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:

Queen of Hearts winner receives $265,000; eight finalists get $5,000

A regular at a Hamilton bar left happy and rich Tuesday night.

The unidentified man won more than $265,000 in the Queen of Hearts raffle game after the owners decided to have a drawdown. The game was “getting out of hand,” said Jeff Gehrlich, owner of Avenue Tavern and Grille,

Before the winning card was drawn, eight other people who didn’t pick the Queen of Hearts, won $5,000 each, Gehrlich said.


Middletown schools, police investigating alleged assault of a student

The Middletown City School District and Middletown police department are investigating an alleged assault of a student, though no police report has been filed.

The district posted a release on its website today saying it takes “any and all claims of violence seriously and we are working with our police department.”

The district said an incident occurred on Aug. 19 at Middletown Middle School. When there is a violation of the Student Code of Conduct, appropriate disciplinary measures are considered, the district said. The school has had open communication with all families involved, the district said.


Council to make decisions on CSX station

Very rarely, Hamilton City Council is provided two alternate pieces of legislation before a meeting, giving them the option of what they will decide during the meeting. Will they choose Option A or Option B?

But at tonight’s meeting, the council will face two such decisions, both in the forms of motions, rather than legislation itself:


Middletown superintendent calls district’s mask mandate ‘a tough decision’

Less than two weeks after school started, Middletown City Schools has changed its mask-wearing policy from optional to mandatory.

Superintendent Marlon Styles Jr. called it “a tough decision,” but the goal is to keep schools fully open and to protect students and staff.

A few minutes earlier, the board agreed, voting unanimously that students, staff and visitors must wear masks while in district buildings.


Hamilton High football team to miss next two games due to COVID-19

Credit: Nick Graham

Credit: Nick Graham

The COVID-19 pandemic has forced Hamilton High School to cancel its next two football games after one player tested positive, and 43 varsity and reserve players were quarantined for 10 days.

It would have been possible for the players to have the second game, said Athletic Director Missy Harvey, but because the players cannot return to school until Sept. 1: “That was giving our kids two days to prepare for a varsity football game, and for them to have been off for 10 days and come back, and to get acclimated, it did not seem to be a safe or fair situation for us to put our players into, which is why we went the full two weeks.”

The cancellations are not just a disappointment to the players, other students, faculty and families, but also to the community at large, which was looking forward to finally attending a home game again, said Harvey.


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

Butler County officials seek feedback on $27.1M Millikin Road, I-75 interchange

Residents have been commenting on social media for some time about the potential Millikin Road interchange at Interstate 75 in Liberty Twp., now they can tell officials their thoughts directly through a virtual open house.

The Liberty Twp. trustees have long said a new interchange is vital for the future of the township for a variety of reasons and it is their top priority. The new virtual open house is live on the township’s website now at: It provides a 10-minute video overview of the project and shows how to navigate four alternatives that range from $33.8 to $27.1 million. Participants are asked to rate the alternatives and provide other feedback.

“The public will play a critical role in our study process by providing local knowledge and feedback that will help inform our decision making,” Trustee Board President Tom Farrell said. “Our team has collected and analyzed a significant amount of data in order to make comprehensive recommendations on how to improve safety and connectivity within the study area — especially as travel patterns change throughout the region — and we need the public to weigh in as we move throughout our process.”