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Man works to restore one of the oldest cemeteries in Ohio

Mon, 08/13/2018 - 18:54

"The life of the dead is placed in the memory of the living."

That was once said by Roman philosopher Marcus Tullius Cicero.

Two-thousand years later, just off State Route 26 in Morrow County, those same words ring true.

Tim Foor says it needed to be done.

"It's been in rough shape for quite some time," he said.

Records kept the Pagetown Cemetery in Bennington Township up-to-date until 1948. By that time, Foor says grazing cattle had knocked over and destroyed many of the headstones.

The last burial recorded at the cemetery was 1876. The first burial was in 1821.

"This is the only record of them," Foor said. "There's no birth certificates. No death certificates. The only thing we have is a stone with their name and date on it."

Foor says Bennington Township is paying him about $5,500 to restore the cemetery. It's a process that includes a lot of scrubbing of a biological solution to help remove mold and bring back the natural color of the stone.

Right now there are about 60 stones visible, but records indicate there could be as many as 220.

Foor has been taking a tool to lightly puncture the ground. He's checking to see if the rod hits the stone. If it does, he carefully digs up pieces and places them together to form the original headstone.

He does it for pride. For history. For family.

"The big obelisk in the center is my first cousin, four times removed, Marcus Page," Foor said.

And in the process, Foor says he's connected with family he never knew he had.

"I had a woman from California actually talk to me," he said. "Turns out, we're actually cousins because my third great-grandfather is also her fourth great-grandfather."

Foor says it's a sense of accomplishment, helping to restore the markers of some of Morrow County's founders.

"When you walk out of here at the end of the day and you've set up somebody's stone, you're kind of giving them a name again," he said. "Just kind of makes you feel good about what you're doing."

Foor says the same restoration that he's doing is the same type that's approved for Arlington National Cemetery in Washington D. C.

Categories: Ohio News

Columbus scooters allowed on streets and sidewalks for now

Mon, 08/13/2018 - 17:04

COLUMBUS - Twenty-three-year-old Marccedes Davenport of Columbus was enjoying his first ride on a Lime motorized scooter when suddenly he found himself on the ground.

Davenport was riding the two-wheeler on the sidewalk and was crossing the entrance into the Statehouse garage when a car didn't see him and the two crashed into other.

No one was hurt, and police didn't issue a citation. The reason is there are no laws in the city against riding a scooter on the street or the sidewalk.

"The other day I had a guest who almost got wiped out by one because they don't know to look for them, " Short North business manager Phillip Skunza said.

Until the city of Columbus decides how to regulate scooter drivers, City Attorney Zach Klien's Office issued this statement to the division of police: "We have instructed the Division of Police that they are allowed to be ridden on both (street and sidewalk). This does not mean, however, that scooters can be ridden recklessly, while impaired, or in violation of other laws."

Lime scooters cost $1 to unlock and 15 cents a minute to ride. They can be located and unlocked using the Lime app and can be left anywhere, although the company urges users not to block sidewalks.

Bird, another scooter company, operates the same way.

The scooters can travel up to 15 mph and can cover about 15 miles on a charge. Riders have to show a driver’s license to confirm that they are 18 or older.

Columbus City Councilmen Emmanuel V. Remy also issued a statement regarding how the city plans to address the issue of safety going forward: “Motorized scooters also known as electric personal assistive mobility devices are here in Columbus. We look forward to assessing the impact of this mode of transportation in the City, and how it aligns with our values for safety, mobility, and inclusiveness.”

Categories: Ohio News

Investigator’s firm could receive $500K for Ohio State investigation

Mon, 08/13/2018 - 16:28

COLUMBUS – A New York law firm hired to conduct an investigation for The Ohio State University could receive $500,000 for its efforts, 10 Investigates has learned.

The money still has to be approved by the state’s controlling board, which could occur at a meeting later this month.

According to documents filed with Ohio Attorney General’s Office, the law firm of Debevoise & Plimpton could receive as much as a half million dollars for investigating issues for OSU.

Mary Jo White, the former chair of the Securities and Exchange Commission, has years’ worth of experience investigating high-profile matters, including representing numerous boards, organizations and schools in connection with sensitive sexual harassment and sexual abuse investigations, her firm wrote in response to the attorney general’s request for special counsel.

“Our team brings a wealth of experience to these sensitive matters, especially in its interactions with witnesses, law enforcement and other stakeholders and includes a former member of both the Sex Crimes and Domestic Violence Units of the Manhattan DA’s office,” the law firm wrote in responding to the Ohio Attorney General’s request for special counsel for “a single-matter.”

