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.”
Manchester University will hire a coach to start a swim club in the fall of 2014, with an eye toward a NCAA Division III team competition the following school year, said Rick Espeset, athletic director at Manchester University. The team will practice and compete at Strauss Peabody Aquatic and Fitness Center. Both a men’s and women’s teams are planned.
A sizable gift from an anonymous donor is making the swim program possible, said Melanie Harmon, executive director of development. Use of North Manchester’s Aquatic Center by MU athletes and assistance in operation of the facility will strengthen the University’s connection with the community, Harmon said.
“This gift helps Manchester continue to offer affordable excellence in higher education,” Harmon added. "We are grateful for our donors who generously come forward to put our students first."
“We hope that the swimming coach will also join our exercise and sport sciences faculty,” Espeset said. “This also gives us opportunity to add diversity of subject matter to our faculty.”
Manchester will conduct a nationwide search to fill the position. The new coach will join MU with new student-athlete recruiting.
Sophomore freestyler Kalie Lastagarkov can think of 20 MU students who are ready to sign up for collegiate club swimming. “I’ve been swimming since fourth grade … I’ve always been around it,” said the management and marketing major who swam on the Griffith High School team.
Lastagarkov already considers the Aquatic Center home waters – she’s a lifeguard and teaches swimming there.
MU will share the pool with community programs and swimmers, the Manchester High School swim team and an organization of young swimmers. The university will finance any physical or fiscal accommodations for the MU teams at the community pool, and will pay a lease.
The MU swim club will be open to any full-time university student, with an anticipated 20 to 30 student-athletes competing in a non-varsity swimming environment at the collegiate level. If all goes as planned, the team will be ready for NCAA Division III competition after the first year as a non-varsity club.
Many colleges and universities have swim clubs. As in wrestling and other individual sports, NCAA swimming competition begins at the regional level. The Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference, which is Manchester’s conference, currently does not award a championship in the sport.
Manchester will be the fifth HCAC school to sponsor swimming. Manchester University has 19 other NCAA teams. The swim teams will add two more.
Swimmers tend to be strong students academically because of the tremendous individual discipline and training required, Espeset said. "Adding a sport emphasizes the value that Manchester puts on the student-athlete experience as part of their overall educational experience. We look forward to providing that opportunity for more of our students."
NCAA Division III student-athletes do not receive scholarships to compete for their schools. The student truly comes first in the equation, giving them valuable lessons in teamwork, discipline, perseverance and leadership. More than 440 MU student-athletes compete in NCAA Division III sports.
By Adam Smith
By their appearances, no one would think that Anne Baraza and Carol Berg are sisters, yet they have lovingly referred to each other as “sis” for years. The two women first came into contact almost six years ago in 2009 when Berg, the website editor for the First United Methodist Church, received an email from Baraza asking for help. They met for the first time in person little over a week ago, and on Nov. 23, Baraza gave a presentation at the church.
Baraza is the CEO of the Riruta United Women Empowerment Programme (RUWEPO) as well as the founder and director of the Children of Africa Hope Mission School. The school is a complementary school for disadvantaged and orphaned children in Ng’ando, a slum area of Nairobi, Kenya. She said that when she emailed Berg, they were very desperate to keep the school running and sent messages to several United Methodist churches in the US. They were asking each church if they could send aid, and one of them happened to be the First United Methodist Church in Wabash.
by Eric Stearley
On Monday, Nov. 24, Mayor Robert Vanlandingham issued a proclamation during the city council meeting establishing this Friday, Nov. 28, as Tommy and Trystin Music Day in Wabash. The announcement was met with applause and giant smiles on the faces of the honorees.
The father/son duo represented the United States in the 2014 TAFISA World Martial Arts Games in Vancouver, Canada in September. Tommy, 38, brought home a medal of each color, while Trystin, 10, won a gold medal, as well as a bronze.
“It was pretty nerve-racking,” Trystin said about the competition.
by Eric Stearley
The rapid change of gasoline prices can be frustrating. The inconsistency in the value of such a vital commodity can make a trip to the pump feel like a trip to the slot machine – “Should I wait to fill my tank until the price drops? What if it goes up just as I run out? Then I’ve overpaid. But I can’t run out of gas! Maybe the it’s cheaper down the road…” Eventually, you stop the car at a pump, swipe your card, and grab the handle. You watch as the numbers roll by, but unlike a slot machine, you won’t know until the next day, or later in the week, if you’ve won this round.
In late October, gas prices in Wabash approached $3.50 per gallon. While certainly not the highest it’s ever been, it seemed to be more expensive than usual. When locals compared prices in Wabash to those in surrounding towns, they began to wonder why prices at stations in Marion, Huntington, Peru, and North Manchester were falling to $3.00 as prices in Wabash held.
Now, in mid-November, the market has adjusted. On Monday, Nov. 17, the average price in Wabash was $2.93, much closer to prices in the surrounding area: prices for a gallon in Peru range from $2.89-2.97; North Manchester stations are selling a gallon for $2.89; Huntington stations were more expensive than those in Wabash, ranging from $2.95-2.96 per gallon. While it appears that prices have stabilized temporarily, the question remains: what causes the variance in gasoline prices from day to day and location to location?
To answer this question of economics, The Paper reached out to Dr. Michael Kaganovich, chairman of the Indiana University Department of Economics. Kaganovich pointed to two industry-specific factors that could result in price variation between two similar cities.
“First of all, they vary because of county taxes. County taxes may differ,” said Kaganovich. “In Bloomington, our prices are about 20 cents higher than a 20-mile radius, and that’s because Monroe County collects taxes.”
Taxes play an important role in the retail side of the gasoline industry. Federal and state excise taxes each make up roughly 18 cents of the sale price. Sales-use tax is calculated each month based on the average pricing from the six-week period prior to the start of that month, and is roughly 7 percent. In addition, all taxes associated with gasoline must be paid for upfront.
“When I buy gasoline, I pay every tax up front, so then I’ve got a tremendous amount of carrying cost that I have to pay up front instead of paying the government down the road,” said Jim Reynolds, owner of J.M. Reynolds Oil Company, a local petroleum retailer. “So when I pay my sales tax, you’re looking at somewhere between 56-59 cents of excise and sales tax on a gallon of gasoline right now. If anybody’s making a lot of money off gasoline it’s the government.”
Given that the national average profit for a gallon of gasoline in a cash sale is 15 cents, it’s easy to see how taxes play a large role in the gasoline market, however, neither the city nor county levy an additional tax on gasoline, so a difference in tax rate isn’t responsible for the price variation.
“It could be that your town requires a specific gasoline formula,” Kaganovich continued, “and this means that the regional refiner has to manufacture gasoline with a specific formula, and this means there may be less supply of your specific type as opposed to some other [type,] so that will affect prices, but I doubt that’s the case. That may be the case in Chicago or in California; they notoriously demand some specific formula.”