Local News Archives for 2022-02

WAYNE COUNTY HAS UNDER 100 WEEKLY COVID-19 CASES FOR FIRST TIME SINCE AUGUST

(Wayne County, IN)--For the first time since early August of last year, Wayne County has had less than a hundred cases of Covid-19 in a week.  Since last Monday, there have been only 74 cases.  Here's how the number of weekly cases has dropped each week in the last four weeks, beginning four weeks ago:  661, 227, 146, 74.  All other area counties are seeing similar drops.  In Union County, there has been only one case of Covid-19 in the last week.  The number of Covid-19 patients at Reid Health continues to drop.  There were only 11 patients Monday morning.  Just a week ago, there were 28.  Four weeks ago, there were 63.

PROTEST CONVEY STILL EXPECTED THURSDAY

(Whitewater Valley)--The People’s Convoy was rolling out of Oklahoma Monday morning as it heads for Washington on a path that will take it directly through the Whitewater Valley.  Convoy organizers are claiming that the protest of Covid-19-related mandates has now grown to include 7000 trucks.  The estimate is still for the rally to pass through our area on I-70 sometime Thursday.

SOME AREA SCHOOLS DROP MASK MANDATES ON BUSES

(Whitewater Valley)--Just a week or so after dropping mask mandates inside school buildings, at least three area schools also now no longer require masking on school buses.  Federal mandates had kept that requirement in place, but updated guidance from the CDC prompted Centerville, Western Wayne, and Nettle Creek schools to declare over the weekend that masking is optional on school buses beginning immediately.  The CDC says that individual schools systems can still require masking on buses and vans if that system chooses.

MASK MANDATE DROPPED FOR CITY OF RICHMOND BUILDINGS

(Richmond, IN)--The city of Richmond is the latest public entity to drop its mask mandate.  Mayor Dave Snow announced Thursday afternoon that the requirement to wear a mask at all times inside any city-operated building was ending immediately.  There are also no longer capacity or distancing requirements.  City busses, though, are an exception.  Masking is still required for city bus riders, but that’s because of a federal mandate that’s in place for three more weeks.  Wayne County dropped its mandate earlier this week, and nearly every school dropped mandates late last week.

HUDDLESTON HOUSE FOR SALE

(Cambridge City, IN)--One of Wayne County’s most historic houses is for sale.  The Huddleston Farmhouse on U.S. 40 just outside Cambridge City is set to officially go on the market this coming Tuesday.  For nearly the last 50 years, Indiana Landmarks has owned and operated the property as a regional office, but is now turning it over to a different owner with protective covenants in place.  The Huddleston House dates all the way back to 1841.  Asking price is $350,000.

ICE COATS TREES, BUT CAUSES FEW TRAVEL ISSUES

(Whitewater Valley)--Travel conditions across most of the Whitewater Valley Friday morning were not as bad as it may have appeared with all the ice on trees.  Here’s what John Terhaar from the Wayne County Highway Department said drivers might find Friday morning.  "Mainly the bridges and large culverts where air can get under the roads - there was a little bit of  ice on them.  Yes, we are finding some trees down."   There were power outages overnight, including a rather large one in western Wayne County.  By 5 o’clock Friday morning, 130 homes were out in southern Darke County.  Another 113 homes were without power in the Everton area.  There were no high-water issues anywhere in the Whitewater Valley.

RCS BOARD HEARS PUBLIC COMMENT ON MASK REVISION

(Richmond, IN)--The Richmond Community School Board Wednesday night heard public comment on its recently revised mask policy.  Wednesday was the first day that students went to school knowing that masking was optional, but not required.  People on both sides of the issue addressed the Board, including the RHS Study Body President, who wants masking to continue indefinitely.  "You know what isn't good for my education?  My grandma being dead.  When are we going to stop treading on the lives of others for what is simply a minor inconvenience?  We must remain vigilant if we wish to put an end to this."  Board member Aaron Stevens talked about the benefit for students of seeing teachers’ entire faces.  "and especially the expressions of the face.  It goes to say a lot more than just the eyes," Stevens said.  Roughly a dozen people addressed the Board about the issue.

