Carmel in brief — November 29, 2022


County parks officials honored – Three Hamilton County officials were honored at the Indiana Park and Recreation Association’s annual Awards of Excellence Banquet held Nov. 16 at Union Station in downtown Indianapolis. Steve Schwartz, Hamilton County councilor and parks liaison, was named Elected Official of the Year; Terry Prather, Hamilton County Parks Board president, was named Distinguished Citizen; and Al Patterson, past Hamilton County parks director, received the Distinguished Life Member Award. Hamilton County Parks Director Chris Stice accepted the Clark Ketchum Conservation Award, an honor given to a parks department that has achieved a standard of excellence in conservation stewardship.

Sister city logo designs sought – The Carmel-Cortona Sister City Committee is seeking logo submissions that exemplify both cities. The selected logo will be used on all official Carmel-Cortona Sister City Committee documentation. The deadline for submissions is Dec. 2. Submit designs to [email protected] and include your name, address and telephone number. 

Christkindlmarkt nominated – The Carmel Christkindlmarkt has been nominated for Best Holiday Market in USA Today’s 10Best Readers’ Choice Awards for 2022. The Market won #1 Best Holiday Market in two previous years, 2019 and 2021. Contestants are nominated from all over the nation by a panel of experts and 10Best editors. The public can vote for their favorites in each category once per day through noon Dec. 5. Winners will be announced Dec. 16. Learn more at

Holiday Lights Recycling Drive – Carmel Clay Schools’ Green Teams, City of Carmel Utilities, City of Carmel, Tech Recyclers and White’s Ace Hardware are working together to offer a Holiday Lights Recycling Drive. Residents can recycle used and unwanted holiday lights through Jan. 20, 2023, at White’s Ace Hardware, 731 S. Range Line Rd. Since the start of the collaborative program, more than eight tons of holiday lights have been recycled. Recycling inoperable or inefficient holiday lights keeps those items out of landfills, which reduces the long-term carbon impact on the environment.

CPD seeking information – Carmel police are seeking information regarding four people (pictured) who are believed to have taken numerous bottles of liquor from Payless Liquors, 14580 River Rd., just before 1 p.m. Nov. 3. Anyone with information is asked to contact Det. Mike Morley at 317-571-2500 or Crime Stoppers of Central Indiana at 317-262-8477. Reference CPD case number 20-70453.

Synergize benefits kNot Today – At its last 4:30 Meetup, Synergize gathered at 3Up in Carmel to help local children by benefitting nonprofit kNot Today, which generates awareness, initiates prevention strategies and supports restorative services to end sexual abuse, exploitation and trafficking of children. Founded in 2019 by Linda Reich and her husband, former Colts head coach Frank Reich, kNot Today works with schools, families and churches to provide tools that prevent crimes against children. The event raised $2,300 for kNot Today. Each monthly Synergize 4:30 Meetup benefits a nonprofit making an impact in Indiana. 

 Bicentennial ambassadors needed – High school sophomores and juniors interested in history and community can apply to serve as Hamilton County Bicentennial Ambassadors through a program sponsored by the 2023 Hamilton County Bicentennial Committee. Student ambassadors will serve as a bridge from the past to the future through conversation and public engagement from January through December 2023. Apply online through Nov. 30 at

Ice skating tickets available – Tickets for the Ice at Carter Green are on sale. The rink will be open Nov. 19 through Feb. 26, 2023. Skate sessions last 90 minutes, unless noted on the skate session calendar. The cost per session on all days is $10 for adults and youth 11 and older, $8 for children 10 and younger. Skates may be rented for $4 per person. Buy tickets and learn more at

Princess Program applications – The 500 Festival is accepting applications for the 2023 500 Festival Princess Program. Applications are available at The deadline to apply is 11:59 p.m. Jan. 8, 2023. The program provides 33 women from Indiana colleges and universities with the opportunity to make an impact during their college years as ambassadors of the 500 Festival and its mission to enrich lives and positively impact the community. Each 500 Festival Princess will also receive a $1,000 scholarship. 

State’s cutest dogs – Lt. Gov. Suzanne Crouch, the Indiana Destination Development Corp. and Indiana’s First Dog, Henry, are searching for adorable dogs in great locations across the state through the Visit Indiana Cutest Dog Photo Contest. A different winner will be selected every week for one year. Each winning dog will get a note from Indiana’s first dog, an exclusive ‘More To Discover IN Indiana’ dog bandana, a feature as one of the Cutest Dogs IN Indiana on the Visit Indiana social channels. To enter, upload a photo or video of your dog to Instagram, tag @VisitIndiana and use the hashtag #DogsINIndiana. Entries must include the location where the photo was taken.

Hamilton County Democratic Women meetings— The Hamilton County Democratic Women meet every third Saturday of the month at the Delaware Township Trustee Building 9090 E. 131st, Fishers. Conversations begin at 9:30 a.m., the meeting is from 10 a.m. to 11. All Hamilton County women are welcome. 

