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  • 3/23/2018 

    If you see Hamilton County Commissioner Mark Heirbrandt reaching for the hand sanitizer or slipping out to the restroom to wash up after a lot of handshakes at a meeting or event, don’t be offended.

    ?His wife is a registered nurse and reminds him to wash his hands after every meeting.

    Heirbrandt said he really started paying more attention to her advice about five years ago. Since then, he said, “I rarely get sick. A lot of it is because I’m very cautious.”

    Heirbrandt, who annually gets his flu shot, shakes a lot of hands on a daily basis because he enjoys meeting and talking to citizens, but he also carries his hand sanitizer and said, “I use it often.”

    ?Depending on who is on the receiving side, Heirbrandt sometimes trades out the traditional handshakes for hugs or pats on the back or fist bumps.
    When he goes to the gym, he wipes down the exercise equipment. And when he goes to church, he keeps a bottle of hand sanitizer in his pocket to use after shaking hands. “A lot of times, people will joke, and they’ll put their hand out and will want some (sanitizer), too,” he said.

  • Plenty to do on Spring Break

    It’s Friday, the last day of classes before the bell rings this afternoon for the official start of Noblesville Schools’ two-week spring break.?

    While I’ve heard a few families are leaving town, I would rather stay here and enjoy the snowstorm expected for tonight and Saturday. ?If you’re still looking for things to do during spring break, I have come up with 15 fun, family activities to do.

    Here are my picks:?

    1. K-Trails Equestrian Adventure reopens today for the season at Strawtown Koteewi Park in Noblesville. It’s where first-timers to veteran riders can go trail riding at a beautiful Hamilton County Parks property. Koteewi Range Sport and Target Archery Center and Koteewi Aerial Adventure are also already open.?

  • Superintendent delivers State of Schools address
    3/22/2018 Noblesville Schools will update all 10 of its schools this year, with new paving, roofing, playground equipment, HVAC systems and lighting.

    The district will develop sponsorship packages offering businesses and organizations an opportunity to support education in Noblesville.

    A communitywide planning committee will be formed to prepare celebrations and outreach for the district’s 150th anniversary to be commemorated during the 2019-20 school year.
    Noblesville Schools this summer will launch an online store to buy a wide variety of Miller clothing and spirit items.

    North Elementary and the City of Noblesville will introduce a community garden space to Noblesville this spring.

    All of these are among the new initiatives on the horizon at Noblesville Schools, Superintendent Beth Niedermeyer announced Wednesday during her 2018 State of the Schools address. She delivered her presentation at the Noblesville Chamber of Commerce luncheon at Harbour Trees Golf Club.
  • HSE senior is DAR Good Citizen of the Year

    Julie Bergin is so proud of the person her son has become.

    “He’s humble. He’s super nice. And just a good boy,” said the mother of Joe Bergin, a Hamilton Southeastern High School senior who has been named 2018 Daughters of the American Revolution Good Citizen of the Year.

    Noblesville’s Horseshoe Prairie Chapter of DAR presents the Good Citizen Award each year to one graduating senior. Winner Joe Bergin is a good student, but being honored as a DAR Good Citizen is so much more than good grades.

    It means you've given back to the community, to your school, to your church and to your family, and that you were voted on by your peers and by your administrators.

    “Joe is nothing short of amazing as a student leader and thoughtful citizen of our school and community,” wrote Matthew W. Kegley, his high school principal, in a recommendation letter for the DAR Good Citizens Award and Scholarship Contest. “Joe sets himself above most, if not all, of his peers. 

    “Thoughtful,” “insightful” and “open-minded” are words the principal used to describe the student. “Joe is respectful to everyone and engages adults in conversation, frequently initiating that conversation.”

  • Chris Owens drove success, change at Main Street
    3/19/2018 Chris Owens pushed Noblesville Main Street into a more top-of-mind independent organization.

    He developed an active social media presence and promoted and produced one of the largest event rosters the organization has ever offered. 

    He came to Main Street at a really vital point for the organization and embraced the Hipstoric initiative, while bringing executive-director experience and a strong understanding of the community.

