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Woman arrested for pepper spraying a cat

Published: Monday, December 18, 2017 @ 2:35 PM

A woman was arrested on a charge of animal cruelty after she allegedly pepper sprayed a cat inside a Dayton apartment Sunday.

Police were called to the 400 block of Winters Street around 7 p.m. on reports of a woman damaging the inside of an apartment, according to a Dayton police incident report. 

First officers on the scene found a man yelling for his cat Diamond claiming a woman, later identified as Ashley Matthews, 28, had used pepper spray on the animal. 

"The cat was whining and crying loudly. It stopped in an alley way, sat back on its haunches and began wildly pawing at its face," the officer said in the report. 

The officer was able find and pick up Diamond and held it "like a small child" to check on the animal. 

"I immediately recognized the distinguishable odor of (pepper spray), due to repeated exposures throughout my career," the officer said. 

>>Aggressive dog mauls poodle to death in Dayton

Diamond jumped from the officer's arms and ran away, running a few feet, pawing at its eyes and hissing, the report states. The officer was not able to locate or help the cat, and it was not known if Diamond was later reunited with his owner. 

During their investigation, officers located a small, keychain-style can of pepper spray that the man said Matthews used to spray Diamond. 

Matthews was arrested and charged with cruelty to animals and was booked into the Montgomery County Jail.

Dayton traffic from the WHIO traffic center

Published: Wednesday, January 17, 2018 @ 12:50 AM
Updated: Wednesday, January 17, 2018 @ 12:50 AM

VIDEO: Rollover crash on I-70 West
VIDEO: Rollover crash on I-70 West

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.

Major Highway Incidents

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Surface Street Incidents

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Ongoing Construction & Other Closures 

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  • Keowee Street north of Stanley Avenue, bridge closed until 2019. The official detour is: Keowee Street to Stanley Avenue to I-75 to Wagner Ford Road and back to Dixie. More information is available here.
  • Stewart Street Ramp to US 35 East, RAMP CLOSURE March 28 - Sept 30, 2018. 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 north Ramp to US 35 west and east, Lane width restriction until Apr. 1, 2018. One lane will remain open on the ramp with a width of 11 feet.

Fireplace embers ignite house fire on Kensington Drive in Dayton

Published: Tuesday, January 16, 2018 @ 10:08 PM
Updated: Tuesday, January 16, 2018 @ 11:39 PM

Kensington Drive fire

UPDATE @ 10:49 p.m.: Burning embers that jumped from the fireplace onto something combustible led to the house fire on Kensington Drive, Dayton Fire Battalion Chief Barry Rose said. 

The resident started the fire and then left the house. He was not injured, Rose said. 

Rose estimated the damage to the structure and contents at $10,000.


Crews are on the scene of a house fire in the 1900 block of Kensington Drive in Dayton. 

We're hearing there is fire in the attic of the 1-1/2 story dwelling. Crews were dispatched about 9:45 p.m. 

OTHER LOCAL NEWS: Coroner IDs Greenville house fire victim

We're also hearing that everyone who was inside has been able to escape without injury. 

We have a crew on the way. We will update this developing report. Stay with for breaking news. 

Got a tip? Call our monitored 24-hour line, 937-259-2237, or send it to 

Judge tours Dayton building where he halts order to vacate, declares it habitable

Published: Tuesday, January 16, 2018 @ 11:26 PM

Montgomery County Common Pleas Judge Richard Skelton declared the Newcom building habitable on Tuesday night, hours after issuing a TRO blocking a city of Dayton emergency order to vacate because of carbon monoxide coming from the building's boiler.

Skelton toured the building, 255 N. Main St., for a third time since Friday. In his courtroom earlier this afternoon, he said he planned to inspect the building Tuesday night. 

"It my opinion, there is sufficient heat here. They now have portable infared heaters. I don't feel there is any danger," he told News Center 7's Caroline Reinwald following his inspection tour. 