MASK MANDATE DROPPED AT WAYNE COUNTY BUILDINGS

(Wayne County, IN)--Another local mask mandate that had been in place for months has been dropped.  On Wednesday, Wayne County Commissioners ended the mask mandate for all county-operated governmental buildings, including the administration building and the Wayne County Courthouse.  Masking in those locations is now optional.  In the last week, nearly every public school system in the Whitewater Valley have also dropped their mask mandate.

NATIONAL TRUCKER PROTEST CONVOY TO PASS THROUGH WHITEWATER VALLEY

(Whitewater Valley)--The People’s Convoy is leaving California Wednesday for Washington, D.C. on a route that will take it through the heart of the Whitewater Valley.  The People’s Convoy is the name given to a group of truckers protesting mask and vaccine mandates in the United States on the heels of a similar protest in Canada.  "You may be wondering why we're doing this.  For me, personally, it's about our freedom as Americans," said one of the organizing truckers, who hopes the number of participants climbs into the thousands.  As of right now, the convoy is projected to pass through the area on I-70 on Thursday of next week.

WAYNE COUNTY TO DROP TO YELLOW FOR FIRST TIME SINCE NOVEMBER

(Wayne County, IN)--For the first time since early November, Wayne County will be in the yellow when Indiana’s updated Covid-19 map is released Wednesday.  For nearly four months, Wayne County has been orange or red due to the Omicron variant.  But that ends Wednesday.  On Wednesday morning, there were only 15 Covid-19 patients at Reid Health.  That’s the lowest that number has been since August of last year.  The average daily case count is down to 14.  Just two weeks ago, it was 39.  A month ago, it was 174.

RCS REVERSES REVERSAL OF MASKING POLICY

(Richmond, IN)--Shortly after the start of school Tuesday morning, Richmond Community Schools reversed its reversal of its mask mandate, and, Wednesday morning, there was no more confusion about masking being required.  It is not.  "RCS truly apologizes for the inconsistent messaging that has surrounded our facemasking procedures.  This matter is of true importance to all RCS stakeholders and we will continue to work together to address it accordingly."  That’s part of the message sent to parents after school started Tuesday.  The original reversal came after the Richmond Education Association claimed it was excluded from discussions.  The RCS Board meets Wednesday afternoon at 5:30.  Although the issue does not appear specifically on the agenda, it’s expected to draw lots of public comment.

MOST AREA SCHOOLS DROP MASK MANDATES

(Whitewater Valley)--Nearly all area schools have now dropped mask mandates for students.  That includes Richmond Community Schools, which sent out a message late Friday notifying parents of the change in protocol.  The change goes into effect Tuesday.  School is not in session Monday in Richmond because it’s Presidents Day.  Masking on busses will still be required for schools that have dropped the in-school mandate.  That’s due to a federal mandate that is still in place.

DRASTIC DROP IN COVID-19 CASES CONTINUES

(Wayne County, IN)--The Whitewater Valley’s Covid-19 numbers continue to drop.  The Monday-to-Monday weekly total shows 146 new Wayne County cases in the last week.  Three weeks ago, Wayne County was averaging that many new cases every single day.  Now, it’s averaging only 21 new cases each day.  Reid Health is down to 28 patients in Covid-19 containment areas.  That’s the fewest number of patients Reid has had since last November.  There was only one patient in the ICU Monday morning.

ALABAMA MAN INDICTED FOR ARSON OF CONNERSVILLE COUNCILMAN'S HOME

(Birmingham, AL)--Connersville residents were outraged last October when fire was set to the home of city council member Tommy Williams.  A racial slur was spray-painted on the home when the fire was set.  Now, there’s been an indictment.  A federal grand jury has indicted an Alabama man, claiming he traveled from Birmingham to Connersville to set the fire.  He’s charged with one count of interstate travel in aid of racketeering enterprises.  He now faces up to 20 years in federal prison.  There’s no word yet on what connection, if any, the man had to Connersville and Williams.

MASK MANDATE DROPPED FOR CENTERVILLE-ABINGTON STUDENTS

(Centerville, IN)--Masks can finally come off for students in at least one Wayne County school system.  Centerville-Abington school Superintendent Dr. Mike McCoy said that, beginning Friday, masking in Centerville schools is recommended but not mandatory.  The change comes after a webinar Thursday hosted by the Indiana Department of Health announcing numerous changes.  One of those changes is that schools are no longer required to report Covid-19 cases.  A comparison of masking Wayne County schools and non-masking Preble County schools for this school year shows no discernable difference in the rate of Covid-19 infection for students.

