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News events of 1996

January 1996

1-1-96 --Ohio State lost another bowl game , this time 20-14 to Tennessee in the CompUSA Florida Citrus Bowl. It was the sixth bowl loss in seven efforts for OSU and coach John Cooper.

1-2-96 -- The "railroad spike murder trial" of David Lee Myers began in Greene County. Myers faces the death penalty on an aggravated murder charge nearly eight years after Amanda Jo Maher was strangled and stabbed in the head with a railroad spike near downtown Xenia.

A blizzard hit the Miami Valley, dumping 7-to-10 inches of snow. Montgomery Co. Sheriff Gary Haines declared a snow emergency.

1-4-96 -- Don Shula resigned after 26 years as coach of the Miami Dolphins.

1-5-96 -- Bowing to increasing political pressure,Congress voted to end the three-week government shutdown.

Yehia Ayyasha, a terrorist known as "The Engineer," was assassinated the Gaza Strip by a booby-trapped telephone. Many believe the killing was the work of Israeli secret police.

Former Dayton police officer Thomas D. Mundy pleaded no contest to two felony charges of endangering children. In exchange for the plea, prosecutors dropped 12 charges which alleged Mundy engaged in sexual touching with three preteen children.

1-6-96 -- Central State University's board of trustees declared the school in a state of "immediate financial crisis," but postponed for two weeks a decision on proposed layoffs and other cuts. The board also voted to extend the term of Interim President Herman Smith Jr, who took over the post in March 1995.

1-7-96 -- The third major winter storm in a month came by surpise on a Sunday morning. Forecasters had predicted 1-2 inches, but snow fell all morning and into the afternoon, leaving nine inches of new snow. Most of the Miami Valley remained under a level-three snow emergency until the next day.

Three people died in weather-related accidents.
* - The first casualty was Ronald W. Brown, 26, of Lewisburg, who died in a single-vehicle accident on Johnsonville-Brookville Raod.
* - The other two fatalities were children who were riding with their family on the way to church. Mitchell and Michelle Turull, ages 4 and 13, were killed when a van driven by their father, Marcos Turull, slid into the path of a snowplow.

1-8-96 -- The storm continued, collapsing roofs and preventing mail and newspaper delivery. Two more people were found dead in apparent weather-related incidents.

Dayton's new fire chief, Robert Zickler, was sworn in.

Former French President Francois Mitterand died at 79.

1-9-96 -- The financially-troubled U.S. Air and Trade Show received a $350,000 boost with the announcement of a $100,000 anonymous donation and a $250,000 ED/GE grant for the production and promotion of the 1996 show.

1-10-96 -- The NCR name returned to Dayton, as officials at AT&T Global Information Solutions Chief Executive Lars Nyberg announced to employees the reorganizing company will change its name back to NCR Corp.

1-12-96 -- Springfield auto dealer Monte Zinn was sentenced to two years probation for conspiring to falsify visa documents.

The jury in the George Skatzes trial recommended the death penalty. Skatzes was one of the leaders in the 1993 Lucasville prison riot and has been convicted of three counts of murder.

1-13-96 -- President Clinton visited U.S. troops in Bosnia.

1-16-96 -- Fire destroys Lamachy's Restaurant in Beavercreek. The historic 1888 structure was once Beavercreek's high school.

Defense attorneys requested a change of venue for the trial of Therressa Jolynn Ritchie, accused of the murder of her 4-year-old daughter Samantha.

Cincinnati Bengals defensive tackle Dan "Big Daddy" Wilkinson received a six-month suspended sentence after a judge found him guilty of domestic violence for striking his pregnant girlfriend last fall.

1-17-96 -- Former Congresswoman Barbara Jordan died at 59.

Multimedia Entertainment announced Phil Donahue's talk show will cease production after 28 years. Donahue first did the show in Dayton from its inception in 1967 to 1974 when it moved to Chicago.

Cox Newspapers announced it will combine operations of the Dayton Daily News and Springfield News-Sun under a single operating unit, Cox Ohio Publishing Inc.

1-19-96 -- After a six-hour closed-door meeing, Central State University's trustees approved extensive budget cuts, layoffs and salary reductions in an effort to save $2.15 million by June 30.

An Ohio state trooper was shot to death while questioning a motorist on Interstate 71 north of Ashland.

