Local Rotary Club has seen its share of changes in first century

Current members of the Huntington Rotary Club are (front, from left) Annette Carroll, Beka Lemons, Holly Saunders and Nicole Johnson; (second row, from left) Rich Beaver, Adam Drummond, Joe Santa, Dawn Harvey and Megan Reckelhoff; (third row, from left starting in the middle of the photo) Natalie McConnell, Kathy Branham, Mandy Reber and Cindy Krumanaker; (fourth row, from left) Mike Perkins, Jim Hoffman, Steve Pfister, Matt Roth, Chris Sands and Rose Meldrum; (fifth row, from left) Mel Ring, Lyle Juillerat, Randy Sizemore, Mark Wickersham, Kevin Killen, Lori Mickley and David Dyer; (sixth row, from left) Sarah Hain, Rose Wall, Stefan Poling and Billy Winter; (seventh row, from left) Joe Hake, Brooks Fetters, Pat Brown and Chris Fleck; and (eighth row, from left) Dave Mettler John Jepsen and Michael Howell.
Photo by Cindy Klepper.

Originally published on May 29, 2017.

Like most things that have lasted for a century, the Huntington Rotary Club has seen its share of changes.

“It’s really evolved, because it was at one time a good old boys’ club,” says Jim Hoffman, who’s been a Rotarian since 1973.

“It used to be men who didn’t punch the clock, and they had secretaries,” says Mel Ring, whose 57 years of membership makes him the longest-standing Rotarian in Huntington.

There were no women, and there were strict limits on the number of members from any one profession.

California couple looking for Midwest farm and land instead winds up with lodge hall project

Theresa and Atom Cannizzaro are the new owners of Huntington’s former Masonic Temple, a 20,000-square-foot building that has become their home and may, eventually, house a business.
Photo by Cindy Klepper.

Originally published May 22, 2017.

Theresa and Atom Cannizzaro were looking for a Midwest farmhouse surrounded by a couple hundred acres of land.

They bought a massive former lodge hall near downtown Huntington, complete with two parking lots.

“We just really fell in love with this,” says Theresa, who, like her husband, Atom, was born and raised in San Diego, CA.

Huntington’s Carroll enjoys his work at ‘happiest place on Earth’

EJ Carroll, of Huntington, stands by a flag for The Masters, one of the most famous golf tournaments in the world, which is held annually at Augusta National Golf Club, in Augusta, GA. In April, Carroll got to fulfill a lifelong dream and go to Augusta National, working in security at The Masters.
Photo by Steve Clark.

Originally published May 15, 2017.

Augusta National Golf Club in Augusta, GA, is widely known as the home of The Masters, one of the most famous golf tournaments in the world.

EJ Carroll, of Huntington, has another name for it.

“It’s the happiest place on Earth,” he says. “It really is. Everybody wants to be there.”

Zay notes being new guy in statehouse a bit tough, but not overwhelming with some help

Indiana State Sen. Andy Zay, who was appointed to represent the 17th District when Jim Banks was elected to Congress, makes a point during a senate session earlier this year.
Photo provided.

Originally published May 12, 2017.

What’s it like to be the new guy in the Indiana Statehouse?

There’s “a little bit of learn by fire,” says Sen. Andy Zay, fresh off his first term as a member of the state’s legislative body.

On the other hand, he says, there was always a seasoned lawmaker, an aide or a representative of a state agency available and accessible to provide him with the information he needed.

Rotary Reading Buddy partnership turns into long-term friendship for Schwob, Snyder

Rotary Club member Kay Schwob (left) and Sarah Denton Snyder take a break at Café of Hope on Monday, May 1. The two have remained friends ever since they were first paired in the Rotary Reading Buddies program at Lincoln Elementary School back in 2000. They have kept in touch through letters, cards, get-togethers and Facebook.
Photo by Rebecca Sandlin

Originally published May 8, 2017.

When Kay Schwob signed on to help out her Huntington Rotary Club with its newly-launched Reading Buddies program at Lincoln Elementary School in 2000, she thought she was helping to give back to the community she loves.

Courthouse clocks not just a way to look at time, but their workings are way to look back in time

Greg Ricker, facilities manager of the Huntington County Courthouse, cranks one of the building’s four exterior clocks on Tuesday, April 25. The clocks, which require cranking once a week in order to function, have been in continuous use since they were installed in the courthouse in 1907.
Photo by Steve Clark.

Originally published on May 5, 2017.

Looking at one of the clocks outside the Huntington County Courthouse isn’t just a way to look at the time — it’s also a way to look back in time.

The clocks were installed in 1907. And while many aspects of the courthouse have changed since that time, the devices in charge of keeping the time have not.

There are four exterior clocks in all at the courthouse. None of them are automated. To keep the clocks running, maintenance workers must trek up to the courthouse attic once a week and wind each one of them up.

Cancer survivor helps raise funds with her apron-making skills

Roberta Rector models one of her cancer-fighting aprons, with more aprons laid out on a sofa in the lobby of the LaFontaine Center.
Photo by Cindy Klepper.

Originally published May 1, 2017.

It all started eight years ago when Roberta Rector received a cancer diagnosis.

Now, Rector is turning out aprons by the dozen in an effort to keep others from going through what she went through.

“I’m a survivor,” she says. “I’m just making aprons to try and help get rid of the disease.”

Once about the future, Kirby now heads into past with spirit

Sarah Kirby, librarian in the Huntington City-Township Public Library’s Indiana Room, has a career that began in rocket science and has evolved into library science.
Photo by Cindy Klepper.

