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Local News with Jeff Lane Archives for 2019-01

SHOTS FIRED INTO MILTON HOME

(Milton, IN)--Investigators were on the scene of a shots fired call in Milton Thursday morning.  According to scanner traffic, multiple shell casings were discovered in the 200 block of Seminary Street at around 1 o’clock Thursday morning.  There has been no word so far on whether or not anyone was shot.  One person who may have been involved in a recent pursuit was being questioned, although no arrests had been made by 7 a.m. Thursday.

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CREWS BATTLED HOUSE FIRE, COLD TEMPERATURES

(Randolph County, IN)--Several agencies had the brutal task of battling a house fire Wednesday night and into Thursday morning in Randolph County.  Crews were called to a home on a county road between Lynn and Losantville at about 11 o’clock Wednesday night.  Flames were showing.  An occupant had escaped.  "One of the sheriff's deputies showed up and was able to assist her out of the house," said Lynn Fire Chief Jonathon Nicholson.  The subzero temperatures made it tough on equipment.  "We had several fire trucks freeze up.  It was brutally cold.  It was slick.  The more water they sprayed, the slicker it got," Nicholson added.  It was even tougher on firefighters.  "We were rotating them in and out.  A Culberson ambulance was there and was taking care of us," Nicholson explained.  Crews didn’t return to their stations until around 4:30 Thursday morning.  The cause of the fire remains under investigation.

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FAMILY CALLS CARBON MONOXIDE DETECTOR A LIFE-SAVER

(Richmond, IN)--A Richmond family is crediting a carbon monoxide detector for saving their lives overnight.  Late Wednesday night, Jennifer White, who lives on North West 14th, heard her detector going off and called the fire department.  "Immediately, as the entered the home, their alarms were going off," said Jennifer's son, Matthew.  "They told us straight up that they would rather have been called out there now as had we just ignored it.  We probably would not have woken up."  Matthew added.  The problem turned out to be a pilot light that had burned out in their furnace.  "Go out and buy CO detectors.  Even if you think it can't happen to you, it can," Matthew advised.  He said the family Thursday morning was shaken up but otherwise okay.

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MAIL, TRASH SERVICE SUSPENDED

(Richmond, IN)--There are dozens – if not hundreds – of business, school, and organizational closings across the Whitewater Valley Wednesday.  One of the cancellations that may affect you most, if you live in Richmond, is trash collection.  Trash collection will be suspended Wednesday and picked up Thursday instead.  Thurday's collections will be made Friday, and Friday's collections will be made Monday.  While there will be no collection, sanitary offices will be open as normal.  Mail service across much of the Whitewater Valley has been suspended Wednesday.  If you live in an area with a zip code that starts with the numbers 472 through 475, which includes Richmond, you will not be receiving any mail Wednesday.  Those zip codes encompass most of our area on the Indiana side of the state line.  Ohio residents in our area will be receiving mail as normal on Wednesday.

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COLD IN RICHMOND? IT'S BEEN COLDER 12 TIMES IN LAST 10 YEARS

(Richmond, IN)--You’ve probably heard Wednesday’s weather described as the coldest in a generation, or maybe even historic cold.  The fact is that it simply is not.  In fact, Wednesday’s weather in Richmond, while cold, is not all that out of the ordinary for winter.  Here are the numbers.  According to the National Weather Service, in just the last decade in Richmond, it has been colder 12 times than it will be Wednesday.  How many times has the thermometer dipped below zero in Richmond in the last decade?  Wednesday will be the 39th time.

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FAMILY NOW HAS 64 COMBINED CHARGES AFTER THURSDAY ARREST

(Richmond, IN)--Three family members and a fourth person are all in custody after they were arrested in the 2200 block of Glen Court in Richmond on Thursday.  Brian, Kimberly, and Nathan Pieper and Jasmin Cash are all facing drug-related charges.  The Piepers have a criminal history in Wayne County that includes 64 combined charges including burglary, child neglect, and multiple drug charges.

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UNION COUNTY SCHOOL SUPERINTENDENT TO LEAVE DISTRICT

(Liberty, IN)--The Union County-College Corner Joint School District will be looking for a new leader.  Superintendent Chris Winchell has announced that he will leave shortly after the end of this school year to take a similar position in northwestern Indiana. That’s where Winchell began his career in education.  He had served as Union County’s superintendent for the last two years.

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FAYETTE REGIONAL CLOSING TWO MORE DEPARTMENTS

(Connersville, IN)--Fayette Regional Health System is closing two more departments.  The Connersville hospital, which filed for bankruptcy protection last October, has announced that the Healthy Women Gynecology Department will no longer see new patients.  Also, the cancer center will close February 1.  A statement from the hospital said that it remains open and will emerge from bankruptcy – very likely under a new owner.