RICHMOND MAN FOUND GUILTY OF MURDER

(Richmond, IN)--It took a Wayne County jury about three hours of deliberation Thursday to find a Richmond man guilty of murder in a case where he stabbed and killed his friend.  Chad Farmer stabbed and killed Audie Corn in a home on East Main three years ago after a day of drinking and arguing.  Farmer’s defense in the trial this week in Wayne Superior Court I was essentially that he never meant to kill Corn, even though he admitted to stabbing him multiple times.  Farmer now faces a standard 55-year prison term when he’s sentenced.  That sentencing date does not yet appear in court records.

SCHOOL MUST HOST "AFTER SCHOOL SATAN CLUB"

(Eaton, OH)--In recent years, lots of organizations have used Eaton school facilities including the Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts, and YMCA.  But now, another group wants to use Eaton’s facilities…the “After School Satan Club.”  That group has made similar requests to other schools nationally.  The group’s website claims its mission is "to give children an appreciation of the natural wonders surrounding them."  Eaton Superintendent Jeff Parker sent a message sent to parent Thursday night saying that, under federal law, the school cannot prevent the group from meeting.

WAYNE COUNTY MOVES OUT OF RED ON COVID-19 MAP

(Wayne County, IN)--For the first time in several weeks, many area counties have moved out of the red on Indiana’s Covid-19 map.  That includes Wayne County, which moved Wednesday out of the red and into the orange with a positivity rate that’s dropped down to just under 13%.  Randolph and Henry County have also improved to orange.  Wayne County’s rolling five-day average of new cases continues to drop.  It was down to 28 Thursday morning.  Two weeks ago, it was 95.  A month ago, it was 151.

NEW BUILDING PLANNED FOR TACONIC

(Cambridge City, IN)--A tenant in the Gateway Industrial Park near Cambridge City is continuing with its plans for expansion.  Taconic is planning on adding a 5700-square foot building.  That new building will be a breeding site for medical-grade rats and mice.  Taconic has been around since 2005.  The corporation has more than 1300 global clients.

TESTIMONY GETS UNDERWAY IN MURDER TRIAL

(Richmond, IN)--Testimony got underway Tuesday in Wayne Superior Court I in the murder trial of Chad Farmer, who is accused of stabbing and killing Audi Korn in Richmond three years ago. Much of the testimony in the trial so far has come from Donald Berry, who had allowed both men to live with him on East Main.  Berry testified that Farmer and Korn had been drinking and fighting throughout the day.  He said he awoke to screaming and saw a bloodied Korn collapse in a hallway.  An RPD officer then testified that he was told by Farmer that Farmer only did it because they had been fighting an hour before the stabbing.  The trial continues Wednesday.

PERSON DIES AFTER BEING STRUCK BY TRAIN

(Richmond, IN)--One person died late Tuesday afternoon after being struck by a train in Richmond.  It happened in the area of North West 2nd Street.  According to scanner traffic, the train’s conductor told police that the person laid down across the tracks in front of the oncoming train.  The conductor was unable to stop the train.  Train traffic through the area was stopped for a couple of hours after the incident.

FOUNTAIN CITY UNDER WATER BOIL ADVISORY

(Fountain City, IN)--All of Fountain City was under a water boil advisory Wednesday morning.  An alert went out to residents at around 3 o’clock Tuesday afternoon.  A couple of hours  before that, a construction crew hit a water main, and that’s what prompted the advisory.  Water must pass a couple of rounds of testing before the advisory can be lifted.  Fountain City resident should boil water for five minutes before using it for cooking or drinking.

WAYNE CO. JOBLESS CLAIMS REMAIN HIGH DESPITE RECORD-LOW UNEMPLOYMENT

(Wayne County, IN)--Wayne County’s jobless claims remain high so far through 2022.  This year, Wayne County is averaging 64 new jobless claims per week.  Over the same first six weeks in the pre-Covid year of 2019, instead of 64, the number was 30.  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.

