Top local news for Friday, June 24, 2022

Mike Fox, pictured here in April 2011 in a former Oxford home, has survived a surgical procedure that removed a cancerous kidney. FILE PHOTO

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Mike Fox, pictured here in April 2011 in a former Oxford home, has survived a surgical procedure that removed a cancerous kidney. FILE PHOTO

Here is a look at five big Butler County stories today to catch up on the news.


Former Butler Co. politician, public figure Michael Fox dies at 73

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Former Butler County politician Michael Fox will undergo surgery this week to remove a cancerous kidney. This is following congestive heart failure he suffered two months ago that’s left his body weak. MICHAEL D. PITMAN/FILE

Former Butler County politician Michael Fox will undergo surgery this week to remove a cancerous kidney. This is following congestive heart failure he suffered two months ago that’s left his body weak. MICHAEL D. PITMAN/FILE

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Former Butler County politician Michael Fox will undergo surgery this week to remove a cancerous kidney. This is following congestive heart failure he suffered two months ago that’s left his body weak. MICHAEL D. PITMAN/FILE

Former Butler County politician, and sometimes controversial public figure, Michael A. Fox died Thursday, according to people who knew him.

Fox, a Hamilton native, was many things in his 73 years, but most notably he was a long-time member of the Ohio House of Representatives, representing Butler County in Columbus. He was also a Butler County commissioner and the director of Butler County’s Children Services.

Fox died Thursday afternoon after a long illness.

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Storms destroy MetroParks administrative center

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Fallen trees from a storm damaged buildings at Forest Run MetroPark Timberman Ridge area Wednesday, June 22, 2022. A section of the Forest Run Welcome Center was destroyed. Butler County MetroParks workers were inside when it happened but were in another part of the building. NICK GRAHAM/STAFF

Credit: Nick Graham

Fallen trees from a storm damaged buildings at Forest Run MetroPark Timberman Ridge area Wednesday, June 22, 2022. A section of the Forest Run Welcome Center was destroyed. Butler County MetroParks workers were inside when it happened but were in another part of the building. NICK GRAHAM/STAFF

Credit: Nick Graham

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Fallen trees from a storm damaged buildings at Forest Run MetroPark Timberman Ridge area Wednesday, June 22, 2022. A section of the Forest Run Welcome Center was destroyed. Butler County MetroParks workers were inside when it happened but were in another part of the building. NICK GRAHAM/STAFF

Credit: Nick Graham

Credit: Nick Graham

A giant tree crashed through a MetroParks building Wednesday afternoon in Ross Twp. when severe weather moved through the area and knocked out power to more than 1,500 customers in Butler County.

The toppled tree dropped into the conference and kitchen area of the house MetroParks uses for administrative offices at the Forest Run MetroPark between 3:30 and 3:45 p.m.

Katie Ely, supervisor of Community and Park Relations, said there were four people — she was one of them — in their offices but not in that area and “we were very lucky nobody was injured.”

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Middletown’s Goetz Tower gets ‘new life’ after receiving state tax credits

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Steve Coon, developer of the Goetz Tower in downtown Middletown, met with City Council members, city staff and members of the Middletown Historic Commission recently to discuss his plans for the property. Development of the property has been slow for numerous reasons. RICK McCRABB/STAFF

Steve Coon, developer of the Goetz Tower in downtown Middletown, met with City Council members, city staff and members of the Middletown Historic Commission recently to discuss his plans for the property. Development of the property has been slow for numerous reasons. RICK McCRABB/STAFF

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Steve Coon, developer of the Goetz Tower in downtown Middletown, met with City Council members, city staff and members of the Middletown Historic Commission recently to discuss his plans for the property. Development of the property has been slow for numerous reasons. RICK McCRABB/STAFF

The developer of a vacant, seven-story Middletown building said it “got new life” after the state awarded more than $711,950 in tax credits.

Steve Coon, developer of the Goetz Tower, 1000 Central Ave., said the former bank and office tower in downtown will be converted into 20 market-rate apartments on the second through seventh floors with retail or office space on the first floor.