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HEAVY RAIN, MELTING SNOW FORCE ROAD CLOSURES

(Whitewater Valley)--Heavy rain and melting snow Wednesday has combined to create some high water issues Thursday morning.  In Union County, dry fords were closed as was the Yankeetown bridge area.  In Fayette County, the south end of Pennville Road was closed Thursday morning, meaning travelers between Richmond and Connersville will have to find a different route.  In Franklin County, water is covering many of the county’s concrete slab bridges.  Those conditions led to a drowning last month.  And, in Randolph County, the Mississinewa River has risen to 13 feet.  That’s three feet above flood stage.  State Road 1 near State Road 28 was under water and closed Thursday morning.

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STATE RELEASES POSITIVE ECONOMIC NUMBERS FOR WAYNE COUNTY

(Wayne County, IN)--New numbers released from the Indiana Department of Workforce Development show a big improvement in Wayne County now as compared to last year.  Check these out…as compared to this time last year, 500 more people are in the Wayne County workforce, 357 more people are working, and 141 fewer people are listed as unemployed.  The county’s unemployment rate today is 3.6%.

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APPROVAL GRANTED FOR DESIGN OF PHASE II BICYCLE LOOP PROJECT

(Richmond, IN)--Richmond has received state approval to proceed with designing Phase II of the bicycle path project known as “The Loop.”  Richmond Mayor Dave Snow told Common Council Tuesday night that phase with include bike paths on East Main from 7th to 10th Streets and on North E and Fort Wayne Avenue.  Public meetings will be held following an initial meeting with the design firm.  Construction on the second phase is still three years away.

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FUNDING APPROVED FOR ROAD PROJECTS

(Richmond, IN)--On Tuesday, funding was approved for another round of road construction in Richmond this year.  The city is requesting $630,000 from the state, which would be locally matched, for improvements to 15 roads.  Some of the more heavily traveled roads slated for improvement include North 22nd from East Main to Grand Boulevard, Wernle Road from South 13th to 23rd, and Elks Road from East Main to Pinehurst Drive.  Work is not likely to take place until much later this year.

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IDENTITIES RELEASED IN LAKENGREN MURDER-SUICIDE

(Lakengren, OH)--More information has now been released about the weekend murder-suicide in Lakengren that Kicks 96 and 101.7 The Point reported on Monday.  Investigators now say that 55-year-old Susan Creech shot and killed her husband, 56-year-old Bradley Creech, and then turned the gun on herself at their home in the 100 block of West Lakengren Drive.  The case is still under investigation.

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RPD RECEIVES FLAG RECOGNIZING DENNIS RESPONSE

(Richmond, IN)--There was a special presentation Tuesday night made to the Richmond Police Department.  During Tuesday night’s council meeting, RPD was presented with a symbolic wooden flag recognizing the department’s handling of the Dennis Intermediate School shooting.  The flag was signed by community members and Dennis students and will be hung in the department’s squad room.

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SNOW TO SEEK SECOND TERM

(Richmond, IN)--Richmond Mayor Dave Snow is seeking another four years.  Snow made the announcement through video on social media Sunday afternoon.  "This week, I'll be filing to run for re-election as Richmond's mayor," Snow said.  Snow indirectly addressed some of the growing pains that have come with major projects that have taken place in his first term.  "The alternative - sitting still, stagnation - will never lead us to prosperity," Snow added.  Snow will face Jack Cruse in the Democratic primary.  So far, no Republicans have filed for mayor.  The filing deadline is February 8.

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MURDER-SUICIDE INVESTIGATED IN LAKENGREN

(Lakengren, OH)--There was an apparent murder/suicide in Lakengren over the weekend.  On Saturday night, a family member a resident in the 100 block of West Lakengren Drive went to the home to check on a resident after that resident failed to show up to work.  Two bodies were discovered inside the home.  The Preble County Sheriff’s Office has not yet released the identities of the two people.  Autopsy results are pending.

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RICHMOND APPEARS TO HAVE NEW LOGO, SLOGAN

(Richmond, IN)--The city of Richmond appears to have a new marketing logo and slogan.  The phrase is “Richmond Rising.”  A logo has been developed that is unique capital “’R’ with the word “Richmond” in lower case letters beneath it and the word “Rising” in a different font below that.  Snow used the phrase in his reelection announcement Sunday.  "Together, we make Richmond rise," Snow said.  The slogan and logo have not been officially adopted.

