Make your own free website on Tripod.com

Alexandria Monroe Township Historical Society

1997 to 2003
Home
Presidents Message
The News
Guestbook
Message Forum
Local History
Photographs
Photographs Page 2
Alexandria Tigers
Kid Kanteen
Genealogy
Our Favorite Links
E-Mail AMTHS Friends
Chat Room
1905 to 1910
1911 to 1920
1921 to 1926
1927 to 1935
1936 to 1946
1947 to 1952
1953 to 1960
1961 to 1974
1975 to 1996
1997 to 2003
2004 to
Contact Us

03-13-1998
The Alexandria Tigers defeated Eastbrook Panthers 63-58 in the Jungle at Alexandria tonight. David Porter scored 26 points and the Tigers were 20 of 33 from the field including 6 of 11 from 3 point range. The no.8 Tigers won their own regional by jumping out to an early lead, then holding off Eastbrook's comeback attempts for a 63-58 win, earning a trip to the Fort Wayne Semistate.

03-23-1998
State Championship here they come. Alexandria dominated Northwestern for 32 minutes easily defeating the number four rated team in the state 84 - 72 last night at the Fort Wayne Coliseum in front of 4,000 fans for the Fort Wayne Semistate crown. For the first time in school history, the Alexandria Tigers (19-6) are heading to a state title game. They will play Southwestern (17-9) in the class 2A state final. Earlier in the day the Tigers defeated a very stubborn Bremen team 56-54.

03-27-1998
The Alexandria Tigers get a great send-off to the state basketball tournament from a packed gym at Alexandria.

03-28-1998
Rusty Garner took home all the hardware Saturday afternoon at the RCA Dome. The senior scored 24 points, captured the Trester Award and most importantly, carried the Alexandria Tigers to their first state title with a 57 to 43 victory over Southwestern in the IHSAA Class 2A state boys basketball championship. Alex started the game by scoring 14 of the first 17 points but by the half Southwestern had tied the game at 25.

The Tigers outscored the Rebels 31-2 to open the second half, once again building a double-figure lead at 38-27 with four minutes left in the game.

05-01-1998
Orestes church remembers 100 years

BY KERI S. McGrath
Staff Reporter

ORESTES - One hundred years, 37 pastors, 127 recorded deaths, and countless births and marriages after the last brown brick was laid on Orestes' Baptist Church, Pastor Ed Joyner and his
congregation prepare for a weekend of celebration and remembrance. The church, one of two in the small town of Orestes, will commemorate its centennial Sunday with a special service, guest speaker and gospel concert. "These events will not be the end of our celebration," said Joyner. "They will just kick off a whole year of celebrating.

06-28-1998
Alexandria winning a state championship and a Tiger winning the mental attitude award is becoming a habit this year. The Tigers used a little bit of pitching and a lot of defense to capture the 2A state baseball title with a 4-3 victory over Evansville Mater Dei yesterday at Victory Field. Catcher J.D. Closser punctuated the Tiger's state championship by being named the L.V. Phillips Mental Attitude Recipient. Closser hit .547 for the season with 13 home runs, 46 RBIs, 48 runs scored, and 23 walks, all of which were team highs. The senior was drafted by the Arizona Diamondbacks in the fifth round of the baseball draft. He also had a scholarship to attend the University of Georgia and play baseball. Closser batted .508 in the four years he played at Alexandria High School.

12-19-1998
President William Jefferson Clinton was impeached by the House of Representatives in Washington D.C. today. Two articles of impeachment were passed, one for perjury and the other for obstruction of justice.

02-16-2000
Closing Orestes and Cunningham Schools are options considered by the Alexandria School Corporations Facilities Task Force. Since Orestes has only one 1st grade, one 2nd grade and so on to the 6th grade, a loan for any building loan would be next to impossible. Orestes Town Board President, John Shettle has pointed out in defense of the plan that Red Golds growth as a major area employer, plans for a waste water treatment system and the possibility that Indiana State Highway 37 may be extended into a four-lane highway from Noblesville to Elwood, promoting growth to the area.

