Trial begins today for 2 men charged in Hamilton firefighter’s death

Published: Monday, November 06, 2017 @ 7:21 AM


            Lester Parker sits with attorney David Washington in front row and William Tucker sits with attorney Tamara Sack behind them during a pre-trial motions hearing Friday, Nov. 3 for Parker and Tucker, the Hamilton men charged with arson and murder for the fire that killed Hamilton firefighter Patrick Wolterman. Jury selection for the trial is set to start on Monday. NICK GRAHAM/STAFF
Lester Parker sits with attorney David Washington in front row and William Tucker sits with attorney Tamara Sack behind them during a pre-trial motions hearing Friday, Nov. 3 for Parker and Tucker, the Hamilton men charged with arson and murder for the fire that killed Hamilton firefighter Patrick Wolterman. Jury selection for the trial is set to start on Monday. NICK GRAHAM/STAFF

William “Billy” Tucker and his uncle Lester Parker were in court Friday for a final hearing before their murder, arson trial begins today in Butler County Common Pleas Court.

Tucker, 46, of Richmond, Ky., is charged with two counts of aggravated arson and murder for allegedly starting a fire at his uncle’s Pater Avenue residence, where firefighter Patrick Wolterman died in December 2015. Parker, the homeowner faces the same charges.

MORE: Possible witness in Hamilton firefighter death case

Final motions were hashed out in chambers and briefly put on the record. The use of a nickname of a witness was declared moot apparently resolved by both sides and Judge Greg Stephens overruled a motion filed by Tamara Sack, Tucker’s attorney, to have the defense investigator at the table with her during the trial. The price tag for her services would have been $50 an hour and the trial is scheduled for three weeks.

EXCLUSIVE: Burglar alarm sent police to home where Hamilton firefighter died

Two weeks ago, Sack filed four motions under seal, including one notice of alibi for Tucker.

Butler County Prosecutor Michael Gmoser said he could not comment on the substance of sealed motions, including an alleged alibi for Tucker.

But he said he stands by the indictment.

“I plan on proving this case as if he was there and set the fire and he did so after being solicited by Lester Parker,” Gmoser said. “I stand by our allegations and we intend to prove every single one of them.”

Other motions filed seem to indicate there is a witness that can put Tucker at or near the scene of the fire.

Last month, in a motion requesting a jury view, Sack indicated there was a witness that could place Tucker at the scene of the fire.

Sack requested Stephens grant a jury view of the scene at 1310 Pater Ave.

In the motion, Sack said jury view of the scene is material to facts of the indictment specifically “regarding the location of the fire … leading to Grand Avenue at the location where the State’s witness alleges the defendant (Tucker) left the vehicle and headed on foot to the 1310 Pater Ave. location.”

The judge has called for 125 prospective jurors and selection will begin this afternoon in a large courtroom on the second floor of the Butler County Government Services Center. Stephens said a jury will be selected on Monday and the jury will view the scene on Tuesday morning.

MORE: Hamilton firefighter death: 1 of 2 charged has alibi, attorney says

Wolterman died when he fell through the home’s first floor while fighting the blaze on Dec. 28, 2015.

Suspect named in Pennsylvania police officer's shooting death

Published: Sunday, November 19, 2017 @ 3:54 AM
Updated: Sunday, November 19, 2017 @ 11:57 AM

Rahmael Sal Holt
New Kensington police
Rahmael Sal Holt(New Kensington police)

Here’s what we know about the fatal shooting of a New Kensington, Pennsylvania, police officer:

>> Visit WPXI.com for complete coverage

>> Click here or scroll down for more

5 things to know about the new Holtman’s Donuts in Butler County

Published: Saturday, November 18, 2017 @ 12:00 PM

Holtman’s Donuts open at Streets of West Chester

An award-winning, family-owned doughnut shop chain with a devoted Greater Cincinnati fan-base recently debuted its first Butler County location.

