Wright State board to sign off on resignations of professor, researcher

Published: Thursday, October 05, 2017 @ 1:57 PM

Wright State University.
Wright State University.

Wright State University trustees on Friday could officially accept the resignations of two university employees who were involved in two separate scandals.

The board of trustees will vote on recommendations from university president Cheryl Schrader for the school to accept the resignations of Jason Fruth and Phani Kidambi. At nearly every public meeting, Wright State’s board formally signs off on all new hires, promotions and separations of employees from the school.

» RELATED: Wright State professor resigns while under investigation

Fruth, who an assistant professor and co-director of the intervention specialist program, resigned in May amid a four-month university investigation into accusations that he raped one student and sexually harassed other students.

The university’s Office of Equity and Inclusion launched the investigation of Fruth, 37, on Feb. 19 after a graduate student filed a complaint claiming she had been raped by the professor, WSU investigative records obtained by the Dayton Daily News show. Fruth denied the rape and harassment allegations and a criminal investigation by the Beavercreek police led to no charges.

Kidambi, who was also suspended since May 2015 because of a federal investigation of possible violation of immigration laws, resigned from the university in August, according to records obtained by the I-Team.

» RELATED: WSU firing long-suspended provost; researcher resigns

Wright State leaders have also taken steps to fire former provost Sundaram Narayanan, who has been on paid suspension for more than two years during the same federal investigation.

Narayanan and Kidambi were two of four university administrators initially suspended in May 2015 because of the federal investigation, which an I-Team investigation showed was related to the university’s use of H-1B temporary work visas to secure employees for an area IT staffing firm in possible violation of immigration rules.

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Fights, arrests reported after Wilberforce, CSU basketball game

Published: Friday, January 19, 2018 @ 8:16 AM

CSU's Chris Scott scored a game-high 26 points despite fouling out with more than four minutes to go in the game. Contributed
CSU's Chris Scott scored a game-high 26 points despite fouling out with more than four minutes to go in the game. Contributed

Fights reportedly broke out in Wilberforce Thursday night after the men’s college basketball game between the Wilberforce University Bulldogs and the Central State Mauraders.

Emergency scanner traffic shortly after 10:30 p.m. indicated medics and several area police agencies responded to assist campus police at Wilberforce University, after the Bulldogs upset the Mauraders 83-70.

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A man who said he worked security at the game Tweeted that it was “absolute chaos” with many fights and arrests.

Final score at Wilberforce University Jan. 18, 2018.

CSU trailed WU at halftime by 22 points and could not make up the difference as the Bulldogs converted 10 of 22 three-point shots, according to a game summary report from CSU.

A heated rivalry exists between the two HBCU schools, which are separated by a few hundred yards and U.S. 42.

WU improved its record to four wins, 13 losses, according to the report.

CSU has six wins, 12 losses on the season and is tied for first place with Kentucky State in the Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Conference West Division, according to the report.

MORE >>> New Xenia council member failed to pay city taxes, faced criminal charges

This story will be updated as more information becomes available.

Threat of government shutdown wearing on workers

Published: Friday, January 19, 2018 @ 5:00 AM


            In this file photo from June 2017, Brent Sullins, a meteorologist with the 88th Operations Support Squadron Base Weather Station at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base prepared a weather briefing for 445th Airlift Wing crew. The base faces the prospect of a partial government shutdown midnight Friday. TY GREENLEES / STAFF FILE PHOTO
            Ty Greenlees
In this file photo from June 2017, Brent Sullins, a meteorologist with the 88th Operations Support Squadron Base Weather Station at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base prepared a weather briefing for 445th Airlift Wing crew. The base faces the prospect of a partial government shutdown midnight Friday. TY GREENLEES / STAFF FILE PHOTO(Ty Greenlees)

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.

RELATED: What if a government shutdown happened? Five things to know

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.

RELATED: Fears grow as shutdown deadline nears

“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.

RELATED: Will a shutdown happen? Wright Patt in a holding pattern

Congressional vote

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.”

RELATED: Lack of a defense budget raises concerns at Wright-Patterson

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.

RELATED: Temporary funding prevents shutdown, but hurts military, officials say

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.”

The Associated Press contributed to this story.

Follow the daytondailynews.com and mydaytondailynews.com for the latest news on a potential government shutdown Friday.

