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Fairfield residents want to save historic home from wrecking ball

Published: Saturday, December 16, 2017 @ 8:00 AM


            A group of residents want to save the 1824-era home known as the Cooper house that’s on the former Muskopf property the city purchased earlier this year. The city’s initial intent was to raze the building but the group of residents want to save the house and turn it into an educational opportunity. MICHAEL D. PITMAN/STAFF
            Michael Pitman
A group of residents want to save the 1824-era home known as the Cooper house that’s on the former Muskopf property the city purchased earlier this year. The city’s initial intent was to raze the building but the group of residents want to save the house and turn it into an educational opportunity. MICHAEL D. PITMAN/STAFF(Michael Pitman)

A group of Fairfield residents has asked the city to delay a vote on demolishing a 19th century home in hopes it will be converted into an educational facility.

The Save the Cooper House committee, lead by resident Dean Bruewer, is passionate about saving the building because it was owned by Thomas Cooper, an immigrant that was one of the first inhabitants of what is now the city of Fairfield.

“This is critical to the areas to preserve the cultural heritage of Fairfield,” Bruewer said. “This actually was more than likely the first inception of the first settlement within (what is now known as) Fairfield.”

RELATED: Priorities will determine if Marsh Park buildings are kept

The land was eventually transferred from the Cooper family to Ellis Muskopf, one of the city’s first council members, according to Bruewer.

Bruewer said the group’s goals are in line with the city’s parks mission of preserving Fairfield’s history, and an educational and environmental education center “fits perfectly in the whole context of what the parks board wants to do with Marsh Park.”

The Cooper House sits on the former Muskopf property that the city purchased earlier this year with a $250,000 Ohio Public Works grant. The grant prohibits the city from making a profit from the property.

The 3.3-acre Muskopf property includes a barn — which has since been razed — and the 1824 Cooper House. The city had intended to raze the Cooper House and expand the parking lot of Marsh Park.

RELATED: Fairfield gets funding to buy property for park expansion

Fairfield Mayor Steve Miller said the city doesn’t need to subsidize another historic building, as it does with the Elisha Morgan Mansion, a registered historic building on Ross Road. The city subsidizes that building, which hosts community and private events, at $40,000 a year, he said.

“We want the wallets,” Miller said, adding that if the property will be used for educational purposes, then Fairfield City Schools should play a role in funding its upkeep.

“If it’s going to move forward, you’re going to need a firm commitment from the schools — both that they’re in and how much money are they going to put forward to it,” he said.

More than 700 people have signed a Change.org petition in favor of saving the Cooper House.

The Save the Cooper House committee isn’t just adult residents. Sam Schwamberger, a junior at Fairfield High School and a member of the school’s tree club, said her group wants to see the Cooper House saved.

“It’s such a great opportunity for students to have an alternative learning space for environmental science,” she said Monday evening. “The Cooper House is a part of Fairfield’s history. Not only is it important to maintain this piece of Fairfield’s history, but it will create a place where the community can learn about the environment and a new place for people to explore.”

Miller said City Council will take the group’s requests “under advisement” but won’t give a commitment at this time.

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Few showers possible Friday; warm-up begins next week

Published: Thursday, April 26, 2018 @ 3:27 AM
Updated: Thursday, April 26, 2018 @ 10:15 AM

Meteorologist Kirstie Zontini looks at when to mow the lawn and how cold we could get at night this weekend.

QUICK-LOOK FORECAST

  • Staying dry today
  • A few showers possible Friday
  • Warm up expected next week

>> Live Doppler 7 Interactive Radar

DETAILED FORECAST

Today:  We’ll see sunshine today with a few afternoon clouds as highs reach the mid-60s, which is normal. It will be dry tonight with a few clouds lingering.

WHIO Weather App

Friday: It will be a dry morning with some sunshine. A quick front will swing through, which could spark off a few afternoon/evening showers. Activity looks light and isolated. It will be a mild day again with highs in the mid-60s and a little breezy.

LISTEN: Cloudy with a Chance of Podcast with Storm Center 7 Meteorologists McCall Vrydaghs and Kirstie Zontini

>>County-by-County Weather

Saturday: Clouds will decrease through the day. It will be a little cooler than normal with highs in the upper 50s. Temperatures will drop into the low to mid 30s overnight, so some spotty frost could develop.

Sunday: Spotty morning frost is possible. It will be a nice end to the weekend with plenty of sunshine and dry conditions. Highs will be in the upper 50s to near 60.

>> 5-Day Forecast

Monday: A warm-up begins with plenty of sunshine and highs around 70.

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Centerville blood drive honors police officer whose career was dedicated to caring for others

Published: Thursday, April 26, 2018 @ 9:50 AM

Paula and John Kalaman with retired Centerville Police Chief Bruce Robertson at 2017 Officer John P. Kalaman Memorial Blood Drive. CONTRIBUTED
Paula and John Kalaman with retired Centerville Police Chief Bruce Robertson at 2017 Officer John P. Kalaman Memorial Blood Drive. CONTRIBUTED

The legacy of a Centerville police officer, killed in the line of duty 20 years ago, continues to serve the community. 

