New bakery coming to Third + Dayton, a disabled Army veteran ‘stands tall’ and more: 5 uplifting Butler County stories this week

Army veteran Charles Knuckles tells his story about how he ended up staying at a hotel in Middletown. Knuckles lost his legs due to complications from injuries he sustained in the Army. NICK GRAHAM / STAFF
Army veteran Charles Knuckles tells his story about how he ended up staying at a hotel in Middletown. Knuckles lost his legs due to complications from injuries he sustained in the Army. NICK GRAHAM / STAFF

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


Former Middie Kyle Schwarber plans to be ‘heavily involved’ in new Middletown Baseball League

Washington Nationals' Kyle Schwarber celebrates as he runs the bases for his two-run game-winning homer during the tenth inning of a baseball game against the Miami Marlins at Nationals Park, Friday, April 30, 2021, in Washington. The Nationals won 2-1 in 10 innings. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)
Washington Nationals' Kyle Schwarber celebrates as he runs the bases for his two-run game-winning homer during the tenth inning of a baseball game against the Miami Marlins at Nationals Park, Friday, April 30, 2021, in Washington. The Nationals won 2-1 in 10 innings. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

Credit: Alex Brandon

Credit: Alex Brandon

Kyle Schwarber has said he wanted to revitalize Middletown High School’s baseball program after he retired from playing Major League Baseball.

While Schwarber, 28, is years from retirement, he has agreed to help with the Middie Way Baseball League that will include several free instructional camps and a kindergarten-through-fifth-grade season starting in 2022.

Schwarber, who signed a one-year, $10 million deal with the Washington Nationals in the offseason, shot a video that was shown Tuesday afternoon at Middletown High School. Schwarber, a 2011 MHS graduate, said he plans to be “heavily involved” in the league and hopes it brings back baseball to the city.

READ THE FULL STORY


Whimmydiddle festival at RiversEdge to change this year: Here’s the lineup

Whimmydiddle, Hamilton’s two-night music festival is expected to draw record crowds at RiversEdge. GREG LYNCH / STAFF
Whimmydiddle, Hamilton’s two-night music festival is expected to draw record crowds at RiversEdge. GREG LYNCH / STAFF

RiversEdge has announced that Whimmydiddle will return in 2021 in a different format – a four concert series that will be spread out across the summer concert season.

“In years’ past, we produced Whimmydiddle as a two-consecutive night, multi-band festival, so we’d have four bands each night, and given the limited capacity this year, having that many bands on two-consecutive nights makes things really difficult for a couple reasons,” said Adam Helms, director of Resident Services for the City of Hamilton and the producer of Whimmydiddle.

Having four bands on stage and changing all the equipment or sharing equipment doesn’t really lend itself to social distancing, he said.

READ THE FULL STORY


McCrabb: Disabled Army veteran ‘stands tall’ in the face of disabilities, disappointments, homelessness

Army veteran Charles Knuckles tells his story about how he ended up staying at a hotel in Middletown. Knuckles lost his legs due to complications from injuries he sustained in the Army. NICK GRAHAM / STAFF
Army veteran Charles Knuckles tells his story about how he ended up staying at a hotel in Middletown. Knuckles lost his legs due to complications from injuries he sustained in the Army. NICK GRAHAM / STAFF

No veteran should be treated this way.

That’s one takeaway after talking with Charles Knuckles, a disabled Army veteran who lost his legs due to complications from infections.

Then you talk to Pastor Mitchell Foster, executive director of the Hope House, a men’s homeless shelter in Middletown. Knuckles stayed there for two nights last week, but after getting into arguments with residents and staff, left before Foster could connect him with the Dayton Veterans Affairs office.

READ THE FULL STORY


Bakery, sports company moving into Hamilton’s former Ohio Casualty complex

The Third + Dayton complex, part of which is shown here, used to be occupied by the Ohio Casualty insurance company, but now is finding new life with dozens of apartments and two companies moving in. This photo was taken from the top level of Hamilton's McDulin parking garage. MIKE RUTLEDGE/STAFF
The Third + Dayton complex, part of which is shown here, used to be occupied by the Ohio Casualty insurance company, but now is finding new life with dozens of apartments and two companies moving in. This photo was taken from the top level of Hamilton's McDulin parking garage. MIKE RUTLEDGE/STAFF

Two companies are moving into former Ohio Casualty buildings in Hamilton’s downtown, and 28 new apartments also are filling at the complex — to the extent that owners are considering adding another floor of apartments there.

Moving in this month to the complex now known as Third + Dayton is a West Chester company called HDLNS, representing the name Headline Sports with the vowels removed, and its 12 employees.

“We drive fan and community engagement through custom apparel, equipment and facilities, branding and licensing, as well as digital communications,” including marketing and creation of marketing content, said Ben Cosgrove of HDLNS.

READ THE FULL STORY


Phase 1 of Fairfield’s Harbin Park reconstruction set for summer: What comes next

The city of Fairfield will purchase a 33-acre site that would expand the city’s walking and cycling paths in Harbin Park to the west. The purchase is contingent receiving a Clean Ohio Grant that would pay for 75 percent of the purchase price. GREG LYNCH/FILE
The city of Fairfield will purchase a 33-acre site that would expand the city’s walking and cycling paths in Harbin Park to the west. The purchase is contingent receiving a Clean Ohio Grant that would pay for 75 percent of the purchase price. GREG LYNCH/FILE

It’s been talked about for several years, but the first signs of new construction at Harbin Park are set for this summer.

Fairfield City Council approved a $29,000 contract with Brandstetter Carroll, Inc. to complete the final engineering and structural design plans for the first of three phases of improvements at Harbin Park, the city’s largest and most-used park.

“It’s very exciting that we’re finally to this point,” said City Councilmember Leslie Besl, chair of the council’s park committee. “Obviously, this is something we’ve been working toward, and I think our residents are going to be excited to finally see something happening.”

READ THE FULL STORY


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

Archdeacon: Miami to honor Wayne and Terri Embry for a life’s work

Tecumseh High School alum and former Miami Uuniversity center Wayne Embry played a small role on one of the greatest dynasties in sports history. After eight seasons in Cincinnati, Embry won a title with the Boston Celtics in 1968. Embry averaged a career double-double with 17.2 points and 12.5 rebounds per game during his decade long NBA career. Miami University File Photo
Tecumseh High School alum and former Miami Uuniversity center Wayne Embry played a small role on one of the greatest dynasties in sports history. After eight seasons in Cincinnati, Embry won a title with the Boston Celtics in 1968. Embry averaged a career double-double with 17.2 points and 12.5 rebounds per game during his decade long NBA career. Miami University File Photo

As was still the practice back in 1965, NBA players roomed together on the road.

One late March afternoon that season, Cincinnati Royals center Wayne Embry was, like always, sharing his Philadelphia hotel quarters with Oscar Robertson as they awaited their playoff game with the Wilt Chamberlin-led 76ers.

“It was about 4 o’clock and the phone rang and it was my wife,” Embry recalled Friday afternoon.

Seven years earlier he had married fellow Miami University student, Theresa “Terri” Jackson, a former Roosevelt High student in Dayton, who had graduated from Jefferson Township High. By 1965 they had three small children.

READ THE FULL STORY


In Other News