5 uplifting stories: Middletown residents join ‘Saved by the Belt’ club, a Hamilton artist wins Saica’s ‘Sustainable Box Contest’ and more

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


Middletown residents join ‘Saved by the Belt’ club after serious crash

When Middletown residents Micheala and Donovan Rennaker chose an infant car seat prior to welcoming their first child, they never imagined it would be put to the test just four months after their son, Caspian, was born.

But on the evening of Feb. 20, 2022, the young family was involved in a three-vehicle crash on Interstate 75 near the interchange with Interstate 70. All three were treated at the hospital, and they survived the incident without serious injury.

The Rennakers were presented with the Ohio Department of Public Safety’s “Saved by the Belt” award in a small ceremony on Saturday at the Ohio State Highway Patrol (OSHP) Dayton Patrol Post 57 in Clayton. According to OSHP Lt. Geoffrey Freeman, who presented the award, the recognition aims to highlight the importance of seatbelt use.

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Leah Hughes of Hamilton named winner of Saica’s ‘Sustainable Box Contest’

Saica Group, a leading manufacturer of recycled paper for corrugated board, celebrated its recent move to Hamilton and a commitment to sustainability with the inaugural “Sustainable Box Contest.”

“The creativity we saw was amazing ― I am really impressed,” said Akin Önder, general manager, Saica U.S. “The contest gave us a chance to connect with the community we’re joining here in the U.S. and demonstrated how our products can be reused and repurposed.”

The Hamilton location is the company’s first facility in North America, and when the winners were announced recently, it seems only fitting that one of the contest winners, Leah Hughes, is from Hamilton.

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Pastor: Main Event promises to be ‘a power packed night’

Credit: Nick Graham

Credit: Nick Graham

Now is a critical time for men to be stand up and fight for their families and their faith, said Lamar Ferrell, pastor of Berachah Church in Middletown.

So it’s fitting that one of the most recognized ultimate fighters will be a featured speaker when Berachach hosts its fourth annual Be A Man (BAM) Main Event on May 6.

Rich Franklin, 47, of West Chester, competed in the Ultimate Fighting Championship and is a former UFC Middleweight Champion.

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Fairfield High School athletes to benefit from ‘Super Fan Jim Fund’

On a recent school day, a group of Fairfield Crossroads Middle School staff paid homage to a man who touched their lives and so many in the Fairfield High School sporting world.

They wore T-shirts to honor James “Super Fan Jim” Bradshaw.

Bradshaw died suddenly Feb.12 at the age of 75. Bradshaw was a fixture at almost every Fairfield High School sporting event - home or away. He was easily recognized by his vest and floppy bright red hat.

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Area volunteer treasure hunters group helps police solve crimes

Joseph Kancy was fatally shot in June in front of a Lebanon residence and police were on the hunt for his cell phone that could make a case against his accused killer.

The phone had been tossed from a vehicle in a ditch line on a remote area outside Miamisburg. Investigators knew where cell phone tower pings said it might be, but days of searching turned up nothing.

Enter the Dayton Diggers, a group of men and women experienced in using metal detectors, to find treasurers, lost valuables and evidence.

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

Lakota’s Matt Miller named digital superintendent of the year

Lakota schools superintendent Matt Miller has been named the 2022 EmpowerED Digital Superintendent of the Year at a recent national conference.

The award, presented by CoSN, an association of K-12 education technology leaders, and AASA, the School Superintendents Association, was given in recognition of his efforts to ensure all students are engaged and inspired learners who have access to equitable and inclusive learning environments.

In a statement on the district’s website, Lynda O’Conner, president of the Lakota Board of Education said, “Matt’s innovative approach to education has benefited our students from the moment he walked through our doors...He listens to our families and our teachers, and always puts our students first.”

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