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Local News: A service of Reid Health Archives for 2015-03

INSURANCE PROCEEDS MAY FUND OLD REID CLEAN-UP

(Richmond, IN)--Reid Hospital has requested what’s called a Special Notice Letter that will allow them to pursue insurance policies for cleanup of contaminates present in the soil of the old Reid campus.  The Indiana Department of Environmental Management met with Reid two weeks ago after the property was found to contain contaminates like arsenic and thallium.  Demolition of the property would cost millions even without the environmental issues.  Reid no longer owns the property.  Its real owners are on the east coast and have abandoned it.  They own $330,000 in back taxes.

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FOUR PEOPLE ARRESTED FOR SOUTH 23rd SHOOTING

(Richmond, IN)--The investigation into a shooting a year ago that resulted in three people being injured at a home at the end of South 23rd in Richmond has ended with the arrests of four people.  24-year-old Marcus Armstead of Richmond, 31-year-old Bryson Street of Connersville, and two others from out of our area allegedly stormed into a house to commit a robbery.  The investigation was made more difficult because victims and witnesses refused to cooperate.  Street has already been sentenced to 78 years in prison for a Connersville shooting.

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HEROIN DEALER SENTENCED TO TEN YEARS

(Richmond, IN)--A Richmond heroin dealer was sentenced to ten years in prison Monday.  48-year-old Jeff Lane pled guilty to two counts in Wayne Circuit Court as part of a plea deal.  He was arrested in December when the county’s drug task force and the RPD SWAT Team raided Lane’s home on Richmond Avenue.  His criminal record includes two felonies and 13 misdemeanors.

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WAYNE COUNTY LEGISLATORS COMMENT ON CONTROVERSIAL FREEDOM OF RELIGION BILL

(Richmond, IN)--Wayne County lawmakers have made public comments on Indiana’s controversial Religious Freedom bill.  State Representative Dick Hamm of Richmond and State Senator Jeff Raatz of Centerville both voted in favor.  Raatz said that the law clarifies the standard of review a judge can use.  But, more importantly, he said the law has never successfully been used in denying services to the gay community in any of the 30 states where the law already exists.  Hamm said it’s essentially the same federal law that was signed by then-President Bill Clinton.

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SATANIC TEMPLE SUES FRANKLIN COUNTY OVER COURTHOUSE LAWN

(Brookville, IN)--Yet another lawsuit has been filed in Franklin County over displays on the courthouse lawn.  The controversy began years ago over a simple manger scene.  Commissioners recently decided the lawn could be rented for various displays.  But now, the ACLU and the Satanic Temple are suing, saying it’s not fair that only individuals, and not organizations, can rent the spaces.  The Satanic Temple tried to rent space this past Christmas, but was denied.

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HEARING SET FOR MAN WHO DROVE INTO HOUSE

(Winchester, IN)--An initial hearing has been set for the Randolph County man who drove his SUV into a house and seriously injured one of two people inside.  30-year-old Ralph Mills allegedly drank a pint of vodka on his lunch break at work, was sent home, and drove with a blood alcohol content four times the legal limit last month.  Debra Holliday was sleeping inside and suffered a brain hemorrhage.  Mills has two previous DUI convictions.

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TOM RAPER IN CRITICAL CONDITION AT FLORIDA HOSPITAL

(Richmond, IN)--Friday is the day that Tom Raper RV’s in Richmond will officially change hands and become a new location for Camper’s World.  As that sale closes, the business’s founder, Tom Raper, was listed in critical condition Friday morning in the neurosurgical intensive care unit at Holy Cross Hospital in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.  The hospital Friday morning declined to comment further on Raper’s prognosis or what led to his hospitalization.

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MANUFACTURER TO ADD NEARLY 100 RICHMOND JOBS

(Richmond, IN)--Nearly 100 new manufacturing jobs are coming to Richmond.  Janesville Acoustics announced Thursday that it’s investing more than $10 million into a building near the intersection of Salisbury and Industries Roads that’s already occupied by its parent company, Jason Industries.  Janesville will manufacture fiber-based underbody systems beginning early next year.  Production workers and hourly employees won’t be hired until late summer.  Application can be made on the company’s website, www.janesvilleacoustics.com.

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307 PEOPLE LEAVE WAYNE COUNTY IN 2014; 4th HIGHEST LOSS IN INDIANA

(Richmond, IN)--307 people left Wayne County in 2014, and that’s more all but three other Indiana counties.  New estimates released Thursday by the U.S. Census Bureau indicate Wayne County’s population dropped by half a percent.  Fayette County had the highest population loss in Indiana last year. 371 people left, dropping Fayette County’s population by 1.6% to just over 23,000 people.  The only Whitewater Valley county in Indiana that grew last year was Franklin County, and they only added five people.

