(Richmond, IN)--It was quite the scene outside the E Street Pub in Richmond Wednesday morning. Police responded when 39-year-old Shannon Fritz of Brookville was crawling around outside the bar. Fritz is now facing multiple felonies after allegedly threatening multiple people and then battering a police officer. Fritz had a .27 blood alcohol content. That’s more than three times the legal limit.
(Richmond, IN)--The Wayne County Area Chamber of Commerce has a new leader. Melissa Vance has been named president and CEO following the resignation last month of Phil D’Amico. Vance is no stranger to the Chamber; she had served as the organization’s Director of Education and Programs. Her background includes stints with the Reid Health Foundation and Fayette Regional Health System. Vance is a Wayne County native and Centerville High School graduate.
(Butler County, OH)--Butler County Sheriff Richard Jones addressed a group of teachers and school personnel who attended concealed carry classes for the first time Monday. The teachers from multiple districts are training to be able to handle weapons to ward off any school shooter. Jones made the classes free for teachers and administrators. His district includes College Corner and Oxford.
(Richmond, IN)--The occupants of an apartment near North 14th and H in Richmond were able to escape a fire Sunday. It broke out at around 11:30 Sunday morning. "We arrived on the scene and had heavy smoke showing from the front door," said Battalion Chief Tim Brown. The residents of that and an adjoining apartment were not injured. "The other unit wasn't affected other than smoke," Brown explained. Investigators have already determined the cause. "Some household cleaner was accidentally ignited," Brown said. Damage was set at $12,500. The family is in need of clothing of various sized for children.
(Richmond, IN)--A man who is wanted in Fayette County was captured and then re-captured Sunday in Richmond. 41-year-old Chad Halveland is now charged with felony escape from lawful detention. He was caught Sunday afternoon near Carver’s Restaurant on Chester Boulevard. Halveland has been involved in drug incidents in Fayette County and also has a lengthy arrest record in Preble County.
(Richmond, IN)--There’s no word yet on how – if at all – Richmond’s new Blue Buffalo plant will be affected by a buyout by General Mills. General Mills announced Thursday that it would buy Blue Buffalo Pet Products for roughly $8 billion in cash. The deal values the natural pet food company at $40 per share. Travis Moore, who is Blue Buffalo’s local plant manager, said last week that progress was being made toward a local opening. "Mid 2018 start-up...that's what we're still on schedule for. Things are going really well." The deal is expected to close by the end of this year.
(Eaton, OH)--For the second consecutive day, Eaton school administrators have had to deal with a threat made to Eaton Middle School. Calls went out to parents on Wednesday night indicating police were investigating a threat. The same thing happened again Thursday night. Classes were being conducted as normal on Friday. Superintendent Barb Curry said that all threats are taken seriously. Cambridge City police also addressed the issue Thursday night. They said that word of a threat spreading on social media was nothing more than rumor.
(Wayne County, IN)--Wayne County Prosecutor Mike Shipman has released new figures on Wayne County’s drug diversion program. That program makes it possible for some drug offenders to have criminal charges either reduced or dropped if they’re able to successfully complete a treatment program. Shipman said that since the program’s inception a year and a half ago, 128 offenders have taken part. 61% were removed for failing to comply. There are currently 36 people attempting the program. About half are considered compliant. 15 people have successfully completed drug diversion.
(Boston, IN)--A Boston woman was in the Wayne County Jail Friday morning after allegedly attacking Wayne County deputies Thursday night. 36-year-old Jennifer Focht was contacted by deputies on South Salem Street in Boston at around 7 o’clock Thursday night. Focht now faces charges that include felony battery on a police officer, battery with bodily waste, intimidation, escape, and resisting arrest. Details of how deputies came into contact with Focht have not been released.
(Richmond, IN)--Wayne County officially received its StormReady designation Wednesday. Representatives of the National Weather Service in Wilmington were on hand to announce that Wayne County had completed a year-long application process. The designation means that the county has taken great strides to improve first responder and citizen preparedness in the event of a natural disaster. Although half of Indiana’s counties are StormReady, there are no others in the Whitewater Valley.
(Richmond, IN)--Another women’s professional tennis player has received her degree from IU East. Katalin Marosi lives in Hungary and was presented with a degree during a video conference. Marosi is one of 20 Women’s Tennis Association players enrolled at IU East through an education agreement between the campus and the WTA. She becomes the fifth, including Venus Williams, to graduate.
