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WMOH Updates Archives for 2021-05

This Week's Road Construction

Here is the latest road construction report:


Butler County Engineer's Office:



Fairfield Township


The Butler County Engineer's Office reports that Princeton Road will remain closed between Hampshire Drive and Osage Drive until Friday, June 4, 2021. BCEO's culvert project will be completed on Friday, May 28, 2021; however, construction associated with the Windsor Pointe development requires the road to stay closed an additional week.


Detour (same): Eastbound Princeton Road traffic will detour east on S.R. 129 and north on S.R. 4 Bypass. Westbound traffic will reverse this route.


Motorists are encouraged to check the BCEO website, as well as Facebook and Twitter @bceonews, for possible date and status changes concerning this and other closures/advisories.


# # #

Ohio Department of Transportation:


I-75 Resurfacing - Pavement repair and resurfacing between the Hamilton-Butler County line (Crescentville Road) to just north of Tylersville Road. Traffic will be maintained with single-lane restrictions in effect through the work zone; double-lane closures may be in effect during late evening/overnight hours as needed. The project is scheduled for completion in mid-fall.


S.R. 4/Bypass S.R. 4 Intersection Improvement - Widening at the northern intersection of S.R. 4 and S.R. 4 Bypass, north of Hamilton. Traffic impacts should be minimal during preliminary site work. The project is scheduled for completion in Fall 2021.

U.S. 127 Roundabout - At the intersection with S.R. 73. Various lane restrictions will be in effect on U.S. 127 and S.R. 73 throughout construction. Huston Road will be closed at its east junction with the intersection for up to 75 days effective June 3, and motorists will be detoured via Hamilton Eaton and Harris roads.


C.R. 20 (Tylersville Road) Bridge Rehabilitation - On Tylersville Road over I-75. Intermittent, single-lane restrictions may be in effect in the work zone for finishing work; however, traffic will be maintained at all times.

S.R. 4 Bridge Rehabilitation - At the structure over S.R. 63. Lane closures will be in effect on S.R. 4; however, traffic will be maintained in a minimum of one lane in either direction. In addition to intermittent periods of restrictions on the ramps to/from S.R. 63, the ramp to Dazey Drive is closed. The entire project is scheduled for early Fall 2021.

S.R. 73 Roundabout Construction - At the intersection with Jacksonburg Road. Crews will have minor finishing work to complete through early Summer 2021, and traffic will be maintained on S.R. 73 and Jacksonburg Road with the use of flaggers as needed.

S.R. 73 Resurfacing - Between Germantown Road and the northern corporation limit of Middletown. Single-lane restrictions will be in place daily from 6 a.m. to 7 p.m. through early fall for paving operations. Traffic will be maintained through the work zone. The project is scheduled to be completed in September 2021.

S.R. 122 Bridge Rehabilitation - Single-lane restrictions on Reinartz Boulevard between Charles and Moore streets in Middletown. In addition, the right lane of University Boulevard is closed in the northbound direction, and the southbound shoulder is closed under the bridge. The entire project is scheduled for completion in early Fall 2021.

S.R. 122 Intersection Improvement - At the intersection of Roosevelt and Breiel boulevards in Middletown. Lane restrictions will be in effect on both routes; however, traffic will be maintained in a minimum of one lane. Construction is scheduled to be completed in mid-fall of 2021.

S.R. 747 Signalization - At the intersections of Mulhauser and Port Union roads. S.R. 747 may be subject to single-lane closures at either intersection during daytime, working hours. Traffic will be maintained in the work zones.



S.R. 4 Pavement Repair - Between Kyles Station and Liberty-Fairfield roads. Traffic will be maintained with arrow boards, traffic cones, temporary signals and/or flaggers.

S.R. 73 Tree Clearing - Between Schollenbarger Road and S.R. 177. Traffic will be maintained with arrow boards, traffic cones, temporary signals and/or flaggers.

S.R. 126 Pavement Repair - Between Weaver and Morgan Ross roads. Traffic will be maintained with arrow boards, traffic cones, temporary signals and/or flaggers.

S.R. 177 Shoulder Repair - Between Beisinger and Stillwell Beckett roads. Traffic will be maintained with arrow boards, traffic cones, temporary signals and/or flaggers.

S.R. 73 Tree Clearing - Between Schollenbarger Road and S.R. 177. Traffic will be maintained with arrow boards, traffic cones, temporary signals and/or flaggers.


