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Local News Powered by First Bank Richmond Archives for 2020-01

JUVENILE OD's TWICE AT WERNLE, ATTACKS REID NURSES

(Richmond, IN)--An incident at Wernle Youth and Family Treatment Center in Richmond earlier this week remains under investigation.  A 15-year-old boy overdosed on an unspecified drug.  He was sent to Reid Health where he battered two nurses and escaped into the Oak Park neighborhood.  He was captured and sent back to Wernle, where he overdosed again.  The extent of any injuries to nurses was not disclosed.  There’s also no word on how the boy obtained the drugs.  It’s the latest in a long list of police interventions at Wernle.  Last year, there were 84 calls for police service to Wernle.  There were 63 reports of runaways.  That includes an 11-year-old child who was reported to have run away five separate times.

WAYNE COUNTY AMONG STATE LEADERS IN STD

(Richmond, IN)--Here’s more on the fliers about syphilis being distributed in Richmond that Kicks 96 and 101.7 The Point News reported on Thursday.  There are now 21 cases of syphilis.  More than half of the cases involve women, and four of those women are pregnant.  Most of the cases have been traced to areas just east of downtown and to the northwestern section of the city.  But syphilis isn’t the only concern.  Wayne County ranks 10th in the state for gonorrhea and 17th for chlamydia.  There were more than 430 combined cases of those two STD’s in 2018.

MULTIPLE DRUGS RECOVERED IN SOUTH 11th STREET BUST

(Richmond, IN)--The 300 block of South 11th in Richmond was shut down for a time Thursday night as Richmond police officers made a drug bust.  Officers recovered methamphetamine, marijuana, controlled substances, and drug paraphernalia.  27-year-old Jacob Davis was taken into custody.  A pickup truck was towed from the scene.  That area of Richmond is just a couple of blocks away from where another significant drug bust was made earlier this week.

DATA: RICHMOND'S WORKFORCE HAS SHRUNK BY 5200 SINCE 1995

(Richmond, IN)--Earlier this week, Kicks 96 and 101.7 The Point News reported that Richmond had lost 268 members of its workforce in the last year.  But going back further in time reveals how extensive the loss of potential workers has been.  There’s not been much change in the last five years.  But, in the last 25 years, Richmond’s work force has shrunk by more than 5200 potential or active employees.  There are also 4400 fewer people who are actually working in Richmond now than there were in 1995.  In Connersville, the exodus has been even more dramatic.  Since 2000, Connersville’s work force and the number of people employed have dropped by about 40%.

FIRE DAMAGES RICHMOND AVENUE HOME

(Richmond, IN)--Fire did heavy damage to a home on Richmond Avenue.  The home in the 200 block was mostly engulfed when first responders arrived late Wednesday night.  The intersection of North West 2nd and Richmond Avenue was shut down as firefighters battled the blaze and tried to prevent it from spreading to neighboring homes.  There were no injuries.  "Everybody had made it out by the time we arrived," said Batallion Chief Eric Holmes.  As for the cause of the fire?  "It's under investigation," Holmes explained.  A dollar amount of the damage has not been set.

FLIERS REGARDING STD SCREENING DISTRIBUTED DOOR-TO-DOOR

(Richmond, IN)--There have been reports of people going door-to-door in some Richmond neighborhoods this week handing out fliers on how to get tested for STD’s.  The fliers contain information on testing at the Wayne County Health Department for not only syphilis, gonorrhea, chlamydia, and HIV.  The Health Department talked last month about an outbreak of syphilis in Wayne County.  The fliers indicate that screening is available daily at the Health Department.

REID SECURITY TO BECOME STATE-RECOGNIZED POLICE DEPARTMENT

(Richmond, IN)--Reid Health is transitioning from having just a Security Department to having a full-blown, state-recognized police department.  Reid said in a statement Tuesday that the new police department will reduce the burden on other law enforcement agencies.  The Richmond Police Department responded to Reid almost 900 times in 2018.  Officers will have full arresting authority.  The 25-member security team is currently working on the transition.  When it’s complete, Reid’s police department will immediately become the third largest in Wayne County.

