Local News

WAYNE COUNTY ASKED TO CONSIDER SEWER DISTRICT ASSISTANCE

(Cambridge City, IN)--Wayne County leaders are considering helping to pay for a new sewage treatment plant for the Western Wayne Sewer District.  That expansion is needed so that the EDC can market the Gateway Industrial Park.  Wayne County Commissioners had said they would pay $3 million if wastewater was sent to Connersville.  But SugarCreek is now considering treating its own wastewater and is asking for help from the county.  The cost of a new treatment plant is now estimated to increase the average monthly bill for a residential customer from $29 to $51.


PERCENTAGE OF WAYNE COUNTY "FOOD INSECURE" CHILDREN DROPS

(Wayne County, IN)--Here’s more from the 2019 Kids Count report, which was issued this week.  Overall results show that living conditions for kids in Wayne County continue to improve.  That includes a steady reduction in the percentage of kids labeled as “food insecure”, which is a term that’s defined as lacking access to a sufficient quantity of nutritious food.  According to the report, 21.5% of Wayne County kids are now food insecure.  The rate had declined in each of the last four years.  Back in 2009, it was as high as 28.3%.


ONE PERSON KILLED IN OVERNIGHT CRASH

(Richmond, IN)--There was a crash in Wayne County overnight that resulted in a fatality.  It happened at midnight Tuesday night / Wednesday morning on Abington Pike near Test Road.  Scanner traffic indicated that multiple utility poles were sheared off and that the vehicle may have been involved in a separate crash just before near Richmond High School.  The victim’s name and other details have not yet been released by law enforcement.


REPORT SHOW INCREASES IN WAYNE COUNTY INCOME, YOUTH POPULATION

(Wayne County, IN)--The new Kids Count report is out, and it shows continued economic growth for Wayne County residents.  The average annual per capita income for Wayne County residents now stands at $37,600.  That’s up by about $1200 from the year before, but it’s also nearly $5000 more per resident per year than it was five years ago.  Still, Wayne County residents’ annual income is lagging behind the state average by about $5500.  Wayne County’s overall population is shrinking.  But the good news is that its number of young adults is holding relatively steady.  The latest numbers show that there are 5940 residents in the county who are between the ages of 18 and 24.  That’s only 34 less than the year before and a couple hundred fewer than five years ago.  The number of 18-20 years olds is actually higher now than it’s been at any point in the last four years.


COLD-AIR FUNNELS APPEAR OVER PREBLE COUNTY

(Preble County, OH)--A series of funnel clouds appeared over Preble County Tuesday afternoon.  The funnels were spotted at around 5 o’clock in areas just west of Eaton and just north of Lakengren and were classified as cold-air funnels.  Cold-air funnels rarely touch the ground and, if they do, are generally not destructive.  It’s the same type of funnel that appeared during the Wayne County Fair a few years ago.


NWS: SECOND TORNADO TOUCHED DOWN JUST OUTSIDE OF RICHMOND

(Preble County, OH)--The National Weather Service said Monday that the tornado that struck Richmond’s east side on Saturday night was an EF-0.  That’s the weakest rating of tornadoes on what’s known as the Fujita scale.  The Weather Service estimated that the tornado had a maximum wind speed of 85 miles per hour.  Also Monday, another as-yet unknown tornado was confirmed.  Another EF-0 tornado touched down Saturday night on Weist Road less than a mile across the state line into Preble County.  It was less than two miles due east of the Richmond Airport and damaged a home and a barn.


TODDLER ESCAPES SERIOUS INJURY AFTER FALL FROM FOUR-STORY WINDOW

(Richmond, IN)--A toddler has survived a four-story fall in Richmond.  It happened Monday at the Nine North Apartments.  According to first responders, a two-year-old boy was throwing toys out a fourth-floor window.  The young boy went out of the window after a toy and fell four floors to the ground.  Miraculously, the boy landed on a soft mulch bed.  He was taken to Reid Health and then transferred to Dayton Children’s Hospital to be checked out.  Incredibly, doctors there determined the boy had not only survived the four-story fall, but sustained only a small cut on his lip.


