Wayne parent alleges ‘culture of hate,’ superintendent touts positive culture

Published: Thursday, October 05, 2017 @ 4:21 PM

Wayne parent alleges ‘culture of hate,’ superintendent touts positive culture

Wayne High School’s principal met this week with a parent who alleges there is a “culture of hate … and white supremacy within all Huber Heights City Schools,” according to interviews with the parent and superintendent.

After Principal Jeff Berk met Monday with parent Will Smith, Smith on Wednesday evening sent local news media an eight-point list of demands on behalf of a group called the “Coalition of Concerned African American Parents and Students of Wayne High School.”

“There are glaring disparities with how African American students are handled versus the way white students are handled,” Smith said in the press release. “African American students and families feel that no matter how many times they voice their concerns, their pleas” fall on deaf ears.

EARLIER: No charges in Wayne High School incident

Meanwhile, district officials said they were surprised Smith went to the media after what they believed was a constructive meeting during which Smith was invited to sit on the school’s parent advisory committee.

“They met for over an hour,” Superintendent Sue Gunnell said of Berk’s meeting with Smith. “My impression was that Mr. Berk said it was a good conversation and tried to assure him that, no, this is not happening, everything has a great, positive climate here at Wayne High School.”

Additionally, Gunnell said teachers work on practicing positive behavior intervention and support to create a “climate that is one of respect” and safety at school. She additionally said parents were welcome to meet with her to discuss concerns.

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Smith said, “While the administration prides itself on being the only high school in Ohio with outstanding diversity, parents are concerned that the administrative and teaching staff do not fully grasp what true diversity looks like in practice.”

Smith — whose daughter is a senior at Wayne — and his public relations agent said they would work to provide the media with proof.

“It is my understanding that he, as well as another parent … met with the principal and got a lot of lip service,” said Jessica Watters-East, the public relations agent. “He felt that no one was looking into the totality of the incident.”

“They would like to sit down with members of the school higher ups,” she said. “He’s planning on being at the school board meeting.”

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Other parents interviewed by this newsroom indicated the problems were being overplayed.

“I would say there is a little racial tension…” said Monica Richardson, who is black and whose daughter is a senior at Wayne High School. She said her daughter was nervous about going to school Monday because of bomb threats. “But the issues going on, I’m not so certain it’s actually racial.”

The main points of tension between Smith and the district are:

» Threats of violence: Smith says that prior to Saturday’s homecoming dance “several threats of violence were made. The threats were targeting African American students who had exercised their First Amendment rights by kneeling silently as the national anthem played during a pep assembly and the subsequent football game. Following this peaceful protest, a number of white students sent threats via SnapChat and graffiti written on school property. A number of teachers threatened students as well.”

Gunnell said Thursday: “My understanding is that there were not threats to students of color.”

Berk said a message found in a bathroom last week said “people at Wayne are going to die.” School officials identified the student responsible for that message, started the student conduct procedure, and notified police. Then, on Saturday night, the school’s homecoming dance was abruptly ended when a loud noise and threat of a “gun” spooked students and caused a police response. Administrators also identified a student connected to the incident and are working through the school’s conduct procedure, but police said this week officers will not bring charges in the incident.

The Dayton Daily News and WHIO have requested the Huber Heights Police Division provide incident reports and investigations involving Wayne High School since July 1. Additionally, the news organizations have requested that the district and police provide video of the homecoming incident.

» Attendance issues: Smith alleges that on Monday “over (50 percent) of enrolled students did not attend school because of a bomb threat posted on SnapChat.”

Attendance was down to about 80 percent on Monday, this newsroom reported Berk saying on Tuesday. A typical school day sees an attendance rate of about 91 percent, Berk said.

“There were less students than a typical day, but it wasn’t drastic numbers,” he said.

» First Amendment issues: Smith “demands” that “The First Amendment right(s) of students and parents … be upheld,” but in a follow-up interview with this news outlet conceded that the rights are already being upheld.

In the same press release demanding First Amendment rights be upheld “without being harassed and threatened by staff, students and other parents,” Smith detailed how Berk “had a meeting with the staff of Wayne HS and reminded them that the students who chose to kneel are afforded the right to do so under the protections of the United State(s) Constitution and it is unlawful to coerce, harass or intimidate a student to stand during the playing of the National Anthem.”

Gunnell said Berk addressed the school over its public address system to remind them “that students have the right to kneel and sit, and we have to be respectful of that.”

Miamisburg crews continue to battle garage fire 

Published: Tuesday, October 17, 2017 @ 12:58 AM
Updated: Tuesday, October 17, 2017 @ 1:35 AM

Central Ave Fire

UPDATE @ 1:32 a.m: Miamisburg firefighters are still battling a garage fire that occurred in the 700 block of E. Central Ave. early Tuesday morning.

TRENDING: 2 dead in multiple vehicle crash on I-675; south lanes closed

E. Central Avenue is closed between Eighth and Ninth Street while the incident is still being taken care of, per our crew.

