(Hamilton)---We now know the substance found on some streets, lawns, and porches on Hamilton's west side the past couple of days. It was flour. Hamilton fire crews had the substance tested by West Chester's specialized haz-mat team. Police would still like to know who spread the flour and why. Firefighters were called to the Rhea/Ridgelawn/Cleveland Avenue areas where several residents found the powder this morning. There's is some speculation that it may have been spread by the Hash House Harriers, a running group.
Hamilton City School Superintendent Tony Orr has been placed on paid leave, effective immediately, while the district investigates allegations he violated school board policies. Business Manager Larry Knapp will serve as interim superintendent. Knapp is a 38-year educator, with 34 years in administration for several school districts. He has also served as a superintendent. The district sent a letter to parents saying the allegations do not involve students in any way.
(Wilmington)---Another Wind Chill Advisory is in effect between Midnight and 11am tomorrow morning. Today's wind chills were enough to shut down nearly every school building in the county, at least for academics. Athletics were still on tonight.
MANDEL DROPS OUT OF SENATE RACE
(Columbus)---The GOP Senate candidate who was expected to challenge Sherrod Brown again has dropped out of the race. Josh Mandel says there is an issue with his wife's health, and that's more important than the race. Cleveland businessman Mike Gibbons is now the only GOP candidate, at least for now.
RED CROSS HELPING FAMILY AFTER FIRE
(Hamilton)---No injuries after a house fire this morning in Hamilton. The blaze broke out around 9:24am on the 1200 block of Campbell Avenue. The family reported smoke in the house, and there was apparently a fire inside a wall. The Red Cross is assisting family members with temporary housing.
CHRIST HOSPITAL'S NEW CAMPUS READY
(Liberty Township)---Christ Hospital's new sprawling campus in Liberty Township will open to the public on Monday. The 62 million dollar project is located just north of Cox Road and Liberty Way.
(Wilmington)---The National Weather Service issued a Wind Chill Advisory for Butler County and Southwest Ohio as low temperatures and increasing winds were expected to take wind chills to 10-15 below zero. Schools all over the region closed classes Friday in anticipation. The full list is up on our Operation Snowflake site.
HAMILTON FIRE RUNS SET A RECORD
(Hamilton)---Hamilton firefighters say they responded to a record number of calls in 2017. According to the IAFF Local 20 Facebook page, firefighters and paramedics were called to 14,546 runs last year, an increase of 1,500 calls over 2016. Most engine companies are making 2,800 runs a year, with the exception of the North End engine company on Erie Highway, who had 3,700 runs. Life squads are making between 3,800-4,200 runs each.
FAIRFIELD POLICE ASKING FOR HELP
(Fairfield)---Fairfield police are asking for assistance in solving a robbery and murder at the Jiffy Mart store on Route 4 a month ago today. They're looking for two black males who fatally shot employee Karunakar Karengle and left with an undetermined amount of money. Karengle died 4 days after the shooting.
EVERY VOTE COUNTS
(Columbus)---Ohio Secretary of State Jon Husted says every vote counts. Husted has released a new study that says 29 local elections and issues were decided by a single vote statewide in November. Husted says 141 races and issues have been decided by one vote over the past five years. Control of the Virginia legislature was decided by a tiebreaking lottery.
(Wilmington)---It was another frigid night in the region, with the temperature hitting 8 below zero overnight at the Butler County Regional Airport. There was only one school delay. Middletown Christian School announced a two hour delay for students.
DOG FREEZES TO DEATH, OWNER CHARGED
(St. Clair Township)---The Butler County Dog Warden says they will provide straw at no cost for pets who are left in outside kennels. A dog was found frozen to death inside a St. Clair Township dog house that was poorly insultated. The owners will be charged with Cruelty to a Companion Animal.
RASH OF ACCIDENTS MAR MORNING RUSH HOUR
(Hamilton)---A late morning rash of vehicle accidents sent at least three people to the hospital this morning. A woman recieved minor injuries in a four vehicle pile up at By-Pass 4 and Tylersville Road. Moments later, a car plowed into a utility pole on EB-129 east of the By-Pass, injuring at least one occupant. A crash in front of Wilson Middle School on Eaton Avenue resulted in at least one reported injury.
HOLIDAY TRAVEL SAFER
(Columbus)---The Ohio State Patrol says the number of fatalities during the holiday period declined from last year. 5 people were killed during the Christmas weekend, compared to 14 last year.
Three people died during the New Year's break, which was a 50% decline from last year's six fatalities.
MACY'S CLOSING DOWNTOWN CINCY STORE
(Cincinnati)---Macy's says they will close their downtown Cincinnati store by mid March. More than 50 workers are employed at the store near Fountain Square. They will be offered jobs at other locations in the region.
CARS STOLEN DURING WARMUP
(Cincinnati)---Cincinnati police say a grand total of ten cars were stolen while the cars were running with keys in the ignition on Tuesday. Police are urging people to stay in their cars while they are warming up.
BUTLER COUNTY CREWS HELP WITH INDIANA FIRE
(College Corner)---Fire crews from College Corner and Oxford were called to assist with battling a structure fire on the 1100 block of Oxford Pike in Franklin County, Indiana.
LEWIS EXTENSION POLLS LOW
(Cincinnati)---The move to give Marvin Lewis a 2 year contract extension isn't sitting well with fans. 85% of the respondents in our Twitter poll disagree with the decision, compared to just 15% in favor.
(Cincinnati)---Bengals head coach Marvin Lewis is returning to coach at least two more years. The team has announced a contract extension which will take Lewis through the 2019 season. Lewis is the winningest coach in Bengals history with 125 wins, but the team has missed the playoffs the last two seasons, and have never won a post season game under Lewis.
(Wilmington)---We begin 2018 in the deep freezer. Both Cincinnati and Dayton broke record low temperatures overnight with the low reaching 5 below at CVG and 13 below in Dayton. The low at the Butler County Regional Airport hit 10 below zero. A Wind Chil Advisory is in effect between 7pm tonight and Noon tomorrow.
(Fairfield)---Fairfield City School officials decided not to delay or close school Tuesday as they became the first district in the county to return from winter break. School resumes tomorrow in Hamilton and Thursday in the Lakota school district.
