Features

A leap, and then a splash -- and another trophy under his paws

Brian Johnson and his dog Gunner, along with Johnson's daughter Krista, display some of the awards Gunner has won while competing in dock jumping competitions around the Midwest.
Photo contributed.

Originally published May 11, 2009.

It's a family affair, but it's the family dog that is basking in the spotlight.

Brian Johnson and his dog Gunner got involved in dock jumping last year and enjoyed it so much, they plan to go to even more competitions this year. Since the whole family generally goes along, the Johnsons consider the events "mini vacations," Brian says.

Women knit friendships as they warm their corner of the world

Linda Lakes, Cindy Shideler, Kathy Harrell, Beth Fulton, Sandy Diffenbaugh, Dortha Beachy and Sally Schenkel (from left) are members of The Loose Ends, a knitting and crocheting group.
Photo by Andre Laird.

Originally published May 7, 2009

For many people, crocheting and knitting offer a form of therapy and allows them to create pieces of art.

One local group of women has taken its love for the art form and used it to help others.

Beth Fulton heads up The Loose Ends, a group comprised of area women who love to crochet and knit.

"We started last October," states Fulton. "I was asked by a friend to start up a group that could get together."

World War II veteran left Huntington a legacy of service

Ted Rogers (left), who organized the Huntington-based unit of the Army National Guard, talks with the company’s most recent commander, Command Sgt. Maj. Jeffrey Duncan, during a welcome home party Saturday, April 25, for Delta Company.
Photo by Cindy Klepper.

Originally published April 30, 2009.

Ted Rogers seems almost offended when asked why, after spending four years serving his country during World War II, he agreed to take on the responsibility of establishing an Army National Guard armory in Huntington.

"To protect our country," he says, after a pause. He had the training and the know-how, he adds. "I wanted to pass that on to another generation."

Andrews lays claims to its famous Clark twins

Shown with one of the signs the Andrews Lions Club had made to recognize the accomplishments of the Clark twins are (from left) Lion Phil Bitzer, Joe Clark, Dale Clark, Lions President Joyce Walker and Lion Phil Ruppert.
Photo by Scott Trauner.

Originally published April 27, 2009.

Members of the Andrews Lions Club recently recognized the accomplishments of the famous Clark Twins, who hailed from the small burg in western Huntington County, by having signs made to place on the north and south ends of town in their honor.

The signs, which read "Hometown of the Clark Twins," will be placed along Ind.-105 - near the Andrews-Dallas Township Fire station on the north edge of town and just before the curve on the south edge of town.

Huntington County man's home is where the buffalo roam

Huntington resident Blaine Kaylor is the owner of a small herd of bison. Kaylor says his interest in the animals grew after much research.
Photo by Andre Laird.

Originally published April 23, 2009

One of the last things anyone would associate with Huntington County is bison.

However, Huntington resident Blaine Kaylor is now the owner of a small herd of the unusual - for these parts, anyway - animal.

The decision to start raising bison, more commonly known as buffalo, came after a lot of research.

"Four years ago, I decided that I wanted to build a barn to raise beef cattle," Kaylor states. "I started building the barn and began to research bison."

Jefferson Township: ghost towns and scenic drives

Shown is the homestead of Mr. and Mrs. Peter Wire in Jefferson Township. The Wire homestead was the site of the first religious worship in the township.
Illustration provided.

Originally published March 3, 2005

Long before the white settlers came, a frequently used trail ran along the Salamonie River.

It was known as the Godfroy Trail, or trace, and ran between Chief Francis Godfroy's reservation further southeast along the Salamonie River to his principal village near present-day Peru.

The trail became the River Road, and it remains today one of the most scenic drives in the county.

She'll help make health-friendly meals kind to the budget

Susy Jennings is the program assistant for the Purdue Extension’s Family Nutrition program, which helps low-income families develop a healthy eating plan on a tight budget.
Photo by Andre Laird.

With rising food prices, many families find it difficult to maintain balance when it comes to eating healthy and staying within budget.

In response, Indiana Family and Social Services Administration and the U.S. Department of Agriculture have teamed up with Purdue University Cooperative Extension Service to offer the Family Nutrition Program.

Susy Jennings, program assistant and recent addition to the Huntington County Extension Office staff, says the aim of the program is simple.

'Hanging out' -- and helping others -- puts Smith at the top of the club

Josh Miller, program director of the Huntington County Boys and Girls Club, presents Huntington North High School senior Tiffany Smith with he chapter's youth of the year award on Wednesday, March 25.
Photo provided.

