The Middletown community talked honestly last night about the human costs of the opioid epidemic

Published: Tuesday, February 13, 2018 @ 8:36 AM

Lindsey Ervin works with the Heroin Hope Line and One City two entities helping combat the drug abuse epidemic. She says last night’s Opioid forum in Middletown was effective in discussing the issue.

About 50 people from the Middletown area and regional journalists spent two hours at the MidPointe Public Library on Monday evening talking about and listening to the impact the opioid epidemic has had on the community in terms of human life and damage to families.

The participants came from a variety of backgrounds, ranging from addicts and parents of addicts to social workers and emergency room nurses.

Monday was the second of a series of Your Voice Ohio forums in southwest Ohio intended to bring residents together to find ways to respond to the opioid crisis, which contributed to a total of 77 overdose deaths in Middletown alone last year. Middletown recorded 966 opioid-related overdoses in 2017, and of those, 798 people received Narcan from city EMS medics.

MORE: The overdose epidemic comes at a massive cost. In Middletown, it’s millions.

Your Voice Ohio is a collaboration of about 30 news media organizations across the state, including the Journal-News, Dayton Daily News and the Springfield News-Sun.

“The goal today was to try to help journalists, actually, come into closer contact with the people in the community, have an opportunity to sit with a diverse group and and think about what are the competing concerns with the opioid crisis and how do we as journalists best provide people in our community with the information they need at any given moment to try to deal with say family issues or think about public policy issues,’” said Doug Oplinger, project manager with Your Voice Ohio.

Participants were asked what the opioid epidemic looked like in their community; what they saw were the causes of the epidemic; and possible steps to combat the opioid epidemic.

MORE: Is the overdose epidemic on the cusp of improving? Middletown is seeing positive signs

Participants listen to various ideas and comments on how the opioid epidemic has affected the region. About 50 people attended a Your Voice Ohio forum Monday at the MidPointe Public Library in Middletown. Your Voice Ohio is a collaborative of 30 media organizations across the state including the Journal-News. ED RICHTER/STAFF(Staff Writer)

Concerns raised in these small-group discussions included:

• The need for more detoxification and treatment centers in Middletown

• The ripple effect of issues created when young children see their parents or other loved ones overdose on drugs,

• Overcoming the stigma that recovering addicts experience

• The ease of obtaining opioids for pain management

• Increasing public funding for treatment centers and more response teams

• The need to develop more strategies increasing classroom education at all younger grades

• More faith-based involvement

• More media stories of addicts successfully completing their treatment programs

“We don’t have enough detox and treatment centers,” said Kim Carroll of Middletown. “It shouldn’t matter who has titles if this is about helping people. They need to get out into the streets (to reach out to addicts).”

Carroll thought the session “was very educational.”

“Education is the key,” she said. “I’ve learned in life that you’re going to be a talker or a walker. We need to put these words into action.”

Jewell DeFrates and Kim Carroll say the Opioid forum held in Middletown Monday night was effective and they’d like to see more held.

MORE: Middletown council member: Can we stop responding to overdoses?

After Monday’s session, participants felt the session was worthwhile and were willing to attend another session in the future.

“I’m so excited this was available,” said Danette Moore of Middletown, who has two sons who are addicts. “I heard a lot of good ideas to start a platform of coordinated care services for all addicts and families. It also increased community awareness.”

When asked what advice she would give a parent whose child has become addicted, Moore said they need to find out what resources are available.

“You need to understand that you’ll walk a fine line of being an enabler and tough love,” she said. “You’ll also learn that you don’t have control over the situation, even if you wanted to.”

Forums on opioids

Aditional Your Voice Ohio forums are scheduled in other locations in southwest Ohio. The sessions are free to attend, but because of limited seating, people are asked to RSVP online on and search for Your Voice Ohio.

East Cincinnati — 6:30 p.m., today, Feb. 13, Madisonville Recreation Center, 5320 Stewart Ave., Cincinnati.

Wilmington — 1 p.m., Sunday, Feb. 18, Wilmington Municipal Building, 69 N. South St.

