Higher education’s annual impact in southwest Ohio: $7.3 billion

Published: Wednesday, December 06, 2017 @ 3:30 PM

            Sean Creighton, president of the Southwestern Ohio Council of Higher Education. THOMAS GNAU/STAFF
Sean Creighton, president of the Southwestern Ohio Council of Higher Education. THOMAS GNAU/STAFF

Southwest Ohio’s colleges had a nearly $7.3 billion impact on the region in 2016, even as some have struggled to stay afloat in the hyper competitive industry of higher education.

The Southwestern Ohio Council for Higher Education has released its economic impact study which analyzes the spending of the group’s 22 members, including Wright State University, the University of Dayton, Sinclair Community College and others. The student was conducted by the University of Cincinnati’s Economics Center.

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The report comes at a time when colleges are being sharply criticized for their cost, accessibility and effectiveness but SOCHE president Sean Creighton said it should quiet some of the doubters.

“We’re hoping that it maybe counters that argument,” Creighton said. “We have such a diversity of institutions. I think that (the report) makes the case for why it’s important to invest in higher education.’

Nearly 150,000 students are studying and living in the region. and student tuition, research dollars and alumni giving generate around $3.8 billion in new revenue in th region, according to the report.

The report also shows that SOCHE’s member colleges awarded 31,643 degrees and certificates in 2016, which is good news for Ohio as the state has struggled to keep up with an increasing demand for an educated workforce. Combined, the schools also employed more than 72,000 people in 2016 and provided more than $2.6 billion in earnings, according to the report.

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“SOCHE and its members are a cornerstone of southwestern Ohio, developing the talent necessary for the economy to thrive,” the report reads.

Wright State has more than a $1 billion annual economic impact on the region and supports over 14,000 jobs, according to the study. Wright State’s impact was created by its operations, student spending and capital expenditures

“This study shows that we are clearly a leader in driving the economy in this region,” said Wright State President Cheryl B. Schrader.

On top of the boon to local employers and economies, the report also found that area colleges provide massive tax dollars to state and local governments. Municipal and county governments received around $72.9 million in tax revenue from SOCHE’s member schools while the state received more than $225 million in gross tax revenues from area institutions, according to the report.

“SOCHE’s impact study reinforces the role of higher education as a regional economic driver,” said Jo Alice Blondin, president of Clark State Community College and chair of the SOCHE’s board. “Through changing times and economic climates, our two- and four-year institutions have continued to provide the quality training and education needed for individuals to better themselves.”

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Police: Motorist drives into house, flees scene in Miami County

Published: Saturday, April 21, 2018 @ 4:07 AM

Troy police are looking for a suspect who drove into the side of a house in Troy Saturday.

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Crews were dispatched to 400 block of East Staunton Road around 2:15 a.m. on reports of a vehicle into a structure.

The motorist didn’t stay at the scene and drove away after causing significant damage to the house, according to Sgt. Mumford of the Troy Police Department.

The vehicle was found a couple blocks away from the house but possible suspects were not found, Mumford said.

Residents were home at the time but no one was injured, according to Mumford. 

Mumford said the vehicle had significant damage to it.

It’s not known what caused the accident.

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

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'Sorry,' says man, 19, who opened fire at Florida high school

Published: Saturday, April 21, 2018 @ 3:44 AM

Sky Bouche was arrested on the campus of Forest High School in Ocala on Friday.
Sky Bouche was arrested on the campus of Forest High School in Ocala on Friday.(WFTV.com)

The 19-year-old gunman who caused panic and fear at a Florida high school when he opened fire Friday morning said he was “sorry.”

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The gunman, identified as Sky Bouche, brought a shotgun onto campus at Forest High School in Ocala and shot a 17-year-old student in the ankle, deputies said. 

The shooting happened on the day planned for a national classroom walkout to protest gun violence.

Bouche was taken into custody by school resource officer Jim Long within three minutes of the gunfire. 

“He did not hesitate. He went right in,” Marion County Sheriff Billy Woods said. 

Bouche told a WFTV reporter he didn't see anyone and shot through a door at the school.

"Anything you want to say to (the victim) or his family?” Bouche was asked.

"Sorry," Bouche said. "Doesn't make it better anyway."

He would not answer any questions about why he allegedly shot the student.

Other students were around when the gunfire broke out, but deputies did not say where in the building the shooting happened. 

“Basically, in three minutes, (Long) engaged the shooter and took him into custody,” Woods said. “(Bouche) was not tackled. He didn’t offer any resistance.” 

