Local News Archives for 2022-07

NEW NUMBERS SHOW WAYNE COUNTY RESIDENTS RETURNING TO WORKFORCE

(Wayne County, IN)--Wayne County residents appear to be returning to the workforce.  That’s based on newly released numbers from the Indiana Department of Workforce Development.  Since this time last month, 302 more people have joined Wayne County’s workforce.  In recent months, the county had experienced large drops in the workforce in year-over-year comparisons.  But, with the increase in the workforce comes an increase in the unemployment rate.  Wayne County’s rate is 3.3%.  That’s up from 2.7% last month.

SOME AREA COUNTIES DROP BELOW $4 GAS

(Whitewater Valley)--Gas prices across the Whitewater Valley continue to fall with many stations not only below the four-dollar mark, but well below it.  According to new numbers from AAA Friday morning, Wayne County average stands at $4.12.  Both Preble and Darke County are now below four dollars.  Some stations in Preble County Friday morning were as low as $3.55.  Wayne County’s average is now more than a full dollar less than it was six weeks ago when it reached its high-water mark of $5.21.

RICHMOND WOMAN WHO DIED IN BUTLER COUNTY CRASH IDENTIFIED

(Butler County, OH)--The name of the Richmond woman killed in that Butler County crash on U.S. 127 just east of Oxford has now been released.  She’s 69-year-old Marsha Cottongim.  Multiple other people were hurt, including three people inside a medical helicopter that crashed at the scene.  Cottongim’s daughter, Amanda Allen, said Wednesday that her mom died protecting her grandson, who was also in the vehicle.  "When the accident happened, my mom and my nephew were in the back seat of the truck.  She grabbed ahold of him and, when they were ejected out of the back window of the truck, he fell on top of her," Allen said.  The crash happened when two trucks collided at Eaton Road.

RCS NEEDS TWO DOZEN TEACHERS AS FIRST DAY LOOMS

(Richmond, IN)--The first day of school for Richmond Community Schools is less than two weeks away, and there is a long list of openings for teachers.  According to information on the school district’s website this week, RCS has openings for 24 full-time teachers.  There are also openings for another 44 administrators, counselors, and other staff – and that does not include bus drivers and substitute teachers.  Teaching shortages are not only an RCS issue, but its rate is significantly higher than other area schools.  RCS needs one full-time teacher for every 191 students.  Northeastern, for example, needs one for every 313 students.  Centerville and Eaton schools list no full-time openings for teachers.

MAN ALLEGEDLY DRIVES AWAY AFTER STRIKING PEDESTRIAN

(Wayne County, IN)--A medical helicopter was put on standby following an incident Wednesday night on U.S. 27 near the Garden City Trailer Park a few miles north of Richmond.  At around 9:30, 57-year-old Gregory Catt allegedly struck a female pedestrian in the area.  Police reports indicate that Catt kept going, pulled up to his home in Garden City, and went inside.  Witnesses called for help.  The victim was taken to Reid Health.  Her identity and condition have not been released.  Catt was taken to the Wayne County Jail.

CHILD DIES AFTER FALLING INTO WATER NEAR GREENS FORK

(Greens Fork, IN)--Details of a tragic incident that occurred on Monday night were released Tuesday.  It happened at just before 8 o’clock a home south of Greens Fork.  First responders were sent there after a child had fallen into water.  First responders began life-saving measures.  The child was taken first to Reid Health and then flown to a distant children’s hospital but was pronounced dead.  Wayne County Sheriff Randy Retter said Tuesday night that all indications are that the death was accidental, but it does remain under investigation.

RICHMOND WOMAN KILLED IN CRASH; RESPONDING HELICOPTER GOES DOWN

(Butler County, OH)--A Richmond woman was killed in a crash on U.S. 127 in Butler County a few miles east of Oxford early Tuesday morning.  Her identity had still not been released as of 5 a.m. Wednesday, but she was 69 years old and was traveling with other family members, including her grandson.  Several other people were hurt.  Then, the medical helicopter that responded to the scene clipped power lines and crashed.  All three people on the helicopter suffered minor injuries.  127 was shut down all day Tuesday.  Both crashes remain under investigation.  The Richmond woman’s identity will likely be released later Wednesday.

SHOTS FIRED IN RICHMOND WEDNESDAY MORNING

(Richmond, IN)--Richmond police investigated after shots were fired a early Wednesday morning.  Officers were called to the area of South 7th and H Streets at around 3:30 Wednesday morning.  Shell casings were located in the area, and the initial indication was that two or three vehicles may have been involved.  There was no report of any injury and no arrests have been made.  No description of the vehicles has been released.