Originally published April 9, 2009

Tiffany Smith, a senior at Huntington North High School, has been selected by the local Boys and Girls Club as the community's Youth of the Year.

Smith is the fourth recipient of the Huntington Chapter award, and the first female recipient.
Boys and Girls Club Program Director Josh Miller says,

Strong women, religious fiction are among popular reads

Jessi Brown holds up a copy of Janet Evanovich's "Four to Score," the adult fiction title most borrowed at the Huntington City-Township Pulbic Library in 2008.
Photo by Cindy Klepper.

Originally published April 2, 2009

What are we reading?

Depends on where we live.

In Huntington, we're enamored of Stephanie Plum, "a bounty hunter with attitude."

In Markle, we'd rather settle down with a thriller.

"There is a big difference in what is read in Huntington and what is read in Markle," says Huntington City-Township Public Library Director Kathy Holst as she flips through a list of the most-checked-out books for 2008.

Mural of memories brings city back

Robert Fettinger adds defining brush strokes to a mural of downtown Huntington he is painting at the Huntington County Historical Museum. Photo by Cindy Klepper.
Photo by Cindy Klepper.

Robert Fettinger's family seems to have a history of coming home.

His parents, who were living elsewhere when he was born, came to Huntington when he was just 2 years old.

That was a homecoming for his mom, whose family was from the Lancaster and Huntington areas.

When Fettinger himself came home, it was after stints in Arizona and Mexico, where he met and married his wife.
The city he came home to was a place so familiar to him that, even at age 77, he can reproduce the exact shades of the bricks that made up the facades of its downtown buildings.

They have the strength -- and they want more numbers

Members of "The Tribe: Huntington Strongman Athletles" are (front row from left) Scott Smith, Nate Falcone and Bryce Davis and (back row from left) Aaron Snider, Chris Schuman and Gabe Rice.
Photo by Andre Laird.

When it comes to fitness and strength training, five Huntington men are taking the sport to a new level.

The group, known as "The Tribe: Huntington Strength Athletes," consists of Aaron Snider, Nate Falcone, Gabe Rice, Scott Smith, Bryce Davis and Chris Schuman.
Snider, the team leader, says the name means a lot to the group.

"The definition of tribe is a group of individuals who come together for a common purpose," Snider states. "We all have different personalities and backgrounds, but the sport is what brings us together."

Any way you count it, it's been a long time

Representatives of the Syracuse office of the National Weather Service were in Huntington Tuesday, March 17, to honor the staff of the Huntington water works plant for 75 years taking weather readings for the NWS.
Photo by Cindy Klepper.

Originally published March 23, 2009

In October of 1882, O.E. Mohler stepped outside and recorded the weather in Huntington.

Somebody's been doing it ever since.

Rosary Sodality members offer support to each other, church

Dana Flora (left), president of the St. Mary Rosary Sodalilty, and member Marcy Wall prepare pie to be served at a recent meeting of the organization.
Photo by Cindy Klepper.

Originally published March 16, 2009

Once a month, a group of women gathers at St. Mary Catholic Church.

They've been doing it for 50 years - probably longer.

"It's possible it was started in the early 1950s," says Dana Flora, president of the St. Mary Rosary Sodality, but she's not sure exactly when it was organized.

The name "sodality" might puzzle some, but it's actually a fairly common term for describing a lay organization in the Roman Catholic Church with a devotional or charitable purpose.

Area blanket-maker's treasures finding way into Huntington homes

Betty Leininger talks about her yarn-tied quilting hobby, which she does at her rural Yoder home, on Friday, March 6. At 85, she started making the blankets just a little over a year ago and has already made over 100.
Photo by Judy Fitzmaurice.

Originally published March 12, 2009

Betty Leininger learned to sew as a young girl but it wasn't until recently that she took up the art of making yarn-tied quilts. And once she started, there was no stopping this 85-year-old rural Yoder resident.

Leininger picked up the hobby when she joined a group of women at her church who were making the blankets. But over time, the group dwindled to just a handful of people and Leininger was having difficulty seeing at the church, so she decided to exit the group and continue her stitching at home.

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.

They're starting a new year by learning the Chinese way

Fourth-grader Dakota Roe twirls a pretend fireworks display he made during a celebration of the Chinese New Year on Monday, Jan. 26, at Lancaster School.
Photo by Cindy Klepper.

Originally published Jan. 29, 2009

Jeanne Paff's kindergartners may not know much about China now, but they will when she's done with them.

Paff's students - one class at Lancaster Elementary School and a second at Salamonie - celebrated the Chinese New Year this week, a prelude to a project that will ultimately have the Huntington County children communicating with a class in Zhu Hai, China, over the Web.

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