WRITER: Kevin Leininger

KEVIN LEININGER: Sure, the latest socialist plan to remake America is ludicrous -- but it's no laughing matter

Why would a political party propose its most transformational legislative agenda in nearly a century then angrily denounce an offer to put it up for a vote as a "cheap, cynical ploy"? Possibly because the "Green New Deal" just introduced by one of the Democratic Party's supposed bright lights reads like a high-school parody of the Communist Manifesto, complete with a call for government action to end the dire ...

GOP mayoral candidate Tim Smith criticizes city for poor contracts

It didn't take long for the demise of a $62 million downtown development project to get political. Republican mayoral candidate Tim Smith Tuesday criticized not only the city's negotiations with Minnesota developer Continental Property Group on the HIVE project but other contracts as well. "If we are going to accomplish something as a city, let’s at least get the contract documents right, let’s do a better ...

$62 million downtown project on hold after developer can't meet commitment

It's back to the drawing board for a vacant downtown site that was supposed to be transformed into a $62 million residential, retail and parking complex called HIVE. The city announced Monday it is seeking a new developer for the riverfront property at the northeast corner of Harrison and Superior streets after announcing late last year Minnesota-based Continental Property Group would build the mixed-use ...

KEVIN LEININGER: What rhymes with Trump? Chump -- and that's what defenders of the border have become

The legend of Emperor Nero fiddling while Rome burned in 64 A.D. is apocryphal at best, but should fair-minded historians get around to writing about the "solution" to the great immigration standoff of 2019, there will be no doubt that Washington politicians diddled while their already divided country churned. Whether the spending bill containing about $1.4 billion in border wall funding that sailed through ...

KEVIN LEININGER: What makes Americans happy? Secularists won't like the answer

Karl Marx dismissed religion as the opiate of the masses. Others have joined labor activist and songwriter Joe Hill in mocking the belief in heavenly deliverance from earthly misery as "pie in the sky." But whether you want to credit divine intervention or the placebo effect, a new poll by the Pew Research Center makes it clear: There is indeed a correlation between a robust faith and a happy life. According ...

Mayor Tom Henry says city's 'future is now,' suggests residential tax break in annual speech

Mayor Tom Henry delivered his 12th "State of the City" address at the Grand Wayne Center Wednesday, but despite its "Our Future is Now" theme the speech highlighted numerous highlights that may resurface in his bid for a fourth term in November. "Never before have I witnessed the confidence and excitement we're currently experiencing in our city," Henry said in a prepared text. "It's definitely our time. In ...

KEVIN LEININGER: Now that liberals are 'racists' too, will the name-calling finally stop? What do you think?

Comedians Jimmy Fallon, Jimmy Kimmel and Sarah Silverman have all tried to make people laugh by suggesting Donald Trump is a racist. "The View" co-host Joy Behar has called the president a "racist demagogue" and accused Vice President Mike Pence of being mentally ill because he talks to God. During the 2017 campaign, Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam labeled Republican opponent Ed Gillespie and his supporters ...

UPDATED: Fellow Republican challenges Perry Township Trustee's residency; Democrats accuse Election Board of 'willful inaction'

The Allen County Election Board has been asked — for the second time — to decide whether the Perry Township Trustee is eligible to keep the office to which he was elected in November. Eric Tippmann, who defeated incumbent Republican Trustee James McIntosh in last year's Republican primary and Democrat Melissa Rinehart in November, moved out of the township late last year and into a home on Lake Avenue — ...

Will second time be the charm for effort to create 'Anthony Wayne Day'?

More than a year after it was first proposed, a City Councilman will try again to establish a day dedicated to the memory of Fort Wayne's founder and namesake. The resolution to be considered Tuesday is sponsored by Jason Arp, R-4th, and would proclaim each July 16th as Gen. "Mad" Anthony Wayne Day to commemorate his successful "bayonets-only night attack on a British Camp at Stoney Point, N.Y. on July 16, ...

KEVIN LEININGER: Trustee's City Council bid raises questions about his intentions and the political system's credibility

Something can be legal without being right, which is why voters in the May Republican City Council primary — and maybe supporters of both parties in November — should ponder an old wisdom made relevant by current events: Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me. When I last wrote about Eric Tippmann in November, he had just convinced the Allen County Election Board he was still a ...

