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UPDATED SAFETY WARNING: Home Inspectors Warning of Piping in Millions of Homes

ABC 22 / FOX 45 Dayton's News Source - Wed, 02/25/2015 - 16:42

DAYTON -- Certain gas pipes are installed in seven million homes in the US - local house inspectors says it could be in yours too.

Rich Spraggs has been inspecting homes in the Dayton area for 20 years, looking for potential hazards that could cause harm to those who live there.

One of the things Rich looks out for: csst - corrugated stainless steel tubing. Gas line that has the potential to combust.

"It's a fire hazard!"  home inspector Spraggs exclaims during a routine inspection in Miamisburg Wednesday (February 25th, 2015). "We do a written report and it it would be identified in the report as a potential hazard."

"A lot of the builders went to it because its cost, and labor intensive. They don't have to fit all these connections, it bends."

The concern with csst -  in the event of a lightening strike - this steel gas supply piping won't conduct the light as well as the traditional black tubing. The hot metal and sparks can light the gas off - creating a sort of  blowtorch.

Rich says he sees the tubbing in one out of 30 houses  built after 2000.

"It would be prudent to get it checked out. It's not common when you think about all the houses in Dayton, but we do encounter it and it should be dealt with," Spraggs added. "To make it safe is very inexpensive."

A fix is just takes a call to a plumber or electrician to do what's called  'bonding' or 'grounding'.

"Connecting a 6 gage bonding wire with a clamp connector," Spraggs explained. "It has to go on to one of the metal fittings and connects to the grounding rod at the exterior."

If your house was built after 2000 - experts suggest taking a look at your gas piping .
If it is csst it will be bright yellow or orange -  you should call in a  plumber or electrician to ground it.

LUBBOCK, Texas -- We have a warning tonight about a type of piping that's installed in 7 million homes across the United States.

The manufacturers say it's a safe way to pipe gas throughout the house. Home inspectors, though, say those pipes can put your safety in jeopardy.

Home Inspector Mark Eberwine in Texas corrugated stainless steel tubing has a lot issues. He suggests you check whether your house contains this tubing, called CSST for short.

"It has this gas line that's known as CSST - corrugated stainless steel tubing - that is snaking through the house," Eberwine said. "The homeowner is fortunate in that he's being apprised of this early on and before some sort of disaster happens."

Disaster has struck before. In August 2012 at a home in Lubbock, Texas, a lightning strike ignited a fire in the attic.

"Generally, it doesn't spread this fast. What we're seeing now is sometimes there are issues with the corrugated stainless steel tubing," Lubbock Asst. Fire Marshal Lt. Elliot Eldredge said.

The homeowner's friend, Brennen Teel, was killed in that fire.

Mark Goodson, a consulting engineer, said "A fireball essentially came out of the attic and incinerated him."

His family started the Brennen Teel Foundation for Gas Line Safety.

"I normally go in after a loss to figure out what went wrong," Goodson said. He works with the Tee family’s foundation.

Goodson said CSST is flexible and easy to install. It was developed for earthquake-prone areas, like Japan.

However, Goodson said, the piping "Has the metal thickness of about four sheets of paper."

But problems developed, as it became popular in lightning-prone areas.

"Here is a piece that was taken to a lightning lab. Artificial lightning was created and a hole was blown in it and a fire developed," Goodson said.

The problem is compounded when the piping is installed near conductors, such as electrical wiring or a metal roof.

"The hot metal and/or the sparks will light the gas off and you have a blowtorch," Goodson said.

Manufacturers say the risk can be minimized if you bond and ground the piping but fire investigators warn those precautions had been taken in the home where Teel lost his life.

And what scares experts the most: This piping is sold at big-box hardware stores.

"It is readily available. Anyone can go and purchase it and install it without having any training or certification," Goodson said.

Experts say the only way to eliminate the danger from this piping is to replace it with black steel piping, which is more expensive.

Eberwine also points out you should know where your gas meter is and to make sure you have a wrench so you can shut it off in case of an emergency. Families should also have a fire escape plan.

Categories: Local News

Welcome to Machine Gun America, Firing Range for the Disney Crowd

ABC 22 / FOX 45 Dayton's News Source - Wed, 02/25/2015 - 16:12

ORLANDO, Fla. -- Not far from Walt Disney World, you'll find one of central Florida's newest tourist attractions.

There are no rides to be found. Instead, visitors can pick up powerful assault weapons -- and blow off some steam while blowing away targets.

Machine Gun America is a new, 13,000-square-foot facility just a few miles from Disney World. It's where guests as young as 13 can fire semi-automatic weapons with live ammo.