(Hamilton)---Hamilton firefighters were called to a haz-mat incident at Bethesda Hospital's Butler County Campus on Hamilton Mason Road. A gallon or so of formaldehyde spilled on the floor of an enclosed office inside the hospital. No injuries were reported.
(Cincinnati)---The Queen City has its first homicide of the new year. 25 year old Thomas Rainey was found shot on the 2000 block of Colerain Avenue. He later died at University Hospital. Police have not yet released suspect information.
(Cincinnati)---You begin the work week paying more for gas. Regular unleaded is averaging $2.52/gallon in Greater Cincinnati. That's 15 cents higher than the week following Christmas, according to the experts at Gas Buddy.
(Hamilton)---A Butler County jury has convicted a Hamilton man and his nephew on arson and murder charges in connection with the death of a Hamilton firefighter nearly two years ago. Lester Parker was found guilty of hiring William Tucker to torch his Pater Avenue home while he was on a trip to Las Vegas. The blaze in December of 2015 killed Hamilton firefighter Patrick Wolterman. Judge Greg Stephens sentenced both men to life in prison with the possibility of parole after 15 years. Tony Harris, President of Hamilton Professional Firefighters Local 20, says justice for Patrick is what they have hoped for over the past 23 months, and today justice was served.
Hamilton police continue their investigation into a deadly rear-end collision that claimed the life of a woman Friday. The accident happened on westbound Ohio 129 just east of Fair Avenue when a Jeep Liberty was hit in the rear by a concrete bucket truck. The Jeep burst into flames, and the driver, who was trapped inside, could not escape the fire. The Butler County Coroner’s Office pronounced the victim dead at the scene. The crash shut down the highway for several hours, tying up downtown traffic during the evening rush hour. Police have not yet identified the victim, or the driver of the truck. Smoke from the vehicle fire could be seen for miles around. A yellow cross with pink, yellow, and white flowers was placed in the median where the crash occurred. It was surrounded by charred grass and concrete.
Hamilton police have arrested three men in connection with a recent rash of bank robberies. 40 year old Lester Burns, 33 year old Brian James Lyons, and 24 year old Steve Lyons were taken into custody Friday, one day after the Union Savings Bank at 1225 Main Street was robbed. The trio are also facing charges from the September 21st robbery at the Fifth Third Bank on 902 NW Washington Boulevard, and the U.S. Bank at 540 Main Street. Fairfield Township police were also looking into a possible connection to the recent robbery of the Huntington Bank branch at Bridgewater Falls. Burns is facing three counts of robbery, Brian Lyons is facing two counts of robbery, and Steve Lyons has been charged with a single count of robbery. The trio are due to be arraigned in Hamilton Municipal Court on Monday.
The State of Ohio Tax Credit Authority has approved plans for a new Amazon fulfillment center at the Park North industrial complex in Monroe. The project is expected to create 1,000 full-time jobs with an annual payroll of $26.7 million. The company was awarded a 1.391% tax credit over 10 years to come to Warren County.
As part of the agreement, Amazon must maintain operations at the facility for at least 13 years. Amazon expects to be at full employment at Monroe by December 31, 2020. The company has promised to hire over 100,000 workers, and build fulfillment centers across the country as they take aim at brick and mortar stores. Amazon already has warehouses in Hebron, Kentucky near the Greater Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport, as well as the Columbus area. Four days ago, the company also announced plans to build an 855,000 square foot facility which would employ 2,000 workers in North Randall, Ohio near Cleveland, which was also approved by the tax board this morning.
The National Weather Service office in Wilmington issued a Dense Fog Advisory until 10:00am on Tuesday morning. Visibilities were reportedly a less than a quarter mile in low lying areas. Motorists should use extra caution. Slow down, use low-beam headlights, and leave plenty of distance ahead of you as objects on and near roadways will be seen only at close range due to low visibilities.
Hundreds or even thousands of jobs may be on the way to the City of Monroe. The State of Ohio Tax Credit Authority was set to consider a tax break for Amazon.Com. The company has promised to hire over 100,000 workers, and build fulfillment centers across the country as they take aim at brick and mortar stores. Amazon already has warehouses in Hebron, Kentucky near the Greater Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport, as well as the Columbus area. Four days ago, the company also announced plans to build an 855,000 square foot facility which would employ 2,000 workers in North Randall, Ohio near Cleveland. The meeting takes place at 10am Wednesday morning. According to the agenda, the project would be located in Warren County, which would place it at or near the Park North industrial development.
?Note: The story was changed to reflect the meeting is Wednesday instead of today.
The owners of Fort Hamilton Hospital are planning to build another medical facility on the west side of Hamilton. Kettering Health Network announced Monday they plan to include physician offices and outpatient services on land they recently purchased at 1391 Main Street, which is a former roller skating rink. The news release says plans are still being finalized for the facility.
Today marks the first day of classes at Miami University's campuses in Oxford, Hamilton, Middletown, and Voice of America. There are over 3,800 members of the class of 2021 spending their first days of college. The incoming freshman class has an average ACT score of 28.3. More than half of first-year students are Ohio residents, though 43 states and 18 countries are represented.
(Wilmington)---The National Weather Service says there is a slight risk for severe thunderstorms this afternoon and evening in the Butler County area. The greatest theats will be damaging winds and hail, but an isolated tornado cannot be ruled out.
(Fairfield)---The Butler County OVI Task Force has released the location of their planned checkpoint tonight. Troopers, deputies, and police officers will set up on northbound Route 4 near Symmes Road in Fairfield from 11:00pm until 3:00am.
(Columbus)---It was a deadly 4th of July weekend on Ohio roadways. The State Patrol says 17 people were killed in crashes during the four day period that ended Tuesday. Troopers stopped 43,000 cars, arresting over 900 people on OVI charges.
(Hamilton)---Former Fairfield High School teacher and assistant football coach Tyler Conrad will spend the rest of the year behind bars. Conrad was sentenced to 6 months in jail for having sexual contact with a 15 year old student. He will also have to register as a sex offender and give up his teaching license.
(Columbus)---The Ohio House has voted to override 11 Medicaid related vetos by Governor Kasich, but the most controversial veto will remain in effect---at least for now. The governor's veto of a freeze on Medicaid expansions will remain in effect, but lawmakers can bring it back up at any time.