(Brookville, IN)--Former Franklin County Auditor Steve Brack was sentenced to nine months of home detention after pleading guilty to six felonies involving theft. He was also ordered to pay back $5200 he stole from his former church. But prosecutors called that a drop in the bucket. He is also suspected of stealing $70,000 from the sale of the church parsonage, but he can’t be prosecuted because the statute of limitations has run out. Brack also stole from the Brookville Kiwanis. That’s a service organization that works to help children.
(Richmond, IN)--Richmond Mayor Dave Snow informed members of Common Council Tuesday night that a contract between the city and the AFSCME union has been overwhelming rejected. AFSCME represents employees of the Street, Sanitation, and Parks Department. Those members rejected the city’s contract offer by a 56-5 vote. Snow told council that a fact-finding panel would be formed to address the issues that separate the two parties. The city’s other unions all agreed to new contracts last year.
(Liberty, IN)--Rumors of an alleged threat aimed at Union County – College Corner Schools spread quickly across social media Tuesday, but an investigation by school officials and law enforcement determined that threat was unfounded. Superintendent Christopher Winchell sent an email to parents Tuesday saying that high school students were no less safe yesterday than they were before the rumor started.
(Richmond, IN)--A Richmond man was jailed overnight Tuesday night after police say he pulled a knife on passers-by and demanded a ride. It happened at around 11:30 Tuesday night in the 500 block of South 5th. 60-year-old Alonzo Radcliffe was pinned to the ground by the woman from whom he wanted a ride as a total of three knives were recovered. There’s no word yet on where Radcliffe wanted to go. There were no injuries.
(Darke County, OH)--A firefighter was injured during a house fire and explosion Monday morning. The fire was reported at around 3 o’clock Monday morning in the 1400 block of Preble County Butler Township Road. That’s about halfway between New Madison and Castine. Crews reported there was an explosion and a firefighter was down. The firefighter's injuries were non-life-threatening. The fire reportedly started in an attached garage before spreading to the home. A family was home at the time and was able to make it out without injury.
(Richmond, IN)--A Richmond man was behind bars Monday morning after allegedly pointing a loaded rifle. Police reports indicate 52-year-old Thomas Lowe was still holding the rifle as officers entered his home in the 1400 block of South 4th on the report of a domestic dispute. Lowe was Tased and taken into custody. He’s charged with possession of a firearm by a serious violent felon. He also had a warrant in Florida.
(Wayne County, IN)--The Indiana Department of Child Services released statistics Thursday for child abuse and neglect for December. Wayne County had 29 substantiated cases of child abuse and neglect that month. It brought the final total for 2017 to an incredible 417 substantiated cases just in Wayne County. The vast majority of those cases involved neglect, although some did involve sexual or physical abuse. Authorities say that most of those cases involve at least one drug-addicted parent.
(West College Corner, IN)--A search warrant executed at a West College Corner trailer park Thursday night turned up methamphetamine. Investigators had received information that people living there may have been operating an indoor meth lab. Four people were taken into custody Thursday night, including 53-year-old Paul Isaacs, 55-year-old Marty Isaacs, 26-year-old Chelsey Clarkston, and 27-year-old Christopher Skwarczyncki (skwore-ZIN-ski).
(Richmond, IN)--The Richmond Community School Board met Wednesday night and dealt with the purchase of new school busses. RCS will purchase seven new busses this year and five each for the eight years after that. The school system will get two activity busses that will be used mainly for athletic travel. The distance to North Central Conference opponents has affected traditional yellow school busses. Richmond has five NCC opponents that are at least a hundred miles away. No other NCC school has even one other than Richmond.
(Richmond, IN)--A suspected drunken driver was critically injured in a crash that shut down westbound I-70 Wednesday night. Other drivers called 911 at around 6 Wednesday night to report the driver was all over the road on westbound 70. Shortly after those calls, the man crashed near the Williamsburg Pike overpass in Richmond. The driver was ejected and was laying on the roadway. A medical helicopter could not fly because of the fog. The victim was taken to a Level One trauma center. His identity and condition have not been released.
