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Serving Amelia, Batavia, Batavia Township, New Richmond, Ohio Township, Pierce Township, Union Township, Williamsburg, Williamsburg Township




Is water at your child’s school safe?

Despite rumors, Old West Fest returns 2017

Kelly McBride

Sheila Vilvens

A recent decision by a local school district to test its water has raised questions about the levels of lead in other parts of the Greater Cincinnati area, and whether districts are choosing to test water sources in their buildings. Forest Hills Schools in Anderson Township, Ohio, voluntarily tested the water in all of its buildings earlier this year, with results of high levels in some locations, The Community Press reported. The move follows a clas-action lawsuit filed last October against school districts in Flint, Michigan, after students were exposed to lead-tainted water. While the Forest Hills results were considered largely safe, the few areas of high levels prompted the district to take those sources out of service and make repairs. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, lead in water is typically the result of corrosion when fixtures are older, or from solder that links the pipes. Levels are higher after water sits in the pipes for several hours. Children exposed to lead are at increased risk for brain and nervous system damage, slowed growth and development, learning and behavior problems, and hearing and speech problems, according to the CDC. The acceptable level of lead set by the EPA is less than 15 parts per billion, with guidelines for schools to take action at the 20 ppb level. Lead in water is regulated under the Clean Water Act

Much like fake news of its day regarding the death of Mark Twain, rumors of Old West Festival’s death are wrong. Not only is the popular festival returning to its 68-acre Clermont County venue in Williamsburg, it’s celebrating its 10th year. A similarly named event, WestFest, in Cheviot is ending its run after a decade and being replaced with Brews on the Block. News of WestFest ending is thought by Old West Festival organizers to be the source of rumors regarding their event, according to spokeswoman Kim Sheridan. The Old West Festival’s website clearly indicates its return for 2017. Basic information is already available including this year’s hours and dates of operation - 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays, Sept. 9 through Oct. 15. Planning for this year’s festival is still underway, Sheridan said. Many crowd favorites are returning like the old-time baseball games. During the America’s Past Time weekend, the Cincinnati Buckeyes will play Saturday, Sept. 23. The Cincinnati Red Stockings play Sunday, Sept. 24. Another themed weekend planned for this year is the Halloween Weekend Oct. 14 and 15. During this weekend kids in costumes will get in at 50 percent off and be able to trick-ortreat in the “Ghost Town.” New this year is a world champion roper and showman extraordinaire, Sheridan said. Kowboy Kal holds the Guinness Book record for the largest wedding ring loop.


According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, lead in water is typically the result of corrosion when fixtures are older, or from solder that links the pipes. Levels are higher after water sits in the pipes for several hours.

and the Safe Drinking Water Act. Although the EPA has determined that 15 ppb of pollutants in drinking water could be dangerous, there is no known safe level of lead exposure for children. It begs the question: How safe is the water in other school districts? Several districts were contacted across The Community Press coverage areas, and while some have initiated testing recently, others are now promising to conduct testing of lead levels in water to which their students are exposed.

Age of buildings a key factor Princeton City School District has not tested its water, mainly because its buildings are newer. The district had constructed seven elementary

schools, a middle school and a high school since 2006, but one school was renovated because of its historic significance. Glendale Elementary is more than a century old, and while some of the plumbing was replaced during a 2007 renovation, other areas of the building have old fixtures. Jon Fricke, Princeton’s director of buildings and operations, said locations of older plumbing at Glendale Elementary would be targeted in that building. Wyoming City Schools tested the water in all of its five school buildings in December. While only two sites within each building were tested, none See WATER, Page 2A

Transient vendor ordinance passes amid turmoil Marika Lee

Loveland’s transient business and vendor ordinance has passed amid turmoil at City Council. Loveland City Council had its first reading of its transient vendor and business ordinance, which would require all transient vendors and businesses to apply for a permit, pay a fee and undergo a background check, at its last meeting. Councilwoman Kathy Bailey, who is part of the minority on council, and Councilwoman Pam Gross, who is part

of the majority, jointly revised that version of the ordinance. “I think it is a fair resolution and I think I should go forward. So, I was dismayed to find in my council packet an amended ordinance. There is no question in my mind that an agreement was reached and everyone understand that to be the case,” Bailey said at the April 11 meeting. The rewritten ordinance requires each vendor to apply for a permit for special events, instead of the event organizer applying for one and paying a fee based on how many vendors the event will have.

“I thought we had reached an agreement. Nobody spoke out against it at the last meeting and I think it was a suitable resolution to this issue,” said Councilman Ted Phelps, who is part of the minority. “Anyone who votes on this amendment has reneged on a deal that was reached with minority members,” Bailey said. The ordinance was approved by a vote of 4-3 with Mayor Mark Fitzgerald, Vice Mayor Angie Settell, Gross and Councilman Steve Zamagais voting for it. Bailey, Phelps and Councilman Rob Weisgerber voted against it.


“You can’t renege on something that nobody has ever agreed to. I don’t think there was an agreement,” Gross said. Bailey was able to get two amendments to the ordinance approved. For special events, the organizer, not the vendors themselves, will be responsible for insurance and providing background checks. Both passed with a vote of 7-0. The fee structure for the ordinance was approved separately in December. But after receiving negative feedback from residents, the fees for transient vendors and businesses were low-

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ered to $20 for a one-day visitor and $50 for an annual permit. Resident and Loveland Farmers’ Market volunteer Peggy Goodwin said multiple vendors have said they might not attend the market this year because of the fees, adding numerous other markets in the area do not charge fees. Last meeting, multiple residents called for Fitzgerald’s resignation after his attorney sent “threatening” letters to them. Want to know more about what is happening in Loveland? Follow Marika Lee on Twitter: @ReporterMarika Vol. 37 No. 3 © 2017 The Community Press ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

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