Local News Archives for 2022-04

DEADLINE ARRIVES FOR PAUST RESPONSE TO $750,000 FORECLOSURE

(Richmond, IN)--Thursday was the deadline for Wayne County Commissioner Ken Paust to file a response in Wayne Circuit Court to foreclosure efforts by First Bank totaling nearly three quarters of a million dollars.  Ten years ago, Paust’s wife, Linda, signed a promissory note of $800,000 connected to a tract of land on Salisbury Road.  First Bank alleges that the Pausts did not make monthly payments and is exercising its right to call for the entire amount, which now stands at $733,000.  Paust explained to Kicks 96 and the Point News last month that he had sold part of the land on contract and that the buyer had failed to make payments.  He said that allowing the loan to go through the foreclosure process was the easiest way to allow First Bank to obtain a clear title.  The case has been assigned to a special judge from Rush County.

WAYNE COUNTY SENDS PROTECTIVE HELMETS TO UKRAINE

(Richmond, IN)--Wayne County is sending protective gear to Ukraine.  Sheriff Randy Retter explained Thursday that he had learned about a request from the Ukrainian American Coordinating Council asking for protective gear.  Wayne County had just replaced 38 ballistic helmets that were set to be destroyed.  Now, those helmets are headed instead to Ukraine.  Retter said that even though the helmets are past the recommended service period, they’re still capable of providing much-needed protection.

NSK PLANS $25 MILLION EXPANSION

(Liberty, IN)--A large expansion project at NSK in Liberty is in the works.  NSK manufactures ball bearings and other industrial parts.  They’re planning a $25 million expansion over the next five years.  NSK is now in its 26th year in Liberty and employs around 200 people.  The company recently asked for and received a tax abatement for the expansion from the Liberty Town Council.

TEACHERS EXPRESS DISPLEASURE AT DOLLAR HEALTH INSURANCE FOR RCS BOARD MEMBERS

(Richmond, IN)--The President of the Richmond Education Association, or teachers union, went before the RCS Board Wednesday afternoon to complain about a recent resolution.  That resolution, which was passed last month, provides RCS Board members with the same health insurance as other RCS employees for a dollar a year.  Kelly McDermott explained why those employees are upset.  "In fact, effective January 1, employees in the group health insurance plan got hit with a $480-per-year increase."  A few other employees also addressed the Board.  "And this change sends the wrong message to teachers and other employees about the respect, empathy, and, yes, the sense of shared service and sacrifice that the Board expects of us," McDermott added.  The Board did not respond to the complaints Wednesday.

PROBABLE CAUSE FOUND IN DUI FATALITY

(Liberty, IN)--Probable cause was found Wednesday in the case of a Richmond man who allegedly drove drunk and caused a crash that killed a Liberty man on U.S. 27 last weekend.  Brock Robinson now formally faces four felony charges, including reckless homicide.  An initial hearing has now been set for Monday.  Robinsons remained in the Union County Jail Thursday morning.

ALLEGED VEHICLE THIEF ARRESTED FOR THIRD TIME IN TWO WEEKS

(Richmond, IN)--For the third time in two weeks, a Richmond man has been jailed on a vehicle theft charge.  Two weeks ago, 31-year-old Gary Rose Junior was found in a stolen dump truck.  Last week, Rose allegedly tried to put gas in a stolen vehicle even though he didn’t have money to pay for the gas and was arrested again.  And now, Thursday morning, Rose was taken into custody on North 20th after allegedly stealing a motorcycle on Ridge Street.  He is now being held without bond for failing to appear on a previous charge.

WAYNE COUNTY UNEMPLOYMENT UP AS WORKFORCE SHRINKS

(Wayne County, IN)--Unemployment rates are rising as the number of people in the workforce in Wayne County continues to shrink.  According to new numbers from the Department of Workforce Development, Wayne County’s unemployment rate has risen for the fourth straight months and stands this morning at 2.9%.  That comes as the number of people in the local workforce has dropped by 50 people in the last month and by 522 people since this time last year.  Unemployment rates in all Whitewater Valley counties have risen this month.

