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

Michael Allen Botts operates a construction company under the name Lionheart Construction LLC.
Michael Allen Botts operates a construction company under the name Lionheart Construction LLC.

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


Hamilton man shot during robbery attempt, police say

ajc.com

A Hamilton man was shot in the leg during a robbery attempt this morning, police said.

Crews responded to the 700 block of South 2nd Street in Hamilton at about 3:30 a.m. today. They found the 55-year-old victim with a gunshot wound to the left leg, according to a police report.

The injuries were described as non-life-threatening.

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Owner of construction company charged after allegedly taking $4,000 and never starting job in Middletown

Michael Allen Botts operates a construction company under the name Lionheart Construction LLC.
Michael Allen Botts operates a construction company under the name Lionheart Construction LLC.

The owner of a construction company turned himself into Middletown police Monday and was charged with fourth-degree felony theft, according to police.

Michael Allen Botts operates a construction company under the name Lionheart Construction LLC. The Middletown Division of Police received a complaint that on Aug. 14, 2020 Botts charged a Middletown resident $4,000 to start a home repair job.

Botts never started the job, and the homeowner couldn’t get the money back, according to police. Several months later, after failed attempts to get the money back, the homeowner filed a police report.

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Weather reduces crowd at Ohio Challenge, then ‘perfect storm’ creates large attendance

Several balloonists perform a balloon glow Saturday night during the 18th annual Ohio Challenge at Smith Park in Middletown. SUBMITTED PHOTO
Several balloonists perform a balloon glow Saturday night during the 18th annual Ohio Challenge at Smith Park in Middletown. SUBMITTED PHOTO

After the balloonists and skydivers were grounded on the first night of the Ohio Challenge at Smith Park, the “perfect storm” the next night created one of the largest crowds in the history of the event, one organizer said.

David Pearce, the event’s treasurer and an organizer, said after Friday’s stormy weather passed, spectators packed the park Saturday night to watch the balloons in flight, a balloon glow, car show, musical performances, “a spectacular” fireworks show, pyrotechnics demonstration by Team Fastrax, a Middletown-based professional skydiving team, and they lined up at the food and beverage booths.

While Pearce won’t have attendance figures until later this week, based on the number of cars, Saturday was one of the busiest nights in the 18 years of the Ohio Challenge. Last year’s event was canceled due to the coronavirus pandemic and the 2018 Ohio Challenge was hampered by wet weather, organizers said.

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Madison hires one of Ohio’s longest-tenured superintendents as new leader

The new leader of the 1,500-student Madison Schools in Butler County is Jeff Staggs, who has worked 17 years as leader of Newcomerstown Schools in northeast Ohio. Staggs, a married father of seven children, will replace former Madison Superintendent Lisa Tuttle-Huff, who resigned to pursue other opportunities. (Provided Photo\Journal-News)
The new leader of the 1,500-student Madison Schools in Butler County is Jeff Staggs, who has worked 17 years as leader of Newcomerstown Schools in northeast Ohio. Staggs, a married father of seven children, will replace former Madison Superintendent Lisa Tuttle-Huff, who resigned to pursue other opportunities. (Provided Photo\Journal-News)

One of Ohio’s longest serving public school superintendents is now the leader of Madison Schools.

Jeff Staggs, former superintendent of Newcomerstown Schools in northeast Ohio, has been hired by the Madison Board of Education to replace Lisa Tuttle-Huff, who announced her resignation earlier this year.

Staggs worked 17 years as superintendent of Newcomerstown Schools in Ohio’s Tuscarawas County.

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New wedding and events center already busy in Butler County, including into 2022

The size of the interior of the Hanover Reserve facility can be seen in this photo taken from the second-floor landing during the opening in May. A table was set as if for a reception or banquet with vendors set up on the right offering food samples and other services. CONTRIBUTED/BOB RATTERMAN
The size of the interior of the Hanover Reserve facility can be seen in this photo taken from the second-floor landing during the opening in May. A table was set as if for a reception or banquet with vendors set up on the right offering food samples and other services. CONTRIBUTED/BOB RATTERMAN

A new wedding and event venue in Hanover Twp. is already busy with bookings through this year and into 2022.

Hanover Reserve Weddings & Events is family-owned by three brothers and their wives with all of them taking an active role in the operation. Extended family has a role in Hanover Reserve, too, with everybody pitching in during construction. Legacy Post and Barn, in Nebraska, was their source for the wood used in the building and family members worked on staining and various other work needed as the building took shape.

“They were helpful getting all the wood we needed and went with changes as construction advanced. We all did our own pieces here. It is a blessing to see people come in and enjoy the place we worked so hard on,” Melanie Barnes said. “We have gotten good feedback. It’s really rewarding.”

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

7 new restaurants, bars and other big projects coming soon to Hamilton

The Billy Yanks bourbon bar on Main Street is nearing completion, with hopes of a late-July opening. NICK GRAHAM/STAFF
The Billy Yanks bourbon bar on Main Street is nearing completion, with hopes of a late-July opening. NICK GRAHAM/STAFF

Several new Hamilton restaurants, bars and businesses have been recently announced.

Here’s a look at some of our latest stories about what’s coming up:

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