Hope For Happiness – August 11th, 7pm

On Friday, August 11th, the Amp After Dark concert at the Amphitheater will feature Dogs of Society with a musical tribute to pop legend Elton John, but there will be an event beforehand you may want to mark on your calendar.

The Hope for Happiness celebration will be 6-9pm, just before the concert, in front of Fishers City Hall.  There will be a Happy Hour with local favorites Dave & Rae.  It’s all about promoting good mental health.

There will be games, food trucks and an number of other activities in this family-friendly event.

For more information, contact the Fishers Parks & Recreation Department at 317-595-3150.

2 More Vying For Kenley’s Senate Seat

by

Hamilton County Reporter

 

Two more candidates announced they will be running for Indiana’s District 20
Senate seat, which is being vacated by Luke Kenley.

Current Hamilton County Council member Brad Beaver made the announcement
on Thursday, as did Noblesville resident and businessman Joe Morris.

“I have served on the Hamilton County Council for 20 years,” said Beaver. “I have
never missed a County Council meeting and during my tenure I have never raised property
taxes. Yet the Council has still managed to accumulate a $50 million surplus.
Hamilton County is one of the most fiscally sound governmental entities in the
State. While some politicians may claim to be conservative – I have proven my commitment to taxpayers over the last 20 years. I feel this record clearly sets me apart from
other candidates.”

“Indiana is the envy of the Midwest, in large part because it has elected state representatives and senators who have exercised fiscal restraint while making our State a
beacon for economic development. We must ensure that we send another proven
conservative to the Statehouse – one who will be a good steward of taxpayer money
and pursue a truly conservative agenda. I am confident that I am the candidate that is
most prepared to do this.”

Beaver was born and raised in Noblesville, graduating from Noblesville High
School in 1977. After college, he started his own heating and cooling business. He is a
fourth-generation small business owner in Hamilton County. He has been married to
his wife, Trini, for 27 years and has three adult children.

During his 20 years on the County Council, Beaver has served on various
boards and committees including Hamilton County Plan Commission, Board of Zoning
Appeals, County Solid Waste Board, Personnel Committee and Finance Committee.
Throughout the years he has been active coaching basketball at the Noblesville Boys
and Girls Club. He is a member of White River Christian Church.

“I have spent my entire life living and working in Senate District 20,” said Beaver.
“I am eager to take that next step and serve as Hamilton County’s Senator in the Statehouse.”

“What a great opportunity for Hamilton County and District 20 to continue a strong
tradition of new ideas, continued growth and leadership for the communities of District
20 and the State of Indiana,” said Morris. “I can’t think of a time better than now to join
hands with the residents & leaders of Hamilton County and bring our ideas, professional
experience and creativity to the State Capital. Having discussed this decision
with my family, friends and several leaders in Noblesville, Carmel, Fishers and Westfield;
these business leaders, community leaders and faith leaders all helped me come
to this decision. It’s a great time to be able to represent so many great people, families,
businesses and communities in District 20.”

Beyond his 25 years of professional experience in business, sales, management, consulting, strategic planning, HR compliance administration; Morris has served on a number of local, state, regional & national boards within and outside the financial services industry. Because of his business experience, he has experience working with the legislature at the State & Federal level on issues such as Healthcare Reform, Tax
Reform, Medicare & Medicaid and Small Business issues.

“I have a passion for seeing that our youth develop skills for life, our families
succeed in life, our seniors are respected in life, our businesses thrive in life and our
communities prosper in fostering this passion,” said Morris. “All play a key part in
making a community happy, healthy, safe, respected and attractive for our residents and
visitors.”

Morris is a lifelong resident of Indiana. He grew up in the Southwestern Indiana city
of Washington and left the area in 1987 to continue his education as a student-athlete
at the University of Indianapolis where he played college football. In college, he
received the UIndy “Kelso Reid Mental Attitude” Award.

