Goshen News, Goshen, IN

December 30, 2012

Goshen's 2012 in review


INDIANAPOLIS — Here is a look at the day-to-day news that occurred in the Goshen area in 2012.


3 — New Republican Goshen City Council Members Jim McKee and Ed Ahlersmeyer are sworn into office for the first time.

8 — Dzung Nguyen, owner of Goshen Buick GMC Hyundai, is named the Urban Wheel Awards Asian Dealer of the Year during the annual Detroit Auto Show.

8 — Elkhart County Councilman Dennis Sharkey announces he will not run for a fourth term.

14 — Goshen’s Jackie Jerlecki competes in the Miss America Pageant in Las Vegas as Miss Indiana. The nationally televised program caps several days of competition. She was not among the finalists, but the 23-year-old called the experience “life changing.”

18 — Elkhart County councilman and former Goshen City councilman Darryl Riegsecker announces he will run against Elkhart County Commissioner Mike Yoder in the May primary election.

23 — Goshen Community Schools teacher and IB coordinator Shelly Wilfong wins tickets to the Super Bowl to be played Feb. 5 in Indianapolis.

24 — Goshen Community Schools’ Superintendent Bruce Stahly announces he will retire effective in June after 13 years on the job.

25 — The controversial “Right to Work” law passes the Indiana General Assembly by a vote of 54-44, ending an 18-month battle over the legislation. All state representatives from Elkhart County supported the legislation.

25 — Goshen City Council President Tom Stump, who just won at-large re-election in November, files to run for a seat on the Elkhart County Council.

26 — Prosecutors file an additional charge of being a habitual criminal offender against John T. Hawley, the man already charged with murder in the death of Goshen motel owner Kiran “Ken” Patel. Hawley would plead guilty to the murder.

27 — Gov. Mitch Daniels is the keynote speaker at the Goshen Rotary Club luncheon at Greencroft. He speaks about the Republican victory on Right to Work in Indiana and downplays his potential candidacy for president.


13 — Trustees of Goshen Community Schools announce that Deputy Superintendent Diane Woodworth would succeed retiring Superintendent Bruce Stahly in July.

13 — Trustees of Goshen Community Schools approve a controversial new school calendar that extends some breaks and spreads class time more evenly through the year.

13 — Randy Christophel is appointed as the new chief executive officer for Indiana University Health Goshen. He succeeds the retiring CEO James Dague.

14 — Middlebury’s Roy Pickler is voted off “The Biggest Loser” television reality show. He lost 92 pounds during the experience. His wife, Christine, remains on the show.

14 — Utilimaster officials announce they will close their plant in Wakarusa and move those operations to Bristol. The move affects 600 full-time jobs and 200 temporary jobs.

16 — Goshen’s Joseph T. Wayner III, 37, is charged with the Dec. 22 murder of his ex-wife, Barabara A. Sheppard, at her place of employment in Mishawaka.

16 — The popular music group Lotus, which was formed in Goshen and is now based mostly in Philadelphia, performs a show at the Goshen Theater to help raise money for First Fridays.

21 — The Goshen City Council votes 6-1 to cover the majority of a $571,050 shortfall by the Goshen Housing Authority to keep the agency open. Council President Tom Stump was the lone “nay” vote.

22 — John Hawley is sentenced to 65 years in prison for the 2011 murder of Goshen businessman Kiran “Ken” Patel.

22 — Bethany Christian High School soccer standout Femi Hollinger-Janzen is named the Gatorade Indiana boys Soccer Player of the Year. Hollinger-Janzen would go on to play at Indiana University and help the Hoosiers win their eighth national championship in December.

27 — Former Nappanee resident and Indiana State Police Toll Road Post Commander Dallard Tackett, 60, is sentenced to 10 years in prison and another 10 years of probation after pleading guilty to 17 felony counts connected to a misappropriation of funds. He is also required to pay more than $91,000 in restitution.

29 — Indiana’s District 3 U.S. Rep. Marlin Stutzman closes his office in Goshen. In 2013 Elkhart County will become part of Indiana’s District 2.


2 — A massive tornado levels the southern Indiana town of Henryville. Troy Albert, the former principal at Westview Jr.-Sr. High School, is the principal of Henryville High School.

12 — Longtime Chamberlain Elementary Principal Don Jantzi announces his retirement effective at the end of the school year. Jantzi had served at the northside school since 1991.

