breaking news

Purple Heart organization to install military monument in Hamilton

Published: Wednesday, October 18, 2017 @ 8:00 AM

            The Military Order of the Purple Heart plans to install a monument similar to this one in Hamilton’s Veterans Park. CONTRIBUTED
The Military Order of the Purple Heart plans to install a monument similar to this one in Hamilton’s Veterans Park. CONTRIBUTED

Veterans Park in Hamilton soon will have a new monument, this one from the Military Order of the Purple Heart.

Hamilton has been designated a Purple Heart city, which requires that a place be pro-veteran and patriotic.

The organization’s membership includes about 45,000 combat-wounded veterans from all service branches. Eventually the marker — featuring red granite in a tear-drop shape and a Purple Heart symbol — will be dedicated, said Tony Kohl of Colerain Twp., a Vietnam-era veteran and the organization’s national finance officer.

MORE: Army soldier, Middletown native remembered for overcoming obstacles

“Our work consists of helping all veterans, from all eras, and their families,” he said. “What we specialize in is service officers. They are pretty much at every large VA (hospital) in the country.”

“We’re very grateful to the cities who take care of these kids who come home, and older vets too,” Kohl said.

Mayor Pat Moeller was pleased to learn Hamilton was among Ohio’s earliest Purple Heart cities.

“This community does respect its veterans,” Moeller said. “Whether it be the special days where we recognize them, like Veterans Day or July 4. We try to think of our veterans every day.”

MORE: More money budgeted to help Butler County veterans

The group’s trained service officers help all veterans for free. The organization raises money to pay their salaries and provide the supplies they need to help any veteran that walks through the door and needs help with any of a variety of issues, including hospitalization, compensation, education, spousal benefits and housing, he said.

“It makes it much easier for the vets,” said Kohl, who noted he works a lot with Gold Star parents.

“We’re kind-of a well-kept secret for some reason, he said. “We’re chartered by Congress.”

To receive the group’s help, someone must be an honorably discharged veteran, whether wounded or not. More information about the Military Order of the Purple Heart can be found online at or at any VA hospital.

Trending - Most Read Stories

Clipper-type system could bring snow to area this weekend

Published: Wednesday, March 21, 2018 @ 10:08 PM

Another storm system will threaten the Miami Valley with more snow as we head into the first weekend of Spring. It is too early to know the exact impact, or how much snow will fall, but our Storm Center 7 meteorologists say there is a chance for accumulation late Friday night into Saturday.

Those ready for spring weather likely won’t like this forecast.

A clipper-type system looks to spread snow into the region this weekend, Storm Center 7 Chief Meteorologist Eric Elwell said.

The storm system looks to arrive late Friday night or into Saturday morning. The current forecast track would bring snow across much of the Miami Valley during the day Saturday.

“Snow accumulation, perhaps heavy, would be likely along and north of the Ohio River should the current forecast track hold,” Elwell said, “but a lot can still change.”

If the system adjusts north, then the threat will be for more of a mix or perhaps even more rain than snow, Elwell said.

However, the system could escape to the south with little to no local affect.

“We’ll know a lot more on the potential threat of this system by late Thursday. Stay tuned!” Elwell said.

Trending - Most Read Stories

20 bullets fired: Police kill unarmed black man holding cellphone in own backyard

Published: Wednesday, March 21, 2018 @ 3:56 PM

Unarmed Black Man Killed In Own Backyard By Police While Holding Cellphone

Family, friends and the Sacramento community are demanding answers in the death of an unarmed black man killed by police in his own backyard Sunday night, holding nothing but a cellphone in his hand.

Sacramento Police Chief Daniel Hahn told Fox40 that officers fired on Stephon Alonzo “Zoe” Clark a total of 20 times. Clark, 23, died at the scene, leaving behind two young sons. 

Hahn was on hand Tuesday night at a City Council meeting, where several residents of the community protested the officer-involved shooting. 

“To hell with Sac PD,” resident Rebecca Person said, according to the news station. “I’m sick of them always murdering black youth.”

“What is the police’s job to do? To shoot people that are unarmed in their own backyard?” another resident, Robert Copeland, asked. 

