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Middletown participates in National Wreaths Across America Day

Published: Saturday, December 16, 2017 @ 8:06 PM

Large turnout of people participated in National Wreaths Across effort at Woodside Cemetery

A large crowd of people of all ages braved chilly temperatures to help decorate more than 1,100 wreaths on the graves of veterans in Middletown.

Led by the Middletown squadron of the Civil Air Patrol, more than 300 people came to participate in the fifth annual Wreaths Across America effort at Woodside Cemetery. Veterans and volunteers and youth groups from the area placed more than 1,100 holiday wreaths on the graves of those who defended our nation and participated in a special remembrance ceremony.

Maj. Richard King of the Civil Air Patrol’s Middletown Squadron said his goal is to have enough wreaths donated to cover all of the more than 5,000 graves of veterans at Woodside Cemetery.

MORE: Christmas toy giveaway marks 10th anniversary in Middletown

He said in the first year, the goal was to place a wreath on all of the crosses in one of the veterans sections. King said the effort started small with only 65 wreaths donated but were able to get one section of 165 graves decorated in the third year with a handful of CAP members and volunteers.

Saturday’s ceremony featured John Hart of Start Skydiving, the Middletown Police Department Honor Guard, the Butler County Sheriff’s Office Bagpipers, the Fast Traxx Skydiving Team, the Ohio Patriot Guard and local musician Paul Thompson.

Many area youth groups — including American Heritage Girls, Trail Life Boys and the Boy Scouts of America — helped make this event possible, according to organizers. A Second Mile Award will also be presented Saturday to the American Heritage Girls of Miamitown, who obtained 479 sponsors for wreaths.

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Each December the mission of wreath-laying ceremonies at Arlington National Cemetery and 1,200 other locations in the nation, at sea and abroad is to remember, honor and teach, according to the Wreaths Across America national office in Columbia, Maine.

Each live, balsam remembrance wreath is a gift of respect and appreciation, donated by a private citizen or organization and placed on the graves by volunteers as a small gesture of gratitude for the freedoms Americans enjoy.

According to its website, the special remembrance started in 1992, a wreath-maker from Maine had 5,000 extra wreaths. Rather than letting them go to waste, he gave the wreaths as a gift of thanks for the service and sacrifice made by our nation’s military so he could live freely to work and raise his family.

This year, the organization was placing more than 1.56 million wreaths at 1,422 participating cemeteries across the nation.

For more information about sponsoring a wreath, visit the Wreaths Across America website,

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Water main break closes Fairfield Twp. road

Published: Thursday, April 19, 2018 @ 9:17 AM
Updated: Thursday, April 19, 2018 @ 9:18 AM

            Hamilton Mason Road is closed between Huntsman Way and Enterprise Park Drive in Fairfield Twp.
Hamilton Mason Road is closed between Huntsman Way and Enterprise Park Drive in Fairfield Twp.

A water main break prompted the emergency closing of Hamilton Mason Road in Fairfield Twp. overnight.

Hamilton Mason Road is closed between Huntsman Way and Enterprise Park Drive, according to the Butler County Engineer’s Office.

Crews are working to repair the water main and the road is expected to reopen later today.

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Surveillance released of robber who claimed he had grenade

Published: Wednesday, April 18, 2018 @ 5:11 PM
Updated: Wednesday, April 18, 2018 @ 5:49 PM

LoanMax Title Loans store robber had gun for sure -- and maybe a grenade

UPDATE @ 9:07 a.m. (April 19):

Police have released surveillance images of the robber who stole money from the LoanMax store in the 5700 block of North Springboro Pike at West Alex-Bell Road.


Witnesses told police the robber had a hand grenade and threatened to use it if money wasn’t put in his bag, according to investigators.

UPDATE @ 5:20 p.m.: Police are looking for a male in his late 20s or early 30s who for sure displayed a handgun when he robbed the LoanMax Title Loans store of an undetermined amount of cash. 

West Carrollton police Sgt. Alex Flynn said police are working to confirm whether the robber was holding a grenade in his other hand. 

Flynn said a Dayton police K-9 unit was brought in to help search for the robber, who fled on foot.

>> OTHER NEWS: Manager in Philly Starbucks incident is from Dayton

Police were dispatched just before 4 p.m. on the report of an armed robbery at the business, in the 5700 block of North Springboro Pike at West Alex-Bell Road. 

The robber was wearing a baseball cap, surgical mask over his face, dark long pants and a hoodie with a reflective vest over it, Flynn said. 

If you saw the robbery or the suspect, you are asked to call West Carrollton police dispatch at 937-859-3688.


