Fight between fiscal responsibility, historic preservation in West Chester

Published: Thursday, July 12, 2018 @ 7:00 AM


            West Chester’s Station Road schoolhouse is up for sale again at a minimum price of $50,000, but historical society members are hoping the price is negotiable — $1 is their offer — to take the property off the township’s books. GREG LYNCH / STAFF
West Chester’s Station Road schoolhouse is up for sale again at a minimum price of $50,000, but historical society members are hoping the price is negotiable — $1 is their offer — to take the property off the township’s books. GREG LYNCH / STAFF

West Chester’s Station Road schoolhouse is up for sale again at a minimum price of $50,000, but historical society members are hoping the price is negotiable — $1 is their offer — to take the property off the township’s books.

The trustees on Tuesday agreed to put a request for proposals out, looking for someone to take what they have termed a money pit off their hands. The minimum price they will accept is $50,000, but all three trustees aren’t like-minded on this issue.

“I think we should give the schoolhouse to the historical society,” trustee Ann Becker told the Journal-News. “History is just so important and our community has grown leaps and bounds over the past 15, even 10 years that we really need to remember where we came from.”

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Saying “we need to have a strong center of where we were,” Becker said the West Chester/Union Twp. Historical Society should get the building to use as a museum.

“The historical society has been a strong group for a long time, but right now all the materials they have are scattered in three different basements,” she said. “I think it’s time we gave them a home of their own.”

West Chester tried to forge a deal with the historical society two years ago, offering to sell the building to the group for $1 if they would assume all maintenance.

But that agreement was never consummated because the historical society wanted the township to continue upkeep of the brick building and three acre grounds.

David Lindenschmidt, a historical society member, former trustee candidate and neighbor of the property, said the historical society has re-examined the trustees’ previous $1 offer, and they are in full agreement with the terms now.

Between cash on hand and commitments from the businesses, he said the historical society has the funds to maintain the building for three years.

“Now these trustees are saying, ‘Nope, we’re changing that. We want $50,000 cash and we’re going to offer it to anybody that walks in the door,’ ” Lindenschmidt said. “It’s just a real shame that the shortsightedness of these trustees is going to rob the residents of the valuable piece of property like this.”

Trustee Mark Welch said that is exactly the point.

The Butler County Auditor’s Office values the parcel at $237,000 for the land and building. The purchase price, coupled with the estimated $200,000 the township has already spent refurbishing the landmark means they would be handing over property valued at almost $500,000 to the group for nearly nothing.

He said the business plan the historical society presented to him is inadequate because it doesn’t say how much money the group has in the bank nor does it outline fundraising plans for the future.

However, he said if they were to submit a suitable proposal he wouldn’t reject it out of hand, even if it doesn’t include the full $50,000 asking price.

“I would certainly take a look at it,” Welch said. “But let’s just be honest, there’s a lot of ‘oh yes we can’ but you’ve never done it. You may say ‘oh yes we will’ but one of the things that might help is the commitment by those people that call themselves part of the historical society to put their money where their mouth is. How much money can you come up with among yourselves?”

Trustee Lee Wong, however, said he won’t budge off the $50,000 minimum mark. He said the historical society does not have a long-term plan to care for the school.

“They want it for a dollar basically…,” Wong said. “There is no money. There was a lot of fluff, there is no substance. Come up with $50,000 cash and we’ll talk about it.”

A letter from the society dated May 21 indicates the group has pledges of financial support from six businesses and residents.

The historic two-room schoolhouse became a source of public consternation last year, when Community Montessori School owners Todd and Jamie Minniear offered to pay $250,000 — the price the township paid for the property in 1999 — for the school.

The Minniears had planned to build 3,800-square-foot addition onto the historic schoolhouse to house new fourth-, fifth- and sixth-grade programs.

Neighbors came out in droves worried about the impact on the area, citing traffic among their biggest concerns.

Community Montessori School currently has 46 students enrolled at its building on nearby Cincinnati-Dayton Road.

The township’s zoning board denied zoning for the school and the Minniears sued the township. A consent decree between the township and the Minniears settling the lawsuit was eventually tossed out in court on a technicality.

Todd Minniear said he and his wife have purchased the former Embrace Preschool at 7537 Burton Drive in Liberty Twp., where they can expand, but they still want the Station Road schoolhouse as well.

