(Richmond, IN)--A man who appears on the IU East website as the Campus Services Assistant was jailed Tuesday night for the highest level of felony child molesting. Investigators arrested 48-year-old Curtis Austerman at his home on Highland Drive in Richmond Tuesday night. Austerman is charged with two counts of felony child molesting – one a Level One and the other a Level Four. Details of what Austerman is alleged to have done have not been released. Austerman has three previous arrests in Wayne County. All involved alcohol.
(Richmond, IN)--A Richmond man was flown to a Level One Trauma Center after being struck by a car Tuesday night. Matt Lopeman had just put a child in the back seat of a vehicle in the 300 block of South 16th when he was struck by a passing car at 7:30 last night. Lopeman was listed in critical condition Wednesday morning. Police did not initially suspect the driver of the car to have been under the influence or speeding.
(Richmond, IN)--The 2200 block of Glen Court has become a block where crime necessitates almost a daily police presence, and there was another drug arrest there Tuesday afternoon. Police stopped 28-year-old Rachel Hofer in that block. Officers allegedly found multiple drugs, including cocaine, heroin, methamphetamine, and a syringe. The amount of drugs recovered has not been released. Hofer was arrested just seven weeks ago for fraud.
(Richmond, IN)--Richmond Common Council met Monday night and approved the 2018 budget, but it wasn’t without some discussion and it wasn’t unanimous. Council members Misty Hollis and Jamie Lopeman voted against passage. Lopeman spoke Tuesday morning about the reason for his no vote. "Union contracts are not in place and insurance rates are not established," Lopeman said. But, he said he saw improvement this year. "I will admit that the budget this year was a lot better. It came a long way as far as the process and getting where we need to be," Lopeman added. Passage of the Sanitation ordinance at Monday night’s meeting of the Richmond Common Council was delayed when Lopeman voted against engrossment. "This was roughly $29 in tax debt that would be added to our citizens. I also feel that all members of Council need to be present and accounted for and on the record for a vote of this magnitude," Lopeman explained. Two council members were out Monday night. The sanitation plan includes a proposed 35% rate increase to customers over three years.
(Richmond, IN)--Multiple medics and law enforcement officers were sent to the 400 block of Randolph Street in Richmond on what appeared to be a teenage drinking or drug party early Tuesday mrorning. The mother of a 16-year-old boy found him passed out at just after midnight. Two people were taken to Reid Health. Their identities and conditions have not been released. A gun was also located at the scene. There’s no word yet on whether or not any arrests were made.
(Richmond, IN)--There was a police pursuit through Richmond streets Monday night. It began at around 8:30 near 10th and North E Street. The suspect crashed and then fled on foot at North 15th and F. A police canine was brought to the scene, but the man was not apprehended. Police did take his gold Saturn from the scene of the crash. Scanner traffic indicated a gun was found in the car. He was described as a white male with shoulder-length brown hair.
(Wayne County, IN)--A Connersville woman has been released from the Wayne County Jail after a weekend incident in which she allegedly drove under the influence and crashed with a child in the car. 34-year-old Amanda Brawner was jailed at 2:47 Saturday morning. The crash happened in the area of Pennville Road. Brawner is also charged with possession of a syringe and paraphernalia and resisting law enforcement. There’s no word on whether or not the child was injured.
(Richmond, IN)--A theft call at the Village Pantry on South E Street in Richmond Sunday turned into something more. Police found 28-year-old Dylan Thompson allegedly in possession of an unlicensed handgun and with methamphetamine. Thompson was also wanted for failing to appear. He had been arrested for battery less than four months ago. Thompson was in the Wayne County Jail Monday morning.
(Fountain City, IN)--While there’s turmoil for one Northeastern principal, another is being recognized as one of Indiana’s most outstanding. Dawn Sonsini, who is the principal at Northeastern Middle School, has been named the District Six Middle School Principal of the Year. That district covers much of east central Indiana. Sonsini was elected by her peers and will be recognized in the state capitol next month.
