Improvements Coming to 136th St and Southeastern Parkway Next Year

Improvements for the intersection of Southeastern Parkway and 136th Street will start construction in late summer, 2017, according to Fishers City Engineering Department Director Jeff Hill.   The Board of Works and Safety approved the professional services contract to begin preparations for next year’s construction.  City engineers say this project will improve the capacity and safety of the intersection at 136th Street and Southeastern Parkway. It will also serve as an entry point and gateway into the Medtech Corridor area.

In other actions by the board during the September 26th session:

–Approved professional services contracts for right-of-way corridor services on the State Road 37 improvement project.  The board gave the okay for the mayor to insert conflict of interest language into these contracts.

–The Board approved the agreement with state highway officials to fund repaving of 116th Street from Allisonville Road to I-69.

New Fishers Police Chief to be Sworn-In Thursday

Fishers Assistant Police Chief Mitch Thompson
Fishers Incoming Police Chief Mitch Thompson

The leadership change at the top of the Fishers Police Department will become official on Thursday, September 29th, when Mitch Thompson takes the oath of office.

There will be a formal swearing-in ceremony at 4:00pm outside in front of police headquarters.  The public is invited, with a reception to follow.

Thompson has been the Assistant Chief of Police under long-time Chief Geore Kehl, who is retiring at the end of this month.

Mitch Thompson and I share one thing in common…we both moved to Fishers in 1991.

The incoming chief holds a Bachelor’s Degree from Indiana University (Bloomington) and Master’s Degree in Administration of Justice from The University of Phoenix.  He is a Graduate of the 202nd Class of the FBI National Academy.  He attended the FBI LEEDS (Law Enforcement Executive Development Seminar) Course in 2005, and in 2014, served as the FBI National Academy Associates President for the Indiana Chapter.  Thompson is also a graduate of the Police Executive Leadership Academy.

 

Why Most City Rankings Baffle Me

Some may wonder why I have not written about the recent Money Magazine article rating Fishers as one of the best places to live in America.  The national publication ranked my town 30th best place to live in the nation.  Since most local news outlets ran the story, why didn’t I?

Well, I have run such stories in the past.  I honestly am proud that my city has been honored on a national level.

But that got me to thinking….how did Money Magazine make this judgment?  What measurements were used?

That’s why I am rethinking giving all this attention to national publications listing the best places to live, the safest places to live, etc.

Money Magazine did utilize some objective measures to rank these locations.  But some magazines choose different objective criteria for their rankings.  In other words, the journalists may be using objective data, but you cannot use everything, so it is a subjective choice on how to evaluate the areas and which data to use in listing them.

I know most American universities look with disdain upon the U.S, News & World Report rankings of American centers for higher education.  But even though they loathe the methods used, those same universities do everything they can to be at or near the top of that list.

Fishers is a great community in which to live.  I should know.  My family has lived here for 25 years.  We have seen the small town of Fishers with a population of about 11,000 when I moved here grow into a city of nearly 90,000 residents.  I know it’s a wonderful city.  My twin daughters were raised here and attended local schools grades K-12.

You do not need to show me a list to let me know Fishers is a place people would want to live.  I know it already.

I know it is an honor to be ranked 30th best place in the nation to live.  I don’t blame the city for pointing this out to everyone.

Just be sure you know this…I think Fishers is a great place to live even if it’s not ranked as one of Money Magazine’s best places to live next time this list is published.

Rick Wimmer Returns to His Job at Fishers High School Monday

Coach Rick Wimmer
       Coach Rick Wimmer

After much controversy, petitions and strident comments on local sports talk radio, Fishers High School Football Coach Rick Wimmer will return to his job Monday.

Here is the statement issued by the Hamilton Southeastern School Corporation:

 

“Coach Rick Wimmer will return to his teaching and coaching duties on Monday, September 26, 2016. The school district has concluded a thorough evaluation and has addressed the incident. The district appreciates the cooperation of all involved throughout this process and will have no further comment in order to protect confidentiality.”

 

On September 19th, the Fishers Police Department issued a statement about an incident at Fishers High on September 13th where a teacher touched the shoulder and upper chest of a student.  Police say the situation only lasted about 5 seconds and involved the student arriving late for class.  Coach Wimmer’s name was not mentioned in the police news release, but the incident described appeared to involve the football coach.  No charges were filed.

Wimmer was placed on paid leave as administrators investigated the incident.   That investigation has now concluded, based on the school corporation statement, resulting on Rick Wimmer returning to his job at Fishers High School September 26th.

More Fishers Road Projects – Work Week Starting September 26th

The calendar may say fall has arrived, but road projects throughout Fishers are continuing.

Below is a listing of the ongoing projects for the work week beginning Monday, September 26th, as provided by the City of Fishers:

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

 

BRIDGE REPLACEMENT

Continuing this week, the bridge on 106th Street between Allisonville Road and Hague Road will be closed by the Hamilton County Highway Department for replacement. Detour routes are displayed in the area and access to local traffic will be permitted for residents and businesses. Please direct any questions about this project to alison.krupski@hamiltoncounty.in.gov.
 
