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WAYNE COUNTY: 336 OVERDOSE CALLS, 60 DEATHS IN 2020

(Wayne County, IN)--Local law enforcement agencies are taking part as Red Ribbon Week continues this week.  Here’s Alain Lacasse, who is a DARE officer with the Wayne County Sheriff’s Department.  "Our young people pledge to remain drug-free, and they wear red ribbons as part of their pledge."  Here are the numbers for Wayne County so far this year:  "There've been approximately 336 overdose calls this year.  Deaths from overdose this year are at approximately 60 per the coroner, as they are still waiting on some results that are leaning toward overdose," Lacasse said.  Red Ribbon Week continues through Saturday.

REID ISSUES NEW COVID-19 RESTRICTIONS

(Richmond, IN)--Reid Health issued a statement Wednesday about the rise in Covid-19 cases.  The statement says "Reid officials are gravely concerned the health system will have to curtail other necessary health services to provide capacity for an increasing caseload – as had to be done at the beginning of the pandemic."  Reid is averaging 30 admissions through the Emergency Department every day.  Reid is now tightening visitor restrictions.  That includes only one visitor per non-Covid patient per day and no visitors at all for Covid patients.  Security checkpoints are requiring legal I.D.

NORTHEASTERN GOES VIRTUAL AFTER COVID-19 POSITIVES

(Fountain City, IN)--Another Whitewater Valley school system is returning to virtual learning.  Multiple positive Covid-19 tests have resulted in Northeastern Middle and High School operating virtually beginning Thursday and running through at least November 11.  Families that have been impacted have been contacted by the Wayne County Health Department.  Schools in the Hagerstown and Preble Shawnee districts are also currently operating virtually.

RAPID ANTIBODY TESTS TO BE AVAILABLE AT LOCAL KROGER PHARMACIES

(Whitewater Valley)--You’ll soon be able to tell if you’ve had Covid-19 by stopping into any Whitewater Valley Kroger that has a pharmacy.  Kroger has announced that it will be the first retailer to offer rapid antibody testing by the end of November.  The tests involve a finger-prick blood sample that will let you know in 15 minutes if you have ever had Covid-19.  The test will cost $25.  There are Kroger locations with pharmacies in Richmond, Connersville, Oxford, and Greenville.  The Eaton Kroger does not have a pharmacy.

TWO DEATHS BRING WAYNE COUNTY COVID-19 TOTAL TO 33

(Wayne County, IN)--There have been two more Covid-19 deaths in Wayne County.  The state reported those deaths Tuesday with the total number of Wayne County residents to die with Covid-19 to 33.  More than half of those have occurred this month.  23 of the 33 have been older than 80 and none have been younger than 60.  Our eight-county area has now had 185 Covid-19 deaths.  Wayne County’s positivity rate stands today at 7.7%.

HIGH VOTER TURNOUT CONTINUES

(Wayne County, IN)--Wayne County continues to smash voting records.  The number of voters at vote centers last Saturday and through this week has far surpassed turnout since Wayne County expanded early voting 13 years ago.  Local Democrats reacted to a couple of voting issues that have occurred so far, including one incident where voters were brought inside at the Kulhman Center rather than waiting outside.  That violated the county’s Covid-19 restriction on a gathering of more than 75 people.  Democrats said Tuesday that it "jeopardized the health and safety of those present."  Local Republicans did not issue any complaints.

HEARINGS SET FOR DEFENDANTS IN BLM INCIDENT

(Richmond, IN)--An initial hearing was held Tuesday for one defendant in the incident where two Black Lives Matter protesters were struck at North 7th and A in Richmond last month.  19-year-old Joshua Carey was the driver and pled not guilty to two misdemeanor charges.  Carey will now have a pre-trial conference on November 24.  One of five marchers charged with various misdemeanors will be in court Wednesday morning.  The other four have waived initial hearings and will have bench trials on December 18.

BUSINESS OWNER WORKING TO REINSTATE PIT BULL BAN

(Centerville, IN)--Centerville recently lifted its ban on pit bull ownership inside city limits, but the issue may not be over yet.  A local Centerville business owner has obtained dozens of signatures on a petition to get the Town Council to consider reinstating the ban that would again prevent residents from owning pit bulls.  Council President Dan Wandersee is looking into the legalities surrounding the business owner’s request to reconsider.

TEEN SHOT IN HUNTER'S POINTE

(Richmond, IN)--A Richmond teenager was shot Tuesday morning.  A statement from the Richmond Police Department said that this shooting does not appear to be connected to a slew of shootings involving Richmond teens and young adults that have occurred this year.  In Tuesday morning’s incident, 19-year-old Gabriel Vannote was shot in the 1600 block of Pheasant Run.  That’s in the Hunter’s Pointe neighborhood.  Vannote was on his way to Reid Health in personal car at around 1:30 Tuesday morning when he was intercepted by officers and an ambulance.  Vannote’s injury was described as a gunshot to the leg and non-life-threatening.  Details of what led to the shooting have not been released, other than it was the result of a verbal and physical altercation.  No arrests have been made.

