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Local News: A service of Reid Health

SHERIFF'S DEPARTMENT FORMALLY RECEIVES JAIL ACCREDITIATION

(Richmond, IN)--Wayne County was formally given its accreditation Tuesday from the National Institute for Jail Operations.  Wayne County is the first in a three-state region to receive that designation, and it’s meaningful for several reasons.  Sheriff Jeff Cappa said it’s a protection to taxpayers.  The percentage of liability to a taxpayer for a jail is normally around 70%.  "When you are accredited in your jail operations, especially in the legal-based part of it, then you take that liability down from 70% to 28 or 30%," Cappa said.  Cappa credited his staff.  "Correctional officer is one of the most stressful jobs...just like a law enforcement officer.  It takes a special person to do that kind of work."  The jail had to meet 600 guidelines and work for two years to get the accreditation.

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PUBLIC COMMENTS ON BARKING DOG ORDINANCE

(Richmond, IN)--Richmond Common Council met Tuesday night and once again addressed a revised ordinance aimed at penalizing pet owners who allow their dogs to bark.  Tuesday night, public comment was taken.  Council member Jamie Lopeman said there were several complaints about one area of the city.  "Centered on the North 11th area and an ongoing issue, but the ordinance is for a citywide improvement for resources for our law enforcement officers."  Members of the Richmond Police Department have said that the ordinance, as it’s currently written, is difficult to enforce.  The new ordinance will likely come up again in two weeks.

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DRUGS FOUND DURING ARREST ON SOUTH 6th

(Richmond, IN)--Richmond Police were sent to an area around South 6th and Oakland Avenue late Tuesday night on the report that two people had locked themselves in a bathroom and that other people were outside with guns.  Officers quickly discovered that drugs were involved after stopping a truck nearby.  The driver of that truck, who was later identified as 37-year-old James Thacker, was arrested for possession of cocaine or narcotic drug.  No injuries were reported.

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FOUNTAIN CITY POLICE CHIEF SAYS JOB NOT IN JEOPARDY AFTER EXECUTIVE SESSION

(Fountain City, IN)--Fountain City residents rallied Tuesday night in support of Police Chief Aron Tutt as the town’s council held an executive session.  Some feared Tutt’s job was in jeopardy.  Afterward, Tutt posted a message on social media.  Tutt wrote that it’s been said that his job is not in jeopardy and thanked residents for their support.  Tuesday night’s executive session – which was off limits to the public – dealt in part with employee and law enforcement policies.

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TWO WAYNE COUNTY MEN ARRESTED IN SEPARATE METH INCIDENTS

(Wayne County, IN)--While heroin gets lots of attention in Wayne County, methamphetamine use also remains an issue.  There were two more arrests Monday.  Monday morning, 19-year-old Robert Seward was caught at Main and Center Streets in Cambridge City.  Monday afternoon, 25-year-old Dillon Fultz was arrested at 12th and North E in Richmond.  Both were in possession of meth and drug paraphernalia.  The cases are unrelated.  Both Seward and Fultz were in the Wayne County Jail Tuesday morning.

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GREENVILLE POLICE SEEK SPEEDWAY ROBBER

(Greenville, OH)--Police in Greenville Monday released a surveillance image of a man who held up a Speedway station over the weekend.  Investigators hope someone recognizes a man who held up the Speedway station on East Main in Greenville on Sunday.  He never displayed a gun, but indicated that he had one.  The clerk was not hurt.  A Walgreen across the street was robbed last year.  Police have not said if they believe the robberies are connected.

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WARM WEATHER PUTS LOCAL FRUIT CROP IN JEOPARDY

(New Paris, OH)--Temperatures in the 60’s will continue this week with a full month of winter left.  While it’s good for outdoor enthusiasts, it’s putting the local fruit crop in jeopardy.  "Bud development starts to occur once you reach 60 degrees for several days in a row," said Ron Wesler at Wesler’s Orchard in New Paris.  Freezing overnight temperatures will kill those buds off.  "That's our fear.  Once they develop, there's no turning back," Wesler explained.  Wesler’s has had two complete crop losses to warm weather since 2000.  Another year, they lost half the crop.  "Previous to that - and we've been here since 1930 - we've never had an entire crop lost," Wesler added.  Peaches, berries and other fruits are also in jeopardy.

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METH RECOVERED DURING BURGLARY ARREST

(Richmond, IN)--A Richmond man was arrested Sunday on a host of drug-related charges.  37-year-old David Lamb is also an alleged burglar.  Officers recovered methamphetamine, controlled substances, and syringes when they caught Lamb at a home on Rich Road.  He’ll have an initial hearing in Wayne Circuit Court sometime in the next 48 hours.

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TWO BOND OUT AFTER NEGLECT OF A DEPENDENT ARREST

(Richmond, IN)--A week ago, we told you that Wayne County had had 344 cases of child neglect last year.  Over the weekend, two Richmond residents were arrested for neglect of a dependent.  26-year-old Ashlie Butts and 28-year-old  Robert Jasso were taken into custody on what has become a problem area – Glen Court.  Butts and Jasso were able to come up with a thousand dollars each and were released from jail.  Jail records indicate Butts was arrested for theft last month.  Jasso has previous marijuana and alcohol convictions.

