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Local News Powered by First Bank Richmond Archives for 2020-02

LIBRARY RELEASES STATEMENT ON FEMALE IMPERSONATOR

(Richmond, IN)--Morrison-Reeves Library has released a statement on the inclusion of female impersonator Sweet T in its Community Voices series in which guests read to children.  Here’s the statement in its entirety:

 

"Sweet T is a local entertainer who headlined at the Pride Festival in Elstro Plaza last June.  Sweet T has an elementary education background and is looking forward to sharing a message of joy through music and reading to the children in attendance.  Morrison-Reeves has moved the event to the Bard Room due to the larger-than-expected attendance.  The library offers a wide range of creative programs.  Not all programs are of interest to everyone."

 

Sweet T is scheduled to read in May.

 

Note:  On Thursday, Kicks 96 and 101.7 The Point News attached an incorrect photo of the performer to its initial report.  The photo accompanying this story is the correct performer.  Kicks 96 and 101.7 The Point News was unaware there were multiple people performing under that name and apologizes for the error.

FIRST FOUR REID HEALTH POLICE OFFICERS SWORN IN

(Richmond, IN)--The first four officers to make up Reid Health’s Police Department were sworn in Thursday.  Reid CEO Craig Kinyon administered the oath of office to Chief Randy Kolentus, Assistant Chief Jeff Cappa, Captain Dennis Perkins, and Officer Steven Smith.  All Reid officers will have full arresting capability.  When it reaches capacity, Reid’s police department will be the third largest in Wayne County.

CENTERVILLE POLICE VEHICLE INVOLVED IN I-70 CRASH

(Wayne County, IN)--Snow Thursday night brought several accidents to the area.  One of them involved a Centerville Police Department cruiser.  The department’s cruiser was struck on eastbound I-70 near the Centerville exit.  According to scanner traffic, the officer was not hurt, but the driver of the other vehicle was complaining of neck pain.  A semi had gone into a ditch in that area also.  Further east, near the weigh station, at least one person was hurt in a crash in the westbound lanes.  Another accident was reported at Round Barn and Industries Road.

SELF-DESCRIBED "DRAG QUEEN" TO READ TO KIDS AT MORRISON-REEVES LIBRARY

(Richmond, IN)--An upcoming event at Morrison-Reeves Library is raising eyebrows from some and drawing support from others.  This week, Morrison-Reeves announced the lineup for its Community Voices series.  In the program, guests read to kids between the ages of six and 12.  The library website described the goal of the series:  ..."it’s to open the curious minds of children to explore diversity and inclusion."  The March reader is disabled and the April reader will talk about bullying.  The May reader is Sweet T, who is a self-described professional drag queen.  Community Voices guests will be reading in the children’s programming room.

WEST MANCHESTER MAN KILLED IN PREBLE COUNTY CRASH

(Preble County, OH)--There was a fatal crash in Preble County Wednesday, and the victim has now been identified as a 66-year-old West Manchester man.  Investigators say Dennis Glander went left of center near the junction of I-70 and U.S. 127 at around 12:30 Wednesday afternoon and struck a semi that had stopped to turn.  There was no initial determination of why Glander crossed the center line, although snow was falling at the time.  The investigation continues.

EATON BECOMES SECOND AMENDMENT SANCTUARY

(Eaton, OH)--The City of Eaton is now officially a Second Amendment Sanctuary City.  City Council has declared opposition to any new restrictions on the Second Amendment.  The resolution states "Eaton will stand firm against any law on any level of government to remove that right from any law-abiding citizen."  Other area jurisdictions, including Wayne County and Fayette County, have recently addressed becoming a Second Amendment Sanctuary, but declined to actually pass a resolution.

FORMER WINCHESTER TEACHER, COACH FACES CRIMES INVOLVING TEEN GIRL

(Bluffton, IN)--The former football coach at Winchester Community High School is facing charges stemming from allegations of interaction with a 13-year-old girl.  46-year-old Ryan Vermillion taught at coached at Winchester from 2006 until 2010.  He’s now at Marion and is accused of sending lewd photos of himself to a young teen in Wells County near Fort Wayne.  Investigators say Vermillion wanted to not only meet the girl, but take her out of the country.  He’s being held on a nearly quarter-of-a-million-dollar bond.

