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Local News Archives for 2020-10

SNOW, PAUST ADDRESS INCREASE IN COVID-19 CASES

(Richmond, IN)--Richmond and Wayne County leaders on Thursday again discussed the balancing act of trying to keep local businesses open and protecting the public against Covid-19 as the number of local case and the positivity rate continues to rise.  Richmond Mayor Dave Snow and Wayne County Commissioner Ken Paust addressed the prospects for local businesses with Kelley and Ray on 101.7 The Point.  Here’s Mayor Dave Snow talking about what could happen if businesses remain open and the spread continues.  "Then we have a whole different nightmare on our hands.  It will drop consumer confidence.  Nobody is going to want to leave their house or go to a restaurant or shop, and we're still going to lose our local businesses."  And this is Wayne County Commissioner Ken Paust.  "We want to keep (local businesses) open as much as possible.  But, at the same time, we have a responsibility to the health and welfare of everybody in the community."  Paust on Thursday expressed concern about spread at Halloween parties Friday and Saturday night.

WAYNE COUNTY RECORDS HIGHEST SINGLE-DAY COVID-19 POSITIVES

(Wayne County, IN)--Wayne County had its highest single-day total of positive cases of Covid-19 reported on Thursday.  According to Indiana’s Department of Health, Wayne County added 72 new cases.  Reid Health had 62 patients in Covid-19 containment areas Friday morning.  That’s two short of its highest mark of 64.  Wayne County’s positivity rate is now up to 8.8%.  People in their 50’s now make up the largest percentage of local residents to have contracted the virus, and local females have had it significantly more than males.  It’s a 56-43% margin.

FAYETTE COUNTY HAS INDIANA'S HIGHEST COVID POSITIVITY RATE

(Fayette County, IN)--Fayette County now has the highest Covid-19 positivity rate in all of Indiana.  Fayette County’s positivity rate has exploded and stands Friday morning at just under 22%.  All counties that border Fayette County remain under 9%.  Hickory Creek nursing home in Connersville has confirmed that it has 29 cases among residents.  The Indiana National Guard will be at Hickory Creek beginning Monday.

35% OF WAYNE COUNTY VOTERS HAVE ALREADY CAST BALLOTS

(Wayne County, IN)--Early voting remains heavy in Wayne County.  About 15,000 ballots have already been cast.  That represents roughly 35% of registered voters in Wayne County.  Wayne County has 43,000 people registered to vote in this general election.  That’s about the same as it was four years ago, but 8000 less than it was in 2008.

WAYNE COUNTY: 336 OVERDOSE CALLS, 60 DEATHS IN 2020

(Wayne County, IN)--Local law enforcement agencies are taking part as Red Ribbon Week continues this week.  Here’s Alain Lacasse, who is a DARE officer with the Wayne County Sheriff’s Department.  "Our young people pledge to remain drug-free, and they wear red ribbons as part of their pledge."  Here are the numbers for Wayne County so far this year:  "There've been approximately 336 overdose calls this year.  Deaths from overdose this year are at approximately 60 per the coroner, as they are still waiting on some results that are leaning toward overdose," Lacasse said.  Red Ribbon Week continues through Saturday.

REID ISSUES NEW COVID-19 RESTRICTIONS

(Richmond, IN)--Reid Health issued a statement Wednesday about the rise in Covid-19 cases.  The statement says "Reid officials are gravely concerned the health system will have to curtail other necessary health services to provide capacity for an increasing caseload – as had to be done at the beginning of the pandemic."  Reid is averaging 30 admissions through the Emergency Department every day.  Reid is now tightening visitor restrictions.  That includes only one visitor per non-Covid patient per day and no visitors at all for Covid patients.  Security checkpoints are requiring legal I.D.

NORTHEASTERN GOES VIRTUAL AFTER COVID-19 POSITIVES

(Fountain City, IN)--Another Whitewater Valley school system is returning to virtual learning.  Multiple positive Covid-19 tests have resulted in Northeastern Middle and High School operating virtually beginning Thursday and running through at least November 11.  Families that have been impacted have been contacted by the Wayne County Health Department.  Schools in the Hagerstown and Preble Shawnee districts are also currently operating virtually.

RAPID ANTIBODY TESTS TO BE AVAILABLE AT LOCAL KROGER PHARMACIES

(Whitewater Valley)--You’ll soon be able to tell if you’ve had Covid-19 by stopping into any Whitewater Valley Kroger that has a pharmacy.  Kroger has announced that it will be the first retailer to offer rapid antibody testing by the end of November.  The tests involve a finger-prick blood sample that will let you know in 15 minutes if you have ever had Covid-19.  The test will cost $25.  There are Kroger locations with pharmacies in Richmond, Connersville, Oxford, and Greenville.  The Eaton Kroger does not have a pharmacy.

TWO DEATHS BRING WAYNE COUNTY COVID-19 TOTAL TO 33

(Wayne County, IN)--There have been two more Covid-19 deaths in Wayne County.  The state reported those deaths Tuesday with the total number of Wayne County residents to die with Covid-19 to 33.  More than half of those have occurred this month.  23 of the 33 have been older than 80 and none have been younger than 60.  Our eight-county area has now had 185 Covid-19 deaths.  Wayne County’s positivity rate stands today at 7.7%.

