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WMOH Updates

Miami Fires Hockey Coach Blasi

Miami University Athletic Director Dave Sayler has announced that Hockey Coach Enrico Blasi has been fired after 20 seasons guiding the hockey program. "This is a difficult day for Miami Athletics and our hockey program," said Sayler. "The hockey program has had strong historical success under the guidance and leadership of Rico. In addition, Rico is an exceptional person of character and devotion. In recent years, Miami hockey has fallen short of expectations, both within our conference and nationally. The NCHC is the strongest conference in hockey and it's imperative that we become more competitive for conference championships and NCAA appearances. I want to thank Rico and his family for their service and commitment to Miami University and the broader Oxford community."
Blasi guided the RedHawks to a 398-311-76 record over 20 seasons, including the 2009 NCAA National Championship game, which the RedHawks lost in heart-wrenching fashion, and a Final Four appearance in 2010. A nationwide search for a new coach begins immediately.

Firefighter's Union Disagrees With Wolterman Report

The union representing the Hamilton Fire Department's rank and file members, IAFF Local 20, has issued a statement citing what they say are inaccuracies and issues with the internal report on the December 2015 death of Firefighter Patrick Wolterman during an arson fire on Pater Avenue. The union claims the report omits several factors, including cuts imposed on the department in 2013. 

Miami Women's Basketball Makes WNIT

The Miami University women's basketball team has been selected to play in the WNIT post season tournament, hosting a first round home game at Millett Hall. The RedHawks will play Western Kentucky University at 7:00pm Thursday. The winner of the first round game will play the winner of the Morehead State/Ohio State game being played Wednesday in Columbus. WMOH broadcast Time with Tim Bray will begin at 6:40pm Thursday.
Photo Courtesy: Miami University Athletics

Internal Report Released On Wolterman Death

The Hamilton Fire Department has released an internal report into the December 2015 death of Firefighter Patrick Wolterman. The report looks at several factors that played a role in Wolterman falling into the basement of the Pater Avenue home while battling the arson fire. Several changes have already been made in officer development and training, live drills, as well as fire ground communications.

Hamilton Superintendent Retiring Early

The Hamilton City School District will be under new leadership soon. Superintendent Larry Knapp announced that he is stepping down on April 8th. Knapp took over after the controversial departure of Tony Orr last year, and agreed to stay on through the end of this school year, but Knapp says the district has already achieved the goals he outlined when he was promoted. Mike Holbrook will take over as superintendent when Knapp retires.
Knapp's tenure hasn't been without controversy. Butler County Sheriff Richard Jones has criticized the district for deciding not to arm teachers and staff members. The sheriff opposed a joint school safety levy in Hamilton and four other districts. The measure failed by a wide margin.

Link: Larry Knapp's letter to district employees


Couch Indicted In Alleged Assault On Wife

A West Chester businessman has been indicted by a Butler County grand jury. 51 year old Jeffery Couch is facing 2 counts of felonious assault, one count of attempted felonious assault, and a misdemeanor domestic violence charge for allegedly attacking his wife March 1st at the couple's home, causing serious injuries that resulted in a hospitalization. Couch is the owner of Couch's RV Nation in Trenton.

Strouse Pleads Guilty

A Liberty Township man has admitted to murdering a West Chester woman he had been stalking last year. 29 year old Michael Strouse pleaded guilty to charges of murder, menacing by stalking, and gross abuse of a corpse. Strouse admitted to killing 23 year old Ellie Weik by suffocating her with a plastic bag, then dumping her nude body in a field near his house. He will receive anywhere from 17 and a half years to life in prison when he's sentenced on April 17th by Common Pleas Judge Gregory Howard.

Couple Arraigned in Weekend Standoff

(Hamilton)--A Hamilton couple appeared in Municipal Court Monday to face a laundry list of charges following a weekend standoff. 29 year old Patrick Finnigan and 34 year old Kelly Kamphaus were arrested after the incident at 1311 Park Avenue. They are charged with Felonious Assault, Inducing Panic, and Resisting Arrest. Both have been ordered held under $75,000 bond until their preliminary hearing, which was set for 8:00am Friday. 

