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Local News Powered by First Bank Richmond Archives for 2020-06

COVID-19 REPORTED INSIDE WAYNE COUNTY ADMINISTRATION BUILDING

(Richmond, IN)--The Wayne County Administration Building remains closed to the public for a couple of more weeks.  The reason given last week on the county’s website was to allow the county more time to obtain personal protective equipment.  But, it appears that may not be the only reason.  Some city and county leaders indicated Monday that there are multiple cases of Covid-19 among people who work inside the building and called the delay a quarantine.  There is at least one case in the Assessor’s office.  One employee said there are as many as four more cases.  The Wayne County Commissioner’s Office did not return calls on Monday.

SHOTS FIRED NEAR DAIRY QUEEN

(Richmond, IN)--Shots were fired in Richmond Tuesday morning.  Police were called to an area near the Dairy Queen on North 10th at around 2 o’clock Tuesday morning on the report of multiple shots fired.  Shell casings were recovered at the scene.  No injuries were reported.  Officers were unable to locate the shooter.  The only description, according to scanner traffic, is that it was an older male.

PAPA MURPHY'S IN RICHMOND CLOSES PERMANENTLY

(Richmond, IN)--An East Main Street building that has housed multiple restaurants in its history will soon be empty again.  Papa Murphy’s Pizza has announced that it is closing permanently.  Papa Murphy’s had been open for almost eight years, but had been experienced declining sales even before Covid-19.  But, according to owners, the virus was the final blow.  The building that housed Papa Murphy’s was once home to Subway and, before that, Arthur Treacher’s.

TERRILL TO LEAD CROWN POINT SCHOOLS BEGINNING JULY 13

(Crown Point, IN)--Crown Point Schools in northwestern Indiana has narrowed its search for a new school superintendent down to one candidate, and that candidate is reportedly outgoing Richmond Superintendent Todd Terrill.  Crown Point officials are not publically releasing Terrill’s name and would neither confirm nor deny that Terrill is their pick.  A Crown Point school board member indicated that the new superintendent would earn $165,000 annually with a $750 monthly vehicle allowance.  The board is expected to vote on the contract on July 6 with Terrill starting on July 13.

REID DOWN TO 15 PATIENTS IN COVID-19 CONTAINMENT AREAS

(Richmond, IN)--While some sections of the country are seeing significant spikes in Covid-19, the percentage of increase in the number of Whitewater Valley cases is holding relatively steady.  Wayne County now has had 124 cases and continues to increase by about ten percent weekly.  The number of hospitalizations, though, is down significantly.  Reid Health now says it has only 15 patients in containment areas.  That’s one-third of what it was a month ago.  The percentage of positive tests is also dropping.  Reid has tested just shy of 3900 people with a positive rate of about four percent.

SUGARCREEK DECISION TO IMPACT CAMBRIDGE CITY SEWER CUSTOMERS

(Cambridge City, IN)--SugarCreek Packing has added $17 million in equipment and is ready to ramp up production once the wastewater issue at the Gateway Industrial Park is solved.  The decision on whether to treat its own wastewater or remain a customer of the Western Wayne Sewer District could have a big impact on residents in the Cambridge City area.  If SugarCreek remains a customer, the average residential bill would be around $54 per month, according to a CPA.  Without SugarCreek, that bill would jump to about $82 monthly.  SugarCreek employs 600 people but laid some off due to Covid-19.

EVEN MORE PEOPLE ARE FILING FOR UNEMPLOYMENT

Even as more businesses open across Indiana, more people are filing for unemployment.  The Labor Department says 31,885 Hoosiers filed for benefits for the week ending June 20th.  That’s an increase of almost 8,000 from the previous week.  County numbers for unemployment benefits will be released on Monday.  In Ohio, 34,553 people filed claims for unemployment last week, an increase of just over 1,000 from the previous week.

CONCERT CANCELED AT THE GREAT DARKE COUNTY FAIR

The Great Darke County Fair is going on as scheduled, but the concert at the fair will not.  The board of governors for the Darke County Agricultural Society voted to cancel the concert that would have been headlined by country star Chris Janson.  The board says under Ohio state guidelines, the grandstands can only be half full.  The board says that would not generate enough money to support the concert.

 

WAYNE COUNTY GOVERNMENT BUILDINGS TO REMAIN CLOSED

Government buildings in Wayne County will remain closed to the public an additional week.  The county had planned to open buildings July 6th. But the Wayne County Board of Commissioners delayed it until July 13th because masks, hand sanitizer and protective gloves for the public still haven’t arrived.  County buildings are still open by appointment.    The delay means you will not be able to pay your property taxes in Wayne County in person, if you haven’t paid them yet.  Governor Eric Holcomb’s 60-day waiver period for penalties on late property taxes expires July 10th.  You can pay your taxes using the drop box in the county Administration Building's parking lot.  You can also mail your payment to the Wayne County Treasurer, or pay at First Bank Richmond and Wayne Bank and Trust branches.