INITIAL HEARING PUSHED BACK FOR WOMAN ACCUSED IN DUI FATALITY

(Liberty, IN)--An initial hearing has been pushed back for the Richmond woman accused of driving with drugs in her system and causing the death of Union County Highway Department worker.  37-year-old Gina Price was to have appeared this week, but that’s now been pushed back to May 2.  Justin Moore was killed and Douglas Skaggs was critically injured when Price crashed on Clifton Road last fall.  Price faces reckless homicide and several other charges.

CRAIN SANITARIUM OWNERS GET OVER $60,000 IN PPP LOANS FORGIVEN

(Richmond and Carmel, IN)--Do you ever wonder what happened to Heaven and Ben Johnson?  That’s the couple who claimed to be Beverly Hills designers who came to Richmond to rehab the Crain Sanitarium at 22nd and East Main.  That, of course, never happened.  Heaven Johnson was arrested for theft at Menards, found to have had numerous convictions for fraud across the country, and then left town.  Now, the Johnsons claim to be interior designers operating out of a six-bedroom, three-quarter-of-a-million-dollar Carmel estate.  The Johnsons were successful in obtaining more than $60,000 in Covid-19-related loans from the federal government which have now been completely forgiven.

MAN JAILED FOR CRIMINAL RECKLESSNESS

(Centerville, IN)--A Centerville man was taken into custody Monday and charged with criminal recklessness with a deadly weapon.  Centerville police arrested 25-year-old Tyler Halcomb next door to his home on Plum Street at around noon.  Details of what Halcomb is alleged to have done have not been released.  No injuries were immediately reported.

REID HEALTH DOWN TO ONE COVID-19 PATIENT

(Richmond, IN)--It’s been a few weeks since any local Covid-19 numbers have been reported, and those numbers continue to remain low.  Reid Health now updates its Covid-19 numbers only on Monday.  Yesterday’s report shows just one Covid-19 patient.  Wayne, Fayette, and Randolph County have each had only three new cases in the last week.  Union County hasn’t had any at all.

RICHMOND MAN CHARGED WITH DUI FATALITY

(Union County, IN)--A Richmond man remained behind bars Monday morning after allegedly driving drunk and causing the death of a Liberty man.  It happened on Saturday night on U.S. 27 just north of Liberty Country Club.  According to the Indiana State Police, 22-year-old Brock Robinson was driving at a high rate of speed when he slammed into the back of Anthony and Donna Talbert of Richmond.  The impact caused their vehicle to go through a guardrail and into a wooded area.  Also in their vehicle was 37-year-old David Marshall of Liberty.  Marshall was pronounced dead at the scene.  Donna Talbert was flown to Miami Valley Hospital.  Robinson then allegedly fled the scene on foot and was caught a short distance away.  He was being held Monday morning on three felonies, including OWI Causing Death.

SCHOOL BOARD PRESIDENT CAUGHT ATTEMPTING TO MEET YOUNG GIRL

(Randolph County, IN)--A school board president is the latest to show up in Randolph County to meet what he thought was a young girl but was really part of an online group called Predator Catchers.  A video posted by the group of the initial confrontation at a Randolph County convenience store details the confrontation between the president and a representative of Predator Catchers.

PC:  And how old are you, John?

President:  I'm 55.  (He's actually 60).

PC:  And how old is the girl you're talking to?

President:  I think she said she was 12 or 13.

PC:  What did you guys talk about?

President:  Just hangin' out.

The man is president of the school board in the Cincinnati suburb of Goshen.  He immediately resigned on Sunday when the video was posted.

AFFIDAVIT SHOWS MURDER SUSPECT PLANNED TO FLEE TO FLORIDA

(Richmond, IN)--More information about the fatal shooting of 18-year-old Nathaniel Reed last week at South 8th and A in Richmond has become available with the filing of an affidavit.  According to that court document, Reed exited his car to talk with the occupant of another car.  As Reed was climbing back into his car, 18-year-old Rickey Porter allegedly shot Reed multiple times.  The shooting was captured on video at the RP&L office and from a semi sitting just behind the two vehicles.  Porter hid in Union County on the night of the shooting, but was caught coming back to Richmond with plans to flee to Florida.

