Think you can eat this massive burger? If so, prizes await

Published: Friday, February 17, 2017 @ 11:30 AM

A Monroe flea market is offering prizes to the person who eats this colossal cheeseburger, stacked high with: three patties (equating to one whole pound of ground beef); slices of Pepper jack, American and Cheddar cheeses; mac and cheese bites; fried pickle slices; fried onions; and nacho cheese sauce all sandwiched between a large hamburger bun that’s then topped with two giant fried onion rings. CONTRIBUTED
A Monroe flea market is offering prizes to the person who eats this colossal cheeseburger, stacked high with: three patties (equating to one whole pound of ground beef); slices of Pepper jack, American and Cheddar cheeses; mac and cheese bites; fried pickle slices; fried onions; and nacho cheese sauce all sandwiched between a large hamburger bun that’s then topped with two giant fried onion rings. CONTRIBUTED

If you’re a lover of cheeseburgers, and a speed-eating contest sounds like something you’d enjoy, then you’ll want to pay a visit to a Monroe flea market this weekend.

The “Say CHEESE Burger” contest is taking place on Sunday, Feb. 19, at Treasure Aisles Flea Market, located just off of I-75 in Monroe.

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At 2:30 p.m., contestants can make their way through a colossal cheeseburger, stacked high with:

  • 3 patties, equating to one whole pound of ground beef
  • slices of spicy Pepper jack, American and Cheddar cheeses
  • mac and cheese bites
  • fried pickle slices
  • fried onions
  • and a slathering of nacho cheese sauce
  • all sandwiched between a large hamburger bun that’s then topped with two giant fried onion rings

The winner of the contest will be rewarded with $50 worth of “Market Bucks,” a “Say CHEESE burger” T-shirt and a 30-day free gym membership to Anytime Fitness.

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You’ll also get to have your photo displayed on the “Say Cheese” challenge wall.

Think you have what it takes? Register here

Trump’s plan in Afghanistan: What time, what channel, is it livestreamed?

Published: Monday, August 21, 2017 @ 5:51 PM

Afghan National Army soldiers stand guard at a checkpoint on the outskirts of Kabul, Afghanistan, Monday, Aug. 21, 2017. President Donald Trump is planning to deliver his first formal address to the nation since taking office Monday as he reveals to the nation his strategy for the war in Afghanistan. (AP Photo/Rahmat Gul)
Washington Bureau
Afghan National Army soldiers stand guard at a checkpoint on the outskirts of Kabul, Afghanistan, Monday, Aug. 21, 2017. President Donald Trump is planning to deliver his first formal address to the nation since taking office Monday as he reveals to the nation his strategy for the war in Afghanistan. (AP Photo/Rahmat Gul)(Washington Bureau)

President Donald Trump will speak to the nation on Monday night to lay out his plan of action for fighting the war in Afghanistan.
According to several sources, Trump has made the decision to commit more troops to the nearly 16-year war, America’s longest-running conflict. The U.S. went to war in Afghanistan after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.
Trump is expected to send additional troops with the mission of training Afghan special operations soldiers. Sources say he will lay out new expectations for the actions of the governments of Afghanistan and Pakistan.

Here’s what to expect Monday.
What time: The White House says the president will speak to the nation at 9 p.m. ET
What channel: The major networks will be carrying the address, as will cable news channels such as CNN, C-SPAN, Fox News and MSNBC.
Livestream: The White House will livestream the speech here. 
From where: Trump has returned to Washington from his working vacation in New Jersey, but will speak from Fort Myer, a U.S. Army post in Arlington, Virginia.
What he will say: He is expected to announce the deployment of 4,000 more troops to Afghanistan. According to NPR, he will announce that he is tightening expectations on its government and the government of Pakistan.
According to unnamed White House sources, the move is aimed to show the commitment of the United States to stay in the country until the mission is completed.
Defense Secretary James Mattis, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster are all in favor of a plan that adds troops who will train Afghan special forces, according to Bloomberg News.
 

Franklin father’s 3rd trial for son’s scalding death comes to halt

Published: Monday, August 21, 2017 @ 8:57 AM
Updated: Monday, August 21, 2017 @ 6:18 PM

Attorneys provided with transcript of wrong witness

The first day of Robert Ritchie’s third trial came to an unresolved halt Monday when the defense moved for a mistrial after being provided the transcript of the wrong witness that was used to impeach a Franklin police lieutenant on the stand.

