Local News Archives for 2022-05

ILLEGAL IMMIGRANT THAT CAUSED FATAL CRASH GET TO PICK BETWEEN DEPORTATION, JAIL

(Wayne County, IN)--When an illegal immigrant who never had a driver’s license crossed the center line on Pottershop Road and caused a crash that killed Liberty’s Samuel Weller back on May 10, many people predicted that man may never face local justice.  And, those people appear to be correct.  According to court documents, a representative of the family came to court because no one in Rafael Lopez’s family speaks English.  Immigration agents came to Wayne County to pick up Lopez and took him to central Indiana, where he was given the choice of deportation or a lawyer and jail time.  Lopez chose deportation.  No future hearing dates appear on the Wayne County court docket.

LAW ENFORCEMENT AGENTS SUCCESSFULLY DIFFUSE MENTAL HEALTH CRISIS

(Richmond, IN)--There was a successful resolution to what was described as a mental health crisis in Richmond on Sunday.  It happened in the 3300 block of North West B Street.  One person inside a home there had made threats and was armed with a shotgun.  Negotiators with Richmond Police and the Wayne County Sheriff’s Department began six hours of negotiations and were finally able to get the person to surrender.  There were no injuries to the individual or to officers.  The person was taken to Reid Health for evaluation.

NEATHERY MOVED TO PERMANENT LOCATION IN STATE PRISON SYSTEM

(Pendleton, IN)--Four years after the shooting of Richmond teen Tremel Carpenter, the man who killed Carpenter has been transferred to his final location in state prison.  Austin Neathery was moved from an evaluation center in Plainfield to a cell at the Pendleton Correctional Facility.  The state prison system says that Neathery’s earliest possible release date is in March of 2034.

VAST MAJORITY OF RCS TEACHERS EXPRESS NO CONFIDENCE IN SUPT., BOARD

(Richmond, IN)--A huge percentage of Richmond Community School teachers have expressed a vote of no confidence at both Superintendent Dr. Curtis Wright and the RCS Board.  Teacher’s Union President Kelly McDermott reeled off eight complaints about Wright at Wednesday night’s Board meeting, including fostering a climate of mistrust and fear.  "The vote of no confidence in the superintendent was overwhelming.  92.2% voted no confidence," McDermott said.  McDermott then turned her attention to the Board.  "The vote of no confidence was even more overwhelming...98.7%," she added. 

KEY INDICATORS FOR WAYNE COUNTY IN 2022 RELEASED

(Wayne County, IN)--The Wayne County Foundation and Forward Wayne County have released this year’s Indicator Report, which gathers key community indicators from a variety of sources.  Among some of the more pertinent findings:  Wayne County’s poverty level has dropped slightly.  Also down is the percentage of kids on free and reduced lunch – down about two percent.  The county’s health ranking dropped to 77th out of 92 counties.  Per capita income has risen to $45,000, and the median home value is now more than $100,000.

FIVE-VEHICLE CRASH CLOSES I-70

(Wayne County, IN)--A five-vehicle crash on I-70 in Wayne County Thursday closed both westbound lanes and brought interstate traffic in to Richmond and Centerville.  It happened at just before one o’clock Thursday afternoon near the Round Barn Road overpass.  Two semis, a truck pulling a horse trailer with a horse inside, and two other vehicles were all involved.  Multiple people were taken to Reid Health.  None of the injuries were life-threatening.  Westbound I-70 was closed for several hours.

RCS TEACHERS, NURSES, STUDENTS TEE OFF ON RCS BOARD

(Richmond, IN)--It was a lengthy and contentious meeting of the Richmond Community School Board Wednesday night as teachers, nurses, and students teed off on the RCS Board and administrators about a variety of issues.  One teacher claimed more than half of teachers need a second job.  "That would not be necessary if we also received insurance for $4 per year."  She’s talking about the Board’s recent decision to provide its members with health insurance at that rate.  An RCS nurse complained about a proposal to outsource nursing services to Meridian.  "To my knowledge, we have not been presented with  any data to support the claims made by Meridian about what they are able to offer this community,"  she said.  Another staffer talked about a proposal to move the Early College program.  "You guys moving these poor children out of their home into Test or Dennis is disgraceful."  One teacher who has taught for more than 20 years said that morale among teachers and staff is at an all-time low.  One outgoing senior, who claimed to speak on the behalf of other students, made a push for gender-neutral bathrooms.  "As as school board, it is in your best interest to look out for all your students.  That includes the LGBT+ commnity," he said.  The student did not address the effects that gender-neutral bathrooms could have on other students, but did say this.  "You can validate their identities by implementing gender-neutral bathrooms."  The topic was last discussed by the RCS Board in 2020.