14 — Temperatures top out in the mid-70s as people head outside to enjoy an early spring. It would go on to be the warmest March in recorded history in Goshen.

15 — Goshen Mayor Allan Kauffman suggests during his Founder’s Day State of the City address that TIF funds be used to improve the appearance of some areas in the city.  

20 — Pedestrian Timothy A. Martin of South Bend is killed when he is struck by a train while crossing the Norfolk Southern train tracks along U.S. 33 near the Twin Pines Mobile Home Park.  

21 — The iconic pavilion at Rogers Park is heavily damaged by fire that is determined to be arson. The roof of the pavilion is being rebuilt.

22 — Longtime photographer and lifelong Nappanee resident Dale Tobias is named Nappanee’s Citizen of the Year during the annual Chamber of Commerce banquet.

22 — John Staub, 26  of Goshen is fatally shot and  David Paul Goble, 29, is shot in the leg during a fight. Those later charged in connection with the shootings are Daniel L. Heflin, 21, Goshen; William Terry, 24, Goshen; Dustin Saylor, 22, Goshen; and Elisa Horton, 22, Goshen.

26 — Goshen High School Principal James Kirkton announces he will retire at the end of the school year after being on the job since 2001.

27 — A Norfolk Southern freight trains derails in Noble County, just outside of Ligonier. Nobody was injured, but chemicals that were being hauled did leak into nearby marshland.

30 — In response to concerns about unruly behavior and sidewalk blocking, volunteer “Ambassadors” patrol the downtown streets during First Fridays.

30 — LaGrange County Clerk Beverly Elliott resigns as part of a plea deal involving criminal accusations that she misappropriated county funds.


3 — Goshen businessman and inventor Roger Burger drowns while snorkeling during a family vacation in Belize. An Italian woman also drowned.

9 — Sgt. Aaron Yoder, a 2005 Concord High School graduate, is shot and wounded while serving in Afghanistan. He would return home in June.

19 — Tyrice Halliburton, 30, is convicted in Elkhart Circuit Court of the 2008 murder of 23-year-old Sheena Kiska at her Bristol apartment. After the jury recommended he serve life in prison without parole, Halliburton attempted to escape and was loose in the Elkhart County Courthouse for a short time before offices were able to regain custody. Three officers were injured during the escape attempt.

22 — Goshen College has 233 graduates during its 114th commencement.

26 — Fairfield Jr.-Sr. High Schools students and staff are evacuated for more than two hours following a bomb threat. No bomb was found.

30 — Goshen Community Schools Assistant Superintendent Barry Younghans is named Jim Kirkton’s replacement as principal of Goshen High School. Goshen Middle School Principal Ann Eaton is also named Assistant Principal at GHS.


8 — In the May primary election. County Commissioner Mike Yoder defeats challenger Darryl Riegsecker. Goshen City Councilman Tom Stump wins a spot on the Elkhart County Council ballot along with incumbents John Letherman and David Ashe. Republican Jackie Walorski and Democrat Brendan Mullen earn spots on the U.S. Rep. District 2 ballot.

9 — Retired businessman and former Goshen City Councilman Bill Bloss dies after a seven-month battle with cancer. He was 79.

9 — Goshen High School is ranked highly in U.S. News and World Report’s annual survey of the nation’s top high schools. Goshen ranked 12th in Indiana and 1,621 nationally.

12 — Longtime philanthropist Harold A Schrock dies at his Syracuse home. He was 97. He was associated with Starcraft Corporation for many years and donated much money to Goshen College.

15 — The Goshen City Council approved an ordinance prohibiting people from blocking pedestrian traffic within the city limits. The ordinance was brought on by concerns of loitering youth during monthly First Friday festivals. Fines are set at $200.

17 — Judge Terry Shewmaker sentences Tyrice Halliburton to life in prison without the possibility of parole for the 2008 murder of Sheena Kiska in Bristol.

21 — The Goshen Chamber of Commerce unveils its new community branding initiative: Common Good. Uncommonly Great.

25 — Westview High School awards diplomas to 97 graduates.

25 — Fairfield High Schools awards diplomas to 145 graduates.

27 — Bethany Christian High School awards diplomas to 43 graduates.

29 — Elkhart County Stormwater Coordinator Eric Kurtz explains that 10,600 people overpaid their water fee. Those customers would be credited on their fall bills.


1 — NorthWood High School awards diplomas to 197 graduates.

3 — Goshen High School awards diplomas to 408 graduates.

