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Local News Archives for 2021-02

UPDATE: LIBERTY WOMAN DIES AFTER APPROACHING OFFICER WITH KNIFE

(Liberty, IN)--More details have been released about an officer-involved shooting in Liberty Friday morning.  According to the Indiana State Police, a woman now identified as 29-year-old Maggie Dickerson of Liberty has died as the result of a confrontation with Liberty Police Officer Lorenzo Shepler.  Shepler had responded to a report of a woman standing in the middle of U.S. 27 at 1 o’clock Frdiday morning.  As he tried to move her out of the highway, a struggle ensued.  Dickerson pulled a knife and advanced toward Shepler.  He fired multiple rounds.  She was flown to Kettering Medical Center where she was pronounced dead.  Shepler suffered minor injuries.  He has been placed on administrative leave following the outcome of the investigation.

WOMAN SHOT AFTER APPROACHING OFFICER WITH KNIFE

(Liberty, IN)-- [ 7 a.m. update]  There appears to have been an officer-involved shooting just south of Liberty Friday morning.  According only to scanner traffic so far, an officer was dispatched at 1 o’clock Friday morning to an area on U.S. 27 on the report of a man walking in and out of traffic.  The officer reported that he had a woman coming at him with a knife followed by a report of shots fired.  The officer then reported that the subject was hit by his rounds and that he had her at gunpoint with the knife still in her hand.  A medical helicopter was summoned and U.S. 27 was shut down.  So far, there is no word on the person’s identity or condition or other details about what has led to the incident.  The Indiana State Police is now handling the investigation.

WAYNE COUNTY JOBLESS CLAIMS CONTINUE TO EXCEED 100 PER WEEK

(Wayne County, IN)--As federal lawmakers consider a new stimulus package, Wayne County residents continue to file jobless claims at a rate of well over a hundred per week.  Since the start of the outbreak, Wayne County has had residents file at least a hundred jobless claims in 45 of 48 weeks.  In the year before, that never happened even once.  In fact, it was never even close.  Over that same time period, 12 times as many people have filed jobless claims as they did the year before.

BELDEN WINS EMMY AWARD

(Richmond, IN)--It’s a big honor for a local manufacturer.  Belden has received an Emmy Award.  Belden won an Emmy for its contributions to television and the broadcast industry.  It’s because of a specific cable that was originally designed and manufactured at the engineering center on U.S. 27 South in Richmond about 25 years ago.

WAYNE, RANDOLPH COUNTY GO BLUE ON COVID-19 MAP

(Whitewater Valley)--Two local counties moved into the blue when Indiana’s updated color-coded Covid-19 map came out Wednesday.  Wayne and Randolph County are now in the state’s lowest ranking.  There are no longer any area counties in either orange or red, which indicates more significant spread.  Wayne County’s positivity rate is 3.9%.  Wayne County is averaging only six new cases per day this week.  The dropping of the minimum age to get a Covid-19 vaccine in Wayne County to 60 has resulted in a backup of vaccination appointments through the local health department.  But, even though appointments through the health department are now more than two weeks out, appointments through Reid Health at the Kulhman Center appear to be more readily available.  Reid has now vaccinated more than 17,000 people.  Ohio residents will no longer be vaccinated in Indiana, even if they work on the Indiana side and would otherwise qualify.  Things are slowly returning to normal for a couple of local organizations.  IU East has announced that it will have an in-person commencement this spring.  But, the ceremony will be held outdoors and will be for graduates only.  Morrisson-Reeves Library has also announced that it will return to normal business hours this coming Monday.  An updated air filtration system is now in place.

MAN ADMITS TO POSSESSING CHILD PORN

(Richmond, IN)--A Richmond man was sent to the Wayne County Jail Wednesday following a plea and sentencing hearing for possessing child pornography.  45-year-old Jeremy Shain pled guilty to six counts of possession of child porn.  Two years ago, Shain was arrested following the execution of a search warrant at his apartment in the 1800 block of South 13th.  Investigators found images of a child that was under the age of 12.

