WRITER: Kevin Leininger

KEVIN LEININGER: Latest Supreme Court drama is just the latest act in a very tired and childish play

I've enjoyed my share of drunken parties, and although I don't think I ever gave the impression of inadvertently trying to kill someone while ripping her clothes off, some things have gotten a bit fuzzy after all these years. If I am ever nominated to the U.S. Supreme Court, no doubt someone will refresh my memory. Is Christine Blasey Ford, a 51-year-old research psychologist at Palo Alto University, ...

KEVIN LEININGER: Naming abusive priests is fine, but is enough being done to protect the public from them?

When I reported 16 years ago next month how Michelle Bennett was allegedly molested in the 1950s by the same New Haven priest who administered her wedding vows in the same room a decade later, then-Bishop John D'Arcy said he would seek the truth by "talking to older priests and sisters who were there at the time . . . and students who were there at the time if necessary." Less than a month later he made good ...

UPDATED: Search for public cash for Electric Works begins as developers win support for $10 million from city's Legacy fund

With a development agreement now in place, the quest for $62 million in local funds for the Electric Works project began in earnest Thursday as the Legacy Joint Funding Committee supported developers' request for $10 million. The committee, which makes recommendations to City Council concerning use of an account created by the sale of Fort Wayne's former municipal electric utility, in May declared the $250 ...

Lutheran disputes claim exclusive city employee health contract with rival Parkview is best for taxpayers

Lutheran Health Network is disputing claims a taxpayers will be best served through an exclusive city employee health care contract with rival Parkview Health. Although the city and some media accounts have indicated savings of about $4.5 million annually, a memo sent to Lutheran employees Thursday insists savings under Lutheran could have been even more. In a memo sent to employees Thursday, Lutheran states ...

Allen County Council to hear more than $1 million in budget appeals but has millions more in reserve; looks to spend $500,000 on opioid program

As Allen County Council prepares to consider requests that would add about $1.05 million to its proposed 2019 budget, any "no" vote will be based on principle — not a lack of cash. Five departments are expected to appeal their original 2019 budget allocations Thursday, with Sheriff Dave Gladieux topping the wish list at $678,598 and Prosecutor Karen Richards seeking $513,765. But with anticipated revenue from ...

KEVIN LEININGER: Liberal guilt trip takes a detour: Now even white people get 'safe spaces'

The desire to protect alleged adults from emotional discomfort has reached its ludicrous but logical and inevitable conclusion: creation of a campus "safe space" for "white students to explore their experiences, questions, reactions and feelings . . . (about) interactions with ethnic minorities." In an earlier era — the one that spawned the heroic civil-rights movement, it should be noted — the University ...

Sale-leaseback plan approved to boost Electric Works

The Electric Works received a boost from not one but two city boards Tuesday, both of which approved a complex sale-leaseback plan designed to secure $62 million in public funds for the project. Under the plan, approved first by the Redevelopment Authority then the Board of Works, streets and other publicly owned infrastructure in the area surrounding the former General Electric campus will be conveyed to the ...

Diocese releases names of 18 priests and deacons 'credibly' accused of sexually abusing minors

The Diocese of Fort Wayne-South Bend has released the names of 18 priests and deacons it believes have been credibly accused of sexual abuse of a minor. The announcement fulfills a promise made last month by Bishop Kevin Rhoades, who told reporters he hoped that "by releasing these names, the innocent victims of these horrific and heartbreaking crimes can finally begin the process of healing." According to the ...

KEVIN LEININGER: For Fort Wayne's new Air Guard commander, it's all about service, community — and family

"It was 33 years ago tomorrow I was sworn in by my dad in this room," Col. Michael Stohler mused this week as he sat in his office at Fort Wayne International Airport this week and pondered the pride Vice Wing Commander David Stohler surely would have felt had he lived to see his son assume command of the 122nd Fighter Wing in March. "I'm super proud of taking over (for previous commander Col Patrick ...

Allen County will spend $4 million on new work-release center; will help clear path for sale of Byron property

A long-vacant state juvenile detention facility will get a new tenant next year in a move that would help free up 135 acres of prime Allen County-owned real estate for possible development. The County Commissioners Friday awarded a contract for nearly $4 million to CME Corp. for the conversion of the former Northeast Juvenile Correctional Facility at 7117 Venture Lane into the county's new work-release ...

