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WAYNE COUNTY JOBLESS CLAIMS SPIKE AFTER EXTENSION OF $300 CHECKS

(Wayne County, IN)--A huge jump in Wayne County’s unemployment claims appears to coincide with the announcement that the $300 weekly checks would continue until September according to numbers released Thursday.  Listen to the jobless claims by week recently in Wayne County and you’ll hear the jump when the benefit extension was announced.  50-46-60-59-463.  The same type of jump was seen earlier this year when stimulus checks were distributed.  Then, Wayne County’s claims by week went 132-101-123-763.

DELTA VARIANT NOT INSPIRING WAYNE CO. RESIDENTS TO BECOME VACCINATED

(Wayne County, IN)--Lots of talk about an uptick in Covid-19 due to the Delta variant has apparently not motivated many people to become vaccinated.  Since last Friday, there have been 179 Wayne County residents to become fully vaccinated.  That’s the lowest Friday-to-Friday vaccination total in at least a month.  24,375 Wayne County residents are now fully vaccinated.  That represents 37% of the entire population.  Deducting young children who are not yet eligible raises Wayne County’s vaccination rate to around 42%.

MAN CAPTURED AFTER ELUDING POLICE ON BROOKVILLE LAKE

(Dunlapsville, IN)--There was a police pursuit of a different kind late Thursday afternoon.  Richard Smith was wanted in Union County for domestic battery and strangulation.  Smith fled, but not on the road and not on foot.  Smith took to Brookville Lake in a boat as officers tried to apprehend him.  Scanner traffic indicates Smith was going up and down the lake between the Treaty Line and Dunlapsville boat ramps.  Both the DNR and state police were involved.  Smith was eventually taken into custody, although there’s no word yet on exactly how that occurred.

THURSDAY IS 20-YEAR MARK SINCE NIQUI McCOWN DISAPPEARANCE

(Richmond, IN)--Twenty years ago Thursday is the day that Richmond’s Niqui McCown was seen for the last time.  Niqui vanished from the laundry on South E.  She has never been found and no arrest has ever been made.  A prime suspect took his own life a decade ago as police tried to apprehend him for another murder.  Niqui’s daughter, Payton, was nine years old at the time.  Now, she’s 29 and a mother herself.  She talked about her mom.  "I got married and I went through pregnancy without having that motherly advice.  And that's something that I've always longed for."  On Thursday, an event is scheduled at the laundry where Niqui disappeared.  It’s called “Keep the Light Alive”.  There will be games for kids, food, and a chance for everyone to remember Niqui.  The event runs from 5-8 p.m.

BANE TO RETURN TO ALMA MATER FOR BACK-TO-SCHOOL EVENT

(Richmond, IN)--Richmond’s NBA superstar is giving back to his hometown following a very successful rookie season.  Desmond Bane has set up a website to help Richmond by enabling the purchase of merchandise.  Portions of the proceeds then are given to charitable organizations.  The website is desmond-bane.com.  Bane is also hosting a back-to-school drive at Seton Catholic High School a week from Saturday.  Soon after that, he’ll be heading to Las Vegas to take part in the NBA Summer League.

WAYNE COUNTY HAS SINGLE-HIGHEST COVID-19 DAY SINCE EARLY MAY

(Wayne County, IN)--All Whitewater Valley counties remained in the blue when Indiana’s updated Covid-19 map was released Wednesday.  But, Wayne County did report eight new cases, which is its highest single-day total since it reported nine new cases back on May 7.  Meanwhile, President Biden was within 50 miles of Wayne County Wednesday night to tell a national audience about the effects of Covid-19.  "We've lost more people in the United States than every war we've ever fought.  And that's come to a screeching halt for those who have been vaccinated," Biden said.  Biden pleaded for people to get vaccinated when he addressed the country from Mount St. Joe on Cincinnati’s west side.

SHOOTING UNDER INVESTIGATION

(Webster, IN)--Deputies investigated a shooting Tuesday near Webster.  The initial indication was that the victim shot himself accidentally.  It happened in the 4000 block of Webster Road at around 2:30 Tuesday afternoon.  The victim was taken to Reid Health.  There’s been no word on his identity or condition.  According to scanner traffic, several children were in the house at the time of the shooting.

CENTERVILLE TO SEE CONSTRUCTION TO REMOVE INTERURBAN TIES

(Centerville, IN)--Centerville is the site of a new round of road construction.  From now until sometime around Labor Day, crews will be working to dig out ties from the interurban railroad that connected Centerville and Richmond before there were automobiles.  U.S. 40 was constructed over the top of those ties, and they’ve been in the ground ever since.  Here’s Police Chief Ed Buccholz at a recent meeting of town council.  "Everybody needs to pay close attention to the traffic pattern.  Things will be changing.  We'll be monitoring and doing what we can to get people slowed down."  While one crew takes out the ties, another will be doing backfilling.