After college, Morris moved to Noblesville to work as a Marketing Rep for Gordon
Marketing. In 1996, he relocated to northern Indiana and worked in the employee
benefits market insuring various industries such as: schools, municipalities, healthcare
providers, steel mills, unions, manufacturers, casinos, car dealerships and banks. In
2000, he started a number of businesses including insurance, employee benefits, HR
compliance and administration.

In 2011, Morris relocated back to Noblesville and rejoined Gordon Marketing
as the National Marketing & Training Director where he educates, trains and develops
business strategies for independent financial and insurance advisors in the health, Medicare, Medicaid, VA, life insurance and annuity markets.

He is a graduate of Purdue Calumet University’s Entrepreneur’s Club program,
studied Business Administration & Marketing at the University of Indianapolis and is
a Chartered Benefits Consultant by the National Association of Alternative Benefits
Consultants.

A national speaker, Morris travels the country speaking on topics such as Business
Development, Marketing Strategies, Compliance & Ethics, Medicare, Obamacare,
Tax Benefits of Health Plans and Retirement Planning.

Morris volunteers in the local community and throughout Indiana with various
organizations & clubs, is a member of the UIndy Greyhound Club, National Federation
of Independent Business (NFIB), Society of Human Resource Management
(SHRM) and is a Freemason.

Morris lives in Noblesville with his three teenage daughters Kylie (Noblesville High),
Katie (Noblesville High) and Kenlee (Noblesville West Middle School).

YMI Gains 105 Volunteers, $18,000 in Donations

YMI Executive Director Todd Melloh talks with Office Administrator Amy Crell at the top of the Edge Building

Todd Melloh is now off the Edge Building roof in Downtown Fishers, but after more than 3 days camping out, his organization now has more volunteers and donations.  Melloh is the Executive Director of the Youth Mentoring Initiative (YMI), which provides mentors to students in a number of schools within the Hamilton Southeastern School Corporation.

There are now 105 additional people willing to volunteer.  They need to go through a process, but it is important that number of people took the first step and raised their hand, willing to volunteer.

A second goal of the YMI On The Roof campaign was to raise additional money for the local nonprofit group.  Over $18,000 in donations came into the organization during the campaign.  RMG Roofing and Printmore made major contributions.

Now Todd Mellow can get off the roof and go back to his regular job or running the YMI organization

Fishers Road Construction – Week of July 24th

Road construction is once again busy in and around the Fishers Area during the work week beginning Monday, July 24th.  Take particular note of lane restrictions on 126th Street near Brooks School Road and closures on Cumberland Road south of 116th Street.

================================

113TH STREET

113th Street will be closed at Olio Road beginning the week of July 24th for the installation of a storm sewer across the roadway. All traffic will detour to 116th Street and down Ringer Road. This closure will last approximately one week.

Lane restrictions will occur on 113th Street from Olio Road to Florida Road throughout the summer in order for the contractor to resurface and make improvements to the roadway.

126TH STREET

Starting on or after July 24th, one lane of eastbound 126th Street just east of Brooks School Road will be closed while a storm sewer is repaired. The closure is expected to last a few days. Please drive with caution.

Expect periodic lane restrictions between 9 a.m. and 3 p.m. on 126th Street between Allisonville Road and Lantern Road while the contractor installs passing blisters near Reserve at Lantern. Flaggers will be on site to direct traffic during the restrictions.

CUMBERLAND ROAD

The Hamilton County Highway Department will close Cumberland Road at the Sand Creek bridge just south of Kroger on or after July 24th to replace the damaged timber guardrail. The closure will be in place 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. and will last for approximately three days. Questions can be directed to The Hamilton County Highway Department at 317773-7770.

96TH STREET

Construction has begun on the new roundabout at 96th Street and Lantern Road. 96th Street traffic between Kincaid Drive and Fitness Lane/Pinecreek Drive will be reduced to one lane in each direction throughout the summer.

