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Longtime Monroe council member resigns, council seeks new member

Published: Wednesday, January 03, 2018 @ 10:47 AM


            Monroe Vice Mayor Suzi Rubin has resigned her council seat effective Dec. 31, 2017 as she will be moving out of state, according to officials. Last fall, Rubin, a Democrat, unsuccessfully ran for the 53rd Ohio House of Representatives seat. Rubin was handing out campaign materials to voters at Edgewood Middle School, Tuesday, Nov. 8, 2016. GREG LYNCH / STAFF
Monroe Vice Mayor Suzi Rubin has resigned her council seat effective Dec. 31, 2017 as she will be moving out of state, according to officials. Last fall, Rubin, a Democrat, unsuccessfully ran for the 53rd Ohio House of Representatives seat. Rubin was handing out campaign materials to voters at Edgewood Middle School, Tuesday, Nov. 8, 2016. GREG LYNCH / STAFF

Monroe is seeking candidates to replace a city council member who resigned last month.

At council’s Dec. 19 meeting, Councilwoman Suzi Rubin submitted her resignation, effective Dec. 31. Officials said that Rubin is planning to move out of state after her husband retires.

“It seemed like a good time to step down because it would give a new council member time to learn the job before the next election,” she said. “When I came on council, it was to help the city when it was in fiscal emergency.”

Rubin said she’s “a person that can’t leave something undone but everyone is fully capable of taking the city to the next step.”

Councilman Dan Clark thanked Rubin for everything she had done for the city and called her resignation “a big loss for the city of Monroe and a loss for the entire community.”

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“I think it’s good having dissenting voices because you get the best answers when it’s coming from multiple points of view,” Rubin said. “I appreciate your view points even though I don’t agree with them all of the time.”

Monroe City Council accepted Rubin’s resignation “with regret” with a number of council members and city staff praising her for her dedication and commitment to the community.

MORE: Monroe considers tax increases for safety services

Rubin was appointed as a council member since 2004 and won full four-year terms in 2007, 2011 and 2015 as well as serving as the city’s vice mayor. In the 2015 municipal election, she was the leading vote-getter in the four-candidate field seeking four open seats. A Democrat, Rubin also made four unsuccessful runs for the 53rd Ohio House seat in a very heavily Republican district.

Over the years, Rubin has served on a number of local and regional boards and commissions and has served as president of the Warren County Municipal League and the Monroe Area Community Investment Corporation. She was part of the effort to create the Monroe Local School District in 1999 and served as one of its founding board members and board president. Previously, Monroe was part of the Middletown school district.

Rubin served on the city’s 25-year strategic planning committee and on the update committee. She also served on the state’s Financial Planning and Supervision Commission as part of the State Auditor’s committee for fiscal recovery, overseeing the city of Monroe. Monroe applied for fiscal emergency status in 2004 and was removed from fiscal emergency by the state in 2007.

MORE: Census: Monroe is area’s fastest growing city

Council has 30 days to appoint a new council member to fill the vacancy, according to the city charter.

Residents who are interested in completing the final two years of Rubin’s term have until Jan. 11 to submit a letter of interest that includes why they would want to serve on the council and a resume to Angela S. Wasson, Clerk of Council, P.O. Box 330, Monroe, Ohio 45050, or via email to wassona@monroeohio.org.

A person must be a resident and qualified elector of Monroe for at least one year immediately prior to election or appointment and shall continue to be a resident and qualified elector of Monroe throughout the term of office. A person cannot hold other compensated office or position of employment with Monroe, nor hold any other compensated elected public office.

Council meets on the second and fourth Tuesdays of every month at 6:30 p.m. There are occasional special meetings, as well as meetings of different council committees.

Ohio flu hospitalizations climb, prompting caution and optimism

Published: Friday, January 19, 2018 @ 11:31 AM
Updated: Friday, January 19, 2018 @ 3:15 PM


            Nurse Debbie Parker prepares flu vaccine for patients at the Montgomery County Public Health Clinic in downtown Dayton. Flu numbers continue to climb in 2018. TY GREENLEES / STAFF
Nurse Debbie Parker prepares flu vaccine for patients at the Montgomery County Public Health Clinic in downtown Dayton. Flu numbers continue to climb in 2018. TY GREENLEES / STAFF

Ohio’s flu-related hospitalizations increased by more than 50 from the previous week, new data released Friday by the Ohio Department of Health said.

The increase was smaller than previous weeks, prompting some optimism and words of caution from one local expert.

“While it looks like (the flu) may be leveling off, it is still significantly higher than the five year average,” said president of the Greater Dayton Area Hospital Association, Bryan Bucklew. “It has been above average since it started.”

From Jan. 7 through Jan. 13, the state reported 1,805 people in Ohio were hospitalized with influenza-like illnesses. Of those, 458 of those were in Montgomery County.

For the previous reporting period, Dec. 31 through Jan. 6, the state recorded 1,750 flu-related hospitalizations.

The 2017-2018 numbers for reported flu cases and hospitalizations due to the flu have been above the five-year average. While the smaller week to week increase is encouraging to health officials, the flu is unpredictable.

MORE: Hospitalizations explode: Flu season may be worst in years

“It’s been a strong flu season,” Bucklew said. “Our hope would be that instances of flu are lower because of their early start.”

Area hospitals have put restrictions on visitors and local health officials throughout the region have encouraged people to get a vaccine and take precautions to prevent the spread of the flu.

Those restrictions are still in effect, according to Bucklew.

MORE: Flu cases rampant in Ohio: 5 things you need to know

With influenza being at its highest level in almost all states, other organizations are taking steps to prevent spread of the flu.

