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Local News Powered by First Bank Richmond Archives for 2020-07

TEN PEOPLE, INCLUDING SEVERAL CHILDREN, HURT IN CRASH

(Richmond, IN)--Ten people were injured in one crash Thursday night near the intersection of Round Barn Road and U.S. 40 between Richmond and Centerville.  Multiple first responders and agencies were sent there at 7:40 Thursday night.  The initial report is that one vehicle tried to turn into the Shell station, but turned into the path of an eastbound vehicle.  Many of the injured people were children, including one child who was flown from Reid Health to another facility.  Another victim was pregnant.  The identities and conditions of the victims have not been released.

WAYNE COUNTY RECORDS 9th COVID-19 DEATH

(Wayne County, IN)--Wayne County has had its ninth Covid-19 death and its third in the last ten days.  The Wayne County Health Department said Thursday that a man in his 80’s died on Wednesday at Reid Health.  He had been a resident of a local long-term care facility.  The Health Department is not disclosing which facility.  Reid Health has had a large increase in the number of patients in its Covid-19 containment areas.  That number this morning is 34.  As recently as two weeks ago, that number was only 11.

WAYNE COUNTY SURPASSES 7000 JOBLESS CLAIMS

(Wayne County, IN)--The effect of Covid-19 on Wayne County jobs continues to be evident in the county’s weekly jobless claims report.  According to numbers released Thursday, another 272 jobless claims were filed by Wayne County residents.  It brings the total since the outbreak began to an incredible 7112 jobless claims in 18 weeks.  To put that into perspective, in all of last year there were less than 1100 jobless claims filed.

RICHMOND TEEN APPEARS ON WEBSITE FOR MISSING CHILDREN

(Richmond, IN)--A missing Richmond teenager now appears on the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children’s website.  According to that website, 16-year-old Reina Lopez has not been seen since May 14.  Details of events leading up to her disappearance have not been released.  Reina is Hispanic, six feet tall, and weighs 350 pounds.  If you can help find her, you’re asked to call the Richmond Police Department.

SURVEILLANCE IMAGE RELEASED OF VP ROBBER

(Cambridge City, IN)--Investigators have released a surveillance image of the man who used a knife to rob the Village Pantry in Cambridge City late Wednesday night.  The man entered the store and brandished what was described as a large kitchen-style knife.  He made off with cigarettes and a relatively small amount of cash.  There were no injuries. The suspect is a white male of average height and weight who appears to be in his 30’s with a thin beard.

MOSEY EMPLOYEES SAY WEDNESDAY WAS THEIR LAST DAY

(Richmond, IN)--Employees of Mosey Manufacturing are indicating that the Richmond-based manufactured has initiated either an extended layoff or permanent closure.  Earlier this week, Kicks 96 and 101.7 The Point News reported that Mosey had sent a letter to its employees indicating that it had lost two major contracts with auto manufacturers.  On Wednesday night, employees said that they were told that Wednesday would be their last day.  A letter distributed to employees Wednesday explained options for extending health insurance.  According to the EDC, Mosey employs 300 people.  Employees said only a handful will remain for the next week to assist in the shutdown and removal of equipment.  There has been no official statement from Mosey.  The company was founded in Richmond by Charlie Mosey 75 years ago.

JUSTICE TO CLOSE IN RICHMOND MALL

(Richmond, IN)--The Richmond Mall is losing another tenant.  This time, it’s Justice, which specializes in clothing for pre-teen girls.  Justice’s parent company, Ascena, has confirmed the closing and indicated that is one of 600 across the country in the wake of slumping sales and Covid-19.  Victoria’s Secret has also closed.  And, longtime mall anchor J.C. Penney announced in the spring that it, too, would be leaving the Richmond Mall.  Other Justice stores across our region, including Hamilton, Muncie, Dayton, and Cincinnati are also closing.

MANUFACTURER TO CREATE 30 RICHMOND JOBS

(Richmond, IN)--A manufacturer has announced a new venture in Richmond.  Phillips Tube Group, which is a welded steel tube manufacturer, will locate on Industrial Parkway.  Phillips will invest $8.2 million and hire 30 people for jobs that pay an average of $26 per hour.  It’s expected to take three years for the plant to be fully operational, and there’s no word yet on when hiring will begin.  Local and state agencies provided Phillips in excess of $400,000 as part of the deal.  The Phillips CEO cited Richmond’s business-friendly environment and proximity to I-70 as reasons for the decision.

FUNERAL SERVICE SET FOR FORMER RPD CHIEF

(Richmond, IN)--A funeral service has been set for Saturday afternoon at 1 o’clock for former Richmond Police Chief Jim Branum.  Branum died Monday at his home after a three-year battle with cancer.  Branum stepped down as chief in April.  His colleagues are praising his commitment both to the department and to his fellow officers.  Branum had served in multiple roles, including as a patrolman, a detective, and a supervisor before rising to the rank of chief.  Visitation is from 4-8 p.m. Friday at Doan & Mills Funeral Home.  Jim Branum was 59.