By the Numbers

Costs of heroin epidemic for Middletown taxpayers in 2017

  • $2.3 million: The overall cost to Middletown taxpayers in 2017. It is the approximate amount Middletown plans for paving in 2018.
  • $1.92 million: The overall cost for police services that were opioid-related.
  • $1.5 million: The overall cost to Middletown taxpayers in 2015. No calculation was made in 2016.
  • $199,300: The overall cost to taxpayers for Middletown EMS responses, Heroin Response Team, Narcan and other drugs and medical supplies.
  • $110,000: Approximate costs for Middletown Municipal Court services in opioid-related cases.
  • $62,000: For police overtime costs for patrol officers, narcotics officers, detectives and canines.
  • $57,000: Costs for syringe exchanges and Narcan syringes used in 2017.
  • $45,000: For court time paid to police officers in drug cases.
  • $14,725: Costs to the city for indigent burials.
  • 2,970.5: Number of milligrams of Narcan administered by Middletown EMS in 2017.
  • 1,501: Number of syringes used by Middletown EMS in 2017.
  • 966: Number of opioid-related overdoses in Middletown in 2017, up from 532 in 2016.
  • 798: Number of individuals who received Narcan from Middletown EMS medics.
  • 430: Number of hours used by fire and police personnel on the Heroin Response Team preparing for and working in the field.
  • 250: Number of people referred into opioid treatment by the HRT.
  • 77: Number of opioid-related fatal overdoses in 2017, up from 74 in 2016.
  • $23: The discounted cost for one dose of Narcan.
  • $6: The cost of medical care and supplies to administer Narcan.
  • 2: The number of milligrams in one dose of Narcan.

Source: The city of Middletown

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Service dog gives birth to litter of puppies at Florida airport

Published: Saturday, May 26, 2018 @ 12:11 PM

WATCH: Service Dog Gives Birth to Puppies at Airport

A service dog delivered eight puppies in the terminal of the Tampa International Airport on Friday.

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The two-year-old Labrador retriever named Elli, short for Eleanor Rigby, gave birth to seven males and one female puppy, according to Tampa Bay Fire.

An airport spokesperson told WTVT that a woman and her daughter were traveling to Philadelphia with a pair of service dogs when the female started going into labor. 

They knew she was pregnant, but didn’t know she was so close to giving birth. 

Proud dad, Nugget, stayed by her side the whole time.

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Victim identified in fatal crash, car fire in Trotwood

Published: Friday, May 25, 2018 @ 2:04 AM
Updated: Friday, May 25, 2018 @ 4:08 PM

Crash, car fire fatal in Trotwood

UPDATE @ 4:05 p.m.

The victim in a deadly early Friday morning crash in Trotwood has been identified as Antwahn Swain, 35, of Dayton by the Montgomery County Coroner’s Office.

No preliminary information was available on Swain’s cause and manner of death.


The Montgomery County coroner has been requested to a fiery crash in Trotwood.

The crash was reported around 1:20 a.m. in the 5200 block of Little Richmond Road. Initial reports indicated one person was trapped in the car after the car crashed and caught fire.

>> Police: Suspected ice cream eating burglary causing Kettering school lockdown

This story will be updated as additional information becomes available.

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Olivia Munn discusses Aaron Rodgers’ family issues for the first time

Published: Saturday, May 26, 2018 @ 2:41 PM

Olivia Munn spoke out for the first time about her ex, Green Bay quarterback Aaron Rodgers, during an interview with “Andy Cohen Live.”
Kevork Djansezian, Getty Images
Olivia Munn spoke out for the first time about her ex, Green Bay quarterback Aaron Rodgers, during an interview with “Andy Cohen Live.”(Kevork Djansezian, Getty Images)

Olivia Munn has opened up about ex Aaron Rodgers’ family issues nearly one year after their split.

>> Read more trending news 

Munn appeared on Sirius XM’s “Andy Cohen Live” and said she only met the NFL Green Bay quarterback’s parents “a couple of times.” 

