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Local News: A service of Reid Health Archives for 2016-12

LOCAL ELECTED OFFICIALS CALL FOR PURSUIT OF REID COMPETITOR

(Richmond, IN)--More than a week ago, we told you that Reid Health is raising its rates by 5.6% for 2017.  Now, some local elected officials – both past and present – are calling for something drastic.  Two current Richmond Common Council members, Jamie Lopeman and Clay Miller, are calling for competition in local health care to bring rates down.  Lopeman said that competition is long overdue.  Miller went a step further.  He posted this:  "I urge our EDC and Chamber of Commerce to recruit a new hospital / health care system to come to Richmond.  Some good, old-fashioned competition would serve our community well."  Former county commissioner Mary Heyob said that Reid’s rates would be even higher if it had to pay property taxes for its buildings on Chester Boulevard.

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POLICE SEARCH FOR HUNTER'S POINTE BURGLAR

(Richmond, IN)--A resident in the Hunter’s Pointe neighborhood of Richmond was home when a burglar entered Thursday night.  The suspect was described as a white man in a black ski mask.  He broke in the back door and ran out the front door when the resident discovered him.  It happened on Hunter’s Pointe Drive near Bishop’s Gate.  The burglar made off with a gun and a purse.  Nearby Arbor Trace Senior Living Center was advised to go on lockdown.  Officers and canines searched but could not find the suspect.

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FRANKLIN COUNTY AUDITOR RESIGNS WITH CRIMINAL CHARGES LOOMING

(Brookville, IN)--Franklin County Auditor Steve Brack has resigned.  It’s been a long year for Brack, who is still facing two counts of felony theft after allegedly stealing money from the Brookville Kiwanis Club.  A plea deal is in the works in that case.  Franklin County’s Republican Party Chairman indicated he was unsure whether or not the resignation was a direct condition of the plea deal.  Brack is also the subject of an Indiana State Police investigation for allegedly forging documents.

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VACANT WILLIAMSBURG HOME DESTROYED BY FIRE

(Williamsburg, IN)--Firefighters from multiple agencies battled a vacant house fire in Williamsburg Thursday night.  It broke out at around 9 o’clock and was fully involved by the time first responders arrived.  High winds fueled the fire and threatened other nearby homes on High Street.  Earlier this year, another vacant home burned just down the street.  A marijuana grow operation was found there.  There were no working utilities at the house Thursday night.  An exact cause has yet to be determined.  There were no injuries.

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POLICE INVESTIGATE UNION CITY SHOOTING

(Union City, OH)--There was a shooting in Union City Friday morning.  Medics were sent to a home on South Wintergreen Street on the Ohio side of the line at 2 o’clock Friday morning.  They found one person who had been shot multiple times, but was still able to speak with investigators.  Careflight was requested but could not fly due to high winds.  The victim’s identity and current condition have not been released.  One person was detained at the scene.  There’s no word yet on what prompted the shooting.

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RANDOLPH COUNTY GIRL RAPED BY FACEBOOK FRIEND

(Randolph County, IN)--In Randolph County, a 15-year-old girl has been sexually assaulted by a Michigan felon that she met on Facebook.  22-year-old Brandon Kolc now faces charges that include rape.  Kolc allegedly drove from a Detroit suburb last month and met the girl in the parking lot of a Randolph County church.  The next day, he picked her up from school, drove her to an abandoned casket factory, and raped her.  He was jailed last weekend.  Kolc posed to the girl as an Illinois teenager.

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DUI SUSPECT FLEES SCENE OF CRASH

(Richmond, IN)--An alleged drunken driver was caught after a short foot chase in Richmond Tuesday night.  56-year-old Vincent Vecera drove through the yard and took out a sign at the Lauramoore House near North West 5th and Richmond Avenue.  He then struck another driver, but kept going.  He was finally caught on the porch of his own home.  The other driver was not hurt.  Vecera was also charged with felony intimidation.

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ANOTHER CATTLE HERD TESTS POSITIVE FOR BOVINE TB IN FRANKLIN COUNTY

(Brookville, IN)--A second beef cattle herd has tested positive for bovine tuberculosis in Franklin County.  The newly-infected herd was found inside a ten-mile surveillance area that state officials had been watching since a first herd was found last spring.  This fall, deer hunters took extra precautions with meat after a deer tested positive for bovine TB.  Now, state officials have until February to submit a plan to deal with the disease to the federal government.

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OXFORD CONSIDERS AMTRAK STOP

(Oxford, OH)--Our area may have a new Amtrak line that would provide a direct route to Chicago.  Oxford is considering earmarking $350,000 to put a stop in there.  The train current passes through Oxford three mornings a week, but does not stop.  It’s one of two lines that pass through the Whitewater Valley.  The Cardinal Line of Amtrak can be boarded in Connersville.  Oxford’s council will again address the proposal next week.

