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home : columnists December 11, 2017


A new opportunity to serve Hamilton County
Last week, I officially announced I will not be seeking re-election to the Indiana General Assembly. Although the 2018 legislative session will be my last representing House District 29 at the Statehouse, I hope to continue serving Noblesville as the County Clerk.
Monday, December 11, 2017
These folks have Christmas spirit
A group of folks are making the holidays brighter for people who might not otherwise be remembered.

Those who have attended or entered a vehicle in the annual Father's Day Car Show at Forest Park might have already met some of these folks.

Central Indiana Vintage Vehicles, which puts on the car show, donates all of its profits to The Elysian Foundation, which uses the money to benefit those in our community who are severely brain-damaged or who have other disabilities.

Monday, December 11, 2017
'Waltons' play reminds us of wholesome TV
When Westfield Playhouse this fall announced the theater would be staging "The Homecoming: Waltons' Christmas Story," my ears perked up.

I grew up watching "The Waltons," a wholesome TV series based on a Depression-era family with seven children, living at the foot of Virginia's Blue Ridge Mountains.

Every Thursday night, we tuned in to CBS, which aired the show, a story told each week through the eyes of the oldest son, John-Boy Walton, who penned in his Big Chief writing tablets stories about growing up in a big family.

Saturday, December 9, 2017
Peace for the sake of the world
This week's headlines about moving the U.S. Embassy to Jerusalem is troubling. While in my heart of hearts I see Jerusalem as the "capital" of Christianity, it makes little sense to use her as a political weapon. In fact, I believe that no good can come out of this announcement. Already, there has been violent protests around the Middle East and in parts of Asia over this decision.
Saturday, December 9, 2017
Teacher's last ballet
When Shannon Jenkins was 5 years old, she wanted to be "either a baton twirler or a ballerina."

She longed for the spotlight. To wear fancy costumes. And to dance "to wonderful music" in "big theatrical productions."

Growing up, her father had a passion for opera, and she listened to a lot of it, gaining an appreciation for the arts.

Friday, December 8, 2017
Carl Fogelsong, the Armstrongs, the Indiana Condensed Milk Factory and More
I think we're overdue for a reader column!

Remember the Clancy's column and how I said Clancy's founder, Carl Fogelsong, was dedicated to community service? I've got another story to prove that.

Back in 1974 a Noblesville High School senior was hired to run a children's tennis program for the Noblesville Parks Department. At the end of the session, he wanted to create a tournament for the kids, but there was no money available for anything like that.

Friday, December 8, 2017
New toys needed this week for ages 5-12
This is a crucial week for Good Samaritan Network of Hamilton County, which is having its annual Christmas Giveaway on Saturday.

Distribution prep work started Wednesday, setting up three halls of the Hamilton County Exhibition Center at the 4-H Fairgrounds in Noblesville. Then, from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. today and Friday, Good Samaritan executive director and founder, Noblesville's Nancy Chance, is accepting donations.

Thursday, December 7, 2017
Garrick Mallery's legacy will live on
Garrick Mallery was all about giving back to our youth and our community.

He was one of Noblesville Elementary Football League's Founders, a Hamilton County 4-H leader for 25 years, and a donor of his family's land to Noblesville Schools.

Mallery, whose rich Noblesville history and family roots date back to 1820, would have turned 90 on Dec. 21.

Tuesday, December 5, 2017
Time to prepare of the flu
The cold weather is finally arriving and it's time to prepare for the flu. Most people us the term "flu" in a very generic sense, meaning anything from cold symptoms to having a case of vomiting and diarrhea. The "flu" in this column refers to respiratory influenza that kills 36,000 Americans each year and puts another 200,000 in the hospital.
Tuesday, December 5, 2017
Santa breakfast, holiday lightings welcome season
What a great holiday weekend.

Noblesville Main Street's First Friday in December kicked off with hot chocolate on the Hamilton County Courthouse Square.

The "Shop Local" theme continued as downtown merchants had extended hours for Midnight Madness.

The Courthouse itself was beautiful with its colorful lights. And on Friday, the holiday scene was even more wonderful with luminaries that lit up throughout the downtown.

