(Wayne County, IN)--The U.S. Census has released new estimates for last year. Here are some of the more compelling numbers. According to the census, 55% of Wayne County kids under the age of six are now growing up in one-parent households, with only 45% growing up in traditional two-parent households. It’s a shift from 2005 when twice as many local kids grew up in two-parent households than as did with just one parent. Here’s another telling statistic. More than half of all Wayne County babies born last year, 54%, were born to girls or women who are currently living in poverty. Wayne County’s median household income now stands at $45,000. But, 42% of households are now earning less than $35,000 annually. The Census says the number of people under the age of 25 with bachelors’ degrees who are living locally has dropped by one-third in the last year. Wayne County’s population now stands at 66,185. That’s a drop of almost 800 people since 2005.
(Richmond, IN)--Belden received lots of praise from some of the highest members of the Trump administration during a visit to Richmond Tuesday. Karen Pence, the wife of Vice President Mike Pence, had heard about Belden’s program that provides not only help in beating drug addiction to employees and job applicants, but also offers a job when rehab is complete. "I knew that I wanted to visit the company and I knew the people that I wanted to bring with me," Pence said. That group included Surgeon General Dr. Jerome Adams, Secretary of Labor Alexander Acosta, and special counsel Kellyanne Conway. The group toured Belden’s Richmond facility on North West N as part of the visit.
(Connersville, IN)--Connersville has landed a new company, although local leaders are not saying much about it yet. Economic Development Group Director Dan Parker told local leaders that the company has already begun moving materials into its new location. What’s not become public yet is who the company is, where they’ll be located, and how many jobs will be created. Parker said that an announcement from the company would be coming soon.
(Richmond, IN)--"We might get to a point where I would make a motion to strike this." That’s Richmond Common Council member Misty Hollis said two weeks ago about an ordinance to rescind approval for funding on the second phase of the Loop bicycle project. And, Monday night, that’s exactly what happened. Council’s dropping of the ordinance came after a designer indicated that bike paths could be added without sacrificing parking. "You guys did a hell of a job, and that's what this is all about," said Roger Richert. Richert had placed used radio and billboards to plead for parking. "I would point out that every billboard did say 'please' and now it's time to say 'thank you,'" Richert added. Other Depot business owners like Jennifer Crawford were happy. "We were never against bike paths. We just wanted to keep out parking, and now it looks like we can do both," Crawford said. An advisory council has been created that will oversee the 18-24 month design and planning process for the second phase of the Loop project.
(Richmond, IN)--A Richmond man was captured after an alleged armed robbery downtown Monday morning. According to police reports, a woman was about to enter a downtown Richmond bank when she was approached by a man who was armed with a knife. That man took her purse and fled. He was quickly captured in a nearby service alley and identified as 40-year-old Arvel Stone. Stone remained in the Wayne County Jail Tuesday morning. The victim was not hurt.
(College Corner, OH)--Multiple agencies are investigating after homemade bombs have gone off in College Corner. Officers are calling them small IED's, but they carry a big punch. Here’s the resident of one house on Eaton Street. "It lights up the whole sky at night. It shakes the windows. It rattles, is really loud, and it feels like you've been shot." The devices consist of M-80’s, duct tape, and a detonation wire. Two of the devices have been discharged in the last week. No one has been injured.
(Richmond, IN)--Richmond Common Council President Jamie Lopeman has laid out specific guidelines for public comment when the controversial bicycle Loop project goes before council on Monday night. Lopeman filed the guidelines with the clerk’s office and said that public comment will be limited 30 minutes each for those in favor and those opposing an ordinance involving the loop. Each speaker will be limited to two minutes. Public commenters must first sign up at the clerk’s office with a deadline of noon on Monday. Speakers will be taken on a first-come, first serve basis. If the guidelines are rigidly enforced, it means that only the first 8-10 people to sign up on each side of the issue will be permitted to speak.
(Preble County, OH)--A 24-year-old man suffered significant injuries in a Preble County crash Wednesday night. He was traveling in the 3200 block of Eaton-Gettysburg Road when he lost control on a curve, sideswiped a minivan, and then hit a tree head-on. He was taken to Miami Valley Hospital in Dayton. "i strongly suggest that people be very cautious of their speeds, especially on these back county roads. Speed is definitely a factor in this crash," said Ohio Highway Patrol Trooper Dallas Root. The man’s identity and condition have not been released.
(Richmond, IN)--Here’s more on the effort of local leaders to obtain the Elder-Beerman building in downtown Richmond. Wayne County Commissioners will meet Wednesday to give final approval for consolidated EDIT money to be used to place a bid on the building next week. That money comes from Richmond and other towns across Wayne County. The assessed value of the building is close to two-and-a-half million dollars. County leaders have not said exactly how much the bid for the building will be, nor if there is a specific planned use if they are the successful bidder.