WAYNE COUNTY RECORDS 8th DEATH ATTRIBUTED TO COVID-19

(Wayne County, IN)--Wayne County has had its second Covid-19 death in a week.  The man died two weeks after testing positive.  The Wayne County Health Department said only that the man was over 60.  The Department does not disclose other factors about Covid victims, including whether or not they had any underlying medical conditions.  The man becomes the eighth Wayne County resident whose death is attributed to the virus.  Preble and Randolph County has also had a recent Covid-19 death.  It brings the total number of deaths in our area to 73.

RPD OFFICERS CREDITED WITH SAVING SUICIDAL WOMAN

(Richmond, IN)--A suicidal woman was saved from leaping off the Main Street Bridge in Richmond Tuesday afternoon, and three RPD officers are being credited with saving her life.  Sergeant Austin Lipps saw her outside the bridge’s railing and noted that she had cut her wrist.  Officers Will Purcell and Zach Taylor also responded to the scene.  The bridge was shut down.  The woman then tried to run across the bridge and was grabbed as she tried to jump over the rail.  All three officers are up for commendation.

WAYNE COUNTY ADDS 71 COVID CASES IN LAST WEEK

(Wayne County, IN)--Wayne County’s cases of Covid-19 have taken a large jump in the last week.  According to the state’s website, Wayne County picked up 71 new cases in the last week and stood Tuesday morning at 270.  That’s an increase of 36% in a week.  The number of patients in Reid Health’s containment areas has also risen and is at 23.  On the positive side, though, Wayne County’s positivity rate since the outbreak remains below 4%.  There has been only one death in the last two months.

MOSEY LOSES CONTRACTS WITH FORD, GM

(Richmond, IN)--One of Richmond’s largest manufacturers is working to replace lost contracts.  According to a letter that was distributed last week to employees Mosey Manufacturing, both Ford and GM have resourced to other suppliers.  The letter states that "it’s retaliation for Mosey’s failure to absorb the material tariff fees imposed by President Trump."  The letter goes on to say that they’re looking for alternative work.  According to the EDC, Mosey Manfacturing employs 300 people.

150,000 MASKS DISTRIBUTED IN RICHMOND

(Richmond, IN)--More than 150,000 masks were distributed over the weekend at three sites in Richmond.  That’s according to the city of Richmond on Monday.  That was in advance of a statewide mask mandate going into effect MOnday.  Violation of the mask mandate now does not carry a criminal penalty.  Instead, enforcement will be up to local health departments through education.  The Wayne County Health Department has not discussed enforcement on the local level, although one Wayne County Commissioner suggested last week that violators would be handed a flier.

AREA SHERIFFS SAY THEY WON'T ENFORCE MASK MANDATES

(Whitewater Valley)--With a statewide mask mandate already in effect in Ohio and going into effect on Monday in Indiana, some local law enforcement agencies are telling residents not to call with mask complaints.  In Darke County, the sheriff’s department has posted on its Facebook page, "We are not the mask police.  Don’t call 911 to report someone not wearing a mask."  And, in Fayette County, Sheriff Joey Laughlin has posted "I’ll keep this simple.  The sheriff’s department is not going to arrest you for not wearing a mask."  Sheriffs in Franklin and Butler County have issued similar statements.  Richmond Police and the Wayne County Sheriff’s Department have not released enforcement statements.

COUNTY, STATE FIGURES SHOW DIFFERING LEVELS OF COVID-19 SPIKE

(Wayne County, IN)--While the spike in Wayne County cases of Covid-19 continues, there has also been a shift in demographics.  The Wayne County Health Department said Thursday there had been 50 new cases from Monday to Wednesday, although that number does not match what is posted on the state’s website.  The state is reported 25, not 50, cases in that time period.  The state’s website does say, though, that the highest percentage of Wayne County residents to test positive for cases of Covid-19 are in their 20’s.  One of every five Wayne County residents to test positive have been between the ages of 20 and 29.  People in the 50’s are running a close second.

JOBLESS CLAIMS RISE TO 6840, BUT RICHMOND BUSINESSES NEED EMPLOYEES

(Richmond, IN)--As national leaders mull over whether or not to extend a $600 weekly unemployment subsidy that’s set to expire at the end of the month, Wayne County has added another 200 jobless claims in the last week.  It brings the Wayne County total of jobless claims since the outbreak began to 6840.  Despite the high number of local jobless claims, many small business owners in Richmond say they are desperate for employees.  A lack of employees has contributed to the closure of one restaurant near downtown Richmond.