1-20-96 -- CSU announces details of budget cuts agreed to by trustees the day before. The university will lay off 20 percent of its employees, reduce salaries by 3-to-8 percent and eliminate five academic programs.

1-21-96 -- The Dayton Daily News publishes the first in a series of dispatches from Bosnia by staff writer Russell Carollo.

1-24-96 -- OJ Simpson gave his first in-depth interview since being acquitted of the murder of his ex-wife. Simpson appeared in a live television broadcast on Black Entertainment Television.

1-26-96 -- Hillary Clinton testified before a grand jury for four hours regarding the Whitewater investigation.

The U.S. Senate passed a bill ending payments to prisoners, a year after a Dayton Daily News series, "Prisoners on the Payroll," exposed the military's longstanding practice of continuing to pay the salaries of military personnel even after they were convicted and jailed of crimes.

1-28-96 -- Four NATO soldiers were killed in Bosnia. Three were British and one Swedish.

Millionaire John E. du Pont surrendered to police after a 48-hour standoff at his Pennsylvania mansion. Du Pont, 57, an heir to the du Pont fortune, allegedly shot Olympic wrestler Dave Schultz on 1-26.

Charles W. Danis Sr died at 80. He led Danis Industries from 1966 to the early 1980s, during which time the construction company built many significant buildings in the Dayton area.

The Dallas Cowboys won the Super Bowl for the third time in four years.

1-29-96 -- The Therressa Jolynn Ritchie trial began with jury selection.

1-30-96 -- General Motors announced record profits of $6.9 billion for 1995, a 40 percent jump from the previous year's record. Local GM workers received $800 profit-sharing checks.

George Skatzes was sentenced to die for his role in the deaths of two inmates during the 1993 Lucasville prison riot.

Magic Johnson returned to pro basketball as a player, more than four years after he retired from the game after contracting the HIV virus.

February 1996

2-1-96 -- Two of Ohio's most powerful politicians, State Senate President Stanley Aronoff and former House Speaker Vern Riffe, were indicted on charges stemming from their financial relationships with lobbyists.

2-3-96 -- The first U.S. soldier died in Bosnia. He was later identified as Sgt. 1st Class Donald A. Dugan, 38, of Ridgeway, Ohio. Initial reports incorrectly said Dugan died when he stepped on a land mine. However, the Army later said Dugan died of head injuries after he picked up an unspent round of ammunition which then went off in his hands.

2-5-96 -- Ernest Vernell Brooks testified in the Ritchie murder trial, saying Therressa Jolynn Ritchie beat her daughter to death.

2-7-96 -- Former Dayton City Manger Bill Estabrook filed suit against the city, alleging that he was fired for political reasons.

2-8-96 -- University of Dayton basketball player Chris Daniels died of a heart attack at age 22. His death stunned the UD community.

Edmund Earl Emerick III was found guilty of the aggravated murders of Frank Ferraro and Robert Knapke in the 3-19-1994 Sloopy's Bar murders.

In Greene County David Lee Myers was found guilty of the 1988 railroad spike murder of Amanda Jo Maher.

2-9-96 -- The National Football League approved Art Modell's plan to move the Cleveland Browns to Baltimore. However, as part of the deal the Browns' name and uniform are to remain in Cleveland, which has been promised another team by 1999.

2-10-96 -- Dayton City Hall employee Cynthia A. Payne was brutally murdered in front of her 4-year-old daughter and her grandmother. Police arrested her former boyfriend, Edward Eugene Bryant. Payne had sought protection from Bryant by Ohio's protective laws did not apply because Payne and Bryant were neither married nor living together.

