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  • Noblesville actress connects audiences with ‘Our Town’
    9/22/2018 Have you ever wondered how actors remember all of their lines? 
    How do they deliver flawlessly night after night? Does it get easier? Are there moments that their mind goes blank? Does a live audience make them nervous?
    As show producer of The Belfry Theatre’s “Our Town” drama, which is in its second weekend of an eight-show run, I had the opportunity on Friday morning to have a conversation with Noblesville’s Susan Hill. She plays the role of Stage Manager in the play, celebrating its 80th year and which continues through Sept. 30 at the Noblesville theater. Tickets are still available.
  • Noblesville Brewfest keeps our community pool afloat
    9/21/2018 Noblesville Brewfest organizers are loving Saturday’s weather forecast of partly sunny with a high of 68 F. 
    Perfect weather for knocking down a few cold ones with friends at Forest Park, while jamming to live music by local band Poparazzi, playing a game of cornhole and chowing down on tasty grub from local food trucks.
    The Noblesville Brewfest & Wine Garden is from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. Saturday in Forest Park.
    Guests pay $40 in advance or $50 at the door for four hours of sampling a choice of more than 250 beers and more than 50 wines while raising money to keep our wonderful Forest Park Aquatic Center open for another pool season.
    “Corn hole games are back after a year hiatus,” said Greg Baker, the Brewfest’s director and a volunteer with Friends of Central Pool, a nonprofit that operates the aquatic center. 
  • Banker's loyalty is ‘Forever Plaid’
    9/20/2018 Recently, I received a personal email from Noblesville banker Syd Loomis, who was saying “hello” to “all 417” of his “closest friends.”
    He was sharing with us the news of being cast, again, in Carmel Community Players’ musical, “Forever Plaid,” by Stuart Ross. 
    I say “again” because Loomis was originally cast in the role of Jinx in this four-man show in 2001, when CCP performed it. 
    “I fell in love with the role, the play and especially the music,” said Loomis, who then reprised his role for 10 years consecutively with more than 40 performances at more than a dozen large and small venues across Indiana, from the Scottish Rite Cathedral in Indianapolis to the First Presbyterian Church of Noblesville.
  • More points of sale for Miller spirit wear
    9/19/2018 I always love to go to Noblesville High School sporting events and stop in at the school’s spirit-wear shop to see what’s new.
    At football and games, I’ve found sweatshirts, long-sleeve T-shirts, foam fingers, hoodies, pop sockets, seat cushions and more.
    With this being Noblesville Schools Homecoming Week, I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to write about the district’s Miller Mall, an E-store that opened earlier this year with officially-branded clothing and school spirit items.
    Plus, even better, a significant portion of the Miller Mall proceeds goes directly to fund educational needs of Noblesville Schools.
    And while some items take two weeks for delivery, there are many items that customers can get right away, even delivered to their home. Except umbrellas, because there isn’t a box for them. What’s extra nice is that the source of the Miller Mall is Noblesville-based T&T Sales and Promotions, which manages the online store. 
  • I got to ride the new Nickel Plate Express
    9/17/2018 On Friday afternoon, I stood along the railroad tracks on Main Street in downtown Atlanta, Ind., awaiting the arrival of the new Nickel Plate Express.
    Media was among invited guests, who also included Noblesville Mayor John Ditslear, public officials and anybody who contributed to make this new Nickel Plate Express come to reality. 
    As we awaited one of the first train rides that would take us on a brief round-trip ride south through the countryside, I had an opportunity to talk to Brenda Myers, president and CEO of Hamilton County Tourism.
    “I just really think it’s important to understand the amount of community effort that went into this project. It was massive. A lot of these people here were involved in some way in making this happen,” she said.
  • Mom sees ‘beauty,’ ‘richness of diversity’ every day in life
    9/15/2018 Jennifer Harris is a mother of five and describes herself as a “justice seeker” and a “believer in good.”
    Her husband, Trevor, is from Jamaica. Together, they are raising five children, both biological and adopted. They’ve also been a volunteer host family to more than two dozen children over the past 10 years.
