Local surgeon faces charges – A federal grand jury returned a 10-count indictment against Dr. Atiq Durrani, Greater Cincinnati spine doctor, “alleging that, beginning in 2009, he convinced patients to undergo medically unnecessary spinal surgeries,” then billed health care programs millions of dollars, according to a news release from the U.S. Attorney’s Office. Durrani performed many surgeries at West Chester Hospital.
They might not be the best of friends, but that doesn’t stop Speaker of the House John Boehner, left, from exchanging birthday gifts with President Barack Obama. Getty Images.
Boehner b-day gift to Obama – House Speaker John Boehner and President Barack Obama may not be on the best of terms these days. But that doesn’t mean the West Chester Republican let Obama’s birthday pass without sending a gift, Deirdre Shesgreen reported last week. So what did Boehner buy for the world’s most powerful leader—and his party’s most ardent foe—when Obama turned 52?
AK Steel – AK Steel Holding Co. is relying on its $1.1 billion revolving credit facility to cover the industry’s deepest cash burn as the most leveraged U.S. steelmaker bets on raw-material investments to restore profit. AK Steel borrowed $40 million from its previously untapped credit line in the second quarter as its cash balance fell 74 percent from the end of last year, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.
Mercy to open Lib. Twp. clinic – A new outpatient physical therapy center is opening this week in Butler County, The Enquirer reported last week. Mercy Health – Liberty Falls Medical Center is opening Monday at 6770 Cincinnati-Dayton Road in Liberty Township. The new outpatient clinic is an extension of the outpatient physical therapy department at Mercy Health – Fairfield Hospital.
Collection coming to Lib. Twp. businesses – Look for collection jars to begin showing up at Liberty Township businesses by the end of the month. The township’s Parks Committee got the go ahead from trustees last week to solicit funds via the collection jars. Money collected would be placed into a Charitable Community Fund account for park use. Besides collecting donations the jars serve a second purpose; awareness about the different parks located in the township.
They might not be the best of friends, but that doesn’t stop Speaker of the House John Boehner, left, from exchanging birthday gifts with President Barack Obama. Getty Images.
Deirdre Shesgreen reports:
House Speaker John Boehner and President Barack Obama may not be on the best of terms these days. But that doesn’t mean the West Chester Republican let Obama’s birthday pass without sending a gift.
After all, when Boehner turned 63 last November, Obama sent him a pricey bottle of red wine.
So what did Boehner buy for the world’s most powerful leader—and his party’s most ardent foe—when Obama turned 52 on Sunday?
“A little taste of his hometown.” That’s according to Montgomery Inn, a favorite Cincy restaurant, which said Boehner sent Obama a gift basket yesterday with Montgomery Inn ribs, Montgomery Inn BBQ Sauce and Graeter’s Black Raspberry Chip ice cream.
“We hope our ribs can help to foster a more bipartisan atmosphere in Washington, if only for a day,” said Evan Andrews, Montgomery Inn’s vice president.
Boehner’s spokeswoman, Brittany Bramell, said the speaker “thought about including Skyline Chili, as well, but knew the president had it recently, and wanted to introduce him to some other Cincinnati favorites.”
Boehner did include a note in the gift basket, but no word on what it said. And the White House hasn’t yet responded to our question about whether Obama enjoyed the ribs and ice cream. We’ll update if we find out!
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. That list was posted earlier this morning on the Buzz, visit the homepage of WestChesterBuzz.com for everything that happened June 24-30.
What about the rest of the month?
With it being July 1st, I thought it was time to review some of the bigger news items from June 1-23 in West Chester and Liberty townships.
A minivan plowed into the Taco Bell store at 8126 Princeton-Glendale Road on the afternoon of June 4th. Photo provided by Gail Wunderlin.
Van crashes into Taco Bell – The driver who plowed into the Taco Bell at 8126 Princeton-Glendale Road in West Chester Township on June was charged with having an open container. However, police say they believe the accident was caused by a medical condition and not because of alcohol.
