Superintendent offers tips for parents; memorial funds established
Preble County’s sheriff and coroner offices are currently investigating the deaths of a father and two children in what they believe is a murder-suicide. On Jan. 24, deputies responded to a request for a welfare check in the 9200 block of Greenbush Road in Somerville, which is in Gratis Township on the county’s eastern edge. Deputies were advised by the children’s mother, who does not live at the residence, that they had not arrived that morning at Preble Shawnee Elementary and Middle School as normal.
On Thursday, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued updated knowledge about masks in light of the more contagious Omicron variant. Experts say any mask worn is better than none, but well-fitting N95 masks are now widely available and offer the highest level of protection, followed by well-fitting disposable surgical masks and KN95s. Gaps, which can be common with surgical masks, let air with respiratory droplets leak in and out around the edges of the mask.
A man has been found dead in rural Hagerstown and it’s believed that he was acquainted with the person who shot him, police said. “This does not appear to be a random act and there is no known threat to the community,” said Wayne County Sheriff Randy Retter a few hours after the Wednesday, Jan. 12 incident.
A rural Wayne County man has been arrested on a charge of conspiracy to commit murder after allegedly poisoning his wife. Alfred Ruf, 69, has been lodged in Wayne County Jail on the Level 2 felony charge. Ruf’s arrest was announced Friday by Sheriff Randy Retter.
David Lawrence “D.J.” Bryant III, 26, Richmond. On July 26, 1995, a beautiful baby boy was brought into this world by David Bryant and Christina Henry. He was given the name David Lawrence Bryant III. The second he was born, David was a ray of light.
Note: Some sites might be closed Monday, Jan. 17, for Martin Luther King Jr. Day. Making an appointment online or via phone is recommended to ensure the site is open. Testing
Wayne County Health Department: Free walk-in PCR tests for all (and rapid tests for those younger than 18 or 50-plus with symptoms) from 8 a.m.-6 p.m. Mondays and 8 a.m.-4 p.m. Tuesdays-Saturdays, 601 E. Main St., Richmond; 8 a.m.-4 p.m. Wednesdays at Nettle Creek Hardware, 485 E. Main St., Hagerstown; 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Thursdays at Northeastern schools, 7299 U.S. 27 N., Fountain City; and 8 a.m.-4 p.m. Fridays at Golay Community Center, 1007 E. Main St., Cambridge City. Note: WCHD is closed Monday, Jan. 17, for Martin Luther King Jr. Day.
Henry Community Health: Drive-thru tests at 1007 N. 16th St., New Castle.
Four Western Wayne Schools students were taken to Reid Health after a car collided into their school bus. The auto’s driver told investigators that her windshield was frosted over, and she didn’t see the bus, said Wayne County Sheriff Randy Retter. The crash occurred the morning of Jan. 11 at the intersection of North Graham and Delaware streets in Cambridge City. Tonya Mills, 55, of New Castle, was driving southbound from the parking lot at Stone Gate Apartments, 301 N. Graham St., when she struck the center of the westbound bus with her 2013 Chrysler 200, a news release said.
Richmond Police Department has shared a security camera image of the suspect in a convenience store robbery in hopes of finding the suspect. At about 7:03 a.m. Friday, Jan. 7, first-shift patrol officers responded to a reported robbery in the 1200 block of South Ninth Street. Capt. Curt Leverton said the suspect is reported as a white male approximately 6’0” tall. He was wearing black pants, a black jacket with a gray hood, and light-colored shoes.
Three local organizations announced Thursday, Jan. 6, that they are postponing their large-scale fundraising events in January and early February because of the current COVID-19 conditions. A press release said that in consideration of the health and safety of the community and the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, Indiana University East, Richmond Art Museum (RAM) and the Wayne County Area Chamber of Commerce mutually determined the best course of action is to postpone their respective upcoming public events, Palate to Palette and the Chamber annual dinner, until a later time. IU East, RAM and the Chamber considered the size of the events, with regular attendance of hundreds of guests, and that the events are held in indoor venues. Additionally, Wayne County is experiencing a rise in coronavirus cases, putting a strain on the health care system.
National Guard members and Indiana Department of Health staff have begun arriving in Wayne County to aid with a surge of COVID-19 illnesses, hospitalizations and deaths as hospitals struggle to treat patients for other urgent health needs. Henry Community Health officials say the “never-ending COVID nightmare continues to worsen” as Indiana hospitals set records for their numbers of patients. In addition, some patients who delayed primary care for other health issues as the pandemic lingers are now critically ill, HCH officials said. National Guard members are being stationed at Reid Health to assist with staffing shortages, and what the state calls a strike team will bring a free mobile testing and vaccination site starting Wednesday, Jan. 5 to Richmond’s west side for any area resident.
Richmond Police Department says a teen was found safe after a statewide Silver Alert was issued. RPD announced an investigation into the disappearance of David Burton, a 16-year-old white male, on Dec. 29. He had been last seen in Richmond at approximately 10:40 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 25.
A Richmond scooter operator died after colliding with a sport utility vehicle on U.S. 27, police said. Just before 6 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 21, Wayne County Sheriff’s Office responded to a report of a motor vehicle crash in the 3700 block of Chester Boulevard in Richmond. Deputies were initially told that the crash involved a motorcycle, and a person was laying in the middle of the roadway, Sheriff Randy Retter said in a news release. The preliminary investigation determined that Charles Stephenson, 46, of Richmond, was operating a Tao scooter southbound on U.S. 27 in the driving lane.
A Western Wayne woman accidentally shot her husband as they began investigating a noise they’d heard from the outdoors, according to Wayne County Sheriff Randy Retter. Shortly after 10:30 p.m. Nov. 21, Wayne County sheriff’s deputies responded to the 800 block of National Road in Cambridge City to investigate the report of a shooting. Heidi Bartlett, 41, contacted 911 to report she shot her husband, Matthew Bartlett, 44, in the leg, Retter said. The investigation revealed that while in their residence, Heidi and Matthew heard a noise outside, and their dogs were barking and jumping at the door.
Whitewater Community Television is gathering questions from local residents before 1 p.m. Monday, Nov. 15, to ask the president of Wayne County’s Board of Commissioners. Ken Paust will be the guest on WCTV’s weekly public affairs show “IN Focus,” which will be recorded that day. Questions can be sent via email to email@example.com. The program featuring Paust will air on WCTV’s government access channel, WGTV Channel 11 (on Comcast cable) at 6 and 10:30 p.m. Thursday, Dec.