ALLEGED DRUG DEALER ARRESTED FOR THIRD TIME IN A YEAR

(Richmond, IN)--A Richmond woman who is accused of being one of the city’s more significant drug dealers was taken into custody Tuesday, making her third major drug arrest in less than a year.  51-year-old Linda Allen was jailed after a Drug Task Force raid on her home in the 200 block of South 12th.  Allen is charged this time with dealing cocaine.  Due to her previous history, she was being held Wednesday on a $150,000 bond.  Allen was released from jail last week after having been arrested in November for dealing meth, heroin, and fentanyl.  She had also been arrested last May for dealing a variety drugs from a home in a New Paris Pike trailer park.  More criminal charges against Allen are pending.

WESTERN WAYNE GETS $100,000 GRANT FOR CHILD CARE

(Cambridge City, IN)--Western Wayne County has won a $100,000 grant to help with child care.  A state agency has declared western Wayne a child care desert because there is less than one child care space for every three children.  The money will be used to help transition the former Central School building in Cambridge City, which was purchased by SugarCreek Packing last year.  SugarCreek said then that it would make child care spaces available to the public if they were not being used by employees.

RICHMOND WORKFORCE DROPS BY 268 IN 2019

(Richmond, IN)--The city of Richmond has lost 268 members of its workforce in the last year.  That’s according to numbers released Monday by the Indiana Department of Workforce Development.  At the end of 2018, Richmond had 15, 124 potential or active workers.  That number today stands at 14, 856.  There are also now 239 fewer people actually working.  Richmond’s unemployment rate now stands at 3.7%, which is slightly higher than the county-wide rate of 3.3%.  Wayne County lost 580 people from its workforce in the last year.

BANK TO OCCUPY DOWNTOWN RICHMOND BUILDING

(Richmond, IN)--There’s new life for a building in downtown Richmond.  Merchants Bank of Indiana will be opening at 7th and East Main at the site formerly occupied by Old National Bank.  Old National closed that location six and a half years ago.  Contractors are currently working inside the bank to prepare it for an opening sometime next month.  About 20 people are expected to be employed.  Merchants Bank of Indiana has branches in Lynn and Spartanburg.

CENTERVILLE PARENTS CHARGED WITH NEGLECT, METH POSSESSION

(Centerville, IN)--A Centerville couple was jailed Monday night on drug charges that involved at least one child.  33-year-old Kyle Reagan and his 41-year-old wife Christy were both taken into custody at the home in the 600 block of East School Street in Centerville.  Charges include possession of both methamphetamine and drug paraphernalia.  Both are also now charged with felony neglect of a dependent.  Quantities recovered have not been released.

SHOT FIRED INTO RICHMOND HOME

(Richmond, IN)--The investigation continued Monday morning after at least one shot was fired into a Richmond home Sunday night.  Police were called to an area around South 12th and E at around 8:30 Sunday night after multiple callers reported hearing the shots.  Shell casings were found in an alley after at least one round went through a door and into a home.  Some witnesses reported seeing a red truck in the area when the shots were fired.  No one was injured, and no arrests have been made.

FENTANYL RECOVERED IN WESTERN WAYNE DRUG BUST

(Dublin, IN)--What began as a report of a suspicious vehicle on East Harrison Street in Dublin on Sunday ended with the recovery of heroin, 15 grams of methamphetamine, and the deadly drug fentanyl.  A police canine alerted on a vehicle occupied by 37-year-old Christopher Rhoades of Dublin.  Rhoades remained in the Wayne County Jail Monday morning.  Criminal charges against a second person are pending.

TIERNAN CENTER SEATING TO DROP TO 16th IN INDIANA

(Richmond, IN)--The exact state ranking of Richmond’s Tiernan Center in terms of basketball seating capacity has been in dispute recently.  One count had it 6th with a capacity of 8100.  Another had it 4th at 7786.  But, one thing is for sure…the Tiernan Center will no longer be anywhere in the top ten for seating after new bleachers were approved this week by the Richmond Community School Board.  The new seating capacity of 5700 would rank the Tiernan Center roughly 16th in Indiana and make it smaller than the Spartan Bowl.  In recent years, the Tiernan Center has not been even half full for most regular-season games.

