Local News

PRE-TRIAL HEARING, TRIAL DATES CANCELLED FOR PHILLIP LEE

(Richmond, IN)--As expected, Friday’s scheduled pre-trial hearing for the man charged with shooting and killing RPD Officer Seara Burton has been cancelled.  Next month’s trial date for Phillip Lee is also off.  Numerous motions have been filed in Wayne Circuit Court this week.  One of the orders granted Thursday – according to Odyssey online court records – is an order regarding qualifications of counsel.  No new pre-trial or trial dates for Lee have been set.  The cancellations of dates are nothing out of the ordinary in Wayne County.  Pre-trial and trial dates for high-level felonies are often pushed back numerous times before a trial actually occurs.

CHAMBER RELEASES TOUCHING VIDEO PAYING TRIBUTE TO SEARA BURTON

(Richmond, IN)--Recently, the Wayne County Area Chamber of Commerce presented its annual awards, which included a posthumous award for the Emergency Professional Officer of the Year for RPD Officer Seara Burton.  Now, an incredibly touching ten-minute video that pays tribute to her life and service has been released.  It includes new tributes from her fellow officers…officers like Keifer Uphaus, who talked about Seara’s wish to be the first RPD canine officer.  "when she sets her mind to something, she does it," Uphaus said.  Another RPD officer, Jesse Tyree, appears in the video.  "She just made everything better.  Whenever she came into a room, it just made the energy better," Tyree said.  And, the member of the RPD family closest to Seara – Ami Miller - is included in the video.  ""Seara was and always will be my hero," Miller said.  You can find a link to the video on the RPD Facebook page.

MAN WANTED FOR BEATING, STRANGLING PREGNANT WOMAN SURRENDERS

(Richmond, IN)--A man who was wanted for allegedly strangling and beating a pregnant woman surrendered at the Wayne County Jail early Thursday morning.  A warrant had been issued last week after probable cause was found against 35-year-old Cody Drook.  Drook showed up at jail Thursday morning with enough money to bond himself out and was released.  Future hearing dates are pending.

LOCAL EMPLOYER ANNOUNCES MAJOR LAYOFFS

(Eaton, OH)--A large number of layoffs will be finalized Wednesday at a major Whitewater Valley employer.  Silfex in Eaton has already begun the layoffs.  Here’s one employee who asked to remain anonymous:  "Not everyone had any notice.  Some people worked a full shift.  Then, at the end of the shift, they got pulled aside and walked out the door."  The specific number of people to be laid off in Eaton has not been released.  Silfex issued a statement saying that the layoffs are the result of recent trade restrictions limiting the ability to do business with China.  Silfex employs 419 people in Eaton.

INDOT ANNOUNCES PLANS FOR NORTH A STREET RESURFACING

(Richmond, IN)--INDOT on Tuesday released plans for another major local road project.  It’s not the I-70 widening or the new bridge over the Depot District in Richmond.  This one is a plan to repave North A Street.  A $3 million contract has been awarded to Milestone Contractors for asphalt resurfacing of North A from 16th Street west to 3rd Street.  The work is expected to begin in a couple of months and continue through late fall.  INDOT says that at least one of three of North A’s lanes will remain open through construction.

WOMAN CHARGED WITH FELONY FOR DUMPING PUPPY

(Preble County, OH)--A Preble County woman appeared in court Tuesday and now faces felony cruelty to animals after a horrible case of abuse.  26-year-old Kayla Brown allegedly put a beagle puppy in a small crate and dumped it last month on Verona Road in 25-degree-weather.  The crate was found on its top with the dog still inside.  A vet determined that the puppy was malnourished and dehydrated.  Brown was arrested on Monday at her home.  Brown is now being held on a $25,000 bond.

RHS STUDENTS RETURN AFTER A MONTH OF ONLINE LEARNING

(Richmond, IN)--It was back to business as usual for students and teachers at Richmond High School Monday.  The school had been closed to students for the entire month after a 90,000-gallon water pipe break caused extensive damage last month.  The cleanup involved removing and replacing lots of flooring and furniture.  During that time, students attended live classes online.  "To our entire community, thank you.  We're back.  We're home.  And we now have more work to do," said Superintendent Dr. Curtis Wright.  The repairs won’t be totally complete until summer.  That work will involve replacing second-floor carpeting.  There’s temporary vinyl flooring down now.

TUESDAY MORNING FIRE DESTROYS RICHMOND HOUSE

(Richmond, IN)--A Richmond house that had been abandoned for at least a year burned early Tuesday morning.  Firefighters were called at midnight to a house in the 600 block of North 20 near both the railroad tracks and overpass.  Video shows that the house became fully involved as multiple stations responded.  Because the house was vacant, it’s suspicious and investigators were called to the scene.  Neighbors indicated there had been an issue with squatters in recent months.

