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:

Trenton man killed after being hit by train in Middletown

A Trenton man was killed early Wednesday morning when hit by a train at a Middletown crossing, according to police.

Richard Lee Williams, 42, died of multiple traumatic injuries, according to the Butler County Coroner’s Office. His death was ruled an accident.

Officers were called to First Avenue and University Boulevard at 2:09 a.m. for a pedestrian struck on the tracks.


‘He kept running after me’: Shooter in Hamilton fatal incident claimed self-defense in 911 call

A man was shot dead Monday morning by a neighbor who reportedly intervened during an assault on a woman in the 400 block of Seventh Street.

A domestic violence dispute spilled out onto the front yard about 8 a.m., and witnesses saw Robert Allen Hill, 46, assaulting his 48-year-old girlfriend, according to Hamilton police.

Hill threw the woman to the ground and hit her multiple times, the report says. When a man witnessed the assault, he attempted to intervene. Then Hill charged him and he ran, according to police. The man, whom the Journal-News is not identifying because he has not been charged with a crime, turned and shot Hill in the torso.


Oxford resident who has survived two pandemics turns 104 today

In a lifetime spanning two pandemics, Martha Engler will celebrate her 104th birthday today.

A resident of the Knolls of Oxford, she has been a fun-loving person, according to her daughter, Oxford resident Rosie Kilday. Engler was born March 31, 1917 in Oberrimsingen, Germany and her daughter said the fun-loving nature showed up early.

“She was a little dickens,” Kilday said.

Engler was among the German citizens who came to this country as Adolf Hitler’s power increased. In fact, Kilday said her mother arrived here in 1938 with a trunk of clothing but not all of it hers.


Middletown native, former football star appointed Superior Court judge in California

A former standout football player at Middletown High School is making his mark in the judicial arena.

Ryan Wells, a 1998 MHS graduate who later played at Stanford, was appointed last week to be a Superior Court judge by California Gov. Gavin Newsom.

Wells, 40, has served as a senior deputy district attorney at the Fresno County District Attorney’s Office since 2012. He’s part of a special team of prosecutors who handle homicide cases.


Fire causes damage at downtown Hamilton park

A fire early Wednesday caused damage at Marcum Park in Hamilton.

An alarm sounded about 2:45 a.m. at the Dayton Street event park along the Great Miami River. When fire units arrived, they found a lot of smoke, according to Hamilton Fire Investigator Trevor Snider.

Fire was found in a plastic water runoff grate, and it scorched the walls of a garage and restroom area, he said. The melting plastic caused a lot of smoke.


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

Pandemic, weather: Why it might take 120 days to get that new dining room set

Credit: Bill Lackey

Credit: Bill Lackey

Those who ordered furniture in the past year have faced months-long delays brought on by various pandemic-related factors and further worsened by a winter storm.

With Americans spending more time than ever before in their homes during the pandemic, demand for furniture and mattresses has far outpaced supply, nearing an all-time high as consumers invested in interior upgrades, according to Andy Counts, CEO for the American Home Furnishings Alliance, a trade association for U.S. furniture manufacturers and importers.

“Unfortunately, the furniture industry was not deemed an essential business at the federal or state level, so the retailers as well as most factories shut down,” Counts told the Journal-News. “The industry didn’t really get back to business, even though there was huge demand, until May of 2020.”