03-20-2000
Nearly seventy times, grieving families gathered atop a small hill in northern Madison County, consoled each other and laid to rest their loved ones. For years after, families tended to the Weddington Cemetery until finally, one by one, the graveyards caretakers were gone.

As caretakers died and old-timers memories of the cemetery faded, nature slowly reclaimed the hilltop. Trees sprouted and grew over the graves. Time, rain and snow loosened the headstones from their anchor, and wind eventually blew them over into the mud and burying them into the dirt like the people named on the markers.

After three years of work, the trees are gone and headstones stand over their owners graves, looking much like it did in the 1800s. Soon the cemetery will be rededicated and it is hoped that ancestors of those early pioneers will attend.

The area is Monroe Township, south of County Road 1100 North on County Road 200 West. Off the west side of the road, atop a small hill, the early settlers of northern Madison County buried their beloved beginning around 1840. They continued until small family and community burial plots grew out of custom, replaced by larger cemeteries. Using limited funds and help of volunteers, they chopped down a small forest of trees and removed their stumps. Then volunteers applied two treatments of weed killer before the ground was visible. Many tombstones were underground and had to be probed for. The stones were then moved to a fence line and bulldozers grated the uneven land, which also exposed even more grave markers. The headstones were set in concrete over their owners graves and grass was seeded.

Six veterans are buried there, three from the War of 1812 and three from the Civil War. Arrangements were made through the Madison County Veterans Affairs office for these servicemen to have government veteran headstones, honoring them for their service. One of the War of 1812 veterans, Henry Moler was at Baltimore during the British bombardment of Fort McHenry that inspired Frances Scot Key to pen The Star Spangeled Banner.

The cemetery commission reclaimed the cemetery and plans to rededicate it, complete with 21-gun salutes, civilian and military re-enactors and Highland High School honor students.

05-20-2000
The age-old Weddington Cemetery lay covered by brush and trees, forgotten for most of a century but today those buried in the small graveyard would be honored and remembered. Near the former site of the Olive Branch School, Jack Bowers greeted the visitors at the entrance gate of the parking area with a smile of pride and accomplishment. The graveyard is located on his family farm and his participation on the cemetery commission has been instrumental in the renovation of the historic cemetery.

The threat of rain and cool temperatures did not dampen the spirits of between 50 and 70 visitors shuttled to the secluded hilltop on a comfortable truck-drawn hay wagon. The hilly winding route infringed upon regular residents, a herd of cattle with several young calves feeding from their mothers. The trip gave us a glimpse of the green Pipe Creek Valley and an antiquated wooden bridge crossing a small trickle in the woods.

Visitors walked from stone to stone remembering and recalling the names of family and early settlers of Monroe Township. Many of the stones looked quite preserved despite the years of neglect.

John Brundage, chairman of the Madison County Cemetery Commission opened the ceremony with comments. The Citizen Soldier was presented by special guest, Melvin Biddle, the last living Hoosier recipient of the Congressional Medal of Honor. Students from the Honors Government class at Highland High School read the names and military records of the veterans interred in the cemetery.

Second Artillery re-enactors, clad in colorful uniforms, positioned at the southeast corner of the cemetery, fired a War of 1812 cannon. As the blast echoed through the woods and over the hills, an honor guard Company K, 19th Indiana Infantry Regiment, Civil War Re-enactors, presented a black powder rifle salute as the VFW Post 266 of Anderson readied their rifles for a 21-gun salute. Two Highland High School bag pipers positioned at the northeast corner played a traditional arrangement of Amazing Grace and after several moments, Taps was played from a distance in a valley also northeast of the hill.


07-26-2000
Area man, $12 million disappear -----Wednesday, July 26, 2000
A Summitville man, who owns financial services company, being investigated by feds MARION (AP) -- The owner of a financial services company who is accused of fraud by the Commodity Futures Trading Commission is missing, along with up to $12 million ...more Summitville man, who owns financial services company, being investigated by feds.

