Week in Review

Staff Writer

Honoring five firefighters with a memorial

PLYMOUTH — Nearly 300 people gathered Sunday, Dec. 14 to dedicate a monument to five Plymouth Fire Department firefighters killed 32 years ago.
The five men, Brian Samuels, Alphonse Kriscunas, Gary VanVactor, Dane Hoffhien, and Randall Hansen lost their lives when the truck they were driving went off the road while rounding the corner on State Road 17 and Sycamore Road.
The memorial sits on the grounds of the former West Township School, near where the accident occurred July 31, 1982.
“Some people might say, ‘Why do this now?’” asked Terry Borggren, West Township trustee, who also read a statement from U.S. Sen. Dan Coats. “The simple answer is, I felt it was something that had to be done. It should have been done a long time ago.”
Plymouth Mayor Mark Senter spoke and also read a statement from Gov. Mike Pence. Representatives for U.S. Sen. Joe Donnelly and U.S. Rep. Jackie Walorski addressed the crowd as well.
“Not many communities go through what ours did in 1982, five lives lost in one day in any city or town is dreadful," Senter said. "But when it is five members of a fire department it is unusually horrific. Horrific for a city of 8,000 at the time. Horrific for a department of 24 volunteers and six full-time firefighters. Horrific for five families. Over 32 years later we memorialize once again the lives lost in this unfortunate situation.”
The day was an emotional one for former fire chief Wayne Smith.
“I’m kind of choked up,” Smith said. “It was a tragic day, the darkest day in Center Township and West Township for our firefighters. We talked about something every year, about a monument. I am so grateful to Terry Borggren and West Township people for erecting this monument. It does my heart good. I got to thinking, a hundred years from now when we have a firefighter drive through West Township and see this monument and stop and look at it, it will still be here.”

Community mourning the tragic loss of resident

CULVER — The Culver community gathered Wednesday to mourn the loss of 24-year-old Anjelica Bush.
The Culver resident and Culver Community High School graduate, known to many through her employment at the Original Root Beer Stand in Culver, among other means, died as a result of smoke inhalation — according to Marshall County coroner Bill Cleavenger — in a house fire at 504 Mill Street in Culver on Thursday, Dec. 11.
Bush’s impact on the lives of many, as well as her positive and supportive demeanor and sense of humor, was evidenced by the flood of tributes on her Facebook page, which portrayed a young woman who loved children (she was a frequent babysitter in the community and had worked with children in a number of capacities, including at Priscilla’s Fun-N-Learning Preschool and Daycare in Monterey, at the time of her death), loved life, and helped others to laugh through their challenges.

Officers receive recognition

PLYMOUTH — Marshall County Sheriff Tom Chamberlin and Officer Neal Wallace this week recognized several officers for life-saving efforts.
Officers Ryan Hollopeter, Rick Prater, Matt Brown, Brandon Cooper, Travis Oneal, and Jonathon Bryant were presented awards for their work on three specific occasions.
• In June 2013 Brown and Cooper responded to a 911 call for a 55-year-old male that wasn't breathing. The officers arrived on the scene and began initiating chest compression and shocks from an AED. Hollopeter and Prater arrived on the scene and assisted until the Plymouth EMS team arrived.
• In March Oneal assisted in the rescue of an elderly woman from a house fire on 5C Road.
• In October Bryant along Plymouth police officers John Wier and Bob Delee worked together to administer lifesaving chest compressions to a 49-year-old man.

SJRMC new ER gets closer to opening every day

PLYMOUTH — The new emergency department at Saint Joseph Regional Medical Center is progressing quite well.
Architect Dean Bergman of MPA Architects this week provided a brief tour of the construction site to show off the facility’s design. Everything from parking to the registration process to checking out and prescription filling has be designed with patients and safety as priorities.
A special feature of the new emergency department is a medication dispensing machine specifically for emergency room patients. This machine will allow patients to fill prescriptions they receive before leaving the hospital. The service will accept insurance and is ideal for after pharmacy hours or holidays. A patient won’t have to wait to get their medicines.
“It is going to be a great service to our patients. We don’t have a 24 hour pharmacy here. With this service they can get medications on holidays and late nights. It is just another way we are helping our patients feel better quicker,” said Loretta Schmidt, MSN, CPHQ, SJRMC president and CNO Plymouth SJRMC.
The new emergency department is expected to be online by the end of summer.

Triton is going balanced

BOURBON — In a major policy decision, the concept of using a balanced calendar was approved during the Triton School Board meeting Monday.
Triton will use the new scheduling scheme beginning in the 2015-16 school year.
The actual dates on the calendar will be adjusted based upon State testing dates, etc. The balanced calendar will be used as an experiment, and is able to be adjusted or scrapped if experience dictates. A balanced calendar is not a year-around calendar. It will provide for a one week fall break and a two week spring break, while still maintaining 180 classroom days as is currently the case.

Christmas cheer comes to Marshall County

MARSHALL COUNTY — 'Tis the season for Christmas events. Some of the events spreading Christmas cheer over the past week include:
• Shop with a Cop received a boost from bilingual Plymouth High School students. The annual event took place Saturday, Dec. 13.
• Santa himself made a visit to the Argos Public Library on Saturday, Dec. 13.
• Walnut Church of the Brethren's Kids Choir present "Christmas in Black and White" Saturday, Dec. 13 and Sunday, Dec. 14.
• The Plymouth Parks Department held its annual Christmas in the Park on Saturday, Dec. 13. Bessie and Brittney, two steeds from Saylor’s End of the Trail in Walkerton, provided carriage rides along the Greenway Trail in the park.
• Saint Michael Catholic Church held its sixth annual cookie walk Saturday, Dec. 13.
• Santa visited the Boys & Girls Club of Marshall County on Tuesday, arriving via Case IH tractor. Marshall County Farm Bureau and Plymouth Kiwanis were among the groups represented at the celebration.
• REAL Services delivered presents to the elderly Tuesday morning. The project allows community members to adopt seniors in their area and shop for necessities that have been requested on Christmas lists.