(Denver, CO)---Adam Duvall hit his 20th home run and Sal Romano picked up his first major league win as the Reds beat the Rockies 6-3 at Coors Field.
(Hamilton)---The District Nine Little League tournament continues tonight at West Side. Lebanon will take on the West Siders at 6:30pm for a berth in Sunday's championship round.
Mason Little League will take on Miami Little League at 8:30pm. The winner will play the loser of tonight's West Side/Lebanon game.
Last night's scores...
Mason beat Loveland 5-4
Miami Little League in Oxford eliminates Hamilton-Fairfield 9-6.
(Hamilton)--A possible homicide investigation is underway by Hamilton police detectives. A man was found shot early Sunday on the front steps of an apartment building at 503 South Front Street. The victim was taken to Fort Hamilton Hospital where he was pronounced dead. No arrests have been reported, and no ID on the victim has been released. Police are asking the public for more information on the shooting. You can call the detective bureau at 868-5811, extension 2002.
(Hamilton)--The director of the Butler County Regional Airport is officially looking for a new job. County Commissioners voted unanimously to fire Ronald Davis during their meeting this morning. The dismissal becomes effective on Friday.
(Cedarville)--Another hat in the ring for the upcoming governor's race. Attorney General Mike DeWine announcing he's in during his annual ice cream social at his Cedarville home.
(Middletown)--OVI and other charges are expected to be filed against Adam Danner. The Middletown man allegedly blew through a red light, plowing into a police cruiser and a pickup truck at Breiel and Grand. Two officers and the pickup driver were treated at the scene. Danner was taken to Atrium Medical Center.
(Cincinnati)--You are paying more at the pump to begin the work week. Gas Buddy says regular unleaded is averaging $2.23 a gallon in Greater Cincinnati, more than 13 cents higher than it was this time last week.
(Orlando, FL)--Call them national champions! The Liberty Junior School Catapult Team took first place at the National Student Technology competition in Orlando Florida. It was part of a STEM conference this past week.
(Washington, DC)--Scooter Gennett went 4-for-4 with a homer as the Reds beat the Nationals 6-2. Scott Feldman pitched seven innings of two-run ball. The Reds will be in St. Louis tonight for a make-up game. Brandon Finnegan will make his first start since April 15th.
(St. Clair Township)---Family members say 32 year old Jacob Faulkner was an Afghanistan war veteran who suffered from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. The former marine was shot to death after he pointed a gun at Butler County Sheriff's Deputy Taylor Henson Tuesday evening. Sheriff Richard Jones says the shooting came after Faulkner refused several orders to drop his gun.
(Wyoming, Ohio)---Funeral services were held this morning for Otto Warmbier. Among the capacity crowd gathered at Wyoming High School was U.S. Senator Rob Portman, who is calling on the Senate to condemn North Korea for their treatment of the former captive, who died just days after he was freed and brought home to Cincinnati.
(Cincinnati)---The jury is back at it for a 4th day as deliberations continue in the Samuel Dubose murder trial. The former UC police officer is charged with the shooting death of motorist Samuel Dubose.
(West Chester)---The Torch Run For Special Olympics has been making its way through Butler County the last couple of days. Yesterday, the southwest leg was in West Chester, and today the run continued through Middletown. The Special Olympics will be held at Ohio Stadium beginning Friday.
(Tampa, FL)---The Reds fell to the Rays 8-3 at Tropicana Field. Tim Adelman's record fell to 4-4 on the season. He gave up three runs on 7 hits through 5 innings pitched. Manager Bryan Price was concerned that Adelman ran his pitch count to 95 during those five frames. The Reds are off today, and they begin a series with the Nationals in Washington tomorrow.
FLASH FLOOD WATCH 2AM FRIDAY
THROUGH 2AM SATURDAY...
(Wilmington, OH)--Tropical Depression Cindy will begin effecting the Butler County area tonight, as showers and thunderstorms begin moving in after 4pm. Friday will be rainy all day, with up to three inches of rain predicted to fall during thunderstorms between now and Saturday. This afternoon's high is forecast to hit the mid 80's, and the rest of the weekend will see highs in the mid to upper 70's.
(Hamilton)---The Butler County Sheriff's Office is planning a news conference this afternoon to talk about the police involved shooting death of a man in St. Clair Township. The incident happened in the Overpeck area around 5:30pm. The man was apparently an active shooter, who had fired into a moving train.
(Liberty Township)---The Butler County Engineer's Office is ready to begin a major road project in Liberty Township. Yankee Road will be widened between Dutchland Parkway and Princeton Road. The project also calls for a roundabout at Yankee and Princeton. Construction will last through next summer, with a 4 million dollar pricetag.
(Cincinnati)---A third day of deliberations are getting underway in Cincinnati, as a jury decides the fate of Raymond Tensing. The former UC police officer is charged with the shooting death of motorist Samuel Dubose.
(Hamilton)---The cleanup is underway in Butler County, where a round of thunderstorms dropped four and a half inches of rain on the area. Hamilton firefighters had to rescue a female who was trapped in her car surrounded by flood waters on Tabor Lane near Cleveland Avenue. Several homes were also flooded on Joshua Court, which is off Cleveland. In Seven Mile, at least five families had to be assisted by the Red Cross after floods damaged their homes on Ritter Street. U.S. 127 was shut down between New Miami and Seven Mile after Seven Mile Creek came out of its banks. Fear Not Mills Road was also closed between Route 127 and Mellwood Drive, as Norfolk Southern repaired damage from washed out rails. In Madison Township, more than a dozen people had to be led to safety from the Weatherwax Golf Course and Sebald Park.
(West Chester)---Friends and family are saying goodbye to West Chester Firefighter Tim Burns. Burns, a 19 year veteran of the department, died last week of occupational renal cancer. He was 48. Visitation was held at the Springdale Church of the Nazarene. Funeral Services will be held at 10am this morning at the church. A 26 mile funeral procession will kick off at 8:00am this morning, passing by Burns' home station on Beckett Road, as well as WCFD headquarters on Cincinnati-Dayton Road prior to the service.
