March Madness: Need a cheap flight to see your team? Here’s where to book tickets now

Published: Tuesday, March 13, 2018 @ 11:58 AM

American Airlines offers one of the cheapest flights to go see area teams play in the NCAA tournament. Staff photo by Chris Stewart
American Airlines offers one of the cheapest flights to go see area teams play in the NCAA tournament. Staff photo by Chris Stewart

With two of Ohio’s teams in the NCAA tournament playing on opposite sides of the country, big fans may have no choice but to book a flight.

Wright State University’s men’s basketball team takes on the University of Tennessee at 12:40 p.m. Thursday in Dallas and Ohio State University plays South Dakota State at 4 p.m. in Boise the same day.

RELATED: March Madness: Fewer than 500 tickets left for each First Four session at UD Arena

Here are some of your best options for how to get to Dallas, Boise and Nashville, where the University of Cincinnati and Xavier both play on Friday.

Flying to Dallas to see WSU

The Dayton International Airport, John Glenn International Airport in Columbus and Cincinnati/ Northern Kentucky International Airport all offer flights to Dallas yet this week, according to Google’s flight tracker.

The cheapest flights available are out of Cincinnati, with one way tickets on Wednesday going for as low as $122 on United Airlines. Some early morning flights from Cincinnati to Dallas on Thursday are a little more expensive, starting at $223 on United Airlines. Delta Airlines and Southwest Airlines also have flights available out of Cincinnati at a higher price.

RELATED: March Madness: 7 facts to compare Wright State Raiders and Tennessee Volunteers

The cheapest one-way flight available from Columbus to Dallas on Wednesday is on Spirit Airlines and costs $251 while the cheapest early morning Thursday flight out of Columbus is $411 on Delta. The Dayton airport has one-way tickets available from $360 on Delta on Wednesday and early flights Thursday are going for the same price, according to Google’s flight tracker.

Flying to Boise to see OSU

Prices to fly to Boise are a bit steeper than to Dallas.

One-way tickets out of Dayton and Cincinnati are the cheapest, going for $514 on American Airlines and United Airlines out of both cities. Delta also has flights available for $519 out of both Dayton and Cincinnati, according to Google’s flight tracker.

RELATED: Job perks: Wright State basketball coach gets bonus for reaching NCAA tournament

One-way tickets out of Columbus are the most expensive with flights starting at $572 on both American Airlines and United.

Prices for each airport remain the same for people looking to travel early Thursday and make it to Boise by the game’s 4 p.m. start time.

Traveling to Nashville to see UC and Xavier

The cheapest option to see UC and Xavier play on Friday in Nashville may be to drive. It takes just over five hours to drive from Dayton to Nashville, just over four hours from Cincinnati and close to six hours from Columbus.

But, fans willing to wake up early can get a cheap one-way flight out of Columbus on Thursday on American Airlines. Tickets from Columbus to Nashville are going for just $54 at 5:20 a.m. Thursday and for $55 at 6 a.m. that day, according to Google’s flight tracker.

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British ex-soldier gets 18 years to life for parachute plot to kill wife, who survived plunge

Published: Tuesday, June 19, 2018 @ 5:04 PM

Emile Cilliers arrives at Winchester Crown Court Oct. 30, 2017, in Winchester, England. Cilliers, 38, was convicted of the attempted murder of his wife, Victoria Cilliers, who suffered near-fatal injuries after her parachute failed in a 4,000-foot fall at Netheravon Airfield, Wiltshire, in April 2015. The former Army sergeant was sentenced June 15, 2018, to 18 years to life in prison.
Matt Cardy/Getty Images
Emile Cilliers arrives at Winchester Crown Court Oct. 30, 2017, in Winchester, England. Cilliers, 38, was convicted of the attempted murder of his wife, Victoria Cilliers, who suffered near-fatal injuries after her parachute failed in a 4,000-foot fall at Netheravon Airfield, Wiltshire, in April 2015. The former Army sergeant was sentenced June 15, 2018, to 18 years to life in prison.(Matt Cardy/Getty Images)

“Are you trying to bump me off?” Victoria Cilliers joked in a text to her husband after finding a gas leak in their U.K. home one early morning in March 2015.

It turned out, he was.

Emile Cilliers, 38, of Amesbury, Wiltshire, was sentenced Friday to life in prison, with a chance of parole after 18 years, for the nearly successful plot prosecutors said he came up with when the gas leak failed to work -- tampering with his wife’s parachute before a skydiving jump. Wiltshire police officials said Cilliers, a sergeant in the Royal Army Physical Training Corps, was also found guilty of attempted murder and criminal damage with intent to endanger life for tampering with a gas fitting in a kitchen cupboard at the home the couple shared with their two children. 

