(Wayne County, IN)--After mostly positive employment numbers in recent months, Wayne County has taken a step backwards. 400 people dropped out of Wayne County’s workforce, according to new numbers released by the state. The county also dropped below the threshold of 30,000 people who are actually working. The number today stands at 29,766. That’s a drop of 347 people since last month. But, it’s still about 200 more people than at this time last year. Wayne County’s new unemployment rate is 4%.
(Richmond, IN)--A large brawl spilled into the street overnight at North 20th and E in Richmond. RPD officers hauled three people off to jail. They include Charles Cross, Todd Delaney, and Charles Stinson. When officers were taking those three into jail, they noticed another man milling around outside the jail for no particular reason. Anastacio Bautista was known by police to have an active warrant, so he was also booked into jail.
(Greenville, OH)--Here’s a follow-up to our report Wednesday on artwork that was removed from the Darke County Fair. Fair officials now say they’ll take a look at judging criteria after winning images were taken down. Here’s why Mikayla Setzer said her photo was removed..."my picture was taken down because it was considered child pornography." (Note: the photo to which she is referring is the one that accompanies this story). The photo shows a baby that’s unclothed from the waist up. Fair Manager Brian Rismiller denies the picture was declared child pornography, but does say this..."The superintendent of that department has chosen to pull several different pieces out due to being offensive." Other similar images were removed.
(Richmond, IN)--Formal foreclosure proceedings are now underway on Richmond’s Crain Sanitarium. That’s the historic home at 22nd and East Main. The building was sold to Ben and Heaven Johnson a couple of years ago, but the man who sold the building to them on contract said Tuesday that they had not been there for a year until they showed up last weekend to mow. They’re now four months behind on payments. There are also multiple mechanics liens. The house no longer has any working utilities. The roof over the front porch has been destroyed, causing $40,000 in damage. A foreclosure hearing is pending. Heaven Johnson has multiple fraud convictions in Georgia and South Carolina and also stole from Richmond’s Menard’s.
(Richmond, IN)--study by the Eastern Indiana Regional Planning Commission shows that people are driving up to 50 miles to work in the region but don’t live here because there is not adequate housing. The study shows that more than half of our area’s homes were built before 1960. The number of vacant homes has grown from five to 12% since 2000. And, only five percent of rental properties have been built since 2000. A committee is being formed to come up with recommendations.
(Greenville, OH)--Two Darke County women are looking for answers after their artwork was removed from the Darke County Fair. Mikayla Setser’s first-prize photo of her friend’s infant daughter was removed. Setser said she was told it was considered child pornography. Amanda Mote’s painting of the profile of a nude woman holding a baby was also removed. She claims she was told it "might lead to sinful thinking." The fair’s Fine Arts Director has not commented on why the art was removed.
(Richmond, IN)--Business owners in Richmond’s Depot District Monday night addressed Common Council and Mayor Dave Snow, urging them to take a step back on plans to create a bicycle loop through the area. "I can't find anything that shows there were any studies done...traffic, the impact on parking," said Matt Stegall. Roger Richert talked about parking that could be eliminated. "No developer, including myself, wants to invest in an area where parking is being taken away." Then, this from Richert: "Does the mayor and INDOT have our years of experience and expertise to run our businesses? If so, buy us out. I'd rather sell now than when the district is vacant and boarded up again." Little Sheba’s owner Steve Terzini said he would be out of business if forced to endure extended construction. The Loop bicycle path project would connect 7th and 10th Streets along Fort Wayne Avenue and North E, cutting across storefronts of most Depot District businesses. "This connecting path is very important to our city. However, it's very important to do it in such a way that enhances the corridor and does nothing to take away from the vibrant culture that's been fostered by these local business owners," Snow said. Construction on the second phase would not start until 2022. Until then, Snow promised to open the channels of communication. "In the coming weeks and months, you'll see me in the community more, hear me on more local radio shows, see more partnerships with local media. And, as I've said before, more community input meetings," Snow added. Snow said that no formal planning for a second phase had begun.
(Richmond, IN)--After all of the conversation about bike paths and the Depot District Monday night, the Richmond Common Council unanimously passed an important ordinance dealing with the old Reid Hospital property. The ordinance makes the old Reid property taxable as a condition of sale. In other words, the property will remain on the tax rolls even if it’s purchased by an entity with a not-for-profit status. Council President Jamie Lopeman said that he was proud of council for protecting the investment of citizens.