HIGH VOTER TURNOUT CONTINUES

(Wayne County, IN)--Wayne County continues to smash voting records.  The number of voters at vote centers last Saturday and through this week has far surpassed turnout since Wayne County expanded early voting 13 years ago.  Local Democrats reacted to a couple of voting issues that have occurred so far, including one incident where voters were brought inside at the Kulhman Center rather than waiting outside.  That violated the county’s Covid-19 restriction on a gathering of more than 75 people.  Democrats said Tuesday that it "jeopardized the health and safety of those present."  Local Republicans did not issue any complaints.

HEARINGS SET FOR DEFENDANTS IN BLM INCIDENT

(Richmond, IN)--An initial hearing was held Tuesday for one defendant in the incident where two Black Lives Matter protesters were struck at North 7th and A in Richmond last month.  19-year-old Joshua Carey was the driver and pled not guilty to two misdemeanor charges.  Carey will now have a pre-trial conference on November 24.  One of five marchers charged with various misdemeanors will be in court Wednesday morning.  The other four have waived initial hearings and will have bench trials on December 18.

BUSINESS OWNER WORKING TO REINSTATE PIT BULL BAN

(Centerville, IN)--Centerville recently lifted its ban on pit bull ownership inside city limits, but the issue may not be over yet.  A local Centerville business owner has obtained dozens of signatures on a petition to get the Town Council to consider reinstating the ban that would again prevent residents from owning pit bulls.  Council President Dan Wandersee is looking into the legalities surrounding the business owner’s request to reconsider.

TEEN SHOT IN HUNTER'S POINTE

(Richmond, IN)--A Richmond teenager was shot Tuesday morning.  A statement from the Richmond Police Department said that this shooting does not appear to be connected to a slew of shootings involving Richmond teens and young adults that have occurred this year.  In Tuesday morning’s incident, 19-year-old Gabriel Vannote was shot in the 1600 block of Pheasant Run.  That’s in the Hunter’s Pointe neighborhood.  Vannote was on his way to Reid Health in personal car at around 1:30 Tuesday morning when he was intercepted by officers and an ambulance.  Vannote’s injury was described as a gunshot to the leg and non-life-threatening.  Details of what led to the shooting have not been released, other than it was the result of a verbal and physical altercation.  No arrests have been made.

NUMBER OF REID COVID-19 PATIENTS REACHES HIGH OF 61

(Richmond, IN)--The number of patients in Reid Health Covid-19 containment areas took another significant jump Monday.  In the last 24 hours, the number of patients has increased from 46 to 61.  The total of 61 patients appears to be the most since the outbreak began, although a Reid supervisor refused to confirm that Tuesday morning.  The number has doubled since last Monday, when there were 30 patients.  Back on the 5th of this month, there were only 13 Covid-19 patients at Reid.

OPTIONS FOR CAUSEWAY REPAIR PRESENTED

(Union County, IN)--The Fairfield Causeway over Brookville Lake has been repaired, and now attention is turning to the other span that crosses the lake.  Estimates are in to repair the Dunlapsville Causeway, which crosses Brookville Lake near Quakertown.  Seven repair options have been presented to Union County Commissioners that range from $1 million to $7 million.  A federal grant would cover most of the cost, but Union County will be on the hook for an estimated $676,000.

SHOTS FIRED AT NORTH C STREET HOME

(Richmond, IN)--Richmond Police responded twice to the same location Sunday night following another shots fired incident.  Shell casings were recovered from a location in the 1300 block of North C Street.  Scanner traffic indicates a door was kicked in before police arrived and a female was inside with a rifle.  Two other occupants were inside.  Officers were able to get them out and clear the residence.  No one was shot, but one man did go to Reid Health due to his alcohol content.  26-year-old Joseph Spencer allegedly had a blood alcohol content more than four times the legal limit.  He’s charged this morning with disorderly conduct.

VOTE CENTERS OPENING MONDAY

(Wayne County, IN)--You’ve got more options for voting beginning Monday.  Three vote centers open across Wayne County Monday.  Those locations include First English Lutheran Church in Richmond, the Golay Center in Cambridge City, and the New Testament Church in Hagerstown.  The Kulhman Center in Richmond opened Saturday and will remain open.  All four of those locations will be open from 10-7 all this week.  Four more voting centers will be open for traditional Election Day, which is a week from Tuesday.  Just like it is all across the country, voter turnout has been extremely heavy so far in Wayne County.  About 7000 Wayne County residents have already cast ballots in the three weeks that those early ballots could be cast.  That includes 4000 people who have showed up at the courthouse.  Another 3000 or so ballots have been returned by mail.  The number of ballots cast in Wayne County so far has been at least double what it was during the last presidential election.  Another thousand ballots that have been sent out by mail are still outstanding.