A spokesman for the Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine’s office would not specify what the scope of their work involved, although we know the university has hired White to lead the investigation surrounding Ohio State football coach Urban Meyer and how he handled allegations of domestic abuse involving his former wide receivers coach, Zach Smith.

The university is also dealing with two other scandals – including allegations by former athletes that were molested by a former team physician, Dr. Richard Strauss, who died from suicide several years ago. The university also is dealing with the fallout over allegations that a former club diver, Estee Pryor, was coerced and sexually abused by her former assistant dive coach, Will Bohonyi, who the university later fired in 2014 for violating university policy. The incident was never shared publicly and university police did not notify state or federal prosecutors despite the diver’s attorney alleging they possessed photographs and video of her involved in sex acts while she was underage. The university police closed their 2014 investigation at Pryor’s request but re-opened in January of 2018 after she went back to authorities with concerns. Neither Strauss nor Bohonyi have been criminally charged.

Courtney Smith, Zach Smith’s ex-wife, has alleged that she was the victim of domestic abuse. Zach Smith has denied those allegations. Records show that Zach Smith was arrested in 2009 for aggravated battery involving Courtney. At the time, Zach was working as an assistant for Urban Meyer at the University of Florida. The charges were dropped nine days later.

In 2013, Dublin Police records show Smith was arrested for drunken driving, but those charges were later reduced. Powell Police have recorded numerous responses to complaints from both Courtney and Zach Smith over the past several years. Of critical importance is an October 2015 incident in which Courtney alleged she was the victim of domestic abuse. Zach Smith denied that and was never arrest or charged.

Meyer was placed on paid administrative investigation Aug. 1, the same day Courtney Smith went public with her allegations in two separate interviews claiming that she told Urban Meyer’s wife Shelley about her domestic abuse. Meyer had told reporters in late July that he was unaware of the specifics of the 2015 incident but later released a statement saying his words failed him and that he followed the proper procedures in reporting what he knew at the time to his superiors at OSU.

Zach Smith was fired by OSU in late July.

The university is expecting to wrap up its investigating into the matter by Aug. 19.

Categories: Ohio News

New accusers come forward, new child sex charges filed against mental health worker

Mon, 08/13/2018 - 15:38

Matthew Gatton was an educator, a church youth group volunteer, and a mental health worker.

Police say he is also a child predator. And his list of accusers is growing.

Gatton was arrested in June, charged with sexually abusing an 11-year-old boy in his care.

He is now charged with abusing three other children, all under the age of 13.

Gatton's career has been built on caring for children, and the trust of parents.

Among them, a Westerville mother whom 10TV is not identifying to protect the anonymity of her child.

"(Gatton) was a therapist that came in and helped us with day to day life," she said.

Her 11-year-old son is mentally ill, and Matthew Gatton was a mental health worker employed by Ohio Guidestone.

She says he became a valued, trusted part of her family.

"He was always kind to them. My youngest loved him to death."

But she says what she learned in May changed everything.

"He's the most evil thing I've ever met. I've never hated anybody before, because I just think that's overly strong. I absolutely hate this man."

Westerville Police say Gatton admitted touching her son's genitals between 20 and 50 times.

The boy's mother says his summer has been consumed by trauma, fear and anxiety.

"We went to the doctor, and he won't even have a male doctor now. He doesn't want men anywhere near him. We've spent the whole summer at home. Because he doesn't want to go anywhere."

Gatton was arrested in June and charged with nine counts of gross sexual imposition, and has been free on bond since June 18.

Last week, a grand jury indicted him on five new charges.

The indictment details sex crimes against three children under the age of 13.

"It broke my heart. It made me sick to my stomach," she said of the news. "But at the same time I'm glad more people are coming out. I hate that that happened to them. But the more people that come out, the more we can do to get rid of him out of our neighborhoods and hopefully get him in jail and away for a long time."

To other families who made the same difficult decision to come forward, she says this:

"Just take it one day at a time, and get your kids the help they need. Get yourself the help you need, because it's just as hard for the parents to know. Because you feel like you failed your kids. It's awful, it sucks. But if you don't come forward, we can't stop it."

Matthew Gatton is free on bond.

10TV has not been able to reach him for comment, though he has pleaded not guilty.

In June, 10TV uncovered Gatton's years of work with children, and years of concerning behavior

Previous Coverage

Categories: Ohio News

Kasich responds to Trump's Twitter attack with a laughing Putin GIF

Mon, 08/13/2018 - 15:13

COLUMBUS, Ohio — President Donald Trump and Ohio Gov. John Kasich are trading jabs on Twitter days after a special congressional election the two Republicans tried to influence ended too close to call.

Trump skewered Kasich on Monday as a "very unpopular" governor who hurt GOP state Sen. Troy Balderson's Aug. 7 race against Democrat Danny O'Connor by "tamping down enthusiasm for an otherwise great candidate."