The children were home with their mother when Victoria Cilliers discovered the leak, the BBC reported. She was going to the kitchen the morning of March 30, 2015, to get milk for one of the children when she smelled gas. 

The seasoned and skilled skydiving instructor suffered a broken pelvis, broken ribs, two broken vertebrae and internal injuries just six days later -- on Easter Sunday -- when both her main parachute and her reserve chute failed at 4,000 feet, the BBC reported. A seasoned and skilled skydiving instructor, she survived when she landed in the soft earth of a recently plowed field near Salisbury.

>> Read more trending news

Justice Nigel Sweeney described Emile Cilliers’ crimes as “wicked offending of extreme gravity” when sentencing him to prison during a hearing in Winchester Crown Court. 

“That your wife recovered at all was miraculous; she undoubtedly suffered severe physical harm and she must have suffered psychological harm in the terror of the fall and since,” Sweeney said, according to The Guardian. “She appears to have recovered from the physical harm but not, having seen her in the witness box at length, from the psychological harm.”

Victoria Cilliers said in interviews after her husband’s conviction that she still has a hard time seeing her husband as a killer, the newspaper reported. Though she intended to visit him in prison to confront him about what happened, she was not planning a divorce, she said.

Victoria Cilliers, 40, arrives at Winchester Crown Court for the attempted murder trial of her husband, Emile Cilliers, Oct. 30, 2017, in Winchester, England. Emile Cilliers was convicted of attempted murder for tampering with his wife's parachute before a skydiving jump in April 2015. Victoria Cilliers suffered multiple serious injuries in the 4,000-foot fall, during which both her main and reserve parachutes failed to deploy. Emile Cilliers was sentenced Friday, June 15, 2018, to 18 years to life in prison.(Matt Cardy/Getty Images)

Army officials said following Emile Cilliers’ sentencing that steps would be taken to have him discharged from service, the newspaper said. 

The BBC reported that testimony at trial indicated that Emile Cilliers was having affairs with two women, including his ex-wife, at the time of the alleged murder attempts. He was also having unprotected sex with prostitutes. 

Investigators testified that they also found that Cilliers was £22,000 in debt and was hoping to use a £120,000 payout from his wife’s life insurance policy to take care of his problem.   

Detective Inspector Paul Franklin, of the Wiltshire police, on Friday described Emile Cilliers as a “cold, callous, selfish man who cares only about money and his sexual conquests.”

“From the outset, Emile Cilliers showed no remorse for what he had done,” Franklin said in a statement. “He lied all the way through two trials, but in the end justice won out with the guilty verdicts and now a long prison sentence.”

Emile and Victoria Cilliers, an Army physiotherapist, had a troubled seven-year marriage during which Victoria Cilliers occasionally doubted her husband’s fidelity, the BBC reported. When she voiced suspicions, he would blame her doubts on her experience with the infidelity of her first husband, the news station said. 

Meanwhile, Emile Cilliers had affairs and blew through money, borrowing cash from his wife, from colleagues and from loan sharks, the BBC said. He grew distant from his wife, who was thrilled when he texted her over the Easter holiday to suggest a skydiving jump together. 

At the same time, he was texting his mistress, “Have I told you lately that I am massively in love with the most amazing woman in the world? I want my life with you to start now,” The Guardian reported

The couple went to Netheravon Airfield together on April 4, 2015, the day before Easter, for the jump, which was called off due to bad weather. The BBC reported that instead of returning his wife’s parachutes to the store where they rented them, Emile Cilliers stashed them in the couple’s locker at the airfield so Victoria could use it the following day.

Prosecutors said that the defendant did so because he had taken the parachutes into a restroom and twisted the lines of the main chute to prevent it from opening, the news station reported. He also removed parts from the reserve chute.

Emile Cilliers is pictured in his April 2015 mugshot.(Wiltshire Police)

Victoria Cilliers testified at her husband’s trial that she returned, alone, to the airfield on Easter Sunday. Her excitement for the jump was gone, but her husband encouraged her to go through with it, she said. 

“I remember the pilot giving me a smile as I went out,” she said, according to The Guardian. “Usually that’s the part that I love; the cold rush, the smell. And it just did not hit me.”

Instead, what hit her was terror as her main parachute failed to open properly. A witness on the ground that day testified at Emile Cilliers’ trial that the reserve chute resembled a bag of laundry as Victoria Cilliers was thrown around “like a rag doll.”

