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Lisa Powell

Staff photographer for Cox Media Group Ohio.

Latest from Lisa Powell

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WWII veteran receives honorary diploma

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More than 70 years after Charles W. Benning left high school to serve in World War II, the Army veteran took care of some unfinished business Thursday.

Benning, 92, was due to receive an honorary diploma at a graduation ceremony at Yellow Springs High School with the more than 50 teenage graduates from the class of 2015.

The Springfield man said he never received a diploma because he joined the Army after the outbreak of war.

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Sean L. Jenkins, 48, of Atlanta, had approached school officials about giving his grandfather a diploma, noting it was Benning's decision put on a uniform and serve his country that led him out of the classroom in his native Yellow Springs.

“Over the years, he said the only thing he regrets was never having that opportunity,” Jenkins said in a recent interview.

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Woman assaults ex with box of chocolates because he ate all the good ones

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Vanessa Farmer, 45, couldn't wait to eat the sweets in a box of chocolates she bought. But when she opened it up to eat one, she found that David Clare-Gray, an ex-boyfriend that she was still living with, had already indulged in the treats.

He'd eaten all the candies except for two – a praline in milk chocolate and a vanilla truffle with little almond pieces.

The box originally contained 20 pieces of chocolate.

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Annoyed, Farmer threw the Nestlé Dairy Box at her former partner.

But Clare-Gray is a law enforcement officer. 

He had Farmer arrested for assault, and she was in a holding cell for almost 24 hours. 

"All I did was throw a chocolate box. I didn’t do it to hurt Dave, but I still got arrested. I’m not a nasty person. Common sense just doesn’t seem to prevail," Farmer told the Sunday Mirror.

Farmer said the box, which hit Clare-Gray on his "big belly" shouldn't have hurt him "because he's fat."

The charges were eventually dropped, but she was stuck with a $7,700 legal bill.

Read more here.

Super Tuesday highlights: Who won, who lost?

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Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton each won seven states on Super Tuesday, expanding their delegate leads in the race for president.

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On the Republican side Texas Sen. Ted Cruz was able to hold his home state and take Oklahoma. Florida Sen. Marco Rubio scored his first win of the election in Minnesota.

On the Democratic side, Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders won his home state of Vermont, but also scored wins in Oklahoma, Minnesota and Colorado.

Ohio Gov. John Kasich scored no wins on Super Tuesday. He had second place finishes in Vermont and Massachusetts, but came in last in six states, behind Ben Carson.

Here are the highlights of Super Tuesday:

  • Donald Trump won Alabama, Massachusetts, Tennessee, Arkansas, Virginia, Vermont and Georgia.
  • Texas Sen. Ted Cruz won Texas and Oklahoma.
  • Hillary Clinton won Massachusetts, Alabama, Texas, Arkansas, Tennessee, Georgia and Virginia’s Democratic primaries.
  • Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders won Colorado, Minnesota, Vermont and Oklahoma. He won Vermont with more than 85 percent of the vote.
  • Florida Sen. Marco Rubio won Minnesota.

Both Trump and Clinton sounded like they were moving on to the general election after their Tuesday wins.

“It’s clear tonight that the stakes in this election have never been higher and the rhetoric we’re hearing on the other side has never been lower,” Clinton said.

Trump, too, had his eye on a general election match-up with the former secretary of state, casting her as part of a political establishment that has failed Americans.

“She’s been there for so long,” Trump said from his Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida. “If she hasn’t straightened it out by now, she’s not going to straighten it out in the next four years.”

John Kasich, who came up winless Tuesday, thanked supporters early in the night at a Super Tuesday rally in Mississippi.

Kasich has been trying to build off his surprising second place finish in the New Hampshire primary last month.

He has yet to win any states. His speech Tuesday was full of family remembrances and tributes to his supporters but very little discussion of the night’s results.

Rubio, speaking at a Super Tuesday rally at his hometown in Miami, criticized Trump.

Rubio said that over the last five days he has begun “to unmask the true nature” of Trump, whom he called a “con artist.”

He said his recent attacks on Trump have given his campaign momentum and said that Trump did not represent the legacy of the “party of Reagan.”

Here’s how each state played out Tuesday night:



Democrats: Hillary Clinton won big in Alabama. She defeated Sanders 79-18 percent. 53 delegates (35 district, 18 statewide)

Republicans: Donald Trump was announced the winner in Alabama as soon as the polls closed. He won 43 percent of the vote. Ted Cruz was a distant second at 21 and Rubio right behind him at 18. John Kasich came in last with just 4 percent. 50 delegates (21 district, 29 statewide).



