Wright-Patt C17 crews involved in Texas rescue efforts

Published: Wednesday, August 30, 2017 @ 1:41 PM

            A C-17 takes off from Wright-Patterson Air Force Base. LISA POWELL / STAFF FILE PHOTO
A C-17 takes off from Wright-Patterson Air Force Base. LISA POWELL / STAFF FILE PHOTO

Two C-17 Globemaster III cargo jets based at Wright-Patterson were flying to Texas today to aid relief efforts after Hurricane Harvey unleashed high winds and devastating floods that have forced thousands to flee.

The first flight was due to land at Biggs Army Air Field near El Paso, Texas, to pick up 35 tons of equipment for transport to Kelly Field, Texas, near San Antonio, according to 445th Airlift Wing spokeswoman Lt. Col. Cynthia Harris.

RELATED: When hurricanes strike, Wright-Patt crews have taken to the air

A second flight was scheduled to the same bases to transport food, generators and power equipment, she said. “We’re always on standby to support,” she said. “We’re here to support the people of Texas.”

At least one C-17 flight from Wright-Patterson was scheduled on both Thursday and Friday to aid relief efforts, but additional details were not immediately available.

RELATED: Wright-Patt cargo unit completes Hurricane Sandy relief efforts

The Air Force Reserve unit flew relief missions in the aftermath of Hurricanes Katrina and Rita that struck the Gulf Coast in 2005 and Hurricane Sandy that churned into New York and New Jersey off the Atlantic Coast in 2012.

In the biggest relief effort in recent decades, the Wright-Patt wing flew C-141 Starlifters to evacuate more than 400 patients in New Orleans, La., and southwest Texas after Katrina and Rita.

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Katrina, a monster storm, caused a widespread path of destruction, killing more than 1,000 people and leaving hundreds of thousands homeless in Mississippi and Louisiana. New Orleans was extensively flooded after a levee holding back water was breached.

In 2012, the Wright-Patterson wing flew 10 C-17 missions carrying 69 patients and 685 tons of equipment and relief supplies —- including blankets, power generators and utility trucks — after Hurricane Sandy rolled into New York and New Jersey.

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Miami County could house federal prisoners for first time in years

Published: Monday, February 19, 2018 @ 2:32 PM

            Miami County Sheriff Dave Duchak. CONTRIBUTED.
Miami County Sheriff Dave Duchak. CONTRIBUTED.

TROY – Details are being finalized for the housing of federal prisoners in Miami County for the first time in nearly a decade.

Sheriff Dave Duchak said his staff is working with the federal marshal’s service on a contract under which up to 20 prisoners would be housed in pods at the county Incarceration Facility located between Troy and Piqua.

The proposed agreement would allow for up to 15 males and five females. The county would be paid $59 per day, per prisoner and would be paid to transport the prisoners to and from the facility to federal court in Dayton.

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The Incarceration Facility was built in 1999 with the goal at the time of using one half of its four, 60-person pods to house local prisoners and to rent the other half to help offset facility operating costs.

The county housed prisoners for other counties and the federal marshal’s service before the facility was closed at the end of 2009 because of budget cuts blamed on the recession. The sheriff’s office reopened one of the facility’s pods in 2013, the second in 2014 and a third last year.

Last year, the sheriff’s office again started renting a few beds to the Darke County Sheriff’s Office and Greenville police. More recently, the Pike County Sheriff’s Office has been renting beds. Those agencies are using about 10 beds a day. Last year, the sheriff’s office brought in around $100,000 from bed rentals.

“I don’t have a problem renting out beds as long as it doesn’t hurt our judges’ ability to incarcerate,” Duchak said.

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County Commission President John “Bud” O’Brien said he and fellow commissioners are “certainly in favor of the sheriff renting beds to whoever he can.” The rentals help supplement the cost of operating the facility, he said.

“We haven’t seen the contract yet, but are looking forward to seeing it,” O’Brien said.

Duchak said the arrangement for housing federal prisoners would be like the previous agreement.

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Miami County also has a jail at the county Safety Building in Troy, where up to 48 prisoners can be held. That space is used for primarily for violent offenders, while nonviolent offenders are housed at the Incarceration Facility. The federal prisoners would be nonviolent people facing charges for financial and other crimes, Duchak said.

Before the sheriff’s office could open the fourth, 60-person pod, it would need to hire six additional correction officers. That process would take at least nine months, Duchak said.

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Director: Youth soccer coach recovering after attack at Beavercreek bar

Published: Monday, February 19, 2018 @ 4:05 PM

Contributed Photo/Soccer Shots Miami Valley
Contributed Photo/Soccer Shots Miami Valley

A local youth soccer coach is recovering after an incident the program’s director said was an attack outside a Beavercreek bar early Friday morning. 

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The coach was knocked unconscious outside Tuty’s Bar and Grill on Feb. 16, Soccer Shots Miami Valley Owner and Director Brandon Artis told this news outlet. 

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Nathan Bias, the coach, has not commented to this outlet. 

Artis, who did not witness the attack, but spoke with Bias afterward, said Bias was attacked while waiting for an Uber outside the bar around 2 a.m. 

