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Local News: A service of Reid Health Archives for 2016-03

COMMISSIONERS HEAR ARGUMENTS FOR, AGAINST NEEDLE EXCHANGE PROGRAM

(Richmond, IN)--Wayne County has well more than twice the state average of hepatitis C cases.  That’s one of the primary reasons that Wayne County Health Department Director Eric Coulter pushed for a needle exchange program at a public hearing on the issue Wednesday afternoon.  Treating just one case of hepatitis C can cost up to $100,000, and that often falls to the taxpayer.  Commissioners Wednesday did not vote on whether or not to pursue the program.  They took all comments under advisement, but could act as soon as next week.

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TWO ARRESTED AFTER ROBBERY AT TOBACCO BARN

(Richmond, IN)--Two Richmond residents are facing charges in connection with a robbery at the Tobacco Barn on North West 5th Street Wednesday.  34-year-old Royce Buckley never produced a weapon, but allegedly threatened employees.  He took money and fled toward his home at a nearby trailer park.  Police tracked him down and took him into custody.  They also arrested 33-year-old Jamie Hemmelgarn, who was allegedly stuffing the money under a mattress as officers arrived.  It’s Hemmelgarn’s third arrest already this year.  The other two are for prostitution.

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PROPERTY WHERE THE WRIGHT BROTHERS ONCE LIVED HIT BY ARSONIST

(Richmond, IN)--A Richmond home where Orville and Wilbur Wright once lived was the sight of a suspicious fire Wednesday night.  Trash has been pushed up against a garage in an alley in the 200 block between North 14th and 15th Streets.  "They intentionally set it.  There was a chair pushed up against the rear of the garage.  It just burnt the exterior.  It was called in in time," said Battalion Chief Eric Holmes.  There was no damage to the house itself.  The Wright Brothers lived in the home for just a couple of years in the 1880’s.

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FORMER PREBLE HISTORICAL SOCIETY DIRECTOR SENTENCED

(Eaton, OH)--The former director of the Preble County Historical Society was sentenced Wednesday.  Melanie Jane Lightner spent eight years stealing and laundering a total of about $90,000 from the historical society and its donors.  She briefly addressed the court.  "I deeply regret my actions," Lightner said.  Lightner was sentenced to a year and a half in prison.  Current director Tim Lane was hoping for a longer sentence.  "I with the prison time would have been a little more," Lane said.  Lightner was also ordered to pay restitution.

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ATTORNEY CALLS FOR DORN CENTER PROSECUTORS TO BE DISBARRED IN FORMAL COMPLAINT

(Indianapolis, IN)--An attorney has asked for the Indiana Disciplinary Commission to investigate and disbar five prosecutors for their role in the investigation two years ago into the DORN clinic.  Wayne County Prosecutor Mike Shipman is named in the complaint.  Attorney Andrew Dollard, who was originally charged in the case, called prosecution dishonest and unethical.  The Dorn Center in Centerville was one of several around Indiana accused of illegally distributing a heroin substitute.  Charges were ultimately dropped against staff members, but remain in place against three physicians.

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CENTERVILLE MAN CHARGED WITH MULTIPLE CRIMES AFTER CHASE

(Richmond, IN)--The Centerville man who led police on a chase Tuesday remained behind bars Wednesday morning.  44-year-old John Stephenson was spotted by an RPD officer driving a stolen van.  Stephenson crashed on Straightline Pike and fled on foot to a barn on U.S. 27.  He was Tased and taken into custody.  Stephenson is also accused of a purse-snatching at Walmart on Monday and a burglary on Sunday.  In the Walmart incident, he escaped following another short police chase.

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CHILD'S BALLOON, LAUNCHED FROM TEXAS, LANDS IN PREBLE COUNTY

(New Hope, OH)--Last Friday, an 8th grader in Cisco, Texas, released a balloon.  Three days later, it landed between Richmond and Eaton.  "I noticed a balloon. We picked it up, and we were surprised to see writing on it," said Carolyn Pope, who lives near New Hope.  The writing said “Hello from Cisco, Texas.”  Pope took to Facebook and found the girl.  "She let it go twice, and it got caught in a tree.  And then, the third time, it got to us,".  Pope explained.  She said she'll hang on to the balloon.  It floated 950 miles before dropping out of the sky and into a western Preble County farm field.