WAYNE COUNTY SETS ANOTHER SINGLE-WEEK COVID-19 HIGH

(Wayne County, IN)--The number of cases of Covid-19 continues to grow at a heavy rate in Wayne County and across the Whitewater Valley.  Since last Monday in Wayne County, there have been 230 new positives.  That is the highest number of new positives in a single week since the outbreak began.  The county now stands at 1379 positives.  Fayette County added 183 new cases last week.  That’s not only its single-week high, but it’s almost three times Fayette County’s previous single-week high.  A single-week high was also set last week in Preble County.  Reid Health has 46 patients in containment areas Monday morning.  That’s a 53% increase from last week.  Some Wayne County school systems are adjusting to increased Covid-19 numbers, and that’s especially evident at Nettle Creek.  Students in the Hagerstown area have an eLearning Day Monday and then will go virtual for at least two weeks.  Elementary students will returnTuesday, but older students will be learning from home through at least November 6.  Extracurricular activities have also been suspended.

SEARCH INTENSIFIES FOR MISSING RANDOLPH COUNTY GIRL

(Losantville, IN)--A Randolph County girl now appears on the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children website.  15-year-old Mercedes Franklin has not been seen since late July.  Mercedes lives in the Losantville area.  She’s white, 5-3, weighs 134 pounds and has brown hair and eyes.  Investigators say she may be in need of medical attention.  Other circumstances surrounding her disappearance have not been released.

TWO KILLED IN DARKE COUNTY CRASH

(Darke County, OH)--Two people were killed in a Darke County crash Sunday morning.  It happened just before 10 o’clock at the intersection of State Routes 722 and 726, which is just west of Castine.  Investigators say a 74-year-old West Milton woman pulled out into the path of 30-year-old Natalie Green of New Madison.  That West Milton woman and a 94-year-old passenger both died as a result of the crash.  Green and two children in her vehicle were treated at the scene.

FOUR MORE ELDERLY WAYNE CO. RESIDENTS DIE WITH COVID-19

(Wayne County, IN)--Four more Wayne County residents – all of them living in local long-term care facilities – have died with Covid-19.  The four new deaths since Sunday bring Wayne County’s total to 27.  Three were women in their 90’s.  One was a man in his 80’s.  Wayne County has now had 12 people die with the virus in October alone.  20 of the 27 to die since the outbreak began have been older than 80, and none of the 27 have been younger than 60.  Meanwhile, the number of patients in Reid Health’s containment areas has jumped up to 46 Wednesday morning.  Two weeks ago, that number was just 13.

RPD ISSUES STATEMENT REGARDING LOCAL TEENS

(Richmond, IN)--The Richmond Police Department issued a statement Tuesday regarding two groups of teenagers who have been responsible for many of the shots fired and other calls for police response this year.  RPD has increased patrols and has now taken three times as many weapons off the street this year as compared to this point last year.  The statement indicates that RPD is not hiding the issue and is actively working to stop the incidents.  RPD also called for more parental control, and said that lack of intervention could be considered neglect.

EVIDENCE COLLECTED DURING DRUG BUST

(Richmond, IN)--Numerous investigators and law enforcement agents were on Glen Court in Richmond Tuesday.  The resident of a home there was taken into custody.  22-year-old Nathan Pieper now faces charges that include dealing cocaine and methampetamine and maintaining a common nuisance.  Photographs taken by bystanders appear to indicate that investigators also collected evidence not typically associated with a drug bust.  No other arrests have been made associated with that address in either Wayne or Preble County.

MAN ARRESTED FOR ATTACKING BROTHER WITH KNIFE

(Dublin, IN)--A western Wayne County man was in the Wayne County Jail Wednesday morning after allegedly attacking his own brother with a knife Tuesday night.  Police were called to Mill Street in Dublin and took 28-year-old Skyler Burchett into custody.  Scanner traffic indicates the victim was taken to the hospital, but there was no word Friday morning on his condition.  Burchett has been charged with battery with a deadly weapon.

MEN RECOGNIZED FOR FIRE RESCUE

(Eaton, OH)--Three Eaton heroes were recognized for the efforts this week.  Preble County Deputy Andrew Forrer and Good Samaritans Tim Crase and Alan Miller appeared at Eaton City Council this week.  Last month, they entered a burning home and rescued a wheelchair-bound elderly man.  "  I think it's part of my job.  Those gentlemen that were there with me...I felt deserved all the credit.  They had no obligation to do anything, but the stepped up," said Deputy Forrer.  One of the two Good Samaritans was taking his son to the dentist when he saw the burning house and the wheelchair ramp and decided to intervene.

WAYNE CO. LEADERS TO DISCUSS POSSIBLE RENEWED RESTRICTIONS

(Richmond, IN)--Richmond Mayor Dave Snow told Richmond Common Council Monday night that a recent spike in Covid-19 cases will likely move Wayne County into the orange level on the state’s map when it’s updated Wednesday, and that will trigger local decisions.  "Once entering Orange it is on the Health Department to call together local officials to discuss the next steps forward," Snow explained.  That meeting is happening Tuesday.  Local leaders will talk Tuesday about possible restrictions.  But, Snow said they will keep in mind the consequences when businesses were shut down when the outbreak began.  "We've seen that it caused a lot of financial harm and put a lot of our small businesses in dire straits.  So we are very hesitant to move back into those heavy-handed restrictions," Snow added.  Snow said an initial step would likely be to stop large gatherings.  The city is reevaluating its events calendar now.

