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Local News: A service of Reid Health

NO CHARGES ADDED AGAINST WOMAN'S BOYFRIEND

(Richmond, IN)--There has been no increase in the criminal charges that 39-year-old Eric Lairson was facing Friday morning.  The Richmond man is charged with domestic battery and strangulation after the death of his girlfriend, Tylissa Isaacs, on Wednesday.  An autopsy was conducted Thursday to determine the exact cause of death.  Results of that autopsy have not yet been released.  Lairson remained in the Wayne County Jail Friday morning on bonds that total $32,500.

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EXPLOSION DESTROYS SHED

(Preble County, OH)--People who live in the area of Smyrna Road at the state line between Richmond and New Paris reported hearing an explosion just before fire broke out in a shed there late Thursday afternoon.  The shed was totally destroyed.  There were no reports of any injuries.  Propane tanks are the suspected source of the explosion.  Some residents in the area said the explosion shook the windows of their homes.

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TRAFFIC STOPS TURNS UP ALLEGED WANTED DRUG DEALER

(Richmond, IN)--A traffic stop Thursday afternoon on Hawkins Road in Richmond led to the arrest of a wanted drug dealer.  39-year-old Francois Wilkerson of Richmond had active warrants and was arrested for dealing cocaine and narcotic drugs.  And, RPD made a drug arrest early Friday morning.  24-year-old Nicholas Morra was jailed Friday morning after being arrested on South 6th Street for possessing drugs, paraphernalia, and a syringe.

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MAN JAILED AFTER WOMAN'S DEATH

(Richmond, IN)--The investigation will continue Thursday after a woman was found dead in the 800 block of North 13th Street of Richmond Wednesday.  On Thursday morning, a man who lives at the same address was behind bars.  Scanner traffic indicated Tylissa Isaacs and 39-year-old Eric Lairson had been involved in a dispute.  At 2:30 Wednesday afternoon, Isaacs was found dead in a bathroom.  A search warrant was executed as Lairson was interviewed.  Lairson was then booked into jail on charges that include strangulation and battery, which are low-level felonies.  Lairson has not been charged with Isaacs’ death.  An autopsy is being conducted to determine the cause of death.

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OPTIONS PRESENTED TO RCS BOARD INCLUDE BUILDING CLOSURES

(Richmond, IN)--On Wednesday night, the Richmond Community School Board heard more from a consultant who is addressing the system’s capacity and declining enrollment.  Right now, the district has room for 1400 more students than are currently enrolled, and that gap is expected to widen with a predicted loss of another 400 students in the next decade.  Some of the options presented Wednesday night ranged from simply redistricting students to something much more drastic…closing the Starr, Vaile, and Hibberd buildings while moving 8th graders to the high school and 4th graders to intermediate buildings.  The consultant stressed those are only options, and not actual recommendations.

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OLD REID DEMO CONTRACT TO BE APPROVED WITHOUT NEED FOR LOAN

(Richmond, IN)--A final contract to clean up the old Reid Hospital site will go before the Richmond Board of Public Works Thursday.  The fact that the cost of the project came in at about half of the initial estimate means that the city will not have to use two loans offered by the state to cover the cost.  A city-county partnership also helped to eliminate the need for a loan.  The project is expected to begin in about three weeks.

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TWO MEN ARRESTED WITH DRUGS IN PROBLEM AREA

(Richmond, IN)--Richmond police were in the problem area of the 100 block of Richmond Avenue Wednesday and arrested two men on a host of felony charges.  Officers recovered drugs and a stolen handgun and arrested both 30-year-old Joshua Adams of Centerville and 49-year-old Clayton McCowan of Richmond.  Adams is charged with dealing.  Two people were murdered in the same area earlier this year, and a body was also found in an alley there last month.

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REID: FLU CASES HAVE DOUBLED THIS YEAR

(Richmond, IN)--Brace yourselves…Reid Health is predicting that this flu season will be a rough one.  Reid issued a statement Wednesday indicating that they’ve already seen twice the number of flu cases from last year.  The first positive flu case locally was confirmed on October 18 – much earlier than usual.  Since then, there have been 19 positive tests.  Reid urged taking precautions like washing hands often.  Many people, though, will say they have the flu when they actually have only a common cold.

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WOMAN ARRIVES AT REID HEALTH WITH GUNSHOT WOUND

(Richmond, IN)--Very little information has been released after a woman showed up at Reid Health early Wednesday morning with a gunshot wound.  Reid staff notified RPD when she arrived there just after midnight.  She lives on South 5th in Richmond and appears to be a young mother.  Investigators have not said if the shooting occurred on South 5th.  The extent of her injury was not disclosed and there was no suspect information.