(Photo Courtesy: ODOT)

S.R. 503 Vegetation Clearing - Between S.R. 73 and the Preble County line. Traffic will be maintained with arrow boards, traffic cones, temporary signals and/or flaggers.



(Photo Courtesy: Ohio Department of Transportation)

Middletown Begins Paving Program

Middletown city leaders have cut the ribbon on an aggressive street paving program which is financed by a .25% income tax levy passed by voters last year. City Manager Jim Palenick welcomed the crowd gathered by saying "Today is the day that we both celebrate and acknowledge an awful lot of hard work, and also look forward to an awful lot of hard work."

The city plans to pave over 1/3rd of its streets over the next two years. The levy will raise $31.3 million dollars for the paving program. Altogether, a total of $51 million in paving will be completed by the end of 2022. Vice Mayor Joe Mulligan said "Nobody wants to pay additional taxes, but we also had to come to the realization that the tooth fairy was not coming with $150 million to fix our city roads."

8th District Congressman Warren Davidson also spoke at the event, touting a bill that would let communities spend their remaining Coronavirus relief dollars on projects like infrastructure.

(Photos Courtesy of Shelby Quinlivin)

Fairfield Company Growing Again

Fairfield City Council has approved a Community Reinvestment Area tax abatement agreement with Pacific Manufacturing, which will help the company complete a planned $20.4 million expansion project. Economic Development Manager Nathaniel Kaelin says Pacific plans a 64,616 square foot addition to their current building at 8955 Seward Road, and they plan to build a new 57,750 square foot building at 3820 Port Union Road. 

Kaelin told City Council the expansion will create at least 30 new full-time jobs, and retain 797 existing jobs, with a total future payroll expected to equal or exceed $38 million.

Council approved an 8 year, 75% property tax abatement on the value of the expansion. The company has also agreed to make annual payments
of $38,210 to the Fairfield School District, and $588 to Butler Tech for the tax money they would lose from the tax break.

State Awards Magnode Tax Credit For Expansion

A Trenton manufacturer has been awarded a state tax credit designed to keep the company in Butler County as it decides what to do about its current facility. The Ohio Tax Credit Authority approved a 1.811%, 9 year tax credit, which will help the company create 171 new full-time jobs at a site to be determined in Trenton. The project would add $10.6 million in new payroll on top of the $16 million in existing payroll. Kevin Donnelly of REDI Cincinnati says Magnode needs a new location in order to expand, and has been considering sites in Trenton, Indiana, and Michigan. 

"The current Ohio location requires physical expansion, and the current site is not sufficient. The company has identified other real estate in Trenton" said Donnelly. "With operations currently located in Michigan, Ohio, and Alabama, they're looking to select the most cost efficient location with the broadest talent pool."


He says Magnode, a family owned aluminum extruding business for many years, was purchased by the Shape Corporation in 2018.


(A previous version of this story suggested the current location may be closing. No decision on the future of the site has been announced.)


(Photo: Google Earth)

Murder Suspect Appears In Court, Victim Identified

A Ross Township man made his first court appearance Friday in connection with Thursday's shooting death in Lindenwald. 40 year old Nicholas Lorenz is facing one count of murder after allegedly gunning down 47 year old Jason Jared Simpson on the 2100 block of Madison Avenue just before 10:30am Thursday. Police say Lorenz left the scene in a red pickup truck, which was found nearby.  He was taken into custody by Hamilton police shortly after the shooting. Lorenz has been ordered held on $1,000,000 bond until his preliminary hearing on May 28th at 1:00PM.


(Story updated with name of the victim)


Man Charged In Lindenwald Homicide

One man is dead and another is in custody after a shooting in Lindenwald on Thursday morning. Police and paramedics were called to 2154 Madison Avenue around 10:26am on a report of a male with gunshot wounds to the stomach and arms. The victim, a 47 year old male, was taken to Kettering Health Hamilton (Fort Hamilton), where he succumbed to his injuries. The suspect fled the scene in a red truck, which was found moments after the shooting. The suspect had abandoned the truck and fled on foot, but he was quickly captured by police, according to HPD Lt. Don Taylor. 40 year old Nicholas Lorenz has been charged with Murder.  


