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 Ashley Flynn
Indiana American Water joined the Wabash community leaders and partners in a ribbon cutting ceremony last week for a new 750,000-gallon elevated water storage tank at the city’s Wabash Business Complex.
This $2.2 million project was a collaborative effort between Indiana American Water, the City of Wabash, the U.S. Department of Commerce and the Economic Development Group of Wabash County, and is part of a larger $6.2 million initiative to place necessary infrastructure to the new complex.
“The placement of the new tank here was the result of a beneficial alignment of parallel interests. We were looking to add elevated storage capacity to our Wabash system and we were aware through our relationships with the Wabash EDG and the Mayor's office that the City was pursuing development of the business park at this location,” Joe Loughmiller, Indiana American Water External Affairs Manager told The Paper.
Inside the 121 foot echoing tower filled with leaders and project partners, Indiana American Water Co. President Alan Deboy commended the efforts and dedication of Wabash Mayor Robert Vanlandingham and EDG President and CEO Bill Konyha to Wabash County.
Mayor Vanlandingham continued by stressing the importance of partnerships.
“We are in this together,” he said while mentioning that there are two names on the water tower: City of Wabash and Indiana American Water.
Mr. Konyha thanked Indiana American Water for their investment, saying it will save approximately $4 million in taxpayer money.
The cost of the tank and related infrastructure was funded by Indiana American Water, M.S. Wabash Residential Rehabilitation and Senior Care Facility, and a grant from the U.S. Department of Commerce. The Wabash City Council approved a 10-year tax abatement for the Wabash storage tank in 2011, which is an estimated value of $400,000.
Konyha went on to say that Indiana American Wabash is the fifth largest taxpayer in the City of Wabash.
The tower, located in the Wabash Business Complex, is expected to attract more businesses to the area.
“The completion of construction of this new tank and related infrastructure in the area is a big step forward in expanding our local economy and attracting new investment and jobs to the area. We are already seeing the fruits of our investment with an expansion of Living Essentials operations expected to open here this fall. We are also talking with other companies that are considering building at the Wabash building Complex,” said Mr. Konyha.
“The water tower serves not only the Wabash Northeast Business Complex but everything north of U.S. 24. Eventually as development happens along the U.S. 24 corridor towards Cass Street, the systems from this tower and the existing tower in the Wabash County Industrial Park will close the loop and provide increased flow, pressure and fire protection for the entire area north of U.S. 24,” he said.
Mayor Vanlandingham said, “We appreciate the cooperation of everyone that was involved in making this project a reality.”
“As the first city in the world to be entirely lit by electricity, we understand and appreciate how important it is to invest in the necessary infrastructure to ensure our future economic success. The quality jobs that result from these investments will pay dividends for decades to come for our local economy and the quality of life here in Wabash.”