By Sandy Johnson
Downtown Wabash was hopping this weekend with the Kunkel Cruise-In, “Takin’ It to the Streets” Sidewalk Sales, the Herb Fest, and the Farmer’s Market. Friday night started the weekend for the first two events. Many found themselves drawn to admire the various cars, trucks, and motorcycles at the Honeywell Center parking lot. Others perused the sidewalk sales outside several downtown businesses looking for that great deal.
On Saturday, the Herb Fest drew in crowds at Paradise Spring Historical Park where booths were set up for visitors to look at the variety of items vendors brought to town. In addition, the weekly summer Farmer’s Market continued on Miami Street, with booths full of fresh fruits and vegetables to purchase.
This year marked the 15th anniversary of the annual Kunkel Cruise-In, which showcased over 400 vehicles. The event began years ago after Dave Kunkel, a local car enthusiast, passed away from Lou Gehrig’s disease, also known as Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS). Dan Harvey, who worked with Kunkel, wanted to organize a car show to raise funds and awareness for ALS research. After 15 successful years, the Kunkel Cruise-In continues to bring in many car buffs from near and far alike, raising money for both ALS research and Vernon Manor Home for Children in Wabash.
Each day of the car show, cars, trucks and motorcycles were judged and winners were awarded prizes in different categories. Door prize drawings for those in attendance were also offered.
Garry Marion, president of Garmar Grain and co-owner of the Treaty and Speicherville elevators, announced recently that a lease agreement has been reached with Northern Ag Services (Norag), an agricultural entity based in Overland Park, Kan.
The Speicherville facility, which was closed this summer due to the expiration of its lease with FGDI, will resume operations next week. The Treaty elevator will experience no interruption in service during the transition to the new company.
“Over the last several months, I have searched to find a solution to the problem of how to continue to serve the farmers when the least with FGDI ran out. Norag operates facilities in Indiana as well as in other states, and it seemed to be the best fit for the community and for my employees,” Marion said. “In the off-season, Speicherville will be open two days a week and by appointment. It will be operated full-time during harvest. Treaty’s hours will not change.”
In addition to his duties as operations manager, Marion will be working as the grain merchandiser for both facilities.
U.S. Department of Agriculture Farm Service Agency Administrator Juan M. Garcia announced recently that farmers should start receiving notices updating them on their current base acres, yields and 2009-2012 planting history. The written updates are an important part of preparing agricultural producers for the new safety net programs established by the 2014 Farm Bill.
"We're sending these reports to make sure that farmers and ranchers have key information as they make critical decisions about programs that impact their livelihood,'' said Garcia. "It's important that producers take a few minutes to cross check the information they receive with their own farm records. If the information is correct, no further action is needed at this time. But if our letter is incomplete or incorrect, producers need to contact their local FSA county office as soon as possible."
During the morning of Aug. 14, at approximately 10:30 a.m., a manhunt for Roy Purdon, 38, Kokomo, came to an end when Indiana State Police Master Trooper Vern Robinson took Purdon into custody on Strawtown Pike near Miami County Road 500 South.
Beginning at approximately 10 a.m. that day, officers from the Indiana State Police and the Miami County Sheriff’s Department saturated the area near Strawtown Pike and County Road 500 South; they had received information that Purdon was observed in the area. Purdon was wanted on two felony arrest warrants. In addition to the warrants, he was also wanted for allegedly fleeing from a Miami County sheriff’s deputy last night. Due to the close proximity to the schools, Maconaquah School Corporation initiated lock down procedures for the safety of students and staff.
Master Trooper Robinson was searching for Purdon while riding an Indiana State Police Harley Davidson Electra Glide motorcycle. Robinson observed Purdon walking on Strawtown Pike and was able to ride up to Purdon and take him into custody without incident.
“He did not immediately recognize the motorcycle as a police vehicle,” stated Trooper Robinson. “I was able to get to him before he thought about fleeing.”
