(Richmond, IN)--Richmond Common Council has been dealing this week with the city’s budget for next year. It’s a budget that has presented challenges. There is an expected $800,000 shortfall in tax collections. And, because of the way the calendar falls, there’s an extra pay period for city employees in 2020 that will cost the city more than $600,000. Richmond Mayor Dave Snow has called the situation an anomaly and said that city services will not be cut. The city’s cash balance is expected to drop by about a million dollars.
(Richmond, IN)--A Richmond man was taken into custody Friday morning after what began as a domestic incident in the 1900 block of North 14th Street. Police stopped a man later identified as 24-year-old Darrion Taylor at Chester Boulevard and Sim Hodgin Parkway. Taylor is now charged with felony domestic violence and intimidation. He was arrested three years ago after allegedly shooting a woman with a BB gun in another domestic dispute. Other details of Friday morning’s incident have not been released.
(Richmond, IN)--A Richmond business is closing its doors. McFarling Foods is telling its clients that the facility on North West 5th Street will close by the end of next week. McFarling is a wholesaler that provides food products and supplies to numerous restaurants and other outlets across the area. There was no specific reason given for the closure, and there’s been no word about how many employees will be affected, although the EDC lists the number of employees at 14.
(Cambridge City, IN)--Wayne County this week offered a million dollars to help expand wastewater treatment at the Gateway Industrial Park near Cambridge City. That’s twice what the county offered just last month. Now, the sewer board is considering reducing the size of a new plant to reduce the project’s cost. The county’s offer would require three seats on the sewer board. The EDC has not been able to market the park for three years because of the wastewater issue. The county has invested a total of roughly $7 million into the park. The park’s largest tenant, SugarCreek, currently employs 269 Wayne County residents.
(Camden, OH)--Students at Preble Shawnee are describing what it was like to be on a school bus Wednesday with an allegedly intoxicated driver behind the wheel. "She was really slurring her words," said one student. Investigators now say that 44-year-old Amy Jones was not drunk, but was under the influence of something else. During her sobriety test, she can be heard saying “I can’t do sober.” No children were injured in a minor collision with a sign on Camden Road. Jones is charged with OVI and child endangering.
(Wayne County, IN)--300 people left Wayne County’s workforce last month. That’s according to newly released numbers from the Indiana Department of Workforce Development. The number of Wayne County residents with jobs has now dipped below 30,000 after a drop last month of 373 people listed as employed. It also means that only about 45% of all Wayne County residents have jobs. The county’s unemployment rate has ticked up to 3.9%.
(Wayne County, IN)--State Road 1 just south of Milton was closed Tuesday as the result of a semi crash that claimed the lives of over a hundred pigs. The driver lost control on a curve near Nickel Plate Road, took out about 75 yards of guardrail, and ended up down a steep embankment. He was taken to Reid Health Connersville for treatment of non-life-threatening injuries. Only about 20 of 170 pigs are estimated to have survived. Emergency management was also involved due to a diesel fuel leak.
(Eaton, OH)--A Preble County man has been found guilty of gross sexual imposition. Cameras were installed by 56-year-old Eric Kaye to monitor caregivers as they administered care to Kaye’s disabled female family member. But those same cameras captured Kaye having sexual contact. Kaye’s wife, who has since filed for divorce, found the video and turned it over to investigators. He’ll be sentenced on September 18.
(Richmond, IN)--On Monday night, members of Richmond Common Council got an update on The Loop bicycle path project. The highlight of the update is that East Main Street between 5th and 7th Street will reopen this week. The street had been closed longer than originally anticipated due to a delay in installing street lights. The entire first phase of the project is expected to be done in two weeks. That will be followed by work to fix some intersections that experience high water during heavy rains. Phase II of the Loop project is set to begin in four years. Business owners affected by that construction will meet with developers next month.
(Union and Franklin County, IN)--The Whitewater Valley has made it through 2/3 of summer without a warning about lake water, but that’s now come to an end with a blue-green algae advisory having been issued for both Brookville Lake and the lake at Whitewater Memorial State Park. The state’s health department is recommending that people not swallow the water or allow their pets in it. Swimming and boating is still permitted, but people are encouraged to shower afterward. Our area’s other two large lakes – Acton Lake at Hueston Woods and Lake Lakengren – currently have levels well below the advisory level.
(Randolph County, IN)--A fatal Randolph County crash is now being blamed on an allegedly drunken driver. A news release Sunday indicates that 29-year-old Audriana Hardwick of Winchester caused the death of 69-year-old Charles Miller of Fountain City on U.S. 27 on Sunday night. Witnesses say Hardwick crossed the center line and struck Miller head-on. He was pronounced dead at the scene. Hardwick and a passenger were not seriously hurt.
(Preble County, OH)--One person was killed and three others were injured in a crash on eastbound I-70 in Preble County Thursday night. Four females were riding in a convertible when a tire blew out and caused the driver to lose control. Witnesses also said the car was traveling at a high rate of speed. The person killed was one of the passengers and was not wearing a seat belt. The other three victims were all taken to Miami Valley Hospital in Dayton. At least one was in critical condition. The victim has been identified as a 21-year-old resident of central Indiana. Eastbound I-70 was closed for more than an hour Thursday night.
