Local News Archives for 2022-10

DEATH PENALTY SOUGHT AGAINST PHILLIP LEE

(Richmond, IN)--Here’s more on the decision to seek the death penalty against Phillip Lee, who remains behind bars in state prison but is now charged with killing Richmond Police Officer Seara Burton.  Court documents were filed late Friday that amend three attempted murder charges to two counts of attempted murder and one count of murder.  Prosecutors cite two aggravating circumstances in the pursuit of the death penalty:  that Lee killed Burton while she in the course of her duty and that Lee was on parole in drug-related crimes.  Lee is currently scheduled to go on trial in late December, although that’s virtually assured to be pushed back at least once.  The prosecutor has also requested that Lee be held without bond.  But, even if the death penalty is carried out, it will likely take a long time.  On average, it has taken 16 years for an inmate to be put to death after an Indiana conviction.  Indiana last put someone to death in 2009.  It took only three months to execute the last of three Wayne County residents ever to be put to death.  Back in 1886, Nathaniel Bates of Hagerstown slashed his wife’s throat.  He was convicted in May and strung up in August near what is now the Wayne County Jail.  If Lee is ultimately put to death, it would be by lethal injection at a state prison.

MAN ARRESTED FOR WEEKEND STABBING

(Richmond, IN)--One person was taken to Miami Valley Hospital following a stabbing that resulted from a large fight outside a Richmond bar and grill early Sunday morning.  Officers were called to the area of 15th and North E Street.  Scanner traffic indicated that two people were stabbed and that one was injured seriously.  There’s no word on identities or conditions.  28-year-old Joseph Pentecost was taken into custody and charged with aggravated battery and battery against a public safety official.  Pentecost was convicted of shooting into a building nine years ago.

VOTE CENTERS OPEN ACROSS WAYNE COUNTY

(Wayne County, IN)--Beginning Monday morning, voting options are expanding for Wayne County residents.  Up until now, in-person voting for the general election – which is a week from Tuesday – could only take place at the courthouse.  Now, four vote centers are open.  They’re located at the First Bank Kulhman Center and First English Lutheran Church in Richmond, the Golay Center in Cambridge City, and at Hagerstown New Testament Church.  Those centers are open from 10-7 each day this week.

WOMAN KILLED IN WESTERN WAYNE CRASH

(Cambridge City, IN)--One person is dead following a crash in western Wayne County Thursday night.  At around 8:30 Thursday night, first responders were sent to the intersection of Boyd and Hunnicutt Road just south of Cambridge City.  There, they found a vehicle that had crashed into a tree.  A child who, according to scanner traffic, was five years old was found wandering in the area.  An adult female was inside the vehicle and was pronounced dead at the scene.  Her identity and details of what led to the crash have not been released.

STANDOFF SUSPECT FROM RICHMOND NOW CHARGED IN PREBLE COUNTY

(Preble County, OH)--The Richmond man who allegedly kept police at bay during an eight-hour standoff in West Manchester on Wednesday has now been charged in Preble County.  Justin Gabbard is charged with obstructing official business and inducing panic.  Gabbard was rounded up shortly after a warrant was issued for his arrest in an August armed robbery in Richmond.  Leading up to Wednesday night’s standoff, Gabbard was trying to get back to Richmond.  Here's what he said on social media:  "I got 20 bucks for the first (expletive deleted) come up to West Manchester to pick me up and give me a ride back to Richmond.  I got my scooter and about ten backpacks full of (expletive deleted)."  Gabbard was also willing to throw in a new video game unit for a ride to Richmond.

ARSON CASE INVOLVING CITY COUNCIL MEMBER PUSHED BACK TO 2023

(Connersville, IN)--A year ago Friday, the home of a Connersville city council member was set on fire in a crime that had racial undertones.  Racial slurs had been spray-painted on the walls of the home.  No one was hurt.  Eventually, an Alabama man was charged and the case went to federal court.  Trial was supposed to have taken place next month, but that’s now been pushed back into next year.  There is still nothing of substance in court filings to indicate why the man traveled from Alabama to Connersville to commit the crime.

WANTED ALLEGED ARMED ROBBER CAUGHT AFTER EIGHT-HOUR STANDOFF

(West Manchester, OH)--Tear gas was used to end an eight-hour standoff Wednesday night that ended with an alleged Wayne County armed robber in custody.  Justin Gabbard was determined to be in a home on U.S. 127 near West Manchester.  Here’s Preble County Sheriff Mike Simpson talking about the standoff, which began at 2 o’clock Wednesday afternoon:  "The information we had from Wayne County is that this subject could be armed and dangerous.  He's known to carry a firearm and he's also known to wear body armor, so we took a lot of extra precautions tonight."   At around 9:30 Wednesday night, tear gas was deployed and Gabbard was taken into custody.  Four roads in the area, including 127, were shut down during the standoff.  Gabbard is accused of a committing a Wayne County armed robbery in late August.

RCS BOARD MEMBERS TO PAY THE SAME AS TEACHERS FOR HEALTH INSURANCE

(Richmond, IN)--Without any discussion or fanfare, the Richmond Community School Board on Wednesday night reversed what had upset many teachers earlier this year.  Back in the spring, the Board had determined that its members would pay only a few dollars a year for health insurance while teachers and staffers faced an increase of hundreds of dollars.  On Wednesday night, the Board unanimously approved a resolution that will have its members pay the same for health insurance coverage as the amount paid by teachers.

