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West Chester manufacturer hiring, expanding for fourth time

Published: Saturday, December 16, 2017 @ 10:00 AM


            Republic Wire is ramping up hiring efforts ahead of the completion of its fourth expansion in 23 years in West Chester Twp. ERIC SCHWARTZBERG/STAFF
            Eric Schwartzberg
Republic Wire is ramping up hiring efforts ahead of the completion of its fourth expansion in 23 years in West Chester Twp. ERIC SCHWARTZBERG/STAFF(Eric Schwartzberg)

A Butler County-based manufacturer is ramping up hiring efforts ahead of the completion of its fourth expansion in 23 years.

Republic Wire, which started in 1982 in Fairfield and moved to West Chester Twp. in 1994, is a family-owned and operated manufacturer of copper building wire, according to Heather Yelton, the company’s human resources director.

“We make 11 different product groups that vary in size and color for the commercial, residential and industrial markets,” Yelton said. “We sell to electrical wholesale distributors for schools, stadiums, Walt Disney World, malls, office complexes and so much more.”

MORE: Construction company expanding its workforce in Butler County

Republic Wire is hiring 10 to 15 full time positions during an expansion that is adding 30,000-square-feet to its facility at 5525 Union Center Drive, bringing its total square footage to 400,000 square feet.

“The expansion should be complete by mid to late January,” Yelton said. “This is our fourth expansion since we relocated to West Chester. When we moved here 23 years ago, we started with 40,000 square feet. We had 17 employees at the time and we currently have 125.”

MORE: Hamilton company’s move to new corporate campus means new jobs

We asked Yelton about advancement opportunities, roadblocks to hiring and the biggest challenge it faces. Here’s what she had to say:

Q: Some job seekers are concerned about the limits of advancement within a company. To what degree can your employees advance from entry-level roles to become department managers and team leaders?

A: “Our corporate culture encourages internal moves and we post most jobs before hiring from outside of the company. Several of our department managers began as machine operators or in our shipping/receiving departments and have worked their way up to shift supervisors, department managers and even managers on our executive team. We do not look for people to fulfill our job needs but rather we look for people who want a career. We want the person who is hired to move up within the company and stay throughout their career.”

MORE: Schneider Electric hiring for new Butler County location

Q: What’s the most prevalent roadblock you encounter when it comes to hiring and what can jobseekers do to remedy that situation?

A: “The current roadblocks we are dealing with is the lack of desire to obtain a career. Many out there do not want to grow with a company, they want to come in as managers or make top dollar without working for it. At our company, we believe in hiring someone who has the desire to learn and grow with the company. Someone who has the patience to work their way up and who values what we can offer as much as what they bring to the table. We offer so much more than a job. An individual has to be willing to look at the entire package offered, not just the paycheck. My advice to jobseekers is to have an open mind when interviewing to see what all our company has to offer beyond the paycheck. Look for jobs that match your skill set and dress appropriately for an interview. Don’t forget that you are selling the skillset you can bring to help us grow.”

Q. What’s the biggest challenge facing Republic Wire and others in the industry?

A: “Skilled labor has been a problem since our nearest competitor is 300 miles away. Therefore, our training period lasts three to six months. We feel our product groups and our quality and service is better than most of our competition.”

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Trump project inspires new Hamilton boutique hotel

Published: Thursday, April 26, 2018 @ 12:19 PM

Historic Champion Paper office building in Hamilton may become boutique hotel

The historic Champion Paper administration building, located across North B Street from the Black Street Bridge, likely will become a boutique hotel as part of the gigantic Spooky Nook sports complex.

“That’ll likely be a boutique hotel,” said Sam Beiler, who created the original Spooky Nook facility in Manheim, Pa. “We’ll clean up the exterior of the building under historic guidelines.”

MORE: Fairfield unanimously votes to raze historic home 

In deciding how to transform the historic building into an appealing hotel, Beiler said he visited a hotel in the nation’s capitol that also used historic tax credits: President Donald Trump’s Trump International Hotel, which is located in a former Washington, D.C., post office.

The historic Champion Paper administration building, located across North B Street from the Black Street Bridge, likely will become a boutique hotel as part of the gigantic Spooky Nook sports complex. (NICK GRAHAM/STAFF)

“They did some really cool stuff there,” he said about the D.C. building.

