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.

Folklorists, scientists don’t see eye-to-eye on weather forecasting

Linda Urschel, a Huntington University English professor and a fan of folklore, says traditional ways of predicting winter weather vary by region.
Photo by Cindy Klepper.

Originally published Sept. 18, 2014.

Seen a wooly worm lately?

If you have, you can call yourself a weather forecaster.
"The more black they have on them, the harder the winter is going to be," says Dr. Linda Urschel, a Huntington University professor who specializes in collecting folklore and urban legends.

Pet Food Supply Closet does more than feed four-legged friends

Jennifer Green (right), of Markle, is all smiles after she receives a bag of dog food from Michael Saunders (center) and Jacob Enyart at the First Presbyterian Church’s Pet Food Supply Closet Wednesday, Sept. 10.
Photo by Rebecca Sandlin.

Originally published Sept. 15. 2014.

While a local church's ministry may be to feed the four-legged members of some Huntington County families, its mission is to minister to the spiritual needs of their two-legged caretakers as well.

The Pet Food Supply Closet, which is one of First Presbyterian Church's community outreach programs, began about 10 months ago, says Kim Wood, a church member and volunteer in charge of the pantry. She says the pantry sought to meet a need in families struggling to feed their pets.

13 years after being in the middle of 9-11 attacks, local woman starting to feel normal

Huntington resident Carolyn Allen holds a photo taken of some of the U.S. Airways employees who helped her get to safety during the terror attack on the Pentagon in Washington, DC, that occurred on Sept. 11, 2001.
Photo by Rebecca Sandlin.

Originally published Sept. 11, 2014.

Thirteen years after the terrorist attacks on U.S. soil, Carolyn Allen is finally beginning to feel normal again, after finding herself in the middle of the chaos that fateful day of Sept. 11, 2001.

The Huntington native and current resident - who was living at the time in Fort Lauderdale, FL - recounts the devastation she witnessed as a passenger on a U.S. Airways plane bound for New York City. It was supposed to make a stop first in Washington, DC.

Jones now teaching others about being ‘new kid on block’

Sisters Daneia Jones (left) and Tashnah Dixon came from Jamaica to attend Huntington University, where Jones serves on the executive board of the International Student Council, a group designed to help international students ease into life at HU.
Photo by Cindy Klepper.

Originally published Sept. 8, 2014.

Daneia Jones is an old hand at being new.

Everything was new when she came to Huntington University from Jamaica three years ago.

Now, she's got it figured out - so much so that she's guiding her little sister, Tashnah Dixon, through her first year at HU, and reaching out to other international students.

Health and wellness start-up group reaping benefits for six

Nannette Jones (center) tries her hand at keeping a hula hoop going at the Huntington Free Health Clinic, as her husband, R.B. Jones, and Clinic Director Rosemary Wagner (left) look on during a meeting of the Pilot Crew 150 group on Wednesday, Aug. 27.
Photo by Rebecca Sandlin.

Originally published Sept. 1, 2014.

A 90-day health and wellness start-up program has already reaped multiple benefits for six Huntington residents, and the program still has a month to go.

The group has dubbed itself "Pilot Crew 150," for being the first group in a new program started by Huntington Free Clinic Director Rosemary Wagner, and for their collective goal to lose 150 pounds.

Ride in the clouds dream happens for local woman

Kammy Updegrove (second from right) and her sister, Kimm Loewen (far right), prepare to fly away in a hot air balloon piloted by Chris Smart (left) on Friday, Aug. 22.
Photo by Rebecca Sandlin.

Originally published Aug. 28, 2014.

Sometimes, it takes a village to make dreams come true.

Such was the case when one woman's dream became reality, when friends and family chipped in to make it happen.

Kammy Updegrove, a client of Pathfinder Services, has Down Syndrome. Now the Huntington resident is also feeling the effects of the beginnings of Alzheimer's disease. But even with her diminishing capabilities, her spirit soars high. And it was her wish to soar high in the clouds, riding in a hot air balloon.

New Hope ‘work crew’ gets creative to help secretary’s handicapped son

Barbara Hilterbrand (second from left) poses with fellow members of New Hope United Brethren Church, in Huntington, who have renovated her house to enhance its wheelchair-accessibility for her son, Jeff (front center).
Photo by Steve Clark.

Originally published Aug. 25, 2014.

Rev. Ray Seilhamer, of New Hope United Brethren Church, jokes that Barbara Hilterbrand has changed her mind "1,300 times" regarding the renovation of her house, in Huntington.

Despite Hilterbrand's wavering, her final vision for the house has remained the same: make it accessible for her son.

