Afternoon catchup: 5 Butler County stories you need to know today

Here’s a look at five big Butler County stories today to catch up on the news:

Officials: Spooky Nook steel building collapse won’t delay opening

The steel building at Spooky Nook Sports Champion Mill that was blown over by strong winds last month will not delay opening of what is to be North America’s largest indoor sports training, fitness and competition complex, an official with a city entity said he was been told.

Greater Hamilton Chamber of Commerce president and CEO Dan Bates, a member of the Hamilton Community Authority that helps oversee financing for the complex and related issues, said he was told the March 26 collapse of Building 500, which is at the southern tip of the complex that’s located west of North B Street, will not delay the opening, which is scheduled for around the end of this year.

Owner Sam Beiler on the day of the building’s collapse after midnight said, “No one was on the property at the time, and there were no injuries.”


Massive Liberty Way, I-75 interchange fix to start soon - and cost less than expected

The bids are in for the massive Liberty Way and Interstate 75 interchange fix and officials say the $24.5 million project, that will be getting underway soon, should not be terribly disruptive to drivers.

Butler County Engineer Greg Wilkens received five bids, and the highest was $26 million for the project that was originally estimated at nearly $50 million several years ago. As Wilkens has honed the plans the price had dropped to $24.3 million to fix the often tricky interchange at Ohio 129 and Interstate 75.

“The beauty of it quite honestly is they won’t be inconvenienced that much,” Wilkens said. “The way the project is laid out it works out good for the public. The reality of the game is the only place where we have to, where we’re maintaining traffic is Cox Road when we build the roundabout, the rest of it is pretty much offline.”


Monroe residents don’t want truck traffic on Todhunter Road caused by industrial parks in Middletown

Numerous Monroe residents expressed concerns over the safety of those traveling on Todhunter Road due to truck traffic caused by two Middletown industrial parks.

A petition signed by 11 residents was read during Tuesday night’s city council meeting. The letter, dated April 7, said the residents are “disputing the allowance” of semis on Todhunter Road, west of Salzman and Yankee roads and east of Ohio 4.

“This road was not made for trucks to drive on,” the letter read.


‘Hillbilly Elegy’ author and Middletown native J.D. Vance quits firm after tweets

“Hillbilly Elegy” author J.D. Vance has resigned from the board of a company that uses green technology to mass-produce food in Appalachia, days after sending some controversial tweets.

Vance was an early investor in AppHarvest, a mega-greenhouse company that produced its first tomatoes this year at a 300-employee facility in Morehead, The Herald-Leader reported.

But Vance also is being floated in Ohio as a Republican candidate for the U.S. Senate, and he’s drawn criticism online for his opposition to corporations that are protesting GOP efforts in multiple states to change voting laws.


NFL grant means Butler County’s latest high school getting artificial turf for football stadium

Thanks to the NFL, there’s now a new member in Butler County’s high school synthetic turf club.

Madison Schools will go into the next school year with the district’s first artificial turf playing field thanks in part to a recent NFL $133,000 grant to replace one of the few remaining natural grass fields in the area.

The nearly $1 million, plastic-grass field, which has been sought by Madison since its historic run deep into the state football playoffs in 2017, will be installed by the time classes start in August, said school officials.


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

PHOTOS: Kings Island outdoor resort under construction in Mason

Credit: Nick Graham

Credit: Nick Graham

Kings Island Camp Cedar Luxury Outdoor Resort is under construction with a June 2021 opening date. The resort features RV parking spaces and two types of cottages that sleep up to 8 people, two pools, a lodge, restaurant and more. NICK GRAHAM / STAFF