‘White-out’ conditions lead to 52-vehicle pileup on I-75

Published: Monday, January 21, 2013 @ 11:51 AM
Updated: Monday, January 21, 2013 @ 9:22 PM

            Emergency crews respond to Interstate 75 South near the Middletown exit for a crash involving more than 30 vehicles Monday, Jan. 21, 2013. Morning weather conditions are believed to have contributed to the crash.
            Nick Daggy
Emergency crews respond to Interstate 75 South near the Middletown exit for a crash involving more than 30 vehicles Monday, Jan. 21, 2013. Morning weather conditions are believed to have contributed to the crash.(Nick Daggy)

A snow squall that created “white-out” conditions and slick roads is being blamed for three pileup crashes that killed a 12-year-old girl and involved more than 150 vehicles on Ohio interstates Monday.

Fifty-two vehicles — including two semitrailers — crashed into each other on southbound Interstate 75 near the Ohio 122 exit in Middletown just before noon, scattering wreckage across the road and backing up traffic for miles, according to the Ohio Highway Patrol. No one involved suffered life-threatening injuries, though nine people went to Atrium Medical Centerfor treatment of bumps and bruises, officials said.

“It just came out of the blue. There was a white-out from the squall that came through the area so people couldn’t see, then the road got coated,” said Sgt. Scott Bierer, of the patrol’s Lebanon post. “It was like a perfect storm.”

Light snow flurries were predicted as a possibility Monday, but the white-out event was unexpected.

At about the same time of the massive pileup on I-75, as many as 86 cars and trucks were colliding on I-275 near the Colerain Avenue exit. About 20 people were injured in the crash and a 12-year-old girl was killed when she got out of her car after the accident, according to Colerain Twp. fire officials.

The girl, who had not been identified by name late Monday, was standing in the median and was either struck by another vehicle or a guardrail that snapped, authorities said.

A third accident involving as many as 20 vehicles happened at about 12:30 p.m. on I-270 south near Westerville, according to the Columbus Dispatch. Three people were taken to hospitals with minor injuries.

Franklin County Sheriff’s Office officials were unavailable for comment, but on scene Cpl. Robert Burns said the pileup was caused by ice and low visibility because of the snow, according to the Dispatch.

Luke Stevens, 18, of Van Wert, was at the front of the pileup on I-75 after the car he was in with three others spun out of control.

“It was complete ice all over the highway,” Stevens said, adding he could see other vehicles coming at his car once it came to a stop facing north.

“Cars were coming straight toward us at 60 miles per hour. … We ended up getting hit head-on by a truck,” he said. “We got hit probably 10 other times by other cars banging into each other. … We were in a (Buick) Rendezvous. All the airbags deployed.”

His mother was in the vehicle and was taken to a hospital with a neck injury, he said.

Authorities shut down southbound I-75 starting at Ohio 123 for about four hours while troopers and crews from Middletown, Monroe, Turtlecreek Twp., Liberty Twp. and Joint Emergency Medical Services gathered information from drivers, tended to the injured and cleared wreckage. No one has been cited for any traffic violations, officials said.

Jackie Jones, of Carlisle, said she is a teacher who was off school headed to Cincinnati Premium Outlets and was on the interstate when the snow began to fall so heavily she couldn’t see. Jones said it was instantly white.

“All I could see were cars starting to swirl in front of me. As soon as I tapped my brakes my car started to kind of get out of control,” she said.

“I gripped the wheel and somehow made it to the side of the road,” she said. “Thank goodness the cars around me didn’t collide and were able to come to stops.”

A job for voters – get yourself ready for the details of tax reform

Published: Saturday, October 21, 2017 @ 5:50 PM

As the Congress gets moving in coming weeks on the first serious effort at tax reform since the mid-1980’s, it is important for the folks back home to remember one thing – while the focus for many Americans will be on the individual tax rates and changes that impact every day taxpayers, this package is likely to be about so much more than just that, as a look back at the big tax bills of the Reagan Administration so easily demonstrates.

“I will tell you, our country needs tax cuts,” the President said in recent days, making the case that tax reform will spur economic growth in the United States.

“We’re fighting for lower taxes, big tax cuts, the biggest tax cuts in the history of our nation. We’re fighting for tax reform, as part of that,” Mr. Trump said.

And so, the voters have a bit of a homework assignment, because tax reform is about a lot more than just cutting the tax rate that Joe Six Pack and his wife pay to Uncle Sam.

The 1980’s were an active time for the House Ways and Means Committee, and the Senate Finance Committee – those are the panels in charge of writing tax measures in the Congress.

