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Monday, January 21, 2013

Whiteout Snow Survival Guide

Yesterday's whiteout snowfall caused at least 2 major pile up accidents in the area.  And amazingly there was only one fatality with over 125 vehicles involved.

Whiteouts don't happen all that often but when they do they catch many people off guard and unprepared.  A whiteout event might best be described as a weather event sometimes connected with a blizzard.  It is when snow falls so heavily and quickly that you can't see even 10 feet in front of you.  Typically it happens very suddenly and roads become snow covered and slick almost before you have time to realize it.  People describe it as a curtain of white that you can't see through and people have actually gotten lost in their yards trying to find their house.

What can you do to prepare for such an event?  There are several common sense, life-saving procedures to follow.  By knowing some tips for driving in a whiteout you could potentially save your life and the lives of others.  Not always mentioned in some driving manuals, but it is important to remain in your car.  DO NOT get out and stand by your car or near the road.  The accidents can occur in split-second intervals and would not give you enough time to run away - which is what your human nature might urge to do.

Click Here to read more about driving in whiteout conditions.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Middletown City Schools goes Social

As recently as this fall, Middletown City Schools has jumped into the local social community with Twitter and Facebook. I think Debbie Alberico is to blame.

Debbie Alberico  is the Director of Community Relations / Communications at Middletown City Schools. Ms. Alberico has always reached out to the internet as a way to communicate to and from parents, students and the public

She sees her top most important job is to "Develop and supervise the implementation of strategic
communication plans". Source: Linkedin profile

The Middletown City School District is expected to see a reduction in state funding for next year. The reduction could be up to $5 million. The impact of the 20% reduction to the general operating budget could cause a reduction in services and programs offered in the schools. So how does Middletown City Schools communicate to the community while seeing a potential hit to her budget?

The answer is social communication. For years Debbie Alberico has informed the community via press releases to the local newspaper as well as other media outlets such as television, radio and local web sites.

Here are a few examples of important school news provided to MiddletownUSA by Debbie Alberico:
12/2/2010  Immediate Release   Elementary students celebrate Rosa Parks with essays, prizes and role models Details:  1:30 PM, Friday, December 10, Rosa Parks Elemen...
November 29, 2010 School or Department: Middletown High School Special Education Who: Students with special needs involved in volunteer community work program and staff assigned to pro...
  WHASSUP WITH CHARACTER? Nov. 18, 2010  For Immediate Release      Middletown High School Boy’s basketball players, along with other st...
COMMUNITY PEP RALLY Thursday, November 4 at 6:30 pm MHS - Paul Walker Gym Help the Middies celebrate their 10-0 season and build the excitement for the playoff games.   C...
   Say “Boo” To Drugs Word Of The Day   Each morning during the week, a riddle will be read during the morning announcements, the answer to which has the ...

Now Middletown City Schools is adding to their communication efforts by adding social accounts.

Follow Middletown Schools on their Twitter Account:!/middletownOH
They have 143 Tweets and 200 followers at the time of this posting. With this feed you can hear as it happens such things as Middie Scores: EX: Middies over Beavercek - 61 - 41. GO MIDDIES!!
Also announcements and links to school news and spirit initiatives.

Follow Middletown Schools on Facebook:
According to the Facebook Page: This is the official Facebook page for the Middletown City School District in Middletown, Ohio, Where Every Student is a Star! MCSD is an Asset Building District.
See what kids need to succeed.

Middletown City Schools also has a blog:

The Middie Buzz Blog
The Middletown City School District is committed to open and honest communication with our community. In an effort to further that commitment, we have created the Middie Buzz Blog. We invite you to participate by submitting your thoughts using the box on the right. 

An on-line SWOCA managed progress report and report card called Progress Book.

The School District has a very nice, updated website located here:

Kudos to Middletown Schools and their social initiatives. Also kudos to Debbie Alberico. I'm sure she is behind many of these initiatives along with many others she has encouraged to communicate the important news of the school.

