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  • 2/23/2018 Rick Benick was just a little kid when he saw Elvis Presley and The Beatles appear on “The Ed Sullivan Show.”
    But he knew he wanted to be a guitar player and perform on stage some day.
    He got his first electric“Truetone” guitar from Western Auto in 1964, when he was 12. 
    Benick would play guitar with friends at his house. During junior high, he played gigs in his school cafeteria.
    He took guitar lessons but didn’t like them, so he quit. But he kept teaching himself.
    “I didn’t know I was good until people started telling me I was good,” said Benick, 66, Noblesville, who went on to become nationally known as one of the best guitarists in the business, playing for Roadmaster, Henry Lee Summer, Mitch Ryder and The Alligator Brothers.
    For fans, it will be like stepping back in time this Sunday as he gathers with old band members for “Rick Benick: A Benefit Concert,” for which he will be the benefactor. In late 2017, Benick was diagnosed with leukemia.
  • Lions dodgeball needs your help
    2/22/2018 Noblesville Lions Club’s Dave Marsh has been working on a new dodgeball fundraiser for months, and he personally has put in more than 200 hours, used three reams of copy paper, logged 100 miles of travel and sent out more than 200 emails. 
    Club members have recruited sponsors and teams and have signed up to work concessions, to stage teams, to keep time and scores, to mark off courts, to set up divider nets and to post sponsor signage.
    Everything is set to be in place. But the Lions’ first attempt at a new fundraiser “is in some trouble.”
    While the Lions have brought in more than $6,000 in sponsors and have a potentially great event planned, the dodgeball tournament is only 16 days away, and 10 teams are still needed to fill the 16-team field for the tournament.
  • A new class of youth volunteers
    2/21/2018 They told corny jokes. They tried to make each other laugh. They played ice-breaker games to get to know each other. 
    The 2018 incoming class of Conner Prairie’s new youth volunteers on Saturday all gathered for the first time together at the interactive history park in Fishers.
    “This is the biggest class we’ve ever had,” said Sarah Morin-Wilson, Conner Prairie’s youth experience manager, as she welcomed the new volunteers. 
    Becoming a youth volunteer is highly competitive. This year, of the 105 kids ages 10-18 who applied to be youth volunteers, only 57 applicants were selected to move on the interview round. And of those, only 34 kids were actually invited to be a part of the youth volunteer program. 
    The new class helps make up the 118 total youth volunteers this year at Conner Prairie, which opens for the season on March 27. 
    With a daily general attendance increase of 13 percent from 2016, to 175,040 in 2017, and an overall attendance increase of 10 percent from 2016, to 428,602 in 2017, more youth volunteers are needed now than ever before.
  • 2/17/2018 The school principals and teachers are ready, and the excitement is building.
    Every two years since 2012, Noblesville Schools Education Foundation invites in the Harlem Wizards basketball team as a fundraiser for the district.
    Well, it’s that time again. Harlem Wizards will return this Wednesday to The Mill.
    For those who haven’t experienced a Harlem Wizards show, it is definitely one not to miss.
    The world-famous team shows off its slam dunks, tricks, hoops and alley oops while playing against Noblesville Schools Mighty Millers, made up of our favorite teachers and principals and staff..
    There are so many fun things about attending this game. 
  • The Times players have fun
    2/16/2018 They don’t keep score or officially track wins or losses. Nor do they keep any player stats.
    But the players certainly know if they are playing well and make a lot of baskets.
    And they will tell you, “We are undefeated.”
    The Times-sponsored winter league youth basketball team is one of five second-grade co-ed teams playing this season at the Boys & Girls Club of Noblesville.
    The greatest challenge for players this age is following the rules. 
    Players are not allowed to steal the basketball while another player is dribbling. Players are not allowed to block shots. And traveling will only be called if a player runs down court without attempting to dribble.
  • Gold medalists to sing, play at State
    2/15/2018 Being that Team USA just won its 100th gold medal in Winter Olympic history, I turn my attention to gold-medal winners here at home.