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SNOW NON-COMMITTAL WHEN ASKED IF HE WILL SEEK A SECOND TERM

(Richmond, IN)--Richmond Mayor Dave Snow appeared live on WCTV’s In Focus Thursday night for an hour and a half of questions and answers.  Snow was asked by host Eric Marsh if he would seek a second term as mayor.  Snow didn’t say yes but he didn’t say no, either.  This was his response.  "That's a question that I have to have with the community.  That will be a question that I need to answer in a conversation I will have with the community.  This isn't quite the place."  If Snow does run, he will face Jack Cruse in the Democratic primary.

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RPD SEEKS LEADS FOLLOWING AFTER TEEN SHOT

(Richmond, IN)--A teenager was shot in Richmond Wednesday night.  It happened at around 7:30 Wednesday night in the area of North West 2nd and Lincoln Street.  According to a release from the Richmond Police Department, a 17-year-old boy was shot and taken to Miami Valley Hospital in Dayton.  He’s listed in stable condition.  There was no suspect description other than the suspect was wearing a black hoodie and jeans.  No motive for the shooting has been released.  The teen’s identity is being withheld.  RPD wants to hear from anyone who may have more information.

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ENGLE FILES FOR COMMON COUNCIL SEAT

(Richmond, IN)--He’s sat through countless meetings of Richmond Common Council, and now a Richmond man wants to go from reporting on council to becoming a part of it.  Long-time Palladium-Item reporter Bill Engle filed to run Wednesday for District #3 of Richmond Common Council.  Engle will run as a Democrat for the seat currently held by Bruce Wissel.  Engle has been active in the community by serving on several boards, including the Richmond Park Board.

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SNOW TO APPEAR LIVE ON WCTV

(Richmond, IN)--He could announce his mayoral intentions as early as Thursday night.  Richmond Mayor Dave Snow will appear on a 90-minute long episode of In Focus on WCTV.  The program will include an extended question-and-answer session in which local residents will be able to pose a variety of questions to Snow.  The question of whether he will run again is almost certain to come up.  So far, Snow has not made his intentions known.  In Focus airs at 6 tonight on WCTV’s Channel 11.

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MAN ARRESTED AFTER SHOTS FIRED ON NW 18th

(Richmond, IN)--Shots were fired Tuesday night in Richmond.  It happened at around 8 o’clock Tuesday night in the 100 block of North West 18th and apparently involved two men who had been in a dispute.  No injuries were reported.  Officers took 47-year-old Chett Call into custody and charged him with felonies that include criminal recklessness and intimidation.  There’s no word yet on what led to the dispute.

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AREA HAS SOME OF INDIANA'S MOST AND LEAST HEALTHY COUNTIES

(Whitewater Valley)--The Whitewater Valley has both one of Indiana’s healthiest and unhealthiest counties, according to the results of a study just released by Smart Asset, which is a health and life insurance industry analyst.  Wayne County ranks #62 of Indiana’s 92 counties.  They say 20% of Wayne County residents smoke and 30% are obese.  Fayette County ranks #88, meaning only four counties statewide are less healthy.  One of Indiana’s healthiest counties is Franklin, which ranks fourth.

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180-JOB CALL CENTER CONSIDERS CONNERSVILLE

(Connersville, IN)--Connersville leaders are working on landing a call center that would employ close to 200 people.  The former Moose Lodge building on Eastern Avenue is currently undergoing renovation after it was purchased by a Brookville developer.  The lodge closed five years ago.  Cincinnati-based RDI has expressed interest in locating a call center there.  Jobs would pay about $12-13 per hour.  If it does not become a call center, the developer indicated the building could become a fitness center.

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MULTIPLE PEOPLE TREATED FOR STAB WOUNDS AFTER N. 18th INCIDENT

(Richmond, IN)--An investigation was underway late Monday night after at least two people were stabbed in Richmond.  Detectives were sent at around 10 o’clock Monday night to a Richmond medical facility where two men arrived with stab wounds.  They’ve been identified as Aaron Simpson and Anthony Qualls.  The stabbings took place at a home near North 18th and F.  Simpson has been transferred to Miami Valley Hospital in Dayton.  There’s no word yet of any arrest or what led to the stabbings.

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MAN FOUND DEAD IN WASTWATER TREATMENT TANK

(Metamora, IN)--An investigation is underway after a death at a Franklin County wastewater treatment plant.  Authorities were called to the plant in Metamora after 63-year-old Mickey Lounsbury was reported missing.  His body was later located in a holding tank.  The preliminary indication was that Lounsbury had drowned.  He was working as a private contractor who is hired for testing and maintenance at numerous plants across the area and often works alone.

