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Furthermore …

Gary Varvel l Indianapolis Star

Facts few, speculation great surrounding Te’o

The bizarre saga of Manti Te’o has captured the attention of countless Americans, spurring almost-endless theories, jokes and more.

One group trying to use the affair to its advantage is the Florence Freedom, a minor league baseball team in suburban Cincinnati, which announced a Lennay Kekua bobblehead day May 23.

The whole concept of Internet dating and “catfishing” has opened the eyes of many people – particularly those a bit older – and turned the old “boy meets girl” story upside down and inside out.

Boy doesn’t meet girl.

Boy thinks he’s gotten the girl he doesn’t have.

Boy loses girl who never was.

But here are a couple of facts to keep in mind:

•Only a handful of people – if that – know what really happened, at least for now.

•Te’o turns the wise old age of 22 this month. He’s been under the protective cocoon of biological family and Notre Dame family his entire life.

•No matter what, the guy is a great athlete. Americans have a lot of trouble remembering that being a great athlete doesn’t make someone great at everything else, including being a role model.

And that goes back even before Babe Ruth and arguably the nation’s first superstar athlete, King Kelly, a 19th century baseball player known for his heavy drinking, womanizing – and running from first base directly to third when the umpire wasn’t looking.

Angola mayor’s brave stance

Northeast Indiana residents probably weren’t all that surprised when Mayor Tom Henry and Police Chief Rusty York publicly took a stand for banning new sales of assault weapons and high-capacity magazines earlier this week. But it was Angola Mayor Richard Hickman who took the bigger political risk in joining with Henry.

Though Hickman is a Democrat, he lives in a conservative, Republican-leaning rural area where the local newspaper is named the Herald-Republican. Indeed, a group of gun owners plans a rally for Jan. 26 in front of the Steuben County Courthouse in Angola to declare their opposition to proposed gun-control measures.

Those who follow the gun-control debate should take notice that while much of the faceoff seems to be between liberals and conservatives, mayors and police chiefs of both parties tend to support gun-control measures – because they are the officials who most often have to deal directly with gun violence.

The road to confusion

Sometimes it seems state legislators just don’t have enough to do.

In the mid-1980s, after Hoosiers had become accustomed to the right-turn-on-red law, some lawmaker had the brilliant idea to allow drivers to proceed straight after stopping at a red light if they were on a certain approach to a “T” intersection.


So were many drivers after the General Assembly, amazingly, put the proposal into law. Drivers didn’t know which approach was valid, police officers hated the law, and it was repealed the next year.

As more proof that those who don’t learn from history are bound to repeat it, two state representatives this year have introduced a bill that would allow motorcyclists to treat a red light as a stop sign if they wait 120 seconds. As opposed to the 1980s law, if there is no other traffic, cyclists can not only go straight but even turn left at a red light. To make sure they have waited at least 120 seconds, will bikers try “one potato, two potato” 120 times? Will they check their watches – and hope they have second hands?

Will they guess the time? Hard to do, because 20 seconds at a red light seems like five minutes.

The proponents have pitched the plan as pro-safety, but don’t be surprised if opponents emerge.

Subway’s footlong frustration

Subway sandwiches are really taking it on the chin.

First came the Arby’s commercial that slams Subway by name for pre-cutting its meat.

Then came the police – to an Orlando Subway after an exchange turned nasty between an employee and a customer angry that Subway doesn’t carry ketchup for its Philly steak sandwiches.

Now comes an Internet attack contending the footlong Subway is closer to 11 inches.

In another case of less-than-perfect public relations, Subway blamed the restaurant, saying “the bread preparation procedures were unfortunately not followed.”

Something tells us this won’t be the end of Internet truth-in-sandwich-advertising chatter. Surely customers will be weighing the Quarter Pounder and report if it’s anything shy of 4 ounces.