Driver runs onto freeway to avoid car crashing into tow truck

Published: Friday, January 19, 2018 @ 5:47 AM

WATCH: Tow Truck Driver Narrowly Misses Being Hit On Highway

A Michigan tow truck driver working to load a crashed vehicle was nearly hit by another car that lost control in slick conditions.

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On Wednesday morning at 10:30, the tow truck driver was working to load a vehicle that had been involved in a crash onto a truck. 

A Michigan State Police officer was behind the tow truck, and on cruiser cam, the officer can be heard asking for another cruiser to block the I-96 on-ramp. A moment later, the cruiser cam captures footage of a car losing control on the ramp, crashing into the tow truck.

The tow truck driver was able to run onto the freeway at the last moment, avoiding being crushed by the car.

“A trooper was writing a crash that occurred on I-96 in the express lane and this individual came down the ramp from southbound Southfield too fast, lost control of the vehicle and hit the tow truck,’’ Lt. Mike Shaw told The Detroit Free Press.

The car that lost control ended up on top of the car that was being loaded. The at-fault driver was cited “for violation of basic speed law, driving too fast for road conditions and violation of Michigan’s emergency vehicle move-over law,’’ Shaw said.

Nobody was injured, the Free Press reported.

5 demolition sites targeted in 1-mile West Carrollton strip near I-75

Published: Friday, January 19, 2018 @ 6:31 AM


            Dayton Hydroponics plans demolish the former Duke’s Restaurant at 630 E. Dixie Drive in West Carrollton, build a new facility and relocate from 3856 Miamisburg-Centerville Road to a site that will include room for retail businesses. West Carrollton officials say the plan would give the Dixie corridor its first new retail space in about 20 years. NICK BLIZZARD/STAFF
Dayton Hydroponics plans demolish the former Duke’s Restaurant at 630 E. Dixie Drive in West Carrollton, build a new facility and relocate from 3856 Miamisburg-Centerville Road to a site that will include room for retail businesses. West Carrollton officials say the plan would give the Dixie corridor its first new retail space in about 20 years. NICK BLIZZARD/STAFF

In the past year, several parcels of land totaling nearly 20 acres in a one-mile strip of East Dixie Drive in West Carrollton have been targeted for demolition.

The city is looking to redevelopment the Dixie/Central Avenue corridor along with the Great Miami River near Interstate 75 with the vision of turning it into a multi-million dollar entertainment district.

RELATED: Demolition paves way for Kettering Health Network

The sites targeted for redevelopment include:

-Carrollton Plaza, 1100-1192 E. Dixie. The city last year bought 13.75 acres next to I-75, land seen by local officials as a cornerstone for the entertainment district plan along the river. The $3.2 million project includes the planned demolition of the plaza targeted for this summer.

RELATED: City plans to purchase Carrollton Plaza as part of $3.2 million deal

-The former Sonny’s Auto Spa, 744 E. Dixie. Kettering Health Network last year announced an intent to build a medical office building, a service lacking in West Carrollton’s City Center district. While details have not yet been proposed, the city last year demolished the structure on 3.84 acres as part of a three-way deal with KHN and the Montgomery County Landbank program.

-The former Duke’s Restaurant, 630 E. Dixie. Dayton Hydroponics, located on Ohio 725 in West Carrollton, last year bought the 1.4-acre site. It plans to tear down the building this year and construct a new home twice the size of the structure that’s there, according to the city.

RELATED: Ex-retail site eyed for future entertainment district use

Nearly 5,000 square feet will be available for lease, the first time in about 20 years new retail space will have been constructed in that district, according to the city.

-The former West Carrollton Car Wash, 518 E. Dixie. Last summer the city tore down the former business it has owned since 2013. No plans have been announced for the 0.324-acre site since the demolition, funded by a $20,000 Community Development Block Grant, according to the city.

RELATED: Downtown corridor target of new study

-Colyer’s Automotive, 429 E. Dixie. The city plans to buy the land at the western end of the Dixie/Central split and across from the West Carrollton Civic Center. It plans to demolish the building using Ohio Public Works Commission grant funds, which are expected to cover 75 percent of the estimated $183,000 cost.

City Manager Brad Townsend said West Carrollton has long-range plans to convert the 0.191-acre parcel into a small park, similar to The Point at eastern end of the Dixie/Central split.