Friday, May 22nd, 2020
Signs from the Butler County Progressive Political Action Committee.

Talawanda seniors graduate online at home

The Talawanda High School class of 2020 could not come together to celebrate their graduation, but the school still held an online ceremony. Students, faculty and guest speaker Gary Owen, a comedian and actor, spoke in the video that was broadcasted via YouTube. Even though families could not gather in a high school gym, they gathered around their grads in living rooms across Oxford.
Signs from the Butler County Progressive Political Action Committee.

Food pantry continues to serve despite theft

Two catalytic converters were stolen from the Bridge Point Food Pantry van, rendering it useless for food pickup. The pantry is working through the difficulties presented by the theft to continue providing food. Community members say this is highly appreciated, especially during this time of need.
Signs from the Butler County Progressive Political Action Committee.

The summer of 2020 will look different for Oxford

Summer in Oxford is always associated with concerts and fun celebrations for community members to enjoy. City planners and businesses have found new ways to keep the community vibrant, even with most traditional events canceled. New engagement programs include business reopenings, commerce programs and virtual concerts.
Signs from the Butler County Progressive Political Action Committee.

Talawanda hockey wins southwest championship

The Talawanda High School Brave hockey team won the regional tournament, taking the team farther than it has gone in the last 11 years. The first-year coach led the team to a 31-8-2 record before the team lost to Upper Arlington, right before the hockey state tournament was suspended because of COVID-19.
Virus Vignettes

Students find new ways to end semester during pandemic

This is a series of stories about how the COVID-19 virus has changed the lives of everyone who works, lives and studies in Oxford. This week’s stories deal with students for whom the spring semester of 2020 will never be quite finished. If you have a story about how the pandemic has impacted you, or someone you know, how it has left some permanent change on the way you live, and are willing to share it with our readers, send it to oxfordobservereditor@gmail.com. Please keep submissions to 300-500 words (two screenfuls or less on your computer). Please include a daytime telephone number and a photo if you can.
Signs from the Butler County Progressive Political Action Committee.

High school seniors feel unsatisfied, uncertain

Students graduating from high school are experiencing more than disappointment for missed time with friends and sports seasons cut short. For these seniors, including Francesca Deacon, the virus has made it unclear if they will be able to start their freshman years on campus, an experience they view as a chance for redemption.
Signs from the Butler County Progressive Political Action Committee.

Roommates make best of final college days

Graduating seniors Megan King, Megan Remaley, Melissa Enterno and Sydney Shadovitz continued to live together in Oxford after classes at Miami went online. As they go their separate ways after graduation, their love for Miami and the memories they made here go along with them.


Signs from the Butler County Progressive Political Action Committee.

Not business as usual: Business club goes virtual

Miami’s Women in Business organization decided to hold weekly meetings online while its members were learning from home. The 200 members of the organizations listened to  speakers and watched videos, helping them develop new skills and understand their organization. Isabella Tersigni, the president of the organization, worked hard to keep the                                                            organization running, despite the challenges posed by COVID-19.

News Briefs

City offices close for Memorial Day

All Oxford city offices will be closed Monday, May 25, in celebration of Memorial Day. 

While city offices have been “open” via telephone and online, the city’s offices have been closed to in-person visits since mid-March because of the coronavirus restrictions.

The city’s offices are scheduled to reopen to in-person visits Monday, June 1. However, all visitors must wear face masks and practice social distancing by standing at least six feet apart. 


Memorial Day alters school food distribution schedule

The Monday through Friday schedule of food distribution to children in Talawanda School District  will be altered this coming week because of the Memorial Day holiday. The regular Monday distributions will be moved to Tuesday, said Holli Morrish, communications director for Talawanda School District.  

The regular distribution schedule will resume the following week and continue through June.


Golf courses surrounding Oxford are open to the public

Local golf courses around Oxford are now lifting some restrictions associated with COVID-19, while still taking precautions.

Indian Ridge Golf Course, 2600 Oxford Millville Road, reopened its driving range. Additionally, the course now allows two people per golf cart. Cups for holes remain turned upside down to limit contact points, and staff said carts and equipment are sanitized regularly.

The Oxford Country Club, 6200 Contreras Road, is open, but its driving range remains closed. Members are required to call in to schedule a tee time to prevent a congregation of people checking in. Carts are being cleaned between uses, and have a limit of one person per cart with the exception of families and people living in the same household. No contact devices are intended to be installed in holes in place of spacers that were covering the holes up. The device will let golfers press a lever with a golf club that will lift their ball out of the hole.

According to its website, the golf course and driving range at Hueston Woods State Park, 6962 Brown Road, are open, with a one rider per cart policy, covered course holes and new sanitation procedures.

Hand sanitizing stations were placed at the entrance and exit of the Pro Shop, and all surfaces will be regularly sanitized to ensure the safety of all golfers and workers who use the course.


Oxford celebration of 19th amendment seeks art submissions

The League of Women Voters of Oxford and the Oxford Community Arts Center want art submissions for an exhibition to celebrate the 100th anniversary of passage of the 19th amendment to the U.S. Constitution, which gave women the right to vote.

The exhibition will be at the arts center, 10 S. College Ave., from Aug. 14 to Sept. 4. A reception opening the exhibition will be held from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. Aug. 14, during the center’s monthly Second Friday Celebration of the Arts. 

“We invite you to show us, via your art, how you change your world. What does passion look like? What does diligence look like?” says the invitation for entries from the league and the arts center. 

All media will be considered for the exhibit. All entry forms must be submitted no later than July 10, with art delivered to the arts center by Aug. 10. There is no entry fee and every effort will be made to display all entries, according to the arts center. 


Friday, May 15th, 2020
Signs from the Butler County Progressive Political Action Committee.

Physician leaves $3.5 million to foundation

Kenneth Buerk's gift will preserve local woodlands through the Oxford Community Foundation. The Open Space Preservation Fund helps prevent loss of farmland, provide tools to landowners to enrich their land, negotiate land conservation agreements and build partnerships with landowners.
Signs from the Butler County Progressive Political Action Committee.

Oxford stores and restaurants plan to reopen soon

With new regulations, some stores and restaurants were given the go-ahead to start reopening. It’s officially up to local governments to decide when to reopen, but Oxford will likely see many places get the green light starting this weekend.
Signs from the Butler County Progressive Political Action Committee.

COVID-19 forces change in food experiences

As with other aspects of life that have quickly changed due to the COVID-19 outbreak, the food habits of many have shifted since quarantine started. From cooking new recipes at home to supporting local restaurants through ordering carryout, Oxford residents are figuring out what works best for them.
Signs from the Butler County Progressive Political Action Committee.

Graduation goes virtual due to COVID-19

The Miami University class of 2020 will graduate this weekend in a virtual commencement ceremony. High schools and universities are using online graduation options due to health and safety concerns.
Virus Vignettes

Virus impacts lives of everyday people

This is the latest in a series of stories about how the COVID-19 virus has changed the lives of everyone who works, lives and studies in Oxford. This week’s offerings are about how workers deemed essential have kept going through the crisis. They feature an airline pilot, a pair of teachers and a young man who chose to stay home from his “essential” job to protect the health of his family. If you have a story about how it has had an impact on you, or someone you know, and are willing to share it with our readers, send it to oxfordobservereditor@gmail.com.
Signs from the Butler County Progressive Political Action Committee.

Airline pilot, employees face uncertain future

As people across the world adopt measures like wearing masks, social distancing, and staying home to prevent the spread of COVID-19, many businesses have suffered. One of the most heavily impacted is the airline industry. And as people cancel flights and avoid travel, airline industry workers -- like Southwest Airlines Captain Michael Bonner --                                                            are left to wonder what the future holds.

'Essential' workers worry about bringing disease into homes

While many are working remotely or have been furloughed, essential business employees are still permitted to go to work. But even though these workers have jobs, some like Nathan Burtzlaff are  faced with a different challenge -- whether or not to work and risk bringing the virus into their homes.
Signs from the Butler County Progressive Political Action Committee.

Teachers finish year with new technology skills

No one expected school to finish the way  it did this year. An abrupt end to classroom teaching and a switch to virtual classes caught educators such as Robin Fakes off guard. And with technology becoming central to learning in 2020,  some teachers and students                                                            struggled to adapt to the new norms.

News Briefs

Talawanda school district to collect masks all summer

Talawanda School District is conducting a summer-long TSD Cloth Mask Project to collect masks to be used in the schools this fall.

In a post on Talawanda Middle School’s blog, Director of Communications Holli Morrish said the administration has become aware of the possibility that students and staff may be required to wear masks to school in September. TSD is asking the community to sew enough reusable masks to provide at least two for every student and staff member in the district.

Talawanda School District is conducting a summer-long mask drive to collect 7,000 reusable cloth face masks for students and staff to have in September. Oxford Observer file photo

Morrish estimated that almost 7,000 total masks would be necessary: 3,000 youth masks and 3,800 adult masks. The Board of Education will collect the masks throughout the summer, starting May 18. Masks can be donated between 9 a.m. and 3 p.m., at the Talawanda Board of Education Office, 131 W. Chestnut St.

If you aren’t sure how to sew a mask, check out this Observer guide from a few weeks ago, or this flyer posted by the school district.

Contreras Road to close temporarily for water main work

Contreras Road between Locust Street and Lynn Street will be closed from May 25 to July 31, as the city of Oxford replaces and enlarges the water main under the Contreras Road railroad crossing near where High Street becomes Contreras, according to the Oxford Service and Engineering Departments. 

The project is being funded in part with a grant from the Ohio Public Works Commission. A detour will be posted when the road closes.


Talawanda High School plans end-of-year pickup sessions for students

Talawanda High School students will be able to pick up the contents of their lockers and drop off books, calculators, athletic uniforms or other school property Tuesday, May 19.

The district has posted a timetable and drop off map on its website that students should adhere to so they can ensure social distancing. According to the schedule, freshmen should come at 9 a.m., sophomores at 10 a.m. and juniors at 11 a.m. Seniors may come at any time to pick up the contents of their academic and physical education lockers.


Schools will distribute food through June

The Talawanda School food distribution program to area students will continue past the end of the school year through the end of June, Talawanda Communication Director Holli Morrish announced at Monday’s school board meeting.

While face-to-face instruction has been closed down in the district, Talawanda has continued to distribute thousands of breakfasts and lunches to students from several drop-off spots in the community. While government subsidized meals usually end with the school year, Talawanda asked for and received a waiver to continue the program through June, Morrish said.

With the economic dislocations caused by the pandemic, the program is needed now more than ever, she said. She said in the past week the program had provided meals to 150 more students than the week before.

The schedule of the distributions will be altered during the week of Memorial Day with the regular Monday distributions being moved to Tuesday, she said.



Oxford applies to amend summer open container rules

The city of Oxford has filed its application for the Designated Outdoor Refreshment Area (DORA) with the Ohio Liquor Control Board. The DORA allows patrons to carry alcoholic beverages that were purchased from local businesses in designated outdoor areas. According to the proposal, designated cups will be used. 

The city is required to have the application proposal publicly advertised for two weeks and the application must be posted for review for 30 days, according to Assistant City Manager Jessica Greene.

DORA will only be allowed during the summer months from May 20 to Aug. 15, according to the proposal. The Oxford City Council will hear the proposal, discuss it and vote at its June 16 meeting. The full proposal is available on the City of Oxford’s website.  

Safe social distancing guidelines will have to apply in the DORA as long as they remain in effect.

DORA was first talked about at a December city council work session.

Emergency food drive gathers over 2,000 pounds of supplies

An emergency food drive by the Kiwanis Club of Oxford gathered 2,351 pounds of supplies and raised $1,000 in contributions for the Talawanda Oxford Pantry & Social Services (TOPSS).

The drive, held May 7, involved members of the Kiwanis each asking friends and neighbors to donate tuna, toilet paper and peanut butter, three items in critically short supply at TOPSS.

Contributors drove donations to the collection site, dropped off the items, waved to Kiwanians and drove away.  The supplies were then moved to the pantry by a small group of Kiwanians working at a social distance and wearing gloves and masks.  

In addition, a number of people sent unsolicited checks payable to TOPSS; the total of the contributions was $1,000, according to the Kiwanis Club.  


Friday, May 8th, 2020

MU College Democrats decline to endorse Biden

Due to allegations of sexual misconduct, Miami University College Democrats (MUCD) announced on social media that they will not be endorsing Joe Biden for president. Tara Reade, a former staffer in Biden’s senate office, came forward with the allegations this year. The social media post by MUCD caused controversy among students and other Democrats.
Signs from the Butler County Progressive Political Action Committee.

Council condemns hate speech and discrimination

During the virtual city council meeting on Tuesday, council voted to denounce hate speech and discrimination. Members said the resolution was prompted by  xenophobic and racist behavior directed at Asian members of the community because of COVID-19.
Virus Vignettes

Sharing stories on lives during COVID-19

This is the second in a series of stories about how the COVID-19 virus has changed the lives of everyone who works, lives and studies in Oxford.   This week’s offerings are about how the virus and its social and economic restrictions have had an impact on the loved ones of the authors:  a sister, a boyfriend and an aunt and uncle. If you have a story about how it  has had an impact on you, or someone you know, and are willing to share it with our readers, send it to oxfordobservereditor@gmail.com.
Signs from the Butler County Progressive Political Action Committee.

High school student changes plans in quarantine

Corrie Branch, a high school senior, had her life turned upside-down. Her SAT was canceled, as was her trip to Paris and "Hamilton" the musical. She thought her birthday in quarantine was ruined. But, her friends and family made certain that would not be the case and
                                                           surprised her with a parade.

Signs from the Butler County Progressive Political Action Committee.

Store policies in Ohio shift amid COVID-19

An auto parts store in Eaton, Ohio has created a new normal for its employees. The employees must wear face masks at work and wash their hands between every customer. The general manager has created additional space to keep customers at a distance from employees.

Signs from the Butler County Progressive Political Action Committee.

Small business adapts to COVID-19 epidemic

Clevelanders used to line up around the block each morning to get pastries from "On the Rise," a small local bakery. Now, rather than toe-to-toe, customers have to stand six feet apart. The bakery has implemented online ordering, but owners Adam and Jennifer Gidlow say they can't wait for customers to be able to stay and socialize.


Miami layoffs impact City of Oxford's financial security too

Due to budget constraints caused by the coronavirus, Miami University is cutting 150-200 visiting faculty. This hurts Oxford as well, because Miami employees pay a 2% city earnings tax every year.  As of now, Oxford has placed a temporary freeze on hiring most city employees and is re-evaluating its capital expenditures for upcoming months.
Signs from the Butler County Progressive Political Action Committee.

Oxford summer programs postponed or canceled

As the coronavirus pandemic continues, students and faculty are uncertain about what Oxford will look like in the summer. Many activities and programs have already been canceled. But the Farmers Market is adding a second day to shop each week.

News Briefs

Miami hires brand builder to help athletes with endorsements

The NCAA enacted a rule change that will allow student-athletes to receive payment from third parties in endorsement deals. The ability for college athletes to benefit financially from their own likeness will begin in the 2021-2022 academic year, according to the NCAA.

In response to the rule change, Miami athletics announced a partnership with brand builder Jeremy Darlow. Darlow, an author, and former marketing executive with Adidas, is a branding consultant who works with athletes to help them nail down their story. He has also partnered with schools such as West Virginia and Georgia Tech.

"We're excited to partner with Jeremy and value his knowledge and expertise in helping student-athletes understand the value in building their personal brand,”  Breanna Robinson, Assistant Athletic Director for Leadership and Diversity, said in a press release.

Starting May 7, all Miami athletes will have access to video lessons from Darlow on branding as they look to expand their influence.

“I could not be more impressed with the University and I’m proud to call the RedHawks a partner,” Darlow said.

Organizer cancels Willys Jeep Rally at Hueston Woods

The Willys Jeep Rally, originally scheduled for May 29-30 at Hueston Woods, was canceled due to COVID-19.

The show, which typically includes Jeep tours, a swap meet, parades, raffles, guest speakers and more was called off “due to circumstances beyond our control,” according to the event’s website. Midwest Willys Jeep Reunion Inc., the company that presents the event, worried that it would be impossible to host a quality event with the restrictions set by Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine.

As for payments for the 2020 show, refunds will be issued in full.

Tentative dates have been set for the 2021 rally: June 4-5, 2021 at Hueston Woods. More information can be found on the event’s Facebook page.


Miami postpones ShredFest due to COVID-19

ShredFest, an annual event co-sponsored by IT Services and the Office of General Counsel at Miami University, has officially been postponed until October because of COVID-19 restrictions. The event, originally scheduled for May 14, allows for the disposal of both University and personal, confidential documents.

A mobile shredder is used during the event to allow for document destruction. Any faculty, staff, or student may bring documents to the ShredFest.

Last year, 146 people brought in more than 9,700 pounds of paper to be shredded on the Oxford, Hamilton and Middletown campuses, according to the organizers.

The disposal of documents helps prevent the risk of identity theft. To destroy University documents, participants must make sure the documents have reached the end of their retention period and accompany them with a signed Records Disposal Form.

The current remote working and instruction environment at the university makes it impossible to bring the documents to the shredding locations. A new date for the ShredFest is expected to be announced to coincide with National Cybersecurity Awareness Month in October.

Oxford Police arrest resident for disobeying social distancing orders

Oxford Police made its first arrest for violating public health orders regarding social distancing to reduce the spread of the coronavirus on Saturday, May 1.

