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SHOOTING VICTIM RELEASED FROM HOSPITAL; THANKS FIRST RESPONDERS

(Richmond, IN)--The shooting victim in last week’s incident on Randolph Street in Richmond returned home Thursday took to social media to thank those who helped her.  Sierra Jack was shot in the stomach.  Jack thanked emergency personnel Thursday along with Richmond Police and the E.R. staff at Reid Health for saving her life.  Jack said Friday morning that she has conquered addiction and plans to go back to school to pursue her goal of becoming a registered nurse.

PREBLE COUNTY WORKS TO BE SECOND AMENDMENT SANCTUARY

(Eaton, OH)--Preble County Commissioners are considering declaring the county a Second Amendment Sanctuary.  At a recent meeting, Commissioner Rodney Creech said it’s all in support of Second Amendment rights.  Preble County would do that in a form of a resolution.  It’s also in response to recent policies issued by Virginia’s governor, who Creech says is trying to limit gun rights.

FORMER LAKENGREN MAN TAKES ALFORD PLEA IN RAPE CHARGE

(Eaton, OH)--A former Lakengren resident has taken an Alford plea to a rape charge.  59-year-old Martin Burnett denies responsibility, but admits there’s enough evidence to convict him if the case went to trial.  Burnett forced a female family member to engage in sex acts when she was as young as six.  Seven years ago, Burnett had been convicted of child pornography after taking his computer to an Eaton repair shop.  He had digitally imposed the faces of young family members over the faces of other children being forced to commit sex acts.

COMMISSIONERS TO VOTE ON PROPERTY TAX NEXT WEEK

(Richmond, IN)--Wayne County Commissioners met Wednesday and delayed a vote that, if approved, would increase part of Wayne County’s property tax rate.  The proposal would increase property taxes by about $17 per year for the owner of a $100,000, but would impact farmers to a greater degree.  One proposal from a resident Wednesday was to implement a food and beverage tax instead, but uses for those tax dollars are restricted to tourism and economic development.  Commissioners are expected to vote on the proposed increase at next Wednesday’s meeting.

CONNERSVILLE TO UNVEIL USA'S 24TH BABY BOX

(Connersville, IN)--In Connersville on Thursday, a Safe Haven Baby Box will be unveiled.  The baby box is located at Fire Station #4 on South Fountain Street.  The box will allow a mother in crisis to anonymously and safely surrender her unwanted newborn by placing it in a box at the fire station.  The box is like an incubator, with heating and cooling features.  Connersville’s Baby Box will be the 24th in the United States.  An unveiling is set for 10:30 Thursday morning.

PREBLE COUNTY BOARD OF ELECTIONS PURSUES LAWSUIT AGAINST COMMISSIONERS

(Eaton, OH)--Preble County’s Board of Elections is pursuing a lawsuit against Preble County Commissioners over what they say are issues at the courthouse.  Recently, without the knowledge of commissioners, the Board of Elections brought in experts over a weekend to test for radon and mold.  Mold tests were negative, but there was one location where radon was high.  The Board of Elections would like to move to a different location.  Now, they’re asking for $20,000 so that they can retain an attorney.

NO ADDITIONAL EXPLOSIVES FOUND DURING PARK SEARCH

(Richmond, IN)--No more explosive devices were found Tuesday afternoon during an extensive search of Glen Miller Park in Richmond.  The park had been closed Tuesday morning to allow for a search after a park employee found the remnants of an explosive device that had been placed near or under a trash can and detonated.  Representatives of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives helped local law enforcement.  Investigators say it’s possible that the loud boom heard across much of the city on Monday night was the device found Tuesday morning.

AFFIDAVIT: WOMAN SHOT AFTER WALKING FROM TRAFFIC STOP

(Richmond, IN)--Details of last week’s shooting on Randolph Street in Richmond became available with the filing of an affidavit on Tuesday.  Sierra Jack was shot in the stomach and continues to recover.  The affidavit indicates that Jack had gotten a traffic ticket for driving on a suspended license just before being shot.  As she was walking from that stop to meet a friend, Thomas Walker came out of a home on Randolph Street and fired two shots – one of which struck Jack.  Walker then went to a Speedway station and called 911 to say he thought there was going to be a robbery.  Walker was arrested when police learned he had an active warrant.

