WRITER: Kevin Leininger

KEVIN LEININGER: Before Fort Wayne City Council ends waste contract, maybe it should use the contract to address problems

As a Fort Wayne newspaperman, I'd like to thank Red River Waste Solutions for the full-page apology it ran in Sunday's Journal Gazette. The ad couldn't have been cheap, especially on top of all the fines the Texas-based company is facing for the poor service it has provided since taking over for Republic Services in January. But as a Fort Wayne homeowner, I'd prefer the company replace its promise to "get ...

Allen County government's 'Night Out' events start Sept. 25

Allen County government will visit Harlan, Arcola and Monroeville during this fall’s "County Night Out" events, starting Tuesday. Sept. 25, at the Harlan Park Shelter on Second Street. The second meeting will be Oct. 2 at the Arcola Volunteer Fire Station, 11401 Railroad St., and the final event is set for Oct. 9 at the Cornerstone Youth Center, 19819 Monroeville Road. All three meetings start at 6:30 p.m. ...

Bidding concerns cause withdrawal of $2.5 million riverfront contract; impact on project timetable uncertain

A proposed $2.5 million contract to design phases II and III of Fort Wayne's riverfront development project has been withdrawn from Tuesday's City Council agenda, apparently because of concerns the proposal may not have followed a six-year-old law requiring competitive bidding for professional services. The administration of Mayor Tom Henry announced last week it had selected DAVID RUBIN Land Collective of ...

Master Spas seeks tax breaks for $15 million expansion; to create 107 jobs by 2022

An application for tax breaks sheds more light on the $15.3 million Master Spas expansion announced last month. RELATED: Master Spas to invest $15.3 million, create up to 107 new Allen County jobs According to a request for an abatement to be considered Thursday by Allen County Council, improvements to the 166,000-square-foot former Fort Wayne Plastics facility at 510 Sumpter Drive will create 97 jobs with an ...

Fort Wayne Redevelopment Commission OKs special taxing district for Electric Works

Even though its expected meeting with Electric Works developers was postponed, the Fort Wayne Redevelopment Commission still found a way to boost the $220 million project Monday. The commission gave preliminary approval for creation of a "tax increment financing" (TIF) district that would make property taxes generated by Electric Works available for improvements to the project and in the surrounding ...

KEVIN LEININGER: Is Fort Wayne dragging its feet on Electric Works to revive downtown arena? City denies it, but some believe otherwise

Is there a connection between a possible loss of funding and protracted negotiations concerning Electric Works and the re-emergence of plans for a new downtown arena? Some supporters of the $220 million redevelopment of the former General Electric campus suspect there is — including a city councilman who hopes to replace the mayor he believes is working to undermine Electric Works despite public assurances ...

UPDATED: Proposed Indiana Tech project would accommodate student housing, shops

The Indiana Tech building boom continues in the form of plans to add more student housing and retail space near its campus just east of downtown. According to an application filed this week with the Allen County Department of Planning Services, the school is seeking to erect two buildings near 1411 E. Washington Blvd. across from the campus. One building would face East Washington and would include four ...

Fort Wayne to expand animal control services for New Haven

Fort Wayne could soon be going to the dogs — and cats and who knows what else — thanks to New Haven. City Council on Tuesday is expected to consider a proposal under which Fort Wayne's Department of Animal Care and Control will provides services to Allen County's 2nd-largest city for $37,474 in the first year and $48,578 in year two. Although Animal Care and Control has provided shelter for animals from New ...

KEVIN LEININGER: Do the benefits of a street festival justify the costs? New Haven looking at future of 'Canal Days'

Street festivals are as American as apple pie, but in the normally quiet city of New Haven the future of Canal Days is creating plenty of noise between downtown business owners who say the event costs them thousands of dollars every year and supporters who insist there's a greater good at stake. A special joint public meeting of the Board of Works and City Council tentatively set for Aug. 28 will seek public ...

Parking rates at the Memorial Coliseum will increase for the first time since 2013

Thanks in part to an explosion in utility costs, parking fees at the Memorial Coliseum will increase in September for the first time in five years. The Coliseum's Board of Trustees voted Tuesday to boost standard rates from $5 to $6. Preferred parking will increase from $8 to $10, while rates for recreational vehicles will go from $15 to $18 and VIP parking will go from $20 to $25. "We've been a bargain (for ...