Brendan Lamb, 22, was arrested at 417 E. Withrow St., after officers had responded to complaints of a large party being held there. After the party of more than 25 had been warned once by a patrolling officer that the group was violating a state public health order against such gatherings of more than 10 people,  a second officer was sent to the scene following up on another complaint.

According to the police report, Lamb was arrested after he approached that officer in a drunken manner, swearing and demanding that the officer hurry up with the citation process. 

He was later released on his own recognizance, after acknowledging that he had been present when the first officer had warned the partygoers that they needed to disperse. No court date has been set. 

Oxford reminds off-campus students to fill out 2020 census

The City of Oxford has a message about the 2020 Census for off-campus students going to leave town for the summer: Fill it out before moving out.

Students can respond online using a computer, smartphone, tablet, calling in or mail.

The Census is 10 questions and takes about 10 minutes to complete, said City Manager Doug Elliott. Students who live in Oxford during the school year should count Oxford as their home for purposes of the Census, he said. Students who live in dormitories have already been counted by the university.

Just one person should complete the Census for each household and they should include every person living at that address on the form. The city of Oxford wants to make certain that everyone is counted, according to Elliott.

More information is available on the Census Bureau website.

Miami Little League cancels 2020 season

Miami Little League canceled its 2020 season for baseball, teeball and 6U (ages 6 and under) softball because fields owned by the city of Oxford and Talawanda School District have been restricted until late June, due to the COVID-19 virus.

The league announced the cancelation in a letter sent this week to parents of participating children. “While we are saddened by this, we understand their decision,” the notice said of the field closings.

The 8U and 10U softball seasons may still happen, as those teams play in a multi-community Butler County Babe Ruth league which uses other fields, the notice said. Parents of players in those leagues should watch for additional notices.

Everyone who registered for the canceled leagues will be receiving refunds, less the nonrefundable $3 Sports Connect fee, according to the notice. Sponsors will be contacted by Little League board members and given the option of a refund, carrying the sponsorship over to next year of making their sponsorship a donation to the organization.

Anyone with questions is asked to contact the Little League at little.league.miami@gmail.com.

The Interfaith Center hosts an online talk

The Interfaith Center in Oxford is hosting a virtual talk Wednesday, May 13, with Rev. Vern Barnet, titled “A God Atheists Can Believe In.” The talk will take place on Zoom at 4 p.m.

Barnet is minister emeritus at the Center for Religious Experience and Study, in Kansas City. He’ll discuss questions about COVID-19, atheism, the character of God, and more. All are welcomed to attend, per the event’s tagline: “Are you an atheist? Or a believer? Or just puzzled?”

Registration is available on the event’s website, at no cost. Attendees are also encouraged to RSVP on Facebook.

Friday, May 1st, 2020

Oxford, State of Ohio start process of reopening

Some businesses in Oxford will start to reopen today. Responsible Restart Ohio, announced by Mike DeWine, allows for a phased re-opening of businesses and social activities  to the way they were before the shelter-in-place order. The governor is asking that Ohioans remain "reasonable and rational."
Signs from the Butler County Progressive Political Action Committee.

Miami football players find way to NFL teams

Two Miami University football players joined the NFL this past weekend. Sam Sloman, Miami’s kicker, was selected to play for the Los Angeles Rams. Doug Costin, Miami’s defensive tackle, signed to play for the Jacksonville Jaguars.

COVID-19 and mail voting affect turnout for Ohio primary election

Coronavirus safety precautions forced the state into a mail-in voting system for the primary. Because of this, voter participation numbers were down. This did not affect the presidential election, due to Biden being the only nominee, but made the state Senate race more interesting.
Signs from the Butler County Progressive Political Action Committee.

Gas prices decline sharply here and across the U.S.

Gas prices in Oxford have dropped. The average gas price is $1.77 which is more than $1 lower than the average a year ago at $2.88. The Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries increased production, which led to the lower prices.
Virus Vignettes

Tell us how coronavirus impacts your life

 The COVID-19 pandemic has affected us all. Over the next few weeks The Observer will be presenting stories of how s lives have been changed the virus and its forced isolation. If you have a story about how it  has had an impact on you, or someone you know, and are willing to share it with our readers, send it to oxfordobservereditor@gmail.com. This week we feature four Miami students who went from the freedom of college life to re-learning how to live with their families.
Signs from the Butler County Progressive Political Action Committee.

Family stays together, separate at same time

The Shrieve family comes together for breakfast and dinner. Besides a few movie nights together, family members maintain alone time to feel like life is normal. One sister is teaching classes and preparing for a new job in North Carolina, while another works on college courses from Miami.
Signs from the Butler County Progressive Political Action Committee.

Crowded kitchen becomes family gathering place

The Freimark family loves to watch mother Michele cook, but at times all she wants is some peace without everyone around. But family members gravitate to that most busy place in their Cincinnati house, including their two daughters, who like to bake after dinner to relieve stress.

Signs from the Butler County Progressive Political Action Committee.

Family plans and prepares meals together

From grocery shopping to preparing food in the kitchen, COVID-19 has shifted the way families eat together. The Grosel family talks about their new way of living and how their kitchen has changed. The family now has a process to plan and make dinner during quarantine.

Signs from the Butler County Progressive Political Action Committee.

Blended family makes adjustments in isolation

The Davis- Landgraf family became blended when the parents married in 2017. The quarantine has disrupted the groove of their lives. Between the five teenagers, two adults and three pets in the  household in Concord, Ohio, there is never a quiet moment. But with puzzles, walks and movie nights, the family tries to replicate parts of their old lives.

Local Kiwanis Club members help to restock Oxford food pantry

The Kiwanis Club of Oxford is making efforts to help restock TOPPS food pantry amid COVID-19 needs. After canceling Oxford’s Annual Kiwanis Pancake Day, where money for kids in the community is raised, the club seeks to make a difference in an alternative way. Food is dropped off at a Kiwanis member’s house with no contact delivery and a food drive will be held May 7 at the TOPPS pantry.

News Briefs

Oxford relaxes sign regulations to help businesses

The City of Oxford has relaxed temporary sign regulations in non-residential zoning districts in order to provide assistance to the private sector in economic recovery and security, according to City Manager Douglas Elliott. 

Such signs include banners, flags, for sale/rent signs and construction signs.

Previously, temporary sign regulations prohibited the use of certain types of signs. Special event signs could not be installed for more than 14 days, and no more than six times in a calendar year. They could be no larger than 30 square feet in a non-residential district and no more than 16 square feet in a residential zoning district. The signs were to be installed against a flat surface or anchored to two pillars. According Elliott, the change is in the flexibility of type of sign, size, placement, and length of time. For a complete list of the temporary sign regulations visit: https://codelibrary.amlegal.com/codes/oxford/latest/oxford_oh/0-0-0-26839#JD_Chapter1151

While regulations are being relaxed to respond to economic hardships resulting from the COVID-19 shutdowns, signs are to be maintained and monitored to avoid the risk of them blowing away, or washing away into the storm drains, according to the city. The Police Chief, City Manager and Community Development Director will retain authority to administer sign regulations when necessary. No permits are required for temporary signs.

If you have questions call the community development office (513) 524-5204 or email commdev@cityofoxford.org.

Oxford parks create at-home entertainment

Looking for something to do while staying at home?

The Oxford Parks and Recreation Department has a YouTube channel with activities to keep you amused. This includes cooking activities as well as do it yourself (DIY) crafts.

Check it out!

The Oxford Parks and Recreation offers YouTube presentations. Photo courtesy of the Oxford Parks and Recreation


Miami moves 2020 graduation online

Miami University has postponed its in-person graduation ceremony for 2020 graduates to September of this year. In the meantime, the university will have a virtual graduation on the originally scheduled date, May 16.

In an email sent out to graduating seniors, Miami’s President Gregory Crawford said the May celebration will be a “dynamic, immersive, event.” The virtual graduation is designed to honor Miami’s 2020 graduates, and showcase their Miami Experience. It can be enjoyed by friends, family, and alumni at home and across the world. 

“As a graduating student, you will be able to interact with each other and with faculty, during a mixed reality commencement ceremony accessible by computer, mobile device, or a VR headset,” Crawford said.

Police experience increased calls for social distancing violations

As the end of the Miami University spring semester nears, students are returning to Oxford to move their belongings out of rented properties and many are violating social distancing orders when they do.

Oxford Police Lt. Lara Fening said police have seen an increase in calls for social distancing violations. Police receives more calls on days with warmer weather, she said, but OPD has evaluated each case independently based on the number of residents.

Police has not written citations for violating Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine's stay-at-home order, but OPD has been citing for more traditional reasons such as littering or noise complaints. When it comes to large groups of people gathering, "We counsel them on what needs to be done," said Fening.

As Miami's intended (now postponed) graduation weekend nears, OPD is planning to educate the community on the dangers of holding graduation parties during the current pandemic. Through social media and proactive efforts by their officers, OPD hopes to prevent pre-planned parties.

"We are all affected universally by this," she said. "This isn't solely going to penalize a college student."

Dunwoody Road to close four days this week

Dunwoody Road in Reily Township will be closed for four days beginning Monday, May 4, for culvert repairs, according to the Butler County Engineer’s Office.

The closing will run from five feet east of North Weaver Road and 1.2 miles west of OH 732. Eastbound traffic should detour north on North Weaver Road, east on Peoria Reily Road, East on Main Street and south on OH 732. Westbound traffic should reverse the route, according to the engineer’s office.

Friday, April 24th, 2020


International students donate masks to Oxford Police

Signs from the Butler County Progressive Political Action Committee.
6,000 masks were donated to Oxford Police, teachers, health workers and students by the families of Chinese students. With lock-downs in place globally, many international students at Miami have not been able to leave town and go home yet. Hundreds of Chinese students remain on campus and this motivated the families to help the community during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Signs from the Butler County Progressive Political Action Committee.

Council considers tree ordinance and Arbor Day

Oxford city council is continuing to meet virtually. Tuesday's meeting focused heavily on trees prior to Arbor Day on April 24. The meeting also discussed the number of COVID-19 cases in Oxford. According to the Mcullough Hyde hospital president, the hospital has had 31 positive tests and one death.
Rick Ludwin

Residents can compost dog waste with special bag

Oxford’s Food Scrap Recycling Program, created in 2019 to help residents reduce their environmental impact by offering to collect compostable food waste, could do even more to keep trash out of landfills. With the addition of compostable bags available in the Oxford area, pet owners will have the option to compost their dog’s waste.

Miami cancels Earth Day celebrations, plans event for October

Miami University’s President, Gregory Crawford, canceled celebrations of Earth Day and the signing of the carbon neutrality act. Crawford felt that it would not be a great time to celebrate the signing of the carbon neutrality act due to the lack of the attention it would get during the coronavirus shut-down. With different ways to celebrate, Earth Week went to virtual celebrations.

Signs from the Butler County Progressive Political Action Committee.

Miami mourns loss of legendary skating coach

Former Miami skating coach, Vicki Korn, died April 9 at the age of 62. Her 25 years in Oxford played a large role in developing women’s skating, not only in the local area, but nationwide. Her legacy lives on through the program she shaped at Miami and the numerous championship titles she helped bring to the school.
Guest Column
Signs from the Butler County Progressive Political Action Committee.

Senior communities battle coronavirus every day

Infection preventionist Aaron Steckman writes about the daily battle against coronavirus.  He is working with two senior living communities' staffs to try to keep residents safe. So far, they have been extremely successful, preventing any cases in both facilities.

News Briefs

Oxford Community asked to document pandemic experiences

The Walter Havighurst Special Collections and University Archives is asking for members of the Miami community and Oxford area to keep journals and write about their experiences during the COVID-19 pandemic in an effort to archive history.  

Diaries and journals have been used by many fields of study to research history and gain firsthand accounts. Miami librarian Rachel Makarowski said a project like this goes beyond written records as mundane activities become notable.

Participants are welcomed to write by hand, transcribe news, draw memes and compose poems. Family and friends can be recorded and interviewed for journals at the permission of the interviewee. Participants are asked to fill out this form to receive additional information on the submission process.

Local residents can give back by donating blood

The Community Blood Center, 349 S. Main St., Dayton, which supplies McCullough-Hyde Memorial Hospital in Oxford, advises area residents that one way to help out during a public health emergency is to give blood.

Blood Banks are always in need of blood to keep up their community supply, according to the center. Potential donors are asked to visit the center’s website to find the nearest blood drive and to call to schedule an appointment to donate. Donors are strongly encouraged to make an appointment in order for the donation center and blood drives to maintain social distancing and allow for efficient blood collection.

Miami issues refunds to students due to COVID-19 outbreak

Miami University is sending out refunds to its students due to the university ending its in-person classes for the rest of the academic school year. The university announced it is refunding a total of $27 million in room, board and other student fees.

Students are now finishing out the semester learning remotely by online instruction. The university sent an email out to students encouraging them to make sure they are registered for "RedHawk Refunds." Students must make sure their direct deposits are set up correctly.

Reimbursements are currently being processed and students will receive them through direct deposit.

Deadline nears for voting by mail in Ohio

Ohio voters have until midnight April 27 to mail in their absentee ballots for the state’s delayed primary election. Ballots may be dropped off in person to the county Board of Elections until 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, April 28.

Election Day, originally scheduled for March 17, was cancelled as a public health measure to avoid crowded polling places as part of the state measures to combat spread of the coronavirus. The Ohio Legislature then extended absentee balloting to April 1. There will be no in-person voting at polling places for the primary.

Applications from Oxford residents seeking absentee ballots must be received by the Butler County Board of Elections by noon Saturday, April 25. Voters can download an application for an absentee ballot here, or pick one up at the Kroger on S. Locust St. Applications must be completed and mailed to:

Butler County Board of Elections

1802 Princeton Rd. Ste. 600

Hamilton, Ohio 45011

More information is available on the board of elections’ website, by sending an email to Butler@OhioSOS.gov, or by phone at 513-887-3700.

Red Brick Run to be held virtually this weekend

The 41st Annual Red Brick Run is taking place this weekend, though it will have a different spin on it this year in the midst of the coronavirus.

Last year’s 5k Red Brick Run featured runners crowded together on the sidewalks and streets of Oxford. Photo Courtesy of Miami University.

If interested, runners can register online and send in a video of them running a 5K from wherever they are spending their quarantine. Interested participants can do their race anytime between April 25 and April 30.  

“Enjoy spring’s beauty — at a safe distance from others. Laugh a little. Exercise is good, too,” Crawford said in an email regarding the race.

For more information, visit the race’s website.

Local schools provide meals to district’s students

In the past five weeks, Talawanda School District has distributed 23,160 meals to the district’s students, who remain home during the shutdown of schools because of the coronavirus pandemic. 

At the April 20 meeting of the school board, district spokesperson Holli Morrish said the meals, including breakfasts and lunches, are distributed at a network of 12 sites throughout the district and are available to any students of the district, no matter what age or grade. Location of the sites and distribution times can be found on the district’s blog.

These meals replace meals the students would have been served if the schools were still in regular session.

Morrish thanked the more than 70 staff and volunteers who prepare, pack and distribute the meals. The distributions will continue throughout the school year. She also thanked the St. Mary’s Church BackPack Program, which has distributed 1,369 weekend snack packs.

Oxford's streets are empty as campus, schools remain closed

Streets and parks remained eerily empty as Oxford and the rest of Ohio practiced a fifth week of social distancing, with all but essential workers staying at home and students and workers studying and doing their tasks remotely.

High Street in Oxford, usually bustling with pedestrians and cars, was deserted on a beautiful Saturday, April 18. Photo by Richard Campbell.


Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine has announced that schools will remain closed for face-to-face classes for the rest of the academic year but said he hopes to begin lifting other restrictions on May 1.

Local parks are open for walkers but playground equipment remains off-limits in Leonard Howell Park, just east of Yager Stadium. Photo by Richard Campbell.


Friday, April 17th, 2020


Oxford city leaders unify citizens during COVID-19

Signs from the Butler County Progressive Political Action Committee.
The civic leaders of Oxford are being faced with a nontraditional emergency-- a national pandemic. City leaders are working to lessen the impact of the shutdown and stimulate the economy. Police Chief John Jones is enforcing social distancing and all Oxford city leaders are  expressing pride in the city's response.  


Signs from the Butler County Progressive Political Action Committee.

Schools honor late treasurer with 'respect ride'

The Talawanda School District and Oxford community are mourning the loss of district treasurer Mike Davis, who passed away last week due to coronavirus complications. The district organized a “respect ride” Thursday, with community members driving past the Davis home to honor him and pay respects to the family.


Masks
Signs from the Butler County Progressive Political Action Committee.

How to sew your own mask at home

The CDC recommends wearing masks in public places. Due to short supply, many people can’t purchase masks. This tutorial serves as a guide to make a homemade mask.



Signs from the Butler County Progressive Political Action Committee.

Oxford resident donates homemade mask extenders to local hospitals

Working with a small 3D-printer, retired Miami University administrator Ralph Gutowski produced an add-on improvement for 75 medical masks this week that he donated to McCullough-Hyde Memorial Hospital.

Study now says masks help protect you in public

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention now recommends Americans wear masks when they go out in public during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Rick Ludwin

Miami athletes stay connected through TikTok

Miami student athletes are garnering social media attention by making TikTok videos during the COVID-19 pandemic. Both the football team and field hockey teams created videos and posted them on the teams' Twitter pages.