ROBBERY VICTIM SENT TO REID HEALTH

(Richmond, IN)--A Richmond resident who became the victim of a robbery was sent to Reid Health Tuesday night.  It happened at around 10 o’clock Tuesday night in the 700 block of South 8th.  After attacking the victim there and taking a small amount of cash, the suspect, who was described only as a male wearing a black hoodie, fled east through yards.  The victim was not seriously hurt and the suspect is still on the loose.

FATHER, DAUGHTER SERIOUSLY BURNED IN EXPLOSION

(West College Corner, IN)--A West College Corner man and his 17-year-old daughter are continuing to recover following an explosion over the weekend.  Details of the incident involving Rob Marcum and his daughter Elena have been released.  Elena poured gasoline on a fire and ignited the container.  That’s when Marcum sprang into action.  "That's when I saw my daughter on fire running toward me.  I threw her on the ground and tried to get her to roll, roll, roll - trying to get the fire put out," Marcum said.  He will have skin graft surgery Wednesday.  Elena was even more seriously injured and will be hospitalized for months.  A community-wide benefit will take place in April.

CHARGES INCREASED AGAINST BABYSITTERS IN TODDLER'S DEATH

(Richmond, IN)--Two Richmond residents who operated a babysitting service from a home on North 19th are now facing the possibility of spending the rest of their lives behind bars after charges were upgraded following the death of a two-year-old boy last summer.  The Wayne County Prosecutor’s Office has increased the charges against 61-year-old Pamela Barger and 52-year-old Todd Volker, who is a convicted sex offender, from Level 3 to Level 1 felonies as the result of a final autopsy report.  That report classifies the boy’s death as a homicide and indicates that he died from blunt force trauma.  Barger told investigators the boy tripped on his pajamas and hit his head.

FUNDING FOR PEACOCK ROAD PROJECT REJECTED

(Richmond, IN)--State funding has fallen through for a project that would’ve made Peacock Road in Richmond more pedestrian and bicycle friendly.  That project was not on a final list of INDOT projects that will receive federal funding.  Richmond had hoped for close to $3 million to reconstruct an area of Peacock from North West 11th to North West 18th.  The work was not scheduled to begin for five more years.  The city could try again when INDOT considers a new list of projects.

RICHMOND RESIDENT SHOWS NO SIGN OF CORONAVIRUS

(Richmond, IN)--The two-week watch period for symptoms of coronavirus for a Richmond resident who recently returned from China has come and gone.  According to the Wayne County Health Department, that person never showed any symptoms of the virus.  The person had voluntarily quarantined himself, lives alone, and works from home.  Earlier this year, two Miami students who were feared to have been exposed tested negative for coronavirus.

WANTED MAN CAPTURED AFTER DRUG OVERDOSE

(Richmond, IN)--What started as a fight call Monday night near South 13th and A in Richmond transitioned into an overdose call and ended with the arrest of a man who was wanted on multiple charges.  27-year-old Thomas Reynolds was taken first to Reid Health and then to the Wayne County Jail at around 8:30 Monday night.  Reynolds had warrants for possessing methamphetamine and other drugs.  He allegedly had a syringe in his possession when he was taken into custody Monday night.

DEMOLITION BEGINS ON HISTORIC EATON BUILDING

(Eaton, OH)--Demolition got underway Monday on a historic downtown Eaton building.  The Marty Building at 115 North Barron has fallen into disrepair is coming down after having stood for well over a hundred years.  The building had served as a hotel from the 1890’s until the 1930’s.  After that, it was home to several popular restaurants, including Greens n Things and JoJo’s.  Parking around the 100 block of North Barron has been restricted until demolition is complete.

MAN ACCUSED OF ATTACKING OFFICER AFTER OWI CHASE

(Richmond, IN)--An alleged drunken driver is facing even more serious charges after drugs were found as he was being booked into jail.  46-year-old William Conrad fled police but was caught in the 200 block of North 5th in Richmond.  Conrad fought with officers before being restrained.  In addition to OWI, Conrad is now charged with felonies that include battery on a police officer, possession of cocaine, and resisting.