Monthly beekeepers meeting – The North Central Beekeepers Club meets the third Wednesday of the month at 6:30 p.m. at Cool Creek Nature Center, 2000 E. 151st St. in Westfield. Meetings are free to attend by all levels of beekeepers located centrally north of Indianapolis. Those interested in becoming beekeepers are welcome. For more information, visit

Densborn Blachly honored – Densborn Blachly LLP has been named a Best Law Firm in 13 practice areas by U.S. News & World Report in partnership with Best Lawyers. With this recognition, the Carmel-based law firm surpassed the milestone of being ranked as a Best Law Firm for a decade. The Best Law Firms rankings are based on a combination of client feedback, peer review from leading attorneys in the field and evaluation of information provided by the law firm. 

J.D. Byrider plans layoffs – Carmel-based J.D. Byrider is planning to layoff 43 employees by Dec. 30 in response to changing economic conditions. The company, whose services include car sales, notified the Indiana Dept. of Workforce Development of the planned layoffs on Oct. 31. 

Merchants Mortgage hires – Merchants Mortgage, a division of Carmel-based Merchants Bank of Indiana, has hired Mark Harvey and Kate Vanderpool as mortgage loan originators. Harvey will work out of Carmel, while Vanderpool will be based in Richmond. Harvey joins Merchants Mortgage with several years of mortgage origination experience throughout Indiana, most recently having served as the regional producing manager for GVC Mortgage in Pendleton. Prior to joining Merchants Mortgage, Vanderpool most recently served as an insurance claims adjuster for Chicago-based Combined Insurance. 

Zoo president to speak – OneZone chamber will feature Rob Shumaker, president and CEO of the Indianapolis Zoo, at its luncheon set for 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Dec. 6 at Ritz Charles, 12156 N. Meridian St. Shumaker is an evolutionary biologist who specializes in the study of behavior and cognition. At the luncheon, he will speak about the future of the zoo and its regional impact. Register by Nov. 22 at Cost is $40 for chamber members and $55 for nonmembers. 

Carmel student accepted – James Stamper of Carmel has been accepted for enrollment for the fall 2022 trimester in the doctor of chiropractic degree program at Palmer College of Chiropractic’s Florida Campus in Port Orange, Fla. Palmer College of Chiropractic, the first and largest college in the chiropractic profession, also has campuses in Davenport, Iowa; and San Jose, Calif.

Clinic receives $94K grant – The Trinity Free Clinic has received a $94,000 grant from the United Way of Central Indiana to provide access to medical certification courses that are not traditionally offered or easily accessible. Courses will provide didactic, lab and clinical experiences simultaneously with the goal of providing practical application of their training by ensuring students have exposure to clinical experiences earlier in their education. The award was part of $950,000 the United Way of Central Indiana recently designated for 11 nonprofits from its Social Innovation Fund. 

Diabetes Prevention Program – Franciscan Health is offering a Diabetes Prevention Program, an initiative that provides a supportive environment where participants work together in small groups to learn about healthier eating and boosting their physical activity to reduce their contracting diabetes. The program is led by a trained lifestyle coach in a classroom setting and delivered over a 12-month period. Participants must be at least 18 years old, overweight (body mass index over 25), diagnosed with prediabetic conditions or diagnosed with gestational diabetes at any time. Qualified participants can reach out to [email protected] or call 317-528-4962 to inquire about the program and to register. 

Blood donation guidance updated – The American Red Cross invites those who spent time in the U.K., Ireland or France and have never tried to give blood because of concerns over variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease (vCJD) – related to mad cow disease – to give blood and help save lives. Recently, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration updated its blood donor eligibility guidance on vCJD, eliminating the deferral for those who spent time in the U.K., Ireland and France between 1980 and 2001. In alignment with FDA changes, the Red Cross began accepting donations Oct. 3 from individuals who have not tried giving blood before due to the prior donation criteria. Learn more and schedule an appointment at

500 Festival launches Living Well Program – The 500 Festival has launched the Living Well Program, a no-cost, resident-based health initiative for apartment complexes to promote resident wellness and build community. It includes discounted registration for the OneAmerica 500 Festival Mini-Marathon and Delta Dental 500 Festival 5K, training resources and built-in support to reach health goals. It also features head-to-head competition against other apartment complexes for an award for resident participation. Learn more at

Hospice volunteers needed – Brighton Hospice in Carmel is looking for volunteers to help office staff perform a variety of office duties such as organizing admission paperwork, filing, preparing and sending mail, answering phones, stocking supplies and helping with special projects and events. Hours and days for this volunteer opportunity are flexible and training will be provided. To learn more, contact Katresha Taylor, volunteer coordinator, by calling 317-798-2160 or by email at [email protected].