Originally published April 27, 2017.

Sarah Kirby’s trajectory has taken her from the future to the past.

Once part of a team that sought to explore the outer reaches of space, Kirby now heads a team whose mission is firmly planted on (or in) the ground.

Her new job as librarian in the Huntington City-Township Public Library’s genealogy collection is, she says, the answer to her question, “What do I want to be when I grow up?”

As a child, she says, the answer was space.

“I was a space cadet when I was 3,” Kirby says. “I named my dog ‘Star.’”

County woman says achieving inner peace and tranquility may be as far away as own back yard

Taking advantage of the wooded property at her parents’ home on Rangeline Road on April 12, Christy Thomson demonstrates how taking time to sit and take in the sights, sounds and scents of the woods can help hikers relax and reap several benefits to their physical, emotional and spiritual health.
Photo by Rebecca Sandlin

Originally published April 24, 2017.

A rural Huntington woman says achieving inner peace, tranquility and spiritual renewal may be just as far away as your own back yard.

Christy Thomson, who may be better known as the music coordinator at the Parkview Huntington YMCA, calls it “forest bathing” or “forest therapy.” The moniker is derived from the Japanese word Shinrin-yoku, which is translated as “bathing your senses in the forest.”

Genius Hour showing educators that letting students pick studies might be right track

Alayna Pohler (left) and Josie Eckert, members of the Riverview Middle School Seventh Grade Blue Team, explain to the Huntington County Community School Corporation Board of School Trustees at its April 10 meeting how they decided to create a lip balm product for their Genius Hour project. The profits from sales of the lip balm are being donated to The Salvation Army.
Photo by Rebecca Sandlin

Originally published April 20, 2017

The idea of letting kids learn what they want to learn sounds like a recipe for disaster, but as the seventh-grade Blue Team at Riverview Middle School has proven, it’s sheer genius.

It’s called Genius Hour, a program that is teaching middle school students to not just think out of the box, but for themselves as well. The results have been impressive, says Assistant Principal Michael Parsons.

Chance calling has county resident among best in world

John Nixon, of Huntington County, stands with the Founders Award, an accolade given out by the American Academy of Forensic Sciences that recognizes outstanding service to the engineering sciences. Originally from Scotland, Nixon has made a name for himself in the United States as a forensic consultant and expert on weapons systems and explosives.
Photo by Steve Clark.

Originally published April 17, 2017.

John Nixon found his calling in life by chance.

While training to be an engineer in London, he was approached by government representatives who were searching for engineers to work on munitions and ordinance.

“They kind of picked me out and said, ‘Come for an interview,’” Nixon recalls. “So, I had an interview and then got the job. I was kind of like a troubleshooter, going from one technology area to another.

“So, I worked on a lot of things – like missiles, explosives, small arms.”

Artist creates living willow tunnel at Salamonie Lake as part of Arts in Parks

Sadie Misiuk (left) and Viki Graber plant willow branches on the banks of a pond at Salamonie Lake on Friday, April 7. The branches will eventually become a living tunnel, an installation put in place as part of the Indiana Arts Commission’s Arts in the Parks program.
Photo by Cindy Klepper.

Originally published April 13, 2017.

In another week or so, with any luck, the willow will have budded and the ground will have dried, making the newly installed living tunnel at Salamonie Lake an enticing place to play — or just chill out.

But willow weaving artist Viki Graber and her assistant, Sadie Misiuk, had to contend with a chill in the air and mud under their feet when they created the sculpture on Friday, April 7.

“This is going to be a child’s tunnel, but adults can go in there if they want to crouch down a little bit,” Graber says.

Agencies working hard to solve county location mysteries

Marla Stambazze, land use coordinator with the Huntington County Department of Community Development, displays a sign designating lot numbers for a subdivision where about a dozen homes share the same address. The designation of lot numbers was part of a project to assign addresses to every location in Huntington County where people might gather.
Photo by Cindy Klepper.

Originally published April 10, 2017.

They haven’t quite solved the mystery of the lost city of Atlantis, but they have found a number of cemeteries throughout Huntington County.

Although preferring anonymity, top Lancaster Elementary volunteer turns into ‘school asset’

Volunteer George Richardson (right) helps Lancaster Elementary School first-grader Olivia Thomas, 7, with a difficult word as she reads aloud to him during class on Wednesday, March 29. Richardson volunteers the equivalent hours of a full-time employee, working year ’round at the school.
Photo by Rebecca Sandlin

Originally published April 6, 2017.

George Richardson says that “someone” twisted his arm to do this story. Truth told, it was more likely a bunch of “someones” who convinced him that he deserves all the attention he’s recently received.

“I like to be anonymous,” he said, simply.

But at Lancaster Elementary School, Richardson is anything but anonymous. His name is often heard overhead on the school’s PA system, summoning him for one task or another.

Reunited friends’ latest project at LaFontaine Center designed to show different people can get along

LaFontaine Center residents Lorraine Dunford (left) and Rose Hawkins spearheaded the creation of the “Fantasy Gnome and Fairy Garden” in the center’s lobby.
Photo by Cindy Klepper.

Originally published April 3, 2017.

Lorraine Dunford and Rose Hawkins were childhood friends who, over the years, lost track of each other.

While Hawkins stayed close to home, Dunford spent years overseas as a member of a military family.

Then, last December, both — coincidentally — moved into apartments at the LaFontaine Center, in Huntington.

“It was just a total surprise out of the blue,” Dunford says of reconnecting with her old friend.

“I was sitting in the Brick Room coloring, and she walked in,” Hawkins says.