(Fountain City, IN)--An emailed statement has been received by Kicks 96 and the Point News by someone identifying himself as Northeastern High School Principal Wes Wisner. In the email, Wisner said "I wholeheartedly disagree with the steps being taken to remove me from my position as high school principal and wholeheartedly disagree that there are legitimate grounds upon which to base my removal." Wisner goes on to thank those who have reached out to him in support. Wisner appears to be on the verge of being fired. A letter to Wisner from Northeastern administrators accuses Wisner of insubordination and neglect of duty. Several school employees had filed complaints against Wisner. Those complaints allege Wisner intimidated them and made them feel unwelcome. He allegedly made one administrator cry. Wisner was given a timeline to meet with both the superintendent and school board. The board would ultimately approve the cancellation of his contract.
(Richmond, IN)--For the second consecutive morning, gunshots rang out in the Glen Court area of Richmond. At about 2 o’clock Friday morning, an RPD officer who was patrolling in the area of the 2200 block of Glen Court heard about five gunshots. Officers were unable to locate any shell casings and there were no reports of injury. At about the same time Thursday morning, someone fired eight shots into a vehicle in the same area.
(Fountain City, IN)--While the Northeastern School Board and Superintendent remained quiet Wednesday night on the suspension of High School Principal Wes Wisner, members of the community did not. Several people indicated Wednesday night that one of Wisner’s two suspensions this year came because he put the school on lockdown without notifying Superintendent Laura Blessing when a felony suspect was thought to be in the area. "Most of us sit in the dark most of the time wondering what's going on," said one attendee Wednesday night. Indiana State Trooper Eric Fields is also a Northeastern parent. "I need to have answers because I need to know what we're doing to make our children safe. If our kids aren't safe in our school, it doesn't matter what else we're doing," Fields said. No response was offered by the Board Wednesday night other than from Board Member Keith Webster, who called the situation "a need-to-know basis." Wisner remains on administrative leave.
(Richmond, IN)--Shots were fired in Richmond early Thursday morning. It happened in the problem area of the 2200 block of Glen Court. Witnesses heard the shots at about 2 o’clock Thursday morning and then heard a car peeling out of the area. .22 caliper casings were found in front of a home. Eight rounds went into the door of a vehicle. The car was taken to be processed for evidence. There was no indication of any injuries.
(Centerville, IN)--Wayne County Sheriff Jeff Cappa has issued a release Wednesday morning identifying the man found dead on Centerville Road last Friday as 27-year-old James Herbolt of Richmond. Cappa also announced that Herbolt died as the result of a gunshot wound. The release did not say how long Herbolt’s body may have been there. But, on social media, family and friends made posts about Herbolt being missing as early as the 27th of last month. That’s nine days before the body was discovered. The Wayne County Sheriff's Department is still seeking leads in the case.
(Centerville, IN)--A Centerville bank is closing, according to a letter to customers from the FDIC. Mainsource Bank will close its Centerville branch on January 5. The letter states that the decision to close the Centerville banking center was difficult, but that two other locations in Wayne County would remain open – one in Richmond and one in Hagerstown. Mainsource began operations in Wayne County 15 years ago.
(Metamora, IN)--A Richmond woman is facing criminal charges after allegedly running over a child and then fleeing the scene. Details were released Tuesday of the incident that happened this past weekend at Canal Days in Metamora. Police say 54-year-old Shirley McKinney of Richmond struck a three-year-old girl while that girl was holding hands and walking with her grandmother. The girl suffered non-life-threatening injuries to her lower extremities. McKinney is currently free on bond.
(Richmond, IN)--There was another meth arrest in Richmond late Tuesday night. 25-year-old Heather Capps was taken into custody after a traffic stop on North West 18th Street at about 10 o’clock Tuesday night. Officers recovered both an unspecified quantity of meth and syringes. Capps was in jail Wednesday morning with a high bond. She’s had two previous failure to appear charges so far this year.
(Richmond, IN)--Wayne County Coroner Ron Stevens indicated Monday that it could be several more days before the identity of a man’s body that was found last Friday can be determined. The body was found on Centerville Road just north of I-70. Stevens said Monday that dental records, fingerprints, and DNA are all being used to try to come up with a positive identification. Investigators are still not saying how long the body may have been there or how the man was killed.
