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Local News with Jeff Lane

LAKENGREN GETS AREA'S FIRST BLUE-GREEN ALGAE ALERT

(Lakengren, OH)--One area lake has this season’s first blue-green algae alert.  It’s Lake Lakengren, where an algae alert was posted over the weekend.  Levels there have risen very slightly over normal levels.  The alert does not prevent swimming, although showering afterward is now recommended.  Other area lakes, including Brookville Lake, Whitewater, and Acton Lake at Hueston Woods have not yet issued alerts.  Algae alerts in our area have become much more common in recent years.

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MOST WAYNE COUNTY VOTERS CAST BALLOTS ON TRADITIONAL ELECTION DAY

(Wayne County, IN)--Indiana’s Secretary of State has released some final election statistics on Thursday for the May primaries.  Wayne County’s official turnout was 21% of registered voters.  As has been the case, more people voted on the traditional Election Day than in the days and weeks leading up to it.  63% of voters voted on Election Day.  Randolph County had the area’s highest turnout at 25%.  Union County had the lowest at 17%.

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WILLEFORD RESIGNS AS UNITED WAY PRESIDENT

(Richmond, IN)--The United Way of the Whitewater Valley is searching for a new leader today.  Amber Willeford is stepping down to take a new job at Miami University.  Paul Stanley, who is a former Board member, is serving as interim president.  Willeford had been the local chapter of the United Way’s president since September of 2015.

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RICHMOND WOMAN CHARGED WITH TRAFFICKING WITH INMATE

(Richmond, IN)--A Richmond woman with a long history of theft and drug arrests was taken into custody again Thursday afternoon.  30-year-old Ashley Doolin was arrested at her home on Oak Drive.  She allegedly still had drugs on her when she was booked into jail.  Two years ago, Doolin was left a small child in the car alone at Meijer with drugs and a stolen handgun inside while she went inside to shop.

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BODY FOUND IN SCHOOL LOT IDENTIFIED AS DECORATED UNION COUNTY VETERAN

(Mount Carmel, IN)--Earlier this week, Kicks 96 and The Point News reported that a dead body had been found in a van in a school parking lot in Franklin County.  Now, that person has been identified.  Investigators say 28-year-old Garrett Shepard of Liberty was the man found in the Mount Carmel School parking lot just east of Brookville.  Shepard was thought to have been dead for 48 hours.  The death is not connected to the school and there were no signs of trauma or any struggle.  Toxicology results will take up to six weeks.  Shepard was a decorated veteran of the U.S. Army.

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NEW DETAILS: NEATHERY WAS CAPTURED NEAR APARTMENT COMPLEX

(Richmond, IN)--The Richmond Police Department on Thursday morning issued a press release with a couple of new details regarding the arrest late Wednesday afternoon of murder suspect Austin Neathery in the central Indiana town of Speedway.  Thursday morning’s release states that Neathery was caught near an apartment complex by U.S. Marshals, but details of the apprehension are unknown.  RPD had been in contact with Marshals since the time the warrant was issued because RPD investigators felt Neathery had fled the area shortly after the shooting death of Tremell Carpenter.  Neathery was being held in the Marion County Jail early Thursday but was expected to be brought back to Wayne County at some point later in the day.

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NEATHERY CAPTURED BY FEDERAL AGENTS

(Speedway, IN)--A search that lasted for more than two weeks for the accused killer of RHS senior Tremell Carpenter is over.  18-year-old Austin Neathery was taken into custody early Wednesday night in central Indiana by U.S. Marshals.  Neathery was in the Marion County Jail Thursday morning.  Details of how Neathery was apprehended have not yet been released, although that was expected to happen Thursday morning.  Investigators have also not yet said where Neathery has been for the last two-plus weeks.  Neathery was expected to be returned to the Wayne County Jail at some point Thursday and should have an initial hearing by Friday afternoon.

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FORMER OFFICER CHARGED WITH ALLOWING POLICE CANINE TO STARVE TO DEATH

(Laurel, IN)--A former reserve police officer in Laurel is now facing a felony charge after allegedly starving his own canine partner to death.  The dog, whose name was Blade, was a German Shephard and weighed less than a third of the normal weight of a dog of that breed at the time of his death.  Clint Ellis now faces trial in November after the recent filing of charges.  Ellis is also accused of stealing items from the evidence locker at the Laurel Police Department.  And, in yet another case, he’s accused of harassing hunters.

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THREE ARRESTED, DRUGS FOUND ON LOT OF RICHMOND ARBY'S

(Richmond, IN)--What was described as a large amount of packaged and labeled drugs were recovered by the Indiana State Police on the lot of Arby’s on National Road West in Richmond Wednesday night.  A police canine gave a positive indication.  Investigators then found methamphetamine and other controlled substances, syringes, and drug paraphernalia.  Jeremy Goodwin and Bryant Pieper of Richmond and Autumn Lowery of Dublin now all face multiple felonies.  Pieper still allegedly had drugs on him when he was booked into jail.