RCS OPTS AGAINST FIVE-DAY-A-WEEK, IN-SCHOOL LEARNING

(Richmond, IN)--There was a change in plans Wednesday night with the start of the Richmond Community School year.  Before Wednesday night, students at Richmond High School and Test and Dennis Intermediate Schools had the option of attending school in-person five days a week.  Wednesday night, though, the RCS Board approved a change that means that, if students at those three schools want to attend in person, they’ll only be doing it two or three days a week.  On the days they’re not in school, those students will get virtual instruction.  The change is to allow for increased social distancing and will be in effect for at least the first six weeks of school.  About a thousand, or roughly 25%, of students in the system, have opted to learn from home exclusively.

McCOWN FAMILY MOURNS LOSS OF MOTHER DAY BEFORE ANNIVERSARY OF NIQUI'S DISAPPEARANCE

(Richmond, IN)--Wednesday marked the 19th anniversary of the disappearance of Richmond’s Niqui McCown.  But this year, it’s an especially somber occasion.  That’s because one day before Wednesday’s anniversary, on Tuesday, Niqui’s mother Barbara died.  Barbara McCown had championed the search for her daughter and never gave up hope that answers would come.  "I just want somebody, somewhere to come clean.  Somebody knows what happened.  Niqui didn't deserve this," Barbara said during one of many national television features on her daughter's disappearance.  Tributes to Barbara and messages of support are pouring into a Facebook page dedicated to Niqui’s disappearance.  Barbara McCown was 79.

MANDATORY MASKS FOR INDIANA AND OHIO

On Wednesday afternoon, the governors of both Indiana and Ohio issued mask mandates for their respective states.  In Indiana, Governor Eric Holcomb said that the mask mandate will go into effect this coming Monday, July 27th.  Holcomb cited several factors for the mandate, including an effort to ensure children can attend school next month.  The mandate will be for anyone over the age of seven in indoor public spaces or commercial entities, and outdoor spaces where social distancing is not possible.  Holcomb's announcement this afternoon essentially renders a decision this morning by Wayne County Commissioners meaningless.  The mandate at the state level will go into effect before a Wayne County mandate would have begun.  In Ohio, Governor Mike DeWine said the mandate will go into effect at 6 o'clock Thursday night.  Details of Ohio's mandate are much the same as Indiana's.

WAYNE COUNTY COMMISSION VOTES IN FAVOR OF MASK MANDATE

(Wayne County, IN) The Wayne County Commission has approved a mask mandate on a 2 to 1 vote this morning, during the regular commission meeting. While the Commission has approved a mandate, it is not yet in effect, because the Commission will have to write an ordinance to be approved at the next meeting. As for enforcement, it is unclear what penalties, if any, will be imposed if people do not wear masks. Commissioner Mary Anne Butters suggested offenders could be handed a flyer.  This mandate also does not cover the City of Richmond. 

 

WAYNE COUNTY SURPASSES 200-CASE MARK FOR COVID-19

(Wayne County, IN)--The number of patients in Reid Health’s Covid-19 containment area has taken another significant increase.  The number stood at 27 Wednesday morning, which is two-and-a-half times higher than it was when the number stood at 11 two weeks ago.  Wayne County has also now passed the 200-case mark and stands Wednesday morning at 215.  75 of those cases, or about one-third, have been recorded in just the last two weeks.  Wayne County Commissioners could discuss a mask mandate Wednesday.  Commissioners meet every Wednesday, but this is the first Wednesday meeting since the county’s Board of Health recommended making the wearing of a mask anywhere in public mandatory.  An unscientific poll indicates that the majority of residents do not want a mandate.  More than 2300 people responded to a recent social media poll.  Of those who responded, twice as many people opposed a mask mandate as people who favor one.

FRANKLIN COUNTY DISCUSSES POTENTIAL FINE FOR MASK VIOLATIONS

(Brookville, IN)--Wayne County isn’t the only Whitewater Valley considering a mask mandate.  In Franklin County, the Health Board is asking county commissioners to issue the mandate.  Although it’s not in place yet, a possible penalty for those who don’t comply has been discussed.  Franklin County’s Director of Emergency Management indicated it could be considered a Class B Misdemeanor, punishable by a $1000 fine or up to six months in jail.  Commission President Tom Linkel has expressed his opposition to a mask mandate.

RP&L MORATORIUM ON DISCONNECTIONS TO END SOON

(Richmond, IN)--A moratorium on disconnections for customers of Richmond Power and Light is set to end in less than three weeks.  RP&L GM Randy Baker told the RP&L Board this week August 14 is that date the moratorium will end.  It was issued earlier this year in response to Covid-19.  Baker also told the Board that RP&L typically has between 300-500 cutoff orders due to non-payment.  Right now, though, there are about 3000.