WAYNE COUNTY WILL NOT HIT 2000 COVID-19 CASES THIS WEEK

(Wayne County, IN)--Christine Stinson, who is the Executive Director of the Wayne County Health Department, now says that the forecast of Wayne County surpassing the 2000-case mark of Covid-19 either Monday or Tuesday will not happen and that the claim was due to a reporting glitch.  Instead, Wayne County added 22 new cases Monday and stands at 1129.  Stinson talked Monday about the recent spike and said that new local cases likely came from large gatherings shortly after Indiana went into Stage 5.  One of them occurred in Richmond’s Depot District.  "It's like everyone threw their mask off and celebrated...'Victory!  We've conquered this!'  Public health was screaming 'No!  No!  Don't do this!  This is the wrong time to do it!'"  There were 30 patients in Reid containment areas Tuesday morning.

RICHMOND PASSES 2021 BUDGET

(Richmond, IN)--On Monday night, Richmond Common Council passed the city’s budget, including salaries for its employees, for 2021.  The budget passed unanimously and with very little discussion.  Richmond is now set to spend half a million dollars more than it takes into its General Fund next year.  Council member Larry Parker voiced his displeasure with that, and Council member Jeff Cappa said that he would not vote to approve a budget that was not balanced next year.

ROSCOE'S TO CLOSE EAST-SIDE RICHMOND LOCATION

(Richmond, IN)--A Richmond business is closing its east-side location.  Roscoe’s Coffee Bar has announced that its location on National Road East at the front of the Gateway Plaza will soon be closing.  Roscoe’s said on its social media page that it continued to be strong through Covid-19, but unforeseen circumstances have forced the closure.  The last day for the east-side location will be Sunday.  The Roscoe’s location in the Depot District will remain open and is returning to pre-Covid hours.

HEALTH DIRECTOR SAYS 2000-CASE MARK TO BE SURPASSED

(Wayne County, IN)--There was a startling weekend update regarding Covid-19 update from Christine Stinson, who is the Executive Director of the Wayne County Health Department.  In an email sent on Saturday morning, Stinson said that Wayne County would surpass the 2000-case mark on that day.  This is what Stinson wrote to members of the media:

"I wanted to get a quick announcement to you.  Wayne County has seen a dramatic increase in cases over the past two weeks, today will will (the word "will" was written twice) surpass the 2000 case mark."

  The state’s dashboard, though, does not reflect the dramatic increase.  According to it, Wayne County has had 1149 cases.  If Wayne County were to – or already has - hit the 2000-case mark, it would mean that the number of cases has doubled in just the last week.  Wayne County surpassed the 1000-case mark early last week.  Free testing continues at the former Elder-Beerman building in Richmond and at a location in Cambridge City.

SEVEN WAYNE COUNTY RESIDENTS DIE WITH COVID-19 IN TEN DAYS

(Wayne County, IN)--The number of Covid-19 deaths in Wayne County has taken a sharp, upward turn and now stands at 23, according to the state’s dashboard.  At least seven Wayne County residents have died in the last ten days.  That includes six women and one man.  One person was in her 70’s, three were in their 80’s and three were in their 90’s.  Of the 23 people to die in Wayne County, 16 have been over the age of 80 and none have been under the age of 60.

MORE INFO RELEASED ON RICHMOND WOMAN FOUND DEAD IN DITCH

(Preble County, OH)--More information has become available on the Richmond woman who was found dead in a ditch near the state line eight days ago.  A newly obtained incident report shows that 33-year-old Autumn Lowery had possible trauma to the head.  Preble County investigators said that fibers indicated that she had likely been wrapped in carpet at some point and had been in the ditch for 24-48 hours before being discovered.  Lowery had been released from the Randolph County Jail a week before being found dead.

INITIAL REPORT: TEEN SHOT IN LEG AT GREENWOOD APTS

(Richmond, IN)--There’s been another overnight shooting in Richmond that appears to involve juveniles or young adults.  One person was shot in the leg at the Greenwood Apartments.  Officers were called to the apartments at around 3 o’clock Friday morning.  According to scanner traffic, a male in his late teens was shot in the leg and taken to Reid Health.  Officers recovered a firearm and began questioning other teens that had been in the apartment during the shooting.  No arrests have been made, and no other information has been released.

WAYNE COUNTY SEES HIGHEST SINGLE-DAY COVID-19 POSITIVES

(Wayne County, IN)--On Thursday, Wayne County reported its highest single-day number of positive cases of Covid-19 since the outbreak began with 42 new positives.  It continues a trend of a sharp increase in daily cases.  In the last seven days, Wayne County has had 182 new positives.  It took Wayne County four months to reach that total at the start of the outbreak.  Wayne County is averaging 26 new daily cases over the last week.  Last month, it was averaging less than three cases per day.