Fox40 reported that the Sacramento Police Department is under fire for its morphing story of what Clark was carrying. 

“They put one story out that he may have been armed. They put out another that he had a toolbar, whatever that is,” Tanya Faison, a member of the Sacramento chapter of Black Lives Matter, told the news station. “Then they put out that he had a wrench and then they put out that he just had a cellphone. 

“They need to get it together.”

The two officers involved in the shooting are being criticized for waiting five minutes, until additional officers came to the scene, to handcuff Clark and begin rendering first aid.

Department officials are also facing criticism for not promptly informing Clark’s family, including the grandparents and siblings he lived with, that he was the one gunned down in their yard. 

Fox40 reported that Clark’s family called 911 for help after hearing gunshots right outside their window. 

Sequita Thompson, Clark’s grandmother, told the Sacramento Bee that she was sitting in her dining room when she heard the shots.

“The only thing that I heard was, ‘pow, pow, pow, pow,’ and I got to the ground,” Thompson told the newspaper

Thompson described crawling to where her 7-year-old granddaughter slept on a couch in an adjacent den, where she got the girl onto the floor. She then made her way to her husband, who uses a wheelchair, and he dialed 911. 

Thompson said neither she nor her husband heard officers issue any commands prior to firing the fatal gunshots. 

The grieving grandmother told the Bee that investigators interviewed her for hours about what she heard, but never told her it was her grandson who had been killed. She finally looked out a window and saw his body.

“I opened that curtain and he was dead. I started screaming,” Thompson said

Sequita Thompson points to the white area on her family's patio where she said her grandson, 23-year-old Stephon Clark, lay dead after being shot Sunday, March 18, 2018, by police in Sacramento, Calif. Relatives, activists and Sacramento officials are questioning why officers shot at an unarmed black man 20 times, killing him, when he turned out to be holding only a cellphone in his own backyard.((Renee C. Byer/The Sacramento Bee via AP))

Hahn said he and his investigators initially had no idea Clark was related to the homeowners. 

“We found out they were related because the family told us so,” the chief told Fox40.

Hahn said in a news release Monday that officers were called to the family’s neighborhood around 9:15 p.m. Sunday on a report of a man breaking several car windows. The suspect was described as a thin man, just over 6 feet in height and wearing a black hoodie and dark pants. The caller said the man was hiding in a backyard.

Dispatchers sent officers to the scene, where the Sacramento County Sheriff’s Department also had a helicopter searching for the suspect from the air, the news release said. About 12 minutes after the 911 call was made, the crew in the helicopter told officers on the ground they saw the alleged suspect in a backyard, where he picked up what looked like a toolbar and broke the sliding glass door of the home before running south toward the front of the house. 

That house was next door to the Thompsons’ home.

The officers on the ground, directed to his location by the helicopter crew, confronted Clark as he came up along the side of his grandparents’ home, the news release said. When they ordered him to show his hands, he fled to the backyard, officials said. 

“Officers pursued the suspect and located him in the backyard of the residence,” the news release said. “The suspect turned and advanced towards the officers while holding an object which was extended in front of him.”

Believing the object was a gun, the officers opened fire, the news release said. Clark was struck multiple times, though the exact number of gunshot wounds was not immediately known.

A follow-up news release issued later Monday stated that no weapon was found near Clark’s body.

“After an exhaustive search, scene investigators did not locate any firearms,” the news release stated. “The only item found near the suspect was a cellphone.”

Homicide investigators and crime scene technicians said they found three vehicles with damage they believe Clark caused, as well as the shattered sliding glass door that the helicopter crew said they witnessed him break, the news release said

The only items investigators found that could have been the toolbar described by the helicopter crew included a cinder block and a piece of aluminum that may have come from a gutter. Both were found near the broken sliding glass door, the Bee reported

Both officers involved in the shooting have been placed on administrative leave, the newspaper said. One of the officers has eight years of law enforcement experience, half of it with the Sacramento department. 

The other officer has six years total experience, two of those in Sacramento. 

Sacramento city policy requires any body-camera footage of an officer-involved shooting to be made public within 30 days, the Bee reported

Hahn said he plans to release the officers’ body camera footage, as well as footage from a camera aboard the helicopter, after it has been shared with Clark’s family, Fox40 reported. He anticipated having the footage released by week’s end. 

