Retiring library exec director won’t let grass grow underfoot

Huntington City-Township Public Library Executive Director Kathy Holst (left) chats with Janelle Graber, the director of the Eckhart Public Library in Auburn, during a retirement reception for Holst held at the Huntington Branch on Friday, June 13.
Photo by Rebecca Sandlin.

Originally published June 19, 2014.

When Kathy Holst retires as executive director of the Huntington City-Township Public Library, she may just pick up where she left off so many years ago - in Argentina.

"I've always been interested in paleontology," she explains. "I was an exchange student in Argentina when I was in high school. And that new, great big, giant dinosaur - largest in the world - that they just found down there? I might go back and investigate that. Maybe even help dig it up."

Campaign chair to tee off for kick-off

Pete Schownir, chair of the 2014 Huntington County United Way campaign, will unofficially kick off the new campaign with a marathon 81-hole golf day on June 23.
Photo by Cindy Klepper.

Originally published June 16, 2014.

The unofficial official kick-off to the 2014 Huntington County United Way campaign is one that will leave campaign Chair Pete Schownir dragging.

In fact, he's already scheduled a visit to the chiropractor midway through the day and a massage for the next morning.

Schownir is taking his favorite leisure-time activity and turning it into a marathon, setting out to play 81 holes of golf on six golf courses in one day.

United Way collections to flow back as grants

Originally published June 16, 2014.

All of those individual donations to the Huntington County United Way last year will flow back to the community this year in the form of grants to local social service agencies.

For the 2014-15 fiscal year, nearly $400,000 in United Way funding will support 27 programs offered by 17 organizations.

Each of the programs supported by those grants fits into one of four areas - education, financial stability, health and wellness and crisis needs - where the United Way wants to have an impact on the community.

More stories to tell, curtain to go up on Theatre Guild: Act II

Working for a comeback of amateur theater in Huntington are (front row, from left) Alan Short, Michele Short, Janet Ashley and Christian Albertson; and (back row, from left) David Dean, Deanna Albertson, Rhonda Landrum and Becky Arnett.
Photo by Cindy Klepper.

Originally published June 12, 2014.

Once upon a time, the people of Huntington got up on stage to tell stories.

Then the people got tired, and the stories faded away.

"We just got burned out," says David Dean, one of the storytellers.

But there are still stories to tell, and there's a new energy among the people who want to tell them.

Cue the lights, and open the curtain on the Huntington Theatre Guild: Act II.

Retiring teacher, coach Vance leaves lasting legacy for girls’ sports at HNHS

Phyllis Vance, a retiring Huntington North High School teacher and former coach, stands by a display case of trophies won by the softball team, which she started in 1985.
Photo by Steve Clark.

In the early days of the girls' track program at Huntington North High School, the most important exchanges didn't involve batons in relays, but uniforms between races.

A nonexistent budget coupled with a large squad necessitated the sharing of team-issued garb amongst its members, with girls at the end of one race swapping threads with girls who were at the start of another.

In addition to giving each other the shirts off their backs, the girls also served as each other's starting blocks in practice - again, due to the lack of funds.

Bell tower, focal point at Victory Noll, speaks volumes to Carney about missions

Sister Alodia Carney stands in front of the bell tower at Victory Noll, located on the plaza in front of the Holy Family Building.
Photo by Rebecca Sandlin.

Originally published June 5, 2014.

The large bell encased in a tower, which stands as the focal point at Victory Noll, was cast in 1885, is 31 inches in diameter, weighs 550 pounds and rings the musical note of "C."

But it is what the bell symbolizes that speaks to the heart and life's calling of many of the sisters at Victory Noll, and Sister Alodia Carney in particular.

2014 Miss Huntington is not just another pretty face

Miss Huntington, Alli Harris, opens the Huntington County  Memorial Day service on Monday, May 26, by singing the national anthem.
Photo by Cindy Klepper.

Let it not be said that the 2014 Miss Huntington is just another pretty face.

If Alli Harris gets anything across to people from her experience as this year's queen and a candidate in the upcoming Miss Indiana pageant, it's that this beauty queen has more depth to her character and to her mission.

"I am here as a goodwill ambassador to our community, and to brighten the eyes of those in our community and help them know that their dreams can come true," she says.

Huntington resident Jepsen makes the ultimate comeback from cardiac arrest

Sue (left) and John Jepsen sit together in their home in Huntington. John Jepsen survived cardiac arrest in March.
Photo by Lauren Winterfeld.

Originally published May 29, 2014.

"It was just God looking after us I guess," says John Jepsen, who was revived after suffering a cardiac arrest in March.

The attack was brought on while he was at Parkview Huntington Hospital waiting to have his gallbladder taken out. His gallbladder ruptured, which caused the attack.