RICHMOND'S COUNCIL APPEARS POISED TO OPPOSE U.S. 40 CHANGES

(Richmond, IN)--Richmond Common Council on Monday night discussed INDOT’s proposal to convert U.S. 40 between Richmond and Centerville into a one-lane road in each direction with a turn lane in the middle.  IDOT’s claim is that the change would make the road safer.  Donnie Benedict of the Richmond Police Department said traffic studies were done and speeding is not an issue.  "94% of cars were running below 40 miles per hour," Benedict said.  As part of a complicated accident reporting system, INDOT statistics show four fatalities or incapacitating accidents at 40 and Salisbury Road.  Benedict said that is not the case.  "The data is accurate, but it's not correct.  We did not have that many serious accidents there," Benedict explained.  There have been no serious injury accidents in the last year and a half in that stretch of road.  Council appears ready to pass a resolution opposing the proposed change to U.S. 40.


CLEANUP CONTINUES AFTER RICHMOND TORNADO

(Richmond, IN)--Cleanup will continue Monday at the Richmond Mall after Saturday night’s tornado.  Mall officials indicated Sunday that it will likely be at least several days before two stores – JC Penney and Office Max – will be able to open.  Both of those stores sustained substantial roof and other structural damage.  Debris from the mall was found as far away Sunday as Gravel Pit Road, which is on the path the tornado took.  A heavy HVAC unit on the mall’s roof was thrown onto National Road East.  The interior of the mall will remain closed at least through Monday.  The National Weather Service confirmed Sunday that it was a tornado that struck the Richmond Mall on Saturday night.  Although it’s not likely to be rated as a strong tornado, it did significant damage to the mall and several other structures.  The National Weather Service indicated the tornado formed near the intersection of South 37th and A Street, struck the mall, crossed National Road East to Woodside Drive, and then dissipated near Gravel Pit Road.  Two other tornadoes were confirmed in the Whitewater Valley.  One touched down near Mitchell Road in northern Union County.  Another heavily damaged a church in the Bentonville area of Fayette County.  While Saturday night’s Richmond tornado was extremely rare, it’s not completely unheard of.  According to the website tornadohistoryproject.com, a touchdown inside Richmond’s city limits is not unprecedented.  In 1963, there were two.  One struck near Clear Creek Park.  Two months later, a tornado hit near Earlham College.  A weak tornado touched down near Salisbury Road in 1976.  Since 1956, Wayne County has had 18 tornado touchdowns.  No one has ever been killed.  And, before this weekend, only one person had ever been hurt.


LOCAL EXPERT: ONLY 70% OF CORN CROP PLANTED THIS YEAR

(Whitewater Valley)--An extremely wet spring continues to impact the local farming community.  Williamsburg-area farmer John Williams updated the status of crops across the Whitewater Valley on Thursday.  "70% of the corn crop is in the ground, with probably 40-50% of the beans."  But, for one of those two crops, it’s now too late to plant.  "You're gonna see some farmers continue with beans  But, for the most part, corn is done," Williams said.  Since May 1, and including Thursday, Richmond has had measurable rainfall in 31 of 44 days.


METH LOCATED INSIDE WAYNE COUNTY JAIL

(Richmond, IN)--Wayne County officials said Thursday that there was no drug overdose inside the Wayne County Jail last weekend, but sheriff’s reports indicate that methamphetamine was found inside the jail on Thursday.  Finding drugs during the book-in process is not uncommon.  But, this time meth appears to have made it inside.  The report indicates deputies went into the jail and field-tested a substance that was positive for meth.  The report states "due to the totality of circumstances, charges will not be able to be pursued."


DEVELOPERS SHOW INTEREST IN ELDER BEERMAN BUILDING

(Richmond, IN)--Wayne County’s Economic Development Corporation Board learned this week that there is interest from developers in the Elder-Beerman building in downtown Richmond.  The consensus of those developers is that the building would best be suited to have living space upstairs in the form of apartments or condos.  The ground-level floor would be mixed-use commercial space.  The building has been vacant for nearly a year and was obtained by the EDC in February.  The building has just over 100,000 square feet.


