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home : columnists : betsy reason November 19, 2017


A challenge to 'Stuff Da Bus'
Every year, as I watch the Noblesville Christmas Parade, I notice that the Boys & Girl Club of Noblesville's buses are always entered in the parade.

Club Kids walk in front of the buses, that are filled with donated food to help our local pantries.

The "Stuff Da Bus" idea is a good one.

Members of the Torch Club at the Boys & Girls Club annually call upon local individuals, organizations and businesses to fill at least one Boys Club bus or more with food for local families.

Saturday, November 18, 2017
'Cactus' is clever Christmas comedy
Watching The Belfry Theatre's dress rehearsals of "A Christmas Cactus" earlier this week, I couldn't help but feel the spirit of the season.

The mystery-comedy -- which opens tonight and continues weekends through Dec. 3 at the Noblesville theater -- isn't your typical holiday classic but a charming contemporary Christmas tale set in the 1940s on Christmas Eve.

Friday, November 17, 2017
Nancy Chance needs your help
Every year at this time, Nancy Chance quietly asks for help filling the need.

She needs food, new clothes, new toys and money. Gift cards are also welcome.

The coordinator for Good Samaritan Network of Hamilton County -- in its 37th year -- said the community's donations are vital to this year's holiday-assistance giveaways.

Thursday, November 16, 2017
Magic foursome auditions for 'America's Got Talent'
A casting producer for the NBC television series, "America's Got Talent" was watching YouTube videos, looking for "kid magicians," when she found Ryan Demler and his three sons.

Demler, who works under the stage name C.R. Ryan, performs a magic act with his sons, Braden, 13, Owen, 9, and Liam, 4.

Wednesday, November 15, 2017
Celebrating our veterans
Each Veterans Day, we fly the flags for each branch of the military. We recognize those who have nobly served. And we remember those we've lost.

On Saturday, a crowd gathered on the brisk autumn day to honor our local veterans and say thank you for their sacrifices during an annual Veterans Day ceremony at the Hamilton County War Memorial on the Courthouse Square in Noblesville.

Monday, November 13, 2017
Howard Kenley shares stories of wartime
Howard Kenley Jr. was a navigator on a Boeing B-17 aircraft bomber in the U.S. Air Force during World War II.

He was drafted in October 1941 and flew 35 missions, his last mission on April 18, 1945, just 20 days before V-Day, the end of WWII in Europe.

The 25-year-old looked forward to being discharged so he could go home, back to his new wife of two years. But rather, he would get another assignment, to be sent to Japan because, "We were short navigators," said the military veteran who reached the rank of captain during his four years of service.

Friday, November 10, 2017
Costuming 'Guys & Dolls'
Thursday, November 9, 2017
Celebrating Veterans Day
It's time to celebrate our military veterans and thank them for their service.

Veterans Day will be celebrated today through Saturday during an array of events in Hamilton County.

Noblesville Lions Club will offer a dinner for invited local veterans, at 6:30 p.m. today, Wednesday, Nov. 8, at Jim Dandy, 2301 Conner St., Noblesville. Veterans will be given a chance to share stories.

Wednesday, November 8, 2017
Club honors 3 at Farewell Tour
Noblesville's Bill Taylor grew up a farm boy, graduated from college, worked in the grain-handling industry and then started his own technology company.

Along the way, as an adult, he got involved in the Boys & Girls Club of Noblesville, joining the Club's board 18 years ago.

"Be involved and give back to the community" is one of the six principles of the Taylored Systems owner and president.

Monday, November 6, 2017
Center raises bar with bowling, cooking, dance
If you've traveled Indiana 37 between Noblesville and Fishers over the past few months, you've likely noticed construction of an exciting-looking one-story building that features a huge round entrance and lots of glass.

I learned several months ago that the massive building would be the ultimate in childcare centers, with a bowling alley and lots of cool amenities.

It's the second Children's Learning Adventure childcare center to open in Indiana; the first was in Carmel.

Saturday, November 4, 2017
Community grateful for Luke Kenley
Retired Sen. Luke Kenley couldn't have asked for a better tribute party.

