WEEC NEWS – THURSDAY, JUNE 05, 2014


A lot is being reported about the Veterans Administration. A senior White House official is planning to visit the VA Medical Center in Cincinnati today as part of a two-day trip in Ohio that will include a visit to the VA Center in Columbus on Friday.

I’m Ruth Book reporting on this story and more for WEEC News!

Rob Nabors, deputy White House chief of staff has been assigned by President Obama to deal with the ongoing VA controversy. He will meet with officials at the Cincinnati VA Center today and tour the facility. The Veterans Administration Agency has faced increasing heat after report of rampant mismanagement at the VA, including long lists of veterans waiting for care that were obscured by officials at the agency, according to the Washington Bureau of Cox News. News reports are suggesting that Toby Cosgrove, chief executive officer of the Cleveland Clinic has been approached by the administration as possibility for Eric Shinseki’s replacement as VA Secretary. Rep. Tim Ryan said that, “Dr. Cosgrove is a decorated Vietnam veteran, a distinguished heart surgeon and a highly effective manager of a large health care network.” Ryan continued, “I could not think of a more qualified candidate to overhaul the VA and ensure that our veterans receive the quality care they need and deserve.”

Judge John Andrew West has dismissed 15 of the original 16 charges against Mason, Ohio’s Rep. Pete Beck, saying they were “duplicative”. Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine and Hamilton County Prosecutor Joe Deters announced the first 16 charges last July and a grand jury approved an additional 53 counts for securities fraud, theft, perjury and a other alleged crimes in February. The remaining charge on the original indictment alleges that Beck deprived someone of property in July 2008. Beck is a certified public accountant and he and others have been accused of fleecing investors out of millions of dollars. Co-defendant John Fussner agreed to plead guilty and testify against Beck in exchange for a possible sentence of probation. Beck lost his re-election bid last May by a landside. Beck’s trial is scheduled for November 17th.

The victim of a stabbing that occurred Wednesday morning told police her husband, Stanley Wheatley, wanted money to buy drugs. When she would not comply, he attacked her and her son in their Dayton home. Wheatley fled the scene in their van, but crashed a short time later into gas pumps in Trotwood. Stanley Wheatley will face felonious assault and domestic violence charges, according to the police report. Wheatley was listed in critical condition at Miami Valley Hospital. His wife, Sherrell Wheatley, said when she refused to give him money, he got angry, grabbed a knife and began cutting her. Her son, 37 year old Antwand Warren is a quadriplegic and he was taken to the hospital with a cut across the throat. He was operated on Wednesday morning. Stanley Wheatley has a number of prior criminal charges.

The National Weather Service has confirmed that a tornado touched down yesterday afternoon near Lynchburg in Clinton and Highlanda counties. The EF-0 twister touched down around 3:40pm and reached a maximum speed of 85 mph, cutting a nearly four-mile path. There were no injuries or fatalities reported resulting from that tornado. There was damage reported at Lynchburg-Clay High School where a roof collapsed and some cars were damaged. WCPO-TV in Cincinnati reports that the storm bent a light pole in half and brought down a light fixture and some ceiling tiles inside the school.

A police officer was shot at in Dayton last night around 11pm and witnesses said a person in an SUV fired shots at a house in the area and residents fired back…that area was at 42 Willowwood Drive. One person in the SUV was hit by a bullet and the driver took that person to Good Samaritan Hospital. Dayton police report that the driver of the SUV returned to the house and found police on the scene. The driver then accelerated towards an officer and began firing shots. The officer narrowly avoided being hit by ducking behind a car, then he returned fire. The people in the SUV remain at large and are considered armed and dangerous according to the Dayton Daily News article. Police found an empty SUV abandoned at EJ Brown PK-8 School at Westwood and Willowwood with blood inside the vehicle. Police say they have dealt with violence and drug activity at the Willowwood address in the past.

The kids are out of school for the summer…we look forward to summer activities…but one thing we may not look forward to are door-to-door solicitors. Many operate fairly and honestly, but Joan Coughlin with the Better Business Bureau of Central Ohio says there are ways to spot those who are simply looking for some quick money and ways to protect yourself! She says to watch for high-pressure sales tactics and special “one-time” offers. Another red flag is the company that says it has “leftover material from a job down the street” and offers to do the work immediately or at a minimal cost. Coughlin says professional contractors accurately estimate their material needs for projects, so the on-the-spot offers could be coming from someone who doesn’t really know what they are doing. Coughlin says to watch for cash-only offers as well…or solicitors who ask for the entire payment up-fron…or those who offer discounts if you recommend other customers. She said if you regret a purchase the Federal Trade Commission has a three-day cooling off rule to cancel purchases of more than $25.

A tornado was confirmed yesterday afternoon near Lynchburg, Ohio. The National Weather Service said the twister was an EF-0 and touched down around 3:40pm, reaching a maximum speed of 85 mph. It cut a path nearly four miles according to weather service officials in Wilmington. Thankfully, no one was injured. Storm Center 7 Chief Meteorologist Jamie Simpson said that temperatures will fall into the mid-50’s tonight and while humidity is dropping, he can’t rule out a bit of fog overnight. Heavy storms yesterday, dropped nearly 2 inches of rain in some areas. He says we should be dry for the next couple of days, however mold counts are already high and the ground moisture could lead to more mold. Simpson warns that grass pollen is high and will get higher as grass will grow with all of the rain. Friday should be cloudy with temperatures near 76. We should see lots of sunshine on Saturday with temperatures rising to 80.

The Springfield News Sun reports that the Springfield police officer involved in a fatal pedestrian crash on May 25th has been placed on paid administrative leave. Officer Andrew Scott is recuperating from the incident and Chief Stephen Moody says the paid leave is part of the police division’s process of taking care of their employees and the paid leave for Scott is not a part of any disciplinary action. 45 year old Steven Rintamaki was killed when he ran into the side of Scott’s police cruiser. Lt. Brian Aller, commander of the Springfield Ohio Patrol Post said placing a law enforcement officer on paid leave after such a traumatic situation is common practice. He stated, “That weighs very heavily and sometimes you need time to heal.”

Tuskagee Airman Harry W. Leavell died May 31st in his home in Richmond, Indiana. He was 23 when he joined the U.S. Army Air Corps as a fighter pilot and served as one of the famed Tuskagee Airmen from 1943-46. He received a BA in psychology from Earlham College and worked as a therapist, served as a firefighter and was a business owner and historian in the Richmond area.