Kasich countered with a meme of Russian President Vladimir Putin laughing. He called Trump's tweet "laughably inaccurate" in a subsequent fundraising pitch.

pic.twitter.com/wqtmN9SwhT

— John Kasich (@JohnKasich) August 13, 2018

Kasich earlier questioned whether Trump's 11th-hour rally for Balderson would hurt his chances in the district Kasich once represented.

Balderson leads O'Connor in unofficial results by less than a percentage point. With thousands of votes outstanding, The Associated Press hasn't called the race.

Categories: Ohio News

Trump signs bill named for Sen. McCain, doesn't mention him

Mon, 08/13/2018 - 14:26

President Donald Trump on Monday signed a $716 billion defense policy bill named for John McCain but included no mention in his remarks of the Republican senator, who is battling brain cancer at home in Arizona.

Trump and McCain are engaged in a long-running feud that dates to Trump's 2016 presidential run. At campaign rallies, Trump regularly castigates McCain — without outright naming him — for casting a dramatic thumbs-down vote that doomed Trump's effort last year to repeal the Affordable Care Act, which was enacted by President Barack Obama.

Trump said there was "no better place than right here at Fort Drum" to celebrate passage of the defense bill, which will boost military pay by 2.6 percent, giving service members their largest increase in nine years.

The bill — formally named the John S. McCain National Defense Authorization Act but referred to by Trump as simply the National Defense Authorization Act — will introduce thousands of new recruits to active duty, reserve and National Guard units and replace aging tanks, planes, ships and helicopters with more advanced and lethal technology, Trump said.

"Hopefully, we'll be so strong we'll never have to use it. But if we ever did, nobody has a chance," he said.

The bill also authorizes billions of dollars for military construction, including family housing.

Besides setting policy and spending levels, the bill weakens a bid to clamp down on Chinese telecom company ZTE. It allows Trump to waive sanctions against countries that bought Russian weapons and now want to buy U.S. military equipment. The bill provides no money for Trump's requested Space Force but authorizes the military parade he wants in Washington in November. The White House has said it will outline a budget for the space force next year.

The measure also addresses child-on-child sexual assault at U.S. military bases worldwide, an issue an Associated Press investigation revealed this spring.

The compromise bill removes a provision reinstating penalties against ZTE and restricting the company's ability to buy U.S. component parts. ZTE was almost forced out of business after being accused of selling sensitive information to nations hostile to the U.S., namely Iran and North Korea, in violation of trade laws.

Trump warned in May that the ban was causing heavy job losses in China, and the Commerce Department reached a deal to lift the ban in June, allowing business with U.S. companies to resume. The bill retains language blocking U.S. government purchases and contracts with ZTE.

The measure also includes provisions designed to improve how the Defense Department handles reports of sexual assaults among the tens of thousands of children and teens who live and go to school on the military bases where their parents serve. An AP investigation documented broad failures of justice when military kids report incidents.

Among the changes, the bill creates new legal protections for students at Department of Defense Education Activity schools and requires the school system and the Pentagon to develop new policies for responding to reports on bases more generally. Schools and the armed services also must start tracking incidents — AP identified nearly 700 over 10 years, but that was a certain undercount.

The annual measure sets policies and a budget outline for the Pentagon and will be followed by a later appropriations bill.

Trump and McCain have had a strained relationship for years. During his election campaign, Trump declared that McCain, who was a prisoner of war for more than five years in Vietnam, was not a war hero, and he has publicly and privately blamed McCain for submarining the Republican health care bill last year.

In May, a West Wing aide dismissed McCain's negative opinion on Trump's CIA nominee during a closed-door meeting by saying of the senator that "he's dying anyway." Trump, who has long prided himself on never apologizing, believing it shows weakness, did not apologize, but the aide was later fired.

On Monday, McCain expressed pride in the bill signing in a statement he issued afterward.

"I'm proud the NDAA is now law & humbled Congress chose to designate it in my name. As Chairman of the Armed Services Cmte, I've found high purpose in service of a cause greater than self_the cause of our troops who defend America & all that she stands for," he tweeted.

His wife, Cindy McCain, meanwhile, retweeted a tweet from CBS News that noted Trump had neglected to mention McCain at the signing.

Categories: Ohio News

Courtney Smith meets with Ohio State investigators; Zach Smith to meet with investigators this week

Mon, 08/13/2018 - 14:12

COLUMBUS, Ohio – An attorney for Courtney Smith says her client met Monday with investigators from The Ohio State University who are looking into how Ohio State football coach Urban Meyer handled allegations of domestic abuse involving his former assistant coach, Zach Smith.