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CLOSING ON SALE OF TOM RAPER DEALERSHIP SET FOR FRIDAY

(Richmond, IN)--The closing of the sale of the Tom Raper dealerships is set for Friday.  Owner Dave Bane indicated Wednesday that Tom Raper signs will be coming down and Camping World signs will be going up as soon as Thursday.  Bane said that most current employees would be retained during the transition, and some new workers may be hired.  Bane thanked Richmond city leaders and its citizens for the support Raper has received during its tenure.  Raper dealerships in Fairfield and Columbus are also selling.

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GIRL AND HER MOTHER ESCAPE HOUSE FIRE

(Centerville, IN)--A girl and her mother escaped a house fire Wednesday night on Blue Heron Drive off of Round Barn Road between Richmond and Centerville.  Crews responded at just before 6:30 and were on the scene for several hours.  A damage estimate has not been released, but is expected to be substantial.  There were no injuries.  Investigators are still working to determine the cause of the fire.

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LYNN POLICE SEARCH FOR MAN WHO ATTEMPTED TO ABDUCT YOUNG BOY

(Lynn, IN)--Law enforcement agencies in Randolph County are asking residents to be on the lookout for a man who tried to abduct a child in Lynn Wednesday.  A man with dark hair and a goatee was driving what was described as a light gray, four-door car.  He pulled up next to the boy and grabbed him, but the boy was able to get away and run for help.  A man matching the description has approached other residents in the last week asking to do yard work for money.  Police want residents to call 9-1-1 if they see the man.

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WAYNE COUNTY RANKS AS ONE OF INDIANA'S UNHEALTHIER COUNTIES

(Wayne County, IN)--Health statistics released Wednesday list Wayne County as one of Indiana’s more unhealthy counties.  Wayne County ranks 70th of the state’s 92 counties for overall health.  Included in the poor ranking are the facts that one in three Wayne County residents is considered obese and one in four smokes.  Fayette County ranked even lower at 83rd.  No Whitewater Valley county ranked in Indiana’s top half for overall health.

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ATV RIDER RESCUED AFTER CRASH INTO RAVINE

(Wayne County, IN)--An ATV rider late Tuesday night lost control in the darkness and went down a steep ravine into a creek off of Beeson Road in southern Wayne County.  A medical helicopter was placed on standby.  First responders had difficulty reaching the scene at 11 o’clock Tuesday night, but were eventually able to rescue the rider.  He was taken to Reid Hospital.  His name and condition have not been released.  The DNR is handling the investigation.

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UNION COUNTY BOYS FACE UP TO 30 COUNTS OF VANDALISM

(Union County, IN)--Arrests have now been made after more than 30 cases of vandalism occurred in Union County over the weekend.  Two carloads of boys who were all under the age of 18 smashed mailboxes on Nine Mile Road and Contreras Pike.  One homeowner heard the noise and chased the cars toward Oxford, where they were stopped.  The Union County Prosector’s Office is reviewing the case.  The boys were released to their parents.

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IU EAST POLICE INVESTIGATION LEADS TO ARREST OF FORMER AREA 9 EMPLOYEE

(Richmond, IN)--The IU East Police Department has wrapped up a seven-month investigation with the arrest of a former Area 9 Agency employee.  68-year-old Phillip Thralls oversaw a voucher program at the Fayette Senior Center that allows people 60 and over to get vouchers at area restaurants in exchange for donations.  After an audit and investigation, a nearly-$70,000 discrepancy was found.  Thralls has been charged with felony theft.  He resigned from Area 9 last summer.

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OVERTURNED GRAVEL TRUCK CLOSES STATE ROAD 1

(Wayne and Fayette County, IN)--State Road 1 had to be closed for a good part of Monday morning when a dump truck overturned at the Wayne – Fayette County line.  A trucker from Anderson was hauling gravel.  He went off the right side of the road, overcorrected, and tipped over.  Gravel covered the road and filled a ditch.  The trucker was taken to Fayette Regional Health System to be treated for minor injuries.

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THREE FACE HEROIN CHARGES AFTER FRANKLIN COUNTY TRAFFIC STOP

(Cedar Grove, IN)--Three people are facing heroin charges after a traffic stop in Franklin County.  46-year-old Michael Reece and 22-year-olds Jason Morin and Lindsey Bowman were stopped on U.S. 52.  Morin has been charged with dealing.  A substantial quantity of heroin and cash was recovered.  All three suspects face at least six years in prison.

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METH-MAKING MATERIALS FOUND AT COUNTRY CLUB APARTMENTS; MOTHER IN CUSTODY

(Richmond, IN)--An investigation is underway today after a Richmond mother was caught over the weekend with all the ingredients needed to make methamphetamine in her home at the Country Club Apartments.  39-year-old Lesley Clemens faces a host of charges, including conspiracy to manufacture meth and child neglect.  A police report indicates law enforcement agencies are looking for additional suspects.