RELATED: Hamilton homes evacuated after gas leak


Crews responded to a fully engulfed structure fire in the 700 block of E. Central Avenue in Miamisburg, per initial reports.

The fire was reported just after midnight on Tuesday.

Miamisburg police, fire, and medics are on scene.

We have a crew on the way to the scene and will update this story with more details as they develop. 

((Courtesy: Robert Dale))

Dayton traffic from the WHIO Traffic Center

Published: Monday, October 09, 2017 @ 1:48 AM
Updated: Tuesday, October 17, 2017 @ 1:12 AM

SCENE: Rollover crash on Riverview Avenue
SCENE: Rollover crash on Riverview Avenue

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

  • On I-675 South at Wilmington Pike in Centerville, all southbound lanes are closed due to a fatal crash reported around 11:23 p.m. 

Surface Street Incidents

  • On E. Central Avenue in Miamisburg between Eighth and Ninth St, road is closed for a fully engulfed fire in the 700 block reported around 12:30 a.m. 

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

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.
  • A half-mile of Stroop Road in Kettering between Woodman Drive and Glenheath/Braddox intersection will be closed until the end of the year so a bridge can be replaced. .
  • I-70 eastbound Ramp to I-75 south, Lane closure on the ramp Oct. 19 between 9 a.m. and 3 p.m. One lane will remain open in each direction.
  • I-70 east between I-75 and SR 202, Nightly lane closures Oct. 14 - 21 between 6 p.m. and 7 a.m. These will become double lane closures between 10 p.m. and 6 a.m. One eastbound lane will remain open.
  • I-75 north Ramp to US 35 west, Overnight RAMP CLOSURE Oct. 23 at 10 p.m. - Oct. 24 at 6 p.m. The official detour is: I-75 north to Second Street to I-75 south to US 35 west. 
  • I-75 north/Stewart Street Ramp to US 35 East ramp closure March 28 - Oct. 21. 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
  • I-75 between I-70 and SR 571, nightly lane closures between 7 p.m. and 7 a.m. through Oct. 31. The northbound side will become a double lane closure between 10 p.m. and 6 a.m. One lane will remain open in each direction.
  • I-75 south between Needmore Road and Stanley Avenue, Nightly lane closure Oct. 18 - 20 between 10 p.m. and 5:30 a.m. One southbound lane will remain open.
  • Shroyer Road between Gainsborough Road and East Dorothy Lane will be repaved and reconfigured through at least October. Once the project is completed, Shroyer Road will be reduced to three lanes. 
  • SR 48 between I-70 and Phillipsburg-Union Road, Nightly lane closures Oct. 15 - 21 between 6 p.m. and 6 a.m. One lane will remain open in each direction.
  • The Webster Street bridge is closed as it is rebuilt. A detour will take drivers to Keowee Street to Monument Avenue. The project is scheduled to be completed in November. 
  • US 35 between Edwin C. Moses Boulevard and Germantown Street, Nightly lane closures Oct. 19 - 20 between 8 p.m. and 6 a.m. One lane will remain open in each direction.
  • US 35 eastbound Ramp  to I-75 north, Nightly RAMP CLOSURE Oct. 19 - 20 between 10 p.m. and 6 a.m. The official detour is: US 35 east to I-75 south to the turnaround a Edwin C. Moses and head back onto I-75 north.


  • I-75 between CR 25A (Troy) and US 36, shoulder closures through Oct. 31.
  • I-75 between CR 25A (Troy) and US 36, Nightly lane closures Oct. 16 - 21 between 7 p.m. and 6 a.m. One lane will remain open in each direction.
  • I-75 between SR 571 and Northwoods Boulevard, Nightly lane closures Oct. 16 - Nov. 10 between 7 p.m. and 6 a.m. These will become double lane closures at 9 p.m. One lane will remaim open at all times. 
  • West Peterson Road at Piqua Troy Road, ROAD CLOSURE through Oct. 21. The official ODOT detour is westbound: Piqua Troy Road to Statler Road to CR 25A north to Eldean Road to Piqua Troy Road. Eastbound: West Peterson Road to Troy Sidney Road to Statler Road to Piqua Troy Road.


  • I-70 east ramp to I-675 north, RAMP CLOSURE through Oct.31. The official detour is: I-675 to SR 444 to I-675 north.


  • SR 721 between Childrens Home-Bradford Road and Horatio Harris Creek, BRIDGE CLOSURE Oct. 2 - 23. The official detour is: SR 185 to SR 48 to US 36.
  • SR 722 between Emrick Road and US 127, ROAD CLOSURE Oct. 9 - 30. The official detour is: SR 726 to US 40 to US 127.
  • SR 705 between Lightsville - Northern and Cochran Road, ROAD CLOSURE Oct. 30 - Nov. 10. The official detour is: SR 49 to SR 119 to SR 118.
  • SR 29 between Cisco Road and West Russell Road, shoulder closures through Nov. 17. *There could be intermittent lane closures in this area between 7 a.m. and 4 p.m.
  • SR 219 between State Street and Taylor Road, Daily lane closures Sept. 27 - Oct. 31 between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m. One lane will remain open  for travel in each direction through the use of flaggers.
  • SR 66 between Mason Road and Dirksen Road, Daily lane closures Sept. 27 - Oct. 31 between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m. One lane will remain open for travel in each direction through the use of flaggers. 
  • SR 705 between McClure Road and North Kuther Road, ROAD CLOSURE Oct. 16 - 19. The official detour is: SR 29 to SR 119 to SR 66.

