(Richmond, IN)--A year and a half ago, Anthony Zircher went speeding down State Road 227 near Middleboro, tried to pass on a double-yellow line, and caused a head-on crash that killed five-year-old Jocelyn Gesell. Zircher on Thursday was given just a three-year prison sentence, mostly because Indiana considers reckless homicide a relatively low-level felony. Jocelyn’s mother, Britney Byrley, addressed Zircher and said it was sad that she’ll spend more time in a wheelchair because of the crash than Zircher will spend in prison. Zircher apologized to the girl’s family by reading a prepared statement.
(Preble County, OH)--A fire truck was involved in an accident on I-70 in Preble County Thursday night. Firefighters had responded to an area of westbound 70 near the Preble-Montgomery County line at 8:45 Thursday night for a rollover crash. A fire truck had parked on the side of the interstate and was struck from behind by another driver. No firefighters were hurt. The driver of the car that struck the fire truck sustained non-life-threatening injuries. The fire truck was from Brookville and sustained heavy damage.
(Richmond, IN)--Here’s more on an arrest at Greenwood Apartments in Richmond that Kicks 96 and 101.7 The Point reported earlier this week that sent an RPD officer to Reid Health. Newly released court documents indicate that 40-year-old Damien Allen punched RPD officer Ryan Gray as Allen resisted arrest while he was carrying meth, marijuana, and Ecstasy. Allen then ripped Gray’s radio off his uniform and swung it as a weapon. A habitual offender designation has also now been filed against Allen due to his extensive criminal record.
(Connersville, IN)--There’s more fallout from the recent bankruptcy filing by Fayette Regional Health System in Connersville. This week, some cancer patients were contacted and told to seek chemotherapy treatment at another hospital. Fayette Regional said that message was the result of a gap in service from one medication provider. The hospital said that its cancer center is not closing and that they’re working to minimize disruption to patients.
(Cambridge City, IN)--A report that analyzes two options for the Western Wayne Sewer District has now been complete. Wastewater treatment there must be expanded or there can be no additional growth at the Gateway Industrial Park. Options include expanding local capacity or sending the wastewater to Connersville. Plant Manager Ron Holbrook said this week that a decision is still at least a month away. Wastewater treatment capacity has been an issue for the last three years.
(Cambridge City, IN)--A Cambridge City man was taken into custody Wednesday night for the second time in less than two months. 31-year-old Billy Neal is charged with maintaining a common nuisance. That’s a charge usually given to the occupant of a home or vehicle where drug activity is taking place. Neal was arrested Wednesday night in the 100 block of West Church Street in Cambridge City. He was arrested in Richmond last month for possessing methamphetamine.
(Richmond, IN)--A man who lives in central Indiana but has a massive criminal record in Wayne County was returned to Richmond Wednesday. Deputies traveled to another jail to bring back 45-year-old William Conrad. Conrad is charged with possessing cocaine and methamphetamine. His most recent arrest came in January. Conrad has a total of 33 Wayne County offenses.
(Richmond, IN)--One Richmond Police officer was taken to Reid Health to be checked out for chest pain after an incident at Greenwood Apartments Tuesday night. 34-year-old Meghan Amburgey said that 40-year-old Damien Allen showed up there to get tattoo equipment. It led to Allen, who was allegedly armed, fleeing into a wooded area. Officers eventually caught Allen and found meth, marijuana, and synthetic drugs. He was also charged with felony battery on a police officer and had to be Tased to be taken under control. Amburgey was charged with assisting a criminal. The officer was checked out at Reid and released.
(Richmond, IN)--A recent Northeastern graduate who has inspired many was involved in a traffic accident Tuesday. The good news is that Austin McNew and his mother, Teresa, both escaped serious injury when an oncoming Jeep crossed the center line on Salisbury Road and hit their van head-on. Teresa McNew had to be cut from the wreckage. Both she and Austin were taken to Reid Health and later released. Stephen Deffibaugh of Williamsburg was the driver of the Jeep. Police don’t yet know why he crossed the center line. Fountain City and the Northeastern community rallied around Austin McNew after he was paralyzed in a sledding accident in January of 2016.
(Richmond, IN)--A Richmond man who had been banned from the Earlham College campus was caught Wednesday morning after showing up there again late Tuesday night. 43-year-old Faron Haycock had allegedly tried to climb through Earlham windows before and had been banned. After being spotted there again late Tuesday night by Earlham security officers, Haycock fled south. RPD officer pursued and caught Haycock on U.S. 27 near Beelor Road. His charges include felony criminal trespass, drunken driving, and resisting arrest.