During the Reagan Administration, we had three major tax bills become law:

+ The Reagan tax cuts of 1981, the “Economic Recovery Tax Act of 1981.”

+ The next year, there was a major bill to increase taxes, the “Tax Equity and Fiscal Responsibility Act of 1982.”

+ Then, both parties came together for major changes to the Internal Revenue Code with the 1986 Tax Reform Act.

If you look at the 1986 Act, it starts with something that may end up being a prime focus in 2017:

Sec. 101. Rate Reductions
Sec. 102. Increase in standard deduction

But there is so much more that is involved in that 879 page bill, just as there was so much more than individual matters in the 1981 and 1982 tax bills.

The 1986 bill had provisions on capital gains, real estate, business tax credits, investment tax credit, depreciation, energy, agriculture, limits on certain tax shelters, provisions affecting life insurance, pensions, foreign tax provisions, and on, and on, and on.

Lots of people have told me in recent years of how lawmakers should “read the bill.”

Well, the last three big tax measures from the 1980’s are all linked on this page.

Read the bills.

And start realizing just how complicated this can be on tax reform.

Moraine chief: suspect’s handgun was loaded, had high-capacity magazine

Published: Saturday, October 21, 2017 @ 2:15 PM
Updated: Saturday, October 21, 2017 @ 2:35 PM

Morraine Shooting Presser RECAP OF EVENTS

A 23-year-old Dayton man was pointing a Ruger semi-automatic pistol with a high-capacity magazine at two Moraine police officers early Friday morning when he was shot and killed by the officers, Moraine Police Chief Craig Richardson said this afternoon, Saturday Oct. 21.

“The weapon did have a bullet in the chamber,” Richardson said of the suspect’s gun. There may have been as many as 30 rounds in the high-capacity magazine, the chief said. Richardson showed photos of the gun during a press conference at Moraine City Hall Saturday morning.

Jamarco McShann was declared dead at the scene. Officers were investigating a report of a suspicious person in a vehicle at an apartment complex at 3750 Pinnacle Road when the encounter occurred.

>>Moraine police shooting: Man killed is identified

The two officers involved in the shooting were identified as John Howard, a 19-year veteran of the department, and Jerry Knight, who has worked for the department for 19 months. Both road patrol officers have been placed on administrative leave, which is protocol for such incidents.

Moraine police on Friday requested the Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation (BCI) to oversee the primary investigation into the fatal officer-involved shooting. The Moraine police department will also conduct an internal-affairs investigation, which is part of the department’s protocol in such incidents, Richardson said.

The Moraine police chief laid out the following chain of events that led to the fatal shooting:

>> Moraine Police Shooting: Who is Jamarco McShann?

When officers arrived to investigate the report of a suspicious vehicle, they found McShann asleep or unconscious in a 2003 Pontiac Grand Am with the car stereo on. Officers saw a handgun resting on his right thigh, the chief said.

Officers did not confront him immediately; instead, they first obtained a ballistic shield and put tire-deflation device in front of the car’s tires. They also attempt to contact the owner of the vehicle, but are unsuccessful.

“This all transpires over almost a half-hour,” Richardson said. “This was not something that occurred quickly. This was a slow, methodical process the responding officers used.”

As officers using the ballistic shield re-approached the car, McShann “becomes aware of their presence, and officers begin shouting commands to raise and show his hands, but Mr. McShann fails to comply,” the Moraine chief said.

“Mr. McShann presented a handgun and pointed it at the officers, ignoring orders to drop the gun. Two officers fired their weapons, striking Mr. McShann.”

McShann died at the scene. An autopsy is pending.

One of McShann’s brothers, Jamal McShann, died in a shooting in October 2013 in Dayton. Another brother, Curtis McShann, was sentenced earlier this month to 60 years to life in prison in connection to the Oct. 25, 2016, shooting death of Brandon Lanier, 27, on Riverside Drive in Dayton.

>> PHOTOS: Scene of Moraine police shooting

Jamarco McShann had himself previously faced charges of aggravated robbery, receiving stolen property, carrying a concealed weapon, having a weapon under disability and resisting arrest, according to the Moraine police chief. He had been released from the Lebanon Correctional Institution on Aug. 2, 2016 after serving a three-year sentence stemming from three criminal cases.

Richardson called the incident a “tragedy for our community, for the officers involved, for the McShann family, for the residents of the apartment complex.”

The alleged weapon McShann was carrying when Moraine police arrived to the scene Friday. Photo provided/Moraine Police

Of his decision to seek the assistance of BCI to oversee the criminal investigation, Richardson said the large number of potential witnesses and evidence would have taxed his relatively small police agency. “It was clear we were going to need some outside assistance,” he said.

