Local News

FAYETTE REGIONAL OFFICIALLY BECOMES REID HEALTH CONNERSVILLE

(Connersville, IN)--Fayette Regional Health System is now Reid Health Connersville.  Some of the staff members from Richmond’s Reid were on hand at 12:01 Tuesday morning when the switch became official.  There were also welcoming activities for Connersville employees Tuesday morning who have remained through the switch.  Before Tuesday morning, Fayette Regional had operated independently in Connersville for 106 years.


DRAKE NOT JAILED IN WAYNE, SURROUNDING COUNTIES OVER WEEKEND

(Hagerstown, IN)--There have been no significant developments over the weekend in the case of Tom Drake, the long-time Hagerstown teacher and coach who now faces a charge of sexual misconduct with a minor involving a 14-year-old female student.  Drake was not jailed in Wayne or any surrounding county over the weekend.  Nettle Creek Schools is also not commenting on the issue, including whether or not other girls have similar allegations.  The alleged victim told investigators that she had seen Drake stare at other girls inappropriately.  A male witness told investigators that many students in class knew about Drake’s behavior and commonly talked about it.  Drake is now 68 years old and taught at Hagerstown for 40 years.


FAYETTE REGIONAL NAME CHANGE GOES INTO EFFECT TUESDAY

(Connersville, IN)--Monday is the day that Reid Health is expected to complete the acquisition of the assets of Fayette Regional Health System.  And, on Tuesday, the hospital will take the new name “Reid Health Connersville”.  In preparation for the changeover, Reid has released a list of services it will provide.  Those include an around-the-clock emergency department, radiology, and lab services but no birthing center.  Nearly 200 fewer people are now officially employed at the hospital than were back in May, although many of those positions are still in the rehiring process.


COUPLE WITH LENGTHY CRIMINAL RECORDS ARRESTED MONDAY MORNING

(Richmond, IN)--A Richmond couple with a long criminal history is facing a new round of charges after being arrested Monday morning.  35-year-old Jacob Lowery and 27-year-old Heather Capps were captured near North 13 and E Street early Monday morning.  Charges for both today include dealing both heroin and methamphetamine.  Lowery has 66 previous criminal charges just in Wayne County.  Capps has 15 previous charges, including multiple charges for drug-dealing.


AFFIDAVIT DETAILS ALLEGATIONS AGAINST HAGERSTOWN TEACHER, COACH

WARNING: ARTICLE CONTAINS SENSITIVE SUBJECT MATTER THAT MAY BE TRIGGERING TO SOME INDIVIDUALS! 

 

(Hagerstown, IN)--On Friday, Kicks 96 and 101.7 The Point obtained the affidavit that details the allegations against long-time Hagerstown teacher and coach William Tom Drake.  A warrant has been issued through Wayne Circuit Court for Drake's arrest on the charge of Sexual Misconduct With A Minor But Committed By A Person At Least 21 Years Old.  What follows is the complete affidavit filed through Wayne Circuit Court.

Jack Leverton affirms that he has probable cause to believe that William T. Drake has
committed the criminal offense of Sexual Misconduct With A Minor, I.C. 35-42-4-9(b)(1),
a Level 5 Felony and that said probable cause consists of the following facts, to-wit:
Affiant states that he is employed as an officer With the Hagerstown Police Department
and became involved in an investigation involving the defendant named herein, William
T. Drake.


Affiant states that this Affidavit 0f Probable Cause is intended not as a complete recital 0f
all material facts relevant to this investigation but is made solely for the purpose of
establishing probable cause.


On February 28, 2019, I, Officer J. Leverton, responded to Hagerstown Jr./Sr. High
School located at 701 Baker Road in Hagerstown, Wayne County, Indiana. Upon
arrival, I spoke with Principal Dave Tyner and Asst. Principal Emily Schaeffer. They
advised that a female student, Victim 1, age 14, reported that a male teacher, William T.
Drake engaged in inappropriate, unwanted sexual contact with Victim 1.


Victim 1 reported that she has caught Mr. Drake on numerous occasions stating at her
body, specifically her butt, while in class. Victim 1 stated that Mr. Drake would stare at
her in a manner she described as sexual in nature. Victim 1 stated that Mr. Drake would
look up and down her body and would look down her shirt when Victim 1 was talking to
him. Victim 1 advised that she has observed Mr. Drake stare at other girls in the same
manner while in school. Victim 1 further reported that Mr. Drake rubbed his front side
on her butt in a sexual manner at the Snowball Dance. Victim 1 advised that Mr. Drake
was constantly touching Victim 1 an inappropriate amount prior to the Snowball Dance
as well.


