Local News Archives for 2022-01

WAYNE COUNTY RECORDS SINGLE-DAY CASE TOTAL HIGH

(Wayne County, IN)--For the third straight week, Wayne County has recorded more than 1100 new Covid-19 cases in a single week.  Since last Monday, there have been 1152 new cases.  That’s down only very slightly from the Monday-to-Monday total from previous week.  Also, Wayne County’s most recent single-day total of new cases was 286.  That smashes the previous single-day record of244 cases, which was set back on the 20th.  There were 63 Covid-19 patients at Reid Health Monday morning.

ROAD CREWS GEAR UP FOR LOOMING WINTER STORM

(Whitewater Valley)--County highway departments in our area are gearing up for what could be the Whitewater Valley’s first truly significant snowfall of the winter.  The National Weather Service has already issued a winter storm watch for Randolph and Henry County beginning Wednesday night and running through Thursday for what’s expected to begin with the potential for accumulating ice which will transition into accumulating snow.  So far this winter, Richmond has had only a little more than three inches of total snow.  That’s kept supplies of salt and sand at county highway departments full.

AREA RESIDENTS SEE LIGHT PILLARS

(Whitewater Valley)--There was an unusual weather phenomenon in the Whitewater Valley over the weekend.  Some residents reported seeing what looked like pillars of beaming light from the ground early Saturday morning, when the temperature was very cold.  Light pillars form when light reflects off of tiny crystals of ice that are hanging in the atmosphere and reflect a light source below them.  It was 11 below in Richmond Saturday morning.

UNEMPLOYMENT DROPS LOWER AS MORE WAYNE CO. RESIDENTS LEAVE WORKFORCE

(Wayne County, IN)--Area unemployment rates, which last month were historically low, have gone even lower as people continue to drop out of the workforce in droves.  Numbers released Wednesday put Wayne County’s unemployment rate at just 1.4%.  That’s nearly a full percentage point lower than last month and, by far, the lowest in at least the last 12 years.  Since this time last year, 1008 people have dropped out of Wayne County’s workforce.  376 people have dropped out of Wayne County’s workforce in just the last month.  It’s now below 29,000 people.  The lowest unemployment rate in our area is Union County, with a rate of just .8%.

COVID-19 CASES BEGIN TO DROP, BUT HOSPITALIZATIONS INCREASE

(Wayne County, IN)--There was both good and bad Covid-19 numbers for Wayne County Thursday morning.  The bad news is that the number of patients at Reid Health has spiked again.  At one point last week, the number had dropped to 42 patients.  But, on Thursday morning, that number was back up to 58.  The good news, though, is that the five-day daily average number of cases has begun to drop.  It wa down to 163 Thursday morning after peaking at 182 on Monday.  There were 80 new cases Wednesday, which is half the recent daily average.

WARRANT ISSUED FOR TEEN ACCUSED OF BEATING GRANDMA WITH HAMMER

(Richmond, IN)--The teenage girl who allegedly hit her own grandmother in the head with a hammer in Richmond recently appears as one of Wayne County’s most wanted on the Sheriff’s Department’s Facebook page.  A warrant has been issued for 18-year-old Emily Crawford.  Crawford was jailed early last week on the charge of battery with a deadly weapon.  She was released and now cannot be located.  Crawford is listed on court records today as being at large.

FOOTBALL HALL OF FAME BUILDING SELLS

(Richmond, IN)--Here’s more on the closure of the Indiana Football Hall of Fame in Richmond that Kicks 96 and 101.7 The Point News was first to report in December.  The building on North A Street that housed the Hall of Fame has now been sold, although details of that sale have not become available.  The proceeds of the sale are going into a fund that will be distributed to high school seniors in the form of a scholarship.  The Hall of Fame will continue to operate its website.

DEATHS APPEAR TO BE RESULT OF DOUBLE-MURDER / SUICIDE

(Preble County, OH)--More information was released Tuesday about the three people found dead near Gratis in Preble County on Monday.  Investigators now say it appears that 40-year-old Shane Elliott shot and killed his 13-year-old son Caleb and his ten-year-old daughter Grace before killing himself.  Elliott was in the process of a divorce and the children had been staying with him over the weekend.  Elliott had been arrested for domestic violence in 2015.  He had threatened suicide during that incident.  Grief counselors were on hand at Preble Shawnee schools Tuesday.