BOYS & GIRLS CLUB EXPANDING

(Cambridge City, IN)--The Boys & Girls Club is expanding into Western Wayne County.  The organization announced Tuesday that it will be operating inside the Western Wayne Schools Administration building on Queen Street.  Funding for the project is the result of efforts to offset loss in educational time due to Covid-19.  Kids from ages six to 18 will be able to join for $15 per year.

IU EAST STUDENTS MUST BE VACCINATED FOLLOWING JUDGE'S RULING

(Richmond, IN)--IU East students will be affected by a federal judge’s ruling.  That judge has upheld IU’s vaccination policy that requires students attending any IU campus this fall - including IU East - to have been vaccinated against Covid-19.  A group of students had sought an injunction against the policy.  Proof of vaccine, though, will not be required.  As of Tuesday morning, less than four in ten people of traditional college age across Indiana have received the Covid-19 vaccine.  The students who tried to get an injunction say they’ll appeal the judge’s ruling.

WAYNE COUNTY UNEMPLOYMENT DROPS AS WORKFORCE EXPANDS

(Wayne County, IN)--There is some positive news regarding Wayne County’s unemployment.  According to figures released Monday, Wayne County unemployment rate continues to slowly but steadily drop to pre-Covid-19 numbers.  Wayne County’s rate Tuesday morning stood at 4.4%.  What’s most notable in the new report is the growth in the size of Wayne County’s workforce.  There are now nearly 31,800 people in the local workforce, which is nearly 1500 more people than this time two years ago.

FOUR JAILED AFTER OVERNIGHT BRAWL AT RICHMOND APARTMENT COMPLEX

(Richmond, IN)--There was a large brawl at the Westwood Apartments in Richmond Monday night into Tuesday morning.  It broke out at around midnight and involved about a dozen people.  A large police response resulted in multiple juveniles being taken to police headquarters and four adults going to jail for disorderly conduct.  They include Krisandra Barnett, Wanda Brock, Nelson Holsinger, and Autumn Reid.  There were no report of serious injury or word on what started the melee.

COVID-19 CASES RISE IN WAYNE, PREBLE COUNTY

(Whitewater Valley)--Wayne County has just had its highest weekly Covid-19 count in more than a month.  The county has added 16 cases since last Monday, which is the most since it recorded 19 in the week ending June 7.  All other area counties have added just a few cases in the last week except for Preble County.  Preble County has added 22 cases in the last week.  Wayne County’s positivity rate is at 1.5%.  There were two Covid-19 patients in Reid Health containment areas Monday morning.

RCS INVESTIGATING SCUFFLE BETWEEN COACHES AT FOOTBALL SCRIMMAGE

(Richmond, IN)--An incident at a football scrimmage between Richmond and National Trail over the weekend is being reviewed by RCS administrators.  Players were not in full pads and there was no tackling in the seven-on-seven scrimmage.  But, video shows one player throwing another player down, which caused benches to clear.  As coaches separated players, two coaches got into a confrontation with one coach striking another.  A few parents then came onto the field.  Richmond was ultimately disqualified.  No injuries were reported.

MULTIPLE DRUG OVERDOSES REPORTED IN 24-HOUR PERIOD

(Richmond, IN)--There has been a rash of drug overdoses in Richmond between noon Sunday and 6 a.m. Monday.  Scanner traffic indicates first responders were sent to seven separate overdoses since noon Sunday.  Four have occurred after 10 o’clock Sunday night.  One of them turned fatal just north of Richmond.  Another overdose occurred in the McDonald’s drive-thru.  One Sunday occurred in the Walmart restroom.  Dylan Shipley was charged in that case with possessing a syringe.  David Williams was arrested for the same thing on South J Sunday.

MORE CHARGES ADDED AGAINST TEEN ARRESTED FOR ATTEMPTED MURDER

(Richmond, IN)--A new charge has added against the Richmond teen who was charged Wednesday night with attempted murder.  18-year-old Jason Duncan remained in the Wayne County Jail Friday morning following a shooting incident Wednesday night and subsequent search of a home on Mid Drive.  The attempted murder charge remains in place.  On Thursday, the charge of arson resulting in serious bodily injury was added.  Investigators have not yet said what incident led to the arson charge.

WAYNE COUNTY VACCINATION RATE NEARS 37%

(Wayne County, IN)--Wayne County residents continue to become fully vaccinated against Covid-19 at a rate of roughly 200 per week.  That’s been the average for the last several weeks.  202 Wayne County residents have become fully vaccinated since last Friday, bringing the total to 24,196.  That’s not quite 37% of the population and lags behind state totals.  About 43% of Indiana residents are now fully vaccinated.

