Police still seek information on Richmond shooting victim

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.

Schools helping with recycling collections in October

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.

Reid delaying elective inpatient surgeries because of COVID wave

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.

Health department: 1 of 4 new COVID deaths was 30-something

Four more Wayne County residents’ deaths have been related to COVID-19, with one of the new victims in their 30s, according to Wayne County Health Department Executive Director Christine Stinson. That person is the county’s youngest COVID-related fatality since the pandemic began in March 2020. Stinson shared the news of the newest deaths with Wayne County Commissioners on Wednesday morning (Sept. 8) at their weekly meeting in Richmond. Stinson’s announcement came before Indiana’s data is announced weekdays at noon on the state Department of Health website at www.coronavirus.in.gov. 

Stinson had sent out a news release Tuesday afternoon announcing three deaths attributed to the virus, with one person in their mid-40s, one who was 60 years old, and one who was in their early 70s.

Wayne County attributes first death in 40s age group to COVID; nearly 70 kids test positive over weekend

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.

Vaccinations paused at 3 local urgent care offices because of increase in patients; other sites available

COVID-19 vaccinations at Reid Health’s Urgent Care facilities in Richmond and Connersville and Reid Ready Care at the Richmond Meijer store have been paused to reduce the amount of foot traffic at the sites. All three locations recently have seen an increase in those needing urgent care services, according to a news release. “The numbers of patients we’re now seeing at those facilities have led to unusually long wait times,” said Misti Foust-Cofield, Vice President/Chief Nursing Officer for Reid Health, in the release. “This change will help to alleviate some of that traffic. “For those wanting to be vaccinated, there are still several options available, including our convenient clinic in the Kuhlman Center at the Wayne County Fairgrounds.”

Richmond man dies after shooting; woman accused of reckless homicide

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 requiring masks starting Friday, Aug. 27

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.”

Audio file: Hear the late Emmett Smelser discuss journalism, First Amendment


Emmett Smelser worked in several Midwest communities and spent some of his retirement years in Arizona, but he had committed to moving full-time to Richmond toward the end of his life. Smelser’s former local colleagues in journalism and those he met through many civic engagements are mourning his Aug. 13 death, which was announced by First English Lutheran Church in Richmond. Church officials said he had been in declining health in recent weeks. Smelser spent 38 years in the newspaper business, with 20 of those as a reporter and editor, and the remaining 18 as a publisher at Marietta, Ohio, as well as Richmond, Muncie and Marion in Indiana.