(Richmond, IN)--Wayne County’s Emergency Management Agency has completed a year-long process to achieve what’s called “StormReady” status. It means that the EMA has achieved the highest level of readiness to deal with severe weather. Representatives of the National Weather Service in Wilmington will be in Richmond next week to make a formal presentation to local officials.
(Richmond, IN)--Ivy Tech in Richmond is getting set to take part in a week of service, and they’re inviting the community to take part. Beginning a week from Monday, students and staff members will be packing meals as part of the Lesotho Initiative. Lesotho is a tiny African nation and is one of the poorest in the world. Volunteers can contact Nancy Fort at NFort@ivytech.edu for more information.
(Richmond, IN)--Blue Buffalo in Richmond is progressing toward opening. Mid-2018 start-up...that's what we're still on schedule for. Things are going really well," said Plant Manager Travis Moore. Currently, 20 employees are working in space provided by Ivy Tech. Moore talked about their qualities. "The two qualities that we really see and are very representative of Richmond are that they are passionate and humble." Hiring is being done in three phases. "The first wave is happening now. We're looking at operations and maintenance," Moore added. A second hiring wave is planned for June with a third in September.
(West Alexandria, OH)--There was a police chase involving a school bus Wednesday morning. Two people stole a school bus from Twin Valley Schools in West Alexandria at around 3 o’clock Wednesday morning. A deputy in western Montgomery County noticed the bus and tried to stop it. The two occupants fled into Trotwood with deputies giving chase. The bus crashed into a parked car. Both bus thieves were taken into custody.
(Franklin County, IN)--The NTSB has released a preliminary report on the plane crash in Franklin County last December that killed three people. A mechanical failure is the primary cause of the crash. Just before the crash, the pilot reported a partial engine failure. He was slowly descending over Batesville and wanted to land at the Batesville airport, but it was closed and there were no runway lights. The plane then went down in a wooded area in western Franklin County.
(Laurel, IN)--A former Laurel police officer was behind bars Wednesday. 34-year-old Clinton Ellis faces charges of theft and official misconduct after an investigation by the Indiana State Police. Ellis allegedly seized a handgun when executing a search warrant last November. He never entered it into evidence and then gave it to another officer as a Christmas gift. Ellis was also given $2500 as part of a drug investigation. The money went unaccounted for by Ellis.
(Wayne County, IN)--A Richmond man who last month was accused of harboring a teenage runaway has been arrested again. 18-year-old Austin Neathery was caught Tuesday on Pennville Road. Neathery was in jail Wednesday morning, charged with possessing marijuana and contributing to the delinquency of a minor. Last month, he was accused of harboring Megan Catey. She was later found unharmed and he was never charged.
(Richmond, IN)--An alleged Richmond drug dealer was caught Tuesday and was behind bars Wednesday morning. 40-year-old Kristal Baker-Benson was arrested at around lunchtime across from the girls softball diamond at Richmond High School. Baker-Benson is charged with dealing cocaine or a narcotic drug. Quantities were not released. She was involved in a shots fired incident on South C Street in June of 2016.
(Randolph County, IN)--A 21-year-old Randolph County resident was killed in a crash Monday night. Quentin Carney was headed south on County Road 1000 in the Modoc area when his car left the roadway and struck a tree. Carney was ejected and pronounced dead at the scene. Investigators are still working to determine what caused Carney to drift off the roadway.
(Richmond, IN)--Wayne County Sheriff Jeff Cappa has issued a thank-you following the death last week of Patrolman David Skaggs. In a press release, Cappa expresses his appreciation to other first responders across the area who covered shifts so that others could attend services for Skaggs. Cappa also thanked the public. Many people stood outside as the funeral procession passed by the Sheriff’s Office and the Wayne County Courthouse.
(New Madison, OH)--A couple of weeks ago, New Madison residents were warned to make sure their vehicles were locked after a rash of overnight car burglaries. Now, a suspect is in custody. A deputy saw a suspicious man on Railroad Street in the middle of the night. That man dropped several items as he fled on foot. He ran into an apartment. Deputies recovered multiple stolen items there and arrested 28-year-old Matthew Spence of New Madison. Spence was in the Darke County Jail Tuesday morning.
(Wayne County, IN)--There has been a dramatic increase in the last five years in the number of Wayne County children who are described as homeless or housing unstable. Back in 2012, only 14 Wayne County children fit into that category. Since then, the number has essentially doubled every year and today stands at 195. That number is ten times greater than any other Whitewater Valley county. The figures have been compiled by the Indiana Youth Institute. Being housing unstable means that children are sleeping inside but have no permanent residence with either parent.
