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Ohio couple put child in trunk of car as ‘disciplinary measure’

WDTN News - Tue, 05/23/2017 - 22:00

GREENVILLE, Ohio (WDTN) – Deputies in Darke County are investigating after a 10-year-old child is found in the trunk of a car.

The Darke County Sheriff’s Office said Tuesday they received a call Monday around 8:30 p.m. reporting a child being placed in the trunk.

Deputies spotted the car on US-127 near SR-49 and pulled the car over. The driver, 36-year-old John Anderson from Hamilton, Ohio told deputies there was a child in the trunk.

When deputies opened the trunk they found the 10-year–old inside unharmed.

According to a statement from the Sheriff’s Office, the mother, 30-year-old Kristine Grimbleby, along with Anderson told deputies the child was put in the trunk as a disciplinary measure.

Anderson was charged with child endangering and Grimbleby was charged with possession of marijuana and drug paraphernalia.

The case is being submitted to the Darke County Prosecutor’s Office for further review.

Categories: Local News

Ohio opens new crime lab to test for opiates, other drugs - WHIO

Local News - Tue, 05/23/2017 - 21:49


Ohio opens new crime lab to test for opiates, other drugs
Montgomery County Common Pleas Court officials do not recall a potential juror asking to be excused because of the need to breastfeed, but said they already accommodate nursing mothers for regular jury duty as well as the longer grand jury term. “We've ...

and more »

Categories: Local News

Mark Allan sits down with 2 rookie Indy 500 drivers

WDTN News - Tue, 05/23/2017 - 21:42

DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) – Jack Harvey and Zach Veach, both driving in their first Indianapolis 500 this weekend sat down with Mark Allan to discuss the upcoming race.

It’s part of the 101st running of the Indianapolis 500 and participating drivers visit 21 cities in 24 hours meeting with local media to discuss the race and partake in activities to increase the already surging interest in the Indy 500, the world’s largest single-day sporting event set for May 28.

Categories: Local News

‘Not again’: UK native on Manchester attack

WDTN News - Tue, 05/23/2017 - 21:21

CENTERVILLE, Ohio (WDTN) – The terror attack in Manchester hit especially close to home for one Centerville man who’s from England.

Alan Kercher has friends in Manchester–all of which are safe. One of them actually attended the Ariana Grande concert Monday night. Kercher says his friend is overwhelmed by what he witnessed.

“He’s a bit traumatized,” Kercher said. “But he’s fine in health. He’s just a bit shaken up.”

Panicked concert-goers ran for safety outside Manchester Arena Monday night after police say a suicide bomber set off an explosion, killing 22 people and injuring more than 50 others.

“He said that he just heard a loud bang,” Kercher said. “And they didn’t really know what was going on until after.”

Kercher has been following coverage closely after getting a message from friends Monday night telling him what happened. He says attacks like these are becoming too common.

“It’s a shame that people just can’t go out and enjoy themselves,” Kercher said. “And to think that primarily, that the audience that was going to be there was going to be youngsters, it’s tragic.”

Kercher has many family members that live in England, who he visits frequently, including his mom. He says he plans to visit there again sometime this fall.


Categories: Local News

Police search Troy backyard in hopes of finding Nikki Forrest

WDTN News - Tue, 05/23/2017 - 19:28

TROY, Ohio (WDTN) – Investigators were on the scene of a home in Troy all day searching for evidence into what happened to a woman who disappeared nearly seven years ago.

Nikki Forrest, of Piqua, was 19 when she was last seen in September of 2010.

She was also pregnant at the time.

After digging nearly 5 feet into the home’s backyard, investigators say they did gather some evidence but they don’t believe the body of Nikki Forrest is in the yard.

“I flew down here. I had so many different emotions,” said Ashley Allen, a childhood friend of Nikki’s.

With a visible excavating presence, it did not take long for word to spread about the scene on Croydon Rd.