Holtman’s Donuts, which also has locations in Over-The-Rhine, Loveland and Williamsburg, located its fourth storefront at 9558 Civic Centre Blvd. in the Streets of West Chester shopping center.

We spoke with marketing and branding manage Katie Plazarin, who co-owns the shop with her husband, Danny, to give readers five things to know about Holtman’s Donuts and its newest site.

MORE: Matt the Miller’s Tavern opens at Streets of West Chester

1. Numerous varieties made fresh daily

Keeping with tradition, donuts are handmade fresh and from scratch each day, with a staff that cranks out the sweet treats as quickly as possible.

“We make it from scratch, so it’s a labor of love,” Plazarin said. “It’s very intensive. Our philosophy is to kind of keep things the way they’ve always been.”

The seemingly endless amount of cake donuts include interesting, sometimes unusual flavors like Lucky Charms Marshmallow, Red Velvet Cake, Oreo, Iced Blueberry and Maple Bacon, to name a few.

There’s also a wide array of yeast doughnuts, doughnut holes, cakes, danishes, fritters and turnovers.

MORE: 6 things to know about the new Chuy’s in West Chester

2. Making the doughnuts isn’t a top secret process

There’s no hiding the process from prying eyes at the new Holtman’s Donuts. Employees concoct the sweet treats up front in an area that allows onlookers a sneak peek at each doughnut being loving — and sometimes laboriously — crafted as they enter and exit the business.

There’s also a glassed-off area that shows the doughnuts and other creations being put in and taken out of ovens before being put on display for purchase.

“We want to make sure we’re not hiding anything from you,” Plazarin said. “You’re seeing exactly what we’re doing, what we’re putting in the doughnuts.”

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3. A multi-generation family business

Holtman’s Donuts’ roots stretch back to 1960, when brothers Charles and Marvin Holtman opened the first shop. Family members opened other locations thereafter, bringing the total number to 13 at one point.

Charles Holtman daughter, Toni Plazarin, took over the remaining location in 1995, going on with her husband Chuck to open a second one in Williamsburg in 2009. The couple, along with children Becky, Lorrie and Danny, operated the family business for years, with Danny and wife Katie opening a shop in Over-the-Rhine Shop four years ago.

MORE: Jag’s Steak & Seafood menu update: 5 things to know

4. The new shop’s larger size helps all locations

Plazarin told this media outlet that the new location is her “dream shop” and has everything other locations have, but is larger, with increased seating both indoors and outdoors.

“We opened Over-the-Rhine in 2013 and we very quickly ran out of room,” she said. “It’s a very small operation down there.”

The entire OTR space would fit inside just the indoor setting area in West Chester, Plazarin said.

“With the (new) store, we wanted to blow people away,” she said. “We wanted a space where you could sit and you could come with your family … and have a fun time.”

The added space has allowed Holtman’s Donuts to produce more donuts and fulfill bigger orders, which has allowed it to start catering again, Plazarin said.

MORE: 6 things to know about Duluth Trading Co. in West Chester

5. Hours have changed to deal with demand

Since making its West Chester debut in September, the doughnut shop changed its hours of operations to accommodate customer demand. Its now open from 6 a.m. to 1 p.m. Sundays and Mondays and 6 a.m. to 8 p.m. Tuesdays through Saturdays.

Dayton business owner fires shots, thwarts mobile phone store robbery

Published: Sunday, November 19, 2017 @ 9:43 AM
Updated: Sunday, November 19, 2017 @ 10:49 AM

STORE SURVEILLANCE: Fix or Cell Now robbery

UPDATE @ 10:44 a.m.

The owner of a Dayton mobile phone repair shop is calling for stricter punishment for robbers targeting area phone stores. 

Adam Seaton, owner of Fix or Cell Now, thwarted a Sunday morning robbery attempt at his store when he fired shots at the suspects. 

“Give these guys [robbery suspects] punishment. They’re just stealing them [cell phones] and the courts just let them out the next day,” Seaton said. 

"“It’s not the police it’s the justice system. The police arrest them and the courts just let them out the next day." 

