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

About 75% of the employees at Middletown Works are vaccinated, according to Cleveland-Cliffs. The employees received a $1,500 incentive to get vaccinated. NICK GRAHAM/STAFF
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About 75% of the employees at Middletown Works are vaccinated, according to Cleveland-Cliffs. The employees received a $1,500 incentive to get vaccinated. NICK GRAHAM/STAFF

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


Coke oven at Middletown Works idle and may be torn down; company buys scrap business for $775M

About 75% of the employees at Middletown Works are vaccinated, according to Cleveland-Cliffs. The employees received a $1,500 incentive to get vaccinated. NICK GRAHAM/STAFF
Caption
About 75% of the employees at Middletown Works are vaccinated, according to Cleveland-Cliffs. The employees received a $1,500 incentive to get vaccinated. NICK GRAHAM/STAFF

Cleveland-Cliffs has idled the coke oven at Middletown Works and spent $775 million buying a scrap business, according to the company and union officials.

Neil Douglas, president of the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers Local Lodge 1943, said the idle coke oven may be torn down because of its age and cost to repair.

The coke oven, which turns coal into metallurgical coke through extreme heat, is nearly 70 years old and the company figured it was cheaper to tear down and possibly replace then make the needed repairs, Douglas said.

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Senate candidate Mandel asked to leave Lakota school board meeting

U.S. Senate candidate Josh Mandel was asked to leave the Oct. 11, 2021, school board meeting after he questioned the board on its mask mandate policy. The board cited Mandel was not a resident of the district. Residents or designees of residents are permitted to speak, according to the district. A woman said she designated Mandel to speak on her behalf, but the board said she "yielded" her time and did not formally designate him. SCREEN CAPTURE/TWITTER.COM/JOSHMANDELOHIO
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U.S. Senate candidate Josh Mandel was asked to leave the Oct. 11, 2021, school board meeting after he questioned the board on its mask mandate policy. The board cited Mandel was not a resident of the district. Residents or designees of residents are permitted to speak, according to the district. A woman said she designated Mandel to speak on her behalf, but the board said she "yielded" her time and did not formally designate him. SCREEN CAPTURE/TWITTER.COM/JOSHMANDELOHIO

A U.S. Senate candidate was asked to leave a Lakota school board meeting on Monday night after he attended to “defend the moms and dads” regarding the district’s mask mandates.

In August, southwest Ohio’s largest suburban school system changed its stance on masks, requiring its 16,800-students to wear masks while in class.

Josh Mandel, the state’s former treasurer who is seeking a U.S. Senate seat, told the Lakota school board members they “are using kids as pawns in a political game.”

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Butler County man gets more than 3 decades in prison in child pornography case

Trevor Fraley of Madison Twp. was sentenced to a maximum of 35 years in prison Tuesday after pleading guilty to 16 counts of pandering sexually oriented matter involving a minor NICK GRAHAM/STAFF
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Trevor Fraley of Madison Twp. was sentenced to a maximum of 35 years in prison Tuesday after pleading guilty to 16 counts of pandering sexually oriented matter involving a minor NICK GRAHAM/STAFF

Two years after his indictment, a Madison Twp. man pleaded guilty today to 16 counts of child pornography after being initially charged with 101 counts, and he was sentenced to more than three decades in prison.

Trevor Fraley, 26, of Dickey Road, was scheduled to go to trial in August in Butler County Common Pleas Court, but that trial was canceled and a plea and sentencing hearing was held Tuesday.

Fraley, of Dickey Road, pleaded guilty to 16 counts of pandering sexually oriented material involving a child, and Judge Michael Oster Jr. sentenced him to 31 to 35 years in prison. He faced a maximum of 76 to 80 years.

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Madison football coach wins disabled world strongman trophy in London

Madison High School assistant football coach Mike Diehl shows off his first place trophy recently won in London, England in an international disabled strong man competition. Diehl - a former area fireman - lost his arm in a 2015 fire truck accident and says part of his motivation is  to inspire the youth he coaches. (Photo By Michael D. Clark\Journal-News)
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Madison High School assistant football coach Mike Diehl shows off his first place trophy recently won in London, England in an international disabled strong man competition. Diehl - a former area fireman - lost his arm in a 2015 fire truck accident and says part of his motivation is to inspire the youth he coaches. (Photo By Michael D. Clark\Journal-News)

With the heart of a world champion and a full-bodied spirit, the only thing missing from Madison High School assistant football coach Mike Diehl is his right arm.

Diehl, a former fireman who lost an arm in a 2015 fire truck accident, recently returned from an international disabled strongman competition in London, England with a first-place trophy.

The 6-foot-2, 300-pound Madison Twp. father of two, said through the international and American strongman competitions, he helps inspire the young athletes he coaches to see all challenges can be overcome.

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Woman restored to competency to stand trial in Hamilton baseball bat slaying

Misty Camp BUTLER COUNTY SHERIFF'S OFFICE
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Misty Camp BUTLER COUNTY SHERIFF'S OFFICE

After nine months of mental health treatment, a woman charged with murder for allegedly hitting a man with a baseball bat in Hamilton has been restored to competence to stand trial, according to prosecutors.

Misty Camp, 27, was indicted in December for felonious assault and murder for the alleged attack of Donald McDonald on Oct. 31, according to Hamilton police and court records.

Butler County Common Pleas Judge Michael Oster set bond for Camp at $250,000. At the arraignment, the judge also ordered a psychological competency evaluation.

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

Local musicians to perform in France as part of sister-city program with Cincinnati

Kelly MacKenzie-Thurley. CONTRIBUTED
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Kelly MacKenzie-Thurley. CONTRIBUTED

Kelly MacKenzie-Thurley, local singer and voice teacher, is part of a select group of area musicians invited to perform and give master classes in Nancy, France as part of a sister-city cultural exchange program with Cincinnati.

MacKenzie-Thurley left Hamilton on Friday and will serve as a jazz ambassador, along with pianist Phil DeGreg, for the 30th anniversary of the union between the cities. MacKenzie-Thurley and DeGreg will be accompanied by Laura Gentry, president of Jazz Alive and board member of the Cincinnati-Nancy France Sister City Association.

“I feel very humbled to be asked to be a jazz ambassador on behalf of our city. It’s an extraordinary opportunity to be able to go and present jazz history and perform for the people of our sister city,” MacKenzie-Thurley said.

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