(Richmond, IN)--Ten people were injured in one crash Thursday night near the intersection of Round Barn Road and U.S. 40 between Richmond and Centerville. Multiple first responders and agencies were sent there at 7:40 Thursday night. The initial report is that one vehicle tried to turn into the Shell station, but turned into the path of an eastbound vehicle. Many of the injured people were children, including one child who was flown from Reid Health to another facility. Another victim was pregnant. The identities and conditions of the victims have not been released.
(Wayne County, IN)--Wayne County has had its ninth Covid-19 death and its third in the last ten days. The Wayne County Health Department said Thursday that a man in his 80’s died on Wednesday at Reid Health. He had been a resident of a local long-term care facility. The Health Department is not disclosing which facility. Reid Health has had a large increase in the number of patients in its Covid-19 containment areas. That number this morning is 34. As recently as two weeks ago, that number was only 11.
(Wayne County, IN)--The effect of Covid-19 on Wayne County jobs continues to be evident in the county’s weekly jobless claims report. According to numbers released Thursday, another 272 jobless claims were filed by Wayne County residents. It brings the total since the outbreak began to an incredible 7112 jobless claims in 18 weeks. To put that into perspective, in all of last year there were less than 1100 jobless claims filed.
(Richmond, IN)--A missing Richmond teenager now appears on the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children’s website. According to that website, 16-year-old Reina Lopez has not been seen since May 14. Details of events leading up to her disappearance have not been released. Reina is Hispanic, six feet tall, and weighs 350 pounds. If you can help find her, you’re asked to call the Richmond Police Department.
(Cambridge City, IN)--Investigators have released a surveillance image of the man who used a knife to rob the Village Pantry in Cambridge City late Wednesday night. The man entered the store and brandished what was described as a large kitchen-style knife. He made off with cigarettes and a relatively small amount of cash. There were no injuries. The suspect is a white male of average height and weight who appears to be in his 30’s with a thin beard.
(Richmond, IN)--Employees of Mosey Manufacturing are indicating that the Richmond-based manufactured has initiated either an extended layoff or permanent closure. Earlier this week, Kicks 96 and 101.7 The Point News reported that Mosey had sent a letter to its employees indicating that it had lost two major contracts with auto manufacturers. On Wednesday night, employees said that they were told that Wednesday would be their last day. A letter distributed to employees Wednesday explained options for extending health insurance. According to the EDC, Mosey employs 300 people. Employees said only a handful will remain for the next week to assist in the shutdown and removal of equipment. There has been no official statement from Mosey. The company was founded in Richmond by Charlie Mosey 75 years ago.
(Richmond, IN)--The Richmond Mall is losing another tenant. This time, it’s Justice, which specializes in clothing for pre-teen girls. Justice’s parent company, Ascena, has confirmed the closing and indicated that is one of 600 across the country in the wake of slumping sales and Covid-19. Victoria’s Secret has also closed. And, longtime mall anchor J.C. Penney announced in the spring that it, too, would be leaving the Richmond Mall. Other Justice stores across our region, including Hamilton, Muncie, Dayton, and Cincinnati are also closing.
(Richmond, IN)--A manufacturer has announced a new venture in Richmond. Phillips Tube Group, which is a welded steel tube manufacturer, will locate on Industrial Parkway. Phillips will invest $8.2 million and hire 30 people for jobs that pay an average of $26 per hour. It’s expected to take three years for the plant to be fully operational, and there’s no word yet on when hiring will begin. Local and state agencies provided Phillips in excess of $400,000 as part of the deal. The Phillips CEO cited Richmond’s business-friendly environment and proximity to I-70 as reasons for the decision.
(Richmond, IN)--A funeral service has been set for Saturday afternoon at 1 o’clock for former Richmond Police Chief Jim Branum. Branum died Monday at his home after a three-year battle with cancer. Branum stepped down as chief in April. His colleagues are praising his commitment both to the department and to his fellow officers. Branum had served in multiple roles, including as a patrolman, a detective, and a supervisor before rising to the rank of chief. Visitation is from 4-8 p.m. Friday at Doan & Mills Funeral Home. Jim Branum was 59.
(Wayne County, IN)--Wayne County has had its second Covid-19 death in a week. The man died two weeks after testing positive. The Wayne County Health Department said only that the man was over 60. The Department does not disclose other factors about Covid victims, including whether or not they had any underlying medical conditions. The man becomes the eighth Wayne County resident whose death is attributed to the virus. Preble and Randolph County has also had a recent Covid-19 death. It brings the total number of deaths in our area to 73.
(Richmond, IN)--A suicidal woman was saved from leaping off the Main Street Bridge in Richmond Tuesday afternoon, and three RPD officers are being credited with saving her life. Sergeant Austin Lipps saw her outside the bridge’s railing and noted that she had cut her wrist. Officers Will Purcell and Zach Taylor also responded to the scene. The bridge was shut down. The woman then tried to run across the bridge and was grabbed as she tried to jump over the rail. All three officers are up for commendation.
