Trenton native wins Olympic gold, beloved gardener’s book being published and more and more: 5 uplifting stories this week

Here’s a look at five positive Butler County stories that were in the news this week:

McCrabb: Born with asthma, this Olympic gold medalist became a running legend

When Robert “Bob” Schul was born in 1937, he was diagnosed with asthma, a condition that worsened in the summer due to the pollen on his family’s farm in West Milton.

Little Bob spent most of his time in the farmhouse because there were days when he felt like he was going to die.

“I didn’t think I’d make it,” Schul said. “There were some bad times. I didn’t know if I’d live another day.”


Butler County Fair: Importance of ‘fair families’ on display for support, connection

One piece of the Butler County Fair that exhibitors look forward to the most is reuniting with their “fair families” — a phrase commonly used among the 4-H community that joins together each summer for the festivities and competitions.

To have a “fair family” is to be part of a group who all share the common love and admiration for the fair and 4-H life and lifestyle. They view each other as a family with a bond just as strong as blood.

Erin-Simpson Salone, a 4-H program assistant, said being part of a “fair family” and the significance that it holds to the fair’s youngest competitors all the way to the 4-H alumni show the power of the program.


Book written by beloved 99-year-old Butler County gardener to be released next month

A book written by a longtime operator of a small farm and nursery in Hamilton is set to be published on the same day a celebration of life will be held for sure.

Mary E. Harrison, who died in March at 99, was best known from Mary’s Plant Farm & Landscaping, and she spent much of her time during the pandemic writing about her life of gardening for the forthcoming book, “Mary’s Plant Farm: A Love Story.” It will be released from on Aug. 14.

“The book is her life in the garden, but it is also a mix of things about how she started her family, how she got interested in gardening through her father, and her development of a nursery. So, it’s a book about the garden as it transitions from January through December,” said Harrison’s daughter, Sherri Berger, who ran Mary’s Plant Farm with her.


Edgewood grad thrills family, friends back in Ohio by winning Olympic gold

Everyone who knows Zach Apple stayed up late Sunday night to watch him win Olympic swimming gold in Tokyo.

In Trenton, in the same neighborhood where Apple grew up, his former Edgewood high school coach Ben Johnson watched the 4x100 relay final at home with his family, including his son AyeJay, who grew up swimming with Apple.

As emotional as Johnson was watching the race, which started at 11:05 p.m. in Ohio — 12:05 p.m. Monday in Japan — he wasn’t making a big commotion.


From substitute school janitor to Fairfield business director: Meet Lance Perry

Fairfield Schools’ new director of business operations knows school buildings from the ground up like few others in top district positions.

That happens when you started working your first job in schools as a substitute custodian two decades ago and then advanced your way to a directorship’s position as Lance Perry has.

Perry, who was hired from the business director’s job at Clermont County’s West Clermont Schools this spring, now oversees the facilities and bus fleet for Fairfield’s 10 schools, 10,000 students and hundreds of teachers.


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

Wright State ‘felt like home’ to Fairfield senior, who commits to Raiders

Logan Woods, a 6-foot-4 senior guard at Fairfield High School, announced his commitment to the Wright State Raiders on Wednesday.

Woods becomes the first member of Wright State’s 2022 recruiting class.

“I think he’s a really good fit for them,” said Fairfield coach D.J. Wyrick, who knows Wright State well, having spent time there on the staffs of Brad Brownell and Billy Donlon. “He’s a longer wing player. Plays really hard. He’s got a really good motor. He can defend at a really high level. He can guard multiple positions — pretty much one through four. I think what Wright State really liked about him is just how much of a competitor he is. He shoots it well, and that’s very important.”


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