MOST MAIN STREET BUSINESS OWNERS REJECT STUDY

(Wayne County, IN)--Last fall, Forward Wayne County worked to provide studies that assess the structural integrity of older buildings on the main streets of four Wayne County communities at no cost to those buildings’ owners.  So far, though, most businesses have said “thanks, but no thanks.”  "I thought that our business owners would say 'Great!  A free gift!.'  That has not been the case," said Beth Treaster with Main Street Centerville when addressing the Centerville Town Council Tuesday night.  Only three Centerville businesses have chosen to participate.  But there is one exception in Wayne County.  "Hagerstown is different.  Hagerstown has 21 buildings on their Main Street and 18 owners agreed.  Now, Centerville, Cambridge City, and Richmond...it's been like pulling teeth to get business owners to agree to this," Treaster said.  Treaster said efforts would continue to get business owners to participate.

THREE FOUND DEAD IN PREBLE COUNTY HOME

(Preble County, OH)--Three people, including two children, were found dead inside a Preble County home Monday.  Investigators were called to a home on Greenbush Road near Gratis to do a welfare check, forced entry, and made the discovery.  An adult male and his two children were all found dead.  The children were fourth and seventh graders in the Preble Shawnee school system.  Sheriff Mike Simpson indicated that he would await autopsy results before releasing information about what caused the deaths.  Deputies have been to the house before for domestic issues.  The identities have not yet been released.

COMMUNITY RALLIES TO HELP SURVIVORS OF DEADLY HOUSE FIRE

(New Paris, OH)--The village of New Paris is rallying to support survivors and remember a couple that died in a house fire on West Main Street on Friday morning.  There has not been any official release about the incident, but residents are indicating  that Jim and Sandra Clark were trapped and died when fire broke out.  The Clarks were long-time New Paris residents.  There’s no word yet on what started the fire.  Residents have donated gift cards and clothing to surviving adult children who also lived in the house.

STRIKE TEAM TO ARRIVE IN RICHMOND TO COMBAT COVID-19

(Richmond, IN)--A group called the Strike Team is coming to Richmond Wednesday to help with Covid-19 issues.  That group will coordinate Covid-19 testing and vaccinations at the Kuhlman Center beginning Wednesday and running through Saturday from noon until 8 o’clock each day.  In the last five days, Wayne County has added an average of 175 new cases each day.  113 new cases were added Monday.

WAYNE COUNTY RECORDS SINGLE-DAY AND WEEKLY CASE TOTAL HIGHS

(Wayne County, IN)--For the third straight week, Wayne County has broken its own Monday-to-Monday Covid-19 case total record.  Since last Monday, the county has added 1195 cases.  Most other Whitewater Valley counties also broke their weekly records last week.  Wayne County is also reporting a single-day record 246 cases Monday morning.  Although case counts are very high, the number of people becoming critically ill is not.  There were four patients in the Reid ICU Monday morning.  But, here’s a switch.  Only one of those four is unvaccinated.  Until now, the vast majority of patients in the Reid ICU have been unvaccinated.

WINCHESTER'S ALDI STORE TO CLOSE

(Winchester, IN)--Winchester is losing a grocery store.  The city confirmed on a social media page over the weekend that the Aldi store will be closing in the near future.  Aldi has been a part of the Winchester community for nearly 30 years.  The city reached out to Aldi leadership to ask if anything could be done to keep the grocery and there’s a rally set for Wednesday, but Aldi responded with a message saying that it’s probably not going to make any difference.  There’s no specific date set yet for the Aldi closure.

BOYS AND GIRLS CLUB NAMES NEW LEADER

(Richmond, IN)--The Boys & Girls Clubs of Wayne County has named a new leader.  She’s Rachel Winters, and she’s no stranger to the organization .  Winters is a Miami grad who has been a unit coordinator and director since 2018.  The role of Chief Operating Officer is a new position that replaces the previous Director of Operations.  The Boys & Girls Clubs of Wayne County currently serves 2700 kids at five locations.