“Before he and I started dating, he hadn’t spoken to one of the brothers and his parents for eight months,” Munn told Cohen, according to Bravo TV

US Weekly reports that Munn and Rodgers dated for three years before their split in 2017.

NFL quarterback Aaron Rodgers and actress Olivia Munn arrive at The 2016 ESPYS at Microsoft Theater on July 13, 2016 in Los Angeles, California. (Jon Kopaloff, FilmMagic)

Rodgers’ brother, Jordan, got the final rose on ABC’s “The Bachelorette” during the show’s 2016 season. 

She told Cohen that she encouraged Rodgers to work on his family relationships. At one point, she said that she helped him draft bullet points to guide a conversation.

“I just think it’s really important to try to mend things in a family. And I encourage that,” Munn told Cohen. “But at the end of the day, I do believe that family and fame and success can be really complicated if their dreams are connected to your success.”

While they were together, Munn was blamed for causing the rift between Rodgers and his family, 24-7 Sports reports.

Rodgers is currently dating professional racing driver Danica Patrick.

NEW YORK, NY - MAY 22: American Racing Driver Danica Patrick visits "The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon" at Rockefeller Center on May 22, 2018 in New York City. (Mike Coppola, Getty Images for NBC)

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Alberto: What is a subtropical storm?

Published: Friday, May 25, 2018 @ 1:25 PM

What is a Subtropical Storm?

Days away from the official start of Atlantic hurricane season, the first tropical system of 2018 formed Friday in the Caribbean Sea. 

The National Hurricane Center has begun to issue warnings on Subtropical Storm Alberto as the system makes its way over the Yucatan and into the Gulf of Mexico.

>> Read more trending news 

At 11 a.m. Friday, forecasters put Alberto 55 miles south of Cozumel, Mexico. The storm’s sustained winds were 40 mph and it was moving northeast at 6 mph. An Air Force Reserve reconnaissance aircraft is scheduled to investigate the storm Friday afternoon. 

The NHC classified the storm as a “preseason subtropical storm.” While there is a difference in the classification of storms – from extratropical, to subtropical, to tropical – they are all capable of threatening life and property.

Here’s a look at the characteristics of both subtropical and tropical systems. 

Subtropical storms:

  • A subtropical storm is basically a low-pressure system that is partially a winter-type storm and partially a tropical storm. 
  • They are colder than tropical storms, meaning the core temperature is lower than a tropical storm’s core temperature. Warm water feeds tropical systems making them spin faster and become stronger. 
  • There is a closed low-pressure center of circulation with the storms, just as with tropical storms, but the rains and wind are not near the center. Instead, thunderstorm activity and strong winds are miles (sometimes hundreds of miles) from the center of circulation. Think of the shape of a comma.
  • Subtropical storms can and often do organize into tropical storms.
  • They are less likely to become hurricanes, though they can.
  • They are generally large storms. 

Tropical systems

  • Tropical storms are powered by very warm water, and are well-connected to the upper atmosphere. The warm water is drawn up into the system through the upper atmosphere and pushed down again as the cycle repeats, causing a heat pump effect that fuels the storm.
  • Tropical storms gain strength by thunderstorm activity around the eye, or center of circulation.

For  more  information on tropical systems, see:

>>Hurricane season: What is the Saffir-Simpson scale; how does it work; is there a Category 6?

>>What is a storm surge and why is it dangerous? 

>>How to use internet during a storm when your internet is down 

>>9 weather terms you should know when preparing for a hurricane 

>>15 safety tips that could save your life during a hurricane 

>>Hurricane evacuation: Helpful apps for finding gas, hotel rooms, traffic routes 

>>Here's how to keep your pets safe during a hurricane 

MIAMI, FL - MAY 24: Hurricane Specialist John Cangialosi (L) and Dennis Feltgen, the Communications and Public Affairs Officer, work at the National Hurricane Center as they look at a computer screen showing the first subtropical depression of the 2018 Atlantic hurricane season on May 24, 2018 in Miami, Florida. Subtropical Storm Alberto formed Friday in the Caribbean Sea.  (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)(Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

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