Ohio State Fair ride accident: 5 things to know about The Fire Ball ride

Published: Thursday, July 27, 2017 @ 3:48 AM

The ride at the fair malfunctioned.

A man was killed and seven people were injured while riding The Fire Ball at the Ohio State Fair in Columbus on Wednesday

READ: Ohio State Fair ride accident: 1 dead, 7 hurt

WATCH: Past footage of Fire Ball operating

WATCH: Footage from Ohio State Fair accident

Here are five things to know about the ride: 

1.  The Ohio Department of Agriculture issued a permit  for The Fire Ball to Amusements of America, a carnival operator, on July 26, according to state documents obtained by this news organization.  

2.  The Fire Ball swing riders 40 feet about the fair midway — the area where  games, rides, entertainment and food booths are grouped — and spins them at 13 revolutions per minute, according to the company website. 

3.  The state’s chief ride inspector, Mike Vartorella, said he and his four-person crew signed off on the Fire Ball. Vartorella called The Fire Ball "a spectacular piece" of equipment on Wednesday. 

4.  The Fire Ball received a “satisfactory” rating on its daily inspection report on July 26. The inspection report includes a total of 25 points of inspection that must be reviewed daily including checking the attachment brackets on the seat; making sure the ride will not start with a seat fault light on; and checking operational controls, according to state documents obtained by this news organization.  .

RELATED:  Ohio State Fair ride accident: How common are festival ride accidents? 

5.  The Fire Ball debuted in 2002 and is one of Amusements of America’s most popular thrill rides, according to the company’s website. 

Bell ringer brings smiles, money to Red Kettle campaign

Published: Saturday, December 16, 2017 @ 12:00 PM

Springboro Salvation Army bell ringer

For anyone who has seen — or more likely, heard — Charles Moore, the boisterous Salvation Army Red Kettle bell ringer outside the Kroger on Ohio 73, this will come as a shock: He once was more Grinch than Santa Claus.

Before Moore moved to Middletown 15 years ago, he lived in Cleveland and was a constant criminal. He labeled himself “a thug” who was attracted to drugs, alcohol and petty theft.

MORE: ‘Message from heaven’ found hidden in Middletown after nearly 60 years

“I ain’t been the best guy my whole life,” the 62-year-old said as he puffed on a Kentucky’s Best cigarette outside Kroger. “It was always, ‘Charles, let’s go break into something. Charles, let’s get drunk. Let’s do this, let’s do that.’ I hung with the worst; never hung with the best.”

He caught his breath from the cold winter air, then added: “I was a follower. Now I’m a leader.”

For five years, Moore has been one of the most successful fundraisers during the local Salvation Army’s Red Kettle campaign. He works 40 hours a week — five, eight-hour shifts that pay him $8.50 an hour, and Moore earns every penny. In his baritone voice, he greets all Kroger customers with: “Ho. Ho. Ho. Merry Christmas.”

MORE McCRABB: Former homeless woman creates masterpieces from unlikely materials

If he sees a distracted customer walking across the parking lot, he encourages them: “Let me see that smile.”

After this scenario was repeated, a young girl, holding her mother’s hand as a car passed, flashed Moore a smile minus her two front teeth.

“I got a smile without asking,” he proclaimed. “I’m a natural.”

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Ernie Howard, a retired police officer who worked in Middletown, Monroe and Hamilton, serves as Kettle Coordinator for the Salvation Army, overseeing 14 red kettles in the region. Moore is the ideal bell ringer because he speaks to everyone and makes eye contact, Howard said.

“He has the charisma and personality to bring people in,” said Howard, who said Moore is consistently one the top five fundraisers. “He does a fantastic job.”

As Moore said: “Nobody can outdo me.”

Two years ago, Howard was making his rounds, checking on all the bell ringers. When he pulled into the Kroger lot, there was Moore dancing with a customer. The whole time people were filling the kettle with cash.

“It has been a blessing to watch him in action,” Howard said.

MORE: Volunteer of the Year’s joy spreads throughout Middletown

There are your typical Salvation Army bell ringers. Those who just go through the motions. Moore is more of an entertainer. He’s constantly in motion. The only thing louder than his bell, is his booming voice.

“All smiles and no frowns and have a very, very Merry Christmas,” he boasts. “Ho. Ho. Ho.”

A man stops and dumps his extra change in the kettle. Moore and the man, complete strangers, fist bump.

“If I’m not out here telling them to smile or have a Merry Christmas, I’m not doing anything,” Moore said. “That would be a boring job. If I can’t get nobody to smile, you might as well leave me alone. It’s fun to me, but I know people need it.”

On this night, it’s 25 degrees and the wind is whipping through the Kroger parking lot. Moore is wearing a winter coat, hat and gloves and his red Salvation Army vest. Every 90 minutes, he takes a 15-minute break. He slowly removes the kettle, carries it inside and leaves it at customer service.

He then heads back outside and has a cigarette or two while sitting on a wooden picnic table at the far end of the store. He doesn’t seen fazed by the weather.

“When I get home I’ll soak my feet in ice,” he said with a smile. “That will warm them up.”

Then, without warning, the conversation switches back to his Cleveland roots. Moore said he got caught up with the wrong crowd, and he paid the price.

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“I was tired of Cleveland or Cleveland was tired of me,” he said. “The judge told me he’d lock me up and throw away the key if I got into more trouble. He said, ‘You don’t need to be here. You need to leave.’ And I left.”

