(Wayne County, IN)--Wayne County continues to shrink in relation to the number of people working and the number of people in the workforce. According to newly released numbers, Wayne County continues to move toward having less than 30,000 people in the workforce. Today, the number is 30,178, and that’s a drop of 95 people from last month and 643 fewer than this time last year. The number of people actually working in Wayne County dropped by 266 last month.
(Richmond, IN)--Lots of drugs were recovered when a couple was arrested in Richmond’s Veteran’s Memorial Park Friday morning. 34-year-old Jesse Gross of Bath and 36-year-old Amanda Hoskins of Liberty were allegedly using drugs in the Whitewater Gorge. Hoskins was charged with possession of drugs, syringes, and paraphernalia. It’s Hoskins’ fourth drug arrest in Wayne County just this year, including one as recently as three weeks ago.
(Randolph County, IN)--A brand new state historical marker will be placed in Randolph County on Sunday. It’s located in a very rural area northeast of Spartanburg and will mark the location of the Union Literary Institute. The school was a noted stop along the Underground Railroad and was one of the first in Indiana to allow black students. When it was established in 1846, black students were excluded from public schools by state law. It was attended by Hiram Revels, the first black U.S. Senator.
(Richmond, IN)--Wayne County is considering ending the publishing of legal ads and public notices in the Palladium-Item. The county and other entities are legally required to publish notifications of meetings, sheriff’s sales, and a host of other issues. Historically, that’s been done in the local newspaper. But it’s not likely to happen any longer. County Attorney Ron Cross told Wayne County Commissioners that the Palladium has not been responsive to requests for legal ads. Cross added that Sheriff Jeff Cappa reported problems with advertising sheriff's sales with the Palladium-Item. Cross also said that other municipalities in Wayne County are also switching from the Palladium to Western Wayne News. Now, the county is considering using the Western Wayne News and Nettle Creek Gazette. A change would mean a significant savings. In the last four years, the county has spent $144,000 with the Palladium, but only $27,000 with Western Wayne News.
(Wayne County, IN)--New grant money has been awarded for more local road projects. State Representative Dick Hamm announced Wednesday that Wayne County would get half a million dollars. The city of Richmond will get nearly $550,000, while Hagerstown will get $270,000. Meanwhile, traffic on Chester Boulevard between Sim Hodgin Parkway and North C Street will be shifted Friday onto new pavement on the east side of the road. One lane will stay open in each direction.
(Richmond, IN)--Marijuana was recovered following a crash on Elks Road in Richmond early Thursday morning. Police reports indicate a car driven by 33-year-old Lindsey Hedge of Fountain City sheared off a utility pole when she crashed near the east entrance to Glen Miller Park. Hedge was taken to Reid Health, where she allegedly had a blood alcohol content of .213. The amount of marijuana that was recovered has not been released.
(Fayette County, IN)--16 students were taken to Fayette Regional Health System when a school bus crashed just south of Connersville High School Tuesday afternoon. The students were all members of the Sunman-Dearborn Middle School swim team who were headed to Connersville for a swim meet. The superintendent said it was a scary sight. "When you show up and see a bus on its side with fluid on the ground and windows broken out...you can imagine how frightened the students were." None of the injuries were serious. The bus driver told investigators that the brakes went out as the bus was coming down a hill.
(Richmond, IN)--Yet another major Richmond roadway is set to be affected by construction. It will happen this weekend, when an INDOT contractor closes U.S. 27 at the I-70 interchange. The good news is that it will only last for the weekend beginning at 9 o’clock Friday night, but it will prevent travel on 27 between Richmond and Fountain City. Contractors will be replacing bridge joints and modifying the concrete deck.
(Richmond, IN)--A Richmond business is being acquired by another company. Smith Implements sells farm and other equipment near the junction of U.S. 35 and State Road 38. Smith Implements is being acquired by Koenig Equipment. Keonig is based in Botkins Ohio and operates a store in Oxford. The first day of business for the new operation is scheduled for the end of next month. Smith Implements had operated for nearly four decades.
