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Woman wins $1.6 million inside the Las Vegas airport

WDTN News - Wed, 08/16/2017 - 18:58

LAS VEGAS, NV (WCMH) — A California woman is going home $1.6 million richer after hitting the jackpot on an airport slot machine.

McCarran International Airport in Las Vegas reports Sandra A. Dublin won the prize playing a Wheel of Fortune slot machine Tuesday in the airport’s C concourse.

She says she travels to Las Vegas twice a year for pleasure and always gambles.


Categories: Local News

Woman says she bit into needle tip in a McDonald’s hamburger

WDTN News - Wed, 08/16/2017 - 18:21

LEXINGTON, Ky. (AP) — Officials in Kentucky are investigating a McDonald’s after a woman reported finding a needle tip in her hamburger.

News outlets report the Lexington-Fayette County Health Department investigated the restaurant Monday.

The woman’s stepdaughter, Erin Spellman, posted a Facebook photo of the needle tip and a warning about the restaurant. Spellman says her 5-year-old son and his grandparents were eating at the McDonald’s when her stepmother bit into the needle tip. She says they had to visit the hospital to get a hepatitis B vaccination and antibiotics.

Health department spokesman Kevin Hall says a health inspector visited the restaurant, surveyed hamburger ingredients and found no evidence of burger contamination.

The restaurant’s owner, Denise Long, says the restaurant takes the allegation seriously and is working to verify facts. The McDonald’s remains open.

Categories: Local News

CDC: Teen overdose deaths on the rise

WDTN News - Wed, 08/16/2017 - 18:07

MORAINE, Ohio (WDTN) – Teen overdose deaths are back on the rise, according to a new study by the Center for Disease Control.

A local drug counselor said the rise in teen overdose deaths could be linked to the increase in more lethal drugs – like fentanyl and carfentanyl which dealers often mix with substances like heroin and even marijuana.

Jill Sokolnicki, a counselor at South Community –  a behavioral healthcare facility – said: “It is like Russian roulette. You don’t know what you’re getting.”

The CDC found that the death rate among people between the ages of 15 and 19, increased by 15 percent in 2015, after falling steadily for seven years.

Overdose deaths have remained a public health challenge across the nation, but especially in Montgomery County.

Dayton is now one of four cities where the Drug Enforcement Agency is introducing a new 360 program to tackle the problem from all angles.

The DEA will roll out the program alongside the Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office, tomorrow.

Sokolnicki said the new data from the CDC is a concern but drug use among teens, isn’t exactly new. She said the rise in deaths can be attributed to stronger and more lethal drugs.

“We’ve always known that teens can use drugs and do use drugs,” Sokolnicki said. “But now we’re talking about kids getting into opiates and of course they have even less tolerance than their counterparts in the adult population so they’re probably even more prone to dying of an overdose.”

Categories: Local News

NAFTA critics say agreement pushed jobs from Midwest to Mexico

WDTN News - Wed, 08/16/2017 - 18:03

WASHINGTON (WDTN) – The U.S. Trade Representative, Robert Lighthizer, stated President Trump’s position on the North American Free Trade Agreement or NAFTA.

“He is not interested in a mere tweaking a few provisions and a couple of updated chapters. We feel that NAFTA has fundamentally failed many many Americans and needs major improvement,” said Lighthizer.

Mexico, Canada and the Unites States say NAFTA needs to reflect technology changes, like e-commerce.

NAFTA critics argue the free trade agreement has pushed Midwest manufacturing jobs to Mexico where companies can find cheaper labor and then ship their products back to the United States.

Celeste Drake, a global trade expert, said to protect Midwest jobs, NAFTA 2.0 needs to include labor and environmental standards that boost wages in Mexico.

“It’s helping to level the playing field, so it’s not such a draw for employers to go there to easily exploit workers, middle class,” said Drake.

In a USA Today op-ed ahead of the negotiations, Senator Sherrod Brown wrote in part, “American jobs shouldn’t be up for negotiation…by putting workers ahead of corporations…we can create the best possible deal for workers in all three countries.”

Chris Wilson with the Wilson Center a non-partisan policy center, said millions of American jobs now depend on trade with Canada and Mexico.