(Williamsburg, IN)--Investigators are looking into a string of home burglaries in the Williamsburg area. Two of the homes are on Water Street. Another resident who lives near Sycamore Street reported that coins and a pistol with a broken firing pin were taken from her home on Thursday. There was no suspect information Friday morning.
(Muncie, IN)--A Randolph County mother who was drinking whiskey while driving with her four young children in her car was found guilty Thursday of most of the charges related to the crash that killed her six-year-old daughter. A jury took only three hours to convict 30-year-old Jessica Skeens. Skeens had also been using marijuana and cussed out first responders at the scene who were trying to save her children. Skeens will be sentenced to at least 20 years in prison – and as much as 40 years – when she’s sentenced at the end of next month.
(Richmond, IN)--Richmond is again one of the cheapest places in the country in which to live. That’s according results of a newly released study by Yahoo Finance, which looked at 257 cities across the country and measured things like the cost of housing, utilities, groceries, and health care. Of those 257, Richmond ranked fifth cheapest. Some of the statistics, though, are questionable. For instance, the study claims Richmond’s average rent is $1432.
(Union City IN/OH)--The search for a missing Union City mother appears to have come to a tragic end. 33-year-old Shawna Ressler had not been seen for ten days after leaving her home for an appointment 35 miles to the north. On Wednesday, Ressler’s SUV was found in a deep roadside ditch in Mercer County covered with vegetation. The body found inside is thought to be Ressler. The coroner’s office is working to confirm the identity.
(Richmond, IN)--New plans for a downtown Richmond building were revealed Tuesday during a meeting of the Richmond Redevelopment Commission along with a request for a million and a half dollars. The building is known as the Dudas Inspiration Venue for the Arts, or DIVA, and it’s in the 700 block of East Main. A six-phase renovation would include a gallery and reception area and a community conference room on the lower floors. The third and fourth floors would include a lobby, box office, and kitchen. The final phase would create a rooftop party deck. The Commission took no action Tuesday.
(Webster, IN)--Four people were injured in a two-vehicle crash that closed U.S. 35 in Wayne County Tuesday night. First responders were sent to the area of 35 and Webster Road on the report that a minivan and an SUV had each rolled over at around 9:30 Tuesday night. The names of those involved, their current conditions, and details about what caused the crash have not been released. 35 was closed for about an hour. Traffic was diverted onto State Road 38.
(Richmond, IN)--Wayne County Sheriff Randy Retter issued a release over the weekend that addresses a variety of issues. Retter said that a review of crime and crash statistics indicate that the number of incidents investigated by the department are at some of the lowest levels in recent history. Last week, the department received an award at a national conference in New Orleans. The local jail has become the only jail in Indiana to receive a Level One accreditation.
(Wayne County, IN)--New numbers are out from the Indiana Department of Child Services about the number of confirmed cases of child abuse and neglect in Wayne County. Last month, there were 27 new confirmed cases, including two cases of confirmed sexual abuse. That number represents a modest six percent drop from the same point last year. Fayette and Franklin County each had ten cases last month. Union County had four.
(Preble County, OH)--Preble County man has now been charged with rape and the alleged victim is just 13 years old. The victim told investigators that she had been talking through social media to a man now identified as 19-year-old Devin Tutt, who lives in the Gratis area. They agreed to meet. Tutt allegedly drove her to a secluded area and raped her. Detectives now say there may be additional victims.
(Richmond, IN)--The city of Richmond will likely now take another look at allowing off-road vehicles on city streets. The city had taken up the issue this spring, but put it on hold until the county decided the issue. This week, the county gave its approval for vehicles like golf carts and snowmobiles to operate on county roads. It will go into effect in about a month. The city’s public safety committee was given the task of weighing the pros and cons of allowing ATV’s on city streets.
(Richmond, IN)--A Richmond man was jailed late Thursday night after allegedly pointing a firearm at a south-side bar. The bar calls itself a zero-tolerance bar for guns and weapons. 29-year-old Taylor Morrison allegedly entered with a gun, was told to leave, and then pulled a knife. Scanner traffic indicates a woman was punched, although there are no charges related to that. There was no report of any injuries.
(Connersville, IN)--On Thursday, Wayne and Preble County first responders took part in a Hazmat drill at the Union County Co-op. On Saturday, another disaster drill will take place in Centerville. The Centerville Fire Department, Red Line Ambulance, and Reid Health will all be involved in a drill at Ambassador Health Care. Centerville leaders want the community to know they’ll see lots of emergency vehicles at Ambassador Saturday, but it’s only a drill.
(Richmond, IN)--A bridge used by many in the Pleasant View neighborhood to get into Richmond was ordered to be closed immediately Wednesday. Wayne County Commissioners closed the North 24th Street bridge just off New Paris Pike after hearing from an engineer that the bridge has serious structural issues. The bridge was scheduled to be replaced in two years and will now remain closed until it can be replaced. Local leaders will now try to get the time frame moved up.