Lockdown: Miami goes virtual, Oxford looks to summer events

Both Miami University and the city of Oxford are going virtual amid shutdowns and social distancing efforts. The Enjoy Oxford website is updated with information about city events and initiatives.
Signs from the Butler County Progressive Political Action Committee.

Farmers Market open amid coronavirus outbreak

The Oxford Farmers Market will remain open to provide local residents with fresh produce and other locally-made goods during the virus outbreak. Market organizers have begun implementing changes to make the market safe for the community.
Letter to the Editor

City residents appreciate reporting during pandemic

This letter extends a thank you to staff members at the Oxford Observer working during this health emergency.

News Briefs

Oxford relaxes sign regulations to help businesses

The City of Oxford has relaxed temporary sign regulations in non-residential zoning districts in order to provide assistance to the private sector in economic recovery and security, according to City Manager Douglas Elliott. 

Such signs include banners, flags, for sale/rent signs and construction signs.

Previously, temporary sign regulations prohibited the use of certain types of signs. Special event signs could not be installed for more than 14 days, and no more than six times in a calendar year. They could be no larger than 30 square feet in a non-residential district and no more than 16 square feet in a residential zoning district. The signs were to be installed against a flat surface or anchored to two pillars. According Elliott, the change is in the flexibility of type of sign, size, placement, and length of time. For a complete list of the temporary sign regulations visit: https://codelibrary.amlegal.com/codes/oxford/latest/oxford_oh/0-0-0-26839#JD_Chapter1151

While regulations are being relaxed to respond to economic hardships resulting from the COVID-19 shutdowns, signs are to be maintained and monitored to avoid the risk of them blowing away, or washing away into the storm drains, according to the city. The Police Chief, City Manager and Community Development Director will retain authority to administer sign regulations when necessary. No permits are required for temporary signs.

If you have questions call the community development office (513) 524-5204 or email commdev@cityofoxford.org.

Oxford parks create at-home entertainment

Looking for something to do while staying at home?

The Oxford Parks and Recreation Department has a YouTube channel with activities to keep you amused. This includes cooking activities as well as do it yourself (DIY) crafts.

Check it out!

The Oxford Parks and Recreation offers YouTube presentations. Photo courtesy of the Oxford Parks and Recreation


Miami moves 2020 graduation online

Miami University has postponed its in-person graduation ceremony for 2020 graduates to September of this year. In the meantime, the university will have a virtual graduation on the originally scheduled date, May 16.

In an email sent out to graduating seniors, Miami’s President Gregory Crawford said the May celebration will be a “dynamic, immersive, event.” The virtual graduation is designed to honor Miami’s 2020 graduates, and showcase their Miami Experience. It can be enjoyed by friends, family, and alumni at home and across the world. 

“As a graduating student, you will be able to interact with each other and with faculty, during a mixed reality commencement ceremony accessible by computer, mobile device, or a VR headset,” Crawford said.

Police experience increased calls for social distancing violations

As the end of the Miami University spring semester nears, students are returning to Oxford to move their belongings out of rented properties and many are violating social distancing orders when they do.

Oxford Police Lt. Lara Fening said police have seen an increase in calls for social distancing violations. Police receives more calls on days with warmer weather, she said, but OPD has evaluated each case independently based on the number of residents.

Police has not written citations for violating Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine's stay-at-home order, but OPD has been citing for more traditional reasons such as littering or noise complaints. When it comes to large groups of people gathering, "We counsel them on what needs to be done," said Fening.

As Miami's intended (now postponed) graduation weekend nears, OPD is planning to educate the community on the dangers of holding graduation parties during the current pandemic. Through social media and proactive efforts by their officers, OPD hopes to prevent pre-planned parties.

"We are all affected universally by this," she said. "This isn't solely going to penalize a college student."

Dunwoody Road to close four days this week

Dunwoody Road in Reily Township will be closed for four days beginning Monday, May 4, for culvert repairs, according to the Butler County Engineer’s Office.

The closing will run from five feet east of North Weaver Road and 1.2 miles west of OH 732. Eastbound traffic should detour north on North Weaver Road, east on Peoria Reily Road, East on Main Street and south on OH 732. Westbound traffic should reverse the route, according to the engineer’s office.

Friday, April 10th, 2020
Religion

Easter services to be celebrated remotely this year

With churches and other religious buildings closed due to the COVID-19 outbreak, pastors and congregations are adapting to the situation. For many congregations, Easter will be celebrated with live streams or recorded services.

Families find unique ways to celebrate holidays virtually

Passover, Easter and Ramadan are all religious observances that the faithful usually celebrate together. But this year, amid the coronavirus pandemic, Oxford families  are staying home and making creative plans. But, for some families, the concerns for the health of loved ones is making celebrating difficult.
Signs from the Butler County Progressive Political Action Committee.

Listing of churches with Easter services

Due to COVID-19, many traditional Easter services will not take place. Churches in Oxford have switched their services to be virtual so you can still worship on this holiday. This story includes new times and information on how to stream the services.



The Ohio Department of Health and Gov. Mike DeWine continue to post updates on cases of the coronavirus.

Signs from the Butler County Progressive Political Action Committee.

Meeting format changes as council moves online

Despite the COVID-19 outbreak ending nearly all gatherings and face-to-face meetings, Oxford City Council still has work to do. The council met virtually to discuss possible changes stemming from the virus. The online meetings are still open to the public. The city created a  a small business stimulus program that will  money into the economy by donating $200,000 the Oxford Community Improvement Corporation (CIC) Board to buy gift cards from local businesses.


Educators learn to adjust to remote teaching online

In-person academics throughout most of the United States has been canceled for the remainder of the school year, forcing educators to teach using online platforms. Teachers are learning how to overcome challenges and still provide a learning environment.
Signs from the Butler County Progressive Political Action Committee.

Restaurants change strategy amid pandemic

Some restaurants are completely closed. Others remain open for takeout only. Amid the health concerns and stay-at-home orders, various restaurants are making tough decisions as business declines.


Local non-profits come together to create response fund

Butler County United Way, Hamilton Community Foundation, United Way of Warren County and Warren County Foundation are joining together to create a COVID-19 response fund. The fund is projected to raise over $300,000 and targeted to benefit those greatly affected by the virus. Donations can be made on the Butler County United Way website.

Oxford Police face new challenges during virus outbreak

As new rules and guidelines about life during the COVID-19 outbreak are implemented, the Oxford Police Department is taking steps to ensure the safety of both the community and its officers. In addition to a new online system where people can report minor incidents, the OPD has also been tasked with ensuring Oxford residents follow social distancing protocols. However, the department hasn’t yet cited anyone for social distancing violations.

Kroger adapts to social distancing guidelines in its stores

The Oxford Kroger and stores across the nation have put an emphasis on health and safety as they adapt to social distancing guidelines. Kroger has decided to limit its store to 50% of its regular capacity. Other changes include expanding delivery services and supplying essential workers with gloves and masks.

News Briefs

Absentee ballot applications to be available at Kroger

The Butler County Board of Elections announced a partnership with Kroger to make absentee ballot applications available to local shoppers. The Kroger in Oxford, 300 S. Locust St., is participating and applications are available at the store’s customer service desk.

The ballot applications are available for the 2020 Presidential Primary Election and must be received by the Board by noon on Saturday, April 25. Mailed ballots must be postmarked no later than April 27.

There is a ballot drop box outside the Board of Elections, 1802 Princeton Road, Hamilton, Ohio, that is available 24 hours a day until April 28. For more information, visit https://elections.bcohio.us or call 513-887-3700.



Oxford Kiwanis Club cancels pancake day

The Oxford Kiwanis annual Pancake Day, the major fundraising event for the charitable group that supports many causes around Oxford, is another victim of the coronavirus, the organization announced this week.

Originally scheduled for Saturday, April 25, at Talawanda High School, the event has been canceled because of the Centers for Disease Control guidelines warning against large group gatherings to prevent the spread of the virus.

The Oxford Kiwanis Club has cancelled its annual Pancake Day fundraiser because of the coronavirus. The event has been an Oxford institution since 1957.

“It is the right move given the COVID-19 Virus and all the uncertainty it has created. We want to keep everyone safe and healthy while following CDC guidelines!” the Kiwanis club said in announcing the cancelation.

A local tradition since 1957,  the event has sold thousands of pancakes each year to raise money that the Kiwanis donates to a wide range of educational, recreational and social groups and causes around the city.

The organization said it will be sending letters to all businesses that already have donated to the event asking for donations to help keep those programs funded – even without the pancakes.

More information is available at www.OxfordKiwanis.org and donations can be mailed to: Kiwanis Club of Oxford, P.O. Box 7, Oxford, OH 45056.


Annual red brick run takes place online

The 41st Annual Red Brick Run will still  take place, despite restrictions coming from the outbreak of COVID-19, but it won’t be the traditional race.

According to an email sent out by Miami President Greg Crawford, the yearly 5K held to support the Amber Volk Foundation and scholarships that stem from it, participants can send in videos of themselves running or walking a 5K from anywhere. Interested runners can register online.

“Enjoy spring’s beauty — at a safe distance from others. Laugh a little. Exercise is good, too,” Crawford said in the email.

To participate, runners or walkers can do their 5k anytime from April 25 through 30 and upload their video. For more information, visit the race’s website.

Oxford residents encouraged to sign up for emergency text alerts

The City of Oxford is urging residents to sign up for Nixle emergency text alerts. Nixle will alert residents of road closures, traffic issues, weather statements, active police/fire department event information and health and safety alerts.

Alerts can be sent via text or email. Residents can sign up here to receive alerts for the city of Oxford.
Residents can also sign up to receive alerts from the Butler County Sheriff's Department.

Ohio applauds essential workers during COVID-19 on Fridays

Ohio invites residents to walk outside with their neighbors and community members – at a safe distance -- to cheer for essential workers who are still being asked to work amid the COVID-19 pandemic. 

The cheers and noise are scheduled to begin at 7 p.m. every Friday for two minutes to honor these workers. These essential workers include healthcare workers, grocery store employees, police officers, firefighters, restaurant employees for carry-out and more. It is suggested to share this event with as many people from Ohio as possible.

The #WeClapBecauseWeCare has been seen all around the U.S. and has been trending on Twitter in many states. The trend began in New York when residents stepped onto their apartment balcony to clap at 7 pm on Friday to honor those on the frontlines. New York has the largest number of cases of COVID-19 at 80,204 cases as of April 8. 20,474 cases have been hospitalized and 4,260 cases have recovered.


Changes at Oxford Community Park comply with new regulations

A new sign went up at the basketball courts in Oxford Community Park this week, announcing the just as playground equipment for younger children are closed to use during the coronavirus pandemic, so are the courts which may be used by older children and adults. 

Basketball courts count as playgrounds during the coronavirus pandemic, and thus are closed in Oxford Community Park. Photo by Susan Coffin


To emphasize the point, city workers removed the hoops from the basketball backboards.

The park’s paths and trails remain open to those who want to walk for exercise, as long as they maintain a safe distance of six feet between each other.

City workers removed the hoops from the backboards to keep people from using the basketball courts at Oxford Community Park during the coronavirus pandemic. Photo by Susan Coffin


Friday, April 3rd, 2020

Oxford community adjusts to virus by going virtual

Signs from the Butler County Progressive Political Action Committee.
COVID-19 has sparked changes to the Oxford community. From parks to the area’s workforce and schools, significant modifications have been made to promote social distancing and help mitigate the pandemic. As a result, community engagement has gone virtual.


Signs from the Butler County Progressive Political Action Committee.

Students leaving early hurts local businesses

Miami University closing amid the coronavirus pandemic has negatively affected Oxford’s economy. Many local businesses are declining due to a lack of demand provided by students who left before the semester was over.
 The city is looking to assist these small businesses and attract customers.

Signs from the Butler County Progressive Political Action Committee.

Kids come together to raise money for charity

Several local elementary schoolers have begun making and selling crafts to the community in an effort to raise money for charity. Titled “The Bunny Group,” the students came up with the idea on their own in the hopes of helping other kids.

Voters should request Ohio primary ballots through mail

The Ohio Legislature made the decision to eliminate in-person voting for the Ohio primary election. Ballots must be requested until April 25. Ballots must be postmarked by Monday April 27.

Students going home poses new challenge for census in Oxford

In the wake of COVID-19, many students left campus and returned to their hometowns. Meanwhile, this year’s federal census is underway. Local organizations are adapting to new challenges to account for students.

Local school board goes virtual after passage of new Ohio law

As the state of Ohio implements new requirements for the way that people do their jobs and conduct business, schools continue to adjust to the changes. That includes Talawanda, which recently made the decision to hold Board of Education meetings live online in order to keep board members and community members safe.

News Briefs

Miami University helps flatten the curve of COVID-19

By social distancing, Americans are helping flatten the curve of COVID-19 by lessening the number of individuals who come into contact with others. The CDC recommends to clean and disinfect highly touched surfaces throughout the day to fight against the virus. Highly touched surfaces include door knobs, tables, chairs, light switches, laptops, phones, remote controls, sinks and toilets.

If a person is ill, it is recommended to routinely clean high-touch surfaces in your “sick room” and bathroom, and to allow someone else to clean the common areas outside of those designated rooms. Most household disinfectants are safe to use during this time.

The CDC recommends using gloves while cleaning and to reuse the gloves only for cleaning. Surfaces should be cleaned free of dirt before using disinfectant. The EPA has released a list of disinfectants that will help to kill COVID-19. A bleach solution can also be prepared by using 5 tablespoons of bleach per gallon of water or 4 teaspoons of bleach per quart of water. Alcohol based wipes are recommended for electronics with at least 70% of alcohol for disinfection. Use gloves when handling a sick person’s laundry and be sure not to shake the laundry when handling.

The best preventative measure to combat the virus is to continue frequent handwashing and to avoid touching eyes, nose and mouth. It is recommended to wash your hands after coughing or sneezing, preparing or eating food, after contact with animals and before providing routine care for someone.

Johns Hopkins Medicine states it is not necessary to wear a mask if a person does not have a respiratory illness. People with the virus on their hands can also still touch their face even if they wear a mask. It is not advised to stock up on masks and it is recommended to donate N95 masks to hospitals who take care of respiratory illness patients.

Miami University donated personal protection equipment to health care facilities. The university labs donated 125,000 gloves and 750 goggles. Art studios were able to collect 196 N95 respirators. Research and innovation were able to gather 3,130 surgical masks, 1,100 surgical caps, 782 goggles and 216 N95 respirators.


Some recreational activities still available during the quarantine

Though Oxford residents, along with the rest of Ohio, are currently hunkered down at home due to the stay-at-home order instated by Gov. Mike DeWine, options remain open to pass the time around the Oxford area.

According to the order, heading outside to get some fresh air is permissible, as long as social distancing is followed. Most parks around the state remain open while playgrounds have been closed down to contain the spread of the virus.

Activities that are available in the Oxford area include the following:

Hueston Woods State Park: All trails, forests and nature parks remain open. For a map of trails to check out, click here.

Oxford Area Trails: Routes including the covered bridge, the bluffs by Peffer Park and much more are all free and open to the public. For more information on the Oxford area trails, click here.

Oxford Community Park: Though the playsets are closed, paths, baseball fields and soccer fields at Oxford Community Park are open.

While most of the city is shut down to curb the spread of COVID-19, family groups are still permitted to walk the Oxford Area Trails and paths in Oxford Community Park. Walkers must remain at least six feet apart unless they are in family groups like this one. Photo by Susan Coffin.


For more information regarding recreational opportunities for Oxford residents during quarantine, go to the Oxford Parks and Recreation website.

Community organizations support residents during the quarantine

As the COVID-19 outbreak continues to keep Oxford residents at home, community organizations are finding new ways to support those in need in safe ways.

Talawanda Oxford Pantry & Social Services, or TOPSS, has made a few changes to its services to support social distancing. Rather than the choice model that allowed customers to shop for themselves at the pantry, volunteers are shopping for customers and bringing them out to the customers or delivering food to them in their homes to respect social distancing.

TOPSS serves more than 100 families per week.  The center is asking for personal items and food donations. These can be delivered to the pantry, 400 W. Withrow St.,  from noon to 5 p.m., Wednesday through Sunday. If anyone in the community wishes to volunteer to pack boxes, sort donations or make deliveries, they can email Director Ann Fuehrer at director@topss.org.

For elderly members of the community, Oxford Seniors’ Meals on Wheels program is continuing deliveries of a week’s worth of frozen meals to its current patrons. Oxford Seniors is extending its services to any older Oxford adult in need. Due to the scope of the recent closures, normal eligibility rules have been relaxed.

Beyond groceries, Oxford Seniors also offers prescription pick-up and delivery, as well as other essential item deliveries. For those who can shop for themselves, but need assistance with transportation, volunteer drivers are able to pick up one resident, or a couple living together, to take them to Kroger during its senior shopping hours Monday through Thursday. Most volunteer vehicles are wheelchair accessible. For these volunteer driver services, the program is asking residents to schedule in advance by calling the senior center, or 513-523-1717.

The Meals on Wheels program is also thinking ahead. Should their new normal delivery routine be interrupted, the volunteer staff recently created boxes of ingredients that can be used to make up to 14 lunches if needed.