TWO MEN ARRESTED AT STATE-LINE TRUCK STOP FOR DRUGS, COUNTERFEITING

(Preble County, OH)--Two Connersville men are facing a long list of charges after being arrested at a state-line truck stop.  Preble County deputies were called to the Petro Truck Stop at U.S. 40 and I-70 and found 39-year-old Christopher Russell and 35-year-old Steven Seckman of Connersville.  Investigators located eight ounces of meth and fentanyl with a street value of $7000.  They also found $2800 in counterfeit bills along with items that had been stolen from the truck stop.  Both Russell and Seckman were taken to the Preble County Jail.

QUICK RESPONSE STOPS KITCHEN FIRE

(Cambridge City, IN)--A quick response is being credited with helping to put out a fire at a multi-unit residence in Cambridge City overnight.  It broke out at just before midnight Monday night in the 100 block of North Foote Street.  Crews from multiple agencies responded and had the fire under control within 20 minutes.  According to scanner traffic, it began in a kitchen and did not result in any injuries.  There’s no word yet on the dollar amount of the damage.

REID HEALTH REPORTS ZERO COVID-19 PATIENTS IN ICU

(Richmond, IN)--Wayne County has just had its lowest weekly Covid-19 case total of the year, and it’s the lowest by a lot.  There have been 227 confirmed cases since last Monday.  That’s only one-third of the number of cases from the week before and less than 1/5 of the cases the week before that.  It’s also the fewest number of cases since the week of Christmas.  The number of Covid-19 patients at Reid Health Monday morning is 36.  That’s the lowest that number has been since late November.  And, this may be the best news…on Monday morning, there not even one single Covid-19 patient in the ICU or on a ventilator at Reid Health.

HOTEL TO GO UP FOR AUCTION

(Richmond, IN)--According to a national auction website, Richmond’s Quality Inn and conference center on National Road East is going up for auction in two weeks with a starting bid of $2.1 million.  The firm Marcus and Millichap touts the hotel’s proximity to I-70, restaurants, and retail.  The hotel has changed ownership multiple times in the last decade.  It was closed in 2014 and, two years later, sold to a local bank at sheriff’s sale.  The hotel has 134 rooms and covers 89,000 square feet.

MURDER TRIAL BEGINS MONDAY

(Richmond, IN)--A murder trial gets underway Monday in Wayne Superior Court I.  Chad Farmer is charged with killing Audie Corn three years ago in a building on East Main Street in Richmond.  Corn allegedly beat up a roommate for not turning down loud music.  Hours later, Farmer alleged stabbed Corn with a folding knife.  Jury selection will take place Monday with opening statements set to begin Tuesday.  The trial is expected to last all week.

RCS MASKING POLICY TO REMAIN IN PLACE FOR NOW

(Richmond, IN)--The topic of continued masking in school came up briefly when the Richmond Community School Board met Wednesday.  The Board heard this from one RCS bus driver:  "The kids are getting super tired of wearing masks at school.  It can be very distracting and, I'm sure, can be very hard on teachers trying to make children mind because I know how difficult it is on the school bus."  Some districts and states across the country are discussing lifting masking mandates for students as Covid-19 numbers drop.  But, it did not appear Wednesday night that Richmond is close to doing that.  "And we indeed are not making any decisions regarding our face mask procedures - definitely on the bus but also in our schoolhouses.  Right now, things are as they have been," said Superintendent Dr. Curtis Wright.  Throughout this school year, there has been no discernible difference in infection rates between schools in our area that require masking and schools that do not.

PHASE II OF LOOP PROJECT PUSHED BACK TO 2024

(Richmond, IN)--There’s a new timeline for Phase II of Richmond’s Loop project.  The Loop is designed to connect downtown to the Depot District with walking and bicycle paths.  In a statement Wednesday, the city said that INDOT is reviewing and realigning projects due to delays brought about by the reaction to Covid-19.  INDOT advised the city to consider rescheduling Phase II of the Loop to a bidding date of late next year.  The city reviewed the proposal and agreed to follow the recommendation.  Phase II is now not scheduled for construction until 2024.