WANTED BUSINESS OWNER RETURNED TO RICHMOND

(Richmond, IN)--Richmond business owner Matt Jennings is back in the Wayne County Jail.  Deputies went to Dayton Monday to retrieve Jennings, who was wanted in Wayne County on charges that include embezzlement, forgery, counterfeiting, and theft.  Jennings was the owner of Home Sweet Home, which was a mobile home moving service in Richmond.  He’s accused – among other things – of taking money up front from customers and never performing services.  He faces similar accusations in northern Indiana.  Jennings has faced 11 different civil actions in Wayne County just in the last two years.

RICHMOND MAN CHARGED IN CONNECTION WITH RECENT SHOOTING

(Richmond, IN)--More details have now been released about the arrest of Terill Strickland.  Strickland had been charged with criminal recklessless.  On Monday, investigators said that Strickland’s arrest is in connection with the shooting last week of 40-year-old Brandon Pyle on North C Street.  Pyle was shot in the back and taken to Miami Valley Hospital.  Strickland’s jail information also showed that he had been charged with Aggressive Driving Resulting in Death.  An RPD spokesperson said Monday said that that charge was the result of an administrative issue and does not apply to Strickland.

ALLEGED METH DEALER CAUGHT AFTER FOOT CHASE

(Richmond, IN)--It took less than two hours on Tuesday for Richmond police to make their first substantial drug arrest of the day.  At around 1:30 Tuesday morning, officers began to chase 41-year-old Chad Newton in the area of the 200 block of South 13th.  Newton was charged with dealing meth and possessing a handgun without a license.  Newton’s criminal record includes arrests for cocaine and meth dealing.

SEMI FIRE CLOSES I-70 FOR HOURS

(Wayne County, IN)--A semi fire shut down I-70 for an extended period of time Sunday.  The refrigerated semi was headed east and had just crossed the Henry County line into Wayne County when it caught fire and became fully engulfed in flame at around 1 o’clock Sunday afternoon.  Eastbound 70 was closed for four hours, although the heat from the fire made patching necessary later into the afternoon.  There’s no word yet on the condition of the driver or what started the fire.

RICHMOND MAN ARRESTED FOR AGGRESSIVE DRIVING CAUSING DEATH

(Richmond, IN)--A Richmond man was booked into the Wayne County Jail Sunday on a relatively rare but serious charge.  He’s 22-year-old Terill Strickland.  The charge is Criminal Recklessness / Aggressive Driving Resulting in Death.  Strickland has already bonded out of jail, and there’s no word on what incident prompted that serious criminal charge.  Strickland has had a couple of contacts with police in the last two weeks.  Police had responded to a domestic incident in the Fairview neighborhood between Strickland and an older family member.

DARKE COUNTY COUPLE KILLED IN CRASH ON U.S. 127

(Darke County, OH)--A Darke County couple died in a crash on US 127 on Sunday.  At just after 12:30 Sunday morning, Charles and Audrey Spencer – ages 67 and 65, respectively – were headed north a few miles north of Castine when their vehicle crossed the center line and into the path of an oncoming pickup driven by 53-year-old Douglas Morris of Arcanum.  Morris sustained minor injuries, but both Spencers were pronounced dead at the scene.  There’s no word on why they crossed the center line.

FRIDAY MARKS 21-YEAR POINT SINCE NIQUI McCOWN DISAPPEARANCE

(Richmond, IN)--Twenty-one years ago Friday is the day that Richmond’s Niqui McCown was seen for the last time.  Niqui vanished from a laundry on South E.  She has never been found and no arrest has ever been made.  A prime suspect took his own life a decade ago as police tried to apprehend him for another murder.  Niqui’s daughter, Payton, was nine years old at the time.  Now, she’s 30 and a mother herself.  She talked about her mom.  "Without have that motherly advice...that's something I've always longed for is being able to just argue with her a little bit.  It sounds silly, but it's something that you never imaged,"Payton said.  Observations have been held nearly every year on the anniversary of the disappearance.

CRIMINAL CASE LOAD PROMPTS JUDGES, PROSECUTOR TO ASK FOR MORE PERSONNEL

(Richmond, IN)--The sheer volume of criminal cases in Wayne County has now prompted judges and the Prosecutor’s Office to ask for additional personnel.  Last year, Wayne County filed an average of five criminal cases every day with slightly more than half of those being felonies.  This week, judges asked Wayne County Council to fund five new positions to handle the case load.  The Wayne County Prosecutor asked for two positions be added to his office.  Council took the requests under advisement as part of the process of setting next year’s budget.

