WRITER: Kevin Leininger

Memorial Coliseum to remember Pearl Harbor at Dec. 7 ceremony

The Army Navy Union No. 57, the Allen County Council of Veterans and the Allen County War Memorial Coliseum will host a Pearl Harbor Day Remembrance Ceremony in the Coliseum's Memorial Hall on Thursday, Dec. 7 at 7 p.m. to mark the 76th anniversary of the attack that plunged the United States into World War II. The public is welcome to attend and honor the men and women who were lost in the "Day of Infamy" ...

Allen County Assessor Stacey O'Day elected to state leadership post

Allen County Assessor Stacey O'Day has been elected first vice president of the Association of Indiana Counties (AIC) Board of Directors. She began her term Nov. 1. O'Day has served more than a decade as Allen County assessor and also served for several years in various leadership positions for the Indiana County Assessors' Association, having helped to craft legislative policies and advocate for best practices ...

KEVIN LEININGER: Overselling benefits won't boost 'green' energy, but economics might

As the Associated Press reported earlier this month, General Motors “has pledged to roll out 20 new zero-emissions vehicles by 2023.” It wasn’t exactly fake news, but neither was it completely accurate, because any honest discussion of “green” energy will produce several shades of gray. Just for starters, the obvious fact is that electric vehicles do not produce “zero” emissions because they rely ...

Fort Wayne begins work on sidewalks funded through tax increase

The first neighborhood sidewalk improvement project funded through City Council’s recent passage of an increase to the local income tax has begun along Bluffton Road from south of Reservation Drive to Dunkelberg Road. Additional projects are planned for 2018, including Hessen Cassel Road from Oxford Street to Paulding Road; Decatur Road from Gable Road to Hanna Street; Winchester Road from Ardis Lane to ...

Allen County's Memorial Coliseum ranked third-best in the world

The Allen County War Memorial Coliseum has again been named as one of the best venues in the world. Venues Today ranked the Coliseum at No. 3 in the world among similar-sized venues for the reporting period of Aug. 16-Sept. 15. The ranking represents a total of two shows with more than 18,000 guests during the reporting period. "It has been a great year for us,” General Manager Randy Brown said in a ...

Fort Wayne City Council expresses concerns about deal, then spends $4.63 million on downtown land

All nine City Council members expressed concerns about the process: how they were given just weeks or even hours to review and consider important information; how they were denied details about possible contamination; how their vote could obligate taxpayers to clean up an undefined environmental problem created by someone else. Then five of the nine decided in a preliminary vote the potential rewards ...

The Fort Report: Geoff Paddock & Jason Arp

This week’s show features City Councilmen Geoff Paddock and Jason Arp, who discuss the "pay to play" ordinance and the status of the North River property. All episodes of The Fort Report premiere at 5:30 p.m. Saturday on Comcast Channel 57 and FiOS Channel 27 and later at www.news-sentinel.com.

KEVIN LEININGER: 'Project Linus' has comforted thousands; now it needs your help

Since 2004, the volunteers of the local "Project Linus" chapter have made and delivered about 39,400 blankets and quilts to children who are seriously ill, traumatized or otherwise in need. But now, like its namesake in the "Peanuts" comic strip, the organization could use some comfort and security of its own. That's because the imminent expansion of a parking lot at the VA medical center next door will ...

Promoting Fort Wayne gets big boost from Google

It's one thing to have a great new product; quite another to be able to market it at no cost to millions of potential new customers. And that's exactly what a grant from internet giant Google is doing for a new program to more effectively promote Fort Wayne to visitors and residents alike. As The News-Sentinel reported earlier this month, Visit Fort Wayne's web site now includes a calendar of events called ...

Fort Wayne City Council latest to consider incentives for downtown 'boutique' hotel

City Council could soon join the list of local government bodies providing subsidies for a $27 million "boutique" hotel in downtown Fort Wayne. On Tuesday council will consider two incentives for the planned 125-room hotel to be developed at Main and Harrison streets by Vera Bradley co-founder Barbara Baekgaard and Oregon-based Provenance Hotels. A proposed abatement would reduce taxes on new equipment by ...