There was a beautiful cake. Lots of catered food. And hundreds of guests.

There were kind words. Some good-natured roasting. And lots of gifts.

One of those surprises was the unveiling of "Kenley Commons" as the new name of the atrium at Ivy Tech Community College Hamilton County Campus in Noblesville. The former Noblesville High School -- from where Kenley played football and graduated in 1963 -- was fittingly the venue for this "Tribute to Sen. Luke Kenley" appreciation party on Thursday.

Friday, November 3, 2017
Boys & Girls Club to say 'farewell'
Standing inside the entrance at the Boys & Girls Club of Noblesville after school one day last week, I couldn't help but get a little choked up as I watched kids get off of their school buses and walk through the doors of the Club.

The kids, mostly smiling, checked in their coats and backpacks and went on their way to the art room to paint, or to the kitchen for a cooking class, or to the gymnasium to play basketball.

The 1448 Conner St. building -- the former Noblesville High School built in 1910 -- has been home to Club kids grades K-12 since 1969.

But it won't be long until the building closes for holiday break in December, and the Club moves to its new 34,000-square-foot Tom & Soni Sheehan Boys & Girls Club, under construction just two blocks east.

Thursday, November 2, 2017
Remembering newspaperman Don Jellison
I knew Don Jellison for more than 30 years.

The former Noblesville Daily Ledger sports editor, then editor, hired me right out of college for my first job.

When Don moved on from The Ledger, he soon found another place to write. The Noblesville Daily Times, then The Times. And then at the Hamilton County Reporter, where he and his son, Jeff Jellison, together took to publishing a daily online newspaper and a weekly print edition.

Yes, Don operated a competing newspaper. But that didn't stop me from writing this column.

Wednesday, November 1, 2017
Best of shows to be honored
We have some great talent in our Hamilton County community theaters.

That's evident from the many nominations for the 48th annual Encore Awards, which will be presented tonight.

The social event of the year is like the Oscars for community theater, where people dress to the nines, and cheer on fellow thespians lucky enough to go home with awards for being the best in their show.

Monday, October 30, 2017
What's it take to put on NEMS musical?
I remember at the beginning of the school year when we found out that Noblesville East Middle School would stage "Guys & Dolls Jr." for its annual fall musical.

More than 80 students turned out for the auditions, showing off their vocal abilities and reading lines from the script.

For the past nine weeks, the 39-member cast has been rehearsing after school, first at NEMS and now at Ivy Tech Community College in Noblesville, where the musical will be staged just less than two weeks away, on Veterans Day weekend.

Saturday, October 28, 2017
Ghosts, goblins, ghouls, oh my!
It's the final weekend for ghosts and goblins, and we still have lots of Halloween activities on our calendar.

Tonight is Noblesville Parks' annual Free Family Halloween Party. We always try to attend, not only because we enjoy the hayride through the park, but for the music, games and refreshments. Plus Noblesville Police Department offers Trunk-or-Treat, and a downtown business, Fred and Lori Koppold's Tenth Street Photography, snaps memorable souvenir photos with special effects. It's 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. today at Forest Park.

Friday, October 27, 2017
Let's all head to the county parks
I remember when Cool Creek Park's Haunted Trails debuted 25 years ago. You squeamishly walked through the woods, where goblins lurked to scare you. It wasn't meant for the young or faint of heart, but there were less-scary activities for the little ones.

Tonight's Hamilton County Parks' Halloween event, "Little Haunt on the Prairie at Ghoul Creek Park" is only in its second year. But based on attendance and guest feedback from 2016's inaugural program, I am told that the one-night Halloween event that replaced Haunted Trails at Cool Creek Park is expected to become a popular tradition thanks to a staff committee formed to create a new approach for the event.

Thursday, October 26, 2017
John W. Kennedy made a difference
Noblesville's John W. Kennedy once told me that he stuck close to home because he had deep roots in a community he loved.

He graduated in 1972 from Noblesville High School, following the heels of his father, Jim, who graduated in 1944. His mother, Beba, was an NHS teacher. His grandpa, Moe Kennedy, coached football, basketball and track here. His brother, James Kennedy Jr., who most people know as "Chooch," is a 1968 NHS grad. His sister, Corya Kennedy Channing, is a 1966 NHS grad.

