Carmel in brief — May 2, 2023


Valor won’t pursue Marion County site — Valor Classical Academy is no longer considering a site at 3600 Woodview Trace in Marion County as a possible location to open a charter school this fall. Valor, which is authorized by Grace Schools Charter Authority, is continuing its search in Hamilton County.

Silver Pen essay winners – The Stratford has selected the winners of the 10th annual Silver Pen Award essay contest, a competition aimed at bridging the communication gap between high school seniors and senior citizens. The first place winner is Jordan Seigel of Carmel High School; second place is Jacob Norris of Noblesville High School; and third place is Archit Kalra of Carmel High School. Learn more at

CPD welcomes new officers – The Carmel Police Dept. welcomed three new officers during a swearing in ceremony held April 17. Officer Caleb Law comes to CPD from the Indianapolis Metro Police Dept., where he worked for four years. Officer Jason “Ryan” Hitchcock also comes to CPD from IMPD, where he worked for six years. Officer Austin Ritenour comes to CPD from the Elwood Police Dept., where he worked for four years.

Governor’s STEM team – Katherine Yu, a student at Carmel High School, has been named to the 2023 Governor’s STEM team. The award recognizes outstanding high school students who have demonstrated exceptional talent and accomplishments in the fields of science, technology, engineering, or math. Her research efforts in glaucoma and Alzheimer’s disease using CRISPR inference sparked a passion for improving health for all. Each member of the team is awarded a $1,000 scholarship deposited into an Indiana CollegeChoice 529 Direct Savings plan and a letterman jacket identifying them as members of the Governor’s STEM Team.

Recycling Made Easy – Carmel Green Initiative will present “Recycling Made Easy” from 6 to 7:30 p.m. May 4 at the Carmel Clay Public Library, 425 E. Main St. Craig Lutz, Republic Services manager of municipal sales, and Leslie Taljaard, director of Hamilton County’s Household Hazardous Waste Center, will speak about local recycling efforts. The event is free and open to the public. Learn more at

Author to speak at tea – Noblesville resident, columnist and author Janet Hart Leonard will speak at a tea sponsored by the Orchard Park Presbyterian Women at 3 p.m. May 7. The public (including children) is welcome to attend. The church is at 1605 E 106th St. in Carmel. Contact [email protected] with questions or RSVP at

Adaptive 5K Race returns – Carmel Clay Parks & Recreation will host its second Adaptive 5K Race at 10 a.m. May 13 at Central Park, 1195 Central Park Dr. East. All course trails are accessible, and the race itself is sensory-friendly. The event is open to people with and without disabilities. Individual race support is available for all participants, if needed. Proceeds will go toward CCPR’s continued effort to provide low-cost recreation programs to the adaptive community. Cost is $25. Register at

National Day of Prayer – Joining Americans around the nation, all are invited to pray together from noon to 1 p.m. May 4 at Carmel City Hall for the National Day of Prayer. The theme for 2023 is “Pray fervently in righteousness,” drawn from the Bible’s James 5:16. For more information on the Carmel event, contact Carmel event chair David Forbes at 309-256-1417 or [email protected].

Jury duty scam calls – The Hamilton County Courts are warning residents about a jury duty scam that has bilked dozens of people out of thousands of dollars. Scammers are calling residents and telling them they missed jury duty and have to pay a fine. Victims have reportedly lost upwards of $2,000 to $3,000 through gift cards and mobile payments like Zelle and Venmo. When in doubt, Court Administrator Jill Acklin recommends residents hang up and call 317-776-8589.

Residential burglary – The Carmel Police Dept. is seeking the public’s help identifying a person they believe is tied to a March 7 residential burglary in the 14100 block of Helen Drive in Carmel. Anyone with information regarding the identity of this person or incident is asked to contact CPD at 317-571-2530, or Crime Stoppers of Central Indiana at 317-262-8477. Reference CPD case number 23-16876.

IMS unveils Bronze Badge – The Indianapolis Motor Speedway unveiled the 2023 Bronze Badge design during an event last month at Stout Field, the Joint Forces Headquarters of the Indiana National Guard, in Indianapolis. Ed Carpenter, owner-driver in the NTT IndyCar Series and three-time Indianapolis 500 pole winner, unveiled the 2023 Bronze Badge, a traditional keepsake among fans that grants them pit and garage access during certain times in May. The 2023 Bronze Badge can be purchased by fans, giving them access to Gasoline Alley on selected days during the month of May. Learn more at

Bicentennial Ambassadors selected – Carmel residents Ben Boyce, Ridhi Dondeti, Christopher Foote, Jane Martens, Sophia Stephens and Elizabeth Parkins are among 11 high school sophomore and juniors selected to serve as Bicentennial Ambassadors through the end of the year. They will serve as a bridge from the past to the future through conversation and public engagement. Those chosen expressed a genuine interest in history and how communities function. They also met criteria for being a student in good standing at their high school. All of the Carmel students attend Carmel High School except Parkins, who attends Brebeuf Jesuit Preparatory School.

