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Local News: A service of Reid Health Archives for 2015-12

UNION COUNTY HEALTH CLINIC TO CLOSE

(Liberty, IN)--The Union County Health Clinic is closing.  The Health Board voted 3-2 this week to close the clinic on January 15.  20 patients per day needed to be seen to keep the clinic afloat financially, and it had fallen short of that.  There was less than $30,000 in the budget to keep the clinic running until May, but it costs $20,000 every month.  A Wayne County clinic has agreed to be a referral.

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KICKS 96 AND THE POINT LOOKS BACK AT 2015

(Whitewater Valley)--On Wednesday, Kicks 96 and The Point is reviewing local news for 2015.  Here is the script form of the review that's airing Wednesday morning...

 

{WEATHER}:  Today is the day we take our annual look back at the year that was in local news.  We begin our look back at 2015 with weather.  In mid-January, an ice storm closed schools (actuality 31284).  That’s Mike Sharp with the Wayne County Highway Department.  Sub-zero temperatures in February also closed schools.  Heavy rain brought widespread flooding in July.  And, just last week, tornadoes touched down just outside Fountain City and Arcanum.  Coming up at 6, we’ll look back court cases, lawsuits, and other issues.

 

{COURTS / LAWSUITS}:  We continue our look back at 2015 with some of the disputes that headlined local news.  In Febrary, Reid Health dealt with complaints about billing.  In March, the fight began about who would be responsible to fix the Paulee restaurant wall.  Later that month, discussions intensified about demolishing and cleaning up old Reid.  Richmond spent much of 2015 in a fight with John Cahill over his burned-out properties.  In August, the debate raged about backpacks for students at RHS (actuality 31750).  That’s Superintendent Todd Terrill.  And, in September, Wayne County considered providing clean needles to drug addicts.  Coming up at 6:30, we’ll look back at local politics.

 

{POLITICS}:  We continue our look back at 2015 by recalling local politics.  In February, Common Council member Don Winget came under fire by those who claimed he was living in Union County (actuality 31374).  With May came the primary (actuality 31487).  That’s mayoral candidate Kyle Ingram.  In September, we learned that Mayor Sally Hutton was battling cancer.  A debate between mayoral candidates in October provided some comic relief (actuality 31831).  Then, last month, Richmond learned who its new mayor would be (actuality 31855).  Dave Snow was right.  He won by 700 votes.  Coming up at 7, we’ll talk economy and local jobs.

 

{ECONOMY}:  Our look back at 2015 continues as look back on the local economy.  January brought news of the closure of Omco.  HH Gregg announced in March that it would shut its doors.  Better news came later that month when Wayne County learned it would headquarters to Osborn.  The Tom Raper dealership sold in March.  In July, the Richmond Square Mall sold at sheriff’s sale.  It sold again earlier this month.  Some of the year’s most devastating economic news came in September, when Marjun in Winchester announced it would close and eliminate hundreds of jobs.  And, in October, the development of a new drug treatment center for Richmond was announced (actuality 31830).  Coming up at 7:30, we’ll look back at crime in the Whitewater Valley.

 

{CRIME}:  We continue this morning with our annual look back at the year that was in local news.  Crime made headlines throughout 2015.  Remember the Bicycle Bandit?  He was caught in January after using his bike as a getaway vehicle.  Eyebrows were raised in late February when racial graffiti was sprayed at the home of a black Richmond doctor (actuality 31383).  That’s a neighbor. The search didn’t go far.  The doctor’s own husband was eventually arrested.  Spring weather brought a rash of armed robberies.  Richmond had seven just in April.  Without question, though, the dominant crime story in 2015 was heroin (actuality 31699).  That’s Wayne County Coroner Ron Stevens.  The group Heroin is Here continues to work to curb the problem.  Coming up at 8, the good news stories of 2015.

 

{GOOD NEWS}:  Our look back at 2015 continues with the good news stories of the year.  Just a few days into the year, Veach’s was named Indiana’s best toy store (actuality 31273).  That’s owner John Veach.  In February, utility workers rescued a woman who had been trapped overnight in her car on Wernle Road (actuality 31336).  That’s Brad Wildman.  Also that month, Richmond graduation rate soared to 96%.  Scenes from a movie were shot in Eaton in April.  Tennis pro Venus Williams got her degree from IU East in August.  And, in October, Richmond High School was added to the National Register of Historic Places…just a few of the good news stories of 2015.  We’ll wrap up our look at the outgoing year with the odd stories that made headlines.

