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Happy birthday, Middletown! 7 things to know about the city’s history for its 185th birthday

Published: Friday, February 09, 2018 @ 6:30 AM

Longtime Journal Sports Editor Jerry Nardiello hands a state championship trophy to Coach Paul Walker as Wade E. Miller watches.
Submitted photo
Longtime Journal Sports Editor Jerry Nardiello hands a state championship trophy to Coach Paul Walker as Wade E. Miller watches.(Submitted photo)

Middletown’s incorporation date was Feb. 11, 1833, according to the note in this book about the 42nd General Assembly in Ohio.

On its 185th birthday, here are seven things you should know about Middletown:

READ MORE: 12 famous people you might not have known were from Middletown

1. The ‘Father of Middletown’

Stephen Vail has been called the “Father of Middletown.” He was there when the first plat was recorded in November 1802. The ceremony took place in Hamilton County because there was no Butler County at the time. In 1957, Middletown was designated an All-America City.

2. Canal sparked development

Ground was broken on the Miami-Erie Canal on July 21, 1825. The canal became the major transportation line between Cincinnati and Toledo. The water power it created generated the city’s numerous paper mills along the river.

READ MORE: 5 things to know about Middletown’s storied Wade E. Miller Gym

3. Steel maker comes to town

Armco was founded in 1899, and ground was broken for the steel plant the following year. The first steel was produced in Middletown in 1902. In 1948 it adopted the Armco name and soon thereafter changed its name to Armco Steel Corp.

In 1993, the company moved its headquarters to Pittsburgh and renamed itself AK Steel Holdings reflecting its Armco roots and sizable investment by Kawasaki. The company became publicly traded in 1993.

In 2007 AK Steel moved its headquarters from Middletown to West Chester Twp., and last year opened its $36 million Research and Innovation Center off Interstate 75. The new 120,000-square-foot center replaced the company’s existing research facility in Middletown. The new center was constructed on a 15-acre site located in the Cincinnati-Dayton growth corridor along Interstate 75.

4. Hospital marks 101 years; another one coming

The statue of George M. Verity, donated to Miami University Middletown in 2008, was cleaned and restored before it was moved.

The nonprofit Middletown Hospital Association started in 1913 and a 28-bed hospital opened in Middletown in 1917.

Before building a second Middletown steel plant, George M. Verity, founder of the American Rolling Mill Company, challenged fellow business and city leaders in Middletown in the early 1900s to make quality-of-life improvements to fulfill the city’s potential. Those improvements included a public hospital.

FROM 2017: 7 things to know about Middletown’s hospital on its 100th anniversary

The land for the hospital was donated by George Harvey, co-founder of the Gardner-Harvey Paper Company and member of the Middletown Hospital Association.

Since Middletown Regional Hospital eventually became landlocked, a new facility was built off Interstate 75 and Ohio 122. Atrium Medical Center, licensed for 328 beds, opened on Dec. 9, 2007.

Another Middletown medical facility is expected to open later this year.

Kettering Health Network is building a $30 million medical facility on 15 acres land in Middletown on Ohio 122 just southeast of Interstate 75.

The 67,000-square-foot medical center — Kettering Middletown — will offer a full-service emergency department, outpatient lab and imaging services and medical office building for physician practices. It is expected to create 110 new jobs, including registered nurses, respiratory therapists, imaging and lab technicians and support staff.

The land is less than one mile from Premier Health’s Atrium Medical Center and about six miles from an emergency facility that Kettering Health opened in 2015 in Franklin.

5. Schools continue to grow

South School became Middletown’s first high school when it opened in 1871. High school students attended class on the third floor. The high school moved to Central Avenue in 1909, then to Girard Avenue in 1924. The high school on Breiel Boulevard opened in 1969, and has undergone a major renovation.

The $96 million project will produce a new Middletown Middle School on the south side of the Middletown High School campus and will also bring long-awaited renovations to the high school.

READ MORE: 5 Middletown athletes everyone should know

6. High educational opportunities

Besides two high schools — Middletown and Bishop Fenwick — Middletown offers students an opportunity to continue their education at Cincinnati State Middletown and Miami University Middletown.

MUM opened in Middletown in 1966, followed by a branch campus in Hamilton two years later. Students can earn their associate’s or bachelor’s degrees at MUM. There are about 2,000 students enrolled at MUM.

Cincinnati State, located in the former six-story Duke Energy building on Central Avenue, opened in August 2012. It offers a variety of associate’s degree and certificate programs that can be completed entirely on the Middletown campus, entirely online, or through a combination of both.

Additionally, a number of programs can be started on the Middletown campus and completed on the Clifton campus. The Middletown campus also offers numerous co-op opportunities for students.

There are 552 students taking classes downtown and on-line.

7. Airport improvements

Middletown Regional Airport/Hook Field features the longest uncontrolled asphalt runway in Ohio at 6,100 feet. The airport’s main runway can accommodate jet aircraft as large as a Boeing 757.

There is also a 3,040 foot turf runway at the airport.

The airport also offers private, commercial and helicopter pilot training. It is also home to Start Skydiving and Team Fastrax.

