Tanning bed voyeur avoids jail time

Published: Wednesday, October 24, 2012 @ 12:02 PM
Updated: Wednesday, October 24, 2012 @ 4:17 PM

A Hamilton man will spend the next six months in a lock-down counseling program for secret photos he took of women at a local tanning salon.

Zachary Thomas, 20, pleaded guilty to 14 voyeurism charges and a Butler County jury convicted him on a “sexting” charge last month. Judge Craig Hedric sentenced him Wednesday to 1 1/2 years in jail on the voyeurism counts and a year in prison on the sexting conviction, but suspended the sentences.

Hedric took note of Thomas’ previously clean criminal and his supportive family, but said he deeply hurt the victims, including the Beach Bound Tanning Salon, which has been adversely impacted financially through no fault of its own.

“Your sister indicated these were immature acts,” Hedric said. “Yes, they were. But at some point in time immature acts become not funny, or not just immature acts. They become crimes. Unfortunately for you, you stepped off the deep end real quick. Your immature acts have caused a lot of pain for a lot of people.”

While police were investigating allegations that Thomas took secret snapshots of women in various stages of undress at Beach Bound Tanning Salon, they found a nude picture of a 17-year-old girl on his phone. He was charged with 14 misdemeanor counts of voyeurism, disseminating matter harmful to juveniles and a fifth-degree felony count of illegal use of a minor in a nudity-oriented material or performance.

Thomas’ sister spoke on his behalf — saying her brother is remorseful — as did his attorney Frank Schiavone Jr. Schiavone said Thomas needs treatment rather than more punishment. Thomas also apologized for his actions.

“I’m ashamed and I’ve embarrassed myself,” he said. “I want to apologize to the people I have offended and also my family and friends. … I’m not perfect, but I’m better today than I was yesterday.”

Assistant Prosecutor Jennifer McElfresh said the 17-year-old girl and Thomas exchanged more than 160 texts in about a week’s time and sent nude pictures of themselves to each other. They also met in person a couple of times, she said.

Thomas will have to report as a sex offender once a year for 15 years. Schiavone said he plans to appeal the case to the 12th District Court of Appeals.

Edison State to build student career center with help of $2.5M gift

Published: Tuesday, May 23, 2017 @ 5:21 PM

(Courtesy/Edison State Community College)

Edison State Community college will be building a student career center with a $2.5 million donation from the Robinson Fund.

According to officials with the college, the funds will be used to create a 5,200-square-foot student career center at the Piqua Campus.

It will be used to integrate students into a growing regional workforce, Edison officials said.

President Dr. Doreen Larson said, "I feel that this project denotes a new phase in the growth and improvement of Edison State Community College.

"This project represents a focus of Edison State's international outreach to the community and particularly our business partners."  

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Ariana Grande back in Florida hometown after concert bombing

Published: Tuesday, May 23, 2017 @ 5:36 PM

Ariana Grande has reportedly returned to her hometown of Boca Raton, Florida, after her Manchester, England, concert was the site of a terrorist bombing on Monday night.

According to E News, Grande and her mother Joan Grande were greeted at Boca Raton Airport earlier today by boyfriend and musician Mac Miller. Sources from People magazine reported that as she departed the private jet, the 23-year-old singer “looked distraught and like she has been crying. They hugged for a while before they headed to a waiting car.”

>> Read more trending news

The Daily Mail reported that she was taken to the home of a family member in a gated community.

Grande, who had just finished her set at the Manchester Arena before the explosion that killed at least 22 people and injured more than 50, had previously tweeted her disbelief at the situation, saying,“Broken. From the bottom of my heart, I am so sorry.”

According to TMZ, Joan Grande, who was at the Manchester show with her daughter, helped get some scared young fans sitting near her in the front row backstage to safety.

Related: Manchester explosion: Ariana Grande's mother reportedly helps fans to safety

The suspect who detonated a suicide bomb near one of the exits has been identified by police as Salman Abedi, 22. The ISIS state has claimed responsibility for the attack.

Shortly after Monday’s explosion, Grande reached out to longtime friend Misha Lambert, whose father, songwriter Dennis Lambert, said, “No sooner had I heard the first reports when my daughter Misha called to say she was in touch with Ari and all of her people are safe and unhurt.”

Actress, heiress Dina Merrill has died; grew up at Mar a Lago, sold to Trump 

Published: Tuesday, May 23, 2017 @ 4:40 PM

Actress and heiress Dina Merrill, seen here at the Waldorf-Astoria for the American Museum of the Moving Image's Salute to Julia Roberts in 2000, died Tuesday at her home in East Hampton, New York. Merrill appeared in movies, on television and on the stage beginning in the late 1950s. 
New York Daily News Archive/NY Daily News via Getty Images

Actress and rebellious heiress, Dina Merill, who defied her super-rich parents to become a movie star, often portraying stylish wives or “the other woman,” has died at age 93.

Merrill, raised in part at the Mar a Lago estate in Florida now owned by President Donald Trump, died Monday, according to a family spokeswoman.

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Merrill had Lewy Body dementia, according to her son, Stanley H. Rumbough.

Starting in the 1950s, Merrill appeared in more than 100 films and television programs, her break coming after Katharine Hepburn recommended her for the 1957 Tracy-Hepburn comedy “The Desk Set.” Merrill, who had the poised, aristocratic beauty of fellow blonde Grace Kelly, co-starred with Cary Grant and Tony Curtis in “Operation Petticoat,” Robert Mitchum and Deborah Kerr in “The Sundowners” and Oscar winner Elizabeth Taylor in “Butterfield 8.” More recently, she was part of Robert Altman’s ensemble cast for the Hollywood satire “The Player” and in television programs such as “Murder, She Wrote” and “The Nanny.”

>> Related: A peek inside historic Mar a Lago

But becoming an actress was not considered proper for someone of Merrill’s privileged status. Her mother was Marjorie Merriweather Post, heiress to the Post cereal fortune and one of the nation’s richest women. Her father was E.F. Hutton, founder of the stockbroker firm that bore his name. Heiress Barbara Hutton was a cousin.

>> Related: PHOTOS: Inside Trump’s Mar a Lago

“Mother was politically and diplomatically and every which way well connected,” Merrill remarked in 2000, “but she didn’t know anyone in show business. Of course my parents’ eyebrows shot up when I said I wanted to be an actress. And I guess they said, really between themselves, ‘Let the dear girl try and fall on her face.’”

 Read more here.

Manchester explosion: Ariana Grande's mother reportedly helps fans to safety 

Published: Tuesday, May 23, 2017 @ 3:33 PM

As fans and others around the world continue to try to make sense of the aftermath of the explosion outside Manchester Arena Monday night after an Ariana Grande concert, hero stories are beginning to emerge.

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According to TMZ, Ariana Grande’s mother, Joan, is among them.

The site reported that, according to multiple witnesses, Joan Grande was about to go backstage to see Ariana when the incident occurred. She told the group of 10 or so kids seated around her to come backstage.

>> Police: At least 22 dead after explosion near Ariana Grande concert in Manchester

Us Weekly, which  reported it confirmed the news through a source, said that the mother and members of Ariana Grande’s security team took the fans backstage and waited with them until they were cleared to exit the arena.

The attacker has been identified by officials as Salman Abedi, 22. The explosion injured more than 50 and killed 22, including an 8-year-old girl.