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Published: Thursday, November 09, 2017 @ 2:12 PM
Updated: Thursday, November 09, 2017 @ 2:13 PM
HAMILTON — A witness who put William “Billy” Tucker near the scene of the fire that killed Hamilton firefighter Patrick Wolterman in December 2015, testified Thursday that she picked him up at a Richmond, Ky., CVS pharmacy and drove him to Hamilton’s East side in exchange for pills.
Tucker, 46, and his uncle Lester Parker, 67, are both charged with arson and murder in the fire at Parker’s Pater Avenue home that killed Wolterman on Dec. 28, 2015.
For $40 in gas and a promise of pain pills, Courtney Basinger said she made the two-hour trip to Richmond on Dec. 27, 2015, with three children and Tucker’s girlfriend to give him a ride to Hamilton.
Once back in Hamilton during the early morning hours of Dec. 28, the Liberty Twp. resident said Tucker told her they were going to “the Knob” and instructed her to drive to and then pull over on Grand Avenue.
“He got out of the car with the bag,” Basinger told the jury during the fourth day of trial in Butler County Common Pleas Court.
“He said he would be back in about 20 minutes, to wait for him,” she said, adding that Tucker walked toward Pater Avenue. “He seemed like he was in a hurry.”
When Tucker returned to the car, he had a gas can, Basinger said.
“He was out of breath,” she told the jury.
Tucker then unrolled a paper towel and gave her 10 opioid pills that she estimated were worth $30 each.
It was not until a year later that Basinger said she realized Tucker may have been involved in the fatal arson.
“I didn’t realize until the detective knocked on the door,” she said.
But during cross examination by Tucker’s defense attorney, Basinger admitted that before police questioned her, a friend had told her to go to the authorities with details about the car ride.
The defense also pointed out other contradictions in Basinger’s testimony.
Tucker’s defense attorney, Tamara Sack, played a tape of Basinger telling a detective in November 2017 that Tucker also had a pad lock with him when he returned to the car that night.
Parker’s defense attorney, David Washington, questioned Basinger about her drug use on the night she dropped Tucker off as well as the year that followed.
She admitted she may not have been clear headed at the time, saying that in December 2015 she was addicted to meth and opioids but has been clean for the past 10 months.
“Where you concerned about him spilling gas in your car,” Washington asked Basinger.
Published: Friday, January 19, 2018 @ 6:59 AM
— The Five Rivers MetroParks 2nd Street Market is adding a new restaurant vendor who has helped develop dishes at some of Dayton’s best-known restaurants.
Invoke, founded by brothers Lester and Larry Gates, will open in early February in the market space that previously housed Arepas Colombian Comfort Food, which closed its market eatery in late 2017.
Lester Gates has worked in several positions in the kitchens of several Dayton-area restaurants for the past eight or nine years, including a brief stint at the now-defunct l’Auberge and Sidebar restaurants, and at Salar Restaurant & Lounge, Taste Creative Cuisine, Lucky’s Taproom & Eatery and Hilton Garden Inn. He also offers private catering as Lester’s Kitchen.
Gates said he felt opening a restaurant at the downtown Dayton market will allow him to showcase his skills and boost his visibility.
“I wanted to find a way to establish myself,” Gates said. “I want to show Dayton what I’m ready to do.”
Invoke will be a full three-day-a-week vendor, and when the market expands its hours this June to Thursday through Sunday, Invoke’s hours will expand as well.
The menu will rotate with the seasons, and ingredients will be sourced locally, Gates said.
Invoke’s menu will include classic brunch items such as chicken and waffles — in this case, the waffles will be made from sweet potatoes — along with Eggs Benedict and BLT sandwiches. There will be several vegan options offered, including a BLT with tofu bacon, a “carrot dog,” and vegan cookies and cheesecake, Gates said.
RELATED: Dayton’s 2nd Street Market tries expanded hours as attendance grows (March 2017)
Gates, a Middletown native, said he and his brother have worked in the food-service industry separately for several years.
Published: Friday, January 19, 2018 @ 9:35 AM
Updated: Friday, January 19, 2018 @ 9:55 AM
DAYTON — UPDATE @ 9:55 a.m.
Unattended cooking has been blamed for causing a house fire on Iola Avenue in Dayton Friday.
CONTINUING COVERAGE: Tough decisions led to Good Samaritan Hospital closing
Firefighters reported flames and smoke coming from the rear of a home in the 900 block of Iola Avenue around 9:25 a.m. Friday.
The home’s occupant left the home, leaving cooking food on the stove, investigators said. The damage to the home will displace the occupant.
Firefighters have not been able to get in contact with the occupant.
No injuries were reported.
Firefighters have responded to reports of a house fire on Iola Avenue in Dayton Friday morning.
Crews were dispatched around 9:25 a.m. to the 900 block of Iola Avenue and reported fire coming from the back of the structure.
Published: Friday, January 19, 2018 @ 5:00 AM
WRIGHT-PATTERSON AIR FORCE BASE — The specter of a partial federal government shutdown looms at midnight Friday, but many federal employees feel “immune” to the threat of being sent home in a repeated cycle of last-minute stopgap spending measures to avert a shutdown, union leaders say.
