To let West Chester and Liberty Township residents catch up with the news that they need to know, WestChesterBuzz.com will list and link to all of last week’s top local stories every Monday morning. (Stories are listed in order of date)
Lakota preschool program could be merged: During last Monday’s school board meeting, Lakota officials discussed merging its preschool program with county programs. The proposed joint venture with Butler County Educational Service Center (ESC) would save about $1.2 million of the target $9 million in savings Lakota officials have said is needed for next school year. The merger would affect 288 preschool students and would eliminate 17 classroom jobs for the 2012-2013 school year.
AK Steel executive to retire: Last Monday, West Chester based AK Steel announced that its long-time spokesman Alan H. McCoy, vice president, government and public relations, has elected to retire effective January 31. McCoy was named general manager, public relations for AK Steel in 1994. He is currently a director of the Ohio Steel Council and also serves as a trustee of Ursuline Academy.
West Chester’s IKEA activates solar energy system: The IKEA in West Chester is now powering its lights, operating its cash registers and cooking its Swedish meatballs using a solar energy system that is located on the store’s rooftop. Heather Spatz, West Chester’s IKEA store manager, officially announced the activation of the solar energy system last Tuesday. According to the Environmental Protection Agency, the amount of clean electricity produced by 4,186 solar panels atop the IKEA building is equivalent to eliminating the yearly emissions of 180 passenger cars.
Road projects to affect Cincinnati-Dayton Road, Ohio 129 and U.S. 42: Last Tuesday, The Butler County Engineer’s Office announced that it is planning to improve Cincinnati-Dayton Road at the Ohio 129 interchange in Liberty Township. The project, which is slated for construction in 2014, is currently in the preliminary engineering phase with environmental studies and early design plans under way. The $2.5 million project is geared to improving traffic safety and flow in the area. Meanwhile, the Ohio Department of Transportation announced last Tuesday that culvert replacement will require closing U.S. 42 between Cox Road and Tylersville Road from Feb. 18 to March 2.
Lakota West falls to Fairfield in battle for 2nd in GMC: After handing Middletown its first conference loss Jan. 20, Lakota West hosted Fairfield last Tuesday in a basketball game between two programs tied for second place in the Greater Miami Conference. The Firebirds jumped out to an early lead, but fell behind and eventually lost 70-59. Lakota West did rebound with a win last Friday when it defeated Colerain by the score 77-71 in overtime. The Firebirds are currently in a three-way tie for third in the GMC.
West Chester cop David Busemeyer pleads guilty to felonies, quits job: A police officer pleaded guilty to two felony charges, then resigned from his job last Wednesday. David Busemeyer, who was accused of alerting a drug dealer to an undercover bust, admitted to attempted tampering with evidence and obstructing official business. In exchange for his plea in Butler County Common Pleas Court, a charge of obstructing justice was dismissed. Busemeyer also was accused of revealing the identity of a confidential informant in the case. After the plea, Busemeyer tendered his resignation from the job he had held since August 2002. He faces a maximum prison term of two and a half years, but could be granted probation at sentencing March 8.
Two killed in West Chester crash: Police found two people dead Saturday morning in a car that crashed into two parked semi tractor-trailers at a distribution warehouse at 9842 International Blvd. Police determined that the victims were traveling northbound on International Boulevard in a Honda Civic when it veered off the road, passed through a parking lot, hit two trees, encountered a berm and became airborne. When the car landed, it went under one tractor-trailer, sheering off the car’s top. The car then became wedged under a second tractor-trailer. The names of the victims have not been released.