Officer David Rigney touched many lives
By Shaun Tilghman
News Editor – North Manchester News-Journal
Just over a week has passed since the accident that claimed the life of North Manchester Police Officer David Rigney, and in the wake of tragedy, communities across Wabash County have joined together not only in mourning the loss, but also in celebrating his life.
The 39-year-old LaFontaine native was off-duty when the crash occurred last Monday afternoon. Rigney was heading south on State Road 15 when his SUV fishtailed and crossed into the northbound lane, where it was struck by a school bus, before returning to the southbound lane and being struck by another vehicle – he was pronounced dead at the scene.
Sgt. Brian Enyeart, a veteran of the North Manchester Police Department, said the loss was devastating on many different levels.
“People outside of law enforcement don’t understand the bond that law enforcement officers have – it’s more than just as coworkers or even friends, we truly are ‘brothers in blue’,” Enyeart said. “There is a lot of stuff that is easier to talk about with other officers than with other people, because they just don’t understand. With Dave, you always knew if you needed anything you could call him and he would be there to help you out.”
by Gary Andrews
Not only did the Wabash Lady Apache basketball team open their 2014-15 season with an impressive 60-44 win over Mississinewa Friday; they got to be part of history as senior Claire Cromer went off for 42 points to set the Wabash single game scoring record.
The Lady Apaches dominated right from the start, jumping out to an 11-0 lead and leading 14-4 after the end of the quarter. Claire Cromer had all 14 points for Wabash.
Mississinewa would cut the Wabash lead to 16-10 early in the second quarter before Shelby Stone buried two shots from behind the arch to build the lead to 22-10. The Indians again cut the lead to single digits before Cromer drained back-to-back three’s, then hit four straight free throws to increase the lead to 31-18. At 31-22 Cromer would hit a shot before the buzzer as Wabash led 33-22 at the half.
Kristin Cromer and Sarah Puckett would get in on the scoring action in the third while Claire Cromer kept rolling as the Lady Apaches built their lead to 45-25 before leading 45-26 after three.
Claire Cromer would hit a three to get the Wabash scoring going in the fourth as sister Kristin hit two free throws as Wabash rolled to a 60-44 win.
Claire Cromer led the way with 42 points. Shelby Stone and Kristin Cromer added 6 points each, Sarah Puckett 4, Katie McCauley 2.
By Bill Barrows
Periodically, I have the privilege to witness heartwarming and amazing things that happen in the course of my daily activities in youth sports at the Wabash County YMCA. This week, I watched as a young man took a huge step forward on a long road back to regaining his health.
Jace Randel’s parents, Jason and Amanda, registered him to play 4th & 5th grade tackle football in August. Jace expected to play with a number of his classmates on the Cowboys team this fall while learning some life lessons along the way. He had no idea the roller coaster ride he had in front of him.
”On Aug. 20 (ironically, the same day as the first football practice) Jace began not feeling well. I took him in to his pediatrician after a few days of stomach pain. He ordered blood work, just to be sure it wasn’t an appendicitis. The blood work came back abnormal,” explained Amanda.
After consulting with their pediatrician, the Randels prepared for a trip to Riley Hospital.
“The Pediatrician explained to us that Jace's blood work had come back abnormal, and after consulting with a few Riley Oncologists, they thought Jace had leukemia.” Amanda continued, “We were being sent to Riley to run more blood work and prepare him for a bone marrow biopsy.” Jason & Amanda told their son what this meant; Jace was crushed.
“I told him that we were NOT putting our faith and trust into one test. We would be putting our faith in God who, we KNEW, could do anything!!” She explained, “What a calming affect that can have on a person, to know WHO is in control and WHO is all powerful,”
The blood work at Riley came back inconclusive. Jace received a platelets transfusion in order to perform the biopsy to prevent excessive bleeding. He had an allergic reaction to the platelet transfusion. Instantly, he began to break out in hives and his throat started swelling. After giving him large doses of Benadryl, he was finally able to sleep. The biopsy came back negative. Several other tests were run, for conditions such as; mono, autoimmune markers, and vitamin deficiencies, and all came back normal. Normal was a relative term. Jace wasn’t getting any worse, but was also wasn’t getting any better either.
by Gary Andrews
The Southwood VolleyKnights had one last game scheduled for the year Saturday and it was the state championship. The Lady Knights had won nine straight games to win the sectional, then defeated Clinton Central 3-0 for the regional title. Last Saturday Southwood won the very tough Bremen semi state by topping Adams Central 3-1 and Hammond Bishop Noll 3-2 for the semi state title. Saturday at Ball State the VolleyKnights had the task of taking on defending state champion Providence for the state title.
Southwood, the 2A public school state champion hung tough, but the power hitting of Providence ended up being too much as the VolleyKnights fell 17-25, 14-25, 18-25.
