(RICHMOND)- Richmond State Hospital is changing leadership. Director of Nursing Debra Jones and Superintendent Terry Suttle submitted their resignations February 18th and 19th. Suttle is stated saying he is leaving to pursue another career opportunity. Dr. Warren Fournier, the medical director of the State Hospital will act as interim superintendent. Searches to fill both positions will begin immediately.
(RICHMOND)- Richmond School board of trustees approved the sale of Highland Heights elementary property. The board voted solidly to accept the highest bid, which came from Mint Management LLC. The 1 million dollar property is said to be closed on in March. Mint Managemnet also bought Garrison Elementary back in April 2015.
(Richmond, IN and Versailles, KY)--The Richmond Baking Company is expanding, but not in Richmond. Richmond Baking has picked Versailles, Kentucky – just west of Lexington – as the site of a new 300,000 square foot plant. Baking Company President Bill Quigg said in a release yesterday that the Richmond plant is bursting at the seams and is not easily adapted for current production methods. The expansion is expected to create 300 jobs in Kentucky. Construction will begin this summer. What the release did not address was what the construction means for the future of the Richmond plant. The company’s union struck last month, but talks with Kentucky started well before that. Richmond Baking received $8 million in tax incentives for a $57 million project.
(Richmond, IN)--It took a Wayne County jury only 55 minutes of deliberation this week to find a man not guilty of child molesting. 42-year-old Kenny Weatherly was completely exonerated after being accused a year and a half ago of molesting a girl when she was under the age of five. Weatherly had entered into a plea deal late last summer that would have him plead guilty to sexual battery, but that deal was rejected.
(Richmond, IN)--Richmond police are searching for an alleged methamphetamine dealer. Thursday, officers went to a home at 87 North West G. The house was declared a common nuisance. Christopher Andis and Christopher Lawson were inside and were arrested. Now, officers are searching for the occupant, Joni Barker. Barker is wanted for dealing methamphetamine and possession of marijuana.
(Winchester, IN)--A father and son team from Winchester is facing a host of drug-related charges. 48-year-old Kevin Mallory and his 18-year-old son Austin were both taken to the Randolph County Jail this week when investigators found heroin, 400 gel caps used to distribute it, scales, syringes, and marijuana in their home on South Western Avenue. Kevin Mallory’s mom and grandma were also in the home but were not charged.
(Richmond, IN)--Richmond’s teachers have issued a nearly-unanimous vote of no confidence against RCS Superintendent Todd Terrill. The no-confidence vote was announced at Wednesday night’s school board meeting. Most of the complaints are centered on a switch from a 26 to a 24-pay-per year system that teachers say is leaving their paychecks short. But, REA President Kelley McDermott said there have been other issues in the last eight months.
(Winchester, IN)--A Winchester couple is charges after a horrible case of animal cruelty. 26-year-old William Brandenburg and his 19-year-old wife Jessica are accused of leaving two dogs chained outside their mobile home on State Road 32. One dog was found severely malnourished. The other had died. The Brandenburg’s landlord told investigators that no one had been seen on the property for two weeks. William Branderburg is set to go on trial next month on a domestic battery charge from last spring.
(Richmond, IN)--Richmond police were sent to the Dairy Queen on Chester Boulevard Tuesday night on the report that one person had a gun to another person’s head. It happened at around 6:30, when several customers were in line. The suspect car fled the area and was eventually stopped by Richmond police at Waterfall Road and Sheridan Street. A gun was found, but the owner legally possessed it and had no warrants. The would-be victim at the Dairy Queen refused to cooperate with police. No arrests were made.
(West Alexandria, OH)--A semi slammed into a church Tuesday night in West Alexandria. Investigators say the driver either fell asleep or suffered some sort of medical incident at around 9 o’clock. He went through a field and into the Community Christian Church on Dorsey Akers Drive. The church’s praise team was practicing at the time, but no one inside was hurt. The driver remains hospitalized. His identity and condition have not been released.