Wednesday, October 25, 2017
Lots to do on our fall break
It's the second week of Noblesville Schools' fall break. And while I've seen tons of photos on friends' Facebook pages of their fabulous travels, from Florida to South Dakota and China to Italy, we've been having so much fun that we haven't even traveled out of the area.

Our break kicked off with Noblesville Main Street's First Friday Fall Festival, with trick-or-treating at the many downtown merchants, who graciously opened their doors.

Monday, October 16, 2017
Scaring up fun at fall parties, fests
It's time for Halloween costume contests, fall parties and outdoor bonfires.

While Noblesville Schools is on fall break this week and next week, there will be lots of festivities to attend.

The first Halloween party of the year was Tuesday's Hamilton County Junior Leaders free Community Halloween Party for kids. It's a party we never miss. This year, my daughter won the scariest in her age division.

Saturday, October 14, 2017
3-2-Fun Center more than bowling
When Cicero's David Small bought Cooper's Stardust Bowl two years ago, his goal was to rebuild, rebrand and regrow the center.

First came the rebranding and "getting people back in, getting them to see the initial changes."

He initially renamed the center Bowl 32, fittingly for its 32 lanes and location on Indiana 32 on Noblesville's westside. Taking the rebranding one step farther, Small has, once again, renamed the center. "Our goal is to have fun, and the name is changing to 'Three-Two Fun,'" he said, still keeping the "3-2" in the name.

Friday, October 13, 2017
Locals embrace IKEA opening
Wednesday was the day that IKEA fans had eagerly awaited. They came from far and near and watched as IKEA employees greeted customers with thunder sticks and IKEA officials and Fishers Mayor Scott Fadness celebrated -- with log sawing in traditional IKEA style -- the grand opening of the newest Swedish-headquartered store on IKEA Way in Fishers.
Thursday, October 12, 2017
Come for free meal, fellowship
Noblesville Schools' two-week fall break started on Monday. And to kick off the week, we popped in for the First Presbyterian Church's first-time fall break free lunch program.

The church was so successful for its first summer free lunch program in 2017 that organizers decided to offer a similar program over these two weeks.

A free lunch is served 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Mondays and Wednesdays during fall break, which runs through Oct. 20.

Wednesday, October 11, 2017
Giving blessings for our animals
Last weekend was Pastor Teri Ditslear's fourth year to perform animal blessings for the community.

The event, put on by her grass-roots church, Roots of Life, is always around the first Sunday of October and brings out all sorts of animals.

This year, the family-friendly, dog-friendly, cat-friendly, oxen-friendly event moved from Forest Park to the new Federal Hill Commons west of the White River in downtown Noblesville.

Saturday, October 7, 2017
New Coffee with a Cop
About 10 officers from Noblesville Police Department showed up Wednesday morning at Noble Coffee & Tea.

For those who hadn't heard, the gathering was for NPD's new Coffee with a Cop.

Rather than being a formal program with an agenda, the first-time event offered the community an opportunity to talk to NPD officers one on one.

Friday, October 6, 2017
Scarecrows decorate our historic Square
If you've walked around the Courthouse Square this week, you've likely noticed a lot of scarecrows hanging on light poles.

"John the Crow Lennon," dons iconic sunglasses and plays his guitar.

Trolls spread happiness. A Miller Man models senior cords. And an "hipstoric" lady wears blue hair and a coat decorated with historic photos.

Thursday, October 5, 2017
Finding therapy, discovering art
Michael McGuire's speech is slurred, and he can't always convey exactly what he wants to say.

It's been two years this month since the Noblesville man experienced a sudden brain bleed.

He had been complaining of a headache. Then, his wife, Megan, found him up in the middle of the night disoriented and speaking garbled English. He had an emergency craniotomy, to allow his swelling brain to expand.

Wednesday, October 4, 2017
What does Noblesville need?
What does Noblesville need?

An aquarium. An indoor water park. And an "amazing chalkboard."

A dog park. A candy shop. And a bike-rental station.

