Middletown Independence Day Parade

Along with the Middletown Independence Day Festival taking place on July 3, Middletown will still be holding the Independence Day Parade on Tuesday, July 4 starting at 10 a.m. from Woodside Cemetery. The parade will run to Smith Park and will be immediately followed by the kids’ fishing derby at Smith Pond.

Take a look at the parade map below in order to scope out your parade-watching spot now!


Atrium Medical Center Recognized for Excellence in Stroke Treatment

We’re pleased to share that Middletown’s Atrium Medical Center has earned another award for their outstanding service and practice.

Premier Health’s Miami Valley Hospital, Good Samaritan Hospital and Atrium Medical Center recently earned awards for providing the most appropriate stroke treatment in accordance with nationally recognized guidelines based on the latest scientific evidence, according to the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association.

Through the Get With The Guidelines® program, Miami Valley Hospital and Good Samaritan Hospital in Dayton earned the Stroke Gold Plus Quality Achievement Award with Target: Stroke℠ Honor Roll Elite.

In addition, Atrium Medical Center in Middletown earned the Stroke Gold Plus Quality Achievement Award with Target: Stroke℠ Honor Roll.

Hospitals must achieve 85 percent or higher adherence to all Get With The Guidelines-Stroke achievement indicators for two or more consecutive 12-month periods and achieve 75 percent or higher compliance with five of eight quality measures to receive the Gold Plus Quality Achievement Award.

To qualify for the Target: Stroke Honor Roll Elite and the Target: Stroke Honor Roll, hospitals must meet quality measures developed to reduce the time between the patient’s arrival at the hospital and treatment with the clot-buster tissue plasminogen activator, or tPA, the only drug approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to treat ischemic stroke. If given intravenously in the first three hours after the start of stroke symptoms, tPA has been shown to significantly reduce the effects of stroke and lessen the chance of permanent disability. Miami Valley Hospital, Good Samaritan Hospital and Atrium Medical Center earned these awards by meeting specific quality achievement measures for the diagnosis and treatment of stroke patients at a set level for a designated period.

These quality measures are designed to help hospital teams follow the most up-to-date, evidence-based guidelines with the goal of speeding recovery and reducing death and disability for stroke patients, according to the associations.

Good Samaritan Hospital and Atrium Medical Center are both certified as Advanced Primary Stroke Centers by The Joint Commission and American Heart/American Stroke Association. Premier Health’s Upper Valley Medical Center and Miami Valley Hospital South are certified as Acute Stroke Ready Hospitals by The Joint Commission and American Heart/American Stroke Association.

Elizabeth Gilbert works with stroke patient Deborah Bird.

Interesting Article on Small and Mid-Sized Cities in Ohio

The Greater Ohio Policy Center  (GOPC) in June of 2016 published an article entitled From Akron to Zanesville: How are Ohio’s Small and Mid-Sized Cities Faring?

The article focused on the differences taking place in Ohio cities of different size and resources.  They provided an update to the information recently and it shows that Middletown is seeing the same strengths and weaknesses of other cities our size.

The cities were classified by population size, with Middletown fitting into the Small Legacy City category with populations between 20,000 and 65,000 residents.  Small legacy cities included Lorain, Hamilton, Springfield, Elyria, Middletown, Mansfield,, Warren, Lima, Marion, Massillon, Xenia, Sandusky, Zanesville, Chillicothe, and Portsmouth.

The GOPC combed the census and other demographic data to gather information on population, unemployment, labor force participation, median household income, per capita income, poverty rates, long-term housing vacancy rates, median housing values, new business starts and change in employees between 2000-2014.

They recently updated the information provided to include 2015 demographics.

From 2000-2015, Small Legacy Cities collectively saw an average drop of 23% in Median Household Income, 72% rise in individuals living in poverty, a 20% drop in Median Housing Values, and an increase of 169% in long term vacancy rates.

Smaller legacy cities recovered from the recession at a slower pace than our larger metropolitan areas.  We sometimes get caught up in what is going on in Middletown and forget that the rest of the state and country is also dealing with the same issues of infrastructure, workforce development, and poverty.   It’s not a Middletown problem.

I acknowledge the challenges but try to focus on the good things happening in Middletown.   All sectors of our tax base are improving.   In talking to our realtors, many houses are selling quickly for close to asking price.  We have new school buildings and a new Superintendent coming on board.  In my opinion, we have the best Police and Fire Divisions in Southwest Ohio.   Downtown will open another dozen or so new businesses this year.

This is still the coolest city I’ve ever lived in and I enjoy being a resident and your City Manager.

To see a chart of the findings above, click on the link:

Greater Ohio Policy Center

To read the entire report, click on the link below:



Heroin Summit

We convened, I believe, our 10th Heroin Summit yesterday at Atrium Medical Center yesterday morning.  One of the startling statistics was that Middletown is on pace to spend about $100,000 on Narcan this year.   This has spawned a number of conversations across social media about the City’s expenses and priorities.

The Journal article covering the summit is below:

Middletown on pace to double overdoses from last year

I’m simplifying Ohio laws considerably, and there are exceptions to what is below, but the City has very few options in not supplying Narcan.  Under Ohio law, when we are called to render aid, we generally have to treat whatever condition we encounter.  There is no three strikes and you’re out law on the books in Ohio.   In addition, we have a good Samaritan law in Ohio which encourages people to call in overdoses and prohibits police from arresting people onsite for heroin related activity associated with the overdose.   What this means is that if police and EMS are called to an overdose, the paramedics must render aid (this time, and the second time, and the third time), and if there is heroin related paraphernalia laying around from the overdose, the police must often ignore it and not arrest anyone for the activity.

