Afternoon catchup: 5 Butler County stories you need to know today

Monica Ann Pennington MIDDLETOWON CITY JAIL
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Monica Ann Pennington MIDDLETOWON CITY JAIL

Here’s a look at five big Butler County stories today to catch up on the news:


Police: Middletown church vandalized causing thousands of dollars in damage

Several churches in the area have opened in spaces that are not your typical church buildings. Berachah Church has transformed Middletown’s former Verity Middle School into a church campus. NICK GRAHAM/STAFF
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Several churches in the area have opened in spaces that are not your typical church buildings. Berachah Church has transformed Middletown’s former Verity Middle School into a church campus. NICK GRAHAM/STAFF

Berachah Church in Middletown was broken into and vandalized overnight, according to Middletown police.

Pastor Lamar Ferrell said three to four juveniles smashed out a window and broke into the church. Once inside, they broke LED lights and spray painted vulgar images on the walls and floors, Ferrell said.

“Sad,” Ferrell said. “Why would anyone want to do that in Berachah, a place of blessing? It’s not our house, it’s God’s house.”

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What they’re saying: Middletown residents react to proposed $1.3 billion Hollywoodland development

Artist renderings of the proposed "Hollywoodland" development in downtown Middletown, which city officials say would bring $1.3 billion in investment and thousands of jobs to the city. CONTRIBUTED
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Artist renderings of the proposed "Hollywoodland" development in downtown Middletown, which city officials say would bring $1.3 billion in investment and thousands of jobs to the city. CONTRIBUTED

Twenty-two Middletown residents spoke during Thursday night’s special City Council meeting and a large majority said they’re against the proposed $1.3 billion Hollywoodland, an entertainment and destination project planned near the Great Miami River and historic downtown.

This was the third meeting where citizens addressed Hollywoodland.

Here are some of their comments:

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Bond set for Middletown woman accused of shooting and killing her sister

Monica Ann Pennington MIDDLETOWON CITY JAIL
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Monica Ann Pennington MIDDLETOWON CITY JAIL

A Middletown woman was arraigned this morning for murder after allegedly fatally shooting her sister at their Lafayette Avenue home.

Monica Ann Pennington, 48, of 1607 Lafayette Ave., was booked into the Middletown City Jail on Wednesday just a few hours after her sister, Pamela Pennington, 52, was shot dead.

Middletown Municipal Court Judge James Sherron set bond at $100,000 cash, property or surety. She is scheduled to be back in court for a preliminary hearing on Oct. 29.

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Butler County high school girl wins international gold medal in karate

Badin High School junior Kendyl Roberts earned a gold medal during competition at the World Karate Championships in Romania in late September. She has been training for 10 years and the 17-year-old represented the U.S. in three events during the world competition. CONTRIBUTED
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Badin High School junior Kendyl Roberts earned a gold medal during competition at the World Karate Championships in Romania in late September. She has been training for 10 years and the 17-year-old represented the U.S. in three events during the world competition. CONTRIBUTED

In recent years the karate skills of a Badin High School student have seen her compete around America but junior Kendyl Roberts recently upped her game by bringing home a world championship title from her first international event.

The 17-year-old won top honors earlier this month in the World Karate Championships in Romania with a gold medal in Sai, which is a short sword weapons form of karate, according to Badin school officials.

“It was one of the best times of my life,” said Roberts, whose family lives in Butler County’s Liberty Twp.

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Death sentence overturned for inmate who killed elderly Hamilton man in 2003

Donald Ketterer OHIO DEPARTMENT OF REHABILITATION AND CORRECTION
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Donald Ketterer OHIO DEPARTMENT OF REHABILITATION AND CORRECTION

Donald J. Ketterer, who was sentenced to death for killing an elderly Hamilton man in 2003 is no longer on death row due to a new law prohibiting the execution of people who had severe mental illness at the time of their crime.

In January, Gov. Mike DeWine signed the bill into law covering killers diagnosed with schizophrenia, schizoaffective disorder, bipolar disorder or delusional disorder when they committed their crimes.

Last month, a Visiting Butler County Common Pleas Judge James Brogan granted Ketterer’s July 2021 motion for post-conviction relief regarding his sentence, citing the the new law, and resentenced Ketterer to life in prison with no possibility for parole for killing 85-year-old Lawrence Sanders.

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AND, for an extra sixth story of the day ...

Longtime Warren County high school Spanish teacher dies of COVID-19

Jorge Gonzalez | Kings Local School District
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Jorge Gonzalez | Kings Local School District

Kings Local School District in Warren County is mourning the sudden loss of a longtime teacher.

Jorge Gonzalez died Monday at age 56. He was the Spanish teacher at Kings High School.

Dawn Gould, the school district’s community relations coordinator, said Gonzalez contracted COVID-19. Gonzalez was vaccinated, according to Gould.

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