Admitted bookworm right at home as new HCTPL exec director

Rebecca Lemons, the Huntington City-Township Public Library’s new executive director, stands next to an exhibit of local artifacts housed in the library’s Indiana Room.
Photo by Rebecca Sandlin.

Originally published Aug. 21, 2014.

Early on, Rebecca Lemons' passion was books.

A self-described bookworm, she cherished them as a child; then later, in high school, she worked in the school's library. In college, she got a new job in the academic library.

All the while, she deliberated about what she wanted to do in life.

"I was in the library a lot, so that's what I kind of started doing by default," explains the new executive director of the Huntington City-Township Public Library.
"Because I was there, I might as well work there.

Mixed feelings on first day of school ever

Lincoln Elementary School kindergarten teacher Elizabeth Shively passes out snacks to her pupils during break time in her classroom on the first day of school Wednesday, Aug. 13.
Photo by Rebecca Sandlin.

Originally published Aug. 18, 2014.

It wasn't just the first day of school for the students in Elizabeth Shively's class, it was the first day of school ever.

For the 20-some kids in her Lincoln Elementary School kindergarten class, the day was new, exciting, challenging and even a little bit scary.

"I was really excited before I even started school," said an exuberant Ashlyn Kipp. "I got new school shoes!"

Love INC ministry coordinator gets joy from mission being served

Kyle Metzger pauses during a moment at work as the new ministry coordinator at Love in The Name of Christ. Metzger, who has been on the job about three months, is originally from Findlay, OH.
Photo by Rebecca Sandlin.

Originally published Aug. 14, 2014.

The joy that Kyle Metzger receives from helping his fellow man is not just in seeing them receive a helping hand, but in giving them the opportunity to grab their bootstraps with their own hands and help themselves.

Metzger has been in the position of ministry coordinator at Love In the Name of Christ for only three months, but already he has helped an average of 30 families a month to combat the spiral of poverty.

Good Samaritan comes through at several intersection crashes

Karri Davis stands at the intersection of Ind.-9 and CR100N, dubbed one of the most dangerous intersections in Huntington County. Davis, who lives within earshot of the highway, has responded to several vehicle crashes that have occurred there.
Photo by Rebecca Sandlin.

Originally published Aug. 11, 2014.

It was the day of their 61st anniversary, June 26.

Harold and Louise Campbell were headed home to Warren from a luncheon celebration in Fort Wayne when their car collided with another vehicle at one of Huntington County's most dangerous crossroads, the intersection of Ind.-9 and CR100N.

"That's where we saw a car go in front of us and my husband says, ‘Oh, it looks like we're going to hit him!' So I kind of braced myself," says Louise Campbell. "I guess that was the wrong thing to do."

Northwest principal says education is calling

Mark Dubois, new principal at Northwest Elementary School, stands next to the school’s new sign near its front entrance. Dubois previously worked at Riverview Middle School as assistant principal and replaces Terry Pierce, who retired last year.
Photo by Lauren Winterfeld.

Originally published Aug. 11, 2014.

Mark Dubois is settling into his new position as principal of Northwest Elementary School as students at Northwest, and in other Huntignton County schools, prepare to return to classes on Wednesday, Aug. 13.

"The education profession has been my calling in life," says DuBois.

He succeeds former school principal Terry Pierce, who retired at the end of the 2013-14 school year.

Smart Girls Club successful in keeping teens from being teen moms

Smart Girls Club members (from left to right) Tosha Davis, 16; Angel Medsker, 17; and Danielle Lyons, 16, share a laugh on Monday, July 7, at the Parkview Boys & Girls Club of Huntington County.
Photo by Rebecca Sandlin.

Originally published Aug. 7, 2014.

There's no shying away from hot topics in the Smart Girls Club. Sometimes serious, sometimes hilarious, but always on point: abstinence is the best way for a young lady to stay safe and keep her self esteem high.

Therapeutic horse riding in Roanoke helping students become ‘winners’

Rider Kaylee Hinkley, 13, of Roanoke, gets some exercise in on horseback using hand weights as volunteers lead and spot her horse during a therapeutic riding session on July 10 at Oak Hill Farm.
Photo by Rebecca Sandlin.

Originally published Aug. 4, 2014.

Summer Duggins is a winner, even though some may not notice it at first.

Born a "micro-preemie" at 24 weeks with both physical and mental disabilities, Summer has learned to overcome her physical obstacles - on horseback.

Duggins, 12, of Fort Wayne, has a weekly appointment with Strutty, an American Quarter Horse at Oak Hill Farm in Roanoke. She's been riding at the stable since she was 3.