Ashley Allen says seven years without knowing what happened to her friend is too long.

““I want her to be found that way her family can get answers. All her friends, I want to know what happened, I have a lot of questions.”

It’s those questions that brought police back to this house for the second time. Digging a 4 1/2 foot hole searching for any signs of Nikki.

“We didn’t find anything in reference to the excavation. We do have a couple small pieces of evidence that we will send to the lab,” said Troy Detective Captain Jeff Kunkleman.

The digging started at about 9:00am and ended at 3:30pm. During that period, family of Nikki Forrest arrived on scene.

“It’s been an emotional time. We have been wondering what happened to Nikki for over 7 years now. She lived with us for a while so it’s terrible,” said Nikki’s uncle.

Police believe this house is one of the last places Nikki was at before she went missing. The house itself remains a mystery for both police and family.

“I don’t know anything about this house at all,” said the uncle.

Police are now turning to their biggest lead and they need your help.

“Someone found a medical kit (prescription pill bottle belonging to Nikki) on Aldeen road. It was turned into the Kroger pharmacy in Piqua by an older gentleman.”

Piqua Police would like to speak to that man as they believe it will help with the investigation.


Categories: Local News

Cincinnati police officer treated for exposure to ‘unknown illicit substance’

WDTN News - Tue, 05/23/2017 - 18:45

CINCINNATI (WLWT) — A Cincinnati police officer is being treated for exposure an “unknown illicit substance,” police confirmed Tuesday.

Our news partners in Cincinnati, WLWT, is reporting the officer reported feeling lightheaded after contact with the substance, nd was taken to University of Cincinnati Medical Center for treatment.

The officer is reported to be in good condition.

The incident stems from a traffic stop in Cincinnati’s District 1. The person pulled over was suspected of buying drugs, authorities said.

Police are working to determine what the substance actually was.

The scare comes at the heels of a similar incident in East Liverpool, Ohio, after an officer accidentally overdosed. It happened during a drug arrest when he touched powder on his shirt without realizing it was the powerful opioid fentanyl.

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Venue safety concerns after Manchester terrorist attack

WDTN News - Tue, 05/23/2017 - 18:37

HUBER HEIGHTS, Ohio (WDTN) – A suspected terrorist attack in Manchester has raised questions about crowd safety in Dayton.

A concertgoer with plans to see the Doobie Brothers, at Rose Music Center, said he’s going to be a bit more vigilant.

Enon resident Bob Baker added, the suicide bombing at the Manchester concert is no surprise given the global climate.

“We all have to be on alert for the possibility of things happening,” Baker said.

“We just have to be aware of our surroundings and people who are around us. Terrible things are going on in this world right now.”

More than twenty people – including children – lost their lives after that explosion at the Ariana Grande concert in Manchester.

Baker said with the Manchester attack fresh on his mind, he said it’s clear everyone has to be on alert.

But fear, he said, shouldn’t necessarily stop concert-goers and others from living their lives.

“I think it’s on the minds of everyone going to a place where there’s going to be a large amount of people. But we’re Americans, we can’t stop going and enjoying ourselves,” Baker said.

“I think it’s important we just bypass that danger and enjoy ourselves and hopefully it doesn’t happen to any of us.”

The Department of Homeland Security issued a statement in the wake of the incident, stating there’s information to suggest any U.S. music venues are under threat.



Categories: Local News

UK native “saddened” by Manchester terrorist attack

WDTN News - Tue, 05/23/2017 - 18:28

HUBER HEIGHTS, Ohio (WDTN) – A suspected terrorist attack in Manchester hits close to home for a Welsh man who now calls Huber Heights, home.

More than twenty people lost their lives in the suicide bombing, Monday, including several children.

Henry Caswell – owner of Wise Choice British Food, Gifts, and Candies – moved to the Dayton area more than 40 years ago.

He said: “It’s bad enough seeing adults being killed – but when you see little kids…”

One of the first victims to be identified, was an 8 year old girl.

