Madison coach wins world trophy, Middletown firefighters deliver 2 babies and more: 5 uplifting stories this week

Credit: Journal News

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Credit: Journal News

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


City unveils street sign for beloved police officer who served 44 years, 26 in Middletown schools

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Bev Davis, who was married to Middletown police officer Mike Davis for 27 years, unveils a street sign in his honor during a ceremony Wednesday near Manchester Road. RICK McCRABB/STAFF

Bev Davis, who was married to Middletown police officer Mike Davis for 27 years, unveils a street sign in his honor during a ceremony Wednesday near Manchester Road. RICK McCRABB/STAFF
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Bev Davis, who was married to Middletown police officer Mike Davis for 27 years, unveils a street sign in his honor during a ceremony Wednesday near Manchester Road. RICK McCRABB/STAFF

If not for two persistent police officers most Middletown residents may not have heard of Mike Davis.

He joined the Middletown Division of Police as a cadet in 1966 and served as a motorcycle police officer and narcotics detective. Years later, Harvey Poff approached Davis about taking over his position as a school police officer when he retired.

Davis had no interest in shifting roles, he said.

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Madison football coach wins disabled world strongman trophy in London

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Former area fireman Mike Diehl - now an assistant coach with Madison High School football - lost his right arm in a 2015 fire truck accident, Diehl, a 41-year-old father of two, just came back from London, England as that world competition's first place disabled strong man award. Diehl says part of his motivation is to inspire the youth he coaches. (Photo By Michael D. Clark\Journal-News)

Former area fireman Mike Diehl - now an assistant coach with Madison High School football - lost his right arm in a 2015 fire truck accident, Diehl, a 41-year-old father of two, just came back from London, England as that world competition's first place disabled strong man award. Diehl says part of his motivation is to inspire the youth he coaches. (Photo By Michael D. Clark\Journal-News)
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Former area fireman Mike Diehl - now an assistant coach with Madison High School football - lost his right arm in a 2015 fire truck accident, Diehl, a 41-year-old father of two, just came back from London, England as that world competition's first place disabled strong man award. Diehl says part of his motivation is to inspire the youth he coaches. (Photo By Michael D. Clark\Journal-News)

With the heart of a world champion and a full-bodied spirit, the only thing missing from Madison High School assistant football coach Mike Diehl is his right arm.

Diehl, a former fireman who lost an arm in a 2015 fire truck accident, recently returned from an international disabled strongman competition in London, England with a first-place trophy.

The 6-foot-2, 300-pound Madison Twp. father of two, said through the international and American strongman competitions, he helps inspire the young athletes he coaches to see all challenges can be overcome.

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Firefighters honored for delivering babies in 2 Middletown homes

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Middletown firefighter Ethan Clark, 26, who has worked in Middletown for five years, helped deliver a baby on Sept. 16. Clark and nine other firefighters received certificates and stork pins Wednesday from Rich Morrett, emergency medical services director at Atrium Medical Center, and Dr. Jill Aston, director of Atrium Medical Center’s Level III Emergency Trauma Center and medical director for the Middletown and Monroe fire and EMS departments. RICK McCRABB/STAFF

Middletown firefighter Ethan Clark, 26, who has worked in Middletown for five years, helped deliver a baby on Sept. 16. Clark and nine other firefighters received certificates and stork pins Wednesday from Rich Morrett, emergency medical services director at Atrium Medical Center, and Dr. Jill Aston, director of Atrium Medical Center’s Level III Emergency Trauma Center and medical director for the Middletown and Monroe fire and EMS departments. RICK McCRABB/STAFF
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Middletown firefighter Ethan Clark, 26, who has worked in Middletown for five years, helped deliver a baby on Sept. 16. Clark and nine other firefighters received certificates and stork pins Wednesday from Rich Morrett, emergency medical services director at Atrium Medical Center, and Dr. Jill Aston, director of Atrium Medical Center’s Level III Emergency Trauma Center and medical director for the Middletown and Monroe fire and EMS departments. RICK McCRABB/STAFF

Rich Morrett, emergency medical services director at Atrium Medical Center, said Middletown firefighters/paramedics “see death and destruction and what we can’t bring back.”