(Lakengren, OH)--Lakengren is about to get national exposure. Recently, the cable network HGTV visited the Preble County gated community to shoot an episode of Lakefront Bargain Hunt.
Local real estate agent Andrew Gaydosh talked Friday about how the cable network became interested.
“HGTV had approached me based on a similar program that we had done with Tru TV. They wanted us to do an episode at Norris Lake in Tennessee, but I really wanted them to do Lakengren because I felt like Lakengren was better suited.”
That set the wheels of production into motion. Taping took place last month.
“They brought in eight or nine people from New York that were members of a production company. We filmed from seven o’clock in the morning until eight o’clock at night for four or five days,” Gaydosh explained.
In the episode, Gaydosh escorts a young couple through three lakefront Lakengren homes. But, getting to that point took a lot of work.
“There was a ton of preparation,” Gaydosh explained. Releases involving privacy laws needed to be obtained from the LPOA and from all individuals whose properties would appear on aerial photos. We spent a month getting all of the proper releases to use images on TV.”
Preparing the homes themselves also took a lot of work.
“Homes had to be specifically prepared for television. There could be no art on the walls and no family pictures. Everything had to be staged professionally. You can imagine the effort that went into preparing for the opportunity to shoot in the home,” Gaydosh explained.
In addition to seeing the homes themselves, viewers will also see what are known in the business as bumper shots of Lakengren’s amenities. Video was also shot of the couple attending the Preble County Pork Festival because producers like to include local flavor in the program.
“We love the Eaton area, so it was easy for us to promote,” Gaydosh said. “We’re going to get a ton of exposure. It’s one of the most popular shows on HGTV.”
Gaydosh said that the couple did purchase one of the three homes they toured and are currently loving the Lakengren life.
A specific air date for the show has not been set, but it’s expected to air in the first two months of next year.
(Richmond, IN)--Investigators are still trying to sort out what happened on South O Street in Richmond late Monday night. Witnesses reported seeing a woman driving erratically in the area. Then, there was a crash. Witnesses saw either one or two people fleeing the area on foot. Another female was found in the back seat who was in an out of consciousness. She was flown to a Level One trauma center. Her identity and condition have not been released.
(Fountain City, IN)--The Northeastern Wayne School Board is set to meet Wednesday night for the first time since High School Principal Wes Wisner was placed on paid administrative leave. Northeastern administrators have not provided an update on the situation since an email to parents that went out last week…five days after Wisner’s suspension. Northeastern administrators again Tuesday failed to return calls from Kicks 96 and The Point News. The agenda for Wednesday night includes an administrative report from the high school principle. The meeting is set for 7 Wednesday night on West Main Street in Fountain City.
(Centerville, IN)--There’s still no identification on the body that was found Friday afternoon in Wayne County, and no arrests have been made for what was determined over the weekend to be a homicide. The body was found near Nolands Fork and Centerville Roads, just north of I-70. Forensic testing was being conducted over the weekend to help determine the identity. There’s no word yet on how long the body may have been there or how the homicide was committed.
(Cambridge City, IN)--The weekend arrest of a Cambridge City man marks the second time in two weeks a Wayne County man has been charged with home improvement fraud. This time, it’s 55-year-old David Hale. Hale was jailed over the weekend but has bonded out. He’s accused of taking money for home improvement work but not providing the service. Hale is also charged with theft.
(Richmond, IN)--There were a couple of reports of shots fired Friday morning in Richmond, but investigating officers were unable to locate any evidence. One officer heard a couple of shots in quick succession near South 7th and E at around 2 o’clock. Witnesses saw two vehicles fleeing the alley in opposite directions. About an hour earlier there was a report of a shot fired in the 200 block of North 14th.
(Richmond, IN)--A couple of unrelated domestic battery incidents left two Wayne County men in jail Friday morning. 52-year-old Rodney Iiams was taken out of his home on Boyer Street in Richmond Thursday night and charged with Level 3 Felony Aggravated Battery. Then, at 3 o’clock Friday morning, 27-year-old Casey Conyers of Williamsburg was taken into custody and charged with strangulation. There’s no word on the condition of the victim in either case.