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SOUTH 15th RESIDENT HOLDS WOULD-BE BURGLAR AT GUNPOINT

(Richmond, IN)--A Richmond homeowner held a would-be burglar at gunpoint Thursday night.  It happened in the 600 block of South 15th when a man later identified as 34-year-old Charles Gellinger allegedly tried to enter a home.  Gellinger quickly found himself on the business end of a Glock handgun.  The homeowner ordered Gellinger face down on the ground and held him there until police arrived and took him to jail.  Gellinger had a blood alcohol content more than three times the legal limit.

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AT LEAST ONE PERSON SERIOUSLY INJURED IN LYNN CRASH

(Lynn, IN)--There was a serious crash on U.S. 27 near Lynn.  Only a few details have been released, but at least one person was seriously injured in a three-vehicle crash that happened at around 6:30 Thursday night in the 400 block of South Main.  It apparently was caused by a car that failed to stop for another that was trying to make a left turn.  A medical helicopter transported at least one victim.  Names and conditions have not been released.  Traffic on 27 was affected for more than an hour.

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RPD POSTS MISSING AND ENDANGERED ADULT ALERT

(Richmond, IN)--The Richmond Police Department is asking for your help.  On its Facebook page, RPD has posted a missing and endangered adult alert for 35-year-old Casey Eichenlaub.  Casey Eichenlaub was last seen February 9 at the Days Inn in Richmond.  He’s a 35-year-old man with brown hair and green eyes.  His car and belongings were found at the hotel, but Eichenlaub has been missing for eight days.

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MAN'S ARREST WAS FOURTH IN A MONTH

(Richmond, IN)--On Wednesday, Kicks 96 and The Point News reported that New Paris’s Joshua Lawson had been arrested on Tuesday on North 13th in Richmond for dealing cocaine and methamphetamine.  New information reveals It was the fourth arrest for Lawson in less than a month.  He was arrested in a drug raid at a home on South 16th last month, he stands accused of battering a police officer in an incident three days after that, and he was arrested last Saturday in Richmond for drug possession.

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NEW PARIS STREET RECONSTRUCTION PROJECT HITS SNAG

(New Paris, OH)--The reconstruction of New Paris’s most heavily traveled east-west street has hit a snag.  Funding from the state has been temporarily pulled for Phase II of the Cherry Street reconstruction project.  The state recently changed its grant guidelines by dividing Ohio in half.  One half can apply for grants in even years with the other half in odd years.  New Paris now cannot apply until next year.  The village could now have to come up with another $200,000.

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ALLEGED METH, COCAINE DEALER CAPTURED

(Richmond, IN)--A wanted alleged methamphetamine and cocaine dealer was captured Tuesday afternoon in Richmond.  25-year-old Joshua Lawson of New Paris was in the Wayne County Jail Wednesday morning.  That arrest comes on the heels of a Monday arrest by the Wayne County Drug Task Force.  35-year-old Thomas Pentecost was taken into custody during a raid by the force and a SWAT team at his home in the 100 block of North Main in Greens Fork.  Investigators found drug paraphernalia and cash.

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ANIMAL CARE ALLIANCE TO CONSTRUCT BUILDING AT NEW LOCATION

(Richmond, IN)--A new home is in the works for Animal Care Alliance.  That’s the organization that is providing low-cost veterinary care from a facility on U.S. 40 near Round Barn Road.  A brand-new building that’s about 2/3 larger than the current building will be constructed on Abington Pike close to Test Road.  Permits for construction were issued last week.  The building is expected to be up and running by the end of the year.

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TRUCKER WHO DIED ON I-70 WORKED FOR COMPANY WITH LONG HISTORY OF CRASHES AND COMPLAINTS

(Preble County, OH)--The truck driver who died Monday night in a crash on I-70 near the state line drove for a company with a long history of problems.  That driver has now been identified as a 41-year-old Missouri man.  He drove for Swift Transportation.  That company has had 650 crashes in the last two years.  Ten percent of those have been fatal.  Violations have been found in 31% of inspections.  In Monday night’s crash, the driver never slowed down before plowing into a line of stopped traffic.

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MURDERER'S APPEAL DENIED

(Liberty, IN)--The appeal of a Union County murderer has been denied.  Bert McQueen shot and killed Brandon Wicker in Brownsville nearly two and a half years ago.  McQueen was sentenced to 63 years in prison.  McQueen appealed, claiming the sentence was inappropriate and that the murder was not particularly gruesome.  The appeals court disagreed.  At the end of the sentence, McQueen would be 108 years old.

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NO SERIOUS INJURIES REPORTED IN BARN COLLAPSE

(Hagerstown, IN)--There were no serious injuries when a barn collapsed in Wayne County.  The original call to 911 at 3:30 Sunday afternoon indicated that as many as 50 people were inside a barn in the 7400 block of Baker Road a few miles north of Hagerstown.  First responders from multiple agencies arrived to find that an 8400-square foot hoop barn had collapsed, but only four people suffered minor injuries.  Three of those people were taken to Reid Health.  Investigators have not said what caused the collapse, but high winds were prevalent throughout the day Sunday.