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GROUNDBREAKING SET FOR $45 MILLION IN UPGRADES TO RICHMOND'S WATER FACILITY

(Richmond, IN)--Groundbreaking ceremonies have now been set for a major upgrade to Richmond’s water system.  Indiana-American is investing $45 million to upgrade its treatment facility on Sylvan Nook Drive.  When it’s complete in two years, the facility will use liquid instead of gaseous disinfection chemicals, add UV disinfection, and upgrade chemical storage.  Groundbreaking is set for a week from Monday.

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SELF-REPORTING CHILD MOLESTER CONVICTED

(Richmond, IN)--A Richmond man was being held without bond Wednesday morning pending sentencing following a conviction for child molesting on Tuesday.  43-year-old Peter Angi’s case is not like those of most other child molestors.  He actually reported himself to authorities two years ago for improperly touching a young girl.  A subsequent interview with the victim confirmed the abuse.  A Level 4 child abuse conviction carries a sentencing range of from two to 12 years.

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PREBLE COUNTY SCHOOLS CONSIDER ADDING RESOURCE OFFICERS

(Preble County, OH)--Last week, we told you that Preble Shawnee was considering adding resource officers to increase school security.  Now, two other Preble County schools are following suit.  National Trail and Twin Valley South schools have had discussions with Sheriff Mike Simpson.  One additional deputy would be assigned to each school and would be utilized in the classroom.  Applications for state grants have been made to offset some of the cost.

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BODY FOUND IN SCHOOL PARKING LOT IN FRANKLIN COUNTY

(Mount Carmel, IN)--The investigation continues after a dead body was found in the parking lot of a Franklin County school this week.  Deputies were called to Mount Carmel School just east of Brookville on Monday when the body was found inside a van.  No identity on the body had been released by Tuesday afternoon.  Investigators have also not said how long the body may have been there or whether or not foul play is suspected.  The body was taken to Cincinnati for an autopsy.

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RPD: ANYONE HARBORING NEATHERY IS COMMITTING A CRIME

(Richmond, IN)--Richmond police investigators said Monday that anyone who is helping accused murderer Austin Neathery evade arrest could themselves face criminal prosecution.  An arrest warrant for Neathery was issued last Friday in connection with the death of 18-year-old Tremell Carpenter.  Investigators did not say Monday if they believe Neathery is being harbored by someone locally or if he has fled the area.  They did, though, say that he should be considered armed and dangerous.

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WOMAN JAILED FOR NEGLECT, ATTACKING OFFICER

(Richmond, IN)--A Richmond woman was jailed Monday afternoon after allegedly neglecting her dependent and then attacking a police officer.  Police were called to the 800 block of North 16 and found 34-year-old Susan Ford.  Ford allegedly battered the officer during her arrest.  This makes the second time she’s been arrested for neglecting a dependent.  She also has a history of battery and disorderly conduct.

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GOVERNOR SIGNS BILL AUTHORED BY RICHMOND'S JEFF RAATZ

(Indianapolis, IN)--A bill authored by State Senator Jeff Raatz of Richmond was signed into law Monday by Indiana Goveror Eric Holcomb.  The new law will go into effect in July of next year and will require that each school within a school corporation include employability skills standards as part of their curriculum.  The bill also establishes what’s called the work ethic certification program.

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WANTED WOMAN FOUND PASSED OUT IN MEIJER PARKING LOT

(Richmond, IN)--Two people were found passed out in the Meijer parking lot in Richmond late last night.  One was wanted in both Fayette County and in Florida.  Officers found meth, other drugs, and syringes when they arrested 27-year-old Shalonda Clark of Richmond.  Clark is also charged with false informing.  She was arrested on similar charges back in March.  The second person’s name has not yet become available.

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DIRECTOR, PRODUCER ASSUMES PARTIAL OWNERSHIP OF ROSCOE'S

(Richmond, IN)--A well-known Richmond resident has joined the ownership team of Roscoe’s Coffee Bar.  He’s Zach Parker, who has directed and produced numerous critically acclaimed short films.  "I was really considering the idea of opening a coffee shop a few years ago and was looking at a few different places, but Roscoe's was already doing so many things so well," Parker said.  Parker will join original owners Mike and Terri Widau and said that some new elements are coming.  "I definitely have some ideas that I'm wanting to implement in the next few months...hopefully a few unique events and things like that," Parker added.  Roscoe’s operates in the Depot District and on National Road East.

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FAMILY, FRIENDS PREPARE TO SAY GOODBYE TO TREMELL CARPENTER

(Richmond, IN)--Family and friends are preparing to say goodbye Saturday to RHS senior Tremell Carpenter.  Carpenter was shot and killed in Richmond a week and a half ago.  The search for Carpenter’s killer continues.  Another teen widely suspected of committing the shooting is still wanted for questioning by investigators.  Visitation for Tremell Carpenter begins at 9 o’clock Saturday morning at the Oak Park Church of God in Richmond.  The funeral begins at 1 o’clock.

