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Published: Friday, November 10, 2017 @ 3:49 PM
MIDDLETOWN — Pastors said after meeting with representatives from the Middletown Division of Police they left better prepared in case an active shooter enters their church.
The meeting between the police and church leaders was arranged by Middletown Police Chief Rodney Muterspaw on the heels of the Texas church shooting on Nov. 5 that left 26 people dead and 20 injured, making it the deadliest mass shooting in the state’s history.
During the 90-minute seminar Friday in Council Chambers, Lt. David Birk, Detective Brandon Highley and Sgt. Sam Allen discussed ways for churches to better secure their buildings and protect their congregates.
“It’s real out there,” Birk told this newspaper after the meeting that drew about 70 church leaders. “They need to be prepared. It’s about taking steps to save lives.”
Grace Baptist Church in Middletown already has taken some steps, said Senior Pastor Max Fernandez. He said the church has hired an off-duty Middletown police officer to monitor the parking lot and inside the church building every Sunday morning. The officer also assists with traffic, he said.
The church also has a “safety plan” that Fernandez said he would review with church leaders and members, based off the information he learned at the seminar. The end result is finding the best way to “better protect” the members, the pastor said.
After the Texas shooting, church members gathered and prayed for those impacted, Fernandez said.
“It’s natural to have fear and to think about the vulnerability of your congregation to an active shooter,” he said.
Until recently, before the church shooting in Charleston, S.C., in 2015 that killed nine people, churches were considered to be a “safety zone, said Allen, who said it was important for people to feel secure at church.
Muterspaw said the church shootings have been committed by the “wrong person with wrong attitude.”
Years ago, during an active shooting, police didn’t enter the building until at least four officers were present. But now the first officer is instructed to find and apprehend the suspect.
“Waiting is costing lives,” Allen said.
Published: Wednesday, April 18, 2018 @ 1:18 AM
Updated: Monday, April 23, 2018 @ 12:43 AM
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Published: Sunday, April 22, 2018 @ 11:19 PM
KETTERING — A service dog is missing after he ran off when the vehicle his owner was driving became involved in a crash in Kettering Friday morning.
Officials say Zeus the dog, and his owner, a Special Forces veteran, were involved in a two-vehicle crash that ended with their vehicle into a pole at the intersection of East Dorothy Lane and Shroyer Road.
Zeus ran from the crash that occurred just after 11 a.m. and has not been seen since.
His owner reportedly suffered a broken jaw as a result of the crash and allegedly will not seek medical treatment until his dog is found, community members said.
Signs about Zeus being missing, as well as articles of clothing, have been placed all around the Oakwood, Far Hills and Oak Knoll areas where he was last seen.
Community members looking for the missing dog urge others not to chase Zeus if you locate him, but rather call the local police department.
Published: Sunday, April 22, 2018 @ 12:44 PM
NORTH HAMPTON — A boil advisory is in effect for the village of North Hampton in Clark County, according to Jeff Clevenger, operator of record of the North Hampton Water Treatment Plant.
The tower pressure dropped under 20 psi, and residents need to boil water for three minutes.
MORE LOCAL NEWS
Residents should bring water to a roiling boil for at least three minutes before using it for drinking, cooking or brushing teeth.
Bacteria samples will be collected on Monday, and testing takes 24 hours.
The boil advisory will be in effect until at least Tuesday.
Published: Monday, April 23, 2018 @ 12:08 AM
CHARLOTTE, N.C. — A mother said her 2-year-old was pelted nine times with paintballs while they were outside their west Charlotte home.
The 2-year-old had marks all over her body after someone shot paint at her.
Paintball wars have been gaining national traction since the beginning of the year.
The Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department said it has received more than 150 calls since the beginning of the year involving complaints about paintball gun.
The mother, who didn’t want to be identified, said it was a traumatizing moment for her and her daughter.
"She was screaming so bad. She said, 'Mommy, help me. Mommy, help me,’” she said. “That killed me. When I saw her with paint all over her shirt and her pants, my heart dropped."
The mother said she found welts on her daughter’s chest, back, knees and legs.
The mother told Channel 9 that a group of men were shooting each other on her property earlier this past week.
“I heard one of them say that's their way to, instead of attacking themselves with guns, they're going to do it like that because that's how they get the anger out of them,” the mother said.
The mother said she's not against people using paintball guns to settle their differences, but it shouldn’t jeopardize anyone else's safety.
She filed a police report and days later, she said her car was hit twice with paintballs.
The police department investigated the incident and arrested 17-year-old Keon Jaquez Broughton, who is facing charges for causing a disturbance, assaulting a child and resisting an officer.
The number of complaints the police department has received involving paintball guns is growing.
Meanwhile, local paintball gun stores are seeing a rise in sales.
David Veldof, who owns a paintball gun store, believes some people are having a good time at the wrong place.
He's educating customers on smarter options, including regulated fields.
"Over the past three to four weeks, we've had a substantial increase in sales,” Veldof said. "And believe it or not, a lot of people have been going to these fields and staying off these streets."
The mother said her 2-year-old has been seeing a counselor to get over the fear of being outside she developed since the paintball incident.