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Local News with Jeff Lane Archives for 2017-12

CHASE BANK TO LEAVE UPTOWN RICHMOND

(Richmond, IN)--The primary tenant in Uptown Richmond’s largest building is leaving.  Chase Bank is closing both of its Uptown branches at the end of March.  The closures include the main branch at 630 East Main and the motorbank at the corner of North 7th and A Streets.  A corporate spokesperson said in an e-mail to Kicks 96 and The Point News on Thursday that two factors led to the decision: the lease is expiring and there’s been a significant decrease in transaction volume.  Chase will continue to operate its three other branch locations.  Most local Chase customers will get a letter explaining the branch closures either Friday or Saturday.

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CHESTER BOULEVARD BURGER KING TO CLOSE

(Richmond, IN)--Sunday marks the end of the Burger King on Chester Boulevard in Richmond.  Employees there have confirmed that the store will close for good on Sunday evening.  Declining revenue was cited as the primary reason for the closure.  Employees who work at the Chester Boulevard location have been offered the opportunity to work at either of the city’s other locations – one on East Main and one on National Road West.

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UPTOWN RICHMOND BUILDING TO BE DEMOLISHED

(Richmond, IN)--An Uptown Richmond structure that’s stood for decades is about to come down.  It’s the Richmond Cleaners structure at the corner of South 8th and A Streets.  That building has fallen into disrepair in recent years.  West End Bank is having the building removed and will replace it with either green space or additional parking.  It’s the latest in a series of Uptown developments for West End.  They recently moved into their new building where the old Patti Insurance building once stood and took down a pet store on South A and converted it to parking.

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WAYNE COUNTY LOSES ANOTHER 110 MEMBERS OF ITS WORKFORCE

(Wayne County, IN)--Wayne County lost another 110 members of its workforce last month, and today sits just 38 people above the benchmark of 30,000 people in the workforce.  That’s according to the latest numbers from the Department of Workforce Development.  83 fewer people are also employed now as compared to last month.  Since this time last year, Wayne County has now lost 378 members of its workforce.

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DEPUTIES FIND DRUGS, GUN AFTER TRAFFIC STOP

(Preble County, OH)--Details have been released about a recent Preble County drug bust.  Deputies stopped a car on Stover Road near West Alexandria.  Inside, they found 39-year-old Clint Minter, who was wanted in Butler County.  Deputies also found methamphetamine, paraphernalia, and a handgun under the driver’s seat.  Minter was taken to the Preble County Jail.  There, jailers found marijuana hidden in Minter’s underwear.  He has an extensive criminal history and now faces a host of new felonies.

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WAYNE COUNTY RESIDENTS CAN PRE-PAY PROPERTY TAX

(Wayne County, IN)--Wayne County Treasurer Cathy Williams is indicating that she’s receiving calls about new federal tax law.  Most of the calls question the pre-payment of property taxes.   Williams said that Wayne County will be now be able to accept the pre-payment of property taxes up to the total of last year’s tax amount.  She added that she cannot give advice about whether or not pre-payment of property tax is a good idea.

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MAN LEADS EATON POLICE ON DRUNKEN CHASE IN STOLEN CAR

(Eaton, OH)--An Eaton man is facing charges after allegedly leading police on a drunken chase in a stolen car.  According to police reports, 43-year-old Darrell Lamb stole a car from the parking lot of Eaton’s Walmart and then fled police at 80 miles per hour on East Lexington Road.  Lamb was eventually taken into custody.  He’s had five other DUI arrests in the last decade and does not have a valid driver’s license.

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FAYETTE COUNTY TOPS INDIANA IN UNEMPLOYMENT

(Fayette County, IN)--Fayette County has the highest unemployment rate in Indiana.  According to new numbers from the Indiana Department of Workforce Development, Fayette County’s rate stands this morning at 4.9%.  It’s the first time in more than a year that Fayette County has topped the list.  Wayne County’s unemployment rate today is 3.6%.  That’s down 1/10 of a point from last month.

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VICTIM IN FATAL PREBLE COUNTY CRASH IDENTIFIED

(Preble County, OH)--More information has now been released about the fatal crash in Preble County that happened on Tuesday.  Investigators have released the identity of the victim and say that 33-year-old John Crank of Eaton went left of center on U.S. 127 and collided with a semi.  Crank was not wearing a seat belt and was thrown from the wreckage.  He was pronounced dead at the scene.

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SEWER RATES TO INCREASE FOR NEW PARIS RESIDENTS

(New Paris, OH)--The new year will bring increased sewer rates for New Paris residents.  The village’s council recently approved a rate hike of $2.50 that will take effect on Monday.  Town officials say the rate increase is to begin to fund necessary improvements well before those improvements are actually needed.  New Paris’ rates are well below those in surrounding communities of similar size.  With the increase, the new monthly sewer rate will be $14.50.