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FEBRUARY JOB NUMBERS SHOW INCREASE IN UNEMPLOYMENT

(FAYETTE COUNTY)- Fayette County saw its unemployment rate for February increase and break the 7 percent mark. The Indiana Department of Workforce Development released its February unemployment figures yesterday. Fayette county came in with a 7.3 percent for last month, which is the 11th highest in the state. Other counties that increased were Rush, Union, and Wayne which went from a 5.6 percent to 6 percent.

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WAYNE CO NEEDLE EXCHANGE HEARING SET FOR WEDNESDAY; FEW TAKE PART IN FAYETTE CO

(Richmond, IN)--Wayne County is continuing to consider a needle exchange program.  If it’s approved, it will be without any financial help from the state.  Fayette County’s program is already well underway.  But, right now, there are only seven addicts enrolled in the program.  Fayette County had said that one of the primary reasons to start the program was to save the county the exorbitant cost of treating Hepatitis C.  Wayne County has not taken that approach.  A public hearing in Wayne County is set for Wednesday.

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AUDIO: FOUNTAIN CITY MURDER/SUICIDE

Breaking News: Jeff Lane reports from the scene of an apparent murder/suicide in Fountain City.

 

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WOMAN MISSING FOR 42 YEARS FOUND ALIVE AND WELL

(Laurel, IN)--A Whitewater Valley woman who had been missing for 42 years is not missing today.  Lula Miller of Laurel vanished after having her third child in 1974.  Investigators found a female body in Richmond in 1975 and buried her in Earlham Cemetery.  A year ago, they dug that body up for DNA testing to compare to one of Miller’s daughters.  The test was negative, but it did breathe new life into the case.  Now, Miller has been found alive and well in Texas and living under an assumed name.  Her daughter hopes to reunite with Miller this Easter weekend.

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PARK EVENT INCLUDES "BIG BUNNY" - NOT THE EASTER BUNNY

(Richmond, IN)--Lots of events are on tap for this Easter weekend.  One of the biggest will be at the YMCA in Eaton, where 30,000 Easter Eggs will be dropped from a helicopter.  That takes place at 2:15 Saturday afternoon.  There’s also an event Saturday at 2 at Glen Miller Park in Richmond which includes an egg hunt.  The Easter Bunny will also be on hand for pictures, but political correctness in park announcements dictates that he not be called the Easter Bunny.  He is instead referred to as the "Big Bunny."

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RCS BOARD DELAYS LAPTOPS, PICKS NEW MEMBER

(Richmond, IN)--The plan to provide laptop computers to all students in the fifth grade and up in the Richmond Community School system is on hold.  At Wednesday night’s meeting, the RCS board approved the request of Superintendent Todd Terrill to delay implementation.  The delay comes after the teachers’ union filed an unfair labor practice complaint for failing to involve them in the plan.  Both sides will meet in regularly scheduled meetings to discuss implementation.  Also Wednesday night, the RCS Board picked a new member.  John Weber was picked to replace Susan Hively on the board.  Weber, along with Wendi Claywell and Ronald Itnyre, were three finalists from what was originally a pool of eight candidates.  Weber owns Weber Woodworking and is the father of two RCS students.  His term will end in two years.

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MAN DIES IN WORKPLACE ACCIDENT

(Richmond, IN)--A workplace accident claimed a life in Richmond Wednesday.  Robert Samples, who was known to friends and co-workers as “Bacon”, was killed at the Recycling Center on South M Street in an accident that happened at around 1:30 Wednesday afternoon.  Samples died when he approached a baler that had not been turned off.  It happened in Yard 3 of the Recycling Center.

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MAN CAUGHT PLEASURING HIMSELF ON ELECTRIC BOX IN GLEN MILLER PARK

(Richmond, IN)--A Richmond man may have been looking for a charge in more ways than one Thursday morning.  Justin Croucher was allegedly sitting on an electric box and pleasuring himself near the pond at Glen Miller Park.  Croucher was taken to the Wayne County Jail.  He now faces charges that include Public Indecency and Public Intoxication.

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SEWER BOARD TO SUBMIT PROPOSALS TO FEDERAL AGENCY

(Cambridge City, IN)--The Western Wayne Sewer Board this week approved submitting proposals to a federal agency aimed at solving the problem at the Gateway Industrial Park.  Currently, a lack of capacity is preventing expansion at Sugar Creek as well as hindering marketing of other available space.  One proposal would upgrade and expand the current sewage treatment plant.  The other would have the sewage pumped south to Connersville for treatment.