MARION (AP) -- The owner of a financial services company who is accused of fraud by the Commodity Futures Trading Commission is missing, along with up to $12 million from a commodity pool he was operating. Phillip Ferguson, 50, of Summitville has been missing since June 23. The last time anyone talked to him was June 25, when he told his girlfriend he was going on a business trip to Chicago, said David Boyer, a Fort Wayne attorney appointed to locate and liquidate Ferguson's assets. The Indiana Securities Commission and federal officials are investigating. "We have launched an investigation regarding a variety of investment products that may have been sold by Mr. Ferguson," said Brad Skolnik, state securities commissioner. An injunction was issued last week against Ferguson by U.S. District Judge William Lee to stop him from operating a commodity pool. A restraining order freezes all of Ferguson's assets. Boyer has closed the office of Ferguson Financial Services in Marion. People who received money from investments through Ferguson Financial Services could be asked to pay the money back so the value of his holdings can be evenly distributed, Boyer said. "If he has favored some people, we'll be looking to even up the situation," Boyer said. "We will expect people that have gotten more than their share to disgorge the extra.

"Officials will have to determine on a case-by-case basis if there are investors who were paid by Ferguson, and whether they should pay the money back, Boyer said. The process could take years, he said. The alleged victims are from all over the United States including Indiana. Many are believed to be Madison County residents. "There has been so many that I haven't had a chance to return all of the calls," he said. "A lot of them are from the 317 area code area, but I suspect there will be some from Madison County." A National Futures Association investigator has estimated that more than $12 million is missing from a commodity pool Ferguson operated from January 1999 until March, and more than 400 investors could be affected. Ferguson disappeared shortly after he spoke with federal officials, who accused him of operating commodity pools without the proper registration. Boyer said his investigation has just begun. "I'm just barely scratching the surface," he said. "Every time I look, there is another rock to turn over." Ferguson appears to have been hiding some of his assets, Boyer said. Boyer said some of those assets are located in Madison County. "There is a farm near Summitville that hasn't been titled to him yet, but we believe he has purchased it," Boyer said. "It is a nice farm too. I think it is worth something like $200,000." Madison County Police Department is among the agencies looking for Ferguson.


Staff reporter Paul Baylor contributed to this report.

08-20-2001
The town of Orestes and the city of Alexandria are a step closer to reaching a joint wastewater treatment agreement. Representatives of the two entities will be present at next Monday's city council meeting to answer questions regarding the agreement. "We've been working on this thing since February 2000," Mayor Steve Skaggs told city council members when he presented them with copies of a revised agreement during the August 6 meeting. The agreement was first presented to council members in December 2000 and has been under review by Alexandria and Orestes attorneys who worked out the details. The revised agreement appears to be quite similar to the original and provides that a proposed sanitary sewer system in Orestes will connect to the Alexandria wastewater treatment plant at a point approximately a quarter mile east of the intersection of County Roads 1100N and 200W.

Where the original agreement called for treatment of a maximum volume of 78,900 gallons a day at a rate flow not exceeding 300 gallons a minute, the revised version calls for a total volume not to exceed 78,900 gallons per day average over the billing cycle.

Other changes in the agreement include a slight decrease in the billing rate from $1.02 per 1,000 gallons of water treated to $.99 per 1,000 gallons. That rate is subject to be increased or decreased during the term of the 40 year contract but no more than once every two years and not by an amount greater than the accumulative cost of living index over the corresponding two year period.

The proposal also calls for an increase in the one-time fixed free component paid to the City of Alexandria from $59,000 to $59,800.

Orestes Town Council President John Shettle, along with attorneys for Alexandria and Orestes are scheduled to be present at Monday's meeting of the Alexandria City Council to be held at 7:30 p.m. in city hall.


