Local News Archives for 2022-08

REWARD OFFERED FOR SUBJECT OF SILVER ALERT

(Richmond, IN)--A statewide silver alert remained in effect Monday morning for a missing Richmond man.  51-year-old Merle Church has not been seen since last Wednesday and was last known to have been in the area of South 11th and F.  Now, a one-thousand-dollar reward has been offered for information leading to finding Merle.  He’s a 5-7 white male who would likely be wearing sunglasses because he’s legally blind.  The Silver Alert states that he is in extreme danger and may be in need of medical assistance.

SCHOOL BEGINS FOR SOME AREA STUDENTS

(Centerville, IN)--It’s hard to believe, but school was back in session Monday morning for some Whitewater Valley students.  Students at Centerville-Abington schools returned to the classroom Monday.  Centerville’s incoming kindergarten class is decidedly smaller this year.  Last year, about 140 kids entered as kindergartners.  This year, that number is only 99.  Eight new teachers are beginning at Centerville on Monday.  Richmond, Northeastern, Western Wayne and Nettle Creek are among the school districts that will return on Wednesday.

SEMI SMASHES INTO HISTORIC COVERED BRIDGE

(Preble County, OH)--A historic covered bridge in Preble County was heavily damaged and possibly destroyed when a semi driver inexplicably tried to squeeze his semi through it.  It happened at the Brubaker Bridge, which is about a quarter-mile outside of Gratis.  The semi’s trailer took out the top and sides of one end of the bridge.  The county engineer’s office has inspected the damage and said that the bridge, which dates back to 1887, is closed indefinitely.

PLAN TO CONVERT ELDER-BEERMAN INTO APARTMENTS ADVANCES

(Richmond, IN)--There’s been more movement on the conversion of the former Elder-Beerman building in downtown Richmond into apartment buildings.  This week, EDC CEO Valerie Shaffer updated county leaders on that project.  A letter of intent has been signed by the EDC from a developer than plans to convert the building into 150 apartments.  Nearly $3 million has already been allocated for the project in state funding.  Elder-Beerman vacated the building four years ago.

POLICE CHIEF, OFFICER PLACED ON LEAVE AFTER ARREST ALLEGATIONS

(Brookville, IN)--In Brookville, Town Council met Thursday night and addressed allegations that Police Chief Terry Mitchum and Officer Ryan Geiser conspired to keep a Brookville resident from running for town council because that candidate had made negative statements about police.  As a result of Thursday night’s meeting, Mitchum and Geiser are now on paid administrative leave.  Council voted unanimously for the suspension that also includes an order that keeps them off of town property.  The Indiana State Police has now taken over the investigation.  The two officers allegedly charged the candidate with rape despite an investigation that turned up no solid evidence.  The case was dropped.

ALLEGED DEALER FOUND WITH $7000 IN MARIJUANA

(Richmond, IN)--The Wayne County Drug Task Force on Thursday released details of another drug bust that occurred early this week.  It happened on Monday when officers stopped Marcus Glover near South 8th and F.  Inside, investigators found $7000 worth of marijuana, $1500 in cocaine, and more than $3600 in cash.  Glover faces multiple dealing charges this morning.  Five years ago, Glover was sentenced to eight years in prison for dealing cocaine.

INDUSTRY NEWSLETTER REPORTS SMITH FOODS ACQUIRED BY KANSAS CITY COMPANY

(Richmond, IN)--A publication called Food Business News reported on Wednesday that a long-time Richmond manufacturer has been acquired by a Kansas City-based organization.  It reports Dairy Farmers of America has acquired Smith Foods, which encompasses the Richmond processing plant.  Smith Foods makes extended shelf-life dairy and non-dairy beverages, as well as ice cream and shake mixes.  The plant will be renamed Richmond Beverage Solutions.  Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.  Smith Foods began in Richmond as Wayne Dairy 101 years ago.  According to the EDC website, Smith Foods employs 203 people and is Wayne County’s 14th largest employer.

MURDER TRIAL UNDERWAY IN RANDOLPH COUNTY

(Winchester, IN)--It’s been nearly four years since 61-year-old David Brumley was found dead in a Winchester home.  This week, Monty Cook is on trial for Brumley’s murder.  Cook went missing following the murder in November of 2018.  He was eventually captured in Arizona after having been spotted driving the victim’s car in Arkansas.  At the time of his arrest, Cook also had warrants for arson and theft in Randolph County.  If convicted of murder, Cook would face a standard 55-year prison sentence.

