Top local news for Friday, May 20, 2022

Here is a look at five big Butler County stories today to catch up on the news.

PHOTOS: Spooky Nook Sports Champion Mill Play Ball Grand Opening Gala

Scenes from the Spooky Nook Sports Play Ball VIP Grand Opening gala held at the Champion Mill Conference Center in Hamilton, Thursday, May 19. Spooky Nook Sports Champion Mill will be one of the largest convention centers and indoor sports facilities in the country once completed. GREG LYNCH / STAFF


Badin High School to alter expanded parking lot plan

Credit: Nick Graham

Credit: Nick Graham

Hamilton City Council will entertain the city’s planning commission recommendation approving Badin High School’s rezoning request, though part of the school’s preliminary plan will change.

The school will no longer consider the current restructuring of the parking lot which called for access off Jerdan Lane, according to Hamilton Planning Director Liz Hayden. She said conversations between the city and Butler County’s only Catholic high school have prompted changes.

At the April 21 planning commission meeting, Badin officials presented a plan to expand its parking lot and have bus access off Jerdan Lane. Residents were not happy with this proposal, with some saying it posed a hazard to small children that lived there and encroached on the access to their property.


Historically large state grants to offset pandemic learning losses coming to Middletown

A Middletown youth community group is touting three major and recent financial grants for after‐school and summer programs as key for helping thousands of local children make up learning losses suffered during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Officials at the Community-Building Institute of Middletown (CBIM) said the more than $2.2 million in state grants – spread out over two to three years – will help fund existing summer learning programs and pay for creation of new after-school instruction in coordination with Middletown Schools.

The historically large grants will also pay for youth services beyond extra school instruction including meals and mental health services, said CBIM officials.


Middletown woman charged with killing sister considered competent

A Middletown woman accused of shooting and killing her sister in December 2021 has been restored to competency and a September trial date has been set.

Monica Ann Pennington, 49, of 1607 Lafayette Ave., was charged with murder and felonious assault in the death of her sister, Pamela Pennington on Oct. 20, 2021. The 52-year-old woman was found dead in the living room of the residence after Monica called 911, according to Middletown police.

On Dec.. 2, Butler County Common Pleas Judge Keith Spaeth said, according to her psychological evaluation, Pennington was incompetent to stand trial. After receiving treatment, the judge on Thursday ruled Pennington competent to stand trial.


Middletown activated tornado sirens Thursday night: ‘It’s best to be safe,’ says police chief

After receiving several calls from Middletown residents, and based on the severe weather conditions, the city of Middletown activated its tornado sirens around 9 p.m. Thursday.

Police Chief David Birk said calls came into the police department from residents living in the area of Yankee Road and University Boulevard, but police officers on the scene didn’t confirm a tornado.

“It’s best to be safe,” Birk said this morning.


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

High water closes Butler County road

The Butler County Engineer’s Office is warning drivers to steer clear of Schoenling Road in Morgan Twp. due to high water.

The Butler County Engineer’s Office reports the emergency closing of the of the road approximately 0.1 miles west of California Road until further notice, so motorists should plan their commute using an alternate route.

Earlier this morning dispatchers with the sheriff’s office said there were high water issues in Fairfield Twp. Hamilton and Millville and other parts of the county but the water was quickly receding.