News Releases

2022 Paul and Pat Lingle Scholars are Lincoln, Northeastern Graduates

Posted October 5, 2022

Supplied Photo:  Alex Bertsch and Liz StubblefieldThe 2022 recipients of the Paul and Pat Lingle Scholars Program are Alex Bertsch of Cambridge City, Indiana, and Liz Stubblefield of Lynn, Indiana. The scholarship award continues throughout their pursuit of a four-year degree at Indiana University East.

Bertsch and Stubblefield are members of IU East's incoming freshmen Class of 2026.

Bertsch is an informatics major. Stubblefield is an exploratory major.

As Lingle Scholars, both are in the Honors Program, which offers students a world-class educational experience from outstanding teachers to academically accomplished students in support of their optimal attainment of personal, educational and professional goals.

Bertsch works part-time for No.9 Grill in Cambridge City while completing his studies, and he is a member of the Red Wolves track and field team.

A graduate of Lincoln High School in Cambridge City, Bertch was a student-athlete and member of the basketball, track, and cross country teams. Academically, he was a three-year member of Business Professionals of America (BPA) and the National Honor Society.

As a recipient of the scholarship, Bertsch said it is an honor because it is a reinforcement for his the effort he has put toward his goals.

"It means a lot to me because I have always looked up to successful people, and being selected for this scholarship means I must be doing something right. To have shown Paul and Pat Lingle that I am deserving enough for it," Bertsch said.

As a Wayne County resident, Bertsch is familiar with IU East. His mother and sister are IU East alumnae. First his mother received her Bachelor of Science in Nursing in 2008 and then Olivia Bertsch earned her Bachelor of Science in Business Administration in 2020.

After reading about information on the Lingle Scholars program in an IU East email, he decided to apply for the scholarship.

"I chose to attend IU East because it is close to home, I will be getting an IU degree for a fraction of the price, and I get to run track for the college," he said.

Informatics is a degree program that involves the practice of information processing and the engineering of information systems. In short, it is information technology applied to human problems.

After he completes his degree, Bertsch hopes to pursue a career as a software engineer or a data analyst and work for a large scale company, he said.

"I chose to major in informatics because technology has always been something that has sparked my interest and I'd like to think that I am pretty good at using it. Working with computers is something that I like to do, and of course I like the business aspect of it. Also, informatics degrees can lead to some great career paths."

Stubblefield said receiving the Lingle Scholar Award means the world to her.

"I am truly grateful that Paul and Pat Lingle have helped take some of the financial burden away from attending college," Stubblefield said. "It is a true honor to be chosen to represent the Lingle Scholars Program and it is my hope that I can give back to my community just as Paul and Pat have given back to theirs. By receiving this award, I will be able to focus more on my education and figure out how exactly I can help my community."

During her senior year at Northeastern High School, Stubblefield learned about the scholarship opportunity through the billboards celebrating the 2021 Lingle Scholars Program award recipients.

"I thought of it to be an honor to be a Lingle Scholar, not knowing that I would become one a year later," Stubblefield said.

While in high school she was the sentinel for the Future Farmers of America (FFA), secretary of the Spanish Club, junior and senior class officer, a member of the National Honor Society, the English Academic Team, and the Student Council member, and a volunteer at the Northeastern Elementary Library.

Stubblefield is the first in her family to attend IU East. "I chose to attend IU East simply because of its affordability and location. I really like that at IU East I can receive a top tier education and an Indiana University diploma, while still being close to home," Stubblefield said.

For students who have not yet decided what they want to major in, the exploratory major allows them to determine their best future path.

"I chose to major in exploratory studies because as of right now, I do not have a specific area in mind that I want to study," Stubblefield said. "Being an exploratory major will allow me to learn about and experience many different fields. Which will hopefully help me in deciding what specific field I want to pursue in the future."

Currently, Stubblefield feels her path could lead to two potential careers, though she's open to other prospects.

"Although I am not quite set on a specific field after graduation, I am really looking toward something science or criminal justice related. However, with being an exploratory major the possibilities are endless.

The Paul and Pat Lingle Scholars Program award is given to two students who have been accepted into the IU East Honors Program, an academic program that provides an intellectually enriching curriculum for highly motivated students. Recipients receive a four-year scholarship, provided by the Lingles.

"Pat and I are extremely proud to have Liz and Alex join our other Lingle Scholars," Paul Lingle said. "It is extremely exciting to talk with young people that not only excel academically but are actively involved in all phases of their educational experience and being active contributors to the communities they represent."

About the Paul and Pat Lingle Scholars Program

The Lingle Scholars program was established in 2005 and formally endowed in 2018. The program has assisted 17 students achieve their goal of earning a bachelor's degree, including the most recent graduates from the program, Noah Fox of Richmond, Destiny Maitlen of Centerville and Mackenzie Spurrier of Richmond. This year Bertsch and Stubblefield join Jamie Andrews of Fountain City, Alison Juday of Richmond, Vincent Narcisse of Richmond, Sidne Thompson of Centerville, Sam Roberts of Centerville, and Alexia Mills of Richmond as Paul & Pat Lingle Scholars at IU East.

Meridian Community Health Speaker Series Featuring Former NBA Player Chris Herren

Posted October 5, 2022

Supplied Photo:  Chris HerrenChris Herren, a former NBA star and wellness advocate, is the featured speaker in the Meridian Community Health Speaker Series. The event, hosted by Meridian Health Services and Meridian's Addictions and Recovery Center, will be held on Wednesday, October 19 from 11:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. at the Holiday Inn located at 6000 National Road East, Richmond, IN 47374.

Chris Herren, experts on substance use disorder and addiction, and community stakeholders will comprise a discussion panel following Herren's personal story. Speaker Series is free to attend and includes a complimentary luncheon. Reservations are necessary and may be made at Registration deadline is October 10.

"As substance abuse continues to plague our country, state, and county it is important to hear from a person who lives the substance abuse experience. The expert panel will also discuss what is being seen, what interventions are working, and what we can do to continue to fight the substance abuse problem," shared Lisa Suttle, Regional Vice President of Clinical Services. "Please join us for lunch and take the opportunity to hear and ask questions regarding this important issue."