(Richmond, IN)--Do you remember the names Heaven and Ben Johnson? They’re the ones who purchased the former Crane Sanitarium building. That’s the building at the corner of 22nd and East Main in Richmond just across from the Madonna of the Trail. Heaven and Ben had passed themselves off as a Beverly Hills designer and Rolls Royce engineer and announced big plans to renovate the building. Heaven later stole from Menard’s and was found to have committed fraud in several states in the South. Over the weekend, they were back. Local officials have indicated that they had been served with an order to repair the roof and porch or face legal action. No significant work has been done on the building for at least the last year.
Two people were hurt in a weekend motorcycle crash in Darke County. It happened Saturday night on US 127 just south of State Route 705. The Darke County Sheriff’s office says the motorcycle apparently blew a tire just before running off the road. A man and woman were both thrown from the bike. They were flown to Miami Valley Hospital, but investigators say both are expected to recover.
A fire shut down part of East Main Street in Centerville for much of Sunday. Fire crews were called around 9:30am yesterday to a fire at a vacant building at East Main and North Morton Avenue just west of the Centerville Library. The fire spread rapidly as more crews were brought in from around the region, and it took more than two hours hours for firefighters to bring it under control. Three firefighters were treated at the scene for heat exhaustion.
Bike paths are expected to be on the agenda of the Richmond Common Council’s meeting. Some Depot District businesses are not happy with the new bike paths on 7th and 10th Streets. Discussion has already been heated on social media. Among those expected to talk to the council about them are Roger Richert from Richmond Furniture Outlet, Steve Terzini from Little Sheba’s, and Matt Stegall of Stegall-Berheide-Orr Funeral Home. Tonight’s meeting is at 7:30.
(Richmond, IN)--State line businesses on U.S. 40 will have to endure another round of ramp closures that will prevent I-70 traffic from patronizing them. INDOT released a new schedule Thursday. The ramp from eastbound 70 to eastbound 40 will be closed from September 8-14. That will cut in half access to the Iron Skillet and Fairfield Inn. Then, from the 15th to the 21st, the ramp from westbound 70 to westbound 40 will close. That will cut in half access to places like IHOP, Cracker Barrel, and several east-side Richmond hotels. The closures will allow crews to resurface the bridge and put in new approaches.
(Richmond, IN)--Trial has been pushed back for one Richmond teen accused of murdering another. 18-year-old Austin Neathery was to have gone on trial on September 10 for the May murder of Tremell Carpenter, but that trial has now been pushed back to February of next year. Continuances and delays for murder trials, like this one, are routine. Neathery continues to be held without bond at a jail in Kokomo.
(Richmond, IN)--Aretha Franklin's death on Thursday prompted memories of her visit to Richmond by some of the 6200 people who attended her concert at the Tiernan Center back in 1999. Ginger Gray helped to organize that concert. She said that Aretha Franklin had a lengthy rider on her concert contract that caused local organizers to turn the boys locker room at the Tiernan Center into a first-class dressing room, complete with furniture brought in by Bullerdick Furniture. Franklin’s appearance in Richmond was part of the Legends Concert Series.
(Richmond, IN)--Elder-Beerman’s 45-year run in Richmond is now set to come to an end a week from Saturday. August 25th is now the tentative closing date for the downtown Richmond store. Much of store’s merchandise has been cleared out in the last month as discounts have increased. What’s left is generally about 75% off. The deadline to bid on the building has now been set for September 18. An auction for the local and other Bon Ton buildings nationally will be held two days later in Chicago. A local group comprised of business leaders and elected officials has been working to put a bid on the building.
(Henry County and Richmond, IN)--Details have now been released about an incident that has left two Wayne County men facing serious charges. On Tuesday morning, a homeowner was found tied up and left on the side of U.S. 36 in Henry County. That victim told police that three men entered his home, beat him, tied him up, and stole items from his home. The investigation led police to Richmond, where they found 26-year-old Tyler Moran of Richmond and 22-year-old Logan Rogers of Dublin. A third suspect is still being sought. Investigators do not believe it was a random incident.
(Richmond, IN)--On Tuesday, Kicks 96 and 101.7 The Point reported that a letter had been written expressing the displeasure of several owners of Depot District businesses over the city’s new bike paths on 7th and 10th Streets. Those owners cited, among other things, the loss of parking. Now, business owners are being rallied to a council meeting this coming Monday night to discuss the impact. Statements are being prepared by Roger Richert from the Richmond Furniture Outlet, Steve Terzini from Little Sheba’s, and Matt Stegall from Stegall-Berheide-Orr Funeral Home.
