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WAYNE COUNTY'S MINIMUM VACCINE AGE DROPS TO 60

(Wayne County, IN)--The minimum age to get the Covid-19 vaccine in Wayne County has dropped to 60.  Wayne County Health Department Executive Director Christine Stinson made the announcement Tuesday that the age reduction is in effect immediately.  In that same release, Stinson stated that Wayne County would drop to the blue level on Indiana’s color-coded Covid-19 map comes out Wednesday.  That reduction will come because the county’s positivity rate has dropped below four percent, indicating a low level of spread.


DEPT OF EDUCATION RELEASES WAYNE CO. SCHOOL ARREST RECORDS

(Wayne County, IN)--The Indiana Department of Education has released the numbers and types of arrests in public schools.  According to the most recent numbers in one school year in Wayne County, five students were arrested at both Western Wayne and Northeastern, with three more at Centerville.  A total of 37 students were arrested in Richmond schools.  Charges included dealing marijuana, with one of those at Test Intermediate School.  84% of Wayne County students arrested were boys.


MAN ARRESTED FOR BEATING WOMAN AND ANIMAL

(Richmond, IN)--A Richmond man was taken into custody Wednesday morning after allegedly beating a woman and an animal in the presence of a child.  23-year-old Kaleb Napier was apprehended in the 500 block of North 19th at around midnight.  The condition of the alleged victim has not been released.  Napier was arrested for the same thing a little more than a year ago, although that charge was ultimately dismissed.


ONLY 11 MONDAY COVID-19 CASES REPORTED IN EIGHT-COUNTY AREA

(Whitewater Valley)--The continuing drop in the number of new cases of Covid-19 across the Whitewater Valley was evident Monday.  11 new cases were reported Monday.  But that’s not just in Wayne County.  Those 11 cases covers an eight-county area that includes Wayne, Union, Fayette, Franklin, Randolph, Henry, Preble, and Darke County.  The number of patients in Reid Health containment areas dropped Monday to 24.  That’s the lowest number since early October.


MAN SHOOTS HIMSELF IN DARKE COUNTY CHURCH; OTHERS UNHURT

(Greenville, OH)--A 25-year-old man shot himself with an AR-15 following an hours-long standoff at a Darke County Church Monday night.  It happened at the Greenville Baptist Temple on Childrens Home – Bradford Road.  Five people in the church noticed the man loading the weapon and were able to barricade themselves in a small room.  After several hours of negotiation, the man shot himself.  He was Careflighted to Miami Valley Hospital in Dayton.  His name and condition have not been released.  No one else was hurt.


ALLEGED ARMED ROBBER RETURNED TO JAIL

(Richmond, IN)--A Richmond man who allegedly committed a robbery and was then the victim of one just a couple of weeks apart appeared in court Monday.  21-year-old Colten Tout was sent to the Wayne County Jail following a bond revocation hearing.  Tout allegedly took part in the robbery of two men at gunpoint on North 11th last month.  Earlier this month, police allegedly found meth on Tout when shots were fired near North 15th.


WAYNE COUNTY HAS LOWEST COVID-19 NUMBERS SINCE SEPTEMBER

(Wayne County, IN)--The area’s Covid-19 numbers have been steadily improving, and this Monday-to-Monday period has been the best in a long time.  Wayne County has recorded only 57 new cases since last Monday.  That’s the lowest weekly total since last September.  And here are the weekly totals for some other area counties since last Monday:  Fayette, 24.  Randolph, 9.  Franklin, 9.  And Union, 8.  Reid Health this morning has 30 patients in Covid-19 containment areas this morning.  The last Monday that number was lower was October 12.


SHOTS FIRED AT GENESIS APARTMENTS

(Richmond, IN)--Richmond police officers were busy Monday morning after shots were fired at the Genesis Apartments – formerly known as the Country Club Apartments.  Scanner traffic indicated that one person was found semi-conscious.  Two guns and shell casings were recovered.  At least one person was questioned at the scene.  No arrests have been made.  Information about what may have led to the shots fired has not been released.


