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Cold weather delays local schools’ return from Christmas break

Published: Tuesday, January 02, 2018 @ 6:15 PM

            Snow removal crews, like this one in Springfield, have largely done their jobs, but cold temperatures could lead to more school closings. BILL LACKEY/STAFF
Snow removal crews, like this one in Springfield, have largely done their jobs, but cold temperatures could lead to more school closings. BILL LACKEY/STAFF

Thousands of local students are scheduled to return from Christmas break this week, but frigid temperatures sidelined several districts Tuesday, and the rest of the week may hold more closures in store.

Tuesday morning’s low temperature of minus-13 was an all-time low for Jan. 2 in Dayton. Only a handful of public school districts were scheduled to go back Tuesday, and all of them, including Trotwood-Madison, Bellbrook and Milton-Union, canceled classes for the day.

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“That was just way too cold for our students to be standing outside waiting for the buses,” said Mad River school Superintendent Chad Wyen, who canceled school the night before.

Today is the biggest back-to-school day in the area, with about 20 districts, including Beavercreek, Northmont, Springboro and Troy, slated to get back to work after holiday breaks ranging from seven to 12 school days.

The WHIO forecast calls for morning low temperatures well below normal — near zero today, in the single digits Thursday, and a few degrees below zero on Friday. Wind chill values are expected to be below zero each day.

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Superintendents generally don’t have an absolute rule about closing school below a certain temperature because differences in wind and district layout come into play, as well as road safety for teen drivers.

“Usually if the wind chill is 20-below — and that’s not hard and fast — but when it gets to be that cold, there’s consideration for students waiting at bus stops,” said Bellbrook interim Superintendent Jeff Lewis, who said he anticipates a school delay today. “The other issue is cars starting. Our transportation department said (early Tuesday) they were having problems with 10 or 12 buses.”

Wyen said Mad River’s rule of thumb is that if the air temperature is below zero and the wind chill is minus-10, the district will typically start with a delay, with an eye on whether temperatures are expected to climb.

FORECAST: Bone-chilling cold to continue this week

“Parents see it differently. Some think that the kids should be here at 20 below, and some think if it’s 20 degrees, it’s too cold,” Lewis said, adding that student safety is his first guiding principle. “I remind parents — when we feel it’s safe, if they don’t think so, they have the last say. If parents feel the conditions are too bad, they’re more than welcome to keep their children home on those days.”

Ohio schools formerly were required to make up school days if they closed for more than five days. Now each school must be open for a minimum number of hours of instruction (910 for elementary, 1,001 for grades 7-12). Most local schools could now miss more than five days without having to schedule makeup time.

But early January snow days can create high school schedule havoc, as some districts finish the second quarter in mid-January, meaning exams are scheduled next week.

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Some local schools are less worried about this week’s weather. Centerville, Kettering and Huber Heights are among the half-dozen districts that don’t start school until next Monday or Tuesday, along with Carroll High School and the DECA charter school.

For those who do go back this week, teenagers who already spend a lot of time on social media may wake up to text messages or app notifications saying their school is closed.

It’s become a game at some schools, as high school students tweet their hopes for school to be closed, tagging the district’s superintendent. In Kettering, someone created a Twitter account named Is Fairmont Closed?, with the bio line of “Please Scott, we need a snow day,” referring to Superintendent Scott Inskeep.

Staff writer Lauren Clark contributed to this story.

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Dayton woman ID’d as ‘aggressive’ driver killed in Riverside head-on collision

Published: Tuesday, April 24, 2018 @ 4:02 PM
Updated: Tuesday, April 24, 2018 @ 10:17 PM

Several ambulances and the coroner responded to a multi-vehicle accident on Woodman Avenue on Tuesday, April 24, 2018.

UPDATE @ 10:12 p.m.: Alpha Adams, of Dayton, is the driver killed this afternoon in the head-on collision on southbound Harshman Road, according to the Montgomery County Coroner's Office. 

An autopsy on the Woodman Park Drive resident is scheduled for Wednesday.

UPDATE @ 8:19 p.m.: 

The scene of the fatal accident on southbound Harshman Road is said to be cleared, according to Huber Heights police, which dispatches for Riverside police.

