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home : columnists : betsy reason April 26, 2017

Billy Taylor made everybody smile
Every year, when we go to the Indiana State Fair, we have to stop by and see if Billy Taylor was working the corn cooker in the alley next to the Coliseum.

If he was there, he was glad to see us. He would pack a half dozen ears of roasted corn in a plastic bread sack and pile them into our arms.

Monday, April 24, 2017
Tonight's gala is for pet lovers
While I like to visit the Humane Society for Hamilton County, I can't help but feel a little sad for the animals in their cages.

Coonhounds are howling, terriers are barking and cats are meowing, all wanting your attention in hopes that you will take them home.

Friday, April 21, 2017
Taking time off to clown around on spring break
I want to thank you for stopping me on the street or in the grocery store or at community events, telling me that you enjoy reading my columns in The Times. Or that you have a story idea for The Times. Or that you want to invite The Times to your event or club meeting or get-together.

For many of you, The Times is your first read in the morning, five days a week. But for the next two weeks, you'll have to read The Times without me.

Wednesday, April 5, 2017
Are these trains on right tracks?
Am I opening a can of worms when I ask, "Why can't everybody get on the same train?"

The Cities of Fishers and Noblesville in February proposed to convert 9.2 miles of the historic Nickel Plate Heritage Railroad line to a greenway trail for an estimated $9.3 million.

The Indiana Transportation Museum, a nonprofit located in Noblesville's Forest Park, and operator of the FairTrain, announced last week that it would submit a bid to once again be the operator of the rail line, which runs from Indianapolis to Tipton.

Monday, April 3, 2017
DAR awards good citizens
Being honored as a Daughters of the American Revolution Good Citizen is so much more than good grades.

It means you've given back to the community, to your school, to your church and to your family, and that you were voted on by your peers and by your administrators.

Each year, the Daughters of the American Revolution Good Citizen Award is presented by Noblesville's Horseshoe Prairie Chapter of DAR to one graduating senior.

Westfield's Sami Fassnacht is the 2017 DAR Good Citizen of the Year.

Saturday, April 1, 2017
Historical marker will honor driver
While the late Noblesville Indy 500 racecar driver Bryan Clauson traveled the world in racing, it was Noblesville where he called home.

Courtney's Kitchen and Forest Park were two places he loved in Noblesville. So it's no surprise when the Indiana Racing Memorial Association announced this week that Courtney's will serve up food for next weekend's unveiling of an historical marker in Forest Park honoring Clauson's legacy.

Friday, March 31, 2017
Dog trot continues in Clauson honor
Noblesville's Indy 500 racecar driver Bryan Clauson loved his dogs, Chevy and Stewart. So it's natural that his mom, Diana Clauson, wants to carry on his memory by using the third annual Noblesville dog trot to bring awareness to organ and tissue donations.

Bryan Clauson, a registered organ donor, donated his organs and saved five lives and enhanced the lives of more than 75 people through tissue donation, following a deadly crash at Belleville Midget Nationals in Kansas in August 2016.

Wednesday, March 29, 2017
Horsing around on spring break
Today's the first official day of a two-week spring break for Noblesville Schools.

Since 3:25 p.m. Friday, we've already checked off a couple of activities from my fifth-grader's list of things to do.

Friday night, we volunteered as doors hosts for The Belfry Theatre's opening night of "The Foreigner."

Monday, March 27, 2017
What's it take to stop a train?
While the final decision on whether or not to convert the historic Nickel Plate Road rail line to a greenway trail may not come for many months, that actual decision could rest on only three votes, I am told.

The three owners of the rail line's right of way are Noblesville, Fishers and Hamilton County.

Saturday, March 25, 2017
Helping kids begin their horse journey
Donning a cowboy hat and boots, Noblesville horseman John Stewart leads his 5-year-old quarter horse, Rodney, into the new Koteewi Stable & Trails at Strawtown Koteewi Park in Noblesville.

When he was a kid, he rode his first horse at a Boy Scout camp.

"I had a great experience," said Stewart, 51, who grew up in a Carmel neighborhood and graduated in 1984 from Carmel High School.

Friday, March 24, 2017
Family owned shoe-shine, hat-repair in the 1920s
Mary Sizelove turns 100 years old today.

When she was 8 years old, her mother and father moved to downtown Noblesville to open a hat-repair and shoe-shine shop on the south side of the Hamilton County Courthouse Square.