Both community organizations have seen an increase in donations since the start of this crisis and encourage donations to be made directly or through St. Mary's BackPack Program.


Lane Library has Teen Writing Contest during the isolation

Lane Library is offering online activities and contests to cure the cabin fever many people may be feeling during this time of isolation.

From now until April 30, the library will be accepting the short story and poetry entries from teens ages 12 to 18, as a part of its Teen Writing Contest. Entries will be separated into two categories, ages 12 to 14 and 15 to 18. The entries must be typed, double spaced and sent as a pdf, Google document, or Word document in an email attachment. There is a limit to one poem or short story per person, and an entry cannot exceed 2,000 words or five pages, according to the Library website. The work must be original and not previously published. Prizes will be awarded to each age category.

  • First Prize: $25 Amazon gift card
  • Second Prize: $15 Amazon gift card
  • Third Prize: $10 Amazon gift card

Submissions must be emailed as an attachment to teenswrite@lanepl.org. Participants should receive a “thank-you” email within 48 hours of their submission. Participants can contact Celeste Swanson (c.swanson@lanepl.org) with any questions or concerns.

An awards ceremony is planned for 6 p.m. May 16, at the Hamilton Lane Public Library.

Some transportation services to stop during online class period

The Annex apartment complex, 1562 Magnolia Dr., which caters to Miami University students, sent out an email letting residents know it has canceled shuttle service between the complex and the campus through the summer.

"In trying times, doing the right thing is often the hardest but this will not only limit the opportunity of exposure to you as our residents, but our drivers as well," the Scion Group, owner of the apartments, said in the message. "The overall well-being of everyone must be the priority." The Scion Group is the group that owns the complex.  

Shuttle service will recommence in the fall when in-class lectures begin. The full fall schedule will be released in late July, according to the message.

The Lime scooters, which are used by many in Oxford, will be winding down and pausing services in all markets except for South Korea. "Lime continues to closely monitor developments around the world and remains in coordination with health and regulatory authorities in more than 25 countries," CEO Brad Bao said on the company website.

Lime said it has enhanced its cleaning methods and increased the frequency of cleaning and disinfecting its scooters. It is distributing hand sanitizer in all its offices and warehouses and all mechanics and operators in the field are required to wear gloves and wash their hands regularly, the site said.

Some transportation services remain in operation.

Executive Transportation, a limousine operator that provides service to Oxford, remains open for business. "We are here for you and open for business," president Tammy Bravo said. "During this time, we know many of you have concerns. Your health and safety is our top priority, and we are following strict cleaning procedures for your protection."

The Uber website states that "a company that moves people is asking you to not move." They encourage their customers to stop moving.  They are also pledging 10 million free rides and deliveries of food for frontline healthcare workers, seniors and people in need around the world.

Their website provides information for drivers and delivery people. These include cleaning supplies for your car, "Leave at door" delivery, supporting public health authorities, etc.



LaRosa’s Buddy Card sales to benefit its employees

LaRosa’s Family Pizzerias announced a new program Friday that will provide financial relief to its employees during the coronavirus pandemic while offering a promotion to its customers.

LaRosa’s, founded by Buddy LaRosa in 1954, has 65 pizzerias throughout Greater Cincinnati, including one in Oxford. Like all other restaurants in Ohio, LaRosa’s dining rooms and bars have been closed since mid-March, under the state order banning group gatherings in an effort to stem the spread of the virus. LaRosa’s continues to fill carryout and delivery orders, but about 4,000 of its employees have been affected by the dining room closures, according to a company press release.

The new program is selling $10 LaRosa gift cards, known as “Buddy Cards,” with 100% of the proceeds going to the affected workers. The LaRosa family started the relief fund with a $100,000 donation and will match the customer purchases of the card up to $250,000, according to the press release

The cards may be purchased at a LaRosa’s or online.

“This is just the right thing to do,” Michael LaRosa, CEO of LaRosa’s, Inc., said in the release.  “We are going to get through this together and that means all of us helping in any way we can.”

The Buddy Card is a popular promotion that has helped hundreds of groups and organizations to raise funds who have sold them over the past nearly 30 years. It features 14 ‘buy-one large pizza and get a large cheese pizza free’ offers for pick up and dining in, and is valid for a year.

Now until LaRosa’s dining rooms open again, customers can use any active Buddy Card -- newly purchased or one that is months old -- just like they usually do. LaRosa’s will not deduct any other offers from the Buddy Card, the company said.

Local yoga business holds online exercises during pandemic

While everyone is cooped up because of coronavirus restrictions limiting group gatherings, Root Yoga, 22 W. Park Place, Oxford, offers a way to exercise and relieve stress from home. The studio hosts daily live yoga sessions on its Facebook page, all of which are free and available to anyone.

Root’s instructors are volunteering their time to teach these online classes. However, the Root website lists several ways patrons can donate to maintain studio expenses while it remains shut down. The classes range from 45 to 60 minutes, and the class schedule is available on the website.

Root was founded in 2015, and has 1,200 followers on its Facebook page. Wednesday’s free, online session attracted 200 views, according to the company.

Friday, March 20th, 2020
CORONAVIRUS
Signs from the Butler County Progressive Political Action Committee.

Oxford hospital has first positive test of Covid-19

 McCullough-Hyde Hospital has had its first case of novel coronavirus. Ohio Governor, Mike DeWine, is taking unprecedented action to help control the spread, including postponing Ohio's primary election and closing bars and restaurants.

Oxford officials adjust services due to coronavirus outbreak

Oxford city council is taking serious precautions to protect themselves and Oxford residents during the coronavirus health crisis. Tuesday will be the last day for Oxford city officials to meet in person. For the time being, all council meetings will be held online for the public to view. The Oxford Fire Department and Police Department are also taking serious precautions for safety reasons. All public events have been canceled through April 6.
Signs from the Butler County Progressive Political Action Committee.

Talawanda Schools helps children with food insecurity get food

While school is no longer in session due to coronavirus safety precautions, Talawanda School District is providing meal kits for children in the Oxford community. Its Summer                                                                      Harvest Program began earlier this week. Meals on Wheels will also continue to service                                                                      its recipients.


Oxford businesses suffer financially from sudden closures

Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine has modified many regulations to help deal with the COVID-19 outbreak. Any location with the possibility of having over 10 people inside has shut down. In Oxford, where many affected locations are small businesses, owners are beginning to wonder if they will be able to recover or if the shutdown will force them out of business permanently.

Local churches live-stream services amid health crisis

Local houses of worship have canceled weekly meetings due to COVID-19. However, religious congregations remain active in the Oxford community. They have modified the traditional church model by sending out cards, making phone calls and holding small prayer services.

International students face tough choices: Stay or go home

When Miami University gave students a five day notice to move out of dorms or apply to stay, international students were faced with a tough choice. Uncertainty surrounds both options. Students do not know when they will return to Oxford if they leave, but if they stay they do not know when they will next return home, either.
Letter to Community

Miami faculty denounces rhetoric by president: Viruses know no borders

Miami University's Global and Intercultural Studies Department has written a letter to students and the community addressing and denouncing President Trump's rhetoric toward the novel coronavirus.

Signs from the Butler County Progressive Political Action Committee.

Pandemic changes primary election date

Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine pushed the state primary election back from March 17 to June 2, to slow the spread of the coronavirus. Eric Corbin, deputy director of the Butler County Board of Elections, believes the later date may lower voter counts. Others think county results may change due to students being absent from Oxford.




News Briefs

Oxford Observer takes one week off for spring break

The Oxford Observer is taking a one-week break starting March 23, the week of Miami University’s spring break. 

The Observer’s news staff consists of Miami students, so while they are on a break, we will be also.

We will return with our regular weekly posting on Friday, April 3. In the meantime, keep sending your comments, press releases and news tips to Oxfordobservereditor@gmail.com.



Walmart and Kroger adjust hours during coronavirus pandemic

The supermarkets that provide basic staples and medicines to shoppers in Oxford and around the country are altering operations as people seek to stock up paper products, cleaning supplies and hand sanitizer as concerns over the coronavirus pandemic intensifies.

Residents have been crowding supermarkets to buy groceries amid fears of a spreading epidemic and shortages after President Trump declared a national emergency on March 13.

Kroger and Walmart are struggling to keep up with the demand for paper products and cleaning supplies. Both chains, which have stores in Oxford, began implementing purchase limits on key products and adjusting their operating hours on Thursday, March 19. The adjusted operating hours will give employees time to restock the shelves and sanitize the stores every evening, according to the company websites.

Walmart’s US stores’ daily hours now are 7 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. Every Tuesday, Walmart stores will host an hour-long senior shopping experience for customers aged 60 and older, from March 24 to April 28. This will begin one hour before the store opens.

Due to high demand, Walmart is limiting purchases of cases of water, toilet paper, disinfectant spray, disinfectant wipes and hand sanitizer to one of each item at a time.

Kroger’s new daily hours are 7 a.m. to 9.p.m. and the store will provide extra hand sanitizer at cashier stations and food service counters. Residents can buy up to three paper products and cleaning supplies per order in Kroger.

“We believe that everyone deserves to have access to fresh, affordable food and essentials, especially in times of uncertainty. That’s why our teams are working so hard to keep our stores clean, open and stocked,” according to Kroger’s official website.

City Council makes parking free for the foreseeable future

Oxford City Council approved a resolution Tuesday to make Uptown parking free for the foreseeable future. This is an effort to encourage Oxford residents to visit the restaurants remaining open for take out and delivery services throughout the COVID-19 outbreak.

The two hour time limit will still be enforced during this period, therefore Uptown employees are encouraged to park on side streets to leave the free spots open for potential customers. Council members said they hope this will help support the local businesses during the governor-decreed shutdown.

 Parking will be free at Uptown meters during the coronavirus emergency. Observer file photo


The ongoing trial of “smart” meters and parking-payment kiosks located in several spots Uptown also will be held in abeyance while the free parking is in effect, according to the city administration.

Census postpones field operations, city encourages online reporting

The U.S. Census Bureau has postponed its 2020 field operations due to the coronavirus pandemic. The suspension, as of now, is going to last two weeks. The Census Bureau is going to spend the two weeks searching for ways to protect workers from the possibility of being exposed to the virus as they interact with the public in an attempt to get a complete count of the population.  

In the meantime, the public is strongly encouraged to respond to the 2020 Census online using a desktop computer, laptop, smartphone, or tablet. Residents also can respond by phone or mail.

In late May, census workers around the nation are scheduled to begin visiting households that have not yet responded to the 2020 Census to help complete the count.

At Tuesday’s Oxford City Council meeting, Vice Mayor Bill Snavely made a plea for all Oxford residents to fill out the forms online or send them in by mail. A complete count is important to a town such as Oxford, he noted, because various federal funds are distributed to local communities based on population figures. 

“I did it and took about 10 minutes,” Snavely said of the online form. He also noted that the faster you turn in your household’s form, the more money it saves the Census Bureau. If you turn it in soon enough, “nobody has to come to your door,” Snavely said.  

The Census officially kicked off last week, and as of the morning of March 18, more than 11 million households had responded, across the country. Invitations to participate in the census will continue to go out to households that have not yet responded.


Miami Preserve offers housing for displaced students

Miami Preserve, a student apartment complex located at 271 Reagan Place, is having an immediate move-in special for students displaced from on-campus housing, according to a notice posted on the Miami Preserve website.

For the remainder of March, housing at Miami Preserve is free. April and May rent will be $400 each month, and June and July rent will be $200 each month. Free parking also will be provided for immediate move-ins. Residents will also be able to keep their apartment for the upcoming academic year, if desired, according to the promotion.

Heavy rain causes partial Bonham Road closure

High water caused by heavy rain prompted the closing of Bonham Road between Shadowy Hills Drive and Leonard G. Howell Park about 7 a.m. Friday, according to Oxford Police.

Police issued a warning that drivers should pay attention to barricades in flooded areas and not attempt to drive through standing water on roads or parking lots. More rain is predicted throughout the coming week, according to the National Weather Service, and flooding in low lying areas is a possibility.

Friday, March 13th, 2020
CORONAVIRUS

Virus impacts schools by moving classes online;
Four COVID-19 cases now positive in SW Ohio

The impact of the coronavirus on life in Oxford continues to evolve almost hourly. Four cases were confirmed Friday morning in nearby West Chester. Residents find themselves adapting to online-learning and the cancelation or postponement of most major events. Some of the latest news: Miami announced Friday its classes will remain online for the rest of the spring semester and Lane Library will close until April 6.
a fact box with all information about how local area is impacted by the coronavirus.

Coronavirus puts an end to local, national sports seasons

Miami University’s men’s basketball team will not get a chance to play in the Mid-American Conference Championship due to coronavirus concerns. Sports organizations like the NCAA, NBA and MLB have either postponed or canceled all athletic events.

Board of Elections changes Election Day procedures due to virus

Due to the spread of COVID-19 Virus, Election procedures for the Ohio Primary will be adjusted to maximize safety. The election will be Tuesday, March 17 and voting booths will contain hand sanitizer along with other cleaning supplies to limit the spread of germs.  Some polling stations in Butler  County also have been changed to move them away from retirement centers. The latest to ask for an absentee ballot is noon Saturday.

Signs from the Butler County Progressive Political Action Committee.

54th annual Maple Syrup Festival cut short at Hueston Woods State Park due to state-wide order

Due to the spread of the coronavirus, the second weekend of the 54th annual Maple Syrup Festival at Hueston Woods State Park has been canceled. Ohio has announced that gatherings with more than 100 people are prohibited. Last week, participants were able to hike the park and learn about the production of maple syrup from tree sap.
Signs from the Butler County Progressive Political Action Committee.

Elementary school lunch program provides girls with female mentorship and career exposure

Miami University professor, Erin Beckloff, shares the letterpress community with young girls. Her student organization, “She Became,” is aimed at building female confidence and providing mentorship. She aims to give girls insights into a variety of career opportunities.

Entities combine efforts to educate students about 2020 census

The 2020 census officially begins April 1, but flyers have already started being sent to homes. Local changes to how the census is collected is intended to make it easier for students to be counted. One of the largest changes will be in how on-campus Miami students will be counted.
Signs from the Butler County Progressive Political Action Committee.

Miami extends Martin's contract by five years

Chuck Martin, Miami's head football coach, has signed a five-year contract extension, ensuring him his position through 2025. The contract renewal is expected, following the RedHawk's MAC Championship and bowl-eligibility during the 2019 season. With a salary of $550,000, Martin will continue to be Miami's highest paid employee.

News Briefs

Police arrest three for stealing packages from homes

Oxford Police arrested three suspects in a string of package thefts on the north side of the city. 

In all, 11 packages were stolen in a three-day period that resulted in more than $1,600 worth of missing goods. Two 17-year-old juveniles and one adult, Jace Griffin, 18, were arrested on March 3 for these thefts, according to police reports.

After a video of one of the thefts was posted on Facebook, the mother of one of the juveniles called police to report that she recognized her truck, driven by her son, in the video. After confronting her son, she said he admitted to stealing the packages with his friends.

Originally, the thefts began as an extension of the juveniles’ game of “ding door ditch,” before they recruited Jace to drive their car, according to police reports.

After stealing the packages, the boys kept some for themselves, destroyed some packages and threw others out their car windows or in a dumpster at Hawks Landing Apartments. The stolen goods ranged from Kendra Scott jewelry, to a stuffed animal pig, to ice filter cartridges.

All three suspects were cited on theft charges. In its weekly Weekend Update posted on Facebook, Oxford police praised the mother of the one juvenile for calling the police and urging her son to do the right thing and tell the story. 

Miami University Art Museum remains open despite coronavirus concerns

Despite the suspension of all in-person classes at Miami University because of the COVID-19 virus, the Miami University Art Museum announced Thursday it will remain open and operational. Normal gallery hours will continue. However, the museum will be closed on Saturday, March 21 and Saturday, March 28, due to spring break.

In addition, the museum has added hand sanitizer in the lobby and is continuing “frequent cleaning and sanitization practices” throughout the rest of the museum.

More information about the art museum’s plans for COVID-19 prevention can be found here.


Oxford Seniors shows documentary about climate change

Oxford Seniors offer a free showing of “The Human Element,” a 2018 documentary about the effects of climate change on everyday life, 6 p.m. Monday, March 16, at Oxford Senior Center, 922 Tollgate Dr., Oxford.

The event is sponsored by Green Energy Ohio (GEO) and the Oxford Seniors Ecology Club. 

For more information, call Oxford Seniors at (513)-523-8100. 

 


City starts collecting yard waste weekly through November

During the months of March through November, Oxford residents can dispose of their brush, branches and other yard waste by tying it in bundles with natural fiber cord or twine and leaving it at the curb on trash collection days.

The yard waste bundles should be no longer than three feet and weigh no more than 50 pounds each, according to city guidelines. Residents are asked to limit their yard waste to no more than six such bundles per week, and to set them apart from regular trash for pickup.

Grass clippings are not accepted through the yard waste program. Rumpke Waste Removal will accept bagged grass clippings along with regular trash. 

To have your waste picked up make sure it is not bundled into trash bags and avoid wire and or plastic ties. If you do not have these specifications, your trash will not be picked up. 

