WRITER: Kevin Leininger

KEVIN LEININGER: Campaign cash is flowing, and business leaders are a big reason why

Money alone doesn't win elections, but the campaign-finance reports filed this week nevertheless offered some intriguing insights into which contests in the May 7 primaries will be the most hotly contested — and the names of the individuals and groups most interested in influencing the outcomes. Political action committees have also made major contributions in two contests, including a donation unusually ...

Developers get delay they say is needed to comply with Electric Works commitments

Electric Works developers have received the crucial extra time they say is needed to keep the $250 million redevelopment of the former General Electric campus moving forward. Ratifying a decision made earlier this month by the city's Redevelopment Commission, the Allen County-Fort Wayne Capital Improvement Board Thursday gave RTM Ventures until Nov. 30 to meet the conditions set by their development agreement ...

New library policy seeks to guide, explain collection decisions and reassure critics

The Allen County Public Library is taking steps to ease concerns about its alleged "purging" of books . The library Board of Directors Thursday was expected to approve an amendment to the "collection development" policy last updated in 2018. In a memo to the board, Director Greta Southard and others library executives explained that last year's revisions were intended to "align with our present-day practices ...

KEVIN LEININGER: The law is always slower than technology, but city's drone proposal is a good first step

Look — up in the sky! It's a bird! It's a plane! No, and it's not Superman either, silly. It's increasingly likely to be a drone, which is why a proposed city law wants to know who's flying them, and where. "The numbers are staggering. It's a huge, burgeoning field," said Lt. John Bowers, who as a member of the Fort Wayne Police Department would be among those responsible for enforcing the ordinance to be ...

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KEVIN LEININGER: 'Bulldog Bash' will give New Haven grads last chance to relive memories

"Today brings back a lot of mixed feelings, but they can't take our memories away," 1983 graduate Susan (Trenary) Jauregui observed after former students were invited back for one last visit when Elmhurst High School closed in 2010. I and thousands of others who attended the the old New Haven High School at 900 Prospect Ave. will have the opportunity to experience the same bittersweet emotions June 1 when the ...

Critics of library 'purge' ask Allen County County Council for help

Opponents of efforts to "purge" books from the Allen County Public Library's collection Thursday took their case to a group of elected officials responsible for appointing two of the library board's eight members. Kim Fenoglio, organizer of Concerned Library Patrons, told Allen County Council members its representatives to the board, former Councilman Paul Moss and current Council member Sharon Tucker, have ...

Northeast Indiana bucking population trends in a positive way: Census

Although new Census data shows the strongest population growth continues to be in south and west, Northeast Indiana is more than holding its own. "I am happy to report that our population (in the 11-county region) grew from both natural increase and net migration," Rachel Blakeman, director of the Community Research Institute at Purdue University Fort Wayne, said in a statement. "Net domestic migration tells us ...

KEVIN LEININGER: Hoosier hospitality, consistency are casualties of Buttigieg's religious war against Pence

This being Holy Week, Christians are invited by Christ's suffering on their behalf to ponder their own shortcomings and need for a savior. This also being the seemingly endless political season, Americans of all faiths and none have again been reminded of how religion without repentance breeds sanctimony, not compassion. And, believe it or not, this particular lesson comes to us not from supposedly intolerant ...

UPDATED: John Crawford says negative campaigning will divide the GOP; opponent Tim Smith responds

When Republican mayoral candidates John Crawford and Tim Smith concluded their March 8 debate at the Arts United Center, each pledged to support the winner of the May 7 primary in the hope a united party could end the Democrats' 20-year stranglehold on the city's top office. "Both of us would be better than the current mayor," said Crawford, an at-large City Council member. "And if I don't win I will be the ...

KEVIN LEININGER: Critics of 'Anthony Wayne Day' should help tell the story, not ignore it

"Fort Wayne needs a lesson in history, not hysteria." So asserted the pointed opening line of a scholarly essay released this week intended to counter claims City Council's recent resolution establishing July 16 as "Anthony Wayne Day in Fort Wayne" was both factually inaccurate and "socially contemptible." But which position is correct: The statement from the Miami Tribe of Oklahoma insisting that Native ...

