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Preschool board plans marketing blitz in March

Published: Friday, February 17, 2017 @ 12:21 PM
Updated: Friday, February 17, 2017 @ 12:18 PM

Dayton’s Preschool Promise effort will provide tuition assistance to families and “quality assistance” to help preschool providers advance in the state’s rating system. JEREMY P. KELLEY / STAFF PHOTO
Dayton’s Preschool Promise effort will provide tuition assistance to families and “quality assistance” to help preschool providers advance in the state’s rating system. JEREMY P. KELLEY / STAFF PHOTO

The local Preschool Promise Board, sprinting toward a fall launch of expanded high-quality preschool in Dayton, will soon begin a large marketing campaign to explain the program to the public.

The big challenge this first year is figuring out how to market a program that’s still in the process of being built, as the deadline for schools and other providers to sign up is still a week away.

“It is a significant lift, and we know it’s critically important,” said Robyn Lightcap, executive director of Learn to Earn Dayton. “We know not all parents understand what preschool options are out there right now. We know there’s a lot of confusion. … and we know we have to build systems to help them.”

RELATED: Thousands of dollars in tuition assistance available to preschool families

The Preschool Promise board approved a large marketing plan this week, including plans to hire a vendor to run a “field campaign” for grassroots outreach in Dayton. Board member and former Dayton mayor Clay Dixon said the marketing approach “is of the utmost importance.”

“That is actually how we’ll go out in the community, shoulder to shoulder, eyeball to eyeball, with the parents to make sure they are aware of the program, aware of what we do to get those kids into one of our quality programs,” Dixon said.

The board’s request for proposals for field campaign vendors is going out this week. Lightcap said the vendor will hire people who know Dayton’s neighborhoods and can build relationships with community partners, all in an effort to connect with the families who would participate in expanded preschool. The income tax increase that Dayton voters approved in November will fund access to high-quality preschool for 4-year-olds in the city.

Lightcap said the key is figuring out who the “key influencers” are in each area, even down to the granular level of which parents moms of young children are listening to.

“It’s not as much knocking on doors (in most cases),” she said. “It’s more about building relationships with the trusted entities in the neighborhood – the churches, the social service agencies, the grocery stores, laundromats, pediatricians.”

RELATED: Preschool board trying to sign up schools, child care centers

Preschool Promise is still signing up schools and other providers this month – both those that are already high-quality, and those willing to work through the state’s quality improvement process. The overall marketing effort will launch in March, including traditional advertising, whether via radio or online, on buses or billboards.

“We need to make sure the community understands the purpose of the program, and make sure that our kiddos in all parts of the city get the quality they deserve,” Preschool Promise board member Jane McGee-Rafal said.

In April, families will be able to sign up their 4-year-old children for the start of the 2017-18 school year next fall, with significant tuition assistance available at approved centers and providers.

Preschool Promise officials said since the expanded program is brand-new, they don’t expect 2017-18 to be a perfect, completed system, with full understanding from parents, and maximum participation from school providers. The income tax increase is estimated to provide $4.3 million per year over eight years, allowing the program to build on itself over time.

The preschool board’s next meeting is March 2, when the group will discuss the budget for the 2017-18 school year.

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Report: Pilot in double-fatal Darke County plane crash left rehab weeks before incident

Published: Thursday, April 19, 2018 @ 1:48 PM

Report: Pilot in double-fatal Darke County plane crash left rehab weeks before incident

The pilot in a Darke County plane crash that killed him and his passenger in 2016 had cocaine, alcohol and other drugs in his system at the time of the crash, according to a report from the National Transportation Safety Board released this week.

Clayton Heins, 20, took off from a private grass airstrip around 8 a.m. on Sept. 14 before crashing in a field near Dull Road.

Heins passenger, Jacob Turner, 18, also was killed in the crash.
PREVIOUS COVERAGE: Preliminary report out in fatal Darke County plane crash

The wreckage was found in a cornfield, about 150 yards east of a railroad bed and north of Dull Road by a family member in a search plane, which had been sent up because the victims had been reported as missing and unaccounted for, a Darke County deputy said.

Heins was a student pilot.

“Although federal regulations do not allow a student pilot to carry passengers, the student pilot and a passenger departed from a private airstrip on a personal flight in the airplane,” the report read.  “During the flight the passenger posted on social media a video that showed the airplane maneuvering at a low altitude.”

Toxicology testing of Heins “indicated the use of multiple psychoactive drugs, including alprazolam, cocaine, ethanol and hydroxyzine.”

“The combined effects of these drugs likely impaired his ability to safely perform low-altitude maneuvers,” the report read.

The NTSB determined the probable cause of the crash to be a result of the “student pilot’s reckless flying attitude and use of multiple psychoactive drugs, which likely impaired his ability to maintain clearance from terrain while maneuvering at low altitude,” according to the report.