RECENT COVID-19 CASES SHIFT WAYNE COUNTY DEMOGRAPHICS

(Wayne County, IN)--All of the new Covid-19 positives have shifted demographics in Wayne County.  Here’s a look...Up until now, Wayne County residents in their 20’s made up the most cases.  Now, people in their 50’s have caught up, and the two age groups are essentially even.  Also, females in Wayne County have had significantly more positives than males.  599 females have been positive locally, but only 465 males have been positive.  But, females are also getting tested at a much higher rate.  60% of people tested in Wayne County are female.

COMPETED DARKE COUNTY BALLOTS RETURNED TO WRONG COUNTY

(Greenville, OH)--The integrity of mail-in ballots is one of many sources of debate with this fall’s election, and the Whitewater Valley has had its first incident.  The Darke County Board of Elections said yesterday that about 300 people who have voted by mail received wrongly labeled return envelopes.  Instead of going to Darke County, those completed ballots were sent to Huron County, which is between Toledo and Cleveland.  Arrangements are being made with Huron County to return the envelopes.

WAYNE COUNTY WEEKLY JOBLESS CLAIMS DROP UNDER 100

(Wayne County, IN)--There is some good news regarding Covid-19.  Wayne County’s weekly jobless claims have dropped below 100 after having been much higher since Covid-19 restrictions became evident in mid-March.  In the last two weeks, those filings have been 90 and 92, respectively.  Still, Wayne County has had 8330 jobless claims filed since the outbreak began.  In the same time last year, the total was around 600.

AREA COUNTIES MOVE INTO ORANGE ON COVID-19 MAP

(Whitewater Valley)--Two Whitewater Valley counties have moved into the orange on the state’s county metrics map that measures the spread of Covid-19.  Fayette and Henry County are both now orange following increased positivity.  Wayne County remains in the yellow.  Wayne County had 16 new cases yesterday, which is higher than normal but well below the average of 25 per days that’s existed for the last week.

WAYNE COUNTY PASSES 1000-CASE THRESHOLD FOR COVID-19

(Wayne County, IN)--Wayne County now has had a thousand cases of Covid-19.  Wayne County passed that threshold Tuesday on the same day that Health Department officials said a female resident in her 70’s died with the virus, becoming the 18th county resident to do so.  Wayne County has added an average of 25 new cases each day for the last six days.  In Wayne and the seven counties that surround it, there have now been 159 Covid-19 deaths.  Darke County had a 50.  That’s at least twice as many as every other area county.

PASSER-BY WHO FOUND BODY SAW NO EVIDENCE OF FOUL PLAY

(Preble County, OH)--The body found in a Preble County ditch just southeast of Richmond has now been identified as that of a Richmond woman.  Preble County Sheriff Mike Simpson said Tuesday that the person is 33-year-old Autumn Lowery.  Lowery’s body was found by Richmond’s Wesley Fenning near the intersection of Cox and Paint Road.  "At first, I thought it was a Halloween dummy on the side of the road," said Fenning.  She the realized it was a real person.  Fenning said there were no obvious signs of foul play.  "There was no trauma.  She was laying peacefully face-down."   The investigation is continuing.

MAN SENTENCED FOR ATTEMPTED MURDER

(Eaton, OH)--A Preble County man has been sentenced to six years in prison for attempted murder.  20-year-old Xavier Miller of West Alexandria had initially been ruled incompetent to stand trial and has spent a year in a behavioral health facility.  Miller used a ten-inch knife to assault a female family member in Eaton in July of last year.  In a prepared statement read at sentencing, the victim said that Miller needs to be punished for what he’s done.

TEEN SHOT IN HAND ON PEARL STREET

(Richmond, IN)--There was another shots fired incident Monday in an area of Richmond that has seen multiple incidents this year.  But, this time, a teenager was struck by a bullet.  A 16-year-old boy was shot in the hand after a bullet passed through an air conditioning unit in the 200 block of Pearl Street.  That’s just a couple of blocks away from another shots fired incident early Monday morning.  The boy was taken to Reid Health.  A house a couple of doors down was also struck by a round at around 3:15 Monday afternoon.  The shot that injured the boy appeared to have been fired from an upstairs apartment.  No arrests have been made.  So far this year, there have been 12 injuries and one death in Richmond as a result of shootings.

17th WAYNE COUNTY RESIDENT DIES WITH COVID-19

(Wayne County, IN)--Wayne County has had its 17th death from someone with Covid-19.  Indiana’s Health Department said Monday that the latest local resident to die is a woman in her 80’s.  11 of the 17 Wayne County residents to die have been at least 80 years old and none have been younger than 60.  Meanwhile, there were another 30 positive cases reported Monday.  Those positives mean that there have been 63 positives in Wayne County in just the last two days.  There’s a good chance Wayne County will go over the thousand-case mark at some point Tuesday.