SUSPECT PLEADS INSANITY IN BODY-DUMPING CASE

(Randolph County, IN)--The man who allegedly murdered his roommate and then dumped the body in a Randolph County creek has entered a plea of not guilty by reason of insanity.  The body was found in Greenville Creek in Randolph County near State Road 227 last month.  Court documents indicate the suspect cut off one of the victim’s thumbs and kept it with him so that he could continue to access the victim’s cell phone.  The murder occurred in Troy and that’s where the suspect is being held on a $1.5 million bond.

NEARLY 500 LEAVE WAYNE COUNTY'S WORKFORCE SINCE LAST MONTH

(Wayne County, IN)--The number of people who have dropped out of Wayne County’s workforce has skyrocketed in the last month.  According to new figures from the state’s Department of Workforce Development, 494 people have dropped out of the workforce since this time last month.  768 people have dropped out since this time last year.  But this may be the most eye-opening statistic of all…only 42% of Wayne County’s population is currently working and is supporting the 58% who are not.  That’s residents of all ages.  72% of Wayne County residents in the traditional working ages between 18 and 65 are working.

RCS BOARD MEMBER PULLS MASSIVE SNAKE FROM BROOKVILLE LAKE

(Dunlapsville, IN)--The two reactions when people see the photo are either “that’s not real” or “that’s can’t be Brookville Lake.”  But, it is and it is.  Richmond Community School Board member Brad Walton was boating in the area of the Quakertown Marina last weekend when he pulled a massive snake from the water that has to be seen to be believed.  The snake was dead, and Walton surmised it died from trying to swallow a fairly large fish.  The photo has been shared 3000 times as of Wednesday morning.

INVESTIGATORS SEEK INFORMATION ABOUT MISSING MAN

(Wayne County, IN)--The Wayne County Sheriff is asking for help from the public in locating a 51-year-old man who has been missing for a month and a half.  Tony Grap was last seen at his home in the Garden City area on April 2.  The media release says that Grap may be in need of assistance, but did not elaborate.

ATTORNEY PREPARES LAWSUIT FOLLOWING RECENT WERNLE STABBING

(Richmond, IN)--The Indiana Department of Child Services has refused to respond to numerous attempts to contact that agency about the current status of Wernle Youth and Family Services, but that’s not stopping family members of a recent stabbing victim from moving forward with litigation.  Last month, a Wernle runaway stabbed a 78-year-old Richmond resident multiple times in her home.  The victim was seriously injured, but survived.  In the last few weeks, the family has retained a central Indiana attorney and will file a lawsuit.  That attorney is compiling information about previous police calls to Wernle, state sanctions, and interviews about conditions with former employees.

TODDLER DROWNS IN CONNERSVILLE

(Connersville, IN)--Details of a tragic incident that occurred last Friday in Connersville were released Monday.   At just before 9 o’clock that night, first responders were sent to a home in the 2200 block of Grand Avenue on the report of a possible drowning.  Officers arrived and found a two-year-old girl unresponsive.  Life-saving measures were attempted and the toddler was sent to Reid-Connersville where she was pronounced dead.  The girl’s name has not been released.  Investigators say there is no evidence of any criminal wrongdoing.

READI PROGRAM TO ADDRESS RICHMOND HOUSING SHORTAGE

(Richmond, IN)--Our area is now a few days into an official partnership called READI, which stands for Regional Economic Acceleration and Development Initiative.  One of the focuses of that program will be housing and commercial development.  Nearly 9000 people commute into East Central Indiana every day for work.  Vacant house has increased from 11 percent in 2010 to 13 percent last year.   Economic experts say the lack of desirable housing completely negates talent attraction efforts.  Now, READI will help to make available 150 acres for housing development.  It includes a project known as Richmond Rising.

