New Ivy Tech leader hopeful about helping students, whole community

Preparing grads for high-wage jobs could improve local economy, social mobility

Ivy Tech Community College recently offered an open house to welcome the Richmond and Connersville campus’ new leader, Dr. Walter McCollum, and help him meet more area leaders in health care, government, economic development, banking, higher education and other sectors through cookies and conversation. The chancellor said the reception should not be about him and instead be a celebration of the tireless, passionate efforts of Ivy Tech faculty and staff who mentor students one at a time and address their obstacles to education. For instance, some students had to drop out during the pandemic to be caregivers. “You meet students with open arms and meet them where they are,” he said. McCollum also thanked the employees who develop community partnerships to address local workforce needs.

WW Schools get $2.5 million for school improvement

2 grants will focus on making schools among the best, superintendent says

Two grants worth about $2.5 million will be used by Western Wayne School Corporation to improve student performance by building on successes. The school corporation will receive $2.45 million from the Next Generation School Improvement Grant (Next Gen SIG) program, funded by the Indiana Department of Education (IDOE). Western Wayne Schools is one of 8 schools funded, out of 40 applicants. The funding will be spent over four years, with the first-year funds geared to planning and implementation to take place in each of the following years. Western Wayne will use the money to improve educational rigor for students in k-12.

Industrial park adding 326 acres

Goal of $4.4M purchase is to recruit large employers

Nearly $4.5 million of land is being purchased to expand Midwest Industrial Park in hopes of luring large employers to Wayne County. Wayne County and the City of Richmond will buy a total of 326 acres from Toschlog Family Farms LLC at $13,750 per acre, for a cost of $4,483,737.50. The price is nearly split between the two units of government. The county will buy 160 acres on the west side of Round Barn Road at the intersection with Gaar Jackson Road. Richmond will buy 166.09 acres on the east side of Round Barn.

Plane vandalized a month after moving to veterans park

Just a month after moving a retired military airplane to Wayne County Veterans Memorial Park to be viewed by local residents and visitors, vandalism has prompted its caretakers to add a fence to protect it. On May 10, veterans discovered that a small door on the Grumman A-6E Intruder had been pried open. “Fortunately it didn’t break off, but they bent it a little,” said volunteer Barb Goebel, who has helped expand the park’s collection of monuments and military equipment with her husband, Joe, who is president of the veterans’ committee. Veterans were able to get the door shut in hopes of preventing further damage while they decide what might be needed to better protect the historic equipment. “We don’t know what they’re going to do next – that’s the problem,” Goebel said of the vandal(s).

Cemetery restoration moving slowly

Cub Scout pack organizing a fun run to help raise money for repair

Chapter Three in the second life of Capitol Hill Cemetery is taking a slow but steady pace, as donations continue to trickle in, increased security is suggested and a youth group decides to dedicate part of its fund-raiser to cemetery repair and restoration. A Cambridge City town employee discovered extensive damage to memorials and tombstones in the town’s oldest cemetery on April 1. Grave markers were not just knocked down: Whole stones and heavy decorations were picked up and cracked or smashed. Some had been carried to other parts of the cemetery and used to damage other stones. Although a professional cemetery conservator estimated that it took several hours to create so much havoc in the cemetery, police have arrested no suspects, largely because the cemetery is isolated and no one is sure when the destruction occurred.

Who won contested elections in the May 3 primary?

Wayne County’s current auditor and one of its longtime commissioners lost the May 3 primary election, meaning their terms will come to an end in December. However, voters chose to continue with their current Republican Indiana state representative and a county council member representing western Wayne County. At this time, none of the four face a Democratic opponent in the fall. Results at a glance

In contested Republican races:

*A former Wayne County auditor and business manager of Northeastern Wayne Schools, Mark Holescher, defeated current auditor Kimberly Whipple Walton with 51.52 percent of the vote.  Hoelscher had 2,295 votes compared to Walton’s 2,160.

LHS senior tackles lead role in ‘Newsies’

Before convenience stores were scattered around communities, there were “newsies” – young boys who sold single copies of newspapers. Local students and adults have learned more about their experience while preparing for Richmond Civic Theatre’s presentation of Disney’s “Newsies.”

The musical opens Friday and ends May 15. Lincoln High School senior Jarrin Ervin plays Jack Kelly, described as a charismatic newsboy who leads a band of teenage newsies in turn-of-the-century New York City. Read more of this story and see a full cast and crew list in the May 4 print edition of Western Wayne News


Metal building co. plans 25-30 local jobs

A Tennessee company has expanded its plan for a manufacturing plant and the Richmond Advisory Plan Commission will recommend its proposal to the Common Council. Metal Max LLC plans to put up a 45,000 square foot building on the city’s west side, according to a proposal which received the APC’s approval. That’s nine times larger the company’s original plan. More information in Western Wayne News print edition for May 4, 2022.  

1 newborn twin dies after auto accident

After a driver made more room for someone mowing grass, his vehicle collided with one driven by a pregnant woman, police said. The crash led to an emergency Caesarian section surgery, and one of her newborn twins did not survive. Wayne County Sheriff’s Office and Hagerstown Police Department were called to the scene just after 12:30 p.m. April 30 in the 17300 block of Lamar Road in Hagerstown. At that time, a 2008 Ford Escort driven by Shibu Thannikkunnath, 44, of Indianapolis was traveling east on Lamar Road. Thannikkunnath’s vehicle was left of center prior to a hillcrest after moving over for a homeowner cutting the grass alongside the roadway, according to Sheriff Randy Retter.