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Butler County


Comments about Women’s March land West Chester official in hot water

West Chester Twp. Fiscal Officer Bruce Jones says he won’t back away from voicing strong opinions, despite it costing him a relationship with a real estate firm where he was an agent. Jones told the Journal-News his frustration got the better of him when he told a woman on his Facebook page she should “go back to the asylum” following a lengthy discussion on gender equality. That...
Mild temps continue tonight, change in weather pattern looms

Mild temps continue tonight, change in weather pattern looms

Mainly cloudy skies are expected with temperatures slowly dropping into the upper 30s after dark. Some breaks in the clouds tonight Unseasonably warm for one more day tomorrow Colder weather, snow showers begin Thursday Tonight: Some breaks in the clouds are possible late tonight. Temperatures will be cool, dropping into the middle 30s by morning. Wednesday: Some brief sunshine is possible...
Boy with Down syndrome inspires mom to open Fairfield dance studio

Boy with Down syndrome inspires mom to open Fairfield dance studio

A mother of a son with Down syndrome said some people see children with disabilities as having limitations. Instead, she sees potential. When Kenya Flowers found out 13 years ago her son, Dehvin, was born with Down syndrome, she said doctors discussed “options” with her. “The only option,” she told them, “is he’s my son.” As it turned out, Dehvin, 13, an eighth-grader...
Cincinnati school rallies after slurs painted on school grounds

Cincinnati school rallies after slurs painted on school grounds

A day after swastikas, racist words and homophobic slurs were painted near the football field of Withrow High School in Hyde Park, students rallied to replace the offensive words with something positive. The rally began at 7:15 a.m. Monday after 140 students, alumni, parents and community leaders committed online to showing up at the school’s football field, according to our news partner WCPO...
2 men accused in Hamilton firefighter’s death to be tried together

2 men accused in Hamilton firefighter’s death to be tried together

The first of two men charged in the arson fire that killed a Hamilton firefighter appeared in Butler County Court this morning, where his trial date of Feb. 21 was vacated. Lester Parker, 66, was transported from the Warren County Jail for his appearance before Judge Greg Stephens. Parker, the owner of the Pater Avenue residence where firefighter Patrick Wolterman died in December 2015, is charged...
Gas prices down in the Dayton area

Gas prices down in the Dayton area

Gas prices are down in Southwest Ohio and the Miami Valley region. Average retail gasoline prices in Dayton have fallen 14.6 cents per gallon in the past week, averaging $2.06 per gallon on Sunday, according to GasBuddy's daily survey of 391 gas outlets in Dayton. This compares with the national average that has fallen 3.2 cents per gallon in the last week to $2.30 per gallon, according to gasoline...
Mild temps continue as winter poised to return

Mild temps continue as winter poised to return

Occasional showers and drizzle will be likely through the evening hours. Patchy fog will also be possible after dark as temperatures will hold in the 40s.   Tonight: Patchy light rain and drizzle will linger through the night. Temperatures will slowly drop into the upper 30s. Tuesday: Patchy drizzle and fog will be likely early with lingering clouds through the day. Temperatures will...
Pastor: Rebuilding after church fire could take ‘6-plus months’

Pastor: Rebuilding after church fire could take ‘6-plus months’

Repairing the extensive fire and smoke damage at Tytus Avenue First Church of God could take up to “six-plus months,” said the Rev. Damon Curtis. Fire ripped through the church at 3300 Tytus Ave. in the early morning hours on Sunday, and now Curtis said he, his staff and congregation are “taking a little at a time, making our way through it” as they work to rebuild. The pastor...
Middletown Downtown Strategic Plan offers suggestions for growth

Middletown Downtown Strategic Plan offers suggestions for growth

The newly released draft of Middletown’s “Downtown Strategic Plan” contains many suggestions for how the city can upgrade its core area. Most of the ideas put forward in the plan by Columbus-based OHM Advisors are general ideas that can prompt further refinement in the future, including possible locations for commercial and residential development along the Great Miami River...
Trenton man shoots, kills dogs before taking own life

Trenton man shoots, kills dogs before taking own life

A Trenton man killed his two dogs before shooting himself Sunday morning, Trenton Police Chief Arthur Scott said.  Scott said police believe the man was in his own house at the intersection of Oak Avenue and First Street.  Neighbors in the quiet neighborhood reported hearing gunshots from the house around 5:32 a.m.  Limited information is available at this time, however, Scott said...
BCRTA plans bus route connecting Monroe, Middletown, South Dayton

