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Local News: A service of Reid Health Archives for 2016-06

WAYNE COUNTY TORCH CARRIERS NAMED

(Wayne County, IN)--Runners have been picked to carry Indiana’s Bicentennial Torch when it passes through the Whitewater Valley this September.  27 Wayne County runners will carry the torch, which will pass through each of Indiana’s 92 counties.  Those who will carry the torch through Wayne County include Richmond Mayor Dave Snow, Reid Health CEO Craig Kinyon, and Tourism Director Mary Walker.

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FIREFIGHTERS BATTLE SUSPICIOUS GARAGE FIRE

(Richmond, IN)--Richmond firefighters were out Thursday morning.  "It was a fully-involved garage fire behind 219 North 19th Street," said Battalion Chief Charlie Bartlett.  They got the call at around 2:15 Thursday morning.  Fighting it was made more difficult because power lines burned and fell to the ground.  Bartlett said it’s suspicious.  "There was another garage fire there four weeks ago directly behind it on the 20th Street side," Bartlett added.  There were no injuries.  The garage is a total loss.

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METAMORA MAN WHO SHOT AT POLICE HAD BEEN RELEASED FROM PRISON 33 YEARS EARLY

(Greenwood, IN)--The Metamora man who shot at a central Indiana police officer earlier this week had been released from prison early…way early.  36-year-old Paul Kinnaman of Metamora had been sentenced to 42 years in prison for dealing meth in Franklin County.  But Kinnaman was let out 33 years before his sentence was over.  "I felt that it was a little early to let him out," said.  That’s Franklin County Prosecutor Mel Wilhelm.  Kinnaman shot at a Greenwood police officer on Monday after a chase in a stolen BMW.  The officer was not hurt.  Kinnaman was shot in the rear end.

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SECOND AREA PERSON IN THREE DAYS DIES BECAUSE DRIVER CROSSED CENTER LINE

(Darke County, OH)--For the second time in three days, a Whitewater Valley resident is dead because another driver crossed the center line.  Late Tuesday afternoon, investigators said a car driven by 31-year-old Aaron Holmes of New Paris went left of center on Ohio 571 near Greenville.  His car hit an oncoming pickup head-on.  The impact forced the pickup into a car driven by 61-year-old Linda Stebbins of Greenville.  Stebbins was pronounced dead at the scene.  An occupant of the pickup is in fair condition at Miami Valley Hospital.  And, as is so often the case, the person who caused the crash walked away virtually unscathed.  Investigators are working to see what caused Holmes to cross the center line.

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TEEN BRIEFLY TRAPPED IN TRAILER CRASH

(New Paris, OH)--A crash on U.S. 40 near the state line Tuesday briefly trapped a teenager who was illegally riding in a trailer.  It happened near the intersection of State Route 320 – about a mile on the Ohio side.  A semi and a pickup were both headed east.  The pickup tried to turn into the Archway Campgrounds and was struck by the semi.  The teenage boy was not seriously hurt.  Both drivers were cited.  In both Indiana and Ohio, it’s illegal to ride in a camper that’s being towed.

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PROSTITUTION ARREST MADE ON PROBLEM CITY BLOCK

(Richmond, IN)--One particular city block in Richmond has been the site of numerous prostitution-related incidents in the last couple of years.  It’s the 400 block of North 12th, and that’s where two people were arrested Tuesday night.  69-year-old Allen Vandevender of Richmond was jailed for soliciting along with 27-year-old Precious James, who was booked in for prostitution.

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RENOVATIONS UNDERWAY AT FORMER YMCA BUILDING

(Richmond, IN)--There’s lots of activity taking place now at the former Richmond YMCA building on the corner of North 8th and A in Richmond.  Crews have begun a renovation that will convert the 108-year-old building into senior housing.  Today, workers are clearing out asbestos and debris from inside the building.  Once it’s cleared, they’ll begin to build 50 units.  Later in the process, they’ll shore up the sidewalks surrounding the building and work on the outside.  It’s not expected to be complete until August of next year.

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CRIMINAL CHARGES POSSIBLE IN RANDOLPH COUNTY FATALITY

(Parker City, IN)--A Lynn woman was killed in a crash on State Road 32 near Parker City Monday.  Investigators say that 20-year-old Dustin Trausch of Ridgeville drove left of center and into the path of 75-year-old Faye Runner.  Runner was pronounced dead at the scene.  Two Richmond residents were in her car.  41-year-old Emily Saylor was flown to a Level One trauma center with serious injuries.  18-year-old Jacob Saylor suffered non-life-threatening injuries.  Criminal charges against Trausch are possible.  He was not seriously hurt.

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BOND INCREASED FOR ALLEGED NIGERIAN PHONE SCAMMER

(Connersville, IN)--Bond was increased Monday for the Fayette County woman accused of money laundering by taking part in a Nigerian phone scam.  67-year-old Fay Santillanes is now being held on a $200,000 bond.  According to court documents, she was the middleman for an organization that took donations under false pretenses and funneled it to Nigeria.  Authorities say up to $2 million was illegally taken from victims all across the country.

