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

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


Trenton man admits guilt in fatal January crash that killed ‘Mr. Waynesville’

Lonnie Schear SUBMITTED
Caption
Lonnie Schear SUBMITTED

A Trenton man has admitted to negligently operating his vehicle and causing a crash in January that killed a Waynesville man and seriously injured that man’s wife.

Richard Latino, 36, of the 900 block of Pom Court, pleaded guilty Tuesday in Butler County Common Pleas Court to reduced misdemeanor charges for the Jan. 18 crash in Lemon Twp., according to court records.

Latino was originally indicted for aggravated vehicular homicide, a third-degree felony, and vehicular assault, a fourth-degree felony. He entered guilty pleas to vehicular homicide and vehicular assault, both first-degree misdemeanors.

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Second fire at Butler County motel this month under investigation

Fire crews responded to an early morning fire on Thursday, Oct. 22, 2020, at the Capri Motel on Dixie Highway in Fairfield. The fire remains under investigation. NICK GRAHAM/STAFF
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Fire crews responded to an early morning fire on Thursday, Oct. 22, 2020, at the Capri Motel on Dixie Highway in Fairfield. The fire remains under investigation. NICK GRAHAM/STAFF

Credit: Michael D. Pitman

Credit: Michael D. Pitman

Fire officials are investigating why a room caught fire at the Capri Motel on Dixie Highway, the second time a room caught fire there this month.

Fairfield Assistant Fire Chief Randy McCreadie said crews were dispatched at 1:20 a.m. today for the fire in room 152 after Fairfield police officers noticed it. They were in the area on an unrelated call, he said. It took about a half-hour to extinguish the fire and start the investigation, he said.

In the late morning on Oct. 2, Fairfield and Hamilton crews responded to the motel at 3256 Dixie Highway for a fire in a unit at the back of the building.

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Butler County mailing own ballots after splitting with vendor that had multiple issues

Jim Gau places his ballot in the drop box as his dog, Gunner, sticks his head out of the window at the Butler County Board of Elections Thursday, October 22, 2020 in Hamilton. NICK GRAHAM / STAFF
Caption
Jim Gau places his ballot in the drop box as his dog, Gunner, sticks his head out of the window at the Butler County Board of Elections Thursday, October 22, 2020 in Hamilton. NICK GRAHAM / STAFF

Credit: Nick Graham

Credit: Nick Graham

Election officials in Butler County say they are having no issues printing and mailing absentee ballots in-house since splitting last week with a Cleveland vendor that caused delayed deliveries of ballots in several Ohio counties.

In a video update posted to Facebook, Ohio Secretary of State Frank LaRose said without naming the company that Midwest Direct is “all caught up,” meaning everybody who has requested an absentee ballot has been mailed one.

This comes after the vendor made headlines for delaying the mailing of hundreds of thousands of ballots across Ohio. Midwest Direct cited equipment challenges and an “unparalleled volume” of ballot requests.

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Huge Butler County history collection of ‘First Lady of Fairfield’ to be auctioned this weekend

Items that belonged to the estate of Esther Benzing will be auctioned Saturday on her farm in Fairfield. Auctioneer Mark Mallette called the auction 'dynamite' because of the amount of quality items. SUBMITTED PHOTO
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Items that belonged to the estate of Esther Benzing will be auctioned Saturday on her farm in Fairfield. Auctioneer Mark Mallette called the auction 'dynamite' because of the amount of quality items. SUBMITTED PHOTO

Nearly 200 years of Butler County history will be on the auction block Saturday.

Items that were collected by Esther Benzing, known as the “First Lady of Fairfield,” will be sold Saturday on her farm, 3051 Mack Road. She was a local author, columnist, archivist and “high-end” antique collector, according to a local auctioneer.

Her son, Dr. George Benzing III, who lived on the family farm for many years with his parents, was a noted pediatric surgeon in Cincinnati.

Esther Benzing died in 2002 at 99, and her son died in May at 93.

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$800K Hamilton library tech center doubles in size, moves into new home

A new technology center, operated by Lane Library, has opened in the former Hamilton Journal-News building. . NICK GRAHAM/STAFF
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A new technology center, operated by Lane Library, has opened in the former Hamilton Journal-News building. . NICK GRAHAM/STAFF

While the coronavirus has created challenges at the three Lane Library locations, the one in Hamilton has reopened its Lane Libraries Community Technology Center in a new 5,500 square-foot facility.

The technology center recently opened in the former Hamilton JournalNews building, 228 Court St. The center cost about $800,000 to build out and furnish with equipment and was funded through the Leroy Roesel Gift Fund, a $3 million endowment the libraries received in 2010 from his estate, said Carrie Mancuso, the library systems public relations manager.

The fund will pay for all expenses associated with the tech center, she said.

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

PHOTOS: Hundreds gather for Vice President Mike Pence visit to Cincinnati

Vice President Mike Pence made a campaign stop at Waypoint Aviation at Lunkin Airport with hundreds of Donald Trump supporters in attendance Wednesday, October 21, 2020 in Cincinnati. NICK GRAHAM / STAFF
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Vice President Mike Pence made a campaign stop at Waypoint Aviation at Lunkin Airport with hundreds of Donald Trump supporters in attendance Wednesday, October 21, 2020 in Cincinnati. NICK GRAHAM / STAFF

Credit: Nick Graham

Credit: Nick Graham

Multiple restaurants have made news with openings or other moves in the past few months in Butler and Warren counties. Here’s a look at recent stories.

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