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NORTHEASTERN RELEASES STATEMENT ABOUT ADMINISTRATIVE LEAVE

(Fountain City, IN)--Northeastern Superintendent Laura Blessing sent a statement to parents Thursday which further confirms what was exclusively reported by Kicks 96 and 101.7 The Point on Thursday morning.  Although the statement does not mention Assistant Superintendent Eric Green, it does say that an administrative employee is on administrative leave.  The Indiana State Police continued with the early stages of an investigation Thursday, although the specific subject of the investigation has not been made public.  In the statement, Blessing cautioned parents about information on social media, saying that it’s not necessarily factual or accurate.  She added that Northeastern will continue to work with authorities as the investigation continues.


ALLEGED DRUG DEALER ARRESTED DURING SWAT RAID

(Richmond, IN)--The SWAT Team executed a search warrant at a home in the 1200 block of South 3rd in Richmond Thursday morning, and a Dayton man is facing a host of serious felonies as a result.  30-year-old Dion Collins has been charged with dealing narcotic drugs, possession of methamphetamine, and possession of a firearm by a serious violent felon.  Four years ago, Collins crashed into a home in Trotwood while trying to flee from police with drugs and guns.  The Wayne County Jail was inundated Thursday night and Friday morning with calls asking about whether or not Collins was still behind bars.


ARREST MADE IN CONNERSVILLE SHOOTING

(Connersville, IN)--An arrest has been made in connection with a Connersville shooting that happened earlier this month.  23-year-old Ryan Spurlock was located Thursday on West 20th Street hours after police had made a public appeal for help in locating him.  Spurlock was allegedly involved when a man was shot in the leg on Indiana Avenue on February 2.  He’s been charged with aggravated battery with a deadly weapon and criminal recklessless.  Investigators say more charges are likely.


STATE POLICE INITIATE INVESTIGATION AT NORTHEASTERN WAYNE SCHOOLS

(Fountain City, IN)--The Indiana State Police is in the very early stages of an investigation into a high-ranking administrator at Northeastern Wayne Schools.  A state police spokesperson on Wednesday confirmed the organization had been contacted, but declined to name the individual or the subject of the investigation.  It is the policy of the State Police not to comment on the specifics on ongoing investigations.  Other Northeastern employees, though, were questioning the status of Assistant Superintendent Eric Green Wednesday.  On Wednesday afternoon, Superintendent Laura Blessing gathered teachers together and told them to expect big news Thursday, but declined to give specifics or answer the teachers’ questions in a meeting that lasted only a couple of minutes.  Blessing refused to return calls from Kicks 96 and The Point News  Wednesday, just as she did when Principal Wes Wisner was put on leave two years ago and again last month when Principal Matt Truesdell was also on leave.  An email to the President of the Northeastern School Board seeking additional information has also gotten no response.


ALLEGED DRUG DEALER BONDS OUT HOURS AFTER ARREST

(Richmond, IN)--It didn’t take long for an alleged Richmond drug dealer to bond out of jail.  38-year-old Ryan Richardson was jailed Wednesday night on charges that include dealing marijuana and possession of methamphetamine, heroin, cocaine, and paraphernalia.  Richardson was arrested in the 1500 block of East Main and jailed, but was free Thursday morning.  The quantity of drugs recovered has not been released.    Richardson’s home was the scene of a Richmond murder in 2015.  The suspect in that case later died in the Wayne County Jail.


PREBLE COUNTY RAPIST SENTENCED

(Eaton, OH)--A Preble County rapist has been sentenced to a decade in prison.  The sentence was imposed after 59-year-old Martin Burnett took an Alford plea.  Burnett had possessed child pornography, but photoshopped the faces of his own young family member over the faces of the children depicted.  At sentencing, that family member said that she was assaulted at least three times when she was six years old.  Burnett will have to register as a sex offender upon his release.


