Ohio News

Prosecutor: Suspect in Southern Ohio prison stabbing 3-time killer

Channel 10 news - Wed, 02/21/2018 - 18:15

One of two inmates suspected in the stabbing of an Ohio prison guard is a three-time convicted killer who boasted about strangling a fellow inmate on a prison bus.

Prisoner Casey Pigge was taken from the Southern Ohio Correctional Facility after Tuesday's attack and transferred to the state's Supermax prison in Youngstown, Joe Hale, a Scioto County assistant prosecutor, said Wednesday.

Two inmates attacked the guard in the prison infirmary with metal weapons, according to the initial incident report from the Ohio State Highway Patrol. Prisons spokeswoman JoEllen Smith confirmed a "serious inmate on staff assault" at the prison in Lucasville in southern Ohio and said the prison remains on lockdown.

Corrections officer Matthew Mathias was stabbed multiple times and is in stable condition in a trauma unit at a West Virginia hospital, said Sally Meckling, a spokeswoman for the union that represents prison guards.

In September, Pigge pleaded guilty to strangling fellow inmate David Johnson with a restraining chain as they rode on a prison transport van. He was sentenced to 25 years behind bars.

"I guess you never seen that on a bus before," Pigge boasted to the surviving inmates after Johnson's killing, according to highway patrol records.

Pigge also is serving a life sentence for using a brick to kill cellmate Luther Wade in 2016.

"Pigge denied any desire to be a serial killer, but could not promise that he wouldn't kill again," a prison social worker said after interviewing him following Wade's death.

It's not clear if Pigge has an attorney following Tuesday's attack. Steve Larson, who represented him last year in the strangling of Johnson, said Wednesday he wasn't representing him now and couldn't comment.

Pigge also is serving 30 years to life for fatally slitting the throat of his girlfriend's mother in 2008. He gave himself the nickname "box cutter" after the weapon he used to kill her.

Even before Wade's killing, Pigge's prison misconduct record ran nearly 30 pages. Over the years, he repeatedly refused to enter his cell, was found with homemade alcohol, collected contraband like razor blades, electric cords and a TV converter box and fought other inmates.

Records show Pigge was born to a 14-year-old girl who used drugs and alcohol while pregnant with him. Child protection authorities first intervened when he was just 7 days old, according to a 2009 evaluation after Pigge killed his girlfriend's mother.

Categories: Ohio News

"I'm never gonna see my kid again": Parents, victims urge Trump for changes

Channel 10 news - Wed, 02/21/2018 - 17:20

Spilling out wrenching tales of lost lives and stolen security, students and parents appealed to President Donald Trump on Wednesday to set politics aside and protect America's school children from the scourge of gun violence. Trump listened intently to the raw emotion and pledged action, including the possibility of arming teachers.

"I turned 18 the day after" the shooting, said a tearful Samuel Zeif, a student at the Florida high school where a former student's assault left 17 dead last week. "Woke up to the news that my best friend was gone. And I don't understand why I can still go in a store and buy a weapon of war. An AR. How is it that easy to buy this type of weapon? How do we not stop this after Columbine? After Sandy Hook?"

Trump promised to be "very strong on background checks." And he suggested he supported allowing some teachers and other school employees to carry concealed weapons to be ready for intruders. But largely he listened, holding handwritten notes bearing his message to the families. "I hear you" was written in black marker.

The president had invited the teen survivors of school violence and parents of murdered children in a show of his resolve against gun violence in the wake of last week's shootings at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, and in past years at Newtown, Connecticut, and Columbine, Colorado. The latest episode has prompted a renewed and growing call for stronger gun control.

Trump invited his guests to suggest solutions and solicited feedback. He did not fully endorse any specific policy solution, but pledged to take action and expressed interest in widely differing approaches.

Besides considering concealed carrying of weapons by trained school employees, a concept he has endorsed in the past, he said he planned to go "very strongly into age, age of purchase." And he said he was committed to improving background checks and working on mental health.

Most in the group were emotional but quiet and polite.

But Andrew Pollack, whose daughter Meadow was killed last week, noted the previous school massacres and raged over his loss, saying this moment isn't about gun laws but about fixing the schools.

"It should have been one school shooting and we should have fixed it and I'm pissed. Because my daughter, I'm not going to see again," said Pollack. "King David Cemetery, that is where I go to see my kid now."

A strong supporter of gun rights, Trump has nonetheless indicated in recent days that he is willing to consider ideas not in keeping with National Rifle Association orthodoxy, including age restrictions for buying assault-type weapons. Still, gun owners are a key part of his base of supporters.

Over 40 people assembled in the White House State Dining Room. Among them were students from Parkland along with their parents. Also present were Darrell and Sandra Scott, whose daughter was killed in the Columbine shooting, and Nicole Hockley and Mark Barden, who lost children at Sandy Hook Elementary in Connecticut. Students and parents from the Washington area also were present.

The student body president at the Parkland school, Julia Cordover, tearfully told Trump that she "was lucky enough to come home from school."

She added: "I am confident you will do the right thing."

Not all the students impacted by the shooting came to the White House.

