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Local News with Jeff Lane Archives for 2019-03

MAN DIES IN RICHMOND APARTMENT FIRE

(Richmond, IN)--One person is dead following an overnight fire at Genesis Apartments – formerly known as Country Club Apartments.  A resident in one of the buildings in the older section called 911 and reported the smell of smoke at around 11 o'clock Monday night.  When crews arrived, they found a relatively small fire in one lower unit that was extinguished quickly.  But firefighters also located a body inside that unit.  The initial indication is that the death was the result of the fire.  A couch was found inside that had completely burned.  Residents of two other units were evacuated.  The victim’s identity has not been released.  The investigation will continue Tuesday.

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POLICE SEARCH FOR SHOOTER OF RICHMOND MAN

(Greenville, OH)--Police have identified a suspect who they say shot a Richmond man in Greenville last week.  Officers say the 25-year-old Richmond resident was shot in the neck with a shotgun by 50-year-old David Green of Greenville in the 400 block of Central Avenue.  Green then fled the scene and was still on the loose Tuesday morning.  The Richmond victim was flown to Miami Valley Hospital in Dayton.  His name and current condition have not been released.

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DETAILS OF CAMBRIDGE CITY SILVER ALERT RELEASED

(Cambridge City, IN)--More details were released Monday about the Silver Alert case that involved a two-year-old Cambridge City girl on Sunday night.  Police say the girl was with her grandparents, who have legal custody.  A biological parent was with the girl during a supervised visit.  When an observer left the room, he left with the girl.  A tip led investigators to Dublin, where both the girl and the parent were located.  Criminal charges against that parent are pending.

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GIRL, SUBJECT OF SILVER ALERT, SAFELY LOCATED

(Cambridge City, IN)--A missing Cambridge City girl who was the subject of an alert was located Sunday night.  A Silver Alert was issued for two-year-old Zoey Nash.  The alert was issued Sunday night at around 9:30 and then cancelled before midnight.  Officials did not say specifically what led to the alert or why it was cancelled.  A person identifying themselves as Zoey’s grandparent thanked the Henry County Sheriff’s Department for its help on Monday morning.  The alert said she may have been with 34-year-old Jeffery Hancock.  There is no record of Hancock being booked into either the Wayne or Henry County Jail.  Investigators also have not said why a Silver and not Amber Alert was issued.  Silver Alerts are usually associated with missing endangered elderly people.

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REID SEES FAR LESS FLU CASES THIS SEASON

(Richmond, IN)--The number of flu cases appears to be declining across the Whitewater Valley.  Reid Health said the frequency of cases began rising late last month but is now on its way back down, with 104 positive tests last week.  This flu season was not as severe as last.  So far, Reid has had 1161 positive tests.  Last year, that number was nearly 1700.  Only 63 people had to be admitted this year for the flu.  That’s less than half of the 176 who were admitted last flu season.

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NUMBERS ARE POSITIVE FOR WAYNE COUNTY KIDS AND CRIME

(Wayne County, IN)--There are some positive statistics involving Wayne County kids and crime.  According to numbers from the Wayne County Probation Department, there’s been a significant reduction in juvenile crime due in part to the county’s Juvenile Detention Alternative Initiative.  That program has been in existence for the last five years.  In that time, compared to the previous five years, the amount of tax money used to detain juveniles has been cut in half.  The number of Wayne County juvenile arrests is down 47%, and the number of kids sent to the Department of Corrections has dropped from 67 to 21.

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WAYNE COUNTY RANKS NEAR BOTTOM FOR OVERALL HEALTH

(Wayne County, IN)--Only four counties in Indiana are less healthy than Wayne County.  That’s according to new numbers from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.  Wayne County ranks 88th overall of Indiana’s 92 counties.  The study shows that 31% of Wayne County residents are obese, 32% are physically inactive, and 21% smoke.  Fayette County ranks dead last for overall health.  Franklin County is our area’s healthiest county.  It ranks 18th.

