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Published: Thursday, June 15, 2017 @ 7:23 AM
Updated: Monday, June 19, 2017 @ 5:43 PM
UPDATE @ 5:40 p.m.
President Donald J. Trump made the following statement regarding Warmbier’s death: `Bad things' happened in `brutal' North Korea but at least American died at home with parents.
UPDATE @ 5 p.m.
U.S. Senator Rob Portman (R-OH) issued the following statement on the passing of Otto Warmbier:
"Otto Warmbier was such a promising young man. He was kind, generous and accomplished. He had all the talent you could ever ask for and a bright future ahead of him. His passing today is a loss for Ohio and for all of us. Jane and I are lifting up the Warmbier family in our prayers at this difficult time, and we are deeply saddened by the tragic loss of this remarkable young Ohioan."
UPDATE @ 4:37 p.m. (June 19)
Otto Warmbier, 22, of Wyoming, Ohio, has died from injuries sustained during detainment in North Korea.
University of Cincinnati Medical Center released a statement on behalf of Fred and Cindy Warmbier, Monday afternoon.
“It is our sad duty to report that our son, Otto Warmbier, has completed his journey home. Surrounded by his loving family, Otto died today at 2:20 p.m.
It would be easy at a moment like this to focus on all that we lost future time that won't be spent with a warm, engaging, brilliant young man whose curiosity and enthusiasm for life knew no bounds. But we choose to focus on the time we were given to be with this remarkable person. You can tell from the outpouring of emotion from the communities that he touched Wyoming, Ohio and the University of Virginia to name just two that the love for Otto went well beyond his immediate family.
We would like to thank the wonderful professionals at the University of Cincinnati Medical Center who did everything they could for Otto. Unfortunately, the awful torturous mistreatment our son received at the hands of the North Koreans ensured that no other outcome was possible beyond the sad one we experienced today.
When Otto returned to Cincinnati late on June 13th he was unable to speak, unable to see and unable to react to verbal commands. He looked very uncomfortable almost anguished. Although we would never hear his voice again, within a day the countenance of his face changed he was at peace. He was home and we believe he could sense that.
We thank everyone around the world who has kept him and our family in their thoughts and prayers. We are at peace and at home too.”
— Fred & Cindy Warmbier and Family
A southwest Ohio college student held captive by North Korea for more than a year — most of that time in a coma — was released this week. Here’s what we know today after Otto Warmbier’s father and doctors spoke Thursday:
Extensive brain damage: Doctors said Warmbier, 22, shows no sign of understanding language nor has the ability to verbally respond. An MRI revealed “extensive loss of brain tissue in all regions of the brain,” said Dr. Daniel Kanter of UC Health. Warmbier has spontaneous moments of eye opening but has neither spoken nor made any purposeful movements, according to doctors.
Kanter said Otto’s vital signs were stable upon arrival, his skin was in good condition and he was well nourished.
Father speaks: Fred Warmbier called the return of his son “bittersweet.” He is relieved his son is home but angry “that he was so brutally treated for so long.” Cindy Warmbier remains by her son’s side at the University of Cincinnati Medical Center.
Quiet diplomacy: New details emerged Thursday about the role of U.S. special envoy Joseph Yun in the release of Warmbier. Yun spoke and met secretly with North Korean counterparts in the months since President Donald Trump took office. Yun was the first to verify Warmbier’s condition during an extraordinarily rare visit to North Korea by a U.S. diplomat.
More on the story:
Arrives in U.S.: A small jet carrying Warmbier, 22, landed at Lunken Airport in Cincinnati on Tuesday night about 10:20 p.m.
In need of care: Warmbier is in a coma. News photos showed him with a tube in his nose being carried from the aircraft before he was taken by ambulance to the University of Cincinnati Medical Center for medical care.
Warmbier has been in a coma for “over a year now and urgently needs proper medical care,” said Bill Richardson, the former governor of New Mexico, who has been in touch with the Warmbier family and served periodically as a negotiator with the North Korean government.
‘Not in great shape’: Fred Warmbier discussed his son’s captivity with Fox News’ Tucker Carlson on Wednesday: "Otto is not in great shape right now," Fred Warmbier said. "Otto has been terrorized and brutalized for 18 months by a pariah regime in North Korea."
‘Repeatedly beaten’: The New York Times reports that a senior U.S. official said it was only in recent weeks that the “United States obtained intelligence reports indicating that Warmbier had been repeatedly beaten while in North Korean custody.”
Local ties: Warmbier is a 2013 graduate of Wyoming High School in Hamilton County where he was class salutatorian and played soccer. He is an undergraduate student at the University of Virginia.
Charge of subversion: During a one-hour trial in March 2016, North Korea’s highest court sentenced Warmbier to 15 years in prison with hard labor for subversion after he tearfully confessed that he had tried to steal a propaganda banner.
Government intervention: Secretary of State Rex Tillerson released a statement Tuesday reading: “At the direction of the President, the Department of State has secured the release of Otto Warmbier from North Korea.”
North Korea statement: North Korea said in a one-line statement it released Warmbier for what it calls humanitarian reasons. In the country’s first official comment since Warmbier’s return, the state-run Korean Central News Agency on Thursday said Otto Warmbier had been sentenced to hard labor but didn't comment on his medical condition.
Flight path home: According to The New York Times, people close to the negotiations said Warmbier was flown to Japan and then Alaska before arriving in Cincinnati.
Others held: The State Department continues to have discussions with North Korea about three other detained Americans.