PORK FESTIVAL REMAINS CANCELLED, BUT BOARD MEETS WITH VENDORS

(Eaton, OH)--The Board of Directors of the Preble County Pork Festival has released an update.  Last month, the Board announced that the festival would be cancelled this year due to factors like increasing maintenance costs and the lack of volunteers.  That brought about a huge public response for calls to find a solution.  A new statement indicates that the festival remains cancelled but that a special meeting with vendors has taken place.  A public meeting has been set for June 9 to discuss the details of that meeting.

MOBILE LOUDSPEAKERS TO BE USED TO ANNOUNCE WEATHER WARNINGS

(Centerville, IN)--Centerville Fire and Rescue issued a statement about how they handle severe weather shortly after storms rolled through on Saturday afternoon.  The agency said that they have a new feature.  The issue is that there are no tornado sirens in the Rose Hamilton and Toschlog additions.  Squads 15 and 18 will drive those neighborhoods and announce over the loudspeaker that a tornado warning has been issued by the National Weather Service in Wilmington.  The message over the loudspeaker will not say anything about a tornado being spotted.

WAYNE COUNTY FOUNDATION ANNOUNCES GRANTS

(Wayne County, IN)--18 local organizations are benefitting though $146,000 in grants from the first cycle of awards from the Wayne County Foundation.  The highest individual awards total $15,000 and go to the Wayne County Cardinal Greenway for a maintenance truck and to the Richmond Civic Theater for various building upgrades.  Two more grant cycles will be awarded later this year.

AREA GAS PRICES RISE AGAIN

(Whitewater Valley)--It’s hard to fathom, but the price you’re paying at the pump today could seem really cheap by August.  One industry expert said Thursday that it’s possible that the cost of gasoline could exceed $6 per gallon – even in our area – by August.  The price has jumped again in the last 24 hours.  According to AAA, Wayne County’s average price stood Friday morning at $4.57.  The most expensive local spot is now Union County, where it’s $4.60.  The cheapest spot Friday – with "cheapest" in quotations – is Darke County at $4.43.

PLANE VANDALIZED ONE MONTH AFTER BEING PLACED IN GORGE

(Richmond, IN)--Vandalism could result in a fence being placed around an airplane that was placed at the Veterans Memorial Park in Richmond just a month ago.  Recently, an A-6E Intruder jet that had been at the Richmond Municipal Airport was moved into to the gorge.  It didn’t take vandals long to damage it.  The vandals pried a door open.  Now, donations are being sought for fencing to be placed around the plane to prevent further damage.

COPE ENVIRONMENTAL CENTER GETS NEW LEADER

(Centerville, IN)--The Cope Environmental Center has a new leader.  She’s Marcy Crull.  Crull comes to cope as a Wayne county native and as someone with extensive local experience with nonprofits, including Junior Achievement and Girls, Inc.  The Cope Center is located on Airport Road between Richmond and Centerville.    Last fall, its Sustainable Education Building became only the 29th building in the world to receive Living Building Certification.

TWO PEOPLE SHOT ON SOUTH 12TH

(Richmond, IN)--Two people were shot Wednesday afternoon after what began as a large group of people fighting in the 100 block of South 12th Street in Richmond.  During that fight, shots rang out and two people were struck.  42-year-old Deshonna Austin was shot in the leg and 18-year-old Cameron Ruble was shot in the hand.  Both were taken to Reid Health to be treated for what were described as non-life-threatening injuries.  Investigators interviewed multiple witnesses.  A release from RPD Thursday morning said that they are not looking for anyone else and that no arrests have been made.

MAN JAILED, RELEASED AFTER ALLEGEDLY CAUSING MOTORCYCLE FATALITY

(Richmond, IN)--The man who police say caused a recent fatal crash in Wayne County was taken into custody Wednesday night and charged with reckless homicide.  Rafael Lopez was arrested at his home on North 17th in Richmond at 8:30 Wednesday night.  By 11 o'clock Wednesday night, he had posted a $25,000 bond and was gone.  Lopez has also never had a valid driver’s license in the United States.  Police say he tried to pass a car at the crest of a hill and in a no-passing zone on Pottershop Road early last week.  Lopez struck 47-year-old motorcyclist Sam Weller of Liberty head-on.  Weller was pronounced dead at the scene.

