5 uplifting stories: A new mascot for Miracle League Fields, Middletown-based short film wins big and more

The Nuxhall Foundation has introduced Joey the Can-Do Kangaroo as the official mascot of The Joe Nuxhall Miracle League Fields. Joey made his first public appearance at the Joe Nuxhall Miracle League Fields Opening Day Parade on April 23, 2022, which was followed by an on-field ceremony. PROVIDED

Combined ShapeCaption
The Nuxhall Foundation has introduced Joey the Can-Do Kangaroo as the official mascot of The Joe Nuxhall Miracle League Fields. Joey made his first public appearance at the Joe Nuxhall Miracle League Fields Opening Day Parade on April 23, 2022, which was followed by an on-field ceremony. PROVIDED

Here is a look at five positive Butler County stories that were in the news this week.


Joey the Can-Do Kangaroo new mascot of Miracle League Fields

Combined ShapeCaption
The Nuxhall Foundation has introduced Joey the Can-Do Kangaroo as the official mascot of The Joe Nuxhall Miracle League Fields. Joey made his first public appearance at the Joe Nuxhall Miracle League Fields Opening Day Parade on April 23, 2022, which was followed by an on-field ceremony. PROVIDED

The Nuxhall Foundation has introduced Joey the Can-Do Kangaroo as the official mascot of The Joe Nuxhall Miracle League Fields. Joey made his first public appearance at the Joe Nuxhall Miracle League Fields Opening Day Parade on April 23, 2022, which was followed by an on-field ceremony. PROVIDED

Combined ShapeCaption
The Nuxhall Foundation has introduced Joey the Can-Do Kangaroo as the official mascot of The Joe Nuxhall Miracle League Fields. Joey made his first public appearance at the Joe Nuxhall Miracle League Fields Opening Day Parade on April 23, 2022, which was followed by an on-field ceremony. PROVIDED

Southwest Ohio’s newest kangaroo can’t be seen at the Cincinnati Zoo.

Joey the Can-Do Kagaroo’s home will be at the Joe Nuxhall Miracle League Fields in Fairfield.

Joey is the new official mascot for the Nuxhall Foundation, the legacy foundation for former Major League pitcher and Cincinnati Reds longtime broadcaster Joe Nuxhall.

READ THE FULL STORY


Oxford woman earns 1st place in weightlifting competition

Combined ShapeCaption
Christa Baumgartner is shown making her 455-pound deadlift at the Cincinnati Women’s Pro-Am event in Blue Ash, where she earned a first-place medal based on her combined weight lifted in three events. CONTRIBUTED

Christa Baumgartner is shown making her 455-pound deadlift at the Cincinnati Women’s Pro-Am event in Blue Ash, where she earned a first-place medal based on her combined weight lifted in three events. CONTRIBUTED

Combined ShapeCaption
Christa Baumgartner is shown making her 455-pound deadlift at the Cincinnati Women’s Pro-Am event in Blue Ash, where she earned a first-place medal based on her combined weight lifted in three events. CONTRIBUTED

OXFORD — Christa Baumgartner is a familiar face around St. Mary Catholic Church, often filling in playing piano for Sunday masses and serving as the parish’s housekeeper, making sure the church and rectory are clean.

She is also a champion weightlifter having recently taken first place in a competition including a deadlift of 455 pounds.

That lift alone was well more than twice her own weight but on the day of the competition, she managed a bench press of 215 pounds and a squat of 390 pounds in addition to the 455-pound deadlift. Those were her best lifts of the day in each category but the competition had each contestant do three lifts in each.

READ THE FULL STORY


The Slice Pie celebrates 5 years; known for ‘pickleroni’ and other signature items

Combined ShapeCaption
The Slice is celebrating 5 years in business in downtown Middletown. NICK GRAHAM/STAFF

Credit: Nick Graham

The Slice is celebrating 5 years in business in downtown Middletown. NICK GRAHAM/STAFF

Credit: Nick Graham

Combined ShapeCaption
The Slice is celebrating 5 years in business in downtown Middletown. NICK GRAHAM/STAFF

Credit: Nick Graham

Credit: Nick Graham

MIDDLETOWN — Having opened in spring of 2017, The Slice Pie restaurant has become known for its tasty food ... and those with pickles on top.

“We have been in Middletown for five years. Our anniversary was on March 17. We make homemade pizza that we sell by the slice, or we sell a large pizza. We also have hoagies, wings, fries, salads, Garlic Knots and French Bread Pizza’s,” said owner Shane Scott, who co-owns the restaurant with his brother, Brandon Scott.

