Top local news for Wednesday, June 15, 2022

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

Man accused in deadly Walmart shooting now held without bond

A man accused of firing shots inside a Fairfield Twp. Walmart resulting in the death of a customer and injuries to one worker will be held without bond by agreement of the defense and prosecutors. This is until a forensic psychological evaluation is completed.

Anthony F. Brown, 32, of Hamilton, was back in court Tuesday for a third bond hearing since his arrest a day after the May 26 crime. A $5 million bond was set in lower court during video arraignment on the initial charges. That amount was reduced last week 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 took issue with the bond, saying it is not enough and noting public safety is at stake if Brown is able to post bond.


Man found at scene of early morning fire, taken to squad for treatment

Hamilton firefighters were dispatched to the 3800 block of Pleasant Avenue for a structure fire and found heavy fire and smoke coming from the building, according to officials.

The structure is a four-unit apartment behind a larger apartment building on Pleasant Ave.

At about 8:45 a.m. fire units led a man from the rubble to a waiting EMS unit.


Teen driver killed in West Chester crash identified

The Butler County coroner has identified the driver who died in a West Chester Twp. crash last night as 18-year-old Jyan Waespe of Mason.

West Chester Twp. police say they have not arrested the other driver yet but believe alcohol or drugs may be involved in the fatal crash at Tylersville and Butler Warren roads at around 11 p.m.

Waespe was declared dead at around 11:30 p.m. at West Chester Hospital. The cause of death was “multiple traumatic injuries” and the preliminary finding is it was an accident.


Butler County residents protest proposed ban on large-scale solar farms

Credit: Nick Graham

Credit: Nick Graham

All but one Butler County township have asked the commissioners to ban large, commercial solar and wind farms, but several residents are protesting the move citing environmental and property rights concerns.

Last October, Senate Bill 52 took effect, allowing county commissioners to prohibit utility-scale solar and wind facilities within the townships. Zeb Acuff, the commissioners’ planning administrator, said 12 of the 13 townships have passed resolutions asking the commissioners to use their new authority to prohibit the facilities. He said Lemon Twp. is open to the alternative energy generators.

Acuff said there doesn’t appear to be a market for wind turbines in this area because gusts aren’t adequate, but solar facilities are a different matter. He said facilities large enough to meet the criteria of the commissioners’ banning authority would have to have the capacity to generate 50 megawatts or more.


Fairfield City Council seeks applications to fill impending vacancy

Credit: The city of Fairfield

Credit: The city of Fairfield

As Fairfield Councilman Tim Abbott prepares to step down from his 4th Ward council seat, the city is looking for a resident to serve the remainder of the term.

City Council will be accepting resumes from Fairfield residents interested in serving as the Fourth Ward Council member. Those interested must be a resident of the fourth ward and an elector of the city for at least a year prior to appointment.

The person appointed will be immediately installed as a member of City Council and will serve until Dec. 31, 2023. The next election for the city’s ward council members is in November 2023. Council members are elected to a four-year term that begins in the January following the general election.


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

PHOTOS: Scenes from Eastview Pool in Hamilton from 2002

Scenes from Opening Day at Eastview Pool in Hamilton from 2002. GREG LYNCH / STAFF