Features

Progress continues at Huntington County jail

The expansion project for the Huntington County Jail is on course to be completed as scheduled. Featured, crew members work to pour flooring that will be in the cell blocks of the jail. Photo by Katelynn Farley.
Photo by Katelynn Farley.

On June 17, 2020, the Huntington County Jail expansion project officially started with a ceremonial groundbreaking. Now, seven months later, major progress has been made on the expansion.

The current jail is built to hold 98 inmates. As of Wednesday, Jan. 13, the inmate count was at 123 - and is regularly around that number or higher.

Fifty-six of these inmates are considered Level 6 felons. In previous years, these inmates would be dealt with by the Department of Corrections. Now, they are housed at the county level - which caused an influx of inmates to occur.

HNHS JROTC group qualifies for nationals

Huntington North High School Junior Reserve Officer’s Training Corps cadets volunteer their time to help the Huntington Parks Department decorate Sunken Gardens with Christmas lights after the city’s Veterans Day Parade on Saturday, Nov. 7.
Photo provided.

The Junior Reserve Officer’s Training Corps (JROTC) program at Huntington North High School (HNHS) was one of 12 schools selected in the Midwest to compete in the Raider National competition in Georgia this February.

According to Sergeant First Class (SFC, Retired) Dana Lescoe, this is “extremely rare,” as the JROTC program is in its first year at HNHS.

Raider competitions are athletic competitions held for JROTC programs. Not all of the HNHS JROTC cadets compete in Raider competitions.

Strick’s first year in office

Mayor Richard Strick addresses a crowd of protesters that gathered at the Huntington County Courthouse on Saturday, Dec. 5, 2020.
TAB file photo.

Gaining office at the start of 2020, Huntington Mayor Richard Strick hoped to quickly “learn the ropes” of the office and then spend his first year in office strengthening relationships between business owners, city officials and the residents of Huntington.

“Obviously, a global pandemic was not on the Bingo card for any of us,” Strick said. “Nor the economic questions and all of the grief and pain that has come with that.”

Strick recalls that the weight of the COVID-19 pandemic became “real for all of us” with the cancellation of the 2020 Big 10 Tournament games.

Masons install officers

The Mt. Etna Masonic Lodge held its annual installation of new officers on Thursday, Dec. 3, and several members received awards. Featured are (first row, from left) David Fenker, Joe Gooding, Ryan Kline and Ed Purvis, along with (second row, from left) Brent Campbell, Steve Halchuck and Guilford Wehr Jr.
Photo provided.

The Mt. Etna Masonic Lodge held its annual installation of new officers on Thursday, Dec. 3, following a monthly meeting.

New officers for 2021 include the following:

• Worshipful Master, Ryan Kline.
• Senior Warden, Steve Williams.
• Junior Warden, David Fenker.
• Secretary, Guilford Wehr, Jr.
• Treasurer, Brent Campbell.
• Senior Deacon, Rick Sereno.
• Junior Deacon, Jathan Jones.
• Senior Steward, Joe Gooding.
• Junior Steward, Ed Purvis.
• Tyler, Jerry Piqune.
• Chaplain, Jay Allen.

JROTC students lend their helping hands

Huntington North High School’s Junior Reserve Officers’ Training Corps (JROTC) students donated their time to a local church and café, first taking down Christmas decorations and then using a shop-vac to prepare the floor for renovations.
Photo provided.

Huntington North High School’s Junior Reserve Officers’ Training Corps (JROTC) had several students donating their time at Life Church and Café of Hope on State Street in Huntington during the holiday break.

JROTC instructor and Sergent First Class (SFC, Retired) Dana Lescoe says the church and café are updating their flooring, but they needed a hand to prepare the space for repairs.

His JROTC students answered the call, and in addition to prepping the floors and installing wall sheeting, they also assisted the organization in the take-down of their Christmas decorations.

Group places bird feeders at nursing homes

Jake Wyatt and his son Ryder Wyatt hang a birdfeeder at the Heritage of Warren.
Photo provided.

On Christmas Eve a local organization, Feeders for Friends, completed their goal of installing a bird feeder outside the window of every resident possible in every nursing home in Huntington County.

“We installed 207 bird feeders in the last three weeks,” reported Jake and Cora Wyatt on the organization’s Facebook page on Dec. 24. “We also filled over 300 bird feeders”.

Jake Wyatt started the organization about a month ago, by creating the “Feeders for Friends” Facebook group on the popular social media site.

His original post stated:

Small business COVID-19 grant

Friday, Jan. 15, 2021, will be the final application deadline for the City of Huntington’s small business COVID-19 Grant Program.

Businesses operating within Huntington city limits have until that date to submit their applications. The maximum award under this program is a one-time grant of up to $10,000.

The primary purpose of the fund is to protect low-to-moderate income jobs at businesses whose operations have been harmed by COVID-19. Permitted uses of grant funds to achieve this goal include:

• Working capital including rent and other day-to-day expenses.