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NORTHEASTERN HIGH SCHOOL MOURNS PRINCIPAL'S DEATH

(Fountain City, IN)--A funeral has now been set for Friday morning for Steve Angel.  The Northeastern High School Principle died on Christmas Day from a pulmonary embolism.  Angel began as Northeastern’s  principle two years ago after having served as an assistant principle at Franklin County High School.  Northeastern Superintendent Laura Blessing issued a statement last night calling Angel an accomplished leader and friend.  The service will take place in the eastern Ohio town of Dover.  That’s where Angel grew up.  Steve Angel was just 46.

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WAYNE COUNTY CHILD ABUSE AND NEGLECT CASES UP 17% FROM 2015

(Richmond, IN)--The number of substantiated cases of child abuse and neglect in Wayne County is on pace to far exceed last year’s total, according to the Indiana Department of Child Services.  In the first 11 months of 2016, Wayne County had 319 new, substantiated cases of child abuse and neglect.  That’s up 17% from the same time last year.  There were 40 new cases reported just in August of this year, when school started.  The vast majority of cases involve neglect, not physical or sexual abuse.

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COUPLE CAUGHT WITH DRUGS IN RESTAURANT PARKING LOT

(Richmond, IN)--A Richmond couple was taken into custody Monday night in the parking lot of Chuck’s Sports Bar on North E Street.  Police allegedly found meth, other drugs, and paraphernalia when they searched 36-year-old Thomas Lear and 32-year-old Ashley Jackson.  Jackson claimed that Lear shoved the drugs in her purse.  In an unrelated drug incident last night, police responded to an overdose victim near 17th and East Main.  According to scanner traffic, that victim still had the needle under her right hip.

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TWO DIE FROM RICHMOND HEROIN OVERDOSES IN THE LAST WEEK

(Richmond, IN)--There have been multiple drug overdoses in the last week in Richmond, and that includes at least two fatalities.  According to family members, 21-year-old Aaliyah Kenekham died last week after injecting herself with heroin.  Then, early Sunday morning, another person died on South 8th Street.  That was very near another overdose call on South 8th on Christmas Eve.  Also Sunday night, CPR was in progress on another heroin overdose victim in the 1900 block of South J Street.  That person’s condition has not yet become available.

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PROSECUTOR EXPLAINS DROPPING OF CHARGES AGAINST DORN DEFENDANTS

(Richmond, IN)--Wayne County Prosecutor Mike Shipman has released a statement explaining why charges were dropped against three DORN Center defendants.  That suboxone clinic was shut down two years ago after allegedly illegally distributing medication.  Shipman said that Dr. Larry Ley was found not guilty in a central Indiana trial in August in a case that was very similar to Wayne County’s.  Consideration of double jeopardy was a primary factor in the decision to drop the local charges against Ley and two other defendants. Below is the statement in its entirety:

 

Charges filed against Dr. Larry Ley, Dr. Ronald Vierk and nurse Yvonne Morgan were dismissed on Thursday, Dec. 22, 2016.  Dr. Ley was found not guilty during a trial in Hamilton County, Indiana, in August of this year.  Our charges were based on very similar conduct that occurred in Wayne County.  I recently finished my review of the trial transcript.  Judge Nation in Hamilton County found that Dr. Ley did not knowingly prescribe medications outside the normal course of professional practice.  For this reason and double jeopardy prohibitions, I have concluded that further prosecution of the three co-defendants is no longer appropriate.

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HAGERSTOWN MAN CHARGED WITH MULTIPLE COUNTS OF DRUG DEALING

(Hagerstown, IN)--It’s the first time in the Wayne County Jail for an alleged Hagerstown drug dealer, but he now faces a slew of felonies.  37-year-old Michael Davis was taken into custody on Brick Church Road on Christmas Eve.  Police allegedly found heroin, other controlled substances, hypodermic needles, and other drug paraphernalia.  Davis is also charge with three counts of dealing.

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REID WILL NOT BE PAID FOR $477 MILLION IN SERVICES THIS YEAR

(Richmond, IN)--Reid Health has announced a rate increase of 5.6% next year.  That’s in keeping with the Consumer Price Index.  There is a continued increase in bad debt at Reid.  It’s gone from $60 million in 2008 to $158 million this year, and that does not count Medicare shortfalls.  Reid will write off another $319 million in Medicare shortfalls this year.  Those two combined means that Reid will not be paid for just short of half a billion dollars’ worth of service this year alone.  The 5.6% increase is the highest increase in the last six years.

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CRIMINAL CHARGES DROPPED - AGAIN - AGAINST DORN CENTER DEFENDANTS

(Richmond, IN)--Criminal charges have been dismissed – again – against three people who had been charged in connection with the now-closed Dorn Clinic between Richmond and Centerville.  Dr. Larry Ley and Yvonne Morgan were charged two years ago after allegedly illegally distributing Suboxone.  Charges were dropped once.  Then, an appellate court ruled the charges could be reinstated.  They were.  But now, they’ve been dropped again.  Motions to dismiss were filed this week in Wayne Superior Court II.

