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HEARING SET FOR CRAIN SANITARIUM MORTGAGE FORECLOSURE

(Richmond, IN)--Here’s an update on Heaven Johnson or Davis or Saint LaCroix.  All of those are aliases used by the woman who claimed to be a Beverly Hills designer with big plans to renovate the Crain Sanitarium at 22nd and East Main in Richmond.  Those plans, of course, never became reality.  Now, Johnson is facing new theft charges in a central Indiana county.  On her Instagram page, she still not only claims to be a designer but also America’s real top model.  Meanwhile, back in Richmond, Heaven Johnson or Davis or Saint LaCroix has a pretrial hearing in a mortgage foreclosure on the Crain Sanitarium in three weeks.

RICHMOND FALLS SHORT OF STATE'S COVID-19 TESTING GOALS

(Richmond, IN)--Richmond stands to lose its Covid-19 testing site if more people don’t use it.  That was one of the messages from the Wayne County Health Department to the Health Board Thursday.  The state has set a goal of 135 people per day to be tested, but just a small fraction of that number is actually showing up for free testing.  The state is expected to reevaluate the site in less than ten days.  Meanwhile, local health officials said that the county is on a downward trend for infection but encouraged residents to continue to take precautions.  Reid Health reported its one hundredth positive test Thursday, but the number of people in containment areas is slowing coming down.

EATON POOL TO BECOME AREA'S FIRST TO OPEN

(Eaton, OH)--Details of the opening of one area community swimming pool have been released.  The Main Street Aquatic Center in Eaton will open on June 1.  The Aquatic Center’s Facebook page does not mention any special restrictions that will be in place due to Covid-19.  Daily admission is $6 for adults and $4 for kids.  The Roberts Park Pool in Connersville will open on June 15.  The Oxford Aquatic Center will open next month, although no specific date has been announced.  Richmond’s Cordell Pool will not open at all this summer.

SNOW TESTED FOR COVID-19, URGES OTHERS TO FOLLOW SUIT

(Richmond, IN)--Richmond Mayor Dave Snow continues to urge residents to get tested for Covid-19.  "The larger the data set, and the more results collected, the better decisions on health care professionals can make," Snow said.  To demonstrate how easy it is, Snow himself got tested at the former Elder-Beerman building this week.  "Am I worried about testing positive?  Absolutely.  I don't have any symptoms today.  But that doesn't mean I'm not an asymptomatic carrier," Snow added.  Here’s Snow’s review of the testing process just as he walked out.  "That was nowhere near as bad as I thought is was gonna be.  Watching videos on the internet, I was dreading that.  It's not that bad.  It's uncomfortable, but it's certainly not unbearable and it's very quick."  The process is featured on a video on the city’s Facebook page.  There’s no cost for testing and you don’t have to show symptoms to be tested.

JAZZ CANCELS 2020 SEASON

(Richmond, IN)--There will be no summer baseball at McBride Stadium in Richmond this year.  The Richmond Jazz announced Wednesday that their entire 2020 season has been cancelled due to Covid-19.  The decision was made by the Great Lakes Summer Collegiate Baseball League.  Jazz management said that preparations that are necessary to support the operation of the team are not realistic.  They added that they plan on returning in the summer of 2021.

EXPLANATION OFFERED FOR MILITARY HELICOPTER FLYOVERS

(Whitewater Valley)--Some Whitewater Valley residents have wondered about – or, in some cases, been freaked out by – all the military helicopters that have been seen flying over the area in the last 24 hours.  Here’s what it is…a large number of Army helicopters, including Blackhawk, Chinook, and Apache are being moved from Colorado to New York.  Many are stopping at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base for overnight stays or refueling.  The helicopters will continue to pass over through Sunday.

RANDOLPH COUNTY WARNS OF SCAMMER TRYING TO INSPECT REPRODUCTIVE ORGANS

(Randolph County, IN)--Randolph County Emergency Management prefaced this warning Wednesday by saying they wish they were making it up, but they’re not.  Some Randolph County residents have received calls from someone claiming to be a doctor with the Health Department and saying there’s a new strain of Covid-19 that affects reproductive organs.  The caller then offers to come to your house and inspect your genitals.  The Health Department calls this scam dangerous for obvious reasons and says that no doctor would come to a private residence to examine reproductive organs.

THREE AREA COUNTIES REPORT NEW COVID-19 DEATHS

(Whitewater Valley)--The death toll attributed to Covid-19 has climbed in our area’s most heavily affected counties.  New deaths have been reported in Darke, Henry, and Butler County.  Details of the ages and physical conditions of those most recent deaths have not been released.  The total deaths for our nine-county area this morning stands at 57.  More than half of those 57 have occurred in either Darke or Butler County.  Wayne County’s count remains at five, with the last death having been reported 13 days ago.

