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."

Hoffman’s forward deployment in U.S. Navy teaches him plenty about life’s stresses

Landon Hoffman recently returned home to Huntington after serving in the United States Navy for six years, the last four coming in Southeast Asia aboard the USS John S. McCain.
Photo provided.

Originally published Oct. 16, 2014.

Landon Hoffman hopes he paid all of his bills in Japan.

Hoffman recently returned home to Huntington after serving in the United States Navy for six years. He spent the last four of those years in southeast Asia, where he had a house in the Japanese city of Yokosuka.

All the mail he received was in Japanese, which had the effect of making bills and junk mail almost indistinguishable.

"I think I paid everything," he says. "But I have no idea."

County’s oldest WWII veteran saw beginning, end of that war

Hayden Miller (right), Huntington County’s oldest World War II veteran, will serve as grand marshal for the veterans’ parade in Huntington on Nov. 8.
Photo by Cindy Klepper.

Conflicts around the world had been growing more volatile for a decade, and the United States was worried.

So worried that, in 1940, the nation - for the first time ever - started drafting men into the military during peacetime.

By early the following year, Hayden Miller was a part of that military. He saw the beginning, and the end, of World War II during his five years in the service.

Miller was drafted into the United States Army on April 12, 1941.

HU students give taste of college life to area elementary students

Huntington University students teach children from Noble County Schools about Pocahontas  at a history department station during the Walk into My Future event sponsored by the Noble County Promise at Huntington University on Oct.1.
Photo by Joni Knott.

Originally published Oct. 9, 2014.

The students who got their first taste of college life last week at Huntington University weren't quite ready to sign up - but, someday, they will be.

"We want these students to experience what college life is like with the desire that they want to attend college when they graduate from high school," says Nate Perry, director of undergraduate admissions at Huntington University.

Recent show brings Williams’ passion in front of community

L.D. Williams, of Huntington, holds the USS Cairo, one of 25 boats he has handcrafted over the years. Williams recently had an exhibition of some of the vessels at Miller’s Merry Manor.
Photo by Rebecca Sandlin.

Originally published Oct. 6, 2014.

For 30 years, L.D. Williams' passion consisted of bits of wood, copper tubing, string and glue - which, in his capable hands, became detailed works of folk art in the form of boats.

And not just "boats."

Williams' work depicts vessels of all kinds down to the most minute details.

In the course of those 30 years, he has made 25 boats, some as long as four feet and other less than a foot in length. Every one of them is different and has its own unique features.

4-H project snowballs into big things for local youth

Alexandra Forsythe (right) shows off Hoodini, an eastern screech owl and permanent resident of Soarin’ Hawk Raptor Rehab, to a group of adults and children after the facility’s Race 4 Birds fund-raiser Sept. 13.
Photo by Joni Knott.

Originally published Oct. 2, 2014.

Alexandra Forsythe is a busy 15-year old dedicated to her community and the surrounding wildlife.

She's also the Indiana Audubon Society's first ever Young Birder of the Year and the recipient of the Charles D. Wise Youth Conservation Award.

As a youth advisor, presenter and speaker, webmaster and member, Forsythe volunteers her time to different avian societies and nature clubs and organizations.

KIM League bears one name, but many have contributed

Play is about ready to commence during a game in a recent season of the KIM League, the Parkview Huntington Family YMCA’s youth basketball program, which is celebrating its 50th anniversary this year.
Photo provided.

Originally publilshed Sept. 29, 2014.

The KIM League, the youth basketball program at the Parkview Huntington Family YMCA, may bear the name of one person, but it's been built on the contributions of several.

The league is celebrating its 50th anniversary this year and a legacy of contribution stretches back to the league's founding in the late 1950s, when it was called the Midget Basketball League. A local resident, Ez Williams, ran the league, which was for fourth through sixth grade boys who didn't make their elementary school teams.

New Tech students get a ‘taste’ of real world

Huntington North High School New Tech students unpack boxes of microwave popcorn at Love In The Name of Christ, as part of a service component in their training program.
Photo by Rebecca Sandlin.

Originally published Sept. 25, 2014.

Some students in Huntington North High School's New Tech program are finding ways to make delicious, healthful recipes out of food that is donated to others.

The sophomore chemistry and language arts classes spent some time Friday, Sept. 18, at Love In The Name of Christ, touring the food pantry and learning about how Love INC serves families in need of groceries.

The field trip was part of a month-long project to take what the students have learned in New Tech and put it to use in a real-life situation.

State award goes to Huntington’s Gernand for efforts to preserve history, structures

Jean Gernand (left) is all smiles after she is presented with the State of Indiana Distinguished Hoosier Award on Wednesday, Sept. 17, by Huntington Mayor Brooks Fetters.
Photo by Rebecca Sandlin.

A Huntington resident was honored on Wednesday, Sept. 17, with one of the state's most prestigious awards, marking a lifetime of service to the community that is still ongoing.

Jean Gernand was presented the Distinguished Hoosier Award from Gov. Mike Pence during a meeting of the Huntington County Historical Society, in honor of her service to Huntington County, especially in preserving its history and historical structures.