Monday, December 4, 2017
It's Christmas time in our city
The Hamilton County Courthouse is beautifully lit, the Christmas tree is up, and Santa made a special appearance for all of the good little boys and girls at this year's holiday parade. It's officially Christmas time in our city, where a variety of holiday events will be occurring throughout December, when the air is filled with cheer.
Monday, December 4, 2017
Ballet royalty in Noblesville
Robert Moore's story reads like a fairy tale.

The 39-year-old Noblesville man grew up here studying ballet but at age 14 left home and moved to Florida to train as a dancer.

After graduating from Harid Ballet Conservatory in Boca Raton, Fla., he auditioned and accepted a position dancing professionally for Boston Ballet and later Pittsburgh Ballet Theater, making a name for himself in the ballet world.

Saturday, December 2, 2017
Waltons story hits home at Westfield Playhouse
Watching this week's dress rehearsals of Westfield Playhouse's holiday production, show director Sam Brown finds childhood memories rushing back to him.

Brown grew up watching "The Waltons," a wholesome TV series based on a Depression-era family of nine, living in at the foot of Virginia's Blue Ridge Mountains, whose story is told through the eyes of the oldest son, John-Boy Walton.

Friday, December 1, 2017
Liking those beards on NPD officers?
If there is a shortage of men's razors in Noblesville on Sunday, the Noblesville Police Department offers its sincere apologies.

Nearly three dozen NPD officers -- or almost 40 percent of the department -- who have been growing facial hair for a cause, will take razors to their faces at the end of this weekend.

Thursday, November 30, 2017
Tradition brightens up our downtown
Anybody who attended Noblesville Chamber of Commerce's Holiday Tree Lighting ceremony last Friday night likely noticed a few new acts, and some returning favorites.

Noblesville First United Methodist Church Chancel Choir opened the ceremony, singing "Joy to the World" to a standing-room-only audience, from the steps of the Hamilton County Government & Judicial Center.

Wednesday, November 29, 2017
House husband
We were watching TV one evening last week when my wife asked, "Don't you think it's about time we moved?"

"Sure," I said. "I'll stretch out on the floor with a pillow; you take the couch."

Apparently that is not what she meant. After 30 years in our house, Mary Ellen now thinks we should be living in a condo, a place where the owners don't have to mow or water the lawn or shovel snow. My son will be disappointed if we move. He was making good money doing all that.

Wednesday, November 29, 2017
Boys Club, Janus encourage giving
What a beautiful Thanksgiving weekend for the opening of Federal Hill Commons Ice Plaza, the Noblesville Tree Lighting, Noblesville Main Street's Ice Sculptures, the Noblesville Christmas Parade and Santa's arrival.

We've celebrated Black Friday, Small Business Saturday, Cyber Monday today, and now it's time for Giving Tuesday.

It's annually the first Tuesday after Thanksgiving and is a global day dedicated to giving back. A day to support your favorite charitable organizations. And there are again a lot of choices in Hamilton County.

Monday, November 27, 2017
I'm Having Trouble Hearing
A patient whose mother is having hearing difficulties asked me to write about the best way to choose someone to fit hearing aids. I'd like to begin with some background on hearing.

It goes without saying that hearing is one of our most important senses. It is critical for our quality of life as well as for safety and social interaction. There are an estimated 30 million Americans who have some degree of hearing loss, 65 percent of whom are younger than 65 years of age.

Monday, November 27, 2017
Fostering hope for future generations
Indiana's escalating opioid epidemic is significantly impacting the state's most vulnerable. Thousands of children, by no fault of their own, are victims of this crisis. As opioid abuse rises, so does the number of kids in the foster care system. According to the Department of Child Services, the number of children in out-of-home care jumped from 13,811 in September 2015, to 17,214 just two years later. With the demand for foster families in Indiana reaching an all-time high, we need to find ways to help these children in need.
Monday, November 27, 2017
We will miss you as Santa Claus
I can't help but feel a little sentimental this weekend.