The DCS Hotline was contacted by the School Principal upon receiving Victim 1's report.
I confirmed this With the local DCS Office. I was advised not to speak With Victim 1 until
a DCS caseworker could speak with her.


I was thereafter contacted by Kathy Hodge, DCS Case worker. She stated that she went
CASE NUMBER: 89C01-1907-F5-000075 FILED: 7/8/2019 to the school and spoke with Victim 1. At that time, she had no plans to have a JACY House interview with Victim 1. She did however contact Mr. Drake. Mr. Drake agreed to speak with her on Monday, March 11, 2019 at the Hagerstown Police Department.


On March 11, 2019, DCS interviewed Mr. Drake at the Police Station. After the
interview, DCS advised there would be no further investigation into this matter, unless
additional information comes forward.


On Tuesday, March 19, 2019, Victim 1 provided more detailed accusations concerning
William Drake.


On Wednesday, March 20, 2019 at approximately 1:00 PM, I attended a JACY House
interview of Victim 1 performed by Amanda Wilson. Victim 1 again stated that Mr.
Drake would stop her by his desk and look at her up and down and continue to look at
her butt as she walked away. Victim 1 stated that this class was prior to her lunch period.
She stated that sometimes Mr. Drake would touch her butt as she walked out. She stated
she would make an effort to get out of the classroom before Mr Drake could touch her.
She stated that when she was able to do this, Mr. Drake would treat her differently.
During the JACY House interview, Victim 1 stated the first incident occurred at the
Hagerstown Jr./Sr. High School Snowball Dance on or about December 8, 2018 in
Hagerstown. She stated that, during the dance, Mr. Drake put his hands on Victim 1's
hips and slowly, but aggressively, pushed his privates onto her butt.


Victim 1 then reported that, sometime after the Snowball Dance but before to the end of
February, she was alone in a classroom With Mr. Drake. Victim 1 advised that Mr. Drake
told another student, John Doe 1, to tell Victim 1 that she needed to stay after class.
Victim 1 advised that this occurred during a break after class but before the lunch period.
Victim 1 reported that she did stay after class. During this time, Victim 1 reported that
Mr. Drake cornered Victim 1 in his class room, held her hands to the sides, and started
sniffing down her neck. She stated that he then whispered to her that "he was ready to
finally get her alone and was glad it was this way." Victim 1 stated Mr. Drake tried to
remove her shirt and whispered to her to unbutton her pants. She stated she was so
scared that she could not react. She stated he turned her body around and pushed his
body against her back and was sniffing her hair and trying to remove her pants. Victim 1
stated Mr. Drake had his pants undone and forced her hands onto his privates. She stated
that at this same time, he tried to put his hands inside her pants and underwear. Victim 1
stated she was still too scared to say anything. During this encounter, Victim 1 stated the
classroom phone rang. Victim 1 stated that the phone ringing seemed to spook Mr.
Drake. She stated that she was able to get out of the room when the phone rang. When
she left the classroom, Victim 1 stated she went to the bathroom, locked herself in a stall,
and began to vomit. During the interview, Victim 1 stated that she feels that if the phone
had not rung, he may have continued to touch her, and possibly would have raped her.
Victim 1 stated that, on the day of the incident, a classmate, John Doe 1, knew that Mr.
Drake had stopped her before she could leave the room and that she was the last student
in the room when John Doe 1 left.


On March 22, 2019, an interview was performed With a classmate of Victim 1, identified
as John Doe 1. John Doe 1 stated that, sometime after the Snowball Dance, students in
his class were leaving the room for lunch when Mr. Drake asked him to relay a message
to Victim 1. He stated that Mr. Drake told him to tell Victim 1 that Mr. Drake wanted to
speak to Victim 1 after class. John Doe 1 stated that Victim 1 remained in the classroom
as the other students left for the lunchroom. John Doe 1 stated that he went to the
lunchroom as well. Approximately 5-10 minutes later, John Doe 1 stated that he observed
Victim 1 enter the lunchroom upset and crying. John Doe 1 stated that he was not at her
lunch table so he did not know why Victim 1 was upset. John Doe 1 added that he has
observed Mr. Drake watch Victim 1 walk into class on several occasions While staring at
Victim 1's butt. John Doe 1 stated that students in the classroom knew about this
behavior and that it was commonly talked about. John Doe 1 stated that he did observe a
separate incident where Mr. Drake place his hand on Victim 1's butt. John Doe 1 stated
that Mr. Drake tried to make it look accidental, but that John Doe 1 believed that Mr.
Drake touch Victim 1 intentionally. John Doe 1 stated Victim 1 pulled her body away
from Mr. Drake when he touched her, and quickly left the classroom. John Doe 1 could
not give an exact date of this incident, but did state that it occurred after the Snowball
Dance.