TEEN ARRESTED FOR MURDER ALREADY FACED A SERIOUS CRIMINAL CHARGE

(Richmond, IN)--Richmond police made an arrest Thursday in connection with the city’s latest shooting, and now one teen is behind bars for allegedly murdering another.  18-year-old Rickey Porter is now charged with both murder and attempted murder.  18-year-old Nathaniel Reed was killed at South 8th and A on Tuesday.  Another teen suffered minor injuries.  The silver four-door car that was allegedly used in the shooting was also located and secured as evidence.  Porter had actually been booked into jail the day before on minor drug charges, but the murder charge was added Thursday.  Investigators have not yet discussed any potential motive for the shootings, but Porter does have a significant criminal history.  Last summer, Porter, who was 17 at the time, was charged with robbing a man at gunpoint.  His arrest then was part of a sweep in which several young Richmond adults were jailed on weapons and gang-related charges.  At the time, RPD Chief Mike Britt called them "members of a self-described criminal gang" and said that the group was creating numerous problems.

FIRST BANK GETS NAMING RIGHTS AT FAIRGROUNDS

(Richmond, IN)--New naming rights have been granted to buildings at the Wayne County Fairgrounds.  This week, Wayne County Commissioners approved the renaming of the Kulhman Center to the First Bank Kuhlman Center.  And, the Tom Raper Center will become the First Bank Expo Hall.  Ownership and operations of the facilities will remain in the control of Wayne County.  First Bank is contributing a million dollars over ten years for the rights.

WOMAN FORMALLY CHARGED IN DEATH OF HIGHWAY DEPARTMENT WORKER

(Liberty, IN)--Formal charges were filed in Union County this week against a Richmond woman accused of causing the death of a Union County Highway Department worker last fall.  37-year-old Gina Price struck 42-year-old Justin Moore of Brookville on a rural road just south of the Wayne County line.  Price is now charged with reckless homicide and causing death when operating a motor vehicle while intoxicated.  Moore was also a member of the Franklin County School Board.

WESTERN WAYNE NATIVE GETS 34 YEARS FOR MUSHROOM MURDER CONSPIRACY

(Noblesville, IN)--A woman who spent much of her life in western Wayne County has been sentenced to 34 years in prison for conspiring to kill her own husband with poisonous mushrooms.  56-year-old Katrina Founts was handed the 34-year sentence Wednesday in a central Indiana courtroom.  Fouts was acquitted of a murder charge last month, but was found guilty of conspiracy.  Long-time Richmond police officer Terry Hopkins also faced a murder charge in the case, but died before he could go to trial.

WHITEWATER VALLEY GETS $3.5 MILLION IN ROAD GRANTS

(Whitewater Valley)--State Senator Jeff Raatz announced Wednesday that the Whitewater Valley is getting $3.5 million through the Community Crossings Matching Grant Program to improve roads and bridges.  The largest recipient is Union County, which is getting a million dollars.  Fayette County is getting just shy of that.  Wayne County is getting $119,000.

TEEN SHOT, KILLED AT BUSY RICHMOND INTERSECTION

(Richmond, IN)--Richmond police investigators on Wednesday will continue to search for whoever shot and killed a teenager in broad daylight at a busy Richmond intersection yesterday afternoon.  18-year-olds Nathaniel Reed and Adolfo Armenta were both shot at the intersection of South 8th and A Street at 2 o’clock Tuesday afternoon.  Reed was later pronounced dead, while Armenta was taken to Reid Health, where he was treated and released.  So far, there has been no description of the shooter, but he was riding in what was described as a silver, four-door car.

PORK FESTIVAL CANCELLED FOR '22, PLACED ON INDEFINITE HOLD

(Eaton, OH)--One of our area’s most popular late summer and early fall festivals is over – at least for now.  The Preble County Pork Festival will not take place this year and has been placed on indefinite hold.  The Pork Festival’s Board released a statement Tuesday saying that the increasing cost of the upkeep of equipment was one of the factors in the cancellation.  The lack of volunteers is another.  Up to 20,000 people visit the Pork Festival each year, making it Preble County’s largest single attraction.

WOMAN STABBED BY WERNLE RUNAWAY RECOVERING, SPEAKING WITH POLICE

(Richmond, IN)--There’s good news involving the elderly Richmond woman who was attacked by a 15-year-old Wernle Youth and Family Treatment Center runaway early Sunday morning.  According to the family on Tuesday, she is conscious and was able to speak with investigators Tuesday.  She told those investigators that the attack in which she was beaten and stabbed multiple times was not a quick attack and that it lasted for an extended period of time.  A further search of records indicates that a 90-year-old woman’s home in the same general area was entered by a different Wernle runaway a year and a half ago.