KEVIN LEININGER: Is a white, Christian male allowed to talk about racism without apologizing? I'll do it anyway

Way back in 1999 the United Way of Allen County tried to help its member agencies become more inclusive by enlightening them that hating others because of the color of their skin can’t really be racist unless you also have the power “to systematically oppress those of another group” by virtue of such “privilege” as being a white male or a Christian. Nearly two decades later the idea is still ...

Marge Henry, mother to Fort Wayne's mayor and 16 others, dies at age 89

Marganelle Henry, the mother of Fort Wayne Mayor Tom Henry and 16 other children, died Monday morning at the age of 89. "She died at home in her sleep, as she wanted to die. She had been in a lot of pain," said son Jerry, a prominent local businessman. "She wanted to go see Dad. She was a great lady and mother's mother, and I Ioved her very much." Mayor Henry's office said it planned no formal statement, ...

KEVIN LEININGER: Religion and the border: Render to God, yes, but Caesar has legitimate interests, too

By all accounts, the "Families First Town Hall" at St. Joseph Catholic Church Sunday had quite a lot to say about how Christians should render to God by showing compassion to immigrant families while virtually ignoring the equally biblical duty to render to Caesar what is rightfully his. Respect for legitimate national borders and the laws designed to enforce them, for example. As many on the political left ...

Allen County Commissioner Linda Bloom failing to follow work-reporting requirement she supported

Allen County Commissioner Linda Bloom, whose absence from two recent meetings delayed votes on two contentious development proposals, is failing to report how many hours she works despite a resolution she supported last year requiring her and the other two commissioners to do just that. The policy adopted last August requires the commissioners, who comprise county government's executive and legislative ...

IU Health: Clinic opening Aug. 1 will improve access, quality of medical care in Fort Wayne

IU Health will open a primary care office at 7230 Engle Road on Aug. 1, but officials say its presence in Fort Wayne won't stop there. "Our goal is to make Indiana one of the healthiest states, and this (facility) is indicative of our long-term commitment to Fort Wayne," President of Health System Clinical Services Ron Stiver said before giving reporters a tour of the 10,000-square-foot, 20-room facility that ...

As renovation of buildings continues, Fort Wayne seeks bids to improve streetscape on 'The Landing'

With work now well underway on the $35 million redevelopment of the Columbia Street "Landing," the city is turning its attention to upgrading the street-level appearance of the historic downtown block. The Board of Works is expected to open bids Aug. 7 for a project that will remove the existing sidewalk and asphalt pavement in favor of a "pedestrian-friendly streetscape plaza which would eliminate the curb ...

KEVIN LEININGER: Who knew? Rock Hudson never should have been allowed to kiss Doris Day

Comic Kathy Griffin fantasized about beheading Donald Trump. Johnny Depp openly longed for the reincarnation of John Wilkes Booth and Robert De Niro shouted "F--- Trump" during the Tony Awards broadcast. TBS star Samantha Bee called first daughter Ivanka Trump a "feckless c---" on her weekly show. But Hollywood's reflection of what ails America goes far beyond the angry, bitter politics and the utter lack of ...

UPDATED: Fort Wayne officials are seeking clean up funds for not one but two major downtown projects

Funds are being sought to remove environmental hazards from two major downtown redevelopment sites. The city, which last year paid $4.63 million for the 30-acre "North River" site just north of the St, Marys River and recently removed an underground storage tank there, is seeking a grant from the state to clean up the former industrial site. And City Council on Tuesday is expected to consider spending up to ...

KEVIN LEININGER: Supreme Court pick gives Sen. Joe Donnelly a headache pro-Kavanaugh lobbying group is working to resolve

As a Democratic U.S. senator representing mostly Republican Indiana, the November election poses an especially vexing challenge for Joe Donnelly: Should he follow his party's lead and try to keep Brett Kavanaugh off the Supreme Court, possibly alienating voters in a state that supported the president who nominated him? Or should Donnelly give President Trump what he wants, likely cementing a conservative ...

Federal lawsuit challenges Fort Wayne's adult-business law, rejection of proposed downtown strip club

The city's refusal to allow a downtown strip club to reopen violated the applicant's right to free speech and equal protection under the law, according to a lawsuit filed Thursday in U.S. District Court in Fort Wayne that also seeks to void city codes governing adult businesses. Dino Zurzolo, owner of 1407 LLC, is asking the court to overturn the Fort Wayne Board of Zoning Appeal's June 21 decision upholding ...