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.

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.

Teen accused of murder after downtown shooting

Even after one 18-year-old man was arrested two days after two other 18-year-olds were shot in downtown Richmond, police say the case remains an active investigation. Rickey Porter of Richmond was arrested at about 3 p.m. April 21 on preliminary charges of murder and attempted murder, according to Captain Curt Leverton of Richmond Police Department’s Investigative Services Division. Jail records show Porter also was charged at the same time with possession of marijuana/hash oil/hashish/salvia, a B misdemeanor, and possession of paraphernalia, an A misdemeanor. The shooting was reported just after 2 p.m. April 19 near the intersection of South Eighth and A streets. Officers found two wounded men there: Nathaniel Reed and Adolfo Armenta.

1 killed, 1 injured in downtown Richmond shooting

One 18-year-old man has died and another was injured in a shooting in downtown Richmond. No arrests have been made as of Tuesday evening, and an investigation is continuing, according to a news release from Sgt. Zach Taylor of Richmond Police Department’s Investigative Services Division. The shooting was reported just after 2 p.m. Tuesday near the intersection of South Eighth and A streets. Officers found two wounded men there: Nathaniel Reed and Adolfo Armenta.

Wayne County man dies after being struck by train

A Centerville man died after being struck by a train while filling a tractor trailer with grain in Hagerstown. Shortly after 10 a.m. Monday, March 14, Wayne County dispatchers received a 911 call from a Norfolk Southern train conductor who advised that a person had been struck by their train in the area of the Hagerstown Ag Center at 4379 N. Jacksonburg Road. That location is just south of Indiana 38 and east of Indiana 1 in Hagerstown. Wayne County Sheriff’s Office determined that Daryl King, 61, was struck by the eastbound train while filling a tractor trailer with grain. It appeared as though King did not hear the approaching train, possibly due to noise from the tractor and other equipment on the property, said Sheriff Randy Retter.

RHS alumni create new $54K scholarship; deadline is March 11

As part of their 50th reunion festivities, a local alumni group raised $54,000 for scholarships. It now quickly seeks applicants whose parents or grandparents didn’t receive higher education to start spending that money this fall. Richmond High School’s Class of 1971 collaborated to help the school’s Class of 2022 pursue their vocational training or college goals. Applications are due March 11.  LINK: Class of 71 Scholarship App

Applicants must have parents and grandparents who did not graduate from college, vocational school or a similar institution. Class of 2022 members must have been enrolled at RHS for at least two years and admitted to an accredited two- or four-year vocational school or college.

In 2 1/2 hours, RPD responds to fatal shooting, van accident

Within about two hours Monday afternoon (Feb. 7), two men died of injuries in Richmond. One was struck by a 15-passenger van, and one was found shot in a vehicle. Van accident

At 4 p.m., Richmond Police Department’s Traffic Division assisted second-shift patrol officers with a fatal accident in the 800 block of Mendelson Drive. In a news release shared Tuesday morning, Lt. Donnie Benedict said that James D. Miller of Richmond was struck by a 15-passenger van.

State team returns to fairgrounds Jan. 26-29 with COVID tests, vaccines

Indiana Department of Health’s Strike Team has arrived at Wayne County Fairgrounds to offer free COVID tests and vaccines. It is the team’s second visit to the fairgrounds so far in 2022. • Location: Wayne County Fairgrounds, Tom Raper Center, 861 Salisbury Road, Richmond
• Dates: Wednesday, Jan. 26, through Saturday, Jan. 29
• Time: Noon-8 p.m.
• COVID-19 Testing-Rapid and PCR testing available
• COVID-19 Vaccines-Pfizer adult and pediatric; & Moderna
• Moderna Vaccine: 18 and older
• Pfizer Adult Vaccine: Age 12 and older
• Pfizer Pediatric Vaccine: Ages 5-11
• All minors must be accompanied by a parent or guardian
• Booster vaccines will be available
Vaccine appointments can be made at
Testing appointments can be made at
While walk-ins are welcome, appointments are preferred when possible.

Sheriff: Deaths of 2 kids, father likely caused by murder-suicide

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. Further investigation determined that their father, Shane Elliott, 40, had not shown up at his place of employment, according to a news release from Sheriff Mike Simpson.

CDC: Video can help quickly eliminate gaps around masks for better protection

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.  Masks should fit snugly over the nose, mouth and chin without gaps along the side of the face or nose. Gaps can be caused by choosing the wrong size or type of mask and when a mask is worn with facial hair.