In total, 22 people have been confirmed dead; 59 are injured.

Caswell said he’s not surprised by the incident as Europe is no stranger to terrorist attacks.

“Britain has had their share but not recently,” Caswell said. “And this is a fresh start, again, with trying to deal with these people that are hidden among the crowd. You don’t know who they are.”

Monday’s incident was one of the deadliest terror attacks in the country since 2005.

Terrorist organization ISIS has claimed responsibility for the attack – though investigators have not found a link between the group and the suspect.

“They are hell bent on changing the world to their beliefs,” Caswell said.

“The west doesn’t want that and won’t accept it.”

He said a global effort is needed to combat terrorism – he suggested stricter immigration laws as one way to fight it.

British Prime Minister Theresa May says police have asked the secretary of defense there to deploy military to help fight terror threats.

Categories: Local News

5 indicted in Middletown pharmacy robberies

WDTN News - Tue, 05/23/2017 - 18:16

DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) – A federal grand jury returned two indictments Tuesday charging five people with robbing two Middletown pharmacies and stealing prescription drugs including morphine, oxycodone and hydrocodone for the purpose of selling the drugs on the street.

The grand jury charged two Dayton men, Calvin Cavonte Tribble, 19, and Savon Anthony Davis, 23, with attempted robbery of a pharmacy in Middletown on April 18, 2017 and robbing the pharmacy on April 19. In a separate indictment, the grand jury alleges that three Indianapolis men, Eric Lamont Bates, 20, Yasar Jamal Burnett, 18, and Brandon Lee Dawson, 19, conspired to rob another Middletown pharmacy of morphine and oxycodone on April 29, 2017.

The grand jury charged the defendants with conspiracy, robbery by force, interference with commerce by threats of violence, and possession with intent to distribute the drugs. Each crime is punishable by up to 20 years imprisonment.

Middletown police arrested the defendants on the date of the robberies and filed state charges. All defendants appeared in federal court. Davis was released with conditions. The other four are being held without bond pending trial.

Categories: Local News

New restaurant opens in Beavercreek

WDTN News - Tue, 05/23/2017 - 17:59

BEAVERCREEK, Ohio (WDTN) – A new restaurant opened in Beavercreek Tuesday.

Rapid Fired Pizza opened a new location on Dayton-Xenia Road and they gave away 500 free pizzas to celebrate.

It’s in honor of their first day of business.

Co-owner Peter Wylie explained why the store located where it is. “We think it’s just a great area, you get a lot of commuters going back and forth going from Xenia and Dayton and to the mall, off highway 35,” Wylie said. “It couldn’t be a better spot with high visibility.”

The company already has stores in Huber Heights, Sugarcreek Township, Centerville and Kettering.

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Franklin man sentenced for sexually assaulting child

WDTN News - Tue, 05/23/2017 - 17:46

WARREN COUNTY, Ohio (WDTN) —  A Franklin man will spend four years behind bars for sexually assaulting a child.

A Warren County judge sentenced 37-year-old Joseph Plummer to 48 months in prison. The judge found Plummer guilty on two counts of gross sexual imposition, which are third degree both felonies.

Prosecutors say Plummer sexually assaulted a child under the age of 13 on more than one occasion from June of 2013 to December of 2015.

The abuse happened while the child was sleeping.

Authorities say Plummer will be required to register as a sex offender once he’s released from prison.

Categories: Local News

Man with bladed gloves, clown makeup held in Denver stabbing

WDTN News - Tue, 05/23/2017 - 17:13

DENVER (AP) — A man wearing claw-like gloves and clown-style makeup is suspected of stabbing and killing another man in Denver.

Police say 36-year-old Christian Gulzow was arrested early Tuesday after surveillance cameras helped officers track him down.