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WOMAN ACCUSED IN DUI DEATH OF RICHMOND TEEN FACES EXTRADITION

(New Castle, IN)--A woman accused of driving at more than three times the legal limit and causing a crash that killed a Richmond teenager last summer has been taken into custody by U.S. Marshals and charged with two counts of OWI causing death.  Police say Phaedra Winters of Huber Heights drove the wrong way on I-70 and collided with Richmond’s Chase Thomas.  Thomas was pronounced dead at the scene.  The case will be tried in Henry County because that’s where the crash occurred.  An extradition hearing has been set for Tuesday.

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REPORT: ONE GATEWAY WASTEWATER OPTION WOULD SAVE $5 MILLION

(Cambridge City, IN)--All signs now point to wastewater at the Indiana Gateway Industrial Park being treated with a new plant and not being sent to Connersville.  Those two options have been debated for years.  One or the other must happen for the industrial park to grow.  This week, the Sewer District’s Board learned that building a new plant will be $5 million cheaper.  Building a new plant would result in a roughly $10-per- month addition to the bill of the average residential customer.  A final decision is now expected either next month or in May.

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STATE OF EMERGENCY DECLARED FOR PREBLE, BUTLER COUNTY

(Columbus, OH)--A state of emergency has been declared for all of Preble and Butler County.  What prompted the declaration Wednesday from Governor Mike DeWine?  Potholes.  The emergency declaration could mean access to federal dollars for repairs.  37 counties statewide are included in the declaration.

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FIRE DESTROYS RESTROOM AT FOREST HILLS

(Richmond, IN)--Fire struck a part Forest Hills Country Club in Richmond overnight.  Fire broke out at around 10 o’clock Wednesday night in a restroom building that’s located near the 16th green.  The location on the golf course made it difficult to get firefighting equipment into the area.  The cause of the fire is under investigation, but groundskeepers were burning fallen limbs in the area Wednesday night.  There were no injuries.  Crews were on the scene for over an hour.

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CITY FILES 63 COMPLAINTS ABOUT UNSIGHTLY PROPERTIES IN A YEAR

(Richmond, IN)--Numbers show that the city of Richmond has gotten serious about cracking down on unsightly properties.  For a nearly three-year period ending a year ago, the city did not file a single complaint in court against owners who don’t take care of their homes.  In the last year, though, there have been 63 formal complaints filed.  The city has also added a code enforcement department.  Derek Hill began as the leader of that new department at the start of this month.

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BOYS HURT IN EXPLOSION NEAR HOSPITAL

(Oxford, OH)--Two boys were hurt in an explosion in Oxford Tuesday night.  It happened very near McCullough-Hyde Memorial Hospital.  Here’s Lara Fenning with Oxford police..."A large explosion and a large flash was seen and heard.  The explosion was actually heard by the E.R. nurses a block away.  They went out to investigate.".  The nurses found two victims.  One boy was flown to Cincinnati Children’s Hospital.  A second boy was less seriously hurt.  Investigators don’t yet know the source of the explosion, which happened at about 8 o’clock Tuesday night.  Investigators from the ATF are expected Wednesday.

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CONSTRUCTION TO AFFECT 27 THROUGH ALL OF LYNN FOR MONTHS

(Lynn, IN)--Major road construction is coming to Lynn.  U.S. 27 through the entire town will undergo deep-patch repair, asphalt milling, and new curbing.  Small sections of 27 will close for periods of time, but INDOT says that all businesses will remain accessible.  The construction is set to start Monday and not be complete until the middle of summer.

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NEATHERY MURDER TRIAL SET FOR LATE SEPTEMBER

(Richmond, IN)--It’s been nearly ten months since Tremell Carpenter was shot and killed in Richmond – allegedly by then-18-year-old Austin Neathery.  And, it will now be at least six more months before Neathery faces trial.  Neathery’s trial has been set for September 30 in Wayne Superior Court II.  Neathery allegedly shot the well-liked Carpenter after a dispute earlier in New Paris.  Neathery fled Richmond and was on the run for two weeks before being captured by U.S. Marshals.  He continues to be held without bond outside of Wayne County.