“There was one office door after another office door all the way down the (hallway). They just hung these big drapes that covered all of them, except the door you’re supposed to go into the room,” Beiler said. “And then behind there, you can design the room with much more freedom.”

There are certain requirements when renovating a historic building.

“Just one example of the requirements that come with that (is) the hallway that’s in the center of the building has to stay,” Beiler said. “You can’t take it out.”

Also, “all the doors in that hallway have to stay,” he added.

The Trump International Hotel, on Pennsylvania Avenue in northwest Washington, D.C., opened in September 2016 in the revamped Old Post Office building.(Christopher Reynolds/Tribune News Service)

“We think a boutique hotel is probably the best use for that building, and, boy, that’s a phenomenal building also,” Beiler said. “Really beautiful.”

Bryan Lenehan, a preservationist who has written a book about historic Hamilton buildings, said he is glad the building will find a new use.

“I am glad it is being saved. It would be a tragedy if it was not saved,” he said. “Hopefully, as much of the original mill as possible can be repurposed.”
In deciding how to transform the former Champion Paper office building (pictured) in Hamilton into an appealing hotel, Sam Beiler, who created the original Spooky Nook facility in Manheim, Pa., said he took some pointers from President Donald Trump’s Trump International Hotel, located in a former Washington, D.C. post office.(NICK GRAHAM/STAFF)

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Thunderbirds name new pilot, cancel more shows to prepare after crash

Published: Thursday, April 26, 2018 @ 11:42 AM

Behind the scenes at Thunderbird training

The Air Force Thunderbirds canceled two more shows to allow a new pilot to qualify while the team prepares to resume the 2018 show season after a deadly training crash.

BEHIND THE SCENES: News Center 7 had rare access to Thunderbirds just weeks before crash

Maj. Nick “Khan” Krajicek, who will fly the remainder of this season, was the No. 4 pilot the previous two show seasons.

The team had suspended flights and canceled public performances since a tragic April 4 crash killed Maj. Stephen “Cajun” Del Bagno during practice over the Nevada Test and Training Range.

RELATED: Air Force Thunderbirds return to practice, but more shows could be canceled

“We’re grateful to have Kahn coming back to the team,” Thunderbirds commander Lt. Col. Kevin Walsh said in a statement Thursday. “His experience and familiarity with our team’s mission and the demonstration profile make him the right choice as we safely make our way back on the road to recruit, retain and inspire once more.”

The team announced Thursday it would cancel upcoming aerial performances at Joint Base Charleston, S.C., this weekend and in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., and had not yet determined if two additional air show appearances in Texas and Virginia may be canceled in May.

Thunderbirds pilot killed in training crash identified

After the crash, the Thunderbirds scrubbed appearances at March Air Reserve Base in California, in Lakeland, Fla., and at Columbus Air Force Base, Miss., this month.

The accident was the most serious since a Thunderbird jet ran off a runway and flipped at Dayton International Airport last June during a familiarization flight, trapping two crewmen until they were rescued by first responders. The mishap scrubbed the team’s appearance in Dayton.

An Air Force investigation determined excessive speed and landing too far down on a wet runway contributed to the June 23 incident that destroyed the $29.2 million fighter jet.

RELATED: Excessive speed blamed for Thunderbird jet crash in Dayton

Then team narrator and F-16 pilot Capt. Erik Gonsalves was hospitalized for leg injuries, according to the Air Force. A second crewman who was a backseat passenger in the two-seat F-16D jet was uninjured, the Air Force said.

The Thunderbirds are scheduled to appear at the Vectren Dayton Air Show in the 2019 show season. The Navy’s Blue Angels are set to fly at the air show June 23-24.

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Ohio governor candidates release tax returns

Published: Thursday, April 26, 2018 @ 12:15 PM
Updated: Thursday, April 26, 2018 @ 12:16 PM


            Contributed
Contributed

Federal tax returns released on Wednesday show that Mike and Fran DeWine reported $634,975 wages, pension and investment income last year and paid $113,801 in taxes.

The Greene County couple donated $57,389 to charities, including Catholic churches, anti-abortion groups and community health organizations.

VOTER GUIDE: What’s on your ballot May 8?

The DeWine-Husted campaign allowed media outlets to review three years of returns and take notes but not make copies of the documents.

