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Volunteer Franklin Twp. firefighter suspended amid alleged racist comments

Published: Thursday, September 14, 2017 @ 10:31 PM
Updated: Friday, September 15, 2017 @ 5:15 PM

Franklin Township officials have suspended volunteer fire fighter Tyler Roysdon. He has a disciplinary hearing in two weeks.

A volunteer Franklin Twp. firefighter has been indefinitely suspended pending a disciplinary hearing by the Board of Trustees for conduct unbecoming a township employee after posting a racially charged comment on Facebook.  Tyler Roysdon, 20, was suspended without pay Tuesday by Fire Chief Steve Bishop after Bishop learned about Roysdon’s post.  According to a statement from Township Administrator Traci Stivers, “Fire Chief Steve Bishop immediately contacted the firefighter and directed the comments be removed.”  Stivers said in an email that she did not know how Bishop learned of the online comment on Tuesday or how long the post was online before he was informed of it.

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Roysdon indicated in the post that if he had to choose between saving a dog or a black man from a burning building that he would save the dog first because “one dog is more important than a million” and then used a racial slur.  

<<RELATED: Volunteer Franklin Twp. firefighter suspended amid alleged racist comments

Stivers said that Bishop took the most aggressive step he was legally allowed to take as he does not have the authority to terminate employees. She said any terminations require a vote by the trustees.

Volunteer Franklin Twp. firefighter accused of making racist Facebook comments

“This is not acceptable behavior for a township employee,” she said in the statement. “As a rule all employees are given a closed-door disciplinary hearing that gives them a chance to provide witnesses or evidence providing their innocence.”  

On Wednesday, the trustees voted to set the disciplinary hearing for 7 p.m. on Sept. 27 at the Franklin Twp. Administration Building to address the allegation of conduct unbecoming a township employee. Roysdon was informed that the hearing will not be postponed or rescheduled for any reason other than a emergency, which requires an excuse from a doctor, hospital or funeral home.  

He has the right to question any witnesses called on the township’s behalf. However, if he elects to attend the hearing, the Trustees will ask him to respond to the allegations of misconduct. Failure to respond or not respond truthfully may result in further disciplinary action, including possible termination.  

Bishop was on vacation and could not be reached for comment. A message seeking comment was left for Assistant Chief John Daly.  

Trustees President Brian Morris said he was informed of the incident just before Wednesday’s meeting started.  

“He blatantly said on social media that he wouldn’t do that,” Morris said. “Even if you take race out of it, it still would be wrong. I’m disgusted in what he said. There is no reason for him to say that anytime, anywhere … That should never be said.”  

Morris said based on Roysdon’s comments, it’s questionable if Roysdon should be a Franklin Twp. firefighter.  

“I want people to realize this is only one man’s comment,” Morris said. “We have a great group of men (firefighters) and disgusting comments from one individual does not represent the entire fire department.”

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He noted one selfless firefighter who recently returned from helping with hurricane relief.  

Most of the reaction by some residents to Roysdon’s post was surprise and dismay. Nearly all people who were shown the post said the suspension was warranted but stopped short of termination.  

“I don’t think that’s right,” said Tyler Marinelli of Franklin. “I think honestly that people are more important than pets and it doesn’t matter if they’re black or white.”  

Others said Roysdon’s online post was very disrespectful, heartbreaking, appalling and not representative of Franklin.  

Franklin resident Teresa Lynch said in the Franklin community, “anybody would do anything for anybody.”  

Reporter John Bedell contributed to this report.

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Fatal motorcycle crash in Warren Co.

Published: Sunday, June 17, 2018 @ 3:58 PM
Updated: Sunday, June 17, 2018 @ 5:05 PM

Motorcycle ax

UPDATE @ 5:05 p.m:

The motorcycle crash that occurred earlier today was fatal, Warren County Coroner’s Office confirmed.

A 40-year-old was believed to be traveling northbound on Riley Street near Van Horne Street. He was possibly racing a vehicle before losing control, hitting a curb, and being thrown from his motorcycle--Sgt. Wolf of Franklin confirmed. He was also believed to be wearing a helmet.

