by Eric Stearley
On Jan. 24, the First Financial Bank in North Manchester was robbed at gunpoint. The suspect, David John Mills, rode a bicycle to a parked truck. He got in the black Ford Ranger and drove through town, eventually turning onto State Road 13. John Hammons of the North Manchester Police Department caught up to Mills and followed his truck for less than five miles. It was not a high-speed pursuit. Followed by Hammons, the black truck crossed into Kosciusko County, and as they neared State Road 14, the truck stopped. Moments later, Mills fired a .380 pistol, taking his own life.
The events of that day left many in shock, but none more so than those who knew David. His funeral was held on Jan. 31 at DeMoney-Grimes Countryside Park Funeral Home in Columbia City. His obituary reads like that of another person. It would cause anyone to do a double-take as they study the name and date of death to make sure that it describes the young man who cut his own life short after pointing a gun at a bank teller and fleeing with a backpack full of cash.
by Eric Stearley
During the March 5 meeting of the Wabash City Board of Public Works and Safety, John H. Stephens was appointed to take over as Building Commissioner following Ron Buzzard’s retirement in April.
“I’ve been in the process of trying to find his replacement and I’m happy to say here today that I have found one,” said Mayor Robert Vanlandingham.
Spending most of his career in the field of land surveying, Stephens was most recently employed as a project manager for ForeSight Consulting, a land surveying and engineering firm with offices in Fort Wayne and Wabash. He is also the owner of his own private land surveying and civil engineering firm, John H. Stephens, R.L.S. Inc., located on Wabash Street across from the courthouse. Stephens worked as the Wabash County Surveyor for 14 years starting in 1989 and served as president of the Indiana County Surveyors Association from 2001-2002. He received the association’s Presidents’ Award in 1999. He earned the Distinguished Surveyor Award from the Indiana Society of Professional Land Surveyors, serving on the board of directors from 1998 to 2005.
by Emily Armentrout
After traveling to Mexico on a mission trip, Wabash local, Jenny Wilson, knew that there was a mission waiting for her somewhere. Knowing she could not travel to Mexico every year to serve, Wilson set out on a search for a mission she could begin in Wabash County.
“I wanted to do something that would help our local kids and I just started researching,” Wilson told The Paper.
Wilson found Blessings in a Backpack, a national program that “provides elementary schoolchildren who are on the federal Free and Reduced Price Meal Program with a backpack of food to take home for 38 weekends during the school year,” according to blessingsinabackpack.org. Wilson approached the principals of the three younger elementary schools in the area, O.J. Neighbours, Southwood Elementary and Metro North, and she was met with great enthusiasm.
Indiana has long been recognized as a leader in soil health, visibly evident by widespread adoption of cropping systems that reduce soil disturbance, maximize residue, increase diversity and provide continuous living roots.
Indiana's leadership was recently recognized by the National Association of Conservation Districts (NACD) by a decision to move their summer board meetings to the landscape after 10-12 years of location in Washington, DC. In 2014, the meeting will be held in Indianapolis. According to Earl Garber, NACD president, Indiana is "on the forefront and cutting edge of soil health."
Indiana 4-H is kicking off a new healthy living campaign, which includes a greater focus for 4-H members, families, volunteers, and community members on making healthy choices. The state 4-H is working to rollout updated health and foods project curriculum with a greater emphasis on exercising and cooking healthy.
As part of the kick off for this new initiative, there will be color runs in every county in the state between now and July. The first annual Wabash County color run will be at the Field of Dreams on March 29. Check-in will be between 8-8:45 a.m., with a 1-mile fun run/walk at 9 a.m. and a 5k at 9:30 a.m.
Hoosier Salon’s Gallery in Wabash will close at its current location March 30.
“We have been aware for some time that the managers of Charley Creek Inn, where our gallery is located, would like to have that space for their catering operation,” said Donnae Dole, Hoosier Salon executive director. “We have explored other locations and have not yet found an appropriate space.
Manchester University’s academic leader, Glenn Sharfman, will assume a similar position with Oglethorpe University in Atlanta this summer. Sharfman joined Manchester in 2005 as vice president and dean for academic affairs.
For Manchester, Sharfman led a total restructuring of the core requirements for all students. The University added new graduate programs in education and athletic training and opened a College of Pharmacy on a new Fort Wayne campus. The University also constructed a new Academic Center and new learning facilities in the Physical Education and Recreation Center. The Holocaust scholar taught popular January session classes on the North Manchester campus.
The Wabash County Board of Commissioners has proclaimed March 16-22 Severe Weather Preparedness Week.
2014 is the 40th anniversary of the April 1972 Super Outbreak, which is still the largest tornado outbreak in the United States. The third largest tornado outbreak ever recorded in Indiana was as recent as Nov. 17, 2013.