Chris Herren was a celebrated star before graduating high school. He went on to play at Boston College and Fresno State, and also in the NBA – including playing on his hometown team, the Boston Celtics – and seven seasons overseas before losing it all to the disease of addiction. His recovery journey is documented in the bestselling memoir, "Basketball Junkie," and the Emmy-nominated ESPN Films documentary, "Unguarded." Stories about Chris were also published in The New York Times, The Boston Globe, and Sports Illustrated.

Drug-free and alcohol free since 2008, Herren now attends meetings daily to support his substance-free lifestyle and speaks with groups trying to overcome addiction to share his experiences and road to sobriety. He is the founder of the Herren Project, a non-profit organization dedicated to providing treatment navigation, educational and mentoring programs to those touched by addiction, and educating people of all ages on the dangers of substance abuse.

The discussion panel of community leaders and officials will follow Herren's presentation to engage the audience about addiction, recovery, and ideas for local solutions. Panelists include Dr. Brad Barrett, Indiana State Representative for District 56; Randy Retter, Wayne County Sheriff; Charmin Gabbard, Executive Director of Connection Café, Harm Reduction Advocate and Subject Matter Expert; and Lisa Suttle, RN-BC, MS Regional VP of Clinical Services Meridian Health Services. Discussion will be moderated by Rick Duncan from G101.3 FM Radio.

Meridian Community Health Speaker Series brings together community leaders, professionals, educators, and the general public to discuss and identify issues surrounding community health.

This event began in 2018 and is hosted in Richmond, Muncie, and Lafayette. Previous guest speakers include Sam Quinones, Dreamland author and Ryan Leaf, former NFL quarterback.

Learn more about the Meridian Community Health Speaker Series and reserve your spot at

Service To Others Drives 2022 Humanity in Medicine Award Recipient

Posted October 5, 2022

Supplied Photo: Annuradha BhandariFrom a young age, Annuradha Bhandari, MD, was taught by her parents to live a life of service and spirituality. The Sanskrit word seva means selfless service, serving others in such a way you don't expect anything back in return. It has served as a foundation for the way she practices medicine.

"I don't feel the need to go to temple or a church or a place of worship," she said. "Each and every day, this institution is my church and service to my patients is my way of prayer. I'm just grateful to be able to worship this way.

"The values my parents gave me have translated into the very core of why I love doing what I do, and I'm forever grateful for the way they raised me."

On Friday evening, that career of service was honored when Dr. Bhandari became the 42nd recipient of the Paul S. Rhoads Humanity in Medicine Award.

Named after its first honoree in 1983 -- the late Paul S. Rhoades, MD -- the Humanity in Medicine Award honors the memory of Dr. Rhoads for his service to patients and medicine. He was the founding director of Reid Health's Medical Education Department and helped organize the hospice program and the Wayne County adult clinic for the indigent.

Dr. Bhandari's selection for the award was announced at an annual medical staff appreciation and new physician reception in Richmond. Nominations were solicited from patients, physicians, and healthcare workers.

"This award has been really hard for me to digest. I have a hard time understanding being rewarded for something you just love to do," she said.

"It may sound like lip service, but I genuinely feel I have received so much more from this community than I could ever give back, so for me, there's not pride there's gratitude."

The daughter of immigrants -- her mother from the Fiji Islands and her father from India -- Dr. Bhandari was born and raised in Toronto, Canada. Her parents came from humble beginnings and taught her the value of hard work and the ethics of putting your all into whatever you do.

"My mom instilled in me a life grounded in spirituality and that I should see that spiritual force in every person. Everyone deserves an equal amount of respect because in them is that higher power," Dr. Bhandari said.

"I don't feel the need to go to temple or a church or a place of worship. Each and every day, this institution is my church and service to my patients is my way of prayer. I'm just grateful to be able to worship this way. The values my parents gave me have translated into the very core of why I love doing what I do, and I'm forever grateful for the way they raised me." -- Annuradha Bhandari, MD

Her father impressed upon her the opportunity she had to not only make a life for herself but one that would change the history of her family.

"There's a very poignant moment in my life that has carried me through any challenge but also any moment of celebration," she said. "He said, 'Coming from very little, I had dreams as a young man and I think your mother had those too, but we had to put those away because we had more important things like survival and coming up in a new country and raising you all.

'Now I see the things you do, and I hear these stories of your experiences. I don't want you to think they are just yours. They're not just yours. You come from me and your mother, so these moments you are living, they're my moments, too. I live through your eyes. Everything you see, everything you do, every patient you touch, every person you talk to that's my dreams coming true, too."

Dr. Bhandari earned her medical degree from the Medical University of the Americas in Saint Kitts and Nevis in the West Indies. From there, she joined the Internal Medicine Residency Program at Detroit Medical Center - Sinai Grace Hospital in Detroit, Mich. After completing the program, she stayed on to serve a year as chief medical resident with responsibilities that included administrative tasks and teaching staff.

It was her passion for teaching that played a role in her coming to Reid Health in 2014, although there was a family connection, too.

Then-soon-to-be husband Aman Bakshi's parents were living in Richmond, and Aman's father -- Surinder Bakshi, MD -- was an anesthesiologist at Reid. The first Christmas after getting engaged, the couple came to Richmond to visit Aman's family, and Dr. Bakshi began his recruiting pitch.

"He said, I think you'll like it here,' but I wasn't ready at that time," Dr. Bhandari said. "After we were married and were expecting our first child, he pressed harder and mentioned Reid was thinking about starting a residency program."

At the time, Dr. Bhandari was doing her chief year with the residency program in Detroit, and the idea of getting to start a program from the ground up appealed to her.

"It was exciting to be able to contribute to starting a residency program from its inception and witness a monumental event in which a community hospital is now not just a community hospital but a teaching hospital," she said.

