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Local News: A service of Reid Health Archives for 2015-02

UNION COUNTY RESIDENTS KILLED IN CRASH NEAR HUESTON WOODS

(Butler County, OH)--Two young Union County residents were killed in a crash Thursday on Todd Road in Butler County, just outside Hueston Woods.  Three people were headed there to go sledding.  The driver, a Union County senior, was taken to McCullough-Hyde Hospital and will be okay.  Investigators say speed was a likely factor.  "People do speed through here a lot.  They underestimate what those hills can do," said Diana Phillips, who lives on Todd Road.  The names of the victims were not immediately released.

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MAN CONNECTED TO FATAL PREBLE FIRE SUSPECTED OF BEING ILLEGAL IMMIGRANT

(West Alexandria, OH)--The man who admitted to being at the West Alexandria home of two children who died in a fire last weekend appeared in court Thursday.  Investigators say 34-year-old Arcadio Escobar of Richmond is an illegal immigrant.  "We're not really sure on his status or legalization.  We do know that he was in the process of it," said the son of the pastor of the First Hispanic Wesleyan Church in Richmond translating for his father.  Escobar is a parishoner there.  Escobar was a boyfriend of Chastity Hall, the children’s mother, who allegedly left her kids home alone to go out drinking all night.  A grand jury will hear the case on Monday.

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TODAY IS RICHMOND'S 14th CONSECUTIVE DAY AT LEAST 10 DEGREES BELOW NORMAL

(Richmond, IN)--How cold has it been in the Whitewater Valley?  Check out these numbers as February draws to an end.  Friday will be the 14th consecutive day that Richmond has been at least ten degrees below normal.  And, on ten of those 14 days, it’s been at least 20 degrees below normal.  Three records have been broken in that time period.  Friday’s normal high is 43.  If Richmond were as much above normal Friday as it will be below normal, Friday’s high temperature would be 71 degrees.

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GRADUATION RATES FOR 2014 RELEASED; RHS SKYROCKETS TO 95.4%

(Indianapolis, IN)--Figures released from the Indiana Department of Education Wednesday show an incredible result for the graduation rate of the Class of 2014 from Richmond Community Schools.  The state puts Richmond’s graduation rate at 95.4%.  That’s a higher rate than every other Wayne County school, including Centerville, which typically tops the list.  Centerville’s rate was 93.2%.  Hagerstown’s was 93.1%.  Northeastern’s rate was 87.5%, and Lincoln’s was 85.6%.  All of those were well above the state average of 83.4%.  Here is a look at other graduation rates for the Class of 2014:  Union County - 87.7%.  Fayette County - 87.2%  Franklin County - 83.5%.  Randolph Eastern - 98%.  Randolph Central - 85.9%.  Randolph Southern - 95.6%.  Union (Modoc) - 88.6%.  Monroe Central - 98.6%.

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MOTHER OF PREBLE FIRE VICTIMS HAD OTHER CHILDREN REMOVED FROM CUSTODY

(West Alexandria, OH)--The Preble County mother of the two children who died in an overnight fire last weekend was drunk when she came home at 7 o’clock that morning - about four hours after the children died after being left home alone overnight.  That’s one of the allegations contained in an affidavit released Wednesday in the charging of 35-year-old Chastity Hall.  "The mother failed recklessly to live up to her duty to care and support and protect those children," said Prosecutor Martin Votel.  Hall has been charged with two counts of child endangering, but those charges could be increased.  "This matter is continuing to be investigated," Votel explained.  A grand jury is scheduled to hear evidence on Monday.  Hall had two other children removed from her custody well before last weekend’s double-fatal fire.

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FBI MADE AWARE OF ARSON AND RACIAL VANDALISM AS INVESTIGATORS WORK SPECIFIC LEADS

(Richmond, IN)--The FBI has been made aware and investigators are now developing specific leads in the case of arson with racially-charged vandalism that occurred on Tuesday.  "I'm hoping they find out who did this and prosecute them to the utmost of the law, because this is terrible," said Paul Bisker, who lives a couple of doors down on Sandbridge Drive in Richmond.  One investigator at the scene Wednesday said the leads would determine if the case is eventually classified as a hate crime.  The cause of the truck fire remains undetermined, but a caller to 911 described it as an explosion.