SUGAR CREEK, WESTERN WAYNE REACH AGREEMENT FOR WASTEWATER TREATMENT

(Cambridge City, IN)--It’s been a major issue in western Wayne County for years, and now it appears to be resolved.  On Monday night, Sugar Creek Packing agreed to terms to stay with the Western Wayne Regional Sewage District.  It’s great news for a couple of reasons.  First, it will keep rate increases for people in the Cambridge City area much lower than they could’ve otherwise been.  Secondly, it will allow the Wayne County EDC to intensify marketing efforts for the Indiana Gateway Industrial Park.  An engineering contract for the project was approved Monday night.  If all goes as planned, the new treatment plant will be operational in two years.  Wayne County is expected to contribute a million dollars toward the project.

WAYNE COUNTY MAN'S COVID-19 DEATH IS AREA'S 64th

(Wayne County, IN)--Wayne County has had its first Covid-19 death in nearly two months.  The Wayne County Health Department on Monday indicated that a man in his 80’s died at Reid Health.  A release from the department indicated the man was not a nursing home patient.  His death becomes Wayne County’s seventh attributed to the virus.  Our area, excluding Butler County, has now had 64 Covid-19 deaths.  The vast majority of those deaths came in the first two months of the outbreak.

WAYNE CO UNEMPLOYMENT RATE RISES WHILE OTHER AREA COUNTIES FALL

(Wayne County, IN)--Unemployment rates are coming down in our area with the exception of Wayne County, which rose slightly in the last month.  Wayne County’s rate stood Tuesday at 10.3%.  That’s down from a Covid-19 caused high of almost 15% in April.  By comparison, the unemployment rate for Wayne County just before Covid hit was 3.6%.  Elsewhere, Fayette County had a significant drop and is now down to 15.6%.  Union County is at 8.5, Randolph County is at 9.8, and Franklin County is down to 8.4% unemployment.

WAYNE CO. COVID COUNT LAST WEEK EXCEEDS FIRST TWO MONTHS

(Wayne County, IN)--few local Covid-19 milestones were passed over the weekend, and most are not good.  Wayne County last week had 41 new cases.  That is, by far, the highest single week total and leaves Wayne County with 199 cases.  It was a 26% rise in cases in just one week.  Wayne County had more positives just last week than it did in the first two months of the outbreak.  Preble County last week surpassed the hundred-case mark and Monday morning stood at 107.  And Butler County, where masks are now mandated, crossed the 2000-case mark.  On the positive side, though, the number of patients in Reid Health’s containment area has dropped significantly, and is back down to 15 Monday morning.

INDOT TO CLOSE RAMPS AT 35, 227

(Richmond, IN)--INDOT has released a construction update for this week that will include some ramp closures on I-70 in Wayne County.  The eastbound ramps to and from U.S. 35, or Williamsburg Pike, are scheduled to close at midnight Monday night /  Tuesday morning and remain closed through Friday night.  The eastbound ramps to and from State Road 227 are scheduled to be closed for the same time.  Meanwhile, eastbound 70 is scheduled to be reduced to one lane from State Road 1 to Centerville Road for the entire week.  That’s likely to cause another round of delays and accidents.

NO SERIOUS INJURIES IN RESERVOIR CRASH

(Richmond, IN)--No serious injuries were reported in a multiple-rollover crash that occurred Sunday in an area where you would not expect such an accident.  It happened close to the dog park at the entrance to Middlefork Reservoir in Richmond.  Witnesses said the vehicle missed a curve, rolled at least four times, and became airborne.  Everyone inside was able to get out on his own.  Names have not been released.

WAYNE COUNTY HEALTH BOARD RECOMMENDS MASK MANDATE

(Richmond, IN)--Although it’s not a mandate yet, it is likely that masks will soon be required in public in Wayne County.  Thursday, the Wayne County Board of Health unanimously voted to recommend that Wayne County Commissioners and Richmond Mayor Dave Snow issue an order that would require a mask be worn by everyone inside public places and even outside when social distancing is not possible.  The recommendation is prompted by several disturbing Covid-19 statistics.  On Wednesday alone, Wayne County had 14 new cases.  That’s more than double the previous single-day high.  The positivity rate for testing has tripled in the last week.  County Commissioners are not scheduled to meet again until Wednesday of next week to address a possible mandate.  Many people have already expressed stiff opposition to what will likely soon be a mask-wearing mandate in public in Wayne County.  After Thursday’s announcement, many residents took to social media to say they would not comply.  And that brings the question of enforceability into question.  In nearby Butler County, which already has a mask mandate, here’s what Sheriff Richard Jones said.  "I am not the mask police.  I am not going to enforce any mask-wearing."  When the mask mandate began in places like College Corner and Oxford, 911 was inundated with calls from people reporting that other people were not wearing masks.  Right now, there are full or partial mask mandates is six of Indiana’s 92 counties.