“I could not figure how to slow it down,” Victoria Cilliers said. “It was just getting faster and faster and faster. The speed was unreal. The last thing I remember is trying to get some kind of control, then everything went black.”

The fact that both chutes failed was such a rare occurrence that the British Parachute Association launched an inquiry. The investigation found that in about 2.3 million sport parachute jumps in the U.K. over the previous 10 years, there had never been an instance of both the main and reserve parachutes failing. 

See the British Parachute Association’s report here.

In addition, the parachutes Victoria Cilliers used the day of her fall functioned properly when used just a day or two prior to the incident. 

The police also became involved in the investigation, during which detectives obtained texts and emails that showed details of his multiple affairs, The Guardian reported. They also learned about his financial problems. 

While investigating the gas leak at the couple’s home, police officials found spots of blood next to the gas fitting that was tampered with, the newspaper reported. 

Emile Cilliers was arrested on April 28, about two weeks after his wife’s fall. 

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Ohio State office failed to properly report student sexual assault complaints

Published: Tuesday, June 19, 2018 @ 5:04 PM

Ohio State University is investigating its now-shuttered Sexual Civility and Empowerment unit.
Ohio State University is investigating its now-shuttered Sexual Civility and Empowerment unit.

Ohio State University has closed its Sexual Civility and Empowerment unit amid concerns that the organization did not adequately report sexual assaults.

The unit was suspended in February after concerns came to light that it was “not properly supporting victims and was mismanaged,” according to a statement from Ohio State. The concerns prompted a review completed on May 28, which showed the unit did not properly document or report sexual assault complaints by students.

» RELATED: Sex abuse policy under scrutiny at Ohio colleges

The review discovered the Sexual Civility and Empowerment unit failed to comply with university policy in several incidents, including some that occurred off campus, in other cities and before a sexual assault survivor enrolled at the school, according to OSU. Some incidents were not reported to police or the university in a timely manner, the review found.

Ohio State requires all employees to report sexual assault and state and federal laws require the reporting of sexual assault on or near college campuses. To address issues stemming from the unit’s possible failures, Ohio State has hired the law firm Cozen O’Connor to create a new “best-in-class model to support victims of sexual assault.,” according to the university.

Ohio State is continuing to investigate the unit’s issues and plans to reach out to students who contacted the unit to ensure that they have received necessary support.

The Sexual Civility and Empowerment unit at Ohio State was opened in 2015. That year Ohio State launched a comprehensive prevention and support effort to combat sexual misconduct and relationship violence and ensure fairness in the process used to review allegations, according to the school.

» RELATED: Sex harassment complaints under Title IX greatly increase at colleges

“Ohio State will do all that we can to be a national leader in preventing and responding to sexual misconduct,” said president Michael Drake in a prepared statement. “Our campuses must be safe places for all members of our community to learn, work and grow.”

The closure of the unit comes just months after Gov. John Kasich asked the Ohio Department of Higher Education to review all Title IX enforcement as it pertains to sexual assault on college campuses. Title IX is the a gender-equity law used to prevent discrimination at American colleges that receive federal financial assistance.

Ohio State is already investigating accusations against a former sports doctor who has been accused of sexual misconduct.

Richard Strauss, who was primarily a doctor for OSU’s wrestling team, worked at the university from the mid-1970s to the mid-1990s and died in 2005.

Since the probe was first launched, the university has expanded it to include reports from male student athletes involved in football, cheer leading, gymnastics, fencing, hockey and swimming. The Ohio Attorney General’s Office has appointed the law firm Porter,Wright, Morris & Arthur to investigate the allegations.

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Ohio Senators Portman, Brown criticize separating kids from parents at border

Published: Tuesday, June 19, 2018 @ 12:57 PM
Updated: Tuesday, June 19, 2018 @ 12:57 PM

Ohio Senators Sherrod Brown and Rob Portman
Ohio Senators Sherrod Brown and Rob Portman

Sens. Rob Portman and Sherrod Brown, and Republican Steve Stivers of Upper Arlington sharply criticized the Trump administration for separating children from parents trying to cross the border in the United States.

In a statement Tuesday, Portman, R-Ohio, repeated what he has said during the past few weeks, saying "is counter to our values. We can have strong border security without separating families at the border. They can be kept together and dealt with as a family unit.”

“The administration should change course immediately and use its executive authority to keep families together and expedite their cases,” Portman said. “If those changes aren’t made, Congress should act quickly on a legislative solution to fix this problem.”

RELATED: Hundreds of children wait in border patrol facility in Texas

“I’m working with my colleagues to develop a compassionate solution that upholds our immigration laws and keeps families together while their cases are being processed,” Portman said.