“You’d start to put those jobs at risk if you simply get rid of the agreement,” said Wilson.

Categories: Local News

Frederick Douglass High School Opens - | Continuous News and StormTracker Weather - LEX18 Lexington KY News

Local News - Wed, 08/16/2017 - 18:02

LEX18 Lexington KY NewsFrederick Douglass High School Opens - | Continuous News and StormTracker WeatherLEX18 Lexington KY News(LEX 18) - The inmate who escaped from a Montgomery County Detention Center has been caught in Ohio. Police said Wesley Davis escaped Wednesday sparking a multi-agency search. The Montgomery County Sheriff said Davis was caught in Lawrence ...and more »

Categories: Local News

Congressman Turner reflects on 1994 KKK rally in Courthouse Square

WDTN News - Wed, 08/16/2017 - 17:35

DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) – Local leaders, including Congressman Mike Turner, are standing in solidarity against the recent attack in Charlottesville.

Flashback to 1994 and Courthouse Square was the site of a KKK rally, where 2 people attended. This was the one of the first and the very last time the KKK came to the Dayton area.

The rally sparked a controversy, and a response from civil leaders who banded together and washed Courthouse Square after the KKK left. They wanted to cleanse the area of evil. Businesses donated mops and supplies to help with the effort.

Wednesday, Republican Congressman Mike Turner and some civil rights leaders held a news conference telling that same story while showing their solidarity against the white nationalist rally in Charlottesville this past weekend.

Congressman Turner spoke about Trump, critizing him for his response to the violence.

“I would like to see some clarity from the president,” Congressman Turner said. “I was a Mayor of the City of Dayton in the 1990s and it was clear. This needs to be clear for the president. You can’t pull the country together if things aren’t clear. Evil is evil and there is nothing good about it.”



Categories: Local News

Canadian woman finds lost engagement ring on growing carrot 13 years later

WDTN News - Wed, 08/16/2017 - 17:02

ALBERTA, Canada (NBC News) — When a Canadian woman lost her diamond engagement ring in the garden 13 years ago, she thought it was gone for good.

But this week it was found on a carrot, plucked from the soil on the family farm.

Mary Grams, 84, said she thinks she lost the ring while pulling a large weed from the garden in September 2004.

“I went to the garden for something and then I don’t know I seen this big, big weed and I don’t know why I had to pull it. I should have left it or at least pulled with my right hand. It must have got caught in here somewhere and pulled the ring off and I still can’t figure out the big knuckle it got over it somehow,” said Grams.

Grams has had the ring since 1951, a year before she married her husband.

After it was lost she quickly replaced it.

Her daughter-in-law was the one who pulled the lucky carrot from the ground.

Categories: Local News

Ohio Sec. State announces business creation can now be done completely online

WDTN News - Wed, 08/16/2017 - 16:34

DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) –  Quicker, easier, faster, are all ways to describe how people can start their own business in Ohio, according to Secretary of State Jon Husted.

Husted’s office announced today that 100% of what is needed to file a business with the Secretary of State can now be done online for the first time.

The cutting of red tape comes as part of an effort by Husted to make things more efficient for entrepreneurs to reach their goals.

“By putting it online, we made it so much easier to start a business,” said Husted. “Since doing so, we’ve set records every year for the number of new business starts in Ohio.”

Since 2013, Husted says nearly 275,000 businesses have filed with his office, more than 70,000 in 2017 alone.

All of this follows the pattern Husted has had for working with businesses in Ohio.

Two years ago, the Secretary of State reduced the cost to start a business by 21% saving businesses more than an estimated $4.5 million.

Husted says his work on this matter is just a small part of what needs to be done at all levels of government to prepare the state for the future.

“The world, the economy, is going to change in an alarming pace,” said Husted. “The states that are prepared for it are the ones that are going to win, and the ones that aren’t will fall behind.”