NORTHEASTERN RELEASES STATEMENT ABOUT ADMINISTRATIVE LEAVE

(Fountain City, IN)--Northeastern Superintendent Laura Blessing sent a statement to parents Thursday which further confirms what was exclusively reported by Kicks 96 and 101.7 The Point on Thursday morning.  Although the statement does not mention Assistant Superintendent Eric Green, it does say that an administrative employee is on administrative leave.  The Indiana State Police continued with the early stages of an investigation Thursday, although the specific subject of the investigation has not been made public.  In the statement, Blessing cautioned parents about information on social media, saying that it’s not necessarily factual or accurate.  She added that Northeastern will continue to work with authorities as the investigation continues.

ALLEGED DRUG DEALER ARRESTED DURING SWAT RAID

(Richmond, IN)--The SWAT Team executed a search warrant at a home in the 1200 block of South 3rd in Richmond Thursday morning, and a Dayton man is facing a host of serious felonies as a result.  30-year-old Dion Collins has been charged with dealing narcotic drugs, possession of methamphetamine, and possession of a firearm by a serious violent felon.  Four years ago, Collins crashed into a home in Trotwood while trying to flee from police with drugs and guns.  The Wayne County Jail was inundated Thursday night and Friday morning with calls asking about whether or not Collins was still behind bars.

ARREST MADE IN CONNERSVILLE SHOOTING

(Connersville, IN)--An arrest has been made in connection with a Connersville shooting that happened earlier this month.  23-year-old Ryan Spurlock was located Thursday on West 20th Street hours after police had made a public appeal for help in locating him.  Spurlock was allegedly involved when a man was shot in the leg on Indiana Avenue on February 2.  He’s been charged with aggravated battery with a deadly weapon and criminal recklessless.  Investigators say more charges are likely.

STATE POLICE INITIATE INVESTIGATION AT NORTHEASTERN WAYNE SCHOOLS

(Fountain City, IN)--The Indiana State Police is in the very early stages of an investigation into a high-ranking administrator at Northeastern Wayne Schools.  A state police spokesperson on Wednesday confirmed the organization had been contacted, but declined to name the individual or the subject of the investigation.  It is the policy of the State Police not to comment on the specifics on ongoing investigations.  Other Northeastern employees, though, were questioning the status of Assistant Superintendent Eric Green Wednesday.  On Wednesday afternoon, Superintendent Laura Blessing gathered teachers together and told them to expect big news Thursday, but declined to give specifics or answer the teachers’ questions in a meeting that lasted only a couple of minutes.  Blessing refused to return calls from Kicks 96 and The Point News  Wednesday, just as she did when Principal Wes Wisner was put on leave two years ago and again last month when Principal Matt Truesdell was also on leave.  An email to the President of the Northeastern School Board seeking additional information has also gotten no response.

ALLEGED DRUG DEALER BONDS OUT HOURS AFTER ARREST

(Richmond, IN)--It didn’t take long for an alleged Richmond drug dealer to bond out of jail.  38-year-old Ryan Richardson was jailed Wednesday night on charges that include dealing marijuana and possession of methamphetamine, heroin, cocaine, and paraphernalia.  Richardson was arrested in the 1500 block of East Main and jailed, but was free Thursday morning.  The quantity of drugs recovered has not been released.    Richardson’s home was the scene of a Richmond murder in 2015.  The suspect in that case later died in the Wayne County Jail.

PREBLE COUNTY RAPIST SENTENCED

(Eaton, OH)--A Preble County rapist has been sentenced to a decade in prison.  The sentence was imposed after 59-year-old Martin Burnett took an Alford plea.  Burnett had possessed child pornography, but photoshopped the faces of his own young family member over the faces of the children depicted.  At sentencing, that family member said that she was assaulted at least three times when she was six years old.  Burnett will have to register as a sex offender upon his release.

ORDINANCE FOR MILESTONE PLANT DENIED

(Richmond, IN)--After a lengthy discussion with citizens and representatives of Milestone Contractors, Richmond Common Council Tuesday night unanimously denied an ordinance that would’ve allowed Milestone to operate an asphalt mixing plant on U.S. 27 just north of I-70.  The sentiment was the same from citizens like this one..."if you want to relocate, go to where it's already industrial," she said.  Council member Bill Engle echoed that sentiment "I do not think this is the best place for this projected.  Mayor Dave Snow also weighed in.  "It becomes apparent that this particular project is just not an appropriate fit, and I would stand behind our Planning Department's recommendation of denial," Snow said.  Residents expressed concerns about traffic, smell, and potential water contamination.  Some city leaders said they hoped that Milestone would pursue a different location.

