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WRITER: Kerry Hubartt

THE LAST WORD: Newspaper endorsements designed to help guide voter decisions

While many people are already anticipating next year’s presidential election, we think it isn’t as important to Fort Wayne citizens as this year’s election on Nov. 5. Why? Because the candidates on the ballot are competing for the offices that make a direct impact on the lives of this city’s citizens. They are the ones who can impact public safety, economic development, schools, parking and the overall ...

THE LAST WORD: Addiction plays sad role in ‘Country Music’

I learned some things about country music during the last couple of weeks. And one was that country musicians have a sordid history of lives scarred by addictions to drugs and alcohol. Over the past two weeks, I watched the riveting eight-episode, 16-hour documentary miniseries “Country Music,” produced by Ken Burns and written by Dayton Duncan that premiered on PBS on Sept. 15. The series, which chronicles ...

THE LAST WORD: ‘Overcomer’ is Christian movie with a message: Define your identity

Four years ago I wrote in this column about Christian films following the release of a Kendrick brothers production called “War Room.” I pointed out that an earlier film called “Fireproof” (2008), directed by Alex Kendrick, who co-wrote and co-produced it with his brother Stephen, had ignited a run of films in that genre, including more by the Kendrick brothers. Though produced on modest budgets and ...

The Last Word: University wrong to attack Chick-fil-A

Some University of Kansas faculty members want America’s favorite restaurant removed from campus for being what they call a “bastion of bigotry.” Bigotry means intolerance toward those who hold different opinions from oneself; obstinate or intolerant devotion to one’s own opinions and prejudices. I do not agree that Chick-fil-A, which has three Fort Wayne locations, fits that ...

THE LAST WORD: Line between stripping, swinging hard to distinguish

I’m all for personal freedom and property rights, even if I may disagree with what people do legally in the privacy of their own home or elsewhere. But in the wake of a proposed zoning ordinance and the ensuing debate in Allen County regarding where sexually oriented businesses can locate and what other restrictions are being imposed, I’m struggling to understand the difference between outlawing some ...

Last Word: Former News-Sentinel reporter shares his Woodstock story

Fifty years ago Sunday, the Woodstock music festival came to a close in upstate New York. Billed as a three-day event, “An Aquarian Exposition: 3 Days of Peace & Music,” it was scheduled for Aug. 15-18, 1969, at the 600-acre dairy farm in Bethel, N.Y., owned by Max Yasgur. Whatever you may think of the activities that went on there, the event is considered a defining moment in popular music history and ...

The Last Word: Wings of Freedom Tour a walk through WWII aviation history

I live about five miles south of the DeKalb County Airport, as the crow flies. So it’s common for airplanes of various kinds to fly overhead on their way to or from the airfield. Monday I heard an unusually loud rumbling in the sky. As a big fan of airplanes and aviation history, I tend to run outside and see what’s up, literally, when something different may be flying overhead. This time it was a World War ...

The Last Word: Wings of Freedom Tour a walk through WWII aviation history

I live about five miles south of the DeKalb County Airport, as the crow flies. So it’s common for airplanes of various kinds to fly overhead on their way to or from the airfield. Monday I heard an unusually loud rumbling in the sky. As a big fan of airplanes and aviation history, I tend to run outside and see what’s up, literally, when something different may be flying overhead. This time it was a World ...

THE LAST WORD: Planned exhumation of Dillinger’s body revives legend of Hoosier gangster

The news that two relatives of 1930s gangster John Dillinger plan to have his remains exhumed because they have "evidence" the body buried in an Indianapolis cemetery may not be him has resurrected the legend of the infamous bank robber/killer. Good thing or bad, Dillinger has been a subject of fascination and legend in Indiana, and connections to his exploits have been the stuff of stories and conversations ...

THE LAST WORD: Police partnerships with neighborhoods that use doorbell cams can prevent crime

We live in an age of videos that show anything and everything any time and almost anywhere and make life more and more difficult to keep private. People can’t do anything without being recorded, it seems, because someone’s smartphone or a business or stoplight or home doorbell has a camera that will catch them in the act. Police cars and even body cams record the actions of law enforcement officers and the ...