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STEAK-N-SHAKE RUCKUS LEADS TO ARREST OF ATTEMPTED ROBBERY SUSPECTS

(Richmond, IN)--Two women who had allegedly just tried to commit a robbery were arrested Sunday because they caused a ruckus at the Steak-N-Shake drive-thru.  29-year-olds Tiara Allen of Richmond and Evangelina Anderson of Chicago were behind bars Monday.  Anderson allegedly spit on one of the arresting officers and was in possession of marijuana.  Details of the attempted robbery were not released.

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MAN KILLED IN PREBLE COUNTY MOTORCYCLE CRASH

(Somerville, OH)--There was a fatal motorcycle accident in Preble County Sunday night.  It happened on U.S. 127 near the Butler County line.  Investigators said a man later identified as 51-year-old Kevin Brouillette of Trenton lost control, went off the right side of the road, and hit a guardrail.  He was pronounced dead at the scene.  Investigators say that alcohol was a likely factor in the crash.

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NINE PEOPLE ESCAPE EARLY-MORNING DUPLEX FIRE

(Richmond, IN)--Nine people escaped a duplex fire in Richmond Friday morning.  The fire broke out in the upstairs unit of a home in the 100 block of South 11th at 12:30 Friday morning.  "Our neighbor runs down the stairs and bangs on the door and tells us that our house is on fire," said LaTisha Gillard, who lives in the downstairs unit.  She said damage was substantial.  "We know the upstairs is pretty bad.  Our downstairs is mainly water damage."  But, she credited the fire department for getting it under control in 20 minutes.  "They did a really good job of getting it out pretty quickly," Gillard said.  There’s no word yet on what started the fire.  There were no injuries.

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SEMI DRIVER TRYING TO BEAT TRAIN CRASHES

(Hagerstown, IN)--The railroad crossing on State Road 1 just outside of Hagerstown is operational now, but that wasn’t the case early Friday morning.  A semi driver tried to beat an oncoming train, changed his mind at the last second, slammed on his brakes, and crashed.  The train and the truck never collided, but the crossing arm was damaged.  1 was closed for several hours.  The driver suffered minor injuries.

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WOMAN CAUGHT STUFFING 22 HEROIN CAPSULES DOWN HER PANTS

(Union City, OH)--Union City police made a drug bust late Thursday night.  A car was stopped for a routine violation and the driver was speaking with the officer.  Jennifer Goodwin was riding in the passenger side.  She did not know that another officer was watching her as she allegedly stuffed 22 heroin capsules down her pants.  A large amount of marijuana was also recovered from inside the car.

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ARREST MADE IN CONNECTION WITH GREENS FORK SHOOTING

(Greens Fork, IN)--One arrest has been made in connection with the shooting at a Greens Fork apartment Wednesday morning.  19-year-old Derrick Welch of Losantville was taken into custody late Wednesday afternoon and charged with attempted robbery, although that charge could be upgraded.  30-year-old Cory Garvin was shot through the foot and in the chin as he tried to barricade a door.  Garvin went through at least one surgery Wednesday.  Two other suspects were reportedly involved in the shooting.

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COMMISSIONERS PASS WAYNE COUNTY KENNEL ORDINANCE BY 2-1 VOTE

(Richmond, IN)--Animal welfare advocates in Wayne County were unhappy Wednesday when county commissioners approved an ordinance dealing with kennel rules.  Commissioner Mary Ann Butters wanted all permits for kennels to go before the board of zoning appeals.  Only kennels with more than 20 dogs require approval.  During the discussion, it was revealed that the national retailer Petsmart wants to open a Richmond location.  There are currently 20 Petsmart locations within a 75-mile radius of Richmond.

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RHS SEMI STATE TICKET SALES TOP 1000

(Richmond, IN)--Richmond High School has sold over a thousand semi-state tickets for this Saturday after only two days of sales.  150 students have signed up to take a fan bus to Seymour.  The team will appear at Mancino’s Thursday night between 6 and 7.  Five sponsors have stepped up with at least $250 in donations for student fan busses.  Those include Leland Legacy, West End Bank, Phillips Drugs, First Bank Richmond, and Harrington-Hoch.

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NUMBER OF UNEMPLOYED WAYNE COUNTY RESIDENTS JUMPS BY 316 IN LAST MONTH

(Richmond, IN)--316 Wayne County residents lost their jobs between December and January, according to newly-released state figures.  That number, combined with nearly 900 new members of the labor force, has made Wayne County’s unemployment rate jump up nearly a full percentage point in the last month to 7.2%.  But, on the good side, Fayette County dropped out of the top ten in unemployment for the first time in at least five years.