(Richmond, IN)--Richmond Common Council addressed the city’s 2019 budget Monday night. One source of controversy in that budget was a request from Mayor Dave Snow to create a new city department. A code enforcement office would work to force residents to clean up dilapidated properties, keep trash out of streets and alleys, and make sure lawns do not become overgrown. Some council members had questioned the cost of a new department. After a compromise that eliminated an administrative assistant position, council approve next year’s budget last night by a 5-2 vote.
(Richmond, IN)--The Richmond Police Department is in need of new police cruisers. RPD’s Mike Britt addressed Richmond Common Council Monday night and explained a problem. An expanded number of new officers are finishing training and are ready to patrol, but there are not enough police cars for them to use. The department has asked council for eight new cruisers that would cost a total of $216,000. About half of that money would be covered through asset forfeiture. 18 cars have been identified that need to be retired due to excessive miles and rust. Monday night’s request was sent to the finance committee.
(Connersville, IN)--Just a few days after it announced that it had filed for bankruptcy protection comes word that Fayette Regional Health System is being sued. A central Indiana company called Siskin Physicians is suing, claiming that the Connersville hospital has failed to pay a million and a half dollars. Siskin had contracted to provide emergency room services at Fayette Regional. In its bankruptcy filing, Fayette Regional lists $10 million in assets and $50 million in liabilities.
(Richmond, IN)--A convicted Richmond child molester was jailed over the weekend after authorities determined he was violating the terms of his sex offender status. 27-year-old Michael Eaton was taken into custody in the 200 block of North West J Street. He’s charged with illegal residency and failing to register as a sex offender. Eaton was arrested for the same thing in Hagerstown in May. Eaton was convicted of child molestation back in the spring of 2012.
(Whitewater Valley)--There’s a warning today from the Department of Natural Resources for deer hunters in the Whitewater Valley. They say that if you’re hunting in the southern part of our area – especially in Franklin County – you should be on the lookout for bovine tuberculosis. Bovine TB had affected some deer in that area a couple of years ago, and there have been two positive tests on cattle this year. If you suspect bovine TB while field-dressing a deer, the DNR wants to hear from you immediately.
(Connersville, IN)--Fayette County’s needle exchange program has re-opened in a different location. The program ended back in May due mainly to staffing issues. Fayette Regional Health System has now taken over operation of the program from the county’s health department and has opened at a location in the 2100 block of Indiana Avenue. The exchange will take place on Tuesdays and Thursdays.
(Connersville, IN)--Fayette Regional Health System has filed for Chapter 11 Bankruptcy protection. A statement issued by the hospital in Connersville says that Fayette Regional faces unfunded care mandates, government funding cuts, and other challenges. The statement goes on to say that Fayette Regional could not continue to operate under mounting debt and tightening financial resources. The filing does not mean that Fayette Regional is closing; instead, it will give the hospital the opportunity to reorganize its debt. The hospital was founded back in 1913. While the hospital will remain open, one department will not. Fayette Regional has announced that it will end obstetric services on October 19. The hospital is collaborating with other hospitals that offer obstetric services to make the transition for expectant mothers easier. Mothers entering the ER to deliver babies will be stabilized and sent to other hospitals. Staff members are being offered other jobs inside the hospital. Fayette Regional’s gynecology and pediatric services will remain open.
(Richmond, IN)--A Richmond child molester was arrested again Thursday. 62-year-old Barry Reffitt was picked up at his home in the 600 block of South 8th. Reffit had failed to register as a sex offender and failed to show up for a court hearing. Thursday was the latest in a long list of arrests for Reffitt. Last year, a drunken Reffitt stripped himself naked at Reid Health and began threatening medical staff members. He was subdued by multiple officers.
(Brookville, IN)--Brook Hill Golf Course’s days could well be numbered. The golf course just north of Brookville is set to be split up and auctioned off in December unless the city or county agrees in the next few weeks to buy it and maintain it as a municipal golf course. It would take an estimated $1.2 million to purchase the course. Some city leaders would like to save the course. They say the loss of Brook Hill would decrease property values in the area, which would translate to a loss of property tax revenue.
(Richmond, IN)--Richmond police caught an alleged armed robber Wednesday night. A man wearing a green mask entered the Conoco gas station in the 1200 block of South 9th with a knife and took not only cash; he took the entire cash register. The man was pursued by a civilian, who helped lead police to a home a few blocks away. 38-year-old Chad Capps was taken into custody. The money, the cash register, the knife, and the mask were all recovered. Capps is charged with armed robbery and public intoxication. He allegedly had a blood alcohol content of .181 at the time of the robbery.