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Dayton woman is Kentucky HS grad, knows some school shooting victims

Published: Wednesday, January 24, 2018 @ 7:05 PM

Dayton woman is Kentucky HS grad, knows some school shooting victims

A local woman who graduated from the same school where a mass shooting took place said she knows some of the victims.

“They’re devastated,” Jamie Henson said today of the Benton, Kentucky, community, where two Marshall County High School students were killed Tuesday when a classmate opened fire. “It’s really close-knit. Everyone knows everyone, everybody’s friend with everybody else.” 

Prosecutors said a 15-year-old boy is expected to be tried as an adult on two counts of murder. His name has not been released.

>> 2 killed, several injured in shooting at Kentucky high school; 15-year-old in custody

Two students, both 15, were killed. Bailey Holt died at the school and Preston Cope died at a hospital. Eighteen other students were injured; 14 suffered gunshot wounds, including Dan Austin, whose friend Tristan Cline told “CBS This Morning” that he sprang to action after seeing Austin on the ground. “He was shot in the shoulder and he was scared. No one really knew what to do so I just put him in my car and drove as fast as I could,” Cline said.

Several victims — all between 14 and 18 — remain hospitalized. All are expected to survive.

Henson is a 2009 graduate of Marshall High School. Her best friend’s brother was inside the school when the shooting happened. He managed to get away from the shooter.

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“A lot of his friends and people that I know did get hurt,” Henson said.

Her family is originally from the Dayton area, and she just moved from Marshall County two weeks ago.

She first found out about Tuesday’s shooting through a friend’s Facebook post.

“I was just more concerned about how they were dealing with it,” she said.

A mass shooting is the last thing expected in the community six hours from the Miami Valley where everyone goes to the same churches, bonfires and watches high school basketball games together, she said.

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“You’re like, well, it’s not gonna happen here because we all know everybody. We don’t know anybody that would do that,” she said.

Henson said she’s not surprised the community is rallying together, and while she cannot be there, she’s trying to help her friends emotionally.

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Boy Scouts, Dayton church celebrate unique partnership

Published: Sunday, May 27, 2018 @ 1:42 PM

Boy Scouts, Dayton church celebrate unique partnership

The Boy Scouts of America presented Mount Enon Missionary Baptist Church in Dayton with a special charter on Sunday for a unique partnership. 

Through the church, 1501 W. Third St., youths can get involved in scouting programs, which is intended to help steer kids away from trouble and teach them leadership skills. 

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Julian Pruitt Sr., community scouting coordinator, said he wants to eventually charter other churches in Dayton, creating a network of places young people of all ages can find mentors and special programming to address issues in their neighborhoods. 

“We are actually looking at kindergarten all the way to the 12 grade. That is a unique responsibility,” Pruitt said. 

Increasing scouting in Dayton can literally save the lives of members, giving them a positive alternative and an outlet to make a difference, he said. 

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“There has been a lot of break-ins and cellphone stores and things of this nature. At the same time we can bring more leaders to the community,” Pruitt said.

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

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School threats prompt new looks at violent video games

Published: Sunday, May 27, 2018 @ 2:27 PM


            Credit: Activision Publishing An image from the video game “Call of Duty: Infinite Warefare.”
            Activision Publishing
Credit: Activision Publishing An image from the video game “Call of Duty: Infinite Warefare.”(Activision Publishing)

In a Warren County courtroom and outside a Texas school building where a recent deadly shooting happened, video games and their potential connection to violence have been part of the conversation about school threats.

After the May 18 school shooting that killed 10 people in Santa Fe, Texas, Lt. Governor Dan Patrick said the nation has “got to address” the issue of video game violence.

Locally, at least 15 school threat cases have been filed in Warren County since the Parkland, Fla., school shooting killed 17 people in February. In at least two of those cases, defendants and lawyers made references to video games.

Research doesn’t link violent video games directly to acts of violence. Local experts, however, said studies have linked violent games to minor acts that are more rude or anti-social than violent.

Steven Liptak, a psychologist with Upper Valley Outpatient Behavioral Health, said video game violence could be considered a risk factor that might make violence more likely, but it is unlikely to be the single cause of a violent incident. Other factors can include peer rejection, poor self-control, bad school performance and lack of empathy for others.

“If you look at it from a common-sense perspective, there’s literally millions of people, not just kids, who play … first person shooter video games like Call of Duty, for example,” Liptak said. “Most of those people don’t turn out to be violent.”

Violent video games are one of several factors the National Rifle Association and politicians have brought up following school shootings. Politicians have also blamed Ritalin, the structure of school buildings and mental illness for mass shootings. Gun control advocates say those arguments serve to distract the public from the gun control debate.

A 13-year-old Mason boy acknowledged under questioning by Warren County Juvenile Court Judge Joe Kirby this month that he learned about the gun he threatened to shoot his teacher with from the video game “Call of Duty.” Kirby sentenced the boy for inducing panic after he admitted to threatening his teacher with a Glock when she reprimanded him for watching YouTube videos in class.

MORE: Two Mason boys sentenced, Springboro boy freed in school-threat cases

In March, a 16-year-old Clearcreek Twp. boy was charged with disorderly conduct after alluding to the game in an Instagram post following the Feb. 14 shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglass High school in Parkland. He posted a picture of an Osprey gun and referenced a “killstreak” in the “Call of Duty: MW3 game,” comparing it to the Parkland shooting.