Karen Rocheleau and her husband brought their 17- and 13-year-olds to Orlando to go to Disney. Then they spotted Machine Gun America.

“It's like wow, this is crazy, we just shot guns,” Karen Rocheleau said. “Yeah, big guns and in the room other people were shooting bigger guns and that was nerve-wracking.”

Rocheleau's husband and older son also fired several weapons. The 13-year-old only watched.

“I was glad that I didn't let Jacob do it, 'cause he was just 13 and it is very powerful,” Karen Rocheleau said.

The weapons are very powerful and very popular with adults. Since opening its doors in December, Machine Gun America says only 6 percent of guests have been minors.

“We're not openly advertising or marketing to 13 year olds,” Machine Gun America Director of Safety and Training Wes Doss said.

Children 13 and older can only come inside with a parent or legal guardian. But Dr. Alan Delamater, a professor of Pediatrics and Psychology at the University of Miami, says even exposing young teens to this environment is dangerous.

“It's another family gaming activity, right? Wrong. I don't think it's just another activity. I think this is something that can seriously affect child development, and not in a good way,” Delamater said.

Delamater points to the incident last year at an Arizona shooting range where a 9-year-old girl firing an Uzi accidentally shot and killed an instructor.

Here at Machine Gun America, Wess Doss says children under 13 aren't even allowed inside and 13- to 16-year-olds are only allowed to fire a submachine gun as long as it's not in fully-automatic mode.

Doss said they leave the decision about children firing the weapons at all up to the parents.

In addition to those ranges, Machine Gun America also has several law enforcement-grade simulators, where you can use a fake handgun that has a laser. Teens can use those simulators but they still need their parents' permission.

Source: CNN

Categories: Local News

Federal Judge in Ohio Postpones Military Bribes Case Trial

ABC 22 / FOX 45 Dayton's News Source - Wed, 02/25/2015 - 15:06

DAYTON (AP) -- A federal judge has postponed the trial of a man extradited from Iraq in a military contracting bribery case.

U.S. District Judge Thomas Rose in Dayton on Wednesday reset trial from March 2 to March 30 for Metin Atilan. Court filings indicate that his attorneys and federal prosecutors have been trying to work out a plea agreement ahead of trial.

Atilan was indicted on charges he conspired to pay bribes and kickbacks to obtain supply contracts associated with U.S. military operations in and around Iraq.

He was arrested in 2008 in Las Vegas. Prosecutors say he cut off an electronic monitoring bracelet and fled to Turkey. He was later arrested in Iraq and extradited last year.

He has pleaded not guilty to the charges.

Categories: Local News

West Alexandria Mother Charged after Children Die in Fire

ABC 22 / FOX 45 Dayton's News Source - Wed, 02/25/2015 - 14:27

WEST ALEXANDRIA -- The mother of two kids killed in a house fire in West Alexandria is now facing two counts of child endangering charges.

The flames broke out at the home early Saturday morning and firefighters didn't know the kids were huddled inside the home until their mother came home several hours later.

"It was a tragedy, it was heartbreaking," said Jon Boomershine.

Boomershine lives next door to this now shell of a home in West Alexandria, and knew the two young kids who lived there, Malachi and Melea Bradburn, well.

"They were funny outgoing," said Boomershine.

Firefighters say Chastity Hall came home around 7 that morning and told them her two kids were inside.

In a court document, the fire chief says Hall was still intoxicated and she admitted to investigators that she had been to two different bars and two people's homes that night.

Also in the document, Hall told investigators she came home around 1:45 that morning to put fresh makeup on and noticed that both kids were asleep so she went back out.

"She shouldn't have done what she did. It's eventually gonna bite her and I'm sure she's regretting some things but she had the courage to go out like i said and this falls back on her," said Boomershine.

Hall is now facing two counts of child endangering.

"As of now I don't think that's enough for her. I think she should get more than that because she had the courage to leave her children home alone," said Boomershine.

Hall's ex-boyfriend, Arcadio Escobar, is charged with trespassing.

Investigators say he admitted to being at the home overnight on Saturday when hall wasn't home but says he didn't go inside.

Preble County Sheriff's Office says there's not enough evidence to charge Escobar with anything else.

Fire investigators were at the scene Wednesday still trying to figure out a cause.

In the court documents, the fire chief says he had spoken to the young boy in the home about intentionally starting fires two months before Saturday's flames broke out.

He recommended counseling but hall refused.


WEST ALEXANDRIA -- The mother of two children who died in a house fire is now facing charges. 

Chasity Hall is facing two felony counts of child endangering after her two children were found dead Saturday, Feb. 21, 2015, following a fire at her home in the 3400 block of US 35.