WANTED ALLEGED GEORGIA MURDERER CAPTURED IN WAYNE COUNTY

(Cambridge City, IN)--An alleged murderer was captured in Cambridge City Wednesday.  The Indiana State Police worked a tip that 45-year-old Jason Palmer, who lives in Massachusetts and was wanted for a murder in Georgia, was in a parked semi at the back of the Sinclair Gas State at State Road 1 and I-70.  Palmer was taken into custody there without incident.  He was being held in the Wayne County Jail Thursday morning without bond until he can be extradited back to Georgia.  Charges there include murder and concealing death.

RCS BOARD TO REVISIT CONTROVERSIAL HEALTH INSURANCE ISSUE

(Richmond, IN)--On Wednesday afternoon, the Richmond Community School Board will revisit what was a highly controversial issue earlier this year.  Board members had been positioned to receive health insurance benefits for only a few dollars per year, while most RCS teachers and staff members faced much higher premiums that included a large increase.  This was the president of the teachers’ union, or REA, Kelly McDermott back in April:  "In fact, effective January 1, employees in the group health insurance plan got hit with a $480-per-year increase."  On Wednesday, the Board will address a resolution that states "a Board member’s share of the total premium shall be equal to, but not greater than, the total premium paid by plan participants who are members of the REA."  Wednesday’s meeting begins at 5:30.

ALLEGED DRUG DEALER RETURNED TO RICHMOND FROM DAYTON

(Richmond, IN)--A Richmond woman who had been in jail on a theft charge in Dayton is now facing much more serious charges back home.  Deputies went to Dayton Tuesday to bring back 49-year-old Tracy Mays.  She’s now charged in Wayne County with dealing cocaine or other narcotic drugs in Wayne County.  Details of those alleged drug sales have not been released.  Mays was being held Wednesday morning without bond.

CRASH SHUTS DOWN I-70, SENDS MULTIPLE PEOPLE TO REID HEALTH

(Wayne County, IN)--A multi-vehicle accident shut down eastbound I-70 Tuesday afternoon.  It happened at around 1:30 near the Washington Road overpass between Centerville and Cambridge City.  Four vehicles were involved in the crash, which forced eastbound traffic to be diverted onto U.S. 40.  At least two people were sent to Reid Health.  Their identities and conditions have not been released.  Another woman went to Reid Health by ambulance, but not because of the crash itself.  She was in labor and had become stuck in traffic.  There’s no word on what caused the crash.  Eastbound I-70 was shut down for more than an hour.

LIQUOR STORE ROBBED AT GUNPOINT

(Richmond, IN)--There was an armed robbery in Richmond late Monday night.  According to scanner traffic, the suspect entered a liquor store on South 9th Street wearing a red and black ski mask.  The suspect then pointed a gun at an employee, demanded cash, and then fled.  Police officers with a canine responded.  The suspect is thought to have fled north through an alley.  That person was still on the loose Tuesday morning.  No injuries were reported.

AREA SEES BIG DROP IN UNEMPLOYMENT

(Whitewater Valley)--There’s been a big drop in unemployment across the Whitewater Valley.  Numbers released Monday show that Wayne County’s unemployment rate has dropped from three percent last month to 2.3%.  That’s the lowest rate since last December and the second-lowest this century.  233 more residents are working now than were last month.  Other area counties saw similar drops in unemployment rates.  That includes Union County, which is down to just 1.3% unemployment.  Rates for Ohio counties come out later this week.

WANTED ALLEGED METH DEALER CAUGHT MONDAY NIGHT

(Richmond, IN)--A wanted alleged methamphetamine dealer was taken into custody Monday night.  RPD officers located 51-year-old Tim Carico at around 10 o’clock Monday night a home in the 200 block of North 12th.  Carico is no stranger to the Wayne County legal system.  He has seven previous felony arrests, including four in the last two years.  Two of those felony cases are still pending.  Both of those cases include the charge of being a serious violent felon in possession of a handgun.

NEATHERY FILES FOR POST-CONVICTION RELIEF IN TREMELL CARPENTER SHOOTING

(Richmond, IN)--The Richmond teen who shot and killed Tremell Carpenter has filed for post-conviction relief.  Austin Neathery was sentenced earlier this year to 30 years in prison with ten suspended for shooting and killing teen Tremell Carpenter in May of 2018.  Post-conviction relief is a process in which the defendant challenges some portion of the criminal trial.  The hearing on that challenge is not currently scheduled until next August.  Neathery remains behind bars in state prison.

SHERIFF IDENTIFIES JAILER OVERCOME BY FENTANYL

(Richmond, IN)--Last week, Kicks 96 and 101.7 The Point News reported that a Wayne County law enforcement agent had become overcome by fentanyl at the Wayne County Jail and had to be revived with three doses of Narcan.  Over the weekend, Sheriff Randy Retter provided an update.  That person was identified as Jail Deputy Brandon Creech.  Retter said that Creech collapsed shortly after removing a baggie from Daniel Cox.  Creech was released after a few hours of observation at Reid Health.  Cox could face additional charges.

