(Richmond, IN)--The construction schedule on the ramps on I-70 at the state line has been sped up as businesses there loose thousands of dollars. A survey of four hotels at that interchange conducted from the 19th to the 22nd of this month showed that those businesses were down a total of $21,000 from their normal revenue over those nights. The Shell station recently announced reduced hours and layoffs. Now, State Senator Jeff Raatz has worked with INDOT to finish the project quicker. Crews will now be working 16-hour days. The work is now expected to be done this Friday, but that’s dependent on weather.
(Richmond, IN)--An autopsy is scheduled to take place Monday on the body of 27-year-old Amanda Reece. Reece’s body was found Saturday night in the parking lot of Needler’s Fresh Market on National Road West in Richmond. She had been missing for six days before being found dead. Investigators so far have not said how long she may have been dead and have not indicated whether or not surveillance video exists that shows how the vehicle arriving in the Needler’s lot. Interviews were conducted over the weekend, but no arrests have been made.
(Richmond, IN)--It was just two weeks ago that Richmond’s 33-year-old Samantha Norris was arrested for possessing meth and neglecting her dependents. She was released from jail. But now – just 12 days later – she was arrested for the same thing. This time, Norris was taken into custody near South 10th and E. Again, she was allegedly in possession of meth. And, again, she allegedly has neglected her dependents. Norris is also charged this time with resisting law enforcement.
(Richmond, IN)--The city of Richmond is apparently now no longer considering making 7th Street a one-way street going north. The proposed change was due to the narrowing of 7th Street brought about by a new bicycle path. Council President Misty Hollis said Thursday that designs will be changed to allow for two-way traffic. Hollis, though, called for better communication. "We seem to have had some struggles with communication...struggles with communication to the businesses on 7th Street, struggles with communication with the businesses downtown." Construction on 7th near Fort Wayne Avenue has gotten underway.
(Richmond, IN)--Four people were taken into custody when RPD officers entered an alleged drug house in the 700 block of South 8th Thursday. Kylier Childress-Shelby, Joshua Lamott, Aeriel Selby, and Tayonne Tevis were all taken to the Wayne County Jail. According to scanner traffic, marijuana seeds were found in some sheets next to a child and cocaine was found on a dresser. Tevis had just been arrested last week for drug dealing and other charges. He bonded out, was arrested again Thursday, and has now bonded out again.
(New Madison, OH)--A former Darke County Sheriff’s Office corrections officer who lives in New Madison has now been indicated on a charge of felony rape. 19-year-old Lathan Frech is now longer employed by the sheriff’s office. Details of the alleged crime have not been released. Frech has been released on his own recognizance and is due in court for the first time in three weeks.
(Richmond, IN)--There is a proposal to convert 7th Street in Richmond to a one-way street going north. That proposal was made during Wednesday’s construction meeting of a Stellar project that will also place a bike path on 7th Street. The issue is that the bike and walking paths, as designed now, would reduce the width of 7th Street. First responders have indicated it would be difficult for fire trucks and busses to navigate the street when the new paths are finished unless the street is changed to one-way. One downtown Richmond business owner, who also happens to be a Wayne County Council member, is already voicing his opposition. Pete Zaleski, who is the owner of Phillips Drugs, called it an "awful idea." Zaleski said that he would rally other business owners to oppose converting 7th Street into a one-way street. The Board of Public Works will ultimately make the decision.
(Richmond, IN)--A new hotel may be headed to an area of Richmond where multiple hotels exist. A “sale pending” sign is now posted on a piece of property on Commerce Road very near the Rec Plex. An unidentified hotel management firm is working to purchase the property. Closing on the sale has not been set. Another nearby hotel is nearing a re-opening date. Renovations at the former Quality Inn are nearing completion. The manager of that facility last week refused to give an approximate re-opening date.
(Richmond, IN)--One Richmond business is taking a shot at a world record. Rick Parker, who is the owner of the Fourth Floor Blues Club, has received notice from the Guiness Book of World Records that his application has been accepted. The title of the application is "Largest Soul Train Dance" Details of the world record attempt have not yet been released, but it will be attempted in conjunction with Depot Fest. Depot Fest will take place in early September.