“I think employees are actually getting immune to it,” said Troy Tingey, president of the American Federal of Government Employees Council 214, which represents several thousand employees at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base.
But many also have lost patience.
“A lot of them are starting to look for other career fields in the private sector,” he said in a telephone interview Thursday from Hill Air Force Base, Utah. “They’ve had about enough of this.” And some are rethinking who should represent them in Congress, he added.
Congressional leaders are faced with the prospect for the fourth time since September voting for a short-term spending measure – called a continuing resolution – to avoid a government shutdown through mid-February. The consequences of a shutdown would likely furlough thousands of civil service workers at Wright-Patterson, as it did in 2013.
The House passed a stopgap spending measure in a 230-to 197-vote late Thursday. The bill now heads to the Senate where its fate was uncertain Friday.
President Donald Trump injected confusion by tweeting Thursday that a children’s health care program should not be part of a short-term budget agreement. The White House quickly said Trump indeed supports the House GOP measure, which would extend the popular Children’s Health Insurance Program, or CHIP, for six years and keep the government’s doors open through Feb. 16.
Waiting for word
Although a base spokesperson said Wright-Patterson has not received instructions to prepare for a shutdown, the last time a closure happened some civil service employees, such as police, fire, and medical workers, or those who were involved with the protection of life and property, were exempt. Military personnel stayed on the job.
Even so, when they report to work, they would likely not be paid until a funding deal was reached, two Wright-Patterson firefighter union leaders said.
“There is some stresses for some of our guys because they aren’t sure what’s going to happen,” said Brian Grubb, president of the International Association of Firefighters Local F88 at Wright-Patterson.
“I think for some of the newer employees that haven’t had to navigate this or just not knowing how long this potential shutdown could be …. there’s that uncertainty,” said Steven E. McKee, Local F88 secretary-treasurer and a firefighter.
“I can’t imagine a Google, Facebook or Ford Motor co. … running as inefficiently,” McKee said, adding “it’s a huge impediment, a hindrance and it’s not right. It’s not fair to either the federal worker and or the citizen.”
Tingey said many members have lost confidence in Congress and the White House.
“When we get out there and we talk to (employees), they just have lost all confidence and respect in not only in (the) House and Senate, but in the administration as a whole,” he said.
U.S. Reps. Mike Turner, R-Dayton, and Brad Wenstrup, R-Cincinnati, both members of the House Armed Services Committee, indicated Thursday they would vote for stopgap funding to keep the government open.
“We’re in the sad position of having to vote for another continuing resolution which shortchanges our military and our men and women in uniform,” said Turner, who has Wright-Patterson in his congressional district. “I believe that will pass the House … and then the Senate will be in a position to on a short-term basis continuing funding the government.
“The Senate has to stop holding the budget deal hostage,” Turner added. “They refuse to negotiate and discuss the budget deal until immigration is resolved and the government hasn’t been funded since the end of September. These are unrelated issues. They need to proceed in a decoupled fashion and it’s doing real damage to our military that Senate Democrat leadership continues to take that stand.”
Democrats are demanding a deal on legislation to offer protection from deportation to younger immigrants who were brought to the country as children and now are here illegally as a prerequisite for any longer-term government funding agreement. They say the four-week duration of the House continuing resolution is too long and would take the pressure off of immigration negotiations.
“We can’t keep careening from short-term CR to short-term CR. If this bill passes, there’ll be no incentive to negotiate and we’ll be right back here in a month with the same problems at our feet,” said Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y.“Eventually, we need to make progress on the biggest issues before us.”
Wenstrup said lawmakers were “diligently” trying to prevent a shutdown.
“I think we’ll get there, but I’ve been wrong before,” he said.
Funding the military is the highest priority with the threats the United States faces around the world, he said.
“Although a CR likely will not have what we want in terms of funding our military fully, a CR is probably our least bad option and closing down the government is an even worse option,” said Wenstrup, who added a shutdown would mean training for National Guard and reserve troops would stop.
U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio, has not indicate how he will vote on a short-term funding measure. He is waiting to see what is in the legislation before making a decision, his office said Thursday.
“There is no reason for a government shutdown,” the senator said in a statement. “Congress needs to come together and do its job.”
A spokeswoman for Sen. Rob Portman, R-Ohio, said Portman would vote yes on a short-term spending resolution.
“Rob believes both parties have a responsibility to keep the government funded and ensure safety and stability for all Americans, especially those serving in our armed forces,” spokeswoman Emily Benavides said in an email. “He will certainly vote to keep the government open.”
Follow the daytondailynews.com and mydaytondailynews.com for the latest news on a potential government shutdown Friday.
Published: Friday, January 19, 2018 @ 7:50 AM
NORTH HUNTINGDON, Pa. — A Pennsylvania man is behind bars after police said that he performed what he called a satanic ritual on a friend.
Kyle Parker is accused of cutting the victim on her palm during an argument, TribLive reported.
The woman passed out, but when she woke up, she said found razor blade cuts on her calf.
The next day the victim said that Parker told her, “I sold your soul to the devil,” Trib Live reported.