THREE CHARGED IN EATON DRUG BUST

(Eaton, OH)--Three people are facing numerous charges after an Eaton drug bust.  A search warrant was executed at a home on North Barron Street.  Inside, investigators found meth, Fentanyl, cocaine, and two loaded guns that had been stolen from Richmond.  Buddy Fulton and Latricia Proctor of Eaton, and Cheyenne Skidmore of West Alexandria were all taken to the Preble County Jail.


10,000 WAYNE COUNTY RESIDENTS HAVE RECEIVED COVID-19 VACCINE

(Wayne County, IN)--Wayne County has passed a milestone for Covid-19 vaccination.  10,034 residents of Wayne County have now received at least the first dose of the vaccine.  That represents about 15% of the population.  On Thursday, the Wayne County Health Board learned that the county had to borrow 300 doses from Rush County because weather held up Wayne County’s shipment.  Those doses are expected to arrive on Monday.  About 5200 Wayne County residents have received both doses and are now considered fully vaccinated.  Wayne County reported only five new cases Thursday.


CLOTHES TOSSED FROM VEHICLE DURING CHASE

(Wayne County, IN)--Very little information has been released so far about a two-county chase early Friday morning.  At around 4 Friday morning, police tried to stop two vehicles on I-70 near Chester Boulevard.  One of them fled to U.S. 35 and then went north Centerville Road into Randolph County before crashing into a ditch.  Occupants of the vehicle were throwing clothes out of the window as the chase took place.  Officers searched for a gun after the chase.  One person was taken to the Wayne County Jail but was then taken back out.


STATE ATTRIBUTES ADDITIONAL COVID-19 DEATHS TO LOCAL LTC's

(Richmond, IN)--On Thursday, Indiana’s Department of Health added 660 Covid-19 deaths to its dashboard that had not been previously assigned to long-term care facilities.  A few of them are in our area.  One death was added to the Springs in Richmond.  Another was at Heritage House.  A death was also added to Rosebud Village.  Rosebud Village has now had 25 resident deaths attributed to Covid-19.


RICHMOND TO GET ABOVE FREEZING FOR FIRST TIME IN 300 HOURS

(Richmond, IN)--If the forecast for this weekend holds true, Richmond will do something on Sunday that it will not have done for 12 consecutive days…get above freezing.  Richmond will have been under the 32-degree mark for about 300 consecutive hours dating back to February 8.  The streak of cold weather includes eight days that were at least ten degrees below normal.  Richmond has not had an above-normal temperature day since January 31.


WAYNE COUNTY'S YELLOW RATING MEANS EASED RESTRICTIONS

(Wayne County, IN)--Wayne County is in the yellow for the second week in a row on Indiana’s Covid-19 map, and that means that some restrictions have been loosened.  The Wayne County Health Department says that the overall size of social gatherings or events is strongly recommended to be limited to no more than a hundred people.  Events and gatherings cannot exceed more than half of the facility’s capacity limits.  Facial coverings, though, are still required in public spaces and businesses.  Every Whitewater Valley county improved to yellow on Indiana’s color-coded Covid-19 map yesterday with one exception…Fayette.  Fayette County remains in the orange and has been flagged due to a large number of cases stemming from congregate settings.  Wayne County’s positivity rate is down to 3.9%.  Reid Health is down to only 29 patients in its Covid-19 containment areas.


REID GIVES 15,000th COVID-19 DOSE

(Whitewater Valley)--Reid Health has reached another milestone in its COVID-19 vaccination efforts, giving out its 15,000th dose this week. Reid began administering the vaccine on Dec. 17, and the pace at which the milestones have come has accelerated. It took five weeks to reach 5,000 doses but only 15 days to go from there to 10,000 doses and just 12 days to reach 15,000. Over the past week, Reid has averaged administering some 539 doses a day at its public vaccination clinic at the Kuhlman Center on the Wayne County Fairgrounds in Richmond. Reid is servicing a four-county area that includes Wayne, Union, Randolph and Fayette counties, with each county's health department also operating clinics of their own.