COUNTERFEITER HITS SEVERAL AREA COMMUNITIES

(Whitewater Valley)--Multiple law enforcement agencies are working to identify and then locate a woman who is passing counterfeit hundred-dollar bills across the area.  The suspect has recently hit stores in Hagerstown, Cambridge City, Connersville, and New Castle.  She’ll make a relatively small purchase – under $20 – pay with a counterfeit hundred, and then pocket the real cash given to her as change.  She’s white with blonde hair and appears to be in her 30’s.

FIRST RESPONDERS TO TRAIN AT DENNIS ON THURSDAY

(Richmond, IN)--On Thursday, the Richmond Police Department will be conducting training, and that training could draw lots of attention because it's taking place in a location where the real thing happened a couple of years ago.  RPD and other first responders will be taking part in training at Dennis Middle School.  Both RPD and RCS want the public to know that all of the emergency vehicles that will be seen around Dennis on Thursday are part of training only.  Back in December of 2018, a 14-year-old boy shot his way into the school and was shot in a stairwell before any other students were injured.

THREE BLOCKS OF NORTH A STREET TO BE CLOSED FRIDAY

(Richmond, IN)--On Wednesday, Kicks 96 and 101.7 The Point News reported on the upcoming extended closure of a block of East Main Street.  On Friday, another heavily traveled Richmond street will shut down.  The good news is that the closure of North A Street between 12th and 9th Street will last only for Friday.  The closure will allow crews to install storm water pipes and manholes.  East Main will close through October between 8th and 9th.

WANTED MAN CAUGHT FOLLOWING FOOT CHASE

(Richmond, IN)--A wanted Richmond man was captured Wednesday following a foot chase that ended in the Tenth Street Park.  23-year-old Evan Brown had failed to appear for a hearing earlier this year on drug and theft charges.  On Wednesday, Brown allegedly fled a traffic stop and was caught a short distance away.  He was allegedly in possession of an unspecified quantity of meth and marijuana and faces a host of new charges.

MAIN STREET CLOSURE COULD LAST UNTIL HALLOWEEN

(Richmond, IN)--Get ready for another lengthy street closure in downtown Richmond.  INDOT has announced that East Main Street between 8th and 9th Streets will close Monday, July 25 and will remain closed possibly until Halloween.  The closure will allow crews to work on underground infrastructure in the area and is part of the larger project of rebuilding highways 40 and 27 through the middle of the city.

BANE HONORED AT SMART FUTURES DINNER

(Richmond, IN)--More than 500 people turned out at the Wayne County Fairgrounds Tuesday night to honor Seton-High-School-turned-Memphis-Grizzlies star Desmond Bane.  Bane was the featured guest at the Smart Futures Dinner benefitting the Boys and Girls Club of Wayne County.  Bane talked about his accomplishments but added this.  "Without the Boys and Girls Club, none of that is possible.  That was my spot where I hung out after school shooting pool and playing hoops."  On Tuesday night, Bane reconnected.  "From the bottom of my heart, I appreciate all of you.  However little or small you feel like the role you played in my life was, it was impactful," Bane said.  At least eight individuals made donations of $5000 as a part of the dinner.

GAS PRICES DROP BELOW $4 IN SOME AREAS

(Whitewater Valley)--Five weeks ago Monday, gas prices in the Whitewater Valley were well above five dollars per gallon.  On Wednesday morning, you can find it locally for under four dollars.  According to AAA, Wayne County reached an all-time high-water mark of $5.21 in mid-June.  On Wednesday, Wayne County’s average price stood at $4.36.  That’s a five-week drop of 85 cents.  Many of the gas stations below four dollars Wednesday morning were in Preble County.  That includes the Farmer’s Market outside the entrance to Lakengren, where it’s $3.94.

MAN SHOT MONDAY NIGHT WITHIN A BLOCK OF RICHMOND'S MOST RECENT SHOOTING

(Richmond, IN)--There was a shooting in Richmond Monday night, and it happened within a block of the city’s last shooting last week.  At just after 10 o'clock Monday night, officers were sent to the 1300 block of North C Street.  That’s where they found 40-year-old Brandon Pyle with a gunshot wound to the back.  Pyle was taken first to Reid Health and then to Miami Valley Hospital in Dayton.  His condition has not been released.  No arrests have been made.  Last week, Skyler Goodwin was shot in the 1200 block of North B.  No arrests have been made in that case.  Police have not said if they believe the two shootings are connected.

