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:

‘It sounded like a bomb going off’: Witnesses recount Middletown crash involving stolen car

Two teenage boys were seriously injured Tuesday morning in a Middletown crash that involved a vehicle reported stolen from Trenton.

The crash happened about 4:42 a.m. in the 400 block of Auburn Street, and the vehicle hit a parked car and the porch of a house before bouncing back into the yard, according to Middletown police and residents. Two teenage boys, ages 16 and 18, were injured, and a medical helicopter was called to take one teen to an area hospital.

Middletown Police Chief David Birk said that after talking with Trenton police, detectives learned the Pontiac had been stolen from Trenton. There was no police pursuit at the time of the crash, he said.


Pedestrian killed in Hamilton, woman charged with OVI and leaving the scene

A Hamilton woman has been charged for allegedly fatally striking a pedestrian Wednesday afternoon on Millville Avenue.

Miranda Perry, 28, was walking in the 1300 block of Millville about 2:20 p.m. was hit by a vehicle that fled the scene, according to Hamilton police. She was pronounced dead at the scene.

Officers booked Karen Ann Riegert, 62, into the Butler County Jail a few hours later on charges of aggravated vehicular homicide, failure to stop after an accident and OVI.


Middletown company receives $61 million defense contract

Raytheon Missiles & Defense recently awarded a $61.4 million contract to Magellan Aerospace Corporation for the supply of complex missile fin components that will be manufactured at Magellan’s facility in Middletown.

The assemblies will be manufactured at Magellan’s facility adjacent to the Middletown Regional Airport with deliveries in 2020 through 2024.

According to Magellan officials, the company has participated in the Standard Missile program for more than 20 years, supplying dorsal fins for various configurations, including the SM-3 and SM-6. These defensive missiles provide area defense to the U.S. Military against theater ballistic missiles, aircraft and cruise missiles.


Changing longtime headache Liberty Way interchange is biggest Butler County road project for 2021

The largest road construction project for Butler County this year will be the fix for the often-lamented Liberty Way interchange at Interstate 75, but other large projects are looming.

Butler County Engineer Greg Wilkens said the county will go out for bid soon on the $25 million fix to the decade-old interchange. It rankles officials here that a change is even necessary, since the interchange at Ohio 129 and Interstate 75 since just opened in October 2009. But drivers have reported difficulties merging from Cincinnati Dayton Road to I-75 going east.

“If you’re going over to Mason, you’re going to be straight off the end of (Ohio) 129 into Cox,” Wilkens has said about the solution. “That’s going to be a smoother transition, you won’t get the weave off of 75 coming in there, the 75 traffic will be separated, that’s what’s going to make this work.”


Hamilton Courtyard by Marriott may raise rates to join development zone

The city of Hamilton may add the Courtyard by Marriott to the zone created to foster development surrounding the Spooky Nook Sports Champion Mill project.

City Council last week took a first step toward adding the hotel, whose redevelopment helped spur the city’s downtown, to the Hamilton Community Authority’s “New Community District.”

If it joins the district, the hotel is expected to add a 3% tax to room bills as a way to support the district financially, said City Finance Director Dave Jones.


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

‘More unites us than divides us’: Butler County lawmakers, political leaders react to Biden inauguration



President Joe Biden said during his inaugural speech Wednesday he will usher in a world of unity, and local lawmakers hope he will be true to his word as the nation is politically fractured.

Miami University political science professor John Forren said Biden’s inauguration as the 46th president “is especially powerful” as a symbol of democratic traditions and resiliency in light of the insurrection at the U.S. Capitol just two weeks ago.

“We spend so much time in American politics talking about what divides us, but this gathering where the leaders of both parties come together to celebrate the transfer of power under the law ... is a powerful reminder that much more unites us than divides us,” he said.