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.

Erie Railroad east yard to come alive again at historical museum

Huntington County Historical Museum Director Pat Bergdall poses with part of the Erie Railroad display currently housed at the museum. The historical society plans to build a replica of the east railroad yards and parts of Huntington that surrounded it.
Photo by Andre B. Laird.

Originally published March 8, 2010.

Huntington will soon journey back in time to the days of the Erie Railroad and all the historic landmarks that marked Huntington as a vibrant railroad community.

The Huntington County Historical Society is embarking on a project to recreate the Erie Railroad east railroad yards on an "H0" scale.

Board member Gib Young says the historical society is trying to accomplish something that a lot of other museums already have in place.

A decade into new facility, Parkview execs still like the fit

Rick Baker (left), chairman of the Parkview Huntington Hospital board of directors, and Darlene Garrett, chief operating officer of Parkview Huntington Hospital, stand in front of the 10-year-old Parkview Huntington Hospital building on Stults Road.
Photo provided.

A decade into its new facility, Parkview Huntington Hospital is finding that it's still a good fit.

"We are thrilled with where we are," says Darlene Garrett, chief operating officer of Parkview Huntington Hospital.

Garrett and Rick Baker, chairman of the hospital's board of directors, used the occasion of the hospital's 10th anniversary in its Stults Road building to reflect on the physical structure itself as well as the service the hospital's staff provides to its community - and to ponder PHH's future.

Youth’s passion for Batman turns into collection for family

Huntington North High School senior Tyler Miller sits in front of the main part of his Batman collection. He has been a serious collector since 2002, and his family is also involved.
Photo by Jessica Williams.

Originally published March 1, 2010.

Huntington North High School senior Tyler Miller, 18, has spent the last six years of his life collecting Batman items.

But what was once a youth's passion is now a family affair.

He has everything from action figures to comic books, blankets to curtains, all stored in what he calls his "bat cave."

Miller also has a hand-drawn Batman pillowcase that a nurse made for him down at Riley Hospital in Indianapolis, where he has been a patient for most of his life.

Local couple knows vital impact the March of Dimes can have

The Newton family is the Indiana March of Dimes Northeast Division Ambassador Family, and is a proud supporter of the March of Dimes March for Babies.
Photo by Matt Murphy.

The Indiana March of Dimes has scheduled the annual March for Babies for Saturday, May 1, at Hier's Park in Huntington.

The March of Dimes is a non-profit organization dedicated to finding the cause of both birth defects and premature births. It supports research in a variety of biomedical fields and supports neonatal intensive care units (NICUs) - special intensive care units for infants.

For one local family, the impact of advanced research in premature births has been all too vital.

Electrical Mechanical Devices is unique in what it does

Carl Draper, one of the founders of Electrical Mechanical Devices, Inc., tests a computer board at the EMD office on Monday, Feb. 15. EMD repairs a variety of electronics at its Huntington location.
Photo by Matt Murphy.

Originally published Feb. 22, 2010.

"We're unique in what we do," says Michael Scott, one of the founders of the Huntington-based Electrical Mechanical Devices Inc.

The statement proves to be true as EMD is one of just a handful of companies in the United States with the authorization and experience in electronic repair.

EMD is essentially a repairer of fixing everything from computers to monitors to computer processors.

Two Roanoke couples prove that lasting marriages are more than just thing of past

Roanoke residents Ted (back left) and Claribel Husband (seated, left) and Art and Mary Burton have been married for a combined 147 years. The couples say the key to their success is a strong commitment to each other.
Photo by Andre B. Laird.

Originally publilshed Feb. 11, 2010.

For most people, lasting marriages that work are urban myths or something you watch on TV Land or Nick At Night during episodes of Leave It To Beaver, All in the Family or Little House on the Prairie.

Well, meet the Husbands and Burtons, two Roanoke couples with more than 140 years of marriage between them.

Ted Husband and Mary Burton are siblings and say strong family values and living through the Depression were instrumental in explaining why their individual marriages have lasted so long.

Hot reads nationally not big locally

Jan Carnes, head of adult services at the Huntington City-Township Public Library, displays books that made the frequent check-out list at the library for 2009 on Thursday, Feb. 4. While some genres enjoyed continued popularity, others sank or rose.
Photo by Matt Murphy.

Originally published Feb. 8, 2010.

Each year, thousands of new books are published, but only a select few achieve "bestseller" status.

Devout bookworms across the country drive those sales, but do the hottest reads reflect what Huntington residents pick up?

According to statistics from the Huntington City-Township and Markle libraries, not necessarily.

Girl Scouts still finding ways to keep busy

Girl Scouts Andrew Broxon (left) and Cheyanne Geiderman don cookie costumes to work at a cookie sales booth.
Photo provided.

Originally published Feb. 4, 2010.

The organization has been in existence since 1912, and Girl Scouts are still finding ways to stay busy.

The local Scouts are in the midst of their annual Girl Scout cookie sale, a major fundraiser for the Girl Scouts of Northern Indiana-Michiana branch. That branch made up of 22 counties in the northern third of Indiana and southwest Michigan, including 15,500 girls ranging in age from 5 to 17. They are led by 4,700 adult
The cookie sale wraps up March 9.

Local turkey federation members reaching out to youth with program

Jay Buzzard (left) and Steve Nevius are members on the board of the National Wild Turkey Federation Flint Springs chapter. The organization recently received state and national recognition for completion of a five-star program for community involvement.
Photo by Andre B. Laird.

Wildlife conservation has always been one of the foremost missions of the National Wild Turkey Federation.

The non-profit organization was founded in 1973 with a mission of educating others about wild turkey conservation and preservation of the country's hunting heritage.

The local Flint Springs Chapter, which has been in existence for 14 years, has been fostering that culture through its JAKES and Xtreme JAKES programs, which started last year.

JAKES is an acronym for Juniors Acquiring Knowledge Ethics & Sportsmanship.

Local Red Cross knows county man is true ‘hometown hero’

Jim Miller (left) was presented with the “Hometown Hero of the Year,” award by Mike Rohler, executive director of the Huntington Chapter of the American Red Cross on Saturday, March 6.
Photo by Andre B. Laird.

Superman. Batman. Spiderman. Huntington resident Jim Miller. What do they all have in common? Heroism.

Although the first three are fictional characters, Jim Miller embodies the definition of ‘hero' by his actions last spring.

While headed home, Miller came upon a car accident on 600W, in Andrews, late last spring.

"It was a very bad wreck," states Miller. "The van landed on its roof and it was on fire."

Firefighter’s legacy lives on in form of lifesaving equipment

rank Buonanotte (left), founder of 500 For Life, presents a commemorative plaque and a new thermal imaging camera to Huntington Fire Chief Matthew Armstrong (center) and Huntington Mayor Steve Updike at the Southside Fire Station in Huntington on Jan. 21.
Photo by Matt Murphy.

Originally published on Jan. 25, 2010.

The legacy of a retired Fort Wayne firefighter will live on in the form of a lifesaving thermal imaging camera donated to the Huntington Fire Department, thanks to a joint effort by the firefighter's friends and family and 500 For Life.

Frank Buonanotte, founder of 500 For Life, presented the camera to Huntington Mayor Steve Updike and Huntington Fire Chief Matthew Armstrong in memory of the late Capt. Donald K. Derrow during a ceremony at the Southside Fire Station in Huntington on Thursday, Jan. 21.