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home : columnists August 23, 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
Nail fungus more nuisance than health threat
I recently had to remove some of a patient's toenails. Why on earth would someone want that done? Because they were infected with fungus. The medical term for a fungal infection of the toenails or fingernails is onychomycosis (OM).

This condition is generally more of a nuisance than a real health threat. However, infected nails can become quite enlarged and painful. Diabetics and people who have poor immune function need to be concerned about OM.

Monday, August 21, 2017
Forgotten dreams
Whenever I pick up the newspaper, I find medical news contrary to previously reported findings.

It's just a matter of time, for example, before someone discovers that deep-fried Oreos are an excellent source of anti-oxidants and a possible preventative for heart disease. I pray for that news to come, but why couldn't the New England Journal of Medicine have released the research before the State Fair began?

Monday, August 21, 2017
'90 NHS grad is Fair's 'Mr. Fix it'
Mark Costlow can pet an Anheuser-Busch Clydesdale. He can view the Indiana State Fairgrounds from the roof of the Coliseum. And he can eat ice cream every day of the Indiana State Fair.

While he has lots of perks working at the State Fairgrounds, the 1990 Noblesville High School graduate, who is the Fairgrounds' facilities maintenance superintendent, is one of the busiest employees before, during and after the Indiana State Fair, which runs through Sunday.

The Fairgrounds has 250 acres, 68 buildings and is open year-round.

Saturday, August 19, 2017
Bible in one hand, newspaper in the other
The advice theologian Karl Barth gave to ministers of the Word, was to preach using the Bible in one hand and the newspaper in the other. Having an eye on current events, the state of our modern world, and the plight of our neighbor, while wrestling with what the Bible says about both love and hate is going to be the most effective method of reaching the ears and hearts of those who would hear.
Saturday, August 19, 2017
Watching the solar eclipse in Hamilton County
On Monday, Aug. 21, Hoosiers will have the opportunity to see one of nature's greatest phenomena: a total solar eclipse. During this time, the moon will pass between the sun and earth and completely block the sun from view in parts of North America. While we will be treated to this beautiful and rare spectacle, it is also important that we take appropriate steps to be safe.
Saturday, August 19, 2017
Eugene L. Brown takes on the phone company
I recently called my local phone company to question some information about my long distance carrier which they'd included on their bill.

Since they only supply my local service, the customer service rep just kept repeating they didn't handle my long distance and knew nothing about it - never mind that they clearly had a record of my long distance carrier since they'd put that information on the bill they'd just sent me.

Friday, August 18, 2017
Marching Millers, 4-H'ers and more
If you missed Noblesville Marching Millers' winning Indiana State Fair Band Day performance, you can still catch it tonight.

The Indiana State Fair Band Day Champions will present a "stand still" performance of the show during the halftime of Noblesville Millers varsity football season opener at Hare Chevrolet Field. General admission is $5. Game is at 7 p.m. Millers will play Lawrence North Wildcats.

Friday, August 18, 2017
Rediscovering Noblesville ALDI
You would have thought that a new grocery had opened in town.

Shoppers lined up from the front door to the length of the building. They camped out in lawn chairs. They had shopping bags in hand. And quarters ready to unlock and rent a grocery cart.

The Noblesville ALDI on Wednesday reopened for business after a brief closure during the store's remodel.

Thursday, August 17, 2017
Being in a Vegetable Stew
I just returned from this year's Indiana State Fair. It was very bad timing, because I had just seen the government's reissued dietary guidelines online. I am not a fan of the current administration, but I did think in this one area they were going to cut us some us some slack...or a least a big piece of chocolate cake.
Wednesday, August 16, 2017
Remembering Mary Resler
There will never be another Mary Resler.

I have known her since my early years of covering Noblesville, from the days when she organized Noblesville Cultural Arts Commission's Summer Band Concerts in Seminary Park to the many musical programs she led at Noblesville First United Methodist Church.

She also organized the music for the Noblesville Tree Lighting Ceremony at the Hamilton County Government & Judicial Center.

Wednesday, August 16, 2017
4-H still shaping Alan Burton's life
When we visited the Indiana State Fair on Saturday, we happened onto Hamilton County 10-year 4-H'er Alan Burton, who was working at 4-H Centennial Hall alongside other county 4-H'ers.

Every time that I see Alan, he's busy dedicating his time and efforts to 4-H.