PHYSICIAN: SOME LOCAL RESIDENTS HAVE DIED WITH COVID-19, NOT BECAUSE OF IT

(Richmond, IN)--There’s a difference in someone dying with Covid-19 or because of Covid-19.  Either way, it’s counted as a Covid-19 death.  Dr. Thomas Huth talked about how that applies to Wayne County when he appeared as a guest Thursday night on the WCTV’s In-Focus program with host Eric Marsh.  Of the 148 Wayne County residents who have died since the Delta variant last summer, only three were vaccinated and boosted.  But here is what Huth says about those three.  "One was a person who actually died of something else who happened to also be infected with Covid-19.  That person died of heart problems, not from Covid-19 infection - or no Covid-19 complications.  The other two were people who you would expect not to have a good response to vaccination.  One was a cancer patient on chemotherapy.  The other was a transplant patient."  And here’s more on the 148 who have died since Delta.  "Out of the 148 deaths, 33 were people who were quote-unquote fully vaccinated, Huth explained.  There were two deaths counted as Covid-19 deaths Thursday.

REID STAFFING SHORTAGE CONTINUES

(Richmond, IN)--Dr. Thomas Huth appeared as a guest Thursday night on the WCTV’s In-Focus program with host Eric Marsh.  Huth provided an update on staffing at Reid Health.  "We've had a steady reduction in staffing.  Over time, we've gotten more understaffed," Huth said.  Huth said the staffing decline mirrored what’s happening on the national level with people in all fields simply quitting their jobs.  A small contingency of National Guard members are remaining at Reid Health to help with the shortages.  Healthcare workers are also being permitted to come back to work sooner when they’ve become infected with Covid-19.

ENTRAPMENT REPORTED IN NEW PARIS FIRE

(New Paris, OH)--There was developing news in New Paris Friday morning.  Firefighters were called to a structure on Main Street at 4:30 Friday morning.  The initial dispatch to firefighters was that it was a fully involved two-story structure fire and that there was entrapment.  First responders had requested a ladder truck when they arrived.  The fire was in the dead-end area of Main Street near Water Street.

WAYNE COUNTY SETS DAILY COVID-19 RECORD; HOSPITALIZATIONS FALL

(Wayne County, IN)--Just Wednesday, Wayne County counted 216 new Covid-19 cases.  That’s the highest single-day total ever, breaking the record of 203 set back on the 8th of this month.  But, as case totals rise, the number of seriously ill people at Reid Health continues to fall.  There were 41 patients at Reid Thursday morning.  That’s a 71% drop from the number of patients at Reid at the first of the new year, which is when the Omicron variant caused cases to begin to spike.  Thursday morning, there were only four patients in the Reid ICU with two on ventilators.  Those numbers are the lowest they’ve been this year.

WEST COLLEGE CORNER WOMAN DIES AS RESULT OF FAYETTE COUNTY CRASH

(Alquina, IN)--The Fayette County Sheriff’s Department is now confirming that a serious accident that took place on Alquina Road on Monday has turned fatal.  26-year-old Caitlin Davis of West College Corner died at a Level One trauma center after being transferred from Reid Health in Connersville.  Investigators say that Davis was on her phone when she lost control on Alquina Road, rolled, and was ejected from her vehicle.

RCS ASKS FOR PARENTS' HELP WITH DRIVER SHORTAGE

(Richmond, IN)--The Richmond Community School system is dealing with a bus driver shortage.  And, Thursday and Friday, they’re asking parents to help.  RCS issued a request yesterday that parents take their kids to school and pick them up themselves if they’re able.  Students who have no alternative than to ride the bus can expect longer delays Thursday and Friday.

WAYNE COUNTY RECORDS 300th COVID-19 DEATH

(Wayne County, IN)--Wayne County has reached a grim Covid-19 milestone.  On Tuesday, the county reported four more Covid-19 deaths, bringing the total since the start of the pandemic to an even 300.  The local demographics continue to show that the elderly remain the most vulnerable.  Nearly half of the 300 are over 80 and ¾ are over 70.  The Wayne County Health Department has previously indicated that obesity and other pre-existing conditions have also been contributing factors to a large percentage of those who have died.  Wayne County added 98 new cases Tuesday.