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STATE POLICE TAKE OVER ARSON, RACIAL INTIMIDATION CASE

(Richmond, IN)--The Indiana State Police have taken over the investigation of a case of arson and racial intimidation in Richmond.  Tuesday morning, a car parked on Sandbridge Drive was set on fire.  A threat that included a racial slur was spray-painted on the garage door.  Evidence in the arson was collected Tuesday and will be processed at the state police’s crime lab.  Meanwhile, members of the Richmond community have turned to social media to express their outrage and offer help and support to the family.

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WITNESSES CLAIM MOTHER WAS AT BARS ON NIGHT OF FATAL PREBLE COUNTY FIRES

(West Alexandria, OH)--The investigation into the deaths of Malachi and Malea Bradburn continued Tuesday.  The Twin Valley third and fourth graders died in a weekend fire after they were apparently left home alone overnight.  Among new details…several witnesses put the children’s mother at two different Eaton bars during the hours the children were home alone and when the fire broke out.  There still has been no determination regarding a cause, but a man connected to the children’s mother has been arrested for breaking and entering.

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METH LAB TAKEN DOWN IN FAYETTE COUNTY

(Connersville, IN)--A meth lab was taken down in Connersville Tuesday.  A warrant was executed at the home of 39-year-old Jason Barrett on State Route 44.  Barrett has a lengthy drug-related criminal history, including a conviction for growing marijuana.  He also is set to go on trial in June for leading police on a drunken car chase after fleeing the scene of an accident.

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CITY OFFICIALS INDICATE PAULA HILL NO LONGER SERVING AS RICHMOND CONTROLLER

(Richmond, IN)--Several city officials are indicating Tuesday that Richmond City Controller Paula Hill is no longer working in that post and has returned to the Richmond Police Department.  Hill took over as controller early last year.  In that time, the city’s finances have been in disarray.  The city was forced to hire Umbaugh and Associates to clean up the mess.  That process continues today.  So far, that intervention has cost the city north of $65,000.  The number is expected to go significantly higher.

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FIRE VICTIMS IDENTIFIED AS TWIN VALLEY ELEMENTARY STUDENTS

(West Alexandria, OH)--The two victims in the fatal weekend fire on U.S. 35 between Eaton and West Alexandria were identified Monday as Twin Valley South third and fourth graders Malachi and Malea Bradburn.  "It's hard.  I just kind of keep waking up and looking out my window to see if it's real," said Jon Boomershine, who lives next door.  "One of the things about small, rural districts is that everybody knows everybody.  Things like this happen and everybody has some kind of connection to it," said Twin Valley Elementary Superintendent Dr. Clint Moore.  Investigators have not yet determined the cause of the fire.  The initial indication was that the kids were left home alone overnight and that no adult was present when the fire broke out.

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WINGET RESIDENCY CONFIRMED

(Richmond, IN)--Richmond Common Council Member Don Winget was given the nod to run again when the Wayne County Election Board unanimously rejected a residency challenge Monday.  Winget owns a home in Union County.  Monday, he called it a weekend retreat, but added this.  "I do visit that home a minimum of one time a day.  If we lose power down there on the house, it could be detrimental to the home itself.  It is a fairly expensive home and I watch it on a regular basis."  Winget’s attorney took a shot at challenger Mike Drook, calling Drook’s challenge “sour grapes” because Drook, as an RP&L employee, learned he could not run against Winget.  "I don't have any sour grapes.  I'm not here for a Democrat or Republican.  I'm here for an ethics issue," Drook said.  According to Winget’s attorney, who referred to an Indiana Supreme Court ruling involving Evan Bayh, it’s really irrelevant even if Winget does live in Union County.  David Murphy said the court determined that a person who leaves his residence temporarily with plans to return has not lost residency.  Murphy said there is no time limit.

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THOUSANDS SPEND FIVE HOURS WITHOUT POWER

(Winchester, IN)--Thousands of Winchester residents were in the cold and dark for hours Monday night and into Tuesday morning.  At around 7:30 Monday night, transformers began to fail in the Winchester area, leaving as many as 2500 customer of American Electric Power in the dark.  At midnight, power was still out.  Authorities were just beginning to make arrangements to move nursing home patients to warmer locations when power came back on at 12:30 Tuesday morning.

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INVESTIGATION CONTINUES INTO DOUBLE-FATAL FIRE

(Preble County, OH)--The investigation will continue Monday into a weekend fire that claimed the lives of two children on U.S. 35 between Eaton and West Alexandria.  It initially appeared that the children were home alone.  Investigators have not released their ages or identities.  The home was fully involved when firefighters arrived.  The bodies of the children were found in the basement.  There’s no word yet on a cause.

