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.
EnterTRAINment’s holiday attractions continue to grow – WestChesterBuzz.com visited one of the region’s biggest holiday attractions last week. More than 20,000 people will visit EnterTRAINment Junction’s free holiday train display and its Journey to the North Pole attraction before the new year, according to EnterTRAINment general manager Bill Balfour.
A female suspect is believed to have stolen a purse from the Splash N Dash in West Chester on Nov. 9. The suspect then used the victim’s credit cards at three locations, including Thorntons in West Chester. In photo, suspect is shown entering the gas station on Thornton’s security camera. Photo provided.
Police looking for West Chester laundromat thief- A female suspect is believed to have stolen a purse in early November from the Splash N Dash at 7770 Cincinnati-Dayton Road in West Chester, according to a police report that was shared by Crime Stoppers last week. Anyone with information can call Crime Stoppers at 513-352-3040.
Nude protesters jam John Boehner’s D.C. office – Several AIDS protesters took off their clothes in House Speaker John Boehner‘s office last Tuesday. A reporter for Talking Points Memo witnessed the disrobing and chanting, in which they rhymed “budget cuts will make us sick” with a “Boehner don’t be a (word we can’t use here.)”
Exchange “Food For Fines” at West Chester Library – WestChesterBuzz.com announced last Monday that the MidPointe Library System is once again offering its “Food for Fines” promotion, which allows library goers a chance to eliminate their overdue fees when they donate food. The program, which runs through Dec. 31, will eliminate one dollar of outstanding fines for each non-perishable food item a patron donates.
IKEA debuts redesigned marketplace – IKEA has redesigned the accessories marketplace (lower level) of its West Chester store and now has updated displays, new products and a redesigned layout for its cookware, bedding, lighting, home organization and textiles departments, among others.
Basketball season tips off – The Lakota East and Lakota West varsity basketball teams began the 2012-2013 season this past week. Through Sunday, both the Lakota East (2-0) and Lakota West (1-0) boys’ teams are unbeaten, while the Lakota East (0-3, 0-1 in GMC) and Lakota West (2-1, 1-1 in GMC) girls’ teams are getting adjusted with young rosters.
IKEA has redesigned the accessories marketplace (lower level) of its West Chester store and now has updated displays, new products and a redesigned layout for its cookware, bedding, lighting, home organization and textiles departments, among others.
“The biggest difference people will notice is the layout and new products,” said Kitalena Mason, who handles public relations and local marketing for the store. “It’s a brand-new look, filled with a lot of inspiration. Along the path, we have what we call ‘coordination areas,’ where we put together seasonal looks.”
To celebrate the completion of the redesign, the store will offer giveaways and offers this Friday through Sunday:
Gift card giveaways: The first 100 people through the doors each day will get a gift card valued from $5-$250.
Free breakfast will be offered from 9:30 a.m.-11 a.m. each day.
Special one-day offers will be available each day.
“Eat For Free” – Deduct a restaurant receipt from a home furnishings purchase of $100 or more.
Soft toy Giveaway – The first 100 children through the doors each day will receive a free soft toy.
In hopes to alleviate the frustration that occurs when customers attempt to assemble IKEA furniture, the company launched a “How to Build” playlist on YouTube this week.
IKEA West Chester spokesperson Kitalena Mason hopes the videos can ease its customers’ frustrations.
“Our coworkers at our store are always receiving feedback from customers about various topics, including assembly,” Mason said. “These comments are very important to us. As part of our commitment to our customers, we’ve created these videos as another resource to help make the process as simple as possible.”
Currently, the playlist consists of one video that features two people assembling a bed frame. The duo makes pretty light work of the assembly, finishing it about four minutes. The video also features a cheerful melody and pop-up arrows that direct viewers – making the once impossible seem quite simple.
“Hopefully some of the tricks and tips learned from these videos can also help our customers with the assembly of other pieces. These assembly videos are part of the ongoing efforts of IKEA in the U.S. to connect with consumers via various digital channels and tools,” Mason said.
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.
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 Tuesday the activation of the solar energy system that is expected to produce approximately 1,334,300 kilowatt-hours of clean electricity annually.
According to the Environmental Protection Agency, that amount of clean electricity is equivalent to eliminating the yearly emissions of 180 passenger cars.
“We are excited to be the 14th IKEA store to do this project in the United States,” Spatz said. “This is the largest commercial rooftop (solar) operation in Ohio. On our roof we now have 128,000 square feet of solar program consisting of 4,186 panels that are generating approximately 1 million kilowatts (hours) of clean electricity annually.”
The 4,186 panels cover the store’s rooftop and could produce nearly 40 million kilowatt-hours of electricity in the next 30 years, according REC Solar senior project manager Fabian Kulynych.
“That’s equivalent to reducing greenhouse gas emissions by over 28,000 tons,” said Kulynych, whose company acted as the contractor for the project.
“In 40 years from now, IKEA will be producing its own electricity for free while electricity from fossil fuels is expected to cost five times more. These energy savings will allow IKEA to keep its operating costs down and continue to pass along competitive prices on its products to its consumers.”
The consumers shopping at IKEA Tuesday morning had no idea about the thousands of solar panels atop the store, but thought the project should be shared with the community.
“It is important to our community that our businesses are successful and if IKEA can find a way to do that then it should be communicated back to us,” Lynn Shank of Liberty Township said. “If things can be done more efficiently (with energy) I would definitely support it.”
Also, supporting the new solar energy system was West Chester Township Board of Trustees President Catherine Stoker.
“Today, we are celebrating IKEA taking another giant step forward in showing not only residents but also businesses on how they can make our environment cleaner and reduce our dependence on fossil fuels,” Stoker said. “This is important to our lifestyle and wellbeing because it allows to become more and more independent.”
An additional 23 IKEA locations in the United States have solar energy projects underway. Once completed, IKEA will have a U.S. solar presence of 85 percent.
The Swedes in Greater Cincinnati adult and children’s choir will also provide entertainment, starting at 6 p.m.
Tickets for the buffet can be purchased in the IKEA restaurant. The cost is $9.99 for adults and $2.49 for children 12 and under.
The Julbord menu includes the following items, assorted herring, gravad lax with mustard sauce, smoked salmon with horseradish sauce, whole poached salmon, hard-boiled eggs with shrimp, Swedish cucumber salad, red beet salad, Swedish potato salad, Christmas ham, asssorted cheeses, meatballs and lingonberries, red cabbage, boiled potatoes with dill, crispbread, thin bread, dinner rolls, Swedish rice pudding with almonds, assorted desserts, glögg, coffee, tea and fountain beverages.
Seating is limited for both sessions. For more details, call 513-779-7100.
IKEA will be offering children 12 and under a free meal this weekend Friday through Sunday. The free meal is part of the store’s three-day sale for Black Friday weekend.
Children can choose one kid’s combo meal valued at $2.49 at the IKEA restaurant. Meals include macaroni and cheese, chicken tenders or meatballs. Each meal comes with a side (mixed vegetables, fries or mashed potatoes) and a drink (milk, lingonberry drink or fountain beverage).
Adults do not need to purchase any food items in order to get the kids’ deal. There is a limit of one meal per child per visit.