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RICHMOND MAN CHARGED WITH SOCIAL SECURITY FRAUD

(Indianapolis, IN)--A Richmond man now faces charges in the federal court system for Social Security fraud.  According to an indictment by a federal grand jury, 56-year-old Daniel Glunt claimed he was unable to work and applied for social security back in 2008.  He continued to collect until last year.  But, all the while, he was working for a trucking company in Cincinnati.  Glunt collected more than $55,000.  He faces up to five years in prison if convicted.

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WINCHESTER POLICE INVESTIGATE MAN'S DEATH

(Winchester, IN)--The identity of a man found dead in Winchester on Monday has been released as the investigation into his death continues.  44-year-old William Ackman was found dead in an apartment in the 100 block of North Main Street.  Law enforcement agents have not yet said how long they suspect Ackman had been dead before being discovered or whether there were any obvious signs of foul play.

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UNITED WAY REPORT: NUMBER OF WAYNE CO RESIDENTS SEEKING ADDICTION TREATMENT SKYROCKETS

(Richmond, IN)--Wayne County had at least three more overdose calls Monday.  Also Monday, the United Way issued a report that shows that Whitewater Valley addicts are increasingly seeking help.  According to that report, the number of people seeking help with addiction in Wayne County was up last year from between 101 and 200 percent.  But it’s not just Wayne County.  Union, Fayette and Franklin County all had more than 200 percent increases last year.

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POLICE FIND METH, MARIJUANA, AND CHILDREN AT RICHMOND MOTEL

(Richmond, IN)--Richmond police officers were called to the Motel 6 on Commerce Drive Tuesday morning on the report of drug activity.  There, they found two Lewisburg residents, methamphetamine, marijuana, and, more disturbingly, at least two children.  29-year-old Jeffery Rose and 25-year-old Tiffany Orona are now both in the Wayne County Jail.  The children, who were present overnight, were taken into protective custody.

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TORNADO SIRENS TO SOUND IN WAYNE COUNTY TODAY

(Wayne County, IN)--Tornadoes have already hit the Whitewater Valley this year, but Tuesday is the day of Indiana’s statewide tornado drill.  Many schools and governmental offices will be taking part in drills Tuesday.  You’ll also hear weather sirens sounding.  It happens twice Tuesday – once at 10:15 Tuesday morning and again at 7:35 Tuesday evening.  Tornadoes struck both Preble and Darke County early last week.

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MAN OVERDOSES, FORCES CLOSURE OF I-70

(Preble County, OH)--Westbound I-70 in Preble County was shut down Monday afternoon, and OHP troopers say it happened because a man overdosed and passed out while he was behind the wheel.  The man veered into the median.  70 had to be shut down so that a Careflight helicopter could land and take the man to Miami Valley Hospital.  Troopers found unused drugs in the Jeep.  The man’s identity and condition have not been released.

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COUNCIL APPROVES FIRE DEPARTMENT GRANTS

(Richmond, IN)--It was a very brief meeting of the Richmond Common Council Monday night.  It took council less than half an hour to approve two grants for equipment for the Richmond Fire Department.  Mayor Dave Snow also updated council on his search for department heads.  Snow said that he would be naming leaders of Human Resources, IT, and a controller relatively soon.

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REPORT: FAMILY OF THREE NEEDS $17.21 / HR TO MEET BASIC NEEDS

(Wayne County, IN)--Two weeks ago, Kicks 96 and the Point News told you about the struggles that area children face as pointed out by Indiana Youth Institute.  Now, a new study is out showing what it takes for families to make ends meet.  The Indiana Institute for Working Families says that, in Wayne County, a single adult with two children needs a job that pays $17.21 per hour to meet basic needs.  For a single working adult with three kids, the number jumps to $24.25 an hour.  A single adult with no children in Wayne County, according to the institute, can get by on $8.40 an hour.

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TRESPASSERS CONTINUE TO BE A PROBLEM AT OLD REID

(Richmond, IN)--People continue to break into – and onto – the old Reid Hospital building.  It happened again Sunday night, when dispatchers received calls of between two and four people walking around on the roof.  It’s too dangerous for officers to enter, so they used speakers to try to get them down.  Sunday night’s trespassers fled after escaping through a door.  Wayne County officials continue to work to find funding to demolish the deteriorating structure.