LOGJAM UNDER RAILROAD TRESTLE BURNS FOR SECOND TIME IN A WEEK

(Laurel, IN)--A week ago, a logjam underneath a railroad trestle on the Whitewater River near Laurel caught fire.  Inspectors were brought to the scene to check the trestle’s integrity.  Then, on Saturday, it happened again.  This time, the logjam was fully engulfed when firefighters arrived.  Multiple agencies responded.  It took three hours to get it out.  The fire is under investigation.  Officials have not said if there’s additional damage to the trestle.

MUCH OF WHITEWATER VALLEY NOW OFFICIALLY IN DROUGHT

(Whitewater Valley)--Parts of the Whitewater Valley are now officially in a drought.  The US Drought Monitor releases a new map every Thursday.  Yesterday’s map shows that nearly all of Wayne, Preble, Randolph, Darke, and Henry County are in a drought.  All other area counties are classified as abnormally dry.  Officially, Richmond has had only an inch and a half of rain since August 30.  There are numerous burn bans in place locally at both the town and county level.

BELOVED WESTERN WAYNE MAN, YOUTH ADVOCATE, DIES

(Dublin, IN)--A valued member of the Western Wayne community has died.  Mike Buckland died Thursday.  Buckland was the longtime president of the Dublin Community Club and had been a huge supporter of youth in the area for decades and organized numerous events, including the St. Jude Skateathon.  One resident called Buckland the icon of the Dublin Park.  Services for Mike Buckland are pending.

SHOTS FIRED INTO LAKENGREN HOME

(Lakengren, OH)--An investigation is continuing after shots were fired into a home in the Preble County community of Lakengren.  It happened late Wednesday night on Hatchet Drive.  Multiple shots were fired in rapid succession.  One of the rounds ended up in a couch.  No one was injured.  Deputies responded and searched the area with canines, but no shooter could be located.

LOCAL LAW ENFORCEMENT AGENCIES DEALING WITH STAFF SHORTAGES, RESIGNATIONS

(Whitewater Valley)--Several area law enforcement agencies are dealing with resignations and short staffing.  "We're  having problems with manpower again.  And it's not just our agency - it's other agencies as well," said Centerville Police Chief Ed Buchholz at a recent town council meeting.  It’s affected not only Centerville, but also Richmond police, the Wayne County Sheriff’s Department, and Cambridge City police as well.  The situation has created, in effect, a bidding war for officers.  "We've had some county officers over here recruiting my people.  This is a continual thing going on," Buchholz added.  Wayne County Sheriff Randy Retter has also recently addressed staff shortages with Wayne County Commissioners.

REID BREAKS GROUND ON NEW CONNERSVILLE HOSPITAL

(Connersville, IN)--Groundbreaking ceremonies were held Wednesday for Reid Health’s brand new hospital in Connersville.  That hospital will cover 177,000 square feet at the former Kmart location on Park Road.  It’s a $100 million project that will replace the facility that has stood for decades on Virginia Avenues.  Representatives of Reid Health, Connersville, Fayette County, and even students from Grandview Elementary were on hand to take part in Wednesday’s groundbreaking.  The new facility is expected to open in about two years.  Now that Reid Health has broken ground on its new hospital on Park Road in Connersville, what will become of the current hospital on Virginia Avenue?  According to Reid, the plan is to "tear it down, fill in the hole, level the dirt, and put grass down."  One of the reasons Reid sought a new location is because needed renovations to the old structure would be cost prohibitive.  Reid indicated that, due to the building’s configuration, it would not be marketable to another entity.

MAN WHO THREATENED "MASSACRE" IN 2019 JAILED AGAIN

(Dublin, IN)--A young Wayne County man who, three years ago, had threatened to "massacre" people in Cambridge City was back behind bars Thursday morning.  Jakob Gaddis, who is now 22, was taken into custody Wednesday at his home in Dublin after a warrant was issued earlier in the week.  The warrant was to revoke Gaddis’ probation on a drug-dealing conviction.  That revocation is based on a new charge of pointing a firearm at another person last month.  Gaddis was being held Friday morning without bond.

WAYNE COUNTY LAW ENFORCEMENT AGENT REVIVED WITH NARCAN AFTER EXPOSURE

(Richmond, IN)--There were a couple of drug-related incidents overnight, including one that involved a Wayne County law enforcement agent.  Late Tuesday night, an officer was exposed to Fentanyl at the Wayne County Jail.  That officer had to be given three doses of the opioid-reversing drug Narcan and was taken to Reid Health.  After the Narcan was administered, the officer was conscious and speaking.  Also Tuesday night, two girls – possibly juveniles – overdosed near 17th and East Main.  One was unconscious and unresponsive.  Both were revived.  Their current conditions have not been released.

MAN CHARGED WITH CRIMINAL RECKLESSNESS AFTER DRUG ARREST

(Richmond, IN)--A Richmond man has been charged with criminal recklessness with a deadly weapon as the result of a drug arrest Tuesday night near 14th and North E Street.  That’s where officers took 35-year-old Daniel Cox into custody.  The recklessness charge is often connected to firing a weapon, but recently has been applied when first responders are exposed to lethal drugs.  Cox was also charged with possessing cocaine or narcotic drug and marijuana.  The quantity of drugs that were recovered has not been released.

