3 Butler County schools still playing football on grass

Published: Thursday, September 14, 2017 @ 8:00 AM

            Only three of Butler County’s 10 public high schools are still playing football on grass fields. Madison, Ross and New Miami schools lack artificial turf fields. Rainy Friday nights can mean muddy games that damage fields — like the game pictured here from a few years ago at Madison High School. STAFF FILE PHOTO
Only three of Butler County’s 10 public high schools are still playing football on grass fields. Madison, Ross and New Miami schools lack artificial turf fields. Rainy Friday nights can mean muddy games that damage fields — like the game pictured here from a few years ago at Madison High School. STAFF FILE PHOTO

More than most, officials at three Butler County school districts know the plastic grass is always greener on the other side.

Of the county’s 10 public school systems, only Ross, Madison and New Miami are still playing football — and other sports — on natural grass fields.

RELATED: Hamilton High’s Big Blue field just got bluer

More than a dozen years ago artificial turf playing fields began showing up at Southwest Ohio high schools due to enhanced affordability, though they are still pricey — ranging from $500,000 to $1.5 million.

The advantages beyond long-term cost-savings were obvious.

The plastic grass fields are more durable, take less maintenance costs and can even become revenue generators for school districts that rent out the fields to local youth and adult sports leagues. None-prep sports participants — such as gym classes and marching bands — can also use the fields nearly year around.

“It has been a tremendous positive,” said Stu Eversole, former athletic director for Lakota Local Schools and associate commissioner for the Great Miami Conference.

MORE: Oops! Lakota fireworks cause delay at Mason football game

Eversole, whose career in local prep athletics began in the 1970s has no nostalgia for the old-fashioned grass fields prone to disintegration under rain and muddy football games.

“By mid-season your field could look like a lunar landscape,” said the former football coach.

Ross, Madison and New Miami schools all share similar budgetary challenges when it comes to trying to partner with area businesses or health care providers who help pay for fake turf fields in exchange for naming rights, advertising signage and other agreements.

They don’t have any potential financing partners, or at least none who have stepped up to date.

And they are all also largely rural, bedroom communities with few major industries, so the majority of the school tax burden is carried by individual homeowners rather than business tax revenue.

“Installing a turf athletic field would open up many opportunities for use within the Ross school district,” said Scott Gates, superintendent of Ross Schools.

MORE: Ross Schools new leader looks back on year one

“The $500,000-plus price tag is the factor that limits us moving forward as with many other districts. Connecting with a local business or medical group would afford us the leverage needed to possibly move forward but unfortunately, as of now, there are no plans,” said Gates.

Nor any plans at New Miami Schools — Butler County’s smallest enrollment district.

“New Miami is comprised of students from (rural) St. Clair Twp. and New Miami. There are few business partnerships available to the district with many of the businesses being non-franchise businesses,” said Rhonda Parker, superintendent of New Miami Schools.

Madison Schools spokeswoman A.J. Huff said, “we talk about it all the time.”

“It all comes down to money.Whether that means finding a corporate sponsor or major fund raising. In the past we have been unsuccessful in securing a corporate sponsor similar to other local (district) fields, primarily due to our rural location,” said Huff.

2 Chainz's 'Trap House' back for the holidays

Published: Friday, November 24, 2017 @ 11:13 AM

Trap House on Howell Mill Road
Photo via WSBTV.com
Trap House on Howell Mill Road(Photo via WSBTV.com)

The famous Atlanta Trap House is back for the holidays.

>> Read more trending news

Grammy-nominated artist 2 Chainz’s management agency, Street Execs, posted a video on its Facebook page on Thursday announcing the return of the house.

Over the summer, the house, located on Howell Mill Road in Atlanta, was painted pink with the word “TRAP” above the door, and a pink car was placed out front. The stunt was intended to promote 2 Chainz’s new album, "Pretty Girls Like Trap Music." 

Crowds of people showed up to see and take pictures at the house.

It was painted back to its original white color in the summer after the lease ran out, but it appears it will soon make its return in holiday style.

Street Execs held a grand opening of “Trap Wonderland” Thursday night at a new location -- 1740 Defoor Place.

It’s unclear how long the new attraction will be active.

Watch the teaser video below:

Man pays Middletown water bill with fake cash

Published: Friday, November 24, 2017 @ 10:58 AM

            Counterfeit money passed in the Dayton area in the past few weeks. UNITED STATES SECRET SERVICE
Counterfeit money passed in the Dayton area in the past few weeks. UNITED STATES SECRET SERVICE

Middletown police are investigating counterfeit money used by a resident to pay a water bill in October.