The Roman Catholic Diocese of Portland, Maine, decided to change some Mass traditions to keep parishioners healthy.

TIME said the diocese announced Jan. 18 it is suspending sharing wine during communion and holding hands during Our Father.

The US Conference of Catholic Bishops urges “priests, deacons and extraordinary ministers of Holy Communion” to practice good hygiene and to instruct church-goers not to drink from the chalice if they are sick.

The Archdiocese of Cincinnati, which includes the Miami Valley, has not taken an official position on the matter, with a spokesperson saying that they leave “the running of a parish up to the pastor.”

The University of Dayton is relying on its students to use “common sense” when it comes to Mass and flu season.

“We’re still offering the chalice; we’re not putting out any kind of memo. We are relying on students to stay home if they are sick,” said Kathy Sales, associate director of campus ministry.

Warming trend to last into the weekend

Published: Friday, January 19, 2018 @ 4:12 AM
Updated: Friday, January 19, 2018 @ 3:52 PM

Flooding concerns increase with snowmelt and rain this weekend.

A gradual warm-up will continue through the weekend and into the start of next week, according to Storm Center 7 Chief Meteorologist Eric Elwell. 

QUICK-LOOK FORECAST

  • Some refreeze possible tonight
  • Temperatures climb into the 40s this weekend
  • Wet, but mild start to next week

>> WHIO Doppler 7 Interactive Radar

DETAILED FORECAST

Tonight: Mainly clear skies are expected through the evening. Breezy conditions and chilly as temperatures fall through the 30s towards an overnight low in the upper 20s.

5 Day Forecast with Meteorologist McCall Vrydaghs

>> 4 tricks to help avoid illness during big temperature changes

Saturday: Sunshine to start the day, but clouds will increase late, Elwell said. It will be breezy at times with highs in the lower to middle 40s.

Sunday: Lots of clouds are expected during the day with a chance for drizzle or light rain and fog. Highs will be in the middle 40s.

>> Another eclipse is on the way, featuring a ‘Blood Moon’

Monday: Rain will be likely, especially in the afternoon. Gusty winds will also be likely with highs in the lower 50s. 

Tuesday: Colder air returns with blustery, cloudy conditions. A few passing flurries or snow showers are possible with highs in the middle 30s.

>> WHIO Weather App

Wednesday: Some sunshine returns but it will stay chilly. Highs will be in the upper 30s

Texas judge interrupts jury, says God told him defendant is not guilty

Published: Friday, January 19, 2018 @ 2:44 PM

State District Judge Jack Robison, 207th District Court, left, shakes hands with Judge Bill Henry, District Judge 428th, as Hays County Judge Bert Cobb, center, looks on after Judge Robison was sworn in during a ceremony held at the Hays County Courthouse, in San Marcos, Texas, on Friday, Jan. 2, 2014. (Photo: Rodolfo Gonzalez/Austin American Statesman)
State District Judge Jack Robison, 207th District Court, left, shakes hands with Judge Bill Henry, District Judge 428th, as Hays County Judge Bert Cobb, center, looks on after Judge Robison was sworn in during a ceremony held at the Hays County Courthouse, in San Marcos, Texas, on Friday, Jan. 2, 2014. (Photo: Rodolfo Gonzalez/Austin American Statesman)

A Comal County judge said God told him to intervene in jury deliberations to sway jurors to return a not guilty verdict in the trial of a Buda woman accused of trafficking a teen girl for sex.

>> Read more trending news

Judge Jack Robison apologized to jurors for the interruption but defended his actions by telling them, “When God tells me I gotta do something, I gotta do it,” according to the Herald-Zeitung, in New Braunfels.

The jury went against the judge’s wishes, finding Gloria Romero-Perez guilty of continuous trafficking of a person and later sentenced her to 25 years in prison. They found her not guilty of a separate charge of sale or purchase of a child.

Robison, who also presides in Hays County, did not respond to a message left with his court coordinator, Steve Thomas, who said the case is pending.

The Herald-Zeitung reported that Robison recused himself before the trial’s sentencing phase and was replaced by Judge Gary Steele. The defendant’s attorney asked for a mistrial but was denied.

Robison’s actions could trigger an investigation from the State Commission on Judicial Conduct, which has disciplined Robison in the past.

In 2011, the commission slapped Robison with a private reprimand for improperly jailing a Caldwell County grandfather who had called him a fool for a ruling Robison made in a child custody case involving the man’s granddaughter.

The reprimand, the commission’s harshest form of rebuke, said Robison “exceeded the scope of his authority and failed to comply with the law” by jailing the man for contempt of court without a hearing or advance notice of the charge.

Delta tightens restrictions on emotional support animals

Published: Friday, January 19, 2018 @ 3:04 PM

June 13, 2017 MILTON, Susie Aga, founder of Atlanta Dog Trainer, a
June 13, 2017 MILTON, Susie Aga, founder of Atlanta Dog Trainer, a "premier dog training and behavior modification center in the Southeast," (Atlantadogtrainer.com) communicates with a variety of different dogs using a training ramp within her facility.(Chad Rhym)

Traveling with an “emotional support animal” on a Delta flight is about to get a little trickier.

>> Read more trending news

Emotional support animals in special vests have become a more common sight around airports and on flights in recent years. But in the wake of a horrific mauling of a passenger by another traveler’s emotional support dog on a Delta plane l­­­ast year, the airline is changing its policy.

Starting March 1, Atlanta-based Delta Air Lines plans to require passengers traveling with emotional support animals to submit a “confirmation of animal training” form signed by the passenger indicating the animal can behave, along with proof of health or vaccinations submitted online 48 hours in advance of their flight. The new rules are in addition to the current requirement of a letter from a doctor or licensed mental health professional.