Categories: Local News

First human case of West Nile virus in Ohio for 2017 confirmed

WDTN News - Wed, 08/16/2017 - 16:18

CLERMONT COUNTY, Ohio (WLWT) — Ohio’s first human West Nile virus case in 2017 has been confirmed in a Clermont County man, officials with the Ohio Department of Health said. A 44-year-old man from Clermont County is recovering from the West Nile virus infection and did not require hospitalization, health officials said. This year, 29 Ohio counties have reported West Nile virus activity in mosquitoes collected as part of statewide surveillance. Last year, ODH reported 17 human West Nile virus cases. The primary way people get West Nile virus is through the bite of an infected mosquito. Most people who become infected with West Nile virus do not have any symptoms. About one in five people who become infected develop a fever with other symptoms, such as headache, body aches, joint pains, vomiting, diarrhea or rash. For more information about the West Nile Virus, click here to visit the Ohio Department of Health website.

Categories: Local News

Medical center hosted hiring event Wednesday

WDTN News - Wed, 08/16/2017 - 15:47

DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) –  One medical center in the Miami Valley hosted a hiring event Wednesday.

Grandview Medical Center held the event at the hospital located at 405 West Grand Avenue from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.

The hospital is looking to fill several open full-time, part-time and resource positions at different hospitals through the Kettering Health Network.

Here is a list of position the hospital is looking to fill:

  • Environmental service workers
  • Culinary associates
  • Admitting representatives
  • State tested nursing assistant (STNAs) – certified or enrolled in a program

Here is a list of openings at the following hospitals:

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To apply for a position, click here.    

Categories: Local News

Downtown Dayton businesses push for earlier liquor laws with “Brunch Bill”

WDTN News - Wed, 08/16/2017 - 15:08

DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) – Some Dayton bars and restaurants are hoping to start pouring Sunday drinks an hour earlier. Wednesday, the Dayton Area Chamber of Commerce launched its campaign in support of a so-called “Brunch Bill.”

The measure was initiated by several restaurants in Dayton’s Oregon District, when business owners approached the chamber to help expanding Sunday brunch hours.

Currently, city liquor laws don’t allow alcohol sales until 11:00 A.M. on Sundays, though Ohio state law permits liquor sales as early as 10:00 A.M. Business owners are proposing a change to match the earlier start time.

The proposal only applies to Dayton’s voting district 1-B, including popular watering holes in the Oregon District and extending north into downtown.

A group of 15 bars and restaurants supporting the measure formed the “Brunch Bill Coalition.”

The owner of The Dublin Pub, Steve Tieber, is chairing the coalition. He said Sunday brunch is one of the pub’s busiest days of the week.

Blind Joe’s bartender Josh Goldman agreed.

“There’s a line out the door, every Sunday,” Goldman said.”

Blind Joe’s opens at 11:00 A.M. on Sundays, but Goldman said if the “Brunch Bill” passed, it could stimulate business.

“Anything that helps people get down here is good for business,” he said. “So if that includes letting them drink an hour earlier or an hour later or whatever, I think that’s great. People will be down here. If there’s something to be utilized, people will.”

The Dayton Area Chamber of Commerce saw little resistance to the proposal when it was seeking petition signatures to send to the Board of Elections. Chamber president and CEO Phil Parker believes the bill could capitalize on the current brunch rush and attract new patrons to downtown.

“We really enjoy them coming to our downtown,” Parker said. “We want them to take advantage of every opportunity, and that might be recreational or entertainment. This is just one more of those opportunities that says, ‘Well, why not (come downtown).”

Only residents living in Dayton 1-B will see the measure on the ballot on November 7th. That includes The Cannery, Water Street, St. Clair, Cooper Place and the Biltmore Towers, among others.

You can find a map of the precinct here. You can find more information from the chamber here.    

Categories: Local News

School to close for solar eclipse

WDTN News - Wed, 08/16/2017 - 13:53

DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) –  One school in the Miami Valley will be closed Monday, August 21.

Dayton Christian School announced Wednesday there will be no school August 21 due to health and safety concerns for its students during the solar eclipse.

School officials said the reason they chose to close school for the day is because the youngest students would be lining up to leave school at the peak time of the eclipse.

“The solar eclipse is a spectacular phenomenon, but one that can be extremely dangerous to those who watch it without protective eyewear,” said John Gredy, Ed.D., head of school. “After much deliberation and discussion of our options, our leadership team decided the use of a calamity day was the wisest decision for the safety of our student body.”

