Warren County

John Kiesewetter

And the crowd goes wild! A packed house at Mason's Buffalo Wings & Rings cheered for hometown favorite Angela Perkins when she narrowly avoided elimination on "Survivor: Ghost Island" Wednesday night.

Here are some random observations on Tuesday's election – but by no means the last word on the subject.

You may think it is done, but it's not quite time to stick a fork in this election. There's a Cincinnati city council seat where 321 votes separate Republican Jeff Pastor and Democrat Michelle Dillingham for the ninth and final seat; and the fourth available seat on the Cincinnati Board of Education (100 votes separate incumbent Melanie Bates and challenger Rene Hevia).

Franklin, Ohio – just up the road in Warren County – is hosting the 12th Annual Hog Jam Festival on August 25-27 at the VFW Campgrounds. 

Provided / Ohio Senate Republican Caucus

Long-time bank executive Steve Wilson of Maineville has been recommended by a Republican screening committee to fill a vacant Ohio Senate seat.  Wilson would take the place of Shannon Jones, who left the 7th Senate District seat after winning a race for Warren County Commissioner in November.

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.

Warren County Court

After a Wilmington man gets out of jail, if he wants to go anyplace he's either going to have to walk or hitch a ride following his 20th DUI conviction.

Thursday a Warren County Court sentenced 56 year old George Tribune to the maximum of eight years in jail and gave him a lifetime driver's license suspension.

In July an Ohio State Patrol trooper stopped Tribune on I-71 North in Washington Township. He had an open alcohol can at his feet. At the Lebanon patrol post, Tribune provided a breath sample that tested .222 BAC. The legal limit in the State of Ohio is .08 BAC.

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.

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.

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.

I-75 Area Plan / Warren County Planning Commission

It's not just "the area between Cincinnati and Dayton."  Fixing that lack of an identity is part of what's behind the new I-75 Area Plan being released by Warren County officials Tuesday evening. 

Tuesday is the first day of early voting in Ohio's August 5 election, although few voters in southwest Ohio will have anything to vote on.

Hamilton County has only two issues on the ballot - an additional 11.2 mill tax levy in the Lockland Local School District and the renewal of a five mill tax levy for fire and emergency medical services in Mount Healthy.

In Warren County, voters in the Lebanon City School District will decide a tax levy renewal that will raise $4.2 million a year for the next three years.

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.

Two incumbent Republican state representatives were defeated, a former Cincinnati city council member became the Democratic nominee for a state senate seat, and House Speaker John Boehner cruised to a win in Tuesday’s primary election in southwest Ohio.

The turnout in Tuesday’s election in the southwest Ohio counties was even lower than election officials expected – Hamilton County’s turnout was barely over 13 percent, 17.5 percent in Butler County, 15 percent in Warren County, and just under 13 percent in Clermont County.

Ohio House of Representatives website

State Rep. Peter Beck, a Mason Republican indicted on 69 counts of fraud and theft, will go to trial Nov. 17.

Beck, a former Mason councilman and mayor, has maintained his innocence and is a candidate for re-nomination in the May 6 primary election in the 54th Ohio House District.

Hamilton County Common Pleas Court Judge John West set the trial date for Beck this morning.

Politics reporter Howard Wilkinson chats with Maryanne Zeleznik on some of the more interesting races on the May 6 primary ballot. 

Tana Weingartner / WVXU

Ohio's auditor is placing Warren County's Hamilton Township under fiscal emergency.

The decision follows several years of alleged financial mismanagement by the township's former fiscal auditor. Auditor Dave Yost says township officials have 120 days to develop a financial plan.

Calling the township's books "a mess," Yost said the former fiscal officer, Jackie Terwilleger, was in over her head. She retired last month and is being investigated by the Warren County prosecutor.

The May 6 primary in Ohio is likely to be a relatively low turnout affair, except in locales where there are significant ballot issues to be decided.

There are no significant primaries on the Republican or Democratic side for the statewide offices, from governor on down; and there are no hot-button statewide ballot issues to draw voters to the polls.

There is a statewide constitutional amendment to allow the state to issue bonds to finance or help finance capital improvement projects for local governments.

But that ballot issue couldn’t draw flies.

Ohio House of Representatives website

State Rep. Peter Beck, a Mason Republican who already faces trial on 16 counts of fraud and theft, was hit with a 53- count felony indictment Thursday stemming from the same case.

A Hamilton County grand jury issued the latest indictment after a joint investigation by Hamilton County Prosecutor Joseph T. Deters and Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine.

The new charges cover a longer period of time than the original indictments last July.

Ohio Department of Natural Resources

An archaeological study is underway in preparation for the construction of a new marina at Caesar Creek, said to be one of the largest of its kind in southwest Ohio, when completed at the start of the 2016 boating season.

The Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) has temporarily lowered the level of the lake by 10 feet for the study. This is the first step in getting the proper permits to set up a construction schedule.

There will be no shortage of contested races in the four southwest Ohio counties in the May primary.

The deadline for candidates to file for the May primary was 4 p.m. today.

The following is a list of the contested races. It is not the final, official list because petitions still have to be checked by county boards of elections for some of the candidates who filed. Here’s who filed:

Hamilton County:

9th Ohio Senate District: Incumbent Democrat Eric Kearney is term-limited out; and his open seat has drawn a crowd in the Democratic primary.

David Lewis has a commentary about the late acclaimed jazz bandleader/composer/musician Earl Fuller, leader of Earl Fuller’s Famous Jazz Band, which recorded and performed in the early 20th century. Though born in Illinois, his family was predominantly based in Warren County and he is buried with other family members in Morrow, Ohio.

The Miami Valley Gaming & Raceway plans to hire more than 500 people, beginning Wednesday. The Warren County racino plans to open December 12, 2013.

Job openings range from food and drink service to IT, finance, human resources, marketing.

A job fair is set for Wednesday, July 10 from 4-7 p.m. at Workforce One of Warren County. Applicants should bring a resume and apply in-person.

Lebanon Raceway

Warren County leaders have some big decisions to make about how to fill the soon to be vacated Lebanon Raceway.

With the Miami Valley Gaming racino on track to open in early 2014 in Turtle Creek Township, (Union Rd. and St. Rt. 63) a Warren County planning committee is starting to examine how to fill the space Lebanon Raceway no longer will. The 93 acre Warren County Fairgrounds is owned by the taxpayers and Commissioner Dave Young says he wants to make sure they get their money's worth. There are many possibilities. He likes an equestrian center.

Intelligrated held the grand opening for its 122,000-square-foot headquarters expansion in Mason on Wednesday.  The automated material handling solutions provider now has a combined 262,000 square feet at its Innovation Way facility that will accommodate an ongoing increase in engineering, research and development staffing.

Warren County Commissioners have approved plans for developing a $175 million racino in Turtlecreek Township.  The facility will combine harness racing with up to 2,500 video lottery terminals.  It'll be located on State Route 63 at Union Road.  The current Lebanon Raceway will move to the new site. 

It's a joint venture of Churchill Downs and Delaware North Companies Gaming and Entertainment, which have formed a new company, Miami Valley Gaming and Racing, to develop and operate the racino. 

Spooky Warren County

Oct 5, 2012

Warren County is teeming with Halloween attractions this month, from one spooky end of the county to the other. Jim Stump gets into the creepy details with Bridget Kochersperger, Communications Director of the Warren County Convention and Visitor’s Bureau.