If you've driven along Conner Street by the Hamilton County Courthouse this week, you've likely noticed that the Santa House has been set on the Square, awaiting Santa's official arrival on Sunday in the annual Noblesville Christmas Parade.

For 12 years, Noblesville's Don Roberts played Santa Claus at the Santa House on the Square. Every year, through 2016, he arrived on the fire truck as the finale for the Parade.

Saturday, November 25, 2017
It was just soup, but meant much more
There are times when soup is just soup. Then there are the times when soup is much more than itself. This past week was tough for me. Maybe it is because some in my family were struggling with their health. Could be I am being a 'Martha' and just worried about the million little things that need to be dealt with by the end of the year.
Saturday, November 25, 2017
Shop local on Small Business Saturday
We love shopping in Downtown Noblesville, where storefronts are decorated in different themes and different colors for the holidays.

And while today is Black Friday, I usually defer my Friday shopping until Small Business Saturday in Downtown Noblesville.

Small Business Saturday is an American shopping holiday, the Saturday after Thanksgiving, founded in 2010 by American Express to promote small businesses.

Friday, November 24, 2017
Thanksgiving Dinner, Trot
No place to go for Thanksgiving?

The Michael Treinen Turkey Trot and the Communitywide Thanksgiving Day Dinner are two traditions happening on Thursday that have grown to attract thousands of people.

The 10th annual Turkey Trot event that steps off Thanksgiving morning at 9 a.m. at Ninth and Conner streets was created following the death of Michael Treinen. He was diagnosed with acute myeloid leukemia three weeks before graduation, on May 11, 2007, during his senior year at Noblesville High School.

Wednesday, November 22, 2017
Contrary to popular belief, not all flu is the same
Winter cold & flu season is starting to gear up. This week, I'd like to talk about a different kid of flu, "stomach flu." I have to start by dispelling a common misconception that all flu is the same. "Stomach flu" is not caused by the same viruses as "respiratory flu." Flu shots, given to prevent respiratory influenza, will not protect you against viruses affecting the gastrointestinal tract that causes an infection known as viral gastroenteritis.
Wednesday, November 22, 2017
A few words over condiments: Hold the mayo
Mary Ellen and I recently exchanged a few words over mayonnaise. Sometimes condiments can be seen as an insult to the chef. Like ketchup, for example. When I pour Heinz over my wife's beef bourguignon, we always get into a stew.

Mustard? Yes, we have argued about mustard, too. Over the years I have attempted to season some of my wife's dishes with a healthy dose of this condiment. What would her Pork Milanese have been without mustard? Uneventful.

Wednesday, November 22, 2017
Tri Kappa gets with The Times
Every year at this time, Tri Kappa sorority asks us at The Times newspaper to partner up in the promotion of the Beta Epsilon chapter's annual Red Stocking Fund drive.

And every year at this time, I ask the drive's coordinators, Pam Lehman and Anita Beck, along with Noblesville Township Trustee, to put on their red Santa hats to snap a photo to promote the drive.

We here at The Times are always glad to help with this fundraiser.

Monday, November 20, 2017
Sharing our blessings with others
This week, many will be gathering with family and friends to give thanks. As my husband, Perry, and I prepare to come together with those we love, it's hard not to also think about those we have lost, like our dear friend Don Jellison. Don was very special, and his positive impact on Noblesville will be felt for years to come. As we count our blessings this Thanksgiving, let's work to honor those we have loved and lost, by helping others in our community who are in need.
Monday, November 20, 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
We must act against hunger, not just talk about it
"Poverty is not an accident." This tweet from @Pontifex, Pope Francis, jolted me to my core when I read it a day or so ago. So, if it is not an accident, what is it? The gist of his meaning is that poverty is not something that happens by coincidence. He continues in his thought, "It has causes that must be recognized and removed for the good of so many brothers and sisters."
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
I have something new to be thankful for this Thanksgiving - well, technically I have two new someBODIES to be thankful for.

Last month, I visited a friend I hadn't seen in several years who just happens to volunteer at an animal shelter.