Grand Jury Gets Lindenwald Driver's Drug case

A Hamilton woman has had her drug case bound over to a Butler County grand jury while she awaits word on whether she will face charges in a fatal car vs. pedestrian accident in Lindenwald. 30 year old Elizabeth Meil was the driver of a car that hit and killed 6 year old Nolen Jones last week on Pleasant Avenue just south of Williams Avenue. Jones and and his 11 year old brother were crossing the street away from the crosswalk when they were hit.  Meil was originally charged with OVI and child endangering, but prosecutors dropped the charges so a grand jury could consider more serious charges in common pleas court.


Roundabout Construction About To Begin

The Ohio Department of Transportation says construction will begin next week on another new roundabout for northern Butler County. The northern junction of US-127 and Ohio-73 in Collinsville will get a single lane roundabout, costing around $2.6 million. Traffic will be maintained with one 11 foot wide lane in each direction, although periodic closures are possible. Sunesis Construction Company will perform the work, which is scheduled to be completed in late spring or early summer of 2022.

Kroger Unmasked

Cincinnati based Kroger company announced Wednesday they are no longer requiring customers and associates to wear masks if they have been vaccinated for COVID-19.
The company says new guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and input from employees led them to change their policy. Kroger is requiring unvaccinated workers to continue wearing masks, and they are requesting customers do the same. Employees who work in the pharmacy or health clinics are still required to wear masks.

Man Arrested After West Chester Island Standoff

A Fairfield man was in the Butler County Jail Tuesday, charged with allegedly breaking into a West Chester apartment complex, attacking a worker, and forcing police to fish him out of a pond. 29 year old Zachary Taylor Ballard was confronted by staff at the Landings apartment complex, where he allegedly assaulted one of the workers with a hammer, according to West Chester Township spokeswoman Barb Wilson. Ballard then ran toward a retention pond, where he dove in and swam to a marshy island in the middle of the pond. Police called for assistance from the West Chester Fire Department, who provided a boat for officers to use. Officers arrested Ballard on the island and brought him back to shore, where he was treated for minor injuries, then taken to the Butler County Jail. Ballard is charged with felonious assault, as well as breaking & entering. Police are asking anyone who lives in apartments on Smith Road, Beckett Road, and Hutzelman Way to call 513-777-2231 if they believe they have been the victims of theft since May 1st.

(Photos Courtesy: West Chester Police, Butler County Sheriff's Office)

Miami Honors Embry

Miami University honored NBA executive and basketball icon Wayne Embry and his late wife Theresa "Terri" Embry with the Freedom Summer of '64 Award during ceremonies outside Millett Hall Tuesday. According to Miami Board of Trustees Chairman David Budig, the Embrys, married 62 years, demonstrated an ongoing commitment to furthering issues of racial and social justice with selflessness, courage, and perseverance.
Embry played basketball for Miami from 1955-1958, becoming the first to score 1,000 career points and 1,000 carrer rebounds. Embry played in the NBA from 1958-1969, playing for the Cincinnati Royals, Boston Celtics, and the Milwaukee Bucks. Embry became the NBA's first black general manager in 1972, when he was appointed by the Bucks. Embry became vice president and general manager for the Cleveland Cavaliers in 1985, and rose to executive VP in 1994. Embry once again broke the racial barrier when he was named President and CEO of the Cavs in 1994. He currently serves as a senior advisor for the Toronto Raptors. The university also unveiled a statue of Embry making his famous hook shot at the front entrance to Millett Hall.


(Photos courtesy of Miami University's News Bureau)

Fairfield Township Speedway Robbed Update: Arrests

Update: Fairfield Township police have charged a 16 year old boy with aggravated robbery in connection with the armed holdup at the Speedway on Tylersville Road Tuesday. He was arrested by the Ohio State Patrol and Middletown police after he was involved in a crash on Route 4 near 14th Avenue in Middletown. Police also arrested 18 year old Marcus Rycek Jr. who is charged with complicity to aggravated robbery in the city of Fairfield. Charges are also pending in connection with the robberies in Monroe and Fairfield Township.


Original Story:


Fairfield Township police are investigating an early morning armed robbery Tuesday at the Speedway gas station on Tylersville Road off By-Pass Four. The suspect, a black male in his 20's ,  entered the store around 4:46am, showed a handgun and demanded money from the clerk. He took the money and left the store, jumping into a maroon Corvette that fled the scene. The robbery is similar to overnight robberies that occured in Monroe and the city of Fairfield. Anyone with information on this case can call Fairfield Township detectives (513) 785-1463. You can also call crime stoppers at (513) 352-3040.