 

{ODD}:  We wrap up our annual look back at the year that was by remembering the year’s craziest stories.  In January, Richmond residents were baffled by strange pillars of light (actuality 31302).  That’s Angela Yukon.  In October, a man walked away unscathed when he either fell asleep or passed out in Richmond between two railroad tracks and a train passed over him.  A Winchester funeral home director stole the ring off a corpse in September.  A Lynn woman threw a bucket of her own urine on a neighbor’s house in December.  And, finally, while it wasn’t the most important story of the year, it certainly generated the most feedback into the news room (sfx 31616).  In, May two people were caught doing the horizontal mambo on the porch of a complete stranger…in broad daylight…in Richmond’s Reeveston neighborhood.  The female was identified by the Power Ranger tattoo on her nether region.  And with that, our look back at 2015 is complete.  Happy 2016!

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RPD INVESTIGATES TWO SHOTS-FIRED INCIDENTS

(Richmond, IN)--There were two separate incidents of shots fired in Richmond Tuesday night.  The first happened at 7 o’clock in the 200 block of North 12th.  A witness saw someone in a black truck approach a woman on the street, fire shots into the air, and flee.  She was not hurt and would not cooperate with police.  Then, an hour later, shots rang out in the 300 block of North West 2nd.  Witnesses reported hearing about a dozen shots and seeing a man running across Richmond Avenue with a long rifle.  No injuries were reported.  Police have not said if they believe the incidents are connected.

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SHOTS FIRED ON SOUTH 6th

(Richmond, IN)--Shots were fired in the 100 block of South 6th in Richmond late Monday night.  Several neighbors reported that suspects described only as two black males fired off several shots from a blue, four-door Buick with heavily-tinted windows.  No injuries were reported.  Police investigated and recovered several shell casings.  Social media indicates residents in the area have complained about activities around the home.

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PERSHING RESIDENT REPORTS SPOTTING A BEAR

(Pershing, IN)--Is there a bear on the loose in Pershing?  That’s what one resident who called 911 Tuesday morning claims.  Law enforcement officers were sent out at around 1 o’clock Tuesday morning and searched for the bear throughout Pershing for half an hour, but came up empty.  There have been bears not far from the Whitewater Valley.  Last summer, a bear was caught on Cincinnati’s east side.  There is also a growing bear population in the Great Lakes areas of Indiana and Ohio.

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FAYETTE PHYSICIAN ACCEPTS PLEA DEAL

(Connersville, IN)--A Connersville doctor has reached a plea deal involving the illegal distribution of prescription drugs.  Former Fayette Regional Health System Dr. Daniel Palmer will plead guilty to felony forgery with a recommended eight-year prison term.  In return, seven counts of dealing a narcotic drug will be dropped.  Palmer signed blank prescription forms, which were then filled out by assistants who illegally prescribed painkillers.  Palmer had faced up to 550 years in prison.

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HIGH WINDS DOWN TREES, POWER LINES

(Whitewater Valley)--Virtually all power had been restored by 6 o'clock Thursday morning after a line of storms with high winds and heavy rain swept across the Whitewater Valley late Wednesday afternoon.  A tornado warning went into effect at just before 5 Wednesday afternoon for parts of Wayne, Preble, and Darke County.  No tornado was sighted.  Still, there was substantial damage.  Much of it in Richmond happened in the area of North West 11th and Progress Drive where a large tree brought down power lines.  Lines were down in eight other Richmond locations.  In the Fountain City area, two outbuildings were reportedly destroyed on a farm.  There were no injuries.  Thursday morning, all roads were reportedly open in all Whitewater Valley counties.

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BROOKVILLE TOWN COUNCIL TO REMOVE NATIVITY SCENE

(Brookville, IN)--It existed without issue for decades.  Then, after a complaint from a group protesting religious displays, it became a circus.  And now, the Brookville Town Council has decided to remove its Nativity scene from the lawn of the Franklin County Courthouse.  One councilman said the policy of allowing anyone to rent space for a display on the lawn has gotten totally out of hand.   One business owner on Main Street has agreed to put the display on his property and encouraged other local business owners to put up similar displays.

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"WELCOME TO INDIANA" POTHOLE FLATTENS MULTIPLE TIRES OVERNIGHT

(Indiana/Ohio State Line)--Call it the “Welcome to Indiana” pothole.  That large pothole has flattened several tires overnight Wednesday night and Thursday morning and was likely responsible for a semi losing control and going into the median at around 10:30 Wednesday night.  It’s located on westbound I-70 almost precisely on the state line.  Over the last six months, the pothole has been filled in numerous times, but has continuously redeveloped.  To avoid it, stay in the passing lane on I-70 when crossing the state line.