School officials said they thought about having an early dismissal day Tuesday but found out it would be difficult for students to find a way home. The school also bought safety glasses for the students but found out those specific glasses were recalled.

The school said it will reopen at 4:00 p.m. Monday for evening activities.

Categories: Local News

Man noticed 500 pound yard statue was missing

WDTN News - Wed, 08/16/2017 - 13:16

DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) –  A man called Dayton Police Tuesday after he noticed his 500 pound concrete gargoyle statue was stolen.

Police were dispatched to the 3200 block of E Third Street around 11:00 p.m. Tuesday.

The man told police statue is red and blue, is approximately four and a half feet tall and the last time he saw it was around 8:00 p.m. Tuesday.

According to the police report, a neighbor told the man he saw three guys load the statue into a white ford bronco.

Police are still investigating this case.



Categories: Local News

6 Must-Have Apps for Pet Owners

WDTN News - Wed, 08/16/2017 - 13:11

Caring for you pet has never been easier and more enjoyable. From finding a pet sitter and setting up play dates to handling medical emergencies and training your pet, there’s an app for that. Whether your looking to better fulfill your pets needs or find resources to help you with yours, these free pets apps have you covered.

Photo Credit: ASPCA

Categories: Local News

Beth Stern, Katie Lee Talk Clear the Shelters and ‘Pethood’

WDTN News - Wed, 08/16/2017 - 13:09


Clear the Shelters, a nationwide pet adoption drive to help animals in need finding loving homes, will take place on Saturday, August 19.

This year’s event hosts, celebrity chef Katie Lee and Beth Stern, stopped by the “Today Show” to talk about the initiative.  

They also brought along a few rescues from North Shore Animal League America in Port Washington, New York, who are in need of forever homes. Stern advised potential pet parents to assess their lifestyle before going through with an adoption, noting “pethood is hard.”     This story uses functionality that may not work in our app. Click here to open the story in your web browser.

Categories: Local News

Cedar Point announces new roller coaster ‘Steel Vengeance’

WDTN News - Wed, 08/16/2017 - 13:04

SANDUSKY, OH (WCMH) — Cedar Point has announced its newest roller coaster, “Steel Vengeance.”

According to the theme park, the coaster will be 205 feet high and feature a 90-degree initial drop 200 feet down to the earth, almost 30 seconds of airtime (the most on any roller coaster on Earth), 4 head-over-boots inversions, ricocheting movements left-to-right, up-to-down and side to side.

The entire ride will be about two minutes and 30 seconds long and reach speeds of up to 74mph.

The coaster is expected to be completed in 2018 and will hold several world records, according to the park, inlcuding:

1. World’s tallest hybrid roller coaster (205 feet tall)
2. World’s fastest hybrid roller coaster (74 miles per hour)
3. World’s steepest drop on a hybrid roller coaster (90 degrees)
4. World’s longest drop on a hybrid roller coaster (200 feet)
5. World’s longest hybrid roller coaster (5,740 feet)
6. Most inversions on a hybrid roller coaster (4)
7. Fastest airtime hill on a hybrid roller coaster (73 mph)
8. Most airtime on a hybrid roller coaster (27.2 seconds)
9. Most airtime on any roller coaster (27.2 seconds)
10. World’s first “hyper-hybrid” roller coaster


Categories: Local News

Solar Eclipse watch parties across the Miami Valley

WDTN News - Wed, 08/16/2017 - 12:52

DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) –  There will be several watch parties across the Miami Valley for the solar eclipse August 21.

Here is a list of places where you can watch the solar eclipse.

Boonshoft Museum of Discovery Watch Party

When: August 21 at 1:00 p.m.

Where: 2600 Deweese Parkway, Dayton

Glasses: They are completely sold out of solar eclipse glasses

Cedarville Library Watch Party

When: August 21 from 1:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m.

Where: 20 S. Miller Street

Eclipse Float on the Great Miami

When: August 21 at 12:30 p.m.

Meeting at 1995 E. Ross Road, Tipp City

Fairborn Community Library

When: August 21 from 1:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m.