RICHMOND VOTERS TO DECIDE ON RP&L WITHDRAWAL FROM IURC

(Richmond, IN)--This fall, voters in Richmond will decide whether or not Richmond Power and Light should opt out of the jurisdiction of the Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission after the unanimous passage of a resolution by Common Council Monday night.  The biggest reason most utilities have already opted out is cost.  Recently, RP&L underwent a two-year rate adjustment.  General Manager Tony Foster talked about the expense.  "The process cost the ratepayers of Richmond more than $835,000," Foster explained.  And it doesn’t stop there.  "Just in the last nine months, we've spent more than $19,000 filing reports and making other adjustments that have to be approved by the IURC," Foster added.  Council unanimously voted to put the issue on the ballot.

Richmond Common Council Monday night heard more about the city’s first-ever Climate Action Plan.  There are no mandates in the plan, but it does contain 29 adaptation strategies and 38 mitigation strategies.  Matt Evans told council about one of the primary goals of the plan.  "Understanding where our greenhouse gas emissions come from locally and then take that into actionable priorities and projects that reduce those emissions."  The plan, which was presented in the form of a resolution, was referred to the Plan Commission and will come back before council at a future date.

FATAL WAYNE COUNTY CRASH VICTIM ID'd AS GREENWOOD MAN

(Wayne County, IN)--Here’s more on a fatal Wayne County crash that Kicks 96 and 101.7 The Point News reported Monday morning.  Later Monday, the victim in the crash near the intersection of State Road 38 and King Road was identified as 21-year-old Justin Schmichel of Greenwood.  Investigators say the crash actually happened at least six hours before it was discovered on Sunday morning.  Schmichel apparently drifted off of 38 for unknown reasons and was ejected.  He was pronounced dead at the scene.

RICHMOND COMMON COUNCIL TO ADDRESS CLIMATE CHANGE

(Richmond, IN)--The first-ever Climate Action Plan goes before Richmond Common Council Monday night.  The plan provides a road map for how the city should best prepare for the effects of climate change but does not include any mandates.  Studies from IU and Purdue say that the most impactful effects of climate change specifically in our area are increased precipitation and extreme heat events.  But, of Richmond’s 20 hottest days on record, only three have occurred this century.  The Climate Action Plan is divided into two categories that are aimed at better protecting the health of residents, according to a memo attached to the resolution.

RP&L:  Should Richmond Power and Light opt out of the jurisdiction of the Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission?  That’s a question that’s on the agenda for Richmond Common Council Monday night and one that will ultimately go before the public in a vote if tonight’s resolution is approved.  The RP&L Board, which is made up of the members of Common Council, made that recommendation earlier this month.  Passage of Monday night’s resolution allows the Wayne County Election Board to put the issue on the ballot for the public this November.

DOWNTOWN WINCHESTER BUILDING DESTROYED BY FIRE

(Winchester, IN)--Fire destroyed a downtown Winchester building less than a block from the Randolph County Courthouse Saturday night.  It broke out at the former home of the Corner Café.  Smoke filled the downtown area as crews from multiple agencies battled the blaze.  One firefighter was taken to a hospital to be treated for heat exhaustion.  No injuries were reported.  The cause remains under investigation this morning.  Neighboring buildings suffered minor damage.  (Photo credit:  DJI Aerial Photography)

RPD SEEKS HELP IN LOCATING MISSING TEEN

(Richmond, IN)--Late Sunday night, the Richmond Police Department solicited the help of the public in locating a missing teenage girl.  She’s 17-year-old Alonna Wethington.  Alonna is a bi-racial girl with a thin build who was last seen in the area of the Townhouse Apartments early Saturday night.  She was wearing red sweatpants and was carrying a red backpack.  Her images were posted on social media Sunday night by RPD.  If you can help locate Alonna, you’re asked to contact RPD or call 911.

DEPUTY'S CRUISER BURNS, I-70 SHUT DOWN

(Wayne County, IN)---70 was shut down in both the east and westbound lanes in western Wayne County Thursday afternoon.  It began when a person suffered a medical incident near the State Road 1 exit.  A Wayne County Sheriff’s deputy arrived to help, but the cruiser caught fire and became fully engulfed in flame.  According to the department, the interstate was shut down out of an abundance of caution due to the ammunition that was in the cruiser.  The fire did not result in any injuries.

MOTORCYCLIST SERIOUSLY INJURED IN LATE-NIGHT CRASH

(Richmond, IN)--One person was flown to a Level One trauma center following a crash involving a motorcycle and a truck on Richmond’s east side late Thursday night.  It happened at around 11 o’clock near the intersection of National Road East and Old National Road.   National Road East was then shut down for an investigation that included a drone from the Richmond Fire Department.  There’s no word yet on the condition or identity of the motorcyclist.  Drugs and alcohol are not thought to have been a factor.