Firefighters say no one appeared to be at home at the time so they didn't know anyone was inside. While crews did perform an initial search, they didn't find the children inside.

It wasn't until the house had collapsed inward and the fire was extinguished that 9-year-old Malachi Bradburn and 10-year-old Malea Bradburn were found dead in the basement.

Hall's attorney has arranged to turn herself in. She will be held on $50,000, 10 percent bond.

According to Chief Deputy Michael Spitler, Hall's ex-boyfriend Arcadio B. Escobar has been charged with felony trespassing after he reportedly was at the home the night of the fire.

According to a court document, Escobar said he went to the home, found the front door unlocked, but didn't go in the house. He then told investigators he left.

"Although Escobar has been questioned about the fire ... there is insufficient evidence to justify the filing of any criminal charges against Escobar in connection with either the fire or the deaths of the children," a Sheriff's Office release states.

Categories: Local News

UPDATE: Lawsuit Claims Beneful Dog Food Kills Pets

ABC 22 / FOX 45 Dayton's News Source - Wed, 02/25/2015 - 13:28

MONTGOMERY COUNTY -- Chris Ovington loves his two dogs. He's had dogs his whole life.

"They're our world! They're our kids! I'd do anything for my dogs," said Ovington.

Ovington used to feed his dogs Beneful, but no more.

"They used to like Beneful and I've heard all types of nasty stories," said Ovington.

Some of those stories involve internal bleeding, diarrhea, seizures and liver malfunction.

This latest lawsuit claims Beneful "resulted in serious illness and death of thousands of dogs," because of an ingredient, Propylene Glycol, which is also found in anti-freeze. The feds say it is safe in small doses.

Veterinarian Sven Anstadt says he's had several questions about Beneful. He says if the dog food is making animals sick it's likely from mold in the grain being used.

"They're among the most toxic substances we know of and in very minute quantities can kill," said Dr. Anstadt.

Purina, the maker of Beneful, is fighting back, saying, "We believe the lawsuit is baseless, and we intend to vigorously defend ourselves and our brand. Beneful had two previous class action suits filed in recent years with similar baseless allegations, and both were dismissed by the courts. Like other pet foods, Beneful is occasionally the subject of social media-driven misinformation. Online postings often contain false, unsupported and misleading allegations that cause undue concern and confusion for our Beneful customers. Bottom line: Consumers can continue to feed Beneful with total confidence."

Anstadt isn't telling his patients on Beneful to switch to a new brand.

"I wouldn't have any qualms about buying a Purina product right now for my own dog, in fact I do use Purina products for my pets, so I'm paying attention," said Dr. Anstadt.

But dog owners like Ovington want to see more safeguards in place.

"I know it's buyer beware but really I mean we do it for our food, why not theirs?" said Ovington.

Earlier coverage:

TAMPA, Fla. -- A lawsuit claims a dog food might be killing pets.

The complaints about Nestle Purina PetCare brand Beneful claims the food  has "resulted in serious illness and death of thousands of dogs."

In the past four years, CNN reports, consumers have made more than 3,000 online complaints about dogs becoming ill or dying after eating Beneful, the lawsuit claims.

Nestle Purina Communications Director Bill Salzman said the company believes the lawsuit is baseless.

"We intend to vigorously defend ourselves and our brand," Salzman said." Beneful had two previous class action suits filed in recent years with similar baseless allegations, and both were dismissed by the courts."

"Bottom line," Salzman said, "Consumers can continue to feed Beneful with total confidence."

The lawsuit says Purina Nestle knew Beneful was harmful and sold it without adequate testing. Beneful contains propylene glycol, an ingredient also found in auto antifreeze, and mycotoxins, toxins produced by fungus found in grains, the lawsuit says.

The eight kinds of dry Beneful food are Purina Beneful Healthy Weight, Original, Incredibites, Healthy Growth for Puppies, Healthy Smile, Healthy Fiesta, Healthy Radiance and Playful Life.

Categories: Local News

Franklin Man Pleads Guilty to Sex Crimes Against Child

ABC 22 / FOX 45 Dayton's News Source - Wed, 02/25/2015 - 12:02

WARREN COUNTY -- A 64-year-old Franklin man pleaded guilty Tuesday to sexual battery and gross sexual imposition involving a child.

According to Warren County Prosecutor David Fornshell, Paul Byrd of Franklin was sentenced to 12 years in prison after reportedly having sexual contact with a child under the age of 13, beginning in December 2013.

Fornshell said Byrd was arrested three days after the investigation began. He was reportedly found laying in a wooded area near Franklin High School with a .380 handgun. He was arrested without incident.

