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:

New bar and restaurant coming to entertainment complex in West Chester

An entertainment complex, complete with a full kitchen and bar, is planned for the Union Center Pavilion Shopping Center in West Chester.

Lori’s Roadhouse, a 24,000-square-foot venue that eventually will include a 5,000-square-foot patio, will be located adjacent to the West Chester Antique Center, 4924 Union Center Pavilion Drive.

Greg Fisher, owner of JTF Construction of Fairfield and co-owner of Lori’s Roadhouse, said the renovation of the building will cost about $1.4 million.


Butler County fireworks: Where to see shows this weekend

Credit: Robert Leifheit

Credit: Robert Leifheit

Fireworks will light up the sky this weekend from Fairfield and Liberty Twp. to Oxford.

The city of Fairfield will be one of the few communities not hosting events around its July 3 fireworks show because it’s having one of the higher shows around the county.

“Mid-May is when we were told the restrictions were going to be lifted, and unfortunately, we planned the same event as last year with the fallout zone being bigger — with the bigger shells ― that really restricted us being able to plan any activities at Harbin Park,” said Fairfield Parks and Recreation Director Tiphanie Mays.


Butler County swimmer headed to Tokyo Olympics: Meet Zach Apple

Zach Apple didn’t expect to the make the United States swim team for the 2016 Summer Olympics, but that doesn’t mean he was comfortable sitting in the stands watching the qualifiers celebrate on the deck.

Making up for falling short stayed on the Edgewood High School graduate’s mind over the next five years, so much so that he changed the lock screen on his cellphone to display the 2020 Tokyo Summer Olympics logo.

“Something just didn’t feel right,” Apple said Thursday morning. “I was just an onlooker. Since then, it was a really big goal. It’s been an ongoing journey.”


4 months later: Fund for siblings of Middletown 6-year-old James Hutchinson continues to grow

Credit: Dan Sewell

Credit: Dan Sewell

Four months after a Middletown boy was allegedly killed by his mother and disposed of in the Ohio River, people continue to donate to a memorial fund established by Middletown officials.

The Middletown City School District, Middletown Police Department, the City of Middletown and local faith-based support groups opened the “James You Are Loved” Memorial Fund at First Financial Bank in March just a few days after 6-year-old James Hutchinson was killed, allegedly when his mother Brittany Gosney ran over him while in the process of abandoning three children at a Preble County nature park.

The purpose of the fund is to provide monetary support for James Hutchinson’s two siblings, Rachel and Lucas. All donations received will go to the siblings. The proceeds will not be used for funeral expenses, as the arrangements have been donated if and when the boy’s body is found, officials said.


Miami University professor dies after fall from mountain peak in Alaska park

A 52-year-old Ohio man died after he fell off the peak of a mountain in a national park.

David Shrider fell 150 feet Friday down the slope of Donoho Peak in Wrangell-St. Elias National Park and Preserve near Kennecott, the Wrangell-St. Elias National Park & Preserve said in a news release Saturday.

Just before the fall, “a family member in the hiking group reported that he asked for help and then rolled approximately 150 feet down a slope. When a member of the group found him, he was dead. His son, who was a member of the party, called 911,” the park said.


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

Hamilton health commissioner warns about still-present COVID-19 and Delta variant

People are becoming more relaxed about COVID-19, but Hamilton Health Commissioner Kay Farrar this week urged residents to be vaccinated to help prevent creation of new “variants” of the disease.

One variant is 60 percent more contagious than the original coronavirus, she said.

Parents of children under age 12, who cannot be vaccinated, “should be vigilant as adults, and protect those children from the unvaccinated population,” she said.