COUNCIL PASSES RP&L RATE INCREASE

(Richmond, IN)--Richmond Common Council Tuesday night approved an ordinance for a rate increase for Richmond Power & Light.  But last night’s passage does not mean that a rate increase is a done deal.  It still has to get the approval of the Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission, and that process will take several months.  The proposed increase would be less than ten dollars for a typical residential customer and would be phased in over three years beginning next year.  RP&L has not had a rate increase in the last 15 years.

TWO ARRESTED FOR DRUG POSSESSION

(Richmond, IN)--North 7th and C Street is where two Richmond residents were taken into custody Tuesday night on a variety of drug charges.  45-year-old Elijah Nugent and 61-year-old Gina Altom were behind bars Wednesday morning facing charges that include possession of methamphetamine, controlled substances, paraphernalia, and syringes.  The quantity of drugs recovered has not been released.

COUPLE ARRESTED WITH METH NEAR BABY IN WALMART PARKING LOT

(Richmond, IN)--A couple was arrested late Monday night at Richmond’s Walmart, allegedly with drugs and paraphernalia very near their infant child.  Police were initially sent to Walmart on a theft call at around 9 o’clock.  They contacted 40-year-old William Bennington and 28-year-old Tracey Waller, both of Connersville, in the parking lot.  A search turned up methamphetamine, syringes, and drug paraphernalia.  Bennington faces multiple drug charges.  Waller face charges including felony neglect of a dependent.  The baby was turned over to Child Protective Services.

FIVE NEW CASES OF WAYNE COUNTY SYPHILIS DISCOVERED

(Richmond, IN)--Last month, State Health Department officials went through some areas of Richmond encouraging residents to get tested for syphilis.  Here’s what they found..."They had five people with syphilis," said David Jetmore, who is Wayne County’s public health officer.  "It is substantial to have five new cases of syphilis in a week and a half," added Director of Public Health Christine Stinson.  A total of 11 cases had been found before going door-to-door, bringing the cases in the last year to 16.  "To put that in perspective, we have two or three cases per year," Jetmore explained.  State officials may return next month to initiate another round of testing.

COUNCIL TO ADDRESS MILESTONE RELOCATION, RP&L RATE HIKE

(Richmond, IN)--Richmond Common Council meets Tuesday night with a couple of noteworthy items on the agenda.  Both of those items are on second reading, meaning public comment will be taken.  One ordinance would pave the way – pun intended – for Milestone to create an asphalt mixing plant just north of I-70 along U.S. 27.  Some opponents have expressed concerns about environmental impact and whether or not it’s the best use of the land.  Also Tuesday night, council will address a proposed RP&L rate increase.  The increase would help to offset the cost of the disposal of coal ash, which could reach as high as $55 million.  You can watch Tuesday night’s meeting live on WCTV.

THREE REGIONAL HOSPITALS RANK IN THE TOP 50 NATIONALLY

Three hospitals in our region have been named among the Top 50 hospitals in the country, according to industry analyst Healthgrades.  The rankings measure multiple criteria and cover the last three years of data.  Healthgrades says that your chances of dying are reduced by 26% if treated at one of these hospitals.  The three in our region in the Top 50 are Mercy Health in Fairfield and Bethesda North and the Christ Hospital in Cincinnati.  No Indiana hospitals made the top 50.

OFFICER'S NAME TO BE ADDED TO MONUMENT

(Richmond, IN)--Lots of law enforcement agents turned out Saturday for the funeral of former RPD Officer Kenneth Lester.  Lester died last week from complications from an injury he received while on duty way back in 1995.  Because his death is attributable to that on-duty crash, he became the fifth RDP officer to die in the line of duty.  Lester’s badge number, 149, has been permanently retired.  His name will also be inscribed on the monument in front of the Richmond Municipal Building.