NORTHEASTERN RETURNS TO NORMAL SCHEDULE

(Fountain City, IN)--Thursday is an important day for Northeastern Middle and High School students.  Improved Covid-19 numbers mean that the hybrid schedule is gone and daily, in-person learning resumes Thursday.  And, it’s happening more than six weeks ahead of schedule.  Northeastern went to a hybrid schedule in early December and was not set to go back to normal until mid-April, but positive numbers bumped up the return.

WAYNE COUNTY'S MINIMUM VACCINE AGE DROPS TO 60

(Wayne County, IN)--The minimum age to get the Covid-19 vaccine in Wayne County has dropped to 60.  Wayne County Health Department Executive Director Christine Stinson made the announcement Tuesday that the age reduction is in effect immediately.  In that same release, Stinson stated that Wayne County would drop to the blue level on Indiana’s color-coded Covid-19 map comes out Wednesday.  That reduction will come because the county’s positivity rate has dropped below four percent, indicating a low level of spread.

DEPT OF EDUCATION RELEASES WAYNE CO. SCHOOL ARREST RECORDS

(Wayne County, IN)--The Indiana Department of Education has released the numbers and types of arrests in public schools.  According to the most recent numbers in one school year in Wayne County, five students were arrested at both Western Wayne and Northeastern, with three more at Centerville.  A total of 37 students were arrested in Richmond schools.  Charges included dealing marijuana, with one of those at Test Intermediate School.  84% of Wayne County students arrested were boys.

MAN ARRESTED FOR BEATING WOMAN AND ANIMAL

(Richmond, IN)--A Richmond man was taken into custody Wednesday morning after allegedly beating a woman and an animal in the presence of a child.  23-year-old Kaleb Napier was apprehended in the 500 block of North 19th at around midnight.  The condition of the alleged victim has not been released.  Napier was arrested for the same thing a little more than a year ago, although that charge was ultimately dismissed.

ONLY 11 MONDAY COVID-19 CASES REPORTED IN EIGHT-COUNTY AREA

(Whitewater Valley)--The continuing drop in the number of new cases of Covid-19 across the Whitewater Valley was evident Monday.  11 new cases were reported Monday.  But that’s not just in Wayne County.  Those 11 cases covers an eight-county area that includes Wayne, Union, Fayette, Franklin, Randolph, Henry, Preble, and Darke County.  The number of patients in Reid Health containment areas dropped Monday to 24.  That’s the lowest number since early October.

MAN SHOOTS HIMSELF IN DARKE COUNTY CHURCH; OTHERS UNHURT

(Greenville, OH)--A 25-year-old man shot himself with an AR-15 following an hours-long standoff at a Darke County Church Monday night.  It happened at the Greenville Baptist Temple on Childrens Home – Bradford Road.  Five people in the church noticed the man loading the weapon and were able to barricade themselves in a small room.  After several hours of negotiation, the man shot himself.  He was Careflighted to Miami Valley Hospital in Dayton.  His name and condition have not been released.  No one else was hurt.

ALLEGED ARMED ROBBER RETURNED TO JAIL

(Richmond, IN)--A Richmond man who allegedly committed a robbery and was then the victim of one just a couple of weeks apart appeared in court Monday.  21-year-old Colten Tout was sent to the Wayne County Jail following a bond revocation hearing.  Tout allegedly took part in the robbery of two men at gunpoint on North 11th last month.  Earlier this month, police allegedly found meth on Tout when shots were fired near North 15th.

WAYNE COUNTY HAS LOWEST COVID-19 NUMBERS SINCE SEPTEMBER

(Wayne County, IN)--The area’s Covid-19 numbers have been steadily improving, and this Monday-to-Monday period has been the best in a long time.  Wayne County has recorded only 57 new cases since last Monday.  That’s the lowest weekly total since last September.  And here are the weekly totals for some other area counties since last Monday:  Fayette, 24.  Randolph, 9.  Franklin, 9.  And Union, 8.  Reid Health this morning has 30 patients in Covid-19 containment areas this morning.  The last Monday that number was lower was October 12.

SHOTS FIRED AT GENESIS APARTMENTS

(Richmond, IN)--Richmond police officers were busy Monday morning after shots were fired at the Genesis Apartments – formerly known as the Country Club Apartments.  Scanner traffic indicated that one person was found semi-conscious.  Two guns and shell casings were recovered.  At least one person was questioned at the scene.  No arrests have been made.  Information about what may have led to the shots fired has not been released.

