Carmel in brief — January 26, 2021


City council leadership — The Carmel City Council has selected its leaders for 2021. Sue Finkam will serve as president and Kevin “Woody” Rider will serve as vice president. Jeff Worrell will chair the finance committee, and Rider will chair the land use committee. Worrell will serve as parliamentarian, with Rider serving as chaplain. The council meets the first and third Monday of each month. Learn more at

Suspects sought — The Carmel Police Dept. is seeking assistance locating suspects who allegedly committed thefts from vending machines and an ATM on Dec. 11 inside multiple office buildings along the North Meridian corridor. Anyone with information is asked to contact Det. W. Gilbert at 317-571-2500 or Crime Stoppers of Central Indiana at 317-262-8477.

Attorney general appointments — Indiana Attorney General Todd Rokita has selected Carmel residents Michael Chopp as human resources director and Mike Ward as director of investigations for the office of the attorney general. Chopp served as director of human resources for 12 years at the Office of the Indiana Attorney General under Greg Zoeller and Steve Carter before moving to the private sector in 2016. Ward worked as director of special investigations at the Office of the Attorney General for more than three decades.

County administrator recognized — The Indiana Association of County Commissioners has selected Hamilton County Director of Administration Dan Stevens as its 2020 Outstanding Supportive County Administrator of the Year. Stevens has served in many capacities with Hamilton County, including as Hamilton County sheriff for eight years and director of administration for the Hamilton County Board of Commissioners for the past 14 years.

Kindergarten registration — Carmel Clay Schools’ kindergarten registration for the 2020-21 school year will be available beginning Jan. 19. Students must be at least five years old by Aug. 1 to start kindergarten in August. When registering children, parents/guardians will need an official birth certificate (not a hospital record) and proof of residency. Registration is encouraged to be complete by March 5. Learn more and register at

Poe presentation — The Indiana University Kokomo Library outreach program is celebrating the birthday of writer Edgar Allan Poe, who was born in January 1809, with a free program at 7 p.m. Jan. 26 on Zoom. Dr. Mark Canada, author of the Audible Original “Edgar Allan Poe: Master of Horror” will explore Poe’s strange and fascinating fiction. Register for the event at

Earth Day Art Contest — Carmel Green Initiative is inviting students in kindergarten through 12th grade to enter the 2021 Earth Day Art Contest. Art entries will be displayed at several community exhibits to give youth a voice, empowering them to inspire the community to live more sustainably. Participants will also receive a free postcard with their artwork. Entries are due Feb. 19.  For details, visit

Board president elected — Mark Heirbrandt has been elected president of the Hamilton County Board of Commissioners. He replaces Christine Altman in the role. Steve Dillinger will serve as vice president. Election of officers is an annual practice at the first meeting of each year.

Graduate school scholarships — The Beryl Showers Holland Fellowship will offer a $3,000 first place and $2,000 second place scholarship to graduating seniors at Indiana University who will attend graduate school in the fall. Learn more and apply at

Uber pickup change — The City of Carmel has collaborated with popular ride-sharing firm Uber to designate a specific location for pick-ups and drop-offs that occur late at night and early in the morning in the Midtown area to reduce traffic and noise for nearby residents. The new location for customers to connect with their rides is on Elm Street, next to Midtown Plaza, directly behind the big video screen. This location will be used between 9 p.m. and 4 a.m. The city is also working with Lyft, another ride-share firm, to have them make this change.

Programming competition — Carmel resident Steven Platt was part of a team from Bob Jones University that finished second in the U.S. and 59th in the world at virtual programming competition IEEEXtreme 14.0. The team placed first in the Southeast region. BJU’s second-place national ranking is the best the South Carolina university has performed at that level.

New state troopers — Hamilton County residents Benjamin Beyler and Erin Fillenwarth are among 36 probationary troopers who graduated from the 80th Indiana State Police Academy on Dec. 19, 2020. Beyler and Fillenwarth are assigned to the Indiana State Police Post in Indianapolis. The probationary troopers will undergo a three-month field training period riding with veteran troopers.

Indefinite city closures — As the number of COVID-19 cases continues to rise, Mayor Jim Brainard has extended the closure of City Hall until further notice. The mayor will continue to closely monitor the situation and determine if City Hall can safely be reopened to the public in the coming months. In the meantime, all city services will continue. and meetings will be held virtually unless specifically noted otherwise. The Household Hazardous Waste Center is also closed indefinitely.

