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State leaders tour Wright Patt as they explore how to protect bases

Published: Friday, November 17, 2017 @ 3:14 PM

            State Reps. Hearcel F. Craig, D-Columbus, and Rick Perales, R-Beavercreek, toured Wright-Patterson Air Force Base on Friday as part of a state BRAC and Military Affairs Task Force. BARRIE BARBER/STAFF
State Reps. Hearcel F. Craig, D-Columbus, and Rick Perales, R-Beavercreek, toured Wright-Patterson Air Force Base on Friday as part of a state BRAC and Military Affairs Task Force. BARRIE BARBER/STAFF

A state panel touring military bases across Ohio to urge ways to protect the facilities visited the state’s largest installation base Friday as the panel prepares to release findings early next year.

Seven members of the 12-member BRAC and Military Affairs Task Force toured Wright-Patterson Air Force Base over five hours, the longest scheduled stop thus far to about a dozen installations in Ohio, said state Rep. Rick Perales, R-Beaverceek, and task force chairman.

The Miami Valley base, the state’s largest military installation with about 27,000 employees and about 100 units inside the fence, is the most complex of Ohio military facilities, he said.

RELATED: Protecting Wright Patt goal of BRAC task force visit

The Wright-Patterson stops included the 445th Airlift Wing, the Air Force Life Cycle Management Center, the Air Force Research Laboratory, the National Air and Space Intelligence, and the 88th Air Base Wing headquarters.

“It’s huge,” said state Rep. Hearcel F. Craig, D-Columbus. “The sheer size of the landscape of the base is enormous.”

The Pentagon and the White House pushed for a base realignment and closure round in the latest defense budget, but Congress didn’t go along — despite years of pleas from top military leaders that the Department of Defense has too many bases for the size of the force.

Still, state leaders say they want to be prepared if a BRAC happens or the Pentagon reduces or moves missions on its own.

“When and if we are hit with a BRAC or anything that smells like a BRAC, we can pull that (report) out,” Perales said, saying it would be updated annually. “We won’t have to dust it off, it will be pretty accurate and we can just give a quick update.

“We’re going to have the whole state buy into it,” he added. “We’re not just coming to southwest Ohio.”

RELATED: Ohio leaders say funding will help protect Wright Patt

The task force will release recommendations and priorities on what to focus on by the end of March next year, Perales said.

This year, state lawmakers set aside $500,000 over two years to pay for infrastructure needs at Wright-Patterson to bolster the installation’s military value in anticipation of a future round of base closures.

The last BRAC round in 2005 brought more than 1,100 jobs to Wright-Patterson and the addition of the Air Force School of Aerospace Medicine and the AFRL Sensors Directorate.

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Inmate dies in Butler County Jail after being found unresponsive

Published: Monday, March 19, 2018 @ 5:18 PM


A prisoner who was found unresponsive this morning in a Butler County jail has died.

At about 8 a.m., a corrections officer at Resolutions Jail on Second Street found Billy Hall, 31, unresponsive, according to Sheriff Richard Jones. Hall was transported by Hamilton emergency crews to Fort Hamilton Hospital, where he was pronounced dead.

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Hall was being held on charges out of Hamilton County. He had been in the jail for about two weeks.

Butler County sheriff’s detectives and the county coroner’s office are investigating. The cause of death has not yet been determined.

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Wright Patt will get new gateway

Published: Monday, March 19, 2018 @ 8:21 AM

            Trucks enter an inspections area at Gate 16A at Wright-Patterson JIM WITMER /STAFF FILE PHOTO
            Jim Witmer
Trucks enter an inspections area at Gate 16A at Wright-Patterson JIM WITMER /STAFF FILE PHOTO(Jim Witmer)

A new $10.5 million gateway at Wright-Patterson had a ceremonial groundbreaking Monday for an entrance thousands of motorists will enter beginning in late 2019.

The work will consolidate two Wright-Patterson entrances into one and marks the third project to upgrade gateway security since 2015 at the Miami Valley base.

“We want to see this project,” said Wright-Patterson installation commander Bradley McDonald.

RELATED: New leader named at Wright-Patt agency

U.S. Rep. Mike Turner, R-Dayton, along with Army Corps of Engineers and Messner Construction officials joined the ceremony.

Turner said he had a security briefing with former Secretary of the Air Force Deborah Lee James to push the Air Force to release money to build the new entrance way.

The work will be the biggest since the National Air And Space Intelligence Center opened a $29.5 million Foreign Materials Exploitation facility last fall.