(Whitewater Valley)--It’s hard to believe because it’s coming from more than 6000 miles away, but dust from the Sahara Desert will move into the Whitewater Valley on Wednesday. That’s according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Their maps show the dust from strong Sahara storms entering the atmosphere over us on Wednesday. NOAA says it could create hazy skies, although rain that’s in the forecast will knock the dust down and minimize its effects.
(Richmond, IN)--Here’s a helpful hint. When you have an active warrant for your arrest, it’s probably best not to show up at the Wayne County Jail to visit another inmate. That’s exactly what happened Tuesday night. When 39-year-old Kimberly Wybiral signed in to visit an inmate, jail staff realized that she had a warrant. Wybiral was then herself jailed on charges that include possession of marijuana and a syringe.
(Richmond, IN)--The status of Richmond’s Square Donuts location on North West 5th was up in the air Tuesday morning. The store was closed throughout the morning with no signs on the door other than a standard "closed" sign. There is no word on whether or not the closure is permanent. Calls to the store on Tuesday went unanswered. Messages to the store's owner went unreturned. The Square Donuts’ Facebook page has also been taken down. Social media posts by people identifying themselves as employees on Monday night indicated that they had received calls earlier in the day on Monday telling them that the store had closed indefinitely. The store’s east-side location closed just a couple of weeks ago.
(Richmond, IN)--Business owners in Richmond’s Depot District are voicing their displeasure over the city’s new bike paths, which are currently under construction. Those bike paths are meant to connect the Depot District to Downtown Richmond with paths on 7th and 10th Streets. But Depot District Business owners say those new paths are taking away too many parking spaces. A letter says , quote, the loop project may be a good one, but we don’t believe it’s good enough to warrant removing half of the already scarce parking spaces. Unquote. The letter goes on to say that they’re concerned that many decisions were made without input from businesses that will be affected for years to come.
(Richmond, IN)--A Richmond man was jailed late Monday afternoon after allegedly dropping his pants at a busy intersection. 52-year-old Charles Gellinger was first asked to leave the area of the southside Dairy Queen at around 5:30 p.m. From there, he went to the intersection of South 9th and E and, according to scanner traffic, dropped his pants and exposed himself. Gellinger was later found to have a blood alcohol content of twice the legal limit. He was charged with indecent exposure.
(Wayne County, IN)--Wayne County is on pace to see a reduction in the number of drug overdose deaths this year. Last year, there were 91 confirmed deaths that resulted from drug overdoses. Through the first half of this year, there have been 18 cases confirmed cases with 21 more possible cases waiting on final toxicology. Even if all of those turn out positive, Wayne County is still on pace to have a 17% reduction in the number of overdose deaths. Richmond will take part in an International Overdose Awareness Day at the end of this month.
(Richmond, IN)--Downtown Richmond businesses are bracing for another closure of Main Street that begins Monday. INDOT says that Main Street will close east of Eighth Street today to allow Gradex to remove and reconstruct an area that recently underwent water line replacement. INDOT said the closure will last for at least the next two weeks and could stretch until the end of the month.
(Richmond, IN)--A wanted first-degree robber from Kentucky and his brother were caught and arrested in Richmond early Monday morning. A police canine alerted on a car in the first block of South 12th. Methamphetamine and syringes were located. The occupants, Lafah and Davon Dixon, originally gave police a false names and birthdates. Further investigation revealed their true identity. Lafah Dixon is now being held without bond until Kentucky officials can come to Richmond to pick him up.
(Richmond, IN)--Plans advanced Thursday night for a new hotel on Richmond’s east side. The Fairfield Inn by Marriott was approved for variances at a site just east of the RecPlex and south of Berry Plastics off Commerce Drive. The new hotel will be slightly bigger than the one that currently exist on U.S. 40 just across the state line. The building will be four stories tall and have 89 rooms. Plans call for the old Fairfield Inn to be marketed to a different company. There’s no word yet on a projected opening date for the new hotel.
(Winchester, IN)--County council members got a dire report on the Randolph County Courthouse this week. An engineer that examined the courthouse’s heating system said that the current system is not capable of heating the building and that repairs and upgrades could cost up to $1.75 million. Air is escaping through the walls and ceiling. Last winter, which was relatively mild, the county spent extensive dollars to heat the building. A specific repair plan is still pending.