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MAN SHOT IN GREENS FORK APARTMENT

(Greens Fork, IN)--A man was shot in Greens Fork Wednesday morning.  According to a release from Wayne County Sheriff Jeff Cappa, a man later identified as 30-year-old Cory Garvin went to the door at his apartment directly behind the Greens Fork Animal Hospital at around 1:15 Wednesday morning.  Two suspects wearing ski masks were seen trying to enter.  One shot through the door, hitting Garvin in the foot and in the chin.  The two shooters joined a third suspect and fled in a car to the west.  Garvin was been transferred to Level I Trauma Center.  His condition has not been released.

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STANDOFF ENDS PEACEFULLY

(Williamsburg, IN)--A standoff in Williamsburg Tuesday night ended with the arrest of 27-year-old Eric Bullock.  Bullock had been involved in a domestic dispute earlier in the day.  When police arrived, he refused to come out of a home on Pleasant Street across from the Williamsburg gym.  The SWAT Team was brought in, the community center was evacuated, and residents were told to stay inside because Bullock was thought to be armed with several weapons.  Bullock surrendered at 8 o’clock Tuesday night.  He faces multiple felony charges.

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RHS SELLS 850 SEMI-STATE TICKETS ON FIRST DAY

(Richmond, IN)--Tickets sales for Richmond High School’s upcoming semi-state basketball game were so brisk Tuesday that the high school had to order double its original allotment.  850 tickets were sold Tuesday during the first day they were on sale.  RHS ordered another thousand.  100 students have expressed interest in a fan bus, and 600 T-shirts were pre-ordered.  Ticket sales continue through the end of the week.

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RICHMOND MAN ARRESTED FOR FLORIDA DOUBLE STABBING

(Cocoa Beach, FL)--A Richmond man is accused of stabbing a woman and her father in Florida.  23-year-old Justin Noelker was taken into custody near the scene.  "He is a resident of Richmond, Indiana.  He has no permanent address here in Florida and it's believed that he just arrived not that long ago," said one Cocoa Beach investigator.  Noelker denied the stabbing to a judge Tuesday.  "I had nothing to do with that," Noelker said.  The male victim is in critical condition.  Noelker was wanted in Richmond for three counts of battery.

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SEMI-STATE TICKETS ON SALE; OTHER EVENTS SET

(Richmond, IN)--Efforts are expanding to get as many people as possible to Richmond High School’s semi-state basketball game in Seymour on Saturday.  Monday, RHS Athletic Director Frank Carr announced that for $5, students get a ticket, a bus ride, and a T-shirt if they sign up by the end of the day Tuesday.  Donations are being accepted to help offset the cost at the athletic office.  Tickets are also on sale there until 4 o’clock every afternoon this week.  Also, Final Four T-shirt are available for purchase with deadline of Tuesday afternoon.  Those T-shirts can be picked up Thursday between 6-7 p.m. at Mancino's.  Players will be on hand to sign shirts.

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PROPOSAL WOULD INCREASE SPEED LIMIT TO 75 IN PREBLE COUNTY

(Columbus, OH)--The speed limit on I-70 in one area county could go up to 75 miles per hour.  There’s legislation working its way through the Ohio Senate that would raise the speed limit on I-70 in Preble County to 75.  "I think most people drive 75 anyway," said one Preble County driver with an argument many people make.  The 75 mile-an-hour limit would apply to all rural Ohio interstates.  The bill still must pass the full Senate.

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CHAMBER ISSUES POSITION STATEMENT ON RP&L

(Richmond, IN)--The Wayne County Area Chamber of Commerce issued a position statement Monday on RP&L rates.  The chamber said that the volatility of rates "makes budgeting virtually impossible and causes costs to be very unpredictable."  The Chamber is calling on the board and new GM Randy Baker to find ways to smooth out rates and reduce fluctuation.  The RP&L Board did not discuss the Chamber’s statement at its meeting Monday night.  Following is the statement in its entirety.

 

Wayne County Area Chamber of Commerce Position Statement

Chamber Position: 

The cost of electricity provided by RP&L has too much variability and makes it very difficult for businesses and enterprises in Richmond to effectively manage utility costs.

Rationale:

The ECA (Energy Cost Adjustment) component of the electricity cost causes the overall price of electricity for RP&L customers to swing wildly, causing many issues for Richmond businesses. Many of the Chamber’s constituents have electricity invoices changing by tens of thousands of dollars each month, a significant percentage of utility cost for even the largest customers. This makes budgeting virtually impossible and causes costs to be very unpredictable. The large changes in the ECA will also affect the ability of the community to attract new businesses. The Chamber was under the impression that one of the most compelling reasons to eliminate power generation by RP&L was to smooth out the ECA swings; this does not appear to be the case. 