Heins has accumulated 31 total hours of flying and his last recorded flight before the crash was on Dec. 23, 2012, according to the report.

The NTSB reported people interviewed by law enforcement told investigators that two weeks before the crash, Heins “had returned from a substance abuse rehabilitation facility where he was treated for heroin addiction for about 30 days,” the report read.

The airplane involved in the crash, which was registered to Heins’ father, was a Piper PA 11.

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Philadelphia Starbucks arrest: Men say manager called 911 minutes after they arrived

Published: Thursday, April 19, 2018 @ 2:06 PM

Rashon Nelson, left, and Donte Robinson, right, both 23, sit on their attorney's sofa as they pose for a portrait following an interview with the Associated Press Wednesday April 18, 2018 in Philadelphia.
AP Photo/Jacqueline Larma
Rashon Nelson, left, and Donte Robinson, right, both 23, sit on their attorney's sofa as they pose for a portrait following an interview with the Associated Press Wednesday April 18, 2018 in Philadelphia.(AP Photo/Jacqueline Larma)

Two black men arrested in a Philadelphia Starbucks last week after the coffee shop’s manager called 911 to report them for trespassing spoke publicly for the first time Thursday.

>> Read more trending news

Police detained the men after Starbucks employees said the pair was denied the use of the store’s bathroom and refused to leave, police Commissioner Richard Ross said.

>> Related: Video showing arrest of two black men at Starbucks sparks outrage

Rashon Nelson and Donte Robinson told ABC’s “Good Morning America” that they were arrested while waiting to meet with a potential business partner at the Starbucks at 18th and Spruce streets. They said they arrived 10 minutes early for their scheduled 4:45 p.m. meeting. A manager called 911 to report that the men were refusing to leave at 4:37 p.m., according to “Good Morning America.”

Robinson said he didn’t believe officers were at the coffee shop for him and Nelson when he first spotted them last week. Nelson said it became apparent when the officers asked them to leave.

>> Related: Starbucks manager leaves company after controversial arrest of 2 black men

“There was no question of, you know, was there a problem here between you guys and a manager? You know, what happened?” Nelson told “Good Morning America.”

The men said they were not read their Miranda rights before they were handcuffed and put in the back of a police car. A bystander recorded footage of the arrests that was later posted on social media, sparking criticism and raising questions of racial bias.

>> Related: Starbucks closing over 8,000 stores for racial-bias training after controversial arrest

“This is something that has been going on for years and everyone’s blind to it, but they know what’s going on,” Nelson said. “It’s not just a black people thing, this is a people thing. And that’s exactly what we want to see out of this … true change.”

Starbucks CEO Kevin Johnson apologized to the men in a private meeting with them Monday, a Starbucks spokesperson told CNN. The spokesperson declined to elaborate on what took place during the meeting.

Starbucks Executive Chairman Howard Schultz apologized Wednesday morning for the incident in an appearance on “CBS This Morning.”

>> Related: Starbucks founder Howard Schultz speaks for first time since arrest of 2 black men

Johnson apologized for the incident in a statement Saturday and pledged to investigate. 

More than 8,000 Starbucks stores will be closed nationwide May 29 for a one-day training aimed at educating employees about racial bias. Company officials said nearly 175,000 employees across the country will receive the training, which will become a regular part of the company’s onboarding process.

>> Related: Starbucks CEO meets with 2 black men arrested in Philadelphia store

Johnson said Tuesday that the planned racial-bias training “is just one step in a journey that requires dedication from every level of our company and partnerships in our local community.”

“While this is not limited to Starbucks, we’re committed to being a part of the solution,” he said.

Starbucks CEO Says He Wants To Apologize To Men Arrested In Philadelphia Store

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Hamilton death penalty trial: Text messages shown, reluctant witnesses take stand

Published: Thursday, April 19, 2018 @ 1:39 PM
Updated: Thursday, April 19, 2018 @ 2:15 PM

Michael Grevious II Trial Day 2

Hundreds of phone calls and text messages as well as the testimony of reluctant witnesses marked the second day of testimony in the death penalty trial of Michael Grevious II.

Grevious, 25, of Hamilton, is facing the death penalty if found guilty of aggravated murder for allegedly ordering a retaliation shooting in August 2016. He is also charged with having weapons under disability and felonious assault for violence that happened one month earlier at a Hamilton bar that has since been razed.

MORE: No plea deal offered to Michael Grevious II

Here are highlights from Thursday in court:

Text message from Lil Mike: ‘Delete everything’

Hamilton Detective Aaron Hucke testified he extracted data from a cell phone belonging to Zachary Harris, who was in the truck on Aug. 3, 2016 when Orlando Gilbert and Todd Berus were shot and killed in what prosecutors say was a retaliation shooting for gun violence at Doubles Bar.

