State senator to run for Miami County commission

Published: Tuesday, December 19, 2017 @ 3:26 PM


            Ohio Sen. Bill Beagle will run for Miami County Commission in 2018. NICK GRAHAM/STAFF
Ohio Sen. Bill Beagle will run for Miami County Commission in 2018. NICK GRAHAM/STAFF

State Sen. Bill Beagle (R-Tipp City) today declared his candidacy for a seat on the Miami County Commission.

Beagle is term-limited and cannot run again for his senate seat.

The seat on county commission up for vote in 2018 is held by John “Bud” O’Brien, who earlier announced will run for state representative in the 80th District next year. Current State Rep. Steve Huffman is running for the 5th District seat held by Beagle. All are Republicans.

Content Continues Below

TRENDING: Woman gives birth to baby frozen as embryo for 24 years

Beagle noted that he is a 30-year resident of Miami County and a local business owner.

He chairs the Senate Public Utilities Committee and the Ohio Commission on Fatherhood.

TRENDING: Dayton woman convicted in 1994 teen slaying to be freed Christmas Day

Beagle is a Miami University graduate with a bachelor’s degree in finance, and he earned his master’s degree from Cleveland State University.

He and his wife Karen live in Tipp City, where they raised their three children.

Trending - Most Read Stories

Mike DeWine ice cream social brings out nearly all of GOP slate

Published: Sunday, June 24, 2018 @ 7:22 PM


            U.S. Sen. Rob Portman speaks Sunday, June 24, at the Cedarville home of Ohio Attorney General Mike Dewine at the annual ice cream social Dewine and his wife Fran host.
U.S. Sen. Rob Portman speaks Sunday, June 24, at the Cedarville home of Ohio Attorney General Mike Dewine at the annual ice cream social Dewine and his wife Fran host.

Hundreds of Republican supporters spent an afternoon Sunday listening to optimistic speeches at the annual Ice Cream Social that Ohio Attorney General Mike Dewine and his wife Fran hosted at their home near Cedarville.

DeWine’s event brought nearly all the Ohio GOP statewide candidates; Senate candidate U.S. Rep. Jim Renacci, R-Wadsworth, did not attend because he had a conflict, organizers said.

DeWine told the hundreds in attendance that he was smart to ask Secretary of State Jon Husted to become his running-mate during the Republican primary, leaving him to face just the withering fire from the primary campaign of Ohio Lt. Gov. Mary Taylor. GOP voters selected DeWine over Taylor, and he and Democratic candidate Richard Cordray face each other in November.

Content Continues Below

“The politics of (joining with Husted) make a lot of sense, he said. “I don’t think I have to explain that to anybody. Instead of a bruising, horrible primary, the two of us were together — and we still had a bruising, horrible primary.”

MORE: Pharmacy middlemen made $223.7M from Ohio Medicaid

A common theme among candidates who spoke Sunday was the fight against the opioid epidemic. Ohio Rep. Robert Sprague, R-Findlay, the GOP candidate for secretary of state, said DeWine was the right candidate to lead the fight against opioid addiction.

“We have become ground zero for the opioid epidemic,” Sprague said. “Mike DeWine is going to make us ground zero for the solution.”

DeWine’s campaign calls for a 12-step “Recovery Ohio” plan that would implement early drug prevention education in Ohio schools, expand efforts to reduce drug and cash flows from cartels and increase drug addiction treatment programs.

“We will make a difference every day,” DeWine said.

MORE: Sarah Huckabee Sanders’ tweet about restaurant eviction violates law, ex-ethics chief says

U.S. Sen. Rob Portman, R-Ohio, whose seat is not up for election, rallied the crowd to be active this campaign season.

“The pundits may be wrong; the blue wave might not come to Ohio,” Portman said. “The only blue wave coming here is going to be a blue wave of those blue DeWine t-shirts.”

