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50 Cent issues apology after bullying autistic airport worker

 Rapper 50 Cent is apologizing for posting a video accusing a Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport worker with autism of being high.

“While the incident at the airport resulted from an unfortunate misunderstanding, I am truly sorry for offending the young man,” the rapper told Page Six in a statement. “It was certainly not my intent to insult him or the disability community, which is a source of great strength in America. I have apologized personally to him and his family.”

Jungle Jim's and Arrow Wine have pulled Effen, the vodka 50 Cent promotes, off of their store shelves.

According to TMZ, the family has hired an attorney. 

>> Local stores yank 50 Cent-sponsored vodka from shelves after 'bullying' incident First report:

50 Cent really looks more like two bits in a viral video.

The rapper who made appearances in Dayton and Cincinnati last weekend put his foot in his mouth when he posted a video on Twitter accusing a young worker at the Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport of being high.

According to WKRC in Cincinnati, Andrew Farrell, a teenage contract worker at the airport, has social anxiety and mild autism.

He was on his way to clean a gate when he was approached by 50 Cent.

The TV station interviewed the young man and his parents.

“It hurts to watch that. It’s painful,” Farrell’s stepfather Ken Kramer said. “You come up, and you start talking to a kid you know nothing about. That’s not fair. That’s a slap in the face.”

They want an apology and, according to TMZ, have hired an attorney and want $1 million for bullying. 

The Ruderman Family Foundation, a national leader in disability inclusion, has denounced the rapper.

“50 Cent’s recent taunting of Andrew Farrell, a young man with disabilities, at the Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport is reprehensible and has no place in our society,” said Jay Ruderman, president of the Ruderman Family Foundation. “I’m sure 50 Cent would not want anyone to publicly humiliate his friends and family in the manner he humiliated this young man with disabilities who was just minding his business while doing his job.”

IHOP coming to Bechtle Avenue in Springfield

By the numbers

80: Estimated jobs created by new IHOP location in Springfield.

60: Parking spaces IHOP is requesting for new restaurant.

$2.9 million: Money being spent on three new retail stores on North Bechtle Avenue, including a $2.1 million Hobby Lobby location.

An IHOP restaurant is coming to a new shopping center on Bechtle Avenue in Springfield as the busy retail corridor continues to rebound after a slow down during the Great Recession.

The national breakfast chain, also known as the International House of Pancakes, will build a new restaurant in an outlot at 2206 Bechtle Ave., near the new Hobby Lobby development.

Over the past six months, more than $2.9 million has been spent on new retail stores on Bechtle Avenue.

The shopping center north of Walmart was originally planned in 2006, but the recession slowed the development, said Stephen Thompson, Springfield’s planning, zoning and code enforcement administrator.

“It’s good to finally see these projects come to fruition,” Thompson said.

The new IHOP could break ground as early as May 16, said Jamila Gilbert, marketing director for the developer of the Miami Valley region’s IHOPs. A late summer opening has been targeted, she said.

The restaurant will be IHOP’s newest prototype, called the Rise and Shine Design, Gilbert said. The lot will be about 1 acre and could include a more than 8,400-square-foot restaurant, according to city planning records.

It was announced last year that seven IHOP restaurants were planned for the Miami Valley market but not all of the locations had been released.

The Miami Valley’s IHOPs are being developed by Las Cruces, New Mexico-based Prestige Development Group, which is still in the process of closing on the Bechtle Avenue property.

The first of those restaurants opened in Beavercreek late last year. Each site will create as many as 80 jobs, development officials told this news organization last year.

“We’re excited to be developing in the region again,” Gilbert said.

The restaurant filed a variance to increase the number of parking spaces at its location and will appear before the Board of Zoning Appeals on May 16. The restaurant wants 60 parking spaces, more than the typical 46. City staff will be recommended approval of the variance, Thompson said.

It’s the latest in a string of developments on Bechtle Avenue. Hobby Lobby spent about $2.1 million to construct a new 55,000-square-foot location on North Bechtle Avenue, while Kay Jewelers recently opened a new $163,000 location inside the Bechtle Crossing shopping center at 1654 N. Bechtle Ave.

Dollar Tree is also currently building a $658,000 location in one of outlots in front of the Hobby Lobby development. The former Dollar Tree and Ashley Furniture locations are both being demolished to build a Dick’s Sporting Goods later this year.

The corridor also includes several major retailers such as Walmart, Home Depot, Kohls, Meijer and Lowes.

IHOP operates multiple franchise restaurants in the Columbus and Cincinnati markets. But prior to the opening of the Beavercreek restaurant, the closest IHOPs to Springfield were in Columbus, Grove City and West Chester.

The IHOP will be a good addition to the corridor, Springfield resident Rick Boop said. The city needs more breakfast spots in town, he said, especially in light of the recent Perkins closings.

