Top local news for Thursday, Jan. 20, 2022

Photo of the suspect in the robbery of Fifth Third Bank on Princeton Road Wednesday afternoon. FAIRFIELD TWP. POLICE

caption arrowCaption
Photo of the suspect in the robbery of Fifth Third Bank on Princeton Road Wednesday afternoon. FAIRFIELD TWP. POLICE

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


Chief: Hamilton police officer terminated for sexual activity while on duty

caption arrowCaption
People impacted by prostitution, drug abuse and other crimes in their Hamilton neighborhoods are invited to the city’s police department at 6:30 p.m. tonight to help create Neighborhood Crime Victim Impact statements. FILE PHOTO

People impacted by prostitution, drug abuse and other crimes in their Hamilton neighborhoods are invited to the city’s police department at 6:30 p.m. tonight to help create Neighborhood Crime Victim Impact statements. FILE PHOTO

caption arrowCaption
People impacted by prostitution, drug abuse and other crimes in their Hamilton neighborhoods are invited to the city’s police department at 6:30 p.m. tonight to help create Neighborhood Crime Victim Impact statements. FILE PHOTO

A Hamilton police officer on the force for a little over a year was terminated earlier this month for engaging in a consensual sexual encounter while on duty, according to Hamilton Police Chief Craig Bucheit.

Reiny Parrado, 31, was fired Jan. 10 the same day fellow officers reported his possible misconduct with an adult acquaintance while he was on patrol, according to Bucheit and city documents.

“That officer was terminated with immediate effect. The investigation preliminarily determined that although this incident occurred months ago, a brief video clip of the encounter was recently circulated by the acquaintance before being deleted,” Bucheit said in a statement.

READ THE FULL STORY


Police seek information on Fifth Third Bank robbery in Fairfield Twp.

caption arrowCaption
Photo of the suspect in the robbery of Fifth Third Bank on Princeton Road Wednesday afternoon. FAIRFIELD TWP. POLICE

Photo of the suspect in the robbery of Fifth Third Bank on Princeton Road Wednesday afternoon. FAIRFIELD TWP. POLICE

caption arrowCaption
Photo of the suspect in the robbery of Fifth Third Bank on Princeton Road Wednesday afternoon. FAIRFIELD TWP. POLICE

A robber targeted a Fifth Third Bank branch Wednesday in Fairfield Twp.

The robbery happened around 4:25 p.m. at the bank at 3131 Princeton Road, according to a release from the Fairfield Township Police Department.

The bank robber is described as a man who stands about 5 feet, 5 inches who was wearing all dark clothing, a mask and ballcap.

READ THE FULL STORY


Uptick in catalytic converter thefts in Hamilton leads to tightened recycling requirements

Hamilton City Council last week reversed course on its approach to curtail sales of stolen catalytic converters, and were thanked by a leader of Cohen Recycling for listening to what he, Butler County Prosecutor Mike Gmoser and others believe will be a more effective approach.

Council on Oct. 13 approved an ordinance that placed requirements on recycling businesses to register with the city after Mayor Pat Moeller said he heard concerns about increases in such thefts.

A week before that vote, Gmoser told the Journal-News he believed the proposed ordinance would create “unintended consequences” and by placing more requirements on legitimate recyclers and scrap dealers like Cohen, the company’s response might be, “I’m not doing this anymore. I don’t need the trouble.”

READ THE FULL STORY


Marijuana cultivation businesses interested in Middletown, official says

caption arrowCaption
Strawberry Fields, the medical marijuana dispensary on Cincinnati Dayton Road in Monroe, opens Friday, Oct. 25, 2019. NICK GRAHAM/STAFF

Strawberry Fields, the medical marijuana dispensary on Cincinnati Dayton Road in Monroe, opens Friday, Oct. 25, 2019. NICK GRAHAM/STAFF

caption arrowCaption
Strawberry Fields, the medical marijuana dispensary on Cincinnati Dayton Road in Monroe, opens Friday, Oct. 25, 2019. NICK GRAHAM/STAFF

A couple of marijuana cultivation companies have contacted the city of Middletown about opening businesses there, said City Manager Jim Palenick.

But since City Council created a moratorium for the cultivation, processing or retail dispensing of medical marijuana in 2017, those types of businesses are not permitted in the city, he said during Tuesday night’s council meeting.

When the city receives inquirers from potential businesses, the city tells them they are “blocked” by the legislation that was signed by then-Mayor Larry Mulligan on Feb. 21, 2017, Palenick said.

READ THE FULL STORY


Area COVID-19 cases increase, but state’s numbers are trending downward

caption arrowCaption
Licensed practical nurse Tami Arnold prepares to administer a vaccine, Tuesday, Jan. 19, 2021, at Atrium Medical Center in Middletown, Ohio. (Kareem Elgazzar/The Cincinnati Enquirer via AP)

Credit: Kareem Elgazzar

Licensed practical nurse Tami Arnold prepares to administer a vaccine, Tuesday, Jan. 19, 2021, at Atrium Medical Center in Middletown, Ohio.  (Kareem Elgazzar/The Cincinnati Enquirer via AP)

Credit: Kareem Elgazzar

caption arrowCaption
Licensed practical nurse Tami Arnold prepares to administer a vaccine, Tuesday, Jan. 19, 2021, at Atrium Medical Center in Middletown, Ohio. (Kareem Elgazzar/The Cincinnati Enquirer via AP)

Credit: Kareem Elgazzar

Credit: Kareem Elgazzar

MIDDLETOWN — While the omicron variant continues to be “a dominant force,” a Premier Health official believes the number of COVID cases will peak later this month, a trend Northeast Ohio experienced two weeks ago.

Dr. Roberto Colon, vice president of quality and safety for the health system, said the number of COVID-19 cases is heading in the “right direction.”

Colon and Dr. Keith Bricking, president of Atrium Medical Center, shared the latest information about the omicron variant, boosters, and the impact on the region and at Atrium Medical Center Thursday morning during a one-hour virtual presentation.

READ THE FULL STORY


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

West Chester’s budget calls for $52 million in spending this year

caption arrowCaption
With West Chester Twp. Trustee George Lang’s appointment to the 52nd Ohio House District, all three township trustee seats will now be on the ballot in November. GREG LYNCH/STAFF

With West Chester Twp. Trustee George Lang’s appointment to the 52nd Ohio House District, all three township trustee seats will now be on the ballot in November. GREG LYNCH/STAFF

caption arrowCaption
With West Chester Twp. Trustee George Lang’s appointment to the 52nd Ohio House District, all three township trustee seats will now be on the ballot in November. GREG LYNCH/STAFF

West Chester is planning to spend $52 million this year, a 7.7% increase over last year. But officials said just because the budget plan is on paper doesn’t mean all the funds will necessarily be spent.

The trustees heard about the spending plans Tuesday but did not formally approve a budget with delineated expenses; every major cost will be addressed separately. In addition to the operating budget, the township has also identified $23.5 million in projects to be funded with tax increment financing (TIF) dollars.

“We vote on everything individually, we give them their own individual scrutiny,” Trustee Ann Becker said. “Everything in our budget document will come to us again and we’ll put eyes on it and research it, look at it as we always do with due diligence.”

READ THE FULL STORY