Robotics team doubles up its efforts to score well at Purdue

Robotics team members (from left) Sam Kratzer, John David Paff and Samir Shaikh put their robot through its paces after the machine was unveiled on Monday, Feb. 22, in the Community Building at Hier’s Park.
Photo by Cindy Klepper.

Five years of experience - combined with a little extra money this year - had robotics fans seeing double earlier this week.

Moments after the robot  built by the Huntington County 4-H Robotics Team was unveiled on Monday, Feb. 22, a second robot, identical except for color, shot out from behind the curtain.

United REMC still lighting the way for rural residents

REMC employee Felix Vanner installs a new pole and transformer at a residence on West Maple Grove Road on Thursday, Jan. 14. The removal of a rotten pole and installation of the transformer was part of REMC’s improvement efforts.
Photo by Andre B. Laird.

Originally published Jan. 18, 2010.

Not more than 75 years ago, rural Huntington County was dark.

Farmers and others residing in the countryside were missed by the growing power grid that lighted towns throughout the county.

Then in 1936, then-President Franklin Roosevelt signed into law the Rural Electrification Act of 1936, part of the president's "Second New Deal" program, designed to bring electricity to rural areas all across the United States.

Huntington County was no exception.

Roanoke Public Library going strong in centennial year

Celia Bandelier, library director at Roanoke Public Library, says the library has been an asset to the community for 100 years as it marks its centennial birthday on Feb. 19..
Photo by Andre B. Laird.

February 19 will mark 100 years of operation and service by the Roanoke Public Library, which since its arrival, has been an integral thread in the fabric of the community.

According to library archives, a group of local women was the driving force behind talks for a library in 1909. On Feb. 5, 1909, the women met at an area United Brethren Church to discuss the specifics. Florence De Long was elected temporary chair of the committee and the Library Club was organized to sponsor a library in town.

Lincoln Elementary students, staff connect to namesake

Lincoln Elementary School Principal Adam Drummond (left)  speaks to students, teachers and community members at the ribbon-cutting ceremony for a log cabin replica of Abrahm Lincoln's boyhood home.
Photo by Matt Murphy.

A local elementary school has reconnected with its heritage, helping its students create a link between themselves and a man they have never met.

In recognition of the school's namesake, Lincoln Elementary School students and staff built a replica log cabin of former president Abraham Lincoln's boyhood home in Indiana as the culmination of the school's "Learning and Living the Lincoln Legacy" theme.

"We wanted to create a visual reminder of what it means to be a student at Lincoln Elementary," says Adam Drummond, principal.

Victory Noll Sisters want to give others a look into their lifestyle

Sister Rose Ann Kaiser of Victory Noll (right) speaks with an associate, Mary Alice Kelly, earlier this year at a meeting in Colorado.
Photo provided.

Originally published Jan. 7, 2010.

A new opportunity recently introduced by the Victory Noll Sisters gives interested people the chance to make a temporary commitment as a missioner.

Sister Rose Ann Kaiser, the program's representative, says there is more to the project than meets the eye.

Brix retires from job as Huntington police dog

Huntington Police officer Alan Foster will retire his dog Brix on Friday, Jan. 15. Brix has worked for the Huntington Police Department since 2000, helping to protect Foster and track narcotics and missing people.
Photo by Jessica Williams.

Published previously on Jan. 11, 2010.

Editor's note: Due to his spinal nerve disease, retired K9 Brix was put down on Feb. 3, 2010.

For 12-year-old Brix, his game as a police dog is approaching its final buzzer.

This Friday, Jan. 15, Brix will officially go into retirement from the Huntington Police Department - although his retirement may include the occasional drug bust - and live with Patrolman Alan Foster, his partner in crimestopping for the last 10 years.

Governor tells locals Indiana holding its own in tough times

Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels speaks to members of the Huntington Optimists, Kiwanis and Rotary clubs on Thursday, Feb. 4, at Huntington University.
Photo by Andre B. Laird.

Despite the poor economy throughout the nation, Indiana has been holding its own and actually gaining on its neighbors, Gov. Mitch Daniels told an audience in Huntington on Thursday, Feb. 4.

Speaking to members of the Huntington Optimists, Kiwanis and Rotary clubs at Huntington University, Daniels spoke about the current state of Indiana as well as strides being made to combat the recession.

His presentation was titled, "Fighting the Recession to Win."

Local woman’s pursuit of knowledge is a lifelong passion

Anna Hawley.
Photo provided.

Originally published Jan.4, 2010.

Passion. Commitment. Motivation.

Those are the words Huntington native Anna Hawley used to describe her quest for knowledge and learning.