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KICKS 96 AND THE POINT NEWS LOOKS BACK ON 2017

(Richmond, IN)--

 

DEATHS:  Today is the day that Kicks 96 and The Point News takes its annual look back at the year that was.  And we’ll begin today with the people who left us in 2017 (actuality 31455).  That’s former Sports Editor Jan Clark talking about legendary Coach Dick Baumgartner, who died in July.  Duke Ward, who was heavily involved with the Richmond Roosters, died in August.  In late October, Richmond said goodbye to longtime businessman and philanthropist Jack Edeleman.  And, just a few weeks ago, Winchester City Councilman Dave Furby died.  Coming up at 6 o’clock, we’ll remember some of the local weather headlines of 2017.

 

WEATHER:  We’re continuing our look back at 2017 this morning by remembering some of the weather that made headlines this year.  In mid-January, a freezing rain storm kept highway workers like Mike Sharp busy (actuality 31308).  An unusually warm March made plants bud early and threatened the local fruit crop, but then it turned much colder (actuality 31379).  That’s Ron Wesler at Wesler’s Orchard.  In July, strong winds blew trees down onto tents at Hueston Woods and flipped a plane over at the airport in Oxford (actuality 31460).  Just two days later, a Wayne County Sheriff’s Deputy suffered leg injury when he was struck by a tree in a storm (actuality 31463).  That’s Sheriff Jeff Cappa.  In September, the Whitewater Valley had two odd sunsets when smoke from western wildfires made it all the way to our area.  And, early last month, the Richmond Fire Department helped a man escape flooding on Liberty Avenue (actuality 31642).  That’s Battalion Chief Jeff Glenn.  Coming up at 6:30, we’ll look at some of the local crime that made news this year.

 

CRIME:  We continue our look back at 2017 this half-hour with local crime.  This year began was only two days old when authorities went on a manhunt for a couple who became known as the Fountain City Butt Dialers.  January ended with a Richmond murder arrest.  James Childers was arrested and charged with stabbing Austin Sparks to death.  A dubious ranking came out in March and revealed that Fayette County had more overdose deaths per capita than any other Indiana county.  Wayne County was #6.  In late March, there was a murder in New Paris.  Two people would ultimately be charged for the murder of Travis Bourne.  In July, we learned that the number of babies born at Reid Health addicted to opioids was on pace to double.  Two people were shot and killed on Richmond Avenue this summer.  There was an unusual meeting in August.  Business owners were warned that the demolition of the McDonald’s on East Main would force prostitutes to set up shop at other nearby businesses.  There was another murder in October.  Investigators today are still looking into the case of a body found on Centerville Road near I-70.  And, just a couple of weeks ago, there was a fatal shooting in the Depot District.  Lamont Dunnam was shot and killed.  Investigators are still looking for the shooter.  Coming up at 7, we’ll look back at our local economy.

 

ECONOMY:  Our look back at 2017 continues this half-hour with the local economy.  Thanks to drone video in January, people got a look at just how bad conditions were at old Reid Hospital.  Talks about removing it dominated the year.  And, just last week, Mayor Dave Snow announced demolition will begin soon (actuality 31668).  Road construction also played a major role on the economy and is our top story of the year.  Highways 27, 35, 38, 40, 70, 121, and 122 all saw major construction this year, as did most Uptown Richmond Streets and the 20th Street Bridge.  In February, Cardinal Ethanol in Union City announced a $6 million expansion.  In March, Wayne County’s EDC announced it would move into new office space in the historic Depot, and TBK announced a $1.8 million expansion.  Just two days later, Timken announced a $9 million expansion at its Eaton plant.  Sugar Creek said in April it would add 75 jobs in Cambridge City, but the wastewater dispute overshadowed that expansion and continues today.  Devastating news came in May when Veach’s Toy Station announced it would close.  In June, we learned that 47 new jobs were coming to Richmond, Indiana from Richmond, Viriginia with Osborn International.  Autocar in September announced that it would create 750 jobs, but the expansion went to Alabama – not Wayne County (actuality 31496).  That’s Alabama’s governor.  Last month, Cargill and Provimi broke ground on a $50 million investment in Lewisburg.  And, the year ended on a down note.  Janesville Accoustics announced two weeks ago that it would close in Richmond and take 67 jobs with them.  Coming up at 7:30, we’ll look back at local schools and politics.