I was still mourning my cat, Chloe, and had absolutely NO intention of adopting anybody yet, but my friend wanted me to see her shelter's new building and I agreed, thinking it might be a way of starting - just starting, mind you - to get myself psyched to go looking for a new furry companion.

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
My head is spinning
This week I want to address a specific variant of a condition that I've been seeing a fair amount of lately - dizziness. Primary Care doctors in the U.S. see about six million patients a year with dizziness.

Dizziness means different things to different people and can be a symptom of many different medical conditions. People usually describe being dizzy when they either feel faint or lightheaded or when they feel like their environment is spinning. This latter sensation is called vertigo, from the Latin vertere meaning, "to turn."

Wednesday, November 15, 2017
Keep your chin up
Lately I've been spending an inordinate amount of time looking in the mirror, concerned that the years have taken a toll on me and that I have aged quite a bit. My wife says I'm crazy, and to be that obsessed with my own looks makes me appear very elfish. (I hope she meant selfish. My ears were the only part of my face that I thought hadn't aged.)
Tuesday, November 14, 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
Free financial literacy courses for young Hoosiers
Understanding personal finances is key to making important decisions in adulthood. From applying for financial aid to buying a home, young Hoosiers need to know how to be responsible stewards of their financial futures. Through the Indiana MoneyWise Financial Education Program, high school students throughout the state can take free online courses focused on banking, credit scores, consumer protection, higher education expenses, insurance and taxes, investing, payment types, renting versus owning and savings plans.
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
Fighting to free the world
Since Veterans Day is tomorrow, and this year marks the 100th anniversary of America's entrance in World War I, it seemed appropriate to devote this week's column to some of the Hamilton County soldiers from that war.

Back then, the Noblesville Daily Ledger often published letters written by servicemen fighting overseas to their friends and relatives at home. As with World War II, all communications were censored, so no dates or places were mentioned and there were few details of actual fighting, but the letters still managed to give some idea of what the local boys were experiencing.

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
How come you're not funny at home?
Mary Ellen was kind enough to pass along a comment she had heard about me at her book club. "Kathy says your newspaper column makes her laugh."

"Gee, thanks for sharing that, Mary Ellen."

"Yes, and, Cara, the organizer of the group, told me she thinks you're quite amusing on TV."

"Wow, I sure appreciate the compliments."

"But Dick, I have to ask you this: How come you're not so funny at home?"

Wednesday, November 8, 2017
Fraud in medicine costly to taxpayers
This week I'd like to write about a problem that costs taxpayers billions of dollars each year - Medicare fraud and abuse. Medicare paid out $591 billion in payments for services and medications in 2016, accounting for 14.8% of the federal budget. The Office of Management and Budget (OMB) reports that 11% of those payments were "improper," meaning the services were not necessary, did not meet Medicare guidelines, or were downright fraudulent (a decrease from 2015).
Tuesday, November 7, 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
Thank you, veterans
On Saturday, Nov. 11, we have the opportunity to formally honor our veterans. From parades to wreath-laying ceremonies and words of gratitude on social media, let's come together as a community to thank the thousands who have served and those who are currently serving our nation.

Noblesville will host a Veterans Day ceremony at 11 a.m. on Saturday, Nov. 11, at the Courthouse Square. At noon on Saturday, there will be a Veterans Day Parade at the conclusion of a service held in downtown Indianapolis. More than 80 units will be marching from Michigan and Pennsylvania streets, moving south on Pennsylvania to New York Street, west to Meridian Street, and concluding at North Street.

Monday, November 6, 2017
A touching Veteran's Day story
SHERIDAN - Sometimes there is a story that needs to be told and this is one of those times.

This is the story of a young man with a Sheridan connection via his mother but he does not live here or attend the local school. His name is Rex Burkman and his mother is Kristin Burkman. Many Sheridan residents will remember Kristin because she grew up here and graduated from Sheridan. Her parents are Dorothy and Craig Bishop and lots of Sheridan residents know the Bishop's very well as they are life-long Sheridanites.

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
The return of a taste of heaven
Oh man, the news that Clancy's is coming back to town sure stirs up memories!