WERNLE RUNAWAY CHARGED WITH ATTEMPTED MURDER, ARMED ROBBERY

(Richmond, IN)--The runaway from Wernle Youth and Family Treatment Center who severely beat and stabbed a 78-year-old woman on South L Street in Richmond Sunday morning is being charged with both attempted murder and armed robbery.  That 15-year-old girl is also being held at a juvenile detention facility.  She reportedly fled with $11 and a cell phone after stabbing the victim about ten times.  The victim continues to recover in a Level One trauma center.  There’s been no word yet about the incident from the state’s Department of Child Services, which last year heavily sanctioned Wernle based on what they called a serious breakdown of administrative intervention.  Since the incident, Wernle has not commented on its social media page, but did promote a golf outing Monday.

MAYOR UPDATES COUNCIL ON INDUSTRIAL PARK EXPANSION

(Richmond, IN)--Richmond and Wayne County leaders are working to open a third phase of the Midwest Industrial Park near Industries Road.  Richmond Mayor Dave Snow updated Richmond Common Council on the newest phase Monday night.  "There are a lot of things that we are considering right now - a lot of different avenues.  We want to find the most financially feasible way forward," Snow said.  EDC, council, and city leaders have recently discussed the acquisition of land in an effort to attract future employers.

POLICE ARREST COUPLE WANTED FOR DRUG-DEALING

(Richmond, IN)--An alleged drug-dealing couple with sealed warrants was taken into custody Monday.  35-year-old Travis Covalt and 37-year-old Holly Westover, who identify themselves as Centerville residents, were arrested at RPD headquarters and were both booked into jail on multiple counts of dealing cocaine.  Details of what led to their arrest have not been released.  Westover has two other drug cases pending in Wayne County courts.

ELDERLY WOMAN STABBED BY WERNLE RUNAWAY

(Richmond, IN)--An elderly woman was brutally stabbed on Saturday night by a girl who had run away from the Wernle Youth and Family Treatment Center.  It happened at a home on South L Street.  According to a relative, the victim was flown to a Level One trauma center with multiple stab wounds and was being sedated Sunday night.  After the stabbing, the girl – who was reported to be 15 years old – fled with the victim’s cell phone.  Police were able to track the phone and take the girl into custody.  The charges she faces and conditions that led to her leaving Wernle have not been released.  It’s the latest in a series of incidents involving Wernle in recent years.  Last year, the state’s Department of Child Services determined that "a serious and ongoing breakdown of administrative intervention appears to exist and that continued lack of compliance is evident."  Multiple Wernle licenses were put on hold.  A letter from DCS to Wernle also addressed multiple runaways, instances of youth climbing onto the roof of a building, fights, and property destruction.  Two years ago, there were 84 calls for police service to Wernle and 63 reports of runaways.

SOURCE OF NORTHEAST RICHMOND EXPLOSION IDENTIFIED

(Richmond, IN)--Some guys who wanted to get rid of some old junk tried to do it in a unique way that drew lots of attention Sunday night.  At around 8:30, explosions were reported by residents in multiple northeastern Richmond neighborhoods, including Pleasant View and Fairacres.  Smoke could be seen coming from an area on Smyrna Road from I-70 and Reid Health.  Firefighters found out that lots of junk – including an old car – was piled up and then set on fire which then resulted in an explosion.  There were no injuries.

TODDLER STRUCK, KILLED BY FATHER'S TRUCK

(Randolph County, IN)--A toddler lost his life in a tragic Randolph County accident over the weekend.  According to Sheriff Art Moystner, a 16-month-old boy’s father had been working in a barn on Saturday night when he opened an overhead door and pulled a truck out.  The young boy had gotten in front of the truck and was unseen by his father.  He was struck and was pronounced dead at the scene by first responders.  It happened in the 2500 block of East Randolph County Road 1100 South, just southwest of Lynn.

