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

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


Defense requests early probation release for Brooke Skylar Richardson, Carlisle woman convicted of abusing baby’s corpse

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Brooke Skylar Richardson, the Carlisle teen charged with aggravated murder for the death of her infant found buried in the back yard, appeared in Warren County Court with her defense attorney Charles M. Rittgers, for pretrial hearing, Wednesday, Sept. 27, 2017 in Lebanon. NICK GRAHAM / STAFF

Brooke Skylar Richardson, the Carlisle teen charged with aggravated murder for the death of her infant found buried in the back yard, appeared in Warren County Court with her defense attorney Charles M. Rittgers, for pretrial hearing, Wednesday, Sept. 27, 2017 in Lebanon. NICK GRAHAM / STAFF

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Brooke Skylar Richardson, the Carlisle teen charged with aggravated murder for the death of her infant found buried in the back yard, appeared in Warren County Court with her defense attorney Charles M. Rittgers, for pretrial hearing, Wednesday, Sept. 27, 2017 in Lebanon. NICK GRAHAM / STAFF

Attorneys for a Carlisle woman convicted last year of abusing the body of her baby girl whom she buried in her parents' backyard are asking for an early release from community control.

Brooke Skylar Richardson, now 21, was convicted by a Warren County jury in September 2019 of the fifth-degree felony in the death of her baby girl on May 7, 2017. Richardson gave birth to the baby in secret and buried her in the backyard.

She was acquitted on charges of aggravated murder, involuntary manslaughter and child endangering following months of litigation and a lengthy trial.

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What would a second restaurant shutdown mean in Butler County? ‘That just blows all those dollars out the window’

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The Casual Pint Hamilton, 130 Riverfront Plaza, has opened a tent to expand its capacity as a way to serve customers through the winter. NICK GRAHAM/STAFF

The Casual Pint Hamilton, 130 Riverfront Plaza, has opened a tent to expand its capacity as a way to serve customers through the winter. NICK GRAHAM/STAFF

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The Casual Pint Hamilton, 130 Riverfront Plaza, has opened a tent to expand its capacity as a way to serve customers through the winter. NICK GRAHAM/STAFF

A day after Gov. Mike DeWine gave a stern warning that more business closures could be coming if coronavirus spread doesn’t slow, Butler County business owners and officials expressed their fears and concerns.

Ann Marie Cilley, the owner of the Casual Pint in Hamilton, said that if DeWine forces bars and restaurants to shut down again, it will devastate her employees right before the holidays.

Cilley, a chemical engineer and works full-time for Goodyear, said the science doesn’t support shutting down bars like hers, and restaurants.

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New director continues serving families at Hamilton Boys & Girls Club

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Boys & Girls Club of Hamilton Executive Director Angela Pontious

Credit: Provided

Boys & Girls Club of Hamilton Executive Director Angela Pontious

Credit: Provided

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Boys & Girls Club of Hamilton Executive Director Angela Pontious

Credit: Provided

Credit: Provided

Angela Pontious wants to continue “the great things” pushed by her successor at the Boys & Girls Club of Hamilton, but the new executive director said one of her goals is to build community relationships.

Pontious started last week as the Hamilton nonprofit’s new executive director, taking over for Karen Miller, who retired in August. She said she wants to “make sure the community knows who we are and how we are here to support kids.”

Pontious lives in Hamilton with her husband, Mark, and their three children. She relocated to southwest Ohio in 2014, and she most recently worked for Miami University with the school’s Opening Minds through Art program and the Center for Career Exploration and Success.

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Area lawmakers want more charges for rioting and looting following Columbus protests

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Ohio Rep. Sara Carruthers, R-Hamilton.

Credit: Provided

Ohio Rep. Sara Carruthers, R-Hamilton.

Credit: Provided

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Ohio Rep. Sara Carruthers, R-Hamilton.

Credit: Provided

Credit: Provided

A pair of southwest Ohio lawmakers want to strengthen the laws in situations that involve riots or looting with a new criminal charge while protecting the First Amendment rights of peaceful protestors.

State Reps. Sara Carruthers, R-Hamilton, and Cindy Abrams, R-Harrison, introduced House Bill 784 this week that would create a new riot assault charge if a person engaged in an aggravated riot recklessly causes physical harm that is punishable by a fifth-degree felony. Charges would elevate to a fourth-degree felony if the alleged assault is against a law enforcement officer and a third-degree felony if the law enforcement officer is seriously injured.

The bill also increases penalties for vandalizing property and obstructing roadways during a disorderly assembly.

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Church, homeless advocates start food trailer for Butler County

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Volunteers from a church-based homeless shelter will use this food trailer to serve the homeless and less fortunate starting Nov. 16 at First United Methodist Church, 120 S. Broad St. The trailer was donated to Serving Homeless Alternate Lodging Of Middletown (SHALOM). SUBMITTED PHOTO

Volunteers from a church-based homeless shelter will use this food trailer to serve the homeless and less fortunate starting Nov. 16 at First United Methodist Church, 120 S. Broad St. The trailer was donated to Serving Homeless Alternate Lodging Of Middletown (SHALOM). SUBMITTED PHOTO

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Volunteers from a church-based homeless shelter will use this food trailer to serve the homeless and less fortunate starting Nov. 16 at First United Methodist Church, 120 S. Broad St. The trailer was donated to Serving Homeless Alternate Lodging Of Middletown (SHALOM). SUBMITTED PHOTO

A Butler County church and a homeless organization are partnering to reinstate a weekly free breakfast program.

Due to the coronavirus pandemic, Middletown’s First United Methodist Church, 120 S. Broad St., suspended its weekly Monday morning “Breakfast Club” that operated for nearly three decades, said Pastor John Wagner.

He said many of the church volunteers are older and it wasn’t safe for them to serve people in close quarters.

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

Coronavirus: 18 Butler County schools or districts reported new cases this week

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Officials at Ross Schools announced Tuesday an "alarming rate" of students testing positive for the coronavirus is forcing the high school to switch to a hybrid class schedule into mid-January. (File Photo\Journal-News)

Credit: HANDOUT

Officials at Ross Schools announced Tuesday an "alarming rate" of students testing positive for the coronavirus is forcing the high school to switch to a hybrid class schedule into mid-January. (File Photo\Journal-News)

Credit: HANDOUT

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Officials at Ross Schools announced Tuesday an "alarming rate" of students testing positive for the coronavirus is forcing the high school to switch to a hybrid class schedule into mid-January. (File Photo\Journal-News)

Credit: HANDOUT

Credit: HANDOUT

The state of Ohio reported its weekly data on coronavirus cases in schools on Thursday.

Here’s a look at which districts and schools in Butler County reported new cases in the past week:

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