Flu prevention efforts begin; Saturday clinic offered Oct. 23

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.

Sheriff: Post about school threat was a prank

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.

Wayne County goes red in new COVID data

Wayne County has become a member of a club that local officials didn’t want to join. It is now one of 21 counties with the worst (red) advisory level for COVID-19. On Tuesday and Wednesday, Wayne County health officials have announced a total of seven new local COVID-related deaths. Four more deaths were reported Wednesday.  The deaths included two males and two females. One of the patients was in their 30s, one in their 50s, and two in their 60s.

Wayne County adds 144 new COVID cases Tuesday; drive-up vaccine, testing site at Ivy Tech closes Wednesday

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.

UPDATE: Milton boy found; Hagerstown girl still being sought

Late Tuesday afternoon (Aug. 10), Wayne County Sheriff’s Office announced it has located Phillip Pitcher Jr., a 16-year-old boy from Milton, Indiana, whose whereabouts were sought earlier in the day. However, the sheriff’s office also is still seeking Adrea Strickland, a 16-year-old female from Hagerstown. Her disappearance was announced June 11. She has brown hair and brown eyes.

Bulldogs finish 2nd at Band Day; Knights 7th; RHS 13th

Centerville’s Blue Regiment finished second at Indiana State Fair Band Day on Friday night. Muncie Central won by just a little more than two points, and Centerville edged Winchester by about half a point for third place. Northeastern  finished seventh and Richmond was 13th. Hagerstown was one of three Indiana bands that could not compete because of COVID-related quarantines. Lincoln finished 27th in the morning competition.

Centerville, Northeastern, Richmond make Sweet 16 at Band Day

Three of Wayne County’s four schools competing this year at Indiana State Fair Band Day have advanced to Friday night’s Sweet Sixteen competition. Those making the cut, in alphabetical order, are Centerville, Decatur County, Jay County, Kokomo, Lebanon, Marion, Monroe Central, Montgomery County United, Muncie Central, Northeastern, Richmond, Speedway, Tipton, West Lafayette, Winchester and Yorktown. Lincoln placed 27th. Schools placing between 17-25 are Frankton Lapel (combined this year), Mooresville, Sheridan, South Vermillion, Western Boone, Eastern Greene, Blackford, Frankfort and Eastern Hancock. Here’s the performance order for Friday night, which starts at 8 p.m.  

Richmond
Monroe Central
Montgomery County United
Yorktown
Decatur County
Tipton
Marion
Speedway
Lebanon
Winchester Community
Centerville
Northeastern
Kokomo
Jay County
West Lafayette
Muncie Central

Area residents can listen live via WKBV AM 1490.  One of its sister stations, WZZY 98.3 FM from Winchester, was broadcasting Friday morning.