$25 MILLION WILL BE USED FOR COVID-19 RENTER'S ASSISTANCE FOR HOOSIERS

 

Governor Eric Holcomb says Indiana will use $25 million dollars in federal relief money to help people who are struggling to pay rent due to the impact of the coronavirus outbreak.  On Wednesday, the governor announced the Indiana COVID-19 Rental Assistance Program. It will provide up to $500 in assistance for four months for a maximum of $2,000 in help to eligible renters to help cover past and ongoing rent payments or late fees. It will be available to residents in every county. However, you must meet certain criteria, such as having lost a job or some income due to the pandemic.

CENTERVILLE MAN CHARGED WITH INTIMIDATION AFTER BEING SHOT BY POLICE

A man from Centerville who was shot and wounded by a police officer in Richmond last month has been charged with intimidation.  The Wayne County Prosecutor’s office brought charges against 34-year-old Brian Christopher Sherer.  Sherer was shot in the legs by a Richmond officer May 24th in the parking lot outside Richmond Police headquarters.   Police say Sherer had been threatening officers and was shot when he charged at police while holding a knife.

OHIO PUBLIC SCHOOLS WILL START ON SCHEDULE, ACCORDING TO DEWINE

Ohio’s governor is promising parents that children will return to public schools on schedule this fall. Governor Mike DeWine also said there would be no surprises when it comes to COVID-19 restrictions and modifications the state will recommend to schools.  DeWine says once the guidelines are issued, he wants kids to return to the classroom, but he also says it will be left up to local school districts to provide safeguards from the coronavirus.

 

PROPOSAL TO BRING US SPACE FORCE TO WRIGHT-PATTERSON AFB

Ohio Governor Mike DeWine has given his support to a plan to bring the headquarters of the U.S. Space Force Command to Wright-Patterson Air Force Base.  DeWine sent a letter to the assistant Air Force Secretary endorsing the idea. The Air Force and Secretary of Defense have been taking nominations for Space Force headquarters since May.  Earlier, two members of Indiana’s Congressional delegation nominated Grissom Joint Air Reserve Base north of Kokomo.

NEW COACHES AT RICHMOND HIGH SCHOOL

Richmond High School has new coaches for men’s soccer and cross country.  Carson Jones was elevated from assistant coach to head soccer coach for the Red Devils.  Jones is still a student at I-U East and played soccer for the Red Wolves.  Dylan Cope will be the new cross-country coach for Richmond High.  Cope coached cross country for Richmond Intermediate School last year.  He also competed at I-U East and holds the school record in the 800 and 15-hundred meters.

RICHMOND POWER AND LIGHT RATE INCREASE

You have less than a week if you want to submit a public comment about the proposed rate increase from Richmond Power and Light.  R-P-and-L wants a three-phase increase in electricity rates between 2021 and 2023.  The rate hike would add around 15 dollars to the average power bill.  The utility says it needs the extra revenue because of increased costs to operate and to make improvements to its distribution system.  You can comment online until June 30th at the website of the state’s Office of Consumer Counselor.  A public hearing will be next Monday June 29th at the Richmond Municipal Building.

RICHMOND COUPLE CHARGED WITH CHILD NEGLECT

A man and woman from Richmond have been charged with neglecting their infant daughter.  Matthew James Shaffer and Casey Renee Miller were charged after an investigation by Richmond Police.  Officers say the couple’s daughter was taken to Reid Health and then Riley Hospital in Indianapolis on April 1st – the girl was four-months old at the time.  The hospital told police the baby was suffering from bleeding on her brain as well as injuries to her arm, rib and vertebrae.  The baby remains in foster care.

GROWTH OF COVID-19 SLOWING SLIGHTLY

The growth of COVID-19 appears to be slowing slightly in the nine-county area.  Over the past week, 142 new cases of the coronavirus have been reported in those counties, as businesses and governments in both Indiana and Ohio continue to open back up.  Most of the new cases were in Butler County, Ohio.  However, health officials there say the number of new cases has slowed dramatically over the past few days.