Witnesses told police that a man with white clown makeup with black streaks threatened the 29-year-old victim in a convenience store and took swings at the victim with his gloves, which had blades 2 to 3 inches long at the end of each finger. They say the victim walked away with the suspect yelling after him.

Police say witnesses later saw the suspect and the victim across the street in a parking lot, where the victim reportedly collapsed. The suspect left on a scooter.

Gulzow is being held in jail, and it’s not clear if he has a lawyer.

Categories: Local News

Experts: Lack of communication before plane disturbance

WDTN News - Tue, 05/23/2017 - 17:08

LOS ANGELES (AP) — A man acted strangely long before he caused a disturbance on a plane that prompted fighter jets to accompany it to Hawaii, but a lack of communication and an airline’s hesitancy to be caught on video booting a passenger could have played a role in allowing him to fly, experts say.

Anil Uskanli, 25, of Turkey, had purchased a ticket at an airline counter in the middle of the night with no luggage and had been arrested after opening a door to a restricted airfield at Los Angeles International Airport. Airport police did not notify the airline, but they said it isn’t common practice.

After bizarre behavior on board Friday, including trying to get to the front of the jet, he was arrested by FBI agents and charged with interfering with a flight crew.

A federal judge on Monday ordered him to undergo a mental competency evaluation, which Uskanli’s attorney said he requested based on conversations with his client that he would not detail.

The first alarm should have been Uskanli buying his ticket around midnight with no bags other than a laptop, a phone and items in his pocket, said Doren Pely, a director at TAL Global, an international security consulting firm focusing on aviation security.

“Right there, that’s enough red flags to really look into this guy with curiosity,” Pely said. “He had trouble written all over him.”

But Uskanli went through a security screening without raising suspicion and only drew the attention when he opened a door leading to an airfield ramp around 2:45 a.m.

Airport police said he smelled of alcohol but was not intoxicated enough to be charged with public drunkenness, so he was given a summons to appear in court and released.

Police said officers confiscated his boarding pass and walked him to a public area of the airport. He got another boarding pass and went through security again.

Ot isn’t uncommon for people to open doors to restricted areas, airport police spokesman Rob Pedregon said, and Uskanli said he was looking for food when he was stopped by officers.

“Had it not been serious, it would have been comical,” Pely said. “How many times do passengers go back to the check-in counter and say, ‘Police confiscated my boarding pass. Can you please reissue a boarding pass for me?'”

Uskanli went to a different airport terminal, requested a wheelchair and was brought to the gate, American Airlines spokesman Ross Feinstein said. Flight attendants helped Uskanli at the door of the plane, authorities said.

Before takeoff, he sat in first-class and had to be asked several times to move to his economy seat, according to a criminal complaint.

“This is a situation where red flags were not accumulating properly because they were not transferred,” Pely said. “If you see one red flag, you may let it go, but if you see three red flags and you let it go, you should be let go.”

Airline employees may have been worried about preventing Uskanli from flying because of recent viral videos of flight crews ejecting passengers and may have been more tolerant of his behavior because they didn’t know about his airport arrest, he said.

During the six-hour flight, Uskanli had his head swathed in a blanket and passengers said he pounded on walls after someone opened the restroom door he had left unlocked.

He tried to get to the front of the plane, and a flight attendant used a drink cart to block Uskanli. He placed his laptop on the cart, and flight attendants feared it might contain explosives.

That prompted the captain to initiate bomb-threat procedures, and fighter jets escorted the plane to Honolulu. The secretary of Homeland Security was briefed.

Police, TSA and the airline should have been communicating more efficiently, said Richard Bloom, a security expert at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University.

“The end result was an incredible cost. If you add up the delays and the jet scrambling, etc., a lot of money was expended on him, a lot of emotions, a lot of people felt uncomfortable,” Pely said.

Uskanli’s urine test revealed the presence benzodiazepine, a tranquilizer, and a field sobriety test indicated possible use of stimulants or cannabis, authorities said.