Ritchie, 25, is charged with child endangering and involuntary manslaughter for allegedly not checking on Austin Cooper after the child was severely burned by his stepmother, Anna Ritchie.

MORE: Franklin woman admits guilt in scalding death of 4-year-old stepson

A mistrial was declared last December when the jury was hung and again in March when Ritchie became ill in court as autopsy photos of 4-year-old Austin Cooper were shown.

Defense attorney Frank Schiavone III was vigorously cross examining Franklin Police Lt. Gerald Massey on Monday about differences in his testimony on the stand and what he said in at the second trial.

Specific questions concerned if the child’s burn injuries were visible to him and other officers when the first arrived at the Bolder Drive house on March 17, 2016.

MORE: Mistrial declared after dad in scalding case gets sick in court

The court asked for a break and during that break, it was discovered the court reporter accidently mislabeled the transcript, putting Massey’s name on it, when it was actually the testimony of another witness.

Schiavone III and Frank Schiavone IV asked for a mistrial.

Prosecutors declined to give an opinion until they had a chance to confer with others in the office.

Warren County Judge Robert Peeler said a mistrial is not warranted based on one witness.

“The way this has been presented now, it can’t be fixed,” Schiavone III said to the judge.

Peeler answered, “this is one witness.”

Schiavone III said he was a crucial witness because he verified testimony of others.

“I was cross examining him with a transcript that was incorrect, so our whole defense went away,” Schiavone III said.

The judge said it is his belief that the cross examination of one witness is “not going to make or break this.”

MORE: Report of shots fired in Middletown leads to several arrests

Peeler asked the jury if they could disregard the testimony, explaining the transcript mix-up as human error, and all raised their hands in acknowledgement that they could.

The judge has reserved final decision until Tuesday morning after hearing from the defense and the prosecution.

During opening statements, the prosecution said if Ritchie had opened the bedroom door and checked on his 4-year-old son on March 16, 2016, he could have survived the bathtub scalding injuries he suffered at the hands of his stepmother, prosecutors told the jury today.

Assistant Warren County Prosecutor Julie Kraft said Anna Ritchie drew a scalding hot bath for Austin and held him in that tub, burning the child because she was angry. Then she put socks on his legs that were bleeding and peeling and put the boy in his crib.

Anna Ritchie then communicated with her husband through text messages and in person when he returned to their Franklin home that she was “worried” about Austin’s injuries, Kraft said during opening statements. The assistant prosecutors said Anna Ritchie told her husband the boy’s legs were bleeding and peeling.

MORE: Photos of 2 suspects in Hamilton pharmacy robbery released

“With the info Robert Ritchie had, he did not open the door to check on his son,” Kraft told the jury. She added what Robert Ritchie did do was check the water temperature in the water heater and turn it down.

Later, when Anna Ritchie returned home from a trip to the store, the couple went to bed. Still no one had checked on the injured 4-year-old, Kraft said.

The next morning, Anna Ritchie left the house early. Then Robert Ritchie went into his son’s room, some 15 hours later, and “found his child deceased in his crib,” Kraft said.

But defense Schiavone III said Robert Ritchie is a “good man” who loved his son and had previously fought to have full custody.

The defense maintains Austin was dead when Anna Ritchie put him in the crib, before Robert came home.

“There is nothing Robert Ritchie could have done to save the child, based on Anna Ritchie’s testimony,” Schiavone III said. “The child was already in heaven.”

He said Robert Ritchie “married a murderer.”

After killing the child, Anna Ritchie began a “huge coverup, ” Schiavone III said, adding Robert Ritchie trusted what his wife told him. He noted Anna Ritchie put socks on the boy and covered him up to hide the injuries from her husband.

The defense attorney also told jurors there is no evidence of Austin’s time of death.

“The evidence is clear, if Robert Ritchie had opened that door, he would have seen his child that appeared to be sleeping.” Schiavone III told the jury.

But Franklin Sgt. Shannon Cotton testified he was the first to arrive at the house and saw burns on Austin’s legs just by looking over the crib. Massey also said today during live testimony that he saw injuries to the boy as emergency workers work lifting the boy’s stiff body.

If the trial continues, a subpoena has been issued for Anna Ritchie to possibly testify.

Anna Ritchie, Austin’s stepmother, is serving a sentence of 18 years to life in prison after pleading guilty to murder for the boy’s death on March 15, 2016, at the couple’s Franklin home.