BCRTA plans bus route connecting Monroe, Middletown, South Dayton

By early fall, Butler County residents will be able to take a bus from Monroe or Middletown to a hub in South Dayton and connect with the transit networks that serve Dayton as well as Montgomery and Greene counties. For the past several months, officials from Middletown and Monroe as well as the Butler County Regional Transit Authority and the Greater Dayton Regional Transit Authority, have been discussing...
Program helps pregnant Butler County addicts gain independence

Program helps pregnant Butler County addicts gain independence

In the year since the launch of a service for pregnant Butler County women addicted to drugs, more than half of the 13 participants have successfully completed the pilot program. Motherhood and Maternity Addiction Services (MAMAS) offered residential addiction treatment for the women as well as life skills training, job placement services and a support system to help them in the future as part...
Fairfield community helps family of 6-year-old with cancer

Fairfield community helps family of 6-year-old with cancer

Saying thank you doesn’t seem like enough for the amount of love and support the Borg family has received for their 6-year-old girl with an inoperable brain tumor. Without the support from what Kevin Borg calls the “triple F” — friends, family and Fairfield — they would not have been able to keep their home. “We couldn’t be more thankful,” he said. &ldquo...
1 major road project near Kings Island completed; another to begin

1 major road project near Kings Island completed; another to begin

Driving to Kings Island should be less of a hassle this summer after more than $6 million in road improvements have been completed. Work on Kings Island Drive was a major component of a regional improvement program, and recent completion of the project marks a milestone. In December, the widening of Kings Island Drive and the installation of a new left turn lane for southbound traffic entering the...
5 Middletown High School students injured in crash

5 Middletown High School students injured in crash

UPDATE @ 6:30 p.m.: Three girls and two boys were among the five Middletown High School students taken to a local hospital after a one-car crash this afternoon. All five were treated for minor injuries at Atrium Medical Center, according to a parent of one of the students. UPDATE @ 3:46 p.m.: Police have re-opened all lanes of University Boulevard. UPDATE @ 3:40 p.m.: Five Middletown High School students...
Lakota again delays deadline for superintendent applicants

Lakota again delays deadline for superintendent applicants

For the second time in a week Lakota school officials announced another delay in their search for a new superintendent. The second deadline for applicants — until this change — was midnight today. There are no problems causing the latest delay, Lakota Board of Education President Ben Dibble told the Journal-News today, but rather a desire by board members to allow candidates more time...
Healthy start for Fairfield Schools’ on-campus clinic

Healthy start for Fairfield Schools’ on-campus clinic

Butler County’s first on-campus school medical clinic is working at a healthy pace at the end of its first year, according to a recent report by Fairfield school officials. The clinic, which is also the first of its kind in Fairfield, has served more than 5,000 student and adult patients since it opened in January 2016. The private industry and public school experiment in widening access to...
ID released for Miami U. student found dead

ID released for Miami U. student found dead

UPDATE @ 2:52 p.m. (Jan. 23): Mike Curme, dean of students and associate vice president of student affairs, released a statement Monday saying: “It is with great sadness that I share the news of the death of a member of the Miami community. “Erica Buschick, from Gurnee, Illinois, was a first-year student studying special education and a member of Miami’s Best Buddies chapter,&rdquo...
Butler County woman admits to murder-for-hire plot

Butler County woman admits to murder-for-hire plot

A Madison Twp. woman has admitted guilt in a plot to have her estranged husband killed. Shelly Carter, 42, pleaded guilty Thursday to attempted conspiracy to commit aggravated murder. That is a lower degree charge than what she was originally charged with. MORE: Nasty divorce led woman to arrange murder-for-hire plot Police said Carter was in fear of losing her home and custody of her children when...
Driver in deadly church van, train crash pleads guilty

Driver in deadly church van, train crash pleads guilty

A Middletown woman behind the wheel of a deadly train and church van crash in 2015 has pleaded guilty to felony charges. Judith Ashley, 65, was in Butler Common Pleas Court on Thursday, where she entered the guilty plea to aggravated vehicular homicide, two counts of endangering children, and two counts of vehicular assault. She faces a maximum of 168 months in prison. Sentencing has been set for...

