Mental health professionals, advocates discuss resources for transgender community

Published: Friday, March 03, 2017 @ 5:10 PM

Mental health care professionals teamed up Friday with advocates to talk about issues surrounding mental health care and resources for the transgender community.

In 2014, a teenager who said she felt trapped in a male’s body killed herself when she walked in front of a moving semi in Warren County. Leelah Alcorn, 17, born Joshua Alcorn, said her family would not accept her gender identity.

News Center 7s Gabrielle Enright looks at the challenges facing the transgender community and what health care professionals are doing.

“I’ve never been happier,” said Ramona Peel, who said it took her almost 30 years to accept her gender identity. “It seems so scary and daunting to actually accept myself and my own identity that I spent 20 years really denying the fact that I was trans and that I was a woman.”

More than one million people nationwide identify as transgender.

“When it comes to gender identity, there’s spectrum in how people identify,” said Dr. Scott Leibowitz of Nationwide Children’s Hospital in Columbus.

Often, they keep their personal life a secret.

“There’s a transgender American veterans association because there are so many transgender veterans that have served our country,” said Dr. Fred Peterson of the Department of Veterans Affairs.

Dozens of mental health care and social service providers gathered at Ellis Human Development Institute’s School of Professional Psychology at Wright State University’s Dayton campus to learn how to better connect transgender and gender-diverse populations with resources.

“There’s very few protections for people in Ohio, and it puts a big stress on their mental health and well being,” said Dr. Michelle Vaughan of the Ellis Human Development Institute.

Although organizers and participants said there is still much misinformation regarding transgender issues, a lot of progress has been made.

Organizers and participants said a lot of progress has been made.

“It is easier ... living authentically than it was before,” Peel said.

U.S. 35 at I-75 reopened following closure due to high water

Published: Saturday, April 29, 2017 @ 2:15 AM

UPDATE @ 2:57 a.m.

Both directions of U.S. 35 have reopened after briefly closing due to high waters Saturday, according to dispatchers.

Waters have receded in the areas of James H. McGee and I-75, however, water is still high in some portions of U.S. 35.


East and westbound U.S. 35 at I-75 is blocked while crews address heavy flooding in the area. 

Crews were dispatched to the highway around 2 a.m. on reports of impassible roads and heavy flooding. 

Initial reports indicate traffic is being diverted from U.S. 35 to I-75 north, according to initial reports. 

Callers into this newsroom have also reported high waters on eastbound U.S. 35. at James H. McGee.

We will continue to monitor highway conditions and post updates here.

Dayton fire crews encounter heavy flames at reported house fire

Published: Saturday, April 29, 2017 @ 2:43 AM

Dayton fire crews are responding to a house fire on Adelite Avenue Saturday morning. Jordyn Huffman/Staff

Dayton fire crews are responding to a reported house fire Saturday morning.

Firefighters were dispatched to a home at the intersection of McCall Street and Adelite Avenue, according to dispatchers. 

Our crew reports heavy flames are coming from the structure as crews attempt to enter the house. 

Dispatchers said it is unknown if anyone was home at the time the fire was reported. 

We are working to learn what caused the fire and if anyone was injured as a result.

More than 50K may be without full coverage at Miami Valley Hospital

Published: Friday, April 28, 2017 @ 10:49 PM

As of midnight Sunday, more than 50,000 people in the Dayton area may not have in-network insurance coverage at Miami Valley Hospital.

UnitedHealthcare and Premier Health Network have not reached a new agreement for employer-sponsored and individual plans. The current contract expires April 30 for premier hospitals and facilities.

Premier and UnitedHealthcare extended its contract through Dec. 31 for those with Medicare Advantage plans. This includes about 7,000 members in the Dayton area, said Tony Marusic, communications director for UnitedHealthcare.

If an agreement for employer-sponsored plans is not reached in the coming weeks, Premier physicians also will be out of network beginning May 14. Also on May 14, both Premier hospitals and physicians would be out of network for UnitedHealthcare’s Medicaid plans.

Some members may be able to receive in-network coverage for a period of time if the contract expires, such as members who are pregnant or undergoing active treatment for a serious medical condition, such as cancer. 

In the event of an emergency, UnitedHealthcare said its members should go to the nearest hospital because emergency services are covered as an in-network benefit.

For more information about employer-sponsored and individual health plans, visit For Medicaid health plans, visit

HAVE A TIP? Contact the 24-hour line at 937-259-2237 or

Springfield police investigating body found in duplex as suspicious

Published: Friday, April 28, 2017 @ 10:47 PM
Updated: Friday, April 28, 2017 @ 11:12 PM

SPRINGFIELD -- (UPDATE @ 11:05 p.m.) Police are trying to determine whether the woman lives in the duplex where she was found dead. They are also trying to determine her age. 

The Clark County coroner's investigator has arrived.


Springfield police have opened a death investigation after a woman’s body was found in one side of a duplex in the 200 block of North Race Street.

The discovery was called in about 7:52 p.m. and police at this point are treating the death as suspicious.

We have a crew on the way. We will update this developing report as we get information.