Thursday, March 12th, 2020
special report

Coronavirus causes abrupt changes to life in Oxford

Although no local residents have tested positive for thecoronavirus, Oxford and Butler County are feeling the impact of it on everydaylife. Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine has said all K-12 schools must close for threeweeks. On Wednesday, Ohio ordered Miami and all other state universities to convert all classes to online presentations and Talawanda Schools areplanning to start remote learning  next Wednesday. Oxford will provideresidents with an update on the city's response in a video conference at 11a.m. Friday. The primary election Tuesday also will have some new pollinglocations as Butler County moves away from using senior citizens centers aspolling places.
Friday, March 6th, 2020
CORONAVIRUS

Oxford prepares for health emergency as cases rise

Miami University extended restrictions on university-related travel to South Korea, Italy and Iran, advising staff to refer to CDC guidelines. Talawanda will institute a flexible attendance policy to allow sick students to stay home. Thorough hand washing is recommended to avoid the illness.
It is recommended to first wet your hands with running water, apply soap and lather for 20 seconds on all surfaces including the back of her hands, wrists, fingers and between your fingers. That is approximately the amount of time it takes to sing the “Happy Birthday” song twice. Rinse well and turn off running water with your arm. Video by Emma Hendy

Students lose study abroad program due to spread of virus

A study abroad program in South Korea was canceled due to the coronavirus. Two Miami University students were participating in the program, and now the university no longer sponsors the trip. The director of communications at Miami stated that it is up to the university to fix the problem, but both students still fear the cancelation will negatively affect their education.
Signs from the Butler County Progressive Political Action Committee.

Council honors Kyger for 30 years of service

March 5 is now considered “Alan Kyger Day” in Oxford. The economic development director and former mayor was honored for his 30 years of service to the city. He was first elected to city council in 1987 and has served Oxford since. Current Oxford Mayor Mike Smith proclaimed the local holiday.

Good Samaritan policy helps MUPD gain national recognition

The Miami University Police Department ranked ninth of top 25 campus police departments, according to the National Campus Safety Summit. The Good Samaritan policy, which allows students to get help for others without getting in trouble for violating alcohol policies, led to the department’s nomination.
Signs from the Butler County Progressive Political Action Committee.

American-Iranian journalist shares with Oxford harrowing experience of time in Iranian prison

Jason Rezaian, an American-Iranian journalist who was imprisoned in Iran for espionage, came to Oxford to speak about his new book and what he learned from his                                                                                     experience. He met with students from the Media, Journalism, and Film (MJF)                                                                                     department, followed by a standing-room-only public Q & A.
Signs from the Butler County Progressive Political Action Committee.

Miami football players flex skills for pro scouts

On Monday, scouts from NFL teams watched Miami University players workout. Samuel Sloman, Miami’s kicker, is considered one of the top kicker prospects in the country. Sloman remains optimistic that he has an opportunity to make it into the league, even though kickers are rarely drafted.

News Briefs

Time to spring forward with Daylight Savings this Sunday

This Sunday, March 8, marks the beginning of Daylight Savings Time for 2020. With a spring forward, on Sunday morning at 2 a.m., all clocks should be set forward to 3 a.m.

This change means that the sunrise and sunset will be one hour later Sunday than on Saturday. This time will stay in place until Nov. 1, when the clock will "fall back" to Eastern Standard Time.


Oxford sporting events March 6-12

Sports in Oxford this week

The Miami RedHawks:

March 6:

Swimming and Diving vs Mid-American Conference, MAC Championships (Men), Carbondale, Illinois

Baseball vs Milwaukee, Oxford, Ohio, 5 p.m.

Men's Basketball vs Ohio, Oxford, Ohio, 7 p.m.

Hockey at Western Michigan, Kalamazoo, Michigan, 7 p.m

March 7:

Swimming and Diving vs Mid-American Conference, MAC Championships (Men), Carbondale, Illinois

Hockey at Western Michigan, Kalamazoo, Michigan, 7 p.m.

Golf vs Desert Mountain Intercollegiate, Scottsdale, Arizona

Softball vs Eastern Illinois vs. Green Bay, Oxford, Ohio, 12 p.m.

Women's Basketball at Ohio, Athens, Ohio, 1 p.m.

Baseball vs Milwaukee (Game 1), Oxford, Ohio, 1 p.m.

Softball vs Eastern Illinois, Oxford, Ohio, 2:30 p.m.

Soccer at Cincinnati, Cincinnati, Ohio, 5 p.m.

Softball vs Green Bay, Oxford, Ohio, 5 p.m.

Baseball vs Milwaukee (Game 2), Oxford, Ohio 

March 8:

Golf vs Desert Mountain Intercollegiate, Scottsdale, Arizona

Softball vs Eastern Illinois vs. Green Bay, Oxford, Ohio, 10 a.m.

Softball vs Green Bay, Oxford, Ohio, 12:30 p.m.

Baseball vs Milwaukee, Oxford, Ohio, 1 p.m.

Softball vs Eastern Illinois, Oxford, Ohio, 3 p.m.

Tennis at Indiana, Bloomington, Indiana, 5 p.m.

March 9:

Men's Basketball vs TBA First Round, MAC Tournament

Women's Basketball vs TBA First Round, MAC Tournament

March 10:

Baseball at Wright State, Dayton, Ohio, 3 p.m.

Softball at Indiana, Bloomington, Indiana, 4 p.m.

March 12:

Swimming and Diving vs Zone Diving Championships, NCAA Zone Diving Championships, Lexington, Kentucky

Baseball vs Penn State, Oxford, Ohio, 6 p.m.

The Talawanda Brave:

March 7:

Varsity Wrestling, at District Tournament

Comedy show with trained dogs comes to Hall Auditorium

“Mutts Gone Nuts,” a comedy performance involving trained dogs, is showing at Miami’s Hall Auditorium, 101 S. Campus Ave., 7:30 p.m. Friday, March 6. 

Dogs do tricks in “Mutts Gone Nuts.” Photo from Miami University

The family-friendly show includes Frisbee dogs, tight-wire dogs, dancing dogs, “magic dogs,” and Sammie, a dog that the show claims can talk. The canine cabaret’s nine dogs were all adopted from shelters and rescues.

Tickets for the event are available at the Miami Box Office’s website, or by phone at 513-529-3200. Adult tickets are available for $15; senior tickets are $14; and youth/student tickets are $10.

Police chief clears up misconception about local storm-warning system

Monday’s deadly tornadoes in Tennessee prompted Oxford Police Chief, John Jones, to deliver a reminder at Tuesday’s city council meeting about how the local storm-warning system works.

“A common misconception here in Oxford that we seem to get is that the weather sirens are going to warn people for a tornado,” Jones said. The sirens are activated through the Butler County Sheriff’s office in Hamilton for tornado warnings when there have been confirmed tornado sightings. “They are not meant to wake you up at night in your home,” Jones said.

The Tennessee tornadoes struck in the middle of the night when most people were asleep. Sirens had gone off, but many did not hear them. Authorities in Tennessee said Thursday that at least 25 deaths attributable to the storm had been confirmed.

Jones suggested people invest in a weather alert radio or a weather alert app for their cell phones, both of which can be put on a bedside table when you are asleep and would be more likely to rouse you than an outdoor siren.

Jones also suggested people develop a storm safety plan so they know what to do if they do hear an alert. Generally, that means going to a basement. “Do some pre-planning. Find out if your apartment has a basement or other areas where you can shelter,” he said. He also warned people living in mobile homes that they should get out of the homes and shelter elsewhere, such as a nearby basement or in another solid building.

The Butler County warning sirens are tested at noon on the first Wednesday of every month, but Jones explained that the sirens can have some discrepancies. While folks in Hamilton may see a funnel cloud and sound the siren, it could be sunny and nice in Oxford at the same time. Oxford police can trigger the warning if funnel clouds were sighted here that were not visible in Hamilton, he said.

In any case, the chief warned, if you hear the sirens, seek shelter immediately.

State park plans 54th annual Maple Syrup Festival

Hueston Woods State Park holds its 54th annual Maple Syrup Festival during the first two weekends in March -- Saturday, March 7 and Sunday, March 8, and again Saturday, March 14 and Sunday, March 15.

Participants will have a chance to hike through the "Big Woods," have the chance to make their own maple syrup, exhibits about reptiles, foxes and birds.

The highlight of each day is the all-you-can-eat pancake breakfast from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Hueston Woods Lodge, 5201 Lodge Road. It is $5.50 for children under 10 and $7.50 for adults.

Hayrides and nature tours run each day from noon. to 4 p.m. at the Hueston Woods Beach. Nature Center Exhibits will be shown from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the park’s nature center.

League of Women Voters host public meeting about upcoming census

The League of Women Voters of Oxford will host a public meeting to explain the upcoming federal census at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, March 11, in the Oxford Presbyterian Church Seminary, 104 E. Church St.

At this meeting, the city of Oxford, as well as Miami University officials, will discuss the steps they are taking to ensure they receive a complete count of residents. Additionally, they will discuss how this census will spend $600 billion in funding. This will also determine how many seats Ohio has in the U.S. House of Representatives.

During the last few weeks of March, census packets will be mailed to each U.S. residence describing how to respond: online, phone or mail. From March 3 to April 1, census workers will go to shelters and food kitchens to count people experiencing homelessness. Official census kickoff is April 1, and at this point, every household should respond to the census within the following 30 days. Census workers will visit on-campus residence halls, senior centers and other group settings to obtain accurate counts. The workers will begin visiting any household that hasn't responded throughout the course of May to July.

"It is critically important that every person who resides in the U.S. be counted so that dollars and House seats may be properly apportioned," said Kathleen Brinkman, communications director of the League of Women Voters in Oxford.

Friday, February 28th, 2020

Party officials work to get out vote for Ohio primary

Ohio voters will decide the fate of candidates for the Ohio Supreme Court, Ohio Senate District 4, Ohio House of Representatives District 53, and Ohio Twelfth District Court of Appeals. Seven Democrat candidates vie for the presidential ballot as Trump runs unopposed as Republican. Local Democratic PACs and College Democrats withhold endorsements until after primary.
Signs from the Butler County Progressive Political Action Committee.

Harriet Tubman one-woman play visits Oxford

The Oxford Community Arts Center hosted a children’s play about Harriet Tubman and the Underground Railroad Monday, Feb. 24. The play tells the story of Tubman’s life through song, soliloquy and storytelling. The show is presented by the Children’s Theatre of Cincinnati.  
Signs from the Butler County Progressive Political Action Committee.

Sharefest returns to Oxford for the 16th year

The event, in which students donate furniture and food they no longer need as they leave campus, is set for the middle of May. This year, Sharefest will accept furniture, appliances, houseware and clothing along with nonperishable food items. Donations will benefit the needy in Butler County and food pantries in the greater Cincinnati area. 

Signs from the Butler County Progressive Political Action Committee.

Police officer embraces her unpredictable job

Oxford Police Lt. Officer Lara Fening is the public information officer for the department who created the “Weekend Update'' postings on Facebook. She has spent 24 years with the Oxford Police Department, which has given her many problem solving skills. She was awarded the Meritorious Service Award in 2018 for saving the life of a driver in a burning SUV.

Myaamia Center works to preserve the indigenous language

The very grounds that Oxford is built on once belonged to the Myaamia tribe. The Myaamia Center continues its efforts to preserve the tribe's language.  Kara Strass, director of tribe relations for Miami offers "Love and Honor" in this video.
Video and story by Paige Scott

News Briefs

School board gives thumbs up to Talawanda superintendent

The Talawanda school board unanimously approved a new three year contract for Superintendent Ed Theroux Monday night.

The new contract begins Aug. 1, and will pay Theroux $125,766 per year, said Holli Morrish, director of communications for the school district.

Ed Theroux. Submitted by Talawanda Schools


Theroux started at Talawanda in 2018. Since then, he has overseen and taken on many issues and debates such as a mascot change, an elimination of pay-to-play, an implementation of new safety measures and he now is advocating for reform with legislation regarding public school funding and evaluation.

“He is also a courageous person, willing to take on the advocacy work needed in this time to fight for the best for our students,” said Morrish, Talawanda’s director of communication. “I admire him for taking on the tough issues we face.”

Teen Card Gaming Club to host tournaments Saturday

Teens aged 12-18 are invited to join the Teen Card Gaming Club at the Oxford Lane Library, 441 South Locust St., from 2 p.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 29.

The free event will host tournaments using library game cards for Magic the Gathering and Pokemon. Participants also are welcome to bring their own card games to the tournament.

The leap day tournament will include chances for participants to win prizes as the club concludes its winter season.




Weekly Oxford sports roundup

The Miami RedHawks:

Feb. 28:

Swimming and Diving vs Mid-American Conference, MAC Championships (Women), Buffalo, New York

Synchronized Skating, US Synchronized Skating Championships, Providence, Rhode Island

Cross Country Track at MAC Indoor Championships, Akron, Ohio

Softball vs Iowa, THE Spring Games, Madeira Beach, Florida, 4 p.m.

Baseball at UAB, Birmingham, Alabama, 5 p.m.

Softball vs Florida Atlantic, THE Spring Games, Madeira Beach, Florida, 6:30 p.m.

Hockey vs Omaha, Oxford, Ohio, 7:05 p.m.

Feb. 29:

Cross Country Track at MAC Indoor Championships, Akron, Ohio

Swimming and Diving vs Mid-American Conference, MAC Championships (Women), Buffalo, New York

Synchronized Skating, US Synchronized Skating Championships, Providence, Rhode Island

Tennis vs Winthrop, Huntington, West Virginia, 1 p.m.

Women's Basketball vs Akron, Oxford, Ohio, 1 p.m.

Softball vs South Alabama, THE Spring Games, Madeira Beach, Florida, 1:30 p.m.

Baseball at UAB, Birmingham, Alabama, 2 p.m.

Men's Basketball vs Bowling Green, Oxford, Ohio, 3:30 p.m.

Softball vs Middle Tennessee, THE Spring Games, Madeira Beach, Florida, 6:30 p.m.

Hockey vs Omaha, Oxford, Ohio, 7:05 p.m.

March 1:

Tennis at Marshall, Huntington, West Virginia, 11 a.m.

Softball vs Florida Gulf Coast, THE Spring Games, Madeira Beach, Florida, 11:30 a.m.

Baseball at UAB, Birmingham, Alabama, 2 p.m.

March 2:

Golf vs Colleton River Collegiate, Bluffton, South Carolina

March 3:

Golf vs Colleton River Collegiate, Bluffton, South Carolina

Baseball vs Wright State, Oxford, Ohio, 6 p.m.

Men's Basketball at Buffalo, Buffalo, New York, 7 p.m.

March 4:

Swimming and Diving vs Mid-American Conference, MAC Championships (Men), Carbondale, Illinois

Women's Basketball vs Bowling Green, Oxford, Ohio, 7 p.m.

March 5:

Swimming and Diving vs Mid-American Conference, MAC Championships (Men), Carbondale, Illinois


The Talawanda Brave:

Feb. 29:

Wrestling, Sectionals Tournament, Lakota East High School

Hockey vs. Upper Arlington, OHSAA District Tournament, Columbus, Ohio


The Miami Makos:

Feb. 28-Mar. 1:

Ohio Senior Circuit Meet, Miami University Recreation Center, Oxford, Ohio

Oxford police arrests two underage students

The Oxford police station is not the best place to take your date after a night out, as two teens  learned early this past Sunday.

At 2:49 a.m. Feb. 23, the city police dispatcher summoned officers to investigate voices she heard coming from an exterior stairwell just outside the dispatch office in the police station at 101 E. High St. Police found Stefan Petrovic, 19 and Gianna Evans, 18, in the stairwell, which leads to a lower level entry into the building.

The two were asked to show IDs, and were each found with fake IDs. Petrovic had two fake IDs, one from Michigan and one from Ohio. Petrovic’s real ID stated that he is from Illinois.  Police then asked Petrovic what they were doing in the stairwell, and he told them they were kissing. Police smelled an odor of alcohol on Petrovic, and confirmed via dispatch that both the Michigan and Ohio IDs Petrovic had were fake.

Evans presented police with an ID from Pennsylvania under the name Allison Gardner, and a debit card with her actual name. Police asked Evans where she was from, and she replied with Cleveland, Ohio. This, along with the name, did not match the ID. Evans told police she was visiting a friend, and went to school at Cleveland State University. Police then told her that she was at the police station and then began asking her questions to identify.

They asked her for her date of birth and she responded with Jan. 30, 2019, which would have made her 13 months old. On further questioning, she told them that the friend she was visiting lived in the dormitory with the stairwell where she and Petrovic had been kissing.

According to the police report, she then said the ID she had presented did not belong to her, and that the name on the ID was the person she came with and that they were the same age. Dispatch confirmed that the ID she gave to police was a fake, and her real date of birth was Aug. 13, 2001.

Police informed Evans and Petrovic they were at the police station, not a dormitory, and everything was captured on a security camera. They both stated that nothing happened, and Evans again claimed that her friend lived in the building where they were. They were both told, again that they were at the Oxford Police Station, blocks away from any Miami University dorms.

Petrovic and Evans both were both arrested and issued summons for disorderly conduct and underage drinking. They were then taken by police back to the dorm where Petrovic lives and the dorm where Evans’ friend actually lives, and were released into the custody of friends.

North side of Oxford experiences porch pirates

Porch pirates have stolen packages from residences on the north side of Oxford in recent days, according to the Oxford Police Department.

Police reported Thursday they have three suspects in the case, but had not yet filed charges against anyone and the thefts remained under investigation. 

