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WMOH Updates

Man Dead In I-75 Accident

The Ohio State Patrol is investigating a fatal vehicle versus pedestrian crash on I-75 Southbound near the Middletown exit Tuesday Night. 45yo Darrin Fields of Englewood was on the highway when he was hit by a Chevy Impala driven by 80yo Stanley Kaleta of West Chester. Fields was pronounced dead at the scene. There's no word what he was doing on the highway. Kaleta was not injured in the crash.


Voters OK Abortion, Pot Issues

Ohio voters approved Issue One, a constitutional amendment allowing abortion through all nine months of pregnancy, and Issue Two, which legalizes recreational marijuana in the Buckeye State. Close to 2.2 million Ohioans voted in favor of the pro-abortion amendment, compared to nearly 1.7 million who voted against the measure, which amounts to a 57% to 43% win. Voters approved the marijuana issue by the same margin, although 29,617 more voters cast ballots on Issue One.

Eclipse Update: School's Out!

The Hamilton City School District is planning to extend spring break by one day because of the Great Eclipse of 2024, which will happen the afternoon of April 8th. Superintendent Michael Holbrook told board members he has spoken with other districts, and they are planning to do the same. Most of Butler County and the City of Hamilton will be in the path of totality. Holbrook says traffic could be an issue, as well as employees calling off work, which could impact transportation and cafeteria operations. Every student in the Hamilton City School District will receive special eclipse viewing glasses, to keep them from getting eye damage from the sun. At Hamilton's Marcum Park, the eclipse will begin at 1:52pm. Totality will begin at 3:09pm, lasting 1 minute 43 seconds. In Uptown Oxford, totality will run 2 minutes 52 seconds. In Greenville, which is in Darke County, totality will run nearly 4 minutes.


NASA 2024 Eclipse Page

Great American Eclipse Page

Google Maps Totality Zone


Election Month Begins This Week

Tuesday is the final day to register to vote in the upcoming election, which begins with early voting on Wednesday. The Butler County Board of Elections on 1802 Princeton Road Suite 600 will be open from 8:30am-9:00pm Tuesday to accept last minute registrations. Early voting will begin Wednesday morning at 8:00am. Municipal, village, and township elections will be held, as well as local school boards. State and local issues will also be on the ballot, including pro-abortion Issue One and marijuana legalization Issue Two.

The Board will be open for in-person early voting during the following hours:

Week 1: October 11 – October 13
8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. on each weekday (Wednesday through Friday)

Week 2: October 16 – October 20
8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. on each weekday
(Monday through Friday)

Week 3: October 23 – October 27
8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. on each weekday
(Monday through Friday)

Week 4: October 30 – November 5
7:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m.
(Monday, October 30th)

7:30 a.m. to 8:30 p.m.
(Tuesday, October 31st)

7:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m.
(Wednesday, November 1st through Friday November 3rd)

8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.
(Saturday, November 4th)

1:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.
(Sunday, November 5th)

Fatal Crash Under Investigation

The Butler County Sheriff's Office is investigating a fatal crash in Milford Township on Friday. 24 year old Benjammin Ramirez-Julian of Richmond, Indiana was heading southbound on Hamilton-Richmond Road (OH-177) south of Sommerville Road around 6:52am when he lost control on the wet pavement and went off the east side of the road, striking a ditch, and causing the vehicle to roll over multiple times. Ramirez-Julian was ejected from the vehicle, and pronounced dead at the scene by the Butler County Coroner's Office.

Longtime Hamilton Booster Dies

Longtime Hamilton High School booster and school board member Anna Harvey has passed away. She was 87. Harvey was president of the booster's club for three decades, and served on the school board from 2001-2013, during the height of the school district's building program. She was the mother of current Big Blue Athletic Director Missy Harvey. Visitation is from 11:30am-2:00pm Thursday, October 5th at Weigel Funeral Home, 980 NW Washington Boulevard. Funeral services will begin Thursday at 2:00pm. Back in 2013, Harvey told WMOH she hoped she would be remembered for her devotion to make things better for the kids and parents of Hamilton City Schools, especially the new school buildings.