Purdon was wanted for a felony parole violation warrant from Columbus, Ohio for armed robbery. He was also wanted from Howard County, Ind. for receiving stolen property. He is currently being held in the Howard County Jail with no bond.
On Friday, Aug. 15, a criminal investigation by Indiana State Police Detective Tony Frawley resulted in the arrest of Savannah M. Baermann, 25, North Manchester. Baermann is incarcerated in the Wabash County Jail to face a felony charge of battery.
Detective Frawley started an investigation after the Wabash County Division of the Indiana Department of Child Services notified him that a four-year-old Wabash County boy had allegedly been battered by his mother. During the investigation, a video was provided to Detective Frawley. The video allegedly showed Baermann hitting her four-year-old son, repeatedly, with the backside and open side of her hand. The reported incident occurred in late July 2014, at Baermann’s North Manchester residence. The boy was placed into the care of his father, who does not live with Baermann.
This is an ongoing investigation.
All criminal defendants are to be presumed innocent until, and unless proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.
On Aug. 13, at approximately 4:05 p.m., Wabash City Police officers received a call of a robbery at Stella’s Resale and Thrift Store, located at 563 N. Cass St., Wabash. Police officers were advised that the two female suspects left the area in a gold colored Chrysler PT Cruiser.
A short time later, a citizen called in and advised that the suspect vehicle was setting in the 400 block of Michigan St. The vehicle was located and one female suspect was identified as Samantha Powell, 24, Wabash.
The investigation continued into the night and the second suspect, Heather Huffman, 31, Wabash, was located in the 100 block of N. Spring St. Throughout the investigation, evidence was collected and probable cause was obtained in order to make an arrest.
Samantha Powell was preliminarily arrested for aiding in robbery and Heather Huffman was preliminarily arrested for robbery. Both were incarcerated in Wabash County Jail.
There was no weapon displayed during the robbery. The case was investigated by Captain Bob Pilgrim, Sergeant Matt Benson, Patrolman Dan Henderson, Patrolman Larry Long and Detective John Krhin.
Assisting in this case were numerous officers from the Wabash Drug Task Force, Wabash County Sheriff’s Department, and the Indiana State Police. The two females are currently being held with no bond.
by Adam Smith
Jeanne Robertson, nationally renowned public speaker and humorist, performed in Wabash on Saturday, Aug. 16, and Ford Theater was full of laughter. Her down-home stand-up, covering everything from old age to college football, feels like sitting down to holiday dinner next to your favorite aunt.
Robertson was Miss North Carolina in 1963 at the age of 19 and claims that experience as the inspiration for her career as a public speaker and humorist. At the Miss America Pageant, she won Miss Congeniality. A majority of the show’s early jokes were centered on the beauty pageant world and more were peppered in throughout.
When you see Robertson, once you’ve looked past the sparkle of her silver, sequined shirt, her height is one of her most outstanding features. Standing at 6’2”, she is much taller than the average woman. In fact, Robertson remains the tallest woman to compete in the Miss America Pageant or, as she added, the tallest woman to ever lose the Miss America pageant.
The message behind Robertson’s stand-up is that there is humor in life’s everyday situations and that one needs to always be ready to laugh at what life hands you. Her husband, Left Brain (as in the personality type), and her son Beaver provide her with plenty of stories with which to entertain the crowd. She has a taping in September that will be called, “You Can’t Make This Stuff Up.”
by Eric Stearley
The Dallas Winchester Senior Center is preparing for is fourth annual benefit auction, which will be held Thursday, Aug. 21 at the Wabash County REMC Building. The auction is the organization’s largest fundraiser of the year. It will be the first year that the event includes a live auction in conjunction with the silent auction.
“I’m amazed at how much people donated,” said Senior Center Manager Kellie Brace, who has been sorting through nearly 200 items in preparation for the event. “We also have items that the seniors have made, like afghans and quilts, and things of that nature. Then there are some of your typical items, like gift baskets with chocolates and candles.”
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