SHERIFF ASK FOR PHOTOGRAPHIC EVIDENCE FROM FATAL CRASH

(Richmond, IN and Eaton, OH)--The Wayne County Sheriff’s Department is asking for the help of the public with the prosecution of the man accused of causing the deaths of four kids on I-70 in Wayne County last week.  Sheriff Randy Retter said that, in an effort to get all possible evidence in the case, they’re asking anyone who has photos or video of the crash to contact the Wayne County Sheriff’s Department.  It happened at around 5 o’clock on Thursday afternoon of last week.  The man who faces multiple counts of reckless homicide following a horrific crash in Wayne County last week was back behind bars Friday morning.  Corey Withrow of Camden was served Thursday with documentation from Preble County Common Pleas Court alleging Withrow violated his probation by driving under the influence of drugs and causing a crash that killed four kids on I-70 near Cambridge City.  Withrow has a hearing set for next Tuesday.

COMMISSIONERS DISCUSS COVID-19 INCREASES

(Richmond, IN)--Wayne County Commissioners Wednesday discussed an increase in local Covid-19 cases.  The three highest single-day totals of positive tests in Wayne County have come in the last week.  The percentage of positive tests in the last week has been nearly double what it’s been since the outbreak began.  And, the number of patients in Reid’s containment area has also nearly doubled in the last week, going from 11 to 21.  Commissioner Ken Paust met with Richmond Mayor Dave Snow earlier this week to discuss making mask-wearing mandatory in public.  Local leaders say they’re not ready to take that step, but strongly encouraged everyone to wear a mask.

MAN JAILED ON ARMED ROBBERY WARRANT

(Richmond, IN)--A Richmond man with warrants for armed robbery, robbery, and battery was taken into custody Wednesday.  27-year-old William Miller is behind bars this morning.  When Miller was jailed Wednesday, he was also allegedly in possession of methamphetamine.  Miller has a lengthy criminal record in both Wayne and Preble County, including a home invasion arrest back in 2014 in Fairhaven.

UNION COUNTY - COLLEGE CORNER RELEASES SCHOOL PLAN

(Liberty, IN)--Another Whitewater Valley school system has released its plan for the upcoming school year.  At Union County – College Corner, a survey showed that 2/3 of parents said they were comfortable sending their kids back to school and preferred a five-day school week.  Union County this week approved that scenario, but will also offer an online learning option as an alternative.  Mask-wearing in school will be strongly encouraged, but will not be mandatory.

RCS GIVES PARENTS OPTION FOR IN-SCHOOL VS. ONLINE LEARNING

(Richmond, IN)--The Richmond Community School Board met Tuesday and laid out its plan for the coming school year.  The decision about whether or not to take part in traditional in-school learning or a virtual learning option will be left up to each parent.  The virtual learning option will be different that the eLearning program that was utilized in the spring.  Students will have to attend a full online day, as opposed to the work-at-your-own-pace structure of eLearning.  Parents have a limited time to decide.  By Tuesday of next week, a form must be filled out to let the school know if parents opt for virtual learning.  School is set to resume four weeks from Wednesday.  If parents send their kids to traditional school, some changes are in store.  Students will be required to wear a mask on the bus, while entering or leaving a building, and during passing periods.  Early release will be used throughout August.  Entry to buildings by visitors will be for essential business only.  All high-touch surfaces will be disinfected much more frequently.  And, students will have assigned bus seats.

MAN CHARGED WITH THREATENING RPD OFFICER

(Richmond, IN)--A Richmond man is facing a charge of felony intimidation after allegedly threatening a Richmond police officer overnight Tuesday night and Wednesday morning.  It began with a shots fired call at Genesis Apartments.  There, officers encountered 31-year-old Rayshaun King.  King allegedly made the threat during that interaction.  There was another overnight shots fired call on North 22nd Street, but nothing was located there.

REID WARNS AGAINST COVID-19 COMPLACENCY

(Richmond, IN)--Reid Health issued a statement Monday warning Whitewater Valley residents not to relax when it comes to Covid-19.  Dr. Thomas Huth, who is Reid’s Vice President of Medical Affairs, said that mask-wearing has become politicized but said there is an abundance of data that says it’s effective.  Huth also said that mask-wearing will reduce the chances of a local second wave.  Reid has seen a slight uptick of Covid-19 patients in containments areas.  It stood at 17 Tuesday morning.  But, the percentage of positive tests continues to drop.  With 5200 people now tested locally, just over three-and-a-half percent have been positive.