3 — Northridge High School awards diplomas to 277 graduates.

7 — Three bicyclists are killed in two separate early morning accidents in Elkhart County. Dead are Daniel Runion, 19, of Osceola; David Anglemyer, 18, of Goshen; and Raymundo Macjado Sabag, 60, of Elkhart.

7 — Concord High School awards diplomas to 336 graduates.  

9 — Wawasee High School awards diplomas to 206 graduates.

10 — West Noble High School awards diplomas to 160 graduates.

16 — Members of the Elkhart County Council approve $1.3 million in upgrades to the county’s 9-1-1 dispatch center.

23 — Longtime downtown Goshen businessman John S. Hall Sr., dies. He was 85. Hall started his first store in downtown Goshen in 1957. John Hall’s True Value Hardware remains open to this day.

28 — Fairfield Community Schools Superintendent Tom Tumey announces he will retire on Jan. 1, 2013.

28 — Because of serious drought conditions, organizers of the annual Celebrate America fireworks program at Black Squirrel Golf Course cancel the show.

29 — The Elkhart County Commissioners ban the use of fireworks without a permit through July 10.


4 — Crews install a pedestrian underpass at the railroads tracks on the campus of Goshen College.

14 — Former Goshen Community School Board President Rene R. Neff dies. He was 79.

17 — The Goshen City Council approves a $150,000 loan to the Park Board for the purchase of Fidler’s Pond.

20 — The Elkhart County 4-H Fair kicks off with the crowing of Senior Fair Queen Nancy Miller and 4-H Fair Queen Stephanie Yoder.

21 — The owner of the Dew Drop Inn in downtown Goshen falls through his front sidewalk into his basement. Future investigations find that there are numerous vaults under downtown sidewalks that must be filled in.

23 — Roy Hufford is appointed as the new principal of Chandler Elementary School, replacing Lisa Lederach.

25 — Legendary country artist Glen Campbell performs at the Elkhart County 4-H Fair as part of his Goodbye Tour.

27 — The Elkhart County 4-H Fair livestock auction nets $931,871, the third most in fair history.

28 — The annual Nationwide Demolition Derby draws the Elkhart County 4-H Fair to a close for 2012.


10 — Students at Goshen Community schools return to class following summer break.

13 — Goshen Community School trustees approve the appointment of Lynne Peters as the new principal at Model Elementary School. She replaces outgoing principal David Robertson.

17 — Fumes inside the Benteler Automotive Factory and Flair Interiors send 24 people to the hospital. There are no serious injuries.

20 — Elkhart County Commissioners approve the temporary use of fireworks over the Labor Day Weekend. Commissioners had banned Fireworks over the Fourth of July holiday because of extreme drought conditions.  

22 — The Goshen Chamber of Commerce announces that it will open a business incubator on its second floor.

27 — Elkhart native Guy David Gundlach, 56, who died in 2011, leaves $125 million of his estate to the Elkhart County Community Foundation.

28 — The Goshen Public Library Board announces reduced hours in order to save money.

28 — Jackie Walorski, candidate for U.S. Representative in Indiana’s District 2, speaks to the delegates at the Republican National Convention in Tampa, Fla.


1 — Local Notre Dame fans wake up early to watch the Irish play Navy in Dublin, Ireland. The game kicked off at 9 a.m. local time. Notre Dame won its season opener over the Midshipman, 50-10.

3 — Classes for the 2012-13 school year begin at Goshen College.

4 — A proposed amendment to allow alcohol in city parks for certain events was unanimously voted down by the Goshen City Council

5 — Dontea Bush and George Sanks, both 19, escape through a back door of the work-release center in Goshen. They were arrested the next day and returned to custody.

12 — Tim Graber is named the 2013 Elkhart County 4-H Fair Board president. He succeeds 2012 president Jack Lengacher Jr.

12 — U.S. News & World Report ranks Goshen College 140th among the nation’s liberal arts colleges.

18 — John Gregg, a Democratic candidate for Indiana governor, speaks to the Goshen Noon Kiwanis Club at Maplecrest Country Club.

20 — The body of Mark Miller, 44, Dunlap, is discovered stuffed inside a barrel near the Six Span Bridge in Elkhart.  His death is ruled a homicide.  