KEVIN LEININGER: A young life spared is reason for Thanksgiving for program creator

Abandoned as an infant by her mother who had been raped, Woodburn firefighter Monica Kelsey doesn't have to look far to find a reason to give thanks for her 47 years on earth. But now she has one more: the life of a baby girl saved by a program Kelsey has championed for the past several years, often in the face of opposition from state child-welfare officials. "I give thanks that mother trusted me enough to ...

Fort Wayne, Allen County closings on Thursday and Friday

Fort Wayne and Allen County government offices will be closed Thursday, Nov. 23, and Friday, Nov. 24, in recognition of Thanksgiving. As a result, there will be no county Board of Commissioners legislative session on Friday, and the city's residential garbage and recycling collection will be pushed back one day, with Thursday’s collection on Friday and Friday’s collection on Saturday. The offices will ...

Rep. Jim Banks' staff available in Woodburn Tuesday

A member of the staff of U.S. Rep. Jim Banks, R-3rd, will visit Woodburn on Tuesday, Nov. 28, to meet with residents and assist anyone experiencing problems with a federal agency. No mobile office hours will be held on Thanksgiving Day. The Woodburn event will take place from 9:30 a.m. until noon in the council chambers at Town Hall, 22735 Main St.

Fort Wayne's 'North River' property ruled out as site for new St. Joseph Hospital

The owners of St. Joseph Hospital still haven't decided where to put the planned downtown replacement for St. Joseph Hospital they announced in September, but The News-Sentinel.com has learned there's one place it won't go: the so-called "North River" property many had considered the most likely site. Although spokesman Geoff Thomas said Lutheran Health Network remains "very excited about the future of St. ...

KEVIN LEININGER: Before Fort Wayne City Council gambles on OmniSource land, it should demand to see the cards

You don't have to be a mathematician to know something doesn't quite add up about the city's willingness to pay $4.63 million for 29 acres just north of downtown and assume liability for the industrial waste that admittedly remains there — all on the basis of a 10-year-old environmental assessment that supposedly puts clean-up costs in the hundreds of thousands of dollars but apparently won't be shared with ...

Fort Wayne City Council wanted more time to study big downtown land deal; delays vote a week to get it

City Council felt rushed, so it will take more time before deciding whether the reward of 29 prime downtown acres justifies an undefined risk. "This is the first time we've had high-level talks about this instead of playing cat-and-mouse," said Russ Jehl, R-2nd, explaining his successful motion to delay by one week a vote on a proposal that would see the city assume virtually all liability for contamination ...

Fort Wayne City Council passes bill to curb appearance of 'pay to play'

Between 2011 and this year, according to City Councilman Jason Arp, Mayor Tom Henry received about $980,000 in political contributions from firms that received $128.6 million in direct city payments. "Can this massive influx of money affect how contracts are awarded?" he asked Tuesday. Council's answer was "yes," casting a preliminary 6-3 in favor of an ordinance sponsored by Arp, R-4th, and John Crawford, ...

KEVIN LEININGER: City-county cooperation could save past, improve future in downtown Fort Wayne

It was supposed to be sacrificed to riverfront development two months ago, but the tarnished beauty of a building still stands at 312 S. Harrison St., as it has for the past 122 years. If the reprieve works as planned, the historic brick structure will be moved a few blocks and converted into a unique locally owned restaurant — thereby proving that city and county officials really can cooperate for the good ...

Allen County pledges $2 million, land to downtown 'boutique' hotel

For the third time this week, a local governmental body has thrown its support behind a new $27 million "boutique" hotel in downtown Fort Wayne. The Allen County Commissioners completed the "hat trick" Friday when they agreed to provide land and $2 million in local economic development income taxes to the project, a joint venture between Vera Bradley co-founder Barbara Baekgaard and Oregon-based Provenance ...

Alley improvements coming in Fort Wayne neighborhoods

Improvements to alleys in Fort Wayne are underway, thanks to City Council’s recent passage of an increase to the local income tax. Killea and West Leith streets from South Calhoun Street to Hoagland Avenue is the first of many projects to occur, folllowed in 2018 by: Spatz Avenue and Gaywood Drive from E. Pettit to McKinnie avenues; Weisser Park Avenue and South Park Drive from E. Pettit to Congress avenues; ...