STUDY DETAILS AVERAGE WAGES FOR LOCAL JOBS

(Wayne County, IN)--A wage and benefit study done by the Purdue Center for Regional Development has been released for east central Indiana.  It measures the current average wage per hour for a long list of jobs.  According to the study, the average hourly wage for a production worker in this area right now is $20.97.  The highest listed average wage is for administrators with a rate of $56.49 per hour.  The lowest is a dietary aid with a rate of $11.37 per hour.  You can see the entire list on the EDC’s website.

OVERDOSE CALL LEADS TO DRUG ARREST

(Hagerstown, IN)--A report of a drug overdose on State Road 38 near Hagerstown Tuesday night led to the arrest of an alleged driver.  According to scanner traffic, Narcan was successfully  administered to an unresponsive person.  48-year-old Melissa Terry now faces a long list of charges, including possessing meth, possessing cocaine, and OWI with a previous conviction.

NUMBER OF COVID-19 PATIENTS AT REID CONTINUES TO DROP

(Richmond, IN)--The number of Covid-19 patients at Reid Health continues to drop even as daily case counts remain as high as they’ve ever been since the start of virus nearly two years ago.  The Monday patients totals this month have gone from 66 to 56 to 52 yesterday.  Now, on Tuesday morning, it has dropped to 42.  The number of patients on ventilators is down to five, which is lower than the average over the last few months.  Still, the overwhelming majority of those in the ICU or on ventilators are unvaccinated.

THREE FOUND DEAD IN CONNERSVILLE HOME

(Connersville, IN)--Here’s more on the weekend incident on Whitewater Boulevard in Connersville that Kicks 96 and 101.7 The Point reported exclusively Monday.  Connersville police indicated yesterday that a total of three people were found dead inside a home in the 2100 block.  All three were males in their 40’s or 50’s.  An official cause of death could take weeks and will depend on autopsy and toxicology results.  Officers suspect drug use was involved in the case, making it likely that it was a triple-fatal overdose.

CELL PHONE CITED AS CAUSE OF SERIOUS CRASH

(Alquina, IN)--A West College Corner woman was very critically injured in a crash Monday, and investigators say it happened because she was using her phone while she was driving.  26-year-old Caitlin Davis was headed east on Alquina Road in Fayette County when she lost control and rolled over.  Davis was thrown from the vehicle and found about 50 feet away.  She was taken first to Reid Health Connersville and then flown to a Level One Trauma Center.  There were varying reports on her status Tuesday morning.

LOCAL COVID-19 CASES SKYROCKET, BUT PATIENT COUNTS DROP

(Wayne County, IN)--Wayne County has just shattered its previous Monday-to-Monday Covid-19 case count.  Since last Monday, there have been 1127 confirmed cases.  That easily breaks the record of 801, which was set just the week before.  The positivity rate for tests at Reid Health last week was an incredible 40%.  But, despite the massive increase in case counts, the number of Covid-19 patients at Reid has actually been steadily dropping.  This morning, there are 52 patients at Reid.  That’s the lowest Monday total since December 6 – before the Omicron variant became prevalent.  The number of patients at Reid has dropped for five consecutive Mondays.

TEEN ARRESTED FOR ATTACKING GRANDMOTHER WITH HAMMER

(Richmond, IN)--A Hagerstown teen is now charged with domestic battery with a deadly weapon after allegedly beating her own grandmother with a hammer.  It happened on Saturday in the 500 block of South 5th in Richmond.  That’s where 18-year-old Emily Crawford was taken into custody.  Crawford will likely be released on her own recognizance Monday.  There’s no word yet on the condition of the alleged victim or what led to the alleged beating.

WAYNE COUNTY SCHOOL CLOSES DUE TO STAFF SHORTAGE

(Cambridge City, IN)--Staffing shortages have forced the closure of the third school in our area and the first in Wayne County.  Western Wayne Schools made the call at 5:40 Friday morning to close for the day because too many teachers and staffers are out.  The day will be made up on President’s Day next month.  Schools in both the Franklin County and Talawanda school districts were also closed Friday.