2 dead, 2 hurt in 3-vehicle, wrong-way driver crash on I-675 in Centerville

Published: Monday, October 16, 2017 @ 9:55 PM
Updated: Monday, October 16, 2017 @ 11:18 PM

From the scene: I-675 double fatal crash

Two people have been killed and two people have been injured in a three-vehicle, wrong-way driver accident on I-675 South in Centerville: 

  • One of the fatalities was the wrong-way driver 
  • The second fatality was in one of the vehicles hit by the wrong-way driver 
  • A third victim, taken to a hospital, was reported to be alert 
  • A fourth victim suffered minor injuries  

UPDATE @ 11:07 p.m.: The wrong-way vehicle headed north on southbound I-675 at Far Hills Avenue glanced off one vehicle and hit a second vehicle head on, Centerville Police Officer John Davis said. 

Both fatalities are male, he said. The genders of the other two victims are not known.

The second victim was in one of the southbound vehicles, he said. A third victim taken to a hospital was alert. A fourth victim suffered minor injuries, Davis said.

OTHER LOCAL NEWS: Clark County teen killed in crash remembered at vigil

Police are speaking with that fourth victim for a witness statement. 

No names are being released until the family members of the victims can be notified, Davis said. 

It's too early to speculate whether alcohol or drugs played a role in the accident. 

The first calls about the wrong-way driver began coming into police dispatch about 9:20 p.m. 

A Montgomery County coroner's investigator is on scene and a Centerville Police Department traffic accident reconstruction team will be on scene for most of the night, he said. 

Southbound I-675 remains shut down at Wilmington Pike. Drivers are encouraged to avoid I-675 South.

UPDATE @ 10:50 p.m.: 

This incident on I-675 South has been confirmed by police as a wrong-way crash and the  driver of the offending vehicle is one of the fatalities.

UPDATE @ 10:26 p.m.: 

Two are confirmed dead and at least one person has been taken to a hospital from the multiple-vehicle accident on I-675 South, Centerville police and a Montgomery County sheriff’s sergeant are telling us.

The fatalities are from separate vehicles, we’re told. The condition of the person taken to a hospital is not known.

I 675 crash Video


Police and medic units are on the scene of a multiple-vehicle injury accident on I-675 South at Far Hills Avenue in Centerville.

We’re hearing the accident could involve at least one probable fatality, as many as four people injured, at least three vehicles and a reported wrong-way driver. 

We’re working to confirm those details.

Police have decided to shut down all southbound lanes, south of Wilmington Pike, because of the accident. 

The accident was reported just before 9:30 p.m. 

We have a crew on the way.

GOT A TIP? Call our monitored 24-hour line, 937-259-2237, or send it to newsdesk@cmgohio.com

2 creating YouTube video survive close call with train, Fairborn fire official says

Published: Monday, October 16, 2017 @ 7:36 PM
Updated: Monday, October 16, 2017 @ 8:37 PM

Two escape injury when recording YouTube stunt on railroad tracks

UPDATE @ 8 p.m.: Two people videotaping for the purpose of posting their exploits to YouTube escaped injury when one of them allegedly rolled off railroad tracks as a train approached, and the second apparently standing too close to the tracks was thrown to the ground when the train hit the backpack that person was holding. 

That's the early assessment from witnesses, Fairborn fire Battalion Chief Laura Kerr said. 

"We highly recommend that you not do that," she said. 

RELATED: Young person doing YouTube stunt hit, killed by train

The train conductors are extremely upset because of what happened, she said, noting that such incidents can trigger post traumatic stress for train engineers and conductors. 

"Do not play on the tracks. It's not a play area. Its not an adventure. Its not a story. It's not a good video," Battalion Chief Kerr said. 

The investigation is continuing, but Kerr said witnesses have told authorities that one of the people involved laid down on the tracks and rolled off at the very last second as the freight train approached. 

The second person, apparently wearing a back pack or book bag, was too close to the tracks, Kerr said. The train hit the back pack or bag, which was ripped off the person. 

"Luckily, no one was pulled under the train," she said, noting the investigation is still so new that she's not sure of the ages or genders of the people involved. 

No word yet on whether police or fire officials will pursue charges against the two people involved in the incident.


Police and medic unit dispatched on a report of a pedestrian hit by a train in the area of Kauffman Avenue (state Route 444) and South Central Avenue in Fairborn. 

The incident was dispatched about 7:15 p.m.

Police were walking the tracks at 7:30 p.m.

We’re on scene. We will update this report.

GOT A TIP? Call our monitored 24-hour line, 937-259-2237, or send it to newsdesk@cmgohio.com