Monday, August 14, 2017
Indiana seeing rise in cases of Lyme Disease
The arrival of warm weather each year means we have to start worrying more about Lyme Disease. Most people are aware of the association between tick bites and Lyme disease, but few know exactly what Lyme disease is or what causes it. Indiana has seen an increasing number of confirmed cases of Lyme disease, particularly since 2013. The most recent statistics showed 102 cases in Indiana in 2015.
Monday, August 14, 2017
Cherishing every moment with Special Olympics
As I approach my one-year anniversary as the Hamilton County coordinator, I've been looking back at all I discovered over the year. I knew when I started this adventure that I had a lot to learn, I just didn't realize how much or how quickly I'd need to learn it.
Monday, August 14, 2017
ABLE accounts help Hoosiers with disabilities
Many Hoosiers are living with a disability, and among the obstacles they face is an increased strain on their finances. Whether paying for visits to the doctor's office, medications or specialized equipment, those living with a disability can encounter costly hurdles. To help individuals with disabilities and their families, Indiana now offers ABLE accounts, which are tax-exempt savings accounts that can be used for maintaining health, independence and quality of life.
Monday, August 14, 2017
Tour goes behind Riverview doors
Being one of the many guests at Thursday's Noblesville Chamber of Commerce luncheon, I was fortunate to be invited to Riverview Health's behind-the-scenes hospital tour.

Seth Warren, Riverview's CEO, was guest speaker at the luncheon with a crowd that filled the old barn-turned-catering hall at Mustard Seed Gardens in Noblesville.

Guests devoured a lunch catered by Matteo's Ristorante Italiano on the Square, then listened intently as Warren delivered the annual Riverview State of Health in Hamilton County.

Saturday, August 12, 2017
Focus turns to Seminary Park
While Noblesville Deputy Mayor Steve Cooke has received a lot of grief about his controversial idea to build homes at Seminary Park and to turn our Nickel Plate Rail line into trails, I still follow him on Twitter.

That's because his Tweets are usually about promoting Noblesville.

Thursday, his Tweets encouraged folks to come out and donate blood during the Indiana Blood Center drive at the Wastewater Department on Washington Street in Noblesville's Southwest Quadrant neighborhood.

Friday, August 11, 2017
NEMS student singing his way
Young Noblesville actor and singer Maddux Morrison kept track of the time, because he was worried that he wouldn't make it to his final performance when the curtain opened.

He had just competed in the Junior Division of the Indiana State Fair Vocal Solo Male contest on Sunday. Although he was first to go on stage in the competition, when he went to sing, there were microphone issues. This delayed the start, but he handled it well.

Thursday, August 10, 2017
Farmfest serves hearts, horses
Hometown fans will be thrilled to know that Nashville country music recording artist John Riggins will return this weekend to Hamilton County,

Headliner of Peterson Farmfest in Cicero, the former Carmel firefighter has performed at the festival every year since its beginning five years ago. The fundraiser brings in money for Reins of Grace Therapeutic Riding Center in Sheridan, where a dozen special-needs students, ages 2-8, ride horses weekly as therapy.

Wednesday, August 9, 2017
Man of honor and armor
The Ropkey Armor Museum in Crawfordsville, Indiana has closed after more than 35 years. It was one of the finest private collections in the country. The contents will find homes in various museums around the country.

The founder, military historian and Korean War Veteran Fred Ropkey, passed away four years ago. As a tribute, I am re-running remarks I made at his funeral service in 2013. Check out my interview at WISHTV.com with Lani, Fred's wife of over 30 years in the next week or so.

Wednesday, August 9, 2017
What's it take to costume 57 kids?
When Noblesville's Norma Floyd is asked to be a costumer for a show at The Belfry Theatre, she goes to work figuring out exactly what the director has in mind.

Doing the costumes doesn't mean she makes every one of them. Sometimes, she scrounges for costume pieces, and sometimes actors find their own costumes. But it's her job to make sure that every cast member in the show has a costume for his or her character.

Monday, August 7, 2017
Let Tired Teens Sleep
Our teens are tired. While sluggish starts, missed alarms or pleas to sleep in on weekend mornings have long been associated with "lazy" teenagers, adequate sleep is an integral part of their healthy development. Nearly 8 in 10 Indiana high school students sleep less than the recommended eight hours on school nights.
Monday, August 7, 2017
Leaflets Three...Let It Be!
We are in the middle of summer and people are still out puttering in their yards. Predictably, this has resulted in a lot more cases of contact dermatitis showing up in my office, most of which were likely caused by poison ivy. Poison ivy is one of three plants in Indiana in the genus Toxicodendron. This genus also includes poison sumac, commonly found in central Indiana, and poison oak that is an infrequent offender.
Monday, August 7, 2017
Local students head back to class
Noblesville schools recently welcomed students and teachers back to the classroom, while Hamilton Heights and Hamilton Southeastern schools are gearing up to begin classes this week. And we can't forget about all of the college students starting a new semester. If you follow Facebook, it is always fun to see all of the kids in their back-to-school pictures, ready to learn and start the new school year. The first day of class can be stressful, whether you're going to school for the first time or are preparing for your senior year.
Monday, August 7, 2017
Our own Olympian inspires archers
Young archers today might not recognize Stephanie Amick as she walks down the field at Grand Park.

The Fishers resident, a 1996 Hamilton Southeastern High School grad and who is 32 weeks pregnant, is a 2004 archery Olympian.

She is volunteering at USA Archery's Outdoor Nationals awards ceremony today at Grand Park in Westfield.