MAN CAUGHT AFTER GREENVILLE-TO-RICHMOND POLICE CHASE

(Richmond, IN)--An Arcanum man was captured near Glen Miller Park after a high-speed chase that began Sunday morning in Greenville.  Police in Greenville tried to pull over 27-year-old Michael White, but White allegedly fled on State Route 121.  He entered Preble County at speeds of 100 miles per hour.  White then turned toward Richmond on U.S. 40 with officers from multiple jurisdictions in pursuit.  It ended near 22nd and East Main.  Officers found meth and drug paraphernalia.  White faces multiple charges.

RCS BOARD DECLINES TO ADDRESS INTERMEDIATE SCHOOL BOUNDARY MODIFICATION

(Richmond, IN)--Potential modifications of the boundaries for Test and Dennis Intermediate Schools were discussed when the Richmond Community School Board met this week.  Chief Operations Officer Rob Tidrow shared with the Board current enrollments at Test and Dennis and presented four-year enrollment forecasts for both schools.  After lots of discussion, the Board had no interest in changing boundary lines.  The Board also approved designs for new bleachers at the Tiernan Center, which will include RHS in black lettering with white shadowing on the east and west upper-level bleachers.

QUAKERTOWN CAUSEWAY EYED FOR REPAIRS OR REPLACEMENT

(Union County, IN)--After being closed much of last year, the Fairfield Causeway over Brookville Lake has been repaired and is open.  Now, attention is turning to the causeway over the northern part of the lake near Quakertown.  That bridge is one of only three pin and hanger bridges left in Indiana.  They’re being phased out due to structural issues.  Union County leaders are preparing for an engineering study that will determine the bridge’s safety and how much money is needed to fix it or replace it.  Repairs to the Fairfield Causeway cost about $2 million.

HEARING SET FOR MARCH 11 IN AUSTIN NEATHERY MURDER CASE

(Richmond, IN)--The legal wrangling continues in the case of accused Richmond murderer Austin Neathery.  Neathery is accused of killing Richmond teen Tremell Carpenter in May of 2018 and then fleeing law enforcement for more than a week.  This week, a hearing date was set for Neathery’s request for forensic testing.  That hearing is set for March 11.  Neathery’s trial is set to begin in late May…two years to the day after Carpenter’s murder.

WESTERN WAYNE BOARD APPROVES PUTTING REFERENDUM ON BALLOT

(Cambridge City, IN)--The Western Wayne School Board voted Wednesday night to let voter decide whether or not additional funding is needed for the school system.  As a result of Wednesday night’s vote, a referendum will appear on a ballot in May that would result in an increase of 19 cents for every $100 of net assessed value.  Without that increase, Western Wayne officials say there could be a reduction in teaching staff, an increase in class size, and the elimination of some other programs and activities.  The school has dipped into its Rainy Day fund in recent years, but that action is non-sustainable in the long term.

RESIDENTS RECEIVE LETTERS ABOUT CAMP CLEMENTS REOPENING

(Abington, IN)--Some residents in the Abington area have received letters recently about an attempted re-opening of the old Camp Clements in southern Wayne County.  The letter states that an informational meeting will take place Thursday night in Commissioners chambers.  Camp Clements hosted thousands of area kids in summers throughout the 60’s, 70’s and 80’s.  The property changed hands last year.  The current owners are living year-round in what was once the lodge.  They say they now want to share it with others on a small-scale basis.

MAN CHARGED WITH STRANGULATION, FELONY DOMESTIC BATTERY

(Richmond, IN)--A Richmond man is facing charges that include strangulation and felony domestic battery after an incident near a Richmond medical facility on Chester Boulevard Wednesday afternoon.  Witnesses said that 25-year-old Anthony Washington chased down a female victim and tried to force her into a vehicle.  There was no word about the extent of injuries suffered by the victim, if any.  Washington has a criminal history that includes at least one other incident of domestic battery.

RICHMOND TRAVELER TO CHINA SHOWS NO SIGNS OF CORONAVIRUS

(Richmond, IN)--A recent traveler to China who is now back in the Richmond area is showing no signs whatsoever of the coronavirus, but is still being monitored by the Wayne County Health Department.  The department released a statement Tuesday afternoon saying that the individual will be monitored daily for two weeks for any symptoms that may develop.  The person’s name has not been released, but the Health Department indicated that the person lives alone and works from home.  Two Miami students were isolated a couple of weeks ago.  Coronavirus testing in those cases came back negative.

