National Media Attention… still

It’s been an interesting week.  We continue to have national media outlets lurking around the city hoping to do another story about how bad opiate addiction is in Middletown.  Forget the rest of Butler and Warren County.  Forget Southwest Ohio.  Forget Ohio.  Forget that it is a national epidemic.

Somehow, they seem to want to focus on Middletown.   I’ve been ambushed by national news reporters this week at the City building and at Triple Moon when I tried to get my morning coffee.  Over the last weekend, national reporters posed as overheated runners and showed up at Fire Headquarters asking for a drink of water and then covertly started questioning the paramedics about heroin addiction.

We have so many wonderful things happening throughout the City.   Employment is high.  New construction is booming.  Income tax is on pace for record levels this year.  We have millions of dollars in capital projects underway throughout the city.

We just finished a great July 4th holiday followed by the Ohio Challenge and  Warrior Weekend to Remember this past weekend.   August 1st is National Night Out with the Middletown Division of Police.  Please plan on coming out as a community at Lefferson Park on August 1.

Opiate addiction is a serious problem throughout the United States.  While I understand the fascination by media, and we watch closely the effect of the epidemic on Middletown, let me put this into another perspective.

The national buzz started when Chief Lolli stated that if we stayed on current overdose levels, we could spend up to $100,000 on Narcan this year.   That is a big number that caught everyone’s attention.   Let’s add some context to that number.

If you go online at the City’s web page, you’ll see that the 2017 budget for the City of Middletown across all funds is $87.6 million.   IF we actually stay on pace and spend $100,000 on Narcan, that represents 0.1% of the budget for 2017.   One tenth of one percent….

We had approximately 600 overdoses in the first half of 2017.  Another big number.  Several of those overdoses were multiple runs for the same individual.  The actual number of patients seen was just under 500.   We are a city of about 50,000 people.  That means overdoses are affecting about 1% of our population.

The devastating effects of addiction are real and the people involved need help.  We have tried as a city to be proactive in that regard.   At the end of the day, however, this is a problem that affects about 1% of our population and potentially drains one tenth of one percent of our budget to save lives with Narcan.    Let’s keep the problem real, not only in terms of lives broken and lost, but also on the real actual effect opiate addiction has on the city’s residents, finances, and resources.

We’re not going bankrupt any time soon from Narcan use.

American Heart Association recognizes Middletown and Monroe Fire Departments

The American Heart Association recognized the Middletown Division of Fire and the Monroe Fire Department at Atrium Medical Center on Monday for their success in reducing heart attack deaths in the community.


Fire Chief Paul Lolli, Captain David VonBargen, the American Heart Association rep and Atrium President Mike Uhl

The City of Middletown Division of Fire received the Mission Lifeline EMS – Silver Award.  To achieve this status, MFD achieved a 75% or higher compliance rate over the past 12 months for the percentage of patients with non-traumatic chest pain over 35 years of age who were transported, treated and received a pre-hospital 12 Lead electrocardiogram and for the percentage of STEMI patients transported to a STEMI Receiving Center, with pre-hospital First Medical Contact to Device in less than 90 minutes.

American Heart Association Award

While that seems fairly technical, this isn’t:   From 2008 to 2015, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has reported a 20% decrease in age-adjusted death rate from heart attacks in our area.  The outstanding care given by your EMS service saves lives.  It’s just that simple.

Our great friends in Monroe received the Mission Lifeline EMS – Bronze status for their great work in the area as well.


Congrats to two outstanding Fire departments for their achievements and awards.  Thanks to both for saving lives in our communities every day.

Ohio Challenge and Warrior Weekend to Remember

Thanks to and Team Fastrax for sponsoring this past weekend’s Ohio Challenge and the Warrior Weekend to Remember.   What a fantastic weekend for the city despite not one hot air balloon making it into the air due to weather.