NEEDLE EXCHANGE RESUMES IN FAYETTE COUNTY

(Connersville, IN)--Fayette County’s needle exchange program is operational again.  It’s been renamed Harm Reduction Alliance, and it’s operating out of the Meridian Health Services building on West 3rd in Connersville.  The program had ceased operations midway through last year as part of the bankruptcy of Fayette Regional Health System and ultimate takeover by Reid Health.  Reid is furnishing many of the supplies needed for the program.  It’s open Wednesday mornings and Thursday afternoons.

COMMISSIONERS WILL NOT IMPLEMENT PROPERTY TAX HIKE

(Richmond, IN)--Wayne County Commissioners have decided against a property tax increase that looked like it would be enacted just a few weeks ago.  The proposed increase would have amounted to about $17 per year for a homeowner with a $100,000 property.  The proceeds would have been used to help refurbish some county buildings and infrastructure.  After approving it 2-1 early this month, commissioners unanimously voted Wednesday to drop the proposal.  Commissioners Ken Paust and Denny Burns indicated that public input helped to reverse their decision.  They say they now want to take a more in-depth look at Wayne County’s financial picture.

TEEN, SUBJECT OF SILVER ALERT, RETURNS HOME

(Brookville, IN)--There’s a happy ending to a statewide Silver Alert that had been put into effect for a missing Franklin County girl.  The statewide alert was issued Wednesday night for 16-year-old Laila Davis of Brookville, who had been missing since Tuesday.  Here’s what her mom, Beth Hibbard, said happened that day.  "At about 4 o'clock, Laila went to check the mail and did not come back."   At 3:45 Thursday morning, Laila returned home voluntarily.  The alert has been canceled.  Details of where she had been have not been released, but she had been known to invite people she had met online to her home.

TRIAL BEGINS FOR MAN INVOLVED IN FATAL MOTORCYCLE CRASH

(Richmond, IN)--Trial got underway Wednesday in Wayne Superior Court III in the case of a man accused of causing the death of a Hagerstown resident a year ago.  Shelby Masters was riding on the back of a motorcycle being operated by 47-year-old Jeffrey Flora.  They crashed on Dalton Road near Hagerstown.  Masters did not survive.  Flora is accused of having alcohol and marijuana in his system.  He faces up to 18 years behind bars if convicted.

ANOTHER DEFENDANT NAMED IN PHILLIPS DRUGS LAWSUIT

(Richmond, IN)--Another defendant has been added in the Phillips Drugs lawsuit that arose when water from downtown construction seeped into its building at 7th and East Main.  A central Indiana consulting firm called United Consulting now finds itself as a defendant along with the city of Richmond, Milestone, and the design firm REA.  None of those parties dispute that there was water damage, but most have pointed the finger of guilt at each other.  The damage that Phillips claims is relatively minimal – about $7700.  No hearing dates have been set for the lawsuit.

3RD AREA COUNTY WORKS TO BECOME SECOND AMENDMENT SANCTUARY

(Fayette County, IN)--There is now a third Whitewater Valley county that is considering declaring itself a Second Amendment Sanctuary County.  Fayette County has now joined Wayne and Preble County after commissioners voted unanimously Tuesday to hold a public hearing.  A formal declaration as a Second Amendment Sanctuary for all three counties would ban enforcement of future laws which would be deemed to violate Second Amendment gun rights.

HIGH LEVELS OF RADON, LEAD DETECTED IN COURTHOUSE

(Eaton, OH)--Radon is an issue inside the Preble County Courthouse.  Two separate radon inspections have been conducted inside the building, which is now a hundred years old.  In both cases, radon levels at almost twice the levels considered to be unhealthy were found in the microfilm office and library and Board of Elections storage area were found.  And that’s not all.  Lead levels from paint chips at various spots are double to nearly three times the recommended exposure limit.  Remediation is pending.