Another Ohioan previously held by North Korea: Warmbier is the second southwest Ohio resident to be held captive and released by North Korea in the past three years. Moraine resident Jeff Fowle was detained for six months after leaving a Bible in a nightclub, considered a crime in North Korea. He was was released in 2014.
Published: Saturday, May 26, 2018 @ 10:44 PM
Updated: Sunday, May 27, 2018 @ 9:49 AM
DAYTON — Nearly 20 motorists pulled over Saturday night in Dayton after their vehicles were struck by rocks while they were traveling west on U.S. 35.
Dayton police arrested one male juvenile at the scene, who admitted throwing rocks according to a Dayton police report. The boy was taken to the Juvenile Justice Center, where he was booked on several counts of vandalism. He said he had an accomplice, another male juvenile, but it was not clear whether that youth was arrested as well.
Thomas Acco of Jefferson Twp. and his girlfriend had just dropped off their children and were headed home when a rock came through the front of the windshield.
“I was in shock that someone would play with someone’s life like this,” he said.
“Glass just flew everywhere. We had a little swerve contest with the car in front of us — their windshield got hit also. We just pulled to the side and it was like 15, 20 cars lined up to the side all with damage.”
Dayton police Lt. Chris Malson said there are no suspects, but plenty of victims.
“We got a report of multiple cars, approximately 18 of them, that were hit with rocks as they were driving westbound on U.S. 35 near Woodman (Drive),” he said. “All the calls came within about five minutes of each other.
The Montgomery County Regional Dispatch Center said they received starting at 10 p.m. The last one received was at 10:29 p.m.
One of the victims was Susan Myers of Lima who was headed back home with her husband, riding in the front passenger seat.
“We heard a loud bang and looked up and saw the damage on the windshield,” she said. “We immediately pulled over and noticed that there were several cars ahead of us also pulled over with their hazard lights on.”
There are no reports of injuries, but Myers said they were shaken and now have to deal with broken glass inside the car and their insurance company.
Tony Gerardi of Xenia said he was driving home from visiting friends in Dayton when his car was struck.
“I hope police get them. I’m safe, thank God,” said Gerardi, “I don’t know why someone would do something like that.”
Earlier Saturday, around 4:45 p.m., another two motorists, one from Illinois and one from Dayton, reported their windshields were struck by rocks. At least one of the windshields shattered just when they went under a bridge. They told police the rocks appeared to come from the north side of the highway but were not able to see the culprits. Police officers found a pile of rocks laying on the side of the highway before the South Smithville Road exit, according to a Dayton police report.
Published: Sunday, May 27, 2018 @ 4:32 PM
— Chipotle is moving about 150 positions to Ohio as part of a corporate reshuffling.
The fast casual burrito chain will move most of its corporate functions to a new office in California, but will also be moving support jobs to an existing office in Columbus.
Chipotle stated in a press release that the move will mean growing its current Columbus workforce from 100 to more than 250 employees.
Consolidating the jobs to Columbus will provide “access to high-quality talent and offers cost advantages,” the company stated.
“Through technology and the consolidation of talent, we’ll create a world class Shared Services Center with increased productivity and quality services supporting our employees and our restaurants,” stated Chipotle chief finance officer Jack Hartung.
Over the next six months, Chipotle will transition its Denver and New York office functions to Newport Beach and Columbus. After the jobs are moved to Newport Beach, Calif., and Columbus, the company will close its Denver and New York City offices.
Chipotle will share more details on its plans on an investor call June 27.
Published: Sunday, May 27, 2018 @ 7:12 AM
DAYTON — Robert Martin Jr., 30, who gained national attention in 2005 for playing football at Colonel White High School in Dayton, despite being born without legs, was booked into Montgomery County Jail Sunday morning for failing to comply with officers.
According to a Dayton police report, Martin was driving one of the eight to 10 ATVs traveling southbound on N. Main Street around 12 a.m.
Several of the ATVs then fled in different directions from police moments later in the area of E. Third St and Main, the report said.
An officer followed Martin, who was traveling at a high rate of speed, driving a blue Kawasaki ATV to the railroad tracks in the 300 block of N. Paul Laurence Dunbar St.
According to the report, Martin was found on the ground crawling toward nearby bushes while the ATV was on its side.
When asked his name, Martin said, “It’s me, Bobby.”
Martin was issued traffic citations and faces charges in Clark Co. for an outstanding OVI warrant.
Published: Thursday, May 24, 2018 @ 11:14 AM
Updated: Sunday, May 27, 2018 @ 4:22 PM
— Pro-gun rights lawmakers moved last week toward making Ohio a “stand your ground” state.
House Bill 228 passed out of a House committee, even though Gov. John Kasich has threatened to veto the measure. Still, the bill has substantial support from House members with 38 co-sponsors.
If and when it goes to the House floor, it will mark the first time a stand your ground measure gets a full vote in the Ohio General Assembly.
The bill would remove the legal “duty to retreat” when faced with threats or perceived threats in public places. In self-defense cases, the burden of proof would shift to prosecutors instead of defendants — a provision opposed by the Ohio Prosecuting Attorneys Association and supported by the Ohio Public Defender.
If it becomes law, it would:
* No longer require places like schools, airports, public buildings to post gun-free zone signs.
* Make the prosecution in court cases responsible for the burden of proof in self-defense cases.
* Remove the requirement for someone to try leave a threatening situation before using lethal force in self defense.
The bill has backing from pro-gun rights groups such as Ohio Gun Owners and Buckeye Firearms Association but it is opposed by the ACLU of Ohio, League of Women Voters of Ohio, Moms Demand Action, Ohio Coalition Against Gun Violence and March for Our Lives.
OTHER NEWS ON OHIO GUN LAWS