Murder Suspect Pleads Guilty

A Milford teen has admitted to his role in the shooting death of a Hamilton girl back in 2018. 19 year old Jordan Spain pleaded guilty to a charge of involuntary manslaughter in connection with the shooting death of 16 year old Sydney Garcia-Tovar as she sat in a car in July 2018 at the Tyler's Creek Townhomes on Wildbranch Road in Fairfield Township. Spain faces up to 11 years in prison for the involuntary manslaughter charge, and an additional three years on a gun specification. He will be sentenced on November 1st by Judge Gregory Howard. A second man, Markeylnd Townsend, will be back in court October 4th, where he is facing similar charges in the death of Garcia-Tovar.

Railway Workers Find Body

The Butler County Coroner's Office is trying to identify a body found near downtown Hamilton Tuesday afternoon. Hamilton police and paramedics were called to the railroad tracks near Martin Luther King Boulevard and Pershing Avenue, near the former site of the train depot. CSX workers who were inspecting their property found a decomposing body near a woodline west of the tracks. Hamilton police detectives were called to the scene. There's no word yet on ID or how the victim may have died.

Second Property Tax Summit Held

Butler County leaders held their second summit on the 37% residential valuation hike announced by the Ohio Tax Commissioner's Office for Butler County. State lawmakers updated attendees on pending legislation which would provide a temporary fix, and some relief for taxpayers. Butler County Auditor Nancy Nix announced a series of town hall meetings to explain the increase, and what homeowners can do as far as appealing their valuations.


October 11th: Middletown Council Chambers
October 17th: Fairfield Council Chambers
October 18th: West Chester Boardroom
October 24th: Hamilton Council Chambers
October 30th: Oxford Council Chambers

All meetings run from 7:00pm-8:30pm


(Photo Courtesy: Butler County Auditor

Nancy Nix Facebook Page)

Man Drowns At Metropark

The Butler County Coroner's Office has identified the man who drowned at Antenen Nature Preserve Metropark in St. Clair Township Tuesday night as 21yo Joel Vasquez-Diaz of Dayton. He was fishing and swimming with a group of people in Four Mile Creek when he went under and didn't come back up, according to a release from the Butler County Sheriff's Office.
A water rescue team pulled the victim from the water, but lifesaving measures were unsuccessful.

Hopewell Fire Closes School

The Lakota School District says Hopewell Junior School will be closed the rest of the week due to a fire that broke out on Labor Day. The blaze broke out in the coach's changing room, according to West Chester Township Spokesperson Barb Wilson. The cause of the fire was electrical in nature, and was accidental. Students had a calamity day Tuesday, and were scheduled to switch to remote learning Wednesday through Friday as repairs were being made.

Eight Arrested In Drug Raids

Eight people are facing charges after the Butler County Regional Narcotics (BURN) Task Force raided two homes in Hamilton, and an apartment in Fairfield. Search warrants were executed at 230 Bond Avenue and 625 S. 11th Street in Hamilton, and at 5350 Camelot Drive #17 in the City of Fairfield. Police seized 182 grams of cocaine, 60 grams of methamphetamine, 10 grams of fentanyl, and a handgun. The following were arrested:

Victor Jacobs-Weapons Under Disability
                         Possession of Drugs


Thomas Jacobs Bowman-Possession of Drugs


Jeannie Hill-Possession of Drugs
                     Outstanding Warrant

Danielle Kimbell-Outstanding Warrant

Andrew Lewis-Outstanding Warrant

Karen Proffitt-Outstanding Warrant

Charles Warren-Trafficking/Possession of Drugs

Steven Ashcraft-Possession of Drugs

School Bus Strike Begins

Bus drivers for the Lakota School District went on strike Friday, after voting 94% to reject the Petermann company's final offer. Parents of
K-9 and special education students were scrambling to find alternative forms of transportation for their children. The district promised to work with parents, saying they would not mark a child absent or tardy if they were affected by the strike. Athletic teams are also being impacted by the walkout, with players having to find transportation to their games. Representatives with Teamsters Local 100 say the sticking point isn't salary, but rather language in the proposed contract involving technology and cameras watching the drivers.