KEVIN LEININGER: If you like food and history, new look at Fort Wayne's past gives you something to devour

Some of my earliest and fondest memories of growing up in Fort Wayne feature food: eating at the Hobby House next door to Dad's dental office on East Wayne Street, or at the Wolf & Dessauer department store that was just west of that, which was known for its Tea Room and then-unusual sidewalk dining. Later on, maturity brought an appreciation for the Hungarian goulash at Zoli's on Broadway, the sweetbread ...

UPDATED: Supporters of 'Anthony Wayne Day' respond to critics, announce plans for July 16 commemoration

Supporters of the city's recently proclaimed Gen. "Mad" Anthony Wayne Day Wednesday defended the event against criticism from Native Americans and historians and announced plans for the inaugural July 16 commemoration. City Councilman Jason Arp, R-4th, sponsor of the resolution authorizing commemoration of Fort Wayne's namesake that passed by a 6-3 vote in February, was expected to join other members of a ...

KEVIN LEININGER: When social media rumors speak, reporters and officials listen -- unfortunately

Glenbrook Square is still open, which isn't exactly news unless you saw a local TV station's recent report about management's denial of social media rumors that the mall "was being closed so apartments could rise in the location." Unfortunately, that's not the only or even the worst example of how irresponsible internet gossip is influencing the supposedly mainstream, professional media and, through them, ...

City expected to grant Electric Works developers crucial compliance delay

Developers of the massive Electric Works project on Monday are expected to receive permission to delay compliance with a key provision of their agreement with the city for several months. As The News-Sentinel reported last month, partners in RTM Ventures say the 35-day partial shutdown of the federal government earlier this year has pushed back the availability of tax credits from the first quarter until next ...

KEVIN LEININGER: Time to start community discussion on eviction's causes and possible solutions

The city's anti-discrimination agency hosts a fair housing summit every year, but the Metropolitan Human Relations Commission's event on April 18 will feature something new: a panel discussion on the issues surrounding chronic convictions in Fort Wayne. And for good reason: Last year the Eviction Lab at Princeton University listed Fort Wayne's eviction rate of 7.39 percent the 13th-highest among large U.S. ...

KEVIN LEININGER: Does the city have a debt problem? The answer is in the eye of the beholder

Despite a campaign war chest of more than $335,000 at the end of 2018, Republican mayoral candidate Tim Smith had done little advertising until this week, when a testimonial from wife Angela kicked off an initial $73,000 media buy. But you can bet future commercials will target one vulnerability Smith insists is shared by both his May primary opponent and the incumbent Democrat he hopes to defeat in November: ...

UPDATED: Pine Valley Country Club to replace original clubhouse with new $25M facility that will also include condos

The Pine Valley County Club, founded in 1976, plans to replace its original 31,000-square-foot clubhouse with a three-story, 222,000-square-foot facility that will include not only a new clubhouse but 36 condominiums of between 2,000 and 3,500 square feet. In an application with the Fort Wayne Plan Commission, Todd Ramsey of JATTS LLC is seeking permission to develop the $25 million "Community at Pine Valley" ...

KEVIN LEININGER: Politics, accounting and charity's concerns silence New Haven radio station, at least for now

New Haven's only radio station went silent Friday, but the demise and possible return of WHNH-FM has nothing to do with ratings — and everything to do with politics, bookkeeping and a prominent charity's determination to protect its crucial non-profit tax status from the mayhem. "It is clear the public has deep concerns about the accounting of WHNH as a non-profit entity of the Associated Churches," ...

Multimatic's $25M expansion to create 75 jobs in New Haven

The Canadian automotive parts maker that occupied the former Vera Bradley plant in New Haven two years ago is planning an investment of nearly $25 million expected to create 75 new jobs. According to an application for a tax abatement given preliminary approval last week by New Haven City Council, Multimatic will make $8.9 million in improvements to its building at 2808 Adams Center Road, investing another $16 ...