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WMOH Updates

Woman Hit By Train

A woman is being treated after a train vs. pedestrian incident this morning in West Chester. Police and paramedics were called before 4:00am to the tracks about 3/4 of a mile west of the crossing on Princeton-Glendale Road (pictured). Rescue crews had to use gators and other equipment to remove the victim from the scene. The woman, said to be middle aged, was apparently reported missing from Mason.  Township spokesperson Barb Wilson says the victim was taken to UC West Chester. Air Care helicopter later flew the woman to University Hospital's trauma center in Clifton.

Boyfriend Arrested For Markham Murder

A dozen years after her death, police believe they have the killer of Katelyn Markham. A Butler County Grand Jury has filed a two count murder indictment against Markham's fiance John Carter. The 34 year old Lindenwald man was arrested
Wednesday, and the indictment was unsealed Thursday morning. Markham went missing in 2011, and her remains were found in southeast Indiana two years later. A friend of Carter's was indicted last month on a charge of lying to investigators, which turned out to be a major
break in the case.


Two Arrested For West Chester Homicide

Two men have been arrested in the October shooting death of 22 year old Keshon Sanders
at a West Chester apartment complex. 21 year old Robert Morris and 22 year old Garreontai Holmes are accused of opening fire on Sanders as he sat in his car on Aster Park Drive at the Meadow Ridge Apartments back on October 20th. Both suspects, who are from Hamilton County, were listed in a 15 count indictment that included charges of aggravated murder, murder, felonious assault, and participating in a gang activity. The pair are also facing several gun related specifications.


Tornado Hits Butler County

The National Weather Service has released more information about Monday's tornado that hit parts of Wayne and Madison Townships. A survey team from Wilmington determined it was an EF-1 tornado that damaged about a dozen properties along Elk Creek, West Alexandria, and Dickey Roads. It first touched down in the heart of Jacksonburg at  2:37pm, and traveled 4.2 miles before dissipating 6 minutes later. The path of the storm was 150 yards wide. No injuries were reported.

(Photos Courtesy of Doug Crawford/Steve Riley)


Nix Chosen County Auditor

Butler County Republicans have chosen a new county auditor to take the place of the ousted Roger Reynolds. County Treasurer Nancy Nix will be sworn in to her new job Monday. She won with
72% of the vote. Nix tells us the party will likely meet to appoint a new treasurer by March 23rd. Nix takes the place of Roger Reynolds, who was convicted on one charge after a corruption and bribery trial in December. He will be sentenced on February 15th.


Fairfield Fire Official Dies

The Fairfield Fire Department is mourning one of their own. Deputy Chief Tom Wagner passed away unexpectedly, the city announced Friday. He started as a part time firefighter/EMT in 1993. He moved to full-time in 1999, and was promoted to Lieutenant in 2007. He was promoted to deputy chief in 2017. He was a long time President of
IAFF-Local 4010. Funeral arrangements are pending.


AG vs DG In Price Showdown

The Ohio Attorney General's Office will be in a Butler County courtroom this morning, asking a judge to force Dollar General stores across the state to ring up prices advertised on store
shelves. State Auditor David Yost sued the company back in November after the Butler County Auditor's Office found several Dollar General locations were advertising one price on the store shelves, while ringing up a different price, usually higher, at the cash register. A check this week showed the stores are doing a better job, but still not good enough for Yost, who is asking Judge Michael Oster to issue a temporary restraining order to force the stores into compliance.


Depot Move Scheduled

Hamilton city leaders say the long awaited move of the historial train depot building downtown will begin Tuesday. City Engineer Rich Engle says the two story section of the depot will be moved first, starting at 9:00am. Martin Luther King Boulevard will be shut down between Maple Avenue and Pershing Avenue. Those who want to view the move can gather on the west side of MLK.
The building has already been hoisted onto blocks in anticipation of the move.

North End Neighbors Protest NHX

Hamilton City Council heard from several residents of the North End, upset about two proposed routes for the North Hamilton Crossing project. Both routes would run thorugh the North End ball diamonds and into the neighborhood. Neighbors are concerned about being displaced by the project, which is meant to alleviate traffic from the Spooky Nook sports and event complex. The road would be similar to the Jim Blount Overpass and South Hamilton Crossing. Neighbors say they're also concerned about losing the ballfields, playgrounds, and splash pad. They also have enviromental concerns if the city builds a road over the Chem-Dyne superfund site. A public input meeting on the proposed routes will be held on January 23rd 5:30-7:30pm at Fairwood Elementary School, 281 North Fair Avenue.