 

POLITICS / SCHOOLS:  Kicks 96 and The Point News is continuing its 2017 year in review this half-hour with a look back at local political and school news.  2900 laptops arrived for Richmond students in February.  In March, Fountain City Town Council member Jesse Berger was arrested on the first of what would be two alcohol-related charges.  He would later resign.  In June, Richmond learned that it had missed a Stellar grant funding deadline, but was given another chance to get and completed documentation.  Charles Elementary was named a four-star school in late spring.  The summer began with an announcement that addicts could get free needles in Wayne County once a week instead of once a month.  In September, Wayne County leaders considered dropping placing legal ads in the Palladium-Item.  Emotions ran high at Northeastern in October when the school board there removed Principle Wes Wisner.  Parents complained they didn’t know what was happening until well after the fact (actuality 31624).  In November, the Help the Animals Board and Director came under fire for euthanizing several animals. (actuality 31645).  That’s Board President Susan Beeson.  The efforts do continue, but without her.  She was one of multiple members who resigned.  Coming up at 8 o’clock, we’ll look back at the good news stories of 2017.

 

GOOD NEWS: We’re continuing our look back at 2017 this morning.  Although it may not seem like it, there were plenty of good news stories this year.  In February, Wayne County Deputy Doug Bullock waded into frigid Middlefork Reservoir to save a duck that had become entangled in wire.  The remains of a Union County soldier were returned home in March after having been identified 65 years after his death in the Korean War.  Earlham College received a $7.5 million gift in April.  This spring, a group of Earlham students developed a playground for special needs kids at Clear Creek Park.  In July, Richmond’s MCL announced it would close.  But, following an outpouring of community support, reversed its decision and remains open.  Eaton’s historic tank, Miss Preble, was returned to Fort St. Clair in August.  This fall, a Reid physician went to her native Puerto Rico to help hurricane victims (actuality 31614).  That’s Dr. Sara Valentin.  And, on the night before Halloween, two Wayne County law enforcement officers paid for food and a hotel out of their own pockets for an elderly couple that had become lost and stranded.  Coming up at 8:30, we’ll wrap up our look back at 2017 with some of the strangest local stories of the year.

 

ODD: We’re wrapping up our look back at 2017 this half-hour with some of more strange, odd, and crazy local news stories of the year.  A Richmond woman celebrated her 100th birthday at the Leland Legacy in March and credited her longevity to a daily bucket of Kentucky Fried Chicken.  This spring, a group of Connersville men traveled by kayak all the way from the Whitewater River to the Gulf of Mexico.  Also in May, Franklin County put fake buzzards on the roof of the county buildings because real buzzards were eating it.  A python was on the loose in Glen Court in Richmond in August.  In September, Cambridge City police had to arrest a drunken Amish man who was pleasuring himself on a bridge.  In November, the Arcanum city building had to be evacuated because it was full of bat poop.  And, speaking of bats (sfx 31659), a local man was arrested earlier this month with marijuana and paraphernalia after he crashed his Batmobile.

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MAN KILLED IN PREBLE COUNTY CRASH

(Preble County, OH)--One person was killed in a Preble County crash Tuesday.  It happened on U.S. 127 near the Preble County Landfill and a few miles south of Eaton.  Investigators say the driver of an SUV lost control, went off the right side of the highway, overcorrected, and then hit an oncoming semi head-on.  The SUV driver was not wearing a seatbelt.  He was ejected and was pronounced dead at the scene.  The driver of the semi and the occupant of a third car that became involved were not injured.  The victim’s name has not yet been released.

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INVESTIGATION CONTINUES INTO POWER TRAIN FIRE

(New Paris, OH)--The investigation and cleanup will continue Tuesday at Power Train on the state line on U.S. 40.  A massive Christmas Eve fire there destroyed the business.  14 different departments were on the scene and battled the blaze into Monday morning.  Firefighters said that strong winds helped the fire spread quickly.  No one was inside the building at the time and no injuries were reported.  There’s no word yet on the cause of the fire.  Power Train provides parts and service for large trucks.

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WAYNE COUNTY: 26 NEW CASES OF CHILD ABUSE IN NOVEMBER, 388 FOR 2017

(Wayne County, IN)--New numbers indicate that Wayne County continues to average more than one substantiated case of child sexual or physical abuse every single day in 2017.  The state’s Department of Child Services indicates that there were 26 new, substantiated cases in Wayne County in November.  That brings the county’s total for the year to 388.  There were another 59 cases of physical abuse last month that could not be substantiated.

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MISSING PREBLE COUNTY MAN FOUND SAFE

(Gratis, OH)--A missing elderly man from Preble County has been found safe.  84-year-old Charles Howard of Gratis was last seen on the morning of Christmas Eve.  He suffers from dementia, diabetes, and COPD.  Howard was found at a gas station in Lima with no apparent physical effects.  He was taken to a local hospital to be checked out and has since been returned to Preble County.

