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:

Man found dead behind Middletown building ID’d; investigation continues

A 30-year-old man has been identified as the person found dead last week behind a Central Avenue building in Middletown.

Rakeem Jemel Brown of Middletown was found dead about 2:45 p.m. on Wednesday in back of a residence in the 2200 block of Central, according to police and the Butler County Coroner’s Office. Following an autopsy, the cause of death is listed as pending by the coroner’s office.

Detectives are investigating the circumstances leading up to the man’s death that may have been caused by a medical condition or drug use, said Maj. Scott Reeve.


New Farmer’s Collective takes first steps in Hamilton: What it offers

Hamilton florist and flower farmer Mindy Staton has taken her vision of a wholesale market for flowers and farm products two steps closer to reality.

Her aim is to create a marketplace where flower growers and other farmers can sell one day a week to restaurants and floral shops throughout the region, including Cincinnati and Dayton. She says the collective will help farmers connect with buyers of local, fresh products.

On Wednesday, Staton hosted the first collective event at Two Little Buds, at 17 North D St., which will be the collective’s location until a larger, permanent home is found. Staton owns the flower shop in Hamilton with her mother, Alice Francis.


Monroe man’s sentencing set for next month in stabbing death of roommate

A Monroe man is scheduled to be sentenced next month after he was found guilty Friday of the stabbing death of his roommate last May.

Following a five-day trial in Butler County Common Pleas Court, Peyton McFarland was found guilty of murder and felonious assault after stabbing Christopher Hacker to death on May 30 at their Sands Avenue residence.

McFarland, 21, didn’t deny stabbing Hacker with a 7-inch knife that was attached to an ax, but said he acted in self-defense. An argument about dirty dishes in the kitchen sink turned contentious and violent with Hacker receiving a fatal wound.


Man killed, passenger injured in Hamilton motorcycle crash

Credit: File Photo

Credit: File Photo

A man was killed Sunday night in a motorcycle crash in Hamilton.

The single-vehicle crash happened about 7:19 p.m. when Mark Young Jr., 46, of Stewart, Fla., was traveling north on Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd. and struck a curb at Heaton Street, according to Hamilton police Sgt. Rich Burkhardt.

Young and passenger Susan Solomon, 47, of Hamilton, were ejected from the motorcycle. Young was pronounced dead at the scene. Solomon was transported to Fort Hamilton Hospital with incapacitating injuries.


Fairfield native, former Miami basketball player among 2021 NFL Draft hopefuls

Two offensive linemen from the Journal-News coverage area are hoping to hear their names during the 2021 NFL Draft, which starts Thursday and lasts through Saturday.

One seems certain to be picked, likely on Friday night when rounds two and three take place: Jackson Carman of Fairfield.

Carman played tackle in college, and was ranked the No. 1 prospect in the state of Ohio in their class. Carman spurned the Buckeyes in 2018 and went to Clemson instead.


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

Kings Island ends outdoor mask requirement in most cases, but indoor rule remains

Guests visiting Kings Island and Cedar Point this year will no longer be required to don masks outdoors in most situations.

Face coverings won’t be required outdoors unless it is not possible to maintain six feet of social distancing, the park announced today as part of its “extensive coronavirus opening plan” for the 2021 season, which launches May 8 for Gold and Platinum passholders and May 15 to the general public.

“Many of our safety measures remain the same as last season, but some of the differences will be noticeable,” the park said as part of the online announcement.