Top local news for Thursday, May 19, 2022

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

Reward increased to $2,500 for information that leads to FOP Lodge stabbing arrests

A Butler County grand jury has handed down indictments against three men for a fatal stabbing at a teen girl’s quinceañera at an FOP Lodge in Hamilton.

Juan Antonio Hidalgo-Flores, 39; Oscar Daniel Flores-Lara,19 and Luis Eduardo Hidalgo-Flores, 18 were each indicted Thursday for murder, attempted murder and several counts of felonious assault for the stabbing death of 20-year-old Ivan Isreal Diaz and the assault of three others.

Last week, Hamilton detectives filed murder warrants on the trio and are continuing to search for the suspects.


David Shaw, of The Revivalists, reflects on Big River Get Down, what’s in store for weekend

HAMILTON — David Shaw’s Big River Get Down Presented by Miller Lite will kick off the 2022 RiversEdge concert season this weekend. The Journal-News spoke with David Shaw, a solo artist and frontman of The Revivalists to talk about his signature, hometown festival and what we can expect from this year’s event.

David Shaw’s Big River Get Down is slated for Friday and Saturday at RiversEdge Amphitheater. The two-day event will feature multiple bands, including a solo performance by David Shaw on Friday night and a headlining show with Shaw and the Revivalists on Saturday.

Other artists who will perform throughout the weekend will include The Record Company, Maggie Rose, Judith Hill, Karina Rykman, Chris Gelbuda and the Raelyn Nelson Band. On Friday, doors will open at 5:30 p.m. and the music will begin at 6:30 p.m. On Saturday, doors will open at 2:30 p.m. and the music will start at 3:30 p.m.


Towne Mall redevelopment moves forward as Phase II approved

Paul Lolli, Middletown’s acting city manager, said when the redevelopment of the Towne Mall is “one of the best things to happen to Middletown in a long, long time.”

Once the proposed project is complete the entire East End region will “bloom and blossom,” he said during Tuesday night’s City Council meeting.

Following Lolli’s presentation, Middletown City Council took the next step in the project when it unanimously supported not paying more than $263,500 to Community Center Partners, LLC for completion of Phase II, of which the city is responsible for $118,575 plus certain reimbursable expenses.


High St. Cafe in Hamilton closed this week, will debut new look and concept Monday

High St. Café is undergoing a major change, which will be debuted on Monday.

The downtown Hamilton restaurant will be closed for the rest of the week, reopening on Monday as they showcase their new catering and retail business model.

“This is going to be a totally new vibe,” said Phil Wong told the Journal-News. “I’m doing away with my whole entire eatery menus.”


Sold-out Spooky Nook gala is tonight; first event in new space

Though it’s not game-day ready, the first public showing of the Spooky Nook Sports Champion Mill is tonight to a few hundred people.

The sold-out Play Ball Gala is sponsored by the Greater Hamilton Chamber of Commerce and is the first official event at the 1.2 million-square-foot event and sports complex that bisects North B Street in Hamilton. While the chamber had to hurdle a few challenges, Bates said, “We guarantee that everyone will have a spectacular experience.”

Chamber President and CEO Dan Bates said there have been some unexpected setbacks — the certification process of the elevators may not be completed prior to the event. But he said they have pivoted and moved some third-floor activities to the main floor.


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

Just Strange Brothers to perform Elton John’s music at Fitton Center

Just Strange Brothers, a band that continues to sell out shows at the Fitton Center, will return to showcase some of the songs of Elton John on Saturday night.

“We are excited to have Just Strange Brothers for our season finale. We will have the incredible music of Sir Elton John live on the stage at the Fitton Center and we can’t wait,” said Ian MacKenzie-Thurley, executive director of the Fitton Center.

Just Strange Brothers will present “Goodbye Yellow Brick Road: A Tribute to Elton John” on Sat., May 21 at 7:30 p.m. Tickets for the concert are $29 for members; $37 for non-members.