The Associated Press contributed to this report

Trending - Most Read Stories

Warren County seeks options for fairgrounds project funding

Published: Saturday, June 23, 2018 @ 12:00 AM

This is an earlier aerial rendering of the Warren County Event Center, when it was to cover 18,000 square feet near the entrance to the county fairgrounds in Lebanon. Although reduced in size to 16,000 feet, the project has been stalled by high costs.
This is an earlier aerial rendering of the Warren County Event Center, when it was to cover 18,000 square feet near the entrance to the county fairgrounds in Lebanon. Although reduced in size to 16,000 feet, the project has been stalled by high costs.

Warren County officials are seeking options for financing a project to build an event center at the county fairgrounds, including possibly partnering with the City of Lebanon or turning to the county’s port authority.

Lebanon Mayor Amy Brewer said the city government was ready to consider collaborating with the county on redevelopment of the fairgrounds, located just north of the city’s downtown center.

“That’s something we as a city can take a look at,” Brewer said last week.

Content Continues Below

Previously, the city and county had disagreed about how to spend $3 million set aside for redevelopment of the fairgrounds and vicinity after the Lebanon Raceway’s operations moved off the fairgrounds to the Miami Valley Gaming racino.

In 2014, the disagreement prompted state officials to mediate an agreement, which said that the city and county would each get half of the money. A committee of members from the two governments, chaired by the city, would review projects submitted to spend those funds.

RELATED: State changes redevelopment rules in Lebanon, Warren County flap

Last week, Warren County commissioners approved Lebanon to spend the rest of its funds from that agreement on design of a downtown entertainment district.

At the same meeting, commissioners urged staff to encourage the city to help the county make up a deficit on a $3.8 million event center project at the fairgrounds.

“We should be collaborating on the redevelopment of the fairgrounds,” Commissioner Dave Young said at last Tuesday’s commission meeting.

Young pointed out the project should bring earnings taxes, as well as visitors, to Lebanon.

Commissioner Tom Grossmann noted the city used almost $900,000 of its $1.5 million in redevelopment funds on a private project, the $9.3 million LCNB bank building south of the fairgrounds on the edge of downtown Lebanon.

MORE: Construction starts on new LCNB bank

None of the city money went toward projects on the fairgrounds.

RELATED: Bank project receiving over half Lebanon’s share of state funds

“We have a need,” Grossmann said.

Commissioner Shannon Jones was a state senator involved in settling the dispute in 2014. At Tuesday’s meeting, she urged Young not to “re-litigate” the dispute and emphasized that the state left it up to Lebanon how it spent the money, provided it was for something within 1.5 miles of the fairgrounds.

She joined Young and Grossmann in pursuing a partnership with the city.

“I hope Lebanon will come to the table,” she said.

RELATED: Lebanon seeks $400,000 from state for entertainment district

MORE: State gives $500k for Warren County Drug Task Force building

The event center project is over budget in large part because of required improvements to the water system and stormwater management at the fairgrounds.

While not willing to set aside other plans for the redevelopment funds, Deputy Administrator Martin Russell told the commission that Lebanon City Manager Scott Brunka had also indicated willingness to discuss “other opportunities.”

Gene Steiner, president of the Warren County Agricultural Society, said last week that the county and fair board were still considering options such as looking to the city for financial assistance or turning the project over to the port authority.

The agricultural society — known as the fair board — operates the fairgrounds and puts on the annual fair in July.

A port authority intervention could result in the event center being owned by the port authority and leased to the fair board, avoiding sales tax on building materials.

RELATED:Event center, court projects stalled over construction costs, funding shortage

“From what we know, I have no reservations with that whatsoever,” Steiner said. “We’re still investigating the best opportunity for the project.”

Costs in a port authority-run project would also be decreased by avoiding prevailing wage laws required on public projects.

Steiner said a city-county collaboration on the fairgrounds would be “mutually beneficial.” They could cross-promote and share advertising on days both were staging festivities, he said.