David Hogg, who has been one of the students actively calling for gun control was invited but declined, said his mother Rebecca Boldrick.

"His point was (Trump needs) to come to Parkland, we're not going there," she said.

Throughout the day Wednesday, television news showed footage of student survivors of the violence marching on the Florida state Capitol, calling for tougher laws. The protests came closer to Trump, too, with hundreds of students from suburban Maryland attending a rally at the Capitol and then marching to the White House.

Inside the executive mansion, Trump said at the end of an hour listening to tales of pain and anguish, "Thank you for pouring out your hearts because the world is watching and we're going to come up with a solution."

Television personality Geraldo Rivera had dinner with Trump at his private Palm Beach club over the weekend and described Trump as "deeply affected" by his visit Friday with Parkland survivors. In an email, Rivera said he and Trump discussed the idea of raising the minimum age to purchase assault-type weapons.

Trump "suggested strongly that he was going to act to strengthen background checks," Rivera said.

Sen. Dianne Feinstein and Sen. Jeff Flake, R-Ariz., said Wednesday they would introduce a bill to raise the minimum age required to purchase rifles from gun dealers, including assault weapons such as the AR-15.

"A kid too young buy a handgun should be too young to buy an #AR15," Flake said on Twitter. A buyer must be 21 to purchase a handgun.

The NRA did not respond to a request for comment. Trump embraced gun rights during his presidential campaign, though he supported some gun control before he became a candidate, backing an assault weapons ban and a longer waiting period to purchase a gun in a 2000 book.

On Tuesday, Trump directed the Justice Department to move to ban devices like the rapid-fire bump stocks used in last year's Las Vegas massacre. The White House has also said Trump was looking at a bill that would strengthen federal gun background checks.

But those moves have drawn criticism as being inadequate, with Democrats questioning whether the Justice Department even has authority to regulate bump stocks and arguing that the background check legislation would not go far enough.

The Justice Department did not immediately respond to requests for comment about how it might implement Trump's order or how an ongoing bump stock review would be affected. ATF reviewed the devices and approved them in 2010, finding they did not amount to machine guns that are regulated under the National Firearms Act that dates to the 1930s.

An effort to pass bump stock legislation last year fizzled out.

On background checks, Trump has suggested he is open to a bipartisan bill developed in response to a mass shooting at a Texas church. It would penalize federal agencies that don't properly report required records and reward states that comply by providing them with federal grant preferences.

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, a New York Democrat, said the bill is "a small step," stressing that Democrats want to see universal background check legislation.

Republican Sen. Pat Toomey of Pennsylvania said Wednesday that he'll probably reintroduce bipartisan legislation that would require background checks for all gun purchases online and at gun shows. He said he planned to discuss the idea with Trump.

That bill first emerged with backing from Toomey and Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin of West Virginia following the 2012 slaying of 26 children and adults in Connecticut's Sandy Hook Elementary School. It failed then and at least one more time since.

Categories: Ohio News

Injured Steelers LB Ryan Shazier vows to play again

Channel 10 news - Wed, 02/21/2018 - 17:01

Injured Pittsburgh Steelers Ryan Shazier doesn't just plan to play again following a spinal injury. He says he wants to make it all the way to the Hall of Fame.

Shazier opened up to teammate Roosevelt Nix on Nix's podcast, Shazier's first public comments since injuring his spine in a victory over the Cincinnati Bengals on Dec. 4.

Shazier told Nix, who released the podcast on Tuesday night , that he plans to walk again on his own and return to a career that was on the verge of stardom before the injury, one that required spinal stabilization surgery and left him in the hospital for two months.

"I'm really trying to come back and still be a Pro Bowler," Shazier told Nix. "I'm sorry, because I feel I got snubbed this year for All-Pro even though I got hurt. But I feel like my stats are as good as those who made it."

The 25-year-old is undergoing outpatient therapy and has documented a portion of his recovery on social media. General manager Kevin Colbert said last week Shazier has been a fixture at the team's headquarters watching film. Shazier said it's necessary to keep him mentally sharp while aggressively attacking his rehab.

"I've got to get back," said Shazier, who has not released the exact nature of the injury. "Right now I'm reading a book and it's basically saying trust the process. I'm really trusting the process. I know the end goal. So I'm taking every step of the way, I'm giving everything I got. The therapists are like, 'Man this is crazy; I've never seen anyone work this hard.' They almost see progression every day."

Shazier has been vague about specific aspects of his recovery, though he is quick to point out that he can stand on his own, as he did when the cameras cut to him recently while attending a Pittsburgh Penguins game. Either way, Shazier insists he'll one day run back through the tunnel at Heinz Field with his No. 50 jersey on ready to get back at it.

"I'm still reaching for that Hall of Fame because I really feel I'm the best linebacker ever," Shazier said. "I just got to be back out there so everybody can see it. You know what I'm saying?"

Categories: Ohio News

Sheriff: Deputies to begin carrying rifles on school grounds in Florida county where shooter killed 17

Channel 10 news - Wed, 02/21/2018 - 16:38

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. - The sheriff of the Florida county where a shooter killed 17 people at a high school last week has ordered all deputies who qualify to begin carrying rifles on school grounds.

