WRITER: Kevin Leininger

KEVIN LEININGER: Technology closes the book on once-grand Allen County legal institution

In the 1916 edition of "Courts and Lawyers of Indiana," Editor-in-Chief Leander J. Monks noted that "the best (law) library in the state, outside of Indianapolis, is in Allen County." That was then, this is now: The Allen County Courthouse's 116-year-old law library, a personal and professional gathering spot for generations of attorneys, is about to become just the latest victim of changing times and ...

KEVIN LEININGER: City won $800,000 settlement because employees dug up the dirt on contractor

In journalism school they told us a story should address six key questions: who, what, when, where, how and — perhaps most important of all — why. It took the world to teach us to look beneath the surface for the real answers. That's literally true in the case of the $61,016 settlement announced last month between the U.S. Department of Treasury and a now-defunct Fort Wayne firm that apparently cut ...

KEVIN LEININGER: City Council's funding 'compromise' on 'The Landing': Tastes great, less than filling

City Council struck a principled pose last month when it refused to consider a $1.4 contract for new sidewalks, lights, benches and other "streetscape" improvements for an historic downtown block undergoing a $35 million facelift: When we gave the project a $2.5 million loan from the Legacy fund last year, members said, we also made it clear the loan would be automatically rescinded should any additional ...

Sweetwater Sound seeking $13M local tax break on $83M, 1,000-job expansion

Sweetwater Sound is seeking more than $13 million in tax savings on the planned 1,000-job expansion of its 163-acre campus just west of town. The application for a 10-year abatement, to be considered by City Council Tuesday, also sheds new light on the project announced last month — including the fact that the music company's investment could be worth millions more than previously indicated. Sweetwater plans ...

City Council appears ready to join Mayor Tom Henry in support of rebate for poor trash service

City Council is set to join Mayor Tom Henry in the desire to reimburse Fort Wayne residents for poor trash service. A non-binding resolution to be considered Tuesday states that council "believes that citizen ratepayers that rely on Red River (Waste Solutions') services and pay fees for Red River’s service should be provided with some form of reimbursement due to the service failures and ...

Broadway railroad bridge latest to get a facelift under city's 'Front Door' program

Another high-profile railroad bridge in central Fort Wayne will be getting a makeover — this one not far from the massive Electric Works development. In the latest project of the city's "Front Door Fort Wayne" plan, a 10-year initiative begun in 2012 to beautify primary corridors and gateways, the Norfolk Southern bridge over Broadway near Taylor Street will receive a new facade, repairs to the concrete ...

Mayor Tom Henry: City exploring 'monetary relief' for poor trash service

City residents may be in line for some form of rebate in exchange for past garbage-collection problems, Mayor Tom Henry suggests. In a statement issued Thursday, Henry said "We know that many residents have experienced challenges over the past several months. The exploration of a measure of appreciation to our customers is the right thing to do. Therefore, I’m asking the working group to explore various ...

KEVIN LEININGER: Another good night for Allen County Republicans, but is that always good for the political process?

Courtney Tritch was by far the most appealing Democratic candidate for Indiana's 3rd District since 2010, but it was barely past 7 on election night when Allen County Republican Chairman Steve Shine stepped to the podium at GOP headquarters and drew cheers by announcing that a local TV station had just called the race for incumbent Republican Jim Banks. Whether Tritch's defeat discourages other serious ...

New commercial, office and parking project planned for downtown Fort Wayne

Downtown Fort Wayne's skyline is poised to grow again thanks to a multimillion-dollar mixed-use and parking project proposed by the same group whose recent $20 million renovation of an adjacent building produced the city's first million-dollar condos. According to documents filed with the Fort Wayne Plan Commission, Ashberry Eight LLC wants to erect a three-component project to the west of Harrison Street and ...

UPDATED BREAKING NEWS: Capital Improvement Board OKs $45M for Electric Works; full $65M in public funding now pledged

Electric Works developers said they needed $65 million in local public funding to make the massive project work, and now they have it. That was assured Tuesday when the Fort Wayne-Allen County Capital Improvement Board voted 7-0 to approve a bond of up to $45 million toward the $250 million redevelopment of the former General Electric campus, to be repaid through food and beverage taxes. Thanks to interest and ...

