Kyle Schwarber sends pizzas to firefighters, a unique memorabilia collection and more: 5 uplifting stories this week

Ron Zemko poses wearing a catcher’s mitt in the “glove room” of his basement. His baseball glove collection has outgrown that room, however and some of his 245 gloves are displayed on the floor against the wall of other parts of the basement. CONTRIBUTED/BOB RATTERMAN

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Ron Zemko poses wearing a catcher’s mitt in the “glove room” of his basement. His baseball glove collection has outgrown that room, however and some of his 245 gloves are displayed on the floor against the wall of other parts of the basement. CONTRIBUTED/BOB RATTERMAN

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


Middletown’s Kayla Harrison dominates to add second MMA title, another $1 million to her resume

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FILE - Kayla Harrison is shown during a PFL (Professional Fighters League) bout against Larissa Pacheco at Nassau Coliseum in Uniondale, N.Y., in this Thursday, May 9, 2019, file photo. Two-time Olympic gold medalist Kayla Harrison tries for another $1 million prize when she fights Taylor Guardado in the main event of the 2021 PFL Championships this week in Florida. (AP Photo/Greg Payan, File)

Credit: Gregory Payan

FILE - Kayla Harrison is shown during a PFL (Professional Fighters League) bout against Larissa Pacheco at Nassau Coliseum in Uniondale, N.Y., in this Thursday, May 9, 2019, file photo. Two-time Olympic gold medalist Kayla Harrison tries for another $1 million prize when she fights  Taylor Guardado in the main event of the 2021 PFL Championships this week in Florida. (AP Photo/Greg Payan, File)

Credit: Gregory Payan

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FILE - Kayla Harrison is shown during a PFL (Professional Fighters League) bout against Larissa Pacheco at Nassau Coliseum in Uniondale, N.Y., in this Thursday, May 9, 2019, file photo. Two-time Olympic gold medalist Kayla Harrison tries for another $1 million prize when she fights Taylor Guardado in the main event of the 2021 PFL Championships this week in Florida. (AP Photo/Greg Payan, File)

Credit: Gregory Payan

Credit: Gregory Payan

Kayla Harrison didn’t waste time collecting her second Professional Fighters League title and second $1 million check.

Harrison, of Middletown, dominated Taylor Guardado with a arm submission in the second round of their championship bout late Wednesday night at the Seminole Hard Rock Casino in Hollywood, Fla.

Harrison also won the 2019 PFL title and last season was cancelled due to the coronavirus pandemic.

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Kyle Schwarber sends pizzas to firefighters and police, who follow with food to Middletown firefighters

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Boston Red Sox's Kyle Schwarber hits a grand slam home run against the Houston Astros during the second inning in Game 3 of baseball's American League Championship Series Monday, Oct. 18, 2021, in Boston. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)

Credit: David J. Phillip

Boston Red Sox's Kyle Schwarber hits a grand slam home run against the Houston Astros during the second inning in Game 3 of baseball's American League Championship Series Monday, Oct. 18, 2021, in Boston. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)

Credit: David J. Phillip

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Boston Red Sox's Kyle Schwarber hits a grand slam home run against the Houston Astros during the second inning in Game 3 of baseball's American League Championship Series Monday, Oct. 18, 2021, in Boston. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)

Credit: David J. Phillip

Credit: David J. Phillip

When a LaRosa’s driver delivered two pizzas to all four Middletown fire stations Friday night, the firefighters were “a little confused,” said firefighter Capt. Jon Harvey.

No firefighters had ordered pizza.

The receipt only read: “Go Red Sox,” Harvey said.

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Hamilton native wins MacArthur ‘Genius Grant’ fellowship: What she’ll do next

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Art curator and historian Nicole Fleetwood, a Hamilton native and Miami University graduate, has won a MacArthur "Genius Grant" Fellowship that comes with $625,000 to advance the work she's doing. Her focus is on art by or about people who are incarcerated. PROVIDED

Art curator and historian Nicole Fleetwood, a Hamilton native and Miami University graduate, has won a MacArthur "Genius Grant" Fellowship that comes with $625,000 to advance the work she's doing. Her focus is on art by or about people who are incarcerated. PROVIDED

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Art curator and historian Nicole Fleetwood, a Hamilton native and Miami University graduate, has won a MacArthur "Genius Grant" Fellowship that comes with $625,000 to advance the work she's doing. Her focus is on art by or about people who are incarcerated. PROVIDED

Hamilton native Nicole Fleetwood was in a New York taxi when she got an exciting — but secret — phone call. She had won a prestigious MacArthur Fellowship, which comes with a $625,000 “Genius Grant” to support her work as an art curator, historian and writer on the topic of prisons.

She didn’t even know she had been nominated. And she wasn’t allowed to tell anyone for weeks.

“It came as a huge surprise, huge honor,” she said. “I cried. I screamed.”