That experience would prove useful later as Dr. Bhandari would go on to play leadership roles in the establishment of Reid's nationally recognized perioperative clinic and in the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic, a special respiratory clinic that went from idea to reality in a matter of a couple days. All of it accomplished while she continued her own primary care practice.

"As an innovator, as a leader, as a spokesperson for the medical staff, as a clinician, and as a very talented individual, this is somebody who in her own right has established herself in the medical staff with credibility and has continued to excel and look for ways in which she could make her mark, and she has," said Craig Kinyon, Reid Health President/CEO.

Dr. Bhandari's co-workers praise her love of teaching and the team mentality she brings to her practices.

"She has a passion for teaching. I don't think I'll ever be able to repay the education I received over the last eight years with her," said Brittany Colley, Clinical Lead for Reid Health Primary & Specialty Care - Connersville. "I'm beyond thankful and blessed for having that because I know so many don't get that opportunity."

"She's a wonderful asset in this community and to me personally," said Orthopedist Joel McClurg, MD, Chair of Musculoskeletal Services for Reid Health. "She's pushing the ball forward, always emphasizing you don't have to be a big academic institution to make major changes in the health of the patients you serve. That's one of her most important characteristics."

"She has a passion for teaching. I don't think I'll ever be able to repay the education I received over the last eight years with her. I'm beyond thankful and blessed for having that because I know so many don't get that opportunity." -- Brittany Colley, Clinical Lead for Reid Health Primary & Specialty Care - Connersville

When she's not working, Dr. Bhandari and Aman enjoy going to concerts and comedy shows. They and their two children -- Nadia and Brij -- are big fans of the Indiana Pacers. But more than anything else, Dr. Bhandari enjoys being a mother.

"I love being a mom, and I love being a wife, and I love being a daughter. I'm enjoying all those roles in my life," she said.

"I'm really grateful toward my husband. I think it would be really difficult to do all the things I do day to day without his support and my mother-in-law's support. Behind any person who has the ability to do the many roles I have, there's a whole group of people who are in support of them."

Front and center in everything Dr. Bhandari does at Reid Health is her patients.

"That moment when I walk into the room is sacred to me," she said. "My patients are just so kind. They are so nice to me. We have fantastic relationships, and over the years not only have I been given the privilege of helping them with their health goals, but we share our life events with each other. They know me at a very personal level, and that is just such a beautiful relationship. I'm so blessed to have the most special and amazing patients."

It's the ability to make those kinds of connections with others that makes Dr. Bhandari an ideal recipient for this award, according to her co-workers.

"She is completely devoted to her responsibilities as a physician. She takes that so seriously. Patients come first for her. The organization comes first for her. She invests so much of her own personal time in committees and programs. She's just an all-around wonderful person," said Emily Klein, Specialty Care Service Line Director for Reid Health.

"She is the epitome of this award," said Billie Kester, Reid Health Vice President for Continuum of Care. "She has heart in everything she does, and she's probably one of the most compassionate people I know, so the Humanity in Medicine Award couldn't go to a better person."

Watch on YouTube.

Governing Board Approves Plans for New State-of-the-Art Reid Health Campus in Connersville

Posted October 3, 2022

Reid Health has big plans for its presence in the city of Connersville, plans that will keep the health system in the community for generations to come.

On Monday, the Reid Health Governing Board gave its approval for a new state-of-the-art campus in Connersville, a $100 million-plus investment that represents Reid's continued commitment to the community now and well into the future.

A groundbreaking ceremony is scheduled for Thursday, Oct. 19 to formally mark the beginning of construction at the former Kmart property, 2500 Park Road. Reid acquired the site in early 2021 and removed the long-standing eyesore that the former retail building had become.

The new facility will replace the current building at 1941 Virginia Ave., which traces its origins back more than 100 years. The complex's age -- along with maintenance that was deferred as previous owner Fayette Regional Health System experienced financial difficulties -- made building a new campus the more financially sound option over renovating the current location.

"We want to bring to Connersville and the Fayette County region a very updated, logically laid out, well-planned facility that has services they need and want to have in their backyard," said Craig Kinyon, Reid Health President/CEO.

"It's going to give the region access to top-level, state-of-the-art care tailored to the needs of Fayette County. This facility will provide patients with a place to receive a very high level of service in an outpatient setting without having to travel. We believe this investment will be a source of pride in the community for decades to come."

To celebrate the start of the replacement campus project, Reid is inviting the community to a special event called The Big Build Bash!, which will take place 2-8 p.m. at Roberts Park on Saturday, Oct. 22. Vendors and food trucks will be on hand, with a free concert beginning at 5 p.m. In conjunction with the celebration, Kunkel's Drive-in will host a cruise-in at their location from noon to 3 p.m.

Honoring a commitment

Reid Health acquired a substantial portion of the assets of Fayette Regional Health System in July 2019 after Fayette Regional had filed for bankruptcy protection. Reid was able to keep services open without interruption during the transition.

Craig Kinyon, Reid Health President/CEO "The community has significant health needs. To learn about Fayette Regional's transition into bankruptcy was extremely heartbreaking for me because I recognized the community couldn't lose local access to healthcare," said Kinyon, who served as Fayette Memorial Hospital's (later known as Fayette Regional) Chief Financial Officer for five years before joining Reid Health in 1995.

"The organization was made up of friends, families, and neighbors taking care of friends, families, and neighbors."

Reid officials pledged to ensure the community has access to a variety of important high-quality healthcare services and made substantial upgrades and improvements, adding staff and services in the time since. The decision to build a replacement campus is the latest step toward honoring that commitment.

"We want to continue to add services and technologies as the community needs and as healthcare evolves," Kinyon said. "We'll have space available within the new building to expand for things we aren't thinking about at this moment.

"It's an exciting project for us because we get to take a blank piece of paper and start over."

Connersville and Fayette County officials are thankful for Reid's efforts on behalf of the community so far and are excited for what's to come.

"I'm excited Reid Health is honoring their commitment to Connersville with access to high-quality healthcare," said Connersville Mayor Chad Frank. "Growth is happening, and the future is bright for Connersville. I'm pleased Reid Health recognizes this and has decided to move forward with us in our growth."

