Top local news of the day

Biden will be at United Performance Metals on Symmes Road in the mid-afternoon. The purpose of his visit is to meet with manufacturing leaders.

He will also give a speech while at UPM, the White House said.

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Shaq’s Big Chicken now set to open 3 locations in the region, including West Chester

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Big Chicken, founded by NBA Hall of Famer Shaquille O’Neal, is set to open its first Ohio location at 10655 Innovation Drive in Austin Landing in Miami Twp.

Big Chicken, founded by NBA Hall of Famer Shaquille O'Neal, is set to open its first Ohio location at 10655 Innovation Drive in Austin Landing in Miami Twp.
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Big Chicken, founded by NBA Hall of Famer Shaquille O’Neal, is set to open its first Ohio location at 10655 Innovation Drive in Austin Landing in Miami Twp.

A fast-casual chicken concept founded by NBA Hall of Famer Shaquille O’Neal will be landing at not one, but three locations in the region, one of them in Butler County.

Big Chicken, in addition to the previously reported location opening by late June to mid-July at 10655 Innovation Drive in Miami Twp.’s Austin Landing, also is looking at opening restaurants in Beavercreek and West Chester Twp. in 2023 and 2024, respectively.

The three locations are part of an agreement inked by franchisees Steve Christensen and Reid Richards, and Ohio restaurateur Mike Craddick, whom they met eight years ago through his ownership of several Five Guys and Other Broken Egg locations in Ohio.

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District says Lakota board member did not trespass, despite accusations she roamed schools

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Lakota Local Schools board member Darbi Boddy attends a board meeting about recent posts she made on social media. The meeting as April 27, 2022 at Plains Junior School in Liberty Twp. NICK GRAHAM/STAFF

Lakota Local Schools board member Darbi Boddy attends a board meeting about recent posts she made on social media.  The meeting as April 27, 2022 at Plains Junior School in Liberty Twp.  NICK GRAHAM/STAFF
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Lakota Local Schools board member Darbi Boddy attends a board meeting about recent posts she made on social media. The meeting as April 27, 2022 at Plains Junior School in Liberty Twp. NICK GRAHAM/STAFF

A Lakota Local Schools board member is accused by district officials of making unauthorized visits to school buildings and now has been told by officials further visits without permission will be considered trespassing.

Lakota School district officials released a statement accusing Lakota Board of Education member Darbi Boddy of violating building visitor policy by not waiting for a school principal to escort her through the schools.

Lakota officials said such actions are unauthorized for any school building visitor, including a publicly elected member of the school system’s governing board.

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Madison Schools and Madison FD face budget cuts following tax levy defeats

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The 1,600-student Madison Schools are now facing possible budget cuts in personnel and programs for next school year after voters in Madison Twp. rejected a proposed income tax increase. Joining the local schools on the losing side of Tuesday’s election was Madison Fire and EMS department, which saw its property tax hike issue also defeated. Both organizations now face budget cuts. (File PhotoJournal-News)

The 1,600-student Madison Schools are now facing possible budget cuts in personnel and programs for next school year after voters in Madison Twp.  rejected a proposed income tax increase.  Joining the local schools on the losing side of Tuesday's election was Madison Fire and EMS department, which saw its property tax hike issue also defeated.  Both organizations now face budget cuts.  (File PhotoJournal-News)
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The 1,600-student Madison Schools are now facing possible budget cuts in personnel and programs for next school year after voters in Madison Twp. rejected a proposed income tax increase. Joining the local schools on the losing side of Tuesday’s election was Madison Fire and EMS department, which saw its property tax hike issue also defeated. Both organizations now face budget cuts. (File PhotoJournal-News)

The last, new fire tax levy to win Madison Twp. The voters’ approval was in 2010 and after Tuesday’s election defeat that streak continues for the community’s local fire and EMS department.

Meanwhile Madison Schools officials plan to begin discussions soon on possible personnel and program budget cuts for the upcoming 2022-2023 school year after voted a proposed income tax hike by a 74% to 26% margin, according to unofficial vote tallies from the Butler County Board of Elections.

The Madison school tax was the only local school issue in Butler County on the Tuesday’s ballot.

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Toast & Berry diner coming to Liberty Twp.

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The blueberry French Toast is one of the items on the menu at Toast & Berry. CONTRIBUTED

The blueberry French Toast is one of the items on the menu at Toast & Berry.  CONTRIBUTED
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The blueberry French Toast is one of the items on the menu at Toast & Berry. CONTRIBUTED

A daytime dining concept is behind the new Toast & Berry, which is planned for Liberty Center.

It will be on the ground floor of the AC Hotel by Marriott, across from Agave & Rye, and open daily to serve breakfast, brunch and lunch.

“Our location in Montgomery has been very successful and we plan to expand into other Cincinnati area neighborhoods,” said Scott Schmidt, Founder of Looking Glass Hospitality, in a news release. “Liberty Center is a great home for our second Toast & Berry location, and we look forward to joining its community of great restaurants, shopping destinations, and entertainment venues.”

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AND, for an extra sixth story of the day …

Middletown considers giving non-union employees ‘premium pay’ for work during pandemic

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Middletown officials are developing a plan to close off the front drive to vehicles at the Middletown City Building in an effort to increase security. The City Building houses Middletown’s city administrative offices, the Municipal Court, and the Middletown City Schools administrative offices. ED RICHTER/STAFF

Middletown officials are developing a plan to close off the front drive to vehicles at the Middletown City Building in an effort to increase security.  The City Building houses Middletown's city administrative offices, the Municipal Court, and the Middletown City Schools administrative offices.  ED RICHTER/STAFF
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Middletown officials are developing a plan to close off the front drive to vehicles at the Middletown City Building in an effort to increase security. The City Building houses Middletown’s city administrative offices, the Municipal Court, and the Middletown City Schools administrative offices. ED RICHTER/STAFF

It appears every non-union city of Middletown employee will receive a one-time lump payment of premium pay using some of the city’s American Rescue Plan Act funds.

City Council heard a first reading of the ordinance Tuesday night and is expected to vote on it at its next meeting on May 17.

The cost of the payment is expected to be about $386,928, according to city documents.

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