Lt. Gov. Mary Taylor, DeWine’s opponent in the May 8 primary, filed individually for 2017 and reported income of $97,197, federal taxes of $13,794, state and local taxes of $5,105 and no charity donations. Her husband Donzell Taylor, who owns dozens of companies, filed his own return, which was not made available to reporters.

The big numbers reveal the extensive wealth of the 71-year-old DeWine. The DeWines receive interest income from companies, trust funds, brokerage accounts and partnerships. Their holdings include partial ownership of the Asheville Tourists, a single A professional baseball team.

RELATED: How much are the candidates for governor worth?

In 2016, their total income hit $758,848, the tax bill was $138,129 and charitable giving was $42,726, returns show. In 2015, total income was $645,870, federal taxes paid was $125,642 and charitable giving was $42,569.

Additionally, over three years, the DeWines paid $177,923 in state and local taxes.

In addition, the couple established and funded a charitable foundation, which makes roughly $800,000 in annual contributions to various entities, including Hands Together, which operates the Becky DeWine School in Haiti.

Releasing tax returns is not mandated by law but by and large, candidates for governor have done so voluntarily in the interest of transparency and accountability.

DeWine’s running mate, Ohio Secretary of State Jon Husted, also released three years of federal returns filed jointly with his wife, Tina Husted, a Realtor, professional runner, coach and artist.

In 2017, the Husteds total income was $176,765, total federal taxes were $27,398 and charitable gifts totaled $10,126. In 2016, income was $134,014, federal taxes were $14,450 and charitable giving totaled $8,645, according to the Husted return. Their 2015 return shows income of $159,126, federal taxes $23,316 and charitable giving of $10,005.

Additionally, over three years, the Husteds paid $64,257 in state and local taxes.

State Sen. Joe Schiavoni, D-Boardman, is the only Democrat in the gubernatorial primary to release his returns. Filing jointly with his wife, who is a nurse, Schiavoni reported $207,990 in income and $35,049 in federal taxes in 2017. They paid an additional $12,151 in state, local and real estate taxes and declared $268 in charitable giving that year.

For 2016, their income totaled $235,101, federal taxes were $44,217, state, local and real estate taxes were $12,513 and charitable giving totaled $331.

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Juvenile suspects in cruiser ramming have previous felony charges

Published: Thursday, April 26, 2018 @ 11:18 AM

Cruiser ramming: Prior attempted stop on vehicle

The two juveniles among four identified suspects in the Monday ramming of a police cruiser have previous felony cases.

The 16- and 15-year-olds are among four suspected of using a stolen car to hit a Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office cruiser on Monday at a Valero gas station at Siebenthaler Avenue and Philadelphia Drive in Harrison Twp.

RELATED: Details emerge about suspects accused in ramming of sheriff’s cruiser

Juvenile court records obtained by this news organization indicate the 16-year-old’s first serious offense was stealing a golf cart from Madden Golf Course in May 2017.

In the months after that, however, the 16-year-old from Dayton was twice charged with receiving stolen property (both vehicles), breaking and entering and possession of heroin as well as some misdemeanors and violations of electronic home monitoring.

No family members were in court for the 16-year-old on Tuesday, when Montgomery County Juvenile Court Judge Anthony Capizzi told him, “Your record is only 13 pages long. Congratulations.”

MORE: Read other stories from Mark Gokavi

The 15-year-old’s felony record cases stretch back to July 2016 — when he was 14 — and include breaking and entering and attempted receiving stolen property as well as misdemeanor obstructing official business. The boy, who had family members in court on Tuesday, already is in treatment court.

Capizzi told them additional charges are likely, especially if investigators determine that one of them was driving a stolen Toyota Corolla involved in the latest incident.

According to the sheriff’s office, as deputies approached the stolen Corolla that was parked in the lot of the Valero, the driver noticed the deputies, got back in the vehicle and sped off, striking the patrol vehicle.

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Capizzi entered denials on the teens’ behalf and announced their appointed defense attorneys.

The judge said, “This was a very serious case. It’s not just stealing a car. … Someone stole a car, tried to escape, drove in to a police cruiser to escape and then hit a bunch of other cars. You know that’s going to mean a lot more charges against somebody,” Capizzi said. “I don’t know who the driver was.”

The boys’ next hearing is scheduled for May 3. Both remain in custody. Adults arrested in the case include Sha’King Jones, 19, and Nikeas Jones, 20. Both remain in the Montgomery County Jail.

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