Tom Hilkert, Reid Health Governing Board chair, said the investment in a new Connersville facility is vital to fulfilling Reid's mission in Fayette County and the surrounding area.

"Reid is committed to meeting the needs of those we serve, one person at a time, and this facility will provide greater access, the latest technologies, and numerous healthcare services to the Fayette County community," he said. "This investment will make a powerful and positive impact on the future of healthcare and vitality in this entire region."

"I'm so thankful Reid is making this type of investment in Connersville. From an economic development standpoint, a healthcare facility of this scale will strengthen our position to attract new businesses to Fayette County." -- Dan Parker, President and CEO of the Fayette County Economic Development Group

When Reid officially assumed control of the Virginia Avenue facility on July 16, 2019, the health system employed 269 people in Connersville. Today, the entire Reid Health system employs 429 Connersville residents and plans to grow that number with the new campus, which could spur more economic growth within the city and county.

Dan Parker, President and CEO of the Fayette County Economic Development Group, believes the project will bring new possibilities to the area.

"I'm so thankful Reid is making this type of investment in Connersville," Parker said. "From an economic development standpoint, a healthcare facility of this scale will strengthen our position to attract new businesses to Fayette County.

"This investment will transition that property and will help to stimulate our economy. This is a huge win for our community. We are fortunate to have Reid's presence in our community. They've been a blessing."

"We hope this project gives the community another big reason for companies to locate jobs in the Fayette/Connersville region," Kinyon said.

"Hopefully, this will be a catalyst that will incubate other ideas within the community and be something that can serve as a springboard. We very much hope that's part of this project, that there's a good positive momentum that comes from this."

Most efficient, cost-effective solution

The Virginia Avenue complex, as it now sits, represents 100 years' worth of construction and renovation projects, from the original sections on the north end of the site to the most recent addition built in the 1990s. The result is a location that can't easily be remade to meet the needs of a modern healthcare facility.

Some sections sit unused because of the prohibitive costs associated with necessary renovations. Others, such as the Emergency Department, are simply too small. The outdated spaces have been challenging to retrofit and update with new technologies, workflows, and services. A new facility will provide a clean slate to build a campus that can accommodate today's technologies and tomorrow's innovations.

In addition to the space limitations, there are expensive repairs needed for HVAC equipment, the roof, windows, and other systems that are either at the end of their lifecycle or already past it. For example, the boilers and chillers need to be replaced, a multimillion-dollar maintenance expense on its own that would create downtime in building usage.

Put together, it became clear to Reid officials the most efficient, cost-effective solution would be to start over.

"It came down to how do you handle the challenges of renovating a building that for decades had been providing certain services, that has a lot of lifecycle problems -- a lot of things that probably based on the financial condition of Fayette Regional they couldn't get to -- and it just became obvious to us the best solution was to build a replacement facility and configure that in a way that makes sense for healthcare today," Kinyon said.

Plans at this point call for a two-story, 177,000-square-foot facility with more than 400 parking spaces and an onsite helipad. Reid is working with architectural firm HKS to design the new campus. HKS is a worldwide company and widely recognized as the premier healthcare design firm in the United States.

The new building is anticipated to be finished in 2024, depending on weather and other factors that commonly impact construction. Supply chain issues also could affect the availability of needed materials.

Skanska USA Building Inc. and joint venture partner Shook Construction were approved Monday night by the Reid Health Governing Board as the health system's primary construction partner. Shook and Reid Health have a long history of successful projects including the construction of new Primary & Specialty Care facilities in Winchester and Brookville. Shook is headquartered in Dayton, Ohio, and has offices located in Richmond.

"Like any Reid project, we choose to work with local contractors whenever possible and that will remain true for this project," said Jeff Cook, Director of Engineering for Reid Health. "We look forward to having local participation in the building of this facility."

Available services

The new facility will include an Emergency Department, radiology and laboratory services, and a mix of primary and specialty care options for patients. Some of those services include cardiology, oncology, OB/GYN, orthopedic, cardio-pulmonary rehab, podiatry, rehab services (physical therapy and occupational therapy), audiology, sleep disorder, wound healing, and ear, nose, and throat. Hospital administration and planning teams are actively working with architects to determine the final plans for the building.

"This is a fluid situation at this point," Kinyon said. "Decisions about services and other things will continue to be made while the project progresses."

The addition of a helipad at the new campus will be Fayette County's first in nearly 30 years to be located adjacent to emergency services.

"In those situations when a patient may need to be sent to a Level 1 Trauma Center minutes matter," Kinyon said. "This addition will help us save lives."

"This is an exciting time for all of us at Reid Health, and we hope the residents of Connersville, Fayette County, and beyond are just as excited. We're going to bring them a new, modern, updated facility as well as the technologies and equipment that go along with that. We remain committed to this community, and we can't wait to see what we can accomplish together." -- Craig Kinyon, Reid Health President/CEO

One thing the new campus will not be is an inpatient hospital. Reid officials said the financial difficulties Fayette Regional experienced proved trying to offer inpatient care in the community to be too costly. Also, given Reid Hospital's nearby location in Richmond, providing those same services in Connersville would amount to a duplication of efforts.

"We're not providing inpatient care because we can transition the patients to Richmond in fewer than 30 minutes and have all the subspecialists and specialists there for their care," Kinyon said. "To duplicate that in Connersville would not be financially sustainable, and it's our responsibility to build a healthcare facility that can meet the needs of the community for years to come."

Fate of current facility

Once the new campus is open, work will turn to the current complex on Virginia Avenue.

"For all the reasons and concerns that the building doesn't make sense for us, I'm not sure it would make sense for anybody else," Kinyon said. "Like most hospitals, it's unusually configured for being flexible or usable for other sorts of spaces. I think it would be challenging for someone to take over the building.

"Our plan -- unless something else comes to light -- is to tear it down, fill in the hole, level the dirt, and put grass down. From there, we'll see where we go. It could be sold at that point or gifted over. The board will address that issue after talking with the community and figuring out what's the best solution."

