Flower market, new BBQ restaurant and more: 5 uplifting Butler County stories to help you finish the week

Mindy Staton prepares arrangements at Two Little Buds in Hamilton. The business recently moved from Bridgewater Falls to Hamilton and offers wedding and event arrangements. It specializes in locally grown flowers. NICK GRAHAM/STAFF

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Mindy Staton prepares arrangements at Two Little Buds in Hamilton. The business recently moved from Bridgewater Falls to Hamilton and offers wedding and event arrangements. It specializes in locally grown flowers. NICK GRAHAM/STAFF

Here’s a look at five positive Butler County stories that were in the news this week:


Hamilton business owner working to launch new market for buying local flowers

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Mindy Staton prepares arrangements at Two Little Buds in Hamilton. The business recently moved from Bridgewater Falls to Hamilton and offers wedding and event arrangements. It specializes in locally grown flowers. NICK GRAHAM/STAFF

Mindy Staton prepares arrangements at Two Little Buds in Hamilton. The business recently moved from Bridgewater Falls to Hamilton and offers wedding and event arrangements. It specializes in locally grown flowers. NICK GRAHAM/STAFF

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Mindy Staton prepares arrangements at Two Little Buds in Hamilton. The business recently moved from Bridgewater Falls to Hamilton and offers wedding and event arrangements. It specializes in locally grown flowers. NICK GRAHAM/STAFF

An owner of Hamilton’s Two Little Buds flower shop is working to launch The Farmer’s Collective, where flower growers and other farmers can sell one day a week to restaurants and floral shops throughout the region.

“There’s a big movement with local flowers, and local Cincinnati florists have been driving to Hamilton to purchase flowers from our store here in Hamilton wholesale because they can’t find the product that’s so very in style right now at the other wholesalers in Cincinnati,” said Mindy Staton, who owns Two Little Buds in Hamilton with her mother, Alice Francis.

“I just don’t have enough to sell to them, so I can’t keep up, basically,” she said.

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Butler County man has groundbreaking robotic cancer surgery that could soon help others

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Surgical oncologist and Mercy Health Physician Dr. Shyam Allamaneni recently performed Greater Cincinnati's first Whipple procedure robotic surgery on Frederick "Rick" Weppler of Ross Township. Weppler is recovering well. PROVIDED

Surgical oncologist and Mercy Health Physician Dr. Shyam Allamaneni recently performed Greater Cincinnati's first Whipple procedure robotic surgery on Frederick "Rick" Weppler of Ross Township. Weppler is recovering well. PROVIDED

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Surgical oncologist and Mercy Health Physician Dr. Shyam Allamaneni recently performed Greater Cincinnati's first Whipple procedure robotic surgery on Frederick "Rick" Weppler of Ross Township. Weppler is recovering well. PROVIDED

Frederick “Rick” Weppler of Ross Township recently had a groundbreaking robotic surgery for Stage 2 pancreatic cancer and had a speedier-than-normal recovery because the procedure left much smaller cuts into his body.

Surgical oncologist Dr. Shyam Allamaneni performed Mercy Health-Cincinnati’s first fully robotic “Whipple surgery” on Weppler on March 1 at The Jewish Hospital.

Rather than making a horizontal 10-inch cut across Weppler’s stomach about six inches above his navel, Allamaneni made five cuts, each about one-third of an inch, into his abdomen and used a large four-armed robot to move Weppler’s organs so he could reach a tumor on his pancreas. Because the pancreas is located immediately in front of the spinal cord, surgeons cannot access it by cutting into the back of a patient’s body.

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Business improving ‘slow and steady’ at new Monroe barbecue restaurant

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Prince Ahmed delivers a pulled pork sandwich and French fries at Prime BBQ Smokehouse in Monroe. RICK McCRABB/STAFF

Prince Ahmed delivers a pulled pork sandwich and French fries at Prime BBQ Smokehouse in Monroe. RICK McCRABB/STAFF

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Prince Ahmed delivers a pulled pork sandwich and French fries at Prime BBQ Smokehouse in Monroe. RICK McCRABB/STAFF

When Sam Jabro and two of his cousins stopped into a Monroe restaurant that was closing, they were interested in buying the equipment and one day opening their own business.

But the owner convinced Jabo and his cousins, Eddie and Wally Yasso, to buy everything inside the restaurant.