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JAIL ESCAPEE MAKES FIRST COURT APPEARANCE

(Connersville, IN)--One of the two men who broke out of the Fayette County Jail a week and a half ago made his first court appearance Monday since being recaptured.  Chad Heath was formally charged with felony escape.  Heath was deemed to be a flight risk Monday and bond was set at $150,000.  The man who escaped with Heath remains in a Dayton jail.  Michael Roberts also faces Ohio charges.

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$2 MILLION GOES THROUGH AREA BANKS IN NIGERIAN PHONE SCAM

(Connersville, IN)--A Nigerian scam with a strong connection to the Whitewater Valley has been busted.  Connersville police have recovered $100,000 in cash in a raid late last week.  The scam is thought to have involved at least $2 million.  The scammers were collecting money from all over the United States under the pretense of a donation for victims of an oil rig explosion.  The money was then wired from Connersville to Nigeria.  67-year-old Fay Santillanes was arrested after a traffic stop.  A search warrant uncovered the cash.  Santillanes also had bank accounts in Richmond.  Local banks will not be responsible for the loss.

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POLICE RESPOND TO MAN WITH GUN CALL AT LOCAL RESTAURANT

(Richmond, IN)--An east-side Richmond restaurant was shut down for a short time Sunday night on the report of a former employee pulling a gun on a current worker.  It happened at Buffalo Wings and Rings and was the apparent result of a domestic situation.  It happened at around 6 o’clock Sunday night.  The suspect left the area before police arrived.  There were no injuries.  There’s no word yet on whether or not the suspect has been arrested.

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CONVICTED SEX OFFENDER JAILED FOR INAPPROPRIATELY COMMUNICATING WITH CHILD

(Richmond, IN)--A Richmond sex offender was jailed Thursday for inappropriate communication with a child.  37-year-old Ryan Davis was still behind bars Friday morning.  Davis had been arrested for child molesting last year and for molesting a boy in 2009.  In an unrelated incident, a Cambridge City man has been jailed for possessing child pornography.  31-year-old Michael Keller was in the Wayne County Jail Friday morning after being arrested in Hagerstown.

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SKUNKS GET HEADS STUCK IN TIRE AT RICHMOND RESTAURANT

(Richmond, IN)--What if this happened to you?  Thursday night, someone reported to be a Wayne County Jail officer was leaving Richmond’s Applebee’s when he noticed not just one, but four skunks with their heads stuck in the rim of his tire.  No one could figure out how or why the skunks got there or how to get them out.  An animal control officer was called.  The skunks were freed and they were removed safely from the area.

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WANTED ALLEGED METH DEALER APPREHENDED

(Richmond, IN)--Heroin is getting a lot of attention in the Whitewater Valley, but methamphetamine also remains a problem.  Police had been searching for one alleged meth dealer, and now they’ve found her.  45-year-old Rhonda Turner was captured at a retail area on Richmond’s east side and was in jail Friday morning.  Turner is also accused of neglecting a dependent.  Police alsoThursday arrested 26-year-old Rosanna Stoner of New Paris when she was allegedly in possession of meth during a probation hearing.

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ESCAPED INMATES CAPTURED

(Trotwood, OH)--"They will be found."  That was the prediction of Fayette County Sheriff Joey Laughlin on Monday.  Tuesday night, his prediction proved to be correct.  The two escaped Fayette County inmates who had been on the run since last weekend were captured without incident in the Trotwood area.  Police there acted on an anonymous tip and found Chad Heath and Michael Roberts.  They were taken into custody without incident.  Now, they’ll be extradited back to Fayette County to face their original charges and new charges for the escape.

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MAN RESPONSIBLE FOR RACIAL GRAFFITI ON HIS OWN HOME SENTENCED

(Richmond, IN)--The man who was responsible for racial graffiti being written on his Richmond home and for a truck fire in his own driveway was sentenced Tuesday to four months behind bars.  Jonathan Powell addressed Judge Darrin Dolehanty in Wayne Superior Court III and said that he takes full responsibility for his actions.  He added that he’s not a bad person and wants to be a positive role model.  After he serves his sentence here, Powell indicated he’ll go to Georgia to join his wife – former Richmond physician Dr. Myla Bennett.

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TWO MEN ESCAPE JEEP FIRE

(Richmond, IN)--Two men escaped serious injury Tuesday night when they crashed and their vehicle burst into flames.  It happened at around 10:30 near Stamper’s on Union Pike in Richmond.  "The two gentlemen were out joy riding and ended up hitting the decorative rock, flipping the Jeep over onto its top," said Battalion Chief Jeff Glenn.  Both occupants were able to get out before the Jeep caught fire.  Neither was seriously injured, but the Jeep was a total loss.

