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

A group gathered to rally against mandatory masks in front of the Lakota Schools Board of Education office in Liberty Township Tuesday, Aug. 17, 2021. NICK GRAHAM / STAFF
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A group gathered to rally against mandatory masks in front of the Lakota Schools Board of Education office in Liberty Township Tuesday, Aug. 17, 2021. NICK GRAHAM / STAFF

Credit: Nick Graham

Credit: Nick Graham

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


Protestors gather outside of Lakota headquarters to oppose mandatory student masks

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A group gathered to rally against mandatory masks in front of the Lakota Schools Board of Education office in Liberty Township Tuesday, Aug. 17, 2021. NICK GRAHAM / STAFF

Credit: Nick Graham

A group gathered to rally against mandatory masks in front of the Lakota Schools Board of Education office in Liberty Township Tuesday, Aug. 17, 2021. NICK GRAHAM / STAFF
Caption
A group gathered to rally against mandatory masks in front of the Lakota Schools Board of Education office in Liberty Township Tuesday, Aug. 17, 2021. NICK GRAHAM / STAFF

Credit: Nick Graham

Credit: Nick Graham

Less than 24 hours after southwest Ohio’s largest suburban school system ordered mandatory protective masks for all students, dozens of Lakota school parents protested this morning outside the district’s headquarters.

Lakota’s reversal Monday afternoon of its previous optional mask policy for students and teachers was soon followed by Mason and Middletown school officials making similar announcements for their district and impacting more than 33,000 area students just starting the new school year.

The school district mask edicts come in the wake of a spike in the number of positive cases being detected locally – and nationally - of the coronavirus variant.

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Bond set for man charged with assaulting woman at her Middletown home

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Joshua Speaks MIDDLETOWN DIVISION OF POLICE

Joshua Speaks MIDDLETOWN DIVISION OF POLICE
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Joshua Speaks MIDDLETOWN DIVISION OF POLICE

Bond was set Monday at $100,000 for a Middletown man accused of assaulting a woman at her Central Avenue home.

A Middletown police officer on patrol about 3:10 p.m. Saturday saw a man leave a house in the 3800 block of Central. As the officer passed, he heard the man call out “hey,” and he stopped.

Joshua Speaks said he and his roommate were in a disturbance, according to the police report. Sarah Risner, 42, was found upstairs semi-conscious with facial injuries. She was transported to Atrium Medical Center for treatment of serious injuries.

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Moving Hamilton’s historic train station may be more troublesome than first thought

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Hamilton Mayor Pat Moeller and others want to save the historic CSX station and move it elsewhere, but he is concerned the railroad is preparing to tear it down. NICK GRAHAM/STAFF

Hamilton Mayor Pat Moeller and others want to save the historic CSX station and move it elsewhere, but he is concerned the railroad is preparing to tear it down. NICK GRAHAM/STAFF
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Hamilton Mayor Pat Moeller and others want to save the historic CSX station and move it elsewhere, but he is concerned the railroad is preparing to tear it down. NICK GRAHAM/STAFF

It may be more troublesome and costly to move Hamilton’s historic train station that’s located on the CSX rail line near Martin Luther King Boulevard, City Council was told last week.

The city’s director of engineering, Rich Engle, told council that during a pre-bid meeting with two companies interested in moving the station’s two abandoned buildings, city staff learned there were two options to do so, but they may cost more than originally expected.

The station was built in the 19th century by the Cincinnati, Hamilton & Dayton Railroad and a local history experts said it hosted visits by presidents Abraham Lincoln, Harry S. Truman, Dwight D. Eisenhower, Theodore Roosevelt, Franklin D. Roosevelt and Herbert Hoover.

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Largest Panera franchisee opens new Butler County location

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The Panera Bread, address here, is holding its grand opening at 6 a.m. Wednesday. The restaurant is located near the Shared Harvest Foodbank. SUBMITtED PHOTO

The Panera Bread, address here, is holding its grand opening at 6 a.m. Wednesday. The restaurant is located near the Shared Harvest Foodbank. SUBMITtED PHOTO
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The Panera Bread, address here, is holding its grand opening at 6 a.m. Wednesday. The restaurant is located near the Shared Harvest Foodbank. SUBMITtED PHOTO

The largest franchisee of Panera Bread is opening a Butler County location.

Covelli Enterprises, which owns more than 300 Panera Bread restaurants in eight states, is holding its grand opening at 6 a.m. Wednesday at 5875 Dixie Highway, Fairfield.

The new build is located near Shared Harvest Foodbank and down the street from Jungle Jim’s.

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Vice mayor: Middletown, greatly impacted by opioid crisis, approves ‘grossly inadequate’ settlement

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In this June file photo, Middletown paramedics and police officers responded to a drug overdose. NICK GRAHAM/STAFF

In this June file photo, Middletown paramedics and police officers responded to a drug overdose. NICK GRAHAM/STAFF
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In this June file photo, Middletown paramedics and police officers responded to a drug overdose. NICK GRAHAM/STAFF

During the height of the opioid epidemic, Butler County’s hardest hit city took aggressive steps to combat the drug overdoses.

Middletown implemented a quarterly Heroin Summit meeting under the leadership of then-City Manager Doug Adkins, started a Heroin Response Team and a needle exchange program through the city’s heath department.

“A very proactive approach” is how police Chief David Birk described the city’s strategy.

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

Lebanon vs. Springboro football canceled due to COVID

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Josh Stuart (10), a Springboro linebacker, avoids the tackle of Nick Stotts, as Stuart returns an interception. Stuart returned the interception to Lebanon's 12 yard line with 10:56 left in the third quarter. The turnover set up a Springboro score with a touchdown pass two plays later. The game was hosted by Lebanon High School. After the succesful extra point, it gave Springboro a 7 to 0 lead.

Credit: Ron Alvey

Josh Stuart (10), a Springboro linebacker, avoids the tackle of Nick Stotts, as Stuart returns an interception. Stuart returned the interception to Lebanon's 12 yard line with 10:56 left in the third quarter. The turnover set up a Springboro score with a touchdown pass two plays later. The game was hosted by Lebanon High School. After the succesful extra point, it gave Springboro a 7 to 0 lead.
Caption
Josh Stuart (10), a Springboro linebacker, avoids the tackle of Nick Stotts, as Stuart returns an interception. Stuart returned the interception to Lebanon's 12 yard line with 10:56 left in the third quarter. The turnover set up a Springboro score with a touchdown pass two plays later. The game was hosted by Lebanon High School. After the succesful extra point, it gave Springboro a 7 to 0 lead.

Credit: Ron Alvey

Credit: Ron Alvey

The Lebanon vs. Springboro football game, the season opener, is canceled for Friday night.

Too many Lebanon High School athletes are in quarantine due to COVID-19 to field a team, Lebanon Schools announced Monday.

The Saturday junior varsity game against Springboro High School also is canceled, but the freshman game will be played as scheduled.

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