West Chester budget includes police body cameras

West Chester Twp. plans to spend $44.8 million this year, with the lion’s share going toward its police and fire departments. Police and fire services make up more than 60 percent of the operating budget that was presented to trustees this week. The police spending plan totals $15.2 million, and fire and EMS spending is expected to reach $15.6 million. MORE: West Chester, police union haggle...
New Butler County veterans board member advocates more outreach

New Butler County veterans board member advocates more outreach

A survey of veterans who have visited the Butler County Veterans Service Commission seeking help shows word of mouth is still the strongest outreach tool, but more people are reporting they are hearing the veterans board’s ads on the radio. The board has gradually increased its ad budget over the past few years, hoping to reach more veterans who might need their help. In December vet board...
Rivertown Brewing holds sneak peek of new Monroe taproom, restaurant

Rivertown Brewing holds sneak peek of new Monroe taproom, restaurant

Rivertown Brewing Company, which debuts its new $6 million Monroe facility at 4 p.m. Friday, gave a sneak peek Wednesday to an invite-only crowd. Opening day for Rivertown Brewery & Barrel House is set to arrive a little more than seven years after owner Jason Roeper founded Rivertown Brewing’s Lockland brewery at 607 Shepherd Dr. The facility expanded over the years but is nowhere near the...
Robert Redford movie may film in Hamilton

Robert Redford movie may film in Hamilton

A movie being produced by Robert Redford may film scenes in Hamilton, according to officials with Film Hamilton. Representatives of the movie are scouting possible locations in the city for Redford’s film, which is in the early stages of production, Film Hamilton’s Steve Colwell told the Journal-News. “They are scouting the area and Film Hamilton has been helping them look at different...
Even with warm temperatures, there’s plenty to explore at IceFest

Even with warm temperatures, there’s plenty to explore at IceFest

Contact this contributing writer at gmwriteon@aol.com. Springlike temperatures forecast for this weekend shouldn’t be a reason to stay away from IceFest in downtown Hamilton. The seasonal celebration features incredible ice carvings as well as plenty of free children’s activities, a chance to meet live penguins and an art fair. “I would say get here Friday night … because...
Cheer for Trump or thank Obama: Butler County events for inauguration

Cheer for Trump or thank Obama: Butler County events for inauguration

Those who want to celebrate the inauguration of Donald Trump in Butler County — at a cost of $25 per ticket — can at Uno’s in West Chester Twp. West Chester Twp. Trustee Mark Welch is hosting the inauguration celebration from 4 to 7 p.m. Friday at the pizzeria, located at 9246 Schulze Drive, where a replay of the inauguration will be aired. The inauguration for the 45th president...
Trip of a lifetime: Area students going to inauguration

Trip of a lifetime: Area students going to inauguration

A busload of area high school students are rolling toward the nation’s capital, and when they return on Saturday, coming back with them will be lifetime memories from the journey, said school officials. Their lack of tickets – only 18 of the 43 students and adults traveling have passes for Friday’s inauguration of president-elect Donald Trump – isn’t cutting their enthusiasm...
Experts: Some candidates file early to reduce competition

Experts: Some candidates file early to reduce competition

Politics is often about about timing, and the time is now to ensure one’s best shot at not having a political opponent, according to some political experts. It may be nearly seven months before the filing deadline for the Nov. 7 general election, but Miami University Regionals political science professor John Forren said “common wisdom” among politicians declaring political intentions...
Second man charged in Hamilton firefighter’s death returning to Ohio

Second man charged in Hamilton firefighter’s death returning to Ohio

William “Billy” Tucker Jr., the second man facing aggravated arson and murder charges in connection with a fire that killed a Hamilton firefighter will soon be back in Ohio to stand trial. Tucker, 46, waived extradition Wednesday morning in Madison County, Ky., where he was arrested on Jan. 6 following an indictment by a Butler County grand jury. MORE: Second arrest made in death of Hamilton...
Butler County leader to advocate in D.C. for Brent Spence Bridge fix

Butler County leader to advocate in D.C. for Brent Spence Bridge fix

Butler County Commissioner T.C. Rogers has been appointed to lead the Ohio-Kentucky-Indiana Regional Council of Governments, and he tells the Journal-News that a main goal of the board will be to get funding for the Brent Spence Bridge project. Last week, the OKI Board of Directors approved the appointment of new officers to lead the multi-state transportation planning organization for 2017....
Local students busing to inauguration without tickets

Local students busing to inauguration without tickets

Area teens will soon be busing to the nation’s capital to witness America’s historical presidential inauguration, but their journey is also a leap of faith because most don’t have tickets for the ceremony. Still, the Butler and Warren County high school seniors — and school officials — from Madison High School, Butler Tech, Miamisburg and Carlisle high schools will hit...
StarTek in Hamilton to hire 200 employees in next 3 months

StarTek in Hamilton to hire 200 employees in next 3 months

StarTek is ramping up its hiring efforts, seeking to add 200 employees in the next three months, but has revised its overall hiring goal, company officials told the Journal-News. StarTek, which took its first call in July 2015, now consists of 282 employees, according to recruiting manager Greg Austin. StarTek had been expected to create nearly 700 jobs once it ramped up to full operation by this...
Middletown fire canine a first in the region

