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  • Young campers learn about 4-H
    6/20/2019 Driving by the Hamilton County 4-H Fairgrounds at noon on Wednesday, I quickly realized it was already time for the annual summer Mini 4-H Day Camp.
    Dozens of kids were outside on the grounds and 100 youth, most of whom are in our county’s Mini 4-H program, were enjoying the second of a two-day fun-filled educational camp.
    For $25 per child, 100 youth in kindergarten through Grade 2 learned about different topics all related to 4-H and went home with a Mini 4-H Camp T-shirt.
    This year’s theme was “Welcome to the Jungle.”
    “We had a very animal-themed camp,” said Kathleen Bohde, 4-H Youth Development
    Extension Educator for Hamilton County. “Our older 4-H’ers have brought in some of their own pocket pets, horses, pigmy goats and chickens.” Mini 4-H campers not only learned about dogs, pocket pets, pygmy goats, horses and poultry, the kids got to be up close and see the animals, which were brought in to the llama barn for this Mini Ag-Day portion of the camp.
  • ‘Music Man’ sings, dances into Ivy Tech
    6/19/2019 Word of mouth has been the primary source of folks finding out about The Attic Theatre.
    It’s only the third full season for the little community theater that rotates between venues and primarily serves Hamiton, Tipton and Madison counties.
    About 11 years ago, Rebecca Roy started the theater. At the time, she directed a few friends and their sisters in their living room. It was a hit, and they continued to produce plays, growing each time in cast size and scope.
    After she graduated from Indiana Wesleyan University in 2014, she returned home to Atlanta, Ind., with the vision to build a community theater. Since then, The Attic Theatre was incorporated in 2016 and has produced 19 plays.
    Their first play was “Macbeth” at South Harbour Clubhouse in Noblesville.
    Ian Hauer, who met Roy (the theater’s executive director) through a mutual friend, got involved with The Attic Theatre in the summer of 2016, playing a supporting cast role in “The Philadelphia Story.”
  • Toby Fulks loves his old cars
    6/12/2019 Noblesville’s Toby Fulks met me in his driveway standing next to his antique car.
    “It’s a 1948 Super Deluxe Ford convertible,” Fulks said, smiling. “I’ve had the car about 35 years.”
    Folks who’ve attended the Saturday Night Cruise-ins on the Courthouse Square or the annual Father’s Day Car Show at Forest Park -- which is this Sunday -- may have noticed the car on display there. H
    e’s driven the car to the Cruise-ins and car show “many a times.”
    “It’s a great car. It’s pretty much original,” Fulks said as he proceeded to walk around the car, which had shined up and ready to drive. 
    He loves old cars, loves to share stories about how he came to own them, and what he’s done to restore them.
    The Ford convertible was produced after World War II. “At that point in time, technology was getting a little bit better, and Henry Ford was improving the Flathead Ford V8. This car here, at the time, had all the options,” he said.
  • Lifeguards ready to rescue
    6/8/2019 Lifeguards at Forest Park Aquatic Center watch out for kids who enter the zero-entry baby pool and get into the deeper end before they’re aware.
    They watch for kids who get on Fast Freddy waterslide to find water over their heads at the bottom of the slide. 
    And they watch for kids who dive off of the springboards into the diving pool and struggle to reach the side.
    Lifeguards are always watching the baby pool, the waterslide and the diving pool -- these three areas at Forest Park Aquatic Center -- where during the 2018 summer pool season, there were about 180 “saves.”
    “A save is when someone is not able to swim, and we have to get in and get them out,” said Chandler Parrish, 20, Noblesville, a lifeguard manager at the aquatic center. The 2017 NHS graduate, a Purdue University junior studying industrial engineering, has been a lifeguard for five years. 
    “I’ve probably had a hundred saves, making sure a kid doesn’t drown,” Parrish said.
    “Most of them are at the bottom of that slide that’s too fast for them or too strong. They’ll just keep getting pushed, and they can’t get out,” said Parrish, pointing to the popular Fast Freddy waterslide that dumps into 5 feet of water in the Olympic-size 50-meter pool. “There are times, over here in the main pool, where a kid is not tall enough and can’t touch (the bottom) will get in and swim, and then they get tired, but they’re in the middle of the pool, and you have to get in and get them,” he said.
  • 2 NHS seniors will graduate with K-12 perfect attendance
    6/7/2019 Jake Gerhardt has had perfect attendance since kindergarten at Hazel Dell Elementary.
    Josh Kozicki has had perfect attendance since kindergarten at Forest Hill Elementary.
    Tonight, both are expected to walk across the commencement stage to receive their Noblesville High School diplomas, each having never missed a day of school.
    Achieving 13 years of perfect attendance is a rare accomplishment. 
    Both were recognized for perfect K-12 attendance at their recent NHS awards night ceremony, each receiving a plaque with their name and achievement, presented for “Extraordinary attendance.”
    These two young men -- among 650 seniors expected to graduate during the 2019 NHS commencement at the Indiana Farmers Coliseum on the Indiana State Fairgrounds -- were inspired by their teachers, their principals and their families.
    Meet Jake Gerhardt. 
  • Once the ‘finest bank in Indiana,’ 1910 building closed on Friday
    6/6/2019 I visited our downtown Noblesville KeyBank on Friday.
    It was the last day before the bank was to close at 3 p.m.
