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Clark & Champaign Counties


Strong thunderstorms move through region Friday night

Strong thunderstorms are still possible until 3 a.m., but the threat for severe weather has diminished, the National Weather Service said tonight. A Severe Thunderstorm Watch has been canceled by the National Weather Service. It was to be in effect through 2 a.m. for Butler, Darke, Preble and Wayne and Randolph, Indiana, counties. A strong thunderstorm will affect parts of Warren, Clinton, Clark,...
Beloved restaurant forced to close after damage from tornado

Beloved restaurant forced to close after damage from tornado

Mel-O-Dee restaurant has posted a message to concern customers to its Facebook page.  The Mel-O-Dee restaurant could be closed for up to three weeks due to broken air conditioning units and a structural truss damaged. A nearby Family Dollar that was damaged will also remain closed. Larry Shaffer, Clark County Combined Health District, said eight of 10 restaurants are back in business after the...
West Liberty staff to be honored for bravery during school shooting

West Liberty staff to be honored for bravery during school shooting

Two West Liberty-Salem administrators who played a large role in stopping an active shooter in January will receive a prestigious award for their actions. Greg Johnson, principal of the high school and middle school, and Andy McGill, assistant K12 principal, will be honored at an event in Washington D.C. where they will be given the Jake Ryker award. The award is for a student or school employee who...
Alleged West Liberty-Salem shooter competent to stand trial

Alleged West Liberty-Salem shooter competent to stand trial

A judge has ruled that the alleged West-Liberty Salem High School shooter is competent to stand trial. Ely Serna, who’s accused of bringing a shotgun to school on Jan. 20 and shooting 17-year-old Logan Cole twice and grazing another student, can participate in his legal proceedings, Champaign County Juvenile Judge Lori Reisinger decided Monday. RELATED: Judge orders competency hearing for West...
West Liberty school shooting victim meets vice president

West Liberty school shooting victim meets vice president

The West Liberty-Salem High School shooting victim met with the vice president of the United States on Saturday and was honored by the secret service for courage. Logan Cole, 17, who was shot during a January school shooting, met with Vice President Mike Pence at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base. The vice president was in Dayton to celebrate Armed Forces Day with some of the military personnel stationed...
9-1-1 call in fatal Springfield shooting details sister finding victim

9-1-1 call in fatal Springfield shooting details sister finding victim

A 9-1-1 call moments after a man was shot on a Springfield sidewalk recorded the sister of the victim pleading with authorities to get to her brother quickly in hopes of saving his life. Authorities identified James White Jr., 25, as the man shot and killed about 2 p.m. Thursday in the 500 block of West Southern Avenue. RELATED: Springfield shooting victim dies; No suspects in custody, police say...
Springfield woman gets prison for running prescription drug ring

Springfield woman gets prison for running prescription drug ring

A Springfield woman will spend four years in prison for running an alleged drug ring to get Xanax from local pharmacy’s. Monja Fambro, 38, was sentenced Thursday by Clark County Common Pleas Court Judge Richard O’Neill. She also will serve a nine month sentence for probation violations that will run at the same time as her other sentence. Fambro originally was charged with more than 40...
Springfield woman allegedly ‘encourages’ 13-year-old to smoke, have sex

Springfield woman allegedly ‘encourages’ 13-year-old to smoke, have sex

A woman has been accused of helping a 13-year-old girl run away from a custodial home and encouraging her to drink, smoke marijuana and have sexual relationships. Despina Loudoumidis, 34, has also been accused of beating the girl. She faces multiple charges, including child endangering, domestic violence and assault. She was expected to appear in Clark County Municipal Court today. CRIME: Springfield...
Springfield man accused of posting minor’s naked photo on Facebook

Springfield man accused of posting minor’s naked photo on Facebook

A Springfield man has been accused of posting a naked photo of a minor on Facebook because she refused to give him money, according to a police report. Raymar Thompson, 21, of Springfield, has been charged this week with pandering sexually oriented matter involving a minor. CRIME: 74-year-old Springfield man accused of choking man over lawnmower The charge stems from a March incident where a girl...
Sidewalks closed after bricks fall off downtown Springfield building

