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Published: Friday, September 02, 2016 @ 9:17 AM
Updated: Friday, September 02, 2016 @ 9:15 AM
SAN JOSE, Calif. — Brock Turner, the former Stanford University swimmer convicted of sexually assaulting a young woman on campus, was handed a package by guards as he exited a California jail on Friday after serving half of his six-month sentence: A big packet of hate mail.
Turner's early release for good behavior was the latest turn in a case that sparked a widespread outcry by many who believed he was given preferential treatment and too light of a sentence for the January 2015 assault. For hours after his pre-dawn release from the Santa Clara County jail, about 200 people demonstrated outside, calling for the judge in the case to resign.
Wearing a wrinkled dress shirt, Turner walked with his head down and didn't say a word as he made his way through a gauntlet of television camera lights and into a waiting SUV. The 21-year-old intends to live with his parents near Dayton, Ohio, where he is required to register for life as a sex offender.
There, about a dozen protesters stood outside the Turner's home in Sugarcreek Township, as police watched. One man's hand-lettered sign said "Let only pain & misery fall upon those who rape their fellow person."
Turner was convicted of assaulting the woman near a trash bin after they drank heavily at a fraternity party. The woman had passed out and Turner was on top of her when confronted by two graduate students passing by on bicycles. They chased and tackled him when he tried to flee, holding him on the ground until police arrived.
A jury in March found Turner guilty of three felony sexual assault counts. Judge Santa Clara County Judge Aaron Persky sentenced him to six months in jail, citing the "extraordinary circumstances" of Turner's youth, clean criminal record and other considerations in departing from the minimum sentence of two years in prison. Prosecutors had argued for six years.
Turner's case exploded on social media and ignited a debate about campus rape and the criminal justice system after the victim's 7,200-word letter to Turner that she read in the courtroom during sentencing was published online.
"I want to show people that one night of drinking can ruin two lives," she wrote. "You and me. You are the cause, I am the effect."
Following Turner's release from jail, Sheriff Laurie Smith said she believed his sentence was too light. "He should be in prison right now, but he's not in our custody," she told reporters.
Smith said jail guards gave Turner a big package of hate mail sent to him over the last three months and that Turner lived in protective custody in jail after receiving threats.
She also urged Gov. Jerry Brown to sign a bill passed by California Assembly that would require harsher punishment for the same crime Turner committed. Brown hasn't said whether he will sign it.
"The law has to be that if you rape someone who is unconscious and intoxicated you go to state prison," she said. "And that bill is on the governor's desk right now, and we're urging the governor to sign it."
A well-funded campaign also is underway to recall Persky. The judge voluntarily removed himself from hearing criminal cases, starting next week.
But supporters of the recall campaign said that is not enough.
"We need judges who understand sexual assault and violence against women," Stanford law professor Michele Dauber, a friend of Turner's victim and the chair of the recall campaign, said Friday while demonstrating outside the jail. "Judge Persky does not."
Persky didn't respond to requests for comment Friday and hasn't responded to numerous requests since Turner's sentencing. He has launched a campaign website soliciting campaign donations to help retain his seat.
California jail inmates with good behavior typically serve half their sentences. Ohio prison officials earlier this month agreed to take over supervision of Turner's probation.
Greene County Sheriff Gene Fischer said Turner has five days to register as a sex offender with his office in Xenia, Ohio, 15 miles east of Dayton. He will have to report to a probation officer for three years and must avoid alcohol and drugs during that time.
Fischer said his department will notify Turner's neighbors informing them that a convicted sex offender is moving nearby. Turner will be required to register every three months in person at the sheriff's office, reaffirming that he is still living with his parents, the sheriff said.
Published: Monday, May 21, 2018 @ 12:03 PM
— Five traffic enforcement red-light cameras will be activated starting today at two intersections.
Three cameras will be at James H. McGee Boulevard and West Third Street, and two others are at Linden Avenue and South Smithville Road. A 30-day warning period begins Monday at both locations, according to a release from the city.
So, where are all the red-light cameras located in the region?
Following is a list of fixed-site camera locations, along with the current locations of mobile speed trailers:
Published: Monday, May 21, 2018 @ 11:29 AM
— Spray-painted graffiti scrawled on the side of the historical red caboose in Xenia will cost thousands of dollars to repair, said Ronald Goble, president of the Greene County Historical Society.
The vintage, steel-sided, Baltimore & Ohio caboose in the city park at South Detroit Street and South Miami Avenue is on display to the public and can be opened for tours free-of-charge.