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FRANKLIN COUNTY WORKS TO FIX $2 MILLION BUDGET MISTAKE

(Brookville, IN)--Franklin County is dealing with a massive budget mistake for this year.  The county submitted a budget to the state that was $2 million over what it was intended to be, and the state approved it.  The $2-million error was discussed on Friday and came about because a budget that was a wish-list budget was sent to the state.  One county council member said that the county would be broke by the end of the year if the error is not corrected.

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WAYNE COUNTY CHILD ABUSE AND NEGLECT CASES INCREASE 30% IN 2016

(Wayne County, IN)--Final child abuse and neglect numbers have been tallied, and they show a shocking increase in Wayne County.  In 2016, according to the Indiana Department of Child Services, Wayne County had 344 new child abuse or neglect cases.  That’s nearly one new case every day.  It also represents a 30% increase in the number of cases from the previous year.  Local authorities who work with the cases have said that the overwhelming majority of cases are tied to parents who use drugs.

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RP&L WARNS OF PAYMENT SCAM

(Richmond, IN)--Richmond Power & Light is warning of a scam that could affect you when you’re paying your electric bill.  RP&L Spokesperson Susan Alexander said that doxo.com has created a website page that makes customers think they’re paying their RP&L bill, when they’re really paying doxo.com.  Alexander is warning customers to avoid using that website to pay electric bills.

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JAIL REINFORCEMENTS COMPLETE AFTER 2016 ESCAPE

(Connersville, IN)--Upgrades are now complete at the Fayette County Jail.  In June of last year, Chad Heath and Michael Roberts carved their way through a concrete block wall, broke through a brick wall, and escaped.  They were caught after a few days on the loose.  Commissioners were told this week that steel reinforcement of all the cells at the Fayette County Jail is now complete.

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MAN PRONOUNCED DEAD AT REID AFTER POLICE-INVOLVED SHOOTING

(Brookville, IN)--There was an officer-involved shooting in northern Franklin County Wednesday that resulted in one man’s death.  It began when an 82-year-old woman went to law enforcement to report that her grandson was acting erratically.  A deputy arrived at a home on State Road 101 across from Hickory Woods Campground.  That deputy encountered 29-year-old Don Parker Junior, who was armed with multiple weapons.  Two Brookville police officers arrived on the scene as Parker stepped onto a porch with at least one gun.  "Due to his actions and him waving the weapons around and pointing them in their direction, they chose to take action and to stop that threat," said Stephen Wheeles with the Indiana State Police.  Both officers shot Parker.  He was taken to Reid Health where he was pronounced dead.

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REID CITES VOLUNTEER PROGRAM FOR HELPING ADDICTED NEWBORNS

(Richmond, IN)--112 babies have been born at Reid Health in the last two years that were addicted to drugs at birth because their mothers were addicts.  Today, Reid is citing a volunteer program for helping those babies.  It’s called “Baby Rocker”. Doctors say that in addition to medical treatment, the babies simply need to feel the human touch.  Volunteers do just that…hold and rock the babies.  Addicted babies can be hospitalized for up to a month.  If you’d like to be a volunteer baby rocker, contact Reid Health.

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NO INJURIES IN HOTEL CEILING COLLAPSE

(Richmond, IN)--A ceiling collapsed at the Holiday Inn in Richmond early Wednesday morning.  Mike Davis explains what firefighters encountered when they arrived at around 12:30 Wednesday morning.  "We found heavy water flow from a broken sprinkler head and a ceiling collapse in an area outside of a couple of conference rooms."  All of the hotel’s 99 rooms had been sold for the night, but none of the occupants were in danger.  "No rooms were compromised.  There were no public safety issues to worry about," Davis said.  Davis added that some guests went outside.  Others remained inside.  "There was not a total evacuation, but everybody was awake and aware of what was going on."  Clean-up will continue Wednesday.

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STATE POLICE INVESTIGATOR FINDS NO WRONGDOING IN SUE ROBERSON CASE

(Richmond, IN)--The Indiana State Police has reversed what it said last week in the case of Sue Roberson.  Roberson is the former city of Richmond’s Human Resources Director who was fired last fall in the wake of an investigation.  Kicks 96 and The Point News reported on Monday that the State Police said Roberson’s case had been turned over to the Wayne County Prosecutor’s Office before Christmas.  Now, the State Police is indicating that it found no wrongdoing on Roberson’s part and never turned the case over to prosecutors.  Roberson maintained that she lost some of her own money when she became the victim of a scam but that no city funds were lost.

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OVERNIGHT FIRE DAMAGES MILTON HOME

(Milton, IN)--Fire did heavy damage to a home in Milton overnight Tuesday night and into Wednesday morning.  Crews from multiple agencies responded to a fire at a home on Central Avenue, which is also State Road 1, at around 11 o’clock Tuesday night.  Firefighters arrived to find heavy smoke coming from the second floor.  The residents were able to make it out without injury.  State Road 1 was shut down for a time.  There’s no word on what started the fire.  The Red Cross was helping the occupants Wednesday morning.