Okay, technically the restaurant will be the "Grindstone Public House" and it's supposed to be more of a Grindstone Charley's than a Clancy's, but still, Toppers will be back and there's nothing that says "Clancy's" more than a Topper!

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
Not just the only one, the one and only
I wish I had a dollar for every time Don Jellison's name was used in teaching moments across the country. Sometimes it would be a lesson on the importance of a strong voice and opinion in writing columns. Other times it was about the significance of getting box scores with game stories. Yet other times might be about how vital it is to quote coaches.

From North Carolina to California and several places in between, reporters and editors, young and old, heard about Don Jellison.

Wednesday, November 1, 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
The spin on spinach
Following my knee operation, my doctor informed me that I'd developed borderline anemia. I don't even know how that's possible. Since the new administration took over, I'm afraid to cross any borders.

My physician suggested I focus on a healthy, high-protein diet, heavy on foods like kale, spinach, hearty cuts of beef, and a bowl of Raisin Bran every day. Fortunately these are already some of my food faves-including the spinach-which I even liked when I was a kid.

Wednesday, November 1, 2017
Not just the only one, the one and only
I wish I had a dollar for every time Don Jellison's name was used in teaching moments across the country. Sometimes it would be a lesson on the importance of a strong voice and opinion in writing columns. Other times it was about the significance of getting box scores with game stories. Yet other times might be about how vital it is to quote coaches.

From North Carolina to California and several places in between, reporters and editors, young and old, heard about Don Jellison.

Wednesday, November 1, 2017
Restless Leg Syndrome not a made up condition
Someone told me the other day that they thought "restless leg syndrome" (RLS) was a condition made up by pharmaceutical companies to sell more medications. You may have seen the commercials for Requip® and Mirapex®, both drugs used to treat this malady.
Tuesday, October 31, 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
Free help filing the FAFSA form
The single most important form for helping students receive money to go to college is the Free Application for Federal Student Aid form. The FAFSA form is required for students, regardless of family income, to be considered for federal and state grants, scholarships and student loans at most colleges, universities and vocational/technical schools nationwide.
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
The smells and the bells and what they conjure in the soul
Halloween, it used to be my favorite holiday. Especially as a child, dressing up, running like feral animals through the neighborhood, collecting as much candy as my pillowcase would hold. After our haul, my brother, sister and I would spread our loot onto the floor of the living room and start to organize the candy. Chocolates in one pile, chewy in another, hard candy in the next and then the miscellaneous pile.
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
The Creature of Horseshoe Bend and other tales (tails?)
I recently saw where Bigfoot was spotted again in California. As far as I know, Hamilton County can't claim any Bigfoot sightings, but over the years we've had our share of mysterious creatures wandering about.

The Jan. 3, 1924 Noblesville Daily Ledger told of a strange animal terrorizing northeastern Hamilton County and southeastern Tipton County with its weird cries.

That mystery was soon solved - more or less - when the beast was shot by a homeowner who caught it peering through his window.

Thursday, October 26, 2017
Having nightmares about a sit-down lunch
Now that Mary Ellen has retired and I'm significantly cutting back on work, we often end up being home together around noon. In many homes, this is called lunchtime, but Mary Ellen and I have never shared a real lunchtime. For all of our marriage, we weren't ever both home during the workweek, and on weekends I usually went to Costco and snarfed up free food samples. In 37 years of our cohabbing, I have never asked Mary Ellen, "What are we having for lunch?"
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
Complementary and alternative medicine
I'm frequently asked by patients to comment on the use of "non-traditional" treatments or remedies they have heard or read about. I usually have to respond that I have limited knowledge about the product, but I will sometimes try to help the patient research the product or its ingredients.
Wednesday, October 25, 2017
A scary, yet safe, Halloween
Pint-sized ghosts, zombies, princesses and action heroes will soon be invading Noblesville. With Halloween approaching, let's remember to stay safe and follow these tips provided by the Indiana State Police as we have some scary fun.

When it comes to costumes, remember length is important to prevent trips and falls. Using make-up instead of a mask could help prevent the obstruction of vision. Scraped knees and elbows, especially with the younger children, can really spoil a good time. To help motorists spot trick-or-treaters, consider wearing light colors or reflective tape on costumes.