Local Tea Party protests IRS – Members of The Cincinnati Tea Party, as well as members from the Liberty Township and West Chester tea parties, held signs and waved at passing motorists outside House Speaker John Boehner’s West Chester office June 19 afternoon. The group was protesting the IRS and its alleged targeting of conservative groups.
The Nasty Boys reunited this past week. It was the first time that the trio got together for a signing. Photo taken by Adam Kiefaber.
The Nasty Boys visit West Chester – For the first time since 2010, when Chris Sabo was inducted into the Cincinnati Reds Hall of Fame, The Nasty Boys – Norm Charlton, Rob Dibble and Randy Myers – were together again when they took part in a special signing event at the Sports Gallery, 7967 Cincinnati-Dayton Road, in West Chester Township June 12. It was the first time that the three were together for a signing event.
Construction on debated roundabout – Construction began June 10 on a roundabout at the intersection of Kyles Station and Yankee roads in Liberty Township. Some neighbors don’t believe a roundabout at the intersection is needed and don’t want it built. County officials disagree and say the design of the roundabout forces drivers to slow down, improving safety.
SentriLock opens global HQ – Electronic lockbox systems provider SentriLock opened its new West Chester headquarters on June 21. The National Association of Realtors-owned SentriLock sought the move from Sharonville to a new 40,000-square-foot facility at 7701 Service Center Drive to house its 100 employees. The company said it sought the move as a result of its expanding operations.
Lt. Jon DeWitt. Photo provided.
West Chester Police mourn the loss of Lt. Jon DeWitt – Enquirer reporter Sheila McLaughlin recently wrote about the life of Lt. Jon DeWitt, who passed away June 1 after being diagnosed with a rare form of kidney cancer. DeWitt set his priorities: his wife and two teenaged children, the West Chester Township police force where he worked for more than two decades and the Marine Corps that gave him discipline and set a direction in his life.
West gets new AD – The Lakota school district recently announced that Scott Kaufman, the athletic director at Wyoming High School, will join the administrative team at Lakota East serving as an assistant principal and also as athletic director. Afterwards, school officials tweaked that announcement, saying Kaufman will serve at those positions at Lakota West instead of Lakota East.
Prosecutor to fight public records case - A case involving Butler County officials illegally withholding a 911 tape from The Enquirer in a 2012 Father’s Day slaying is headed to the Ohio Supreme Court. Butler County Prosecutor Michael Gmoser has filed notice that he’ll appeal an Ohio 12th District Court of Appeals decision last week that he and Common Pleas Judge Michael Sage violated the public records act in withholding the 911 tape containing a confession from defendant Michael Ray.
Woman dies in Lib. Twp. wreck – A 56-year-old Middletown woman died last June 13 after suffering injuries in a three-vehicle crash in Liberty Township. The Butler County coroner’s office pronounced Mary Schaeffer died at the crash scene at Ohio 747 just north of Willow Ridge Drive, according to Butler County Sheriff Richard Jones. Authorities received a call about the crash shortly after 6 a.m. wo other drivers — Michael McAninch, 41, of Mason, and Denise Wuebben, 59, of Hamilton — suffered injuries and were transported to Atrium Medical Center in Middletown.
Rawan Mubarak, 9, of Damascus, Syria, smiles as she plays with a stuffed animal inside her room at her host family’s home in West Chester. Photo taken by Amanda Davidson.
Wounded Syrian girl finds a haven in West Chester – Enquirer reporter Mark Curnutte shared a story about Rawan Mubarak, who lost her right arm during Syria’s civil war. Now the 9-year-old girl is on the verge of receiving a prosthetic right arm thanks to several individuals and organizations in Greater Cincinnati. She is also living with a host family in West Chester Township.
VOA Park sports complex seeks funds – At 435 acres, Voice of America MetroPark off Cox Road is the flagship of the Butler County system and one of the newest parks in the region. Millions are being spent on it to build a $24 million athletic complex that is counted on to draw regional and national tournaments from the eastern United States and to pump an estimated $26 million a year into the local economy by five years after the full complex is up and running.