    To salute our Noblesville middle schools’ young medalists in performing arts. 
    I share an instance where we attended a vocal/piano solo and ensemble contest. The Indiana State School Music Association (ISSMA) contest, which was moved from Noblesville High School to Elwood Jr.-Sr. High School, attracted six contestants from Noblesville West and five contestants from Noblesville East middle schools.
    And all 10 contestants earned gold medals.
    Five of the NWMS students competed in Group 1, which is usually only attempted by more advanced high school students. All five of those students -- eighth-graders Kari Verdeyen in voice and piano, Marshall Axsom in piano, and Anna Schlueter, Audrey Ouillette and Laura Wertz in voice -- qualified for the State Solo and Ensemble Contest, which is Saturday at Perry Meridian High School in Indianapolis. 
  • 10 ways to spend Valentine’s Day
    2/14/2018 It’s Valentine’s Day, a day that’s being celebrated throughout the world.
    I wanna bet that The Hamilton Restaurant is sold out tonight. The downtown Noblesville restaurant, which is serving up its special Surf and Turf, announced last week that it would close so that owners Vanita Clements and Clyde Worley, could retire. 
    If you don’t yet have plans for Valentine’s Day, there are lots of opportunities to find things to do, even if you don’t have reservations. 
    Looking for something a little different on this Valentine’s Day? Here are at least 10 ideas on how to spend your day or evening.
    Maybe you’re already missing the snow? Then head out to Strawtown Koteewi Park for snow tubing at Koteewi Run, Indiana’s only groomed snow-tubing hill, where you can slide 700 feet down snow-covered lanes in snow tubes, and then ride a tow line back to the top for another run. It’s open 4 p.m. to 9 p.m.
  • Times asks you to vote for favs
    2/12/2018 What’s your favorite antique store? Favorite auto-repair shop? Or favorite bowling center? 
    Your favorite bar and grill? Favorite hardware store? Or favorite jewelry store? 
    Your favorite politican? Favorite caterer? Or favorite eatery where you can bite into a big, juicy cheeseburger?
    Yes, The Times invites you to vote for your favorites in the Readers’ Choice Awards 2018 contest.
    The contest is self-explanatory. You go online to www.TheTimes24-7.com. You'll find the icon on the right side of the web page and on any story page; then click, and vote. For mobile, the Readers’ Choice Awards 2018 contest is visible immediately.
  • Piano is music to deaf ears
    2/10/2018 Does Kyle Thomas know how beautifully he plays the piano?
    He’s been told.
    The Noblesville resident can hear the piano. But he can’t tell if it’s in tune. 
    He can hear the volume, but he can’t distinguish the pitches.
    Thomas, who was born deaf, has played the piano since he was 12.
    “I taught myself,” said Thomas, 41, who can distinguish between high and low, loud and soft, fast and slow. 
    Just like learning any new skill, playing the piano takes practice to do well. “It’s easy for me now, after all of these years,” said Thomas, who has developed a technique and understanding of what goes into the music, structure and theory.
    He plays so beautifully that he’s often sought after for local community theaters. 
  • Artist reaches his pinnacle
    2/9/2018 I remember first meeting Noblesville artist Michael Janosky about five years ago, when he was one of the first resident studio artists at the Nickel Plate Arts campus in Noblesville. 
    He had painted a most beautiful framed oil of The Belfry Theatre to commemorate its 50th anniversary. Then in 2017, he donated the artwork to the theater, where it is now displayed on the lobby wall.
    Janosky, an oil painter, credits the Hamilton County Artists’ Association for giving him the support and encouragement that helped him stay motivated to do his artwork. And he credits the Nickel Plate Arts for providing space, collaboration and a continuous audience for his work. 
    Today, Janosky is among 10 studio artists at the Nickel Plate where, not long after moving in, he was juried into Indiana Artisan and the Indiana Artist Club, and more recently accepted into the Oil Painters of America.
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Friday, February 23, 2018

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