(Richmond, IN)--An IU East program has garnered national recognition. It’s called the BOSS program. That stands for Business Opportunities for Self Starters and is geared toward developing business interest in high school students. IU East finished in the top three nationally this week in the national Economic Development Association’s Awards of Excellence. 3500 students have taken part since the program’s development a decade ago.
(Fountain City, IN)--Five full days after the fact, Northeastern Wayne school administrators finally on Wednesday issued a statement to parents about the status of high school principal Wes Wisner. An email to all parents said that Wisner was placed on paid administrative leave until further notice. The statement did not say what prompted the action. Kicks 96 and the Point News has spoken with several sources close to the situation. All indicate that it’s not the first time in this young school year that disciplinary action has been taken against Wisner. Those sources indicate Wisner was effectively suspended last month with no explanation given to teachers and no notification given to parents. Northeastern administrators have not returned three days’ worth of calls to Kicks 96 and the Point News.
(Richmond, IN)--The Indiana State Department of Education released letter grades for schools Wednesday. Here’s a look at how Richmond schools fared. While two-thirds of schools across Indiana got either an A or a B, that was not the case at Richmond. Three schools received B’s: RHS, Starr, and Crestdale. Charles, Fairview, Westview, and Test all got C’s. Dennis and Vaile received D’s. Eight of the nine schools fared either the same or worse than last year. As for other area schools across the Whitewater Valley, only two high schools received A’s: Centerville and Winchester. Northeastern Middle School also got an A. Four elementary schools received A’s, including Eastview and Central in Connersville, Brookville, and Deerfield Elementary in Randolph County. No area school received an F.
(Richmond, IN)--Richmond Common Council met Wednesday night as a Committee of the Whole for a couple of reasons…the 2018 budget and a proposed sewer rate increase. Council has a balanced general fund budget, but other budgets are underfunded by a quarter of a million dollars. Also, a private company presented financials for the federally mandated sewer improvements. They said that the impact to the consumer is a 35% rate increase over three stages to pay for the bonds.
(Fountain City, IN)--Wes Wisner still appeared on the Northeastern Wayne Schools website Wednesday morning as the high school principal as parents continue to clamor for answers regarding his status. Multiple sources indicate that Wisner was led out of the school last Friday in the presence of law enforcement. For the second consecutive day Tuesday, Northeastern administrators failed to return calls to Kicks 96 and The Point News regarding Wisner’s status. He has not Tweeted on his school account in more than a month.
(Wayne County, IN)--One person was found dead under a tree stand in Wayne County Tuesday. Authorities were called to the 300 block of Beeson Road, which is between Straightline Pike and U.S. 27, late Tuesday afternoon. The coroner’s office was then called to the scene. So far, officials have not said if the death was a hunting accident or was the result of something else. The person’s name has not been released.
(Richmond, IN)--A Reid Health surgeon, who is also a Puerto Rican native, will be headed to that island soon to help with Hurricane Maria relief efforts. Dr. Sara Diaz Valentin has organized a local effort to get medication to the island. "Instead of just lamenting or complaining that help is not getting in, it was easier to figure out what I could do," Dr. Diaz-Valentin said She consulted with Reid, which then donated all kinds of supplies. "We're talking about insulin for diabetics. We're talking about antibiotics," she added. Dr. Diaz-Valentin will head to Puerto Rico in the next few days to personally deliver the supplies and fill in for overworked physicians there.
(Centerville, IN)--An alleged Centerville drug dealer was taken into custody Tuesday night. 22-year-old Jacob Rasner was arrested at his home on Smoker Road and taken to the Wayne County Jail, where he now faces charges that include dealing cocaine or other narcotic drugs and dealing in methamphetamine. Rasner now faces two Level Five felonies.
(Lewisburg, OH)--A unique educational farm is coming to Preble County. It will be located just outside Lewisburg and will be called the Wild Hearts African Farm. It will be a 31-acre farm operated by Brian and Amanda Badger, who have worked in Africa for the last decade as conservationists. They plan to raise iconic African species of animals, including zebra and camels. The farm will offer a safari tour experience where visitors will be driven through to see the animals and typical African structures. There’s no word yet on an opening date.
