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WMOH Updates Archives for 2014-12

Missing Woman Found Dead

(Fairfield Township)---Fairfield Township police and the Butler County Coroner's Office are investigating the death of a woman who had been missing since Thanksgiving. The body of 56 year old Kathleen Fangman was found two blocks from her home in a wooded area behind the 3800 block of Niemoeller Drive. The body was discovered during a coordinated search that involved cadaver dog teams from Buckeye Search and Rescue of Loveland, and members of the Fairfield Township Fire Department. Anyone with information is being asked to call Fairfield Township Police at (513) 785-1464 and ask for Detective Sons.

Robbery Remains Under Investigation

(Hamilton)---Hamilton police continued their investigation into an armed robbery at the Minnick's Drive Thru on North E. Street. at Elvin Avenue on Thursday night. The robber showed a gun to the clerk and made them clean out the cash register before leaving on foot around 6:11pm. No injuries were reported.

Kentucky Escapee Caught in Hamilton

(Hamilton)---One of two escapees from a Kentucky prison was captured in Hamilton after an apparent kidnapping incident early Thursday. 23 year old Josh Stephenson was booked into the Butler County Jail around 12:38am Thursday, according to jail records. Stephenson and another inmate escaped from the Blackburn Correctional Institution in Lexington Saturday. Stephenson was reportedly eligible for parole in 3 months. (Photo Courtesy: Kentucky Department of Corrections)

Herzog Top Choice For West Chester Chief

(West Chester)---West Chester Trustees are expected to name Captain Joel Herzog the township's new police chief December 16th. Herzog was named the top candidate to replace Erik Neihaus, who resigned to become an attorney and partner in a local law firm. Township Administrator Judi Boyko will negotiate terms with Herzog before the hiring is made official at the next trustees meeting. Herzog has been with the department for 23 years, 19 of those in a supervisory role. He beat out a field of 24 candidates as part of a nationwide search for a new chief.

Gun Scare Causes Lockdown

(Hamilton)---Hamilton police say no charges have been filed yet in connection with an incident that caused a lockdown at Wilson Middle School and Hamilton High. Two men reportedly parked their car in the North Lot at Wilson and headed into the woods to play with airsoft rifles. Hamilton Police spokesperson Kristy Collins tells WMOH the guns had the orange tips removed, so witnesses believed the guns were real. The schools went on lockdown for 30 minutes while police searched for the pair, who had already left the woods and were located on Goodman Avenue. Hamilton High Principal John Wilhelm sent a recorded message to parents explaining what happened.

Hamilton Police Look For Sculpture Vandals

(Hamilton)---Hamilton police are offering a $250 reward for information leading to the capture of the vandal(s) who defaced two sculptures on Main and B Streets, next to the High Main Bridge. The damage was discovered Tuesday morning when police found the sculptures depicting a mother reading to her child and a jogger stretching before a run splattered with silver paint. Volunteers were able to clean up the mess. This isn't the first time the City of Sculpture has been hit by vandals. City Council ordered cameras installed at River's Edge and other areas downtown where damage has been reported.

Taxi Cab Driver Hurt in Crash

(Hamilton)---Hamilton police are investigating a traffic crash that sent a taxi cab driver to the hospital. The wreck happened at the intersection of East Avenue and Walnut Street on the East Side.

It appears the truck broadsided the driver's side of the cab. The driver was taken to the hospital by a Fairfield Township life squad, which was called for mutual aid.

BREAKING NEWS: Clerk Shot During Drive-Thru Robbery Attempt

(Hamilton)---Hamilton police are investigating the shooting of a clerk at Speedy's Drive Thru on North 2nd & Black Streets last night. According to neighbors and sources who spoke to WMOH at the scene, a man walked into the the business and confronted the clerk before firing one shot and fleeing on foot. The clerk apparently stumbled out onto Black Street and was found there when police arrived. The victim, who appeared to be shot in the abdomen area, was taken to West Chester Hospital for treatment of non life-threatening injuries. Minutes after the shooting, a New Miami police officer took a man into custody who may have fit the description of the robber, and took him to the scene. The man in custody started complaining about breathing troubles, and was taken to the hospital by life squad. No charges have been filed yet. WMOH News has learned that there is a survellience video of the incident.

Hamilton Names Bucheit New Police Chief

(Hamilton)---The City of Hamilton will have a new police chief effective January 2nd. Craig Bucheit was named to replace Scott Scrimizzi, who is retiring in order to be named the city's new Public Safety Director. Bucheit has been with the department since 1997. He quickly moved up the ranks from being an officer to Detective, Sergeant, Lieutenant, and then Captain in 2012. Bucheit has served as Patrol Shift Supervisor, Public Information Officer, and Patrol Shift Commander. The Badin High School, Miami University, and Police Executive Leadership College graduate is also expected to graduate from the Certified Law Enforcement Executive program in February of 2015, one of only 300 graduates to achieve that level. Bucheit will over see a 122 person staff with a budget of $13.9 million.

South Hamilton Crossing Gets $10 Million Recommendation

(Hamilton)---Hamilton City Manager Joshua Smith hinted during Wednesday's city council meeting that he may have big news concerning the South Hamilton Crossing (SHX) project. Indeed. The Ohio Department of Transportation's TRAC (Transportation Review Advisory Council) has recommended the project receive $10 million from the state. Plans call for the current crossing on Pleasant Avenue to be replaced by an extension of Grand Boulevard with an overpass over the CSX tracks and intersections on Pleasant Avenue and University Boulevard near Miami-Hamilton. The total project cost is $29 million. CSH is expected to be completed by late 2017.