LARGE INCREASE IN GRADUATION RATE PREDICTED FOR WESTERN WAYNE

(Cambridge City, IN)--With an important vote regarding school financing just a few weeks away, Western Wayne School leaders are predicting a significant rise in graduation rates.  Western Wayne’s graduation rates have been, by far, the lowest in Wayne County in recent years.  Last year, it was 75%.  At a recent school board meeting, though, high school principal Renee Lakes said the rate for the Class of 2020 will be between 85 and 100%, depending on how a few students are counted.  Western Wayne leaders warned months ago that the district would run out of money soon unless a levy passes in this primary election.

DARKE COUNTY FAIR ARSONIST GETS TEN YEARS

(Greenville, OH)--The man who set multiple Darke County fires over the course of several years was sentenced Tuesday to a decade in prison.  31-year-old Randy Mogle’s fires included a massive one that destroyed part of the Darke County Fairgrounds in the fall of 2018.  He had faced as much as 208 years for all the fires he set, but that was reduced to ten years following a no-contest plea.  Mogle was also ordered to pay more than $200,000 in restitution.

355 MORE WAYNE COUNTY RESIDENTS FILE JOBLESS CLAIMS

(Wayne County, IN)--Several hundred more Wayne County jobs have been lost in the last week, according to a new jobless claims report from the state.   For the week ending May 2, which is the most recent date that numbers are available, Wayne County had another 355 jobless claims.  Since the outbreak began, Wayne County has now had 4430 jobless claims.  That’s roughly 20 times the number of jobless claims over the same seven-week period last year.  It also represents roughly 15% of Wayne County’s workforce.

NEATHERY PRE-TRIAL HEARING POSTPONED

(Richmond, IN)--A pre-trial hearing that was to have taken place this week in the case against Richmond’s Austin Neathery has been postponed.  Neathery is accused of shooting and killing Tremell Carpenter outside a Norwood apartment nearly two years ago.  Neathery fled following the shooting and was eventually captured a week later in central Indiana.  A previous court entry indicated that future hearings in the case were dependent on the status of Covid-19.  Jury selection was to have started in Wayne Superior Court II a week from Friday, which would’ve been two years to the day from the shooting.

CASES BY AGE IN WAYNE COUNTY MIRRORS AGE OF THOSE TESTED

(Wayne County, IN)--The number of confirmed cases of Covid-19 in Wayne County, when broken down by age, almost exactly mirrors the ages of people who have been tested.  For example, 12% of Wayne County’s positives are people in their 70’s.  14% of people tested have been in their 70’s.  18% of positives are people in their 50’s.  17% of Wayne County residents who have been tested are in their 50’s.  And here’s one unusual number…Wayne County has tested nearly twice as many females for Covid-19 as males.

INCREASED TESTING REVEALS MORE LOCAL COVID-19 CASES

(Wayne County, IN)--Increased testing across the Whitewater Valley has yielded a big increase in the number of confirmed cases of Covid-19 in the last week.  The official count for Wayne County residents this morning is 61.  That’s a 13% increase from the week before.  Henry County now has now passed Franklin County for the most cases in our area with now 125 cases.  Franklin and Darke County have now each had over a hundred cases.  Even though the number of cases rises predictably, the number of patients in Reid Health containment areas has held steady for weeks at around 50.  Here are some more numbers involving Covid-19 for Indiana.  Across Indiana, for every 100,000 residents under the age of 70, only seven have died from Covid-19.  In Ohio, the number is even less.  For all residents there under the age of 70, only four in 100,000 have died.  Also, the amount of ventilator use remains very low.  Right now in Indiana, only 6.7% of available ventilators are in use.

McNEW GRADUATES IU EAST IN THREE YEARS; WILL ATTEND LAW SCHOOL

(Richmond, IN)--One of IU East’s most inspirational graduates this spring is Austin McNew.  McNew was paralyzed from the shoulders down in a sledding accident as a student at Northeastern.  Now, McNew has completed a double-major at IU East in just three years and is now headed to law school.  Austin said that his spinal cord injury pushed him and that he realized he could work with his mind or his body, but chose law so that he could work with his mind.  He added that he pushed himself to move through the courses quickly to show anyone that, no matter the circumstances, anything is possible.

FATHER OF TEEN SHOOTING VICTIM CLAIMS VICTIM WAS SHIELDING FRIEND

(Richmond, IN)--There have been no arrests in the shooting and killing of a teen in Richmond last Sunday, and now that boy’s father is offering an explanation of what happened.  In the details of a gofundme account, the boy’s father says the 17-year-old " was gunned down in front of his own home while he was shielding one of his friends and trying to protect his girlfriend."  Meanwhile, it appears from scanner traffic during an incident Thursday night that investigators continue to search for a specific person of interest and that there is a BOLO, or “be on the lookout” for that person.  The identity of the victim and any suspects have not been released.