MURDERER SENTENCED TO 48 YEARS

(Richmond, IN)--A Richmond murderer will effectively spend the rest of his life behind bars.  44-year-old Chad Farmer has been sentenced to 48 years for murdering his roommate, Audie Corn, three years ago.  At sentencing, Farmer told Wayne Superior Court I Judge Charles Todd that he was disgusted with himself and that he never wanted Corn to die.  Testimony at trial indicated that the two had gotten into a drunken argument over loud music.  It culminated with Farmer stabbing Corn twice.  Farmer would be 93 years old when released if he served the full sentence.

ALLEGED DRUG DEALER ARRESTED FOR 2ND TIME IN 2022

(Richmond, IN)--An alleged drug dealer was arrested for the second time already this year for dealing.  33-year-old Nicholas Lakes was taken into custody Thursday afternoon in the first block of North 20th.  His charges include dealing meth and cocaine.  A handgun was also recovered.  Lakes was charged with dealing less than two months ago in a separate case.  He has now had seven separate felony drug-related arrests in just the last three years.

TRIAL IN ARSON CASE INVOLVING COUNCILMAN DELAYED

(Connersville, IN)--Trial for the man accused of setting fire to the home of a Connersville City Council member last year has been pushed back.  Tommy Harrison, who lives in Alabama, faces charges in federal court related to the fire the heavily damaged the home of Councilman Tommy Williams.  Harrison’s attorney told a federal judge that more time is needed to investigate the case, and the judge concurred.  Trial has now been pushed back to October.  Harrison faces up to 20 years in federal prison.

HOMICIDE SUSPECT CAPTURED IN WAYNE COUNTY

(Wayne County, IN)--A homicide suspect was taken into custody in Wayne County Wednesday night.  At around 9 o’clock Wednesday night, Ohio Highway Patrol troopers followed a homicide suspect and another occupant of a vehicle into Wayne County on westbound I-70.  The vehicle was stopped in the area of State Road 1.  At least one person was taken to the Wayne County Jail for questioning but was never booked in.  Details including the suspect’s name and where the homicide took place have not been released.

FEW LOCAL EFFECTS FELT FROM OVERNIGHT STORMS

(Whitewater Valley)--The Whitewater Valley got by relatively unscathed as a line of storms with a history of producing tornadoes rolled through Wednesday night.  Wayne County officials said Thursday morning that they had no reports of high-water road closures or widespread power outages.  It’s a little different in Union and Preble County.  High water had dry fords in Union County closed Thursday morning.  Several county roads just south of Eaton were also closed overnight but have since reopened.  A wind advisory goes into effect at noon Thursday for areas north of I-70.

CONVICTED BURGLAR ARRESTED AGAIN

(Richmond, IN)--A convicted burglar is facing another similar charge after his arrest Wednesday.  24-year-old Jordan Roark was captured by Richmond police Wednesday morning at a home in the 200 block of South 11th and charged with burglary.  Back in 2016, Roark was sentenced to six years in prison for a different burglary.  He remained in the Wayne County Jail Thursday morning.

RPD OFFICER RECOVERING AFTER CONFRONTATION

(Richmond, IN)--The Richmond Police officer who was critically injured in a recent confrontation with a man who had stolen a semi continues down the road to recovery.  Austin Adams suffered skull fractures in two locations and brain bleeding and was flown to Miami Valley Hospital.  Adams has since been released from the hospital and is expected to make a full recovery.  There’s no timetable for him to return to full duty.  Adams had just returned to the RPD force after being deployed as a member of the National Guard to Guantanamo Bay in Cuba.

POST OFFICE FIRE TAGGED AS ARSON WITH REWARD OFFERED

(Milton, IN)--The recent fire at the post office in Milton is now being called arson and a reward is now in place for information leading to the arrest of whoever set it.  Although no official determination has been made, it appeared to investigators that the fire began in a container where people typically tossed junk mail.  The building had 24-hour access to the post office boxes inside.  The reward is $5000.  There’s still no word on when the post office will reopen due to the heavy amount of smoke damage.

CEMETERY VANDALISM COULD REACH $100,000

(Cambridge City, IN)--Cambridge City leaders are taking steps after recent vandalism at Capitol Hill Cemetery.  "It's beyond anything we've every seen." That's what one man who has been looking into the situation told Cambridge City Town Council on Monday.  Damage from the vandalism could total $100,000.  Investigators say someone spent hours destroying tombstones.  Proposals include gating off the cemetery's entrance and adding lighting and security cameras.

