Butler County

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Editor's note: Faithful readers of Howard Wilkinson's weekly "Politically Speaking" column will want to know that this feature will be published on Wednesdays beginning May 1. 

We have a primary election coming up in nine days in Ohio, and it doesn't seem to have stirred the souls of most voters.

Attention! Calling all Democrats of Ohio's Eighth Congressional District!

You have a special election Sept. 13!

And when we say "special," we mean very special indeed.  

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Kids and teenagers with special needs may require extra assistance due to medical, emotional or learning issues. Increased accessibility and inclusion is important for them not only in schools, but throughout the entire community.

The first of two elections this year to fill the vacant seat of former House Speaker John Boehner in Ohio's 8th Congressional District takes places Tuesday.

It is a special election to fill out the unexpired term of Boehner, the West Chester Republican, who not only resigned the speakership but resigned from the House last fall. He was, in essence, pushed out by a rebellious Republican House caucus that believed Boehner was too willing to compromise with the Democrat in the White House

Tana Weingartner / WVXU

James Austin Hancock was back in a Butler County juvenile courtroom Thursday. The 15-year-old pleaded guilty to four counts of attempted murder and one count of inducing panic following a Feb. 29 shooting at Madison Jr/Sr High School.

For nearly a quarter of a century, voters in the 8th Congressional District of Ohio sent Republican John Boehner back to the U.S. House by huge margins every two years.

It gave Boehner the kind of clout that allowed him to become Speaker of the House in January, 2010.

All of that ended last fall, when the West Chester Republican was pushed into resignation by a rebellious House GOP caucus, many of whom thought he was too eager to compromise with the Democrat in the White House.

Madison Local Schools

The 14-year-old accused of attempted murder following a shooting Monday at Madison Jr/Sr High School denied the charges against him at an arraignment in Butler County Juvenile Court Tuesday.

In juvenile court, a denial of charges is the equivalent of a not guilty plea. 

James Austin Hancock showed little emotion during the brief hearing. He was sent back to juvenile detention. His next hearing is set for April 5 in Butler County Judge Ronald Craft's chambers.

Tana Weingartner / WVXU

The 14-year-old accused of attempted murder following a shooting Monday at Madison Jr/Sr High School denied the charges against him at an arraignment in Butler County Juvenile Court Tuesday.

In juvenile court, a denial of charges is the equivalent of a not guilty plea.

Madison Local Schools

Update 02/29/16 8:30 p.m.: Madison Local Schools reports two school leaders met with the two hospitalized students, which the district says are both "in very high spirits." 

Update 02/29/16 5:04 p.m.: Madison Local Schools will be closed Tuesday.

Bill Rinehart / WVXU

Butler County has opened a new front in the battle against heroin addiction. 

The motherhood and maternity addiction services program will focus on perinatal care for women and children.

  Ohio’s primary election is March 15; and, in southwest Ohio, there’s every reason to believe that both Democrats and Republicans will have good reasons to go to the polls (or vote early).

Let’s deal with the obvious one first, the one every Republican and Democratic voter in the state can help decide – a little thing we like to call the “presidential primary.”

There was some drama and outright odd situations in Wednesday’s candidate filing deadline for the March 15 primary.

Candidates had until 4 p.m. to get their petitions in to county boards of elections in Ohio. There were some interesting situations in the four southwest Ohio counties – Hamilton, Butler, Warren and Clermont.

The recounts of the Nov. 3 election are over in southwestern Ohio counties; and two races – Arlington Heights mayor and a seat on Franklin city council – were decided by only one vote.

There were nine recounts altogether in Hamilton, Warren and Butler counties. Clermont County had no races close enough for a recount.

Warren County:

Three southwest Ohio counties - Hamilton, Butler and Warren - will conduct recounts next week in nine suburban races that were extremely close in the official vote count.

Any race where there is a difference of one-half of one percent or less after the official count qualifies for an automatic recount.

Provided

Liberty Center, the huge new addition in Liberty Township, offers shopping, dining and events along with condos, offices, a movie theatre, park and more. The $350 million development was packed on its opening day just a month ago. It continues to bring in visitors from inside and outside the region. With the holiday season fast approaching, Liberty Center is expected to bring in even more shoppers.

