Category Archives: People

HPD officer collaborates on ‘black man’s survival guide’

By Richard O Jones

A Hamilton police officer and his childhood friend, now a District of Columbia attorney, looked at recent cases of black men who died after encounters with police and noted a common theme: failure to comply with the officer’s directions. They set out to write a pamphlet about how people should act during such encounters, and the pamphlet grew into a book: “Encounters with Police: A Black Man’s Guide to Survival.”

READ MORE about the collaboration between Officer Adrian O. Jackson and Eric Broyles…

READ MORE about their book on the official website…

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Shandon meat grinder collector eyes spot in Guinness World Records

By Richard O Jones

SHANDON – A longtime collector of all things Americana, Shandon resident Bernie Bosse is bucking for a spot in the Guinness World Records, guessing that having 189 meat grinders might be noteworthy.

The youngest of five brothers growing up in White Oak, Bosse’s first experience with meat grinders dates back to his days at Roger Bacon High School.

“When I was 16 I went to work at H.H. Meyer Packing Company on Linn Street,” he said. “We used to run these meat grinders in the chop room, they were big Enterprise choppers that you could shovel meat into.

“The end of the work day was 3:30 (p.m.) for the workers, then we went in and cleaned the machinery. That’s how I worked my way through my last two years of high school.”

In 1972, he and his wife bought 22 acres and moved to the country. At first, he kept some livestock and had a barn built to hold some of the cattle, but soon realized that working full time as a truck driver dampened his enthusiasm for animal husbandry and sold his stock.

Then as he went to flea markets and auctions, he began collecting things and storing them in the barn.

Become a WCPO Insider to read about the wide range of items in Bosse’s collection.

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Hamilton native featured in upcoming FX series

By Richard O Jones

Reading an advance story about the upcoming Denis Leary series “Sex&Drugs&Rock&Roll,” debuting later this month on the FX channel, I was delighted to learn from the New York Times that Ross High School alum and fellow former Sharon Park denizen Greg Dulli has a rather significant role to play in the show.

Leary plays Johnny Rock, an aging, washed-up rock’n’roller who gets a second chance at stardom, and Dulli — who became a rock icon as the front man for the band Afghan Whigs — produced the tracks that play the role of the hit songs for the Heathens, Leary’s fictional band.

Here’s what the Times has to say about Dulli:

In order to get a sense of the Heathens’ sound then and now, Mr. Leary started by writing the show’s theme song as well as a song that Gigi sings in the pilot. When the show was greenlit, he added five songs — some co-written by his longtime collaborator Chris Phillips — and went into Electric Lady Studios with Greg Dulli of the Afghan Whigs as producer. Some of Mr. Leary’s old friends, including Adam Roth (the Del Fuegos), Alec Morton (Raging Slab) and Charly Roth (Ozzy Osbourne’s band), were assembled to play behind Mr. Leary and Ms. Gillies….

Mr. Dulli and Mr. Grohl [Dave Grohl, former drummer for Nirvana and now leader of the Foo Fighters]  appear as Johnny Rock’s nemeses, the rock stars who stole his “vibe and aura” and had the success that eluded the Heathens.

Mr. Dulli, of course, is hardly a household name, but his role fits with the side of the show that’s full of more esoteric music references and inside jokes. There are riffs about Metallica’s band therapist and a song spoofing the mope-rock of Morrissey and Radiohead.

“I wanted the musicians to sound like musicians,” said Mr. Leary. “If they’re in a room, they’re” insulting “the other guys, and themselves, all day long. I wanted to get inside that world, and I think the rest of the audience will adapt to that.”

Although we grew up in the same neighborhood, I didn’t know Dulli until he was a star. He’s a bit younger than me, and my brother knew him. I did several stories with him, and even won a Society of Professional Journalists award for a profile I wrote in 2004 that I titled, “Dude, Where’s Greg Dulli’s Car.” The link will send you to an unedited version that I saved, a somewhat more, um, scatalogical version from what appeared in the Journal-News.

The picture on that page is from the first story I did on Dulli when Journal-News photographer Greg Lynch and I went bowling with him at the Columbia Lanes, the traditional “Park Boy” hangout. Later stories we did over the phone and used promotional photos.

When the story about losing his car ran in the Journal, I got a few complaints from people complaining about showing him smoking a cigarette. So the next time I did a story with him, after the interview I asked the publicist if she could provide a non-smoking photo. A couple of hours later, she called me back and said somewhat sheepishly, “We don’t have any pictures of him not smoking.”

