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
Exactly 20 years ago to the day, the Honeywell Center opened the doors to its new expansion. Known as “The Miracle on Market Street,” the 75,000-square-foot addition included the area’s premier performance hall, the Ford Theater. The 1,500-seat theatre has serves as a cultural center for the community, bringing hundreds of musical and theatrical performances to Wabash over the past two decades.
“When Mark Honeywell established the Honeywell Foundation in 1941, he did so because of his love of Wabash and his vision of a single place where the community could come together to enjoy cultural events, as well as enjoying one another’s company,” said Tod Minnich, executive director of The Honeywell Foundation. “The construction of the Ford Theatre, Eugenia’s Restaurant, and the Clark Gallery, which opened 20 years ago, increased opportunities for cultural enrichment and exposure as evidenced by the high caliber of entertainers who have made their way to the Ford Theater stage over the past two decades. As we celebrate the 20th anniversary of these integral spaces, I am confident that we are continuing to further Mr. Honeywell’s original vision.”
When the expansion opened in 1994, several musical and theatrical acts took the stage, including Wabash native Crystal Gayle. Reading the performance’s program gives the past two decades some perspective; it asked patrons to silence their pagers.
Minnich was named executive director just before the theater’s 10th anniversary.
“We chose to celebrate the 10th anniversary with 10 shows in 2 weeks, and I think people thought that was a pretty unrealistic feat, and we were able to pull it off at a them when, some years, we’d barely been doing 10 shows all year,” said Minnich. “Now we do over 40 shows every year, so it’s been exciting to see the growth in the number of programs we provide.”
April’s celebration is a fitting display of the diversity in the venue’s programming. The festivities commenced on April 2 with a performance by Grammy Award-winning country musician Trisha Yearwood. Local talent brought classical music to the stage with a performance by the Manchester Symphony Orchestra. Retired NCAA basketball coach Bob Knight proved that shows don’t need music or high-tech lights to be well attended as he answered questions from former sports editor of Bloomington’s Herald Times Bob Hammel. Knight was followed by Grammy winner Ronnie Milsap. Pop music star Gavin DeGraw drew the youngest crowd of the month, and audience members spent much of the concert on their feet for the high-energy show. It’s safe to say that a good portion of those attending that show were too young to remember the Honeywell Center without the Ford Theatre.
Still to come are performances by Blue Man Group on Thursday (a sold-out show), The Osmonds on Friday, and Mark Lowry on Saturday.
“Live entertainment continues to grow. There are more people listening to music now than ever before, and it’s been good for the live entertainment business,” Minnich said of the venue’s packed schedule. “We couldn’t book the acts that we’re able to book here if people didn’t buy tickets and come out and see the shows. It’s really all driven by the guests that come through the doors that are willing to put their hard-earned money down to buy a ticket. That’s the only reason we’re able to do this.”
The 20th anniversary celebration was supported by INGUARD, formerly known as Beauchamp McSpadden. Attendees of every show in April receive a special gift from the company in the form of an evergreen seedling ready to be planted.
“It’s been incredibly well received. We couldn’t have done it without INGUARD, and the “grow with us” philosophy is something that we really believe in,” said Minnich. “Hopefully when we celebrate the 40th anniversary another 20 years from now, there’ll be close to 10,000 trees that will be 20, 30, 40 feet tall.”
With three shows still to come in April, there is plenty of time to be a part of the anniversary celebration of one of the most iconic landmarks in Wabash County. Those interested in the physical structure can take advantage of free tours of the 75,000-square-foot addition. The first chance for a tour is Monday, April 28 from 5-7 p.m. Tours will also be offered on Wednesday, May 7 at the same time. In addition, the Clark Gallery is featuring local student artists in its current exhibit, which is on display until April 30. Finally, the Plaza Music Series kicks off May 1 with a performance by the John Kirkwood Band in the Carpenter Plaza, the outdoor portion of the 1994 expansion.
“For those who remember it growing up here or saw it being built as an adult, the response has overwhelmingly been, ‘Wow! Has it really been 20 years already?’” said Minnich. “It has been 20 years and we just want to continue to grow and serve people as opportunities present themselves.”
For more information on the Honeywell Center and upcoming shows at the Ford Theater, go to www.honeywellcenter.org.