Gun Found At Wilson Middle School

(Hamilton)--Hamilton police have arrested a Wilson Middle School student after a gun was found during a search this morning. A student notified a staff member that another student may have brought a gun to the Eaton Avenue campus. A search turned up the gun inside a locker. The school district says no individual was in danger, and the student was taken into custody by the Hamilton Police Department.

Council Takes First Step In Sale/Lease of City Building

(Hamilton)--Hamilton City Council is expected to have a final vote on their plan to sell and lease back the Municipal Building on February 27th. Council faced a lot of questions from the public during their meeting Wednesday night. The first reading of the ordinance was held Wednesday. The plan would raise $26.7 million to help fund road projects near the Spooky Nook Sports Center.

UPDATE: Arrangements Announced for Coach Reed

Funeral arrangements have been announced for local coaching legend Timothy Reed. The Talawanda High School baseball coach died of a massive heart attack yesterday. Visitation will be held at Garfield Middle School from 
5-8 pm Thursday. Funeral Services will be held Friday 2:30pm at the Laurel Avenue Church of Christ. He leaves behind a wife, three kids, and a granddaughter. Reed was 57. 

Longtime Coaching Legend Passes

The local athletic community is remembering Hamilton coaching legend Tim Reed. The Talawanda High School baseball coach and longtime Hamilton assistant died after suffering a heart attack at the UDF at Main & Brookwood Monday. He was 57. Reed was inducted into the Hamilton High Athletic Hall of Fame in 2016.
Funeral arrangements are pending. Reed also served as Talawanda's head basketball coach last season. Reed taught 30 years in the Hamilton City School District, coaching soccer for three years, football for 13 seasons, baseball for 26 years and basketball for 29 years.


Kroger Plans Innovative Fulfillment Center in Monroe

(Monroe)--Big economic news for Butler County. Kroger has chosen Monroe as the location for a new $55 million warehouse and fulfillment center which will be known as the Kroger Shed. Kroger is teaming up with online grocer Ocado to create the first fully automated warehouse in the country. More than 400 jobs will be creatred. The company is waiting on state and local tax breaks before work begins on the 335,000 square foot project

Former Jailer Arrested

(Hamilton)--A former Butler County corrections officer has been charged with bribery. 34 year old Brandon Moore is accused of smuggling contraband like cellphones, protein powder, and tools to inmates in exchange for money. The investigation was launched when a mobile phone was found during a routine cell inspection. Moore is now on the other side of the jail bars at his former workplace. 

Sobriety Checkpoint Wednesday

(Fairfield)--The Butler County OVI Task Force will hold a Thanksgiving Eve checkpoint Wednesday night. The operation will be held on the 4400 block of Dixie Highway (Route 4) northbound, just north of Symmes Road, between the hours of 11:00pm and 3:00am.The task force says the  checkpoints, along with saturation patrols, are part of a continuing effort to reduce the number of OVI related accidents and deaths.

Talawanda Board Nixes Mascot

(Oxford)--The Talawanda School Board has voted to get rid of their Native American mascot. It was a 3-2 vote with board members Mike Crowder, Chris Otto, and Pat Meade voting to change the nickname from the Braves to the Brave...with no s. The ruling also does away with Native American imagery used in district logos. The vote came after a long and emotionally charged meeting Monday night.

Cross Display Damaged

(Oxford)--For the second year in a row, a pro-life display has been vandalized at Miami University, this time on the Oxford Campus. The white crosses and signs have been damaged at least three times since the group Miami University Students for Life America put the display up on Monday. No arrests have been made yet by campus police. On Wednesday, a counter display mocking the pro-life message was placed nearby. (Photo from Miami University Students for Life America)

Ice Storm Hits County Hard

Duke Energy crews continue their efforts to restore power to thousands of customers in Greater Cincinnati who were still off-line as a result of Thursday morning's ice storm. More than 100,000 customers lost power during the height of the storm, with 14,000 of the outages reported in Butler County. 