PR Newswire

The president of West Chester-based AK Steel is retiring. James Wainscott has been with the company since 1995 and was named Chief Executive Officer in 2003. A company release says he'll stay on as Chairman of the Board of Directors after his retirement January 1.

Roger Newport will take over as CEO. He first joined AK Steel in 1985. Kirk Reich will serve as President and Chief Operating Officer.

Provided

Butler County Auditor Roger Reynolds has filed papers with the Federal Elections Commission for a possible run for the 8th Congressional District seat being vacated by House Speaker John Boehner

But Reynolds told WVXU he has yet to make up his mind about whether or not he will run.

Provided / Game Day PR

A large mixed-use development opening next month in Butler County is likely to bring customers from all over the region. The $350 million Liberty Center is located at the 1-75 and State Route 129 interchange.

Provided by Rep. John Boehner's office

House Speaker John Boehner is known for getting emotional. But even on the Golf Channel?

In an interview with David Feherty at 10 p.m. Monday on “Feherty,” the West Chester Township Republican gets misty – he calls them “Boehner moments” -- talking about his golf idol Jack Nicklaus, military veterans and opportunities for young Americans.

WVXU

Former state representative and Butler County Commissioner Michael Fox is out of federal prison. He is finishing his four-year sentence in home confinement. His final release date is scheduled for December 15.

A tax levy for Lockland City Schools failed for the third time in a row in Tuesday’s primary election – this time by a scant 15 votes.

And, also in Hamilton County, a bond issue and levy for the Northwest Local School District and a bond issue for the Winton Woods School District went down to defeat.

There are plenty of local tax levies and bond issues to be decided in southwest Ohio in Tuesday's primary election, but contested candidate races are few and far between.

The Butler County Sheriff wants to take over policing duties in Fairfield Township.

In a letter to the township administrator, Sheriff Richard Jones says a proposed 4.8 mil public safety levy is too high. He says he can provide police services for what the levy currently generates, about $1.8 million he says.

He's proposing a five year agreement.

Township officials say they’ve received the sheriff’s letter but no formal action has been taken at this time.

UPDATE: Andrew Marcum is behind bars:

School levies in Butler and Warren County passed easily Tuesday in an Ohio special election where most voters had nothing to vote on.

In Butler County’s Madison Local School District, a 7.07 mill, 10 year emergency tax levy renewal passed with 76 percent of the vote. Turnout in the district was 12 percent.

The Franklin City School District had an 8.8 mill, five year levy on the ballot in Warren County. It passed with 70 percent of the vote. About 13 percent of the district’s voters turned out.

Ohio is holding a special election today, but the vast majority of voters in southwest Ohio have no reason to go to the polls.

Polling places in Hamilton and Clermont counties won’t open today, because there were no ballot issues filed for today’s election.

In Butler County, there is only one issue on the ballot – an emergency tax levy renewal for the Madison Local School District amounting to 7.07 mills for 10 years.

Warren County, too, has one issue on the ballot – an 8.88 mill, five year renewal for the Franklin City Schools.

    A recent survey found that only 34% of adults with intellectual disabilities in the United States are employed. That includes several thousand individuals in Greater Cincinnati. For years, training centers or sheltered workshops have provided work opportunities for adults with disabilities. But there is a current push in many states to close these centers and direct individuals towards community-based employment. But incorporating people with intellectual disabilities into the general workforce is a challenge.

Ohio House of Representatives website

State Rep. Peter Beck, a Mason Republican indicted on 69 counts of fraud and theft, has resigned from the Ohio House.

Mike Dittoe, a spokesman for Ohio House Speaker William Batchelder, said Beck’s resignation was turned in Sunday and put on the House record Monday.

Beck, a former Mason council member and mayor, would have been gone by the end of the month, when his present term expired.

Butler County election officials held a recount Friday of a $65 million tax levy and bond issue for Middletown schools and the results remained the same - the issue passed by 22 votes out of about 5,900 cast.

Monday, Hamilton County Board of election officials will conduct a recount on a $2 million Colerain Township police levy that passed in the official count by 11 votes.

Automatic recounts are required when the results of a candidate race or ballot issue are within one half of one percent.

WVXU political reporter Howard Wilkinson talked with Maryanne Zeleznik this morning about some of the more interesting results in Tuesday's primary election and the low turnout in southwest Ohio counties.

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