(Winchester, IN)--Not only is Casey’s General Store planning to open in Richmond, now they’re planning a Winchester store as well. The new Casey’s will be located on U.S. 27 very close to the Randolph Inn and Suites and is expected to employ about two dozen people. The Casey’s General Store in Centerville was the source of a hepatitis A scare last month. Casey’s is already operating in Union City, Greenville, and Ansonia. The new store in Winchester is expected to open in a little less than a year.
(Franklin County, IN)--A crash that shut down U.S. 52 in Franklin County for much of Wednesday morning turned out to be a fatal one. A semi and a passenger car collided on 52 near Cedar Grove Road. One unconfirmed report indicated a 16-year-old was traveling with his or her grandparents in that passenger car. Other details are still being withheld, including the names of the victim, the condition of survivors, and factors that led to the crash.
(Columbus, OH)--The new area code for southwest Ohio, including Preble County, has been determined. Earlier this year, it was announced that the 937 area code is running out of numbers. Beginning in about a year and a half, new phone numbers in Preble County will begin with the area code 326. That number was announced Wednesday. The new area code will apply to new numbers only. People who already have a number with the 937 area code will not have to change.
(Richmond, IN)--Wayne County Prosecutor Mike Shipman indicated Tuesday that drug abusers are manipulating the needle exchange program to allow for re-use of needles. Shipman pointed to a recent case in which Wendy Ford was allegedly parked directly behind the Centerstone building in Richmond where the needle exchange takes place. Officers located a syringe that had come from the exchange, but also located multiple used plungers – the part of a syringe that pushes the drugs out. Ford told officers that exchanging plungers allows the needle exchange syringes to be used multiple times and bypass the exchange’s safety system. Shipman has been a vocal opponent of needle exchange.
(Richmond, IN)--Multiple Tim Horton's stores in the region have closed abruptly, but the Richmond store is not one of them. Richmond employees said Wednesday morning that the store is open as usual with no plans to close. That’s not the case in Oxford, though, where the Tim Hortons on Locust Street has shut down. It had opened in November of last year at what was described as an ideal location. Four other stores within 70 miles of Richmond have closed this week.
(Richmond, IN)--A funeral service will be held Wednesday afternoon at Stegall-Berheide-Orr Funeral Home for Richmond’s Andy Cecere. Cecere was a long-time political figure in Richmond and had served as the city’s attorney. He a World War II veteran who remained active and connected to the city even into his 90’s when he published two books. He died last Friday. Andy Cecere was 96.
(Henry County, IN)--A Richmond teenager was killed Monday night by a wrong-way driver. It happened on I-70 just west of New Castle. 19-year-old Chase Thomas of Richmond was headed east when he was hit head-on by a 55-year-old woman who was driving west in the eastbound lanes. Thomas was pronounced dead at the scene. The driver that caused the crash was removed by medical helicopter. Investigators don’t know why she was driving the wrong way. Eastbound I-70 was closed for more than two hours as a result of the crash.
(Richmond, IN)--An ordinance that would require any future buyer of the old Reid Hospital property to pay taxes regardless of their tax status went before Richmond Common Council Monday night. Councilman Bruce Wissel wondered if there was precedent for such a requirement. "Any potential purchased would come to the table with their eyes open," responded City Attorney AJ Sickmann. Council member Misty Hollis said keeping properties on the tax rolls is a high priority for many people. "When we're putting significant tax dollars into this piece of property, then we should try to get some of that tax money back." The ordinance was referred to the Finance Committee.
(Richmond, IN)--Richmond Common Council got its monthly update on the demolition of the old Reid Hospital site Monday night. "B Wing is no longer there. Jenkins Hall has been demolished. We've begun demolition on Reller Hall," said Brooks Bertyl with the demolition crew. Now, there’s a large hole where those buildings once stood. The priority now is to fill it. "This week, the concrete crusher is supposed to show up. They'll spend quite a bit of time working to fill that large hole," Bertyl added. Bertyl said it will likely be a few more weeks before any more visible demolition of existing structures takes place.
(Preble County, OH)--Not only will drivers soon not be able to exit I-70 onto eastbound U.S. 40 at the state line, they soon won’t be able to stop at the Ohio Welcome Center either. That rest area is shutting down for renovation and is not scheduled to reopen until late winter or early spring of next year. Meanwhile, the rest area for the westbound lanes near the state line will be completely demolished and will not be rebuilt. That demolition will begin in about a month and a half.