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REPORT: 13% OF RICHMOND STUDENTS ARE CHRONICALLY ABSENT

(Richmond, IN)--The federal government has released new numbers on chronic absences in schools.  A chronically absent student is one who misses 15 days or more during a school year.  According to the numbers, 13% of Richmond students are chronically absent.  That’s right on the national average.  Incredibly, one Wayne County school system did not report a single chronic absence – that was Northeastern.  Centerville’s rate was 7.2%, Hagerstown’s was 4.7%, and Western Wayne was at 14.1%.  Other rates include Fayette County (8.1%), Union County (8.6%), and Franklin County (11.7%).

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SEARCH FOR MAN WITH PANTS DOWN LEADS TO DUI ARREST

(Richmond, IN)--Richmond police were searching Monday night for a man walking around with his pants down near 13th and East Main Street, but ended up catching a habitual drunken driver.  Officers never found the semi-naked man.  But, while they were searching, they did see 37-year-old Thomas York allegedly driving the wrong way on South 11th.  York was stopped and blew a .213 – well over twice the legal limit.  York is a habitual traffic violator and was also arrested for theft.

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SEARCH FOR ESCAPED FAYETTE COUNTY INMATE EXPANDS TO DAYTON

(Connersville, IN)--The search continued Monday morning for two escaped Fayette County Jail inmates.  Chad Heath and Michael Roberts cut their way free from a cinder block wall over the weekend.  A truck stolen from the Connersville area Sunday morning was recovered in Dayton Sunday night.  Dayton police are now actively searching for the two.  Meanwhile, the jail is Connersville has been checked.  "We've done a complete search of the building and looked at the infrastructure.  We don't see any other issues anywhere in the building," said Fayette County Sheriff Joey Laughlin.  Police say they should be considered armed and dangerous.

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FIRE DESTROYS PREBLE COUNTY HOME

(West Alexandria, OH)--Firefighters in Preble County were on the scene of a fully involved structure fire Monday morning.  It broke out at around 1:45 Monday morning on Quinn Road near West Alexandria.  The occupants of the house made it out without injury, but the home is likely to be a total loss.  There’s no word yet on what caused the fire.  There was also a less serious porch fire in West Manchester Monday morning.  No injuries were reported there.

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CAR STRIKES HOME; DRIVER ARRESTED FOR DUI

(Richmond, IN)--A car hit the corner of a house in Richmond Monday morning, and now an allegedly drunken driver is behind bars.  The house that was hit is at the corner of North West 11th and Peacock Road.  24-year-old Brittney Blackwell was stopped a couple of blocks away.  There were no injuries, and damage to the house was not reported as significant.  Blackwell was driving on a suspended license.

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FEMALE REPORTS BEING GRAZED BY BULLET

(Richmond, IN)--Police are searching for whoever fired shots in Richmond late Sunday night very near a recent murder scene.  A female reported that she had been grazed by a bullet after shots rang out near South 19th and B Streets.  There was a second scene in the 1000 block of South C.  Shell cases were recovered at the bottom of some steps.  Investigators were initially searching for four people, including three bi-racial males and a white female with blonde hair.  There has been no confirmation yet that anyone was actually shot.

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MAN ARRESTED ON DRUGS, BATTERY CHARGE

(Richmond, IN)--A Richmond man faces a host of criminal charges from an incident late Sunday night.  Police were called to the first block of South 20th.  There, 29-year-old Jamison Ramsey was revived and then taken to the Wayne County Jail, where he’s charged with battery, criminal recklessness, and drug charges.  It’s the third serious incident in a two-block area this weekend.  There was a murder in the first block of South 19th and then shots fired at South 19th and B Sunday night.

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SPRING GROVE TOWN BOARD MEMBER ALLEGES ZONING VIOLATIONS

(Spring Grove, IN)--More allegations have arisen from one Spring Grove Town Board member against his colleagues.  Spring Grove is the small area on Chester Boulevard near the old Reid Hospital property.  New town Board member Ben Lukacek alleges that several medical buildings violate code.  Lukacek says any building over 4700 square feet violates town ordinance unless approved by the Board of Zoning Appeals.  Lukacek alleges that Reid Health constructed a building well over that size without informing the planning commission.  Lukacek also alleges that the town attorney said permission was given, but Lukacek says there’s no record of a vote.  Spring Grove’s attorney is preparing a response to the allegations, but has not yet made that available.

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HIGH-SPEED CHASE ENDS IN RANDOLPH COUNTY

(Randolph County, IN)--There was a high-speed chase through Randolph County.  It began in Jay County at around 11 o’clock Thursday night.  The suspect or suspects entered Randolph County on U.S. 27 at speeds that topped 100 miles per hour.  Stop sticks were successfully deployed just north of Lynn.  The suspect then fled on foot and was eventually caught.  27 was closed for a short time.  Jay County will not say what led to the chase.

