During the morning of Aug. 14, at approximately 10:30 a.m., a manhunt for Roy Purdon, 38, Kokomo, came to an end when Indiana State Police Master Trooper Vern Robinson took Purdon into custody on Strawtown Pike near Miami County Road 500 South.
Beginning at approximately 10 a.m. that day, officers from the Indiana State Police and the Miami County Sheriff’s Department saturated the area near Strawtown Pike and County Road 500 South; they had received information that Purdon was observed in the area. Purdon was wanted on two felony arrest warrants. In addition to the warrants, he was also wanted for allegedly fleeing from a Miami County sheriff’s deputy last night. Due to the close proximity to the schools, Maconaquah School Corporation initiated lock down procedures for the safety of students and staff.
Master Trooper Robinson was searching for Purdon while riding an Indiana State Police Harley Davidson Electra Glide motorcycle. Robinson observed Purdon walking on Strawtown Pike and was able to ride up to Purdon and take him into custody without incident.
“He did not immediately recognize the motorcycle as a police vehicle,” stated Trooper Robinson. “I was able to get to him before he thought about fleeing.”
Purdon was wanted for a felony parole violation warrant from Columbus, Ohio for armed robbery. He was also wanted from Howard County, Ind. for receiving stolen property. He is currently being held in the Howard County Jail with no bond.
On Friday, Aug. 15, a criminal investigation by Indiana State Police Detective Tony Frawley resulted in the arrest of Savannah M. Baermann, 25, North Manchester. Baermann is incarcerated in the Wabash County Jail to face a felony charge of battery.
Detective Frawley started an investigation after the Wabash County Division of the Indiana Department of Child Services notified him that a four-year-old Wabash County boy had allegedly been battered by his mother. During the investigation, a video was provided to Detective Frawley. The video allegedly showed Baermann hitting her four-year-old son, repeatedly, with the backside and open side of her hand. The reported incident occurred in late July 2014, at Baermann’s North Manchester residence. The boy was placed into the care of his father, who does not live with Baermann.
This is an ongoing investigation.
All criminal defendants are to be presumed innocent until, and unless proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.
On Aug. 13, at approximately 4:05 p.m., Wabash City Police officers received a call of a robbery at Stella’s Resale and Thrift Store, located at 563 N. Cass St., Wabash. Police officers were advised that the two female suspects left the area in a gold colored Chrysler PT Cruiser.
A short time later, a citizen called in and advised that the suspect vehicle was setting in the 400 block of Michigan St. The vehicle was located and one female suspect was identified as Samantha Powell, 24, Wabash.
The investigation continued into the night and the second suspect, Heather Huffman, 31, Wabash, was located in the 100 block of N. Spring St. Throughout the investigation, evidence was collected and probable cause was obtained in order to make an arrest.
Samantha Powell was preliminarily arrested for aiding in robbery and Heather Huffman was preliminarily arrested for robbery. Both were incarcerated in Wabash County Jail.
There was no weapon displayed during the robbery. The case was investigated by Captain Bob Pilgrim, Sergeant Matt Benson, Patrolman Dan Henderson, Patrolman Larry Long and Detective John Krhin.
Assisting in this case were numerous officers from the Wabash Drug Task Force, Wabash County Sheriff’s Department, and the Indiana State Police. The two females are currently being held with no bond.
by Adam Smith
Jeanne Robertson, nationally renowned public speaker and humorist, performed in Wabash on Saturday, Aug. 16, and Ford Theater was full of laughter. Her down-home stand-up, covering everything from old age to college football, feels like sitting down to holiday dinner next to your favorite aunt.
Robertson was Miss North Carolina in 1963 at the age of 19 and claims that experience as the inspiration for her career as a public speaker and humorist. At the Miss America Pageant, she won Miss Congeniality. A majority of the show’s early jokes were centered on the beauty pageant world and more were peppered in throughout.
When you see Robertson, once you’ve looked past the sparkle of her silver, sequined shirt, her height is one of her most outstanding features. Standing at 6’2”, she is much taller than the average woman. In fact, Robertson remains the tallest woman to compete in the Miss America Pageant or, as she added, the tallest woman to ever lose the Miss America pageant.
The message behind Robertson’s stand-up is that there is humor in life’s everyday situations and that one needs to always be ready to laugh at what life hands you. Her husband, Left Brain (as in the personality type), and her son Beaver provide her with plenty of stories with which to entertain the crowd. She has a taping in September that will be called, “You Can’t Make This Stuff Up.”
by Eric Stearley
The Dallas Winchester Senior Center is preparing for is fourth annual benefit auction, which will be held Thursday, Aug. 21 at the Wabash County REMC Building. The auction is the organization’s largest fundraiser of the year. It will be the first year that the event includes a live auction in conjunction with the silent auction.