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TRI VILLAGE BOARD UPHOLDS HAZING SUSPENSIONS

(New Madison, OH)--The Tri Village School Board Thursday night upheld the suspensions connected to hazing allegations with the basketball team.  "After hearing the suspension appeal, and considering all evidence, the board affirms the order of suspension," said Tim Blevins.  The board met privately for three hours before announcing its decision.  Darke County Chief Deputy Mark Whitaker said there’s no evidence of sexual misconduct, despite some allegations that included using a pencil to sodomize a victim.  "If I would have thought for a second that there was evidence to support a sexual assault or rape, we would advocate the prosecutor's office, on behalf of the victims, to prosecute such crimes."  Misdemeanor charges are still possible.

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MAN ARRESTED FOR FORCING HIS WAY INTO HOME

(Richmond, IN)--A Richmond man was arrested Friday morning after allegedly forcing his way into a home.  56-year-old Randall Aebischer was taken into custody in the 100 block of North 18th at around 1 o’clock Friday morning.  He had forced his way into a home a block away, but there were enough people inside to force him back out.  Police found drugs and needles.  He may have tried to enter at least one other home earlier in the night.

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MORE WESTERN WAYNE COUNTY LAND BROUGHT IN TO TAX DISTRICT

(WAYNE COUNTY)- More land in western Wayne County will be brought in to a Tax Incremental Financing District. The Wayne County Redevelopment Commission approved the change to collect tax money near the Gateway Industrial Park. The county hopes to use the money to repair problems with the sewage system in the area.

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COURT OF APPEALS SAYS UNION COUNTY CAN SUE IN-DOT

(UNION COUNTY)- The Indiana Court of Appeals says Union County does have the authority to file a lawsuit over septic system problems in Cottage Grove caused by road construction. The appeals court reversed a lower court ruling that the county did not have standing to sue IN-DOT on behalf of residents who live along U-S Highway 27.

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RICHMOND POLICE INVESTIGATING A MORNING SHOOTING

(RICHMOND)- Richmond Police are investigating a shooting that left a man in critical condition. Police say they found Mark Watson Jr. sitting on some steps on South Fifth Street around 2:30 this morning. Watson was taken to a hospital with a gunshot wound to his chest. Police say evidence was found a few blocks from where they found Watson, but no information about a possible suspect has been released.

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OFFICIALS BELIEVE CRYOSEISM ARE RESPONSIBLE FOR REPORTS OF GUNSHOTS, LOUD BOOMS

(Richmond, IN)--They’re called cryoseisms, and local officials are becoming more convinced that’s what’s prompted reports of gunshots, popping sounds, and loud booms from the same general area of Richmond in the last few nights.  Cryoseisms are also known as ice quakes and are created when water seeps into the earth and then freezes quickly.  Tuesday night and into Wednesday morning, there were reports near Henley Road, on Garwood Road, and just outside of New Paris.

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FOUNTAIN CITY MAN JAILED FOR FELONY HOME IMPROVEMENT FRAUD

(Fountain City, IN)--A Fountain City man was in the Wayne County Jail Wednesday morning after he was taken into custody at his home on Pearl Street Tuesday night.  49-year-old Gregory Keeton is now charged with felony home improvement fraud.  Details of what Keeton is alleged to have done have not been released, but he has a history of failing to comply with court orders and hearings.

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NEW RICHMOND CONTROLLER, HUMAN RESOURCES DIRECTORS NAMED

(Richmond, IN)--Richmond will have a new city controller at the first of the year.  Mayor Dave Snow announced Monday that Beth Fields will lead the city’s finances and that the current Controller, Sandra Spencer, would return to her original role as Deputy Controller.  Fields is currently the Director of Infrastructure and Development.  Snow also announced that Imani Murphy will become the new Director of Human Resources.  Murphy had served in a similar role at Richmond State Hospital.

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HAZING REPORTED AT TRI VILLAGE HIGH SCHOOL

(New Madison, OH)--Criminal charges are possible as part of a hazing investigation at Tri Village High School.  The allegations appear to center around Tri Village’s basketball team.  According to the Darke Sheriff’s Department Monday night, school staff responded to the incident as soon as it was reported.  11 people have been interviewed by police investigators.  The Tri Village School Board met Monday night in executive session to address the issue.  Details of the allegations have not been released.

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RICHMOND MAN ARRESTED FOR BUGLARIZED CAR AFTER HE HAD APPLIED FOR JOB

(Connersville and Abington, IN)--If you’re looking for a good stupid criminal story, this one’s a doozy.  According to police reports, 27-year-old Josh Smith of Richmond broke into the car of the manager of a Family Video in Connersville while it was parked at the store.  She didn’t have any trouble giving police information on Smith.  That’s because moments before, he went into the store and filled out a job application…listing his name, address, and phone number.  From there, Smith did steal a truck at a nearby pizza restaurant.  He drove it back to Wayne County where he was caught after doing donuts in a field.  That field just happened to be owned by a Wayne County sheriff’s deputy.