Middletown fire canine a first in the region

Middletown’s newest resource to investigate fires in the city is a first for the region. Scottie, a Labrador retriever from the Animal Friends Humane Society, recently became an Accelerant Detection canine officer, said firefighter Chris Klug. The canine is named in honor of a fallen Middletown firefighter, and like Scott D. Bruggeman, who died last year, the dog’s mission is public safety...
Local hospitals among top 5 percent in U.S. for quality care

Local hospitals among top 5 percent in U.S. for quality care

Sixteen Ohio hospitals and medical centers — including two in Butler County, one in Warren County and two in the Dayton area — have been recognized among the top 5 percent of more than 4,500 hospitals nationwide nationwide for clinical excellence. Healthgrades, an online resource for comprehensive information about physicians and hospitals, today announced the 258 recipients of the Distinguished...
Hamilton County escapee arrested in Middletown

Hamilton County escapee arrested in Middletown

A drug investigation in Middletown led to the arrest of a Hamilton County man who fled from court there last week. On Monday, the Middletown police special investigations unit conducted a drug trafficking operation at several hotels in Middletown, according to information on the department’s Facebook page. The team observed suspicious activity consistent with drug trafficking/activity in the...
McCrabb: Path leads two women together

McCrabb: Path leads two women together

As Keri Booth left a friend’s visitation, she started to turn left on Breiel Boulevard, toward her mother’s home in Middletown. But something — or someone — told Booth to turn right, and not visit her mother. Not on this day. At this point early in our phone interview, Booth warned me: “If you don’t have faith, you probably won’t believe this story.&rdquo...
Ohio 122 in Madison Twp. now open, hours after head-on semi crash

Ohio 122 in Madison Twp. now open, hours after head-on semi crash

UPDATE @ 3 p.m.: Ohio 122 in Madison Twp. has reopened after both lanes were closed for hours following a head-on semi crash this morning, officials said. The semi traveling westbound on Ohio 122, between Renee Drive and Oxford Middletown Road went left of center and hit a semi traveling eastbound head-on, according to the Butler County Sheriff’s Office. Both drivers were treated for minor injuries...
Board of DD, Miami partner to find gaps in resources, plan levy

Board of DD, Miami partner to find gaps in resources, plan levy

Tools that help plan services for the nearly 4,000 Butler County residents served by the Board of Developmental Disabilities will be updated this year as part of a partnership betweeen the board and Miami University. The Butler County Board of Developmental Disabilities (BCBDD) is partnering with Miami University to learn where there are gaps in the community resources provided to people with disabilities...
Middletown falters down the stretch, suffers 48-44 loss to Alter

Middletown falters down the stretch, suffers 48-44 loss to Alter

The Premier Health Flyin’ to the Hoop ended quietly for Middletown High School’s boys basketball team. The Middies surged to a pair of 10-point leads in the first half against Alter, but stumbled down the stretch and dropped a 48-44 decision at Fairmont’s Trent Arena on Monday night. “I thought for a half, our kids played really, really well and really hard,” Middletown...
Cincinnati Christian’s Keiner, Lakota West’s Rice win Classic titles

Cincinnati Christian’s Keiner, Lakota West’s Rice win Classic titles

The longer the race, the better for Lakota West’s McKenzie Rice. The Firebirds junior topped the girls field in the endurance-testing 1,650-yard freestyle event (16:55.41) at the Southwest Ohio High School Swimming and Diving Classic on Sunday at Keating Natatorium. One day earlier, Rice placed third in the 500 freestyle with Mason’s Allison Bloebaum and Tippecanoe’s Arielle Arnett...
Area gas prices drop

Area gas prices drop

Gas prices are down in Southwest Ohio and the Miami Valley region. Average retail gas prices in Dayton have fallen 14.4 cents per gallon in the past week, averaging $2.23 per gallon on Sunday, according to GasBuddy’s daily survey of 391 gas outlets in Dayton.  This compares with the national average that has dropped 2.5 cents per gallon in the last week to $2.15 a gallon, according...
Ministerial alliance honors Middletown police chief with award

Ministerial alliance honors Middletown police chief with award

Middletown Area Ministerial Alliance on Sunday used its annual ecumenical celebration of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. to recognize Middletown Police Chief Rodney Muterspaw for his leadership in the community. Presented with the organization’s Drum Major Award at the New Life Christian Center, the award is based on an expression coined by King, according to Bishop Mark Monroe of Second Baptist...
Lakota search for new superintendent delayed