But research has yet to link school shootings, or any serious violence, to violent video games. America has a high rate of gun ownership and gun murders relative to other developed countries, but not a high rate of video game use, according to reporting by the New York Times.

Dr. Latisha Gathers-Hutchins, a pediatric psychologist at Dayton’s Children’s hospital, said studies have linked aggressive behavior to video game violence. The field defines aggression differently than violence; it’s a wider range of behavior that includes less serious harmful behavior.

“It could be something like yelling at someone or being mean, all the way up to violence,” she said.

RELATED: Documents: Piqua man, 21, made school shooting threat after girlfriend, 14, was bullied

Studies have concluded that violent video gaming can make people more likely to commit minor acts of aggression such as giving actors simulated electric shocks, loud noise blasts or very spicy hot sauce. Gathers-Hutchins said studying actual violence is difficult because violent acts are relatively rare and provoking them in a research setting is unethical.

She also said seeking a single cause of violent acts like school shootings is misguided. Violent acts tend to have multiple causes and risk factors, she said.

RELATED: Santa Fe High School Shooting: What to know about Santa Fe Independent School District

Callousness and disregard for human life is another risk factor for violence, and Liptak said more researchers should study whether violent media consumption decreases regard for human life.

“I think most people can kind of separate or compartmentalize,” Liptak said. “I think if they were to see something in real life, they would be affected by it. I do wonder if some of the violent video games, given how realistic they are, could be sort of a subtle risk factor because it could contribute to some callousness.”

Liptak said parents should make sure children are mature enough for the games they play and monitor the way their children and teens use video games. If children play video games to let off steam but are also involved in sports and doing well in school, the gaming is likely not a problem.

If a teen or child is becoming isolated, acting irritable and losing sleep because of the gaming, it could have negative health effects. Besides increased aggression, excessive gaming could lead to addiction or signal someone is depressed.

RELATED: School shootings: Mental health symptoms parents can watch out for

Gathers-Hutchins said risk of aggressive behavior increases with more violent video gaming. Research doesn’t suggest video games cause more aggression than passive consumption of violent media, so parents should consider their child’s consumption of violent television, movies and music as well.

A general rule of thumb for a healthy level of media consumption, violent or otherwise, is two hours or less per day, she said. Parents should know their children, though, and find a good individual level for them, she said.

Staff Writer Lawrence Budd contributed to this report.

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Tornado hits Beavercreek 3 years ago

Published: Saturday, May 26, 2018 @ 7:10 PM

Today marks 3rd anniversary of Beavercreek tornado

Saturday marks the third anniversary of a tornado that ripped through Beavercreek, damaging businesses and homes.

The most damage was to part of the Greene Crossing Shopping Plaza off Indian Ripple Road, where two people suffered minor injuries while inside their vehicles.

VIDEO: Beavercreek tornado of 2015

Don Moncrief is a mechanic at Performance Bicycle at the strip mall. He said he’ll never forget the twister that came through.

“It started to rain real hard and I was just standing right back here, right where I am now,” he said.

Store surveillance video shows the tornado as it traveled through the parking lot, hitting portions of the building as drivers try to veer out of its path.

“And I looked and I’ve never been close to a tornado before but I knew as it brushed the front of the building, I knew exactly what it was,” Moncrief said.

A tornado toppled cars and tore roofs off businesses at the Greene Crossing Shopping Center May 26, 2015, in Beavercreek. LISA POWELL / STAFF FILE

Another video shows large pieces of debris land on two vehicles.

“I could see the debris swirling. It blew our door open (to the shop). I could look up and see the windows and glass just flexing like crazy,” he said. “It came and went. I didn’t even have time to get scared.”

RELATED: Tornado damage keeps businesses closed

The National Weather Service classified the tornado as an EF-1 with maximum wind speeds of 105 mph. The width of the tornado was 70 yards, and it was on the ground for one minute and traveled a half-mile. As many as 22 cars sustained damage in the shopping center parking lot in addition to building damage, the NWS said.

RELATED: NWS confirms EF-1 tornado in Beavercreek

There was plenty of damage to the Fit Works gym next door to Performance Bicycle, which was closed for nine days, Moncrief said.

“It wasn’t a vicious tornado, but I don’t want to do another one,” he said. “One’s enough.”

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WHIO Reports: Human trafficking

Published: Sunday, May 27, 2018 @ 9:34 AM

Sign of Human Trafficking

This edition of WHIO Reports will focus on human trafficking. It sounds like the kind of crime that happens somewhere else around the country. But, in fact, it’s happening in the Miami Valley. It’s a combination of a lot of crimes, often times it involves drugs, prostitution, organized crime, forced labor – some of them or all of the above. 

RELATED: Indiana gas stations teach staff to report human trafficking

Guests include: Tonya Folks, Trafficking Liaison with Montgomery County Sheriff’s Department; Susan Gruenberg, Human Trafficking Awareness Advocate and Amy Wilhelm, Safe Harbor House (Springfield).

WHIO Reports airs Sunday at 11:30 a.m.

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