I’m not going to try to get into the moral implications of whether those laws are good or bad, they simply are the law in Ohio at this time.  What this means is that Middletown will spend about $1.5 million a year responding to and reacting to opioid addiction problems in the city.   That’s money that could be spent on other priorities.

People always get a little squeamish when I talk about this subject.  I firmly believe anytime the city is using $1.5 million of your tax dollars for non-productive uses, it’s critical that we continue to talk about it and do whatever is possible at the local level to solve the problem.

We can’t arrest our way out of this.  I can’t keep it out of the city.   Below is a story on NBC news last night showing Montgomery County as the leader in addiction in the country:

Inside America’s Most Opioid Addicted County

WCPO ran an article this morning stating that Hamilton County is on track to have the most drug overdose deaths in the United States.

Hamilton County on pace to have more overdose deaths than 2016

And Middletown smack dab in between them.   It’s a Middletown problem.  It’s a southwest Ohio problem.  It’s an Ohio problem.  It’s a national epidemic.

So what do we do as a city?  We have implemented the best practices being used throughout the country.  We have five K-9 drug dogs that are pulling drugs off the street daily.  Our patrol and narcotics divisions have more drug arrests than ever before.  Our Heroin Response Team has placed 140+ people into treatment from Middletown.  Middletown Municipal Court has a Vivitrol program to reduce dependency.  We are making progress despite the increasing numbers.

Here’s my challenge to you as a city.  There are a lot of things in this epidemic that are beyond our control.  What we do control is the culture of this city and its tolerance to drugs, drug dealers and this lifestyle.   Most of our shootings this year have been drug related.  More often than not, people won’t come forward to be witnesses.  There are a few bars in town that cater to these dealers.  Boca is one and we’re shutting it down.   If you want to avoid violence in Middletown, don’t go to these bars after midnight.  Nothing good happens there.   I’ll say this publicly;  if you are a bar operator in this town and you cater to this crowd, we will find you and we will shut you down as well.   Period.  No more chances.  No more questions and second and third chances.

While I can’t keep this scourge out of Middletown, we all know that there are a number of local, home grown Middletown drug dealers who are poisoning our residents for money and we tolerate it.   We catch many of them over time, but finding witnesses to testify is almost always a problem.

When I’ve talked to some of our residents about our local drug dealers, and we know who they are, I hear things like “That’s just Tommy.  I went to school with him.  He isn’t that bad” or “I know its wrong, but Tommy gets groceries for the old lady down the street and helps neighborhood people when they need cash, so we all just kind of tolerate it.”

We are going to have to find a better way to deal with poverty in this city than having drug dealers buy groceries and hand out cash.

There is no world where someone who sells opioid drugs is ok.  They are the scourge of this city and it’s up to us to let them know we don’t want that here and won’t tolerate their poisoning of our population.  If you care about this city and you know these people, it’s up to you to let them know they need to take their business outside of Middletown.  Our city won’t get better if you watch them poison our residents and you take no action.  It won’t get better if you see drug deals and shootings and you won’t cooperate with MPD.  We’re all in this together.  Let’s fight the good fight.

And yes, this topic gets me aggravated.  And frustrated.   And pissed off.   I wish everyone in the city was as angry as I am about this.  I’m tired of drug dealers and I’m tired of watching residents die.  We have so many positive things happening in this city and this is one of the few things holding us back from full recovery.

OK…. rant over.


Middletown High School Featured in United Way Article

I’ve mentioned before that I took place in a Speed Mentoring activity at the High School designed to equip students with the knowledge, tools and resources they need to successfully transition to college.

United Way featured the event in their worldwide blog, sharing successes at Middletown High School with their followers all over the world.   Congrats to Middletown High School, the Community Building Institue and United Way for a great event and nice press for Middletown!

For the full article, click on the link below:

Making the Leap from High School to College

Broad Street Bash 2017- June 21st

Next Wednesday, June 21st is Broad Street Bash night downtown featuring the Cleavers and Dangerous Jim & the Slims.  The event is family friendly and free with music starting at 5:30 p.m. on Governor’s Square.   Bring  your lawn chair, grab at bite to eat at one of the downtown restaurants and enjoy the music!    For information on Broad Street Bash, click on the link: http://www.longlivethebash.com/

The Cleavers, a Middletown band, performs in the  area. They  like to play Rock, Classic Rock and New Country Music with an emphasis on the Party.  That means fun, danceable music.
Check them out on UTube- A Piece of My Heart-                              https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5BY4tRQptqI
Image may contain: one or more people, people on stage, people playing musical instruments, concert and indoor
Dangerous Jim & the Slims-
Dangerous Jim & The Slims
Dangerous Jim and the Slims have been one of the Midwest’s premier live acts since 2001. Fronted by 3 time Cincinnati Area Music Award Winner Jim Miller, and powered by an outstanding 3 piece horn section, the live event is something you will remember for a long time. The band has headlined the WEBN Fireworks four times and performed one year or another at every major event in Cincinnati. Completely family friendly material is combined with a songlist heavy on audience participation- a combo perfect for any club or event.
Be sure to check them out on YouTube:    https://youtu.be/0QRBhpqCjkg

Midpointe Library Summer Reading and Lunch Programs

It’s so important that we keep our kids reading over the summer break.  Midpointe Library hosts a great summer reading program available to all age groups.

For more information on the summer reading program, see the link below:


The Library also hosts a Summer Lunch Program. The lunches are provided free of charge to children 18 and under, M-F from 11:30 to 12:30.  For information on the summer lunch program, click on the link below.


You have a great library operating in Middletown.  Make sure your family is getting the best use out of this great resource!