Enrollment at IU-East is strong again, even though numbers are down slightly. The school says almost 35-hundred students are enrolled for the fall semester. That’s down 2.6-percent from the fall of 2016, but IU East says the decline was caused by a change in how enrollment is calculated. The Indiana University system no longer counts high school students taking dual-credit classes as part of enrollment at its campuses.
Public hearings will be scheduled on a proposed hike in sewer rates. No vote was taken after a first reading of the rate increase during last night’s meeting of Richmond Common Council. The increase would pay for court-ordered improvements to the sewer system, and sanitation engineer Elijah Welch says the city is trying to keep costs as low as possible. The proposal would raise sewer rates for customers by 35-percent over the next three years.
The Richmond Common Council has approved two loans to pay for the demolition of the old Reid Hospital. The amount of one of the loans was cut after the city got a contribution of more than 1.4 million dollars from Wayne County. Councilman Clay Miller is among those happy that the city is also spending some cash on hand for the project. The two loans total around eight million dollars.
Road crews are starting work on Round Barn Road today. That means a stretch of the road from Gaar Jackson Road to Industries Road will be closed for the next 45 days. The project will widen Round Barn Road so it can handle truck traffic from the new Blue Buffalo plant being built at the Midwest Industrial Park on the far northwest side of Richmond.
(RICHMOND)- Part of East Main Street in Richmond is still closed almost two weeks after a water main break. Now, Indiana American Water says it will be shutting down more lanes of the street soon to make permanent repairs. The westbound lanes of East Main near 16th Street have been impacted since a water main broke on September 5th. The water company says it is working with INDOT on a plan to replace all five lanes of a section of East Main sometime over the next two weeks.
(Richmond, IN)--Richmond residents are facing the possibility of a substantial increase in sewer bills. Richmond’s Common Council on Monday will address a proposal that would increase sewer rates by 35 percent over the next three years, beginning with a 15 percent increase next year. The increase would cover $33 million in bonds for five projects that are largely court-mandated repairs to an aging sewer system. Richmond is currently eight years into a 21-year rebuilding schedule.
(Camden, OH)--Investigators in Preble County have recovered the black box from the Richmond semi that caused the death of three people and an unborn child earlier this week in Camden. Police say Centerville’s Brian Murphy was speeding and was inattentive behind the wheel of the semi. This investigator said the black box can confirm it. "...how fast the truck was going...did the truck put the brakes on?...It will tell us everything that was going on in that truck." Murphy was still in a medically induced coma Friday morning. The company that Murphy was driving for, Family Tradition, LLC in Richmond, refused to comment Thursday.
(Winchester, IN)--78 residents of the Randolph Nursing Center were evacuated in ten minutes when a fire broke out there Thursday. The fire started because of a faulty roof ventilation unit. Winchester firefighters saw flames shooting from the roof when they arrived. The fire was quickly contained and caused only about $2500 in damage. There were no injuries. Winchester Fire Chief Gary Moore said the fire could have been much more devastating if not for the staff’s quick reaction.
(Columbus, OH)--The Ohio Department of Education released report cards for schools across the state Thursday, including those in our area. Only a handful of schools statewide got A’s, and a small percentage got B’s. In Preble County, National Trail, Eaton, and Twin Valley all received C’s. Tri County North and Preble Shawnee got D’s. Tri Village in Darke County also received a D.
(Hagerstown, IN)--Autocar in Hagerstown is expanding, but it won’t be anywhere close to the Whitewater Valley. Autocar is investing $120 million into a facility in Birmingham, Alabama that will create 750 new jobs. "Not just any jobs, but jobs that pay a high salary," said Alabama Governor Kay Ivey making the announcement Wednesday. The announcement does not mean that Autocar will close its Hagerstown plant that employs 170 people, but it does mean that some production lines will be moved or decreased. Autocar said it chose Alabama because of its great business environment and skilled workforce.
(Richmond, IN)--On Wednesday night, the Richmond Community School Board approved putting the CR Richardson Elementary building up for sale. That building has gone unused by RCS for several years but is the current home to both the Excel Center and the YMCA. Leases go into next year and would be honored with any purchase agreement. An asking price for the building was not discussed. One more RCS note…Wednesday’s postponed homecoming parade takes place Thursday night. It goes from 10th and East Main along Main Street and ends at the high school.