(Myrtle Beach, SC)--Richmond police have rounded up another alleged murder. On the heels of the arrest of Lataj Brewer for murder earlier this week, investigators have now traveled to South Carolina to arrest 21-year-old Charles Boyce Junior on a murder warrant. Boyce was taken into custody Thurday without incident after questioning in Myrtle Beach. The FBI and the U.S. Marshal’s Office assisted in the case. Boyce has not yet been brought back to Wayne County. Investigators have not said what local murder Boyce is accused of committing.
(Wayne County, IN)--The Delta variant of Covid-19 has apparently not prompted a substantial amount of Wayne County residents to get vaccinated. Since last Friday, 185 Wayne County residents have become fully vaccinated. That’s only six more than the week before and brings the total of 24,560 residents now vaccinated. That’s 37% of the county’s overall population. Meanwhile, the number of patients in Reid Health containment areas has increased. There were ten patients Friday morning. It marks the first time since May 17 that Reid has had at least ten Covid-19 patients.
(Wayne County, IN)--Wayne County’s weekly jobless claim numbers are coming back down following a big spike. When the announcement was made several weeks ago that the extra $300 weekly benefit would continue into September, eight times as many Wayne County residents as normal filed jobless claims. Now, in the last week, those claims have been cut nearly in half. Wayne County has dropped from 308 claims to 180 in the past week.
(Richmond, IN)--Richmond Police say they’ve rounded up four self-proclaimed gang members who are responsible for several shooting incidents and other crimes around the city in recent months. A round-up was conducted Wednesday morning. One of the four, 20-year-old Lataj Brewer, is now charged with the murder of 17-year-old Jakob Snider last year and the shooting of a 17-year-old girl. Three others, including 23-year-old Dominique Walker, 20-year-old Peyton Sutton, and 19-year-old Deonte Gabbard are charged with other crimes that include armed robbery and criminal gang activity. All four were taken to the Wayne County Jail Wednesday. Wednesday’s round-up resulted in the apprehension of one alleged Richmond murderer, but another is still on the loose. An active murder warrant remains in place for 19-year-old Tayshawn Newman. Newman is accused of shooting and killing Chad Mullins on North 13th Street in April. Newman was allegedly upset that the marijuana he had purchased from Mullins was of poor quality. Newman admitted to a family member that he had shot Mullins.
(Richmond, IN)--The Richmond Community School Board on Wednesday night discussed a potential revision to a mask policy one day after the CDC recommended that all students, teachers, and staff nationwide mask up while inside regardless of whether they had been vaccinated or not. The new RCS superintendent, Dr. Curtis Wright, is also now a new member of the Wayne County Board of Health. The RCS Board Wednesday night indicated that it would leave the decision on whether or not to require students to wear a mask up to Wright. As it stands now, students must wear a mask on the bus, but not in school.
(Richmond, IN)--Lots of supporters of Richmond High School football coach Tony Sonsini turned out at Wednesday afternoon’s Richmond Community School Board meeting to lend their support in the wake of the incident with National Trail during a scrimmage nearly two weeks ago. Players, coaches, and fans addressed the Board and urged the Board to consider positive aspects of Sonsini’s tenure. Sonsini struck a National Trail coach after the two teams got into a confrontation. The Board took the public comment under advisement. No decision has been made as to what – if any – consequences Sonsini will face.
(Richmond, IN)--Members of the coaching staff of the National Trail High School football team say that the coach who was struck by a Richmond High School football coach officially pursued charges Tuesday. It’s a result of an incident that occurred during a scrimmage at Lyboult Field 12 days ago. Video shows the Richmond coach striking a National Trail coach in the face or head on the field after tempers flared among players. According to National Trail staff members Tuesday, the coach who was struck went to the Richmond Police Department Tuesday to pursue charges and was told that the case would be turned over to the Indiana State Police due to a conflict of interest. One Richmond police officer is also a member of the Richmond Community School Board. The Richmond Community School Board meets Wednesday afternoon. So far, RCS administrators have not announced any action or publically acknowledged that the incident occurred. (Note: The image accompanying this story is from a screenshot of a video sent to Kicks 96 and 101.7 The Point News and depicts the moment the coach was struck.)
(Whitewater Valley)--The CDC on Tuesday issued new Covid-19 guidelines that indicate that counties with high transmissions return to mask-wearing indoors, and that includes three counties in our area. Wayne County is not included in the recommendation, but Union, Preble, and Franklin County are. The CDC says people in those counties should wear a mask indoors whether they’ve been vaccinated or not. The CDC also recommends now that, when school begins, everyone wear a mask indoors including students, teachers, and staff – again, whether they’ve been vaccinated or not. No local governmental entity has addressed the new guidelines, although Wayne County Commissioners meet Wednesday morning and the Richmond Community School Board meets Wednesday afternoon.
(Richmond, IN)--The third of four people who took part in the murder of James Herbolt in Centerville almost four years ago has now been sentenced. Donald Bailey was sentenced this week to 50 years in prison as part of a plea deal. With good-time credit, the 30-year-old Bailey won’t be free until he’s 67 years old. Herbolt was shot to death and his body was tossed into a ditch on Nolands Fork Road near I-70. The fourth and final suspect, Jacob Rasner, is scheduled to be sentenced next week.