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WOMEN CHARGED IN CONNECTION WITH OVERDOSE DEATH

(Preble County, OH)--Two women are in the Preble County Jail.  They’re facing major criminal charges for their alleged role in an overdose death.  Both 31-year-old Courtney Alspaugh and 39-year-old Dana Webb have been charged with involuntary manslaughter and drug trafficking.  Details of exactly how the two allegedly contributed to the overdose death have not been released.

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EDIT GRANT APPROVED FOR RICHMOND CASTING

(Richmond, IN)--Richmond Casting is expanding.  At Monday’s monthly meeting of the EDC of Wayne County, a $10,000 EDIT grant was approved.  It will allow Richmond Casting to invest just over half a million dollars into a project that will produce stronger molds and increase efficiency.  It will also help the company to retain 28 jobs.  Richmond Casting has operated in Richmond for 37 years and is located on Rich Road.

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DEPUTY BRAVES FRIGID RESERVOIR TO RESCUE STUCK DUCK

(Richmond, IN)--A Wayne County Sheriff’s Deputy took extreme measures yesterday to save the life of a duck.  The duck was spotted in Middlefork Reservoir in Richmond with a fishing hook through its bill.  The line had gotten wrapped around a limb, leaving the duck stuck.  Deputy Doug Bullock waded into the frigid water to free the duck, which was taken to the Animal Care Alliance for treatment.  The hook was removed and the duck is recovering.

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REID URGENT CARE FACILITY TO OPEN THURSDAY

(Richmond, IN)--Reid Health is set to open its new urgent care facility on Thursday.  Reid Urgent Care will move just up the hill and across Chester Boulevard to a standalone space at Chester Boulevard and Waterfall Road.  It’s an 11,000 square foot facility.  The old urgent care building will be renovated to provide more space for primary care providers.

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KANSAS MAN JAILED FOR HARASSING HOTEL CLERK

(Richmond, IN)--A Kansas man was in the Wayne County Jail Tuesday morning after an incident at the Comfort Inn in Richmond overnight.  The very drunken man, who was later identified as 45-year-old Christopher Kanawyer, began calling down to the desk and making inappropriate comments to the 18-year-old desk clerk who was working overnight for the first time.  It happened repeatedly and she called police.  An Indiana State Police trooper arrived just as Kanawyer called the desk again.  The clerk put the trooper on the phone.  The trooper heard Kanawyer's comments, waited for backup, and took him to jail.

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COPE ENVIRONMENTAL CENTER DIRECTOR ANNOUNCES RESIGNATION

(Richmond, IN)--The Director of the Cope Environmental Center is stepping down.  Alison Zajdel (ZIGH-dull) announced on her Facebook page Sunday that she would serve in that role until April and then leave to spend more time with her family.  Zajdel has been with Cope for 15 years and was involved in numerous Cope upgrades, including the development of a 6000-square foot sustainable environmental education center.

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ONE PERSON KILLED IN PREBLE COUNTY CRASH

(Preble County, OH)--There was a fatal crash in Preble County over the weekend.  The Ohio Highway Patrol is handling the case, and only a few details have been released so far.  It happened on or very near the railroad crossing on Oxford-Gettysburg Road between New Hope and Lakengren.  Dispatchers indicated the incident was not the result of a collision with a train.  The identity of the person that was killed has not been released.

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MULTIPLE OD's ON NORTH 11TH LEAD TO RICHMOND MAN'S ARREST

(Richmond, IN)--There was a heroin overdose on North 11th in Richmond on Saturday night, and police records indicate it’s one of multiple incidents there.  56-year-old Bruce Gordon was behind bars Monday morning.  One woman OD’d there over the weekend, marking the sixth time since last summer.  Gordon was charged with maintaining a common nuisance.  Just a few hours before, medics were called to a home two blocks away on North 13th Street.  An unconfirmed report indicated that a female overdose victim there died.

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BURGER TIME TO MOVE IN CHESTER BOULEVARD LOCATION

(Richmond)- One burger establishment is replacing another on Chester Boulevard in Richmond.  Signs were changed Thursday at the old Rally’s location to reflect the new business called Burger Time.  They’ll offer a familiar menu that includes burgers, fries, shakes, and pies.  There are only ten Burger Times nationally and none are anywhere close to Richmond.  There’s no word yet on when it will open.

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ALLEGED RICHMOND DRUG DEALER CAUGHT

(Richmond)- An alleged Richmond drug dealer was caught Thursday afternoon.  Police stopped a car occupied by 42-year-old Torrie Mayberry in the 700 block of South 8th.  Scanner traffic indicated that there was a large amount of cocaine found inside, although police have not yet specified how much.  Mayberry was charged with dealing cocaine and was taken to the Wayne County Jail.  He bonded out in five hours and is free this morning.

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RICHMOND HAD TWO OVER DOSE DEATHS SINCE 6PM THURSDAY

(Richmond)- Richmond has had two deaths due to overdoses of heroin or other drugs since 6 p.m. Thursday.  First responders were sent to a home at the south end of South 13th at around 6:30 Friday night.  Drug paraphernalia was found right next to the female victim’s body.  Then, at just after midnight Friday morning, another female died from an apparent overdose on New Paris Pike near the Gaar Mansion.  Another person died from an overdose in the Preble County town of Gratis earlier this week.