Middletown body dumped: Judge not pleased with request for lower bond

Published: Monday, August 21, 2017 @ 4:46 PM

Judge keeps bond at $75,000 for two charged

A judge had stern words today for one of two people who allegedly dumped a Middletown woman’s body in woods following an apparent overdose.

Erica Robinson, 32, and Joshua Swenson, 28, both of Middletown, waived their rights to preliminary hearings Monday afternoon in Middletown Municipal Court and their cases were sent to the Butler County Grand Jury.

MORE: Call about unconscious woman leads to Warren County drug charges

Both are charged with tampering with evidence, abuse of a corpse, obstructing official business and permitting drug abuse, all felonies, according to Middletown police Lt. Scott Reeve.

They told police that Leslie Dalton, 20, of Middletown, overdosed in their Wilbraham Road house and they waited until night fall, put her body in a wheelbarrow, covered it with a sheet, and then pushed her body across the street to the woods.

Joshua Swenson, top left, and Erica Robinson, top right, allegedly dumped the body of Leslie Dalton (bottom) in woods near their home after Dalton overdosed.(Staff Writer)

Missing for two weeks, Dalton was found dead in a dry creek bed on Aug. 13 by her grandmother, Sally Hollon, and a friend. Her body was badly decomposed.

MORE: Photos of Hamilton pharmacy robbery suspects released

After keeping Swenson’s bond at $75,000, Middletown Municipal Court Judge Melynda Cook Howard told Robinson’s attorney, Morgan Kohler, she had “zero intention” of lowering Robinson’s bond.

“Be happy it’s not being increased,” the judge told the attorney.

Kohler said her client had no criminal record, had a 6-year-old daughter who was being cared for by her grandparents. She asked the judge to lower the bond.

“I’m not interested in lowering her bond,” the judge said. “The charges in this case are very serious. The ability to be so callous to someone who has died no matter the circumstances is something I will not tolerate.”

MORE: Middletown woman’s body dumped in woods after overdose

Then the judge addressed Robinson.

“You apparently didn’t care about your daughter that day. And you didn’t care about your elderly parents that day. You only cared about yourself. That’s what you’re going to care about while you’re sitting in jail.”

After the hearing, family and friends of Leslie Dalton applauded the decision and praised Cook Howard for keeping both bonds at $75,000.

MORE: Mom of Middletown woman found dead in woods speaks out

An autopsy was conducted last week on Dalton’s body at the Butler County Coroner’s Office, according to administrator Martin Schneider. The cause of death is listed as “pending” by the coroner’s office.

Dalton’s mother, Rebecca Charlton, along with about 10 others, wore “Justice For Leslie” T-shirts during the hearing, and when Swenson and Robinson were led into the courtroom, one person held up a picture of Dalton.

As Trump glances at solar eclipse without glasses, aide yells, 'Don’t look’

Published: Monday, August 21, 2017 @ 5:44 PM

President Donald Trump inspired jokes across Twitter after the eclipse. He was photographed looking at the sun without protective glasses. This is dangerous and can burn your corneas. A few minutes later, he enjoyed the eclipse through glasses. He still earned a few jabs on social media, though.

As President Trump and first lady Melania Trump got in on Monday's eclipse mania, the president took a peek at the sun without the proper eyewear.         

According to pool reports, the president and first lady, who returned Sunday from Bedminster, New Jersey,watched the eclipse from a balcony at the White House. 

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 Accompanied by son Barron Trump, the pair arrived on the balcony at 2:38 p.m, per pool reports. When asked how the view was, the president gave a thumb's up.         

At one point, the president appeared to glance up at one point sans eclipse glasses, leading to an aide shouting, "Don't look," per pool reports. Looking at the eclipse without the proper eyewear   can lead to eye damage.         

At 2:41 p.m., a minute before peak eclipse at the White House at about 81 percent, the president put on a pair of glasses and stood next to the first lady.         

Still, he wasn't able to escape the Twitter jokes made after his glance at the sky.




They left the balcony after a few minutes later. Afterward, the first lady expressed excitement over the event.

Others who enjoyed the view from the White House: first daughter and presidential adviser Ivanka Trump, Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross, Attorney General Jeff Sessions, U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer, adviser Omarosa Manigault and interim communications director Hope Hicks.         

As the eclipse began in Washington, "Total Eclipse of the Heart" played over the White House's PA system.

Contributing: David Jackson