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PARKER ENDS 36-YEAR COUNCIL TERM

(Richmond, IN)--A 36-year run on Richmond Common Council came to an end this week for Larry Parker.  "I would sincerely like to thank all of the constituents of the Sixth District for having me represent them for the past 36 years.  I greatly appreciate that," Parker said.  Parker recalled his relationships with fellow council members like Jack Elstro.  "We used to fight and then go out and have a hamburger together later."  And, he offered this to his successors.  "I wish nothing but success for the new administration."  Parker was the owner of the former Bumblebee Quick Print.  Phil Quinn’s eight-year-run on council also ended this week.  Don Winget's term also came to a close.

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PANDHANDLERS TARGET RURAL INTERSECTIONS

(Economy, IN)--There’s nothing unusual about seeing panhandlers in Richmond nowadays.  Now, residents in some rural areas have begun to complain about the same problem.  One place where it’s occurring is at the intersection of U.S. 35 and State Road 1 just west of Economy.  Residents there claim a man is dropped off every day, stands at the intersection for hours asking for money, and is then picked up.  Wayne County Sheriff Jeff Cappa said there’s nothing illegal about panhandling in rural areas as long as traffic is not disrupted.

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WOMAN THROWS BUCKET OF HER OWN URINE ON HOME

(Lynn, IN)--An elderly Lynn woman is facing charges of criminal mischief today after spending months collecting her own urine in a bucket and throwing it on her neighbor’s home on Westwood Drive.  69-year-old Jackie VanTyle admitted to throwing two buckets of urine on the home after the homeowner set up a hidden camera.  When investigators asked VanTyle why she did it, she said she didn’t like the man and that he was a bad neighbor.

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TEEN SIBLINGS DIE IN DARKE COUNTY CRASH

(Darke County, OH)--A Darke County teenage brother and sister were killed when their car collided with a semi Monday night.  "This is a terrible tragedy at any time of the year.  But, it seems like, approaching Christmas, it's certainly that much worse for the families that are involved here," said Chief Deputy Mark Whitaker.  17-year-old Hudson Nestor and his 13-year-old sister Katelynn were pronounced dead at the scene of the crash on Neff Road a few miles northeast of Arcanum.  The cause remains under investigation.  The Nestor children were students in the Franklin-Monroe system.

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SHOTS FIRED ON SOUTH 5th

(Richmond, IN)--Shots were fired in a south-side Richmond neighborhood Tuesday morning.  Those shots rang out in the 1000 block of South 5th.  Multiple residents reported hearing arguing followed by the gunshots at around 1 o’clock Tuesday morning.  Law enforcement indicates there were no injuries.  Two men reportedly fled the scene.  So far, no arrests have been made.

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ALLEGEDLY DRUNKEN MAN DRIVES CAR INTO HIS OWN HOME

(Richmond, IN)--A Richmond man with a history of drunken driving allegedly was so drunk Tuesday morning that he drove his car into his own house.  33-year-old Edward Sparks was taken to Reid Health and then arrested after crashing his car into his home in the 300 block of South 10th at just before 3 o’clock Tuesday morning.  He was not seriously hurt.  This is at least the 3rd OWI arrest for Sparks in the last four years.

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FORMER TEST PRINCIPAL PLEADS GUILTY TO CHILD SOLICITATION

(Anderson, IN)--A former Test Intermediate School principal has pled guilty to child solicitation.  60-year-old Kevin Porter, who was working most recently as a teacher in Anderson, pled guilty last week as part of a plea deal.  He will be sentenced to a maximum of three years in two weeks.  Porter admitted to having inappropriate contact with a 15-year-old student.  He said it happened because his wife was terminally ill.  Porter was never formally accused or charged criminally while working in Richmond.

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RICHMOND SQUARE MALL GETS NEW OWNER

(Richmond, IN)--The Richmond Square Mall has a new owner.  It’s the Georgia-based Hull Property Group.  Their managing principal confirmed the sale Thursday, but did not disclose the terms.  The group owns 22 malls across the country, but specializes in revitalizing underperforming malls in smaller markets.  The mall had sold for $4 million to Wells Fargo in a sheriff’s sale in July.  Upgrades to the structural issues that led to the departure of some tenants, including Sears, have been addressed.

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INNOVATION CENTER NAMES NEW DIRECTOR

(Richmond, IN)--Richmond’s Innovation Center has a new executive director.  He’s Scott Zimmerman.  Zimmerman is a former city planner and the former president of the local United Way.  He takes over for Jason Whitney.  Also, Center City has received the Excellence in Economic Development Award for its Owner Occupied Upstairs Housing Program on Richmond’s Main Street.  That program provides incentives for Uptown business owners to live above their shops.

