Fetters’ ‘Downtown Walkabout’ shows him area from different angle

Huntington Mayor Brooks Fetters (left) attempts to enter the parking lot where the Downtown Farmer’s Market is held over a two-inch curb that does not have a handicapped access.
Photo by Lauren M. Wilson.

Originally published Aug. 5, 2013.

"I know I can get out of this chair," says Huntington Mayor Brooks Fetters as he rolls down the sidewalk of Market Street in a wheelchair, "But, there are people (in Huntington) who cannot. This is their life."

Fetters maneuvered his wheelchair around the downtown area of Huntington on Thursday, Aug. 1. He was joined by Anthony Goodnight, director of Public Works and Engineering Services and Huntington City Police Chief E.J. Carroll.

‘Mission: Huntington’ literally brings it home for parishoners

Betty Michel stitches the handles on a fabric bag at Evangelical United Methodist Church on Thursday, Aug. 1. Volunteers sewed more than 450 bags for the Huntington County Literacy Coalition as part of Mission: Huntington.
Photo by Andre B. Laird.

Originally published Aug. 5, 2013.

When the church council at Evangelical United Methodist Church met in January to discuss plans for outreach, the community of Huntington was at the top of every person's list.

The result: During the past week, July 29 through Aug. 1, more than 107 people participated in service projects benefiting the city, its various organizations and private residents.

The initiative was titled "Mission: Huntington."

Rev. Marti Lundy, senior pastor at Evangelical UMC, says the plan was simple.

Childhood memories help Ridgway become youth ambassador

Kristie Ridgway, a seasonal interpreter with Upper Wabash Interpretive Services, in Andrews, is a participant in the America’s State Parks Youth Ambassador Program.
Photo by Steve Clark.

Originally published Aug. 1, 2013.

For Kristie Ridgway, spending time in Bluffton's Oubache State Park with her mother as she was growing up made an impression on her.

"That's where we went camping and so I grew up with a love of state parks," she says.

Flash forward to today and Ridgway works as a seasonal interpreter with Upper Wabash Interpretive Services, in Andrews, and recently graduated from Ball State University, in Muncie, where she attained a degree in natural resources.

Farthing has new title as dispatch director but is familiar with her role

Melissa Farthing was recently hired as the Huntington County Safety Dispatch Director. Farthing is a former dispatcher herself, working four years on the city dispatch team.
Photo by Andre B. Laird.

Originally published July 18, 2013.

When Melissa Farthing showed up for work on June 22, she had a new title, but was very familiar with her new role.

The Huntington native was hired as the new Huntington County Public Safety Dispatch Director. She oversees the recently combined city and county dispatch teams.

She has worked for the sheriff's department for eight years, and has also worked part-time for the Huntington Police Department for four years.

Fandana organizers excited about this year’s show

Former Korn member Brian Welch will appear at the Fandana Festival with his new band, “Love and Death.”
Photo provided.

As the time draws closer, organizers of the annual Fandana Festival are getting more excited about this year's show.

The three-day event, Aug. 2-4, is held at Huntington University and Julie Hendryx, Huntington University liaison for the festival, says there is a full line-up of talent slated to perform, including headliner Needtobreathe.

"We are excited to have them perform for the festival, as well as Love and Death, Matt Maher and the many other bands that will be here," Hendryx says. "Performances will be held on three stages, just like last year."

Pair of former 4-H royals share fond memories

Cheryl Jarrett was crowned Huntington County 4-H Royalty Queen in 1978, an experience she fondly remembers. This year is the 50th anniversary of the pageant.
Photo by Andre B. Laird.

When Abby Blocker and Cordell Lewis were recently named 2013 4-H Royalty Queen and King respectively, it brought back fond memories for at least two former queens still in the area.

Cheryl (Davenriner) Jarrett, winner in 1978 and Laura (Ernst) Smart, 1986 queen, both had fun competing.

"I had always wanted to enter the royalty pageant," states Jarrett. "I had seen other girls compete every year and thought it would be a fun thing to do."

St. Peter Lutheran food tent serving fair-goers for 82 years

Keith Crider, volunteer from St. Peter Lutheran Church, helps to hang the banner at the church’s food tent during set-up for the Huntington County 4-H Fair on Thursday, July 18.
Photo by Lauren M. Wilson.

In 1931, one year after it began, the Huntington County 4-H Fair needed food service.

Gladys Petting, a member of the Ladies Aid group of St. Peter Lutheran Church at the time, heard rumblings about the need for refreshments at the fair. She was entertaining the idea of opening a food tent when Gus Kilty, a Huntington undertaker, donated a graveside tent to the church.

And so, the St. Peter Lutheran Church 4-H Fair food tent was born.

That was 82 years ago, and the church hasn't missed a beat since.

