I-Team investigates Afghanistan waste

Published: Wednesday, May 07, 2014 @ 5:45 PM
Updated: Wednesday, May 07, 2014 @ 5:45 PM


            A school building that has been funded by the U.S. is shown. It has been built so poorly that the bricks are literally melting.
            U.S. Government / Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction
A school building that has been funded by the U.S. is shown. It has been built so poorly that the bricks are literally melting.(U.S. Government / Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction)

Hospitals with no running water, schools with melting walls...billions of dollars wasted in Afghanistan according to government auditors.

It is enough money to build a high speed rail system between Los Angelos and San Francisco, build 500 new schools, and still have billions of dollars left for roads, bridges and highways.

"This is more money than we have spent on any other single country in the history of the United States," said John Sopko, Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction. 

Sopko said it adds up to more than one hundred billion dollars and counting that the U.S. has spent on buildings and infrastructure in Afghanistan.

Ohio Senator Sherrod Brown said the mission is important. 

"If we make a commitment to that country a war effort to that country and we don't want terrorism to grow there again you invest like that," said Brown. 

However, Sopko said his office has found problems time and time again like the half a billion dollars spent on C-27 aircraft. He said the plans cannot fly in Afghan altitude so they just sit and rust and now can't even be flown out of Afghanistan. 

"Basically, these plane were flying coffins," said Sopko. "Total waste of money." 

Then there's the Salang Hospital. Inspectors found newborns being bathed with river water because there is no running water or electricity. 

Sopko also told us about school buildings and prisons built so poorly, that the bricks can be taken apart with a spoon. 

"When you contract out so much of what used to be the military with private contractors and private interests, you end up with more fraud and more waste," Brown said. 

Spending won't end when our troops pull out later this year. The U.S government is committed to spending between 8 and 9 million dollars a year for years to come. 

Sopko said that's more than the combined amount the Federal Government spends for researching cures for cancer, aids and Alzheimer's disease.

1 of 2 dogs rescued in Vandalia house fire taken to vet, second runs off

Published: Thursday, July 27, 2017 @ 5:44 PM
Updated: Thursday, July 27, 2017 @ 7:09 PM

House fire in Vandalia

UPDATE @ 6:55 p.m.: One of two dogs found in the rubble of a Vandalia home damaged by smoke and fire has been taken to an animal hospital and the other ran off as soon as firefighters brought it outside, Fire Chief Chad Follick said. 

The dog that ran off will be fine, the chief said. 

SEE: Trending news headlines

No humans were injured in the house fire on Long Street, the cause of which is under investigation. 

Flames heavily damaged the first floor of the home and there is lots of smoke damage, Follick said, but it's too soon to estimate the dollar loss to the contents and structure.

A fire investigator has been called to the address. 

The house is not habitable, he said.

UPDATE @ 5:50 p.m.:  Firefighters searching a Vandalia home damaged by fire and smoke have found two dogs alive in the rubble. 

The extent of their injuries is not known.

SEE: More local news headlines

INITIAL REPORT

Crews are on the scene of a house fire on Long Street in Vandalia. 

Firefighters reported seeing a lot of smoke coming from the house as they arrived just before 5:30 p.m. 

We have a crew on scene.

We will update this developing report.

GOT A TIP? Call our monitored 24-hour line, 937-259-2237, or send it to newsdesk@cmgohio.com

Police raid Piqua home, find evidence of drugs and make an arrest

Published: Thursday, July 27, 2017 @ 7:41 PM

Xavier Roberts (Courtesy/Miami County Jail)
Xavier Roberts (Courtesy/Miami County Jail)

A 24-year-old remains in jail on drug charges following the execution of a search warrant at a home Thursday morning by the Piqua/Sidney Tactical Response Team.

SEE: More crime, law headlines

Xavier Roberts was taken into custody from the address in the 500 block of Orr Street after evidence was obtained in a drug trafficking case, according to a statement issued by the Piqua Police Department. 

Roberts is being detained in the Miami County Jail on felony charges of drug trafficking (cocaine and marijuana) and drug possession (cocaine).

GOT A TIP? Call our monitored 24-hour line, 937-259-2237, or send it to newsdesk@cmgohio.com

Butler County Fair rides inspected daily

Published: Thursday, July 27, 2017 @ 12:19 PM
Updated: Thursday, July 27, 2017 @ 6:47 PM

Fair board member, ride manager and fairgoers talk about ride safety at the Butler County Fair.

Rides at the Butler County Fair are inspected daily, according to amusement operators and fair officials, who say safety remains their top priority after a fatal accident Wednesday at the Ohio State Fair.

An 18-year-old man was killed and seven others were injured, five critically, when a ride called the Fire Ball malfunctioned Wednesday at the Ohio State Fair in Columbus.