SENTENCING DELAYED FOR PREBLE COUNTY TROOPER

(Eaton, OH)--Sentencing has been delayed for the Preble County resident and former Ohio Highway Patrol trooper who accosted multiple women while in uniform.  Christopher Ward faces up to life in prison after having been convicted on three charges last month.  Ward’s attorney filed for a continuance of sentencing.  That request was granted.  Sentencing is now set for April 3.  Ward will remain free until sentencing.

MANFACTURERS TO EXPAND, CREATE 50 NEW JOBS

(Richmond, IN)--Two Richmond manufacturers are expanding to create a total of 50 new jobs.  The EDC of Wayne County announced Monday that DAK Americas on North West 11th will invest $32 million and hire 30 new employees with an average hourly wage of $20.89.  DAK Americas is a plastic recycling company.  And, Holland Colours on Progresss Drive is investing $1.6 million to create 20 new jobs.  Holland Colours produces colorants for the plastic industry.  Grants from the EDC will be used by both companies in their expansions.

POLICE CRUISER STRUCK DURING CHASE

(Centerville, IN)--At least one police vehicle was struck during a high-speed chase just northwest of Richmond.  It began Monday afternoon when 35-year-old Jose Perez of Richmond fled a traffic stop in the area of Warm Glow Candles.  Perez struck the cruiser and headed north on Centerville Road.  Perez sped into Greens Fork and then drove in the wrong lane on Webster Road at speeds of 85 miles per hour.  Stop sticks were deployed at various locations.  Perez was taken into custody at Centerville and Gaar Jackson Road.  No injuries were reported.  Perez was facing multiple felonies Tuesday morning.

NO EXPLANATION FOR LOUD BOOM

(Richmond, IN)--There’s been no official explanation on the source of a loud boom that rocked Richmond Monday night.  It happened at around 10 o’clock Monday night.  Residents across the east side, in Meadow Park and in Oak Park heard it.  A resident of South 19th said it shook her house.  It was even heard in New Paris.  There was speculation that it was a transformer, but there were no power outages.  There was also a theory that it was trains coupling.  There was no official response to the boom from police or fire last night.

DATE SET FOR RICHMOND MARINE'S BURIAL

(Richmond, IN)--A date has now been set for the burial of a Richmond Marine who died in World War II.  Over the weekend, a POW/MIA agency announced that the remains of Louis Wiesehan were positively identified through DNA.  Wiesehan was 20 years old who had left Richmond to defend a small island in the Pacific.  He was killed by the Japanese in the second day of fighting in November of 1943 and had been buried on that small island until 2014.  The remains were excavated and have now been identified.  Wiesehan’s remains will be returned to Richmond and buried on April 18.

OXFORD POLICE SEARCH FOR MISSING TEEN

(Oxford, OH)--The search for a missing teenage girl from our area is growing.  16-year-old Brenna Koelblin is an Oxford resident who has not been seen since New Year’s Eve.  She’s white, 5-4, 110 pounds, and usually wears glasses.  She was last seen wearing a grey Miami sweatshirt.  There are no other details regarding the last time she was seen.

WOMAN SHOT ON RANDOLPH STREET

(Richmond, IN)--There has been a shooting in Richmond Friday morning.  A woman was shot in the stomach in the 100 block of Randolph Street at just before 1 o’clock Friday morning.  She has now been identified as 27-year-old Sierra Jack.  Jack was in stable condition at Reid Health Friday morning. Shortly after the shooting, a clerk at the nearby Speedway station on National Road West reported a group of six people inside with a gun.  Fearing a robbery was about to take place, the clerk called police.  One of the six at Speedway told officers that he was at the scene of the shooting.  Upon being led out of the store, scanner traffic indicated he pulled the fire alarm and then kicked the window out of a police cruiser.  Multiple people are being questioned.  There has been no word of any arrests.  The investigation is continuing.

SHOTS FIRED INTO RICHMOND HOME

(Richmond, IN)--There was a shooting investigation involving juveniles near North 13 and B in Richmond early Thursday night.  The initial report was that shots were fired at a house and that there were no injuries.  Witnesses described multiple young people who fled the scene as three or four black males and one white female.  Scanner traffic indicates shell casings were recovered.  Multiple people were questioned at the police station.  There’s no word yet on any arrests.