TERRILL OFFICIALLY RESIGNS; O'BRIEN TO TAKE OVER OPERATIONS

(Crown Point, IN)--Todd Terrill’s move became official Monday and Monday night.  Terrill officially resigned Monday as Superintendent of Richmond Community Schools and, Monday night, was officially approved as the new superintendent at Crown Point.  Terrill told the Northwest Indiana Times Monday night that he and his family were "looking so forward to getting there."  RCS also announced yMonday that Assistant Superintendent Jennifer O’Brien would be taking over day-to-day operations and that the RCS Board would be assigning an interim superintendent.

WAYNE COUNTY JOBLESS CLAIMS REACH 6437 SINCE COVID OUTBREAK

(Wayne County, IN)--Wayne County’s jobless claims for the first week of July this year are more than 1700% higher than they were for the first week of July last year.  New state numbers released Monday show that 290 more Wayne County residents filed last week.  That’s compared to just 16 this time last year.  The new round of filings brings the total number of jobless claims in Wayne County since Covid-19 began to 6437, which is roughly 21% of Wayne County’s workforce.

WAYNE COUNTY RECORDS HIGHEST SINGLE-DAY COVID-19 POSITIVES

(Richmond, IN)--In the last four days, Wayne County has seen both its highest and second-highest daily positive Covid-19 tests.  On Thursday, according to the state’s website, Wayne County had six positive tests.  That’s the highest in any single day since the outbreak began.  That was followed by five more positives on Saturday.  Over the last week, Wayne County had a 14% increase in cases, which has been the standard for the last several weeks.  Wayne County has not had a Covid-19 death for a month and a half.

PARENTS WANTED IN NEGLECT CASE RETURNED TO RICHMOND

(Richmond, IN)--Two parents who allegedly caused injuries to an infant that are classified as “catastrophic” have been returned to the Wayne County Jail  Mathew Shaffer and Casey Miller were brought back to Richmond Sunday night from Fayette County by deputies there.  In April, a four-month-old child was treated for injuries that included brain bleeds, a fractured rib, and hemorrhaging in the eye.  Shaffer and Miller each face Levels One, Three, and Six felonies that could result in decades behind bars if convicted.

CRASH VICTIMS IDENTIFIED AS FOUR CHILDREN

(Wayne County, IN)--The Indiana State Police on Friday released more information about Thursday afternoon’s fatal crash on I-70 in Wayne County.  The victims who died have now been identified as four Kansas City children who were ages 15, 13, 8, and 6.  The driver remained in extremely critical condition Friday morning at a Level One trauma center.  He has been identified as a 34-year-old Kansas City man.  Meanwhile, the man who allegedly caused the crash, 33-year-old Corey Withrow of Camden, remained in the Wayne County Jail Friday morning, charged with reckless homicide.

MAN CHARGED WITH RECKLESS HOMICIDE FOR MULTI-FATAL CRASH

(Wayne County, IN)--Multiple people are dead following a crash in the construction zone of I-70 Thursday, and now a Preble County driver is in the Wayne County Jail.  It happened at 5 o’clock Thursday afternoon on I-70 near Cambridge City.  State police investigators say traffic has slowed for construction when a box truck driven by 33-year-old Corey Withrow of Camden slammed into the back of slowed traffic.  The impact forced a passenger vehicle into another semi, causing it to burst into flames.  A passer-by helped get the driver of that vehicle out.  That person was taken to a Level One trauma center.  But others inside the vehicle could not be saved.  Now, Withrow is in the Wayne County Jail, charged with reckless homicide.  Police say drugs were a factor.  Withrow has a criminal drug history.  The state police department is not yet confirming multiple reports on social media that the victims were four children.

ARREST MADE IN CASE OF MISSING CONNERSVILLE GIRL

(Connersville, IN)--34 years after Denise Pflum went missing in Fayette County, an arrest has been made.  55-year-old Shawn McClung was charged Thursday with voluntary manslaughter after admitting that he killed her.  Other details have not been released with an investigation continuing into the possible involvement of other people.  Investigators have not yet indicated how Pflum was killed, the connection between the two – if any, or whether or not any remains have been recovered.  McClung had previously told investigators that Pflum was still alive.  Pflum went missing back in 1986 after going to get a purse that she had left at a party the night before.

PREBLE COUNTY PORK FESTIVAL CANCELLED

(Eaton, OH)--Covid-19 has forced the cancellation of one of our area’s most heavily attended late summer and early fall festivals.  The Board of Directors of the Preble County Pork Festival announced Thursday that this year’s festival will not take place.  The Board said that it was a difficult decision that was made with the best of intentions for all involved.  They added that they’ll begin preparing for a Pork Festival next year.

