Springfield man with 240 grams of cocaine sent to prison

Published: Friday, October 06, 2017 @ 12:36 PM

Casey Stoermer
Staff Writer
Casey Stoermer(Staff Writer)

A Springfield man was convicted of dealing cocaine this week and was sentenced to 18 years in prison and a $30,000 fine.

A Clark County Common Pleas Court jury found Casey Stoermer guilty of multiple charges, including trafficking cocaine and having a weapon under disability. He was accused of having about 240 grams of cocaine in his possession. 

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“Justice was served and it’s always good to get a kilo-level dealer off the streets,” Clark County Assistant Prosecutor Ryan Saunders said. 

The case started when police executed a search warrant at a home on West Parkwood Avenue in Springfield, Saunders said. He said $3,000, a gun, and cocaine were found in the house. More money, scales and drugs were also found in an SUV. 

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“He’s been in prison on and off for the last 10 years for drug offenses,” Saunders said.

Child riding bicycle hit by car in New Carlisle

Published: Friday, October 20, 2017 @ 5:22 PM

A child riding a bicycle was hit by a car late this afternoon in New Carlisle.

The incident was reported around 5 p.m. in the 400 block of North Main Street.

The severity of the child’s injuries is unknown.

We have a crew on the way and will update this report.

Sidney man guilty in marijuana in the mail scheme

Published: Friday, October 20, 2017 @ 4:37 PM

A Sidney man accused of participating in a scheme to mail marijuana pleaded guilty Friday in Miami County Common Pleas Court to an amended charge.

Darrell Branscum, 34, pleaded guilty to felony attempted drug possession, reduced from conspiracy to commit drug possession. 

As part of the plea agreement prosecutors agreed to recommend an 18-month prison sentence. 

Branscum was arrested in Piqua in February following an investigation that included postal inspectors and the Miami County Sheriff's Office. 

Sheriff Dave Duchak said the investigation was sparked by a tip that several pounds of marijuana would be sent from California to addresses in Piqua and Sidney. The packages were intercepted. 

A presentence investigation was ordered and sentencing scheduled Jan. 2. 

A charge of conspiracy to commit drug possession against a co-defendant, Taylor Massie, 25, of Houston, is pending.

New study finds ‘alarming’ 76 percent decline in insect populations

Published: Friday, October 20, 2017 @ 5:16 PM

Ants (Photo by Nurcholis Anhari Lubis/Getty Images)
Nurcholis Anhari Lubis/Getty Images
Ants (Photo by Nurcholis Anhari Lubis/Getty Images)(Nurcholis Anhari Lubis/Getty Images)

Insects are in serious danger. Insect populations have decreased by about 76 percent in nearly 30 years, according to a new study.

>> Read more trending news

Researchers from Germany recently conducted an experiment, published in PLOS One, to determine how much populations had declined and why. 

To do so, they measured the total flying insect biomass, the weight of the insect catch, by using tent-like nets called Malaise traps. Those were deployed in 63 nature protection areas in Germany over the course of 27 years. 

After analyzing the results, they found that flying insect biomass had decreased by 76 percent and up to 82 percent in the summers during the time of the study.

In fact, the scientists say their findings suggest “the entire flying insect community has been decimated over the last few decades,” the study read. 

Scientists noted the drop occurred regardless of the habitat type, but changes in weather, land use and habitat characteristic were not the reason.

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Despite the unknown explanation, researchers say the dip is “alarming” as the disappearance of “field margins and new crop protection” have both been associated with insect decline.

“Loss of insect diversity and abundance is expected to provoke cascading effects on food webs and to jeopardize ecosystem services,” the study read. 

That’s why researchers hope to continue their studies to pinpoint the exact cause and ways to prevent it. 

“There is an urgent need to uncover the causes of this decline,” the study said, “its geographical extent, and to understand the ramifications of the decline for ecosystems and ecosystem services.”

Miami County man guilty of sexually abusing child

Published: Friday, October 20, 2017 @ 5:14 PM

Sean L. Pratt, Miami County Jail
Sean L. Pratt, Miami County Jail

A Monroe Twp., Miami County, man accused of sex offenses against a child under age 10 pleaded guilty Friday to five felony charges in a plea deal that recommends 30 years in prison.

Sean L. Pratt, 35, originally was charged with rape and gross sexual imposition for alleged sexual conduct and sexual contact with the child in June 2014.

Those charges will be dismissed in county Common Pleas Court in exchange for guilty pleas to two counts of felony sexual battery and three counts of felony gross sexual imposition.

Sheriff’s office reports said the victim told a friend of the sexual abuse. A parent then notified investigators. The initial charges were filed in late summer 2017. 

In exchange for the pleas, prosecutors agreed to recommend a 30-year sentence. The maximum Pratt could receive would be 31 years. Judge Jeannine Pratt told him she is not required to follow the sentencing recommendation. 

She accepted Pratt’s guilty pleas, ordered a presentence investigation and scheduled sentencing for Nov. 27. 

At sentencing, he will be classified as a Tier III sex offender on the sexual battery charges and a Tier II offender on the gross sexual imposition charges. The Tier III classification will require him to register as a sex offender for the rest of his life following prison release.