THREE TEENS JAILED FOR STEALING MULTIPLE WEAPONS

(Richmond, IN)--Three teens are behind bars after allegedly committing a residential burglary in Richmond Wednesday in which numerous guns were stolen.  It happened at around noon on the city’s northwest side.  Then, a few hours later, officers located 19-year-old Kierin Eubanks and two juveniles in the 200 block of North West 13th Street.  Some of the stolen weapons were recovered.  Eubanks is charged with burglary and theft.  The two juveniles were taken to a detention center in Muncie.

PART OF MAIN STREET TO CLOSE FOR EXTENDED PERIOD

(Richmond, IN)--Getting around downtown Richmond will become a little more difficult beginning Wednesday.  According to INDOT, Main Street between 8th and 9th Streets will close Wednesday for about two weeks to allow Milestone to work on storm water pipe installation.  The city, though, says the closure could last four months.  The area will be closed to vehicles and parking, but there will still be pedestrian access to businesses in the area.  Meanwhile, work continues on the major reconstruction of Ninth Street from the city’s southern edge to downtown.

SETTLEMENT REACHED IN FRANKLIN COUNTY DROWNINGS

(Brookville, IN)--A Laurel father has reached a settlement with Franklin County following the 2020 drowning death of his daughter and four others.  It happened when a bridge over Sanes Creek washed away in a flood.  Here’s a transcript one call to 911.  Caller:  "Sanes Creek at the bottom of Sanes Creek Hill is completely washed out.  It's gone.  Somebody better get down here and block it off before somebody goes into the river."  But that's exactly what happened.  It was later determined that dispatchers coded the call as non-emergent.  Details of the settlement were withheld, although the county’s insurance has paid at least $1.3 million.

TIPS FROM PUBLIC LEAD TO ARRESTS OF ALLEGED BURGLARS

(Preble County, OH)--Recently, the Preble County Sheriff’s Department asked for the help of the public in identifying two people who were caught on surveillance video boldly breaking into a Quinn Road home in broad daylight.  Now, it’s paid off.  Deputies have identified and arrested 33-year-old Katherine Steele and 39-year-old Justin McTeer and charged them with numerous felonies.  But, there’s more.  McTeer posted bond and, within just minutes from being released from jail, allegedly stole a truck from a gas station in Eaton and crashed into several mailboxes.  McTeer then fought with someone who tried to help at the crash scene and was eventually booked back into jail on a robbery charge.

TWO COUNTIES RETURN TO HIGH-SPREAD LEVEL FOR COVID-19

(Whitewater Valley)--Two Whitewater Valley counties were counted Tuesday morning as once again having reached the highest level of spread for Covid-19.  Those two counties are Union and Franklin.  All counties in our area are have now reached moderate, substantial, or high-risk levels.  Those risk levels are determined by the number of new cases in the last seven days.  Reid Health on Tuesday morning listed only two patients are Covid-19 positive.  That number has held steady for weeks.

COUPLE WITH 17 COMBINED PRIOR FELONIES ARRESTED FOR DRUG-DEALING

(Richmond, IN)--A Richmond couple that has had 17 combined felony cases against them was arrested again Monday on charges that include dealing cocaine and dealing meth.  Damin Barnett and Taylor Glander were taken into custody at North 15th and A.  Barnett, is a registered sex offender, was also charged Monday with being a serious violent felon in possession of a handgun.  The quantity of drugs recovered has not been released.  Both Barnett and Glander have other criminal cases pending.

DARKE COUNTY ASKS FOR HELP IN LOCATING MISSING TEENS

(Darke County, OH)--The Darke County Sheriff’s Department on Monday asked for the help of the public in locating two missing teenage girls.  16-year-old Marissa Portemont and 14-year-old Celicia Ramirez were last seen on Sunday.  The girls were seen in the Union City area, but investigators now believe they may have traveled north to Portland.  Investigators also say that a scammer has called local residents to ask for money to help find the two girls and are cautioning people not to contribute cash.

MAN ADMITS TO COMMITTING MULTIPLE WHITEWATER VALLEY COLD-CASE RAPES

(Connersville, IN)--A Connersville man has now admitted to committing multiple rapes 16 years ago after recently obtained DNA and genetic evidence provided prosecutors with an inarguable case.  Lloyd Ailes, who is now 58, has pleaded guilty in court to raping women in Connersville and Oxford in 2006.  Last December, DNA and forensic genealogy connected Ailes to the investigations that had gone unsolved for 16 years.  Ailes is now set to be sentenced at the end of next month.