Zach Smith was fired by OSU in late July days after more details of his tumultuous relationship with Courtney Smith became public. The couple divorced in 2016.

Zach Smith was cited in May of this year for violating a trespass order and was named in a civil protection order on July 20 – three days before he was fired by Ohio State.

The former OSU wide receivers coach has denied the abuse allegations and told 10 Investigates Monday he plans to meet with members of an OSU investigative panel this week.

Smith told 10 Investigates Monday that he was informed about the meeting through his attorney but did not know specifically who he would be talking to or the scope of what would be discussed.

“I’ve no idea,” Smith said.

Smith’s attorney did not immediately return messages seeking comment.

The university has impaneled a group of trustees and outside investigators to look into how Ohio State head football coach Urban Meyer handled allegations of domestic abuse involving his assistant coach, Zach Smith, who was fired by OSU in late July days after more details of their relationship became public and Smith was named in a civil protection order on July 20 from his ex-wife, Courtney Smith.

Over the past several days, online sports writers have traded point and counter-points on who knew what and when and who said what to whom regarding the domestic allegations between Courtney Smith and Zach Smith.

“It’s all ridiculous,” Zach Smith told 10 Investigates Monday by phone. “(They need) to stay out of my personal life. I did nothing wrong.”

Among the latest reports, posted by sportswriter and author of books on Ohio State football Jeff Snook, Snook cited interviews with Zach Smith’s mother Lynn Bruce and Courtney’s mother, with whom Courtney is estranged. Both women said that Courtney made statements years ago about taking down Zach. Bruce told Snook that she had heard Courtney make statements about taking both Zach and Urban Meyer down, Snook reported on his Facebook page.

In a brief phone interview with 10 Investigates last week, Lynn Bruce – whose father is the late OSU coach Earle Bruce – said that she was tired of her son being vilified in the media as a domestic abuser. She said that her son had never been arrested before. (When we questioned her about a 2009 Florida incident – where Zach was arrested but the charges were later dropped - she said she knew “exactly what happened” but wanted to end the phone call). She did not elaborate. Zach Smith was an assistant for Urban Meyer at the University of Florida at the time.

The reporting over the weekend also included allegations that Texas football coach Tom Herman – a former Meyer assistant -- was the original tipster source for the story, which former ESPN reporter Brett McMurphy broke on his Facebook page weeks ago.

Through a spokesman, Herman denied this to the Austin American-Statesman newspaper. McMurphy denied this on Twitter.

Zach Smith told 10 Investigates Monday that when people try to write this narrative “all that’s really doing is ultimately hurting an 8-year old and a 6-year old,” referring to his children.

In an interview with 10TV News on Friday, August 3, Zach Smith said that there were times during his toxic relationship with Courtney Smith that he said he had to physically restrain her to get out of situations.

“It was a toxic relationship. It wasn’t a functional relationship. It may be needed to never happen and definitely needed to end. And there were several altercations over our marriage in [our] time in Columbus, where things got physical. Things got out of hand. There were definitely a handful of times where I would have to restrain her and move her out of the way so that I could get out of the situation so it didn’t escalate because it was already beyond a level of escalation that was appropriate,” Smith said during an Aug. 3 interview with 10TV News.

Asked directly Monday by phone if he ever put his hands around her neck, Zach Smith said: “No.”

The Ohio State University has said very little about its ongoing investigation, which began on Aug. 5. It is expected to conclude before Aug. 19.

In two separate interviews, Courtney Smith has alleged that she has endured domestic abuse at the hands of Zach Smith. Courtney Smith has not responded to numerous messages left by 10 Investigates over the past several weeks.

Zach Smith has denied any allegations of abuse and has not been criminally convicted.

Meyer told reporters during Big Ten Media Days event in Chicago that he was not aware of a 2015 domestic incident that was investigated by the Powell, Ohio police department. The university later placed Urban Meyer on administrative leave and he released a statement on Aug. 3 saying that his words failed him during the news conference but that he followed the proper reporting protocols and alerted his superiors of the matter in 2015.

The Powell Police Department has declined to release all the supplemental details of their numerous police runs involving the Smiths citing privacy concerns. WBNS-TV 10 Investigates unit has sent additional open records requests, asking that the police department reconsider and release the supplemental information. The department has so far declined.

But copies of the October 26, 2015 report show that Courtney Smith reported that she had been the victim of “a domestic incident” and that she sustained physical abuse by the suspect. One report generated by a Powell Police detective shows that the offenses included domestic violence and felonious assault. Another report generated by a field officer shows the potential charges included disorderly conduct and aggravated menacing.

Zach Smith was never arrested or charged with anything stemming from the 2015 reports.