Broward Sheriff Scott Israel said at a news conference Wednesday that the rifles will be locked in a patrol car when not in use until the agency secures gun locks and lockers.

The sheriff said the school superintendent fully supports his decision.

Marjorie Stoneman Douglas High's school resource officer was carrying a weapon when the shooting happened last week but did not discharge his firearm.

It's unclear what role he played in the trying to thwart the shooter and whether he was aware of suspect Nikolas Cruz's past behavior at the school. The sheriff said those details are still being investigated.

Categories: Ohio News

Dom & Dave: Should Browns go rookie QB or veteran, Shazier says he wants to play again

Channel 10 news - Wed, 02/21/2018 - 16:35

You've seen them yell at each other in a poorly lit room on a shaky cell phone feed, but now, it's time to step it up.

Dom Tiberi and Dave Holmes are teaming up to discuss the top sports stories of the day among other topics.

Watch Dom & Dave every Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday at 6:45 p.m. on 10TV.com or the 10TV Facebook page.

Wednesday, February 21 Topics (Dom is sailing the high seas, so former Buckeye and Roy Hall will be our special guest):

  • Mock draft has the Browns taking Josh Allen, but other reports say they're going after Kirk Cousins. How would you address the QB situation?
  • Ryan Shazier says he wants to play football again. Roy gives his perspective on devastating injuries.
  • February can be a miserable month for a lot of reasons. What is your favorite month of the year?

Categories: Ohio News

Trump considers concealed carry for teachers

Channel 10 news - Wed, 02/21/2018 - 15:52

President Donald Trump says he's considering backing proposals to promote concealed carrying of weapons by trained school employees to respond to campus shootings.

Meeting with students and parents affected by school shootings, Trump is responding to a call to arm teachers and other school employees so they can react before law enforcement arrives.

Trump says the average school shooting lasts three minutes, while police response times average from five to eight minutes.

Trump says he believes the proposal could "solve the problem" of school shootings, by making potential attackers think twice. He notes that some airline pilots have carried concealed weapons since the attacks of September 11, 2001.

Categories: Ohio News

Powder that sent Logan County 12-year-old to lock-up was harmless

Channel 10 news - Wed, 02/21/2018 - 15:44

New tests results reveal a white powder found in a local middle school - thought to be Fentanyl - was actually harmless.

The powder was found in the hallway at Indian Lake Middle School on February 1.

A field test conducted by Washington Township Police that day said the powder was Fentanyl, a painkiller more powerful than heroin.

A 12-year-old girl was taken into custody on charges of inducing panic and disorderly conduct. These new test results have her family questioning the handling of the case.

"She would never do anything to hurt her friends. She's just a class clown, a funny little girl," said the girl's sister and legal guardian.

To protect the anonymity of the child, 10TV is not identifying her family. They say they were stunned by the allegations against her.

"It was just devastating," her sister said. "I was heartbroken. All I could see was her being there forever, and her life changed, and would never be able to go back to school, never have a normal life. And she's only 12."

Asked why the girl took a white powder to school, her sister said, "She said she thought it would be cool. Just chop up some soap and walk around, you know. She tries to be the class clown."

A judge ordered the 12-year-old held until she could be drug tested and evaluated, and a home inspection could be done.

She said it was to make sure the girl and her home environment were safe.

The girl's family says she spent seven days at the Juvenile Detention Center.

But further testing from the state lab found no controlled substances in the powder: no drugs of any kind.

10TV asked Washington Township Police Chief Rick Core what went wrong.

"I don't believe anything went wrong. To me, I liken this to a bomb scare," Core said.

He said he stands by the field test used, and his department's handling of it.

Chief Rick Core: "Every time I have to treat it like there's a bomb in the building. And I have yet to find a bomb anytime I respond to a bomb scare. If I had this same scenario replay itself in the future, I'm going to handle it in the same way."
Glenn McEntyre: "In this case, based on this test result, a 12-year-old girl was detained, put in juvenile detention, for 7 days."
Chief Rick Core: "Correct."
Glenn McEntyre: "Are you comfortable with that?"
Chief Rick Core: "Very comfortable with that. Because she was charged with inducing panic and disorderly conduct. She advised us she was mimicking something she saw on a tv show. And she was trying to pass this substance off as cocaine."
"She takes full responsibility for taking a bag of soap in the school and making a big fuss over it. that made the cops come, that made the test be done," said the girl's sister. "I understand the severity of it, but they were wrong. They were wrong this time."

The Logan County prosecutor tells 10TV though drug charges will not be filed, he will be reviewing this case for possible other charges against the girl.

Her family says they believe she has been punished enough already.

Categories: Ohio News

Dublin ministers talk about passing of Rev. Billy Graham

Channel 10 news - Wed, 02/21/2018 - 15:00

Reverend Billy Graham was a plain-speaking preacher with millions of followers around the world.

When he brought his message to Columbus in 1993, his last time here, his revival brought superstars Johnny and June Carter Cash.

Thousands of people packed Cooper Stadium to listen to Graham.

For those who worked on his crusades, like Senior Pastor JD Davis of the Dublin Baptist Church, the experience was life-changing.

