Pup nobody wanted is now top dog among hunting beagles

John Brown (left) and Joe Brown pose with Halfway Annie B, the United Kennel Club’s  2010 Hunting Beagle World Champion.
Photo by Cindy Klepper.

Originally published Oct. 25, 2010.

A year ago, Annie was the pup nobody wanted.

This month, she's the top dog.

Halfway Annie B, as she's formally known, outhunted all the other dogs in the race to become the United Kennel Club's 2010 Hunting Beagle World Champion.

"That's about the biggest you can win," says an obviously pleased Joe Brown, who handled Annie during the competition held Oct. 1-3 in Bridgeport, WV. He and his dad, John Brown, both of Huntington, own Annie and about a dozen other hunting beagles.

Local bar association encourages professionalism, respect

Huntington County Bar Association President Amy Richison stands with the sign the association had redone outside the Huntington County Courthouse, which celebrates the landmark “Ex Parte Milligan” Supreme Court ruling involving a Huntington attorney.
Photo by Jessica Williams.

Originally published Oct. 21, 2010.

One local organization provides a voice to Huntington attorneys and allows information from the state level to be passed down to Huntington County.

The Huntington County Bar Association, explains Huntington County Prosecuting Attorney and Association President Amy Richison, is an affiliate of the Indiana State Bar Association. The Huntington association is made up of about 25-30 members, she adds, depending on the number of active attorneys in the county.

Census bureau releases first of ‘flood of information’ about U.S.

Mary Jane Thompson (left), Esther Hinen (back to camera) and Richard Newell play a hand of euchre on Monday, Jan. 3, at the Senior Center in Huntington.
Photo by Cindy Klepper.

Just before Christmas, the U.S. Census Bureau released the first of what will become a flood of information resulting from its 2010 count of the nation's population.

The official purpose of the census - counting the nation's residents every 10 years to determine how many representatives each state will have in the U.S. House - was fulfilled.

Handful of economic development projects has local economy looking stronger in the last several years

Mark Wickersham, executive director of Huntington County United Economic Development, welcomes Helena Chemical for Huntington County during a groundbreaking ceremony for the plant on Dec. 14.
Photo by Cindy Klepper.

The local economy has seen significant improvement for not only 2010, but 2008 and 2009 as well.

During the year just ended, Huntington County saw five new industrial development projects, with a capital investment of over $32 million in Huntington County, notes Mark Wickersham, executive director of Huntington County United Economic Development - the agency charged with attracting new economic development to the county.

Arduous task of Christmas clean-up falls to street dept.

City of Huntington employee Brad Borntreger maneuvers cardboard boxes in the back of his hauler on Monday, Dec. 27, on College Avenue. Along with regular trash pick-up, city employees are picking up holiday trash as well.
Photo by Jessica Williams.

After all the presents, food and festivities of the holiday season, somebody has to clean up the mess.

In Huntington, that arduous task falls to the Huntington Street Department, headed up by Dave Spencer, street commissioner.

"We see about a 30 to 40 percent increase in trash right after Christmas," states Spencer. "It's definitely one of our busiest times of the year."

The post-Christmas trash, he says, includes a list of seemingly random items.

County residents make holiday for less fortunate

Bill Fetrow, director of Love INC, displays one of the food boxes his agency provided to area families in need of a Christmas meal.
Photo by Cindy Klepper.

There are thousands of families out there basking in the glow of Christmas.

For more than 500 of those families, there would have been no Christmas glow if not for the generosity of their fellow Huntington County residents.

Bill Fetrow, director of Love In the Name of Christ, estimates that about 530 families throughout Huntington County received boxes of Christmas cheer through Love INC, The Salvation Army and Karing for Kids.

Locals to again participate in society’s Christmas bird count

Betty Jo Wallace has been bird watching for about 25 years, including participation in the annual National Audubon Society Christmas bird count for Huntington County, which will be held Jan. 1, 2011.
Photo provided.