FIRM TO DESIGN PARK PLAZA UNDER BRIDGE IN DEPOT DISTRICT

(Richmond, IN)--The Richmond Redevelopment Commission meets Tuesday, February 15th at noon in the City Building.  One of the many items they will be discussing is a North 9th Street Park Plaza adjacent to Elm Place and North E Street.  More specifically, it’s the area under the existing U.S. 27 bridge.  The city is prepared to enter into a contract with a central Indiana firm to design a public outdoor gathering space due to the impact of Covid-19 restrictions on the community.  Designs cost, if the contract is approved, is just over $100,000.

COVID-19 NUMBERS DROP DRASTICALLY

(Wayne County, IN)--Indiana’s updated color-coded Covid-19 map comes out Wednesday, and there are some very encouraging numbers for Wayne County.  At Reid Health Wednesday morning, there are 35 patients with Covid-19.  That’s down by 13 people from Monday, and it’s just a little more than half of the patients that were there at the start of the month.  There are only two patients in the ICU, and that’s the lowest that number has been in months.  There has also been a massive drop in the rolling five-day average of cases.  On Wednesday, Wayne County was averaging 55 new cases.  Three weeks ago, the average was 181.

MAN JAILED FOR SHOOTING INTO BUILDING

(Richmond, IN)--One person was taken into custody Tuesday night and charged with criminal recklessness – shooting a firearm into a building.  He’s 24-year-old Ian Murray.  Murray had an active warrant after a Wayne County judge found probable cause on Monday.  Murray was located Tuesday night on North 13th in Richmond.  Details of exactly what led to the charge have not yet become available.

VICTIM IN FATAL VAN INCIDENT IDENTIFIED

(Richmond, IN)--More details were released Tuesday about the fatal incident involving a passenger van on Mendelson Drive in Richmond on Monday afternoon.  A man now identified as James Miller died when he became trapped under a 15-passenger van.  That van was being driven by an employee of Benchmark Human Services.  No illegal substances were found in the driver’s system, and investigators do not believe speed was a factor.

MAN KILLED IN SHOOTING NEAR TEST INTERMEDIATE SCHOOL

(Richmond, IN)--There was a fatal shooting in Richmond Monday night.  At just after 6 o’clock, officers were sent to an area of the 200 block of South 23rd adjacent to the Test Intermediate School football field.  That’s where they found 32-year-old Erik Hendriks in a vehicle with a fatal gunshot wound.  Two other people who were inside the vehicle were found walking nearby.  Those two told investigators that a verbal argument escalated and at least one shot was fired.  There have been no arrests made yet, and the investigation is continuing.

MAN TRAPPED UNDER VAN, KILLED, ON MENDELSON DRIVE

(Richmond, IN)--There has been no information released yet about what turned out to be a fatal accident involving a passenger van in Richmond Monday afternoon.  According to scanner traffic, first responders were sent to a facility at the west end of Mendelson Drive late Monday afternoon.  There, they found a person trapped underneath the van.  Air bags were used to lift the van off of the person.  Resuscitation efforts were not successful.  The driver of the van was taken to Reid Health for routine toxicology testing.  No arrests were made Monday.  The name of the victim has not been released.

CITY TO EXPLORE RE-ESTABLISHMENT OF HUMAN RIGHTS COMMISSION

(Richmond, IN)--Richmond Common Council met Monday night.  Mayor Dave Snow told council Monday night that $75,000 in American Rescue Plan money is being used to have a private firm assess the possibility of reestablishing the city’s Human Rights Commission.  It was 13 years ago that the Human Rights Commission was essentially eliminated from city services when Council decided in a controversial 5-4 vote to defund it.

HUESTON WOODS RENAMED FOR SUPER BOWL

(College Corner, OH)--Hueston Woods State Park has been renamed.  But, the renaming of the park just outside of College Corner will only last for a week or two.  Governor Mike DeWine announced Monday that Hueston Woods is should now be called Ickey Woods.  The name change is to honor the Bengals legend with the famous dance who played in the Bengals last Super Bowl appearance 33 years ago Ickey Woods Park will again become Hueston Woods after this Sunday’s Super Bowl.

INVESTIGATORS RELEASE PHOTO OF RING IN EFFORT TO IDENTIFY BODY

(Richmond, IN)--Last month, Kicks 96 and 101.7 The Point News reported on renewed efforts to identify a female body that was discovered along Martindale Creek north of Jacksonburg in Wayne County way back in 1982.  Now, there’s a new development.  The Wayne County Coroner’s Office has released a photo of a ring she was wearing when she was located by hikers.  The hope is that someone will recognize that ring and help identify the person.  She’s thought to be white, between 18 and 22 years old, and of average build.