A new Gate 26A, a few hundred yards from the current gate, will replace a commercial delivery entrance at Gate 16A off Ohio 444, and the existing Gate 26A off Ohio 235 near the entrance to the 445th Airlift Wing headquarters and the main airfield.

The new entrance way off Ohio 235 will be located between Sandhill Road and Circle Drive, according to Wright-Patterson.

RELATED: Memphis Belle towed into Air Force museum for first time

In 2015, Wright-Patterson spent about $1.3 million to improve security at Gate 12A, including the installation of a pop-up barricade. The major entrance way is closest to Air Force Material Command headquarters and NASIC.

Last year, the base spent another $1.3 million in upgrade Gate 19B off National Road, including additional security checkpoints and overhead canopies. The gate is closest to the Air Force Institute of Technology.

The base has had to deal with security breaches at gates, the biggest of which occurred in November 2015 at Gate 22B near Interstate 675. A Beavercreek man drove past a guard and got into at least one Air Force Research Laboratory building, prompting an employee evacuation and a lock down of a nearby child care center until the man was apprehended, authorities have said.

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UD to send students on spring break for St. Patrick’s Day next year

Published: Monday, March 19, 2018 @ 3:35 PM

Police in riot gear dispersed a large crowd that gathered on Lowes Street in Dayton during St. Patrick’s Day celebrations Saturday March 17, 2018. Steve Maguire/Staff
Police in riot gear dispersed a large crowd that gathered on Lowes Street in Dayton during St. Patrick’s Day celebrations Saturday March 17, 2018. Steve Maguire/Staff

University of Dayton students proved the leaders of their school wrong on St. Patrick’s Day.

Just three days before holiday, UD administrators claimed it was highly unlikely that the disturbances of five years ago would repeat themselves thanks to an improvement in campus culture and memories of 2013 debauchery being long-forgotten.

Students on Lowes Street reportedly threw objects at police, shot fireworks into crowds of people and by 6:30 p.m., officers arrived in riot gear and ordered partiers indoors, though many at first ignored those commands.

RELATED: UD President: ‘Students … put themselves and their friends in danger’

“I am deeply disappointed in the behavior of many of you. I witnessed groups of students assault police officers, shoot fireworks into crowds, and put themselves and their friends in danger,” UD president Eric Spina wrote in a letter to the student body.

Next year students will again be on spring break and classes will resume on March 18, according to UD’s academic calendar. St. Patrick’s Day is always a factor in when to schedule spring break and because of Saturday’s incidents it likely will remain one, said vice president for student development Bill Fischer.

“That is an option that we are carefully looking at in the future, as well as other options…to avoid the escalation of this type of situation,” Fischer said. “So, all of this is on the table for further discussion.”

Dayton police officers responded just before 5:30 p.m. to a report of people trying to assault officers in the 400 block of Lowes Street in the UD student neighborhood, according to a police report.

Police carrying shields formed a line on Lowes Street. Police ordered students to head inside their homes and began moving down the 400 block of Lowes Street in an attempt to clear the crowd.

Party goers threw both empty and full glass beer bottles and cans at police as they moved down Lowes Street, according to a Dayton police report. It’s unknown whether any officers were actually struck by thrown objects, according to a report.

At least one woman reported to police that her car was damaged after her son parked it near the student neighborhood overnight on Saturday. The 2009 Honda Accord had its side-view mirrors broken off, the front fender was dented and the driver told police he believed people had been standing on the hood and roof of the vehicle.

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At least five cases stemming from the weekend riot were pending in Dayton Municipal Court on Monday including charges of noise violations, disorderly conduct, open container violations and public intoxication, according to court records.

“This behavior is absolutely unacceptable, as is the distorted sense of community that encourages and enables it,” Spina wrote in his letter. “Let me be clear: the large gatherings that block streets, the disregard for the safety of others, and the disrespect for the police who were there to keep people safe in no way constitutes community.”

Spina declined to comment on Monday but his letter drew a stark contrast to the hopeful words of administrators who spoke about preparations for St. Patrick’s Day on Wednesday. Just days before the holiday, UD police Chief Rodney Chatman said he believed students knew how to act and dean of students Christine Schramm said that the university was encouraging students to take part in activities without alcohol.

In preparation for the holiday, Chatman last week said “our students behave” and “they know their expectation” but on Monday he expressed disappointment.

“Overall I’m satisfied with the result but I’m disappointed in the behavior that elevated our response,” he said.

Though less violent and disruptive, Saturday’s incidents served as a reminder of the 2013 St. Patrick’s Day campus riot on its fifth anniversary.