The Sacramento County District Attorney’s Office, the city attorney’s office and the city’s Office of Public Safety Accountability are investigating the shooting, as is the department’s homicide and internal affairs units. 

The Bee reported that Clark was at least the 17th person to die in confrontations with law enforcement in Sacramento County in the past two years. Besides the young father, three others were unarmed. 

Trending - Most Read Stories

TIMELAPSE: How much snow did you get?

Published: Wednesday, March 21, 2018 @ 4:49 AM
Updated: Wednesday, March 21, 2018 @ 7:00 PM

Hyper-lapse: Morning drive from Miami to Montgomery county

The morning commute was snow-filled across the region with snowfall between 2 and 7 inches across the region. There were dozens of slide-offs but no life-threatening injury accidents.

>>Live Doppler 7 Radar

Check out the timelapse of our Breaking News Team Storm Tracker vehicle’s trek to work this morning from Englewood to Dayton.

>>Stay apprised of approaching storms with free WHIO Weather App

Shoveling up to 7 inches of snow in Sidney


>>Share your snow day pictures with us

Here are the latest snow totals received by this news organization from NWS trained spotters:


Oxford:  4 inches

Fairfield: 1.9 inches

Hamilton: 2 inches


St. Paris: 5 inches


Bethel: 2 inches

Enon: 2.2 inches

Springfield: 1.2 inches


Arcanum: 3.5 inches

Greenville: 5 inches

Bradford: 3.4 inches


Clifton: 2.8 inches

Bellbrook: 2.5 inches

Fairborn: 2.5 inches


Bellefontaine: 3.3 inches


Celina: 3 inches


Troy: 5.5 inches

Piqua: 1.5 inches


Brookville: 3.8 inches

Centerville: 2.5 inches

Dayton International Airport: 1.7 inches

Kettering: 2.2 inches

Miamisburg: 2.5 inches


West Alexandria: 4.5 inches


Sidney: 7 inches

Botkins: 3.3 inches


Lebanon: 2 inches

Maineville: 2.9 inches


Richmond: 2 inches


>> How the winter storm will continue to affect travel plans

>> Crashes reported as snow, wind cause slick roads, poor visibility 

Trending - Most Read Stories

7 things to know about 'Sex in the City' star Cynthia Nixon, candidate for NY gov.

Published: Wednesday, March 21, 2018 @ 10:02 PM

Getting To Know Cynthia Nixon

Former “Sex and the City” star Cynthia Nixon announced her run for New York Governor Monday after flirting with the idea for several months.

>> Read more trending news 

"I love New York, and today I'm announcing my candidacy for governor," she revealed on Twitter.

According to her campaign press release, Nixon will be spending the coming weeks traveling across the state to hear from voters.

She will challenge 60-year-old Gov. Andrew Cuomo, a two-term incumbent, in New York’s Democratic primary in September.

She was born and bred in New York.

Nixon, 51, was born on April 9, 1966 and raised in the Upper West Side with her mother. In her campaign video, Nixon said she grew up “in a one-bedroom fifth floor walk-up.”

She later attended Hunter College High School and Barnard College before breaking out into her Broadway career primarily to save money to support herself through college, she told the New York Times in 2012.

Nixon, who identified herself as bisexual in 2012, was in a relationship with David Mozes from 1988 to 2003. The couple have two children together.

In 2004, Nixon began dating activist Christine Marinoni and they eventually married in 2012. They have one child together.

>> Related: Illinois primary could set up most expensive governor's race

Nixon is a Tony, Grammy and Emmy Award-winner.

For her role as lawyer Miranda Hobbes on “Sex and the City,” Nixon was awarded an Emmy Award in 2004 for outstanding supporting actress, and a Screen Actors Guild Award in 2002 and 2004 for outstanding performance by an ensemble in a comedy series.

Nixon made her Broadway debut in 1980 in the revival of “The Philadelphia Story” and later earned Tony Awards for her foles in “Rabbit Hole” (2006) and “The Little Foxes” (2017).

She was awarded a Grammy in 2009 for her “An Inconvenient Truth” spoken word album.