Census to provide many answers

Bill Hancher, head of the local complete count committee for the upcoming census, displays one of the posters the committee is posting to make Huntington County residents aware of the upcoming count.
Photo by Cindy Klepper.

Ten years ago, the city of Huntington was home to 17,450 people - 8,336 men and 9,114 women.

We had divided ourselves into 6,717 households, leaving 545 housing units throughout the city vacant. About half (3,284) of the households were married couples; fewer than a third (1,951) were one-person households.

Eighty-one percent of us had graduated from high school, but just 13.7 percent had a college degree. We spent an average of 18.1 minutes traveling to work.

How do we know that?

Simple - we filled out a form.

Roanoke woman issues $100,000 challenge to community for shelter

Jean Ann Tribolet, of Roanoke, says she will match any donations the Huntington County Humane Society receives up to $100,000 through Dec. 31, 2010.
Photo by Matt Murphy.

For years, the Huntington County Humane Society had dreamed of a new facility, allowing the society to more properly care for and adopt out the animals for which it provides.

Now, a generous woman with a heart for all animals has offered the humane society a challenge: she will match all donations the Society receives up to $100,000 toward the new building.

Jean Ann Tribolet, a Roanoke resident, has actively supported the society for years, and has now offered the challenge in order to get the building project off the ground.

HC grads making strides in Haiti

A couple with Huntington roots has been making huge strides in serving the children of Haiti for more than 10 years, and their efforts have only increased since the devastating 7.0 earthquake hit the small country on Jan. 12.

Brad Johnson, originally from Hope, IN and a 1993 Huntington College graduate, and his wife Vanessa, who is from Fort Erie, Ontario and a 1994 HC graduate, moved to Haiti in 1998 to work full time with the organization Mission of Hope Haiti, founded by Brad Johnson's parents, Bob and Sharon Johnson.

With roots and company still in Huntington, Hiner rolls on

Despite expanding from a single tractor trailer entity in 1967 to a company employing 260 people in five states, and being bought by a larger company in 1999, Hiner Transport has maintained its roots in Huntington.
Photo provided.

Originally published Dec. 28, 2009.

In 1967, Homer F. Hiner purchased a single tractor trailer and entered into the then-growing trucking industry.

The new Hiner Transport company soon added a second truck, and has since grown to a company that possesses more than 225 tractors and over 600 trailers in addition to providing work for 260 employees in five states, with the majority of those positions in Indiana.

Local Ducks Unlimited chapter helping fight for area's waterfowl

John Block, chairman of the Huntington Hills chapter of Ducks Unlimited, stands with the 1999 and 2000 Top Flight Awards the chapter received from the national DU organization in recognition of the chapter’s fund-raising and involvement efforts.
Photo by Matt Murphy.

This spring, take a minute to watch the skies over Huntington County, as thousands of migratory birds pass through to return north for the summer.

Many of these birds, especially ducks and geese, will stop to rest in the area only to continue flying the next day. The rest will make their summer home in the county, to the delight of bird-watchers and hunters alike.

But as development continues in the county and Northeast Indiana, where will these birds rest and live, and who will ensure their survival in the coming years?

The answer: Ducks Unlimited.

Lincoln Elementary parent volunteers help in building Lincoln's Cabin

Wendy Joseph checks an order for Lincoln Elementary School’s cookie sale to make sure it’s just right. Joseph is a parent volunteer for the school.
By Jessica Williams

Originally published Dec. 17, 2009

Parents at Lincoln Elementary are building President Abraham Lincoln's childhood log cabin.

Out of paper and volunteer hours, that is.

Cara Conwell, family involvement coordinator at the school, has started "Log into Lincoln" this year. The program tries to get parents to take an active role in their child's education while at Lincoln.

"The goal is to get parent involvement in the school. Studies have shown that the more parents (are involved), the better (their) students do in school," Conwell says.

Friends of Library looking forward to new home

Sue Jepsen, president of the Huntington Friends of the Library, stands with the Huntington City-Township Public Library’s popcorn popper that the Friends of the Library bought the library to use.
Photo by Jessica Williams.

Originally published Dec. 10, 2009.

With a new home in the works, Huntington's Friends of the Library President Sue Jepsen has something to look forward to, even though her next big event isn't until June 2010.

Jepsen has been with Friends for 17 years, and once the new library addition is complete, her branch of the national organization will have a small spot to call its own to host its two large book sales each year, one of which just wrapped up this past weekend - the Holiday Book Boutique.

Lancaster K class helping in national experiment

Lancaster Elementary School kindergarten teacher Jeanne Paff and her students inspect photos of caterpillars aboard the International Space Station. The students are comparing the development of their caterpillars on earth with those in space.
Photo by Cindy Klepper.

Originally published Dec. 7, 2009.