THREE CHARGED IN EATON DRUG BUST

(Eaton, OH)--Three people are facing numerous charges after an Eaton drug bust.  A search warrant was executed at a home on North Barron Street.  Inside, investigators found meth, Fentanyl, cocaine, and two loaded guns that had been stolen from Richmond.  Buddy Fulton and Latricia Proctor of Eaton, and Cheyenne Skidmore of West Alexandria were all taken to the Preble County Jail.

10,000 WAYNE COUNTY RESIDENTS HAVE RECEIVED COVID-19 VACCINE

(Wayne County, IN)--Wayne County has passed a milestone for Covid-19 vaccination.  10,034 residents of Wayne County have now received at least the first dose of the vaccine.  That represents about 15% of the population.  On Thursday, the Wayne County Health Board learned that the county had to borrow 300 doses from Rush County because weather held up Wayne County’s shipment.  Those doses are expected to arrive on Monday.  About 5200 Wayne County residents have received both doses and are now considered fully vaccinated.  Wayne County reported only five new cases Thursday.

CLOTHES TOSSED FROM VEHICLE DURING CHASE

(Wayne County, IN)--Very little information has been released so far about a two-county chase early Friday morning.  At around 4 Friday morning, police tried to stop two vehicles on I-70 near Chester Boulevard.  One of them fled to U.S. 35 and then went north Centerville Road into Randolph County before crashing into a ditch.  Occupants of the vehicle were throwing clothes out of the window as the chase took place.  Officers searched for a gun after the chase.  One person was taken to the Wayne County Jail but was then taken back out.

STATE ATTRIBUTES ADDITIONAL COVID-19 DEATHS TO LOCAL LTC's

(Richmond, IN)--On Thursday, Indiana’s Department of Health added 660 Covid-19 deaths to its dashboard that had not been previously assigned to long-term care facilities.  A few of them are in our area.  One death was added to the Springs in Richmond.  Another was at Heritage House.  A death was also added to Rosebud Village.  Rosebud Village has now had 25 resident deaths attributed to Covid-19.

RICHMOND TO GET ABOVE FREEZING FOR FIRST TIME IN 300 HOURS

(Richmond, IN)--If the forecast for this weekend holds true, Richmond will do something on Sunday that it will not have done for 12 consecutive days…get above freezing.  Richmond will have been under the 32-degree mark for about 300 consecutive hours dating back to February 8.  The streak of cold weather includes eight days that were at least ten degrees below normal.  Richmond has not had an above-normal temperature day since January 31.

WAYNE COUNTY'S YELLOW RATING MEANS EASED RESTRICTIONS

(Wayne County, IN)--Wayne County is in the yellow for the second week in a row on Indiana’s Covid-19 map, and that means that some restrictions have been loosened.  The Wayne County Health Department says that the overall size of social gatherings or events is strongly recommended to be limited to no more than a hundred people.  Events and gatherings cannot exceed more than half of the facility’s capacity limits.  Facial coverings, though, are still required in public spaces and businesses.  Every Whitewater Valley county improved to yellow on Indiana’s color-coded Covid-19 map yesterday with one exception…Fayette.  Fayette County remains in the orange and has been flagged due to a large number of cases stemming from congregate settings.  Wayne County’s positivity rate is down to 3.9%.  Reid Health is down to only 29 patients in its Covid-19 containment areas.

REID GIVES 15,000th COVID-19 DOSE

(Whitewater Valley)--Reid Health has reached another milestone in its COVID-19 vaccination efforts, giving out its 15,000th dose this week. Reid began administering the vaccine on Dec. 17, and the pace at which the milestones have come has accelerated. It took five weeks to reach 5,000 doses but only 15 days to go from there to 10,000 doses and just 12 days to reach 15,000. Over the past week, Reid has averaged administering some 539 doses a day at its public vaccination clinic at the Kuhlman Center on the Wayne County Fairgrounds in Richmond. Reid is servicing a four-county area that includes Wayne, Union, Randolph and Fayette counties, with each county's health department also operating clinics of their own.