On April 8, 2019, at approximately 11:15 AM, I spoke With William T. Drake at the
Police Station. I read Mr. Drake his Miranda Rights and Waiver of Rights. Mr. Drake
stated he understood his rights, signed the Waiver of Rights and advised that he was
willing to make a statement. I advised Mr. Drake of the additional allegations that had
been made by the Victim. Mr. Drake was already aware of these allegations, having
spoken to Kathy Hodge, Indiana Department 0f Child Services prior to speaking With
me. Mr. Drake denied all the allegations made against him by the Victim. Mr. Drake
stated he did not make any physical contact with the Victim or any other student(s). Mr.
Drake claims he did not remember having the Victim stay after class on the day in
question as stated by Victim 1 and John Doe 1. Mr. Drake stated he could not think of
anything that would cause Victim 1 to report What she reported.


Affiant states that William T. Drake is an adult over the age of eighteen.
This affidavit of Probable Cause is made for the purpose of establishing that probable
cause exists for the issuance of an arrest warrant for William T. Drake for the criminal
offense of Sexual Misconduct With A Minor, I.C. 35-42-4-9(b)(1), a Level 5 Felony.
A11 of the events described herein occurred in Wayne County, Indiana.
I affirm under the penalties for perjury, as specified in I.C. 35-44.1-2-1, that the foregoing
representations are true, this 2nd day 0f May, 2019


DOXPOP SHOWS ARREST WARRANT FOR LONG-TIME HAGERSTOWN TEACHER, COACH

(Hagerstown, IN)--The organization Doxpop today on Friday morning was displaying what appears to be an active arrest warrant for a long-time Hagerstown teacher and coach on a charge of sexual misconduct with a minor.  According to the document on doxpop.com, Wayne Circuit Court Judge David Kolger has found probable cause for the issuance of a warrant against William Drake, who uses his middle name - Tom.  According to a biography on the Nettle Creek School website, Drake has been with the school for 40 years and is the winningest football coach in Hagerstown history.  The specific charge against Drake is Sexual Misconduct With A Minor But Committed By A Person At Least 21 Years Old.  That’s a Level 5 Felony, which is a relatively low-level felony.  Details of what Drake is alleged to have done are not included in the warrant.  Drake had not yet been taken into custody as of 6 o’clock Friday morning.


PUBLIC COMMENT ON ATV's ON COUNTY ROADS SET FOR 24th

(Wayne County, IN)--The 24th of this month is when a public hearing will take place about allowing all-terrain vehicles on Wayne County roads.  The ordinance would allow ATV’s, golf carts, and snowmobiles on county roads, but would not include the city of Richmond or other towns.  Riders would still have to have a driver’s license and insurance.  About half of Indiana’s counties allow off-road vehicles in some form.  Wayne County Commissioners could vote on the ordinance after the public portion of the meeting.


PREBLE COUNTY SHERIFF: MORE DEPUTIES NEEDED

(Preble County, OH)--Preble County Sheriff Mike Simpson says the county is in need of more deputies.  He’s requested an additional $131,000 to hire new deputies and relieve the strain on those already working.  That addition would not require a tax increase.  The shortage has, at times, forced the sheriff himself to go on patrol.  A similar request was turned down last November.  Commissioners will take up the issue again on Monday.


CHILD ABUSE IN WAYNE COUNTY TRENDING DOWNWARD

(Wayne County, IN)--The number of substantiated cases of child abuse and neglect in Wayne County is trending downward.  According to new numbers from the state, Wayne County had 147 new cases of child abuse and neglect in the first half of this year.  That’s a modest five-percent drop compared to the first half of last year.  Wayne County had 23 cases this June, and that’s less than half of the 50 cases it had in June of 2018.


RIBBON CUT ON DOWNTOWN RICHMOND CONSTRUCTION

(Richmond, IN)--In a prepared statement, Indiana Governor Eric Holcomb said Wednesday that construction in downtown Richmond goes beyond building new roads – it’s about strengthening the entire community.  A ceremonial ribbon-cutting was held Wednesday to recognize the completion of the $24 million project.  "It has been a long, arduous process.  The community was under construction fatigue, but the end result has made it worth it," said Richmond Mayor Dave Snow.  INDOT representatives were on hand and said that early returns on the panel project on South A Street were good.


PIZZA DELIVERY DRIVER ROBBED AT GUNPOINT

(Richmond, IN)--Police are looking for a man who robbed a pizza delivery driver at gunpoint overnight.  A delivery had been ordered late Tuesday night for a home in the 500 block of South 11th.  It was later determined that that house was vacant.  When the driver arrived, a man brandished a handgun, demanded money, and then fled down an alley.  The only description of the suspect that’s become available so far is that he was a black male wearing a U.S. Army shirt.  The delivery driver was not hurt.