(Richmond, IN)--Richmond Common Council meets Monday night. And, when it does, it will get the first reading of an ordinance dealing with the old Reid Hospital property. The ordinance requires that any buyer of the former hospital property will be assessed taxes regardless of that buyer’s tax status. In other words, the ordinance would guarantee that the property would remain on the tax roll. The city of Richmond is now the owner of the property after the former owner walked away, leaving an unpaid tax bill well into the hundreds of thousands of dollars. Monday night's meeting begins at 7:30 and can be viewed live on Whitewater Community Television.
(Richmond, IN)--Three people are in the Wayne County Jail after a drug bust late Sunday afternoon on the lot of the Village Pantry on North West 5th Street in Richmond. Officers found methampthetamine, syringes, and drug paraphernalia and arrested Amanda Hoskins of Liberty, Ronnie McMillan of Eaton, and Amber Watson of Richmond. Jail staff allegedly found more drugs on Hoskins when she was booked in. The led to the addition of a felony trafficking with an inmate charge.
(Connersville, IN)--There were plenty of sightings, but no arrests, in Connersville over the weekend. A man was spotted all over town riding a red bicycle while where green shorts, a sports coat, and a large monkey head. Police became involved when the monkey-headed man allegedly tried to talk to some young girls outside Connersville’s Walmart. Officers spoke to him but did not charge him.
(Connersville, IN)--The body of an active soldier who was born in Richmond and graduated from Connersville was returned home Thursday night. 19-year-old Spencer Rose was stationed at The Big Red One in Fort Riley, Kansas. His body was found at an apartment complex there last week in a case that remains under investigation. Many flags along the route to Showalter-Blackwell-Long Funeral Home in Connersville were lowered. The service will be Saturday afternoon. Spencer Rose had just graduated from Connersville High School last year.
(Liberty, IN)--A Liberty woman is accused of stealing nearly a quarter of a million dollars from a 25-year-old disabled man. When he was seven, J.P. Phillips was nearly killed in a propane gas explosion. His estate was awarded a settlement of more than a million dollars. 56-year-old Carola Antrim was appointed to oversee the money. Antrim allegedly linked J.P.’s account to her new debit card last fall and immediately began spending large amounts of money for a variety of things, including trips. Her debit card had received more than $229,000. Antrim is due to go on trial in January.
(Richmond, IN)--A man was shot and killed Thursday morning at the Genesis Apartments in Richmond, which was formerly known as the Country Club Apartments. Police were called to the area at around 2 o'clock Thursday morning on the report of multiple gunshots. The body of 27-year-old Jason Lewis was located outside, near a corner of one building in the older section of the complex. Multiple shell casings were found about a hundred feet away near another building. The crime scene covers a large area and included the entry way of at least one building. The suspect is still on the loose. As word of the shooting spread on social media, at least two dozen people gathered in the area. That prompted a response from other law enforcement agencies for crowd control. That group included several possible witnesses, although many refused to cooperate. Investigators will likely remain on the scene for most of the morning. Other details, including what led to the shooting, have not been released.
(New Paris, OH)--Earlier this week, Kicks 96 and 101.7 The Point News reported that businesses on the Indiana side of the state line on U.S. 40 had suffered substantial financial losses due to construction on two of the four exit ramps from I-70. That has not been the case on the Ohio side, though. Representatives of both Iron Skillet and the Fairfield Inn said Wednesday morning that they’ve noticed little – if any – loss in business. It was Indiana Senator Jeff Raatz who worked to shorten the construction schedule. "INDOT was very professional and worked well, but they were unwilling to change anything. They gave us a few concessions, but it didn't help the retailers," Raatz explained. Raatz said that he had to go high up the INDOT ladder to shorten the construction schedule.
(Richmond, IN)--Indiana American Water on Tuesday announced plans for a massive project that could impact Richmond in the future. A state commission has granted approval for a plan to replace customer-owned lead service lines. 50,000 lead service lines are still present across Indiana. It will take at least ten years to replace the lines at a cost of $177 million. There’s no word yet on how Richmond specifically will be impacted.
(Richmond, IN)--Three people, including an alleged meth dealer, were booked into the Wayne County Jail at 2:30 Wednesday morning after a car was stopped in the 1200 block of South C in Richmond. 44-year-old Lanny Fultz is now charged with dealing methamphetamine. 33-year-old Brandon Jackson and 25-year-old Cheyenne Ross are charged with maintaining and visiting a common nuisance, respectively. Other details of the meth dealing charge have not been released.