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AMBER ALERT ENDS IN WAYNE COUNTY

(Wayne County, IN)--The subject of a North Carolina Amber Alert was found in Wayne County Thursday night.  Multiple law enforcement agencies were gathered along I-70 Thursday night as a vehicle occupied by three women and the child crossed the state line. I-70 was shut down briefly and the stop was made.  The women were apparently headed to Gary, where the non-custodial parent is from.  She is also wanted in South Carolina.  The child’s father was en route from the Carolinas overnight to get that child.

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WARRANT SERVICE TURNS UP METHAMPHETAMINE AT TRAILER PARK

(Richmond, IN)--A Richmond woman with an active warrant was found late Thursday night, and her arrest brought multiple additional drug charges.  38-year-old Joni Barker was located at her home at a North West 5th trailer court.  New charges now include possession of and dealing methamphetamine, possession of paraphernalia, and maintaining a common nuisance.  Barker remained in the Wayne County Jail Friday morning.

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MAN ARRESTED FOR PATRONIZING PROSTITUTE AT PARK PLAYGROUND

(Richmond, IN)--On Thursday, we told you that a Richmond man had been arrested for patronizing a prostitute.  His arrest did not occur near Test Intermediate School.  It was worse.  53-year-old Fred Barker was instead arrested at the Glen Miller Park playground.  The arrest came as part of the Wayne County Drug Task Force’s crackdown on prostitution in the Uptown Richmond area.

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REPORT: WAYNE COUNTY IS ONE OF INDIANA'S UNHEALTHIEST

(Wayne County, IN)--According to a newly released report, Wayne County is one of the unhealthiest counties in Indiana.  A report by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation ranks Wayne County 81st of 92 counties in terms of health outcomes.  Factors the led to the low ranking include an adult population where 22% smoke and 31% are obese.  Fayette County was ranked as the 2nd unhealthiest in Indiana.

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MAN ARRESTED IN INCREASINGLY-COMMON THEFT SCAM

(Richmond, IN)--It’s a type of theft that local stores are seeing more and more…according to police reports this week, 36-year-old Jason Ullery of Richmond applied for a store credit card at Kohl’s using his ex-wife’s name.  He then used that card to purchase multiple Kohl’s gift cards, and then used the gift cards to try to buy multiple items.  A total of four people were involved in the scheme.  Police found drugs and needles in the vehicle in which the suspects arrived.

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TRAFFIC STOP TURNS UP DRUGS, STOLEN GUN

(Cambridge City, IN)--An overnight traffic stop near Cambridge City turned up a gun and drugs.  Officers stopped a car at the intersection of U.S. 40 and State Road 1 just before midnight Wedmesdau night.  Four people were detained during the investigation, which indicated the gun had been stolen.  Only one of the four was charged and jailed…20-year-old Dalton Sanches of Richmond was allegedly found with drugs and paraphernalia.  Sanches has already bonded out.

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OFFICERS INVESTIGATE NOBBLETT ROAD INCIDENT

(Wayne County, IN)--Law enforcement officers are still trying to sort out what happened late Wednesday night on Nobblett Road just north of Hagerstown.  The initial call was that multiple people had invaded a home there.  At one point, officers were given information that one person was being held on the ground at gunpoint.  From there, officers were informed that the two would-be victims had fled into the woods.  Investigators did find a female who had become stuck in a bush.  No arrests or injuries were reported.

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GUNSHOT VICTIM WALKS INTO REID HEALTH

(Richmond, IN)--Richmond police were investigating a dog bite at Reid Health Tuesday night when a gunshot victim showed up.  The victim told officers that he went outside of his home in the 200 block of North 12th to let his dog out at just after 10 Tuesday night.  Scanner traffic indicates the man was shot through the forearm.  Investigators went to the scene and found a pool of blood.  A shell casing was also located.   The man never called police and drove himself to the hospital.  His injuries were non-life-threatening.

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KASICH WINS OHIO, BUT PREBLE COUNTY FAVORS TRUMP

(Preble County, OH)--Ohio Governor John Kasich’s presidential hopes stayed alive Tuesday night when he won his home state.  Kasich defeated Donald Trump in Ohio by 11 points.  Locally, though, voters favored Trump.  In Preble County, Trump got 47% more votes than Kasich.  On the Democratic side statewide, Hillary Clinton defeated Bernie Sanders by a bigger margin than polls predicted – about 57 to 43%.  There were some local issues for Preble County voters to decide Tuesday.  In the primary for county commissioner, Republican Christopher Day and incumbent Denise Robertson were successful.  Tax levies on the ballot passed, including for the Twin Valley School District and the Preble County General Health District.

