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Local News with Jeff Lane

SOUTH A TO CLOSE IN 45-MINUTE STRETCHES NEXT WEEK

(Richmond, IN)--Traffic on South A Street in Richmond has been heavily restricted for construction in recent months.  For parts of next week, though, it will shut down entirely.  The Richmond Police Department said Wednesday that, starting Tuesday, South A will completely close from South 3rd to South 6th for at least 45 minutes at a time.  The closure will allow crews to put in prefabricated roadway panels.  It’s a process that’s never been done in Indiana.  The closures will be in effect from Tuesday until Friday of next week.

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TEN JAIL OFFICERS TAKEN TO HOSPITAL AFTER METH CIRCULATES THROUGH AIR DUCTS

(Greenville, OH)--Ten officers were sent to the hospital and the Darke County Jail was shut down yesterday after methamphetamine circulated through the air ducts.  It’s a result of an incident that happened Tuesday when a man dropped a baggie of meth as he was being booked into jail.  Air handling units were turned back on yesterday, and that circulated some of the meth residue.  More than two dozen inmates were transferred to jails in neighboring counties.  The jail operation will remain closed for a more thorough decontamination.

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FIRE HEAVILY DAMAGES MODOC BUSINESS

(Modoc, IN)--A Modoc business was heavily damaged by fire Wednesday night.  It broke out at M&S Screw on Main Street in Modoc and involved much of the south side of the building.  One Losantville firefighter was taken from the scene by ambulance to be treated for smoke inhalation.  There’s no word yet on the dollar amount of the damage or the cause of the fire.

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CLOSURE OF RICHMOND'S ELDER-BEERMAN IS IMMINENT

(Richmond, IN)--It’s one of the anchors of Richmond’s downtown and now it’s set to close.  Local employees of Elder-Beerman would not confirm or deny that they had been told Tuesday to expect closure in 6-8 weeks.  No buyers stepped forward yesterday for Elder-Beerman’s parent company, Bon-Ton.  A hearing will be held Wednesday during which Bon-Ton officials will ask bankruptcy courts to approve a sale to a liquidator.  Elder-Beerman has operated in downtown Richmond for 45 years and was constructed on the site of Richmond’s 1968 explosion.  The closing of Richmond’s Elder-Beerman store will mean that the city will have lost what are arguably its two biggest attractions to downtown in less than a year.  Veach’s closed in August of last year and Chase Bank recently vacated downtown’s tallest building at 7th and East Main.  The Elder-Beerman building covers 51,000 square feet.  What will become of it after the looming closure is unclear.

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LAMPPOST TO REOPEN

(New Paris, OH)--A New Paris landmark is coming back – name and all.  The Lamppost is returning.  The Lamppost had closed several years ago.  The building was then re-occupied as Baumbach’s BBQ, but that also shut down.  New owners told the New Paris Village Council recently that they’re projecting the Lamppost will open in early August.  Right now, they’re working out some issues with the liquor license.

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COUNCIL REJECTS PROPOSED TAX RATE INCREASE

(Richmond, IN)--Richmond Common Council on Monday night voted down a proposal that would increase the city’s tax rate for the Cumulative Capital Development Fund.  That fund largely supplies equipment for first responders…things like police cars and fire trucks.  The essential need right now is for RPD patrol cars.  Council rejected the tax increase by a 7-2 vote.  "I know you guys need them.  We want to get them for you.  I just don't want to do it with extra taxes," said Council President Jamie Lopeman.  Misty Hollis said RPD would still be able to get new cruisers this year.  "We have the dollars to get the equipment that you need for this year.  We just need to work with the administration to make sure that that happens."  Five new police cars have been budgeted for this year.

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TRUCK CRASH CLOSES I-70

(Centerville, IN)--Eastbound I-70 in Wayne County was shut down for a while Tuesday morning after two trucks collided.  It happened just east of the Centerville Road exit at around 2:30 Tuesday morning.  One moving semi apparently struck a large box truck that had pulled over to the side of the road.  There were no injuries, but eastbound 70 was closed for about two hours.  There was still debris on the side of the road at 6:30 a.m.  That was scheduled to be cleaned up a little later Tuesday morning.

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RICHMOND RANKED AS 100th BEST SMALL CITY TO START BUSINESS

(Richmond, IN)--Richmond has fared very well in a study of the best and worst small cities to start a business.  The website wallethub.com looked at more than 1200 cities across the country and ranked Richmond #100, which puts it in the top 8%.  The primary reason for the high ranking is Richmond’s low cost of doing business, which ranked 85th.  The cost of labor was also a key factor.

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"BLACK TRACKER GUY" CHARGED IN RANDOLPH COUNTY

(Winchester, IN)--He’s known in Randolph County as the “Black Tracker Guy” and he allegedly has 80 regular methamphetamine customers.  Now, the “Black Tracker Guy” is behind bars.  63-year-old Tom Green has been charged with three counts of dealing meth after alleged drug sales to undercover informants.  Green has multiple previous drug-related convictions.

