Miami U. grad picked as Romney's running mate

Published: Saturday, August 11, 2012 @ 8:17 AM
Updated: Saturday, August 11, 2012 @ 6:21 PM


            House Budget Committee Chairman Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wis. introduces Republican presidential candidate, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney before Romney spoke at the Grain Exchange in Milwaukee, in this April 3, 2012 file photo. Romney has picked Wisconsin congressman Paul Ryan to be his running mate, according to a Republican with knowledge of the development. They will appear together Saturday Aug. 11, 2012 in Norfolk, Va., at the start of a four-state bus tour to introduce the newly minted GOP ticket to the nation.

Mitt Romney’s decision to select Republican congressman Paul Ryan as his vice presidential running mate is a bold stroke designed to convince skeptical conservatives that as president he will crusade for lower taxes and curbing federal spending.

Analysts acknowledge that Romney’s choice Saturday could prod voters to focus on the federal deficit and the sluggish economy as opposed to Romney’s career with a Boston investment firm.

But some GOP officials privately fear that the Republican ticket could hurt itself in the crucial state of Florida, which has 29 electoral votes, by emphasizing restraints on the rapidly growing entitlement programs of Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security.

Ryan, a Wisconsin lawmaker who chairs the House budget committee, has pressed for a sweeping overhaul of Medicare’s current fee-for-service plan into a system in which the federal government would subsidize private insurance plans so seniors could buy their own policies. Although Ryan has stressed his Medicare plan would not into effect for a decade, it could prove toxic with many seniors.

In addition, even though Ryan graduated from Miami University in Oxford, many Republicans were convinced that Sen. Rob Portman had a better chance than Ryan to tip Ohio toward Romney.

“It was a bold choice and it will virtually guarantee that the issues of the role of the government and fiscal responsibility will be a top priority in the general election,’’ said David Walker, former comptroller of the United States and founder of Comeback America Initiative, a nonpartisan organization that champions lower deficits.

“It increases the likelihood that the debates will be more substantive and the American people will be provided with a real choice,’’ Walker said. “And whoever wins the election will be able to claim they have a mandate for action.’’

But even as many Republicans praised Ryan as smart and possessing an encyclopedic knowledge of the federal budget, they know that Obama and Democrats will hammer the GOP ticket on the type of Medicare changes that Ryan has championed as chairman of the House budget committee.

“Paul Ryan is a great guy,’’ said Barry Bennett, a Republican consultant in Washington with close ties to Portman. “My heart’s 100 percent with Paul Ryan.’’

“But my head says we need to talk about how people are hurting (economically), not how to end Medicare. I just hope it doesn’t turn into a debate on how much to cut entitlement programs. If it does, we’re going to lose.’’

Chris Redfern, chairman of the Ohio Democratic Party, said that by picking Ryan, Romney’s “chances have been irreparably harmed in Florida. The majority of Floridians understand the importance of Social Security and Medicare.’’

As he introduced Ryan to an enthusiastic rally in Virginia on Saturday, Romney praised Ryan as “an intellectual leader of the Republican Party. He understands the fiscal challenges facing America: our exploding deficits and crushing debt – and the fiscal catastrophe that awaits us if we don’t change course.”

Neither Romney nor Ryan has much international experience.

“Who would have thought that only a decade after 9/11, the Republicans would have so little foreign policy experience on the Presidential ticket?” asked University of Dayton political science lecturer Dan Birdsong. “This underscores a simple ‘truth’ about presidential elections: domestic policy trumps foreign policy.”

Ryan signaled an aggressive course when he said that Obama and many others in Washington “have refused to make difficult decisions because they are more worried about their next election than they are about the next generation. We might have been able to get away with that before, but not now. We’re in a different, and dangerous, moment. We’re running out of time — and we can’t afford four more years of this.’’

Yet Romney appears to understand the potential danger with Ryan’s Medicare plans. The Romney campaign has advised its surrogate speakers that are differences between Romney and Ryan on some of the major issues, including Medicare revisions and reforming entitlements.

Federal spending on Medicare, which pays for health coverage for seniors, is projected to nearly double from $560 billion this year to $1 trillion in 2022. By 2022, Washington will spend almost as much on the entitlement programs of Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid as it spends today for the entire federal budget.

Without restraining the growth of the entitlement programs, the only way the government can eventually balance the budget is through either large tax increases on all Americans or politically unpopular reductions in spending for national defense and domestic programs.

While the Ryan choice will thrill economic conservatives, particularly those who write for the editorial pages of the Wall Street Journal and the Weekly Standard, many analysts doubt whether he can broaden the appeal of the ticket to the handful of swing voters in a dozen states who will decide the election.

