Carmel in brief — January 23, 2024


Clarification – In the Jan. 16 edition of Current in Carmel, the photo included with the story on BFF Indy was from an event affiliated with another networking group that occurred before BFF Indy launched.

Republican gubernatorial forum – First Principles Forum will present a Republican Gubernatorial Candidate Forum at 7 p.m. Jan. 25 at the Tarkington Theater, 3 Carter Green in Carmel. Indianapolis businessman Devin Anderson, an active member of FPF since its founding, will emcee the event. Former Fox 59 Anchor Fanchon Stinger and The Federalist’s Executive Editor Joy Pullmann will pose questions designed to clarify the candidates’ competing visions for governance on a wide variety of topics. Tickets for the event are available at Learn more at

County council elects leaders – Amy Massillamany has been elected president of the Hamilton County Council. Sue Maki will serve as vice president. This is the first time in the history of the Hamilton County Council that two women have held both leadership positions.  Massillamany was elected to the council in 2011. She represents District 2 which includes Delaware and Fall Creek Townships. Maki was elected to the Hamilton County Council in 2020. She is an At-Large member.

Circuit court judge appointed – Gov. Eric Holcomb has appointed Andrew Bloch to the Hamilton County Circuit Court. Bloch will replace Judge Paul Felix, who was appointed to the Court of Appeals in June 2023.  Bloch serves as a magistrate for Hamilton County. Prior to that role, he worked in private practice with a focus on family law. He received an undergraduate degree from Xavier University and a law degree from Indiana University McKinney School of Law. Bloch will be sworn in on a date to be determined.

Campaign co-chairs – Carmel Mayor Sue Finkam and Westfield Mayor Scott Willis are serving as co-chairs of Republican Danny Lopez’s campaign for Indiana state representative in District 39. The seat is held by Republican Jerry Torr, who is retiring at the completion of his term at the end of the year. The district is in Hamilton County and includes parts of Carmel and Westfield. Lopez is a Carmel resident. Finkam and Willis are both Republicans who took office for their first terms as mayor Jan. 1. Lopez is a senior executive with Pacers Sports & Entertainment. Democrat Matt McNally, a Westfield resident who ran against Torr in 2022, is also running for the District 39 seat.

Eclipse poetry – Indiana Humanities is looking to select an official poet for the April 8 eclipse, an event that will not happen locally again until 2044. Indiana is one of only a handful of states that are in the path of totality for the eclipse, and Hoosier poets everywhere are invited to submit an original poem inspired by this event. The poet who submits a poem that best reflects the significance of the eclipse will receive a cash prize of $500, the opportunity to read the poem during an eclipse watch party in Indianapolis and have their work featured on Indiana Humanities’ website and social media. Submissions should be emailed as a PDF attachment to Megan Telligman, director of programs, at [email protected] by Feb. 9. Learn more at

Earth Day Art Contest – Carmel Green Initiative is inviting youth in kindergarten through 12th grade to enter the 2024 Earth Day Art Contest. Entries will be displayed at several community exhibits to inspire the community to live more sustainably. Entries are due Feb. 16. Learn more about the contest at

Apply for Governor’s Fellowship – Gov. Eric J. Holcomb is accepting applications through Jan. 31 for the 2024–2025 Governor’s Fellowship. The fellowship is highly selective and provides a unique experience in Indiana state government by placing fellows in various state agencies on a rotating basis throughout the year. The program is open to college graduates who receive their bachelor’s degrees beginning in either summer or fall of 2023 or spring of 2024. Fellows are paid, full-time employees who participate in the day-to-day activities of state government. Learn more at

New Ivy Tech chancellor – Ivy Tech Community College has appointed Rachel L. Kartz as the new chancellor of the Hamilton County campus. Kartz recently served as interim chancellor and vice president for academic affairs for the campus. Kartz joined Ivy Tech in 2014 as the assistant department chair and assistant professor of English for the Indianapolis campus. Raised in Milwaukee, Wis., Kartz was the first in her family to attend college. She has a bachelor’s in business administration and human resources from Marquette University, a master’s in creative writing from Eastern Washington University, and a doctorate in higher education leadership from Indiana State University.