$30,000 IN COCAINE AND CASH RECOVERED IN DRUG-DEALING ARREST

(Richmond, IN)--More than $30,000 in cocaine and cash was recovered when an investigation by the Wayne County Drug Task Force culminated with a traffic stop in Richmond Tuesday.  Officers stopped 34-year-old Raymond Lewis Junior.  After a positive hit by a canine, officers located 145 grams of cocaine with a street value of $29,000 and another $1500 in cash.  Lewis allegedly tried to flee but was caught immediately.  Lewis has a previous conviction as a cocaine dealer.

SHERIFF'S DEPARTMENT LAUNCHES NEW APP

(Wayne County, IN)--The Wayne County Sheriff’s Department launched a new phone app Tuesday.  It enables users to quickly access all kinds of information connected to the department, including searching inmates, warrants, and sex offenders.  There is also a way to submit tips to the Sheriff’s Department.  It’s available by searching “Wayne County Sheriff’s Office, IN”.   Sheriff Randy Retter has said that one of the goals of his administration was to expand community outreach through all forms of communication.

MAN WANTED FOR SEXUAL ASSAULT OF CHILD CAUGHT AT RICHMOND McDONALD'S

(Richmond, IN)--A man wanted for more than a year for allegedly sexually assaulting a seven-year-old girl is now in custody.  68-year-old Claude Kidd was located by U.S. Marshals at a Richmond McDonald’s.  He was indicted in April of last year for gross sexual imposition in a case in the Dayton area.  Kidd remained in the Wayne County Jail Wednesday morning awaiting extradition back to Montgomery County.

POPULAR RANDOLPH COUNTY RESTAURANT THE CHOCOLATE MOOSE TO CLOSE

 

The Chocolate Moose, a popular 1950's-style diner that's been serving up burgers, pork tenderloins and ice cream at 101 North Main Street in Farmland for 25 years, will close for good this Saturday, August 6th.  The restaurant's Facebook page announced that the pandemic, supply chain challenges, labor shortages and the sharp increase in the cost of products, and the loss of a co-owner are factored into the decision to close.

POLICE CRACKING DOWN ON SCHOOL BUS STOP-ARM VIOLATIONS

 

With state and area schools opening up for the new school year, state and local law enforcement agencies will be cracking down on school bus stop-arm violators.  It's all part of the back-to-school Stop Arm Violation Enforcement campaign - or SAVE.  Violators could pay a fine of up to $10,000 and have their license suspended for up to 90 days for the first offense or up to a year for the second.  Officers will use a range of enforcement strategies from high-visibility patrols to police spotters on buses.  As a reminder, in Indiana, it is illegal for drivers to pass a stopped school bus that has its red lights flashing and stop-arm extended on all roads except for highways that are divided by a barrier, such as a concrete wall or grass median.

DON'T FORGET TO VOTE IN OHIO'S SECOND PRIMARY ELECTION

Today is Ohio's second primary election in what is turning into an unusual election year.  Polls will be open today from 6:30 AM to 7:30 PM.  And Ohio voters, you can find your polling location at voteohio.gov.

INDIANA HOUSE HOLDS PUBLIC TESTIMONY TODAY

With the Indiana House now considering the Senate-approved abortion ban, the public will get likely its last chance to testify today during a House committee hearing.  The House Courts and Criminal Code Committee will take public testimony on the proposed abortion band starting today at 9 am.  Republican Committee Chair Wendy McNamara, from Evansville, is the House sponsor of the bill, and said she wants to hear from as many people as possible but would not commit to allowing every person who signs up to speak.  

 

 

INDIANA SPECIAL SESSION ENTERS SECOND WEEK

 

Indiana's special legislative session now enters its second week, after a contentious first week of debates lasted into Saturday.  The Senate narrowly passing their abortion legislation, which bans abortions at zero weeks except in the cases of rape, incest or to protect the life of the pregnant woman, so it will now head to the House for consideration.  The House, meanwhile, passed legislation that covers a wide range of fiscal matters, including a taxpayer refund for Hoosiers, as well as providing additional funding for Medicaid, a grant program to reduce infant mortality and the Child Care and Development Fund voucher program, which support families and children.  It would also get rid of the 7% sales tax on diapers and increase the adoption tax credit.  That bill will now move to the Senate.

