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 Aaron Johnson
The Wabash County 4-H Fair is an event that many people in the county look forward to every year, and this year there are some special events added to the schedule. Each of the main events listed here begin at 7 p.m.
On Monday, July 7, the fair will end its opening night with a mud bogging event. mud bogging is a race through a mud pit whose victor is determined by the furthest distance travelled through the pit. Should more than one competitor cross the pit, the winner is determined by the fastest time to cross the finish line. For the 4-H fair, there will be multiple classes in which riders may compete and these classes are separated by weight of the vehicles. The classes will be divided into heats and the winner of each heat will move into the final round of that class. The victor of the final round will be crowned as winner of the class.
Tuesday, July 8, will feature a Tractor Pull, in which competitors will pull sledges across the arena. These tractor pull events will also be divided into classes and each tractor will pull the sledge as far as it can. The driver that pulls the sledge the furthest wins that class.
On Wednesday, July 9, another new event will come to Wabash: the autocross. This autocross will include all vehicles such as pickup trucks, vans, and derby cars. There is a mini-size class and a full-size class for the vehicles involved in this event. The Fair Association Council and the 4-H Fair Board will prepare an obstacle course with rolling hills through which the competitors will drive. There is a heat lap for each of the classes, and the top three from each heat lap go to the final for a 20-lap race.
Wild Hog Mud Wrestling will occur on Thursday, July 10, which is another new addition to the fair this year. Participants can sign up for one of 12 classes that are divided by age and gender. They are ages 8-11, 12-15, 16-18, and 19 and older. In each age class there are divisions for team members to be all male, all female, or mixed. The entry cost is $40 per team and registration is open until Wednesday, July 9. Admission to the event is $5, and kids five years and younger get in free. Competitors will have to attempt to catch and place the hog on a barrel with bare hands in one minute or less. The winning team will be determined by the time that they took to place hog onto the barrel. Mary Hollingshead, the organizer of the new events, took pride in the Hog Wrestling event as she thought it would be a great addition to the fair.
“A lot of the surrounding counties have had success with it and it seems to be a popular thing,” Hollingshead said. “So we wanted to try something different and we’ve had several teams already enter. I believe for the first year it will do alright.”
The arena will be empty on Friday, July 11, but the rest of the fair will be open for pedestrians to enjoy. There is a free stage open to bands that want to come in to play at the fair in the evening.
On Saturday, July 12, the final day of the fair, there will be a Demolition Derby. This event is also split up into several different classes depending on the type of vehicle. Mini, full-size, truck, and powder-puff are the divisions for this event. The Derby will entail drivers ramming the vehicles into each other and the winner will be the driver of the last vehicle that is still operational.
After the Demolition Derby, the rides at the fair will still be open to anyone who wants to ride. The rides will stay open until 12:30 a.m. and anyone that bought a wristband will be able to continue riding after the derby ends. Wristbands will be sold for $12 on Saturday and are good for all days and all rides.
A special event series for the kids of Wabash County is being held during the week of the fair. It is the Power Wheels competitions. The first of these events will be a Power Wheels Bogging on Monday before the adult mud bogging. The kids will ride their Power Wheels through the mud pit and the one that gets the furthest wins.
The second of the series is the Power Wheels Race. This will occur Wednesday before the autocross. The kids will ride in their Power Wheels and compete in a race through an obstacle course similar to the autocross. The course will be abbreviated and modified to accommodate the smaller vehicles.
The final event of the Power Wheels is the Mini-Demolition Derby. This is set to start on Saturday before the adult Demolition Derby. The kids will ride in their Power Wheels and ram into each other just like the full-sized Derby.
Hollingshead, who spent an extensive amount of time working to prepare the fair for pedestrians to enjoy, thought that this tradition was something that everyone should enjoy.
“I think everyone young and old look forward to their county fair,” Hollingshead said. “You look forward to the amusement rides, the entertainment, the animals, seeing your neighbors at the fair, and of course the food. It’s just a memory that people like to have in the summer.”
Hollingshead worked alongside the Fair Association Council and the 4-H Fair Board to prepare for this week of entertainment and she gives a lot of credit to them.
“They have people that come in here months and months before the fair even kicks in,” Hollingshead said. “They work very hard to get the fair to where it is at so people can enjoy it throughout the first week of July. It means a lot to them since they volunteer their time to go out there and work for four or five months beforehand just to get this ready for everybody.”