Features

Former nursery owner Fox delays retirement to keep doing job for which he still has passion

Wayne Fox stands inside a greenhouse at Huntington Nursery & Florist, where he has worked for 51 years. Fox was also the owner of the business for a long time, selling it in 2008, but he opted to stay on to help out and continue doing work he says he loves.
Photo by Rebecca Sandlin.

Wayne Fox agreed to stay on and help for a year after he sold Huntington Nursery to Jim and Kevin Yarger in 2008.

Twelve years later and counting, he’s still there.

“I’m one of the managers here,” he says, when asked for his current title. “I do the design work, and I do the estimating for all the outside contracting, and I’m kind of the horticulture guru, so to speak … I’ve been here so long, I do what I have to do. I’ve been doing it so long that whatever has to be done, I do.”

Indiana winter may be daunting to some, but one hardy group continues its mission to hike on

Bundled up on a cold wintry day, Tommi Tucker (left) and Rachael Dettling, holding her son Harrison, 23 months, enjoy a leisurely stroll in Memorial Park recently, as Tucker’s two sons run off to check a ditch in the park for crawdads. The Hike it Baby group meets on Friday mornings to go on walks at various Huntington County locations.
Photo by Rebecca Sandlin.

While Indiana’s weather may prove daunting to young and old at times – even closing school on occasion – one hardy group of Hoosier moms and their children look forward to a weekly stroll in the elements, come what may.

Roanoke Beautification Foundation returns to brick fund-raiser after gap of many years

John Nelson, coordinator of the Roanoke Beautification Foundation’s brick drive, stands at the site of some bricks alongside Main Street in Roanoke. The RBF is currently selling bricks that can be personalized with text and placed in the sidewalk. A brick drive was held in Roanoke in the early 1990s and the RBF felt the time was right to bring it back.
Photo by Steve Clark.

John Nelson enjoys reading all the different text on the sidewalk bricks in downtown Roanoke.

Several bricks feature the names of businesses and churches. Others bear the names of families and graduating classes from Roanoke High School.

One brick even proclaims which beer Roanoke residents like best, to Nelson’s amusement.

“One is located just outside of the Village Inn and it says, ‘Roanoke Loves Miller Lite,’” states Nelson with a grin.

Markle church hoping to help many cut medical debt for those in need

Aaron McClary, lead minister at Markle Church of Christ, holds a letter sent to more than 1,600 families, informing them of a Christmastime donation that forgave them of medical debts. The church was one of three area congregations that pooled their resources to purchase and redeem the debts.
Photo by Rebecca Sandlin.

Three local churches, including one in Markle, are hoping their 2019 “Christmas Offering” causes a ripple effect of redemption through the area and inspires other congregations to follow their lead to eliminate thousands of dollars of medical debt for those who can’t afford to pay the bills.

Rickards finish long project of saving historic home from demo

Vicky and Alan Rickard stand on the grand staircase in their Huntington home, which was built in 1892 and originally owned by David Alonzo and Elizabeth Purviance. The Rickards purchased the house in 2015 and have been renovating it ever since, working to restore its 19th century charm while giving it their own spin.
Photo by Steve Clark.

Alan and Vicky Rickard’s house in Huntington is distinguished by a flower bed that states the year the house was built.

The numbers “1892” are rendered in the flower bed with artificial flowers, which are visible to anyone who passes the house on North Jefferson Street.

While the house has been a familiar sight in Huntington for 128 years, there was a time when demolition loomed for the historic structure.

And if it wasn’t for the Rickards, along with the owner who preceded them, it wouldn’t still be standing.

Youngest patrons welcome renovations at library main branch

Andrew Richardson (far right) keeps an eye on his son, Cameron Richardson (center), 22 months, as he finds a new toy to play with in the newly remodeled Children’s Department of the Huntington City-Township Public Library on Friday, Jan. 3. The library will host an open house this Friday, Jan. 10, and Saturday, Jan. 11, to celebrate the completion of the renovation project.
Photo by Rebecca Sandlin.

It finished up a bit later than anticipated and cost a bit more than was bid, but the renovations at the Huntington City-Township Public Library’s Huntington branch are now in use and have been welcomed by – primarily – the library’s youngest patrons.

Executive Director Beka Lemons says it’s been about 19 months since the library’s Children’s Department underwent its first space planning back in April of 2018. Bidding took place in September 2018 and construction started a month later. It was completed, for all practical purposes, by the end of November 2019.

Fetters feels his call to service leaves Huntington in good place

Huntington Mayor Brooks Fetters stands by his seat in the Huntington Common Council chambers on Dec. 18. As he leaves the mayor’s office, Fetters says he does so with great pride over his administration’s accomplishments over the past eight years.
Photo by Steve Clark.

In 2010, Brooks Fetters was busy running funeral homes in Huntington and Markle.

While he was a public officeholder, serving on the Huntington Common Council, he had no aspirations of seeking the city’s highest office and becoming mayor.

However, a municipal election was approaching in 2011. And as it drew nearer, Fetters found himself searching for an answer to one question, posed to him again and again.

Burson living dream of teaching - in Nigeria

Ashley Burson (right) helps her mother, Susie Boyer, make one of the family’s traditional Christmas treats Wednesday, Dec. 18, at Boyer’s home in Roanoke. Burson, of Huntington, is on leave from her assignment as a missionary in Nigeria.
Photo by Rebecca Sandlin.