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RPD OFFICER ENTERS FRIGID POND TO HELP RESCUE MAN, DOG

(Richmond, IN)--A Richmond man and his dog are okay after a cold-water rescue Tuesday night.  It happened at around 9 o'clock Tuesday night on New Paris Pike when a man waded into a pond to try to rescue a dog that had wandered onto the ice.  The man reached the dog in waist-deep water, but became stuck in the silt and could not get out.  Scanner traffic indicates he was in the water for about 15 minutes when an RPD officer, who has not yet been identified, waded into the frigid water and helped both the man and the dog get out.  The man, the officer, and the dog were okay Wednesday morning.

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ACCUSED OXFORD TAXI RAPIST HELD ON MILLION-DOLLAR BOND

(Oxford, OH)--The Oxford cab driver accused of raping two Miami students last weekend was arraigned Tuesday.  Sherman Jackson is being held on a million-dollar bond.  One of the alleged victims called 911 while she was still in the cab.  Dispatchers could hear her screaming to be let out.    Jackson operates Sherman’s Safe Ride and will appear in court for the first time Thursday.

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AT LEAST TWO VICTIMS FLOWN FROM SCENE OF LYNN-AREA CRASH

(Lynn, IN)-Two different medical helicopters were sent to the intersection of Highways 27 and 36 just north of Lynn Tuesday when a semi and pickup truck collided.  At least two patients went to Level One trauma centers in two different cities.  The intersection was shut down for several hours for investigation and cleanup.  The Lynn Police Department handled the incident and, so far, has not released any information including the identities of the people involved, their conditions, and what caused the crash.

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OF 2600 UNTESTED SEX ASSAULT KITS, ONLY 1 IS IN WAYNE COUNTY

(Richmond, IN)--Earlier this year, Indiana legislators urged the Indiana State Police to do an audit to find out how many untested sexual assault kits existed.  Those kits contain evidence of rapes and other crimes that could help to convict the suspect.  Although there are 2600 kits of untested evidence statewide, there are only three in the Whitewater Valley.  Wayne, Union, and Fayette County each had one untested kit.  Each kit costs about a thousand dollars to test.

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RPD CANINE FITTED WITH VEST

(Richmond, IN)--Richmond Police Department Canine Max has received his new vest.  The vest is both bullet-proof and stab-proof and will be worn as the dog helps his human partners with drug detection and suspect tracking.  The vest was purchased through a donation from the organization Vested Interest in Canines.  Max has three handlers and was photographed Monday wearing his vest in front of an RPD cruiser.

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MAN CAUGHT AFTER EARLY-MORNING MANHUNT

(Wayne and Henry County, IN)--There was a manhunt in western Wayne County early Tuesday morning.  Officers from multiple jurisdictions were searching in the area of Bear Creek Road after a driver fled the scene of a crash.  Henry County deputies joined in the search and found Jordon Ralstin just across the line in Henry County.  Ralstin had been arrested for fleeing in Randolph County earlier this year and was arrested with counterfeit drugs in the Hagerstown area a year ago.  Ralstin was in the Henry County Jail Tuesday morning.

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EATON MAN CHARGED WITH SELLING METH WITH NEWBORN PRESENT

(Eaton, OH)--A 31-year-old Eaton man is facing felony charges after he was accused of selling methamphetamine in front of his newborn.  Brian Shaner has been indicted by a grand jury after allegedly selling nearly seven grams of meth during an undercover purchase.  His charges include drug trafficking and endangering children.  Shaner has a significant drug history with a prior conviction a decade ago.  He was in the Preble County Jail Tuesday.

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OXFORD CAB DRIVER CHARGED WITH RAPING MIAMI STUDENTS

(Oxford, OH)--An Oxford taxi driver has been arrested for sexually assaulting female Miami students over the weekend.  38-year-old Sherman Jackson is the operator of “Sherman’s Safe Ride Taxi.”  At least two female students made similar allegations.  "I got out of the car with him and I just thought he was really creepy," said one student who had ridden with Jackson but filed no complaint.  He’s been booked into the Butler County Jail on two counts of rape.  The investigation is continuing.

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POLICE SEARCH FOR ATTEMPTED ARMED ROBBER

(Richmond, IN)--There was an attempted armed robbery at a Richmond gas station early Monday morning.  A man entered the store at around 1 o’clock Monday morning armed with what was described as a 4-6 inch knife.  The initial indication is that he fled without getting any money, but that has not yet been confirmed by Richmond police.  He reportedly fled toward Chester Heights Apartments.  No arrests have been made.  Investigators believe the same man may have been in the store yesterday causing problems.  There is no suspect description, and there were no injuries.

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WAYNE COUNTY'S SEX WAGE GAP IS LESS THAN STATE AVERAGE

(Wayne County, IN)--Wayne County’s wage gap for sex is lower than the state average.  According to newly released figures by the Indiana Institute for Working Families, women across Indiana make 74 cents for every dollar earned by men.  In Wayne County, though, that figure is 79 cents.  The median income for a Wayne County man working full time is now $40,500.  The median income for a Wayne County woman is just under $32,000.  Fayette County has Indiana’s highest disparity.  Women there make only 66 cents for every dollar earned by men.