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SEARCH CONTINUES FOR MAN WHO FLED TRAFFIC STOP

(Richmond, IN)--The search continued Monday morning for a man who fled from contact with police in Richmond Saturday afternoon.  32-year-old Joshua Adams ran from the scene of a traffic stop on National Road West.  Adams was able to elude police despite an extensive search through the Hidden Valley neighborhood.  Inside his car, investigators found loaded weapons, marijuana, methamphetamine, mushrooms, and drug paraphernalia.  Adams had been arrested on drug charges earlier this year.  He’s a white male with a thick beard and glasses.  Police say he should be considered armed and dangerous.

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FIVE MEN ARRESTED IN LESS THAN THREE HOURS IN PROSTITUTION STING

(Richmond, IN)--The Richmond Police Department conducted a prostitution sting and arrested five men in less than three hours.  The following men were arrested (years of birth in parenthesis): Hurshel Page Jr. (1973), Kevin Sims (1980), Adam Campbell (1984), Joe Garcia (1955), and Ken Martin (1968). All were taken to the Wayne County Jail and charged with patronizing a prostitute.  All have since bonded out.  The location of the sting has not been disclosed.  The arrests were made around noon on Friday.

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MAN TAKEN INTO CUSTODY AFTER OVERNIGHT SWAT STANDOFF

(Richmond, IN)--An overnight police standoff in Richmond ended peacefully Monday morning.  Officers and deputies were called to the 2400 block of Northmont Lane where a suspect had holed himself up in a bedroom in his parents’ home.  Scanner traffic indicates he threatened to shoot anyone who opened the door.  The SWAT Team arrived and was able to convince the suspect to surrender without incident.  He was taken to Reid Health and put on a 24-hour hold.  Criminal charges are pending.  The suspect's name has not been released.

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BUSINESS OWNERS EXPRESS CONFIDENCE IN IU EAST BUSINESS SURVEY

(Richmond, IN)--A strong 2017 has led to confidence among local business owners for the remainder of this year.  That’s according to the results of the IU East business survey, which were released Thursday.  104 business owners were surveyed.  Nearly 2/3 expected to see growth in output this year.  1/3 said they expected to employ more people.  The major concern of the business executives across the Whitewater Valley is the lack of a workforce with sufficient numbers of qualified employees.  Other concerns were inconsistent support from county officials and road construction.

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MAN CAUGHT AFTER FOOT CHASE

(Richmond, IN)--Richmond police caught a man after a foot chase Friday morning.  Officers came into contact with 31-year-old Joshua Straszheim in the area of South 9th and E at around 2 o’clock Friday morning.  As they questioned Straszheim, he allegedly took items out of his pockets that included methamphetamine and a handgun, dropped them on the ground, and took off running.  He was caught a short distance away and charged with multiple felonies.

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NO ONE HURT WHEN CAR SMASHES INTO McDONALDS

(Cambridge City, IN)--There were no reports of any injury after a car smashed into the McDonald’s at I-70 and State Road 1 near Cambridge City.  It happened at around 9 o’clock Thursday morning.  The front half of the car smashed into the side doors of the building.  Scanner traffic indicated that an officer at the scene said that the driver was a juvenile female who may have been suffering some sort of anxiety attack.  Damage to the McDonald’s building was substantial.

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BOY ARRESTED WITH GUN POSED NO THREAT TO OTHERS

(Cambridge City, IN)--Police released more details about the arrest of a juvenile boy in Cambridge City.  Thursday morning, Kicks 96 and 101.7 The Point reported that the boy had been arrested on a charge of dangerous possession of a firearm after a post he made on Facebook.  New information released later Thursday revealed that there was never any sort of threat associated with the post.  It was a picture of the boy holding the gun.  A concerned citizen saw the post and alerted police.  The boy was taken to a juvenile detention center in Muncie.

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FIRE HEAVILY DAMAGES RICHMOND CHURCH

(Richmond, IN)--Fire did heavy damage to a Richmond church on Thursday morning.  Firefighters were called to the Holy Temple Church of God at North 14th and H Street at around 3:15 Thursday morning after a passer-by saw smoke.  Flames could be seen shooting from the roof.  Surrounding streets were shut down.  The fire was declared under control at around 5:30 a.m.  There were no initial reports of any injuries or what started the fire.  Damage will be extensive.

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CAMBRIDGE CIY JUVENILE ARRESTED WITH GUN AFTER FACEBOOK POST

(Cambridge City, IN)--A juvenile was arrested Wednesday in Cambridge City after an investigation that began with a Facebook post.  According to police reports, the male juvenile was arrested on multiple charges that include dangerous possession of a firearm.  The arrest was made at a home on West Parkway Drive.  The exact content of the Facebook post and whether or not the boy was released to family members are details that have not been released.

