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Vicious dogs: Ohio moves to change laws on dog owners

Published: Tuesday, February 13, 2018 @ 5:31 PM
Updated: Tuesday, February 13, 2018 @ 5:31 PM

            Vicious dog law reform gains momentum in Statehouse
Vicious dog law reform gains momentum in Statehouse

Four years after the gruesome attack that killed Dayton resident Klonda Richey, state lawmakers are taking a double barrel approach to finally putting more teeth in the state’s vicious dog laws.

State Reps. Jeff Rezabek, R-Clayton, and Steve Huffman, R-Tipp City, on Tuesday testfied on a bill in the Ohio House that mirrors legislation being sponsored by state Sen. Bill Beagle, R-Tipp City. Having “companion” bills in both chambers often increases the chances that legislation will pass.

“We have got to tell owners — whatever breed you have, if you have a dog that’s biting you can’t take that lightly,” said Rezabek.

The bills call for requiring investigation of every complaint call made to dog wardens, mandating that dog owners respond to warnings and postings from dog wardens, allowing witnesses to give sworn statements regarding problem dogs, increasing penalties for owners who fail to control their vicious dogs, requiring annual registration of dangerous dogs, extending a ban on dog ownership by violent felons or child abusers to five years and giving local authorities more discretion.

Rezabek said if a dog is provoked to attack, the owner must prove it. Currently, the law requires prosecutors to show there was no provocation in the attack.

“We want a good law that will protect the community,” Rezabek said.

Related: Lawmakers look to toughen Ohio’s vicious dog laws

The bills in the House and Senate are both named after Richey, who was fatally attacked by her neighbor’s mixed breed mastiffs on Feb. 7, 2014. Richey, 57, had called local authorities dozens of times to report concerns about the dogs in the two years leading up to her death.

Klonda Richey bills failed to gain traction in two previous legislative sessions: one died in committee in 2014 and Beagle’s bill introduced in April 2015 was voted out of the Senate in December 2016 without enough time to go through the House.

Related: Changes to dog laws still sought one year after fatal attack

Rezabek and Huffman said in their written testimony that a few months after Richey’s death, a dog that had previously attacked another dog mauled a 7-month-old baby to death; and in April 2017, a Dayton man was mauled to death by a pit bull that had been the source of previous complaints.

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Why the large Ohio 747 road project started early, and what it means for this year

Published: Monday, February 19, 2018 @ 8:09 AM

A road widening project is finally underway on Ohio 747 in Liberty Twp. Crews put out the orange barrels on Monday, Feb. 12 and the widening project is expected to last through September.The $7 million project will widen about one mile of the heavily traveled, two-lane stretch of road to five lanes - two northbound, two southbound, and a center turn lane - from Princeton Road to Millikin Road. Right turn lanes will be added on northbound 747 to eastbound Princeton Road and on eastbound Millikin Road to southbound 747. NICK GRAHAM/STAFF
A road widening project is finally underway on Ohio 747 in Liberty Twp. Crews put out the orange barrels on Monday, Feb. 12 and the widening project is expected to last through September.The $7 million project will widen about one mile of the heavily traveled, two-lane stretch of road to five lanes - two northbound, two southbound, and a center turn lane - from Princeton Road to Millikin Road. Right turn lanes will be added on northbound 747 to eastbound Princeton Road and on eastbound Millikin Road to southbound 747. NICK GRAHAM/STAFF

The Butler County engineer’s office says it is a little early for orange barrels to come out, but they have started on the Ohio 747 widening project because there are so many projects planned for this year.

There are almost 80 construction projects slated to start this year, and the engineer’s office and various townships will spend about $26 million on the improvements. The first to get underway is the $7 million widening of Ohio 747 to five lanes in Liberty Twp. Work started last Monday on the one-mile span between Princeton and Millikin roads.

RELATED: Butler County engineer plans $26 million in road work

The road won’t be shut down for the project, and two lanes of traffic will be maintained at all times with the exception of a three-day weekend closure for a culvert replacement, which will be announced when dates are determined. Completion should be mid-September.

The project was supposed to start late last summer, but utility relocation was problematic. Engineer’s spokesman Chris Petrocy said their work schedule has been moved up this year because of the number of improvements.

“Usually we target March, but we have a lot of pretty big projects coming up this year and in 2019, and in 2020 and in 2021,” he said. “The idea is to try and crank these out, get these moving.”

The next major project on the list is the roundabout at Beckett and Smith roads in West Chester Twp. The county commissioners approved a $996,090 contract — what was estimated — for that work on Thursday. Petrocy said there is a pre-construction meeting scheduled for Tuesday, and they will know better then when work will begin.

That intersection will be shut down throughout the project, which is expected to last until mid-June. Petrocy said he’ll be sending out information with suggested detour routes when they have a finalized schedule.

MORE: Ohio 747 widening to get underway

Likely the biggest road project for the year gets underway this summer with the widening of Cincinnati Dayton Road to four lanes from West Chester Road to Interstate 75. This $7 million project will stretch over two construction seasons.

“This is one of those (projects) people are going to want to find alternate routes,” Petrocy said.