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COUPLE ARRESTED FOR AUTO THEFT

(Richmond, IN)--A couple was arrested for auto theft at a Richmond apartment complex Sunday.  23-year-old Chance Duarte and his girlfriend, 22-year-old Jasmine Oakley-Field, were taken into custody at the Westwood Apartments on West Main Street.  And, it wasn’t the only auto theft-related arrest of the weekend.  32-year-old Christopher Davis was arrested for attempted auto theft and possession of meth.  All three were behind bars Monday morning.

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MAN CAUGHT TRYING TO ENTER RICHMOND HOME

(Richmond, IN)--A Williamsburg man was arrested Friday morning after allegedly trying to break into the Richmond home of a former girlfriend.  According to police reports, children were present when an allegedly drunken 32-year-old Joshua Petitt began banging on windows in the 300 block of Garwood Road at around 1 o’clock Friday morning.  Petitt then fled and was captured on nearby Hughes Lane.  His charges include felony residential entry.  No one inside was hurt.

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PREBLE COUNTY METH LAB TAKEN DOWN

(West Manchester, OH)--The Preble County Sheriff’s Department has released details of a meth lab bust.  A search warrant was executed on Maple Street in West Manchester.  Inside, investigators found chemicals and equipment used to make methamphetamine along with some finished product.  48-year-old Scott Cochran was taken into custody and charged with multiple felonies.  Cochran is in the Preble County Jail.

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MULTIPLE WERNLE RESIDENTS ESCAPE FOR THE SECOND TIME IN A WEEK

(Richmond, IN)--Richmond Police were busy early Thursday morning searching for runaways from the Wernle Youth and Family Treatment Center.  Both RPD and the Indiana State Police responded on the report of a large fight.  Four juveniles fled the area and were being sought.  It’s at least the second time in the last week that several residents have escaped at night.  On Thursday morning, according to scanner traffic, one officer told Wernle staff to start securing residents better, because officers weren’t going to chase them every night.  At 6 o'clock Thursday morning, three juveniles were reportedly still on the loose.

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WAYNE COUNTY DEPUTIES' SALARIES EXAMINED

(Richmond, IN)--New Wayne County Sheriff’s Department deputies make significantly less money than new deputies with other agencies.  It’s a problem that drew the attention of Wayne County Council members on Wednesday.  Council heard from a consultant that said that new Wayne County deputies make, on average, $7000 less annually than new deputies with 14 other Indiana agencies of similar size.  That new deputy would also make $8000 less than a new RPD officer.  Sheriff Jeff Cappa has said that it makes recruiting difficult.  Council is taking the issue under consideration.

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FAYETTE COUNTY EMPLOYER TO DOUBLE IN SIZE

(Connersville, IN)--There is some good economic development news for Fayette County which, last month, had Indiana’s highest unemployment rate.  Local economic development official Dan Parker told commissioners this week that one of the county’s larger employers is set to double its workforce next year.  That employer’s identity has not yet been released.  Parker also claimed success with a second large retention project this year.

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RICHMOND MAN JAILED IN LATE-NIGHT DRUG ARREST

(Richmond, IN)--A Richmond man is facing a host of felony drug charges after his arrest late Tuesday night.  35-year-old Calvin Johnson was taken into custody at his home on New Paris Pike near Porterfield Road.  Officers at the scene recovered an unspecified quantity of methamphetamine.  Johnson is charged with possession of meth with intent to deliver and violation of the Legend Drug Act.  He was in the Wayne County Jail Wednesday morning.

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PREBLE COUNTY TEEN KILLED IN CRASH

(Lewisburg, OH)--The victim in a fatal weekend crash has now been identified as a Preble County teenager.  19-year-old Kaitlin Bradley of Lewisburg was a passenger in a car that lost control near Englewood and struck a tree.  Investigators said Tuesday that speed was the primary cause of the crash.  The driver of the car was identified as a 20-year-old Clayton man.  He was also pronounced dead at the scene.  Kaitlin was a recent graduate of Tri County North High School.

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NEW EATON MAYOR, COUNCIL MEMBERS SWORN IN

(Eaton, OH)--Eaton has a new mayor.  At this week’s meeting of the Eaton City Council, new members Matt Venable and Gary Wagner were sworn in.  Wagner was then picked as Eaton’s new mayor.  The two new council members are replacing David Daily and Dave Kirsch, who were both recognized for their years of service.

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OLD REID DEMOLITION PREP BEGINS

(Richmond, IN)--The first steps to take down old Reid began Monday.  Richmond Common Council got an update on the project Monday night and learned that one of the companies began the process Monday by removing some brush and beginning to put up a construction fence.  Environmental remediation is scheduled to begin in two weeks.  The city still has to sign a nearly $3.5 million contract with the company that will take the buildings down.  That signing will likely happen this Thursday.  Old Reid is forecast to be completely gone in a year and a half.