He will be submitting a proposal to the trustees and hopefully they will be able to resolve the zoning issues, he said.

He said he believes their support system in West Chester is stronger than the opposition.

“People are reacting to the opposition of the neighbors, but anytime anybody wants to build anything in West Chester today the NIMBYs (not in my back yard) come out and that’s all this is,” he said. “If everybody stopped what they were doing anytime a neighbor said don’t build something next to me, nothing would ever get done.”

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Victim in Springfield homicide identified 

Published: Monday, July 16, 2018 @ 10:29 AM

Units were dispatched to the scene at approximately 10:30 p.m. and found a male victim, reportedly in his 50s, dead in an alley on Clifton Ave. Police said the man was shot multiple times.

Police are still working to learn what led up to the homicide shooting that killed Howard Edley, 70, of Springfield. The shooting occured in the alley of E. Rose Street and Clifton Avenue.

RELATED: See more trending stories on WHIO.com

Authorities were dispatched to the scene at approximately 10:30 p.m. Saturday and found Edley who was shot multiple times according to police. 

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No arrests have been made in this shooting and police currently do not have a description of any suspects. 

We will continue to update this story with any information we receive. 

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Pregnant woman killed, infant injured in Florida triple shooting, deputies say

Published: Monday, July 16, 2018 @ 5:58 PM

(WFTV.com)
(WFTV.com)

A pregnant woman, an infant and a 13-year-old were shot in Pine Hills, Florida, on Monday, according to the Orange County Sheriff’s Office.

>> Read more trending news

Deputies responded to Gamble and Dunsford drives about 2:40 p.m. for a report of a shooting. 

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A 21-year-old pregnant woman was killed, a 10-month-old was grazed by a bullet and a 13-year-old was shot in the arm, deputies said. 

Deputies said the victims were shot while in a car. The 13-year-old was hit in the arm and the 10-month-old was struck on the side. The woman died at a hospital, deputies said. The 10-month-old remains in the hospital and the 13-year-old is expected to survive, deputies said. 

A total of six people were inside the vehicle. 

Investigators said they’re talking to the woman’s boyfriend, who was also in the car and is the father of the 10-month-old. 

No other details were released. 

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Trump, Putin hold Helsinki summit; Trump believes Putin that Russia didn’t meddle in election

Published: Monday, July 16, 2018 @ 4:02 PM
Updated: Monday, July 16, 2018 @ 4:02 PM

Vladimir Putin Denies Russian Intervention In 2016 Election At Helsinki Summit

President Donald Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin held their their first stand-alone meeting Monday at a highly anticipated summit in Helsinki, Finland. 

>> COMPLETE COVERAGE: Trump-Putin summit: What people are saying about Trump's commentsJamie Dupree: With Putin, Trump calls Russia probe a ‘disaster’Photos | Jamie Dupree: Russia probe looms over Trump-Putin summit meetingTrump-Putin summit: What time do they meet, where, what will they be talking about?12 Russians indicted: Military officials accused of hacking DNC, stealing voter info | More trending news 

Here are the latest updates:

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Update 5:55 p.m. EDT July 16: Members of President Donald Trump’s own party and even close allies of the president’s have expressed shock and disappointment over Trump’s comments about the U.S. intelligence community and its  conclusion that Russia meddled in the 2016 presidential election.

Trump called into question that conclusion at a joint press conference with Russian President Vladimir Putin after a two hour meeting with Putin in Helsinki, Finland.

“I will tell you that President Putin was extremely strong and powerful in his denial today," Trump said, appearing to take Russia’s side in the matter.

Putin also denied his country meddled in the 2016 election, but he did admit he wanted Trump to win the election. 

"Russia has never interfered in and is not going to interfere in U.S. internal affairs, including the elections," Putin insisted. He even offered to work with the U.S. in an investigation of the election interference.

Close Trump ally and longtime supporter former House Speaker Newt Gingrinch called the president’s comments in Helsinki “a serious mistake” and called on Trump to “clarify”  his statements and  to correct them “immediately.”

Update 5:40 p.m. EDT July 16: Former Democratic presidential nominee  and continued Trump target Hillary Clinton first tweeted a question about the president’s meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin.

“Great World Cup. Question for President Trump as he meets Putin: Do you know which team you play for?”

Then she answered the question.

“Well, now we know.”