LIFE EXPECTANCIES FOR AREA COUNTIES RELEASED

(Whitewater Valley)--On Tuesday, Kicks 96 and 101.7 The Point News reported that new numbers show that life expectancy of Wayne County residents dropped more than any other Indiana county in the last decade and is down to 72.9 years.  Here’s where some of the other area county’s stand.  A Fayette County resident now has an even lower life expectancy than a Wayne County resident…just 72.3 years.  But, residents of bordering Franklin County can expect to live five full years longer – 77.4 years.  That’s the highest life expectancy of any county in our area.  Here's where other area counties stand:  Union, 76.  Randolph, 75.1.  Henry, 75.2.  Preble, 75.7.  Darke, 76.3.

LIBERTY POLICE OFFICER INVOLVED IN CRASH

(Liberty, IN)--In Liberty, a police officer was involved in an accident Tuesday night.  It happened at around 8 o’clock at the intersection of College Corner Avenue and Seminary Street.  According to scanner traffic, the officer’s vehicle was struck while he was stopped at the intersection.  The other driver was reportedly non-verbal and was taken to a hospital.  That driver’s identity and extent of injuries has not been released.  The officer was not injured.  The Indiana State Police is handling the investigation.

WAYNE COUNTY'S LIFE EXPECTANCY DROPS MORE THAN ANY OTHER INDIANA COUNTY

(Wayne County, IN)--Wayne County’s life expectancy is falling faster than any other county in Indiana.  That’s according to a new report issued by the Indiana Business Research Center.  Listen to this:  back in 2012, a Wayne County resident could expect to live – on average – 77.1 years.  Now, just ten years later, that number has dropped from 77.1 years to 72.9 years.  Wayne County now has the second-lowest life expectancy in the state, and it’s a full decade less than longest life expectancy.  The report says that life expectancy is being skewed by residents who die at a young age from drug overdose.

LARGE SENIOR HOUSING DEVELOPMENT PLANNED FOR GARWOOD ROAD

(Richmond, IN)--A large new senior housing community is in the works for Richmond.  Richmond Common Council on Monday night learned of plans to develop 26 multi-family units near the south end of Garwood Road – just north of the pond at the intersection of Garwood and Wernle Road.  "The establishment plan show a total of 26 multi-family structures totalling 232 dwelling units," explained a city representative Monday night.  That’s a city representative last night.  Plans call for plenty of amenities.  "A fitness center, event center, playground, dog park, putting green, and walking paths," the representative said.  The request was referred to the Plan Commission and will come back before council at a later date.

MAN JAILED TUESDAY MORNING ON SHOOTING CHARGE

(Richmond, IN)--A Richmond man was jailed Tuesday morning on a charge of Criminal Recklessness – Shooting a Firearm Into a Building.  20-year-old Anthony Marlatt was taken into custody at a home near South 15th and A and booked into the Wayne County Jail wearing a Marge Simpson T-shirt at 3:10 Tuesday morning.  Details of what occurred have not been released.  There were no initial reports of injury.  Marlatt is also charged with disorderly conduct and public intoxication.  Marlatt spent a week in jail earlier this year for carrying a handgun without a permit.

SEVEN AREA FIELD FIRES BREAK OUT IN WINDY, DRY CONDITIONS

(Whitewater Valley)--Dry conditions and steady winds Sunday fueled multiple field fires across the Whitewater Valley.  The largest was just outside of Boston.  Crews from multiple agencies responded to the area of Kitchel Road.  At roughly the same time, there was a bean field on fire at Washington Road west of Centerville.  There were two more field fires in Randolph County and two more in Darke County.  No injuries were reported in any of them.  According to the National Weather Service, Richmond has still had only a trace of rain since fall began 27 days ago.  For our Ohio counties, a burn ban is in place until 6 o’clock each night.

MILTON TOWN COUNCIL PRESIDENT RESCINDS RESIGNATION

(Milton, IN)--Last week, Kicks 96 and 101.7 The Point News reported that Milton Town Council President John Noland had resigned following a heated exchange during last week’s meeting.  Now, Noland has rescinded that resignation with the intent of staying.  Some of the issues that prompted Noland’s resignation included public comment at meetings, the hiring of a young and untrained police officer, and the purchase of a fire truck.  Even though Noland verbally resigned, he did not submit a letter of resignation – which is required by statute.

MULTIPLE CANINES SEARCH PROPERTIES IN DENISE PFLUM CASE

(Fayette County, IN)--A couple of weeks ago, a canine search team went through several properties in Fayette County as a part of the Denise Pflum case.  Denise went missing way back in 1986.  Meanwhile, both candidates for Fayette County Sheriff are now promising to keep the case active.  Here’s Democrat Craig Pennington:  "I can't guarantee that we can ever have a conclusion to that case, but, as sheriff, I promise I would try."  "There have to be answers for what has happened to the Pflums' daughter," said Republican Zach Jones.  At least 11 canines searched those undisclosed properties.

DRY CONDITIONS PROMPT RED FLAG WARNING

(Whitewater Valley)--A new drought map was released by the federal government Thursday.  Our area is still classified as abnormally dry, but not in a drought.  But, Friday’s dry conditions combined with gusty winds have prompted a Red Flag Warning from the National Weather Service.  The combination of wind and dry sticks and leaves on the ground make grass fires more likely.  There have been two large grass fires in our area this week.  We are now 22 days into fall.  In that time, officially, Richmond has had only a trace of rain.

