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     Bird world Samaritanhas lessons for humansI have always loved birds, and when I read in the paper that Fort Wayne was one of Indiana’s five bird towns, I thought I should share my most favorite bird story.
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      Duff's backgroundwill serve FWCS well As executive director of the Fort Wayne Education Association for 22 years, I regularly attended Fort Wayne
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     Duff’s backgroundwill serve FWCS wellAs executive director of the Fort Wayne Education Association for 22 years, I regularly attended Fort Wayne Community Schools school board meetings.


Mismanagement leaves questions in Huntertown

Many questions need to be answered about who is running Huntertown.

Wasted money and lost opportunities are all that residents, businesses and schools get with the never-ending IDEM appeal, surprise skyrocketing utility bills, and paying out the nose for high-priced Indianapolis lawyer fees and engineering fees. I have no idea what we have paid for engineering (I am still waiting for this information) and for their errors, mistakes and oversights. From 2012 and 2013 we ratepayers have had to shell out more than $300,000 for legal fees just on the IDEM appeal. There are others lawsuits in progress, too. Rate increases done twice to get it right. Closed-door meetings and many, many expensive extensions and delays.

So I ask how this town council can set exclusive boundaries on water service and sewer service when they don’t even have a new drinking water plant working and they are running out of sewer connections. How much maintenance will be delayed because ratepayer money is spent on lawyers and consultants?

Since there is no new agreement, no separate wastewater treatment plant, no new water plant yet – how can our town council try to dictate policy on such matters? It seems the town council gets no common sense or business advice from the current failing crew of advisers. So I ask again the question: Who is running our town and when do we call it malpractice?


Today offers a second to savor

At 9 minutes and 10 seconds after 8 a.m. today – the 12th of November of this year, the time and date will be 08:09:10 11/12/13

This will never happen again this millennium.


Franklin prosecution was bungled by feds

In your editorial on Joseph Paul Franklin’s death row regrets (Oct. 29), you mentioned Franklin was acquitted for shooting Vernon Jordan.

Some 13 years ago I began writing Franklin’s biography, which for many reasons remains a work in progress.

The Justice Department was anxious to convict Franklin for shooting Jordan. The problem for federal prosecutors was that shooting a man in a motel parking lot is simply not a federal crime. So to try Franklin in a federal courtroom, the Justice Department had to use some imagination to make Franklin’s assault a federal case. They charged him under a then-new civil rights law – violation of Jordan’s rights by causing grave bodily injury in an effort to stop him from using a public interstate lodging facility.

One of Franklin’s jurors told me the entire jury knew Franklin had shot Jordan but regretted not being able to return a guilty verdict because Franklin was simply not guilty of the crime the government had charged him with.

Franklin took great satisfaction in defeating the Justice Department in South Bend. He regards that “not guilty” verdict as his finest hour in his lifelong war against the federal government.