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REMAINS OF UNION COUNTY SOLDIER TO BE RETURNED 66 YEARS AFTER HIS DEATH

(Union County, IN)--One Whitewater Valley family has received a Christmas gift that’s 66 years in the making.  Gerald Shepler of Union County fought in the Korean War and went missing in 1950 following an ambush.  He was declared dead later that year when his body could not be located.  Decades passed with no answers.  Then, in the early 90’s the Korean government returned 208 boxes with the unidentified remains of soldiers.  A family member recently went through DNA testing.  And now, just this month, that DNA testing positively identified some remains as those of Gerald Shepler.  The family is now awaiting the return of those remains to Union County for burial.

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CAMBRIDGE CITY TRAFFIC STOP YIELDS LARGE AMOUNT OF DRUGS

(Cambridge City, IN)--An alleged Cambridge City methamphetamine and heroin dealer was caught Sunday night at a convenience store there.  41-year-old Cory Balser was taken into custody at the Village Pantry at State Road 1 and U.S. 40 by Cambridge City police.  Balser tried to run, but didn’t get far.  Police recovered a large amount of drugs and cash.  Balser was in the Wayne County Jail Monday morning.

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IDENTITY OF ALLEGED BURGLAR WHO FLED INTO NATIONAL TRAIL HIGH SCHOOL RELEASED

(Preble County, OH)--The identity of a man who fled from police by running into National Trail High School has been released.  55-year-old Gabriel Bonish had allegedly just burglarized a nearby home when deputies tried to stop him on Saturday morning.  Hundreds of people were inside National Trail at the time for a dance competition.  Bonish hid under a desk as people inside were secured in their areas and then evacuated.  He eventually surrendered when a police canine was sent into the room where he was hiding.

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SCHOOL SYSTEM BREAKS TREND OF DELAYING FOR COLD

(Liberty, IN)--Almost every Whitewater Valley school system on Thursday made the decision to delay two hours due strictly to the cold.  One school that went on time was Union County.  For Assistant Superintendent Al Sustarsic, it was a matter of simple logic.  "The wind chill prediction, at 8 o'clock, was for -10.  The wind chill prediction at 10 o'clock was -9," Sustarsic said.  On Thursday, that proved true.  The temperature at 7:30 a.m. at the Richmond Municipal Airport was 1 with a wind chill of -10.  The temperature at 9:30 a.m. was 0 with a wind chill of -11, meaning students actually endured slightly colder temperatures because of the delay than if they would have gone at the normal time.  Many administrators say daylight helps. That claim does not hold water with Sustarsic.  "If that's an issue, why do you start at the time you do on a normal day?" Sustarsic wondered.  He looks at the change in conditions in those two hours rather than the conditions themselves.  "What's the difference between 8 a.m. and 10 a.m.?  To us, it makes sense that you go.  Fayette and Franklin County schools also went on time Thursday.

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WAYNE COUNTY'S MEDIAN INCOME RANKS 84th OF INDIANA'S 92 COUNTIES

(Wayne County, IN)--New figures from the U.S. Census Bureau show that East Central Indiana counties are some of the poorest in the state.  Only eight counties have a lower median income than Wayne County’s, which stands today at $41,849.  One of those eight counties, though, is Randolph, which ranks #87 in median income for Indiana’s 92 counties.  Wayne County also now has a lower median income than Fayette County, which has recently ranked at or near the bottom.  18% of Wayne County residents are now considered to live in poverty.

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NO FOUL PLAY INVOLVED WITH FAYETTE COUNTY BODY

(Connersville, IN)--Investigators have now concluded their investigation into the body that was found in a Fayette County farm field early last month.  They’ve ruled that no foul play was involved in the death of 34-year-old Danielle Holt.  According to toxicology reports, Holt died from an acute antihistamine overdose.  Holt had been missing for nearly two weeks before her body was found by a farmer harvesting his corn.

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STANT SELLS TO CERBERUS CAPITAL MANAGEMENT

(Connersville, IN)--Employees at Stant Manufacturing in Connersville learned this week that the company has been sold.  That company, which started 118 years ago, has been purchased by a group called Cerberus Capital Management LLC.  It’s a company that typically invests in Chapter 11 reorganizations and debt restructuring.  Stant has sold several times in the last two decades.  Currently, employment is up.  Local leaders credit an Ivy Tech program with helping to train employees.

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THREE PEOPLE ESCAPE HOUSE FIRE

(Bentonville, IN)--A family in the northern Fayette County town of Bentonville lost everything in a fire Wednesday.  Three people inside escaped the fire with only the clothes they were wearing when the fire broke out at around 7 o’clock Wednesday morning.  An unconfirmed report indicates one female victim jumped from an upstairs bedroom and was sent to a Level One trauma center with a spleen injury. Firefighters from multiple agencies were on the scene for more than five hours.  Neighbors and friends have worked to get clothing donations for the family.