FORMER NORTHEASTERN SUPERINTENDENT WAIVES INITIAL HEARING

(Winchester, IN)--Northeastern’s former assistant superintendent has waived an initial hearing in Randolph Superior Court.  44-year-old Eric Green faces two counts of providing alcohol to minors.  Green was charged last month following a year-long investigation by the Indiana State Police.  He had been on paid administrative leave until recently resigning.  Green now has a trial date of March 30 and has hired a central Indiana attorney to represent him.

YELLOW RANKING ON WEDNESDAY COULD TRIGGER RELAXED RESTRICTIONS

(Wayne County, IN)--Indiana issues another color-coded Covid-19 map on Wednesday.  Wayne County will stay in the yellow.  That’s important, because it will be the second straight week in the yellow, which, according to Christine Stinson with the Wayne County Health Department, could trigger the lifting of some restrictions.  "The Covid-19 restrictions for the orange ranking will stay place until Wayne County has been in the yellow ranking for two consecutive weeks," Stinson said recently.  Wayne County’s positivity rate is now below four percent.

SNOWMOBILE RIDER CRASHES THROUGH POND

(Cambridge City, IN)--A large search for two missing snowmobile riders just off of U.S. 40 in western Wayne County had a happy ending late Tuesday night.  The riders got disoriented and went onto a lake on or near the IMI property.  One of them broke through and went into the water.  Multiple law enforcement and DNR officers responded.  One rider said that he was on an island with water all around.  Two helicopters were launched.  The rider that went into the lake was able to get out on his own and was okay Wednesday morning.  The second rider was also located and was not hurt.

PREBLE TEACHERS, STAFFERS TO BE VACCINATED NEXT WEEK

(Eaton, OH)--Plans are now in place for teachers and staff members at all five public school systems in Preble County to be vaccinated for Covid-19.  It will take place beginning a week from tomorrow and will include all teachers, bus drivers, and cafeteria workers regardless of age.  About 700 doses have been allocated for teachers and staffers.  More than have of people eligible have indicated they would take the vaccine.

WINTER WEATHER IMPEDES TRAVEL, FORCES CLOSURES

(Whitewater Valley)--Several Whitewater Valley counties had the highest level of travel advisory Tuesday morning.  It means travel is restricted to emergency management workers only.  Those counties include Union, Franklin, Randolph, and Henry.   As for Wayne County, here’s Richmond Mayor Dave Snow.  "After a lengthy discussion, the decision has been made to close all city of Richmond and Wayne County government offices for (Tuesday)."  Wayne County remained on a Level II Travel Advisory.   All other area counties, including Preble, Fayette, Darke, and Butler are also limited to essential travel only.  Wayne County roads Tuesday morning are felt effects of the winter storm that has passed through our area.  Here’s Mike Sharp with the Wayne County Highway Department Tuesday morning.  "Most of the roads are drifted - probably two to three-foot drifts.  East-west roads are going to be the worst." Crews asked the public to stay off the roads so that plows can get through.  "If they can stay off the roads, they need to stay off.  Let us get them opened up.  We're trying to get a pass though all of them.  If we can get one pass, we'll go back and try to open them up a little more," Sharp said.  Wayne County had a full road crew out Tuesday morning.  Winter weather has forced the closure of numerous city and county building across the Whitewater Valley.  That includes the Richmond Municipal Building and all Wayne County offices.  Wayne County has had just shy of 9700 residents receive at least one dose of the Covid-19 vaccine.  But there won’t be any Tuesday…at least not from the Wayne County Health Department.  Here’s Executive Director Christine Stinson.  "The Wayne County Health Department is closing its vaccination site for Tuesday.  All appointments will be rescheduled as soon as we know the weather is clear."  The Covid-19 testing site will also be closed.  Reid Health has also posted numerous office closings or delayed openings on its Facebook page.

RICHMOND LIKELY TO HAVE FULL MONTH OF BELOW-NORMAL TEMPS

(Richmond, IN)--Weather is on everyone’s mind today.  But it’s not just today that has most people longing for spring, it’s been the cumulative effect of lots of cold.  Check out these numbers...  Richmond has been below its normal temperature every day but one so far this month.  For now seven of 15 days, the temperature will be double digits below normal.  If long range predictions hold true, we won’t see a single day above normal until early March at the soonest.  It will be a run of at least 27 straight days below normal.