“I’m amazed at how much people donated,” said Senior Center Manager Kellie Brace, who has been sorting through nearly 200 items in preparation for the event. “We also have items that the seniors have made, like afghans and quilts, and things of that nature. Then there are some of your typical items, like gift baskets with chocolates and candles.”
The Wabash Drug Task Force received information that two Wabash residents were allegedly enroute to Chicago to purchase heroin and deliver it back to Wabash. Wabash Drug Task Force officers investigated the information and were able to obtain a vehicle description.
The information was distributed to local police agencies as well as to the Indiana State Police. The vehicle was located in Wabash County near the Roann area, where the vehicle was observed by the Wabash Drug Task Force and Wabash County Sheriff’s deputies.
Wabash County Sheriff’s Deputy Eric Ryggs stopped the suspect vehicle after observing numerous traffic violations. Deputy Ryggs furthered his investigation by requesting a narcotics detecting police dog. Wabash County Sheriff’s Deputy Doug Weaver deployed his police K-9 for a free air sniff, which had a positive alert on the vehicle.
A search was completed of the vehicle and several hypodermic needles and nearly fifty grams of suspected heroin were located. The passenger of the vehicle, Michael Noland, 20, Wabash, was also searched and more suspected heroin was located on his person.
The suspected heroin will be sent to the Indiana State Police lab for confirmatory testing. The driver, Jordan Rowland, 19, was preliminarily arrested for operating while intoxicated, dealing a controlled substance, and possession of a hypodermic needle. Michael Noland was preliminarily arrested for dealing a controlled substance and possession of a hypodermic needle. Both subjects were incarcerated in the Wabash County Jail.
by Eric Stearley
This weekend, faith groups are combining forces to benefit the community through the YMCA’s Togetherhood program. Hundreds of community members are expected to gather at the YMCA at 1:30 p.m. on Sunday, Aug. 24 to kick off a day of service.
Togetherhood is a national pilot program focused on service and community building through collaboration and community involvement.
“It’s an awesome opportunity to bring the faith community together, to get out of our own little groups and come together as a collective faith community and have an impact on organizations that are serving and caring for people in our communities,” said Wabash County YMCA CEO Clint Kugler.
In Wabash, this year’s Togetherhood program consists of four events. The first of these was focused on preparation for the Stellar Communities tour, which recently paid off with Wabash’s designation as a Stellar Community. Sunday’s event will have a broader focus, as the group will split into dozens of teams, each working to improve the community in a variety of ways.
“We’re going to be working with the parks department, helping clean up the parks. We’re going to be working with the street department,” said First United Methodist Church Pastor Kurt Freeman, who is coordinating the event. “I know we’ve got a couple paint crews that are going to be painting, so people have all sorts of opportunities, but it’s also about trying to get people, regardless of their physical ability, involved in serving, so were going to be writing cards to people who work with the Department of Child Services, (among others) because often it’s a thankless job, and it’s a hard job.”
by Eric Stearley
When the Wabash County Fair comes to a close in mid-July, it is the end of the road for many 4-Hers. For a few, however, the county fair is a warm up for the big competition at the Indiana State Fair in Indianapolis. For two county residents, the seemingly endless hours of work paid off big, bringing their grand champion awards back to Wabash.
Elizabeth Michel of North Manchester showed the 4-H Grand Champion Meat Goat Wether, Quake, in the Indiana State Fairgrounds Coliseum on Aug. 4.
“It was really neat getting to show in the brand new coliseum Monday night with the spotlight on us,” said Michel. “It was just such an amazing experience.”
The daughter of Jeff and Amanda Michel, Elizabeth began showing goats seven years ago when she started 4-H. The Michel family grows corn, soybeans, and wheat for a living, only raising livestock for 4-H, but they’ve come a long way since that first year with the animals.
“My first year of 4-H, we knew nothing about goats whatsoever,” said Michel. “My dad used to be in 4-H, and he did nothing with them. He showed hogs and beef and sheep when he was in 4-H, and he suggested my first year that I show [goats]. This is my seventh year, and I’ve been showing them all seven years now.”
This is not the Michel family’s first success this season. Elizabeth showed the Grand Champion Market Wether/Doe at the Wabash County 4-H fair, with her brother, Skyler, showing the Reserve Grand Champion. But the state fair, according to Michel, is a different ball game.
“It was a lot different than Wabash, because all the people in Indianapolis, they break their goats and they do their legs a lot different,” said Michel. “It’s just a lot more competitive.”
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