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 Emily Armentrout
Wabash City Schools held the latest board meeting at the central office on Monday, March 17. This meeting shed light on a bright and exciting future for the students, the staff and the administration.
Wabash High School principal Josh Blossom started the board meeting by presenting the Spirit of the Apache Award to Payten Keffaber, a junior at Wabash High School. Keffaber has been serving Wabash High School in volunteer roles since she was a freshman.
“Payten is not the kind of kid that asks for attention at all. She deserves a lot high praise for the leadership she shows at our school,” said Principal Blossom. “There is rarely an event at the high school that you would go to and not see Payten doing something.”
Keffaber’s latest endeavor was taking charge of a student-driven blood drive. Mr. Blossom gave Keffaber the reins, and she took the event from there.
“I don’t think I touched base with Payten until two days before the drive,” said Blossom. “Sure enough, she had talked to everybody she needed to.”
Keffaber scheduled volunteers to help at the event. She made sure that students were signed up to donate, and she even had a set up and tear down crew assembled for the event. The result was 57 students donating to the blood drive.
“For this blood drive and for everything that Payten does for our school, I’m to happy give the Spirit of the Apache Award,” said Blossom.
The Wabash City School corporation gave out a second award at this meeting. The Recognition Award was presented to Todd Daywalt for his 22 years of service to the corporation as a member of the Building Corporation.
“I was amazed to hear that Mr. Daywalt had served Wabash City Schools on a volunteer basis for the last 22 years,” Jason Callahan, Wabash City Schools Superintendent, told the board.
As the school board officially accepted the resignation of current Wabash Middle School principal Scott Bumgardner, the corporation looked ahead by officially filling the middle school principal position. The board approved current W.C. Mills Principal Mike Mattern to step into the position at the start of the 2014-2015 school year.
With current Chief Business Officer Jan Roland retiring at the end of the school year, Matt Stone was previously approved to take over the CBO position. At Monday’s meeting, Stone was approved to fill the shoes of Scott Bumgardner as the new Varsity Lady Apache basketball team head coach.
Following approvals of the board’s recommendations, three presentations were given that offer Wabash City and county schools a bright future.
Justin Vail, Wabash City Schools Technology Director, Brian Miller, Director of Technology Integration for MSD, Lavone Sparling, Chief Academic Officer for MSD, and Janelle McLaughlin, Curriculum Coordinator for MCS, were on hand to present WISE, a collaborative effort to teach teachers how to integrate digital curriculum into their classrooms. WISE stands for Wabash Innovative Summit for Education.
WISE is a collaborative professional development site for Manchester Community Schools, MSD of Wabash County, and Wabash City Schools, all of which have successful 1:1 initiatives in progress.
These educators were awarded a $15,000 grant from the state to help fund their endeavor. On June 12 and 13, they will be holding a conference at Northfield High School with two keynote speakers coming to share their knowledge on the innovative learning.
You can check out wabashwise.org to learn more about the conference and about how WISE will benefit the community and its students.
The second program was given by another grant winning group in the Wabash City Schools corporation. Abi Armentrout and Sarah Andrews gave a short presentation to the board about the Lilly Teacher Creativity Grant they received that will be sending them to Spain this summer to study Spanish history, culture and art, and bring their experiences back to their students.
The final presentation came from Jan Williams, Youth Service Director from Huntington. Williams gave a presentation on Safe Place, which is a program that gives youth a safe place and quick support to kids in crisis. Safe Place presents at schools so that kids and teenagers know they have a place they can go to be safe.
“If teens are on a violent date, we have a certain gas station, so she can suggest going to the station to get a coke, and she can go in. say ‘Hey I need a safe place,’ and they will take her in and call us,” explained Williams.
Williams presented Safe Place to the WCS board with the possibility of starting a Safe Place program here in Wabash County.
“We need the school buy in because if we don’t have access to the kids, if they don’t know we’re out there, there’s no sense in starting the program,” continued Williams. “We are just exploring the possibility. We are thinking we could start with one corporation first, because the bulk of our kids are in the city of Huntington. There is no cost to the corporation. It is just letting us come in and talk to the students,” added Williams.
Safe Place also comes to schools if a student is threatening to run away from home or is having home issues they need support for. There was no decision made on this topic at the time of print.
With all the changes coming in the Wabash City School corporation, the board feels that with the innovation of its teachers and the support of the community, that Wabash City Schools will continue to build on its tradition of excellence.