WINCHESTER GIRL APPEARS ON NATIONAL MISSING WEBSITE

(Winchester, IN)--A Randolph County teenage girl now appears on the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children website, and local investigators are asking for the help of the public in locating her.  15-year-old Kyleigh Rios of Winchester has not been seen for ten days.  There’s no word on the circumstances of her disappearance, but police say she may have traveled to central Indiana.  Kyleigh is white, 5-8, and 130 pounds with brown hair and brown eyes.

WAYNE COUNTY ADDS 181st COVID-19 DEATH

(Wayne County, IN)--Wayne County added a Covid-19 death Thursday.  It brings the total since the outbreak began to 181.  The number of local deaths attributed to the virus in recent months has dropped substantially.  So far this month, there have been four.  In the first ten days of January, there were seven.  In the first ten days of December, there were 28.  Wayne County added 19 new cases yesterday with the positivity rate dropping again.  It’s now down to 4.7%.

FIRE DESTROYS DETACHED GARAGE

(Richmond, IN)--A fire near East Main Street in Richmond drew lots of attention Thursday night.  It broke out in a detached garage in the 100 block of North 18th.  Battalion Chief Charlie Bartlett said it fully involved.  "It collapsed within five minutes of us being there," Barlett said.  Some nearby residents were evacuated.  "It kind of burnt a little bit of the house in front of it," Bartlett added.  But, Bartlett said no homes were in serious danger.  There were no injuries.  The cause remains under investigation.

RCS CONSIDERS INTERMEDIATE SCHOOL RECONFIGURATION

(Richmond, IN)--The Richmond Community School Board Wednesday night discussed a potentially major reconfiguration of some schools.  The issue is with Test and Dennis Intermediate Schools.  By next school year, there will be 166 more students at Test than at Dennis, and Test is running out of space.  Two solutions are redrawing boundary lines or forcing transfers.  But the option that seems to have the most traction now is making one building a 5th and 6th grade only building and making the other a 7th and 8th grade only building.  Right now, it’s all in the discussion stage.  The Board will take the issue up again in two weeks.  Public feedback is encouraged through the school’s website.

REID TO CLOSE CONNERSVILLE, LYNN VACCINATION CLINICS

(Richmond, IN)--Beginning next week, Reid Health will have only one Covid-19 vaccination location.  Reid announced Wednesday that satellite sites in Lynn and Connersville will be closed, leaving only the clinic at the Kuhlman Center.  The age to be vaccinated in Indiana recently dropped to 65.  As of yesterday, Reid had given more than 12,000 doses of the vaccine to people in a four-county area.

WAYNE COUNTY IMPROVES TO YELLOW; RESTRICTIONS REMAIN

(Wayne County, IN)--Wayne County returned to the yellow when Indiana issued its updated Covid-19 color-coded map Wednesday.  Most other area counties went yellow also, with only Fayette County remaining in the orange.  But the improved rating does not mean the restrictions will change – at least not yet.  "The Covid-19 restrictions for the orange ranking will stay in place until Wayne County has been ranked yellow for two consecutive weeks," said Christine Stinson from the Wayne County Health Department earlier this week.  Wayne County’s positivity rate is down to 4.9%.

BODY FOUND IN TRUCK IN WHITEWATER RIVER

(Fayette County, IN)--One person is dead after a pickup truck went into the Whitewater River on State Road 121 between Connersville and Laurel Wednesday morning.  First responders were called to the area of the Three Mile Bridge.  36-year-old Brett Napier of Connersville was pronounced dead at the scene.  The Department of Natural Resources is investigating how the truck ended up in the river.

ATTORNEYS TO CONFER THURSDAY IN BLM PROTEST CASE

(Richmond, IN)--An attorneys conference is set for Thursday in the remaining open case of one of five Black Lives Matter protestors who were charged in Richmond late last summer.  Elijah Gamber remains charged with obstructing traffic.  Attorneys say they have been unable to reach a resolution and are requesting a jury trial.  The driver who allegedly ran into some marchers, Joshua Carey, is scheduled for a bench trial late next month.