Saturday, August 5, 2017
Kindergarten learning
Seriously, I am starting to get my dander up over name calling, bullying, casting aspersions, public shaming, defamation of character, and general hate and mis-content. From social media posts and tweets, to neighborhood online bulletin boards, to television and newsprint reporting. In an age when communication is lightening fast, and the appetite for instant gratification to feed our own egos has become gluttonous. It seems fact checking and kindness have gone by the wayside.
Saturday, August 5, 2017
Sky's the limit On new Fair ride
The Indiana State Fair opens today with a new ride that will allow visitors to see the sights from high above the Indiana State Fairgrounds.

I was fortunate to have the opportunity to board the new Suburu Skyride on Thursday during State Fair Media Day.

It was a sweet, smooth ride that takes visitors from the former State Fair Gift Shop location near the Midway entrance and travels high above the crowd over Main Street, and behind the Hoosier Lottery Grand Stand and east to the Swine Barn and Kiddie Land Midway, near the Binford Avenue entrance of the State Fairgrounds.

The 90-chair aerial lift is just like a ski lift and has a safety bar for passengers, and it travels 35 feet above the ground over the span of 1,400 feet.

Friday, August 4, 2017
Back to school ... In the 60s
I can't believe school is in session already. Man, have things changed since I was growing up here in the 1960s.

I remember my mother said on several occasions that Dale Swanson (the Noblesville School Superintendent in those days) once told her Noblesville students would never start school before Labor Day as long as he was in charge.

And we never did.

Friday, August 4, 2017
Art is more than Fair on Square
If you think that the Htamilton County Artists' Association is a bunch of creative types painting and doing their own thing, it is, and so much more.

The Artists' Association is one of the county's best-hidden gems.

Juried members make up the group, a nonprofit that is based out of a former First Baptist Church at 195 S. Fifth St., in Noblesville.

Thursday, August 3, 2017
Art is more than Fair on Square
If you think that the Htamilton County Artists' Association is a bunch of creative types painting and doing their own thing, it is, and so much more.

The Artists' Association is one of the county's best-hidden gems.

Juried members make up the group, a nonprofit that is based out of a former First Baptist Church at 195 S. Fifth St., in Noblesville.

Thursday, August 3, 2017
Time to start middle school
Only one more day until I get out the tissues for a good cry. Tuesday will be an emotional one as I put my daughter on the school bus for her first day as a middle-schooler.

Yes, she will be a big sixth-grader at Noblesville East Middle School.

Last Wednesday, we visited the school for the second time, her third. She found her classrooms, got her school schedule, and received her assigned hall locker.

Monday, July 31, 2017
Sitting pretty
What has happened to the art of sitting? People nowadays don't just sit; they have to be involved in some activity like emailing, blogging, tweeting, reading, or watching TV.

When I was a kid, people in my neighborhood sat on their front porch. Since this was New York, they were mostly protecting their valuables or waiting for the police to arrive. They were sitting, nonetheless. You see people sitting in a doctor's office-but these people are waiting. Big difference.

Monday, July 31, 2017
Heritage and fun to be found at the Indiana State Fair
The Indiana State Fair kicks off this week. From Friday, Aug. 4, through Sunday Aug. 20, Hoosiers from all over will come to the state fairgrounds to enjoy and explore Indiana's history and traditions in fun and exciting ways.

The Indiana State Fair is known for its incredible food so it's only fitting that this year's fair theme is "The Wonderful World of Food." To celebrate Indiana's farms, each day will highlight different foods and spotlight the hardworking farmers who produce it. Visitors can try many of the featured foods and traditional fair favorites at more than 90 food stands throughout the fairgrounds. There is also Our Global Kitchen, which is an exhibit showcasing our interactions with our food, how food has shaped us and the complex system that gets our food from the farm to our tables.

If you think you've seen all the fair has to offer, there are plenty of new activities this year.

Monday, July 31, 2017
Celebrate end of summer reading
It's hard to believe it's already the last week of July. It means that classes start on Tuesday for Noblesville Schools. It means it's time to stop sleeping in.

And it's also time for the end of Hamilton East Public Library's annual Summer Reading Program, and time for the library's celebration for folks who read books over the summer.

Saturday, July 29, 2017
Blessing of the ordinary backpack
Even though the dog days of summer has just settled in, we are moving oh so quickly into another tempo of living. It seems that these hot long summer days are going to bump up against the frenetic pace of the school calendar. This time of year parents, children, teachers, lunch ladies and public safety people are gearing up for the start of the new school year.
Saturday, July 29, 2017
Summer activities lead to increase in Bursitis cases
The joy of summer sports and yard work has resulted in a number of patients coming to see me complaining of sore shoulders, elbows, hips and knees. Many of these folks have been suffering from bursitis. Most people have heard of bursitis, but what is it really?
Saturday, July 29, 2017
57 reasons to love 'Little Mermaid'
When The Belfry Theatre's Apprentice Players production of Disney's "The Little Mermaid" opens tonight, I'll be there.

