Riders pedal for Ugandan water crisis funding

Making a stop at Coffee D’Vine in Huntington as part of their Ride for Marale are (from left) Andy Friedlund, Morgan Jones and Matt Friedlund.
Photo by Jessica Williams.

Originally published June 17, 2010.

Three young men, including a 2010 Huntington University graduate, will be going out of their way this summer for what they call a water crisis in Uganda. They are making a trek across America.

Brothers Andy and Matt Friedlund, along with friend Morgan Jones will be riding from Point Pleasant Beach, New Jersey to Seattle, Washington this summer to raise awareness and funds for African villages who need water wells.

Jeremy’s Ride duo finally finishes the final miles

Stan Bippus (left), and his nephew Jeremy Winkelman (right) stand with their bikes on the Atlantic coast in St. Augustine, FL, on Saturday, May 22, after finally completing a cross-country bike ride despite two major accidents.
Photo provided.

Originally published June 10, 2010.

Two and a half weeks ago, Stan Bippus and his nephew, Jeremy Winkelman, found themselves on Florida's Atlantic coast, with the ocean wrapping around the front tires of their bikes.

The pair had reached the end of what turned out to be a two-year, two-month 3,000-mile journey bicycling from California to Florida.

The two began their journey at Dog Beach in San Diego, CA, on March 23, 2008, and expected to have the coast-to-coast trip complete in 40 days.

Weber ending teaching career - again

Ruth Weber accepts a plaque from Steve Schenkel, director of the Huntington County Community Schools’ adult education program, during a reception on Thursday, May 27 honoring Weber on her retirement from a 51-year teaching career.
Photo by Cindy Klepper.

Originally published June 3, 2010.

When Ruth Weber says, "I really like to teach," she means it.

She first walked to the head of a classroom in 1958, shortly after graduating from Huntington College.

Fifty-one years later, she's ending her career.

Or maybe not.

"I've got to find something else now that's worth doing," Weber said over a sandwich and a cookie during a Thursday, May 27 reception hosted by her co-workers and students.

Viking New Tech opening new chapter in learning at high school

A group of Viking New Tech teachers discuss some last-minute details before school starts during one of their weekly meetings on Wednesday, July 28.
Photo by Jessica Williams.

Viking New Tech in Huntington North High School opens Thursday, Aug. 12, when Huntington students go back to school, and 116 freshmen are enrolled as the first-ever students to walk VNT's new halls.

VNT Director and HNHS Assistant Principal Kelly Renier says Huntington's New Tech location is one of 16 in Indiana, the most in the nation, and the Northeast Indiana region has the largest concentration in the country as well.

Local industry Isolatek stands alone in its field

Tom Converse, of Peru, and formerly of Huntington, releases molten iron in one of the blast furnaces at the Isolatek International plant in Huntington on Thursday, May 20.
Photo by Matt Murphy.

Originally published May 27, 2010.

Blast furnaces and molten metal sound more akin to the steel mills of Gary and Western Pennsylvania, but halfway between Old U.S. 24 and Little River on Broadway Street in Huntington is an industry that mirrors the large steel mills of the past.

Isolatek International, home to about 50 employees, is the only manufacturer of life-safety spray-applied mineral fiber insulation in the United States.

Huntington residents step up to keep parks nicely maintained

Boys and Girls Club of Huntington County members (from left) Brooklyn Holzinger, Sierrra White and Dylan Shively recently participated in a project to plant flowers in the downtown area planter boxes.
Photo by Andre B. Laird.

Summer is in full swing and more area residents have been spending time at the local parks than in previous years.

The Huntington Parks Department is responsible for the overall maintenance of the nine parks and Denise Bard, superintendent, says that the department has received an overwhelming response from people wanting to help with the upkeep.

"Well, it all started with the budget situation and the fact that we lost staff," states Bard. "We've always had a few volunteers every year, but never on this large a scale."

Operation Backyard making Huntington a brighter, cleaner city

Students from various local churches help build bunk beds at the Malta House in Huntington as part of Operation Backyard on Saturday, July 17.
Photo by Matt Murphy.

After the past weekend, Huntington residents may have noticed brighter fire hydrants, cleaner streets and improved properties as the result of a three-day youth event sponsored by several area churches.

More than 200 area youths took to the streets of Huntington on Saturday, July 17, as part of Operation Backyard, a collaborative effort of a dozen local church youth groups putting teenagers to work painting, cleaning and serving with local charities.