The kindergartners at Lancaster Elementary School can't pinpoint the orbit of the International Space Station - "Far," Dale Johnson says. "A hundred feet up in the air." - but they can tell you the particulars of one of the experiments aboard the station.

County family uses UWIS backpack program to connect to nature

Jacob, Joshua and Terra Thompson (from left) participate in the Family Exploration Backpack Program offered through the Upper Wabash Interpretive Center of Salamonie Reservoir, which provides monthly-themed activities that focus on nature and wildlife.
Photo by Jessica Williams.

A Huntington County woman and her two sons keep in touch with the nature inside each of them.

They do this by participating in the Upper Wabash Interpretive Services' Family Exploration Backpack Program.

The program is still quite young, with only two and a half years under its belt. Teresa Rody, interpretive naturalist for the UWIS, co-created the program, which provides an in-depth study of nature by themed months, she says, such as wildlife, ants, camping and the reservoir.

Jaycees to hold Renaissance Faire at local PAL Club

Organizers planning a Renaissance Faire in Huntington over Memorial Day weekend 2010 met recently with officials of the PAL Club, where the event will be held.
Photo by Cindy Klepper.

The Huntington Jaycees Renaissance Faire will be held May 27-June 1 at the Huntington PAL Club, officials of both organizations announced Tuesday, Dec. 8.

The event - featuring reenactments of the Renaissance period, entertainment and vendors - will be held in an undeveloped area of the PAL Club's 80-acre site on Riverside Drive, says Capt. Tom Hughes, the PAL Club's secretary-treasurer.

"This is going to be a historical based Renaissance Faire with flights of fancy added in," explains organizer Todd Nightenhelser, president of the Huntington Jaycees.

Lancaster second-graders embrace the practice of giving over receiving

Lancaster Elementary School students Nathan York and Justin Szelis (from left, front) Jessica Smith (center) and Katlin Angle (rear) deliver thier dontion to Love INC recently.
Photo by Jessica Williams.

The two Lancaster Elementary second grade classes have embraced the practice of giv-ing, rather than receiving, during the holidays this season.

Jennifer Redner and Linda Zahm asked their students and the students' parents if they could donate to Love, INC, instead of partaking in their usual Christmas gift exchange.

Zahm says the response from the kids was instant approval.

102-year-old has many holiday memories

Angela Brickley turns 102 today, Thursday, Dec. 3. She took some time recently to reflect on her Christmas memories growing up.
Photo by Jessica Williams

Angela Brickley has many holiday memories as she approaches her 102nd Christmas.

Brickley resides at Norwood Nursing Center and is celebrating her birthday today, Thursday, Dec. 3. She was born in 1907 and grew up in Union Township.

She says she remembers the Santa Parade downtown and lighting the Christmas tree. She also enjoyed the big tree at school, candles on it and all. She said the town was lit up so bright for the holidays.

"I always enjoyed Christmas," Brickley says.

MarkleBank's holiday routine different this year

Greg Smitley.
Photo by Jessica Williams.

MarkleBank will be doing something a little out of routine for its customers this holiday season.

In the past, the bank usually invites its customers to meals in which they would receive a small token of the bank's appreciation.

But this year, President and CEO of MarkleBank Greg Smitley says that the money that would have been used for the meals and gifts will be given back to the community through organizations that assist needy families.

Hauenstein's purchase on a whim turns out to be a good decision

Owner Mike Hauenstein (left), and daughter and manager Jen Bailey (right), stand in front of the Hare Canvas Products sign along U.S. 224 in Markle on Friday, Nov. 13. Hauenstein purchased the company in 1994, and has since seen extensive growth.
Photo by Matt Murphy.

Few people are willing to take huge risks.

But in Markle, Mark Hauenstein has proved that venturing into the unknown can be one of the best decisions someone can make.

Hauenstein is the owner of Hare Canvas Products, which he bought on a whim in 1994 from Chuck Hare, the company's original owner.

"My son bought a boat, so we went to Hare Canvas to have a cover made," Hauenstein says. "Chuck had a ‘for sale' sign up, I talked to my wife and thought about it for six months, and I bought the company in March 1994."

Historical museum tells the story of Huntington County and its residents

Linda Wilson, left, adjusts a jacket on a mannequin at the Huntington County Historical Museum recently as Richard Newell looks on. The two volunteers were preparing the Veteran’s Day exhibit at the museum.
Photo by Jessica Williams.

Originally published Nov. 9, 2009.

There's only one place in the entire county that citizens can visit to learn about the history of where they are living, says Pat Bergdall, director of the Huntington County Historical Museum.

Bergdall, originally from California, is a retired schoolteacher who has lived in Huntington for 34 years. She was named director in July 2008.

