This local art student’s photography is featured in the New Yorker. Here’s what he told us about it.

Published: Monday, March 05, 2018 @ 6:00 AM

Colin Combs, a Kettering Fairmont High School student, has seen his work featured by the New Yorker. PHOTO BY SEAN DOORE AND CONTRIBUTED BY AMY POWELL
Colin Combs, a Kettering Fairmont High School student, has seen his work featured by the New Yorker. PHOTO BY SEAN DOORE AND CONTRIBUTED BY AMY POWELL(SEAN DOORE / CONTRIBUTED PHOTO)

With the aid of his photography teacher, Colin Combs, a Kettering Fairmont High School student, has seen his work featured by the New Yorker

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The process began when Amy Powell, Combs’ former photography teacher, submitted a small selection of his work and an artist statement to the publication. The response was nothing short of impressed, and they followed up with a request to see more. 

“It was shocking and exciting,” said Combs. “It was a bit of a slow process, but when it finally came together, I felt vindicated.”

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Combs is known for carrying his camera and photographing frequently, so at their request, the New Yorker received more work -- and lots of it. 

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“I recognized early on,” said Powell. “He was onto something.” 

In total, 45 rolls of film, shot from the time Combs was only 15 years old, were sent to the New Yorker. The magazine developed and scanned hundreds of images. The result is Combs’ perspective of live with friends, collectively artistic and intimate. 

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His work has been supported not only by his photography teacher, but also a security officer at the school named “Wolfgang,” who offered him 20 rolls of film to shoot. He’s also received rolls of film from co-workers at Christopher’s Restaurant in Kettering. 

But photography is not Combs’ only artistic expression. He was recently awarded the Gold Key Award from the Scholastic Art Awards for his sculpture work. He also paints, produces zines, writes poetry and draws. 

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I had an interview with Combs to talk about inspiration, daily life and his art. Parts of our conversation are included below.

What did your friends think when they saw their photos on the New Yorker?

They were very excited. I’m hoping it helps us get famous.

Have you had any reactions following the feature?

A lot of inquiries for print orders, which is great because I’m broke. 

What inspired you to first get into photography?

I’ve been skateboarding since I was about 7; skateboarding and documentation go hand-in-hand. I was interested in how [they] captured themes, environment, people and generally what was happening.

Walk me through a typical day of yours.

Usually when I get out of school, I walk home because I don’t like asking for rides. I usually ‘chef’ up some eggs, and try to get motivated to paint, or do something.

What inspires you to get motivated?

I’m usually always listening to music, but sometimes I’ll put on a certain record that gets me going. Also seeing my friends’ art inspires me to make art.

What camera are you currently shooting with? What’s your dream camera?

Anything that’s cheap or gifted. A friend of mine gave me a Minolta. I also use disposables and point-and-shoots. [My dream camera] would definitely be the Leica M4.
What are your favorite things, places and/or people to photograph?

Skateboarders, people I like. I try to only photograph people I like. 

So what’s next for the high school senior? In his own words, his only focus is “to keep making art.” Read the full New Yorker feature here.

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2 injured in three-vehicle accident on I-75 South at state Route 4 in Dayton 

Published: Friday, June 22, 2018 @ 4:28 PM
Updated: Friday, June 22, 2018 @ 6:00 PM

Traffic backed up for miles this is at Wagner Ford and 75 southbound

UPDATE @ 6 p.m.: All lanes of Interstate 75 south are open following a three-vehicle crash at state Route 4 in Dayton.

UPDATE @ 4:56 p.m.: Two people have been taken to a hospital suffering from non-life-threatening injuries from the three-vehicle accident on I-75 South at state Route 4 in Dayton. 

The accident involves a semitrailer, a pickup truck and a car. 

Dayton police said their preliminary investigation indicates that the pickup hit a guardrail impact absorber at the split from the interstate to the state route, then returned to the interstate. 

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The semi, in trying avoid the pickup tuck, collided with the passenger car. 

One of the victims was driving the pickup truck, police said. We’re working to determine which vehicle the second victim was in.

One lane on the far left remains open.


An accident on I-75 South at state Route 4 involving a semitrailer and several vehicles has traffic backed up to at least Needmore Road in Harrison Twp. 


The accident, dispatched just after 4 p.m., about a mile south of the Stanley Avenue exit. 