Where:1 East Main Street, Fairborn

Fraze Pavilion Viewing Party

When: August 21 from 12:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m.

Where: 695 Lincoln Park Boulevard, Kettering

Milton Union Public Library

When: August 21 from 12:45 p.m. to 4:00 p.m.

Where: 560 S. Main Street West Milton

They will also livestream the solar eclipse. Tipp City Library’s Great American Eclipse Viewing Party When: August 21 from 1:00 p.m. to 2:30 p.m. Where: The lawn of Zion Lutheran Church, 14 W. Walnut St., Tipp City Washington-Centerville Public Library Watch Party When: August 21 from 1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. Where: 111 W. Spring Valley Road, Centerville Winters-Bellbrook Community Library Watch Party When: August 21 from 1:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. Where: 57 West Franklin Street, Bellbrook Glasses: They ordered more solar eclipse glasses. They are free and they are first come first serve.

Categories: Local News

Linebacker Booker gets another chance for Ohio State

WDTN News - Wed, 08/16/2017 - 12:28

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — After he injured his knee in Ohio State’s season opener last year, linebacker Dante Booker was a man in limbo.

Week after week, coach Urban Meyer would tell reporters that Booker may be close to returning to the field. Week after week, Booker would sit out, watching his replacement, Jerome Baker, become a star in a defense laden with stars. In the end, the season was a wash, and Booker took a medical redshirt.

“I felt like I was robbed a little bit,” he acknowledged.

Booker is healthy now, and has earned a starting outside linebacker spot, joining Baker — who came out of nowhere to finish second on the team in tackles (83) and tackles for a loss (9.5) — who will man the other side.

To Booker, who played in nearly every game in his first two years before earning the starting nod in last year’s preseason camp, 2017 seems like a fresh start. He still considers himself a brand-new starter.

“I feel like I’m more passionate because I don’t have as many swings left,” he said. “It’s kind of reignited this fire a little bit inside of me.”

New linebackers coach Bill Davis said Booker doesn’t need any extra motivation.

“With Dante I don’t think there’s any such word as extra,” said Davis, an NFL assistant for 24 NFL seasons. “He is so driven. He wants it to bad. As long as I’ve known him, he’s that driven. He is full-throttle and wants it as bad as anyone I’ve been around.”

Coach Urban Meyer sees it, too.

“He’s doing great,” Meyer said. “He’s one of my favorite players. He’s just a good guy who works his tail off. It’s not been easy for him.”

Booker’s resurgence is timely because there was a huge hole to fill in the Buckeyes’ linebacker corps. Raekwon McMillan, the leading tackler and leader of last year’s defense, left a year early for the NFL. That’s 221 tackles in the past two seasons that now have to be accounted for.

Last year’s strongside backer and fifth-year senior Chris Worley has moved over to the middle to replace McMillan, leaving Baker and Booker on the outsides.

Baker was a present surprise last year, introducing himself to the nation when he grabbed an interception and ran it back 68 yards for a touchdown to give the Buckeyes a 14-0 lead at Oklahoma in their third game of the season. He also had a critical interception against Michigan late in the third quarter with Ohio State down by 10. He admits, though, that he lined up wrong about half the time and compensated for it with his speed.

“His football IQ is high to begin with, and I think it’s growing,” Davis said of Baker, who along with Worley has been named to the preseason watch list for the Butkus Award. “When you take a fast player who is twitched up like he is, and he sees things clearly and knows he knows, now you actually increase his speed. So Jerome is getting faster and faster.”

Davis said he also has confidence in the backups, who include Malik Harrison, Keandre Jones, Tuf Borland and true freshman Baron Browning.

Davis, who was hired when Luke Fickell took the head coaching job at Cincinnati, has brought an NFL mindset to the linebackers room, instructing the players on how to be “a next-level pro,” Worley said.

“Bill Davis, he’s more like, ‘I’m going to tell you what to do, and get it done,'” Worley said. “He definitely has that NFL feel to him.”