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REID URGENT CARE TO BE IN ORTHOPEDIC CENTER FOR SIX WEEKS

(Richmond, IN)--Clean-up from the water main break last Thursday at Reid Hospital’s building at 1350 Chester Boulevard will take a little longer than originally anticipated.  Reid officials now say that it will take up to six weeks to completely repair the damage.  Beginning Monday, the Reid Urgent Care facility will be housed at the Reid Orthopedic Center on Highland Road.  Patients of the Reid Sleep Center are still being contacted to have their studies rescheduled.

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HISTORIC BRIDGE OVER WHITEWATER RIVER TO COME DOWN

(Cedar Grove, IN)--The Cedar Grove Bridge over the Whitewater River in Franklin County will be coming down.  That bridge appears on the National Register of Historic Places but has not been used since 1998 due to deteriorating conditions.  A group of preservationists tried to get various town boards to intervene in a grant application process to save the bridge, but found no takers.  The bridge was built 101 years ago, but will likely come down this spring.

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WATER MAIN BREAK AFFECTS SOME REID HOSPITAL SERVICES

(Richmond, IN)--Cold weather is affecting Reid Hospital services Friday.  A water main broke in the attic of a Reid building at 1350 Chester Boulevard.  That’s not the main Reid building; it’s the building across from old Reid that houses Urgent Care, the Sleep Diagnostics Center, and the Radiology School.  Repairs could take up to three days.  Reid officials will scramble Friday morning to find a temporary location for Urgent Care.

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MAN HIT IN FACE WITH HAMMER, CARJACKED AFTER GIVING SUSPECT A RIDE

(Richmond, IN)--Details have now been released about a carjacking in Richmond Friday morning.  At around 5 o’clock, one man asked another customer at the Village Pantry on North West 5th for a ride to the Westridge Estates Mobile Home Park on Indiana Avenue.  The customer was agreed to take the man to the trailer park.  When they pulled in, the suspect hit the victim in the face with a hammer.  The suspect then tried to drive off in the victim’s car, but drove only a few feet before hitting a sawed-off utility pole and getting stuck.  The suspect then fled on foot toward the Richmond State Hospital.  He has not yet been apprehended.  Investigators believe he may have circled around and returned to Westride Estates.  The victim was taken to Reid Hospital.

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STRING OF YOUNG RICHMOND PARENTS ARRESTED ON DRUG, NEGLECT CHARGES CONTINUES

(Richmond, IN)--The string of arrests of young Richmond parents on drug-related charges continues.  Late Thursday afternoon, 23-year-old Holly Bellamy was taken into custody at her South West 18th Street home and charged with possession of paraphernalia and possession of a syringe.  She was also charged with neglect of a dependent.  Bellamy is the mother of two children under the age of five.

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WARMING CENTERS OPEN

(Whitewater Valley)--Dispatchers across the Whitewater Valley reported no specific cold-weather related issues Wednesday night and Thursday morning.  Firefighters in the Hagerstown area did have to be out in the elements Thursday morning to battle a small shed fire.  Warming stations are open across the area for anyone with heat issues.  Those warming stations include just about every Whitewater Valley fire department, Genesis of the YWCA, and Rock Solid Ministries.

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MAN CHARGED WITH IMPERSONATING POLICE OFFICER

(Winchester, IN)--Criminal charges were filed Wednesday against a Winchester man for impersonating a police officer.  Last week, we told you that 40-year-old Kory Tracy approached four teenagers who had parked on a private lot in Modoc.  He was armed with a loaded 22-caliber handgun and held the teens against their will.  Tracy allegedly identified himself to dispatchers as a member of the Muncie SWAT team, which was not true.

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MOTHER, DAUGHTER CAREFLIGHTED FROM PREBLE COUNTY CRASH

(West Alexandria, OH)--A Preble County mother and her 13-year-old daughter both were Careflighted from the scene of a crash Wednesday afternoon.  The vehicle in which they were riding went off of Lexington-Salem Road near West Alexandria and went into a creek that contained less than a foot of water.  Investigators say that icy roads likely led to the crash.  The names and conditions of the victims have not been released.

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RP&L BOARD APPROVES LONG-TIME EMPLOYEE AS NEW GM

(Richmond, IN)--The Richmond Power & Light Board Tuesday night approved Randy Baker as its new general manager.  Baker is a 16-year RP&L veteran who began as an information technology consultant and became the utility’s corporate services director seven years ago.  He’s also a longtime Richmond resident, graduating from RHS in 1970.  Baker will earn $125,000 annually as an at-will employee.

