DEATHS: Today is the day that Kicks 96 and The Point News takes its annual look back at the year that was. And we’ll begin today with the people who left us in 2017 (actuality 31455). That’s former Sports Editor Jan Clark talking about legendary Coach Dick Baumgartner, who died in July. Duke Ward, who was heavily involved with the Richmond Roosters, died in August. In late October, Richmond said goodbye to longtime businessman and philanthropist Jack Edeleman. And, just a few weeks ago, Winchester City Councilman Dave Furby died. Coming up at 6 o’clock, we’ll remember some of the local weather headlines of 2017.
WEATHER: We’re continuing our look back at 2017 this morning by remembering some of the weather that made headlines this year. In mid-January, a freezing rain storm kept highway workers like Mike Sharp busy (actuality 31308). An unusually warm March made plants bud early and threatened the local fruit crop, but then it turned much colder (actuality 31379). That’s Ron Wesler at Wesler’s Orchard. In July, strong winds blew trees down onto tents at Hueston Woods and flipped a plane over at the airport in Oxford (actuality 31460). Just two days later, a Wayne County Sheriff’s Deputy suffered leg injury when he was struck by a tree in a storm (actuality 31463). That’s Sheriff Jeff Cappa. In September, the Whitewater Valley had two odd sunsets when smoke from western wildfires made it all the way to our area. And, early last month, the Richmond Fire Department helped a man escape flooding on Liberty Avenue (actuality 31642). That’s Battalion Chief Jeff Glenn. Coming up at 6:30, we’ll look at some of the local crime that made news this year.
CRIME: We continue our look back at 2017 this half-hour with local crime. This year began was only two days old when authorities went on a manhunt for a couple who became known as the Fountain City Butt Dialers. January ended with a Richmond murder arrest. James Childers was arrested and charged with stabbing Austin Sparks to death. A dubious ranking came out in March and revealed that Fayette County had more overdose deaths per capita than any other Indiana county. Wayne County was #6. In late March, there was a murder in New Paris. Two people would ultimately be charged for the murder of Travis Bourne. In July, we learned that the number of babies born at Reid Health addicted to opioids was on pace to double. Two people were shot and killed on Richmond Avenue this summer. There was an unusual meeting in August. Business owners were warned that the demolition of the McDonald’s on East Main would force prostitutes to set up shop at other nearby businesses. There was another murder in October. Investigators today are still looking into the case of a body found on Centerville Road near I-70. And, just a couple of weeks ago, there was a fatal shooting in the Depot District. Lamont Dunnam was shot and killed. Investigators are still looking for the shooter. Coming up at 7, we’ll look back at our local economy.
ECONOMY: Our look back at 2017 continues this half-hour with the local economy. Thanks to drone video in January, people got a look at just how bad conditions were at old Reid Hospital. Talks about removing it dominated the year. And, just last week, Mayor Dave Snow announced demolition will begin soon (actuality 31668). Road construction also played a major role on the economy and is our top story of the year. Highways 27, 35, 38, 40, 70, 121, and 122 all saw major construction this year, as did most Uptown Richmond Streets and the 20th Street Bridge. In February, Cardinal Ethanol in Union City announced a $6 million expansion. In March, Wayne County’s EDC announced it would move into new office space in the historic Depot, and TBK announced a $1.8 million expansion. Just two days later, Timken announced a $9 million expansion at its Eaton plant. Sugar Creek said in April it would add 75 jobs in Cambridge City, but the wastewater dispute overshadowed that expansion and continues today. Devastating news came in May when Veach’s Toy Station announced it would close. In June, we learned that 47 new jobs were coming to Richmond, Indiana from Richmond, Viriginia with Osborn International. Autocar in September announced that it would create 750 jobs, but the expansion went to Alabama – not Wayne County (actuality 31496). That’s Alabama’s governor. Last month, Cargill and Provimi broke ground on a $50 million investment in Lewisburg. And, the year ended on a down note. Janesville Accoustics announced two weeks ago that it would close in Richmond and take 67 jobs with them. Coming up at 7:30, we’ll look back at local schools and politics.
POLITICS / SCHOOLS: Kicks 96 and The Point News is continuing its 2017 year in review this half-hour with a look back at local political and school news. 2900 laptops arrived for Richmond students in February. In March, Fountain City Town Council member Jesse Berger was arrested on the first of what would be two alcohol-related charges. He would later resign. In June, Richmond learned that it had missed a Stellar grant funding deadline, but was given another chance to get and completed documentation. Charles Elementary was named a four-star school in late spring. The summer began with an announcement that addicts could get free needles in Wayne County once a week instead of once a month. In September, Wayne County leaders considered dropping placing legal ads in the Palladium-Item. Emotions ran high at Northeastern in October when the school board there removed Principle Wes Wisner. Parents complained they didn’t know what was happening until well after the fact (actuality 31624). In November, the Help the Animals Board and Director came under fire for euthanizing several animals. (actuality 31645). That’s Board President Susan Beeson. The efforts do continue, but without her. She was one of multiple members who resigned. Coming up at 8 o’clock, we’ll look back at the good news stories of 2017.
GOOD NEWS: We’re continuing our look back at 2017 this morning. Although it may not seem like it, there were plenty of good news stories this year. In February, Wayne County Deputy Doug Bullock waded into frigid Middlefork Reservoir to save a duck that had become entangled in wire. The remains of a Union County soldier were returned home in March after having been identified 65 years after his death in the Korean War. Earlham College received a $7.5 million gift in April. This spring, a group of Earlham students developed a playground for special needs kids at Clear Creek Park. In July, Richmond’s MCL announced it would close. But, following an outpouring of community support, reversed its decision and remains open. Eaton’s historic tank, Miss Preble, was returned to Fort St. Clair in August. This fall, a Reid physician went to her native Puerto Rico to help hurricane victims (actuality 31614). That’s Dr. Sara Valentin. And, on the night before Halloween, two Wayne County law enforcement officers paid for food and a hotel out of their own pockets for an elderly couple that had become lost and stranded. Coming up at 8:30, we’ll wrap up our look back at 2017 with some of the strangest local stories of the year.
ODD: We’re wrapping up our look back at 2017 this half-hour with some of more strange, odd, and crazy local news stories of the year. A Richmond woman celebrated her 100th birthday at the Leland Legacy in March and credited her longevity to a daily bucket of Kentucky Fried Chicken. This spring, a group of Connersville men traveled by kayak all the way from the Whitewater River to the Gulf of Mexico. Also in May, Franklin County put fake buzzards on the roof of the county buildings because real buzzards were eating it. A python was on the loose in Glen Court in Richmond in August. In September, Cambridge City police had to arrest a drunken Amish man who was pleasuring himself on a bridge. In November, the Arcanum city building had to be evacuated because it was full of bat poop. And, speaking of bats (sfx 31659), a local man was arrested earlier this month with marijuana and paraphernalia after he crashed his Batmobile.