Coney Island 1965 opens – EnterTRAINment Junction officially opened its replica of Coney Island as it was in 1965 on June 21. Overall, the project cost more than $150,000 to build and includes a 40-foot long roller coaster called the Shooting Star. The original Shooting Star was built in 1948. EnterTRAINment Junction is open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday-Saturday and from noon to 6 p.m. Sunday.
Susan Hendel, mother of fiscal officer Kerry Hendel, votes at Lakota West High School on Election Day in November of 2011. This year, voters will likely, again, vote on a school levy. Photo taken by Adam Kiefaber.
Voters could see school levy – Voters in Greater Cincinnati’s second-largest school system will likely see a tax hike on the fall ballot. The Lakota Board of Education voted unanimously last Monday evening to place a combination operating levy and a permanent improvement tax on the Nov. 5 ballot. Voters will decide on a 3.5-mill operating levy and a 2-mill permanent improvement levy combined into a single 5.5-mill school tax hike issue.
Driver whose tire struck, killed man pleads guilty – Tim Morrison, whose son Dylan was killed after a loose tire fell off a semi truck on Interstate 75 and crashed into his son’s windshield, has been waiting more than two years for justice. He and his family will have to wait another month. Hamilton County Court of Common Pleas Judge Robert Ruehlman accepted a guilty plea from Paul Lallier, 64, of Hamilton on one count of vehicular homicide and one count of obstructing justice in the death of Dylan Morrison Tuesday but put off sentencing until July 22.
While conservatives protested the IRS at the nation’s Capital in June, back in West Chester, Ohio, local tea party members held signs and waved at passing motorists outside House Speaker John Boehner’s local office – wanting their congressman to step up.
Liberty Twp. Tea Party sues IRS – The Liberty Township Tea Party became the latest conservative group to join a class action lawsuit against the Internal Revenue Service stemming from the agency’s improper targeting of conservative groups during their application process for nonprofit status. The Liberty Township organization is joining 40 others in a suit that has been filed by the American Center for Law and Justice, a Washington-based conservative legal advocacy/issues group.
Youth and Jr. USA Triathlon staying W.C. – Voice of America Park in West Chester will host the USA Triathlon Youth & Junior National Championships through 2015, the Butler County Visitor’s Bureau announced this week. VOA Park hosted the event for the first time in 2012 and will host this year’s event Aug. 2-4.
Annie Mullin, 61, and a member of the A-Marika Dance Company, in Sharonville, dances with a friend during the company’s “Dancing With Our Stars” fundraiser on Sunday, June 9, at The Grove Banquet Center. Mullin is among 40 others with Down syndrome who participate in a local dance group at A-Marika Dance Company in Sharonville. Photo taken Amanda Davidson.
Special dance class – West Chester volunteer shared his thoughts on unique dance class in nearby Sharonville. The consists of more than 40 who live with Down syndrome. “When I walk in, I have had a long day. It is close to 6 o’clock and then the dancers are saying ‘hello’ to you, you are getting hugs and you sort of drift into this world that is separate from all the day-to-day problems,” said Leonard Mark of West Chester, a volunteer with the class since 2008. “For one hour, you really get a chance to focus on something that’s really important.”
Lakota adds two – The Lakota Board of Education recently approved the appointments of a new curriculum director and a elementary school principal. Marlon J. Styles Jr. of West Chester was approved to be the school district’s executive director of curriculum and instruction. The Lakota school district also approved the appointment of Jodi Leichman as the new principal of Adena Elementary.
Store surveillance cameras captured the couple entering the store before making several purchases using the stolen credit card.
Looking for couple for using stolen credit card – The West Chester Police Department requested assistance last week in identifying two suspects involved in a theft from a motor vehicle. During the overnight hours July 22, an unknown person entered an unoccupied vehicle and removed a resident’s credit card. The credit card was later used at the West Chester Wal-Mart store.