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SEMI CARRYING HAZARDOUS MATERIAL OVERTURNS IN PREBLE COUNTY

(Preble County, OH)--A semi carrying hazardous material overturned on I-70 in Preble County Tuesday morning.  The Environmental Management Agency was sent to the scene in the eastbound lanes of Mile Marker 12 at around 3:30 Tuesday morning.  There was no initial indication that the material was leaking, and officials have not said exactly what is was that the trucker was carrying to Columbus.  He told troopers that the wind blew the semi onto its side.  He was not hurt.

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TEENS RELEASED FROM JAIL AFTER ROBBERY ARREST

(Richmond, IN)--Two Wayne County teens were released from the Wayne County Jail on their own recognizance over the weekend after picking up some very serious charges.  19-year-olds Jared Cohee of Richmond and Russell Rader of Centerville were captured in a service alley near Tenth Street.  Both are charged with robbery.  Cohee is charged with attempted strong armed robbery and Rader allegedly was carrying a gun without a permit.  Details of what they are alleged to have done have not been released.

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TRAIN GRAZES DRIVER WITH LEARNER'S PERMIT

(Randolph County, IN)--It was a narrow escape Sunday night for a teen learning to drive in Randolph County.  A driver, who had only a learner’s permit, drove around railroad crossing gates that had come down for an approaching train near Monroe Central High School.  The girl then tried to back up and become stuck on the tracks.  She was then able to free the SUV enough that so the train only barely grazed the vehicle.  There were no injuries.

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TWO MEN IN BATMOBILE ARRESTED ON DRUG CHARGES

(Centerville, IN)--Two Wayne County men woke up not in the Bat Cave Friday morning, but in the Wayne County Jail.  35-year-old Jehoshua Hammock and 28-year-old Travis Amburgy were taken into custody Thursday night on Willow Grove Road near Centerville.  Police allegedly found marijuana or hash oil and drug paraphernalia in their vehicle, a Batmobile, at around 7 o’clock Thursday night.  Both men are being held on $500 bonds.

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SIX UNITS AT COUNTRY CLUB APARTMENTS SEALED BY CITY

(Richmond, IN)--Six units at Country Club Apartments in Richmond have been sealed by the city’s Building Commissioner.  Beverly Budd said it began two months ago and involved the Health Department after standing water was found in units below ground level.  But that investigation turned up much more.  Two empty units were discovered that were being used for prostitution.  Residents saw men frequently coming and going.  Four other empty units were being occupied by drug users.  Users were climbing in through windows.  City officials found paraphernalia inside.  The door of one unit had a sign that said “Not a trap house.”  Budd said that Country Club’s owner has been cooperative with clean-up efforts.

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REID PHYSICIAN RETURNS FROM PUERTO RICAN HURRICANE RELIEF TRIP

(Richmond, IN)--A Reid Health physician is back from her trip to help people in hurricane-ravaged Puerto Rico.  Dr. Sara Valentin used what would have been her vacation time to personally deliver 19 suitcases and boxes of medicine and supplies.  "Instead of just lamenting or complaining that help is not getting in, it was easier to say 'What can I do?'"  Her efforts have now led to the formation of a new organization called “Puerto Rico Rise Up.”  That organization’s first project is a toy drive for Christmas.  More than a thousand toys have already been collected and will be given to foster children affected by the hurricane.

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FOUR TRI HIGH STUDENTS INVESTIGATED FOR POT BROWNIE DISTRIBUTION

(Straughn, IN)--Four students at one Tri Eastern Conference school are under investigation after marijuana brownies were passed out at school.  Investigators now have warrants to allow them to search the phones of four Tri High students.  One student became ill after the pot brownies were passed out at school earlier this month.  All four students now face expulsion.

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ALLEGED TEEN BURGLAR CAUGHT INSIDE WAYNE COUNTY CHURCH

(Wayne County, IN)--A teenager was caught red-handed Wednesday inside a northwestern Wayne County church.  Officers were sent to the West River Friends Church near the intersection of U.S. 35 and State Road 1.  A police canine helped to find 18-year-old Dustin Brenner of Muncie inside.  Brenner has been charged with felony burglary and was still in the Wayne County Jail Thursday morning.

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MISSISSIPPI COUPLE ARRESTED FOR OVERNIGHT RICHMOND CARJACKING

(Richmond, IN)--There was an armed carjacking in Richmond overnight Tuesday night and Wednesday morning, and a Mississippi couple has been arrested.  Details of exactly where the incident began have not been released, but police reports indicate that one man later identified as 38-year-old Ed Harris grabbed another man by the hair and demanded to be taken to the Richmond Inn and Suites.  33-year-old Rosalee Zirger then allegedly pulled a large knife on the victim.  The two were stopped a short time later near Henley Road and East Main.  The knife was recovered.  They were booked into jail at around midnight.  Police have not said why they were in Richmond from Mississippi.  There was no indication that the victim suffered any serious injuries.

