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

Credit: George Frey

Credit: George Frey

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

Butler County lawmaker: Armed school staffers bill ‘critically urgent’ after high court ruling

Credit: George Frey

Credit: George Frey

A Butler County lawmaker wants his controversial armed school personnel bill to be ready for further debate in September when the General Assembly resumes its session.

But opponents say there’s a long way to go before House Bill 99 is ready.

Last month, the Ohio Supreme Court ruled in a 4-3 decision if school staff and teachers are armed by their districts, they will need the same level of training as law enforcement officers, which is more than 700 hours. The ruling was on a 2018 lawsuit filed by Madison Local School parents against the school district.


Arrest warrants issued for 2 men wanted in separate Butler County rape investigations

Two men were indicted this week as they face multiple charges of rape involving juveniles.

The separate cases were presented to the Butler County grand jury and released this week, according to the Butler County Prosecutor’s Office. Both cases involve a juvenile victim, said Assistant Prosecuting Attorney Kelly Heile.

Reyes Samano, 48, of West Chester Twp., faces six counts of rape, all first-degree felonies, and one count of gross sexual imposition, a third-degree felony. According to the direct indictment released, Samano, who was in his early 40s at the time of the incidents, allegedly had sexual conduct with a juvenile victim between Jan. 1, 2015, and April 30, 2016.


Butler County property taxpayers need to mail bills or pay online by Aug. 5

Butler County Treasurer Nancy Nix is asking property taxpayers to be aware they can’t leave their payments in the drop box outside the Government Services Center so they need to mail them by Aug. 5 or pay online.

Nix told the Journal-News they have had to seal the drop box on the Government Services Center in Hamilton.

“The city of Hamilton has a roofing project going on which has forced us to seal our curbside tax payment drop box, where we normally receive thousands upon thousands of envelopes with payments, due to safety reasons,” Nix said.


Butler County taking next step to fix railroad issue after resident complaints



The Butler County commissioners will take a field trip soon to view the St. Clair Twp. subdivision that is often held hostage by slow or stopped trains, the first step in possibly solving the problem that has sparked safety concerns.

A group of Cedar Grove residents petitioned the commissioners last month asking for help that will likely involve a costly resolution. They offered four options to open access, and the preferred plan is to construct a road or bridge to begin on Fear Not Mills Road to connect with Ohio 127, which would provide quick access for emergency services. Two options involve West Elkton Road and another a bridge over or tunnel under the Spring Road crossing.

County Engineer Greg Wilkens told the Journal-News three options could be cost prohibitive.


AK Steel owner reports record second-quarter results

Cleveland-Cliffs Inc., formerly AK Steel, reported a record second quarter for the period ending June 30.

The company, which acquired Middletown-based AK Steel for $1.1 billon in 2020, on Thursday announced it set records for quarterly revenue, quarterly net income and quarterly adjusted EBITDA, or earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortization.

The revenue was $5 billion, net income was $795 million and the adjusted EBITDA was $1.4 billion, according to Lourenco Goncalves, chairman, president and CEO of Cliffs.


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

Miami University construction: What’s happening with 3 big projects this summer

It’s summer break at Miami University’s main Oxford campus but there is no respite from construction activity as work continues on new buildings and upgraded roadways in preparation for the start of fall semester next month.

Millions of dollars of construction work continue on three major projects and another will start this fall.

And $10 million of renovation work is also proceeding at the Miami University Hamilton campus to renovate a nursing innovation hub for students learning in University Hall.