Sidewalks closed after bricks fall off downtown Springfield building

Sidewalks have been closed on parts of Main and Fisher streets in downtown Springfield because of safety concerns about the facade of Hull Plaza, city leaders said Wednesday. The property owner said he hadn’t been notified about the issue. Building inspectors were at the 4 W. Main St. office building Wednesday after a large section of facade fell off Tuesday, Springfield Community Development...
74-year-old Springfield man accused of choking relative over lawnmower

74-year-old Springfield man accused of choking relative over lawnmower

A 74-year-old Springfield man has been accused of choking a family member over a borrowed lawnmower. John Castle has been charged with misdemeanor assault in Clark County Municipal Court. Springfield police said in a report that the victim told them Castle allowed him to take the lawnmower but came to his home in the 400 block of South Western Avenue on Monday demanding it back. CRIME: Springfield...
Springfield examines officer, medic safety after Ohio police overdose

Springfield examines officer, medic safety after Ohio police overdose

Springfield law enforcement and health leaders are examining safety and training policies for first responders — including having police officers carry naloxone kits for their own use — in light of the potency of illicit fentanyl hitting the streets. An eastern Ohio officer had to be revived with four doses of the overdose antidote commonly called Narcan after he accidentally came into...
Champaign County seeks solutions after 3 youth tragedies in 7 months

Champaign County seeks solutions after 3 youth tragedies in 7 months

Three tragedies involving Champaign County children in a seven-month span has prompted local leaders to work to bring agencies together to provide help to youth. In October, 11-year-old Bethany Thompson fatally shot herself in the head on her back porch in Cable. Four months later, 17-year-old Ely Serna allegedly brought a shotgun to West Liberty-Salem High School and has been accused of firing at...
Police ask for help to find Springfield woman missing a year

Police ask for help to find Springfield woman missing a year

A Springfield mother has been searching for her daughter for almost a year and Springfield Police are asking for help finding her. Amber Marie Whitmer was last seen by her mother Karen Whitmer in May 2016. She usually would check in at least once every three months, Karen Whitmer said. “She always contacted me on my birthday or Thanksgiving or Christmas,” Karen Whitmer said. Karen Whitmer&rsquo...
Pregnant inmates have local jails scrambling to provide care

Pregnant inmates have local jails scrambling to provide care

The state’s opioid crisis is putting more women behind bars, including more pregnant women, resulting in a shocking occurrence: babies born in local jails. “(We had) one in the cell that actually gave birth in the toilet,” said Butler County Chief Sheriff’s Deputy Anthony Dwyer. “The female corrections officer heard the hollering and she actually scooped the baby up out...
Recruiting roundup: Alabama offers Springfield pair, Dunbar LB narrows choices, Lakota West prospects rising

Recruiting roundup: Alabama offers Springfield pair, Dunbar LB narrows choices, Lakota West prospects rising

We start off this area football recruiting roundup like many of the previous ones: Alabama has offered two more local stars.  This time Nick Saban’s Crimson Tide are looking to add a pair of players from a school that has already sent a standout to Tuscaloosa: Springfield.  Leonard Taylor, a defensive end/tight end who also played quarterback for the Wildcats last year as a junior...
Springfield man accused of bruising 2-year-old girl

Springfield man accused of bruising 2-year-old girl

A man is accused of hitting a 2-year-old and leaving several bruises on her back, butt and on the front of her left shoulder. William Williams, 22, is charged in Clark County Municipal Court with domestic violence and assault in connection to an incident that took place in January. He was due in court today. RELATED: Springfield man charged with trafficking 5 kinds of drugs Springfield police said...
Gas issues mean Possum School will be closed again Tuesday

Gas issues mean Possum School will be closed again Tuesday

Clark-Shawnee’s Possum School will be closed again Tuesday after $22,000 worth of repairs to the school’s gas lines. District officials said the school will turn on the gas so workers can check to see if repairs done over the last week were successful. It will be the third time the school will be closed in five school days. “The repairs were completed today,” district spokeswoman...
50-year Wittenberg program to lose funds because of double spacing

