Local News Archives for 2022-01

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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