136TH AND PRAIRIE BAPTIST ROAD

The Hamilton County Highway Department has closed the intersection of 136th Street and Prairie Baptist Road to allow the contractor to reconstruct the intersection. The closure is scheduled to last approximately 60 days. Please follow signs for detour routes. Questions regarding this project may be directed to the Hamilton County Highway Department at 317-773-7770.

116TH STREET

Periodic lane restrictions will occur starting the week of July 24th on 116th Street west of Allisonville Road as the contractor repairs concrete curbs and ramps in preparation for resurfacing the roadway. Restrictions will be in place between the hours of 9 a.m. and 3 p.m. Please drive with caution.

There will also be lane restrictions on 116th Street between I-69 and Cumberland Road throughout the summer in order for the contractor to make improvements to 116th Street.

Nickel Plate Rail Line’s Future – It’s Getting Complicated

by

Fred Swift

Hamilton County Reporter

(NOTE: Commentaries by Fred Swift are posted here as a result of a partnership between the Hamilton County Reporter newspaper and LarryInFishers.com)

The Nickel Plate saga seems to get more complex by the day. With owners of the railroad
considering proposals for the tracks’ future use, and a tort claim by the Indiana Transportation Museum (ITM) for damages pending in court, a new wrinkle has developed.

The City of Logansport wants the museum to have a location in that city. Whether this means the museum completely pulling out of Noblesville is unclear. But, opening in Logansport while unable to operate its trains on the Nickel Plate would seem to mean the focus of the museum’s efforts would be headed north.

The ITM has been in Noblesville’s Forest Park for many years and has operated excursion trains on the Nickel Plate rails for 20 years or more. But, since March 2016 the organization has been unable to run their trains due to safety concerns expressed by the Hoosier Heritage Port Authority, owners of the tracks.

Local officials at the city and county level have indicated they would like to convert the railroad to a walking and jogging trail. This idea has become controversial as
supporters of retaining the railroad have organized to make the issue a political “hot potato.”

Last year it appeared the ITM might not be able to afford to make safety corrections, the Port Authority issued a request for proposals (RFP) to any group interested and able
to take over use of the tracks, and either operate trains, build a trail or a combination of the two.

A proposal from the Hamilton County Tourism Bureau seemed to meet the combination idea by offering a trail south from Noblesville and railroad north to Tipton. The
port authority is considering proposals from five entities. And, surprisingly a group known as Iowa Pacific, not Tourism, scored highest in meeting criteria set by the port authority.

So, the issue will be handed off to the Noblesville, Fishers and Hamilton County administrations for a final determination. No date has been set for making that decision.
In the meantime, ITM filed a tort claim for damages in federal court which could delay any action.

If it sounds confusing and potentially more controversial, it is. If a successful outcome is not reached, those who made the decision will hear about it. And, this alone could
delay resolution.

Meanwhile, Logansport, an old railroading town which holds an Ironhorse Festival each year, is hoping that some, if not all, of ITM’s old rail cars, engines and treasured
interurbans will be joining their collection.

 

Scott Willis Will Not Seek Kenley’s Senate Seat in Caucus Vote

by

Hamilton County Reporter

Scott Willis, a Westfield business owner and Colonel in the United States Marine
Corps Reserves, announced Tuesday he will not seek the Senate District 20 seat in the
upcoming caucus to replace retiring Senator Luke Kenley.

“I want to thank everyone who has encouraged me over the past few weeks to
once again seek District 20’s State Senate seat,” said Willis. “The widespread outpouring
of support throughout the senate district has been humbling. After careful consideration
and much conversation with leaders in our community and my wife Stacey, I have
decided not to pursue this opportunity in the upcoming caucus.”

“Since my campaign in 2016, I have realized my passion lies closer to home in
Westfield,” stated Willis. “I will remain engaged in Westfield and look forward to future
opportunities to serve my community.”

In addition to being a small business owner, Willis is a board member of the Westfield
Public Library and a member of the Westfield Advisory Plan Commission.