TWO ARRESTED AFTER LIQUOR STORE ALARM SOUNDS

(Richmond, IN)--Two people were jailed Thursday morning after suspicious activity near Papa Joe’s Liquor at 30th and East Main in Richmond.  Witnesses saw a man in a white mask running north toward Glen Miller Park after a business alarm went off at around midnight.  Police located 26-year-old Jacob Richardson and 34-year-old Techara Webster of Richmond.  Richardson initially gave police a false name.  According to scanner traffic, investigators were looking to see if there’s a connection to Wednesday’s robbery at the Village Pantry.  Richardson and Webster live on Parry Street near the Village Pantry.  Investigators searched a crawl space at a Parry Street home on Wednesday shortly after the Village Pantry robbery.


RICHMOND MAN ARRESTED FOR CHILD MOLESTING

(Richmond, IN)--An alleged Richmond child molester was apprehended late Wednesday night.  A warrant was in effect for 20-year-old Damon Rush.  Rush was taken into custody at his apartment near 20th and West Main Street.  He was being held on a Level 3 Felony child molesting charge Thursday morning.  Details of what Rush is alleged to have done will become available when an affidavit is filed through a Wayne County court.


INDOT'S DOWNTOWN CONSTRUCTION ENTERS FINAL PHASE

(Richmond, IN)---Wednesday begins the final phase of a large road construction project in Richmond.  It’s referred to by INDOT as the US 27/40 East Central project, but Richmond residents know it as a lengthy project that has made navigating downtown streets and accessing downtown businesses difficult.  On Wednesday, two separate crews will be working on epoxying and painting.  Parking on 8th and 9th Streets could be affected during the painting.


FATE OF PIT BULLS COULD BE DETERMINED BY BOARD OF WORKS

(Richmond, IN)--City officials indicated Tuesday that two dogs involved in a vicious attack on an elderly woman in Richmond last week will be held until at least this coming Monday.  Two pits bulls broke free from their tethers and attacked the woman and her two dogs as she was walking them.  Her two dogs were both killed and the woman was taken to a Level One trauma center for treatment of a severe arm injury.  The owner of the attacking dogs was cited.  The case could now go before the Board of Public Works, which could deem the dogs to be vicious.


RESIDENTS VOICE OPPOSITION TO US 40 PROPOSAL

(Cambridge City, IN)--A packed house at the Cambridge City Town Hall Monday night had a resounding message for INDOT and the proposal to reduce U.S. 40 to one lane in each direction…no thanks.  It’s the same proposal that’s on the table for 40 between Richmond and Centerville.  Residents who spoke Monday night said that they like Main Street the way it is.  One resident called it “a solution looking for a problem.”  Many expressed concerns about effects on businesses.  INDOT will have the final say about whether to proceed with the plan, although some residents promised a lawsuit if it does.


IMAGE RELEASED OF GIRL MISSING FROM WERNLE

(Richmond, IN)--A girl who ran away from Wernle Youth and Family Treatment Center nearly two weeks ago remained on the Indiana Missing Person’s List Tuesday.  A photo of 13-year-old Sienna Harper has now been released by her family.  Sienna ran away from Wernle on May 31.  According to Wayne County Dispatchers, Wernle has now had 30 calls for service from first responders so far this year.  Many of those calls have involved runaways.


POLICE LOOK TO IDENTIFY DUO WHO STOLE KAYAKS FROM KIDS

(Connersville, IN)--In Connersville, residents and the police are trying hard to identify some kayak thieves.  What has made the search so compelling is that the three kayaks that were stolen in the night were taken from children who police say had worked hard to save the money to buy the kayaks.  There’s excellent surveillance images and video which appear to show two white teens.  One has longer hair.  The other is very thin with a long neck.


MEETING TO FOCUS ON PROPOSED U.S. 40 CHANGES

(Cambridge City, IN)--A meeting is set for Monday night to talk about proposed changes to U.S. 40.  INDOT’s initial plan was to convert U.S. 40 from two lanes in each direction between Richmond and Centerville to one lane in each direction with a turn lane in the middle.  Now, that plan extends west into Cambridge City.  Some Cambridge City merchants fear that the proposed change would hurt their Main Street businesses.  There also concern about what would happen when traffic is diverted off of I-70 when there’s a crash.  Monday night’s meeting begins at 6 at Cambridge City Town Hall.


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