VNT students using creative superpowers to help younger students

Students in Huntington North High School teacher Jessica Misiora’s Integrated Chemistry and Physics class are depicted as cartoon characters, made on the Pixton computer program they used to create comic books featuring elements of the periodic table. The assignment was part of a Viking New Tech project the students worked on during remote learning.
Graphic provided.

Some Huntington North High School Viking New Tech students have been using their creative superpowers to put together some engaging comic books aimed at helping younger pupils become more familiar with the elements.

Sheriff relieved that long-developing jail project about to start

untington County Sheriff Chris Newton (left) and Chief Deputy Chad Hammel look over engineering documents for the expansion project that is close to getting underway at the Huntington County Jail, in Huntington. This project, which was prompted by overcrowding at the jail, will see over 30,000 square feet added to the facility.
Photo by Steve Clark.

The Huntington County Jail was built to house 99 inmates.

But over his 25 years with the Huntington County Sheriff’s Department, Sheriff Chris Newton says the jail’s occupancy has always been higher than that.

“Routinely, since I’ve been here, we’ve always been at 120-ish,” he remarks.

And just four months ago, the jail hit its highest occupancy ever, with 175 inmates.

With a number like that in the back of his mind, Newton couldn’t be more relieved that a long-developing project to expand the jail is finally on the verge of starting.

HNHS names Top 25 for its Class of 2020

Photos provided.

Huntington County Community School Corporation and Huntington North High School has announced the Class of 2020 Top 25 students.  They are (first row from left) Autumn Anderson, Elizabeth Bercik, Logan Bolding, Alyssa Brinkman, Emily Daas, (second row from left) Grace Dimond, Ashley Dorsett, Bailey Godfrey, Hannah Lehman, Clara Lesperance, (third row from left) Meg McDonald, Katie Melcher, Haileigh Nissley, Caleb Peare, Taylor Reust, (fourth row from left) Morgan Richison, Derrik Scharland, Nicholas Scheiber, Hunter Smith, Jessica Smith and (fifth row from left)  Corbin Snow, Justin

Smith is HNHS valedictorian; Bolding, Nissley are co-sals

Huntington North High School recently named its valedictorian and salutatorian for the class of 2020. Jessica Smith (left) is the valedictorian, while Logan Bolding (center) and Haleigh Nissley share the salutatorian spot.
Photos provided.

Huntington North High School has announced that senior Jessica Smith has been tapped as the valedictorian for the Class of 2020.
In addition, HNHS has chosen two students, Logan Bolding and Haileigh Nissley, as Class of 2020 co-salutatorians.

Smith is the daughter of Todd and Tina Smith. She has a grade point average of 11.5614 on an 11.0 scale.

Locals with sewing talent stepping up to help in pandemic

Delene Swing is part of a group of people from Evangelical United Methodist Church, in Huntington, who are putting their sewing talents to work making cloth masks for healthcare workers. Swing estimates she has made more than 200 masks on her sewing machine at home.
Photo provided.

It’s been an invisible scene reminiscent of a past world war, when (mostly) women who stayed at home contributed to the war effort by any means they could. With the current onslaught of an unseen enemy – the COVID-19 virus – many people in Huntington County are stepping up to use their sewing expertise to support those battling the virus on the front lines by making facemasks.

‘Chosen’ creator to speak - virtually - to HU students on Thursday, April 16

Jonathan Roumie (third from left), who plays Jesus in “The Chosen,” entertains the children seated around at his table in a scene from the wedding at Cana. The crowd-funded series is available to view free of charge by downloading The Chosen app from the Apple App Store or Google Play.

Another, more inspirational wave that is sweeping not only the country but globally will be the topic of an upcoming lecture Thursday, April 16, at Huntington University.

Dallas Jenkins, the creator, producer and director of “The Chosen” will speak – virtually – to HU’s School of the Arts about the first-ever multi-season television show about the life of Jesus Christ.

Former locals turn their company into facemask factory to help out

Magne Shade Production Manager Shirley Elling (left) works with owner Clare Hunckler to sort cut-out pieces of the facemasks the company has been making for healthcare workers.
Photo provided.

A couple of former Huntington residents have joined the fray in the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic, transforming their company into a mass-produced facemask factory.

UB Block rehab is one step closer as apartments open in district

Karen Eilts, the property manager for UB Lofts, in Huntington, stands inside one of the apartments in the UB Block. The apartments are now finished and available to rent, bringing the rehabilitation of the UB Block one step closer to completion.
Photo by Steve Clark.

The rehabilitation of Huntington’s UB Block is one step closer to being complete, with the opening of UB Lofts, the apartments within the historic structure.