I'll also be there on Saturday at the matinee and evening. And on Sunday. And all of next weekend.

Earlier, I shared that my daughter had auditioned for the youth production and was cast as Ursula, the sea witch. She's among 57 adorable kids, ages 4-13, in the musical.

What I didn't share was that I am a first-time producer for this show.

Friday, July 28, 2017
The sweet life at Acorn Farm
I think I first heard about Herb and Dee Sweet from Betty Gerrard (Betsy Birdwhistle.) Betty became friends with the Sweet's daughter, Judee Sweet, when they worked together at Conner Prairie.

Judee eventually left the museum and went on to create the character of Hoosier pioneer woodswoman, "Buckeye." As half of the duo of "Buckeye and Molly," and later "Buckeye and Hollow Bones," she's performed at school, corporate and social gatherings all over Indiana, as well as at the Pioneer Village at the State Fair.

Friday, July 28, 2017
Shakespeare celebrates 25th at new venue
While audiences of Noblesville Shakespeare in the Park grew to love the intimacy of Seminary Park, they will find it easy to fall in love with the new venue at Federal Hill Commons.

Just ask Shakespeare director, Noblesville's Mark Tumey.

"We feel Federal Hill Commons offers so much more for Shakespeare in the Park, and we are hoping to 'take it to the next level' there," he said.

Thursday, July 27, 2017
4-H Fair was a great time
Every year at this time, I'm sad to see the Hamilton County 4-H Fair come to a close. We've enjoyed five days of food, fun and 4-H projects.

On Thursday, opening day of the Fair, my daughter, in addition to her Blue and Honor ribbons for the 4-H Photography project, she also earned a blue ribbon for her 4-H Health project. It was a poster about first aid for burns.

Wednesday, July 26, 2017
Harey Hopper loves her rabbit
Noblesville's Gracie Kinnaman removed her rabbit from his cage and sat him on a carpet remnant on top of a rectangular folding table in the Rabbit Barn at the Hamilton County 4-H Fair.

Wearing her light blue Harey Hoppers 4-H Club T-shirt, she couldn't help but have a big smile on her face. What made her so happy?

"Just getting to spend time with the rabbits and helping my club," said the 10-year-old Noblesville girl, a second-year 4-H'er.

Monday, July 24, 2017
Small businesses can report duplicative state requirements via new web portal
Earlier this year, U.S. News and World Report ranked Indiana as the best-run state in America based on fiscal responsibility, streamlined operations and enhanced transparency. We can continue this momentum by further improving government efficiency, which ultimately saves taxpayer dollars and helps grow our economy.
Monday, July 24, 2017
Homemakers still cooking at the Fair
I remember years ago, when I worked at The Noblesville Ledger newspaper, and all of us reporters would meet for lunch at the Hamilton County Extension Homemakers Food Stand during the 4-H Fair.

It was in mid- to late 1980s, and the Food Stand was a little building at the Fairgrounds. The dining room was a big screened-in porch with picnic tables, and the kitchen was at the back and wasn't air conditioned. That original and first Food Stand was dedicated on April 25, 1971.

Saturday, July 22, 2017
What should I eat at the Fair?
When I was walking into the Hamilton County 4-H Fair on the first morning, Thursday, I listened as people in front of me were saying how much they enjoy the "smell of the Fair."

The fair really does smell good.

You can smell the horses, the pigs and the cows. It's like going to the farm.

Friday, July 21, 2017
On the air (In more ways than one)
What do a radio station, a television station, birds and the Bible all have in common?

No, that's not the start of a joke or riddle. I'm dead serious.

The answer is Dr. Wendell Hansen.

Don't feel bad if you didn't know that. I didn't know it myself until just recently. This turned out to be one of those columns that took an unexpected left turn.

REALLY unexpected.

Friday, July 21, 2017
Finding my 4-H Fair chair
It was the first year that I came to The Noblesville Times. And I was told that the newspaper would be renting a booth in the Commercial Tent at the Hamilton County 4-H Fair.

As a booth holder, we got an assigned space in the tent. We brought our own table, chairs, box fan, plus subscription sign-up sheets and daily copies of The Times. And a bowl of candy to entice fairgoers.

Thursday, July 20, 2017
Picture this
I'm a loser. I lose everything. Most people lose golf balls on a course; I lose clubs. One time, I lost the golf cart. People lose their wallets; I lose my pants. Don't ask. It's a long story.

My wife, Mary Ellen, agrees that I'm a loser. Like most people, I misplace things occasionally, but the problem is that my wife says I'm not very good looking.

Wednesday, July 19, 2017
Starting to look like a 4-H Fair
If you've driven by the Hamilton County 4-H Fairgrounds in Noblesville this week, you've probably noticed that the big tents are set up, barns are open and the parking lot is bustling with 4-H'ers checking in their 4-H Fair projects.

