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.

Snake in bathroom saves woman from bedroom attacker

Published: Wednesday, March 15, 2017 @ 7:06 PM
Updated: Wednesday, March 15, 2017 @ 7:06 PM

A Florida woman is crediting a snake in her home with saving her from a sexual assault last week.

Police said the Lee County woman called deputies when she found the reptile in her bathroom, minutes before a man broke into her house, grabbed her and demanded sex, according to media reports

>> Read more trending news  

Malcolm Porter, 28, allegedly sneaked up on the victim, choked her, then demanded she get condoms from another room. Once free, the woman fled from her home where deputies, who responded to the snake call, were waiting outside. 

Porter was arrested and is jailed without bond on charges of battery by strangulation.

The victim told police she knew the man and that he “may have been high" on drugs, local media reported. 

One of the victim's neighbors called the snake encounter "a blessing in disguise."

"The snake played a role in saving her," the neighbor said.


Toddler may have frozen to death after wandering out in middle of night

Published: Wednesday, March 15, 2017 @ 2:03 PM
Updated: Wednesday, March 15, 2017 @ 2:03 PM

North Carolina authorities are trying to determine what happened after a toddler was found dead outside a home early Wednesday morning in Burke County.

Police said they were called to the home around 7:45 a.m. and found a 3-year-old boy dead on the porch.

>> Read more trending news  

Authorities said that someone driving by the house spotted the child and called 911.

Investigators think the boy, who had turned three the day before, wandered outside sometime during the night and died after being exposed to the freezing conditions for too long.

Wind-chill values in the High Country were below zero overnight.

Deputies said when they got to the home the front door was open and the mother was still asleep inside, unaware her son had gotten outside.

The name of the child has not been released and deputies closed the road near the home for hours while they and the Department of Social Services investigated.

Nike’s new hijab sparks backlash, #BoycottNike amid some Muslim support

Published: Wednesday, March 15, 2017 @ 3:46 PM
Updated: Wednesday, March 15, 2017 @ 3:46 PM

            Figure skater Zahra Lari from the United Arab Emirates wears Nike's new hijab for Muslim female athletes, which the sports apparel company recently unveiled. Now there's a backlash against Nike, accusing it of contributing to the

Nike announced last week it will release its first product directed at Muslim female athletes, the Pro Hijab. And since the unveiling, the company has received its share of backlash from the public.

Social media users have criticized the company for supporting the “oppression of women,” prompting tweets of dissent with the hashtag #BoycottNike.

>> Read more trending news

Related: Nike introduces sports hijabs for athletes

But many Muslim women, including weight lifter Amna Al Haddad, the brand’s target audience for its Pro Hijab, applauded the company for its new product, which was developed with the help of hijab-wearing athletes.

“In the past, the big brands didn’t see the need or market for it as it was not ‘popular’ and it was unheard of to see women train, exercise and compete in hijab,” Haddad shared on Instagram.

Others responded to the polarizing criticism of the Pro Hijab, writing that for them, wearing the hijab is not oppression, but a choice.

Users are also sharing a video by Hanna Yusuf of The Guardian, in which the Muslim feminist addressed critics of the hijab and said that wearing hers is a feminist statement. 

“In a world where a woman’s value is often reduced to her sexual allure, what could be more empowering than rejecting that notion?” she said.

But, Yusuf said, her concern with the hijab being unfairly portrayed as oppression is not a denial of the fact that some women are forced to wear it in some parts of the world.

According to a press release obtained by, the Nike Pro Hijab is expected to cost $35, and is similar to its other Nike Pro products: “inconspicuous, almost like a second skin.”

The move followed Nike’s viral campaign called "What Will They Say About You?" — a digital ad targeted at women in the Arab world, featuring female athletes such as figure skater Zahra Lari of the United Arab Emirates and boxer Arifa Bseiso from Jordan.

Nike’s Pro Hijab will be on sale in Spring 2018.

Sheriff uses game show-style ‘Wheel of Fugitives’ to catch criminals

Published: Wednesday, March 15, 2017 @ 1:41 PM
Updated: Wednesday, March 15, 2017 @ 1:41 PM

            A sheriff in Florida is using an unusal new weapon to catch criminals and says it's a success. A game show-style 'Wheel of Fugitives' is recorded and posted to Facebook every week.
            Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

The Brevard County Sheriff’s office in central Florida is putting an unusual spin on the agency’s search for wanted criminals.

Using a game modeled on the big wheel in the long-running game show “Wheel of Fortune,” the office posts Facebook videos of its own version of the game called “Wheel of Fugitives.”

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“It’s time for ‘Wheel of Fugitives,’ the game that fugitives hate and citizens love,” the department posted on its Facebook page to alert users that the game is about to begin.

Sheriff Wayne Ivey, the game’s version of Pat Sajak, said during interviews on the unusual law enforcement tool that officers have been using the game for the past 18 months to find and arrest many fugitives.

Florida sheriff spins the "Wheel of Fugitive" to fight crime!

Posted by Fox & Friends on Wednesday, March 15, 2017

“When we put someone up on the ‘Wheel of Fugitive,’ our citizens start sending us messages and contacting us right away,” Ivey said in an interview with CBS News.

Here’s how it works. Ivey spins a wheel with the pictures of 10 wanted criminals attached to it. Whichever photo the wheel lands on is declared the unlucky “winner” and is the person the department will search for with help from all the Facebook users who watch the video.

Ivey said the game has helped catch dozens of wanted felons.