Brown, D-Ohio, who is seeking re-election against Republican Jim Renacci, said “all children should be treated with compassion. Tearing families apart is wrong and will not fix our broken immigration system.”

Stivers, who chairs the House Republican re-election effort, called on the administration “to stop needlessly separating children from their parents. If the policy is not changed, I will support other means to stop unnecessary separation of children from their parents.”

RELATED: Before Trump policy, immigrant families arrested at border were detained together

The spectacle of crying children being taken from their parents produced an avalanche of criticism and queasiness from most Democrats, a growing number of Republicans, and pro-Republican business organizations as the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.

The House is expected to consider two competing immigration bills this week which could include language preventing the border separations. But there are deep doubts either bill can pass the House or Senate in part because Republicans are so divided on the issue and Democrats believe neither bill solves the problem.

Rep. Tim Ryan, D-Niles, said what Trump “is doing to these families and children” is “abhorrent,” adding “we’re seeing faith-based communities, human rights groups, and even Republicans calling out the president for this immoral and destructive policy.”

“He can end this with a phone call but refuses to do so,” Ryan said, referring to Trump.

What You Need to Know: 'Zero Tolerance' Immigration Policy

In an appearance on MSNBC Monday night, Ohio Gov. John Kasich “this is not the America you and I have known throughout our lifetime here.”

Renacci, a House member from Wadsworth, said "protecting both American jobs and our security by securing our borders and fixing our broken immigration system must be a top priority," and urged swift passage of a bill to "enforce America's immigration laws" and prevent "the separation of children from their parents on our border."

Democrat Joyce Beatty of Columbus, called the Trump policy “immoral” and urged the House Republican leadership to “work on comprehensive solutions to fix our broken immigration system.”

Rep. Bill Johnson, R-Marietta, solidly backed Trump saying “by choosing to cross the border illegally – and often in dangerous circumstances – illegal immigrants are putting their children at risk.”

“No one likes to see the images we have seen, but it's important to remember that this is not a new policy or new phenomenon at our southern border,” Johnson said.

Rep. Brad Wenstrup, R-Cincinnati, said “our country has great compassion for those who come to our nation seeking a better life for their family and join the American way of life. Yet, we are also a nation of laws.”

“Our southern border has become a hub of drug and human traffickers, preying on Americans and immigrants alike, and the current 

President to meet members of Congress tonight

Trump, GOP to huddle as outrage builds over border policy

By DUSTIN WEAVER and ALAN FRAM, Associated Press

WASHINGTON (AP) — Republicans on Capitol Hill frantically searched on Tuesday for ways to end the administration’s policy of separating families after illegal border crossings, ahead of a visit from President Donald Trump to discuss broader immigration legislation.

Top conservatives, including key Trump allies, announced they were introducing bills to stop the practice amid a public outcry over the administration’s “zero tolerance” approach to illegal crossings.

Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas introduced legislation that the White House said it was reviewing, and Rep. Mark Meadows of North Carolina, a leader of the conservative Freedom Caucus, also introduced a measure.

Both bills were offered as alternatives in case broader GOP immigration legislation heading for a vote this week fails, as is likely. “This becomes a backup proposal,” Meadows told reporters at the White House.

Trump’s meeting late Tuesday with House Republicans comes as lawmakers in both parties are up in arms after days of news reports showing images of children being held at border facilities in cages and an audio recording of a young child pleading for his “Papa.”

Watch Video from Inside the Border Protection's Processing Detention Center in Texas

The issue boiled over Tuesday at a House hearing on an unrelated subject when protesters with babies briefly shut down proceedings.

Maryland Rep. Elijah Cummings, the top Democrat on the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, teared up as he pleaded with Republicans on the panel to end what he called “internment camps.”

“We need you, those children need you —and I am talking directly to my Republican colleagues— we need you to stand up to President Donald Trump,” he said.

Under the current policy, all unlawful crossings are referred for prosecution — a process that moves adults to the custody of the U.S. Marshals Service and sends many children to facilities run by the Department of Health and Human Services. Under the Obama administration, such families were usually referred for civil deportation proceedings, not requiring separation.

Nearly 2,000 children were separated from their families over a six-week period in April and May.

The House is already embroiled in an election-year struggle over immigration legislation that threatens to hurt Republicans in November.

Democrats have seized on the family separation issue. And now, Republicans are increasingly joining them in their call to stop separating families.

“While cases are pending, families should stay together,” tweeted Cruz, who is in an unexpectedly tough re-election battle. He introduced his own bill to speed up court proceedings to no more than 14 days. “Children belong with their families.”

