Top local news for Monday, Jan. 24, 2022

Steve Timmer, executive director of Hamilton Parks Conservancy, stands inside a greenhouse the Conservancy uses to grow plants that will be installed around Hamilton in various parks. Timmer is retiring but will likely continue to help with projects. NICK GRAHAM / STAFF

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Steve Timmer, executive director of Hamilton Parks Conservancy, stands inside a greenhouse the Conservancy uses to grow plants that will be installed around Hamilton in various parks. Timmer is retiring but will likely continue to help with projects. NICK GRAHAM / STAFF

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


Steve Timmer, ‘born in Marcum Park,’ soon to semi-retire from parks conservancy

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Steve Timmer, executive director of Hamilton Parks Conservancy, stands inside a greenhouse the Conservancy uses to grow plants that will be installed around Hamilton in various parks. Timmer is retiring but will likely continue to help with projects. NICK GRAHAM / STAFF

Credit: Nick Graham

Steve Timmer, executive director of Hamilton Parks Conservancy, stands inside a greenhouse the Conservancy uses to grow plants that will be installed around Hamilton in various parks. Timmer is retiring but will likely continue to help with projects. NICK GRAHAM / STAFF

Credit: Nick Graham

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Steve Timmer, executive director of Hamilton Parks Conservancy, stands inside a greenhouse the Conservancy uses to grow plants that will be installed around Hamilton in various parks. Timmer is retiring but will likely continue to help with projects. NICK GRAHAM / STAFF

Credit: Nick Graham

Credit: Nick Graham

Steve Timmer, the man most responsible for turning Hamilton’s parks from shabby during the early 2010s to jewels of the city now, will retire as founding director of the Hamilton Parks Conservancy this month, but will stay on a while to help with his replacement’s transition.

Timmer, a retired Hamilton fire captain, has worked six- and seven-day weeks since 2015, and is widely admired for his energy and positivity. Before taking on what may be his greatest professional accomplishment — leadership of the parks — he already had been named Hamilton’s 2014 Citizen of the Year for many volunteer efforts, including beautifying parks as a volunteer master gardener.

“He was the right guy at the right time for the right job, to get us where we needed to be,” said James K. Fitton, chairman of the parks conservancy. “Obviously, I hate to see Steve retire, but he and I are about the same age, so I can certainly understand it’s that time.”

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Donut Trail celebrates 7th year with T-shirt; passport now offered in braille and large print

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assorted glazed donut

Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto

assorted glazed donut

Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto

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assorted glazed donut

Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto

Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto

Those who complete the Butler County Donut Trail in 2022 can not only sport the new T-shirt, but there’s also a new Donut Trail Braille & Large Print Passport, which will make the Donut Trail accessible to more visitors.

Guests are encouraged to “Follow Your Dreams” with the unveiling of the Butler County Visitors Bureau 2022 T-shirt design. The Donut Trail continues to bring national recognition to Butler County.

“This year’s shirt is about following your dreams, and the color that was chosen was by popular vote, so the public chose the final color. It’s a lovely, pleasant color this year. I think people will really enjoy it,” said Tracy Kocher, vice president of marketing and communications for Butler County Visitors Bureau.

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Man pleads guilty in deaths of Middletown couple who died because of drugs

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David Eugene Quinn

Credit: Butler County Jail

David Eugene Quinn

Credit: Butler County Jail

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David Eugene Quinn

Credit: Butler County Jail

Credit: Butler County Jail

A man indicted last summer for furnishing a Middletown couple with drugs that killed them pleaded guilty to two counts of involuntary manslaughter Thursday in Butler County Common Pleas Court.

David Eugene Quinn, 41, of Young Street, was indicted June 16 by a Butler County grand jury for two counts of corrupting another with drugs and trafficking in a fentanyl-related compound in addition to the involuntary manslaughter charges. He was taking into custody two months later.