Apply for city boards – Carmel Mayor-elect Sue Finkam launched a new website for Elevate Carmel, Inc. featuring a portal for residents to apply for seats on boards and commissions active in city hall. Carmel residents seeking involvement are encouraged to apply at

Recycle holiday lights – Carmel residents may recycle holiday lights at White’s Ace Hardware & Garden Center, 731 S. Range Line Rd. through Jan. 19. For the first time this year, the shop will offer 10 percent off a purchase of LED holiday lights when an old set is dropped off to be recycled. The program is a partnership between Carmel Clay School’s Green Teams, Carmel Utilities, the City of Carmel, Technology Recyclers and White’s Ace Hardware & Garden Center. Learn more by calling Carmel Utilities at 317-571-2673.

Waterfowl workshop/training registration open — The Indiana Department of Natural Resources has scheduled a workshop for those who want to become qualified as Waterfowl Control Operators and conduct Canada goose management activities for hire during the 2024 season. The training is set for noon Jan. 24 in building 701 at Fort Harrison State Park. Those who have attended the workshop in the past may opt to test out. Employees of WCO contractors are welcome to attend, but only those individuals physically conducting waterfowl trapping, transporting, relocating and/or euthanizing for hire are required to attend. The workshop is free, but registration is required. Contact Jessica Merkling at 260-244-6805 or [email protected] by Jan. 19 to register.

Silver Pen Writing Competition – The Stratford is presenting the 11th Annual Senior Living Communities Silver Pen Writing Competition. The senior living community will award cash prizes up to $3,750 to assist three local high school seniors with post-graduate plans. A panel will judge 1,000-word essays exploring the topic of what new subject the author proposes be taught for the rest of the school year. Essays must be submitted by Feb. 15. For the full rules and to submit an essay, visit

Operation School Bell – The Assistance League of Indianapolis is seeking donations to support its Operation School Bell program, which provides apparel and shoes for thousands of underserved students in Indianapolis. Each student receives a duffel bag that includes a winter jacket, socks, shirts, pants, toothbrush and more. Learn more and donate at

Remove invasives, receive free plants – The Hamilton County Invasives Partnership and Hamilton County Soil and Water Conservation District will provide up to three, 3-gallon native trees or shrubs for free to Hamilton County residents who show proof of removal of an invasive species from their property. Learn more at

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 for all levels of beekeepers located centrally north of Indianapolis. Those interested in becoming beekeepers are welcome. For more information, visit

Copper Trace expansion – Senior living management company CarDon & Associates has announced an $8.6 million expansion of its Westfield community, Copper Trace, which is on the northeast corner of 146th Street and Ditch Road. The complex opened in 2015 with 36 assisted living apartments as well as four neighborhoods, each with 26 skilled nursing suites. The expansion will more than double the number of assisted living apartments, with the 40 new units consisting of 27 one-bedroom, six large one-bedroom and seven two-bedroom residences. The assisted living apartments are expected to be open and available by late summer.

MJ Insurance rebrands – Carmel-based MJ Insurance is changing its name to The MJ Companies. The decision to rebrand signifies MJ’s dedication to expanding its capabilities and services to meet the evolving needs of its clients. With a broader portfolio that now includes retirement planning, leave and absence management, compensation and total rewards consulting, The MJ Companies is poised to become a one-stop destination for clients seeking comprehensive solutions to safeguard their financial wellbeing and achieve their business objectives.

Employer-sponsored child-care grants available — The Indiana Chamber of Commerce has expressed its support for the governor and Family and Social Services Administration’s recently announced grants for employer-sponsored childcare. Awardees can use the funds to support employees’ childcare needs in a variety of ways, including sponsoring dependent-care assistance plans, providing on-site or near-site child care or offering child care tuition benefits. For more, visit

IMCU donates to CHS athletics – Indiana Members Credit Union recently presented a check for $1,500 to Carmel High School athletics as part of an ongoing school spirit debit card program. The partnership allows Carmel fans the opportunity to show their school spirit and support the athletic program by signing up for a Carmel Greyhounds-themed debit card. Every time the card is used as a signature-based transaction, Carmel athletics benefits. Since beginning the program in 2013, CHS athletics has earned $17,331 through this program.

Gourmet Tastings at Regalique – Regalique, 110 W. Main St., Suite 120, in Carmel, is hosting Gourmet Tastings from 5 to 8 p.m. on Fridays. At the free event, guests can sample gourmet products, including chocolates, honey, cheese and more. Learn more at

Vaccines available – Kroger Health is offering vaccinations for flu, RSV and COVID-19 at Kroger grocery and Little Clinic locations, including in Carmel at 1217 S. Range Line Rd. and 10679 N. Michigan Rd. While customers can choose to walk-in to receive vaccines, they are also welcome to make an appointment. To learn more or to make an appointment, visit

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].