Top local news for Thursday, June 9, 2022

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


Bond for man accused in deadly Walmart shooting to be reconsidered

A man accused of firing shots inside a Fairfield Twp. Walmart, which resulted in the death of a customer and injuries to one worker, will be back in court next week for a second bond hearing since his indictment.

Anthony F. Brown, 32, of Hamilton, had been held in jail on a $5 million bond set in lower court on the initial charges. That amount was reduced last Friday to $900,000 when Brown was arraigned by Butler County Common Pleas Magistrate Ronald James following his June 2 indictment for aggravated murder, murder, aggravated robbery, felonious assault, and having weapons under disability.

Butler County Prosecutor Michael Gmoser says the bond amount is not enough considering the issue of public safety were Brown able to post bond.

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Residents speak out against former Middletown hospital property development

The proposed developer of more than 16 acres in Middletown, called the “last piece of prime real estate in the city,” became upset after listening to nine Middletown residents saying they’re against the plan.

A second public hearing was held during Tuesday night’s City Council meeting, and many of the residents shared the same concerns: the density of the development, the size of the homes and the additional traffic.

Following the hearing, and after listening to a presentation from Rob Smith of D.R. Horton, council members agreed to delay voting on the proposal until the June 21 meeting, six weeks after it was originally scheduled for a vote.

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Hanover Reserve makes full comeback after devastating fire

Credit: Nick Graham

Credit: Nick Graham

BUTLER COUNTY — A Hanover Twp. events center is celebrating its reopening with an open house Saturday after an October 2021 fire forced the venue to close for nearly eight months as the building underwent repair.

After its initial opening in May 2021, Hanover Reserve Weddings and Events operated for five months before a fire originating in a propane fireplace traveled up through the chimney and made its way into the insulation lining the roof during a wedding ceremony in mid-October, according to Melanie Barnes, one of six owners in the family-run business.

The fire and the subsequent hiatus forced the business to reschedule or forfeit around 30 events over the course of the rebuild.

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More motions filed in criminal case against Butler County Auditor Roger Reynolds

Credit: Nick Graham

Credit: Nick Graham

HAMILTON — A month after the judge hearing the criminal case against Butler County Auditor Roger Reynolds denied the defense motion to dismiss four charges of five charges, both sides have filed arguments on the one remaining count.

Reynolds, 52, is facing charges of bribery, two counts of unlawful interest in a public contract and misdemeanor charges of unlawful use of authority and conflict of interest. The charges stem from allegations that Reynolds used his public office to further his own interests.

In March, defense attorney Chad Ziepfel said in the motion to dismiss all charges the case is based on a flawed bill of particulars, or outline for the alleged crimes, filed by Special Prosecutor Brad Tammaro, who was appointed by the Ohio Attorney General’s Office.

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‘ElectriCITY’ to flow throughout Hamilton during StreetSpark event this weekend

A public art event in Hamilton will be conducted at more than a dozen locations across the city this weekend. "

ElectriCITY,” an artist-led StreetSpark initiative, will involve painting utility boxes, electricity-themed portraits that will be painted on panels, and a 400-foot-long mural on the retaining wall near Spooky Nook Sports.

“People can watch the entire process of creating murals,” said StreetSpark program manager Jennifer Acus-Smith. “Or they can help. Either way, people can be involved. The artists aren’t locked away in a studio by themselves. It’s almost like a performance, where artists can engage with the community. That’s unique to our project.”

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

Lakota West standout named state player of the year

Credit: David Jablonski

Credit: David Jablonski

WEST CHESTER TWP. — Lakota West High School senior KK Mathis was named today as the Gatorade Ohio Softball Player of the Year.

The award, which recognizes not only outstanding athletic excellence, but also high standards of academic achievement and exemplary character demonstrated on and off the field, distinguishes Mathis as Ohio’s best high school softball player.

Mathis, who had a weighted 4.0 grade-point average, learned of the prestigious honor about an hour ago from her family.

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