37-year police department veteran Hughes happy with his career as he says goodbye

Tom Hughes (left) in his most recent police department photo, and Tom Hughes in his earlier days on the police force.
Photos provided.

Originally published Oct. 10, 2013.

"Thirty-seven years is a long time in one place," says Tom Hughes of his career working for the Huntington police force.

"But you know, I couldn't think of anything else I'd rather do."

When asked if he has any regrets, he smiles and replies, "Nah - I am happy."

On Friday, Oct. 4, Hughes retired as a police captain on second shift. He started with the department in May 1976 as a patrolman.

Lancaster kids learn what good citizen means

Lancaster Elementary School first-graders Tony Decker (left), Jamison Martz (top right) and Claire Eckert help transport canned goods from large boxes to smaller cardboard pallets so the cans can easily be accessed on shelves in the Love INC food pantry.
Photo by Lauren M. Winterfeld.

What does it mean to be a good citizen?

First-graders from Lancaster Elementary School spent the day learning exactly that on Thursday, Oct. 3.

The students spent time at the Huntington Fire Department, mayor's office, police department and Love INC as part of their Huntington Citizenship Field Trip.

Starting the day at the fire department, students were given the opportunity to meet firefighters and see where they work and sleep at the fire station.

New Huntington North band director says improvement will come with hard work, time

Josh Huff, Huntington North High School’s new band director, listens intently to his band perform in preparation for the Homecoming Parade on Sept. 27.
Photo by Lauren M. Winterfeld.

Originally published Oct. 3, 2013.

"We come in with the idea that we are here to work, we are here to build, we are in it for the long haul," says Joshua Huff, Huntington North High School's new band director.

Huff, who brings eight years of experience to his new position at the high school, says he is excited to be in Huntington.

"When I came here a lot of the kids said, why would you leave where you were at?" he explains, "I left because it is a bigger school."

He previously worked at Tri-Central Middle and High School in Sharpsville.

The ‘school of E.H.D.’ leads local family to trio of restaurants in Huntington County

Jim Drabenstot (with wife Dana) and his sisters Jean Anne Bailey and Nancy Bonebrake (from left) operate Nick’s Junction, Nick’s Kitchen and Nick’s Country Café respectively.
Photo by Andre B. Laird.

Originally published Sept. 30, 2013.

Most family-owned restaurants have all the members working at one location.

In Huntington County however, three kids have carried on their father's legacy in the form of three restaurants.

The late Eugene H. Drabenstot acquired the first "Nick's" restaurant, Nick's Kitchen, in Huntington in 1969. The restaurant has been open since 1908 and at the time he purchased it, Drabenstot was the fourth owner.

Today, Nick's Kitchen is owned by daughter and son-in-law Jean Anne and Kenny Bailey.

New LRWP executive director relishes job title -- and job that goes with it

Amy Silva, Little River Wetlands Project new executive director, stands on part of the 53 acres that make up Little River Landing - a preserve owned by LRWP and ACRES Landtrust in Huntington County.
Photo by Lauren M. Winterfeld.

Originally published Sept. 23, 2013.

"It's a perfect fit," says Amy Silva, of her new title - executive director of the Little River Wetlands Project.

Silva began working in the position on Sept. 3.

"It got me back to the things I absolutely love," she says of her duties as executive director, "I love working with the grants and the foundations and the corporations to put funding together so we can go do all these wonderful things - preserve and restore properties.

Sister Gill at 90 still enjoys responsibility of looking after people

Sister Miriam Gill, the director of religious education at SS. Peter and Paul Catholic Church, updates student records at her Huntington home.
Photo by Steve Clark.

Originally published Sept. 19, 2013.

Sister Miriam Gill, the director of religious education at SS. Peter and Paul Catholic Church, turns 90 on Friday, Sept. 20.

One thing that hasn't changed with time is her role in life.

Case in point: Gill, the oldest of five children, looked after her younger siblings growing up. She enjoyed that responsibility and it's one of the reasons she became a teacher. Today, in her capacity as the church's director of religious education, she's still looking after people, students and teachers alike.

Pool play part of daily life for group of 20 at Heritage Pointe in Warren

Norm Hiser (back) gathers with (front row from left) Clarence Myers, Melvin Dooley and Carl Hubbart after Dooley “ran the table” during a pool game at Heritage Pointe in Warren.
Photo provided.

Originally published Sept. 16, 2013.

"Clarence (Myers) is 90 and I am about 89, and we feel like we are able to get up there about every weekday," says Mel Dooley, Heritage Pointe resident and avid pool player.

He is part of a group of roughly 20 Heritage Pointe residents who are heavily involved in weekly pool tournaments held every Friday at 1:30 p.m.

Myers has been playing pool at Heritage Pointe for 15 years, and Dooley for 12.

They say that the men who play every Friday also play every day between the hours of 1 and 4 p.m.