CALLS FOR HELP WITH PHYSICAL DOMESTIC DISPUTES RISING STEADILY

(Wayne County, IN)--There has been a huge increase in domestic disputes that have turned physical in Wayne County in recent years.  Listen to these numbers.  Back in 2015, Wayne County dispatchers had a total of 342 calls for help for physical domestic disputes.  By last year, that number had grown steadily and nearly doubled to 608.  This year, it’s on pace to go even higher…up to 662.  There was a call like that Thursday.  Tomi McNew and Lacie Shallenburg were jailed for domestic battery in the presence of a child after an incident on South 5th Street.

TEEN WANTED ON WEAPONS CHARGES CAUGHT AT GREENWOOD APTS

(Richmond, IN)--A wanted Richmond teen was rounded up at the Greenwood Apartments Thursday night.  That’s where police found 19-year-old Brian Dawkins.  Dawkins was wanted on several warrants involving handguns.  He had originally been arrested in June of last year following a shooting on South West 3rd Street.  Two teens were shot in that incident.  Dawkins fled the scene and was eventually captured.  He was being held Friday morning without bond.

CONTRACT FOR NEW FIRE STATION'S DESIGN TO BE ADDRESSED

(Richmond, IN)--The Richmond Board of Public Works meets Thursday.  And, when it does, it will deal with a contract for design services that represents some of the first steps in constructing a new Fire Station #2.  According to the contract, the new fire station would include four bays and seven living quarters.  The contract does not define a specific location, although officials had previously said that a location further west near the Midwest Industrial Park would be sought.  The current Fire Station #2 is on Winding Ridge Drive just off of Chester Boulevard.  The contract also states that the project is in response to Covid-19, including its negative economic impacts.

MAN CHARGED AFTER ALLEGEDLY COLD-COCKING VOLUNTEER FIREFIGHTER

(Brookville, IN)--In Brookville, probable cause was found Wednesday in the case of a man accused of violently attacking a retired Brookville Volunteer Fire Department firefighter at a recent community event.  Witnesses say Tyler Wilson simply cold-cocked Matt Robenstine with no provocation and knocked him unconscious.  Robenstine had to be revived.  Wilson is now charged with Battery Causing Permanent Disfigurement.  The incident happened at the fire department’s reverse raffle two weeks ago.

HEARING THURSDAY NIGHT FOR NEW SOLAR PARK IN WAYNE COUNTY

(Wayne County, IN)--A public hearing is set for Thursday night for a proposed new solar park in Wayne County.  This one would cover 28 acres and would be located in the area of the intersection of Round Barn and Gates Road near Centerville.  An IMPA power station already exists there.  The park would include more than 13,000 panels with construction starting next spring or summer.  Thursday night’s meeting is a 6 o’clock in the Wayne County Administration Building.

MILTON TOWN COUNCIL PRESIDENT RESIGNS AFTER HEATED MEETING

(Milton, IN)--Tempers boiled over at Tuesday night’s meeting of the Milton Town Council and ended with the resignation of the president.  Some of the complaints began last month when Council President John Noland indicated during a public meeting that he had hired a young man to be the town's marshal.  That attempted hiring was done before the candidate had gone for formal training.   When other council members objected, Noland got into a brief dispute with a man in the audience.  Then, Tuesday night, a council member challenged Noland on the purchase of a new fire truck.  Noland, as a result, immediately resigned Tuesday night.

EARY VOTING BEGINS WEDNESDAY

(Wayne County, IN)--In-person absentee voting, which is often referred to as early voting, gets underway Wednesday across the Whitewater Valley in advance of next month’s general election.  In Wayne County, it takes place in the Voter Registration Office on the second floor of the courthouse.  It will continue until the day before Election Day.  Four vote centers will open the week before Election Day, and eight centers will be open across Wayne County on November 8.

MAN JAILED AFTER OWI CHASE

(Richmond, IN)--An alleged drunken driver led Richmond police on a chase Tuesday night.  Officers tried to stop a man later identified as 59-year-old David Haynes in the area of Chester Boulevard at Reid Health.  Haynes fled west and crashed at Industries Road and Union Pike.  His blood alcohol content was in excess of .18.  No other injuries were reported.  Haynes now faces several charges.

MORE EV CHARGING STATIONS COMING TO INDIANA

(Indianapolis, IN) -- Indiana is inching closer to having more electric vehicle charging stations throughout the state.  The Federal Highway Administration recently approved Indiana’s plan to use funding from the National Electric Vehicle Infrastructure Program to build out a statewide electric vehicle charging network.  The plan would add a charging station every 50 miles on major highways and interstates.  

 

Indiana Department of Transportation states their goal is to determine exactly where the charging stations would go in mid-2023 and installation would begin after.  This new plan would add roughly 40 public charging stations to Indiana.

GAS PRICES SPIKE OVER 20 CENTS LAST WEEK

(Indiana) -- The average gas prices in Indiana continue to rise.  According to the gas price monitoring website GasBuddy, the average price per gallon rose 22.4 cents in the last week in Indiana, averaging $4.22 per gallon today.  Prices in Indiana are up 41.1 cents per gallon than a month ago and are 95.7 cents per gallon higher than a year ago.  

 

The National average price of diesel has also increased.  It is up 18 cents in the last week and stands at $5.04 per gallon.  The decision by oil producing nations that make up OPEC to cut their oil production, as well as refinery issues are the main cause of the continued price increase.

EARLY IN-PERSON VOTING BEGINS TOMORROW

(Wayne County, IN) -- Early, in-person voting in the 2022 general election starts tomorrow across the state. And today is the last chance for Hoosiers to register or update their registration in order to cast a ballot this year.  

