‘A big boom went off over my head’: Butler County woman almost hit by stray bullet

Published: Saturday, April 21, 2018 @ 7:00 AM

Jesse VonStein is the owner of Lake Bailee Recreational Park and Gun Range. VonStein said gun shots often ring out from the nearby woods — not just his gun range — and he can’t be held responsible for that.
STAFF FILE PHOTO/2013
Jesse VonStein is the owner of Lake Bailee Recreational Park and Gun Range. VonStein said gun shots often ring out from the nearby woods — not just his gun range — and he can’t be held responsible for that.(STAFF FILE PHOTO/2013)

A Butler County community has taken action against a local gun range after a woman said a bullet from the business came within five feet of her face as she sat inside her home.

Berneice Wright was watching television at about 2 p.m. April 12 in her living room of her home in the 1900 block of Gephart Road when she said a bullet burst through her window, shattering a glass candle holder next to her.

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“This big boom went off kind up over my head and I discovered it was a bullet had come through my front window,” she said. “It hit a candle on my table which was on the other side of me, shattered it all to pieces.”

Wright’s home is about two miles from Lake Bailee Recreational Park and Gun Range, and she said this month’s close call is not the first time she and her neighbors have had bullets from the business pepper their properties.

A St. Clair Twp. woman said she was almost hit by a gun bullet as she watched television inside her home on Gephart Road. The bullet, she said, came from the nearby Lake Bailee Recreational Park and Gun Range; the owner of the gun range disputes that.

The incident prompted St. Clair Twp. trustees to hold a special meeting last week, where they passed an emergency resolution.

“The township solicitor is hereby authorized and directed to bring legal action on behalf of the township against Lake Bailee in order to cause the firing ranges at Lake Bailee to be permanently enjoined from further use and operation as a firing range until all such range(s) at Lake Bailee can contain all projectiles/bullets fired at such range,” the resolution reads.

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That action angered Jesse VonStein, the shooting range’s owner, who denied his establishment was the culprit in Wright’s close call, especially since no one was shooting a rifle that afternoon.

“They’re going to make me do this and make me do that, when we didn’t do anything wrong in the first damn place,” he said. “That makes me angry.”

VonStein told the Journal-News he went to Wright’s house after the incident and examined the bullet hole, then did some homework measuring distance and elevations of his range, her house, and a berm between the two. He determined that even if someone was using a rifle, they couldn’t have hit Wright’s window.

The sheriff’s deputy who responded to the incident was told the last person using the gun range was shooting a revolver, according to a police report. While at the gun range, the deputy could hear shooting in the distance, according to the report.

VonStein said shots often ring out from the nearby woods — not just his gun range — and he can’t be held responsible for that.

“We run a tight range, there’s range officers there. I teach concealed carry, combative firearms, women’s self defense, in-home defense,” he said, adding that he plans to contact his attorney about the township’s resolution.

“This is not a fly-by-night operation and safety matters are A-number-one,” he said.

St. Clair Twp. Solicitor Gary Sheets said he is continuing to research the issue.

“I have not as yet been able to find a criminal statute which makes it an offense to operate a firing range which is incapable of capturing all projectiles fired from that location,” he said.

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Gravesite for ‘Buckskin Girl’ gets new headstone with her name

Published: Friday, July 20, 2018 @ 8:00 PM

Marcia Sossomon King was found dead in Miami County 37 years ago. She was known as the 'Bucksin Girl' until her remains were recently identified.

It took nearly 37 years before a positive ID was made of Jane Doe whose body was found along a Miami County road, but only a short time for donations and creation of a new stone marking her grave in Troy.

RELATED: Jane Doe no more: Miami County sheriff IDs cold case victim 37 years later

Marcia Sossomon King of Arkansas, who was 21 when she died in 1981, was remembered Friday with the placement of the stone and a memorial service at Riverside Cemetery. The name Sossomon, her father’s last name, was added at the request of her family.

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The body of the Jane Doe, also known as “Buckskin Girl” for the jacket, was buried at the city cemetery weeks after its discovery with a marker identifying the grave as Jane Doe’s.

Nine members of King’s family attended the Friday service.

