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

The owner of the Towne Mall Galleria in Middletown has signed a contract with K1 Speed go kart racing to open a location at the mall similar to this one in SUBMITTED PHOTO

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The owner of the Towne Mall Galleria in Middletown has signed a contract with K1 Speed go kart racing to open a location at the mall similar to this one in SUBMITTED PHOTO

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


Mall owners sign contract to bring indoor go-kart racing to Middletown as part of $100 million redevelopment

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The owner of the Towne Mall Galleria in Middletown has signed a contract with K1 Speed go kart racing to open a location at the mall similar to this one in SUBMITTED PHOTO

The owner of the Towne Mall Galleria in Middletown has signed a contract with K1 Speed go kart racing to open a location at the mall similar to this one in SUBMITTED PHOTO

Combined ShapeCaption
The owner of the Towne Mall Galleria in Middletown has signed a contract with K1 Speed go kart racing to open a location at the mall similar to this one in SUBMITTED PHOTO

Those in the region looking for entertainment opportunities, especially for youth, may have another option in Middletown.

The owners of the Towne Mall Galleria, located at Exit 32 off I-75, have signed a contract with a major electric go-kart company to bring indoor racing to the complex. Middletown City Manager Jim Palenick made the announcement Thursday morning during the inaugural Economic Development breakfast held at the Middletown Regional Airport.

K1 Speed indoor go-kart racing has 55 locations worldwide and George Ragheb, the California-based investor who owns the mall, has signed a 40-mile exclusive contract, Palenick said.

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Bicycle rider killed in crash this morning in West Chester

ajc.com

A bicyclist is dead after a crash on Muhlhauser Road early this morning in West Chester Twp.

Emergency crews were called just before 5:30 a.m. to the crash involving a bicyclist and a car on Muhlhauser Road at International Boulevard. The Butler County coroner was called to the scene and the driver is cooperating with police, according to township spokeswoman Barb Wilson.

She said they don’t have any further details but Muhlhauser Road is still closed between Allen Road and International Boulevard.

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Butler County lawmaker says blocked crossing bill designed to get railroad company ‘attention’

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Ohio Rep. Thomas Hall, R-Madison Twp., (at podium) and Ohio Rep. Jessica Miranda, D-Forest Park, (behind Hall) are seeking to pass legislation that would hold railroads accountable for blocking crossings for long periods of time. PROVIDED PHOTO

Credit: Provided

Ohio Rep. Thomas Hall, R-Madison Twp., (at podium) and Ohio Rep. Jessica Miranda, D-Forest Park, (behind Hall) are seeking to pass legislation that would hold railroads accountable for blocking crossings for long periods of time. PROVIDED PHOTO

Credit: Provided

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Ohio Rep. Thomas Hall, R-Madison Twp., (at podium) and Ohio Rep. Jessica Miranda, D-Forest Park, (behind Hall) are seeking to pass legislation that would hold railroads accountable for blocking crossings for long periods of time. PROVIDED PHOTO

Credit: Provided

Credit: Provided

Ohio Rep. Thomas Hall said he didn’t want to “go down this legislative route,” but he said railroads need to be held accountable for blocking crossings for long periods of time.

And House Bill 361 is designed “to get the railroad’s attention,” the Madison Twp. Republican said.

While other bills designed to fine railroads for blocking railroad crossings have been thrown out in federal court, Hall said he and Rep. Jessica Miranda, D-Forest Park, tried to draft a bill “that is not arguably protected federally by the statutes.”

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Several Butler County businesses get property value reductions due to COVID

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Liberty Center is a mixed-used business, retail and living complex in Liberty Township. NICK GRAHAM / STAFF

Credit: Nick Graham

Liberty Center is a mixed-used business, retail and living complex in Liberty Township. NICK GRAHAM / STAFF

Credit: Nick Graham

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Liberty Center is a mixed-used business, retail and living complex in Liberty Township. NICK GRAHAM / STAFF

Credit: Nick Graham

Credit: Nick Graham

While the coronavirus pandemic hit everyone hard, there are ways for businesses to recover, but not many Butler County businesses have chosen the state-sanctioned property value reduction route.

The Butler County Board of Revision received 21 applications totaling around $103.3 million to cut property values, based on a new state law that allows reduced values due to the negative impact of the pandemic. The largest came from Liberty Center with a $60 million reduction request.

The owners of the mega mixed use development had their hearing with the BOR Thursday and a decision will be made in about two weeks, according to Mike Gildea, an appraiser with the Butler County Auditor’s Office.

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Some Hamilton offices possibly in historic CSX station? Spooky Nook?

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Hamilton officials are considering selling the city-government tower at 345 High St. as a way to raise money for the Spooky Nook at Champion Mill indoor sports complex and other projects. NICK GRAHAM/STAFF

Hamilton officials are considering selling the city-government tower at 345 High St. as a way to raise money for the Spooky Nook at Champion Mill indoor sports complex and other projects. NICK GRAHAM/STAFF

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Hamilton officials are considering selling the city-government tower at 345 High St. as a way to raise money for the Spooky Nook at Champion Mill indoor sports complex and other projects. NICK GRAHAM/STAFF

Hamilton City Hall is willing to think outside Hamilton City Hall when it comes to where its employees will have offices in the future. Spooky Nook Sports at Champion Mill, perhaps? The historic train station the city is paying to move several blocks north along Martin Luther King Boulevard?

Those and other options are possible. In fact, some city offices — economic development and finance —recently moved out of the seven-story city government tower at 345 High St., as companies within the tower continue to expand.

Asked this week about a rumor that city government might move some city offices out of its government tower at 345 High St. to the under-construction Spooky Nook Sports Champion Mill indoor sports complex and convention center, City Manager Joshua Smith responded: “That would be sweet! I am not aware of any such discussions. I was thinking about the train depot as possible space, as 80 Acres and ODW Logistics continue to expand.”

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

Late-season surge lands Fairfield a home playoff game: ‘It’s a huge deal for us’

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Fairfield's Jordan Jackson carries the ball during their football game against Lakota West Friday, Oct. 1, 2021 at Lakota West High School in West Chester Township. Lakota West won 42-10. NICK GRAHAM / STAFF

Credit: Nick Graham

Fairfield's Jordan Jackson carries the ball during their football game against Lakota West Friday, Oct. 1, 2021 at Lakota West High School in West Chester Township. Lakota West won 42-10. NICK GRAHAM / STAFF

Credit: Nick Graham

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Fairfield's Jordan Jackson carries the ball during their football game against Lakota West Friday, Oct. 1, 2021 at Lakota West High School in West Chester Township. Lakota West won 42-10. NICK GRAHAM / STAFF

Credit: Nick Graham

Credit: Nick Graham

Four weeks ago, Fairfield High School looked like a team still rebuilding. A few adjustments flipped a switch for a late-season surge, and now the Indians are hosting a playoff game.

After losing four of the first six games and having to cancel in Week 2 because of COVID protocols, the Indians (5-4) turned things around and finished with three straight wins.

The reward was big. They are set to play Mason (4-6) on Friday in a Division I, Region 4 opener at Fairfield Alumni Stadium.

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