"He was an amazing man a humble man, an incredible leader," he said.

Davis says he worked on a Grahams' crusade in Nashville in 2000. He says Reverend Graham's passing leaves behind a remarkable legacy.

"It fills you with sadness you remember but you remember his legacy you remember the lives he touched," he said.

Minister Paul Pyle was 12 years old when he first attended a Billy Graham revival in Houston. He recalls a moment when a sea of people came down to the football field to receive a blessing from Reverend Graham.

"Seeing him fall to his knees I thought he was going to start praying or he was having a heart attack. I didn't know what was going on and what happened was he had been crying. He gets up and you could hear the whimpering in his voice, and he said to the crowd, 'this is the best birthday present I've ever received,'" he said.

While his death ends his days as a preacher, those who worked with him say he remains an everlasting spiritual father.

"Even though I never met him I know almost everything to know about him because he has touched my soul," said Minister Pyle.

Grahams daughter, Anne Graham Lotz wrote about her father, "My Father's legacy is one that encompasses the world and engulfs my own life. When I think of him I also think of his message because he was immersed in it. Saturated in it. He was his message, a simple man who had responded to God's love by placing his faith in Jesus, receiving the assurance that his sins were forgiven, that he would not perish, but would have everlasting life. "

Categories: Ohio News

Demanding to be heard: Central Ohio students stage walkout on shooting anniversary

Channel 10 news - Wed, 02/21/2018 - 14:19

One week after 17 people were killed in a school shooting in Florida, students in Central Ohio walked out of class, remembering the victims and calling for change.

Dozens of Upper Arlington High School students walked out of the school at noon Wednesday.

They read the names of those killed last week, then delivered a message; it's time lawmakers realize they're demanding to be heard.

Grove City High School had planned a walkout also but decided on a moment of silence inside the building instead.

“You see all these people come out here and support something we can all agree on that we want to be safe, and we want policy change,” said student Clare Driscoll.

Upper Arlington Schools will hold a town hall Monday night at 7 p.m. in the high school auditorium.

Categories: Ohio News

Northeast Ohio teen who shot himself inside school has died

Channel 10 news - Wed, 02/21/2018 - 14:09

A 13-year-old boy who authorities say he shot himself inside a northeast Ohio school Tuesday has passed away.

According to the Summit County Medical Examiner’s Office, Keith Simons was found Tuesday morning inside a bathroom at Jackson Middle School near Massillon with an apparent gunshot wound.

Police told 10TV, Simons arrived on a bus at 7:50 a.m., walked into the bathroom with a long gun, and shot himself.

Simons was taken to Children’s Hospital Medical Center of Akron. He died from his injuries Wednesday afternoon.

Categories: Ohio News

Experts: Bystander intervention is the key to a safe Spring Break

Channel 10 news - Wed, 02/21/2018 - 13:04

As thousands of central Ohio students prepare to embark on Spring Break, crime prevention experts say it's important to talk about the value of bystander intervention.

Case in point, in Panama City Beach in 2015, police said they were "horrified" when a video surfaced of a mostly unconscious woman being gang-raped on the beach.

The video showed hundreds of people standing around doing nothing to help the victim. Panama City responded by banning alcohol on the beach in the month of March.

A study by the US Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism found 44 percent of women, and 75 percent of men, reported getting drunk every day on Spring Break. Half of them say they binge drink until they pass out.

"What's important for the community to know about alcohol consumption and violence is that perpetrators target vulnerability," said Susan Wismar, Prevention Coordinator for the Ohio Health Sexual Assault Response Network of Central Ohio. "For so long, we've tried to end violence by saying if you're a vulnerable person, be less vulnerable."

Spring Break revelry can fuel a false sense of security, but police say violent crimes can and do, happen. In Panama City, police intercepted three videos posted on social media of the sexual assaults of women who were incoherent. Several years ago, police in Daytona Beach received six rape reports in one week.

But Wismar says preventing sexual assaults is far more complex than urging your spring breaker to go easy on the booze. She says bystander intervention and empowering yourself to check in when a person appears vulnerable and needs help, is the best way to prevent crimes of violence.

"It is every one of your jobs to take care of each other, and make sure everybody is safe," said Wismar.

To learn more about SARNCO's Rape Hotline and Sexual Violence Prevention Program, click here.

Categories: Ohio News

Maryland police officer shot, killed intervening in domestic dispute

Channel 10 news - Wed, 02/21/2018 - 10:58

BRANDYWINE, Md. — Authorities say a police officer has been fatally shot while intervening in a domestic dispute in Maryland.

The Prince George's County Police Department said in a tweet that officers responding to the initial shooting shot and killed the suspect.

The department says the shooting occurred Wednesday morning in the Brandywine area, about 15 miles (25 kilometers) south of the nation's capital.

It says the officer was killed "while stepping in to protect a woman threatened in a domestic situation."

A police spokeswoman declined to give details about what happened, saying a news conference would be held Wednesday afternoon.

With broken hearts, we are announcing that one of our officers was shot and killed today. The brave officer was shot while stepping in to protect a woman threatened in a domestic situation. Please keep his family and our department in your prayers.