“Words don’t describe the feelings we have for all of you, how you have loved her and taken her in your arms,” said her stepmother Cindy Sossoman.

RELATED: With ID, investigation intensifies into ‘buckskin girl’s’ unsolved homicide

She said King’s father, John Sossomon, died in January, a few months before she was identified. Cindy Sossomon said King was very trusting and obviously fell into the wrong hands. However, thanks to Miami County investigators and the community, she soon “was in good hands ... in the loving hands of people here.”

King’s identity was confirmed this spring thanks to new genetic genealogy tools by the nonprofit DNA Doe Project with ID confirmation by the Miami Valley Regional Crime Lab.

She died of strangulation and blunt force trauma to the head. She had no socks, shoes, bags or any form of ID. She did have a buckskin jacket, which was shown in efforts to find out her name and led to her being known as the Buckskin Girl.

“We are grateful this day has come, that Marcia has a name other than Buckskin Girl,” said the Rev. Greg Simmons, chaplain of the Miami County Fraternal Order of Police lodge.

The stone was the result of a private fundraising effort led by retired Piqua police officer Paul Sullenberger with assistance from the FOP lodge. He asked the some 50 people gathered to say King’s full name aloud.

“Her name is written in stone and etched in our hearts and minds,” Sullenberger said.

“I just can’t thank people enough,” Miami County Sheriff Dave Duchak said of the efforts to provide the stone.

RELATED: How they did it: Groundbreaking technology reveals ID in 37-year-old cold case

Sheriff’s Chief Deputy Steve Lord said the investigation into who killed King continues with a focus on establishing a timeline for the days and weeks leading to the discovery of her body.

“She has been placed in Louisville, Kentucky, approximately 14 days prior to her being found,” he said. “We continue to seek the assistance from anyone that may have had contact with her in April of 1981 in Ohio or Kentucky.

Anyone with information is urged to call the sheriff’s tip line at 937-440-3990 or leave tips at www.miamicountysheriff.org/contactus-1.

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

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Ribbon-cutting for Good Samaritan North to be held today

Published: Friday, July 20, 2018 @ 8:32 PM
Updated: Saturday, July 21, 2018 @ 10:11 AM

A ribbon-cutting ceremony for new services at Good Samaritan North Health Center, which will become Miami Valley Hospital North on July 23, will be held today at 1:00 p.m.

The ceremony will be at the Health Center located at 9000 N. Main Street, according to a release.

RELATED NEWS: Good Samaritan North to get a new name

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For the first time, this site will offer inpatient beds--a total of 46 private rooms for short-stay inpatient and observation care, including four high-acuity beds. Patients will be able to access advanced, integrated services ranging from non-operative medical treatment to inpatient surgical intervention.

The site will have a dedicated facility for joint and spine care and is also slated to open a cardiac catheterization lab in early fall 2018. The site will also offer 82,000 additional square feet as well as expanded patient and visitor parking.
Got a tip? Call our monitored 24-hour line, 937-259-2237, or send it to newsdesk@cmgohio.com.

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Oakwood superintendent gets new 5-year deal with raise, annuity

Published: Saturday, July 21, 2018 @ 9:55 AM


            Kyle Ramey, Oakwood City School District superintendent
Kyle Ramey, Oakwood City School District superintendent

Oakwood Superintendent Kyle Ramey’s new 5-year contract includes a raise, plus more than $18,000 a year into an annuity.

Ramey became Oakwood superintendent in 2013 when Mary Jo Scalzo retired after nine years in the job.

School Board President Todd Duwel said the district is supportive of Ramey’s leadership and ability to inspire his staff.

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“The Oakwood Board of Education recognizes the leadership of Dr. Ramey and his administrative team to inspire,” Duwel said. “As a board, we are fully supportive of our district leaders’ passion and commitment to the students, staff and community of Oakwood.”

Last year Ramey made $167,997.

Now, after accepting the new 5-year deal, his pay will stand at $169,997 per year. The board also will pay $18,267 annually into a tax-sheltered annuity or deferred compensation plan to a company that Ramey approves.

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He will be required to work 260 days, with 11 paid holidays and 25 vacation days, plus an added medical exam that is not covered by his health care plan.

