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Local News with Jeff Lane

TORNADO TOUCHES DOWN IN PREBLE COUNTY

(West Alexandria, OH)--A tornado touched down as storms swept through the Whitewater Valley Sunday night.  It was first spotted by a police officer on the western edge of West Alexandria.  There was no immediate indication of injury.  Several barns and other buildings suffered structural damage.  The National Weather Service will be in West Alexandria Monday to survey the area.  There were sporadic power outages across our area last night.  Nearly all power has now been restored.

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MAN JAILED FOR SEXUAL BATTERY, STRANGULATION

(Richmond, IN)--A Richmond man is facing serious violent charges and multiple felonies after his arrest over the weekend.  38-year-old Chris Mays is today facing charges that include sexual battery, criminal confinement, and strangulation.  Mays’ listed residence is in the 500 block of South 8th.  He was arrested by an RPD investigator.  Details of what Mays is alleged to have done have not been released.  He was arrested last year for possessing methamphetamine.

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REID: "NO SPECIFIC PLANS" FOR EATON'S K-MART BUILDING

(Richmond, IN)--Reid Health on Thursday released a short, informal statement about its purchase of the former K-Mart building in Eaton that we exclusively told you about yesterday.  Reid said "we don’t have any specific plans for the property outside of anticipating future growth needs for patient care in Eaton and Preble County."  Reid paid $1.5 million for the property.  K-Mart left the building just shy of three years ago.  It’s been vacant since.  Reid already operates an urgent care center in Eaton.

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DEPUTIES RETURN SUSPECT TO RICHMOND FROM MISSISSIPPI

(Richmond, IN)--Local law enforcement officers went all the way to Mississippi Thursday to bring 39-year-old Lakendall Hunter back to Richmond to face local charges.  Hunter was wanted in Wayne County for serious crimes that include aggravated battery and criminal recklessness.  Details of what he alleged did locally have not been released.  In Mississippi, he was being held for involvement in a robbery and drive-by shooting.  Hunter was last listed locally as a resident of Merle Henderson Apartments.

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EIGHT ALLEGED DEALERS CAUGHT IN DRUG SWEEP

(Connersville, IN)--SWAT Team and Task Force members in Connersville and Fayette County have wrapped up a huge drug sweep that led to the arrests of eight alleged drug dealers.  Chrystal Coker, Dylayna Swallow, Ian Lore, Brae-Ann Joliff, Gayge Isaacs, Lonny Purciful, Paul Chasteen, and Stephanie Herbert were all arrested for dealing various types of drugs – mostly methamphetamine.  Those arrests led to the arrests of multiple other people who had outstanding warrants.

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REID HEALTH BUYS EATON'S K-MART BUILDING

(Eaton, OH)--Reid Health has acquired another major piece of property in the Whitewater Valley.  According to the Preble County Auditor’s website, Reid Properties LLC is the new owner of the former K-Mart building in Eaton.  The sale was registered on May 9.  The listed price for the building was $1.5 million.  So far, Reid has not released any information about the purchase or the building’s intended usage.  It has been vacant for more than two years.  In just the last two months, Reid has purchased property in Cambridge City and most of Fayette Regional Health System.

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125 MPH CHASE ENDS WITH RICHMOND CRASH

(Richmond, IN)--A police chase Thursday morning entered the Richmond area at speeds of 125 miles per hour.  The chase began at around 1:30 Thursday morning for reasons not yet released in Delaware County.  It entered Wayne County on U.S. 35 and then headed south on State Road 1.  The suspect then got onto I-70 and headed east.  Stop sticks were successfully deployed on the interstate when speeds still topped 100 m.p.h.  The driver entered Richmond on Williamsburg Pike.  He was driving on his rims by the time he reached downtown.  The chase ended when he crashed into a utility pole near 19th and East Main.  Witnesses saw containers being removed from the suspect’s car.  His name has not been released.  A passenger was also taken into custody.

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RICHMOND MAN CHARGED WITH POSSESSING CHILD PORN

(Richmond, IN)--Law enforcement agents went to a home near North West 5th and Richmond Avenue Wednesday to arrest a 33-year-old man for possessing child pornography.  David Cochran ran to his computer when officers arrived, but was apprehended and numerous electronic devices were confiscated.  The arrest wrapped up a weeks-long investigation by several agencies.  Cochran remained in the Wayne County Jail Thursday morning.