FROM THE ARCHIVES: Year after 2013 St. Patrick’s Day riots, UD preparing students

More than 1,000 people rioted in UD’s student neighborhood in 2013, leaving broken bottles and damaged cars, including a police cruiser, in their wake on Kiefaber Street. Law enforcement from 10 jurisdictions responded to the riot five years ago.

The university has dealt with a series of major St. Patrick’s Day disturbances dating back to the early 1980s. In 1993, UD scheduled spring break to include the March 17 holiday, according to Dayton Daily News reports at the time.

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Austin bombings Q&A: What are the distinctive traits of a serial bomber?

Published: Monday, March 19, 2018 @ 4:47 PM

Common Traits Of A Serial Bomber

What would make a person create a bomb, set it to go off then deliver it to a victim?

A variety of things, according to a forensic psychiatrist who has studied some of the worst killers society has ever seen. 

According to Dr. Michael Welner, a leading forensic psychiatrist and chairman of The Forensic Panel, a person (almost always a male) who would set a bomb to kill someone is interested in “spectacle through destruction,” hoping that news cameras are rolling following the explosion.

>> Read more trending news

Welner is a clinical professor of psychiatry at Mount Sinai School of Medicine and is the developer of the Depravity Standard ( ), which delineates traits of the worst of murderers. The Forensic Panel is a practice that works on complex homicides around the United States.

We asked Welner to explain the influences behind what may drive a serial bomber and the traits most common to bombers. 

Q: Are there traits common to serial bombers?

A: Male, detail-oriented, motivated by spectacle through destruction as opposed to merely destructiveness. He takes pride in abilities and planning, is socially isolated and quiet, and feels himself as unsuccessful in intimacy. He has a keen awareness of media and its tendencies in reporting.

>>Austin package bombings: Friends remember victims Draylen Mason, Anthony House

Q: Have you seen anything in the coverage of these bombings that would be helpful in identifying the bomber?

A: The most important aspect of coverage is to enlist the community to be vigilant and to watch their communities, film with their smart phones to capture the out-of-the-ordinary, and to report what is suspicious. Serial violent offenders are often identified by tips from people who spotted something or someone who does not add up. 

Also, the more vigilant a community is to catching such a perpetrator, the harder it is for such an offender to attack without being identified. And the serial bomber does not want to be caught. It is best to keep the focus on the initiatives and collectiveness of a community to work together.

<<Police confirm trip wire used in fourth bomb that injured 2

Q: A different bomb trigger – a tripwire – was used in the bombing on Sunday night. The first three attacks involved suspicious packages left on doorsteps. The bomb in the package that exploded Sunday was left on the side of a road. Would a bomber “stick to his script” and not change the way he delivered bombs, or would you be concerned that there was a “copycat: bomber who put the latest bomb by the side of the road?

A: Both are possibilities. … Historically, a serial bomber with a passion and training in explosives will be able to shift methods to take advantage of materials available and opportunities to offend without being caught. 

Q: Police said the bomber is trying to “send a message.” Do serial bombers want to send a message generally, or are they only interested in destruction and murder?

A: Bombers create a spectacle to draw attention. They may be motivated to draw attention to themselves and their power to hold a community in fear, or may attach to a cause to draw attention to it. The key point is that a spectacle killer is destructively motivated even before the crimes begin, but attaches to a cause that he thinks justifies violence.

Q: The first victims were African American and Hispanic. Do you think the bomber is targeting only those groups? Is that something a serial bomber generally does, or are victims randomly chosen? 

A: Those who have chosen to bomb, pick targets for their own reasons. The rationale may or may not make sense to the rest of us. But it makes sense to them. If ethnicities are targeted, it may be driven by a desire to instigate violent race conflict, as Joseph Paul Franklin (a serial killer who, in addition to murdering several people, also shot and wounded businessman Vernon Jordan and Hustler magazine publisher Larry Flynt) told me he intended when I interviewed him. Likewise, since spectacle murderers are attempting to manipulate the media as much as anything, the bomber and whomever is assisting him may be attempting to manipulate a news cycle by staging violence that inflames racial divisions, or what some call a “false flag.” 

An Austin police officer directs a vehicle away from the scene of an explosion in Austin, Texas, Sunday, March 18, 2018. At least a few people were injured in another explosion in Texas' capital late Sunday, after three package bombs detonated this month in other parts of the city, killing two people and injuring two others. (Nick Wagner/Austin American-Statesman via AP)( )

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