KEVIN LEININGER: Hall's new downtown restaurant hits underground snag, but familiar face could mean rebirth for Green Frog

I know you read this column for reactionary right-wing propaganda, not restaurant news. Still, there are some interesting developments to report concerning two high-profile eateries: the Green Frog, which recently closed but could resurface with a familiar face behind the bar, and a new downtown Hall's hasn't even opened yet despite more than its share of notoriety. It's been nearly nine months since the ...

Four east Allen County projects get $3.3 million from Capital Improvement Board

It wasn't the $4.25 million the New Allen Alliance requested last month and, in a sense, was even less than $2.5 million the group originally sought last year. Even so, the $3.3 million awarded to the Alliance Wednesday by the Fort Wayne-Allen County Capital Improvement Board will help fund four projects intended to boost the economy and quality of life in eastern Allen County. The Alliance, which represents ...

KEVIN LEININGER: Competition for public funds shouldn't overlook Allen County's rural communities

I voted for millions of dollars in grants during my six years on the Lutheran Foundation Board, but it didn't take nearly that long to learn one very important lesson: Giving away money fairly and intelligently is hard work — and will probably disappoint even more people than it pleases because good intentions are always more plentiful than the cash needed to implement them. That reality applies even to ...

Fort Wayne seeks $22 million state loan to accelerate pace of wastewater improvements

Fort Wayne is seeking a $22.4 million state loan to speed up improvements to its sanitary sewer system. The 20-year loan from the Indiana State Revolving Fund would be be repaid through City Utilities customers' monthly bills at an interest rate of 3 percent — a good deal in the current financial marketplace, according to Chief Financial Officer Justin Brugger. "We want to take advantage of that and do as ...

Fort Wayne Redevelopment Commission approves development agreement for Electric Works

The Electric Works took a big step forward Monday as the Fort Wayne Redevelopment Commission ratified a development agreement that will serve as the framework for $62 million in anticipated local funding for the $220 million project. Monday's 4-1 vote committed no money for the redevelopment of the former General Electric campus but does clear the way for developer RTM Ventures to seek funds from other ...

KEVIN LEININGER: There's a proper way to expose bad behavior, so why do we increasingly resort to mob justice?

Buried deep in the Friday's story about Bishop Kevin Rhoades is now being accused of having had an "odd" relationship with a male several years ago was a sentence that can be defined as overdue or profoundly unjust only by facts still to come. Since a Pittsburgh grand jury issued its report last month about how 301 Catholic priests and lay teachers had sexually abused more than 1,000 people in six ...

St. Mary's River near Gas House Restaurant set for another environmental clean up

NIPSCO will soon begin to cleaning up remnants of a long-closed gas plant along the St. Mary's River in downtown Fort Wayne — again. Beginning next month, contractors hired by the utility will spend up to four months removing contaminants left by the operation of a coal-gas plant that operated in the current Hall's Gas House restaurant building at 305 E. Superior St. from the 1850s until 1948. The project ...

KEVIN LEININGER: Does the new Electric Works deal end tension between Fort Wayne and developers? Or simply reflect it?

Before Mayor Tom Henry and the backers of Electric Works finally announced completion of a development agreement last week, the $220 million project nearly collapsed as the sometimes-tense negotiations dragged on for more than two months. Terms of the deal suggest a degree of mutual skepticism remains, however. "To us, the biggest change (in the final agreement vs. the draft Henry proposed in July) is that ...

Murder suspect's mom brings him to the police

A man wanted in connection with an Aug. 30 triple shooting turned himself into police Tuesday -- with the help of his mother. Fort Wayne Police say Travon Rynell Fincher, 21, was brought to the department's headquarters in downtown Fort Wayne around 6 p.m. after his mother saw a news report about how her son was a suspect in death of Ricky Joe Pelmear and wounding of two others. Police issued a bulletin earlier ...

BREAKING NEWS: New Road access proposed at Jefferson Pointe; new industrial space planned near Fort Wayne International Airport

It didn't take long for the new owners of Jefferson Pointe to pursue a dramatic change to the nature of the "lifestyle" mall at West Jefferson Boulevard and Illinois Road. Kansas-based RED Development, which bought the 66 acre property from Institutional Mall Investors in March after building the center about 20 years ago, has asked the Fort Wayne Plan Commission for permission to construct a street through ...