The contract also stipulates that the superintendent’s salary and annuity payment benefit will increase by 4 percent “gross total over the preceding year’s established amounts.”

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A native of Heath, Ohio, Ramey’s first teaching job was in Graham Local Schools in Champaign County. He had been with Kettering City Schools for 20 years, serving as principal of Kettering Middle School, unit principal of Fairmont High School, director of teacher personnel and human resources director for the district.

Ramey says that addressing the issue of teacher shortages will be important for school districts.

“The key to any successful district or building is having great kids, engaged parents, supportive community and top-notch teachers,” he noted. “If educators and parents aren’t encouraging, recruiting and mentoring our own best and brightest to be teachers, how can we expect anyone else to do it for us?”

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Ramey says that the teaching profession doesn’t get any help from politicians.

“We certainly aren’t getting help from legislators. The use of state report cards and invalid, unreliable and inaccurate state tests to rank and to sort districts and teachers doesn’t encourage anyone to want to travel down this career path,” he said. “Add public scrutiny, a general erosion of respect for the teaching profession and so many testing requirements and teaching guidelines, even those who begin their careers in education aren’t as likely to stay throughout their professional lives.”

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Other administrators in the district received a more than 3 percent raise, according to Kevin Philo, district treasurer.

“Most other administrators were approved for salary increases of 3 percent to 4 percent,” he said.

Athletic Director Laura Connor received an 8.5 percent raise and will make $101,106 in a four-year contract, and Harman Elementary School Principal Sarah Patterson received a 3.25 percent increase in salary and is slated to make $119,329.

Area school districts with highest-paid superintendents in 2016-2017 (and their enrollment)

Gail Kist-Kline, Mason City Schools superintendent: $181,290 (10,648 students)*

Paul Otten, Beavercreek City Schools superintendent: $160,900 (7,758 students)

Kyle Ramey, Oakwood City Schools superintendent: $155,324 (2,082 students)

Robert Hill, Springfield City Schools superintendent: $152,500 (7,778 students)

Anthony Orr, Hamilton City Schools superintendent: $152,250 (10,123 students)*

*Resigned this year

Source: Ohio Department of Education

Median teacher salary 2016-2017 school year

(For largest area districts and districts with highest-paid superintendents)

Oakwood City Schools: $75,984

Mason City Schools: $75,909

Huber Heights City Schools: $73,500

Beavercreek City Schools: $65,655

Kettering City Schools: $61,380

Springfield City School District: $57,343

Hamilton City Schools: $52,930

Dayton City Schools: $50,238

Ohio: $57,907

Source: Dayton Daily News analysis of Ohio Department of Education teacher salary data

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Complimentary laundry services offered to Dayton residents Saturday

Published: Friday, July 20, 2018 @ 11:04 PM



https://engagethecurrent.org/currentofohio/
(https://engagethecurrent.org/currentofohio/)

A non-profit is offering complimentary laundry services to lower-income Dayton residents on Saturday from 10:00 a.m. until 1:00 p.m.

This service will be held At Your Service Coin Laundry located at 4755 Airway Road in Riverside, according to a release.

OTHER LOCAL NEWS: Ohio State Highway Patrol Aviation Unit helps make arrests

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The Laundry Project brings renewed hope to thousands of people nationwide by providing the funds and items necessary to wash and dry clothes and linens. Fees are paid for while volunteers assist with laundry services, entertain children, and create a caring space at the laundromat.

Members of the community may donate much-needed supplies including detergent, bleach, quarters (rolls of $10), one-gallon Ziploc bags, garbage bags, coloring books, crayons, fabric softener, and laundry baskets.

OTHER LOCAL NEWS: Ribbon-cutting for Good Samaritan North to be held Saturday

With the average cost of eight loads of laundry nearing $35, many families are forced to choose between paying bills and washing their clothes. To ease this expense, Currents hosts its Laundry Project to lift a burden many families experience regardless of location. In 2017, this project positively impacted 1,161 families by washing 12,442 loads of their laundry for free.

For more information about Current of Ohio or past Laundry Projects, visit www.CurrentOfOhio.org.

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

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