She says that compared to the other two museums in Huntington, her museum is different in its focus, which is to tell the history of the county and to house artifacts.

'Anything tastes better outside'

Bill Gohmann prepares a chicken and rice casserole in a Dutch oven during an outdoor cooking contest Saturday, Oct. 24, at Roush Lake.
Photo by Cindy Klepper.

Originally published Oct. 29, 2009.

"Anything tastes better outside," says Cathy Gohmann.

She ought to know.

Gohmann, husband Bill Gohmann and son Tony Gohmann are the recently crowned outdoor cooking champions of the Upper Wabash Reservoirs.

With a couple of Dutch ovens and a pile of charcoal, they say, they can whip up a meal for any number of hungry boys.

Varsity Singers prepare for annual 'Pomp & Plenty' as Wenning celebrates 25th year

John Wenning (seated) directs the Huntington North High School Varsity Singers as they rehearse their show on Thursday, Nov. 12, in preparation for the “Pomp & Plenty” dinner and concert to be held on Nov. 21-22.
Photo by Matt Murphy.

The singing of 43 Huntington North High School students fills the hallways near the school's auditorium as the Varsity Singers prepare their show for the 21st annual "Pomp & Plenty" Dinner concert, to be held Nov. 21 and 22.

The group has performed around the country and has been featured in national events from official show choir competitions in Chicago to the Walt Disney World Resort in Orlando.

Now, the group's director, John Wenning, is celebrating his 25th year as the Varsity Singers' leader.

Schenkel enjoys her chance to help

Greta Schenkel (fright) looks at a book with Kids Kampus students Riley Fritcha (left) and Nate Garber (center) during her visit on Monday, Nov. 9. Schenkel won the Herbert D. LaMont Award on Saturday evening, Nov. 7, for her volunteerism at the building.
Photo by Jessica Williams.

Greta Schenkel, the Herbert D. LaMont Award winner, walked through the halls of Kids Kampus on Monday, Nov. 9, showing off her plaque she received just two days prior, which was carefully wrapped in a towel.

"I like coming here," Schenkel says of volunteering at Pathfinder Kids Kampus. She logs 20 to 30 hours a week at the daycare, mostly in the Adventurers Room, which houses young children.

She does a variety of things during her visits.

"I sit with the (kids) and play with them ..." Schenkel says.

Former student wins Herbert D. LaMont Award

Barb Hancher (left) applauds Nancy Lewis after Lewis received one of two Timothy Hancher Direct Service Awards during the Pathfinder Services recognition dinner on Saturday, Nov. 7.
Photo by Cindy Klepper.

Greta Schenkel, a former Pathfinder Services client who now serves as a Pathfinder Services volunteer, was honored Saturday, Nov. 7, with the organization's Herbert D. LaMont Award.

The annual award, the top honor given out by Pathfinder Services, is named in honor of the man who was a major force in the development of services in Huntington County for people with disabilities.

In a different way this time, Fry still putting smiles on people's faces

Former Huntington County resident Mike Fry, formerly "Happy the Hobo" of children's daytime TV fame, is now an Indianapolis businessman.
Photo provided.

Previously published Oct. 26, 2009.

For the past 30 years, Mike Fry has been putting smiles on the faces of countless people around the world.

Don't recognize the name? Well, between 1982 and 1990, Fry was more affectionately known as the original "Happy the Hobo," a star of the popular children's program on WFFT FOX 55, in Fort Wayne, "Happy's Place."

The show aired throughout the region of Ohio, Indiana and Michigan. In 1990 Fry suddenly left the show to pursue other endeavors.

Huntington resident donates WWII artifacts, memories to museum

Huntington resident Leo Scheer, who served as a Navy medic on Omaha Beach, has donated D-Day mementoes to the Huntington County Historical Museum.
Photo by Cindy Klepper.

The mighty forces of many countries lined up off the coast of France, waiting for the break in the weather that would allow them to storm the coast of France and release Europe from Hitler's grip.

Once the men reached shore, they'd be dead serious about their task - or just dead.

While they waited, though, they were a bunch of bored young men.

One of those young men was Leo Scheer, a Navy medic just a couple of years out of Huntington Catholic High School, packed like a sardine in an American ship destined for a piece of ground code named Omaha Beach.

HCCSC leaders explain New Tech program

Kelly Renier.
Photo by Jessica Williams.

With a decision looming near regarding the New Tech program, Superintendent of Schools Tracey Shafer and an assistant principal at Huntington North High School, Kelly Renier, offer more information to the public about the program.

Information has been linked from the corporation website about New Tech. According to the links, Indiana leads the nation in the number of schools that have implemented this program with eight, and New Tech at Wayne High School in Fort Wayne is the newest in the state, established this fall.