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Community celebrates Cincinnati State

Published: Wednesday, September 26, 2012 @ 9:04 PM
Updated: Wednesday, September 26, 2012 @ 9:04 PM


Here’s what some people who attended the grand opening celebration of the Cincinnati State Middletown campus had to say:

“Cincinnati State coming to Middletown is a sign that we are finally getting the momentum to turn our community around. A lot of people have been working very hard over the past several years to stop our community’s decline, and now good things are happening.” — T. Duane Gordon, executive director of the Middletown Community Foundation.

“This is more than just a school. It has the possibility to bring lots of jobs to the area and to create a better, a stronger workforce.” —Bill Triick, executive director of the Chamber of Commerce Serving Middletown, Monroe and Trenton.

“We all know that a high school diploma is not the end of the road, only the beginning. This gives our students another option on their yet path in life.” — Greg Rasmussen, superintendent of Middletown City Schools District.

“This is a game-changer for downtown and possibly the community.” —Judy Gilleland, Middletown city manager.

“This is a great day for Middletown and a great day for Butler County.” — Rep. Tim Derickson, R-Hanover Twp.

“I’m excited about having Cincinnati State here. We’ve already talked with them about the possibility of health care providers. We’re talking about expanding our in-home care program. To have the possibility of training in the area, instead of us having to do it ourselves.” — Ann Munafo, Middletown Area Senior Center executive director

“We’re excited that this campus is so close to our main library in Middletown. It opens up so many different partnerships.” — Anita Carroll, MidPointe Library System executive director

“It’s fantastic, not only for downtown but also for Middletown. It’s a great thing and it provides another opportunity for education for people. And to have it right downtown, it’s a real plus for the city.” — Sam Ashworth, Middletown historian

Compiled by staff writers Rick McCrabb and Michael D. Pitman

In Sunday’s paper

Read Rick McCrabb’s column about how Alan Fugate went from a homeless man in Middletown to a college student at Cincinnati State.

A few year ago, former State Sen. Gary Cates told Cincinnati State officials that if they wanted to be a “player” in the eyes of the state legislature, they needed to open a downtown Middletown campus.

At the grand opening celebration Wednesday morning for Cincinnati State Middletown — which opened for classes Aug. 29 — Cincinnati State Technical & Community College President Dr. O’dell Owens told a crowd of a few hundred, “Today, we’re a player.”

“We’re here. Yes,” Cincinnati State Board of Trustees Chairwoman Cathy Crain said with a slight fist pump to the crowded lobby at Cincinnati State Middletown.

She said the celebration Wednesday recognized what the campus means to Middletown, but she said the campus is strategically important to the college.

“Our research shows that there is a significant demand for the programming we offer,” Crain said. “In other words, Middletown will help us grow.”

And Owens said it’s already has an impact. He said only two higher education institutions in the state have showed growth: Ohio University and Cincinnati State.

The campus, Crain said, helps the school tap into the northern Cincinnati and southern Dayton markets.

“Middletown gives us a basis for an eventual expansion of our wonderful nursing programs and other health care offerings,” Crain said. “Certainly that’s important for our growth and Middletown’s.”

Until the campus opened last month, Butler County was the largest county in Ohio to not have a community college, according to Cates, who is now the Ohio Board of Regents Senior Vice Chancellor.

“This is the eighth largest county in the state of Ohio, 365,000 people, and we’re continuing grow, and for a long time we’ve had our higher education assets underutilized, under appreciated and unnoticed,” he said.

But with Miami University in Oxford and its branch campuses in Middletown, Hamilton and West Chester Twp., and the career tech center at Butler Tech, Cincinnati State can fill the “missing piece of the puzzle.”

“Anyone who needs a GED to a Ph.D. does not have to go outside the county’s borders to get it,” Cates said. “Whatever you need, we have it.”

Cincinnati State and Middletown both took risks in committing to the project, school and city officials said.

Cincinnati State’s board of trustees told Owens he could open a branch campus in Middletown, but allowed him to spend none of the college’s capital dollars and to have it open in six months.

The city purchased multiple buildings downtown before Cincinnati State officials decided on the plan in Middletown.

And after years of planning, negotiating and waiting, two contracts were signed in April to consummate the deal that would give Middletown the county’s first community college. In early April, Middletown sold the building at 1 N. Main St. and donated the former senior center to Boston-based Higher Education Partners for $202,000.

Then a week later, and after months of review by the Ohio Attorney General, the contract was signed between Cincinnati State and Higher Education Partners, the project’s developer and financier.

