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

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Fatal crash on US 127 near Morganthaler Road

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


Person killed in morning crash after steel coil falls off truck is male from Seven Mile

A person was killed this morning in a crash on U.S 127 in St. Clair Twp. when a steel coil from a semi fell on a vehicle. NICK GRAHAM/STAFF
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A person was killed this morning in a crash on U.S 127 in St. Clair Twp. when a steel coil from a semi fell on a vehicle. NICK GRAHAM/STAFF

U.S. 127 in St. Clair Twp. has reopened following a fatal crash this morning involving a semi-tractor trailer carrying steel coil, according to the Butler County Sheriff’s Office.

The crash happened about 6:20 a.m. at Morganthaler Road. The Ohio Department of Transportation indicted the road reopened about 2:15 p.m.

The person killed is a male from the Seven Mile area, according to the Butler County Sheriff’s Office.

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Middletown Steak ‘n Shake reopens after 2 years with drive-thru only

The Middletown Steak 'n Shake, address here, has reopened, but is serving customers only in its drive-through, according to a sign on the front door. The restaurant has been closed for about two years. RICK McCRABB/STAFF
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The Middletown Steak 'n Shake, address here, has reopened, but is serving customers only in its drive-through, according to a sign on the front door. The restaurant has been closed for about two years. RICK McCRABB/STAFF

Middletown’s Steak ‘n Shake has reopened after being closed for two years following numerous health violations and until a franchise-operator was located.

A sign on the door read: “Welcome Back! We are excited to serve you in our drive thru.”

No one answered the phone at the restaurant on Monday and numerous calls to the corporate office in Indianapolis were not returned to the Journal-News.

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Butler County commissioners voice concerns over $7.5 million homeless shelter project

The Serve City homeless shelter in Hamilton has had to get creative in dealing with the coronavirus pandemic and bitter cold. They opened up the community area to get more people out of the cold.
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The Serve City homeless shelter in Hamilton has had to get creative in dealing with the coronavirus pandemic and bitter cold. They opened up the community area to get more people out of the cold.

Credit: Submitted

Credit: Submitted

The Serve City homeless shelter in Hamilton has a $7.5 million plan to “build a best in class service organization” in Hamilton but the commissioners voiced serious concerns about sustainability.

The Butler County commissioners held their final two work sessions Monday on proposals for spending nearly $75 million in American Rescue Plan dollars and Serve City Executive director David Hood is looking for $5.1 million of it. So far requests have totaled about $138 million but that doesn’t include all requests from county departments, offices and boards.

The total cost of the project is $7.5 million for three main projects:

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Trial date set for man charged in fatal Hamilton shooting

Nicholas Lorenz, who is charged with the May fatal shooting of Jason Simpson in Hamilton, was in Butler County Common Pleas Court Thursday for a pretrial hearing. NICK GRAHAM/STAFF
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Nicholas Lorenz, who is charged with the May fatal shooting of Jason Simpson in Hamilton, was in Butler County Common Pleas Court Thursday for a pretrial hearing. NICK GRAHAM/STAFF

A trial date has been set for a Ross Twp. man charged in the May deadly shooting outside a Hamilton home.

Nicholas Lorenz, 40, of Warvel Road is charged with murder with a gun specification, felonious assault with a gun specification, having weapons under disability and tampering with evidence for the shooting death of 47-year-old Jason Simpson on the morning of May 20 on Madison Avenue.

A 911 caller named the suspect Lorenz as others tried to help the wounded Simpson. Lorenz fled a short distance before being arrested by Hamilton Police.

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Police: Hamilton fatal shooting on Sunday was drug-related

Emergency crews were called to a three car crash on Hamilton Richmond Road Tuesday morning. FILE PHOTO
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Emergency crews were called to a three car crash on Hamilton Richmond Road Tuesday morning. FILE PHOTO

A Hamilton man was shot and killed Sunday afternoon in what police officials is believed to be a drug-related crime.

Jason Hendricks, 35, died of a gunshot wound, and his death was ruled a homicide by the Butler County Coroner’s Office.

Hendricks and others were inside a house in the 400 block of Bingham Street about 12:50 p.m. when there was an exchange of gunfire between the resident and Hendricks, Hamilton police Sgt. Rich Burkhardt said.

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

November’s election begins on Friday in Butler County as overseas voting starts

The city of Oxford had its charter amendment question for the Nov. 7 election rejected on Monday by the Butler County Board of Elections. It was filed too early. The city may resubmit the question between 120 and 60 days ahead of the Nov. 7 election. NICK GRAHAM/FILE
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The city of Oxford had its charter amendment question for the Nov. 7 election rejected on Monday by the Butler County Board of Elections. It was filed too early. The city may resubmit the question between 120 and 60 days ahead of the Nov. 7 election. NICK GRAHAM/FILE

This November’s general election begins in earnest on Friday, when overseas residents, either serving in the military or living, can begin to receive absentee ballots electronically.

In Ohio, that is the only electronic transmission permitted in the absentee voting process, though 31 states and Washington, D.C., allow some of its voting population ― mostly those overseas voters ― to return absentee ballots either by email, fax and/or a secure web portal.

“Ohio is looked upon as the gold standard in election administration because we make it easy and convenient to vote and our elections are both secure and accurate,” said Ohio Secretary of State spokesman Rob Nichols. “To continue our position as a national model, the Secretary (Frank LaRose) believes we should always look for ways to improve and modernize, which is why he is supportive of his priorities within HB 294.”

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