I75s at 4 ax semi and multi cars BURIANEK

Dayton police, fire and medic units have been dispatched to the scene. 

One lane on the far left is open to traffic.

We have a crew headed to the scene. We will update this developing report. 

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

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Flash Flood Watch issued for some, isolated storms possible today 

Published: Friday, June 22, 2018 @ 3:34 AM
Updated: Friday, June 22, 2018 @ 4:23 PM

Damaging winds and flooding the main threat.

A Flash Flood Watch has been issued for some counties in the area until midnight. 

The watch is in effect for Auglaize, Clark, Champaign, Darke, Logan, Mercer, Miami, and Shelby counties until midnight. 

McCall Vrydaghs/Staff

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  • Mild for the weekend 
  • Isolated flooding and damaging winds possible
  • Few showers and storms into the evening

>> 5-Day Forecast


THIS EVENING:Partly sunny with a few passing showers or storms into the early evening. Some isolated storms may become intense with locally heavy rain and strong wind gusts. Severe threat is low, but the potential exists that a couple of storms may produce damaging winds. Storms will weaken and taper of into the night. Clouds linger with temperatures falling into the middle 60s late.

5 Day Forecast with Meteorologist McCall Vrydaghs

>> LIVE Doppler 7 Interactive HD Radar

TOMORROW:  Mostly cloudy, mild and still a little muggy with the chance of a few passing showers or isolated storm. A little bit of a breezy afternoon with temperatures in the upper 70s. Some breaks in the clouds Saturday night with temperatures dropping into the lower 60s.

SUNDAY: Partly sunny and warm with the slight chance of a passing shower. Most of the area will remain dry with highs in the lower 80s.

>> County-by-County Weather 

MONDAY: Mostly sunny and comfortably warm for Monday. Temperatures rise into the lower 80s.

TUESDAY: Partly cloudy and warmer for Tuesday. Highs in the middle 80s.

WEDNESDAY: Partly sunny skies with showers and a few storms developing. A very warm and muggy day with temperatures climbing into the upper 80s.


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Prestigious bike race comes through Oxford

Published: Friday, June 22, 2018 @ 2:29 PM
Updated: Friday, June 22, 2018 @ 4:25 PM

            Mickey Simonds rings a cowbell as rider Thomas Haas comes through Oxford. BRENNEN KAUFFMAN/STAFF
Mickey Simonds rings a cowbell as rider Thomas Haas comes through Oxford. BRENNEN KAUFFMAN/STAFF(BRENNEN KAUFFMAN/STAFF)

One of the toughest bicycle races in the world passed through a TJ Maxx parking lot this week in Oxford.

By the time riders competing in Race Across America (RAAM) arrived in Oxford, they had pedaled more than 2,400 miles. The cross-country bike race began June 12 in California.

This was the first year Mickey Simonds was in charge of the time stop in Oxford. She and many volunteers are members of Golden Tri, a biking group that started as training for the Zoom RedHawks Triathlon Festival.

“Biking was our focus,” Simonds said.

Although many members stopped competing in triathlons, Golden Tri continues to bike together. On Saturday mornings, a dozen or more Oxford riders meet up and pedal to Brookville or Camden for brunch.

The group also has a personal connection to Race Across America. One of the Golden Tri members, Lisa Brunckhorst, competed as part of a team in 2015. Brunckhorst also managed the time stop in Oxford for several years.

The ride from Oceanside, Calif. to Annapolis, Md., is a grueling one. The route is 30 percent longer than the Tour de France and gives riders half as much time to finish, according to the RAAM web site. Bikers have to ride non-stop for up to 12 days in order to finish the race. Riders can compete on their own or as a team of up to eight.

Rick Boethling, executive director of Race Across America, worked on the crew for his father when he competed in the race. He singled out this region of Ohio as one of the most supportive for competitors.

By 6 a.m. Thursday, the support crew for one of the racers, Thomas Haas, was set up along the tent.

Chris Guetl, media manager for the crew, said Haas was riding to raise money for Type 1 diabetes. Haas is trying to become the first diabetic to finish the race, Guetl said.

Many teams competing in RAAM use the competition as a fundraiser for charities. The race has raised more than $2 million for charities since it began in 1982. This year’s charities also include cancer research, handicap assistance, and the U.S. Association of Blind Athletes.