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THREE FACE DRUG-RELATED CHARGES

(Richmond, IN)--Three people were facing numerous drug charges Tuesday morning after an arrest on South 14th in Richmond Monday afternoon.  Joel Toney of Williamsburg, Autumn Lowery of Dublin, and Cullen Rastbichler of Richmond were all behind bars Tuesday morning.  Toney has been charged with dealing heroin.  Lowery is charged with possession.  Toney has a lengthy criminal record mostly involving drugs and, in one case, possession of a Chinese throwing star.

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WAYNE COUNTY HEPATITIS A CASES NOW AT 142

(Wayne County, IN)--2019 has brought no slowdown to the spread of hepatitis A in Wayne County.  According to the Indiana Department of Health, Wayne County is now up to 142 cases.  That’s an increase of nine cases over the last six weeks.  No other Indiana county has even a hundred cases, and only four others have more than 50.  There’s also been an increase in Fayette County cases.  There are 19 cases there.

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MAN CHARGED WITH PANORAMIC APARTMENT ATTACK

(Centerville, IN)--A Centerville man is in custody following an incident late Sunday night at the Panoramic Apartments.  24-year-old Kali Cryor allegedly got into an argument with a woman over a stolen cell phone and then drug her down a flight of stairs.  She was not seriously injured.  Cryor has been charged with battery.  Three years ago, he went on a three-state crime spree that included a high-speed chase through Wayne and Randolph County.

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INVESTIGATORS TO SEARCH FOR CAUSE OF DIESEL SHOP FIRE

(Wayne County, IN)--A National Road West business was destroyed by fire Thursday night.  It broke out at around 6 o’clock at the Red Diamond Diesel shop, which is just east of Round Barn Road.  The building was already fully involved by the time firefighters arrived.  Several explosions caused by automotive fluids made fighting the fire more difficult.  National Road West was shut down to allow firefighters to gain access, and crews remained on the scene for several hours.  No one was inside at the time and there were no injuries.  Investigators were to be back on the scene Friday to look for a cause.  A dollar amount of the loss has not been set.

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UNION CITY MAN NOT CONSIDERED PERSON OF INTEREST IN DELPHI MURDERS

(Union City, IN)--The Randolph County Sheriff’s Department has issued a statement saying that the man recently arrested for child molesting is not a suspect in the murder case of two Delphi girls two years ago.  The mug shot of the molester closely resembles a police sketch of the Delphi suspect, but the statement indicates there is zero evidence connecting him to the murders.

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CRUSE, PARKER HIGHLIGHT FIRST DAY OF POLITICAL FILINGS

(Richmond, IN)--If he chooses to run for another term, Richmond Mayor Dave Snow will have a challenger from within his own party.  Jack Cruse officially filed to run for Richmond mayor on the Democratic ticket.  Cruse had worked in Snow’s administration until he resigned last summer.  Cruse had served a variety of roles with the city, including overseeing Stellar and blight elimination projects.  Cruse is a Richmond native and the brother of Council member Kelly Cruse-Nicholson.  A long-time Richmond Common Council member who decided not to run four years ago now wants to return.  Larry Parker filed Wednesday to run for an at-large council seat.  Parker had served on council for 36 years.  Wednesday was the first day for political filings in Wayne County.  Others who threw their hats into the ring yesterday include Gary Turner and Ron Oler for Common Council and Karen Chasteen for city clerk.

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TWO LARGE SOLAR ENERGY PROJECTS PLANNED FOR PREBLE COUNTY

(Preble County, OH)--Large solar energy developments are being planned for two areas of Preble County.  The proposed Alamo Solar project would be a 70 megawatt solar generating facility.  It would cover 919 acres of private land in an area that borders the eastern edge of Lakengren.  Acquisition of land rights is already complete.  Construction is set to begin in the fall of this year.  The panels are expected to be up and running by the end of next year.  The other project in Preble County is one of similar size that would be located about four miles north of College Corner.  A public hearing on the project has been set for January 24 at 7 p.m. at the Eaton Municipal Building on Maple Street.

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MAN WHO HAD BEATEN POLICE ARRESTED FOR TRYING TO ENTER HOMES

(Richmond, IN)--A Richmond man was jailed Wednesday night after approaching a home on North 13th armed with a knife and wearing a mask.  According to scanner traffic, the first homeowner scared him off with a gun.  35-year-old Charles Cross then allegedly went to a second home and tried to break in there.  That homeowner tried to chase Cross down.  By then, officers had arrived and followed the sounds of screaming to find Cross.  Three years ago, Cross was given a seven-year sentence for beating two RPD officers.