We love the Fair and look forward to it every year. Maybe it's the smell of the horses and cows and pigs that fill the barns. Or the thousands of 4-H'ers projects that are judged and on display to the public

Wednesday, July 19, 2017
Phyllis Davis is a tradition
Noblesville's Phyllis Davis won't ever divulge her age. But she will tell you that she's been playing the piano since she was 3 years old.

And that she has been playing for the Hamilton County 4-H Fair Queen Contest for at least 50 consecutive years.

The Times newspaper archives has her playing at the contest since 1968, a year that I believe she told me one time when I was interviewing her. In fact, she was honored in 2014 for 46 years at a celebration that included presentation of a wristwatch.

Monday, July 17, 2017
Stress fractures result from repeated impact on bone
I saw a young athlete last week complaining of shin pain. He had been upping his running mileage; the pain was due to a stress fracture. It is estimated that between 5 percent and 30 percent of athletes and military recruits develop a stress fracture each year. Briefhaupt first described the condition in 1855 when examining military recruits.
Monday, July 17, 2017
Stress fractures result from repeated impact on bone
I saw a young athlete last week complaining of shin pain. He had been upping his running mileage; the pain was due to a stress fracture. It is estimated that between 5 percent and 30 percent of athletes and military recruits develop a stress fracture each year. Briefhaupt first described the condition in 1855 when examining military recruits.
Monday, July 17, 2017
Summer fun awaits at the Hamilton County 4-H Fair
It's no secret that I love the county fair. Attending the Hamilton County 4-H Fair is one of my favorite summer activities. Not only does our local fair have family friendly fun and delicious food, but it also promotes community involvement, youth development and Indiana's agricultural heritage.
Monday, July 17, 2017
Family thankful for dad's legacy
For years, Bobby Mills would be out at his Field of Dreams, everyday, especially during the baseball season.

"It was his therapy," said Michey Mills of her late husband, who created a baseball complex of eight fully equipped diamonds that opened in 1999 next to Hazel Dell Elementary on school property on Indiana 32 in Noblesville.

Saturday, July 15, 2017
There is a Balm in Gilead
There are some days, weeks or even seasons we go through that are just rough to the soul. This summer has been one of those summers for me. My heightened awareness of injustices in the world, coupled with personal tragedies, and self induced stressors have piled up to the point of my needing some balm for my spirit.
Saturday, July 15, 2017
The Joseph family's burglar
A few weeks ago when I wrote about Noblesville's early Jewish families, I didn't have room to get into too much detail about Louis N. Joseph and there's a good bit more to be said about him.

As I noted previously, he was one of the wealthiest men in Hamilton County in his day. Besides running the J. Joseph & Co. clothing store on the south side of the courthouse square (you can still see the "Joseph" at the top of the building,) he had a lot of other business interests in this county, as well as some in Shelbyville and Indianapolis.

Friday, July 14, 2017
Fair Queen looks back
It's been an amazing year for Sheridan's Rachel Adams, who was crowned the 2016 Hamilton County 4-H Fair Queen a year ago.

She joined the pageant competition, following in her sister, Courtney's footsteps, and to gain a "learning" experience.

"I had no idea I had what it took to be Miss Hamilton County, and I think that's why I appreciate it so much. It's a legacy....," said Rachel, whose photo joined pictures of past 4-H Fair queens that line the hallway of the Exhibition Center at the Hamilton County 4-H Fairgrounds in Noblesville.

Friday, July 14, 2017
String-Time series to debut on Square
You might know Janet Gilray as Miss Melody, a schoolmarm from Possum Holler who plays her old Martin heirloom guitar and sings "Antique Stories in Song" for kids on the second Saturday morning of the month at Old Picket Fence in downtown Noblesville.

Or maybe you've seen Miss Melody teaching school and singing songs in the little one-room schoolhouse in the Pioneer Village at the Indiana State Fair.

Thursday, July 13, 2017
Pie in the eye!
Hal Fryar passed away last week at age 90. If you don't know who he is, maybe the name Harlow Hickenlooper will ring a bell. Harlow Hickenlooper is tough to say. Hal Fryer will be tough to forget. They are one in the same.

Hal was the host of several children's television shows in Indianapolis over his 43-year career, including a longtime gig on WFBM-TV (now WRTV-6) where he introduced Three Stooges movie shorts.

Wednesday, July 12, 2017
Learning skills at free rec camp
I want to begin by thanking Noblesville Schools and Noblesville Township for partnering to offer free recreational summer day camps again this year.

It's the first year that we've gotten to take advantage of the camps, and we loved them.

Usually, I don't find out about the camps until the offerings are already full, but this year when Facebook friend and fellow mom Tiff Whitaker in March gave us a heads-up that the camps were posted on an eventbrite.com link on the school district's website, I quickly maneuvered my way there.

Wednesday, July 12, 2017
Meeting tonight about the train
While I don't display a "Save the Train" sign in my front yard, my hope is that we can save the train, that is, our Nickel Plate Road railroad track.

I love to hear the whistle blow as it travels through downtown Noblesville. The train travels down the middle of Eighth Street, from Logan to Division streets. We're one of only five Indiana cities and towns where the train still travels right down the middle of the street, forcing drivers to share the road.