RFD RESPONDS TO FIRE AT PRIMEX PLASTICS

(Richmond, IN)--Richmond firefighters were sent to a local manufacturer Monday morning.  It was just before five o’clock Monday morning that crews were sent to Primex Plant 1.  There was no initial report of any injury.  Sprinklers were activated in and around the area where the fire started, which was in an outside machine.  By 5:45 Monday morning, firefighters were still on the scene working to ventilate smoke from the building.  There’s no word yet on the cause of the fire.

WAYNE COUNTY SEES LARGE DROP IN WEEKLY COVID-19 CASES

(Wayne County, IN)--There’s been a huge drop in the number of weekly Covid-19 cases in Wayne County.  Since last Monday, the county has added 661 new cases.  That’s a 74% drop from the more than 1100 cases the week before.  It also marks the first time in a month that Wayne County has had less than a thousand cases in a week.  The number of Covid-19 patients at Reid Health is also down.  There were 48 patients Monday morning.  That’s a 31% drop from last Monday.  There are only three Covid-19 patients in Reid’s ICU.

ROAD CREWS BATTLE DRIFTING EARLY FRIDAY

(Whitewater Valley)--A full crew of Wayne County Highway Department workers went back out onto the roads at 3 o’clock Friday morning to deal with heavy drifting.  Most of the snow has passed, but getting county roads passable proved to be difficult overnight.  "Whatever we plowed was just drifting back shut as soon as we got through it," said Mike Sharp.  Overnight and into Friday morning, crews encountered several vehicles that had become stuck.  "We had four or five.  I just helped one get out myself," Sharp explained.  He said it’s a direct result of the drifting.  "They're stuck on the roads.  It's not like they're going off the road.  They're stuck right in the middle in a drift."  All Whitewater Valley counties were on some level of travel advisory Friday morning.  Most, including Wayne County, are on a status of essential travel only.  But a few counties have issued the highest level and closed county roads to everyone.  That includes the very hilly Franklin County and the very flat and open Randolph County, where drifting is still a major problem.  Henry County is also on the highest level of travel advisory.

AREA ESCAPES WIDESPREAD POWER OUTAGES

(Whitewater Valley)--One of the more fortunate elements of this winter storm is that the potential for widespread, extended power outages never came to fruition.  Emergency management officials feared that could be the case based on a combination of freezing rain and strong winds.  None of the energy companies that serve our area – including RP&L, AES, Whitewater Valley REMC, and Duke Energy – are reporting any outages Friday morning.  Close to 400 homes in West Alexandria lost power Thursday, but that didn’t last long.

FIRE DOES HEAVY DAMAGE TO HOME ON WESTVIEW DRIVE

(Richmond, IN)--Fire did heavy damage to a home on Westview Drive off of Chester Boulevard Thursday night.  It broke out at around 8:30.  According to scanner traffic, the family was home and was able to evacuate into an outside vehicle while firefighters battled the blaze.  There’s no word yet on the dollar amount of the damage or what caused the fire.

WAYNE COUNTY MOVES TO LEVEL II TRAVEL ADVISORY

(Wayne County, IN)--At 6 o’clock Thursday morning, Wayne County officially went under a Level II Travel Advisory.  The main element of that is that only essential travel is permitted.  Essential travel is defined as to or from work, to get medical care, or to obtain essential supplies of food or fuel.  Examples of non-essential travel would be for entertainment, recreation, or to obtain non-essential items.  There is currently no time of expiration for the Level II Travel Advisory.

SHERIFF CAUTIONS AGAINST MISUSE OF 911 DURING WINTER STORM

(Eaton, OH)--During winter storms like this one, people often misuse 911 and tie up dispatchers unnecessarily.  Here’s Preble County Sheriff Mike Simpson with concerns that apply to dispatchers in all Whitewater Valley counties:  "That could be calling to let us know you don't have electric.  Please don't call dispatch to ask what the road conditions are.  Please don't call and ask if you can get a note for work.  We get that all the time."  Dispatchers say they were fielding calls asking about road conditions Thursday morning.

