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.

Miami Twp. man gets 30 years to life in prison in child sex case

Published: Thursday, March 23, 2017 @ 5:45 PM

Miami Twp. man gets 30 years to life in prison in child sex case

A 61-year-old Miami Twp. man likely will spend the rest of his life in prison in a child sex case involving multiple victims.

David G. Mattox was sentenced today to 30 years to life in prison following his conviction in January of seven counts of rape of a child younger than 13; two counts of gross sexual imposition of a child younger than 13; two counts of kidnapping; and nine counts of illegal use of a minor in nudity-oriented material, according to the Montgomery County Prosecutor’s Office.

RELATED: Man indicted in child sex case faces more charges

Mattox was arrested July 16, 2015, on his 60th birthday, following an investigation after one girl in October 2014 reported sex abuse to police. The abuse went back to 2008, prosecutors said, and the investigation revealed two more victims.

Mattox also was designated a Tier III sex offender, which is the highest level.

Middletown police officer involved in 2-car crash

Published: Thursday, March 23, 2017 @ 4:10 PM
Updated: Thursday, March 23, 2017 @ 5:20 PM

            Middletown police officer involved in 2-car crash

A Middletown police officer was transported to the hospital after a two-car crash today in downtown Middletown.

The crash occurred about 3 p.m. at Central Avenue and Clinton Street.

Officer Becki Leukhardt was transported to Atrium Medical Center for evaluation.

MORE: Middletown police see spike in officer crashes to start 2017

A 2008 Lexus driven by Patricia Schaefer, 84, of Middletown started to change lanes on Clinton Street when it struck the police cruiser near the intersection, according to Middletown police Sgt. Andy Warrick.

“It appears she didn’t see the cruiser in her blind spot,” Warrick said.

Schaefer was also taken to the hospital to be evaluated. She has been cited for improper lane change.

Leukhardt is “very sore” from the crash, but does not have any major injuries, according to Warrick.

There have been at least five other crashes involving Middletown police cruisers since Jan. 1.

Warming trend getting underway

Published: Thursday, March 23, 2017 @ 4:56 AM
Updated: Thursday, March 23, 2017 @ 4:06 PM

Plenty of sunshine through most of the afternoon with near normal temperatures rising through the 40s. 

  • A passing shower possible overnight
  • Temperatures jump above normal the rest of the week
  • Rain chances increase this weekend

RELATED: County-by-County Forecasts  


THIS EVENING: Partly cloudy skies are in the forecast with increasing clouds through the late evening. Temperatures will hold nearly steady or slowly rise through the 40s.

TONIGHT: Skies will become mostly cloudy with a slight chance for a quick shower between 1 a.m. and 4 a.m. Temperatures will hold in the lower to middle 40s.

RELATED: Flooding: Know Your Risks

FRIDAY: Expect a mix of clouds and sunshine with much warmer air arriving. Highs will climb into the middle 60s by afternoon.

SATURDAY: Skies will be partly to mostly cloudy with a chance for a shower or thunderstorm, especially towards evening. Highs will top out in the upper 60s to near 70 degrees.

RELATED: WHIO Interactive Radar

SUNDAY: Showers and thunderstorms will be likely, especially through the first half of the day. Highs will be a bit cooler, in the lower 60s.

MONDAY: A brief break in the rain is expected through midday with more showers and a few thunderstorms returning late. Highs will be back in the upper 60s.

TUESDAY: Morning showers will give way to clearing skies and a bit cooler temperatures. Highs will be in the lower 60s.

Download our free mobile apps for breaking news and weather.


Weather graphic 11 mins ago
weather graphic 11 mins ago
Pollen outlook 11 mins ago

Woman charged in shooting of fiance in Harrison Twp. home

Published: Tuesday, March 21, 2017 @ 6:42 PM
Updated: Thursday, March 23, 2017 @ 4:16 PM

HARRISON TWP. — A woman has been charged in a shooting Tuesday evening that left her fiance dead. 

  • The victim, 32-year-old Peter Underwood, lived in the home on Claggett Drive where the shooting occurred
  • Jessica Lynn Grieco, 33, has been charged with reckless homicide 
  • Emergency crews were dispatched to the residence on a report of a shooting
  • A woman told a 911 dispatcher she accidentally shot her fiance while she was attempting to unload a gun 


Six hours after a Harrison Twp. woman frantically told a 911 dispatcher she accidentally shot her supposedly suicidal fiance, she was arrested.

The next day, she was charged with reckless homicide. 

Jessica L. Grieco, 33, called 911 at about 6:30 p.m. Tuesday and told dispatchers she shot Peter Underwood, 32, at their home on Claggett Drive in Harrison Twp.  

“He’s shot in the chest. Get here now!” Grieco yelled. 

“He’s going to die!”  

Underwood died of a shotgun wound to the chest, according to the Montgomery County Coroner’s Office, which completed the autopsy Wednesday morning. The coroner ruled Underwood's death a homicide.  

Grieco repeatedly yelled, “Oh my God!” and said: “I tried to unload it. It went off because he was trying to commit suicide earlier. I had to take a rope from him earlier,” she said in the call, which the Dayton Daily News obtained through a public records request.  

Grieco said the shooting was an accident and that the gun was sitting still on scene. The dispatcher told the woman to keep pressure on Underwood’s wound. At one point in the call, there’s a noise that sounds like dishes being knocked on the floor.  

Grieco remains in the Montgomery County Jail.  

Emergency crews were dispatched to the single-family home at 6:27 p.m. Tuesday after the 911 call. She was booked into the jail at 12:30 a.m. Wednesday. 

“It’s totally shocking," said Shawn Kauffman, a neighbor in the area near Northridge High School. “This neighborhood is quiet.”  

A woman later was seen crying in a police cruiser.  

“You hear occasional arguments but you don’t think something like this is going to happen,” Kauffman said.  

According to the incident report, photos, a projectile bullet/casing, blood and a weapon were among the evidence from the shooting.  

“It scares me because, like I said, you never know in this neighborhood,” neighbor Ronda Williams said. “I’m scared to even come out at nighttime.” 

At the end of the five-minute 911 call, the woman can be heard telling a deputy, “I was trying to take the bullet out of his gun …”