Jeffrey Price, an aviation security professor at Metropolitan State University of Denver, said the recent spate of online videos showing airlines mistreating customers may have played a role, making airline employees less likely to confront a passenger or eject Uskanli from the plane.

“There is probably some hesitancy, a little more tolerance even, of passenger behavior,” he said. “Nobody wants to be the next YouTube star.”

Categories: Local News

Super Bowl LV moved from LA to Tampa

WDTN News - Tue, 05/23/2017 - 17:07

TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) – Super Bowl 55 has been moved to Tampa, the NFL Network reported on Tuesday.

The network reported NFL owners voted unanimously to move the game to Tampa, while Los Angeles will host Super Bowl 56, according to sources.

Super Bowl 55 will tentatively take place February 7, 2021. The game will air on WDTN.

“Being awarded Super Bowl 2021 is a testament to our city’s ability to shine on the international stage,” said Mayor Bob Buckhorn. “Tampa does big events as well as anybody in the world and once again we will rise to the occasion. We look forward to working to meet the host requirements over the weeks ahead.”

“Thank you to the NFL and network of owners who voted unanimously on this move. We will not disappoint.”

Buccaneers co-chairman Bryan Glazer issued the following statement regarding the NFL’s decision:

“The Tampa Bay area has enjoyed great success over the years hosting Super Bowls and we look forward to working with our local leaders in the coming months to meet the requirements for hosting Super Bowl LV in 2021. Today’s announcement offers us the opportunity to showcase Tampa Bay’s unique ability to come together as a host for world-class events.”

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Police: Cincinnati student killed by hammer throw wasn’t paying attention

WDTN News - Tue, 05/23/2017 - 17:05

WHEATON, Ill. (AP) – Police say a suburban Chicago college student was not paying attention when he was struck and killed by a hammer thrown at a track and field meet last month.

The Chicago Tribune reports that Wheaton Police Detective Andrew Unlir says Ethan Roser was watching two other volunteers playing with a stick during warmups of the April 22 event at Wheaton College rather than focusing on the hammer throw event as he had been instructed.

Uhlir says Roser had finished his shift marking where the throws landed but had stayed to cover another volunteer when he was hit by the hammer – a steel wire attached to a heavy metal ball.

The 19-year-old Roser was a freshman transfer from the Cincinnati area.

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Manchester police hunt for accomplices after concert blast

WDTN News - Tue, 05/23/2017 - 17:05

MANCHESTER, England (AP) — As investigators hunted for possible accomplices of a suicide bomber, thousands of people poured into the streets of Manchester in a vigil Tuesday for victims of a blast that bathed a pop concert in blood — the latest apparent battle-scarred target of Islamic extremists seeking to rattle daily life in the West.

The attack left at least 22 dead, including an 8-year-old girl, shattering the revelry at the close of a show by American singer Ariana Grande, where strains of electric pop and the sways of innocent young fans quickly gave way to an explosion, a flood of screams and a stampede of panicked concert-goers, many clutching pink balloons and wearing the kitten-ear headbands popularized by Grande.

Touching on that disconnect, British Prime Minister Theresa May said: “We struggle to comprehend the warped and twisted mind that sees a room packed with young children not as a scene to cherish but as an opportunity for carnage.”

The Islamic State group claimed responsibility for the horror, which also wounded 59 people, though a top American intelligence official said the assertion could not be verified. Manchester Police Chief Ian Hopkins identified the bomber as 22-year-old Salman Abedi, who authorities said died in the attack. Police raided two sites in the northern English city, setting off a controlled explosion in one, and arresting a 23-year-old man in a third location.

Abedi was identified as a British citizen of Libyan descent by a European security official, who spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to comment on ongoing investigations. There was no information released on the man who was arrested.

At least 20 heavily armed, helmeted police surrounded a modest red brick house listed as Abedi’s address in a mixed Manchester suburb at midday on Tuesday and blasted down the door.