ONLINE PREBLE COUNTY PREDATOR SENTENCED TO 22 YEARS

(Eaton, OH)--An online predator in Preble County has been sentence to 22 years in prison.  Devin Tutt is a former Preble Shawnee football player who began talking to two young girls on social media last year.  He arranged a meeting with a 13-year-old girl, took her to a remote location, and raped her in his car.  He then did nearly the same thing to a 15-year-old girl.  At sentencing, Tutt asked the court for leniency so that he could be a father to his own 18-month-old child.  That request was rejected.

CENTERVILLE SUPERINTENDENT HONORED AT STATEHOUSE

(Indianapolis, IN)--Centerville-Abington School Superintendent Phil Stevenson was honored at the Indiana Statehouse earlier this week for nearly 50 years of service to the community.  State Representative Brad Barrett and State Senator Jeff Raatz both recognized Stevenson for his career at Centerville, which began back in 1972.  Stevenson announced recently that this school year would be his last.

WESTERN WAYNE BOARD TO VOTE ON REFERENDUM WEDNESDAY NIGHT

(Cambridge City, IN)--At 6 o’clock Wednesday night, the Western Wayne School Board will decide whether or not to put a referendum on the May ballot that would increase revenue for the school but would also result in a property tax increase for those who live in the district.  Western Wayne, like most other area schools, has experienced declining enrollment.  Western Wayne’s enrollment is down by 355 from the mid ‘90’s.  In the last five years, the school has stayed afloat by taking more than a million dollars from the Rainy Day Fund.  But that fund is now drying up.  The school has said it could be out of money by as soon as 2023.

MAN HELPED FROM ROOF OF BURNING RICHMOND HOME

(Richmond, IN)--There was a house fire in Richmond Tuesday morning.  Firefighters were called to an area near South 11th and B at around 5:30 Tuesday morning.  By 6 a.m., firefighters appeared to have gotten the flames knocked down.  According to a battalion chief, one man was on the roof of a home but was able to escape with the help of an RPD officer.  The victim was taken to Reid Health.  His identity and the extent of his injuries has not been released.  Other nearby structures had reportedly become involved, although it did not appear at the scene that there was any significant involvement.  Investigators will be on the scene Tuesday looking for a cause.

WOMAN ACCUSED OF EMBEZZLING $327,000 FROM RICHMOND TRUCKING COMPANY

(Richmond, IN)--A Richmond woman is now accused of embezzling an incredible amount of money from her employer.  55-year-old Denise King has now bonded out of jail after having been arrested for felony theft.  The president of Logistics Revolution in Richmond, which is a specialized trucking company, reported possible internal theft at the building last month.  A review of accounts revealed that King had allegedly embezzled more than $327,000.  Court documents indicate she used fraudulent checks and deposited the money into four different accounts, including two in the names of her children.

DRUGS FOUND ON MAN WHO DROVE ON CAMBRIDGE CITY SIDEWALK

(Cambridge City, IN)--Multiple drug charges are pending against a man who, according to witnesses, was driving on the sidewalk on Main Street in Cambridge City Tuesday morning.  34-year-old Daniel Tanksley was jailed at just before 3 a.m. Tuesday after being arrested in Cambridge City.  Officers found methamphetamine, marijuana, and drug paraphernalia.  There’s no word yet on why Tanksley was driving on the sidewalk.  No injuries or property damage was reported.

CAECI HEAD START TEACHER CHARGED WITH FELONY METH POSSESSION, THEFT

(Richmond, IN)--A Richmond woman who describes herself as a lead teacher at CAECI Head Start in Richmond is now facing a meth possession charge.  42-year-old Karla Davis-Green is not only charged with felony meth possession, but also felony theft.  Details of what led to her arrest have not been released.  Head Start is a free program for preschoolers whose families meet income guidelines.  It serves about 300 kids in Wayne County.  There’s been no word of Davis-Green’s status with Head Start as a result of her arrest.