“It makes no sense whatsoever,’’ said one political strategist who spoke on condition of anonymity. “You don’t win elections with your base vote and this guy doesn’t get you anything beyond the base. What’s the No.1 rule? Don’t pick anybody who can hurt you? Do you think swing voters in Ohio are going to like this guy’s message?’’

Naturally, local Democrats and Republicans had different opinions on how Ryan would affect the local vote. Montgomery County Republican Party Chairman Rob Scott said having Ryan on the ticket will make his job easier because so many voters are looking for a real plan with specifics.

“There’s been a huge push for good fiscal management in our government, from Washington D.C. to Columbus to here locally,” Scott said. “And Congressman Ryan’s plan speaks directly to that.”

But county Democratic Chairman Mark Owens said he was looking forward to spelling out pieces of Ryan’s plan to voters, saying it would help the Obama campaign.

“Raising the tax burden on the middle class, cutting education through Head Start programs and Pell Grants that allow middle income families to go to college, all that’s going to have an effect on everybody in the Miami Valley,” Owens said.

Ryan, who was born, raised and still lives in Janesville, Wis., has an interesting parallel to the Miami Valley in the auto industry. General Motors closed its Janesville Assembly plant on Dec. 23, 2008, the same day as GM’s Moraine Assembly plant closed here. Janesville made trucks and SUVs, as did the Moraine plant.

Ryan voted in favor of the auto industry bailout, but later explained to The Daily Caller newspaper that he was told the industry was going to get government money no matter what, and he voted for what he thought was the better of two options.

Ohio Gov. John Kasich hailed the choice of Ryan, saying “he’s got a keen intellect and the kind of courage to think big on solutions that America needs from its leaders. That he’s a graduate of one of Ohio’s great universities – Miami University – doesn’t hurt either.’’

U.S. Rep. Mike Turner, R-Centerville, said that “the selection of Paul Ryan shows that we are serious about putting this country back on the path to prosperity. Unfortunately, the President has failed to offer a plan to put Ohioans back to work or to end the largest federal deficits since World War II. Governor Romney has a plan, and our country is in desperate need of leadership.”

Asked how Ryan was different from other possible Romney running mates, Turner said Ryan is “young, dynamic, intelligent, well-studied and very well-spoken.” He said the fact that Ryan has been overwhelmingly re-elected six times in an otherwise Democratic district is proof that he can appeal across party lines.

Romney will be back in Ohio on Tuesday as part of a four-state bus tour. He will stop in Chillicothe and eastern Ohio, but the campaign has not yet said whether Ryan will be with him.

Lease extensions sought for city land eyed for riverfront development

Published: Monday, May 22, 2017 @ 11:01 AM


            The city of West Carrollton plans to extend leases through the end of the year for two tenants at the Carrollton Plaza along I-75. The city plans to demolish buildings there next year and redevelop the site as part of a multi-million dollar entertainment district. TY GREENLEES / STAFF

West Carrollton is looking to extend leases with tenants of Carrollton Plaza, part of 13.75 acres the city recently acquired with plans to demolish buildings for redevelopment.

RELATED: Carrollon Plaza land seen as key for entertainment district

Lease extensions through Dec. 31 of this year for the Ohio Deputy Registrar License Agency and the Montgomery County Clerk of Courts Auto Title office are set to be addressed by West Carrollton City Council Tuesday night.

Those offices are among a handful of tenants at the Carrollton Plaza on East Dixie Drive at the southwest quadrant of Interstate 75’s Exit 47, a site seen as key to the city’s riverfront development for a multi-million dollar entertainment district.

RELATED: City hires consultant for $300 million riverfront plan

The city acquired Carrollton Plaza, the former site of Roberds, earlier this month.

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Dayton man to answer to murder charge in wife’s death

Published: Friday, May 19, 2017 @ 10:44 AM
Updated: Friday, May 19, 2017 @ 4:49 PM

Donald Lee Cleaver
Montgomery County Jail

DAYTON —  An 82-year-old man is facing a murder charge after police said he fatally stabbed his wife at their Delmar Avenue home.

  • Victim identified as Mary Lou Cleaver
  • Suspect identified as the victim’s husband, Donald Cleaver
  • Donald Cleaver is facing multiple charges, including murder while committing felonious assault and purposeful murder

UPDATE @ 10:49 a.m. (May 22)

Mary Lou Cleaver, 70, died of "multiple sharp force injures of the left posterior chest," and her death has been ruled a homicide, according to the Montgomery County Coroner’s Office.

Mary Lou’s husband, 82-year-old Donald Cleaver, is scheduled to be arraigned today on charges of felonious assault and murder.

UPDATE @ 4:47 p.m. (May 19)

Donald Cleaver is being formally charged by the Montgomery County Prosecutor’s Office in the slaying of his wife.