Another priest added to Fort Wayne Diocese's abuse list

The Diocese of Fort Wayne-South Bend has added another name to the list of priests credibly accused of sexual abuse of a minor. Gerald Funcheon, who was a member of the Crosier Congregation, not a diocesan priest, is on the list of those credibly accused of abuse published by the Crosier Fathers. He has been added to the Diocese of Fort Wayne-South Bend list because of a credible accusation of abuse that took ...

Election Board appears likely to dismiss residency complaint despite Perry Township candidate's relocation

It appears Republican Eric Tippmann will remain a legitimate candidate for Perry Township Trustee Tuesday despite moving out of the area he hopes to represent. As The News-Sentinel first reported last month, Tippmann recently bought a home on Lake Avenue, claiming the move was intended to make it easier for his non-driving daughter to attend ballet class in Fort Wayne. Democratic trustee candidate Melissa ...

KEVIN LEININGER: Double vision: Trump opponents blast 'hate' while thousands of his supporters pray and chant 'USA! USA!'

The political chasm that threatens to split America in two was on full view in Fort Wayne Monday, as a relative handful of people gathered to protest the presence of President Donald Trump and, apparently, at least some of the 17,000 people who cheerfully crowded the building to capacity or stood in the cool darkness to watched the rally on a screen in the overflow area outside. But it was more than a mere ...

KEVIN LEININGER: Who wants to come to Fort Wayne? Lots of folks, if record hotel performance and expansion are any indication

Consumers may not like higher prices, but to Dan O'Connell the fact that the average daily cost of a Fort Wayne hotel room has just surpassed $100 for the first time is a very welcome illustration of the law of supply and demand. As president and CEO of Visit Fort Wayne, it's O'Connell's job to sell the Summit City. And with plenty of conventions in the pipeline, 10 new hotels under construction or planned ...

KEVIN LEININGER: Selective outrage only makes American unity more elusive, even in opposition to 'hate'

The well-meaning but hopelessly naive folks who implored City Council to support a campaign to change Indiana's status as one of just five states without a hate-crimes law were oblivious to the futility of their own cause: Just a few days earlier, Pennsylvania's hate-crime statute law had somehow failed to stop the slaughter of 11 Jews as they worshiped at the Tree of Life Synagogue. Such a crime made alleged ...

Deal between city, county and Hall's to clear way for new downtown restaurant

A deal between the city, county and Hall's Restaurants will apparently get the local chain's stalled plans for a new downtown location moving again. It's been 11 months since the 122-year-old Cambray Building was moved from its original location at 312 S. Harrison St. to a vacant lot across the street to make room for riverfront redevelopment. As The News-Sentinel reported in September, the building was ...

New poll looks at issues driving Indiana's close three-way race race for U.S. Senate

With less than a week to go before the mid-term elections, which national and state issues do Hoosier voters care about most? A new poll by the Mike Downs Center for Indiana Politics at Purdue University Fort Wayne answers that question. According to the survey of 1,048 self-identified registered voters, the most important issues facing the United States are health care (22 percent), the economy (17 percent) ...

KEVIN LEININGER: Fort Wayne woman's death raises emergency services questions that deserve honest answers

In response to emergency response concerns created by the closure of Dupont Road, Fort Wayne Fire Chief Eric Lahey on April 27 told his Huntertown counterpart Mayor Tom Henry had agreed to provide automatic mutual aid to the unincorporated portion of the La Cabreah neighborhood. But when a 45-year-old mother of two suffered an apparent heart attack on July 12, the Huntertown Fire Department and Allen County ...

President Trump to visit Fort Wayne day before Nov. 6 election

President Donald Trump is planning a rally in Fort Wayne the day before the crucial Nov. 6 mid-term election. Allen County Republican Chairman Steve Shine said the visit has been confirmed by the Trump staff, and although details are still in flux Shine said he believes the event will be the afternoon of Monday, Nov. 5, at the Memorial Coliseum. Coliseum General Manager Randy Brown said the arena is available ...

KEVIN LEININGER: Tariffs aren't new and not always hurtful, but smart businesses won't rely on them

When Fort Wayne-based Vera Bradley closed its 250-employee manufacturing plant in New Haven three years ago, the company explained that "it costs approximately 90 percent more to manufacture goods domestically than in overseas factories." But thanks to the Trump administration's new tariffs on textile imports — and retaliatory action by China — that imbalance has begun to shift. And that's both good news ...