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SNOW: NO COVENANTS ATTACHED TO REID DONATION

(Richmond, IN)--Reid Health is contributing a million dollars toward the demolition and cleanup of old Reid.  "This is a huge win for the citizens of Richmond and Wayne County, and a win that many thought was not possible," said Richmond Mayor Dave Snow Thursday as he joined other city and county leaders and Reid CEO Craig Kinyon to make the announcement.  Half of the million dollars will be earmarked for environmental cleanup.  The other half is a general donation.  Snow talked about the collaboration with Reid.  "Today, they are eager to work as our partner to see this project through," Snow added.  Snow said that Reid placed no conditions on the future use of the land in exchange for the donation.

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RPD CONTINUES TO SEEK TIPS IN DEPOT DISTRICT SHOOTING

(Richmond, IN)--The Richmond Police Department is continuing to look for leads in the fatal shooting of 42-year-old Lamont Dunnom in front of the E Street Pub in Richmond’s Depot District early Thursday morning.  "We don't have a motive.  We really don't have much of anything right now," said RPD Chief Jim Branum early Thursday afternoon.  Investigators don’t know who fired the shots.  "I think we believe that the suspect fired from the vehicle.  How close, I don't know," Branum added.  They did not get much information from the one witness they spoke with Thursday.  "His information was somewhat sketchy so, again, we're looking for witnesses to come forward - anybody who might know anything," Branum said.  Investigators believe it was an isolated event and not a random shooting.

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TWO LARGE RICHMOND RETAILERS DESCRIBED AS "AT RISK" BY MOODY'S

(Richmond, IN)--An analysis by the organization Moody’s has listed the 26 national retailers that are most at risk for the coming year, and a couple of them are operating in Richmond.  Sears Holdings is one company facing bankruptcy.  Sears pulled out of Richmond four years ago, but Sears Holdings is the parent company of K-Mart.  Bon Ton Stores also makes the list of most at-risk companies.  Bon Ton is the parent company of Elder-Beerman.

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WANTED MAN CAPTURED AFTER WALMART CHASE

(Richmond, IN)--There was a short police chase in the area of Richmond’s Walmart Wednesday night.  Three shoplifting suspects fled Walmart at around 7 o’clock.  Police searched the Walmart plaza, Ravinia Park, and Townhouse Apartments and caught a man who was wanted in Muncie.  Stephen Johnson was now faces a host of charges for the initial incident.  When he was being booked into jail, officers found a bag of methamphetamine.  The other two suspects are still on the loose.

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MAN JAILED AFTER STEALING, CRASHING SUV

(Richmond, IN)--A man was jailed Wednesday morning after allegedly stealing an SUV and crashing it north of Richmond.  According to scanner traffic, 22-year-old Alexander Harris stole the SUV of a woman who had just gotten off of work at 11:30 Tuesday night.  Shortly after that, there was a report of a crashed vehicle on State Road 227 in Middleboro.  Officers determined it was the stolen SUV.  Medics then saw Harris walking in the area.  Harris was taken first to Reid Health and then to the Wayne County Jail.

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METH DEALER SENTENCED TO 22 YEARS

(Brookville, IN)--A major Franklin County meth dealer has been sentenced to more than two decades in prison.  43-year-old Rachel Isaacs was found in September of last year with a relatively minor amount of meth.  She bonded out, and just a few weeks later deputies returned to her Laurel home and found 83 grams of meth, cash, and weapons.  Investigators at the time called it a major meth distribution ring.  Isaacs was sentenced to 22 years in prison.

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ACCUSED TAXI RAPIST PLEADS NOT GUILTY

(Oxford, OH)--The Oxford taxi driver accused of raping two Miami students in his cab has pled not guilty to all charges.  Sherman Jackson appeared in court Tuesday.  Bond was reduced from a million to just $65,000.  If he’s able to post bond, Jackson has been ordered to not operate his cab service and to not leave Butler County.

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TEEN ARRESTED WITH GUN ON RHS PARKING LOT BONDS OUT OF JAIL OVERNIGHT

(Richmond, IN)--A teen accused of having a gun in the Richmond High School parking lot bonded out of jail overnight Monday night and into Tuesday morning.  18-year-old Carlos Manuel Cruz-Zuniga was charged Monday with possessing a gun on school property.  The gun was discovered in a car after the parent of another student alerted police.  RCS administrators said they don’t believe the gun was ever in the school and did not pose a threat to students.

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OHP RECOVERS $330,000 IN HIGH-GRADE MARIJUANA ON I-70 IN PREBLE COUNTY

(Preble County, OH)--A California drug trafficker was taken into custody on I-70 in Preble County.  Inside his motor home, Ohio State Highway Patrol troopers found 120 pounds of high-grade marijuana with a street value of more than $330,000.  Troopers pulled him over near U.S. 127 for a routine traffic violation.  A drug-detecting canine then gave a positive indication for the marijuana.