(Richmond, IN)--A Richmond man bonded out of jail early Monday morning after having been arrested over the weekend on a rarely seen charge. 22-year-old Deiontae Washington was taken into custody in Wayne County on a charge of obliterating identification marks on a handgun. That’s a Level 5 Felony. Washington was also allegedly in possession of marijuana. He was released from the Wayne County Jail at 3:30 Monday morning.
(Gratis, OH)--Two people in Preble County were seriously injured Sunday when a gas can exploded on an outdoor fire. It happened late Sunday afternoon on Pleasant Valley Road just outside of Gratis. Two victims were taken to Miami Valley Hospital in Dayton. Their identities and conditions this morning have not been released. There’s also been no word yet on what led to the explosion.
(Richmond, IN)--A new addiction residential treatment unit specializing in opioid use disorder will open at the Richmond State Hospital to support addicts in immediate need of service. The Indiana Family and Social Services Administration announced Thursday that it will be a 22-bed unit. The space at the state hospital is currently setting idle. It will include medication-assisted treatment. It’s expected to open by the end of next month.
(Richmond, IN)--A large funeral procession will wind its way through Richmond streets at around lunchtime Friday. Longtime Wayne County Sheriff’s Deputy David Skaggs died last Sunday. His funeral is set for 11 o’clock Friday morning. A large procession of law enforcement vehicles will then travel from Stegall-Berheide-Orr Funeral Home to North A, past the Sheriff’s Department, and then go South on 5th Street toward St. Andrews Cemetery. The Sheriff’s Department will be closed for part of Friday.
(Richmond, IN)--It began as a call about a suspicious man at the Village Pantry on South E Street in Richmond Friday morning and ended with the arrest of an alleged drug dealer. 47-year-old David Ashcraft was taken into custody at 3 o’clock Friday morning at the VP. Officers allegedly found meth and drug paraphernalia. Ashcraft was also charge with dealing meth.
(Wayne County, IN)--Many measures of economic well-being in Wayne County have improved greatly in the last three years according to the new Indiana Kids Count report. The average number of Wayne County residents receiving food stamps is down by more than 2000 people and today sits at just over 10,000. The median household income is up by $7000 and is today at $43,000. But, Wayne County has also passed a negative threshold in the last three years. More than half of the babies born locally are now born to unmarried parents. That number stands today at 53%. That’s the fifth highest percentage in Indiana.
(Camden, OH)--On Tuesday, Kicks 96 and 101.7 The Point News reported that a Centerville truck driver had been indicted for causing the deaths of four people when he allegedly sped through Camden on U.S. 127. Now, Camden city leaders are working to lower the speed limit on the highway. They’ve petitioned the state to lower the speed limit from 50 to 45 miles per hour. The Ohio Department of Transportation will review the request and make the final call.
(Winchester, IN)--In Randolph County, plans are progressing for a large new county highway barn complex on U.S. 27. The four-and-a-half million dollar complex would be located just south of the county infirmary and would include a maintenance facility, administration building, and storage barns. The complex is still in the design stage. Once construction begins, it’s expected to take about nine months to complete.
(Camden, OH)--A Centerville truck driver has now been indicted by a Preble County grand jury and charged with causing a crash that killed four people in Camden last September. 61-year-old Brian Murphy of Centerville allegedly sped through the intersection of Highways 127 and 725 and t-boned a Jeep. Schon and Melissa Hudson, their three-year-old daughter Emerie, and the Hudsons’ unborn child were all killed. Murphy will appear in court next month.
(Richmond, IN)--What’s the most likely spot in Richmond to be involved in a car crash? According to statistics released Monday, it’s the intersection of East Main and South 37th Street. The Richmond Police Department released final numbers from last year. There were 33 crashes at 37th and East Main. Overall, East Main had 90 crashes last year. That’s three times as many as any other street. The city was down by nearly 150 crashes in 2017 as compared to 2016.
(Winchester, IN)--The fire itself was not a big deal, but the implications for some people in Winchester are. A garage fire broke out at just before midnight Monday night in the 500 block of West Main Street. The fire took out a fiber optics cable, which affected customers of Comcast and Frontier Tuesday morning. Crews will be arriving Tuesday morning to repair the fiber optics cable. There’s no word on when it will be restored. The cause of the fire is under investigation.