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WOMAN GETS 16 YEARS FOR RECRUITING FOR WAYNE COUNTY SEX OFFENDER

(Muncie, IN)--A woman who helped a convicted Wayne County child molester recruit victims was sentenced Thursday.  40-year-old Suellen Davis was handed a 16-year sentence.  Davis took photos of at least three children who were showering and provided them to her boyfriend, Aaron Dalton, and then arranged for Dalton to meet the girls.  Dalton was ultimately convicted of molesting one of those pre-teen girls.  He was sentenced in March to 24 years.

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MAN CHARGED WITH 41st CRIMINAL OFFENSE AFTER REFUSING TO LEAVE McDONALD'S

(Richmond, IN)--An overnight incident at the McDonald’s at 18th and East Main in Richmond had a Richmond man waking up in the Wayne County Jail Friday morning.  33-year-old Joshua Snider is now charged with criminal trespass.  Snider allegedly caused a ruckus and refused to leave late Thursday night.  He was jailed for the same thing just six days ago.  This makes the 41st criminal offense for Snider.

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HOT AIR BALLOONS LAND ACROSS RICHMOND

(Richmond, IN)--Residents across Richmond got a surprise Wednesday night as hot air balloons landed across the city.  It was all part of the First Bloom and Glow event.  Typically, the balloons have been tethered.  Not this year.  Balloons landed at spots that included at North 9th and B, near the east end of the Main Street Bridge, and on North 10th Street.

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CENTERVILLE FIRE DEPARTMENT TO OCCUPY ADDITIONAL BUILDING

(Centerville, IN)--The Centerville Fire Department will soon be operating out of a new facility.  The department posted Wednesday night on social media that it had acquired the former Wildfire Service Center on National Road West very near the intersection of Round Barn Road.  The building will operate as Centerville Fire and Rescue’s Station #2 and will house Engine 11 and Squad 18.  Some cleaning and maintenance needs to be completed before the building becomes fully operational.

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MAN JAILED AFTER ALLEGEDLY STRIKING CARS AT FRICKER'S

(Richmond, IN)--A Richmond man was jailed Wednesday night for the second time in five days.  54-year-old John Pagan was arrested at the east-side Richmond Speedway station after allegedly striking multiple cars in the Fricker’s parking lot and fleeing.  Another car was struck near Meijer.  Last weekend, Pagan was jailed for driving his motorcycle drunk.  There’s no indication yet of the total number of vehicles that were damaged Wednesday night.

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WAYNE COUNTY TREASURER TO SERVE AS COMMISSIONING CHAIR FOR NUCLEAR SUB LAUNCH

(Richmond, IN)--Two Whitewater Valley elected officials will play a significant role in the launching of the USS Indiana.  The USS Indiana will be a new nuclear submarine that can attack targets with Tomahawk cruise missiles.  Wayne County Treasurer Cathy Williams has been picked to be the commissioning chairperson.  State Representative Tom Saunders is leading a local contingent to commissioning ceremonies in Florida this fall.

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WOMAN JAILED AFTER DRIVING STOLEN TRUCK TO VISIT JAIL INMATE

(Richmond, IN)--A visit to an inmate in the Wayne County Jail resulted in a Greens Fork woman being jailed herself.  29-year-old Kimberly Powers allegedly arrived in downtown Richmond in a stolen truck Tuesday night.  Inside that stolen truck, officers found syringes and drug paraphernalia.  Powers was jailed for auto theft and multiple other felony charges.

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NEW ATTRACTION TO VISIT WAYNE COUNTY 4-H FAIR

(Richmond, IN)--There will be a new attraction when the Wayne County 4-H Fair opens in a couple of weeks.  The Indiana Historical Society is bringing a traveling exhibit called “History of Wheels.”  That exhibit highlights Indiana’s role in auto manufacturing and racing and will have several local connections, including a car that’s 104 years old.  The fair kicks off this year two weeks from Saturday.

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WOMAN ARRESTED AFTER TWO-HOUR STANDOFF

(Unon City)--Details of a two-hour police standoff in Union City have been released.  Officers tried to serve an arrest warrant on 23-year-old Montana Beanblossom for meth possession.  Beanblossom refused to come to the door.  During the standoff, 55-year-old Randall Plessinger showed up and tried to gain entry.  He was charged with obstruction.  Beanblossom finally surrendered just as a special police team was about to make entry.

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FRANKLIN COUNTY JOINS OPIOID LAWSUIT

(Franklin County, IN)--Franklin County has now joined several other counties across the area and the country in suing pharmaceutical companies over the opioid epidemic.  Franklin County is looking to recoup the cost of dealing with people with opioid addictions.  The county ranked 10th on a per capita basis in Indiana for opioid deaths.  The county will not pay any legal fees associated with the suit, but would surrender a percentage of any settlement if successful.  Wayne County commissioners recently decided against suing pharmaceutical companies.

