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:


A sign of the times: AK Steel signs in Middletown changing to Cleveland-based owner

The bright red and black AK Steel sign on the side of the company’s research and development center that greeted motorists along I-75 has been changed to “Cliffs,” representing the new owners.

Workers on Thursday morning took down the AK Steel sign and replaced it with the logo of Cleveland-Cliffs, the Cleveland-based company that purchased the Middletown steelmaker for $1.1 billion in 2020.

In March, Lourenco Goncalves, chairman, president and CEO of Cleveland-Cliffs, sent out a company wide email announcing the name change.

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Hamilton shooting after domestic dispute ruled self-defense, man not indicted

A Butler County grand jury declined to indict a man who shot another man in Hamilton after he reportedly intervened during an assault on a woman in the 400 block of Seventh Street.

The grand jury determined that the shooting came in self-defense and did not indict the man, whom the Journal-News is not naming because he was not charged.

The incident stemmed from a March 29 domestic violence dispute that spilled out onto the front yard about 8 a.m., and witnesses saw Robert Allen Hill, 46, assaulting his 48-year-old girlfriend, according to Hamilton police.

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City manager: $31.3 million Middletown paving project will ‘transform our community’

For years, Middletown residents have voiced their displeasure with the condition of the roads.

In November, they approved a 0.25 percent, 10-year income tax levy that will generate $31.3 million designated for street paving.

On Tuesday night, council members unanimously passed emergency legislation to allow a Cincinnati-based paving company to begin repairing more than 150 lane miles in the city.

The paving project will “transform our community,” said City Manager Jim Palenick.

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Victim ID’d in Fairfield Twp. suspicious death, case being investigated as homicide

Fairfield Twp. police are investigating the suspicious death of a 31-year-old woman as a homicide.

The woman, identified as Marilyn Ann Sparks, 31, of Fairfield Twp., was found by a relative on Friday afternoon, according to the police report. Fairfield Twp. police Sgt. Brandon McCroskey said they’re not calling Sparks’ death a homicide, but any suspicious death is investigated as a homicide until proven otherwise.

McCroskey said investigators are not releasing more information about the investigation at this time. The Butler County Coroner has conducted an autopsy and the results are pending.

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Big changes coming to Butler County social services agencies after retirement

Changes will be coming to Butler County’s social service agencies after the coming retirement of Job and Family Services Executive Director Bill Morrison and promotions in two key positions.

Morrison will retire effective May 7, and Children Services Director Julie Gilbert moved into his position temporarily this week with a 5% pay increase to $99,131. The position will be posted, but Gilbert is the leading candidate to receive the permanent promotion, as will JFS Assistant Director Shannon Glendon who was temporarily moved to fill the top Children Services post. Her new salary is 84,219.

“We’re pretty much going to have the same top people we have right now except Bill’s going to be gone,” Commissioner Don Dixon told the Journal-News. “But he’s assured us there’s not a better team in Ohio, and he hasn’t told us wrong yet.”

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

PHOTOS: Nostalgia of Hamilton school days from the Journal-News archives

the Journal-News went into the archives to find views of live in Hamilton schools through the years.

SEE ALL OF THE PHOTOS