COUNTY FILES RESPONSE IN OLD REID LAWSUIT

(Richmond, IN)--Wayne County has filed another response regarding the old Reid Hospital property.  In that response, the county disputes numerous claims by former owner Bob Ciprietti and asks that the court issue a partial summary judgement by issuing a decision that Ciprietti is personally liable for property taxes totaling at least $1.3 million.  Ciprietti claims he had a limited role in the LLC that owned the property when it was stripped of its infrastructure and then abandoned.

TWO JAILED, DRUGS RECOVERED FROM CENTERVILLE APARTMENT

(Centerville, IN)--Methamphetamine was recovered during an incident at the Panoramic Apartments in Centerville Tuesday night.  Officers located 25-year-old Katlin Fisher and 42-year-old Peggy Gray.  They were both in jail Wednesday morning after Centerville officers located an undisclosed amount of meth along with other drugs, syringes, and paraphernalia.  Fisher is also charged with maintaining a common nuisance.

REID'S COVID-19 PATIENT COUNT LOWEST SINCE OCTOBER

(Richmond, IN)--Positive local Covid-19 news is coming almost daily now.  Here’s Tuesday’s dose.  The number of Covid-19 patients in Reid Health containment areas has dropped to 38.  That the fewest number of Covid-19 patients Reid has had on a Monday since last October 19.  Also, Wayne County’s positivity rate has dropped again and is now down to 5.3%.  Only 13 new cases were added in Wayne County Monday, and there were no Covid-19 deaths.  Indiana’s new color-coded Covid-19 map comes out tomorrow.  And, when it does, Wayne County is expected to improve.  "It is expected that Wayne County will be reduced to the yellow ranking on Wednesday to reflect the decrease in transmission in Wayne County," said Christine Stinson with the Wayne County Health Department.  Current restrictions will stay in place – at least for a while.  "The Covid-19 restrictions for the orange ranking will stay in place until Wayne County has been ranked yellow for two consecutive weeks," Stinson explained.  Wayne County has been in the orange for the last several weeks.

BOND REVOKED FOR MAN ACCUSED OF SEVERELY BEATING CHILD

(Richmond, IN)--His bond was revoked Monday and a Richmond man accused of causing serious injury to a child was returned to jail.  Matthew Day, who is now 31, allegedly beat a four-year-old child so severely that the child’s brain shifted.  The child’s mother, Sara Dunn, had left the child with Day when she went to work more than two years ago.  Trial in the case is now set for late April.

LESS THAN A HUNDRED COVID-19 CASES IN WAYNE COUNTY SINCE LAST WEEK

(Wayne County, IN)--The Monday-Monday Covid-19 numbers for Wayne County get better and better each week.  Since last Monday, Wayne County has added only 99 new cases of Covid-19.  That’s the first time Wayne County has had less than a hundred cases of Covid-19 in any week since the last week of last September.  Wayne County’s positivity rate has dropped below six percent.  According to the state’s dashboard, 9027 Wayne County residents have received at least the first dose of the vaccine.  That’s about 14% of the county’s population.

LOCAL COUNTIES COULD SEE NARCAN BOXES

(Whitewater Valley)--Wayne County and other in the Whitewater Valley could soon see Narcan in a box.  Here’s how it would work.  A box filled with six to eight doses of the overdose-reversing Narcan, along with instructions, would be placed in a highly visible area for people to access in case of an overdose.  Any business or community entity can request a box, but they’ll be responsible for monitoring it and requesting refills.  A company called Overdose Lifeline has started the project.

REID DISTRIBUTES 10,000th COVID-19 VACCINE DOSE

(Richmond, IN)--As the age to get vaccinated for Covid-19 gets lower, the number of area residents to have been vaccinated continues to grow.  Reid Health has seen a surge in appointments and has now given its 10,000th dose.  Reid passed that milestone on Wednesday and has averaged giving 414 doses daily over the last week across its four-county coverage area.  The age to get vaccinated through Reid is now down to 65.