 

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VIOLENT FELON CAPTURED AFTER CHASE AT 10th STREET PARK

(Richmond, IN)--There was a foot chase through Richmond streets for two violent criminals Wednesday night.  It began in the South 10th Street Park when officers investigated suspicious vehicles.  According to scanner traffic, officers from a central Indiana city were in Richmond looking for a murder suspect.  Two men fled on foot.  One man was captured.  He was identified as 23-year-old Raheem Colson.  Colson has a Richmond address but was wanted in Cincinnati for assault with a firearm and armed robbery.  The second suspect was not caught.  His identity has not been released.

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MAN TASED AFTER POINTING LOADED GUN IN OFFICER'S FACE

(Cambridge City, IN)--A Cambridge City man was taken into custody Wednesday night after allegedly pointing a gun in the face of an officer.  Police were initially called to the Chug-A-Lug Bar on the report of a man throwing drinks on people.  Later, they went to the Foote Street home of 44-year-old Gary Peach.  Peach allegedly exited the home and immediately pointed a weapon in the officer’s face.  That officer was able to Tase Peach and take him into custody.  He was in jail Thursday morning with charges that include pointing a loaded firearm at another person and possession of methamphetamine.

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COMMERCIAL LAND REVERTS TO BANK; OWNERS HOLD SLOTS FOR THREE BUSINESSES

(Richmond, IN)--A high-profile piece of property on National Road East in Richmond has reverted back to the bank that held the mortgage.  It’s the 11 acres owned by Eastside Commerical Park, LLC, just west of the former Quality Inn Hotel.  Nine years ago, 17 business leaders invested $2.2 million to convert the property to retail development.  The group recently decided it did not want to put more money into the property and it reverted back to West End Bank.  One investor, Dan Stamper, said that three slots are being held for different businesses.  Those businesses include a Panera Bread, a Hardee’s, and a car wash.  Even though the land just west of the former Quality Inn Hotel has reverted back to West End Bank, 17 business leaders still own 32 acres at the rear outright, and that land is still being marketed.  In the last month, an Illinois developer was looking at both the empty land and the hotel to bring a larger retailer.  The developer was going to tear out the new road that divides the parcels.  The company decided just a couple of weeks ago against pursuing the venture.

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SHOT FIRED INTO RICHMOND HOME

(Richmond, IN)--It appears that at least one bullet went into one house in Richmond Wednesday morning.  Police were called to the 400 block of North 14th Street at around 4:45 Wednesday morning.  Officers encountered a group of people in the area and began checking them for warrants.  Investigators then found that a round had entered a home in the area.  There was no word of any injury.  Police then began checking to see if other homes or cars had been struck.  Information about any arrests is still pending.

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DRUG TRATMENT FACILITY OFFICIALLY OPENS

(Cambridge City, IN)--A grand opening was held Tuesday for a new drug addiction treatment facility in Wayne County.  Recovery Works near Cambridge City began accepting patients last week, but officially opened its doors Tuesday.  Recovery Works provides detoxification, residential, and then outpatient treatment for up to 32 patients.  It has applied to accept Medicaid and currently accepts commercial insurance.

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WOMAN ARRESTED IN CONNECTION WITH LAKENGREN BURGLARIES

(Preble County, OH)--An arrest has been made after a series of burglaries in Lakengren.  52-year-old Shawnee Tucker was taken to the Preble County Jail after stolen items from at least five different homes were found in her garage on Norseman Drive.  Items like power tools and pressure washers were recovered with values that exceed $2000.  Lakengren had been plagued by a series of theft and breaking and entering complaints in recent weeks.

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OLD REID "DEVELOPER" OPENING 6th RESTAURANT WITH HELP OF GRANT

(Milford, DE)--Bob Ciprietti may have walked away from the old Reid project and left Richmond with its biggest eyesore, but he’s going strong on the east coast.  In April, Cipretti will open his sixth restaurant.  The newest Touch of Italy was funded in part with the help of a $50,000 grant.  Ciprietti was quoted in Delawareonline as saying that the grant gives him extra capital to make the building better.  The restaurant is being built into an old bank.  Cipriettii is pictured with Delaware's governor in the above photo.

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MINOR DAMAGE AS CAR STRIKES BUILDING

(Richmond, IN)--There were no reports of serious injury after a car hit a building on East Main in Richmond late Monday afternoon.  Witnesses told police that a driver sped out of the Phillips Drugs parking lot at 17th and East Main at a high rate of speed and crossed East Main.  That car then hit a second parked car and then careened into the Natco Empowerment Center.  There was no immediate word on the condition of the driver or what caused him or her to lose control.  The building sustained only minor damage.

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FIRE DAMAGES NORTH 15th STREET HOME

(Richmond, IN)--Fire did heavy damage do a home on North 15th in Richmond Sunday night.  Firefighters got the call to the 700 block at around 7:30.  "When we arrived, the whole front porch was fully involved.  It was actually inside the first room," said Battalion Chief Charlie Bartlett.  Firefighters checked to see if it was occupied (actuality 31324).  It was not, and it appeared that the house had not been occupied recently.  Damage was set at $20,000.  There were no injuries.  The cause is under investigation.