CYNTHEANNE ROAD
 
Road work continues on Cyntheanne Road between Southeastern Parkway and 136th Street, during construction periodic lane restrictions and flaggers will remain in place to help direct traffic.

EXIT FIVE PARKWAY
 
Exit Five Parkway closed on Tuesday, September 6 to reconstruct the road as part of the 116th Street widening project. The road remains closed to all traffic. Trucks needing to deliver to businesses will need to go up to Cumberland Road to Exit Five Parkway and come in from the north. The road will be closed for approximately two months, and a detour map is available online.
 
I-69 AND CAMPUS PARKWAY
 
Milestone Contractors has begun mobilizing cranes and other equipment and setting a temporary concrete barrier wall along I-69 at Campus Parkway Exit 210. Work will require alternating lane closures on northbound and southbound I-69 between 9 p.m. and 6 a.m. Lane closures may recur each night through the end of the week depending on weather and progress. Questions about this project should be directed to INDOT at eastcentralin@indot.in.gov or 1-855-463-6848.

I-69 TRAFFIC RESTRICTIONS
 
INDOT is overseeing an overnight closure on multiple traffic lanes on I-69 overnight this week. Weather permitting, lane closures, traffic changes and rolling slowdowns of traffic will begin after 9 p.m. and are expected to end before 6 a.m. the next day. Construction schedules and traffic restrictions are subject to change, and questions should be directed to INDOT at indot.carsprogram.org, 1-800-261-ROAD (7623) or 511 from a mobile phone. Please drive with caution as a new traffic pattern is in place.
 
106th STREET & CUMBERLAND ROAD ROUNDABOUT
 
Cumberland Road from 106th Street to Mud Creek is closed as Phase 1 of a new roundabout begins. 106th Street will remain open and Cumberland Road north of 106th Street will remain open at this time. The Cumberland Road south of 106th street is closed. Please continue to check the weekly construction update for ongoing progress on this project.
 
106th STREET INTERCHANGE
 
INDOT has begun work on the 106th Street interchange. A lane shift is currently in place on I-69 and 106th Street is closed as construction continues. Additional details about this project will be released through INDOT and shared on the weekly construction update. Please be advised the speed limit from 82nd Street to 116th Street has been reduced to 55 mph and there are lane shifts on I-69. Please travel with caution and pay close attention to signage in the area.

116th STREET
 
There may be short-term lane restrictions on eastbound 116th Street between USA Parkway and Exit Five Parkway while utility work is being completed.

Some People In Fishers Are Struggling

Every time I record one of my LarryInFishers Podcast interviews, I learn something new. That was especially true when I talked to Trisha Straus of the Fishers Youth Assistance Program September 15th.

When families struggle in Fishers and most of Hamilton County, they face hurdles not found if living elsewhere, such as Marion County.  There are no local homeless shelters, there are no domestic violence shelters.  The lack of public transportation can make it difficult for families in need.

Ms. Straus says her program does hook families up with services available, and there are many such programs.  However, being a generally affluent community means some services are not there.

When a family needs immediate shelter, emergency housing can be found, with the help of the township trustee.  But that is just to handle emergencies, and a long-term solution must be found to house this family.

Trisha Straus uses a housing program run by ASPIRE locally, but that waiting period can require 6 to 9 months on the list before housing is available.  If a family has lost a job and suffered just one eviction, it is unlikely that family will be able to find rental housing in the Fishers area for at least 3 years.

I continue to run across people in Fishers who do not believe we have a homeless problem or a domestic violence issue here.  I have talked with people in government and in the local schools and they can fill your ears with stories about struggling families around Fishers.

Why do I bring this up?  Because there are many people and organizations in and around Fishers trying to make a difference.  The Youth Assistance Program is one.  The Youth Mentoring Initiative is another.  The recent Pasta Bowl provides food for local food pantries and contributes food to area agencies helping the needy.

There are many more.  If you have the opportunity to help an organization trying to support struggling families in Fishers, do something.  Don’t just assume there are no problems here.  We in Fishers do not see the same level of homelessness and poverty found in places like Marion County, but it does happen here.  Anyone can lose a job, not find another position or be faced with taking employment paying much less..  These people need help.  I urge you to help when you can.

You can hear the entire interview with Trisha Straus of the Fishers Youth Assistance Program at this link.

Next Mayors Night Out October 11th

Scott Fadness
Scott Fadness

 

Mayor Scott Fadness is set to hold another of his periodic Mayor’s Night Out events.  This one will take place at the Fall Creek Junior High School on Olio Road, Tuesday, October 11th, at 6:30pm.

The mayor will be on hand to answer questions, and his staff tells us he plans on making a presentation on the following issues:

  • The proposed 2017 budget,

  • The proposed Wheel Tax,

  • Current road improvement projects, and

  • He will introduce Fishers’ newest Police Chief, Mitch Thompson.