Unemployment Holds Steady

Ohio's employment picture remained steady in November, with no large bump in holiday hiring. The Ohio Department of Job and Family Services says the unemployment rate for November was 4.2%, unchanged from October's report. Ohio’s nonagricultural wage and salary employment increased 5,500 over the month, from a revised 5,504,400 in October 2022 to 5,509,900 in November 2022, according to a news release issued by the state. The report says the number of workers unemployed in Ohio in November was 243,000, up from 242,000 in October. In November 2022, the labor force participation rate in Ohio was 61.3%, down from 61.5% in October 2022 and down from 61.5% in November 2021. 

Highway Extension Opens

The Butler County Engineer's Office says the Cox Road extension from the Butler Regional Highway is open in both directions as of 3:30am Wednesday, December 14th. The new configuration means the Liberty Way exit off eastbound State Route 129 is closed permanently. Motorists can access Liberty Way using the Cincinnati-Dayton Road exit, or by taking a right off the Cox Road roundabout. They can also access Liberty Way further east by taking Veterans Boulevard past the new COSTCO store. Engineer Greg Wilkens says the traffic signal at Cox Road and Liberty Way is undergoing changes to timing to help with the flow of traffic. The $32 million project should totally wrap up by spring.

Longtime Trustee Dies

A longtime township trustee in St. Clair Township has passed away. Tom Barnes died Friday at the Hospice of Hamilton. He was 84. Funeral services will be held Wednesday at the Avance Funeral Home, 4976 Winton Road in Fairfield. Visitation is 5:00-7:00pm and services will follow.

Reynolds Trial Begins

The bribery and corruption trial of Butler County Auditor Roger Reynolds is scheduled to get underway Monday in Butler County Common Pleas Court. Reynolds is accused of leveraging his public office to further personal interest. Visiting Judge Daniel Hogan has ordered a pool of 150 potential jurors to show up Monday. Hogan also indicated in his filing Thursday that the trial is expected to last 14 days. The Ohio Attorney General's office is prosecuting the case.

Galloway Resigns

Morgan Township Trustees held a special meeting Saturday morning to accept the resignation of Township Administrator/Fire Chief Jeff Galloway. The embattled chief has been the focus of an investigation into issues involving his compensation. The trustees also decided to terminate the investigation being done for the township by the human resources firm Clemans Nelson. The state auditor's office will continue their investigation into the matter. 


(Photo Courtesy: Morgan Township  Fire Department on Facebook)

Travel Guru Leaving County

The head of Butler County's convention and visitor's bureau is leaving his job. Travel Butler County President and CEO Mark Hecquet has
accepted a similar position with the Springfield,

Missouri Convention and Visitor's Bureau. He has been with the Butler County agency at least 16 years. He leaves just as Spooky Nook, the largest indoor sporting and convention complex in North America, begins to host sporting events this weekend at the former Champion Mill along the Great Miami River. Hecquet will begin duties January 17th in Springfield.

Surgical Assistant Bill Passes House

Butler County State Representative Sara Carruthers (R-Hamilton) says she found it "a tad terrifying" when she learned surgical assistants do not need a license to perform their duties in Ohio. Carruthers and fellow representative Brigid Kelly (D-Cincinnati) introduced House Bill 196, which will require those assisting with surgeries to be licenced by he State Medical Board. Under the bill, surgical assistants must renew their license every two years, undergoing continuing education in order to qualify for the license renewal. The bill passed the Ohio House 69-12 last week. 52nd District Representative Jennifer Gross voted against the legislation. The bill was introduced in the Ohio Senate Tuesday.


(Photo Credit: Sara Carruther's Office

Deer Hunting Season A Statewide Success

Ohio hunters bagged 71,932 deer during last
week's deer gun season statewide, which was an increase over the three year average of 68,534.
Last year, 70,381 deer were shot. Butler County saw a decrease in deer tagged during the gun hunting season. Hunters in the county shot 270 deer last week, compared to a three year average of 352. There will be another weekend of hunting allowed December 17th and 18th.


