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.

Huntington University teaching group making connections with Chinese that could be long-term

Dr. Susan Burson, an education professor at Huntington University, teaches a class at Yung Wing Primary School in Zhuhai, China, in July.
Photo provided.

Update: On Sept. 28, 2010, Huntington University officially announced the signing of a five-year contract with Doumen School District in Zhuhai, China.

The contract will begin in 2011 and allows HU’s Institute for TESOL Studies to offer English training in the school district for the next half-decade. The ITS hopes that the contract will open up more opportunities for interaction between the Doumen School District, HU and the Huntington County Community School Corporation.

REMC operations dept. beating odds with 5 sets of twins

Five men who are employed at United REMC in Markle are the fathers of twins, ranging in age from 7 years to 1 year, as well as a single oldest child.
Photo by Jessica Williams.

Originally published Aug. 16, 2010.

The National Center for Health Statistics reports in a 2004 study that out of every 1,000 live births, 32 sets of twins are born.

United REMC in Markle surpasses these odds as five men in the operations department have fathered twins. And to add to the similarities, each set of the United REMC twins has one older sibling.

Six-year REMC employee Joe Williams' daughters are the oldest of the 15 odds-shattering kids. Rylee, 10, is the older sister of Makinzee and Preslee, who were born on Jan. 27, 2003.

Bracken ... established out of necessity ... faded into obscurity

This sign, seen from southbound Ind.-105 alerting drivers to Bracken’s presence, is part of what little is left of the agricultural community of Bracken. The former Warren Township District School 2, a one-room schoolhouse, can be seen on the left.
Photo by Matt Murphy.

Originally published Aug. 5, 2010.

"Thus it is seen that Bracken ... was established out of necessity."

Taken from a 1910 edition of "The Morning Times," not many other statements explain the rise - and fall - of Bracken, now a "ghost town" of Huntington County.

Tucked away in the northwest corner of the county along Ind.-105, Bracken was a typical agricultural community upon which Warren Township residents relied for essential supplies and services before the age of the automobile and modern highway design.

Thank you, Huntington County, for 25 great years in business

The Huntington County TAB co-owners Russ Grindle (left) and Scott Trauner hold the original sign they made to put over their first location at 1751 B N. Jefferson St., Huntington, when they started the newspaper 25 years ago.
Photo by Cindy Klepper.

Twenty-five years ago this week, on the third Monday of September 1985 - Sept. 16, 1985, to be exact - the first Huntington County TAB was published.

That seems like a lifetime ago, and technically, it is to a generation of Huntington County residents who have been born since then, and have always had The TAB available to them.

In some respects, it seems unbelievable to us, because back then, it was all about getting our foot in the door and getting off the ground.

HU grads serving as teeth in the gear of Cameroon’s economy

Taryn (left) and Dan Fleming are working as support staff with Wycliffe Bible Translation in Yaoundé, Cameroon. The Huntington University graduates recently completed a six-month term in the country, and will return in August for a one-year commitment.
Photo by Matt Murphy.

Originally published July 26, 2010.

Last month, two Huntington University graduates returned from a six-month sojourn working in Cameroon, a central African country along the Atlantic Coast, with Wycliffe Bible Translators, experiencing a completely different culture while ultimately serving as teeth in the gear that is Cameroon's developing economy.

Resurrected Pulse Opera House enjoying reborn status as one of downtown Warren’s attractions

Cynthia Smyth-Wartzok and Ron Wartzok have been involved with Pulse Opera House in downtown Warren since 1986. The historic building was built in 1884 by Civil War veteran Silas Pulse.
Photo by Jessica Williams.

Originally published July 19, 2010.

One two-story Warren landmark has brought people together for well over a century through shopping, dancing, town meetings and most notably theatre.

After a 16-year period of non-use from 1970-1986, Cynthia Smyth-Wartzok and her husband, Ron Wartzok, have resurrected the Pulse Opera House to bring back the life it once had.

EMA deputy wants everyone ready for emergency

Brian Topp, deputy director of the Huntington County Emergency Management Agency, stands by items in an example emergency kit. September is National Preparedness Month and the EMA is encouraging Huntington County residents to prepare for disasters.
Photo by Jessica Williams.

September is the seventh annual National Preparedness Month, and Brian Topp, deputy director of the Huntington County Emergency Management Agency, wants to make sure Huntington citizens are ready for any emergency that may come their way.

"... People having a source for basic needs - I mean very, very basic needs - is very important for that first 24, 48, 72 hours. Outside of that, we have plans in place to bring that stuff in, but that takes time..."

Businesses again facing off in friendly competition

Employees of area businesses participate in last year’s Battle of the Businesses Fun Walk, held at Kriegbaum Field. The program, sponsored by the YMCA and Huntington Parks Department, features numerous events over three weekends
Photo provided.

Huntington County's businesses have started the annual faceoff in the Battle of the Businesses competition.

The event, sponsored by the Parkview Huntington Family YMCA and the Huntington Parks Department, is in its eighth year.

YMCA Executive Director Dan Akeley says he brought the idea to Huntington from a YMCA where he was previously employed.

"The program started in the late 1980s and after seeing the way it worked, I took the concept here to our YMCA," states Akeley. "Some of the contests have varied over the years, based on the available facilities."

Heritage Pointe, Souder family hail century mark this year

The Souder family has been in charge of Heritage Pointe, in Warren, since 1937. This year the home is celebrating 100 years of offering services to the community.
Photo provided.

On April 7, 1910, Jacob C. Click, of Huntington, became the first resident of the United Methodist Memorial Home, of Warren.

Nearly three decades later, Dr. D.C. Souder took over the home's management, along with his wife Julia.

Now 73 years later, the Souder family legacy lives on through David P. Souder, current administrator and CEO of what is now called Heitage Pointe.

Warren resident flexing artistic muscles; wins LAC ‘best of show’

Cheryl Alevizon, of Warren, won Best of Show in the LaFontaine Arts Council 2010 Regional Art Exhibit. Alevizon’s entry, “Jungle Walk,” is a collage inspired by a magazine photo.
Photo by Andre B. Laird.

Warren resident Cheryl Alevizon has been flexing her artistic muscles for most of her life.

Alevizon recently won "best of show" in the LaFontaine Arts Council 2010 Regional Art Exhibit.

Her piece, a collage titled "Jungle Walk," is on display with several of the other entries at the Wilson Gallery at the Merillat Centre for the Arts on Huntington University's campus.

Toledo another piece of county fading into history books

Driving east or west along U.S.-224, motorists pass a green directional sign directly before the intersection with CR 200E.

There's an arrow pointing north to Simpson, and an arrow pointing south toward Toledo.

While there are no further signs to guide travelers to Toledo or Simpson, most locals can easily identify Simpson as the place with the large grain mill. But where's Toledo?

Businesses, churches team up for Malta House

Teresa Kaylor (left) and Kellie Herber check expiration dates of recently donated non-perishable food items on Monday, June 21, in the kitchen of the Malta House, a men’s shelter that is planning to open this September.
Photo by Jessica Williams.

Originally published June 24, 2010.

Local churches and businesses have teamed up to give down and out men a second chance through the Malta House, a men's shelter coming to 505 S. Jefferson St. this fall.

Pastor Kellie Herber, of Loon Creek Church and the shelter's unofficial director, says the shelter will be open by September, "it's just a matter of getting from Point A to Point B," she explains.