BODY FOUND IN DITCH SOUTHEAST OF RICHMOND

(Preble County, OH)--The Preble County Sheriff’s Office announced Monday that a body was found in a ditch on Sunday just southeast of Richmond.  A passing driver saw the body on Cox Road, which is just across the state line from Hodgin Road in Richmond.  The body has not yet been identified, and the only information is that it’s that of a female.  There’s no word on how long the body may have been there or whether or not foul play was evident.  The investigation continues.

DEFENDANTS IN BLM INCIDENT WON'T BE JAILED BEFORE HEARINGS

(Richmond, IN)--The six people now charged criminally as a result of the Black Lives Matter incident in Richmond last month have not gone to jail and won’t, at least before their cases are heard in court.  That’s because Wayne Superior Court III Judge Darrin Dolehanty on Monday issued summonses rather arrest warrants.  A summons means the defendants are required to show up later this month; an arrest warrant would have resulted in them being booked into jail.  All six are charged with various misdemeanors.

SHOTS FIRED ON NORTH 18TH MONDAY NIGHT

(Richmond, IN)--There was another shots fired incident in Richmond Monday night.  Police responded to the 400 block of North 18th after multiple people called 911 to report that they had heard shots fired.  Officers arrived and found multiple shell casings.  There were no reports of any injury.  No arrests had been made as of Tuesday morning, and there’s no description of any shooter.

WAYNE COUNTY SEES HIGHEST SINGLE-DAY, SINGLE WEEK VIRUS POSITIVES

(Wayne County, IN)--In the last week, Wayne County has had the highest number of positive Covid-19 cases that it’s had in any week since the outbreak began.  As of Monday morning, Wayne County has had 955 positives.  That’s 126 more than last Monday.  The state’s dashboard shows there were 34 positive cases just on Saturday, and that’s the highest single-day total in Wayne County.  Other area counties have also had significant increases in the last week with Darke County adding 94 cases, Fayette adding 68, and Randolph County adding 34 new cases.  Reid Health has twice as many patients in containment areas today as it did last Monday.

SHOTS FIRED MONDAY MORNING

(Richmond, IN)--There has been another incident of shots fired in an area of Richmond that has had multiple shots fired calls this year.  At around 2:30 Monday morning, officers were called to North West 2nd between Lincoln and Randolph Streets.  Multiple shell casings were recovered.  There were no initial reports of injury or property damage, although residents have reported two houses were struck.  In another incident, shots were fired about three blocks away over the weekend.

BLM MARCH ORGANIZER ATTEMPTS TO RAISE MONEY FOR LEGAL DEFENSE

(Richmond, IN)--The organizer of a Black Lives Matter march that ended with an incident at North 7th and A in Richmond last month took to social media Sunday to attempt to raise money for the legal defense of five people who were charged with misdemeanors.  The five are accused of obstructing traffic, while the driver is charged with leaving the scene of an accident.  In an affidavit that became public on Friday, witnesses stated that marchers pounded on the SUV as is passed through the march and that the vehicle was moving slowly.  Dents were found on the hood and driver’s rear door.  The driver was charged because he failed to stop following the incident.

MOTHER OF DENNIS SHOOTER SENTENCED TO PROBATION

(Richmond, IN)--The mother of the boy who shot his way inside Dennis Intermediate School and eventually took his own life in a stairwell was sentenced Thursday.  44-year-old Mary York made a call to 911 nearly two years ago to warn the school that her son was on his way.  Charges alleged that call came way too late and that York ignored warning signs and failed to get her son help.  On Thursday, she pleaded guilty to four counts of neglect of a dependent.  She was sentenced to two and a half years of probation.  If she completes probation, the convictions will be converted to misdemeanors.  York on Thursday apologized to all the kids who were at Dennis that day.

MAN WHO ONCE CARVED HIS NAME INTO GIRLFRIEND'S CHEST CAPTURED

(Hagerstown, IN)--A man who committed a shocking crime in Springfield several years ago was taken into custody near Hagerstown Thursday night.  A quick warning…details of this story may not be suitable for all…41-year-old Michael Welliver had an active warrant.  Officers allegedly found meth Thursday night at State Road 1 and Teetor Road.  In Springfield, Welliver did not like the tattoo his girlfriend had on her rear end.  He grabbed a meat cleaver and threatened to cut the tattoo off if she didn’t let him carve his name into her chest.  He then sat on her and carved the words “I luv Michael Welliver” into her upper breast.  Welliver was in the Wayne County Jail Friday morning.

PARTS OF WHITEWATER VALLEY NOW OFFICIALLY IN A DROUGHT

(Whitewater Valley)--Parts of the Whitewater Valley are now officially in a drought.  According to the U.S. Drought Monitor, which released a new map Thursday, the southern halves of Wayne and Preble County – and all of Union and Fayette County – are all classified as being in a moderate drought.  Officially, Richmond has had a total of only 1.1 inches of rain dating all the way back to August 18.

WAYNE COUNTY INCREASES TO YELLOW ON COVID-19 MAP

(Wayne County, IN)--Wayne County has moved back into the yellow on Indiana’s Covid-19 map.  For the last two weeks, Wayne County had been in the blue, which represents the lowest level of spread.  The jump to the yellow level is based largely on an increased positivity rate, which has gone from 2.2% three weeks ago to now 5.5%.  Also, the number of patients in Reid Health’s containment areas nearly doubled from 13 on Monday to 25 Thursday morning.

