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

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Trenton's Zach Apple wins gold medal in 4x100 relay

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


What’s next for Zach Apple? How to follow Butler County’s Olympic gold medalist swimmer this week

Zach Apple of the United States men's 4x100m freestyle relay team celebrates after winning the gold medal at the 2020 Summer Olympics, Monday, July 26, 2021, in Tokyo, Japan. (AP Photo/Martin Meissner)
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Zach Apple of the United States men's 4x100m freestyle relay team celebrates after winning the gold medal at the 2020 Summer Olympics, Monday, July 26, 2021, in Tokyo, Japan. (AP Photo/Martin Meissner)

Credit: Martin Meissner

Credit: Martin Meissner

Edgewood High School graduate Zach Apple spurred pride in Butler County and around the country with his performance that earned his 4x100 relay team an Olympic gold medal in Tokyo on Sunday night.

Apple’s work is not done in Tokyo. He also qualified in the 100-meter freestyle and advanced in the preliminaries this morning. He also could race with the 4x200 free style relay and 4x100 medley relay teams later this week.

Here’s how to follow Apple this week:

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2 faulty hydrants ‘really troubling’ to Madison Twp. fire department while battling residential fire

An early Sunday fire caused about $300,000 in damages to the structure and contents of this home on Mosiman Road. NICK GRAHAM/STAFF
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An early Sunday fire caused about $300,000 in damages to the structure and contents of this home on Mosiman Road. NICK GRAHAM/STAFF

An early morning Sunday fire destroyed a Madison Twp. home and showed the potential dangers of malfunctioning fire hydrants, according to Chief Kent Hall.

When firefighters were dispatched at 12:35 a.m. to a structure fire at 5086 Mosiman Road, their efforts were hampered when two nearby hydrants became unusable at times, Hall said.

There are two caps on fire hydrants, a 2.5-inch typically used by the water department and a 4-inch used by firefighters, Hall said. When firefighters hooked up a line to the 4-inch cap, the 2.5-inch cap blew off, making the hydrant useless, he said.

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Man sentenced to at least 17 years for Fairfield woman’s shooting death

Katherine LoBono SUBMITTED
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Katherine LoBono SUBMITTED

The man who admitted last month to killing a Fairfield woman in 2019 was sentenced to at least 17 years in prison.

Kirby Cheong, 30, of Summit Point Drive in Miamisburg, was arrested in March 2020 in Montgomery County, charged with murder in the homicide of 23-year-old Katherine Lobono, of Fairfield, and two felonious assault charges. A trial was supposed to start this month, but Cheong pleaded guilty in late June to the lesser charges of involuntary manslaughter with a gun specification and tampering with evidence.

Butler County Common Pleas Judge Noah Powers II sentenced Cheong on Monday on the involuntary manslaughter count to 14 to 19 1/2 years and three years on the tampering with evidence charge. Cheong will be eligible for parole after 17 years in prison and could serve a maximum of 22 1/2 years, according to court records.

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Book written by beloved 99-year-old Butler County gardener to be released next month

Mary Harrison is the owner of Mary’s Plant Farm & Landscaping in Hanover Twp. The 95-year-old also founded the Floras Amo Garden Club in Hamilton. GREG LYNCH/STAFF
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Mary Harrison is the owner of Mary’s Plant Farm & Landscaping in Hanover Twp. The 95-year-old also founded the Floras Amo Garden Club in Hamilton. GREG LYNCH/STAFF

A book written by a longtime operator of a small farm and nursery in Hamilton is set to be published on the same day a celebration of life will be held for sure.

Mary E. Harrison, who died in March at 99, was best knownfrom Mary’s Plant Farm & Landscaping, and she spent much of her time during the pandemic writing about her life of gardening for the forthcoming book, “Mary’s Plant Farm: A Love Story.” It will be released from on Aug. 14.

“The book is her life in the garden, but it is also a mix of things about how she started her family, how she got interested in gardening through her father, and her development of a nursery. So, it’s a book about the garden as it transitions from January through December,” said Harrison’s daughter, Sherri Berger, who ran Mary’s Plant Farm with her.

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New jobs coming to Fairfield: Business park lands manufacturer as key tenant

Ambrose Property Group is nearing completion of its first two of potentially five new buildings in the Fairfield Commerce Park business park on Seward Road in Fairfield. The light industrial and manufacturing business park is being developed on 137 acres of mostly undeveloped land and designed to attract 600 to 1,000 new jobs to the city. The city hopes to capitalize on more development projects through a proposed Transformative Economic Development (TED) Fund. In all, the fund would provide a critical, strategic framework for future growth and redevelopment resources to ensure a high quality of life can be sustained for years to come with a focus on job creation, business recruitment and retention, identify and capitalize on strategic properties, and remove blight. MICHAEL D. PITMAN/STAFF
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Ambrose Property Group is nearing completion of its first two of potentially five new buildings in the Fairfield Commerce Park business park on Seward Road in Fairfield. The light industrial and manufacturing business park is being developed on 137 acres of mostly undeveloped land and designed to attract 600 to 1,000 new jobs to the city. The city hopes to capitalize on more development projects through a proposed Transformative Economic Development (TED) Fund. In all, the fund would provide a critical, strategic framework for future growth and redevelopment resources to ensure a high quality of life can be sustained for years to come with a focus on job creation, business recruitment and retention, identify and capitalize on strategic properties, and remove blight. MICHAEL D. PITMAN/STAFF

Credit: Michael D. Pitman

Credit: Michael D. Pitman

Upwards of 200 jobs are expected to be created in Fairfield’s newest business park with expansion of U.S. operations of a global eyewear company.

Hilco Vision announced Monday its plans to establish a new 246,000-square-foot manufacturing operation at Fairfield Commerce Park.

Ken Miranda, Hilco Vision’s chief operating officer, said this move will expand its manufacturing capabilities and reach in the United States, “which will further enhance and expedite our ability to deliver solutions to our valued customers in the surrounding regions.”

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

PHOTOS: Views from the Butler County Fair on Monday

Scenes from the Butler County Fair Monday, July 26, 2021 in Hamilton. NICK GRAHAM / STAFF
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Scenes from the Butler County Fair Monday, July 26, 2021 in Hamilton. NICK GRAHAM / STAFF

Credit: Nick Graham

Credit: Nick Graham

Scenes from the Butler County Fair Monday, July 26, 2021 in Hamilton. NICK GRAHAM / STAFF

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