Clinton responding there to the press conference after the summit in which Trump seemingly sided with Putin over the U.S. intelligence community, which has blamed Russia for meddling in the 2016 presidential election.

Update 5:35 p.m. EDT July 16: Former FBI director James Comey, who was fired by President Donald Trump last year, called on “patriots” to “reject the behavior of this president,” following Trump’s comments about the U.S. intelligence community after a summit with Russian President Valdimir Putin. 

Comey has been a vocal critic of Trump since his firing.

Update 5:25 p.m. EDT July 16: In a press conference earlier today, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer called President Donald Trump comments about the U.S. intelligence community during a joint press conference with Russian President Vladimir Putin “shameful.”

“For the president of the United States to side with President Putin against American law enforcement, American defense officials, and American intelligence agencies is thoughtless, dangerous, and weak. The president is  putting himself over our country,” Schumer said in a tweet.

“In the entire history of our country, Americans have never seen a president of the United States support an American adversary the way @realDonaldTrump has supported President Putin,” he said.

Schumer also suggested that Trump’s comments and his seeming support of Russia are a result of Putin holding “damaging information over President Trump.”

Update 5:05 p.m. EDT July 16: House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy issued a statement on President Donald Trump’s comments about believing Vladimir Putin when he said Russia had nothing to do with interfering in the 2016 presidential election, despite the conclusion of the U.S. intelligence community.

Like his Senate counterpart, McCarthy also said he stands behind the findings of the intelligence community, The Washington Post reported, citing a statement .

“The intelligence community, including the House Intelligence Committee, has looked extensively into Russian election meddling in the United States. I fully support their findings and their work to hold those responsible to account.”

Update 4:45 p.m. EDT July 16: Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell just responded to President Donald Trump’s denial of the U.S. intelligence community’s findings that Russia meddled in the 2016 presidential election

“I’ve said a number of times and I’ll say it again. The Russians are not our friends and I entirely believe the assessment of our intelligence community,” McConnell said, according to NBC News. 

Update 4:30 p.m. EDT July 16: President Donald Trump tried to walk back his comments about the U.S. intelligence community Monday at a press conference in Helsinki after his meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Trump refused to agree with the U.S. government’s position that Russia meddled in the 2016 presidential campaign, instead saying he didn’t “see any reason why” Russia would be involved, despite the indictments handed down Friday against 12 Russian intelligence officers for interference in the election.

Trump tweeted on his way home from the meeting that he has “GREAT confidence in MY intelligence people.”

He also tried to explain his comments by saying, again in a tweet, that he was “taking a risk in pursuit of peace.” 

Update 3:22 p.m. EDT July 16: The Director of National Intelligence, Dan Coats, said via statement that the intelligence community has “been clear in our assessments of Russian meddling in the 2016 election and their ongoing, pervasive efforts to undermine our democracy, and we will continue to provide unvarnished and objective intelligence in support of our national security.”

However, Coats’ statement apparently was not cleared by the administration. 

An unidentified White House official told CNN that it was not approved by the White House before Coats released the statement.

Update 1:58 p.m. EDT July 16: House Speaker Paul Ryan released a statement after today’s summit and resulting press conference between Trump and Putin. 

In the statement, Ryan said, “There is no question that Russia interfered in our election and continues attempts to undermine democracy here and around the world,” USA Today reported

Update 1:02 p.m. EDT July 16: Trump is en route to the airport to board the flight back to Washington, D.C. He spoke with Fox News before departing Helsinki. Fox News also spoke with Putin and will air the interview Monday.

 

Update 11:50 a.m. EDT July 16: When asked to denounce Russian interference in the election, Trump questioned the investigation and where former Secretary of state and Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton’s computer servers and emails were, instead of condemning Russia.

>>From our Washington Insider Jamie Dupree: With Putin, Trump calls Russia probe a ‘disaster’

 

Putin said that when it comes to the investigation, the only determination of what happened can come from the courts in the democracy, not law enforcement. He also said that he knows how dossiers are made from when he worked in intelligence. He said he will send a formal response to a formal request and hopes that the U.S. will reciprocate.

 

>>Read: Trump-Putin summit: What people are saying about Trump's comments

When Putin was questioned about compromising material the Russian government collected on not only Trump, but also his family, Putin said, that he had heard that the country had allegedly collected compromising material when Trump traveled to Moscow for business. 