RELATED: Residents get to stay in Newcom building on judge’s order

He said the addition of the heaters now gives the landlord time to correct the boiler, time for the court and the city and the landlord to stop gap the problem "with us monitoring it." 

There are 18 residents remaining in the building. There were 50 when the order to vacate was issued. 

The city housing inspection department and the fire department were just doing their jobs in issuing the order to vacate on Jan. 11, he said, calling their actions since then a good community response to a situation. 

The Newcom building, 255 N. Main St., in Dayton. (Michael Burianek/Staff)

When asked why he personally wanted to inspect the old building, Judge Skelton said it's his duty because the tenants are county residents. 

"Sometimes coming someplace and seeing what you have really gives me more information than any lawyer standing in a courtroom can tell me," he said. 

One of the tenants, Gerbase Walker, said he had been without heat in his apartment for a month or two. 

"It's crazy," he said. "I have no where to go. I have no family here." 

Walker said "they would have had to lock me up" had the judge not issued the stay order. 

"As long as I'm out of the's better than being in the street," Walker said.

Got a tip? Call our monitored 24-hour line, 937-259-2237, or send it to

Changes promised in wake of racially insensitive basketball jerseys incident

Published: Tuesday, January 16, 2018 @ 10:31 PM

Change coming to Kings School board

Changes are being promised for Kings Schools in the wake of last week’s racist incident that drew national attention, but Tuesday evening district officials said details about those changes will come later.

That was the message from Kings’ leader and school board members, who took the resignation of their board vice president in the wake of some white, local teens wearing basketball jerseys that displayed racist slurs.

 MORE: Kings and Mason schools facing outcry in wake of racial incidents

The Kings Board of Education voted 4-0 to formally accept the resignation of member Kerry McKiernan, who previously cited his own failure in stopping some of the boys on the recreational league basketball team – not affiliated with Kings -- from wearing jerseys with names that appeared to slur African-Americans.

The names on the backs of the jerseys included "Knee Grow" and "Coon." The team played in the Cincinnati Premier Youth Basketball League.

McKiernan, whose son played on the now banned team that used Kings’ facilities, did not attend Tuesday’s board meeting and has not responded to requests for comment.

Last week McKiernan emotionally announced his intentions to resign, citing his failure to stop the team from wearing the jerseys during its first four games.

 MORE: Kings board member and father said he shares responsibility for failing to report racist jerseys

Superintendent Tim Ackermann told this news outlet he will soon be proposing systemic changes design to raise student, school staffers and community members’ awareness of the importance of racial and other diversity for the predominately white Warren County district.

“It’s really important to move forward and sustainable change is extremely important to us so that we can work to create a more loving, acceptable tolerant society,” said Ackermann. “We believe this is a community and societal issue around racism … intolerance, hate and bigotry and we all need to work together to make Kings the best place for all of our kids.”

He declined, however, to give details as to what district efforts are coming, saying the changes are still being studied.

“I don’t want to create something just to create something. Sustainable change doesn’t happen overnight,” said Ackermann.

Tom Squires, an African-American parent at Kings, was among the more than a dozen residents who attended the board meeting.

Afterward, Squires said the jersey incident, which has drawn national media attention, was “unfortunate.”

“We didn’t pay that close of attention as parents and we should have. We have to react swiftly and we have to make sure that people understand that this is not a district that condones that kind of thing,” said Squires, who has lived in the Deerfield Twp. school community for more than a decade.

“When you make a mistake you have to make sure you correct that mistake. Sometimes it’s not always fast but we have to make sure we make the right correction,” he said. 

“This thing (reaction to the incident) is still evolving so it’s kind of hard for me to be critical of the district. They are still trying to make the correction and I think we should give them the opportunity to do so,” said Squires.

Under Ohio school law, the board now has until Feb. 9 to appoint a new board member and agreed during its meeting to accept applications until 4 p.m. on Jan. 24. 

Applications will soon be available on the Kings Schools website.

The board will then vote at its Jan. 31 meeting – after interviewing all applicants – on who will fill McKiernan’s seat through his term, which ends December 2019.