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Family, friends remember Middletown police chief as ‘a real showman’

Published: Wednesday, April 25, 2018 @ 4:02 PM
Updated: Wednesday, April 25, 2018 @ 4:32 PM


            In this 2006 file photo, Russell Dwyer is pictured at the WPFB radio station in Middletown, where he was the news director. Dwyer, a former Middletown police chief, died April 23. He was 80.
In this 2006 file photo, Russell Dwyer is pictured at the WPFB radio station in Middletown, where he was the news director. Dwyer, a former Middletown police chief, died April 23. He was 80.

There were two sides to Russell Dwyer. He was a cop and a comic.

Dwyer, who served as Middletown’s police chief from 1975-87, died Monday night. He was 80.

Longtime friend Ann Mort, who, along with her husband, Dick, frequently traveled with the Dwyers and other couples to Middletown basketball and football games, said he was “a real showman.”

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After Middie games, they went to Lakeside Inn, pushed tables together in the dining room, and danced and sang songs playing on the jukebox.

“Russ was fun,” Mort said. “He could have been a stand-up comic.”

He had a serious side, too. Mort said Dwyer enjoyed it when Middletown police officers wore their dress uniforms and hats.

“He was proud to be a policeman,” she said.

Dwyer graduated from Franklin High School, attended Miami University, and was later awarded the Bishop Medal and was a graduate of the FBI Dignitary Protection Academy. He retired after 27 years of service from the City of Middletown/Division of Police, where he served as police chief for 13 years.

He was involved with many organizations and held various positions within the Middletown community; secretary/treasurer for the International Association of Chiefs of Police; secretary/treasurer for the Ohio Association of Chiefs of Police; founder of the Narcotics Division for the City of Middletown; founder of Safety Town; founding committee for the All American Weekend; member of the Chamber of Commerce; member of the Rotary Club; director of safety at Bob’s Truck Service; director of safety and vice president for Excel Trucking; news director for WPFB radio; and a member of the Madison Athletic Boosters.

Rodney Muterspaw, Middletown’s police chief, said he met Dwyer after he had left the department. Every time, Muterspaw said, Dwyer took “a real interest” in his career.

“Always came up to shake my hand and said, ‘hello,’ which meant a lot to me as a new officer,” Muterspaw said.

One of Dwyer’s sons, Anthony Dwyer, chief deputy of the Butler County Sheriff’s Office, grew up knowing athletics and police work because of his father. He said his father was “totally committed” to Middletown and the Middletown Police Department.

Russ Dwyer golfed, pitched softball with the police department team and refereed football games for years, his son said.

He also saw his father’s profession at an early age, sneaking down at night when officers returned telling “war stores” from their shifts.

“I didn’t aspire to be a police officer. Not at first,” Anthony Dwyer said. But after college, he took a job in the county jail and moved onto patrol officer then detective.

“I was hooked,” Anthony Dwyer said. “Later in life he told me he was proud of me for what I had accomplished.”

He is survived by his wife of 36 years, Patricia Dwyer; children Anthony Dwyer (Molly), Robert Dwyer, Dennis Cox (Kathy) and Dana Stephens (Matt); sisters Norma Baird and Crystal Harsha (Ron); brothers Roger Dwyer (Kathy), Ralph Dwyer (Joyce) and Paul Dwyer (Marty); eight grandchildren, Russell Dwyer, Anthony Dwyer, Dylan Dwyer, Brandon Dwyer, Ashley Cox, Allison Cox, Alex Cornele and Lucas Cornele; four great grandchildren, and a very special caregiver, Mariah Smith.

Funeral services are at 10 a.m. Friday at Breitenbach Anderson Funeral Home, 517 S. Sutphin St. Burial will be in Springboro Cemetery. Visitation will be held from 5 to 8 p.m. Thursday at the funeral home.

Staff Writer Lauren Pack contributed to this report.

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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.

FIRST REPORT:

Emergency crews are on scene of a shooting in Dayton.

Police: Innocent bystander shot, killed by high-caliber gun in Dayton

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.

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

QUICK-LOOK FORECAST:

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

DETAILED FORECAST:

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.

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.

FIRST REPORT:

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. 

FIRST REPORT:

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.