TRUCKER GETS 55 YEARS FOR WAYNE COUNTY MURDER

(Richmond, IN)--What amounts to a life sentence behind bars has been handed down to the Florida trucker who stabbed and killed his driving partner on I-70 in Wayne County three years ago.  50-year-old Pavel Nery-Gonzalez received the standard 55-year sentence in Wayne Superior Court II.  Nery-Gonzalez’s attorney had claimed that the stabbing was done in self-defense, but the prosecution maintained that he could have stopped before victim died.  Good-time credit would have Nery-Gonzalez released at age 91.

ISP JOINS DENISE PFLUM INVESTIGATION

(Connersville, IN)--The Indiana State Police has recently joined in the investigation into the disappearance of Denise Pflum.  Denise was 18 when she disappeared in Fayette County way back in 1986.  According to a moderator of a social media page dedicated to obtaining new information, Denise’s family recently reached out to the state police and asked that agency to become involved.  Now, state police investigators will be working with local law enforcement.  Last month, the moderator received an anonymous envelope with additional information about the case.  The sender of that envelope has still not come forward.

AREA CLASSIFIED AS "ABNORMALLY DRY" ON DROUGHT MONITOR

(Whitewater Valley)--The U.S. Drought Monitor releases a map every Thursday, and much of the Whitewater Valley now appears.  Our area is not officially in a drought, but is currently classified as abnormally dry.  There are counties 50 miles west of Wayne County that are now officially in a drought.  In the last 30 days, Richmond has officially had only two-thirds of an inch of rain.

UNION COUNTY SUPERINTENDENT RESIGNS

(Liberty, IN)--The superintendent of the Union County College Corner Joint School District has resigned.  Aron Borowiak made the announcement at this week’s meeting.  A specific reason for the resignation was not addressed.  Borowiak had been at Union County for only three years.  It’s the latest in a series of resignations in the district.  Union County High School Principal Connie Rosenberger resigned a couple of months ago, and Liberty Elementary Principal Kathy Sourbeer left in January.

WEDNESDAY MORNING CHASE SPEEDS REACH 123 MPH

(Wayne County, IN)--A high-speed chase Wednesday morning has ended without any initial report of any injury.  The chase came to an end at around 5 o’clock Wednesday morning in eastern Henry County after beginning in western Wayne County.  Wayne County officials say speeds in the chase reached 123 miles per hour.  At one point in the chase, a second vehicle became involved.  The names of those involved, the charges they face, and what led to the chase are all details that have not yet been released.

CRASH INTO COW CLOSES I-70 OVERNIGHT

(Lewisburg, OH)--At least one person was hurt in a crash on I-70 in Preble County overnight, and it appears that a cow on the loose was the cause.  Dispatchers had received a call about a cow on the interstate before the crash occurred at just before midnight Tuesday night in the westbound lanes near Lewisburg.  A semi struck the cow and was then hit from behind by another vehicle.  The shutdown of westbound 70 lasted well into Wednesday morning.  There’s no word on the condition of the injured person.

WAYNE COUNTY GAS PRICES DROP 70 CENTS IN ONE MONTH

(Wayne County, IN)--Gas prices in Wayne County and across the Whitewater Valley continue to come down.  It was a month ago when Wayne County reached its high-water mark of $5.21 per gallon, according to AAA.  On Wednesday, the average price was nearly 70 cents per gallon cheaper at $4.53.  Wayne County remains in the top ten counties in Indiana for the least expensive gas.  Preble County had the area’s cheapest gas Wednesday morning at $4.40.

MANVILLE RESUMES OPERATIONS AFTER MAJOR UPGRADES

(Richmond, IN)--A major investment that included rebuilds and upgrades at Johns Manville in Richmond is now complete.  Johns Manville manufactures insulation and commercial roofing – among other things.  It shut down back on April 24th for the renovation and just went back into production last week after work for the $20 million investment was complete.  The company is getting $50,000 in EDIT Grant money from the EDC of Wayne County to help with costs associated with training.  Johns Manville employs 107 full-time employees.

WOMAN SUES FOR $700,000 FOLLOWING ICY SLIP

(Randolph County, IN)--Back in January, a woman slipped on an icy sidewalk in Randolph County, and now she wants $700,000.  Karla Smith has filed a lawsuit in a Randolph County court against both the town of Parker City and the Parker City Saloon.  The lawsuit claims both entities had a duty to warn her about the hazards of snow and ice.  She broke her kneecap when she fell.  Five summons have now been issued in the case.

