5 uplifting stories this week: Anthony Muñoz treats Hamilton school kids to shopping spree, Monroe filmmaker makes Forbes magazine’s rising star list and more

The Anthony Munoz Foundation partnered with a mentoring program from Hamilton's Riverview Elementary School and allowed kids to shop for themselves Friday, Dec. 17, 2021 At Dick's Sporting Goods in Fairfield Township. The students also received a $200 Kroger gift card for their families. NICK GRAHAM / STAFF

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The Anthony Munoz Foundation partnered with a mentoring program from Hamilton's Riverview Elementary School and allowed kids to shop for themselves Friday, Dec. 17, 2021 At Dick's Sporting Goods in Fairfield Township. The students also received a $200 Kroger gift card for their families. NICK GRAHAM / STAFF

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


Bengals great Anthony Muñoz treats Hamilton school kids to shopping spree

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Jameel Griffin, 9, left, talks to Anthony Munoz as he shops for gifts made possible through the Anthony Munoz Foundation Friday, Dec. 17, 2021 At Dick's Sporting Goods in Fairfield Township. The Anthony Munoz Foundation partnered with a mentoring program from Hamilton's Riverview Elementary School and allowed kids to shop for themselves during the event. NICK GRAHAM / STAFF

Credit: Nick Graham

Jameel Griffin, 9, left, talks to Anthony Munoz as he shops for gifts made possible through the Anthony Munoz Foundation Friday, Dec. 17, 2021 At Dick's Sporting Goods in Fairfield Township. The Anthony Munoz Foundation partnered with a mentoring program from Hamilton's Riverview Elementary School and allowed kids to shop for themselves during the event. NICK GRAHAM / STAFF

Credit: Nick Graham

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Jameel Griffin, 9, left, talks to Anthony Munoz as he shops for gifts made possible through the Anthony Munoz Foundation Friday, Dec. 17, 2021 At Dick's Sporting Goods in Fairfield Township. The Anthony Munoz Foundation partnered with a mentoring program from Hamilton's Riverview Elementary School and allowed kids to shop for themselves during the event. NICK GRAHAM / STAFF

Credit: Nick Graham

Credit: Nick Graham

A local NFL hall-of-famer called a surprise play on Friday, giving some Hamilton elementary students free Christmas gifts in a pre-paid shopping spree.

Cincinnati Bengals’ great Anthony Muñoz took two dozen boys from a Riverview Elementary mentoring program on a holiday shopping trip at Dick’s Sporting Goods in Fairfield Twp.’s Bridgewater Falls. The store’s managers, working with the Anthony Muñoz Foundation, opened early just for the boys, and then Muñoz surprised them with news on their arrival they would be allowed a lot more than the one free item they had been told to expect.

And that their $200 free tab for each boy had just been raised even higher to $250 by Dick’s.

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VIDEO: Good Samaritan helps victim of purse snatching at Kroger

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A Good Samaritan and the 87-year-old victim of a purse snatching at a Kroger in Butler Co

A Good Samaritan and the 87-year-old victim of a purse snatching at a Kroger in Butler Co

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A Good Samaritan and the 87-year-old victim of a purse snatching at a Kroger in Butler Co

LEMON TWP. — A Good Samaritan and the 87-year-old victim of a purse snatching at a Kroger in Butler County received national attention Wednesday morning with a live interview on Fox & Friends.

Trenton resident Pat Goins stopped by the Lemon Twp. Kroger on Dec. 5 after church to do some shopping. She was just about done when she walked down an aisle to pick up a forgotten item when a man grabbed her purse and ran.

That’s when Deshawn Pressley sprang to action. Pressley heard Goins shout, saw a man with a purse dash by and sprinted after the suspect, tackling him in the parking lot.

