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School bus drivers punished after ‘kissing, fondling’ in front of kids

Published: Tuesday, November 28, 2017 @ 5:53 PM

Kettering bus drivers disciplined for 'kissing, fondling' in front of kids

Two Kettering City Schools bus drivers were disciplined for repeatedly “kissing and fondling” each other on one driver’s bus while students were boarding the bus and sitting nearby, according to documents in their personnel files.

Janine Susan Wilson and Steven M. Rector were both on paid administrative leave from Nov. 1-24, and have now been placed on unpaid suspension this week (Nov. 27 to Dec. 1) “as a result of a disciplinary hearing,”according to the school district.

RELATED: Kettering schools to build new auditorium

“These are both long-term employees who have been good employees,” Kettering City Schools business manager Ken Lackey said. “They made a mistake and we’re dealing with the mistake. They’ll continue to be our employees and we’ll move on from here.”

The pre-disciplinary hearing notice says the district received a complaint from a student on Oct. 30 that the bus drivers had been engaging in inappropriate conduct on Wilson’s bus for about two weeks.

The notice says Kettering school officials reviewed bus videos from three different afternoons, which revealed evidence of the drivers “engaged in physical touching, hugging, kissing and fondling activities on (Wilson’s) bus with students boarding and sitting in close proximity to you.”

RELATED: Kettering among those facing sex-with-student cases

“One student even told you that he did not approve of your behavior,” the notice to Wilson reads. “This activity occurred at a time when you were responsible for supervising the students who were boarding your bus.”

Rector’s notice also says he should have been supervising students who were boarding his bus at Kettering Middle School at the time.

Rector has been a bus driver for Kettering schools since 1998. His last evaluation, in 2009, rated him satisfactory and called him “a solid, reliable employee and a pleasure to work with.” His personal file shows only one other reprimand for failing to show up without notice on one day in 2012.

RELATED: Kettering renewal levy passes, school board elected

Wilson was last evaluated in 2013, according to her personnel file. That evaluation rated her as a “very good” driver, the second-highest level on the five-step scale. It said she had outstanding attendance and a good attitude toward her job.

Lackey said the school district would like to do evaluations on drivers every other year, but don’t always accomplish that.

Job outlook is promising for Good Samaritan employees, official says

Published: Wednesday, January 17, 2018 @ 6:01 PM

After Wednesday’s announcement that Good Samaritan Hospital will shut its doors for good at the end of the year, many in the Miami Valley are wondering what will happen to the facility’s 1,600 employees.

The hospital’s parent company, Premier Health, said its goal is to offer jobs to all those employees at its other facilities in the region. 

RELATED: Local leaders ‘saddened’ by announced hospital closing

“I think it’s very doable, especially with the Premier network and the Dayton region overall,” said Bryan Bucklew, president of the Greater Dayton Area Hospital Association. 

Currently, there are about 800 jobs available in hospitals across the Dayton area, and Premier always has openings that are unfilled, he said. 

RELATED: Special Report: Million dollar paychecks for top hospital CEOs

He believes that with a year to work, Premier will come close to providing potential jobs for all Good Samaritan employees. It’s the advantage of Dayton hospital networks being privately owned, Bucklew said. 

“So they don’t want to do things that hurt the community, they want to do things that make sure the community has access to health care,” he said.

RELATED: Sale of Premier Health’s insurance line falls apart

The decision to close the hospital came after Premier officials decided that they can’t keep Good Samaritan and Miami valley Hospital opened when both facilities are less than five miles apart and duplicate many of the same services.

They have nearly 12 months to provide options for workers, and say they know some may choose retirement or get out of the health care field.

2 males sought in Kettering home invasion robbery

Published: Wednesday, January 17, 2018 @ 6:11 PM

FROM SCENE: 2 males sought in Kettering home invasion robbery

Police are continuing to look for two males who committed a home invasion robbery on Hazel Avenue. 

Investigators don't know what led the invaders to pick the home they did Wednesday afternoon, Kettering Police Patrolman John Jung said. 

According to the preliminary investigation, the two males forced their way inside just before 4 p.m., knocked down the resident and took property, Officer Jung said. 

OTHER LOCAL NEWS: Good Samaritan Hospital in Dayton to close

A K-9 unit was called to the scene as part of the investigation and he said police are interviewing neighbors, hoping to get a description of the robbers. 

Jung asked that if you have information you believe will help in this investigation, please call Kettering police at 937-296-2555.

Got a tip? Call our monitored 24-hour line, 937-259-2237, or send it to

Deported Fairfield mother from Mexico wins appeals ruling

Published: Wednesday, January 17, 2018 @ 6:11 PM

            Maribel Trujillo Diaz, a mother of four from Fairfield, was deported back to Mexico on Wednesday, April 19. Trujillo had been in the U.S. illegally since 2002. PROVIDED
Maribel Trujillo Diaz, a mother of four from Fairfield, was deported back to Mexico on Wednesday, April 19. Trujillo had been in the U.S. illegally since 2002. PROVIDED

A Mexican mother of four once living in Fairfield who was deported nine months ago won an appeal on Wednesday , a decision indicating the immigration court that sent her back to Mexico “abused its discretion” and must reconsider her case.