(Richmond, IN)--The surviving brother that was the subject of a weekend manhunt near Middlefork Reservoir in Richmond was removed from the Wayne County Jail Tuesday and returned to the central Indiana county where he will face a felony child molesting charge. Charles Estep will likely not face any charges locally. Estep and his now-deceased brother allegedly molested a four-year-old child. Estep has a criminal history that includes battery, theft, and fraud. He was also convicted of passing in a no-passing zone in 2009 and causing a crash that killed a female high school student.
(Eaton, OH)--One hundred years ago, a time capsule was placed in a cornerstone of the Preble County Courthouse. On Tuesday, it was removed and opened for the building’s 100th birthday celebration. The capsule contained newspapers, county directories, photographs, and coins that were all in excellent condition. A crew spent several hours cutting into the side of the courthouse to remove the time capsule.
(Camden, OH)--A competency hearing will take place Wednesday for the Centerville trucker who caused a crash last September that killed three members of a family and an unborn child. It happened at the intersection of Highways 127 and 725 in Camden. Brian Murphy faces multiple counts of aggravated vehicular homicide. The semi’s black box allegedly indicated that Murphy was speeding as he drove his truck through the intersection.
(Wayne County, IN)--Some new employment numbers were released for Wayne County Monday, and those figures show an increase in the number of unemployed residents. 191 more people are unemployed now than were last month. Conversely, the number of working residents has dropped by 185. It’s caused Wayne County unemployment rate to jump from 3.5 to 4.1%. The number of people in the local workforce has remained relatively unchanged. Unemployment rates are up across the Whitewater Valley. Every area Indiana county’s rate jumped by about a half a percent. Fayette County’s rate is up to 5.1%. That’s the second highest in the state. Randolph County is at 3.9%. Henry is at 3.8. Franklin County is at 3.7%. Union County has the lowest rate in our area at 3.4%.
(Richmond, IN)--Residents in the Vaile neighborhood were on high alert after an incident Monday night. A man wearing a Jason mask and riding a purple bicycle was in the area of the Vaile playground when children were playing there at around 8 o’clock Monday night. He was also carrying what was described as something that ranged from a box cutter to a machete. Residents who had come outside gave RPD officers different directions of travel. Officers questioned one man but could not determine if he was the masked bicycle rider.
(Richmond, IN)--The surviving brother of two that were the subject of a massive manhunt that began Friday afternoon and ended Saturday morning remained in the Wayne County Jail without bond Monday morning. Charles Estep is being held for a parole violation and will be returned to a central Indiana county to face a child molestation charge. His brother, Alan Estep, took his life in a wooded area just east of Richmond’s Meijer.
(Richmond, IN)--Some new road construction has already prompted one east-side Richmond business to restrict its hours. The Shell station on National Road East will no longer be open 24 hours – at least until the construction that has affected ramps on I-70 at the state line is complete. The cutback in hours has resulted in multiple temporary layoffs. Shell staff members indicated their business is dependent on I-70 traffic and that they had very little advance notification that the construction would take place.
(Preble County, OH)--A Honda drove underneath a semi at U.S. 127 and Orphans Road near Eaton Sunday morning. The impact essentially sheared the top of the car off and left it wedged underneath the semi. The driver’s identity has not been released. Injuries were described as non-life-threatening. The semi driver was not hurt. The image is courtesy of our partners at WHIO-TV.
(Richmond, IN)--A second round of hepatitis A vaccinations is now being arranged by the Wayne County Health Department after more than 400 people showed up Thursday. The large turnout was in response to a warning to customers of Casey’s General Store in Centerville. Wayne County has given out 500 vaccinations this week. 300 additional doses are expected to be available sometime next week. Anyone who ate prepared food at Casey’s between July 5 and 12 is considered at risk.