(Wayne County, IN)--Wayne County’s cases of Covid-19 have taken a large jump in the last week. According to the state’s website, Wayne County picked up 71 new cases in the last week and stood Tuesday morning at 270. That’s an increase of 36% in a week. The number of patients in Reid Health’s containment areas has also risen and is at 23. On the positive side, though, Wayne County’s positivity rate since the outbreak remains below 4%. There has been only one death in the last two months.
(Richmond, IN)--One of Richmond’s largest manufacturers is working to replace lost contracts. According to a letter that was distributed last week to employees Mosey Manufacturing, both Ford and GM have resourced to other suppliers. The letter states that "it’s retaliation for Mosey’s failure to absorb the material tariff fees imposed by President Trump." The letter goes on to say that they’re looking for alternative work. According to the EDC, Mosey Manfacturing employs 300 people.
(Richmond, IN)--More than 150,000 masks were distributed over the weekend at three sites in Richmond. That’s according to the city of Richmond on Monday. That was in advance of a statewide mask mandate going into effect MOnday. Violation of the mask mandate now does not carry a criminal penalty. Instead, enforcement will be up to local health departments through education. The Wayne County Health Department has not discussed enforcement on the local level, although one Wayne County Commissioner suggested last week that violators would be handed a flier.
(Whitewater Valley)--With a statewide mask mandate already in effect in Ohio and going into effect on Monday in Indiana, some local law enforcement agencies are telling residents not to call with mask complaints. In Darke County, the sheriff’s department has posted on its Facebook page, "We are not the mask police. Don’t call 911 to report someone not wearing a mask." And, in Fayette County, Sheriff Joey Laughlin has posted "I’ll keep this simple. The sheriff’s department is not going to arrest you for not wearing a mask." Sheriffs in Franklin and Butler County have issued similar statements. Richmond Police and the Wayne County Sheriff’s Department have not released enforcement statements.
(Wayne County, IN)--While the spike in Wayne County cases of Covid-19 continues, there has also been a shift in demographics. The Wayne County Health Department said Thursday there had been 50 new cases from Monday to Wednesday, although that number does not match what is posted on the state’s website. The state is reported 25, not 50, cases in that time period. The state’s website does say, though, that the highest percentage of Wayne County residents to test positive for cases of Covid-19 are in their 20’s. One of every five Wayne County residents to test positive have been between the ages of 20 and 29. People in the 50’s are running a close second.
(Richmond, IN)--As national leaders mull over whether or not to extend a $600 weekly unemployment subsidy that’s set to expire at the end of the month, Wayne County has added another 200 jobless claims in the last week. It brings the Wayne County total of jobless claims since the outbreak began to 6840. Despite the high number of local jobless claims, many small business owners in Richmond say they are desperate for employees. A lack of employees has contributed to the closure of one restaurant near downtown Richmond.
(Richmond, IN)--There was a change in plans Wednesday night with the start of the Richmond Community School year. Before Wednesday night, students at Richmond High School and Test and Dennis Intermediate Schools had the option of attending school in-person five days a week. Wednesday night, though, the RCS Board approved a change that means that, if students at those three schools want to attend in person, they’ll only be doing it two or three days a week. On the days they’re not in school, those students will get virtual instruction. The change is to allow for increased social distancing and will be in effect for at least the first six weeks of school. About a thousand, or roughly 25%, of students in the system, have opted to learn from home exclusively.
(Richmond, IN)--Wednesday marked the 19th anniversary of the disappearance of Richmond’s Niqui McCown. But this year, it’s an especially somber occasion. That’s because one day before Wednesday’s anniversary, on Tuesday, Niqui’s mother Barbara died. Barbara McCown had championed the search for her daughter and never gave up hope that answers would come. "I just want somebody, somewhere to come clean. Somebody knows what happened. Niqui didn't deserve this," Barbara said during one of many national television features on her daughter's disappearance. Tributes to Barbara and messages of support are pouring into a Facebook page dedicated to Niqui’s disappearance. Barbara McCown was 79.
On Wednesday afternoon, the governors of both Indiana and Ohio issued mask mandates for their respective states. In Indiana, Governor Eric Holcomb said that the mask mandate will go into effect this coming Monday, July 27th. Holcomb cited several factors for the mandate, including an effort to ensure children can attend school next month. The mandate will be for anyone over the age of seven in indoor public spaces or commercial entities, and outdoor spaces where social distancing is not possible. Holcomb's announcement this afternoon essentially renders a decision this morning by Wayne County Commissioners meaningless. The mandate at the state level will go into effect before a Wayne County mandate would have begun. In Ohio, Governor Mike DeWine said the mandate will go into effect at 6 o'clock Thursday night. Details of Ohio's mandate are much the same as Indiana's.