Helping hands after Harvey: Community offers resources, aid for Texas

Published: Thursday, August 31, 2017 @ 11:42 AM
Updated: Thursday, August 31, 2017 @ 6:17 PM

            An ambulance from the Eaton-based MedPro is seen in Houston. SUBMITTED
An ambulance from the Eaton-based MedPro is seen in Houston. SUBMITTED

In the days after Harvey spilled destruction over a broad swath of Texas, Ohioans quickly mobilized to help residents there recover from the storm by donating money, bottled water and supplies and by putting themselves squarely in the disaster zone.

Three area family members are among eight medics and EMTs from an Eaton-based ambulance company in Houston responding to emergencies after Hurricane Harvey.

Since arriving Sunday, MedPro part owner Ernie Hatmaker said the crews have treated injuries and illnesses inside emergency shelters as well as supported evacuation efforts in the event an evacuee needed immediate treatment or an emergency worker sustained injury.

HELP: How you can assist the victims of Hurricane Harvey

Hatmaker of Eaton is joined on the deployment by his son, Nathan Hatmaker, who became an EMT just months ago. Also on the trip is Hatmaker’s brother, Patrick Caylor of New Carlisle, another a part owner of the company.

The medics and EMTs are “technically on call all the time,” however the Federal Emergency Management Agency coordinators are ensuring rest time for the responders, Hatmaker said.

When needed, the company’s four ambulances join others from across the country on the “ready line” outside NRG Stadium, where the Houston Texans play football. They are sleeping on cots in one of the center’s exhibition halls.

Hatmaker has lost count of how many times they’ve been dispatched.

“They all start running together,” he said.

RELATED: Task force moves to next phase of rescue in Houston

The company contracts with FEMA to respond to crisis when needed. This is the sixth deployment for Hatmaker and the first for his son.

“I think if we had a problem in our area we’d want the help coming,” Hatmaker said. “You help out with the expectation that at some point in time you may need it back.”

Hurricane Harvey made landfall Friday night, pounding the Texas coast before bringing days of heavy rainfall to the Houston area and causing catastrophic flooding.

Messages on bottles

Those from southwest Ohio donating water are also sending words of hope to Texans along with the bottles.

Just a few of the messages written on the packaging and pallets bound to those without water: Ohio sends love, We are thinking of Texas, Ohio is praying 4 Houston, and You R strong Texas.

Bottled water packaged in cases is still being collected this week at The Foodbank and Sinclair Community College.

Michelle Riley, CEO of The Foodbank, said donations through Thursday are close to filling a third semi trailer. The first two deliveries directed by Matthew 25: Ministries should pull out of The Foodbank’s Dayton warehouse next week, while Feeding America will handle logistics of the third.

The Foodbank will be closed for the Labor Day holiday on Monday, but Riley said cases of water can still be dropped off today and Tuesday through Thursday next week.

RELATED: Harvey: Bottled water donations being collected in Miami Valley

“People are coming by with a case, some people are coming by with a half of skid. People are pulling up with trucks,” she said. “The Miami Valley is always very generous to our community, but to see such a response to this national crisis is wonderful.”

Doing what needs done

Sue Smith has been running errands – a lot – since the American Red Cross volunteer arrived Monday in Austin, Texas.

“I’m running whatever needs to be run. Picking up people, picking up supplies,” said Smith of Washington Twp. “Whatever needs to be delivered.”

Smith is working out of the Austin Convention Center as the Red Cross prepares to house up to 2,500 Harvey evacuees there from points east. The state has asked Austin to take up to 7,000 displaced by the storm.

While the mega-shelter at the convention center has yet to take in evacuees, the facility is full of activity because it’s the main point of entry for volunteers deployed to the state due to airport shutdowns in Houston, Smith said.

“There’s just a huge crew of people here,” she said. “It’s just amazing the amount who volunteer to give up a couple weeks of their life to come here and help other people.”

The Dayton-Area Chapter where Smith is based announced Thursday a $50,000 donation from the charitable arm of Fuyao Global and Fuyao founder Cho Tak Wong.

