Firefighters put out blaze at vacant house

Fort Wayne firefighters quickly put out a fire in a house downtown Friday morning.

Firefighters responded at 11:19 a.m. to a call of a blaze in a vacant house near the intersection of East Washington Boulevard and Clay Street. The fire in the 500 block of East Washington was brought under control at 11:27 a.m. and no one was injured. The blaze on the first floor of the two-story house caused moderate damage, and the cause is being investigated. <br>

<center> Gas line leak causes downtown traffic jam </center><br>

A gas line leak at a downtown intersection Friday morning closed streets within four blocks for several hours to allow crews to fix the leak.

Emergency personnel responded to the leak at about 7:30 a.m. Friday after a contractor hit the 4-inch gas line at West Washington Boulevard and Harrison Street, forcing police to close all streets within four blocks of the leak as people were trying to get to work. The lanes were reopened at 3:19 p.m.

By noon, most of the streets had been reopened, except for the leak site, which continued to seep well into the afternoon. <br>

<center> Tobacco Master Settlement deceptive promotion reported </center><br>

Attorney General Curtis Hill warns Hoosiers to beware of deceptive promotions implying residents may receive payments under the terms of the Tobacco Master Settlement, according to a news release.

The Indiana Legislature directs settlement funds to state agencies, not to individuals. The online promotion urges residents to sign up for payments through Money Map Press, and once consumers agree to pay for more information, sponsors of the promotion provide them with information about tobacco revenue bonds.

When consumers enter their information, they are billed $5 for the first month and $99 for a yearly subscription fee, which is difficult to cancel once the billing information has been entered. <br>

<center> Community leaders support revitalization </center><br>

The Greater Fort Wayne board announced Friday that it supports revitalizing Fort Wayne’s sidewalks, alleys and riverfront area. Board members unanimously voted to endorse a proposed Fort Wayne City Council ordinance that would fund those projects, according to a news release.

Because of funding cuts, Fort Wayne Community Schools eliminated bus transportation for about 7,000 students. The proposed ordinance would repair existing sidewalks and create sidewalks so children can get to school safely.

“Many of the sidewalks near our schools are damaged or incomplete,” said Wendy Robinson, FWCS superintendent and a GFW Inc. board member, in the release. “In some cases, the only option for our students is to walk in or near the road, which is clearly a child safety hazard.”

The ordinance would also transform the banks of the St. Marys River, and local business leaders see riverfront development boosting jobs and wages in northeast Indiana.

“A thriving Riverfront will also be a crucial element in attracting and retaining the highly skilled people we need to fill job openings in our region, said Ray Kusisto, CEO of Ortho NorthEast and a GFW Inc. board member, in the release.

The GFW board is comprised of 53 community leaders who are residents and from local companies and nonprofits. <br>

<center> HEAL classes offered </center><br>

Fort Wayne Parks & Recreation Department, Parkview Health and St. Joseph Community Foundation is sponsoring Healthy Eating Active Living classes for the general public to attend.

The classes focus on healthy menu planning, recipe preparation and cooking techniques as well as learning the nutritional value of fruits and vegetables and how to adopt a healthy lifestyle.

HEAL classes take place noon-2 p.m. Saturdays, June through September at Jennings Recreation Center, 1330 McCulloch St. Space is limited. Reservations: 427-5966. <br>

<center> Embassy to feature organ accompaniment to silent films </center><br>

The Embassy Theatre will present a couple of silent films, which will feature the Grande Page pipe organ.

“The Cameraman” (1928) stars Buster Keaton as a clumsy man who attempts to become a motion picture cameraman to be close to the woman he loves. It airs at 7 p.m. Thursday, with Clark Wilson on the organ.

“King of Kings” (1927) stars H.B. Warner as Christ in the weeks before his crucifixion. It airs at 7 p.m. June 29, with Scott Foppiano on the organ.

Tickets are $8 for adults and $3 for ages 12 and under.

The Embassy Theatre also offers a family-oriented Behind the Screen 9:30 a.m.-1 p.m. Wednesday, featuring two black-and-white silent movies. After the films, kids will get a peek “behind the screen,” watching stage hands disassemble and store the giant movie screen. Other hands-on activities will be offered. Tickets are $6. <br>

<center> Indiana’s unemployment rate declines to 3.2 percent in May </center><br>

INDIANAPOLIS – The state says Indiana’s unemployment rate declined to 3.2 percent in May and is below the national rate of 4.3 percent last month.

The Indiana Department of Workforce Development said Friday the state’s May jobless rate compared with one of 3.6 percent in April.

Indiana’s labor force decreased by 2,062 over the previous month, with an 8,946 increase in employment and an 11,008 decrease in unemployment. Indiana’s total labor force is more than 3.33 million and the state has a 64.5 percent labor force participation rate.