Willis challenged Senator Kenley last year in the primary and it was speculated he
would make another run after Kenley served only six months of his four-year term before
announcing his retirement earlier this month.

“I want to congratulate Senator Kenley for his long and successful career in the
Senate and I wish him much happiness in his retirement years,” said Willis. “His commitment and sacrifice on behalf of Hamilton County and the State of Indiana is much appreciated.”

Noblesville Common Council President Megan G. Wiles, Carmel City Council President Sue Finkam and Victoria Spartz of Noblesville have all announced their intention to be a candidate when the Republican caucus meets to name the person to serve the remainder of Senator Kenley’s term.

 

Nickel Plate Rail Line’s Future Up To The Owners

Hoosier Heritage Port Authority meets in the Hamilton County Government Building

What happens next with the Nickel Plate rail line, a 37 mile stretch of railroad running from Tipton south, is up to the owners of the line.  The Hoosier Heritage Port Authority, a body made up of appointees of those owners, voted to accept the scoring for 5 proposals received to operate the line.

Scoring number 1 was the Iowa Pacific Railroad, with a proposal to operate the entire rail line.  Coming in number 2 was the Nickel Plate Heritage Railroad of Arcadia, which proposes to operate the rail line only from Noblesville north.  The Indiana Transportation Museum of Noblesville was ranked third in the scoring.

The Authority voted 6-0 to send the top two finishers in the scoring to the three owners of the line – Fishers, Noblesville and Hamilton County.  The owners will, if they so choose, interview the people behind the proposals to operate the rail line.

The Authority gave no time line on how long this might take.  Board President Mike Obergfell did tell the crowd no questions and answers would be allowed due to a lawsuit filed by the Indiana Transportation Museum.

You can see the full scoring information at this link.

 

 

YMI On The Roof, Looking for Mentors

YMI Executive Director Todd Melloh talks with Office Administrator Amy Crell at the top of the Edge Building

Todd Melloh is on a mission – he wants 100 new mentors and $100,000 in new donations. He is the Executive Director of the Youth Mentoring Initiative (YMI), which provides adult mentors to students in need at many schools within the Hamilton Southeastern School Corporation.

In order to accomplish that, Todd is living in a tent atop the Edge office building in downtown Fishers.

“Over 37% of students feel sad, hopeless or depressed,” Melloh said.  “That’s about 5,000 people (in HSE Schools).”

YMI now mentors about 250 students in the HSE School District.  Three new schools will be serviced by YMI in the upcoming school year – Hamilton Southeastern Junior High, Fall Creek Intermediate and the alternative high school.

Todd Melloh is hoping to get to his goal of 100 new adult mentors and $100,000 in new donations by sometime Wednesday.

To volunteer as a mentor and/or donate to YMI, use this link.

 

HSE Schools & City Have Discussed a Pre-School Certification System

Hamilton Southeastern (HSE) School Superintendent Allen Bourff and Fishers Mayor Scott Fadness have held discussions on the possibility of creating a local certification process for preschools.  During a school board work session Tuesday morning, Dr. Bourff described the talks with the mayor.

“(Assistant HSE Superintendent) Jan (Combs) and I met with Scott Fadness months ago  and flew the idea of, if Fishers, as a community, is really wanting to produce the best or provide the very best experience for any kid who grows up here, then there ought to be an emphasis on certifying all the preschools,” Bourff said.  “So that we understand, when we have the children who come to us in kindergarten, that they’ve had the particular level of quality experience in preschool.”

Dr. Bourff said the HSE School District would like to be partners with the preschools. Administrators estimate that there are about 150 preschools within the school corporation boundaries, if all of them, even the small preschool operations held in homes, are counted.

HSE schools would be unable to provide preschool services to all children in the school corporation boundaries and Dr. Bourff said the local school district has no interest in putting private preschools out of business.

Although there is no indication any certification process will be implemented anytime soon, Dr, Bourff told the board Mayor Fadness “has not said no” to the idea.