— PGPDNEWS (@PGPDNews) February 21, 2018

Categories: Ohio News

One person dead in Clinton Township crash

Channel 10 news - Wed, 02/21/2018 - 10:06

CLINTON TWP. -- One person has died as a result of a crash in Clinton Township Wednesday morning.

The crash was called in at 11:40 a.m. and involved two vehicles according to the Franklin County Sheriff's Office.

The crash occurred at the intersection of Cleveland Avenue and Lamont Avenue.

Stay with 10TV and 10TV.com as this story develops.

Categories: Ohio News

Tips for finding Spring Break travel deals

Channel 10 news - Wed, 02/21/2018 - 08:45

Saving on airfare can be as easy as being flexible with your arrival and departure airport. For example, you could find a better rate flying out of Dayton or Akron than Columbus. Or, when flying into Chicago, you may find a better deal flying into Midway than O’Hare.

To save money on hotels, just like with air, you want to book sooner, rather than later. If you wait, you take the risk that the hotel may sell out or if they have less inventory available they will typically increase their rates.

Also, you may want to consider paying for your hotel room in advance. A majority of hotels will give you a lower rate if you pay in advance. A travel agent can work with you to get a pre-paid reservation. Often, you can also save money by bundling your air and hotel together. AAA works with travel providers that offer this option for most destinations. Travel agents can assist you with this.

When it comes to cruises, cruise companies look to fill every cabin on a ship before it sails and these last minute cruises can save you hundreds of dollars. Keep in mind, though, you will need to get to the port quickly and unless you have time to drive there, your cruise savings could be eaten up in last-minute airline tickets.

For tours, you can find last minute deals as they look to fill their motorcoach trips.

These can be anything for domestic to international travel. Just remember to keep in mind how you are going to get to the destination of the tour's departure.

    If you are able to do last minute deals, work with a travel agent that can keep watch on the market for current offers and last minute deals. They then can contact you if something fits your requests.

    Some of these deals are known as Flash deals and maybe only available to book for a day (24-hour sale).

    These types of offers come and go quickly, so it is best to have a budget set, travel documents in hand and be ready to book when you see the deals pop up.

    According to AAA Ohio, there are reduced rates at the following properties for bookings made by March 8 for travel by April 30:

    Dominican Republic- Dreams Palm Beach Punta Cana

    Cancun- RIU Cancun, Royal Solaris Cancun & the Luxury Bahia Principe Akumal

    Punta Cana- Melia Caribe Tropical

    Call 1-888-AAA-OHIO for more information.

    Categories: Ohio News

    Pleasant High School dismisses due to threat of violence

    Channel 10 news - Wed, 02/21/2018 - 08:44

    MARION -- Pleasant Local schools has sent its high school and middle school students home Wednesday due to a threat at the school.

    According to officials at the superintendent’s office, the district dismissed its high school and middle school students. A decision is pending on the elementary school students.

    Officials said a note was found in the bathroom threatening a shooting at the school.

    Officials said they worked with police who are investigating.

    Categories: Ohio News

    Spend Spring Break traveling for less and close to home

    Channel 10 news - Wed, 02/21/2018 - 08:17

    While Spring Break means beaches and sun to many, Ohio has no shortage of fun things to do ...

    In Cincinnati visit the Children's Theatre to see Mary Poppins Jr. the Musical on April 7 and 8. Tickets cost $10 and the show is geared to kids ages 4-12. While you're in Cincinnati, your middle school-aged kids could discover the butterflies of Madagascar at Krohn Conservatory. The American Sign Museum is great for the older kids.

    In Cleveland, visit the Children's Museum of Cleveland, which includes the Wonder Lab and Adventure City. Also, try out Play: CLE, which is the largest indoor adventure park in Ohio. It features indoor zip line, ropes course, climbing wall and ninja warrior course. The Cuyahoga Valley National Park is open 24 hours so you can explore after dar. From April to October, you can bicycle one way and return by train using the Bike Aboard service.

    In Mansfield, just an hour north of Columbus, the younger kids can visit Little Buckeye Children's Museum. While you're in the area visit Malabar Farm State Park and the Ohio State Reformatory, where Shawshank Redemption was filmed.

    The easiest way to plan your Ohio trip is using the 2018 Ohio Travel Guide or download the free app on ohio.org or from the app store. You can request to receive the 2018 Ohio Travel Guide and 2018 Spring / Summer Ohio Calendar of Events at ohio.org/order-guide.

    Categories: Ohio News

    Secret Service clears suspicious vehicle by White House

    Channel 10 news - Wed, 02/21/2018 - 07:27

    WASHINGTON (AP) — The Secret Service says they have cleared a suspicious vehicle near the White House.

    The law enforcement agency says on Twitter Wednesday that vehicle road closures have been lifted, though some areas remain closed to pedestrians.

    Earlier in the morning, the agency said they were responding to a vehicle near 17th Street, by the White House.

    In response the New Executive Office Building was being evacuated and a portion of 17th Street was closed to vehicle traffic.