    Business was as usual.
    Although there were fewer than a half dozen employees manning their posts. I expected cake or balloons or fanfare, something to acknowledge the final day. 
    But there was nothing.
    “Just a lot of counting and packing and moving. Just a lot of cleaning up and matching keys,” I overheard one employee say to a customer. The teller stood at his post, greeting morning customers.
    A few KeyBank customers visited throughout the day, reminiscing, asking what would become of the bank and just making one last visit.
    “I’m trying to tie up loose ends here. It’s proved to be more of a feat than I anticipated,” another employee told a customer.
    The bank was very quiet. “It’s always like this,” a customer said.
    Maybe more recently, that is. Years ago, the bank was bustling with activities. But in the past few years, KeyBank customers may have found it easier to visit one of the Noblesville branches rather than seek a parking space in downtown Noblesville.
  • Lots of laughs in Westfield Playhouse’s adult comedy
    6/5/2019 When Tom Smith was an FBI agent and lived in New York, he was there long enough to get a flavor of the life.
    “If you’re a fan of Neil Simon or other author who write plays about Manhattan life, especially Jewish Manhattan life, then you understand how different it is than we live here,” said Smith of Westfield.
    He plays the role of nonagenarian Maurice Koenig in “Social Security,” opening June 14 at Westfield Playhouse.
    “This show spoke to me, because when I was in New York, I was able to meet some artistic people. The man that I play is a 90-year-old art critic,” Smith said. While art criticism has nothing to do with Smith’s real life, he said, “That whole Manhattan, there’s really nothing like it.”
    The adult comedy, in two acts, drew him in. 
    The show also features upper-class Manhattan art gallery owners David Kahn (Eric Shaver of Greenwood) and Barbara Kahn (Ka’Lena Cuevas of Fishers) whose lives are upended when Barbara’s housewife sister Trudy Heyman (Lisa Wariner of Westfield) leave their mother Sophie Greengrass (Susan Hill of Noblesville) on the couple's doorstep while Trudy and her husband Martin Heyman (Thom Johnson of Westfield) head to Buffalo, N.Y., to rescue their sexually precocious college student.
  • Club team earns first-time win at annual Darlington Bed Race
    6/4/2019 Da Club team has never won the Darlington Bed Race.
    Until this year.
    On Friday night, this year’s Da Club team, representing the Boys & Girls Club of Noblesville -- Justin Cowan, Amanda Lavore, Noah Green, Dewayne Simpson and Vivian Zahiga -- put their bed in high gear to win the annual Darlington Bed Race on the Courthouse Square in downtown Noblesville.
    The team members were all smiles as they held up their bed-shaped trophy after crossing the finish line 1/10th of a second ahead of the YoungLife Skit Characters, the 2019 runner-up; a YoungLife team was winner of the bed race in 2016.
    What was the key to winning the race?
    “It’s all about that turn. Once you get down there, and you whip it around that turn, it’s got to be tight and it’s got to be precise, and you just have to power it through,” said Cowan, 22, Noblesville. He was among five team members of the winning entry.
    He also gave credit to the bed’s builders. “It’s built out of aluminum. It’s got built-in steering.”
    Cowan said, Da Club team borrowed the bed from “our friends who have done this every year.”
  • Street dance, Ferrari fest, pork chops and more
    6/1/2019 Wow. Lots going on this weekend in and around downtown Noblesville.
    So here’s my list of 15 things to do this weekend and beyond.
    1. Today is Shred Day, from 8 a.m. to noon at the Hamilton County Household Hazardous Center on Pleasant Street in Noblesville. There will be free onsite shredding available to Hamilton County residents, who provide proof of residency. There is a limit of four banker boxes or equivalent size per vehicle. 
    2. Forest Park Aquatic Center and Morse Beach in Noblesville are open daily beginning at noon today. Hours for the pool, posted at the front door, noon to 7 p.m. Monday-Thursday, noon to 8 p.m. Friday-Saturday and noon to 6 p.m. Sundays. Hours for the beach are 1-6 p.m. Monday-Friday, noon to 7 p.m. Saturdays and noon to 6 p.m. Sunday. Aquatic center membership includes admission to the beach, located at Morse Beach Park north of Noblesville, and Tiny Tots Tuesdays and Thursdays, during which the baby pool and splash pad only are open 9:30 to 11:30 a.m. Pool admission is an affordable $6 per day or $4 after 5 p.m. There are still some openings for the summer Learn to Swim program there that starts next week.
    3. The Noblesville Farmers Market is 8 a.m. to noon today at Federal Hill Commons.
  • School year comes to end with many good memories
    5/31/2019 Today is the last day of classes for Noblesville Schools. 
    While some parents may not be as excited, since their kids will be home all summer, and will have to find ways to entertain them, our family is ready for a two-month summer break.
    It’s been a great year for our schools and my Noblesville East Middle School seventh-grader.
    We have remained strong as a district and as a community.
    Over the past school year, our community has continued to heal from the school shooting on May 25, 2018. At the beginning of this school year, our schools implemented new safety procedures, for backpacks, visitor check-ins and student supervision, and more counseling support, and prevention and protection measures.
    And in November, Noblesville Schools referendum passed, by a margin of 59 percent, for additional referendum funding, part of which is being used to increase safety staff and equipment within the district.
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