Chaplin thrives at home
Howard County native finds success in local media; also, library holds a Spring Fling; Kokomo man arrested for child sex trafficking
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April Chaplin grew up in Kokomo, and after graduating from Eastern High School decided “I had to get out of here.” So, the future media personality moved to Los Angeles in her early 20’s, one of many moves Chaplin made in her life that she says turned into a goal: “To get back home. This is where my family is … this is where I learned the history of Kokomo.”
When she came back, she said that Kokomo had started “transforming” into the community that Chaplin had always dreamed of. She now sits in the studios of WZWZ radio, where for the last year she has been part of the Z-92.5 morning show, telling the tale of being invigorated by the differences in her hometown since she left.
“I left in 2003, and 10 years later, downtown was alive,” said Chaplin. “There were bike lanes, and at the time I wanted to tell Kokomo how exciting that is.”
However, before her broadcasting career took off, Chaplin still had to make ends meet.
“At the time I was selling baby slings that I would make myself and sell them out of the back of a Volkswagen van at the Farmer’s Market,” said Chaplin.
Encouraged by the manager of the Farmer’s Market to share her thoughts on how she felt about her community, Wines started writing for a small local newspaper, The Kokomo Herald.
“I loved it. I had a chance to share my excitement of my hometown coming back to life,” said Chaplin.
The articles led to a business partnership with now City of Kokomo Media Specialist Mike Dukes, making videos of community events. Eventually Chaplin was hired by the city and became the face of Kokomo’s KGOV channel, in turn learning, “everything to do with running a TV station.”
Working for KGOV2, Chaplin and Dukes were successful at creating original content programming for the new, city run cable channel. During the pandemic lockdown Wines also took on the courageous task of driving the city trolley. Listening to people’s experiences during that period of time made her think, “This is journalism gold … telling me what happened to them during the shutdown.”
Since January 2022 Chaplin has been a founding member, contributing writer, and photographer with The Kokomo Lantern, presenting weekly updates in 2022 on the Lantern’s YouTube page. One of those news reports caught the eye of management at Kokomo’s WZWZ/WIOU radio who offered her the morning show slot, and the rest is now history.
The prolific local media figure still dedicates time to the community at large by being a BSA Scout leader of an all-female Scout Troop in the Greentown area.
“Our troop is a historic group in Sagamore Council; the first all-female troop in Howard County,” stated Chaplin.
Three female Scouts reached the rank of Eagle Scout in Chaplin’s troop.
“One of them is my daughter,” she proudly declared. “All four of my daughters are in Scouts. It’s more than just about camping and wilderness. It’s about leadership and teamwork, because without teamwork you can’t accomplish anything.”
Library holds a Spring Fling
For those staying in town and looking for fun activities over Spring Break, the Kokomo-Howard County Public Library is offering several fun activities from March 27 to March 31. Activities include games, arts and crafts, putt-putt, and play dough activities.
In addition, the Discovery Center, located in the children’s department at KHCPL Main, will host open hours throughout the week with a focus on technology such as 3D pens, Hex Bugs, and robots.
Other activities taking place throughout the week include sewing classes, a Digital Den class focused on 3D printing, a teen art group and a teen writers group.
For more information on upcoming events and resources, visit www.khcpl.org.
Kokomo man arrested for child sex trafficking
On March 19, 2023, officers of the Kokomo Police Department were contacted by the Tell City Police Department in reference to a 14-year-old male juvenile who was reported missing on March 18, 2023. As a result of the initial investigation, an address in the 4000 block of Independence Drive was determined to be a possible location of the juvenile. Officers subsequently located the juvenile inside the residence and transported him to a local hospital for evaluation.
Investigators obtained a search warrant for the residence and numerous electronic devices were seized. The Kokomo Police Department Forensic Computer Lab located suspected child sexual abuse material on a device.
As a result, 53-year-old Michael E. Horne of Kokomo was arrested for Promotion of Child Sexual Trafficking, a Level 3 Felony. Additional charges are expected to be submitted to the Howard County Prosecutors Office.
The Kokomo Police Department is affiliated with the Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force which is comprised of numerous agencies across the state and nation. Assisting with the investigation was the Kokomo Police Department Uniformed Patrol Division, Criminal Investigation Section, and Tell City Police Department Investigators.
Anyone with additional information is asked to contact Detective Austin Bailey at 765-456-7280 or at firstname.lastname@example.org. You may qualify for a cash reward by calling Central Indiana Crime Stoppers at 1-800-262-TIPS with your anonymous tip. Tips can also be submitted by utilizing the Tip411 app.
If the public has any information regarding child sexual abuse material or child exploitation, please contact the Kokomo Police Department or report it to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children 1-800-843-5678 or at https://www.missingkids.org.
Remember, all defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.
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