NEIGHBOR HELPS STOP BURGLARY IN PROGRESS

(Richmond, IN)--An alert neighbor stopped a burglary in progress on New Paris Pike in Richmond early Thursday morning.  At around 12:30 a.m., two men backed a pickup truck up to a house and were in the process of clearing it out.  Neighbor Chad Cochran contacted the homeowner and police were called.  "The one guy was by the truck when the police department showed up.  The other guy was in the house," Cochran said.  One of the burglars fled.  "He took off sprinting.  There was this little foot chase.  You could hear him.  He was running and laughing...idiot...but like five cops tackled him and took him to the ground," Cochran added.  The suspect has now been identified as Josh Farmer.  Farmer was in the Wayne County Jail Thursday morning.

SWAT RESPONDS AFTER STOLEN CAR LOCATED

(Richmond, IN)--SWAT personnel responded to a short standoff near South 14th and B in Richmond Wednesday night.  It began when Darke County contacted Wayne and Randolph County about a stolen car.  An alert RPD officer noticed the car parked on South 14th.  When officers approached the house, the people inside began barricading the door.  They eventually surrendered without incident.  One person had a warrant in Preble County.  Names have not been released.

SHOTS FIRED ON SOUTH 4th

(Richmond, IN)--Shots were fired in Richmond late Wednesday night.  RPD officers were called to the 1600 block of South 4th late last night after multiple people reported hearing shots fired.  Two separate witnesses said the shots were fired from a dark red van that fled the area.  Two witnesses could not say what the shooter was targeting.  Officers found that one parked car had been struck by a nine millimeter round.  Shell casings were recovered.  There’s no description of the shooter.

150 JOBS COMING TO CONNERSVILLE

(Connersville, IN)--Connersville has held a ribbon-cutting for a new business that’s expected to employ 150 people by next summer.  RDI Direct is a Cincinnati-based company that provides outsourced contact services for other businesses, doing things like taking orders and resolving complaints.  It will operate in the 500 block of Central Avenue.  RDI invested half a million dollars into that building’s renovations.

WAYNE COUNTY RECORDS 16th COVID-19 DEATH

(Wayne County, IN)--Wayne County has had its 16th Covid-19 death.  A woman in her 80’s who was living at a long-term care facility died over the weekend.  Ten of the 16 Wayne County residents to die with Covid-19 have been at least 80 years old and none have been under the age of 60.  134 Whitewater Valley residents have now died with Covid-19.  The highest total is in Darke County, where 44 people have died.  Union County has not had any deaths.

MAN TAKES HIS OWN LIFE AFTER ROBBING BANK

(West Alexandria, OH)--A Camden man took his own life a few hours after robbing a Preble County bank on Tuesday.  The man walked into Twin Valley Bank in West Alexandria and handed the teller a note demanding money.  He fled in a van, but surveillance images were posted and he was quickly identified.  Police contacted the man by phone and asked him to speak with them at his home on Gratis-Jacksonburg Road.  He agreed to return to home.  As he pulled into the driveway, he shot himself inside the van and was pronounced dead at the scene.  The man’s name is not being released.

TOWN HALL REOPENS AFTER BEING CLOSED FOR COVID-19

(Hagerstown, IN)--The Hagerstown town hall has reopened this week after being closed for the previous three weeks after several town leaders contracted Covid-19.  Town Manager Chris LaMar, Police Chief Keith Folkner, and Police Officer Jack Leverton had all contracted the virus at various points last month.  LaMar and Folkner did not require significant medical intervention, but Leverton was hospitalized.  All three have now recovered.

GOVERNOR HOLCOMB TO VISIT RICHMOND TUESDAY

(Richmond, IN)--Indiana Governor Eric Holcomb will be in Richmond Tuesday morning.  Holcomb will join Richmond Mayor Dave Snow and leaders of Phillips Tube Group to celebrate the company’s new Richmond facility.  Back in July, the welded steel tube manufacturer announced it would invest $8.2 million at the former home of Mathews International on Industrial Parkway.  The project will result in 30 new jobs by the end of 2023.  12 people have already been hired.  Tuesday morning’s event begins at 10 o’clock.

EARLY VOTING BEGINS TUESDAY AT COURTHOUSE

(Richmond, IN)--Voting gets underway Tuesday.  Most people call it early voting.  Technically, it’s in-person absentee voting.  It’s taking place in the Voter Registration Office on the second floor of the Wayne County Courthouse.  Voters are being strongly encouraged to wear a mask, and a photo ID is a requirement.  Voting will take place at the courthouse only until Saturday the 24th.  That’s when the Kuhlman Center opens.  The Kuhlman Center remains open the following week and will be joined by three other vote centers across the county.  Those four, and four more sites, will be open on the tradition Election Day, which is now four weeks from Tuesday.