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CORONER: RHS COACH DIED FROM HEART DEFECT

(Richmond, IN)--About 600 people gathered at the Tiernan Center Monday afternoon to say goodbye and reflect on the life of Richmond girls basketball coach Casey Pohlenz.  Pohlenz was found dead last Friday.  Speakers remembered Pohlenz as a coach who helped to change the lives of his players through basketball.  Also Monday, Wayne County Coroner Ron Stevens said that Pohlenz died as the result of a birth defect in his heart that had gone undetected for Pohlenz’ 43 years of life.

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RICHMOND MAN ARRESTED FOR CHILD MOLESTING

(Richmond, IN)--A 33-year-old Richmond man is now facing the highest level of felony child molesting.  Jeremiah Kofski was taken into custody late Monday afternoon at his home in the 100 block of Richmond Avenue and charged with two felony counts of child molesting, including a Level One charge.  Details of what Kofski is alleged to have done have not been released.  He has no criminal record in Wayne County.

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WOMAN IDENTIFYING AS SHOOTER'S GRANDMOTHER URGES HIM TO SURRENDER

(Richmond, IN)--There have been no significant developments over the weekend in the ongoing search for the teen who shot and killed RHS senior Tremell Carpenter six days ago.  A Facebook post made by the suspect following the shooting now has more than 1400 comments, including a recent one by a woman identifying herself as his grandmother.  That woman is urging the suspect to turn himself into police.  RPD has not yet released the suspect’s name.

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ACCUSED SCOOTER-RIDING DRUG DEALER JAILED

(Richmond, IN)--A scooter-riding man was caught Sunday and now faces a whole host of drug charges.  The man, who was later identified as 43-year-old Joseph Freeman, was stopped on North West 2nd in Richmond.  Officers allegedly found methamphetamine and other narcotic drugs.  Freeman was charged with dealing both meth and cocaine.  His scooter was impounded.

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ISP MAKES DRUG ARREST AT GREENWOOD APARTMENTS

(Richmond, IN)--The Indiana State Police were at the Greenwood Apartment in Richmond late Sunday night to arrest a 53-year-old man.  David Wehrley was allegedly found with methamphetamine and other controlled substances.  He was also charged with maintaining a common nuisance.  Officers recovered drugs and paraphernalia at the scene.

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SHOTS FIRED IN TWO DIFFERENT RICHMOND LOCATIONS OVERNIGHT

(Richmond, IN)--There were two separate shooting incidents in Richmond overnight.  One of the incidents happened at around 9:30 Thursday night in the 400 block of South West 5th Street.  Several shots were reportedly fired by a man in a van.  That van was later stopped in the 100 block of South J Street.  30-year-old Victor Moretz was taken into custody.  Investigators found a .45 caliber handgun, hollow-point bullets, and shell casings in the road.  There were no injuries.  No motive for the shooting has been released.  The other shooting incident in Richmond happened at around 11 o’clock Thursday night in the 700 block of North 16th.  According to scanner traffic, a suspect walked into a home, pointed a gun, and fired between two and four shots.  No one was injured.  The suspect and another man fled in a black Jeep Grand Cherokee.  A large group of people then gathered outside in the area of North 15th and G.  That prompted a response by the state police.  One of the two suspects is described as a light-skinned black male with a thin to medium build.  He has short dreadlocks.  Authorities said that the initial indication was that the two shootings were not connected.

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TEEN SHOOTING VICTIM'S UNCLE SAYS HIS NEPHEW KNEW HIS KILLER

(Richmond, IN)--The search continued Friday for the Richmond teen who shot and killed RHS senior Tremell Carpenter earlier this week.  Investigators have still not released his name.  Carpenter’s uncle said Thursday that his nephew knew his killer.  "Well you know how young folk have disagreements...instead of sitting down and talking it out, they think the way to handle it is by picking up a gun.  And that's not the way to handle anything."  The suspect was arrested and jailed in January for a probation violation and was jailed again a month later when he was found with drugs on Pennville Road.  He was also wanted at the time in the Muncie area.

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SEARCH CONTINUES FOR PERSON OF INTEREST IN SHOOTING OF RHS STUDENT

(Richmond, IN)--Richmond police investigators have a person of interest in connection with the shooting death of RHS senior Tremell Carpenter early Tuesday morning.  That person was not in custody Thursday morning and RPD is not releasing the shooter’s name.  Sources close to the situation say that shooter is a teenager who was involved in a rather high-profile investigation late last year.  The suspected shooter’s Facebook account has been reactivated.  A post made early Thursday morning appears to be a suicide message and begins with the words "I’m sorry for the pain that was brought upon everyone…"  RPD’s investigation continues.

