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Beetles' services in high demand for efforts in taxidermy

  Carpet beetles eat away flesh from a coyote skull. The process takes approximately four days with roughly 5,000 beetles devouring the flesh.
Photo by Cassie Wieckert.

Originally published March 12, 2009

Six months ago, Brian Spice picked up a hobby resulting in approximately 10,000 live beetles moving into his Huntington County barn.

His services - more specifically, the services of his bugs - are in high demand.

Spice and his colonies of carpet beetles can prepare an animal skull as a European mount in a matter of six to eight weeks, a mount preferred hunters who want just the skull, not the hide, of their trophies preserved and mounted.

Senior Center volunteer saw USA from cab of truck

Retired truck driver Florence Jackson (center) displays an old family photo as she chats with John Ulrich (left) and Holly Saunders of the Huntington County Senior Center, where Jackson now volunteers.
Photo by Cassie Wieckert.

Florence Jackson does not like New York.

But then again, after being mugged and robbed there, who would?

Jackson, also known as Rocky Mountain Lady, now retired from a 12-year driving career, has traveled to all 48 contiguous states, Canada and Mexico.

She's earned numerous safety awards and worked for several companies, but her love for the road has never changed. She even seemed destined for the job, explaining, "I could never sit still. I found a job that would pay me for not sitting still."

Stephan's been the Vikings' 'numbers guy' for 55 years

Dean Stephan has served as official scorekeeper for Huntington North High School boys' basketball since 1954. Stephan says his love for basketball, math and the fans is what keeps hime going.
Photo by Andre Laird.

Dean Stephan is a "numbers" guy and a sports enthusiast, specifically basketball.

For the past 55 years, Stephan has been the official scorekeeper for the Huntington North High School boys' varsity and junior varsity basketball games.

"I first had the chance to keep score after Dick ‘Doc' Goshorn, who was the scorekeeper, decided that he didn't want to travel to away games anymore," states Stephan. "I kept score for the teams' away games for the first two years and then for all games shortly after Doc was appointed B team coach."

Basketball standout steps out of the gym and into the line of fire

Alex Kock, seen in a physical education class at Huntington North High School, left the school Feb. 27 to begin training to become a Secret Service officer.
Photo by Cassie Wieckert.

Originally published March 2, 2009

A Huntington North High School physical education teacher and basketball coach will soon begin training to fulfill a long-held dream.

It will take more than six years, but if all goes as planned, Alex Kock will find himself responsible for the well-being of one of the most important people in the world - the president of the United States.

After a year-long application process, Kock received a phone call unlike any other, offering him a position with the United States Secret Service.

Blast off!

Photo by Richard Coyle.

Finally ...

Discovery is launched! As the third time was the charm, the launch went off on time at 7:43 p.m. in excellent weather conditions. As twilight settled in on Cape Canaveral, and the launch tower faded from view, everything changed with the ignition sequence as the launch pad lit up brighter than daylight.

Commander leads team on 'walkout'

Photo by Richard Coyle.

In the final media sequence of events, the seven astronauts, led by Commander Lee Archambault, performed what is called a "walkout" in their launch suits, exiting from their quarantine area Sunday, March 15, at 3:53 p.m.

They entered the special NASA van and were escorted directly to the space shuttle Discovery on the launch pad.

They were promptly outfitted with their helmets and other necessary gear, then taken to their respective stations and reclined into the launch-ready positions.

Last phase prior to fueling

Photo by Richard Coyle.

Tonight Saturday, March 14,  we witnessed the last phase prior to fueling of the space shuttle Discovery with the support structure rollback, which exposed the entire shuttle with a perfect view of the orbiter. And when they turned the "headlights" on it looked like daylight, but nothing compared to the brightness of the launch itself, from what I'm told.

Japanese astronaut waves to media

Photo by Richard Coyle.

Japanese astronaut Koichi Wakata, who will spend three months on the International Space Station, waves to the media assembled at Cape Canaveral as the space shuttle Discovery astronauts make their way across the tarmac upon landing in Florida earlier this week. The shuttle is scheduled to launch Sunday, March 15.

Former local resident has upclose ticket to upcoming space shuttle launch

Lee Archambault, commander of space shuttle Discovery (left), leads several of the astronauts across the tarmac upon their arrival at Cape Canaveral  earlier this week.
Photo by Richard Coyle.

