Local News

CITY NAMES LEADER OF NEW CODE ENFORCEMENT DEPARTMENT

(Richmond, IN)--Richmond now has its first Chief Code Enforcement Officer.  Mayor Dave Snow announced Thursday that Derek Hill will fill the new position.  Hill and the office he oversees will crack down on problems like illegal dumping, overgrown weeds, and dilapidated structures.  Hill is a Richmond native who has worked for the city for 18 years.  He will oversee the Department of Code Enforcement.  Also on Thursday, Snow announced some changes with department heads.  City Controller Beth Fields will take over as the leader of the Department of Infrastructure and Development.  Fields had been leading that department on an interim basis.  Emily Palmer will move into the controller’s position after having served as deputy controller.  The city has yet to name a permanent leader for its information technology department.


FORMER OHP TROOPER WAS OFFERED TRAINING, NOT DISCIPLINE

(Eaton, OH)--Another alleged victim has now come forward and accused former Ohio Highway Patrol Trooper Chris Ward of inappropriate behavior during a traffic stop.  Ward is a Preble County resident who is currently facing charges that include gross sexual imposition.  Ward was first accused in 2015 by a teenage girl.  But, instead of facing discipline, Ward was sent for training.  The allegations in the 2015 incident were never forwarded to prosecutors for review.


FORMER RADIO PERSONALITY FACING CHILD MOLESTATION CHARGE DIES

(Connersville, IN)--A former Connersville radio personality who was due to go on trial later this year on child molestation charges has died.  Michael Peacock has died of what are believed to be natural causes.  Peacock was arrested last September after an adult male claimed to have been molested by Peacock , who was serving as a boy scoutleader, during a sleepover.  The initial report brought other alleged victims forward.  Peacock was a longtime radio personality at what was WCNB in Connersville.


STUDY SHOWS LACK OF BROADBAND AVAILABILITY

(Whitewater Valley)--Parts of the Whitewater Valley are sorely lacking when it comes to broadband internet access.  Indiana Lieutenant Governor Suzanne Crouch said Wednesday there will be a push to get more broadband into rural areas.  Here’s where our area stands.  Statewide, 88% of residents have broadband access of 25 megabits or more.  In Randolph County, it’s only 65%.  Union County has even less at 48%, and Franklin County has even less than that…just 34%.  Crouch said local governments can apply for grant money beginning next month.


FINAL NUMBERS FOR WESTERN WAYNE SEWER OPTIONS EXPECTED NEXT MONTH

(Cambridge City, IN)--The debate about whether to expand wastewater treatment at the Gateway Industrial Park in western Wayne County or send it to Connersville continues.  Resolving the issue is mandatory to allow the park to grow with new employers.  This week, the sewer board learned that a financial advisor has preliminary numbers for both options, but those numbers won’t be made public for a month so that they can be confirmed.  The numbers, though, have been discussed with the Wayne County EDC and SugarCreek Packing, which is the park’s largest tenant.


MAN CAUGHT WITH INGREDIENTS NEEDED FOR METH PRODUCTION

(Wayne County, IN)--A previous methamphetamine offender was arrested Thursday morning in Wayne County with the ingredients needed to make more meth.  56-year-old Sakchai Boonchaliew was taken into custody Thursday morning on State Road 1.  Police say Boonchaliew was also in possession of cocaine or other drugs.  And, he’s wanted in central Indiana on other charges.  Quantities of drugs recovered have not been released.


JUDGE RULES IN FAVOR OF PROPOSED WOMEN'S SHELTER

(Richmond, IN)--The rulingTuesday of a Wayne County judge means that plans for a proposed women’s homeless shelter just east of downtown Richmond will move forward.  The shelter is being planned for the former Knucklehead’s Bar near 10th Street.  Judge Gregory Horn ruled in favor of the Petra Project, essentially saying that opponents had failed to make a case that nearby businesses would suffer.  The shelter would house up to ten women and their children.


CONNERSVILLE JUVENILE RECOVERING FROM SHOOTING

(Connersville, IN)--An investigation into a Connersville shooting continues.  It happened when an argument escalated at a home on West 21st Street.  A family member indicated that the victim is a juvenile.  That juvenile was taken to a Level One trauma center for treatment of a gunshot wound to the leg.  There’s been no word on the condition.  The shooter has now been identified as Jakob Gaddis.  Gaddis was not initially charged.


TEEN CLAIMS GUN WAS BEING UNLOADED DURING FATAL SHOOTING

(Richmond, IN)--Two Richmond 17-year-olds were involved in a shooting Monday.  One is dead.  The other has been charged with reckless homicide.  It happened in an apartment in the 2100 block of Grand Boulevard.  Tyler Winfrey was located with a gunshot wound and was later pronounced dead.  The suspect was located about two blocks away and was taken into custody.  The suspect was not booked into the Wayne County Jail because of his age has not yet been charged as an adult.  Scanner traffic outlines what could have led to the fatal shooting  According to scanner traffic, the 17-year-old shooter called 911 and said that he took the magazine out of a gun but it went off, accidentally striking Winfrey.  The shooter then left the scene with the weapon and went to another home a couple of blocks away and waited for police to arrive.  The teen was charged with reckless homicide  The investigation is continuing.