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DRUG HOUSE BUSTED FOR SECOND TIME IN TEN DAYS

(Richmond, IN)--It didn’t take long for a Richmond drug house to resume its operations.  This weekend, members of the Wayne County Drug Task Force arrested five people at a home in the first block of South 16th…the same house where eight people had been arrested less than two weeks ago.  Two people were charged for a second time.  They’re Jamie Johnson and Wesley Harris.  Three newcomers were also arrested.  They include Kody Stewart, Kena Stevens, and Jason Major.

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20TH STREET BRIDGE TO CLOSE FOR MONTHS

(Richmond, IN)--Richmond’s 20th Street bridge over railroads tracks will close soon and will remain closed for much of the rest of the year.  That bridge is heavily used by people traveling back and forth from Richmond’s north and east sides.  The bridge has deteriorated to the point that it needs to be replaced.  It will be built with steel and will be a little higher to conform to railroad standards.  The bridge will close in about a month and is not expected to reopen until around November.

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VANDALIA ROBBERY TRIO CAPTURED IN WAYNE COUNTY

(Wayne County, IN)--What started as a robbery of a pharmacy in Vandalia ended with the capture of three suspects in Wayne County Thursday night.  Ohio Highway Patrol troopers chased the suspects west on I-70 at speeds that, at one point, hit 118 miles per hour.  Stop sticks were deployed near the state line.  The suspects then bailed out near the weigh station just west of the U.S. 35 exit.  Two were caught after a short foot chase.  The third suspect was found in a salt barn.  One of the suspects is a juvenile.  All three are from central Indiana.

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LOCAL LAWMAKER FILES BILL THAT COULD IMPOSE FEES TO ENTITIES LIKE REID HEALTH, EARLHAM COLLEGE

(Indianapolis, IN)--A bill has been filed that could have an impact on the budgets of local government.  If passed, it would allow counties to impose a service fee on entities that currently pay no property tax because of tax-exempt status.  In Richmond, that could include Reid Health, Earlham College, and Friends Fellowship.  Entities like those are often heavy users of city services.  The amount of the fee would be at the discretion of the county or municipality.  The bill has been filed by State Representative Tom Saunders, whose district covers part of the Whitewater Valley.

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MAN ARRESTED FOR FIRING SHOT IN DOMESTIC DISPUTE

(Richmond, IN)--A Richmond man was sent to the Wayne County Jail Thursday after a domestic incident that allegedly resulted in a shot fired at a home on Hayes Arboretum Road.  According to scanner traffic, a female occupant of the home barricaded herself in a bathroom.  43-year-old Matthew Thomas allegedly fired off one round with no report of any serious injuries.  He was charged with criminal recklessness and intimidation.  He has bonded out of jail.

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RHS BOYS BASKETBALL FORFEITS ALL WINS

(Richmond, IN)--Even though the Richmond High School boys basketball team has won six games on the court this season, they have not won any at all on paper.  The IHSAA on Thursday ordered that Richmond forfeit all games to this point because of an error with information about a player who was a transfer student.  Richmond self-reported the error.  That player is now eligible.  Now, instead of being 6-11, the Red Devils are 0-17.  They travel to Lafayette to take on Harrison Friday night.  That game will air on 101.7 The Point.

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RCS BOARD DISCUSSES DECREASING REVENUE

(Richmond, IN)--A decrease in funding has become a major concern for administrators and board members of Richmond Community Schools.  Wednesday night, CFO Karen Scalf told the board that tax caps have led to a 30% reduction in the funds the school system would normally get from property taxes.  Declining enrollment is also an issue.  Schools get state money on a per-pupil basis, and RCS lost another 40 students this school year.  Superintendent Todd Terrill did not discuss specific potential cuts and said that the top priority would be keeping cuts from affecting students.

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MAN GIVES FALSE NAME DURING CHESTER BOULEVARD DRUG ARREST

(Richmond, IN)--A man in living in Richmond but wanted in central Indiana was captured Wednesday night on Chester Boulevard.  25-year-old Antonio Salcedo was allegedly in possession of three bags of marijuana and a hypodermic needle.  He initially gave police a false name.  Salcedo had been booked into the Wayne County Jail just a couple of months ago and gave police a false name then, too.  Since then, he had dyed his hair blonde.  It’s unclear whether or not he’s in the country legally.

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AFFIDAVIT SHINES LIGHT ON STABBING MOTIVE

(Richmond, IN)--An affidavit that was filed Wednesday in Wayne Circuit Court sheds light on a possible motive in the stabbing death of a Richmond man earlier this month.  According to the document, a female witness said that Austin Sparks and James Childers got into a dispute over another woman outside Mack’s Place.  Sparks’ father exited the bar to separate the two when Childers reached around the father and stabbed Sparks.  Childers denied involvement in a police interview.

