Book series rule list of most popular adult fiction books checked out in 2013 at Huntington library

Circulation Clerk Matt Etzel looks over the list of most popular fiction books at the Huntington City-Township Public Library for 2013.
Photo by Lauren Winterfeld.

Originally published Jan. 23, 2014.

Book series ruled the list of most popular adult fiction books checked out in 2013 at Huntington City-Township Public Library.

The library annually compiles a report that lists its most popular checkouts and total number of checkouts by type of patron.

Authors such as James Patterson, who is famous for his thriller series, and Janet Evanovich, who penned the Stephanie Plum series, topped the list of most popular authors, as well as landing several of their titles on the "most popular" hard copy adult fiction list.

Huntington University campus pastor tells BBBS mentors how program made a difference

Arthur Wilson, campus pastor at Huntington University, discusses his relationship with the mentor he was paired with through Big Brothers Big Sisters of Northeast Indiana. Wilson spoke during an appreciation breakfast for local BBBS mentors.
Photo by Cindy Klepper.

Originally published Jan. 19, 2014.

Arthur Wilson is accustomed to dispensing advice.

He has four kids of his own.

He's worked with youth through Fort Wayne Area Youth for Christ.

His counsel is sought by students at Huntington University, where he now serves as campus pastor.

But he knows - through personal experience - that advice, though sound, isn't always followed.

He ignored advice from his big brother on what girl to date, what car to buy.

"And you know what?" Wilson says. "He loved me anyway."

Former local says getting his book to library shelf was not easy

Former Huntington resident Bill Stamper holds his first novel, “Reality Checks.” Stamper self-published the book, which is a publishing method available to authors who have been overlooked by traditional publishers.
Photo provided.

Originally published Jan. 9, 2014.

Former Huntington resident Bill Stamper authored a novel that can be pulled off one of the shelves at the Huntington City-Township Public Library and checked out with the simple swipe of a library card.

For Stamper, though, getting the book there was anything but simple.

County’s economic development efforts fared well in 2013

Todd Miller, president of Auger Torque USA, LLC, attaches a hose guide to a trencher machine Thursday, Jan. 9. The UK-based company planted a location in Huntington in 2013 and expects to employ as many as 35 workers in the next five years.
Photo by Rebecca Sandlin.

Originally published Jan. 16, 2014.

Despite what is being called a "historically slow" economic recovery from the Great Recession, Huntington County's economic development fared well in 2013, and local officials expect it to be on track for more growth in the new year ahead.

Mark Wickersham, executive director of Huntington County Economic Development, presented an encouraging report to various officials around the county about how well efforts in Huntington County went in 2013. Wickersham says the success surprised even him.

‘Desert of snow’ keeps city, county crews busy throughout last week

The Huntington County Highway foreman’s truck makes it way down a snow-covered county road after the snowfall had ceased after the winter storm that hit Huntington County on Sunday, Jan. 5.
Photo provided.

"It was like a desert of snow," says Troy Hostetler, superintendent of Huntington County Highway, of the winter storm that hit Huntington County on Sunday, Jan. 5.

The effects of the snowstorm were felt throughout the next week, with Huntington County Community Schools closing school through Friday, Jan. 10, and Huntington County issuing travel advisories throughout the week.

Area legislators weigh in with expectations for new session

From left, Dan Leonard, Jim Banks and Travis Holdman.
Photos provided.

Originally published Jan. 6, 2014.

The 119th legislative session of Indiana's General Assembly begins today, Monday, Jan. 6.

The House and Senate reconvene this afternoon at 1:30.

As with every legislative session, our area representatives have hopes and expectations for the controversial issues and their own legislation.

They weigh in here:

Rep. Dan Leonard

Leonard says the marriage amendment is "not an easy issue," and will receive a lot of focus during this session.

Generous Christmas donations for non-profits fall off after holiday

Love In the Name of Christ volunteer Ed Beckner, of Huntington, checks to make sure he’s filling the correct order for a food pantry client on Friday, Dec. 27.
Photo by Rebecca Sandlin.

Originally published Jan. 2, 2014.

Barely into the new year, retailers and shoppers alike are taking a deep breath as they finally get a break from the holiday stress.

But for area food pantries and animal shelters, this is when stressful times often begin.

Joey Spiegel, executive director of Love In the Name of Christ, says people give generously up to the end of December and that's a big help to providing food, clothing and toys to the area's less fortunate citizens.

Local soldier using different means to save a life as part of bone marrow donor program

Ryan Lockwood, sergeant first class in the United States Army, donated his stem cells to a 9-year-old girl suffering from a life-threatening form of anemia.
Photo provided.

