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WMOH Updates

Little Miami Superintendent Doubles Down

The superintendent of the Little Miami school district says he and the school board stand behind their decision to punish two Little Miami High School football players who carried thin blue line and thin red line flags through the entrance tunnel in honor of police and firefighters on the 19th anniversary of 9/11.  In a video released Thursday, a visibly angry Greg Power says the district has received hateful and threatening messages as a result of publicity from the event. The district eventually lifted the player's suspension from athletics, but maintains they were right to punish the boys because of their "insubordination."
Brady Williams and Jarad Bently say they only wanted to pay tribute to first responders on the anniversary of the worst terrorist attack on U.S. soil. Power is demanding an end to the threats and hateful messages being sent to the district.

Miami University: 800+ COVID-19 Cases

Miami University and the Butler County General Health District are asking students to avoid travel and large gatherings during the Labor Day weekend. The latest dashboard report shows more than 800 cases of COVID-19 have been reported on the Oxford campus over the last couple of weeks. The outbreak started when several athletes attended an off-campus party. Miami will make a decision by Wednesday on whether students should return to classes or continue with distance learning.

Talawanda Orders Furloughs, Staff Reductions

The Talawanda School Board has voted to furlough 40 classified staff and 38 non-union workers in a bid to cut a large COVID-19 related budget deficit. Superintendent Dr. Ed Theroux told the board the district is $5 million in the hole after losses in tax income and state funding. The furloughs will affect workers covered by the Talawanda Classified Staff Association, which is the barganing unit for secretaries, custodial, maintainence, food service workers, and educational assistants. Theroux says the furloughs will last up to 84 days. The Reduction In Force will affect staff not covered by the union, including part timers. The board voted 4-1 to approve the furloughs, with Rebecca Howard voting no, and 3-2 to approve the RIF, with Howard being joined by Chris Otto in the no column. The cuts will take effect Monday.

Oxford Bans Large Gatherings As Students Settle In

Oxford City Council passed an emergency ordinance Tuesday night, banning gatherings of more than ten people during the COVID-19 pandemic. Council members want to cut down on large student hosted parties which could lead to the spread of Coronavirus. The ordinance closely mirrors orders issued by Governor DeWine, limiting gatherings to 10 or under, with exceptions made for religious observances and First Amendment protected activity. Police Chief John Jones has told council he has doubts the ordinance would be enforceable. The first violation would cost the host $500, and the second violation would be a $1,000 fine. The city would also alert Miami University of any violations, and students could be subject to administrative and academic sanctions. The school year is already underway at Miami, with students taking online classes to begin the semester. 

Middletown Approves COPS Grant

Middletown City Council has voted unanimously to accept a $250,000 federal COPS grant which will allow the city to hire two new police officers. The grant will pay 75% of the officer's salary and benefits for three years, and they will be used for community oriented policing. Council delayed a final decision for two weeks when a couple of council members questioned whether the grant came with strings attached. After studying the proposal for a couple of weeks, council members Monica Nenni and Joe Mulligan say they were satisfied with the terms, and voted in the affirmative.

Guilty Plea In Hamilton Shooting Death

A young man from Hamilton has pleaded guilty to a murder charge. 18 year old Michael Smith admitted to the June 2019 shooting death of 19 year old Shon Walker on the 400 block of East Avenue. Smith was 17 at the time of the shooting, but the case was bound over to adult court. Judge Greg Stephens set a sentencing date of September 4th at 9am. Smith faces 16 years to life in prison. 

 

Appeals Court Upholds Home Invasion Case

The 12th District Appeals Court has upheld the conviction of a Cleveland man in the robbery and kidnapping of a Fairfield Township man last year. 38 year old Arthur Morris is serving a 30-35 year sentence for last September's burglary on the 5900 block of Beaty Lane. Morris allegedly beat the homeowner several times with a blunt object, and tied the victim up in the garage.  He was leaving the scene when he was captured by police.
Morris pleaded guilty in exchange for some charges being dropped.

 

Officials Celebrate I-75 Interchange Completion

West Chester Township Trustees were joined by Butler County Engineer Greg Wilkens Tuesday to mark the completion of the Diverging Diamond Interchange project at I-75 and Union Centre Boulevard. The DDI concept basically flips the traditional directions of traffic on the overpass. Wilkens says safety will increase and wait times will decrease at the interchange, where 50,000 cars drive through daily. There is still landscaping to complete over the coming weeks, but it won't effect motorists. The price tag for the project was nearly $20 million, paid for by Tax Increment Financing.

Beckett Ridge Roundabout Project Finished

The Butler County Engineer's Office only roundabout project of 2020 has been completed after 11 weeks of work. The roundabout on LeSourdsville-West Chester Road and Beckett Ridge Boulevard opened to traffic on Wednesday. The project cost nearly $1.4 million, paid for by federal funds and the Butler County Engineer's Office.

Drowning Victim Identified

The Butler County Coroner's Office has identified the man who drowned while swimming in the Great Miami River in Middletown Tuesday night. The body of 27 year old Antoine Dean Fritznel of Middletown was pulled out of the water hours after he went under the water and never came back up. He was recovered by the Butler County Sheriff's Emergency Response Services Team around 9:26pm, near the 3800 block of North Verity Parkway.
The Coroner's Office has ruled the death an accidential drowning.