In 2009, while working for Meyer as an assistant at the University of Florida, Smith was arrested for battery, but the charges were dropped a week later, records show.

During an August 3 interview with 10TV News, Zach Smith said that mounting media pressure and an effort by Ohio State to protect the players were the reasons he was fired. At the time, he said both Urban Meyer and Athletic Director Gene Smith handled the 2015 matter appropriately.

“I think they handled it perfectly. Because when they found out about it, they immediately pulled me off the road, I went to the police station, and I think they empowered the people that are actually the paid professionals to find out what happened. And they wanted to find out what [the] reality was before they made a rash decision,” Smith said during an Aug. 3 interview with 10TV News.

Statement from Julia Leveridge, Counsel for Courtney Smith

Today, Courtney Smith met with the independent investigative team hired by The Ohio State University Board of Trustees. She was accompanied by her lawyers and welcomed the opportunity to speak to the investigators. Courtney continues to be thankful for the support she has received during this time.

Previous Coverage:

Categories: Ohio News

More than 100 cars vandalized in several central Ohio neighborhoods

Mon, 08/13/2018 - 14:05

The Franklin County Sheriff's Office said it believes a mass act of vandalism is connected to two similar incidents in the city of Columbus.

Deputies said people living in the Lincoln Village North neighborhood woke Friday, August 3 to discover dozens of cars tagged with a red, paint-like substance. Buddy Hummler said it looked like the vandals did their dirty work from a moving vehicle.

"There's a car right as we turn on to my road that looks like it just went up and down, up and down," Hummler said.

Deputies took eight official reports but said many more vehicles were damaged. Investigators shot down a neighborhood theory that the vandal, or vandals, were armed with a paintball gun.

"The paintball would be more of a strike and a burst. This seems to be more along the lines of maybe a super soaker," said Chief Deputy Jim Gilbert.

Deputies said they believe the same criminals have now targeted three central Ohio communities.

Investigators say they're hopeful someone with a home surveillance camera system has captured an image of the vandals. Neighbors, like Hummler, speculate the vandalism is the work of thrill-seeking teenagers.

"I imagine it's got to be young kids doing something like this. It's summertime. School hasn't started back up yet," Hummler said.

Chief Gilbert said it's a nonsense crime that is creating unnecessary stress and expense for the victims.

"They have to take off work. They either have to get a claim with their insurance or clean it off themselves. It's just very aggravating," said Chief Gilbert.

Categories: Ohio News

Racial slurs spray painted on Lancaster mural depicting images of diverse children

Mon, 08/13/2018 - 14:05

A mural under a Lancaster bridge was vandalized with racial and derogatory slurs.

"It was shocking!", said Peggy Mahler, secretary for the Fairfield Heritage Trail Association, who played a big role in making sure the mural was painted.

The artwork is only 3 months old and was painted and designed by Lancaster artist, Remo Remoquillo.

Park and community organizations worked together to ensure an inclusive depiction was put on the concrete wall.

"That’s the whole goal," she said. "This trail is for everyone. Walkers, bikers, dog walkers, you know... whoever."

Over the weekend, vandals spray-painted racial slurs all over the artwork.

"It's such a setback that that's still around," said Mahler. "It's like, come on!"

City workers spent Monday morning cleaning the mural. It was cleaned and power washed by early afternoon.

Mahler says the important message is that artwork is replaceable, but hatred is not welcomed in Lancaster.

"It can always be fixed. But the attitudes need some improvement," she said.

Categories: Ohio News

Police identify pedestrian killed on I-71 in north Columbus

Mon, 08/13/2018 - 13:17

A pedestrian has died after being struck by a vehicle on Interstate 71 Monday afternoon.

According to Columbus police, the pedestrian, identified as Michael Edward Fowle, "got in front of" a box truck just after 1:15 p.m.

Police say Fowle was on the side of the road in front of his vehicle with the hood up when he walked in front of the Box Truck, causing the collision.

Fowle was taken to Grant Medical Center in critical condition where he passed away a short time later.

ODOT says all lanes of I-71 between I-270 and Cooke Road were reopened around 3:40 p.m.

Categories: Ohio News

Mom warns parents after mosquito bite leaves 6-year-old son in ICU

Mon, 08/13/2018 - 12:56

LoriAnne Surrett, who has been at his hospital bedside constantly, heard her 6-year-old son's voice for the first time in five days on Thursday.

On Saturday, Surrett said Noah and his brothers were playing like normal kids and having a great time. The boys begged to stay at their grandparents' house even though Noah had a headache.

Surrett gave him some children's pain medicine and said he seemed to perk up. But the next morning, she got a call that is every parent's nightmare.

