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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.

Honor programs and free meals for area veterans for Veterans Day

Area veterans will be treated to free meals for Veterans Day.

Veterans will also be honored during a program Nov. 10 at the First Church of the Nazarene.

Meals for veterans include:
• The annual free Veterans Day Dinner sponsored by the Huntington County Veterans Council.

The dinner is hosted this year by American Legion Post 85 and will be on Saturday, Nov. 7, from noon to 3 p.m.

Reservations are not necessary. American Legion Post 85 is located at 1410 S. Jefferson St., Huntington.

It may seem like child's play, but Lego League has real mission for kids

Brooke Elston, mentor Chris Elston and Elijah Chesterman (from left) watch as their Lego League robot travels down a path on its way to complete an assigned mission.
Photo by Cindy Klepper.

Originally published Oct. 12, 2009.

They have a mission.

A mission to be completed with tiny plastic blocks - brought to life through sophisticated computer programming.

The mission is being carried out by a group of middle school students who make up the Lego League, a junior counterpart to the established Huntington County 4-H robotics team that recently presented the Huntington Police Department with a fully-functional robot designed to be used during officer firearms training.

McKenzie's Hope works behind scenes for kids

Amber Hirschy.
Photo by Jessica Williams.

Originally published Oct. 8, 2009.

McKenzie's Hope is a local organization that provides services behind the scenes.

"Our main goal is to provide a safe, comfortable location for the investigations of child abuse," says the executive director of McKenzie's Hope, Amber Hirschy. She has had this role since July 2008.

The process involves several community groups and individuals, but the main team Hirschy relies on is composed of law enforcement, department of child services and the prosecutor's office.