Indy-based group using two local schools for pilot program on height-weight study

Matthew Ruiz (left), an exercise science instructor at Huntington University, measures the height of Andrews Elementary School student Jagger Underwood while HU student Mariah Town records the numbers.

Originally published May 17, 2010

Not too long ago, report cards served as a record of a child's physical development as well as academic growth.
Height and weight were meticulously recorded along with grades and attendance.

Car show to give HU’s Mertz Center second shot to raise funds

Joe Bellinger (right), of Waterloo, talks about his vintage car with Sandy Smith (left) and Jim Starbuck during the Flashback to the ‘60s car show at Huntington University last year.
TAB file photo.

After a discouraging rain-out of its own earlier car show planned in April, Huntington University's Joe Mertz Center for Volunteer Service has another shot at raising money for a new van, thanks to a generous offer by a Huntington couple and their car club.

The Country Cruisers, which consist of Dave and Paula Funk, of Huntington, and several other local couples, will donate proceeds from their 15th annual "Flash Back to the '60s" car show on Friday, July 16, to the JMC.

First Mothers Club marks century on the local landscape

Current members of Huntington’s First Mothers Club pose for a recnt photo.
Photo by Andre B. Laird.

Originally published May 13, 2010.

The First Mothers Club recently met at Huntington University for its annual guest luncheon.

The occasion was a special one as it also marked the 100th anniversary of the club's existence.

The club was started in the early 1900s by Susette Butler, who attended a Mother's Congress in Washington DC.

Andrews library gets new ‘friends’

Andrews-Dallas Township Librarian Nancy Disbro (left) discusses prizes for the library’s summer children’s reading program at the library recently with Friends of the Library President Laura Whiteleather.
Photo by Jessica Williams.

Originally published May 3, 2010.

The new Friends of the Andrews-Dallas Township Public Library group has some upcoming events planned to help promote the library and its history.

Beemer brothers have unique work situation

Huntington natives and brothers Jacob (left) and Nicholas Beemer, members of the United States Navy, serve on the same aircraft carrier, the USS Nimitz. The occurrence is a rare one.
Photo provided.

Originally published April 29, 2010.

For most people, working with a family at the same place of employment is no big deal. However, for Nicholas and Jacob Beemer, it is.

The brothers both serve in the United States Navy aboard the aircraft carrier USS Nimitz.

Nicholas, a 2007 graduate of Huntington North High School, enlisted on Aug. 28, 2007.

Jacob followed suit by enlisting on Nov. 4, 2008.

Both are classified as E-4, Petty Officer Third Class, and recently returned from an eight-month deployment in the West Pacific.

Local group stepping up anti-abuse efforts

Amber Hirschy, executive director for McKenzie’s Hope in Huntington, stands in front of one of the trees of hearts at the facility on Tuesday, April 20.
Photo by Matt Murphy.

Originally published April 26, 2010.

In 1983, Congress declared April as "Child Abuse Prevention Month," and local child advocacy organizations have dedicated themselves to increasing awareness about the issue and offering support to those effected by abuse or neglect.

McKenzie's Hope, also known as the Huntington County Child Advocacy Center, has taken steps to increase awareness about this social issue and help prevent child abuse events from occurring.

"Our goal is to not have to be here," says Amber Hirschy, executive director of McKenzie's Hope.

Local pair have their eyes on Miss Indiana crown this Saturday

Lauren Petersen (left) and Mallory Bunting.
TAB file photo/photo provided.

Each year, countless young girls and women sharpen their talents, put on their best face and compete on stage to vie for the top spot in various scholarship pageants.

Locally, Lauren Petersen and Mallory Bunting have the opportunity to represent their hometown on Saturday, June 26, in the Miss Indiana Pageant.

While most contestants start entering competitions at an early age, both women got a late start.

Bunting's interest in competition was spurred by all the scholarship opportunities.

Dillon says his view on government has changed during his tenure

Gary "Doc" Dillon.
Photo provided.

Originally published April 15, 2010.

Twelve years in the Indiana General Assembly has provided Sen. Gary "Doc" Dillon (R-Columbia City) a wealth of opportunity to serve the people of Indiana's 17th Senate District, and has also given him new insight into the political process.

Now, the veteran legislator is retiring from public office, vacating a seat that is being sought by Tom Wall (R-Huntington) and Jim Banks (R-Columbia City).

Huntington horse owners go way past best of show honors

Laura Mason (left) and daughter Brianna are pictured with two of their horses that recently won horse of the year. Mason and her husband Eric Mason, operates Pine Hollow Paints. Laura holds “Last Sunshine,” while Brianna holds “Sunni’s Spinning Fool."
Photo by Andre B. Laird.