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AUDITOR REFUSES ACCESS TO PUBLIC INFORMATION

(Brookville, IN)--Franklin County Auditor Steve Brack, who is facing a felony theft charge, is now refusing to allow access to financial information to other Franklin County leaders.  Brack will not allow the county treasurer access to payroll information.  He’s also refusing to allow access to the complete budget.  Brack, in a meeting this week with commissioners, said that everyone has what they need to do their jobs.  County budgets are clearly public information, but Brack is not yielding.

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LARGE BUILDING DONATED TO CAMBRIDGE CITY

(Cambridge City, IN)--The founder of Miller Dairy has donated a large building to the town of Cambridge City.  The building is located on Green Street and was once part of the dairy operation.  Owner John Miller is also giving the building’s contents to Cambridge City.  That include numerous of the old-style glass milk bottles which are still located inside.  They sell for about $40 each on e-bay.  The building is appraised at $220,000.

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PREBLE COUNTY SHERIFF ISSUES BURGLARY WARNING

(Eaton, OH)--Preble County Sheriff Mike Simpson has a warning today.  Simpson says there’s been a large increase in the number of burglaries in the last two months.  Most of the break-ins are occurring in rural homes in broad daylight.  Thieves are targeting homes – mainly in the northern half of Preble County – when people are away at work and taking large items like TV’s.  Simpson is asking for neighbors to watch for suspicious cars in driveways.

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FORMER QUALITY INN BUILDING SELLS AT SHERIFF'S SALE

(Richmond, IN)--The former Quality Inn building on National Road East was sold Wednesday at a Sheriff’s sale.  The buyer was the bank that had maintained it for the last year, West End Bank, for just under $2.5 million.  There are no specific plans for the building and the property on which it sits.  It will continue to be marketed for any one of several possible uses.  It’s been two years since the building has been an operational hotel.

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PART OF SALISBURY ROAD WILL HAVE TO BE RESURFACED

(Richmond, IN)--A part of Salisbury Road in Richmond will soon be torn up again.  After construction that lasted more than a year, contractors will soon be taking off a little more than two inches of asphalt from about 1000 feet north of North West L Street to the south end of the Wayne County Fairgrounds.  The asphalt that was put down did not meet specifications called out in the mix design.  The good news is that the road will not have to close entirely and repairs will be made at no cost to the city.  That construction starts on July 11.

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FUNNEL CLOUD REPORTED IN UNION COUNTY

(Union County, IN)--A report of a funnel cloud Wednesday night sent many people scrambling but resulted in little damage.  The funnel cloud was reported near State Road 44 at the Union – Fayette County line as storms rolled through.  There was no confirmed report of a touchdown.  Power was out in Ravinia Park in Richmond as winds took out a utility pole.  Power was still out to about 150 Preble County residents as late as 5 o’clock Thursday morning.

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URINE THROWER ESCAPES JAIL TIME

(Winchester, IN)--The Lynn woman who poured buckets of her own urine on her neighbor’s house escaped jail time Wednesday.  69-year-old Jackie VanTyle had her plea deal accepted.  It included two one-year jail sentences with all time suspended.  She’ll also have to pay $3100 in restitution.  VanTyle admitted to saving her own urine in buckets and pouring it on her neighbor’s house because she didn’t like him.

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ENVIRONMENTAL TESTING TO BEGIN AT OLD REID SITE

(Richmond, IN)--In the next couple of days, environmental testing will begin at the old Reid Hospital site.  The testing will be much more extensive than an initial investigation that was conducted last year.  An outside consulting firm will carefully examine the area to determine if chemicals are naturally-occurring or the result of improper disposal or dumping.  Testing will also help to determine exactly what will have to be done to clean it up.  The site has been abandoned for five years.  Reid Health moved out of the facility and left it in move-in condition.

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PIZZA RESTAURANT ROBBED AT KNIFEPOINT

(Cambridge City, IN)--There was an armed robbery at a Cambridge City pizza restaurant.  A suspect described as a scruffy white male in his 30’s entered the Mr. Pizza on West Main Street at around 4 o’clock Tuesday afternoon.  He displayed a knife and demanded cash, then fled out a back door with an undisclosed amount of money.  There were no injuries.  Investigators are reviewing surveillance images and will likely release those Wednesday.

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WAYNE COUNTY AVERAGING MORE THAN ONE NEW CASE OF CHILD ABUSE EVERY DAY

(Wayne County, IN)--According to numbers released Tuesday from the Indiana Department of Child services, the number of substantiated child abuse cases in Wayne County has skyrocketed.  In the most recent month, April, there were 34 confirmed new cases in Wayne County.  That’s more than Union, Fayette, Franklin, and Randolph Counties combined.  Most of the new cases are related to drug usage.  Wayne County has now had 88 confirmed cases of child abuse in 2016.

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WOMAN JAILED AGAIN AFTER BEING ARRESTED LAST MONTH WITH STOLEN RPD WEAPON

(Richmond, IN)--A Richmond woman who was arrested just last month for dealing drugs and being in possession of a stolen RPD weapon was arrested again Tuesday at the Wayne County Courthouse.  28-year-old Khandyce Carico faces a brand new charge of dealing cocaine or narcotic drug.  Carico was taken to the Wayne County Jail, but she has once again bonded out.

