Ohio State to decide on white supremacist’s speaking request this week

Published: Wednesday, October 18, 2017 @ 8:21 AM
Updated: Wednesday, October 18, 2017 @ 8:25 AM

            FILE - In this Nov. 18, 2016, file photo, Richard Spencer attends a white nationalist and Alt-right conference in Washington. (Linda Davidson/The Washington Post via AP)
FILE - In this Nov. 18, 2016, file photo, Richard Spencer attends a white nationalist and Alt-right conference in Washington. (Linda Davidson/The Washington Post via AP)

Ohio State University is set to make a final decision this week on whether it will allow a prominent white supremacist to speak on campus.

In September, Richard Spencer, president of the white supremacist think tank the National Policy Institute, was denied space to speak on campus this fall, the university said. But, after an attorney for Spencer threatened to file a lawsuit, Ohio State officials said they would consider alternatives for the request.

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OSU senior vice president and general counsel Christopher Culley sent a letter to Spencer’s attorney notifying him of ongoing deliberations at the university. Kyle Bristow, an attorney who describes himself as a member of the “alt-right,” has threatened to file lawsuits against Ohio State if the university did not allow Spencer space to speak.

“The university has reviewed this request and has determined that this request cannot be accommodated without substantial risk to public safety,” OSU’s Culley wrote in an Oct. 13 letter to Bristow. “However, the university is currently considering other alternatives.”

In the letter, Culley told Bristow that Ohio State officials would be in touch by the end of this week on a final decision. Besides releasing the letter, an Ohio State spokesman said officials have declined to comment further at this time.

RELATED: White nationalist threatens to sue Ohio State, UC if they don’t let him speak

A representative for Spencer had originally requested rental space for the white supremacist to speak at Ohio State between Oct. 12 and Oct. 26. Ohio State cited safety concerns in its original denial of the request, issued last month.

Bristow had also threatened to file a lawsuit against the University of Cincinnati but on Friday, UC president Neville Pinto sent out a campus-wide email stating that Spencer would be allowed to visit.

“As a state institution, we must adhere to the foundational rights embedded in the First Amendment. That includes protecting speech of all types at all times—even, perhaps especially, words that are blatantly hateful or offensive,” Pinto wrote. “After all, we cannot silence those with whom we disagree without opening the doors to our own voices being silenced by those who disagree with us.”

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Spencer is also known as having been one of the organizers of August’s “Unite the Right” rally in Charlottesville that descended into violence.

He has been denied requests for space to speak at Penn State University, the University of Florida and at Michigan State University. After Michigan State denied Spencer’s speaking request, his event organizer filed a lawsuit against the school in United States District Court


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Officer injured in Riverside responding to report of man choking woman

Published: Thursday, November 23, 2017 @ 1:57 PM
Updated: Thursday, November 23, 2017 @ 2:07 PM

A police officer was injured at the scene of a domestic violence call in Riverside. Officers from Huber Heights also responded to help. CONTRIBUTED PHOTO/Joey Eckels
A police officer was injured at the scene of a domestic violence call in Riverside. Officers from Huber Heights also responded to help. CONTRIBUTED PHOTO/Joey Eckels

UPDATE @ 2:07 p.m.

An officer was injured while responding to a domestic dispute. 

An officer and male suspect were wrestling when the officer reportedly fell backward and struck his head, according to an officer at the scene. The officer is being treated at an area hospital and is expected to be fine. 

Officers surround a fellow officer who was hurt at the scene of a domestic violence call in Riverside. CONTRIBUTED PHOTO/Joey Eckels

A male was taken into custody by police.


An officer in Riverside has reportedly been injured on Waneta Avenue.

A report came in around 1:16 p.m. Thursday of a domestic dispute with a man assaulting a woman. 

Around 1:30 p.m., Riverside officers told emergency dispatchers they "were fighting one,” on Waneta Avenue. 

Seconds later, the dispatcher asked for extra officers to go to the scene because an officer was injured. 

Multiple cruisers were going to head to the emergency room, according to dispatch traffic. 

We have a crew headed to the scene and will update this site as new information becomes available.

Reunions, friendships, gratitude highlight 49th annual Feast of Giving

Published: Thursday, November 23, 2017 @ 2:09 PM

Feast of Giving held in Dayton

Every year for the past several, Marquita R. Robinson sits at a table at the Feast of Giving inside a massive room at the Dayton Convention Center to have Thanksgiving dinner with several thousand of her neighbors.