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ALLEGED ROBBER FACES ADDITIONAL CHARGE OF MANUFACTURING DRUGS

(Richmond, IN)--The Richmond man who was arrested this week after allegedly robbing teenagers at gunpoint now faces an additional charge.  On Thursday, 32-year-old Brian Hargrove was charged with possessing the chemicals needed to manufacture a controlled substance – presumably methamphetamine.  He still faces a charge of robbery from the incident involving the teenagers.  Hargrove has bonded out of jail.

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MAN LEADS POLICE ON DRUNKEN, HIGH-SPEED CHASE THROUGH BUSY STREETS

(Richmond, IN)--A Centerville man is behind bars after leading police on a wild chase Wednesday afternoon through some of Richmond’s busiest streets, including Chester Boulevard and National Road East.  Police began chasing the allegedly-drunk 35-year-old Jeremy Owens in the area of Union Pike and Tingler Road.  Owens got onto I-70 and headed east at speeds approaching one hundred miles per hour.  Police called off the chase when Owens exited at the state line.  He was spotted again in Ravinia Park.  He bailed out there and was caught after a foot chase.  Owens faces numerous charges, including being a habitual traffic violator.

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29% OFF JOBLESS CLAIMS IN ECI COME FROM MANUFACTURING INDUSTRY

(Whitewater Valley)--An Economic Growth Report for East Central Indiana was released by the state Wednesday.  That report takes a closer look at typical unemployment numbers.  In our area, 29% of unemployment claims now come from the manufacturing industry.  That’s far higher than the second-highest industry, the health care field, which filed 11% of all claims.  The biggest number of job openings in East Central Indiana are for inspectors, customer service reps, fund-raisers, and truck drivers.  Also, that report set Richmond’s unemployment rate at 5.2%.

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FIRE DEPARTMENT LIEUTENANT ON LEAVE AFTER DUI ARREST

(Eaton, OH)--An Eaton Fire Department lieutenant is on paid administrative leave after being caught driving at twice the legal limit.  Deputies recently pulled over 46-year-old Rolinda Bowman after she was spotted driving erratically near Lakengren.  The fire department is awaiting final reports before they take action.  Bowman has been arrested twice for drunken driving – once in 2006 and again in 2010.  But she was not convicted in either case.

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REID PROVIDED $438 MILLION IN HEALTH CARE IN 2015 FOR WHICH IT WILL NOT BE PAID

(Richmond, IN)--Reid Health has released numbers that illustrate the skyrocketing cost of providing local health care.  In 2015, Reid expects to incur bad debt and charity care shortfalls of $137 million. That’s more than double what it was seven years ago.  But, that does not include Medicare shortfalls.  Also, Medicaid only pays about 20% of actual charges.  Combining all of those factors means that, this year, Reid will incur costs – but not be paid for – an astronomical 438 million dollars’ worth of care.  CEO Craig Kinyon said it means costs to commercially-insured patients will continue to rise.

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REID HEALTH ANNOUNCES SMALLEST RATE INCREASE IN 18 YEARS

(Richmond, IN)--Reid Health today is announcing a rate increase for 2016.  But, the good news is that it’s the smallest rate increase in the last 18 years.  The governing board has approved a 3.3% increase.  Rates have increased annually going back to at least 1999.  Reid indicated that it would continue in 2016 to reach out to the uninsured, expand wellness programs, and expand services throughout the region.

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DRUNKEN WOMAN ARRESTED FOR PUNCHING HER OWN GRANDMA

(Richmond, IN)--A Richmond woman was booked into the Wayne County Jail at around 5:30 Wednesday morning after she allegedly got drunk and then punched her own grandma in the face at a home on Faus Place in Richmond.  29-year-old Meleaha Lear now faces a battery charge.  Lear was also jailed for battery back in March.  There was no immediate word on injuries to the grandmother.

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PREBLE COUNTY INVESTIGATES CHILD'S DEATH

(West Alexandria, OH)--A child’s death is now being investigated by the Preble County Sheriff’s Office.  Last weekend, that child died after being taken by ambulance from a home on Lexington Road in West Alexandria.  The initial call to 911 indicated the child was ill or not breathing.  Sheriff Mike Simpson indicated that some questions have arisen and that an autopsy has been scheduled for Wednesday.  The child’s age and identity have not been released.

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ALLEGED ARMED ROBBER TAKEN INTO CUSTODY

(Richmond, IN)--An alleged armed robber has been taken into custody.  32-year-old Brian Hargrove was arrested Monday afternoon at his home in the 200 block of South 7th Street in Richmond.  When officers arrested Hargrove, they also allegledy found a controlled substance.  There have been several recent reports of armed robberies against individuals.  Details of which robbery Hargrove is accused of committing were not immediately released.

