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

This will be the largest ballroom, which can seat 500-700 people, in the convention center at Spooky Nook Sports Champion Mill. PROVIDED
Caption
This will be the largest ballroom, which can seat 500-700 people, in the convention center at Spooky Nook Sports Champion Mill. PROVIDED

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


Spooky Nook progressing in Hamilton, but plenty of work to go: Here’s the latest

This will be the largest ballroom, which can seat 500-700 people, in the convention center at Spooky Nook Sports Champion Mill. PROVIDED
Caption
This will be the largest ballroom, which can seat 500-700 people, in the convention center at Spooky Nook Sports Champion Mill. PROVIDED

Spooky Nook Sports Champion Mill should be open by April 2022, but the country’s largest indoor sports complex, which also will have a convention center, is a long way from completion, a presentation by its owner showed last week.

Spooky Nook founder Sam Beiler, who operates the original Spooky Nook facility near Lancaster, Pa., told council he is pleased with how construction is progressing now, and every weekend is booked at Spooky Nook from April through August 2022.

Even after the October 2018, groundbreaking, “the challenges were almost stunning sometimes,” Beiler said.

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Trenton man indicted on rape, gross sexual imposition charges

Christopher Kelley Wilhelm, Jr. | Photo courtesy of the Butler County Jail
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Christopher Kelley Wilhelm, Jr. | Photo courtesy of the Butler County Jail

A Trenton man is in the Butler County Jail on charges including gross sexual imposition and rape.

Christopher K. Wilhelm Jr. was indicted by a Butler County grand jury on four counts of rape and one of gross sexual imposition, according to court documents.

Wilhelm is accused of committing gross sexual imposition between September 2017 and August 2019.

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911 caller: ‘We got robbed and shot at’ outside Monroe hotel

ajc.com

A 911 caller said he and another man were robbed, shot at, pistol whipped three times and forced to take off their clothes before their truck was stolen Tuesday morning in a Monroe hotel parking lot.

“We got robbed and shot at,” the caller told a Monroe dispatcher.

He said two men pistol whipped him three times, shot at his head, then stole his truck with California license plates.

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Hamilton hopes to add acceleration lane from Hampshire Drive to westbound Ohio 129

Hamilton officials hope in coming years to build an accelerator lane from Hampshire Drive to westbound 129 at the eastern edge of Hamilton, to reduce crashes. PROVIDED
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Hamilton officials hope in coming years to build an accelerator lane from Hampshire Drive to westbound 129 at the eastern edge of Hamilton, to reduce crashes. PROVIDED

Hamilton is applying for state safety funding for money to add an acceleration lane along westbound Ohio 129 from Hampshire Drive to reduce crashes there.

If the city wins the $1.5 million it is seeking from the Ohio Department of Transportation, the improvements could be made in 2025, Rich Engle, the city’s director of engineering, recently told Hamilton City Council.

The city wants to change the southbound Hampshire Drive to westbound High Street “into a dedicated entry lane” similar to a ramp onto an interstate highway, but straight, so motorists traveling from Hampshire can turn right and reach speeds similar to that of traffic on High/Ohio 129, Engle said.

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Proposed Fairfield water meters would cut need for physical visits

The city of Fairfield is expected to move forward with a project that would install new smart water meters around the city. The city has 13,700 water customers which serves around 44,000 residents. PROVIDED
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The city of Fairfield is expected to move forward with a project that would install new smart water meters around the city. The city has 13,700 water customers which serves around 44,000 residents. PROVIDED

Credit: Provided

Credit: Provided

City water customers are likely to have new water meters installed that will not only be more accurate but eliminate the need for Fairfield employees to physically record their monthly water consumption.

While it could cost upwards of $5 million to install, the city could save and recoup upwards of $625,000 a year with a new advanced metering infrastructure, or AMI, system.

“It’s going to be good for the city but it’s also going to be good for the customers,” said Public Utilities Director Adam Sackenheim. “Those customers, when it’s rolled out, are going to have real-time access to their data so they will be able to monitor water usage, they’ll have the same information the city has.”

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

A new Kroger Marketplace could end West Chester seniors’ plans for gathering space again

The West Chester Twp. trustees sold the West Chester Activity Center on Cox Road where senior programming and meals have been offered for years. The center is in back of the Tylersville Road Kroger and the grocery giant’s landlord has paid $1.8 million for the property.
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The West Chester Twp. trustees sold the West Chester Activity Center on Cox Road where senior programming and meals have been offered for years. The center is in back of the Tylersville Road Kroger and the grocery giant’s landlord has paid $1.8 million for the property.

A deal with Kroger to build a giant Marketplace store that appeared to die last year may be back on, which could dash the hopes of a group of seniors who want dedicated space for them to gather.

West Chester Twp. was all set to sell the former Activity Center for $1.8 million to Regency Centers, which is Kroger’s landlord at the corner of Tylersville and Cox roads, a year ago. The deal fell through but Trustee Lee Wong told the Journal-News “Regency is not dead yet they are coming back again.”

“It’s going to be very strict this time,” Wong said. “Now we know what to do, you’ve got so many days to perform, you don’t have it get out, I’m done with you.”

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