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EEOC DISMISSES COMPLAINT AGAINST SPRING GROVE TOWN BOARD

(Spring Grove, IN)--The allegations from one member of the Spring Grove Town Board toward his colleagues continue.  Spring Grove is in the area of Chester Boulevard near the old Reid Hospital.  Recently, Town Board member Benjamin Lukacek filed formal complaints against President Ernest Hendricks and Wayne County Clerk Debbie Berry for election tampering.  Lukacek claims Spring Grove has not followed state law regarding election guidelines.  According to Spring Grove attorney AJ Sickmann, the EEOC has dismissed the complaint.  Lukacek also alleges new medical buildings are being built that violate zoning laws.  We’ll have that story coming up later this week.

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HOME HEALTH CARE AID CHARGED WITH CAUSING DRUNKEN CRASH

(Richmond, IN)--A Richmond woman who claims to be a home health care aid was arrested Monday night with drugs and alcohol.  30-year-old Kristen Yandl was caught in the Depot District after allegedly causing a crash at North 19th and E.  No one was hurt in the crash.  Yandl was in the Wayne County Jail Tuesday morning on charges that include OWI, resisting law enforcement, and leaving the scene of an accident.

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FIRE DOES HEAVY DAMAGE TO WHITEWATER CHURCH

(Whitewater, IN)--A fire Sunday nearly destroyed an area church that has stood for 210 years.  Crews from seven agencies responded to the Whitewater United Methodist Church in northeastern Wayne County at around 4 Sunday afternoon and arrived to see flames showing.  It was put out before the entire building was destroyed, but the sanctuary and other parts suffered heavy damage.  The fire is being blamed on an electrical issue.  There were no injuries.

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COUPLE ARRESTED AFTER ATTACKING OFFICER

(Richmond, IN)--A Richmond man and his fiancé were both in the Wayne County Jail Monday morning after an incident at the Veteran’s Memorial in the Whitewater gorge.  Police found 22-year-old Isaac Ellison and 18-year-old Kathleen Earley there just before dawn Sunday.  When police tried to arrest them for disorderly conduct, Ellison allegedly attacked an officer.

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SERVICE SET FOR FALLEN OFFICER

(Connersville, IN)--The city of Connersville is preparing to say goodbye to a long-time officer Tuesday.  47-year-old patrolman Jeff Counceller was killed late last week in an ATV accident.  The service will take place Tuesday at 11 o’clock at the Connersville Baptist Temple.  Many area police agencies are expected to be represented.  Counceller’s patrol car is parked under the flag at City Hall as a memorial to his service.

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CONNERSVILLE POLICE OFFICER KILLED

(Connersville, IN)--A long-time Connersville police officer was killed Thursday.  47-year-old Jeff Counceller died Thursday after the ATV he was riding struck a tree on Big Bear Road near County Road 200 East.  His body was found at around 6:40 Thursday morning.  He had last been seen leaving his brother’s house at shortly after midnight.  The exact cause of the crash is still under investigation.  Counceller had served as a patrolman for the last 17 years.

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WIDESPREAD POWER OUTAGE HITS NORTHEASTERN WAYNE COUNTY

(Wayne County, IN)--Much of Wayne County experienced power problems overnight and into Friday morning.  More than 1200 customers of Duke Energy were in the dark – mostly in the northeastern section of Wayne County in a area that covered homes north of I-70 to the Randolph County line and east of U.S. 27.  The problem began at around 2 o’clock Friday morning.  Many residents were not completely in the dark, but experienced low voltage.  Then, power went completely out.  Duke Energy did not immediately disclose the cause of the outage.

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POINSETT WINS ATHENA LEADERSHIP AWARD

(Richmond, IN)--Kim Poinsett won the ATHENA Leadership Award Thursday night at Forest Hills Country Club.  The event recognizes female leaders who motivate, inspire, and create positive change in the community.  Poinsett is in charge of community relations at First Bank Richmond, but also serves on numerous boards and committees.  "It's an awesome responsibility.  I always see myself not really as a leader, but more of a connector," Poinsett said.  Amy Holthouse and Rebecca Studebaker were the other finalists.

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TEEN KILLED WHEN WOMAN CROSSES CENTER LINE IN FRANKLIN COUNTY

(Metamora, IN)--The Indiana State Police has now released details of a fatal Franklin County accident.  Investigators say that 32-year-old Amanda Boyd of Brookville crossed the center line on U.S. 52 near Metamora and went into the path of 19-year-old Roger Clontz of Brookville.  Clontz was pronounced dead at the scene.  Boyd suffered only minor injuries.  Investigators are looking into what caused her to cross the center line.