SCOOTER RIDER CRITICALLY INJURED

(Richmond, IN)--A male scooter rider was critically injured in a crash Thursday night.  It happened near South 8th and B in Richmond.  Officers were checking surveillance video from nearby businesses to see if any other vehicles were involved and fled the scene..  South 8th was shut down.  A family member indicated the rider was flown to Miami Valley Hospital in Dayton.  There’s no word on his identity or current condition.

TEEN CHARGED WITH ATTEMPTED MURDER AFTER WEDNESDAY NIGHT SHOOTING

(Richmond, IN)--A juvenile sustained minor injuries during a shooting in Richmond Wednesday night.  But, this time, there has been an arrest.  The shots were fired in the area of North 12th and G.  Scanner traffic indicates that the victim was only grazed.  Officers then tracked the alleged shooter to a house on Mid Drive off of New Paris Pike.  There, they arrested 18-year-old Jason Duncan.  Duncan was in the Wayne County Jail Thursday morning on charges that include attempted murder and criminal recklessness with a deadly weapon.  Other teens were detained and questioned.  There’s also no word yet on whether or not Duncan is suspected in other recent shots fired incidents around the city.  Investigators now have a lot of evidence to process that’s potential related to other shots fired calls.  During the investigation Wednesday night, a search warrant was served at a house at 63 Mid Drive.  A total of seven vehicles were towed from that location and are now being processed for evidence.  There have been numerous incidents in recent months of shots being fired from vehicles in Richmond.

MAN WANTED FOR RICHMOND TODDLER'S DEATH CAPTURED

(Hancock County, IN)--One of Wayne County’s most wanted men is now in custody.  54-year-old Todd Volker was located and arrested in Hancock County and returned to the Wayne County Jail Wednesday.  Tips from the public helped investigators locate him.  Volker is accused of abusing and neglecting a two-year-old boy with serious injuries in Richmond.  That boy ultimately died.  Volker, who is also a convicted sex offender, then failed to show up for court hearings.  He was in the Wayne County Jail Thursday morning with a bond that now totals $535,000.

MOVIE BEING SHOT IN UNION COUNTY

(Liberty, IN)--A scene in an upcoming movie was shot in Liberty Wednesday.  The movie is called "Bones and All" and is a drama that stars Taylor Russell and Jessica Harper.  It’s about a young couple that has survived a challenging past and is traveling across America in the 1980’s.  Cars from that era surrounded the Union County Courthouse Wednesday for filming.  Another scene is also being shot at an undisclosed home in Union County.

OBSERVANCE TO MARK 20-YEAR POINT SINCE NIQUI McCOWN DISAPPEARANCE

(Richmond, IN)--A week from Thursday marks the 20-year point since the disappearance of Richmond’s Niqui McCown.  Now, and event is planned to remember her.  The event is called “Keeping the Light Alive.”  It’s being organized by Niqui’s daughter Payton with the help of the Society of St. Vincent DePaul, which has purchased the laundry from which Niqui disappeared back on July 22 of 2001.  That building will be converted into a recovery center for people who need various types of help.

BODY OF MISSING MAN FOUND IN WHITEWATER RIVER

(Fayette County, IN)--The body of a missing man was found in the Whitewater River Tuesday.  26-year-old Robert Austin of Connersville had not been seen for nearly a week, although his vehicle had been found near Three Mile Bridge off of 121 south of Connersville.  The exact cause of death won’t be released until an autopsy is complete.  Conservation officers and sheriff’s deputies had searched the river for the last several days before Tuesday’s discovery.

SHOTS FIRED ON NORTH 13th

(Richmond, IN)--Richmond police investigated a shots fired call Tuesday night.  Officers were called to the 300 block of North 13th after multiple callers to 911 reported that shots had been fired in the area.  There were no reports of injury.  Police were searching for were was described as two shooters – one male and one female – that fled the scene in a silver Honda.  No arrests have been made.

WAYNE COUNTY SCHOOLS: MASKS WILL BE OPTIONAL FOR RETURNING STUDENTS

(Wayne County, IN)--The superintendents of Wayne County’s five public schools met recently and, on Monday, released details of Covid-19 plans for the upcoming school year.  All Wayne County public schools will reopen with in-person learning.  Masks will be optional in the classroom but will still be mandatory on school buses.  Staff and students who are not vaccinated will be subject to contract tracing.  The superintendents say those plans could change based on CDC recommendations.  Indiana’s health department has sent a survey to school districts, including those in our area, about testing and vaccinations.  It will be up to each school district to decide whether they’ll offer Covid-19 vaccinations and testing on-site.  Vaccinations would not be administered without the consent of parents.

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