A diamond store. A bakery. And a donut shop.

And also a Mexican-Chinese restaurant "for families who can't agree."

Monday, October 2, 2017
Westfield stages 'Lafferty's Wake' Irish comedy
Saying goodbye to a loved one is quite entertaining when friends and family of Charlie Lafferty gather at his grand wake at Rory's Irish pub.

A cedar casket down front sets the stage for "Lafferty's Wake," a comedy with music that opens tonight at Westfield Playhouse. The show continues weekends through Oct. 15 in the former church-turned-playhouse on Indiana 32 in Eagletown. Tickets are still available.

Friday, September 29, 2017
Sweet sounds of small engines
Roger Reichenbach smiled as he demonstrated a miniature gas-powered engine that he built and hooked to a buzz saw that cuts little sticks of wood.

"This is the way we used to cut our firewood before we had chain saws," said the 83-year-old Noblesville man, who raised his voice over the clacking sound of the small engine.

"These are just like the big engines -- used on the farm back in turn of the century before they had electricity -- but they're miniature," he said.

Friday, September 29, 2017
Lots happening in Noblesville
When I found out that Live Nation's re-naming announcement for Klipsch Music Center was planned for the same time as this month's Noblesville Chamber of Commerce luncheon, I still put both of the events on my calendar.

By now, you've probably already heard that the 24,000-seat amphitheater -- originally known as Deer Creek Music Center that opened in 1989 in Noblesville -- on Wednesday was renamed to Ruoff Home Mortgage Music Center.

Thursday, September 28, 2017
Festival of Hope to aid recovery
While Drew Hawk doesn't make light of addiction, he does talk about it frankly.

He's lost friends to heroin and other drugs.

And in his 20s and 30s, Hawk struggled with alcohol abuse, as a "binge drinker" and didn't realize he had a problem, until he got a DUI about 10 years ago.

"It hit me that I needed to take better care of myself and change my life," said Hawk, 42, Arcadia, who never drove drunk or buzzed again.

Wednesday, September 27, 2017
Brewfest raises $50K for pool
It was the perfect warm, sunny afternoon to sample beer and wine, play cornhole and support a good cause under the big, shady trees in Forest Park.

In fact, the eighth annual Noblesville Brewfest and Wine Garden on Saturday was the most successful in history, raising an estimated record $50,000 for Forest Park Aquatic Center, I was told as I exited the brewfest and chatted with organizer Greg Baker.

Monday, September 25, 2017
Small town, big festival
This weekend, a sleepy little town of "750 friendly residents and a few soreheads," according to the town's welcome sign, has come to life, filled with craft and food vendors, musical acts and thousands of visitors.

The 44nd annual Atlanta New Earth Festival is today and Sunday in Atlanta, Ind., a town on Ind. 19, about 20 minutes north of Noblesville in northern Hamilton County.

The annual festival began in 1974 as a way to revive the town's business district.

Saturday, September 23, 2017
Mystery-comedy kicks off season
Nancy Lafferty wants to sit in the audience and enjoy the show tonight.

The director of The Belfry Theatre's mystery comedy, "Done to Death," said if she does her job well, then there is nothing to do except watch.

"Actors are on their own. They shouldn't need me on opening night. And they don't," Lafferty said Thursday. "It's a solid cast, and they are ready."

Friday, September 22, 2017
Downtown building to celebrate 150th
Rosie Hoistion has a big smile on her face everyday as she welcomes customers to Old Picket Fence.

It will be two years come January that she bought the business from Janet Hatmaker, who was looking to retire.

Hoistion didn't realize the rich history of the 150-year-old property until she settled into the old building on the northwest corner of Logan and Ninth streets in downtown Noblesville.

Thursday, September 21, 2017
Brewfest keeps our pool open
If you get out this weekend, consider attending Noblesville Brewfest.

The eighth annual beer- and wine-tasting festival on Saturday is the one and only fundraiser for Forest Park Aquatic Center in Noblesville.

The pool opens every summer thanks to Brewfest, which annually raises more than $40,000 for operation of the pool.

