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Local News with Jeff Lane

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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