BCI spokeswoman Jill Del Greco said late Friday that the bureau’s Special Investigations Unit will lead the investigation. A half-dozen BCI officers were on scene by Friday night.

>> Moraine Police Shooting: Timeline of events

“What we’re going to be doing is conducting an independent investigation to determine the facts about what exactly occurred, and we’ll go from there,” Del Greco said.

BCI is not required to investigate officer-involved shootings, nor are departments required to ask for BCI’s assistance, Del Greco said. But many departments ask for assistance. At least 17 officer-involved shootings have been referred to BCI this year, she said.

BCI’s investigation will focus on whether there were any criminal violations during the incident, but will not make a determination on whether the officers violated any department policies. BCI will refer its findings to the Montgomery County Prosecutor’s Office, Del Greco said.

‘Underwear bomber’ sues US government over treatment in prison

Published: Saturday, October 21, 2017 @ 1:22 AM

Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab was convicted in 2012.
U.S. Marshals Office
Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab was convicted in 2012.(U.S. Marshals Office)

The “underwear bomber” has filed legal briefs against the United States government, protesting his treatment in federal prison.

>> Read more trending news

Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab of Nigeria, who is serving life sentences after his conviction for his failed attempted to set off a bomb on an international flight near Detroit in 2009, filed a lawsuit Wednesday against the Federal Bureau of Prisons and Attorney General Jeff Sessions, CBS News reported.

Abdulmutallab cited violations of his First, Fifth and Eighth Amendment rights, and claims his rights also were violated under the Religious Freedom Restoration Act of 1993.

On Christmas Day in 2009, Abdulmutallab tried to blow up an international flight -- with a bomb sewn into his underwear -- bound from Amsterdam to Detroit on behalf of al Qaeda, Reuters reported. He had called his attempt part of his “religious duty” as a Muslim to wage jihad against the United States.

Abdulmutallab, 30, who has been in federal custody since the failed bombing attempt, is serving four terms of life imprisonment plus 50 years, The Denver Post reported. He was convicted in 2012 on charges including attempted use of a weapon of mass destruction on a commercial airliner. The Northwest Airlines flight had 289 passengers on board.

In a lawsuit filed in a Colorado federal court Wednesday, Abdulmutallab said authorities in a maximum security prison were violating his constitutional rights by holding him in long-term solitary confinement under Special Administrative Measures (SAMs), CBS News reported.

According to the complaint, “The SAMs imposed on Mr. Abdulmutallab prohibit him from having any communication whatsoever with more than 7.5 billion people, the vast majority of people on the planet.”

Abdulmutallab’s SAMs “severely restrict his ability to practice his religion,” the complaint alleges. Abdulmutallab, a Muslim, is not allowed to “participate in group prayer.”

The lawsuit accused the staff at the United States Penitentiary-Administrative Maximum Facility in Florence, Colorado of repeatedly force feeding Abdulmutallab during a hunger strike using “excessively and unnecessarily painful” methods, Reuters reported.

White supremacist inmates were also permitted to harass him during prayer times, according to the lawsuit.

“Prisoners retain fundamental constitutional rights to communicate with others and have family relationships free from undue interference by the government,” Abdulmutallab’s attorney, Gail Johnson, said in a statement to the New York Times.

“The restrictions imposed on our client are excessive and unnecessary, and therefore we seek the intervention of the federal court.”

Massachusetts man arrested for dragging badly beaten dog

Published: Saturday, October 21, 2017 @ 1:40 AM

Pit bull.
AFP Contributor/AFP/Getty Images
Pit bull.(AFP Contributor/AFP/Getty Images)

A Massachusetts man accused of beating a dog so severely it was coughing blood and limping was arrested for animal cruelty, authorities said. 

>> Read more trending news

Police say, Mark Rodney Hurd, 22, of Everett left the dog in critical condition Friday. Officers said they arrived at a home to find Hurd dragging the pit bull down the driveway after the abuse had been reported to them. 

“It's extremely disappointing to see this type of violence perpetrated on an animal especially a domesticated pet,” Everett police Chief Steven Mazzie said. “The Everett Police Department takes these cases seriously and would like to remind the public to report abuse of this type if they witness it.”

Neighbors said the dog, Chance, is “docile and friendly.” Others said they were awakened Friday morning by the commotion at the house. 

Chance was rushed to a veterinary hospital for emergency treatment, police said.

Hurd is being held without bail as the abuse charges have been added onto a probation violation.