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UNION COUNTY APPROVES DRUG TESTING FOR STUDENTS

(Liberty, IN)--Drug-testing will begin for all Union County students when they return from Christmas break.  The board this week approved the overall policy after a few revisions were made.  Most notably, drug testing has been pushed back from the 6th to the 7th grade.  The district can test urine, oral fluid, or hair samples.  Students will be selected at random from two testing pools.  The board will look at the policy again in a year.

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MAN WANTED FOR ROBBERY, BURGLARY APPREHENDED

(Richmond, IN)--Richmond police were able to track down and arrest a man with multiple felony warrants Wednesday.  20-year-old Dylan Schlis was caught Wednesday afternoon when officers responded to some type of fight on Central Drive.  Schlis had been wanted for robbery, burglary, and theft.  Details of Schis’ alleged crimes have not yet become available.

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SCHOOLS SEE MIXED RESULTS WITH INDIANA REPORT CARDS

(Whitewater Valley)--Indiana schools received their report cards Tuesday from the state’s Department of Education.  About half of Whitewater Valley schools saw their grades drop from last year.  That includes Richmond High School, which dropped from an A to a B.  Centerville Junior High and Northeastern Middle Schools both jumped up from a C to an A.  The Richmond Academy was the only area school to get an F.  Many administrators do not put a lot of weight into the grades due largely to problems with ISTEP.

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MAN SENTENCED FOR MAKING VIDEO RECOVERING FOR SHOWERING GIRL

(Richmond, IN)--A video recording that he made of a 14-year-old girl taking a shower has earned a Richmond man three years behind bars.  36-year-old Scott Asher was sentenced this week in Wayne Superior Court II.  Asher admitted that he made a video of the girl, but blamed it largely on his use of marijuana.  The girl testified at Asher’s sentencing, saying she has had nightmares since the incident occurred back in early May.

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OXFORD NAMED BEST SMALL COLLEGE CITY IN THE COUNTRY

(Oxford, OH)--The website Wallethub has confirmed what many in our area already knew…Oxford is the best small college city in the county.  The website looked at several factors, mainly involving quality of life, and determined that Oxford came out on top – edging out East Lansing, Michigan.  About 21,000 people live in Oxford, but that total jumps by well over 10,000 when Miami University is in session.

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CONSOLIDATION PROPOSED AT FRANKLIN COUNTY SCHOOLS

(Brookville, IN)--A major change has been proposed for one Whitewater Valley school system.  Franklin County School Superintendent Dr. Debbie Howell recommended this week that the public middle schools in the county be consolidated into one middle school in Brookville.  Right now, students in grades six through eight attend schools in Cedar Grove and Laurel as well as in Brookville.  The possible consolidation has been discussed by the board for most of the year.

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PREBLE COUNTY TEACHER FACES CRIMINAL CHARGE

(Camden, OH)--A Preble County teacher is now facing a criminal charge.  45-year-old Molly Shockey, who teaches at Camden Elementary School, allegedly failed to scan several items at Eaton’s Walmart.  When police arrived and questioned Shockey, they allegedly found more stolen items in her purse.  Schockey provided a written statement saying that she accepts responsibility and will never do it again.  Her status at the school is still in question.

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INDOT TO REPAIR NATIONAL ROAD EAST THIS WEEK

(Richmond, IN)--Last week we told you that INFOT said it was unlikely that it would be able to make any major fixes to National Road East in Richmond until the weather warmed up.  The stretch of road from Gravel Pit Road to the state line now has what feels like miniature speed bumps that resulted from poor construction patching.  On Monday, though, INDOT issued a statement saying that they would try to make some improvements to the road this week despite the snowy and cold forecast.

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MAN ADMITS ON SOCIAL MEDIA TO LEAVING ACCIDENT SCENE BEFORE TURNING HIMSELF IN

(Richmond, IN)--You never know what you’ll see on social media.  At just after midnight Tuesday morning, 23-year-old Jordan Weiser of Greens Fork crashed into another car and then ran from the scene of that crash at 12th and North E and Richmond.  Weiser’s friend posted a picture of the crash and said that that’s what happens when you let your friends drive drunk.  Weiser himself then posted that he was going to turn himself in.  And, after calling himself a moron, Weiser actually did turn himself in.

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OBSERVANT CITIZEN HELPS RPD NAB BANK ROBBER

(Richmond, IN)--An observant citizen who was willing to get involved helped Richmond police catch an alleged bank robber Monday afternoon.  Investigators say 41-year-old Jason Cavins had demanded cash from a teller at the U.S. Bank branch in the 1700 block of National Road West.  A resident on South West 17th saw a suspicious man getting into a van and called police.  That van was stopped near McBride Stadium.  Cavins was found hiding in the back of the van, which was being driven by his wife.  She has not been charged.  A large amount of cash was recovered.

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EATON MAN SETS BLOOD DONATION RECORD

(Eaton, OH)--An Eaton man has become the Community Blood Center’s all-time leading donor.  Wendall Clark began donating blood years ago to help two young girls battling cancer.  And, he’s never stopped donating.  "What really got me to keep doing it is meeting those young girls.  That just kind of inspires you.  If you've helped those two, how many more can you help?" Clark said.  Clark was just inducted into the Donation Hall of Fame after giving blood for the 628th time.