03-03-2003
Alexandria board to discuss Orestes school, funding crisis
Publication date:
Monday, March 3, 2003
BY KEN de la BASTIDE
Senior Reporter
ALEXANDRIA -- As a result of declining enrollment and the possibility of no increased state dollars, the Alexandria Community Schools board could be forced to close Orestes Elementary School. During a February board work session the option of closing the Orestes Elementary School because of a looming financial crisis was discussed by the board. The issue of how to deal with the financial crisis and possible closing of the Orestes school will be discussed at the board meeting at 7 p.m. today at Alexandria-Monroe High School. Carol Storch, superintendent of Alexandria Community Schools, said she will not make a recommendation concerning the Orestes school, but didn't know if a board member would make a proposal. "We are looking at other options," said Storch. "We looking at the number of professional staff and teachers." She said the community has expected some reduction in facilities as a result of the school system's declining enrollment. Storch said no increase in state funding for public education will impact Alexandria and all other school systems in the state. "We have to stay fiscally sound," she said. During the work session, board members were told the school system would end 2003 with a deficit of $93,750 if there is no increase in state funding and that could increase to $468,000 by the end of 2004. The Orestes Elementary School currently houses 81 students, five teachers, an administrator, custodian and two cafeteria workers. Board members said closing Orestes was one option and the school system would realize an immediate savings of $250,000. If the facility was sold, the savings to Alexandria Community Schools would be $595,000 per year. If the Orestes school is closed the additional students could be handled at the Marie Thurston and Cunningham elementary schools by adding one third-grade class and increasing class size. The employees would be absorbed in the system. The student population in the Alexandria schools was 1,888 during the 1992-1993 school year and now stands at 1,688 for the 2002-2003 school year. Last year the district's property owners defeated a $14.5 million bond issue that would have constructed a new elementary school for 400 to 450 pre-kindergarten through second-grade students. It would have resulted in the closing of the Orestes and Cunningham elementary schools.
Board votes to close Orestes Elementary School


Publication date:
Tuesday, March 18, 2003
BY STACEY M. LANE GROSH
Staff Reporter
ALEXANDRIA -- In a 3-2 vote Monday, Alexandria Community Schools board members decided to permanently close Orestes Elementary School. "Do you think the kids will do well cramped up at Cunningham?" said parent Christy Atwood through her tears. "At Orestes the teachers interact with their kids one-on-one. What are you thinking? Why aren't you putting the kids first? It seems all you're about is yourselves and not the kids. What about the kids?" The decision is the first phase toward improving the school system's budgetary problems Superintendent Carole Storch presented at the meeting. Phase 1 will extend over the next two years and include the closing of Orestes Elementary in June, laying off four or five teachers, administrators and other employees and an immediate hiring freeze. Phase 1 will save the school system $425,554, according to Storch. "My concern is the impact on education," said Jeff Montgomery, board president. "We got a little bit of a knee-jerk reaction here." Montgomery and Jerry Jarman voted against closing Orestes Elementary. Board members Thomas Gaunt, Rick Kyle and Chip McFerran voted to close the school. After the decision, Montgomery asked the board if they would care if the public took time to speak out on the Orestes issue then instead of making them wait until the public comment session at the end of the meeting. McFerran said he did not want to hear public comments at that time -- which resulted in several negative and angry words from the audience. "You're closing the school with the best ISTEP numbers," said Sherry Cain, parent and Orestes PTO member, when she was given the opportunity to speak to the board.. "You're not going to save a whole lot with absorbing the teachers into the school system and only two retiring. ... We feel like we're being attacked. I'm disappointed that our representative was the one who said 'no comments.'" About 100 turned out for the fiery meeting including many once again with picket signs demanding the resignation of Storch and pleading with the board to save Orestes Elementary. Many think the decision to close is further retribution for the remonstrance last year. Under state law, the school board cannot begin discussion on new construction or renovations until one year after the remonstrance. "This is obviously retaliation," said Dan Kellum, retired middle school teacher and one of several pickets before the meeting. "They will pack the schools with kids and then there will be overcrowding and they'll present the idea of a new school again. "The House (of Representatives) voted for a 2 percent increase in education," Kellum continued. "No one knows what the Senate will do unless the board members are calling (Psychic) Cleo's hotline to find out. This decision was made too quickly and without all the consideration it deserves. I hope the board will have the courage to reconsider its vote if the numbers change." Many accused the board of being reactive instead of proactive. One accused the board of following the numbers provided to them like "sheep to slaughter." The only renovations Cunningham will receive before receiving Orestes' students is with their restrooms. The size of the classrooms will then be conducive to those at Marie Thurston Elementary. Classroom sizes may increase to about 33 kids per class, Kellum said. The comments from the audience became even more heated with one man being asked to sit down because he insulted the board by saying its money figures were "deceptive" and because he was patronizing McFerran by saying "look here, cowboy." The board said they have not yet discussed whether they will try to sell Orestes Elementary or have it demolished. The next school board meeting will be at 7 p.m. April 14 in the high school auditorium.