My wife and I had the privilege of attending the Warrior Weekend to Remember dinner with the Mayor and his wife, the Police Chief and his wife, Judges Melynda and Greg Howard, and MPD sergeant Steve Ream who is also a member of the Fastrax organization.   This is my third Warrior Weekend and the personal stories and love given to our veterans are incredibly powerful every time with an amazing group of Purple Heart recipients and Gold Star families who have lost a family member in combat.

Mayor Mulligan gave a Proclamation and John Hart and his brother David oversaw the festivities at the Dinner.   MPD Honor Guard presented our colors.

After dinner, the Warriors and Gold Star families were honored at the Ohio Challenge, followed by live music, a demonstration jump Team Fastrax, a Balloon Glow, a nighttime Fireworks jump by Team Fastrax and then a full fireworks show.


Truly a great evening with a great crowd.  A wonderful time for our hero veterans and all who attended the event.

Oh… and I totally have picked out my Halloween costume for next year.  I AM WAR MACHINE….  lol.

Ohio Challenge 8


We already know that our Middletown-Hamilton Small Business Development Center has won numerous awards due to their outstanding work, but we’re not mad about congratulating another!

Associate Director Mark Lankford of Butler County SBDC has been awarded the 2017 State Star honor. This is given to 1 Counselor each year, voted on by the center directors. He was 1 of 3 candidates and was a unanimous choice taking 14 1st place votes with next closest receiving 6 1st place votes. He will receive his award at our ASBDC National Conference in Nashville the 1st week of September.

Thank you to our SBDC for all of the hard work that they do in Middletown, Hamilton, and the region. Keep up the great work – we’re sure we’ll see plenty more awards in the future!

“I am very humbled by this award. Our state network is filled with high quality counselors and to be recognized in this manner is truly a high honor. I am grateful to those who have given me the opportunity to serve my clients, namely our host the Hamilton Mill, our  other major funding partners including the city of Middletown Economic Development Department, the SBA and the state of Ohio DSA. Most importantly, I’d like to thank my Director David Riggs who has put his complete trust in me and turned our center around since his arrival.”



Thank you Group Work Camps and SELF

I had the privilege of attending the opening session for Group Work Camps last week.  Sponsored by Supports to Encourage Low Income Families, Group Work Camps made their third trip to Middletown with 364 campers from 9 states.

During their week in Middletown, 61 crews of teens worked on 43 homes of low income families, completing needed maintenance repairs, returning homes to code compliance and building 10 handicap ramps to assist disabled residents with transportation in and out of their homes.

This is always a special group of people who give selflessly of their time and energy to help those less fortunate.   Thank you to SELF for sponsoring this great event and to Group Work Camps for their continued support of Middletown residents.   We appreciate everything  you do.




The Power of Social Media

This blog page has been around for about two years now.  As we have recently seen, the things that go viral are not always what we expect.   Social Media has, for better or for worse, changed how we communicate around the world.

I pulled up the stats on this blog page and was astounded.  Since it’s inception, I have had 60,033 visitors making 119,059 views of my 323 posts.

And it’s not just a local thing.  I’ve had visitors register from Canada, Australia, India, the United Kingdom, Philippines, Spain, Mexico, France, Japan, New Zealand, Columbia, Hong Kong, Saudi Arabia, Thailand, Pakistan, Sweden, Greece, Taiwan, Ireland, Honduras, South Africa, Puerto Rico, Barbados, Germany, Denmark, South Korea, Austria, Norway, Ecuador, Aruba, Czech Republic, Morocco, Singapore, Malta, Estonia, Trinidad & Tobago, Italy, and Sri lanka.

What an interesting world we live in.

Nice Job Chief Muterspaw

The Middletown Police Department recently hosted a two-day course in Racial Intelligence Training and Engagement (RITE).

The goal is to de-escalate situations, build better community engagement and prevent deadly encounters. Officers from nine Ohio departments participated.

Chief Muterspaw, Lieutenant Dave Birk and Officer Sheoki Reece took part in a radio interview explaining the training and the benefits for all participating police departments.

Hats off to Chief Muterspaw for a great interview and for having the foresight to bring this training to Middletown!  To listen to the interview, click on the link below: