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OVI driver who hit Sidney natural gas line appears in court

Published: Monday, April 17, 2017 @ 11:56 PM
Updated: Tuesday, April 18, 2017 @ 5:57 AM

UPDATE @ 10:51 a.m. (April 18)

In Sidney Municipal Court today, Ryan Joseph Cathcart pleaded not guilty to an OVI charge. He was released on his own recognizance. 

UPDATE @5:57 a.m. 

Ryan Joseph Cathcart is being held at the Shelby County Jail on driving under the influence charges related to the crash. 

UPDATE @ 3:05 a.m.  

A suspected intoxicated driver slammed into a natural gas line and a building on North Ohio Avenue in Sidney, sparking a large fire that destroyed the structure.  

Police and fire crews were first dispatched to the 100 block of North Ohio Avenue around 11 p.m. Monday on reports of a vehicle slamming into a building. 

Sidney Fire Deputy Chief Cameron Haller said a pickup truck went off the road, struck and broke a natural gas line in front of the building. The crash sparked a fire that quickly spread though all three floors of the structure. 

Sidney police Sgt. Warren Melerine said part of the building was occupied by a ceramics business. Other parts of the building were used for storage of items used for a dance recital coming up in a few weeks. 

The driver, whose identity was not available, was pulled from the crash by bystanders and was not injured. Melerine said the driver was arrested and transported to the Shelby County Jail. The possible charges the driver may face were not available.

“We have something that could have been so easily prevented with a designated driver,” Melerine said. “All family, friends, taxi service here in town; Any of those could have prevented a lot of people from being placed in a great deal of harm.”

Haller said the fire has caused the roof of the building to collapse and firefighters are now working defensively to prevent the fire from spreading to nearby structures. 

All departments across Shelby County sent crews to battle the blaze, something Haller said he hasn’t seen since a large warehouse fire in Sidney in the early 2000s. 

Firefighters are expected to be on scene through the overnight hours. 

UPDATE @ 12:45 a.m. 

Firefighters are continuing to battle flames from a building on North Ohio Avenue in Sidney after a pickup truck slammed into the building and caught fire. 

We’re told crews are working to assess the damage to the structure. 

We’re working to find out if anyone has been injured in the incident. 


Firefighters in Sidney are battling a building fire on North Ohio Avenue after a vehicle reportedly slammed into the building and burst into flames. 

Callers into this newsroom indicate a pickup truck crashed into a building in the 100 block of Ohio Avenue around 11 p.m. and immediately burst into flames. 

It was not clear if there were any injuries. 

Dispatchers declined to release any details. 

We have a crew on the way and we’ll update this page as new details become available. 

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Trees to be cut down on commercial development site in Xenia

Published: Monday, June 26, 2017 @ 10:30 AM

Greene County is looking to clear-cut more than 16 acres of trees to make room for commercial development.

STAY CONNECTED: Greene County News on Facebook

A total of 155 acres is slated for development on the property, located along Innovation Way which parallels U.S. 35 east of Ohio 380 in Xenia.

VIDEO: Xenia firefighters rescue squirrel from lawnmower 

The county is seeking bids from contractors to harvest the trees and the sealed proposals will be opened on the deadline day July 18.

MORE: Greene County Jail inmates

The goal in cutting down the trees on approximately 16.5 acres is "to facilitate vision of business owners who may be considering the location, according to Greene County Administrator Brandon Huddleson. 

"It is also a time-saver, should someone decide to purchase the property for development as the parcel will be clear of trees," Huddleson said.

This story will be updated as more information becomes available.

Professor fired after criticizing Warmbier and ‘white clueless males’

Published: Monday, June 26, 2017 @ 10:15 AM
Updated: Monday, June 26, 2017 @ 10:26 AM

The casket of Otto Warmbier is carried from his funeral at Wyoming High School June 22 in Wyoming, Ohio. Otto Warmbier, the 22-year-old college student who was released from a North Korean prison after spending 17 months in captivity for allegedly stealing a propaganda poster. Photo by Bill Pugliano/Getty Images

A Delaware adjunct college professor who said on social media that Otto Warmbier’s “cluelessness” got him killed found her remarks got her fired from her job.

On her personal Facebook page, Kathy Dettwyler, a former adjunct professor at the University of Delaware, wrote that Warmbier situation was “typical of a mindset of a lot of the young, white, rich, clueless males who come into my classes,” according to reports on Delaware Online and elsewhere.

A LOCAL MAN’S STORY:North Korea releases West Carrollton man

“These are the same kids who cry about their grades because they didn’t think they’d really have to read and study the material to get a good grade,” she said on her Facebook page, which has since been taken down or made private. “His parents ultimately are to blame for his growing up thinking he could get away with whatever he wanted.”

Warmbier died in Cincinnati on June 19. He was a University of Virginia student visiting North Korea in January 2016 when he was arrested and sentenced to 15 years hard labor after being accused of stealing a propaganda poster from his hotel.

RELATEDFamily of West Carrollton man detained in North Korea keep low profile

Dettwyler’s remarks sparked an outcry, with people across the country calling for her to be fired.

“Katherine Dettwyler, who last taught in the spring as an adjunct faculty member, will not be rehired to teach at the university in the future,” a statement from University of Delaware read, according to Fox News.

“The comments of Katherine Dettwyler do not reflect the values or position of the University of Delaware,” the university also said. “We condemn any and all messages that endorse hatred and convey insensitivity toward a tragic event such as the one that Otto Warmbier and his family suffered.”