(College Corner, OH)--Sentencing has now been set for a College Corner rapist. 49-year-old Frank Gross faces up to 25 years when he’s sentenced on November 8 in Preble County. In May of last year, Gross’ daughter’s friend decided to sleep on the couch in the home of Gross and his daughter because she was too drunk to drive home. She awoke to find Gross still standing over her and realized that she had been raped. She immediately fled and was taken to an Oxford hospital, where Gross’ DNA was recovered.
(Richmond, IN)--Richmond Common Council got an update on the demolition of Old Reid Monday night. A representative of the company that’s managing the demolition told council that about two dozen of the firms that toured old Reid last week have indicated they’re capable of handling the project. Most of those firms will return to old Reid on October 10 to take a closer look at what demolition will entail. Council Monday night also gave final approval to the partnership between the city and the county that will help to fund the demolition.
(Centerville, IN)--There was a high speed chase through western Wayne County Monday. It began when an officer noticed someone cutting up marijuana in a Jeep near Bentonville Road late Monday morning. The driver fled to U.S. 40 and, according to scanner traffic, hit speeds of 135 miles per hour. At one point, he tried to hit a state trooper. The Jeep eventually gave out and the driver fled on foot. He was caught after a short chase. The man was taken to the Henry County Jail and had an active warrant in Lake County. Two handguns were found under the Jeep’s driver’s seat. The suspect’s name has not been released.
(Las Vegas, NV)--A group of five Richmond men were in Las Vegas Sunday night when a mass shooting broke out. They were not at the concert, but were staying at the nearby Mirage when the shooting occurred. The five are all tied to Elks Country Club in Richmond and had gone to Las Vegas for a golf trip. The group includes Phil Earlywine, Del Demao, and Elks Pro Zack Palmer. They told a relative that chaos broke out when word reached their hotel. They fled into the streets where they were met by hundreds of other fleeing people. All five were okay Monday morning.
Below is audio from our newcast this morning including audio from Phil Earlywine
(Richmond, IN)--A Columbus man is facing a host of felony charges after attacking a Richmond Police officer. It happened early yesterday morning on Industries Road at an address that is used as a bus stop. 26-year-old William Erby allegedly attacked the officer and punched an RPD canine. Details of what led police to come into contact with Erby and the conditions of the officer and canine have not been released.
(Richmond, IN)--The call for drug dealers to be held responsible for the deaths of people who die from overdoses is getting stronger, and that’s happened now in Richmond. 40-year-old Eric Charles has been charged with reckless homicide. According to the Wayne County Prosecutor’s Office, Charles sold heroin laced with fentanyl to Linsey Fintack in July. Fintack ingested the drugs and died. Charles was in the Wayne County Jail Friday morning.
(Centerville, IN)--A brewery appears to be headed for Centerville. Turner Insurance President Kyle Turner has posted on social media that he intends to open what will be known as Five Arch Brewery. The plan is to renovate an existing building and open by August of next year. Johnson Family Farms will be opening in the space above Five Arch. They currently produce meat and vegetables from a farm in Fountain City and are regulars at the Richmond Farmer’s Market. That business is targeted to open in March of next year.
(Farmland, IN)--A Monroe Central school board member has been indicted for embezzlement. 49-year-old Michelle Phillips is charged with felony theft. Phillips allegedly stole nearly $4000 from Bear Backers. That’s an organization that supports the Randolph County school’s athletic teams. She had access to the money over a six-month period that ended in May. There’s no word yet on how the criminal charge will affect Phillips’ status on the school board.
(Liberty, IN)--There is some sad news from Union County, where a reserve sheriff’s deputy has died. Reserve deputy Tim Blacker died Thursday. A community event was held just a couple of weeks ago for Blacker at Frame’s Outdoor Sports Supplies in Liberty. Other law enforcement agencies across the Whitewater Valley were expressing their condolences Friday morning. Service and visitation for Tim Blacker are pending.
(Connersville, IN)--An investigation was underway Thursday morning in Fayette County after a dead body was found near Roberts Park in Connersville Wednesday night. Authorities were sent to an area near the shooting range behind Roberts Park and located the body of a male. Police did not immediately say if they believe foul play was involved. They’re also not releasing the man’s name or indicating how long he may have been there. More details are expected to be released later Thursday.