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The spray paint used on the train car “ate all the way through the protective coating and down into the base coat,” said Goble, who unlocks the caboose for tours by appointment or on busy days at the park.
“We’ll have to have a professional painter take a look at it,” he said. “It will have to be stripped, sanded and repainted.”
The cost will be significant. Ten years ago the caboose was painted at a cost of $5,000, paid for through a local foundation’s fundraising, Goble said. He said the historical society relies on volunteers and donations and doesn't have a reserve to cover such high costs.
Goble said the caboose was also hit by vandals last spring, resulting approximately $4,000 of work to replace windows that were busted out.
Xenia Police Detective Matt Miller is investigating the May 12 incident. Other businesses and organizations were reportedly struck the same weekend.
Similar graffiti was found on a wrecked semi-trailer that’s been parked at Moorman’s Towing for about two months, said Moorman’s Towing employee Ryan Arnett.
“We just don’t see that kind of stuff around here,” Arnett said. “I remember about five years ago we had an issue. They caught those kids doing it. It’s only a matter of time before they catch these (vandals) too.”
Published: Monday, May 21, 2018 @ 11:58 AM
MIAMI VALLEY — May 21, 2014, a day some local motorists will never forget. Flooded interstates caused hundreds of drivers to be trapped in their cars on I-75 and I-70. Motorists were without food, water and restroom facilities for hours.
Flood waters covered all lanes of I-70 near State Route 201 (Brandt Pike) in Huber Heights. Ohio Department of Transportation traffic cameras showed frustrated drivers began making u-turns and driving in the wrong direction on the interstate to exit and find another route. Other motorists could be seen exiting their cars and walking on the interstate.
Huber Heights Battalion Chief Keith Knisley said a swollen creek caused the flooding on the interstate. He said it was over a retaining wall that is over 4 feet high.
The situation was similar that day in Miami County on Interstate 75 between Tipp City and Piqua. High water and disabled vehicles made the interstate impassable in the north and southbound lanes near State Route 36 and Farrington where the Great Miami River runs near the interstate. Traffic was also at a standstill on both sides of I-75 just north of Tipp city.
Ohio Department of Transportation crews used snow plows to push water and debris out of the way to allow cars to move again on I-75.
In Clark County, at height of flooding, county Engineer Johnathan Burr said water was 2-1/2 feet deep across Ridgewood Road east.
"The rain just came down so fast and so hard, the roads were overwhelmed," Burr said.
So much rain fell in some locations that the storm was the equivalent of a 1,000-year flood, ODOT said in a report.
“Another way to say it would be the probability of that amount of rain in that duration has the probability of happening, 0.1 percent chance in a year’s time.”
The highway agency based its analysis on records kept by the Miami Conservancy District and other weather trackers. Total rainfall in the area of flooding was approximately 4.5 inches in roughly a two-hour time period.
Published: Monday, May 21, 2018 @ 11:02 AM
MIDDLETOWN — One year after some Middletown High School parents were unable to see their children graduate, the district has moved high school graduation to a location that officials say should accommodate everyone who wants to attend.
But with the ceremony planned outdoors, the district is now worried about inclement weather.
Middletown’s Class of 2018 will receive their diplomas at 7 p.m. Tuesday at Barnitz Stadium. In case of inclement weather, the ceremony will be moved to the new Wade E. Miller Arena at the high school, according to George Long, business administrator for the schools.
“We know that so many family members and friends want to watch the ceremonies and the past venues have not been allowed us to accommodate all the people wanting to be there,” he said. “Having it at Barnitz should allow us to welcome everyone who wants to attend a good seat for graduations.”
In addition, Middletown High School has partnered with the Stratford Heights Church of God in Middletown to provide live televised streaming coverage of the event. The church worked with the district to broadcast the final basketball game at the former Miller Gym and the first game at the new Miller Arena.
“It made sense to work with their media department to make such a special night able to watched by those not able to make it in person,” Long said.
The commencement ceremony will be streamed live on the church’s website, SHCOG.com.
If the decision is made to move graduation to the Miller Arena, seating will be limited and only those with tickets given out to the students will be allowed to attend, Long said, adding that there will be overflow seating in the new junior high building.
Some parents were locked out of their child’s graduation last year at Princeton Pike Church of God because someone let people without tickets into a side door of the church, according to school officials, who issued an apology the next day.
Tickets for the exact number of seats available in the auditorium were issued, but once the auditorium was full some were not allowed to enter, even though they had tickets.