(Brookville, IN)--A woman in Franklin County has now been charged with reckless homicide for selling heroin to another woman who died from an overdose. 22-year-old Virginia Hooten allegedly sold the heroin to Alyssa Heppner, who died last October. Hooten had been sentenced to eight years for dealing drugs in 2013, but was released well short of that. This case marks the second time in Franklin County that someone has been charged with reckless homicide for selling heroin that resulted in death.
(Marquette Co., MI)--A Darke County woman has died as the result of a snowmobile accident. 39-year-old Missy Thornhill was snowmobiling in the upper peninsula of Michigan on Monday with her husband when she lost control, left a trail, and hit a tree. Thornhill was pronounced dead at the scene. She was wearing a helmet at the time of the crash. The crash is still under investigation.
(Richmond, IN)--A moped battery has been identified as the source of a fire that destroyed a garage on North West L in Richmond Monday. The fire broke out late Monday morning in the 500 block and had fully engulfed the garage by the time firefighters arrived. The battery had been left on a charger. Damage was set at $10,000. Siding on a neighboring house was also damaged.
(Eaton, OH)--There’s a battle in the Preble County gated community of Lakengren. The 45-year-old swimming pool is failing and beyond repair, and replacing it would cost about $700,000. Recently, a vote was held among all residents regarding whether or not each household would pay $12 a month for five years for a new pool. With more than 800 votes cast, the new pool failed by just 15 votes. Proponents of a new pool say property values will fall without it. Opponents say it’s too expensive.
(Eaton, OH)--A high-tech thief is victimizing people in parts of the Whitewater Valley. The man uses a device to obtain credit card numbers and then transfers the information to a magnetic strip that he then uses at various retail stores. There are clear surveillance images of the suspects entering stores to use the stolen credit card information.
(Wayne County, IN)--Stacey Steele with the organization Drug Free Wayne County is talking about the results of the Indiana Youth Survey, which details drug usage by Wayne County kids. "Kids start using with their families," Steele said. By the time they are in 12th grade, one in four Wayne County kids has tried marijuana. Steele talked about what some parents have actually done. "Blown marijuana smoke over the baby's face and then covered the baby with a blanket so that the parents can have their 'relax time' and the baby will fall asleep." One in three Wayne County 12th graders has used alcohol.
(Winchester, IN)--A former Winchester woman has been ordered to repay the nearly $34,000 she stole from taxpayers. 59-year-old Janie Sheffer, though, escaped jail time and will serve a year on home detention. Sheffer collected unemployment money for five years, even though she was working the entire time at convenience stores and health care facilities. She collected $279 every week for five years.
(Oxford, OH)--An Oxford woman who was working as a counselor at a Butler County youth home is now facing charges for allegedly having sex with a 17-year-old boy. 31-year-old Jillian Walker was fired last November after the allegations came to light. The contact was consensual, but Walker was charged criminally because of her position at Bunker Hill Haven.
(Union County, IN)--An Oxford man is behind bars after he allegedly rammed a Butler County Sheriff’s Department vehicle during a three-county chase on Thursday. 30-year-old Cody Webb fled police in Oxford into Franklin County. He drove through farm fields and struck Butler County Deputy Ryan Jones’ vehicle. From there, Webb fled north into Union County. Webb was eventually boxed in near State Route 101 and Fosdick Road and taken into custody. Deputy Jones was not seriously hurt. Webb faces a host of charges.
(Indianapolis, IN)--Larry Parker was recently honored for his 36 years of service on the Richmond Common council. State reps. Dick Hamm of Richmond and Jeff Rotz of Centerville honored Parker at the Statehouse. Hamm called Parker a prime example of a public servant who has dedicated himself to bettering the community. Parker started in 1980, and was re-elected nine times before retiring last year.
(Cambridge City, IN)--It’s another honor for Sugar Creek Packing in the Gateway Industrial Park near Cambridge City. An industry publication has named Sugar Creek’s Wayne County plant as the 2016 national Plant of the Year. The magazine said Sugar Creek is at the forefront of technology. Earlier this month, another national publication named Sugar Creek the Food Processor of the Year.