    “I see the beauty and richness of diversity every day in my life,” said Jennifer Harris, who has extended family from other parts of the world. “It is important to me that everyone in my family and yours know their value and worth and are treated with the same kindness and respect.”
    She is passionate about being fair and impartial and that everyone is included. She has been from an early age. She’s even written personally about equity and inclusion on her blog. 
  • All aboard!
    9/14/2018 The highly anticipated new Nickel Plate Express will open on Saturday with three train rides and an afternoon festival for the community.
    Visitors to downtown Atlanta, Ind., who have purchased tickets, can board the train for a 12-mile trip from Atlanta to the north side of Noblesville.
    To build anticipation, train cars have been displayed on the railroad tracks in downtown Atlanta, and also one car is stationed on the tracks in downtown Noblesville.
    “Seeing this equipment on our tracks, I can’t wait to watch it run,” said Dagny Zupin, the Nickel Plate Express’ new communications coordinator. 
    Her office is in the former Arcadia Heritage Depot, home to the Nickel Plate Heritage Railroad Inc., a nonprofit formed to serve as governing body for the new Heritage Railroad operation. “The Nickel Plate Express has been two years in the making. I can’t even say how excited we are,” she said.
    Passengers with tickets will board the train on Saturday for a 75-minute round-trip ride at 10-15 mph. There will be no stops. A family dining-lounge car will also be open for rides.
  • Tour homeowner loves neighborhood
    9/13/2018 Driving down the historic brick-paved Logan Street on Wednesday afternoon, I had to stop and visit when I saw Kathy Tomes outside of her home, washing windows.
    Her home is on Noblesville Preservation Alliance’s 32nd annual Tour of Historic Homes on Saturday in Old Town Noblesville.
    The historic Mills/Tomes Home is at 1440 Logan St., a bungalow or Craftsman style home built in 1895. The home was originally built with barn-sized sill plates and timber frame construction, in the early 20th century. It was renovated as bungalow with a long, front-sloping roof and a broad open brick porch, and a central door with transom and side lighting.
    The homeowner gladly took a break to greet me and chat on her welcoming front porch.
  • Let’s honor our Civil War heroes at Sunday’s 150th rededication
    9/12/2018 Tell your friends, families and everybody you know. Bring your flags and banners, and wear your military uniform.
    Let’s join together and stand to honor our Civil War heroes this Sunday for the “150th Year Rededication” of the Hamilton County Civil War Memorial.
    The Hamilton County Historical Society invites the community to a 2:30 p.m. Sunday program at the Civil War Memorial in Crownland Cemetery at 1876 Monument St. 
    The Civil War Monument is the largest memorial in town, and it’s why Monument Street has its name, county historian David Heighway said. 
    He has found it’s important to study the Civil War because of the enormous impact on the United States and Hamilton County.
    “The county had the first volunteers in the state, so it makes sense that our monument was one of the first in the state,” he said. 
    As an historian, he’s pleased that the monument is still standing, unlike many Civil War monuments across the nation that are being removed.
  • Meet the talented Merrell sisters
    9/10/2018 Sisters Madelyn and Gloria Merrell are each other’s biggest fans and supporters.
    I found them both working at Alexander’s on the Square, scooping ice cream, over the summer.
    I’ve seen them act and heard them sing on stage in local theater productions.
    I’ve watched them grow up and shine in their own creative ways.
    Now, for the first time, they’re not together all of the time.
    Madelyn Merrell, 18, who graduated in 2018 from Hamilton Heights High School, is a freshman at Indiana University in Bloomington. Gloria Merrell is a 16-year-old junior at Hamilton Heights.
    “Being in college has been hard because I’m away from my best friend, but I’m so proud of her and all she is,” Madelyn Merrell said over the weekend. 
    The sisters grew up playing, laughing and performing together. When 9-year-old Madelyn Merrell took the stage for her first time, in a local community theater production of “Willy Wonka Jr.” musical, 7-year-old Gloria Merrell took the stage, too.
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