(Richmond, IN)--The Richmond Community School Board met Wednesday night. Civic Hall is in line for $350,000 in upgrades. Improvements will include upgraded lighting and sound systems. The money is coming from a private trust. Other buildings in the Richmond Community School system will undergo an assessment in the next month. A consultant was hired earlier this year to look at the buildings and determine how they can best be utilized in the wake of declining enrollment and other issues. A final report will be presented in January.
(Eaton, OH)--The production, cultivation, and sale of medical marijuana has been banned inside the city of Eaton. New state law allows for a very limited number of marijuana grow sites, but localities can ban them. And that what Eaton has done. City council passed the ban with no public opposition. The ban will actually go into effect after a 30-day waiting period to allow for any referendum petitions.
For the second weekend in a row, the U.S. 27 bridge over I-70 will be closed for maintenance. Last weekend, crews began the project, replacing bridge joints and installing a modified concrete deck overlay. The bridge will close at nine p-m Friday and re-open by 6 a-m on Monday. U-S 27 access over the interstate and left-turn motions at the Exit 151 interchange will be unavailable during construction.
The first K-9 officer to serve the Centerville Police Department has died. The department says Kendra died this week after five years of service. Kendra was a German Shepard, and the police department says she died of complications due to an illness. She joined the department in September 2012 through a donation made by Moose Lodge number 167 in Richmond.
A man is in custody after a standoff with a SWAT unit. The Wayne County Sheriff’s Department says 31-year-old Joshua Plough barricaded himself in his home near National Road West and Round Barn Road Tuesday morning. It happened after officers received a report of a domestic dispute. Plough was arrested Tuesday afternoon after SWAT officers entered the house. A one-year-old child was found unharmed.
(Richmond, IN)--The group Heroin is Here and local law enforcement agencies are dealing with something relatively new as they work to prevent overdose deaths. Officials say Narcan parties have reportedly been occurring in the Whitewater Valley. It’s when heroin and Narcan are sold together by dealers as package deals. Users gather and designate someone to administer the Narcan if an overdose occurs. Narcan is readily available at most local drug stores. Some local users are also getting tattoos noting the number of times they have been revived with Narcan.
(Richmond, IN)--Richmond police made a post on Facebook Monday that’s garnered 500 likes. The post shows Officer Smith surrounded by a group of seven children in the area of North 17th and Main Street. The officer was approached by that group of children who had make him a cake and told him thanks for making them feel safe.
(Eaton, OH)--Eaton police are dealing with another round of counterfeit money. The phony money has turned up a few times this year in Preble County. It was made specifically for the motion picture industry. The bills even say “for motion picture use only” right on them, but look authentic otherwise. Recently, a couple used the bills to purchase jewelry at Eaton’s Walmart.
(Richmond, IN)--Alan Price officially became the 18th president of Earlham College on Saturday. Price is an Earlham graduate who went on to Harvard Law School. In his address Saturday, Price talked about improving the relationship between the city and the college. "Earlham needs Richmond and Richmond needs Earlham. There have been times in our history when we have forgotten this basic truth," Price said. Before returning to Earlham, Price was appointed by former President Barack Obama to serve as the Associate Director of Management for the Peace Corps.
(Richmond, IN)--Here comes more road construction. Richmond Police are again preparing for lane restrictions on I-70 over New Paris Pike. This time, eastbound I-70 will be restricted. It’s expected to cause eastbound traffic to back up west of the U.S. 35 exit and bring some interstate traffic into Richmond. Eastbound I-70 will be reduced to one lane starting on October 13. The restriction will last for two weeks.
(Centerville, IN)--A wanted Wayne County man was tossed into the Wayne County Jail Monday morning for charges stemming from alleged home improvement fraud. 49-year-old Gregory Keeton was located on Kellam Road in Centerville Monday morning. Keeton had failed to show up for a pre-trial hearing. He allegedly took money for home repairs and then failed to do the work. Kellam has a long criminal record and has a history of failing to comply with court orders and hearings.