Michigan Republican Rep. Fred Upton called for an immediate end to the “ugly and inhumane practice” of separation. “It’s never acceptable to use kids as bargaining chips in political process.” Kansas GOP Sen. Pat Roberts said he was “against using parental separation as a deterrent to illegal immigration.”

“The time is now for the White House to end the cruel, tragic separations of families,” said Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska.

From afar, ailing Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., tweeted, “The administration’s current family separation policy is an affront to the decency of the American people and contrary to principles and values upon which our nation was founded. The administration has the power to rescind this policy. It should do so now.”

The Trump administration insists the family separations are required under the law. But after signaling Monday that it would oppose any fix aimed solely at addressing that issue, the White House said Tuesday it was reviewing the emergency legislation being introduced by Cruz to keep migrant families together.

The senator’s bill would add more federal immigration judges, authorize new temporary shelters to house migrant families, speed the processing of asylum cases and require that families that cross the border illegally be kept together, absent criminal conduct or threats to the welfare of any children.

At a White House briefing Monday, Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen declared, “Congress alone can fix it.” That line has been echoed by others in the administration, including Trump, who has falsely blamed a law passed by Democrats for the “zero tolerance” approach to prosecutions of families crossing the border.

Two immigration bills under consideration in the House could address the separations, but the outlook for passage is dim. Conservatives say the compromise legislation that GOP leaders helped negotiate with moderates is inadequate.

Rep. Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, a member of the Freedom Caucus, said he’s skeptical that even a full-throated endorsement from Trump will be enough to get the compromise bill through the House.

The compromise bill shifts away from the nation’s longtime preference for family immigration to a new system that prioritizes entry based on merits and skills. It beefs up border security, clamps down on illegal entries and reinforces other immigration laws.

To address the rise of families being separated at the border, the measure proposes keeping children in detention with their parents, undoing 2-decade-old rules that limit the time minors can be held in custody.

Rep. Bob Goodlatte R-Va., chairman of the Judiciary Committee, is reworking the family separation provision in the compromise bill, a GOP aide said Tuesday.

Faced with the prospect of gridlock in the House, senators appear willing to take matters into their own hands.

John Cornyn of Texas, the No. 2 Republican leader, said Senate Republicans are working on language to address the family separations that could receive a floor vote, potentially as part of a spending bill package.

“I don’t think the answer to family separation is to not enforce the law. I think the answer to family separation is: Don’t separate families while you’re enforcing the law,” Cornyn told reporters. “It’s all within our power, and people have to overcome their desire to preserve an issue to campaign on.”

GOP senators including Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, Jeff Flake of Arizona and Susan Collins of Maine also said they’ve been discussing family separation legislation.

The administration, meanwhile, is hoping to force Democrats to vote for the bills or bear some of the political cost in November’s midterm elections. Democrats brushed aside that pressure.

“As everyone who has looked at this agrees, this was done by the president, not Democrats. He can fix it tomorrow if he wants to, and if he doesn’t want to, he should own up to the fact that he’s doing it,” said Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer of New York.

___

Associated Press writer Mary Clare Jalonick contributed to this report.

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Man hears ‘boom, boom, clack’ before tree falls on vehicle in Dayton

Published: Tuesday, June 19, 2018 @ 2:49 PM
Updated: Tuesday, June 19, 2018 @ 4:55 PM

A large tree has fallen on top of a Jeep on La Belle Street in Dayton after a batch of heavy rain moved through the area Tuesday afternoon.

Two large trees were apparently struck by lightning this afternoon as a batch of heavy rain moved through the area.

PHOTOS: Afternoon downpours hit the Miami Valley

A large tree fell on a Jeep on La Belle Street in Dayton, and across town, a branch believed to weigh 2,000 pounds landed atop a vehicle in the 100 block of Five Oaks Avenue in Dayton.

A 2,000-pound branch fell from a tree during heavy rain Tuesday, June 19, 2018, on Five Oaks Avenue in Dayton.(JIM NOELKER / STAFF)

Sidney More was headed to the store this afternoon, driving on Five Oaks Avenue.

“I stopped at the stop sign and I heard a big boom, boom clack! And then I see a big light come down and then hit this tree.

>> Live Doppler 7 Interactive Radar

“There was like a little fire when it hit the tree and then the tree fell,” he said. “That’s when it hit the street. It fell  hard and fast.”

More said he backed up and went back home. “I did not go to the store. I did not want to take no chances.”

>> FLOODING: Know your risks

Lightning is reportedly the reason the tree on La Bell Street toppled.

Crews were working to remove the tree from the road. 

No injuries were reported in either incident.

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

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