They're Heeere! Cicada Emergence Begins

The emergence of the Brood X cicadas is underway, and there are numerous reports of the insects coming out of their shells in Butler County. The cicadas from Brood X are making their 17 year appearance this spring. The last emergence was in 2004. Last week's chilly temperatures delayed the mass emergence of billions of the bugs, but this week's rain and warm temperatures are expected to be the green light for the final act to begin. Around five days after the nymphs come out of the shells, the male cicadas will begin singing in order to attract the females. The sound, at times, can rival a lawn mower. After mating, the male will eventually die, and the female will lay her eggs in tree branches and twigs before passing on. The nymphs will hatch, fall to the ground, and burrow down for 17 years. The next appearance will be 2038.


(Photo Credit: Traci Phillips Kinsey/Queen Tee Photos)

DeWine Signs Broadband Bill In Middletown

Governor DeWine was in Middletown Monday, signing House Bill 2, which will create a new grant program to expand high speed broadband in underserved areas. DeWine says the recent Coronavirus pandemic showed just how great the digital divide has become. He says it's not only rural areas that are effected. He says many families in urban areas, and even the suburbs do not have access to high speed Internet. Middletown City Schools Superintendent Marlon Styles says once the school buses take children home, too many students are not able to continue their studies. He hopes the new law will begin to start knocking down what he calls the homework gap, giving kids a better chance to learn outside of the classroom.

Two Victims Identified From Monroe Crash

The two victims from a deadly crash in Monroe Friday have been identified. The Butler County Coroner's Office says 26 year old Anthony Lequan Mitchell was the passenger in a car that was hit by a semi at State Route 63 and North Main Street Friday afternoon. He was pronounced dead at the scene. The car's driver, Marita Avery (pictured), was flown to Miami Valley Hospital by Care Flight, where she later died of her injuries. Avery was a "beloved educational assistant" at Crossroads Middle School in Fairfield, according to a post on the Fairfield School District's Facebook page. The semi driver was not injured.  

Senate Passes Lang's Business Fairness Bill

A bill passed by the Ohio Senate last week would allow all businesses to remain open during the next statewide emergency, if they comply with all regulations and health orders. Senator George Lang (R-West Chester) proposed Senate Bill 134, the Business Fairness Act, which passed by a unanimous vote in the senate last week. Lang says he was perpexed when big name retailers remained open during the Coronavirus pandemic, while smaller stores remained shut down.

Miami's Graduation Weekend Begins

The first of nine graduation ceremonies was held at Miami University's Yager Stadium Thursday night. First up was the Class of 2020, who had to settle for a virtual graduation last year as the Coronavirus spread throughout the country. Miami President Gregory Crawford told the graduates “You have experienced college in a way that no class before has known — and likely, no class will experience again.”

“You were here last year for the abrupt transition to remote learning with its chaos and novelty,” he said. “Despite uncertainty — you have been patient, flexible and triumphant during an unprecedented time. Your unwavering courage kept you on the path that led to this moment, and we admire your perseverance and fortitude.”   The remaining ceremonies will be held Friday through Sunday, rain or shine. Each graduate was allowed to invite 6 guests, with pod style seating in the bleachers. Social distancing and masks were still required.  Nearly 4,000 graduates are receiving their degrees this weekend.


(Photo Courtesy: Miami University)

Man Dies in West Chester Fire Update: Victim Identified


The Butler County Coroner's Office has identified the victim from Friday's fire as 34 year old Kayden B. Clark of West Chester. The preliminary cause of death is listed as smoke inhalation, and the death has been ruled a suicide.


West Chester firefighters and the Ohio Fire Marshal's Office are investigating a deadly house fire early Friday morning. The blaze broke out around 4:00am at 6961 Forestview Court. First responders reported the home was fully engulfed when they arrived on the scene. Township spokesperson Barb Wilson tells WMOH News the body of a male was found inside the home, and the Butler County Coroner's Office was called. No cause or dollar damage have been determined. Wilson says the male was the only person home at the time. This is the second fatal fire in West Chester this year. An elderly man died in a house fire on Colonial Mill Manor March 22nd.


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