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MAN REVIVED WITH NARCAN AND TASED IN SAME INCIDENT

(Richmond, IN)--A Richmond man on Wednesday was both revived with Narcan and Tased in the same incident.  Police were sent to the 400 block of South 10th.  Scanner traffic indicates multiple does of Narcan were used to revive 37-year-old Ronald Ruble following an overdose.  Once he was revived, Ruble allegedly resisted arrest and had to be Tased.  He was in the Wayne County Jail Thursday morning and has been charged with dealing methamphetamine.

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AFFIDAVIT: BAKERY OWNER OFFERED BOY MONEY FOR SEX

(Richmond, IN)--A preliminary hearing was held Tuesday in Wayne Circuit Court for the owner of Hagerstown’s Bowman Bakery on a child solicitation charge.  Details in the affidavit against 33-year-old Travis Bowman indicate that Bowman offered a 14-year-old boy $100 to perform a sex act on that boy.  The boy told police that Bowman had approached him twice in the area of Clear Creek Park to ask directions and then made the sexual advance.  After reporting the incident, the boy picked Bowman out of a police photo lineup and identified Bowman’s vehicle.  An August trial date was set Tuesday.  Bowman is free on bond.

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WAYNE COUNTY CHILD ABUSE, NEGLECT CASES DROP

(Wayne County, IN)--The number of substantiated cases of child abuse and neglect in Wayne County has dropped in the last month.  According to new numbers from the Indiana Department of Child Services, Wayne County had 25 new cases in April.  It’s down from 41 cases the month before.  That brings the total new cases this year to 107.  That’s not quite one new case each day.  Fayette County had 20 cases last month.  Union County didn’t have any.

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ALLEGED METH DEALER ARRESTED AT RICHMOND MANUFACTURER

(Richmond, IN)--An alleged methamphetamine dealer had drugs in his pocket when he was arrested at his place of employment Tuesday.  That’s according to the Wayne County Drug Task Force, which had conducted a lengthy investigation on 28-year-old Lewis Reed.  Primex Plastics cooperated with Reed’s arrest on the job.  The Task Force indicated it had made several controlled buys from Reed in the weeks leading up to Tuesday’s arrest.  Reed now faces a lengthy prison term based on his previous criminal history.

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OXFORD, MIAMI U. POLICE TRY TO IDENTIFY ASSAULT SUSPECT

(Oxford, OH)--Oxford and Miami University Police are asking for the public’s help in identifying a man who committed an assault and then fled on a strange getaway vehicle.  They’ve posted very clear surveillance images of a middle-aged white male who committed the attack near Center Drive and drove away on what was described as an electric skateboard.

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REID HEALTH ACQUIRES FAYETTE REGIONAL

(Connersville, IN)--Reid Health has acquired much of Fayette Regional Health System.  A statement released Monday from Reid indicated that it has entered into an agreement to acquire much of the assets of the Connersville hospital.  The deal calls for Reid to pay nearly $13 million to Fayette Regional’s bankruptcy estate.  The hospital filed for bankruptcy protection last fall.  Final approval must be granted by a federal Bankruptcy Court.  It’s expected to be finalized in two months.  Fayette Regional employees – nearly 400 of them – were told last week that they would no longer be employed by Fayette Regional by mid-July.  There was no specific word on how the deal affects those employees.

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EDC: 2018 SAW 377 JOB COMMITMENTS

(Richmond, IN)--The EDC of Wayne County held its annual meeting Monday and highlighted its accomplishments in 2018.  The EDC last year worked on projects that resulted in 377 new job commitments and more than $51 million in private investment.  That vast majority of that success comes from expansions at two manufacturers – Omen USA and SugarCreek Packing.  When those expansions are complete, the two companies will employ a total of 850 people.

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ALLEGED DRUG DEALER ARRESTED AT TRAILER COURT

(Richmond, IN)--An alleged drug dealer was taken into custody Monday in the trailer park where State Road 227 meets New Paris Pike in Richmond.  50-year-old Linda Allen is charged with dealing methamphetamine and maintaining a common nuisance.  Details of what led to the arrest have not been released.  Allen was arrested two years ago for trying to prevent Richmond police from handcuffing a known drug dealer.

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ALLEGED ROXXY'S ROBBER FACES NEW CHARGES

(Richmond, IN)--Two men who were allegedly in possession of a variety of drugs were taken into custody on South 7th in Richmond on Sunday.  50-year-old Robert Grays of Richmond and 39-year-old Patrick Logue of Liberty now faces charges that include possession of methamphetamine, cocaine, other narcotic drugs, and marijuana.  Details of what led to their arrest and the amount of drugs recovered have not been released.  Grays is the man who allegedly used a butcher knife to rob Roxxy’s near downtown Richmond just five months ago.