“People know who we are in Middletown, he said, “we offer delivery, pick-up, and we also have a bar and a music venue, Leo’s at The Slice.”

READ THE FULL STORY


A happy deception: Fairfield teacher lured into ceremony to win top Ohio school honor

Combined ShapeCaption
Veteran Fairfield Schools teacher Sandi Stegman, center, is flanked by Ohio Department of Education committee officials during her recent, surprise ceremony at Central Elementary revealing she has won a top Ohio schools award. Stegman, 70, is a 20-year veteran teacher and a former IBM computer engineer who found her true calling in life later as a teacher. (Contributed Photo\Journal-News)

Veteran Fairfield Schools teacher Sandi Stegman, center, is flanked by Ohio Department of Education committee officials during her recent, surprise ceremony at Central Elementary revealing she has won a top Ohio schools award. Stegman, 70, is a 20-year veteran teacher and a former IBM computer engineer who found her true calling in life later as a teacher. (Contributed Photo\Journal-News)

Combined ShapeCaption
Veteran Fairfield Schools teacher Sandi Stegman, center, is flanked by Ohio Department of Education committee officials during her recent, surprise ceremony at Central Elementary revealing she has won a top Ohio schools award. Stegman, 70, is a 20-year veteran teacher and a former IBM computer engineer who found her true calling in life later as a teacher. (Contributed Photo\Journal-News)

A veteran Fairfield Schools teacher was lied to by her principal and colleagues recently but for good cause.

Her co-workers had recently conspired against Central Elementary fifth grade teacher Sandi Stegman to surprise her with news she is one of only five in Ohio schools to win the state’s annual TORCH award for demonstrating character and heart in classroom teaching.

The 70-year-old Stegman was lured into what she thought was a routine staff meeting in Central’s gym, only to be shocked to see representatives from the Ohio Department of Education (ODE) there along with festive declarations and confetti poppers celebrating her earning the honor.

READ THE FULL STORY


Middletown-based short film wins big in Cincinnati’s Winterfilm IX

Combined ShapeCaption
Average Joe Films, a video production company based in Middletown, were named the winner of Winterfilm IX. Winning Best Picture along with Audience choice, for their short film “A Balanced Breakfast.” Pictured are Co-Producer Erica Bock and Director J.W. Cox. CONTRIBUTED

Average Joe Films, a video production company based in Middletown, were named the winner of Winterfilm IX.  Winning Best Picture along with Audience choice, for their short film “A Balanced Breakfast.” Pictured are Co-Producer Erica Bock and Director J.W. Cox. CONTRIBUTED

Combined ShapeCaption
Average Joe Films, a video production company based in Middletown, were named the winner of Winterfilm IX. Winning Best Picture along with Audience choice, for their short film “A Balanced Breakfast.” Pictured are Co-Producer Erica Bock and Director J.W. Cox. CONTRIBUTED

Average Joe Films, a video production company based in Middletown, has been named the winner of Winterfilm IX.

It won Best Picture and Audience choice, for the short film “A Balanced Breakfast.” Supporting Actress Rhyan Hanavan, a 13-year-old Middletown native, became the youngest winner in the history of the 9-year-old competition. Director J.W. Cox, also a lifelong Middletonian, took home Best Director and Best Screenplay.

The film garnered victories in the sound categories as well as nominations in the following: Best actor, best supporting actor, best Editing, and best art direction.

READ THE FULL STORY


AND, for an extra sixth story of the day ...

Cook of the Week: Natalie Herman takes nontraditional approaches to meals

Combined ShapeCaption
Natalie Herman, of Hamilton, is the cook of the week for the Journal-News. CONTRIBUTED

Natalie Herman, of Hamilton, is the cook of the week for the Journal-News. CONTRIBUTED

Combined ShapeCaption
Natalie Herman, of Hamilton, is the cook of the week for the Journal-News. CONTRIBUTED

Natalie Herman sat in the cozy kitchen in her Hamilton home with three different homemade dishes surrounding her on the table. This feast of muffins, noodle kugel and cookies represented just a small sample of her cooking creations each week for her family, who keeps this cook on her toes.

“My husband, Steve, works at 6:15 a.m. at Costco,” she began as she listed off the family’s crazy schedule. “My daughter Erin, who lives just a few minutes away, is a speech therapist with three children: Hannah, Caroline and Ryan. They all have school and activities–swimming, soccer. I help out with them, but I’m also cooking to feed my family.”

And despite this packed schedule, Herman doesn’t rely on restaurants or take-out to put food on the table.

READ THE FULL STORY


About the Author