Dayton traffic cameras issue 18k warnings, citations come next

Published: Monday, November 13, 2017 @ 4:23 PM


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The city of Dayton is citing motorists using automated, mobile traffic cameras since the mandatory warning period has ended, during which time almost 18,000 warnings were issued to car owners.

Dayton police have operated two mobile speed trailers and multiple hand-held speed cameras for more than one month.

Right now, two trailers are stationed at Riverside Drive and North James H. McGee Boulevard.

The trailers recorded 272,745 vehicles traveling above the speed limit in October. That’s out of about 386,700 vehicles that traveled past the devices while they were operation.

About 70 percent of vehicles on those roads are not obeying the posted speed limits, officials said.

However, just about 20,460 vehicles were traveling at speeds that made them eligible to receive a warning.

Every potential violation is reviewed by police, and citations — and warnings — are only issued when there is clear evidence of a violation, officials said.

Police mailed out 17,955 warnings to the registered owners of the vehicles caught on camera speeding. Police will start mailing out fines for violations recorded by the cameras moving forward.

The city is installing fixed automated traffic cameras at five locations, and installation of systems at two of the sites is nearly complete, officials said.

When the cameras go active, motorists caught violating the traffic laws during the first 30 days will receive warnings, but violations were result in fines after that.

The Dayton Unit NAACP recently announced it is circulating petitions to put a ballot measure before Dayton voters in November 2018 that would restrict use of the cameras to only when police are present.

But Dayton police and the city’s elected leaders have long claimed that the cameras are used primarily to improve safety on local roadways by encouraging motorists to slow down and not run red lights.

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2-year-old boy taken to hospital after near-drowning at Island MetroPark

Published: Saturday, April 21, 2018 @ 7:39 PM

A 2-year-old boy was taken to Dayton Children's Hospital after he fell in to the Great Miami River at Island MetroPark Saturday afternoon. 

The child fell in to the water near the Helena Street bridge park area. 

Montgomery County Regional Dispatch confirmed he was taken to the hospital with non-life threatening injuries. 

Tabatha Davis, who witnessed the incident and called 911, said there is nothing there to keep children from running into the water. 

In the 911 call, she states it initially seemed as if the child wasn't breathing, but after CPR was performed by his parents, he threw up the water. 

"He ran over there so fast, in the blink of an eye," said Davis. "There is no blockage to the water and I think they really need to do something about that." 

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Davis was there with her granddaughter, and gave the child a piece of candy when he approached her. 

Davis said he and his mother went to a picnic table near the water and ate the candy, then she looked up and he was gone. 

"I heard her scream, 'Where's my baby?' and I looked up and he was in the water," said Davis. 

Briana Greenwood, another witness, wrote a letter to park officials making them aware of her safety concerns. 

"My two concerns here are the safety of the parks despite the posted warnings, and the availability of park rangers in case of an emergency. Thankfully, the park was full of families and parents so we were able to dial 911 as instructed on the Metro Parks website, but I would like for there to be posts with buttons that people can push throughout the trails and near playground areas," Greenwood states in the letter. 

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"I was scared, horrified and worried for this family," wrote Greenwood. 

Greenwood said she will petition for a "strong sensible fence" to be put in to block the water ways. 

Greenwood was at the park with her son when she assisted the child's parents in looking for him. 

"This simple precaution could save many lives of the thousands of children and families that enjoy the MetroParks," wrote Greenwood. "I ask this not only for the safety of my own child, but the safety of others' children."

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Dayton fire recruit allegedly involved in bar fight

Published: Sunday, April 15, 2018 @ 10:21 AM

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A 23-year-old Dayton Fire Department recruit was accused of punching someone at Timothy’s Bar & Grill on Brown Street near UD, according to a police report.

A University of Dayton student stopped police that were patrolling the area around Timothy’s and told officers his friend was assaulted inside the business, the report states.

Police spoke with the suspect who said he was talking to a girl at the bar when someone tried to hit him, the report states.

He said he wasn’t sure what was going on and started swinging back and was not sure if he hit anyone. He told police he was a recruit for the fire department.

Timothy’s staff told police they saw the offender hit the victim in the back of the head and then escorted him from the bar. The victim had trouble articulating what happened, and all parties were intoxicated, the police report states.

The suspect was summons arrested for misdemeanor assault and the victim was ordered to the prosecutor’s office, the report states. 

Earlier this year, a Dayton firefighter, Jacob Freels, was arrested on suspicion of unauthorized use of a motor vehicle and driving while intoxicated, which was his third arrest for OVI in the last four years, records showed.

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Dayton’s newest mosque to open; public and international guests expected

Published: Thursday, April 19, 2018 @ 1:09 PM


            Retired Imam Celal Shahin stands inside the Osman Gazi mosque at 1508 Valley St. The mosque hosts its grand opening on Sunday. CORNELIUS FROLIK / STAFF
Retired Imam Celal Shahin stands inside the Osman Gazi mosque at 1508 Valley St. The mosque hosts its grand opening on Sunday. CORNELIUS FROLIK / STAFF

The first official Ahiska Turkish mosque in many years has a grand opening in Old North Dayton on Sunday that is expected to attract dignitaries from across the globe and that is a testament to the strong growth of the local Turkish population.

But the Osman Gazi Mosque and Sunday’s celebration aren’t just for Turkish people or Muslims, leaders say.

The mosque, located at 1508 Valley St., is a public place that welcomes the entire community, and the goal is to unite people with interfaith events and activities, said Mirza Mirza, who is the secretary on Osman Gazi’s board of directors.

