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

Credit: Journal News

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Kings Island Camp Cedar construction

Credit: Journal News

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


Victims ID’d in fatal 2-vehicle crash in Fairfield Twp.

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Two women died after one vehicle struck another Friday morning, April 16, 2021, on Ohio 4 in front of Butler Tech in Fairfield Twp. The case remains under investigation. NICK GRAHAM/STAFF

Credit: Nick Graham

Two women died after one vehicle struck another Friday morning, April 16, 2021, on Ohio 4 in front of Butler Tech in Fairfield Twp. The case remains under investigation. NICK GRAHAM/STAFF

Credit: Nick Graham

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Two women died after one vehicle struck another Friday morning, April 16, 2021, on Ohio 4 in front of Butler Tech in Fairfield Twp. The case remains under investigation. NICK GRAHAM/STAFF

Credit: Nick Graham

Credit: Nick Graham

Fairfield Twp. officers are investigating a double fatal, two-vehicle crash on Ohio 4 that happened Friday morning.

A 2003 Toyota Corolla was headed south on Ohio 4/Hamilton-Middletown Road and driven by Terri Alcorn, 67, of Cincinnati, when it crossed the center of the road and struck a 2002 Toyota Sienna headed north, said Fairfield Twp. Police Sgt. Brandon McCroskey. The Sienna was driven by Janice King, of Monroe.

Emergency crews were dispatched at 9:56 a.m. to Ohio 4 in front of Butler Tech in Fairfield Twp.

King was flown by medical helicopter to University Hospital in Cincinnati, McCroskey said. She died at the hospital. Alcorn died at the scene of the accident.

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Hamilton council approves debated vacant housing registration over owners’ objections

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One block alone of Greenwood Avenue has been the site of several fires in recent years, and the dangers of fires in empty buildings prompted Hamilton City Council to require registration of houses that have been empty more than 120 days. NICK GRAHAM/STAFF

One block alone of Greenwood Avenue has been the site of several fires in recent years, and the dangers of fires in empty buildings prompted Hamilton City Council to require registration of houses that have been empty more than 120 days. NICK GRAHAM/STAFF

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One block alone of Greenwood Avenue has been the site of several fires in recent years, and the dangers of fires in empty buildings prompted Hamilton City Council to require registration of houses that have been empty more than 120 days. NICK GRAHAM/STAFF

Encouraged by the fire chief’s description of how vacant houses can create significant damage to areas of town, Hamilton City Council voted Wednesday to require owners to register vacant residences and pay yearly fees that grow the longer their properties remain empty.

Council unanimously approved the ordinance over objections of property owners who argued they had little time to raise their objections to it. Before the approval, one change was made: Buildings do not need to be registered as vacant until they have been empty for four months, rather than two.

For a house that has been abandoned five years or more, the annual registration fee would be $3,200, with the fee starting at $200 the first year and doubling through year five.

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New $27 million campground complex near Kings Island nearing completion: Here’s the latest

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Kings Island Camp Cedar Luxury Outdoor Resort is under construction with a June 2021 opening date. The resort features RV parking spaces and two types of cottages that sleep up to 8 people, two pools, a lodge, restaurant and more. NICK GRAHAM / STAFF

Credit: Nick Graham

Kings Island Camp Cedar Luxury Outdoor Resort is under construction with a June 2021 opening date. The resort features RV parking spaces and two types of cottages that sleep up to 8 people, two pools, a lodge, restaurant and more. NICK GRAHAM / STAFF

Credit: Nick Graham

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Kings Island Camp Cedar Luxury Outdoor Resort is under construction with a June 2021 opening date. The resort features RV parking spaces and two types of cottages that sleep up to 8 people, two pools, a lodge, restaurant and more. NICK GRAHAM / STAFF

Credit: Nick Graham

Credit: Nick Graham

Construction crews are busy working on the new $27 million Camp Cedar complex about a mile from the front gate of Kings Island.

The new luxury outdoor resort in Mason is expected to open in mid-June to welcome visitors who travel by RV or who might want to rough it by staying in one of the 73 cottages that can fit up to eight people, complete with a full-kitchen, bathroom and shower, ceiling fans, and a 50-inch television. The resort features 184 back-in or pull-through full-service RV sites as well as bathhouses for those travelers.