(Hamilton)--A trial begins today for a former Fairfield High School teacher accused of having sexual relations with a 16 year old student. 27 year old Tyler Conrad of Hamilton was also an assistant football coach. Judge Keith Spaeth will preside over the bench trial.
(COLUMBUS)---Ohio's unemployment rate dipped slightly in April. The Department of Job and Family Services says 5% of Ohio workers were jobless, compared to 5.1% in March. Despite the improving percentage, the state saw a decrease of 5,700 non-farm jobs over that month.
(Oxford)---Hamilton High School is preparing to bid farewell to the Class of 2017 during graduation ceremonies Wednesday at Millett Hall on the campus of Miami University. Attendees were told to arrive early in order to avoid long lines caused by construction, especially on US 27 just south of Oxford. On Tuesday, the Hamilton Community Foundation awarded scholarships to dozens of students from Hamilton, Badin, Fairfield, and other surrounding school districts during an event at Hamilton High School. The ceremony was attended by scholarship donors or their representatives.
(Cincinnati)---The return of the Brood X cicadas is underway in Greater Cincinnati. The Mount St. Joseph University Cicada Website says they have received over 150 reports of emerging cicadas the past 24 hours.
The arrival of Brood X is four years early. The 17 year cicadas last innundated neighborhoods in the region back in 2004. Among the areas reporting cicadas so far: Cincinnati, Green Township, Finneytown, North College Hill, Springfield Township, and the City of Hamilton, where Traci Phillips Kinsey snapped a photo of a newly hatched adult cicada and three larvae shells. (Pictured)
(Monroe)---A Butler County hospital has announced plans for a new medical office building in Monroe. Atrium Medical Center and its parent company Premier Health Systems plans a 19,000 square foot facility on the northwest corner of Cincinnati-Dayton Road and State Route 63. The building will house a primary care practice, specialty physicians, and other services. The project is expected to be ready to go by 2018.
(St. Clair Township)---St. Clair Township fire fighters are investigating the cause of a large plastics fire at the Advanced Drainage Systems facility on U.S. 127 between New Miami and Seven Mile. Smoke from the blaze could be seen for miles. Fire Chief Larry Anglin was the first to arrive on the scene, and he discovered dozens of skids of plastic pipe fittings fully involved in flames. Dozens of firefighters from several area departments were called to the scene, along with the Butler County Emergency Management Agency, The EPA, and the Red Cross. No injuries were reported, and no contamination was found.
(Photo Courtesy of St. Clair Township Fire Department Facebook)
(Hamilton)---A Hamilton man charged with sex crimes involving juveniles under the age of 13 has pleaded guilty in Butler County Common Pleas Court. 46 year old Terry Lewis pleaded guilty to one count of Rape and one count of Gross Sexual Imposition. Eleven other counts were dismissed by Butler County Common Pleas Judge Greg Howard. The rapes happened between November of 1994 and November of 1996. The gross sexual imposition occurred between November of 1997 through November of 2000. Judge Howard scheduled sentencing for 8:30am on June 15th. Lewis faces 10 years to life in prison on the rape conviction and 5 years for gross sexual imposition. Fines in the case could total $30,000.
(Hamilton)---Your chance to make a difference in the battle against hunger takes place this weekend. The National Association of Letter Carriers will hold their 25th annual Stamp Out Hunger Food Drive on Saturday. All you need to do is leave a bag of non-perishable food items by your mail box Saturday morning, and your letter carrier will pick it up while delivering the mail. All donations made in Butler County will go to help the Shared Harvest Food Bank in Fairfield.
(Hamilton)---The City of Hamilton is remembering former fire chief Don Lickert, who passed away Monday at the age of 82. Lickert served as the city's fire chief from 1983 until his retirement in 1991. The Korean War veteran is credited with helping to form the Hamilton chapter of the Inernational Association of Firefighters Local 20.Visitation is 2-5pm Sunday at Weigel Funeral Home. Funeral Services are Monday 10am at Weigel. A military burial service will be held at Greenwood Cemetery.
(Hamilton)---Hamilton police say three juvenile suspects are facing charges after a disturbance and assault that involved gunfire on the 800 block of Greenwood Avenue Wednesday evening. A 14 year old boy was treated for broken bones and a broken nose. One person fired a shot into the air during the incident. At least one of the suspects was arrested by police at gunpoint on Fairgrove Avenue. (Pictured)
Congressman Warren Davidson (OH-08) joined Steve Vaughn on The Morning Show Monday to talk about last week's passage of the GOP health care plan. He pushed back on Democrat's claims that the bill will hurt those with pre-existing conditions.
The Ol' Lefthander Joe Nuxhall will be honored with a mural this summer on the wall of the Clark's Sporting Goods building at 15 South B Street. Plans were unveiled to City Council this week for three murals, including one on the McDulin parking garage next to the Artspace Lofts, overlooking the new pocket park. The third mural will be located at 212 Main Street. The city's StreetSpark program says work on the murals should begin in May or June. The Nuxhall mural depicts a younger Joe pitching for the Cincinnati Reds next to an older Joe who broadcast Reds games on the radio. Nuxhall started his radio career on WMOH, calling Miami University athletic events.
(Liberty Township)---The Ohio State Patrol will hold a drunk driving checkpoint tonight in Liberty Township. The operation will begin at 9:00pm on Route Four near Kyles Station Road. There's no word when the checkpoint will end. There is also another OVI checkpoint scheduled next week, according to a release by the Butler County OVI Task Force.
(Hamilton)---Filming continued in downtown Hamilton Friday for the Robert Redford movie "Old Man and the Gun". The film also co-stars Casey Affleck, Danny Glover, and Sissy Spacek. The story revolves around an elderly bank robber (Redford) and the detective (Affleck) who is trailing him. High Street remained shut down between North 2nd Street and Martin Luther King Boulevard, causing long delays for traffic crossing the Great Miami River over the Columbia and Black Street bridges.