50-year Wittenberg program to lose funds because of double spacing

A spacing mistake on a grant renewal application has threatened funding for a 50-year-old Wittenberg University program that has helped thousands of local students attend college. Upward Bound is a federally-funded pre-college preparatory program for high schoolers from first-generation college and low-income families interested in pursuing higher-education. RELATED: Wittenberg adds data degree to...
Disc golf course could be coming to Springfield’s Snyder Park

Disc golf course could be coming to Springfield’s Snyder Park

A disc golf course could be completed at Snyder Park this summer, and one local business owner believes it can help grow the game in Springfield and Clark County. The National Trail Parks and Recreation District and a local business, Hazy Shade Disc Golf and More, are teaming up to construct a disc golf course south of Buck Creek at Snyder Park, NTPRD Director Leann Castillo said. Clark County currently...
Wittenberg adds data degree to meet demand in high-paying field

Wittenberg adds data degree to meet demand in high-paying field

Wittenberg will introduce a new science-based degree program next year that will give students more opportunities to study statistics, math and business. Adam Parker, the chair for department of mathematics and computer science at Wittenberg, said the new data science major is a growing field. “This is meant to fill that need in the market space,” Parker said. “These are students...
Hands Off Passengers Act would stop bumping of some airline passengers

Hands Off Passengers Act would stop bumping of some airline passengers

Airlines would be prohibited from bumping ticketed passengers to make room for a member of the airline’s flight crew under a bill introduced this week by U.S. Rep. Mike Turner, R-Dayton. Dubbed the “Hands Off Passengers Act” the bill seeks to prevent an occurrence of what happened on April 9 when a United Airlines passenger, Dr. David Dao, 69, was left bloody after being forcibly...
Economic downturn left lasting scars with increased suicide

Economic downturn left lasting scars with increased suicide

Factories are humming, hospitals are expanding and business start-ups are on the rise as the local economy continues to bounce back from the Great Recession, but the economic downturn left a moribund legacy from which many local residents will never recover — suicide. State and national suicide rates skyrocketed in the wake of the recession, especially in this area and other rust-belt regions...
Judge to rule on West Liberty-Salem school shooting suspect competency

Judge to rule on West Liberty-Salem school shooting suspect competency

Logan Cole says he is starting to feel better after being shot twice during the West Liberty-Salem school shooting. “I have started to go to lifting for soccer now that I am going to school full time,” Logan said Friday after he and his father attended a competency hearing for his alleged shooter, 17-year old Ely Serna. “I am a little limited,” he said. “I can’t...
Clark County collects more than $191K in public benefits fraud

Clark County collects more than $191K in public benefits fraud

Clark County collected more than $191,000 last year from residents repaying misused or overpaid public benefits, including some cases of fraud. Last year the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services distributed a total of more than $3.25 billion in SNAP food assistance, Ohio Works First cash assistance, and child care provider subsidies statewide, according to the Clark County Department of Job...
Shawnee community reacts to school bond failure

Shawnee community reacts to school bond failure

Residents took to the News-Sun's Facebook page over the last couple days to express disappointment or excitement over the failure of the bond issue Tuesday night and the school board's decision to put the issue back on the ballot in August.
Zika virus confirmed in Clark County man

Zika virus confirmed in Clark County man

The Clark County Combined Health District has confirmed that a Northridge man has Zika that he contracted after traveling to an area affected by the virus. The man’s illness previously was a suspected case reported by his doctor. The health district continues to work with the physician and the patient to prevent transmission of the disease, Health Commissioner Charles Patterson said. RELATED...
Clark-Shawnee likely to go to voters 3rd time for new schools

Clark-Shawnee likely to go to voters 3rd time for new schools

The Clark-Shawnee Local School Board of Education likely will go back to voters for the third time in a year seeking to build a new elementary school and renovate its high school. RELATED: Greenon, Clark-Shawnee bond issue election results Board members approved a resolution of necessity to put a $37 million bond issue before voters in August. It’s the first step required to get on the ballot...
Possum School set to re-open after gas leak

Possum School set to re-open after gas leak

Possum School was scheduled to re-open Thursday after being closed Wednesday due to a natural gas leak at the school — but it likely still won’t have gas. The district worked with Columbia Gas and a repair company to make sure the school was safe for students and teachers to return, it said in a statement. MORE: Possum Elementary gas leak: School evacuated “Our staff has worked diligently...
Coroner: Springfield baby found dead doesn’t appear to be homicide