 

If needed, you can register or update your registration in-person at their local election administrator’s office by the close of business today. But you have until midnight if you visit IndianaVoters.com.  On that site, voters can also see who’s on their ballot, find their polling place and view the early, in-person voting hours and location in their county.  

 

For Wayne County, the Clerk's office at 301 E Main St will be open for early voting beginning tomorrow from 8:30 am to 4:30 pm and will be open Monday through Fridays leading up to election day, November 8th, and will also be open Saturday October 29th and Saturday November 5th from 9 to 4 each day.  

 

Additional early voting locations will be opened between Monday, October 31st and Friday November 4th at The Golay Center in Cambridge City, First English Lutheran Church on National Road East in Richmond, Hagerstown New Testament Church on W Main Street in Hagerstown and First Bank Kuhlman Center on Salisbury Road in Richmond.  The Kuhlman Center location will also have early voting hours on Saturday October 29th, and Saturday, November 5th from 10 to 3 pm.

WAYNE COUNTY COUNCIL APPROVES RAISES

(Richmond, IN) -- The Wayne County Council has voted for a 6 1/2% pay raise for county employees for 2023.  The decision will still require the Council to approve the overall budget during its October 19th meeting.  

 

In other Council business, Wayne County Sheriff Randy Retter received permission to hire up to 10 part-time jail workers to deal with staffing shortages.  Council members also approved the job description for a Hoosier Enduring Legacy Program coordinator and authorized posting the job.  Clerk Debbie Berry received the council's support to hire a part-time employee to assist her two criminal case clerks.

RICHMOND MAN SENTENCED FOR CHILD MOLESTATION

(Richmond, IN) -- A Richmond man was sentenced to six years of prison after pleading guilty to two child molesting counts.  Shayne Beare, 36, agreed to a plea agreement with the Wayne County Prosecutor's Office on two Level 4 felonies.  Two other felony charges were dismissed.  

 

As part of the plea deal, Beare was sentenced to 8 years with two years suspended to probation on each count.  Each count will be served concurrently.  Beare, who has been in jail since his November 2020 arrest, is now awaiting transfer to the Indiana Department of Corrections.  

SHERIFF'S PATROLMAN IN CRASH WITH SUSPECTED DRUNK DRIVER

 

(Richmond, IN) -- From our news gathering partner Fox 59, A Richmond woman was arrested this past weekend after colliding with a Wayne County Sheriff's patrolman's vehicle while suspected of driving intoxicated.  Patrolman TJ Brown barely avoided a head-on collision with the 28-year-old but wasn't able to avoid her hitting the rear of his vehicle.

 

The accident and subsequent arrest occurred on US 40 near Salisbury Road. The collision resulted in minor injuries to the woman, but Patrolman Brown was unharmed.  According to the Sheriff's department, the woman later tested more than four times the legal limit for intoxication.  She was arrested on suspicion of several driving violations.

TODAY IS COLUMBUS DAY

Today is officially Columbus Day in Indiana and "indigenous People's Day" in other states and cities around the nation.  And all federal and states governments offices will be closed today as will the post office.  All mail services will resume tomorrow. Additionally, most banks will also be closed today.  

VOTER REGISTRATION TO OCTOBER 11TH

 

(Wayne County, OH) -- The mid-term elections are less than a month away, and tomorrow, Tuesday October 11th, is the final day for Hoosiers needing to register to vote for the first time, or to update an outdated address or check their registration.

 

You can do so by visiting indianavoters.com or your local voter registration office.

 

In Wayne County, that office is located on the 2nd floor of the courhouse at 301 E Main Street.  All mailed ballots must be requested 12 days prior to election day, which is scheduled for Tuesday, November 8th.

RICHMOND ADDRESSING CLIMATE CHANGE

(Richmond, IN) -- Richmond is one of two Indiana communities to officially lay out their road maps to address climate change, the result of a multi-year process in partnership with Indiana University's Environmental Resilience Institute's Resilience Cohort program.  The plan details a vision by community leaders to reduce local greenhouse gas emissions, and protect residents and businesses from climate change impacts, such as extreme heat and precipitation, and covers nearly 70 strategies, spanning energy, transportation, and wastewater management.

 

Additionally, it includes guidelines to help increase the resilience of buildings, adopt sustainable land use policies, and promote economic development.  Richmond is one of 17 Indiana communities partnering in the program and has been involved with ERI's Resilience Cohort program since 2019.  

 

Details of the Climate Action Plan can be found on the city's richmondindiana.gov website.  

ATV CRASH SENDS TWO TO HOSPITAL

 

(Darke County, OH) -- A Friday morning call by Darke County deputies, along with Ansonia Fire and Rescue, resulted in a CareFlight of two individuals after an ATV crash.  Charles Marsh Jr, 49, of Ansonia, was driving a Polaris ATV, along with his passenger John Dircksen, 35, when the vehicle rolled over, injuring both.  

 

Both Marsh and Dircksen were taken to Miami Valley Hospital aboard CareFlight for their injuries.  No further details are available as to their conditions.

VICTIM IDENTIFIED IN DARKE COUNTY SHOOTING

(Darke County, OH) -- A follow up to a story reported last week by Jeff Lane.  Darke County authorities have identified the victim in the shooting last Thursday night.  Police responded to a call around 7:30 that evening of someone shot at a residence on Smith Road.  

