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:

Butler County deputy shot Liberty Twp. suspect who pointed weapon in doorway, sheriff’s office says

An hours-long Liberty Twp. standoff that started Monday evening ended with the suspect shot and killed by law enforcement, officials said.

Deputies were first called just after 5 p.m. to a domestic violence report in the 6800 block of Yoakum Court in the Lakota Pointe Townhomes, according to the Butler County Sheriff’s Office. The suspect, Junius Thomas, had kicked in the door there, and the female resident called 911.

The woman who made the 911 call fled. Thomas was armed and “extremely agitated” when deputies arrived, so they called the SWAT team after going back outside, the sheriff’s office said. Contact continued with Thomas until there was about 90 minutes without communication.


Lights still out at busy Middletown intersection after semi-minvan crash yesterday

One female driver was injured when her mini van collided with a semi-truck carrying 79,000 pounds of steel slag Monday afternoon at a busy Middletown intersection.

Cynthia Burnett, 70, of Middletown, was traveling north on University Boulevard and turning left onto Central Avenue when she crashed into a semi-truck that was traveling south on University, according to the Hamilton Post of the State Highway Patrol.

Burnett was transported to Atrium Medical Center with minor injuries and isn’t listed as a patient this afternoon, according to a hospital official.


Middletown files civil complaint, eviction notice against Start Skydiving

Middletown officials filed a complaint and a notice to evict Start Skydiving from part of its space at Middletown Regional Airport last week.

In a civil complaint filed Thursday, the city is asking to the court to evict Start from hangar space used by the airport manager and fixed based operator, a role Start once served. The city took over those roles from Start in 2020, so it is asking Start to leave that space. The business has space in another hangar at the airport.

The complaint also asks the court to rule that Middletown has not breached its lease with Start, that it is not required to add hangar space for the business until Start officials make concessions including that they will stay at the airport and accept a new skydiving drop zone and that Start should have to pay rent for space it is using outside of its leased space.


Man remains in serious condition following home explosion in Middletown

A Middletown man is listed in serious condition this morning after his house caught fire following an explosion Monday.

Jerry Gillespie was home Monday when the back of his house in the 2500 block of Flemming Road exploded, according to Middletown fire officials.

Fire Chief Paul Lolli said Gillespie said he heard a loud bang and then saw flames. He escaped the house, but suffered “pretty significant injuries,” Lolli said.


First among Butler County’s 2021 goals: Getting coronavirus vaccines to residents

Butler County officials say they are prepared both financially and strategically for whatever the new year brings and will focus on the physical and economic health of the county.

The commissioners have already invested a good deal of their $18.7 million in federal coronavirus relief funds aiding the community, namely $6 million committed to a widespread COVID testing/vaccination program and $1.5 million in small business support. Commissioner Don Dixon said the number one priority for 2021 is tackling the virus itself and the side effects.

“I think this year is going to bring challenges we’ve never faced before,” Dixon said. “It puts us in a position where we have to take some matters I believe in our own hands locally, to help serve the general health of Butler County residents. As we have witnessed the rolling out of the vaccine has not gone well.”


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

Skincare business moves from Hamilton to Fairfield Twp. shopping center

Credit: Nick Graham

Credit: Nick Graham

A popular homemade skincare retailer recently moved from downtown Hamilton’s Main Street business district to the suburban Bridgewater Falls Shopping Center.

The locally owned skincare boutique lahVdah now finds itself in more than thrice the store size, moving from 1,000 to 3,300 square feet. And the owner is excited about further expanding her customer base, which now draws visits and orders nationwide and beyond.

“I ship to every state and around the world,” said owner Venita Allen, who has been in business for 17 years with the first 15 also operating out of downtown Cincinnati’s Findlay Market.