(Hamilton)---Butler County Prosecutor Mike Gmoser is defending his handling of the OVI case against State Representative Wes Retherford. Gmoser, who worked with Retherford on a bill to crack down on elder abuse, stood alongside the lawmaker during a news conference with Ohio Attorney General Mike Dewine on April 2, 2015. (Pictured)
At least three Butler County GOP leaders have privately told WMOH Radio they believe Gmoser should have recused himself from the case, and appointed a special prosecutor because of his professional and personal contacts with Retherford and his family. Gmoser issued a press release shortly after Retherford's indictment on a misdemeanor OVI charge was announced. Gmoser says he saw to it that Retherford did not receive special treatment. Retherford could have been expelled from his seat in the house if he was convicted of the felony charge, which was dropped by the grand jury.
Butler County State Representative Wes Retherford will not face a felony weapons charge in his OVI case. A Butler County Grand Jury has certified Retherford's case back to Area Two court, and has dropped the weapons charge. The Butler County Sheriffs Office says Retherford was arrested in the drive thru of the McDonalds in Liberty Township March 12th, where he was found passed out in his Chevy Silverado with a loaded gun in the vehicle.
(Monroe)--A Dayton man and his female companion are facing drug charges after a bust at a hotel in Monroe. 26 year old William Bragg II and 27 year old Echo Seward were arrested after a search warrant was conducted at the Best Western hotel. The Butler County Sheriff's BURN Task Force found $4,000 in cash, drug paraphanalia, and a large amount of gang material. The sheriff's office says Bragg has ties to the MS-13 gang. He is facing two felony counts of possession.
Hamilton police have arrested a man in connection with a bank robbery earlier this week. 33 year old Robert Cloninger is accused of entering the First Financial Bank at 970 Main Street, and handing a note to the teller on Monday. He did not display a weapon. Cloninger apparently has shaven his beard since the incident on Monday. He is due to appear in Hamilton Municipal Court on a robbery charge.
A Butler County Grand Jury now gets the case of 51st District State Representative Wes Retherford. The Republican lawmaker waived his right to a preliminary hearing in Area Two court Wednesday afternoon, and left the courthouse without comment. Retherford is accused of OVI and having a loaded gun in his pickup truck when he was arrested after he allegedly passed out in a McDonalds drive-thru in Liberty Township on March 12th.
I-75 Southbound was backed up from Tylersville Road to the Monroe exit after a semi lost a load of insulation and other debris on the highway. The trail of trash extended southbound from Tylersville to the Hamilton County line, according to Ohio State Patrol troopers on the scene. Traffic was gridlocked for over an hour.
Oxford firefighters are trying to figure out what caused an early morning house fire at 115 Bishop Street. The student rental was destroyed by the flames that broke out around 2:44am. Mutual Aid was called from surrounding fire departments.Miami University is on spring break, so the students were not home at the time.
A preliminary hearing was scheduled Wednesday in Area Two Court for 51st District State Representative Wes Retherford. The Republican faces OVI and weapons charges after he was allegedly found passed out in his Chevy Silverado in the drive-thru of the McDonalds on Route 4 in Liberty Township. According to the official complaint, the arresting officer found a loaded handgun under the armrest. The gun had 15 rounds in the magazine and one in the chamber. Republican Party Officials have asked Retherford to resign.
Butler County Emergency Management as well as Monroe police, firefighters, and paramedics were on the scene of an overturned semi on the ramp from northbound State Route 4 to Oxford State Road
(OH-73). The driver was reportedly trapped in the wreckage when first responders arrived on the scene. The crash resulted in a large grease spill on the ramp, which was shut down for several hours after the crash. (Photo Courtesy: City of Monroe Facebook Page)
Three people were injured in a fire at the Meadow Ridge Apartment Complex in West Chester Monday. The blaze broke out around 2:38pm, with flames seen shooting through the roof when first responders arrived on the scene. The injured victims were taken to West Chester Hospital for treatment. The Red Cross was called to assist 39 people who were displaced by the blaze, which heavily damaged at least four apartments. No cause has been determined yet.
Hamilton police were looking for a suspect who robbed a bank on the west side Monday. Police say a white male (pictured) walked into the First Financial Bank at 970 Main Street at approximately 1:55pm, and handed a note to the teller. He did not display a weapon. The robber fled the scene on foot with an undetermined amount of cash. If you have any information, call Hamilton Police Detective Webb at
513-868-5811 ext. 1262.
Oxford police say they cited 26 people for underaged drinking during Green Beer Day in Thursday. Police also arrested 5 people for disorderly conduct, and one person for having a fake ID. Police Chief John A. Jones (pictured) says 17 noise level citations were issued, 6 people were nabbed for littering, and one person was arrested for criminal trespass. The State Patrol is also out with stats from yesterday's OVI checkpoint in Oxford. Troopers say only one OVI arrest was made with nearly 700 vehicles checked out at North Main & Church Streets. Four more were arrested for OVI during nearby saturation patrols. At least one female was injured when she was hit by a vehicle around 6:45am at South Main & Spring Street near the uptown area. Several squad runs were also reported for sick or intoxicated individuals.
A Middletown couple will appear in court later this month to face charges of Falsification, Obstruction of Official Business, and Interference with Custody. Lucinda and Robert Bryant are charged in connection with the disappearance of 17 year old Edgewood High School student Loretta Norvell, who was found hiding in a closet in the couple's Caprice Drive home two months after she was reported missing. A pre-trial hearing has been set for March 29th at 10:00am.
Butler County State Representative Wes Retherford's OVI and weapons case has been continued until March 22nd at 1:00pm. Retherford issued a statement late this morning, saying he will miss this week's house sessions and committee meetings. He is also asking for space and privacy for his family. Retherford was arrested on a misdemeanor OVI charge and a felony weapons charge after he was allegedly found passed out in the drive-thru of the McDonalds on Route 4 in Liberty Township Sunday morning. A loaded glock handgun was found in Retherford's truck.
Miami University officials are hoping a proactive approach will help reduce problems during this year's Green Beer Day, which is scheduled for Thursday in uptown Oxford. The recent alcohol related death of a freshman student and a rash of alcohol related hospitalizations has leaders worried about the binge drinking problem. The university held a Green Beer Day forum at the Armstrong student center this week, and they are planning a morning and afternoon of alternative activities Thursday. Uptown establishments have also agreed to open fewer bars early in the morning Thursday, and promised restricted access to those 21 and older.
Oxford firefighters are investigating the cause of an apartment fire that left several residents homeless late Tuesday afternoon. The Red Cross had to be called to help over a half dozen people displaced by the blaze on the 600 block of McGuffey Drive.