RICHMOND MAN ARRESTED FOR CHILD PORNOGRAPHY

A man from Richmond faces charges after the sheriff’s department says child pornography was found on his computer.  James Duane Brooks is 53-years-old.  Sheriff’s Deputies executed a search warrant at a building in the 5700 block of US 27 North – officers say Brooks lived at the location.  Deputies seized computer equipment and mobile phones, and investigators say child porn was found on some of the devices.  The sheriff’s department says Brooks had been under investigation for the previous month.

BRADFORD PLACE BUILDING TO COME DOWN

(Richmond, IN)--The days of a long-standing Richmond apartment building are numbered.  The Richmond Redevelopment Commission voted to fund demolition of the former Bradford Place building.  The building at the intersection of 12th and East Main is more than a hundred years old, but hasn’t been occupied in 15 years and is in structural decline.  The current owner hasn’t paid property taxes in two years.  The city will buy the building for $250.  Demolition will come about two months after that at a cost of about $230,000.

NORTHEASTERN NAMES NEW SUPERINTENDENT

(Fountain City, IN)--There is a whole new roster of administrators at Northeastern Wayne Schools.  Dr. Matthew Hicks, who was the high school principal, was named this week to replace Laura Blessing as superintendent.  Blessing is going to Miamisburg.  Longtime Hagerstown administrator Mark Childs will be the Northeastern High School principal.  Kelly Plank will be the new middle school principal, and Jamie Harshman will be the new principal at Northeastern Elementary.  There has been no recent word from the Indiana State Police about a criminal investigation that was taking place earlier this year involving Northeastern’s assistant superintendent.

I-70 CRASHES SHUT DOWN WESTBOUND LANES

(Wayne County, IN)--No injuries were reported in an accident on I-70 in Wayne County Thursday afternoon that left a motor home completely smashed.  It happened in the construction zone in the westbound lanes.  The crash closed I-70 westbound completely for hours to allow for cleanup.  That forced interstate traffic onto state highways and caused delays in multiple areas.  Eastbound traffic was also slowed.  There was a secondary crash about three miles from the first one.  There was an injury initially reported in that accident.

RCS ISSUES OFFICIAL "NO COMMENT" ON TERRILL STATUS

(Richmond, IN)--The official comment from Richmond Community Schools is “no comment.”  An RCS spokesperson issued that statement Wednesday afternoon regarding the situation with Superintendent Todd Terrill.  Terrill was a finalist earlier this month for a position in South Carolina but is no longer under consideration there.  Meanwhile, the Board of a school system in northwestern Indiana has met multiple times in the last month to search for a new superintendent.  The most recent executive session of that school board came on Monday of this week.

SHOTS FIRED OUTSIDE RICHMOND MOTEL

(Richmond, IN)--Shots were fired at a Richmond motel overnight.  Witnesses said an SUV entered the parking lot of Richmond Inn and Suites on East Main and fired.  Richmond police responded and found shell casings, but no injuries.  At roughly the same time – between 11 and midnight Wednesday night – there were reports of shots fired on South 11th from a vehicle similar in description.  Scanner traffic indicates there was no evidence of a shooting there.

REPORT: SIGNIFICANT UPGRADES NEEDED IN LIBERTY

(Liberty, IN)--Liberty is in need of major upgrades to buildings and systems.  A recent study found deficiencies of facilities at the sheriff’s department, jail, fire department, and 911 center.  One of the primary concerns is the jail.  The state is mandating upgrades.  The current jail is 150 years old and has a listed capacity of ten inmates.  But, for the last decade, it has averaged holding more than twice its capacity.  A recommendation was presented this week for a new jail that would house 36 inmates.  Preliminary cost estimates are around five-and-a-half million dollars.

RCS MUM ON TERRILL'S STATUS

(Richmond, IN)--There’s been no word from Richmond Community Schools about the status of Superintendent Todd Terrill.  Calls to the school Tuesday went unreturned.  On Tuesday, Kicks 96 and the Point News reported that Terrill had been one of three finalists for a superintendent’s position at a South Carolina school system two weeks ago, but is no longer being considered there.  Any transition with the superintendent’s position would come at a time when Richmond schools – like all others – is trying to work out the logistics of a return to school in August in the wake of Covid-19.

MAN SENTENCED FOR CRUELTY TO ANIMALS

(Cambridge City, IN)--A Cambridge City man was sentenced Tuesday for cruelty to animals.  38-year-old Derek Hicks was sentenced to a year behind bars with all but 90 days suspended.  Hicks was originally arrested for cruelty to a vertebrate animal last November.  Ironically, Hicks’ social media page was filled with petitions to toughen animal abuse laws before he was arrested for just that.