Several Oxford residents have caught images of the people stealing their packages with systems like the Ring doorbell, according to police.

Rachel Kevdzija, a senior at Miami University, had her and her roommates’ packages opened in their apartment lobby earlier this month. Normally packages are left inside the front door of the building in a small lobby watched with cameras, but the cameras were broken at the time of the theft. Kevdzija's package, a class textbook, was opened and left alone. Her roommate's package, a jacket, was opened and the item was stolen. The stolen property was eventually found in a suitcase left behind their apartment building on High Street.

OPD requests that any resident has packages missing or believes their packages were stolen contact Detective Shelly Sikora at 513-524-5290.


Formerly imprisoned Iranian-American reporter to visit, speak in Oxford

Jason Rezaian, a Washington Post reporter imprisoned in Iran for 544 days before being released in 2016, visits Oxford next week for several Q & A sessions about his journalistic work and his imprisonment.

Before his arrest, Rezaian was a Post reporter in Tehran covering elections and negotiations. He and his wife were detained in July 2014 and remained in Evin prison until January 2016.

Rezaian will speak to Miami University students at 3 p.m. Tues., March 3, in 141 Hughes Hall. He will also speak about his book, “Prisoner,” at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, at the Lane Library, 441 S Locust St.

Friday, February 21st, 2020
Signs from the Butler County Progressive Political Action Committee.

The Makos swim team is making moves

The Miami Makos swim team has some of the best young swimmers in the nation. Standout athletes include Anna Gregg and Maren Peterson, who both rank in the top 100 nationally for multiple events. Coach Chris McKinney attributes the young swimmers' success to their dedication.
mental health

Social media users can help police prevent potential suicides

Last Sunday, Oxford Police responded to an attempted suicide in College Corner. The anonymous call was made by a Facebook user who noticed a concerning post. The local incident has garnered attention for social media awareness.

Resources for people struggling with mental health or suicide

For those struggling with mental health, hotlines, websites and counseling services are available. Those who may be contemplating suicide or battling mental health issues can find a list of resources here.
Signs from the Butler County Progressive Political Action Committee.

Dunkin' Donuts also partners with Beyond Meat

Dunkin’ Donuts released a plant-based sausage sandwich for vegetarians and meat-lovers alike. This release is in response to a national demand for meal alternatives that are diet-friendly and sustainable.

Oxford Community Arts Center displays Mustang in light show

The artistic use of light enhanced this colorful rendition of a Ford Mustang that only seemed to be driving through the spectrum this past week. The Mustang was displayed in front of the Oxford Community Art Center, 10 S. College Ave. The car was one of several “light” exhibits on display in the center’s second annual "Ox Wow Light It Up" show, that began Feb. 14 and ends Friday, Feb. 21. Video by David Wells
Signs from the Butler County Progressive Political Action Committee.

After four years in Oxford, Miami basketball player finds himself longing for family, Serbia

Milos Jovic and his father are from Serbia, but they are both living far from home to be a part of the game they love-- basketball. Jovic plays for the RedHawks while his dad coaches in China. Even from thousands of miles away, the two find ways to stay connected.

Enjoy Oxford refocuses efforts to promote events to locals

Enjoy Oxford is redirecting its focus from offering guidance to promoting local events. The organization's most recent event, Conquering Cabin Fever, was a smashing success according to Executive Director Kim Daggy. Enjoy Oxford recently revamped its website, which can be viewed here.
Signs from the Butler County Progressive Political Action Committee.

Local woman dies after crash into garbage truck

The first fatal crash in Oxford Township since 2018 involves a car driven by a woman from College Corner and a Rumpke garbage truck. The accident happened at 7:45 a.m. Wednesday on Stillwell-Beckett Road. Police reports that glare from the sun might have played a role in the crash. The 50-year-old woman's car ran into the back of the truck, which was stopped to pick up trash.

News Briefs

Miami professor speaks about people of color's impact on history

Yvette Harris, of Miami University’s Psychology Department, will speak on the impact of people of color on American History at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 26, in the Oxford Seniors’ Great Room, 22 Tollgate Drive, Oxford.

The event is free and open to the public. 

Yvette Harris will speak at Oxford Seniors event. Photo provided by Oxford Seniors

Oxford Seniors’ mission is “Dedicated to Serving Senior Adults and Strengthening

Community,” has sponsored a public event during African-American History month since 2009 to promote inclusion and diversity. 

The evening includes social time to encourage personal interaction. Light refreshments will be served.

One-woman show portrays Harriet Tubman’s life

The Miami University Performing Arts Series presents “Harriet Tubman: Straight Up Outta’ the Underground,” 7 p.m. Monday, Feb. 24, at the Oxford Community Arts Center, 10 S. College Ave. 

The free event will retell the story of Harriet Tubman’s historic role in smuggling slaves out of bondage on the Underground Railroad during the mid-1800s.

The one-woman performance, starring Cincinnati actress Brandi Langford-Sherrill, will be audience interactive as attendees follow Tubman’s story.

Upcoming Oxford athletic games

Feb. 21:

Softball vs UNLV, UTC Tournament, Chattanooga, Tennessee, noon.

Softball vs UNLV, UTC Tournament, Chattanooga, Tennessee 2 p.m.

Baseball vs Purdue Fort Wayne, Oxford, Ohio 3 p.m.

Tennis vs Xavier, The Club at Harper's Point - Cincinnati 7 p.m.

Hockey at #7/7 Denver, Denver 9 p.m.


Feb. 22:

Cross Country Track at Alex Wilson Invitational, South Bend, Indiana 

Softball vs Saint Francis, UTC Tournament, Chattanooga, Tennessee 12 p.m.

Softball vs Southern Illinois - Edwardsville, UTC Tournament, Chattanooga, Tennessee 4 p.m.

Women's Basketball at Kent State, Kent, Ohio, 1 p.m.

Men's Basketball at Akron, Akron, Ohio 4 p.m.

Baseball vs Purdue Fort Wayne, Oxford, Ohio 4 p.m.

Tennis vs Western Kentucky, Hamilton, Ohio 4 p.m.

Hockey at #7/7 Denver, Denver 9:07 p.m.


Feb. 23:

Softball vs Saint Louis, UTC Tournament, Chattanooga, Tennessee 9 a.m.

Baseball vs Purdue Fort Wayne, Oxford, Ohio 1 p.m.

Soccer vs Dayton, Oxford, Ohio 3 p.m.


Feb. 25:

Baseball at Dayton, Dayton, Ohio 3 p.m.

Men's Basketball at Kent State, Kent, Ohio 7 p.m.


Feb. 26:

Swimming and Diving vs Mid-American Conference, MAC Championships (Women), Buffalo, New York

Women's Basketball at Buffalo, Buffalo, New York 7 p.m.


Feb. 27:

Swimming and Diving vs Mid-American Conference, MAC Championships (Women), Buffalo, New York

Men's Basketball vs Central Michigan, Oxford, Ohio 7 p.m.


Talawanda Brave:


Feb. 22:

Wrestling at SWOC Championship, Ross High School 9 a.m.

Oxford Community Arts Center to debut new musical

The Oxford Community Arts Center will kick off “Bingo, The Winning Musical,” at 7:30 p.m., Friday, Feb. 21.

The show follows a group of bingo players who are hyper-focused on winning its weekly games. The show promises stories of love, friendship and competition along the way. The musical will be performed Feb. 21, 22, 23, 28, 29, and March 1.

Tickets are $16.74 each and can be purchased at the door, at the Oxford Community Arts Center, 10 S. College Ave., or by calling the Box Office at 513-523-6228.

City grants Oxford Farmers Market temporary permit to sell wine

Once again, you will be able to taste samples of wine this year at the Oxford Farmers Market.

Oxford City Council approved a temporary permit allowing the Hanover Winery to provide sipping samples of its wine in their booth at the market, and to allow the sale of sealed bottles of wine for consumption elsewhere. The temporary permit is needed and was granted last year because the winery does not have a regular liquor license to sell wine at the market. State law allows cities to grant such temporary permits to registered farmers markets, said Alan Kyger, Oxford’s economic development director.

“We’re very fortunate to have a registered, award-winning, local farmers market,” Kyger said. 

Hanover Winery will distribute samples of 0.25 ounces, with a maximum of four samples per person, and the only consumption of wine will occur under its tent. Customers must be 21 and older to sip the samples. 

The Oxford Farmers Market, located just north of Memorial Park in uptown Oxford, is open from 10 a.m. to noon every third Saturday of the month during its winter season, which lasts through April. The next Oxford Farmers Market will be Saturday, Feb. 22. 

Correction

A story in the Observer posted on Feb. 7 gave an incorrect year for when Oxford became a city. The community was first laid out in 1810 and achieved city status in 1971.


Friday, February 14th, 2020
Signs from the Butler County Progressive Political Action Committee.

Forgotten building on South Elm Street to become space for innovation startups

Miami University and the City of Oxford vote to turn an old building into a magnet for investment and promotion of the  arts. The goal for the "creativity hub" is to pave the way for rural communities across America to focus on the arts and innovators in their communities.

Doctoral student puts a unique spin on sustainability

Schwab Family Farm

Oxford evolves from wooded area to a college town

The city of Oxford has changed a lot over the years. Before all the famous landmarks we have today, it was mostly uninhabited woods. By 1830, Oxford claimed 700 residents, but it didn’t become a city until 1960. Even today, the city continues to grow and evolve.

Oxford evolves from wooded area to a college town

The city of Oxford has changed a lot over the years. Before all the famous landmarks we have today, it was mostly uninhabited woods. By 1830, Oxford claimed 700 residents, but it didn’t become a city until 1960. Even today, the city continues to grow and evolve.

Oxford evolves from wooded area to a college town

The city of Oxford has changed a lot over the years. Before all the famous landmarks we have today, it was mostly uninhabited woods. By 1830, Oxford claimed 700 residents, but it didn’t become a city until 1960. Even today, the city continues to grow and evolve.

Oxford evolves from wooded area to a college town

The city of Oxford has changed a lot over the years. Before all the famous landmarks we have today, it was mostly uninhabited woods. By 1830, Oxford claimed 700 residents, but it didn’t become a city until 1960. Even today, the city continues to grow and evolve.

Oxford evolves from wooded area to a college town

The city of Oxford has changed a lot over the years. Before all the famous landmarks we have today, it was mostly uninhabited woods. By 1830, Oxford claimed 700 residents, but it didn’t become a city until 1960. Even today, the city continues to grow and evolve.

Oxford evolves from wooded area to a college town

The city of Oxford has changed a lot over the years. Before all the famous landmarks we have today, it was mostly uninhabited woods. By 1830, Oxford claimed 700 residents, but it didn’t become a city until 1960. Even today, the city continues to grow and evolve.

Oxford evolves from wooded area to a college town

The city of Oxford has changed a lot over the years. Before all the famous landmarks we have today, it was mostly uninhabited woods. By 1830, Oxford claimed 700 residents, but it didn’t become a city until 1960. Even today, the city continues to grow and evolve.

Oxford evolves from wooded area to a college town

The city of Oxford has changed a lot over the years. Before all the famous landmarks we have today, it was mostly uninhabited woods. By 1830, Oxford claimed 700 residents, but it didn’t become a city until 1960. Even today, the city continues to grow and evolve.


Biology doctoral student, Jesse McQuigg, puts a unique spin on fibers and sustainable living by donating her wool creations to charity and reducing waste and pollution by only eating locally grown food products. By sourcing various types of wool, McQuigg talks about her passion for spinning and weaving as she tends to her one acre garden and chickens. Photos and story by Lexi Scherzinger.

Miami job fair to connect students to local, national careers

Miami University hosted a job and internship fair Wednesday, Feb. 12. The goal of the fair is to give students the chance to talk to potential employers. Local, national and even international businesses set up shop to speak to students. But, even with over 250 businesses present, some students outside the business school felt their prospective fields were not represented.
Signs from the Butler County Progressive Political Action Committee.

Local Rose Challenge provides masks for China

The Chinese Information Association, a Miami student organization, is celebrating Valentine's Day in a unique way this year -- by sending medical masks to China. The student organization is selling roses to raise the funds needed to purchase the surgical respirator face masks, which are designed to prevent the spread of diseases like coronavirus.

National Weather Service to host local Skywarn Spotter training

Local Butler County residents will be given the opportunity to join the weather watcher program. Trainees will learn how to report hazardous weather conditions and protect their communities.

Local schools deal with impeachment and acquittal in classes

President Trump's impeachment and acquittal have impacted all Americans, youth included. Both high schools and colleges are trying to provide a healthy environment for students to discuss the nation's polarized political state.

News Briefs

Miami University women’s basketball program supports women with cancer

The Miami women’s basketball team once again is supporting Luna Cares, a non-profit that helps women with cancer, with proceeds from the team’s 1 p.m. home game against Ohio University. 

Over the last five years, Miami has raised over $120,000 for Luna Cares. Game proceeds include purchasing Miami apparel items, participating in the silent auction at the game, or contributing to the wellness baskets at the game for newly diagnosed patients.

The contributions to Luna Cares is part of Miami’s Love.Honor.Care Initiative. Miami President Greg Crawford and Renate Crawford thanked employees for their work at Miami by giving away free tickets to university employees and their families for the One Miami Weekend basketball and hockey games Feb. 14-15. 

Miami hockey will play Western Michigan 7:05 p.m. Feb. 14 and 15. The men’s basketball team will play Northern Illinois at 3:30 p.m. Feb. 15, following the women’s game against Ohio.


Oxford Community Arts Center opens new exhibit

The Oxford Community Arts Center opens its new exhibit called Changing Climate, Changing Communities: Local Reflections of a Global Issue Friday, Feb. 14 to inspire discussion on climate change. The exhibit runs through March 1.

Mother Nature seemed to weep in this painting from a Talawanda Middle School eighth-grade class that was part of last year’s Changing Climate art show at the Oxford Community Arts Center. Oxford Observer file photo


The center hopes the showcase will inspire reflection, questions and interpretations of climate change into the daily life of communities. The pieces displayed represent the analysis and experiences of artists who have felt the impacts of climate change.

The exhibit’s opening night reception will be from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m., as part of the Second Friday Celebration of the Arts, at the center, 10 S. College Ave. 

Nutrition Author and alumni Karman Meyer returning to Oxford

Karman Meyer, author of “Eat to Sleep,” will be giving an in-store talk, food demonstration and tasting at Moon Co-op, 512-519 S. Locust St. in Oxford on Saturday, Feb. 22 at 1:30 p.m.  

Meyer is a registered dietician/nutritionist and an alumnus of Miami University. Meyer’s book, “Eat to Sleep,” provides information on natural solutions for getting a better night’s sleep. The book also highlights foods that will provide you with better sleep, gives recipes, provides a food and sleep log, nutrition advice and information on the relationship between food and sleep. The book is on sale at Moon co-op.

The event is free for all. For more information contact Moon Co-op at 513-280-5020.

Oxford sports for the coming week

Miami RedHawks:

Feb. 14

Swimming and Diving at Louisville Invitational, Louisville, Kentucky

Cross Country Track at USA Track and Field National Championships, Albuquerque, New Mexico

Cross Country Track at Grand Valley State Big Meet, Allendale, Michigan

Synchronized Skating Tri-State Championship (Collegiate), Mentor, Ohio

Hockey vs Western Michigan, Oxford, Ohio, 7:05 p.m.

Baseball at Texas A&M, College Station, Texas, 7:30 p.m.

Feb. 15

Swimming and Diving at Louisville Invitational, Louisville, Kentucky

Cross Country Track at USA Track & Field National Championships, Albuquerque, New Mexico

Cross Country Track at Grand Valley State Big Meet, Allendale, Michigan

Women's Basketball vs Ohio, Oxford, Ohio, 1:00 p.m.

Baseball at Texas A&M, College Station, Texas, 3:00 p.m.

Men's Basketball vs Northern Illinois, Oxford, Ohio, 3:30 p.m.

Tennis at Dayton, Dayton, Ohio, 5:30 p.m.

Hockey vs Western Michigan, Oxford, Ohio, 7:05 p.m.

Feb. 16

Golf vs Michigan State, Bluffton, South Carolina

Baseball at Texas A&M, College Station, Texas, 1:00 p.m.

Talawanda Brave:

Feb. 14

Boys Basketball at Ross, 7:30 p.m.

Feb. 19

Bowling, tournament at Colerain Bowl

Feb. 20

Bowling, tournament at Colerain Bowl



Pianist to perform recital at Oxford Community Arts Center

Miami University Assistant Professor of Piano, Frank Huang, will perform a selection of contemporary and classical works in a recital, 2 p.m. to 3 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 16, at the Oxford Community Arts Center, 10 S. College Ave. 

Huang has performed at esteemed venues around the world, including Carnegie Hall, the Kennedy Center, Żelazowa Wola (Warsaw), Gijon International Piano Festival (Spain), the Holland Music Sessions and St. Martin in the Fields (U.K.).

 Previously, Huang has played with the Peru National Symphony, Sammamish Symphony, Wooster Symphony Orchestra, Central Ohio Symphony and Sichuan Symphony Orchestra. He also collaborates with members of the Cleveland Orchestra and Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra in recitals.

 Before teaching at Miami, he was a faculty member at the College of Wooster and the Cleveland Institute of Music.

 His Sunday concert is free and open to the public. It will include a wide range of works, including romantic and contemporary styles as well as compositions by Schubert, Meitner, Rzewski, Messiaen and Beethoven.