Coroner: Springfield baby found dead doesn’t appear to be homicide

The Clark County Coroner’s Office is investigating the death of a Springfield baby boy over the weekend but said it doesn’t appear to be a homicide. The baby boy was found dead in his crib in the 1300 block of Cedarview Drive West on Sunday morning by his mother. A bag of clothes was found on top of him in the crib, according to a police report. An investigator with the Clark County Coroner&rsquo...
Broadway show cancelled in Springfield after big snow storm traps crew

Broadway show cancelled in Springfield after big snow storm traps crew

The national Broadway tour performance of “Pippin” set for Tuesday, May 2, at the Clark State Performing Arts Center has been canceled. A spring blizzard in Kansas, where the production performed on Sunday, has stranded the cast and crew there due to unsafe traveling conditions. Some parts of the state have gotten up to 28 inches of snow with snow drifts measuring 8 to 10 feet. EARLIER...
National Guard Brigade headquartered in Springfield set for deployment

National Guard Brigade headquartered in Springfield set for deployment

An Ohio National Guard sustainment brigade headquartered in Springfield was sent off by family and friends Saturday afternoon as it prepares for deployment. The 371st brigade, made up of soldiers from Springfield and all over Ohio, is headed to Texas for additional training and then will be sent to Southwest Asia. A large crowd cheered and waved Saturday as the men and women marched into the HPER...
Dole settles civil suits related to listeria outbreak

Dole settles civil suits related to listeria outbreak

Dole Fresh Vegetables, Inc. has settled two separate civil lawsuits related to a listeria outbreak last year tied to the company’s Springfield plant. Court documents filed in U.S. District Court show the company recently reached settlement agreements with plaintiffs in two separate cases. The terms of both agreements were not disclosed. The most recent case was filed after Ellen H. DiStefano...
Springfield won’t follow Dayton, plans to keep red light cameras off

Springfield won’t follow Dayton, plans to keep red light cameras off

The city of Springfield won’t be resuming its red light camera program any time soon, despite Dayton’s proposal to turn its red-light and speed-detection cameras back on later this month to improve safety at intersections. Springfield leaders have said they won’t turn the city’s cameras back on until the issue is settled statewide in order to avoid driver confusion. The city...
Graham students give back to the community

Graham students give back to the community

Graham Local Schools held the district’s first service day Friday, aiming to teach students the value of helping others in their community. Students from the elementary school up to the high school took Friday to serve the community. Depending on the student’s age, they tackled tasks like planting flowers around the school, visiting a local nursing home, washing cars, painting lockers...
Shawnee wraps up baseball investigation, students face ‘consequences’

Shawnee wraps up baseball investigation, students face ‘consequences’

The Clark-Shawnee Local School District has completed its internal investigation into the school’s baseball team and said students will face consequences. The district has been investigating the Shawnee High School baseball program for about three weeks after allegations were made involving student athletes during a spring break baseball trip to Tennessee. Superintendent Gregg Morris said Friday...
Springfield Twp. firefighter accused of assaulting cadets for years

Springfield Twp. firefighter accused of assaulting cadets for years

A recently resigned Springfield Twp. firefighter has been accused of sexually assaulting four teens he met through the cadet program at the fire department. Jonathan Monroe, 23, showed up at the Springfield Police Division earlier this month and allegedly confessed to assaulting the teens over the last several years, with the latest incident occurring just last month. A warrant has been issued for...
Honda to invest $124M for new wind tunnel in East Liberty

Honda to invest $124M for new wind tunnel in East Liberty

Honda will invest $124 million to build a high-tech wind tunnel in East Liberty, the first time the company has invested in a full-scale facility of its kind in the U.S. Construction of the facility will begin this spring and it will be housed at the Transportation Research Center, a 4,500-acre site that provides research and development, crash testing and other functions. The tunnel will be able...
College credit program saves Clark State students, families $7M