He expects the project to be complete by the fall of 2023.

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In support of townships, large solar and wind farms banned by Butler County

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Butler County Commissioners have been asked by 12 townships to ban large scale solar and wind farms according to new law. Several residents protested the plan at a public hearing Monday. NICK GRAHAM/STAFF

Credit: Nick Graham

Butler County Commissioners have been asked by 12 townships to ban large scale solar and wind farms according to new law. Several residents protested the plan at a public hearing Monday. NICK GRAHAM/STAFF

Credit: Nick Graham

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Butler County Commissioners have been asked by 12 townships to ban large scale solar and wind farms according to new law. Several residents protested the plan at a public hearing Monday. NICK GRAHAM/STAFF

Credit: Nick Graham

Credit: Nick Graham

The Butler County commissioners said while they understand the need for supporting alternative energy sources, they want to respect the wishes of their township trustees so they voted unanimously to ban industrial solar and wind farms.

Last week, they conducted a required public hearing after 12 of 13 township trustee boards passed resolutions asking them to ban the utility-grade energy generating farms. Several people spoke out against the ban and Commissioner T.C. Rogers said he heard them, but believes the issue may be moot anyway and “we have a natural tendency to support our trustees.”

“The people opposing this made some good points but the only thing is on this particular item we are voting on it is unrealistic, based upon the minimum assemblance of acres in the entire county that anybody could put a deal together,” Rogers said. “Sot hat’s why I don’t believe we’re actually taking the rights of property owners in the reality of this.”

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Kings Island breaks record with World’s Largest Swim Lesson

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Kings Island Soak City Water Park participated in the World's Largest Swim Lesson on Thursday, June 23. CONTRIBUTED/KI

Kings Island Soak City Water Park participated in the World's Largest Swim Lesson on Thursday, June 23. CONTRIBUTED/KI

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Kings Island Soak City Water Park participated in the World's Largest Swim Lesson on Thursday, June 23. CONTRIBUTED/KI

MASON — Kings Island is known for lots of fun and thrills but now it’s also known for helping set a world record.

Thursday, Kings Island’s Soak City Water Park participated in the World’s Largest Swim Lesson — an international record-breaking event.

Soak City had 200 visitors — all of which were admitted into the park for free — participate in the worldwide event.

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

PHOTOS: Former Butler Co. Commissioner Michael Fox through the years

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Mike Fox poses for a photo under a sign marking the Michael A. Fox Highway, Wednesday June 9, 2004, in Hamilton, Ohio. Officials in Butler County, where the Hispanic population has grown by 500 percent since 1990, said they hope to enact a state trespassing law for illegal immigrants. Combs, County Commissioner Mike Fox and Sheriff Rick Jones contend federal resources are stretched too thin to adequately police the region's ballooning immigrant population. (AP Photo/The Cincinnati Enquirer, Glenn Hartong)

Credit: GLENN HARTHOG

Mike Fox poses for a photo under a sign marking the Michael A. Fox Highway, Wednesday June 9, 2004, in Hamilton, Ohio. Officials in Butler County, where the Hispanic population has grown by 500 percent since 1990, said they hope to enact a state trespassing law for illegal immigrants. Combs, County Commissioner Mike Fox and Sheriff Rick Jones contend federal resources are stretched too thin to adequately police the region's ballooning immigrant population. (AP Photo/The Cincinnati Enquirer, Glenn Hartong)

Credit: GLENN HARTHOG

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Mike Fox poses for a photo under a sign marking the Michael A. Fox Highway, Wednesday June 9, 2004, in Hamilton, Ohio. Officials in Butler County, where the Hispanic population has grown by 500 percent since 1990, said they hope to enact a state trespassing law for illegal immigrants. Combs, County Commissioner Mike Fox and Sheriff Rick Jones contend federal resources are stretched too thin to adequately police the region's ballooning immigrant population. (AP Photo/The Cincinnati Enquirer, Glenn Hartong)

Credit: GLENN HARTHOG

Credit: GLENN HARTHOG

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