SHOT FIRED INTO KITCHEN

(Richmond, IN)--Late Wednesday night, Richmond police investigated the report of a shot fired into a house.  It happened in the 200 block of North West J Street.  According to scanner traffic, a window was broken out and a bullet was found in the home’s kitchen.  There was not report of any injury and no arrests have been made.

SOME SCHOOLS CLOSE IN ADVANCE OF WINTER STORM

(Whitewater Valley)--The effects of the approaching winter storm were already being felt in some ways across the area Wednesday morning.  Several Whitewater Valley school systems have closed for the day, despite the fact that there won’t be any freezing precipitation until well after those students would’ve been home from school anyway.  Other systems, including all of those in Preble County, were operating as normal Wednesday.  And, as for the possibility of power outages, Duke Energy has called in 300 additional response workers from across the country to supplement local crews.  RP&L has not yet indicated how it will handle any potential outages.  Also, Covid-19 testing at the former Elder-Beerman building in Richmond has been suspended Wednesday and Thursday.  Road crews in Wayne County and across the Whitewater Valley are preparing for the looming winter storm, but this one presents a problem that puts crews behind the eight ball before the nasty weather hits.  "Any time a storm comes in with rain first, we're really not able to do any pretreatment on the roads because it would simply wash away," said an ODOT spokesperson.  Some area highway departments are dealing with short staffing, but have adjusted the hours of those working to keep as many trucks on the road as possible.

WAYNE COUNTY SEES SIGNIFICANT DROP IN COVID-19 CASES

(Wayne County, IN)--There were three Covid-19 deaths reported Tuesday in Wayne County, bringing the total number of people to die with – but not necessarily because of – the virus to 309.  The number of cases, though, has begun an obvious decline.  A week ago, the rolling five-day daily average number of cases was 181.  That’s the highest it’s ever been in Wayne County.  But, on Wednesday morning, the average has dropped down to 126.  There were 51 new cases Tuesday.  Wayne County will surpass the 18,000 case mark on Wednesday.

WINNING $250,000 LOTTERY TICKET SOLD IN CAMBRIDGE CITY

(Cambridge City, IN)--Wayne County has had more than its fair share of winning lottery tickets, and now another one can be added to the list.  The Hoosier Lottery said a ticket was sold in Sunday’s Cash Five drawing that matched all five numbers and is worth just over a quarter of a million dollars.  That ticket was sold at Bob-O-Link Liquors on West Main Street in Cambridge City.  Wayne County has sold six tickets worth at least $100,000, including three worth more than $295 million.

AREA RESIDENTS STOCK UP IN ADVANCE OF WINTER STORM

(Whitewater Valley)--The freak-out factor is high in advance of the winter storm that’s approaching the Whitewater Valley.  It was most evident at area grocery stores.  Here’s what it was like Monday at one big-box grocery in Richmond.  "They wiped us out.  It wasn't as bad as corona, but the store was a mess and the shelves were wiped out," said one employee.  It was much the same at Woodruff’s in Liberty.  "Milk was practically wiped out totally.  Meat department was backed up all day long.  I don't know that we ran out of anything, but we sure cleaned out our back coolers.  People are getting ready for what's coming," said owner Tim Woodruff.  A check of those and other stores Tuesday morning indicates they anticipate additional trucks to arrive before the storm hits beginning Wednesday night.

TRUCKER KILLED IN RANDOLPH COUNTY CRASH

(Randolph County, IN)--There was a fatal accident in Randolph County Monday morning.  It happened at just before 8 on County Road 400 west just southwest of Winchester.  Investigators say 47-year-old Kim Bradburn was driving a semi that went off the road and struck a tree.  Bradburn was pronounced dead at the scene.  There’s no word yet on what may have caused Bradburn to lose control.

TEEN ACCUSED OF HITTING GRANDMOTHER WITH HAMMER CAPTURED

(Richmond, IN)--Richmond police on Monday rounded up the teen accused of hitting her own grandmother in the head with a hammer.  18-year-old Emily Crawford had an active warrant for her arrest.  She was arrested a couple of weeks ago and released, but was listed as “at large” and could not be located.  Crawford was taken into custody Monday morning at South 7th and E.  She’s now being held on a $30,000 bond.

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