Saturday, July 17, 2004

Neighborhood briefs

Lakota vote unanimous to hire bus service

LIBERTY TWP. - The Lakota Schools could be out of the transportation business as early as next month.

The school board voted unanimously to contract with Petermann LLC to provide bus service contingent upon the final details of a contract that was worked out late Friday.

Petermann President Peter J. Settle pledged to offer jobs to every single Lakota bus driver and was confident a final agreement could be negotiated.

"It's a very scary change for bus drivers. We've been through it many times with drivers," Settle said.

Superintendent Kathleen Klink said the district could save as much as $1.1 million in transportation costs over three years by contracting with Petermann.

For the 2003-2004 school year, Lakota budgeted $9.2 million for transportation plus the cost to purchase 10 new buses, said Alan Hutchinson, Lakota's treasurer.

The district operates 192 routes with a fleet of 215 diesel buses, said Michael Rosenberger, director of transportation. About 16,300 students are transported daily to Lakota's 19 schools and 30 private schools The district employs about 240 bus drivers, aides and mechanics.

Women plan auxiliary to support fire dept.

HAMILTON TOWNSHIP _ Two South Lebanon women are working to start an auxiliary to support the Hamilton Township fire department.

Township trustees gave Katie Bess and Kim Collins their approval this week. The organization will fund raise for and support the township's Explorer program, provide on-scene support to the fire department, and sponsor a Christmas drive for families in need.

"South Lebanon already has an auxiliary," Bess said. "So we decided we would help somebody who needed help."

Fire Chief G.E. Williams said the department had an association in the past, but it fizzled in 1997.

To donate to the auxiliary or to volunteer call 683-1622.

Levies' absentee ballot deadline July 31

HAMILTON - Absentee ballot applications sent by mail for the Aug. 3 special elections for Fairfield and Edgewood schools levies, and the Monroe income tax, must be received by the Butler County Board of Elections by July 31.

Absentee ballots applications can be found online at, or requested in writing from the board office, 315 High St., Hamilton.

Registered voters may cast an absentee ballot in person at the board office during office hours until 4:30 p.m. Aug. 2. The office also will be open 8:30 a.m.-noon July 31.

For more information, call the Hamilton office, 887-3700, or the Middletown office, 424-0469.

Summer camp raises $500 for cancer center

MOUNT LOOKOUT - Two Mount Lookout families hosted a summer camp for children this week that raised $500 for the Barrett Cancer Center.

The camp was in honor of Jenny Carroll, a 38-year-old Mount Lookout woman who died in March of colon cancer.

Friends Tenesia Wildermuth and Chrissie Rohde helped their children organize this week's summer camp, which included crafts, sporting activities, nature hikes and obstacle courses.

"The children in the neighborhood wanted to do something for the Carroll family," Wildermuth said. "They wanted the money to go to the cancer center because they are interested in helping to find a cure for cancer."

Blue Ash offers tour of new firehouse

BLUE ASH - Residents can tour the city's new $6.5 million firehouse following a formal dedication ceremony at 10 a.m. July 24.

The 35,000-square-foot facility at 10647 Kenwood Road - the city's second firehouse - opened last December to improve service to city's north end.

City officials said that the station, staffed 24 hours a day, has already resulted in improved emergency response times.

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