Putin said that Trump was in Moscow as a private individual and a businessman and claimed that he didn’t know Trump was in the country. 

 

He then questioned reporters, hypothetically, if they thought he compiled compromising material on every businessman who was there for the economic meetings in 1987. 

 

Trump added that if Russia had any compromising information, it would have been out long ago.

Update 11:35 a.m. EDT July 16: Trump reiterated his stance that there was no collusion between his campaign and Russians, saying that the investigation has strained relationship between the two countries. 

Putin also said that the investigation needs to be guided by facts but not rumors. As for the 12 Russians who were indicted last week, Putin said his country will look into the case.

   

He did cite an extradition treaty that is in full effect since 1999. He said the treaty has specific procedures and that they will have a commission use it as a foundation to question the individuals and send the results to the United States. They can permit official representatives of the United States and allow them to be present at the questioning. They would hope that the U.S. would allow Russian officials question members of U.S. law enforcement and others in other cases.

 

Putin admitted, “I wanted Trump to win because he spoke about normalizing Russian relations,” the Guardian reported.

Update 11:22 a.m. EDT July 16: Trump spoke following Putin’s statement. He says that the relationship between Russia and the U.S. has never been worse up until today’s  summit 

“Even during the tensions of the Cold War, when the world looked much different than it does today, Russia and the US were able to maintain a strong dialogue.”

He said he would rather take a political risk instead of jeopardizing peace.

Trump said asked Putin about Russian involvement in hacking the U.S. elections. Trump said that Putin had an “interesting idea” as to what had happened, but did not go into detail. 

Trump said that he and Putin will be meeting again in the future and said it will be often. 

 

Update 11:12 a.m. EDT July 16: Putin started the news conference with a statement of where the two sides stand in the ever-changing world political structure.

Putin said the bilateral relationship is going though a complicated stage. He said that the Cold War is the thing of the past.  

“Today both Russia and the United States face a whole new set of challenges,” the Guardian reported.

Today’s meeting and the negotiations they worked on are the “first steps for improving this relationship and to restore an acceptable level of trust,” Putin said.

Putin lauded Trump and his administration’s work on easing tensions with North Korea. 

Update 11:07 a.m. EDT July 16: A man who claimed he was a journalist representing the publication, “The Nation,” was removed from the room that is the location of an upcoming news conference between Trump and Putin, CNN reported. It appears that the man was displaying a sign and he was forcibly removed from the room.

The man was later identified as Sam Husseini, an op-ed writer for “The Nation,” CNBC reported. Husseini is also the communications director for the Institute for Public Accuracy. The group is a non-profit that suggests using progressive experts as alternative sources for reporters, CNBC reported

He had been given credentials by “The Nation,” The Hill reported.

Husseini held up a sign that read “Nuclear Weapon Ban Treaty” which was reportedly considered by Russian authorities as a “malicious item,” CNBC reported.

Husseini had been asked earlier to leave the press conference. He had but returned before being dragged out, Mirror reported.

Update 9:34 a.m. EDT July 16: The one-on-one meeting between Trump and Putin is apparently over. As CNN releases video of the two sitting down to a meal accompanied by their aides, the Guardian reported. CNN characterized on-air that it as a working lunch between the two leaders and their aides. 

 

The one-on-one was expected to last 90 minutes, but ended up going on for more than two hours. Trump said it was a good start to the summit, The Associated Press reported

  

The first meeting between the two went longer than scheduled also when they talked for more than two hours. At one point first lady Melania Trump interrupted the meeting to try to get them back on schedule. After that interruption, the meeting went on for another hour, The AP reported.

Update 8:56 a.m. EDT July 16: The Russian embassy in the U.S. says Putin wanted to talk about “ways to normalise bilateral relations, as well as current international issues, primarily the situation in Ukraine, Syria and the Korean Peninsula, and the fight against terrorism.”

 

Update 8:39 a.m. EDT July 16: The White House told reporters, including The Guardian, that there will be another bilateral meeting and a joint press conference. It is expected to happen around 4:50 p.m. local time, or around 9:50 a.m. EDT.

Those expected to be in the room during the meeting are: U.S. Ambassador to Russia Jon Huntsman; U.S. Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo, White House Chief of Staff, John Kelly, national security adviser, John Bolton, adviser Fiona Hill and interpreter Marina Gross, The Guardian reported

Update 7:51 a.m. EDT July 16: Trump and Putin are now meeting one-on-one, with translators.