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OVERDOSE CALL LEADS TO RECOVERY OF STOLEN ITEMS

(Richmond, IN)--What started out as an overdose called turned into two arrests and the recovery of lots of stolen property.  Officers responded on Tuesday to the South 9th Street home of 22-year-old Jonathon Roark and 23-year-old Cherie Thacker.  Officers located drug paraphernalia and lots of stolen property.  A small child was also inside.  Both Roark and Thacker were in jail Wednesday morning facing numerous charges, including neglect of a dependent.

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NFL RUNNING BACK PLEADS NOT GUILTY TO PREBLE POT CHARGES

(Eaton, OH)--An NFL running back pled not guilty to a marijuana possession charge in Preble County Tuesday.  Ahmad Bradshaw was stopped on I-70 earlier this month for following too closely.  The officer smelled marijuana inside Bradshaw’s Cadillac.  Bradshaw allegedly denied having any pot, then quit talking when a small container was found in his pocket.  Bradshaw did not appear at the courthouse in Eaton.

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RP&L TO NAME NEW GENERAL MANAGER TUESDAY NIGHT

(Richmond, IN)--The Richmond Power and Light Board will usher in a new era when they name a new general manager at Tuesday night’s board meeting.  RP&L’s last two general managers have been decided failures.  Steve Saum was fired after allegedly withholding information about a major project from the board.  More recently, Jim French resigned last summer and remains the subject of a federal investigation after inappropriate material was found on RP&L computers last summer.  Monday night’s meeting begins at 7 p.m.

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WEST ALEXANDRIA WOMAN KILLED ON STATE ROUTE 725

(Gratis, OH)--Slick conditions are being cited as the primary factor in a crash that killed a West Alexandria woman Monday morning.  "It's probably due to the slick conditions of the roadway," said Dean Miller with the Preble County Sheriff’s Department describing conditions on State Route 725 near Gratis.  51-year-old Tracey Pearson lost control coming down a hill.  Her car was broadsided by an oncoming pickup.  Pearson was pronounced dead at the scene.  The three people in the truck were all treated for minor injuries.

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SNOWY FOOTPRINTS LEAD RPD TO TWO ALLEGED BURGLARS

(Richmond, IN)--The fresh snow helped Richmond police catch two alleged burglars Monday.  A resident in the 200 block of South West 2nd came home to find her home had been broken into.  Officers followed footprints to a home less than a block away.  There, they found stolen items along with 20-year-old Preston Parker and a juvenile.  The stolen items had already been placed for sale on the internet.

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NEW NUMBERS SHOW POSITIVES, NEGATIVES FOR WAYNE COUNTY YOUTH

(Wayne County, IN)--The Indiana Youth Institute has just released a brand-new set of demographics regarding kids in Wayne County.  Some of the numbers are very telling.  Here’s a look:  On the downside, the number of people on food stamps in Wayne County is up a whopping 22% in the last five years…now more than 12,000. Median household income is down 6% to $36,500 since 2009.  But, on the upside, the number of people in their early 20’s in Wayne County is up slightly, meaning they’re choosing to stay.  Also, the number of kids covered by health insurance is up 16% in the last four years.  And, the number of teenage pregnancies in Wayne County is down 37% in the last five years.

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CAR SLAMS INTO HOME; STOPS FEET FROM SLEEPING COUPLE

(Winchester, IN)--Randolph County couple survived a close call when an alleged drunken driver slammed into their home over the weekend.  Stephen and Deb Holliday were sleeping in their home on County Road 100 West near Winchester when a car driven by Ralph Mills of Ridgeville slammed through their wall and stopped just feet from the bed where they were sleeping.  The Hollidays both sustained injuries when debris fell on top of them.  Mills was taken to the Randolph County Jail.

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HEARING DATE SET TO DETERMINE WINGET'S RESIDENCY

(Richmond, IN)--A hearing date has been set to decide the residency of Richmond Common Council member Don Winget.  Winget owns a large, ten-acre estate in Union County but claims to live at a home on Rich Road in Richmond.  On February 23, residents Ginger Ferguson and Mike Drook will present evidence to the Wayne County Election Board that they say will prove Winget lives in Union County.  A statement this weekend from the Wayne County Republican Party indicates they’ll support the Board’s decision whichever way it goes.