PIPE BOMBS FOUND IN CONNERSVILLE HOME

(Connersville, IN)--Pipe bombs were found at the home of a Connersville man who is currently in jail.  It happened when people cleaning a home on West 6th Street and found what they thought were explosives.  The Indiana State Police Explosive Ordnance Disposal Unit was called to the scene.  They took two pipe bombs to a safe location and detonated them.  The identity of the home’s occupant and why that person is in jail are details that have not yet been released.

TERRILL RECENTLY LISTED AS SOUTH CAROLINA JOB FINALIST

(Richmond, IN)--Richmond Community School Superintendent Todd Terrill will not be going to South Carolina.  Terrill was listed as one of three finalists for the superintendent’s job in Lexington, South Carolina.  Final interviews there will be conducted next week, but Terrill’s name has now been withdrawn from consideration.  Terrill has been the RCS superintendent for five years.  There’s no official word yet on why Terrill is no longer considered a candidate in South Carolina.

WAYNE COUNTY JOBLESS CLAIMS REACH 12-WEEK LOW

(Wayne County, IN)--Wayne County’s number of jobless claims in this week’s report is the lowest it’s been since Covid-19 stay-at-home orders began.  In the most recent numbers, 203 Wayne County residents filed for unemployment last week.  That’s more than ten times what the number was for the first week in June of last year.  In the 12 weeks since the shutdown was reflected in jobless claim numbers, 5528 Wayne County residents have filed jobless claims.

MASSAGE THERAPIST ACCUSED OF TOUCHING WOMEN INAPPROPRIATELY

(New Madison, OH)--A New Madison man is accused of inappropriately touching multiple women during massages.  An arrest warrant for sexual imposition has been issued for 22-year-old Jared Colvin of New Madison, who was working as a massage therapist at a business in Englewood.  The alleged victims include a 20 and 36-year-old client.  Colvin’s massage therapist license through the Ohio Medical Board is still listed as active on online records.

WAYNE COUNTY PASSES 100 CASES OF COVID-19

(Wayne County, IN)--Wayne County has now passed the 100-person threshold for people who have had Covid-19.  Wayne County now has had 103 confirmed cases.  That’s an increase of 14% from last week.  As the amount of testing goes up, the percentage of positive cases continues to drop.  Reid Health has now administered just shy of 3000 tests with a positive rate of five percent.  Reid currently has 25 patients in Covid-19 containment areas.

TEENS MARCH IN RICHMOND

(Richmond, IN)--A couple of hundred teens and young adults took to the streets of Richmond Sunday in a march that was similar to one conducted a couple of weeks ago.  Four speakers addressed the group, including 15-year-old Brylynn Quisenberry.  She’s the one who organized the rally on social media, and she has since been asked to the president of a youth group associated with the NAACP.  Just as they did a couple of weeks ago, Richmond Police Department officers provided traffic control for the march.

COMMISSIONERS TO ADDRESS RECORD SOLAR PANEL PROJECT

(Winchester, IN)--This week, Randolph County elected officials will be addressing a large proposed solar energy park.  That begins Monday, when county commissioners will hear an ordinance about the siting of solar energy systems.  The project would be called the Riverstart Solar Park.  It would be located in southwestern Randolph County and would include 670,000 solar panels on 1400 acres.  37,000 households could be powered.  That would cover every household in Randolph County more than three times over.  It would make it the largest such project in Indiana.  A public hearing on the project will take place Wednesday night.

NEIGHBOR COMPLAINTS LEAD TO DRUG BUST

(Richmond, IN)--Complaints from neighbors about ongoing drug activity led to the execution of a search warrant and the arrest of two women Thursday afternoon.  Investigators had been watching activity in the 700 block of South 8th in Richmond.  On Thursday, they arrested 30-year-old Ashley Welch and recovered a modest amount of heroin.  Welch is charged with possessing heroin.  She has a long criminal record which includes five other pending cases in Wayne County.  Also arrested was 38-year-old Amanda Smith.  Smith also has a record that includes drugs and auto theft.

DISTRACTED DRIVING CAMPAIGN BEGINS

(Richmond, IN)--This weekend begins a focus on distracted driving.  " Did you texting and driving is the cause of nearly 25% of all car accidents nation-wide?" questioned Wayne County Sheriff Randy Retter in a produced piece that will begin airing this weekend on all three Brewer Broadcasting stations.  There were three fatal and one near-fatal accidents last weekend in our area.  And, while it’s important to note that distracted driving was not specifically identified in any of them, three of the four crashes involved the driver either drifting off the road or crossing the center for unexplained reasons.  On July 1, a law goes into effect in Indiana that prevents holding a cell phone while driving.