“A lot of people liked those (restaurants),” Boop said.

Springfield resident Lauren Davey has never eaten at IHOP but believes it will be good for the area. She also hopes to see another breakfast spot enter the market.

“We should get a Waffle House first though,” she said.

Prince’s memorable performances in Dayton


Here’s a complete list of regional performances:

  • Feb. 11, 1980 — Cincinnati – Bogarts
  • April 20, 1980 — Dayton – University of Dayton Arena
  • Dec. 27, 1981 — Trotwood – Hara Arena
  • March 14, 1982 — Cincinnati – Riverfront Coliseum
  • Nov. 18, 1982 — Columbus – Veterans Memorial Auditorium
  • Dec. 12, 1982 — Cincinnati – Riverfront Coliseum
  • March 3, 1983 — Trotwood – Hara Arena
  • Sept. 22, 1988 — Cincinnati – Riverfront Coliseum
  • Sept. 19, 1997 — Dayton — WSU-Ervin J. Nutter Center
  • Nov. 9, 1997 — Cincinnati – The Crown
  • May 13, 1998 — Columbus – Battelle Hall At G.C.C.C.
  • Nov. 20, 2000 — Cincinnati – Cincinnati Music Hall
  • June 21, 2001 — Columbus – Nationwide Arena
  • March 5, 2002 — Columbus – Ohio Theatre
  • April 13, 2004 — Cincinnati – US Bank Arena
  • April 16, 2004 — Columbus – Value City Arena at The Jerome Schottenstein Center (OSU)



Prince vinyls and CDs have always been hot-sellers at Omega Music in Dayton. The music store has received several calls already today with music fans wanting to scoop up his greatest works, said Greg Staiger, co-owner. 

The store is currently sold out of vinyls and does still have a few CDS. Bracing for a spike in sales, the music store is restocking.

“We expect to bring in classic albums, CDs, really the whole gamut,” he said.


Our Facebook fans shared some of their memories and tributes to Prince on our pages.

From WHIO Facebook:

Beverly Fogel Parris: “A friend in high school got a purple jeep for her 16th birthday because she loved him so much. We drive down the street blasting “‘Purple Rain’ much to all the neighbors dislike.”

Sonny’s Angels: “It’s a sad day in America. I think today everyone at work should be sent home and have tomorrow off. Today should be considered National Prince Day!!!”

Now it’s your turn: Share your memories on our Facebook page or email us at and include your first and last name, hometown and the subject line PRINCE IN DAYTON.

The death of music legend Prince — a Rock and Roll Hall of Fame member who won seven Grammy Awards and sold more than 100 million records — sent shockwaves through the nation and this community.

We spoke with some local concert-goers and superfans about their memories of Prince and the mark he has left on the world through a unique brand of music that blended funk, soul, R&B and pop.


Prince has appeared in Dayton, Cincinnati and Columbus several times throughout his career.

Dayton tour stops included an April 20, 1980 show at the University of Dayton Arena, a Dec. 27, 1981 show and a March 3, 1983 show at Hara Arena in Trotwood and a Sept. 19, 1997 show at the Wright State Ervin J. Nutter Center.

Prince headlined a sold-out concert at Hara on March 3, 1983 as part of the 1999 Tour with opening acts The Time and Vanity 6, said Karen Wampler, marketing director, Dayton Hara Complex.

“It was one of the best dressed concert crowds we’ve ever seen,” Wampler said.

Prince announced his Sept. 19, 1997 show at the Nutter Center, part of his Jam of the Year World Tour, just eight days before the show date. News reports said dozens were camped out the night before tickets went on sale. At that time, Reba McEntire held the record for fastest sellout at the facility. Most expected Prince to break it.

Misty Cox, marketing manager for the Nutter Center, recalls that concert day. She had just recently started working there as an intern, and this was the first big show she worked on.

“We booked the show, put the tickets on sale and planned the show all within just two weeks,” Cox recalled. “It was crazy!”

And all that hype paid off with a sold-out, high energy concert at the Nutter that she will never forget, she said.

“It was Prince. It was electric,” she said.

Even more exciting was meeting the superstar while on the job, she said.

“It was unbelievable,” she said. “He was very polite and soft-spoken, and he was wearing these big platform boots.”

“I can’t believe he’s gone,” Cox said.

Carlos Holmes, manager of safety and security for Cox Media Group Ohio, also attended the Nutter Center concert.

“That was the 10th time seeing him in concert,” he said. “I camped out for tickets. I’ve seen him in several places – from New York to Detroit. His concert tour for the 1999 tour was the first concert I’d ever been to, as a teenager.

“My favorite song is ‘I Wanna Be Your Lover.’ He played that in Dayton. It was a nice crowd. He was just a phenomenal musician – I just watched Purple Rain two weeks ago.”