AK Steel blast furnace failure – Work is continuing at AK Steel’s steelmaking facility in Middletown to repair a blast furnace that suffered a mechanical failure last week. West Chester-based AK Steel Holding Corp. said no injuries resulted from the Saturday failure at the furnace’s charging apparatus. The charging apparatus is the system used to feed coke, iron ore, limestone and other feedstock into the blast furnace, which is used to produce molten iron.
Mortgage scheme sends woman to prison – A 40-year-old West Chester Township woman was sentenced to 2½ years in federal prison for her role in a mortgage-fraud scheme, the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Ohio said in a news release Tuesday. Senior U.S. District Judge Herman J. Weber imposed that punishment on Sylvia Odia Thomas, and also ordered her to pay $313,021 in restitution to lenders, plus $95,422.14 to the IRS, the release said.
Craiglist predator sentenced – A car thief who used Craigslist to troll for vehicles – and drove one stolen car in a high-speed chase that ended with a crash — will spend the next seven years in prison. A Warren County judge handed down the sentence Friday to Trevon Broomfield, 21, of Dayton, who pleaded guilty to three counts of theft, failure to comply with an officer’s orders, felonious assault on a police officer and receiving stolen property. Broomfield’s spree ended Jan. 15 after he stole a 2005 Nissan Sentra from West Chester.
While conservatives protested the IRS at the nation’s Capital last week, back in West Chester, Ohio, local tea party members held signs and waved at passing motorists outside House Speaker John Boehner’s local office – wanting their congressman to step up.
James Pilcher reports:
The Liberty Township Tea Party became the latest conservative group to join a class action lawsuit against the Internal Revenue Service stemming from the agency’s improper targeting of conservative groups during their application process for nonprofit status.
The Liberty Township organization is joining 40 others in a suit that has been filed by the American Center for Law and Justice, a Washington-based conservative legal advocacy/issues group.
The Liberty County Tea Party filed for nonprofit status in March 2009 and has yet to receive word whether its application has been approved or denied, group president Tim Savaglio said in a statement. The organization has received lists of 35 questions and more, and was one of the few of those targeted that received questions about specific individuals – in this case local conservative activist Justin Binik-Thomas, who helped create the Cincinnati Tea Party.
The IRS has acknowledged that its downtown Cincinnati-based tax exempt determinations office improperly targeted and questioned conservative groups, and Monday, the interim IRS director said that other progressive and issues groups may have also been targeted improperly.
While conservatives protested the IRS at the nation’s Capital Wednesday, back in West Chester, Ohio, local tea party members held signs and waved at passing motorists outside House Speaker John Boehner’s local office – wanting their congressman to step up.
Local Tea Party protests IRS – Members of The Cincinnati Tea Party, as well as members from the Liberty Township and West Chester tea parties, held signs and waved at passing motorists outside House Speaker John Boehner’s West Chester office last Wednesday afternoon. The group was protesting the IRS and its alleged targeting of conservative groups.
Man to turn in guilty plea in fatal loose tire crash – Paul Lallier signed and submitted a written guilty plea to misdemeanor counts of vehicular homicide and and obstructing official business in the March 28, 2011, death of Dylan Morrison, 22, of West Chester, Hamilton County Prosecutor Joe Deters announced last week. Lallier was driving a truck when a tire came loose and flew onto the other side of the highway, crashing into Morrison’s windshield.
But. Co. helping with Colo. fire – Eight firefighters from Butler County are doing their part to help combat the devastating Black Forest fire in Colorado – and, at the same time, they’re learning tactics that could be put to use for any major disaster that could strike here, Monroe Fire Chief John Centers told The Enquirer last Monday. The Butler team hailed from the cities of Monroe, Middletown and Oxford, along with Ross, West Chester, Liberty and Fairfield townships.
Evan Cook with his mother Kathy Cook, Evan just graduated from the Lakota Plans Junior School in Liberty twp. over the last year Lakota has seen it’s enrollment drop. Photo taken by Tony Jones.