Categories: Local News

Man drives himself to hospital with nail in his heart

WDTN News - Wed, 08/16/2017 - 12:23

MILWAUKEE (AP) — A Wisconsin man who doctors say came perilously close to death after accidentally shooting a nail into his heart while working on his house calmly drove himself to the hospital and even parked his pickup truck in the lot before walking into the emergency room.

This photo provided by Donna Bergeson on June 25, 2017, her husband Doug Bergeson lies on a hospital bed at Aurora BayCare Medical Center in Green Bay, Wis., before a doctor removed a nail from his heart. He had accidentally shot it into his heart earlier in the day while working on a new house in Peshtigo, Wis. He survived and is going back to work this week. (Donna Bergeson via AP) Doug Bergeson is ready to get back to work this week after surviving a June 25 ordeal that others might not have taken in such stride. Bergeson was working on framing in a fireplace at his house when his nail gun accidentally fired, sending a nail ricocheting off some wood and into his chest. “I thought it just nicked me. I looked down. I couldn’t see anything,” Bergeson said Tuesday in an interview with The Associated Press. “I felt OK. I wasn’t worried about the injury. I couldn’t feel any pressure or blood building up.” As he tugged at his sweatshirt, the 52-year-old said he realized only about an inch of the 3½-inch nail was sticking out of his chest. “I could see the nail moving with my heartbeat. It was kind of twitching with every heartbeat,” said Bergeson, who lives near Peshtigo in northeast Wisconsin. He was more annoyed than worried. He knew he had to go to the ER. “I was frustrated because I knew I wasn’t going to get home until late and I couldn’t get anything done,” Bergeson said, adding that “common sense” told him not to pull the nail out. So he washed up, hopped in his truck and made his way to Bay Area Medical Center in Marinette, about 10 minutes away. After parking his truck and walking into the ER, Bergeson said he started to feel more pain and summoned a security guard for help. “If you could find someone that would be great, I’m just going to sit down,” he told the guard. Still thinking he would soon be on his way home after a little medical attention, Bergeson texted his wife, Donna, to bring him a new shirt because medical staff had cut off the one he was wearing. After X-rays were taken, Bergeson was rushed by ambulance to Aurora BayCare Medical Center in Green Bay. “I offered to drive myself, but they wouldn’t let me,” Bergeson said, chuckling. This photo taken Aug. 15, 2017 by Doug Bergeson shows the nail that Bergeson accidentally shot into his chest in June while he was working on a house he was building near Peshtigo, Wis. (Doug Bergeson via AP) Dr. Alexander Roitstein confirmed the nail hit Bergeson’s heart, saying it was also 1/16 of an inch from a major artery. He said it was difficult to assess how deeply the nail penetrated, but the nail left bruising and a nail-sized hole. He commended Bergeson for not pulling the nail out and letting doctors handle it. “It shows the great composure this gentleman had after a very bad day’s experience,” Roitstein said Tuesday. Bergeson spent two days in the hospital and has been recovering at home. He will be able to return to work this week at the Village of Lena waterworks plant. He also has a vegetable farm and a construction business. “I feel pretty good. I’m back to doing things carefully,” he said. “It was a pretty awakening experience.”

Categories: Local News

Defiant Trump again blames “both sides” in Virginia protest

WDTN News - Wed, 08/16/2017 - 12:16

NEW YORK (AP) — President Donald Trump defiantly blamed “both sides” for the weekend violence between white supremacists and counterdemonstrators in Virginia, seeking to rebuff the widespread criticism of his handling of the emotionally-charged protests while showing sympathy for the fringe group’s efforts to preserve Confederate monuments.

In doing so, Trump used the bullhorn of the presidency to give voice to the grievances of white nationalists, and aired some of his own. His remarks Tuesday amounted to a rejection of the Republicans, business leaders and White House advisers who earlier this week had pushed the president to more forcefully and specifically condemn the KKK members, neo-Nazis and white supremacists who took to the streets of Charlottesville.

The angry exchange with reporters at his skyscraper hotel in New York City laid bare a reality of the Trump presidency: Trump cannot be managed by others or steered away from damaging political land mines. His top aides were stunned by his comments, with some — including new chief of staff John Kelly — standing by helplessly as the president escalated his rhetoric.