Stay up to date

Regular updates and FAQs about the new campus project in Connersville are available on the Reid Health website at In addition to news about construction timelines, planned healthcare services to be available once the new building opens, and celebration events, residents will be able to submit questions about the project through that page.

"This is an exciting time for all of us at Reid Health, and we hope the residents of Connersville, Fayette County, and beyond are just as excited," Kinyon said. "We're going to bring them a new, modern, updated facility as well as the technologies and equipment that go along with that.

"We remain committed to this community, and we can't wait to see what we can accomplish together."

Got questions about the project? Check out our FAQ.

The Great Pumpkin 5K

Posted October 3, 2022

Supplied Flier:  Great Pumpkin 5k

The second annual Great Pumpkin 5K is scheduled to take place on Wednesday, October 12th, 2022 in Richmond, Indiana. This course will begin and end at the Starr Gennett Walk of Fame located at 201 S. 1st Street and is a two lap course.

Fall Foliage 5k/10k

Posted October 3, 2022

On Your Marks, Get Set, Race through the Woods!

Cope Environmental Center Fall Foliage 5k/10k will be on Saturday, October 29th. Registration will begin at 7:30am and the race will start at 9am.

The course winds through our 130 acres of beautiful wetlands, woodlands, and prairie, giving competitors a gorgeous view as they make their way through the course.

This race is open to runners and walkers alike; however, we do ask that walkers participate in the 5k course as opposed to the 10k course.

The Fall Foliage 5k/10k is a part of the Wayne County Challenge. Those finishing in the first 10 places will receive Wayne County Challenge points in accordance with Wayne County Challenge point distribution.

Pre-registration is required on or before October 14th to be guaranteed a race long sleeve t-shirt. Visit or register online at

Hunters Can Donate Deer to Help Feed Hungry Hoosiers

Posted October 3, 2022

Indiana Conservation Officers encourage Indiana hunters to donate harvested deer to help feed hungry Hoosiers.

The Sportsmen's Benevolence Fund administered by the DNR Division of Law Enforcement provides grants to Hoosiers Feeding the Hungry, the Dubois County Sportsmen Club, and Hunters and Farmers Feeding the Hungry to pay for processing fees when hunters donate legally harvested deer.

Participating in the program is simple:

  1. Enjoy a deer hunting experience.
  2. Harvest a deer.
  3. Drop off the field-dressed deer at a local participating processor.
  4. Processing fees are paid for by the Sportsmen's Benevolence Fund.
  5. The processor will create healthy venison burger to distribute to food banks.

The participating organizations notify food banks throughout Indiana when venison is ready to be collected from certified Sportsmen's Benevolence Fund butchers. The food banks distribute venison to soup kitchens and food pantries.

As a result of the 2021 deer hunting seasons, Hoosier hunters donated 879 harvested deer that resulted in 45,326 pounds of venison being donated.

For information on donating your harvested deer and participating processors, please visit

IU East Regional Writer Series presents author, award-winning satirist for Mindful Explorations event

Posted October 3, 2022

Supplied PHoto:  Matt BurriesciAuthor and award-winning satirist Matt Burriesci kicks off the academic year as a guest for IU East's Visiting Writer Series, a Mindful Explorations event.

Lauded for his sharp wit and nuanced prose, Burriesci will read from his published novel and book of essays, as well as brief selections from his newest work,Theseus, at 7 p.m. on Monday, October 3, in the First Bank Richmond Community Room, located in Whitewater Hall. The event is free and open to the public.

In the afternoon, Burriesci will provide a talk on "Writing Beyond Academia," delivering crucial advice to student writers interested in finding a profession outside of college. IU East faculty and staff are welcome to attend. Students in attendance will include those enrolled in Tanya Perkins' course, ENG-W206: Introduction to Creative Writing. Perkins is an associate professor of English.

Following the event, a recording of the reading will be available on IU East Facebook Live at noon on Friday, October 7.

The Visiting Writers Series is sponsored by the IU East School of Humanities and Social Sciences and Mindful Explorations, courtesy of the William H. and Jean R. Reller Endowment. The event is presented by First Bank Richmond.

"Matt Burriesci's fiction and nonfiction are noteworthy for their dramatic interplay between historical perspective and satirical sting," Brian Brodeur, associate professor of English at IU East said. "Regardless of genre, Burriesci's writing achieves a rare balance of intellectual rigor and knee-slapping hilarity, offering to readers insights into the absurdities of such professional fields as American politics, arts administration, and philanthropy, but always with an underlying tenderness that makes the digs and jabs of this work feel earned."

Burriesci was raised in Geneva, Illinois. He holds a English and Rhetoric from the University of Illinois and an M.F.A. in Fiction from George Mason University.

He is the executive director of the Providence Athenaeum, one of the oldest libraries in the United States. He began his career at Chicago Shakespeare Theater. From 1999 to 2011, he served in various capacities at the Association of Writers and Writing Programs (AWP), including as executive director. During his tenure at AWP, Burriesci helped build the largest and most diverse literary conference in North America. He has also served as the executive director of the PEN/Faulkner Foundation at the Folger Shakespeare Library. He is presently at work on a novel and a collection of essays.

Burriesci's essays and short fiction have been published in numerous outlets, including Guernica, Salon, and the Los Angeles Review of Books. He is the author of Dead White Guys: A Father, his Daughter, and The Great Books of the Western World, which has been translated into several languages. He is also the author of the novel Nonprofit, which won the 2014 AWP Award for the Novel.

Burriesci's latest novel, Theseus, is a re-telling of the Greek hero's story from a realistic perspective, focusing on the origin of his political innovations. The Greeks believed Theseus to be a real person, and they credited him with the invention of democracy. The novel retraces Theseus's time as a prisoner of Imperial Crete, where he is subjected to horrific challenges and exposed to philosophical ideas that challenge his preconceptions about human nature.

IU East's Creative Writing program offers the Regional Writers Series and the Visiting Writers Series.

