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Published: Monday, February 19, 2018 @ 8:09 AM
BUTLER COUNTY — 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.
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.
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.
Published: Wednesday, March 21, 2018 @ 9:57 AM
Updated: Wednesday, March 21, 2018 @ 12:07 PM
PFLUGERVILLE, Texas — The suspected Austin serial bomber who killed himself early Wednesday as authorities closed in on him was Pflugerville resident Mark A. Conditt, local and federal law enforcement sources told the American-Statesman and KVUE.
Published: Thursday, March 22, 2018 @ 9:01 AM
BEND, Ore. — An Oregon girl decided digging in the dirt was more her speed than watching her big sister’s JV soccer game. And that decision turned into a major discovery.
Naomi Vaughan found something that she called her “Moana rock” after it reminded her of the Heart of Te Fiti from the hit Disney film, last year, CNN reported.
The “Moana rock” turned out to be something that dated back at least 65 million years.
It was actually an ancient fossil called an ammonite. Ammonites are extinct marine invertebrates, CNN reported.
Paleontologists told Oregon Live that they’re not normally found in Bend, but have been discovered more than 80 miles away.
One paleontologist believes it came from an area further away, a town of Suplee, 112 miles east of Bend, Oregon Live reported. He believes that either there was a family connection between the two towns or that the fossil came from a school collection.
And while well-preserved ammonite fossils can fetch big bucks -- up to thousands of dollars, Vaughan’s sample may be worth about $10 or $20.
Published: Thursday, March 22, 2018 @ 4:03 AM
GWINNETT COUNTY, Ga. — A Georgia woman was found covered in cockroaches and maggots, bedridden on a sheet smeared in feces, a police report says.
Her caretakers and family members, 54-year-old Terry Ward Sorrells and 18-year-old Christian Alexander Sorrells, have both been charged with neglect of a disabled adult or elder person.
Gwinnett County Fire and Emergency Services responded to the Sugar Hill home where the woman lived with Terry Sorrells and Christian Sorrells on March 15 after receiving a call for medical assistance. The woman was unresponsive but still alive, the report says.
The AJC is not identifying the woman because she is an alleged victim of neglect.
When the fire crew arrived, they said they saw that maggots and roaches were eating the woman’s flesh and her legs were “completely black and showing signs of decomposition.” They had transported her a month earlier with a “mega mover” — a tarp-like object used by emergency medical technicians to move obese patients — and she was sitting on the same mega mover, now “completely brown and black” and covered in feces. The fire crew called police because “they did not believe she would live much longer and felt a moral obligation to report this,” the report says.
The living conditions inside the home on Pine Tree Circle were “deplorable,” the responding officer said in his report. The officer was “overwhelmed with the smell of human feces and garbage” when he walked into the house, and roaches were crawling on the walls and ceiling of “every single room,” the report says. Garbage lined the floor from the entryway to the kitchen, and covered the floor of the bathroom. In Terry Sorrells’ bedroom, there was a two-foot-high pile of empty Monster energy drink cans, with garbage piled in a closet and covering a dresser, the report says.
Terry Sorrells had gone with the woman in an ambulance before the officer arrived, but Christian Sorrells remained at the house. He told the officer that the woman had been bedridden for one or two years and had been progressively getting worse; she had been admitted into a long-term care facility, but returned home after Medicaid would not cover the cost, the report says. Christian Sorrells also told the officer that no one in the house worked.
Published: Thursday, March 22, 2018 @ 8:42 AM
A former Dayton-area U.S. Postal Service worker is alleged to have participated in 35 motorcycle races during an 18-month period in which he was disabled or on light duty, according to federal court documents.
Jerry French was indicted last week in Dayton’s U.S. District Court on counts of making false, fictitious and fraudulent statements to medical personnel and the postal service which led to Office of Workers’ Compensation Benefits of $93,971.42.
French is at least the eighth area postal worker to be alleged of federal crimes in the past few years.
Former West Carrollton postal worker Laticha Schroyer had pleaded guilty in a case where she was seen vacationing while injured, but she recently asked to withdraw her plea by bill of information.
No defense attorney is listed for French in federal court documents, and no dates have been scheduled in the case.
An indictment filed March 15 detailed how French allegedly injured his knee while falling on ice when he was delivering mail on Feb. 2, 2011.
French filled out a claim for disability pay and was off from work for a year until returning to one hour of limited duty per day, the indictment said.
The Department of Labor accepted French’s injury as a sprained knee in April 2011, according to court documents.
The indictment said French allegedly told two doctors that he could not perform most work duties, that his pain level was 8 out of 10 and that he was in pain 24/7.
A doctor amended his report to say an MRI indicated a meniscus tear and the Department of Labor approved an arthroscopic surgery, the indictment said.
The indictment said that in October 2011, another doctor performed the surgery and later submitted a report showing there was no meniscus tear and that the knee was normal.
On Dec. 1, 2011, French completed a medical history form at Kettering Medical Center in which he stated he had extreme difficulty doing tasks such as usual work, housework, hobbies, recreational and sporting activities, the indictment said.
French said, according to the document, that he had “moderate difficulty” doing activities including putting on socks, doling light activities, getting in and out of vehicles and sitting for one hour.
The indictment said in March 2012, a doctor reported French’s pain representations were out of proportion to the pathology.
In July 2012, French told a third doctor that he could no longer ride motorcycles because of his knee injury, according to the indictment.
The document said in September 2013, a Department of Labor form he submitted limited him to zero hours for lifting weight, walking, climbing, kneeling, bending, stooping and operating machinery.
In October 2013, French was interviewed by special agents from the U.S. Postal Service Office of the Inspector General, the document said.
During that interview, French said he was physically unable to work, go up and down stairs, kneel, ride or race his motorcycles, pass a National Hot Rod Association physical, fill his nitrous oxide tank, drive a manual car or put pressure on his left leg.
The indictment said that from May 13, 2011, to Oct. 23, 2013, agents of the Inspector General observed French “participating in approximately thirty-five motorcycle races and one car race at various racetracks in Ohio and Indiana.”
The document also said agents saw French loading trailers, carrying equipment and moving metal tanks.
The indictment doesn’t explain why it was filed several years after the events and federal prosecutors didn’t respond to messages seeking comment.