I-70 VICTIM IDENTIFIED AS WEST MILTON MAN

(Preble County, OH)--Details of a fatal crash that occurred early Monday morning on I-70 near the state line were released later in the day Monday.  It happened a mile into Ohio on the eastbound side.  A New York man was in a truck pulling a trailer and pulled onto the shoulder.  An SUV driven by a West Milton man then hit the back of the trailer.  The 20-year-old man was pronounced dead at the scene.  No charges have been filed.  70 was shut down for a couple of hours.

Felon arrested on Multiple Firearm Charges

An accident early Sunday morning on I-70 eastbound right at Wayne/Henry line has resulted in an arrest. David Lee Powell was taken into custody on multiple charges, including theft of a firearm and possession of a firearm by a serious violent felon.  The 32-year old is being held on a 30,000 bond. 

RHS Back In Session for In-Person Learning

After Christmas-weekend water damage that forced Richmond High School to close for repairs.  Students are back as of this morning for in-person attendance.  Richmond had been operating under "synchronous" virtual learning since early January, as repairs - that originally were expected to be completed by mid-month, were extended.  But this morning - weather permitting - classes resumed as of 8:15 am.

Child Vaccination Rates Down Across Indiana

Vaccination rates for children are down across Indiana and it's pushing state health agencies to take action. Just over half of kids between 19 and 35 months old are not current on their vaccines, and that number is down 3% since 2021. Some health officials believe Covid-19 vaccines and children transitioning to E-Learning might be some of the reasons the vaccination rate is lower. The goal - of course - is 100% of children immunized and the officials hope that increasing community engagement and targeting populations with the biggest gaps in care is the key to raising vaccination rates.

Dollar Generals Close Over Weekend

Following up on a story Jeff Lane has been covering, as of last Friday morning, every Dollar General in Ohio were temporarily shut down.  As previously reported, Ohio had sued Dollar General for deceptive pricing and it is alledged that the stores continued the practice even after the lawsuit was file. Dollar General was also recently fined just under $400 thousand for hazardous work conditions. A spokesperson for Dollar General confirmed that "Dollar General closed select stores to address an overnight systems error."  and that “The issue has been resolved and all impacted stores were reopening.  As of earlier this last weekend, the stores were open again.

New Trend: Buying a House With Your Friend(s)

And finally, would You Buy A House With A Friend? Inflation is going down and mortgage rates dipped this week, for the first time in months. But they're still over 6% and the Fed is expected to announce another interest rate hike this week. So this very mixed picture, has spurred the latest trend, buying your home with friends or relatives.  According to the housing website Zillow, 20% of homebuyers in the last year bought a house with a friend or relative to help drive the costs of buying a home down, and while thanks to major lending reforms we are nowhere close to the kind of housing crisis we faced in 2008. Zillow does also report the average mortgage payment is up 77% over the past year.

WAYNE COUNTY GRADUATION RATES ALL EXCEED 90%

(Wayne County, IN)--New graduation rates for schools in our area released by the state for the Class of ’22 show a continuation of the recent trend of rising rates.  Every Wayne County school district had a graduation rate over 90%.  Hagerstown had the highest rate at 98.7%.  Richmond counted 256 graduates last year and a graduation rate of 93.8%.  Back in 2006, Richmond was called a “dropout factory” by a national publication with a graduation rate of just 54%.

CONNERSVILLE POLICE SEEK VICTIMS OF WINDOW PEEPER

(Connersville, IN)--Connersville police Thursday issued a call for anyone who may have been the victim of a voyeur to come forward.  According to the release, the man has been peeping in the windows of girls between the ages of 12 and 20.  A search warrant was executed on the man’s phone.  In one instance, the victim was visibly startled when she saw the man making a video recording of her outside her window.  The release does not say if the incidents were confined to a specific area of Connersville.  Police are not releasing the man’s name.

BOIL ADVISORY LIFTED

(Centerville, IN)--A lengthy water boil advisory for parts of the town of Centerville has finally been lifted.  That advisory began a week ago today for areas along Main Street and was put into effect based on the repair of a water main.  The break also required testing of the water.  Thursday, the town indicated that the boil advisory has been lifted and residents can resume normal usage of water.

RCS BOARD MEMBER VOICES CONCERN ABOUT STATE BILLS

(Richmond, IN)--The Richmond Community School Board Wednesday night.  At least one member of the Board is not happy with what’s happening right now at the Indiana Statehouse.  "I don't even know how to describe what's going on over at the Statehouse, but it is not education-friendly.  Our own Senator Raatz has been very busy writing his own bills," said John Weber.  One of Raatz’s bills would require schools to notify a student’s parents if that student wants to change name, pronouns, or identify in a manner that is inconsistent with their biological sex at birth.  That bill has drawn both strong support and strong opposition statewide.  Also Wednesday night, the board addressed salaries for non-certified employees.

MELTDOWN FESTIVAL RANKED IN TOP TEN NATIONALLY

(Richmond, IN)--Richmond’s Meltdown Winter Ice Festival is underway, and now it has garnered national attention.  The website timeout.com says that Richmond’s festival is one of the ten best winter festivals in the country.  Most of the activities begin Friday with live ice carving set for Friday night.  Six ice-carving professionals will be here and will be centered at Jack Elstro Plaza.