(Eaton, OH)--Miss Preble is back home in Eaton. Miss Preble is a military tank that was placed in Eaton in 1957 to honor World War II and Korean War veterans. But the tank was removed from the former armory five years ago. This weekend, Miss Preble was placed into a new Preble County home at Fort St. Clair. The tank re-entered Eaton during a parade that was attended by hundreds on Saturday.
(Wayne County, IN)--Wayne County continues to shrink in relation to the number of people working and the number of people in the workforce. According to newly released numbers, Wayne County continues to move toward having less than 30,000 people in the workforce. Today, the number is 30,178, and that’s a drop of 95 people from last month and 643 fewer than this time last year. The number of people actually working in Wayne County dropped by 266 last month.
(Richmond, IN)--Lots of drugs were recovered when a couple was arrested in Richmond’s Veteran’s Memorial Park Friday morning. 34-year-old Jesse Gross of Bath and 36-year-old Amanda Hoskins of Liberty were allegedly using drugs in the Whitewater Gorge. Hoskins was charged with possession of drugs, syringes, and paraphernalia. It’s Hoskins’ fourth drug arrest in Wayne County just this year, including one as recently as three weeks ago.
(Randolph County, IN)--A brand new state historical marker will be placed in Randolph County on Sunday. It’s located in a very rural area northeast of Spartanburg and will mark the location of the Union Literary Institute. The school was a noted stop along the Underground Railroad and was one of the first in Indiana to allow black students. When it was established in 1846, black students were excluded from public schools by state law. It was attended by Hiram Revels, the first black U.S. Senator.
(Richmond, IN)--Wayne County is considering ending the publishing of legal ads and public notices in the Palladium-Item. The county and other entities are legally required to publish notifications of meetings, sheriff’s sales, and a host of other issues. Historically, that’s been done in the local newspaper. But it’s not likely to happen any longer. County Attorney Ron Cross told Wayne County Commissioners that the Palladium has not been responsive to requests for legal ads. Cross added that Sheriff Jeff Cappa reported problems with advertising sheriff's sales with the Palladium-Item. Cross also said that other municipalities in Wayne County are also switching from the Palladium to Western Wayne News. Now, the county is considering using the Western Wayne News and Nettle Creek Gazette. A change would mean a significant savings. In the last four years, the county has spent $144,000 with the Palladium, but only $27,000 with Western Wayne News.
(Wayne County, IN)--New grant money has been awarded for more local road projects. State Representative Dick Hamm announced Wednesday that Wayne County would get half a million dollars. The city of Richmond will get nearly $550,000, while Hagerstown will get $270,000. Meanwhile, traffic on Chester Boulevard between Sim Hodgin Parkway and North C Street will be shifted Friday onto new pavement on the east side of the road. One lane will stay open in each direction.
(Richmond, IN)--Marijuana was recovered following a crash on Elks Road in Richmond early Thursday morning. Police reports indicate a car driven by 33-year-old Lindsey Hedge of Fountain City sheared off a utility pole when she crashed near the east entrance to Glen Miller Park. Hedge was taken to Reid Health, where she allegedly had a blood alcohol content of .213. The amount of marijuana that was recovered has not been released.
(Fayette County, IN)--16 students were taken to Fayette Regional Health System when a school bus crashed just south of Connersville High School Tuesday afternoon. The students were all members of the Sunman-Dearborn Middle School swim team who were headed to Connersville for a swim meet. The superintendent said it was a scary sight. "When you show up and see a bus on its side with fluid on the ground and windows broken out...you can imagine how frightened the students were." None of the injuries were serious. The bus driver told investigators that the brakes went out as the bus was coming down a hill.
(Richmond, IN)--Yet another major Richmond roadway is set to be affected by construction. It will happen this weekend, when an INDOT contractor closes U.S. 27 at the I-70 interchange. The good news is that it will only last for the weekend beginning at 9 o’clock Friday night, but it will prevent travel on 27 between Richmond and Fountain City. Contractors will be replacing bridge joints and modifying the concrete deck.
