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OVI awareness heightened for holiday

Published: Friday, August 31, 2012 @ 5:00 PM
Updated: Friday, August 31, 2012 @ 5:00 PM

About 9 percent of Ohio’s traffic fatalities from 2007-11 occurred during six holiday periods, which means authorities will again have increased awareness for reckless or impaired driving during this Labor Day weekend.

Seventy-one of last year’s 1,015 traffic fatalities in Ohio occurred on or immediately near New Year’s Day, Memorial Day, the Fourth of July, Labor Day, Thanksgiving or Christmas, according to Ohio Department of Public Safety statistics. The holiday periods total about 22 days, depending on the year, or about 6 percent of the calendar year.

Officials are especially focused on impaired driving, as 39 people have died in traffic crashes in Ohio during the past three Labor Day weekends. Last year, there were also 860 injuries in 1,907 crashes during the three days.

“With the holiday weekends, more people are traveling and more people are celebrating,” said Kristen Castle, a spokesperson for the Ohio Office of Criminal Justice Services. “It’s a good time to remind people to get a sober driver, plan ahead and make sure you get home safely.”

The holiday weekend will end the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration-led “Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over” drunk driving awareness campaign, which runs from Aug. 17 through Monday. After an increase in drunk driving-related deaths in 2010 — from 420 to 478 — Ohio’s number dropped to 414 last year, according to the Ohio State Highway Patrol. Of those, 27 drunk driving-related deaths happened during the six holiday periods last year. From 2007 to 2011, about 40 percent of traffic fatalities involved alcohol impairment.

Aside from the holiday enforcement efforts, OVI (Operating a Vehicle while Impaired) task forces in the region have increased their arrest rates this year. The groups in Butler, Montgomery and Clark counties receive funds from the Ohio Office of Criminal Justice Services to operate OVI checkpoints and pay officers for overtime patrols in known trouble areas.

Through the first nine months of their operating year (which begins Oct. 1), the three task forces made an average of 29.4 OVI arrests per month, either at checkpoints or with overtime patrols. That was an increase from 27.1 arrests per month the previous year.

OVI task force officials said they hope their greatest effect is on awareness, not in arrests.

“We tell people when we’re having a (checkpoint) and the vicinity, but people still get in their cars (impaired) and drive,” said Carlene Maynes, coordinator of the Montgomery County OVI Task Force. “It’s kind of amazing.”

Officials stressed that the end of the official “Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over” campaign will not end their attention to impaired driving. The task forces will continue operating throughout the year, although all law enforcement will be on alert for suspicious driving during the next three days.

“Labor Day tends to be the end of summer, so people are trying to be outside, and that means there’s a greater risk for becoming a victim of impairment or drinking and driving,” said Anita Biles, coordinator of the Clark County OVI Task Force. “It’s another reason to remind people to find options for getting home.”

Investigators digging to recover body of missing woman

Published: Tuesday, May 23, 2017 @ 10:50 AM

Authorities are in Troy this morning in hopes of getting answers about a woman who went missing nearly seven years ago.

Nikki Lyn Forrest was 19 years old and pregnant when she disappeared in September 2010.

Investigators have new information in the cold case that has sent them to a backyard of a home off South Dorset Road near West Main Street in Troy.

A white tent is up and authorities tell us they are digging in hopes of recovering Nikki Lyn Forrest’s body.

We’re working to gather more details and will update this story as more information becomes available.

Two men arrested following dispute over car repossession

Published: Monday, May 22, 2017 @ 9:24 PM

A dispute between an man attempting to "repo" a vehicle and the vehicle’s owner involved an argument, a threat, and shots fired at a residence in the area of State Route 571 and Rangeline Road in Miami County. 

Detectives later executed a search warrant on the home where the owner, 34-year-old, Matt Naff, was arrested and jailed.

The man involved in the attempted repossession of the vehicle, 54-year-old Eric Brown of West Milton, was arrested and booked into the Miami County Jail in Troy.

Both are charged with one count each of felonious assault, according to a police report.

Deputies recovered two handguns, ammunition and spent bullet casings at the scene, according to the report.

No one was shot during the dispute, according to deputies.

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Cincinnati State to tap beer brewing degree

Published: Tuesday, May 23, 2017 @ 10:01 AM

            John Loftis holds up a glass of Mother Stewart’s beer to the light in their brew house in Springfield. BILL LACKEY/STAFF

Cincinnati State will announce the launch of the region’s first degree in brewing science today.

Cincinnati State and leaders of the local craft beer and brewing industry will make the announcement at 10:30 a.m. today about the Associate of Applied Science Degree in Brewing degree.

RELATED: New microbrewery, taproom coming to Butler County

Employers in the fast-growing craft beer industry say the new degree will help close the skill gap and accelerate Cincinnati’s growing reputation as a “bastion of brewing.”

It is the first two-year Brewing Science degree program in Ohio, Kentucky or Indiana and was designed with extensive input brewing industry leaders, university leaders said.

RELATED: New Middletown brewery aims to bridge beer towns of Cincinnati, Dayton

Those expected at the announcement include: Monica Posey, president of Cincinnati State, Chef Alan Neace, Associate Dean of Midwest Culinary Institute, Carla Gesell-Streeter, program chair for Brewing Science program, brewing student Ryan Osner, a veteran and employee at Rhinegeist, area brewing industry leaders, area chambers of commerce and state and local officials.

Blown tire sends truck hauling trailer off I-675 South

Published: Tuesday, May 23, 2017 @ 9:54 AM

Jarod Thrush

No one was seriously injured when a pickup truck hauling a trailer full of lawnmowers crashed on I-675 South this morning.

Southbound traffic was slowed at 8:30 a.m. around the Yankee Street exit as Washington Twp. crews responded to the scene.

Officials tell us the full-size pickup truck blew a tire and the driver lost control, careening off the right side of the highway where the trailer overturned.

Crews cut the top off of the trailer to gain access to the lawnmowing cargo. Firefighters worked to contain the gasoline that was leaking from the equipment.

One person suffered a minor injury and was treated at the scene, according to officials at the scene.