03-28-2003
The fate of a teacher resource center that is located next to the Orestes Elementary School is unknown after school officials announced they plan to close the elementary at the end of the school year.

Orestes Elementary also is the home of the Indiana Department of Education Materials Development Resource Center. Two portable classrooms north of the school serve as the center.

Earlier this month school board members voted to close the school despite protests from nearly 100 parents and residents. The students and teachers would be transferred to other schools. School officials said the closing was a cost-saving measure.
"It is unclear at this point what will happen (to the resource center)," said Darlene Slaby, director of minority and language programs at the DOE.

Until more information from the Alexandria Community Schools administration is given about the fate of the property, Slaby is uncertain whether the resource center will remain on the property or need to be moved to another location. The resource center is a place where teachers from around the state can come and check out materials to use in their classrooms for teaching English as a second language, she said. It's also a place where they can come and build materials, develop games to suit their own need, or use the games and programs that are prepackaged. There are also a number of books that teachers can take and give to students, she said. Although most of the time the center is used by teachers, it occasionally serves migrant students needing help with tests or language. Tutors for migrant children also use the center, Slaby said.
"Occasionally students will stop in and prepare for the GQE or the Texas (graduation exam)," she said. The Orestes property has been discussed but only briefly, said Carole Storch, superintendent of Alexandria Community Schools. Any decision on what to do with the property isn't likely to come until late spring or until the school year is finished. There are other priorities right now, she noted.
"My next concern is with the teachers and where the teachers will be going," Storch said. "We want the parents and the children to know what building they will be going to and who their new teachers will be. That's where our energy is right now. When that's done, we'll look at the closing of the building and what will be done with the property." That decision will be up to the school board, she added. She plans to give them several options to consider later this spring. She has had at least three people approach her who wanted to purchase the building but she will not discuss any options until the building is closed. Storch doesn't believe migrant children will suffer from the closing of Orestes. She can't say how it will affect the teacher center, since that matter can't be concluded until later. "The Alexandria Community Schools are not here just for the migrant children," Storch said. "But it's here for all the children. We have grants that help the (migrant) children for the short time they are here." And because there are migrant children in all the other schools, the staff is quite capable of meeting their needs at all the other schools, she added.