    Categories: Ohio News

    Evangelist Billy Graham, who reached millions, dies at 99

    Channel 10 news - Wed, 02/21/2018 - 06:30

    MONTREAT, N.C. — The Rev. Billy Graham, who transformed American religious life through his preaching and activism, becoming a counselor to presidents and the most widely heard Christian evangelist in history, died Wednesday. He was 99.

    Graham, who long suffered from cancer, pneumonia and other ailments, died at his home in North Carolina, spokesman Mark DeMoss told The Associated Press.

    More than anyone else, Graham built evangelicalism into a force that rivaled liberal Protestantism and Roman Catholicism in the United States. His leadership summits and crusades in more than 185 countries and territories forged powerful global links among conservative Christians, and threw a lifeline to believers in the communist-controlled Eastern bloc. Dubbed "America's pastor," he was a confidant to U.S. presidents from Gen. Dwight Eisenhower to George W. Bush.

    In 1983, President Reagan gave Graham the Presidential Medal of Freedom, America's highest civilian honor. When the Billy Graham Museum and Library was dedicated in 2007 in Charlotte, former Presidents George H.W. Bush, Jimmy Carter and Bill Clinton attended.

    "When he prays with you in the Oval Office or upstairs in the White House, you feel he's praying for you, not the president," Clinton said at the ceremony.

    Beyond Graham's public appearances, he reached untold millions through his pioneering use of prime-time telecasts, network radio, daily newspaper columns, evangelistic feature films and globe-girdling satellite TV hookups. Graham's message was not complex or unique, yet he preached with a conviction that won over audiences worldwide.

    "The Bible says," was his catch phrase. His unquestioning belief in Scripture turned the Gospel into a "rapier" in his hands, he said.

    A tall, striking man with thick hair, stark blue eyes and a firm jaw, Graham was a commanding presence at his crusades. He would make the altar call in his powerful baritone, asking the multitudes to stand, come down the aisles and publicly make "decisions for Christ," as a choir crooned the hymn "Just As I Am."

    By his final crusade in 2005 in New York City, he had preached in person to more than 210 million people worldwide. No evangelist is expected to have his level of influence again.

    "William Franklin Graham Jr. can safely be regarded as the best who ever lived at what he did," said William Martin, author of the Graham biography "A Prophet With Honor."

    Born Nov. 7, 1918, on his family's dairy farm near Charlotte, North Carolina, Graham came from a fundamentalist background that expected true Bible-believers to stay clear of Christians with even the most minor differences over Scripture. But as his crusades drew support from a widening array of Christian churches, he came to reject that view.

    He joined in a then-emerging movement called New Evangelicalism, that abandoned the narrowness of fundamentalism to engage broader society. Fundamentalists at the time excoriated the preacher for his new direction, and broke with him when he agreed to work with more liberal Christians in the 1950s.

    Graham stood fast. He would not reject people who were sincere and shared at least some of his beliefs, Martin said. He wanted the widest hearing possible for his salvation message.

    "The ecumenical movement has broadened my viewpoint and I recognize now that God has his people in all churches," he said in the early 1950s.

    In 1957, he said, "I intend to go anywhere, sponsored by anybody, to preach the Gospel of Christ."

    His approach helped evangelicals gain the influence they have today. Graham's path to becoming an evangelist began taking shape at age 16, when the Presbyterian-reared farmboy committed himself to Christ at a local tent revival.

    "I did not feel any special emotion," he wrote in his 1997 autobiography, "Just As I Am." ''I simply felt at peace," and thereafter, "the world looked different."

    After high school, he enrolled at the fundamentalist Bob Jones College, but found the school stifling, and transferred to Florida Bible Institute in Tampa. There, he practiced sermonizing in a swamp, preaching to birds and alligators before tryouts with small churches. He still wasn't convinced he should be a preacher until a soul-searching, late-night ramble on a golf course.

    "I finally gave in while pacing at midnight on the 18th hole," he said. "'All right, Lord,' I said, 'If you want me, you've got me.'"

    Graham, who became a Southern Baptist, went on to study at Wheaton College, a prominent Christian liberal arts school in Illinois, where he met fellow student Ruth Bell, who had been raised in China where her father had been a Presbyterian medical missionary.

    The two married in 1943, and he planned to become an Army chaplain. But he fell seriously ill, and by the time he recovered and could start the chaplain training program, World War II was nearly over.

    Instead, he took a job organizing meetings in the U.S. and Europe with Youth for Christ, a group he helped found. He stood out then for his loud ties and suits, and a rapid delivery and swinging arms that won him the nickname "the Preaching Windmill."

    A 1949 Los Angeles revival turned Graham into evangelism's rising star. Held in a tent dubbed the "Canvas Cathedral," Graham had been drawing adequate, but not spectacular crowds until one night when reporters and photographers descended. When Graham asked them why, a reporter said that legendary publisher William Randolph Hearst had ordered his papers to hype Graham. Graham said he never found out why.

    The publicity gave him a national profile. Over the next decade, his massive crusades in England and New York catapulted him to international celebrity. His 12-week London campaign in 1954 defied expectations, drawing more than 2 million people and the respect of the British, many of whom had derided him before his arrival as little more than a slick salesman. Three years later, he held a crusade in New York's Madison Square Garden that was so popular it was extended from six to 16 weeks, capped off with a rally in Times Square that packed Broadway with more than 100,000 people.