ANIMAL CAUSES WIDESPREAD POWER OUTAGE

(Richmond, IN)--A Richmond Power & Light representative said Friday morning that an animal got into a substation and that’s what caused a widespread power outage earlier Friday morning.  The outage affected most of the south side of Richmond and was first reported at just before 3 o’clock Friday morning.  Outages were reported from many locations south of Main Street and east of the gorge.  RP&L had power restored in about an hour.

NEATHERY MURDER TRIAL DELAYED UNTIL NEXT YEAR

(Richmond, IN)--There’s been another delay in the trial involving a widely watched Richmond murder case.  The trial of Austin Neathery was pushed back and now won’t occur until well into next year…at the earliest.  Neathery is charged with the murder of Richmond’s Tremell Carpenter.  Carpenter was gunned down outside the Norwood Apartments two years ago.  Trial was to have started late last month, but has now been rescheduled for March 22 of next year.  No specific reason for the lengthy delay was entered into court documents.  Neathery remains in the Wayne County Jail without bond.

METH SHORTAGE FUELS INCREASE IN HEROIN OD'S

(Whitewater Valley)--Local law enforcement agencies are seeing a shift in drug usage.  Before Covid-19, methamphetamine usage was much more common than heroin locally.  But Covid-19 has affected the meth supply, and addicts are now reverting back to heroin, which can be much more deadly because it more commonly contains fentanyl.  So far this year, Connersville police have confiscated more heroin than meth.  Connersville has also now had 11 overdose deaths this year, with most of them coming at the end of April.  Wayne County numbers have not become available, although law enforcement agents have acknowledged an increase similar to Fayette County’s.

STORMS DOWN TREES, CAUSE POWER OUTAGES

(Whitewater Valley)--Storms accompanied by high winds Wednesday night created some issues across the Whitewater Valley.  That includes in the 800 block of Elks Road in Richmond, where a large tree fell into a house.  No one inside was hurt.  Another tree came down on Sim Hodgin Parkway, forcing entry into the gorge to be blocked.  There were also power outages.  Businesses along National Road East in Richmond were in the dark.  Centerville and New Paris also had outages.  RP&L said all power had been restored this morning.  DP&L said there were about 150 customers still out Thursday morning in New Paris and part of Eaton.

SUSPICIOUS PACKAGES FOUND AT WAYNE COUNTY JAIL

(Richmond, IN)--Two suspicious packages were discovered at the Wayne County Jail on Wednesday morning.  Only a few details have been released.  The jail went on lockdown briefly and neighboring streets were closed.  There was no evacuation.  One of the packages was determined to be empty.  More information is expected to be released later Wednesday.

MORE CHARGES IN RESTAURANT INVESTIGATION

(Liberty, IN)--Here’s more on the investigation into Mexican restaurants in Liberty and Brookville that Kicks 96 and The Point News has been reporting for the last week.  In addition to Jessica Leon, who has been charged with conspiracy to commit human trafficking, two other Liberty residents have been charged.  Ricardo Leon is also faces human trafficking charges.  43-year-old Jose Leon faces 18 counts, including money laundering and corrupt business influence.  Investigators say false social security numbers were used in a scheme to aid worker in the country illegally and to defraud the government.  The case involves El Reparo restaurants in Liberty and Brookville.

WOMAN JAILED AFTER THREATS AT MOTEL

(Richmond, IN)--A Richmond woman is behind bars after a wild night at the Econolodge in Richmond.  Officers were called there Tuesday night on the report of a woman with both a gun and a knife, pounding on a door, and threatening to shoot a man inside.  Police were able to arrive and corral 36-year-old Christina Chism before there were any injuries.  Chism has a history of battery and, according to court documents, had just gotten off of probation for battery by bodily waste on a safety official.

LOCAL TESTING FOR COVID-19 ANTIBODIES NOW AVAILABLE

(Richmond, IN)--It’s now possible on the local level to not only find out if you have Covid-19 now, but also to find out if you’ve ever had it.  Widespread antibody testing is now available at three Richmond locations:  Reid Health, First Care, and Mid America Clinical Laboratories.  At Reid, you’ll need a doctor’s order.  At Mid America, you won’t.  But it will cost $119 and requires online registration.  The test is done by a blood draw.  There are differing opinions from health experts on the length and degree of immunity from Covid-19 you have if you’ve already had the virus.

Covid-19 testing at the former Elder-Beerman building in Richmond has increased greatly, but is still falling short of the state’s expectations.  The number of people being tested daily there is now about 90, which is more than double the amount at the time of the move of the testing site from the armory.  The state wants to see 135 people tested daily.  There is no cost for the testing, which has now undergone a welcome change.  A long swab that goes well up the nose has now been replaced by a much shorter one that only touches the front of the inside of the nose.