“The more there is to do in an area, the more people we can bring in,” Steiner said.

The Lebanon mayor left open the door for discussion, perhaps involving the city providing in-kind services to help cut costs of the fairgrounds makeover.

“There’s always room for discussion,” she said.

Trending - Most Read Stories

Warren County forum to focus on ways to fight opioid epidemic

Published: Thursday, June 21, 2018 @ 4:47 PM


            Warren County is holding a public forum on the opioid crisis on Tuesday, July 17 at the county career center. Pictured is a Your Voice Ohio forum at the MidPointe Public Library in Middletown. Your Voice Ohio is a collaborative of 30 media organizations across the state including this news organization. ED RICHTER/STAFF
Warren County is holding a public forum on the opioid crisis on Tuesday, July 17 at the county career center. Pictured is a Your Voice Ohio forum at the MidPointe Public Library in Middletown. Your Voice Ohio is a collaborative of 30 media organizations across the state including this news organization. ED RICHTER/STAFF

Warren County is taking another step in efforts to combat the effects of the opioid epidemic on the community.

RELATED: Warren County applies for grant studying first responses to overdose cases

County commissioners will host a community forum on Tuesday, July 17, to discuss a recent study conducted by the Addiction Policy Forum on the opioid crisis in Warren County.

Content Continues Below

The Addiction Policy Forum recommended 21 steps to better respond to the epidemic and its effects on families, as well as drug addicts themselves, in Warren County.

MORE: Ohioans offer solutions to opioid crisis

The recommendations include convening a community coalition on substance-use disorder, launching a public awareness campaign and expanding resources to support those suffering from the disorder and their families and caregivers.

The forum is to begin at 6:30 p.m. at the Warren County Career Center, 3525 N. Ohio 48, north of Lebanon, in Clearcreek Twp.

MORE: Wilmington forum on opioid crisis

The Addiction Policy Forum is affiliated with the U.S. Justice Department. It recently completed an analysis of the existing county network responding to opioid issues, including overdoses, in the county.

Leaders in health, social services, treatment, recovery services, education, business and first responders are to participate in the forum.

For more information, call 513-695-1250 or email sherri.carbo@co.warren.oh.us.

Trending - Most Read Stories

Miami County moves to add $5 license plate tax for roads

Published: Wednesday, June 20, 2018 @ 10:28 AM


            A license plate example from the Ohio Bureau of Motor Vehicles. CONTRIBUTED
A license plate example from the Ohio Bureau of Motor Vehicles. CONTRIBUTED

TROY – Miami County commissioners heard no opposition during a public hearing on a proposed $5 supplemental license tax to generate more money for county road maintenance.

The additional tax was authorized by the state legislature in counties where commissioners approve its implementation. Most of the state’s largest counties have OK’d the supplemental tax including Montgomery County.

Miami County Engineer Paul Huelskamp explained the proposal Tuesday during the first of two public hearings. The second is scheduled for Tuesday, June 26, at 9:10 a.m.

Content Continues Below

MORE: Warren County drivers to pay $5 more for vehicle registration

Huelskamp said the county paved 24.04 miles in 2017. He noted, however, the industry standard for repaving is every 10 years. To meet that standard, the county would need to pave about 42.35 miles per year.

Huelskamp said the added money would help the county get to a 15-year cycle. The county is responsible for 424 miles of road.

The $5 supplemental tax would generate an estimated $552,000 to $649,000 more a year. That would allow for seven to nine more miles of paving annually, Huelskamp said.

TRENDING: Doughnuts, ice cream, candy: 5 Miamisburg spots for your sweet tooth

County Commissioner Greg Simmons said he has had several people call him complaining about the condition of county roads in the 18 months since he joined the commission.

“I have had one call about the license plate tax. It seems to me more people favor getting more done,” he said.

If the commission approved the supplemental tax by the end of July, it would go into effect in 2019.

Trending - Most Read Stories