 

Police unites arrived on scene to find a man, now identified as William Duncan, 62, of Darke County dead of a gunshot wound.  Sheriff's deputies took William Fields, 58, into custody and has been charged with murder.  His bail was set at $150,000.

CLOSE CALL FOR EATON STUDENTS ON SCHOOL BUS

(Eaton, OH) -- Students riding on an Eaton Community Schools bus last week had a close call after a window was shattered by an unknown projectile while several students were onboard.  The incident happened last Tuesday on US 127 north of Eaton just before 4 pm and initially it was thought that the window was hit by a stray bullet.  

 

The police investigation, however, determined the window was shattered by a BB fired by a child who was near the road in a wooded area and was firing at birds.  

 

No one was hurt and the investigation by the Preble County Sheriff's department determined criminal charges were not warranted and are not expected to be filed.

WAYNE COUNTY DRUG TASK FORCE SUPERVISOR CONVICTED OF CRIME

(Richmond, IN)--A long-time Richmond police officer has been removed from the force after pleading guilty to a crime.  Scott Crull pled guilty last month to refusal to aid an officer.  Crull’s criminal case, including the initial hearing, plea hearing, and sentencing took only days.  Often, that process can take more than a year.  What is also unusual is that there was no probable cause affidavit, so details of exactly what Crull did remain unclear.  Crull was the supervisor of the Wayne County Drug Task Force.  The charges appear to stem from a drug bust on Salisbury Road nearly a year ago.  A special prosecutor indicated that Crull showed up in an area outside of his jurisdiction – possibly to tip off suspects that a search was coming.  As part of the case, Crull has agreed to give up his law enforcement certification.

Note from News Director:  There have been some people who have accused me of refusing to cover this story.  I have known about it for more than ten days and had planned to run it next week. There was no way in the world I was going to run this story so close to the time that another RPD officer was being buried. Even though the crime involved only one officer, there are those who I knew would invariably criticize the entire department. I was not going to contribute to that kind of innuendo when the entire department was grieving the loss of Seara Burton.  Crull's court procedings happened only two days after Seara died.  I had planned to run the story next week, but I aired it Friday instead after another news outlet ran it Wednesday.  -Jeff Lane

MAN SHOT, KILLED IN DARKE COUNTY

(Darke County,  OH)--There was a murder Thursday night in rural Darke County.  Deputies were called to the 5000 block of Smith Road at around 7:30 Thursday night.  That’s a few miles east of Spartanburg near the state line.  There, police found a man dead from a gunshot wound near the back door of a home.  Two adult witnesses cooperated with investigators, and 58-year-old William Fields was taken into custody and charged with murder.  "This is not something that happens every day.  But, unfortunately, we have a tragic situation and we are going to get to the bottom of it," said Darke County Sheriff Mark Whittaker.  The victim’s name has not yet been released.  There’s also no word yet on what led to the fatal shooting.

WANTED METH SUSPECT CAPTURED AFTER FOOT CHASE

(Richmond, IN)--A wanted Richmond man was captured following a foot chase through a residential area early Friday morning.  36-year-old Joseph Fields had been wanted for meth possession.  Police located him Friday morning in the Fairview area.  Fields fled on foot through back yards and allies and was eventually captured on North West J Street.  Fields allegedly had more meth on him – along with drug paraphernalia – when he was captured Friday morning.

REID TO BREAK GROUND ON NEW $100 MILLION HOSPITAL IN CONNERSVILLE

(Connersville, IN)--Groundbreaking has been set for either October 19 or 20 for a massive project that will result in a brand-new hospital for Connersville.  Reid Health will invest more than $100 million into the property on Park Road that was once home to Kmart.  Reid purchased that site early last year.  The new facility will replace the current hospital building on Virginia Avenue.  A hospital has been located there for more than a hundred years, and Reid officials say it’s better to start over with a new building rather than try to renovate the aging structure.  The new hospital will cover 177,000 square feet over two stories.  It’s expected to take about two years to construct.

SHIPMAN: NO COMMENT ON PHILLIP LEE CRIMINAL CASE

(Richmond, IN)--While covering the story of Warm Glow Candle’s $26,000 donation to the Richmond Police Department’s K-9 program Wednesday, Newscenter 7’s John Bedell came into contact with Wayne County Prosecutor Mike Shipman.  Bedell asked Shipman the question that seems to be on the minds of a lot of people…when will the charges against Phillip Lee be updated to reflect the death of Officer Seara Burton?  Shipman’s response, according to Bedell’s tweet, is that he would have no comment on the case.  Lee remains in a northern Indiana prison.

$2 MILLION IN DRUGS, CASH FOUND IN FAYETTE COUNTY

(Fayette County, IN)--There was a massive drug seizure in Fayette County on Wednesday.  The Indiana State Police executed a search warrant at a home on State Road 1 between Connersville and Everton, and listen to what they found inside:  309 pounds of packaged marijuana with a street value over $1.4 million and 34 pounds of THC wax with a street value of $300,000.  There were 14,000 vape cartridges worth another $280,000.  Investigators also found $100,000 in cash.  Three people were charged.  They were identified as Tristen Sweney, Nokomus Nicholson, and Michael Hockersmith.  There was also a toddler in the house who was turned over to CPS.