(Richmond, IN)--Three people were behind bars after a drug arrest in the heart of Richmond’s Depot District early Friday morning. Officers stopped a car in the 100 block of Fort Wayne Avenue at around 1 o’clock Friday morning and found Justin Anderson of Centerville and Kenneth Custer and Ashley Graw of western Wayne County. Officers also allegedly found methamphetamine, heroin, and syringes. The quantities of drugs recovered have not been released.
(Richmond, IN)--This weekend will mark the 17-year point since Richmond’s Niqui McCown disappeared. Despite numerous searches, national television features, and an ongoing effort to find answers, Niqui’s family and friends are still left wondering what happened. A Facebook page titled “Missing Niqui McCown” is still being maintained and now features other missing persons cases. The Richmond Police Department still considers the case active and still would like to hear from anyone with any information.
(Cambridge City, IN)--An engineering firm has presented cost estimates for wastewater treatment at the Gateway Industrial Park near Cambridge City. Without an expansion, tenants like SugarCreek – and the park itself – cannot grow. The firm said the cost of sending wastewater to Connersville would be $22.4 million. Building a new treatment facility on site would cost between $13 and $16 million. Sending the wastewater to Connersville would require the installation of a 24-inch line. Sewer Board President Tom Lee has said he favors the Cambridge City option.
(Richmond, IN)--Here’s an update on what was originally reported as a stabbing on North 17th in Richmond on Tuesday night. Investigators now say that Alex Irwin was shot by someone who he claims not to know. His injuries were non-life-threatening. Irwin has a lengthy criminal record that currently includes 37 offenses with most involving drugs. He was arrested in August of last year for dealing cocaine.
(Richmond, IN)--No arrests have been made in connection with a stabbing that happened in Richmond Tuesday night. A man arrived at Reid Health from the 200 block of North 17th Street with a stab wound. A subsequent search warrant was executed at the home. The suspect’s identity and condition have not been released, although his injuries were initially thought to be non-life-threatening. There’s also no word yet on what led to the stabbing.
(Richmond, IN)--On Tuesday, Kicks 96 and The Point News reported that vaccinations would be given on Thursday from 3-6 p.m. for people who had eaten prepared food at Casey’s General Store in Centerville as a precaution against the contraction of hepatitis A. Now, Kicks 96 and the Point News has confirmed that Casey’s will open a location in Richmond. A corporate spokesperson confirmed the opening Tuesdayday, but declined to say exactly where the store will go. Initial reports indicated it would locate in the 100 block of South West First.
(Connersville, IN)--Environmental cleanup at the former Visteon property in Connersville is nearly complete. The Connersville Board of Public Works approved a resolution this week that will be sent to the Indiana Department of Environmental Management. The property had 545 wells. Some were treated with vegetable oil. Most have been sealed. Cleanup has been ongoing for the last nine years. The site is now home to Wayzata after what was supposed to have been a 1500-job company called Carbon Motors failed to get off the ground.
(Richmond, IN)--Richmond Common Council met Monday night under the shadow of a request for arbitration from the AFSCME, the city’s largest union. The union is challenging the city over its computation of vacation time for first and second-year employees. Union leaders have also expressed dissatisfaction in the delay of the implementation of a new contract which was agreed to two months ago that includes a pay raise. The union has extended a deadline until the end of this month for the contract to be approved by the Board of Public Works.
(Richmond, IN)--The Wayne County Health Department will administer hepatitis A vaccinations to customers of Casey’s General Store in Centerville Thursday afternoon from 3-6 at the department’s headquarters in Richmond. The Health Department issued a statement Monday saying only those who bought food prepared at Casey’s between July 5th and 12th should be vaccinated. Meanwhile, Casey’s corporate officials Monday did not return calls about the possibility of a location in Richmond. Casey’s had reportedly shown interest in property between Main Street and National Road west on the west side of the Whitewater Gorge.
(Richmond, IN)--Richmond Police Chief Jim Branum has been appointed to a state commission. Indiana Governor Eric Holcomb has appointed Branum to serve on the Indiana Law Enforcement Training Board. Four other people statewide, including a judge and a prosecutor, were appointed. Branum’s term will expire at the end of June in 2022.