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DETAILS OF FATAL UNION COUNTY CRASH RELEASED

(Roseburg, IN)--Details of a fatal Union County accident that occurred last weekend have now been released.  A pickup lost control and hit a house on South Creek Road near Roseburg.  The driver was Joshua Britton of Brookville.  He was ejected from the pickup and went through a window of the house.  Two children were in the truck.  An 11-year-old girl was pronounced dead.  A three-year-old boy suffered non-life-threatening injuries.  Britton was flown to University Hospital in Cincinnati.  The name of the girl who died has not been released.  Investigators say icy roads played a role in the crash.

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REGISTERED SEX OFFENDER JAILED FOR HOLDING WOMAN AT KNIFEPOINT

(Richmond, IN)--A convicted Richmond sex offender was back behind bars Wednesday morning after allegedly holding a woman hostage at knifepoint Tuesday afternoon.  32-year-old Justin Cavins was taken into custody in the 2400 block of South 13th.  There is no indication that the victim was seriously injured.  Charges against Cavins include criminal confinement and battery.  He was convicted of sexual battery seven years ago.

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FBI MADE AWARE OF ARREST OF MAN WHO RESEMBLES WANTED KILLER OF TEEN GIRLS

(Union City, IN)--On Tuesday, Kicks 96 and 101.7 The Point News reported that a Union City man had been arrested after admitting that he had sexually abused a 13-year-old girl.  The mug shot of 46-year-old Charles Eldridge is drawing attention of many who say that his image bears a striking resemblance to the police sketch of the man accused of murdering two young girls in the Delphi area two years ago.  That case has drawn national attention.  Information about Eldridge’s arrest is being forwarded to the FBI, although investigators say that’s relatively standard procedure.

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ELDER-BEERMAN REALTOR: LOCALS WANT A CONFERENCE CENTER

(Richmond, IN)--A press release from the brokerage firm working to auction off the former Elder-Beerman building in downtown Richmond reveals what the they say Richmond and Wayne County officials have in mind for its future.  Michael Jerbich of A&G Realty Partners, said "Local officials in Richmond are reportedly in preliminary talks about a comprehensive downtown revitalization plan, and the idea has been floated of turning this former store into a conference center."  The building will go up for auction again on the 28th of this month in New York City.  All bids are due by two weeks from Friday.

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OLD REID CLEAN-UP 98-99% COMPLETE

(Richmond, IN)--Richmond Common Council had a relatively brief meeting Monday night.  In it, Gary Turner was elected Council President for 2019 with Ron Oler named Vice President.  Council also got an update on progress at the old Reid Hospital site.  Brooks Bertyl from the company that’s doing the work talking about what’s happened in the last two months.  "The contractor has completed concrete crushing activities, completed back-filling activities of all the remaining basements, completed all asphalt parking lot removal, and completed site-grading activities."  Bertyl said the work is ahead of schedule and is 98-9% done.  All that’s left to do is some seeding, and wet weather has prevented that.

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MAN CAUGHT AFTER CHASE ON VEHICLE'S RIMS

(Richmond, IN)--A wanted Fayette County heroin dealer was caught following a police chase through Richmond late Monday afternoon.  The chase of 23-year-old Dylan Marshall began in the Pleasant View area.  After hitting stop sticks and allegedly throwing drugs out of his car, Marshall went into the Reeveston neighborhood.  Multiple jurisdictions joined in the chase as Marshall continued to drive on his rims near the Wayne – Union County line.  He was taken into custody when he drove into a farm field and became stuck.  Marshall faced multiple felonies and was in the Wayne County Jail Tuesday morning.

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SIX JAILED IN EARLY-MORNING DRUG BUST

(Richmond, IN)--Six people were booked into the Wayne County Jail Tuesday morning after an incident in the 1200 block of North D in Richmond.  Officers located drugs and a weapon there.  Michael Sasher and Wendy Ford of Richmond now face a host of felony drug charges.  Also arrested and jailed at just before 2 Tuesday morning were Jason James, Nicholas Lakes, Laura Lay, and Tammy Pardo.  Quantities of drugs located have not been released.

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MANY CITY EMPLOYEES RECEIVE ONLY HALF NORMAL PAYCHECK

(Richmond, IN)--Several members of Richmond Common Council are expressing their displeasure at not being notified about an adjustment that’s affecting pay for city of Richmond employees.  An audit revealed that payroll was being processed prior to employees actually working, creating what amounted to ghost employment.  To adjust and correct that, city employees received only half their normal pay with last Friday’s payroll.  Controller Beth Fields said that department heads were notified in September, but multiple council members have indicated that they were unaware of the situation.  Here is the explanation that was emailed to Council members from Fields:

Fwd: Payroll

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