TASK FORCE ARRESTS COUPLE FOR SECOND TIME IN FIVE MONTHS

(Richmond, IN)--For the second time in five months, two Wayne County residents have been taken into custody as the result of an investigation by the Wayne County Drug Task Force.  Michael Christian and Tori Carico were both arrested following a traffic stop Monday.  Warrants were the result of a lengthy investigation by the task force for dealing illegal narcotics in the community.  Nearly 15 grams of heroin and fentanyl was recovered during an arrest last November.

NEATHERY SHIPPED OUT TO STATE PRISON

(Richmond, IN)--Austin Neathery was shipped out of the Wayne County Jail Monday to begin serving his sentence in the state prison system.  Last month, Neathery pled guilty to a reduced charge connected to the shooting and killing of Richmond teen Tremell Carpenter.  Neathery was sent Monday to the prison system’s Reception Diagnostic Center in Plainfield.  He’ll be assessed for his conduct history for about a month before he’s sent out to whichever prison he’ll be housed in for the next 15 years.  Neathery has already spent nearly four years in the Wayne County Jail.

WANTED CHILD MOLESTER CAPTURED

(Richmond, IN)--A wanted Fayette County child molester was captured in Richmond Monday.  30-year-old Jason Fields had an active warrant.  Fields was located Monday at Suncall America on Industrial Parkway.  Fields was already a convicted child molester who was sentenced to ten years in prison before being released five years ago.  Details of what led to the new charges have not been released.  Fields is being held without bond in the Wayne County Jail.

WOMAN ARRESTED FOR SETTING BLAZE THAT INJURED FIREFIGHTER

(Cambridge City, IN)--One person was jailed Sunday afternoon after allegedly setting fires that resulted in an injury to a firefighter.  Multiple crews were sent to the area of Frank Myers Road and State Road 1 in western Wayne County.  A home and at least one other structure there were on fire.  The fires were under control in about an hour.  Nearby, deputies took 52-year-old Holly Wyatt into custody and charged her with Arson Resulting in Bodily Injury.  The firefighter was taken to Reid Health and was treated and released.  The Indiana State Fire Marshal is involved in the continuing investigation.

PLANE MOVED FROM AIRPORT TO VETERANS PARK

(Richmond, IN)--A military plane was moved from the Richmond Municipal Airport to its new home in the Veterans Memorial Park in the Whitewater Gorge early Sunday morning.  The wings were folded for the trip, which went north on 227 to the wrong way on 8th Street to the wrong way on South A Street.  The A-6E Intruder flew missions in Vietnam and Operation Desert Storm.  A huey helicopter and an M60 tank were moved to the Veterans Park in recent years.

HIGHWAYS AFFECTED BY CONSTRUCTION

(Preble County, OH)--Getting around or through Preble County will be a little more difficult beginning Monday with some significant repairs being made to two state highways resulting in lane restrictions.  That work will take place on State Route 177 from the state line all the way to the Butler County line and on State Route 725 from the state line to Camden.  Work takes place from 7 in the morning until 7 at night.

RPD OFFICER REMAINS CRITICAL AFTER CONFRONTATION

(Richmond, IN)--The Richmond Police Officer who was injured in a confrontation with a man who had stolen a semi and later took his own life remains in critical condition at Miami Valley Hospital in Dayton.  Officer Austin Adams was just sworn in a few months ago and sustained serious head injuries in the incident Tuesday.  Adams is conscious, though, and has been able to speak with visitors.  Meanwhile, the community is rallying around Adams with dozens of donors contributing over $2500.  Investigators have not yet been able to determine exactly how Adams was injured in the confrontation.

WAYNE COUNTY JOBLESS CLAIMS RETURNING TO PRE-PANDEMIC LEVELS

(Wayne County, IN)--New numbers released by the state Thursday show that Wayne County’s number of weekly jobless claims has returned to pre-Covid-19 levels.  In the last three weeks combined, there have 58 jobless claims.  Over the same three week period this time last year, there were 356.  And, just as Covid-19 shutdowns were beginning two years ago, Wayne County had an incredible 2316 jobless claims over the same three-week period.