MAN CHARGED WITH RAPE, STRANGULATION AFTER GRAND BLVD. INCIDENT

(Richmond, IN)--A Richmond man was facing serious charges Friday morning after a woman called 911 Thursday afternoon to report that she was being raped at a home in the 2200 block of Grand Boulevard.  Police arrived and took 51-year-old Troy Hampton into custody.  Hampton is now charged with rape and sexual battery with an object, sexual battery, strangulation, and criminal confinement.  There’s no word yet on the condition of the alleged victim.

SPIKE IN CASES YIELDS NO CORRESPONDING SPIKE IN ICU PATIENTS

(Richmond, IN)--Even though the daily number of new cases of Covid-19 in Wayne County are the highest they’ve ever been, there has been no corresponding spike in the number of seriously ill patients at Reid Health.  Wayne County added 160 new cases just Thursday and has now surpassed the 15,000 case mark.  But, the number of patients in the Reid Health ICU was at eight Friday morning.  That’s at or slightly below the average number of seriously ill patients that the hospital has had for several months.  Six of the eight patients in the Reid ICU Friday morning are unvaccinated.

MAN FATALLY SHOT NEAR HAGERSTOWN

(Hagerstown, IN)--There was a fatal shooting outside of Hagerstown Wednesday afternoon.  At around 3 o’clock, deputies were sent to Treaty Line Road and found 39-year-old Thomas Pierce dead at the scene.  The Wayne County Sheriff’s Department said that the parties involved were acquainted.  Other specific details have not been released, including the name of whoever is alleged to have fired the fatal shots.  But, the statement indicated that it was an isolated incident and that there is no known threat to the community.  Scanner traffic indicates the shooting was the result of a domestic incident.

WAYNE COUNTY RETURNS TO RED ON COVID-19 MAP

(Wayne County, IN)--Wayne County moved back into the red when Indiana’s updated Covid-19 map was released Wednesday.  Wayne County’s positivity rate has climbed to just over 18%.  Nearly all of Indiana is now red due to the Omicron variant.  Only 11 counties are not red, and one of those 11 is Fayette County.  Wayne County added 163 new cases just Wednesday and will surpass the 15,000 case mark at some point Thursday.  There was also another local Covid-19 death Wednesday, bringing the total to 295.

MAN WITH MULTIPLE DRUG-DEALING WARRANTS RETURNED TO WAYNE COUNTY

(Richmond, IN)--Authorities went to Columbus Wednesday to bring an alleged drug dealer back to Wayne County.  35-year-old Edward Singleton was being held in Franklin County, Ohio.  Singleton had warrants for six drug-dealing charges, including three counts of dealing methamphetamine.  Singleton was arrested three years ago after allegedly selling drugs to confidential informants throughout Richmond.  Singleton’s last name at that time was Hoelscher.

THREE FACE CHARGES AFTER DOMESTIC INCIDENT INVOLVING WEAPONS, CHILDREN

(Richmond, IN)--Three women were taken into custody in two different Richmond locations Tuesday night following a domestic incident involving weapons and children.  34-year-old Ashley Beaty was apprehended Tuesday night on Bridge Avenue and Sim Hodgin Parkway and charged with battery by bodily waste with a disease and domestic battery with a deadly weapon.  A woman who shares her last name, 52-year-old Tracy Beaty was caught on Chester Boulevard near I-70.  She’s charged with domestic battery against a child under the age of 14.  Samantha Woods is also charged with battery with a deadly weapon.  Other details about the incident have not been released.

SCHOOL BUS CRASH SENDS FOUR CHILDREN TO REID HEALTH

(Cambridge City, IN)--Four children were taken to Reid Health to be checked out for minor injuries when a vehicle struck a Western Wayne school bus at the Stone Gate Apartments in Cambridge City Tuesday morning.  55-year-old Tonya Mills of New Castle told police that her windshield was frosted over and that she never saw the school bus.  Mills was cited for failure to yield and taken to Reid with a minor head injury.  None of the injuries were life threatening or critical.