SEARA BURTON'S POLICE VEHICLE TO BE PLACED IN PERMANENT LOCATION

(Richmond, IN)--If you’ve been by the Richmond Municipal Building in the last couple of days, you may have noticed that the tribute to Officer Seara Burton – which included her police vehicle – has been removed.  Richmond Mayor Dave Snow said that the vehicle is being moved to a new, permanent location and that more information about that would be shared soon.  Meanwhile, area businesses continue to contribute to local law enforcement in response to Seara’s death.  Tuesday, the Warm Glow Candle Company in Centerville presented RPD with a check for $26,000 that was the result of sales of thin blue line candles that they made and sold for a week.

COUNCIL EXPRESSES CONCERN WITH FUTURE BUDGETS

(Richmond, IN)--Even though Richmond Common Council passed the city’s budget for next year earlier this week, several council members have expressed concern about what lies further down the road.  2023’s budget is balanced due largely to almost $1.6 million in American Rescue Plan money that’s tied to Covid-19.  That money will be available again in ’24, but in ’25 it will not be there.  One issue putting pressure on the budget is overtime by first responders.  Council hopes that’s alleviated with additional hirings, including six first responders that have been sworn in in the last week.

250-PERSON HIRING EVENT, ANNEXATION HIGHLIGHT LEWISBURG GROWTH

(Lewisburg, OH)--Growth is coming to the Lewisburg area of Preble County.  A hiring event is coming soon for the Royal Canin development.  That pet food manufacturer is expected to hire 250 people at its new facility just south of I-70.  An area nearby that will be used for a housing development has been annexed into the village.  The new land should be in Lewisburg’s possession by the end of the year.  There’s no word on a specific date for the hiring event.

CONTINUANCE GRANTED IN TRIAL OF ACCUSED OFFICER SHOOTER

(Richmond, IN)--A pretrial hearing was held Monday in the case of Phillip Lee.  He’s the man accused of shooting and killing Richmond Police Officer Seara Burton.  Lee’s court-appointed attorney asked for and was granted a continuance in the case.  Continuances are requested and granted routinely in Wayne County criminal cases.  Often, it happens three or more times before a case is actually settled.  Lee’s continuance on Monday pushes his scheduled trial date back from November 1 to December 27.  Online court records do not show a change in the charges Lee faces based on Officer Burton’s death.  He’s still charged with three counts of attempted murder.

PRIMEX DISCUSSES SEARA BURTON MURAL DETAILS

(Richmond, IN)--Here’s more on plans by Primex Plastics to convert signs of support for Officer Seara Burton in a mural honoring her and other first responders.  Primex had printed 4100 signs that dotted yards and businesses across the city.  When people heard about the mural, they quickly returned those signs to Primex.  "They filled up all weekend.  That was great to see.  The more we can get back, the larger we can make the mural," said Doug Borgsdorf with Primex, who also provided some more details about the mural on Monday.  "We're gonna look at all the images that people posted throughout social media - pictures that her family had provided that we printed during her memorial service - and create a one-time-only piece of art  that will represent first responders as well as her memory."  One larger mural will be displayed at the police and fire training center.  Smaller murals will go to Seara’s family.  Bins to return the signs will remain in place at Primex through the end of next week.

LOWER PERCENTAGE OF RESIDENTS OF NCC CITIES, INCLUDING RICHMOND, WORK

(Richmond, IN)--Last week, Kicks 96 and The Point News reported new state numbers showing that just under 40% of Richmond residents are working.  That’s people of all ages, including those too young or too old to have a job.  Many people responded to that report and wondered where Richmond ranks with other Indiana cities of similar size.  The results show how demographics are shifting.  Cities with schools in the North Central Conference like Richmond, Muncie, Marion, Anderson, and Kokomo all have between 39 and 43% of their residents working.  Those cities have historically had similar demographics and have been largely dependent on big manufacturers.  Other Indiana communities, though, have a much higher percentage of residents working.  Franklin and Zionsville, for instance, are over 50%, and Brownsburg has 61% of its residents working.

MAN CHARGED WITH OFFICER'S SHOOTING DUE FOR HEARING MONDAY

(Richmond, IN)--According to Odyssey online court records, the man accused of shooting and killing Richmond Police Officer Seara Burton is due for a pre-trial hearing in Wayne Circuit Court Monday morning.   Those records also indicate that Phillip Lee is still charged with three counts of attempted murder.   Jail records on Monday morning indicate that Lee has not been returned to the Wayne County Jail for Monday’s hearing.  He is being held in a northern Indiana prison.  There has been no court activity in Lee’s case since Seara’s death two weeks ago.  Lee is set for trial on November 1, although that date will almost certainly be pushed back.

BOX TRUCK CRASH CLOSES STATE ROAD 1

(Milton, IN)--Traffic on State Road 1 near Milton hwas affected by a crash Monday morning.  It happened at around 5 o’clock Monday morning near Nickel Plate Road – not far from Stant’s Curve.  A box truck was located on its side.  According to scanner traffic, the person who called 911 to alert first responders to the crash could not find a driver in the area.

RICHMOND ANNOUNCES LEAF PICKUP TIMES

(Richmond, IN)--The city of Richmond has announced leaf collection times for this fall.  Monday, October 17 is the day that collections will begin in nearly all areas of the city.  As is the case every year, the city says that other things like grass clippings, sticks, and garden waste should be kept out of the piles.  Leaf collections will continue until the middle of December.

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