Huntington residents could see some cool sights in the sky if they'd open their eyes, according to local birdwatcher Betty Jo Wallace.

The Christmas bird count is just a way for those interested in bird watching to get involved.

Wallace and her mother-in-law, Ellen Eppard, organize the Huntington County Christmas Count independently and send the compiled information to the Indiana chapter of the National Audubon Society. Wallace has been bird watching for about 25 years. Eppard is the representative for Huntington and she's been birding for over 30 years.

Italian native notes similarities, differences in Christmas celebrations

Giuseppe (left) and Julie Ceravolo display the nativity scene in their home in rural Huntington. The “presepe,” or nativity scene, is more prominent in Giuseppe Ceravolo’s native country of Italy than a Christmas tree is during the holiday season.
Photo by Jessica Williams.

It's been years since Huntington resident Giuseppe Ceravolo has celebrated Christmas back home in Italy.

And even though traditions have changed over time, he doesn't mind reminiscing about the past.
Ceravolo says there are similarities between the two countries' customs because Italian traditions were brought overseas long ago.

But, he says, there are also a number of differences from how he used to celebrate Christmas and how his Catholic family - wife, Julie, and sons, Alex, 21, and Raphael, 20 - celebrates in America.

Meshing of traditions gives Bosnian couple 2 Christmases

Bosnian immigrants Ira (left) and Dalibor Bencun have meshed their country’s Christmas traditions with those of the United States, and because of that celebrate two Christmases.
Photo by Jessica Williams.

A Bosnian family living in Huntington has meshed its own holiday traditions from home with those of America, a compromise that includes the celebration of two Christmases.

Ira Bencun moved to Huntington in December 2004 after meeting her future husband, Dalibor. They are from the same town, Kakanj in central Bosnia, but she says they didn't meet until he was home visiting his family after he had already moved to America in the late 1990s.

In January 2005, the couple married in America; in December 2005, their son Stribor was born here.

Familar face at local bank soon to retire after serving bank, community for long time

Steve Zahn, CEO and chairman of the board of directors for First Federal Savings Bank, seen in his office on Friday, Dec. 10, will retire at the end of this month.
Photo by Matt Murphy.

A familiar face at a local bank will soon be celebrating his retirement after 46 years of service, including 25 as the bank's president.

Steve Zahn, CEO and chairman of the board of directors for First Federal Savings Bank, has announced his retirement effective Dec. 31. Although leaving the CEO post, Zahn will continue to remain as president of First Federal's Board of Directors, and will keep his office at the North Jefferson Street location.

Santa’s magic present all year for one couple in Huntington

Phyllis and George Pieper, of Huntington, have a massive collection of Santa Claus items, and many are displayed all year round in their home. Their first Santa was purchased in 1964.
Photo by Jessica Williams.

Santa's magic is present every day of the year in the lives of one Huntington couple.

Phyllis and George Pieper have amassed a collection of 400 to 500 Santa Claus items, and most are displayed at their home in northwest Huntington County all year round.

Abandoned Roanoke cemetery has been ‘bustling with life’

John “Walt” Walters fills a large crack in a repaired tombstone at an abandoned cemetery in Roanoke on Wednesday, Oct. 13.
Photo by Cindy Klepper.

Originally published Oct. 18, 2010.

For the most part, John "Walt" Walters' job is a solitary occupation.

He spends his days in cemeteries, face to face with tombstones that communicate little but the essential facts about the person beneath the ground.

Last week's job at an abandoned cemetery near Roanoke, though, was different. The cemetery was bustling with local volunteers helping Walters and his two co-workers straighten and repair the stones dotting the burial ground.

Post office seeing major uptick in shipping boxes this season

Huntington Post Office clerks Ragena Mittan (left) and Jenny Smith scan some of the packages that flooded the Post Office on Tuesday, Nov. 30. The Post office staff says that more holiday packages are being shipped earlier than ever before.
Photo by Cindy Klepper.