FRANKLIN COUNTY DEPUTIES INVOLVED IN SHOOTING

(Cedar Grove, IN)--The Indiana State Police is investigating an officer-involved shooting in Franklin County.  It happened on Friday night in Cedar Grove when Franklin County deputies responded to a suicidal man.  The suspect fired at least one shot at deputies.  Deputies then returned fire and struck the suspect once.  The suspect was flown to UC Health.  His identity and condition have not been released.  The case will be forwarded to the Franklin County prosecutor’s office.

WOMAN JAILED AFTER ALLEGEDLY ATTACKING REID STAFF MEMBER

(Richmond, IN)--A Reid Health staff member sustained multiple injuries late Sunday night after allegedly being attacked by a patient.  It began with the report of a female acting strangely at a Chester Boulevard fast food restaurant.  21-year-old Dakota Ripberger was then taken to Reid, which is when the alleged attack occurred.  Ripberger has been charged with felony battery resulting in moderate bodily injury.

WAYNE COUNTY LEADERS SUPPORT I-70 WIDENING

(Wayne County, IN)--Wayne County leaders are officially tossing their support behind a massive project that would widen I-70 to three lanes through the county as part of a bigger goal of having at least three lanes for all of the interstate’s 150-mile run across Indiana.  EDC CEO Valerie Shaffer has written a letter to INDOT that was presented this week to Wayne County Commissioners.  The project is still years away.  Initial plans call for two lanes of I-70 in both directions to remain open during the widening.  The interstate would not become a toll road.  INDOT will apply for federal funding for the project.

AREA STORES EXPERIENCE BABY FORMULA SHORTAGES

(Whitewater Valley)--Area grocery stores are seeing the same shortages of baby formula being seen across the country.  And, when they do get it, they’re seeing hoarding like when toilet paper was in short supply when Covid-19 began.  Here’s an employee of Woodruff’s Market in Liberty Friday morning.  "We get a truck in (Friday).  We're gonna get some formula.  But, we're gonna be shorted some also."  Area health leaders caution against diluting formula with milk or water.  Here’s an RN at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital on Thursday.  "If you start messing with the dilution of the formula, you can make your baby very sick."  Much of the problem stems from a shutdown at a Michigan plant.

SURVEY RESULTS PRESENTED TO RCS BOARD

(Richmond, IN)--A Richmond Community Schools employee presented the results of a survey she distributed to other employees to the RCS Board Wednesday night.  The survey focused on the Board’s recent decision to offer its members health insurance for one dollar per year.  LC Caraway said that 102 employees responded.  101 of the 102 said that the decision would not positively impact the Richmond community.  Other similar questions had responses that were similar in proportion.  Here’s Caraway addressing the Board Wednesday night.  "It comes off as inconsiderate and thoughtless to add more financial padding to (members) who are by no means struggling when that money could be helping staff members not have to choose between paying a water bill and getting a tank of gas."  Caraway said that even if the Board does not reverse its decision, she hopes it opens the door to communication.

AREA GAS PRICES HIGH, BUT BELOW STATE AVERAGES

(Whitewater Valley)--It probably comes as little – if any – consolation, but gas prices in the Whitewater Valley were below state and national averages Thursday morning.  According to AAA Thursday, the cheapest gas in our area Thursday morning was in Preble County, where the average price is $4.21.  Wayne County’s average is $4.36.  The most expensive gas in our area is in Butler County, where it will cost you an average of $4.37.  Indiana’s statewide average is $4.41.  Ohio’s is 12 cents cheaper at $4.29.

GIRLS, INC. NAMES NEW LEADER

(Richmond, IN)--Girls Inc. of Wayne County has a new leader.  She’s Tai Muldoon, and she’s no stranger to the organization.  Tai is a Girls, Inc. alum, having participated in the program as a young girl in Wayne County.  She comes to Girls, Inc. from the Ivy Tech Foundation, where she was the Assistant Director of Development.  The organization supports local girls in a variety of ways through service and advocacy.

