Locals rewarded for heroism

April 10, 2008 8:56:31 AM PDT
A Wisconsin high school principal shot and killed by an armed student while wrestling weapons from him was among 22 people honored Thursday with Carnegie medals for heroism.

John A. Klang, 49, was a principal in Cazenovia, Wis., on Sept. 29, 2006, when Eric Hainstock, then 15, entered the school armed with a loaded shotgun and handgun. Klang confronted Hainstock and the two struggled as the teen repeatedly shot at the principal. Klang disarmed the boy, and later died at a hospital from his wounds.

Last year, Hainstock was convicted of first-degree murder and sentenced to life in prison.

The Pittsburgh-based Carnegie Hero Fund Commission meets five times annually to choose honorees, who are brought to its attention through newspaper articles or tips on its Web site. Recipients, or their survivors, receive a bronze medal and $5,000.

Other honorees include Wesley James Autrey Sr., 50, of New York, who was nicknamed "subway superman" after he rescued a man who had fallen onto train tracks from a subway platform on Jan. 2, 2007. Autrey laid on the man, who had suffered a seizure, as an oncoming train passed over both of them; Autrey's two young daughters watched the rescue unfold from the platform.

Industrialist Andrew Carnegie started the Carnegie Hero Fund in 1904 after being inspired by rescue stories from a mine disaster that killed 181 people.

Since the fund was established, 9,173 people have received medals and $30.5 million has been awarded in one-time grants, scholarship aid, death benefits and continuing assistance.

Kenneth D. Gurnon, 48, of Newport News, Va., died attempting to save Corey A. Tewalt, 11, from drowning in Narragansett, R.I., on July 17, 2006.

John A. Klang, 49, a school principal from Cazenovia, Wis., died after being shot by an armed 15-year-old student who came into his school on Sept. 29, 2006, saving an indeterminate number of persons.

Neil Maycock, 40, of Centerport, N.Y., saved Michael C. Johnston, 23, from drowning in Centerport, N.Y., on Feb. 25, 2007.

Jonathan H. Johnson, 34, of Colorado Springs, Colo., rescued Michael A. Strauch, 25, from an assault by a man armed with a knife in Colorado Springs, Colo., on Jan. 1, 2007.

Mark Mireles, 38, of Burbank, Calif., and Edwin Marron, 25, of Reseda, Calif., helped to save a woman from falling in a suicide attempt in Encino, Calif., in Jan. 5, 2006.

Theodore Lidgett, 59, of Redding, Calif., rescued Judith R. L. Schmidt, 19, from an assault by a masked man in Redding, Calif., on Feb. 16, 2007.

Katie M. Corrado, 23, of Lansdale, Pa.; Gachino Galante, 23, of Rydal, Pa.; and Michael H. Schreiber, 50, of Linwood, N.J., helped to save Gregory A. Steirer, 26, from drowning at Beach Haven, N.J., on May 28, 2006.

Jean Patrick Policape, 44, of Skokie, Ill., rescued Joy V. Kora, 54, from burning in a house fire in Skokie, Ill., on Dec. 26, 2006.

Norman Jeffery Ringseth, 44, of Reno, Nev., died attempting to rescue Edwin A. Pike, 71, and his wife Iris, 72, from their burning home in Reno, Nev., on Aug. 11, 2007.

Shawn M. McLean, 37, of Newark Valley, N.Y., saved Deanna R. Hanyon, 17, from burning in her car following an accident in Maine, N.Y., on Dec. 20, 2006.

Timothy Michael Barry, 54, of Ventura, Calif., died helping to save Priscilla L. Yothers, 4, from drowning in Ventura, Calif., on Dec. 26, 2006.

Cristina Carrera Chavez, 21, of Thousand Palms, Calif., and Katherine M. Dumas, 44, of Cathedral City, Calif., saved Jack Brownstone, 87, from drowning in Rancho Mirage, Calif., on May 4, 2007.

Jon R. Sallee, 26, of Nicholasville, Ky., helped to save James M. Polehinke, 44, from burning after a plane crash in Lexington, Ky., on Aug. 27, 2006.

Ross P. Moore, 40, of Dwight, Ontario, saved a 23-year-old man from drowning in Dwight, Ontario, on March 15, 2007.

Wesley James Autrey Sr., 50, of New York, N.Y., saved Cameron P. Hollopeter, 20, from being struck by a train after he fell from a subway platform in New York, N.Y., on Jan. 2, 2007.

Columbus Cook, 49, of Jacksonville, Texas, saved Darrion D. High, 38, from burning in a house fire in Jacksonville, Texas, on April 13, 2007.

Michael J. Carney, 50, of Freeport, Pa., died saving John L. Ressani from being struck by a temper mill roll at a steel company plant in Vandergrift, Pa., on Aug. 24, 2004.

Conrad Fourney, 47, of Boise, Idaho, saved Sarah R. Cox, 57, from drowning after her kayak became pinned on rocks in Banks,

On the Net:

Carnegie Hero Fund Commission: http://www.carnegiehero.org