Shrinking enrollment causes problems – Michael D. Clark reported last week that while the school year might be finished but there is no end in sight for shrinking enrollments at some once-booming, suburban school systems. The trend adds to the nervousness of Southwest Ohio school officials and school parents who await the state budget’s unveiling later this month. Smaller enrollment often means less school funding in Ohio’s biennium budgets. And fewer state dollars mean districts often ask voters to pay higher school taxes.
Coney Island 1965 opens – EnterTRAINment Junction officially opened its replica of Coney Island as it was in 1965 on Friday. Overall, the project cost more than $150,000 to build and includes a 40-foot long roller coaster called the Shooting Star. The original Shooting Star was built in 1948. EnterTRAINment Junction is open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday-Saturday and from noon to 6 p.m. Sunday.
AK Steel expects loss in 2Q – West Chester Township-based AK Steel warned investors last week that it expects a net loss of between $0.33 and $0.38 per diluted share of common stock for the second quarter of 2013. The company also expects its average selling price per ton for the second quarter of 2013 to decrease by approximately 1 percent from its price for the first quarter of 2013, falling from $1,063 to $1,055 per ton.
SentriLock opens global HQ – Electronic lockbox systems provider SentriLock opened its new West Chester headquarters on Friday. The National Association of Realtors-owned SentriLock sought the move from Sharonville to a new 40,000-square-foot facility at 7701 Service Center Drive to house its 100 employees. The company said it sought the move as a result of its expanding operations.
Butler County’s local drive-in taking the digital plunge – Time is running out. People in the drive-in industry expect film distributors to stop producing 35mm prints of new films this year. Todd Chancey took the plunge. He and his business partner invested in digital projection equipment and began showing digital films this month at Holiday Auto Theatre. Debi Brooks did the same thing at her Starlite Drive-in in Amelia (Clermont County) in March.
Members of The Cincinnati Tea Party, as well as members from the Liberty Township and West Chester tea parties, held signs and waved at passing motorists outside House Speaker John Boehner’s West Chester office Wednesday afternoon. The group was protesting the IRS and its alleged targeting of conservative groups.
Meanwhile, on the West Lawn of the U.S. Capital, Republican lawmakers, media personalities and Tea Party members also protested in the Tea Party Patriots’ organized “Audit the IRS” rally Wednesday afternoon.
“We are standing in solidarity with the Tea Party Patriots, they are out in Washington D.C. doing a big rally on the Capital lawn trying to encourage Congress to abolish the IRS and hold the IRS accountable for their actions against Tea Party and Liberty groups throughout the country,” said Ann Becker of West Chester, who is president of both the West Chester and Cincinnati tea parties.
Among those in attendance at the Washington rally included Rand Paul, Michele Bachmann and Glenn Beck, among others, according to the Washington Times.
Becker, who also hand delivered roughly 50 letters to Boehner’s office from concerned residents of Ohio’s Eighth District, was joined at the local rally by Butler County Republican Party chairman David Kern.
“The American public, all of us both left and right, should not tolerate the abuses that the IRS has submitted,” Kern said. “It is so grossly unfair and illegal.
“If they do it to us, they will do it to anybody.”
While conservatives protested the IRS at the nation’s Capital Wednesday, back in West Chester, Ohio, local tea party members held signs and waved at passing motorists outside House Speaker John Boehner’s local office – wanting their Congressman to step up. Photo taken by Adam Kiefaber.
West Chester’s John Boehner becomes Speaker of the House
It didn’t take long for West Chester resident John Boehner to make news in 2011.
Just five days into the year, Boehner was officially elected the 61st Speaker of the House.
Locally, more news surrounding Boehner took place as protesters picketed throughout 2011 outside his West Chester office.
However, on Jan. 5, many local residents witnessed something that they may never see again.