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700-PLUS FORMER VISTEON EMPLOYEES GET SETTLEMENT CHECKS

(Connersville, IN)--More than 700 former employees of Visteon in Connersville are getting settlement checks.  A class-action lawsuit was filed way back in 2005 by employees who claimed Visteon violated COBRA laws by failing to notify them about keeping health insurance after the plant closed.  After a decade’s worth of legal wrangling, each of 741 employees will get a check for $1037.98.  Some employees have already received their checks.  Others will get theirs before the week is over.

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THREE AREA COUNTIES WILL SEE INCOME TAX RATES RISE

(Whitewater Valley)--People who work in three Whitewater Valley counties will see their income tax rate go up in 2016.  The Indiana Department of Revenue has released its list of 18 total counties with changes.  In Union County, the tax rate increases from  1 ½% to 1 ¾%.  Franklin County’s rate also goes up a quarter-percent to 1 ½%.  Henry County will see the same increase.  In Wayne County, the income tax rate will remain 1 ½%.

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GRAVEL PIT ROAD CRASH TURNS FATAL

(Richmond, IN)--The Wayne County Sheriff’s Department has not yet confirmed that a weekend crash on Gravel Pit Road in Richmond has become a fatality, but family and friends gathered at the site of the crash Sunday for a memorial service.  30-year-old Nadra Craig of Richmond was ejected from her SUV on Saturday morning when she lost control and went down an embankment.  Social media indicates Christmas gifts will be accepted for Craig’s children at 6 o’clock Tuesday night at the Townsend Center.

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RPD CATCHES ALLEGED DRUG DEALER AFTER FOOT CHASE

(Richmond, IN)--An alleged drug dealer was caught after a foot chase late Saturday night in the area of North West 3rd and Richmond Avenue.  Richmond police tracked down 24-year-old Zach Snider after he fled from a traffic stop.  Snider was allegedly in possession of cocaine and controlled substances.  He remained in the Wayne County Jail Monday morning.

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McQUEEN SENTENCING SET FOR JANUARY 8

(Liberty, IN)--Sentencing has now been set for January 8 in Union Circuit Court for Bert McQeen.  After four full days of trial last week, it took the jury all of a half an hour to find McQueen guilty of murder in the shooting death of Brandon Wicker.  McQueen shot and killed Wicker in his Brownsville home in the fall of last year.  At 43 years old, McQueen will now likely spend the rest of his life behind bars.

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PLANT GUILTY OF MURDER

(Richmond, IN)--Deandre Plant is guilty of the murder of 17-year-old Caleb Woosley of Richmond.  That’s the verdict that a Wayne County jury reached after three and a half hours of deliberation Thursday afternoon.  The 21-year-old Plant bowed his head and then wiped tears away as the verdict was read.  He is now the fourth person convicted of having some role in Woosley’s death.  Plant faces between 45 and 65 years when he’s sentenced on the 21st.

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TRASHY CRASH CLOSES U.S. 127 FOR NINE HOURS

(Preble County, OH)--It was a royal mess on U.S. 127 in Preble County Thursday.  The highway was shut down for more than nine hours when a semi full of trash lost control in the area of the Forty Foot Pitch just north of Eaton.  The truck broke apart and its entire load of trash spilled across the road and into a field.  The driver was not hurt.  Investigators say speed was the primary cause of the crash.  127 finally reopened at just before midnight Thursday night / Friday morning.

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CITY OFFICIALS: PARTIES HAVE SIGNED PAULEE CONTRACT

(Richmond, IN)--City officials in Richmond indicated Thursday that plans to repair the wall at the former Paulee Restaurant in the Depot District are progressing.  The parties have signed a contract, but the project cannot go forward until the contractor signs off.  Beard Masonry will do the work.  City leaders said Thursday that the decision about whether the repairs can start soon or will have to wait until spring is in Beard’s hands.

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RPD OFFICER MAKES 30-POUND POT BUST

(Henry County, IN)--A Richmond police officer who was part of what’s called the PACE Team made a significant drug bust this week in Henry County.  PACE stands for Pro-Active Criminal Enforcement and takes RPD officers across city and county lines.  The RPD officer suspected drugs were inside a Kia that had been pulled over.  Inside, more than 30 pounds of marijuana were found hidden in a secret compartment.  The occupants were taking the marijuana from Denver to New York.

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WOMEN NARROWLY MISS GAS LINE IN SUV CRASH

(Richmond, IN)--Two women were hurt Thursday morning when the SUV they were in slammed into a utility pole on Fort Wayne Avenue in Richmond.  It happened just after midnight at the CMJ Corporation building across from the old Warner School.  Multiple high voltage lines came down.  That resulted in sporadic power outages in the area Thursday morning.  But Battalion Chief Eric Holmes said it could have been much worse.  "We all got lucky. It was about eight inches away from hitting an industrial gas line on that brick building.  It could have been a disaster." Holmes said.  The women’s identities and conditions have not been released.