NUMBER OF REID COVID-19 PATIENTS REACHES HIGH OF 61

(Richmond, IN)--The number of patients in Reid Health Covid-19 containment areas took another significant jump Monday.  In the last 24 hours, the number of patients has increased from 46 to 61.  The total of 61 patients appears to be the most since the outbreak began, although a Reid supervisor refused to confirm that Tuesday morning.  The number has doubled since last Monday, when there were 30 patients.  Back on the 5th of this month, there were only 13 Covid-19 patients at Reid.

OPTIONS FOR CAUSEWAY REPAIR PRESENTED

(Union County, IN)--The Fairfield Causeway over Brookville Lake has been repaired, and now attention is turning to the other span that crosses the lake.  Estimates are in to repair the Dunlapsville Causeway, which crosses Brookville Lake near Quakertown.  Seven repair options have been presented to Union County Commissioners that range from $1 million to $7 million.  A federal grant would cover most of the cost, but Union County will be on the hook for an estimated $676,000.

SHOTS FIRED AT NORTH C STREET HOME

(Richmond, IN)--Richmond Police responded twice to the same location Sunday night following another shots fired incident.  Shell casings were recovered from a location in the 1300 block of North C Street.  Scanner traffic indicates a door was kicked in before police arrived and a female was inside with a rifle.  Two other occupants were inside.  Officers were able to get them out and clear the residence.  No one was shot, but one man did go to Reid Health due to his alcohol content.  26-year-old Joseph Spencer allegedly had a blood alcohol content more than four times the legal limit.  He’s charged this morning with disorderly conduct.

VOTE CENTERS OPENING MONDAY

(Wayne County, IN)--You’ve got more options for voting beginning Monday.  Three vote centers open across Wayne County Monday.  Those locations include First English Lutheran Church in Richmond, the Golay Center in Cambridge City, and the New Testament Church in Hagerstown.  The Kulhman Center in Richmond opened Saturday and will remain open.  All four of those locations will be open from 10-7 all this week.  Four more voting centers will be open for traditional Election Day, which is a week from Tuesday.  Just like it is all across the country, voter turnout has been extremely heavy so far in Wayne County.  About 7000 Wayne County residents have already cast ballots in the three weeks that those early ballots could be cast.  That includes 4000 people who have showed up at the courthouse.  Another 3000 or so ballots have been returned by mail.  The number of ballots cast in Wayne County so far has been at least double what it was during the last presidential election.  Another thousand ballots that have been sent out by mail are still outstanding.

WAYNE COUNTY SETS ANOTHER SINGLE-WEEK COVID-19 HIGH

(Wayne County, IN)--The number of cases of Covid-19 continues to grow at a heavy rate in Wayne County and across the Whitewater Valley.  Since last Monday in Wayne County, there have been 230 new positives.  That is the highest number of new positives in a single week since the outbreak began.  The county now stands at 1379 positives.  Fayette County added 183 new cases last week.  That’s not only its single-week high, but it’s almost three times Fayette County’s previous single-week high.  A single-week high was also set last week in Preble County.  Reid Health has 46 patients in containment areas Monday morning.  That’s a 53% increase from last week.  Some Wayne County school systems are adjusting to increased Covid-19 numbers, and that’s especially evident at Nettle Creek.  Students in the Hagerstown area have an eLearning Day Monday and then will go virtual for at least two weeks.  Elementary students will returnTuesday, but older students will be learning from home through at least November 6.  Extracurricular activities have also been suspended.

SEARCH INTENSIFIES FOR MISSING RANDOLPH COUNTY GIRL

(Losantville, IN)--A Randolph County girl now appears on the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children website.  15-year-old Mercedes Franklin has not been seen since late July.  Mercedes lives in the Losantville area.  She’s white, 5-3, weighs 134 pounds and has brown hair and eyes.  Investigators say she may be in need of medical attention.  Other circumstances surrounding her disappearance have not been released.

TWO KILLED IN DARKE COUNTY CRASH

(Darke County, OH)--Two people were killed in a Darke County crash Sunday morning.  It happened just before 10 o’clock at the intersection of State Routes 722 and 726, which is just west of Castine.  Investigators say a 74-year-old West Milton woman pulled out into the path of 30-year-old Natalie Green of New Madison.  That West Milton woman and a 94-year-old passenger both died as a result of the crash.  Green and two children in her vehicle were treated at the scene.

FOUR MORE ELDERLY WAYNE CO. RESIDENTS DIE WITH COVID-19

(Wayne County, IN)--Four more Wayne County residents – all of them living in local long-term care facilities – have died with Covid-19.  The four new deaths since Sunday bring Wayne County’s total to 27.  Three were women in their 90’s.  One was a man in his 80’s.  Wayne County has now had 12 people die with the virus in October alone.  20 of the 27 to die since the outbreak began have been older than 80, and none of the 27 have been younger than 60.  Meanwhile, the number of patients in Reid Health’s containment areas has jumped up to 46 Wednesday morning.  Two weeks ago, that number was just 13.