Democrats: No election for Democrats tuesday

Republicans: Ted Cruz defeated Donald Trump, 36-33 percent in Alaska. The race was called at nearly 4 a.m. ET. 28 delegates.



Democrats: It’s a win for Hillary Clinton in American Samoa.

The South Pacific island chain held its caucus Tuesday.

Clinton won 73 percent of 223 votes cast to earn four of the six delegates at stake. Bernie Sanders picked up two delegates.

American Samoa is one of five U.S. territories that cast votes in primaries and caucuses to decide the Democratic presidential nominee, even though those residents aren’t eligible to vote in the November general election.

The island chain has a population of 54,000 and is about a six hour flight from Hawaii

Republicans: No race



Democrats: She used to be the first lady of this state, so she was announced the winner here as soon as the polls closed. She won 66 percent of the vote to just 30 percent for Sanders. 32 delegates (21 district, 11 statewide)

Republicans: Trump won a close race here defeating Cruz, 33-30 percent. Rubio was at 25. Carson at 6 and Kasich at just 4 percent. 40 delegates (12 district, 28 statewide)



Democrats: Bernie Sanders scored a big win in this swing state Tuesday night. It looks like he will get more than 55 percent of the vote here against Clinton. 66 delegates (43 district, 23 statewide)

Republicans: No election for Republicans today.



Democrats: Hillary Clinton won Georgia early, as soon as the polls were closed. It looks like she will win more than 70 percent of the vote here. She won every county in the state except for Echols County on the Florida border. (67 district, 35 statewide)

Republicans: The race was called for Donald Trump as soon as the polls closed. The billionaire is set to get the bulk of the 76 delegates up for grabs in Georgia, the second-biggest trove of the sweep of states that are holding primaries or caucuses on Tuesday. Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio are in a close contest for second. Kasich is in last behind Ben Carson. Rubio managed to win the four counties in the Atlanta metro area. 76 delegates (42 district, 34 statewide)



Democrats: It went late into the night, but Clinton was able to declare victory in Massachusetss around 11:15 p.m. Looks like she will have just over 50 percent of the vote. 91 delegates (59 district, 32 statewide)

Republicans: Donald Trump won easily in Massachusetts taking nearly 50 percent of the vote and winning every county in the state. Rubio and Kasich are in a close fight for second. 42 delegates



Democrats: Sanders scored a big win here defeating Clinton 60-40 percent. He won every district in the state. 77 delegates (50 district, 27 statewide)

Republicans: Florida Sen. Marco Rubio won his first state of the entire election here defeating Ted Cruz, 37-29 percent. Minnesota also handed Trump his first third place defeat of the entire election. John Kasich came in last with just 6 percent of the vote. 38 delegates (24 district, 14 statewide)



Democrats: Sanders won every county in Oklahoma but two and scored a big win here defeating Clinton, 52-42 percent. 38 delegates (25 district, 13 statewide)

Republicans: Texas Sen. Ted Cruz was able to win his neighboring state. He beat Trump there 34-28 percent. Rubio came in third with 26 percent. Kasich was last, behind Ben Carson with just 4 percent. 43 delegates (15 district, 28 statewide)



Democrats: Clinton was called the winner in Tennessee early, as soon as the polls closed. She has nearly 66 percent of the vote here. 67 delegates (44 district, 23 statewide)

Republicans: Trump was called the winner early in Tennessee and won every county except for Williamson, near Nashville. That one went to Rubio. But Cruz came in second here. 58 delegates (27 district, 31 statewide)



Democrats: Hillary Clinton won Texas big Tuesday taking at least 65 percent of the vote. 222 delegates (145 district, 77 statewide)

Republicans: The crown jewel of the night and Ted Cruz was able to hold his home state. Cruz won 44 percent of the vote. Trump was a distant second at 27 percent. Kasich came in fourth, behind Rubio. 155 delegates (108 district, 47 statewide)



Democrats: Bernie Sanders won his home state as soon as the polls closed. He received more than 85 percent of the vote there.

Sanders, celebrating his victory pledged to “win many hundreds of delegates” on Super Tuesday.

After thanking the raucous crowd, which periodically chanted his name, he touted how far his campaign had come in the last 10 months.

And he vowed to “take our fight” to the 35 states that would have not yet voted by night’s end.

He pledged to enact judicial reform, fix the nation’s “broken” campaign finance system and he, once again, pledged a “political revolution” and said that he and his supporters would stand up to “billionaire class” that dominates the nation’s political system. 16 delegates.