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WITNESS TO BEATING TESTIFIES IN MURDER TRIAL

(Richmond, IN)--The prosecution continued to present its case against Deandre Plant in Wayne Superior Court I Wednesday.  Plant is on trial for the murder of Richmond teen Caleb Woosley a year and a half ago.  Michael Pruitt, who is already serving 45 years for his role, testified that he served as a lookout as Plant and Kore Buchanan beat Woosley to death.  A teen girl testified Wednesday that she had been touched inappropriately by Woosley.  That is allegedly what triggered the attack.

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WAYNE COUNTY NAMED FINALIST FOR THREE MANUFACTURING PROJECTS

(Richmond, IN)--Wayne County is a finalist for three separate manufacturers that are looking to expand and create at least 250 jobs locally and invest at least $50 million.  None of the potential employers have been identified.  According to EDC officials this week, they include a food processor, a plastic injection molding company, and an aluminum foundry.  In each case, it’s down to Wayne County and one other finalist.  No timetable for a decision from the companies was announced.

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MAISH REFUSES TO TESTIFY AT MURDER TRIAL - AGAIN

(Richmond, IN)--As the prosecution in the Deandre Plant murder trial began to present its case Tuesday in Wayne Superior Court I, one of the state’s key witnesses, and a participant in the murder of Caleb Woosley, once again refused to testify.  David Maish was again found in contempt Tuesday – just as he was in the trial of Kore Buchanan.  Maish was required to testify as part of a plea deal and will undoubtedly face additional prison time.  Jurors were instead shown a videotaped deposition of Maish.

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EATON SCHOOL BUS BACKS OVER LAKENGREN MOTORCYCLE RIDER

(Eaton, OH)--An Eaton Community School bus backed over a motorcycle rider in Lakengren Tuesday afternoon.  22-year-old Jared Winkler was behind the bus on Skodborg Drive.  The bus had just dropped off a student and was in reverse.  None of the eight students on the bus were injured, but Winkler was Careflighted to Miami Valley Hospital in Dayton.  He was last listed in critical condition with a broken back, broken arm, and punctured lung.

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LONG-TIME RICHMOND MEDICAL FACILITY TO CLOSE; RELOCATE

(Richmond, IN)--It’s served as a medical building in Richmond for the last 43 years, but that comes to an end this week.  Reid Pediatric and Internal Medicine is closing the building at the corner of Chester Boulevard and Waterfall Road and, on Monday, opening a new location that’s basically across the street.  The new location offers and extra 6200 square feet and represents a nearly-$4 million investment.  The old building will be torn down to make way for a new Reid ENT, Hearing, and Allergy Center.

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ALLEGED WINCHESTER BANK ROBBER CAUGHT

(Hartford City, IN)--The man who police say robbed a bank in Winchester last week has been caught.  36-year-old Jason Garmon was taken into custody in Hartford City Tuesday.  Police executed a search warrant there and found $3000 in cash and other evidence tying Garmon not only to the robbery of Old National Bank in Winchester, but also to recent bank robberies in Jay and Blackford Counties.

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TWO CRASHES CLOSE U.S. 27 OVERNIGHT

(Fountain City, IN)--U.S. 27 on the north side of Fountain City was closed for much of the overnight, and traffic was still affected Tuesday morning.  At 11:30 Monday night, a car went into a utility pole near the intersection of 27 and North Street.  It brought several utility lines down across the roadway.  Two hours later, a semi trying to maneuver around the original crash rolled over the back end of a Fountain City police cruiser.  There were no injuries reported.  27 was projected to reopen at 7 a.m. Tuesday

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FREEDOM FROM RELIGION SIGN STOLEN FROM COURTHOUSE LAWN

(Brookville, IN)--The separation of church and state argument has turned the lawn of the Franklin County Courthouse into somewhat of a circus, and now there’s a new act.  The group Freedom From Religion had rented space on the lawn to put up a sign celebrating the Winter Solstice.  That sign said that there are no gods and no heaven and that religion is a myth.  Now, that sign has been stolen.  Freedom From Religion is offering a $1000 reward for information about the crime.

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WAYNE COUNTY PATROLMEN CREDITED WITH SAVING LIFE

(Richmond, IN)--Four Wayne County patrolmen were credited Monday by Sheriff Jeff Cappa with saving a man’s life.  Brandon Krofta, Carey Martin, Tyler Marsh, and B.G. Skaggs responded on Sunday to the northern edge of Middlefork Reservoir off of State Road 227 where they found a suicidal man unconscious in his locked car with something around his neck.  The four smashed their way into the car and gave first aid.  The man was taken to Reid Health to be treated and evaluated.