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DRUG INCIDENT LEADS TO COUNTERFEITING CHARGE

(Richmond, IN)--A call about drug usage led to counterfeiting charges against a Richmond woman Monday.  A caller to 911 reported seeing a woman later identified as 32-year-old Cindy Duncan shooting up drugs in a vehicle in the 2000 block of East Main Monday afternoon.  Officers stopped the vehicle at North 19th and C and recovered both heroin and a syringe.  Details of the felony counterfeiting charge have not yet been released.  Duncan has a prior drug-dealing arrest.

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RPD SEEKS MERIT COMMISSION MEMBERS

(Richmond, IN)--The Richmond Police Department is looking for members of an important commission.  The RPD Merit Commission enforces rules for the hiring, promotion, and discipline of RPD officers.  Among other requirements, candidates have to have been Wayne County residents for three years and not have held a political office for three years.  Two positions need to be filled by next month.  Members serve on an unpaid, voluntary basis.

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FAIRFIELD CAUSEWAY TO CLOSE FOR THE SUMMER

(Franklin County, IN)--The Fairfield Causeway will be shut down for the summer.  The causeway crosses Brookville Lake nearly at its midpoint and needs more than $2 million worth of deck work and other repairs.  The closure means there will be no way to cross the lake from the Quakertown Causeway south to the dam…a stretch of about 12 miles.  The Fairfield Causeway is expected to close late next month and remain closed through October.

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FIRE DOES HEAVY DAMAGE TO ECONOMY HOME

(Economy, IN)--Fire destroyed a home in Economy Sunday.  Firefighters from multiple agencies were called to a home on U.S. 35 at 5:30 Sunday morning.  The occupants were able to make it out without injury.  Traffic on 35 was affected as firefighters battled the blaze.  After it was put out, it rekindled later in the day Sunday.  There’s no word yet on what caused the fire or the dollar amount of the damage.

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REPORT: NUMBER OF WAYNE COUNTY KIDS DYING FROM OPIOIDS BALLOONS FROM 3 TO 47

(Wayne County, IN)--The 2019 Indiana Kids Count report contains a shocking statistic about Wayne County children.  The Kids Count report is issued each year and measures the well-being of children in each county and defines a child as anyone age 19 or under.  Here is the statistic:  In 2014, three Wayne County children died from drug poisoning involving any opioid.  By 2017, which is the most recent year measured, the number had ballooned to 47 children.  Again, the number of local child deaths jumped from three to 47.  The report does not break down specific ages of victims.  Here are more numbers from the 2019 Indiana Kids Count report on Wayne County children.  First, the good.  Wayne County leads Indiana in the ratio of mental health providers at one for every 210 kids.  Now, the not-so-good.  Wayne County ranks #7 in terms of kids living in poverty at 24.7%.  It ranks 5th for the highest percentage of kids who are food insecure at 21.5%.  And, the report says that one in ten Wayne County children live in a household that has no access to a vehicle.

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WAYNE COUNTY WEATHER SIRENS ACTIVATE WITHOUT REASON

(Wayne County, IN)--Some Wayne County weather sirens activated Thursday without reason.  Wayne County Emergency Management officials tweeted Thursday afternoon that their outdoor sirens were not activated by their agency and that there was no severe weather in the area at the time the sirens activated.  EMA did not say how many sirens fired erroneously, where they were located, or what prompted them to activate.

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SHOTS FIRED OUTSIDE NINE NORTH APARTMENTS

(Richmond, IN)--Shots were fired outside the Nine North Apartments in Richmond Wednesday night.  According to scanner traffic, multiple shots were fired.  Three men fled inside the apartments in the 200 block of North Ninth.  Three men were detained during the investigation but were ultimately released.  A fourth man was arrested, but only for failing to appear on a prior charge.  That man is 33-year-old Larry Bryant.  Bryant has a long arrest record, including one just last week for possession of meth.  There were no injuries.