It’s also a homecoming of sorts.

“This is the place where a lot of my friends (meet) to see each other and we haven’t seen each other throughout the whole year,” the 32-year-old Dayton resident said before standing up and shouting and waving at a friend.

More than 8,000 people were expected to stream through the convention center’s doors Thursday. Marking it’s 49th year, the Thanksgiving Day tradition draws people of all ages and backgrounds who come together one day as a community, many interacting with strangers they have never met.

Richard C. Jones, 50, of Dayton, stopped in for his first trip to Feast of Giving since moving to the Gem City from Atlanta.

“I didn’t have any plans and I’m relatively new to Dayton,” he said.

Last year, he said he spent Thanksgiving alone. That changed this time once he found out about the dinner.

“I’m hoping to meet some of my Dayton neighbors,” he said as a band played on a stage near his table. “I’m not really an outgoing person. This is like something brand new and hopefully becomes a tradition.”

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The gathering had 500 volunteers — and turned away another 700 — to prepare and serve free meals to throngs of attendees, said Stephen Levitt, one of the event’s organizers.

“There’s always a few hang-ups, but we make it work,” he said.

Stephanie Richardson, 53, of Dayton, and Amy Schmitt, 59, of Beavercreek, set out place mats and prepared decorations in a room set aside for children.

The Thanksgiving spirit of giving “just spoke to me,” said Richardson, volunteering for the first time at the dinner since she recently moved to Dayton from the Virgin Islands.

Schmitt, a self-described “people person” and a public health nurse, wanted to work with children.

“It’s fun,” she said. And it gave her a sense of appreciation. “You come in here and serve today and you walk out with no complaints.”

Carol and Roger Ober of Beavercreek, volunteered for the first time, working as security monitors.

Carol Ober, a 71-year-old retired school teacher, said they wanted “to be part of something bigger than yourself and this is definitely big.”

The community dinner is so big it takes days to cook food for thousands.

Thursday started with a very basic ingredient that was the hardest to manage: Boiling water, said Sous-Chief Andrew Payne.

“Probably close to 1,000 gallons of water we had to get to a boil to be able to make the stuffing, to make the gravy, to make the mashed potatoes,” he said. “It’s constant. We started boiling water at two o’clock this morning.”

Payne also was one of about a dozen who spent seven to 10 hours Monday slicing 3,000 pounds of turkey.

The shopping list this year included 2,600 pounds of mashed potatoes, 2,000 pounds each of green beans and breaded stuffing, and 100 gallons of gravy. For dessert, the feast rolled out 900 pies of all sorts and 8,000 servings of ice cream.

Vanilla is the most popular flavor, said Joe Hartenstein, 62, of Trotwood. The long-time event volunteer and retired school truant officer also hands out chocolate and sherbet ice cream.

RELATED: Thousands enjoy friends, good food at Feast of Giving

For Robinson, a restaurant cashier, the mashed potatoes are the best on a filled Thanksgiving plate.

“I always get double mash every time I come down here,” she said. “Because it’s all silky. You add some butter to them and they’re awesome.”

Organizers stepped in nearly a decade ago when the Beerman Foundation, which had sponsored the event since 1969, announced plans to end the Thanksgiving tradition in Dayton.

The event costs about $180,000, half of which represent purveyors who donate food and equipment and the rest represents monetary donations, Levitt said.

Some political ‘thanks’ on Thanksgiving

Published: Thursday, November 23, 2017 @ 2:50 PM

On every Thanksgiving, it’s always nice to take some time and think about what you and your family are thankful for in 2017 – but at the same time, we may as well try to figure how Turkey Day is playing in political circles as well.

In terms of political news, reporters on Capitol Hill and Washington, D.C. are currently going through an almost never-ending avalanche of stories, erupting daily (or even hourly) in what seems to be a high rate of speed in this new social media atmosphere.

