WRITER: Kevin Leininger

No charges in 'road rage' case involving deputy Fort Wayne police chief

A deputy police chief will not face charges in connection with an apparent road-rage incident The News-Sentinel first reported Nov. 10. "I can't prove a crime was committed there were too many discrepancies in testimony. Everybody's story was different," Allen County Prosecutor Karen Richards said of her decision regarding Derrick Westfield, who according to police reports was involved in a fight with a ...

KEVIN LEININGER: Donald Trump must avoid Ronald Reagan's naive mistake when crafting any immigration deal

The president sounded positively giddy about the immigration-reform bill, predicting “future generations of Americans will be thankful for our efforts to humanely regain control of our borders and thereby preserve the value of one of the most sacred possessions of our people: American citizenship.” Those words weren’t uttered by President Trump this week. They were said by Ronald Reagan 32 years ago, ...

Jan. 16 event will focus on improvements to New Haven

New Haven City Council President and Chamber of Commerce Chairman Steve McMichael will host an open house called “I Love New Haven” starting at 6 p.m. Jan. 16 at the New Haven Community Center, 7500 Indiana 930 E. (behind McDonald’s). McMichael is seeking residents' input about possible improvements throughout the city, including an upgrade in downtown Christmas decorations and how to pay for them. ...

Allen County Neighborhoods group will meet Jan. 25

The Allen County Neighborhoods Association's quarterly meeting will be Jan. 25 from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. in the Omni Room of Citizens Square, 200 E. Berry St. Attorney Joshua Neal will answer questions about homeowners associations; Diana Chambers with Commercial Signs will answer questions about repairing, replacing and making association signs; County Recorder Anita Mather will discuss several online and ...

Fort Wayne, Allen County offices to close Monday for MLK Day

Due to the Martin Luther King, Jr. Day holiday, all Allen County and city of Fort Wayne government offices will be closed on Monday, Jan. 15. The offices will resume normal operations on Jan. 16, and city garbage and recycling collection will not be affected by the closure.

KEVIN LEININGER: IU Health may indeed be coming to Fort Wayne, but lack of clarity invites speculation on when and how

It's long been evident something was happening at Aboite Center and Dicke roads: stakes in the ground to prepare for possible sale and development; a wooden frame for the billboard that would identify the project when the time was right. That sign finally went up last week: IU Health is "coming to your neighborhood" — a neighborhood that just happens to be across the street from Lutheran Hospital. The ...

Developers of new hotel in downtown Fort Wayne seeking tax breaks

The Merrillville-based developer of one of two new hotels planned for downtown Fort Wayne is seeking incentives that would reduce its taxes on the $17.8 million project by about $3.23 million over 10 years. White Lodging in September announced its intent to build a 136-room Hampton Inn and Suites next to its Courtyard by Marriott on West Jefferson Boulevard near Parkview Field, and City Council is expected to ...

KEVIN LEININGER: Research shows even atheists should believe in the blessings of faith

Even if there were no God, which would be the healthier psychology: belief in an all-knowing, benevolent creator and the promise of eternal bliss — or faith in nothing greater than humanity, with all its obvious flaws and the certainty of death and decay? John Stonestreet answers that question in a recent paper on the effects of regular church attendance, and while his role as president of the Colson Center ...

Old building is on the move to becoming a 'cool' new downtown Hall's restaurant

A final piece of the puzzle that could result in the conversion of an endangered historic building into downtown's newest restaurant appears ready to fall into place. The city's Redevelopment Commission on Monday is expected to approve the temporary relocation of the 122-year-old former Cambray Associates building now at 312 S. Harrison St. to the vacant at 124 W. Superior St. — the future home of the $61.7 ...

New 'five points' roundabout, airport entrance among major Fort Wayne traffic upgrades coming soon

Work is expected to begin this spring on three major road projects, followed in 2019 by improvements to one of the city's most challenging intersections and the main gateway into Fort Wayne International Airport. Shan Gunawardena, city director of public works, said 2018 will see the beginning of long-anticipated realignment of West State Boulevard, starting with the $2 million first phase between Clinton and ...