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CAPPA ANNOUNCES CAMPAIGN TO CLEAR ARREST WARRANTS

(Richmond, IN)--There are 900 active arrest warrants in Wayne County, some dating back to the 1970’s.  On Tuesday, Sheriff Jeff Cappa announced a goal to reduce that number by embarking on a new social media campaign.  More warrants – especially the older ones - will soon be posted on Facebook and through other media to make people aware that they exist.  Cappa is calling for the help of local citizens.

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TORNADO TOUCHES DOWN IN DARKE COUNTY

(Arcanum, OH)--The National Weather Service said it was an EF1 tornado that touched down in Darke County Monday.  "Thankful in a way.  Everything here can be replaced, but it's gonna be a lot of work," said Pete Heins, who lives just outside of Arcanum, in talking about the damage to his property.  The storm also affected Preble County.  No tornado touchdown was reported, but kids in schools were hustled to safety when a warning was issued.  "The kids did their tornado drills at schools...went into their tornado shelter," said one firefighter.  Wind speeds were estimated at between 86 and 110 miles per hour.  No injuries were reported.

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UNION COUNTY REALTOR ENTERS AGREES TO CHILD PORN PLEA DEAL

(Liberty, IN)--A Union County realtor and admitted child pornographer has entered into a federal plea deal.  52-year-old Donald Gulley distributed child porn from his home on State Line Road.  Agents found thousands of images of kids that ranged from infants to pre-teens and included pictures of violence.  The crimes ended with his arrest a year ago.  Gulley’s sentence will be surprisingly light…five to eight years in federal prison.  His real estate license has been suspended.  Gulley is currently free on bond.  No plea and sentencing date has been set.

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COUNTY AUDITOR CHARGED WITH FELONY THEFT

(Brookville, IN)--The Franklin County Auditor has been charged with felony theft.  A warrant has been issued for the arrest of 66-year-old Stephen Brack.  Brack is accused of writing checks for himself totaling $1400 from the Brookville Kiwanis Club, where he was treasurer.  Commissioners are calling for Brack to resign.  Brack was picked in 2012 to replace Auditor Erica Hudson because she never showed up for work.

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SHOT FIRED DURING ARMED ROBBERY

(Richmond, IN)--Shots were fired in a Richmond armed robbery late Sunday night.  A man described as a tall, thin, white male entered the Jus One More Bar & Grill in the 700 block of South 5th Sunday night with a gun in his hand.  It’s unclear whether or not he got any money.  But, as he fled, someone inside the bar fired at least one shot at the robber.  Police recovered a gun and a glove outside the bar, but the suspect could not be located.  Witnesses thought the robber may have been shot in the leg.  RPD officers put Reid Health on the lookout for a gunshot victim.  No one else was hurt.

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TWO ROADS TO GET $9.5 MILLION IN REPAVING

(Richmond, IN)--Two heavily-traveled roadways are now set for big improvements.  Contracts for almost nine and a half million dollars in paving projects for Wayne County have been awarded.  Milestone Contractors will repave East Main Street in Richmond from 11th Street to the state line.  They’ll also repave I-70 from Chester Boulevard to the state line.  Construction will begin this spring and should be complete by late summer.

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SOCIAL MEDIA HELPS CATCH ALLEGED SERIAL BURGLAR

(Richmond, IN)--It’s another indication of how social media can be law enforcement’s best friend.  Shortly after posting pictures of an alleged serial burglar to its Facebook page, the Wayne County Sheriff’s Department was given the suspect’s identification and took him into custody.  50-year-old Darrin Daugherty of Webster was still in jail Monday morning after being arrested Saturday.  Daugherty is the suspect in multiple Wester-area burglaries.

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TRI VILLAGE CONTINUES TO INVESTIGATE THREATS

(New Madison, OH)--Tri Village school administrators are still working with law enforcement to identify the students who left threatening messages inside the school.  Last week, the messages were discovered on a stall in a boys bathroom.  It appears that two students were exchanging written expletives when a third threatened to kill the original two.  Investigators have interviews two dozen students and have determined there is no imminent threat.

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WAYNE COUNTY HEROIN DEATHS ON PACE TO DOUBLE IN 2016

(Richmond, IN)--Wayne County could be on pace to double its number of heroin deaths from last year.  Wayne County Coroner Ron Stevens said this week there have been five confirmed heroin deaths so far this year, but there are also already 10-12 others that are suspected but not yet confirmed.  Final numbers for 2015 are still not available.  There is such a backlog in cases that toxicology testing from several cases last year has still not been completed.