FORMER OHP TROOPER ACCUSED BY THIRD WOMAN

(Eaton, OH)--A third person has now come forward and accused former Ohio Highway Patrol Trooper Christopher Ward of sexual assault.  Ward is a Preble County resident.  His newest accused claims she was groped during a traffic stop.  Ward’s personnel files reveal more issues.  Ten years ago, Preble County Prosecutor Martin Votel said he would not prosecute Ward’s felony arrests because Ward was unprepared.  Five years ago, he tried to get the operator of a stolen car to sign transfer title to him.  Investigators say there could be more victims.


MAN CAUGHT WITH METH ON NORTH E IN RICHMOND

(Richmond, IN)--A Richmond man was back in the Wayne County Jail Tuesday morning.  35-year-old Charles Cross is no stranger to the local jail – he has 26 criminal counts in his history.  On Tuesday morning, officers allegedly found Cross with methamphetamine and controlled substances in the 1800 block of North E.  Quantities have not been released.  Cross’s criminal history includes counterfeiting and forgery.


SWAT RESPONDS TO REPORT OF ARMED, INCORRIGIBLE JUVENILE

(Richmond, IN)--A Richmond city street was shut down Sunday on the report of an incorrigible juvenile who may have had a gun.  Scanner traffic indicated police, including the SWAT Team, shut down a portion of North 12th Street between A and C Streets.  At one point, there was an unconfirmed report of a juvenile female being held inside.  The situation was resolved in about an hour with no injuries being reported.


WOMAN FOUND WITH METH, TWO TEENS

(Richmond, IN)--Script:  A Richmond woman was jailed Sunday after allegedly having methamphetamine with two Eaton teenagers in her home in the 600 block of West Main in Richmond.  39-year-old Candice Coleman is charged with meth possession and maintaining a common nuisance.  18-year-olds Andrew Sharp and Quinlyn Sittloh of Eaton were both jailed for minor consuming.  All three were charged with resisting arrest.  The amount of meth recovered has not been released.


BUSINESS OWNERS RECEIVE LETTERS THREATENING FINES OVER SIGNS

(Richmond, IN)--City leaders in Richmond have not returned calls about a series of warning letters that went out to some business owners.  Multiple business owners with digital signs received letters last week threatening fines of up to $2500 per day.  The letter alleges the signs are in violation of the Richmond City Zoning Code.  Owners have been given until March 2 to resolve the issues.


TWO JAILED FRIDAY MORNING ON DRUG CHARGES

(Richmond, IN)--A wanted woman and another man were jailed on a host of drug charges after their arrest in Richmond Friday morning.  33-year-old Dustin Kelly and 32-year-old Tiffany Wells were taken into custody at 2 o’clock Friday morning.  An undisclosed amount of methamphetamine was recovered.  Officers also found marijuana and syringes.  Wells is also accused of assisting a criminal and resisting law enforcement.


WAYNE COUNTY CHILD ABUSE CASES DROP 29% IN 2018

(Wayne County, IN)--The Indiana Department of Child Services has just released new figures for the number of substantiated cases of child abuse and neglect.  And, for Wayne County, there’s good news.  Last year, Wayne County had a total of 324 substantiated cases of child abuse and neglect.  That’s a large number, but is significantly less than a year before.  It’s 29% less than 2017, when there were 417 Wayne County cases.  Officials say that the vast majority of child neglect cases involve drug usage by at least one of the two parents.


NEW DONUT SHOP TO OPEN IN SQUARE DONUTS LOCATION

(Richmond, IN)--The old home of Square Donuts in Richmond is getting a new occupant.  Renovation is currently underway on North West Fifth Street in advance of the opening of Bismark Donuts.  Bismark is owned by the same people who own and operate the Daylight Donuts franchise in Eaton.  The Richmond product will be similar to the Eaton product, but the Richmond store will offer more specialty donuts.  An opening date has not yet been set.


EARLHAM NAMES NEW PRESIDENT

(Richmond, IN)--Earlham College has picked its next president.  Anne Houtman will become the 20th Earlham president in the school’s history and its female leader.  Houtman is current serving as a provost and vice president at Rose Hulman and had previously served in several positions at California State.  She was picked after an extensive national search.  Houtman will take office on the first of July.


QUARTER POUND OF METH RECOVERED IN CONNERSVILLE BUST

(Connersville, IN)--A quarter pound of methamphetamine with a street value of $10,000 has been recovered in Connersville.  Members of the Connersville SWAT Team and other agencies executed a search warrant following a lengthy investigation by the Drug Task Force.  Three people were arrested and charged with dealing meth and other charges.  Those three are Adam Frye, Christopher Lainhart, and David Wolfe.


DENNIS FIRST RESPONDERS HONORED AT INDIANA STATEHOUSE

(Indianapolis, IN)--First responders, including eight RPD officers, were honored Tuesday at the Indiana Statehouse for their response to the Dennis Intermediate School shooting incident that happened in December.  The officers were awarded a police star as part of a joint resolution of the Indiana House and Senate.  Wayne County Sheriff’s deputies, Richmond Mayor Dave Snow and RCS Superintendent Todd Terrill were also on hand.  The resolution recognized the training by RCS and law enforcement to prepare for such an event and prevent a much larger loss of life.


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