Butler County creating new Veterans Treatment Court

Published: Saturday, November 26, 2016 @ 12:00 PM

The Butler County Common Pleas Court is about to expand its specialty dockets to include a new Veterans Treatment Court.

The emphasis on the court will be treatment and diversion, according to officials, and will connect veterans with services and a military support network that they may have lost when they returned to civilian life.

Butler County Common Please Court Judge Michael Oster Jr. has visited other local Veterans Treatment Courts, or VTCs, and said they are designed to break down barriers such as unemployment or under employment, homelessness, drug problems and other issues that may have contributed to veterans ending up on the wrong side of the law.

“We really want to make that camaraderie of bringing them together and not only the court holding them accountable, but themselves,” he said. “These are men and women who are disciplined … we want to add that (camaraderie) as well to really make them successful.”

The municipal judges in Hamilton and Middletown have been operating VTCs for several years.

Middletown Municipal Court Judge Mark Wall has been keeping statistics on his VTC since its inception in 2011 and those numbers show a 78 percent success rate overall, he said.

By far the biggest misdemeanor crime veterans committed was drunk driving (38 percent), he said. Domestic incidents involving substance abuse came in second with 34 cases, and there were 17 drug cases.

Ohio Supreme Court Chief Justice Maureen O’Connor said the VTCs have had a great deal of success. The recidivism rate is what is key in any court case, and she said the VTCs appear to have that issue in check.

“The long term effect is what is important, where are they a year later, where are they two years later, is there a rate of recidivism…,” O’Connor said. “My understanding is the veterans courts have the lowest rate of recidivism amongst their population. I think it is a very worthwhile endeavor.”

The chief justice also told the Journal-News that veterans courts have produced not only veterans who don’t offend again, but people whose problems have been solved through all the various services they have received under the court’s supervision.

“By the time they get out they’ve got a high level of employment amongst their ranks, a stable living situation which they didn’t have, chances are when they came in there. Chances are they weren’t employed or they were marginally employed,” O’Connor said. “They have other indicators of stability.”

Wall said his veterans are hooked up with the Dayton VA, its social workers and myriad of services and the Butler County vet board. He said they are in the program for a year and the strict oversight the court provides is another success factor.

“Some of them are reporting back to me as soon as two weeks,” he said. “Then we can drop it off to a month and then six months…,” he said. “We keep bringing them back and they’ve got to verify they are in the program and they are doing what we recommend.”

For the county common pleas court to add a VTC, no additional funds are needed because adequate staffing is already in place. Unlike the other specialty courts, veterans don’t have to live in the county to get on the VTC docket, but they do have to have a felony case from the county.

Veterans who are already in the court system won’t be switched over, especially if they are already doing well under their current probation terms. But parole violators would likely move to Oster’s court.

“I don’t anticipate it being an overwhelming number (of veterans), but we’re not going to restrict it either,” said Rob Menke, manager of court administration. “We’re not going to say ‘we’re at capacity now so this veteran is not appropriate.’ We’re going to continue to offer services and if we need expansion with additional supervision officers or additional veterans justice outreach, maybe from the VA, maybe that’s something to look at.”

Butler County Court Administrator Wayne Gilkison said there are no leniency provisions in the program, and the veterans will be treated according to the law.

“It’ll be no different than any other offender that comes through,” he said. “They would be eligible (to have their felony record expunged) according to the time frames prescribed by Ohio Revised Court.”

Oster said he and the other common pleas judges felt this was a worthy cause.

“The reality is if we can’t make time to help our veterans then I don’t think there is really time for anything,” he said. “These are men and women who have given us the abilities and the freedoms to even have our jobs and our freedom and the liberties that we have. If we can’t make time to help them, then there’s something wrong.”

Trending - Most Read Stories

Dayton traffic from the WHIO Traffic Center

Published: Wednesday, April 18, 2018 @ 1:18 AM
Updated: Monday, April 23, 2018 @ 12:43 AM

Traffic issues can be reported by calling our newsroom at 937-259-2237 or tweeting @WHIOTraffic .

Traffic conditions are updated every six minutes on AM 1290 and News 95.7 FM.

Major Highway Incidents

  • No incidents to report.

Surface Street Incidents

  • On N. Center Street in Versailles, a semi was reportedly struck by a train around 12:30 a.m. No injuries were reported. 
  • On Superior Avenue and N. Broadway Street in Dayton, crash reported around 10 p.m. 

    >> RELATED: WHIO App-Winter

    >> RELATED: Track the latest conditions in your neighborhood on our live WHIO Doppler 7 Interactive Radar

    Ongoing Construction & Other Closures 

    Live look at highways on our traffic cameras here.

    Latest traffic conditions are also available on our traffic map. 