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MAN GETS 27 1/2 YEARS FOR PHILLIP'S DRUGS ROBBERY

(Richmond, IN)--One of the three men who robbed Phillips Drugs in downtown Richmond last summer has been sentenced.  Adrian Shoffner was sentenced in a Wayne County courtroom to 27 ½ years in prison.  Shoffner and two others entered Phillips last July with guns drawn and fled with narcotics.  They were caught a short time later.  No Phillips employees or customers were hurt.

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MULTIPLE CONNERSVILLE STORES HIT BY COUNTERFEITER

(Connersville, IN)--Investigators in Connersville are asking for the public’s help in finding a counterfeiter.  In the last week, counterfeit bills have turned up at multiple locations, including Dollar General, Arby’s, Kroger, Speedway, and Cricket.  The suspect generally is with a female and drives and older, black Dodge Shadow.

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INVESTOR HAS PRELIMINARY DEAL TO BUY ELDER-BEERMAN'S PARENT COMPANY

(Dayton, OH)--It’s good news for an downtown Richmond retail anchor…An investor group is now working on a deal to buy Elder-Beerman’s parent company.  Bon-Ton announced Tuesday that it has signed a letter of intent from an investor group that includes three different companies.  The company had been set to be auctioned Tuesday, but that’s now been postponed.  The investor group that now has a preliminary deal to buy Bon-Ton has been interested in reorganizing the company to keep in running.

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STATS SHOW JUST HOW MISERABLE RICHMOND'S SPRING HAS BEEN

(Richmond, IN)--You already know that spring weather has been nowhere to be found across the Whitewater Valley, but you may not realize just how bad it’s been.  Check this out…there have been 40 days since March 3.  In those 40 days, how many days do think were both above the normal temperature AND free of any rain or snow?  The answer is one.  One out of 40.  That came on March 19, when it was three degrees above normal and rain and snow-free.  The other 39 of the last 40 days have had either below-normal temperatures, rain, snow, or all three.

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MAN CAUGHT WITH VARIETY OF DRUGS

(Richmond, IN)--A Richmond man was arrested at just before midnight Tuesday night and now faces a host of felony drug charges.  34-year-old Josh Farmer was taken into custody on North 13th in Richmond.  Farmer allegedly had heroin, marijuana, methamphetamine, syringes, and other drug paraphernalia.  The amount of drugs that were recovered has not been released.

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MAN WANTED IN NORTH CAROLINA ARRESTED IN RICHMOND

(Richmond, IN)--A man wanted in North Carolina was caught after a strange incident on North 14th in Richmond Tuesday night.  41-year-old John Sanborn of Hollansburg had apparently gone there to look at an apartment.  Then there was an allegation of a robbery.  Shortly after, Sanborn was found lying down in a yard after allegedly overdosing.  He was charged with resisting and possession of drug paraphernalia.  He was also being held Wednesday morning for possible extradition to North Carolina.

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VISIBLE OLD REID DEMOLITION BEGINS

(Richmond, IN)--The day that many community leaders in Richmond had waited for for years finally came Monday…the building that was old Reid Hospital began to visibly come down.  Demolition work began Monday on the canopy over what was the emergency department entrance.  Old Reid had been abandoned for a decade and was, without question, the city’s biggest eyesore.  Demolition will continue Tuesday.  The entire project will take more than a year to complete and carries a cost of about $4.3 million.

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CAMBRIDGE CITY WOMAN ARRESTED FOR GIVING POLICE FALSE INFO

(Cambridge City, IN)--There were a couple of arrests of note Monday night.  An Anderson man who was wanted in New Mexico was captured in Hagerstown.  Officers found marijuana when he was stopped at Main and Sycamore.  Also, Brandi Hook of Cambridge City was in the Wayne County Jail Tuesday morning.  She allegedly gave police false information when she came into contact with officers.  Syringes and other drug paraphernalia was recovered.

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EMPLOYEES AT NEARBY ELDER-BEERMANS RECEIVE LAYOFF WARNINGS

(Richmond, IN)--There’s been another development in Elder-Beerman’s struggle to survive.  Workers at some stores, including the Dayton Mall store, have received a notice about layoffs potentially taking place in the coming months.  Elder-Beerman’s parent company, Bon-Ton is for sale.  Elder-Beerman’s future, according to a release, will depend on what company buys Bon-Ton.  Bon-Ton said it was required by law to provide the layoff notice.  The company filed for bankruptcy in February.  The Richmond Elder-Beerman was not mentioned specifically in the release.

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IU EAST BASKETBALL PLAYER JAILED ON FELONY CHARGE

(Richmond, IN)--A member of the IU East men’s basketball team was in the Wayne County Jail Monday morning and is facing a felony criminal offense.  19-year-old Datrion Harper allegedly ordered a pizza to be delivered to the Chester Heights Apartments Sunday night and paid the driver with a counterfeit bill.  A representative of the restaurant indicated it had happened multiple times.  Harper is charged with felony fraud.  Harper just finished his freshman season with IU East and averaged just shy of nine points per game.

