WEEC NEWS – WEDNESDAY, JUNE 18, 2014


Interstate 75 was shut down in both directions yesterday for about six hours near Sidney and thousands of people were evacuated because of an anhydrous ammonia spill in the area of I-75 southbound at exit 92. Vapor from anhydrous ammonia can burn the skin on contact and is dangerous to inhale, according to the news report from the Dayton Daily News. The incident was reported just before 10am.

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

Apparently the truck driver was headed southbound on I-75 when another trucker behind him notified the driver that the truck was spilling a chemical. The driver pulled the truck off on the exit ramp and called 911. The EPA responded and firefighters sprayed the chemical with water to keep it from spreading through the air. I-75 was reopened around 4 pm Tuesday. The chemical was transferred to another tanker. Approximately one hundred personnel responded to assist in the cleanup and to analyze the scene, including the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency, the Sidney-Shelby County Hazardous Material Response Team, PUCO, Sidney police and multiple fire departments.

Hamilton police are asking for help from the public in finding a double homicide suspect. They said 55 year old Alfred I. Rutherford should be considered armed and police believe he may have shot his daughter and a man in the 2700 block of Hilda Avenue around 2:30am. Officers said 29 year old Lacy Rutherford and another man was found dead in the home. Rutherford is 5 feet 11 inches tall and weighs 185 pounds, with short, salt and pepper-colored hair and a mustache. If anyone spots him or his vehicle they should call 911.

There was a dispute between neighbors in Dayton that led to gunfire overnight last night and led to a woman nearly struck by a bullet. Shortly after midnight Tuesday in the 5000 block of Northcrest Avenue, a 21 year old woman heard a knock on her apartment door from a woman who wanted to fight. According to the Dayton Police report, the victim said she didn’t know why the woman wanted to fight, but police said the alleged suspect is friends with residents who have an ongoing feud with the victim. The victim told police she went upstairs to where her young daughter was sleeping, looked out the window and saw the suspect point a gun at her. She ducked then heard the window shatter. No one was hurt in the incident.

29 year old Dustin Olwin has pleaded guilty to involuntary manslaughter during a plea deal yesterday morning in Clark County Court. He was set to go to trial next week and was facing charges of involuntary manslaughter, reckless homicide, negligent homicide and using weapons while intoxicated in connection with the fatal shooting of Eric M. Wheeler in December 2013. The maximum sentence Olwin faces is three years in prison and a fine of $10,000. Sentencing will be on July 11th.

It’s not often that you see the words “Good news” and “taxes” in the same sentence…they say especially when your business is farming. But Ohio farmers did get some good news about taxes over the past year. And now, the Director of the Ohio Department of Agriculture says the news is getting even better. When Ohio farmers settled up their 2013 taxes, they shared in the largest tax cut of any state in the nation, which was a welcome boost to the state’s $105 billion food and agriculture industry. In 2013, personal income tax rates for all Ohioans were cut 8.5 percent. Small businesses, including most farmers, were able to claim an additional 50 percent tax deduction on top of those lower rates. The legislation that was just passed by the Ohio General Assembly and signed by Gov. Kasich brings a series of phased—in tax cuts that are being fast-tracked in order to take effect now. This would let Ohio taxpayers enjoy the full 10 percent state income tax reduction this year instead of waiting until 2015. Plus, for the 2014 tax year only, the small business tax cut is being expanded as an extra incentive for small business owners and farmers who qualify. For 2014 state income taxes, the 50 percent gross-income exclusion expands to 75 percent. Director David T. Daniels of the Ohio Department of Agriculture says that for Ohio Farmers, the good news about taxes means there will be more to invest to make business more efficient and productive.

As millions gather to watch the FIFA World Cup in Brazil this summer…whether on television or in person, Reach Beyond is using pint-size, solar-powered technology to spread the gospel to some of the most remote places along the country’s Amazon River. The handheld, MP3-like audio players are named “Players of Hope” and are available from Reach Beyond, formerly HCJB Global and are preloaded with about 1,500 hours of programming, including the Bible, teaching programs, Christian music and children’s stories. National missionaries distribute the players to individuals in riverside villages in the Amazon Basin. Every few months the chips in the players can be swapped to provide new content.

Former Urbana University president, Kirk Peterson, who is credited with helping negotiate a deal to keep the university operating is one of two finalists to be the superintendent of Triad Local School District. Christopher Piper, a principal at Jonathan Alder Junior High in Plain City is the other candidate. Board members could make their decision this week. Peterson was credited with helping lead negotiations that led to an acquisition by Franklin University in Columbus. Urbana University was facing serious financial problems and the agreement allows the 164-year old university to remain open. Piper attended Wright State University obtaining a Bachelors and a Master’s Degree in education leadership and administration.

The Ohio Department of Transportation is providing some tips for when motorists hit the highways during this summer! ODOT Director Jerry Wray says, “We do everything we can to keep motorists safe, especially in work zones, but motorists have a responsibility to do everything they can to keep our families and our workers safe this summer as well – stay alert, buckle up, eliminate distractions, put down the cell phones, drive sober and allow plenty of time to arrive at your destination.” Ohio has a new Move Over law that now requires drivers to move over one lane when passing by any vehicle with flashing or rotating lights parked on the roadside. They say following too closely is the leading cause of crashes in Ohio and remember to obey reduced speed limits. Fines will be doubled in work zones for speeders. Seatbelts are the most effective safety feature and help to save many lives. You can also get up-to-date information on traffic flow, construction and weather conditions by going on-line to: www.OhGo.com.

Be prepared, because the National Weather Service is calling for a 50 percent chance for some rain showers and thunderstorms tonight with lows dipping to 70. The possibility for precipitation goes up to 60 percent for Thursday and for Friday. Temperatures will cool some tomorrow with highs predicted around 84 and overnight lows at 67. Saturday and Sunday should be sunny with highs near 82 throughout the weekend and lows will be at 65 both nights.