(Richmond, IN)--A warning remained in place Monday for anyone who may have eaten food at Casey’s General Store in Centerville between July 5th and this past Thursday to have a vaccination for hepatitis A no later than the 26th of this month. The Wayne County Health Department said an employee who was working at the store has the disease. An announcement about when and where those vaccinations can be obtained will be made Monday. Casey’s becomes the second area business to be the subject of a hepatitis warning. A similar case happened at Jell’s in Eaton last month.
(Centerville, IN)--An ambulance struck a deer on U.S. 40 just west of Centerville Sunday morning and resulted in a crash that sent three people, including an EMT, to hospitals. After hitting the deer, the ambulance rolled down an embankment and caught fire. Driver Blake Wentz and EMT Jim Wolf were both sent to Reid Health. Their conditions have not been released. The patient in the ambulance, Raymond Smith of Connersville, was in critical condition Monday morning at Miami Valley Hospital in Dayton. The ambulance was en route from Fayette County to Reid Health when the crash occurred.
(Richmond, IN)--A Richmond man was caught after a short police chase Monday morning. 23-year-old Tayonne Tevis allegedly fled police in the 100 block of South 5th at 3 o’clock Monday morning. He was captured at South 5th and E. Officers found marijuana at the scene. More drugs were discovered on Tevis as he was being booked into jail. Counting Monday morning’s charges, Tevis now has a total of 58 criminal offenses at age 23.
(Richmond, IN)--Arsonists struck multiple locations in Richmond nearly simultaneously Friday morning and stretched the city’s fire department very thin. Two different garages and one couch that was sitting outside were lit on fire in the area of the first three blocks of North 18th and 19th all within 15 minutes of each other at around 3 o’clock Friday morning. "We actually had four of the five engines out on the garage fires. We only had one engine remaining." said Battalion Chief Tim Brown. A garage on 18th was a total loss. There were no injuries. Police are working to obtain surveillance video.
(Richmond, IN)--A schedule for construction of the new bike path that will connect downtown Richmond with the Depot District was discussed this week at a meeting of city and county leaders. It will mean major construction on 7th and 10th Streets. Construction will pick up soon on 7th Street at Fort Wayne Avenue and work its way south toward downtown. Also, according to one county official, that construction will mean that sidewalks that have already been torn up in the area of Main Street between 5th and 7th Streets will remain torn up until sometime next year.
(Mount Jumbo, AK)--Earlier this week, a plane crashed onto the side of a mountain in Alaska. Incredibly, all 11 people on board survived. And, two Randolph County natives were involved in their rescue. Rick Hines and Jason Harris still call Randolph County home. They are now members of a sea-level team of first responders.
(Richmond, IN)--Beverly Budd, who resigned earlier this week as the city of Richmond’s Building Commissioner, spoke Wednesday about her decision. Budd said that she resigned over her frustration at conditions inside the city building. "The only word I can think of is 'toxic.' It was not good for me," Budd said. She said some city employees are not on the same page. "We're all working, I guess, in different circles. I don't even get it." Budd said she will be working in the same capacity but will be independent of city restraints. "There are a lot of incredible people out there that are working to make Richmond a better place. But, by the same token, there's a number of them that are trying to keep it exactly the same as it is." The city issued a statement Wednesday saying that Budd’s resignation gives it a chance to "continue to reexamine our talent deck." Budd's resignation this week came on the heels of the resignation of Jack Cruse.
(Richmond, IN)--Handheld metal detectors are coming to Richmond Community Schools. The RCS Board was updated on efforts to obtain those metal detectors Wednesday night. The state is now offering one device for every 250 students . Chief Operations Officer Rob Tidrow told the board that RCS is working to obtain the maximum number of handheld metal detectors. A plan for their use has not been developed. The detectors won’t arrive until at least a couple of weeks after the start of school, which is August 8.
(Cambridge City, IN)--Western Wayne Schools will be adding another school resource officer when school begins next month. Until now, Western Wayne had two buildings but just one officer. Funding for the additional officer will come from a $35,000 state grant with a local match. Cambridge City’s Town Council has approved the purchase of a used car for the new officer.