CENTERVILLE EXTENDS COVID-19 QUARANTINE POLICY FOR EMPLOYEES

(Centerville, IN)--Centerville’s Town Council met Tuesday night and addressed quarantine time for city employees who contract Covid-19.  Even though the CDC has reduced the recommended quarantine time to five days, Centerville’s council Tuesday night voted to continue with ten-day policy.  Here’s Councilman James Bullen.  "I think we need to give these people time to make sure they're good, as long as they're not using it for a vacation."  Council voted to keep it in place through the "winter months", which would mean it would expire three weeks into March.

INVESTIGATORS MAKE RENEWED EFFORT TO ID BODY FOUND 40 YEARS AGO

(Wayne County, IN)--Investigators in Wayne County are taking a new look at a very old case.  Back in 1982, hikers along Martindale Creek north of Jacksonburg in Wayne County found skeletal remains of a woman in the fork of a tree.  She had been dead for about eight months.  Now, due in part to new genealogy and DNA technology, local officials hope to finally put a name on the person who was found.  She’s thought to be white, between 18 and 22 years old, and of average build.  If you can help, you’re asked to contact the Wayne County Coroner’s Office.

LOCAL COVID-19 CASES SPIKE; REID PATIENT COUNT DROPS

(Wayne County, IN)--Wayne County reported 156 new Covid-19 cases Monday, marking the sixth straight day it has reported at least a hundred new cases.  The rolling five-day average has gone from 38 daily cases on Christmas Day to 151 cases this morning.  But despite the huge spike in cases over the last week due to the Omicron variant, the number of seriously ill patients at Reid Health is not increasing.  In fact, it’s going down.  Reid had 70 patients at Christmas.  On Tuesday morning, it was down to 52.  Ten of those 52 patients are in the ICU.

ACCUSED MULTI-STATE RAPIST CHILD RAPIST HAS LOCAL TIES

(Hixson, TN)--A man in charge of a motocross company based in our area is now accused of raping children in ten states.  He’s Ryan Meyung, and he taught motocross to kids at Haspin Acres in Franklin County last year.  "Mr. Meyung trained children in various parts of the United States in motocross and snowboarding.   And, unfortunately, we feel that there are more victims," said the Tennessee prosecutor who is handling the case after Meyung’s arrest.  Here’s someone who knows one of the alleged victims.  "He's a piece of crap - a complete piece of crap - messing with children like that.".  The investigation into Meyung’s activities in Franklin County continues.

WAYNE COUNTY RECORDS HIGHEST-EVER WEEKLY COVID-19 CASE TOTAL

(Wayne County, IN)--Wayne County has just recorded its highest Monday-to-Monday Covid-19 case total ever.  Since this time last week, there have been 801 new confirmed cases of Covid-19.  That blows away the previous weekly high by more than 150 cases.  It occurred in the first full week of last September.  Some other area counties have also recorded weekly highs.  Wayne County has also recorded four more Covid-19 deaths over the weekend.  It brings the total to 292.  The number of patients at Reid Health has actually dropped.  There were 56 patients Monday morning.  That’s an 18% drop from last week.

MAN KILLED IN ATV CRASH

(Preble County, OH)--One person was killed early Sunday morning as the result of an ATV crash in Preble County.  According to state police investigators, two men were riding the ATV at Rush Run Wildlife Area near Camden when the ATV overturned.  The 25-year-old driver, who was from Hamilton, was pronounced dead at the scene.  His passenger was taken to a Hamilton hospital to be treated for non-life-threatening injuries.

POISONING SUSPECT RELEASED

(Richmond, IN)--The man arrested last week for trying to poison his wife has been released from jail.  69-year-old Alfred Ruf was released on his own recognizance.  Investigators began an investigation into Ruf at the request of his wife, 51-year-old Lisa Bishop.  Ruf admitted to giving Bishop an unknown substance knowing it would eventually kill her.  She was hospitalized several times last year.  Substances are currently being examined.   The Wayne County Sheriff’s Department says two other people of interest are still being sought in the case.