    MONTGOMERY COUNTY

    • Arlington Road between Pleasant Plain and Upper Lewisburg Salem Road, BRIDGE CLOSURE, March 5 - Sept. 30. All ramps for I-70 will remain open. 
    • Keowee Street north of Stanley Avenue, bridge closed until 2019. The official detour is: Keowee Street to Stanley Avenue to I-75 to Wagner Ford Road and back to Dixie. More information is available here.
    • Stewart Street Ramp to US 35 East, RAMP CLOSURE March 28 - Sept 30, 2018. The official detour is: Stewart Street to Edwin C. Moses Boulevard to I-75 north to US 35 west to James H. McGee Blvd. to US 35 east.
    • SR 4 north/south between I-70 and Lower Valley Pike, Lane closure April 2 - 26. One northbound and two southbound lanes will remain open. 
    • I-75 north Ramp to US 35 west, RAMP CLOSURE, March 12 - Sept. 30. The official detour is: I-75 north to US 35 east to Jefferson/Main Street to Ludlow Street to US 35 west. 
    • Airport Access Road South between US 40 and I-70, Lane closure April 2 - 27. One southbound lane will remain open. 
    • SR 48 between First Street and Riverdale Street, Lane closure April 2, 2018 - April 1, 2019. One lane will remain open in each direction.

    GREENE COUNTY

    • Red Stewart Airfield (Waynesville Airport) and State Route 725, lane closures April 23 - 27 from 7 a.m. until 5 p.m. 
    • State Route 235 between Dayton Yellow Springs and Enon Roads, ROAD CLOSURE for six months. The official detour is U.S. 68, West Hyde, and West Enon Roads.
    • Trebein Road from U.S. 35, Lane restrictions April 16 - August, 2018 for construction of a right turn lane. One lane will remain maintained at all times with flagging operations. 

    WARREN COUNTY

    MIAMI COUNTY

    • N. Market Street between Foss Way/Kirk Lane and Stonyridge Avenue, ROAD CLOSURE March 5 at 7 a.m. - Aug. 10 at 5 p.m. 
    • US 36 westbound between Scott Drive and Kienle Drive, Lane closure March 26 - June 30. One westbound lane will remain open. 

    DARKE COUNTY

    • SR 49 between Hollansburg-Sampson Road and Arcanum Bears Mill Road, Lane closure April 16 - May 16. One lane will remain open in each direction through the use of portable signal.
    • SR 716 between Washington Street and Water Street, ROAD CLOSURE April 16 - 22. The official detour is SR 705 to SR 364 to SR 119

    MERCER COUNTY

    • SR 49 between Frank Road and Winkler Road, BRIDGE CLOSURE April 9 - 22. The official detour is SR 49 to SR 707 E to SR 118 N to US 33 W to SR 49
    • SR 117 between US 127 and SR 116, Daily lane closures April 23 - July 31 between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m. 
    • SR 49 between Menchhofer Road and SR 219, ROAD CLOSURE April 16 - 30. The official detour is: SR 29 to SR 118 to SR 219
    • SR 707 between Taylor Road and Lewis Street, ROAD CLOSURE April 23 - 27. The official detour is US 127 north to SR 117 east 

    SHELBY COUNTY

    • SR 47 between Fifth Avenue and Wilkinson Avenue, Lane closures Jan. 21 - Nov. 27. One lane will remain open in each direction at all times. 
    • SR 274 between Shroyer Road and Island Avenue, Lane closure April 9 - June 9. One lane will remain open in each direction. 
    • SR 66 between Basinburg Road and Mason Road, ROAD CLOSURE April 9 - May 11. The official detour is: SR 66 to SR 47 to I-75 to SR 29 to SR 705 to SR 66

    CLARK COUNTY

    • I-70 east Ramp to I-675 north, RAMP CLOSURE March 15 - Aug. 15. The official detour is: I-70 east to I-675 south to SR 444 to I-675 north
    • Spangler Road south between Restoration Drive and I-70, Traffic pattern switch March 26 - August 15. Southbound Spangler Road traffic going to I-675 south and I-70 east will be moved to northbound side of I-675. Traffic will then be redirected to the southbound side of I-675 after passing over I-70. 

    CHAMPAIGN COUNTY

    • Upper Valley Pike between State Route 296 and Lippincott Road, ROAD CLOSURE, starting April 16 for approximately four weeks.

    LOGAN COUNTY

    • US 68 between SR 508 and Township Road 310, ROAD CLOSURE April 23 - 27. The official detour is: US 68 to SR 296 to SR 29 to SR 235 to SR 47 to US 68. 
    • SR 235 between Township Road 93 and Township Road 250, ROAD CLOSURE April 30 - May 4. The official detour is SR 366 to US 33 to SR 385 to SR 117/SR 235.
    • SR 274 between Morris Rose Road and SR 235, Daily lane closures May 1 - June 29 between 7 a.m. 5 p.m. 
    • SR 235 between SR 720 and SR 117, Daily lane closures May 1 - June 29 between 7 a.m. and 5 p.m.
    • SR 68 between SR 508 and Gunn Town Road, Daily lane closures April 23 - June 29 between 7 a.m. and 5 p.m. 