St. Luke’s recognized – St. Luke’s United Methodist Church is one of the six national Interfaith Power & Light 2023 Cool Congregations Challenge winners who each have been awarded a $1,000  prize. The annual contest accepts applications from religious congregations around the U.S. who are working to  address climate change by reducing their carbon footprint as they create models of sustainability within their communities. St. Luke’s won the Electric Vehicle Leader award for the work of their Creation Care Ministry in encouraging the adoption of electric vehicles as an important way to reduce the carbon pollution that causes climate change. Learn more at

500 Festival volunteers needed – The 500 Festival is seeking thousands of volunteers to fill positions as part of the 2023 500 Festival Volunteer Program. The nonprofit invites individuals and groups to be part of the behind-the-scenes action of the Month of May by lending their time and talent to support a variety of 500 Festival community events and programs. With more than 100 areas of volunteer opportunity, there are over 7,000 positions available, providing a role to fit every interest and ability. Learn more at

Parade tickets on sale – Tickets are on sale to the public for the 2023 AES 500 Festival Parade. Parade tickets start at $25 and can be purchased online at Proceeds from all 500 Festival ticketed events help support the organization’s free programming and events for Indiana youth and college students. The parade will take place at 11:45 a.m. May 27 in downtown Indianapolis. The grand marshal is Frank Shorter, Olympic gold medalist and the winner of the first OneAmerica 500 Festival Mini-Marathon.

Kindergarten registration – Registration is open for the Carmel Clay Schools kindergarten class for the 2023-24 school year. Early registration helps CCS prepare for anticipated staffing needs and allows families to begin the kindergarten assessment process and receive communication from the district. Register for the Class of 2036 at

Apply for CMYC – Applications are being accepted for the 2023-24 term of the Carmel Mayor’s Youth Council, a youth-led organization with a goal to serve the community. Learn more about the group and how to apply by emailing CMYC Advisor Candy Martin at [email protected].

Breakfast at the Brickyard – Tickets are on sale to the general public for the 500 Festival Breakfast at the Brickyard, set for 9 a.m. May 20, at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway in the Gallagher Pavilion. Indianapolis Mayor Joe Hogsett will host and honor more than 70 mayors from across Indiana for their work in advancing Hoosier communities. Guests will enjoy a traditional breakfast and hear from Indianapolis Motor Speedway executives and 500 Festival leaders. Purchase tickets at

Hamilton County Democratic Women meetings— The Hamilton County Democratic Women will not meet in April but will resume meeting on the third Saturday of the month May 20. The meeting will be from 9:10 to 11 a.m. at the Delaware Township Trustee Building, 9090 E. 131st, Fishers. 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

O’Malia’s Living earns Retail Genius award – The International Casual Furnishings Association presented this year’s Mary Fruehauf Retail Genius Award to Carmel-based O’Malia’s Living. The single-unit retailer was lauded for its unique hand-crafted decorative accents placed throughout the store’s outdoor furnishings displays created by a longtime employee. The award was established by the ICFA Retail Council in 2017 in memory of Mary Fruehauf, whose Colorado outdoor furnishings store was known for its imaginative visual merchandising and entertaining promotional events.

KAR hires CFO – Carmel-based KAR Auction Services has named Brad Lakhia as chief financial officer. Lakhia will be responsible for leading all financial and reporting functions across KAR as well as investor relations and the company’s capital investment strategy. Lakhia also joins KAR’s executive committee and will report to KAR Global CEO Peter Kelly. Lakhia holds a bachelor of science degree in accounting from The Ohio State University, a master of business administration in finance from Case Western Reserve University and is a non-practicing CPA.

Merchants Bank hire – Carmel-based Merchants Bank has hired John Douglas as assistant vice president in the bank’s Correspondent and Warehouse Lending divisions. Douglas will join this growing segment of Merchants’ lending platform remotely in New Jersey. Prior to joining Merchants Bank, Douglas served as president and CEO of eWise Home Lending, a company he founded. Douglas is an active member of the New Jersey Mortgage Broker/Banker Association and has participated in several MBA committees. He is a graduate of Catholic University.

Free home repair services – The Patch Boys of Northeast Indianapolis, a locally-owned and operated home repair services provider, is offering free home repair services to an immediate family member of a fallen soldier in the area. The family will be selected based on the scope of repairs needed and the impact it would have on the family. Submissions will be accepted until May 26, and the winning family will be selected on or before Memorial Day. Learn more at

Riverview CEO selected – The Riverview Health Board of Trustees has appointed Dave Hyatt as the hospital system’s next president and CEO. Hyatt joined Riverview in January 2022 as chief operating officer. Prior to his time with Riverview, he spent nearly 15 years with Indiana University Health in various roles. During that time, he served as president of multiple hospitals, including Blackford Hospital and Jay Hospital. He holds a bachelor of science in public health from Indiana University and a master of health administration from Indiana University—Indianapolis. He is also a certified Fellow of the American College of Healthcare Executives.

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].


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