Here is an excerpt from a review of the Nutter Center concert that appeared in the Sept. 21, 1997 issue of Dayton Daily News, written by Ray Marcano:

“… Nearly everyone in the house stood during his two-hour show. And the show lived up to its billing — it was the Jam of the Year.

Sure, he played all the hits everyone knows — some in their entirety, some in medleys — but he showed, in two solo efforts, why he’s one of the most talented musicians. His solo work on the guitar was flawless and his piano medley that included Diamonds and Pearls and The Beautiful Ones was equally terrific.

He also showed why he’s the best popular music showman since James Brown, prancing and dancing along the stage and on top of his purple piano named “Beautiful,” and directing his band so the music matched every hip wiggle, hand motion and head movement.”


Anthony Shoemaker, political editor for Cox Media Group Ohio and devoted lifelong Prince fan, shares what the legendary artist means to him:

“I remember being 8 years old in front of the TV with the old brown cable box with a cord dancing around to ‘Let’s Go Crazy.’ That was my first memory of Prince. Knowing I’d heard something amazing, it never stopped. As a teen, I bought every album, loved every movie — even ‘Under the Cherry Moon.’ I remember one time my parents took me and some friends to the Ohio State Fair when I was around 15. I put my headphones on with my Walkman and ignored everyone because I had just bought ‘Diamonds and Pearls’ on tape. To put it simply, his music made me happy. I grew up with it. When I hear it, it changes my mood,” he said.

Shoemaker went to concerts in Dayton, Cincinnati, Chicago and Columbus as well as annual fan club convention in Toledo.

“Those were die-hard fans,” he said. “When he played Wright State in 1997, I DJ’d three hours of his music on WWSU.”

“Last August on my 40th birthday, (my wife) managed to get me in for a dance party at Paisley Park in Minneapolis. I remember walking in and the first thing you see is the bike from Purple Rain. It was odd to see it in person after remembering it from your childhood. We played on his purple pool table, danced around and then he came out and talked to the crowd. He welcomed us to his home and then walked off stage. He walked right by us.”

“For me, he was a great artist and entertainer, but the reality of it is he provided the soundtrack of my life. The music I loved as a child through now. I’m sad I’ll never see another concert, hear him live again or that he’ll create any new music. But he has so much unreleased work that he will be putting out music long after today.”

Comedian Lewis Black in Dayton this week

Comedian/playwright Lewis Black will be in Dayton this week to attend a performance of his play, “One Slight Hitch,” announced the Human Race Theatre Company.

Black will attend Wednesday's performance of the romantic comedy at Human Race's base theater, The Loft Theater at 126 N. Main St., next to the Victoria Theatre. After the performance, Black will speak to the audience about his play. 

Black is also known for stand-up comedy and appearing on “Comedy Central” and “The Daily Show with Jon Stewart.” 

"One Slight Hitch" runs through Saturday, April 24. Tickets can be purchased through Ticket Center Stage: or 937-228-3630.  

Zookeeper killed by tiger was leaving zoo for new job

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Stacey Konwiser, the zookeeper killed Friday by a tiger at the Palm Beach Zoo, had worked there for three years but was planning to leave. She had taken a job with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, according to zoo officials.

“Konwiser had recently accepted a position with the FDA, looking at long-term career progression to get into U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service. We were in the process of crafting another position to retain her,” Palm Beach Zoo General Curator Jan Steele said in a written statement Saturday morning.

>>Tiger kills handler at Florida zoo

The male Malayan tiger that killed Konwiser remains at the Palm Beach Zoo and is recovering from the tranquilizer administered after the encounter, zoo spokeswoman Naki Carter said at a news conference Saturday.

Carter declined to say which of the zoo’s three male Malayan tigers killed Konwiser, known as the “tiger whisperer.”

>>More on Konwiser, the tiger whisperer

The zoo will be closed through the weekend and remains under active investigation by West Palm Beach police as well as OSHA and the FWC, Carter said. The zoo is not commenting on whether Konwiser was alone in the tiger’s “night house” when the attack took place.

Carter also would not say whether the tiger exhibit will remain open at the zoo or if they will euthanize the tiger.

>> Read more trending stories

Funeral arrangements are being made and the zoo is working with Konwiser’s family to set up a fund in her memory, Carter said.

An animal rights group is calling for federal authorities to impose the maximum penalties on the Palm Beach Zoo following the death of the zookeeper.

The details on how Konwiser died are still a matter of speculation. She was in the tiger’s enclosed area, dubbed the “night house,” that is not visible to the public when the bite occurred. Zoo officials initially said Konwiser had done nothing wrong, but it remains unknown if she was having direct contact with the 300-pound male tiger or if the area somehow was breached by the tiger.

