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(Richmond, IN)--The exact state ranking of Richmond’s Tiernan Center in terms of basketball seating capacity has been in dispute recently.  One count had it 6th with a capacity of 8100.  Another had it 4th at 7786.  But, one thing is for sure…the Tiernan Center will no longer be anywhere in the top ten for seating after new bleachers were approved this week by the Richmond Community School Board.  The new seating capacity of 5700 would rank the Tiernan Center roughly 16th in Indiana and make it smaller than the Spartan Bowl.  In recent years, the Tiernan Center has not been even half full for most regular-season games.

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(Connersville, IN)--Fayette County’s needle exchange program is operational again.  It’s been renamed Harm Reduction Alliance, and it’s operating out of the Meridian Health Services building on West 3rd in Connersville.  The program had ceased operations midway through last year as part of the bankruptcy of Fayette Regional Health System and ultimate takeover by Reid Health.  Reid is furnishing many of the supplies needed for the program.  It’s open Wednesday mornings and Thursday afternoons.

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(Richmond, IN)--Wayne County Commissioners have decided against a property tax increase that looked like it would be enacted just a few weeks ago.  The proposed increase would have amounted to about $17 per year for a homeowner with a $100,000 property.  The proceeds would have been used to help refurbish some county buildings and infrastructure.  After approving it 2-1 early this month, commissioners unanimously voted Wednesday to drop the proposal.  Commissioners Ken Paust and Denny Burns indicated that public input helped to reverse their decision.  They say they now want to take a more in-depth look at Wayne County’s financial picture.

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(Brookville, IN)--There’s a happy ending to a statewide Silver Alert that had been put into effect for a missing Franklin County girl.  The statewide alert was issued Wednesday night for 16-year-old Laila Davis of Brookville, who had been missing since Tuesday.  Here’s what her mom, Beth Hibbard, said happened that day.  "At about 4 o'clock, Laila went to check the mail and did not come back."   At 3:45 Thursday morning, Laila returned home voluntarily.  The alert has been canceled.  Details of where she had been have not been released, but she had been known to invite people she had met online to her home.

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(Richmond, IN)--Trial got underway Wednesday in Wayne Superior Court III in the case of a man accused of causing the death of a Hagerstown resident a year ago.  Shelby Masters was riding on the back of a motorcycle being operated by 47-year-old Jeffrey Flora.  They crashed on Dalton Road near Hagerstown.  Masters did not survive.  Flora is accused of having alcohol and marijuana in his system.  He faces up to 18 years behind bars if convicted.

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(Richmond, IN)--Another defendant has been added in the Phillips Drugs lawsuit that arose when water from downtown construction seeped into its building at 7th and East Main.  A central Indiana consulting firm called United Consulting now finds itself as a defendant along with the city of Richmond, Milestone, and the design firm REA.  None of those parties dispute that there was water damage, but most have pointed the finger of guilt at each other.  The damage that Phillips claims is relatively minimal – about $7700.  No hearing dates have been set for the lawsuit.

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(Fayette County, IN)--There is now a third Whitewater Valley county that is considering declaring itself a Second Amendment Sanctuary County.  Fayette County has now joined Wayne and Preble County after commissioners voted unanimously Tuesday to hold a public hearing.  A formal declaration as a Second Amendment Sanctuary for all three counties would ban enforcement of future laws which would be deemed to violate Second Amendment gun rights.

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(Eaton, OH)--Radon is an issue inside the Preble County Courthouse.  Two separate radon inspections have been conducted inside the building, which is now a hundred years old.  In both cases, radon levels at almost twice the levels considered to be unhealthy were found in the microfilm office and library and Board of Elections storage area were found.  And that’s not all.  Lead levels from paint chips at various spots are double to nearly three times the recommended exposure limit.  Remediation is pending.

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(Wayne County, IN)--Final child abuse and neglect numbers are in for Wayne County for 2019.  If there’s some good news, it’s that the number of substantiated cases last year dropped slightly from the year before.  Still, there were a total of 308 substantiated new cases of sexual or physical abuse or neglect of children last year.  It’s a five percent drop from the year before.  Experts say that drug and/or alcohol usage is directly or indirectly involved in the vast majority of the cases.

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(Cambridge City, IN)--At Western Wayne schools, budget shortfalls could mean that the school is out of money as early as 2023.  That will be the focus of the Western Wayne School Board next month.  There are a variety of factors in play, including declining enrollment and property tax caps.  Two options will be considered:  one would cut programming, the other would be to issue an operating referendum that would allow taxpayers to decide whether or not to continue to fund the school system at its current level.