In all, there are 37 market-rate apartments in the UB Block, which is a trio of connected buildings at 48 E. Franklin St. Of those buildings, the first went up in 1889 while the second and third followed in circa 1915 and 1915, respectively. The rehabilitation of the UB Block got underway in the spring of 2018, under the direction AP Development LLC, an Indianapolis-based real estate development company.

Local churches stepping up in different ways to continue ministering and helping people

Amid a sanctuary full of empty pews, Bobby Kemp (left), lead pastor at Huntington First Church of the Nazarene, talks to his congregation in a livestreamed service Sunday, March 29, as members of the worship team wait for their turn to minister. Numerous area churches have taken their Sunday, midweek and other services online in response to the “stay-at-home” order during the coronavirus pandemic.
Photo by Rebecca Sandlin.

During the continuing coronavirus pandemic, there may be no one warming the pews in churches.

However, people in Huntington County are finding local churches stepping up to continue their ministries, not only online but by mobilizing volunteers to help those in need.

Huntington First Church of the Nazarene is one of those churches making use of the Internet to minister in several platforms. Lead Pastor Bobby Kemp says even though the building may be closed, “HNaz” is still open online with Sunday services through its Facebook page.

Local woman hopes little things help out big

A box packed with various food and personal care items has been set up in Andrea Storms’ front yard, located at 856 Dimond St. in Huntington. The sign invites those in need to take what they can use but leave a “blessing” for others.
Photo by Rebecca Sandlin.

At 856 Dimond St., there is a wooden box posted in Andrea Storms’ front yard, serving as a waystation of blessings.

It’s dubbed the “Blessing Box,” and inside can be found both food and non-food items, such as toilet paper, canned goods, tooth brushes, feminine items, sanitary wipes and even fresh eggs.

Signs nailed to the box’s post say “Take what you need” and “Leave what you can.”

Love INC among those doing it for neighbors

Volunteers (from left) Bob Gooley, Paul Vining and Jeremie Winkelman fill bags with dog food in the storage room of Love In the Name of Christ. The ministry will begin giving out a month’s worth of groceries at a time to area residents in need of food.
Photo by Rebecca Sandlin.

As many businesses across the nation scramble to weather the threat of the coronavirus, those organizations who serve others, such as Love In the Name of Christ, have had to think out of the box and on their feet to make sure the community’s hungry neighbors receive the food they need.

Love INC Executive Director Erin Didion says how the ministry is handling the precautions needed to stay safe during the COVID-19 outbreak is constantly changing, but several changes are in place to allow them to help the community.

Andrews Utility Department gives back yet one more way

The Andrews Utility Department has built trails on a wooded piece of land owned by the town. The department has put the trails in over the course of several years and continues to add new ones. Open to the public, the trails are located beyond the end of Terrell Street in Andrews.
Photo by Steve Clark.

From collecting leaves to running the town’s wastewater plant, the Andrews Utility Department performs the same wide range of responsibilities that any utility department does.

The Andrews department, however, has also taken on a unique responsibility.

Seven years ago, the department started building trails on a wooded piece of land owned by the town. Located at the end of Terrell Street, the department liked the idea of transforming the area, which was underutilized, into something of a recreational spot for residents.

Huntington County Department of Health asks county residents to learn about COVID-19 illness

Graphic provided by World Health Organization.

The Huntington County Department of Health asks that residents of the county educate themselves about coronavirus disease 2019 – or COVID-19, for short.

To that end, the health department has provided information from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) about COVID-19.

As of Thursday, March 12, the health department recommends that events and gatherings be limited to no more than 50 attendees, in the interests of limiting the potential for COVID-19 to spread.

HCCSC schools to be closed through April 10

Huntington County Community School Corp. schools will be closed from March 16 through April 10,  due to the COVID-19 virus, administrators said in a press release issued earlier today, Friday, March 13.

School administrators will be re-evaluating the situation during spring break regarding the return of students on Monday, April 13, 2020.

At this time, HCCSC administration feels that closing school is in the best interest of its students, staff members and families.

Local restaurant again rewards naval ship crewmen with a taste of breaded tenderloin specialty

Ray Shearer (third from left), the chairman of the USS Indiana and USS Indianapolis commissioning committees, presents a picture of the latter vessel that was signed by the crew to Jean Anne Bailey (second from left), the owner of Nick’s Kitchen, during a visit to the Huntington diner on Monday, Feb. 17. Shearer thanked Bailey for sending tenderloins to the crews of both vessels. The idea to do so was hatched by the Huntington County Commissioners. Also pictured are Commissioner Tom Wall (first from left) and Commissioner Rob Miller.
Photo by Steve Clark.

Tenderloins from Huntington will once again be served aboard a vessel in the United States Navy that has Indiana ties.

At the end of February, 140 tenderloins from Nick’s Kitchen will be shipped to the USS Indianapolis (LCS-17), a Freedom class littoral combat ship based in Mayport, FL.