(Richmond, IN)--Another business is saying goodbye to downtown Richmond. Vivian Himelick, who is the owner of Sanders Jewelers, indicated Tuesday that the store would be closing soon after it had operated at multiple locations in the downtown area for the last 77 years. The primary reason given for the closure was a change in retail climate. The building is being purchased by an architect who plans to renovate the upper two floors of the building for use by an architectural firm. The Sanders building, along with the Readmore and former Hoppe building, have now all been purchased by individuals or companies with architectural ties.
(Richmond, IN)--Richmond Community Schools announced Tuesday that every student, regardless of income, will be able to get a free breakfast and a free lunch every day of the upcoming school year. It’s because all RCS schools have been designated as meeting Community Eligibility Provision. School systems qualify for the federal program when there’s a high percentage of students who qualify for free or reduced lunches.
(Preble County, OH)--Investigators were on the scene Tuesday of the fire that did heavy damage Tuesday morning to a Preble County motel. The fire at the New Budget Inn near the junction of I-70 and U.S. 127 has now officially been ruled an arson. Officials have not said exactly what led them to make that determination. There were no injuries. One initial report stated that individuals may have been attempting to manufacture drugs inside one of the rooms.
(Preble County, OH)--Fire has caused significant damage to a motel Tuesday morning. It broke out at just after midnight at the New Budget Inn at the junction of I-70 and U.S. 127 just north of Eaton in Preble County. "I heard a woman screaming so I jumped up out of bed, opened the door, and saw black smoke coming from everywhere," said occupant Tracy Thompson. Multiple units have been destroyed. The initial indication is that the fire was caused by people trying to manufacture drugs. "There's a few things that lead it to be suspicious, but I'm not at liberty to say too much about that yet," said West Manchester Fire Chief Dave Baker. All of the occupants were able to escape without injury. Investigators will be on the scene for most of the day Tuesday.
(Franklin County, IN)--More details have been released about a fatal motorcycle crash in Franklin County. It happened on State Route 252 near Little Cedar Road, which is just a couple of miles east of Brookville. A 51-year-old Cincinnati motorcyclist lost control on loose gravel and hit an electric fence. He was not wearing a helmet and was pronounced dead at the scene. A 15-year-old passenger was wearing a helmet and was AirCared to University Hospital in Cincinnati. That teen’s condition has not been released.
(Richmond, IN)--There’s still no specific closing date for Richmond’s Elder-Beerman store, although the end is certainly nearing for the downtown Richmond retail anchor. A spokesperson for Elder-Beerman’s parent company, Bon-Ton, could not provide an exact date but did say that it would be before the end of next month. That spokesperson also indicated that greater discounts - up to 75% off – would be offered until the Richmond merchandise is gone. A bankruptcy judge gave the company until the end of August to complete sales. The building is still for sale.
(Wayne County, IN)--An overnight crash on State Road 227 between Richmond and Boston sheared off a utility pole, knocked out power to the area, and caught a field on fire. The driver of a Corvette lost control late Sunday night near Wolfe Road. That driver was taken to Reid Health but was not thought to have suffered life-threatening injuries. His or her identity has not been released. Power has been restored. There’s no word yet on what caused the crash.
(Centerville, IN)--Three men have been charged with a Wayne County murder. On Thursday afternoon, authorities arrested 26-year-old Donald Bailey Junior of Centerville and charged him with murder, robbery, battery, and criminal confinement. Two men who were already in jail on different serious charges had a murder charge added Thursday. Those two are 23-year-old Jacob Rasner of Richmond and 30-year-old Jesse Boggs of Centerville. A fourth man, 49-year-old William Mathews of Richmond, was charged with assisting a criminal. Bailey, Rasner, and Boggs are accused of killing 27-year-old James Herbolt and dumping his body in a field just off of Centerville Road in October of last year. Other details, including what led investigators to charge the trio, have not yet been released. Mathews’ alleged role in the crime has also not been specified.
