Ohio man’s lost class ring found nearly 40 years later

Published: Friday, February 17, 2017 @ 2:30 PM

UPDATE @ 3:57 p.m. (Feb. 22)

The ring has arrived in the mail and Rusy Clark, of Troy, is reunited with his class ring that he lost 37 years ago.


A class ring lost 37 years ago on a Navy submarine in Hawaii is being returned to its long-lost owner. 

Rusty Clark, of Troy, graduated from McClain High School in Greenfield, Ohio in 1979. 

From there he entered the Navy, and went to work on a submarine in Pearl Harbor, Hawaii.

"I was working on a submarine with oily hands and I heard a clunk,” Clark said. “I thought I just lost my ring; I’ll never see it again.”

Clark thought the ring would be pumped into the ocean, never to be seen again.

On Thursday, Clark’s daughter Kayla Otis got a Facebook message from a man in Corpus Christi, Texas that had found the ring among his late father’s belongings. 

“It surfaced all the sudden,” Clark said.

The ring is now in the mail back to Ohio.

The man who found the ring said his father worked for the Post Office in Hawaii at the time and would often take a metal detector to beach in his free time. 

“It shows never give up on nothing,” Clark said.

WHIO Reports: School levies

Published: Thursday, April 27, 2017 @ 6:24 PM

This edition of WHIO Reports focuses on Beavercreek, Xenia and MVCTC school levies appearing on the upcoming primary ballot.

VOTER GUIDE: Find out what you will be voting for in your county this May

The superintendents from each district discussed their proposed levies and the needs/importance for voters. Discussion also covered thoughts on the regional economy and the impact.  

Guests include Paul Otten, Superintendent, Beavercreek; Denny Morrison, Superintendent, Xenia; Nick Weldy, Superintendent, MVCTC;  and Jeremy Kelley, Reporter, DDN.

WHIO Reports airs at 11:30 a.m. on Sunday, April 30.

Police: Cemetery plant thief is flower shop owner

Published: Friday, April 28, 2017 @ 6:45 PM


A police surveillance operation to determine who was stealing flowers and plants from a New Jersey cemetery came to a startling conclusion: The suspect is a flower shop owner.

Theft complaints at First Reformed Church Cemetery prompted police to use surveillance cameras to monitor for criminal activity. Lynda S. Wingate, 59, was captured Monday night on surveillance video stealing plants from a grave, police said.

>> Read more trending news

Wingate is a former police dispatcher and current owner of a flower shop. It was unclear why Wingate was stealing the cemetery floral displays, as it does not appear she was reselling them, police said.

Wingate was charged with theft of movable property, according to the Pequannock Township Police Department news release.

Pentagon: Kettering soldier may have been killed by friendly fire

Published: Thursday, April 27, 2017 @ 9:33 PM

UPDATE @ 1:40 p.m. 

The father of a Kettering soldier killed in Afghanistan said his son knew the risks of war but was driven to become an Army Ranger.


“We had talks about the possibility of losing his life and he always said that he’d rather die defending his country and defending his family then dying in a car accident or cancer,” said Andre L. Thomas, 58, Rixeyville, Va.


The Pentagon has raised the possibility Army Ranger Sgt. Cameron H. Thomas and another soldier died in a friendly fire incident during the raid. Andre Thomas, an Air Force veteran once stationed at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, said he bore no animosity however his son died in combat in a raid against ISIS.


“He knew what he was facing and there was confusion,” he said. “This happens. As far as us, we have no animosity or anything against anyone. If it happened, it happened and war is awful. I hate it and I wish we didn’t have it.”

UPDATE @ 12:45 p.m. (April 28)

According to the Pentagon, the two Army Rangers killed in Afghanistan, one of which was a Kettering graduate, may have died as a result of friendly fire.

An investigation is currently underway to to determine if they were killed by Afghan commandos or other American forces.  

»RELATED: Friendly fire may have killed 2 Army Rangers in Afghanistan

UPDATE @ 12:15 p.m. (April 28)

The Army Special Forces released additional information regarding Sgt. Cameron H. Thomas of Kettering, who was killed this week in Afghanistan. 

Thomas was an Anti-Armor Specialist assigned to Company D, 3rd Battalion, 75th Ranger Regiment at Fort Benning, Ga. He was on his third deployment to Afghanistan. 

Thomas was born in Colorado but his hometown was Kettering, Ohio where he enlisted in the army in February 2012. 

His awards and decorations include the Ranger Tab, the Expert Infantryman’s Badge and the Parachutist Badge. 

Thomas has also been awarded the Joint Service Achievement Medal, the Army Achievement Medal, Joint Meritorious Unit Award, Army Good Conduct Medal, National Defense Service Medal, Afghanistan Campaign Medal with Campaign Star, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, Non-Commissioned Professional Development Ribbon, Army Service Ribbon, and the NATO Medal. 

UPDATE @ 11:04 a.m. (April 28)

The Department of Defense confirms the death of Sgt. Cameron H. Thomas, 23, of Kettering, in Afghanistan this week.

Also killed was Sgt. Joshua P. Rodgers, 22, of Bloomington, Illinois. 

The Dept. of Defense announced today the death of two soldiers who were supporting Operation Freedom’s Sentinel. They died April 27 in Nangarhar Province, Afghanistan, as a result of small arms fire while engaged in dismounted operations, according to a release.

Both soldiers were assigned to 3rd Battalion, 75th Ranger Regiment, Fort Benning, Ga. The incident is under investigation. 


One of two soldiers killed in Afghanistan this week is believed to be a 2012 Kettering Fairmont High School graduate.

Several social media posts expressed condolences and sadness about the death of Cameron Thomas, a U.S. Army Ranger. 

