A man was taken to an Indianapolis hospital after being found earlier this week near a local sidewalk with a bullet wound, and police are seeking clues about what led up to that discovery. Shortly before 8:30 a.m. Tuesday, Oct. 19, first-shift patrol officers for Richmond Police Department were sent to a “man down” call in the 600 block of South Fifth Street. Jeremy Dewayne Butler, 43, was found in the grass between the street and sidewalk, according to a news release from Capt. Curt Leverton. Butler had an altered level of consciousness and was unable to provide officers or medical personnel with any information, Leverton said.
Stacks of tires in wooded areas can be found in Wayne County, and a local effort is underway to provide free disposal of tires and electronic waste in October. Collections of unwanted items, along with billboards discouraging littering, are just some of the ways a local organization aims to clean up two local counties. Billboard campaign
Cathy Williams saw anti-littering billboards throughout South Carolina while on vacation, and brought the idea to Wayne and Union Solid Waste Management District board. That organization, which formerly served Randolph County, is still known as WUR, with the R now representing recycling. The board, made up of local government leaders and concerned citizens, aims to in-crease recycling and better environmental practices in both counties.
Although hospitals in Henry and Wayne counties are seeing fewer COVID patients in recent days, virus-related deaths are still being recorded and health workers say they are still feeling the strain. Thus, local health officials are urging everyone 6 months and older to get their flu shot in October to help prevent their own dangerous illness and take some of the seasonal burden off health systems.
“As we enter this flu season, it could be like no other,” said Dr. David Jetmore, Wayne County’s health officer, in a news release. Jetmore noted a significant decrease in flu cases during late 2020 and early 2021 because of mask wearing policies and mandates. Preventive actions such as increased handwashing and cleaning of high-touch surfaces, staying home when sick, and avoiding touching eyes, nose and mouth also are encouraged again this year. This year with the more contagious Delta variant of COVID-19 and the low number of infections of flu last year, Jetmore said it “could culminate into a very bad situation quickly without mitigation factors like those for COVID-19.”
Those with chronic conditions such as asthma, diabetes or heart disease are especially encouraged to get a flu shot to reduce the risk of serious complications, according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
Juvenile arrested on felony charge of communication intimidation
A social media post indicating a potential threat at a local school has been determined to be a student-led prank, according to local law enforcement. On Tuesday, Oct. 5, School Resource Officer Chad Steen, a deputy with Wayne County Sheriff’s Office, was made aware of a concerning social media post on Instagram, according to Sheriff Randy Retter. That post was then circulated via screenshots throughout other social media platforms.
The post indicated an act of violence might take place on Friday, Oct. 8, against Dennis Middle School in Richmond.
Beginning Thursday, Sept. 9, Reid Health is pausing all elective inpatient surgeries as the health system works to manage the latest surge of COVID-19 cases. Wayne County moved Wednesday, Sept. 8, to the state’s worst advisory level for community spread, which is the red level.
Emergent/urgent surgeries will proceed, as will outpatient surgeries scheduled at Reid Outpatient Surgery & Endoscopy (ROSE). All scheduled surgeries will be reviewed for urgency, and the surgeon’s office will reach out to those patients who need to be rescheduled.
Wayne County has lost its first 40-something resident to COVID-related illness. In addition, nearly 70 kids and teens tested positive for the virus during the Labor Day weekend, which is about the same number of patients in containment areas at a local hospital on Tuesday, Sept. 7. Over those four days, Wayne County recorded 227 new COVID cases, with 68 of them being in those 18 and younger. It recorded COVID-related deaths for a patient in their mid-40s, a 60-year-old, and someone in their early 70s.
Wayne County Health Department reported 144 lab-confirmed positive cases of COVID-19 on Tuesday, Aug. 31, while state officials are offering a three-day drive-up testing and vaccination site at a local college to meet increased local demand. Of those new illnesses reported Tuesday, 54 were in ages 18 and younger. After a surge of positive tests in recent days, the 1,428 cases reported during August 2021 makes it the county’s second-highest month for infections. November 2020 has been the highest month tallied for Wayne County, with 1,801 cases.
Wayne County has surpassed more than 100 new COVID cases in the daily count announced Thursday, Aug. 26, with nearly half of those illnesses in children. The county broke its one-day record for new cases, which has been in place since Nov. 19, 2020. The previous record was 103, and now the county has an additional 105 reported cases.
A Richmond woman has been arrested on a charge of reckless homicide after a shooting on the city’s southeast side. Richmond Police Department was called to the 600 block of South Seventh Street at approximately 9:52 a.m. Monday after a report of a shooting. When officers arrived, a female could be heard screaming inside the home. They made contact with Sarah McKenzie Davis, 41, according to a news release from Capt. Curt Leverton. After going inside, officers and medics found a man on the couch.
Western Wayne Schools is establishing new guidelines for social distancing and preventative measures and implementing an indoor mask mandate for all students and adults starting Friday, Aug. 27. New Superintendent Andy Stover said the change is “an ongoing effort to ensure the health, safety, and education for the children at Western Wayne Schools.” He said the guidelines can change the moment a decline of cases is seen within Western Wayne Elementary and Lincoln Middle/High School. Stover said they want to ensure a proactive approach before the number of rising cases “impacts our learning environment.”