FAMILY BLAMES CELL PHONE CHARGER FOR FIRE

(Richmond, IN)--Here’s an update on a fire that Kicks 96 and 101.7 The Point News reported Wednesday morning on Arbor Drive in Richmond.  Family members now indicate that the fire broke out in a girl’s bedroom at around 6 a.m.  The girl was sleeping in her bed and woke up to see flames.  A total of five girls were in the house.  All five were able to escape and firefighters were able to contain the fire mostly to one bedroom.  Family members claim that a faulty cell phone charger started the fire.

NEW TENANT, 45 JOBS COMING TO MIDWEST INDUSTRIAL PARK

(Richmond, IN)--The Midwest Industrial Park in Richmond has landed its tenth tenant.  On Tuesday, the EDC of Wayne County announced that a company called Liberation Labs will construct a facility on a 36-acre tract of land in the park.  Liberation Labs is a fermentation manufacturer.  The new facility will be the first commercial-scale precision fermentation plant in the country.  The project will represent a $115 million investment that will create 45 new jobs.  Groundbreaking is expected to take place sometime this spring.

10,000 TIRES PULLED FROM PREBLE COUNTY CREEK

(Preble County, OH)--An incredible number of old tires have been pulled from a creek that feeds the Rush Run area of Preble County.  The EPA recently notified Preble County that the cleanup was taking place on private property and that a grant was helping to cover the cost.  How many tires were pulled from the creek?  More than 10,000 of them.  The tires were piled into a large mound in a field and then removed.  There’s no word on whether or not the property owner will face any penalities.

MAN CHARGED WITH DISARMING OFFICER FOLLOWING CHASE

(Richmond, IN)--A Centerville man was jailed Tuesday morning after a chase ended with him on the business end of a Taser.  It began as a foot chase Monday night on School Street.  29-year-old Kyle Hamilton then allegedly jumped into a vehicle and fled at 90 miles per hour toward I-70.  Once reaching 70, Hamilton went east.  Stop sticks were successfully deployed, which forced Hamilton off the interstate and eventually to Rich Road.  That’s where the chase ended.  Hamilton is charged not only with felony resisting, but also with disarming a law enforcement officer.

TRAIN DERAILMENT BLOCKS STATE ROAD 1 IN CONNERSVILLE

(Connersville, IN)--A heavily traveled street in Connersville was closed for most of the day Monday because of a train derailment.  It affected Eastern Avenue – which is also State Road 1 – at 10th Street.  The derailment was barely noticeable from a distance and the train’s cars remained upright.  Crews and equipment were brought to the scene to get the cars back onto the tracks.  The crossing reopened Monday night and remained open Tuesday morning.

RPD RELEASES IMAGE OF SUBWAY COUNTERFEITER

(Richmond, IN)--The string of counterfeit bills being passed in our area is continuing.  Recently, the same man was accused of passing counterfeit hundreds in Richmond and New Paris.  Monday, Richmond police released images of a different suspect who passed a counterfeit hundred at the Subway on Richmond’s west side.  The plan is often the same…make a relatively small purchase with a large phony bill.  The counterfeiter keeps not only the purchase but also the real change which usually amounts to $80 or $90.

Archives:

2023-02 | 2023-01 | 2022-12 | 2022-11 | 2022-10 | 2022-09 | 2022-08 | 2022-07 | 2022-06 | 2022-05 | 2022-04 | 2022-03 | 2022-02 | 2022-01 | 2021-12 | 2021-11 | 2021-10 | 2021-09 | 2021-08 | 2021-07 | 2021-06 | 2021-05 | 2021-04 | 2021-03 | 2021-02 | 2021-01 | 2020-12 | 2020-11 | 2020-10 | 2020-09 | 2020-08 | 2020-07 | 2020-06 | 2020-05 | 2020-04 | 2020-03 | 2020-02 | 2020-01 | 2019-12 | 2019-11 | 2019-10 | 2019-09 | 2019-08 | 2019-07 | 2019-06 | 2019-05 | 2019-04 | 2019-03 | 2019-02 | 2019-01 | 2018-12 | 2018-11 | 2018-10 | 2018-09 | 2018-08 | 2018-07 | 2018-06 | 2018-05 | 2018-04 | 2018-03 | 2018-02 | 2018-01 | 2017-12 | 2017-11 | 2017-10 | 2017-09 | 2017-08 | 2017-07 | 2017-06 | 2017-05 | 2017-04 | 2017-03 | 2017-02 | 2017-01 | 2016-12 | 2016-11 | 2016-10 | 2016-09 | 2016-08 | 2016-07 | 2016-06 | 2016-05 | 2016-04 | 2016-03 | 2016-02 | 2016-01 | 2015-12 | 2015-11 | 2015-10 | 2015-09 | 2015-08 | 2015-07 | 2015-06 | 2015-05 | 2015-04 | 2015-03 | 2015-02 | 2015-01 | 2014-12 | 2014-11