Republicans: John Kasich almost scored his first win of the election here, but ended up losing to Trump, 33-30 percent. The race remained too close to call for most of the night, but gave Trump his seventh Super Tuesday win. 16 delegates



Democrats: Hillary Clinton was announced the winner in Virginia as soon as the polls closed. She defeated Sanders, 64 percent to 35 percent. 95 delegates (62 district, 33 statewide)

Republicans: Donald Trump was declared the winner around 9 p.m. with Marco Rubio a close second. Trump defeated Rubio, 35-32 percent. Cruz was third with 17 percent and Kasich was fourth with 9 percent. 49 delegates.

8 crazy facts about Super Tuesday

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Political junkies all stayed up to find out who won Alaska Wednesday morning, but have we really looked at the numbers on Super Tuesday results?

There was some crazy statistics hidden behind the wins and losses. Here’s a look at the highlights:

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Marco Rubio finally won

Florida Sen. Marco Rubio, who many think is the establishment alternative to Donald Trump, finally won a state on Tuesday -- Minnesota. That means he is won 1 and lost 13. However, he did not come in below 3rd in any state Tuesday night.

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Trump had some big statewide wins

Trump managed to not only win some states, but in some he won every county or nearly all of them. In Alabama and Massachusetts he won every county. In Tennessee he won every county but one in suburban Nashville.

The South was clearly Clinton country

Hillary Clinton won most southern states by huge margins against Bernie Sanders. She won more than 70 percent of the vote and every county in Alabama. She won more than 70 percent of the vote and all but one county in Georgia. She won every county in Arkansas that reported as of 2 a.m. Wednesday. She won all but 4 counties in Tennessee.

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The delegate math

Clinton is now almost at the halfway mark in the number of delegates she needs to win the nomination. She has 1,001, according to the Associated Press and needs 2,083. Trump has a lead, but has a ways to go. He has 274 delegates and needs to get to 1,237. Ted Cruz is in second with 149.

The Northeast loves Kasich, the South not so much

Ohio Gov. John Kasich still hasn’t won any states, but on Tuesday he came in second in Vermont and Massachusetts. He came in second a few weeks ago in New Hampshire. I guess it balances out the fact that people in the South don’t seem to like him. He came in 5th, behind Ben Carson Tuesday in Alabama, Tennessee, Georgia, Oklahoma and Arkansas.

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Sanders is loved at home

Bernie Sanders won 86 percent of the vote in Vermont. It is unlikely any other candidate will get anywhere near that in their home state on either side. He also scored wins in Colorado, Oklahoma and Minnesota

Trump came in 3rd place for the first time

The state of Minnesota gave Donald Trump his first 3rd place finish of the entire election. Marco Rubio won and Ted Cruz came in second.

The fall of Ben Carson

Just a few months ago, Ben Carson was toward the top in the national polls. On Super Tuesday, he was 4th or 5th in every state. His best performance was in Alabama where he won 10 percent of the vote. His worst was in Massachusetts where he got 2.5 percent.

Feds charge stage rusher at Trump rally

The Associated Press and WHIO staff writer Josh Sweigart contributed to this report.

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March 15 - 12:40 p.m. (all times local)

Thomas DiMassimo’s attorney does not think his client will be charged in state court, but that the federal misdemeanor charge will go forward.

“I don’t think he’s going to be charged in both jurisdictions,” said Jon Paul Rion, who added that he didn’t think DiMassimo would be in Dayton Municipal Court on Tuesday. “It’s clear that Thomas is simply a college student who, in his mind, was simply engaging in a form of political speech and making a statement, in his own mind.

“He is not a member of any organization. Those statements (of DiMassimo’s possible ties to ISIS) are completely without basis.”

The federal crime DiMassimo is accused of carries a one-year maximum sentence after a conviction. If a weapon had been used or serious physical injuries had been suffered, there could have been a 10-year maximum.

DiMassimo’s first federal court appearance is scheduled for March 23. He is not currently in custody.

10:20 a.m.

Thomas DiMassimo, 22, has been charged in federal court with entering a restricted building or grounds without lawful authority to do so, according to court documents.

Court documents read that DiMassimo “did knowingly enter and remain in a restricted building….cordoned off and otherwise restricted area where a person protected by the Secret Service.”

DiMassimo does not yet have a federal court date.

Local charges are also being reviewed for the 22-year-old, but no official charges have been filed in Dayton Municipal Court, according to court records.

March 14 - 11:28 a.m.

Thomas DiMassimo, 22, has not yet been formally charged after he was accused of jumping over a railing in an attempt to get onto the stage at the Donald Trump rally Saturday.

Court officials said DiMassimo has been ordered into court tomorrow at 1:30 p.m., but the exact nature of that appearance will be determined depending on formal charges.

