LOCAL NEWS

MOBILE LOUDSPEAKERS TO BE USED TO ANNOUNCE WEATHER WARNINGS

(Centerville, IN)--Centerville Fire and Rescue issued a statement about how they handle severe weather shortly after storms rolled through on Saturday afternoon.  The agency said that they have a new feature.  The issue is that there are no tornado sirens in the Rose Hamilton and Toschlog additions.  Squads 15 and 18 will drive those neighborhoods and announce over the loudspeaker that a tornado warning has been issued by the National Weather Service in Wilmington.  The message over the loudspeaker will not say anything about a tornado being spotted.


WAYNE COUNTY FOUNDATION ANNOUNCES GRANTS

(Wayne County, IN)--18 local organizations are benefitting though $146,000 in grants from the first cycle of awards from the Wayne County Foundation.  The highest individual awards total $15,000 and go to the Wayne County Cardinal Greenway for a maintenance truck and to the Richmond Civic Theater for various building upgrades.  Two more grant cycles will be awarded later this year.


AREA GAS PRICES RISE AGAIN

(Whitewater Valley)--It’s hard to fathom, but the price you’re paying at the pump today could seem really cheap by August.  One industry expert said Thursday that it’s possible that the cost of gasoline could exceed $6 per gallon – even in our area – by August.  The price has jumped again in the last 24 hours.  According to AAA, Wayne County’s average price stood Friday morning at $4.57.  The most expensive local spot is now Union County, where it’s $4.60.  The cheapest spot Friday – with "cheapest" in quotations – is Darke County at $4.43.


PLANE VANDALIZED ONE MONTH AFTER BEING PLACED IN GORGE

(Richmond, IN)--Vandalism could result in a fence being placed around an airplane that was placed at the Veterans Memorial Park in Richmond just a month ago.  Recently, an A-6E Intruder jet that had been at the Richmond Municipal Airport was moved into to the gorge.  It didn’t take vandals long to damage it.  The vandals pried a door open.  Now, donations are being sought for fencing to be placed around the plane to prevent further damage.


COPE ENVIRONMENTAL CENTER GETS NEW LEADER

(Centerville, IN)--The Cope Environmental Center has a new leader.  She’s Marcy Crull.  Crull comes to cope as a Wayne county native and as someone with extensive local experience with nonprofits, including Junior Achievement and Girls, Inc.  The Cope Center is located on Airport Road between Richmond and Centerville.    Last fall, its Sustainable Education Building became only the 29th building in the world to receive Living Building Certification.


TWO PEOPLE SHOT ON SOUTH 12TH

(Richmond, IN)--Two people were shot Wednesday afternoon after what began as a large group of people fighting in the 100 block of South 12th Street in Richmond.  During that fight, shots rang out and two people were struck.  42-year-old Deshonna Austin was shot in the leg and 18-year-old Cameron Ruble was shot in the hand.  Both were taken to Reid Health to be treated for what were described as non-life-threatening injuries.  Investigators interviewed multiple witnesses.  A release from RPD Thursday morning said that they are not looking for anyone else and that no arrests have been made.


MAN JAILED, RELEASED AFTER ALLEGEDLY CAUSING MOTORCYCLE FATALITY

(Richmond, IN)--The man who police say caused a recent fatal crash in Wayne County was taken into custody Wednesday night and charged with reckless homicide.  Rafael Lopez was arrested at his home on North 17th in Richmond at 8:30 Wednesday night.  By 11 o'clock Wednesday night, he had posted a $25,000 bond and was gone.  Lopez has also never had a valid driver’s license in the United States.  Police say he tried to pass a car at the crest of a hill and in a no-passing zone on Pottershop Road early last week.  Lopez struck 47-year-old motorcyclist Sam Weller of Liberty head-on.  Weller was pronounced dead at the scene.


THREE TEENS JAILED FOR STEALING MULTIPLE WEAPONS

(Richmond, IN)--Three teens are behind bars after allegedly committing a residential burglary in Richmond Wednesday in which numerous guns were stolen.  It happened at around noon on the city’s northwest side.  Then, a few hours later, officers located 19-year-old Kierin Eubanks and two juveniles in the 200 block of North West 13th Street.  Some of the stolen weapons were recovered.  Eubanks is charged with burglary and theft.  The two juveniles were taken to a detention center in Muncie.


PART OF MAIN STREET TO CLOSE FOR EXTENDED PERIOD

(Richmond, IN)--Getting around downtown Richmond will become a little more difficult beginning Wednesday.  According to INDOT, Main Street between 8th and 9th Streets will close Wednesday for about two weeks to allow Milestone to work on storm water pipe installation.  The city, though, says the closure could last four months.  The area will be closed to vehicles and parking, but there will still be pedestrian access to businesses in the area.  Meanwhile, work continues on the major reconstruction of Ninth Street from the city’s southern edge to downtown.


SETTLEMENT REACHED IN FRANKLIN COUNTY DROWNINGS

(Brookville, IN)--A Laurel father has reached a settlement with Franklin County following the 2020 drowning death of his daughter and four others.  It happened when a bridge over Sanes Creek washed away in a flood.  Here’s a transcript one call to 911.  Caller:  "Sanes Creek at the bottom of Sanes Creek Hill is completely washed out.  It's gone.  Somebody better get down here and block it off before somebody goes into the river."  But that's exactly what happened.  It was later determined that dispatchers coded the call as non-emergent.  Details of the settlement were withheld, although the county’s insurance has paid at least $1.3 million.


