Top local news for Wednesday, April 27, 2022

Credit: Nick Graham

Credit: Nick Graham

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

Startek appears to vacate Hamilton location as employees work remotely

Credit: Nick Graham

Credit: Nick Graham

Startek still has a presence in downtown Hamilton, but whether it will remain is unknown.

The Colorado-based business process outsourcing services company has a lease with Hamilton’s CORE Fund, the owner of the High Street building, until August 2023. But if the company remains at 170 High St. is unknown at this time, though they no longer have employees in the space it leases, according to Hamilton CORE Fund Executive Director Mike Dingeldein. He said they had a skeleton crew working out of the building while most employees have worked from home since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“In the last eight weeks, they have shut down their servers and stuff at the High Street location,” he said. “They’re still paying their rent and they’re trying to sublet the space.”


Barclays to fill hundreds of new jobs in U.S., including in Hamilton

Barclays plans to fill 1,000 new jobs as it grows its credit card services in the United States, and many of those jobs could land in Hamilton.

The new jobs are needed because Barclays is taking over serving Gap’s credit cards this summer, said Jayne Backhouse, the Nevada/Ohio site lead and care operations managing director for Barclays Bank US. This is the latest period of growth for the U.K.-based financial services company, which was growing and hiring during the COVID-19 pandemic as many companies furloughed and laid off employees.

Barclays is a 331-year-old banking and financial services institution and one of the largest banks in the United Kingdom. It also has a presence in more than 40 countries. In the United States, Barclays is predominately a credit card business. Hamilton, Henderson, Nev. and Wilmington, Del., are Barclays’ three main contact centers for servicing customers.


Whimmydiddle returns to Hamilton as two-day music festival with country flavor

The popular Whimmydiddle music event at RiversEdge in Hamilton will return to two days for this summer, organizers announced today.

Adam Helms, director of Resident Services for the City of Hamilton and the producer of Whimmydiddle, said it will be paid admission and has a full lineup of favorite artists.

Tickets for the Aug. 19-20 festival are now on sale at The festival will kick-off that Friday with the first band at 6:30 p.m. Gates will open at 5:30 p.m.


State approves brownfield grant for Towne Mall redevelopment project

A proposed redevelopment of the Towne Mall Galleria in Middletown took another step forward as the state of Ohio awarded a $1 million brownfield remediation grant to the Warren County Port Authority which is leading the project.

The brownfield remediation grant for the Middletown project was part of a $60 million package of grants awarded to a number of communities statewide and announced by Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine and Lt. Gov. Jon Husted on Tuesday. The state provided the brownfield remediation grants to 78 communities.

The brownfield remediation grants are designed to assist with fixing up vacant sites that have fallen into disrepair.


ArBeer Day event at Hamilton’s Urban Backyard spotlights need for tree conservation

HAMILTON — Butler Soil & Water Conservation District and Hamilton’s Urban Backyard are putting a new twist on Arbor Day with a new way to celebrate the holiday by combining two things Hamilton is recognized for — trees and breweries.

“We look forward to holding an event that promotes conservation by planting trees to benefit our environment, our wildlife, and our water quality, while also coming together as a community to enjoy our local and area breweries,” said Kelly Crout, district director, Butler Soil & Water Conservation District.

Butler Soil & Water Conservation District and Hamilton’s Urban Backyard have partnered to create ArBeer Day, which is the same day as Arbor Day, this Friday. There will be free trees and ArBeer Day T-shirts.


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

Kings Island to host 50th anniversary celebration ceremony on Friday

MASON — Kings Island amusement park is planning to celebrate turning 50 with an event Friday morning.

At 9 a.m. there will be a re-dedication ceremony to commemorate the anniversary of the park opening its gates to patrons on April 29, 1972.

Ohio Lt. Gov. Jon Husted will be a guest speaker on Friday. Also speaking and in attendance is the Kings Island Vice President and General Manager Mike Koontz, Cedar Fair Entertainment CEO Richard Zimmerman, Kings Island Founder Gary Wachs and President of International Theme Park Services Dennis Spiegel.