A three-judge panel from the Sixth U.S. Court of Appeals found that the U.S. Board of Immigration Appeals ruled that Maribel Trujillo Diaz failed to demonstrate a case for asylum under the Immigration and Nationality Act “because she failed to show that she would be singled out individually for persecution based on her family membership.”

That immigration appeals court must now reconsider the matter, obeying the Sixth Circuit’s guidance.

RELATED: Maribel’s case: What options do immigrants have to become legal?

The decision is by no means a complete victory meaning she can return to the country, according to one of her lawyers, Kathleen Kersh. It does mean there will be more hearings, and the possibility of a return — if not permanently, perhaps while the legal battles continue. Her family continues to live here.

“They found that the BIA had abused its discretion when it did not sufficiently consider the evidence that we gave in support of our motion to reopen Maribel’s asylum case,” Kersh said.

Trujillo and her supporters had argued she originally fled Mexico because drug cartels targeted her family.

Kersh told this media outlet in April that Trujillo’s asylum request was made after her brother was kidnapped and threatened by a cartel in Mexico, but she had lost that case.

FIRST REPORT: Mexican woman with work permit detained by ICE near her Fairfield home

Kersh in April — before the BIA’s ruling — said Trujillo’s father had more recently been kidnapped, which Kersh felt made her asylum case “much stronger.”

“We have recently found some information out from her father that her father had been kidnapped, so there are new facts that came to light in the asylum case that really change things — it makes it much stronger,” she said in April.

When told about Wednesday’s decision, Trujillo was “really happy and excited,” Kersh said.

“She is living in fear every day, and I think she feels vindicated in a way, that somebody is finally recognizing that, and she has really good reasons for her fear of living in Mexico, because of some of the dangers that her family specifically faces,” Kersh said.

“This is indeed good news, but far from a victory,” said the Rev. Father Pucke, who was her pastor at St. Julie Billiart Church, which advocated for her to stay, as did the Archdiocese of Cincinnati.

It still is possible her evidence will be considered but that she will be denied the ability to return to this country.

She was deported April 19 back to Mexico.

Dayton task force plans to meet in public, tour schools in private

Published: Wednesday, January 17, 2018 @ 4:32 PM
Updated: Wednesday, January 17, 2018 @ 5:59 PM

            Members of the Dayton Public Schools facilities task force congregate before the canceled Jan. 9 meeting. JEREMY P. KELLEY / STAFF
Members of the Dayton Public Schools facilities task force congregate before the canceled Jan. 9 meeting. JEREMY P. KELLEY / STAFF

The next meeting of the Dayton Public Schools facilities task force will be open to the public, DPS Acting Superintendent Elizabeth Lolli said Wednesday.

The task force’s goal is to make recommendations to the school board in April on how to position DPS for growth in enrollment and what to do with the district’s under-used buildings, with the possibility of some buildings being closed next fall.

RELATED: Task force leaders discuss group’s future

The task force originally planned to have unannounced closed meetings, leading to a dispute Jan. 9 with the Dayton Daily News and WHIO-TV about public and media access. That Jan. 9 meeting was canceled just as it was about to begin.

“For the Dayton Public Schools, the task force is a really important addition to our study of what we need to do to right-size the school district,” Lolli said. “The opportunity to have the media report out the information to everyone will be important to us.”

The next meeting — at 10:30 a.m. Jan. 24 at a site to be determined — and at least one other meeting to follow will be open to the public, but will not have a time for public comment. The task force plans to have at least two community meetings in March solely devoted to public input.

FIRST MEETING: Task force cancels meeting after dispute

The task force also plans to tour multiple DPS schools that could be at risk of closure, but Lolli said those events will be closed to the public because of the need to tour the schools during the school day.

Task force co-chair Mohamed Al-Hamdani, a new school board member, said the task force is an important opportunity for Dayton schools to reconnect with parts of the business community that have become detached from the school district.

Fellow co-chair Jeff Mims said while the question started with facilities, a key goal is to build a plan that brings more students back into Dayton Public Schools. According to Ohio Department of Education data, DPS loses 10,000 students who live within its boundaries – more than 900 students via open enrollment to other public school districts, 2,600 to private school vouchers and 6,700 to charter schools.

RELATED: DPS focuses on academics, long-term vision

A school closing and reconfiguration plan could result in frustration that pushes more students out, or a better organized operation that draws students in, depending on the details. Lolli said collaboration will be a key.

“With the task force input, we believe that we can make a better decision, including that information with our parental and community stakeholder information, as well as our own data that we’ve collected,” she said.

Rhonda Corr update

Beverly Meyer, the attorney whose report was key to Superintendent Rhonda Corr being placed on paid leave, met with school board members and DPS attorney Jyllian Bradshaw in a closed executive session Tuesday night.

Bradshaw would not comment on whether the meeting was about Corr. Asked about the district disciplinary process for the exiled superintendent, Bradshaw said hearings were “in the process of being rescheduled,” the same answer she gave last month.

RELATED: No decision on ousted superintendent’s hearing

David Duwel, one of Corr’s attorneys, confirmed there had been no official change in her case.


At $150,000 per year, Corr has earned $23,653 in base salary for the 41 weekdays she has been on paid leave so far. Her contract also calls for the district to pay her retirement contribution as well as $1,500 per month for expenses.