Lakota search for new superintendent delayed

The search for a new Lakota Schools leader is being delayed beyond last Friday’s Jan. 13 deadline for candidates to apply. Lakota officials said they want to allow an extra week for candidates to provide them more flexibility and time for considering pursue the job. The unplanned delay, which school officials say will not push back the projected March hiring of a new superintendent, now has...
2 Butler County teens reported missing

2 Butler County teens reported missing

Police in Butler County are searching for two teenage girls who have been missing since Sunday evening. Fairfield Twp. police say Mikina Riley, 13, and Mirika Sizemore, 15, may have run away from home. “Right now we do not suspect any foul play and there is no evidence of that being the case at this time,” Police Chief Matthew Fruchey said. Riley is 5-foot-8 and Sizemore is 5-foot-5. Both...
Grant funds will help new program for juvenile offenders

Grant funds will help new program for juvenile offenders

The city of Middletown has contributed funds to a program that connect juvenile offenders with treatment services and social service agencies. The new Adolescent Community Treatment Services program — or ACTS — works with Butler County Juvenile Court to help youths ages 14-18 fulfill court-ordered community service and connect the teens with treatment services and social service agencies...
Trump’s inaugural speech, promises connect with Butler County residents

Trump’s inaugural speech, promises connect with Butler County residents

President Donald Trump gave a crowd-pleasing inaugural address that honed closely to his campaign themes and pleased Butler County residents who gathered to watch the speech on television or in Washington, D.C. “It’s a monster day for me, personally,” said Angelo Cicero, of Fairfield Twp., who watched the speech from his Liberty Twp. business, Grandstand Bar & Grill. “I think...
McCrabb: Woman’s weight loss journey ends with gained confidence

McCrabb: Woman’s weight loss journey ends with gained confidence

Several times, as Jessica Howell drove east on Ohio 122 from Gratis to the Windamere Event Venue and Art Gallery in Middletown, she contemplated turning around. Just go home, she said to herself. The last place she wanted to be last week was in a room full of women. She couldn’t imagine that much estrogen in one place, at one time. Howell, a self-proclaimed tomboy, never has been comfortable...
Ex-Bengal to play with MSO

Ex-Bengal to play with MSO

Contact this contributing writer at gmwriteon@aol.com. Conducted by Carmon DeLeone, The Middletown Symphony Orchestra will continue its 75th anniversary and final season with “Best Friends Forever!” on Jan. 29 at Dave Finkelman Auditorium. “I’m really looking forward to this program. The concert contains music that I love, but it also brings several of my “Best Friends...
Butler County roads still problem-free

Butler County roads still problem-free

Although freezing rain advisories have been pushed for counties north of Warren County, police agencies from around Butler County and the Ohio State Highway Patrol are still reporting there have been no problems on the roads due to the weather. Dispatchers in Middletown said the roads are just wet, and no accidents have been reported. The highway patrol reported the roads are still clear and accident-free...
Butler County set for major investments to business, job growth

Butler County set for major investments to business, job growth

More than a handful of business projects slated to start, progress or finish here in 2017 are projected to be the hot spots of each community’s economy-improving, job-creating growth. NEW: Download the free Journal-News app to get the latest local business news The new $36 million AK Steel Research & Innovation Center just off Interstate 75 and Union Road in Middletown is expected to have a...
Hamilton graduate lone 1942 Rose Bowl survivor

Hamilton graduate lone 1942 Rose Bowl survivor

Growing up on the Hamilton gridiron, Leonard “Jim” Smith one day wanted to play on New Year’s Day in the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, Calif. As Smith, a 1939 Hamilton High School graduate, said, the Rose Bowl was “the ultimate.” He eventually played in the 1942 Rose Bowl for Duke University, and now, 75 years later, the 95-year-old is the last living player from that game....
Man, previously deported, arrested on drug charges

Man, previously deported, arrested on drug charges

A man who officials say was deported more than once from the United States was arrested Wednesday on drug charges and child endangering, according to the Butler County Sheriff’s Office. Julio Cesar Ledesma-Sanchez, 30, is charged with trafficking in drugs and possession of drugs, first-degree felonies; failure to comply with order or signal, third-degree felony; two counts of misdemeanor child...
Lakota inks $3.5M deal with healthcare providers

Lakota inks $3.5M deal with healthcare providers

Butler County’s largest school system has penned a new $3.5 million agreement with local healthcare providers, putting more athletic trainers in schools and expanding student internships and scholarships. Lakota School officials recently announced a new partnership with Beacon Orthopaedics & Sports Medicine and the Christ Hospital Health Network. The athletic marketing agreement will provide...