Seaton said this is the fourth robbery - and the first he's successfully stopped, since opening his store in December. 

As for what other business owners can do to prevent robberies, Seaton advises they purchase a folding security gate. 

"Just had my security gate save my inventory from getting stolen so invest in one of those," Seaton said.

The owner of Fix or Cell Now says he fired shots at potential robbers.

EARLIER REPORT

A Dayton business owner says he caught a group of burglars breaking into his cell phone store before firing shots at the suspects Sunday morning.

Dayton police were dispatched to Fix or Cell Now at 619 Watervliet Street around 5:09 p.m. after the business' owner called to report the attempted robbery. 

According to a police report, owner Adam Seaton was blocks away when he received a notification on his phone from the store's security system. 

>> Belmont Market manager holds would-be robber at gunpoint

As he arrived to the store, Seaton told Dayton police he saw two men running from the store. Seaton said one of the men then stopped, pulled out a gun, and pointed it in his direction. 

According to police, Seaton then grabbed an AK-47 from his passenger seat and fired at the men. Seaton told our breaking news team he believes one of his bullets hit a suspect, but he cannot be sure. 

"Typically robberies at the store are done in 20 to 45 minutes, but I happened to be in the right place at the right time," Seaton said. 

>> Circle K on Watervliet Ave. is robbed of cash

Seaton told police the would-be-thieves wearing black masks fled on foot after he fired shots. He said he followed the two men in his truck as they made their way into a running getaway truck parked in the 2500 block of Mundale Avenue. 

Seaton continued to follow the suspects in his truck. That's when he says the suspects began firing shots at his vehicle out of a driver side window. 

Police said Seaton ended his pursuit at the intersection of Smithville Road and Linden Avenue before returning to the store to alert police. 

>> Can you ID CLark’s Pharmacy robbers in Brookville

According to the report, officers reviewed store surveillance which showed one suspect throw a brick through a security-gate reinforced window while another stood watch outside of the store. 

Seaton said this is the fourth attempted robbery at his store since its opening in December. He said broken glass and shell casing could be seen in the store's parking lot Sunday morning.

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Bill Murray resurrects 'Caddyshack' character in Facebook series about baseball

Published: Sunday, November 19, 2017 @ 10:09 AM

Bill Murray is eye to eye with a groundhog in a scene from the 1980 film
Bill Murray is eye to eye with a groundhog in a scene from the 1980 film "Caddyshack."(Archive Photos/Getty Images)

Carl Spackler is back.

Bill Murray played the hilarious golf course groundskeeper in “Caddyshack,” determined to keep a pesky gopher from ruining his lush fairways. He will play a similar role in “Bill Murray and Brian Doyle Murray’s Extra Innings,” an unscripted series that debuts Monday on Facebook, Entertainment Weekly reported.

>> Read more trending news

The show will stream on Mondays for the next 10 weeks.

The brothers will chronicle their adventures to several baseball parks and will attempt to get rid of animated gophers at the Martha’s Vineyard stadium. Bill Murray dresses in his Spackler outfit, with shredded cargo shorts and a floppy bucket hat, to play “Whack-a-Mole,” Entertainment Weekly reported.

Bill Murray & Brian Doyle Murray's - Extra Innings

Join Bill Murray and Brian Doyle-Murray starting 11/20 as they wander the Minor League ballparks of America, mingle with the locals, heckle a few players, and maybe even catch a bit of the game. Nobody does nothing better than these two.

Posted by Bill Murray & Brian Doyle-Murray’s Extra Innings on Friday, November 10, 2017

“I have issues with my own personal space,” Murray says as he wanders into the outfield, armed with a watering can. “In an ordinary situation, I need about a meter around me to be comfortable. However, on a baseball field, I need to be far away from any burrowing animal.”

Bill Murray, perhaps the most famous fan of the Chicago Cubs, also sings the new show’s theme song, “The Thing About Baseball,” written by the brothers and Paul Shaffer.