“Well I am 63 and this has never happened before and I doubt it will ever happen again in my lifetime,” said Bill Langdon, owner of Grand Ole Pub in West Chester. “So, to me, it is much bigger than the Super Bowl. That happens every year. Having the Speaker of the House be your congressman? Never happened to me. This is a monumental event.”
While many of the people felt a personal connection to Boehner just because they shared the same hometown, others have actually known the man before he was a congressman.
“I am trying to let this soak in,” Gary Cates, who has known Boehner for 28 years, said while watching the swearing-in of Boehner at the Grand Ole Pub. “To see this happen to someone you know is unbelievable. Outside of knowing the President of the United States personally, this is pretty big stuff.”
Cates actually knew him from the beginning when Boehner served as the president of the Lakota Hills homeowners association and as a Union Township trustee. At the time of Boehner’s swear in, Cates was an Ohio Senator. Now, Cates is the Senior Vice Chancellor for Innovation and Enterprise Development at the Ohio Board of Regents.
“He has really started at the grassroots level. It is a real great accomplishment on his part to persevere to get to where he is today,” Cates said. “I am sure I speak for a lot of people, we are all really proud of him for what he has done for our area.”
Former Cincinnati Enquirer caricature artist Jerry Dowling, who was involved in the Lakota Hills homeowners association back in the late 70s, was also at the bar to witness Boehner’s special moment.
“It is unbelievable that this could happen. No one expected John to rise up the way he has. This is just flabbergasting. We are so thrilled,” Dowling said.
Protesters staged a human oil spill Wednesday morning outside of House Speaker John Boehner’s office, upset about his support of a proposed continental oil pipeline.
About 30-40 people, many of whom were dressed in black or dark clothing, stood at the door of Boehner’s local office that is located near a strip mall on Cincinnati-Dayton Road. Protesters were denied entrance to the office. Some carried a mock pipeline and later protesters laid on the ground to represent an oil spill.
Protesters also had large white fake dollar bills with Boehner’s photograph on one side and oil derricks on the other side.
“By being here today we’re sending a loud and clear message to the speaker and the rest of Congress that the people do not support this pipeline,” said Northside resident Danny Berchenko, 29, an organizer with the environmental group 350.org.
The protest was peaceful and only attracted only two police officers.
The House on Tuesday approved a bill that speeds up construction of the pipeline and extends a payroll tax cut, among other provisions. The pipeline would run from the tar sands of Alberta, Canada, to Texas oil refineries.
Republicans say work on the pipeline would create 20,000 or more jobs. Opponents say the real figure is more like 3,500.
The House measure would keep 160 million workers from seeing their payroll tax jump on Jan. 1 from this year’s 4.2 percent back to its normal level of 6.2 percent – a $1,000 difference for a family making $50,000.
It would also renew expiring extra benefits for long-term jobless people and head off a cut in doctors’ Medicare reimbursements, a reduction that could prompt some to stop seeing patients who use that program.
But it has drawn nearly universal Democratic opposition because it would also force work to begin on the 1,700-mile-long Keystone XL oil pipeline, which President Barack Obama would rather postpone. It would also trim federal spending without forcing the wealthy to contribute as much as Democrats want.
Approximately a hundred protesters showed up at House Speaker John Boehner’s West Chester office Tuesday. The crowd, which reportedly got rowdy, was there in protest of rising unemployment and lack of job creation in Boehner’s district.
“He has never represented this district in the 20 years he has been office,” said protester Holly Denlinger, who drove down from Piqua.
According to the Cincinnati Enquirer, protesters wanted to send two protesters inside to speak to staff, but staffers locked the doors and would not let anyone in. The Enquirer is also reporting that one protester kicked the door several times.
West Chester police officers were in attendance throughout the protest, which lasted from 11 a.m. to noon. No one was arrested.
After the protest, Miami University graduate Dan Woolf of Columbus led a group of 25 protesters to The Country Club at Muirfield Village in Dublin, Ohio. Boehner was at the country club at a fundraising golf outing.
“We want to ask him, why he is not here,” Woolf said.