Top local news for Thursday, Jan. 13, 2022

Some area school districts started new student masking policies Monday in the wake of recent changes in state recommendations for coronavirus quarantining of students. Butler County's largest district, Lakota Schools, went from mandatory masking to "highly recommended" as did Middletown Schools and some other local school systems. (File Photo\Journal-News)
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Some area school districts started new student masking policies Monday in the wake of recent changes in state recommendations for coronavirus quarantining of students. Butler County's largest district, Lakota Schools, went from mandatory masking to "highly recommended" as did Middletown Schools and some other local school systems. (File Photo\Journal-News)

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


COVID-19: More area school districts close because of low staffing

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Some area school districts started new student masking policies Monday in the wake of recent changes in state recommendations for coronavirus quarantining of students. Butler County's largest district, Lakota Schools, went from mandatory masking to "highly recommended" as did Middletown Schools and some other local school systems. (File Photo\Journal-News)

Some area school districts started new student masking policies Monday in the wake of recent changes in state recommendations for coronavirus quarantining of students. Butler County's largest district, Lakota Schools, went from mandatory masking to "highly recommended" as did Middletown Schools and some other local school systems. (File Photo\Journal-News)
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Some area school districts started new student masking policies Monday in the wake of recent changes in state recommendations for coronavirus quarantining of students. Butler County's largest district, Lakota Schools, went from mandatory masking to "highly recommended" as did Middletown Schools and some other local school systems. (File Photo\Journal-News)

The local surge in COVID-19 cases will keep thousands more students out of classes Friday as additional area school systems announced closures Thursday.

Officials at Butler County’s largest district — the 17,000-student Lakota Schools — told families its 23 school buildings must close due to staffing shortages caused by illnesses and absences from the virus.

And officials at Madison Schools also announced the end live classes after Thursday’s class schedule, as has the 6,300-student Middletown Schools and the 4,500-student Kings district in southern Warren County.

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Shooters Sports Grill to occupy former Danbarry Cinemas in Hamilton

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Todd Helton has announced Shooters Sports Grill will occupy part of the former 10-screen Danbarry movie theater on NW Washington Boulevard in Hamilton, as well as an unnamed steakhouse, and possibly a banquet area and entertainment venue in the 24,000 sq. ft. building. NICK GRAHAM/ STAFF

Todd Helton has announced Shooters Sports Grill will occupy part of the  former 10-screen Danbarry movie theater on NW Washington Boulevard in Hamilton, as well as an unnamed steakhouse, and possibly a banquet area and entertainment venue in the 24,000 sq. ft. building. NICK GRAHAM/ STAFF
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Todd Helton has announced Shooters Sports Grill will occupy part of the former 10-screen Danbarry movie theater on NW Washington Boulevard in Hamilton, as well as an unnamed steakhouse, and possibly a banquet area and entertainment venue in the 24,000 sq. ft. building. NICK GRAHAM/ STAFF

Shooters Sports Grill plans to open its fourth Greater Cincinnati location in the former 10-screen Danbarry Cinemas building on Hamilton’s West Side.

The sports bar has not yet set a date for its opening, and the space still is being designed, Kevin Peyton, a partner with Shooters Development Co. said in a video that was posted on the Greater Hamilton Chamber of Commerce’s web page.

Shooters will be the first phase of filling the building, with a privately owned steakhouse also to come, said building owner Todd Helton. He expects at least one other business to occupy the 24,000-square-foot space, which Helton, a real estate agent with Sibcy Cline Realtors bought for $125,000 plus a promise he would honor a contract with a company that had been hired by others to gut the building.

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Threats lead to closures of Edgewood, New Miami schools

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The teenage boy, who's social media threat of an armed attack on Edgewood High School closed all schools in the district, refuted a charge against him Thursday in Butler County Juvenile Court. (File Photo\Journal-News)

The teenage boy, who's social media threat of an armed attack on Edgewood High School closed all schools in the district, refuted a charge against him Thursday in Butler County Juvenile Court. (File Photo\Journal-News)
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The teenage boy, who's social media threat of an armed attack on Edgewood High School closed all schools in the district, refuted a charge against him Thursday in Butler County Juvenile Court. (File Photo\Journal-News)

TRENTON — Edgewood City Schools were closed Thursday because of a social media threat, according to the Butler County Sheriff’s office and a notice posted on the district’s website.

A post of an image showing a young man holding a gun surfaced on social media saying he was “going out with a bang don’t go to school tmr.” It made reference to “EHS”.

The BCSO is investigating, according to Chief Deputy Anthony Dwyer. But he said the post appears to be and edited version of one circulated multiple time in multiple locations.

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Pohlman Lanes soon becoming family entertainment place

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Pohlman Lanes Family Entertainment Complex

Pohlman Lanes Family Entertainment Complex
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Pohlman Lanes Family Entertainment Complex

HAMILTON — Jeff Pohlman planned to transform Pohlman Lanes on Pyramid Hill Boulevard into Pohlman Lanes & Family Entertainment Complex, but didn’t realize he would need to add a fire-suppression system to meet current building codes.

If Hamilton’s city government hadn’t created a program to help businesses upgrade older buildings for new purposes, “the project was going to be put on hold for quite some time,” Pohlman said.

“We eliminated 16 of the (32) bowling lanes — I put flooring up over top of them,” converting it to an event center, with a stage where entertainers can perform and people can have parties, Pohlman said.

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Butler County again hunting for second-in-command

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Butler County Government Services Center

Butler County Government Services Center
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Butler County Government Services Center

Butler County is once again in the hunt for a new second-in-command, but commissioners say there is no big rush to fill the void because the county is in the best shape it has ever been in.

After only six months on the job, Assistant County Administrator Scott Timmer quit to return to Fairfield as its city manager. His restart date with the city is Feb. 7 and he’ll be earning $165,000 — which is $30,000 more than the county was paying him.

Commissioner Don Dixon, whose idea it was to consider Timmer for the No. 2 position, said they are in no rush to refill the position.

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

Monroe officials consider solar panels at city buildings to save money

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Monroe has moved their police department to a renovated former grocery store just up the street from the former police station. NICK GRAHAM / STAFF

Credit: Nick Graham

Monroe has moved their police department to a renovated former grocery store just up the street from the former police station. NICK GRAHAM / STAFF
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Monroe has moved their police department to a renovated former grocery store just up the street from the former police station. NICK GRAHAM / STAFF

Credit: Nick Graham

Credit: Nick Graham

Monroe City Manager Bill Brock made a presentation Tuesday night asking for city council’s input regarding potentially installing solar panels at four city-owned sites for an estimated cost of $1.1 million.

The estimated savings over 25 years, the warranty of the solar panels, would be $1.5 million, according to documents prepared by Paff Electric and Solar and PRO Lighting and Solar.

The panels would be installed on the ground or on the roof, depending on the design of the building, Brock said.

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