(Eaton, OH)--A man who allegedly attacked his own 88-year-old great uncle in Preble County is due in court Wednesday. 28-year-old Jeffery Hardin is facing a charge of attempted murder. The victim was seriously injured. Hardin is also accused of attacking a neighbor who would not give him a tire before firing two gunshots. The alleged attack happened just south of West Alexandria last month.
(Richmond, IN)--Efforts by local leaders to obtain the Elder-Beerman building in Richmond are intensifying. On Monday, the EDC Board gave approval to appoint CEO Valerie Shaffer as the primary point of contact for a bid on the building. The building is set to be auctioned off on September 20 in Chicago. Money for the bid will come from Wayne County’s consolidated EDIT fund. So far, local leaders have not said exactly what is planned for the building, although they have said they don’t want it to become another old Reid. A potential bid amount is also being withheld.
(Richmond, IN)--Richmond Common Council met as a Committee of the Whole Monday night to get more information from Mayor Dave Snow about his proposed changes involving next year’s budget. Much of the time was spent on Snow’s proposal to increase code enforcement to clean up unsightly properties. The Code Enforcement Department would include a chief officer, three full-time inspectors, and a four-person work crew. Snow also wants to initiate a program where rental properties would be inspected when they become vacant to make sure they’re up to code. Council will continue budget discussions when it meets again this coming Monday.
(Richmond, IN)--A murder trial got underway Monday in Wayne County. James Childers is on trial for the stabbing death a year and a half ago of Austin Sparks outside Mack’s Place in Richmond. In opening statements Monday, Childers’ attorney claimed that video will show that Childers did not commit the crime. Prosecutor Mike Shipman said the video and other evidence warrant a conviction. The prosecution was set to continue to present its case Tuesday morning.
(Fayette County, IN)--The search of a Fayette County pond for a body may be directly tied to the disappearance of a Connersville teenager 32 years ago. Late last week Kicks 96 News reported that a Department of Homeland Security canine had given a positive indication for human remains at a pond at the Mary Gray Bird Sanctuary just south of Connersville. Denise Pflum went missing in 1986. Sheriff Joey Laughlin has indicated that a break in the case is imminent, and urged people with knowledge to come forward. The pond was drained recently. Now, investigators are beginning to sift through the mud. The pond remains under constant surveillance.
(Fayette County, IN)--The Department of Homeland Security has now become involved in an investigation in Fayette County. According to the Facebook page of the Fayette County Sheriff’s Department, a positive indication of human remains was given by a canine at one of the ponds at the Mary Gray Bird Sanctuary. That area of the sanctuary is now off limits to the public and is under 24-hour surveillance by law enforcement agents. No other information has been provided, including what led authorities to search the pond. The property covers 264 acres and is operated by the Indiana Audubon Society.
(Richmond, IN)--Thursday was yet another case of a wanted person making it really easy for law enforcement. 39-year-old Clinton Elam of Richmond had been wanted for failing to appear. Elam was spotted sitting in the courtroom of Wayne Superior Court III. A deputy walked into the court’s office, obtained a copy of the warrant, and walked Elam out of the courtroom. He remained behind bars Friday morning.
(Spring Grove, IN)--Drivers on Waterfall Road will have to slow down beginning Thursday. According to the president of the Spring Grove Town Board, the installation of speed bumps from the bridge over Thistlethwaite Falls to Chester Boulevard will be installed Thursday. Residents along that stretch of roadway have complained regularly about speeding.
(Richmond, IN)--Richmond police had to go into an attic to get a wanted man Thursday morning. Officers went to the 400 block of South 14th at around 2 o’clock Thursday morning to apprehend 22-year-old Kiante Henderson. Henderson fled into the home’s attic and was eventually located and taken into custody. He’s being held on felony charges that include residential entry and criminal mischief.
(Union City, OH)--In Union City, a discussion is underway about allow fire and EMS workers to carry concealed firearms while on duty. The policy, if approved, would make Union City one of the first in the area to allow non-police first responders to carry weapons. Union City Police Chief Mark Ater told council this week that he believes those first responders should be able to protect them.
(Richmond, IN)--An ordinance that would put the brakes on plans to add bike paths to Fort Wayne Avenue and North E Street was sent to a Finance Committee after being introduced at Richmond Common Council Tuesday night. Before the ordinance came up, Mayor Dave Snow voiced his opposition. "It would be in the best interest of this community project to let the planning happen," Snow said. Specifically, the ordinance would allow council to reassume financial responsibility. Council member Misty Hollis met with Snow on the issue earlier in the day Tuesday. "I did sense from the mayor that he is willing to work more aligned with council and with the Depot District over the parking issue," Hollis said. It could mean the ordinance may be dropped. "The next two weeks, we might get to the point where I make a motion to strike this. I don't know. We'll have to see where we get," Hollis added. The 7th and 10th Street bike paths are continuing.