Condit Street fire station renovation becomes ‘home fix-up project’ for firefighters

Huntington Fire Department Lt. Jeff Rittenhouse paints a door that will be installed at the Condit Street Fire Station.
Photo by Cindy Klepper.

Originally published Sept. 12, 2013.

"It's kind of like working on your own home," Huntington Fire Marshal Wayne Huff says.

Except when the alarm sounds and the guys have to suit up and shoot out the door to respond to a medical emergency or a burning structure.

Then, all work stops.

But Huff hopes that, even with all the interruptions, the crew of firefighters can have the Condit Street Fire Station ready for service in a month or so.

New trading post at Forks of Wabash to accurately reflect French influence in area

A trading post that will showcase the influence of French traders on the area is the latest addition to the Forks of the Wabash Historic Park.
Photo by Cindy Klepper.

When French traders wandered down the waterway from Montreal to what is now Huntington around 1700, they were just looking to make a living.

Their arrival, though, sparked the beginning of a fundamental change in the culture of the Miamis native to the area.

The French were the first Europeans to make it this far, and their influence extended until they were chased out by the British in 1763 at the end of the French and Indian War (which, despite its name, was actually a war between the French and the British).

Local disc jockey looking to help other blind people realize a dream

DJ Monte Sieberns, shown spinning the tunes during a dance in Andrews last month, fell in love with radio even before he started school.
Photo by Cindy Klepper.

Originally published Sept. 9, 2013.

Monte Sieberns has been turning the turntable since he was a kid.

"I kind of would volunteer myself when my father would have a hog roast at his barn," Sieberns admits.

He'd even offer to take requests - for a quarter. It didn't always work out the way he hoped.

"The most popular request was, ‘Could you please turn that off? We're trying to visit,'" Sieberns says in his smooth radio voice.

Father-son truck, tractor pullers looking for local victory

Mike Schoenemann (left) and his son, Joe, both of Huntington County, stand with the tractor and truck, respectively, that they use in pulling events across various states. The two will compete in the Roanoke Fall Festival’s truck and tractor pull.
Photo by Steve Clark.

Originally published Sept. 5, 2013.

Mike and Joe Schoenemann, a father and son truck and tractor pulling duo from Roanoke, have 46 combined years of experience in their sport.

And while they've performed well in competitions across the United States, there's one event that neither of them can ever seem to win: the truck and tractor pull in Roanoke.

"Your hometown pull is probably the hardest pull to win all year long," admits Mike, the father. "For some reason, if you ever have bad luck, it's always at your hometown pull."

Huntington mayor Fetters is ‘wheel’ man away from the office

Huntington Mayor Brooks Fetters stands outside the Huntington City Building with his 1968 Schwinn tandem bicycle, which he rode to work that day.
Photo by Steve Clark.

Originally published Sept. 2, 2013.

Brooks Fetters was an avid cyclist in his youth.

Somewhere in adulthood, he lost his close relationship with the two-wheeled form of transportation.

In 2007, though, he decided to pick it back up.
"I still remember my first ride after having not been on a bike," he recalls. "It was 3.8 miles and I thought I'd climbed Mount Everest."

Today, Fetters isn't a stranger to rides that require riding 100 miles in one day.

Local man’s sons stand tall for him when he suffers heart attack at Roush

Photo by Cindy Klepper.

Originally published Aug. 29, 2013.

Richard Andrew Teusch towers over his two young sons.

And he looks up to them.

"I think they're heroes," he says.

Without them, Teusch believes, he never would have survived the heart attack he suffered deep in the woods of the Roush Fish and Wildlife Area.

Twelve-year-old Russell Teusch, sitting with his dad and brother in the living room of their Andrews home, just shrugs his shoulders and grins.

"I'm glad he's alive," he says.

New HU president settling in as classes begin Aug. 26

Since Huntington University President Sherilyn Emberton has taken office on June 13, she has been on a whirlwind adventure, getting to knowing members of the local community and region.
Photo by Andre B. Laird.

Originally published Aug. 26, 2013.

A whirlwind.

That's how new Huntington University President Sherilyn Emberton describes her experience since she assumed her duties on June 13.

"I have been blessed with a great transitional committee that has been helping me to initiate points of contacts within the community and Fort Wayne area," Emberton says.

Local group turns over ‘forgotten’ documents to Miami tribe

Representatives of the Miami Tribe of Oklahoma and the Historic Forks of the Wabash pose with a treaty signed in 1838 by the Miami and the United States government, along with related documents.
Photo by Cindy Klepper.

Originally published Aug. 22, 2013.

The documents, which were to change the future of a nation, signify their importance by their appearance.

Hand written in elegant script on oversized sheets of paper, the largest document is bordered in gold leaf with a gold medallion dangling from a green ribbon woven through the corner.

That document, a treaty signed by the Miami in 1838 at the Forks of the Wabash, and eight related documents were given to the Miami when they were signed.