Butler County State Representative Wes Retherford spent his Sunday in the Butler County jail after being arrested on charges of OVI and improperly handling firearms in a motor vehicle. The incident took place at the McDonalds restaurant next to the Liberty Square Shopping Center on Route 4 in Liberty Township. Dispatchers received a call that a male was found passed out behind the wheel his vehicle in the drive-thru. Retherford was arrested on an OVI charge, and during the investigation, a loaded gun was found in a seat of the vehicle. Retherford was also charged with a felony weapons violation.
The Butler County Democratic party issued a news release saying the felony would mean Retherford's automatic expulsion from the Ohio House of Representatives. The party also said alcohol and guns are a reckless mix, and they are glad nobody was physically hurt as a result Retherford's actions. The party also said they were extremely disappointed in Retherford's actions and pray "he takes the opportunity to get the help he so obviously needs."
Hamilton police say a demolition crew has fessed up to causing the launch of an air compressor tank that crashed into a house more than 1,400 feet away. The bizzare accident happened Sunday afternoon, while a crew was working at the former Beckett Paper Mill along Martin Luther King Boulevard. Police Chief Rick Bucheit says a worker was cutting up scrap metal and cut into the steel tank. The tank was pressurized, and it "launched like a missile" over roof tops more than two blocks away before it bounced off the street and crashed into 110 North 7th Street. Luckily, the occupant was not in the room where the tank landed. The demolition site has been shut down by city and state officials until safety measures can be reviewed. The company has promised to fix the damage.
A former Cincinnati Bengals player is awaiting a court appearance after an incident in Ross Township. 26 year old Jerome Kyle Schaffer, also known as JK, allegedly attacked a man, then tried to break into a car and take off his clothes in the parking lot of a church on the 3400 block of Chapel Road. He is facing a felony charge of Breaking & Entering, and misdemeanor charges of Public Indecency and Assault. He was arrested at 7:30pm Sunday. He is set to appear in Area One Court in Oxford. Schaffer played high school football at LaSalle, and collegiate ball at the University of Cincinnati.
Butler County and much of Southwest Ohio was placed under a Dense Fog Advisory by the National Weather Service on President's Day. Visibility was reported near zero in parts of the region, especially low lying areas. At least one accident was reported early Monday morning, when a vehicle ran into a house on the 5300 block of Trenton-Franklin Road in Madison Township. The injuries from the crash are considered minor.
Donald J. Trump became the nation's 45th President Friday, a peaceful transfer of power from Barack Obama's outgoing administration. Here is a text of Trump's Inaugural Address:
The Inaugural Address
Remarks of President Donald J. Trump – As Prepared for Delivery
Friday, January 20, 2017
As Prepared for Delivery –
Chief Justice Roberts, President Carter, President Clinton, President Bush, President Obama, fellow Americans, and people of the world: thank you.
We, the citizens of America, are now joined in a great national effort to rebuild our country and to restore its promise for all of our people.
Together, we will determine the course of America and the world for years to come.
We will face challenges. We will confront hardships. But we will get the job done.
Every four years, we gather on these steps to carry out the orderly and peaceful transfer of power, and we are grateful to President Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama for their gracious aid throughout this transition. They have been magnificent.
Today’s ceremony, however, has very special meaning. Because today we are not merely transferring power from one Administration to another, or from one party to another – but we are transferring power from Washington, D.C. and giving it back to you, the American People.
For too long, a small group in our nation’s Capital has reaped the rewards of government while the people have borne the cost.
Washington flourished – but the people did not share in its wealth.
Politicians prospered – but the jobs left, and the factories closed.
The establishment protected itself, but not the citizens of our country.
Their victories have not been your victories; their triumphs have not been your triumphs; and while they celebrated in our nation’s Capital, there was little to celebrate for struggling families all across our land.
That all changes – starting right here, and right now, because this moment is your moment: it belongs to you.
It belongs to everyone gathered here today and everyone watching all across America.
This is your day. This is your celebration.
And this, the United States of America, is your country.
What truly matters is not which party controls our government, but whether our government is controlled by the people.
January 20th 2017, will be remembered as the day the people became the rulers of this nation again.
The forgotten men and women of our country will be forgotten no longer.
Everyone is listening to you now.
You came by the tens of millions to become part of a historic movement the likes of which the world has never seen before.
At the center of this movement is a crucial conviction: that a nation exists to serve its citizens.
Americans want great schools for their children, safe neighborhoods for their families, and good jobs for themselves.
These are the just and reasonable demands of a righteous public.
But for too many of our citizens, a different reality exists: Mothers and children trapped in poverty in our inner cities; rusted-out factories scattered like tombstones across the landscape of our nation; an education system, flush with cash, but which leaves our young and beautiful students deprived of knowledge; and the crime and gangs and drugs that have stolen too many lives and robbed our country of so much unrealized potential.
This American carnage stops right here and stops right now.
We are one nation – and their pain is our pain. Their dreams are our dreams; and their success will be our success. We share one heart, one home, and one glorious destiny.
The oath of office I take today is an oath of allegiance to all Americans.
For many decades, we’ve enriched foreign industry at the expense of American industry;
Subsidized the armies of other countries while allowing for the very sad depletion of our military;
We've defended other nation’s borders while refusing to defend our own;
And spent trillions of dollars overseas while America's infrastructure has fallen into disrepair and decay.
We’ve made other countries rich while the wealth, strength, and confidence of our country has disappeared over the horizon.
One by one, the factories shuttered and left our shores, with not even a thought about the millions upon millions of American workers left behind.
The wealth of our middle class has been ripped from their homes and then redistributed across the entire world.
But that is the past. And now we are looking only to the future.
We assembled here today are issuing a new decree to be heard in every city, in every foreign capital, and in every hall of power.
From this day forward, a new vision will govern our land.
From this moment on, it’s going to be America First.
Every decision on trade, on taxes, on immigration, on foreign affairs, will be made to benefit American workers and American families.
We must protect our borders from the ravages of other countries making our products, stealing our companies, and destroying our jobs. Protection will lead to great prosperity and strength.
I will fight for you with every breath in my body – and I will never, ever let you down.