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RICHMOND TEEN ARRESTED FOR COUNTERFEITING

(Richmond, IN)--A Richmond teenager was taken into custody Wednesday night and now faces a serious criminal charge.  19-year-old Brooklyn Bair was apprehended in the 2300 block of South E Wednesday night, just a few blocks from her home.  Bair was jailed for counterfeiting and for possession of drug paraphernalia.  She was being held Thursday morning on a $10,500 bond.

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FORMER REID NURSES FACES MULTIPLE DRUG CHARGES

(Rushville, IN)--A former Reid Health nurse has had her license suspended after several drug-related incidents.  27-year-old Kasey Barnard lives in Rushville but was working at Reid when she was fired last year.  She fell asleep and failed a drug screen.  Later, Barnard was arrested in Henry County after admitting to buying methamphetamine 20 times.  At a different facility in Shelbyville, she stole a box of syringes.  A licensing board called her an immediate public danger.

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SHOT FIRED DURING ARMED ROBBERY

(Oxford, OH)--A gunshot was fired during an Oxford armed robbery Wednesday.  A man entered the Dollar General on College Corner Pike and demanded cash.  One shot was fired, but no one was injured.  The suspect fled on foot with an undetermined amount of cash and was still on the loose Thursday morning.  He’s described only as a slender black male who was wearing a hoodie.  Oxford police did not say if the suspect or the clerk fired the shot.

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ULTRALIGHT CRASHES IN FRANKLIN COUNTY

(Oldenburg, IN)--An ultralight aircraft went down in Franklin County Wednesday.  It crashed just before noon Wednesday in a wooded area a few miles west of Oldenburg.  The pilot survived the crash, although it took a half an hour to cut him from the wreckage.  He was Aircared to University Hospital in Cincinnati.  The initial investigation shows that there was a mechanical issue with the homemade plane.

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CRAIN OWNER'S CRIMINAL HISTORY DETAILED; FORMER OWNER TO TRY TO RECLAIM PROPERTY

(Richmond, IN)--Former Crain Sanitarium owner Kris Nelson indicated Tuesday that he would take steps to reclaim that property at the corner of 22nd and East Main near Glen Miller Park.  Ben and Heaven Johnson bought that building on contract from Nelson with plans to renovate.  Heaven Johnson pled guilty Tuesday to stealing from Menard’s last week.  Some red flags arose almost immediately for Nelson.  According to him, two down payment checks from Johnson and her husband Ben bounced.  Then, at closing, Heaven Johnson submitted an identification card with a different name…Heaven Greer.  She claimed Tuesday that she brought the wrong ID with her from California.  The issue with the two different names was not caught at closing.  The name Greer, though, revealed a series of arrests that she has had – all involving fraud.  Also, the social security number that she has used under those two different names is very slightly different.  Meanwhile, at least one additional mechanic’s lien has been filed against Johnson.  She said yesterday that she has not paid because the work has not been completed.  She also claims that work inside the building has continued despite the liens.  Johnson said she plans to continue with the building and others that she’s trying to purchase.  She’s also working to open a consignment shop in the former Knollenberg’s building Uptown.  Tuesday’s guilty plea to stealing from Menard’s is the latest in a series of run-ins with the law for Heaven Johnson.  Several arrests were made a decade ago.  In South Carolina, she was arrested for stealing $163,000 from her parents’ estate.  A bail bondsman there said Tuesday that she jumped bail, a claim backed up by numerous failure to appear entries in court.  She was on probation for other charges in Georgia when those alleged crimes were occurring.  Before that, Johnson had been arrested for fraud after ordering items on the internet, claiming they never arrived, and getting her money back.  Johnson claimed Tuesday that all of those criminal matters were ultimately dropped.

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REDEVELOPMENT APPROVES WCTV FUNDING

(Richmond, IN)--WCTV is working to upgrade its technology.  Tuesday, Richmond’s Redevelopment Commission addressed a request for $200,000 in Certified Tech Park funds that would help with the purchase of digital equipment.  That proposal was amended to $100,000 before gaining approval Tuesday.  WCTV has been an integral part of Richmond government with its live broadcasts of community meetings and other events.

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MECHANIC'S LIEN FILED AGAINST NEW OWNERS OF CRAIN SANITARIUM

(Richmond, IN)--A mechanic’s lien has been filed against the new owners of the Crain Sanitarium.  That’s the home at the corner of 22nd and East Main directly across from the Madonna of the Trail in Richmond.  Its owner, Heaven Johnson, allegedly stole multiple items from Menard’s and was arrested.  Plumbing contractor Dale Brooks filed the lien, claiming he has not been paid for about $1200 worth of work.  The Johnsons also stayed at Richmond bed and breakfast and have now left without paying a portion of the bill.  Meanwhile, the house sits empty.  Contractors say there has been no activity in the last two weeks.  Kicks 96 and The Point News has discovered the Johnsons had previously used a different last name.  We’ll have that story Wednesday.

