5 uplifting stories: Local man competing in USA Special Olympics Games, new Iron Rose Mercantile store is vision of two creative women and more

Iron Rose Mercantile and Shades of Chic cabinet painting have opened in a shared space in a renovated building on Ohio 122 in Madison Township. Lisa Dethlefs, left, runs Iron Rose with an eclectic mix of decor, furniture, clothing, gifts, hats, jewelry and more and Susan Cox, right, moved her Shades of Chic business in the back where she paints cabinets for customers. There is a collaborative space for classes, special events and more. NICK GRAHAM/STAFF

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Iron Rose Mercantile and Shades of Chic cabinet painting have opened in a shared space in a renovated building on Ohio 122 in Madison Township. Lisa Dethlefs, left, runs Iron Rose with an eclectic mix of decor, furniture, clothing, gifts, hats, jewelry and more and Susan Cox, right, moved her Shades of Chic business in the back where she paints cabinets for customers. There is a collaborative space for classes, special events and more. NICK GRAHAM/STAFF

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


McCrabb: Mother of Special Olympian says son has been ‘a blessing to my family’

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xxx RICK McCRABB/STAFF

xxx RICK McCRABB/STAFF

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xxx RICK McCRABB/STAFF

Phyllis Gibbemeyer remembers the way she felt nearly 40 years ago when her son, Adam, was born and she later learned he had Down syndrome.

“Very, very sad,” she said.

Then, she quickly added: “That was so foolish. Adam knows he has Down syndrome. He takes it totally in stride. That’s who he is. We wouldn’t change him. He’s a blessing to my family.”

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Iron Rose Mercantile is vision of two creative women who want to share DIY talents

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Iron Rose Mercantile and Shades of Chic cabinet painting have opened in a shared space in a renovated building on Ohio 122 in Madison Township. Lisa Dethlefs runs Iron Rose with an eclectic mix of decor, furniture, clothing, gifts, hats, jewelry and more and Susan Cox moved her Shades of Chic business in the back where she paints cabinets for customers. There is a collaborative space for classes, special events and more. NICK GRAHAM/STAFF

Credit: Nick Graham

Iron Rose Mercantile and Shades of Chic cabinet painting have opened in a shared space in a renovated building on Ohio 122 in Madison Township. Lisa Dethlefs runs Iron Rose with an eclectic mix of decor, furniture, clothing, gifts, hats, jewelry and more and Susan Cox moved her Shades of Chic business in the back where she paints cabinets for customers. There is a collaborative space for classes, special events and more. NICK GRAHAM/STAFF

Credit: Nick Graham

Combined ShapeCaption
Iron Rose Mercantile and Shades of Chic cabinet painting have opened in a shared space in a renovated building on Ohio 122 in Madison Township. Lisa Dethlefs runs Iron Rose with an eclectic mix of decor, furniture, clothing, gifts, hats, jewelry and more and Susan Cox moved her Shades of Chic business in the back where she paints cabinets for customers. There is a collaborative space for classes, special events and more. NICK GRAHAM/STAFF

Credit: Nick Graham

Credit: Nick Graham

MADISON TWP. —Take a rehabbed small town setting, creative women with an eye for what shoppers want and mix them together for Iron Rose Mercantile — and more.

Lisa Dethlefs and Susan Cox joined forces to create a combined business space coupled with their own shops at 446 Middletown-Eaton Road.

The front of the store features Dethlefs’ “boho chic” merchandise including unique recycled projects and in the back behind a huge sliding barn door is Cox’s Shade of Chic painting work space for furniture and whole kitchen makeovers.

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Middletown mayor runs 30 miles in 24 hours to raise awareness of dangerous brain injuries

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Middletown Mayor Nicole Condrey, accompanied by Master Sergeant Ben Johnis, an Air Force pararescue jumper and member of Team Fastrax, ran 30 miles during 24 hours Monday to raise awareness about the dangers of brain injuries. SUBMITTED PHOTO

Credit: Lynch, Gregory

Middletown Mayor Nicole Condrey, accompanied by Master Sergeant Ben Johnis, an Air Force pararescue jumper and member of Team Fastrax, ran 30 miles during 24 hours Monday to raise awareness about the dangers of brain injuries. SUBMITTED PHOTO

Credit: Lynch, Gregory

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Middletown Mayor Nicole Condrey, accompanied by Master Sergeant Ben Johnis, an Air Force pararescue jumper and member of Team Fastrax, ran 30 miles during 24 hours Monday to raise awareness about the dangers of brain injuries. SUBMITTED PHOTO

Credit: Lynch, Gregory

Credit: Lynch, Gregory

The thousands of people lining the streets during Middletown’s Memorial Day Parade had to be surprised to see Mayor Nicole Condrey walking and running the three-mile route instead of sitting comfortably on the back of a convertible.

They would have been more shocked if they were awake at 11 p.m. Monday and witnessed Condrey, 40, running one mile backward in the dark while wearing full body armor.

After losing her husband, Ron, to suicide four years ago, Condrey has dedicated time and effort to bring awareness to the dangers of brain injuries, many of them undetected.

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Mason student made finals of Scripps National Spelling Bee

Elated — e-l-a-t-e-d. That’s how Mason Middle School student Sahana Srikanth must be feeling after ending her Bee career as a finalist at the Scripps National Spelling Bee.

After finishing tied for 76th in 2021, Srikanth made it to the finals Thursday, misspelling nerine.

Srikanth was one of two Tri-State girls who won their regional bee and traveled to the D.C. area in hopes of hoisting the Scripps Cup. Tara Rakesh of Kentucky made it to the third round of competition, finishing tied for 89th place out of 234 spellers.

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Hamilton Ohio Pride march, festival returns this weekend

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Hamilton held their first Pride event Saturday, June 5, 2021. A parade kicked off the festivities and ended at Marcum Park with vendors, food and music. NICK GRAHAM / STAFF

Credit: Nick Graham

Hamilton held their first Pride event Saturday, June 5, 2021. A parade kicked off the festivities and ended at Marcum Park with vendors, food and music. NICK GRAHAM / STAFF

Credit: Nick Graham

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Hamilton held their first Pride event Saturday, June 5, 2021. A parade kicked off the festivities and ended at Marcum Park with vendors, food and music. NICK GRAHAM / STAFF

Credit: Nick Graham

Credit: Nick Graham

In its third year, Hamilton Ohio Pride will celebrate its second annual live event this Saturday.

The first Hamilton Ohio Pride live event was supposed to happen in 2020, but due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the group had to pivot, ending up doing a month-long virtual event.

“That worked well for the online pandemic universe, but then going into last year, when we realized we could have the event, we were really excited to bring our first event where people could actually come out,” said organizer Taylor Stone-Welch.

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

PHOTOS: Butler County’s top students in Class of 2022

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Madison High School: Valedictorian Audrey Wills.

Madison High School: Valedictorian Audrey Wills.

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Madison High School: Valedictorian Audrey Wills.

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