“We’re going to be sending it right to Harvey to take care of all of the disaster relief issues … getting volunteers to the area to opening up shelters and providing safety and water and food and all those needs,” said Cory Paul, the Dayton chapter’s executive director.

35 tons of supplies so far

Also on Thursday, Ohio Task Force 1 continued search operations in southeast Houston. The Kettering-based urban search and rescue team has been based out of a staging area at Katy High School.

RELATED: Harvey flooding overtakes Cedarville grad’s Houston-area home

A team of 49 people left early one week ago with six boats and by Wednesday afternoon had rescued nearly 200 people. The group’s canine search teams could become more active in next few days, according to the team’s spokesman.

Two C-17 Globemaster III cargo jets based at Wright-Patterson hauled troops, food and equipment from bases throughout the United States to Texas on Wednesday, according to Lt. Col. Steven R. Shrader, deputy operations group commander at the 445th Airlift Wing.

Wright-Patt crews have delivered more than 35 ton of supplies thus far, he said.

“At the end of the week last week when we saw the devastation going on, people were asking ‘When am I needed to help?’ ” he said.

Staff Writers Barrie Barber, Tom Gnau and Lisa Powell contributed to this report.

How to donate water

Commercially-bottled water accepted only in case-sized packaging.

The Foodbank

56 Armor Place, Dayton, OH 45417

Friday, 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Tuesday through Thursday, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Sinclair Community College

444 West Third Street, Dayton, OH 45402

Building 12, Ponitz Conference Center

Perry Street Circular Driveway – Drive up and drop off

Friday, 8 a.m. to noon

How to help

For a complete list of local efforts to help those in need in Texas after Harvey, go to

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MUST-SEE VIDEO: Shot fired during Verizon store robbery

Published: Tuesday, April 17, 2018 @ 6:49 PM
Updated: Wednesday, April 25, 2018 @ 7:15 PM

SURVEILLANCE VIDEO: Shot fired in Butler Twp.Verizon robbery

UPDATE @ 5:05 p.m. (April 25): Police have released surveillance video that shows the robbery at the Verizon store on Miller Lane.


Police are looking for as many as five males who discharged at least one firearm when they robbed a person of a purse and a cell phone at the Verizon store on Miller Lane. 

The robbery was reported just after 6 p.m. at the store at 7070 Miller Lane. At least one shot was fired inside the showroom. 

>> 7 arrested in Huber Heights AT&T store robbery 

No one was injured, Butler Twp. Detective Kevin Sink said. 

The car believed to have been used in the armed robbery, reportedly a blue Hyundai Elantra, was located Tuesday evening in the 1500 block of Weaver Street in Dayton. 

Jim, a contractor from Tennessee, said he and a co-worker were in a company van outside the store when a car pulled up. 

This car is believed to have been used in an armed robbery at the Verizon store on Miller Lane, in Butler Twp., on Tuesday afternoon (April 17, 2018). The car was located in Dayton, on Weaver Street. (Jim Noelker/Staff)

Three males came runing out and jumped in the car, Jim said, noting that seconds later a fourth male -- who had a dark or black handgun -- came out. He was wearing a hoodie and a white mask, as they all were. He was holding the firearm down at his side, pointed downward. 

>>TRENDING NEWS: All Elder-Beerman stores to close 

Jim said his co-worker was able to jot down the license plate of the getaway car. Jim said he was getting in position to snap a cell phone photo of the car when he saw the firearm and decided to crouch behind the van. 

"I don't want to get shot," he said. "I'm too close to retirement." 

The robbers looked to be young men in their 20s, Jim said, noting that they dropped a backpack and a blue Walmart bag outside the Verizon store. 

"My life is worth more than a picture," he said. "I'm just glad nobody got hurt."