ORDINANCE FOR MILESTONE PLANT DENIED

(Richmond, IN)--After a lengthy discussion with citizens and representatives of Milestone Contractors, Richmond Common Council Tuesday night unanimously denied an ordinance that would’ve allowed Milestone to operate an asphalt mixing plant on U.S. 27 just north of I-70.  The sentiment was the same from citizens like this one..."if you want to relocate, go to where it's already industrial," she said.  Council member Bill Engle echoed that sentiment "I do not think this is the best place for this projected.  Mayor Dave Snow also weighed in.  "It becomes apparent that this particular project is just not an appropriate fit, and I would stand behind our Planning Department's recommendation of denial," Snow said.  Residents expressed concerns about traffic, smell, and potential water contamination.  Some city leaders said they hoped that Milestone would pursue a different location.


COUNCIL PASSES RP&L RATE INCREASE

(Richmond, IN)--Richmond Common Council Tuesday night approved an ordinance for a rate increase for Richmond Power & Light.  But last night’s passage does not mean that a rate increase is a done deal.  It still has to get the approval of the Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission, and that process will take several months.  The proposed increase would be less than ten dollars for a typical residential customer and would be phased in over three years beginning next year.  RP&L has not had a rate increase in the last 15 years.


TWO ARRESTED FOR DRUG POSSESSION

(Richmond, IN)--North 7th and C Street is where two Richmond residents were taken into custody Tuesday night on a variety of drug charges.  45-year-old Elijah Nugent and 61-year-old Gina Altom were behind bars Wednesday morning facing charges that include possession of methamphetamine, controlled substances, paraphernalia, and syringes.  The quantity of drugs recovered has not been released.


COUPLE ARRESTED WITH METH NEAR BABY IN WALMART PARKING LOT

(Richmond, IN)--A couple was arrested late Monday night at Richmond’s Walmart, allegedly with drugs and paraphernalia very near their infant child.  Police were initially sent to Walmart on a theft call at around 9 o’clock.  They contacted 40-year-old William Bennington and 28-year-old Tracey Waller, both of Connersville, in the parking lot.  A search turned up methamphetamine, syringes, and drug paraphernalia.  Bennington faces multiple drug charges.  Waller face charges including felony neglect of a dependent.  The baby was turned over to Child Protective Services.


FIVE NEW CASES OF WAYNE COUNTY SYPHILIS DISCOVERED

(Richmond, IN)--Last month, State Health Department officials went through some areas of Richmond encouraging residents to get tested for syphilis.  Here’s what they found..."They had five people with syphilis," said David Jetmore, who is Wayne County’s public health officer.  "It is substantial to have five new cases of syphilis in a week and a half," added Director of Public Health Christine Stinson.  A total of 11 cases had been found before going door-to-door, bringing the cases in the last year to 16.  "To put that in perspective, we have two or three cases per year," Jetmore explained.  State officials may return next month to initiate another round of testing.


COUNCIL TO ADDRESS MILESTONE RELOCATION, RP&L RATE HIKE

(Richmond, IN)--Richmond Common Council meets Tuesday night with a couple of noteworthy items on the agenda.  Both of those items are on second reading, meaning public comment will be taken.  One ordinance would pave the way – pun intended – for Milestone to create an asphalt mixing plant just north of I-70 along U.S. 27.  Some opponents have expressed concerns about environmental impact and whether or not it’s the best use of the land.  Also Tuesday night, council will address a proposed RP&L rate increase.  The increase would help to offset the cost of the disposal of coal ash, which could reach as high as $55 million.  You can watch Tuesday night’s meeting live on WCTV.


THREE REGIONAL HOSPITALS RANK IN THE TOP 50 NATIONALLY

Three hospitals in our region have been named among the Top 50 hospitals in the country, according to industry analyst Healthgrades.  The rankings measure multiple criteria and cover the last three years of data.  Healthgrades says that your chances of dying are reduced by 26% if treated at one of these hospitals.  The three in our region in the Top 50 are Mercy Health in Fairfield and Bethesda North and the Christ Hospital in Cincinnati.  No Indiana hospitals made the top 50.