Two Arrested In Hamilton Shooting

Two people are recovering from injuries after a shooting on the 1100 block of Chestnut Street last night. 60 year old Mario Ramirez and 35 year old Elizabeth Palma-Duran were taken to West Chester Hospital. Two men were later arrested and charged with Felonious Assault.The suspects are identified as 18 year old Francisco Alejandro Prado and 29 year old Edward Mario Ramirez. The incident was reported just before 9:00pm Wednesday. 

Flames Heavily Damage Fairfield Skyline

Fairfield firefighters are looking for the cause of a blaze that heavily damaged the Skyline restaurant at Route 4 and Hicks Boulevard early Wednesday morning. A police officer reported the flames at 2:25am, and immediately, extra help was called in from Hamilton and Fairfield Township fire departments, as well as Forest Park from Hamilton County. First responders reported heavy smoke and flames coming from the building. No injuries were reported. Route 4 was shut down due to fire hose being laid across the highway, but it was re-opened just before the morning rush hour. 
(Photo: City of Fairfield Facebook)

West Chester Makes Money Mag's Top 50 List

West Chester is once again one of the best places to live in the country, according to Money Magazine. The township is ranked 38th on Money's 50 Best Places to Live. Money cites outstanding schools, modest costs and short commutes to work. The township is also home  to several large employers like GE Aviation, the Lakota Local School District, Trade Global, and West Chester Hospital. West Chester is the only Ohio area to make the list.

Five Points Roundabout Meeting Wednesday

Plans to put a roundabout at the Five Points intersection will be the topic of a public meeting at Crawford Woods Elementary School Wednesday from 6:30pm-8:30pm. It will be a casual open house type format with maps, photos, and other materials which are meant to solicit input from the public. The project, which would link Hamilton-Mason Road, Hancock Avenue, Tylersville Road, Grand Boulevard, and Tuley Road, is expected to begin in 2021.

HHS Student Arrested For Knife Threat

A Hamilton High School student, 18 year old John Hammons, has been arrested for allegedly pulling a knife and threatening another male student during an incident at the school on Friday. Police say the victim said "Hi' to the suspect, who allegedly told him not to talk to him, and that he was going to stab him. Hammons then allegedly displayed the knife, and jumped on a table. He was arrested by School Resource Officer Ernie Huff. Hammons is facing charges of Aggravated Menacing, and Illegal Conveyance or Possession of a Deadly Weapon on School Premises. Hammons was arraigned on the charges in Hamilton Municipal Court yesterday. Bond was set at $5,000 and a preliminary hearing was set for Friday on the weapons charge. The menacing charge was put on hold for now.

Man Arrested In OSP Meth Bust

(Hamilton)--A Clermont County man is facing charges after a routine traffic stop uncovered over $11,000 worth of methamphetamine. The incident happened last Wednesday at the southbound rest area on I-75 south of Monroe. 28 year old Thomas Williams of Felicity was pulled over for a license plate violation on his Jeep Cherokee. A drug sniffing canine led troopers to the stash. Williams is charged with drug possession and trafficking, and faces 16 years in prison and a $30,000 fine if convicted.

Trenton Woman Killed In Fairfield Township Crash

(Fairfield Township)--The investigation continues into a deadly crash in Fairfield Township. 38 year old Kenneth Cyrek was driving a 1993 Honda Del Sol that went off the right side of the road and hit a metal utility pole on the 2300 block of Canal Road Saturday evening. Cyrek's wife, 26 year old Kayla Cyrek, was pronounced dead at the scene. Kenneth Cyrek was taken to West Chester Hospital, where he is expected to recover.

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