28 — Elkhart County Prosecutor Curtis T. Hill requests a conviction vacation for convicted murder Lana Canen after he says a detective with the Elkhart County Sherriff’s Department changed his position on a fingerprint he previously matched to Canen.  Judge Terry Shewmaker vacated thee conviction on Oct. 12. On Nov. 2 Hill announced the charges against Canen have been dropped and there would be no retrial.


4 — Danzele Jermaine Johnson, 21, Goshen, is shot and killed in Elkhart while he was burglarizing a home.

5 — A 44-year-old Goshen man is shot four times behind his home on Clinton Street near Riverside Boulevard during an apparent robbery attempt. The suspect fled the scene and has not yet been arrested.

9 — A ceremony is held on the Goshen College campus in memory of Professor James Miller, who had been murdered in his home a year earlier. No arrests have been made in the case.

12 — After years of work, The C.R. 17 extension from C.R. 28 to C.R. 38 is opened.

14 — Notre Dame defeats Stanford in South Bend to move up to No. 5 in the college football rankings for the first time since 2006.

18 — Venturi pizzeria in downtown Goshen is ranked by Esquire Magazine as the 15th “Most life-changing pizzeria in America,” as a result of an online reader poll.

19 — Officials at Cequent Performance Products confirm that officials at their parent company, TriMas, are considering moving the Goshen plant to Mexico. Such a closure would cost Goshen approximately 450 jobs.

23 — After much debate, The Goshen City Council approved the 2013 budget, which includes $800,000 to pay for trash pick-up.

27 — Five local high school marching bands – Goshen, Concord, Northridge, Fairfield and NorthWood – qualify for the state marching band finals in Indianapolis.


1 — Michael R. Sutter of Howe is hired as Shipshewana’s new town manager.

3 — The Goshen High School Crimson Marching Band matched its highest finish in program history when it was named runner-up in the Class B State Marching Band Finals. Concord placed fifth and Northridge 7th in Class B. In Class C NorthWood placed 6th and Fairfield 7th.

6 — Republican Jackie Walorski holds off a late charge from Democrat Brendan Mullen to win the U.S. House District 2 race.

6 — Republicans John Letherman and David Ashe are re-elected to the Elkhart County Council. They are joined by fellow Republican Tom Stump, who was the top vote getter.

13 — LaGrange’s clerk-treasurer Michael D. Rowlison, 66, was arrested on two felony charges of theft and official misconduct.

21 — On the day before Thanksgiving, officials at Cequent inform employees that the plant will close and their jobs will be moved to Mexico.

25 — No. 1 Notre Dame defeats rival USC to clinch a spot in the Jan. 7, 2013, BCS National Championship game. The Irish will battle defending national champion Alabama.

28 — Brett Weddell, a Republican candidate for Goshen City Council in 2011, is selected to serve out the remaining three years of Tom Stump’s at-large term on the council.


6 —­ Bethany Christian High School boys basketball coach Jim Buller becomes Elkhart County’s all-time wins leader with his 365th victory.

7 — Plans for a proposed Community Center — a joint funding venture between the City of Goshen and Goshen Community Schools — is unveiled by project creator Don Minter and project manager Bruce Stahly. The proposed site for the $35.6 million project is the west side of the millrace. Part of the costs would include improvements and additions at Goshen High School and Goshen Middle School.  The public could have the opportunity to vote on the project during a special referendum in May 2013.

9 — Indiana University claims its eighth men’s soccer national championship with a 1-0 win over Georgetown. Freshman Femi Hollinger-Janzen, a Goshen native, was a key contributor during the Hoosiers’ tournament run.

11 — An Indiana appeals court reverses the adult court conviction of Paul Gingerich, a Cromwell youth who had been convicted for his role in the 2010 shooting death of Phillip Danner in Cromwell. The former Wawasee Middle School student’s case will now head back to juvenile court in Kosciusko County.

12 — Elkhart County 4-H Fair officials announce that country music icon Vince Gill has been booked to headline the 2013 fair entertainment lineup. He is set to perform at the Main Grandstand on July 23.

18 — Elkhart County Commissioners lift truck restrictions on C.R. 18 from C.R. 17 to the Goshen city limits.

19 — Outgoing Gov. Mitch Daniels drops off his popular motor home, RV-1, for display at the RV/MH Hall of Fame in Elkhart.

21 — The world does not end, as some people had thought a Mayan calendar had predicted.

26 — More than 50 traffic crashes are reported in Elkhart County following the area’s first significant snowfall of the winter season.

- Compiled by Michael Wanbaugh, managing editor