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.

Storytime of a different nature helping some kids in Warren

Rosa Sprowl (left), of Majenica, reads “La Cenicienta” (“Cinderella”) in Spanish to children on Monday, July 7, at the Warren Public Library.
Photo by Rebecca Sandlin.

At the Warren Public Library, storytime of a different nature is helping some children learn to speak the language of their parents as well as educate them about healthy nutrition.

The idea was conceived by Huntington County Purdue Extension Director Karen Hinshaw, who was looking for a way to reach out to the county's Hispanic population.
She called upon Extension educator Veronica Moscoso to head up the program.

The Extension made use of a program called First Books, which provides the Spanish language children's storybooks for only a shipping charge.

‘Last place’ Daugherty wanted to work at celebrates 75th anniversary

David Daugherty, president and chief executive officer of The Daugherty Companies Inc., in Warren, stands by a 1938 RC Case tractor, which was one of the first offered by the company when it opened in 1939. This year marks the company’s 75th anniversary.
Photo by Steve Clark.

Originally published July 28, 2014.

David Daugherty confesses that his family's business was "the last place" he wanted to work growing up.

Fifty years have passed since then and Daugherty is now the proud owner of that business, renamed The Daugherty Companies Inc., which is celebrating its 75th year in business.

Long-time HAT bus driver now wants to take trip of his own

David Spencer stands next to his familiar HAT van. The popular driver retired on Friday, July 18, after 19 years of service.
Photo by Rebecca Sandlin.

Originally published July 24, 2014.

One of the first things on David Spencer's list, now that he's retired from Huntington Area Transportation, is the equivalent of a postman's holiday: He's going on a trip.

After 19 years working full time as a driver, scheduler and maintenance coordinator, Spencer, 78, has retired, his last day Friday, July 18.

"I have bad knees," he explains. "I just didn't feel safe getting out and doing it anymore, or I'd go for 20 (years)."

Evangelical UMC members take to mission field -- here in own backyard of Huntington

Aidan Wright (left) and Dick Michel work on trimming the bushes at Brian and Sue Kornexl’s home on Tuesday, July 15, as part of Evangelical United Methodist Church’s “Mission Huntington” week.
Photo by Rebecca Sandlin.

Originally published July 21, 2014.

Folks at Huntington's Evangelical United Methodist Church have decided that charity begins at home and the mission field is their own backyard.

Many of the church's members spent last week serving some of those needs in their own community.

Pastor Dr. Marti Lundy says it's the second year for "Mission Huntington" week, after the project was well received last year by local residents.