Metro North Elementary students raise $2,035 in “Smiles for Myles” campaign

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.

Posted on 2014 Jun 03
MSD School Board votes to approve controversial book list

by Eric Stearley

On the evening of Tuesday, May 27, the Metropolitan School District of Wabash County’s school board met in the district’s administrative office to address a variety of subjects. Primary among these was the approval of a list of reading materials for use in the district’s secondary English classes.

The list sparked controversy in April when parents discovered that several of the books included objectionable content. After parents expressed concerns at the April 29 meeting, four selections were removed from the list. At the May 13 meeting, The Glass Castle by Jeanette Walls became the focus of the debate. The vote was ultimately tabled, as board member John Gouveia was absent due to a professional obligation.

While the previous board meeting was filled with concerned (and outraged) parents, the most recent meeting saw an abundance of teachers present to show support for the English department. Two parents commented on the book list, most notably, Teresa Sears, who offered suggestions for an alternative English class, among other things.

“I talked to Indiana State Education, I talked to an attorney, and we have a right to have the Bible, not as a biblical class, but as a literature class,” said Sears. “If we put these things in front of our kids… OK, we’re not going to ban books. That’s fine. I respect the teachers who want to teach it, but their morals are not my morals. It’s legal to have a class on the Bible as a literature study, and I’m just asking for that as an alternative. And I will back off, and they can teach whatever they want.”

Posted on 2014 Jun 03
Pore to retire after 25 years at Bechtol Grocery

by Eric Stearley

After 25 years as a cashier at the south side grocery store, Bechtol Grocery employee Susan Pore retired.

“I’ve enjoyed it, and I’ve enjoyed all the customers and people that I’ve worked with,” said Susan. “They’ve just meant the world to me.”

Susan is a 1967 graduate of Wabash High School. She started working at the grocery store after her daughter, Melissa Lundmark, graduated from high school. Susan’s husband, Ron, retired from Ford Meter Box in 2011.

“He says I’m going to really mess his day up,” Susan joked. “His mornings, he had them all planned out.”

The Pore’s have one granddaughter, Bailey Lundmark, whose volleyball and softball games they are looking forward to attending. Susan is also looking forward to visiting her sister-in-law in San Antonio. She says her family is first and foremost in her life, and she’s looking forward to the extra time she will have to spend with them, but she’ll also miss working at the store she’s grown to love.

“I’ve done this so long, I just can’t imagine starting my day without it,” said Pore. “It’s just been a good experience, one that means the world to me. I won’t be running out that door. That’s for sure.”

Posted on 2014 Jun 03
Hipsher Tool & Die, Inc. to hold open house for retirees

by Emily Armentrout

Hipsher Tool & Die, Inc. will be celebrating the retirement of two of their employees with an open house and hog roast. Steve Leach and Greg Featherstone will both retire this summer, and the open house will be held June 13 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Hipsher Tool & Die, Inc., located at 1593 S. State Road 115, Wabash.

“They have done a fabulous job in the years they have been here, “ said general manager, Julie Dahl. “Greg has brought in quite a lot of new business for us since he’s been here and Steve has done his duty and kept the shop floor moving,” added Dahl.

Greg Featherstone has been with Hipsher Tool & Die, Inc. for the past four years. He started working at Hipsher after working at Wabash Metal Products for 18 years as a design engineer.

“Jobs get old, especially for engineers. The time I have spent here has been fun. This is a great way to finish a career,” Featherstone said of his time at Hipsher Tool & Die.

Featherstone does mechanical design, pneumatic and hydraulic design along with quoting and other odd jobs.

“It’s a small business so everyone does a little bit of everything,” Featherstone told The Paper. 

Featherstone plans to spend the first year of retirement transitioning from a 40-hour workweek and doing some traveling.

“I’m just going to take a breath and take some of those vacations I haven’t been able to take.”

Posted on 2014 Jun 03
W.C. Mills become pilot school for Wabash River Junior Defenders

by Emily Armentrout

On Friday, May 23, Jen Rankin, Executive Director of the Wabash County Solid Waste Management District, along with other volunteers from the Wabash community joined forces with W.C. Mills Elementary fourth grade students to clean up the portion of Charley Creek that runs through the Wabash City Park.

“We’ve been putting this together for some time. We’ve had a lot of younger children interested in the clean up, but because of the dangers involved, we had to limit the age to about 13. With that, we started thinking that we needed to do something. Everything you teach them, if you make it fun and interesting, they absorb it. We put our minds together and decided to do a Junior Defenders program,” Rankin told The Paper.