(Richmond, IN)--A Richmond business is being acquired by another company. Smith Implements sells farm and other equipment near the junction of U.S. 35 and State Road 38. Smith Implements is being acquired by Koenig Equipment. Keonig is based in Botkins Ohio and operates a store in Oxford. The first day of business for the new operation is scheduled for the end of next month. Smith Implements had operated for nearly four decades.
Enrollment at IU-East is strong again, even though numbers are down slightly. The school says almost 35-hundred students are enrolled for the fall semester. That’s down 2.6-percent from the fall of 2016, but IU East says the decline was caused by a change in how enrollment is calculated. The Indiana University system no longer counts high school students taking dual-credit classes as part of enrollment at its campuses.
Public hearings will be scheduled on a proposed hike in sewer rates. No vote was taken after a first reading of the rate increase during last night’s meeting of Richmond Common Council. The increase would pay for court-ordered improvements to the sewer system, and sanitation engineer Elijah Welch says the city is trying to keep costs as low as possible. The proposal would raise sewer rates for customers by 35-percent over the next three years.
The Richmond Common Council has approved two loans to pay for the demolition of the old Reid Hospital. The amount of one of the loans was cut after the city got a contribution of more than 1.4 million dollars from Wayne County. Councilman Clay Miller is among those happy that the city is also spending some cash on hand for the project. The two loans total around eight million dollars.
Road crews are starting work on Round Barn Road today. That means a stretch of the road from Gaar Jackson Road to Industries Road will be closed for the next 45 days. The project will widen Round Barn Road so it can handle truck traffic from the new Blue Buffalo plant being built at the Midwest Industrial Park on the far northwest side of Richmond.
(RICHMOND)- Part of East Main Street in Richmond is still closed almost two weeks after a water main break. Now, Indiana American Water says it will be shutting down more lanes of the street soon to make permanent repairs. The westbound lanes of East Main near 16thStreet have been impacted since a water main broke on September 5th. The water company says it is working with INDOT on a plan to replace all five lanes of a section of East Main sometime over the next two weeks.
(Richmond, IN)--Richmond residents are facing the possibility of a substantial increase in sewer bills. Richmond’s Common Council on Monday will address a proposal that would increase sewer rates by 35 percent over the next three years, beginning with a 15 percent increase next year. The increase would cover $33 million in bonds for five projects that are largely court-mandated repairs to an aging sewer system. Richmond is currently eight years into a 21-year rebuilding schedule.
(Camden, OH)--Investigators in Preble County have recovered the black box from the Richmond semi that caused the death of three people and an unborn child earlier this week in Camden. Police say Centerville’s Brian Murphy was speeding and was inattentive behind the wheel of the semi. This investigator said the black box can confirm it. "...how fast the truck was going...did the truck put the brakes on?...It will tell us everything that was going on in that truck." Murphy was still in a medically induced coma Friday morning. The company that Murphy was driving for, Family Tradition, LLC in Richmond, refused to comment Thursday.
(Winchester, IN)--78 residents of the Randolph Nursing Center were evacuated in ten minutes when a fire broke out there Thursday. The fire started because of a faulty roof ventilation unit. Winchester firefighters saw flames shooting from the roof when they arrived. The fire was quickly contained and caused only about $2500 in damage. There were no injuries. Winchester Fire Chief Gary Moore said the fire could have been much more devastating if not for the staff’s quick reaction.
(Columbus, OH)--The Ohio Department of Education released report cards for schools across the state Thursday, including those in our area. Only a handful of schools statewide got A’s, and a small percentage got B’s. In Preble County, National Trail, Eaton, and Twin Valley all received C’s. Tri County North and Preble Shawnee got D’s. Tri Village in Darke County also received a D.
(Hagerstown, IN)--Autocar in Hagerstown is expanding, but it won’t be anywhere close to the Whitewater Valley. Autocar is investing $120 million into a facility in Birmingham, Alabama that will create 750 new jobs. "Not just any jobs, but jobs that pay a high salary," said Alabama Governor Kay Ivey making the announcement Wednesday. The announcement does not mean that Autocar will close its Hagerstown plant that employs 170 people, but it does mean that some production lines will be moved or decreased. Autocar said it chose Alabama because of its great business environment and skilled workforce.