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HEARING TO BE HELD ON CONVERTING BAR INTO HOMELESS SHELTER

(Richmond, IN)--A hearing will be held later this week on a proposal to convert a downtown Richmond building into a homeless shelter.  Business owners adjacent to what was once Bluegill’s and Knucklehead’s Bar near 10th and East Main have been notified of a Thursday meeting of the Board of Zoning Appeals.  An organization called Petra Project is requesting a variance to operate a homeless shelter with transitional housing.

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CITY TO OBSERVE EXPLOSION'S 50-YEAR MARK

(Richmond, IN)--At 1:30 Friday afternoon, just 17 minutes short of the exact 50-year point since Richmond’s downtown explosion, an observance will be held at Elstro Plaza.  That’s just a block away from what was Marting Arms and is now Elder-Beerman and the origin of two blasts that killed 41 people.  There will be a moment of silence.  Names of all 41 victims will be read.  A new monument will be unveiled that will be placed temporarily in Elstro Plaza before moving to its permanent home at the Wayne County Historical Museum.

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CHASE SUSPECT CAUGHT; WOMAN ARRESTED FOR 5TH TIME IN 16 DAYS

(Pershing, IN)--Police arrested Timothy and Cassidy Loyd in Pershing Thursday.  Timothy is the man who allegedly escaped police in a chase when he drove through a farm field earlier this week.  And, as for Cassidy, it’s her fifth arrest in the last 16 days.  Officers allegedly found methamphetamine when they went to their home on Queen Street in Pershing on Thursday.  They also arrested 25-year-old Aaron Hidy and charged him with both dealing and possessing meth.  All three were in the Wayne County Jail Friday morning.

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FATAL RICHMOND FIRE BLAMED ON SMOKING IN BED

(Richmond, IN)--Smoking in bed is apparently to blame for a fire at a home adjacent to Westview Elementary in Richmond that left one man dead Wednesday afternoon.  Firefighters arrived and found smoke coming from the top of the home’s second floor.  They made entry into the home and found the victim near his bedroom door. The victim’s identity has not yet been released.  His body was taken to the Montgomery County Coroner’s Office for an autopsy.

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BROOKVILLE LAKE RISES OVER SEVEN FEET IN ONE DAY

(Union and Franklin County, IN)--A good portion of the water that flooded our area earlier this week has ended up in Brookville Lake.  And, on Thursday morning, lake levels remained very high.  According to the Army Corps of Engineers, the lake rose an incredible eight feet in just one day this week.  On Thursday morning, it was five feet above its normal summer level and is covering spots that include Mounds and Quakertown Beach and Harbor Links Golf Course.

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RICHMOND MAN ADMITS TO TRANSPORTIN HEROIN FROM DAYTON TO RICHMOND

(Eaton, OH)--A traffic stop in Eaton turned up 49 caps of heroin, and now a Richmond man is in the Preble County Jail.  24-year-old Robert Sigmon was stopped on North Barron Street.  The officer observed marijuana in plain view, and that led to a further search.  That’s when the heroin was discovered.  Sigmon told officers that he had just purchased the drugs in Dayton and was on his way back to Richmond.

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MANY COUNTY ROADS REMAIN CLOSED AFTER FLOODING RAINS

(Whitewater Valley)--The Whitewater Valley is drying out now after flooding rains inundated the area Tuesday.  Officially, about three and a half inchesof rain fell in Richmond, although many rain gages measured significantly higher.  There are multiple county roads still closed across the area, although just a few are heavily traveled.  State Roads 1 and 28 in Randolph County remained closed Wednesday morning.  Also closed was the south end of Pennville Road in Fayette County.  All dry fords in Union County are closed.  The Whitewater River in Brookville was at 21 feet Wednesday morning.  That’s a foot above flood stage.

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MAN SHOT, KILLED IN RICHMOND'S HOLSAPPLE NEIGHBORHOOD

(Richmond, IN)--There was been a fatal shooting Monday night and into Tuesday morning in Richmond.  Officers were called to North West 17th in the Holsapple area after a man was shot, apparently by a family member, at just before midnight.  The victim was taken to Reid Health, where he was pronounced dead.  The shooter was taken to RPD headquarters where he was questioned by detectives well into Tuesday morning.  By 7 a.m., the shooter had not been charged with any crime.  Richmond police have not yet provided the identity of the victim or the shooter, or discussed the details that led to the shooting.

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FIRE DAMAGES CAMBRIDGE CITY HOME

(Cambridge City, IN)--One person suffered minor injuries in a Cambridge City structure fire Tuesday morning.  It broke out at around 4:45 a.m. Tuesday at a home on Shirlin Drive just off of State Road 1.  Flames were showing near an attached garage when firefighters arrived.  The occupants made it out of the home, although a female resident was injured when she fell.  There’s no word yet on the extent of the damage or the cause, although there was a thunderstorm in the area when the fire broke out.