After meeting with W.C. Mills principal, Mike Mattern, who loved the idea, Rankin and her crew decided to choose the fourth grade students.

“Fourth graders still get excited about stuff,” explained Rankin.

The crew went into W.C. Mills in the morning, to each classroom, and told the students the story of “Freddy Fish.”

Freddy is a fish that lives in a clean, shaded area of a river. After getting bored, he travels downstream and finds all different kinds of pollution. This story taught the students about environmental issues like erosion and the different types of toxins from runoff. The crew taught them that anything we put in the water has an effect on the rest of the water. The students also thought it was cool to learn that the Wabash River is a tributary to the Gulf of Mexico. The Wabash River runs into the Ohio River, which runs into the Mississippi River, which empties out into the Gulf of Mexico.

After the classroom presentations, the students were bused to the city park, where they saw another presentation. They were challenged to find as many pollutants as they could and identify them by using the knowledge they gained during each presentation.

Posted on 2014 Jun 03
Conservation officers respond to water rescue

Indiana Conservation Officers responded to a call for help at Mississinewa Lake during the evening of May 31. According to witnesses at the scene, Adron Robinson, 32, Peru, was swimming across a cove to some friends but never made it.

Conservation Officers in the area responded immediately. Once on scene, Indiana Conservation Officer Divers entered the water and it only took them about one minute to recover Adron Robinson. Despite their efforts Indiana Conservation Officers, Noble Township Fire, Miami County Sheriff’s Department, Wabash County Sheriff’s Department, and other emergency personnel were unable to revive him.

Indiana Conservation Officers take every opportunity to remind those around the water to wear a life jacket. For more information on Life Jackets visit

Posted on 2014 Jun 03
Wabash County schools announce top students

As the class of 2014 celebrates the end of their high school career, all the graduating seniors should be commended for their efforts to make it to graduation day. Eight county students rose above the rest and were named their school’s valedictorian and salutatorian.  These students are Manchester’s Audriana Fuentes and Adam Hanback; Northfield’s Emily Eckelbarger and Kylie Echard; Southwood’s Amy Bowman and Dayton Haynes; and Wabash’s Thomas Grier and Jordan Rauh.

Audriana Fuentes played tennis, participated in Science Olympiad, Key Club, theatre and choir. She was also elected to the National Honor Society and was vice president of the Key Club. After high school, Fuentes plans to attend Manchester University to major in education and pursue a career as a teacher.

Adam Hanback participated in Science Olympiad, was a member of the Spanish Club and president of the National Honor Society. He participated in the Student Tech Support Squad and a student representative on the iLearn 1:1 Steering Committee. He has also been a teacher’s aide and a theatre lighting technician. After high school, Hanback plans to attend Purdue University to study compunter information and technology. He plans to major in cyber security and pursue a career in that field.

Emily Eckelbarger served as president of the Student Council and Teens for Global Awareness. She was also involved in National Honors Society and Best of the Best art program of Wabash County. She played piano, and participated in Jazz band and theatre. After high school, she plans to attend Indiana University to pursue a career in journalism.

Posted on 2014 May 27
Emmanuel Christian School announces academic awards

As the school year comes to an end, Emmanuel Christian School held an awards ceremony to celebrate the academic achievements of their students.

1st grade

Zaney McKnight received awards in Phonics, Math, Writing, Spelling, Reading, Bible and Spanish.

Dylan Stensland received awards in Phonics, Math, Writing, Spelling, Reading and Bible.

2nd grade

Erin Daniel received awards in Phonics, Math, Writing, Spelling, Reading, Bible and Spanish.

Sabil Davenriner received awards in Phonics, Math, Writing, Spelling, Reading and Bible.

Haley Miller received awards in Phonics, Math, Writing, Spelling, Reading and Bible.

AJ Prickett received awards in Phonics, Math, Writing, Spelling, Reading and Bible.

Danielle Reahard received awards in Phonics, Math, Writing, Spelling, Reading and Bible.

3rd grade

Zoey McKnight received awards in Bible, Language, Penmanship, Reading, History, Science/Health, Spelling and Math.

Japheth Niccum received awards in Bibe, Language, Penmanship, Reading, History, Science/Health, Spelling, Math, Art and Spanish.

Paige Ritzema received awards in Bible, Language, Penmanship, Reading, History, Science/Health, Spelling and Math.

Isaac Smelser received awards in Bible, Reading, History, and Science/Health.

Posted on 2014 May 27

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