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NTSB RELEASES REPORT ON RICHMOND JET SLIDE-OFF

(Boston, IN)--The NTSB has released a report on an incident at the Richmond Municipal Airport last month in which a small jet slid through the runway and across State Road 227.  The report indicates the pilot told investigators that he checked weather reports and runway conditions through an FAA source and saw no mention of snow on the runway.  Airport officials said, though, that conditions had been filed.  The runway had just over an inch of snow, but the pilot decided to try to land anyway when seeing the snow before touchdown.  There was also substantial fog when the plane approached the airport.

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THURSDAY MORNING TRAFFIC STOP LEADS TO METH ARRESTS

(Centerville, IN)--Two people were taken into custody and methamphetamine was recovered during a traffic stop between Richmond and Centerville Thursday morning.  Police stopped 21-year-old Cheyanne Kibbey of Cambridge City and Jacob Gray of New Castle on U.S. 40 near Airport Road.  Kibbey was charged with possession of meth, cocaine, and drug paraphernalia.  Quantities of drugs recovered have not been released.

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SETON COMMUNITY MOURNS FATHER KEVIN MORRIS

(Richmond, IN)--The pastor of St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Parish and Seton Catholic Schools died Tuesday.  63-year-old Father Kevin Morris was pronounced dead after a crash on National Road West near Round Barn Road between Richmond and Centerville Tuesday afternoon.  A preliminary report indicated Morris’ vehicle crossed the center line and collided with a car van driven by Amber Whitt of Richmond.  Whitt and an eight-year-old child were injured.  The investigation into the crash continues, including whether or not a medical incident caused Morris to cross the center line.  National Road West was closed for nearly two hours.

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POLICE CHIEF PLACED ON PAID LEAVE

(Arcanum, OH)--Arcanum’s police chief has been placed on paid administration for an investigation that appears to involve allegations of sexual assault.  The investigation into Chief Andrew Ashbaugh is being conducted by the Darke County Sheriff’s Department.  At a village council meeting Tuesday, some concerned residents voiced concerns.  That included one person who said residents have concerns about the safety of their daughters.

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RP&L REMOVING EAST MAIN STREET LIGHTS

(Richmond, IN)--The city of Richmond on Tuesday provided an update on a Stellar project that will impact East Main Street between 5th and 7th Streets.  The city said that RP&L would be taking down street lights along that stretch of East Main and installing temporary light poles.  East Main is currently open, but the city indicated that there would be temporary closures during construction.

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FIVE ARRESTED NEAR DOWNTOWN RICHMOND

(Richmond, IN)--Five people were taken into custody as a result of a drug bust just east of downtown Richmond Monday afternoon.  It happened at a home near 12th and East Main.  Antonio Ferguson and Crystal Huston, who are in their 40’s, along with teenagers  Mackenzie Rodeffer and James Wynn all allegedly had their own individual syringes when they were arrested.  Another teen, Trentavia Lear, was charged with visiting a common nuisance.  All five remained in the Wayne County Jail Tuesday morning.

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MAN ARRESTED AFTER PREBLE COUNTY STANDOFF

(Gratis, OH)--There was a standoff in Preble County Monday.  A SWAT Team and hostage negotiators were sent to a home on Gratis-Jacksonburg Road near Gratis after a woman was able to phone police and tell them that she and a child were being held against their will by a man identified as 38-year-old Brian Miller.  The two victims escaped, but Miller holed himself up inside the home for eight hours and was armed with a rifle.  Chemical agents were deployed and Miller climbed out of an attic vent.  Charges include abduction and felonious assault.

