against Michigan at Ohio Stadium in Columbus on Nov. 25, 1950 during a raging blizzard. On that Saturday, five inches of snow had already fallen before the game kicked off, and it kept falling during the game. Winds gusted to almost 30 mph, creating near white-out conditions at times. It was the worst blizzard to strike Columbus in 37 years.

» RELATED: Waiting out the storm: A look at the blizzard of 1950

3. Ohio State players get some bling if they beat Michigan. 

Ohio State started the “Gold Pants” tradition decades ago. After a victory against Michigan, Ohio State players and coaches receive a gold miniature charm shaped as tiny football pants. “Many former football players recall receiving their Gold Pants as their most memorable part of their careers at Ohio State,” according to Ohio State.

4. Darth Vader went to the University of Michigan

Ohio State fans will say Michigan appeals to the Dark Side, but it’s also the alma mater of Darth Vader — kind of. American actor James Earl Jones, who is famously known for voicing Darth Vader in Star Wars, graduated from the School of Music, Theatre and Dance in 1955. He initially enrolled at Michigan as a pre-med student.

5. Students actually lived in Ohio Stadium

During the Great Depression, OSU Dean of Men Joseph Park found that top students couldn’t afford college and thought the university was missing out on talented applicant, according to the OSU library archives.

» RELATED: 7 numbers to know about the Ohio State-Michigan series

“He identified two locations on campus where about 75 men could live in barracks style: the ground floor of Larkins Hall, to be known as the Buckeye Club, and the southeast tower of Ohio Stadium, to be known as the Tower Club. The next year, 78 men enrolled in the first two scholarship dorms. Throughout the Great Depression, the number of deserving students from poverty-stricken Ohio families far outpaced the supply of housing. In 1935, with support from the federal Works Progress Administration (WPA), dorm floors for another 100 students were constructed, suspended from the stadium’s structural supports,” according to OSU library archives.

Dayton traffic from the WHIO traffic center

Published: Tuesday, November 21, 2017 @ 3:56 AM
Updated: Tuesday, November 21, 2017 @ 8:51 AM

Staff photo
Staff photo

Check this page for a full list of crashes, disabled vehicles, construction projects and other hazards impacting your commute.

Traffic issues can be reported by calling our newsroom at 937-259-2237 or tweeting @WHIOTraffic .

Traffic conditions are updated every six minutes on AM 1290 and News 95.7 FM.

RELATED: Find the lowest gas prices in your neighborhood with our Pump Patrol

Major Highway Incidents

  • No incidents have been reported. 

Surface Street Incidents

  • On Rip Rap Road at Little York in Butler Twp., medics were dispatched to a crash reported around 8 a.m.

>> RELATED: Check for delays or cancellations before heading to the airport

>> RELATED: Track the latest conditions in your neighborhood on our live WHIO Doppler 7 Interactive Radar

Ongoing Construction & Other Closures 

Live look at highways on our traffic cameras here.

Latest traffic conditions are also available on our traffic map. 


  • Alex-Bell Road will be closed for work on the Washington Twp. bridge over Holes Creek until Nov. 30. More information, including detour information, is available here.
  • Stewart Street Ramp to US 35 East, RAMP CLOSURE March 28 - Sept 30, 2018. The official detour is: Stewart Street to Edwin C. Moses Boulevard to I-75 north to US 35 west to James H. McGee Blvd. to US 35 east


  • U.S. 127 at Ohio 744 will be closed in both directions Nov. 21 from 10 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. for pavement work.


  • SR 705 near Groff Road, Daily lane closures Nov. 27 - Dec. 11 between 7 a.m. and 5 p.m. One lane will remain open for travel in each direction through the use of flaggers.
  • SR 705 between Holthaus Road and Baumer Brandewie Road, ROAD CLOSURE Nov. 8 - 22. The official detour is: SR 66 to SR 119 to SR 364

Food distribution today for those affected by Food for Less fire

Published: Saturday, November 11, 2017 @ 3:32 PM
Updated: Tuesday, November 21, 2017 @ 5:08 AM

Foodbank helping Food For Less customers affected by fire

In response to the fire that destroyed Food for Less, The Foodbank is offering help to those affected who qualify for food assistance.

The Foodbank has already held two food distributions for those living in the 45403 and surrounding ZIP codes. The third food distribution is today from 10 to 11 a.m. at The Foodbank, 56 Armor Place.

>> RELATED: Food for Less destroyed by fire

“The Foodbank recognizes the struggles that many families in our community face,” Michelle Riley, the foodbank’s chief executive officer said. “When living on a limited income it is difficult to get the food needed to feed your family. Those impacted by the Food For Less fire face even greater difficulty with the loss of their local grocer.”

RELATED: Dayton grocery fire: Neighbors scramble to find food, way to pay bills

Clients must provide proof of residence and qualify for food assistance.

>> RELATED: Dayton among the worst cities for food hardship

2 arrested after crash ends high-speed bid to elude Butler Twp. police

Published: Monday, November 20, 2017 @ 7:23 PM
Updated: Monday, November 20, 2017 @ 8:51 PM

Police chase

A male and female, both 26, will likely face several felony charges for damaging two police cruisers while trying to elude capture for being suspected of shoplifting from a Walmart Superstore, Butler Twp. Police Chief John Porter said. 

Porter said the irony is that had they cooperated after being accused of taking "less than $100 worth of miscellaneous items," they probably would have been given summonses to appear in court. Now, the potential stakes are much higher because they triggered a police pursuit that endangered lives, he said. 

>> Miami Valley’s Most Wanted

"They escalated into a very, very potentially dangerous situation in a short amount of time," Chief Porter said. The entire incident -- from fleeing the store lot to the crash -- lasted about two minutes, he said. 

How the Incident Began 

Porter said the pursuit began in the parking lot of the Walmart Superstore at North Dixie Drive and York Commons Boulevard, when the man jumped behind the wheel of a blue car and sped off through the parking lot just after 5:15 p.m. 

Butler Twp. police were approaching the car because they had been called to the store on a theft-in-progress call, the chief said. 

>> Miami Valley Crime News

The driver sideswiped the first police cruiser while trying to get out of the parking lot, then backed into a second cruiser after crashing into a Dumpster behind a Hooter's restaurant on Miller Lane. He fled onto York Commons, then onto Benchwood Road as police pursued the car onto Autumn Ridge Drive. 

The male and female were taken to Grandview Medical Center after suffering non-life threatening injuries when they crashed in a wooded area behind a home on Autumn Ridge Drive, which brought the pursuit to an end. 

The officers were not injured, Power said, and the cruisers will have to be repaired. 

OTHER LOCAL NEWS: I-75 wrong-way driver has previous traffic cases

A couple returning to Canada suffered minor injuries when their vehicle was rear-ended in the area of Miller Lane during the incident, Porter said. Police interviewed them, had them checked out medically and released them. 

About the Suspects 

Porter said police believe the male was under the influence of drugs because of his behavior in speeding away from the Walmart. 

It's too early to say whether the drugs were opioids, the chief said, but police also found drug paraphernalia on the female. Police found no weapons, he said. 

Porter said criminal charges could include anything from robbery to felony fleeing and eluding. 

Police Pursuit Policy 

Porter said the incident fit the police department's pursuit policy because the male purposefully hit two police cruisers.

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