The Huntington County TAB is pleased to present our readers with some special editorial material courtesy of former Huntington resident Richard Coyle.

Coyle, who spent 30 years in Huntington with C&C Oil until its sale in 1998, is currently at Cape Canaveral, in Florida, as part of the press contingent awaiting the upcoming launch of the space shuttle Discovery.

Rock Creek Township: mysterious places, plenty of mud

Shown is the residence and mill property of John and Mary Scotton, located on Section 14 in Rock Creek Township. The image was taken from the 1979 Atlas of Huntington County.
Illustration provided.

Beautiful scenery, rich farmland, mysterious places and plenty of mud.

All of these phrases have been used to describe Rock Creek Township since its organization in 1842, which is bordered by Union Township to its north, Salamonie Township to its south, Lancaster Township to its west and Wells County to its east.

The scenic beauty along Rock Creek is probably one of the county's best-kept secrets.

HU's interim president brings passion for learning, hometown

Ann McPherren, a Huntington University graduate and business professor, is serving as interim president of the university during the sabbatical of Dr. G. Blair Dowden.
Photo by Cindy Klepper.

Ann McPherren never planned to stay in Huntington County.

But then again, she never planned to leave.

She admits, with a laugh, that the lack of a plan for her personal life seems to be somewhat at odds with her responsibilities in shepherding the long-range plan at Huntington University.

But, she says, she's just never run across a good reason to leave.

"Why would you want to leave Huntington County?" she asks. "There's fabulous people, a great quality of life."

And so, she's spent her life - so far - close to home.

From street names to anthrax, a firefighter's training never ends

Huntington firefighters practice extinguishing a flaming LP tank during a drill held Thursday, Feb. 12, at the South Side Fire Station on Etna Avenue.
Photo by Cindy Klepper.

Originally published Feb. 19, 2009.

Back in the old days, they'd sit around at the station, talking about the best ways to put out a fire.

"They had ‘Red Books' that would have subjects to talk about," Huntington Fire Department Lt. John Keiser says. "We'd read the articles and take written tests."
Not any more.

Now, the training is hands on and non-stop.

The 'Big Dog' is barking again

Bob Bartrom is an avid musician and has his own one-man show performance. Bartrom also call bingo for the residents at the Tipton House each week.
Photo by Andre Laird.

Originally published Feb. 16, 2009.

For Huntington, IN, resident Robert "Bob" Bartrom, music has always been a source of comfort and strength.

Bartrom, who now suffers from a bone-deteriorating disease which has affected his knees and vertebrae in his back, says music has always been there for him.

"I started playing the guitar at the age of 16," states Bartrom. "But even earlier on, I had always had a love for music. My favorite genre is the blues, although I love and play almost everything."

Soldiers get a warm welcome home after their year in Iraq

Capt. Douglas Rapp (left) presents a flag to Joel Jerabek of United Technologies Electronic Controls in appreciation of UTEC's hospitality toward families of Indiana National Guard members.
Photo by Cindy Klepper.

Originally published Feb. 9, 2009.

The Guard is back in town.

The Huntington-based Team Delta of the Indiana National Guard received an official welcome home on Sunday, Feb. 1, just a day after a statewide ceremony at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis.

"On behalf of the state of Indiana, on behalf of the 50th District, which I represent, and on behalf of all of Huntington County - thank you so much, and welcome home," State Sen. Dan Leonard told the troops and their families assembled at Huntington University's Habecker Dining Commons.

Seniors get back in the groove with a video game that's right up their alley

Sam Eichhorn gets a little help with the control from Melissa Young, assistant activity director, during a Wii bowling tournament Friday,  Jan. 30, at Markle Health & Rehabilitation.
Photo by Judy Fitzmaurice.

Originally published Feb. 5, 2009.

The sound of the heavy ball rolling down the lane, the crash as it hits the pins. This may sound like a familiar scenario, but it isn't quite what it seems.

Instead of a traditional bowling alley, the scene is an area nursing home and some of the residents are locked in an intense game of Wii bowling. With participants and spectators gathered together in a comfortable social room at Markle Health & Rehabilitation, all eyes are glued on the television as the first bowler takes her place center stage, so to speak.