"Their store did very well. They shined shoes and sold and cleaned hats," said their daughter, Debbie (Sizelove) Troski of Noblesville, who contacted me about her mother turning 100.

Thursday, March 23, 2017
NHS Miller is strong voice for Club's youth
I think it's a pretty big deal to earn the Boys & Girls Club of Noblesville's Youth of the Year recognition.

So allow me to share more about this year's winner, Olivia Morales.

The 11-year-member, a Noblesville High School junior, is considered an exemplary ambassador for the club's youth "as a strong voice for our community's young people."

Olivia, 17, was selected based on her years of service and participation in the Club, her leadership skills and her dedication to the mission of the Club.

Wednesday, March 22, 2017
Got thoughts on rails to trails?
I've read so many comments on social media about both sad and angry citizens who don't want to lose the Nickel Plate Rail Line.

That's after Fishers and Noblesville leaders on Feb. 28 made a joint announcement, proposing to convert the historic rail line to a greenway that they plan to call the Nickel Plate Trail.

Monday, March 20, 2017
Big Courthouse tree was an FFA project
Hamilton County's building and grounds superintendent Steve Wood gave me only enough details to pique my interest when he phoned me on Thursday to tell me that the big Christmas tree on the Historic Courthouse lawn would be cut down on Friday.

One detail was that Noblesville florist Steve Craig could tell me more.

I didn't think much about it again until about midnight on Thursday, so I messaged Craig on Facebook to ask him what he knew about the tree.

Saturday, March 18, 2017
Noblesville grad writes about life
When I heard that Noblesville native Cameron Craig had written his first book of essays and would be returning home to sign copies this Saturday at his parents' flower shop, I couldn't help but want to share his story with our readers.

Cameron Craig, a 1989 Noblesville High School graduate, is the son of Steve and Moffett Craig, who own Adriene's Flowers & Gifts in Noblesville.

Friday, March 17, 2017
NHS grad pens 'One Trail, Many Paths'
Hikers on the Appalachian Trail know him only as "Funny Bone."

That's the nickname Dr. Jim Dashiell, a retired "bone doctor," or orthopedic surgeon, from Atlanta, Ind., acquired when he spent more than six months hiking the trail.

The 1964 Noblesville High School graduate - who was born and raised in Noblesville, played Miller football for coach Bill Nevitt, worked as a 'summer" fireman each year between attending Wabash College and was a surgeon for many years at Riverview Health - has written a book about his experience hiking the nearly 2,200-mile Appalachian National Scenic Trail, from Georgia to Maine.

Thursday, March 16, 2017
Celebrating 60th on Appalachian Trail
Noblesville's Vinona Christensen attempted to walk the Appalachian Trail in 2007 on her 50th birthday and made it 800 miles.

That was an amazing feat in itself. Especially since it was the first time that she had ever been backpacking.

Now, 10 years later, she returns to the trail for her 60th birthday, determined to hike the entire Appalachian National Scenic Trail, from Georgia to Maine.

When Christensen began her journey on Sunday afternoon, from Springer Mountain, Ga., she was more determined than ever.

Wednesday, March 15, 2017
See what's cool in our schools
If you've been wondering what your kids are learning at Noblesville Schools, I encourage you to attend the Miller Shift Learning '17 Showcase.

The third annual free family event - 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. Thursday at Noblesville High School - showcases all of the cool activities that students from all grades are doing.

Attendees experience first-hand amazing accomplishments of students as well as teachers across the district, showing collaborative, real-world learning accomplishments through more than 70 interactive displays from all grade levels

Monday, March 13, 2017
NHS senior acts fast, saves a life
Dalton Carver should be hailed a hero.

The Noblesville High School senior - who ships off in June to the U.S. Marine Corps boot camp - never thought heroin would ever affect him so directly.

It all happened fast. But he acted quickly without hesitation.

Saturday, March 11, 2017
Westfield woman to celebrate 100th
I always like to read and write about people celebrating milestones, especially centenarians.

Jean Marie Diersing is one of those special people. She turned 100 years old on Wednesday.

That means she was born in 1917, during World War I, when Woodrow Wilson was President. It was the same year that the late actors Dean Martin, Phyllis Diller and Zsa Zsa Gabor, and 35th U.S. President John F. Kennedy, were born.

Friday, March 10, 2017
Lots happening at the schools
I'm excited about a lot of events happening this month at Noblesville Schools.