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MAN KILLED IN PREBLE COUNTY TREE-TRIMMING ACCIDENT

(Preble County, OH)--A 66-year-old man was killed in a tree-trimming accident in Preble County Sunday.  The victim’s identity has not yet been released.  He was on a ladder at a property on Swishers Mill Road between Lewisburg and West Manchester when he was struck by a large limb.  The accident was not discovered until after dark Sunday night.  The victim’s wife sent friends out to look for him when he didn’t return after sunset.

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SUPERINTENDENTS ISSUE LETTER DENOUNCING ISTEP RESULTS

(Wayne County, IN)--The superintendents of the five school districts in Wayne County have co-written an open letter that expresses dissatisfaction with ISTEP testing.  Changes in the test have resulted in dramatic drops in scores.  There were also numerous problems in administering the test last spring.  Wayne County’s superintendents say in the letter that results are not an accurate reflection of students’ academic accomplishments.

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TRIAL BEGINS FOR LAST DEFENDANT IN TEEN'S MURDER

(Richmond, IN)--The last defendant in the murder of 17-year-old Caleb Woosley a year and a half ago goes on trial Monday in Wayne Superior Court I.  21-year-old Deandre Plant is accused of taking part in Woosley’s beating death in a Richmond alley.  Three co-defendants with varying levels of responsibility have already been convicted.  18-year-old Kore Buchanan was sentenced earlier this fall to 58 years for his role.

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SNOW PICKS POLICE, FIRE CHIEFS

(Richmond, IN)--Richmond Mayor-Elect Dave Snow has picked police and fire chiefs.  Jim Branum was picked from a pool of four finalists to be Police Chief.  Branum is currently serving RPD as Deputy Chief.  Jerry Purcell will remain Fire Chief.  Only one other candidate was interviewed.  Snow made his picks after a 12-member transition team conducted entry-level interviews and then ranked applicants.

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RPD FINDS DRUGS, COCAINE, AND STOLEN GUNS AT SHERIDAN STREET HOME

(Richmond, IN)--Richmond police found powdered cocaine, stolen guns, and drug paraphernalia at a home on Sheridan Street Thursday night.  Children were also present at 934 Sheridan when officers began searching.  At least four people were taken out of the home, including 34-year-old Everett Cooper.  He’s facing a host of charges, including dealing cocaine and heroin.  34-year-old Angela Gilbert lives in the home and was also arrested.  James and Jade Goubeaux of Richmond were also in the Wayne County Jail Friday morning.

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ROLLING METH LAB FORCES CLOSURE OF CENTERVILLE STREET

(Centerville, IN)--South Morton Street in Centerville was shut down Thursday night after police found a rolling meth lab.  The meth lab was in the trunk of a parked car with a man inside.  43-year-old Bobby Binion of Losantville faces nine charges, including manufacturing and dealing meth.  Also arrested were 44-year-old James Abney of Richmond and two Muncie-area people.  The drugs were discovered when CPS when to a home to remove a child.  The occupants refused to answer the door and then fled out the back.

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LEAD TESTING CLOSES AREA ARMORIES

(Indianapolis, IN)--Lead testing has closed three Whitewater Valley armories.  Potential lead dust contamination has been identified in some of the armories, including Richmond’s, Connersville’s, and Winchester’s.  It means the armories are closed for rentals until further notice.  In a prepared statement this week, the Indiana National Guard said that they were erring on the side of caution with the closings.

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ALLEGED COCAINE DEALER FOUND PASSED OUT IN CAR NEAR McBRIDE STADIUM

(Richmond, IN)--An alleged cocaine dealer was taken into custody Thursday morning when she was found passed out behind the wheel of her own car on North West 13th near McBride Stadium in Richmond.  Police found cocaine, syringes, and crack pipes in the car of 52-year-old Laura Turner.  This makes at least the 8th time Turner has been in the Wayne County Jail since 2001.

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MAN CAUGHT WITH DUFFLE BAG FULL OF MARIJUANA COOKIES

(Fountain City, IN)--There was a drug bust on U.S. 27 in Fountain City Wednesday night.  A man later identified as 22-year-old Harvey Rubio of Hamilton was stopped.  Police found a duffle bag packed full of pre-packaged marijuana cookies.  The bag also contained a scale.  The exact amount of marijuana has not been released.  Rubio was in the Wayne County Jail Thursday morning.

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WAYNE COUNTY CHILD NEGLECT CASES CONTINUE TO RISE

(Richmond, IN)--The disturbing number of confirmed child neglect cases in Wayne County continues.  The most current numbers run through the end of September.  By then, there had already been 217 confirmed cases of child neglect.  By comparison, that’s a hundred more cases than at this time in 2013.  For the last four months, Wayne County has averaged just shy of one new case every day.  The overwhelming majority of cases involve drug usage by parents or guardians.