LIBERTY MAN DIES IN POTTERSHOP ROAD CRASH

(Wayne County, IN)--One person is dead as the result of a three-car crash in Wayne County Tuesday afternoon.  It happened at around 4:45 on Pottershop Road near Creek Road.  According to the Indiana State Police, an SUV driven by Rafael Lopez – who was driving without a license – tried to pass a van at the crest of a hill and in a no-passing zone.  Lopez’s SUV collided head-on with an oncoming motorcycle being ridden by 47-year-old Samuel Weller of Liberty.  Weller was pronounced dead at the scene.  Lopez was taken to Reid Health to be tested for drugs or alcohol.  There is no indication so far that Lopez has been charged criminally.

DRUG BUST TURNS UP $28,000 IN CASH, $17,000 IN DRUGS

(Richmond, IN)--More details were released later Tuesday about the drug bust exclusively reported by Kicks 96 and The Point News Tuesday morning.  It involves the arrests of Josh Wooten and Trey Seifer on South 8th in Richmond.  More details reveal that a huge amount of cash was recovered by the Wayne County Drug Task Force - $28,000.  Investigators also recovered $6500 worth of cocaine and $11,000 worth of marijuana.  Police also located two handguns, an electronic money counter, and a large digital scale.  Both Wooten and Seifer are free on bond.

EDC HIGHLIGHTS 2021 ACCOMPLISHMENTS

(Richmond, IN)--The multiple accomplishments of 2021 were highlighted when Wayne County’s Economic Development Corporation held its annual meeting this week.  Last year, the EDC worked with several companies on various aspects of their businesses.  Three projects resulted in more than $20 million in investment and 76 new full-time jobs created.  Those three companies – ITD Engineering, Primex, and Hills Pet Nutrition – were recognized for their expansion and retention efforts.

CONNERSVILLE COUPLE, FRIENDS OF SUBWAY SPOKESPERSON, SENTENCED

(Indianapolis, IN)--Two Connersville friends of former Subway spokesperson Jared Fogle were sentenced Monday to 30 years in federal prison for setting up cameras in their home to capture sexually explicit images of children.  Russell Taylor and his ex-wife, Angela Baldwin, pled guilty last year to multiple offenses.  At least one of the multiple victims was a young Connersville girl.  "This sentence was imposed because of a pattern of persistent conduct.  It's a horrific exploitation of children who should be able to trust you," said U.S. Attorney Zach Meyers.  Some of Taylor and Baldwin’s victims testified Monday about how the abuse has affected their lives.  Fogle is about halfway through his prison sentence.

AREA MANUFACTURER TO CLOSE

(New Madison, OH)--A long-time area manufacturer is closing its doors.  EG Industries in New Madison will cease operations with work being shifted to other plants.  Company officials said in a prepared statement that EG has a long history in New Madison and that it was a difficult decision to make.  The exact number of people who will be affected has not been released.  Production will continue for a few months until the transition to other plants is complete.  EG Industries is a plastic injection molder.

INVESTIGATORS SEEK HELP IDENTIFYING BURGLARS

(Preble County, OH)--The Preble County Sheriff’s Office asked for the help of the public Monday in identifying a couple of burglars.  The burglary occurred on Sunday afternoon when a male and a female took items from a home in the 100 block of Quinn Road just north of U.S. 35.  Home surveillance cameras captured multiple clear images of the burglars.

ALLEGED DRUG DEALERS CAPTURED ON SOUTH 8th

(Richmond, IN)--Two Richmond men who were arrested together less than a year ago on serious charges were arrested again Monday afternoon.  36-year-old Josh Wooten and 23-year-old Trey Seifer were taken into custody on South 8th on Monday.  Both are charged with dealing cocaine or other drugs.  Both were jailed last fall when shots were fired at multiple locations across the city.  Six years ago, Wooten was sentenced to 15 years in prison for numerous cases, but served just a fraction of that sentence.  Also arrested at the scene Monday on less serious charges was 18-year-old Jordan Blair.  As is nearly always the case with alleged drug dealers, both Wooten and Seifer have already bonded out and were free Tuesday morning.

SURVEY ABOUT RCS BOARD INSURANCE DISTRIBUTED TO EMPLOYEES FRIDAY

(Richmond, IN)--A survey and associated information is being distributed Friday by one employee of Richmond Community Schools to all other RCS employees after the Board’s recent decision to provide its members with health insurance for a dollar per year.  That survey, which has been obtained exclusively by Kicks 96 and The Point News, includes six yes-or-no questions including whether or not the decision was made with the best interest of RCS students and staff in mind.  The results of the survey are expected to be presented to the Board when it meets on Wednesday of next week with the hope that the Board reverses its decision.

