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

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Fatal crash on US 127 near Morganthaler Road

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


Victim ID’d in fatal crash involving steel coil falling from truck in Butler County

A person was killed this morning in a crash on U.S 127 in St. Clair Twp. when a steel coil from a semi fell on a vehicle. NICK GRAHAM/STAFF
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A person was killed this morning in a crash on U.S 127 in St. Clair Twp. when a steel coil from a semi fell on a vehicle. NICK GRAHAM/STAFF

A 33-year-old Seven Mile man has been identified by the Butler County Coroner’s Office as the person who died Wednesday when his SUV was hit by steel coil that fell from a semi-tractor trailer.

Blake A. Mulder, of North Main Street, was killed when his Ford Edge was hit by a steel coil as he drove south on U.S. 127 in St. Clair Twp. He died of multiple traumatic injuries and his death was ruled an accident, according to the coroner’s office.

The crash that happened about 6:20 a.m. on U.S. 127 near Morganthaler Road, closed the busy road for about eight hours.

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Attorney General’s office joins investigation into Butler County auditor

Butler County Auditor Roger Reynolds speaks on Monday about the bill Ohio Reps. Brigid Kelly, D-Cincinnati, and George Lang, R-West Chester Twp., introduced this month to address fuel quality standards in Ohio. Ohio is one of three states that do not test for fuel quality. MICHAEL D. PITMAN/STAFF
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Butler County Auditor Roger Reynolds speaks on Monday about the bill Ohio Reps. Brigid Kelly, D-Cincinnati, and George Lang, R-West Chester Twp., introduced this month to address fuel quality standards in Ohio. Ohio is one of three states that do not test for fuel quality. MICHAEL D. PITMAN/STAFF

The investigation into whether County Auditor Roger Reynolds has done anything wrong in trying to get $1 million in public funds for mandated road improvements to facilitate the sale of his father’s property has broadened with the Ohio Attorney General’s Office joining the probe.

Butler County Sheriff Richard Jones announced Friday that Attorney General Dave Yost “has assigned investigators with the Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation (BCI) to assist with this criminal investigation.”

Jones began investigating Reynolds in August for his alleged involvement in trying to get $1 million in public funds for mandated road improvements to facilitate the sale of his father’s property for a senior living development in West Chester Twp.

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Butler County schools pass 1,000 COVID-19 student cases this academic year

Area school leaders say they continue to closely work with local and county health officials as they report and monitor the overall rising numbers of coronavirus variant cases in Butler and Warren counties – as well as across Ohio. It’s literally a day-by-day situation of high vigilance, say Butler and Warren county  school officials. (File Photo\Journal-News)
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Area school leaders say they continue to closely work with local and county health officials as they report and monitor the overall rising numbers of coronavirus variant cases in Butler and Warren counties – as well as across Ohio. It’s literally a day-by-day situation of high vigilance, say Butler and Warren county school officials. (File Photo\Journal-News)

Butler County schools and districts reported more than 330 new COVID-19 cases among students in the previous week.

The Ohio Department of Health reports cases among students and staff each Thursday from the previous week, and Butler County passed 1,000 student cases this school year in Thursday’s report. There have now been 1,039 cases among students and 172 cases among staff members.

The county’s largest district, Lakota, had the most new student cases in Thursday’s report, with 65, which is about 40% of the 164 student cases reported this year for the district. The other districts reporting the most student cases on Thursday included Fairfield (50), Hamilton (42), Monroe (33) and Ross (26).

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Monroe considers ‘short-term’ safety measures at dangerous Ohio 63 intersection

Members of Monroe City Council are expected to discuss safety issues at the corner of Ohio 63/Main Street during Tuesday's meeting. Two people were killed in the intersection recently. NICK GRAHAM/STAFF
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Members of Monroe City Council are expected to discuss safety issues at the corner of Ohio 63/Main Street during Tuesday's meeting. Two people were killed in the intersection recently. NICK GRAHAM/STAFF

Monroe City Council is considering following the recommendations of a safety study by adding left-turn only signals at the city’s busiest intersection and flashing lights that warn approaching motorists about the traffic lights.

Manager Bill Brock told council Tuesday night that three suggestions were made to the city following the safety study: wait for a full study before committing to capital improvements; make short-term safety improvements, then conduct full study; or make medium-term safety and capacity improvements, then full study.

The first option would cost the city no money but wouldn’t immediately address the safety concerns, Brock said. The second option would cost Monroe about $65,000 to change the lights and the third option would cost about $500,000 in capital improvements.

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Fairfield offers PayPal, Venmo for easier utility payments

Fairfield plans to use a recently completed market study on the northern Ohio 4 corridor (Nilles Road to the city limits) to improve its marketability in both the residential and business sectors. Pictured is the corridor just south of the city limits with Hamilton. MICHAEL D. PITMAN/STAFF
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Fairfield plans to use a recently completed market study on the northern Ohio 4 corridor (Nilles Road to the city limits) to improve its marketability in both the residential and business sectors. Pictured is the corridor just south of the city limits with Hamilton. MICHAEL D. PITMAN/STAFF

Credit: Michael D. Pitman

Credit: Michael D. Pitman

Fairfield has made it easier for residents to pay their utility bills with the city.

In addition to paying water and sewer bills with a credit card or e-check, they can now pay them with PayPal and Venmo.

“Basically, it’s to give our residents as many options as possible, convenience to pay their bill in whatever way it works best for them,” said Fairfield Finance Director Jake Burton.

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

Miami University repeats as a top 50 school in latest national rankings

Earning national rankings in a variety of national academic measurements is nothing new to Miami University. But recently coming in second – right behind internationally acclaimed Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) – was a welcomed surprise, say Miami officials. Pictured are students studying in Miami's Department of Computer Science and Software Engineering. (Provided Photo\Journal-News)
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Earning national rankings in a variety of national academic measurements is nothing new to Miami University. But recently coming in second – right behind internationally acclaimed Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) – was a welcomed surprise, say Miami officials. Pictured are students studying in Miami's Department of Computer Science and Software Engineering. (Provided Photo\Journal-News)

Credit: Jeff Sabo

Credit: Jeff Sabo

A national rating system of universities has again picked Miami University as a top 50 school in America.

Coming in for a second consecutive year at number 46, Miami continues to add to its annual tradition of garnering national recognition for both the school and various academic aspects offered at the university.

“We are honored to be recognized in these newest rankings,” said Miami University President Gregory Crawford in a released statement following the recent publication of the annual U.S. News & World Report’s university ratings.

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