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FAA, Spirit Airlines ‘quickly became aware’ of Centerville pilot’s death

Published: Monday, March 20, 2017 @ 11:37 AM
Updated: Monday, March 20, 2017 @ 1:54 PM

Their deaths could be drug related.

The Federal Aviation Administration and Spirit Airlines “quickly became aware” of pilot Brian Halye’s likely drug overdose death, a spokeswoman for the federal agency said Monday.

Spirit Airlines also released new information to the Dayton Daily News and NewsCenter 7 about how it drug tests pilots, though the company has not said if it is internally investigating Halye’s death.

MORE: Funeral services set for centerville pilot, wife suspected of drug overdose

Halye, 36, of Centerville, and wife Courtney Halye, 34, were found dead Thursday by their four children. Their deaths appear to be drug-related, according to Montgomery County Coroner’s Office Director Ken Betz.

Investigators have not given any indication the Spirit Airlines pilot used drugs before the incident that led to his death. Halye’s last flight for the company before his death was March 10, a Spirit Airlines spokesman said.

MORE: Centerville wife found dead with pilot ‘hooked on drugs’ for years

Airline explains drug tests

The Dayton Daily News last week asked Spirit Airlines to provide more information about Halye’s employment, including the last route he flew and scheduled flights, the dates and results of any drug screens during and before his employment, and whether the carrier was aware of Halye’s apparent drug use.

The company initially declined to respond, though the Dayton Daily News continued to ask for comment over the weekend. On Monday, Spirit Airlines provided the newspaper with additional details about the airline’s drug policy, but the company did not say if it is internally investigating the matter, or the last time Halye was tested.

“Spirit Airlines is required by federal regulations to operate with the highest degree of safety,” said Spirit Airlines spokesman Paul Berry in an emailed statement.

MORE: Overdoses likely cause of death of Centerville couple

U.S. Department of Transportation and Federal Aviation Administration “regulations require that the airline conduct various drug and alcohol tests on all safety-sensitive employees including pilots, flight attendants, mechanics and dispatchers,” Berry said.

“These tests include, but are not limited to, pre-employment, random and reasonable suspicion drug and alcohol testing. Spirit Airlines is fully compliant with these DOT and FAA regulations,” Berry said.

“In addition, Spirit Airlines has implemented and maintains a number of programs, in cooperation with its pilot union, that exceed any federal mandates, designed to detect, report and assist employees with potential life challenges,” he said.

“In the event that someone in a safety sensitive position tests positive, they would be immediately removed from their position,” Berry said.

FAA database had ‘discrepancy’

The FAA and Spirit Airlines stay in “constant contact,” an FAA spokeswoman said, noting both organizations “quickly became aware” of the pilot’s death.

On Monday, the FAA confirmed the agency’s public database of pilots was updated to reflect the most up-to-date medical information about Halye, following the newspaper’s discovery of a discrepancy in agency records.

Last week, the federal agency’s database of pilots suggested Halye’s last medical certification was issued in September 2011, though the spokeswoman said Halye’s medical certification was up-to-date.

MORE: Spirit Airlines pilot’s suspected overdose draws national attention

The discrepancy was due to a duplication of files in the agency’s master database when Halye elected not to use his Social Security number when filing his certification, something that “happens occasionally,” according to FAA Spokeswoman Elizabeth Cory.

“The elimination of the Social Security number means the airman was assigned a random number, and ended up with two files in the master database,” Cory said. “They were merged in the master file, which enabled me to answer the question about whether he had an active medical so quickly on Thursday.”

The updated database lists Halye’s last medical certification as September 2016. While a urine sample is taken during the tests, the sample is tested for diseases but not drug use.

MORE: What is fentanyl and how does it kill?

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Father injured in Auglaize County double shooting dies from injuries

Published: Tuesday, April 24, 2018 @ 8:43 AM

One of the victims of a double shooting in Auglaize County April 11 died from his injuries Tuesday morning, according to the Auglaize County Sheriff’s Office.

PREVIOUS COVERAGE: Father and son found shot in Auglaize County 

Dexter Lee Turner, 47, died from his injuries Tuesday morning at St. Rita’s Medical Center in Lima, Auglaize County Sheriff Allen Solomon said in a media release. 

NORTHERN BUREAU: 18-year-old killed in crash on U.S. 33 in Auglaize County

Dexter’s son, Alim Amir, 25, was also shot in the incident, but an update on his condition was not released. 

“Now that the case is a homicide it doesn't really change the way we have been investigating the case” Solomon said in the release. “It was a serious case to begin with and was being treated that way and now it has become even more serious.” 

The Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation and the Auglaize County Sheriff’s Office continue to investigate the case. 

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Ex-police officer heads to prison for failing 'integrity test'

Published: Thursday, April 12, 2018 @ 4:28 AM

Former Georgia Police Officer Fired And Arrested Because Of Failed 'Integrity Test'

After suspicions rose about Chamblee, Georgia, police officer Jason Jones, the department set up an “integrity test”: Send him to impound a car with $500 inside and see if he puts the cash into evidence.