Originally published April 12, 2010.

When most people show an animal in competition, they hope to win best of show.

Laura Mason's horses went one step further and won horse of the year in two different categories.

Mason and her husband Eric are the owners of Pine Hollow Paints, a horse farm in Huntington that specializes in Paint and Pinto horses.

"We've been raising Paint horses since 1984," states Laura Mason. "I have always had a love for the breed. My 4-H leader had a Paint stallion and after we got married, I started showing them."

Hedrick continuing to serve -- as focal point of Relay for Life team

Greg Hedrick.
Photo provided.

Five days after being diagnosed with lung cancer, lifelong Huntington resident Greg Hedrick died on the eve of his 59th birthday - March 6, 2010.

Now just three months later, he has become the focal point of Cops Cuffin' Cancer, a team in this year's Huntington Relay for Life.

The team is made up of Huntington Police Department officers - active and reserve - and their wives, dispatchers and the department's secretary for a total of 17 members, explains team captain and Huntington Detective Matt Hughes.

"I've had cancer affect my family," Hughes says.

Markle VFW post seeking members

George Keplinger (left), commander of the Markle VFW Post 6671, and Larry Enyeart, senior vice commander, are looking for more local members to join their VFW post. The post has started an incentive program which will save new members  first year dues.
Photo by Jessica Williams.

Originally published April 5, 2010.

An incentive is being offered to help boost membership at the Markle Veterans of Foreign Wars post.

New members will get their first year paid for, say the post's commander and senior vice commander.

George Keplinger, a member for 20 years and the post's current commander, and his senior vice commander Larry Enyeart, a member of four years, say they are hoping to increase the membership of their post with people who live in the area.

Riverview students to benefit from herb garden

A group of Riverview Middle School seventh grade students plant lavender during the opening of the Riverview Physic Garden of Medicinal Plants in the Outdoor Classroom of the school on Friday, May 28.
Photo by Matt Murphy.

Riverview Middle School's seventh grade classes are the beneficiaries of a new herb garden planted as part of Riverview's Outdoor Classroom, thanks to a partnership between three Huntington County education facilities and Keiffer Williams, a Boy Scout well on his way to the Eagle Scout ranking.

The Riverview Physic Garden of Medicinal Plants opened on Friday, May 28, after months of planning and out-of-classroom work by Williams and Riverview students.

Local man recalls his fight for U.S and defense of parents’ nation

Ed Merckx, of Huntington, shows the medals he received as a result of his performance in World War II at his home on Tuesday, May 25. Merckx fought in the D-Day operation and in Belgium.
Photo by Matt Murphy.

For some soldiers, armed conflict sometimes becomes necessary to defend their home country.

But a few fight for not only the flag on their sleeve, but also for the homeland of their ancestors.

Ed Merckx, a lifelong Huntington County resident, served in the Army National Guard during World War II, ironically defending the home country of his parents.

Merckx's parents immigrated to the United States from Belgium in the years before the war, bringing two children, Merckx's older brother and sister, with them.

County man having different holiday happening

Jared McMullen.
Photo provided.

Many in Huntington have cookouts and family gatherings planned for Memorial Day.

Others are hard at work defending our right to do so and will be unable to spend time with those that matter the most.

Senior Airman Jared McMullen, a Huntington resident, is currently stationed in Kabul, the capital of Afghanistan, as an intelligence specialist with the Navy Reserve.

Roush, Salamonie properties are ready for another season of fun

Dennis White, property manager of Salamonie Lake, points to Lost Bridge West on the map in the lake’s main office. White, who has been at the lake for 38 years, says updates made to the campground at the end of last year will be new to visitors this year.
Photo by Jessica Williams.

More than 20,000 acres of land are available in or near Huntington for natural park entertainment this summer.

Some attractions will be new this season due to the hard work of the property managers of J. Edward Roush and Salamonie lakes and their staffs.

The park surrounding the 870-acre Roush Lake is nearly 7,500 acres and has made some improvements, additions and updates recently, says property manager Jeff Reed, who has been in that position for 33 years.

Local woman’s tenure as Sen. Lugar page in DC an ‘amazing’ experience

Dave Schiappa (right), Republican secretary of the United States Senate, poses with Huntington resident Sara King after the Senate page graduation in Washington D.C.
Photo provided.

Originally published April 1, 2010.

"It was amazing."