A man paid a $200 bill on Oct. 26 with a $100 bill and five $20 bills, according to Barbara Bradley, assistant finance director. This news agency isn’t naming the man because he hasn’t been charged, said Lt. Scott Reeve.

MORE: Escaped inmate found 3 miles from hospital

On Wednesday, police confirmed with Fifth Third Bank that the $100 bill was counterfeit, according to the report.

A video of the transaction was recovered for evidence.

On average $30,000 in counterfeit money is taken in monthly in the Dayton area and about $100,000 monthly for southern Ohio, which includes Dayton, Columbus and Cincinnati, according to Secret Service Agent Kevin Dye of the Dayton office.

MORE: 18-year-old pedestrian killed in Warren County; driver thought he hit a deer

“As the holidays approach, more counterfeit is received due to heavy cash intake for shopping. Retailers should carefully look at cash received during the holidays and call police if suspicious,” Dye said.

Wright State seeking federal funds for new archives center

Published: Friday, November 24, 2017 @ 9:51 AM

Wright State has applied for funding through the Priority Development and Advocacy Committee.
Wright State has applied for funding through the Priority Development and Advocacy Committee.

Wright State University is seeking federal funding for a planned $8.2 million archives center.

The university announced in October that it was launching a $6.5 million fundraising campaign to create a new home for its historical archives. The Priority Development and Advocacy Committee released the list of applying projects Tuesday and the WSU archives center was listed as an applicant.

Wright State has asked the committee for $2.2 million in funding over the next year, according to the school’s application. The committee will sort through to make a prioritized list of what to ask for in D.C.

» RELATED: Wright State launches $6.5 million campaign for new archives center

The archives project calls for the renovation of 30,000 square feet of space at the former Wright-Patt Credit Union at 2455 Presidential Drive and the relocation of Wright State’s Special Collections and Archives. The new space would offer more appropriate environmental conditions including temperature, humidity, light, air quality and fire protection and suppression for the historical artifacts, according to the school’s application.

Wright State’s archives contains the largest Wright Brothers Collection in the world, first-edition works by Dayton poet Paul Laurence Dunbar and the archives of the Dayton Daily News among other historic archives, according to WSU.

» RELATED: Air Force office investigating Wright State for possible visa fraud

The proposed archives center will include the following amenities, according to the university:

• A reading room where students, scholars and visitors may examine historic materials in an up-close and personal way.

• An exhibit gallery housing rotating exhibitions that highlight the depth and breadth of Wright State’s collections.

• A conference room for lectures, meetings and special events.

• A classroom to welcome area school children and students from Wright State’s public history graduate program.

» RELATED: Beavercreek sports center looking for new sponsor for naming rights

• An oral history recording and teaching lab where students, faculty, researchers and the community can record their stories.

• A media lab for listening and viewing oral histories and watching original film footage.

• A preservation lab, processing room, clean room and exhibit prep room that will give staff the tools and space they need to adequately care for the history of the Dayton region.

Restaurant employee helps disabled veteran with his meal

Published: Friday, November 24, 2017 @ 10:52 AM

Liesel Bockl/Getty Images/fStop
(Liesel Bockl/Getty Images/fStop)

A Georgia man touched by a restaurant employee’s kindness has shared the message with the world.

>> Read more trending news

Dallas Smith Jr., of Sylvester, Georgia, was at Huddle House restaurant in Douglas, Georgia, on Wednesday around lunchtime, when he saw a customer trying to eat his pancakes, with one hand.

Smith said the man who was dining with him moved his plate to reach out and help the customer, but then a cook stepped in.

“She was on the other side of the counter and she saw that he was trying to cut his pancakes and she said, ‘I’ll get it,’” Smith said.

Smith said the employee put down what she had and walked over to the table, which is when he had the thought to start recording a video with his phone.

“It was kind of a warm feeling in there anyway because everyone knows everybody,” Smith said. “It threw me so far off-guard when she did it. For me, it was just a blessing to see.”

Smith said he posted the video on Facebook to share what he had witnessed with his friends and family. Since then, nearly 3,000 people have shared it. 

“This day and time, when you see that, it gives you hope,” he said. “I’m a Christian, and it’s the closest thing to Jesus I’ve seen in a long time.”

Smith said a family dining beside him noted that the man is a veteran.

He said that he is glad people are seeing the humble action the employee took, adding that we should help one another no matter race or age.