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.

Shopkeeper's art 'discovered' as he hits his 100th year

John Schoolman, shown here in his art studio, will celebrate his 100th birthday during open houses Jan. 22 and Jan. 25. Schoolman lived many years in Bippus, where he owned a general store from 1936 to 1973.
Photo provided.

Originally printed Jan. 22, 2009

He's been a soldier and a shopkeeper, a hunter and a fisherman.

Now he's an artist, preparing for exhibits in Bloomington and Nashville, Indiana.

And today, he's celebrating his birthday.

His 100th.

The occasion calls for not one, but two, parties - both open to all of the friends John Schoolman has made along the way.

Hours pile up, but volunteer says work is a labor of love

Huntington native Ruth Hoffman has been volunteering at the VA Hospital in Marion since 1965. Hoffman says it's her way of saying thanks to the veterans.
Photo by Andre Laird.

When it comes to volunteering tireless hours of service, Huntington native Ruth Hoffman is a perfect example.

Hoffman has been volunteering at the Veterans Association Hospital in Marion for more than 40 years.

As of Wednesday, Jan. 14, she had logged 25,967 hours, the equivalent of approximately 3,246 eight-hour days.

"I started volunteering on Jan. 15, 1965," states Hoffman. "My late husband Paul served the Army as a military police officer for four years."

At that time Hoffman says she was also hospital chair of the Veterans of Foreign Wars Auxiliary.

Wayne Township site of beautiful forests, much wildlife in past

Above is the farm of A.T. Searles in 1879, which was located in Section 24 of Wayne Township. Searles was noted for his fine farm, and he was also the proprietor of the largest tile manufacturing company in the county at the time.
Photo provided.

Editor’s note: Imagine a land covered with primeval forest and underbrush so dense that it was nearly impossible for humans to walk through, and in that wilderness were prowling wolves and bears, as well as bobcats, cougars and, of course, an abundance of deer.

New Red Cross director sees need for better communication

Mike Rohler is the new executive director of the Huntington County Chapter of the American Red Cross. Rohler says the organization's goals this year include implementing better disaster preparedness measures.
Photo by Andre Laird.

Michael Rohler is the new executive director of the Huntington Chapter of the American Red Cross.

Rohler, who officially started on Oct. 6, 2008, previously worked with the Tippecanoe County Chapter.

"I was a volunteer on the local and national level for four years," Rohler says. "I was also on the chapter's board of directors and was chairman of disaster services."

He adds that after several national volunteer assignments, he was encouraged to pursue full time opportunities within the organization.

Stitchers put their skills to use to benefit their community

Jenice Haneline (left) and Kate Schwartz work on quilt squares during a recent meeting of the Piecemakers Quilt Club. The group, one of 11 Extension Homemaker clubs in the county, meets on the first Thursday evening of every month.
Photo by Andre Laird.

Huntington County is fortunate to have a large pool of local stitchers who are willing to provide comfort to those in need by way of their homemade gifts.

Extension Homemakers from around the county gather in groups throughout the year to work on various projects or discuss upcoming events, like the sewing day on Jan. 29. That event will be held at the Courthouse Annex meeting room, 354 N. Jefferson St., from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.