Brandon McQueen, 38, and Rebecca McQueen, 42, were found dead Nov. 20, 2020, in their Auburn Street home by a family member, according to a Middletown Division of Police report. Drugs were found at the residence, including “four lines of a white powdery substance,” according to police.

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Lakota West defensive back receives scholarship offers from Ohio State, Notre Dame

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Lakota West Malik Hartford reflects on their Division I Regional final football playoff game loss as Moeller celebrates in the background Friday, Nov. 19, 2021 at Dwire Field in Mason. Moeller won 21-17. NICK GRAHAM / STAFF

Credit: Nick Graham

Lakota West Malik Hartford reflects on their Division I Regional final football playoff game loss as Moeller celebrates in the background Friday, Nov. 19, 2021 at Dwire Field in Mason. Moeller won 21-17. NICK GRAHAM / STAFF

Credit: Nick Graham

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Lakota West Malik Hartford reflects on their Division I Regional final football playoff game loss as Moeller celebrates in the background Friday, Nov. 19, 2021 at Dwire Field in Mason. Moeller won 21-17. NICK GRAHAM / STAFF

Credit: Nick Graham

Credit: Nick Graham

Lakota West defensive back Malik Hartford was among a wave of players in the class of 2023 to receive an Ohio State over the past week.

A four-star “athlete” prospect who had 58 tackles for the Firebirds last season, Hartford is the No. 4 prospect in the state and No. 217 in the nation in 247Sports Composite rankings.

The 6-3, 180-pounder also had two interceptions and caught a 49-yard pass as his team went 11-2 and advanced to the regional finals in Division I.

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Man, woman face robbery charges for separate purse snatching incidents in Middletown area

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Brittany Gaba, 33, of Middletown, was charged with robbery today after she allegedly stole a woman's purse Saturday. MIDDLETOWN POLICE

Brittany Gaba, 33, of Middletown, was charged with robbery today after she allegedly stole a woman's purse Saturday. MIDDLETOWN POLICE

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Brittany Gaba, 33, of Middletown, was charged with robbery today after she allegedly stole a woman's purse Saturday. MIDDLETOWN POLICE

Two people accused of victimizing senior citizens by snatching purses last month in the Middletown area are facing robbery charges, according to court records.

Derek Vaughn, 58, and Brittany Gaba, 32, were indicted Friday by a Butler County grand jury for robbery and theft from a person in a protected class for separate incidents that happened one day apart. The charges are felonies.

Butler County Sheriff’s deputies and Trenton police officers responded shortly after 11 a.m. Dec. 5 to Kroger on Oxford State Road for the report of a man snatching the purse from an elderly woman inside the store.

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

Butler County doling out $9 million more in rental assistance

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Supports to Encourage Low-income Families (SELF) is providing these fliers to the Butler County municipals courts to include in eviction notices. SELF is tasked with disbursing $11.4 million in COVID rental assistance.

Credit: Submitted

Supports to Encourage Low-income Families (SELF) is providing these fliers to the Butler County municipals courts to include in eviction notices. SELF is tasked with disbursing $11.4 million in COVID rental assistance.

Credit: Submitted

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Supports to Encourage Low-income Families (SELF) is providing these fliers to the Butler County municipals courts to include in eviction notices. SELF is tasked with disbursing $11.4 million in COVID rental assistance.

Credit: Submitted

Credit: Submitted

The $11.4 million Butler County received in federal COVID-19 relief funding to assist renters is expected to run out soon, so the commissioners agreed to tap another $9 million they have been allocated.

As part of the $900 billion federal omnibus bill passed in late 2020, lawmakers set aside $25 billion to help renters who struggled to meet their housing and utility bill obligations. Butler County qualified for $11.4 million of the money. The federal government announced a second wave of funding and the county has access to an additional $9 million.

The commissioners did not accept the second round of funding initially because they wanted to gauge the need first. They approved collecting it on Thursday at the request of Susan Ellerhorst, the new community development administrator.

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