Charities, food pantries know needs extend beyond holiday

Photo by Cindy Klepper.

The Christmas season is traditionally a season of giving - and for most people, that giving extends to local charities.

Thanks to what local Salvation Army Capt. Barbara McCauley calls an "overwhelming" outpouring of support, her organization was able to provide Christmas toys and food to about 130 Huntington families.

Love INC made Christmas brighter for some 340 more families, thanks to the efforts of local churches and community members, says Kyle Miller, Love's ministry coordinator.

"We've been incredibly blessed," Miller says.


Many benefit from Nutter’s late-life plunge into volunteerism

Photo by Cindy Klepper.

Originally published Dec. 24, 2012.

Born in Chicago and making her way through five states before settling in the small Huntington County community of Warren some 40 years ago, Lilly Nutter has fallen in love with her adopted hometown, and the people in it.

"It's a beautiful place," Nutter says from her small - and tightly packed - apartment in the retirement community of Heritage Pointe.


Flint Springs parent builds her involvement with LEGO Club

Photo by Andre B. Laird.

Originally published Dec. 20, 2012.

If you build it, they will come. And they did.

Huntington resident and Flint Springs parent Keely Oswald combined her sons' love for LEGOS and her desired to be more involved in school activities and started a LEGO Club at the school.

"There aren't many clubs for younger kids so I decided to start the club for second and third-graders," Oswald states. "I talked it over with the principal, Cindy Kiefer, and she gave me the go-ahead."

Oswald says the club started meeting in October and meets twice each month.


HCCSC teacher serves on state board for IDOE because she’d rather drive than ride

Photo provided.

Originally published Dec. 17, 2012.

Huntington County Community School teacher Cari Whicker says if she is going to take the bus, she'd rather drive than ride - a philosophy that has landed her a position serving on the state board for the Indiana Department of Education.

Whicker has been teaching in Huntington County for 16 years. Fifteen of those years have been spent working in Huntington, with the past 14 years spent at Riverview Middle School, where she has been teaching language arts to sixth-graders.

Whicker says she loves teaching sixth grade.


Roanoke resident’s approach to modeling has changed big time

Photo by Steve Clark.

Originally published Dec. 13, 2012.

Dan Drake's approach to model making has changed considerably since his youth.

"When you were a kid, you would glue the parts together as fast as you could and sit it on the shelf and then, eventually, it would die by firecracker," he says.

Today, it's not uncommon for Drake, a Roanoke resident, to spend four to six months working on a model, striving to make sure it looks as authentic as possible and communicates a message.


Library’s Alphabet Zoo program helping youngsters prepare for lifetime of learning

Photo by Cindy Klepper.

Originally published Dec. 10, 2012.

The children sit in the middle of a rug in a darkened room, wiggling and squirming for a better view as each letter on the rug's border gets its time in the spotlight.

"Does anyone know what letter this is?" asks Jan Perkins, a one-woman tech crew wielding a flashlight.
Some of the children do; some don't. They slide over to the spotlight and study the letter intently, sometimes using their fingers to trace the letter's outline.


Huntington couple doesn’t wait for Santa Claus to come to them

Photo by Steve Clark.

Originally published Dec. 6, 2012.

Jim and Rita Dinius don't wait for Santa Claus to come to them.

They go to him.

The Huntington couple has been collecting Santa Claus memorabilia since the 1990s. Since then, they say, they've accumulated some 400 different pieces.

"Rita started collecting Precious Moments dolls, so I had to collect something," says Jim Dinius. "So, we started collecting Santa Clauses, wherever we went."
The places where the couple has found Santa Clauses are as varied as the types of Santa Clauses in its collection.


Warren-area girl’s card design helps light Christmas season

Photo by Cindy Klepper.

Originally published Dec. 3, 2012.

When the Christmas cards start flying from mailbox to mailbox this season, Dalaney Vickrey's name is likely to be on a good number of them.

Not as the signer, but as the designer.

The 11-year-old, who lives on a livestock farm near Warren with parents Bret and Carin and younger brother Owen, created one of the five designs being offered on this year's Riley Holiday Cards.


County native gets honor for work in satellite technology field

Photo provided.

Originally published Nov. 29, 2012.

Huntington County native Larry Bell's job is classified information. It's so top-secret that he can't even tell you what he does.

What the 1977 Huntington North grad can tell you is that he works for the National Reconnaissance Office (NRO) as a civilian employee.

The NRO is one of 16 U.S. intelligence agencies.