Top local news for Monday, Jan. 31, 2022

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

Hamilton announces streets planned for upcoming levy-paid resurfacing

Hamilton officials have decided on the next streets that will be repaved from money raised through the 2020 street-repair levy, based on a number of factors. Those factors residents’ votes for ones they most want to see fixed; streets that first need repairs to underground utilities, such as storm-sewer or water lines; and keeping their promise to evenly divide the repairs across the city’s 17 neighborhoods.

City Manager Joshua Smith recently unveiled new signs that will be placed on streets repaired using the 10-year levy that will generate about $3.1 million a year, or $31 million across the decade. The signs, announcing, “Resurfacing supported by Hamilton streets levy,” will show people where the levy money was spent. The signs also show the website where people eventually will be able to track the dollars spent in each neighborhood. That address is

Residents also can vote there on which streets they most want to see paved.


New state COVID-19 contact tracing rules welcomed by local schools

Credit: Nick Graham

Credit: Nick Graham

The recent loosening of COVID-19 contact tracing requirements by state health officials is welcomed by area school officials but the new procedures are still being formulated by some local school leaders as to how they will be applied to their schools.

Others, like Madison and Fairfield Schools and more have quickly adopted the new, more lenient guidelines.

Last week saw the Ohio Department of Health issue the new contact tracing procedures for infected students and school staffers.


Historic first: Mason Schools see African American join its school board

One of the region’s most racially diverse school systems recently made more history in that respect with the recent swearing in of its first African American school board member.

Warren County’s largest school district — the 10,000-student Mason Schools — has for years led all other area school systems for its level of student racial diversity primarily due to having southwest Ohio’s largest percentage of Asian Americans enrollees.

But November’s election of long-time Mason resident Ian Orr — and his joining Mason’s governing school board earlier this month — was a first for one of the oldest local school districts, which can trace its roots back into the early half of the last century.


McCrabb: Brothers-in-law reunited while assisting hospitalized COVID-19 patients at Atrium

Credit: Will Jones

Credit: Will Jones

When Brayden Hudnall moved to Trenton to live with his sister and brother-in-law seven years ago, they never could have imagined where they’d be today.

Coronavirus wasn’t a word.

Masks were mostly worn by football players.

And social distancing was only encouraged by chaperones at junior high dances.


Driver in Tylersville Road crash attempted to flee; portion of road closed today

West Chester Twp. officials are reporting a portion Tylersville Road will be closed most of today due to downed power lines after a crash between LeSourdsville and Beckett roads.

A vehicle struck a utility pole at around 6 a.m. causing five other utility poles to topple between LeSourdsville and Beckett roads. Duke Energy is reporting Tylersville Road is closed between Running Deer and Farmgate. Through traffic should use Hamilton-Mason Road to the north and LeSourdesville, Beckett and Smith roads to the south.

The driver fled the scene of the crash on foot and was located by West Chester Police around 8:30 a.m.


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

Fairfield kicks off new bourbon event with blues guitarist Dudley Taft

Credit: Shae Combs/Game Day

Credit: Shae Combs/Game Day

A new concert series will feature a selection of bourbon and craft beer while patrons take in an evening of the blues.

The inaugural Bourbon, Blues & Brews series concert is set for Friday at the Fairfield Community Arts Center, 411 Wessel Dr. It was the idea of Fairfield production manager Jason Hauslein a couple of years ago.

Implementation of the series was stalled due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but now as concerts are being played again at the CAC, Hauslein said it was time to test the waters.