More than 200 calls and texts were placed from Harris’s phone to a number with the contact “Lil Mike the Skitzo” from the end of July 2o16 to Aug. 2, 2016 when “Skitzo” says to “delete everything,” according to Hamilton police.

The messages used slang and referenced a hit on Orlando Gilbert, according to police.

During cross examination, defense attorney David Washington pointed out there was nothing to indicate money had been paid to kill Gilbert. He also noted there was no proof to the identity of “Skitzo.”

Reluctant witnesses takes the stand

Bryann Johnson, cousin of Kalif Goens, who was killed in the shooting at Doubles Bar, took the stand and admitted she didn’t want to be there.

“In fact we had to arrest you, isn’t that right?” Assistant Prosecutor Brad Burress asked her.

MORE:Hamilton death penalty trial: Witnesses fear for their safety

She answered, “Yes.”

Earlier this week, Judge Greg Stephens issued warrants for two witnesses who did not show up when subpoenaed.

Johnson said she was at Doubles Bar the night of the shooting and saw a commotion between members of two families.

Grevious was “right there with them,” she said, but didn’t know if he was part of the ruckus.

When shots rang out, Johnson said everyone started running and hiding.

She started screaming for someone to help Kalif Goens.

“He was bleeding. He was just laying there. His eyes were still open,” Johnson said.

Burress asked Johnson if she saw Grevious — known to her as “Lil Mike” — with a gun.

“I can’t honestly say that I did,” she said.

But Burress noted that in her statement to police days after the incident she said she saw a gun in Grevious’ pocket.

Erika Ash, a second reluctant witness, took the stand telling the jury she saw Grevious on top of a pool table shooting at Doubles Bar.

“He was shooting,” Ash said while wiping away tears. She said the shots started flying after people began shoving on the dance floor.

Washington questioned Ash about her alcohol intake at the bar. At the time she was 18 years old. Ash said she had two mixed drinks and had been smoking marijuana earlier in the day.

She could not say specifically how may shots she heard fired or what Grevious was wearing or what the gun looked like, when asked by Washingotn.

“In the middle of all this chaos (shooting, people running) you were able to see Mike on top of the table shooting?” Washington asked.

Ash answered, “Yes.”

Items from crime scene shown

Hamilton Detective Steve Hamilton, crime scene investigator, showed the jury eight large shell casings found at drive-by shooting scene.

The jury was also shown photos of both Gilbert and Todd Berus dead in the truck.

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Ex-Kettering sub teacher sentenced for sex crimes involving students

Published: Thursday, April 19, 2018 @ 6:13 AM
Updated: Thursday, April 19, 2018 @ 2:31 PM

Former Kettering substitute teacher pleaded guilty to sex charges involving two students

UPDATE @ 2:30 p.m.:

Madeline Marx, the former Kettering Fairmont substitute teacher who pleaded guilty to sex charges involving students, was sentenced to five years of community control sanctions for each of two convictions of sexual battery, but will avoid prison. 

Marx was also labeled as a Tier III sex offender, requiring her to register her address every 90 days for the rest of her life.

Marx was ordered to undergo sexual offender counseling, and is not to have contact with any of the victims.

Marx is also not to enter into any Kettering City Schools facilities. 

FIRST REPORT

Kettering Fairmont substitute teacher Madeline J. Marx is scheduled to be sentenced today on sexual battery charges in Montgomery County Common Pleas Court.

Marx, 24, pleaded and was found guilty of having an inappropriate sexual relationship with two students and was arrested last November. She is to appear today in front of Judge Steven Dankof.

RELATED: Miamisburg school worried ex-teacher flirted a year before sex charges

A 17-year-old student told police he was given oral sex by a teacher July 19 in the parking lot of Big Lots on Wilmington Pike, according to the complaint, affidavit and statement of facts filed in court.

A 16-year-old boy told police he had intercourse with a substitute teacher Sept. 21 in the parking lot of an apartment complex on Smithville Road, according to court documents.

Marx was removed from Fairmont’s building Nov. 8 by police. Marx admitted to having sexual relationships with multiple students, according to court documents.

RELATED: Substitute teacher accused of sex with two students seeks insanity plea

An affidavit said Marx also confessed to sending several nude pictures via Snapchat and Instagram.

A prosecutor’s office press release indicated Marx also substitute taught in Oakwood. School officials in Oakwood sent parents a letter saying that they did not know of any victims in their school district.

State records indicated Marx has a four-year teaching license as a K-12 education intervention specialist.

RELATED: What we’ve learned about Madeline Marx

Marx graduated in 2012 from Chaminade Julienne High School in Dayton and graduated from the University of Dayton in 2016 with a bachelor’s degree in education, according to CJ and UD officials.

According to her UD transcript included in her personnel file, Marx withdrew from a fall 2013 class on sexual ethics.

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