Our calendar is filling up quickly with activities, from school plays and performing arts department concerts to fundraisers, the Miller Shift Learning Showcase, parent-information night, and the superintendent's annual State of the Schools address.

Thursday, March 9, 2017
Seminary Park means a lot to the community
The City of Noblesville's Seminary Park housing project is done, dead and over. Thank goodness.

But I fear that the housing project - the city selling the park to a developer who would build a single neighborhood of 12 homes on the Seminary Park property - could have easily happened had The Times not reported on it.

Bringing this project out into the open has turned into a positive for the community.

Wednesday, March 8, 2017
Let's save our Seminary Park
It saddens me to hear that the City of Noblesville would consider selling Seminary Park in downtown Noblesville.

And that the City is already working with a developer that would come in and build homes there.

And also that they could pull the trigger on this behind-closed-doors orchestrated torpedo before people in Old Town have a chance to even find out about the plans.

The city-owned park is at 200 S. 10th St., bounded by 10th, 11th, Division and Hannibal streets. The park was established in 1983. But the history of the park goes back to 1850, when Seminary School, the first public school in Hamilton County, opened on that property. The school building was replaced in 1872 with the second Seminary School, which eventually became Second Ward School.

Monday, March 6, 2017
John Elliott has the 'Caring Spirit'
Noblesville's John Elliott thanks his freshman English teacher at Noblesville High School for encouraging him to grow up to be a caring individual who finds ways to help kids succeed in school.

The 1980 NHS grad, who instilled his caring spirit in his own three children, is making a difference in young lives.

Elliott, 54, is the recipient of the 13th annual Caring Spirit Award, given by Teachers' Treasures, a nonprofit that obtains and distributes school supplies free to teachers of students in need.

Saturday, March 4, 2017
Getting 'Buck Naked' at Duluth
If the underwear advertisements for Duluth Trading Co. make you blush, you're not alone.

"Slip into the 'no pinch, no stink, no sweat' comfort of Buck Naked underwear - so comfortable, it's like wearing nothing at all."

If you're familiar with the store, you've likely seen the slogan, among others that might tend to embarrass you in front of your mother.

Friday, March 3, 2017
What's made in Noblesville?
Did you know that a Noblesville company manufactured the Nike shoe display for Cleveland Cavaliers' LeBron James when he first entered the NBA?

And the metal holding directional signage at Lowes Home Improvement stores? Also, the Western Union kiosks for wiring money?

Those products and many more are made at Noble Industries, a nearly 50-year-old company that manufactures sheet-, tube- and wire-metal products.

James' shoe shelf - which was branded "King James" and has the etching of a lion king in the middle - will be on display today at Noblesville Chamber of Commerce's annual Taste of Business.

Thursday, March 2, 2017
New twists for the Taste
What's cool about the Noblesville Chamber of Commerce's annual Taste of Business?

First of all, it's sampling all of the delicious fare from the local restaurants. Secondly, it's seeing what Noblesville businesses and organizations have to offer, especially the great perks they give out to event guests.

Wednesday, March 1, 2017
Noblesville's Boice sisters sing 'Joseph'
It was less than four years ago that I encouraged Kristen and Mark Boice to get their elementary school-age daughters, Ali and Kate, involved with Christian Youth Theater, where my daughter was taking classes at Noblesville's Emmanuel United Methodist Church.

Once taking the classes, Ali, auditioned for the nonprofit theater's 2014 spring musical, "Annie Jr." and was cast in the role of Sandy, Annie's loveable canine. While her adorable role had no lines, it's where she got her first taste of the limelight.

Monday, February 27, 2017
Sam Arnett lived a wonderful life
Sam Arnett would have turned 106 years old today.

He died on Dec. 22, just 65 days shy of his 106th birthday. I attended his 105th birthday a year ago today.

And what a party it was. I'm sure today would have been even bigger for the former resident of Wellbrooke of Westfield, where he had lived for nearly four years.

I take this opportunity to share his wonderful story.

"I'm very happy today, that's for sure," Arnett said to me on his 105th birthday, on Feb. 25, 2016, as he celebrated with family and friends at the assisted-living community near Grand Park, where his great-grandson has played soccer. "It's kind of hard to tell the difference between a smile and a sneer," he said with a grin.

Saturday, February 25, 2017
Blue jackets partner at Lions' bean dinner
I encourage you to take note of any blue corduroy jackets you see during this National FFA Week.