06-01-2003
Parents, students say goodbye to Orestes school
Publication date:
Sunday, June 1, 2003
BY AVON WATERS and
STACEY M. LANE GROSH
Staff Reporters
ORESTES -- The school that was formed from the ruins of a devastating tornado will quietly disappear this week.
The last day for students at Orestes Elementary -- after an 80-year run as the hubbub of activity in town -- will be Wednesday. On Saturday, current students and those of long ago, came to say good-bye to their school. School colors, purple and gold were everywhere -- including balloons outside marking the way to the celebration. Inside the gymnasium one of the last sounds of children laughing and playing could be heard as they bowled, played a bean bag toss and fished for prizes. The smell of popcorn permeated the air but still didn't soften the blow for most.
"I don't think they should have closed it," said James Borum, 12, a sixth-grader who attended the school for two years before moving up in grades. "There was nothing wrong with the education here. The building needed a little bit of work, but other than that, it's fine." Others like Jaryd Jones, 10, a fourth grader at Orestes will be going to Marie Thurston Elementary next year. "I like this school and I like what they do for us here," Jones said. "I think I'll be okay (at the new school.)" What's important now is that the students have a good transition to their new schools, said Mike Toler, a parent with a fourth-grader at Orestes. But, he added, many of the school board members didn't listen to the community. "I don't believe the community was considered," Toler said. "We were not presented with a whole package. They didn't tell us what they planned to do with the school and that should have been included. Alexandria-Monroe School officials have not decided what the fate of Orestes Elementary will be.
"We've not determined what to do with the building, not sat down and gone through the entire disposal process," said Jeff Montgomery, school board president. "I don't know if we will sell it or tear it down. We're going to conclude school in a normal fashion and begin the transition of the students to other schools before we make any decisions."
Orestes School first opened for elementary through high school students in 1898 in the midst of the gas boom. In 1909, the Orestes School board dissolved and Monroe Township took control the school. Orestes' school then became an elementary school. Then on April 17, 1922, a tornado tore thorough Orestes destroying numerous homes, businesses and the school. Students were relocated to the Lodge Hall until the current Orestes Elementary was completed in 1923. Orestes Elementary currently houses about 80 students. "We're in no rush to do something with the building other than keep it in good working order," Montgomery continued. "We don't want to do anything that would make it unmarketable. It is a significant component of Orestes and it needs to be treated with respect."
Montgomery was one of two board members who voted against the closing. Toler said he and many others in the community will have long memories. When election time comes, they plan to have the last word with their votes. The Alexandria-Monroe school board voted to close Orestes Elementary at a March 17 school board meeting despite protesters, pickets and floods of tears and angry words. Many Orestes Elementary parents have actively voiced their outrage at the school board calling the closing retribution for the community's remonstrance last year. Superintendent Carole Storch stands strong that the decision was a necessary step toward improving the school system's budgetary problems. Orestes has small class sizes that have helped first grader Ann Ferris, said her mother Denise Ferris of rural Orestes. Their family moved from a large Indianapolis school to Orestes in October. "She's doing great here," Denise Ferris said. "She doesn't want to have to leave Orestes because the classes are small. I think she will adjust."

06-24-2003
Alexandria school superintendent resigns
Publication date:
Tuesday, June 24, 2003
BY STACEY M. LANE GROSH
Features editor
ALEXANDRIA -- Following three years of feuding between the community and Alexandria Community Schools Superintendent Carole Storch, she announced her resignation Monday night.
In a letter read aloud during the school board meeting, Storch said she would be moving on to "teach at the university level, enjoy my farm and orchard and spend time with my grandchildren." Storch did not attend the meeting and was unavailable for comment. Her resignation letter -- dated last Thursday -- asked for her final day to be July 31. When the board paused to vote on the matter, many of those in attendance shouted "Aye." Others throughout began snickering, high-fiving, thanking the board and one woman announced she was "going to do a happy dance." Part of Storch's brief letter indicated that she was thankful for the opportunity she had to help improve Alexandria Community Schools. The audience laughed. Storch has been superintendent since 2000 -- sparking controversy almost since the beginning. The community began numerous vocal battles in public and during school board meetings when she and the board announced their intent to build a new school. A very heated remonstrance stopped the project -- which included signs around town and pickets at every meeting holding "Scorch Storch" signs. Then in March, in what many community members deemed "retribution for the remonstrance," Storch and the board decided to close Orestes Elementary School. Orestes students will be shipped to Cunningham and Marie Thurston elementaries this fall. According to many who have been extremely vocal at the school board meetings, the moves will overcrowd those schools and force the district to build a new school anyway. "I'm thrilled she's leaving! Just thrilled!" said retired teacher Dan Kellum. "We've been in trouble here for a long while. It's hard to stop the domino effect once it starts (referring to the closing of Orestes Elementary). We've had battle after battle because of that. This town is now divided into two camps: One wants a new school and the other wants to reopen Orestes ... a lot of what happens with this community will now depend on how the school board wants to do the superintendent process. Are they going to involve the community or shut us out?" The board has not yet made any decisions involving the superintendent search.
"The board has not had the opportunity to meet and discuss the next step in finding a new superintendent," said Jeff Montgomery, board president. The next school board meeting will be at 7 p.m. July 14 in the high school auditorium. The presidency at this meeting will then revert to board member Thomas Gaunt for the 2003-2004 school year.