General Manager Terrie Zajo said the hybrid resort and camping area will feature Wi-fi, five different styles of cottages, bathhouses, a bark park, laundry facilities, heated adult and recreation pools, poolside cabanas, huge family activity areas, walking trail, a fitness room, a food truck inspired food court featuring American fare, Mexican fare, and casual sit-down dining with seasonal outdoor patio dining. She said visitors can also rent golf carts to get around the 52-acre site.

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Judge declines to again delay trial for West Chester quadruple homicide suspect

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Gurpreet Singh, man accused of killing four members of his family in West Chester Twp., appeared for a hearing on multiple motions in Butler County Common Pleas Court Friday, March 6, 2020 in Hamilton. NICK GRAHAM / STAFF

Gurpreet Singh, man accused of killing four members of his family in West Chester Twp., appeared for a hearing on multiple motions in Butler County Common Pleas Court Friday, March 6, 2020 in Hamilton. NICK GRAHAM / STAFF

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Gurpreet Singh, man accused of killing four members of his family in West Chester Twp., appeared for a hearing on multiple motions in Butler County Common Pleas Court Friday, March 6, 2020 in Hamilton. NICK GRAHAM / STAFF

A request to continue the October trial for a West Chester Twp. man charged with killing four members of his family in 2019 has been denied by Butler County Common Pleas Judge Greg Howard.

Gurpreet Singh, 38, is charged with four counts of aggravated murder for the April 28, 2019, homicides. With specifications of using a firearm and killing two or more persons, Singh faces the death penalty if convicted.

The defense team requested a continuance, citing travel restrictions and communication issues that are taking a toll on their ability to adequately represent him.

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Records: Middletown could pay Manchester Inn owner $161K settlement to regain ownership

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City officials inspected the 99-year-old Manchester Inn recently after tiles fell off the building and onto the sidewalk and road. City council will vote Tuesday whether to pay a $161,000 settlement to the owner of two downtown properties. NICK GRAHAM/STAFF

City officials inspected the 99-year-old Manchester Inn recently after tiles fell off the building and onto the sidewalk and road. City council will vote Tuesday whether to pay a $161,000 settlement to the owner of two downtown properties. NICK GRAHAM/STAFF

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City officials inspected the 99-year-old Manchester Inn recently after tiles fell off the building and onto the sidewalk and road. City council will vote Tuesday whether to pay a $161,000 settlement to the owner of two downtown properties. NICK GRAHAM/STAFF

The City of Middletown may own two downtown properties again if city council approves paying the owner a settlement agreement, according to county court and city documents reviewed by the Journal-News.

City council is expected to vote Tuesday at its next meeting whether to authorize City Manager Jim Palenick to enter into a settlement agreement in accordance with Butler County Common Pleas Court Judge Michael Oster Jr.’s decision regarding the pending lawsuit with Manchester Hotel and Snider Building.

If the emergency legislation is approved, the city will pay owner William Grau $161,824.60 that constitutes reimbursement of expenses for his eight years of ownership of the buildings, according to city documents.

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

David Kern, 32-year Liberty Twp. trustee and businessman, dies at 79

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David Kern is pictured in June 2010 after being elected head of the Butler County Republican Party. Kern also served two 16-year stints - ending in 2016 - as a Liberty Twp Trustee. Kern died at his home Tuesday after a long illness. He was remembered by local officials as a powerful but polite foundation for Liberty's booming growth in recent decades. (File Photo\Journal-News)

David Kern is pictured in June 2010 after being elected head of the Butler County Republican Party. Kern also served two 16-year stints - ending in 2016 - as a Liberty Twp Trustee. Kern died at his home Tuesday after a long illness. He was remembered by local officials as a powerful but polite foundation for Liberty's booming growth in recent decades. (File Photo\Journal-News)

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David Kern is pictured in June 2010 after being elected head of the Butler County Republican Party. Kern also served two 16-year stints - ending in 2016 - as a Liberty Twp Trustee. Kern died at his home Tuesday after a long illness. He was remembered by local officials as a powerful but polite foundation for Liberty's booming growth in recent decades. (File Photo\Journal-News)

The long public service legacy of David Kern - intertwined with Liberty Twp. and Butler County politics – ended this week with the passing of the former officeholder, businessman and community icon.

Kern died at his Liberty Twp. home Tuesday after a long battle with lung and pancreatic cancer, according to his family. He was 79.

His public service and personal contributions started early with a stint as a volunteer firefighter in the 1950s, when he was also helping to run his family’s tree nursery business.

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