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RPD LOCATES, ARRESTS MAN WANTED FOR ROBBERY

(Richmond, IN)--RPD had been looking for a man described as dangerous for more than 24 hours, and late Monday night they captured him.  31-year-old Michael Tucker was arrested in the 300 block of North C and jailed at 11 o’clock Monday night.  Tucker was being sought after being reported with a handgun on Sunday.  On Monday night, he had that handgun and was also charged with a robbery.  Details of the robbery Tucker is alleged to have committed have not been released.

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JANESVILLE CLOSURE PROMPTS CLAWBACK DISCUSSIONS

(Richmond, IN)--The announced closure of Janesville Acousitcs in Richmond over the weekend has local leaders discussing a way to recoup money lost to tax abatements.  Janesville’s closure will result in the loss of 67 local jobs beginning in mid-February.  Richmond Common Council member Jamie Lopeman said that the citizens of the city lost on the agreement in which more than $9 million in tax abatements were granted for the creation of 87 new jobs three years ago.  The local company supported a single brand of vehicle which has had declining production in the last year.

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MAN CAPTURED AFTER SHORT CHASE

(Richmond, IN)--A Richmond man was jailed early Monday morning after a short foot chase.  32-year-old Kerry Voland was allegedly in possession of both a knife and drug paraphernalia when he was caught at 22nd and Grand Boulevard.  Officers used a Taser to get Voland under control.  Voland has also been charged with criminal mischief.  He was arrested for having a syringe in August.

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AUTOPSIES TO BE CONDUCTED MONDAY ON CRASH VICTIMS

(Franklin County, IN)--Autopsies will be conducted Monday on the bodies of three people who died in a Saturday night plane crash in southwestern Franklin County.  The single-engine plane was headed from Missouri to Maryland when it went down in a wooded area near Oldenburg.  Cincinnati Air Traffic Control reported that the plane had disappeared from radar.  The three victims were dead at the scene.  The FAA is investigating and has not released the cause of the crash.  One dog was also killed.  Another dog survived.

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NO CHARGES ADDED AGAINST WOMAN'S BOYFRIEND

(Richmond, IN)--There has been no increase in the criminal charges that 39-year-old Eric Lairson was facing Friday morning.  The Richmond man is charged with domestic battery and strangulation after the death of his girlfriend, Tylissa Isaacs, on Wednesday.  An autopsy was conducted Thursday to determine the exact cause of death.  Results of that autopsy have not yet been released.  Lairson remained in the Wayne County Jail Friday morning on bonds that total $32,500.

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EXPLOSION DESTROYS SHED

(Preble County, OH)--People who live in the area of Smyrna Road at the state line between Richmond and New Paris reported hearing an explosion just before fire broke out in a shed there late Thursday afternoon.  The shed was totally destroyed.  There were no reports of any injuries.  Propane tanks are the suspected source of the explosion.  Some residents in the area said the explosion shook the windows of their homes.

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TRAFFIC STOPS TURNS UP ALLEGED WANTED DRUG DEALER

(Richmond, IN)--A traffic stop Thursday afternoon on Hawkins Road in Richmond led to the arrest of a wanted drug dealer.  39-year-old Francois Wilkerson of Richmond had active warrants and was arrested for dealing cocaine and narcotic drugs.  And, RPD made a drug arrest early Friday morning.  24-year-old Nicholas Morra was jailed Friday morning after being arrested on South 6th Street for possessing drugs, paraphernalia, and a syringe.

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MAN JAILED AFTER WOMAN'S DEATH

(Richmond, IN)--The investigation will continue Thursday after a woman was found dead in the 800 block of North 13th Street of Richmond Wednesday.  On Thursday morning, a man who lives at the same address was behind bars.  Scanner traffic indicated Tylissa Isaacs and 39-year-old Eric Lairson had been involved in a dispute.  At 2:30 Wednesday afternoon, Isaacs was found dead in a bathroom.  A search warrant was executed as Lairson was interviewed.  Lairson was then booked into jail on charges that include strangulation and battery, which are low-level felonies.  Lairson has not been charged with Isaacs’ death.  An autopsy is being conducted to determine the cause of death.

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OPTIONS PRESENTED TO RCS BOARD INCLUDE BUILDING CLOSURES

(Richmond, IN)--On Wednesday night, the Richmond Community School Board heard more from a consultant who is addressing the system’s capacity and declining enrollment.  Right now, the district has room for 1400 more students than are currently enrolled, and that gap is expected to widen with a predicted loss of another 400 students in the next decade.  Some of the options presented Wednesday night ranged from simply redistricting students to something much more drastic…closing the Starr, Vaile, and Hibberd buildings while moving 8th graders to the high school and 4th graders to intermediate buildings.  The consultant stressed those are only options, and not actual recommendations.