The school has brought in hundreds of students, people that normally wouldn’t have a reason to be in downtown Middletown. And school officials have said in five years they believe the downtown campus could have thousands of students.

Al Franken: What happens to his Senate seat if he resigns?

Published: Thursday, December 07, 2017 @ 8:16 AM

What You Need To Know About Al Franken

Sen. Al Franken, (D-Minn.), will make an announcement on the floor of the U.S. Senate Thursday as to whether he will resign his seat amid allegations of sexual misconduct.

Franken is expected to speak at 11:45 a.m. ET.

Franken has been accused of inappropriate conduct by several women. On Wednesday, more than 20 fellow senators called for Franken to resign.

What happens to his seat if he does? Here’s a look at the process of filling the seat.


A person who would be a senator from Minnesota must:

Be at least 30 years old

Be a resident of Minnesota

Be a U.S. citizen for at least nine years

Who makes the decision on a replacement?

According to state law, Minnesota’s governor is authorized to fill the vacancy if a senator resigns. The governor, Democrat Mark Dayton, can make temporary appointments to fill Senate vacancies, but a special election must be held to fill the seat until the next scheduled election of that seat is held.

When would a special election be held in this case?

In Minnesota, if the seat is vacated at least 11 weeks before a scheduled primary, then a special election must be held the following November. There is a primary set for Aug. 14, 2018, in Minnesota, so that would mean that a special election would have to be held in November 2018 if Franken resigns before May 29, 2018. Minnesota’s other senator, Amy Klobuchar, (D), is up for re-election in that election.

The winner of the special election would serve out Franken’s term, which ends in January 2021. If that person wants to stay in the seat for the six-year term that begins in January 2021, he or she would have to face re-election in November 2020. 

Sen. Al Franken (D-MN) looks over his papers during a Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee hearing on hurricane recovery efforts in Puerto Rico and US Virgin Islands, on Capitol Hill November 14, 2017 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images)(Mark Wilson/Getty Images)

Atheists erect billboard saying church is ‘fake news’

Published: Thursday, December 07, 2017 @ 7:23 AM

Atheist Billboards Spark Controversy In New Mexico

A billboard in Albuquerque is turning heads this Christmas season., the website for American Atheists, has purchased billboard space touting “Just skip church it’s all fake news!”

>> Read more trending news 

Nick Fish, a member of American Atheists, told KRQE, “It’s a great way for us to in a kind of lighthearted way start those conversations and get people talking.”

People were talking about the sign, but maybe not the way the group intended.

Connie Lindsay told KRQE, “I think it’s terrible, because Christmas is almost here for one thing and that’s not the way I wish to celebrate the holidays.”

But others agreed with the sign.

“I myself am an atheist so gonna have to concur with that,” Devon Gutierrez told KRQE.

The sign is meant, according to Fish, to not only get people to think critically about the message conveyed by religion, but also to remind people. “Christianity or any other religion doesn’t have a monopoly on December. So, our message here is, however you want to celebrate it, go ahead and do that,” Fish said.

Similar billboards were scheduled to be installed in Texas, NBC News reported.

Billboards were scheduled to be put up in Oklahoma, but they were not permitted by the billboard company, NBC News reported.

U.S. Navy sailor sketched Pearl Harbor attack before he was killed in action

Published: Thursday, December 07, 2017 @ 8:40 AM

VIDEO: Sailor Sketched Pearl Harbor Attack Before He was Killed in Action

Leonard Franklin Tomlinson lived and served in an age before social media, and the image he left behind is less ephemeral and certainly more meaningful than the slew of selfies we all serve up today.

>> PHOTOS: 'December 7, 1941 – a date which will live in infamy'

>> Click here or scroll down to read more

Man saves wild rabbit from California wildfires

Published: Thursday, December 07, 2017 @ 9:53 AM

Scenes from Southern California Wildfire

A California man risked his life to save a wild rabbit among the flames in the state’s wildfires.

KABC reported that a video posted to social media shows the unidentified man dressed in shorts and a hoodie running after the rabbit in La Conchita, California. 

>> Need something to lift your spirits? Read more uplifting news

Witnesses said the man pulled over to save the wild rabbit along Highway 1 in Southern California’s Ventura Country, according to ABC News

The man could be seen jumping up and down in a panic before crouching down into the bush and attempting to grab the animal. The rabbit ultimately allowed the man to pick it up.
RELATED: Photos: California wildfires burn thousands of acres, force evacuations

The man did not want to be interviewed.

The Thomas fire started Monday and has since grown to 90,000 acres. It has prompted evacuations across the region.