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
When Myles Bartley came into the world, he was dealt a tough hand. Just two weeks after birth, Myles was diagnosed with End-Stage Renal Disease. Now two-and-a-half-years-old, Myles is hooked up to a dialysis machine every night for ten hours as he waits for a new kidney.
Myles is the son of Shawn Bartley and Sarah Rife. Sarah’s mother, Bridget Harner has been a custodian at Metro North Elementary for 18 years. After keeping up with Myles’ progress over the past two years, the school’s staff decided to get the kids involved to help the little guy. They told the students about Myles’ condition and started a “Smiles for Myles” fundraiser. For every $10 donated by students, a smiley face was put up on the bulletin board near the school’s entrance.
“They’ve been very excited about it, and when we kicked it off, Myles and his family came, and that was just neat to see him,” said Metro North Principal Janette Moore.
The staff set a goal of $500, expecting to hit it over the course of the last three weeks of school. That goal was surpassed on the first day. When Myles, his mother, and his sister, Veda, came back to the school on May 27, they were presented with a check for $2,035.49.
“They’re awesome little kids who actually, you know, did it,” said Sarah. “I think it’s crazy that they raised that much money just bringing in all of their change.”
“It sure was something to see the kids bringing their money in every morning,” said Bridget.
In addition, Northfield eighth grader Braelyn Deeter held a bake sale to benefit the little guy, raising $630.28. The Tuesday convocation gave Deeter a chance to meet Myles as well.
So far, Myles has had no less than six surgeries. In addition to his dialysis catheter, he has a feeding tube, which supplements his diet with additional calories. Currently, the family is waiting to see if Sarah is eligible to donate a kidney to her son. They found a perfect match who was willing to donate but was recently ruled out due to health concerns. Though this was a huge let down for the family, they are staying positive. Regardless of the donor, they’re hoping for a transplant this summer.
Until then, Myles will continue peritoneal dialysis at home every night. Myles has grown fond of his dialysis machine, but Sarah said that doesn’t mean it isn’t painful.
“I’m in support groups, and a lot of people say that it’s very painful, but I don’t think he knows any different,” said Sarah. “The doctors say that he won’t realize how sick he was until he gets the kidney, and he’s going to feel like a different person.”
Myles is about half the size of other children his age. Because he has to keep his medical devices sterile, he can’t swim or take a bath, but to the outside world, he seems like a normal toddler.
“He’s pretty much happy all the time,” said Sarah. “I don’t think he knows he’s sick. He knows that his sister and us, we don’t get hooked up to machines. He knows that he has his machine and he takes a lot of medicines and he goes to the doctor a lot, but I’m not sure how much he understands at this point.”
Though he can’t communicate all of his feelings, he makes some things very clear. He loves superheroes, especially Spiderman, and cats.
“He understands that he wants to keep his tube,” said Bridget. “He’s had that tube since he was two weeks old, so it’s a part of his body as far as he’s concerned. When Sarah has talked to him about getting a new kidney and that he won’t have his tube anymore, he wants to keep his tube.”
“Ya, and he wants to keep getting hooked up to his machine,” Sarah added.
Regardless of how much he likes his machine and tube, Myles desperately needs a new kidney, and if they want it to last, it has to be from a live donor. If they can find him a perfect match, the kidney could last between 30 and 60 years. A kidney from a normal match, like Sarah, could last him 15-20 years.
The money raised by the elementary students will help the family with the tremendous financial burden resulting from Myles’ condition. In addition to medical bills, Myles treatment means many trips to the doctor. When he gets a transplant, the family will spend months in Indianapolis while he recovers, followed by multiple trips per week for check-ups.
The elementary students aren’t the only ones donating to the cause. Myles has a GiveForward.com page that can be found by searching “Myles Bartley.” So far, more than $10,000 has been raised through the site. He also has a bank account that anyone can donate to by mentioning Myles’ name at any Lake City Bank location. Finally, those interested can keep up with Myles’ progress through the “Miles for Myles” Facebook page, which documents his progress.
“We’re just hoping for a summer transplant,” said Bridget. “He’s a good boy.”