Photo Credit: ODNR

Missing Dementia Patient Found Safe

A missing dementia patient from West Chester has been found and is safe. The 81 year old man was last seen around 2:00pm Monday on Tennyson Court. Search teams and drones were brought in after darkness fell last night, and the man was found around 10:30pm in the city of Reading. No word how he got there, but police say he was suffering from minor injuries.


Holday Fatality Report Released

The Ohio State Patrol says 16 people were killed on the state's highways during the five day Thanksgiving holiday period. That number includes 4 fatalities in Southwest Ohio. A head-on crash between two SUV's resulted in the death of 70 year old John Cornelius of Morrow Friday. The wreck happened on Mason Morrow Millgrove Road in Salem Township. There were two fatal crashes in the city of Cincinnati, and one in Clinton County. Of the 16 killed this year, the patrol says two were pedestrians, 10 were not wearing their seat belt, and six of the crashes involved impaired driving. Last year, 17 people died on Ohio roadways. Troopers this weekend arrested 270 motorists for impaired driving, and 130 for drugs. The patrol cited 686 people with safety belt violations and 100 motorists for distracted driving. Warren County led the state with 488 traffic incidents.

Local Districts Awarded Safety Funds

Two Butler County school districts will receive security upgrades as part of Governor DeWine's latest round of school safety grants. New Miami schools will get $300,000 for the elementary, middle, and high schools. The Ross Local School District will receive a half million dollars for Elda and Morgan elementaries, as well as the high school, intermediate, and middle school.
DeWine says 708 schools statewide will share over $57.8 million in the third round of safety funding.

Girl Arrested For Role In Hotel Shooting

Fairfield police have arrested a 16 year old West Chester girl on juvenile murder, robbery, and burglary charges in connection with the October 2nd shooting death of 18 year old Kaaree Hipsher-Burton at the Holiday Inn Express on Route 4.
The girl allegedly told Hipsher-Burton the room number and how many people were inside the room. Police say the pair were plotting to steal a gun from the room.


(Photo Courtesy: Google Maps)

Holiday Travel Period Begins

The Ohio State Highway Patrol says they will be "highly visible" over the Thanksgiving Day weekend, looking for speeders, impaired drivers, and those who are driving distracted through 11:59pm Sunday night. Last year, 17 people were killed in 14 accidents across the Buckeye State. Half of the crashes involved alcohol and/or drugs.
The patrol made 305 arrests for impaired driving last year.

County Jobless Rate Increases

Butler County's unemployment rate increased in October. The Ohio Department of Job and Family Services says the county's unemployment rate was 3.7%, compared to 3.4% in September. The agency says 7,100 workers were unemployed in October, compared to 6,600 in September. 


(Photo Courtesy: Ohio Department of Job & Family Services)

Playoff Friday Marred By Crash

Three school busses transporting the Colerain High School football team to its Friday playoff game in Mason Friday were involved in a chain reaction crash on Northbound I-75. The accident sent 7 students and one coach to area hospitals with minor injuries. The crash was reported at 5:23pm near the Cincinnati Dayton Road exit, according to Lt. Matthew Keener with the Ohio State Highway Patrol. Keener says the lead bus from the Northwest Local School District stopped abruptly when it came upon stopped traffic. The ensuing chain reaction caught up the other two busses, as well as a pickup truck. West Chester and other EMS squads took the victims to UC West Chester and Childrens Hospital's Liberty Campus. None of the injuries were life threatening. The game was delayed for an hour to give Colerain time to warm up. The Cardinals fell to Mason 14-7.

Double Homicide Victims Identified

The Butler County Coroner's Office has identified two men who were gunned down in Hamilton Tuesday night near Bailey Square. 22 year old Dariel Perez was pronounced dead at the scene shortly after the gunfire erupted on the 700 block of South Second Street, around 7:05pm.  29 year old Jonathan Terrell Jones was rushed to Fort Hamilton Hospital, where he was pronounced dead at 9:18pm. Injured in the shooting was 23 year old Anthony Rippey, and 3 year old Saviyah Bryant, who was hit by a bullet fragment, according to police spokesman Sgt. Brian Ungerbuehler. Police are asking for anyone who has information about the shooting to call the Investigations Division at (513) 868-5811 ext. 2002.


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