"Both series give IU East students, faculty, and staff, as well as writers and literary enthusiasts in the broader region, an opportunity to hear some of the most exciting fiction, nonfiction and poetry being written in the United States today," Brodeur said. "These events are always free and open to the public."

Hospice Care Focus of Medical Monday, Thriving Thursday in October

Posted October 3, 2022

The Reid Health Hospice team strives to help patients live their final days to the fullest while providing support to guide families through emotional stress and tough end-of-life ethical issues.

Reid's David DeSantis, MD, and Kristen Kriz, LPN, will lead a community discussion called "Introduction to Hospice Care" at next month's editions of Medical Monday and Thriving Thursday.

Medical Monday will take place at 1 p.m. on Oct. 10 at Central United Methodist Church, 1425 E. Main St. in Richmond, while Thriving Thursday will begin at 11:30 a.m. on Oct. 13 at the Fayette County Senior Center, 477 N. Grand Ave. in Connersville.

Both events are free to attend. To register, call Sharrie Harlin Davis at (765) 983-3000, ext. 4676. Masks are required.

Medical Monday and Thriving Thursday are supported by Reid Health Community Benefit. Harlin Davis started Medical Monday when she was working for the Minority Health Coalition and maintained it after joining Reid Health. The events have loyal followings, averaging 40 to 50 guests each month to learn about various health issues, community programs, and health screenings.

Whitewater Valley Pro Bono - Ask a Lawyer

Posted October 3, 2022

Supplied Flyer: Ask a Lawyer October 2022

This Thursday, 10/6 from 4-6 pm will be our next free legal clinic at Morrisson-Reeves Library. This is completely free and open to residents of Wayne AND surrounding counties, Preble County included.

We will have multiple Attorneys available to cover different types of Civil issues. Please keep in mind that we are not able to help with any type of Criminal issues. We can help with Family Law, Small Claims actions, Landlord/ Tenant issues, basic Will/ Power of Attorney questions, and any other type of Civil issue.

FAFSA Opens on October 1 for 2023-2024 School Year

Posted October 3, 2022

Hoosier students should apply for state financial aid before the April 15 priority deadline

(INDIANAPOLIS) – Hoosier students and families are encouraged to file the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), for the 2023-2024 school year. The FAFSA opens October 1, 2022.

The Indiana Commission for Higher Education reminds Hoosiers that filing the FAFSA by the April 15, 2023, priority deadline is imperative for securing money for college and accessing some of the $390 million in state financial aid and billions of dollars in federal aid available for learners. Once the priority deadline passes, financial aid funding will be available on a first-come, first-served basis.

"We encourage all Hoosiers, regardless of family income, who are interested in pursuing education and training beyond high school to file the FAFSA as soon as possible," said Indiana Commissioner for Higher Education Chris Lowery. "Indiana is first in the Midwest and fifth in the nation in providing need-based financial aid. However, each year, millions of dollars in state and federal financial aid are left on the table because students assume they don't qualify. There is considerable funding available, but Hoosiers must take that first step of filing the FAFSA to qualify."

Regardless of the degree being pursued – including certificates, associate and bachelor's degrees – students should file the FAFSA to potentially qualify for available financial aid. Filing the FAFSA is required for many of Indiana's scholarship and grant opportunities, such as the Frank O'Bannon Grant and the Workforce Ready Grant. Additionally, many colleges require a completed FAFSA to award merit and need-based scholarships.

Completing the FAFSA on time is a necessary step for 21st Century Scholars to earn the full scholarship amount of up to four years of college tuition.

How to file the FAFSA

Students can file the FAFSA online at The first step for students who have not previously filed the FAFSA is to create a Federal Student Aid (FSA) ID. Then, each student will need:

  • Social Security number
  • Alien Registration number (for non-U.S. citizens)
  • Federal income tax returns, W-2s and other records of money earned from 2021
  • Bank statements and records of investments (if applicable)
  • Records of untaxed income (if applicable)

The U.S. Department of Education provides email and live chat assistance for FAFSA filers as well as a helpline at 1-800-4-FED-AID. Hoosier families can also access free FAFSA help through INvestEd Indiana at

¿Necesitas ayuda en español? Llame al 317-617-0358.

Indiana Citizens Are Key to Stopping Poaching

Posted October 3, 2022

Indiana Conservation Officers encourage citizens to partner with the Turn In a Poacher, Inc. (TIP) program and help put an end to poaching.

TIP is a nonprofit conservation organization that protects fish and wildlife resources by increasing public support and involvement in bringing violators to justice.

A poacher is a thief who illegally steals wildlife that belongs to each Indiana citizen. Indiana DNR manages wildlife for everyone, and every person can help TIP support DNR efforts by reporting potential violations at 1-800-TIP-IDNR (800-847-4367) or Doing so will help conserve wildlife for future generations.

Call TIP if you see, hear, or learn about poaching or another violation regarding fish and wildlife. If your "TIP" leads to an arrest, you may receive as much as a $500 reward, and you can remain anonymous. Since 2017 TIP has received 1,788 tips and paid thousands of dollars in rewards for tips that have led to the arrest of a suspect.

"Concerned citizens are the main reason why Indiana TIP has been successful in fighting against poaching and bringing justice to those who violate fish and wildlife laws," said Joe Cales, TIP citizens advisory board president. "Poaching affects us all."

Osborn Testing Innovative, First-of-Its-Kind Stringer Bead Brush, Setting New Standard In Welding, Pipeline and Metal Fabrication Markets

Posted October 3, 2022

Supplied Photo:  Honey Badger Double Stringer Bead BrushOsborn is once again bringing industry-leading innovation to the pipeline, welding and metal fabricating markets, introducing a new stringer bead brush that offers twice the life and aggression of its already proven and industry-leading Four-Inch TufBrush Stringer Bead Brush. The innovative technology involving two brush sections also gives it the ability to clean both sides of a weld at the same time.