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ARMED ROBBER STRIKES LOSANTVILLE GAS STATION

(Losantville, IN)--There was an armed robbery at a Losantville gas station late Wednesday night.  It happened at the Phillips 66 at the junction of U.S. 35 and 36 when the station was closing for the night.  "Suddenly, somebody came inside the store that had covered his face," said the operator of the station Thursday morning.  "He pulled a gun on the cashier and told her to give him the money."  The robber was still on the loose Thursday morning.  The suspect is described as a white male between 25 and 30 years old.  He was wearing a camouflage t-shirt.  No one was hurt.

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EATON SCHOOLS NAMES NEW SUPERINTENDENT

(Eaton, OH)--Eaton Community Schools has a new superintendent.  Jeff Parker won’t be coming from far away…he was the previously superintendent at National Trail.  Parker’s appointment was approved during a special meeting of the Eaton Community School Board.  He will begin on the first of July and was awarded a three-year contract.

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POPULATION DROPS IN RICHMOND AND MOST AREA CITIES IN THE LAST YEAR

(Whitewater Valley)--Richmond’s population continues to shrink, but not as quickly as you might think.  New population estimates have been released by the U.S. Census Department.  Richmond’s population stands at 35,455 people.  That’s a decrease of 181 people in the last year.  The city’s population has slowly but steadily decreased in since 2010.  In the last eight years, the city has lost 1267 people.  That’s a decrease of about 3 ½ percent.  Only two county seats in the Whitewater Valley are growing, and neither by very much.   Liberty and Eaton are the two communities that grew in the last year.  Liberty grew by seven people; Eaton added ten.  Every area community, though, has seen decreasing population since 2010.  The largest drop, by percentage, is Connersville, which has lost 615 residents – or 4.8% of its population – since 2010.  Eaton is the city that has lost the fewest residents.  It’s population has dropped by 2.7%.

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CORDELL POOL TO REMAIN CLOSED THROUGH MEMORIAL DAY WEEKEND

(Richmond, IN)--Cordell Pool in Richmond will not be ready to open for the extended Memorial Day weekend.  Park officials have indicated that the installation of a new pool liner will prevent from opening at its tradition time.  The pool will be filled on Friday.  Mechanical procedures involved with beginning pool operations will follow.  It appears that the earliest possible opening date for the pool will be Saturday, June 2.

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DETAILS OF SCHOOL THREAT RELEASED

(Hagerstown, IN)--Details of what was deemed to be a threat at Hagerstown Junior-Senior High School this week have been released.  It happened in the lunchroom this week when a group of students told another student he looked like they type of person who would commit a school shooting.  His response was to say that maybe he would.  The student was immediately removed from class and all parents were notified.  The school was not placed on lockdown.  Hagerstown is now out for summer vacation.

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WAYNE COUNTY'S WORK FORCE INCREASES BY 300

(Wayne County, IN)--Some very positive new job numbers are out for Wayne County.  The number of people in Wayne County’s work force is up by nearly 300 people in the last month.  Also in the last month, the number of employed people has risen by nearly 400 while the number of unemployed people has dropped by 108.  When compared to this time last year, though, the number of Wayne County workers is down by about 200.

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MAN ARRESTED FOR BURGLARY AND BATTERING OFFICER

(Hagerstown, IN)--A Hagerstown man is facing the highest level of felony after an incident there Wednesday afternoon.  22-year-old Johnathon Morris allegedly entered a house on South Perry Street and battered an occupant inside.  When police arrived, Morris then fought with some of the officers.  One officer had to be taken to the hospital to be evaluated after a hand injury.  Morris now faces a total of seven charges, including possession of a controlled substance and burglary.

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UNUSUAL AIRPLANE TO FLY OVER RICHMOND

(Richmond, IN)--There will be a strange airplane flying over Richmond for the next few days.  A Ford Tri-Motor airplane will be at the Richmond Municipal Airport and will be giving rides.  The Ford Tri-Motor dates back to the 1920’s and was known as the first luxury airliner that marked the beginning of commercial flight.  Rides will be given from 2-5 Thursday afternoon and all day Friday through Sunday.  The cost is $75 for adults.

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BELDEN'S DRUG REHAB PROGRAM GARNER'S NATIONAL ATTENTION

(Richmond, IN)--A couple of weeks ago, Kicks 96 and The Point News reported that Belden in Richmond had initiated a program aimed at helping people with drug addiction.  Potential Belden employees who fail pre-employment drug screens are offered personalized drug rehab.  A job with Belden is then made available if the person is able to successfully complete rehab and remain drug free.  Now, that program is making national news.  CNN Money featured Belden’s new program.  "If we look at the counties where more medication is being prescribed, we see a bigger drop in the labor force participation rate," said one industry expert in the feature.  No one currently applying for a job at Belden agreed to speak with CNN.