    The strain of so much preaching caused the already trim Graham to lose 30 pounds by the time the event ended. It remains his longest revival meeting ever.

    As his public influence grew, the preacher's stands on the social issues of his day were watched closely by supporters and critics alike. One of the most pressing was the civil rights movement. Graham was no social activist and never joined marches, which led prominent Christians such as theologian Reinhold Niebuhr to publicly condemn Graham as too moderate. Still, Graham ended racially segregated seating at his Southern crusades in 1953, a year before the Supreme Court's school integration ruling, and long refused to visit South Africa while its white regime insisted on racially segregated meetings.

    In a 2005 interview with The Associated Press, before his final crusade which was held in New York, Graham said he regretted that he didn't battle for civil rights more forcefully.

    "I think I made a mistake when I didn't go to Selma" with many clergy who joined the historic Alabama march led by the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. "I would like to have done more." Graham more robustly took on the cause of anti-Communism, making preaching against the atheist regime part of his sermons for years.

    As America's most famous religious leader, he golfed with statesmen and entertainers and dined with royalty. Graham's relationships with U.S. presidents also boosted his ministry and became a source of pride for conservative Christians who were so often caricatured as backward. But those ties proved problematic when his close friend Richard Nixon resigned in the Watergate scandal, leaving Graham devastated and baffled. He resolved to take a lower profile in the political world, going as far as discouraging the Rev. Jerry Falwell, a founder of the Moral Majority, from mixing religion and politics.

    "Evangelicals can't be closely identified with any particular party or person. We have to stand in the middle, to preach to all the people, right and left," Graham said in 1981, according to Time magazine. "I haven't been faithful to my own advice in the past. I will in the future."

    Yet, in the 2012 election, with Graham mostly confined to his North Carolina home, he all but endorsed Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney. And the evangelist's ministry took out full-page ads in newspapers support a ballot referendum that would ban same-sex marriage.

    His son, the Rev. Franklin Graham, who runs the ministry, said his father viewed the gay marriage question as a moral, not a political, issue. Graham's integrity was credited with salvaging the reputation of broadcast evangelism in the dark days of the late 1980s, after scandals befell TV preachers Jimmy Swaggart and Jim Bakker.

    He resolved early on never to be alone with a woman other than his wife. Instead of taking a share of the "love offerings" at his crusades, as was the custom, he earned a modest salary from the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association.

    His ministry was governed by an independent board that included successful Christian businessmen and other professionals — a stark departure from the widespread evangelical practice of packing boards with relatives and yes-men.

    "Why, I could make a quarter of a million dollars a year in this field or in Hollywood if I wanted to," Graham said. "The offers I've had from Hollywood studios are amazing. But I just laughed. I told them I was staying with God."

    While he succeeded in preserving his reputation, he could not completely shield his family from the impact of his work. He was on the road for months at a time, leaving Ruth at their mountainside home in Montreat, North Carolina, to raise their five children: Franklin, Virginia ("Gigi"), Anne, Ruth and Nelson ("Ned").

    Anne Graham Lotz has said that her mother was effectively "a single parent." Ruth sometimes grew so lonely when Billy was traveling that she slept with his tweed jacket for comfort. But she said, "I'd rather have a little of Bill than a lot of any other man." She died in June 2007 at age 87.

    "I will miss her terribly," Billy Graham said, "and look forward even more to the day I can join her in heaven."

    In his later years, Graham visited communist Eastern Europe and increasingly appealed for world peace. He opened a 1983 convention of evangelists from 140 nations by urging the elimination of nuclear and biological weapons.

    He told audiences in Czechoslovakia that "we must do all we can to preserve life and avoid war," although he opposed unilateral disarmament. In 1982, he went to Moscow to preach and attend a conference on world peace. During that visit, he said he saw no signs of Soviet religious persecution, a misguided attempt at diplomacy that brought scathing criticism from author Alexander Solzhenitsyn, among others.

    "It's worth taking a risk for peace," Graham contended, although he was clearly stung by the controversy.

    Graham's relationship with Nixon became an issue once again when tapes newly released in 2002 caught the preacher telling the president that Jews "don't know how I really feel about what they're doing to this country."

    Graham apologized, saying he didn't recall ever having such feelings and asking the Jewish community to consider his actions above his words on that tape. Health problems gradually slowed Graham, but he did not cease preaching.

    In 1995, his son, Franklin, was named the ministry's leader. Along with the many honors he received from the evangelical community and the Presidential Medal of Freedom, Graham received the $1 million Templeton Prize for Progress in Religion in 1982 and the Congressional Gold Medal in 1996.

    Graham will be buried by his wife, Ruth, at the Billy Graham Museum and Library.

    "I have been asked, 'What is the secret?'" Graham had said of his preaching. "Is it showmanship, organization or what? The secret of my work is God. I would be nothing without him."