Providence got off to a 10-3 start in game one before the Knights shook off the championship jitters and started to go to work. Emilie Harnish would get a kill and Bailey Lundmark a block during a 5-0 run to close the gap to 10-8. Providence would then score 10 of the next 14 points to open a 24-15 lead before two Sami White tips kept the game alive, but one last Pioneer kill ended game one 17-25.
Southwood jumped out to a 4-0 lead to start game two with Sami White serving. Kaitlyn Murphy had a kill with White scoring on an ace and a tip. Bailey Hobbs would get a kill as the Knights extended their lead to 8-3 before the Pioneer’s got hot. Providence would score 6 of the next 7 points to tie the game at 9 before a White tip and an Emilie Harnish ace made it 11-9. With Southwood up 12-10 the sleeping giant awoke as Providence went on a 10-1 run to grab a 20-13 lead on their way to the 25-14 final.
by Eric Stearley
The Metropolitan School District of Wabash County kicked off its three-part eLearning program Wednesday, Nov. 6. Students got their first taste of at-home, technology-based learning, while district faculty and staff had a full day of professional development.
In August 2012, MSD schools began a one-to-one technology initiative, through which each student was given their own high-tech learning device to put the district on a fast track into the digital age. Kindergarten through second grade students each received an iPad, while 3rd through 12th grade students each got their own Macbook Air. This technology has allowed students unparalleled learning opportunities that were never before possible.
During eLearning Day #1, students at the elementary level created technology based projects designed to enhance their overall learning. Second grade students used their iPads to create a multimedia slide show presentation about non-fiction text features, such as the index of a reference book. The presentation had to include five slides, a picture, a picture caption, and voice-over, where students recorded themselves explaining the selected feature. Third grade students used the Garage Band program on their MacBooks to record a "fractured fairy tale," in which the students rewrote a fairy tale to make it their own.
High school students had projects of their own. Northfield Industrial Technology teacher Jon Higgins' 7th grade class used their Macbooks to conduct three video interviews, each with a person from a different generation. Students asked their subjects "what is the biggest technological advancement you've seen in your lifetime and why." Students then posted their work on the Internet for classmates to view and comment on.
The mass distribution of computing devices has also allowed local schools to overcome an obstacle in further educating their employees. As of 2010, state regulations do not allow schools to count half days toward their 180 instructional day requirement. In years past, the state allowed six partial days, allowing teachers to attend professional development seminars, workshops, and conferences for the remainder of the day. The availability of one-to-one technology has allowed the district to engage students in technology-based learning at home, giving teachers and other employees their own full day of learning. Every MSD employee, from teachers, to bus drivers, to cooks, custodians, and administrators had some kind of professional development planned for the day.
Teachers from the elementary schools spent part of their day discussing ISTEP data and determining what they needed to add to their curriculum to better educate and prepare students. The other half of their day was spent with Kristen Ziemke, a teacher at Chicago Public Schools. She showed the teachers ways that she has used technology in her classroom to enhance reading comprehension and student collaboration, while encouraging creativity. She also introduced the teachers to a series of websites that can aid students in creating technology-based projects.
Ziemke stressed the importance of peer and mentor feedback. She shared her students' testimonies regarding blog posts. The students explained how their use of blogs has changed the way they think about school work. One Chicago student shared how writing a blog post that her friends and family can get online and read has made writing for school more exciting and enjoyable.
Teachers at the high school level were involved in training tailored toward their own students and areas of teaching. Part of the day was spent meeting with departmental colleagues to decide upon common assessments. Jon Higgins met with Southwood's Industrial Technology teacher Gary Dale to determine common assessments and the technology available to facilitate that process. Part of the industrial technology program is what many think of as "shop class." Students use drills, saws, sanders, planers, welders, routers and lathes to create everything from dustpans to furniture. Because the equipment can be dangerous in untrained hands, students are required to complete an extensive series of safety tests before using the equipment. Safety demonstrations are now recorded and uploaded to a private Youtube channel, allowing students to review past safety lessons. It also allows students who miss class to catch up without taking time away from the teacher and the rest of the class. This technology has is now being used to synchronize the programs on both sides of the county, fostering consistency across the district.
"The technology available to us truly makes the classroom so much bigger," said Higgins.
Heather Rathbun, mother two Southwood Elementary students, weighed in on the at-home learning opportunity. She said that she very much enjoyed the break from the normal routine, which allowed her to work with her children in the learning process.
"ELearning is helping them to accept change and innovation," said Rathbun. "These are instrumental tools that are indisputable and undoubtedly vital in our students' education.
"From my point of view, it helps our students prepare for college," said Superintendent Sandra Weaver. "They have to learn to submit assignments online for college. That's the way of the world now."
Weaver has a student advisory board that she meets with on a monthly basis at each of the high schools. She met with the students last week after the eLearning day to get their perspective.
"The students said there was a lot of learning that occurred for them, that it went right along with what they were already learning, and that they had to do some additional research to prepare for the following day of school, and that's exactly what I wanted to hear," said Weaver.
Wednesday was the first of three eLearning days. The final two days will be held Thursday, Jan. 23 and Thursday, March 27.