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Friday, November 5, 2010

Mike Webber of W. Middletown Makes Exotic Pet Film

Exotic Pet Film May Lead To TV Series
Posted by jkiesewetterNovember 5th, 2010, 7:09 am
Today a movie…. next year a reality TV show? Mike Webber’s documentary about the dangers and subculture of exotic pets called “The Elephant In The Living Room” opens today at the Rave Motion Pictures 18 in West Chester Township. Channel 12 would call it ”Pets That Kill!”
Much of the 94-minute documentary looking at all sides of the exotic pet situation was shot in Ohio with Tim Harrison of Springboro, who has been rescuing dangerous pets for 36 years, and with Terry Brumfield of Piketon, Ohio, whose lion attacked cars on US 23 near Portsmouth two years ago. Here’s a link to my story about the movie. Harrison and Webber will discuss the film after the 7 p.m. screenings Friday and Saturday.
Webber, a West Middletown native and 1988 Middletown Madison High School graduate, has so much footage (more than 200 hours) that he’s also talking to TV channels about a possible reality series about exotic pets, their owners and Harrison. In a way, that would bring the issue full circle for Harrison, who says calls to rescue/capture dangerous pets escalated from a handful to a hundred from all the exposure about dangerous exotic pets on Animal Planet and other channels.
Harrison says that everyone tells him the same thing: “I watch Animal Planet, and I thought I could do it myself.” Here’s what Harrison says: “There’s no happy ending to anyone owning a large predator. As soon as you get a python or tiger cub, you’re just signing a death certificate for you or someone you know.”
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Wednesday, September 29, 2010

No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency at Middfest International

by Christina Papakirk

Middfest International's Literature and Language Exhibit is sure to be a show-stopper this year. Under the direction of Middletown actor and director Christine Brunner, this exhibit will literally bring the No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency to life during Middfest weekend. Four area actors will portray the well-known characters of the HBO series--Mma Precious Ramotswe, her assistant Mma Grace Makutsi, her companion and owner of Speedy Motors, Mr. JLB Matekoni and the Orphanage Matron Mma Sylvia Potokwane--in a set designed especially for the event.

The exhibit is located next to the Manchester Inn, and the lot has been turned into the Kgali Shopping Center from the HBO series. Visitors can purchase books by Alexander McCall Smith and others, DVDs, and register for prize drawings for the Books of Botswana Reading Challenge. The HBO series will be shown in the Speedy Motors Garage, and there will also be an area for book discussion and a fan meeting area. Best of all, visitors can interact with the characters! They will be there 7 to 9 p.m. Friday, 1 to 9 p.m. Saturday, 1 to 6 p.m. Sunday.

Ms. Burgess Byrd (Cincinnati) as Mma Precious Ramotswe (Detective)
Ms. Edina Ndebele (Cincinnati via Zimbabwe) as Mma Grace Makutsi (Assistant)
Mr. Alan Bomar Jones (Dayton) as Mr. JLB Matekoni (Mechanic)
Ms. Marlene' Johnson (Indianapolis) as Mma Sylvia Potokwane (Orphanage Matron)
Project staff:
Christine Brunner...Producer
Helen Raymond...Scenic Designer
Angela Banks...Production Assistant
Joan Boring...Literature Committee Chair
Denise Bieleki...Literature Committee Member

Middfest's weekend celebration of Botswana will include an array of exhibits featuring many cultural, art, literary, science, history, and business aspects of the country. Live entertainment will be provided by groups from Botswana and local and regional acts, International Bazaar, Food Court, Youth Park and much more.

Friday, Oct. 1 - 6pm-10pm
Saturday, Oct. 2 10 am-10pm
Sunday, Oct. 3 12 noon-6pm

Admission is $5 per person and good for the entire weekend. Children 12 and under are admitted free.

For additional information, please visit Middfest's website, or Facebook page or call Executive Director Virginia Ritan at 513-425-7707, email

For media inquiries, please contact Christina Papakirk at 513-460-6647 or
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Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Gov Strickland "Steel town Speech" at SunCoke Bricklaying

Wednesday August 25, 2010 from 2:30pm to 4pm SunCoke Energy celebrated the new facility with the theme, "Laying the Foundation for the Future."

Note: This is the short version of Gov Strickland's speech.

Here is an excerpt from Governor Ted Strickland's speech at the bricklaying dedication.

"Middletown is a steel town and Ohio is a steel state and this coke plant will help keep it that way."

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Sunday, August 1, 2010

Ohio Proud at the Ohio State Fair

Ohio Proud at the Ohio State Fair

If you're planning on visiting the Ohio State Fair this week, you'll definitely want to visit the Ohio Proud areas to get a taste of some homegrown Ohio goodness!

Chefs from across the state will be gathering for the annual Heartland Cuisine demonstrations, where they will showcase their best recipes. The demonstrations will take place at the Taste of Ohio Cafe and will feature many products from Ohio agriculture. They are sponsored by Ohio Proud, as well as Ohio's commodity organizations, agribusinesses, top chefs, and other Ohio-based supporters.