Her in-laws said Noah wasn't himself and something didn't see right. Then, they said they were calling 911 and told her to get to their house quickly.

Surrett said when she arrived, Noah's lips were blue and he was completely limp. EMS evaluated him and said he had a seizure.

After undergoing blood work, a CT scan, a spinal tap, and a chest X-ray, doctors determined Noah was suffering from La Crosse encephalitis - a rare virus spread through infected mosquitoes.

The North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services said La Crosse encephalitis (LACV) is the most common mosquito-borne virus in the state, and it's seen most frequently in the western counties.

Between 2003 and 2012, 187 cases of LACV were confirmed across North Carolina. Many people infected with the virus never develop symptoms, but children under age 16 are most at risk for severe complications including seizures. Noah was one of those children.

During his stay in the children's ICU at Mission Hospital in Asheville, Surrett said her son was only responsive a few times a day for the better part of a week.

Surrett got an amazing surprise on Thursday, though, when Noah finally was able to open his eyes and talk to her. She said he talked about snakes and wanting to go home from the hospital.

Surrett said she has always been a firm believer in using bug spray - and she wants to make other parents aware of the dangers of mosquito bites.

NC DHHS confirmed the best way to reduce your risk of LACV is to wear insect repellent, wear long sleeves, and limit time outdoors when mosquitoes are most active.

Categories: Ohio News

Man charged for allegedly exposing himself to girl at Lewis Center Kroger

Mon, 08/13/2018 - 12:11

LEWIS CENTER, Ohio - A man who allegedly exposed himself to a 7-year-old girl at a Kroger in Lewis Center is now facing charges, according to the Delaware County Sheriff's Office.

The sheriff's office posted a picture of the man they were looking for on social media on in July.

The surveillance images from June 15 showed the man in a riding cart, wearing shorts and he appears to be wearing a vest and a plaid shirt.

Authorities identified and charged 45-year-old Jamey R. Tinney with public indecency.

The Sheriff’s Office says Tinney will be assigned an official court date later this week by the Delaware County Municipal Court.

Officials say Tinney has a previous criminal history, including disorderly conduct and other minor misdemeanors.

Stay with 10TV and 10TV.com on this developing story.

Categories: Ohio News

Florida man charged with manslaughter in "stand your ground" shooting

Mon, 08/13/2018 - 11:47

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. — The man accused of fatally shooting a father at a parking lot in Clearwater, Florida, was arrested on manslaughter charges Monday, authorities said. The shooting reignited the debate over Florida's "stand your ground law" after the local sheriff's office declined to bring charges in the case last month.

Michael Drejka, 47, has been charged with the July 19 death of Markeis McGlockton outside a Clearwater convenience store, Pinellas County State Attorney Bernie McCabe said. Drejka was being held at the county jail on $100,000 bail. It is unknown if he has an attorney.

McCabe declined further comment, referring reporters to court records that were not immediately available.

McGlockton's girlfriend, Britany Jacobs, who was seated in the couple's car with two of their children, ages 3 years and 4 months, said Drejka confronted her for being parked in a handicapped-accessible space. McGlockton, 28, had gone into the store with their 5-year-old son. Jacobs said Drejka was cursing at her. Video shows McGlockton exited the store and shoved Drejka to the ground. Seconds later, Drejka pulled a handgun and shot McGlockton as he backed away.

McGlockton family attorney Benjamin Crump — who gained national prominence representing the family of Trayvon Martin after the black teen's fatal shooting by a Hispanic man in 2012 — said in a statement Monday "it's about time" Drejka was arrested. The family, civil rights groups and others had been holding protests demanding he be charged.

"This self-appointed wannabe cop attempted to hide behind 'Stand Your Ground' to defend his indefensible actions, but the truth has finally cut through the noise," Crump said. "I have full faith that this truth will prevail to punish this cold-blooded killer who angrily created the altercation that led to Markeis' needless death."

Pinellas County Sheriff Bob Gualtieri originally declined to charge Drejka, saying one day after the shooting that the man was protected by Florida's stand-your-ground law. The sheriff passed the case to prosecutors for a final decision. The law says people can use deadly force if they believe they are in imminent danger of death or great bodily harm and have no obligation to retreat. Under a change made by the Legislature last year, if a suspect raises a stand-your-ground defense, prosecutors must prove the law doesn't apply.

"I support the State Attorney's decision and will have no further comment as the case continues to work its way through the criminal justice system," Gualtieri said in a statement Monday.

The soundless store security video shows the confrontation began about a minute after Jacobs pulled into a handicapped-accessible spot in the parking lot. Jacobs told reporters last week McGlockton had just picked her up from her job as a nursing assistant, the parking lot was busy and they were only stopping for a minute. McGlockton and his oldest son got out and entered the store.