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FAYETTE REGIONAL HEALTH SYSTEM NAMED IN FEDERAL LAWSUIT

(Connersville, IN)--Fayette Regional Health System is included in a list of 62 hospitals statewide that are now facing a federal lawsuit that alleges those hospitals defrauded taxpayers out of millions of dollars through the federal HITECH Act.  Basically, the lawsuit claims Fayette Regional and the others made false claims in order to get federal grant money for electronic health records systems.  Henry County Memorial Hospital is also listed as a defendant in the suit.

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SIX ARRESTED AS SWAT DESCENDS ON RICHMOND'S ECONO LODGE

(Richmond, IN)--Six people were jailed after Richmond Police, SWAT, and the Indiana State Police all descended on the Econo Lodge in Richmond late Monday night.  There, officers found heroin, other drugs, guns, and stolen property.  34-year-old Christopher Crawley of Richmond faces multiple felony charges, including possession of heroin with intent to deliver.  Five others were also still in jail Tuesday morning.  They include Howard Clark, Scott Haskett, Bree Skinner, and Michael Townsend of Richmond and Wendy Ford of Connersville.  It’s the second drug incident at the Econo Lodge in the last month.

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NATURE'S NOOK EXPANDS PRODUCT LINE IN WAKE OF MARIJUANA OIL RULING

(Richmond, IN)--Indiana’s attorney general recently declared that oil derived from marijuana plants illegal for sale, and now one Richmond business is feeling the effect.  "We were able at one point to offer it to them and it was helping them with a number of different things, such as chronic pain, diabetes, and stress disorders," said Paige Jennings with Nature’s Nook.  She said customers are not happy about the loss of what's known as CBD oil.  "They don't understand why this has been taken from them as an option, and they're very angry," Jennings added.  Jennings said that Nature’s Nook still offers other products that can help with those ailments.  Nature’s Nook now has and expanded product line that includes counseling.

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VICTIM SENT TO REID HEALTH AFTER ALLEGED GREENWOOD APTS. STRANGULATION

(Richmond, IN)--A female victim went to Reid Health Tuesday morning after allegedly being strangled in a domestic incident.  It happened at the Greenwood Apartments on South 16th Street in Richmond.  28-year-old Nicholas Lakes was jailed at just before 4 o’clock Tuesday morning and charged with felony strangulation.  There’s no word yet on the identity or condition of the victim, or what led to the incident.

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WOMAN JAILED ON DRUG CHARGES FOR SECOND TIME IN A WEEK

(Richmond, IN)--She had just posted a $25,000 bond to get out of jail last week.  Now, 25-year-old Sharae Jackson of Richmond is right back behind bars.  Jackson was arrested Sunday in the 200 block of South West 18th for felony intimidation and possessing methamphetamine.  Jackson had been jailed last Wednesday for violation of the legend drug act.  Details of her arrest Sunday have not been released.

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WANTED WOMAN ARRESTED FOR TRAFFICKING WITH INMATE

(Richmond, IN)--A Richmond woman was waking up behind bars Monday morning after her weekend arrest for not only possessing methamphetamine, but trafficking with a Wayne County Jail inmate.  32-year-old Jamie Hall was taken into custody over the weekend in an alley between South 5th and 6th Streets.  Billy Braughton was also taken into custody there.  Both had outstanding warrants.  Hall was wanted for burglary, fraud, and auto theft.

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RANDOLPH COUNTY SCHOOLS FACE DECLINING ENROLLMENT

(Randolph County, IN)--Enrollment at four out of the five public school systems in Randolph County is forecast to drop in the next five years.  Results of a professional demographics study were recently presented to county leaders.  Union Schools in Modoc is forecast to lose 39 students.  That’s significant because Union has faced consolidation discussions for the last few years.  Randolph Central and Eastern and Monroe Central are all also forecast to lose students.  Only Randolph Southern is predicted to grow, but only by a dozen students.

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MAN ARRESTED AFTER ALLEGEDLY EXPOSING HIMSELF TO CHILDREN

(Richmond, IN)--A Richmond man has bonded out of jail after allegedly exposing himself to multiple people, including children, over the weekend.  According to witness statements and police reports, 56-year-old Michael Nix was intoxicated and trying to fight children in the 100 block of North 12th.  When confronted by adults, Nix allegedly exposed himself.  He was charged with public indecency and taken to the Wayne County Jail.

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ARREST MADE IN CONNECTION WITH CENTERVILLE MAN'S MURDER

An arrest has been made in connection with the recent murder of a Centerville man in central Indiana.  Police there have charged a 21-year-old with shooting and killing 43-year-old Kurt Estes last week.  The suspect told police that Estes had gone to an apartment complex to buy crack cocaine, but denied shooting Estes.  An autopsy showed that Estes had been shot four times in the back of the head and severely beaten.  The investigation continues.