Let’s take a look at a few things on this Thanksgiving 2017:

1. Roy Moore – Roy Moore might be thankful for a lot right now, mainly a number of men in high profile positions in the Congress and the news media who have been ensnared in the recent swarm of news about sex. The latest person to hit the news – and take the focus off of Moore – is Rep. Joe Barton (R-TX), who had a nude photo of himself leaked on to social media by a woman he was once in a relationship with, which some say might be ‘revenge porn.’ No matter what the details might be of how this occurred, the Barton story is a reminder of the perfect piece of advice that my father gave as he dropped me off at the U.S. Capitol on my first day of work in 1980, when he told me that ‘They call it the House of Representatives for a reason” – members of Congress are no different from our neighbors and friends. Some are good. Some are bad. Some make bad choices along the way. Roy Moore is thankful for Al Franken, John Conyers, Joe Barton, Charlie Rose, and many others. Their stories keep Moore out of the headlines.

2. President Donald Trump. – Mr. Trump may be most thankful for political opponents like Hillary Clinton, who continues to be a Trump punching bag on Twitter. While many Inside the Beltway cringe at “Crooked Hillary” tweets, those missives continue to delight the President’s legions of fans, as it helps to keep the 2016 Democratic Presidential nominee in the news. (While Mr. Trump is probably also thankful for sports figures like Lavar Ball, Steph Curry, Richard Sherman, and others, I’ll stick to the political arena.) Over the last year, this President has proven himself to be very adept at verbally smacking people on Twitter – whether you think it’s right or wrong for Mr. Trump to be doing that isn’t the point. The longer that President Trump can keep Hillary Clinton in the news, the better for him, and maybe the better for the Republican Party. Donald Trump is thankful that Hillary Clinton is still around.

3. Tax lawyers and accountants. – Yes, Republicans say their tax reform plan will make the tax code simpler to deal with, and for some individuals, it would be easier to file your taxes under the plans envisioned in the House and Senate. But before you think that it’s going to change everything, a simple review of Congressional tax plans shows there will be plenty of work for people who need to explain the intricacies of the tax code, like tax lawyers and accountants. You don’t have to go very far into the GOP bills to feel confused about what’s being changed. Tax lawyers and accountants are thankful for the GOP tax reform bill. There will still be plenty of business for them, even if that bill becomes law.

4. Federal workers. All the talk for years from Republicans has been about making deep cuts in the budget of various federal agencies. On the campaign trail, President Trump promised much the same. But this first year of a combination of a GOP House & Senate, and the Trump Administration, produced almost nothing in terms of spending cuts and budget savings. Last week, the White House proposed $44 billion in (generic) budget savings to offset disaster aid for recent hurricanes – except it would come between 2025 and 2027, when Mr. Trump would be long gone from the White House. So, as they enjoy a big turkey dinner, federal workers can say ‘thanks’ that the Republican Congress and the President, as they really haven’t been able to wield a budget axe on the Executive Branch. Mr. Trump said before Thanksgiving that he would push for budget cuts in the next year. On Thanksgiving, President Trump visited a Coast Guard facility in Florida. Back in April, Mr. Trump wanted to cut over a billion from the Coast Guard budget. That didn’t make it through the Congress.

5. Politics at Thanksgiving. A year ago, the recent election of Donald Trump was a prime topic for many families, as a lot of Democratic voters were struggling to come to terms with President Trump’s election. Fast forward to Thanksgiving 2017, and it’s possible that a lot of those same people are still somewhat aggravated about the way things have gone in political circles after Mr. Trump’s first 10 months in office. And that leads me to believe that some of you will have a few things to say at the dinner table about President Trump, good and bad. Some will be saying “thanks” for the President – others, not so much. But it isn’t hard to argue over whether you should talk about politics at the table, eh?

Texas officer arrested, accused of stealing $830 in groceries from Walmart

Published: Thursday, November 23, 2017 @ 2:41 PM

SECAUCUS, NJ - NOVEMBER 20:  Shoppers enter the Wal-Mart store November 20, 2007 in Secaucus, New Jersey. 
Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images
SECAUCUS, NJ - NOVEMBER 20: Shoppers enter the Wal-Mart store November 20, 2007 in Secaucus, New Jersey. (Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images)

A police officer in Texas has been arrested, accused of stealing over $800 in groceries from a Walmart, law enforcement officials said.

Christopher Hankins, 30, is a Dallas Police Department officer, WFAA reported. He was arrested at a Denton County Walmart Wednesday, accused of leaving the store with $830 in groceries and not paying for them.

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The store's manager told police that Hankins was wearing his police department jacket, and spent almost three hours in the store, acting suspiciously. Arresting officers reported smelling alcohol on Hankins' breath.

Hankins has been with the Dallas Police Department since 2014, WFAA reported. He has been placed on administrative leave pending and investigation.