Originally published Dec. 30, 2013.

It is easy to imagine soldiers fighting for the lives of civilians while at war.

Members of our military battle the enemy to protect and preserve the lives of all Americans.

But, a handful of these warriors save lives in another way, too.

Ryan Lockwood, sergeant first class in the U.S. Army, is one of those men.

After 50 years, Gingham Gals feel like they’ve now got it all down pat

Charter members of the Gingham Gals Extension Homemakers Club celebrate the club’s 50-year anniversary at a dinner at First Baptist Church in Warren.
Photo by Rebecca Sandlin.

Originally published Dec. 26, 2013.

Fifty years ago, the girls of the Gingham Gals Extension Homemakers Club were just learning how to do things like fold fitted bed sheets or the correct way to iron a shirt.

After 50 years, club members feel like they have it all down pat.

The Gingham Gals recently celebrated the Warren club's 50th anniversary with a dinner, with 10 charter members in attendance. Evelyn Hunt says that after half a century the closely-knit group is still going strong.

Huntington County HELP aiding local man reach his goal of getting back behind wheel

Bill Tollett sits in his Mayne Street home, waiting for the weather to clear so he can take a spin in his truck — a truck that, after an almost two-year quest, is now equipped with hand controls to accommodate Tollet’s physical abilities.
Photo by Cindy Klepper.

Originally published Dec. 23, 2013.

Bill Tollett shares his home with a couple of old English bulldogs.

"They're my boys," he says. "They're spoiled rotten."
He'd like to spoil them a little bit more.

"One of the first things I want to do is take my dogs to the reservoir so they can play," Tollett says.

Driving his dogs to the reservoir would have been an impossible dream a few months ago. The simple act of driving was out of his reach after the amputation of his right leg and the loss of several toes from his left foot.

LaFontaine Center resident at head of large 5-generation tree

Janet Hunt Zimpelman (middle row, center) poses with some of the five-generation lines in her family.
Photo by Cindy Klepper.

Originally published Dec. 19, 2013.

Every once in a while, you'll see a photo of four adults gathered around a baby whose birth has completed five living generations in that family.

It used to be a rare occurrence; it's still unusual, but it's happening with more frequency as life expectancy increases for the oldest generations.

But few can say, as Janet Hunt Zimpelman can, that the family extends to the fifth generation 14 times.

"I enjoy them," she says. "I do enjoy them."

Cardboard dime store Santa pick-up starts Pieper collection

Phyllis and George Pieper, of Huntington, stand beside a display case in their living room containing a portion of their collection of Santa Claus memorabilia, which the couple estimates to be around 300 pieces.
Photo by Steve Clark.

In most homes, Santa Claus can be found nearby the chimney and fireplace.

In the Pieper household, however, he can be found everywhere.

George and Phyllis Pieper, of Huntington, have been collecting Santa Claus memorabilia for 30 years. It's a hobby that can be traced back to the early days of their marriage.

"When we were first married we went to the dime store our first Christmas and he found a Christmas Santa Claus that he liked," explains Phyllis. "It was just cardboard, but we liked the face of it and so we bought it and had it out every year for Christmas."

Class has led HCCSC employees in a healthier direction this year

Riverview Middle School teacher Connie Duling (left) spots Lisa Nightingale during her ab crunches, part of the regimen of the fitness class for Huntington County School Corporation employees held twice a week at Lincoln Elementary School.
Photo by Rebecca Sandlin.

Originally published Dec. 12, 2013.

For a group of Huntington County School Corporation educators and staff members, taking a class themselves has led them in a healthier direction.

As part of the school corporation's wellness program, about 40 employees are stretching, flexing and strengthening their physical fitness in an exercise class that meets twice a week at Lincoln Elementary School.

Scheiber's Christmas village

Photo by Cindy Klepper.

Tim Scheiber says he delights in seeing footsteps in the snow, a sign that others are enjoying the elaborate Christmas village set up on the porch of his home at Elm and Wright streets in Huntington.

Area pair more than a little invested with Christmas villages

Hazel Ruth Brooks and her son Jerry Brooks stand with a portion of her Christmas village, which she plans to share with the community during an open house at her rural Warren home on Dec. 14 and 15.
Photo by Cindy Klepper.

Originally published Dec. 9, 2013.

For Hazel Ruth Brooks, it started in the early 1990s.

Tim Scheiber became a fan after a childhood visit to a friend's house at Christmastime.

Now, both Brooks and Scheiber spend hours every year setting up elaborate displays depicting life in a small village at Christmas.

Well, maybe not so small - Brooks' display engulfs her dining room, and Scheiber fills his enclosed porch with the scene.