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MAN CHARGED WITH POINTING LOADED WEAPON IN DEPOT DISTRICT

(Richmond, IN)--A 70-year-old Richmond man was out of jail Monday morning after allegedly pointing a loaded weapon at people at a Depot District business on Saturday night.  Willard Goff was charged with felony intimidation and pointing a firearm.  Scanner traffic indicates police responded to a possible fight involving up to 15 people at New Boswell Brewery and Tap Room.  Police were able to break up the incident and no shots were ever fired.  Goff was issued a banning order.

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FIRST ROUND OF CLEAN-UP YIELDS 85 TONS OF TRASH

(Richmond, IN)--Richmond’s ongoing city-wide cleanup shifts Monday to the northwestern quadrant of the city.  It’s an opportunity for residents to get rid of larger items that are often dumped in alleys…things like tires and old furniture.  The first round of cleaning wound up over the weekend.  In that round, the Sanitation Department collected more than 85 tons of unwanted items.  That includes 500 old tires.  Details of how to get rid of large items can be found on the city’s Facebook page.

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BAKERY OWNER FREE ON BOND AFTER CHILD SOLICITATION ARREST

(Hagerstown, IN)--The owner of a Hagerstown bakery who was arrested Thursday for child solicitation has bonded out and was free Friday morning.  33-year-old Travis Bowman was taken into custody Thursday at Bowman Bakery.  No details about what Bowman is alleged to have done have not been released, but law enforcement officials have said the arrest is not connected to a multijurisdictional investigation in January of last year.  Computers and electronic devices were taken, but Bowman was never charged.  He bonded out of jail late Thursday afternoon.  There’s no word on the status of the bakery.

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IU EAST, IVY TECH TO HOLD LOCAL COMMENCEMENT

(Richmond, IN)--Commencement ceremonies for the IU East Class of 2019 will be taking place Friday night at the Tiernan Center.  842 diplomas will be handed out.  Included in that number are students from 69 Indiana counties, 32 states, and 14 countries.  The youngest graduate is 19 years old; the oldest is 69.  Nearly 40% of the graduates will be the first-generation college graduates.  Ivy Tech graduates will gather at the Tiernan Center in Richmond on Saturday to receive their diplomas or certificates.  About 180 students will cross the stage.  747 students will have completed their degree or program.  98 dual credit students will get Associates degrees from Ivy Tech three weeks before they graduate from their respective high schools.  Saturday’s commencement includes students from the Richmond and Connersville campuses.

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ELECTED LEADERS: UNION COUNTY COULD CEASE TO EXIST

(Liberty, IN)--Union County will not be a stand-alone county for much longer.  That strong warning came from elected officials during a recent meeting of Union County Council and Commissioners.  They say new tax laws designed to help heavily populated counties around big cities are hurting small, rural counties like Union.  A representative of the Governor’s office said three years ago that, in a decade, several small counties would cease to exist.  Union County continues to experience decreasing tax revenue and increasing expenses.

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ADULT, CHILD SERIOUSLY INJURED IN EAST MAIN CRASH

(Richmond, IN)--An adult female and a child were suffered serious injuries in a crash near the intersection of Elks Road and East Main Street at just after 9 o’clock Wednesday night.  Richmond police have not yet released any information about the crash.  But, according to scanner traffic, the driver lost control and hit a concrete sign.  At least one victim was flown to a Level One trauma center.  Scanner traffic also indicated officers tried but were unable to obtain a blood draw to test for intoxication and that a false name was given for the child.  Westbound East Main Street was shut down shortly after the crash.

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DOCUMENT: PUBLIC HEALTH EMPLOYEES MUST VACATE BY YEAR'S END

(Richmond, IN)--Here’s more on the pending separation of the Wayne County Health Department from county government that Kicks 96 and The Point News reported on Wednesday.  According to a mediation agreement, public health employees will vacate its current location at 201 East Main Street in Richmond as soon as practical but no later than the end of this year.  The parties would then enter into a three-year lease.  There would also be a right of first refusal if the county wants to sell the property.

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POLICE: TRI VILLAGE BOYS MADE UP ABDUCTION ATTEMPT

(New Madison, OH)--For nearly a week, some parents of children who attend Tri Village schools have been on edge after two ten-year-old boys reported someone tried to lure them into his vehicle.  Last Friday, the boys gave investigators a detailed description of the man and the vehicle he was driving.  Now, the investigation has concluded and it’s been determined that the boys made the entire story up for no particular reason.  One of the boys has admitted to concocting the story.

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