>> Read more trending news 

“He pocketed the money,” Capt. Ernesto Ford told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution on Wednesday. “He was brought in to our internal affairs where he was given an opportunity to explain himself, he was terminated and arrested at the same time.” 

>> On AJC.com: Ex-DeKalb cop stole $150,000 in traffic stops, indictment alleges 

Two years later, on March 23, Jones, who’d been with the department since 2002, has pleaded guilty to theft and violation of the oath of office. He is in the DeKalb County jail awaiting transfer to state prison.

Judge Daniel Coursey sentenced him to five years, with the first to be served in custody.

>> On MyAJC.com: As DeKalb police seek witnesses, parents broken by 3-year-old’s killing

Ford said the case is disappointing. 

“Obviously we don’t expect that of our police officers,” he said.

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JUST IN: Dayton’s most awarded chef is headed to Florida

Published: Tuesday, April 24, 2018 @ 7:56 AM

Chef Anne Kearney to continue her culinary career in the Tampa area.

The Dayton area’s only James Beard Foundation award-winning chef is headed for Florida — for now, anyway.

“So sorry, sweet city of Dayton, but I am leaving town August 2018. Not forever, but for now,” Former Rue Dumaine chef and co-owner Anne Kearney wrote in an email to followers. 

>> Former Dairy Queen space springs to life as a locally owned, independent ice cream shop

Kearney, who has served as a private chef and hosted some “pop-up” events at other restaurants in recent months, said she will “join a few comrades in a restaurant group with the promise of an exciting next chapter of my culinary journey. Of course, more details will follow as I better define this move. Until then I am available to create a personal meal for you and yours or aid you in creating a fantastic dining experience/event for a larger group.”

>> PHOTOS: Mouthwatering dishes and drinks that we’ll miss from Rue Dumaine

The former Rue Dumaine, at 1061 Miamisburg-Centerville Road in Washington Twp., shut down permanently in July 2017 after a decade-long run. The restaurant changed its name to Bar Dumaine shortly before shutting down. 

>> TODAY: Tank’s Bar and Grill slashing some late-night hours; customers react

Kearney is the Dayton area’s most highly credentialed chef, based on her recognition by the James Beard Foundation, whose awards are regarded as the nation’s most prestigious recognition program for the food and beverage business — the equivalent of the Academy Awards of the restaurant industry.  

RELATED: On the Menu: a tasty rendez-vous with James Beard-lauded Rue Dumaine

In February 2016, the Beard Foundation for the sixth consecutive year named Kearney a semifinalist for its “Best Chefs in America” competition for the Great Lakes region. Kearney was the only chef from the Dayton area, and one of only three in Ohio, to be named in 2016. 

>> PHOTOS/SNEAK PEEK: Inside the highly-anticipated taco shop at The Greene that opens TODAY

 The Beard Foundation recognized the restaurant itself in 2008, naming Rue Dumaine a semifinalist for the foundation’s “Best New Restaurant” in the nation. And Kearney was named a James Beard Foundation best-chef award winner in the southeastern U.S. in 2002 when she co-owned the highly regarded Peristyle restaurant in New Orleans.

>> RELATED: Rue Dumaine’s Anne Kearney scores ‘best-chef’ nomination for 6th year running

Kearney still has some events planned before her August departure, including one on May 11 at Crooked Handle Brewing Co. in Springboro. She’ll be preparing beef burgers and meatless burgers for a pop-up event from 4:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. that evening at the brewery.

RELATED: Rue Dumaine chef headed to NCR Country Club

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Disney offering hiring bonuses while unions prepare to return to the bargaining table

Published: Monday, April 23, 2018 @ 11:45 PM

The History of Disney

Walt Disney World is looking to hire more than 3,500 new workers, even offering “hiring bonuses” of up to $3,000 for some positions. 

>> Read more trending news

It all comes as the unions that represent 38,000 Disney workers get set to go back to the bargaining table next week. 

Unionized workers have been locked in contract talks since last summer -- and since then, they’ve staged demonstrations and gone back to the bargaining table several times, but still have no deal. 

"How can Disney justify giving $3,000 bonuses, when you have 19,000 plus workers making under $11 an hour?” asked Angie McKinnon, a representative of UNITE HERE LOCAL 737.

Union leaders were meeting Monday afternoon as they prepare to head back to the bargaining table one week from Tuesday. 

Union workers voted down Disney’s most recent offer of a 3 percent raise for most workers, with a minimum 50-cents-an-hour raise. 

And union bosses are upset that Disney won’t pay a $1,000 tax-cut bonus to union members -- unless they accept that deal. 

"A lot of them are still waiting on the tax, the money that Disney promised to give them from the tax cut,” said McKinnon. 

“As is the case with all aspects of an employee's compensation package, federal law requires that we negotiate the payment of that bonus with the unions, which we are in the process of doing,” a Disney spokeswoman said. 

As Disney now tries to hire thousands more full- and part-time cast members, the company is able to pay the hiring bonuses because the new cast members won’t be covered by the union contract until after they’re hired. 

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