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breaking news


Mason teacher who made ‘lynch’ comment to black student on administrative leave

Published: Saturday, January 13, 2018 @ 1:59 PM

A white Mason Middle School teacher has been reprimanded by district officials for telling an African-American boy in her class last month that he would be “lynched” by his classmates if he didn’t finish his school work. The teacher has also been ordered to attend cultural sensitivity training classes provided by Mason Schools.(Provided photo)
Staff Writer
A white Mason Middle School teacher has been reprimanded by district officials for telling an African-American boy in her class last month that he would be “lynched” by his classmates if he didn’t finish his school work. The teacher has also been ordered to attend cultural sensitivity training classes provided by Mason Schools.(Provided photo)(Staff Writer)

A white Mason Middle School teacher who told an African-American student his classmates would “lynch” him if he didn’t do his school work has been placed on administrative leave.

Mason Superintendent Gail Kist-Kline sent a message to “Mason City Schools Families” on Saturday with the subject line “Mason Schools Response to Teacher’s Comment” after the story about the teacher gained national attention.

“Racism is real in America, and we all have an obligation to fight it,” Kist-Kline wrote.

» WHAT HAPPENED?: Teacher’s ‘lynch’ comment to black student earns reprimand

According to documents studied by this news organization, the teacher, Renee Thole, was reprimanded Thursday, ordered into cultural sensitivity training and may be fired if it happens again.

In an ABC-TV story cited by this organization’s news partner WCPO-TV, the boy’s mother, Tanisha Agee-Bell, said earlier this week that she wants additional action taken against the teacher.

“I want her removed from the classroom until she can get the proper training,” said Agee-Bell.

Kist-Kline’s message addressed such feelings:

“The teacher is currently on administrative leave while we continue to look into all that has been reported,” she wrote. “We’ve also formally reprimanded the teacher and placed a disciplinary report into her personnel file. This is the first and only time the teacher has been disciplined in more than 22 years with our district.

“Some have called for this teacher to be immediately fired and banned from ever teaching again. We understand and respect the passion of these viewpoints. The teacher has been disciplined. She is required to take further training to learn from this troubling mistake. And our school district will do more to help educators make their classrooms more inclusive and equitable by providing training on how to combat bigotry and bias.”

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BREAKING: Both Dayton-area Zoup! restaurants shut down abruptly

Published: Tuesday, May 22, 2018 @ 3:53 PM

Franchise owners of Zoup locations at Cornerstone of Centerville and next to Whole Foods confirm restaurants are permanently closed.

Both Dayton-area Zoup! restaurants have shut down permanently, its franchise co-owner told this news outlet today, Tuesday May 22.

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Zoup franchise owners opened their first Dayton-area restaurant adjacent to Whole Foods on Ohio 725 in Washington Twp.,  and opened its second location at 5235 Cornerstone North Boulevard in the Cornerstone of Centerville development in Centerville just four months ago. Initial plans called for the franchise owners, Kevin Forrer and Brian Wood, to open two more Dayton-area locations.

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But Forrer said Tuesday that poor sales at both locations were the primary factor in the decision to close.

>> Kettering business asked to leave shopping center after 25 years

“Unfortunately, it just didn’t work out,” he said.

>> 3 restaurants have closed at this high-traffic location

The first Zoup! restaurant opened in Southfield, Mi., in suburban Detroit in 1998. The chain operates more than 80 locations across the northern half of the U.S.

>> RELATED: Zoup! sets opening date for its 2nd Dayton-area restaurant (January 2018)

>> 7 of our favorite soups

A screen-grab image from Zoup's web site today, May 22.

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What is the UV Index and how to your protect your skin

Published: Wednesday, May 23, 2018 @ 3:58 PM

Meteorologist McCall Vrydaghs explains what the UV Index is and why it's so important during the spring and summer months.

During the spring and summer months you may often hear meteorologists talking about the strength of the UV index on any particular day. The UV index is a scale used to measure the strength of sun's UV rays and how it could have an impact on the average person. The higher the UV index, the more likely someone could develop a sunburn.

 WHIO Live Doppler 7 Interactive Radar

Here are a few ways to protect yourself

--Limit sun exposure during the hours of 10am -4pm

--If outdoors, seek shade and wear protective clothing, hats and sunglasses

--Apply sunblock of SPF 30+ every two hours, even on cloudy days and after swimming

--Watch out for bright surfaces, like sand and water, which reflect UV and can increase exposure

 LISTEN: Cloudy with a chance of Podcast: A podcast for weather fans 

According to the United States Environment Protection Agency there is something called the "shadow rule" that can help detect how much UV exposure you may be getting. If your shadow is taller than you are (early morning and late afternoon), your UV exposure is likely lower. If your shadow is shorter than you are (around midday), you are being exposed to higher levels of UV radiation. 


The UV INDEX will be very high to high now through the weekend. Perhaps a little lower for Sunday and Monday with more clouds cover and the chance for showers and storms at times. 

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Death of Huber Heights man found in Springfield park ruled a homicide

Published: Wednesday, May 23, 2018 @ 11:59 AM

A Huber Heights man's body was found in a Springfield park Tuesday morning. His death has been ruled a homicide.

Update@2:23 p.m.:

During a press conference Wednesday afternoon to discuss Holt’s killing, Springfield Police Chief Lee Graf officially ruled Holt’s death a homicide.