 

Washington correspondent Jamie Dupree tweeted the following key points from their photo op: 

 

Update 7:11 a.m. EDT July 16: Trump and Putin have begun their meeting. Trump opened by congratulating Putin on the World Cup.

>> Watch here

 

Update 6:58 a.m. EDT July 16: Trump has arrived at the Presidential Palace.

 

Update 6:43 a.m. EDT July 16: According to the Guardian, Trump “appears to be trying to make Putin wait.” Trump was supposed to leave his hotel over an hour ago but held off because Putin was running late. Multiple news outlets are speculating that the two leaders are pushing back the schedule as part of a power play.

Update 6 a.m. EDT July 16: Putin’s plane landed in Helsinki just before 6 a.m. EDT, nearly an hour behind schedule.

 

Update 5:32 a.m. EDT July 16: Putin is running about 45 minutes behind schedule and is due to land in Helsinki about 5:47 a.m. EDT, CBS anchor Norah O’Donnell reports.

 

Update 4:22 a.m. EDT July 16: During his breakfast meeting with Finnish President Sauli Niinistö, Trump said NATO “has never been stronger,” the Guardian reports.

“It was a little bit tough at the beginning, but it turned out to be love,” Trump said

Trump also said of his upcoming meeting with Putin: “We’ll be just fine.”

 

After the breakfast meeting ended, Trump and first lady Melania Trump left the Mäntyniemi Residence.

  

Update 3:11 a.m. EDT July 16: Trump is meeting with Finnish President Sauli Niinistö at the Mäntyniemi Residence in Helsinki. The two leaders and their advisers reportedly are participating in a “working breakfast.”

 

 

Update 2:26 a.m. EDT July 16: Hours ahead of Monday’s summit, Trump took to Twitter to sound off about the probe into Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential election.

“President Obama thought that Crooked Hillary was going to win the election, so when he was informed by the FBI about Russian Meddling, he said it couldn’t happen, was no big deal, & did NOTHING about it,” Trump tweeted. “When I won it became a big deal and the Rigged Witch Hunt headed by [FBI agent Peter] Strzok!”

Trump added: “Our relationship with Russia has NEVER been worse thanks to many years of U.S. foolishness and stupidity and now, the Rigged Witch Hunt!”

>> See the tweets here

 

 

The tweets come days after 12 Russian military officers were indicted for interfering in the 2016 presidential election.

Trump wasn’t the only person tweeting about the summit. Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, who ran against Trump in the 2016 presidential election, lashed out at Trump in a tweet Sunday night.

“Great World Cup. Question for President Trump as he meets Putin: Do you know which team you play for?” she wrote.

>> See the tweet here

 

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Passing storms expected through the evening; flood advisory for Darke County

Published: Monday, July 16, 2018 @ 3:08 AM
Updated: Monday, July 16, 2018 @ 4:30 PM

Showers and thunderstorms are expected for our Monday, but a much drier change is on the way.
    • Flood Advisory until 7:30 p.m. for Darke County - Minor flooding of low-lying and poorly drained roads will occur along with minor flooding of farmland near waterways.
    • Scattered storms to taper off after dark
    • Cooler, less humid air arrives for midweek
    • Unsettled weather returns for the coming weekend

>> Live Doppler 7 HD Interactive Radar

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5-day forecast with Meteorologist Jesse Maag

>>Five-Day Forecast

DETAILED FORECAST

This evening: Expect passing showers and storms. A few may contain gusty winds and brief heavy rainfall. Temperatures will be in the 80s but fall into the 70s where rainfall occurs.

Overnight: Any lingering showers will taper off with clouds breaking. Temperatures and humidity will drop with lows in the upper 60s by morning.

>> County-by-County Weather 

Tuesday: Skies will become mostly sunny. It will be warm but less humid with highs in the middle 80s.

Wednesday: Lots of sunshine is expected with much less humidity. Highs will top out near 80 degrees.

Thursday: Expect another nice day under mostly sunny skies. Highs will rebound back into the middle 80s.

Friday: Clouds will be on the increase with a chance for scattered showers and storms developing by afternoon. The humidity will also be on the rise with highs in the middle 80s. 

Saturday: Numerous showers and storms are expected, especially in the afternoon hours. Highs will be in the lower 80s.

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