In addition to Guetl, the Austrian crew included doctors, mechanics, and a physical therapist. The car following him was ready to help with everything from snacks and water to major bike disasters.

“Basically, the crew does everything for the rider except pedal the bike,” Boethling said.

Oxford’s Mike Minium was another previous crew member for RAAM. He had driven behind Matt Bond, a rider from Dayton who competed in 1991 and 1992.

“I had to rest at motels or camp along the road,” Minium remembered. “You have to be ready immediately for anything.”

When the time stop was moved into Oxford in 2010, Minium began volunteering for the race. Earlier this week, he and another volunteer planted hundreds of signs along the RAAM route between Chillicothe and Greenfield, Ind. The signs help outline the path for the riders and warn cars to be more careful during the race.

At 10:20 a.m., Thomas Haas finally started approached the time stop. As he pedaled down Locust Street, the volunteers sprung into action. They cheered for Haas, rang cowbells, and waved the Austrian flag. His was one of five flags they waved for riders on Thursday, along with the United States, United Kingdom, Germany, and Spain.

Haas’ crew had planned for him to stop in Oxford and get two hours of sleep before continuing the race. But when he started riding down the street later that morning, he didn’t pull into the lot. After waving at the five cheering volunteers, he turned right onto Spring Street and headed east toward Ohio 73 and the next checkpoint.

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BODY CAM: Police, fire rescue trash truck driver after he hit Xenia nursing home

Published: Thursday, June 21, 2018 @ 9:00 AM
Updated: Thursday, June 21, 2018 @ 2:22 PM

Xenia Trash Truck Body Cam

UPDATE @ 12:22 p.m. (June 22):

Body camera footage obtained through a public records request shows police and fire personnel rushing to help a trash truck driver for Rumpke who crashed into a Xenia nursing home.

Timothy Plemons, 58, of Dayton, suffered injuries not believed to be life threatening, according to a crash report.

PHOTOS: Trash truck crashes into front of nursing home

No citations have been issued in the crash, according to the report.

The report shows that Plemons was driving northwest on a private driveway when he drove of the left side of the road.  Plemons then drove off the right side of the road before he hit a tree and the building, the report shows.

Xenia police are continuing to investigate the cause of the crash.

UPDATE @ 2:15 p.m. (June 21): The Rumpke trash truck has been pulled from the building it crashed into this morning. 

PHOTOS: Trash truck crashes into front of nursing home

The office the Rumpke trash truck hit was the home administrator's office, Greene County Administrator Brandon Huddleson said. The nursing home administrator was in the front of the building and was not injured. 

"We've had some of these issues before [a car hit the treasurer's office on Main Street some time ago]... I wasn't expecting to see a trash truck actually inside our building," he said. 

This is the damage done to the Greenwood Manor Nursing Home in Xenia when a Rumpke trash truck crashed into it Thursday morning. (Marshall Gorby/Staff)

Huddleson said, "by the grace of God, the folks that were in those offices were out in the field or out in other places in the building." 

He noted it's hard to imagine that anyone who would have been in the building could have escaped. 

There are about 50 residents in the building, but the entire wing where the truck hit is all administrative/maintenance offices.

There was some ancillary flooding in the damaged portion of the building, because of the sprinkler system that activated. Otherwise, he said, it's business as usual at the nursing home.

UPDATE @ 12:45 p.m.: 

A building support will have to be installed at the Greenwood Manor nursing home before the Rumpke trash truck lodged inside a wing of offices can be pulled out, Greene County building inspectors said.

No employees were in the wing when the truck crashed into the home, 711 Dayton Xenia Road, about 8:45 a.m. 

A Rumpke official said the company and police are continuing to investigate the incident. 

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The trash truck driver was taken to Greene Memorial Hospital, where he was to be treated for non-life threatening injuries, Xenia police said. 

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Marshall Gorby/Staff


A trash truck has crashed into a nursing home on Dayton Xenia Road in Xenia Thursday morning. 

Fire crews were initially dispatched to the Greenwood Manor,  711 Dayton Xenia Road, around 8:45 a.m. on reports of a fire alarm from the building. 

Marshall Gorby/Staff

While crews were still responding, dispatchers said a trash truck had crashed into the building. 

Initial reports indicate one person was injured in the crash and the wing where the crash occurred has been evacuated. 

Additional details were not available. 

We have a crew on the way and we’ll update this page as we learn more. 

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