On Thursday, one hour before the rides opened, inspections were being conducted, as they are every day, said Russell Clements, 41, manager of Cincinnati-based Triple Treat Shows, the operator of rides at the Butler County Fair.

“Safety is our No. 1 issue,” Clements said. “If people aren’t safe then our livelihood don’t exist.”

There is a daily checklist to be completed for each ride, he said, that includes a test run of the ride. A supervisor must sign off on the checklist after it is completed by the employee, he said.

MORE: Eyewitness describes tragedy at Ohio State Fair

Clements said the appearance of the rides and the employees should “instill some confidence” in fair-goers.

“They can see that things are very well maintained,” Clements said. “We meticulously clean and meticulously take care of (the equipment).”

All rides inspections are public record and filed with the Ohio Department of Agriculture.

The Journal-News requested copies of those inspections for rides at the Butler County Fair, but the state wasn’t able to provide them Thursday.

WATCH: Aerial scenes above accident at Ohio State Fair

Russell Clements is the manager of Cincinnati-based Triple Treat Shows, the operator of rides at the Butler County Fair. He is shown conducting a morning safety meeting Thursday, July 27, with employees during the Butler County Fair in Hamilton. (NICK GRAHAM/STAFF)

Casey Wells, Concessions and Vending Manager for the Butler County Agricultural Society, said he is not concerned about the safety of rides at the Butler County Fair.

“I have the utmost respect and trust in Triple Treat Shows,” he said.

According to Wells, the Ohio Department of Agriculture says Triple Treat Shows is “a top-notch setup, one of the best in the state.”

MORE: Ohio State Fair ride accident: Rides remain closed; victims identified

A view from the top of the Ferris wheel as rides are inspected Thursday, July 27, at the Butler County Fair in Hamilton. (NICK GRAHAM/STAFF)

Some Butler County Fair participants said Thursday they were concerned for their safety after the ride malfunction at the Ohio State Fair.

Amanda Roberson, of Hamilton, walked around the rides at the county fair Thursday, questioning operators and determining herself which rides were the “least risky” for her two children, ages 8 and 11. 

She said her children had seen the horrific video of 18-year-old Tyler Jarrell being killed and seven others injured, five critically, at the Ohio State Fair in Columbus.

“It’s terrifying seeing that it can happen anywhere,” Roberson said of the fatal accident that was posted on social media.

PHOTOS: Butler County Fair 2017

“They have certain standards they have to uphold, but mistakes can happen,” Roberson said. “That (Fire Ball) would be the ride my kids would want to ride. They are thrill-riders. Scary to think that happened so close to home.”

The accident at the state fair made Roberson reconsider letting her children purchase a ride bracelet at the Butler County Fair.

“Every time we go to a fair, that does go through our mind,” she said. “Thinking about the safety of our kids.”

MORE: Read the Fire Ball ride inspection report

Marc Harrison with Triple Treat Shows completes his safety checklist after he inspects the Hurricane ride Thursday, July 27, at the Butler County Fair in Hamilton. (NICK GRAHAM/STAFF)

Jack Goss brought 14 children from the Just Like Home Children’s Center in Liberty Twp. to the Butler County Fair on Thursday. He said several parents, after hearing about the incident in Columbus, expressed concern about the safety of the rides.

“We assured them we’d be going on the ones that weren’t that dangerous,” he said. “You go to the fair to have fun. You don’t go to the fair to risk your life or worry about being injured.”

1,100 ecstasy tablets seized, 1 jailed in Kettering drug raid

Published: Thursday, July 27, 2017 @ 2:06 PM
Updated: Thursday, July 27, 2017 @ 7:00 PM

CONTRIBUTED PHOTO
CONTRIBUTED PHOTO

UPDATE @ 7 p.m.

Detectives seized around 1,100 ecstasy tablets and several ounces of powder of the psychoactive drug during a raid this morning at a Kettering apartment complex.

Kameron Curran, 21, was arrested at the apartments in the 2000 block of Lakewood Drive on suspicion of drug possession, according to the Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office. He was booked into the Montgomery County Jail, where he awaits formal charges.

Kameron Curran(MONTGOMERY COUNTY JAIL)

The raid ended a drug trafficking investigation conducted by the Regional Agencies Narcotics & Gun Enforcement Task Force along with agents from Homeland Security Investigations, according to the sheriff’s office.

The incident remains under investigation.

The task force urges anyone with information on drug activity to make a confidential call to the narcotics hotline at 937-225-6272.

FIRST REPORT

A man was escorted out of an apartment complex in handcuffs this morning on Lakewood Drive in Kettering during an apparent raid.

The circumstances surrounding the raid were not immediately known, however heavily armed undercover sheriff’s deputies were seen with the man, whose name has not been released.

OTHER NEWS: Woman overdoses in parking lot of Shelby County Sheriff’s Office

Deputies were on the scene around noon Thursday.

We’re working to learn additional details on this incident.