College credit program saves Clark State students, families $7M

About $7 million of college credit has been earned by high school students though Clark State Community College and the College Credit Plus program since 2014, with many of those students being from Clark County. The money saved by students and their families has made the College Credit Plus program a strong investment by Ohio, state Rep. Kyle Koehler said. “It’s saving families on college...
Bridge demolition will follow 6 other times structures have been blown up on purpose

Bridge demolition will follow 6 other times structures have been blown up on purpose

The Ohio Department of Transportation plans to implode a half-century-old southbound steel truss section of the of the old Jeremiah Morrow Bridge on Sunday. Part of an old northbound section of the bridge in Warren County was brought down by explosives on May 11, 2014.  A new concrete bridge replaced the old sections in a six-year, $104 million construction project. The highest bridge in...
Champaign Co. prosecutors want 8th-grade murder suspect tried as adult

Champaign Co. prosecutors want 8th-grade murder suspect tried as adult

UPDATE @ 2:40 p.m.: Champaign County prosecutors have requested to try the eighth-grader accused of killing his dad’s fiancee as an adult. Prosecutors considered the seriousness of the alleged crimes of Donovan Nicholas, 14, as well as “the deliberate and premeditated nature of the offenses alleged and the available sanctions and penalties available in the juvenile system,” according...
Business rebounds 5 years after one of Clark County’s biggest fires

Business rebounds 5 years after one of Clark County’s biggest fires

One of the worst fires in Clark County’s history started with static electricity and a tanker truck of racing fuel and was so massive it led to changes in how local first responders communicate in a crisis. Five years ago today, Bob Holder watched the family-owned business he started in 1986 disappear in a 200-foot cloud of smoke and flames that could be seen from as far as Butler County and...
Davidson town hall meeting in Enon contentious, but no walk outs

Davidson town hall meeting in Enon contentious, but no walk outs

Congressman Warren Davidson battled back and forth with constituents at a town hall meeting in Enon on Tuesday night, taking questions for about an hour on issues ranging from health care to gun control. Some residents who filed into an Enon VFW Hall booed many of Davidson’s answers and waved red and green construction paper cards that signalled whether they opposed or approved of his responses...
Hazardous chemical found in Enon home prompts evacuation, cleanup

Hazardous chemical found in Enon home prompts evacuation, cleanup

Residents of an Enon house were removed from their home after mercury was found inside. The incident happened Thursday while the residents were cleaning out the garage. The female resident was sweeping, said James Justice with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, and she saw silvery liquid on the floor. RELATED : Opposition grows against mining permit in Mad River Twp. She called 9-1-1, and the...
Federal EPA in charge of mercury spill cleanup in Enon

Federal EPA in charge of mercury spill cleanup in Enon

Some Enon residents have been displaced after high levels of mercury were found in their home on Marion Drive.  The residents were cleaning out their garage on April 13 and discovered a mercury spill and called authorities, according to Dina Pierce, spokeswoman for the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency.  The state agency responded to the home and took readings, which indicated there...
Redesigned Acura made in Ohio faces competition from SUVs

Redesigned Acura made in Ohio faces competition from SUVs

Acura — a major employer of Clark and Champaign County workers — recently unveiled its updated TLX sedan, hoping new safety upgrades and a flashier exterior will provide a boost over competitors in its segment. However analysts said the automaker may struggle to boost sales significantly as buyers increasingly look to crossover vehicles. The TLX, which is assembled in Marysville, will...
Man acquitted on rape charge appears to kill himself days later

Man acquitted on rape charge appears to kill himself days later

A Champaign County man who was acquitted of raping a woman with developmental disabilities appears to have killed himself Sunday night, according to deputies. Fred Markel, 59, was found dead Sunday evening, Champaign County Coroner Josh Richards said. He said the death remains under investigation, but it appears the man committed suicide. Champaign County Sheriff Matt Melvin confirmed it was the same...
VIDEO: Springfield street fight caught on tape; victim speaks out

VIDEO: Springfield street fight caught on tape; victim speaks out

Six juveniles who were involved in a street fight on Friday afternoon in Springfield were arrested and charged with assault and robbery, police said. Police say the youths attacked two young adult men around 1:10 p.m. on Morgan Street. One victim spoke out Sunday evening, and said he believes the act was planned. It all started when Kyle Jacks was trying to leave in his car with a friend when...
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