There are viable solutions to smooth out the short term effects of the ECA, which need to be explored by RP&L. Many of the communities in Indiana have the same issues with the ECA, but have determined solutions to reduce the variability to the final user. Different solutions need to be explored, possibly by gathering information from other fellow IMPA members. One idea that needs to be explored is to put a cap and floor on the short term cost to the user, with RP&L using its balance sheet to cover the highs and lows, with the overall cost to be the same over the long term. 

The rate class structure of RP&L rates needs to be evaluated. Currently, RP&L customers can switch rate classes every 12 months at their discretion. This potentially causes amplification in rate swings as users move from more expensive to less expensive rate classes in the short term, only to have the rates swing back quickly with no ability to move for a year. What is the purpose of the four classes? Should the number of classes be reduced? Should standards be set to only allow certain criteria in order to move in/out of a class (demand, peak usage capacity, etc.)? 

A 3-5 year strategic plan needs to be created by the RP&L Board. Now that RP&L has significantly shifted its strategy from a producer to distributor of electricity, its overall strategy needs to be updated to assure its competitive position and plan long term. The choice of Randy Baker as General Manager of RP&L was a sound decision by the RP&L Board. Randy is a life-long resident of Richmond and we believe he has the best long-term interests of the community at heart. Randy is bright, knowledgeable about his industry and has a lot of experience with different facets of the RP&L operation. The Chamber has been impressed with his willingness to work with other community stakeholders to find mutually beneficial solutions, and has the potential to serve as an excellent ambassador for our community. Choosing Randy to lead RP&L is strongly supported by the Chamber and we look forward to working with him.

In summary, RP&L has to re-evaluate its position now that it has changed from a generating utility to one of distribution only. This will take significant leadership from its Board and its new General Manager, Randy Baker. The industries and large businesses in Richmond simply will not be able to accept large swings in its power costs long term, and RP&L has the ability to smooth out those swings with careful planning and execution. The Chamber looks toward the Board to provide this leadership and vision in order to assure long-term success of RP&L, and ultimately the competitiveness of the community as a whole.

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EFFORTS UNDERWAY TO GET RHS FANS TO SEYMOUR

(Richmond, IN)--More than $2000 has already been raised to send fans of Richmond High School to Seymour for this Saturday’s semi-state basketball game.  One of the packages includes a game ticket, T-shirt, and bus transportation for $20.  Although Richmond was never guaranteed to be able play the semi-state in its own gym, the Tiernan Center was supposed to be the host site of two semi-state games.  Richmond learned shortly after Saturday night's win that it would be sent to Seymour.  Richmond then notified the IHSAA that it would not host the semi-state for non 4A schools.  Tickets will be going on sale beginning Tuesday.  RHS Head Coach Joe Luce will be a guest on both Kicks 96 and 1017 The Point this week.

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ELDERLY WOMAN FOUND DEAD, INVESTIGATION UNDERWAY

(Wayne County, IN)--An investigation continues after an elderly woman was found dead inside her home over the weekend.  A family member went to the woman’s home near the intersection of U.S. 35 and Tingler Road just northwest of Richmond and found her unresponsive.  The initial indication was that she may have been the victim of carbon monoxide poisoning.  The victim’s name has not been released.

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GRAND JURY TO HEAR CASE OF TWO FORMER RANDOLPH COUNTY EMPLOYEES

(Winchester, IN)--Two former Randolph County employees will be the subject of a Randolph County grand jury this week.  The grand jury will decide if criminal charges are warranted in the cases of Josey Fields and Jamie Stump.  Fields is a former building commissioner secretary.  Stump is the former area planning director.  Both are accused of failing to remit cash receipts totaling more than $6000.  They could face a wide range of possible charges.

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ONE VAN CHASES ANOTHER THROUGH RICHMOND LEADING TO CRASH, DRUG ARREST, AND CHILD'S INJURY

(Richmond, IN)--One van chased another late Thursday afternoon through Richmond streets.  The results included a drug arrest, a crash into a yard, and an injury to a child.  Two crashes occurred on South 21st during the chase.  As police arrived, the occupant of one van threw drugs and a gun out of the window.  A boy between the age of six and eight suffered a concussion in one of crashes and was taken to Reid Hospital.  19-year-old Cedric Thompson was taken into custody.  He faces charges that include possession of marijuana and a controlled substance.  He’s is in the Wayne County Jail today.

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WANTED MARYLAND MAN LEADS POLICE ON CHASE THROUGH WAYNE, OTHER COUNTIES

(Wayne and Randolph County, IN)--Police in several counties were looking for a man who led police on a chase beginning around 1 o’clock Friday morning in western Wayne County.   The driver of a car with Virginia plates was headed northbound in the southbound lanes of State Road 1 at 100 miles per hour.  The man is wanted in Maryland and crashed into a field in southern Randolph County.  He fled on foot and stole a nearby car.  At 5:30 Friday morning, he stole a woman’s cell phone at a convenience store in southern Jay County.  Police were trying to track the location of that phone.

