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:

Wanted plea issued for Middletown burglary suspect who escaped after police execute search warrant

Middletown police have issued a wanted release via social media for a burglary suspect who apparently escaped Tuesday evening when a search warrant was executed at his Germantown Road house.

The Special Response Team from the Middletown Division of Police responded to a home in the 1700 block of Germantown Road, also Ohio 4.

Michael Bowlin Jr., 30, of Trenton, was arrested without incident and charged with burglary. He is in the Middletown City Jail and is being held in lieu of $50,000 bond set Wednesday at arraignment in Middletown Municipal Court. His father, Michael Bowlin Sr., 50, who was also wanted on a burglary charge, was not found at the house.


Spooky Nook seeing delays because of March building collapse

Construction of the enormous Spooky Nook Sports Champion Mill indoor sports complex is facing construction delays because of the March collapse of a building that will house an indoor soccer-sized field, owner Sam Beiler said Wednesday.

Beiler told the Journal-News delays to the facility’s opening can range from barely noticeable to more significant, depending on how much longer it takes for an insurance company that is investigating the collapse of “Building 500″ in high winds to allow the destroyed building to be carefully disassembled and replaced with a new one.

While Beiler hours after the March 26 collapse told the Hamilton Community Authority he did not expect significant issues with the schedule, he said Wednesday he had not anticipated it taking so long for the insurance company to finish its work. Building 500 is located at the far south end of the project west of B Street, so it’s not within the tangle of other buildings.


Middletown’s N.E.W. Ales Brewing to release new beer in celebration of Pride Month

A Middletown brewery has collaborated with Colorado-based Gold Spot Brewing for a special beer release later this month.

In celebration of Pride Month, N.E.W. Ales Brewing is gearing up to release #alphabetmafia, a new 4.9% ABV pale ale brewed with cascade hops. The new brew will be tapped on-site at N.E.W. Ales Brewing, located at 1521 1st Ave. in Middletown, at 5 p.m. on Friday, June 25.

The release will be just in time for the start of the 3rd annual Middletown Pride celebration. Happening June 25 from 5 p.m. to 11 p.m. in downtown Middletown, the celebration will include live music, the “Color Crawl,” the “High Heel Dash,” and more. For more information on the event, visit the event’s Facebook page.


Juneteenth events in Butler County: Hamilton, Middletown, Miami to host festivities this week

People in Hamilton and Middletown will host first-ever Juneteenth celebrations Saturday, observing the day — June 19, 1865 — slavery universally ended across the country, almost 2½ years after the Emancipation Proclamation was signed.

And Miami University for a second year is closing early, at 2 p.m. on Friday so people can attend a “Teach-In,” and watch a pre-recorded lecture by Dr. Rodney Coates about the day in history that will be available to all for free on the Internet. After the lecture, Coates will host an in-person question-and-answer session for the Miami community from 3:15 to 4 p.m.

“The Juneteenth celebration is definitely one for everyone,” said Candice White, organizer of the event in Hamilton, which will happen from 2 to 7 p.m. Saturday at the Booker T. Washington Community Center, 1140 S. Front St. There will be free hot dogs and juice for children from noon to 2 p.m., plus food trucks with soul food, barbecue, fried pies, a bouncy house for the children, kickball tournament for the adults. There also will be a business expo and community networking, featuring several community organizations that can help people with jobs and other needs.


Butler County collects highest sales tax in at least 14 years: What that means

Sales taxes and other revenues have remained robust in Butler County and across the state in the past few months, but officials say that doesn’t meana spending spree is coming.

The county collected nearly $5 million in sales tax this month, the highest monthly collection since at least 2007, according to the Ohio Department of Taxation. Year-to-date sales tax collections are up $1.5 million, or 8.3%, over last year, and total general fund revenues are 14% higher than a year ago.

Sales tax revenues at the state level are up 14.3% from a year ago, according to the monthly analysis by Kimberly Murnieks, director of the Ohio Office of Budget and Management.


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

Can you help? Police looking for woman missing from Hamilton

The Hamilton Police Department is investigating a report of a missing elderly female with dementia.

Margaret Maynor, 75, was last seen in the 600 Block of Eaton Avenue at about 6 p.m. Wednesday. She was driving an orange 2015 Ford Escape four door SUV with West Virginia license plate DL7137.

Police say Maynor was possibly heading to West Virginia. Maynor is described as white, 5-foot-8 and 200 pounds, with sandy colored hair and brown eyes.

Anyone who sees or has information is asked to call 911.