Woods said Long had heard a "large, loud, banging sound" and immediately responded. Long "recognized what we had at that time," he said.

Bouche was not injured.

Woods could not say if the alleged shooter was a former student or whether Bouche and the victim knew each other. 

It’s also unclear how Bouche managed to get on the campus with a gun. 

The Sheriff's Office has not identified the student who was shot, but reported that the victim said, "I am so glad it was me and not one of my friends."

Students and teachers crouched under their desks and hid as officers went from room to room making sure everyone was OK. 

“We were just under our desks crying,” said a student, who was not identified. 

After the shooting, the school was placed on lockdown, so parents were not able to pick up their children. 

Parents were urged to stay away from the school, which is protocol during a lockdown.

“Well, you’re scared to death, of course. Your heart is beating 90 mph and, you know, you’re just scared for your child,” said a parent, who was not identified. “You don’t know what’s going on.” 

As deputies evacuated the classrooms, the more than 2,300 students were loaded onto buses and brought to the First Baptist Church of Ocala, where they reunited with frantic parents. 

“Just anxious, waiting for her to get on that bus at the school, to text me, ‘I’m here,’ and just waiting for her name to be called,” parent Ashley Shell said. 

Hundreds of anxious parents gathered on the front steps of the church. 

“I’m just glad she is safe. I’m just glad that no one else got hurt,” added parent Otto Brown. 

Woods said he was proud of how first responders and school officials handled the situation. 

“It was the school system, it was law enforcement and it was Fire Rescue that saved lives today,” he said. “Our children are alive because those three things were in place.” 

Long has been with the Marion County Sheriff’s Office for 25 years, and has spent 10 of those years as a resource officer at the school. 

Schools in the Marion County Public Schools District remained on Code Yellow for the rest of the day and Woods sent extra patrols to campuses throughout the county.

“Marion County does everything to protect their children," Woods said.

He also stressed that any school threats or hoax school threats will be punished to the fullest extent of the law. 

“This is not a joking matter. What happened down south almost came to Marion County,” Woods said.

Ocala police, the Sheriff's Office, the Florida Highway Patrol and the FBI were investigating. They divided into teams that cleared all buildings, vehicles and the parking lot. Once all students were off campus, authorities began conducting a more thorough search of the campus.

The Ocala shooting comes just over two months after a gunman killed 17 people and wounded 17 others at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida. Nikolas Cruz, 19, faces the death penalty if he is convicted.

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Two arrests made during OVI checkpoint in Greene County

Published: Saturday, April 21, 2018 @ 3:31 AM

Getty Images/iStockphoto
(Getty Images/iStockphoto)

Two OVI checkpoints and saturated patrolling took place in Beavercreek and Fairborn Friday night.

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It was reported that 510 motorists passed through the two checkpoints, according to Lieutenant Matt Schmenk of the Ohio State Highway Patrol’s Xenia Post.

The checkpoints took place on Colonel Glenn Highway from 8 to 10 p.m. in Beavercreek and 10 p.m. until midnight in Fairborn, according to Schmenk.

Five motorists were evaluated for impairment during the checkpoints but no arrests were made. Two OVI arrests were made during the checkpoints by saturated patrols in the area, Schmenk said.

The checkpoints were held by OSP, Greene County Sheriff’s Office, the Beavercreek Police Department and the Fairborn Police Department.

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2 Louisiana elementary school students arrested over nude Snapchat photos

Published: Saturday, April 21, 2018 @ 3:07 AM

Two elementary students in Louisiana were arrested after nude photographs were shared on Snapchat, police said.
Carl Court/Getty Images
Two elementary students in Louisiana were arrested after nude photographs were shared on Snapchat, police said.(Carl Court/Getty Images)

Police in Louisiana arrested a female elementary school student who took nude pictures of herself, as well as her male classmate who shared the photographs through a social media app, WGNO reported.

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The students, who are enrolled at Bonne Ecole Elementary in Slidell, were charged with distribution of child pornography, the Slidell Police Department said.

The nude photographs were sent and shared through the Snapchat app, police said. The male student sent the picture to other students after receiving them, WGNO reported.

“Most kids are not aware, but sending a nude photo of themselves is a crime,” Slidell Police Chief Randy Fandal said in a Facebook post. “Parents need to have a candid conversation with their kids about the seriousness, and the long term effects, of taking and sending nude photographs.”

Both children were released into the custody of their parents, WGNO reported.

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