LOCAL JOBLESS FILINGS INCREASE FOR FIRST TIME IN SIX WEEKS

(Wayne County, IN)--The weekly jobs report for Wayne County that highlights the number of people who have filed for unemployment in any given week has taken a turn for the worse.  The number of claims rose last week for the first time in six weeks.  Last week’s number of filings was 223, up from 204 the week before.  That’s ten times the normal level before the Covid-19 outbreak.  Since stay-at-home orders began, 11 weeks of jobless claims show that 5325 Wayne County residents have filed for unemployment.

NEW PARIS MAN DIES FROM CRASH INJURIES

(New Hope, OH)--A New Paris man has died as a result of one of the multiple serious weekend crashes.  22-year-old Dustin Hutchins died at Miami Valley Hospital in Dayton after being involved in a crash on U.S. 35 near Oxford-Gettysburg Road.  Hutchins was a passenger in a car driven by 20-year-old Taylor Wilburn of Camden.  Wilburn drifted across the center line and struck an oncoming car.  She sustained serious injuries and was taken to Reid Health.

AFFIDAVIT DETAILS HUMAN TRAFFICKING ARREST

(Liberty, IN)--Here’s more on the recent re-arrest of Liberty’s Jessica Leon.  Leon was jailed in Dearborn County earlier this month on a charge of human trafficking.  In newly obtained court documents, Leon’s alleged activities are tied directly to the El Reparo Mexican restaurant in Liberty.  But, she is not accused of other serious crimes involving owners of that restaurant and one in Brookville.  Those charges include multiple counts of money laundering and corrupt business influence.  Leon is accused of sending money illegally to Texas and Mexico.  The alleged crimes date back several years.

FIRE CHIEF FIRED FOR ALLEGED ETHICS VIOLATIONS

(West Alexandria, OH)--West Alexandria Fire Chief Jeff Shafer has been fired.  The Preble County village’s council voted Monday night to terminate Shafer following an ethics investigation.  Shafer had ordered promotions for his son with the fire and EMS departments.  Meanwhile, Mayor Jeff Hickey’s wife is also being investigated after being accused of shoving Shafer’s wife during Monday night’s vote.

ISP: EXCESSIVE SPEED LED TO CRASH THAT KILLED FOUR

(Union County, IN)--Four people are dead following a crash on Nine Mile Road in Union County Sunday.  Indiana State Police investigators say that crash happened when 23-year-old Savanna Kinder of Richmond lost control of her southbound car, went off the road, overcorrected, and went into the path of a northbound car occupied by three people from Decatur in northeastern Indiana.  Kinder and two others were pronounced dead at the scene.  The fourth victim died at a hospital.  Investigators also say that excessive speed was a primary factor, although that section of Nine Mile Road is very straight and flat.

FORMER RICHMOND RESIDENT, HUSBAND, KILLED IN MOTORCYCLE CRASH

(Union City, OH)--A former Richmond resident and her husband were killed in a Darke County crash Sunday afternoon.  48-year-old Hope Shaneyfelt was an RHS graduate now living in Union City.  She and her husband, Doug were riding a motorcycle on State Route 47 just east of Union City when a pickup driven by a 22-year-old man turned into their path.  The Shaneyfelts were not wearing helmets and were both pronounced dead at the scene.  The driver who caused the crash suffered only minor injuries.

TWO UNRESPONSIVE FOLLOWING CRASH NEAR ECONOMY

(Economy, IN)--Two people were critically hurt in a crash on U.S. 35 near Economy.  It happened at just before 6 Sunday afternoon at the intersection of 35 and Charles Road.  The Wayne County Sheriff’s Department said that 46-year-old Scott Williams of Randolph County was driving when, for unknown reasons, he drove off the road and into a wooded area.  Both Williams and his passenger, 35-year-old Nancy Searcy of Losantville, were taken by a medical helicopter to a Level One trauma center.  Searcy was unconscious and unresponsive.  Life-saving measures had also been performed on Williams.  Updates Monday morning were not available.

JC PENNEY TO CLOSE; AMC THEATER IN JEOPARDY

(Richmond, IN)--The Richmond Mall is losing a store that has been an anchor for decades.  Richmond’s J.C. Penney is on the list of 154 store nationwide to close as a result of slumping sales.  Although it had stood as an anchor at the west end of the mall since moving from downtown over 50 years ago as one of the mall’s original tenants, the local J.C. Penney had two extended closures recently.  The first was last year and resulted from a tornado.  Then, this spring, Covid-19 brought another extended closure.  There will be a bankruptcy hearing next week.  No specific closure date has been announced.  J.C. Penney may not be the only long-time east-side Richmond staple to close its doors.  In a filing this week, AMC Theaters reported that it "has substantial doubt that it can remain in business."  AMC said it does have the money to reopen after closures forced by Covid-19, but smaller crowds from social distancing mandates will affect revenue.  If it can’t survive, Richmond would be without an indoor movie theater for the first time in 90 years.  If AMC can’t survive, the closest theater to Richmond would be in Connersville.