A masked man believed to have been armed with a handgun -- or a grenade -- has robbed the LoanMax Title Loans store in the 5700 block of North Springboro Pike and West Alex-Bell Road in West Carrollton. 

The incident was dispatched minutes ago and police are preparing to issue a BOLO -- Be On the Lookout -- for area law enforcement agencies. 

>> OTHER LOCAL NEWS: Airman sentenced for selling night vision goggles

There are no reports of injury. We have a crew en route. We will update this developing report. 

Stay with for breaking news. 

Got a tip? Call our monitored 24-hour line, 937-259-2237, or send it to

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The brand new IHOP that didn’t open. What’s the holdup?

Published: Thursday, April 19, 2018 @ 6:00 AM

Miller Lane IHOP breakfast restaurant on Benchwood Road near York Commons has not opened, and its potential customers want to know why.

The parking lot is striped, the brand-new chairs are neatly stacked atop the brand-new dining tables, the occupancy permit has been obtained. The only things missing are employees, customers, an unlocked front door — and a short stack of pancakes or two. 

The IHOP restaurant that was built last fall and this winter at 3324 Benchwood Road near the Miller Lane/York Commons development in Vandalia is all revved up and ready to go, but it still has not opened. And no one is saying exactly why. 

>> Here’s a first look at the new Asian restaurant that opens Friday at The Greene

Messages were left with a spokeswoman for IHOP corporate, the CEO of the company that is acting as area developer for IHOP in the region and with a franchise owner-operator of the Dayton-area IHOP restaurants in Beavercreek, Huber Heights and Springfield. Those messages have not been returned. 

>> RELATED: IHOP restaurants returning to Dayton area (October 2014)

A spokeswoman for Las Cruces, New Mexico-based PDG/Prestige Development Group, the development company that has overseen development of the other three Dayton-Springfield IHOPs, told this news outlet in January that the restaurant was scheduled to open in early February. In late January, the spokeswoman revised the opening date to mid-March. Last week, on April 13, the same spokeswoman said, “I don’t yet have a date” for the restaurant’s opening.

>> ‘Too much competition’ forces Miamisburg restaurant to close

Rich Hopkins, a spokesman for the city of Vandalia, said there are no hangups from the city’s perspective, and city officials have not been notified of the reasons for the delay. In fact, the restaurant received its occupancy permit from the city — usually the final or nearly final bureaucratic step necessary before a retail establishment’s opening — on Feb. 2.

Potential customers are getting curious and a bit impatient.

“I get inquiries on it all the time by community members and business people,” said Will Roberts, president and CEO of the Vandalia-Butler Chamber of Commerce. An employee of the Frisch’s restaurant across the street said she is asked about the dormant-but-brand-new restaurant by many of her customers. 

>>RELATED: IHOP moves ahead with Dayton-area expansion plans (January 2016)

If or when the restaurant does open, IHOP will have doubled its Miami Valley footprint since last summer as part of the chain’s re-entry into the Dayton-area market. An IHOP opened Sept. 5, 2017 at 7611 Old Troy Pike in Huber Heights.  

>>RELATED: New Dayton-area IHOP now open, another location on the way

IHOP opened the first of what had been projected to be as many as seven IHOP locations in the region in October 2015 on North Fairfield Road in Beavercreek, and the second one in October 2016 on Bechtle Avenue in Springfield.

>>RELATED: IHOP opening two more Dayton-area locations (December 2016)

The region had multiple IHOP locations in the 1970s and 1980s, including one near Ohio 725 and Ohio 741 near the Dayton Mall and one on Shiloh Springs Road near the former Salem Mall, but those restaurants closed nearly three decades ago.

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Crews battle huge barn fire in Mercer County 

Published: Wednesday, April 18, 2018 @ 11:10 PM
Updated: Thursday, April 19, 2018 @ 2:09 AM

Flames from what was reported as a massive barn fire in the 4000 block of U.S. 127 spread to a second barn. Video via Brittany Brookhart.

Flames from what was reported as a massive barn fire in the 4000 block of U.S. 127 spread to a second barn. 

The multi-tanker response continued into Wednesday night. Crews were initially dispatched about 9:10 p.m. 

What's in the barns is not clear. A firefighter with the Coldwater Fire Department said there has been no report of animals being in the barns. 

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The multi-tanker response was triggered by the fact that the property is in rural Mercer County, south of Montezuma and east of Coldwater. 

Fire consumes barn in Mercer County

There are fire crews from several jurisdictions there to bring water to the scene. They include Montezuma Volunteer Fire Department, Coldwater, Celina, Chickasaw, New Bremen, Osgood, St. Henry and Fort Recovery, 

We will update this developing report. 

Got a tip? Call our monitored 24-hour line, 937-259-2237, or send it to

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