It is only a few short miles across the English Channel between the United Kingdom and France. The authorities from the two countries started wondering if they could construct a tunnel under water connecting the two nations. It would allow people and commerce to flow uninterrupted. Plans were announced on Jan. 20, 1986, to construct an underground tunnel. Today, the channel tunnel, or “chunnel” as it is called, is a huge success.
On Jan. 28, 1986, NASA had another disaster with its Space Shuttle Challenger–STS-51-L: The Space Shuttle lift-off was being viewed by thousands of people at Cape Canaveral, plus millions of viewers on live television. Seventy-three seconds after lift-off, Space Shuttle Challenger disintegrated before our eyes, killing the crew of seven astronauts, including schoolteacher Christa McAuliffe. The incident shocked the world and set the NASA Space Program back, while the incident was investigated. On March 9, 1986, U.S. Navy divers found the largely intact but heavily damaged crew compartment of the Shuttle, the bodies of all seven astronauts were still inside.
Remember the president of the Philippines and his wife with about 8,000 pair of shoes? In 1986, Ferdinand Marcos was removed from office (His son, Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr., was elected president this month). In an area of Bangladesh, the people were surprised with a hailstorm. The hailstones weighing 1 kilogram (2.2 pounds) fell out of the sky killing 92 people.
On April 26, 1986, the world’s worst nuclear accident occurred at Chernobyl. A mishandled safety test at the Nuclear Power Plant in Pripyat, in Ukraine, then part of the Soviet Union. The incident killed at least 4,056 people and damaged almost $7 billion of property. Radioactive fallout from the accident is concentrated near Belarus, Ukraine and Russia. At least 350,000 people (about half the population of Vermont) were forcibly resettled away from this area. Traces of radiation were later found in every country in the northern hemisphere.
Some better news: In May 86’ at least five million people formed a human chain from New York City to Long Beach, California. Their theme was “Hands Across America.” Their efforts were to raise money to fight hunger and homeless.
Back in Lapel, Indiana at the Brockway Golf Course, they were ending their golf season. Ralph Renbarger defeated Kent Hesson for the Third Flight Championship; Second Flight was won by Jay Lee Renbarger, who defeated Rob Renbarger; Roger Renbarger won the First Flight by beating Doug Troutman, and Tim Smart won the Championship Flight, in 36 holes, by defeating Jimmy Howell. All events were played in a match play format.
Lapel Lions Club voted to donate $200 to the Lapel Fire Department because of the successful December fruit sale.
At West Central Community School Corp., Gene Heniser became superintendent. The elected board members were Fred St. John, Paul Davis, Ron Stephenson, George Likens, Davis Woodward, James Waymire and Jerry Cunningham. Daniel Davisson was corporation attorney. Larry Galliher was appointed the new high school principal, and Jerry Kemerly moved up to his assistant. Judy Lane was secretary, and Peggy Stephens was treasurer. Ruth Bahler oversaw the school health system.
Other faculty members were Robert Adams, Robert Allison, Margaret Anderson, Michael Andrews, Steven Babbitt, Carol Bauner, Susan Bayley, Mike Brockert, Joe Buck, Joan Casey, Dorinda Cassiday, Richard Cassiday, Diane Clark, Pam Collins, Cathy Coomer, Debby Davis, Janet Eisenbise, Bobby Fields, Woody Fields, Bill French, David Fuqua, Mary Gehlbach, Trudy George, Catherine Gillespie, Suzanne Graham, Denise Gray, Cheryl Hensley, Sue Hersberger, Jack Howell, Caroline Howenstine, Marsha Hudson, Dallas Hunter, Patty Huntzinger, Marianne Julius, Harold Markle, Karen Maryan, Donald McDermit, Sharon McDermit, Charles McNew, Brenda Mills, Sue Morris, Laura Pitcock, Lucille Rockey, Larry Schuler, Gregory Scott, Pam Shively, Jean Sigle, Patricia Stewart, Julie Stoner, Lisa Storm, Carol Swan, Jeannine Terhune, Zoe Terhune, Donald Trisler, Anne Whalen and Cindy Wickizer.
The 1985-86 senior class sponsors were Denise Gray and Richard Cassiday, and the class president was William Ray Green. The class vice president was Eric Scott Banter. Other senior class members were Angela Anderson, Deanna Arnett, Margaret Beamer, Robert Beasley, Lori Berninger, Tracy Bousman, Michelle Branch, Jammie Brewster, Amanda Burris, Shawn Busby, Scott Chelli, Michael Cook, Kristi Due, Jeffery Fearnow, John Fearnow, Tamara Ferguson, Tina Foiles, Cheryl Freund, Teresa Fry, John Galliher, Julie Gray, Kimberly green, Mark Green, Jeffery Gustin, Michael Hall, Amy Halsell, Kitti Hankins, Terrence Hayden, David Hormell, Kenneth Huffman, Terri Sue Husted, Jon David Jarrett, Annisa Lampley, Donna Long, Mary Lyall, Laura Mason, Chris Matheney, Andrea McDole, Mark McKenzie, Jason Michael, Carlton Mills, Arnold Moore, Jr., Dennis Morin, Patricia Muse, Todd Norris, Analisa Oleksy, Andrea Pentz, Kimberly Perry, Jay Presser, James Ratzlaff, Lisa Reed, Gary Rinker, Wendy Rose, Danita Roudebush, Vincent Rundquist, Lisa Ryan, Kimberly Sigler, Eric Smith, David Stewart, Jonathan Stoops, Jr., Padma Surya, Melissa Swan, Terrance Swan, Michael Taylor, Alan Templeton, Jill Thompson, Jill Turner, Dianna Veach, Bryan Walls, Timothy Weeks, Lana Welch, Brent Whitecotten, Jama Williams, Tonya Williams, Todd Wood and Joseph Zink.
In spite of a 2-8 record for the Lapel varsity girls track team, 13 girls out of 16 members won letters. The Bulldog baseball team of 1985 won the Big Blue River Conference championship. The varsity boys golf team finished the season with a commendable second place at the BBRC. Seniors Julie Gray, Lane Welch, Terri Husted and Andy Pentz provided leadership for the volleyball team. Julie Gray also broke the serving record by scoring 166 serve points in a single game.
In boys varsity basketball, it was another one of those years where one more basket would have won the game. The girls varsity basketball team was a young, inexperienced group. Darcy Kirchenbauer was their leading scorer. It was also an up-and-down year for Bulldogs wrestling. However, the varsity cheerleaders were always there to support the teams and boost the fans. They were Amy Husted, Trish Muse, Stacy Wright, Analisa Oleksy and Tracy McClintock.
Photo – LHS Varsity Wrestling Team