WRITER: Kevin Leininger

Tom Smith to seek a return to Fort Wayne City Council in next year's election

A familiar face hopes to return to City Council in 2020. Tom Smith, who represented the First District for 15 years before he was defeated in the 2015 Republican primary by political novice Paul Ensley and currently serves on the Fort Wayne Community Schools Board, will seek the party's nomination for his former seat next May. Elected to the school board in 2016, Smith said he "didn't anticipate serving on ...

City Council OKs plan to boost public art in Fort Wayne

It appears a plan to increase art in public spaces will pass despite an effort to strip mandatory funding from the proposal. By a 6-3 preliminary vote City Council Tuesday passed an ordinance establishing a Public Art Commission and fund that would be created by a requirement businesses return an amount equal to 1 percent of some forms of city-approved tax breaks, up to a maximum of $100,000. A final vote is ...

KEVIN LEININGER: Mockery of Mike Pence proves talking to God isn't the problem; agreeing with him is

I was talking to God the other day, and he wants you to turn the other cheek and accept Joy Behar’s apology for calling Vice President and former Indiana Gov. Mike Pence a born-again whackadoodle. He also wants you to understand the real reason Behar mocked Pence in the first place — and why such ridicule will continue despite the massive backlash against her insistence that people who believe Jesus ...

Trina Riecke is Allen County's 'employee of the year'

Trina Riecke, a six-year veteran of the Allen County Department of Health, has been named county "employee of the year" by the The Allen County Board of Commissioners. Riecke was recognized for her commitment to ensuring positive outcomes for children with symptoms of lead poisoning. Along with the individual award, her name will be added to plaque containing the names of all employee of the year award winners. ...

Proposed amendment would remove mandatory funding of 'public art' in Fort Wayne

John Crawford is all for public art. He just doesn't believe companies seeking tax breaks from the city should be forced to pay for it. So Crawford, an at-large Republican member of City Council, Tuesday plans to propose an amendment to the bill creating a public art program that would make all such contributions voluntary — a change he believes would not scuttle the program if it has as much support as ...

Glynn Hines, southeast Fort Wayne councilman for 19 years, will not seek re-election

Fort Wayne City Council will have at least one new face come 2020, thanks to its longest continuously serving member's decision not to seek re-election next year. Democrat Glynn Hines, who has represented southeast Fort Wayne for 19 years, was expected to make the announcement during his annual "State of the 6th District" address Saturday morning. Speaking on this week's edition of The News-Sentinel's "Fort ...

KEVIN LEININGER: Here's one more thing to blame on global warming: Allen County's 'ratpocalypse'

Blame it on global warming if you like, but Allen County's rats seem to be breeding like rabbits — and the weather may be at least partly to blame. "When the weather is warm, rats are more active and have babies, and with our shorter, warmer winters, they have more time to increase the population," said Dave Fiess, director of the Fort Wayne-Allen County Department of Health's Vector Control & ...

Lutheran Health Network to host April 11 'career showcase'

Lutheran Health Network will conduct a career showcase April 11 for people wanting to explore and apply for careers in health care. The event will be from 4 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. in Lutheran Hospital's south lobby, located in Medical Office Building Two, 7910 W. Jefferson Blvd. Free parking is available in the south parking garage, and participants should enter the building through door 1L. Representatives from ...

KEVIN LEININGER: Did Florida shooting show how protecting students from their actions can endanger others?

Any threat to "shoot up" a school is serious, but the real significance of what happened at New Haven High School last week may not have been the words themselves but the prompt arrest of the 16-year-old female student who spoke them. In the wake of the attack that killed 17 people at a high school in Parkland, Fla., on Valentine's Day, much attention has been focused on law enforcement officials' failure to ...

Police report: Lutheran Health Network tensions result in threat against former CEO Brian Bauer

The ongoing conflict involving Lutheran Health Network, its Tennessee-based parent company and the former Lutheran executive being sued for allegedly disclosing confidential information has escalated into a threat of violence, according to an Allen County Police report. According to the report, St. Joseph Hospital CEO Karen Fordham suggested former Lutheran Health CEO Brian Bauer "Should be shot and killed ...

