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

Two people were rescued from this house fire this morning in the 2300 block of Christel Avenue in Middletown. NICK GRAHAM/STAFF
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Two people were rescued from this house fire this morning in the 2300 block of Christel Avenue in Middletown. NICK GRAHAM/STAFF

Here is a look at five big Butler County stories today to catch up on the news.


Two rescued from house on fire in Middletown

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Two people were rescued from this house fire this morning in the 2300 block of Christel Avenue in Middletown. NICK GRAHAM/STAFF

Two people were rescued from this house fire this morning in the 2300 block of Christel Avenue in Middletown. NICK GRAHAM/STAFF
Caption
Two people were rescued from this house fire this morning in the 2300 block of Christel Avenue in Middletown. NICK GRAHAM/STAFF

A mother and her adult son were rescued this morning from a house fire in the 2300 block of Christel Avenue, according to Middletown fire Chief Paul Lolli.

He said the fire department received a call about a house fire at 9:20 a.m. and firefighters saw heavy smoke coming from the residence. They were told two occupants were trapped inside.

The two people were pulled from the burning home and transported to Kettering Medical Center because of smoke inhalation, Lolli said.

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Coroner IDs man killed in Hamilton crash

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Crews repair a utility pole at the scene of a fatal car crash at Tylersville Road and Mourning Dove on Wed., Nov. 17, 2021.

Credit: Nick Graham

Crews repair a utility pole at the scene of a fatal car crash at Tylersville Road and Mourning Dove on Wed., Nov. 17, 2021.
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Crews repair a utility pole at the scene of a fatal car crash at Tylersville Road and Mourning Dove on Wed., Nov. 17, 2021.

Credit: Nick Graham

Credit: Nick Graham

The Butler County Coroner’s Office has identified the man killed in Wednesday’s early-morning wreck on Tylersville Road as Treye Jenkins Smith, 33, of Hamilton.

Smith was traveling eastbound early Wednesday morning on Tylersville when the single-vehicle wreck happened.

The vehicle was eastbound when two of its tires went off the road, and “then, when when he came back up, he slid off to the left of the road,” said Hamilton Police Sgt. Rich Burkhardt. I t slid off the road, into a ditch and hit a telephone pole, snapping it in half around 2 a.m.

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Middletown’s $6.6M Central Avenue improvement project to start early in 2022

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This is an artist drawing showing Central Avenue, looking to the west. The city is planning on improving the downtown road in 2022 with red brick pavers, park benches, bike racks and street lights. SUBMITTED

This is an artist drawing showing Central Avenue, looking to the west. The city is planning on improving the downtown road in 2022 with red brick pavers, park benches, bike racks and street lights. SUBMITTED
Caption
This is an artist drawing showing Central Avenue, looking to the west. The city is planning on improving the downtown road in 2022 with red brick pavers, park benches, bike racks and street lights. SUBMITTED

MIDDLETOWN — By this time next year, a portion of Central Avenue in Middletown will look totally different.

Three years after receiving a grant from the Ohio-Kentucky-Indiana Regional Council of Governments designated for 2022, the city is opening bids on the project that will reconstruct a 1/2-mile stretch of Central Avenue between University Boulevard to Verity Parkway.

Middletown City Council is expected to approve the bid at its next meeting on Dec. 7, then construction is scheduled to begin in March 2022 and be completed, weather permitting, in December 2022, according to a presentation Public Works Director Scott Tadych made at Tuesday night’s city council meeting.

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5 must-see holiday lights shows in Butler County

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Journey Borealis drive-thru holiday light display at Pyramid Hill Sculpture Park in Hamilton. NICK GRAHAM / STAFF

Credit: Nick Graham

Journey Borealis drive-thru holiday light display at Pyramid Hill Sculpture Park in Hamilton. NICK GRAHAM / STAFF
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Journey Borealis drive-thru holiday light display at Pyramid Hill Sculpture Park in Hamilton. NICK GRAHAM / STAFF

Credit: Nick Graham

Credit: Nick Graham

There is considerable controversy over when one should actually start celebrating Christmas. In Butler County, more often than not, it’s a few days before you’ve even pre-heated the Thanksgiving oven.

Here is a list of the local holiday light shows that allow you to celebrate Christmas in November.

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Hamilton woman collecting socks for children in city

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Monique Runzer is collecting socks for her Socks for Hamilton Youth program. This is her third year and is on her way to collecting 2000 pairs of socks to give to local youth in need. NICK GRAHAM / STAFF

Credit: Nick Graham

Monique Runzer is collecting socks for her Socks for Hamilton Youth program. This is her third year and is on her way to collecting 2000 pairs of socks to give to local youth in need. NICK GRAHAM / STAFF
Caption
Monique Runzer is collecting socks for her Socks for Hamilton Youth program. This is her third year and is on her way to collecting 2000 pairs of socks to give to local youth in need. NICK GRAHAM / STAFF

Credit: Nick Graham

Credit: Nick Graham

Two embarrassed young students inspired Monique Runzer to start her annual “Socks for Hamilton OH Youth” program this time of year.

As an elementary-school class mother years ago at a holiday party, she announced a game where students were to throw their shoes to the middle of the classroom, she’d set a timer and they’d race to put them back on.

“This little boy came up to me — big brown eyes, almost in tears — and he goes, ‘Ma’am, I don’t want to play your game.’”

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

Butler County nixes Liberty Center economic relief

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StartupCincy’s digital entrepreneurs are taking their products out of their online shopping carts and straight to the shelves of The Foundry at Liberty Center in Liberty Twp. NICK GRAHAM/STAFF

StartupCincy’s digital entrepreneurs are taking their products out of their online shopping carts and straight to the shelves of The Foundry at Liberty Center in Liberty Twp. NICK GRAHAM/STAFF
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StartupCincy’s digital entrepreneurs are taking their products out of their online shopping carts and straight to the shelves of The Foundry at Liberty Center in Liberty Twp. NICK GRAHAM/STAFF

The Butler County commissioners have stopped months-long negotiations with the owners of Liberty Center on an economic relief deal, because the center pursued a $73 million property value reduction that will save it $600,000 to $1 million annually.

The commissioners and Liberty Twp. trustees have been working with Liberty Center’s new owners Apollo Global Management for months, trying to work out a deal that would bolster the finances of the center during these bleak retail times.

Butler County Administrator Judi Boyko sent the mall owners a letter Tuesday saying the talks are over.

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