LOCAL JOBLESS CLAIMS STILL HIGH DESPITE IMPROVING COVID-19 NUMBERS

(Wayne County, IN)--Wayne County’s Covid-19 numbers may be improving greatly, but it has not shown up yet in terms of jobless claims.  In new numbers released Thursday, 1230 jobless claims were reported in Wayne County for the month of January.  That’s nearly ten times more jobless claims locally than in January of last year.  Since the start of the pandemic, there have been just over 12,000 jobless claims filed.  That’s almost 12 times higher than over the same period last year.

WARMING STATIONS TO OPEN

(Wayne County, IN)--With some bitterly cold weather headed our way over the next week, some facilities across Wayne County have been designated as on-call warming stations.  Those warming stations are intended for short term use and will have minimal accommodations.  Those locations include Morrison-Reeves Library, the Richmond Senior Center, and most fire stations.

NORTHEASTERN ASST. SUPT. RESIGNS IN WAKE OF CRIMINAL CHARGES

(Fountain City, IN)--Northeastern Assistant Superintendent Eric Green has resigned.  Parents of Northeastern students received the notice Wednesday.  Green is facing criminal charges in Randolph County after allegedly providing alcohol to two underage boys who had attended Northeastern.  A hearing in that case is set for next week.  The Indiana State Police began an investigation nearly a year ago after a family member of one of the boys presented evidence of inappropriate contact between Green and the boys.  He has been on paid leave ever since.  Wednesday’s notice from the school made no mention of the criminal charges.

ACCUSED ARMED ROBBER JAILED AFTER SHOTS FIRED CALL

(Richmond, IN)--Two men were in the Wayne County Jail Thursday morning after shots were fired on North 15th late Wednesday night.  Police arrived and tracked down one suspect who had fled.  21-year-old Colten Tout was allegedly in possession of cocaine and other drugs.  31-year-old Joshua Dyer allegedly fired the shots.  He’s charged with criminal recklessness with a deadly weapon as well as extortion.  Two handguns were recovered.  There were no injuries.  A juvenile was also present during the incident.  Tout was charged with armed robbery less than two weeks ago after allegedly holding up two men at gunpoint on North 12th.

RPD SEEKS HELP AFTER MAN FOUND DEAD ON SIDEWALK

(Richmond, IN)--The investigation continues after a 30-year-old man was found dead on a Richmond sidewalk Wednesday morning.  According to a release from the Richmond Police Department, Kevin Daniels was found in the 1800 block of North C Street when daylight broke and had apparently been there for some time.  The release did not say whether or not there was any evidence of foul play.  Investigators would like to hear from anyone who had contact with Daniels from Tuesday night until Wednesday morning.

ALLEGED ROBBER OF TWO RICHMOND BUSINESSES RETURNED TO WAYNE CO.

(Richmond, IN)--The Kentucky man who allegedly committed two armed robberies in Richmond just a few hours apart last month and then fled into Darke County has gone through extradition and was jailed in Wayne County Wednesday.  Phillip Hedrick is accused of first holding up the Dollar General on North West 5th and then Walgreens on National Road East.  Hedrick is now charged with two counts of robbery.

WAYNE COUNTY RECORDS THREE COVID-19 DEATHS

(Wayne County, IN)--Wayne County had a Covid-19 setback Tuesday.  Even though the daily numbers of new cases remain low – 16 were reported Tuesday – there were also three news deaths reported.  It’s the first time since December 30 that there have been three or more Wayne County deaths in a single day.  The local positivity rate was down to 6.5% Wednesday morning.  An updated color-coded map comes out Wednesday.

NASA PAYLOAD FALLS IN WHITEWATER VALLEY; REWARD OFFERED

(Preble County, OH)--If you can find a NASA payload that fell from the sky recently, there’s a thousand dollars in it for you.  Late last week, the NASA ARMAS payload fell about 60,000 feet from a high-altitude balloon and is thought to have landed somewhere north of Lewisburg near Georgetown-Verona Road.  It looks like a shoebox and is wrapped in silver tape.  NASA was conducting an experiment on natural radiation at aircraft altitude.  The payload is not dangerous.  There’s a one-thousand-dollar reward for its return.