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FAMILY ESCAPES EARLY-MORNING HOUSE FIRE

(New Paris, OH)--Three people escaped a house fire overnight near New Paris.  It broke out on Arnett Drive at about 1:45 Tuesday morning.  A male occupant of the home discovered the fire, called 911, and then tried unsuccessfully to put the fire out with a garden hose.  Two other people inside were able to escape.  Six fire crews responded, but the house was a total loss.  There’s no word yet on what caused the fire.  Crews cleared up at around 5 o’clock Tuesday morning.

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DREAMCOURT DEDICATED AT CLEAR CREEK PARK

(Richmond, IN)--Richmond’s DreamCourt was dedicated Monday afternoon.  That’s the new orange and blue court at Clear Creek Park that’s aimed at making basketball more accessible to kids.  Del Harris, who once coached at Earlham and went on to coach in the NBA was on hand for the dedication, as was current Sacramento King Assistant Coach Nancy Lieberman.  Both were instrumental in the court’s creation.

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PICKUP DRIVER DIES IN TINGLER ROAD CRASH

(Wayne County, IN)--There was a fatal crash in Wayne County Monday morning.  It happed at around 7:45 on Tingler Road between Union Pike and U.S. 27.  A pickup driver left the road for an unknown reason, hit a utility pole, and careened into an oncoming car.  He was taken to Reid Health where he was pronounced dead.  A female victim in the other car was less seriously hurt.  Names have not been released.

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HISTORIC RICHMOND HOME'S NEW OWNER ARRESTED; CONTRACTORS HALT WORK

(Richmond, IN)--Work to renovate the historic Crain Sanitarium Home in Richmond appears to have come to a screeching halt.  That’s the home at the corner of 22nd and East Main directly across from Glen Miller Park and the Madonna of the Trail.  A California couple named Ben and Heaven Johnson recently purchased the property and said they planned to renovate, but now there’s reason for skepticism.  Some contractors have ceased work after not being paid.  Last week, Heaven Johnson was arrested and charged with stealing numerous items from Menard’s.  Employment history from Ben Johnson does not check out.  He claims to work for Rolls-Royce, but the only employee they have by that name works in London.

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WANTED ALLEGED RAPIST CAPTURED

(Richmond, IN)--One of Richmond’s most wanted men has been caught.  36-year-old Michael Abbott was taken into custody at 3 o’clock Monday morning at the Elizabeth Apartments at North 16th and C.  He was wanted for rape, strangulation, and dealing drugs.  Abbott allegedly held a woman in a closet against her will, then took her to two stores to buy ingredients needed to manufacture meth.  He’s also accused of injecting her with heroin against her will.  He’s being held on a $250,000 bond.

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RPD INVESTIGATES POSSIBLE SHOOTING

(Richmond, IN)--Investigators are working to sort out what appears to have been a shooting in Richmond Sunday night.   Officers were called to the 300 block of North West I on the report of shots fired.  Nothing was found there, but about an hour later blood and a shell casing were found on North West J.  That led to the discovery of bloody rags on Hunt Street.  Then, officers found a bullet hole in a home at the site of the original call.  No arrests had been made by early Friday morning.

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NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE CONFIRMS WAYNE COUNTY TORNADO

(Webster, IN)--The National Weather Service was in Wayne County Sunday and confirmed that it was a tornado that touched down early Saturday night near the intersection of State Route 38 and Round Barn Road.  One resident knew it was a tornado.  "Because of the way the tree is twisted and pulled out of the ground."  The tornado had an estimated wind speed of 85 miles per hour and was on the ground for a mile and a half.  And, according to Christy Hetisimer, it came with no warning.  "All of a sudden you heard a lot of commotion...stuff blowing off the porch.  (Her husband) opened the door and said to get in the basement," Hetisimer said.  There were no injuries.  The Fountain City Fire Department will be operating with just two vehicles after Saturday night’s storm.  Firefighters were east of town in a tanker trying to spot severe weather when the truck went off of Arba Pike near Fountain City Pike and rolled onto its side.  One firefighter suffered a minor injury.  Insurance will cover the loss of the truck.

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MAN SETS SUV ON FIRE NEAR NORWOOD APARTMENT UNIT

(Richmond, IN)--An SUV was set on fire Friday morning following a dispute between a man and a woman on Richmond’s north side.  Police and fire department personnel were sent to a unit of the Norwood Apartments in the 800 block of North 17th at around 4:45 Friday morning.  The car had been parked close to one of the buildings.  At least one other vehicle had its tires slashed.  Police caught the male suspect, who has now been identified as 27-year-old Adrian Ambrose-Beltran, and took him to jail.  The fire did not necessitate any evacuation.

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PLEA DEAL WOULD RESULT IN 30-YEAR PRISON SENTENCE FOR CHILD MOLESTER

(Richmond, IN)--A convicted Wayne County child molester has agreed to a plea deal that will bring two more cases to a close.  31-year-old Justin Mitchell will be sentenced to 30 years in prison.  That sentence won’t start until after he finishes serving a three-year sentence for Randolph County crimes.  Mitchell was arrested last summer after he was beaten with a stick.  He has now admitted to molesting up to seven children, including at least three who were younger than 13 years old.

