Paramedic accused of sexually assaulting disabled patient

by Eric Stearley

On Friday, Sept. 26 at 10:12 p.m., the Wabash Police Department received a report that a female resident at Vernon Manor Children’s Home reported that she had been sexually assaulted by a male paramedic in an ambulance on the way back from a doctor's appointment in Carmel.

After an investigation by Detective Jim Kirk, Kyle Meyers, 31, Muncie, was arrested and placed in the Wabash County Jail on a 72-hour hold to await charges. At the time, Meyers was an employee of Heartland Ambulance Service, a private ambulance transport company with 5 locations in Indiana.

“We don’t know where it happened,” said Kirk. “It could have been Hamilton County, Tipton County, Howard County, or here in Wabash.”

Since the crime was reported in Wabash, the Wabash Police Department took the case, and the investigation has been completed. After reporting the crime, the victim was taken to the Fort Wayne Sexual Assault Treatment Center to be examined by a forensic nurse.

“We were looking for DNA evidence, and that stuff’s done anytime we have a victim like that,” said Kirk. “All of our sexual assault cases, we take them to a forensic nurse in Fort Wayne. “

The victim is an adult, and was described as "mentally capable, but physically challenged."

“We’re just sickened by this,” said Heartland Ambulance Services Owner Ken Jackson. “He hasn’t been with our company long. He was a really ideal employee; always on time, we never had any problem with him. He’s done an exceptional job, and I’m just flabbergasted.”

Posted on 2014 Oct 07
Wabash Family Medicine welcomes new doctor

by Emily Armentrout

Wabash Family Medicine at Wabash County Hospital recently welcomed Dr. Jamie Broekhuizen, D.O. to their practice.

Dr. Broekhuizen has been in practice for the past six years in Michigan and Illinois. She is a family physician who studied at Grand Valley State University in Allendale, Mich., followed by med school at Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine in Erie, Penn. Dr. Broekhuizen did her rotations outside of Detroit before completing her residency in Kalamazoo, Mich.

Dr. Broekhuizen has five children and resides in Fort Wayne with her family. “I like working in smaller communities. I’ve always worked in Michigan or Illinois and they were all kind of small, farming communities,” Dr. Broekhuizen told The Paper. “The opportunity arose to come here, so I did.”

Dr. Broekhuizen is currently taking new patients at Wabash Family Medicine, located in the basement of Wabash County Hospital. “I am taking new patients. People can call the office and they will receive a packet to fill out. I also offer a 15-minute meet and greet appointment for people who might like to meet me first. I won’t give them any medical advice; there’s no prescriptions written but they can come in and talk to me to see if it might be a good fit for them,” said Dr. Broekhuizen.

If you are interested in meeting with Dr. Broekhuizen, you can contact her office at 260-569-2302.

Posted on 2014 Oct 07
Judy Ward named Kiwanian of the Year

The Wabash Kiwanis Club has named Judy Ward as its 2013-2014 Kiwanian of the Year.

The announcement came at the club’s weekly meeting on Tuesday, September 30th.  Outgoing club president Ware Wimberly said “Judy has been a great servant of the children of this community, both through the Kiwanis Club as well as the many other organizations she’s involved with.”

Originally from Brazil, Indiana, Ward taught elementary music in Wabash for 40 years before her retirement three years ago.  She is actively involved in the community, as the coordinator for the Visual and Performing Arts programs for Wabash County.  She has also been the Wabash director for FAME (Foundation for Art and Music in Education), which presents multicultural programs with a one-day festival each spring.

“Judy is a great choice for Kiwanian of the Year,” said incoming club president Jordan Tandy.  “She does so many great things for our club, including a lot of behind the scenes things that she doesn’t always get credit for.  She is truly deserving.”

Ward is also the music director at the Wabash Christian Church.  She is a board member of the Wabash Area Community Theater and the Wabash Unit of the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra Association.  She is a member of Tri Kappa, Delta Kappa Gamma teacher honor society, Sigma Alpha Iota international music fraternity, and the Wabash Retired Teachers Association.

Her son Ed Norris resides with his wife Angellyn and their three children in Fishers.

Posted on 2014 Oct 07
Wabash County Historical Museum announces fall campaign

by Emily Armentrout

Every year the Wabash Historical Museum holds their annual campaign to raise funds to operate the museum. As their fall campaign kicks off, the museum is not only looking to raise funds for the day-to-day operations but they are looking to add two new exhibits for the community to enjoy. They will be adding an education center and a National Science Foundation exhibit.

“While it is important to raise funds for the day-to-day operations, the exciting part is we have these two large exhibits going in, plus the caboose, so there’s just a lot of opportunities for donors to get involved this year and to support the museum,” Mitch Figert, Executive Director of the Wabash County Historical Museum, told The Paper.

The annual campaign along with donations throughout the year is what keeps the museum funded. “We’re not county funded, we’re not through tax levies. We really do rely on the communities support,” continued Figert. The museum operates on just short of $300,000 a year. “We want the local residents to understand how valuable the museum is not only as a tourist destination but also as an educational resource and to encourage them to support the museum this year.”