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TWINS' IDENTITIES RELEASED; RPD ISSUES STATEMENT

(Richmond, IN)--The twin infant boys who died at Nine North Apartments in Richmond earlier this week have been identified as Ahmir and Brayden Pierce.  Richmond police investigators issued a statement Wednesday saying that, even after autopsy, there is still no clear, evident cause of death.  Investigators did say that the babies were at a high risk for sudden infant death syndrome because they were born premature, were black, and had a mother who is a smoker.  But, they reiterated that SIDS has not been confirmed as the cause of death.

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AUTOPSIES YIELD NO IMMEDIATE PUBLIC ANSWERS REGARDING DEATHS OF TWIN INFANTS

(Richmond, IN)--Autopsies were performed Tuesday but yielded no immediate, public answers as to how twin three-month-old boys died at Nine North Apartments in Richmond.  Most neighbors said Tuesday that they did not know the victims.  "I've lived here since they opened and I don't recall seeing a woman in or out of the building with two small infants," said one resident.  Toxicology results normally take at least six weeks, but that process is being expedited.  The babies’ names and the names of family members have not been released.  There have been no criminal charges.  The family has no history with children’s services.

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FAIRFIELD COMPANY'S MOVE MEANS 23 NEW JOBS FOR RICHMOND

(Richmond, IN)--A Fairfield company is moving its operation to Richmond.  Grafcor is a subsidiary of Innomark Communications and has announced that it will create 23 new jobs and invest up to $2 million in Richmond.  Grafcor prints sheets used in consumer packaging and point-of-purchase displays for companies that include Petsmart, Walmart, and Pepsi.  The company received about $150,000 in tax credits and grants.

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WINCHESTER BANK ROBBED

(Winchester, IN)--There was a bank robbery in Winchester Tuesday.  A man entered the Old National Bank on South Meridian and handed the teller a note demanding money.  He never displayed a weapon and fled with an undisclosed amount of cash.  Willard Elementary, which is nearby, was placed on lockdown.  A surveillance image shows a white male wearing a blue jean jacket. 

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RICHMOND TEEN JAILED FOR POSSESSING CHILD PORN

(Richmond, IN)--A Richmond teenager has been charged with possession of child pornography.  19-year-old Crimson Pitcher was being held Wednesday morning on a $7500 bond after being jailed Tuesday.  According to Pitcher’s Facebook page, she turned herself in.  Details including the amount of child pornography Pitcher is alleged to have possessed have not yet become available.

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INVESTIGATION CONTINUES AFTER DEATHS OF TWO INFANTS

(Richmond, IN)--The deaths of two infants continue to be the subject of an investigation by the Richmond Police Department.  At just before noon Monday, medical and law enforcement personnel were sent to the Nine North Apartments in the 200 block of North 9th.  Two infants were found and taken to Reid Health.  Both were pronounced dead.  There were no obvious signs of foul play.  The bodies have been sent to the Montgomery County Coroner’s Office.  Identities have not been released, but they have been described as twin three-month-old boys.

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13 JAILED MONDAY ON VARIOUS HEROIN, DRUG-RELATED CHARGES

(Richmond, IN)--A staggering 13 people were booked into the Wayne County Jail Moday on various drug and heroin-related charges.  That includes Kevin Bailey and William Gregory of Liberty, who were caught in the Kroger parking lot in Richmond Monday night allegedly with meth and cocaine.  Hours before, a Greensburg couple, Justin Hollin and Mackinzee Moeller, were caught shooting up heroin in Richmond’s Walmart parking lot.  Also, a Central Indiana woman, Stephanie McCord, was caught dealing heroin with at least four people inside a room at the Econo Lodge on Commerce Drive in Richmond Monday afternoon.  Those charged with visiting a common nuisance include Timothy Matheny, Shannon Burroughs, Jeffery Ellington, and Rachel Goodwin.  Ewalina Jones and Ronald Richardson were charged with possession of heroin.  Carl Hensley was charged with possession of paraphernalia.

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I-70 CONFRONTATION ENDS IN SUICIDE

(Henry County, IN)--Westbound I-70 was backed up for several miles in Wayne and Henry Counties Monday as a result of a brief confrontation that ended in suicide.  Police pulled over a 46-year-old Columbus, Ohio man for driving erratically near the Wilbur Wright Road exit.  The man was armed when he stepped out of his vehicle.  He was told by deputies to drop the weapon, but shot himself and was pronounced dead at the scene.  Westbound traffic was diverted onto State Road 1 for much of the afternoon.

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