CUSTOMERS OF AES IN PREBLE, DARKE COUNTY CAN EXPECT HUGE RATE INCREASE

(Preble County, OH)--Residents of Preble and Darke County who have AES Ohio as their supplier for electricity are being told to brace for a huge increase in their monthly electric bill.  AES is the former DP&L.  An AES spokesperson said Thursday that, beginning at the first of next month, the residential supply charge will more than double.  That spokesperson blamed inflation and the situation in Ukraine for the increase.  The average residential AES customer will can expect an increase of at least $60 per month.

WOMAN CHARGED WITH FELONY AFTER CHILD FOUND WANDERING FAIRVIEW AREA

(Richmond, IN)--A Richmond woman was taken into custody Thursday and charged with a felony after repeated calls of a young child wandering the streets.  Police were called to the area of Butler and North West J Streets.  RPD officers located the child, who was unharmed.  Scanner traffic indicated that two adults were found asleep in different locations.  26-year-old Whitney Baker is now charged with felony neglect of a dependent.

PROBLEM LEAVES 92 VOTES IN WAYNE COUNTY INITIALLY UNCOUNTED

(Wayne County, IN)--There was a problem with the counting of votes in Tuesday’s primary election in Wayne County.  According Clerk Debbie Berry, one of the vote centers had turned in an incorrect storage device that was supposed to contain vote counts.  Zero votes from that center were registered.  On Wednesday, staffers retrieved the storage device containing counts from an additional 92 ballots from that vote center that had not been counted on Tuesday night.  The 92 additional votes did not alter the outcome of any contested race nor did they change the selection of state convention delegates.  Berry said that steps will be taken to make sure the same thing does not happen again.

RCS TEACHERS WORKING TO GET BOARD TO RECONSIDER INSURANCE DECISION

(Richmond, IN)--Several Richmond Community School teachers are poised to continue to challenge a recent RCS Board decision which allows Board members to receive health insurance coverage for a dollar a year.  One teacher has created a survey that is being distributed to all RCS employees.  That teacher said that the goal is to "present the Board with a myriad of responses from the staff as to how the decision has been affecting them"with an additional goal of bringing the decision into reconsideration.  The RCS Board is set to meet again on Wednesday of next week.

REID POLICE ARREST COUPLE FOR POSSESSING NUMEROUS DRUGS

(Richmond, IN)--The Reid Health Police Department is now a full-fledged police department.  And, Wednesday night, they arrested a couple for possessing numerous drugs.  Reid Police caught 47-year-old William Binion and 32-year-old Danielle Lang.  Officers also allegedly recovered methamphetamine, cocaine, prescription drugs, syringes, and drug paraphernalia.  The amount of drugs recovered has not been released.

DWENGER, HOELSCHER WIN CONTESTED WAYNE COUNTY RACES

(Whitewater Valley)--Here are some election results from contested races in Wayne County after primary voting Tuesday.  Contested local races were on the Republican side.  Wayne County will have a new Commissioner after incumbent Ken Paust was defeated by Brad Dwenger by more than a 2-1 margin.  The race for county auditor was much closer.  Mark Hoelscher edged out Kim Walton only 135 votes after more than 4400 ballots were cast.  And, in the race for Wayne County Council District 3, Beth Leisure defeated Carol Study by a 72-28% margin.  In Randolph County, Mike Stine edged out Ricky Brown for County Council District 2 52-48%.  Jeffrey Adams cruised through the race for Union County Sheriff.  Among four Republican candidates for sheriff in Fayette County, Zacharia Jones was the top vote-getter, finishing 64 votes ahead of Robert Revalee.  And, in Preble County, a tax levy at Tri County North passed by just 11 votes.

FIRE REKINDLES, HEAVILY DAMAGES WILLIAMSBURG HOME

(Williamsburg, IN)--A fire rekindled at a home in Williamsburg Wednesday morning, and the rekindling turned out to be much worse than the original fire.  Photos from the scene of the home on Pleasant Street indicate that it was nearly destroyed by fire.  The first call came in Tuesday night.  The call for departments to return came at around 4 Tuesday morning.  But, that time, the home was reportedly fully engulfed.  There’s no word on what started the original fire, and there were no reports of any injury.