CHURCH, DAY CARE DISPUTE COVID-19 NUMBERS

(Richmond, IN)--A Richmond church and a Connersville day care dispute the number of children tested for Covid-19.  One person connected to Richmond New Life Tabernacle is also connected to a Connersville day care.  An email was distributed this week to Wayne County health and elected officials that 65 children connected to the day care were tested after potential exposure.  But Wednesday, the church’s pastor said that only 17 children were tested.  That pastor also said that the Covid-19 spread actually originated from a post office outside of Wayne County.  The Fayette County Health Department said Wednesday that all tests were negative and that the day care has reopened.  Following is a segment of a report originating from a Covid-19 Task Force that was distributed to local leaders about the situation:

 

"One point of interest, a pastor at a Richmond church spread the virus to one or more congregants, then one of them went to work at a nursery in Connersville. 65 children were exposed to COVID-19 and are being tested."

 

 

SCHOOLS MEET WITH HEALTH DEPT ABOUT SCHOOL REOPENING

(Wayne County, IN)--Wayne County’s five public schools are continuing to work on the details of restarting school next month.  On Wednesday, the Wayne County Health Department met with those schools’ superintendents in preparation of releasing those reopening plans.  The consensus, according to a release, is that those leaders want schools to open.  Specific plans for each school system will likely be distributed in the next couple of weeks.  The Health Department continues to encourage everyone to wear a mask.

RICHMOND RESIDENTS URGED TO RESPOND TO CENSUS

(Richmond, IN)--The city of Richmond made a renewed push Wednesday to get residents to respond to the 2020 census.  As of Wednesday, less than 2/3 of Wayne County residents – actually, 63% - had responded.  City leaders say a large response helps with funding for things like health care, food programs, and city roads.  The best census response in our area so far has been Darke County, which has had a 71% response.

CENTERVILLE TEEN KILLED IN INDUSTRIAL ACCIDENT

(Richmond, IN)--A tragic industrial accident has claimed the life of a Centerville teenager.  It happened at just before noon Tuesday at a facility in the 2100 block of Peacock Road in Richmond identified as One Polymer Source.  16-year-old Emma Ulm, who was a Centerville High School student and standout athlete, was found trapped underneath a tow motor.  Rescue crews and a medical helicopter were dispatched to the scene, but Emma was pronounced dead there.  There’s no word on exactly how the incident occurred.  More information is expected to be released Wednesday.

I-70 WIDENING IN WAYNE COUNTY DELAYED

(Wayne County, IN)--Covid-19 is responsible for a delay in what would’ve been a major road project through Wayne County.  INDOT officials confirmed Tuesday that, at the beginning of this year, plans were coming together to widen I-70 to three lanes for its entire 150-mile run across Indiana, including all of Wayne and Henry County.  It would have happened five years from now.  The widening of 70 to three lanes is still on the INDOT project list, but now there’s no date set.  INDOT said the virus will have a major impact on tax revenue, preventing projects from beginning on their intended dates.

65 CHILDREN TESTED FOR COVID AFTER CONTACT FROM RICHMOND CHURCH

(Connersville, IN)--Dozens of children in Connersville are now being tested for Covid-19 after contact stemming from one Richmond church.  Wayne County health officials said Tuesday that there were multiple cases of the virus connected to one west-side Richmond church, including its pastor.  One woman connected to the church is also an employee of a Connersville day care center and reported for work there.  Now, 65 children have been tested for Covid-19.  There’s no word yet on whether any of those children tested positive.

WAYNE COUNTY SEES SPIKE IN WEEKLY JOBLESS CLAIMS

(Wayne County, IN)--There’s been a big spike in Wayne County…not in Covid-19 cases, but in the number of jobless claims caused by the virus.  Numbers released Monday show that in the last week of June, 382 more Wayne County residents filed jobless claims.  That’s the highest single-week total since April and 160 more than the week before.  It also brings the total number of jobless claims in Wayne County to 6350 since the outbreak began.  It means that one of every five members of Wayne County’s workforce has filed a jobless claim since March.

CROWN POINT IDENTIFIES TERRILL AS ONLY REMAINING SUPT CANDIDATE

(Crown Point, IN)--The Crown Point School Board confirmed Monday that outgoing Richmond school superintendent Todd Terrill is its one and only remaining candidate for superintendent there.  The board approved contract terms for Terrill Monday.  It includes a $165,000 annual salary.  His hiring at Crown Point is expected to be made official at a board meeting this coming Monday.  Terrill will begin at Crown Point the following Monday.

ORDINANCE ADDRESSING DOWNTOWN RICHMOND BUSINESSES ADDRESSED

(Richmond, IN)--An ordinance that would restrict new non-profits from setting up in downtown Richmond and in the Depot District continues to be modified.  It was addressed at Monday night’s meeting of Richmond Common Council.  Councilman Larry Parker proposed the ordinance last month.  Current non-profits already located downtown or in the Depot District would not be affected.  But, if the ordinance passes, organizations like churches, community centers, government offices, and museums would could have a more difficult time obtaining zoning approval.

