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WATCH: See the devastating damage of Sunday night’s powerful storms

Published: Monday, November 06, 2017 @ 6:41 AM

Video courtesy of iWitness 7 user Opie Rob Haney

Powerful storms rolled through the Miami Valley on Sunday evening, Nov. 5, setting a record for daily rainfall and causing wind and water damage.

Officials will continue to work today to learn the extent of the damages and the details. Our crews covered the damage throughout the region while it was happening.

Below are videos showing what conditions were like throughout southwest Ohio on Sunday night.

» National Weather Service to survey damage in Mercer County this morning
» High water remains issue Monday morning after prompting rescues
» ‘Significant’ damage, injuries, reported from Mercer County tornado

Damage from suspected tornado in Celina

A suspected tornado caused major damage to businesses and homes in Celina in Mercer County on Sunday.

Sky 7: Aerial views of storm damage in Celina

Great Miami River flooding

The Great Miami River was running with flood waters on Monday morning.

Great Miami River flooding in Butler County

Mercer County barn collapse

A barn that was about a year old collapsed during the storm on St. Rt. 49 in Mercer County. About 400 cows were held in the barn.

» Mercer Co. farmers work to rescue nearly 400 cows from flattened barn


Celina storm damage

Here’s what our crews saw when arriving in Celina at about 8:30 p.m. on Sunday.

» PHOTOS: November storms, tornado in Miami Valley

NewsCenter 7's Sean Cudahy shows you Celina storm damage

More damage in Celina

These were the views in the area where a tornado was reported in Celina on Sunday evening.

RAW: Strong winds in Celina

Storm debris in St. Marys

Debris covered the streets of St. Marys after a powerful part of Sunday’s storm passed through.

Storm debris

Flooding on Woodman near Goodwill Outlet

iWitness 7 user Opie Rob Haney took this video of showing cars driving through high water on roadways.

Video courtesy of iWitness 7 user Opie Rob Haney

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Turner: HHS should release groundwater contamination study

Published: Tuesday, May 22, 2018 @ 5:29 PM

            Congressman Mike Turner
Congressman Mike Turner

A Dayton congressman has called on the head of the U.S. Health and Human Services to release a toxicology report that could recommend lower threshold levels for exposure to chemicals found in groundwater after the top leader at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency said it was not responsible for its release.

U.S. Rep. Mike Turner, R-Dayton, urged HHS Secretary Alex Azar to release the report Tuesday after EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt responded to the Dayton congressman, saying in a letter the “EPA does not have the authority to release this study.”

RELATED: Turner urges EPA administrator to release chemical pollution study

Politico reported this month the White House and the EPA had sought to prohibit the public release of the HHS chemical pollution study because “it would cause a public relations nightmare,” the news outlet said, citing newly discovered emails.

“Administrator Pruitt’s letter made it clear that the EPA is not currently blocking the release of the study on PFAS (perfluorooctanoic acid), although it did not indicate whether it had sought to block this release previously,” Turner said in a statement.

Chemical substances known as perfluorooctane sulfonic acid (PFOS) and perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) have been found in the groundwater at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base and near a Dayton firefighting training site on McFadden Avenue. The material was found in an old formula of firefighting foam.

“The release of this study is a public health and safety issue for every community with a military installation, including mine,” Turner added.

RELATED: Dayton faces two potential groundwater threats

The substances have been linked to cancers at certain exposure levels, but authorities say the water in the Dayton distribution system is safe to drink, and the substances have not been found in the finished product.

The EPA has set a lifetime health advisory exposure level of 70 parts per trillion.

In a letter to Azar, Turner wrote: “If this study finds, as reported, that this is no longer an accurate level of safety for our water, Congress and our constituents need to know immediately so we can begin to address it,” noting 126 military installations have detected PFAS in water.

As a precaution, the city of Dayton, concerned about groundwater contamination migrating off base, closed several production wells along the Mad River.

Wright-Patterson also built a $2.7 million groundwater treatment plant to reopen two drinking water production wells that had been closed because they had exceeded health advisory levels.


Event targets jobs, local services for veterans

‘It took my breath away,’ Memphis Belle unveiled at AF museum

Five reasons the new Memphis Belle exhibit is one of the most impressive at the Air Force museum

New mission: Here’s how restorers spent decades saving the Memphis Belle legacy

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Ohio step closer to having ‘Stand your ground’ gun law

Published: Tuesday, May 22, 2018 @ 4:53 PM
Updated: Tuesday, May 22, 2018 @ 4:55 PM

‘Stand your ground’ gun bill passes Ohio House committee (Getty Images)
‘Stand your ground’ gun bill passes Ohio House committee (Getty Images)

A controversial bill to give armed Ohioans the right to “stand your ground” in public places such as parks, roads or stores moved out of a House committee on Tuesday.

Ohio Gov. John Kasich, a Republican who now supports what he calls common sense gun control, has promised to veto the bill if it reaches his desk.

House Bill 228 cleared the House Federalism and Interstate Relations Committee on a 7-3 vote. It is uncertain when the bill may receive a floor vote. The House hasn’t held session in more than a month since Republicans have been unable to agree on who should serve as speaker after Cliff Rosenberger, R-Clarksville, stepped down in April.