On Wednesday morning, two medic crews were honored for delivering babies last month.

“Bringing a life in the world is something that needs celebrated,” Morrett told the firefighters. “In that aspect, you not only have one patient, but two you are caring for.”

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Madison graduate who was Top 10 in national talent search returns for performance this weekend

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Tyler Evick, a

Tyler Evick, a
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Tyler Evick, a

Those who watched Tyler Evick start his singing and acting career on local stages and those who want to get a behind-the-scenes glimpse of a professional performer, will have an opportunity Saturday night.

Evick, 36, a 2004 Madison High School graduate, will perform “Through My Lens: A Cabaret” at Madison High. He called the performance “a journey” through his personal life and performing career.

The cabaret features music from various Broadway classics including “The Phantom of the Opera,” “Les Miserables,” “West Side Story,” and “Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat.” He expects to sing about 15 tunes.

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Local musicians to perform in France as part of sister-city program with Cincinnati

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Kelly MacKenzie-Thurley. CONTRIBUTED

Kelly MacKenzie-Thurley. CONTRIBUTED
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Kelly MacKenzie-Thurley. CONTRIBUTED

Kelly MacKenzie-Thurley, local singer and voice teacher, is part of a select group of area musicians invited to perform and give master classes in Nancy, France as part of a sister-city cultural exchange program with Cincinnati.

MacKenzie-Thurley left Hamilton on Friday and will serve as a jazz ambassador, along with pianist Phil DeGreg, for the 30th anniversary of the union between the cities. MacKenzie-Thurley and DeGreg will be accompanied by Laura Gentry, president of Jazz Alive and board member of the Cincinnati-Nancy France Sister City Association.

“I feel very humbled to be asked to be a jazz ambassador on behalf of our city. It’s an extraordinary opportunity to be able to go and present jazz history and perform for the people of our sister city,” MacKenzie-Thurley said.

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

‘It’s sort of surreal’: Edgewood honors Olympic gold medalist Zach Apple at Friday football game

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Trenton native and 2015 Edgewood High School graduate Zach Apple was honored at halftime of the Edgewood football game Friday, Oct. 8, 2021 at Edgewood's Kumler Field. Apple won two gold medals for swimming in the 2020 Tokyo Olympics held this year. Edgewood school board president Jim Wirtley presented Apple with a sign that will be installed near the high school naming a section of road Zach Apple Way. NICK GRAHAM / STAFF

Credit: Nick Graham

Trenton native and 2015 Edgewood High School graduate Zach Apple was honored at halftime of the Edgewood football game Friday, Oct. 8, 2021 at Edgewood's Kumler Field. Apple won two gold medals for swimming in the 2020 Tokyo Olympics held this year. Edgewood school board president Jim Wirtley presented Apple with a sign that will be installed near the high school naming a section of road Zach Apple Way. NICK GRAHAM / STAFF
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Trenton native and 2015 Edgewood High School graduate Zach Apple was honored at halftime of the Edgewood football game Friday, Oct. 8, 2021 at Edgewood's Kumler Field. Apple won two gold medals for swimming in the 2020 Tokyo Olympics held this year. Edgewood school board president Jim Wirtley presented Apple with a sign that will be installed near the high school naming a section of road Zach Apple Way. NICK GRAHAM / STAFF

Credit: Nick Graham

Credit: Nick Graham

TRENTON -- It seemed on Friday that the only group of people who didn’t pose for photos with Zach Apple at Edgewood High School’s Kumler Field were the Cougar and Talawanda Brave football teams.

Edgewood enjoyed one of the most impressive Homecoming football games in Southwest Ohio history on Friday. Not only did the Cougars swarm over Talawanda for a crucial 49-14 Southwest Ohio Conference win, they celebrated the return of a graduate who had earned two Olympic gold medals.

Not many local schools can say that.

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