Those were the first words out of Huntington resident Sara King's mouth describing her tenure in Washington, DC, as a Senate page for United States Sen. Richard Lugar.

Her internship was for the term of Sept. 7 to Jan. 23 and included independent studies for the part of the day and working in the Capitol for the rest of the day.

Huntington County ranks as Indiana’s 29th healthiest

Parkview Huntington YMCA Fitness Director Todd Latta talks to Teresa Wright (center) and Kathy Scott during their workout time at the YMCA. Latta says exercise is the key to maintaining a healthy lifestyle.
Photo by Andre B. Laird.

Originally published March 29, 2010.

The statistics are in and Huntington County ranks as Indiana's 29th healthiest county.

The University of Wisconsin Population Health Institute and the Robert Wood John Foundation conducted the study.

The "County Health Rankings," are the first to rank overall health in all 50 states, by using a standard formula to measure people's health and lifespan.

Local groomer helping in Gulf oil spill clean-up

Michelle Brown, owner of The Shaggy Shack in southern Huntington County, grooms a dog in her shop on Monday, May 3. Brown is collecting excess animal and human hair as well as pantyhose to send to the Gulf Coast to help clean up the oil spill.
Photo by Matt Murphy.

The Gulf of Mexico oil spill that began April 20 has already reached some coastal areas along the Gulf and is expected to reach other areas, including a number of wildlife refuges, within the next few weeks, says the U.S. Coast Guard, the agency in charge of the response to the spill.

Former Huntington man says his experiences here helped contribute to his successful life

Jim Seneff Jr.
Photo provided.

Originally published March 22, 2010.

Jim Seneff Jr. spent only a couple of years in Huntington, but it was enough to get his name in the record books.

The Gary native moved to Huntington from Merrillville, joining the Huntington High School Class of 1964 and, perhaps more importantly in the basketball-besotted Hoosier state, the HHS basketball team - the Bob Straight-coached team that achieved legendary status after finishing second in the '64 state basketball tournament.

Local CF Industries plant part of large NA fertilizer operation

Brad Gordon, superintendent of the CF Industries Huntington Ammonia Terminal, poses with the facility’s sign off Hosler Road outside Huntington on Tuesday, March 9. The terminal is a stop in distributing anhydrous ammonia.
Photo by Matt Murphy.

Originally published March 18, 2010.

A 2,000-mile-long pipeline begins in Louisiana and travels north to supply valuable anhydrous ammonia for agricultural use in the Midwest.

The line travels parallel with the Mississippi Valley, then through southern Illinois and central Indiana, and ends in ... Huntington?

Outside the city along U.S.-24, several huge storage tanks line the south side of the roadway. One tank, the furthest east of all, is the final destination for the ammonia line, and is the site of CF Industries' Huntington Ammonia Terminal.

Volunteers working to keep Huntington’s early history alive at Forks of Wabash

Lynn Brown (left), outgoing Historic Forks of the Wabash Volunteer Executive Director, and Jim Scheiber, current director, say that at the bank of the Forks is to be credited for the creation of Huntington.
Photo by Jessica Williams.

Originally published March 11, 2010.

One location is said to be the starting point of the Huntington we know today.

Now, local volunteers are trying to preserve that history and keep the education going strong.

HAT quietly gets the job done for area residents

Alysia Hindle is one of 14 drivers who work for Huntington Area Transportation (HAT), which provides transportation throughout Huntington County.
Photo provided.

Seat belts are a must if you want to ride with Alysia Hindle.

Hindle is one of the 14 drivers that Huntington Area Transportation hires. HAT is one of the many programs offered by the Huntington County Council on Aging.

Holly Saunders, executive director of the Council on Aging, explains that HAT drivers hold a special license and are trained annually.

"When you first start driving, you're with somebody for a week to learn the paperwork," Hindle says. "And then, the next week, you're driving with somebody before you go by yourself."

4 Warren buildings to get facelift

Gina Canady, who along with her husband Scott owns a building at 115 N. Wayne St., Warren, stands across the street from the structure which was granted a 2010 Facade Grant.
Photo by Matt Murphy.

Four buildings in downtown Warren are getting a facelift, thanks to grants from the 2010 Façade Grant Program.

The Wagon Wheel Café, East of Chicago, Accent Interiors and Scott and Gina Canady all applied for, and received, the grants. The building owner fronts all costs of the work, and the town then reimburses the owner for half of the total cost.

Gina Canady, owner of the building at 115 N. Wayne St. along with her husband Scott, says that the couple plans to install windows on the third floor of the building that are now covered with plywood.