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MAN WITH DRUGS ON I-70 SAID $2700 WAS FOR TRIP TO DENTIST

(Henry County, IN)--Officers this week stopped a car on I-70 just as it was about to enter Wayne County with a large amount of drugs.  A deputy in Henry County noticed the smell of marijuana after he pulled the car over for speeding.  When he searched a suspect, he found $2700 in cash in his pocket.  The man told the deputy he was unemployed and had the money for a trip to the dentist.  A further search uncovered heroin and crack cocaine in secret compartments.  The suspects are not from our area.

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DRUG REHAB CENTER OPENS IN WAYNE COUNTY

(Cambridge City, IN)--A highly-anticipated drug rehab center has opened in Wayne County.  It’s Recovery Works at I-70 and State Road 1 near Cambridge City.  It’s a 32-bed residential facility.  CEO Joe Pritchard explained the need.  "Cambridge City, Richmond, Cincinnati, Northern Kentucky...this region is in top five in the country of opioid abuse," Pritchard said.  16 employees will provide round-the-clock assistance with detoxification.  "We will utilize services in the community.  We're going to work with vendors in the area," Pritchard added.  When final totals are in, more than 50 people will likely have died from overdoses in Wayne County last year.

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MAN JAILED AFTER SHOTS FIRED AT NORTH 15th AND G

(Richmond, IN)--A Richmond man was jailed Tuesday afternoon after allegedly firing a couple of shots during a fight at North 15th and G.  35-year-old Frank Deloney was taken into custody after police found shell casings in that area.  No one was injured.  Deloney was able to post a $15,000 bond and was set free six hours after his arrest.  There was another report of shots fired Tuesday about two blocks away.  There’s no word yet on whether or not they’re connected.

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MURDER SUSPECT ARRESTED AFTER HAVING BEEN SENTENCED FOR BATTERY A WEEK BEFORE STABBING

(Richmond, IN)--An arrest has been made in connection with last week’s murder on South F  Street in Richmond.  25-year-old James Childers, who is known to many as “Jim-Jim” was booked into the Wayne County Jail Monday night after being apprehended at South 9th and M.  Childers allegedly stabbed 22-year-old Austin Sparks last week.  Sparks died shortly afterward.  Investigators have not yet commented on what Childers’ motive was.  The U.S. Marshals Fugitive Task Force helped with the investigation.  Just a week before the murder, Childers had appeared in a Wayne County courtroom to be sentenced for felony battery.  Childers was sentenced to a year and a half in jail with all but a hundred days suspended.  A judge ruled that Childers had already served his time and he was released.  Childers was jailed three different times last year.  Back in 2013, he was also jailed for battery and strangulation.

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RICHMOND MANUFACTURER TO HOST EVENT AND DISTRIBUTE EMPLOYMENT INFORMATION

(Richmond, IN)--A Richmond manufacturer is inviting the public to learn about its company and its products.  Omen USA plans to create over a hundred jobs at its local facility in the next few years.  When it’s complete and operational in a few months, it will produce aluminum products for the automotive industry.  The get-acquainted event is set for January 31 at 4 p.m. on the campus of Ivy Tech.  It’s not a hiring event, but information will be distributed for people interested in working at Omen.

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NETTLE CREEK ONE OF TEN INDIANA SCHOOLS TO MAKE COLLEGE BOARD'S HONOR ROLL

(Hagerstown, IN)--It’s a nice honor for Nettle Creek Schools.  Nettle Creek was one of only ten schools across Indiana to be named Monday to the College Board’s AP District Honor Roll.  Those schools are recognized for achieving increases in access to AP courses and for students in those classes maintaining at least a 3.0 GPA.  Nettle Creek Superintendent Bill Doering was surprised to learn of the award Monday and indicated that AP classes had been a point of focus recently.

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TRI VILLAGE HAZING INVESTIGATION ENDS WITHOUT CRIMINAL CHARGES

(New Madison, OH)--The investigation into allegations of hazing by the Tri Village boys basketball team is now over, and no criminal charges will be filed.  Darke County Prosecutor Kelly Ormsby has issued a statement saying that after a lengthy review, he has determined that it’s not in the interest of justice to file any charges.  The decision comes after multiple alleged victims and suspects were interviewed after the allegations surfaced last month.

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MASKED MAN ATTEMPTS ROBBERY AT RICHMOND BUSINESS

(Richmond, IN)--There was an attempted robbery overnight in Richmond.  It happened at Roxxy’s on South 11th.  The suspect entered the store at around midnight wearing a mask.  He fled before taking any cash or anything else.  He’s described only as a white male of average height.  Investigators are reviewing surveillance video and are still looking for the suspect.  The clerk indicated that she was not hurt.

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AREA GRADUATION RATES IN MID 90'S

(Indianapolis, IN)--Graduation rates are out for Indiana high schools’ Class of 2016.  In the Whitewater Valley, just about every school was well over 90%.  That includes Richmond with a graduation rate of 95.7%.  That’s a vast improvement from a decade ago, when the school was termed a “dropout factory” in a report by John’s Hopkins University with a rate of under 60%.  Centerville, Northeastern, and Nettle Creek all had rates of between 94 and 96%.  Western Wayne was the Wayne County exception.  It’s rate was just 86.4%.  Randolph Southern had a perfect 100% rate.  Union High School had the lowest rate in our area at just 67%.