A Facebook message read: “Rest in Peace Cameron Thomas. You are a hero and will truly be missed.” 

A tweet read: “RIP Cameron Thomas an Army Ranger from Kettering that was KIA in Afghanistan last night. Thank you for everything you have done for us.”

»RELATED: 2 U.S. troops killed, 1 injured in Afghanistan

Kettering City Schools spokeswoman Kari Basson confirmed Thomas was a Fairmont grad and said tonight that district administrators were just finding out about his death.

Department of Defense officials indicated they will release the names and hometowns of the soldiers sometime Friday.

Fairmont Principal Tyler Alexander said he has not received official notification, but students have been talking about Thomas and staff have asked him about the alum.

“I have had nothing official come to me from the family,” Alexander said. “I would offer my condolences to the family.”

While in high school, Thomas was an athlete, notably a swimmer.

“It’s sad,” the principal said. “But we respect what he chose to do to fight for our country, to provide us with an opportunity to have what we have.”

The Military Times is reporting that according to U.S. military officials, the soldiers were killed and a third was wounded while battling Islamic State loyalists in eastern Afghanistan. 

This brings to three the number of Americans killed in action in Afghanistan this year, according to the Military Times.

The soldiers were taking part in a lengthy raid supported by airstrikes from U.S. warplanes and targeting the Islamic State group in Nangarhar province, Capt. Jeff Davis, a Pentagon spokesman, told the Associated Press.

A number of Islamic State fighters have been engaging in a long-running battle with Afghanistan security forces in the Achin district.

(Dayton Daily News reporters Lynn Hulsey and Barrie Barber and News Center 7 reporter Kate Bartley contributed to this report written by Breaking News Staff Writer Jen Balduf)

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Dayton man 5th Ohioan charged for involvement with ISIS

Published: Friday, April 28, 2017 @ 7:00 PM

            Southwest Ohio residents Laith Alebbini, Christopher Lee Cornell and Munir Abdulkader were each arrested on terrorism-related charges. STAFF ILLUSTRATION / CONTRIBUTED

The Dayton man arrested Wednesday on charges accusing him of planning to join ISIS was the fifth Ohioan and 122nd person charged in the U.S. with similar offenses, according to data collected by a Washington D.C.-based group studying homegrown terrorism.

However, Laith Waleed Alebbini, 26, of Dayton, bucked recent trends when he tried to board an airplane at Cincinnati/Kentucky International Airport.

FIRST REPORT: Dayton man accused of trying to join ISIS in Syria

“We haven’t seen that many attempted travelers recently,” said Seamus Hughes, deputy director of the Program on Extremism at George Washington University.

“Your guy’s a bit of a novelty,” Hughes said Friday after returning to the U.S. from a conference in Austria. “I think he missed his window if he wanted to travel.”

Hughes said ISIS had been urging recruits to focus on local actions, rather than trying to travel to Syria or Jordan.

RELATED: UD professor says we should feel lucky after terror arrest

“2015 was kind of the banner year for ISIS in America,” Hughes said, noting 61 people were arrested that year, compared to 10 so far this year.

“It’s a double-edged sword,” said Hughes, a recognized expert on homegrown violent extremism and countering violent extremism.

While unable to travel abroad to get training, the aspiring terrorists sometimes “turn inward” if forced to remain in the U.S.

“It causes a level of frustration,” said Hughes, who previously worked at the National Counterterrorism Center helping the U.S. government counter violent terrorism.

So far, 72 of those arrested have pleaded or been found guilty.

RELATED: Who is the Dayton man linked to ISIS?

Alebbini remained in jail on Friday, scheduled for a detention hearing on May 2 in U.S. District Court. His first preliminary hearing is set for May 11.

Most of the other 50 charged with involvement with the Islamic State, also known as ISIS, or IS and ISIL, are also awaiting trial, according to data gathered by the Program on Extremism at at George Washington University.

Some wanted for their crimes live overseas and “are charged in absentia,” Hughes added.

The five arrests in Ohio don’t include two notable incidents. Abdul Razak Ali Artan was fatally shot during an attack last November with a car and a knife at a parking garage at The Ohio State University. Mohammed Barry was fatally shot after attacking customers and police at a Columbus restaurant in February.

Of those charged, 44 percent were accused of attempting to travel or successfully traveled abroad, while 29 percent were accused of being involved in plots to carry out attacks on U.S. soil.

RELATED: 3 times southwest Ohio men were linked to terror plots

Alebbini is among 59 percent arrested from evidence gathered in part through a confidential informant or undercover agent.

Hughes said this technique provides the FBI “a window in” and enables them to gather evidence on the suspect, assess the seriousness and immediacy of the threat and determine the extent of his network (89 percent are male).

“Some FBI agents describe it as a controlled explosion,” Hughes said.

While noting the data represents a small number of people, Hughes said, “It is concerning nonetheless.”

SOCIAL MEDIA:Follow Lawrence Budd on Twitter

On Thursday, Abdul Shahid, president of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community Dayton, said he hoped to use the local case to increase public awareness of Muslim teachings.

“It is very frustrating, but looking at it from a global point of view, this gives me an opportunity to explain about Islam, and it’s beautiful teachings, and it creates a need for people to hear about this,” he said at the Fazl-i-Umar Mosque in Dayton. “This is not the best way to go about it, but unfortunately this is the need of the time.”

While ISIS resorts to violent means, Shahid said devout Muslims are peaceful, law-abiding people.

“That is what Islam gives us, an opportunity to live it in our lives, to be able to be successful, not only be successful, but be productive citizens of humanity, productive citizens of our country and be helpful, not hurtful as ISIS has been presenting.”

WHIO-TV Reporter Natalie Jovonovich contributed to this report.