Standing in the lobby of Trump Tower, Trump acknowledged that there were “some very bad people” among those who gathered to protest Saturday. But he added: “You also had people that were very fine people, on both sides.”

The rally was organized by white supremacists and other groups under a “Unite the Right” banner. Organizers said they were initially activated by their objections to the removal of a statue of Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee, but the larger aim was to protest what they saw as an “anti-white” climate in America.

In his remarks, Trump condemned bigoted ideology and called James Alex Fields Jr., who drove his car into a crowd of counterprotesters, killing a 32-year-old woman, Heather Heyer, “a disgrace to himself, his family and his country.”

In a tweet on Wednesday, Trump called Heyer “beautiful and incredible” and a “truly special young woman.” A memorial service for Heyer was taking place in Charlottesville. Although Trump had said Tuesday he planned to reach out to Heyer’s family, the White House did not respond to questions Wednesday about whether Trump had contacted Heyer’s family.

But at Tuesday’s news conference Trump also expressed support for those seeking to maintain the monument to Lee, equating him with some of the nation’s founders who also owned slaves.

“So, this week it’s Robert E. Lee,” he said. “I noticed that Stonewall Jackson’s coming down. I wonder, ‘is it George Washington next week and is it Thomas Jefferson the week after?’ You really do have to ask yourself, where does it stop?”

He continued: “You’re changing history. You’re changing culture.”

The president’s comments effectively wiped away the more conventional statement he delivered at the White House a day earlier when he branded the white supremacists who take part in violence as “criminals and thugs.” Trump’s advisers had hoped those remarks might quell criticism of his initial response, but the president’s retorts Tuesday suggested he had been a reluctant participant in that cleanup effort.

Once again, the blowback was swift, including from fellow Republicans. Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida said Trump should not allow white supremacists “to share only part of the blame.” House Speaker Paul Ryan declared in a tweet that “white supremacy is repulsive” and there should be “no moral ambiguity,” though he did not specifically address the president.

Trump’s remarks were welcomed by former Ku Klux Klan leader David Duke, who tweeted: “Thank you President Trump for your honesty & courage to tell the truth.”

Some of the president’s comments Tuesday mirrored rhetoric from the far-right fringe. A post Monday by the publisher of The Daily Stormer, a notorious neo-Nazi website, predicted that protesters are going to demand that the Washington Monument be torn down.

Trump’s handling of the weekend violence has raised new and troubling questions, even among some supporters. Members of his own Republican Party have pressured him to be more vigorous in criticizing bigoted groups, and business leaders have begun abandoning a White House jobs panel in response to his comments.

White House officials were caught off guard by his remarks Tuesday. He had signed off on a plan to ignore questions from journalists during an event touting infrastructure policies, according to a White House official not authorized to speak publicly about a private discussion. Once behind the lectern and facing the cameras, he overruled the decision.

As Trump talked, his aides on the sidelines in the lobby stood in silence. Chief of staff John Kelly crossed his arms and stared down at his shoes, barely glancing at the president. Press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders looked around the room trying to make eye contact with other senior aides. One young staffer stood with her mouth agape.

Kelly was brought into the White House less than a month ago to try to bring order and stability to a chaotic West Wing. Some Trump allies hoped the retired Marine general might be able to succeed where others have failed: controlling some of Trump’s impulses. But the remarks Tuesday once again underscored Trump’s insistence on airing his complaints and opinions.

As the White House struggled to weather Trump’s comments, a White House official said Wednesday that longtime Trump aide Hope Hicks would temporarily serve as White House communications director. Hicks will work with press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders on White House messaging strategy.

Democrats were aghast at Trump’s comments. Virginia Sen. Tim Kaine said on Twitter that the Charlottesville violence “was fueled by one side: white supremacists spreading racism, intolerance & intimidation. Those are the facts.”

Trump, who has quickly deemed other deadly incidents in the U.S. and around the world as acts of terrorism, waffled when asked whether the car death was a terrorist attack.

As he finally walked away from his lectern, he stopped to answer one more shouted question: Would he visit Charlottesville? The president noted he owned property there and said — inaccurately — that it was one of the largest wineries in the United States.

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