You'll also receive a free copy of the Heartland Cuisine cookbook, which will provide you with the recipes from the demonstrations. Categories in the cookbook include: Apple, Beef, Dairy, Fish, Lamb, Pork, Poultry, and Ohio Proud.

Finally, you can sample and purchase fresh produce, jams, ice cream, and salsa at the Ohio Proud Farmers Market located just inside the Cardinal Gate at the fairgrounds.

The Ohio State Fair began on July 28 and will run through August 8, 2010. It takes place at the Ohio Expo Center in Columbus, Ohio. Gates are open from 9:00 AM until 10:00 PM each day except for August 8, when gates close at 8:00 PM. Tickets are $10 for adults, ages 13-59; $8 for youth, ages 5-12; $8 for seniors, ages 60 and over; and children under five get in for free. Parking is $5 per vehicle.

Ohio Proud began in 1993 and serves as the Ohio Department of Agriculture's "marketing program that identifies and promotes food and agricultural products that are made in Ohio and grown in Ohio."

Right now, there are 410 Ohio proud partners in 77 counties across the state. Purchasing locally grown products help support the state's agriculture business and provides one in seven of your fellow Ohioans with a job. According to the Ohio Proud website, agriculture is the Buckeye State's biggest industry and each year, it contributes over $98 billion to the state's economy. You can learn more by visiting

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Sunday, July 25, 2010

Butler County Dog Lincenses

Butler County Dog LincesesEach year, Butler County licenses about 36,000 dogs. Dog licenses are required by law and can be the key to a safe return home when your dog is lost or runs away. If you've lost your dog's tag or are not sure how to get one, you'll find all the information you need below.

Obtaining a License
If you have a new dog and haven't yet licensed him or her, you'll want to visit and print out the application. You can mail the application and fee to the following address:

Butler County Auditor
130 High Street, 4th Floor
Hamilton, Ohio 45011

Lost Tags
In the event your dog's tag is lost, you can purchase another tag for a quarter through the auditor's office. Simply make a copy of your original receipt, tape the quarter to the copy and send it along with a self-addressed stamped envelope to the address above. You can also visit the auditor's office in person to get replacement tag.

License Transfers
Should you give your dog away or sell him or her, your dog's license can be transferred to the new owner. Visit for the license transfer application and send the application, along with a quarter, to the address listed above.

Death of a Pet
In the event your dog dies, you'll need to contact the office so you will not be expected to renew your pet's license. The phone number is 513-887-3160.

If you move to a new home, you'll also want to contact the auditor's office to correct your information. In the event your dog is lost and found, it will be returned to the address listed on file and you will want that information to be as up-to-date as possible.

Kennel Licenses
If you want to obtain a kennel license, you'll need to make sure you meet the following requirements: you must be zoned A-1 Agricultural, you must have at least five acres of land, and the kennel must be at least 200 feet from all property lines. A letter from your local zoning board is also required. If your license is renewed by January 31, the cost is $70, however after January 31, you will be forced to pay a $70 penalty. The fee includes five dog licenses and up to five more can purchased for $1 each.

For more information on dog licenses, contact the Butler County Auditor's Office at 513-887-3160.

Remember to call 513-422-1907 for Security Camera Systems in Middletown, Cincinnati, or the Dayton, Ohio areas.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

2010 Summer Fun in Middletown

2010 Summer Fun in Middletown

Summer may be half-way over, but there is still tons to do in Middletown and the surrounding area over the next month or two. Below you'll find all types of activities from sports to the arts, from activities for grown-ups only, to activities for the whole family.

July 6th - August 15th, 143rd Annual American Watercolor Society Exhibit: The exhibit takes place at the Middletown Arts Center on Monday from 9:00 AM to 4:00 PM, Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday from 9:00 AM to 9:00 PM, and Saturday and Sunday from 12:00 PM to 4:00 PM.

July 24th, Greek Festival: Visit the Sts. Constantine and Helen Greek Orthodox Church for the Middletown Greek Festival! From 10:00 AM to 10:00 PM, enjoy Greek foods, pastries, music and dancing.

July 25th - 31st, Butler County Fair: The Butler County Fair will take place at the Butler County Fairgrounds in Hamilton, from July 25 -31. Tickets for adults are $6, children ages 6-12 are $1, and multi-day passes are available. This is the 160th year for the fair that includes livestock, rides, food, music, and antiques.

July 28, Broad Street Bash: Visit Governor's Square on Broad Street and Central Avenue for BBQ, beer, food, and free live music from the band, After Midnight. Concert starts at 6:00 PM.