TEENS CREDITED WITH SAVING MAN AFTER CRASH

(Eaton, OH)--Two Eaton teenagers are being credited with rescuing a man from a fiery crash.  Mike Worley lost control of his truck on U.S. 35 just west of Eaton.  It hit a culvert, rolled over, and began to catch fire.  That’s when Eaton teens Breyden Boston and Preston Orr sprang into action.  The boys broke the windshield and pulled Worley from the wreckage.  Worley is being treated in the burn unit at Miami Valley Hospital.

RICHMOND MAN SHOT ON NORTH B STREET

(Richmond, IN)--A 22-year-old Richmond man was shot in the leg Sunday afternoon, and now police are searching for the occupant or occupants of a vehicle that was caught on surveillance video.  Skyler Goodwin was identified as the victim who suffered injuries that were described as non-life-threatening as a result of the shooting in the 1300 block of North B Street.  Police say it does not appear to be a random incident.  Goodwin was convicted a couple of years ago of pointing a gun at someone.  Investigators have released an image of a black Jeep Cherokee that fled east following the shooting.

WATER MAIN BREAK CREATES SINKHOLE, CLOSES U.S. 40 IN CAMBRIDGE CITY

(Cambridge City, IN)--Water main breaks were causing headaches in Cambridge City Monday morning.  There are two breaks.  One is on Main Street, which is also U.S. 40.  Main Street is completely shut down Monday between Dale and Mulberry Streets because the break has created a sink hole.  Traffic is being redirected at State Road 1.  Main Street is expected to remain closed for at least a couple of days.  There is a second water main break on Parkway Drive.  As of Monday morning, there was no boil advisory in place. (Photo:  Town of Cambridge City Facebook)

MOVIE THEATER TO OPEN IN EATON

(Eaton, OH)--Movies will be coming to Eaton next month.  Eaton, and all of Preble County for that matter, is without a single operating movie theater.  But that changes when Star Theatre at Eagles Point opens.  It’s located on North Barron Street in what was once Eaton High School.  The venue will also host other performances.  An exact opening date has not been set.  (Photo from City of Eaton's Facebook page).

CHASE ENDS WITH CRASH INTO BASEBALL DUGOUT

(Williamsburg, IN)--A Richmond man allegedly led police on a wild chase Thursday night that ended with him crashing into the third base dugout of the Williamsburg baseball field.   It began when police tried to stop 28-year-old Jason Ashcraft, who had already been labeled as a habitual traffic offender.  Ashcraft allegedly fled northwest.  Scanner traffic indicated that he was on the Cardinal Greenway trail at one point.  The chase went into the Fountain City area and then into Williamsburg.  The baseball field was not being used when the crash occurred.  A police canine apprehended Ashcraft when he tried to flee on foot after the crash.

ACCORDING TO DEA, WOMAN HAD ENOUGH FENTANYL TO KILL ALL OF WAYNE COUNTY

(Richmond, IN)--Here’s more on the I-70 drug bust first reported by Kicks 96 and 101.7 The Point on Thursday morning.  Later in the day Thursday, Wayne County Sheriff Randy Retter indicated that Chelsey Smith of Anderson had more than 170 grams of fentanyl when she was stopped near the U.S. 35 interchange in Richmond on Wednesday.  According to the DEA, that’s enough fentanyl to kill the entire population of Wayne County.  Smith remained in the Wayne County Jail Friday morning on a $30,000 bond.

CHILD MOLESTER SUES CAMBRIDGE CITY, OTHERS FOR $15 MILLION

(Cambridge City, IN)--A Cambridge City child molester and sexually violent predator is suing the town of Cambridge City and others for $15 million.  Lawsuits and legal motions are nothing new for 49-year-old Bradley Harris.  He’s been filing them off and on since being convicted back in 2005 of fondling children under the age of 12.  In this latest lawsuit, Harris alleges authorities threw away documents at gunpoint that would have proved his innocence.  He’s currently being housed in the New Castle Correctional Facility.

WAYNE COUNTY GAS PRICES DROP 50 CENTS IN THREE WEEKS

(Wayne County, IN)--Wayne County has moved into the top ten counties in Indiana for cheap gas – with the word “cheap” in quotations.  AAA indicated Thursday morning that the average price of a gallon of regular unleaded in Wayne County is $4.70.  Only seven Indiana counties are cheaper.  The $4.70 average represents a big drop from three weeks ago, when the average in Wayne County was $5.21.  Darke County had the area’s cheapest gas Thursday morning at $4.58.