UPDATE @ 12:17 p.m. (May 19)

An 82-year-old Dayton man is in the Montgomery County jail charged with murder for allegedly stabbing his 70-year-old wife to death following an argument in their home on Delmar Ave.

Donald Cleaver was booked in to jail early Friday morning after he showed up at the police department to turn himself in for allegedly killing his wife, Mary Cleaver.

>>TRENDING NEWS: Mother jailed, accused of shooting her children in the head

It was a neighbor that called 911 to alert police to the crime.  “He says he just killed his wife,” the 911 caller said.  “He’s getting ready to head to the jail he says.”

According to Dayton homicide detectives, the investigation shows the Cleaver’s apparently argued last night and after Mary Cleaver went to bed, Donald Cleaver fatally stabbed her. 

The case will be presented to the Montgomery Count Prosecutor’s office for formal charges.

>>MORE NEWS HAPPENING IN YOUR NEIGHBORHOOD

According to a Dayton police report, officers responded to Cleaver’s home in the 200 block of North Delmar Avenue around 1 a.m. Friday.

The Montgomery County Coroner’s Office said Mary Cleaver, 70, was killed at the same address officers responded to.

“He did not say how he did it,” the 911 caller said.

A knife is listed in the police report as a possible weapon used.

Cleaver is not yet officially charged.

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Woman found dead in Kettering ID’d: What we’re trying to find out

Published: Monday, May 22, 2017 @ 9:57 AM

The body of a woman found in Kettering Sunday morning has been identified as Tiffany Lynn Argo, according to the Montgomery County Coroner’s Office.

Kettering Police are continuing their investigation after the body was found in the front yard of a home.

Police were dispatched to the house in the 3400 block of Valleywood Drive around 6:40 a.m., according to Kettering Officer John Jung.

MORE: Man indicted in bomb threat that evacuates Tenneco plant in Kettering

Here is what we’re trying to find out involving the death:

1) More about the victim

Little is known about the victim. Argo is 28 years old and her address was listed as Blakely Drive in Dayton, according to the coroner’s office. 

MORE: Crime lab director’s son, 2 others named as suspects after drug raids 

2) Circumstances surrounding death

Upon discovery of the body on Valleywood Drive, police were not able to immediately identify a cause of death. While autopsy reports can take up to eight weeks, a preliminary cause could be available before.

3) 9-1-1 call

We are currently awaiting 911 audio from Kettering police to find out when and the manner in which the body was discovered.

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Police: Mother shot kids to ‘save them from the evils of the world’

Published: Monday, May 22, 2017 @ 9:53 AM


            Claudena Helton faces charges related to last week’s shooting of her two children, who died Sunday night at Dayton Children’s Hospital.

The Dayton mother accused of shooting her children in the head said she did it to “save them from the evils of the world,” according to court documents.

Khmorra Helton, 8, and Kaiden Helton, 6, died Sunday at Dayton Children’s Hospital. Investigators from the Montgomery County Coroner’s Office will perform autopsies today.

PHOTOS: Police respond to shooting scene, neighbors react

Claudena Marie Helton, 30, was interviewed by Dayton police detectives Thursday at the Safety Building. According to the affidavit and statement of facts written by Dayton police Det. Rod Roberts, “Ms. Helton made admissions to shooting the children to save them from the evils of the world.”

The affidavit indicated Helton asked her oldest child, an 11-year-old, to assist her in removing the children from the home at 3821 Lori Sue Ave. The girl was taken from the home and interviewed.

RELATED: Dayton chief after 2 kids shot in head: ‘This is one of the toughest’

Helton is scheduled to be arraigned today in Dayton Municipal Court. The charges of attempted murder and felonious assault filed last week likely will be updated to reflect the children’s death.

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Khmorra’s father is listed as Lynntonio S. Watson, according to birth records.

Watson, 30, less than three years ago was convicted of murder and felonious assault in the shooting death of 19-year-old Martell Gray. In September 2013, he fired gunshots that killed Gray and injured two others near Dayton’s Whitney Young Estates.

Kaiden’s father is listed as Stephen J. Fletcher, the records show.

RELATED: Dayton mom who police say shot her children had volatile relationships

On May 23, 2010, Trotwood police arrested Fletcher for allegedly threatening Claudena Helton’s life, punching her in the face and choking her until she nearly fainted, according to a police report. Fletcher was charged with misdemeanor counts of aggravated menacing and domestic violence. He was found guilty of one of the counts and sentenced to 123 days in jail.

RELATED: 6 recent times children have been gunshot victims

Fatal shootings involving young child victims are rare.

In Montgomery County, one child under the age of 10 was killed by gun shots in both 2015 and 2016, according to preliminary data by Public Health – Dayton & Montgomery County.

Between 2014 and 2016, there have been 126 Montgomery County residents who died from gun shots and nine were under the age of 18, the data show.