REID REPORTS JUST 15 COVID-19 PATIENTS IN CONTAINMENT

(Richmond, IN)--The number of Covid-19 patients in Reid Health containment areas is the lowest it’s been since Reid started reporting that number nearly three months ago.  There are now just 15 patients in containment areas.  Reid has now tested more than 4400 patients with a positivity rate that has now dropped below four percent.  Meanwhile, one Richmond assisting living facility has closed its doors to the outside after a positive test.  The Springs in Richmond is no longer allowing visitors after having allowed outside visits from family members last week.

WANTED MAN CAUGHT AFTER HIGH-SPEED CHASE

(Richmond, IN)--A wanted Richmond man was in jail Monday morning following a high-speed chase Sunday.  Police first saw 43-year-old Darrell Robinson near South 15th and E.  Robinson allegedly fled east.  A female passenger bailed out on Locust Lane.  Robinson then fled to National Road East, going through busy intersections at 75 miles per hour.  The pursuit ended with a crash near the state line.  Robinson went to Reid Health and now faces multiple new criminal charges.

I-70 CONSTRUCTION SHIFTS

(Wayne County, IN)--There’s a shift of construction zones on I-70.  Beginning Monday, I-70 eastbound will be restricted to one lane from Centerville Road to the state line.  That restriction will cause backups that will stretch west toward Cambridge City.  The restriction is expected to remain in place through a week from Friday.  Monday is also the day that U.S. 35 closes near New Hope in Preble County.  35 is expected to be closed there for most of the rest of the month.

WAYNE COUNTY COVID-19 CASES DO NOT REFLECT NATIONAL SPIKES

(Richmond, IN)--Richmond and Wayne County have seen modest increases in Covid-19 cases this week, but nothing near the spikes seen in some parts of the country.  The number of patients in Reid containment areas has gone from 15 on Monday to 23 on Thursday.  There have been only four new confirmed cases this week in Wayne County.  Beginning Saturday, Indiana enters Stage 4.5 of its reopening.  That stage allows schools to begin operations, with extra-curricular activities beginning as soon as Monday.  It also allows for fairs and festivals to take place with some restrictions.

VICTIM IN FATAL FIREWORKS EXPLOSION IDENTIFIED

(Franklin County, IN)--The victim in the Tuesday night’s fatal fire and explosions just east of Brookville has now been identified as 69-year-old Donald Winters.  Winters was the owner of a permitted firework display company that was preparing for a show this weekend when the explosions occurred.  The Department of Homeland Security has now taken over the investigation and is withholding most other details.  Three other people were flown to University Hospital in Cincinnati.  All were reportedly in critical condition.  Their names have not been released.  There’s still no word on what caused the incident.

CENTERVILLE TEEN CHARGED WITH STRANGULATION

(Centerville, IN)--A Centerville teen was jailed Wednesday night and on Thursday morning faced charges that include felony strangulation.  Police were called to the 100 block of West Plum Street in Centerville.  There, they found a victim who had allegedly been head-butted by 19-year-old Jared Presley.  Presley also is accused of putting his hands around the victim’s throat.  She was checked at the scene by medics.  Presley was also charged with domestic battery.

ONE DEAD, FOUR HURT IN FIREWORKS EXPLOSION

(Franklin County, IN)--One person is dead and four others were injured in a massive explosion and barn fire in Franklin County Tuesday night.  It happened on Whitcomb Road just east of Brookville.  Neighbors heard explosions that they said sounded like fireworks.  The owner of the structure that exploded is known to have put on large fireworks displays.  Three of the four injuries were serious enough to require medical helicopters, which flew the victims to University Hospital in Cincinnati.  Identities and conditions of survivors have not been released.  Investigators will be back on the scene Wednesday.

RICHMOND BAKING COMPANY EVACUATED FOR POSSIBLE ARMED INTRUDER

(Richmond, IN)--It was a scary morning Wednesday morning for third-shift workers at the Richmond Baking Company.  At around 1:30, there was a report that a man armed with a knife and hatchet had jumped off a building there.  Scanner traffic indicated the Baking Company was evacuated when the man was thought to have entered.  He was located on a platform, but refused to come down for a short time.  He eventually surrendered as was taken to Reid Health for evaluation.  There were no injuries to employees.

EFFECT OF COVID-19 NOW EVIDENT ON WAYNE CO. JOBS FOR 1/4 OF YEAR

(Wayne County, IN)--It’s now been 13 weeks, or one-quarter of the year, that the effects of Covid-19 have been visible on Wayne County jobs.  In those 13 weeks, there have been 5741 jobless claims.  That’s after another 213 Wayne County residents filed last week, according to figures that were released Tuesday.  Each week in those 13 weeks, the number of jobless claims has been at least ten times what they were last year.

Richmond, IN WEATHER

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