SIXTH WAYNE COUNTY RESIDENT DIES FROM COVID-19

(Wayne County, IN)--Wayne County has had another resident die with Covid-19.  Wayne County health officials reported Thursday that a female who was over the age of 60 died last week.  She had tested positive more than a month and a half ago.  Other details, including whether or not she had underlying conditions, have not been released.  Her death is the sixth in Wayne County and the first in the last three weeks.  Our nine-county area has now had 85 deaths.  More than half of those have been in Darke and Butler County.

ALLEGED METH DEALER JAILED FOR SECOND TIME IN TEN DAYS

(Richmond, IN)--An alleged meth dealer who was jailed last week racked up a whole new series of serious charges Thursday.  25-year-old Casey Moore was released from jail after being charged with dealing meth, among many other things.  On Thursday afternoon, Moore was caught near 13th and Main after allegedly pointing a firearm and carrying a handgun without a permit.  Moore remained in the Wayne County Jail Friday morning.

LIBERTY WOMAN CHARGED WITH HUMAN TRAFFICKING

(Liberty, IN)--A woman who lists a Liberty address was in the Dearborn County Jail in Lawrenceburg Thursday morning, charged with human trafficking.  She’s Jessica Leon.  Details of the charges have not yet become available.  

RESTORED McDONALD'S CABOOSE TO BE PLACED IN CENTERVILLE PARK

(Centerville, IN)--If you’re old enough, you might remember the railroad caboose that once sat at McDonald’s at 18th and Main in Richmond.  It still exists and now that caboose is getting new life.  After deteriorating for years in the back of the former Highland Heights school, the caboose was moved to a Milton farm for renovation by the Wayne County Railroaders Association.  After two years of restoration, the caboose is set to be placed at its new home at Maplewood Park in Centerville this Saturday morning.  That caboose is now 113 years old.  (Note:  the caboose pictured in this story is not the specific caboose, but is similar in style and appearance).

255 MORE WAYNE COUNTY RESIDENTS FILE JOBLESS CLAIMS

(Wayne County, IN)--The number of jobless claims in Wayne County continues to come down, but remains ten times higher than normal.  In the last week that numbers are available, another 215 Wayne County residents filed claims.  It’s now been nine weeks that stay-at-home orders resulted in massive job loss.  In those nine weeks, 4898 Wayne County residents have filed jobless claims.  This week, though, represents the sixth straight week that the number of jobless claims been smaller than it was the week before.

FIVE HURT IN CRASH INVOLVING AMBULANCE

(Richmond, IN)--There was a serious accident involving an ambulance Wednesday.  Two vehicles were involved in a crash at the intersection of New Paris Pike and Hayes Arboretum Road in Richmond late Wednesday afternoon.  Also involved was an ambulance from the New Paris area.  Scanner traffic indicated that ambulance was carrying two patients.  Three others were hurt.  Roads in the area were shut down, a medical helicopter was placed on standby, and multiple ambulances were brought to the scene.  So far, there has been no word on the identity or conditions of any of the victims.

CLOSE COMMISSIONER RACES HIGHLIGHT LOCAL PRIMARIES

(Wayne County, IN)--There were two close races in the Republican primary for Wayne County Commissioner Tuesday.  Current Council member Jeff Plasterer won the District 3 race over Brad Robinson by 128 votes in a race that saw 5260 votes cast.  Current Commissioner Mary Anne Butters won over Doug Williamson in a race that was almost as close.  212 votes separated those two.  Neither Plasterer nor Butters have current challengers on the Democratic or Independent side in the November general election.  In some other Wayne County primary election results from Tuesday, one current officeholder was defeated.  Current County Councilman Rodger Smith was defeated by three other Republicans in a four-way race, with Gary Saunders garnering the most votes.  Kevin Fouche won in the primary race for Coroner over Wayne Loudy.  And, incumbent County Clerk Debbie Berry won easily over Tara Pegg.  Berry will face Democrat Yvonne Washington in November.