REID ISSUES VISITOR RESTRICTIONS

(Richmond, IN)--Reid Health can now be added to the list of area hospitals that have implemented visitor restriction as a way to slow the spread of the flu.  Reid issued a statement Thursday saying that kids under the age of 18 will not be allowed on patient units.  Visitors with flu-like symptoms will not be allowed to be with patients, and all visitors will be encouraged to use hand sanitizer before entering the building.  Both McCullough-Hyde Hospital in Oxford and Wayne Health in Greenville initiated similar restrictions early this week.

MAN JAILED FOR SEXUAL MISCONDUCT WITH A MINOR

(Richmond, IN)--A Richmond man was booked into jail Thursday morning and charged with felony sexual misconduct with a minor.  35-year-old Bryan Atkins lives on Ratliff Street but jail records indicate he was arrested at the jail.  Details of what Atkins is accused of doing have not been released.  He remained in the Wayne County Jail Friday morning.

STATE LISTS RICHMOND AS ONE OF 20 PLACES TO VISIT IN '20

(Indianapolis, IN)--The Indiana Office of Tourism Development has launched a campaign called “20 In 20” which highlights 20 communities that it recommends to visitors, and Richmond is on the list.  Two local attractions landed Richmond on the list…the Starr-Gennett Walk of Fame and Thistlethwaite Falls.  There are no other communities on the list that are within 50 miles of Richmond.

NEW AREA CODE COMING TO PREBLE, DARKE COUNTY

(Eaton, OH)--A new area code is coming to the Whitewater Valley.  The 937 area code has covered nearly all of Preble and Darke since the mid-1990’s.  But all available numbers beginning with that area code will be taken by the end of the year.  That’s forced the Public Utilities Commission to add a new area code – 326.  Beginning March 9, 326 will be intermingled with the 937 area code.  If your phone number begins with 937, it won’t change.  But, beginning February 8, all local calls inside the 937 area code will have to include all ten digits –even if that call is just going across the street.

LOCALS FILE FOR POLITICAL OFFICES ON FIRST DAY

(Richmond, IN)--Some local political candidates didn’t waste any time filing to run for various offices.  Wednesday was the first day to file for local elections that will begin with a primary in May.  Wayne County Commissioner Mary Ann Butters, County Council member Gary Saunders, and Clerk Debbie Berry are among those who threw their hat into the ring.  Wayne County voters this year vote on a total of 11 offices.  Filing will continue through February 7.

REPORT OF GUN AT GROCERY LEADS TO DRUG ARREST

(Richmond, IN)--A Richmond woman was arrested Wednesday afternoon after what began as a report of someone pulling a gun on a grocery store employee.  Officers stopped 47-year-old Dawn Wharton on South 12th Street.  No gun was located, but there was a strong odor of marijuana coming from Wharton’s van.  Inside, officers found marijuana, cocaine, other narcotics and controlled substances, and drug paraphernalia.  She was in the Wayne County Jail Thursday morning.

REID RECEIVES ACCREDITATION; EMPLOYMENT REACHES 3300

(Richmond, IN)--Reid Health took over Fayette Regional Health System in Connersville last year and now that location – along with the Richmond campus – has received accreditation for its quality and safety standards from the Healthcare Facilities Accreditation Program.  The recognition comes through extensive on-site reviews.  Reid Health now claims 3300 employees.  That makes it far and away Wayne County’s largest employer.  According to the EDC, Reid is now four-and-a-half times bigger than the county’s second-largest employer…Richmond Community Schools, which has 732 employees.

ACCUSED ATTEMPTED RAPIST IS ALSO CONVICTED CHILD MOLESTER

(Centerville, IN)--The Centerville man who had been arrested for crimes including attempted rape and incest is also a convicted child molester.  That’s one detail that became available later in the day Tuesday about 63-year-old Harry Wellings.  His arrest came after being interviewed about a New Year’s Eve incident at the Richmond Motel.  The alleged victim was able to make audio and video recordings of Wellings threatening to knock her out and sexually attack her.  Wellings told investigators he had taken methamphetamine before the incident.

INVESTIGATION REVEALS NO WRONGDOING AT PREBLE COUNTY JAIL

(Eaton, OH)--A man had claimed last year that he was sexually assaulted by staff and the Preble County Jail, and now Sheriff Mike Simpson is indicating that the results of an internal investigation have determined that the allegations are completely unfounded.  Richard Dougherty made the accusation more than five months after he spent just one day in jail last year.  The Sheriff’s Office has forwarded copies of the investigation to the FBI.

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