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RICHMOND SEX OFFENDER JAILED FOR ALLEGEDLY LIVING TOO CLOSE TO SCHOOL

(Hagerstown, IN)--A convicted Richmond child molester was jailed Tuesday night after authorities determined he was violating the terms of his sex offender status.  27-year-old Michael Eaton was taken into custody at Hagerstown’s Dollar General.  Eaton’s status as a sex offender prevents him from living too close to a school, but he had allegedly moved in with a girlfriend who lives directly across from a school.  Eaton was convicted of child molestation back in the spring of 2012.

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EATON MAN SENTENCED TO NINE YEARS FOR CHILD PORNOGRAPHY

(Eaton, OH)--An Eaton man was sentenced Tuesday to nine years in federal prison for possessing child pornography.  An FBI investigation determined that 22-year-old Matthew Perry shared at least 4700 images of children.  Agents then executed a search warrant on Perry’s phone, where they found thousands more images.  Perry was recently arrested and pled guilty to attempted rape of a child in a separate Preble County case.

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ROAD CONSTRUCTION TO CONTINUE THROUGH THANKSGIVING

(Richmond, IN)--Richmond Common Council Monday night got an update on the city’s road construction nightmare.  A project engineer with INDOT told council that the paving work on U.S. 27 was roughly 2/3 of the way done.  But South A Street, which is currently heavily restricted and very rough, is only about a quarter of the way done.  South A is not projected to be complete until sometime around Thanksgiving.  Projects that would be coming in the next couple of years were also discussed Monday night.  That includes a possible reconstruction of the U.S. 27 bridge over the Depot District and a complete reconstruction of Ninth Street from South M to North A Street.

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400-BED REGIONAL OPIOID RECOVERY CENTER PROPOSED FOR CONNERSVILLE

(Connersville, IN)--A state director of a USDA program says that Fayette County could become a regional home for opioid recovery.  That representative told city and county leaders that he wants the former K-Mart in Connersville, which is now vacant, to be converted into a Phase III recovery center.  A Phase III center would house recovering addicts for up to two years if they’ve completed the first two phases.  The former K-Mart could house up to 400 people.  The regional center would include Wayne, Union, and Franklin County.

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WAYNE COUNTY DOG BREEDER NAMED ONE OF COUNTRY'S WORST PUPPY MILLS

(Greens Fork, IN)--A Wayne County dog breeder has been named one of the one hundred worst puppy mills in the entire country.  The Humane Society calls the list the "Horrible Hundred."  The USDA has redacted the exact identity of the Wayne County breeder, although it did identify the location as being in Greens Fork.  Last summer, an adult dog was found serious wounds and other injuries that had not been treated.  Multiple puppies were found without shelter from wind and rain.

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MAN JAILED AFTER REPORTS OF THOWN POTATOES AND EGGS

(Richmond, IN)--What began as a call about someone throwing potatoes and eggs at cars resulted in the drug arrest of a Richmond man early Tuesday morning.   It happened at the Clover Leaf Trailer Park on Salisbury Road.  Police received consent to search a residence and located syringes and drug paraphernalia in a bathroom.  38-year-old Chad Capps was taken into custody.  Reports do not indicate if Capps was the one throwing the eggs and potatoes.

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ACCUSED TODDLER MURDERER NOW FREE ON BOND

(Lynn, IN)--A Lynn man accused of murdering his own two-year-old child in March of last year bonded out of jail this week and is free, at least for the time being.  23-year-old Josh Null was able to post 10% of a $35,000 bond that includes personal property this week.  Null is accused of causing blunt force trauma to the child in March of last year.  Multiple first responded were unable to revive the unresponsive toddler.  Null is free but is now currently scheduled for trial in mid-September.

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CITY'S WEBSITE IS UP AND RUNNING

(Richmond, IN)--The city of Richmond’s new website is up and running.  The older website had long been a subject of criticism because it contained outdated or incomplete information.  That’s changed now with the launch of the new web site.  It contains updated information about the city’s departments, upcoming events, and contact information.  You can find the website at richmondindiana.gov.

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LIEUTENANT GOVERNOR VISITS ULLERY'S ICE CREAM

(Richmond, IN)--The city of Richmond’s new website is up and running.  The older website had long been a subject of criticism because it contained outdated or incomplete information.  That’s changed now with the launch of the new web site.  It contains updated information about the city’s departments, upcoming events, and contact information.  You can find the website at richmondindiana.gov.

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SHOTS REPORTED FIRED INTO ARBA PIKE HOME

(Wayne County, IN)--The Wayne County Sheriff’s Department is continuing to investigate after multiple shots were allegedly fired into a home just north of Richmond.  It happened in the 4600 block of Arba Pike and was discovered Tuesday morning.  Police reports do not indicate the number of shots that were fired or the type of weapon that may have been used.  There were no reports of any injury.

