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
On April 24, Wabash County’s top students gathered at the Honeywell Center for a special luncheon with the county’s business leaders. The Wabash County Chamber of Commerce, the North Manchester Chamber of Commerce, and Manchester University sponsored the event. The purpose of the event was “to honor top graduating seniors from the county high schools, and to have an opportunity to encourage local talent to return to their home for employment opportunities during the summers or after graduation from their college experience,” according the a press release from the chamber.
The large number of honors students was matched by a heavy community presence. Many students were able to sit with business professionals working in their areas of interest, as well as fellow students with similar college and career goals.
Serving as a sort of Master of Ceremonies for the luncheon, Manchester University Associate Vice President of Finance and Director of Operations Chris Garber welcomed those in attendance and introduced Wabash County Chamber of Commerce President Kim Pinkerton, who delivered the invocation.
While sharing college plans and networking with local education and business representatives, students enjoyed a light lunch consisting of a ham sandwich, pickle, and potato chips, finished with a cookie. Businesspeople had the opportunity to talk with students about current and future opportunities in the Wabash County business landscape. Students also had an opportunity to share their plans for college and beyond with the group. As usual, these ranged from detailed undergraduate, post-graduate, and career plans to those students who had no idea what the were doing after graduation.
Following lunch, those in attendance enjoyed a keynote speech from Crossroads Bank Vice President and Chief Financial Officer Emily Boardman. A Northfield High School graduate, Boardman (then Emily Pilgrim) received bachelors and masters degrees in accounting from Manchester University. Boardman worked for PricewaterhouseCoopers in Indianapolis for five years before returning to Wabash and joining joined Crossroads Bank.
Boardman talked about growing up in Wabash, wanting to leave town after graduation, and working at the nation’s largest accounting firm. She talked about her personal growth during those years at PricewaterhouseCoopers, and about how ultimately, finding more balance in life and spending more time with her family was most important in the end, and something she is able to do in her current position. She also talked about how the things that we want in life change over the years, and about what things become more important as we age, urging students to thank those people in their life who support them.
In addition to gathering students together for community, networking, and inspiration, the luncheon was held to combat the state-wide problem of “brain drain.” This is where students move out of the county and state after earning a degree. The Chamber of Commerce hopes to encourage bright, educated Wabash-natives to return to Wabash County after college and begin their careers.
It appears these efforts have worked in the past. Data compiled by StateImpact Indiana concerning 2009 graduates shows that Wabash County has one of the highest retention rates in the state, with 71.1 percent of bachelors degree recipients remaining in the state a year after graduation. That number increases to 74.2% for masters and doctorate degree recipients. This compares to respective rates in Huntington County of 50.2 percent and 48.0 percent and rates in Miami County of 59.8 percent and 68.3 percent. Indiana’s retention rate for all types of degrees is around 60 percent.
More than 100 students attended the event, including:
Emmanuel Christian School - Kourtney Trusty;
Manchester High School – Ashton Bolinger, Brodi Carter, Claudel Dickantone, Audriana Fuentes, Phoenix Goad, Adam Hanback, Kaitlyn Hensley, Andrew Hill, Shelby Johnson, Claire McLaughlin, Ross Messer, Morgan Metzger, Bradley Miller, Krisandra Mize, Mariah Mobley, Katie Peden, Brady Pyrah, Andrea Roesner, Kacy Sites, Sydney Snep, Brandon Stayer, Katelyn Stuart;
Northfield High School – Alicia Agness, Megan Corbran, Trey Eads, Kylie Echard, Emily Eckelbarger, Marcus Kroh, Bo Mullett, Blake Peterson, Taylor Peterson, Sidney Reed, Jon Richardson, Natalie Schuler, Katie Stephan, Kendall Tomlinson;
Southwood High School – Amanda Bitzel, Amy Bowman, Caitlynn Charles, Shaylee Correll, Leigh-Ann Gaylourd, Alyson Gouveia, Dayton Haynes, Logan Hensley, Zach Hobson, Alexandra Nose, Eric Olsen, Kyle Porter, Jordan Randolph, Drew Rhamy, Jonah Stouffer, Lakin Wimmer, Brett Wyatt;
Wabash High School – Keaton Burns, Victoria Dolmanet, Tyler Evans, Jordan Floor, Miranda Garbaciak, Christian Gaston, Jalen Grier, Thomas Grier, Devin Hostetler, Lacey Johnson, Michael Landis, Jonathon Landis, Jaclyn Lewis, Chloe Mullett, Shai Parrett, Natasha Rich, Rahee Patel, Jordan Rauh, Jealousy Reza, Kayla Sparling, Lyndsie Thomas, Ryli Van Scoy, Alishya Webb, Ashley Wold;
White’s High School - Hannah Hunsaker.
Sponsoring businesses for the luncheon include: Beacon Credit Union; City of Wabash; Edward Jones Office & Company; Gorman Center for Orthodontics; Indiana American Water Co.; Ivy Tech Community College of Indiana; The Honeywell Foundation, Inc.; Advanced Ag Resources; Allen Insurance Agency; Benson & Son Plumbing-Heating; Besiege LLC; Community Foundation of Wabash County; Countryside Veterinary Hospital; Crossroads Bank; David L. Mann, CLU, CFP, CHFC; Dawes & Pugh CPA’s, LLC; Douglas C. Lehman, P.C.; EDG of Wabash County, Inc.; First Farmers Bank & Trust; First Merchants Bank; Ford Meter Box Company, Inc.; Grandstaff-Hentgen Funeral Service; Indiana University Kokomo; Investment Center at Crossroads Bank; Kalenborn Abresist; Laketon Lions Club; Miller Furniture Co., Inc.; Mutual Bank; Naomi Porter; Northern Indiana Public Service Co.; Pettit Printing, Inc.; Terri Eckert School of Dance; Timbercrest Senior Living Center; Troy Eads Excavating Inc.; Wabash Electric; Wabash Instruments; and Wellbrooke of Wabash.
The Honor Student Luncheon Committee members include: Chelsie Pattison, Mutual Bank; Teresa Galley, The Honeywell Center; Kimberly Pinkerton and Emily Gardner, Wabash County Chamber of Commerce; Laura Rager, North Manchester Chamber of Commerce.