That was the beginning of Prime BBQ Smokehouse on American Way that opened during the height of the coronavirus pandemic and has seen a “slow and steady” increase in business, Jabro said.

On Dec. 17, the first day they opened, Jabo and the Yasso brothers worked the restaurant by themselves because they couldn’t find any employees. A banner hung over the name of the former restaurant and they had 30 customers.

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NFL grant means Butler County’s latest high school getting artificial turf for football stadium

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A recent $133,000 grant from the NFL has put Madison Schools over the fund-raising top for the district's first artificial turf sports field. The $1 million field will be installed in time for fall sports, say school officials. Work will begin shortly after graduation ceremonies on the old field. (PHOTO BY NICK GRAHAM\Journal-News)

A recent $133,000 grant from the NFL has put Madison Schools over the fund-raising top for the district's first artificial turf sports field. The $1 million field will be installed in time for fall sports, say school officials. Work will begin shortly after graduation ceremonies on the old field. (PHOTO BY NICK GRAHAM\Journal-News)

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A recent $133,000 grant from the NFL has put Madison Schools over the fund-raising top for the district's first artificial turf sports field. The $1 million field will be installed in time for fall sports, say school officials. Work will begin shortly after graduation ceremonies on the old field. (PHOTO BY NICK GRAHAM\Journal-News)

Thanks to the NFL, there’s now a new member in Butler County’s high school synthetic turf club.

Madison Schools will go into the next school year with the district’s first artificial turf playing field thanks in part to a recent NFL $133,000 grant to replace one of the few remaining natural grass fields in the area.

The nearly $1 million, plastic-grass field, which has been sought by Madison since its historic run deep into the state football playoffs in 2017, will be installed by the time classes start in August, said school officials.

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McCrabb: Fast medical response saves life of man ‘on the verge of death’

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David Olivet sits on his porch in Middletown. Olivet who has had 7 heart attacks and 12 stints put in since 2011 said "Don't take life for granted, you could be here one day and gone the next", after his most recent heart attack this year. NICK GRAHAM / STAFF

Credit: Nick Graham

David Olivet sits on his porch in Middletown. Olivet who has had 7 heart attacks and 12 stints put in since 2011 said "Don't take life for granted, you could be here one day and gone the next", after his most recent heart attack this year. NICK GRAHAM / STAFF

Credit: Nick Graham

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David Olivet sits on his porch in Middletown. Olivet who has had 7 heart attacks and 12 stints put in since 2011 said "Don't take life for granted, you could be here one day and gone the next", after his most recent heart attack this year. NICK GRAHAM / STAFF

Credit: Nick Graham

Credit: Nick Graham

David Olivet, who has had six heart attacks and 11 stents in the last 10 years, knew something was wrong when he felt chest pain.

So while driving to Walmart to buy a cage for his three kittens, Olivet pulled his silver Honda Odyssey mini van over and took a nitroglycerin dose, the best friend for someone with history of cardiac disease.

Five seconds later, he vomited the pill and started sweating profusely.

“I knew right then I was having a heart attack,” Olivet said last week while sitting in the living room of his home on Oxford State Road.

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

New club internships will send 2 Butler County grads to hospitals

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New paid internships from the Oxford Rotary Club will see two Talawanda High School graduates spend their summer working in McCullough-Hyde/Tri-Health Hospital. Soon-to-be graduates Daniel Sawdei and Taonanyasha Banda will explore and expand on their early interests in medical careers. (Provided Photo\Journal-News)

New paid internships from the Oxford Rotary Club will see two Talawanda High School graduates spend their summer working in McCullough-Hyde/Tri-Health Hospital. Soon-to-be graduates Daniel Sawdei and Taonanyasha Banda will  explore and expand on their early interests in medical careers. (Provided Photo\Journal-News)

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New paid internships from the Oxford Rotary Club will see two Talawanda High School graduates spend their summer working in McCullough-Hyde/Tri-Health Hospital. Soon-to-be graduates Daniel Sawdei and Taonanyasha Banda will explore and expand on their early interests in medical careers. (Provided Photo\Journal-News)

Two Talawanda High School students will be going to the hospital for summer break, and they couldn’t be happier about it.

The two seniors are the first winners of the Oxford Rotary Club’s new healthcare summer internship program.

The paid internships will allow Taonanyasha Banda and Daniel Sawdei to explore and expand on their early interests in medical careers while working in McCullough-Hyde/Tri-Health Hospital.

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