(Fountain City, IN)--A meeting of the Fountain City Town Board this week ended with the arrest of the husband of the Board’s president. The tension began during a discussion of sidewalk repairs and replacement. Some residents and at least one business owner were vocal proponents of the upgrades. According to some in attendance, 51-year-old Steve Nester then told those people to be quiet. The situation escalated and Nester was escorted out. He was then charged with disorderly conduct and taken to the Wayne County Jail. He bonded out a few hours later.
(Wayne County, IN)--The absence of any filing by a Democrat this week means that Republican Randy Retter will become Wayne County’s next sheriff when Jeff Cappa’s term comes to a close. Retter’s appointment as sheriff was essentially a foregone conclusion after the May primary. But, this week, it became official that he will face no opposition in the general election in November. Retter’s term will begin the first of next year. He will continue to serve as a lieutenant and commander of the Sheriff Office’s Enforcement Division until then.
(Richmond, IN)--Mayor Dave Snow filled in for a supervisor of the old Reid demolition project by giving common council members a monthly update. Snow said that additional asbestos has been discovered between the floorboards in the oldest section of the complex. Removing it will add a couple of weeks to the project and will cost an additional $172,000. Leeds Tower is now down with debris being sorted. The demolition and cleanup is expected to be done a year from now.
(New Paris, OH)--Preble County school superintendents continue to switch locations. Recently, National Trail Superintendent Jeff Parker was approved to lead Eaton. Now, Twin Valley South Superintendent Robert Fischer will fill the void at National Trail. Fischer’s three-year contract will begin the first of next month. Friday is the deadline for candidates to file to lead Twin Valley South.
(Richmond, IN)--A letter from Earlham College’s Board of Directors shines light on the financial difficulties that institution is currently facing. The letter, which was published in the Chronical of Higher Education, calls for a cut of $8 million in operating expenses and states that the college’s current financial path is unsustainable. It also states that Earlham has operated at a deficit for the last ten years. The proposed loss for next year is $12 million. The college’s president recently resigned. Earlham has an endowment that totals hundreds of millions of dollars.
(Richmond, IN)--The Milkhouse at 17th and East Main in Richmond sustained some structural damage when a minivan crashed into it at around 3 o’clock Monday afternoon. Three people were in the vehicle. Investigators at the scene initially suspected that the driver may have been huffing computer air duster because of an empty can found inside the minivan. Scanner traffic indicated one person was passed out when first responders arrived. Names have not been released. No one inside the Milkhouse was hurt. It’s open for business Tuesday.
(Richmond, IN)--Richmond Common Council met Monday night and rejected proposed regulations involving solar energy called net metering. Net metering provides cash reimbursement for people who use solar energy if they produce energy in excess of what they use. Many local environmental proponents had address council and expressed their opposition during the public hearing portion of the council meeting.
(Richmond, IN)--Richmond Common Council meets Monday night for the first time in a month. The last scheduled meeting was cancelled due to lack of a quorum. Council is expected to revisit the topic of net metering. Net metering provides cash reimbursement for people who use solar energy if they produce energy in excess of what they use. The meeting begins at 7:30.
(Richmond, IN)--An incident early Monday morning that began at the Phillips 66 gas station on South West 18th has landed one man in jail. 61-year-old Daryl Miller allegedly was armed with what was described as a machete and yelling at people in the area. Miller then retreated into a home and was eventually Tased by officers. Two guns and the machete were recovered. Miller has been charged with felony obstruction. He is reportedly a verified sovereign citizen.
(Richmond, IN)--A Richmond man Monday morning told police that he had met a prostitute at a bar and took her home for popcorn, but said that she had stolen his T-shirt and wallet instead. He described her as short – only about 4-6 – and said that she fled from a house in the 400 block of South 12th wearing a camo top and blue jeans. She had also told him she was a felon running from the law. Police were unable to find the short prostitute.
(Richmond, IN)--A Richmond woman was jailed early Monday morning after an initial report that indicated she had bitten someone’s finger off. Police were called to the 100 block of South 12th Street and found 32-year-old Loren Hatfield. Details of what led to the incident have not been released, but Hatfield has been charged with felony battery and violation of the Legend Drug Act. There’s no word on the condition of the victim.