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WRONG-WAY TEEN DRIVER ARRESTED WITH DANGEROUS DRUG

(Richmond, IN)--A Richmond teen was in the Wayne County Jail Friday morning after allegedly being caught with a dangerous drug.  19-year-old Martin Gonzalez was behind the wheel of an SUV that was going the wrong way on South A Street in Richmond at around 9:30 Thursday night.  When Gonzalez was caught, officers found cocaine that had been laced with Fentanyl.  Gonzalez was also charged with felony maintaining a common nuisance and a host of other charges.

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HALF OF THOSE ENROLLED IN LOCAL DRUG DIVERSION PROGRAM ARE COMPLIANT

(Richmond, IN)--Wayne County Prosecutor Mike Shipman has released new numbers for the county’s drug diversion program. That program reduces or drops certain drug charges if suspects can complete drug treatment.  Right now, there are 32 participants, and exactly half are considered compliant.  Since the program’s inception a year and a half ago, 117 people have tried the program.  62% have failed to comply.

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THREATS CITED AS REASON FOR HELP SHELTER BOARD PRESIDENT'S RESIGNATION

(Richmond, IN)--There’s been more fallout from last week’s revelation that the Help The Animals shelter euthanized seven dogs.  Board President Susan Beeson has now resigned.  Many outspoken residents had called for Beeson to be ousted, even after Help Shelter Director Jamie Glandon was fired.  The Help Center’s website on Wednesday morning pointed to a Saturday protest.  It says "Due to the hatred, protests, and threats from a small number of individuals, (Beeson) felt it was the best decision."  A permanent director will be hired once a new board is in place.

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GROUND BROKEN ON $50 MILLION PROBLE COUNTY PLANT

(Lewisburg, OH)--Ground has been broken for a $50 million investment in Preble County.  Cargill and Provimi will be opening a new facility in Lewisburg in two years.  It will be the only fully non-medicated animal feed plant in the U.S.  It will be located at the former Iams Pet Food plant and will be known as the Lewisburg West Manufacturing Facility.

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CONNERSVILLE SUES OPIOID MANUFACTURERS

(Connersville, IN)--The city of Connersville has filed a lawsuit against multiple opioid manufacturers and distributors.  The lawsuit, which is similar to others filed around the country in the wake of the heroin epidemic, names ten pharmaceutical companies as defendants.  The lawsuit claims those companies’ drugs have devastated Connersville residents and placed a heavy burden on the city’s resources.  The city is not incurring any legal fees with the filing of the lawsuit.

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OSHA REPORT NOTES CORRODED GRATES AT SITE OF SANITARY DISTRICT FATALITY

(Richmond, IN)--An OSHA report stops short of directly blaming corroded grates for a Richmond man’s death earlier this year, but does point out six violations at the Richmond Sanitary District.  Employee Danny Caldwell died in early July at the plant on Liberty Avenue.  The initial report then was that he had fallen into a tank.  The newly released OSHA report claims that metal grating for walking at the tank was corroded to the point of potential failure.  The report also claims the grates were not inspected.  The city has about three weeks to fix the problem or be fined.

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COUNCIL HEARS BICYCLE PATH PROPOSAL

(Richmond, IN)--Bicycle paths and laws were the hot topic when Richmond Common Council met Monday night.  Council heard about a proposal that would create bike paths that would connect the Uptown area with the Depot District.  The paths would be located on 7th and 10th Streets and would carry a $3 million price tag, although most of that would be covered with federal dollars.  If ultimately approved, construction would be at least a couple of years away.  Council also Monday night did away with existing bicycle laws that were written in the 1960’s.

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348 MORE DROP FROM WAYNE COUNTY'S WORKFORCE; ONLY 43% OF POPULATION WORKING

(Wayne County, IN)--Another 348 people dropped out of Wayne County’s workforce last month.  That’s according to numbers released Monday by the state’s Department of Workforce Development.  The number of people in the workforce now stands at 30,153.  Right now, only about 45% of Wayne County residents are considered to be in the workforce, and only 43% actually have jobs.

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RICHMOND MAN CHARGED WITH DETONATING HOMEMADE BOMBS

(Marion County, IN)--A Richmond man has been charged with detonating homemade bombs in a central Indiana city.  Corey Rheinhardt is due in court Tuesday for an initial hearing after being charged with two counts of detonating an explosive device.  One of the bombs was strong enough to shatter windows a block away.  Investigators allegedly found materials to make more bombs inside Rheinhardt’s apartment.  He’s also charged with battering a police officer.

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20TH STREET BRIDGE REOPENS

(Richmond, IN)--After roughly nine months of construction, the 20th Street Bridge in Richmond is now open again.  Traffic was flowing over the bridge Sunday after that main connector between the city’s north and east sides was completely demolished and then rebuilt.  The project finished about a month ahead of schedule and carried a $2 million price tag.  A short dedication ceremony is set for Wednesday.

