Planning process begins to boost fairgrounds rentals, self-sufficiency

Commissioners also review requests for opioid settlement funding

Wayne County Fairgrounds rentals are beginning to rebound after slipping sharply because of the COVID-19 pandemic. That trend must continue for the fairground’s finances to become self-sustaining, which is the ultimate goal. The fairgrounds drew $136,000 in rental income during 2017; however, it brought in just $89,000 during 2022. Steve Higinbotham, the county’s director of facilities and development, said rentals were returning late in 2022 and look to continue the momentum in 2023. The Wayne County commissioners discussed Jan.

Northeastern learns more about going electric

Power utility helps prepare district for battery-powered buses

As Northeastern Wayne School Corp. marches toward the electrification of its bus fleet, other schools may be dropping off because their support structure won’t be ready for it. Northeastern schools received notification that the federal government is providing a $2.37 million grant to buy six battery-powered school buses in the next two years. Northeastern is the only Wayne County district to receive the funding. During an update on Jan.

Stop-arm cameras added to 5 buses

Centerville schools target routes with most violations

Area motorists are warned: Centerville-Abington Community Schools has installed five new stop-arm cameras on buses to catch those who might endanger student safety. Assistant Superintendent Sean Stevenson told the school board Jan. 25 meeting that new cameras especially target where most violations occur: U.S. 40 and Pottershop and Centerville roads. CACS buses stopping on U.S. 40 average three violations per week; other buses vary. Stevenson said CACS sees more stop-arm violations than residents would think.

Finding homeless people in Richmond

Count volunteers have a good day, finding many of the largely unseen among us

Among the people without homes who came into a Richmond church for lunch last Wednesday is one who says he needs an official identification card to get a job. But to get an ID, he needs a birth certificate from his home state and says he doesn’t have the money needed to get that. James Lineberry, known as Tennessee because that’s where he grew up, has been living in Richmond for about two years. We spoke on Jan. 12, nearly two weeks before the Point In Time homeless count where we met again at Central United Methodist Church in Richmond.

INDOT hears hopes, concerns about Revive I-70 project

About 75 attend public meeting to provide input, hear plans

Nothing distinguishes Richmond’s U.S. 40 exit from others found on Interstate 70. Motorists pass under the blue arch and sweep through a right-hand curve, then there’s two plain exit ramps. One leads back into Ohio, and the other funnels traffic to National Road East businesses and into Richmond. Sam Patel hopes that interchange will stand out after the Indiana Department of Transportation completes the Wayne County portion of its Revive I-70 project of interstate improvements. Patel, owner of the Best Western hotel at 533 W. Eaton Pike, hopes for flowers and decorations that properly welcome motorists to Indiana, Richmond and those National Road East businesses.

Renovated rink ready to roll

Volunteers, donations enhance Dublin Community Club

After several weeks of renovations, Dublin Community Club is ready for skating enthusiasts and those just looking for a safe Saturday hangout spot. The volunteer-led rink reopens to the public on Saturday, Feb. 4, for open skating. On its debut night, special hours of 5-9 p.m. will be offered instead of the usual 6-9 p.m. hours on future Saturdays. Admission is $5 per person, including skate rental.

Lincoln’s athletes heal, learn from their trainer

By Emily Lightfield

Whether it’s out by the football field, front and center to the basketball games, and on the sideline at volleyball matches, Hannah Gross watches intently. When something goes wrong, she jumps into action. Gross is the athletic trainer for Lincoln High School. She can be located at Lincoln’s sporting events either helping with a student or watching out for injuries during the game. “Hannah has helped me through a variety of injuries throughout my high school career … She always takes on the injury with a positive attitude, asks questions pertaining to the injury, analyzes, then provides possible outcomes and alternatives to help her students,” said Mallory Burns, a Lincoln volleyball player.

RHS reopens after flood repairs

Board OKs new courses; Test planning 100th anniversary

Richmond High School reopened Monday, Jan. 30 for instruction after a 90,000-gallon water leak during winter break led to extensive repairs. Glen Slifer, who oversees the district’s facilities, told the school board at its Jan. 25 meeting that the restoration was going well. He noted new flooring had been laid and furniture had been placed, with a few smaller projects remaining.

Residents confront state legislators on policy proposals

Discussion covered ‘furries,’ gender, economic, health issues

Residents brought their questions and concerns to Friday’s legislative forum with Wayne County’s state lawmakers. Topics during the event at Indiana University East included “furries,” student safety, economic development tactics, historic preservation and the environment. State Rep. Brad Barrett and State Sen. Jeff Raatz briefly described some challenges during their first few weeks in the legislative session, then took questions from the audience of more than 30 people. Barrett leads his chamber’s public health committee, and Raatz oversees education and career development in the Senate. The two are busy vetting bills — Barrett noted nearly 90 affecting public health alone — before committee discussions, revisions and potential advancement to a floor vote.

Local officials: Tyre Nichols’ death ‘indefensible,’ ‘unacceptable,’ ‘inhumane’

Statements issued after body camera footage widely shared

Several local officials have issued statements condemning the actions of five former Memphis police officers who allegedly beat a man to death after a traffic stop. Wayne County Sheriff Randy Retter called Tyre Nichols’ death “horrific and indefensible.” Richmond’s Chief of Police Mike Britt callled it “unacceptable and repulsive.” And Richmond Common Council member Dr. Lucinda Wright said the officers’ behavior was “totally heinous, deplorable and inhumane.”

On Friday, Jan. 27, a grand jury indicted the former officers on charges of second-degree murder.