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RICHMOND TO BE NEW CORPORATE HEADQUARTERS OF OSBORN

(Richmond, IN)--Richmond is the new corporate headquarters of Osborn.  When Governor Mike Pence was in town Thursday for a state economic development corporation meeting, Osborn executive Thom McClean made the announcement that the headquarters were coming to Richmond.  It will mean 34 new jobs to the company that opened a Richmond plant 11 years ago.  McClean also announced that Osborn is considering moving its acoustics group division to Richmond.  Osborn makes various parts for the automotive and motorcycle industries.

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PEDIATRICS CENTER WILL MOVE; BUILDING WILL BE DEMOLISHED

(Richmond, IN)--Reid Hospital has announced changes that are coming to the Pediatrics and Internal Medicine Center.  Soon, the Pediatrics Center will move east across Chester Boulevard to the former home of Reid’s Urology Center.  Then, next year, the current Pediatrics Center building will be torn down.  A new building that will house Reid’s ENT Sinus and Allergy Center will go up.  It will be the end of at least a 40-year run for the building as a location to treat Whitewater Valley children.

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CHIDDISTER RESIGNS AS COACH; PLACED ON LEAVE AS TEACHER

(Centerville, IN)--Centerville boys basketball coach Ryan Chiddister has resigned his coaching position in the wake of his drunken driving arrest last weekend.  Chiddister has also been placed on paid administrative leave as a junior high P.E. teacher pending the outcome of the criminal case.  An initial hearing in the case is set for 8:30 Thursday morning in Wayne Superior Court III.

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DRUG HOUSE INVESTIGATION LEADS TO THREE ARRESTS

(Richmond, IN)--Three people connected to a known drug house near the corner of North 17th and E Streets in Richmond were taken into custody Wednesday.  Officers saw Brittany Carter, who had a theft warrant.  She was allegedly in possession of heroin.  Two people with her, Darrell Hoskins and Karman Williams, were also in possession of heroin and drug-related items.  All were taken to the Wayne County Jail.

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CENTERVILLE COACH ARRESTED FOR DRIVING AT THREE TIMES LEGAL LIMIT

(Centerville, IN)--A hearing has been set for Thursday in a Wayne County courtroom for Centerville boys basketball coach Ryan Chiddister.  Chiddister was stopped when an officer saw him driving without headlights last Saturday night.  According to court documents, there was a strong odor of alcohol.  Chiddister refused a sobriety test and breathalyzer, but a later blood test would reveal that Chiddister was driving at three times the legal limit.  The arresting officer also indicated that Chiddister said he had a friend at the state police department who would get him out of the charge.

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MAN ESCAPES CRASH ONTO BROOKVILLE LAKE

(Union County, IN)--Luckily for Connersville’s Clintin Lynch, the ice on Brookville Lake is still about eight inches thick.  Lynch drove off of Fairfield Ramp onto the lake Tuesday.  The car went out about 120 yards – the exact length of a football field – onto the lake and overturned, but never sank.  Lynch was able to walk to Brookville Lake Resort for help.  He was taken to Reid Hospital to be treated for a head injury.  The Liberty Dive Team spent four hours getting the car off the lake.

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STATE POLICE INVESTIGATING FORMER RANDOLPH SOUTHERN TEACHER

(Lynn, IN)--The Indiana State Police is continuing its investigation into former Randolph Southern band and music teacher Stacey Briggs.  Briggs was fired this week after violating several Randolph Southern policies.  Once the investigation is complete, findings will be turned over to the Randolph County Prosecutor’s Office.  Briggs had not taught at the school in the last month.

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STUDY SHOWS AREA H.S. GRADUATES NEED LESS REMEDIATION THAN STATE AVERAGE

(Whitewater Valley)--Newly-released statistics show most area schools high school graduates are more prepared for college than the Indiana state average.  Statewide, 77% of students enter college without needing remedial help in one or more subjects.  All Wayne County schools except Richmond exceed that number.  At Richmond, 28% of graduates need more help with academics before entering college.  Randolph Central was the top school in our area, with 85% of graduates ready for college.  Here is the percentage of students who graduate high school needed no remediation before entering college.  Richmond - 72%.  Centerville - 83%.  Northeastern - 78%.  Hagerstown - 78%.  Lincoln - 78%.  Union County - 78%.  Fayette County - 78%.  Franklin County - 73%.  Randolph Eastern - 74%.  Randolph Central - 85%.  Randolph Southern - 81%.  Union (Modoc) - 79%.  Monroe Central - 84%.

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REID HOSPITAL RE-OPENS 1350 CHESTER BOULEVARD BUILDING

(Richmond, IN)--Reid Hospital officials said Monday that their building at 1350 Chester Boulevard that was heavily damaged by water last month will reopen Tuesday.  Both Reid Medical Associates and Urgent Care will return to their permanent homes across from the old Reid campus.  A large pipe broke on February 19.  Cleanup was originally estimated to take six weeks, but finished well ahead of schedule.