WAYNE COUNTY CHILD ABUSE AND NEGLECT NUMBERS DROP IN 2019

(Wayne County, IN)--Final child abuse and neglect numbers are in for Wayne County for 2019.  If there’s some good news, it’s that the number of substantiated cases last year dropped slightly from the year before.  Still, there were a total of 308 substantiated new cases of sexual or physical abuse or neglect of children last year.  It’s a five percent drop from the year before.  Experts say that drug and/or alcohol usage is directly or indirectly involved in the vast majority of the cases.

WESTERN WAYNE SCHOOLS COULD BE OUT OF MONEY BY 2023

(Cambridge City, IN)--At Western Wayne schools, budget shortfalls could mean that the school is out of money as early as 2023.  That will be the focus of the Western Wayne School Board next month.  There are a variety of factors in play, including declining enrollment and property tax caps.  Two options will be considered:  one would cut programming, the other would be to issue an operating referendum that would allow taxpayers to decide whether or not to continue to fund the school system at its current level.

ANOTHER LOUD BOOM HEARD IN RICHMOND

(Richmond, IN)--It’s happened again…There’s been another loud boom heard across much of the city.  Last week, an explosive device was found at Glen Miller Park.  On Sunday night, though, most of the calls to 911 were centered around the Fairview area of Richmond.  Residents on Harris, Ridge, and Hunt Streets, along with some Belden employees, reported hearing the boom at around 6:30 Sunday night.  Several witnesses also reported seeing a flash in the sky when the boom was heard.  Multiple RPD officers searched the area last night but could not find the source of the boom.  By 7 a.m. Monday, there had been no connection made to last week's incident at Glen Miller.

ORDINANCE WOULD MAKE WAYNE COUNTY A 2ND AMENDMENT SANCTUARY

(Richmond, IN)--Last week, Kicks 96 and 101.7 The Point News reported Preble County is working to become a Second Amendment Sanctuary County.  Now, there’s an ordinance for Wayne County to do the same.  The ordinance was filed Friday.  It approved through resolution, it would essentially declare that Wayne County supports the Second Amendment gun rights of its citizens. 

MAN CHARGED WITH ROBBERY AT PETSENSE

(Richmond, IN)--A Richmond man was charged Sunday night with a robbery.  64-year-old Edward Bond was taken into custody in a service alley behind Wendy’s.  Scanner traffic indicated that shortly before Bond was arrested, a man had shoved a clerk at Petsense at 15th and East Main.  That clerk reportedly suffered minor injuries.  Officials have indicated that Bond has a lengthy criminal record.

THREE CHARGED WITH FELONY NEGLECT AT GIRL'S SWEET 16 PARTY

(Richmond, IN)--Three Richmond adults in their thirties were all in jail Monday morning after an incident Sunday morning in which at least one juvenile became so intoxicated that medical attention was needed.  It happened at a girl's Sweet Sixteen party at the Knights of Columbus on North 10th.  Two women, later identified as Brandi Busby and Nicole Goodlin, fled the scene.  They were captured later.  Jason Estep was taken into custody at the scene.  All three are charged with felony contributing to the delinquency of minors.  Estep is also charges with neglect of a dependent, possession of marijuana, disorderly conduct, and domestic battery.

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.

AREA HOSPITAL ISSUE VISITOR RESTRICTIONS DUE TO FLU

(Whitewater Valley)--Some area hospitals have now issued visitation restrictions in an effort to help curb the spread of the flu.  At McCullough-Hyde in Oxford, no one who is currently ill will be allowed to visit, and children under the age of five are required to wear a mask.  At Wayne HealthCare in Greenville, prohibited visitors include anyone who is sick and all kids under the age of 14.  Reid Health does not have any current visitor restrictions, but did issue a reminder yesterday that masks, hand gel, and tissues are available at entrances.  Last week, the number of flu cases in the emergency room dropped when compared to Reid urgent cares in the area.