Monday, July 10, 2017
Kidney Stones can form, stay or travel
Kidney stones are a topic near and dear to my heart as I've had the distinct pleasure of passing four of them. Stones are also known as calculi, from the Latin for pebble. They can form and stay in the kidneys (renal calculi or nephrolithiasis) or move down the ureters, the tubes connecting the kidneys to the bladder (ureteral calculi or urolithiasis). Stones may also be found in the bladder.
Monday, July 10, 2017
New Indiana laws effective this July
This month marked the effective date of a number of new policies approved this past session. These new laws cover a wide-variety of issues on behalf of our state, communities and Hoosiers.

First and foremost, on July 1, Indiana began operating under another balanced budget. Lawmakers passed a fiscally responsible budget funding state operations for the next two years. This honestly balanced budget maintains healthy reserves and supports our top-rated business climate.

Monday, July 10, 2017
Hey 4-H'ers, projects done?
It's already July 8, which means the Hamilton County 4-H Fair is right around the corner.

I know that because my 11-year-old daughter is scrambling today to finish up one of her projects, with the help of her Aunt Debbie.

This is our fifth year involved in the county's 4-H program. We spent two years in Mini 4-H, where we took Horse & Pony, Clogging, Collections and other projects. Then when my daughter was old enough, she joined the regular 4-H program.

Saturday, July 8, 2017
'Pray without ceasing'
Sometimes I hear people say that they are not good prayers. Admittedly, I have found myself thinking the same about my abilities. There are times when the "right" words are difficult to find.
Saturday, July 8, 2017
It's the zany Bryan Bishop
When Bryan Bishop gets on stage, he owns it.

But it wasn't always that way.

Three years ago before he played the Noblesville Street Dance, he confessed to me that he had always gotten really nervous when he about to perform in front of an audience.

"I did have stage fright when I first started playing guitar and singing in public," Bishop said.

Friday, July 7, 2017
Judge Vestal's OTHER bicentennial predictions
Continuing with life in Hamilton County during the Bicentennial year of 1976 (as told to the Noblesville Kiwanis Club by Judge Meade Vestal in 1940!) . . .

Last week I covered some of the judge's less-than-accurate predictions. He made other guesses about the future, however, and some of those were either right on target or came unbelievably close.

Friday, July 7, 2017
Wafford is guy behind camera, movies in park
On July 4, Jim Wafford was the guy behind the camera filming the stage entertainment at Noblesville Fireworks Festival and driving his company vehicle in the Noblesville Fourth of July Parade.

He is the guy who plays the free Classic Movies on Friday nights at Forest Park. And the guy who annually live streams the Hamilton County 4-H Fair Queen contest and does live coverage throughout the 4-H Fair.

Thursday, July 6, 2017
Connecting with our neighbors
Judy Poe from Old Town Noblesville wished a Happy 4th to her neighbors. Old Town resident Corinne Piazza invited neighbors to partake in hot dogs, popcorn and water while watching the Fourth of July parade from her house on Wayne Street.
Wednesday, July 5, 2017
Generic or name brand?
This week I want to tackle the subject of generic vs. name brand medications. There are a number of reasons this topic is important. First of all, medications in general are becoming prohibitively expensive for many patients. Insurance companies are also pressuring patients and physicians to prescribe generics whenever possible to reduce health care costs (not necessarily a bad thing, but certainly a pain in the rump at times).
Monday, July 3, 2017
Love the 4th in Noblesville
I always look forward to the Fourth of July holiday here in Noblesville.

I especially love the parade. I've sat alongside the parade route snapping photos probably only half as many times as I have been in the parade.

Years ago, we used to literally throw handfuls of candy to people along the parade route. Since then, the City banned parade entrants from throwing candy to parade viewers, due to safety concerns, but still allow entrants to hand out candy along the parade route.

Monday, July 3, 2017
Celebrating American independence together
This July 4, families, friends, neighbors and communities all across the country will come together to honor and celebrate the birth of American independence. It is also a great time to reflect on our nation's achievements made by strong, hardworking and brave Americans. As we enjoy the festivities this week, let's be mindful of Indiana's fireworks laws for a fun and safe holiday.
Monday, July 3, 2017
Realm of the coin!
I just returned from my brother's wedding in New York City, and I am happy to report that things went off without a hitch...except for Peter. He got hitched for the first time, which was about the last thing I expected him to do at age 66. Mary Ellen and I stayed at my sister's condo instead of a hotel, allowing us all to share memories and spend extra time together-but most importantly, saving us $500.00 a night.
Monday, July 3, 2017
A heart attack,but he's back Smiling as he returns to race
On July 4, 2015, Geoff Robinson left the starting line with runners in Carmel's 4.5-mile Freedom Run & Walk. But he didn't make it to the finish line.

He suffered a heart attack, "dropping, on (television) camera," at the 2-mile marker.