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MAN FACES MULTIPLE CHARGES IN DOMESTIC ATTACK

(Richmond, IN)--A Richmond woman suffered a head injury Thursday afternoon when she was pistol-whipped on North 21st Street.  24-year-old Scott Pierce allegedly entered the home with a gun as part of a domestic dispute and attacked the victim.  A child was also in the home at the time.  The victim’s injuries were non-life-threatening.  Pierce was in jail Friday morning facing charges that include aggravated battery, burglary, and pointing a firearm.

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DRIVER STRUCK BY TRAIN AFTER DRIVING AROUND CROSSING GATE

(Eaton, OH)--A car was struck by a train in Eaton Friday morning.  It happened at about 1 o’clock Friday morning on Walnut Street.  The driver was a man who escaped with what appeared to be only minor injuries.  He was taken to Miami Valley Hospital in Dayton to be checked out.  The man, who is an Eaton resident in his 30’s, tried to drive around a crossing gate to beat the train.  Several Eaton railroad crossings were blocked for over an hour.  The man’s name has not yet been released.

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MAN ARRESTED FOR STRIPPING NAKED IN RAGE AT REID HEALTH

(Richmond, IN)--A Richmond man was in the Wayne County Jail Friday morning after causing quite a scene Thursday night at Reid Health.  An allegedly-intoxicated 60-year-old Barry Reffitt was taken to Reid Thursday night and became unruly.  Reffitt allegedly stripped himself naked and began threatening medical staff members.  He was subdued by multiple officers and now faces two misdemeanor charges.

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FIRE DAMAGES HOME ON WAYNE/RANDOLPH COUNTY LINE

(Wayne Co, IN)--Fire did heavy damage to a home Thursday night.  It broke out at just before 10 p.m. at a home in a remote area on the Wayne/Randolph County line and less than a mile from the state line.  Fighting the fire was made more difficult because of a nearby propane tank and ammunition in the house.  The home’s occupant was treated at the scene for smoke inhalation.  There’s no word yet on what started the fire.

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EIGHT JAILED IN RICHMOND DRUG RAID

(Richmond, IN)--Eight people were jailed Wednesday night after a drug raid in Richmond.  SWAT Team members and other officers arrived at 29 ½ South 16th, directly across from CVS, and executed a search warrant.  That home’s resident, 37-year-old Jamie Johnson, is charged with dealing meth, dealing cocaine, and maintaining a common nuisance.  The others who were jailed include Lyndsay Brown, Dillon Fultz, Wesley Harris, Nicholas Hibbard, Austin Kimble, and Christopher and Joshua Lawson.  Drugs and paraphernalia were also recovered.

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REID TO OPEN NEW FACILITY ON MONDAY

(Richmond, IN)--Reid Health has set Monday, January 23 as the opening day for its new ENT, Allergy, and Hearing Center on Chester Boulevard.  It’s opening at the long-time location of the Pediatric and Internal Medicine Center at the corner of Waterfall Road.  The old building was demolished and then replaced.  Reid said the new location would offer expanded services and a more comfortable environment.

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VICTIM IN REPORTED ARMED ROBBERY LATER JAILED FOR FALSE INFORMING

(Richmond, IN)--There was a report of an armed robbery Wednesday night at North 15th and E in Richmond.  But, the man who is listed on the police report as the victim was later booked into the Wayne County Jail.  Police responded to the area and were given a suspect and vehicle description but did not locate anyone.  At 11:30 Wednesday night, the man listed as the victim in that case, 30-year-old Daniel Smith, was jailed for failure to appear and false informing.  Smith allegedly gave police an alias.  RPD has not yet said if they think the robbery report was legitimate.

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CARBON MOTORS PRINCIPLES SEEK $20 MILLION FOR NEW ANTI-CRIME DEVICE

(Mountain View, CA)--Do you remember the names William Santani Lee and Stacy Dean Stephens?  They were two of the principles in the Carbon Motors project that was supposed to result in 1500 jobs in Connersville that never got off the ground.  Now, they’re back at it in California.  This week, they began trying to raise $20 million from investors for a robotic security device called Knightscope.  "My motto is that life is short, do what you want, and make a massive impact," Li said in a promotional video.  "Knightscope is in the business of solving problems.  And what greater problem to solve than crime?" wondered Stephens, sounding exactly he they did when they rolled out the Carbon Motors police car.  The device looks very much like R2D2 from Star Wars.

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TEENS ARRESTED WITH GUNS, DRUGS, STOLEN ITEMS

(Richmond, IN)--There were a couple of arrests of note overnight.  Two Richmond teens, Noah Shaw and Devante Ferguson, were jailed at 3 o’clock Wednesday morning after they were stopped on U.S. 40 at McMinn Road near Centerville.  Stolen property, marijuana, and a gun were recovered.  And, at around midnight, 50-year-old Jessie Smith decided to push a wheelbarrow full of stolen tools across the Richmond Avenue bridge.  That drew the attention of police, who stopped Smith.  The tools, including a chain saw, had been stolen from North Carolina.

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