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RPD TRAINS FOR USE OF QUAD COPTER (DRONE)

(Richmond, IN)--Richmond Police Chief Kris Wolski calls it a Quad Copter.  Some may call it a drone.  Whatever it’s called, it’s now a part of RPD’s equipment.  Officers trained a few weeks ago on the use of the $1800 piece of equipment.  Wolski said the idea came about last year after a crash took out the canopy at the Speedway on Chester Boulevard.  "Because that was such a wide, spread-out incident that aerial photos would help if there was going to be any prosecution," Wolski explained.  The quad copter will not be used for other investigations.  "If you start flying over people's houses, you've got other legal issues in terms of invasion of privacy or whatever.  Our primary goal right now is just for filming crime scenes and accident scenes," Wolski said.  The department is currently working on getting FAA authorization.

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BOWLING TOURNAMENT TO HAVE MILLION-DOLLAR IMPACT ON LOCAL ECONOMY

(Richmond, IN)--Preparations are already underway for a bowling tournament that will bring hundreds of young bowlers to Richmond at the end of the month.  Beginning on the 28th and continuing each weekend for ten weeks, 300 bowlers from a state youth association will be at Richmond’s Do Re Mi lanes.  The Tourism Department sets the financial impact of the tournament to Wayne County businesses at $975,000.

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FIRE DESTROYS LAKENGREN HOME

(Eaton, OH)--Fire destroyed a home Thursday in the Preble County community of Lakengren.  It broke out in a garage at around 8:30 Thursday morning at a home on Thor Drive and quickly spread to the rest of the home.  Whether the house can be saved or not has not yet been determined.  There were no injuries, and investigators are still looking into the cause.

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RP&L TO NAME NEW GENERAL MANAGER VERY SOON

(Richmond, IN)--The Richmond Power and Light Board is expected to name its new general manager very soon.  RP&L had narrowed the list of candidates to three.  The new GM will replace Jim French, who abruptly resigned last year when a large volume of inappropriate material was found on his RP&L computers.  Federal investigators have been collecting evidence in the case, but no criminal charges have been filed yet.

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RPD OFFICER TASES ATTACKING DOG AS NEIGHBORS DISPUTE

(Richmond, IN)--Richmond police officers were on the scene at a house on Glen Court at 5:30 Thursday morning as two neighbors argued and nearly fought over two dogs.  Initially, one resident reported she had armed herself with a shotgun as a neighbor was trying to get inside.  One of the two dogs tried to attack an RPD officer as that officer intervened.  The dog had to be Tased.  There was no word yet of any arrests.

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COUNTY'S FIRST-EVER FEMALE JUDGE TAKES BENCH

(Eaton, OH)--Preble County’s first-ever female judge is in her first week on the bench.  Jenifer Overmyer is the new Preble County Probate and Juvenile Court judge.  She has been a court magistrate for the last 15 years and replaces Wilfrid Dues, who retired after 24 years of service.  One of Overmyer’s goals is to work will law enforcement on the heroin problem and its effect on the children of addicts.

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MINISTER TO ERECT TRIBUTE TO HELL ON COURTHOUSE LAWN SO PEOPLE CAN BE TOLD TO GO TO HELL

(Brookville, IN)--The fight over space on the Franklin County Courthouse lawn is now bordering on the ridiculous.  Recently, to satisfy the ACLU in the fight over a Nativity scene, commissioners agreed to divide the courthouse lawn into lots for rent.  Now, one of the lots will be rented by the man who opposed the Nativity scene.  A Franklin County minister has expressed interest in a third lot.  Rev. A.L. Levi said he wants to put up a display representing five levels of Hell.  He told commissioners he wants to do it so that when people ask where Brookville is, they can be told to go to Hell.

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TWO ARRESTED BY DRUG TASK FORCE

(Richmond, IN)--Two alleged Richmond drug dealers have been taken into custody.  26-year-old Kyle Varvel and 28-year-old Cindy Duncan were both arrested by the Wayne County Drug Task Force on warrants for dealing a controlled substance.  Investigators say they found cocaine in Varvel’s possession.  The Drug Task Force is a collaborative effort of the Richmond Police and Wayne County Sheriff’s Departments.