The Honey Badger Double Stringer Bead Brush establishes a new standard in welding, as there are currently no other brushes on the market that can achieve what it can. The Honey Badger is built with two sets of wire knots on a unique face plate and nut. Because of how it's constructed, the brush can hit both sides of the root, or hot pass, while cleaning out any slag or debris of a weld.

"We have a long history of listening to our customers and their demands, placing value on their feedback to create the best solutions and products," says Brian Keiser, Vice President of Operations, Osborn. "Collaborating with you – the experts in the field – helps us drive innovation and create the products you really need."

For 135 years, Osborn has been dedicated to offering the best solutions for mechanical treatment challenges, relying on customer input, and collaborating with those customers to improve the quality of its products. Keeping consistent with that tradition, Osborn is accepting applications to be among the first to test the Honey Badger. Interested professionals may sign up for this opportunity during FABTECH, North America's largest metal forming, fabricating, welding and finishing event. To register, visit Osborn's booth #C11057 at the show from November 8-10 in Atlanta. Osborn will then contact 25 selected welders and similar professionals to test its innovation.

"The Honey Badger Double Stringer Bead Brush already promises to offer a longer lifespan, a faster cut, less operator fatigue and less effort, so we're excited to see the impact it has on our industry," says Keiser. "Thanks to this testing period and collaborating with specialists who use these tools, we expect to be able to further improve our final product."

The Honey Badger Double Stringer Bead Brush can currently be pre-ordered and will be available to purchase in 2023. Right now, the product is patent pending.

To learn more about Osborn, visit

Singles Interaction, Inc.

Posted September 27, 2022

Supplied Newsletter: Singles Intereaction October 2022

If you are 21 years of age or better and single, divorced, widow or widower, Singles' Interaction invites you to join them on Friday nights. Come to the Eagles Lodge, 75 South 12th Street, Richmond (membership not required) and meet other single people in the Richmond area.

Reid Health Now Has Updated COVID-19 Vaccine Booster Shots Available

Posted September 27, 2022

You can now get your COVID-19 bivalent booster shot at the Reid Health Residency Clinic.

At the direction of the Indiana Department of Health, Reid recently paused administration of COVID-19 vaccine booster doses until the updated versions of the vaccine become available.

Late last month, federal health officials approved new versions of the vaccines from Pfizer and Moderna that have been formulated to take on the latest strains of the Omicron variant of the virus as well as the original strain.

Officials at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommend everyone ages 12 and up receive a dose of the updated booster vaccine, including those who have previously received one or more doses of the original booster as long as it has been at least two months since their most recent dose.

With flu season approaching, those who get a COVID-19 booster are recommended to receive their flu shot during the same visit. The CDC says experience has shown the body's immune response and possible side effects are generally the same whether you get one type of vaccine at a time or two.

If you haven't been vaccinated or if you are ready for a booster, Reid Health offers FREE vaccinations at the Reid Health Residency Clinic, 795 Sim Hodgin Parkway in Richmond.

Walk-ins are welcome from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday-Thursday and 8 a.m. to noon Friday. Appointments can be made for those hours by calling Reid's COVID-19 Hotline at (765) 965-4200. The hotline is open 8 a.m.-4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday and 10 a.m.-2 p.m. on Saturdays.

Indiana residents can find other nearby vaccination sites and schedule a time at those locations by going to Ohio residents should use

Indiana Electric Vehicle Infrastructure Deployment Plan Receives Federal Approval

Posted September 27, 2022

Supplied Graphic:  Station LocationsINDIANAPOLIS – The Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) has approved Indiana's plan to use funding from the National Electric Vehicle Infrastructure (NEVI) program to build out a statewide electric vehicle charging network. The plan approval clears the way for the state to work with private and public partners to begin investing nearly $100 million over the next five years to bolster the availability of fast, reliable EV charging infrastructure across the state.

"A robust network of convenient, reliable charging infrastructure is essential to addressing range anxiety for electric vehicle owners," INDOT Commissioner Mike Smith said. "Through the NEVI program, Indiana will work with private and public partners to make strategic investments in charging infrastructure along our highways to support the growing number of EV's traveling throughout our state."

In accordance with federal guidance, Indiana's plan invests in EV charging infrastructure along the state's FHWA-designated Alternative Fuel Corridors (AFC). Over the coming years, the NEVI funds must be invested in DC fast charging stations that are compliant with federal guidelines. Among the primary requirements, each station must have at least four ports that can simultaneously charge at 150 kilowatts, be located along every 50 miles of the AFC, less than one mile from an exit or intersection, and be accessible to the public 24 hours a day.

Indiana's plan will invest in at least 44 Level 3 DC-Fast Charge EV charging stations to fully build out the state's AFC's. Once built out, every Hoosier will be within 40 miles of a NEVI-funded charging station. The plan also prioritizes providing access to and benefit from EV charging stations for disadvantaged communities in both urban and rural areas.

The NEVI program was created by the 2021 Bipartisan Infrastructure Law with the goal of deploying a national network of at least 500,000 electric vehicle charging stations by 2030 to reduce range anxiety and encourage wider adoption of electric vehicles. The program is authorized at nearly $5 billion nationally over the next five years.

NEVI will fund 80 percent of the installation of EV charging stations along with up to five years of operations and maintenance with the remaining 20 percent of costs to be funded by site owner-operators. The state anticipates seeking proposals from potential owner-operators by mid-2023 with the initial charging station installations to begin in 2024.

Click here to view Indiana's approval letter.

More information about Indiana's Electric Vehicle Infrastructure Deployment can be found on the INDOT website.

Reid Team Members Among Those Presenting at National Healthcare Conference

Posted September 27, 2022

Supplied Photo:  ennifer Bales (left), MD, Reid Health Emergency Medicine, and Tiffany Ridge, Manager of Graduate & Continuing Medical Education and the Reid Health Residency Clinic, were among the presenters at the Vizient Connections Summit in Las Vegas.Members of the Reid Health team were among the presenters at a national conference focused on healthcare performance that took place last week in Las Vegas.