    Categories: Ohio News

    Authorities: Man destroys home in attempt to get skunks out

    Channel 10 news - Wed, 02/21/2018 - 04:51

    FERNDALE, Mich. — Authorities say a suburban Detroit man destroyed a home by using a smoke bomb in an attempt to get skunks out of a crawlspace.

    The Detroit Free Press reports firefighters responded Monday night in Ferndale and found flames in the crawlspace and on the first floor. The fire spread through the walls of the rental home to the attic. Crews put out the fire, but it burned through the roof.

    Fire Chief Kevin P. Sullivan says no skunk carcasses were found.

    The newspaper says a responding firefighter had a sprain, but no other injuries were reported.

    Sullivan says the department advises that people hire pest control professionals. He notes, however that "if one is an absolute die-hard do-it-yourselfer, please read and understand the directions and warning labels" on such devices.

    Categories: Ohio News

    State Department says North Korea passed up meeting with Pence

    Channel 10 news - Wed, 02/21/2018 - 04:40

    WASHINGTON — Vice President Mike Pence was all set to hold a history-making meeting with North Korean officials during the Winter Olympics in South Korea, but Kim Jong Un's government canceled at the last minute, the Trump administration said Tuesday.

    A potential meeting between Pence and the North Koreans had been the most highly anticipated moment of the vice president's visit to Pyeongchang, South Korea, where he led the U.S delegation to the opening ceremonies. Ahead of Pence's visit, Trump officials had insisted they'd requested no meeting with North Korea, but notably left open the possibility one could occur.

    There was no indication that a meeting had indeed been planned — and then canceled on short notice — until Tuesday, more than a week after Pence returned to the United States. The State Department said that Pence had been "ready to take this opportunity" but would have used it to insist Pyongyang abandon its nuclear weapons and ballistic missile programs.

    "At the last minute, DPRK officials decided not to go forward with the meeting," said State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert, using an acronym for the North's formal name, the Democratic People's Republic of Korea. "We regret their failure to seize this opportunity."

    That seemed to contradict North Korea's own claim that it had no interest in meeting with Pence while he was in Pyeongchang.

    "We have no intention to meet with the U.S. side during the stay in South Korea," a Foreign Ministry official was quoted as saying by the North's official news agency on Feb. 8, the day Pence arrived in South Korea. "We are not going to use such a sports festival as the Winter Olympics as a political lever. There is no need to do so."

    A Trump administration official said the U.S. had expected the meeting to occur Feb. 10, the last day of Pence's three-day visit to the Olympic Games. The administration did not say exactly how much notice it received from North Korea that the meeting had been called off, nor where the meeting would have taken place or under what conditions.

    Nor was it immediately clear whether North Korea scheduled the meeting before the vice president arrived in South Korea or after he had already arrived. The day before landing in Pyeonchang, Pence told reporters that "we haven't requested a meeting with North Korea."

    "But if I have any contact with them — in any context — over the next two days, my message will be the same as it was here today: North Korea needs to once and for all abandon its nuclear and ballistic missile ambitions," Pence said.

    A potential high-level interaction between the U.S. and North Korea, which would have broken years of estrangement between the two countries, loomed prominently over the Winter Games, where North Korea made a last-minute move to send its athletes to compete on a combined team with South Korea, the host of the games.

    Since taking office, the Trump administration has been working to increase economic pressure on the North to abandon its nuclear programs while also threatening military action, insisting at the same time that a diplomatic solution would be preferable for all sides. Yet for months the Trump administration had offered inconsistent messages about what conditions would be needed for a tete-a-tete — such as whether North Korea would have to agree that its nuclear program was on the table before the United States would be willing to sit down.

    Pence's office, acknowledging the scrapped meeting on Tuesday, said North Korea had "dangled a meeting" in hopes that doing so would entice the vice president to ease up on the North. Pence's office suggested that North Korea later bailed because it became clear he would hold firm on the U.S. stance if a meeting did occur.

    Pence's chief of staff, Nick Ayers, said that the planned meeting — first reported by The Washington Post — would have included an "uncompromising message" delivered by Pence about the "maximum pressure campaign" the Trump administration is waging to try to deter North Korea from proceeding with its nuclear program.

    "Perhaps that's why they walked away from a meeting, or perhaps they were never sincere about sitting down," Ayers said.

    Pyongyang sent its nominal head of state, Kim Yong Nam, the highest-level visitor to the South from the North in recent memory. It also sent Kim Jong Un's sister, Kim Yo Jong. Ostensibly, Pence would have met with one or both of those significant North Korean figures.

    Pence's guest for the Olympic Opening Ceremonies was Fred Warmbier, the father of Otto Warmbier, the U.S. student who died in 2017 shortly after he was released from North Korean detention. Pence also announced in the run-up to his visit that the Trump administration was preparing to unveil a particularly tough round of sanctions punishing the North for its nuclear weapons program.

    Pence's trip came after President Donald Trump days earlier hosted a group of North Korean defectors in the Oval Office, including Ji Seong-ho, whom the president had referenced in his State of the Union address. The White House cast that meeting as part of the Trump administration's "maximum pressure" campaign to counter the North Korean nuclear program. The plan centers around rallying the international community to further isolate North Korea both diplomatically and economically.

    Categories: Ohio News

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