Top local news for Wednesday, Mar. 16, 2022

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


Middletown’s Kyle Schwarber signs 4-year, $80 million deal with Phillies, sources say

Credit: Nick Graham

Credit: Nick Graham

Middletown native Kyle Schwarber is a free agent no more.

The slugger reportedly signed with the Philadelphia Phillies, according to several sources. The contract reportedly is worth $80 million over four years.

He earned $10 million last season when he played with the Washington Nationals before being traded to the Boston Red Sox. With the Red Sox and Nationals last season, Schwarber hit 32 homers and drove in 71 runs.

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St. Patrick’s Day celebration on Thursday in remembrance of longtime Hamilton attorney

Credit: BILL REINKE

Credit: BILL REINKE

James E. Cooney, a longtime Hamilton attorney, former teacher and city councilman, believed St. Patrick’s Day was a national holiday.

Proud of his Irish roots, Cooney married his wife of 42 years, Holly on St. Patrick’s Day and reveled in the day annually. So, it’s only fitting that his celebration of life will happen Thursday. He died in January.

“When he passed, I decided to wait and have his memorial on St. Patrick’s Day,” Holly Cooney said, noting there will be “everything Irish,” including green beer, Guinness, a bagpiper from the Butler County Sheriff’s Office. “It is his memorial, but it is also a St. Patrick’s Day party. He will be there. I am going to bring his urn and put it on the mantel.”

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Niederman Farm ends annual Christmas event, asks those who have attended to share memories

A Christmas season tradition at Liberty Twp.’s Niederman’s Farm is ending.

The display called “Walk Thru the Bible” launched back in 2001 and was open at Bob and Janet Niederman’s farm on LeSourdesville-West Chester Road from Thanksgiving until New Year’s Eve annually. This year, the family says the event won’t be returning.

In a posting on Facebook, the Niedermans shared information about the closure and that items from the display are for sale in an online auction. They also want folks who attended “Walk Thru the Bible” to share their memories of it that they can put in a special book for Bob Niederman.

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Development disabilities board gives $50K to Nuxhall Foundation for sports facility

Credit: Provided

Credit: Provided

One of the late Joe Nuxhall’s dreams was to have an indoor facility for those who are developmentally disabled can call home.

And the Butler County Board of Developmental Disabilities committed a sizable donation last week to make that dream a reality with a promise of $50,000 for The Hope Center.

The donation comes from the BCBDD’s board trust fund donated by the Schul family.

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Lolli says he’s ready for challenge to serve as Middletown’s fire chief, acting city manager

As a member of the Middletown Division of Fire for the last 32 years, Chief Paul Lolli is used to the heat.

Now he finds himself on the hot seat.

After the city of Middletown and Jim Palenick, its city manager, signed an agreement for his removal after less than two years, Lolli was named acting city manager while continuing as fire chief.

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

Hops, hoops tipped as St. Patrick’s Day, start of March Madness coincide on same day

When March Madness tips off on the same day as St. Patrick’s Day you can expect a lot of points and pints.

Managers of local bars and restaurants, still recovering from the loss of revenue during COVID-19, are excited for this time of year since everyone is Irish on St. Paddy’s Day and there’s nothing in sports that compares to the 68-team NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament that lasts for four weeks.

Nicole Cox, director of marketing for Roosters, a popular chicken wing restaurant with several area locations, said March is the restaurant’s busiest month of the year, even though St. Patrick’s Day isn’t the “biggest holiday” there.

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