Plea In Deadly Robbery Spree

Federal prosecutors are recommending a 45 year  prison sentence for 32 year old Willie James Attaway.  He pleaded guilty to charges he shot and killed store owner Roop Gupta during a robbery at the Madeira Beverage convenience store in February of 2021. Attaway also pleaded guilty to four other robberies, including the Shell on Dixie and Laurel in the city of Hamilton.
Here are the locations robbed during the two day spree:

  • Feb. 8 – Shell on S. Mason Montgomery Road in Deerfield Township,
  • Feb. 8 – Shell on Dixie Highway in Hamilton, Ohio,
  • Feb. 9 – Madeira Beverage on Kenwood Road in Madeira, Ohio,
  • Feb. 9 – Sunoco on Kenwood Road in Blue Ash, Ohio, and
  • Feb. 9 – Marathon on North Broadway in Lebanon, Ohio. 

(Photo Source: Butler County Jail)


Task Force One Deploys To Florida

Ohio Task Force One is en route to Florida, where they will take part in search and rescue efforts resulting from Hurricane . They're bringing 60 tons worth of equipment and two canine dogs. The 47 member team is staging near Atlanta, where they will wait for their assignment.
West Chester firefighters Lieutenant Trevor Frodge and Jeremy Waldroff were among the team that left around 4:45am Tuesday morning.


Photo: Members of Ohio Task Force One are sworn in prior to their latest deployment.
Source: Ohio Task Force One Facebook


Former Senator Scott Nein Dies

A former Butler County state lawmaker has passed away. Scott Nein served in the Ohio House and Senate, and was named the Dean of the Senate toward the end of his legislative career. He was 72. The Middletown native died Saturday surrounded by family, according to a release from the Butler County Republican Party. Nein was a member of the Middletown School Board from 1988-1990, when he decided to run for the statehouse seat being vacated by John Boehner, who was making his first run for congress. Nein served in the house between 1991-1995, when he was appointed to fill the senate seat left vacant by the retirement of Barry Levy. Nein served in the senate through 2004, and later became the President and CEO of the Independent Insurance Agents Association of Ohio, until his retirement in 2017. 

A Celebration of Life will be held Friday, September 1, at 1:00 p.m. at First Presbyterian Church, 2910 Central Ave., Middletown. 

Hamilton's New Fire Chief

The City of Hamilton has a new fire chief. Tom Eickelberger took his oath of office during promotional ceremonies Monday. He had been serving as a deputy chief. Eickelberger succeeds Marc Mercer, who recently retired. He and nine others were sworn in by Public Safety Director Scott Scrimizzi. History was also made Monday. Heather Garcia became the first female firefighter in Hamilton's 196 year history to be promoted to the rank of Fire Lieutenant, according to the Hamilton Professional Firefighter's Union, IAFF Local 20.

(Photo courtesy of Hamilton IAFF Local 20's Facebook page)

New Roundabout Opens

Great news for motorists in West Chester. The Butler County Engineers Office says the $1.9 million roundabout at Tylersville Road and Beckett Road is now open to traffic. The project started on May 30th, and was completed on August 11th, just in time for the start of the school year.

The engineers office has also finished the $2.3 million widening of Tylersville Road between Lakota Springs and Lakota Hills Drive. Tylersville is now open to traffic in the area.

Issue One Fails

Ohio voters Tuesday rejected statewide Issue One, which would have made it harder to change the state's constitution. The Ohio Secretary of State's Office says 57% voted against the ballot issue, compared to 43% who voted in favor of the tougher standards. The unofficial voter turnout statewide was 39%. The vote now paves the way for a controversial abortion amendment which will be on the fall ballot. In Butler County, slightly more voters approved Issue One, with 44,384 yes votes, compared to 43,855 no votes. That's a difference of 529 votes. The Butler County Board of Elections says turnout was 35% for the special election. The busiest precinct was Oxford3, which reported a 61% turnout. According to a breakdown provided by the election board, 479 voters in Oxford3 checked the NO column, while 117 voted to approve the issue.