    AUGLAIZE COUNTY

    • SR 197 between Township Road 117A and Ridge Street, Lane closure April 2 - May 3. One lane will remain open for travel in each direction through the use of temporary signal.
    • SR 116 between Hesse Road and Baker-Wright Road, Lane closure April 2 - 30. One lane will remain open for travel in each direction through the use of temporary signal.
    • US 33 between SR 29 and I-75, Daily lane closures March 26 - July 31 between 7 a.m. and 5 p.m. One lane will remain open in each direction. 
    • US 33 between SR 65 and Center Street, Lane closure April 16 - May 9. One lane will remain open in each direction through the use of temporary signal.

    Trending - Most Read Stories

    Veteran’s service dog missing after running off in Kettering crash 

    Published: Sunday, April 22, 2018 @ 11:19 PM

    Photo Credit: Vicky Campbell
    Photo Credit: Vicky Campbell

    A service dog is missing after he ran off when the vehicle his owner was driving became involved in a crash in Kettering Friday morning.

    >> Miami Twp. officer hit on SB I-75 ‘awake but very sore’, driver jailed

    Officials say Zeus the dog, and his owner, a Special Forces veteran, were involved in a two-vehicle crash that ended with their vehicle into a pole at the intersection of East Dorothy Lane and Shroyer Road.

    Photo Credit: Vicky Campbell

    Zeus ran from the crash that occurred just after 11 a.m. and has not been seen since.

    His owner reportedly suffered a broken jaw as a result of the crash and allegedly will not seek medical treatment until his dog is found, community members said.

    Signs about Zeus being missing, as well as articles of clothing, have been placed all around the Oakwood, Far Hills and Oak Knoll areas where he was last seen.

    Community members looking for the missing dog urge others not to chase Zeus if you locate him, but rather call the local police department. 

    Trending - Most Read Stories

    Boil Advisory for the village of North Hampton

    Published: Sunday, April 22, 2018 @ 12:44 PM

    A boil advisory is in effect for the village of North Hampton in Clark County, according to Jeff Clevenger, operator of record of the North Hampton Water Treatment Plant. 

    The tower pressure dropped under 20 psi, and residents need to boil water for three minutes. 
    MORE LOCAL NEWS

    Residents should bring water to a roiling boil for at least three minutes before using it for drinking, cooking or brushing teeth. 

    Bacteria samples will be collected on Monday, and testing takes 24 hours.

    The boil advisory will be in effect until at least Tuesday.

    Got a tip? Call our monitored 24-hour line, 937-259-2237, or send it to newsdesk@cmgohio.com

    Trending - Most Read Stories

    2-year-old pelted 9 times with paintball, mother says

    Published: Monday, April 23, 2018 @ 12:08 AM

    Keon Jaquez Broughton. (Photo: WSOCTV.com)
    Keon Jaquez Broughton. (Photo: WSOCTV.com)

    A mother said her 2-year-old was pelted nine times with paintballs while they were outside their west Charlotte home.

    >> Read more trending news

    The 2-year-old had marks all over her body after someone shot paint at her.

    Paintball wars have been gaining national traction since the beginning of the year.

    The Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department said it has received more than 150 calls since the beginning of the year involving complaints about paintball gun.

    The mother, who didn’t want to be identified, said it was a traumatizing moment for her and her daughter.

    "She was screaming so bad. She said, 'Mommy, help me. Mommy, help me,’” she said. “That killed me. When I saw her with paint all over her shirt and her pants, my heart dropped."

    The mother said she found welts on her daughter’s chest, back, knees and legs.

    The mother told Channel 9 that a group of men were shooting each other on her property earlier this past week.

    “I heard one of them say that's their way to, instead of attacking themselves with guns, they're going to do it like that because that's how they get the anger out of them,” the mother said.

    The mother said she's not against people using paintball guns to settle their differences, but it shouldn’t jeopardize anyone else's safety.

    She filed a police report and days later, she said her car was hit twice with paintballs.

    The police department investigated the incident and arrested 17-year-old Keon Jaquez Broughton, who is facing charges for causing a disturbance, assaulting a child and resisting an officer.

    The number of complaints the police department has received involving paintball guns is growing.

    Meanwhile, local paintball gun stores are seeing a rise in sales.

    David Veldof, who owns a paintball gun store, believes some people are having a good time at the wrong place.

    He's educating customers on smarter options, including regulated fields.

    "Over the past three to four weeks, we've had a substantial increase in sales,” Veldof said. "And believe it or not, a lot of people have been going to these fields and staying off these streets."

    The mother said her 2-year-old has been seeing a counselor to get over the fear of being outside she developed since the paintball incident.

    The mother hopes a city ordinance is created to help curb the paintball incidents.

    Trending - Most Read Stories