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WAYNE, PREBLE SEE HIGHEST COVID-19 CASE COUNTS IN OVER A MONTH

(Wayne County, IN and Preble County, OH)--Wayne County has just had its highest Monday-to-Monday total of Covid-19 cases since early last month.  The county has added 18 cases in the last week.  It’s the most since the county added 19 in the week ending June 7.  Wayne County’s positivity rate has jumped up to 3.6%.  Preble County continues to be the hotspot in our area.  Preble County has added 25 cases since last Monday.  That’s its highest weekly total since late April.  There were four patients in Reid Health containment areas Monday morning.


TWO TEENS BANNED AFTER BRINGING AR-15 RIFLE TO SKATE PARK

(Richmond, IN)--Two teens have been banned from Richmond Parks and Recreation facilities after allegedly bringing a loaded AR-15 rifle to the skate park.  According to the Richmond Police Department, Djuan and Deviante Mathis were pointing the rifle and prompted a police response.  When officers arrived, they found the rifle leaning against a fence and a full magazine in one of the boys’ pockets.  Neither was arrested.  Djuan Mathis has a pending criminal case for pointing a firearm after an arrest in April.


COUPLE RESCUED FROM WHITEWATER RIVER

(Wayne and Fayette County, IN)--A couple that became stranded overnight while floating down the Whitewater River was rescued Sunday morning.  According to a release from the Wayne County Sheriff’s Department, Jesse and Shawna Mohler of Spiceland were floating down the river on a tube when they ripped their tube on a dam late Saturday night.  They called relatives for help, but then could not be located.  First responders searched overnight and found the couple at 7:15 Sunday morning near Whitaker and Neuman Lake Road with the help of a drone.  They were not hurt.


WAYNE COUNTY JOBLESS CLAIMS SPIKE AFTER EXTENSION OF $300 CHECKS

(Wayne County, IN)--A huge jump in Wayne County’s unemployment claims appears to coincide with the announcement that the $300 weekly checks would continue until September according to numbers released Thursday.  Listen to the jobless claims by week recently in Wayne County and you’ll hear the jump when the benefit extension was announced.  50-46-60-59-463.  The same type of jump was seen earlier this year when stimulus checks were distributed.  Then, Wayne County’s claims by week went 132-101-123-763.


DELTA VARIANT NOT INSPIRING WAYNE CO. RESIDENTS TO BECOME VACCINATED

(Wayne County, IN)--Lots of talk about an uptick in Covid-19 due to the Delta variant has apparently not motivated many people to become vaccinated.  Since last Friday, there have been 179 Wayne County residents to become fully vaccinated.  That’s the lowest Friday-to-Friday vaccination total in at least a month.  24,375 Wayne County residents are now fully vaccinated.  That represents 37% of the entire population.  Deducting young children who are not yet eligible raises Wayne County’s vaccination rate to around 42%.


MAN CAPTURED AFTER ELUDING POLICE ON BROOKVILLE LAKE

(Dunlapsville, IN)--There was a police pursuit of a different kind late Thursday afternoon.  Richard Smith was wanted in Union County for domestic battery and strangulation.  Smith fled, but not on the road and not on foot.  Smith took to Brookville Lake in a boat as officers tried to apprehend him.  Scanner traffic indicates Smith was going up and down the lake between the Treaty Line and Dunlapsville boat ramps.  Both the DNR and state police were involved.  Smith was eventually taken into custody, although there’s no word yet on exactly how that occurred.


THURSDAY IS 20-YEAR MARK SINCE NIQUI McCOWN DISAPPEARANCE

(Richmond, IN)--Twenty years ago Thursday is the day that Richmond’s Niqui McCown was seen for the last time.  Niqui vanished from the 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 29 and a mother herself.  She talked about her mom.  "I got married and I went through pregnancy without having that motherly advice.  And that's something that I've always longed for."  On Thursday, an event is scheduled at the laundry where Niqui disappeared.  It’s called “Keep the Light Alive”.  There will be games for kids, food, and a chance for everyone to remember Niqui.  The event runs from 5-8 p.m.


BANE TO RETURN TO ALMA MATER FOR BACK-TO-SCHOOL EVENT

(Richmond, IN)--Richmond’s NBA superstar is giving back to his hometown following a very successful rookie season.  Desmond Bane has set up a website to help Richmond by enabling the purchase of merchandise.  Portions of the proceeds then are given to charitable organizations.  The website is desmond-bane.com.  Bane is also hosting a back-to-school drive at Seton Catholic High School a week from Saturday.  Soon after that, he’ll be heading to Las Vegas to take part in the NBA Summer League.


WAYNE COUNTY HAS SINGLE-HIGHEST COVID-19 DAY SINCE EARLY MAY

(Wayne County, IN)--All Whitewater Valley counties remained in the blue when Indiana’s updated Covid-19 map was released Wednesday.  But, Wayne County did report eight new cases, which is its highest single-day total since it reported nine new cases back on May 7.  Meanwhile, President Biden was within 50 miles of Wayne County Wednesday night to tell a national audience about the effects of Covid-19.  "We've lost more people in the United States than every war we've ever fought.  And that's come to a screeching halt for those who have been vaccinated," Biden said.  Biden pleaded for people to get vaccinated when he addressed the country from Mount St. Joe on Cincinnati’s west side.