Glenbrook Sears store to be torn down, redeveloped; new apartments and Shigs In Pit also planned

The Glenbrook Square Sears store, which opened in 1966 and closed late last year as part of the struggling retailer's downsizing, will be torn down and redeveloped as the "Shoppes at Glenbrook," The News-Sentinel has learned. According to an application filed this week with the Fort Wayne Plan Commission, New York-based Seritage SRC Finance, which has acquired the property from Sears, will tear down the ...

KEVIN LEININGER: Is supercalifragilisticexpialidocious just another word for 'racist'? Time will tell

I'll admit it: My knee-jerk reaction to the recent foibles by Virginia's governor was to write a column about the long and usually ignored link between racism and abortion. Planned Parenthood founder Margaret Sanger's embrace of eugenics is but one example. On second thought, however, it occurred to me that Ralph Northam perhaps should get the benefit of the doubt when he claimed somebody else was wearing ...

UPDATED: Long-delayed move of new downtown Hall's Restaurant hits another snag, but finally finds new home

Already months behind schedule, the 123-year-old building set to be a new downtown Hall's restaurant began the move to its permanent location Tuesday — only to be delayed again when it snagged an electric line. The Cambray Building was moved from its original spot at 312 S. Harrison St. to an adjacent parking lot more than a year ago to make room for the city's riverfront project, and was supposed to have ...

KEVIN LEININGER: Planned airport terminal upgrades will help Fort Wayne make good first impression

You don't get a second chance to make a first impression, which is why Scott Hinderman is excited about a planned multimillion-dollar expansion of the increasingly cramped terminal at Fort Wayne International airport. "Parts of the building date to the 1950s and the last major expansion came in the mid-'90s, and we've had nine straight years of growth," the executive director of the Fort Wayne-Allen County ...

KEVIN LEININGER: Plans are finally underway to help the downtown riverfront reach its full potential

My July 28, 2016 column ended with the conclusion that "The city has enough downtown parks already" and began with a headline urging riverfront development planners to focus on "places to eat, drink, work and live." You know: the sort of things that excited the public about the riverfront's potential in the first place. So with the project's park-heavy first phase slated to open this summer, I'm pleased to ...

KEVIN LEININGER: New York shows abortion battle will go on even if Roe vs. Wade goes away; what then?

It's been 23 years since Bill Clinton insisted abortion should be "safe, legal and rare." But as 2,000 pro-life supporters marched in Fort Wayne Saturday to mourn the Supreme Court's 1973 Roe vs. Wade decision, events in New York were making it clear Clinton's Democratic Party has abandoned two of his three goals — and that not even a strengthened conservative court majority will be able to restore sanity ...

Waynedale Cemetery, Kensington Boulevard area seeking 'historic' designations

A local cemetery and neighborhood are seeking designations as historic districts — one at the local level, the other national. The city's Historic Preservation Commission on Monday is expected to consider designating the Prairie Grove chapel and cemetery on Old Trail Road in Waynedale as local historic district, which according to the city's historic preservation staff is "significant for its association ...

KEVIN LEININGER: Riverfront project will be a 'test case' for use of security cameras in Fort Wayne

Government is often properly accused of spending first and thinking about it later. Thankfully, that apparently won't be the case when it comes to a proposal to add security cameras on public property in Fort Wayne. As I reported last month, City Council President and Republican mayoral candidate John Crawford will convene a "crime summit" Tuesday, with one of the topics being the value of increased video ...

Plan for street within Jefferson Pointe withdrawn but could return as part of bigger project

After months of delay, a plan to construct a street through the middle of the pedestrians-only Jefferson Pointe shopping center has been withdrawn but could return bigger and better than ever. If enough funding can be found, that is. Kansas-based RED Development, which bought the 66-acre property between West Jefferson Boulevard and Illinois Road last March, in September asked the Fort Wayne Plan Commission ...

Allen County's investment income doubles to more than $3M in 2018

Recent increases in interest rates haven't been good for everybody, but they've been very good for Allen County government's investments. In his annual financial report to the County Commissioners, County Treasurer William Royce said the investments generated a little more than $3 million in interest in 2018 — more than double the $1.48 million he reported last year. Much of the increase was due to a jump in ...