The vehicle he was racing is unknown, and no one else was injured.

FIRST REPORT: 

Emergency crews are on scene of a reported accident involving a motorcycle and a truck in Franklin.

According to dispatchers, crews are at the scene of North Main Street at North River Street.

The crash reportedly occurred around 3:20 p.m.

We are on the way to the scene to learn more and will update this page as information becomes available.

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Miamisburg opened a time capsule from 1968 to celebrate its bicentennial. Here’s what was inside.

Published: Sunday, June 17, 2018 @ 11:46 AM

A report card from Sinclair Community College, an annual report for the Huffman bicycle company and a Bible with a bit of history were among the items discovered in a time capsule opened in Miamisburg on Saturday.

“Fifty years ago this time capsule was buried in Veterans Park with memorabilia from 1968,” the emcee announced to the crowd gathered at the beginning of the city’s weeklong bicentennial celebration.

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The white container, with “Miamisburg Area Sesquicentennial 1818 - 1968” on the side, was unsealed and broadcast live on the city’s Facebook page.

Many who watched the ceremony remembered the stores, barber shops and other establishments represented in the container that have long closed, such Mobley Cafe, Arcade Cafe and the Riviera Lounge.

RELATED: This weeklong party is one of the biggest in Miamisburg’s 200 years

A letter to the mayor at the time from then-President Lyndon B. Johnson was included in the container.

An annual report for the Huffman Manufacturing Company states the company made more than $42 million in sales in 1967, netting $1.5 million.

Old newspapers provided a somber reminder of the Vietnam War. At the top of a Miamisburg News broadsheet was a report on the death of Cpl. William Ebright, who was killed in action.

A man told the crowd about the Bible that was pulled out of the time capsule. He said he was there when his mother placed the Bible in the container.

The Bible had been given to Mark Dennis before he was deployed to Vietnam, the man said.Dennis was also killed when a rocket-propelled grenade struck the helicopter he was riding in, and though his remains were never found the Bible was returned to the family, the man said.

READ THE EMOTIONAL STORY OF MARK DENNIS: Miamisburg man's death in Vietnam, questioned for decades, now has closure

More activities are planned today through next Sunday as the city celebrates its 200th birthday.

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One person taken to hospital after apartment fire in Dayton

Published: Sunday, June 17, 2018 @ 2:18 PM

One person was taken to an area hospital for smoke inhalation and one was treated at the scene of an apartment fire in Dayton Sunday.

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Crews were called to the first floor apartment fire in the 1600 block of Bancroft Street around 11:30 a.m.

No one was in the apartment where the fire started but the flames did run up to the outside of the second floor apartment, according to Dayton fire official Brad Baldwin.

Everyone evacuated the building with help from neighbors.

Two of the four apartments in the building are uninhabitable at this time because of damages, according to Baldwin.

The cause of the fire was not yet determined.

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Family displaced after house explosion in Miami Co.

Published: Sunday, June 17, 2018 @ 9:40 AM
Updated: Sunday, June 17, 2018 @ 2:40 PM

Gas leak house explosion in West Milton

UPDATE @ 2:40 p.m.:

A propane gas leak caused an explosion in the basement of a home in West Milton Sunday morning.

Larry Jinkins said he was asleep when the explosion happened in his home this morning.

Jinkins, his wife, five kids, and three dogs were in the home during the time of the explosion. 

He said the fire department told him they were very lucky they were not hurt. 

Jinkins rented the house that is now uninhabitable and said they had a temporary line due to a former gas leak that needed to be put underground.

UPDATE @ 10:47 a.m.:

The family of five that were at the house during the time of an explosion were displaced and are being aided by the Northern Miami Valley Chapter of the American Red Cross.

FIRST REPORT:

An explosion occurred at or near a house in West Milton Sunday morning.

The explosion was reported around 8:20 a.m. in the 4000 block of Iddings Road.

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It’s not yet known what caused the explosion or the extent of damages, but DP&L was called to the scene, according to Deputy Adams of Miami County Sheriff’s Office.

Two adults and three children were at the home but not injured, said Adams.

West Milton Fire Department is on scene.

We are working to learn more and will update this story as information becomes available. 

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