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.

Martin’s class ring finds way back to finger after 31 years in Lake Huron

Leigh Gray Martin, a Markle resident and 1984 graduate of Huntington North High School, holds her class ring, which was found and returned to her this summer after being lost in Lake Huron for 31 years.
Photo by Steve Clark.

Leigh Martin's class ring spent 31 years on a stranger's finger.

That finger, however, didn't belong to a person; it belonged to the state of Michigan.

The lower peninsula of the Great Lakes State is said to look like a mitten, with the "thumb" jutting out from the state's northeast side. Albert E. Sleeper State Park is located on the tip of the thumb, and that's where Martin lost her class ring in the summer of 1983.

Robot goes from Andrews workshop to star in summer blockbuster ‘Transformer’ movie

Mike Smyth, of Andrews, takes a breath on set of “Transformers: Age of Extinction.” His handmade robot, MiniMech, stars in the summer blockbuster.
Photo provided.

A robot from Andrews is a movie star.

MiniMechadon, or MiniMech, as his creator Mike Smyth calls him, has a starring role in the major motion picture "Transformers: Age of Extinction."

The fourth installment of the Transformers series was released on June 27 and is now the highest-grossing movie ever to be released in China. At press time, the film had grossed $575 million worldwide.

It is the number one movie in America, and Smyth thinks, "It's kind of cool."

Smyth, an electrical engineer, built MiniMech 10 years ago in his workshop.

Roanoke Lions Club has a mission to help people gain 20-20 vision

James Vachon (left) and James Coppock of the Roanoke Lions Club prepare to pack up a table-full of about 100 eye glasses in support of the Lions Club’s program to donate glasses to help improve the vision of low-income and poor people.
Photo by Rebecca Sandlin.

Originally published July 7, 2014.

The Roanoke Lions Club is on a mission to help people gain 20-20 vision.

The club is looking for donations of eyeglasses of any type, including sunglasses, but particularly prescription glasses it can then pass on to underprivileged people.

The Roanoke organization is one of several Lions Clubs in Huntington County - and across the state - to participate in the program.

Historic treasure glides through Huntington skies over weekend

A 1929 Ford Tri-Motor glides across the skies above Huntington Municipal Airport on Thursday, June 26. The aircraft visited Huntington June 26 to 29, offering flights that recreate air travel in the “Golden Age of Aviation.”
Photo by Lauren Winterfeld.

Originally published July 3, 2014.

A rare, historical treasure visited Huntington the weekend of June 28.

A 1929 Ford 4AT Tri-Motor plane touched down on the tarmac at Huntington Municipal Airport on Thursday afternoon, June 26, and stayed for three days, giving citizens the opportunity to see and experience air travel as it was in "the Golden Age of Aviation."

The plane, which is owned by Experimental Aircraft Association (EAA), is part of a fleet of the world's first mass-produced airliners.

Autism may slow this Scout, but hasn’t kept him from Eagle honor

Anthony Schmaltz (center) is recognized after receiving his Eagle award, with his parents, Michelle and Gerald Schmaltz, at his side.
Photo provided.

Originally published June 30, 2014.

It's not every Cub who grows up to be an Eagle.

Nationally, only 2 percent to 4 percent of all boys who enter Scouts will persevere to earn the program's top award, says Bill Oswalt, who helps coordinate Eagle projects for local Troop 637.

There are a host of challenges on the way from Cub to Eagle - Scouts are required to earn nearly two dozen merit badges and recommendations from respected adults, hold positions of responsibility in the troop and, as the final challenge, coordinate a service project in the community.

Garrett’s ‘opportunity’ at Parkview Huntington coming to close soon

Parkview Huntington Hospital’s retiring chief operations officer, Darlene Garrett (right) chats with ultrasound technologist Hannah Wyatt (left) and receptionist Leigh Ann Jones in the office area of the hospital’s radiology diagnostics department.
Photo by Rebecca Sandlin.

Originally published June 26, 2014.

When Darlene Garrett began her health care career in 1978 as a night nurse on the medical-surgical unit at Caylor-Nickel (now Bluffton Regional) Medical Center, she had no idea that 20 years later she would eventually serve as chief operating officer of an entire hospital in Huntington.

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.