Robinson remembers that the race on the Monon Trail started as normal with no symptoms. His wife, Lisa, waved at him at the 1.5-mile marker and told him that he looked good.

Saturday, July 1, 2017
'A Bible and a newspaper in every house'
On the front page of many local newspapers, there is the tradition of having a bit of scripture posted in one of the corners. The Times changes their bit of Bible verse daily, while the Indianapolis Star uses the same verse each day, from 2 Corinthians 3:17, "Now the Lord is the Spirit; and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty."
Saturday, July 1, 2017
Getting head start on 4th
We are so lucky to have so many activities going on in our county celebrating Independence Day.

While many travelers have already hit the road to take advantage of a long holiday weekend, I will share what's going on here at home for those who plan to stay put.

On Saturday, Lights Over Morse Lake kicks off its four-day festival with food, petting zoo, kids carnival, live music and more at Community Park in Cicero.

Friday, June 30, 2017
Judge Vestal's predictions for the Bicentennial Year
I originally planned to write a column with some Fourth of July or patriotic theme this week, but while scanning the old newspapers for an idea, I ran across a story that was just too good to ignore. It might not be about the Fourth of July, but it does concern this country's Bicentennial.

Sort of.

Friday, June 30, 2017
Summer Fun Guide is here
While we have found so much to do already this summer, there are so many more things to experience.

During a recent visit to Koteewi Range in Noblesville, I met up during the Visit Indiana Rally for archery with 2004 Olympian Stephanie Amick of Fishers, a 1996 Hamilton Southeastern High School grad, who was offering archery pointers to Midwest Living editor Trevor Meers.

Thursday, June 29, 2017
Loads of fun at NPA picnic
It was Anita Landress' first time making cotton candy. She laughed at herself as she fought the wind making the sweet treat, which ended up more on her than on the cotton candy stick.

"You're the entertainment," I heard more than one parent say as families watched Landress make cotton candy on Sunday during Noblesville Preservation Alliance's annual Summer Picnic at Seminary Park.

Wednesday, June 28, 2017
Hit the Tenderloin Trail
After Vacation Bible School on Friday, I was getting ready to order lunch with my daughter and her friend, Chloe Zerr, at Noblesville Jim Dandy, when I saw the Wet Tenderloin on the menu. My former Noblesville Ledger editor Don Jellison loved the dish, so I thought I would give it a try while the girls took advantage of the lunch buffet.

That started me thinking about pork tenderloin sandwiches and Hamilton County's 2017 Tenderloin Trail. And finding out what it is about the "size-of-your-face patties" that bring people to the table.

Monday, June 26, 2017
Hit the Tenderloin Trail
After Vacation Bible School on Friday, I was getting ready to order lunch with my daughter and her friend, Chloe Zerr, at Noblesville Jim Dandy, when I saw the Wet Tenderloin on the menu. My former Noblesville Ledger editor Don Jellison loved the dish, so I thought I would give it a try while the girls took advantage of the lunch buffet.

That started me thinking about pork tenderloin sandwiches and Hamilton County's 2017 Tenderloin Trail. And finding out what it is about the "size-of-your-face patties" that bring people to the table.

Monday, June 26, 2017
Hit the Tenderloin Trail
After Vacation Bible School on Friday, I was getting ready to order lunch with my daughter and her friend, Chloe Zerr, at Noblesville Jim Dandy, when I saw the Wet Tenderloin on the menu. My former Noblesville Ledger editor Don Jellison loved the dish, so I thought I would give it a try while the girls took advantage of the lunch buffet.
Monday, June 26, 2017
UTI's common ailment in adults
Urinary tract infections (UTIs) account for about eight million visits to physicians each year in the United States. These infections are much more common in adults, particularly in women. Children account for one to two percent of all UTIs, but their infections are often more serious. About 40 percent of women and 12 percent of men have a UTI at some time in their lives.
Monday, June 26, 2017
VBS is still fun as a volunteer
I remember how much fun it was to attend Vacation Bible School when I was a kid.

When my daughter was old enough, I signed her up for VBS at the Noblesville First United Methodist Church. The kids praised God in song, did crafts and played hand bells. They wore a color of the day, devoured tasty snacks prepared by volunteers, and prayed alongside other kids.

Saturday, June 24, 2017
Ordinary is Extraordinary
Summer is my favorite time of year. The church calendar claims it as, "Ordinary Time," and the Godly Play people call it the, "Great Green Growing Time." In liturgical churches the color of the season is green. And you may see your church's paraments, (altar cloths and banners) displaying flowers, vines and trees splashed across a green background. The color green symbolizes growth, health, and abundance.
Saturday, June 24, 2017
Howdy, column readers
I turned 70 this year. And so did a 10-year-old freckled little boy named Howdy Doody. For those too young to remember, The Howdy Doody Show debuted in 1947, its star a convivial wooden marionette whose human partner in the show, Buffalo Bob Smith, lived in my hometown of New Rochelle, New York.
Saturday, June 24, 2017
Lucky Teter, Norman Norell, saving the Nickel Plate and more
More reader feedback!