The final phase on the Yankee Road improvement that gave drivers headaches last year will resume in mid-March. Yankee will once again be closed off.

Liberty Twp. Trustee Christine Matacic said that when an area is in growth mode — the township has quadrupled in size over two decades — orange barrels come with the territory.

“For the next five to seven years you’re going to see orange barrels all over Liberty Twp.,” she said. “That’s one of the disadvantages of growing as we have. There’s road improvements that need to be made and as we continue to grow we’re going to have to address those issues. Whether it’s (this construction season) going to be worse than normal, I don’t know what normal is anymore.”

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Man killed in Middletown bar incident

Published: Sunday, February 18, 2018 @ 6:13 PM

A bar fight in Middletown on the night of Feb. 16 resulted in a fatality, Middletown police confirm.

A bar fight here Friday night resulted in a fatality, Middletown police confirm. 

Major Scott Reeve of Middletown police said Sunday that there was a punch thrown late Friday night at Old Crow Bar on Jackson Lane. 


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Reeve reports that John Fugate died as a result. 

Reeve said the bar incident is under police investigation. No charges have been filed yet but Middletown police will be consulting the Butler County Prosecutor’s Office.

The bar posted on its Facebook page Saturday that the death of John Fugate is a “devastating loss.”

Middletown police did not release any additional information on the nature of the death, or if the victim was a patron or worker.

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WATCH: Florida school shooting survivor Emma Gonzalez slams politicians, NRA in emotional speech

Published: Sunday, February 18, 2018 @ 3:43 AM
Updated: Sunday, February 18, 2018 @ 3:43 AM

WATCH: Florida High School Shooting Survivor Talks About NRA

A survivor of Wednesday's deadly school shooting in Parkland, Florida, slammed President Donald Trump, lawmakers and the National Rifle Association in a scathing speech Saturday at an anti-gun rally in Fort Lauderdale.

>> Click here to watch

>> PHOTOS: Remembering Parkland Florida school shooting victims

"Every single person up here today, all these people should be home grieving," said Emma Gonzalez, a student at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School. "But instead, we are up here standing together because if all our government and president can do is send thoughts and prayers, then it's time for victims to be the change that we need to see. Since the time of the founding fathers and since they added the Second Amendment to the Constitution, our guns have developed at a rate that leaves me dizzy. The guns have changed, but our laws have not."

>> Florida school shooting heroes: 3 coaches, teachers gave lives for students

Gonzalez called out one of Trump's tweets following the shooting that left 17 people dead.

>> See the tweet here

"So many signs that the Florida shooter was mentally disturbed, even expelled from school for bad and erratic behavior. Neighbors and classmates knew he was a big problem. Must always report such instances to authorities, again and again!" Trump wrote Thursday morning.

>> Florida school shooting: How difficult is it to purchase a gun in Florida?

Gonzalez said Saturday: "We did, time and time again. Since he was in middle school, it was no surprise to anyone who knew him to hear that he was the shooter. Those talking about how we should have not ostracized him, you didn't know this kid, OK? We did. We know that they are claiming mental health issues, and I am not a psychologist, but we need to pay attention to the fact that this was not just a mental health issue. He would not have harmed that many students with a knife."

>> Who is Nikolas Cruz, accused gunman in Florida high school attack?

She added: "If the president wants to come up to me and tell me to my face that it was a terrible tragedy and how it should never have happened and maintain telling us how nothing is going to be done about it, I'm going to happily ask him how much money he received from the National Rifle Association."

>> Florida high school shooting suspect flagged as threat before tragedy

She went on to criticize him and other lawmakers.

"To every politician who is taking donations from the NRA, shame on you!" she said, prompting the crowd to chant, "Shame on you" in response.

>> Read more trending news 

"Politicians who sit in their gilded House and Senate seats funded by the NRA telling us nothing could have been done to prevent this, we call BS,” Gonzalez said. “They say tougher gun laws do not decrease gun violence. We call BS. They say a good guy with a gun stops a bad guy with a gun. We call BS. They say guns are just tools like knives and are as dangerous as cars. We call BS. They say no laws could have prevented the hundreds of senseless tragedies that have occurred. We call BS. That us kids don't know what we're talking about, that we're too young to understand how the government works. We call BS."

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2 kids dressed as 'tall man' unable to gain admission to 'Black Panther'

Published: Sunday, February 18, 2018 @ 12:52 PM

Marvel's "Black Panther" Has Record Breaking Opening Weekend

Two kids decided they wanted to go to the new Marvel superhero film “Black Panther,” but they didn’t want to pay for two movie tickets. So, they tried to dupe the movie theater’s manager.

>> Read more trending news

The duo went to the theater disguised as one “tall man” under a trench coat, but unsurprisingly, their plan didn’t work. However, despite their unsuccessful attempt to save on movie tickets, they have gone viral on Twitter thanks to their hilarious antics.

A Twitter user going by the name of Pillsbury tweeted a video of the charade, captioning it, “We tried getting the two-for-one special at ‘Black Panther.’ The manager was not having it.”

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