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FIRE DESTROYS GARAGE AT MAGAWS OF BOSTON

(Boston, IN)--Fire destroyed a garage at Magaw’s of Boston Monday afternoon.  According to scanner traffic, a person was welding at the property on State Road 227 when the fire broke out.  It quickly became fully engulfed.  A nearby building that housed artwork was not damaged.  The Magaws are known regionally for their art work.  The property is next door to Gerber Farms, which was the site of another significant fire last month.  No one was hurt Monday.

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FAYETTE REGIONAL TO BE SOLD AT AUCTION

(Connersville, IN)--Fayette Regional Health System filed for bankruptcy protection last year.  Now comes word that the Connersville hospital will be sold at auction.  Permission has been granted by a federal bankruptcy court to sell its assets at auction.  Bidding will close by the end of next month.  If a bid is approved, new ownership could be in place by May 9.  Fayette Regional currently owes substantial money to entities that include Comerica Bank and the Bank of New York Mellon Trust.  There are also at least four active liens that have been filed by various contractors who have performed work at the hospital.

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ALLEGED DRUG DEALER ARRESTED ON EAST MAIN

(Richmond, IN)--An alleged drug dealer was taken into custody early Sunday morning on East Main Street in Richmond.  Police arrested 23-year-old Tala Jones, who lists a North Carolina address, and charged her with felonies that include dealing cocaine, other narcotic drugs, marijuana, and carrying a handgun without a permit.  Details about what led to the dealing charges have not been released.  Jones remained in the Wayne County Jail Monday morning.

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CHARGES NOT EXPECTED IN SCHOOL SHOOTING THREAT

(Oxford, OH)--It does not appear that criminal charges will be filed against a student who threatened a mass shooting at Talawanda High School in Oxford.  Several students alerted officers when the student posted the threat on Snapchat.  No weapons were found on the student, who blamed the threat on nicotine withdrawal.  The student, though, has been recommended for expulsion.

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SHERIFF WANTS TO "HAVE A WORD" WITH WAYNE COUNTY SCAMMER

(Richmond, IN)--Wayne County Sheriff Randy Retter said Thursday that he’d like to "have a word" with whoever is posing as Deputy Daniels.  It’s the latest phone scam to hit our area.  Someone is using software to make it appear as though a call is coming from the Wayne County Sheriff’s Department.  He identifies himself as Deputy Daniels – even though there is no real Deputy Daniels – and demands payment for legal matters.

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DOG RESCUED FROM ICY RETENTION POND

(Winchester, IN)--There was a dramatic rescue in Randolph County Thursday.  A dog had wandered onto the thin ice of a retention pond near U.S. 27 at the Randolph Inn.  The dog fell through the ice and was unable to make it back to dry land.  Randolph County Sheriff’s Deputy Sergeant Tom Honeycutt entered the frigid retaining pond and, with the help of a few other first responders, pulled the dog to safety.

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BUS DRIVER REMOVES STUDENTS BEFORE BUS BURNS

(Arcanum, OH)--Children were removed from a school bus just before it caught fire Thursday in Darke County.  Tanya Osborn was driving the bus on Grubbs-Rex Road near Arcanum.  When the check engine light came on, she stopped the bus and got the high school students off the bus.  Osborn said the bus caught fire shortly after.  "Just within a couple of minutes the whole front end was fully engulfed."  No one was injured.  Osborn is being commended for her action. (photo courtesy of our news partners at WHIO-TV).

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INTERNATIONAL REPORT CALLS RICHMOND BEST PLACE IN U.S. TO BUY HOUSE

(Richmond, IN)--A report that’s running in an international publication calls Richmond the best small city in the United States in which to buy a home for less than $100,000.  The report is in the Daily Mail and is based on a study by an organization called GoBankingRates.  It claims that Richmond has a median home price of $82,900 and a median income of $49,000.  It also measured criteria like livability and school district quality.