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BRIDGES TO CLOSE FOR INSPECTION NEXT WEEK

(Wayne County, IN)--Get ready for more road closures.  This time, though, the closures will only last for a day for bridge inspections and not for construction.  The G Street Bridge in Richmond will be completely shut down all day Monday for inspection.  On Tuesday, it will be the 20th Century Bridge on Richmond Avenue near Purina, although that will only involve lane restrictions.  Then, on Wednesday, the bridge over the Whitewater River just east of Abington will be closed.

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STATS SHOW METH USE IS EXPLODING IN WAYNE COUNTY

(Wayne County, IN)--Newly released Wayne County crime statistics show an unmistakable shift from heroin to methamphetamine among local drug users.  Three years ago, there were five times as many criminal heroin cases as meth cases in Wayne County.  Now, though, there are twice as many criminal meth cases as heroin cases.  In 2015, there were only 18 local meth cases.  This year, Wayne County is on pace to go 12 times higher to 213 cases.  The number of heroin cases is on pace to drop slightly from 140 last year to 129 this year.

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FIREFIGHTERS RETURN TO RICHMOND STRIP MALL

(Richmond, IN)--Richmond firefighters on Wednesday morning returned to the strip mall on National Road West in Richmond that was the site of a significant fire in late March.  The fire started at 1:30 Wednesday morning in the area of the Great Wall restaurant and a dollar store at 18th and National Road West.  "There was a fire in the building again.  The dispatcher told us that the fire was going pretty good.  The first engine arrived on the scene and found a large pile of debris on fire," said Battalion Chief Tim Brown.  Wednesday morning’s fire, though, was not nearly as damaging.  It was quickly extinguished.  The fire is considered suspicious.

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MAN CAUGHT AFTER CHASE INTO CAMBRIDGE CITY WOODS

(Cambridge City, IN)--Police in Cambridge City were able to capture a woman and her boyfriend when he fled from a traffic stop Tuesday afternoon.  Officers pulled over 24-year-old Brandon McDonald on High Street.  He ran into a home, then out the back door, and then into a wooded area.  After searching for a couple of hours, McDonald was apprehended.  22-year-old Heather Moffitt was also arrested.  Both face charges that include felony neglect of a dependent.

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PROSECUTOR CHALLENGES NEEDLE EXCHANGE IN LETTER TO COMMISSIONERS

(Richmond, IN)--Wayne County Prosecutor Mike Shipman is openly questioning multiple elements of the county’s needle exchange program.  In a letter to Commissioners, Shipman questions what data exists to show that the program has reduced harm.  Shipman cited a case in March in which James Massey died from an overdose.  Massey was not involved in the program but still died using a needle from the exchange.  In another recent case, Brittany Davis was caught with 20 syringes from the program but could not prove she was a participant in needle exchange.  Shipman will soon address Commissioners in person.

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RPD SEARCHING FOR MAN WHO DOUSED WOMAN, CHILDREN IN LIGHTER FLUID

(Richmond, IN)--Richmond police are looking for a man who not only intentionally set fire to a porch Monday night, but also squirted lighter fluid on two children, including one of his own.  It happened at 10:15 Monday night in the 300 block of South 9th Street.  "The fire really wasn't anything.  It wasn't on the building; it was just a rug," said one Richmond battalion chief.  What was something was that the suspect doused an adult female and two young children with the same lighter fluid he used to start the fire.  All three victims were taken to Reid Health to be checked out.  One of the victims was the suspect’s own child.  The suspect’s name has not been released.

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LOCAL BUSINESSMAN DIES IN FLORIDA

(Destin, FL)--A longtime Richmond business owner has died in Florida.  Mike Earlywine has died while visiting the Destin, Florida area.  Earlywine was the former owner of Earlywine Pest Control and a broker at Coldwell Banker Lingle.  The Okaloosa County Sheriff’s Department said that more information about Earlywine’s death would be available later today.  Local services for Mike Earlywine are pending.

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REID FOUNDATION GETS MILLION-DOLLAR DONATION

(Richmond, IN)--Reid Health has had a million-dollar donation.  Debra Edelman has given a million dollars to the Reid Health Foundation in honor of her husband, Jack, who died in October of last year.  The donation will fund what will now be known as the Jack Edeman Cardiac Catheterization Center.  With that gift, the former Recycling Center owners have donated a total of $2.12 million to Reid’s Foundation.

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GREENS FORK TEEN ARRESTED FOR HOME INVASION, ROBBERY

(Richmond, IN)--A Greens Fork teenager was behind bars Tuesday morning after allegedly committing a home invasion and robbery late Monday night.  19-year-old Brayden Hoskins is now accused of entering an apartment near South 8th and E, taking a purse, and running.  Hoskins was tracked down and captured by RPD at South 13th and D with the purse still in his waistband.  The victim then positively identified Hoskins.