America will start winning again, winning like never before.
We will bring back our jobs. We will bring back our borders. We will bring back our wealth. And we will bring back our dreams.
We will build new roads, and highways, and bridges, and airports, and tunnels, and railways all across our wonderful nation.
We will get our people off of welfare and back to work – rebuilding our country with American hands and American labor.
We will follow two simple rules: Buy American and Hire American.
We will seek friendship and goodwill with the nations of the world – but we do so with the understanding that it is the right of all nations to put their own interests first.
We do not seek to impose our way of life on anyone, but rather to let it shine as an example for everyone to follow.
We will reinforce old alliances and form new ones – and unite the civilized world against Radical Islamic Terrorism, which we will eradicate completely from the face of the Earth.
At the bedrock of our politics will be a total allegiance to the United States of America, and through our loyalty to our country, we will rediscover our loyalty to each other.
When you open your heart to patriotism, there is no room for prejudice.
The Bible tells us, “how good and pleasant it is when God’s people live together in unity.”
We must speak our minds openly, debate our disagreements honestly, but always pursue solidarity.
When America is united, America is totally unstoppable.
There should be no fear – we are protected, and we will always be protected.
We will be protected by the great men and women of our military and law enforcement and, most importantly, we are protected by God.
Finally, we must think big and dream even bigger.
In America, we understand that a nation is only living as long as it is striving.
We will no longer accept politicians who are all talk and no action – constantly complaining but never doing anything about it.
The time for empty talk is over.
Now arrives the hour of action.
Do not let anyone tell you it cannot be done. No challenge can match the heart and fight and spirit of America.
We will not fail. Our country will thrive and prosper again.
We stand at the birth of a new millennium, ready to unlock the mysteries of space, to free the Earth from the miseries of disease, and to harness the energies, industries and technologies of tomorrow.
A new national pride will stir our souls, lift our sights, and heal our divisions.
It is time to remember that old wisdom our soldiers will never forget: that whether we are black or brown or white, we all bleed the same red blood of patriots, we all enjoy the same glorious freedoms, and we all salute the same great American Flag.
And whether a child is born in the urban sprawl of Detroit or the windswept plains of Nebraska, they look up at the same night sky, they fill their heart with the same dreams, and they are infused with the breath of life by the same almighty Creator.
So to all Americans, in every city near and far, small and large, from mountain to mountain, and from ocean to ocean, hear these words:
You will never be ignored again.
Your voice, your hopes, and your dreams, will define our American destiny. And your courage and goodness and love will forever guide us along the way.
Together, We Will Make America Strong Again.
We Will Make America Wealthy Again.
We Will Make America Proud Again.
We Will Make America Safe Again.
And, Yes, Together, We Will Make America Great Again. Thank you, God Bless You, And God Bless America.
Hamilton's Icefest celebration is underway downtown. Organizers had to implement contingency plans because of the warm temperatures and rain, including putting half of the ice sculptures out Friday night and the other half on Saturday. Here are the official Icefest events:
Children’s area (open Friday night & Saturday morning): The Children's Area at Journal Square includes putt-putt, an ice throne for photo ops, and a children’s snow sculpting activity facilitated by the Fitton Center.
Showcase Carver Greg Butauski (Friday morning & afternoon) - Before IceFest officially begins at 5pm on Friday, the 2014 National Ice Carving Champion Greg Butauski will be carving a 12 block showcase piece in front of the Government Services Building that will remain on display throughout the event. Come to 345 High Street any time Friday morning or afternoon to see a nationally recognized ice carver at work!
The Technicolor Ice Walk (Friday from sundown to 9pm) - Ice carvings along the Butler County Court House Lawn are lit up for the first night of IceFest for a unique night-time ice viewing experience!
Fire & Ice (Friday at 7pm): Live large sculpture carving which will feature fire as a design element. This event will take place near the Butler County Courthouse lawn close to 2nd street. The sculpture will be lit on fire once it is completed between 8-9pm.
Competition Alley (Saturday from 10am - 2pm) Ten or more ice carvers from around the nation will be competing to create ice sculptures along 2nd Street. Attendees will have the opportunity to vote for their favorite sculpture, and the carver with the most votes will win the 2017 People's Choice Award.
Soap Carving Contest Awards (Saturday at 12pm) - Awards for the Meijer Soap Carving Competition will be presented at Courthouse Gazebo.
Human Sled Race (Saturday at 2pm) - Teams will race down Court Street in this endurance challenge and compete for first place.
Speed Carving (Saturday at 3pm) Carvers from Competition Alley will get 5 to 15 minutes to create an ice sculpture in front of an audience; some carvers will take audience suggestions, and others will encourage audience members to guess what is being carved while they are in the process of creating the piece.
Events by the Lane Public Libraries
Minecraft Snowball Fight (Saturday 10am to 2pm) - Stop in to the Lane Library Community Technology Center during IceFest to join an epic minecraft snowball fight. Pick a team, create and throw Minecraft snowballs, and avoid letting your opponents connect!
Lane Tech Center Craft & Hot Chocolate (Saturday 10am to 2pm) - Warm up during IceFest with a fun craft and hot chocolate at the Lane Library Community Technology Center in Journal Square.
Meet a Penguin at IceFest (Saturday 12pm to 2pm) - The Newport Aquarium’s Wave Foundation presents interesting facts about African Penguins followed by a meet and greet with a live penguin at Miami University Hamilton Downtown.
Ongoing events at IceFest
Soap Carving - The winners of the soap carving contest will be on display in the Greater Hamilton Visitor’s Bureau.
Artfest - Get out of the cold by checking out Artfest, which will be held in the lobby of the Government Services Center while IceFest is ongoing.
Amateur Photo Contest - Barclaycard is sponsoring a photo contest for amateur photographers attending IceFest.
Sponsored Ice Sculptures - Ice sculptures sponsored by local businesses will be on display along High Street from MLK Blvd. to Front St.
Hamilton city officials say New London Road at South Washington Boulevard will be subject to lane shifts from 7:30am to 2:30pm Saturday, as crews repair a fire hydrant that was taken out by a vehicle involved in an accident Wednesday morning. Water from the damaged hydrant gushed high into the air, and flooded New London Road all the way down the hill to B Street, according to eyewitness Nicci Meece. The crash left at least one person injured, but those injuries were not serious.