Ashley Burson got an extra, early Christmas present when she returned home from Nigeria for a visit with her family.

She got engaged.

Burson, a Huntington native who graduated from Huntington North High School in 2009 and Huntington University in 2013, has spent the past six months in the Nigerian town of Jos, located in the Plateau state in the central part of the African country. While there, she lived her dream of teaching kindergarten.

HNHS senior Smith is recipient of Lilly Endowment S-ship

Photo provided.
Jessica Smith

Jessica Smith, a senior at Huntington North High School, is the recipient of the 2020 Lilly Endowment Community Scholarship in Huntington County.

Huntington woman gets ‘Realizing Dream’ honor at MU

Photo provided.
Elizabeth Allred

Elizabeth Allred is the first person in her family to attend college. Adopted by her grandparents when she was 13, the Manchester University social work major from Huntington was recently honored with a “Realizing the Dream” award by the Independent Colleges of Indiana (ICI).

Each recipient is awarded $3,000 by ICI to help with college costs, and each of them in turn selects a “most influential” teacher or mentor to receive a $1,000 professional development grant.

Pair of Huntington High basketball players record another assist for former head coach

Bob Straight, who coached the Huntington High School boys’ basketball team to the state title game in 1964, gazes at a picture of the team in his home in February 2014. Straight died in November 2018 and a new endowed scholarship dedicated to his memory will be announced at the Huntington North High School boys’ basketball game this Saturday, Dec. 14.
Photo by Steve Clark.

Jim Seneff and Doug Ware both recorded assists during their time playing basketball for Coach Bob Straight at Huntington High School in the 1960s.

Now, over 50 years later, Seneff and Ware have each logged an assist for their former head coach one more time.

Annual Shop with a Cop showing HNHS criminal justice students ‘community policing’ up close

Huntington North High School Criminal Justice class teacher Terry Stoffel (left) goes over a pile of donations with student Jozzy Helbert, as student Nick Johnson watches. The class has set a goal to raise $5,000 for the annual Shop with a Cop program.
Photo by Rebecca Sandlin.

In Huntington North High School’s Criminal Justice class students are learning about “community policing” by putting their lessons into hands-on practice this Christmas season.

The juniors and seniors in Terry Stoffel’s class have been actively involved in raising funds for the annual Shop with a Cop, and will also help at the event, coming up on Tuesday, Dec. 17, at the Huntington Walmart store.

Love INC benefits from work of Wilson, others

Jack Wilson uses a special wire basket to pick up walnuts along Cherry Street in Huntington. Wilson had a pretty good haul this year – around 1,150 pounds of the nuts – which he sells to benefit Love In the Name of Christ.

When others may have been out walking their dogs or scurrying about between places like the grocery store to their vehicles, Jack Wilson got his exercise this fall by picking up black walnuts.

To be precise, 1,150 pounds of them.

At the end of October, which also marked the end of “walnut season,” Wilson says, that’s how much the nuts weighed that he delivered to a buyer, and then donated the proceeds to Love In the Name of Christ.

ASL Club at Huntington North trying to keep ‘voices’ warm ths winter

ASL (American Sign Language) Club members at Huntington North High School show the mittens and other clothing collected so far in their “Mittens for Many” campaign on Thursday, Nov. 14. The club hopes to receive 200 pairs of new mittens and gloves, along with hats, scarves and other items by the time their drive ends on Friday, Nov. 22. Pictured are (front row from left) Joshua Hupp and Craig Ingram; (second row from left) teacher Jacque Cansler, Lizzie Preston, Sonya Jackson, Alyssa White and Libby Quakenbush; (third row from left) Corynn Keller, Rebecca Paolillo, Karissa Marley, Angel Smithley, Crystal Grunden and Brenda Turner; and (fourth row from left) Jamison Heyde, Peyton Barnard-Crum, Brody Coblentz and Anna Manry; and (back row) Liberty Shultz.
Photo by Rebecca Sandlin.

A club at Huntington North High School is in the last week of a donation drive aimed at keeping people in Huntington County warm this winter.
The ASL (American Sign Language) Club is seeking new mittens, gloves, hats, scarves and other warm items for its “Mittens for Many” drive, going on now until Friday, Nov. 22. The campaign is not just looking for donations from fellow HNHS students but from the community as well.

So far, they’ve collected around 50 pairs of mittens and gloves, aiming for a goal of 200 before the campaign ends.

Local D-Day veteran says best memories are humorous ones

Paul Strevy, of Huntington, holds a framed collection of the medals he received as a result of his service in the United States Army during World War II. He was stationed in Great Britain, France, Belgium and Germany.
Photo by Rebecca Sandlin.

Not even out of his teens, Paul “Gene” Strevy found himself in the middle of World War II. But even in the midst of war, his best memories are of some of the more humorous moments he found himself in while serving three years in the U.S. Army.

Now 94, Strevy, a native of Andrews, remembers vividly his time – with a bit of perceived fondness – for the more humanistic duties he performed, once he got out of boot camp after he was drafted to serve. It was 1943 and he was 18 at the time.

Strevy says his main job in the army was a “sailjer.”

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