DiMassimo was released from the Montgomery County Jail on Saturday afternoon after he posted bond. The 22-year-old had been booked on pending charges of disorderly conduct and inducing panic.

March 12 - 12:17 p.m. 

A man with a history of protesting vaulted over waist-high metal railings broke through two security staff and nearly got on stage near the end of Saturday’s Donald Trump rally near the Dayton International Airport.

Thomas Dimassimo, 22, was arrested for disorderly conduct and inducing panic, according to the Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office. He was released from the county jail Saturday afternoon.

>>Watch video of the incident here

Details from the arrest report

  • Four Secret Service agents jumped to surround Trump
  • Witnesses: Man placed in plastic-style handcuffs
  • Suspect identified as Thomas DiMassimo, of Fairborn
  • DiMassimo was held in jail for a few hours before he posted bail
  • Last year, DiMassimo led a controversial civil rights protest at Wright State University
  • Trump Tweeted thanks to U.S. Secret Service, called DiMassimo a ‘maniac’
  • The candidate Tweeted a video of DiMassimo taking part in a protest at Wright State that had been altered

Secret Service and other security officers swarmed DiMassimo as he reached the back of the stage and tried to scramble up, about 8 to 10 feet from where the Republican front-runner was speaking to a large crowd in the hangar at Wright Bros. Aero.

Trump was startled by the commotion, stopped his speech and was immediately surrounded by four Secret Service agents. After about 30 seconds, as the man was pinned to the ground and then led away, Trump returned to the podium, shaking his head. The crowd first booed and then started chanting, “Trump, Trump, Trump,” and “USA, USA, USA.”

Trump pointed to people right in front of the stage and thanked them for warning him of the man coming from behind.

From his Twitter account, Trump thanked the United States Secret Service for “stopping the maniac running to the stage” and posted a video he said was of DiMassimo from YouTube, saying DiMassimo had ties to ISIS.

The video shows DiMassimo and several people dragging the American flag as part of a protest at Wright State. Added to the clips of the protest is a graphic of the ISIS flag and DiMassimo photoshopped holding a gun, giving the impression he’s a supporter of the Islamic State. The video appears to be a hoax.


“I was ready for him, but it’s much easier if the cops do it, don’t we agree?” Trump said.

In April 2015, Dimassimo, then a Wright State University junior, helped lead an anti-racism protest that included students standing on American flags and holding signs saying, “Not my flag.”

“I thought it would ruffle some feathers, but I did not anticipate how tense the backlash would become,” DiMassimo told this newspaper at the time. “If anything, all that has shown is that people in this area and people on the Internet care more about a symbolic piece of cloth, than they do a black person’s life … or, even beyond that, our constitutional rights.”

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported Saturday that DiMassimo was the son of Atlanta infrastrure bond program administrator Faye Dimassimo. Faye recently resigned from her post as Cobb County transportation director, a move that drew questions in Atlanta when it was announced last November. The newspaper reported her resignation came while transit expansion totaling over $100 million was scheduled to start around a new ballpark in Cobb County.

Many people in the crowd Saturday couldn’t see the altercation. The man jumped the fence and reached the stage in a few seconds, then was pinned to the ground behind the stage and out of sight for many.

When the rally ended, as Trump greeted supporters and signed autographs along the railing line, Dimassimo was being questioned outside two police SUVs about 50 yards from the rally site.

Dal Haybron stood behind the ruckus and said the man who rushed the stage was with three or four other people. He said the Secret Service was “too gentle.”

“He jumped over the rail and immediately they just nailed him,” Haybron said. “Boom. Done.”

A few other protesters were led out earlier in the rally, with Trump once telling security to, “Get ‘em out of here” to cheers from the crowd.

Two young men in the crowd to Trump’s right debated whether to make a scene, and yelled statements critical to Trump a couple times. But others nearby either ignored them or urged them to just watch the rally. After the man was arrested for charging the stage, they pair slid out the back door.

But the event was calm compared to Friday’s Chicago rally, which Trump canceled due to safety concerns after protesters packed the arena where he was scheduled to speak. After the cancellation, there were some isolated physical confrontations between protesters and Trump supporters. Chicago police said five people were arrested.

Trump addressed the Chicago issue during the Dayton rally, saying it would have been easier to let the Chicago event go on and let people fight and hurt themselves, but he said “we made the right decision” in canceling.

Charles Blevins of Washington Twp. said he was aware of the problems at the Chicago event before he came to Saturday’s rally.

“After watching on TV last night, I’m glad this turned out the way it did,” Blevins said. “They had a few protesters, but they probably have that at all events. I thought it was handled very well.”

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