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WRITER: Kevin Kilbane

UPDATED: Fort Wayne students plan second rally calling for end to gun violence

Fort Wayne students plan to continue their call for elected leaders to prevent gun violence and school shootings in America. The group Fort Wayne Students Demand Action to Prevent Gun Violence will hold a rally from 2 to 4 p.m. March 24 on the Allen County Courthouse green. The event will take place in solidarity with the March for Our Lives rally in Washington, D.C., said Brandon Blumenherst, an IPFW student ...

VIDEO and PHOTOS: Fort Wayne students, residents rally for stronger gun control and better protection of schools

An estimated 500 people turned out in cold, windy weather Sunday afternoon for the Fort Wayne Students Demand Action to Prevent Gun Violence rally downtown where speakers called on elected officials to take action to end gun violence and to protect schools. The rally, which was organized by Brandon Blumenherst of IPFW and other IPFW students, took place on the Allen County Courthouse green. One speaker ...

Woodlan student, 14, arrested after posting school shooting threat he said was a 'joke'

The school shooting threat incident Thursday at Woodlan Jr.-Sr. High School involved a 14-year-old boy who posted, "I'm shooting up Woodlan" on his Snapchat social media account, resulting in his arrest and panic at the school, a police report said. The student was arrested on a charge of intimidation and taken to the Allen County Juvenile Center, the Allen County Sheriff's Department officer who investigated ...

Armed neighborhood watch member keeping an eye on Fort Wayne North Side High School students' safety

A man armed with a handgun who's standing outside North Side High School boundaries was keeping watch over students Friday, nine days after a mass shooting left 17 people dead at a Florida high school. Mark Cowan stood Friday afternoon outside the school, 475 E. State Blvd., on Eade Avenue north of State Boulevard. North Side administrators were aware of Cowan, who had been out there all day, said Krista ...

Fort Wayne school districts say more school safety funding, not guns, will help keep children safe

People have been pitching many ideas this week on how to prevent school shootings, and some the ideas already are in use in Fort Wayne. Both East Allen County Schools (EACS) and Fort Wayne Community Schools (FWCS), for example, have armed police officers working in their schools. Information wasn't available Friday from the Northwest Allen County Schools and Southwest Allen County Schools districts. ARMED ...

Fort Wayne man's volunteering at Heritage Park has become like a second family

Denny Parker credits staff at Heritage Park senior health community with helping save his life. Now he's helping them improve life for other patients. "The residents captured my heart when I first came here," Parker, 64, said Wednesday, one of the days the Fort Wayne resident volunteers at Heritage Park. The 172-bed senior community recently honored Parker for his dedicated volunteer service by presenting him ...

Social media threat to 'SHS' doesn't involve Fort Wayne's Snider High School, but a Woodlan student was turned over to law enforcement for a reported threat

A vague threat posted on social media about bringing a gun to school at "SHS" set off school and law enforcement investigations at schools around the country with the initials SHS, including Snider High School in Fort Wayne. Fort Wayne Police Department investigators determined the post was made in Ohio, said Krista Stockman, Fort Wayne Community Schools public information officer. All other school threat ...

Allen County Public Library board welcomes new member, looks at 2017 by the numbers

The Allen County Public Library board of trustees welcomed a new member and heard a report on 2017 library operations during a meeting Thursday at the main library, 900 Library Plaza. Allen County Councilwoman Sharon Tucker, D-District 1, joined the board as a representative from Allen County Council. Tucker fills the unexpired term of former library board and county council member Bill Brown, who had two ...

Student rally planned Sunday in Fort Wayne to protest government inaction on gun violence, preventing school shootings

Frustrated by political leaders' lack of action to prevent gun violence, students in Fort Wayne and elsewhere are taking to the streets to protest. IPFW students are planning a rally from 1 to 3 p.m. Sunday at the Allen County Courthouse green, Brandon Blumenherst, the main organizer of the event, said via email. The rally is a "direct response" to the shootings last Wednesday at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High ...

Fort Wayne-area educators voice opposition to state's proposed A to F Accountability Rule

Area educators voiced unanimous opposition to a proposed new state A-F Accountability Rule during the first hour of a public input meeting Monday evening in the auditorium at Ivy Tech Community College-Fort Wayne, 3800 N. Anthony Blvd. The Indiana State Board of Education (ISBOE) proposed the new A-F rule, which sets up a new process for assigning a letter grade to Indiana elementary, middle and high schools ...

