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WAYNE COUNTY COVID-19 CASES DO NOT REFLECT NATIONAL SPIKES

(Richmond, IN)--Richmond and Wayne County have seen modest increases in Covid-19 cases this week, but nothing near the spikes seen in some parts of the country.  The number of patients in Reid containment areas has gone from 15 on Monday to 23 on Thursday.  There have been only four new confirmed cases this week in Wayne County.  Beginning Saturday, Indiana enters Stage 4.5 of its reopening.  That stage allows schools to begin operations, with extra-curricular activities beginning as soon as Monday.  It also allows for fairs and festivals to take place with some restrictions.


VICTIM IN FATAL FIREWORKS EXPLOSION IDENTIFIED

(Franklin County, IN)--The victim in the Tuesday night’s fatal fire and explosions just east of Brookville has now been identified as 69-year-old Donald Winters.  Winters was the owner of a permitted firework display company that was preparing for a show this weekend when the explosions occurred.  The Department of Homeland Security has now taken over the investigation and is withholding most other details.  Three other people were flown to University Hospital in Cincinnati.  All were reportedly in critical condition.  Their names have not been released.  There’s still no word on what caused the incident.


CENTERVILLE TEEN CHARGED WITH STRANGULATION

(Centerville, IN)--A Centerville teen was jailed Wednesday night and on Thursday morning faced charges that include felony strangulation.  Police were called to the 100 block of West Plum Street in Centerville.  There, they found a victim who had allegedly been head-butted by 19-year-old Jared Presley.  Presley also is accused of putting his hands around the victim’s throat.  She was checked at the scene by medics.  Presley was also charged with domestic battery.


ONE DEAD, FOUR HURT IN FIREWORKS EXPLOSION

(Franklin County, IN)--One person is dead and four others were injured in a massive explosion and barn fire in Franklin County Tuesday night.  It happened on Whitcomb Road just east of Brookville.  Neighbors heard explosions that they said sounded like fireworks.  The owner of the structure that exploded is known to have put on large fireworks displays.  Three of the four injuries were serious enough to require medical helicopters, which flew the victims to University Hospital in Cincinnati.  Identities and conditions of survivors have not been released.  Investigators will be back on the scene Wednesday.


RICHMOND BAKING COMPANY EVACUATED FOR POSSIBLE ARMED INTRUDER

(Richmond, IN)--It was a scary morning Wednesday morning for third-shift workers at the Richmond Baking Company.  At around 1:30, there was a report that a man armed with a knife and hatchet had jumped off a building there.  Scanner traffic indicated the Baking Company was evacuated when the man was thought to have entered.  He was located on a platform, but refused to come down for a short time.  He eventually surrendered as was taken to Reid Health for evaluation.  There were no injuries to employees.


EFFECT OF COVID-19 NOW EVIDENT ON WAYNE CO. JOBS FOR 1/4 OF YEAR

(Wayne County, IN)--It’s now been 13 weeks, or one-quarter of the year, that the effects of Covid-19 have been visible on Wayne County jobs.  In those 13 weeks, there have been 5741 jobless claims.  That’s after another 213 Wayne County residents filed last week, according to figures that were released Tuesday.  Each week in those 13 weeks, the number of jobless claims has been at least ten times what they were last year.


COVID-19 REPORTED INSIDE WAYNE COUNTY ADMINISTRATION BUILDING

(Richmond, IN)--The Wayne County Administration Building remains closed to the public for a couple of more weeks.  The reason given last week on the county’s website was to allow the county more time to obtain personal protective equipment.  But, it appears that may not be the only reason.  Some city and county leaders indicated Monday that there are multiple cases of Covid-19 among people who work inside the building and called the delay a quarantine.  There is at least one case in the Assessor’s office.  One employee said there are as many as four more cases.  The Wayne County Commissioner’s Office did not return calls on Monday.


SHOTS FIRED NEAR DAIRY QUEEN

(Richmond, IN)--Shots were fired in Richmond Tuesday morning.  Police were called to an area near the Dairy Queen on North 10th at around 2 o’clock Tuesday morning on the report of multiple shots fired.  Shell casings were recovered at the scene.  No injuries were reported.  Officers were unable to locate the shooter.  The only description, according to scanner traffic, is that it was an older male.


PAPA MURPHY'S IN RICHMOND CLOSES PERMANENTLY

(Richmond, IN)--An East Main Street building that has housed multiple restaurants in its history will soon be empty again.  Papa Murphy’s Pizza has announced that it is closing permanently.  Papa Murphy’s had been open for almost eight years, but had been experienced declining sales even before Covid-19.  But, according to owners, the virus was the final blow.  The building that housed Papa Murphy’s was once home to Subway and, before that, Arthur Treacher’s.


TERRILL TO LEAD CROWN POINT SCHOOLS BEGINNING JULY 13

(Crown Point, IN)--Crown Point Schools in northwestern Indiana has narrowed its search for a new school superintendent down to one candidate, and that candidate is reportedly outgoing Richmond Superintendent Todd Terrill.  Crown Point officials are not publically releasing Terrill’s name and would neither confirm nor deny that Terrill is their pick.  A Crown Point school board member indicated that the new superintendent would earn $165,000 annually with a $750 monthly vehicle allowance.  The board is expected to vote on the contract on July 6 with Terrill starting on July 13.