OFFICER'S NAME TO BE ADDED TO MONUMENT

(Richmond, IN)--Lots of law enforcement agents turned out Saturday for the funeral of former RPD Officer Kenneth Lester.  Lester died last week from complications from an injury he received while on duty way back in 1995.  Because his death is attributable to that on-duty crash, he became the fifth RDP officer to die in the line of duty.  Lester’s badge number, 149, has been permanently retired.  His name will also be inscribed on the monument in front of the Richmond Municipal Building.


MAN CAUGHT AFTER GREENVILLE-TO-RICHMOND POLICE CHASE

(Richmond, IN)--An Arcanum man was captured near Glen Miller Park after a high-speed chase that began Sunday morning in Greenville.  Police in Greenville tried to pull over 27-year-old Michael White, but White allegedly fled on State Route 121.  He entered Preble County at speeds of 100 miles per hour.  White then turned toward Richmond on U.S. 40 with officers from multiple jurisdictions in pursuit.  It ended near 22nd and East Main.  Officers found meth and drug paraphernalia.  White faces multiple charges.


RCS BOARD DECLINES TO ADDRESS INTERMEDIATE SCHOOL BOUNDARY MODIFICATION

(Richmond, IN)--Potential modifications of the boundaries for Test and Dennis Intermediate Schools were discussed when the Richmond Community School Board met this week.  Chief Operations Officer Rob Tidrow shared with the Board current enrollments at Test and Dennis and presented four-year enrollment forecasts for both schools.  After lots of discussion, the Board had no interest in changing boundary lines.  The Board also approved designs for new bleachers at the Tiernan Center, which will include RHS in black lettering with white shadowing on the east and west upper-level bleachers.


QUAKERTOWN CAUSEWAY EYED FOR REPAIRS OR REPLACEMENT

(Union County, IN)--After being closed much of last year, the Fairfield Causeway over Brookville Lake has been repaired and is open.  Now, attention is turning to the causeway over the northern part of the lake near Quakertown.  That bridge is one of only three pin and hanger bridges left in Indiana.  They’re being phased out due to structural issues.  Union County leaders are preparing for an engineering study that will determine the bridge’s safety and how much money is needed to fix it or replace it.  Repairs to the Fairfield Causeway cost about $2 million.


HEARING SET FOR MARCH 11 IN AUSTIN NEATHERY MURDER CASE

(Richmond, IN)--The legal wrangling continues in the case of accused Richmond murderer Austin Neathery.  Neathery is accused of killing Richmond teen Tremell Carpenter in May of 2018 and then fleeing law enforcement for more than a week.  This week, a hearing date was set for Neathery’s request for forensic testing.  That hearing is set for March 11.  Neathery’s trial is set to begin in late May…two years to the day after Carpenter’s murder.


WESTERN WAYNE BOARD APPROVES PUTTING REFERENDUM ON BALLOT

(Cambridge City, IN)--The Western Wayne School Board voted Wednesday night to let voter decide whether or not additional funding is needed for the school system.  As a result of Wednesday night’s vote, a referendum will appear on a ballot in May that would result in an increase of 19 cents for every $100 of net assessed value.  Without that increase, Western Wayne officials say there could be a reduction in teaching staff, an increase in class size, and the elimination of some other programs and activities.  The school has dipped into its Rainy Day fund in recent years, but that action is non-sustainable in the long term.


RESIDENTS RECEIVE LETTERS ABOUT CAMP CLEMENTS REOPENING

(Abington, IN)--Some residents in the Abington area have received letters recently about an attempted re-opening of the old Camp Clements in southern Wayne County.  The letter states that an informational meeting will take place Thursday night in Commissioners chambers.  Camp Clements hosted thousands of area kids in summers throughout the 60’s, 70’s and 80’s.  The property changed hands last year.  The current owners are living year-round in what was once the lodge.  They say they now want to share it with others on a small-scale basis.


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