Vacant house damaged in morning fire

Published: Monday, June 26, 2017 @ 10:06 AM
Updated: Monday, June 26, 2017 @ 11:33 AM

Marshall Gorby/Staff

UPDATE @ 11:30 a.m. 

Firefighters are investigating the cause of a Monday morning fire at a vacant house on Fountain Avenue in Dayton. 

>> Read the latest local stories in the Miami Valley 

Initial reports indicated the fire was found on the outside of the structure, but firefighters did not indicate if they believe the blaze was suspicious. 

No injuries were reported. 

Additional details were not available. 


Dayton firefighters have responded to a reported house fire on Fountain Avenue Monday. 

>> Read the latest local stories in the Miami Valley 

Crews were dispatched to the first block of Fountain Avenue around 9:55 a.m. in Dayton on reports of flames showing from a structure. 

Initial reports indicate the structure is vacant and the fire was found mostly on the outside of the structure. 

We have a crew on the way and we’ll update this page as we learn more. 

For updates and more news click here to download our free apps.

Dayton Air Show: Thunderbirds to resume flights, pilot still hospitalized

Published: Saturday, June 24, 2017 @ 11:33 AM
Updated: Monday, June 26, 2017 @ 8:32 AM

UPDATE @ 11:22 a.m. (June 26):

The United States Air Force Thunderbirds will resume flying operations today, June 26 after the squadron departs Dayton for its home station at Nellis Air Force Base, Nevada. The team will hold routine practices Tuesday.

"Capt. Gonsalves remains in the hospital and is surrounded by loved ones," said Lt. Col. Jason Heard on Facebook. "I have full faith and confidence in our team to conduct the mission safely, we look forward to returning to flying operations."

UPDATE @ 9:47 a.m. (June 26):

The Thunderbirds will be taking off at 10:30 a.m. and the injured pilot is expected to be staying at the hospital for a couple more days, officials announced this morning.

Thunderbirds Capt. Erik Gonsalves has had two surgeries, but his injuries are less serious than initially thought, according to officials. 

RELATED: Attendance numbers released for 2017 air show

The damaged plane will be staying here locally and once able, it will be transported to Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, officials said.

UPDATE @8:30 a.m. (June 26)

Thunderbirds Capt. Erik Gonsalves continues to receive treatment at Miami Valley Hospital.

A condition for Gonsalves was not available.

>> Air Show draws large crowds despite Thunderbirds crash

UPDATE @ 11:15 a.m. (June 25)

Thunderbirds Capt. Erik Gonsalves remains a patient at Miami Valley Hospital after he was extricated from an F-16 that overturned on the runway Friday at the Dayton International Airport.

Gonsalves Tweeted Saturday a picture of himself in the hospital bed stating, “Thanks for all the love and support. I'm doing okay. More to follow, I'm thankful for all our friendships.”

Staff Sgt. Kenneth Cordova was the passenger in the F-16. He was extricated from the aircraft and taken to the hospital where he has since been released.

Friday’s mishap forced the Thunderbirds to cancel their performances at this weekend’s Vectren Dayton Air Show.

U.S. Air Force Lt. Col. Jason Heard, Thunderbirds commanding leader, said Friday’s ‘mishap’ is under investigation and what caused it has not been determined.

Heard said upon landing after a “single-ship familiarization flight,” the fighter jet overturned on the runway and sustained damage, temporarily trapping Gonsalves and Cordova in the aircraft.


As the Vectren Dayton Air Show kicks off Saturday some visitors came to the show, unaware of Friday’s Thunderbird crash and cancellation of their performance Saturday.

Michael Werchowski, 44, brought his 11-year-old son, Miles, hoping to see the Thunderbirds, but didn’t know they weren’t performing until he arrived at Dayton International Airport.


It was the first air show for both.

“We’ve never seen a Blue Angels or Thunderbirds show before, but it is what it is,” Michael Werchowski, who drove in from Powell near Columbus for the show.

Miles didn’t seem fazed.

“I’m just here to see planes,” he said.

A two seat F-16 Thunderbird jet overturned at the airport after landing Friday, trapping the pilot and passenger until they were freed by first responders. 

RELATED: Thunderbird jet crashes ahead of Vectren Dayton Air Show

Both were hospitalized and reported in good condition. One team member has been released. The Thunderbirds have not yet made an announcement on whether they will perform at Sunday’s show.

Charles and Theresa Cooper, both 60, moved to New Lebanon in December after 40 years in California. The two grew up in the Miami Valley.  

“I’ve never been to the air show,” Theresa Cooper said. “I’ve never come. “It’s pretty exciting.”  

The couple were driving near the airport Friday when they spotted emergency vehicles and heard about the Thunderbird jet mishap.  

“So sad,” she said.  

Charles Cooper said he wanted to come to the air show anyway partly because of the region’s heritage as the birthplace of aviation. “Living in California, you don’t realize how much this region has to offer until you come back,” he said.

Gary and Linda Kish drove four hours from St. Clairsville near Wheeling, W.V., with two grandchildren, Jayden, 6, and Weston, 4, but weren’t deterred from coming when they heard the Thunderbirds canceled the Saturday show.

“We were eating ice cream when we heard about it,” Jayden said.

“It’ still a good time,” said Gary Kish, 64. “We’re just glad (the two Thunderbird two members) are OK.”

“What are you going to do?” asked Linda Kish.