Public can offer input on proposed A-F school accountability rule during hearing Monday in Fort Wayne

Area residents and school officials can comment on the Indiana State Board of Education's (ISBOE) proposed A-F Accountability Rule for schools during a public hearing 4-7 p.m. Monday in the auditorium of the Ivy Tech Community College-Fort Wayne's Coliseum building at 3800 N. Anthony Blvd. The proposed A-F rule will set up the process for assigning a letter grade to Indiana elementary, middle and high schools ...

Fort Wayne native Joseph Beutel continues building a career in opera

Literally standing in the right place at the right time, Fort Wayne native Joseph Beutel received the cell phone call in Yellowstone National Park that led to what he calls a "life-changing" involvement in a contemporary chamber opera about a difficult aspect of life in Hong Kong. Beutel was visiting the park late last year with a friend. He happened to be in one of the few areas where he had cell service ...

VIDEO TOUR and PHOTOS: Fort Wayne Habitat for Humanity's new ReStore will open soon

People eager to check out the new Fort Wayne Habitat for Humanity ReStore on Lima Road will get their chance soon. If staff get things moved in and arranged the way they want in the next couple of weeks, the local Habitat chapter likely will do a soft opening at the new store, 4747 Lima Road, said Justin Berger, Fort Wayne Habitat CEO. At the same time, staff will close the current Habitat ReStore at 3837 N. ...

Fort Wayne Community Schools Superintendent Wendy Robinson finishes a runner-up for national Superintendent of the Year

Superintendent Wendy Robinson of Fort Wayne Community Schools was a runner-up for the 2018 National Superintendent of the Year announced today by AASA, The School Superintendents Association. Robinson was one of four finalists for the award, which was announced about 6:15 p.m. Fort Wayne time Thursday during AASA’s national conference on education taking place today through Saturday in Nashville, Tenn. David ...

Fort Wayne Community Schools board approves raises for non-teaching staff

Three groups of unionized workers and those who aren't represented by a union all will receive pay raises of 2 percent this school year and 2 percent next school year under agreements the Fort Wayne Community Schools board of school trustees approved Monday night. Board members took the action during their meeting at Grile Administrative Center. The pay raises are retroactive to July 1 for unionized employees ...

Fort Wayne pastor's 'Ashes to Go' just one form of engaging people

The Rev. Gary Erdos will again offer "Ashes to Go" for Ash Wednesday from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Wednesday outside the Lincoln Financial Event Center at Parkview Field. It's part of a wider effort by Erdos, pastor of Trinity English Lutheran Church, and his congregation to reach out and engage with people who may not feel comfortable coming to a church. Last year, Erdos had 49 people stop by for Ashes to Go, ...

UPDATED: New Fort Wayne farmers market organization plans year-round market at Electric Works project on Broadway

Fort Wayne is ready for a year-round, public farmers market, and a new local farmers market organization would like to make that happen at the Electric Works campus in the 1700 block of Broadway. Farmers markets still will go on as usual this year, however. "We still are very much in the early stages of this planning process," Jered Blanchard, president of the Fort Wayne Public Market organization, said at ...

Valentine's Day and Ash Wednesday both take place Wednesday, which could change some Lenten observers' Valentine's plans

Unless you've been married 73 years or more, Valentine's Day will be a first this week. That's because it will be first time since 1945 it has shared the same day as Ash Wednesday, according to the blog 1964, which is written by the Center for Applied Research in the Apostolate (CARA) at Georgetown University in Washington, D.C. While that dual-day revelation still may be 24 hours off for guys used to ...

Fort Wayne Community Schools takes steps toward improving student achievement through use of nearly $50 million federal grant

Fort Wayne Community Schools took an early step toward improving student achievement, especially at low-performing schools, by approving acceptance of a federal grant that could send up to $50 million to the district to help address the problem. The FWCS board of school trustees approved accepting the U.S. Department of Education Teacher and School Leadership Incentive Program (TSLIP) grant during their regular ...

Fort Wayne's Julia Meek has been sharing musical folk tales for 35 years

Julia Meek started playing folk and other music on Fort Wayne's public radio station in the early 1980s to fill a half hour of air time after a classical music show. Her love for musical storytelling eventually grew into "Folktales," a tour of folk music from around the world related to each show's theme. "I really do love to tell a good folktale," said Meek, 67, who recently marked her 35th year of playing ...