5 uplifting stories this week: A new record store in Fairfield, progress at Spooky Nook and more

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


Spooky Nook, B Street work progresses

Credit: Nick Graham

Credit: Nick Graham

The former Champion Paper mill is cleaning up well, and so is North B Street, as it runs between the former operation’s gigantic buildings.

Gone now are the ugly utility poles cluttered the street, replaced by elegant street lamps and improved sidewalks. Windows now are being installed on the paper mill’s buildings after decades of having been bricked over.

Spooky Nook Sports Champion Mill, a large indoor sports complex and convention center, is coming into shape, with its 233 hotel rooms being framed, painted and furnished. Many rooms will have very tall ceilings and large windows. Some rooms will look out over the “B Street Canyon,” while 58 will look out on the river.

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Christmas With A Cop program ‘pretty special’ for Middletown officers, children

Nearly 75 Middletown children are about to start their Christmas shopping early.

The annual Mike Davis Christmas With A Cop program, organized by the Middletown Division of Police, will be held Saturday morning at Meijer. Typically about 50 children receive a $100 shopping spree through a $5,000 donation from the store.

But because of several other monetary donations, 73 children, who were recommended by Middletown school counselors, will shop with members of the police department, said Jason Wargo, president of the FOP.

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Three Feather Records wants people to discover and rediscover music

For the longest time, Eric DePrato and his sons, Jack and Mitchell, didn’t know what to do with the retail space they leased, but they knew it would be a record shop.

“I don’t know anything about retail, and the boys, they don’t know anything about it,” Eric said of himself and his sons Jack, 21, and Mitchell, 17. So after about a year of uncertainty and second-guessing decisions, on Nov. 12, they opened Three Feather Records at 1105 Magie Ave. in Fairfield.

“Finally we said we were tired of messing around and we’ve got to make a decision and go with it. It’s whatever we found on Pintrest.”

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Talawanda-Butler Tech FFA chapter wins big at national Arabian Horse contest

While members of the Talawanda/Butler Tech FFA chapter were in Indianapolis collecting awards and recognitions for the chapter, four of their members went farther west and turned in a strong performance in a horse judging event.

The four members flew to Oklahoma to compete in the National Arabian Equine Judging Contest finishing, as a team, in second place in the nation.

They also racked up 11 individual awards among the four Talawanda participants.

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Liberty Twp. public service icon honored with name on conference room, plaque

The legacy of former Liberty Twp. icon David Kern will now be a permanent display at the township’s headquarters.

Kern died earlier this year — six years after he retired from a total of 32 years as township trustee — and his memory was recently honored by township officials with the naming of a conference room after him.

And the dedication ceremony, which included Kern’s family, also saw the unveiling of a colorful wall plaque highlighting with photos and text describing many of Kern’s significant contributions to the community he loved.

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

McCrabb: Hamilton is connected to the youngest professional baseball player

Baseball, like no other sport, is about its history, its stories, and how those are weaved into the fabric of America.

It’s a game, regardless if it’s played on dusty diamonds in front of empty metal bleachers or on manicured grass in sold-out Major League Baseball stadiums, that evokes a certain passion.

This is nearly a 70-year-old baseball tale, and since one of its central characters, a guy named Ray Nichting from Hamilton, died recently at 89, it’s time to reminisce about the significance of what happened on July 19, 1952.

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