SUMMER FUN GUIDE: Free concerts in Butler County

Published: Wednesday, June 13, 2018 @ 10:00 AM

Members of the crowd dance along as The Menus perform during the Broad Street Bash last year in Middletown. The Menus will take the stage again June 13. 
Members of the crowd dance along as The Menus perform during the Broad Street Bash last year in Middletown. The Menus will take the stage again June 13. (NICK GRAHAM/STAFF)

Summer concert series are a great way to enjoy the warm weather and to spend a night out with friends and family.

Here are a few to check out in Butler County:


Broad Street Bash runs every other week on Wednesdays. Concerts will be held in Governor’s Square Park at the intersection of Broad Street and Central Avenue in Middletown from 5 to 10 p.m. Details: and the Broad Street Bash Facebook page. Admission is free.

MORE: Middletown’s Broad Street Bash welcomes back favorites, features new bands. Get the complete lineup here.

Takin’ It To the Streets features music in the streets of downtown Middletown on Friday and Saturday nights during the summer from 8 p.m.-11 p.m. at 6 South Broad Street at Reynolds Street in the city lot. Free. Check it out on Facebook at

RiversEdge Amphitheater in Hamilton. (GREG LYNCH/STAFF)


RiversEdge Concert Series has grown to be a popular destination on Thursday nights during the summer. On concert nights, doors open at 5:30 p.m.; first set 6:30 p.m. and second set 8:30 p.m. RiversEdge Amphitheater in Marcum Park is located at 116 Dayton St. in downtown Hamilton. Admission is free. Go to and for the complete lineup.

MORE: The complete lineup of summer concerts along the river in Hamilton

The Takeover entertains every Thursday night at The Square @ Union Centre in West Chester Twp. (GREG LYNCH / STAFF)


The Takeover will be happening every Thursday night from 6 to 9 p.m. at The Square @ Union Centre. The concert series will run each week through Aug. 30. Free. More details at

MORE: Local ‘American Idol’ contestant among performers at The Takeover

Concert Series at Keehner Park, Keehner Park Amphitheatre, 7211 Barret Road, West Chester, Saturdays, 7 p.m.-9 p.m. For a schedule, go to

MORE: Blues, Big Band, steel drums: There’s something for everyone at concert series in West Chester

Hump Day Concert Series every Wednesday at the Voice of America MetroPark, 7850 VOA Park Drive, 7 p.m.-9 p.m., free, through Aug. 22. More details at

Groovin’ on the Green at Village Green in Fairfield features musical entertainment every Thursday through the summer. (FILE PHOTO)


Groovin’ on the Green will be presented on Thursdays at 6:30 p.m. through Sept. 6. (There will not be a concert on Thursday, July 5 due to the Red, White & Kaboom celebration on Tuesday, July 3.) More details on this free concert series at

Fourth Friday on the Green, a new concert series, features free music at the end of June, July and August with Fairfield brewery Swine City.  Beer is $6 for a 16-ounce city-branded cup. 

Bands include Moment 44 on June 22, See You in the Funnies on July 27 and Adelee & Gentry on Aug. 24. Concerts will be from 7 to 9 p.m. and craft beer sales will start when food trucks open at 6:30 p.m.

MORE: Beer sales coming to new Fairfield Village Green concert series

Blues & BBQ at Huffman Park in Fairfield is a four-concert series that features the blues on the second Saturday of each month at 6 p.m. Huffman Park is located at 2100 John Gray Road. Free. Visit


Liberty Center Summer Concert series is underway on Wednesday nights through Aug. 29 On The Square at 7100 Foundry Row from 6 p.m.-9 p.m. For a schedule, go to


Uptown Oxford Concert Series features music every Thursday night during the summer from 7 p.m.-9:30 p.m. through Aug. 31 at Uptown Park. 4 North Main Street, Oxford. Free. Visit

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2 firefighters injured in reported shooting at California retirement home

Published: Monday, June 25, 2018 @ 10:07 AM
Updated: Monday, June 25, 2018 @ 10:07 AM

Shooting at California Retirement Home

At least two people were injured Monday morning after authorities were called to a senior housing community in Long Beach, according to multiple reports.


Here is the latest information:

Update 10:07 a.m. EDT June 25: Two firefighters who were injured Monday morning at Long Beach’s Covenant Manor suffered gunshot wounds, fire officials confirmed.

One firefighter was in critical condition after the shooting, KNBC reported. The other firefighter suffered injuries that did not appear to be life-threatening, according to the news station.

Officials told KTLA that a civilian was also injured. 

Update 9:35 a.m. EDT June 25:  Fire officials told KTLA that two firefighters and a civilian were injured Monday morning at a California retirement home where shots were heard early Monday.

The extent and cause of their injuries were not immediately known.

Update 9:20 a.m. EDT June 25: Long Beach police confirmed to KCBS-TV that officers were responding to reports of a shooting Monday morning at Covenant Manor on E. 4th Street.