>> Springfield Verizon store robbed in January 

>> Troy Verizon store robbed in March 2017

>> Verizon store at The Greene robbed in February

Got a tip? Call our monitored 24-hour line, 937-259-2237, or send it to

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DASH CAM: See police bump car of Troy phone store burglary suspects

Published: Friday, April 13, 2018 @ 4:14 AM
Updated: Wednesday, April 25, 2018 @ 6:37 PM

A Tipp City police cruiser was struck by two suspects in the break-in at the Troy Verizon store near Kroger.

UPDATE @ 7 p.m. (April 25): Police have released dashboard camera video from their pursuit of a vehicle believed to have been used as part of a burglary at a Troy Verizon store.

The suspects were able to elude capture when officers lost the vehicle in the area of Dorset and Philadelphia drives.

On April 13, police responded to a Verizon store in the 700 block of West Market Street in Troy about 3:40 a.m. on the report of a break-in. A Kroger employee reported hearing something being thrown through the store’s front glass, police said. 

>> Pair napped in Kettering pursuit were in Miami County chase, too

A pursuit began when a Tipp City officer noticed the suspect vehicle on southbound Interstate 75.

The suspect vehicle rammed the cruiser on Northwoods Boulevard in Vandalia, Tipp City Sgt. Marc Basye said. The officer was not injured.

SCENE: Troy break-in leads to pursuit through several counties

The silver vehicle was occupied by three males, according to reports. What the suspects got away with was not known.

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Kettering Health Network celebrates completion of radiation therapy center

Published: Wednesday, April 25, 2018 @ 6:48 PM


Kettering Health Network is celebrating the completion of the new radiation therapy center at Soin Medical Center with a ribbon cutting ceremony on May 3 for members of the media.

The public is invited to a community open house for its entire comprehensive cancer services on May 9 from 5:30 to 7:00 p.m. 

Kettering Cancer Care is located at the hospital's Ollie Davis Pavilion in Beavercreek. 

Attendees will be able to tour the center and meet oncology physicians. 

According to a press release, the success of the cancer center allowed for an $8 million expansion to cancer services provided at Soin. 

Phase one of the expansion doubled the infusion center in size to 13,000 square feet to accommodate more chemotherapy patients. 

Clinical exam rooms also doubled in size to support the growing on-site medical oncology team. 

The expanded infusion center opened in fall 2017. 

The radiation center was completed in phase two of the expansion.

The 8,300-square-foot radiation therapy center includes a linear accelerator for radiation therapy, as well as a CT simulator and scanner to support the addition of an on-site radiation oncology team. 

Greene Medical Foundation provided a $3 million grant to cover part of the cost. 

Kettering Health Network is a not-for-profit network of 8 hospitals, 10 emergency departments, and 120 outpatient facilities serving southwest Ohio. 

For more information, visit

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From musicians to medicine: AF Marathon recruiting army of volunteers

Published: Wednesday, April 25, 2018 @ 6:10 PM

            Air Force Marathon volunteer Brian Childers, of Portsmouth, hangs race day medals at the finish line at the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force in September 2016. BARRIE BARBER/STAFF FILE PHOTO
Air Force Marathon volunteer Brian Childers, of Portsmouth, hangs race day medals at the finish line at the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force in September 2016. BARRIE BARBER/STAFF FILE PHOTO

From musicians to people handing out medals, an army of volunteers run the Air Force Marathon.

May 1 is the first day to register to join a horde of 2,400 volunteers needed to jump start the Sept. 15 event that may draw as many as 15,000 runners from all 50 states and around the world to run a 10K, half- and full-marathons at Wright-Patterson. The marathon’s 5K race is set for Sept. 14 at Wright State University’s Nutter Center.

Volunteers also help run the Sports & Fitness Expo on Sept. 13-14, which attracts 30,000 people every year to the Nutter Center.

“From pre-race, behind-the-scenes opportunities to race day, finish line jobs, our volunteers are the key toour success — we couldn’t have this marathon without them,” Jeannette Monaghan, a volunteer coordinator, said in a statement.

Entertainers, such as DJs, bands and solo acts, are among volunteers the marathon wants to bring on the course, she said.

Volunteers may check available positions and register online at


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