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BANK ROBBER GETS SEVEN-YEAR SENTENCE

(Richmond, IN)--An Uptown Richmond bank robber was handed a seven-year prison sentence Thursday.  23-year-old Shane Newton held up Chase Bank last summer.  He was caught three hours later when officers and a police canine tracked him down in a wooded area near Fricker’s.  He’s been in jail ever since.  Newton later told investigators that he was desperate for cash to buy drugs and to give to two mothers of his children.

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MAN FOUND GUILTY IN RACIAL GRAFFITI INCIDENT

(Richmond, IN)--The man who early last year stirred tension in Richmond by painting racial graffiti on his own home and was responsible for his truck being set on fire in his own driveway was found guilty by a Wayne County jury Wednesday.  38-year-old Jonathan Powell now faces up to a year in jail when he’s sentenced on the 21st.  His wife, former Richmond physician Dr. Myla Bennett, now lives near Atlanta.  She testified Wednesday on his behalf.  Powell already has a criminal history.  He’s a convicted armed robber and deadbeat dad.

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RICHMOND RESIDENTS CHARGED IN BROOKVILLE LAKE GUN, DRUGS INCIDENT

(Brookville, IN)--Three Richmond residents are facing charges after a recent incident at Brookville Lake.  Police were called to the parking lot of Mounds Beach after reports of someone waving a gun.  There, police found Melissa Mike of Richmond in possession of what turned out to be a BB pistol.  But, investigators also found cocaine, marijuana, and drug paraphernalia.  Mike, along with Casey Smith and Robert Gross of Richmond, were taken to the Franklin County Jail.

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BLUE BUFFALO CONSTRUCTION TO START SOON

(Richmond, IN)--It won’t take long for construction to begin on the Blue Buffalo project after Tuesday’s formal announcement that the pet food manufacturer is locating in the Midwest Industrial Park.  "Construction is slated to begin this summer, and production is scheduled to begin in March of 2018," said EDC CEO Valerie Shaffer.  Mayor Dave Snow wants potential employees to be ready.  "I am now challenging Richmond to prepare for these jobs and utilize the many resources that you have available to you in our city to capture these jobs when they're here for us."  Those jobs will pay an average of $17 per hour.  Local officials did not address Tuesday specifically how the hiring process would be conducted.

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BLUE BUFFALO RECENTLY PAID $32 MILLION SETTLEMENT FOR FALSIFYING INGREDIENTS

(Richmond, IN)--The pet food company that formally announced Tuesday that it is locating in Richmond’s Midwest Industrial Park is currently paying to settle a class-action lawsuit.  Blue Buffalo has agreed to pay $32 million to settle a lawsuit.  The lawsuit alleges that Blue Buffalo used false and misleading advertising by claiming that no chicken byproducts were used.  Testing revealed the presence of byproducts.  Customers are getting back a dime for every dollar they spent on Blue Buffalo Food.

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MISSOURI COMMUNITY SAYS BLUE BUFFALO HAS BEEN GOOD CORPORATE CITIZEN

(Joplin, MO)--Blue Buffalo opened another facility in Joplin, Missouri two summers ago.  The company began looking at that community when much of it was destroyed by a tornado. What kind of corporate citizen have they been?  According to this Joplin city council member, a good one.  "I think they gave some month the other day to the Childrens' Haven.  That's where we have our kids go who don't have a parent," said Jim West.  He said they’ve met their employment projections.  "They've been good stewarts for us to have in the city, and I think they'd be good someplace else, too.  Joplin Mayor Pro Tem Ryan Stanley said Tuesday that he wishes they had another hundred Blue Buffalos.

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SEVEN ACCUSED IN PLOT TO SMUGGLE DRUGS INTO RANDOLPH COUNTY JAIL

(Winchester, IN)--Plans to smuggle illegal drugs into the Randolph County Jail have resulted in the arrests of seven people.  Lauren Hill was on a work release program.  She allegedly returned to jail with drugs for five inmates.  Some of it was to be delivered on lunch trays.  Jail officials became aware of the scheme when they monitored phone calls.  The six others charges include Darriene Ackman, Stephanie Bowmer, Rayne Hunnicut, David Kelly, Kyla Franklin, and Terry Bailey.

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JC PENNEY CELEBRATES 50 YEARS AT RICHMOND SQUARE MALL

(Richmond, IN)--One of the original tenants of the Richmond Square Mall is celebrating its 50th anniversary there.  Back on the first of June in 1966, JC Penney was in the first couple of weeks in business on what was then Richmond’s eastern edge.  It also marked the beginning of a shift in Richmond’s retail.  JC Penney had operated Uptown since 1927 before jumping on the mall bandwagon in 1966.

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