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UNION CITY MAN SENTENCED FOR CAUSING DEATH OF WOMAN

(Greenville, OH)--A Union City man was sentenced Sunday for causing the death of 25-year-old Christin Deaton a year ago.  27-year-old Rayne Hunnicut was driving under the influence of several drugs when he crashed with Deaton in the car.  "The defendant shouldn't have even been driving.  His license was under suspension, but he chose to drive anyway.  He drove with a concoction of illicit drugs," said Prosecutor Jesse Green.  Hunnicut was given a six-year prison sentence and apologized to the family.  "I want to tell the Deaton family that I'm sorry.  There ain't no words I can say that's gonna bring her back, and I can't blame you guys for how you feel," Hunnicut said.  He pled guilty to aggravated vehicular homicide.

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FORMER HOSPITAL, MALL SECURITY GUARD SENTENCED FOR CHILD MOLESTATION

(Richmond, IN)--A Richmond man was sentenced Monday for a series of child molestation incidents that started when he was working as a security guard at Reid Hospital.  Ty Mercer molested a then five-year-old patient.  Mercer was sentenced Monday to four years in prison with no time suspended.  Two years ago, a video tape was discovered that Mercer had made of himself molesting a then nine-year-old girl.  Mercer had also worked as a security guard at the Richmond Square Mall.

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REID TO ISSUE LETTER ACKNOWLEDGING COLLECTIONS ISSUES

(Richmond, IN)--Reid Hospital issued some follow-up information Monday after the recent billing debacle came to light.  Reid officials now say that customers who had received erroneous collection notices will get a letter of explanation from the hospital within three weeks.  It will apply to anyone who has received a collection notice from United Collection or Finance System involving services before June of last year.

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MAN SHOT IN THE FACE WITH RUBBER BULLETS

(Eaton, OH)--A Preble County man who was arrested on meth-making charges in December is facing more trouble after allegedly shooting a man in the face with a shotgun.  40-year-old David Shindeldecker was home when his ex-girlfriend came to his house with a different man.  "Our suspect obviously had an issue with her being there," said Preble County Sheriff Mike Simpson.  That’s when Shindeldecker allegedly shot 24-year-old Kevin Creech.  "...with a less-than-lethal round from a 12-guage shotgun with what we believe were rubber bullets.  He had some pretty severe wounds to his face," Simpson added.  It happened at a home on Bantas Creek Road.

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RICHMOND'S RADIO SHACK APPEARS ON STORE CLOSURE LIST

(Richmond, IN)--The Radio Shack inside the Richmond Square Mall is one of the nearly 1800 stores that will close across the country by the end of next month, according to the corporation's list of pending closures.  Radio Shack has been a mainstay inside the mall for decades, but that will come to an end after the company filed bankruptcy last Thursday.  Other area stores will stay open.  Radio Shacks in Eaton, Oxford, and Greenville did not appear on the closing list.

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TWO KILLED, INCLUDING ONE GOOD SAMARITAN, IN DARKE COUNTY CRASH

(Darke County, OH)--The names of two area residents killed Sunday night have now been released.  49-year-old Richard Stevenson of Union City had crashed on State Route 571.  He was trapped, but was alive.  47-year-old Linda Shafer was among a group of people who had stopped to help.  Then, the driver of a Jeep crashed into the group, killing both Stevenson and Shafer.  Shawn Trissle with the Ohio Highway Patrol said the driver of the Jeep may have been drinking.  "There is evidence that alcohol could be a factor, so we're looking into all aspects of that.  He is being investigated right now and talked to by deputies," Trissle said.  571 re-opened at 3:30 Monday morning.

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WOMAN CRITICAL AFTER ATV ACCIDENT

(Wayne County, IN)--An ATV accident on Three Mile Road in southern Wayne County on Saturday has left a Richmond woman seriously injured.  27-year-old Brad Boswell went up a steep incline with 28-year-old Kristin Kuhn on the back of the ATV when it flipped over and landed on her.  Kuhn was last listed in critical condition at a Level I trauma center with a head injury.  Boswell was not injured.

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UTILITY LINEMEN CREDITED FOR SAVING ACCIDENT VICTIM

(Richmond, IN)--Amanda Cooper was no longer listed as a patient at Miami Valley Hospital in Dayton Friday.  Cooper is the Richmond woman trapped for six hours in her car after crashing on Wernle Road Thursday.  One of the two Union County utility lineman who found her is Brad Wildman.  "I put my jacket around her legs to kind of warm her up and I put my gloves on her feet to try and keep her warm," Wildman said.  The other lineman is Mark Bell.  "I just did what you'd want anybody else to do for you if you were in that position," Bell said.  Wayne County Sheriff Jeff Cappa considers both men heroes.  "I think it's wonderful that they located her and they should be commended for doing that," Cappa said.  Cooper said that slick roads led to the crash. (Audio for this story and the photograph are courtesy of our news partners at WHIO-TV).