$225,000 EARMARKED FOR PHASE III OF IZZY EDELMAN TRAINING GROUND

(Richmond, IN)--Another $225,000 has been pledged for Phase III of the Izzy Edelman Training Ground.  Wayne Township Trustee Susan Isaacs has met with Mayor Dave Snow and Fire Chief Jerry Purcell to confirm the commitment.  $900,000 has now been committed for the $1.3 million project.  The Izzy Edelman Training Ground is located near RP&L and is a state-of-the art police and fire training center.  Phase III of the project includes a 16,000 square foot classroom and conference building.  The goal is to break ground sometime this year.

STORMWATER WORK TO CLOSE SOME SOUTHEAST RICHMOND STREETS

(Richmond, IN)--Work to replace stormwater inlets and add additional manholes and pipes will affect southeast Richmond residential streets for at least the next month.  That work begins Monday and will mean that part of South 27th will be closed for at least ten days.  When that’s done, part of Southeast Parkway will close, and when that’s done, construction will close part of South 23rd.  The work should be done by the end of next month.

MAN CHARGED WITH RAPE AFTER HOLDING WOMAN FOR 11 DAYS

(Eaton, OH)--An arrest has been made in connection with an alleged Preble County kidnapping and rape.  26-year-old Sean Barnett, who now lists a Middletown address, allegedly held a woman who he knew against her will for an extended time beginning late last month.  He held her for 11 days.  "Some pretty serious stuff had gone on during those days that she was kept at the house," said Preble County Sheriff Mike Simpson.  Barnett’s ex-wife heard the victim screaming in the background during a phone call and guessed what was happening based on her own experience.  She then called 911.  Barnett served two years in prison for a similar incident seven years ago.

MAN ACCUSED OF TRADING DRUGS FOR SEX FROM MULTIPLE WOMEN

(Connersville, IN)--A Connersville man is facing multiple felony charges for allegedly trading deadly drugs for sexual favors.  According to an affidavit, 2.3 grams of fentanyl was found during a search of the home of 59-year-old Jack Ferman.  That’s enough to kill more than a thousand adults.  During the investigation, multiple women told police that Ferman had traded drugs for sex for years.  Charges include human trafficking and promoting prostitution.

NORTHEASTERN ELEMENTARY PRINCIPAL RESIGNS

(Fountain City, IN)--The Northeastern Elementary School Principal has resigned.  The resignation of Matt Truesdell was accepted Wednesday night by the Northeastern Wayne School Board.  Superintendent Laura Blessing has refused to return calls or respond to emails this week from Kicks 96 and 101.7 The Point News about Truesdell’s status and did not address details Wednesday night.  But, by his own public admission on social media and to many of his supporters, Truesdell had an extramarital affair last year with the mother of one of the students at the school.  Despite that, many parents had made efforts to get Truesdell reinstated after he was originally placed on leave.  A new principal will be in place by the start of the next school year.

MAN RESCUED FROM FALL INTO GRAVEL PIT'S ICY WATER

(New Paris, OH)--A man was rescued after falling into the water-filled gravel pit at Natural Springs Resort in New Paris late Wednesday night.  It’s a popular swimming spot in the summer. But, Wednesdaty night, the man fell about 20 feet from a cliff into the icy water.  A nearby resident heard him screaming for help, and first responders were able to pull him out.  He was cold, but otherwise unhurt.  It’s not yet known what caused him to fall.

EARLHAM STUDENT, FORMER RFD EMT APPEARS ON GIRL SCOUT COOKIES

(Richmond, IN)--You might notice a familiar face if you buy Girl Scout cookies this year.  Serena Pisacano, who is a student at Earlham, is depicted on boxes of Lemonades and Lemon-Ups that are being sold nationwide (at left in accompanying picture).  Serena is shown wearing a hard hat and safety glasses holding a solar panel that she helped to install.  In addition to devoting time to Girl Scouts, Serena has worked as a part-time EMT for the Richmond Fire Department.

ECONOMY MAN KILLED IN RANDOLPH COUNTY CRASH

(Randolph County, IN)--An Economy man is dead because a Union City man ran a stop sign at the intersection of two Randolph County highways Wednesday morning.  It happened at around 5:15 at State Road 227 and U.S. 36 just east of Lynn.  According to the Randolph County Sheriff’s Department, 63-year-old John Dickinson was headed south on 227 and did not stop.  His car struck the side of a vehicle driven by 59-year-old Ronald Day.  Day was pronounced dead at the scene.  Dickinson was taken to Reid Health in Richmond.