The boxes just keep coming.

So many boxes, in fact, that the Huntington Post Office is already seeing Christmas shipping records set and shattered.

Julie Przybylinski, supervisor of customer services at the local post office, says the growing popularity of online shopping can be credited with the uptick in post office business - which became very evident when UPS made its daily delivery on Tuesday, Nov. 30.

"Normally, we don't hit over 200 packages until well into December," Przybylinski says. "Last year, it was quite a ways into the holiday season."

Local man donates WWII photos to Smithsonian Institution, D.C.

Former Army Air Corps gunner/aerial photographer Bill Jones (fourth from left) presents his scrapbook of photographs and other memorabilia to representatives of the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C. on Monday, Sept. 27.
Photo provided.

Originally published Oct. 14, 2010.

A Huntington World War II-era veteran and aerial photographer has donated his collection of World War II-era photographs and memorabilia to the National Air and Space Museum of the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C.

On Monday, Sept. 27, William "Bill" Jones, 84, traveled to Washington, along with three other members of the Hoosier Warbirds, Inc., to present his scrapbook of photographs and memorabilia - valued at $42,000 -from the end of the Pacific Theater campaign.

‘Getting out of Dodge’ not the direction taken by HU senior

Huntington University student Jackie Bashop (right) shares a moment with Meghan Menchofer, match grant caseworker and employment specialist at World Relief Fort Wayne, where Bashop interned this semester.
Photo provided.

At 22 years old, most people are finishing school, finding jobs or possibly planning weddings and raising a family.

But for Huntington University senior Jackie Bashop, her focus lies in a different area - changing lives.

Bashop, an educational ministry major, grew up in Roanoke and graduated from Huntington North High School.

Her plan was simple: work hard, get good grades, graduate and "get out of Dodge."

Local soldier excels as she continues family legacy

Command Sgt. Major Jon Smith (left), Indiana Recruiting and Retention Command, presents Pfc. Alyssia Brown with a minuteman statue during an awards ceremony and banquet in Indianapolis on Nov. 22.
Photo provided.

Army Basic Combat Training can be a daunting hurdle for anybody joining the military. Army Pfc. Alyssia Brown completed basic when she was a junior at Huntington North High School.

Army Advanced Individual Training to become a military police officer can also sound intimidating to those thinking of joining the armed forces. Brown enlisted before she turned 18, and graduated at the top of her class.

Lintz reunites with Canadian pen pal after 42 years of words

Archie Lintz (left), of Huntington, meets with his Canadian pen pal Marilyn Webb on Saturday, Oct. 2 at the Lintz home on North Jefferson Street. The two have written each other since the late 1960s.
Photo by Jessica Williams.

Originally publsihed Oct. 11, 2010.

After decades of mail correspondence, Huntington resident Archie Lintz was recently reunited with a pen pal for the first time since 1968 on Sept. 29.

Lintz and his wife Lu Anne played the role of tour guide for six days for pen pal Marilyn Webb and her husband David, visiting from the Vancouver, British Columbia area.

Lintz says he has had many pen pals in his life because he enjoys writing and has a curiosity about people around the world.

Pieces of Harry Potter have made way into lives of HU professor and wife

Huntington University professor and Huntington resident Tanner Babb stands in front of some items on display at the Huntington City-Township Public Library from the Harry Potter collection he and his wife Julie have.
Photo by Jessica Williams.

Pieces of Harry Potter have made their way into the lives - and home - of Huntington University psychology professor Tanner Babb and his wife Julie.

The Huntington residents are displaying their Harry Potter collection at the Huntington City-Township Public Library in anticipation of the latest installment of the young wizard's story, which hits theaters Friday, Nov. 19.

Varsity Singers to host 26th annual Pomp and Plenty gala

The Huntington North High School Varsity Singers will present their annual Pomp and Plenty dinner concert on Saturday, Nov. 20, with the concert repeated on Sunday, Nov. 21.
Photo provided.