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PAPPIN DISCUSSES MAYORAL QUALIFICATIONS

(Richmond, IN)--The race for the Republican nomination for Richmond mayor in the May primary is expected to be a hotly-contested one.  Diana Pappin talked Thursday about her experience in the job creation field.  "Training for today's jobs has been my focus for 27 years at Ivy Tech Community College," Pappin said.  She also talked about her experience with city government.  "I have served our community as a city councilperson and understand how Richmond city government operates."  Pappin will be squaring off against fellow Republican Kyle Ingram in the May primary.

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RICHMOND MEN SENTENCED ON DRUG CHARGES

(Richmond, IN)--A 23-year-old Richmond man who had already racked up a lengthy criminal record was sentenced to 14 years in prison Thursday.  Kory Owens had reached a plea deal last month.  Last March, Owens was caught with cocaine and Xanax.  Last April, he was arrested after a 17-year-old boy was shot in the leg.  Owens then hit someone who was riding a scooter as Owens was driving the shooting victim to the hospital.  Also, a man who police described as a key member of a Richmond drug organization was sentenced to a decade in prison Thursday.  38-year-old John Sester was sentenced for three charges involving several incidents.  In one case last March, officers recovered ten pounds of marijuana and some Oxycontin from Sester’s home on Randolph Street.  Sester is also a convicted attempted robber.

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WOMAN RESCUED AFTER SPENDING SIX HOURS OVERNIGHT UPSIDE DOWN IN CRUMPLED CAR

(Richmond, IN)--A woman has been rescued Thursday morning after spending the entire night inside her crumpled car.  Residents in the area of Wernle (WERN-lee) and Niewoehner (KNEE-wer-ner) Roads had contacted a utility company due to power issues Thursday morning.  When crews arrived, they found the car in a ditch across from Stone Valley Church.  The car was out of view of passers-by.  Firefighters arrived at 5:30 Thursday morning to cut the victim free.  She told first responders that she had slid off the road after leaving work at 11 o’clock Wednesday night and could not free herself from the wreckage.  She spent more than six hours upside-down in sub-freezing temperatures, but is expected to survive.  She has been identified as Amanda Cooper of Richmond.  She was taken to Miami Valley Hospital in Dayton to be treated for exposure.

 

UPDATE (8 AM): Her identity has just been released. She's Amanda Cooper of Richmond. She's at Miami Valley Hospital in Dayton and is being treated for exposure.

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DOZENS COMPLAIN ABOUT JUST-RECEIVED, YEARS-OLD MEDICAL BILLS

(Richmond, IN)--Dozens of area residents are upset over medical bills they’ve received recently from Finance Systems, the billing company that services Reid Hospital.  The common theme is that residents are just now receiving bills for services that were provided two years ago.  The complaint of one man who asked not to be identified is typical.  He said he was billed for the first time last week for thousands of dollars in services provided in 2013.  He claims to have already been turned over to collections even though he’s had the bill for less than a week.  Reid Hospital and Finance Systems has not yet responded to the issue.

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WINGET FILES TO RETAIN SEAT ON RICHMOND COMMON COUNCIL

(Richmond, IN)--Don Winget has filed to retain his seat on Richmond Common Council. Winget, who is a Republican in District 5, filed Wednesday afternoon.  Republican Party leaders declined comment Wednesday, but Winget will most certainly be challenged regarding his residency.  Although he does own property in Richmond, he also owns a much larger and more valuable home in Union County.

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UPTOWN RICHMOND PROSTITUTION COMPLAINTS LEAD TO ONE ARREST

(Richmond, IN)--A prostitution sting resulted in one arrest Wednesday in Uptown Richmond.  RPD has received continued complaints of prostitution Uptown.  47-year-old Barbara Biggs was in the Wayne County Jail Thursday after she allegedly solicited an undercover officer Wednesday.  Prostitution in Indiana is only a misdemeanor.  The investigation is being done by the Wayne County Drug Task Force.

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PREBLE IDENTITY FRAUD CASES RISE TO 60

(Eaton, OH)--The FBI is now investigating as the cases of credit and debit card fraud in Preble County have grown to more than 60.  People who swiped their cards at businesses are now seeing charges from all over the country.  One of them is Christy House of Camden.  "There were five separate transactions in Georgia.  They were around $30 a piece at two separate 7/11 locations," House said.  "Check your bank statements.  A lot of people do banking online.  Get on there.  Make sure you don't have any suspicious activity." advised  Preble County Sheriff Mike Simpson.  Most of the cards were used at businesses in Camden and Gratis in the last five days.