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FIRE DOES EXTENSIVE DAMAGE TO RICHMOND STRIP MALL

(Richmond, IN)--Fire did extensive damage to a Richmond strip mall Friday morning.  It broke out at about 4:30 Friday morning in the large building that houses a bank, a dollar store, a Chinese restaurant, and a pawn shop, among others.  All firefighters were ordered out of the building after part of the roof caved in.  No firefighters were injured.   U.S. 40 was completely shut down to allow for hoses to be stretched from hydrants to the fire.  There is no word yet on the cause of the fire, the dollar amount of the damage, or what effect it will have on the businesses operating inside the building.

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FORMER WAYNE COUNTY CHAMBER LEADER FIRED IN BLOOMINGTON

(Bloomington, IN)--Less than three months after leaving Richmond and less than two months on the job in Bloomington, former Wayne County Chamber of Commerce leader Phil D’Amico has been fired.  The Bloomington Chamber has issued a statement confirming that D’Amico has been fired, but declined to give a reason.  D’Amico voluntarily left Richmond in January to accept the Bloomington job.

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RPD: DRUGS FOUND ON DRUNKEN MOTHER WHO LEFT CHILDREN HOME ALONE

(Richmond, IN)--A Richmond woman was behind bars Thursday morning after allegedly leaving her kids home alone so that she could go out partying.  41-year-old Danielle Sanders was pulled over at around 3 o’clock Thursday morning on East Main near Glen Miller Park.  She was allegedly under the influence and in possession of cocaine or other narcotic drug.  Police located her children unattended at home and released them to other family members.  Sanders is now charged with felony neglect of a dependent.

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WOMAN ARRESTED WITH METH FOR SECOND TIME IN EIGHT DAYS

(Cambridge City, IN)--For the second time in just a couple of weeks, there’s been a significant drug arrest near Western Wayne Schools.  34-year-old Cassidy Loyd was jailed at 3:45 Thursday morning after she was allegedly found with methamphetamine and drug paraphernalia on Queen Street in Cambridge City.  Loyd had been arrested just nine days ago on nearly identical charges.  Police also arrested 30-year-old Jennifer Colvin with Loyd Thursday morning.

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DUBLIN TEEN JAILED AFTER ATTACKING POLICE

(Dublin, IN)--Police in western Wayne County were eventually able to subdue a teenager who had allegedly attacked them after being armed with a knife.  It happened Wednesday night in Dublin.  According to scanner traffic, 18-year-old Jakob Gaddis had injured himself with a knife and then attacked officers.  He had to be Tased to be brought under control.  He’s now charged with felony battery on a police officer.

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WAYNE COUNTY AMONG INDIANA'S UNHEALTHIEST; FAYETTE IS STATE'S WORST

(Wayne County, IN)--Fayette County has been ranked as the least healthy county in Indiana, and Wayne County is not far behind.  According to newly released statistics from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, Fayette County ranks last when factors like obesity, smoking, and life expectancy are considered.  Wayne County ranks 87th of Indiana’s 92 counties.  One Whitewater County is near the top for health.  Franklin County is Indiana’s 9th healthiest.

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SINCLAIR COMMUNITY COLLEGE TO CLOSE EATON CAMPUS

(Eaton, OH)--Sinclair Community College is closing its Eaton campus.  Sinclair said in a prepared statement that enrollment numbers are declining as more and more students take online classes.  Sinclair is located in the same building as the Preble County YMCA in Eaton.  Sinclair also had a relationship with Preble County high schools.  The Eaton campus will close after classes on May 4.

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INDOT ANNOUNCES FUNDING TO EXTEND RICHMOND TRAIL

(Richmond, IN)--INDOT on Tuesday announced funding for two major projects for Richmond.  The first is the Loop project that Mayor Dave Snow touched on last week.  It will help connect Uptown to the Depot District.  The second project will connect the D Street Trailhead of the Cardinal Greenway to the north end of the Whitewater Gorge Trail.  That construction is still three years away.  The total of the federal grant is nearly $2.8 million.

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MAN JAILED FOR BATTERING, STRANGLING PREGNANT WOMAN

(Richmond, IN)--A Richmond man was in jail Wednesday morning after allegedly beating and strangling a pregnant woman on Tuesday.  30-year-old Michael Napier is accused of attacking the woman in the 800 block of North 19th Tuesday afternoon.  Charges include felony strangulation and domestic battery.  The victim, according to scanner traffic, was 4 ½ months pregnant.  There’s no word on the condition of her or her fetus.

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WAYNE COUNTY ADDS 715 WORKERS, 766 TO WORKFORCE ACCORDING TO NEW FIGURES

(Wayne County, IN)--715 more Wayne County residents are working than were just a month ago.  According to the Indiana Department of Workforce Development, Wayne County’s unemployment rate is at 3.8%.  That rate is actually up slightly from last month due to the large increase in Wayne County residents counted in the workforce.  Fayette County has the Whitewater Valley’s highest rate at 4.9%.  And, as it usually does, Union County has the lowest area rate at 3.5%.  There’s been a huge increase in the number of people in the Wayne County workforce.  For the last year, the number of people in Wayne County’s workforce has dwindled and dropped below 30,000 a couple of months ago.  This month, though, it’s gained back nearly everything it lost.  Wayne County’s workforce jumped up by 766 people last month and is today at 30,871.  That’s close to where it was at this time last year.