(Richmond, IN)--Wayne County Commissioners Wednesday indicated that there has been an inquiry from a private company interested in the old Reid Hospital property. Nothing can happen, though, until numerous environmental issues are addressed. Those issues include arsenic and thallium contamination, asbestos, a flooded basement, and extensive vandalism. Cleanup and demolition is expected to cost at least $6 million. The property also carries $700,000 in unpaid taxes.
(Richmond, IN)--Wayne County Circuit Court Judge David Kolger called him "the worst of the worst." 33-year-old child molestor Timothy Shuff was sentenced Wednesday to 62 years in prison for molesting a girl under the age of 14. When one of her siblings discovered the crime, Shuff hit that child with a board. The victim wrote a statement that was read in court Wednesday. She said that she is slowly putting her life back together.
(New Madison, OH)--Three New Madison sisters are recovering after being involved in a crash Wednesday morning on their way to Tri Village schools. 17-year-old Brooklyn Godown lost control on an icy Mills Road, hit a tree, and then the corner of a house. Her sisters, Allison and Chloe, were also in the car. Chloe was not wearing a seatbelt and was partially ejected. She was taken to Dayton Children’s Hospital.
(Eaton, OH)--The former director of the Preble County Historical Society appeared in court Wednesday and pled guilty to grand theft. Melanie Jane Lightner has now been ordered to pay back the $77,000 she stole from the society over an eight-year period. Lightner also laundered more than $13,000 from an elderly donor. She’ll be sentenced late next month.
(Cambridge City, IN)--There’s good news for the sewage treatment issue at the Gateway Industrial Park near Cambridge City. The wastewater treatment facility had been operating at near capacity, preventing expansion at Sugar Creek and making it difficult to market available space at the park. This week, an engineer indicated preparations for expansion of the treatment plant have actually reduced the flow. It means local leaders have more time than they originally thought to seek grants to help fund a permanent fix. The cost of a permanent fix could mean residential customers would see their monthly bills more than double unless grants are secured.
(Richmond, IN)--Changes in salaries, titles, and duties to the city’s Metropolitan Development Office were approved Tuesday night by Richmond Common Council. The changes increase the planner’s salary by $5000 and decrease the director’s salary by almost $10,000. The vote was unanimous, although Council member Jamie Lopeman had said he would vote against it. Later, on his Facebook page, Lopeman indicated that he got lost in the moment.
(Richmond, IN)--Construction for Richmond’s newest park gets underway later this week. "Friday, we have the groundbreaking for Elstro Plaza. That happens at 2 p.m. across from Morrison-Reeves Library. We should have beautiful weather Friday, so that should be a great event to attend." said Richmond Mayor Dave Snow Tuesday night. The roughly $2 million cost will be covered by a Stellar Communities grant. When it’s done, the park will feature a playground, a spray pad, and a covered area for the farmer’s market.
(Indianapolis, IN)--The Indiana Youth Institute on Monday issued its annual “Kids Count Indiana Data Book”. It shows what kids in our area face. Here are some sobering new numbers: In Wayne County, more than one in four children, or 26%, are living in poverty. More than half of its students, 51%, receive free lunch. For counties that include Wayne, Union, and Fayette, one in four students has a parent who has spent time in jail. That’s the highest percentage in Indiana. Also, about 7% of high school students in our area say they’ve tried drugs other than alcohol, tobacco, and marijuana.
(Richmond, IN)--Law enforcement officers Tuesday night nabbed a man wanted for committing several Wayne County burglaries. 22-year-old Thomas Pinkston allegedly drove through a farm field in an effort to elude police, but was eventually captured late last night at Union Pike and U.S. 27 just north of Richmond. The chase was triggered by an alarm at Kirby Risk. Stolen tools from another business were recovered. Pinkston is also wanted in the Muncie area.
(Cedar Grove, IN)--Tuesday is the last full day in the life of the historic Cedar Grove Bridge over the Whitewater River in Franklin County. The bridge was built 102 years ago near Cedar Grove, and it’s on the National Register of Historic Places. But, it has fallen into disrepair and has not been used in more than 15 years. A construction crew will blow the bridge up at 10 o’clock Wednesday morning.