SHOOTING UNDER INVESTIGATION

(Webster, IN)--Deputies investigated a shooting Tuesday near Webster.  The initial indication was that the victim shot himself accidentally.  It happened in the 4000 block of Webster Road at around 2:30 Tuesday afternoon.  The victim was taken to Reid Health.  There’s been no word on his identity or condition.  According to scanner traffic, several children were in the house at the time of the shooting.


CENTERVILLE TO SEE CONSTRUCTION TO REMOVE INTERURBAN TIES

(Centerville, IN)--Centerville is the site of a new round of road construction.  From now until sometime around Labor Day, crews will be working to dig out ties from the interurban railroad that connected Centerville and Richmond before there were automobiles.  U.S. 40 was constructed over the top of those ties, and they’ve been in the ground ever since.  Here’s Police Chief Ed Buccholz at a recent meeting of town council.  "Everybody needs to pay close attention to the traffic pattern.  Things will be changing.  We'll be monitoring and doing what we can to get people slowed down."  While one crew takes out the ties, another will be doing backfilling.


BOYS & GIRLS CLUB EXPANDING

(Cambridge City, IN)--The Boys & Girls Club is expanding into Western Wayne County.  The organization announced Tuesday that it will be operating inside the Western Wayne Schools Administration building on Queen Street.  Funding for the project is the result of efforts to offset loss in educational time due to Covid-19.  Kids from ages six to 18 will be able to join for $15 per year.


IU EAST STUDENTS MUST BE VACCINATED FOLLOWING JUDGE'S RULING

(Richmond, IN)--IU East students will be affected by a federal judge’s ruling.  That judge has upheld IU’s vaccination policy that requires students attending any IU campus this fall - including IU East - to have been vaccinated against Covid-19.  A group of students had sought an injunction against the policy.  Proof of vaccine, though, will not be required.  As of Tuesday morning, less than four in ten people of traditional college age across Indiana have received the Covid-19 vaccine.  The students who tried to get an injunction say they’ll appeal the judge’s ruling.


WAYNE COUNTY UNEMPLOYMENT DROPS AS WORKFORCE EXPANDS

(Wayne County, IN)--There is some positive news regarding Wayne County’s unemployment.  According to figures released Monday, Wayne County unemployment rate continues to slowly but steadily drop to pre-Covid-19 numbers.  Wayne County’s rate Tuesday morning stood at 4.4%.  What’s most notable in the new report is the growth in the size of Wayne County’s workforce.  There are now nearly 31,800 people in the local workforce, which is nearly 1500 more people than this time two years ago.


FOUR JAILED AFTER OVERNIGHT BRAWL AT RICHMOND APARTMENT COMPLEX

(Richmond, IN)--There was a large brawl at the Westwood Apartments in Richmond Monday night into Tuesday morning.  It broke out at around midnight and involved about a dozen people.  A large police response resulted in multiple juveniles being taken to police headquarters and four adults going to jail for disorderly conduct.  They include Krisandra Barnett, Wanda Brock, Nelson Holsinger, and Autumn Reid.  There were no report of serious injury or word on what started the melee.


COVID-19 CASES RISE IN WAYNE, PREBLE COUNTY

(Whitewater Valley)--Wayne County has just had its highest weekly Covid-19 count in more than a month.  The county has added 16 cases since last Monday, which is the most since it recorded 19 in the week ending June 7.  All other area counties have added just a few cases in the last week except for Preble County.  Preble County has added 22 cases in the last week.  Wayne County’s positivity rate is at 1.5%.  There were two Covid-19 patients in Reid Health containment areas Monday morning.


RCS INVESTIGATING SCUFFLE BETWEEN COACHES AT FOOTBALL SCRIMMAGE

(Richmond, IN)--An incident at a football scrimmage between Richmond and National Trail over the weekend is being reviewed by RCS administrators.  Players were not in full pads and there was no tackling in the seven-on-seven scrimmage.  But, video shows one player throwing another player down, which caused benches to clear.  As coaches separated players, two coaches got into a confrontation with one coach striking another.  A few parents then came onto the field.  Richmond was ultimately disqualified.  No injuries were reported.


MULTIPLE DRUG OVERDOSES REPORTED IN 24-HOUR PERIOD

(Richmond, IN)--There has been a rash of drug overdoses in Richmond between noon Sunday and 6 a.m. Monday.  Scanner traffic indicates first responders were sent to seven separate overdoses since noon Sunday.  Four have occurred after 10 o’clock Sunday night.  One of them turned fatal just north of Richmond.  Another overdose occurred in the McDonald’s drive-thru.  One Sunday occurred in the Walmart restroom.  Dylan Shipley was charged in that case with possessing a syringe.  David Williams was arrested for the same thing on South J Sunday.


MORE CHARGES ADDED AGAINST TEEN ARRESTED FOR ATTEMPTED MURDER

(Richmond, IN)--A new charge has added against the Richmond teen who was charged Wednesday night with attempted murder.  18-year-old Jason Duncan remained in the Wayne County Jail Friday morning following a shooting incident Wednesday night and subsequent search of a home on Mid Drive.  The attempted murder charge remains in place.  On Thursday, the charge of arson resulting in serious bodily injury was added.  Investigators have not yet said what incident led to the arson charge.


WAYNE COUNTY VACCINATION RATE NEARS 37%

(Wayne County, IN)--Wayne County residents continue to become fully vaccinated against Covid-19 at a rate of roughly 200 per week.  That’s been the average for the last several weeks.  202 Wayne County residents have become fully vaccinated since last Friday, bringing the total to 24,196.  That’s not quite 37% of the population and lags behind state totals.  About 43% of Indiana residents are now fully vaccinated.


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