The airport recently received funding from the FAA to develop an updated airport layout master plan. In 2017, the airport received funding to rehab and repave its ramps, taxiways and aprons. Plans are in the works to build an indoor skydiving facility at the airport.

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Rifles stolen in Warren County gun store break-in

Published: Wednesday, May 23, 2018 @ 3:14 AM

Georgia Democrats used to brag about endorsements from the National Rifle Association. That has changed, and it accelerated following the shootings last month at a Florida high school that killed 17, with leading candidates from the party calling for new gun restrictions. ALYSSA POINTER/ALYSSA.POINTER@AJC.COM
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
Georgia Democrats used to brag about endorsements from the National Rifle Association. That has changed, and it accelerated following the shootings last month at a Florida high school that killed 17, with leading candidates from the party calling for new gun restrictions. ALYSSA POINTER/ALYSSA.POINTER@AJC.COM(The Atlanta Journal-Constitution)

Several rifles were reportedly stolen when a firearms store was broken into early Wednesday morning.

The break-in happened just after 2 a.m. at Firepower Arms & Supply in the 700 block of Reading Road. Initial reports indicate three men wearing neon green gloves broke into the store and stole rifles.

>> Ohio step closer to having ‘Stand your ground’ gun law

This story will be updated as additional information becomes available.

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2 in custody after Target break-in, pursuit in Huber Heights

Published: Wednesday, May 23, 2018 @ 2:46 AM

UPDATE @ 3:20 a.m: Two men are in custody after reportedly breaking into Target and leading officials on a pursuit Wednesday morning, officials say.

OTHER LOCAL NEWS: Man shot in robbery attempt near Dayton gas station

Huber Heights police were dispatched to the store at 5700 Executive Boulevard around 2:30 a.m. on reports of a break-in, per initial reports.

After seeing a car that matched the suspect vehicle description, a short, low-speed pursuit began southbound on Old Troy Pike near the I-70 overpass, according to officials.

The pursuit ended in the 5600 block of Taylorsville Road and the suspects were apprehended.

Officials say the men could face charges including failure to comply and breaking and entering. 


Police are responding to a break-in that occurred at the Target in Huber Heights Wednesday morning. 

The incident occurred at 5700 Executive Boulevard around 2:30 a.m., per initial reports. 

There are at least three subjects reportedly involved.

We’re on the way and will update this story with additional details. 

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Scam alert: Thieves tricking digital wallet users 

Published: Wednesday, May 23, 2018 @ 2:24 AM

Photo by Pixabay
Photo by Pixabay

More consumers are using their phone to make purchases using apps like Apple Pay, Venmo, and Zelle, but scammers are finding new ways to target these digital wallets. 

Crooks are tricking users with phishing, over payment schemes, canceled payment fraud, sweepstakes scams, and more, according to the BBB. 

>> Warning: The IRS phone scam is back and more sophisticated than ever

Leroy Wilson of Dayton uses Apple Pay, Samsung Pay, and Google Pay and said he feels safe using them, but he does worry about potential scams when buying from an individual online. 

“I had an identity theft thing a while back and now it’s just caution, caution, caution,” said Wilson. 

Crooks are tricking digital wallet users with phishing, over payment schemes, cancelled payment fraud, sweepstakes scams, and more, according to the BBB. 

“Basically, they are new twists on old schemes,” said Sheri Sword, Dayton and Miami Valley BBB, vice president of communications. 

>> Scam alert: The new way thieves are stealing credit card info

One of the biggest risk with digital wallets the liability factor, according Sword. 

A lot of the digital app vendors do not protect you against fraud. So, they will not reimburse you,” Sword said. 

To protect your money from digital wallet scams, follow these steps: 

  •  Only link payment apps to your credit card. They offer fraud protection. 
  • Only do business with retailers and people you know and trust. 
  • Always monitor your accounts for fishy transactions. 
  • Report any suspicious activity to your credit card company. 
Use a strong passcode on your phone to keep any phone thieves from gaining access to your accounts.

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Investigation underway after woman is shot in Dayton 

Published: Wednesday, May 23, 2018 @ 1:06 AM
Updated: Wednesday, May 23, 2018 @ 1:24 AM

SCENE: Woman reportedly shot in Dayton

UPDATE @ 1:35 a.m: Dayton police are investigating after a woman was shot in Dayton early Wednesday morning.

OTHER LOCAL NEWS: Teen bound in Huber Heights, father’s body found 19 miles away in Springfield park

Crews were dispatched to the 500 block of Bentley Street around 1 a.m. on a person shot, per initial reports.

Officials told this news outlet that they are working to learn if the woman was shot at the dispatched address or another location.

A 911 caller stated they heard at least two gunshots in the area of Bentley Street and Bickmore Ave.

“I heard screaming and yelling. A girl was screaming and yelling”, the caller said. 

The woman was taken to a local hospital with non-life threatening injuries. 

There are no suspects at this time. 


Officials are on scene in the 500 block of Bentley Street after a person was reportedly shot early Wednesday morning.

The incident was dispatched around 1 a.m. with a woman reportedly shot in the side, per initial reports.

We are on our way to the scene and will continue to update this story with more details. 

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