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SKIMMER FOUND ON NATCO CREDIT UNION ATM

(Richmond, IN)--The Natco Credit Union in Richmond has posted a warning after a skimming device was found over the weekend.  The device was found on an ATM at the credit union’s east-side location.  Skimmers allow criminals to obtain personal debit or credit card information.  Natco’s IT department is working to find out which accounts were affected.  In the meantime, they’re urging customers to check their own accounts.

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INDOT TO GIVE $2 MILLION IN FUNDING FOR RICHMOND'S "LOOP" PROJECT

(Richmond, IN)--One of the focuses of Richmond in the coming years will be developing what will be known as “The Loop”.  It’s a pathway for bicyclists and pedestrians that will connect the Uptown area to the Depot District on 7th and 10th Streets.  Now, it will enter a second phase.  "This second phase will represent a $2.5 million enhancement that will link this entire system together," said Mayor Dave Snow during his State of the City address Thursday night.  He shared this bit of news. "I'm very excited to announce that INDOT has agreed to fund just over $2 million for the keystone in this project."  Construction of the second phase is still a couple of years away.

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RICHMOND JOINS LAWSUIT AGAINST OPIOID MANUFACTURERS

(Richmond, IN)--Drug addiction was a focus of Richmond Mayor Dave Snow during his State of the City Address Thursday night.  "Arrest rates for narcotics were up nearly 35% in 2017.  We're working hard to take drugs off streets," Snow said.  Snow announced Thursday night the city is working to hold pharmaceutical companies responsible.  "I will take this fight directly to them.  Last week, I contracted with a law firm to file suit against pharmaceutical companies, distributors, and possibly others who, in the firm's professional opinion, have responsibility for damages through improper marketing and distribution of opioids.".  Wayne County recently opted against pursuing a lawsuit against opioid manufacturers.

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BLUE BUFFALO ACCEPTING APPLICATIONS

(Richmond, IN)--Blue Buffalo is now accepting applications for jobs at its new Richmond plant, and the hourly rates are impressive.  According to its website, extruder and packaging operators will start at between $22 and $24 an hour.  Maintenance positions are being sought at an even higher rate – between $24 and $32 an hour, depending on education and experience.  Support jobs pay between $16 and 20 per hour.  To apply, visit the Blue Buffalo website.

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BOWMAN INVESTIGATION YIELDS NO CRIMINAL CHARGES

(Hagerstown, IN)--The investigation into Bowman Bakery in Hagerstown has ended without any criminal charges being filed.  Investigators have decided that after reviewing evidence obtained in a January raid that no criminal offenses occurred.  Hagerstown Police was the lead agency and still will not say what the investigation involved.  Search warrants remain sealed, so that information will not become public.  The investigation began late last year based on the observances of residents who approached police.  Bowman has not returned numerous calls throughout the investigation.

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MAN ARRESTED FOR FIRING SHOTS IN DEPOT DISTRICT

(Richmond, IN)--An allegedly very drunken man fired shots in the Depot District early Thursday morning.  Richmond police found shell casings after shots were fired in the area of North 8th and Elm Place at around 2:15 Thursday morning.  Officers were able to locate the car from where the shots were fired in the 200 block of Richmond Avenue.  38-year-old Michael Bailey is accused of firing the shots.  He’s also been charged with OWI.  There were no injuries and there’s been no word on what prompted the shooting.

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SWAT ARREST THREE AT PARRY STREET HOME IN RICHMOND

(Richmond, IN)--The SWAT Team descended on a home on Parry Street just off of South 13th in Richmond Wednesday night and took three people to the Wayne County Jail.  36-year-old Rachel Scammahorn was taken to the Wayne County Jail and charged with dealing cocaine or a narcotic drug and possession of meth.  Joe Pegg of Centerville was also taken to jail.  While he was being booked in, jail staff found meth.  Norman Neathery was also jailed but has bonded out.  Three juveniles were found in the basement of Scammahorn’s Parry Street home.  Scammahorn was arrested for dealing meth in April of last year.

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STUDY: RICHMOND IS 3rd BEST CITY IN THE COUNTRY TO RETIRE WITH $1 MILLION

(Richmond, IN)--If you had a million dollars and had to make that money last, where would you go?  According to the website smartassets.com, Richmond would be the third best choice in the country.  The website released a study last week showing that a million dollars in Richmond would sustain a person for 39.3 years.  That number ranks behind only McAllen and Harlington, Texas for the longest in the country.  The ranking considered the cost of housing, food, healthcare, and utilities.