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OLD REID DEMO CONTRACT TO BE APPROVED WITHOUT NEED FOR LOAN

(Richmond, IN)--A final contract to clean up the old Reid Hospital site will go before the Richmond Board of Public Works Thursday.  The fact that the cost of the project came in at about half of the initial estimate means that the city will not have to use two loans offered by the state to cover the cost.  A city-county partnership also helped to eliminate the need for a loan.  The project is expected to begin in about three weeks.

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TWO MEN ARRESTED WITH DRUGS IN PROBLEM AREA

(Richmond, IN)--Richmond police were in the problem area of the 100 block of Richmond Avenue Wednesday and arrested two men on a host of felony charges.  Officers recovered drugs and a stolen handgun and arrested both 30-year-old Joshua Adams of Centerville and 49-year-old Clayton McCowan of Richmond.  Adams is charged with dealing.  Two people were murdered in the same area earlier this year, and a body was also found in an alley there last month.

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REID: FLU CASES HAVE DOUBLED THIS YEAR

(Richmond, IN)--Brace yourselves…Reid Health is predicting that this flu season will be a rough one.  Reid issued a statement Wednesday indicating that they’ve already seen twice the number of flu cases from last year.  The first positive flu case locally was confirmed on October 18 – much earlier than usual.  Since then, there have been 19 positive tests.  Reid urged taking precautions like washing hands often.  Many people, though, will say they have the flu when they actually have only a common cold.

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WOMAN ARRIVES AT REID HEALTH WITH GUNSHOT WOUND

(Richmond, IN)--Very little information has been released after a woman showed up at Reid Health early Wednesday morning with a gunshot wound.  Reid staff notified RPD when she arrived there just after midnight.  She lives on South 5th in Richmond and appears to be a young mother.  Investigators have not said if the shooting occurred on South 5th.  The extent of her injury was not disclosed and there was no suspect information.

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RPD OFFICER ENTERS FRIGID POND TO HELP RESCUE MAN, DOG

(Richmond, IN)--A Richmond man and his dog are okay after a cold-water rescue Tuesday night.  It happened at around 9 o'clock Tuesday night on New Paris Pike when a man waded into a pond to try to rescue a dog that had wandered onto the ice.  The man reached the dog in waist-deep water, but became stuck in the silt and could not get out.  Scanner traffic indicates he was in the water for about 15 minutes when an RPD officer, who has not yet been identified, waded into the frigid water and helped both the man and the dog get out.  The man, the officer, and the dog were okay Wednesday morning.

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ACCUSED OXFORD TAXI RAPIST HELD ON MILLION-DOLLAR BOND

(Oxford, OH)--The Oxford cab driver accused of raping two Miami students last weekend was arraigned Tuesday.  Sherman Jackson is being held on a million-dollar bond.  One of the alleged victims called 911 while she was still in the cab.  Dispatchers could hear her screaming to be let out.    Jackson operates Sherman’s Safe Ride and will appear in court for the first time Thursday.

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AT LEAST TWO VICTIMS FLOWN FROM SCENE OF LYNN-AREA CRASH

(Lynn, IN)-Two different medical helicopters were sent to the intersection of Highways 27 and 36 just north of Lynn Tuesday when a semi and pickup truck collided.  At least two patients went to Level One trauma centers in two different cities.  The intersection was shut down for several hours for investigation and cleanup.  The Lynn Police Department handled the incident and, so far, has not released any information including the identities of the people involved, their conditions, and what caused the crash.

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OF 2600 UNTESTED SEX ASSAULT KITS, ONLY 1 IS IN WAYNE COUNTY

(Richmond, IN)--Earlier this year, Indiana legislators urged the Indiana State Police to do an audit to find out how many untested sexual assault kits existed.  Those kits contain evidence of rapes and other crimes that could help to convict the suspect.  Although there are 2600 kits of untested evidence statewide, there are only three in the Whitewater Valley.  Wayne, Union, and Fayette County each had one untested kit.  Each kit costs about a thousand dollars to test.

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RPD CANINE FITTED WITH VEST

(Richmond, IN)--Richmond Police Department Canine Max has received his new vest.  The vest is both bullet-proof and stab-proof and will be worn as the dog helps his human partners with drug detection and suspect tracking.  The vest was purchased through a donation from the organization Vested Interest in Canines.  Max has three handlers and was photographed Monday wearing his vest in front of an RPD cruiser.

