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‘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.
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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Police find man with gunshot wound to the head in Dayton home

Published: Sunday, May 20, 2018 @ 6:13 AM
Updated: Sunday, May 20, 2018 @ 7:15 AM

UPDATE @ 7:15 a.m.:

A 38-year-old man was transported to a hospital with life-threatening injuries after police found him with a gunshot wound to the head in a home in Dayton, according to Sgt. Thomas Schloss of Dayton Police Department.

The man was found lying on the floor in the home on Brooklyn Avenue, Schloss said.

Homicide detectives were called out to the scene and are investigating, said Schloss.

It’s not known how the man was shot and his identity was not released.


Emergency crews are on scene of a shooting in Dayton.

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The shooting occurred in the 200 block of Brooklyn Avenue around 5:50 a.m. Sunday, according to initial reports.

Police have the road between West Second Street and Edison Street blocked off with crime tape.

We are working to learn more and will update this page as information becomes available.

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More showers and storms likely to start the week

Published: Sunday, May 20, 2018 @ 4:50 AM

More showers and storms are likely through the weekend in the Dayton area.

The first part of your Sunday should be dry, but there is a slight chance for an isolated shower, according to Storm Center 7 Meteorologist Brett Collar. The better chances for more showers and storms returns for the second half of the day. Some of the storms towards evening could be strong to severe with the biggest concerns being strong winds and some hail. Highs today will be in the lower 80s.

WHIO Doppler 7 Interactive Radar


  • Few P.M. showers and storms today
  • Some could be strong with gusty winds, hail and heavy downpours
  • Dry time returns by Wednesday


5-Day Forecast

Monday: More showers and a few storms are likely to start the work-week. Highs will be in the upper 70s.

Tuesday: A few lingering showers, maybe a few storms are likely for the first part of your day. Highs will be in the lower 80s.

Cloudy with a chance of Podcast: A podcast for weather fans

Wednesday: It looks like we finally dry things out on Wednesday under partly cloudy skies. Highs again will be in the lower 80s.

Thursday: A little bit more sunshine returns for your day with highs in the lower 80s.

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Two people ejected from motorcycle in Shelby Co. crash

Published: Sunday, May 06, 2018 @ 7:00 PM
Updated: Sunday, May 20, 2018 @ 4:25 AM

UPDATE @ 4:25 a.m. (May 20):

Michelle S. McNamara, 28, was listed in serious condition at Miami Valley Hospital after being ejected from a motorcycle in Loramie Twp. May 6.

The driver of the motorcycle, Stephen J. Vennemeyer, 52, was no longer listed as a patient at Wilson Memorial Hospital. His condition was not known.


Shelby County deputies and the Russia Fire Department responded to a single-vehicle motorcycle crash at the intersection of Russia Houston Road and Russia Rd. early Sunday morning. 

Stephen J. Vennemeyer, 52, and Michelle S. McNamara, 28, were ejected from a black 2016 Kawasaki motorcycle traveling eastbound in the 1000 block of Russia Houston around 12:18 a.m. 

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Vennemeyer over corrected when traveling off the right side of the roadway and then crashed. 

McNamara was transported by CareFlight to Miami Valley Hospital and is in critical condition. 

Vennemeyer was transported by rescue squad to Wilson Memorial Hospital 

The extent of Vennemeyer's injuries is unknown.

Abandoned car fire under investigation in Montgomery Co.

Published: Sunday, May 20, 2018 @ 2:32 AM
Updated: Sunday, May 20, 2018 @ 4:00 AM

UPDATE @ 4 a.m.:

An abandoned vehicle found fully engulfed in a gravel lot near the Great Miami River Recreational Trail is under investigation, according to Lt. Nick Carpenter of Bethel Twp. Fire Department.

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A call from a passerby came in around 2:10 a.m. that a Hyundai Veloster was on fire at Old Springfield Road at Old Canal Road.

Bethel Twp. fire along with Vandalia fire and Metro Park Police handled the incident.

Flames were able to be extinguished quickly and the vehicle was towed, according to Carpenter. 


Emergency crews are responding to a report of a vehicle fire in Vandalia Sunday morning.

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Initial reports state the vehicle is fully engulfed at Old Springfield Road and Old Canal Road.

It’s unknown if the vehicle is occupied at this time.