DETAILS OF FATAL UNION COUNTY CRASH RELEASED

(Union County, IN)--Details were finally released Wednesday about a fatal crash that occurred in Union County back on the 21st of last month.  According to the Sheriff’s Office, Rhonda Ritter was driving on West Clifton Road when the accident occurred.  16-year-old Harlee Pollitt, who was riding in the car, was pronounced dead at Miami Valley Hospital.  Ritter was taken to Reid Health.  An 18-month-old child was also in the vehicle was not injured.  Details of what led to the crash were not released.

DEPOT DISTRICT RESTAURANT TO REOPEN SOON

(Richmond, IN)--Last November, fire did heavy damage to Firehouse BBQ & Blues.  That anchor business in Richmond’s Depot District has been closed ever since to allow for repairs and renovations.  But that all ends in less than two weeks.  Owner Tom Broyles has indicated on social media that the restaurant will reopen on July 19.  That’s a week from Tuesday.

PHASE III OF INDUSTRIAL PARK TO PROCEED AFTER RESOLUTION'S PASSAGE

(Richmond, IN)--Development of the third phase of the Midwest Industrial Park in Richmond took another step forward Tuesdayu night when Richmond Common Council approved a resolution that expands an economic development area.  It will allow the Richmond Redevelopment Commission to issue taxable bonds in an amount not to exceed $3.25 million.  The land covers 326 acres in the area of Gaar Jackson and Round Barn Road.  The development will also require a road project and a three-phase sewer project.  The first two phases of the industrial park cover 218 acres.

RP&L GM DELIVERS POST MORTEM ON JUNE STORM

(Richmond, IN)--Richmond Power and Light General Manager Tony Foster gave the RP&L Board a post-mortem Tuesday night on last month’s storm.  That storm knocked out power to hundreds of homes and businesses.  In some cases, those outages lasted for several days.  25 poles snapped in high winds.  An industrial transformer was also lost.  "Most of our lineman and some other employees were working 16-hour days.  We had a total of 783.8 hours of overtime," said Foster Tuesday night.  Foster said long-time employees said it was the first time since the early ‘90’s that outside crews had to be called in to help.

THREE ARRESTED IN DRUG TRAFFICKING INVESTIGATION

(Eaton, OH)--A drug trafficking investigation in Eaton has ended with the arrest of three people.  A search warrant was executed in the 300 block of North Street.  Investigators say they found not only narcotics, drug paraphernalia, and firearms but also located what they described as an explosive device.  Dale Letner, Mona Hyde, and Gilbert Contreras all face numerous charges.  The case went before a grand jury Tuesday.

HEALTH DEPARTMENT MONITORS COVID-19 UPTICK

(Wayne County, IN)--The Wayne County Health Department is monitoring an uptick in Covid-19 cases.  Reid Health most recently listed 12 patients in Covid-19 containment areas, which is the highest that number has been since last winter.  Half of those patients had been vaccinated, and none are ill enough to be in the ICU or on ventilators.  Wayne County has had 115 cases in the last week.  In the last month, Wayne County has had two people die with – but not necessarily because of – Covid-19.

CLEANUP CONTINUES FROM BUILDING COLLAPSE

(Richmond, IN)--Clean-up will continue Tuesday after a partial building collapse near Richmond’s Depot District over the weekend.  It happened at the Monger Transfer and Storage Building on North D, which is directly across from Purina and adjacent to Crosstown Carry-Out.  One person was inside an apartment when the roof of the western section of the building collapsed into the second floor.  That occupant was not injured.  North D was shut down for clean-up and inspection.  Demolition was ordered for the west side of the building.  The building had stood for more than a hundred years.

MAN CHARGED WITH MULTIPLE FELONIES AFTER DOMESTIC INCIDENT

(Richmond, IN)--A domestic incident early Tuesday morning resulted in some serious charges against a Richmond man.  At around 2:30 Tuesday morning, police were called to the 200 block of Pearl Street and encountered 25-year-old Aaron Race.  Race has now been charged with Domestic Battery with a Deadly Weapon and Strangulation.  He’s being held on a $15,000 bond.  There’s no word yet on the condition of the alleged victim.

INDIANA NOW CLAIMS A STATE FOSSIL

July 1st signals the start of new laws in the state of Indiana, that passed in the most previous legislative session that ended in March.  Among those laws in effect today is the official declaration of an Indiana state fossil.  The mastodon.  Before today, Indiana was actually one of only 5 states that did not have an official state fossil.  We had a state bird, the cardinal.  A state flower, the peony, a state tree. The tulip tree and even a state stone, the salem limestone.  And now we can claim the mastodon as our state fossil.