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MAN CAUGHT AFTER EARLY-MORNING MANHUNT

(Wayne and Henry County, IN)--There was a manhunt in western Wayne County early Tuesday morning.  Officers from multiple jurisdictions were searching in the area of Bear Creek Road after a driver fled the scene of a crash.  Henry County deputies joined in the search and found Jordon Ralstin just across the line in Henry County.  Ralstin had been arrested for fleeing in Randolph County earlier this year and was arrested with counterfeit drugs in the Hagerstown area a year ago.  Ralstin was in the Henry County Jail Tuesday morning.

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EATON MAN CHARGED WITH SELLING METH WITH NEWBORN PRESENT

(Eaton, OH)--A 31-year-old Eaton man is facing felony charges after he was accused of selling methamphetamine in front of his newborn.  Brian Shaner has been indicted by a grand jury after allegedly selling nearly seven grams of meth during an undercover purchase.  His charges include drug trafficking and endangering children.  Shaner has a significant drug history with a prior conviction a decade ago.  He was in the Preble County Jail Tuesday.

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OXFORD CAB DRIVER CHARGED WITH RAPING MIAMI STUDENTS

(Oxford, OH)--An Oxford taxi driver has been arrested for sexually assaulting female Miami students over the weekend.  38-year-old Sherman Jackson is the operator of “Sherman’s Safe Ride Taxi.”  At least two female students made similar allegations.  "I got out of the car with him and I just thought he was really creepy," said one student who had ridden with Jackson but filed no complaint.  He’s been booked into the Butler County Jail on two counts of rape.  The investigation is continuing.

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POLICE SEARCH FOR ATTEMPTED ARMED ROBBER

(Richmond, IN)--There was an attempted armed robbery at a Richmond gas station early Monday morning.  A man entered the store at around 1 o’clock Monday morning armed with what was described as a 4-6 inch knife.  The initial indication is that he fled without getting any money, but that has not yet been confirmed by Richmond police.  He reportedly fled toward Chester Heights Apartments.  No arrests have been made.  Investigators believe the same man may have been in the store yesterday causing problems.  There is no suspect description, and there were no injuries.

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WAYNE COUNTY'S SEX WAGE GAP IS LESS THAN STATE AVERAGE

(Wayne County, IN)--Wayne County’s wage gap for sex is lower than the state average.  According to newly released figures by the Indiana Institute for Working Families, women across Indiana make 74 cents for every dollar earned by men.  In Wayne County, though, that figure is 79 cents.  The median income for a Wayne County man working full time is now $40,500.  The median income for a Wayne County woman is just under $32,000.  Fayette County has Indiana’s highest disparity.  Women there make only 66 cents for every dollar earned by men.

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COUPLE ARRESTED FOR AUTO THEFT

(Richmond, IN)--A couple was arrested for auto theft at a Richmond apartment complex Sunday.  23-year-old Chance Duarte and his girlfriend, 22-year-old Jasmine Oakley-Field, were taken into custody at the Westwood Apartments on West Main Street.  And, it wasn’t the only auto theft-related arrest of the weekend.  32-year-old Christopher Davis was arrested for attempted auto theft and possession of meth.  All three were behind bars Monday morning.

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MAN CAUGHT TRYING TO ENTER RICHMOND HOME

(Richmond, IN)--A Williamsburg man was arrested Friday morning after allegedly trying to break into the Richmond home of a former girlfriend.  According to police reports, children were present when an allegedly drunken 32-year-old Joshua Petitt began banging on windows in the 300 block of Garwood Road at around 1 o’clock Friday morning.  Petitt then fled and was captured on nearby Hughes Lane.  His charges include felony residential entry.  No one inside was hurt.

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PREBLE COUNTY METH LAB TAKEN DOWN

(West Manchester, OH)--The Preble County Sheriff’s Department has released details of a meth lab bust.  A search warrant was executed on Maple Street in West Manchester.  Inside, investigators found chemicals and equipment used to make methamphetamine along with some finished product.  48-year-old Scott Cochran was taken into custody and charged with multiple felonies.  Cochran is in the Preble County Jail.

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MULTIPLE WERNLE RESIDENTS ESCAPE FOR THE SECOND TIME IN A WEEK

(Richmond, IN)--Richmond Police were busy early Thursday morning searching for runaways from the Wernle Youth and Family Treatment Center.  Both RPD and the Indiana State Police responded on the report of a large fight.  Four juveniles fled the area and were being sought.  It’s at least the second time in the last week that several residents have escaped at night.  On Thursday morning, according to scanner traffic, one officer told Wernle staff to start securing residents better, because officers weren’t going to chase them every night.  At 6 o'clock Thursday morning, three juveniles were reportedly still on the loose.