The bill would shift the burden of proof in self-defense cases to the prosecution and remove the legal “duty to retreat” when faced with threats or perceived threats — a provision opposed by the Ohio Prosecuting Attorneys Association and supported by the Ohio Public Defender.

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.

>>Related: Stand your ground bill pending in Ohio

It is the first pro-gun rights bill to advance since the mass shootings in Parkland, Florida and Santa Fe, Texas where teen-age suspects are accused to opening fire on high school campuses. The Parkland shooting prompted national protests and school walk outs — including in Ohio — in which student activists called for gun control.

>>Related: Door opens at Ohio Statehouse for gun control talks 

Kasich, a long-time darling of the National Rifle Association who has signed gun rights bills into law, did an about face on gun issues. He is now backing a package of bills that call for banning bump stocks and high-capacity magazines and families and law enforcement to get court orders to remove guns from loved ones who appear to be a danger to themselves or others.

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Crash that killed woman helping others leads to calls for safety measures in fast-growing area

Published: Tuesday, May 22, 2018 @ 11:08 AM

A memorial for Tina Campbell, victim of crash, sits across Butler-Warren Road from crash site.

A floral memorial stands across from the site of a fatal incident earlier this month that resulted in the death of a Butler County woman who was assisting crash victims.

The crash and resulting death of the woman providing aid has heightened residents’ concerns about traffic safety in the fast-growing area along the Butler-Warren county line, east of Interstate 75.

Tina Campbell, 53, of Liberty Twp., died last Monday from injuries suffered on May 11 as she was helping victims of a crash on Butler-Warren Road at Heritage Club Drive.

Campbell, a wife, mother and grandmother, was popular with neighbors.

“She was a very sweet person,” neighbor Rita Armentrout said on Thursday after stopping to examine the memorial for Campbell at the entrance to the Hawthorne housing development of the Four Bridges Country Club, where they were backyard neighbors.

RELATED: Fatal crash victim wife, mother, “Grammy”

“We’re all sick about it. The neighborhood is just in shock over Tina’s death.

“She was the kind of person you always thought you wanted to get to know better. This is tragic, but it should bring attention to the fact this is a extremely dangerous intersection.”

According to the crash report, Campbell and Aaron Reed, 49, of Mason were out of their cars giving aid to Jagdish Makkar, 83, of Beavercreek, and Ciarra Witt, 18, of Monroe, after their crash at the entrance to the Heritage Club development. A 2011 Mazda CX-9 driven northbound on Butler-Warren Road by John Cowdery, 25, of Liberty Twp., swerved to avoid the disabled vehicles and “rotated counter-clockwise” into Campbell and Reed.

MORE: Springboro crossroads part of $44 M in Warren County road construction

Campbell was pronounced dead at West Chester Hospital. None of the others were left with incapacitating injuries, according to investigators.

Investigators indicated they did not believe alcohol or drugs were a factor.

MORE: Monroe driver in fatal prom night crash won’t be charged as adult

No charges have been filed, pending review by the Warren County Prosecutor’s Office of the crash investigation and a study of the role of speeding, according to the report.

MORE: Monroe approves reconstruction for Butler-Warren Road

Transportation officials from Butler, Warren and Hamilton counties are in the process of completing a series of road projects designed to improve traffic problems and safety on the stretch of Butler-Warren Road heading north from Hamilton County along the Butler-Warren county line, Warren County Engineer Neil Tunison said.

In addition, Tunison said a study is underway to attempt to convince the Ohio Department of Transportation to reduce the speed limit to 45 mph on the road, which widens from two to four lanes as it heads south near Monroe into Deerfield Twp. in Warren County along the boundary with Butler County.

“The speed limit is 55. Everybody goes 75,” said Marty Davis, who also lives in the Hawthorne development.

MORE: ODOT plans $60 million in Butler, Warren projects 

Davis pointed south toward where Butler-Warren Road crosses Liberty Way and said plans were underway to build more than 1,000 new homes on undeveloped land between Hawthorne and the intersection.

“That’s too many,” she added.

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3 Middletown residents to plead guilty to plotting $1.2M jewelry heist

Published: Tuesday, May 22, 2018 @ 11:48 AM

Middletown residents plead guilty plotting jewelry heist

Three Middletown residents accused of stealing $1.2 million in diamonds and jewelry during a 2016 heist will plead guilty in U.S. District Court in Cincinnati today, according to our partners at WCPO.

Amit “Alex” Patel, 28; Mimi Chang, 42; and Danny Ray Horne, 28, are charged with conspiring to rob two New York salesman after a jewelry show in Pennyslvania.

>> 5 Middletown residents indicted in million-dollar diamond robbery

The salesman stopped at a restaurant in Monroeville, Penn., after a show on April 2, 2016. One of the salesmen went into the restaurant while the other stayed in the car with suitcases of jewelry, according to WCPO.

The robbers punched the victim waiting in the car, grabbed the suitcases and took off running. 

>> Miami Valley’s Most Wanted

Two others, Andrea Mullins, 35; and Deanna “Dee Dee” Williams, 36, have already pleaded guilty to conspiring to commit the robbery, according to WCPO.

Patel has been charged in two other jewelry robberies.

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