"I went into septic shock," he explains, "and that's what caused my cardiac arrest. I also had renal failure - my kidneys went down too."

Creative use of park space gets Warren a disc golf course

Disc golfer Dustin Fortney plays a hole at the Tower Park Disc Golf Course, in Warren, which was recently installed.
Photo by Steve Clark.

Originally published May 26, 2014.

The layout for the Tower Park Disc Golf Course, in Warren, came to Dustin Fortney on the back of a lawn mower.

Fortney, a town employee, was mowing in the park when ideas for hole placements started coming to him. It was a major breakthrough on a project that had been stalled for nearly two years.

Disc golf is similar to traditional golf and sees disc golfers line up at tees and aim their Frisbee-like discs toward a basket, with the goal of getting the disc in the basket in as few throws as possible.

Voglemans’ wait to adopt turns into start of fostering career that continues 25 years

Jan and Tim Vogleman, shown in their rural Huntington County home, have fostered about 140 children during the past 25 years.

Originally published May 22, 2014.

Some 25 years ago, the desire of Tim and Jan Vogleman's hearts was to adopt a child.

During the long adoption process, they thought it would be a good idea to become foster parents.

"The waiting time was so long that we thought, ‘Well, we have the room. Why don't we just foster while we're waiting for our name to come up on an adoption list?'" says Jan Vogleman. "So that's really how we started."

‘Difference in world’ leads local Brownies back to own community

Brownies in Troop 20299 are preaching the merits of shopping locally.
Photo by Cindy Klepper.

Originally published May 19, 2014.

A handful of local Brownies set out on a journey to find out how they could make a difference in the world.

They ended up right back in their own community.

And like any modern girl, the Brownies popped a video of their discovery on YouTube for the world to see.

The video, Brownie Sara Burnworth explains, is about shopping locally.

Local Skywarn Program manager has ‘fascination’ with storms

Huntington County Emergency Management Agency Skywarn Program Manager Butch Williams sits in the EMA’s Emergency Operations Center, located at the Huntington County Sheriff’s Department.
Photo by Rebecca Sandlin.

Originally published May 15, 2014.

For those who remember it, the devastating tornadoes that ripped through Indiana on Palm Sunday of 1965 were a frightful experience.

But for one Huntington resident, it was the beginning of a lifelong fascination of keeping an eye to the sky.

"I was 7 years old," recalls Butch Williams, who is now the county's Emergency Management Agency Skywarn Program manager. "I was in Hartford City and it was getting dark. There had already been several violent tornadoes on the ground in the afternoon of that day.

Local man, fund-raising group seek donations for kidney surgery

Elisabeth and Chad Johnson, of Huntington, are planning a hog roast fund-raiser to help defray expenses following a kidney transplant for Chad.
Photo by Rebecca Sandlin.

Originally published May 12, 2014.

Several pictures grace the living room walls of Chad and Elisabeth Johnson's home on Huntington's east side. They are mostly of painted Japanese characters that spell "Wish," "Patience," "Faith," "Honest," "Love," "Dream" and "Family."

There is another picture that says, "Tomorrow Begins Today." It is that saying, plus the hope that comes from the others, that Chad Johnson is clinging to in the fight of his life.

Veteran turned bicyclist sees bike trip turn into people trip

Stephan Speer, Vietnam veteran and avid bicyclist (left) is interviewed by Riverview Middle School student Jessica Ditton. Speer is making his way from Washington D.C. to Seattle by bike in support of nine veterans whom he served with in Vietnam.
Photo by Lauren Winterfeld.

Originally published May 8, 2014.

"Pretty good doesn't begin to cover it," he says.


"Out of this world.

"Far more than I ever imagined."

He is Stephan Speer, a veteran (and industrial microbiologist) from Decatur, IL.

His task - bike from coast to coast.

"I have three missions that I am trying to accomplish," he explains, "I am attempting to see if, ‘Does an old man like me still have what it takes to bicycle across the U.S.?'

Mitchell’s ‘can do’ attitude helps her Andrews neighbors

Charlotte Mitchell displays some of the grocery items she purchased last week for The Shepherd’s Pantry in Andrews. The Andrews resident makes multiple shopping trips each week as she searches out bargains to help fill the food pantry’s shelves.
Photo by Cindy Klepper.

Originally published May 5, 2014

Charlotte Mitchell can, so she does.

"It's my form of enjoyment," she says. "I just love doing it."

But her coupon clipping, bargain hunting and grocery shopping is much more than one woman's hobby.

For many of her neighbors in her adopted hometown of Andrews, it's how they make ends meet.

Week in and week out, usually several times a week, Mitchell stocks the shelves of the Andrews food pantry with meat, dairy and boxed food items.