Newspaper welcomes new ownership

Soon after uprooting their lives to take on the new challenge of owning a newspaper, Brenda and Jim McLane told their staff that they planned to run it for five years before retiring. And, as the McLanes have consistently kept their word to their employees and the community, that’s what they did. As of Oct. 1, the Lincoln High School sweethearts sold Western Wayne News to another Wayne County family with deep community roots. Chris Hardie has become Western Wayne News’ publisher and owner.

Voter registration due Oct. 11

Mailed ballots must be requested 12 days before election

Although November might seem far away, the deadline to register for the Nov. 8 election is Tuesday, Oct. 11, and the date to request a ballot by mail is close behind. Hoosiers needing to register for the first time, or to update an outdated address or check their registration, must visit or visit their local voter registration office. Wayne County helps voters on the second floor of the courthouse, 301 E. Main St.

Northeastern Schools choose new board member

She’s a NHS grad, former employee

The newest Northeastern Wayne School Corporation board member is Kimberly Fultz Claypoole, a 1987 graduate of Northeastern High School. Claypoole was selected by members of the current board to fill the District C — Webster Township — seat on the board and was sworn in during the meeting by corporation attorney A.J. Sickmann during the Sept. 21 board meeting. Claypoole was chosen to fill a vacancy created in July when first-term board member Kristy Anderson resigned from the board to take a job as Northeastern’s middle and high school nurse. Anderson was elected to the District C seat in November 2020 and began her term in January 2021.

Centerville schools dive into student data

Principals present school improvement plans to board

Centerville-Abington’s four principals have presented 2022-23 School Improvement Plans to the school board for consideration, noting several challenges they’ve faced during COVID regarding student learning. Each analyzed their students’ test scores, attendance, suspensions and other factors. Rose Hamilton Elementary: Sam Pritchard said student norms rose about 4 or 5 points on the NWEA standardized test. It is taken three times a year with quick results to help teachers see what their students need to learn and to shape their instruction. In math, second-grade scores are still below the norm, while first grade and kindergarten are on par.

Northeastern hires color guard director

After four parents brought concerns to the August meeting of Northeastern school board about the school year starting without a color guard director in place, a director for the group has been hired. Katie Stephen was hired by the board during its Sept. 21 meeting. Stephen’s hiring as director of the Damsels for the 2022-2023 school year, as the winter guard director and as the summer 2023 director, was made alongside other personnel hires. Concerns were raised in August because the course for color guard members wasn’t able to be offered when school started because there was no instructor in place.

Health officials urge booster vaccinations

If history is a guide, COVID will spike again over the winter

Although the COVID-19 pandemic might be waning, the Wayne County Health Department is encouraging people to keep their vaccinations up to date, with the next few months expected to be an important time in preventing a resurgence of the illness. And because the rate of vaccinations against other diseases dropped significantly during the pandemic, the department is sponsoring a Vaccination Summit in just over two weeks. Because of at-home testing for COVID-19, the state is no longer reporting positivity rates on its online COVID dashboard, according to Christine Stinson, the county health department executive director. Dr. David Jetmore, the county health officer, said that for most of the past two years, COVID numbers moved up or down in trends lasting several weeks or months. For the past couple of months, figures have varied greatly from week to week, reflecting the unreliability of accurate data.

County plans Heiney Road bridge replacement

75-year-old bridge has been closed since 2016

Wayne County is planning to spend nearly $1.8 million to replace a bridge south of Hagerstown that has been closed since 2016. Most of the cost will be borne by federal funding. The Wayne County Highway Department will have a public hearing about its plans to replace the Heiney Road bridge at 6 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 11, in the Wayne County Administration Building, 401 E. Main St., Richmond. The 75-year-old bridge carries Heiney Road over the west fork of Whitewater River.

Cemetery board dissolved; answers wanted

Concerned citizens hire attorney, organize meetings

After discovering Zion Lutheran Cemetery in Pershing hadn’t been mowed for a while – and then learning its non-profit association has been dissolved – a group is raising concerns about the cemetery’s future. About 20 have joined together for three discussions, and have hired an attorney to develop a road map for the cemetery’s management and upkeep. The group, which includes neighbors and those who have family buried in the cemetery, is offering another meeting to invite those concerned to learn more and discuss operations concerns. “It’s an unfortunate situation,” said attorney AJ Sickmann, who is representing the concerned citizens. “There’s a group of really good people who care and want to make sure it moves forward.”
The gathering will start at 6:30 p.m. Monday, Oct.

Our community grieves

First responders from around nation attend K-9 officer’s visitation, funeral

Wayne County eagerly has courted many events to draw visitors over the years for its arts and culture, agriculture and recreation amenities. However, no one ever wanted U.S. law enforcement officers to visit Richmond for a calling and funeral to mourn one of their own, but some came Sunday from Oregon, Massachusetts, and everywhere in between, including Chicago. Hundreds of area residents and regional first responders also were among those patiently waiting for hours Sunday afternoon and evening amid windy conditions to remember Richmond Police Department K-9 Officer Seara Burton, the county’s first female K-9 handler. Officer Richard Storm, representing Portland, Oregon, said it was an honor to come to Indiana, and that words can’t describe the tragedy that Burton’s family has experienced. Portland tries to send a representative to all funerals of U.S. officers killed in the line of duty when possible.

First Presbyterian growing its community connections

185th anniversary celebration set for Sunday

A church celebrating its 185th anniversary this Sunday continues finding new hands-on ways to serve the community with a relatively new pastor. First Presbyterian Church welcomes former members and attenders, as well as any interested residents, to join the gathering at 10:30 a.m. Sunday, Sept. 25, at 100 N. 10th St. in Richmond. They intend to celebrate both the church’s history and its possibilities, and enjoy some cake, too.