Byrd will be required to register as a Tier III sex offender when he is released from prison. He must register every 90 days for life.

Categories: Local News

Gov. Kasich Defends Tax Increase on Oil and Gas Drillers

ABC 22 / FOX 45 Dayton's News Source - Wed, 02/25/2015 - 11:14

WILMINGTON (AP) -- Ohio's governor is making his case for a proposed tax increase on the oil and gas industry, saying it won't deter production in the state.

Gov. John Kasich has called for a fixed rate on crude oil and natural gas of 6.5 percent at the wellhead, and a lower rate of 4.5 percent for natural gas and natural gas liquids sold downstream. He discussed the proposal Tuesday during his State of the State speech. Proceeds from the increase would help reduce the state income tax.

The governor's fellow Republicans who control the Legislature have repeatedly scrapped Kasich's past attempts to raise the tax, amid pushback from anti-tax groups and the industry.

Kasich said he was disappointed in detractors who say the tax increase would kill the industry, calling such talk "a big fat joke."

Watch the entire State of the State address here.

Categories: Local News

UPDATE: Second Armed Robbery Reported Wednesday Morning in Kettering

ABC 22 / FOX 45 Dayton's News Source - Wed, 02/25/2015 - 08:08

KETTERING -- Police are investigating two armed robberies committed Wednesday morning.

According to Kettering police, a man wearing all black with a dark-colored and white bandana covering his face, displayed a handgun and demanded cash about 2 a.m. Wednesday, Feb. 25, at the Shell gas station at 3151 East Dorothy Lane in Kettering.

About an hour later, Montgomery County Sheriff's deputies responded to a Shell station at Far Hills Avenue and Whipp Road in Washington Township.

The suspect got away with cash from both robberies. A K-9 unit tracked him for a short distance but then lost the scent.

Deputies said they saw in surveillance video at the second robbery the man had a car waiting for him.

Kettering detectives are reaching out to Sheriff's Office detectives to determine if the two robberies were committed by the same suspect.

If you have any information about the robberies or the suspect(s), you're asked to call call Kettering Police Detective Mason at 937-296-2583, the Kettering Police Department at 937-296-2555 or the Montgomery County Sheriff's Office at 937-225-4357.

Earlier coverage:

Washington Township Gas Station Robbed

WASHINGTON TOWNSHIP -- Police are on the hunt for an armed robbery suspect.

It happened at the Shell gas station on Far Hills Avenue and Whipp Road around 3:00 Wednesday morning.
The sergeant is looking for a man who was dressed in all black and had a bandanna covering his face. When he came into the store, the robber confronted the clerk, flashing a gun and demanded cash.
He got away with an unknown amount of cash.

Deputies brought in a K9 to track down the suspect but was unsuccessful..

Police say in the surveillance video the man had a car waiting for him, police will be reviewing that footage for more clues.

Categories: Local News

Harrison Township Police Chase Caught on Camera, Suspect Remains At Large

ABC 22 / FOX 45 Dayton's News Source - Wed, 02/25/2015 - 01:33

HARRISON TOWNSHIP -- A police chase through Harrison Township on Tuesday afternoon after police tried to pull over a man for an outstanding warrant.

Cameras captured the chase that didn't last long but reached speeds up to 100 mph.

The chase started on Miller Lane when officers tried to stop 27-year-old Philip Hanson-Bass, they said he then tried to run a deputy and a person down.

In the video, you can see as deputies following the man, nearly 20-seconds behind... going much slower.

Ashley Alexander's security cameras are always rolling at his Alexander's Auto Sales and Repairs Business.

He told us students were just arriving across the street at Northridge Local Schools because they were on a two-hour delay.

"I see kids crossing here all the time, there's no way he could have stopped," said Alexander.

Authorities said the man behind the wheel, Phillip Hanson-Bass, is accused of shooting a man at a BBQ at the beginning of September last year.

The 27-year-old is wanted for felonious assault. The chase only lasted for two miles. Once it reached dangerous speeds, police backed off.

"If he would have hit anybody at the rate of speed he was going, he would have killed everybody, or more than one, anyway," said Alexander.

Amazingly, no one was hurt, and the driver, Philip Hanson-Bass, is still on the run.

Philip Hanson-Bass has a criminal history including trafficking heroin. If you know how to find him, you can call Miami Valley Crime Stoppers at 222-STOP. You can remain anonymous.

Categories: Local News

Are you a marketing guru? Or want to be?

Esrati - Tue, 02/24/2015 - 15:16

SummitUp Conference LogoFor the last 6 or so years, I’ve been a part of putting on a new media conference in Dayton. This year, we’ve got an exciting lineup of speakers and break-out sessions- on everything you need to know about social media, advertising using new media, marketing and we’ll finish off with a speaker from Google.
Registration is about to wrap up- so, if you want to avoid paying a late fee, I suggest you register NOW.