(Fairfield)---An assistant football coach and teacher at FairfieldHigh School has been indicted by a ButlerCounty grand jury on sex charges. 26 year old Tyler Conrad allegedly had sexual contact with a 16 year old female student. He is facing two counts of sexual battery, one count of sexual imposition, and a count of contributing to the delinquency of a minor. He will be arraigned Wednesday morning in front of Butler County Common Pleas Judge Keith Spaeth.
(Middletown)---A World Series hero will mark his return to ButlerCounty Tuesday. Chicago Cubs outfielder Kyle Schwarber will hold a community meet and greet with fans and well wishers at the PendletonArtsCenter on Central Avenue in Downtown Middletown. The event will take place from . Organizers say you need to be in line no later than 5:50pm. Schwarber spent the 2016 regular season on the disabled list, but came back in time to play in the World Series. He had three hits and a stolen base in the Cub’s game seven win over the Cleveland Indians.
(West Chester)---A man is being held at the ButlerCounty jail after allegedly attacking a police officer in West Chester. Police say Damien Anderson was trying to cash a phony check at the Fifth Third branch located inside the Kingsgate Kroger on Tylersville Road. Anderson got into a tussle with police officer Matthew Young, which resulted in Young suffering injuries. A citizen assisted the officer, and Anderson was taken into custody. He is charged with assault, resisting arrest, and forgery.
(RossTownship)---The Butler County Coroner’s Office has released the names of two teenaged girls who died in a car crash on Saturday. 17 year old Laura Estes of Ross and 18 year old Dulce Rosa Avila of Harrison were killed when their car collided with a truck on Hamilton-Cleves Road in front of Watson Sand and Gravel. Estes was a senior at RossHigh School and the ButlerTechSchool of the Arts, where a private memorial service was held in her honor Monday.
HAMILTON---A Hamilton police officer is recovering from injuries she received in a crash in the North End Wednesday. 30 year old Katherine Giesting was driving her cruiser northbound on North 7th Street around 10:19am, when she was hit by an SUV that ran a stop sign while heading westbound on Dayton Street.Giesting suffered a leg injury, and was taken to Fort Hamilton Hospital for treatment. The driver of the SUV, 52 year old William Crawford, told police he had spilled coffee on his lap, causing him to run the light. Police also tell WMOH Crawford was cited for driving without a license. He refused treatment at the scene.
HAMILTON--An early morning fire destroyed one store and damaged two others at the Hamilton Plaza Shopping Center on 2524 Dixie Highway Tuesday. Deputy Fire Chief Larry Gassert tells WMOH Radio the call came in just before 2:00am. Police officers arrived just before firefighters, and warned that flames were coming from the Rent-A-Center store. First responders arrived, and quickly attacked the blaze, keeping it from spreading to the rest of the shopping center. Gassert says Rent-A-Center was destroyed, causing $300,000-$400,000 worth of damageto the building and contents. Gassert says The Family Dollar Store suffered smoke damage, and may lose food and other inventory, after an inspection from the City of Hamilton Health Department. The blaze also caused a window to break at A Chatti Hair Salon. No injuries were reported, and investigators are looking for a cause.
(Hamilton)---Hamilton police are investigating another homicide.
37 year old Calvin Simmons Jr. was found shot in the stomach at his home on 2204 University Boulevard around 3:45am. He was taken to Fort Hamilton Hospital where he was pronounced dead. Police believe this was not a random case, and that Simmons was targeted.
(Winston-Salem, NC)--Former local congressman and house speaker John Boehner has been named to the board of directors for Reynolds American, a North Carolina based tobacco company. Reynolds makes Newport, Camel, and Pall Mall cigarettes. Boehner was known as a chain smoker when he was in congress, and Camels were his favorite brand.
(Hamilton)--The City of Hamilton will be holding a public information meeting over recent flooding issues. City Manager Joshua Smith says the forum will be held on Wednesday, September 21st from 6pm to 8pm at the Hamilton High School auditorium. Homes and businesses that were flooded back in June also experienced high water on Thursday and Saturday after 3-to-4 inches of rain fell onto the area. The city has already been doing smoke and dye testing on homes in Highland Park. City leaders are also looking into a plan to have the city pay for check valve installations to keep sewage from backing up into homes.
(Washington)--U.S. Senator Sherrod Brown wasted no time trying to get the NCAA to bring at least some of the seven tournament events that were taken away from North Carolina to Ohio. Brown says the Buckeye State has successfully hosted tournaments in the past, including UD Arena. North Carolina lost the events because of their so-called bathroom law.
(Columbus)---A new poll is out in the presidential race. The Bloomberg survey shows Donald Trump surging to a five point lead in Ohio. Trump leads Democrat Hillary Clinton 48%-43% in a head-to-head matchup. The lead remains five points in a four way race between Trump, Clinton, Gary Johnson, and Jill Stein. The poll also has good news for U.S. Senator Rob Portman, who leads Ted Strickland
(Hamilton)---The Democrats have their guy. Steve Fought was the only name listed on the ballot in a special election Tuesday to find their nominee for the 8th District congressional race. 613 Democrats cast a ballot in Butler County yesterday, accounting for 0.28% of registered voters. Fought will face Republican congressman Warren Davidson in November.
(Washington)--A local congressman is introducing a bill which would require members of congress and their staff to get their health care from the Department of Veterans Affairs. Republican Warren Davidson says the bill would make sure members of congress have a stake in reforming the agency.
By a 4-2 vote, the Ohio Supreme Court has upheld the death sentence of a former Fairfield man. 39 year old Calvin McKelton was convicted of killing his girlfriend Missy Allen in 2008 and friend Germaine Evans in 2009. An execution date of November 18, 2020 was set.
Butler County Auditor Roger Reynolds says he has now saved local governments over 10 million dollars since he took office eight years ago. This year's disbursement of surplus real estate fund money is a record 2 million dollars. The Lakota School District is getting the largest cut, a 462-thousand dollar windfall. Reynolds says his office has always done more with less in order to allow local cities, villages, townships, and school districts the opportunity to use the money for much needed projects.