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SAFETY COMMITTEE EXAMINES ATV'S ON CITY STREETS

(Richmond, IN)--The city of Richmond’s Public Safety Committee is now looking at the ramifications of allowing off-road vehicles on city streets.  The same issue is being addressed at the county level now, and city councilmen have indicated they also get questions about golf carts and other vehicles.  The committee is expected to report back to council on the first of next month.  At the county level, an ordinance allowing off-road vehicles is currently being drafted.

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THREE JAILED ON OVERNIGHT DRUG CHARGES

(Richmond, IN)--Three people were sent to the Wayne County Jail overnight on drug-related charges.  Officers first found 33-year-old Lyndsay Brown and 22-year-old Tanner Eversole in the 100 block of South 9th.  Methamphetamine and syringes were recovered.  That led to a subsequent search for 41-year-old David Sullivan.  Sullivan was located in the 1100 block of South B and charged with both contempt and maintaining a common nuisance.

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PERSON OF INTEREST INTERVIEWED IN ARSON INVESTIGATION

(Richmond, IN)--No arrests have been made yet in connection with a series of Richmond arsons last month, but that will likely change soon.  Investigators say they’ve identified a person of interest.  Evidence, which include some surveillance video, connects the same person to seven fires that were set on February 23.  The person of interest has been interviewed but has denied any involvement.  The case will be forwarded to the Wayne County Prosecutor’s Office.  That review could lead to an arrest warrant.

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STATE POLICE ARREST SUSPECTED DRUG DEALER

(Richmond, IN)--An alleged Fountain City drug dealer was taken into custody in Richmond Wednesday morning.  20-year-old Mashawnta Harris was stopped by state police troopers at North 5th and D at just before 3 Wednesday morning.  Harris was charged with dealing a legend drug and maintaining a common nuisance.  He was also allegedly driving under the influence.  Quantities and types of drugs recovered have not been released.

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PREBLE COUNTY SEEKS HELP IDENTIFYING BURGLAR

(Preble County, OH)--The Preble County Sheriff’s Department is asking for the help of the public in identifying a burglar.  A surveillance image shows the burglar as he’s breaking into a home on Gratis-Jacksonburg Road recently.  He appears to be a thin white male in his teens or 20’s.  No other information has been released, including whether or not he’s suspected of having committed any other burglaries.

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BIKE PATH CONSTRUCTION TO RESUME

(Richmond, IN)--Bike path construction is set to resume in downtown Richmond this week.  Curb work still needs to be done on 7th Street.  There’s also work to be done on 10th Street and on Main Street between 5th and 7th.  The project is known as The Loop and is intended to connect downtown to the Depot District.  Local leaders met Monday with INDOT about the project.  A second phase of The Loop is expected to begin in three years.

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REMEDIATION RATE CUT IN HALF FOR WAYNE COUNTY GRADS

(Wayne County, IN)--Here’s some good news regarding students in Wayne County.  According to the Indiana Youth Institute, the number of high school graduates who need additional help before entering college has been cut in half in the last three years ago.  Then, one in four Wayne County high school graduates needed remedial help before going to college.  Now, that number down to 13%.  Union County has the lowest percentage in our area of graduates needing extra help…just seven percent.

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SNAZZY'S OPENS ON NATIONAL ROAD EAST

(Richmond, IN)--The first business in a new retail area on National Road East in Richmond is now open.  The owners of Snazzy’s Car Wash announced Monday that their business is now open in an area just west of the Quality Inn.  That section of land had been cleared but was without development for several years.  There is space for several other retailers in the area also occupied by Snazzy’s.

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TRAFFIC STOP YIELDS DRUGS, ILLEGAL WEAPON

(Richmond, IN)--A traffic stop in the 300 block of North 15th Street in Richmond Tuesday morning turned up drugs and a handgun.  Officers stopped a car occupied by 30-year-old Julie Mathena at around 2 o’clock Tuesday morning.  A male was searched and released, but Mathena was allegedly in possession of narcotic drugs and an unlicensed handgun.  The quantity of drugs recovered has not been released.

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