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This Butler County basement has one of the most unique baseball collections around

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Ron Zemko poses wearing a catcher’s mitt in the “glove room” of his basement. His baseball glove collection has outgrown that room, however and some of his 245 gloves are displayed on the floor against the wall of other parts of the basement. CONTRIBUTED/BOB RATTERMAN

Ron Zemko poses wearing a catcher’s mitt in the “glove room” of his basement. His baseball glove collection has outgrown that room, however and some of his 245 gloves are displayed on the floor against the wall of other parts of the basement. CONTRIBUTED/BOB RATTERMAN

Combined ShapeCaption
Ron Zemko poses wearing a catcher’s mitt in the “glove room” of his basement. His baseball glove collection has outgrown that room, however and some of his 245 gloves are displayed on the floor against the wall of other parts of the basement. CONTRIBUTED/BOB RATTERMAN

A Butler County basement holds one of the more unique memorabilia sets around, which has been part of its owner’s efforts at collecting items for decades.

Ron Zemko of Oxford has a basement full of memorabilia from the sport he loves, but baseball gloves hold much of his attention. Mixed in among the posters, banners, bats and other items are 245 gloves.

“In 2008, there were 150 gloves in my collection and I had pretty much decided to get off the glove collecting bandwagon, but it’s like an addictive drug. I went to an antique mall and found a Johnny Temple glove. No. No. It ends up in the car going home with me,” he said with a laugh. “A hundred and fifty, I just couldn’t stop. The walls were full, I just started lining them up on this table. I had a row of five leaning against the wall. Then, another row. Soon the table was full out to the end and I had nearly 200. Then, I quit. But 200 led to 201 and 202.”

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Food pantry, school officials happy about ‘Stuff The Bus’ campaign results at Lakota

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It's looking like another overflowing year of generosity as Lakota school officials report a possible record number of collections so for the school system's annual "Stuff The Bus" food drive campaign. The donation drive benefits Reach Out Lakota, which serves needy families in West Chester and Liberty townships from which Lakota draws its 17,000 students. File photo shows a previous year's stuffed bus with superintendents from Middletown, Hamilton and Lakota representing their friendly rivalry of each district collecting donations for their respective community food pantries. (Provided Photo/Journal-News)

It's looking like another overflowing year of generosity as Lakota school officials report a possible record number of collections so for the school system's annual "Stuff The Bus" food drive campaign. The donation drive benefits Reach Out Lakota, which serves needy families in West Chester and Liberty townships from which Lakota draws its 17,000 students. File photo shows a previous year's stuffed bus with superintendents from Middletown, Hamilton and Lakota representing their friendly rivalry of each district collecting donations for their respective community food pantries. (Provided Photo/Journal-News)

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It's looking like another overflowing year of generosity as Lakota school officials report a possible record number of collections so for the school system's annual "Stuff The Bus" food drive campaign. The donation drive benefits Reach Out Lakota, which serves needy families in West Chester and Liberty townships from which Lakota draws its 17,000 students. File photo shows a previous year's stuffed bus with superintendents from Middletown, Hamilton and Lakota representing their friendly rivalry of each district collecting donations for their respective community food pantries. (Provided Photo/Journal-News)

It’s the only time each year Lakota school officials are happy about an over-crowded school bus.

The district’s annual “Stuff The Bus” food drive is overflowing this fall as the just-completed campaign has so far collected more donations than the fall 2020 effort, said Lakota school officials.

The effort benefits Reach Out Lakota with canned goods and other nonperishables needed by the primary relief organization for needy families in West Chester and Liberty townships.

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

Southwest Ohio native pens intriguing tale of mystery in first book

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Ross, Ohio, native S.V. Brown has published his first novel, "Carnival Songs," which centers around long-held family secrets and race relations in the Midwest. CONTRIBUTED.

Credit: S.V. Brown

Ross, Ohio, native S.V. Brown has published his first novel, "Carnival Songs," which centers around long-held family secrets and race relations in the Midwest.

Credit: S.V. Brown

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Ross, Ohio, native S.V. Brown has published his first novel, "Carnival Songs," which centers around long-held family secrets and race relations in the Midwest. CONTRIBUTED.

Credit: S.V. Brown

Credit: S.V. Brown

Decades ago, Ross native S. V. Brown heard a tale so riveting it eventually inspired him to write his first book. Earlier this month, he released “Carnival Songs,” a novel set in a fictional Indiana town.

A 1985 alumnus of Ross Senior High School, Brown wrote “Carnival Songs” in the early 1990s following his graduation from the University of Cincinnati and living abroad in Paris to evoke the spirit of his favorite authors. However, he put the finished draft in a drawer and later began to question his artistic gifts.

“I just kind of lost faith in my writing,” Brown said. “I had a bunch of small press short stories and poems published, but at the end of the day, I just didn’t think I had it. I compared myself to my heroes.”

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