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DEMOLITION OF GARRISON ELEMENTARY IS WELL UNDERWAY

(Richmond, IN)--Not much remains today of the former Garrison Elementary School building.  Demolition has been underway for the last couple of weeks on Niewoehner Road in Richmond.  Today, there’s not much left other than the roof.  The school closed in 2012 and has sat vacant ever since.  A year and a half ago, the RCS board accepted a $66,000 bid for the property from Mint Management LLC.  The property appraised higher as a vacant lot than it did with the building sitting on it. 

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THREE CAUGHT IN CAMBRIDGE CITY METH BUST

(Cambridge City, IN)--There was a meth bust in Cambridge City Monday morning.  Stewart Carey, Christopher Harris, and Morgan Hart, who are all from Connersville, were taken into custody at the Speedway station on State Road 1 near the junction of I-70 and were jailed at around 3 o’clock Monday morning.  All three are charged with possession of methamphetamine.  All three also allegedly had syringes.  Speedway employees would not comment on the incident Monday morning.  Carey had been arrested for strangulation in Rushville earlier this year.

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CENTERVILLE UNDER WATER BOIL ADVISORY

(Centerville, IN)--Parts of Centerville are under a water boil advisory today.  An emergency repair to a water main over the weekend has forced the boil advisory for people who live from East Main to East Walnut and from South 2nd to South 4th Street.  People in that area should boil water for 12 minutes before using it for cooking or drinking.  There’s no word yet on when the advisory is expected to be lifted.

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WESTERN WAYNE PARENT COALITION SEEKS ANSWERS

(Cambridge City, IN)--A large group of concerned citizens in the Western Wayne School District is looking for answers from administrators regarding a host of issues.  The group identifies itself as the Western Wayne Parents Coalition and was formed earlier this year as the result of a controversial suspension of a teacher.  Specifically, the group wants to know about the school’s relationship with the Indiana Excel Academy, which promotes education at an individualized pace.  The coalition is also concerned about Assistant Superintendent George Philhower, who they say spends extended time out of the district speaking about personalized learning programs.  Additionally, the group alleges there is not adquate parental representation on various committees as recommended by the state.  Neither Western Wayne Superintendent Dr. Robert Mahon nor the school's attorney have returned multiple calls from Kicks 96 and the Point News.

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NATIONAL ROAD EAST TO REMAIN BUMPY FOR WEEKS

(Richmond, IN)--Road construction on National Road East in Richmond has made driving on the stretch of pavement between Garwood Road and the state line more than just a little bumpy.  And, according to INDOT, it’s not likely to get any better any time soon.  That stretch of highway was part of a patch and pave project that began in the last month or so.  Nathan Riggs at INDOT said Thursday that they ran out of time when the weather turned cold last week.  Many of those patches are rougher than INDOT would typically accept, but it’s too cold to make repairs.  The temperature needs to be above 40, and that’s not forecast to happen for at least two weeks.

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AHAUS RECEIVES SAGAMORE OF THE WABASH

(Richmond, IN)--A life-long Richmond businessman and community leader has been awarded Indiana’s highest honor.  Rick Ahaus was awarded with the Sagamore of the Wabash in a ceremony at Forest Hills Country Club Thursday night.  Ahaus is a former city councilman and has served on at least ten other boards.  He still serves as the Chairman of the Board of Ahaus Tool.  As an RCS board member, he helped to establish the Third Grade Academy.  Rick is a graduate of Richmond High School.

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RPD RECOVERS METH, OTHER DRUGS IN ARREST

(Richmond, IN)--Richmond police recovered methamphetamine and other drugs Thursday night.  30-year-old Matthew Eversole of Richmond was taken into custody in the 1300 block of North A Street.  It’s the latest in a series of brushes with the law for Eversole.  A year ago, he was arrested for breaking into the home of a woman on North 14th and firing multiple shots.  The amount of meth recovered Thursday night has not been released.

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COMMISSIONERS' VOTE EFFECTIVELY BANS WAYNE COUNTY WIND FARMS

(Richmond, IN)--Wayne County Commissioners voted unanimously Wednesday to a change in ordinance that will essentially ban any type of wind farm.  It had become clear that a majority of residents opposed the construction of large wind turbines.  Now, any potential wind farm decision will be made on a property-by-property basis.  A land owner would have to get a declaration of a hardship from the Board of Zoning Appeals and obtain a variance.  A hardship declaration would be difficult to obtain.  County leaders could still address the future of wind energy in its comprehensive plan.

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RICHMOND SEES MULTIPLE DRUG OVERDOSES IN 24-HOUR PERIOD

(Richmond, IN)--Richmond has had an unusually high number of drug overdoses in a 24-hour period from Wednesday morning to Thursday morning.  There were four Wednesday, including a possible fatality.  One person had to be revived twice Wednesday.  There were at least four more overdoses after midnight Thursday morning.  One person was found not breathing and CPR was in progress at a home on North West 1st.  At around 5:30 Thursday morning, both a man and a woman overdosed at a home on Glen Court.