RICHMOND ANNOUNCES LEAF PICKUP SCHEDULE

(Richmond, IN)--The city of Richmond announced details of this fall’s leaf pickup yesterday.  Leaf pickup across the city will begin on the 19th.  Five crews will be covering all areas of the city over the course of 15 working days.  As is the case every year, leaves should be raked to the curb and sticks, grass, and other debris should be kept out.

WAYNE COUNTY SEES SECOND-HIGHEST SINGLE-DAY COVID POSITIVES

(Wayne County, IN)--Wayne County cases of Covid-19 have increased by 51 in the last week.  That’s double the number of new cases in the previous week, and just one day is largely to blame.  Wayne County added 29 new cases last Thursday.  It’s the second-highest single-day number of positives since the outbreak began.  Wayne County’s positivity rate was at 3.6% Monday morning.  Some area counties continue to drop significantly.  Fayette County’s seven-day positivity rate is now less than one percent.

WOMAN JAILED AFTER ALLEGED DRUNKEN CRASHES

(Richmond, IN)--A 40-year-old driver was taken into custody after causing alleged drunken crashes that took out mailboxes and light poles.  Heather Harty of Richmond was captured on U.S. 40 by Airport Road by State Police troopers late last night.  Harty is now charged not only with OWI and leaving the scene of multiple accidents, but also neglect of a dependent.  There were no reports of any injury.

DCS: "FURTHER PROGRESS NEEDS TO BE MADE" AT WERNLE

(Richmond, IN)--On Thursday, Kicks 96 and The Point News reported that the number of new clients at Wernle Youth and Family Treatment Center had been restricted by the state based on numerous factors.  Here’s more.  According to documents obtained from the Department of Child Services, a staff member accused of physically assaulting a child earlier this year was not removed but was instead assigned to a different unit.  The DCS requires staff members to be placed on leave pending an investigation, but that did not occur.  A letter from DCS to Wernle also addresses multiple runaways, instances of youth climbing onto the roof of a building, fights, and property destruction.  The DCS letter states "further progress needs to be made with Wernle's License before youth are allowed to be transitioned into this unit."  The DCS said that it will work to ensure the safety of all youth and staff and will monitor corrective measures being demanded of Wernle.

FIRE DAMAGES HOME ON U.S. 40

(Centerville, IN)--Fire did heavy damage to a home on U.S. 40 in Centerville late Thursday afternoon.  It broke out at a home near Dollar General on the town’s east side.  The house was fully involved when firefighters from multiple agencies got there.  One person was taken to Reid Health to be treated for minor burns.  One person at the scene was placed in handcuffs, although jail records show no one was booked into jail from that location.  Property records show the home is occupied by the same man who was shot after charging at Richmond police with a knife in the RPD parking lot earlier this year.

WAYNE COUNTY BURN BAN EXPIRES

(Wayne County, IN)--Wayne County’s burn ban expires Friday.  Wayne County Commissioners made the announcement Thursday but are still urging caution.  A new U.S. drought monitor map was released Thursday.  Most of the Whitewater Valley is currently classified as abnormally dry, but not in a drought.  Burn bans are still in effect for Union and Franklin County and for Gasper Township in Preble County.

STATE PLACED LICENSES ON HOLD AT WERNLE YOUTH & FAMILY TREATMENT CENTER

(Richmond, IN)--For the last several weeks, the Wernle Youth and Family Treatment Center has been limited to one new client each week based on a series of improprieties and allegations over the last year.  In documents obtained from the Department of Child Services, the DCS told Wernle that "after careful review of incidents occurring over the last six months, the DCS has determined that a serious and ongoing breakdown of administrative intervention appears to exist and that continued lack of compliance is evident."  That letter was written in May and multiple Wernle licenses were placed on hold.  One of the primary allegations is that a Wernle staff member slammed a child to the ground.  According to a letter from the DCS to Wernle, the incident was not reported to DCS as required.  The letter also says that Wernle failed to produce evidence that they had followed through with corrective measures mandated by the state.  In August, the DCS permitted Wernle to admit one new client per week.  Kicks 96 and The Point News will have more on some of the specific allegations at Wernle in news on Friday.

LOCAL SCHOOLS APPEAR ON INDIANA'S NEW COVID-19 TAB

(Wayne County, IN)--On Wednesday night, Indiana’s Health Department added a tab on its Covid-19 dashboard that allows the public to look at cases reported at each local school.  In Wayne County, most schools either reported no cases or did not report at all.  Schools that do appear on the map as having reported less than five cases of Covid-19 include Rose Hamilton Elementary, Centerville Elementary and the Junior/Senior High School, Lincoln High School, and Hagerstown Elementary and Junior/Senior High School.  No Whitewater Valley school shows more than five cases.

EATON POLICE SEARCH FOR HIT-AND-RUN SUSPECT

(Eaton, OH)--The Eaton Police Department is asking for the help of the public in identifying a hit-and-run suspect.  The incident happened on Tuesday at the Speedway on North Barron Street.  A surveillance image shows the suspect making a purchase at the Speedway just before the incident occurred.  He appears to be a balding white male in his 60’s with hair long enough to be in a ponytail and a white beard.

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