CDC COVID MAP SHOWS 53 INDIANA COUNTIES AT 'HIGH RISK'

As of August 1st, more than half of Indiana has been classified in the high-risk category for spreading Covid-19.  53 counties - including Shelby and Rush counties - are listed as high community risk of spreading Covid-19.  There were also 35 more counties listed as "medium" risks, including Wayne, Randolph, Delaware, Henry, Fayette and Franklin counties.  Over the past seven days, Indiana has recorded 15,576 new cases and 56 deaths.  Wayne County reported 288 cases, Henry county 143 cases, Fayette county 111 cases, Union County 6 cases, and Randolph County 60 cases.  In Ohio, Preble and Darke counties are both classified as "high-risk".  Preble recorded 97 cases and Darke 201.  All local counties had no deaths in the week prior. Currently, all Americans age 5 and over are eligible for a booster shot five months after their initial series.  A second booster is now recommended for those 50 and over and for younger people with serious health issues.

MAN KILLED IN SHOOTING OUTSIDE MUNCIE WALMART IDENTIFIED

A man killed in a shooting at a Muncie Walmart has been identified as 34-year-old Samuel Gollum of Eaton, Indiana.  The shooting occurred in the parking lot of Walmart on Clara Lane in Muncie Saturday night around 8:45 pm.  Muncie police responded, pursued and caught the suspect in a nearby wooded area.  Gollum was transported to Ball Memorial Hospital where he was pronounced deceased.

INDIANA HAS 45 MONKEYPOX CASES, INCLUDING 2 IN CHILDREN

 

A total of 45 monkeypox cases, including 2 in kids, have now been reported across the state of Indiana in the last month and a half, according to the state's Department of Health.  Indiana so far has received only 3,232 doses of the monkeypox vaccine, which have been prioritized for close contacts of positive cases, but additional vaccine is expected soon.  Monkeypox does not easily spread through brief casual contact, but the Health Department cautions that anyone can be affected if they are a close contact of a positive case.  Monkeypox typically begins with fever, headache, chills, muscle aches and exhaustion about 5 to 21 days after exposure, followed by a rash.  Anyone who believes they may have been exposed are urged to contact their healthcare provider.

I-70 TRAFFIC STOP RESULTS IN DRUG ARREST

 

A Friday afternoon traffic stop on I-70 by the Wayne County Sherrif's department resulted in an arrest on suspicion of the possession of narcotics.  Sheriff's deputies stopped the vehicle with Texas plates driven by 19-year-old Maria Bustamante and arrested her on drug charges.  She was taken into custody and booked into Wayne County Jail.

ELWOOD POLICE OFFICER SHOT AND KILLED IN TRAFFIC STOP

 

Police departments across the state are mourning the loss of a fellow officer.  An Elwood Indiana police officer was shot and killed while conducting a traffic stop Sunday morning.  Indiana State Police say that around 2:00 am Sunday, 24-year-old Elwood Officer Noah Shahnavaz was conducting a traffic stop on State Road 37 in Madison County, and for reasons unknown at this time, the suspect exited the vehicle and fired multiple rounds, striking Officer Shahnavaz at least once.  Shahnavaz was flown to an Indianapolis area hospital and was pronounced dead soon after.  The suspect, identified as 42-year-old Carl Roy Webb Boards II, from Anderson, fled the scene in their vehicle but was later taken into custody and faces multiple charges.

INDIANA SENATE PASSES INFLATION RELIEF PLAN

After debating the abortion bill for hours, the Indiana Senate did act on a bill to address the effects of inflation on Hoosiers.  In a 40-4 vote the Senate bill that proposes a 6-month moratorium on the state's utility tax, along with a cap on the state gas tax.  Supporters of the bill say the suspension of the 7% sales tax on electricity, water, gas, internet and phone bills would provide an estimated savings of 260 million for Hoosiers.  The bill would also cap the sales tax on gas at 29.5 cents through June 30th, 2023.  The Senate measure differs significantly from the House version, which more closely resembles Governor Eric Holcomb's original plan to return $1 billion from the state's surplus to Indiana taxpayers through $225 payments.  

NEAR-TOTAL ABORTION BAN PASSES INDIANA GOP-CONTROLLED SENATE

The special session of Indiana's state legislature has pushed a near total ban on abortions through the state Senate.  The Republican-controlled Senate passed the bill Saturday which would ban abortion at all stages of pregnancy with limited exceptions.  The bill passed 26-20 and now moves to the Republican-controlled state House for debate.  If it makes it through the House, it will go into effect September 1st.  

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