OVERNIGHT GARAGE FIRE LIKELY ARSON

(Richmond, IN)--Investigators will be looking for what are likely arsonists after two overnight fires in Richmond.  Three different fires broke out in less than half an hour early Wednesday morning.  A trash receptacle was set on fire on North 13th.  Then, a few minutes later, a detached garage was set on fire about a block away.  Witnesses saw people running from the scene of that fire.  There’s no word yet on the amount of damage to the garage.  No injuries were reported.


FIREWORKS COMPLAINTS MINIMAL AFTER RPD WARNING

(Richmond, IN)--Most Richmond residents appear to have heeded the warning from a Richmond police captain about fireworks.  Early Monday morning, an RPD captain posted on social media that fireworks would no longer be tolerated and that the 4th of July is over.  Wayne County dispatchers now say that there was only a couple of fireworks complaint calls late Monday night and into Tuesday morning.  There’s no word yet on whether or not any citations have actually been handed out since the warning was issued.


RIBBON-CUTTING TO RECOGNIZE CONSTRUCTION COMPLETION

(Richmond, IN)--A ribbon-cutting ceremony has been set for Wednesday to recognize the completion of downtown Richmond street construction.  INDOT Commissioner Joe McGinness and Richmond Mayor Dave Snow will take part in the event at 1 Wednesday afternoon at the Model T Museum.  The $24 million project was part of Governor Eric Holcomb’s Next Level Roads program.


SHORTER ROUTE ADDED TO REID RIDE

(Richmond, IN)--Organizers on Tuesday will be working on finalizing plans for this year’s Reid ride.  The 11th bicycle ride through Wayne County is set for this Saturday morning.  This year, there’s a new option.  In addition to the traditional 25-mile route, there’s now a 14-mile route for riders who don’t want to go quite as far.  Both routes will wind their way through the Fountain City and Webster area.  Up to a thousand riders are expected to take part in the event, which helps provide shoes to needy kids.


RPD CAPTAIN: TOLERANCE FOR FIREWORKS ENDS AT 3 PM MONDAY

(Richmond, IN)--Captain Bobby Lipps of the Richmond Police Department issued a statement about fireworks Monday morning.  Lipps made a social media post saying that 2nd Shift RPD will not be tolerant of fireworks being discharged.  Lipps said that, beginning at 3 o’clock Monday afternoon, anyone setting off fireworks will be issued a fine of $50 and the fireworks will be confiscated.  He ended the post by saying that the 4th of July is over.  Indiana state law says that fireworks can be set off until 11 o’clock at night year-round, but that guideline can be overridden by local ordinance.  Dispatchers said the latest fireworks complaint overnight  Sunday night came in at around 11:30.


RPD LOOKS TO RETURN ITEMS STOLEN FROM VEHICLES

(Richmond, IN)--Late last week, Kicks 96 and 101.7 The Point reported that Charles Tucker and Taylor Glander of Richmond had been arrested on meth-related charges.  Now, Richmond Police investigators say that Tucker and Glander have been responsible for a string of thefts.  Now, there’s an effort underway to get the stolen property back to its rightful owners.  Anyone who has had property taken from their vehicles since late May is being encouraged to contact RPD.


MAN JAILED FOR ATTACKING POLICE OFFICER

(Richmond, IN)--A Richmond man was in jail Friday morning after allegedly attacking a Richmond Police officer Thursday.  Officers came into contact with 31-year-old James Napier at the Genesis Apartments on South 23rd.  Napier was allegedly trying to enter a vehicle illegally and was then charged with felony battery on a police officer.  Napier is no stranger to the Wayne County Jail.  He was booked in three seperate times just last month.


PICKUP DRIVER COLLIDES WITH TRAIN

(Eaton, OH)--A pickup truck driver escaped injury at around 2 o’clock Thursday afternoon when that pickup truck and a train collided on North Barron Street in Eaton.  The pickup sustained front-end damage and was pushed a short distance down the tracks.  Investigators have not yet said if the driver attempted to go around the cross arm or released other factors that led to the crash.


IVY TECH'S CHANCELLOR ACCEPTS NEW ROLE; SEARCH FOR REPLACEMENT BEGINS

(Richmond, IN)--His job performance as Chancellor of Ivy Tech in Richmond has been described as wonderful, and now Chad Bolser is taking on an even bigger role.  Bolser has been named the Vice President of Operations for Indiana’s southern campuses.  He’ll oversee operations in nine southern Indiana cities, including Richmond.  Dr. Stacy Atkinson will serve as the Acting Chancellor while a national search for Bolser’s replacement begins.


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