2/3 OF WAYNE CO. RESIDENTS NOW HAVE HAD COVID, BEEN VACCINATED, OR BOTH

(Wayne County, IN)--Here’s an update on the number of Wayne County residents who have been vaccinated for Covid-19.  As of Thursday, 30,461 Wayne County residents were considered fully vaccinated.  That’s about 46% of the county’s population.  But, it also means that 2/3 of the county’s population has now either knowingly had the virus, been vaccinated against it, or, in many cases, both.  Over the last month, Wayne County has averaged about 40 residents become fully vaccinated every day.

SHOTS FIRED IN DOMESTIC DISPUTE

(Richmond, IN)--According to scanner traffic, 54-year-old Dawn Matheny had just gotten a gun for Christmas and, late Thursday night, she fired it during a domestic dispute with her husband.  It happened at around 11 o’clock Thursday night in the first block of South 18th.  There was no report of any injury, but Matheny now faces the felony charge of criminal recklessness – shooting a firearm into an inhabited structure.  Both she and her husband, John, were also charged with domestic battery.

BOND REDUCED (SLIGHTLY) FOR ACCUSED RAPIST

(Hamilton, OH)--A Connersville man who is accused of raping women both in his own hometown and in Oxford appeared in court Thursday to have his bond reduced.  And, the bond for 58-year-old Lloyd Ailes was reduced, but not enough to really matter.  DNA evidence recently tied Ailes to the two rapes that occurred back in 2006.  He had argued for a bond reduction due to the fact that he has cancer.  His bond was reduced from $550,000 to $500,000.  Ailes will go on trial in late May.

WAYNE COUNTY ADDS 100-PLUS COVID-19 CASES FOR 5TH TIME IN NINE DAYS

(Wayne County, IN)--Wayne County added another 107 Covid-19 cases Wednesday.  It marks the fifth time in the last nine days the county has seen at least a hundred new cases.  It’s the first time the county has had that many hundred-case days in that short of a time frame.  At Reid Health, though, there has been no significant increase in the number of Covid-19 patients.  There were 67 patients Thursday morning.  That’s on par with patient totals over the last month.  13 people are currently in the ICU.  Nine of those are on ventilators.

MAN WITH FIVE OPEN METH CASES CAUGHT JAILED AGAIN FOR METH POSSESSION

(Richmond, IN)--A wanted man with five active felony cases was caught near North 10th and J in Richmond early Thursday morning.  31-year-old Zachary Scott had failed to appear for cases involving possession of methamphetamine.  When Scott was located Thursday morning, he was again allegedly in possession of meth.  Drug paraphernalia was also recovered.

ALLEGED CONNERSVILLE RAPIST TO ASK FOR RELEASE

(Hamilton, OH)--The attorney for a Connersville man accused of two rapes 15 years ago is now asking for his client’s release until trial.  58-year-old Lloyd Ailes is due back in court Thursday.  He’s accused of raping a woman in Connersville and a student at Miami University in 2006.  He was only recently arrested after extensive DNA and genealogy testing.  His attorney is expected to argue Thursday that Ailes has cancer and should be released.  He’s currently being held in the Butler County Jail.

WAYNE COUNTY REPORTS HIGHEST SINGLE-DAY COVID-19 DEATH TOTAL IN MORE THAN A YEAR

(Wayne County, IN)--On Tuesday, Wayne County reported more single-day deaths of people with Covid-19 than it had in more than a year.  Four people were added to count, which now stands at 287.  The last time Wayne County reported four or more Covid-19 deaths in a single day came back on December 28 of 2020 – before a vaccine was available.  Wayne County also reported 106 new cases Tuesday.  The rolling five-day average of cases stood Wednesday morning at 91.  That’s more than three times higher than it was on Christmas Day.

PROGRESS DRIVE BUILDING TO BECOME KITCHEN, SPORTS FACILITY

(Richmond, IN)--Reid Health received a zoning change for a building at 910 Progress Drive, which was formerly occupied by JMC Restaurant Distribution.   Reid’s use of the property was discussed at Monday night’s meeting of Richmond Common Council.  "The rezone will allow the existing building to be remodeled as a sports complex and food production facility for Reid Health," said one city representative.  More specifically, the new Reid kitchen facility will allow Reid to prepare food for Meals on Wheels, nursing homes, and the PACE Center, among others.  The sports facility will be used to train athletes by Reid staff.  It is not considered an open gym and will generally be open by invitation to higher-level athletes.