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MAN ARRESTED FOR HOLDING LOADED GUN TO WOMAN'S HEAD

(Cambridge City, IN)--A man was arrested in Cambridge City Tuesday night after allegedly holding a loaded gun to a woman’s head.  31-year-old Adrian Brand fled the home in the 900 block of East Main.  Several agencies searched for Brand.  He was reached by phone and convinced to return to the home.  He was in the Wayne County Jail Wednesday morning charged with three felonies, including battery and intimidation.  There were no injuries.

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SHERIFF'S DEPARTMENT TO TEST BODY CAMERAS

(Richmond, IN)--The Wayne County Sheriff’s Department has received and will be testing the first of several body-worn cameras.  Deputies will be comparing makes and models to test their quality and durability.  No decision has been made regarding the outfitting of the entire force with the body cameras.  Cost will be a primary consideration.  The Richmond Police Department will also test similar cameras.

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YOUNG MALE REPORTS BEING PISTOL-WHIPPED, TARGETED IN NORTH 7th STREET SHOOTING

(Richmond, IN)--There was an initial report of a shooting in Richmond at just before 5:30 a.m. Tuesday.  Officers were called to an area in the 200 block of North 7th.  When police arrived, one younger male told officers he had been pistol-whipped and targeted in a shooting.  He was not shot.  But, he told police that when a car occupied by multiple people drove away, he heard someone inside the car say that they had been shot.  RPD investigators went to Reid Hospital to see if anyone arrived to be treated for a gunshot wound.  At 7:30 a.m., investigators indicated that they were not able to find any evidence that a crime occurred.  The alleged victim did show signs of a minor injury.  He was treated and released.

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MULTIPLE DEBIT CARD USERS IN PREBLE COUNTY REPORT ACCOUNTS HACKED, MONEY STOLEN

(Eaton, OH)--There have been a series of identity theft cases in Preble County over the last three days.  People who have swiped their debit cards at the Eaton Walmart, at the BP in Camden, and at several other locations have noticed money disappearing from their bank accounts.  There have been at least two dozen victims in the last three days.  Police say more potential victims may not have discovered the thefts yet.  Even Camden’s mayor was a victim.

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TEENS LEAD POLICE ON HIGH-SPEED CHASE IN STOLEN VAN

(Wayne and Fayette County, IN)--Stop sticks ended a chase that started in downtown Connersville and stopped in Wayne County Monday.  Two teenage boys stole a van from their foster parents.  Police quickly located the van and the chase was on.  At one point in Wayne County, the van hit a patrolman’s car.  The 16-year-old driver continued through yards and down county roads at a high speed, despite slick conditions.  Stop sticks ended the chase on Pennville Road.  There were no injuries.

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MAN ARRESTED AFTER SHOTS REPORTEDLY FIRED IN FOUR LOCATIONS

(Richmond, IN)--There were four different reports of shots fired in Richmond early Sunday morning, and one man was in custody Monday.  35-year-old Ricardo Ferguson II has been charged with burglary and criminal recklessness.  Shots fired calls came in from the 1100 and 1200 blocks of East Main, from the 200 block of South 11th, and from the 100 block of South 12th.  Investigators have not yet said which of the shots fired calls was tied to Ferguson or details of the alleged burglary.  No injuries were reported.

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TWO DEAD IN MURDER-SUICIDE

(Oxford, OH)--Two people are dead following a murder-suicide in Oxford.  The bodies were discovered Sunday morning at the Level 27 apartments.  "The female is a Miami student.  The male is not.  At this time, we're still investigating as to what their relationship is and how well they knew each other," said Jon Varley with the Oxford Police Department.  Investigators recovered the weapon next to the two bodies inside a locked bedroom.  The victims’ names have not been released.  Other students living nearby were temporarily relocated.

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CAMPBELL TO BE SENTENCED FRIDAY

(Richmond, IN)--Friday is the date that’s been set for sentencing for Robert Campbell.  Campbell is the Richmond man who pled guilty this past Friday to shooting and killing Michael Sekse on Sheridan Street nearly three years ago.  Campbell, who is just 20 years old, could get anywhere from 45 to 135 years.  Sekse’s relatives appeared in court and called Campbell an animal and a coward.

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