MAN ADMITS TO SEXUAL MISCONDUCT WITH MINOR

(Richmond, IN)--Five years in prison is the sentence for a 35-year-old Richmond man who admitted to having sexual relations with a 15-year-old girl.  Jacob French pled guilty as part of a plea deal.  Court documents indicate that French had admitted through text messages to his wife that he had had the relationship.  It’s the second such conviction from the same address on Boston Township Line Road.  Last year, former RP&L General Manager Jim French was convicted of sexual misconduct with a minor and was sentenced to six years in prison.

TWIN NEWBORN DIES AS RESULT OF WAYNE COUNTY CRASH

(Wayne County, IN)--Details of a tragic weekend crash in northwestern Wayne County were released Monday.  It happened on Lamar Road when a driver from central Indiana went left of center prior to cresting a hill in an effort to move over for a resident who was mowing in the area.  An SUV driven by 24-year-old Cheyanne Garringer, who was nine months pregnant with twins, was headed in the opposite direction when she crested the hill.  Garringer was taken to Reid Health for an emergency C-section and for treatment of her own injuries.  One of the two twins did not survive.  Sheriff Randy Retter said Monday that current conditions of victims are not available and that the incident remains under investigation.

TUESDAY MORNING GARAGE FIRE DAMAGES MULTIPLE PROPERTIES

(Richmond, IN)--Fire destroyed a detached garage behind South West 3rd in Richmond at 2 o’clock Tuesday morning, and it didn’t take long.  "It collapsed within ten minutes of us being there," said Battalion Chief Charlie Bartlett.  It was just the garage that was destroyed; property at other homes was also damaged.  "It did damage to a garage at 301, a shed at 309, two cars at 308 SW 2nd, and melted siding off of 308 on their garage in the alley," Bartlett added.  The cause of the fire remains under investigation.  There were no injuries.

MAN JAILED AFTER ATTACKING CONNERSVILLE CHURCHGOERS

(Connersville, IN)--A man remained behind bars in Fayette County Tuesday morning following incidents that shook-up and injured some Sunday-morning churchgoers.  That man entered a Connersville Catholic church during mass and disrupted the service.  He left and went to another downtown church where he not only disrupted another service but assaulted some churchgoers.  He is facing charges today that include multiple counts of criminal mischief and one count of battery.  The man’s name has not yet been released.

PAUST FILES OFFICIAL RESPONSE TO $800,000 FORECLOSURE

(Richmond, IN)--Wayne County Commissioner Ken Paust has now filed an official response to a foreclosure filed against Paust and his wife, Linda, by First Bank.  First Bank alleges that the Pausts have failed to pay back $733,000 on a ten-year-old mortgage covering several tracts of land on or near Salisbury Road.  Paust had told Kicks 96 and the Point News back in March that the land had been sold on contract, that the buyer had failed to make payments to the Pausts, and that allowing it to go to foreclosure was the easiest way for First Bank to take control of the property.  In the response, filed through Rush Circuit Court, Paust’s attorneys list 41 answers in which they admit or deny allegations or say that the evidence speaks for itself.  Paust’s attorneys also list 11 defenses.  One of those 11 defenses states that any loan to any Defendant by First Bank was forgiven.

THREE-MONTH CONSTRUCTION PROJECT BEGINS ON EAST MAIN

(Richmond, IN)--More construction is coming to a heavily traveled Richmond Street beginning Monday.  INDOT said over the weekend that it is upgrading ADA ramps and making pedestrian safety enhancements on U.S. 40.  Beginning Monday, INDOT will close one lane of Main from 11th to 16th Street.  The open lane will be for eastbound traffic only.  Westbound traffic will be rerouted to North A Street.  The project is expected to take until August to complete.  Meanwhile, major construction continues on South 9th Street.

WOMAN FACES MULTIPLE CHARGES AFTER POLICE CHASE

(Richmond, IN)--A Richmond woman is due to make a first appearance in court Monday afternoon following a short police chase that happened late Friday night.  According to scanner traffic, the chase began on Chester Boulevard and ended in the 1100 block of East Main.  At least one gun and drugs were located.  23-year-old Mikayla Watson faces charges that include felony resisting, possession of meth, OWI, and leaving the scene of a property damage crash.

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