‘Love’ lightens holiday load

Mandy Riggers, manager of Covered with Love, Love INC’s in-house thrift store, adjusts items on the shelf during the store’s Family Day on Saturday, Dec. 19. Riggers and staff had to stop halfway through the sale and restock shelves because so many folks turned out for the event.
Photo by Lauren Winterfeld.

Covered with Love, Love INC’s on-site consignment shop, had a Family Shopping Day on Saturday, Dec. 19, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Mandy Riggers, manager of Covered with Love, said the turn out for the sale was overwhelming.

Halfway through, she and her staff had to restock shelves.

Many people were helped, she said.

This year in particular, many Huntington residents needed a little help this holiday season.

One shopper stopped on her way out of the store and asked Riggers, “Can I give you a hug?”

Huntington and neighbors are lit up

Bill and Kelley Miller, of Huntington, plan an elaborate Christmas lights display each year at 3951W-700N.
Photo provided by the Miller family.

During the holiday season, many towns, cities and residents put up elaborate light displays so that the general public may view them for a Christmas-themed activity. More now than ever, drive-through and drive-up activities are necessary as the COVID-19 pandemic continues and the weather grows too cold for prolonged activities outdoors.

Listed here are locations and descriptions of light displays that may be viewed in the area:

Blessings in a Backpack helps feed 350-plus youth in the county

Blessings in a backpack volunteers (from left) Cassie Moser, Derrik Scharland and Julie Parrett finish packing bags on Wednesday, Dec. 9, at the Café of Hope.
Photo by Katelynn Farley.

Weekly, volunteers gather at the Café of Hope in Huntington to participate in the Blessings in a Backpack program, packing bags of food for children in Huntington County who are facing food insecurity.

On Wednesday, Dec. 9, several nurses from the Parkview Huntington Hospital, along with other volunteers from the community, donated their time to pack 380 bags.

Shop With a Cop planned for Dec. 15

Huntington County Sheriff’s Deputy Matt Weicht (left) helps London Haddock try on a pair of sneakers during the 2019 Shop With A Cop on Tuesday, Dec. 17. This year, Shop With A Cop will look a little different, but will still assist those in need. Shop With A Cop is scheduled for Tuesday, Dec. 15, this year.
TAB file photo.

Since 2000, former Huntington County Sherriff Terry Stoffel has spearheaded Huntington’s Shop With A Cop program during the holiday season. And although COVID-19 has caused a few changes to be made to the program, Stoffel and other Shop With A Cop participants are doing all they can to keep things as normal as possible.

City officially recognizes Myaamia

Members of the Miami Tribe of Oklahoma were present with Mayor Richard Strick for a proclamation signing on Tuesday, Nov. 24, recognizing the Myaamia people and honoring their contributions. (Top photo, toprow, from left) are Kirk Strass and Haley Shey. (Bottom row, from left) are Diane Hunter, Kara Strass, Mayor Richard Strick, Sue Strass, Robert Miller, Rachel Cirullo and Katrina Mitten.
Photo by Katelynn Farley.

On Tuesday, Nov. 24, Huntington Mayor Richard Strick met with members of the Miami Tribe of Oklahoma, signing a proclamation recognizing the Myaamia people and honoring their contributions.

In addition to Strass, attendees included Doug Peconge, community programming manager for the Cultural Resources Extension Office, and Diane Hunter, an officer with the Tribal Historic Preservation Office.

Christmas lights galore


TAB file photo.

Although COVID-19 has tampered with many holiday plans this year, the plan for a holiday lights display at Sunken Gardens this year still stands. The plan thus far is to have the light display start on Sunday, Nov. 29, according to the Huntington County Parks and Recreation Department. Featured is a 2019 photo of the famous recreation of the Wolf & Dessauer Merry Christmas Wreath, located at Sunken Gardens.

Preliminary hearing for Town of Andrews

Featured is the Adams County Circuit Court building, in Decatur, where the Andrews vs. Raytheon court case took place.
Photo by Katelynn Farley.

Testimony in the court case between the town of Andrews and Raytheon Technologies continued over the course of two days.

The court proceedings began on Monday, Nov. 9, and continued on Tuesday, Nov. 17. Both sides met from 1 p.m. to about 6:30 p.m, on Tuesday and picked right back up on the morning of Wednesday, Nov. 18, going from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Tuesday’s court proceedings were spent wrapping up expert testimony for the side of Andrews, with the court hearing via remote the testimony of Dr. Kathleen Gilbert, a current adjunct professor at Colorado State University.

Huntington native premieres first short film

Stewart Elmore, director and writer of “West Park”, a short film, addresses his audience  during a question and answer session at GQT Huntington 7 theater after the first official screening of the movie on Saturday morning, Nov. 14.
Photo by Lauren Winterfeld.

Huntington native Stewart Elmore debuted his short film “West Park” at GQT Huntington 7 theater on Saturday, Nov. 14.

The first official screening was held with two showings, and Elmore addressed the audience after each showing in a question and answer session.

The film was contrived as Elmore’s thesis project and was part of his Master of Fine Arts in Cinema and Television Directing from Columbia College Chicago.

In winter 2019 he began script writing, and overall it took a year and a half for Elmore to complete the film.

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