KEVIN LEININGER: National attention for 'Electric Works' is justified, but so is caution

No less than the Wall Street Journal has just recognized the vision and potential of the most ambitious redevelopment project in Fort Wayne's history — and tempered the justified enthusiasm over recent successes with an appropriate note of caution. "Today: An Abandoned GE Factory. Tomorrow: Hip Lofts" read the headline above the story about the proposed conversion of the city's 39-acre former General ...

Allen County building permits topped $1 billion for the first time in 2017

For the first time in history, annual building permits in Allen County passed the $1 billion mark in 2017. According to County Commissioner Nelson Peters, 26,185 permits were issued totaling $1.032 billion. That included commercial permits worth $632.9 million and residential permits resulting in $399.1 million in home construction. Major commercial projects included Parkview Cancer Center, Fort Wayne ...

Lawsuit claims plan to 'take over' Lutheran Health went deeper than previously reported

A former executive's efforts to find a new owner for Lutheran Health Network began earlier and involved more would-be investors than has been previously reported, according to an amendment to the lawsuit filed in November by the network's Tennessee-based parent company against former CEO Brian Bauer. As The News-Sentinel first reported, Bauer and a group of local doctors attended a May meeting of the board of ...

New Subway-Hardees restaurant could replace south-side office buildings

A busy south-side intersection could be getting a makeover thanks to two fast-food restaurants. HRE Development LLC plans to demolish two aging multi-story office buildings at the corner of South Calhoun Street and Rudisill Boulevard and replace them with a single-story building that would contain a combined Hardees and Subway restaurant. HRE's Mark Minnick is co-owner of Subway Systems in Fort Wayne, and a ...

KEVIN LEININGER: If Trump's tax plan helps only 'the rich,' why are so many Americans benefiting?

Over Christmas, critics of the Republican tax-reform bill played Grinch to President Trump's Santa Claus, predictably whining about how only the rich would benefit. Why else would anybody cut the corporate rate from 35 percent to 21 percent? Perhaps it was a rhetorical question, because basic economics and human nature provide the obvious answer. When Allen County Council members last month wanted persuade ...

Tom Freistroffer likely to lead Fort Wayne City Council in 2018; sees communication as key

Improved communication will be the goal of the man expected to lead Fort Wayne City Council in 2018. "That's the key thing in this position, and it starts with communicating with the administration (of Mayor Tom Henry). There's a perception we don't have a direct line of communication," said Tom Freistroffer, R-at large, who is expected to be elected to lead the nine-member body during its annual ...

KEVIN LEININGER: Controversial shopping project on hold thanks to old restrictions that limit the area to residential use -- and white people

It was one of the most contentious land-use battles Fort Wayne has seen in years. And yet, in the seven months since City Council voted 5-3 to allow construction of a three-building commercial center on West Jefferson Boulevard, not one shovel of dirt has been turned. The reason lurks in a previously obscure 73-year-old deed restriction that not only limits the property and 48 surrounding acres to residential ...

Changes at Fort Wayne International Airport next year could pave way for even bigger improvements later

With passenger traffic at Fort Wayne International Airport poised for an eighth consecutive year of growth, something will have to give in 2018. And so it will, starting with the relocation of the road leading to the terminal. But that will be only the beginning of a $3.3 million project that will provide more room for parking and, probably sometime in the early 2020s, an even more expensive project: a larger ...

KEVIN LEININGER: Does redevelopment of contaminated sites mean Fort Wayne has learned history's hard lessons?

With shoppers flocking to Glenbrook Square this week for after-Christmas bargains or to return gifts, think of the chaos that could be caused by a possibly hazardous chemical reaction just a few blocks away. But no such imagination was needed on the morning of Sept. 9, 1986, when a mistake by a worker at the I.J. Recycling plant led to an ignition that spewed black smoke into the air, forced the evacuation of ...

Pettit Avenue now open to traffic

East Pettit Avenue between South Calhoun and Lafayette streets has reopened to traffic after completion of repairs to a 16-inch water main that broke Wednesday, according to Fort Wayne City Utilities.