Bias was found unconscious by employees of the bar who then called police. Bias suffered several cuts, bruises, and likely a concussion, Artis said. 

Two or three men attacked Bias while he waited outside for an Uber, according to Artis. 

Beavercreek police confirmed they were dispatched to the bar at 3982 Colonel Glenn Highway on reports of an assault on Feb 16., but investigators were not able to release additional details or if they had any suspects. 

This news outlet is still working to determine what led to the incident.

Bias was hospitalized, but has since been released after receiving treatment. 

We’ll continue to update this page as new details become available. 

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Ohio firearms group says gun owners are ‘doing something’

Published: Sunday, February 18, 2018 @ 3:34 PM

Buckeye firearms association statement

Last week’s mass shooting at a Florida school that left 17 dead and even more injured has rekindled the debate on gun-control issues.

In Ohio, the Buckeye Firearms Association on Friday issued a release noting that a call “to do something” regarding the gun violence such as the Feb. 14 killings at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla. is ignoring ongoing action by that organization.

On Sunday, Ohio Gov. John Kasich on CNN’s State of the Union called for national leaders to step up and make changes while hinting he may support a ban on the sale of a weapon used in the Florida school shootings. Such a stance would constitute a major reversal for Kasich.

RELATED: Kasich bashes Congress, seeks common sense gun laws

Among the highlights in the pro-gun Buckeye Firearms Association’s statement:

-Gun owners “ARE doing something. We’ve been doing something for years,” according to Dean Rieck, its executive director.

-The BFA has various activities “to directly address violence in schools, reduce suicides, promote gun safety, and support enforcement of gun laws.”

-One program - FASTER Saves Lives - provides educators with intensive violence response and trauma first aid training. Funded by private donations, more than 1,300 teachers and staff, including educators in 76 of Ohio’s 88 counties.

-The association provides training to deter or stop mass murderers in schools and works with the Ohio Department of Mental Health to promote suicide awareness and prevention.


Among Kasich’s points:

-He has “no confidence” Congress will approve what he called “common sense gun laws” in the wake of the Florida mass shooting. He suggested President Trump should take the lead.

-Indicated he would support “reasonable things,” such as full background checks for people buying guns and banning what are known as bump stocks, which allow a semi-automatic weapon to fire like an automatic weapon.

-Still supports the Second Amendment, but wants legislators to examine reasonable steps “that can be done to answer these young people.”

-Said he thought it was possible to push for some measures at the state and local level, like background checks and increased attention to mental illness.

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Fire department raffles AR-15 rifle, draws criticism

Published: Monday, February 19, 2018 @ 3:23 PM

In this photo illustration a Rock River Arms AR-15 rifle is seen on December 18, 2012 in Miami, Florida. (Photo illustration by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)
Joe Raedle/Getty Images
In this photo illustration a Rock River Arms AR-15 rifle is seen on December 18, 2012 in Miami, Florida. (Photo illustration by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)(Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

A California fire department is facing criticism after offering an AR-15 rifle as a raffle prize at a fundraiser just days after police said a 19-year-old used the same weapon to gun down 17 people at a high school in Florida.

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Allison Merrill told the Sacramento Bee that she was so offended by the gun, which was raffled Saturday during the Cameron Park Fire Department’s crab feed, that she and her friends walked out of the event.

“When we walked out, the flag was at half-mast in front of the community center, and it was just so striking, how tone-deaf the whole event was,” she told the Bee. “We walk out and there’s the flag at half-mast for all those kids.”

One person said they were "deeply disturbed."

Posted by The Sacramento Bee on Sunday, February 18, 2018

Police believe the shooter in last week’s deadly attack in Parkland, Florida, used an AR-15 when he killed 14 students and three teachers at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School.

“To have our first responders be the ones kind of offering a military-style assault rifle as a prize – putting that out into our community, especially right now – it was appalling,” Merrill told KOVR.

>> Related: Florida school shooting: Probe focuses on gunman's motives, victims' lives

Merrill told the news station that she spoke with the fire chief, who apologized and acknowledged that the gun raffle could be seen as insensitive. She told the Bee that event organizers refunded her and each of her three friends the $40 fee for the event, although she added to KCRA that “the money wasn’t really an issue.”

“I was deeply disturbed by it,” Nancy Lugo, who attended the event with Merrill, told the Bee. “Not only the timing of the recent shootings but also the fact that it’s that easy to get an AR-15.”

>> Related: Third-graders in Missouri selling raffle tickets for AR-15 weapon

Cal Fire spokesman Scott McLean told KCRA that the Cameron Park Fire Department has held similar fundraisers since 2002. The fire department is under contract with Cal Fire, according to KCRA.

“These weapons are not any different than anything you could go into the gun store and buy,” McLean told the Bee, adding that the fundraiser was planned before last week’s deadly shooting.

The gun was taken to a gun store after the raffle, McLean said, where it will stay for a 10-day waiting period required by law as officials run background checks to ensure the winner of the raffle can legally own the firearm.

"I understand the concerns, by all means," McLean told KCRA. "No harm was intended."

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