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WANTED MAN CAUGHT FLAGGING DOWN CARS ON I-70

(Richmond, IN)--Here’s a tip.  If you have a warrant for your arrest, it’s best not to stand on I-70 and wave an orange flag at passing cars.  That’s what landed a Missouri man in the Wayne County Jail Thursday.  The man had been arrested the night before for DUI in a rental car and was trying to hitchhike back to Missouri by waving the flag.  It got the attention of an Indiana State Police trooper, who learned that the man had a warrant for threatening to exact revenge on his employer, who had recently fired him.

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FIRE DAMAGES CONNERSVILLE RESTAURANT

(Connersville, IN)--Fire did heavy damage Thursday to a long-time Connersville restaurant.  It broke out early Thursday morning at the Hot Pot Restaurant on West 30th Street.  A passerby noticed the fire and firefighters arrived before the building became fully consumed.  The initial indication was that an electrical problem started the fire.  The Hot Pot will be closed for at least two weeks to allow for clean-up.

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MAN TRIES TO ROB MEDIC AT KNIFEPOINT

(Richmond, IN)--A man tried to rob a Richmond medic late Wednesday night.  It happened at Spirit Medical Transport on South 9th at just after 11 o’clock.  A female medic was outside loading supplies into an ambulance when a man approached her from behind and put a knife in her back.  The medic had no cash, and the man fled without taking anything.  The medic was not hurt.  The suspect was described only as a short, stocky, black male.

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FIRST RESPONDERS WERE SENT TO JAIL FOR ATTEMPTED SUICIDE

(Richmond, IN)--The man who died at the Wayne County Jail was a Dayton man who was awaiting trial for a Richmond murder late last summer. 28-year-old Velis Nelson was accused of killing his cousin, Brian Nelson, on South O Street.  Investigators are still not releasing many details about Velis Nelson’s death Wednesday, other than to say there was no foul play.  It is still not being termed a suicide, although dispatch reports clearly show medics were sent to the jail for a suicide attempt.

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VALERIE SHAFFED NAMED ONE OF NORTH AMERICA'S TOP ECONOMIC DEVELOPERS

(Richmond, IN)--It’s a big honor for Valerie Shaffer and it’s good for Wayne County, too.  The CEO of the Wayne County Economic Development Corporation has been named one of the top 50 economic developers in North America by the Michigan-based Consultant Connect.  Shaffer has served in various capacities with the EDC and has been its leader for the last few years.

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BREWER BROADCASTING CELEBRATES 50th ANNIVERSARY IN RICHMOND

(Richmond, IN)--Thursday is a big day for us here at Brewer Broadcasting.  It’s our 50th anniversary in Richmond.  It began with a small sales office Uptown and a studio and transmitter on Tingler Road, where we’re still located today.  In those 50 years, the stations have gone through several transformations, including in the 90’s when the rock station K-96 became country’s Kicks 96.  WHON has also transitioned from talk radio to what is now 101.7 The Point.  Earlier this year, we added a third station to our family – Sunny 95.3.

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NEW INDOOR GUN RANGE PROPOSED

(Oxford, OH)--A new indoor shooting range and gun training facility appears to be headed to our area.  Oxford’s City Council is considering a proposal for construction of a new facility on 11 acres on Ringwood Road, which is nearly across from Oxford’s Walmart.  One of the primary functions will be training new gun owners to handle their weapons safely.  No proposed timetable has been set for the indoor gun range’s opening.

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INMATE DIES AT WAYNE COUNTY JAIL

(Richmond, IN)--Wayne County Sheriff Jeff Cappa and Wayne County Coroner Ron Stevens have both now confirmed that there was a death at the Wayne County Jail Wednesday morning, but neither would confirm that it was a suicide.  Cappa said that the Indiana State Police has taken over the investigation and that there were no signs of foul play.  The victim’s body has been taken to Montgomery County for an autopsy.  The victim is thought to be in his late 20’s and from Ohio.  His name has not yet been released.

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RICHMOND SPENT MORE THAN IT TOOK IN IN 2015

(Richmond, IN)--Richmond Common Council met Monday night and was given a review of how the city fared financially last year.  The highlight – or lowlight – of that report is that the city spent more money than it took in.  Now, the city is left with a three percent cash balance.  That figure has recently been at around nine percent.  In 2015, Richmond took in about $16.6 million, but spent $16.9 million.  It’s the first time that’s happened in recent history.