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STUDY SHOWS WAYNE COUNTY'S POPULATION IS OLDER THAN MOST

(Wayne County, IN)--Results of a demographic study conducted by the Indiana Department of Workforce Development show that Wayne County residents are significantly older than other counties of similar size.  According to the study, Wayne County’s population of millennials is 16% below average, while its population of people age 65 or older is 21% above average.  There are 462 more people age 65 or older than people between the ages of 20 and 34.

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TEENS FOUND WITH METH, MARIJUANA AT SPEEDWAY STATION

(Richmond, IN)--Five people, including several juveniles, occupied a car where drugs were found early Wednesday morning.  It happened at the east-side Speedway station in Richmond at around 1:30 a.m.  Officers smelled marijuana.  A further search allegedly turned up methamphetamine on 19-year-old Anthony Marcell.  He was taken to the Wayne County Jail.  Marijuana was also recovered.  At least one juvenile was released to her parents.

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FIRM HIRED TO STUDY COST OF SENDING WASTEWATER TO CONNERSVILLE

(Cambridge City, IN)--A firm was hired this week to determine the cost of sending wastewater from the Indiana Gateway Industrial Park in Cambridge City to Connersville.  Both SugarCreek and Wayne County officials have favored sending the wastewater to Connersville, but the Western Wayne Sewer District have opposed it.  A preliminary report is expected in July.  There are also now discussions about sending the wastewater to Straughn.

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FREEZING RAIN KNOCKS OUT POWER TO HUNDREDS

(Preble County, OH)--Hundreds of people are without power Tuesday morning after overnight freezing rain.  While areas north of U.S. 40 remained dry overnight, areas south of 40 saw steady rains which froze on contact with trees and power lines.  At 5 a.m. Tuesday, 1200 customers of DP&L were without power in the Lakengren and Camden areas.  By 7 a.m., that number had been reduced to 833.  Most Preble County schools delayed Tuesday morning.

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SMALL CHILD FOUND WANDERING OVERNIGHT IN FAIRVIEW NEIGHBORHOOD

(Richmond, IN)--A small child was found wandering through Richmond streets late Monday night wearing just a T-shirt and shoes.  The boy was described to dispatchers as being three or four years old.  He was wandering in the area of Linden Court in the Fairview neighborhood.  Residents there took him inside and called police.  The boy’s home was located and he was released.  No criminal charges were filed.  There’s no word yet on why the boy was outside.

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WOMEN ARRESTED FOR METH POSSESSION NEAR GLEN MILLER PARK

(Richmond, IN)--It took Richmond police just a few minutes to make their first meth arrest of the day on Tuesday.  Two women were booked into the Wayne County Jail at a few minutes after midnight Tuesday morning after a traffic stop on East Main Street at Glen Miller Park.  25-year-old Crystal Garcia and 36-year-old Amber Kilgore were in a pickup in which methamphetamine and drug paraphernalia was allegedly located.  Garcia has an extensive drug-related arrest record.

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STATE PREDICTS WAYNE COUNTY WILL LOSE 2000 RESIDENTS IN THE NEXT DECADE

(Wayne County, IN)--The Indiana Department of Workforce Development predicts that Wayne County will lose another 2000 residents in the next decade.  The prediction was included in a recently released report that forecasts every Whitewater Valley county to lose residents.  It puts Wayne County’s population today at 66,200 people.  But, despite the predicted drop in population, the number of industry jobs is expected to increase by 1600 in the next ten years.

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WAYNE COUNTY VOTING LOCATION CHANGES

(Richmond, IN)--When Wayne County voters go to the polls in about a month and a half, there will be a new vote center location.  Richmond’s Townsend Center will no longer be used as a voting location.  It’s being replaced by the nearby Mount Olive Baptist Church on North H Street.  The Election Board approved the change last week.  Last August, the Townsend Center announced it would close indefinitely for renovation.  In-person absentee voting begins April 10 in advance of the May primary.

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ACCUSED METH DEALTER ARRESTED AGAIN

(Richmond, IN)--47-year-old David Ashcraft of Richmond is right back where he was a month ago…in the Wayne County Jail.  Ashcraft was located in the 500 block of South 8th Street Sunday with methamphetamine.  He was also charged with being a serious violent felon in possession of a handgun and resisting arrest.  Just 40 days ago, Ashcraft was charged with dealing meth.

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WAYNE COUNTY ON PACE IN 2018 TO EXCEED 2017'S OVERDOSE DEATH TOTAL

(Wayne County, IN)--There’s still no final total of overdose deaths for 2017 in Wayne County, but Coroner Ron Stevens said Thursday that Wayne County is on pace this year to surpass last year’s total.  The number of confirmed fatal overdoses last year is in the 80’s with several more cases pending.  This year, Stevens said the county is currently on pace to reach nearly a hundred overdose fatalities.  The delay in getting final numbers for 2017 is due to a large backlog of cases at testing laboratories.