MULTIPLE WEAPONS RECOVERED IN LATE-NIGHT FOOT CHASE

(Richmond, IN)--A young Richmond man was taken into custody late Thursday night after allegedly fleeing police on foot and throwing guns in the process.  22-year-old Jeremy Gammon allegedly brandished a gun in the 400 block of South 13th.  Police gave chase, captured Gammon a few blocks away, and recovered two guns.  As of Friday morning, Gammon had been charged only with misdemeanor resisting arrest.

AUTHORITIES SEARCHING FOR MISSING TEEN

(Brookville, IN)--The Franklin County Sheriff’s Department is asking for help in locating a missing teen.  16-year-old Jenna McConnell has been missing for two weeks after last being seen at her home in southern Franklin County.  She’s now listed on the National Center for the Missing and Endangered registry.  No other details about her disappearance have been released.  Jenna has shoulder-length red hair and hazel eyes.

NO ARRESTS MADE IN STABBING

(Richmond, IN)--The person who stabbed someone Wednesday in Richmond was still on the loose Thursday morning.  The victim showed up at the Village Pantry on South 9th Street and collapsed on the floor.  First responders discovered that the victim had not only been stabbed multiple times, but was also overdosing.  That person was flown to Miami Valley Hospital in Dayton and was last listed in serious condition.  His or her name has not been released, and there’s no information about a suspect.  There have also been no arrests in the shooting and killing of a teenage boy in Richmond last Sunday.

WHILE RICHMOND'S POOL CLOSES, CONNERSVILLE'S WILL OPEN

(Connersville, IN)--Two local communities are handling their summer recreation very differently.  While Richmond announced earlier this week that Cordell Pool will not open at all due to Covid-19, Connersville has now announced that Roberts Park Pool will open to the public in mid-June.  Richmond also announced there would be no in-person summer youth camps.  In Connersville, though, kids will be able to take part at various locations.  Connersville officials say they’ll take precautions and are moving forward based on recommendations from the county’s health department.  Community pools in Eaton and in Oxford are currently planning on opening at some point this year.

TWO MORE LOCAL RESIDENTS DIE FROM COVID-19

(Whitewater Valley)--There have been two more deaths in the Whitewater Valley attributed to Covid-19.  One person died in Randolph County, marking that county’s third.  Another has died in Darke County, making the 15th person to die from the virus there.  There are no other details about either person.  Our nine-county area has now had 52 Covid-19 deaths.  30 of those 52 are in Darke and Butler County.

NO ARRESTS AS RESULT OF SEARCH WARRANT IN HOMICIDE INVESTIGATION

(Richmond, IN)--A search warrant connected to the murder of a 17-year-old boy on Sunday was executed Tuesday afternoon at a home at the corner of South 21st and E Street in Richmond.  Lots of law enforcement agents searched the home and a garage but, as of Wednesday morning, no arrests have been made.  Some of the people inside were detained for questioning.  A vehicle was towed from the scene and is expected to be searched for evidence.  Investigators have not released other details of the shooting, including what may have prompted it.

TEENS FOUND WITH GUNS, MARIJUANA CLOSE TO HOMICIDE SITE

(Richmond, IN)--There was an incident Tuesday night with teens and guns and it happened just two blocks from where two teens were shot – and one was killed – on Sunday.  At around 8:30 Tuesday night, officers were called to an area near North West 4th and Richmond Avenue.  There, scanner traffic indicated that officers located a 16-year-old with a gun and with marijuana.  That teen was taken to RPD headquarters .  No shots were fired.  A caller to 911 reported that three teens were brandishing handguns.

TURNOUT LIGHT FOR COVID-19 TESTING AT ARMORY

(Richmond, IN)--So far, turnout for Covid-19 testing at the National Guard Armory has been fairly light.  It prompted Wayne County Health Department Director Christine Stinson to take to social media Tuesday to encourage residents to get tested.  "Just come on down.  They'll register you for an appointment.  Right now, there's no waiting," Stinson said.  It’s important to note that the test will not reveal if you’ve had Covid-19 and recovered; it will only tell you if you’re currently positive.  "Chances are, you've come into contact with someone and you could be one of those asymptomatic carriers of Covid-19," Stinson added.  Testing runs daily at no cost.

CORDELL POOL WILL NOT OPEN; FIREWORKS DELAYED

(Richmond, IN)--Richmond’s Cordell Pool will not open this summer.  That’s the word from the city and Park Department and becomes the latest fallout from Covid-19.  A statement said that the decision to keep the pool closed for the summer was made for the health and safety of the community.  Also, the park’s summer camps, including JUKO, will not take place in the traditional format.  And, there’s another impact.  There will be no 4th of July fireworks at Roosevelt Hill.  There is still a plan for fireworks this year.  As of now, the celebration has been moved to Labor Day Weekend in early September.  Other park amenities, including playgrounds, are beginning to reopen.  Those who visit are asked to take multiple precautions to protect their health.

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