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RICHMOND A FINALIST FOR 165-JOB PROJECT

(Richmond, IN)--Richmond is on the verge of landing a major economic development project.  On Monday, EDC CEO Valerie Shaffer indicated that Richmond is one of two finalists for a pet food manufacturer that would mean 165 new jobs that pay $17 an hour as part of a $147 million investment.  Several incentives must fall into place for the as-yet unidentified company.  Those include passage of a $25 million TIF bond and two million dollars’ worth of improvements to Gaar Jackson Road and the railroad spur that serves the Midwest Industrial Park.

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$200,000 IN COCAINE FOUND ON I-70

(Preble County, OH)--Troopers on I-70 in Preble County made a stop that resulted in the confiscation of more than $200,000 worth of cocaine.  As is always the case, the van was headed west to east.  Troopers found the cocaine hidden in a rear compartment.  They also found special shoes that had been hollowed out.  Cocaine was found there, too.  A Las Vegas man was taken to the Preble County Jail.

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ALLEGED DRUG DEALER JAILED AFTER THREATENING RESIDENTS

(Richmond, IN)--An out-of-control Richmond man was taken into custody Monday night.  According to police reports, 37-year-old Fragust Duane Ford yelled at and threated several people in the 1400 block of North H at around 9 o’clock.  Officers found marijuana in Ford’s pocket and charged him with dealing.  He had been arrested less than two months ago on similar charges, and was jailed for strangulation in 2014.

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TRIAL DELAYED FOR WOMAN ACCUSED OF TOSSING BUCKETS OF URINE

WINCHESTER,IN-  Trial for a Lynn woman who has been tossing buckets of urine on her neighbor’s home has been pushed back. 69-year-old Jackie VanTyle was supposed to face a charge of criminal mischief on Friday. She was caught when her neighbor set up a surveillance camera. VanTyle told an investigator she had been collecting her urine in buckets for months and tossing it on the victim’s home when he was away.

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FIRE MARSHALL INVESTIGATING INCIDENT IN PREBLE COUNTY

WEST ALEXANDRIA- The State Fire Marshal’s Office continues to investigate a weekend fire that destroyed five RV’s at a Preble County RV dealership. It broke out at D&D RV on U.S. 35 near West Alexandria. Damage was set at $100,000. One employee indicated it appeared that someone had broken into a storage building and started the fire. There were no injuries.

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MAN TRIES TO ROB MILKHOUSE WEARING A TRASH BAG

(Richmond, IN)--There was an attempted robbery at the Milkhouse at 17th and East Main in Richmond.  The suspect never displayed a weapon and fled before he could get any cash at around 7:30 Thursday night.  Here's what he was wearing...according to scanner traffic, the man had put a garbage bag over head and poked out holes for his head and arms.  Surveillance video could be released Friday.  The suspect was described as a black male.  There’s no word on whether or not the Trash Bag Bandit was thin - or hefty.

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POLICE CHASE STOPPED DUE TO DANGER

(Richmond, IN)--A police chase that covered parts of Richmond and southern Wayne County Thursday night was called off because it became too dangerous.  It began when police were called to the area of Richmond High School because someone was slumped over the wheel of a car.  The driver fled on south-side streets before speeding toward Boston.  Union County deputies positioned themselves at the county line.  The chase was stopped because of its high speed.  Police were able to obtain a license plate number and are still searching for the suspect.

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AMERICAN PICKERS COULD RETURN TO WHITEWATER VALLEY

(Whitewater Valley)--American Pickers visited Richmond two summers ago, and picked a home just off of Stateline Road.  Now, there’s a push to get them back.  Producers of the History Channel’s popular show are scouting locations in Indiana, including the Whitewater Valley.  They’re looking for barns and sheds filled with all kinds of interesting antiques.  The email address to contact producers is americanpickers@cineflix.com.

 

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CHARGES DROPPED AGAINST DORN OFFICE MANAGER

(Richmond, IN)--A Richmond doctor still faces criminal charges in connection with the investigation into the Dorn Center between Richmond and Centerville, but charges against Dorn’s office manager have been dropped.  Wayne Superior Court II Judge Gregory Horn has ruled that Dr. Ronald Vierk should go before a jury for allegedly illegally distributing a synthetic heroin substitute.  But, Horn ruled that Yvonne Morgan of Eaton is not a physician and could not have known if prescriptions were legitimately issued.  Morgan has been exonerated.