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(Richmond, IN)--It’s happened again…There’s been another loud boom heard across much of the city.  Last week, an explosive device was found at Glen Miller Park.  On Sunday night, though, most of the calls to 911 were centered around the Fairview area of Richmond.  Residents on Harris, Ridge, and Hunt Streets, along with some Belden employees, reported hearing the boom at around 6:30 Sunday night.  Several witnesses also reported seeing a flash in the sky when the boom was heard.  Multiple RPD officers searched the area last night but could not find the source of the boom.  By 7 a.m. Monday, there had been no connection made to last week's incident at Glen Miller.

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(Richmond, IN)--Last week, Kicks 96 and 101.7 The Point News reported Preble County is working to become a Second Amendment Sanctuary County.  Now, there’s an ordinance for Wayne County to do the same.  The ordinance was filed Friday.  It approved through resolution, it would essentially declare that Wayne County supports the Second Amendment gun rights of its citizens. 

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(Richmond, IN)--A Richmond man was charged Sunday night with a robbery.  64-year-old Edward Bond was taken into custody in a service alley behind Wendy’s.  Scanner traffic indicated that shortly before Bond was arrested, a man had shoved a clerk at Petsense at 15th and East Main.  That clerk reportedly suffered minor injuries.  Officials have indicated that Bond has a lengthy criminal record.

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(Richmond, IN)--Three Richmond adults in their thirties were all in jail Monday morning after an incident Sunday morning in which at least one juvenile became so intoxicated that medical attention was needed.  It happened at a girl's Sweet Sixteen party at the Knights of Columbus on North 10th.  Two women, later identified as Brandi Busby and Nicole Goodlin, fled the scene.  They were captured later.  Jason Estep was taken into custody at the scene.  All three are charged with felony contributing to the delinquency of minors.  Estep is also charges with neglect of a dependent, possession of marijuana, disorderly conduct, and domestic battery.

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(Richmond, IN)--The shooting victim in last week’s incident on Randolph Street in Richmond returned home Thursday took to social media to thank those who helped her.  Sierra Jack was shot in the stomach.  Jack thanked emergency personnel Thursday along with Richmond Police and the E.R. staff at Reid Health for saving her life.  Jack said Friday morning that she has conquered addiction and plans to go back to school to pursue her goal of becoming a registered nurse.

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(Eaton, OH)--Preble County Commissioners are considering declaring the county a Second Amendment Sanctuary.  At a recent meeting, Commissioner Rodney Creech said it’s all in support of Second Amendment rights.  Preble County would do that in a form of a resolution.  It’s also in response to recent policies issued by Virginia’s governor, who Creech says is trying to limit gun rights.

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(Eaton, OH)--A former Lakengren resident has taken an Alford plea to a rape charge.  59-year-old Martin Burnett denies responsibility, but admits there’s enough evidence to convict him if the case went to trial.  Burnett forced a female family member to engage in sex acts when she was as young as six.  Seven years ago, Burnett had been convicted of child pornography after taking his computer to an Eaton repair shop.  He had digitally imposed the faces of young family members over the faces of other children being forced to commit sex acts.

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(Richmond, IN)--Wayne County Commissioners met Wednesday and delayed a vote that, if approved, would increase part of Wayne County’s property tax rate.  The proposal would increase property taxes by about $17 per year for the owner of a $100,000, but would impact farmers to a greater degree.  One proposal from a resident Wednesday was to implement a food and beverage tax instead, but uses for those tax dollars are restricted to tourism and economic development.  Commissioners are expected to vote on the proposed increase at next Wednesday’s meeting.

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(Connersville, IN)--In Connersville on Thursday, a Safe Haven Baby Box will be unveiled.  The baby box is located at Fire Station #4 on South Fountain Street.  The box will allow a mother in crisis to anonymously and safely surrender her unwanted newborn by placing it in a box at the fire station.  The box is like an incubator, with heating and cooling features.  Connersville’s Baby Box will be the 24th in the United States.  An unveiling is set for 10:30 Thursday morning.

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(Eaton, OH)--Preble County’s Board of Elections is pursuing a lawsuit against Preble County Commissioners over what they say are issues at the courthouse.  Recently, without the knowledge of commissioners, the Board of Elections brought in experts over a weekend to test for radon and mold.  Mold tests were negative, but there was one location where radon was high.  The Board of Elections would like to move to a different location.  Now, they’re asking for $20,000 so that they can retain an attorney.

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