FORMER NORTHEASTERN SUPERINTENDENT WAIVES INITIAL HEARING

(Winchester, IN)--Northeastern’s former assistant superintendent has waived an initial hearing in Randolph Superior Court.  44-year-old Eric Green faces two counts of providing alcohol to minors.  Green was charged last month following a year-long investigation by the Indiana State Police.  He had been on paid administrative leave until recently resigning.  Green now has a trial date of March 30 and has hired a central Indiana attorney to represent him.


YELLOW RANKING ON WEDNESDAY COULD TRIGGER RELAXED RESTRICTIONS

(Wayne County, IN)--Indiana issues another color-coded Covid-19 map on Wednesday.  Wayne County will stay in the yellow.  That’s important, because it will be the second straight week in the yellow, which, according to Christine Stinson with the Wayne County Health Department, could trigger the lifting of some restrictions.  "The Covid-19 restrictions for the orange ranking will stay place until Wayne County has been in the yellow ranking for two consecutive weeks," Stinson said recently.  Wayne County’s positivity rate is now below four percent.


SNOWMOBILE RIDER CRASHES THROUGH POND

(Cambridge City, IN)--A large search for two missing snowmobile riders just off of U.S. 40 in western Wayne County had a happy ending late Tuesday night.  The riders got disoriented and went onto a lake on or near the IMI property.  One of them broke through and went into the water.  Multiple law enforcement and DNR officers responded.  One rider said that he was on an island with water all around.  Two helicopters were launched.  The rider that went into the lake was able to get out on his own and was okay Wednesday morning.  The second rider was also located and was not hurt.


PREBLE TEACHERS, STAFFERS TO BE VACCINATED NEXT WEEK

(Eaton, OH)--Plans are now in place for teachers and staff members at all five public school systems in Preble County to be vaccinated for Covid-19.  It will take place beginning a week from tomorrow and will include all teachers, bus drivers, and cafeteria workers regardless of age.  About 700 doses have been allocated for teachers and staffers.  More than have of people eligible have indicated they would take the vaccine.


WINTER WEATHER IMPEDES TRAVEL, FORCES CLOSURES

(Whitewater Valley)--Several Whitewater Valley counties had the highest level of travel advisory Tuesday morning.  It means travel is restricted to emergency management workers only.  Those counties include Union, Franklin, Randolph, and Henry.   As for Wayne County, here’s Richmond Mayor Dave Snow.  "After a lengthy discussion, the decision has been made to close all city of Richmond and Wayne County government offices for (Tuesday)."  Wayne County remained on a Level II Travel Advisory.   All other area counties, including Preble, Fayette, Darke, and Butler are also limited to essential travel only.  Wayne County roads Tuesday morning are felt effects of the winter storm that has passed through our area.  Here’s Mike Sharp with the Wayne County Highway Department Tuesday morning.  "Most of the roads are drifted - probably two to three-foot drifts.  East-west roads are going to be the worst." Crews asked the public to stay off the roads so that plows can get through.  "If they can stay off the roads, they need to stay off.  Let us get them opened up.  We're trying to get a pass though all of them.  If we can get one pass, we'll go back and try to open them up a little more," Sharp said.  Wayne County had a full road crew out Tuesday morning.  Winter weather has forced the closure of numerous city and county building across the Whitewater Valley.  That includes the Richmond Municipal Building and all Wayne County offices.  Wayne County has had just shy of 9700 residents receive at least one dose of the Covid-19 vaccine.  But there won’t be any Tuesday…at least not from the Wayne County Health Department.  Here’s Executive Director Christine Stinson.  "The Wayne County Health Department is closing its vaccination site for Tuesday.  All appointments will be rescheduled as soon as we know the weather is clear."  The Covid-19 testing site will also be closed.  Reid Health has also posted numerous office closings or delayed openings on its Facebook page.


RICHMOND WEATHER

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