Monday, October 23, 2017
Different ways to read the Bible
Our Thursday night Bible study is reading a book by David Lose, a theology and homiletics (preaching) professor at Luther Seminary called, "Making Sense of Scripture". It has been a delightful class for both novice and well-read Bible readers. Eye opening for me is that the people in the class are appreciating and using Lose's insights equally no matter their individual Biblical scholarship.
Saturday, October 21, 2017
August fogs and wooly worms and Persimmon seeds, Oh! My
The good thing about this time of year is that I can start thinking about running up to Gatewood's to replenish my persimmon pulp supply.

The bad thing is, it's time once again to try to figure out what the heck the weather signs are telling us about the coming winter.

First on the agenda is counting the number of fogs in August. Since I went on vacation then, I got that information from my cousin, the Dancing Librarian. (Don't worry, she's qualified. Her grandmother, Sheridan's Clara Hoover, was THE local expert on interpreting weather signs.)

Friday, October 20, 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
Congratulations reader, YOU are part of us
It is not very often that I get "anti-fan" mail, but when I do, I want to use my keyboard to lash back at my opponent. Thankfully, I typically have an inner dialogue with my self and ignore the comments, and keep my sulking to myself. So today, because I have not had any of this type letters recently, I wanted to take the opportunity to say, if you are reading this, you do not have to agree with me. Also, when I was asked 6 years ago if I would be willing to write a "Faith-Based" column, there were no parameters set.
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
Acorn Farm, cinder tracks, covered bridges and State Road 13
I've got more reader feedback this week!

Karen (Booker) Fuller wrote that she worked at the Acorn Farm Camp while she was in college during the early 1960s. As head counselor for "the Chipmunks" (the five year-old campers) she heard a LOT of camp songs. Karen not only remembers the song that begins "Do your ears hang low . . .," but all the hand motions that went with it!

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
Along the Path of Heroes
Following our visit to Belgium our tour group headed toward Germany. Along the way, we crossed into the country of Luxembourg and stopped at the American Cemetery in Luxembourg City to pay tribute to the 5,076 U.S. forces buried there.

Luxembourg is a very small country, no larger than the size of Rhode Island. It was invaded by German forces in May of 1940 and, after only a day of resistance, surrendered.

Thursday, October 12, 2017
Talking trash
When I wrote last week's column about my recent knee replacement surgery, many people responded with expressions of sympathy. Not for me, but for my wife, who has had to pester me every day to do my exercises, which can be very painful. The pestering, I mean.

To help pass the time while I was moaning and groaning, Mary Ellen decided to tackle a job she had been putting off: going through kitchen drawers to see what we have accumulated in them over the years...and what should be thrown out.

Wednesday, October 11, 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
Exercise is Not Just for the Young
Few things benefit the body more than maintaining physical fitness. While doctors routinely recommend exercise for younger patients, we're realizing how important it is for our older patients as well. Regular exercise, even in one's senior years, can still reduce your risk of a number of health conditions, particularly heart attacks, strokes, and falls. It also may be one of the few things to slow the onset of dementia.
Wednesday, October 11, 2017
Domestic Violence Awareness Month
October is recognized as Domestic Violence Awareness Month in an effort to bring attention to and end domestic violence. With an average of 60 deaths occurring each year in Indiana as a result of domestic violence, there is a clear and growing need to help those being harmed by their partners. As we mourn those who have died because of domestic violence and celebrate those who are survivors, it's also very important we connect victims of domestic violence with tools and resources they need to protect themselves and their families.
Monday, October 9, 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
Action of the words is where healing begins
"There is more good in the world than bad." These are the words, spoken by Ellen DeGeneres, which have been ruminating in my mind all week long. Of course, as a pastor scripture verses such as: "God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble." Psalm 46:1

"I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world." John 16:33

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
Leslie Haines' 'Stop and Go' signals
Okay, I've been driving on roundabouts for a few years now and I can honestly say I'm no more fond of them today than I was when they first started sprouting up in this county like toadstools after an April rain.