The Huntington North Varsity Singers will host their 26th annual Pomp and Plenty gala, with the theme of "Let's Go to the Movies," on Saturday and Sunday, Nov. 20 and 21, at Huntington North High School.

The Huntington North jazz band will begin each of the three shows with a performance.

On Saturday, dinner will be served at 6 p.m. The menu includes chicken and noodles, mashed potatoes, green beans, tossed salad, homemade yeast rolls, apple a la mode and a beverage.

Deer season just getting rolling in Hoosier state

Gary Hunter, a Wabash County resident who lives near Salamonie Reservoir, signs in at Sign-in Station No. 2 at Salamonie Reservoir on Friday, Nov. 5. Firearm deer hunting season is set to begin this weekend.
Photo by Matt Murphy.

Coming off of the second-largest deer harvest Indiana has ever seen last year, early archery deer season is in full swing and firearm deer season begins Saturday, Nov. 13.

Salamonie and J. Edward Roush Reservoirs are ready for the large numbers of hunters that will take to the fields this weekend.

"We encourage people to spend a lot of time out in the field scouting for deer," says Dennis White, property manager at Salamonie. "The entire property is good for deer."

Firearm and early archery deer seasons will end Sunday, Nov. 28.

Carmichael working way up as actress and model

Sabrina Carmichael.
Photo provided.

Originally published Oct. 7, 2010.

Former Huntington resident and Huntington North High School graduate Sabrina Carmichael is working her way up the Hollywood ladder as an actress and model.

‘Fair local trading point’ now just a cluster on the road

This building at the intersection of Ind.-124 and CR 300E, in Plum Tree, formerly housed Doris and Herschel Simpson’s lumberyard, blacksmith and auto garage businesses. The Simpsons’ business served as one of the social hubs for the town.
Photo by Matt Murphy.

Orignally published Sept. 27, 2010.

At the intersection of Ind.-124 and CR 300E in southwest Huntington County, a silent breeze swings through the town of Plum Tree, Indiana.

Buildings recognizable as businesses and a still-active church cluster the intersection of the roads. But when the church is not meeting, or the handful of residents stay inside, there are no people.

Cars whiz by on the state road, and the bridge carrying Ind.-124 over I-69 is within view to the west.

Froebel Club hails century mark as place for moms to socialize

Members of the Froebel Club gather at the home of club President Jane Witt on Sept. 15 to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the club.
Photo by Cindy Klepper.

Originally published Sept. 23, 2010.

The Froebel Club of Huntington is celebrating its 100th anniversary this month as a group for mothers to gather and socialize.

The club was organized in Huntington in May 1910 by Mary Grayston and Dessie May Sloan Potts (Morrison). The first meeting was held Sept. 21, 1910, and included 18 charter members.

New HU digital media arts program director hits ground running

Phillip Hall sits at his newly acquired office desk during the first week of class after accepting the director of the digital media arts program position at Huntington University. Hall, a computer animator, is a native of Richmond, VA.
Photo by Jessica Williams.

Originally published Sept. 16, 2010.

Digital animator Phillip Hall has fulfilled his childhood dream by working on animation teams for feature films such as "Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs" and "Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Squeakquel," as well as video games including "Red Dead Redemption," "Indiana Jones," and "Back to the Future."

Now the Richmond, VA, native has stepped into the classroom after accepting the position of director of the digital and media arts program at Huntington University.

HU senior spends summer interning in Washington, D.C., for Sen. Brown

Huntington University senior Clint Smith poses with Sen. Scott Brown (R-Mass.) in Washington, D.C. during the past summer. Smith nabbed a prestigious congressional internship in Brown’s office for 10 weeks in July and August.
Photo provided.

Originally published Sept. 13, 2010.

A Huntington University political science major beat out more than 1,000 applicants to land a coveted internship in a U.S. Senator's office in Washington, D.C., this summer.