“All I can confirm at this time is that there has been a shooting,” Long Beach police Sgt. Brad Johnson told KCBS-TV. “(It’s) not an active shooter situation. (The) investigation is ongoing.”

Update 8:55 a.m. EDT June 25: Authorities continued Monday morning to search the retirement home, identified by KCBS-TV as Covenant Manor. 

The news station reported authorities were called just after 4 a.m. to a report of an explosion and shooting at the building, however, officials did not immediately confirm the report.

Two people told KTLA they heard what sounded like gunshots in the area early Monday.


Update 8:05 a.m. EDT June 25: According to KCBS-TV producer Mike Rogers, an “active shooter and 3rd alarm fire” were reported early Monday in Long Beach. 

KTLA’s Alberto Mendez reported that the incident occurred “at a retirement home near the area of 4th and Atlantic.”

“Suspect is still possibly in the building,” he added.

One woman told KTLA that she heard gunshots.

Read more here.


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Please return for updates.

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Puerto Rico evacuees reunited with their dogs in Orlando

Published: Monday, June 25, 2018 @ 9:10 AM

Pets Finally Reunited With Families After Hurricane Maria

After Hurricane Maria tore through Puerto Rico, many on the island moved to the mainland United States while their community recovered, leaving most of their possessions behind. 

Some evacuees even had to leave their dogs behind on the island—but one local animal rescue wanted to change that. 

>> Read more trending news 

>>Photos: Puerto Rico evacuees reunited with their pets in Central Florida

The Pet Alliance of Greater Orlando flew in a group of dogs from the island to reunite them with their owners Sunday

According to the pet rescue, one man traveled from Texas to be reunited with his dog. 

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Georgia teacher’s request for funeral: Backpacks with school supplies

Published: Monday, June 25, 2018 @ 9:26 AM

FILE PHOTO The family of a teacher who died asked for school supplies and backpacks instead of flowers for her funeral. (Photo: JudyGilmore/Pixabay license:
FILE PHOTO The family of a teacher who died asked for school supplies and backpacks instead of flowers for her funeral. (Photo: JudyGilmore/Pixabay license:

After decades of service to her students, one metro Atlanta teacher had one final lesson to impart.

Tammy Layne Waddell died June 9 at Northside Hospital Forsyth after a prolonged illness. At her funeral June 12, dozens of backpacks filled with school supplies lined the pews.

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The donated supplies were Waddell’s last request to honor her lifelong passion for helping children in need, according to her family.

“My cousin, a teacher, wanted backpacks with supplies brought to her funeral instead of flowers for needy students,” Brad Johnson said on Twitter. “Serving others to the end.”

Johnson shared photos of the backpacks and of Waddell’s fellow teachers, who served as honorary pallbearers at the funeral, he said. 

Over her career, Waddell worked as a paraprofessional and a teacher at Sawnee Elementary, Cumming Elementary and Haw Creek Elementary in the Forsyth County school district, according to her family.

Johnson’s initial tweet has since been shared more than 2,500 times, garnering praise for Waddell and her legacy as an educator.

Former students who left condolences on an online guestbookdescribed Waddell as a compassionate and inventive teacher who encouraged students to do their best. 

“The best teacher ever I’ve ever had,” one student wrote.

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New York City fire chief who supervised 9/11 rescue, recovery, dead at 63

Published: Monday, June 25, 2018 @ 9:20 AM

Ronald Spadafora was a 40-year veteran of the New York City Fire Department.
New York City Fire Department
Ronald Spadafora was a 40-year veteran of the New York City Fire Department.(New York City Fire Department)

Ronald Spadafora, the New York City fire department chief of safety who supervised rescue and recovery efforts at the World Trade Center after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks, died Saturday, Newsday reported. He was 63.

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The 40-year veteran died of a World Trade Center-related disease, becoming the 178th member of the FDNY to die of 9/11 illness, according the department. Spadafora was diagnosed with acute myeloid leukemia in December 2015, Newsday reported.

“Ron Spadafora was a consummate professional fire chief who bravely served our city for 40 years, and toiled for months at the World Trade Center site after Sept. 11, leading the Department's rescue and recovery efforts," New York City Fire Commissioner Daniel Nigro said in a statement. "In his extraordinary career, he fought fires in all five boroughs, improved training for every FDNY member, and as the Chief of Fire Prevention for the last eight years, Ron's dedication and leadership led to greater safety and protection for millions of New Yorkers."

Along with supervising recovery efforts at Ground Zero, Spadafora also supervised logistics for FDNY during the 2003 New York City blackout, Newsday reported. He also worked on recovery efforts after Hurricane Sandy, the newspaper reported.

Spadafora began his career as a firefighter in Brooklyn in 1978. He became assistant chief for the bureau of fire prevention in July 2010, The New York Daily News reported.

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