(Troy, OH)--A man who allegedly stole a car in Richmond was arrested Sunday after leading police on a high-speed chase in Troy. 25-year-old Josey Keesling, who lives in Henry County, led police on a chase at speeds that topped a hundred miles an hour from West Milton to Troy. Keesling allegedly hit two officers during the pursuit. Investigators have not yet said from where in Richmond that the car was taken.
(Wayne County, IN)--Final totals are in for 2015 from the Indiana Department of Child Services. And, for Wayne County, the results are staggering. Last year, Wayne County had 294 substantiated cases of child neglect and sexual abuse. The 294 cases last year represented a 47% increase in the number of cases from the year before. State officials have indicated cases of child neglect often are the result of drug-addicted parents.
(Richmond, IN)--It took Richmond police only hours Thursday to wrap up the investigation into the city’s first two murders of 2016. "It will soon be a closed case. We are searching for no additional suspects at this point," said RPD Captain Kevin Wampler. Police say Virgus Browning Junior of Richmond and a Missouri man shot and ultimately killed each other in a parking lot in the 1800 block of Industries Road late Wednesday night. Investigators have not said what led to the dispute or what the men were doing in the remote parking lot.
(Richmond, IN)--IU East in Richmond continues to see a steady increase in enrollment. The university this week said that 4135 students are enrolled this spring, and that’s up three percent from last year. The biggest area of growth is in the number of graduate students. Enrollment there is up 20% from last year. Another 2700 students are currently taking classes online.
(West Alexandria, OH)--A Preble County Commissioner was the victim of an identity theft, and wait until you hear how the suspects were captured. Two Columbus men somehow got Rodney Creech’s credit card number. They ordered two hoodies that cost almost $500 each and had them sent to the West Alexandria post office. Like most people in town, the clerk knew Creech and tipped off police. "Somebody had called the post office and acted like me. She knew right away that it was not me," Creech said. It turns out they were wanted by federal agents and had stolen cards from across the country. 16 or 17 of those gift cards had been re-coded with stolen credit card information," said Sheriff Mike Simpson.."It's great to be from Preble County," Creech added.
(Richmond, IN)--Investigators in Richmond have been questioning five people throughout Wednesday night and into Thursday morning after a fatal shooting. One person was shot and killed near the old Coca-Cola facility on Industries Road at around 9:15 Wednesday night. A second person was also shot but has apparently survived. Police believe there were two shooters. A Dayton woman who was at the scene has been arrested for methamphetamine possession, but she has not been charged with the shooting. She's been identified as 40-year-old Lori Clark. The names of the victims have not been released.
(Wayne County, IN)--New figures from the State Department of Health show that Wayne County has one of the higher teen pregnancy rates in Indiana. The figures cover 2014. In that year, 38 out of every thousand teens in Wayne County was pregnant. That’s 35% higher than the state average. 21 girls between the age of 15 and 17 had babies. Figures also show that Wayne County had an abnormally high percentage of babies born to unmarried parents.
(Preble County, OH)--Details of a massive drug bust on I-70 in Preble County have been released. A man was stopped on I-70 after he decelerated passing a state trooper. The 63-year-old man was nervous, and that prompted a further search. Inside his Jetta, investigators found 3 kilos of heroin with an estimated street value of $1.2 million. The man admitted that he had been paid $5000 to drive the drugs from Arizona to Massachusetts and that he had made the trip before.
(Richmond, IN)--Earlham College has proposed four steps aimed at satisfying students who think the school is not diverse enough, but those students are still not happy. In a letter to students and staff this week, President David Dawson proposed diversity and inclusion training. But, in a Facebook post Tuesday, students say they expect and deserve more. The most quantifiable of their demands is that no more than 70% of faculty and staff be white.
(Brookville, IN)--Former Brookville Township Trustee Britney Ison has now been charged criminally. Ison has been charged with felony theft after allegedly overpaying herself and charging the township for her personal travel and phone expenses. Ison is being represented by Richmond attorney Jeff Arnold. If convicted, she faces between six months and two and a half years in jail. Ison was the township trustee until the first of last year.