Photo: Denis Leary and Greg Dulli in the studio, from Leary’s Instagram feed.

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Dedication set for Five Fathers Memorial

The City of Hamilton and the Lindenwald PROTOCOL Group announce the dedication of the new Griesmer Park “Five Fathers Memorial.”

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Henry S. George

The dedication ceremony will start at 11:00 AM on Saturday, June 20, at Griesmer Park located at the corner of River Road and St. Clair Ave in Lindenwald.

The “Five Fathers Memorial” honors five Lindenwald fathers who built a complete baseball park from an overgrown field so the neighborhood children could have a place to learn and play the game of baseball in the mid 1950’s.

Edward F. Tobergte
Edward F. Tobergte

The families of James J. Gentile, Henry S. George, Nicholas R. Hensler Sr.,  Arthur “Bud” Mahon and Henry S. George and Edward F. Tobergte worked with Frank Downie and PROTOCOL to finance the Memorial as phase one of a three-phase plan for Griesmer Park.

All are welcome. Ball Park hot dogs will be served.

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James Gentile
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Bud Mahon
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Nicholas R. Hensler Sr.


HEY! Hamilton! Shop

Explore “Fresh Paint… By Jenn!”

By day, Jenn Acus-Smith is the education coordinator for the Fitton Center for Creative Arts, but she is also an accomplished artist herself with a masters degree from Miami University. Until the end of June, she will be exhibiting new work through the end of  June at Miami Hamilton Downtown in the Robinson-Schwenn Building, High Street at Journal Square.

In this video podcast, Richard O Jones talks with Jenn about her work and what inspires her.

Download this episode (right click and save)

CLICK HERE to see more about Jenn Acus-Smith….

CLICK HERE to find out more about Miami Hamilton Downtown…


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Hamilton artist opens show in Michigan

Roscoe Wilson, Professor of Art at Miami University Hamilton, has a solo exhibition, “It’s Getting Hot Out Here”, at Saginaw Valley State University in Michigan.
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“Innocent Oil” a plaster casts and paint from the installation view, 2013. The piece contains 196 plaster oil barrels representing the 19.6 million barrels of oil consumed each day in the United States (2010).

The exhibit consists of sculptural installations, drawings and prints involving the concept of over consumption of fossil fuels, namely coal and oil.

Wilson said his work “involves the dilemma of consumerism and waste in contemporary society.”  The exhibit will run through April 10 with a reception for the artist on March 26.
Here’s Wilson’s artist statement for the exhibition:
My installation work involves the dilemma of consumerism and waste in contemporary society.  Consumerism is a natural attribute of the human condition. We consume to live but we do not need to live to consume. We can be more conscientious about what, why, and how much we consume and waste. We buy and sell, save, collect, and ultimately discard practically everything that is in our temporary possession. The problem originates when we buy habitually and compounds when we waste apathetically.  We live in a throw away society that values the quick and easy over the re-useable.  We desire the next great invention propagating planned obsolescence instead of sustainable products. These are serious issues that are only becoming more important as the world becomes more connected and our population soars. As an artist, it is my responsibility to bring this paradoxical dilemma of consuming and wasting to the public eye through art.  For the past decade I have been collecting and organizing various post-consumer materials to use in my installation work. I strive to live and work with a sense of personal responsibility with regards to consumption, but again, it is a paradox since I must still consume to live.

This exhibition titled, “It’s Getting Hot Out Here,” consists of several sculptural installations and several drawings and prints that involve the concept of overconsumption of fossil fuels, namely coal and oil.  The addictive use of these fuels is a significant cause of climate change.  The abuse of these technologically outdated fuels, the structure of our current society and political system, and the unwillingness to change are all factors that can and will be devastating to our environment and our lives.  Change needs to happen now, not for our grandchildren, but for us, in the present. It’s already hot out here.

Young man flourishes at his first job

Butler County Board of Developmental Disabilities

Chase Montgomery uses inflection and facial expressions to help get his points across. His favorite word is “Yeah” and he can say it dozens of different ways. Once anyone has been around him awhile, they know what he means. Chase, 22, has apraxia, which is a muscle disorder.

“As a mother, I feared letting my son loose in the community,” Cathy Sears said. “A lot of people with kids with disabilities have the same fears, and that stops their children from having lives. Chase enjoys being out there and being with people. It was hard for me to let him, but I knew it was the best thing for him.”

Read more….

