Local swimmer heading to Olympics, Schwarber bombing home runs and more: 5 uplifting Butler County stories this week

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


Butler County swimmer headed to Tokyo Olympics: Meet Zach Apple

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Caeleb Dressel hugs Zach Apple after winning the men's 100 freestyle during wave 2 of the U.S. Olympic Swim Trials on Thursday, June 17, 2021, in Omaha, Neb. (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall)

Credit: Charlie Neibergall

Caeleb Dressel hugs Zach Apple after winning the men's 100 freestyle during wave 2 of the U.S. Olympic Swim Trials on Thursday, June 17, 2021, in Omaha, Neb. (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall)

Credit: Charlie Neibergall

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Caeleb Dressel hugs Zach Apple after winning the men's 100 freestyle during wave 2 of the U.S. Olympic Swim Trials on Thursday, June 17, 2021, in Omaha, Neb. (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall)

Credit: Charlie Neibergall

Credit: Charlie Neibergall

Zach Apple didn’t expect to the make the United States swim team for the 2016 Summer Olympics, but that doesn’t mean he was comfortable sitting in the stands watching the qualifiers celebrate on the deck.

Making up for falling short stayed on the Edgewood High School graduate’s mind over the next five years, so much so that he changed the lock screen on his cellphone to display the 2020 Tokyo Summer Olympics logo.

“Something just didn’t feel right,” Apple said Thursday morning. “I was just an onlooker. Since then, it was a really big goal. It’s been an ongoing journey.”

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Schwarber’s June tear continues with another home run

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Washington Nationals' Kyle Schwarber rounds first base while hitting a double off Los Angeles Dodgers starting pitcher Victor Gonzalez during the first inning of a baseball game, Thursday, July 1, 2021, in Washington. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez)

Credit: Julio Cortez

Washington Nationals' Kyle Schwarber rounds first base while hitting a double off Los Angeles Dodgers starting pitcher Victor Gonzalez during the first inning of a baseball game, Thursday, July 1, 2021, in Washington. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez)

Credit: Julio Cortez

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Washington Nationals' Kyle Schwarber rounds first base while hitting a double off Los Angeles Dodgers starting pitcher Victor Gonzalez during the first inning of a baseball game, Thursday, July 1, 2021, in Washington. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez)

Credit: Julio Cortez

Credit: Julio Cortez

Kyle Schwarber’s record-setting June continued when he hit a home run in his first at-bat Tuesday.

The Middletown High School graduate Schwarber went 1-for-4 as his Washington Nationals beat the Tampa Bay Rays 4-3 in Washington, D.C. It was the seventh time this month Schwarber has led off the first inning with a home run. He didn’t start hitting in the lead-off spot until June 8.

“I think that’s kind of the biggest thing is keying in on your pitch and not trying to hit a home run,” Schwarber told reporters. “I’ve caught myself trying to do that where I’ve swung and missed at a first-pitch fastball that could’ve been a hit, and you find yourself trying to do too much with the pitch.”

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Ayers, Springfield and Miami legend, heading to NBA Finals for first time in 20 years

Randy Ayers experienced the NBA Finals as an assistant coach with the Philadelphia 76ers in 2001. Twenty years later, he’ll get a second chance to win his first NBA championship.

Ayers is a Springfield native and North High School graduate who played for the Miami RedHawks and coached the Ohio State Buckeyes for eight seasons. He’s in his second season as an assistant coach with the Phoenix Suns, who clinched the Western Conference championship with a 130-102 victory against the Los Angeles Clippers in Game 6 on Wednesday.

After the game, Ayers reflected on his time with Suns head coach Monty Williams. The two appeared together at the postgame press conference.

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Lakota East football standout to continue family tradition at Purdue

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Lakota East's Charlie Kenrich carries the football during their game against Middletown Friday, Sept. 20, 2019 at Lakota East High School in Liberty Township. Lakota East defeated Middletown 21-9. NICK GRAHAM/STAFF

Credit: Nick Graham

Lakota East's Charlie Kenrich carries the football during their game against Middletown Friday, Sept. 20, 2019 at Lakota East High School in Liberty Township. Lakota East defeated Middletown 21-9. NICK GRAHAM/STAFF

Credit: Nick Graham

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Lakota East's Charlie Kenrich carries the football during their game against Middletown Friday, Sept. 20, 2019 at Lakota East High School in Liberty Township. Lakota East defeated Middletown 21-9. NICK GRAHAM/STAFF

Credit: Nick Graham

Credit: Nick Graham

Lakota East High School rising senior Charlie Kenrich will be a fourth generation Boilermaker, but the three-star football recruit tried not to let family ties to Purdue University influence his decision.

Ultimately, Kenrich made his decision to commit to Purdue on Sunday based on other factors.

Purdue is recruiting the Thunderhawks’ wingback and second-team All-Greater Miami Conference pick as a tight end.

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Butler County charity already planning for back-to-school with backpacks, school supplies

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Fairfield RollHouse, a bowling alley on Dixie Highway, donated $2,600 do Dougie and Rays, a charity that supports students in the Fairfield City Schools. PROVIDED

Credit: Provided

Fairfield RollHouse, a bowling alley on Dixie Highway, donated $2,600 do Dougie and Rays, a charity that supports students in the Fairfield City Schools. PROVIDED

Credit: Provided

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Fairfield RollHouse, a bowling alley on Dixie Highway, donated $2,600 do Dougie and Rays, a charity that supports students in the Fairfield City Schools. PROVIDED

Credit: Provided

Credit: Provided

School hasn’t been out a month yet, but one Fairfield charity is already planning for the 2021-2022 school year.

Dougie & Ray’s recently acquired 150 backpacks for next school year with the help of a recent donation by Rollhouse Entertainment, a bowling alley on Ohio 4 in Fairfield. And Ted McDaniel, the charity’s founder, hopes to get at least 200 backpacks filled with school supplies for kids in need of assistance.

“My goal is just to continuously build, and help meet the needs of the district,” said McDaniel. “I know 200 out of 10,000 may not seem like that many, but that’s 200 kids that will have a backpack that may not have a backpack prior.”

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

‘Nothing like this is in the area’: Planned honky-tonk thinks big in West Chester

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Lori's Roadhouse, which will feature live entertainment and a full food and beverage menu, will open this fall next to the West Chester Antique Center. NICK GRAHAM/STAFF

Lori's Roadhouse, which will feature live entertainment and a full food and beverage menu, will open this fall next to the West Chester Antique Center. NICK GRAHAM/STAFF

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Lori's Roadhouse, which will feature live entertainment and a full food and beverage menu, will open this fall next to the West Chester Antique Center. NICK GRAHAM/STAFF

Greg Fisher’s wife told him there was no place in the Butler County area to dance.

That will change this fall.

Fisher said an entertainment venue, complete with two stages, a full kitchen and bar, is planned for the Union Center Pavilion Shopping Center in West Chester.

Lori’s Roadhouse, a 24,000-square-foot venue that eventually will include a 5,000-square-foot patio with room for 2,000 people, will be located adjacent to the West Chester Antique Center, 4924 Union Center Pavilion Drive. Fischer said Lori’s Roadhouse will be one of the Top 10 largest honky-tonks in the country.

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