(Hagerstown, IN)--Funeral services were held Tuesday for Stump Dale and his four-year-old granddaughter Jenna. They died in a house fire just west of Hagerstown last week. Also Tuesday, area firefighters gathered to renew their goal to have working smoke detectors in every home. "We're hoping that in the future something like that tragedy can be prevented," said one firefighter. Firefighters said they did not hear smoke detectors at the home that morning, although family members have indicated they were there. The cause of the fire has not been determined.
(Eaton, OH)--Zoning has now been approved for a residential treatment center in Eaton. Estimates indicate the new center, which will be located on North Barron Street, will be able to house up to a hundred Preble County residents each year as they try to recover from addiction. The zoning board unanimously rejected the proposal last November, but has now unanimously approved it after hearing from some residents.
(Cambridge City, IN)--Sugar Creek Packing has been named the Refrigerated Foods Processor of the Year. An industry magazine honored Sugar Creek, which has expanded from its base in Washington Courthouse to the Gateway Industrial Park near Cambridge City. The Cambridge City facility is the largest plant in the system, and they’re looking to expand. A wastewater treatment issue must be solved first.
(Richmond, IN)--Reid Health Monday explained its protocol related to babies born addicted to heroin. Late last week, a Reid board member indicated at a legislative forum that “the authorities” could not be called because it violated federal health regulations regarding privacy. On Monday, Reid officials say that they do, in each case of an addicted baby, call Child Protective Services. But, they are prevented by federal guidelines from calling law enforcement directly.
(Richmond, IN)--Recently, we were first to report that Reid Health had more than 50 babies born addicted to heroin last year. Many people responded and asked what happens to the mothers in those cases. The answer, in most cases, is nothing. The reason will leave you shaking your head. It’s because HIPPA laws prevent Reid Health from reporting the mothers to authorities. Instead, according to Reid’s board chair, here’s what happens. The baby goes through a 3-4 week detox, usually at taxpayer or Reid expense, and then is given back to the mother, who is still addicted. Reid is pushing for a change to HIPPA laws. They say they’ve had more than one addicted baby born to the same mother.
(Centerville, IN)--Many people may have voted illegally in Centerville’s election last fall. This week, the Wayne County Election Board addressed a situation in which two poll workers allowed people who live outside the Centerville town limits to cast ballots in Centerville’s election. The board removed the poll workers names from the list of those available to work. The minutes of the meeting do not indicate whether or not the workers knowingly and intentionally allowed people outside the district to vote. The issue will not change the outcome of the election. Challenges must be made within two weeks of Election Day.
(Richmond, IN)--Classes were cancelled and most offices at Earlham College were closed Thursday after a group of students issued a claim that Earlham is not racially diverse enough. That group has issued a series of nine demands to the Earlham administration. Primarily, the group demands that at least 30% of the Earlham faculty and staff be black. They also demand that 20% of the board be black. The group claims "the campus is unsuitable for students of color to thrive." The letter does not say what will happen if the demands are not met.
(Richmond, IN)--Law enforcement agents are looking for a man who failed to show up for his sentencing in Wayne Superior Court II Wednesday. Jason Branham had been on trial last month for drug dealing. On the second day of that trial, Branham went to lunch and never came back. A new arrest warrant was issued Wednesday. Branham is a Richmond resident with ties to Cincinnati.
(Henry County, IN)--Investigators are still looking into the cause of the fire yesterday morning just west of Hagerstown that claimed the lives of 52-year-old Michael Dale, who most people knew as “Stump”, and his four-year-old granddaughter Jenna. "I had guys pack up and try to go in and get him. But it was too late by the time they got inside," said one Liberty Township firefighter. Meanwhile, friends and family members like Mark Lang coping with the tragedy. "He's just a guy that would give his heart to the world. We're gonna miss him. Him and Jenna...we're gonna miss both of them," Lang said. Services are pending.