    Craig Crosser, president of Noblesville Main Street board, had those positive things to say about Owens, who this month stepped down from his position as executive director and CEO of Noblesville Main Street. Owens begins his new role today as communications director for White River Christian Church, where he plays guitar, and his wife, Maggie, sings and where the couple met.

    “The NMS board is happy for Chris and his next role within the community,” said Crosser, who is in his second year of a two-year term as board president. 
  • Westfield eighth-grader wins Hamilton County spelling bee

    The No. 13.

    Considered unlucky by some. And lucky by others.

    For Westfield’s Samuel Schmidt, the number 13, is lucky. Not only because the teen runs half marathons, which are 13.1 miles, but because “13” was his contestant number in this week’s Hamilton County Spelling Bee.

    The eighth-grader at Our Lady of Mount Carmel School spelled his way through 45 rounds to win the Bee’s championship and earn a trip to Washington, D.C., in May to the 2018 Scripps National Spelling Bee.

  • 9,300 solar panels will help save $13 million
    3/15/2018 A guest list of who’s who in Hamilton County this week attended County Commissioners’ groundbreaking ceremony kicking off a solar-panel project that would provide enough energy to power 38 percent of the Hamilton County Jail Complex and 100 percent of the Health Services building. 

    “Upon completion, this will be the largest solar project for a jail complex in the state of Indiana,” said Commissioner Mark Heirbrandt, who with Commissioners Steve Dillinger and Christine Altman, led the ceremony, during which Heirbrandt shared details about the three-month project that is expected to be completed by late June. 

    The $8 million solar-panel project, for which 9,300 solar panels are being installed, is expected to save the county more than $13 million in utility and maintenance costs over the next 25 years, Heirbrandt said.

    The county currently spends $1.6 million annually in utility bills for county facilities.
  • Westfield to build a new Playhouse
    3/15/2018 Westfield Playhouse has grown out of its tiny theater on Indiana 32 in Eagletown and will build a new playhouse in downtown Westfield.

    That’s big news for loyal supporters of community theater here in the county.

    Westfield City Council voted unanimously at Monday night’s regular Council meeting to allow Westfield Playhouse to construct a new theater on North Union Street near the former Westfield City Hall.

    It’s also awesome news for thespians who call Westfield Playhouse their home theater.

    “We are very excited,” said Noblesville’s John Sampson, who is starting his 11th year as Westfield Playhouse’s board president and was thrilled to share the news with me.
  • Let’s go see what kids are learning
    3/14/2018 See a Famous Hoosier Wax Museum created by Hazel Dell Elementary students. Meet Noblesville High School storytellers who are student journalists of NHS’s Mill Stream newspaper. Learn how Noblesville East Middle School special education students brew independence at a coffee shop.

    See how Hinkle Creek Elementary students are creating with a green screen. Meet Promise Road Elementary students who are “Minecraft-”ing through the American Revolution. Learn how North Elementary students “get real with virtual reality.”

    See Noble Crossing Elementary students dive into inquiry-based learning. Meet Stony Creek Elementary students who construct a robotics model connected to a story in the Lego WeDo education program.

    Want to know what students at Noblesville Schools are learning? Come visit the fifth annual Miller Shift Learning ‘18 Showcase. It’s 5:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. Thursday at the high school, 18111 Cumberland Road, in Noblesville. 
  • What does 1 million square feet look like?
    3/12/2018 I’m sure that the City of Noblesville would like to see more companies come to town like SMC Corp. of America.
    The North American headquarters for the Japanese-based company that develops and manufactures pneumatic technology -- located just north of 146th Street between Cumberland and Howe roads -- would like to expand in Noblesville and increase the size of its corporate headquarters by 1 million square feet.
    That’s almost 23 acres of space, or almost as large as Carmel High School, which accommodates nearly 5,000 students, the state’s largest public high school by enrollment. While the new SMC construction would only be one-eighth the size of Amazon’s proposed 8 million-square-foot second headquarters, the SMC expansion would be huge, not only in size but in significance for Noblesville, a forward-thinking community that welcomes business.
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