UPDATED WITH AUDIO: Butch Hubble remembered by the community he loved

The City of Hamilton and the Great Miami Valley YMCA hosted a tribute to Butch Hubble today at the Booker T. Washington Community Center. Butch was a marvelously humble and hard-working individual who cared a lot for this community. His effort and his genial personality will be missed by all who knew him. Below is an audio recording of the event, and below that , a reprint of a profile I wrote for the Journal-News in April, 2013, when Butch was honored with the Janet Clemmons Award. –Richard O Jones

Hamilton Community Council leader honored for work
Butch Hubble earns 2013 Clemmons Award

After two careers, one in the U.S. Navy and a second in the San Diego Police Department, Butch Hubble thought it might be a good idea to come back to his hometown so he could “watch the grass grow and play golf with my buddies.”

Butch Hubble, director of the Booker T. Washington Community Center and Robert Hendricks, program director.

He came back home, but resting and golf were not as much on the agenda as he had planned, much to the benefit of the city.

At first, he lived in the family home on Hanover Street on the city’s East Side.

“I saw that there were so many things that needed to be done, that needed to be addressed,” he said. “When I left (in 1962), Hamilton was one of the leading industrial cities in the world. Now much of the community is waiting on government assistance to survive and there’s just something wrong with that practice.”

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Chris Lindeman, executive director for the Hamilton Central YMCA: Robert Hendricks, program director for the Booker T. Washington Community Center; Karen Staley, chief operating officer of the Great Miami Valley YMCA; and Butch Hubble, center director of the Booker T. Washington Community Center, talk about changes at the Booker T. Washington Community Center, which reopens June 17 after two months of renovations. Photo by Greg Lynch/JournalNews

So with a core group of like-minded individuals, Hubble founded the Hamilton Community Council in 2004.

For his leadership of the council, Hubble has received SELF’s 2013 Janet Clemmons Community Service Award, selected by a committee of former and current SELF board members for the award.

“Butch is a special individual who cares about others and making a difference in their lives and in his community,” said nominator Nancy Wiley, a member of the Hamilton Vision Commission.

“Butch ‘Humble Hubble’ is the definition of the Janet Clemmons mission,” said Tina Jones, a member of the Hamilton Community Council, who also nominated him for the honor.

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Click on the image to see a video of Butch Hubble being interviewed by Shaun Higgins as part of Miami Hamilton’s “What’s Your Story” series.

Hubble said the council is purely a “grass-roots group” that tries to serve the community, but not by giving people money.

“We don’t want people coming to us for the wrong reasons,” he said. “If you’re not there to give and make sure that your friends are doing as well as you are, then you’re not part of the Hamilton Community Council.”

“I can’t handle America’s attraction to negativity, so what we try to do is dwell on the positive,” he said. “We want to bring smiles and happiness to the community.”

Jeffrey Diver, executive director of SELF (Supports to Encourage Low-Income Families), said that he first met Hubble while doing some community organizing work in the Second Ward.

“We spent a lot of time together and I found that we are kindred spirits,” Diver said, “people who have the ability to make change in their own communities.

“For the Janet Clemmons Award, each year we ask the community for nominations for individuals who have gone above and beyond to help low-income families, especially volunteers like Butch,” he said. “Janet helped found our organization and so many others that have had a real impact on the community.”

One of the first projects for Hubble and the Hamilton Community Council was the “Rock the Block” summer concert events at Bailey Square and Symmes Park, open mic events that drew hundreds of people.

“We never had one negative incident,” he said.

The Council has also been heavily involved in the CLEEN program (Comprehensive Litter Education and Enforcement Now), similar to a program he stared as a police officer in San Diego, using grant money to put off-duty undercover police on the street to write tickets for littering and dumping.

“If you clean your community, you increase community pride, crime goes down, businesses will grow, people will be happier and talk about the city in a positive way,” he said. “This is a tested concept and I saw it work in San Diego.”

“I reflect back on what my grandmother told me: If you clean your house, the roaches will go away,” Hubble said.

Photo by Nick Daggy/JournalNews.

Look what these Hamilton! kids are up to

The Youth Philanthropy Committee, the youth grant making arm of the Hamilton Community Foundation, recently granted nearly $37,000 to 11 area nonprofit organizations. Each year the group, comprised of 20 students from Badin, Hamilton, New Miami and Ross high schools, awards more than $30,000 annually to organizations serving youth in greater Hamilton.