Drejka pulled up in his SUV seconds later, parking perpendicular to Jacobs, according to the woman's account. She said Drejka got out, walked to the back of Jacobs' car, looked at the license plate, and then went to the front, apparently looking for a handicapped sticker there. He appears to say something to Jacobs and points to two empty spaces nearby.

The video shows he then walked to Jacobs' window. He is speaking from about a foot (0.3 meters) away and gesturing with his hands. A man entering the store about 15 feet (5 meters) away stops to look and a woman glances over.

McGlockton then exits the store, walks toward Drejka and — just as Jacobs gets out of the car — shoves Drejka with both hands. Drejka lands on his back and McGlockton takes a step toward him. Drejka sits up, pulls his gun from his right front pocket and points it at McGlockton, who takes three steps back, his arms at his side. Drejka fires, hitting McGlockton, who runs back into the store clutching his chest. Witnesses said he collapsed in front of his son, waiting inside.

Michael McGlockton, the dead man's father, told reporters at a news conference days later that his son was protecting his family when he shoved Drejka.

Crump also represented the family of Martin, a 17-year-old black youth who was fatally shot by George Zimmerman, a Hispanic man who was his Orlando-area neighborhood's watch captain. Zimmerman had confronted Martin, who was walking back to the home of his father's fiancee after making a purchase at a convenience store.

Zimmerman said he thought Martin might be a burglar casing homes. They fought and Zimmerman fatally shot him. There were no eyewitnesses or videos. Zimmerman said he feared Martin, who was unarmed, was about to kill him and a jury acquitted him of second-degree murder.

Categories: Ohio News

World's biggest bounce house coming to central Ohio in September

Mon, 08/13/2018 - 11:37

GROVE CITY -- The world's biggest bounce house is coming to central Ohio.

The Big Bounce America 2018 tour will make a stop at the LVL UP Sports Paintball Park in Grove City September 7-9.

The bounce house holds the Guinness World Record and is 10,000 square feet and is four times bigger than the average home, according to a release.

People of all ages are invited to play on the basketball court, compete in an obstacle course and glide down a giant slide.

Tickets are sold per session with sessions split by age. Prices vary from $12 for the Toddlers’ Session and up to $21 for the Adults’ Only Session. Entry to the Bounce Village can be added to your ticket for an additional charge.

You can find more information here.

Categories: Ohio News

Police: Utah man flies plane into home after assaulting wife

Mon, 08/13/2018 - 11:22

A Utah man flew a small plane into his own house early Monday just hours after he had been arrested for assaulting his wife in a nearby canyon where the couple went to talk over their problems, authorities said.

The pilot, Duane Youd, died. His wife and a child who were in the home got out and survived despite the front part the two-story house being engulfed in flames, Payson police Sgt. Noemi Sandoval said.

The crash occurred about 2:30 a.m. Monday in Payson, a city of about 20,000 residents 60 miles south of Salt Lake City.

Investigators believe the plane belonged to Youd's employer and that he intentionally flew into his own house, Sandoval said. He was an experienced pilot, she said. It wasn't immediately clear who employed Youd.

It's unknown if the child in the house is related to Youd, Sandoval said.

Youd was arrested about 7:30 p.m. Sunday after witnesses called police to report that Youd was assaulting his wife, Utah County Sheriff's Sgt. Spencer Cannon said. The couple had been drinking and went to American Fork Canyon to talk about problems they were having.

Youd was booked into jail on suspicion of domestic violence and then bailed out, Cannon said. Youd requested an officer escort to go to his home so he could get his truck and some belongings around midnight. That occurred without incident, Sandoval said.

Within hours, Youd was taking off in the plane from the Spanish Fork-Springville Airport about 15 miles north of his house. He flew directly to his neighborhood and smashed into his house, Sandoval said.

Photos of the wreckage showed the white plane charred and in pieces in the front yard nearby an overturned and crushed car. Most of the upscale house was still intact, but heavily burned in the front.

Police had responded one previous time to the house on a domestic violence incident, Sandoval said. Online court records show that Youd agreed on July 23 to attend marriage and family counselling sessions for six months as part of a plea agreement following an April 8 domestic violence incident in which he was charged with disorderly conduct.

Categories: Ohio News

Sheriff: Marion woman fakes abduction report, faces charges of inducing panic

Mon, 08/13/2018 - 11:02

MARION – A Facebook post that caught storm over the weekend turned out to be fake, and the Marion County Sheriff’s Office did not take kindly to accusations it did nothing about an attempted abduction.

According to a video on Facebook that was subsequently removed, a woman, Chelsie "Harris" Hendel, 27, claimed a man tried to abduct her daughter. She went on to claim in the video that she reported it to Walmart and the Marion County Sheriff and neither took the claim seriously.