2-13-96 -- Hearings began in Montgomery County Common Pleas Court on a move to void the 1985 convictions of Jenny Wilcox and Robert Aldridge. The former Huber Heights residents are serving life terms for rape and child sexual abuse, but at the hearing two of their original accusers, John and Jason Chronopoulos, recanted their previous testimony.
2-14-96 -- Therressa Jolynn Ritchie was found guilty of murder in the beating death of her 4-year-old daughter, Samantha. She was sentenced to 20.5 years to life.
2-16-96 -- The year-long investigation into the Montgomery Co. Community Action Agency concluded with no criminal charges file against MCCAA.
2-20-96 -- Pat Buchanan won the New Hampshire primary, edging out front runner Bob Dole.
2-24-96 -- Cuban fighter jets shot down two civilian planes belonging to an anti-Castro exile group, Brothers to the Rescue.
2-25-96 -- Two Americans were among 25 killed in Israel in two terrorist bombings by Palestinian militants.
2-26-96 -- Former Wright State University education dean Frederick Gies field a federal lawsuit against WSU, claiming his rights were violated when he was stripped of administrative duties.
2-27-96 -- 14-year-old Brian Webster was killed in an accidental shooting at his Huber Heights home. He and his best friend, Robert Mullins, also 14, were playing with a handgun which they thought was not loaded. Mullins was later charged with delinquency by reason of negligent homicide.
2-28-96 -- Dayton teacher Loretta Cephus was charged with felony assault against a law enforcement officer. She allegedly kicked a Sinclair Community College police officer after she was arrested at a voters' forum 2-26.
2-29-96 -- Television industry executives announced they would voluntarily rate their programs for sex and violence in order to avoid being regulated by the federal government.

March 1996

3-1-96 -- David Lee Myers was sentenced to death for the 1988 railroad spike slaying of Amanda Jo Maher.
3-3-96 -- A suicide bomb on a bus in Jerusalem killed 19. Israeli Prime Minister Shimone Peres vowed retaliation
3-4-96 -- A fourth terrorist bomb in nine days rocked Israel. At least 13 were killed, bringing the death toll to 61.
3-5-96 -- About 3,000 auto workers went on strike at the two Delphi Chassis Systems plants on Needmore Road and Wisconsin Blvd.
3-7-96 -- The rape convictions of Jenny Wilcox and Robert Dale Aldridge were voided and they were ordered set free after 11 years in prison.

Officials in Memphis, Tennessee confirm that Downtown Dayton Partnership President Ed Armentrout was leaving Dayton for a similar job in Memphis.

3-10-96 -- The United States sent warships to Taiwan in response to threatening moves by China.

The town of Coldwater was stunned by the deaths of five members of the Heyne family, whose van collided with a semi tractor-trailer. The family was on the way home from a high school basketball game.

3-12-96 -- Bob Dole won all six states in the "Super Tuesday" primaries, leaving little doubt that he would be the Republican presidential nominee.
3-13-96 -- In Dublane, Scotland a gunman shot and killed 16 children, a teacher and himself. The killer, Thomas Hamilton, was a former boys' club leader who had been accused of improper behavior with young boys.

Englewood city manager Eric Smith was acquitted on charges of theft in office. He had been accused of billing the city for his personal legal fees.

3-14-96 -- A 17-year-old Dayton girl was stabbed to death by a classmate. The victim was Dunbar High School student Chrissy Nicole Veal. Police later identified the assailant as Kajena Boykin.
3-18-96 -- John Salvi III, 24, was convicted of murdering two women at a Boston-area abortion clinic in 1994. He was sentenced to life in prison without parole.
3-19-96 -- More than 150 died in a fire at an overcrowded discotheque in the Philippines.

Bob Dole won the Ohio primary and those in Michigan, Illinois and Wisconsin. The victories gave Dole sufficient delegates to clinch the GOP nomination.

Hamilton County voters approved a sales tax to finance new stadiums for the Bengals and the Reds. Both teams had threatened to leave Cincinnati if they did not get new stadiums.

3-21-96 -- After seven consecutive days of negotiations -- including 49 straight hours at the end -- union and company officials at Delphi Chassis announced a tentative agreement to the 17-day strike which virtually shut down GM's North American operations.
3-23-96 -- President Clinton visits Cincinnati to speak at Xavier University.
A 14-year-old Butler County boy, Dallas Jackson, was shot in the face and killed when a gun he and another boy wer playing with went off.
3-25-96 -- Jackson Twp. Police Chief Bruce Johnson was supspended pending a Sheriff's investigation of allegations that he used excessive force in an arrest. The complaint alleged Johnson had been drinking.
3-28-96 -- Dayton Schools Superintendent James A Williams outlined his plan to reorganize the Dayton district. The plan would divide the district into three zones and allow elementary students to attend any school within the zone. It would be the first restructuring of the district's desegregation plan since 1976. Williams said he would seek $400 million in funding from the state.