“It was so quick. These cars just pulled up and all these police with guns, dogs, jumped out of the car and said to us: ‘Get in the house now,'” said Simon Turner, 46, who lives nearby. Later, forensic officers in white coveralls were seen going in and out of the property.

Details on Abedi were slow to trickle out. He was described by neighbors as a tall, thin young man who often wore traditional Islamic dress, but few said they knew him well.

Alan Kinsey, 52, who lives across the street, said his neighbor would often get picked up by another young man in a Toyota and often returned late at night. “I thought he worked in a takeaway or something” because of his late hours, Kinsey said.

Police also searched an apartment in a nearby area that British media reported belonged to Abedi’s brother, Ismail.

Late Tuesday, thousands of people, some holding up signs proclaiming “I Love MCR” — an abbreviation for Manchester — held a moment of silence at a vigil for the victims. Lord Mayor Eddy Newman and the city’s police chief were among the speakers in front of City Hall in Albert Square. A banner with a website for a Muslim group said “Love for all, Hatred for None.”

Monday’s bombing made Manchester Arena, one of the largest indoor concert venues in Europe, the latest apparent target of Islamic extremists striking at the heart of Western culture, an ideology baffling to the panicked young faces emerging from the concert.

Among those confirmed killed was Georgina Callander, whose death was reported by her former school, which posted a photo of her in her school uniform on its website and described her as a “lovely” and “very popular” young woman. Also killed was 8-year-old Saffie Roussos, who a teacher called “simply a beautiful little girl in every aspect of the word” who was warm, kind, “and unassuming, with a creative flair.”

Besides the dead, the wounded included at least 12 children under the age of 16, hospital officials said.

Grande, who was not injured in the blast, tweeted: “broken. from the bottom of my heart, i am so so sorry. i don’t have words.”

The bombing took place after Grande closed the show with “Dangerous Woman” and left the stage and the audience streamed toward the city’s main train station. It scattered bolts and other metal scraps, apparently intended to maximize the bloodshed. People tumbled over guardrails and one another clawing toward an escape.

“There was this massive bang. And then everyone just went really quiet. And that’s when the screaming started,” said 25-year-old Ryan Molloy. “As we came outside to Victoria Station, there were just people all over the floor covered in blood.”

The attack sparked a nightlong search for loved-ones — parents for the children they had accompanied or had been waiting to pick up, and friends for each other after groups were scattered by the blast. Twitter and Facebook lit up with heartbreaking appeals for the missing.

“I’ve called the hospitals. I’ve called all the places, the hotels where people said that children have been taken and I’ve called the police,” Charlotte Campbell tearfully told ITV television’s Good Morning Britain breakfast show. Campbell’s 15-year-old daughter, Olivia, had attended the show with a friend who was wounded and being treated in a hospital.

“She’s not turned up,” Campbell said of her daughter. “We can’t get through to her.”

Hayley Lunt, who brought her 10-year-old daughter Abigail to the show, her very first concert, said they ran as fast as they could once the explosions rang out. “What should have been a superb evening,” Lunt said, “is now just horrible.”

Some concert-goers said security had been haphazard before the show, with some people being searched and others not. However, authorities would not say whether the bomber blew himself up inside or outside the arena, so it wasn’t clear if rigorous bag screening or additional security would have helped prevent the deaths and injuries. The venue tweeted on Monday night that it happened “outside the venue in a public space.”

Around the United Kingdom and across Europe, the attack brought fear and mourning.

At Buckingham Palace, Queen Elizabeth II marked a moment of silence along her husband Prince Philip as well as Prince Charles and his wife Camilla. In Rome, the lights of the Colosseum and Trevi Fountain were darkened.

U.S. President Donald Trump, on a visit to the West Bank city of Bethlehem, called the perpetrators “evil losers” and said “this wicked ideology must be obliterated.”