Hamilton Man Killed In Crash

A single vehicle crash in St. Clair Township claimed the life of a Hamilton man early Wednesday. The Butler County Sheriff's Office says 60-year old Michael D. Henslee crashed his 2012 Honda CRV on Riverside Drive near Wehr Road around 1:20am. Reports say he struck a tree. Henslee was pronounced dead at the scene by the Butler County Coroner's Office. The crash remains under investigation by the Serious Traffic Accident Reconstruction Team.

State Funds Two Major Road Projects

Governor DeWine has announced over $1.2 million in funding for two traffic safety projects in Butler County. ODOT's Highway Safety Improvement program awarded a $927,218 grant for construction of a new roundabout at Dimmick Road and McCauley Road in West Chester. The state also awarded $300,000 to fund preliminary engineering for a diverging diamond interchange at the Butler Regional Highway and State Route 747. Both projects are planned for fiscal year 2026. Statewide, the governor announced 27 projects, totalling $61 million.


[PHOTO: State Route 747 interchange at OH-129

Courtesy ODOT]


Dog Rescue Owner Arrested

The owner of the Helping Hands for Furry Paws Animal Rescue in Madison Township was arrested Wednesday on one felony and two misdemeanor animal cruelty charges. 60-year old Ronda Murphy was taken to the Middletown City Jail, then appeared at an arraignment hearing in Middletown Municipal Court. The judge set a $5,000 dollar bond, and set the preliminary hearing for next Wednesday August 9th at 9:00am. The judge approved a pre-trial release for Murphy, but banned her from possessing or residing with a companion animal. Last week, deputies and the Butler County Dog Warden conficscated close to 90 live dogs and over 30 dead dogs from Murphy's Mosiman Road property. Investigators said it was the most horrible conditions they've ever seen. The dogs are now in the custody of the Animal Friends Humane Society shelter on Princeton Road. Butler County Sheriff Richard Jones states "In over forty years, this is the worst case I have ever seen. This level of neglect and cruelty will never be tolerated in this county. If you mistreat animals like this, you will go to jail."



Oxford PD Targets Vapes

Oxford police have recently formed a task force aimed at reducing underaged vape use in the city. Lieutenant Geoff Robinson says the six member group was formed after school resource officers reported a large amount of vape related items seized from students at Talawanda Middle School and High School. Robinson told city council this week that 87 devices were found at the middle school and 124 were taken at the high school. 23 of the vape items tested positive for marijuana. Police recently held an undercover compliance check of stores that sell vape related materials. There were 55 attempts from kids to purchase vape items, with 7 successful buys, and 48 refusals. Out of the seven, four of the buys involved one store. Robinson says police started following up with the stores this week.

Miami Students Leave Big Haul

Miami University students left behind literal
tons of furniture, food, clothing, and electronic waste when they left campus in May for the summer break. That's according to Dr. Carol Michael, who serves as president for the board of ShareFest, a group of concerned residents who have been collecting the abandoned items since 2005. Michael says they were able to save 79 tons of items from going into local landfills. Instead, volunteers were able to provide a windfall to organizations like Goodwill, who received seven trailers full of goods, and the Talawanda Oxford Food Pantry, who added more than 3600 pounds of food to their warehouse. Michael reported the statistics to Oxford City Council this week.

(Photo Courtesy: ShareFest Organization)

Man Arrested in Middletown Shooting

Bond was set at a half million dollars for Richard Shelby Adkins. He's charged with shooting a woman in the head Sunday on the 2100 block of Howard Avenue in Middletown. He was later arrested after a foot chase on the 2000 block of Pearl Street. Adkins is facing a felonious assault charge and will appear for a preliminary hearing next Monday. The victim is being treated at Atrium Medical Center.



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