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TRIAL SET FOR HAGERSTOWN MAN ACCUSED OF DRIVING HIGH, CAUSING FATAL CRASH

(New Castle, IN)--The trial of a Hagerstown man who was allegedly driving under the influence of marijuana and caused a crash that killed his own two-year-old son has been pushed back.  26-year-old Christopher Clark is now set for trial in June in Henry County.  Carson Clark of New Castle died in the crash.  His six-year-old sister, Makenzie, suffered a broken leg.  Christopher Clark faces charges that include reckless homicide.

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CHARGES DROPPED AGAINST SIX OF NINE DORN CENTER DEFENDANTS

(Centerville, IN)--Criminal charges have been dropped against six of nine people arrested last summer in connection with a DEA raid on Dorn Center locations across Indiana, including the one between Richmond and Centerville.  Charges were dropped when a judge ruled the defendants were improperly charged.  Charges remain in place against local Dr. Larry Ley.  He’s accused of selling prescription painkillers to patients.

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ELDORA SPEEDWAY WEBSITE MAY HAVE BEEN HACKED BY ISIS

(Rossburg, OH)--The website of the Eldora Speedway in Darke County may have been hacked by ISIS.  The FBI helped Eldora restore its website over the weekend.  "It seemed to be places that people go for entertainment," said track General Manager Roger Slack.  The origin of the message was unclear to this cyber security expert.  "This is obviously designed to elicit some emotion or fear.  Or, it could be pranksters with a very bad sense of humor," said Brian Fite.  The Moerlein Lager House and the Montgomery Inn in Cincinnati were also hacked.

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NEW STOP SIGNS TO GO UP AT BUSY RICHMOND INTERSECTION

(Richmond, IN)--New stop signs will be going up this week on a busy Richmond street.  The signs will go up Thursday or Friday at the intersection of South 37th and A Streets just south of the Kroger Plaza.  It’s a high-accident area due to volume of traffic and speed.  The stop signs will go up primarily to slow traffic down.  It’s easy to speed on South 37th between South A and Backmeyer Road.

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RPD FINDS DRUNKEN MAN AT FIGHT WITH LOADED AK-47 ASSAULT RIFLE

(Richmond, IN)--An incident in the 200 block of South 15th in Richmond Thursday resulted in a public intoxication arrest, but it could have been much worse.  RPD officers responded to a report of several people fighting.  When they arrived, they noticed one man who was allegedly drunk and armed with an AK-47 assault rifle with 36 rounds of ammunition.  That man was identified as 28-year-old Brian Smith.  Smith was reportedly trying to hide the AK-47 behind his back.  Police reports indicate Smith admitted to taking part in the fight, but would not discuss the rifle.  He’s currently free on bond.

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RICHMOND MAN POSTS BOND AFTER HEROIN-DEALING ARREST

(Richmond, IN)--A Richmond man arrested Thursday for dealing heroin has already bonded out of jail.  40-year-old John Day was taken into custody Thursday at his home on Randolph Street as part of an undercover investigation by the Wayne County Drug Task Force.  Day was able to post a $25,000 bond later in the day Thursday and was set free.

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MAN SENTENCED FOR ATTEMPTED BUSINESS BREAK-INS

(Richmond, IN)--A Richmond man who tried to break into several area businesses last spring has been sentenced to probation.  23-year-old Cody Spitler was sentenced in Wayne Circuit Court to two years with all but two days suspended.  Spitler was caught last May after trying to break first into Mercurio’s Pizza on South 8th and then into a Depot District business.  A 16-year-old was also arrested.

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COLLINS PICKED TO LEAD WAYNE COUNTY DEMOCRATS

(Richmond, IN)--Wayne County’s Democratic Party got a shot of youth and enthusiasm Wednesday night when it picked 22-year-old Dakota Collins to be its new leader.  Collins was chosen 13-10 Wednesday night over Karen Chasteen in a vote of precinct committee members.  Collins promised to reach out to young voters and utilize social media.  He’s a senior at Earlham and replaces Jerry Hayden, who stepped down after taking a new job in North Dakota.

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RICHMOND WOMAN ARRESTED FOR DEALING COCAINE

(Richmond, IN)--An alleged Richmond cocaine dealer was taken into custody Wednesday.  A warrant had been issued for 43-year-old Kimberly Smith.  Smith was located in her apartment Wednesday afternoon in the 300 block of North 10th Street.  She was in the Wayne County Jail Thursday morning and was being held on a $20,000 bond.  Details of what led to the warrant being issued for Smith have not been released.