THE LAST WORD: Knight return to Bloomington would be fitting

The storied career of former Indiana University basketball coach Bob Knight had a not-so-happy ending when he was fired by IU President Myles Brand in 2000. His long absence from Bloomington and repeated scorning of the university since have been sad and disappointing. But is the self-imposed banishment about to end? Reports say property transfer records filed recently in the Monroe County Assessor’s Office ...

THE LAST WORD: Do you remember where you were when man first landed on the moon?

Saturday marks the 50th anniversary of the first manned landing of a spacecraft on the moon when Apollo 11 touched down and two astronauts set foot on the lunar surface, first Purdue University alumnus and Commander Neil Armstrong, followed by Buzz Aldrin. It’s one of those events, like the assassination of John F. Kennedy or the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks, that sears in our brains where we were and what we were ...

THE LAST WORD: For me, Betsy Ross flag is no symbol of racism or oppression

What would Betsy Ross say? Former NFL player Colin Kaepernick has complained about special Nike shoes that came out last week with a symbol of the first stars and stripes flag the Philadelphia upholsterer is believed to have sewed in 1776, during the American Revolution. So the sportswear manufacturer dutifully stopped the release of the sneaker. Kaepernick, of course, is the former San Francisco 49ers ...

THE LAST WORD: Old stone church connects to my family’s beginning in Indiana

I have a print of a watercolor painting by my Uncle Paul Hubartt hanging in my home that he gave me years ago of an old stone church near Blooming Grove, Ind. The significance of the old structure is that it was built on the site of a log church where my great-great-great grandfather, William D. Hubartt, was pastor. The stone church was called Duck Chapel because the stones used to build it came from nearby ...

THE LAST WORD: We need to educate public, enforce law to stop littering

I’m sure I have many faults, but littering is not one of them. I know my parents did not approve of littering, and somehow they ingrained in my conscience not to toss anything on the ground any time, anywhere — not a gum wrapper, a tissue, anything. I will not litter. But it’s clear not everyone feels the way I do. Nothing spoils a beautiful drive in the country like a stretch of road littered with ...

THE LAST WORD: How can the 'City of Churches’ now be thought of as post-Christian?

Fort Wayne has long been called the “City of Churches,” but it ranks 76th in the nation as post-Christian. How can that be? “Post-Christian” means there has been an observed decline in the influence of the church: Christianity is no longer the dominant religion where it once was. The fact that there are at least 360 churches in town apparently doesn’t make Fort Wayne a bastion of religious belief and ...

THE LAST WORD: Ernie Pyle’s reporting brought D-Day to life

What I like about reading good fiction is that the best authors create stories that put you into the book — description, voice, emotion and all the senses combine to make you experience what you read. In my career as a journalist I sought, not always successfully, to try to bring my stories to life in a similar way — by use of description whenever possible, storytelling, trying to put the reader ...

THE LAST WORD: When complaining about the wet weather, remember our farmers

Indiana farmers are between a mud puddle and a soft place. While the rest of us moan and groan because our lawns are too wet to mow and our gardens too muddy to plant, some farmers throughout the Midwest are wondering whether to plant at all — and that’s their livelihood. Many conversations throughout this spring have centered on the incessant rains and how they affect our normal routines and state of ...

THE LAST WORD: Journalism keeps the light on in a dark world

Throughout my career in journalism I have endured many criticisms of my calling, a profession considered so important by our Founding Fathers that our law prohibits its curtailment in the First Amendment to the Constitution. Certainly there have been many times when individual journalists and even the organizations they work for have blundered, fumbled, turned a blind eye, slanted the news and served their own ...

THE LAST WORD: Dick Florea, ‘Fort Wayne’s Walter Cronkite,’ inducted into Journalism Hall of Fame

Long-time television newsman Richard (Dick) Florea has been called Fort Wayne’s Walter Cronkite. Cronkite was called “the most trusted man in America” during the heyday of CBS News in the 1960s and 1970s. Florea’s heyday, likewise, was in the same two decades during which viewers of Fort Wayne’s No. 1 television news provider looked to him in the same way. While Florea shrugs off any comparison to ...