(Richmond, IN)--A hit-and-run victim was recovering Tuesday morning as police search for the driver who hit him. The victim was riding a bicycle in the area of 20th and East Main in Richmond at around 8 o’clock Monday night when he was struck by someone driving a red and white pickup truck. The pickup fled the scene. A medical helicopter was put on standby and then disregarded. Police are still looking for the red and white pickup, which is now missing its passenger-side mirror.
(Richmond, IN)--A man with a history of battering police officers was behind bars again Tuesday morning. 34-year-old Joseph Gebhart was taken into custody at Reid Health late Monday morning. Gehbart allegedly battered a police officer and was also charged with felony battery by bodily waste. He’s had 34 criminal charges, including another incident of battering a police officer last July.
(Wayne County, IN)--The annual Kids Count Data Book was released Monday morning. It’s the annual report on the well-being of Indiana children. Wayne County ranks in the top ten statewide for children who live in poverty. 25%, or one out of every four Wayne County children, are now considered to be living in poverty. That’s the 9th highest rate in the state. On the positive side, Wayne County has one of the lowest rates statewide of pregnant women who smoke at 11%. Wayne County also has the most mental health providers per capita in the state at one counselor for every 213 people. That’s nearly twice as many as the next closest county. Fayette County had the highest rate in the state of kids who are food insecure at 24%. Fayette County also had one of the top ten highest rates of child abuse and neglect. Union County had one of the state’s highest rates of children who moved away. The population dropped 15.5% last year.
(Richmond, IN)--Earlham College’s Joseph Moore Museum has received funding to begin a long-term preservation project of its Egyptian mummy. She’s the daughter of an Egyptian priest and has been dead for as long as 2300 years. The funding will allow for construction of a temperature-controlled storage case. It’s one of just two mummies known to be housed in Indiana. The other is just a few miles away at the Wayne County Historical Museum.
(Richmond, IN)--A Richmond man was in the Wayne County Jail Monday morning after being arrested Sunday near 13th and East Main Street. 32-year-old James Moore was allegedly involved in a domestic incident and now faces charges that include strangulation, felony domestic battery, and possession of meth. There’s no word on the condition of his alleged victim. Other details have not been released.
(Richmond, IN)--It’s good news for Richmond’s Elder-Beerman. Elder-Beerman’s parent company, Bon Ton, has released a list of 42 store closures nationally and the Richmond Elder-Beerman is not on the list. One Elder-Beerman in Ohio is closing; that’s in Defiance. On the national level, Bon Ton has seen declining sales for several years. On the local level, the Richmond Elder-Beerman was late with its last property tax payment to Wayne County and still owes a $3800 penalty.
(Lynn, IN)--A 60-year-old Randolph County man is in jail this morning charged with several crimes against children, including incest and rape. Douglas Hunt of Lynn had been sought for three days and was captured Thursday. Hunt is a semi driver and could not be located during that period. Hunt admitted to the allegations during an interview with investigators. Other details have not been released.
(Richmond, IN)--A wanted alleged Union County burglar was captured in Richmond early Friday morning. It was shortly after midnight Friday morning when officers came into contact with 47-year-old Timothy Ponder in the first block of South 15th Street. Police found both methamphetamine and heroin in Ponder’s pocket. Details of the Union County burglary he’s suspected of committing have not been released.
(Hagerstown, IN)--One week after it was raided by investigators with multiple law enforcement agencies, including the FBI, there are some signs of activity at Bowman Bakery in Hagerstown. A Facebook post made Wednesday on Bowman’s Facebook page seeks out delivery drivers and donut prep positions for various shifts. The post does not make any mention of the ongoing investigation. Investigators have remained quiet on the nature of the investigation and documents remain sealed. Calls to Bowman Bakery continue to go unanswered.
(Richmond, IN)--A Richmond couple was arrested Wednesday night in a case involving neglect of a dependent. 30-year-old Brittany Davis, who is a convicted drug dealer, was taken into custody at her home in the 200 block of North 10th and charged with felony neglect of a dependent. 22-year-old Thomas Smith, who goes by TJ, also was arrested there and charged with possession of meth, paraphernalia, and syringes.