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REID RANKS AMONG INDIANA'S SAFEST HOSPITALS

(Richmond, IN)--Two local hospitals have been ranked among Indiana’s safest.  Both Reid Health and Fayette Regional Health System have received the highest rating from Consumer Reports, which examined lots of factors that include patient outcomes and hospital practices.  Reid had the 3rd-highest safety rating of 119 hospitals in Indiana.  Reid did not have a single instance of surgical site infection for all of 2015.

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2017 BUDGET APPROVED FOR EDC

(Richmond, IN)--The budget for Wayne County’s Economic Development Corporation was approved Wednesday by County Council.  The EDC’s budget is just shy of $600,000 for 2017.  That’s an increase of about 9% from this year.  Funding for the expansion of the county’s two industrial parks is part of the reason for the increase.  So is a hike in employees’ salaries.  That includes EDC CEO Valerie Shaffer.  Shaffer’s pay has been bumped up from $87,000 to $110,000.  She also received a four-year extension to her contract this week.

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EARLHAM NAMES 18TH PRESIDENT

(Richmond, IN)--Here’s more on Earlham College’s new president.  Alan Price was named the school’s 18th president on Tuesday.  Price was picked from a pool of 50 candidates due largely to his impressive resume, which includes appointments in the federal government by President Obama.  Price is currently the Associate Director of Management for the Peace Corps.  He is a 1988 Earlham graduate.

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SHERIFF'S DEPARTMENT SEEKS TO IDENTIFY VANILLA ICE-LOOKING SCAMMER

(Cambridge City, IN)--All right, stop.  Collaborate and listen.  The Wayne County Sheriff’s Department is looking for a couple of scam artists.  And, many people say that one of them looks just like Vanilla Ice.  The suspects are targeting elderly people, mainly in western Wayne County, by telling them that they owe money for culvert or septic work.  They are driving a white newer-model pickup truck.  You can check out a surveillance image on our Facebook page today.  And, if you can identify the Vanilla Ice look-alike, contact the Wayne County Sheriff’s Department.

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ADVISORY COMMISSION RECOMMENDS CHANGING WIND ORDINANCES

(Richmond, IN)--Concerned citizens filled seats, lined walls, and even sat on the floor as the Wayne County Advisory Plan Commission took up the controversial wind turbine issue Monday night.  The majority of the couple of dozen people who spoke opposed wind farm development.  After close to three hours, the commission recommended that the county change its ordinances regarding wind farms.  The recommendation is just that, though…a recommendation.  The county’s three commissioners will have the final say when they meet Wednesday.  A decision to change the ordinances essentially means that no wind farm develop can take place in Wayne County until those ordinances are revisited.  A company called EDP Renewables is considering building multiple tall turbines in the Economy area.

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COUNCIL APPROVES GRANT PURSUAL TO REMOVE ADDITIONAL BLIGHTED HOMES

(Richmond, IN)--Richmond Common Council met Monday night.  Council agreed to pursue a grant that will take down additional blighted homes across the city.  The original grant allowed for 145 homes that had been abandoned and become eyesores to be taken down.  A new round of grants, if approved, would provide an additional $270,000.  That money would fund the demolition of 11 additional blighted homes.

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TEEN CHARGED WITH ROBBERY, STRANGULATION

(Richmond, IN)--A Richmond teenager was arrested late Monday afternoon on charges that include robbery and strangulation.  19-year-old Isaiah Peyton woke up in the Wayne County Jail Tuesday morning after being taken into custody Monday afternoon near the Village Pantry on South E Street in Richmond.  Details of what Peyton is alleged to have done have not yet been released.  Peyton was caught illegally inside Richmond High School last month.

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RPD INVESTIGATES STABBNG REPORTS

(Richmond, IN)--Richmond police investigated a couple of stabbings Monday night and Tuesday morning.  The most recent reported occurred at about 5:30 Tuesday morning.  Officers were called to the 200 block of North 11th Street on the report that someone was stabbed in the arm.  That incident is still under investigation.  Police also responded to a trailer court on North West 5th at 9 o’clock Monday night.  Scanner traffic indicated that both the suspect and the victim left the area together.  Neither has been found.

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COUNTY PLAN COMMISSION TO HEAR PUBLIC COMMENT ON WIND ENERGY

(Richmond, IN)--Monday night is a big night for the wind energy debate in Wayne County.  Residents on both sides of the issue are expected to pack commissioners chambers at the Wayne County Administration Building beginning at 6 Monday night.  That’s when the Wayne County Advisory Plan Commission will take public comment on the issue.  They will then make a recommendation about whether or not change language in zoning ordinances that restrict the placement of wind turbines.  It will be Wayne County commissioners that have the final vote.

