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

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Trenton's Zach Apple wins gold medal in 4x100 relay

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


Edgewood grad thrills family, friends back in Ohio by winning Olympic gold

Zach Apple of the United States men's 4x100m freestyle relay team celebrates after winning the gold medal at the 2020 Summer Olympics, Monday, July 26, 2021, in Tokyo, Japan. (AP Photo/Martin Meissner)
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Zach Apple of the United States men's 4x100m freestyle relay team celebrates after winning the gold medal at the 2020 Summer Olympics, Monday, July 26, 2021, in Tokyo, Japan. (AP Photo/Martin Meissner)

Credit: Martin Meissner

Credit: Martin Meissner

Everyone who knows Zach Apple stayed up late Sunday night to watch him win Olympic swimming gold in Tokyo.

In Trenton, in the same neighborhood where Apple grew up, his former Edgewood high school coach Ben Johnson watched the 4x100 relay final at home with his family, including his son AyeJay, who grew up swimming with Apple.

As emotional as Johnson was watching the race, which started at 11:05 p.m. in Ohio — 12:05 p.m. Monday in Japan — he wasn’t making a big commotion.

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Land of Illusion manager’s letter: Death of teen ‘time of unimaginable loss and pain’

Mykiara Jones, 14, of Dayton, an incoming freshman at Middletown High School, died Tuesday night, July 20, 2021, in an apparent drowning at a water park in Madison Twp. MIDDLETOWN CITY SCHOOL DISTRICT
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Mykiara Jones, 14, of Dayton, an incoming freshman at Middletown High School, died Tuesday night, July 20, 2021, in an apparent drowning at a water park in Madison Twp. MIDDLETOWN CITY SCHOOL DISTRICT

In an open letter to customers and the Madison Twp. community, the manager of Land of Illusion Aqua Adventure Park said all employees are grieving with the family of a teen girl who died after being pulled from the water at the park last week and offer prayers for “strength at this time of unimaginable loss and pain.”

Mykiara Jones, 14, an incoming freshman at Middletown High School, apparently drowned July 20 while swimming at the Madison Twp. waterpark. She will be buried Tuesday.

Her mother, Erica Richardson, works with special needs students at the Middletown Middle School, a district official said.

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From substitute school janitor to Fairfield business director: Meet Lance Perry

Few have traveled the career path of Lance Perry, who two decades got his first job in a school as a substitute custodian and now has recently started his new position as Fairfield Schools Director of Business Operations. For Perry, the experience on the ground level has proved invaluable, he says, in helping him understand the facility needs of school teachers and staffers. (Photo By Michael D. Clark\Journal-News)
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Few have traveled the career path of Lance Perry, who two decades got his first job in a school as a substitute custodian and now has recently started his new position as Fairfield Schools Director of Business Operations. For Perry, the experience on the ground level has proved invaluable, he says, in helping him understand the facility needs of school teachers and staffers. (Photo By Michael D. Clark\Journal-News)

Fairfield Schools’ new director of business operations knows school buildings from the ground up like few others in top district positions.

That happens when you started working your first job in schools as a substitute custodian two decades ago and then advanced your way to a directorship’s position as Lance Perry has.

Perry, who was hired from the business director’s job at Clermont County’s West Clermont Schools this spring, now oversees the facilities and bus fleet for Fairfield’s 10 schools, 10,000 students and hundreds of teachers.

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25 years, 40,000 births: Mercy Health-Fairfield center passes milestone

A Fairfield doctor who serves as chief medical officer of Bon Secours Mercy Health’s Medical Group recently offered advice to doctors, nurses and social workers across the country about how best to help “long-haul” COVID-19 patients. NICK GRAHAM/STAFF
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A Fairfield doctor who serves as chief medical officer of Bon Secours Mercy Health’s Medical Group recently offered advice to doctors, nurses and social workers across the country about how best to help “long-haul” COVID-19 patients. NICK GRAHAM/STAFF

Credit: Nick Graham

Credit: Nick Graham

The people born at Mercy Health-Fairfield Hospital’s Family Birthing Center in the past quarter century could fill the University of Cincinnati’s Nippert Stadium.

Michele Stokes started working at the birthing center as a young registered nurse with a few years’ experience a few weeks before it opened 25 years ago this month. When she thought about the fact 40,000 infants have been born there since, she said, “Isn’t that crazy?”

Stokes now is the hospital’s director of perioperative and women’s services.

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Butler County restaurant businesses get nearly $19 million in federal aid: Here’s the full list of 59

In this 2011 file photo, Barb Bastin serves breakfast at Hyde’s Restaurant. The Hamilton restaurant has been family run for over 70 years. STAFF FILE PHOTO
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In this 2011 file photo, Barb Bastin serves breakfast at Hyde’s Restaurant. The Hamilton restaurant has been family run for over 70 years. STAFF FILE PHOTO

Nearly 300 area businesses were approved for roughly $57.5 million in federal aid through the U.S. Small Business Administration’s Restaurant Revitalization Fund, according to data released recently.

The $28.6 billion program was created this year by the American Rescue Plan and closed earlier this month. It was intended to support food service businesses — mostly restaurants and bars — that lost revenue during the pandemic.

The Journal-News analyzed the recently released data for a report on the program and which area businesses received funds. Here’s a look at Butler County businesses that received funds:

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

Thefts from vehicles emerge as the top crime in Fairfield

The two Fairfield Police unions and the city of Fairfield have come to an agreement on a new two-year contract, which includes 2.9 percent pay hikes for 2017 and 2018. STAFF FILE PHOTO
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The two Fairfield Police unions and the city of Fairfield have come to an agreement on a new two-year contract, which includes 2.9 percent pay hikes for 2017 and 2018. STAFF FILE PHOTO

For the first time “in a long time,” theft from vehicles is the top property crime in Fairfield.

And Fairfield police spokesman Officer Doug Day said, “It’s a very preventable crime.”

“You take your stuff in, you lock it up,” he said. “You don’t even have to take it in. Put it in the trunk. If they don’t see it and it’s not convenient, they’re not going to try.”

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