RICHMOND RECEIVED MAIN STREET DESIGNATION

(Richmond, IN)--Richmond has been designated as a National Trust Main Street organization.  The announcement was made Thursday by Lieutenant Governor Suzanne Crouch.  Crouch said that the program sparks economic growth by expanding businesses and creating private investment.  The designation means that Richmond will get access to Main Street America training and other regional programs.

YOUNG ADULT KILLED EN ROUTE FROM RICHMOND TO CINCINNATI CHILDREN'S

(Franklin County, IN)--A crash on U.S. 52 in Franklin County has claimed the life of someone who had appeared to have defeated a rare medical disorder.  It happened on Tuesday, but details were released Wednesday.  Investigators say that a truck crossed the center line on 52 near St. Peter’s Road.  It collided with an oncoming vehicle.  The impact sent the truck that caused the crash into the path of an oncoming semi.  20-year-old Makenzie Howell was pronounced dead at the scene.  Makenzie was traveling from Richmond to Cincinnati Children’s Hospital after a liver transplant there two years ago that was a success.  "She had her whole life ahead of her.  She made it through the transplant.  She fought back from so many things," said her mother, Danielle.  Speed appears to have been the primary factor.

REWARD OFFERED TO HELP LOCATE CEMETERY VANDALS

(Cambridge City, IN)--A reward has now been established to help identify whoever did significant damage to monuments at Capitol Hill Cemetery in Cambridge City.  At some point in the last month, vandals toppled or smashed at least a hundred monuments.  Some of the damage was caused when vandals took part of the monument of a child that has been dead for 150 years and used it to smash other monuments.  The cemetery includes the remains of veterans who fought in the War of 1812 and the Civil War.  If you can help, you’re asked to contact police in Cambridge City.

MAN JAILED AFTER CHILD MOLESTING TRIAL

(Richmond, IN)--A Richmond man who had been arrested four years ago for child molesting was sent to the Wayne County Jail Wednesday.  Court documents indicated Jerrell Deloney was on trial this week.  A 13-year-old girl said during a forensic interview at JACY House that Deloney had touched her inappropriately.  Deloney had been free on bond from the time of his arrest four years ago until this week’s trial.

RPD OFFICER INJURED, RANDOLPH COUNTY MAN DEAD AFTER CHASE

(Wayne and Randolph County, IN)--A Richmond police officer was injured and a Randolph County man took his own life in an incident involving a stolen semi Tuesday.  RPD officer Austin Adams was off duty when he noticed what had been reported as a stolen semi on U.S. 27 near Union Pike.  The semi pulled over near there and its driver, 40-year-old Troy Lewis, assaulted Adams.  Lewis then fled the scene as other officers arrived and gave chase into Randolph County.  Lewis stopped again on Base Road.  That’s where he shot himself.  He was pronounced dead at Miami Valley Hospital.  Adams was also flown to Miami Valley.  He remained there Wednesday morning, but his condition is not being released.  No shots were fired by any officers during the incident.  Adams is a four-year RPD veteran.

ONE DEAD AFTER PREBLE COUNTY CRASH

(Preble County, OH)--There was a fatal crash in Preble County Tuesday morning.  20-year-old Haylee Waddle, who lived in western Montgomery County, died when her car left the roadway on Eaton-Lewisburg Road near Kayler Road at just before 8 o’clock.  Waddle overcorrect, struck a utility pole, and was ejected.  Investigators say that speed and that fact that she was not wearing a seat belt were likely contributing factors to the fatality.  No other vehicles were involved.

RAILROAD ANNOUNCES PERMANENT CROSSING CLOSURES

(Preble County, OH)--Norfolk and Southern will go forward with the permanent closing of a couple of railroad crossings in Preble County.  At a recent meeting with county commissioners, the railroad announced it plans on permanently closing Daily and Conley Road crossings.  Oxford-Gettysburg Road is heavily traveled and will remain open, but it lies between the two roads that will close, and stopped trains may block Oxford-Gettysburg for hours and even days.  One plan is to install signs near U.S. 35 to the north and State Route 122 to the south to alert drivers on Oxford-Gettysburg that a train is blocking the crossing.  Construction is scheduled to start sometime this summer.