CENTERVILLE MAN JAILED FOR MULTIPLE SEX-RELATED FELONIES

(Centerville, IN)--A 63-year-old Centerville man is now facing a long list of serious felony charges following his arrest Monday afternoon.  Harry Wellings was taken into custody at the Richmond Motel on East Main in Centerville.  Wellings is charged with a total of six felonies that include intimidation, strangulation, sexual battery, incest, attempted rape, and criminal confinement.  Details of what Wellings is alleged to have done have not been released.

COUNCIL TO PURSUE GRANT FOR STREET REPAVING

(Richmond, IN)--Richmond Common Council had its first meeting of 2020 Monday night.  Council heard an ordinance that would approve application for matching grants to repave and improve 18 city streets.  Some of the more heavily traveled roadways include sections of Union Pike, Progress Drive, College Avenue, and 8th and 10th Streets.  Total cost would be just over $1.1 million.  The city would have to come up with half of that amount.

MAN CHARGED WITH DRIVING DRUNK, LEAVING GRANDSON HOME ALONE

(Richmond, IN)--A Richmond man was jailed Monday morning after allegedly driving drunk and leaving his six-year-old grandson home alone.  51-year-old David Lady was taken into custody in the Depot District.  Lady was driving a rental car and blew a .18 – that’s more than twice the legal limit.  Investigators then went to a home on South 12th – not Lady’s listed address - where they found the boy alone and unharmed.  He was taken to police headquarters.  The Department of Child Services is now involved in the case.

SEX OFFENDER ARRESTED FOR BATTERING OFFICER

(Richmond, IN)--A Richmond sex offender was in custody Monday morning after allegedly leading police on a chase and then battering an officer Sunday night.  It happened near the 1100 block of South A Street and began with a warrant call.  37-year-old William Gregory was caught after fleeing on foot.  Details of what led to the charge of battery on a police officer have not been released.  Williams was convicted of sexual battery back in 2006.

RAATZ FILES BILL TO HOLD TEACHERS HARMLESS

(Indianapolis, IN)--State Senator Jeff Raatz of Richmond has filed a bill to hold schools and teachers harmless from any negative consequences tied to the results of the new ILEARN test.  A special meeting will be taking place Monday about a bill that would provide a two-year hold harmless police for accountability grades and teacher evaluations.  Raatz has authored numerous bills dealing with education in his time as a state senator.

GRADUATION RATES RELEASED FOR CLASS OF 2019

(Whitewater Valley)--New graduation numbers have been released for the high school class of 2019.  Most Whitewater Valley schools followed the state trend of a slight decrease in the graduation rate.  That includes Richmond.  The Class of ‘19 graduated 95.8%.  That’s a little more than a two percent decrease from the Class of ’18.  Northeastern had the highest Wayne County rate at 97.9%.  Nettle Creek was at 97.3%.  Centerville had a 93.1% graduation rate, and Western Wayne’s was 75.3%.  Most area schools are well above the new state rate of 87%.  Here are the graduation rates for local schools in 2019:

 

Richmond - 95.8%

Northeastern - 97.9%

Centerville - 93.1%

Nettle Creek - 97.3%

Western Wayne - 75.3%

Union County - 94.7%

Fayette County - 91.2%

Franklin County - 88.1%

Randolph Southern - 95.7%

Randolph Eastern - 97%

Randolph Central - 92.1%

Monroe Central - 93.1%

Union (Modoc) - 66.7%

 

CHILDREN ASK FOR NEIGHBORS' HELP AFTER PARENTS OVERDOSE

(Richmond, IN)--We’re barely more than two days into the new year and there have already been several drug overdoses in Richmond.  Late Thursday night, first responders were sent to a home in the 800 block of North 16th where two parents were found simultaneously unconscious in a bathroom.  Scanner traffic indicated their children were at a neighbor’s house.  CPR was being performed on at least one of the two parents.  There was no word on their condition Friday morning.  One person died of an apparent overdose at a Richmond motel on New Year's Day.  Final drug overdose numbers for 2019 won’t be available for at least a month.