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VISITATION FOR CRUZ-URIBE TO BE HELD AT WHITEWATER HALL AT IU EAST

(Richmond, IN)--A memorial service has now been set for Gene Cruz-Uribe, who was very active in the IU East community and the husband of Chancellor Kathy Cruz-Uribe.  He died shortly after being found unresponsive near his bicycle on Minneman Road earlier this week.  A public visitation will take place beginning at 4 o’clock next Thursday afternoon in the Whitewater Hall lobby on the IU East campus.  Results of an autopsy to determine the cause of death are still pending.

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UNION COUNTY WORKS TO ADD SCHOOL RESOURCE OFFICER

(Liberty, IN)--Union County is working to add a part-time school resource officer.  Recently, Union County had a rumor of a threat to the school that was determined to have no credibility.  Still, the district is now working with the Liberty Police Department and the Sheriff’s Office to have a part-time officer stationed at the school.  Having a full-time officer at the school is currently cost-prohibitive.  A grant may help to cover some of the expense.

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COUPLE INDICTED AFTER 59 GRAMS OF METH FOUND

(Eaton, OH)--Increased efforts by the Eaton Police Department to curb drug activity this year appear to be paying off.  The department has released statistics showing that, since the first of the year, a total of 138 arrests have been made.  Recently, a grand jury indicted Eric Lewis and Regina Thorpe after nearly 59 grams of methamphetamine was allegedly found in their vehicle.

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CAMBRIDGE CITY CAFE HAS ONE OF INDIANA'S TOP TEN TENDERLOINS

(Cambridge City, IN)--A Cambridge City restaurant serves up a dish that has been voted as one of Indiana’s best.  Lumpy’s Café recently placed in the top ten statewide for the best breaded tenderloin in an online poll conducted by visitindiana.com.  Lumpy’s operates on South Foote Street and serves up about 400 of the tenderloins each week.  Lumpy’s has been around since 1999 and opened another location in Hagerstown in September of last year.

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NUMBER OF UNEMPLOYED WAYNE COUNTY RESIDENTS DROPS BY 358 FROM LAST YEAR

(Wayne County, IN)--An adjustment made by Indiana’s Department of Workforce Development has placed the number of people in Wayne County’s workforce above 30,000.  The adjusted number today, though, is 562 fewer people than at this time last year.  On the positive side, Tuesday’s numbers show that the number of unemployed people in Wayne County has dropped by 358 people from this time last year.  The county’s unemployment rate stands at 3.7%.

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AUTOPSY PERFORMED ON CRUZ-URIBE

(Richmond, IN)--An autopsy was performed Tuesday on the body of Gene Cruz-Uribe.  Cruz-Uribe was found unresponsive near his bicycle on Minneman Road early Monday morning.  Results of the autopsy have not yet been released.  Meanwhile, the IU East Alumni Association issued a statement Tuesday calling Cruz-Uribe a good person and tremendous educator.  IU East itself has not released any statement or any information about a possible memorial service.

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WANTED CAMBRIDGE CITY MAN ARRESTED

(Cambridge City, IN)--Officers in Cambridge City received a tip and located a wanted man with a long criminal record.  27-year-old Christopher Hunter was found on West Front Street.  Hunter was found to be in possession of methamphetamine and also had a parole hold.  This marks at least his fifth trip to jail in the last year.  He was jailed in May, August, September, and December of 2017 on drug and theft charges.

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HUSBAND OF IU EAST CHANCELLOR DIES AFTER BICYCLE INCIDENT

(Richmond, IN)--The husband of IU East Chancellor Kathy Cruz-Uribe died Monday as the result of an incident that occurred while he was riding his bicycle.  65-year-old Eugene Cruz-Uribe was also an IU East professor.  He was found unresponsive Monday morning on Minneman Road just southeast of Richmond.  He was flown by medical helicopter to a distant Level One trauma center where he was pronounced dead.  Investigators are still working to determine exactly what happened, including whether he crashed his bicycle on his own, was forced off the road, or suffered some type of medical incident.

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MAN CAPTURED AT RESERVOIR AFTER BATTERING POLICE OFFICER ANIMAL

(Richmond, IN)--A man who had allegedly overdosed and then fled from Reid Health was captured Monday near Middlefork Reservoir.  21-year-old Zach Neathery now faces multiple new charges after allegedly battering a police officer animal and possessing drugs.  Then, Monday night, Neathery’s brother Austin turned himself in at the Wayne County Jail on outstanding warrants.  Austin Neathery was suspected, but never charged, as having been involved with the disappearance of a teenage girl late last year.

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TOURISM BUREAU LAUNCHES NEW VIDEO

(Wayne County, IN)--The Wayne County Tourism Bureau has produced and now launched a new video that will be used to promote the area.  Marketing Director Nancy Sartain said the video showcases a variety of activities that can be experienced by visitors.  Featured on the video are places like the Depot District, Elstro Plaza, Hayes Arboretum, and Levi Coffin House.  You can find a link to the video on the Bureau’s website and social media pages.

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