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ZONING BOARD APPROVES HOMELESS SHELTER NEAR DOWNTOWN RICHMOND

(Richmond, IN)--Over the objection of many nearby business owners, the Richmond Board of Zoning Appeals has approved the conversion of the old Knucklehead’s Bar just east of downtown into a homeless shelter for women.  "We're looking out for the safety of our kids.  We're looking out for the children in our studio," said an employee of a nearby dance studio addressing the BZA.  Rock Solid Ministries would operate the shelter.  "I can't control what people do when they leave our building," said Rock Solid's director.  Most of the business owners who opposed it did not question the women; they had an issue with the men who may have battered them and may congregate around the shelter.  Some residents, though, favored the shelter.  "I think it will take some women off the street.  I think our prostitution rate will go down." said one self-described former prostitute.  The Board approved the zoning change by a 3-1 vote.

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WOMAN KILLED IN I-70 CRASH

(Wayne County, IN)--Investigators don’t yet know what caused a Richmond woman lose control on I-70 in crash that cost her her life.  62-year-old Carol Gallagher was headed west on I-70 near the Washington Road overpass between Centerville at Cambridge City at around 10:30 Sunday morning  Gallagher’s car drifted into the median.  She overcorrected and rolled several times.  Gallagher was wearing her seat belt but was pronounced dead at the scene.  No other vehicles were involved.  Traffic on 70 was affected for several hours.

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MAN JAILED AFTER CHASE

(Richmond, IN)--A Richmond man was in the Wayne County Jail Monday morning after a high-speed chase down Chester Boulevard at speeds that reached 80 miles per hour on Saturday.  Police began pursuing 24-year-old Tyrone Jarrett at an apartment complex near Dillon Drive.  Jarrett was allegedly doing 80 as he passed the old Reid Hospital.  He bailed out near 22nd and Grand Boulevard.  Jarrett was tased and taken into custody after a short foot chase.  Charges include residential entry, criminal recklessless, and felony resisting.

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ELDER BEERMAN BUILDING IS FOR SALE

(Richmond, IN)--The Elder-Beerman building in Richmond is for sale.  The building went up for sale this week after officially announcing last month that it would close.  A New York company is overseeing the sale, along with the sale of all other properties owned by Elder-Beerman’s parent company, Bon-Ton.  There is no specific asking price for the building.  The property has an assessed value of about $2.5 million.  There’s also an outstanding tax debt of close to $80,000.

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PROSECUTOR ASKS TO ADDRESS COMMISSIONERS ABOUT NEEDLE EXCHANGE

(Richmond, IN)--Wayne County Prosecutor Mike Shipman has asked to be on the agenda when County Commissioners meet on Wednesday next week.  Shipman has asked to address commissioners about the needle exchange program after they extended the program by two years earlier this week.  Shipman has continued to express his opposition to the program since its inception a few years ago.  He did not indicate exactly what his address to commissioners will entail.

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MAN SERIOUSLY HURT IN ACCIDENT AT BLUE BUFFALO

(Richmond, IN)--There was a serious industrial accident at the new Blue Buffalo plant in Richmond Thursday.  The hydraulics failed on a grate that helps fork lifts unload semis and trapped the worker.  Other employees then used a fork lift to free the man.  A medical helicopter landed at Blue Buffalo and flew him to a Level One trauma center.  His name and condition had not been made available by 6 a.m. Friday.

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WITNESSES HELP RPD CATCH MAN AFTER FOOT CHASE

(Richmond, IN)--Lots of alert citizens helped RPD catch a man after a foot chase Thursday afternoon.  30-year-old Edward Mann ran when he saw an officer in the area of South 15th and E.  He ran in between houses through several city blocks.  Mann eventually made it to a house near South 11th and C and was taken into custody there.  New charges include criminal trespass and criminal confinement.  Mann had originally failed to appear on a drug charge.

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IU EAST NAMES NEW DEAN OF STUDENTS

(Richmond, IN)--IU East has a new dean of students, and they didn’t have to look far to find her.  IU East has announced that Amy Jarecki will transition from her current role as Associate Director of Financial Aid to the Dean of Students.  The Dean of Students has a multitude of responsibilities, including reviewing student conduct cases and acting as a student liaison.  Jarecki has been with IU East for eight years.

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WAYNE COUNTY EXTENDS NEEDLE EXCHANGE PROGRAM

(Richmond, IN)--A two-year extension was given to Wayne County’s needle exchange program on Wednesday.  The county’s commissioners have extended the program to at least June of 2020.  There were 61 participants in the first quarter of this year.  That’s a nearly 25% increase from the previous quarter.  Wayne County recently switched to a more unique syringe at the request of Prosecutor Mike Shipman.  Possessing a similar a syringe not obtained from the county is a criminal offense.

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LIBERTY POLICE SEEK HELP IN IDENTIFYING BURGLARS

(Liberty, IN)--The Liberty Police Department is asking for the help of the public to catch a couple of burglars.  Video surveillance images have been released that show the two suspects as they tried to commit a burglary at the Liberty Bell.  Investigators have not yet said if the two men are suspected in committing any other recent break-ins.  If you know the identity of either of these two men, you're asked to contact the Liberty Police Department.

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