WESTERN WAYNE REFERENDUM PASSES

(Cambridge City, IN)--Western Wayne school supporters were happy after a referendum passed Tuesday night.  That referendum will mean an additional half a million dollars for the school system’s budget in a district that has been impacted by a dramatically declining enrollment.  The vote was decisive, passing by a 64-36% margin.  Tuesday’s passage means that Western Wayne can balance its budget for at least the next eight years.

20-YEAR-OLD SHOT ON SOUTH 11th

(Richmond, IN)--A 20-year-old central Indiana man was shot in Richmond Tuesday afternoon.  Police were called to the 400 block of South 11th at around 3 o’clock to investigate a shots fired call.  While they were at the scene, investigators were notified that a victim had shown up at Reid Health with two gunshot wounds.  The injuries were non-life-threatening.  No arrests have been made for the shooting.  But, during a search warrant of the home, officers arrested 32-year-old Jeremy Goodwin on charges that include possession of meth, narcotic drugs, drug paraphernalia, and forgery.

ARRESTS MADE IN SHOOTING OF TEEN

(Richmond, IN)--Two arrests were madeTuesday in the shooting of a Richmond teen on Hilldell Avenue last week.  20-year-old Dorian Gordon has been charged with felony battery.  19-year-old Kaylee Smith has been charged with aiding and inducing.  That’s a low-level felony.  The shooting was the result of a fight between several people.  The 17-year-old victim continues to recover.

POLICE SEARCH IN AND AROUND PRIMEX FOR SUSPICOUS JUVENILE

(Richmond, IN)--Richmond Police officers descended on an area near Primex Plastics at North 13th and F Streets late Tuesday afternoon after a juvenile had possibly entered the plant with a gun.  It began with a suspicious person call on the railroad tracks.  According to scanner traffic, a backpack was found outside Primex but the suspect was thought to have entered after flashing a gun.  The juvenile was eventually captured and taken to a detention facility.  There were no injuries and there’s no word yet on whether or not a gun was located inside Primex after the building was searched.

5500 BALLOTS CAST VIA MAIL-IN, EARLY VOTING

(Richmond, IN)--Richmond Mayor Dave Snow talked Monday night about Tuesday.  "It's Primary Day.  You are able to vote at several vote centers in Richmond," Snow said.  Covid-19 has resulted in many more mail-in ballots being sent out than are traditionally issued.  About 2/3 of the 3000 ballots that went out in Wayne County had been returned by Monday.  Another 2500 ballots were cast through early voting.  That’s only about half the total of primaries in the last two presidential elections.  The counting of those ballots will begin before polls close at 6 o'clock Tuesday night.  There’s a possibility that final results won’t be released until Wednesday.

PERSON STABBED TUESDAY MORNING

(Richmond, IN)--There was a stabbing in Richmond Tuesday morning.  It happened at around 1:30 Tuesday morning in the area of the 1300 block of South 13th.  No suspects have been arrested yet.  There has been no other information released, including the condition of the victim and any information about a possible suspect.  The investigation is continuing.

JUVENILES DO $6000 IN DAMAGE TO EQUIPMENT

(Richmond, IN)--A group of juveniles caused extensive damage to business equipment late Monday night.  The juveniles were out in an area near North 24th Street and Hawkins Road.  They were later contacted by police on North 13th.  The initial estimate, according to scanner traffic, was that at least $6000 in damage was done the equipment of a lawn care company.  At least one juvenile was arrested and released to an adult with the promise to report to probation officers Tuesday.

HUNDREDS MARCH IN PEACEFUL RICHMOND PROTEST

(Richmond, IN)--Several hundred people walked through Richmond streets Sunday in a peaceful protest of police violence.  Unlike in larger cities, there were no issues of rioting or vandalism.  "I didn't see any violence.  I didn't see any counterprotesting.  I think it went really well." said April Crowe, who took part.  The march began in the gorge, and wound its way through city streets with the help of the Richmond Police Department.  "Police officers were respectful.  Everyone that was in the protest was respectful.  Richmond really came together," said Essence Black.  The march stopped briefly at the Wayne County Jail as marchers chanted.  It concluded back in the gorge.

NUMBER OF COVID-19 PATIENTS IN CONTAINMENT AREAS DROPS

(Wayne County, IN)--Wayne County’s number of confirmed Covid-19 cases has gone up by 19% in the last week and now stands at 82.  While that’s a slightly higher rate of growth than has existed in the last few weeks, the number of patients in Reid Health’s containment area stands at just 34, and that’s the lowest that number has been in nearly two months.  The rates of growth in other Whitewater Valley counties continues to remain roughly the same.  Fayette County cases grew by 15%.  Preble County cases grew by 23%, and Randolph County cases grew by 18%.

Richmond, IN WEATHER

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