Pedestrian gets in police car, interrupting a routine traffic stop

A routine police traffic stop was interrupted early Saturday when a pedestrian, having had too much to drink, hopped into the back seat of the police car.

According to the Oxford Police report, Officer Matt Wagers had pulled up alongside the pedestrian, Nicholas Pieseski, 20, who he had seen walking south on Oxford Reily Road near the intersection of West Chestnut Street, using his cell phone as a flashlight. According to the report, Wagers was questioning Pieseski because he seemed lost and confused.

Just then another vehicle ran a stop sign at the nearby intersection. Wagers stopped talking to Pieseski and sped after the car, pulling it over a short distance away. The officer called for backup to deal with Pieseski. While Wagers was out of his cruiser dealing with the pulled-over driver, Pieseski walked up the road from where he had been left, opened the door and got into the back seat of Wager’s parked police car.

Officer Adam Price arrived at the scene, observed that Pieseski appeared glassy-eyed and smelled of alcohol, the report said. When asked for identification, Pieseski provided one ID and then another. One set belonged to him, and the other to his older brother, according to the report.

Pieseski was able to tell police his Oxford address but was unable to say exactly where he was in Oxford at that moment. Police cited him for disorderly conduct and underage drinking and drove him to his home on West Central Avenue.

Rumpke garbage truck crash leads to OVI charge

A garbage truck going the wrong way down a one-way alley led to an operating a vehicle under the influence charge against the driver of another vehicle, according to Oxford Police. 

It all started at 2:53 a.m. Saturday when police responded to a call from a Rumpke driver, that he had scraped the back of a car that had been backing out of a parking place in the alley between North Beech Street and West Park Place. 

The truck had been traveling eastbound through the alley, which is one-way westbound, according to police. 

But upon arriving, Officer Mark Ledermeier noticed that the driver of the 2016 Mazda SUV, Michael P. Moore, 26, appeared to be intoxicated. Ledermeier had trouble performing field sobriety tests and was taken to the police station where a breathalyzer determined his blood alcohol content was 0.17, more than twice the legal limit, according to the police report.

Moore, whose address was listed on the report as Powell, Ohio, was charged with Operating Vehicle Under the Influence of Alcohol or Drugs and his license was suspended. The Rumpke driver was cited as well.

Local offices and local schools will be closed for President's Day

Monday, February 17 is President’s Day, a national holiday which, depending on what state you live in, honors George Washington, Abraham Lincoln, Thomas Jefferson, some combination of those three, or all people who have held office. In Ohio it is known as President’s Day, but some states refer to it as Presidents’ Day. 

In honor of the holiday, all Oxford city offices will be closed on Monday, as will most banks, the United States Postal Service and state and county offices. Talawanda Schools, which are closed today, stretches the holiday into a four-day weekend by also being closed on Monday. 

Miami University will not be closed on Monday, and Rumpke will pick up trash and recycling in Oxford on its regular schedule.


Friday, February 7th, 2020
ENVIRONMENT

City Council votes to eliminate polystyrene usage

The Oxford City Council voted to eliminate the  use of polystyrene items over the next two years. Polystyrene  breaks into small pieces after its use and that can harm animals and pollute waterways. Miami and many chain restaurants have already stopped using the material, which goes by the brand name Styrofoam.

RecycleMania returns to campus for an eight-week period

Miami University has joined in a national recycling competition named RecycleMania to help people have an opportunity to recycle. The University will also join the event Race to Zero Waste and improve people’s recycling awareness.

Council discusses sustainability, economy and housing at retreat

City Council members and department heads hosted their annual retreat earlier this week. Time was spent reviewing the goals from 2019, but the main focus was how to make a difference in 2020, like improving sustainability and affordable housing.
CORONAVIRUS

Miami still concerned about virus despite negative tests

CDC test results confirm the two isolated Miami students did not have the coronavirus. The university continues to support about 25 students who have been unable to leave China. Oxford community leaders condemn racial discrimination associated with the virus.
Signs from the Butler County Progressive Political Action Committee.

Global and local fears cancel Chinese New Year festivities

Local pastors speak out in solidarity with international students, who are feeling the effects of the public's fear and anxiety about the coronavirus.
Schwab Family Farm

Oxford evolves from wooded area to a college town

The city of Oxford has changed a lot over the years. Before all the famous landmarks we have today, it was mostly uninhabited woods. By 1830, Oxford claimed 700 residents, but it didn’t become a city until 1960. Even today, the city continues to grow and evolve. Check out our story and details on each photo here.

Oxford evolves from wooded area to a college town

The city of Oxford has changed a lot over the years. Before all the famous landmarks we have today, it was mostly uninhabited woods. By 1830, Oxford claimed 700 residents, but it didn’t become a city until 1960. Even today, the city continues to grow and evolve.

Oxford evolves from wooded area to a college town

The city of Oxford has changed a lot over the years. Before all the famous landmarks we have today, it was mostly uninhabited woods. By 1830, Oxford claimed 700 residents, but it didn’t become a city until 1960. Even today, the city continues to grow and evolve.

Oxford evolves from wooded area to a college town

The city of Oxford has changed a lot over the years. Before all the famous landmarks we have today, it was mostly uninhabited woods. By 1830, Oxford claimed 700 residents, but it didn’t become a city until 1960. Even today, the city continues to grow and evolve.

Oxford evolves from wooded area to a college town

The city of Oxford has changed a lot over the years. Before all the famous landmarks we have today, it was mostly uninhabited woods. By 1830, Oxford claimed 700 residents, but it didn’t become a city until 1960. Even today, the city continues to grow and evolve.

Oxford evolves from wooded area to a college town

The city of Oxford has changed a lot over the years. Before all the famous landmarks we have today, it was mostly uninhabited woods. By 1830, Oxford claimed 700 residents, but it didn’t become a city until 1960. Even today, the city continues to grow and evolve.

Oxford evolves from wooded area to a college town

The city of Oxford has changed a lot over the years. Before all the famous landmarks we have today, it was mostly uninhabited woods. By 1830, Oxford claimed 700 residents, but it didn’t become a city until 1960. Even today, the city continues to grow and evolve.

Oxford evolves from wooded area to a college town

The city of Oxford has changed a lot over the years. Before all the famous landmarks we have today, it was mostly uninhabited woods. By 1830, Oxford claimed 700 residents, but it didn’t become a city until 1960. Even today, the city continues to grow and evolve.

Oxford evolves from wooded area to a college town

The city of Oxford has changed a lot over the years. Before all the famous landmarks we have today, it was mostly uninhabited woods. By 1830, Oxford claimed 700 residents, but it didn’t become a city until 1960. Even today, the city continues to grow and evolve.

Obituary
Signs from the Butler County Progressive Political Action Committee.

Miami literature professor helped set up study center in Europe

John R. Romano came to Miami University in 1961 and taught English at Miami for 30 years. He was part of the team to set up the European Study Center, the predecessor to today’s John E. Dolibois European Center. By his family, he is remembered as a great storyteller and contributor to arts programs on WMUB.  He died at age 88.

News Briefs

Police charge Somerville man after domestic disturbance 

A domestic disturbance in an Oxford apartment complex led to assault and abduction charges against a Somerville man.

Jack Stapleton, 50, remained in the Butler County Jail Thursday night.

Jack Stapleton is facing assault, abduction and menacing charges. Photo provided by the Butler County Sheriff Department

The incident began Friday, Jan. 31, when Oxford Police responded to a report of a domestic disturbance at the Parkview Arms apartments, 5032 College Corner Pike. Upon arrival, the police encountered Carla Harvey, 45, who had a noticeable eye injury and a torn pant leg. Harvey told police that Stapleton was barricaded in apartment 35, with weapons, and was holding Kristen Gabbard, 38, in there with him.

According to the Oxford Police report, Harvey said she had been in her apartment with Gabbard when Stapleton entered and started fighting with her. A neighbor, Maya Thompson, had come to the door and managed to talk Stapleton into letting Harvey and her son out of the apartment. Thompson then called the police.

After multiple attempts by police to talk Stapleton into giving up, the front door opened and Gabbard was allowed to leave but Stapleton stayed inside. Gabbard and Harvey said he had told them he would kill them and their families if they tried to call for help.

Eventually, Stapleton went to a window in another part of the apartment and officers were able to enter through the front door and subdue him, according to the report.

He was charged with two counts of abduction, two counts of aggravated menacing and one count of assault. Butler County Jail records indicate he also is being held without bond for a parole violation for an unspecified offense that occurred in Preble County.



Miami men’s and women’s basketball teams face MAC opponents

Both Miami men’s and women’s basketball battled Mid-American foes this week, with the women picking up a 70-67 win against Bowling Green Monday and a 92-83 win Wednesday against Toledo. The men dropped to 9-13 on the season after a tight loss to Western Michigan Tuesday.

Despite a career-high 20 points from freshman Dae Dae Grant and a 10-0 Miami run to open the game, the Broncos weathered every storm the RedHawks threw their way as they battled their way to a 64-60 victory.

With a chance to tie the contest with under 30 seconds to play, Grant missed a free throw, allowing Western Michigan to secure its third MAC win of the season.

The women, on the other hand, pulled out a nail-biter Monday at home thanks to Lauren Dickerson, who eclipsed 2,000 total points in her college career with 21 points on the night. Dickerson is only the second player in program history to score more than 2,000 points in her career. She also had seven assists Monday. 

Though the Falcons fought with the RedHawks all night, Miami held on to the lead for the final two minutes of the contest, shooting 66% from the free-throw line to keep the game out of Bowling Green’s reach.

Dickerson played a large role once again Wednesday, scoring 23 points in Miami’s win over Toledo. Freshman Peyton Scott led the team in scoring with 28 points, while Savannah Kluesner went for 21 points in the high-scoring game.

The women’s team will take on Central Michigan Saturday at home while the men will travel to Athens to face Ohio.

Local sports in action for this week

Miami RedHawks:

Feb. 7:

Track at Meyo Invitational, South Bend, Indiana.

Softball vs Evansville, Rosemont, Illinois, 1:30 p.m.

Softball vs Loyola University Chicago, Rosemont, Illinois, 6:30 p.m.

Feb. 8:

Track at Meyo Invitational, South Bend, Indiana.

Softball vs Western Illinois, Rosemont, Illinois, 1:30 p.m.

Women's Basketball vs Central Michigan, Oxford, Ohio, 2 p.m.

Men's Basketball at Ohio, Athens, Ohio, 3:30 p.m.

Softball vs IUPUI, Rosemont, Illinois, 6:30 p.m.

Feb. 9:

Softball vs Omaha, Rosemont Tournament, Rosemont, Illinois, 11 a.m.

Feb. 11:

Men's Basketball at Toledo, Toledo, Ohio, 7 p.m.

Feb. 12:

Women's Basketball at Northern Illinois, DeKalb, Illinois, 7 p.m.

Talawanda Brave:

Feb. 7:

Boys basketball at Northwest High School, 7:30 p.m.

Hockey at Moeller, Northlands Ice Center, 6 p.m.

Feb. 8:

Boys basketball at William Henry Harrison High School, 7:30 p.m.

Girls basketball at William Henry Harrison High School, 6 p.m.

Feb. 9:

Bowling, tournament, Northwest Lanes, 9 a.m.

Feb. 10:

Bowling v. Middletown, Eastgate Lanes, 4 p.m.

Feb. 11:

Boys basketball at Eaton High School, 7:30 p.m.

Montessori school hosts 11th annual trivia night

McGuffey Montessori School hosts its 11th annual trivia night, 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 8, at the Oxford Community Arts Center on 10 S. College Ave. A silent auction will also be held among the competition for family and friends.

Teams of eight should be formed to compete among those who are 21 or older. If a participant is not able to find a team, they will be placed on a team after purchasing their ticket. Ticket prices are $30 per person. All proceeds benefit the McGuffey Montessori School.

Teams are asked to bring a “picnic” dinner from 6 p.m. to 7 p.m., while beer and wine will be sold at the event. Coffee and dessert will be complimentary. Prizes will be awarded to the team with the most creative theme for its table. Themes in the past year have included Chinese New Year and Lumberjacks. Child care will be offered from 5:45 p.m. to 10:45 p.m. at the school. Students and non-McGuffey students 5-years-old and up will be watched. Visit the school’s website for tickets.


Celebrate Valentine's Day with Oxford arts center

The Oxford Community Arts Center, 10 S. College Ave., will host Second Friday, a celebration of the arts, from 6 to 9 p.m., Friday, Feb. 14.

The free event, sponsored by The Elms Hotel, will include live music, art exhibitions, open third floor studios and an art shop. The music is sponsored by Jack and Sally Southard.

For more information, contact the Oxford Community Arts Center at info@oxarts.org or call 513-524-8506.


Ohio governor to speak at spring graduation

Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine will be the commencement speaker at Miami University’s spring graduation ceremony, 10:30 a.m. Saturday, May 16, at Yager Stadium, Miami President Gregory Crawford announced Wednesday.

Gov. Mike DeWine

DeWine, a 1969 Miami graduate, was elected to be Ohio’s 70th governor in 2018. He previously served as Ohio attorney general, U.S. senator, lieutenant governor and as congressman from Ohio’s seventh District.

DeWine’s wife, Frances, is also a Miami graduate. The couple has eight children, four of whom are Miami graduates, and four grandchildren attending Miami, according to the university.


Friday, January 31st, 2020
Coronavirus

Miami students in isolation, a small part of world crisis

With two students presenting flu-like symptoms, the coronavirus frenzy has made its way to Oxford. While awaiting results from the CDC, Miami officials are stressing frequent hand washing and good hygiene. The virus, which started in Wuhan, China, has almost 10,000 confirmed cases worldwide.

Letter to the editor: Oxford faith community stands with international students

Local pastors speak out in solidarity with international students, who are feeling the effects of the public's fear and anxiety about the coronavirus.
Signs from the Butler County Progressive Political Action Committee.

Talawanda’s band program wants to be heard

Talawanda’s band program spoke to the school board about its marching band, concert band, recruitment of new members and funding. The band is working on ways to boost the visibility of the band by offering an event similar to athletics signing day.
Signs from the Butler County Progressive Political Action Committee.

Talawanda Schools updates tobacco policies

New policies were introduced at Talawanda’s Board of Education meeting involving tobacco use. These policies would prohibit the possession or use of any tobacco or e-cigarette product on school grounds by both students and faculty as well as administrators.
Signs from the Butler County Progressive Political Action Committee.

Man drives stolen vehicle to police station 

When 37-year-old William Hixson arrived at the Oxford Police Station in the early hours of Thursday, Jan. 23, a concerned officer invited him to McDonald’s to grab a bite to eat before a friend picked him up. However, instead of ending the night with burgers and fries, Hixson wound up with criminal charges relating to the possession of stolen property after officers discovered the car that he was using had been reported stolen.
Signs from the Butler County Progressive Political Action Committee.

Miami Art Museum hosts three new exhibits

Miami’s Art Museum and Sculpture Park opened three new exhibits  Tuesday, Jan. 28 called the Myaamia Ribbonwork, Circling ‘Round, and Desire Conflict & Exchange. The showcase will be shown through Saturday, June 13. The admission is free and the art museum, located at 801 South Patterson Ave., is open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday through Friday and noon to 5 p.m. Saturday.

New city regulation will limit where flyers can be tossed at homes

A new city ordinance will go into effect early next month, banning unsolicited flyers from being tossed in local resident’s yards. City Manager Doug Elliot said only the placement, not the distribution of materials will be affected. Organizations will have to distribute flyers specifically to the doors of residents or within mailboxes.

News Briefs

Marshall Elementary reconstruction approved to begin

After months of renegotiating prices, the Talawanda Board of Education is signaling to contractors that the Marshall Elementary School reconstruction project is approved to begin.

Marshall, 3260 Oxford Millville Road, will be the last school in the district to be renovated. The estimated 42,000-square-foot building will include three classrooms for each grade level and improvements such as air conditioning and upgraded computers. Students will remain in the existing building as the construction occurs adjacent to it.

Charlie Jahnigen, vice president of SHP Leading Design, and Ben Posey, project manager at Robertson Construction, presented an update of the project’s price estimate to the board  Monday, saying that they had eliminated nearly $500,000 in costs by re-examining bid packages. The bids from more than 20 subcontractors were accepted on Nov. 21.

The next step is for Jahnigen and Posey to notify subcontractors that the construction will proceed, and the prices will be locked in. Construction is scheduled to begin on March 2, south of the existing gym, which will be renovated, and running east to west in relation to Oxford Millville Road. 