Love INC planning for its annual Back to School program Aug. 1-3

Taylor Hippensteel (left) and her mother Kelly, both volunteers at Love INC, work to get supplies ready for the Back to School Shopping event. The program provides school clothing and a backpack for area youth and will be held Aug. 1-3.
Photo by Andre B. Laird.

Originally published July 15, 2013.

With summer in full swing, few people think about the upcoming school year and all the preparation and financial resources required for a family with school-aged children.

Love INC, however, has been planning for the last few months in preparation for its annual Back to School program, which will be held Aug. 1-3.

The Back to School Shopping program provides three sets of outfits (pants, shirts and under garments) and a backpack to children in grades K-12.

Dragway ownership all about family for Daniels

Scott Daniels (center) along with wife Dawn (left) and business partner Mark Krumanaker became the owners of Muncie Dragway in Albany this year. Daniels says making the racing venue family-oriented has been one of their biggest ambitions.
Photo by Steve Clark.

Originally published July 11, 2013.

Scott Daniels, of Huntington, loved drag racing so much that he decided to buy a dragway.

Last December, along with his wife, Dawn, and business partner Mark Krumanaker, he purchased the Muncie Dragway, in Albany.

"It was just a business opportunity that we saw between myself, my wife and our partner, and we decided to do it," says Daniels, who also owns Daniels Automotive, in Huntington.

‘Helper’ Foust still coaching after 35 years on local sidelines

Kenny Foust, who has coached youth sports in Huntington for 35 years, sits with a few of the trophies his teams have earned during that time, each one from a different decade.
Photo by Steve Clark.

Originally published June 27, 2013.

When Debbie Foust filled out a registration form so that one of her sons could play basketball in the Kim League at the YMCA in Huntington, she noted that her husband, Kenny, could serve as a helper if the team needed one.

That was 35 years ago, and Kenny Foust has been involved with youth sports in Huntington ever since.

Eshelman’s love of country on display on the walls of his office

Roanoke area resident Pete Eshelman has a collection of flags, each of which flew during a major time of conflict in history. Eshelman comes from a long line of men who served in the military.
Photo by Andre B. Laird.

One look at the walls of Pete Eshelman's office and it is clear that patriotism runs through his veins.

Eshelman, owner of Joseph Decuis in Roanoke, has a collection of four large flags, each of which flew during a major time of conflict.

"My family history includes people in military all the way back to the Revolutionary War," Eshelman says. "And that's on both sides of my family."

He adds that the flags are displayed not for show, but as a constant reminder of the sacrifice others have paid for people like himself.

United Way kicks off 2013 campaign by sending Pacesetters out early

Nicole Johnson, chair of the Huntington County United Way’s 2013 fund-raising campaign, thanks the companies who volunteered to be Pacesetters for the campaign during a Pacesetter kick-off luncheon on Wednesday, June 26.
Photo by Cindy Klepper.

The United Way of Huntington County kicked off the preliminary portion of its 2013 campaign on Wednesday, June 26, sending its Pacesetter companies out into the field to begin the fund-raising.

The 12 Pacesetter companies have volunteered to run their campaigns early to set the pace for the community campaign, which will officially begin on Aug. 21.

Nicole Johnson, chair of the 2013 United Way campaign, said she expects "lots of fun activities" from the Pacesetter companies.

Whitacre hits milestone million mark carrying newspapers for The TAB

Huntington County TAB carrier Julie Whitacre, who has delivered an estimated 1 million copies of the newspaper over the last 15-plus years, makes her latest delivery.
Photo by Cindy Klepper.

Originally published June 24, 2013.

Any way you add it up, Julie Whitacre's numbers are through the roof.

The big number, though, is 1 million.

That's the number of times, as of this summer, that she's slipped a copy of The Huntington County TAB into one of the orange tubes dotting Huntington County and the fringe areas of adjoining counties.

That's the most newspapers ever delivered by any TAB carrier who has continuously maintained a route in his or her own name, says Russ Grindle, co-publisher of The TAB.

Local pair spends two weeks in Oklahoma helping after tornado

Sharon Laupp stands next to a van damaged by the May 20 tornado in Moore, OK, with debris from buildings scattered in the background.
Photo provided.

Originally published June 13, 2013.

Even as the community of Moore, OK, was reeling from the death and destruction inflicted by a tornado that leveled its town on May 20, a small army of volunteers was being assembled to help ease the pain.

That army included two Huntington women - Sharon Laupp and Jodi Kilty, both retired nurses - who spent two weeks in Oklahoma as part of a Red Cross disaster response team.

Indiana Room staffers prefer sleuthing old-school

Originally published June 10, 2013.

It looks so easy.

Type in your name, sit back, and watch the computer screen light up with the names, dates and cities that populate your past.

Instant family history, right?

Instant family, yes; but that family may not be yours.

"Anybody can put anything on they want to," says Joan Keefer, who presides over the historical documents that fill the Huntington City-Township Public Library's Indiana Room. "It does not have to be proven."