With National Blue and Corn Gold the official FFA colors, the jacket is an American icon representing faith, honor and pride of membership in FFA, formerly known as Future Farmers of America.

Friday, February 24, 2017
Auxiliary seeking the highest bidders
The hors d'oeuvres buffet is scrumptious. The auction items are amazing. And the guest list is a who's who of local business owners, public officials and well-to-do members of the community

The Boys & Girls Club of Noblesville's 32nd annual Auxiliary Auction on Saturday night at Harbour Trees Golf & Beach Club promises to be a night to remember.

Thursday, February 23, 2017
After 45 years, Tri Kappa legacy still 'giving back'
Beth Lively has belonged to Kappa Kappa Kappa sorority for 45 years. She joined at age 18 after watching her mother, teacher and community pillar Frances Lively, enjoy her many years of membership.

"I'm a Tri Kappa legacy," said Lively, 63, Noblesville, whose mother was president in 1960 and active with Noblesville's Beta Epsilon chapter until she died at age 98. "The year before she died, she was still the top seller of nuts," Lively, the current chapter president, said proudly.

Wednesday, February 22, 2017
Kurt Bolden was innovative, giving
Kurt Bolden's wheels were always turning.

He was an innovator who liked coming up with better ways to get things done. He was a generous businessman who raised money for good causes. He was a dad who gave back to his kids' school.

The former Noblesville firefighter, who was inspired to find ground-breaking ways to clean up after catastrophes, quietly made a name for himself as a powerhouse leader in the water damage-restoration industry while doing good things for his community.

Saturday, February 18, 2017
V-Day political theater is raising awareness
Just saying the word, "vagina," makes some people uncomfortable.

Like it does right now, as you're reading this. As I'm writing this.

But that's OK.

The idea for this column isn't to shock but to bring awareness to V-Day, a global activist movement to stop violence against women and girls.

Friday, February 17, 2017
'Seas Apart' brings together author, artist
Noblesville's Jeanna Janes got a wake-up call when her grandfather died four years ago. A mason by trade, he had hoped that she would use her creativity and become a painter. Even though she wanted to be an actor.

Instead, she found herself sitting in the hallways of Noblesville's White River Elementary, reading with students.

"It inspired me to hear their feedback, their inspirations and interests," said Jeanna, 44, who channeled her creativity into writing "Seas Apart," a mystery-adventure book for middle-grade students.

She didn't have a lot of confidence as she developed her storyline. But with support from White River's teachers and staff, Jeanna was on her way to publishing her first book.

Thursday, February 16, 2017
Ron Wilson speaks from the heart about his stroke
On Valentine's Day, Ron Wilson served breakfast in bed, with a dozen roses, for his wife, Sharon, and a scenic drive before dinner at Red Lobster.

The holiday reserved for Valentines wasn't quite as enjoyable three years ago for Wilson.

On Feb. 14, 2014, he suffered a stroke that left him unable to communicate.

"I didn't realize what was going on," said Wilson, a 1964 Noblesville High School graduate and U.S. Navy veteran who served in the Vietnam War. "I couldn't make a pot of coffee because I could not keep track of how many scoops of coffee I had to use," he said.

Wednesday, February 15, 2017
Don Roberts could make kids and grownups smile
Don Roberts brought a lot of happiness to everyone he touched.

He didn't know a stranger. In fact, nearly every little girl he met, he would sweet talk with adoration in his harmless, grandfatherly way.

That included my daughter, for whom he would always offer a big hug. He loved her as he did all children.

He was so proud when he gave her a dollhouse that he had made from scrap wood in his home woodshop.

Monday, February 13, 2017
City vs. County employees bowl for Prevail awareness
Prevail's 17th annual City vs. County Bowl-A-Thon Challenge is today.

It's a fun afternoon, when Noblesville City employees take on Hamilton County employees. The participants look forward every year to the Bowl-A-Thon, which offers an opportunity to raise awareness for Prevail, a victims-assistance nonprofit in Hamilton County.

In tradition, each bowling team comes up with a clever name and bowlers decorate their areas and dress in costumes, often neon Hawaiian shirts, flowers and hula skirts. In the past, I've seen inflatable palm trees, parrots and tiki lights. Each team tries to outdo the next.

Saturday, February 11, 2017
The Times' players are tiny but mighty
You might think 5- and 6-year-old basketball players wouldn't be very competitive. But it is quite the opposite.

