Features

Roanoke Beautification Foundation still making positive impact on town

Deco Illusions Owner and Roanoke Beautification Foundation Board Member Rick Fischer shows off one of the historic streetlamps strung with lights for the holidays. The streetlamps along First Street are one of the recent projects that the Roanoke Beautification Foundation has completed.
Photo by Joni Knott.

Originally published Nov. 24, 2014.

Created as a means to enhance and revitalize the historic character of Roanoke, the Roanoke Beautification Foundation was established in 1999 and works to make a positive impact on the community.

“The beautification is a 501c3 and it was originally established when the town was going through some renovations, remodeling and updates as a way to create resources,” said Deco Illusions Owner and Roanoke Beautification Foundation Board Member Rick Fischer.

Manly Mentors program seeks to fill role model void for students

Lt. John Brewer of the Huntington Fire Department chats with second grade students Sophie Hart, 8 (left), and Cana Brown, 8, during lunch at Flint Springs Elementary School Friday, Nov. 14. Brewer is part of the school’s Manly Mentors program, which seeks to give students interaction with male role models.
Photo by Rebecca Sandlin.

Originally published Nov. 20, 2014.

Once a week, Craig Martz can count on getting the scoop about the latest games from second-grader Gabe Brooks, as they chat over lunch.

“This is my buddy – we do a lot of talk about gaming,” says Martz, a firefighter with the Huntington Fire Department.

Martz has lots of buddies on Fridays, during lunchtime at Flint Springs Elementary School, as he and two other firefighters, Travis Monsey and Lt. John Brewer, visit with students as part of the school’s new Manly Mentors program.

New Crestview club teaching students about small engines

Larry Eckert (middle), a teacher at Crestview Middle School, helps students Colin Betterly (left) and Jackson Lunsford reassemble a four-stroke lawnmower engine in the school’s Small Engine Club on Tuesday, Nov. 11. Eckert started the club this school year.
Photo by Steve Clark.

Originally published Nov. 17, 2014.

Larry Eckert hopes his Small Engine Club propels students much like the engines they study.

A new club at Crestview Middle School this year, members have had a chance to get their hands on small engines and learn how they work. Eckert, who teaches technology education at the school, liked that Riverview Middle School offered a Technology Club, which gives students the opportunity to repair things around the school, discovering how they function as a result.

Hines returns to county after 30-year absence

Rick Hines.
Photo by Rebecca Sandlin.

After being away from the Huntington County community for about 30 years, Rick Hines is back – this time, in the pulpit as the new pastor of Union Church.

Hines’ official first day on the job was Monday, Nov. 3, after driving the night before from Pittsburgh, PA, where he had been pastoring two churches.

He grew up in Roanoke and graduated from Huntington North High School. From there his journey led him away from Huntington County.

Roanoke Legion poppy chairman has the touch with fund-raising ‘flower’

Pam Worrel, poppy chair for the American Legion Post 160 Ladies’ Auxiliary, displays the Thanksgiving centerpiece she made to showcase the red Buddy Poppies made by area veterans.
Photo provided.

Originally published Nov. 10, 2014.

Pam Worrel makes no claim to any special talent as a floral designer.

"I'm not a decorator," the Roanoke woman says. "I'm a tomboy."

But every month, without fail, a centerpiece materializes at the meeting of the Ladies' Auxiliary to American Legion Post 160, in Roanoke - made by Worrel, and featuring the familiar red "Buddy Poppy."

The poppies, made by veterans at area VA hospitals, are distributed to the community each May, but remain in the forefront of many veterans' organizations throughout the year.

Local resident Forsythe knows first-hand about dyslexia struggles

Dyslexia awareness advocate Scott Forsythe (left) speaks with individuals about dyslexia symptoms and assistive technology after the annual Dyslexia Symposium held at the Allen County Public Library on Saturday, Oct. 11.
Photo by Joni Knott.

Originally published Nov. 6, 2014.

First-hand experience often allows someone to help others struggling through the same issues, acknowledges 17-year-old Huntington County resident and dyslexia awareness advocate Scott Forsythe.

Diagnosed with dyslexia early in life, Forsythe found over time that there were many resources made available to parents and teachers working with dyslexic children, but very little support or tools for the children themselves.

Pathfinder needing cloth donations to keep ‘shop rag’ business going

Material donated to Pathfinder Services’ OutSource Manufacturing industrial wipes business is sorted by (from left) Kari Goetz, of Pathfinder Community Integration; Julie Parrett, sales for OutSource Manufacturing; and Brian Sommers.
Photo by Steve Clark.

Originally published Nov. 3, 2014.

Clothing that no longer fits the wearer, sheets that don't fit the new bed.

Both destined for the thrift shop donation bin.
But what about clothing that's frayed and missing buttons, sheets that have been worn through in spots?

They could very well end up as industrial wipes - shop rags.

Hoffman turns up volume on cancer message with organization of Pink Out Day in Huntington

Dee Hoffman talks to participants in the Flashlight Walk for Awareness Tuesday evening, Oct. 21, in downtown Huntington.
Photo by Cindy Klepper.

Originally published Oct. 27, 2014.

Dee Hoffman isn't shy about spreading her message.

Her otherwise blonde hair is deep pink around her face; a recently added tattoo covers her right forearm in a different shade of pink. It's her "pink armor," she explains.

Pink. It's the color signifying breast cancer, the disease that took her mother's life and disrupted her own.

"Some people are really tired of the big pink thing," Hoffman admits.

Halloween decorating as much fun for homeowner as trick-or-treaters

Rich Sutton, aka “The Prince of Darkness,” welcomes visitors to his home at 954 Poplar St., Huntington, which has been transformed into a ghoulish graveyard.
Photo by Rebecca Sandlin.

When the black, skull-decorated wrought-iron gate swings open Friday night, the "Prince of Darkness" will greet trick-or-treaters and invite them to cross - if they dare - into the graveyard within the confines of the front yard at 954 Poplar St., in Huntington.

It is as much of a treat for the gatekeeper as it is for trick-or-treaters, many of whom return year after year.

The Prince - aka Richard Sutton, who by day is a mild-mannered sales rep for Window World - transforms into the menacing alter ego for one of his very favorite times of the year.

VNT investigators comb through clues to solve botanist’s ’murder’

Viking New Tech forensics class students study evidence gathered at a mock crime scene on Monday, Oct. 13, to determine who committed the crime. Pictured (from left) are Quaid Heyde, Angela Jones, Maddi Kennedy and Tilde Byberg.
Photo by Rebecca Sandlin.

They call it the "murder in the greenhouse."

The body of Betsy Botanist was found in the Huntington North High School greenhouse. She studied wild orchids, said Viking New Tech Science Teacher Paige Humphries.

With clues found at the "murder scene," New Tech students in Humphries' forensics class are using science to solve the fictional whodunit.

"The kids went down (to the greenhouse) and used their techniques from how to collect evidence at the crime scene," Humphries says. "They had to collect evidence and take pictures of the crime scene."

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