REID DOWN TO 15 PATIENTS IN COVID-19 CONTAINMENT AREAS

(Richmond, IN)--While some sections of the country are seeing significant spikes in Covid-19, the percentage of increase in the number of Whitewater Valley cases is holding relatively steady.  Wayne County now has had 124 cases and continues to increase by about ten percent weekly.  The number of hospitalizations, though, is down significantly.  Reid Health now says it has only 15 patients in containment areas.  That’s one-third of what it was a month ago.  The percentage of positive tests is also dropping.  Reid has tested just shy of 3900 people with a positive rate of about four percent.


SUGARCREEK DECISION TO IMPACT CAMBRIDGE CITY SEWER CUSTOMERS

(Cambridge City, IN)--SugarCreek Packing has added $17 million in equipment and is ready to ramp up production once the wastewater issue at the Gateway Industrial Park is solved.  The decision on whether to treat its own wastewater or remain a customer of the Western Wayne Sewer District could have a big impact on residents in the Cambridge City area.  If SugarCreek remains a customer, the average residential bill would be around $54 per month, according to a CPA.  Without SugarCreek, that bill would jump to about $82 monthly.  SugarCreek employs 600 people but laid some off due to Covid-19.


EVEN MORE PEOPLE ARE FILING FOR UNEMPLOYMENT

Even as more businesses open across Indiana, more people are filing for unemployment.  The Labor Department says 31,885 Hoosiers filed for benefits for the week ending June 20th.  That’s an increase of almost 8,000 from the previous week.  County numbers for unemployment benefits will be released on Monday.  In Ohio, 34,553 people filed claims for unemployment last week, an increase of just over 1,000 from the previous week.


CONCERT CANCELED AT THE GREAT DARKE COUNTY FAIR

The Great Darke County Fair is going on as scheduled, but the concert at the fair will not.  The board of governors for the Darke County Agricultural Society voted to cancel the concert that would have been headlined by country star Chris Janson.  The board says under Ohio state guidelines, the grandstands can only be half full.  The board says that would not generate enough money to support the concert.

 


WAYNE COUNTY GOVERNMENT BUILDINGS TO REMAIN CLOSED

Government buildings in Wayne County will remain closed to the public an additional week.  The county had planned to open buildings July 6th. But the Wayne County Board of Commissioners delayed it until July 13th because masks, hand sanitizer and protective gloves for the public still haven’t arrived.  County buildings are still open by appointment.    The delay means you will not be able to pay your property taxes in Wayne County in person, if you haven’t paid them yet.  Governor Eric Holcomb’s 60-day waiver period for penalties on late property taxes expires July 10th.  You can pay your taxes using the drop box in the county Administration Building's parking lot.  You can also mail your payment to the Wayne County Treasurer, or pay at First Bank Richmond and Wayne Bank and Trust branches.


$25 MILLION WILL BE USED FOR COVID-19 RENTER'S ASSISTANCE FOR HOOSIERS

 

Governor Eric Holcomb says Indiana will use $25 million dollars in federal relief money to help people who are struggling to pay rent due to the impact of the coronavirus outbreak.  On Wednesday, the governor announced the Indiana COVID-19 Rental Assistance Program. It will provide up to $500 in assistance for four months for a maximum of $2,000 in help to eligible renters to help cover past and ongoing rent payments or late fees. It will be available to residents in every county. However, you must meet certain criteria, such as having lost a job or some income due to the pandemic.


CENTERVILLE MAN CHARGED WITH INTIMIDATION AFTER BEING SHOT BY POLICE

A man from Centerville who was shot and wounded by a police officer in Richmond last month has been charged with intimidation.  The Wayne County Prosecutor’s office brought charges against 34-year-old Brian Christopher Sherer.  Sherer was shot in the legs by a Richmond officer May 24th in the parking lot outside Richmond Police headquarters.   Police say Sherer had been threatening officers and was shot when he charged at police while holding a knife.


OHIO PUBLIC SCHOOLS WILL START ON SCHEDULE, ACCORDING TO DEWINE

Ohio’s governor is promising parents that children will return to public schools on schedule this fall. Governor Mike DeWine also said there would be no surprises when it comes to COVID-19 restrictions and modifications the state will recommend to schools.  DeWine says once the guidelines are issued, he wants kids to return to the classroom, but he also says it will be left up to local school districts to provide safeguards from the coronavirus.

 


PROPOSAL TO BRING US SPACE FORCE TO WRIGHT-PATTERSON AFB

Ohio Governor Mike DeWine has given his support to a plan to bring the headquarters of the U.S. Space Force Command to Wright-Patterson Air Force Base.  DeWine sent a letter to the assistant Air Force Secretary endorsing the idea. The Air Force and Secretary of Defense have been taking nominations for Space Force headquarters since May.  Earlier, two members of Indiana’s Congressional delegation nominated Grissom Joint Air Reserve Base north of Kokomo.


NEW COACHES AT RICHMOND HIGH SCHOOL

Richmond High School has new coaches for men’s soccer and cross country.  Carson Jones was elevated from assistant coach to head soccer coach for the Red Devils.  Jones is still a student at I-U East and played soccer for the Red Wolves.  Dylan Cope will be the new cross-country coach for Richmond High.  Cope coached cross country for Richmond Intermediate School last year.  He also competed at I-U East and holds the school record in the 800 and 15-hundred meters.


RICHMOND WEATHER

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