Clint Smith, a senior at HU, was one of 1,100 college students who submitted applications to Sen. Scott Brown's (R-Mass.) office for just 30 summer internships.
The Union City, IN, native originally saw the internship on the social networking website Facebook and heard about the position from his cousin who works for Sen. Richard Lugar (R-Ind.).

Heritage of Huntington beating the odds with its large group of centenarians

Centenarians and near-centenarians who live at The Heritage of Huntington are (from left) Paul Smith, Bill Poling, Juanita Young, Helen Bradburn, Helen Husband, Gertie Goble, Frances Lawver and Florence Schell. Not pictured is Helen Naab.
Photo by Cindy Klepper.

Originally published Sept. 6, 2010.

You expect to find older people at The Heritage of Huntington.

After all, the facility does specialize in assisted living and nursing care for Senior Citizens.

But residents at The Heritage who have lived a mere nine decades no longer qualify as the most senior among them.
Nine of the current 111 residents of The Heritage have reached or are about to reach 100 years.

"I think it's unusual," says Carla Wintrode, activities director at The Heritage, to have that many centenarians among the home's population.

Hubartt says he was ‘born inspired’ to be an artist

Paul Hubartt works on a new piece in his shop at his home in Warren on Monday, Aug. 23. The artist has specialized in woodcarving since his retirement, crafting intricate canes and walking sticks.
Photo by Matt Murphy.

Originally published Sept. 2, 2010.

There are artists who need patterns for their designs.

There are artists who need a stimulus to craft a piece.

Then there are artists like Paul Hubartt, who can simply sit down and create.

"When I was a kid, I didn't want to be anything but an artist," Hubartt says. "I was born inspired."

Hubartt, a Warren resident, has been involved in art his entire life and has picked up on woodcarving since his retirement two decades ago.

Wileys know a thing or two about supporting HNHS athletics

Debbie (left) and Joe Wiley are retiring from heading up the Huntington North Viking Pride Adult Booster Club after spending more than 27 years working with the organization.
Photo by Andre B. Laird.

Previously published Aug. 26, 2010.

When it comes to supporting Huntington North High School's athletic program, Joe and Debbie Wiley know a thing or two on the subject.

The couple is stepping down from heading up the Huntington North Viking Pride Adult Booster Club after more than 27 years of service.

Flint Springs teacher ‘had a blast’ in her time as Derby Girl

Annette Stoffel sits at her desk at Flint Springs Elementary School, where she teaches fourth grade. Stoffel skated two seasons with the Fort Wayne Derby Girls.
Photo by Jessica Williams.

Originally published Aug. 23, 2010.

"Hard hittin', charity driven" isn't a motto full of empty promises for the Fort Wayne Derby Girls, as Huntington resident and former skater Annette Stoffel can attest to from experience.

Stoffel skated two seasons for the Derby Girls as "Trouble's A BREWin'" in 2008 and 2009.

She is currently a fourth grade teacher at Flint Springs and has been a teacher in Huntington County Community School Corporation since 1993. She has also taught kindergarten, second, third and fifth grades.

Master Gardeners offer residents chance to mingle while learning more about the hobby

Master Gardeners (from left) Kay Lilie and Liz Snively check on the zinnias at the Master Gardeners’ garden outside the Upper Wabash Interpretive Services Center at Salamonie Reservoir on Monday, Aug. 9.
Photo by Jessica Williams.

Originally published Aug. 19, 2010.

The Master Gardeners program in Huntington County offers residents the chance to mingle, enjoy a common interest with other people and both teach and learn more about the hobby, members say.

The program, part of the Huntington County Purdue Extension Office, is about 10 years old, says Ed Farris, Extension educator.

The gardens the club maintains at the Forks of the Wabash Historic Park and at the Upper Wabash Interpretive Services Center at Salamonie Reservoir are educational gardens, Farris says.