KIDNAPPER SENTENCED TO TWO YEARS

(Eaton, OH)--A Preble County kidnapper has been sentenced to two years in prison.  Last spring, deputies responded to a home on Miller-Williams Road just west of Eaton.  37-year-old Justin Lehr had assaulted his ex-girlfriend there, then forced her onto an ATV, took her into the woods, and held her at gunpoint.  She was eventually able to break free and get help.  Lehr was also ordered to forfeit multiple weapons as part of his sentencing.

COVID-19 VACCINATION AGE DROPS TO 65

(Wayne County, IN)--The age to get the Covid-19 vaccine has now dropped to 65.  Both the Wayne County Health Department and Reid Health issued statements Monday indicating the drop in age from 70 to 65 has gone into effect.  Reid offers vaccination clinics at the Kuhlman Center as well as in Liberty, Connersville, and Lynn.  The Health Department is continuing at the former Elder-Beerman building.  Those who want vaccines must still register online at ourshot.in.gov.  Final numbers are in for January for Covid-19 in Wayne County and they’re very encouraging.  The number of deaths in Wayne County was more than cut in half from December to January and less than half what it was in November.  The number of new cases dropped nearly 42% from December.  The county’s positivity rate dropped again yesterday is down to 7.1%.  Something happened Monday on the Covid-19 front that hasn’t happened in Wayne County since October 5.  There were only four new cases reported Monday.  That’s the first time that less than five daily cases were reported since the county had three on October 5.  Although the number of deaths is dropping, they have gotten younger in Wayne County recently.  Four of the last five to die with Covid-19 have been under the age of 70.  With Covid-19 numbers improving greatly, here’s an updated look at the risk of attending gatherings.  As of yesterday and according to a Georgia Institute of Technology study, if you attend an event with ten people in Wayne County, there’s a 12% chance one of them will be Covid-19 positive.  A 50-person gathering presents a 47% chance at least one is positive.  And, for a 500-person gathering, it’s a virtual certainly – 99% - that one person will be positive.

PROPOSED RP&L RATE HIKE ADVANCES TO SECOND READING, PUBLIC COMMENT

(Richmond, IN)--Richmond Common Council met Monday night and addressed what would be a modest rate hike for customers of RP&L.  Council heard the ordinance and moved it to the RP&L Board, which then sent it back to council for a second hearing in two weeks.  That’s when public comment is taken.  RP&L has not had any rate hike in the last 16 years.

WAYNE COUNTY COVID-19 CASES, POSITIVITY CONTINUES TO DROP

(Wayne County, IN)--Wayne County’s Covid-19 numbers continue to improve.  There have been only 165 new cases since last Monday.  That’s the lowest Monday-to-Monday total since the first full week of October.  There has also been a very noticeable drop in the positivity rate.  Wayne County’s rate this morning is down to just 7.4%.  Other area counties are seeing a similar drop in weekly cases.  Randolph County added only 32 new cases since last week.  Union County added only eight new cases.  It’s good news for kids, parents, and fans of high school athletics in Wayne County.  Beginning Monday, Wayne County schools will allow 25% capacity in gyms.  Cheerleaders and spirit bands can also participate again.  It means that around 1400 people can now attend a game in the Tiernan Center.  Attendance will be limited to a few hundred people at the other high school gyms in Wayne County.

MOTEL FIRE CONTAINED TO ONE UNIT

(Richmond, IN)--A quick response by the Richmond Fire Department kept damage at the Garden Inn (Econolodge) on Richmond’s east side to a minimum on Sunday afternoon.  "We arrived and saw heavy fire and smoke showing," said  That’s Battalion Chief Tim Brown.  No one was inside the room.  "The fire was brought under control in seven minutes," Brown explained.  Everyone at the Garden Inn was forced to get out.  "The entire complex had to be evacuated because we had to turn the power off to that building," Brown added.  Damage was set at $15,000.  There were no injuries.

UTILITY WORKER STABBED IN CONNERSVILLE

(Connersville, IN)--An employee of Ohio Valley Gas suffered life-threatening injuries when he was stabbed at a home in Connersville on Saturday.  Police there say 34-year-old Darrin Poore, who lives in Straugh, was conducting official business at a home on Vermont Avenue in Connersville when he was attacked by 26-year-old Devin Franklin.  Poore was flown to a Level One trauma center and was last listed in stable condition.  Franklin was caught following a short foot chase and is now charged with attempted murder.

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