“We want to create something that is multicultural, multilingual, and gets everyone together,” he said.

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Osman Gazi’s grand opening is at 1 p.m. Sunday, and festivities include a picnic in a park owned by the mosque and a prayer service.

Local leaders, out-of-town guests and religious representatives and consul from Turkey will be in attendance. The public is invited and encouraged to come.

People have prayed at the Valley Street building since it was first purchased by Osman Gazi in 2014. The building was formerly a funeral home that had been vacant for years.

But using donations, Osman Gazi has transformed what was an eyesore into an eye-catching house of worship.

The exterior of the building is turquoise, with green trim. The inside has Ottoman Empire-style designs, featuring colorful tile and turquoise carpet that were hand-crafted in Turkey.

A gold chandelier hangs from the ceiling. On the ceiling is written the “99 names of god.”

The walls are covered in calligraphy, and entryway arches have been painted to resemble roman stone.

More than $500,000 was invested into the prayer spaces, and that doesn’t count other projects.

“We tried to put a 1,000-year history in this house,” Mirza said.

Osman Gazi’s investment in that part of Old North Dayton is far from over.

Leaders purchased an old church building across the street that it is using as a school .

The school hosts Saturday and Sunday classes for children on the Koran and Islam. Right now, the school is open only to Turkish children and a couple of kids from Somalia.

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But once the building is renovated, possibly by next year, classes will be opened up to everyone, Mirza said. Also, the school plans to host after-school programming, such as sport leagues and other recreational activities.

The church and school have a significant amount of green space that leaders hope to use for barbecues and other community events.

The mosque has taken years to build because there were fewer Ahiska Turkish families in the Dayton region several years ago, and families often have limited incomes shortly after relocating here, Mirza said.

But the Dayton area has more than 1,000 Ahiska Turkish families now, according to some estimates, that is concentrated in Old North Dayton.

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Daryl vs. Darryl: Dayton City Commission candidates square off before May election

Published: Tuesday, April 17, 2018 @ 9:00 PM

Moderator Jim Otte talks with Dayton City Commission candidate Darryl Fairchild while moderator Etana Jacobi talks with candidate Daryl Ward.
Moderator Jim Otte talks with Dayton City Commission candidate Darryl Fairchild while moderator Etana Jacobi talks with candidate Daryl Ward.

Daryl Ward and Darryl Fairchild have some things in common. They are both pastors of more than 30 years who are running as Democrats to be the next Dayton city commissioner.

On May 8, Dayton voters will elect one of the two to serve as the newest city commissioner, replacing Joey Williams, who resigned two months ago.

Despite the similarities, Ward and Fairchild at a Tuesday debate tried to show the public that there are important differences in their core priorities and that they are the best person for the job.

Fairchild, the manager of chaplain services at Dayton Children’s Hospital, portrays himself as a strong voice and advocate for the city’s neighborhoods, which he says have been overlooked and desperately need a comprehensive revitalization plan.

Fairchild said unlike his opponent, he’ll be ready to lead from “day No. 1” because of his experience in community organizing, nonprofit work and what he says is a thorough understanding of the political process and main issues facing the city.

Ward, the senior pastor at Omega Baptist Church, depicted himself as a a servant of the community who has a special talent for working with people to get things done.

He said he is running for office because he cares deeply about the community and understands how collaboration can fix Dayton’s pressing problems. He said education is the largest problem outside of City Hall.

“I work hard at what I do,” he said. He later said, “I can bring hope, I can bring light and I’ve done that throughout my career in Dayton.”

Ward and Fairchild talked about their views and plans if elected during a wide-ranging debate at Stivers School for the Arts.

The event, which drew more than 150 visitors, was sponsored by the Dayton Daily News, WHIO-TV and Radio and the League of Women Voters of the Greater Dayton Area.

Ward said he will fight for the city and people of Dayton that he loves. He didn’t offer many specifics about what he might do on the commission.

But he said he has the determination and work ethic to make a difference.

Darryl Fairchild running for Dayton Commission

And he said he would work closely with commissioners to come up with ways to improve neighborhoods and would collaborate with the Dayton Public Schools to improve the quality of local education.

“We have to work together to bring hope — I really believe in this place,” he said.

He said he doesn’t have all the answers but will bring citizens together to figure out solutions to problems like hunger in the community and disinvestment in west Dayton.

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Fairchild said the current commission acts in lockstep and he would be the independent voice the commission needs to bring new ideas and spark healthy debate.

Many city neighborhoods are in rough shape because because the city does not have a clear vision and plan for their revitalization and reinvestment, said Fairchild.

Daryl Ward running for Dayton Commission

“People don’t want to invest in Dayton primarily because they don’t know where we’re going,” he said. “We have a great plan for downtown, but that’s only 7 percent of our whole city. What about the other 93 percent?”

Fairchild said he would be an accessible elected leader. He accused the city of putting up roadblocks when constituents come to air grievances.

Fairchild said too many people don’t feel safe in their neighborhoods and don’t believe their neighborhoods are a good place to raise a family.

“That is unacceptable to me,” he said. “When I’m elected, I’ll bring urgency to address these issues, and I’ll be a champion for our residents and neighborhoods.”

Other topics on Tuesday night included Good Samaritan Hospital’s closure and food access.

An audience member asked the candidates if they would be willing to stand up to Dayton Mayor Nan Whaley, if needed.

Ward said he is willing to work with, and willing to stand up against, anyone if need be.

Fairchild said he is willing to speak truth to power and stand up for what’s right, even if it’s unpopular.

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