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

Chris Miller and Rachel Steinman, owners of Pet Wants Hamilton, in their 139 Main St. store, Thursday, Sept. 14, 2017. GREG LYNCH / STAFF

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Chris Miller and Rachel Steinman, owners of Pet Wants Hamilton, in their 139 Main St. store, Thursday, Sept. 14, 2017. GREG LYNCH / STAFF

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


Court docs: Woman killed in Middletown after suspects came to settle $60 marijuana debt

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Karlos Chase Philpot MIDDLETOWN DIVISION OF POLICE

Karlos Chase Philpot MIDDLETOWN DIVISION OF POLICE

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Karlos Chase Philpot MIDDLETOWN DIVISION OF POLICE

A woman is dead and two others suffered gunshot wounds in two shootings at Middletown residences Sunday night.

Angela Combs, 41, was shot about 9 p.m. in an apartment in the 3100 block of Wilbraham Road by suspects who came to the door armed apparently looking for payment of a debt, according to court documents. Combs was transported to Atrium Medical Center, where she died.

A second person, a man who lives at the residence, also received a non-life-threatening gunshot wound.

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‘Enough is enough’: $2.3 million award to build roundabout at dangerous Butler County intersection

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A roundabout will be built at Ohio 122 and Elk Creek Road in Madison Twp., according to the Ohio Department of Transportation. The project is expected to cost about $2.3 million and be completed in 2025. NICK GRAHAM/STAFF

A roundabout will be built at Ohio 122 and Elk Creek Road in Madison Twp., according to the Ohio Department of Transportation. The project is expected to cost about $2.3 million and be completed in 2025. NICK GRAHAM/STAFF

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A roundabout will be built at Ohio 122 and Elk Creek Road in Madison Twp., according to the Ohio Department of Transportation. The project is expected to cost about $2.3 million and be completed in 2025. NICK GRAHAM/STAFF

Saying “enough is enough,” a freshman state representative from Butler County pushed for a roundabout to be built at what he called one of the state’s most dangerous intersections.

The Ohio Department of Transportation announced this week that it awarded $2.3 million for the construction of a single-lane roundabout at Ohio 122 and Elk Creek Road in Butler County. The project, still in the design phase, is slated to begin in 2024 and tentatively be completed by the fall of 2025, according to ODOT officials.

First-year Ohio Rep. Thomas Hall, R-Madison Twp., was a key player in getting this roundabout project funded, according to a release from ODOT. Hall’s father, Kent, is the township’s fire chief, and his mother, Teresa, runs part-time with the township life squad.

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Hamilton pet store and customers donate 3,200 pounds to pet-food pantries

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Arlo is available for adoption at the Animal Friends Humane Society. PROVIDED

Arlo is available for adoption at the Animal Friends Humane Society. PROVIDED

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Arlo is available for adoption at the Animal Friends Humane Society. PROVIDED

Customers of Pet Wants Hamilton and the store itself have combined to donate 3,200 pounds of food to ‘pet-food pantries’ so needy people can continue feeding their dogs and cats.

With the coronavirus pandemic and the economic troubles many face because of it, Rachel Steinman, who owns Pet Wants with her husband, Chris Miller, didn’t want people to choose between paying their rent and electric bill, and having to get rid of beloved animals.

“We knew there were a lot of folks that were struggling out there with them losing their jobs, with them having to make hard decisions on their pets, surrendering them,” she said. “We reflected on that and said, ‘How can we help? What can we do to make a difference?’”

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Franklin police chief retires after decades with department, effective today

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Franklin Police Chief Russ Whitman recently returned from helping Superstorm Sandy victims in Suffolk County, New York. Staff photo by Samantha Grier.

Franklin Police Chief Russ Whitman recently returned from helping Superstorm Sandy victims in Suffolk County, New York. Staff photo by Samantha Grier.

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Franklin Police Chief Russ Whitman recently returned from helping Superstorm Sandy victims in Suffolk County, New York. Staff photo by Samantha Grier.

Franklin police Chief Russ Whitman has retired effective today, city officials announced on Monday night.

Following an executive session that lasted for more than an hour at Monday’s Franklin City Council meeting, council announced approval of a separation memorandum of understanding between the city and Whitman.

“Throughout this community, Chief Whitman is well respected because he selflessly contributes his time and energy to so many worthy causes including Franklin schools and youth athletics,” said City Manager Jonathan Westendorf. “He will be missed by the city, but I know he is looking forward to spending more time with his family.”

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Treasurer: Butler County taxpayers could have ‘sticker shock’ when delayed tax bills arrive

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Nancy Nix, Butler County Treasurer

Nancy Nix, Butler County Treasurer

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Nancy Nix, Butler County Treasurer

Butler County Treasurer Nancy Nix said some taxpayers will have “sticker shock” in a few weeks when they open their tax bills, which have been delayed for several reasons.

Nix told the Journal-News taxpayers usually receive their tax bills in early February, but this year they will be mailed Feb. 15 and are due March 18. The delay is due to the county-wide reassessment and the fight Auditor Roger Reynolds is waging with the state, among other reasons.

She said she is trying to get the word out about both the delay and tax increases in some areas.

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

No more snow days? Coronavirus changes the idea of a day off from school

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Oliver Crabtree, 4, sleds down a hill Monday, February 1, 2021. at Sunset Park in Middletown. NICK GRAHAM / STAFF

Credit: Nick Graham

Oliver Crabtree, 4, sleds down a hill Monday, February 1, 2021. at Sunset Park in Middletown. NICK GRAHAM  / STAFF

Credit: Nick Graham

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Oliver Crabtree, 4, sleds down a hill Monday, February 1, 2021. at Sunset Park in Middletown. NICK GRAHAM / STAFF

Credit: Nick Graham

Credit: Nick Graham

Among the many changes in schools caused by the coronavirus might some wintery day soon also include the fun for kids of the traditional snow day off.

Thousands of students awoke Monday morning to see about two inches of snow on the ground in Butler and southern Warren County.

Some area districts, including Lakota, Mason, Middletown and others, called for a two-hour delay to the start of school, impacting both in-person classes and those learning remotely at home due to altered schedules from the coronavirus threat.

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