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CENTERVILLE MAN ARRESTED ON DRUG CHARGES

(Centerville, IN)--A positive indication by a police canine Sunday night led to a drug arrest in Centerville.  Police located a man later identified as 32-year-old Jeremy Cavanaugh near U.S. 40 and Mattie Harris Road.  The search turned up controlled substances.  Cavanaugh was charged with felony violation of the Legend Drug Act.  He has a lengthy history of drug and alcohol arrests, including a dealing charge.

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PREBLE COUNTY LINE ROAD RESIDENT PLEADS GUILTY TO CHILD PORN CHARGES

(Preble County, OH)--A man who lives on Preble County Line Road has pled guilty to federal charges of receiving child pornography.  21-year-old Zachery Van Meter used a Kik account to send and receive child porn.  He also took at least 15 photos of a child known to him in an effort to get more child porn.  Van Meter now faces up to 20 years in a federal prison.  The Preble County Sheriff’s Department worked with FBI and the U.S. Attorney General’s Office in the investigation.

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POLICE QUESTION FRIENDS AND FAMILY AFTER CENTERVILLE MAN'S MURDER

More details have been released about the shooting death early Wednesday morning of a Centerville man.  43-year-old Kurt Estes was shot in the head and killed outside an apartment complex in a large central Indiana city.  Investigators spent Thursday looking for leads by talking with friends and family members.  But, there were no witnesses to the shooting and police are asking for the public’s help.  There’s also no word yet on what Estes may have been doing at the apartment complex.

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ISP: CHASE SUSPECT COULD STILL BE IN AREA

(Henry County, IN)--Investigators believe one suspect could still be in the area after a police pursuit late Wednesday night.  The chase went through Wayne County and ended in Henry County on I-70 when officers found the car crashed in the median.  No suspects were found then.  But, Thursday morning, one of the men – who is from New York – was found trying to hitchhike on a Henry County roadway.  There is no description of the second suspect.

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WANTED RICHMOND WOMAN FOUND HIDING IN ATTIC

(Richmond, IN)--Richmond police found a wanted woman hiding in an attic Thursday night.  Officers responded to a home at South 11th and I Street Thursday night and found 26-year-old Summer Hutchings.  Methamphetamine was allegedly found at the scene.  Hutchings was wanted for failing to appear in court after she was arrested just last month for theft and possession of drug paraphernalia.

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DARKE COUNTY SOLDIER INJURED IN SYRIA

A Darke County soldier has been seriously injured in combat in the Middle East.  U.S. Navy Chief Petty Officer Kenton Stacy was injured by an improvised explosive device while clearing a hospital in Syria earlier this month.  Stacy has returned to the United States to be treated.  In 2010, Stacy was the USO’s Service Member of the Year.  He has taken part in more than 50 combat missions while deployed in Afghanistan.

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WIND ENGERY COMING TO WHIRLPOOL IN GREENVILLE

Whirlpool says it will build three wind turbines to power its manufacturing facility in Greenville. Whirlpool already uses wind power at three other facilities in Ohio. Like those, the Greenville turbines will be developed in coordination with One Energy Enterprises. They will generate around 70-percent of the plant’s electricity once they begin operation.

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NORTH 20th STREET BRIDGE TO OPEN SOON

Transportation officials say the North 20th Street Bridge could re-open as soon as this weekend. The bridge has been closed since March so it could be re-built completely. The project was scheduled to be finished by mid-December, but Wayne County officials now expect it to be open again by next Wednesday. A small dedication ceremony is scheduled for noon that day.

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AHAUS TOOLS FACES LARGE FINE

A Richmond manufacturing company faces a hefty fine for workplace safety violations. Ahaus Tool and Engineering on Industrial Parkway was fined 10-thousand 500 dollars by the state’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration. The fine stems from a May 12th accident at the plant in which a metal bar fell from an overhead crane and struck a worker, sending him to the hospital. The plant had previously gone more than two years without an accident.

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HELP THE ANIMALS DIRECTOR FIRED

(Richmond, IN)--The director has been fired and two board members have stepped down as fallout from the Help The Animals allegations continues.  Jamie Glandon was fired by the Board Tuesday after seven healthy dogs were euthanized.  The Help Center claims they were bite risks.  Board Members Kimm Ladd and Michele Curry have stepped down.  On Tuesday, Board President Susan Beeson indicated that other staff and volunteers may have been falsely told the euthanized dogs were moved to another location to spare those volunteers the heartbreak of knowing the dogs had been put down.  She added that she does not think the director intentionally deceived the public, but made the wrong decision.  The shelter has received several threatening phone calls.  A protest is still on for this Saturday outside the Help the Animals shelter in Richmond, despite Tuesday’s firing of Director Jamie Glandon and the resignation of two board members.  Specifically, the protest is calling for the removal of everyone responsible, including Board President Susan Beeson, after seven dogs were euthanized.  The protest begins at 3 Saturday outside the Help shelter.