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WAYNE COUNTY DEPUTIES' SALARIES EXAMINED

(Richmond, IN)--New Wayne County Sheriff’s Department deputies make significantly less money than new deputies with other agencies.  It’s a problem that drew the attention of Wayne County Council members on Wednesday.  Council heard from a consultant that said that new Wayne County deputies make, on average, $7000 less annually than new deputies with 14 other Indiana agencies of similar size.  That new deputy would also make $8000 less than a new RPD officer.  Sheriff Jeff Cappa has said that it makes recruiting difficult.  Council is taking the issue under consideration.

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FAYETTE COUNTY EMPLOYER TO DOUBLE IN SIZE

(Connersville, IN)--There is some good economic development news for Fayette County which, last month, had Indiana’s highest unemployment rate.  Local economic development official Dan Parker told commissioners this week that one of the county’s larger employers is set to double its workforce next year.  That employer’s identity has not yet been released.  Parker also claimed success with a second large retention project this year.

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RICHMOND MAN JAILED IN LATE-NIGHT DRUG ARREST

(Richmond, IN)--A Richmond man is facing a host of felony drug charges after his arrest late Tuesday night.  35-year-old Calvin Johnson was taken into custody at his home on New Paris Pike near Porterfield Road.  Officers at the scene recovered an unspecified quantity of methamphetamine.  Johnson is charged with possession of meth with intent to deliver and violation of the Legend Drug Act.  He was in the Wayne County Jail Wednesday morning.

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PREBLE COUNTY TEEN KILLED IN CRASH

(Lewisburg, OH)--The victim in a fatal weekend crash has now been identified as a Preble County teenager.  19-year-old Kaitlin Bradley of Lewisburg was a passenger in a car that lost control near Englewood and struck a tree.  Investigators said Tuesday that speed was the primary cause of the crash.  The driver of the car was identified as a 20-year-old Clayton man.  He was also pronounced dead at the scene.  Kaitlin was a recent graduate of Tri County North High School.

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NEW EATON MAYOR, COUNCIL MEMBERS SWORN IN

(Eaton, OH)--Eaton has a new mayor.  At this week’s meeting of the Eaton City Council, new members Matt Venable and Gary Wagner were sworn in.  Wagner was then picked as Eaton’s new mayor.  The two new council members are replacing David Daily and Dave Kirsch, who were both recognized for their years of service.

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OLD REID DEMOLITION PREP BEGINS

(Richmond, IN)--The first steps to take down old Reid began Monday.  Richmond Common Council got an update on the project Monday night and learned that one of the companies began the process Monday by removing some brush and beginning to put up a construction fence.  Environmental remediation is scheduled to begin in two weeks.  The city still has to sign a nearly $3.5 million contract with the company that will take the buildings down.  That signing will likely happen this Thursday.  Old Reid is forecast to be completely gone in a year and a half.

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SEMI CARRYING HAZARDOUS MATERIAL OVERTURNS IN PREBLE COUNTY

(Preble County, OH)--A semi carrying hazardous material overturned on I-70 in Preble County Tuesday morning.  The Environmental Management Agency was sent to the scene in the eastbound lanes of Mile Marker 12 at around 3:30 Tuesday morning.  There was no initial indication that the material was leaking, and officials have not said exactly what is was that the trucker was carrying to Columbus.  He told troopers that the wind blew the semi onto its side.  He was not hurt.

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TEENS RELEASED FROM JAIL AFTER ROBBERY ARREST

(Richmond, IN)--Two Wayne County teens were released from the Wayne County Jail on their own recognizance over the weekend after picking up some very serious charges.  19-year-olds Jared Cohee of Richmond and Russell Rader of Centerville were captured in a service alley near Tenth Street.  Both are charged with robbery.  Cohee is charged with attempted strong armed robbery and Rader allegedly was carrying a gun without a permit.  Details of what they are alleged to have done have not been released.

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TRAIN GRAZES DRIVER WITH LEARNER'S PERMIT

(Randolph County, IN)--It was a narrow escape Sunday night for a teen learning to drive in Randolph County.  A driver, who had only a learner’s permit, drove around railroad crossing gates that had come down for an approaching train near Monroe Central High School.  The girl then tried to back up and become stuck on the tracks.  She was then able to free the SUV enough that so the train only barely grazed the vehicle.  There were no injuries.

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TWO MEN IN BATMOBILE ARRESTED ON DRUG CHARGES

(Centerville, IN)--Two Wayne County men woke up not in the Bat Cave Friday morning, but in the Wayne County Jail.  35-year-old Jehoshua Hammock and 28-year-old Travis Amburgy were taken into custody Thursday night on Willow Grove Road near Centerville.  Police allegedly found marijuana or hash oil and drug paraphernalia in their vehicle, a Batmobile, at around 7 o’clock Thursday night.  Both men are being held on $500 bonds.

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