(Henry County, IN)--Two people are confirmed dead as the result of a fire Wednesday morning a few miles west of Hagerstown. Several Wayne County agencies were sent to the scene of a fire in eastern Henry County in which multiple people were initially reported trapped. The fire broke out at around 1 Wednesday morning in the Chicago Corner Church area. One person died at the scene. A second person died at an area hospital. Identities have not yet been released, and there’s no word on what started the fire.
(Brookville, IN)--A contract is now in place paving the way for a massive reconstruction of Main Street through downtown Brookville. Construction is expected to start in the early spring of next year. It will include a complete repaving of Main Street, which is also U.S. 52 and State Road 1, throughout the business district. It will also include new sidewalks and light bases. The project will be done in multiple phases.
(Richmond, IN)--Richmond Mayor Dave Snow said at Monday night’s Common Council meeting that improvements are coming soon to what is now one of the city’s biggest eyesores. It’s the former YMCA building uptown that will be converted into senior housing and renamed Music City Place. "We'll see construction start on that no later than March 1. It's a $9.9 million investment which will place 50 units in the two buildings. All kinds of historic features are going to be maintained," Snow explained. Snow also talked about last weekend’s Ice Festival. "That was a huge success. I know it wasn't the best weather for ice, but it was great weather for people. Downtown was packed, and I certainly loved seeing that," Snow said. Council Monday night held over a salary discussion for two positions for two more weeks.
(Henry County, IN)--A Richmond man who was wanted for both sexual misconduct with a minor and dissemination of child pornography was captured overnight in Henry County. The Indiana State Police tracked down 22-year-old Ryan Hearn. Hearn was booked into the Wayne County Jail at just before 2 Tuesday morning. Hearn allegedly had improper contact with a 15-year-old girl and then exchanged nude photos of her with others. The girl’s mother knew of the relationship, but thought he was much younger than he actually is.
(Richmond, IN)--The sentencing of Deandre Plant in Wayne Superior Court I Monday finally brings to a close the case of the murder of Richmond teen Caleb Woosley. Woosley was beaten to death in a Richmond alley in May of 2014. Plant was the last of four defendants to be sentenced. He was given 58 years Monday. Plant knew that he would be sentenced to in excess of 50 years and showed little emotion as the sentence was handed down.
(Richmond, IN)--He became known as the Bicycle Bandit after a series of bank robberies in Richmond in which he used a bicycle as a getaway vehicle. 34-year-old Dustin Sullivan was sentenced Monday to 66 years in prison. Sullivan robbed three Richmond banks in the fall of 2014. He also admitted to committing 24 burglaries, but was ultimately only charged with 11. Sullivan said that his heroin addiction fueled his crimes and he apologized to his victims.
(Centerville, IN)--A water boil advisory was in effect for parts of Centerville Tuesday. An emergency repair to a water main Monday has prompted the advisory. The part of Centerville that’s affected is from 2nd to 4th Streets and from East Main to East Walnut. Residents in those areas should boil water for 12 minutes before using it for drinking or cooking.
(Preble County, OH)--Preble County investigators are still looking to find whoever put explosive devices in three mailboxes in the Gratis area over the weekend. "It's scary. Had that went off when I was at the mailbox, that would not have been a good sight," said one of the victims. Police now say they believe it could be intended as a prank. "All of the victims - the property owners - had teenage kids," said one law enforcement officer. The devices were a chemical mixture contained in two-liter beverage bottles. There were no injuries.
(Richmond, IN)--Complaints of prostitution in the area of 12th and East Main were fielded by the Richmond Police Department over the weekend. Police issued a warning on Saturday, but had to return twice Sunday and eventually made two arrests. 33-year-old Jamie Hemmelgarn of Richmond and 51-year-old Langston King, also of Richmond, were both taken to the Wayne County Jail and charged with prostitution.
(Indianapolis, IN)--91 of 92 Indiana counties have reported final real estate sales figures for 2015. The only one that has not is Wayne. Fayette County home sales were up slightly in 2015, but they still have some of the lowest home prices in the state with a median home price of just $66,000. Union County’s median price fell 20%. Clearly, the Indiana county in our area that is booming is Franklin County. Home sales were up 13% last year with a median price of $143,000.