July 29, Children's Summer Reading Program: Bring your 5 - 12 year old along every Thursday at 2:00 PM to the Middletown Public library for summer reading fun. On the 29th, the program will feature Jim Kleefeld: A Splash of Magic, along with a water, beach, and fish magic show.

August 3rd, 2010 National Night Out Festival: From 5:00 to 9:00 PM at Jacot Park, the Middletown Police Department and other local business sponsors will be promoting community friendship and safety importance, while handing out free hotdogs, chips, pop, and water!

August 6th - 7th, Giant Radio Controlled Aircraft Show: Visit the Middletown Regional Airport from 8:00 AM on August 6th to 5:00 PM on August 7th, for the Giant Radio Controlled Aircraft Show. This is a great activity for the entire family!

August 11th, Broad Street Bash: Visit Governor's Square on Broad Street and Central Avenue for BBQ, beer, food, and free live music from the band, The Cleavers. Concert starts at 6:00 PM.

August 14th, Main Street Art & Music Festival: From 2:00 to 11:00 PM, you can visit downtown Middletown for the Main Street Art and Music Festival. See local and regional performers, purchase arts and crafts from local and regional artisans - there's even a kid's area.

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Monday, July 12, 2010

What's Coming Up at the Middletown Arts Center?

What's Coming Up at the Middletown Arts Center

There is a lot going on at the Middletown Arts Center this summer! From exhibits you can view to classes you can take, here is a look at what they have to offer in July and August.


- Currently, the 143rd American Watercolor Society Exhibition is set up until August 15th.

- The Lobby Gallery is currently showing the artwork of botanical artist, Diane Harm, also through August 15th.

- The Atrium Dining Room is currently showing the Middletown Arts Faculty Show. Selections from the Middletown Arts Center Faculty show are currently being shown at the Gallery at the Atrium Medical Center as well.


- Ceramics classes are held for both English and Spanish speakers. Tuition is $65.

- Drawing classes, using pencil, colored pencil, pastels, pen, and ink, are also offered. Tuition for these classes are also $65.

- If you wan to learn to make jewelry, the jewelry-making class will cost you $55 for six weeks or $65 for seven weeks. Lab fees are $10 and tools are about $100. You'll learn how to design, saw, file, solder, and finish various pieces of jewelry. Advanced students may use brass, copper, silver, and gold.

- Enameling classes are also offered at the Middletown Arts Center, for $55 for six weeks and $65 for seven weeks. Learn to manipulate power, lump and thread glass, as well as firing in the kiln to create jewelry and framed art. The lab fee is $10.

- Stained Glass classes are a great way of learning cutting glass, leading, assembly, and soldering with various types of tools and glass. Prices are $55 for six weeks and $65 for seven weeks, with the purchase of tools being necessary.

- Glass Fusing/Slumping is offered for $65 with a lab fee of $10. Students will have the opportunity to choose from several products and be instructed on glass-cutting as necessary.

- Glass Painting will be offered for $65 with a $10 lab fee. This "dying art" has been used for centuries and is still as beautiful as ever.

- If you want to learn to paint, the Middletown Arts Center offers those types of classes as well. Tuition ranges from $55 - 65 and classes include: Decorative Arts (with tole painting), Medium of Your Choice, Mixed Media, and several Watercolor classes.

- A digital photography class is offered for $65.

- If you want to learn about Art Journaling, tuition is $65. You'll learn to create a journal through art!

- Techniques in Collage and Assemblage teaches you how to create assembled artworks on paper, canvas, and wood frames, using found objects, papers, ink, and other mediums. This class is $65.

- If you have a child and they're wanting to take some art classes, never fear! The Middletown Arts Center offers these as well. Drawing, Clay, Pottery, Digital Photography and more are available for kids of various ages and range from $50 - $80.


- Doug Dawson, a master pastelist, will be holding a Pastel Landscape workshop From August 23 through August 27, 2010, from 9:30 AM to 4:00 PM each day. It will cost members $500 and non-members $550. To reserve a space, you'll need to make a $150 deposit, with the remainder of the tuition due July 31. Upon registration, you'll be sent a list of supplies needed, as well as a list of local motels, restaurants, and a map.

The Middletown Arts Center is located at 130 North Verity Parkway in Middletown, Ohio. They are open on Monday from 9:00 AM to 4:00 PM; Tuesday through Thursday from 9:00 AM to 9:00 PM and they are closed Friday through Saturday.

For more information on times and dates of classes, as well as when each term starts for various classes, visit the Middletown Arts Center website at

For more news about Middletown, Ohio, visit Middletown USA.

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