Players run back and forth to their ends of the court. They guard the basket. They take advantage of a loose basketball. They shoot and score.

The Times newspaper is once again sponsoring a team in the winter basketball league at the Boys & Girls Club of Noblesville.

Friday, February 10, 2017
Get your pancake breakfast tickets to support Club cause
I often write about the Boys & Girls Club of Noblesville because it's a great place for kids to get their start.

It's an especially awesome place to learn how to play basketball. My daughter plays in the Club's winter basketball league. It's her second year to play. She's the littlest player on her team, which has a sixth-grader who's taller than me.

Thursday, February 9, 2017
NHS student, Eagle Scout shares 'favorite moments'
Noblesville Eagle Scout Josh Kozicki is in an elite fraternity.

There's no doubt that his parents, Jeff and Julia Kozicki, were proud as they listened to him speak Tuesday morning at the podium in front of more than 300 people attending the 22nd annual Noblesville Mayor's Breakfast for Scouting.

Wednesday, February 8, 2017
4-H Hunter Education takes away the curiosity
When kids can learn about, touch and see firearms close up, it takes away their curiosity.

That's the point of a Hamilton County 4-H Hunter Education class that started last week. Parents and 4-H'ers wanting to learn more about firearms filled nearly every seat at the Hamilton County 4-H Fairgrounds' Annex building.

Monday, February 6, 2017
Nature beckons on southern Riverwalk
If short walks are your speed, then downtown Noblesville's Riverwalk offers a pleasant stroll along the White River, especially now that more of the walk is finished on the south side of Conner Street, by Riverside Cemetery.

For those who haven't yet experienced the southern section of the Riverwalk trail, you are missing out.

It's a beautiful walk that backs up to the cemetery, other City-owned property, county-owned property and private property.

Saturday, February 4, 2017
Taking health to heart on Wear Red Day today
Today is National Wear Red Day, bringing awareness to heart disease in women.

A young baby boomer, I have recently become more concerned about the health of my heart.

Is the occasional pain in my chest related to stress, indigestion or a precursor to a heart attack? Just thinking about it made my blood pressure rise.

I always have my annual physical with my family doctor, but I wanted to know more.

Friday, February 3, 2017
Will the Groundhog see his shadow today?
It's Groundhog Day. The day when everybody wants to know the answer to one particular question: "Will the Groundhog see his shadow."

At press time, I didn't have the answer. Though, the sun was supposed to be out by 8 a.m. today here in Noblesville.

However, the forecast calls for "mostly cloudy" in Punxsutawney, Pa., where the first Groundhog Day took place 130 years ago today, on Feb. 2, 1887.

Thursday, February 2, 2017
Save the Dates, for fundraisers, 4-H Fair
About this time every year, I get out my calendar and start penciling in 2017 event and fundraiser dates.

I like to be ahead of the game, so I know what's happening each month.

Being the first day of February, my calendar is already filling up with events, from the Mayor's Scouting Breakfast on Tuesday to the Hamilton County 4-H Fair in July.

Wednesday, February 1, 2017
Going with the flow as boundaries change
When I moved from apartment living to Old Town Noblesville, I remember how the Quakenbush children next door attended Stony Creek Elementary.

The family loved the grade school so much that when Noblesville Schools made elementary-school boundary changes, resulting in North Elementary becoming our school, the family decided to move to the Wellington neighborhood so that their son, Kyle, would stay at Stony Creek.

Monday, January 30, 2017
Our Noblesville Lions screen, save kids' sight
Let me draw attention to Noblesville Lions' annual Pork Chop Dinner that I like to attend the first Friday in June on the Courthouse Square.

I've always encourage people to go because the fundraiser's money goes to a good cause.

One of those causes is the Lions KidSight USA, a national coalition that provides community eye screenings for children ages 6 months to 6 years in Hamilton County.

Nationally, the Lions screen more than a million kids a year.

Saturday, January 28, 2017
Nameless already making name for itself downtown
What's in a name? Nothing.

That's according to restauranteur Jeremy Brown and entrepreneur Jayson Manship, who expanded their Nameless Catering Co., to downtown Noblesville.

"We were trying to think of a cool, fun name that would be memorable," said Brown, who owns the three-year-old catering business that started as Nameless Pizza in the back of a frozen yogurt shop in Indianapolis' Fountain Square. "It allowed us not to be pigeon-holed into a menu."

Friday, January 27, 2017

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