CITY TO RECEIVE FEDERAL COVID-19 REIMBURSEMENT

(Richmond, IN)--Richmond Common Council met Monday night.  Council approved receiving reimbursement from the federal government of $184,000 to help cover some of the city’s Covid-19-related expenses.  It also approved six tax abatement requests from Vandor.  Vandor plans on investing $6.4 million and creating 28 new jobs with minimum hourly wages of $16.  Vandor was founded in 1972 and operates at facilities on West Industries and on Rich Road.

DRIVER ESCAPES AS CAR SINKS INTO POND

(Franklin County, IN)--A car went into a pond and became fully submerged Monday night on U.S. 52 near Metamora.  It happened at around 6:30 when first responders were told that the car had gone off the highway, into a pond, and was completely under water.  The driver was able to get out of the vehicle before it sank and was not hurt.  No one else was in the car.  There’s no word yet on what caused the vehicle to leave the highway.

RICHMOND RESIDENT JAILED ON DRUG-DEALING CHARGES

(Richmond, IN)--An alleged Richmond drug dealer was taken into custody Monday just east of downtown.  28-year-old Shyanne Williams was contacted by police near 12th and East Main and charged with dealing controlled substances.  Officers also recovered an undisclosed amount of cocaine or other drugs and marijuana.  Williams remained in the Wayne County Jail Tuesday morning.

REID LIFTS COVID-19 VISITOR RESTRICTIONS

(Richmond, IN)--With Covid-19 spread at a low point, Reid Health is lifting many of its visitor restrictions beginning Monday.  Guidelines will now more closely resemble those in place before the pandemic began.  That means there will be no limit to the number of visitors to non-emergency-room patients.  But, visitors will still be screened for symptoms and will still have to wear a mask.  Wayne County has had only eight positive Covid-19 cases in the last week.

FIRE DAMAGES MILTON POST OFFICE

(Milton, IN)--There was a fire at the post office in Milton over the weekend.  Firefighters from Milton, Cambridge City, and Dublin were called there late Saturday night.  They were able to get the fire under control in 20 minutes.  Windows at the post office Mnday morning were boarded up.  The cause of the fire is under investigation.  There’s no word yet on whether or not any mail was damaged or when the Milton post office will be operational.

STATE ROAD 1 CLOSES FOR A MONTH

(Randolph County, IN)--Monday is the day that a Whitewater Valley highway closes for a month.  State Road 1 will be closed for 30 days to allow crews to removed metal piping and install concrete tile between Highways 35 and 36.  The construction will take place in Randolph County and local residents will continue to have access to their homes, but through traffic will be detoured.  There will be six repair projects along State Road 1, but this is the only one that requires a closure.

WAYNE COUNTY ADDS 400 TO WORKFORCE IN ONE MONTH

(Wayne County, IN)--For the second straight month, unemployment is up significantly across the Whitewater Valley.  Wayne County’s rate stands this morning at 2.7%.  Two months ago, the unemployment rate was at a record 1.4%.  The primary reason for the increase this month has been the increase in the labor force.  400 more Wayne County residents have joined the workforce in the last month.  328 more people are actually working.

MANY REMAIN WITHOUT POWER IN PREBLE COUNTY

(Preble County, OH)--It’s been more than 24 hours since winds reaching 60 miles per hour rolled through the area and knocked out power to thousands residents, including 5800 in Preble County alone.  Some were still in the dark Friday morning.  The largest remaining outage is in Camden, where 62 customers of AES are in the dark.  49 other customers scattered across Preble County were also still without power.  RP&L, Whitewater Valley REMC, and Duke Energy were all reporting full restoration Friday morning.

MAN CHARGED WITH DRIVING FROM TOLEDO TO MEET 11-YEAR-OLD FOR SEX

(Randolph County, IN)--A Toledo-area man is facing charges after allegedly driving nearly three hours to Randolph County to meet up with what he thought was an 11-year-old girl.  34-year-old Zachary Foss is the latest to be caught on video through the efforts of a group called “Predator Catchers Muncie.”  Two members of that group posed as members of the girl’s family and confronted him in Randolph County.  Foss has been charged with attempted child molesting and faces up to 40 years in prison.

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