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:

Man indicted for 2018 homicide of 16-year-old Hamilton girl

A man incarcerated in a state correctional facility was indicted on murder Wednesday in the 2018 homicide of a 16-year-old girl in Fairfield Twp.

Markeylnd Townsend, 22, is accused of killing Sydney Garcia-Tovar in July 2018. He was arrested two weeks later on an unrelated aggravated robbery charge in Hamilton and sentenced in April 2019 to three years in prison on the second-degree felony. According to court records, Townsend was charged after he took money and marijuana from the victim, but claims the victim stole that from him prior to a and he was attempting to take it back when a witness saw the crime.

Townsend is now charged with murder and felonious assault. An arraignment is set for 8:30 a.m. May 5.


New restaurant coming to former Steak ‘n Shake space in Hamilton

Panda Express plans to open one of its fast-casual restaurants on the site of the former Steak ‘n Shake restaurant at 1485 Main St. in Hamilton.

“I think it’s great,” Council Member Michael Ryan said of the fact Panda Express and others have plans to open, along with several that recently have. “It’s a sign that Hamilton is continuing redevelopment in all areas, and the businesses have faith in our city, and they see the progress that we’re making. And they want to be a part of all the great things that are happening in town.”

Panda Express has several locations in the region, including at Tylersville and Cox roads, Colerain Avenue, Mason Montgomery Road and at the University of Cincinnati campus.


2 indicted for shooting at Middletown bar last month

Two men have been indicted by a Butler County grand jury for a March 20 bar shooting that injured two people in Middletown.

Police arrested Davion Gates, 22, and Jermaine Trammel Jr., 23, both of Middletown, last month for their involvement in the incident at the Middtown Lounge on Clark Street. They were charged with felonious assault and discharge of firearm on or near prohibited premises.

On Wednesday, Gates was indicted on two counts of felonious assault and discharge of firearm on or near prohibited premises. Trammell was indicted for felonious assault, violating a protection order and discharge of firearm on or near prohibited premises.


Fairfield manufacturer to expand, add new jobs for 25th year in the city

Credit: Michael D. Pitman

Credit: Michael D. Pitman

In its silver anniversary year in Fairfield, ART Metals Group is expanding its building and workforce.

To help the business that has spent the past 25 years of its 79-year history on Symmes Road in Fairfield, City Council approved a 60% property tax abatement with the company and CMPCO Real Estate, LLC over the next seven years.

“The company is forecasting substantial growth and has proposed construction of an approximately 30,000-square-foot addition to its existing 40,000-square-foot manufacturing facility,” said Fairfield Economic Development Manager Nathaniel Kaelin.


Changes to Edgewood Schools draw ire of some parents during board meeting

Changes coming to schools in the Edgewood district have some school parents upset not only about a grade reconfiguration plan but also how it was developed.

Monday evening’s Edgewood Board of Education meeting saw some parents complain during a public meeting to the district’s governing board and Superintendent Russ Fussnecker.

Under the plan, the five-school district, which enrolls about 4,000 students, will reconfigure the grade levels offered at three schools starting next school year.


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

West Chester chef nominated for this week’s ‘Savor Cincinnati’ after adjusting to pandemic

When Cincinnati Magazine sent out word to local foodies to nominate eight chefs to cook at the fourth annual “Savor Cincinnati,” an upscale, multi-evening fine dining event, one of the chefs chosen was Michelle Brown, Chef Proprietor of West Chester Twp.’s Jags Steak & Seafood.

Paired with Nick Roudebush of the Golden Lamb, she will prepare a five-course meal (plus appetizers) on Savor Cincinnati’s kickoff night, April 27.

“I was flattered,” Brown said. “My husband operates the Golden Lamb. I’ve worked in their kitchen, and Nick has worked in ours. Balanced flavors are important to both of us.”