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

A group plays pickleball Friday, July 12 at the Middletown Pickleball Association courts at Lefferson Park in Middletown. The 12th Annual Middletown Senior Pickleball Tournament is August 1-3 and over 270 players from 8 states are registered to play. Free lessons are offered every Wednesday at 6:00 pm for those interested in playing but new to the sport. Paddles and balls are available to use for those that do not have their own. NICK GRAHAM/STAFF

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A group plays pickleball Friday, July 12 at the Middletown Pickleball Association courts at Lefferson Park in Middletown. The 12th Annual Middletown Senior Pickleball Tournament is August 1-3 and over 270 players from 8 states are registered to play. Free lessons are offered every Wednesday at 6:00 pm for those interested in playing but new to the sport. Paddles and balls are available to use for those that do not have their own. NICK GRAHAM/STAFF

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


Record entrants ready for ‘Pickleball Capital of Ohio’ in Middletown this weekend

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Molly Wray returns a volley as she plays pickleball on the Middletown Pickleball Association courts Wednesday, April 7 at Lefferson Park in Middletown. NICK GRAHAM / STAFF

Credit: Nick Graham

Molly Wray returns a volley as she plays pickleball on the Middletown Pickleball Association courts Wednesday, April 7 at Lefferson Park in Middletown. NICK GRAHAM / STAFF

Credit: Nick Graham

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Molly Wray returns a volley as she plays pickleball on the Middletown Pickleball Association courts Wednesday, April 7 at Lefferson Park in Middletown. NICK GRAHAM / STAFF

Credit: Nick Graham

Credit: Nick Graham

Middletown proclaims itself the “Pickleball Capital of Ohio.”

This weekend the city will earn that title as 380 pickleball players from 11 states will play in the 14th annual Middletown Pickleball Tournament at Lefferson Park. The 18 courts are the most in Ohio, said Michell Cook, tournament director.

The field is the largest in the tournament’s history and visitors are expected to pump about $150,000 into the local economy, said Mary Huttlinger, executive director of the Middletown Visitors Bureau.

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West Chester serial robbery suspect arrested after several-day search

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Corey Hilliard Bates

Credit: West Chester Police Department

Corey Hilliard Bates

Credit: West Chester Police Department

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Corey Hilliard Bates

Credit: West Chester Police Department

Credit: West Chester Police Department

A 20-year-old man wanted in a series of armed robberies late last month in West Chester Twp. has been arrested.

Corey Hilliard Bates, who had a felony arrest warrant with a nationwide pickup, was taken into custody Thursday night in Colerain Twp., according to officials.

“Bates is armed and dangerous and is believed to be carrying a black handgun. Anyone who comes into contact with Corey Bates should use extreme caution and contact 911,” police said in a Wednesday evening update.

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MidPointe, Lane libraries end ‘nickel and dimed’ fines in Butler County

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The new MidPointe Library System at Liberty Center will feature a collection of 5,000 items along with a drive-up book return and on-site programming for all ages. ERIC SCHWARTZBERG/STAFF

The new MidPointe Library System at Liberty Center will feature a collection of 5,000 items along with a drive-up book return and on-site programming for all ages. ERIC SCHWARTZBERG/STAFF

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The new MidPointe Library System at Liberty Center will feature a collection of 5,000 items along with a drive-up book return and on-site programming for all ages. ERIC SCHWARTZBERG/STAFF

MidPointe Library System and Lane Libraries, Butler County’s two largest library systems, are joining other leaders in library lending to go “fine free” and eliminate overdue fines.

Travis Bautz, executive director of MidPointe, said eliminating fines improves customer service, increases access for the patrons, and allows library staff to spend more time to perform “essential and valuable engagements” with customers.

Past fines on patron accounts will be forgiven starting this week, he said. Patrons will remain responsible for any fees on their accounts. Fees typically represent charges from items that were lost or damaged.

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Badin hires first mental health counselor to help students cope with COVID-19

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More than 600 students at Badin High School will have to learn remotely from home today after school officials announced a watermain break near the Hamilton campus. (File Photo\Journal-News)

More than 600 students at Badin High School will have to learn remotely from home today after school officials announced a watermain break near the Hamilton campus. (File Photo\Journal-News)

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More than 600 students at Badin High School will have to learn remotely from home today after school officials announced a watermain break near the Hamilton campus. (File Photo\Journal-News)

Badin High School has added a full-time mental health counselor for the first time in its history to help students with the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The move will help students at private Hamilton high school cope with some of the historic stresses of attending classes under the shadow of the virus as the coming school year opens later this month, said school officials.

The new 2021-22 school year will be the third consecutive school year with all or a portion of the calendar conducted during the pandemic since its onset in March 2020.

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Jobs and Family Services, key Butler County department, gets new leadership

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New Butler County Job and Family Services Executive Director Julie Gilbert. GREG LYNCH / STAFF

New Butler County Job and Family Services Executive Director Julie Gilbert. GREG LYNCH / STAFF

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New Butler County Job and Family Services Executive Director Julie Gilbert. GREG LYNCH / STAFF

Interim Butler County Job and Family Services Executive Director Julie Gilbert and interim Children Services Director Shannon Glendon have permanently taken the helms of the county’s critical social services agencies.

The commissioners promoted Gilbert and Glendon on Monday and approved new salaries of $104,083 and $88,441 respectively. The new directors took interim status after JFS Executive Director Bill Morrison retired in May.

He has been grooming the pair to take his place for years, and the commissioners agreed with Morrison that Gilbert, the former BCCS director and Glendon, former assistant JFS director should take over, but the county needed to make sure they had the best so they posted the top slot.

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

PHOTOS: 20 years ago in Butler County in scenes from August 2001

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Verna McDulin, widow of George McDulin and Hamilton Mayor Adolf Olivas unveil an inscription at the entrance to the parking garage. George McDulin was a long-time manager of the garage. John Janco/Journal-News

Verna McDulin, widow of George McDulin and Hamilton Mayor Adolf Olivas unveil an inscription at the entrance to the parking garage. George McDulin was a long-time manager of the garage.
John Janco/Journal-News

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Verna McDulin, widow of George McDulin and Hamilton Mayor Adolf Olivas unveil an inscription at the entrance to the parking garage. George McDulin was a long-time manager of the garage. John Janco/Journal-News

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