The Montgomery County Coroner's Office has not yet released the name of the 46-year-old woman driver killed in the multiple-vehicle accident. 

Police have offered no word about the driver of the other vehicle involved in the head-on collision.

UPDATE @ 4:55 p.m.: 

The fatality is a 46-year-old woman who witnesses said was driving erratically, “being aggressive and making hand gestures” just before she was involved in a head-on collision on southbound Harshman Road near Airway Road and Woodman Drive, Riverside police Sgt. Dave Crigler said.

Witnesses said the woman appeared to be driving erratically on Harshman, headed toward Airway, when she sideswiped a school bus, then hit a second vehicle as she continued on.

She drove left of center as she approached the intersection at Airway Road, striking another vehicle head-on, the sergeant said.

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Three other people were injured in the accident that involved as many as eight vehicles, he said, and they have been taken to different hospitals.

One person was killed and three people were injured in a multiple-vehicle accident Tuesday on southbound Harshman Road, near Airway Road, in Riverside. (Jim Noelker/Staff)

There were no children on the school bus, Crigler said.

“Witnesses said the woman was being aggressive and making hand gestures. We don’t exactly know what the hand gestures were,” the sergeant said.

Zeke Bowling, whose girlfriend was driving one of the vehicles struck in the incident, said she was taken to a hospital and his daughter and son were also in the girlfriend’s vehicle.

Bowling characterized the fatality was the result of a road rage incident.

Crigler said he could not confirm whether the fatality was the result of road rage.


Police and medic units have been dispatched to a multiple-vehicle accident at Woodman Drive and Airway Road, and we’re hearing the coroner has been called to the scene as well.

The accident was dispatched about 3:45 p.m. and we’re hearing there is at least one entrapment. We’re also hearing that four medic units from area jurisdictions have been dispatched to the scene.

We have a crew on the way. Stay with for breaking news.

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Convicted Warren County child rapist gets 15 years to life in prison

Published: Tuesday, April 24, 2018 @ 9:04 PM
Updated: Tuesday, April 24, 2018 @ 9:57 PM

Warren County child rape mug
Warren County child rape mug

David Randall King, 58, was sentenced Tuesday to life in prison with parole eligibility after 15 years in a child rape case where he was the caretaker. 

King, of Pleasant Plain, in the Warren County village of Harlan Twp., was convicted by a county jury in March on two counts of rape and one count of gross sexual imposition. Both are felonies. 

County Prosecutor David Fornshell, in a prepared statement released Tuesday afternoon, said that from January 2014 to October 2015, King sexually assaulted a (then) 5- to 6-year-old girl he was a caretaker of at the time. 

After the assaults, he discouraged the child from telling anyone and told her she "wasn't brave enough to tell anyone." 

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Fornshell said the crimes came to light in May 2016 when the child told her foster parents about the assaults. They, in turn, reported the crimes to Warren County Children Services. 

"We often hear the word 'courage' overused when describing everyday actions. In this case, a nine year-old girl sat in a courtroom in front of a judge, 12 jurors, the attorneys, and everyone else in that audience, with her rapist looking right at her, and described in exact detail what he did to her,” Fornshell said in the statement.

“THAT is courage," he said.

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Troy man pleads not guilty to assaulting two corrections officers

Published: Tuesday, April 24, 2018 @ 6:05 PM

Marion Cotterman
Miami County Jail
Marion Cotterman(Miami County Jail)

TROY - A Troy man pleaded not guilty Tuesday, April 24, to two felony counts of assault of a corrections officer.

Marion Cotterman, 45, is accused of causing or attempting to cause physical harm to two officers in the Miami County Jail in Troy on March 14. 

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The pleas were heard by Common Pleas Judge Jeannine Pratt, who set bail at $5,000 cash or surety.

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Dayton woman arrested for child endangering after kids escape house for fourth time

Published: Tuesday, April 24, 2018 @ 4:51 PM

A woman was arrested Monday after two of her children, ages 3 and 5, were found at the door of a Family Video store on Wayne Avenue, according to Dayton police.

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The children were in their pajamas and had left their house unsupervised to buy candy at the video store. According to a Dayton Police report this is the fourth time the children have escaped their home and shown up at the video rental store. 

The children were sent to stay with a family friend when their mother was taken into custody. 

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