Allen County Sheriff seeks officer's termination for alleged harassment, other offenses

A 25-year veteran of the Allen County Sheriff's Department faces dismissal after allegedly harassing a woman who had dated one of his relatives. Sheriff David Gladieux is seeking the termination of Officer Johnny Gerardot, who according to Gladieux "has a history of disciplinary action . . . for unbecoming conduct, insubordination and incompetence," culminating in a harassment report filed on March 29 by ...

KEVIN LEININGER: In immigration battle, the South really is trying to rise again -- starting in Oakland

In response to what it considered lax border enforcement by the Obama administration, Arizona in 2012 passed a law giving the state broad powers to check residents' immigration status and to make arrests without warrants where "probable cause" existed to believe they were in the country illegally. The U.S. Supreme Court ultimately voided most of the law, however, with Justice Anthony Kennedy noting that "The ...

AUDIO: Student arrested after threatening to 'shoot up' New Haven High School

A 16-year-old student was arrested Tuesday after threatening to "shoot up" New Haven High School. According to an audio statement sent by the school to parents and others, the female student had been suspended for a disciplinary issue and, while in the office area, stated her hatred for the school and said she wanted to "shoot it up." The statement was corroborated by a New Haven Police report, which said ...

BAE planning $8 million upgrade of its Fort Wayne plant

A firm allegedly victimized by a massive employee tuition-reimbursement scam is planning to invest more than $8 million in new equipment that will protect 833 jobs at its plant at 4250 Airport Expressway. BAE Systems Controls has asked City Council for an abatement that would reduce its taxes on $8.029 million in manufacturing equipment by $600,611 over 10 years. The request will be introduced Tuesday, and ...

Fort Wayne to offer tours of sewage-treatment and water filtration plants

Free guided tours of Fort Wayne's Water Pollution Control Plant and Three Rivers Water Filtration Plant will be offered over the next several weeks. The first tour will be Saturday from 10 a.m. to noon at the Water Pollution Control Plant at 2601 Dwenger Ave. Visitors will learn how the plant operates, visit the lab and view its high-powered microscope, and learn about the importance the plant plays in our ...

'State of the 6th District' speech will be March 17

City Councilman Glynn Hines, D-6th, will give his annual State of the 6th District speech on Saturday, March 17, at Link’s Wonderland, 1711 E. Creighton Ave. The 2018 briefing will begin at 9 a.m. with breakfast, followed by the speech at 10 a.m. The address will focus on the improvements in the district and events and developments that are planned for the year. There will also be an important announcement ...

You can now view trails in Fort Wayne and Indiana on Google Maps

Now you can view images of your favorite Indiana parks and trails on Google Maps. The Fort Wayne Parks and Recreation Department has collected images of local trails and pathways in partnership with Google Maps. In 2016, the Indiana Parks and Recreation Association (IPRA) partnered with Google to capture 360-degree panoramic images of 33 Indiana parks using Google Trekker technology, providing an enhanced way ...

KEVIN LEININGER: Does split in victims-families movement show value of cooperation? Let's hope so

When David Miller and eight other relatives of homicide victims visited The News-Sentinel newsroom several weeks ago, they were united by their grief, their anger and their mission: to find and punish the killers. When the resulting "Flip This City" group demanded Allen County Prosecutor Karen Richards' resignation last month, however, Miller knew he'd have to chart his own path — a path that has led him to ...

New program will promote and pay for public art in Fort Wayne

There could soon be a lot more artwork of all sorts scattered throughout town thanks to a new program unveiled Thursday. An ordinance will be introduced at Tuesday's City Council meeting calling for the creation of the Public Art Program to be overseen by a 13-member volunteer commission made up of appointments from arts organizations and arts schools, as well as City Council and Mayor Tom Henry's office. The ...

Want to hold an event in downtown Fort Wayne? Entering this contest could help

The downtown Improvement District will once again offer its Winter-Spring events contest which invites businesses, organizations, and individuals to submit their best ideas for events in February, March, or April 2019 for a chance to receive production support. Winning events will be awarded funding, as well an event consultation session. In the initial phase of the contest, the DID will accept concept ...