The event is called SummitUp and it will be Tuesday, March 3, at Sinclair Community College, building 12. A full day of guru’ness is only $199, $20 less if you belong to one of the sponsoring organizations.

Find out more about it here:

I built the site using WordPress- the same open source content management system that runs

If you’d like a full day seminar on how to build your own site and maintain it yourself – I’ll be holding my Websitetology seminar on Thursday, March 12. It’s only $139 and includes lunch from the fabulous Pizza Factory.

There is no excuse for not having a website anymore- nor is there any reason not to have a pretty good understanding of new media. These full-day sessions will give you the tools to go global with minimal expense.
Hopefully, I’ll see you at both seminars.

Categories: Local Politics

How many clerks do we need?

Esrati - Sun, 02/22/2015 - 12:21

We saw snow plows in South Park yesterday. First, a neighbor with a plow did a sweep through and later, the city came through. Someone mentioned on Facebook “The City plow went up Park 4 times! How does that save the city $$$?” to which I thought- it’s not about saving the city money- it’s about clearing streets- and most of the time- one pass of a plow isn’t enough.

But, when it comes to clerks of courts- how many do we need? And how many courts do we need? Doing a background check in Montgomery County- there isn’t just one site to look up for misdemeanor criminal offenses- there is a whole slew of them. Dayton, Kettering, Oakwood (not online), Miamisburg, etc. Each with different systems- and sites.

The real question is why?

A friend is considering running for municipal judge in Columbus- and it’s a countywide race. They have one municipal court for the entire county! Imagine that? Proof that it can be done.

For those of you who don’t know the difference between a municipal court and a county court- the difference is that municipal courts only deal with misdemeanor crimes, while the county courts get all felonies. Note- the county courts do handle misdemeanors in unincorporated areas- like townships, or they sub them out to the nearest municipality.

Of course, Franklin County probably doesn’t have near as many patronage jobs- the Dayton Clerk of Court has 59 employees- that feeds a lot of political cronies- who then sit on the party central committee.

Trying to find out the rules about Municipal Court Clerks is a bit difficult. It’s not mentioned in the city charter at all- but ruled by state law. See this webpage for all the exceptions to the rule:

The Dayton Clerk of Courts position is coming up for re-election, currently held by Montgomery County Democratic Party Chair Mark Owens. The pay is around $100,000 a year- although I can’t find it online.
I’m going to take guesses at the following- if anyone can correct me, I’d appreciate it:

  • 6 Year term
  • Partisan election.
  • Requires different form than City Commission, and only 50 signatures if you are a party candidate.
  • Must be 18.
  • Must be a resident.

Note- ideally, the Board of Elections website should have the duties, qualifications, responsibilities, compensation, filing instructions, etc. on its website for every position that is elected.

I did find this document:

Turns out the deadline passed if you are running as a major party candidate- but, in an odd case, to run as an independent, you may not need more signatures- and the deadline is later:

PETITION FILING DEADLINES : By 4 p.m. on February 4, 2015 (90 days before the primary election) for party candidates; or by 4 p.m. on May 4, 2015 (day before the primary election) for independent candidates SIGNATURE REQUIREMENTS: Major party candidates: 50 valid signatures, unless otherwise provided in law (R.C. 1901.31,3513.05) Minor party candidates: 25 valid signatures, unless otherwise provided in law (R.C. 1901.31,3513.05) Independent or nonpartisan candidates: 50 valid signatures, unless otherwise provided in law (R.C. 1901.31,3513.05,3513.257)

Ad for Harveysburg clerk of courtsOwens is an attorney- but, I’m sure you don’t have to be one, since Dan Foley and Greg Brush are not attorneys and both have served as Clerk of Courts.

Maybe we’d have more money for snow plowing, if we had one county-wide municipal court, with one clerk, and one website.

What brought this post on was a call a week ago from Mike Bock of DaytonOS- asking why no one was challenging Owens- and a reminder in today’s paper that all communities don’t elect a clerk of courts- some hire them, like in Harveysburg.

If Ohio really wanted to have a law about term limits- (which don’t apply to local offices currently) it should be if an elected position goes more than 2 elections cycles without a challenger, the incumbent is forced out, and the position is reevaluated as an elected position.

It’s time to reevaluate a lot of how Ohio is governed, but as long as patronage mills like Clerk of Courts offices sit unchallenged- we’re pretty much doomed to maintain this expensive, duplicative, government overhead.


Categories: Local Politics