The museum will be closing in January to accommodate the installation of the two new exhibits and will reopen in February. The education center will be a 1,500 square foot area on the second floor that will be highly interactive for families. “This change was driven by our strategic vision to involved new generations in the museum and provide high quality educational programming that focuses on teaching local history,” said Figert. The education center will include a village area, featuring a barn, store and home, along with learning tables, a science center, a dramatic play area, which will have different costumes for children to play with, a large play structure, a train table and a constructed reading hive.

Posted on 2014 Oct 07
Man faces charges after shooting road sign

Indiana Conservation Officers arrested Mark Barber, 22, LaFontaine, for shooting road signs near the intersection of 1050 South 50 East in Wabash.

Indiana Conservation Officer Jerry Hoerdt was patrolling the area for poachers last night just before ten o’clock when he witnessed a vehicle stop and fire two gunshots. This time conservation officers did not find any poached wild game but instead found that a road sign had been vandalized. Nonetheless, Officers arrested and charged Mark Barber with criminal mischief, operating a vehicle without ever being issued a driver’s license, and shooting from a public roadway.

Even though shooting road signs may not seem to be that serious an offense to some, when you fire a gun without a proper backstop that round may end up hitting a home or worse a person. It is imperative that everyone follow safe firearm practices especially as many of us will be entering the woods this hunting season is search of game. Indiana Conservation Officers will be watching to make sure everyone follows the rules this fall.

All charges are merely allegations. All suspects are presumed innocent unless proven guilty in a court of law.

Posted on 2014 Oct 07
USDA Farm Service Agency announces key dates for new 2014 Farm Bill Safety Net programs

USDA recently announced key dates for farm owners and producers to keep in mind regarding the new 2014 Farm Bill established programs, Agriculture Risk Coverage (ARC) and Price Loss Coverage (PLC). The new programs, designed to help producers better manage risk, usher in one of the most significant reforms to U.S. farm programs in decades.

Dates associated with ARC and PLC that farm owners and producers need to know:

*Sept. 29, 2014 to Feb. 27, 2015 - Land owners may visit their local Farm Service Agency office to update yield history and/or reallocate base acres.

*Nov. 17, 2014 to March 31, 2015 - Producers make a one-time election of either ARC or PLC for the 2014 through 2018 crop years.

*Mid-April 2015 through summer 2015 - Producers sign contracts for 2014 and 2015 crop years.

*October 2015 - Payments for 2014 crop year, if needed.

USDA leaders will visit with producers across the country to share information and answer questions on the ARC and PLC programs.

Posted on 2014 Oct 07
Scott Long announces run for mayor

by Eric Stearley

On Friday, Sept. 26, Scott Long gathered friends, family, and members of the press at Paradise Spring Historical Park for an important announcement. As a police officer and sitting member of city council, Long could have announced a number of things, but on that day, he announced his intentions to run for mayor.

“I love this community and want to give back for all that it has given me, and most importantly, I want to continue serving the community in the future,” Long announced. “That being said, I would like to announce that I am running for the office of mayor in next year's election on the republican ballot.”

The announcement came just a week after Mayor Robert Vanlandingham announced that he will not run for re-election to a fourth term in 2015. This made Long’s decision to run easier, as he will avoid challenging an incumbent in the primary, but he was planning to run either way.

“Quite frankly, I’ve had a lot of members of the community approach me and ask me to run, and they said, ‘regardless of whether Mayor Vanlandingham was going to run, you should go ahead and run.’ I was hesitant,” said Long. “The mayor and I started out on the council…we were on the council together. I probably would have ran, but I probably wouldn't have enjoyed it. There was a sense of relief when Bob made his announcement that he wasn't going to run again.”

Long made the announcement surrounded by friends, family, and supporters. For some, the announcement was a surprise, while others knew it was coming. In a classic case of mothers always finding out what their children are up to, Scott’s mother, Annabelle, learned of his plans to run for mayor from the ladies at her beauty shop.

Posted on 2014 Sep 30
Second annual “Touch of Arc” art show and reception to be held

The 2nd annual “Touch of Arc” Art show and reception, featuring works created by the South Miami Street Artists, will take place Friday, Oct. 3 from 5-8 p.m. at the Artistica Art Gallery, located at 70 West Market Street in historic downtown Wabash.

The paintings to be displayed were created by people with disabilities at Arc of Wabash County as a result of classes taught by Arc staff members Kathy Bakehorn and Nanette DuBois, who are both revered local artists. Arc’s art program began in April of 2013 when the organization was awarded a grant from REMC’s Operation Roundup to purchase start-up art supplies. This year, the cost of art materials was covered by the proceeds from last year’s art sale and with donations from Arc staff and others in the community. Jo Wood, of Woods Framing and Art, also gave Arc a generous discount on the cost of art supplies and framing. Because of these contributions, art classes were made available at no cost to individuals attending Arc, who exhibited an interest in learning to express themselves through painting.

South Miami Street Artists is comprised of individuals with disabilities and Arc staff members. Most of the pieces are a result of collaborations between Arc staff and persons served by Arc. This year, the art show will also feature paintings that were created independently.

Posted on 2014 Sep 30

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