Features

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.

Markle Health residents do some holiday baking for four-legged friends

Hope Worster mixes up pumpkin dog biscuits as Tina Tiernon looks over her shoulder.
Photo by Cindy Klepper.

The warm smell of spices wafting from the kitchen evoke images of holiday goodies.

And while holiday goodies were indeed the source of those smells, the treats being baked in the kitchen of the Markle Health and Rehabilitation Center were never intended for human consumption.

The dogs currently residing at the Huntington County Humane Shelter were the lucky recipients of the treats.

"We do a community service thing every month, and this is what they decided to do this month," explains Tina Tiernon, the center's activities director.

Huntington police chief offers Halloween safety tips for everyone

Huntington Police Chief S. Thomas Emely offers these Halloween safety rules to protect yourself and your children:

Trick-or-Treaters:
Carry a bright flashlight to illuminate sidewalks, steps and paths.

Always walk, do not run. You can slip and fall down.
Stay on the sidewalks. If there is no sidewalk, walk on the left side of the road.

Walk single file, facing the traffic.

Cross streets only at corners, with adults.

Trick-or-treat only in familiar neighborhoods.

Plenty of Halloween activities are set

Lucas Esch, left, and Paige Fisher rehearse for “Night Chills” by Edgar Allan Poe at the Pulse Opera House recently.
Photo provided.

A haunted hotel and a haunted woods, costume contests for both kids and dogs, and hay-rides and cook-offs celebrate the season from one end of Huntington County to the other.

GREAT PUMPKIN FESTIVAL: The Great Pumpkin Festival will be celebrated Thursday, Oct. 29, through Saturday, Oct. 31, in downtown Huntington.

Events will be kicked off on Thursday, Oct. 29, with the Haunted Hotel, 13th Floor, at 511 N. Jefferson St., from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m.

Enyeart heads up new HNHS sports direction

Randy Enyeart.
Photo by Jessica Williams.

Originally published Oct. 1, 2009.

One Huntington North High School teacher and coach is bringing something new to the table this year.

Randy Enyeart, who teaches physical hducation and health and coaches football and track, has picked up the intramural sports program at HNHS to offer students another op-portunity to get involved.

"What we're trying to do is offer students other opportunities for athletic events outside of varsity sports," says Enyeart.

He says he understands varsity sports aren't for everyone.

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