Aaron Corwin, Deputy Chief with Marion County Sheriff’s Office, said that report, however, was not filed. When deputies questioned Harris about the claim, she admitted to making it up.

Harris now is facing charges of inducing panic and is set to be arraigned at 1:30 p.m. Tuesday in Marion County Municipal Court.
Categories: Ohio News

Mark Wahlberg stops in Columbus to visit his new car dealership

Mon, 08/13/2018 - 10:21

COLUMBUS, Ohio -- Actor Mark Wahlberg visited his new car dealership in west Columbus Monday.

10TV was there as Wahlberg met with customers. He even gave a test drive.

When asked why he picked Columbus, he said, "you know what, I think the city picked us."

"We're really excited to be here," Wahlberg said. "So much great history here, the people are fantastic, and it really reminds me of where I grew up in Boston."

Wahlberg also said Columbus will be seeing a Wahlburgers restaurant in the future.

Categories: Ohio News

People hold hands on Florida's beaches to "defend water and wildlife" amid algae blooms

Mon, 08/13/2018 - 09:24

Florida's largest freshwater lake is experiencing intense toxic algae blooms this summer, while much of southwest Florida is battling the worst red tide in years. On Sunday, people stood together, to stand for their waters.

The "Hands Along the Water" volunteer-organized events took place across Florida, from Cocoa Beach to Clearwater, to show "solidarity to defend water and wildlife," according to statements on the many Facebook event pages. Those participating held hands for 15 minutes at the waters' edge.

Many of the Facebook pages said the events were meant to "show that we do not, and will not stand for our beautiful beaches, wildlife, homes and livelihoods to continuously be destroyed and impacted by the water released" from Lake Okeechobee.

Earlier this year, heavy rains led to the release of water from the lake's dam. The water, filled with nutrient runoff and chemicals, much of it from commercial farming and extensive development, baked in the hot sun and caused the algae population to explode. And that water was discharged into lakes and canals, reports CBS affiliate WTSP.

The blooms from the lake are different from the well-known red tide blooms, but some activists question if the mix of nutrients and algae flowing out of Lake Okeechobee are making the red tide worse.

Florida Gov. Rick Scott declared states of emergency in several of the state's counties last month to aid the growing algae blooms, reports WTSP.

After touring the St. Lucie River Friday, a body of water affected by algae blooms, he directed the Florida Department of Environmental Protection and the South Florida Water Management District to take additional actions to reduce water discharges from Lake Okeechobee.

Categories: Ohio News

Quick ride to class: Lime scooters and bikes debut at OSU

Mon, 08/13/2018 - 09:05

COLUMBUS -- Smart mobility company Lime rolled out electric scooters and dock-free bikes at the Ohio State University Monday morning, two days before early move-in on campus.

“Lime is thrilled to bring multi-modal mobility options to The Ohio State University as an expansion of our operations in central Ohio," said Kyle Bivenour, Lime operations manager. "We believe that students will greatly benefit from fast, affordable and convenient options of getting around campus while reducing the university’s carbon footprint.”

The Lime scooters cost $1 to unlock and 15 cents per minute of riding. Lime bikes cost just $1, or 50 cents for students, per 30-minute time block. Students can use their .edu email accounts to receive the 50% off discount on Lime bikes.

At OSU, the Lime fleet will be deployed before morning rush hour at designated locations throughout campus. The scooters will move around during the day, and the Lime team will pick up the scooters each evening for recharging. The scooters will be distributed again to the designated locations the following morning. Lime said this ensures the scooters are fully charged and properly maintained, as well as safeguards the pedestrian right-of-way, sidewalks and roadways.

Riders must be 18 or older, have a valid driver's license and wear a helmet.

A similar service called Bird Scooters debuted earlier this summer in central Ohio. Similar to Lime, the company charges $1 to start and then 15 cents per minute of riding.

Categories: Ohio News

Country singer-songwriter Jake Owen making tour stop in Columbus

Mon, 08/13/2018 - 09:05

COLUMBUS, Ohio -- Country singer and songwriter Jake Owen is making a tour stop this fall in Columbus.

The concert is part of the second leg of his “Life’s Watcha Make It Tour 2018.” The tour will include special guest Morgan Wallen.

“I really do believe that life's whatcha make it,” Owen said. “That's actually a line from my new single ‘Down to the Honkytonk.’”

Owen will perform at the Schottenstein Center Friday, Oct. 12.

Tickets go on sale at 10 a.m. Friday, Aug. 17 at the box office, ticketmaster.com or 1-800-745-3000.

Categories: Ohio News

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