(Wayne County, IN)--The Delta variant of Covid-19 is now officially in Wayne County. On Monday, the Health Department was notified of the first Wayne County sample testing positive for the Delta variant. Only a fraction of all samples are sent for DNA specification, and county officials have already been operating under the assumption that the Delta variant has been prevalent. The county has scheduled several vaccination clinics at remote sites in the coming weeks, including at the Boys & Girls Club, Centerville Middle School, and Starr Elementary School. Preble County’s Health Department is also reaching out and expanding vaccination efforts. In the last few weeks, Preble County has had far more cases of Covid-19 per capita than any other county in the Whitewater Valley. The health department there on Monday scheduled a vaccination clinic at Lakengren’s marina this Friday night from 6 until 7. People don’t need to be a Lakengren resident to receive the vaccine.
(Richmond, IN)--It’s a debate that has existed for decades, and it’s heating up again. Richmond High School’s Tiernan Center is sporting a brand new floor which features a large, angry-looking devil at center court. Many people love it. Others, just as they have for generations, say it’s a bad look and that the devil should not be the school’s mascot. One former RHS basketball standout on Monday night called for the image’s removal and a mascot change.
(Richmond, IN)--A Richmond woman who was wanted for months for abusing nine dogs was booked into the Wayne County Jail late Monday night. 22-year-old Allison Junkin now faces one criminal count for each of those nine dogs. Junkin and Marcia Morgan allegedly abandoned the dogs last winter at a home in Milton that was deemed unfit for habitation. Two of the dogs were left outside. None had access to food or water.
(Wayne County, IN and Preble County, OH)--Wayne County has just had its highest Monday-to-Monday total of Covid-19 cases since early last month. The county has added 18 cases in the last week. It’s the most since the county added 19 in the week ending June 7. Wayne County’s positivity rate has jumped up to 3.6%. Preble County continues to be the hotspot in our area. Preble County has added 25 cases since last Monday. That’s its highest weekly total since late April. There were four patients in Reid Health containment areas Monday morning.
(Richmond, IN)--Two teens have been banned from Richmond Parks and Recreation facilities after allegedly bringing a loaded AR-15 rifle to the skate park. According to the Richmond Police Department, Djuan and Deviante Mathis were pointing the rifle and prompted a police response. When officers arrived, they found the rifle leaning against a fence and a full magazine in one of the boys’ pockets. Neither was arrested. Djuan Mathis has a pending criminal case for pointing a firearm after an arrest in April.
(Wayne and Fayette County, IN)--A couple that became stranded overnight while floating down the Whitewater River was rescued Sunday morning. According to a release from the Wayne County Sheriff’s Department, Jesse and Shawna Mohler of Spiceland were floating down the river on a tube when they ripped their tube on a dam late Saturday night. They called relatives for help, but then could not be located. First responders searched overnight and found the couple at 7:15 Sunday morning near Whitaker and Neuman Lake Road with the help of a drone. They were not hurt.
(Wayne County, IN)--A huge jump in Wayne County’s unemployment claims appears to coincide with the announcement that the $300 weekly checks would continue until September according to numbers released Thursday. Listen to the jobless claims by week recently in Wayne County and you’ll hear the jump when the benefit extension was announced. 50-46-60-59-463. The same type of jump was seen earlier this year when stimulus checks were distributed. Then, Wayne County’s claims by week went 132-101-123-763.
(Wayne County, IN)--Lots of talk about an uptick in Covid-19 due to the Delta variant has apparently not motivated many people to become vaccinated. Since last Friday, there have been 179 Wayne County residents to become fully vaccinated. That’s the lowest Friday-to-Friday vaccination total in at least a month. 24,375 Wayne County residents are now fully vaccinated. That represents 37% of the entire population. Deducting young children who are not yet eligible raises Wayne County’s vaccination rate to around 42%.
(Dunlapsville, IN)--There was a police pursuit of a different kind late Thursday afternoon. Richard Smith was wanted in Union County for domestic battery and strangulation. Smith fled, but not on the road and not on foot. Smith took to Brookville Lake in a boat as officers tried to apprehend him. Scanner traffic indicates Smith was going up and down the lake between the Treaty Line and Dunlapsville boat ramps. Both the DNR and state police were involved. Smith was eventually taken into custody, although there’s no word yet on exactly how that occurred.
(Richmond, IN)--Twenty years ago Thursday is the day that Richmond’s Niqui McCown was seen for the last time. Niqui vanished from the laundry on South E. She has never been found and no arrest has ever been made. A prime suspect took his own life a decade ago as police tried to apprehend him for another murder. Niqui’s daughter, Payton, was nine years old at the time. Now, she’s 29 and a mother herself. She talked about her mom. "I got married and I went through pregnancy without having that motherly advice. And that's something that I've always longed for." On Thursday, an event is scheduled at the laundry where Niqui disappeared. It’s called “Keep the Light Alive”. There will be games for kids, food, and a chance for everyone to remember Niqui. The event runs from 5-8 p.m.
(Richmond, IN)--Richmond’s NBA superstar is giving back to his hometown following a very successful rookie season. Desmond Bane has set up a website to help Richmond by enabling the purchase of merchandise. Portions of the proceeds then are given to charitable organizations. The website is desmond-bane.com. Bane is also hosting a back-to-school drive at Seton Catholic High School a week from Saturday. Soon after that, he’ll be heading to Las Vegas to take part in the NBA Summer League.