MAN CHARGED WITH SIX FELONIES AFTER SHORT CHASE

(Richmond, IN)--An ongoing investigation by the Wayne County Drug Task Force led to the arrest of a Richmond man on a long list of charges Tuesday.  At around noon, police tried to stop a vehicle being driven by 26-year-old Cedric Thompson II.  Thompson fled and was caught following a short foot chase.  Officers found 85 grams of illegal narcotics and a loaded handgun.  It resulted in six felony charges, including dealing cocaine.  Back in 2016, Thompson robbed a Richmond Dollar General at gunpoint and was sentenced to seven years in prison.

RICHMOND CHILD MOLESTER FACES NEW CHILD PORN CHARGE

(Richmond, IN)--A Richmond child molester who was convicted way back in 1995 faces a brand-new charge of possessing child pornography.  63-year-old David Julien was taken into custody at his home on Pearl Street Monday.  Details of the new arrest have not yet been released.  According to court records, Julien was sentenced to eight years in prison back in the ‘90’s for having sex with a child between the ages of 12 and 15.  All but a year and a half of that sentence was suspended.

HAGERSTOWN MAN JAILED FOR STRANGULATION

(Hagerstown, IN)--A Hagerstown man was jailed late Monday night following an alleged strangulation on North Perry Street.  33-year-old Vince Sartain is not only charged with strangulation, but also with domestic battery and resisting law enforcement.  There’s no word yet on the condition of the victim or other details of the incident.  This becomes Sartain’s eighth felony arrest in the last three years.  Most of those cases involve drugs and auto thefts.

REID MOVES MONCLONAL TREATMENT LOCATION

(Richmond, IN)--Reid Health’s Covid-19 monoclonal antibody treatment clinic is moving from its current location on Richmond’s west side to the former Elder-Beerman building in downtown Richmond.  The change takes effect Wednesday and was prompted by sewer issues at the Reid Plaza site.  Those issues do not affect Reid’s PACE Center or any of the tenants occupying other suites at the plaza.  Monoclonal antibodies are a treatment designed to help your immune system fight viruses.

WAYNE, PREBLE SCHOOLS EQUALLY INFECTED DESPITE VARYING MASKING POLICIES

(Wayne County, IN and Preble County, OH)--Most area school kids are headed back to school at some point this week to begin the second half of the school year.  As was the case in the first half, some districts require masking, while others do not.  Wayne County schools began to require masks shortly into the school year as the Delta variant became prevalent and are still requiring them now.  Preble County schools did not require masks at the start of the school year and still do not.  According to each state’s respective department of health Monday morning, there has been no discernable difference in the number of students who have gotten Covid-19 in the two counties.  So far this school year, masking Wayne County schools have had 7.7% of students test positive.  Non-masking Preble County schools have had 5.5% of students test positive.  Eliminating the more heavily populated Richmond school system makes no difference in the overall infection rate comparison.  Richmond has had 7.7% of students test positive this school year.

WAYNE COUNTY HAS HIGHEST COVID-19 TOTAL SINCE EARLY SEPTEMBER

(Wayne County, IN)--Wayne County has added 462 cases of Covid-19 since this time last Monday.  That’s the highest weekly case count since the county reported 646 in the first full week of last September.  There’s also been a sharp spike in the rolling five-day average of cases.  On Christmas Day, Wayne County was adding an average of 38 cases per day.  This morning, that number is up to 57.  A new free drive-thru testing and vaccination clinic will be operating at the Kuhlman Center beginning Wednesday.  That clinic will run from noon until 8 daily through Saturday.

REID WELCOMES 2022's FIRST BABY

(Richmond, IN)--Reid Health’s first baby of the new year arrived about 19 hours into 2022.  A baby girl named Paysleigh weighed in at six pounds, ten ounces and was born to Valerie and Zachary Bennett.  Valerie had to deal with Covid-19 through part of her second trimester that resulted in weekly stress tests and ultrasounds, but Paysleigh entered the world with no consequences and Valerie has completely recovered.

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