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MAN SET FOR TRIAL FOR STEALING RPD WEAPONS FACES NEW DRUG CHARGE

(Richmond, IN)--A Richmond man who was set to go on trial next month for dealing heroin and stealing weapons from a Richmond Police Department cruiser is facing a brand new charge.  Kristopher Carico was taken into custody Tuesday in the 400 block of South 5th and charged with aiding, inducing, or causing dealing in a narcotic drug.  Carico’s wife, Khandyce, was sentenced in September to 13 1/2 years for dealing heroin.  During that sentencing, she testified about the hardships Kristopher would face in having to raise the couple’s children.

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RICHMOND MAN FACES FEDERAL DRUG CHARGES

(Richmond, IN)--He has been described for years as one of Richmond’s most major drug players, and now 43-year-old Gary Sellers is facing federal charges for the distribution of large quantities of methamphetamine and heroin.  Sellers has been arrested by federal agents along with three central Indiana men for trafficking the drugs into that area.  Richmond Police helped with the investigation.  Sellers has two local drug convictions and now faces life in prison.

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TEEN CHARGED AS ADULT AFTER GAS STATION INVESTIGATION

(Richmond, IN)--There was a large police presence at the Hoosier Pete station at 16th and East Main in Richmond Tuesday afternoon.  Multiple people were packed into an SUV and were taken out one-by-one by RPD officers and checked for warrants.  Marijuana was found inside.  17-year-old Bryan Hall was charged as an adult for possession of marijuana with intent to deliver.  Several other teenagers were taken home.  Hall’s three most recent social media posts depict him with brass knuckles, and handgun, and an assault rifle.

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HELP THE ANIMALS BOARD ACKNOWLEGES EUTHANIZING A TOTAL OF 52 ANIMALS

(Richmond, IN)--After intense scrutiny and pressure Monday, the Help The Animals Board finally admitted that the shelter did, in fact, euthanize at least seven healthy dogs.  Since its inception, Help has branded itself as a no-kill shelter.  The admission came after 12 employees and volunteers indicated that they were instructed by the Board to lie about what had happened to the dogs, which went missing from the Help Center earlier this month.  In a prepared statement, the Help Board said that the dogs were euthanized because they represented a bite risk.  The Help Center’s director has been placed on administrative leave.  Kicks 96 and The Point News began to attempt to contact Board members as early as 8:30 Monday morning for explanation and reaction.  Not a single Board member responded all of Monday.  In the Help Shelter Board’s statement of admission that the shelter recently euthanized seven dogs determined to be bite risks came another admission:  a total of 52 animals have been euthanized at what is branded as a no-kill shelter.  The Help Board statement indicates that 33 of those animals were terminally ill, but 19 others were put down because they were bite risks.  The issue exploded Monday when 3500 people signed an online petition demanding an explanation and action.  The Board also claims that it is reviewing procedures and has successfully found homes for 5600 animals in the last five years

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LIQUOR STORE EMPLOYEE HIT OVER THE HEAD DURING ROBBERY

(Richmond, IN)--A Richmond man is in custody after allegedly robbing a liquor store Monday night.  A man later identified as 24-year-old Elijah Isaacs allegedly entered J Street Liquors at around 10 o'clock Monday night, bashed the clerk over the head with an undisclosed item, and then fled south.  Officers were able to pull Isaacs over on U.S. 27 at Endsley Road.  Under his seat, officers found a bottle of apple Crown Royal.  Isaacs is charged with robbery.  A passenger in his car, 25-year-old Terri Rust of Connersville, was also jailed for assisting a criminal.  The clerk was not seriously hurt.

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MAN ARRESTED FOR CARRYING CHINESE THROWING STAR

(Richmond, IN)--A Williamsburg man was arrested in Richmond Monday night and charged with carrying an unusual weapon.  30-year-old Joel Toney was located at South 13th and A.  In his possession, police allegedly found drugs and drug paraphernalia.  But they also found that Toney was carrying a Chinese throwing star.  Toney had also been arrested in May on various drug charges.

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WAYNE COUNTY HAS SEEN 90 NEW CASES OF CHILD ABUSE, NEGLECT IN LAST TWO MONTHS

(Wayne County, IN)--Wayne County has had an unbelievable 90 new, substantiated cases of child abuse and neglect in just the last two months.  According to new numbers from the state’s Department of Child Services, there were 27 news cases in October.  That comes on the heels of 63 new cases in September, which was the county’s largest single-month total ever.  So far this year, Wayne County has had 362 new, substantiated cases of child abuse and neglect.  Authorities say that drugs are in some way involved in the vast majority of those cases.

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WOMAN JAILED FOR BATTERING OFFICER

(Richmond, IN)--A Richmond woman was charged with felony battery on a police officer after an incident in the 200 block of North West 18th Street Sunday night.  RPD was sent to that area after a disturbance allegedly involving 32-year-old Amanda Carlin.  Carlin allegedly also interfered with a call to 911 and was intoxicated.  There was no indication that the officer was seriously hurt.

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