The Animal Legal Defense Fund called upon the OSHA and the U.S. Department of Agriculture to expedite its investigation and impose a penalty that would “ensure an end to these preventable deaths in zoos.” The group has previously called upon OSHA to enact specific standards governing workplace safety for employees who work with dangerous wild animals.

“As long as employees are allowed to work in dangerously close proximity to tigers, elephants, and other dangerous animals, a significant risk of serious injury or death persists,” a statement from the group read.

The animal rights group says Konwiser’s death could have been prevented with appropriate safety measures. The group headquartered near San Francisco focuses on litigation to stop animal abuse — whether it involves companion animals, factory farming or the entertainment business.

Since 1990 there have been at least 24 deaths—and 265 injuries—caused by captive big cats in the United States resulting in the deaths of over 128 big cats—many of whom were endangered species, the group stated.

Wind-damaged Young’s Jersey Dairy cow moooooves back to iconic sign

This one is a mooooving tale.

On Friday, Jersey Girl — Young’s Jersey Dairy’s famous cow statue — was placed back on the sign she was blown from during heavy winds April 2.

Fans were relieved when the fiberglass cow was returned to her throne using a special crane during a celebration Friday evening at the dairy farm near Yellow Springs.

The cow-raising went off without a hitch — except for the moment a screw was lost.

About 25 people witnessed the event up close, while many others captured the action with their phones as they drove past the dairy along U.S. 68.

Young’s CEO Dan Young said he knew there would be a lot of interest in the cow, but he was truly blown away by the public response after the storm damage.

He encouraged his staff to use their imaginations to keep fans updated.

“They got creative and really silly, he said.”

Young’s Marketing Manager Angela Rayner said maintenance workers Bill Whittaker and Chuck Fagan doctored the cow.

Whittaker was able to fabricate replacements or repair all the missing or broken parts. He created a paint to match Jersey’s color.

Together, the three employees worked to share on social media funny photos and updates about the cow’s condition and recovery under the care of “Cow Specialists Bill and Chuck,” who donned face masks and pretended to give the Jersey Girl statue milk through an IV, for example.

The cow had been on its sign for 40 years, but not uninterrupted, Rayner explained.


”She’s taken down every three to five years for routine painting and maintenance,” Rayner said.

But the storm marked the first time nature caused the cow to fall.

Its tail, hoof, horn and ear were broken. The ear has not been found.

About 100 fans took photos with the cow statue Thursday before it was to be returned to its rightful place.

Many others made comments about the cow on social media.

A few even came out to the dairy to watch the cow return to its resting spot.

Makayla and Wyatt Anderkin, ages 8 and 7 of Springfield, could not pass up the opportunity to see the cow re-installed and attended Friday’s event along with their mother, Babette.

They had been watching the saga unfold on Facebook — from Jersey’s spa day to the time she met Young’s other cows on a walker.

“It got a massage,” Makayla said.

Bob Evans to shut down Riverside restaurant

The Bob Evans Restaurant at 1929 Harshman Road near Stebbins High School in Riverside will close permanently at 3 p.m. April 23, Angela M. Payne, Bob Evans’ corporate communications manager confirmed today, April 14.

“Closing a restaurant is always a difficult decision,” Payne said. “The Harshman Road location is one of our lower-volume restaurants in the area, which contributed to the necessary decision to close.

“Whenever we close a restaurant, we do our best to assist impacted employees by offering positions in nearby restaurants where possible. We were pleased to offer all 44 non-management employees transfers to nearby locations.”

No other Dayton-area closings have been announced, Payne said.

In May 2015, the New Albany, Ohio-based restaurant chain closed 17 restaurants as part of a cost-cutting move, although all 17 were located outside Ohio.

>> PREVIOUS COVERAGE: Bob Evans closes 17 restaurants (May 2015)

One dead, several injured in hazmat situation near University of Texas campus

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Austin firefighters responding to a hazardous materials call found a man thought to be in his 20s dead in anapartment Wednesday afternoon. It was unclear if the victim is a University of Texas student, firefighters said.

Paramedics took two people to University Medical Center Brackenridge in connection with the incident at 21 Pearl Apartments in West Campus near 21st and Pearl streets. Three others were treated at the scene, Austin Fire Division Chief Palmer Buck said.

Firefighters responded to the hazardous materials call at about 3:22 p.m. They found the man in cardiac arrest and attempted to resuscitate him, Buck said. Firefighters also found indications of hydrogen sulfide inside the apartment.

Buck said the first firefighters found a “warning sign” outside of the victim’s apartment but Buck did not elaborate further.

The manner and cause of death of the man will be determined by the Travis County medical examiner’s office.

Residents of the apartment building, mostly UT students, have remained outside of the building for about an hour.

At 4:30 p.m., Pearl Street remained closed from 21st to 23rd streets, officials said.

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