RCS RELEASES STATEMENT ABOUT TERRILL; NORTHEASTERN MUM ABOUT PRINCIPAL

(Wayne County, IN)--A statement from Richmond Community Schools on Wednesday morning indicates that Superintendent Todd Terrill continues to serve in that role.  There are reported efforts by some RCS Board members to have Terrill reassigned following a recent executive session.  Official action could only be taken at a public Board meeting.  The Board meets again on February 12.  Meanwhile, at Northeastern, there has been no response to questions about the current status of a principal, who is reportedly on leave due to alleged negative personal conduct outside the school building.  Calls and emails from Kicks 96 and the Point News to Superintendent Laura Blessing and board members have gone unreturned.

COUNCIL TO TAKE PUBLIC COMMENT ON PROPOSED RP&L RATE HIKE

(Richmond, IN)--February 18 has been set as the date that Richmond Common Council will first take public comment on a potential Richmond Power & Light rate increase.  The proposed increase would increase RP&L’s revenue by close to ten percent and would help the utility to fund a multi-million-dollar mandate to clean up coal ash.  "Rough estimates that we've got at this point go as low as $18 million and as high as $55 million," said RP&L General Manager Randy Baker.  An average homeowner would see his monthly bill increase by about ten dollars.  If a rate increase is approved by council, it would then have to be approved by the Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission.

CENTERVILLE REVITALIZATION PLAN TO BE PRESENTED

(Centerville, IN)--A plan to revitalize downtown Centerville is about to be presented to the public.  That plan can already be seen online at mainstreetcenterville.org.  The plan, which will be presented to Centerville Town Council this coming Tuesday, calls for complete sidewalk and curb repair, installing new trees and public art, evaluating parking, and creating a bicycle master plan.

COUNCIL DELAYS MILESTONE DECISION FOR MORE INPUT

(Richmond, IN)--A proposal to convert about 29 acres of land near the intersection of I-70 and U.S. 27 into an asphalt mixing plant was addressed for about an hour and a half when Richmond Common Council met Monday night.  Milestone Contractors wants to move from New Paris Pike to a location that was once home to Delucio and Sons.  Opponents addressed council Monday night and said they feared issues like noise, smell, and water contamination.  A Milestone manager countered by telling Council that the plant would comply with all state and federal regulations.  Council decided to hold the zoning issue over for two weeks to allow for more input and research.

IMAGES OF BANK ROBBER RELEASED

(New Madison, OH)--:  Investigators in Darke County on Monday released surveillance images from last Friday’s bank robbery at Farmer’s State Bank in New Madison.  The images are clear, but the robber is unidentifiable due to his head being completely covered by a mask other than small slit allowing for him to see.  He is described only as a 5-10 white male.   The most distinctive feature was the tan slippers he was wearing. Authorities are still looking for information.

OXFORD, MIAMI UNIVERSITY CLEARED FROM CORONAVIRUS

(Oxford, OH)--The city of Oxford and Miami University are in the clear.  "We can now say that Oxford has no cases of coronavirus - no persons under investigation."  That was the message Sunday night from a spokesperson with the Ohio Department of Health.  Students  had been on edge since one of two students who had returned from China displayed symptoms of coronavirus.  "Going through every email was just more tense each time.  When we finally got the announcement, it was a lot of relief," said one student.  The two students in question have now been released from isolation.

SEARCH FOR BANK ROBBER CONTINUES

(New Madison, OH)--Investigators are still looking for whoever robbed the Farmers State Bank in New Madison.  A man entered the bank at around closing time on Friday night and never displayed a weapon, but did demand and get cash.  New information reveals he fled in a red or burgundy crew cab pickup truck.  It’s the first robbery at Farmers State Bank since a man on a bicycle robbed it back in the 1970’s.

MAN SHOT IN CONNERSVILLE

(Connersville, IN)--There’s been a shooting in Connersville.  Only a few details have been released so far, but scanner traffic indicates that a man was shot in the leg in an incident that occurred in the 2100 block of Indiana Avenue at around 11:30 Sunday night.  Police were initially searching for a male and a female who fled the scene in a white passenger car.  There is no indication that they have been located.  There’s also no word yet on the condition or identity of the shooting victim or what led to the shooting.

Richmond, IN WEATHER

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