Manchester, 160 miles (260 kilometers) northwest of London, is one of Britain’s largest cities. The attack was the deadliest in Britain since four suicide bombers killed 52 London commuters on subway trains and a bus in 2005.

Islamic State’s claim of responsibility echoed others the group has made for attacks in the West but with vague details that left open the possibility it was an opportunistic attempt at propaganda. Manchester itself has seen terror before, but not this deadly. The city was hit by a huge Irish Republican Army bomb in 1996 that leveled a swath of the city center. More than 200 people were injured, although no one was killed.

The bombing also elicited painful memories of the 2015 terror attacks in Paris, where most of the 130 killed were at the Bataclan concert hall.

Categories: Local News

UK increasing terror threat level from severe to critical, believes another attack imminent

WDTN News - Tue, 05/23/2017 - 17:04

LONDON (AP) – Prime Minister Theresa May says Britain’s threat level from terrorism has been raised to critical — meaning an attack may be imminent.

May says Salman Abadi, the suicide bomber who killed 22 people at a concert in Manchester, may have been part of a bigger network.

She said Abadi was born and raised in Britain.

The level previously stood at the second-highest rung of “severe” for several years.

May said critical status means armed soldiers may be deployed instead of police at public events such as sports matches.

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O.J. Simpson could be released from prison this year

WDTN News - Tue, 05/23/2017 - 17:02

NEVADA (KRON) — O.J. Simpson could be released this year on parole after spending nearly a decade behind bars.

Simpson is scheduled for a parole hearing this July.

The former NFL star turned actor is serving nine to 33 years in prison at a prison 90 miles east of Reno, Nevada.

In 2008 he was convicted of several felony charges, including kidnapping, armed robbery and conspiracy to commit a violent crime.

Those charges are unrelated to the trial following the murders of Simpson’s ex-wife Nicole Brown Simpson and her friend Ron Goldman, dubbed the “trial of the century.”

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Elvis’ plane to be auctioned after 30 years of sitting on runway

WDTN News - Tue, 05/23/2017 - 17:01

(KOB) – Elvis Presley’s last privately owned jet is on the auction block.

The plane has been sitting at the Roswell International Air Center for about 30 years. It’s just one out of three planes once belonging to Presley.

The jet will be sold to the highest bidder at an auction in Beverly Hills. As of Tuesday afternoon, the highest bid is $151,000.

Presley’s jet is currently owned by a private collector and there’s no reserve on the auction.

The auction house estimated the bidding could get up to $2 million.

Read more:

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Land buy part of Ohio’s largest privately owned preserve

WDTN News - Tue, 05/23/2017 - 16:59

ROME, Ohio (AP) — A conservation group bought nearly 1,000 acres of forest land in Southern Ohio, taking it one step closer to its goal of creating an uninterrupted corridor for wildlife near the Ohio River.

The Gaffin family sold its land to the Nature Conservancy last fall after decades of back and forth meetings.

Ralph Gaffin told The Columbus Dispatch his family owned the land for the past 200 years.

“You hate to let something like that go,” Gaffin said. “But on the other hand … now other people will be able to enjoy it.”

The recent sale was the Nature Conservancy’s largest purchase ever in Ohio. The land will be part of the state’s largest privately owned nature preserve, covering more than 19,000 acres.

The group has been piecing together small tracts of land over time because most parcels in the area are privately owned by families.

Rich McCarty, a naturalist with the Edge of Appalachia, said the tract was critical to the preserve’s mission. The location is home to many endangered species such as green salamanders and bobcats.

“We continue to find things that are unexpected and unusual here,” McCarty said.

Many parts of Ohio’s wilderness are threatened due to factors such as invasive species and oil and gas development. Mary Gaffin said it was emotional for her family to let the land go.

“By selling to the Nature Conservancy, we feel that it will not be destroyed,” Gaffin said.

The Nature Conservancy’s goal is to expand the preserve from West Union in Adams County to about 20 miles east near Portsmouth and the Shawnee State Forest.

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