NEW MADISON INVESTIGATORS WANT HELP IN IDENTIFYING SUSPECTS

(New Madison, OH)--The Darke County Sheriff’s Office is calling on the public to help identify two burglars.  The Sheriff’s Department Thursday afternoon released good surveillance images of two men who broke into Treats Bar and Grill on East Washington Street in New Madison on Monday night.  The images appear to show two white males – one who is middle-aged and one who is much younger.

WOMAN REPORTS STRONG-ARM ROBBERY

(Richmond, IN)--There was a report of a strong-armed robbery in Richmond Thursday night.  RPD officers responded at about 8 o’clock Thursday night to a call in the 400 block of North 13th.  A female victim told officers she was hit in the head by two suspects who then took her wallet.  There was no indication that the victim suffered serious injuries.  The suspects were described as two young, black males.  One had dreadlocks, and one was wearing what were described as black and white pants with a strange design.

MAN CAUGHT AFTER SHORT PURSUIT

(Richmond, IN)--A Richmond man was caught after a short pursuit late Thursday afternoon.  64-year-old Anthony Rogers allegedly stole a car and fled when police tried to stop him.  Rogers was taken into custody in the 1000 block of Parry Street in Richmond.  Rogers has also been charged with felony neglect of a dependent, although details of what led to that charge have not been released.

REID REPORTS SPIKE IN FLU CASES

(Richmond, IN)--Reid Health issues some numbers over the New Year’s holiday regarding local cases of the flu.  Reid said that it has seen a noticeable spike in people testing positive for the flu in the last week.  More than 200 people tested positive for flu over the week of Christmas at Reid locations in Richmond, Eaton, and Connersville.  14 people have had to be admitted to the hospital since flu season began.  Reid also said that it’s not too late to get a flu shot and recommended the usual precautions, including washing hands frequently and avoiding contact with anyone who is sick.

THREE JAILED FOR RINGING IN NEW YEAR WITH GUNSHOTS

(Richmond, IN)--Three men rung in the new year with a trip to the Wayne County Jail after reports of guns being fired at Genesis Apartments at South 23rd and L in Richmond.  Scanner traffic indicated someone got out of a vehicle and began firing into the air at around midnight.  When police arrived, they not only found multiple weapons, but also body armor with drugs inside.  19-year-old Charles Boyce and 21-year-old Tyshaun Ogle of Richmond and a Dayton teenager have all been charged with felony criminal recklessness.  No injuries were reported.

MAN JAILED LAST WEEK FOR METH JAILED WEDNESDAY FOR BURGLARY

(Richmond, IN)--A 24-year-old Richmond man who racked up his 40th criminal charge last week now has four new ones, bringing his total to 44.  Zachary Vansickle was charged last week with dealing meth and jailed.  He was released from jail and, Wednesday night, was charged with felony burlary, resisting law enforcement, and possession of cocaine.  A resident of the 300 block of South West 3rd allegedly caught Vansickle breaking into his house and held Vansickle in the yard until police arrived.

REID TO OPEN PSYCH SERVICES AT NEW LOCATION

(Richmond, IN)--Reid Health has announced that it is opening outpatient psychiatric services at a new location and under a new name.  It will be called Outpatient Behavioral Health and will move from the main Reid campus to a location on North J Street near Chester Boulevard.  Reid says the new home, which is a former physician’s office, will offer more convenience to patients and will open space at the main building for new services.

ONE TEEN KILLED, FOUR INJURED IN CRASH

(Franklin County, IN)--Details of a Franklin County crash that killed a teenager and injured four others have now been released.  The Indiana State Police say that an 18-year-old driver from the Cincinnati area lost control on Oxford Pike just east of Brookville earlier this week.  A 15-year-old boy was pronounced dead at the scene.  The driver was ejected and taken to UC Medical Center with serious injuries.  Two other 15-year-olds and a 16-year-old were all taken to various hospitals.  All five teens are from Hamilton County.  Alcohol and drugs are not thought to have been factors.

Richmond, IN WEATHER

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