TIPS FROM PUBLIC LEAD TO ARRESTS OF ALLEGED BURGLARS

(Preble County, OH)--Recently, the Preble County Sheriff’s Department asked for the help of the public in identifying two people who were caught on surveillance video boldly breaking into a Quinn Road home in broad daylight.  Now, it’s paid off.  Deputies have identified and arrested 33-year-old Katherine Steele and 39-year-old Justin McTeer and charged them with numerous felonies.  But, there’s more.  McTeer posted bond and, within just minutes from being released from jail, allegedly stole a truck from a gas station in Eaton and crashed into several mailboxes.  McTeer then fought with someone who tried to help at the crash scene and was eventually booked back into jail on a robbery charge.


TWO COUNTIES RETURN TO HIGH-SPREAD LEVEL FOR COVID-19

(Whitewater Valley)--Two Whitewater Valley counties were counted Tuesday morning as once again having reached the highest level of spread for Covid-19.  Those two counties are Union and Franklin.  All counties in our area are have now reached moderate, substantial, or high-risk levels.  Those risk levels are determined by the number of new cases in the last seven days.  Reid Health on Tuesday morning listed only two patients are Covid-19 positive.  That number has held steady for weeks.


COUPLE WITH 17 COMBINED PRIOR FELONIES ARRESTED FOR DRUG-DEALING

(Richmond, IN)--A Richmond couple that has had 17 combined felony cases against them was arrested again Monday on charges that include dealing cocaine and dealing meth.  Damin Barnett and Taylor Glander were taken into custody at North 15th and A.  Barnett, is a registered sex offender, was also charged Monday with being a serious violent felon in possession of a handgun.  The quantity of drugs recovered has not been released.  Both Barnett and Glander have other criminal cases pending.


DARKE COUNTY ASKS FOR HELP IN LOCATING MISSING TEENS

(Darke County, OH)--The Darke County Sheriff’s Department on Monday asked for the help of the public in locating two missing teenage girls.  16-year-old Marissa Portemont and 14-year-old Celicia Ramirez were last seen on Sunday.  The girls were seen in the Union City area, but investigators now believe they may have traveled north to Portland.  Investigators also say that a scammer has called local residents to ask for money to help find the two girls and are cautioning people not to contribute cash.


MAN ADMITS TO COMMITTING MULTIPLE WHITEWATER VALLEY COLD-CASE RAPES

(Connersville, IN)--A Connersville man has now admitted to committing multiple rapes 16 years ago after recently obtained DNA and genetic evidence provided prosecutors with an inarguable case.  Lloyd Ailes, who is now 58, has pleaded guilty in court to raping women in Connersville and Oxford in 2006.  Last December, DNA and forensic genealogy connected Ailes to the investigations that had gone unsolved for 16 years.  Ailes is now set to be sentenced at the end of next month.


FRANKLIN COUNTY DEPUTIES INVOLVED IN SHOOTING

(Cedar Grove, IN)--The Indiana State Police is investigating an officer-involved shooting in Franklin County.  It happened on Friday night in Cedar Grove when Franklin County deputies responded to a suicidal man.  The suspect fired at least one shot at deputies.  Deputies then returned fire and struck the suspect once.  The suspect was flown to UC Health.  His identity and condition have not been released.  The case will be forwarded to the Franklin County prosecutor’s office.


WOMAN JAILED AFTER ALLEGEDLY ATTACKING REID STAFF MEMBER

(Richmond, IN)--A Reid Health staff member sustained multiple injuries late Sunday night after allegedly being attacked by a patient.  It began with the report of a female acting strangely at a Chester Boulevard fast food restaurant.  21-year-old Dakota Ripberger was then taken to Reid, which is when the alleged attack occurred.  Ripberger has been charged with felony battery resulting in moderate bodily injury.


WAYNE COUNTY LEADERS SUPPORT I-70 WIDENING

(Wayne County, IN)--Wayne County leaders are officially tossing their support behind a massive project that would widen I-70 to three lanes through the county as part of a bigger goal of having at least three lanes for all of the interstate’s 150-mile run across Indiana.  EDC CEO Valerie Shaffer has written a letter to INDOT that was presented this week to Wayne County Commissioners.  The project is still years away.  Initial plans call for two lanes of I-70 in both directions to remain open during the widening.  The interstate would not become a toll road.  INDOT will apply for federal funding for the project.


AREA STORES EXPERIENCE BABY FORMULA SHORTAGES

(Whitewater Valley)--Area grocery stores are seeing the same shortages of baby formula being seen across the country.  And, when they do get it, they’re seeing hoarding like when toilet paper was in short supply when Covid-19 began.  Here’s an employee of Woodruff’s Market in Liberty Friday morning.  "We get a truck in (Friday).  We're gonna get some formula.  But, we're gonna be shorted some also."  Area health leaders caution against diluting formula with milk or water.  Here’s an RN at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital on Thursday.  "If you start messing with the dilution of the formula, you can make your baby very sick."  Much of the problem stems from a shutdown at a Michigan plant.


SURVEY RESULTS PRESENTED TO RCS BOARD

(Richmond, IN)--A Richmond Community Schools employee presented the results of a survey she distributed to other employees to the RCS Board Wednesday night.  The survey focused on the Board’s recent decision to offer its members health insurance for one dollar per year.  LC Caraway said that 102 employees responded.  101 of the 102 said that the decision would not positively impact the Richmond community.  Other similar questions had responses that were similar in proportion.  Here’s Caraway addressing the Board Wednesday night.  "It comes off as inconsiderate and thoughtless to add more financial padding to (members) who are by no means struggling when that money could be helping staff members not have to choose between paying a water bill and getting a tank of gas."  Caraway said that even if the Board does not reverse its decision, she hopes it opens the door to communication.