09-17-2003
David Lankford, an employee at the Orestes Red Gold plant, died at 8:42 a.m. Tuesday in an Indianapolis hospital from injuries suffered when a car hit him late Thursday night.
Lankford, 22, Muncie, suffered a severe head injury after a car, reportedly driven by Mark Tyler Miller, 20, Anderson, hit him in the Red Gold parking lot as Lankford was heading into the building for work. He was taken to Methodist Hospital by Lifeline helicopter. There Lankford was placed on life support, which was disconnected on Tuesday. Keith Conoway, senior investigator in the Marion County Coroner's office, said Lankford also suffered road rash on his arms, and glass cuts in addition to his head injuries. An autopsy will be performed this morning at the coroner's office in Indianapolis. No official cause of death will be given until the autopsy is complete.
Before his death, Lankford underwent brain surgery, his father told police. Had he lived, Lankford could have suffered permanent brain damage, doctors predicted.
Sheriff's deputies arrested Miller on Friday morning at his home after an Indiana Conservation officer and Indiana State Police troopers searched for him Thursday night.
Miller is now in the Madison County jail on a $10,000 full cash bond. On Monday, the prosecutor's office had filed a 72-hour extension to complete an investigation to determine the charges. Madison County police Capt. Rick Garrett, however, said those charges could include reckless homicide, failure to stop after an accident resulting in death and driving while suspended resulting in death.

11-09-2003
A 14-year-old student of Alexandria-Monroe High School died Saturday morning after a car she was riding in with five other people struck a tree and utility pole. Nancy Nicole Collins, 14, died at the emergency department of the Anderson Community Hospital from head injuries sustained in the accident, said a police report. At approximately 2 a.m. Saturday, Asa G. Wisler, 23, Orestes, was driving a 1988 Jeep Cherokee, northbound on County Road 75 West when she lost control of the vehicle along a curve, south of Indiana 28. The car ran off the west side of the road, rotated counterclockwise, and struck a tree and utility pole on the passenger side of the car. Collins was the front seat passenger. Captain Rick Garrett said all six subjects in the vehicle had been drinking, and none of them had been wearing seat belts at the time of the accident. Police are awaiting results of toxicology tests given to Wisler to determine her blood alcohol level, said Garrett. Charges against her are pending the results, he added. Wisler and two other passengers, Brian M. Holler, 20, Wisconsin, and Angela M. Moody, 21, Anderson, were treated at the Anderson Community Hospital. The two other passengers, whose names have not been released, are both 16-year-old females from Alexandria. One was treated for cuts to the head, the other did not seek medical attention. Three of the six passengers fled the scene of the accident, according to police, but two of them showed up shortly after at Community Hospital. Garrett said that police are still reviewing information, and don't know yet if those who left the accident will be charged with anything. "State law only requires the driver to remain at the scene," he said, "but it also requires other people to render aid to others."

12-05-2003
Orestes man jailed on DWI charge
BY STACEY GROSH, Staff Reporter
An Orestes man will remain in jail awaiting trial after being formally charged Friday with killing a friend in an alcohol-related crash.
Asa G. Wisler, 42 E. Broadway St., was charged in video court with operating while intoxicated causing death with a prior operating while intoxicated conviction, a Class B felony; and reckless homicide, Class C felony.
Wisler's bond was set at $100,000 cash, but because of a probation hold, he will remain in jail.
On Nov. 8 Wisler, who was driving with a .099 blood alcohol level, lost control of the car he was driving at a high rate of speed and hit a tree and utility pole, according to the probable cause affidavit.
Nancy Collins, 14, of Frankton died at the scene.
Four other passengers told police he lost control while negotiating an "S"-shaped curve. "He was swerving across the lanes and driving stupid," a passenger said. He drove through a stop sign and several of them yelled for him to stop or slow down.
Wisler was convicted of operating while intoxicated on Nov. 21, 2002, in Alexandria City Court. He was supposed to be using an alcohol-sensor monitor as part of his probation.