RPD ISSUES STATEMENT REGARDING LOCAL TEENS

(Richmond, IN)--The Richmond Police Department issued a statement Tuesday regarding two groups of teenagers who have been responsible for many of the shots fired and other calls for police response this year.  RPD has increased patrols and has now taken three times as many weapons off the street this year as compared to this point last year.  The statement indicates that RPD is not hiding the issue and is actively working to stop the incidents.  RPD also called for more parental control, and said that lack of intervention could be considered neglect.

EVIDENCE COLLECTED DURING DRUG BUST

(Richmond, IN)--Numerous investigators and law enforcement agents were on Glen Court in Richmond Tuesday.  The resident of a home there was taken into custody.  22-year-old Nathan Pieper now faces charges that include dealing cocaine and methampetamine and maintaining a common nuisance.  Photographs taken by bystanders appear to indicate that investigators also collected evidence not typically associated with a drug bust.  No other arrests have been made associated with that address in either Wayne or Preble County.

MAN ARRESTED FOR ATTACKING BROTHER WITH KNIFE

(Dublin, IN)--A western Wayne County man was in the Wayne County Jail Wednesday morning after allegedly attacking his own brother with a knife Tuesday night.  Police were called to Mill Street in Dublin and took 28-year-old Skyler Burchett into custody.  Scanner traffic indicates the victim was taken to the hospital, but there was no word Friday morning on his condition.  Burchett has been charged with battery with a deadly weapon.

MEN RECOGNIZED FOR FIRE RESCUE

(Eaton, OH)--Three Eaton heroes were recognized for the efforts this week.  Preble County Deputy Andrew Forrer and Good Samaritans Tim Crase and Alan Miller appeared at Eaton City Council this week.  Last month, they entered a burning home and rescued a wheelchair-bound elderly man.  "  I think it's part of my job.  Those gentlemen that were there with me...I felt deserved all the credit.  They had no obligation to do anything, but the stepped up," said Deputy Forrer.  One of the two Good Samaritans was taking his son to the dentist when he saw the burning house and the wheelchair ramp and decided to intervene.

WAYNE CO. LEADERS TO DISCUSS POSSIBLE RENEWED RESTRICTIONS

(Richmond, IN)--Richmond Mayor Dave Snow told Richmond Common Council Monday night that a recent spike in Covid-19 cases will likely move Wayne County into the orange level on the state’s map when it’s updated Wednesday, and that will trigger local decisions.  "Once entering Orange it is on the Health Department to call together local officials to discuss the next steps forward," Snow explained.  That meeting is happening Tuesday.  Local leaders will talk Tuesday about possible restrictions.  But, Snow said they will keep in mind the consequences when businesses were shut down when the outbreak began.  "We've seen that it caused a lot of financial harm and put a lot of our small businesses in dire straits.  So we are very hesitant to move back into those heavy-handed restrictions," Snow added.  Snow said an initial step would likely be to stop large gatherings.  The city is reevaluating its events calendar now.

WAYNE COUNTY WILL NOT HIT 2000 COVID-19 CASES THIS WEEK

(Wayne County, IN)--Christine Stinson, who is the Executive Director of the Wayne County Health Department, now says that the forecast of Wayne County surpassing the 2000-case mark of Covid-19 either Monday or Tuesday will not happen and that the claim was due to a reporting glitch.  Instead, Wayne County added 22 new cases Monday and stands at 1129.  Stinson talked Monday about the recent spike and said that new local cases likely came from large gatherings shortly after Indiana went into Stage 5.  One of them occurred in Richmond’s Depot District.  "It's like everyone threw their mask off and celebrated...'Victory!  We've conquered this!'  Public health was screaming 'No!  No!  Don't do this!  This is the wrong time to do it!'"  There were 30 patients in Reid containment areas Tuesday morning.

RICHMOND PASSES 2021 BUDGET

(Richmond, IN)--On Monday night, Richmond Common Council passed the city’s budget, including salaries for its employees, for 2021.  The budget passed unanimously and with very little discussion.  Richmond is now set to spend half a million dollars more than it takes into its General Fund next year.  Council member Larry Parker voiced his displeasure with that, and Council member Jeff Cappa said that he would not vote to approve a budget that was not balanced next year.

ROSCOE'S TO CLOSE EAST-SIDE RICHMOND LOCATION

(Richmond, IN)--A Richmond business is closing its east-side location.  Roscoe’s Coffee Bar has announced that its location on National Road East at the front of the Gateway Plaza will soon be closing.  Roscoe’s said on its social media page that it continued to be strong through Covid-19, but unforeseen circumstances have forced the closure.  The last day for the east-side location will be Sunday.  The Roscoe’s location in the Depot District will remain open and is returning to pre-Covid hours.

Richmond, IN WEATHER

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