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

Demolition is happening this week to make progress toward the Rossville Flats complex in Hamilton. It will include about 75 to 80 apartments in the 300 block of Main Street. Frost Factory, which has been a hit at Liberty Center with real-fruit slushies for adults and kids, including alcohol for the adults, signed a lease to open a second location next year on the street level of the complex. Officials say it is the first new construction of apartments in the commercial stretch of Main Street near the Great Miami River in about a century. NICK GRAHAM / STAFF
Caption
Demolition is happening this week to make progress toward the Rossville Flats complex in Hamilton. It will include about 75 to 80 apartments in the 300 block of Main Street. Frost Factory, which has been a hit at Liberty Center with real-fruit slushies for adults and kids, including alcohol for the adults, signed a lease to open a second location next year on the street level of the complex. Officials say it is the first new construction of apartments in the commercial stretch of Main Street near the Great Miami River in about a century. NICK GRAHAM / STAFF

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


Middletown Works decision part of several recent moves by Cleveland-Cliffs: What we know

About 75% of the employees at Middletown Works are vaccinated, according to Cleveland-Cliffs. The employees received a $1,500 incentive to get vaccinated. NICK GRAHAM/STAFF
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About 75% of the employees at Middletown Works are vaccinated, according to Cleveland-Cliffs. The employees received a $1,500 incentive to get vaccinated. NICK GRAHAM/STAFF

Cleveland-Cliffs has idled the coke oven at Middletown Works and spent $775 million buying a scrap business, according to the company and union officials.

Neil Douglas, president of the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers Local Lodge 1943, said the idle coke oven may be torn down because of its age and cost to repair.

The coke oven, which turns coal into metallurgical coke through extreme heat, is nearly 70 years old and the company figured it was cheaper to tear down and possibly replace then make the needed repairs, Douglas said.

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Franklin man accused of offering teen boy money for sex pleads guilty

Michael James Steiner
Caption
Michael James Steiner

Credit: Warren County Jail

Credit: Warren County Jail

A 60-year-old man who police said gave a “bear hug” to a teen boy walking down the street this spring in Franklin and offered to pay him for sex has pleaded guilty.

Michael James Steiner of Franklin pleaded guilty Monday to one count of compelling prostitution, a third-degree felony, before Warren County Common Pleas Judge Timothy Tepe, court records show.

Steiner was booked into the Warren County Jail Monday afternoon following his plea and conviction. He was sentenced to three years of probation and was designated as a Tier 2 sex offender.

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‘I don’t know if abhorrent is a strong enough word’: Butler County man sentenced after years-long child porn case

Trevor Fraley of Madison Twp. was sentenced to a maximum of 35 years in prison Tuesday after pleading guilty to 16 counts of pandering sexually oriented matter involving a minor NICK GRAHAM/STAFF
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Trevor Fraley of Madison Twp. was sentenced to a maximum of 35 years in prison Tuesday after pleading guilty to 16 counts of pandering sexually oriented matter involving a minor NICK GRAHAM/STAFF

Two years after his indictment, a Madison Twp. man pleaded guilty today to 16 counts of child pornography after being initially charged with 101 counts, and he was sentenced to more than three decades in prison.

Trevor Fraley, 26, of Dickey Road, was scheduled to go to trial in August in Butler County Common Pleas Court, but that trial was canceled and a plea and sentencing hearing was held Tuesday.

Fraley, of Dickey Road, pleaded guilty to 16 counts of pandering sexually oriented material involving a child, and Judge Michael Oster Jr. sentenced him to 31 to 35 years in prison. He faced a maximum of 76 to 80 years.

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Hamilton complex including up to 80 apartments making progress with demolitions this week

Demolition is happening this week to make progress toward the Rossville Flats complex in Hamilton. It will include about 75 to 80 apartments in the 300 block of Main Street. Frost Factory, which has been a hit at Liberty Center with real-fruit slushies for adults and kids, including alcohol for the adults, signed a lease to open a second location next year on the street level of the complex. Officials say it is the first new construction of apartments in the commercial stretch of Main Street near the Great Miami River in about a century. NICK GRAHAM / STAFF
Caption
Demolition is happening this week to make progress toward the Rossville Flats complex in Hamilton. It will include about 75 to 80 apartments in the 300 block of Main Street. Frost Factory, which has been a hit at Liberty Center with real-fruit slushies for adults and kids, including alcohol for the adults, signed a lease to open a second location next year on the street level of the complex. Officials say it is the first new construction of apartments in the commercial stretch of Main Street near the Great Miami River in about a century. NICK GRAHAM / STAFF

Demolition is happening this week to make progress toward the Rossville Flats complex in Hamilton.

The project will include about 75 to 80 apartments in the 300 block of Main Street. Frost Factory, which has been a hit at Liberty Center with real-fruit slushies for adults and kids, including alcohol for the adults, signed a lease to open a second location next year on the street level of the complex.

Officials say it is the first new construction of apartments in the commercial stretch of Main Street near the Great Miami River in about a century.

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Operation Pumpkin drew its largest crowd ever to Hamilton, and businesses saw a bump

High Street was closed down and lined with vendors, food trucks, rides, games, pumpkins and more for visitors to enjoy Saturday, Oct. 9, 2021 at Operation Pumpkin in downtown Hamilton. NICK GRAHAM / STAFF
Caption
High Street was closed down and lined with vendors, food trucks, rides, games, pumpkins and more for visitors to enjoy Saturday, Oct. 9, 2021 at Operation Pumpkin in downtown Hamilton. NICK GRAHAM / STAFF

Credit: Nick Graham

Credit: Nick Graham

The unseasonably warm weather, peoples’ desire to be outdoors and the “buzz” in the city attracted record crowds last weekend to the 10th annual Operation Pumpkin in downtown Hamilton.

After the event was scaled back last year due to the coronavirus pandemic, Operation Pumpkin returned to its usual format this year, said Paige Hufford, co-chair of the event with Jason Snyder.

She estimated Saturday’s crowd at 20,000 and close to 40,000 for the three-day event that concluded Sunday night.

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

New Warren County Sheriff’s Office headquarters and jail completed under budget, on time

The new Warren County jail held a ribbon cutting ceremony and open house Tuesday, October 12, 2021. The total size of the jail is 122,000 square feet with 496 beds. MARSHALL GORBY\STAFF
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The new Warren County jail held a ribbon cutting ceremony and open house Tuesday, October 12, 2021. The total size of the jail is 122,000 square feet with 496 beds. MARSHALL GORBY\STAFF

Warren County on Tuesday opened its new $56.5 million jail and sheriff’s office.

About 100 elected officials, county employees, judges, law enforcement officers and guests attended the ceremony that also included a tour of the new facility. Also in attendance was Greene County Sheriff Gene Fischer, whose county is asking voters for a 0.25% sales tax increase to build a new $50 million jail.

Sheriff Larry Sims said the administrative staff has already moved into the building and he expects the jail to be fully operational in the coming weeks when prisoners are moved to the new facility.

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