Explore her full list of awards at

She’s a survivor of breast cancer.

In 2006, Nixon was diagnosed with breast cancer and admitted to  Good Morning America in 2008 that she initially wanted to keep the news to herself but later became the official spokeswoman for the Susan G. Komen for the Cure Foundation.

"I want them [women] most to hear me saying that the only thing we have to fear is fear itself. So the only thing to really be afraid of is if you don't go get your mammograms, because there's some part of you that doesn't want to know, and that's the thing that's going to trip you up. That's the thing that could have a really bad endgame," she said.

Nixon’s cancer was caught at an early stage and required a lumpectomy and radiation, but no chemotherapy.

She’s a longtime activist. 

Nixon first made political headlines during the 2011 campaign to legalize same-sex marriage in New York. During that campaign, she lobbied state lawmakers in Albany and was later honored by GLAAD and the Human Rights Campaign with its Visibility Award for her work advocating for marriage equality.

In January, Nixon was also among a group of celebrity activists that came together for "the People's State of the Union,” an alternative event to President Donald Trump's first State of the Union speech.

She has in the past been very vocal about women’s health care and on education issues, serving on de Blasio's advisory board for the Mayor's Fund to Advance New York City.

>> Related: Georgia Senate advances adoption bill called anti-LGBT

As a spokesperson for the Alliance for Quality Education, Nixon recently spoke out against Gov. Cuomo’s proposed education budget.

Actor and activist Cynthia Nixon speaks onstage during IFP's 27th Annual Gotham Independent Film Awards on November 27, 2017 in New York City. (Mike Coppola/Getty Images for IFP)

“Governor Cuomo had a chance today to put the next generation of New Yorkers first,” she said in a January 2018 AQE statement. “Instead, he proposed yet another budget that will keep New York at the bottom of the barrel when it comes to educational equity and justice. Governor Cuomo claims he has provided record increases in education funding, but in reality, he has created a record spending gap between the wealthiest and poorest school districts.”

If elected, she would make history.

Nixon would become the first female governor and first openly gay governor in New York history.

About her platform

“We are now the most unequal state in the entire country, with both incredible wealth and extreme poverty,” Nixon said in a video posted on Twitter announcing her candidacy.

According to her campaign website, Nixon’s state platform focuses on income inequality, renewable energy, access to health care, concerns about mass incarceration, passing the DREAM Act and “fixing our broken subway.”

She also emphasizes strengthening and renewing expiring rent laws to avoid “raising rents, and forcing people out of their homes.”

“Andrew Cuomo has given massive tax breaks to corporations and the super rich while starving the state and its cities of the most basic services and decimating our infrastructure,” Nixon wrote on her campaign site. “His inhumane budgets have been passed on the backs of our children, our working and middle class, and our elderly.”

“Together,” she added, “we could show the entire country and the world that in the era of Donald Trump, New Yorkers will come together and lead our nation forward.”


Chances against Cuomo

“Her campaign may test the appetite of New Yorkers for a celebrity leader in the age of President Trump, a deeply unpopular figure here among Democrats,” the New York Times reported.

But Nixon has her work cut out for her. A Siena College poll released Monday showed Cuomo leading her 66 percent to 19 percent among registered Democrats, and by a similar margin among self-identified liberals, AP reported. The poll of 772 registered voters was conducted March 11-16. The margin of error is plus or minus 4 percentage points.

Cuomo, whose approval ratings have dropped below 50 percent, according to a Quinnipiac University Pollreleased in February, recently mocked the celebrity status the Grammy, Emmy and Tony winner could bring to the race.

"Normally name recognition is relevant when it has some connection to the endeavor," Cuomo said earlier this month. "If it was just about name recognition, then I'm hoping that Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie and Billy Joel don't get into the race."

Jefrey Pollock, pollster and political adviser to Cuomo and other prominent Democrats, told AP that celebrity isn't likely to trump governing experience in the voting booth.

"Over and over in our research, Democratic primary voters say they're not looking for an outsider because they look to Washington, D.C., and see what the outsider has meant to this country," Pollock said.

The Associated Press contributed to this story.

Trending - Most Read Stories