After the column on Lucky Teter ran, Mike Reed emailed to say his grandfather, Frank Reed, and Lucky (known as "Earl" then) were both members of Noblesville High School's class of 1919.

Mike sent me a photo of a page from the 1919 NHS yearbook showing that year's basketball team. Frank and Earl/Lucky played on the first string.

Friday, June 23, 2017
Why doesn't perfect attendance matter?
Noblesville Schools is nearly halfway through summer break, and I have a topic for debate that's still eating at me from the school year.

My daughter did not miss one day of class, nor was she ever tardy. She attended school every single day. She had perfect attendance her entire fifth-grade year.

Friday, June 23, 2017
Family keeps dream alive
Thanks to the late Bobby Mills, about 1,300 boys and girls, ages 3-12, annually play baseball on turf fields with scoreboards, lights, bleachers and dugouts. There are two towers, a concession stand, pavilion, restrooms, pitching practice area, batting cages and portable pitching mounds.
Thursday, June 22, 2017
Picnic will help neighbors meet
We are so glad that the City of Noblesville decided to keep Seminary Park as green space for our Old Town neighborhood.

It is a place we love, and smile about every time we drive by or walk to the park.

We are happy to see events being scheduled there this summer. One of those events is Noblesville Preservation Alliance's annual Summer Picnic, which is this Sunday.

Wednesday, June 21, 2017
No humans allowed down under
My home office is downstairs, which was just a cellar when we moved into the house 25 years ago. We invested a little money to fix it up, so then it became a basement. I guess you could call it a finished basement. But apparently it wasn't finished, because the builder we hired said that for a few extra bucks he could add some decorative touches and then we could call it our lower level. We didn't have "that" kind of money.
Wednesday, June 21, 2017
A plethora of food choices at market
Saturday was the first time I'd visited the Noblesville Farmers Market this season.

It wasn't that I haven't wanted to go. We've been busy.

This past Saturday, I decided it was time to go to the market. We left early enough to find a parking space in the park's Green Room lot at the former bank, which still conveniently has a automated teller machine.

Monday, June 19, 2017
A plethora of food choices at market
Saturday was the first time I'd visited the Noblesville Farmers Market this season.

It wasn't that I haven't wanted to go. We've been busy.

This past Saturday, I decided it was time to go to the market. We left early enough to find a parking space in the park's Green Room lot at the former bank, which still conveniently has a automated teller machine.

Monday, June 19, 2017
With barbecue season heating up, time to review food safety
Summer barbecue season is in full swing and it's a good time to review food safety. Food-borne illness is something that almost all of us have experienced at some point in our lives.

Food-borne illness is defined as more than two people having a similar illness with evidence of food as the source.

Monday, June 19, 2017
Local summertime fun available
Indiana's tourism industry directly employs 155,000 Hoosier and supports 202,000 jobs statewide, according to the Indiana Office of Tourism Development. Between lodging, food and beverage, shopping, transportation, entertainment and recreational spending, tourism in the state generates $11.5 billion.
Monday, June 19, 2017
Vietnam veteran sacrifice honored
A sailor from Noblesville, who died 35 years ago, is being honored today in Washington, D.C.

John Allen Brooks was a husband, a father and a Navy Corpsman serving with the U.S. Marines in the Vietnam War. He died as a result from exposure to Agent Orange.

His daughter, Emily Brooks, and her mother, Peggy Beaver, Brooks' widow, are attending the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund In Memory ceremony this morning.

Saturday, June 17, 2017
Holding Space
It is a spiritual practice that has finally been given a name, holding space, or in simpler terms, "listening." For some people it is difficult to do, others find it extremely uncomfortable. Holding space is a pause, being comfortable with letting someone just be who they are.
Saturday, June 17, 2017
It was a 'Perfect Wedding' proposal
When Noblesville's Zach Buzan was trying to figure out the perfect way to propose to his girlfriend, Katie Gipson, the pieces slowly started falling into place.

What if Zach were cast as the bridegroom in The Belfry's "Perfect Wedding" comedy?

How perfect would that be?

What if he would propose to Katie right after the bows on opening night of the play?

How perfect would that be?

Friday, June 16, 2017
Confessions of a Catnip Cultivator
Having written mostly about local history lately, I figured it was probably high time (thyme?) for me to do a garden column and renew my credentials as Jerry Snyder's "Young (HA!) Gardener Friend."

I've been fascinated by herbs ever since I first encountered them growing outside William Conner's kitchen when I worked at Conner Prairie.

Friday, June 16, 2017
Bryan Clauson legacy will be honored today
Noblesville racecar driver Bryan Clauson would have turned 28 years old today.

But he tragically lost his life on Aug. 7, 2016, following a dirt-track racing accident in Belleville, Kan.

While the day is an emotional one for his family, fiancée and friends, his birthday will be celebrated in a big way both far and near.

Thursday, June 15, 2017

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