Wednesday, September 20, 2017
Great weekend in Noblesville
It was an amazing weekend in downtown Noblesville, as folks were out and about showing their spirit, supporting their schools, their city and their community.

It was perfect weather, warm and sunny, all weekend.

It all started with Noblesville High School Homecoming, including parade, tailgating and football game on Friday.

Folks crowded the streets of downtown Noblesville as Noblesville High School celebrated Homecoming with parade floats, athletes and school organizations during the annual Homecoming Parade.

Monday, September 18, 2017
'Yesterday' with Trooper Marks
Noblesville's Jack Marks always had a story to tell. And he had old photos or memorabilia that went along to prove most of his stories.

One of those tales was about how the retired Indiana State Trooper gave The Beatles' drummer Ringo Starr a sightseeing tour, including a ride back to his farm in Noblesville to meet Marks' family.

Saturday, September 16, 2017
Pioneer Party in Forest Park
If you've been hankering for a lazy afternoon, listening to good old-time country music played by some local folks, then grab your lawn chairs and your straw hat and head for Noblesville's Forest Park on Saturday.

It's all part of the free Pioneer Party in the Park music festival, which kicks off at 11:45 a.m. celebrating old-time country music all afternoon until about 5 p.m. in Shelter No. 5.

Friday, September 15, 2017
Tours, music, history, more
I have an Historic Home Tour sign displayed in my front yard, promoting Noblesville Preservation Alliance's 31st annual Historic Homes Tour.

I chuckled as I accepted the sign from NPA board member Sandy Stewart, who invited me to display the sign as I was out walking in Old Town one evening last week.

My chuckle was because I hope that no one mistook my front-yard sign for my house as being one of the homes on tour.

Thursday, September 14, 2017
Old-time music on Courthouse Square
The northeast lawn of the historic Hamilton County Courthouse has been filling up on select Saturday nights with folks kicked back in lawn chairs while listening to old-time country music.

This Saturday will be the fourth free concert in Legacy Keepers Music 10th Anniversary String-Time Concert Series, which culminates on Sept. 16 with a free Pioneer Party in Forest Park.

Monday, August 28, 2017
The Times intern had good summer
Every year since I've been working for The Times newspaper, we've had high school or college interns getting their feet wet as reporters.

This summer was no different. College intern Sydney Allen eagerly spent her summer with us, learning about what it's like to be a journalist in the real world.
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Saturday, August 26, 2017
Put Blackberry Jam on menu
When we were at the Indiana State Fair on Saturday, we happened upon Blackberry Jam - The Folk Band, performing in the Pioneer Village.

I'd already heard great things about the band, led by Arcadia's Jean Roberts.

Just watching the band on stage Saturday was a treat.

They played all afternoon on a small platform just large enough to fit the six-member band.

Friday, August 25, 2017
For the love of old cars
Now that the Indiana State Fair is behind us, it's time to rev up for the eighth annual Lucky Teter Rebel Run Car and Vintage Bike Show this Saturday at Noblesville's Forest Park.

I always love a good car show. An extra bonus, this show benefits the Noblesville Masonic Lodge's Angel Fund, a charity coordinated with Noblesville Schools for families who need financial assistance for medical and dental needs.

Thursday, August 24, 2017
Options grow at Charter School
Noblesville's Mason Burden said he is able to focus more on his education thanks to a smaller-classroom environment and one-on-one time he receives with his teachers at Options Charter School in Noblesville.

The 15-year-old freshman, a former student at Noblesville East Middle School, was referred to Options during his eighth-grade year because of his need for that one-on-one time.

Wednesday, August 23, 2017
Gotta have the eclipse glasses
You would have thought that people were in line for Black Friday. Maybe the grand opening of a new store. Or even tickets to a Jimmy Buffett concert.

Folks arrived as early as 1:30 a.m. Friday at Hamilton East Public Library's Noblesville branch, in hopes of scoring special solar eclipse-viewing safety eyeglasses to view today's highly publicized solar eclipse.

Both Noblesville and Fishers branch libraries gave away 100 pairs of eclipse-viewing glasses, first-come, first-served, when the doors opened at 9 a.m.

Monday, August 21, 2017



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