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RCS BOARD NARROWS FIELD OF SCHOOL BOARD CANDIDATES

(Richmond, IN)--The list of candidates for a seat on the Richmond Community School Board was whittled from seven to three during a special meeting Wednesday night.  Whoever is picked will replace Susan Hively, who is moving out of the area.  The names of the three finalists have not been released.  Those three will be interviewed one final time in two weeks, and a vote to pick the winner will be taken March 23rd.

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KIDS CAN CLAIM ONE SQUARE FOOT OF INDIANA LAND

(Wayne County, IN)--In a few months, kids will be able to claim one square foot of Indiana land for themselves.  As part of Indiana’s bicentennial, 30 acres of land just south of the Cope Environmental Center near Centerville is being purchased and gifted to the state’s children.  In June, kids will be able to go online and claim a one square foot coordinate with a deed that’s reserved and named in their honor.  The project is being organized by the Nature Conservancy Fund.

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RICHMOND MAN ARRESTED FOR CHILD MOLESTING

(Richmond, IN)--A Richmond man was in the Wayne County Jail Wednesday morning after being arrested Tuesday night on a child molestation charge.  30-year-old Shannon Maples was arrested at his home near North 10th and C.  Details of what Maples is alleged to have done have not yet become available.

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RPD EXTENDS APPLICATION DEADLINE

(Richmond, IN)--The Richmond Police Department recently announced that it was searching for new officers.  Applications continue to be received, and it’s prompted RPD to extend the deadline to take an initial hiring test until a week from Friday.  Police officials say they want to screen as many applicants as possible.  Details about how to take the initial test can be found on a January 28 post on RPD’s Facebook page.

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CONNERSVILLE DOCTOR SENTENCED

(Connersville, IN)--A Connersville doctor has been sentenced for his role in an illegal prescription drug distribution ring.  Dr. Daniel Palmer entered a plea deal in which he pled guilty to conspiracy to commit forgery.  Several other felonies were dropped.  Palmer was sentenced to eight years behind bars with four suspended.  Palmer was a former doctor at Fayette Regional, as was Dr. David Ringel.  Ringel is set to go on trial in late June.

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BROOKVILLE TO BE WITHOUT PUBLIC POOL THIS SUMMER

(Brookville, IN)--The town of Brookville will be without a public swimming pool this summer.  The Brookville Town Council has voted unanimously to keep Heap Pool closed this year as they decide whether to make expensive repairs or try to build a new pool.  Last summer, the pool leaked 35,000 gallons of water every day.  Fixing it would cost $150,000.  Replacing the pool, which is now 55 years old, could cost north of a million dollars.

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WAYNE COUNTY SEES SIGNIFICANT DROP IN NUMBER OF FOOD STAMP RECIPIENTS

(Indianapolis, IN)--Wayne County has seen a significant drop in the number of people who are on food stamps.  According to the Indiana Family and Social Services Administration, Wayne County has had a ten percent drop in the last year.  Today, the county has 9950 people getting assistance.  At this time last year, the number was over 11,000.  Roughly $38,000 of taxpayers’ money is spent every single day to support Wayne County food stamp recipients.

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MAN JAILED FOR ATTACKING BUS DRIVER, POLICE

(Richmond, IN)--A Richmond man was in custody Tuesday morning after allegedly attacking and strangling a city bus driver Monday afternoon.  43-year-old Billy Griffin allegedly tried to board a bus on Richmond’s south side.  He fled police but was located hiding near a shed at South 14th and U Street.  Griffin is also accused of trying to head-butt an officer.  The bus driver was not seriously injured.  Details of what prompted the attack were not immediately released.

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WOMAN FACES LEVEL 1 FELONY FOR BABY'S DEATH

(Richmond, IN)--An Eaton woman is facing a Level 1 Felony after an 11-month-old child died last fall following an incident in a Richmond apartment.  According to court documents, 30-year-old Catherine Adkins was smoking marijuana in bed with Kameron Swann sleeping beside her.  When Kameron needed a diaper change, she picked him up and carried to another room.  She tripped on a pillow, causing Kameron to hit his head.  He died a short time later.  Adkins appeared in a Wayne County court Monday and faces up to 40 years in prison when she goes on trial in late May.

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