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

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

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


Middletown council expected to table vote on $1.3 billion Hollywoodland project: What residents are saying

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
Caption
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

The future of Middletown’s most expensive project is expected to be delayed tonight when City Council votes on whether to table the vote until Dec. 7 on a proposed $1.3 billion entertainment and destination complex called Hollywoodland.

The proposed developers, Main Street Community Capital LLC., have asked council to delay the vote for seven weeks so they can meet with Middletown residents to answer some of their concerns.

City Manager Jim Palenick said the city would utilize $7.5 million in American Rescue Plan Act Funds and would combine that with financial support from the state. City Council approved spending $250,000 in March on a redevelopment study to determine if a large-scale, hospitality and destination entertainment-focused project could be “economically viable and sustainable,” the city said.

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Judge rules man accused of killing 4 relatives in West Chester can use public funds for defense experts

Gurpreet Singh, charged with killing four relatives two years ago in Butler County, appeared Friday in Butler County Common Pleas Court for a hearing. He wants to be declared indigent so the state pays for his expert witnesses. NICK GRAHAM/STAFF
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Gurpreet Singh, charged with killing four relatives two years ago in Butler County, appeared Friday in Butler County Common Pleas Court for a hearing. He wants to be declared indigent so the state pays for his expert witnesses. NICK GRAHAM/STAFF

In a opinion filed Wednesday, Butler County Common Pleas Court, Judge Gregory Howard stopped short of declaring a man accused of killing four family members in West Chester Twp. indigent but did rule he has the right to public funds to pay defense experts.

In September, Howard heard from the Butler County Prosecutor’s Office and Gurpreet Singh’s defense team on his request to declare Singh indigent.

Singh, 39, 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.

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Butler County law enforcement agencies applying for body camera grants

Butler County Sheriff Richard Jones photographed on Tuesday, Nov. 10, 2020. NICK GRAHAM / STAFF
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Butler County Sheriff Richard Jones photographed on Tuesday, Nov. 10, 2020. NICK GRAHAM / STAFF

The three largest law enforcement agencies in Butler County have applied for grants to implement body camera programs, including Sheriff Richard Jones, who has resisted the the technology until now.

Jones has applied for about $280,000 in state grant funds to implement a body camera program that would cost approximately $172,000 annually to run, according to Chief Deputy Anthony Dwyer. Jones told the Journal-News if the grant is denied — only $5 million is available — he will not pursue the program.

“No I’m not excited about the cameras and if they turn me down that’s okay,” Jones said. “Hell I can hardly buy bullets and gas for my police cars and I hardly got enough money to feed my prisoners let alone an added burden that does no good at all.”

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Fairfield grad enjoys moment in spotlight after Bengals’ video goes viral

Cincinnati Bengals running back Joe Mixon (28) jumps over Detroit Lions safety Will Harris (25) for a touchdown during the second half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Oct. 17, 2021, in Detroit. (AP Photo/Paul Sancya)
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Cincinnati Bengals running back Joe Mixon (28) jumps over Detroit Lions safety Will Harris (25) for a touchdown during the second half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Oct. 17, 2021, in Detroit. (AP Photo/Paul Sancya)

Credit: Paul Sancya

Credit: Paul Sancya

Sebastian Day hadn’t posted to anything to Twitter in almost two years when he shared a video Sunday from Ford Field, where the Cincinnati Bengals were playing the Detroit Lions.

The 12-second clip, which has been viewed 754,000 times as of Thursday morning, shows Bengals tight end C.J. Uzomah celebrating after a 2-yard touchdown catch early in the fourth quarter. He holds both arms outstretched as running back Joe Mixon and tight end Mitchell Wilcox congratulate him.

Day, a 2019 Fairfield High School graduate, was sitting in the front row with friends. He picks up the story there.

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Butler County Developmental Disabilities board rolling back taxes again: What that means for you

Butler County Board of Developmental Disabilities GREG LYNCH / STAFF
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Butler County Board of Developmental Disabilities GREG LYNCH / STAFF

Governments reducing taxes isn’t often seen but the Butler County Developmental Disabilities Board plans to rollback $3.6 million in taxes because they have stockpiled enough cash in reserves to sustain operations.

For the second year in a row the Butler County Board of Developmental Disabilities will roll back $3.6 million of its tax collections in 2022.

With cash reserves at 92% of its annual budget, the DD board has agreed to make the tax cut and give taxpayers on average $17.50 back on $100,000 of valuation. The board is planning to spend about $30.6 million next year and will garner around $21.6 million in revenues. The board will begin the year with around $37 million in cash, hence the rollback. Last year cash reserves were at $144%.

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

Boys & Girls Club lands veteran school administrator as new CEO

Sharon Redmond, formerly a top official with Ursuline Academy of Cincinnati, was recently named as the new chief executive officer of the Boys & Girls Club of West Chester/Liberty. The $6.9 million, 30,000-square-foot youth club in Olde West Chester is one of the premier youth facilities in southwest Ohio. (Provided Photo\Journal-News)
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Sharon Redmond, formerly a top official with Ursuline Academy of Cincinnati, was recently named as the new chief executive officer of the Boys & Girls Club of West Chester/Liberty. The $6.9 million, 30,000-square-foot youth club in Olde West Chester is one of the premier youth facilities in southwest Ohio. (Provided Photo\Journal-News)

A new leader is stepping to the forefront for one of the region’s premier Boys & Girls clubs.

Sharon Redmond, formerly president of Ursuline Academy of Cincinnati, was recently named as the new chief executive officer of the Boys & Girls Club of West Chester/Liberty.

“I believe in the (club’s) mission and I was impressed with the young members I met when I toured the facility,” said Redmond, a career educator whose work includes supervisory positions with five other private and public high schools.

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