(Photo Courtesy Of: Butler County Sheriff's Office)

Students Begin Return To Classroom

The new school year is officially underway in Butler County, with the first students returning to the classroom at Butler Tech's campuses earlier this week. Superintendent Jon Graft says the semester started with a hybrid staggered schedule, with half the students taking in-person classes on Monday/Wednesday and the other half on Tuesday/Thursday. Students will learn online on the days they are not in the building. Fridays are a personalized/teacher directed Fifth Day Experience. Lakota, Middletown, and Madison return Monday August 17th, with Middletown opting to begin the school year online.

 

 

WMOH To Simulcast 4th of July Fireworks in Hamilton

(Hamilton)--The 4th of July fireworks display will take place again in Hamilton this year. Those who gather to watch the show, which is being shot from Pyramid Hill, can tune to WMOH 1450am "The Ticket" for a simulcast of patriotic music timed to the display. The show begins promptly at 10:00pm on Saturday, July 4th.

Spooky Nook Construction On Schedule, Says Founder

(Hamilton)--The Founder of the Spooky Nook Champion Mill project says construction is on schedule for a December 2021 opening. Sam Beiler, who owns a similar indoor sports facility in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, says the $144 million, 1.3 million square foot complex will be the largest sports venue of its type in North America. It will also feature the region's 2nd largest convention center and a hotel. The property used to be the site of the Champion Paper Mill for over a century. State historical tax credits and other financing is helping the city re-purpose the sprawling site.

 

(Bill Douglas Photo: Sam Beiler speaks during a media day at the Spooky Nook construction site on Wednesday, June 17, 2020)

River Advisory Issued

(Hamilton)--The Butler County General Health District has issued a Water Advisory for the Great Miami River south of Oxford State Road in Lemon Township. Officials say there was a release of under-treated sewage from the Middletown Wastewater Treatment Plant. People are being advised not to swim or fish in the river until further notice. The sewage could result in parasites, viruses, and bacteria, including E-Coli.

Hamilton Church Holds Peaceful Protest

A peaceful protest/march over the death of George Floyd brought hundreds to downtown Hamilton Sunday. Pastor Patrick Davis with the Fringe Church and Coffee House on High Street says "Our African American brothers and sisters deserve a better world, and we refuse to step over their bodies and turn a deaf ear to their cries on the way to church." The march started at the church and ended at the Butler County Courthouse. Davis says several faith leaders and clergy members "stood on the stage and declared a time of public repentance and apology on behalf of the American church for her silence and apathy." Hamilton police provided traffic assistance to the marchers.

(Photo Courtesy: Fringe Church Facebook Page)

Coronavirus: County Approaches 600 Cases

Butler County's Coronavirus case count is increasing as testing continues to increase. There were 592 total cases  of Coronavirus in Butler County Friday, an increase of 49 over Thursday, when 543 total cases were reported. The State of Ohio's database says there has been 16 COVID-19 deaths in Butler County, which is one higher than Thursday's total of 15. No details have been released about the latest fatality. The Butler County General Health District released an epidemiology report Friday that shows the Fairfield zip code (45014) led the county with 27% of the cases, followed by East Hamilton-Fairfield Township (45011) with nearly 23% of the cases, and Middletown (45044) with almost 11% of the county's Coronavirus cases. The other factor in the increase was clusters. According to the report, over a quarter of the cases were involved with a cluster. Household/Family made up 53% of the cluster cases, followed by healthcare at 22%, and workplace at 18%.

DeWine Announces Slow Rolling Re-Opening Plan

(Columbus)--Governor DeWine announced Monday his plan to re-open the state, as the number of new Coronavirus cases continues to slow. DeWine says medical facilities can begin to perform elective same day surgeries on Friday. On Monday, manufacturing, distribution, and construction companies can re-open, along with general office enviroments. Consumer retail & services will open on May 12th. All of the openings will have restrictions, including social distancing and required face masks. 
DeWine says beauty salons, sit-in restaurants, senior adult daycares and entertainment venues will stay closed for now. He did not give a date for their return, although many restaurant and beauty salon owners say the shutdown is coming close to driving them out of business.

For more information, you can visit Responsible Re-Start Ohio.  

(Photo Courtesy of Ohio Channel)

Coronavirus Update: 5th Death In Butler County

The Butler County General Health District has reported a fifth death from the Coronavirus in the county. According to a news release, the victim was a Fairfield woman in her 70's. She had previous health conditions, but it is not known how she contracted the disease. “Our hearts go out to the loved ones in their time of grief, and we send our deepest sympathies.” said Health Commissioner Jennifer Bailer. The death is the second straight woman from Fairfield to succumb to the disease. According to the latest figures, there are 244 total cases of COVID-19 in the county, with 5 deaths. The City of Hamilton reported five new cases, including a 29 year old man hospitalized in ICU. 