Accused Killer Arraigned Amid Claim Of Confession

(Hamilton)---A Berea, Kentucky man made his first court appearance in connection with the 2012 murder of a Monroe woman. 56 year old Daniel French was ordered held under $5 million in connection with the robbery and murder of 87 year old Barbara Howe, who's body was found in the trunk of her car at a Middletown apartment complex days after she was reported missing. French used to work at Mount Pleasant Retirement Village, where Howe was a resident. In a court filing on Tuesday, Butler County Prosecutor Mike Gmoser says that French has confessed to the murder. He says French admitted to a ruse which involved calling Howe and two other people, claiming their alert system was defective as a way to gain entry and rob their homes.

City Mourns As Fire Investigation Continues

(Hamilton)---Hamilton firefighters and the Ohio Fire Marshal's Office continues to investigate Friday's fire on Franklin Street that claimed the lives of three children. 12 year old Yesenia Flores-Ortiz, her 10 year old sister Siclalia, and their 7 year old brother Alexander were all found on the second floor of the two story home at 135 Franklin Street early Friday morning. On Monday, the Fire Marshal's Office told WMOH News the blaze started in the first floor living room. Hamilton firefighters say there were three smoke detectors in the house, and at least two had batteries. Firefighters do not know if the batteries were operational because of fire damage. Mourners have placed dozens of stuffed animals, signs, and candles at the corner of Franklin & C Streets, near the fire scene.  The funerals for the children have been set for Noon Thursday at the Princeton Pike Church of God. Visitation will take place at 10am Thursday, according to the Webster Funeral Home. Interment will take place at the Rose Hill Burial Park.

BREAKING NEWS: Three Children Die In House Fire

(Hamilton)---Three children are dead after a house fire on Hamilton's west side. The blaze broke out around 2:41am Friday morning at 135 Franklin Street. Two girls, aged 10 and 12, and a 7 year old boy died in the blaze. The parents and a 2 year old were hospitalized. A 9 year old escaped injury. The father, a 36 year old man, was Air Cared to University Hospital for smoke inhalation. The cause of the fire is under investigation.

High School Basketball Roundup: Robinson's String Music Leaves Cardinals Singing The Blues

(Pictured from L to R: Hamilton's Top Scorers Tuesday Night Steve Cunningham [11] Ryan Robinson [25] A'Shon Riggins [12])


(Hamilton)---Offseason hard work started paying dividends for the Hamilton Big Blue basketball squad as they handled the Colerain Cardinals 70-45 at the Hamilton High Athletic Center Tuesday Night. Junior Guard Ryan Robinson finished the night with 25 points, including 5-of-5 from the charity stripe. Robinson says the ball "felt pretty good coming out of my hands. Just had a little confidence, and bounced back from the loss on Saturday." Hamilton was 15-of-17 from the free throw line, a point of emphasis over the off season for new coach Sean Van Winkle. "We try a lot of different ways to do free throws. We chart them, we compete against each other, and it's something we'll hopefully take some pride in." The Blue also scored 20 points off turnovers, compared to 0 for Colerain. Hamilton improves to 2-1 on the season and will host Mason Friday night in a game to be broadcast on WMOH.




Fairfield improved it's record to 2-1 with a 48-41 win over the Lakota West Firebirds on the road. Terence Gholston led the Indians with 17 points. "Terence has done a really good job in the pre-season learning to take quality shots." said coach John Cecere "He's a good player and a good shooter, and when he takes good shots there's a good chance he's going to make some of them."




CARROLL  43    BADIN  40   (2 OT)






Luke Kennard scored 38 points in his season debut.

Man Killed In Pedestrian Accident

(Hamilton)---Police say a man who died of injuries from a vehicle vs. pedestrian accident was apparently crossing the street improperly, and failed to yield to oncoming traffic. 69 year old James R. Rhoads was crossing Pyramid Hill Boulevard (OH-128) when he was hit by a southbound Honda CRV driven by a Morgan Township woman near the Columbia Lanes bowling alley. Rhoads was taken to Fort Hamilton Hospital, then airlifted to University Hospital where he was pronounced dead. Police say Rhoads was wearing dark clothing when the accident happened at 6:38pm, which was after nightfall.

Baker Tenders Resignation, Receives Tender Tributes

(Hamilton)---For the first time in over two decades, the Hamilton School Board is looking for a new superintendent. Janet Baker officially tendered her resignation Tuesday night. Baker will retire from the district after July 31, 2015. Baker told the school board her 23 years in the job have been a "labor of love" and cited achievements including the Master Plan for Facilities, and Hamilton being named a National School District of Character in a prepared letter to the board. School Board member Larry Bowling paid an emotional tribute to Baker, saying "you've led this district a long, long way." Baker says she will work with her replacement in order to ensure a smooth transition.

Christmas Made Me Do It, Accused Minnick's Robber Tells Victim

(Hamilton)---A Hamilton man accused of robbing the Minnick's Drive Thru at 1990 Dixie Highway told the clerk he did it for his kid's Christmas. 32 year old Virgil Donald Lee Wedmore allegedly pointed a gun at the employee and forced him to put money from the cash register into a money pouch before fleeing the scene on foot. Hamilton police officers saw Wedmore running from the scene, and captured him after a short chase. Wedmore is charged with Aggravated Robbery, and police believe he may be responsible for a recent rash of robberies at Minnick's locations throughout the city. Wedmore was arraigned in Hamilton Municipal Court Wednesday morning, and was ordered held under $150,000 bond until his preliminary hearing on December 17th.


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