Tiffany Ridge, Manager of Graduate & Continuing Medical Education and the Reid Health Residency Clinic, and Jennifer Bales, MD, Reid Health Emergency Medicine, led a presentation at the Vizient Connections Summit. Vizient is "the largest member-driven, healthcare performance improvement company in the country," according to the company's website.

Ridge and Bales were selected to talk about Reid's Physician Engagement & Resilience Committee (PERC), which was formed in recent years to support the health system's providers and improve physician retention. They discussed the purpose of the committee, how it came to be, and its successes.

"Reid Health and its physician-leaders are committed to creating a positive and supportive environment in which to practice medicine and provide the best care to our patients," Bales said. "The work the committee does helps to create an environment that promotes long-term retention and helps with recruiting the best possible candidates to build a robust medical staff."

Ridge and Bales first gave their presentation in May during Vizient's Clinician Workforce Conference in St. Petersburg, Fla. The Connections Summit that took place this week is the company's main event of the year.

"What the PERC is doing here at Reid for and on behalf of the physicians and the entire medical staff is truly amazing and it's something the rest of the industry should see," Ridge said. "We couldn't be happier to have had this opportunity to share the committee's great work with our peers from around the country."

Reid Health Police Department Leadership Undergoes Changes as Chief Retires

Posted September 20, 2022

Supplied Photo: Randy Kolentus (center) has retired as the chief of the Reid Health Police Department. Jeff Cappa (left) has assumed the role while Dennis Perkins (right) has been promoted to assistant chief.After 44 years of service in law enforcement, Randy Kolentus has retired from his position as chief of the Reid Health Police Department. Taking over the role is Jeff Cappa, another longtime member of the local law enforcement community.

Kolentus came to Reid after 28 years with the Richmond Police Department. During his time at RPD, he was one of the founding members of the department's SWAT Team and was appointed its first SWAT Commander.

While at Reid, Kolentus led the health system's security team before working over the past two-plus years to transform them into a full-fledged police department.

"The past 16 years with Reid Health have been amazing. My time here has allowed me to learn and grow both personally and professionally. I'm thankful to my wife, Carrie. She has been my mentor and inspiration for so many years. I'm also very thankful to Reid Health and the Reid Governing Board for all the support and vision over these years." -- Randy Kolentus, retired Reid Health Chief of Police

He also served as president of the Indiana chapter of the International Association for Healthcare Security and Safety for six years, helping to form a professional network of healthcare security throughout the state.

In 2021, he was awarded the Sagamore of the Wabash, the highest honor given by an Indiana governor. Earlier this year, he was named the national runner-up for the 2022 Healthcare Director of the Year award presented by Campus Safety Magazine, a publication focused on public safety and security of hospitals, schools, and universities across the country.

"The past 16 years with Reid Health have been amazing. My time here has allowed me to learn and grow both personally and professionally," Kolentus said. "I'm thankful to my wife, Carrie. She has been my mentor and inspiration for so many years.

"I'm also very thankful to Reid Health and the Reid Governing Board for all the support and vision over these years."

"It has been such an honor to work with Randy," said Pam Jones, Reid Health Vice President/General Counsel. "Coming from a law enforcement family, I appreciate the integrity, hard work, sacrificial service, and genuine commitment to our community with which Randy has led our police department.

"Although his retirement is well-deserved, he leaves behind a tremendous legacy of excellence in law enforcement leadership."

"It has been an honor to work for and with Chief Kolentus as our team has transitioned from a security division to a full-time law enforcement agency. I considered it a great distinction to be chosen the next chief of police and to continue building on the vision put into place by Randy." -- Jeff Cappa, new Reid Health Chief of Police

Stepping into the role as police chief is Cappa, who himself has 38 years of law enforcement experience, including eight years as Wayne County sheriff. He also served as president of the Indiana Sheriff's Association and was appointed by then-Gov. Mike Pence to the Law Enforcement Training Board for the Indiana Law Enforcement Academy.

For the past three years, Cappa has been the assistant chief for the Reid Health Police Department.

"It has been an honor to work for and with Chief Kolentus as our team has transitioned from a security division to a full-time law enforcement agency," Cappa said. "I considered it a great distinction to be chosen the next chief of police and to continue building on the vision put into place by Randy."

"Jeff brings an equally impressive law enforcement resume to the chief position," Jones said. "He will continue the excellent leadership of Reid's police department and will continue to build upon the RHPD foundation that Randy started."

Dennis Perkins, who previously served as a captain for the Reid Health Police Department, moves into the assistant chief position with Brian Bolin promoted to take on Perkins' former role. Perkins served for 20 years with the Connersville Police Department before joining Reid three years ago.

"Jeff and Dennis have such a wealth of experience and knowledge. We are in good hands," Jones said. "They are committed to taking the police department to the next level. I am confident great things are going to continue to happen for RHPD and the Reid Health community they serve."

Gifts from the Home

Posted September 19, 2022

On the look out for time-tested recipes while making new friends? Then you'll want to attend "Gifts from the Home", a signature event of the Wayne County Extension Homemakers.

The public is invited to this event which will take place October 13, 2022 at 6:00 p.m. at the Kuhlman Center, Wayne County Fairgrounds, 861 Salisbury Road North, Richmond, IN. Doors open at 5:30 p.m. A highlight of the evening will be the sampling of recipes brought by Extension members and featured in the "Gifts from the Home" cook book. It will contain recipes from soups to main courses to desserts. Attendees receive a copy of the cook book.

In support of this year's theme of "Hearts from the Home," attendees can craft small hearts of all media – fleece, wood, fabric--at the event. The goal is to make 1,000 miniature hearts during the year to be distributed throughout Wayne County between now and July 01, 2023. Supplies will be furnished. They will be distributed to nursing homes, day care centers, hospitals and other organizations. For further information about the event or to find out how to join the Wayne County Extension Homemakers, call the Extension office at 765-973-9281 or email

We are a non-profit organization affiliated with Indiana Extension Homemakers Association, Inc. (IEHA) in cooperation with the Purdue University Cooperative Extension Service.

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As of the 2010 U.S. Census, Wayne County had 68,917 citizens.