 

Hamilton City Council Passes Price Gouging Ban

Hamilton City Council unanimously approved a ban on price gouging during their meeting Wednesday night. Under the ordinance, the rule becomes part of the city's business regulation code, and would make it a criminal offense for businesses to overcharge for items during a declared state of emergency. Price gouging would be considered a first degree misdemeanor under the ordinance. It would be enforced by the police department or health commissioner. City council members discussed using the MyHamilton 311 portal for citizens to report possible infractions. Mayor Pat Moeller says "price gouging is one of those things when you see it, you know it."

 

OHSAA Cancels Spring Sports

(Columbus)--The Ohio High School Athletic Association has made it official--the spring sports season is canceled. The decision was a given after Governor DeWine declared schools would remain closed through the end of the school year. The coaches no contact period remains in effect through May 3rd.


From the release:
 

In an interview Monday afternoon, Snodgrass reflected on the unprecedented times that the pandemic has brought to the nation and the impact it has had on schools and interscholastic athletics.  

 

“I’ve heard from so many people who have said ‘You really need to understand what this means to our kids,’” Snodgrass said during the interview. “I’m a parent. I was a coach. I grew up every day as a player and a coach wanting to play high school sports and get to the state tournament. So I do think I understand that. I also have to go with the fact that my number one concern that I have, over everything, is the health and safety of everyone involved. It’s not just our student-athletes. It’s the parents, coaches, umpires, officials, the scorekeepers. All those things enter into this. It’s a tough decision and it’s one that I and all the other Executive Directors of the other states never thought we would have to do. Never did I think this would be the case, but I’ve tried to be as prepared as I could every step of the way.”

 

Snodgrass also addressed the summer and start of fall sports in the interview. 

 

“July is a very physical month for our student-athletes entering fall sports, so we have already started looking at, if this continues through the summer, we’ll have the potential of having a lot of kids who haven’t had the physical activity that they would normally have going into a fall season. So for the health and safety of everyone, we have to look at the acclimation periods going into the fall, if that happens. We have to be prepared for that. We’re also talking about that, if this does go through the summer, what is the likelihood that a student can get in to get a physical (annual medical exam). We have a sport medicine advisory group that is looking at that. They are looking at all aspects such as whether artificial surfaces need to be treated. We are relying on the advice of experts in our decision making.

 

The OHSAA will continue to communicate throughout the spring and summer regarding any adjustments to OHSAA off-season regulations, academic eligibility standards, sports medicine updates and more. 

County Unemployment Shows Increase

(Hamilton)--Butler County's unemployment rate increased in March as the DeWine shutdown was getting underway. The jobless rate for March was 4.7%, compared to 4.1% in February. Nine thousand Butler Countians were considered unemployed in March, a thousand more than February. The city of Fairfield lost 200 jobs and the cities of Hamilton and Middletown lost 100 jobs each.

 

Coronavirus: Three New Cases in Hamilton

(Hamilton)--The number of confirmed Coronavirus cases in Butler County stands at 169.  There have been at least 52 people hospitalized and the death toll remains at 3. Statewide, there are over 11, 292 cases, with 453 confirmed deaths and 2,565 hospitalizations. The City of Hamilton is reporting three new cases, including a 73 year old woman, and two males, aged 27 and 43. The City of Hamilton has had 23 confirmed cases of COVID-19.

 

Coronavirus: County Sees Third Death

HAMILTON--The Butler County Health Department says a third death has been linked to the Coronavirus in Butler County. Health Director Jennifer Bailer says it was a male in his 60's, who suffered from underlying health conditions. Family members are confirming it was Talawanda School District Treasurer Mike Davis, who passed away over the weekend. Butler County now has 130 confirmed cases of COVID-19, including a 35 year old male inmate at the Butler County Jail. Sheriff Richard Jones says the inmate and his cell mate were moved to the Court Street jail building, which was recently emptied and scrubbed clean for use by inmates who are confirmed with the virus. The cellmate did not have the virus. Statewide, the Department of Health says 7,153 Ohioans have been confirmed with Coronavirus, with 309 confirmed deaths. Around 2,156 patients have been hospitalized in Ohio.

 

(Photo: Mike Davis)

WMOH 1450 The Ticket Presents: High School Game Night Classics

While the high school sports season is on hold, WMOH 1450 The Ticket presents "High School Game NIght Classic," a replay of big games from the past.

 

Wednesday, April 8th at 5:00pm, we will bring you the 2019 Division Two Regional Baseball Semi-Final between the Ross Rams and the Franklin Wildcats

 

Stay tuned for more encore presentations of high school sports with High School Game Night Classic, on WMOH 1450 The Ticket, and on WMOH.COM.

Coronavirus: DeWine Orders Ohioans To Stay Home

(Columbus)--Governor DeWine and State Health Director Dr. Amy Acton have signed a "Stay at Home" order in which Ohioans are being told to shelter in place, and forego non-essential travel, starting Monday at 11:59pm. Under the plan, you will be allowed to go outside, as long as you comply with social distance guidelines. You will be allowed to pick up food and groceries, as well as report to essential jobs and medical appointments. 

Stay at Home Order FAQ's

 

(Screen Capture Courtesy Ohio Channel)

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