Virtual Holiday Home Tour — The Carmel Clay Historical Society’s Holiday Home Tour’s virtual tour began Dec. 10 and will run through Jan. 30. Four of the homes are in Carmel and one in Madison. For more, visit

Feed the Frontlines returns — Carmel is gearing back up its Feed the Frontlines initiative to help provide hot meals from local restaurants to frontline workers at IU Health North and Ascension St. Vincent Carmel Hospitals. Feed the Frontlines Carmel launched in April but was suspended in late May when the number of COVID-19 hospitalizations subsided.  The program remains funded through community donations collected in the spring. The City of Carmel is partnering with the Rotary Club of Carmel and Rotary District 6560 Foundation to coordinate the program. Restaurants interested in participating may contact Teresa Lewis at [email protected].

Free math, science homework help — Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology’s free AskRose homework helpline is available to help middle and high school students get a head start on understanding their math and science homework problems through a simple phone call, email or chat session. Rose-Hulman students are available Sunday through Thursday from 7 to 10 p.m. during the school year to help youth in grades 6 through 12 review math and science concepts. Connections can be made at 877-275-7673 or

Real estate stats — Fueled by a slight decrease in the average sale price, Carmel homes left the market quickly in December 2020. According to F.C. Tucker Company, homes in Carmel sold 56.9 percent faster than this time last year, spending 22 days on the market, on average. The average sale price for a Carmel home decreased slightly, down 7.2 percent to $435,969, compared to December 2019. The average price per square foot for a home in Carmel also decreased slightly, down 1.6 percent to $163.76.

Realtor makes Hall of Fame — Shell Barger, a Realtor at RE/MAX Ability Plus in Carmel, was named to the RE/MAX Hall of Fame in December 2020. The honor is given to agents who earn at least $1 million in commissions during their RE/MAX career. Only 34 RE/MAX agents earned the honor in 2020.

MJ Insurance fills positions — MJ Insurance has named Holden Crossland as employee benefits consultant, Branden Bushelle as database analyst and Matthew Young as risk transfer specialist at its Carmel headquarters. In the new role, Crossland will consult with existing and prospective clients to understand their business needs. Bushelle will be responsible for developing methods to obtain and analyze data to improve the quality and efficiency of data systems. Young will analyze, negotiate and review quotes from key carriers.   

Construction scholarship — Old Town Design Group has established the Orchard Project Scholarship to provide tuition assistance to a Hamilton, Boone or Johnson County student preparing for a career in the construction industry. Applications are being accepted through March 19. For more information or to request an application, email [email protected].

The Great Dine Out — Hamilton County Tourism, in partnership with locally-owned restaurants, is presenting The Great Dine Out restaurant promotion through Jan. 31. This new winter campaign is designed to help restaurants during the tough winter season when business is typically slower. More than 30 participating Hamilton County restaurants are offering deals and discounts for both dine-in and carryout meals. Customers must use a smartphone to redeem the offers. Visit and register to receive the mobile passport. For more, visit

COVID vaccine town hall — The Hamilton County Health Dept. will host a COVID-19 Vaccine Virtual Town Hall Meeting at 6:30 p.m. Jan. 27. Interim Administrator Jason LeMaster, Emergency Preparedness Coordinator Christian Walker and Health Education Specialist Jim Ginder will present the latest information about the vaccine, answer questions about eligibility and offer tips on securing appointment times. All residents of Hamilton County are encouraged to participate in the live event. It will be broadcast at

Same day COVID results — Aria Diagnostics is offering COVID-19 PCR tests that provide results by 8 p.m. the same day. The test is available by appointment only and costs $165 through self-pay. Tests are only available at Aria’s testing site in Fishers at Cornerstone Lutheran Church, 13450 E. 116th St. Book an appointment at

Antigen testing available — Integrative Medicine, Laser & Aesthetics at 106th Street and Michigan Road is now offering COVID-19 antigen testing in its West Carmel office. The FDA-authorized test provides results of current infections in 15 minutes and costs $99. Packages are available for families and employers. Patients must have an appointment to receive the test with early morning and evening appointments available. To schedule an appointment, call 800-538-5513 or schedule online at

COVID-19 testing site moves — Aria Diagnostics has moved its COVID-19 testing site from Carmel United Methodist Church to Faith Apostolic Church, 1212 E. 116th St. in Carmel. Testing is available from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday, Tuesday and Thursday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Wednesday and 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Friday and Saturday. Aria also operates a testing site at Trader’s Point Christian Church in Whitestown.

Blood donations needed — Versiti Blood Center of Indiana is encouraging Hoosiers to make an appointment in January to donate blood. All blood types are needed, especially O-negative blood, which is the universal blood type given to patients in emergency situations and those undergoing surgery. In Carmel, a blood drive is scheduled from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. Jan. 30 at Our Lady of Mount Carmel, 1045 W. 146th St. Appointments may also be scheduled at the Versiti donor center in Carmel at 726 Adams St., Suite 150. To schedule an appointment, call 317-916-5150 or visit


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