Grant recipients are Sojourner Recovery Services, Millville Avenue Meal Center, Hamilton Living Water Ministry, Inc., Big Brothers Big Sisters of Butler County, Butler County Educational Service Center’s Kindergarten Readiness Camp and Summer Enrichment Camp Scholarships, SELF- Supports to Encourage Low Income Families, Butler County School Supply Coalition, Fitton Center for the Creative Arts, MetroParks of Butler County, Fitton Family YMCA and Lane Libraries.

The Youth Philanthropy Committee was established in 2005 by the Board of Trustees of the Hamilton Community Foundation as a way to teach area youth the importance of philanthropy. Its primary goal is to teach young people about fund development for important projects and how to distribute funds to create the greatest impact in the community. One example is the responsibility of awarding grants from several field of interest funds established to support organizations serving our youth.

The Journal-News has a full report here.


Meet Butler County’s ‘power couple’ of history

By Richard O Jones
For the Journal-News

Photo by Greg Lynch
Photo by Greg Lynch

Although they’ve only been in Butler County for a few years, you’d be hard-pressed to stump Ed and Kathy Creighton on a matter of local history.

Most people are also surprised to learn that they’ve only been married for five years — only a little bit longer than she’s been the Executive Director of the Butler County Historical Society.

Earlier this year, Ed took the job as the director of the Oxford Museum Association, but also serves on at least a dozen boards and committees, and is organizing next year’s National Docents Association Convention to be held in Cincinnati.

To many children in the area, Ed is known as “the cornbread man” as one of his favorite living history schticks is to make cornbread and cook it the pioneer way.

Kathy Firch grew up in the Chicago area, Ed in the suburbs of Cincinnati, and both have had a life-long love affair with history.

“I used to take my teachers on as early as the sixth grade and argue with them,” Kathy said.

She spent the majority of her adult life in Springfield, Ill., first as a scheduler for the Governor “Big Jim” Thompson, then went to the Department of Agriculture as the administrative assistant to the state veterinarian for 26 years.

“If you live in Springfield, you can’t not get involved with Abraham Lincoln,” she said, so she and her sister were both active as volunteers and docents for historical sites.

Ed said although he’s grown out of it, he was a shy, awkward kid and never played with other children, preferring instead to listen to the stories of the older folk.

“They taught a lot of things and I thought history was cool,” he said.

When he was 12 years old, his father took him to flea markets where he started collecting local postcards, and later go into restoring old cars.

Ed, professional, has been everything from a airline pilot and truck driver to interior designer and farmer, so history has always been a hobby until he got the job with the Oxford Museum Association.

But it was their love of Morgan horses that brought them together.

Kathy bought her first Morgan horse shortly after moving to Springfield in 1977. Ed got interested in Morgan horses when he saw a Walt Disney special about it.

“It was a neat horse and the first American breed,” he said, and as a teenager, saving up money mowing lawns at five bucks a yard at Homarama when it was near his house until he raised enough money to buy one, which he kept for 30 years.

“I was on the board of the International Morgan Horse Association in 2006 and she was on one of my committees,” he said.

At the opening night of the 2007 convention, as Kathy recalls, a match-making mutual acquaintance told her that Ed Creighton was interested in meeting her.

“But he came in and said ‘I’m Ed Creighton’ and bolted out of the room,” she said.

“Well, I figured if I didn’t talk to her she couldn’t say no,” he said.

“So he ignores me the entire convention until the last day, he finally gets up the courage to talk to me,” she said. “We started talking at 11 o’clock at night in the hotel lobby.”

Ninety minutes later, he proposed to her for the first time.

“I thought he was nuts,” she said, “but I went back and told my sister that I was glad there was 300 miles between us because I could really fall for that guy.”

So they maintained a long-distance relationship for as long as they could stand it, but a year later after a telephone romance (“He’d do all the talking,” she said), got married and had moved her 18 horses into their house on Reily-Milville Road.

“We thought we would just stay at his house and come out to feed the horses twice a day,” she said, “because we couldn’t keep them all in his back yard in North College Hill.”

Their 1852 Victorian farmhouse is on the Ohio Historic Register, with two barns that are even older, stocked with period-appropriate furniture.

“The house picked us,” Kathy said, and they both joined the Butler County Historical Society almost immediately.

“I didn’t know much about all of Butler County, but I had family in the Stockton area, so I knew all about that,” Ed said.

When they married, Kathy got a job with the Cincinnati Museum Center, but was laid off during a reorganization.

Shortly afterward, she learned about the job at the Butler County Historical Society and knew on the spot she had the job, even though they didn’t offer it to her right away.

“It was just one of those things,” she said, and she started in Nov. 1, 2010. “It was almost like a dream come true to do something like this.”