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:


Middletown’s Kayla Harrison dominates to add second MMA title, another $1 million to her resume

Kayla Harrison didn’t waste time collecting her second Professional Fighters League title and second $1 million check.

Harrison, of Middletown, dominated Taylor Guardado with a arm submission in the second round of their championship bout late Wednesday night at the Seminole Hard Rock Casino in Hollywood, Fla.

Harrison also won the 2019 PFL title and last season was cancelled due to the coronavirus pandemic.

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Lakota parent, sheriff’s deputy sues school board for freedom of speech violation

Brian Oswald, pictured standing before the audience at the Sept. 27, 2021, Lakota School Board meeting, claims the board violated his freedom of speech by stopping him from addressing parents of the district. School board policy states all commenters must address the presiding officer of the board. SCREEN CAPTURE/YOUTUBE.COM
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Brian Oswald, pictured standing before the audience at the Sept. 27, 2021, Lakota School Board meeting, claims the board violated his freedom of speech by stopping him from addressing parents of the district. School board policy states all commenters must address the presiding officer of the board. SCREEN CAPTURE/YOUTUBE.COM

Credit: Provided

Credit: Provided

A Butler County sheriff’s deputy and Lakota school district parent claims the board violated his freedom of speech rights by cutting him off and having him removed from the public business meeting.

He is seeking $500,000 from the school district, plus court costs, attorney fees and damages, according to the lawsuit filed in U.S. District Court of Southern Ohio.

On Sept. 27, Brian Oswald planned to speak about Lakota’s mask mandate, but instead of addressing the board, he turned and addressed the parents and attendees in the audience. He was cut off three times by school board president Kelley Casper, who issued two warnings for him to address the board. After the third time he failed to address the board, Casper asked a deputy sheriff to remove Oswald from the room.

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Hamilton Main Street business owners worry about city potentially buying retail complex

Scattering Joy Craft Boutique on Main Street in Hamilton has hearts on the window like many businesses in Butler County showing support for the community during the coronavirus pandemic Monday, April 6, 2020. NICK GRAHAM/STAFF
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Scattering Joy Craft Boutique on Main Street in Hamilton has hearts on the window like many businesses in Butler County showing support for the community during the coronavirus pandemic Monday, April 6, 2020. NICK GRAHAM/STAFF

Owners of businesses in one of Main Street’s more distinctive retail/office complexes showed up Wednesday at Hamilton City Council, concerned a proposed city purchase will force out 11 businesses inside.

The 11 businesses are located in the two buildings on the north side of the 500 block of Main Street, which look like one structure, the business owners said. The shops include Moondog’s Incense and Things, Silkworm Tattoo, and Scattering Joy Crafts Boutique, which opened two weeks before the COVID-19 pandemic hit.

Michael Larkin, owner of Moondog’s, said the businesses have been told Hamilton city government plans to buy and tear down the complex, and replace it with one or more businesses.

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New Dorothy Lane Market in Mason to anchor $150 million development

Wednesday morning, DLM announced plans for its first greater Cincinnati grocery store to be located in the City of Mason as a part of a new $150 million mixed-use planned community. The site is located at the corner of Mason-Montgomery and Western Row Roads—formerly the Western Row Golf Course.
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Wednesday morning, DLM announced plans for its first greater Cincinnati grocery store to be located in the City of Mason as a part of a new $150 million mixed-use planned community. The site is located at the corner of Mason-Montgomery and Western Row Roads—formerly the Western Row Golf Course.

Credit: CONTRIBUTED

Credit: CONTRIBUTED

Mason is a destination location for world-class roller coasters, professional tennis, innovation and soon a gourmet grocery.

Dayton-based Dorothy Lane Market announced plans on Wednesday to enter the greater Cincinnati market to build its fourth location as part of a $150 million mixed-use planned community at the corner of Mason-Montgomery and Western Row roads, where the Western Row golf course was formerly located.

“We’re very excited by the prospect of joining the Mason community,” said DLM owner Norman Mayne. “For over 70 years, we’ve been serving customers in Dayton, but also many who come to us from the Greater Cincinnati area. We’ve been searching for years for the right place for a store there. We feel fortunate to have found this excellent location in Mason. It’s been great to work with the City of Mason and we already feel at home there.”

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Butler County names new health commissioner

Erik Balster is the new health commissioner for the Butler County General Health District. PHOTO CREDIT: WRIGHT STATE UNIVERSITY
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Erik Balster is the new health commissioner for the Butler County General Health District. PHOTO CREDIT: WRIGHT STATE UNIVERSITY

Credit: Provided/Wright State University

Credit: Provided/Wright State University

Butler County’s newest health commissioner will leave a similar position in Preble County.

The Butler County Board of Health recently voted to appoint Erik Balster as the Butler County Health Commissioner beginning Nov. 29. He succeeds Jennifer Bailer, who retired at the end of August. Dr. Michelle Burch, a pediatrician and medical director for the health district, has been the interim commissioner since Bailer left.

“We are enthusiastic about starting this next chapter with Erik leading the health district out of the pandemic,” said Leon Simpson, president of the Butler County Board of Health. “Public health officials throughout the state speak high praise for Erik and we look forward to him bringing his experience to Butler County.”

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

Area school leaders reviewing impact of state’s new student quarantine options

Badin players on the bench are masked up during their game against Fenwick Friday, Dec. 11, 2020 at Badin High School in Hamilton. Badin won 55-45. NICK GRAHAM / STAFF
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Badin players on the bench are masked up during their game against Fenwick Friday, Dec. 11, 2020 at Badin High School in Hamilton. Badin won 55-45. NICK GRAHAM / STAFF

Credit: Nick Graham

Credit: Nick Graham

Area school officials are still reviewing recently released state quarantine guidelines but early reactions show many welcome the changes as key to keeping more students in school.

But one local superintendent criticized state health officials as continuing to put local school systems under pressure of making medical policies in battling the spread of the coronavirus.

Since the onset of the pandemic quarantining of students due to their proximity to classmates who tested positive for the coronavirus has forced many out of live classroom learning, disrupting their education and playing havoc with school family schedules.

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