REPORT OF A STABBING OVERNIGHT

An emergency call of a stabbing prompted requests to Richmond law enforcement agencies to respond overnight.  The incident occurred on the Richmond Avenue bridge.  Medics and police arrived and reports were the victim suffered an arm wound and the suspects fled the scene with officers pursuing.  No additional information has been released as to the condition of the victim or the suspects.

SHOTS FIRED NEAR VAIL ELEMENTARY

An emergency call of shots fired in the area of Vail Elementary school last night.  Richmond police officers responded and reports are that one hispanic male was placed into custody.  The emergency call prompted requests for EMS as well, but no additional information as to the condition of the suspect was made available.  This is a developing story and we will update as we learn more.

DOMESTIC DISTURBANCE TURNS INTO STAND-OFF

Connersville police responded to a domestic disturbance call Wednesday and were advised that the suspect, James G Zervos the third of Batesville, was also wanted out of several other jurisdictions with felony arrest warrants.  Upon arrival, two females exited and confirmed that Zervos was inside, but after several commands, he refused to exit the home.  Police searched the home and suspected that Zervos had climbed into the attic and barricaded himself there.  The Connersville Police Department SWAT team was called in and after approximately 2 1/2 house and several attempts to talk the suspect out of the attic, officers went up and located him hiding in the flooring.  Zervos was taken into custody, transported to Reid Hospital-Connersville and then lodged in the Fayette County Jail on charges of domestic battery and resisting law enforcement, as well as, warrant charges out of Decatur County and Cherokee County, Georgia.

FRANKLIN COUNTY ASKING FOR HELP FINDING PERSONS

The Franklin County Sheriff’s department has identified two persons of interest in connection with a recent series of vehicle break-ins and are asking the public for help.  Deputies are looking for 33-year-old Dustin A. Hurley and 31-year-old Amanda Ziegler, both of Columbus, Indiana.  The pair was last seen driving a white 2016 Chevrolet Impala.  Anyone with information on the pair’s whereabouts is asked to contact the Franklin County Sheriff’s Office.  Callers can remain anonymous.

EATON DRIVER EXAM STATION TO REOPEN

Governor Mike Dewine announced the driver examination office in Eaton, that was closed in June of 2020, will reopen under a new pilot 3rd Party Driver Examination program.  The Ohio Bureau of Motor Vehicles is corking to partner with outside businesses to expand driver examination testing locations throughout the state.  Beginning today, the Ohio BMV is launching the pilot program in Preble County and expects to expand to seven other locations around the state over the summer.  It was also announced that Ohioans will soon be able to renew their driver’s license online, through the newly upgraded BMV.Ohio.Gov.

FORMER BOY SCOUT CAMP IS UP FOR AUCTION

A 95-year old former Boy Scout camp is going up for auction in Muncie.  Camp Red Wing will sell by auction beginning August 16th, offering someone the chance to own some Hoosier history while continuing to provide a space for summertime fun.  The camp is located on the southeast side of Muncie, along the White River.  Michael Fine, of the auction firm, Fine & Company, says the camp has hosted tens of thousand of camper, some 2nd and 3rd generation.  The property will be sold in two tracts, with the White River acting as a divider.  One tract consists of 63 acres with picnic shelters, campsites, hiking trails and several buildings that were part of the Red Wing Lodge, including the dining and meeting hall, Eagle Knob and a historic log cabin.  Bids will start at $495,000 for this section.  The other tract is 75 acres of agricultural and wooded land, and will have a minimum bid of $750,000.

READI PROGRAM BEGINS IN INDIANA

Governor Eric Holcomb and Indiana Secretary of Commerce Brad Chambers announced yesterday that quality of place projects and programs are beginning to move forward across the state through the Indiana Regional Economic Acceleration and Development Initiative, or READI.  The program is on track to designate $200 million of the grantable funds to projects and programs in 10 regions by the end of July and expects to designate another $300 million in all 17 regions of the state by the end of the year.  The goal is to accelerate ready-to-go projects and programs that are expected to transform Indiana communities, attract talent and improve the quality of life.  The Grants are expected to bring $15 million to Southeast Indiana READI which includes Union, Franklin, Dearborn, Ripley, Ohio and Switzerland counties,  the East Central Indiana Regional Partnership which will go toward projects in Wayne, Randolph, Fayette, Blackford, Jay, Henry, and Grant counties as well as Delaware county and the city of Muncie.

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