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FOUNTAIN CITY BUTT DIALERS ARRESTED FOR 3RD TIME IN LESS THAN A MONTH

(Richmond, IN)--The Fountain City Butt Dialers have been arrested yet again…the third time in three weeks.  Ricky Maddox and Sarah Bauer were first arrested late last month for stealing from Winchester’s Walmart and caught because they butt-dialed 911.  They were released from jail, but arrested again for trying to buy cigarettes with bad checks.  They were released again and, now, arrested again.  Maddox and Baurer were pulled over this weekend on East Main in Richmond.  Police found methamphetamine, other drugs, and paraphernalia.  By Monday morning, Maddox and Buarer were again out of jail.

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CHAMBER ISSUES FINAL POSITION STATEMENT ON WIND ENERGY

(Richmond, IN)--The Wayne County Area Chamber of Commerce released its official position statement on the wind energy issue Thursday.  The Chamber supports passage of an amendment that would allow the placement of turbines to be considered on a case-by-case basis.  Opposition to wind turbines was more strongly stated in an earlier draft by the Chamber.  Now, the Chamber is encouraging residents to educate themselves and to attend a public hearing that’s scheduled for Monday.  Commissioners are scheduled to vote on Wednesday.

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MAN ROBBED, BEATEN IN HIS BACK YARD

(Richmond, IN)--A Richmond man was robbed and beaten behind his home Thursday night.  Police were called at around 7:30 to the alley behind the 400 block of South 12th.  The victim told officers that he was struck in the back of the head by four suspects who then took his wallet.  A police canine was able to track the suspects for a short distance but then lost the trail.  The victim refused medical treatment.  The suspects were described only as black males wearing hoodies.  They were still on the loose Friday morning.

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DRUG TASK FORCE ARRESTS THIS WEEK NOW TOTAL 14

(Richmond, IN)--The Wayne County Drug Task Force is continuing to crack down on drug sales and usage.  Thursday, officers were in the first block of South 16th Street when they found 25-year-old Cherie Thacker.  Thacker allegedly had heroin in a loaded syringe and numerous other syringes, both used and unused.  She was in the Wayne County Jail Friday morning.  14 people have now been arrested just this week for using or selling drugs.

A Richmond man put up a fight Thursday but was subdued by police and is now in the Wayne County Jail.  48-year-old Shawn Stolle was allegedly in possession of heroin when he was located in the 200 block of West Main Street.  Officers also arrested Stolle’s girlfriend, 35-year-old Amanda Hoskins, because she had failed to show up for a court hearing.  Hoskins was also behind bars Friday morning.

His most recent Facebook post is a statement that says “Only God can judge me,” but a Wayne County jury will get a chance to do just that in the case of a Winchester man and his wife who allegedly dealt drugs in Richmond.  Tony and Shaunda Harris were found in the 800 block of North West 5th Thursday.  They’re both charged with dealing heroin and were in the Wayne County Jail Friday morning.

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SMALL FIRE PROMPTS EVACUATION OF RICHMOND'S HOLIDAY INN

(Richmond, IN)--A relatively minor fire was still enough to force the evacuation of visitors at Richmond’s Holiday Inn Wednesday night.  Crews were called to the hotel on National Road East at around 9:30.  "The hotel staff initiated their evacuation procedure and they were already out when we got there," said Battalion Chief Jeff Glen.  The fire began in a wall in the water room and was thought to be electrical in nature.  It was quickly brought under control and the guests were allowed to return to their rooms.  "It took a little while for the guys to pinpoint it," Glenn added.  Damage was minimal and there were no injuries.

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MOTHER SENTENCED TO NINE YEARS FOR HER YOUNG SON'S DEATH

(Eaton, OH)--The West Alexandria mother who admitted to causing the death of her 21-month-old son was sentenced Wednesday to nine years in prison.  41-year-old Christy Warwick had earlier pled guilty to involuntary manslaughter.  Prosecutors and defense attorneys argued over the length of her sentence Wednesday.  "The family has suffered a terrible loss.  Now, given the length of this sentence, the family will continue to feel an even greater loss and will not be able to heal as a unit," said defense attorney Brian Muenchenbach.  Sylas Warwick died a year ago from blunt force trauma to the head.  He was also malnourished.

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PREBLE COUNTY COUPLE SAVES NEWLYWEDS IN TENNESSEE WILDFIRE

From our partners at Newscenter 7:

(Sevier County, TN)--The death toll has risen to seven as a result of eastern Tennessee wildfires.  A Preble County couple, though, saved the lives of two newlyweds.  Rod and Tammy Good were in their cabin with fire rapidly approaching.  Tammy wanted to leave.  Rod wanted to stay and water the cabin down.  "I kept telling her to wait a little bit...I'm watching it...it'll be fine," Rod Good said.  That’s when two honeymooning Nebraska newlyweds ran up because they could not get down the mountain and were trapped by fire.  It's God's intervention.  That's all I can say.  There's some reason I wanted to stay when she wanted to leave," Good added.  All four piled into the Goods’ vehicle.  "I didn't have time to be nervous.  I was too concentrated on missing the fire, missing the burning logs, and getting down the mountain," Good explained.  They made it down safely.

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