READ: Springfield police investigate body found in Mabra Park

Graf also reached out to the public for help in the investigation. Holt was last seen alive about 11 p.m. Monday, so anyone who may have seen him after that time or came in contact with him should contact Springfield police investigators with any information they have, Graf said. 

Graf also said investigators still have not made a direct connection with Holt’s killing and the home invasion in Huber Heights where two boys, including one of Holt’s sons, was tied up. Until such connection is made, the cases will investigated separately, he said. 

There are no suspects or persons of interests in either case, officials in Springfield and Huber Heights said.

 RELATED: Teen bound in Huber Heights, father's body found in Springfield park

First report:

Springfield police are continuing their investigation after a body was found at a Springfield park Tuesday morning.

Huber Heights police are also continuing an investigation into an incident hours before at the man’s home in that city.

Cedric Holt Jr. was found dead at Virgil Mabra Park in Springfield.

He is the father of one of two teenage boys who were tied up in a home invasion in Huber Heights on Tuesday morning. Other than the relationship between Holt and one of the boys, there’s no connection between the home invasion and Holt’s death, said Sgt. Charles Taylor of the of the Huber Heights Police Department. 

“We’re still ... just over 24 hours involved in this. So we’re still looking into everything,” he said. All stones will be looked under. And we’re going to continue to canvas the neighborhood, ask questions to anybody and anyone that’s willing to talk.”

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Both police departments are releasing limited information. Springfield police plan on hold a press conference today at 2 p.m.

Here is what we know now:

Initial phone call

Springfield police were called to the 1400 block of Oakleaf Avenue on Tuesday morning, according to a Springfield police report.

There they met a man mowing the park’s grass who said he found a body, the report says.

“The victim was found face up with his head to the north and feet to the south,” the police report says. A park employee who called 9-1-1 said the body was in a car.

Springfield Fire Division personnel told police the man, later identified as Cedric Holt Jr., was dead.

Suspicious death

The death is considered suspicious, the Clark County Coroner’s Office said. The cause and manner of death were not yet determined.

A Springfield police report describes the death as unspecified.

EXTRA: What we know: Virgil Mabra Park in Springfield

No arrests

A news release from the city of Springfield on Tuesday evening says no arrests have been made in the incident, and anyone with information is asked to call 937-324-7685.

Taylor said Wednesday that detectives are still working the case.

“As far as our home invasion we are still looking into everything,” he said.

Anyone with information about the home break-in can call the Huber Heights Police Division at 937-233-1565.

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Alcohol, tobacco more dangerous than many illegal drugs, study finds

Published: Tuesday, May 22, 2018 @ 5:30 PM

Alcohol, Tobacco More Dangerous Than Many Illegal Drugs

Legal drugs, such as tobacco and alcohol, cause significantly more harm to people globally than illegal ones, a new international study suggests. But researchers say that’s not surprising, considering the varying prevalence of each.

>> Read more trending news 

The research, which was published this month in the journal Addiction, found that combined tobacco and alcohol use cost more than a quarter of a billion disability-adjusted life-years worldwide. Illegal drugs on the other hand, only accounted for tens of millions. A disability-adjusted life year, according to the study, represents the number of years lost due to ill health, disability or early death.

"These findings are not surprising given that legality of the drugs coincides with social norms around drug use as well as use prevalence," Dr. Carla J. Berg, an associate professor in the Department of Behavioral Sciences and Health Education at the Rollins School of Public Health of Emory University, told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

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Globally, one in five adults reported at least one occasion of heavy drinking in the past month and one in seven smokes tobacco, according to the 2015 data used for the study. Conversely, fewer than one in 20 people worldwide were estimated to use illicit drugs in the past year, including amphetamines, opioids, marijuana and cocaine.

But study co-author Dr. Robert West of University College London pointed out that the United States and Canada had among the highest rates of dependence on opioids (650 cases per 100,000), cocaine (301 cases per 100,000) and marijuana (749 cases per 100,000 people), according to U.S. News and World Report. Overall, the rates of marijuana and opioid dependence were about three times higher than the rest of the world.

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"The U.S. has major research agendas moving forward to advance our knowledge-base in order to inform policy and practice regarding how to best address this problem," Berg said. "Surveillance is a key part of monitoring the problem, informing interventions, and evaluating policies and practices that are adopted and implemented."

Berg said that broad international studies, such as this one, help researchers better understand differences in drug use across countries.

"Not all countries regulate alcohol and tobacco in similar ways nor have policies or practices in place that aim to address specific aspects of behavior related to alcohol and tobacco use," Berg said.

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"Social norms are also quite different in relation to the use of these substances, particularly among different genders within a country or within other sub-populations," she explained. "Understanding these different multilevel factors and their impact on alcohol- and tobacco-related consequences are key to informing how countries like the U.S. should address this critical issue."

Berg adds that this kind of study is "critical" in helping researchers and governments understand the societal and individual costs of substance abuse. It also gives a better picture of how legalization and regulation impact usage and dependence.

"There could be a great deal to be learned from countries or areas of the world with lower prevalence of opioid dependence and areas of the world that have combated opioid dependence successfully," she said. "This speaks to how critical international research is to informing policy and practice."

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