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AUSTIN TEAMS WITH FORMER RIVALS TO HOST STATEWIDE LIFE-SKILLS CAMPS

(Richmond, IN)--He’s arguably the greatest basketball player in Richmond High School history.  Woody Austin has picked this week, sectional week, to announce that he’s teaming up with former rivals Jay Edwards and Lyndon Jones to host a series of camps aimed at teaching not only basketball, but also life skills, to kids.  The trio will host a series of camps and lectures statewide.  The Richmond events have not yet been scheduled.  Austin was named Mr. Basketball in 1988.

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HH GREGG TO CLOSE RICHMOND STORE

(Richmond, IN)--Richmond’s HH Gregg store is closing its doors.  The 17 employees who work in Richmond will be offered jobs at other stores.  The closest location after Richmond closes will be in Piqua.  A corporate spokesperson cited diminishing sales as the reason for the closure.  Sales began declining when Best Buy located across the street.  The Richmond store will likely close by the end of next month.

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COUNTERFEIT 20'S TURN UP IN RICHMOND

(Richmond, IN)--Numerous counterfeit bills turned up in Richmond Tuesday.  Businesses including the west-side Speedway, the Marsh store across the street, and the First Bank Richmond branch at 34th and East Main Street all turned over counterfeit twenty-dollar bills to the Richmond Police Department.  Counterfeiting is a federal offense and is typically investigated by the U.S. Secret Service.

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CRASH VICTIM RECOVERING; ICE GROUNDS HELICOPTER'S RETURN FLIGHT

(Williamsburg, IN)--The Richmond woman who was involved in a crash on U.S. 35 in Williamsburg Tuesday was listed in stable condition Wednesday morning at Miami Valley Hospital in Dayton.  Ashley Collins turns 21 Thursday.  She had to be cut from her car after colliding with 27-year-old Rhoda Bowman, who received minor injuries.  The Lifeline helicopter that flew Collins to Dayton had to land in Preble County on its way back to Richmond because of freezing rain.  The helicopter sat in a farm field for 12 hours.

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GRAND JURY DECISION ON HOME-ALONE FATALITY CASE DELAYED

(Eaton, OH)--A Preble County grand jury decided Monday to wait until next month to make a charging decision on Chastity Hall.  Hall is accused of leaving her two kids home alone all night so that she could go out drinking.  Those two children died in a fire.  The jury will wait because several elements of the investigation are not yet complete.  An ex-boyfriend, Arcadio Escobar, was indicted Monday for trespassing.  He had been at the home that night.  The case drew national attention Monday night from Nancy Grace.

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EL RODEO OWNERS SENTENCED

(Indianapolis, IN)--The owners of El Rodeo Restaurants in several cities across Indiana were sentenced Monday after ripping off taxpayers by underreporting revenue and, in turn, underpaying taxes.  Three owners received various lengths of home detention and were ordered to pay $4.5 million to state and local authorities.  The two Richmond locations were included in the investigation.  Both will remain open.

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ORGANIZATIONS DENIED SPACE ON FRANKLIN COUNTY COURTHOUSE LAWN

(Brookville, IN)--More organizations and individuals are trying to rent space on the Franklin County Courthouse lawn for holiday displays after commissioners made those lots available to satisfy the ACLU’s dispute over a Nativity scene.  On Monday, commissioners turned down applications from the Satanic Temple and Freedom From Religion.  Both organizations were denied because they failed to meet a requirement that states the individual or group must be based in Franklin County.  One application that has been approved is a display of Hell.  The renter wants to tell people who ask where Brookville is to go to Hell.

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GRAND JURY TO HEAR HOME-ALONE FIRE FATALITY CASE MONDAY

(Eaton, OH)--On Monday, a grand jury will hear the case against Chastity Hall.  She’s the Preble County woman who allegedly left her elementary-aged kids home alone all night so that she could go out drinking.  Those children died in a fire.  Two of Hall’s other children were removed from her custody well before the fatal fire.  Hall faces a wide range of possible charges, but was free on bond Monday morning.

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RHS LUNG TRANSPLANT PATIENT IMPROVING; TAKEN OFF OXYGEN

(Columbus, OH)--Richmond High School student Becca Stoermer continued to recover Monday after her double lung transplant.  Stoemer posted on her Facebook page Sunday that she had been taken off of oxygen at Nationwide Children’s Hospital in Columbus.  She had been a cystic fibrosis patient.  Becca had the transplant a week ago and is expected to remain hospitalized for several more weeks.

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FIRE DOES HEAVY DAMAGE TO U.S. 40 HOME

(Preble County, OH)--Fire did heavy damage to a Preble County home Sunday.  It broke out at around 7:30 Sunday morning in the 300 block of U.S. 40 West.  Flames were visible through the roof of the two-story structure.  No injuries were reported.  There’s no word yet on the cause of the fire or the dollar amount of the damage.  The residents were inside the home when the fire started.

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