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Brad Baker named Hamilton’s 2021 citizen of the year

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Pinball Garage owner Brad Baker, right, talks to customers Corey and Megan Wagonfield during their visit Thursday, June 25, 2020. Pinball Garage is now open in downtown Hamilton and offers a large selection of pinball machines to play along with a bar with rotating beer selection. NICK GRAHAM / STAFF

Credit: Nick Graham

Pinball Garage owner Brad Baker, right, talks to customers Corey and Megan Wagonfield during their visit Thursday, June 25, 2020. Pinball Garage is now open in downtown Hamilton and offers a large selection of pinball machines to play along with a bar with rotating beer selection. NICK GRAHAM / STAFF

Credit: Nick Graham

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Pinball Garage owner Brad Baker, right, talks to customers Corey and Megan Wagonfield during their visit Thursday, June 25, 2020. Pinball Garage is now open in downtown Hamilton and offers a large selection of pinball machines to play along with a bar with rotating beer selection. NICK GRAHAM / STAFF

Credit: Nick Graham

Credit: Nick Graham

Brad Baker has been named Hamilton’s citizen of the year, an award that will be presented to him at the Greater Hamilton Chamber of Commerce’s annual dinner on Jan. 28.

Baker found national fame in 2016 when he pitched his business, VPcabs Virtual Panel, to the celebrity investors on the television show “Shark Tank.”

That business continues, but he more recently launched another enterprise, Pinball Garage, at 113 N. 3rd St. in Hamilton. He wasn’t awarded citizen of the year for that alone, but also for his generosity with other businesses.

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Monroe HS grad, acclaimed filmmaker makes Forbes magazine’s rising star list

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Monroe High School graduate Chase Crawford was recently in his hometown when he learned Forbe's Magazine had picked him as one of America's rising entrepreneurial stars for his independent film studio. Crawford, who developed his skills as a teen in Butler Tech's media production program, was lauded by the magazine for list of still-growing film productions. (Provided Photo\Journal-News)

Monroe High School graduate Chase Crawford was recently in his hometown when he learned Forbe's Magazine had picked him as one of America's rising  entrepreneurial stars for his independent film studio. Crawford, who developed his skills as a teen in Butler Tech's media production program, was lauded by the magazine for list of still-growing film productions. (Provided Photo\Journal-News)

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Monroe High School graduate Chase Crawford was recently in his hometown when he learned Forbe's Magazine had picked him as one of America's rising entrepreneurial stars for his independent film studio. Crawford, who developed his skills as a teen in Butler Tech's media production program, was lauded by the magazine for list of still-growing film productions. (Provided Photo\Journal-News)

When he was growing up in Monroe — long before he knew of Forbes magazine’s list of America’s rising entrepreneurs — an ambitious teenager got an early start on making money to feed his passion for film making.

Monroe High School graduate Chase Crawford recalls hustling to become a young referee working soccer games in a neighborhood park to pay for his budding love of making movies.

It was the beginning of his teenage years of scrambling to find and pay for used equipment to make short, social media movies.

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Fairfield Mayor Steve Miller reflects on his time leading his hometown

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Steve Miller, former mayor city of Fairfield (2014-2021)

Credit: Provided

Steve Miller, former mayor city of Fairfield (2014-2021)

Credit: Provided

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Steve Miller, former mayor city of Fairfield (2014-2021)

Credit: Provided

Credit: Provided

Steve Miller steps down at the end of this month from the only job he’s ever wanted: Fairfield mayor.

Miller has been in elected office for 18 collective years since 1998 when he served his hometown’s Fourth Ward until 2007, and then for the past eight years as the city’s mayor. During his first tenure on Council, he served as acting mayor from May 2005 to December 2006 after former mayor Erick Cook resigned before he moved to South Carolina to be closer to family.

“All I’ve ever wanted to do is to serve my community, my home, Fairfield. That was it,” Miller said. “I honestly believe being mayor of my hometown, there’s just no greater honor to be had.”

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

Badin names new girls soccer coach

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Chris Slusher, Badin girls soccer coach

Chris Slusher, Badin girls soccer coach

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Chris Slusher, Badin girls soccer coach

Chris Slusher is the new girls soccer head coach at Badin High School, Athletic Director Geoff Melzer has announced.

“We’re happy to bring Chris aboard,” Melzer said. “He’s a dynamic coach with a lot of great ideas and I know that our girls soccer program will continue to thrive under his leadership.”

Slusher has an extensive coaching background. He was the assistant girls soccer coach at Walnut Hills in Cincinnati last season.

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