RedHawks weekly sports roundup

Here are the RedHawks sporting events for the week of Jan. 31 - Feb. 6:

Jan. 31

Track and Field, Indiana Relays at Indiana University, Bloomington, Indiana

Synchronized Skating (Senior Team), French Cup in Rouen, France

Tennis, 5 p.m. at University of Cincinnati, Cincinnati

Men’s Ice Hockey, 8:07 p.m. at St. Cloud State University, St. Cloud, Minnesota

Feb. 1

Track and Field, Indiana Relays at Indiana University, Bloomington, Indiana

Synchronized Skating (Senior Team), French Cup in Rouen, France

Men’s Ice Hockey, 7:07 p.m at St. Cloud State University, St. Cloud, Minnesota

Synchronized Skating (Collegiate) vs. Synchro Illinois in Oak Lawn, Illinois

Swimming and Diving vs. Xavier University, 1 p.m. in Oxford, Ohio

Women's Basketball vs. Bowling Green, 2 p.m. at Bowling Green University, Bowling Green, Ohio

Men's Basketball vs. Northern Illinois, 4 p.m. at Northern Illinois University, Dekalb, Illinois

Feb. 3

Women's Basketball vs. Western Michigan, 7 p.m. in Oxford, Ohio

Feb. 4

Men's Basketball vs. Western Michigan, 7 p.m. in Oxford, Ohio

Feb. 5

Women's Basketball vs. Toledo, 7 p.m. in Oxford, Ohio

Professor reinstated after AAUP contests firing over hallucinogenic plant

Due to an alleged violation of the university’s drug-free workplace policy, Miami Conservatory director, Dan Gladish, and anthropology professor, John Cinnamon, were terminated last April, according to the American Association of University Professors (AAUP).

The Conservatory on Miami’s Hamilton campus was home to an iboga plant before a botany student discovered the plant’s potential hallucinogenic properties. Following this discovery, the student shared with a university employee that she was growing her own at home with the intent to use it for such purposes. After hearing the student’s agenda, Catherine Bishop-Clark, dean of Miami’s regional campuses, notified Miami University Police Department (MUPD). As a result, the student was suspended by the university and MUPD confiscated the plant, but chose not to press criminal charges against Gladish or the student. 

After the termination of Gladish and Cinnamon, who originally gave the conservatory the iboga seeds, the Conservatory manager Brian Grubb was also forced to resign. After this decision was made, the Miami chapter of the AAUP petitioned the school to reverse the decision. 

Gladish has since been reinstated, however the Miami AAUP chapter is still awaiting the results of Cinnamon’s case.

Friends of the Oxford Lane Library to hold monthly book sale

The Friends of the Oxford Lane Library have its monthly book sale from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 1, at the library, 441 S. Locust Ave.

The sale includes fiction, non-fiction, children’s books and specialty items, all at bargain prices.

Proceeds from the sale support various programs at the library.

Friday, January 24th, 2020
Signs from the Butler County Progressive Political Action Committee.

Larger recycling bins become available
to Oxford residents starting this month

City residents can request larger 65-gallon recycling carts at no additional cost. The bigger bins with lids will allow residents to recycle more and keep recyclables from spilling out into the streets. The city sent out fliers to residents eligible and the bins will start appearing on city streets soon.

Oxford stresses importance of counting students for 2020 census

2020 is not only a presidential election year, but a census year, too. Oxford City Council members are notifying all citizens, especially students, to respond to the mailings that will soon be sent out by the Census Bureau. Those interested can also find employment opportunities collecting census data.

Miami's entrepreneurship program ranks high nationally

The entrepreneurship program was ranked in the Princeton Review among the Best 50 Undergraduate Programs for Entrepreneurs. The major has quadrupled in students within the past four years. Miami is the only program in the nation to incorporate Startup Weekend into its curriculum to encourage students to create change. Miami entrepreneurs have taken leadership positions such as the CEO of Chipotle, Credit Karma and Uber.
Schwab Family Farm

Miami architecture faculty to help preserve bridge

Now on the National Register of Historic Places, the Black Covered Bridge was built to give farmers easy access to local saw and grist mills. Check out our story here. Photo by Halie Barger

Miami architecture faculty to help preserve bridge

The roof of the Black Covered Bridge was designed to keep rain and snow from rotting away the wooden structure. Photo by David Wells

Miami architecture faculty to help preserve bridge

The bridge is an historical landmark. Now closed to motorized vehicles, it is part of the Oxford Area Trails System for hikers and cyclers. Photo by David Wells

Miami architecture faculty to help preserve bridge

The Black Covered Bridge originally was a single span, but the mid-stream support seen here was later added when the bridge started to sag. Photo by David Wells

Miami architecture faculty to help preserve bridge

Many of the structural timbers on the bridge are a foot thick and more than 12 feet long. Photo by David Wells

Miami architecture faculty to help preserve bridge

The Austin-Magie farmhouse, across Morning Sun Road from the bridge, was one of the most successful hog farms in the area. The house is part of the grant project being done by the Miami University Department of Agriculture. Photo by Halie Barger

Signs from the Butler County Progressive Political Action Committee.

Faith-based fitness group celebrates anniversary

When Miami gerontology major, Josie Rader, started combining her workouts with her love of Christ, she did not expect it to grow into a successful business. Now, seven years later, Rader and her Faith & Fitness program provide free exercise classes to seven locations statewide. 

News Briefs

Police department will purchase new utility vehicles

Oxford will buy three 2020 Ford Interceptor Utility Vehicles for the police department.

The city council agreed at its meeting Tuesday, Jan. 21 to a contract with Lebanon Ford to buy the vehicles. Police Chief John Jones said the budget for the three vehicles is $141,000—$96,834 for the basic purchase and the rest for special police upgrades that will be installed.

Jones said the new vehicles will replace three models from 2008.

Miami Rec Center offers free fitness classes

The Miami Rec Center will host its Group FIT Free Week next week. Between Jan. 27 and Feb. 2, all group fitness classes at the Rec Center and at the Chestnut Fieldhouse are free for the public without prior registration.

Class times are listed online and the fitness department recommends attendees arrive 20 minutes early to secure a spot in the class.  


Local experts to host Owl Prowl Night

Naturalists will lead an Owl Prowl Night Hike through Butler County’s Indian Creek Metro Park from 6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m., Saturday, Jan. 25.

The tramp starts at the Mayer Picnic Shelter, 6500 Springfield Road, Oxford. Owls often hunt at night and experts from Hueston Woods State Park will lead the way through the woods, demonstrating how to call the owls in from the forest.

Participants are urged to dress for the weather. The event is free, but space is limited, so interested persons are asked to register by calling the park at (513) 867-5835, Ext. 302.

City council adopts new family pass for aquatic center

Oxford City Council has changed the 2020 season pass fees of the Oxford Aquatic Center, altering the description of who is eligible for family passes to include up to four people living together in a household at a common address.

Four-person households are defined in the ordinance has having one, but not more than two adults 18 or older. All children on a household pass must also have a parent or guardian listed on the pass.  

The new ordinance changes an earlier directive that said season passes would be available for individuals only. That resulted in more than 100 online complaints from people saying the individual-only passes made the rates too costly for larger families and did not reflect diverse household structures, said Casey Wooddell, director of the department of parks and recreation. 

The cost of a household passes are $210 for Oxford residents and $231 for non-residents. Additional adults, ages 18 to 59, will be $100 each for Oxford residents and $110 each for non-residents. Additional children, ages 2 to 17, will be $80 each for Oxford residents and $88 each for non-residents. Additional seniors, ages 60 and older, will be $80 each for Oxford residents and $88 each for non-residents. Additional children under 2- years-old will be free, according to the new ordinance. 

Council adopted the new rates Tuesday, Jan. 21. Several councilmembers said they had been thanked by members of the public for revising the rates.

City Manager Douglas Elliott said the season passes make up about 30% of fees collected by the aquatic center, with the rest coming from day-passes. 


Miami Little League has signups for T-ball, baseball and softball

It’s never too early in the year to start thinking about baseball. The deadline for online registration in the Miami Little League is Sunday, Feb. 16, at https://www.facebook.com/miamilittleleague/.

Miami Little League T-ball, baseball and softball is open for boys and girls, ages 4 to 18.

Player evaluations are mandatory for those in the 8 and under, 10 and under, 12 and under, softball/coach pitch programs and the minor and major baseball programs. Evaluations will be held Sunday, Feb. 23, in the Talawanda High School gym. Details on the evaluation times for various programs and age groups can be found at the Facebook site above.

Miami eliminates 40 staff positions

Miami University is eliminating 40 jobs from the school’s payroll, effective July 1, University President Gregory Crawford announced Thursday.

In an email sent to all Miami employees, Crawford said the cutbacks were being made so the university can “increase our investment in student scholarships and new academic programming.”

The email went on to say that department and division heads would be notifying the affected workers in the next few days. Outplacement assistance and job counseling will be available to those losing their jobs, Crawford’s message said. 

The message did not say how much money the moves will save the university. In a follow-up email, University Provost Jason Osborne said the cuts would include eight staff members from Academic Affairs, including one from the Oxford campus and seven from the regional campuses. 

Friday, January 17th, 2020
Signs from the Butler County Progressive Political Action Committee.

Oxford continues discussions whether
to ban single-use plastic containers

With the city's commitment  to the Global Covenant of Mayors for Climate and Energy last year, Oxford is focusing on reducing greenhouse gas emissions and decreasing negative environmental impact. However, a proposed ban on single-use plastic, polystyrene, was tabled in city council and will be considered by the city's environmental commission Jan. 23.

U.S., Butler County feel effects of flu season, which is at its peak

Flu season is at its peak and  local and national organizations are reminding people how to stay healthy this winter. Washing hands, coughing into sleeves, properly disposing of used tissues and seeing a doctor during the early onset of sickness can all help reduce flu symptoms and the spread of the disease. The CDC also wants to remind people it is not too late to get vaccinated.

City considers options for Western Knolls development project

After getting public input on what to do with the city-owned acreage on the southwest end of town, a consultant will be hired to do a comprehensive housing study for further analysis. The city council would like to add affordable housing, commercial offices and single family homes at the location.
Signs from the Butler County Progressive Political Action Committee.

Enjoy Oxford helps residents beat the winter blues

Cabin Fever can be side effect of winter weather, but Oxford will help cure those winter blues with four days of events to get you out of the house. Events include a “Ninja Obstacle Course,” hot chocolate, football, cornhole, water sports and ice skating. Enjoy Oxford will be hosting events Jan. 17 through 20.
Obituary
Signs from the Butler County Progressive Political Action Committee.

Professor was passionate about politics, chess

Political Science professor emeritus Clyde Brown taught at Miami for 20 years. He died in December and will be remembered for his commitment for teaching and his passion for politics. He also was an avid chess player.

Poet Laureate
Signs from the Butler County Progressive Political Action Committee.

Poetry is language and aesthetics

Dave Lucas writes his final piece of “Poetry for People Who Hate Poetry” remarking on the idea that poetry is more than poems. The literature is mysterious in that it enables readers to push past hard times and experience language in a new perspective.

News Briefs

Talawanda school board swears in new members and elects leader

The Talawanda Board of Education elected Chris Otto to serve as its president for 2020, and Mary Jane Roberts to be vice president. The selections were made during the board’s annual organization meeting Monday, Jan. 13. Otto and Roberts both are veteran members of the board.

Talawanda District Treasurer Mike Davis swears in Chris Otto and Mary Jane Roberts as president and vice-president of the Talawanda Board of Education, Monday, Jan. 13. Photo provided by Talawanda School District

Otto, re-elected to the board last November, succeeds Mark Butterfield as president. Butterfield did not seek re-election to the board. Roberts also served as vice-president last year.

Otto, first elected in 2015, is senior director for university advancement, finance and business services at Miami University. Roberts is a retired special education teacher and principal from the district, who has been on the board for 10 years. Otto and Roberts each have children who  graduated from Talawanda High School.

Talawanda District Treasurer Mike Davis swears in Kathleen Knight-Abowitz, Chris Otto and Rebecca Howard as members of the Talawanda Board of Education Monday, Jan. 13. Photo provided by Talawanda School District

Otto, along with newly elected board members Rebecca Howard and Kathleen Knight-Abowitz, were sworn in for their new terms on Monday.

The next meeting of the board will be 7:30 p.m., Jan. 27, at the high school.

Playhouse performs ‘Stuart Little’ at Community Arts Center

The Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park’s “Off the Hill” productions are coming to Oxford Sunday, Jan. 26, to perform “Stuart Little.” The show is free and begins at 2 p.m., at the Oxford Community Arts Center, 10 S. College Ave.

This performance is created by Joseph Robinette and is adapted from the book by E.B. White. It tells the story of a mouse trying to make it in a big city.

CBS News correspondent to join Miami board of trustees

Jeff Pegues (Miami ’92), chief justice and homeland security correspondent for CBS News, is scheduled to become a national member of the Miami University Board of Trustees in February, according to the university.

CBS News correspondent Jeff Pegues will become a Miami University Trustee. Observer file photo

Pegues is a three-time Emmy Award winner and in recent years has led CBS coverage of terrorist attacks, school shootings and Russian interference in the 2016 U.S. presidential election. His 2018 book, “Kompromat: How Russia Undermined American Democracy.”  Speaking during a visit to Miami University shortly after the book’s publication, he said Americans should treat Russia’s interference in our elections as a crime, not politics.

Pegues, who played football while a student at Miami, was the commencement speaker at the university’s spring 2019 graduation ceremony. “This is home. I grew up on this field,” he told the graduates during the ceremony at Yager Stadium.

Miami is governed by a 17-member board of trustees. Eleven members, including two enrolled students, are appointed by the governor and must be Ohio residents. The board selects the other six as national members, described on the university website as “notable, highly-respected alumni residing outside the State of Ohio.”

Talawanda starts registration for next kindergarten class

Registration for Talawanda kindergarten for the 2020-21 school year is now open for any child in the district who is 5 years old or will be turning 5 on or before Aug. 1. Registrations must be done by appointment only, and the dates vary by school location.

To schedule an appointment, parents should call or go to the school office. Those registering a child must bring to the appointment: the child’s certified birth certificate; immunization records; certified-court stamped divorce decree with custody records (if applicable); a copy of a parent’s driver’s license; a copy of the child’s Individual Education Plan (IEP) or Evaluation Team Report (ETR), if applicable; and proof of Talawanda residency. All students will be required to have a physical before the first day of school. Physical forms will be included in the registration packet and are required to be filled out by a physician.

Registration Dates and information sessions are:

Bogan Elementary Registration is April 14

An informational meeting for Bogan will be at 6:30 p.m. April 7, at the school.  


Kramer Elementary Registration is April 21

An informational meeting for Kramer will be at 7 p.m. April 16, at the school.


Marshall Elementary Registration is May 4

An informational meeting for Marshall will be at 6:30 p.m. April 28, at the school.


If you cannot attend a registration date, you should call the particular school office, complete all of the required forms and provide all of the required documents to the applicable school before May 8, according to the school district.

Lane Library to host chili cookoff

Sample what may be the best chili cooked up in Oxford 2 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 25, at the Oxford Lane Library’s Chili Cook-Off and Tasting Event.

The event is open to all, and you can still register to enter your chili by picking up a form at the Library, located at 441 S. Locust St.

The competition will be judged by members of the Oxford Fire Department. Questions about the event should be directed to Connie Van Frank at c.vanfrank@lanepl.org or Kevin Sequeira at k.sequeira@lanepl.org.

Hueston Woods hosts Winter Bird Watch

This is a good time to check out birds that didn’t go south for the winter in the Hueston Woods Winter Bird Watch at 2 p.m., Saturday, Jan. 18.

The tour begins at the park’s nature center, 6301 Park Office Road. One of the Hueston Woods’ naturalists will lead participants on an hour-long search for some of the many species of birds that are around this time of year, including red-tailed hawks, from which the Miami University mascot gets its name.

The event is free and open to the public. Participants are advised to dress appropriately for the weather. The park has some sets of binoculars that will be available, although it is suggested that people who have their own should bring them.

Friday, January 10th, 2020

City Council considers outdoor refreshment area

City council will consider a proposal created to allow residents to carry alcohol in open containers uptown and walk through the area with them. The proposal is limited to Miami’s summer and winter terms when there are fewer students in Oxford. The proposal is still in preliminary stages as it was first mentioned during December's city council meeting.

Farmer J-term consulting experience program moves to Chicago

The FSB winter program has been in Cincinnati for the past two years, but this year's session is in Chicago as more businesses are located there. The students will get a taste of what it is like to be a consultant in the two week program.
Signs from the Butler County Progressive Political Action Committee.

Miami students feel impact of Australia wildfires

Students on study abroad trips this winter term in Sydney and New Zealand have been told to avoid jogging, hiking, or biking outside to avoid exposure to smoke. Students say one day can be sunny skies and the next could have reduced visibility and strange smells.
Signs from the Butler County Progressive Political Action Committee.

Parking meter experiment gets mixed reviews

“Smart” meters went up the first of the year that allow the use of credit cards to pay. It does come with a higher cost as $1 is the lowest the credit card will charge. Parking for an hour uptown used to cost 50 cents an hour, but now cost $1 an hour. The council will decide whether to use the “smart” meters once the trial period is over.

Talawanda High School student dies in car wreck over winter break

The high school offered grief counseling for its students after the death of Bryce Hizer, who was a freshman. Hizer was a passenger in a car that crashed in Franklin County, Indiana. The accident also injured four others in the car, including the driver. The accident remains under investigation.
Signs from the Butler County Progressive Political Action Committee.

Lane Library presents LEGO building contest

The contest will have two age groups of 5 and under and 6 through 11. Library frequenters will vote on the creations for first and second place to win a $50 and $25 gift card to a LEGO shop. Team creations are allowed and there is no theme limitations except the creation must be original work. 
Obituary
Signs from the Butler County Progressive Political Action Committee.

Psychology professor will be remembered for his many roles at Miami

John Czaja started his career at Miami in 1985 in charge of animal care, patents and development a community network. He also became the associate director of the Office for the Advancement of Research and Scholarship (OARS). Czaja saw value in undergraduate research and cared about the personal success of each student.