I can handle the smaller, less busy ones, but I avoid those big ones like the plague. If I wanted to up my heart rate that much, I'd take up running again.

The roundabouts have, however, given me a greater appreciation for what drivers must have felt like in the early 1920s when they encountered their first traffic signals.

Friday, October 6, 2017
A Hoosier Abroad
It rises on the horizon like a scene from Game of Thrones or Lord of the Rings or Harry Potter - take your pick.

It's the second most visited site in France behind Paris - Up to 30,000 a day or 3 million a year.

It's Mont St. Michel. It's the 13 centuries old abbey built on a red granite outcropping in a tidal bay that makes it an island when the tide is up.

Friday, October 6, 2017
A Hoosier Abroad
It rises on the horizon like a scene from Game of Thrones or Lord of the Rings or Harry Potter - take your pick.

It's the second most visited site in France behind Paris - Up to 30,000 a day or 3 million a year.

It's Mont St. Michel. It's the 13 centuries old abbey built on a red granite outcropping in a tidal bay that makes it an island when the tide is up.

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
Along the Path of Heroes
In July of 2016 I joined a tour group and took an 11-day trip to Europe to tour World War 2 battle sites in France, Belgium and Germany - places that some of our Indiana veterans once walked on or flew over. This series of articles is a summary of what I saw and learned there as I followed the path of American heroes who answered the call of duty to preserve freedom over 75 years ago.
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
A Hoosier Abroad
today to the D-Day beaches in Normandy illustrates the waste exacted by war.

The American cemetery on the bluff overlooking Bloody Omaha Beach is a rare place that compels one to walk and talk softly in respect for those buried under 9,385 white, marble Latin crosses and Stars of David laid out in precise rows on 177 acres of France deeded to the United States.

Tuesday, October 3, 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
Along the Path of Heroes
In July of 2016 I joined a tour group and took an 11-day trip to Europe to tour World War 2 battle sites in France, Belgium and Germany - places that some of our Indiana veterans once walked on or flew over. This series of articles is a summary of what I saw and learned there as I followed the path of American heroes who answered the call of duty to preserve freedom over 75 years ago.
Monday, October 2, 2017
Simple steps to help protect your identity
Recently, more than 3.8 million Hoosiers were affected by a security breach of Equifax, one the nation's largest consumer credit reporting companies. With more and more of these electronic security breaches occurring, along with the threat of credit card skimmers and email phishing scams, it's very important that Hoosiers take steps to protect their identities from criminals.
Monday, October 2, 2017
Going to the Dogs
My dog loves me unconditionally. Or, she is a really good pretender. There have been times when I have found her water bowl lacking H2O, or is filmy and disgusting. There have been times when I have ignored her requests for affection. Admittedly, I have not been always timely with her breakfast and dinner.
Saturday, September 30, 2017
Along the Path of Heroes
In July of 2016 I joined a tour group and took an 11-day trip to Europe to tour World War 2 battle sites in France, Belgium and Germany - places that some of our Morgan County veterans once walked on or flew over. This series of articles is a summary of what I saw and learned there as I followed the path of American heroes who answered the call of duty to preserve freedom over 75 years ago.
Saturday, September 30, 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
A bridge to the past
With the 18th annual Potter's Bridge Fall Festival set to take place this week, this seemed a good time to devote a column to a little Potter's Bridge history.

For those of you completely new to this area, Potter's Bridge is the only remaining covered bridge in Hamilton County. It's one of four that once spanned White River. (Besides Potter's Bridge, there was one at Strawtown, the Logan Street Bridge in Noblesville, and the Eller & Heady - later just "Eller" - Bridge at 116th Street.)

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
Along the Path of Heroes
When many people think of the invasion of Normandy on D-Day the first images that come to their minds are those of ships, landing crafts and allied forces storming the beaches.

The actual invasion, however, began 6-7 hours earlier when shortly before midnight on June 5th more than 1,000 C-47 transport planes lifted from runways in England and traveled across the English Channel.

Wednesday, September 27, 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



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