The 21st annual Officer John P. Kalaman Memorial Blood Drive will take place Friday, April 27 at the Centerville Police Department. 

Centerville Police Officer John Kalaman was killed while on duty Jan. 12, 1998. An annual blood drive is held in his honor each year. CONTRIBUTED

“It’s been 20 years since the accident that created the blood drive, and now it’s the 21st annual blood drive with 4,114 units donated,” said Officer Kalaman’s father, John Kalaman.

“Over the years we’ve seen a lot of the same people and every year we have new donors. Some folks have been with us almost every year.” 

In the early morning hours of Jan. 12, 1998, Centerville Police Officer John Kalaman, 29, and Washington Twp. Firefighter Robert O’Toole, 26, responded to a single-car accident on I-675 at Wilmington Pike along with firefighter Charles Arnold. 

RELATED: Twenty year later: remembering highway accident that killed two first responders

While investigating the scene on the highway, the three men were struck by a car whose driver lost control while speeding on the slick roadway. 

Officer Kalaman, a five-year police department veteran, was killed at the scene. Firefighter O’Toole, who had been with the department for four years, died at Miami Valley Hospital. Arnold, who was seriously injured, survived. 

John Kalaman and his wife Paula held the first blood drive in their son’s memory on April 27, 1998, the date of what would have been his 30th birthday. 

Each year the couple greets the donors and supporters at the blood drive and serves birthday cake in honor of their son. 

RELATED: FOP: ‘Too many people have been hurt’ by not moving over for cops

“It’s one of those things where we will reach a point when we can no longer be there,” said John Kalaman. “I hope the blood center will continue the blood drive for the community and for all the people who have donated over the years. It’s all we can hope for.” 

The blood drive will be held Friday in the Centerville Police Department training room, 155 W. Spring Valley Rd., from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. 

Donors are encouraged to schedule an appointment online at www.DonorTime.com or call (937) 293-3373.

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3 Middletown High School students arrested after social media threat

Published: Thursday, April 26, 2018 @ 10:38 AM

There will be extra police presence today at Middletown High School after a threat was made on social media.

UPDATE, 10:30 a.m. April 26:

Three Middletown High School students were arrested and charged with inducing panic Wednesday night after they allegedly posted a video on Snapchat threatening school violence, said Maj. David Birk from the Middletown Division of Police. 

He praised students for alerting school and police officials about the video.

MORE: How local school districts scan social media for threats

The district’s “See Something, Say Something” slogan is catching on, and stopped this threat before it became “a bigger issue,” Birk said.

After investigating the video, police determined the boys— two 15-year-olds and one 16-year-old — were holding BB guns in the Snapchat video, Birk said. 

The teens were transported to Butler County Juvenile Detention Center, Birk said. 

There is a larger “police presence” at the school today, but classes are being held, according to school officials.

MORE: Warren County boy, 11, accused of threatening to shoot up school

UPDATE, 10 a.m. April 26:

There will be a larger "police presence" throughout the day, though the threat of violence is over, said Elizabeth Beadle, spokeswoman for Middletown City Schools. 

She said classes are being held and it's "business as normal" inside the school.

There were three Middletown cruisers in the high school parking lot this morning.

INITIAL REPORT, 2:07 a.m. April 26:

There will be extra police presence today at Middletown High School after a threat was made on social media.

Three middle school students have been detained for a video posted to Snapchat that threatened violence against the high school, according to a post on the Middletown City Schools Facebook page.

Any student absences will be excused, according to the post.

Details of the threatening post on social media have not been made public.

MORE: Police: Facebook post about smoking marijuana mistaken as threat to blow up school

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Roosters awaits liquor permit for new Miami Twp. site near Dayton Mall

Published: Thursday, April 26, 2018 @ 10:12 AM


            Roosters bought the former Caddy’s Tap House at 9400 Springboro Pike last year. CONTRIBUTED
Roosters bought the former Caddy’s Tap House at 9400 Springboro Pike last year. CONTRIBUTED

A restaurant chain planning to move to a new location south of the Dayton Mall in Miami Twp. is awaiting liquor permit approval.

Roosters bought the former Caddy’s Tap House at 9400 Springboro Pike across from LexisNexis last year and plans to move from its 103 N. Springboro Pike site just north of the mall.

RELATED: Roosters buys former Caddy’s site in Miami Twp.

Roosters is seeking a D5 permit from the Ohio Department of Liquor Control, records show. Miami Twp. trustees signed off on the permit this week.

This news organization has reached out to the popular restaurant/sports bar chain about a projected opening date for its new, 8,500 square foot site, but a message was not returned.

Roosters may spend about $1 million on the renovation work to prepare its new, larger site’s opening, Dan Ponton, president and CEO of the suburban Columbus-based chicken chain, told this news organization earlier.

Each store employs about 100 people, depending on the size of the location. Roosters has about 38 locations, with most in the Dayton area corporately owned and franchising in other markets.

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