He ended up in Middletown and for five years, lived at Hope House, the city’s homeless shelter. He lives in a Middletown home and wants to ring the bell for at least five more years.

“I feel like I’m serving a purpose from God and myself. I’m doing God’s work,” he said. “But in the past, I wouldn’t do nobody’s work. If I don’t open my mouth and say, ‘Merry Christmas. Happy New Year,’ I go crazy. I can’t just sit here and ring that bell, and not say anything to people. I want people to come to me and enjoy what I do.”

Report: CDC given list of 'forbidden' words for budget

Published: Saturday, December 16, 2017 @ 12:47 PM

WATCH: CDC Given List of ‘Forbidden’ Words

The Trump administration has issued a list of seven words and phrases that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention are "forbidden" from using in documents related to next year's budget, The Washington Post reported Friday.

The list of banned words includes: vulnerable, entitlement, diversity, transgender, fetus, evidence-based and science-based, according to The Washington Post report. In certain cases, alternative phrasing was offered. CDC employees were encouraged to use the phrase, “the CDC bases its recommendations on science in consideration with community standards and wishes," in place of “science-based” or “evidence-based” according to a source cited in The Washington Post report.

 >> Read more trending news 

It is not clear why the Trump administration issued such a directive, but The Washington Post notes that other federal agencies, like Health and Human Services, have altered language addressing sexual orientation in its documentation since Trump took office.

The directive was met with an "incredulous" reaction when it was announced at a meeting Thursday with CDC employees, The Washington Post reported.

The White House has not released a response to The Washington Post report.


Panthers' Thomas Davis donates $15K for high school state championship rings

Published: Friday, December 15, 2017 @ 10:41 AM

Panther’s Thomas Davis Donates $15K to High School for State Championship Rings

Carolina Panthers defensive linebacker Thomas Davis has made a huge donation to help the Harding University High School football team get its players and coaches championship rings.

>> Read more trending news

Davis confirmed he donated $15,000 to the team in a tweet to WSOC-TV anchor John Paul.

The football team finished its 14-1 season with a 30-22 win over Scotland County in the North Carolina High School Athletic Association 4A State Championship game in Winston-Salem. It’s the first state championship for the team since 1953.

Head football coach Sam Greiner was on the radio Friday morning when Davis called in and said he would help. The football program was trying to figure out ways to purchase rings for its players who couldn't afford them.

The rings cost about $400 apiece, so the school was trying to raise about $20,000. A GoFundMe page was set up to help the team buy rings, which had raised nearly $7,000 by Friday morning.

When Greiner accepted the head coach position two years ago, the football program was one of the worst in the state -- winning just one game in both 2014 and 2015. The players didn't have uniforms until the coach’s church bought them. They still practice on a beat-up baseball field and have to dress behind the stands.

"If someone wrote a movie script about everything that's happened, they would think it's a fairy tale,” Greiner said. “They wouldn't think it's real life.”

WSOC-TV asked what expenses Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools cover and was told it provides for game officials, security and coaching stipends.

Everything else is up to the school, families or a booster club.

Harding doesn't have a booster club, and a majority of the students’ families don't have the money.

"We have kids on our rosters that don't really have homes,” Greiner said. “They really don't know what they're going to eat (from) day to day.”

Greiner and his church created a family before building a state championship-caliber team. The church provides meals before games and Greiner let his quarterback, Braheam Murphy, who was homeless, live with him.

"I have two daughters because I think the good Lord knew I had enough sons, coaching football," Greiner said.

Sandra Bernhard and Estelle Parsons to appear in 'Roseanne' reboot

Published: Friday, December 08, 2017 @ 7:02 PM

Roseanne Barr and Sandra Bernhard (Photo by Cindy Ord/Getty Images for the 2015 Tribeca Film Festival)
Cindy Ord/Getty Images for the 2015 Tribec
Roseanne Barr and Sandra Bernhard (Photo by Cindy Ord/Getty Images for the 2015 Tribeca Film Festival)(Cindy Ord/Getty Images for the 2015 Tribec)

Two fan-favorite characters from “Roseanne” have officially signed on for the upcoming reboot, and fans couldn’t be more thrilled.

>> Read more trending news

Nancy Bartlette (Sandra Bernhard) and Beverly Harris (Estelle Parsons) will be making a return to the fictional town of Lanford, Illinois, according to E! News.

Bernhard shared her excitement on Twitter for fans in a photo with Roseanne Barr and Laurie Metcalf.

“Look who I bumped into today! #Roseanne & #laurie it’s all happening kids!” she wrote.

Fans will remember Nancy as Roseanne and Jackie’s lesbian friend while Beverly was the sisters’ mother. The publication reports that Bernhard will appear in at least one episode of the upcoming ABC revival, and Parsons has signed on for two of the episodes.

The news comes just a week after “Big Bang Theory” star Johnny Galecki revealed he was also reprising his role as Darlene’s (Sara Gilbert) boyfriend, David. The status of their relationship is unknown at this time, but “Shameless” star Emma Rose Kinney has reportedly signed on to play their daughter.

John Goodman (Dan) will also make an appearance on the highly-anticipated reboot of the series, though it is unclear in what capacity. Fans will remember that his character died in the finale of the original series.

The reboot of “Roseanne” is set to air in the spring of 2018.