The Journal Gazette
Sunday, December 02, 2018 1:00 am

Banks wants Navy ship named Fort Wayne

NIKI KELLY and BRIAN FRANCISCO | The Journal Gazette

Could Fort Wayne have a ship named after it?

U.S. Rep. Jim Banks, R-3rd, thinks there should be.

Banks has written Secretary of the Navy Richard V. Spencer, asking that he consider naming a littoral combat ship the U.S.S. Fort Wayne.

According to, a littoral combat ship “is a new family of surface ships for the U.S. Navy. The LCS is a fast, highly maneuverable, networked surface combat ship, which is a specialized variant of the family of U.S. future surface combat ships known as DD(X).

“LCS is designed to satisfy the urgent requirement for shallow draft vessels to operate in the littoral (coastal waters) to counter growing potential 'asymmetric' threats of coastal mines, quiet diesel submarines and the potential to carry explosives and terrorists on small, fast, armed boats.”

A previous U.S.S. Fort Wayne was commissioned in 1918 and decommissioned in 1919, Banks said in his letter.

He goes on to say the city is named after Gen. Anthony Wayne, a Revolutionary War leader, and that former Vice President Dan Quayle and Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats represented Fort Wayne in Indiana's 4th Congressional District.

“The greater Fort Wayne area is also known for producing key naval capabilities,” Banks said. “Navy anti-submarine warfare enabling capabilities, such as sonobuoys, are produced in the greater Fort Wayne area and employ hundreds of Hoosiers.”

Go, Saints!

Two Fort Wayne City Council members Tuesday praised and congratulated the Bishop Dwenger football team on its state championship win.

“It was one of the most exhilarating, exciting games, even though it was 0-0 at the end of the fourth quarter,” said Councilman Tom Didier, R-3rd, a 1979 Bishop Dwenger graduate.

Didier attended the game with Councilman Tom Freistroffer, R-at large. Freistroffer echoed Didier's comments and offered perspective on attending the championship.

“I would say that Councilman Didier, sitting next to him, would make one heck of a cheerleader,” Freistroffer said.

Do you want ketchup with that?

Speaking to a reporter from The Journal Gazette on Wednesday, Allen County GOP chairman Steve Shine joked that media headlines Thursday morning should read, “Republicans elect Kerley Fries.”

The reason? Kyle Kerley and former Sheriff Ken Fries were elected by caucus as Allen County Council's newest members. Kerley and Fries were chosen from nine candidates to fill vacancies left by outgoing Councilmen Justin Busch and Eric Tippmann.

Busch is moving on to replace retired state Sen. David Long. Tippmann was elected Nov. 6 as Perry Township Trustee.

Local woman gets new post

Hirons, an advertising, public relations and digital agency in Indianapolis, has hired Statehouse talent to help provide its clients with bipartisan strategic communications counsel.

Charity Stowe, former deputy director of legislative affairs for the Indiana House Democratic Caucus, and Emily Gaylord, former press secretary for the Indiana House Republican Caucus, are joining the agency.

Gaylord, of Allen County, earned her bachelor's degree in advertising from Ball State University.

At Hirons, she  designs and implements media campaigns, including advanced digital and broadcast strategies.

Stowe is from South Bend and has a masters' degree from IUPUI.

Local appointments

Gov. Eric Holcomb made a bevy of appointments to state boards, including several area residents.

Jessica Scheurich of Waterloo – formerly with Keller Development – will continue her service on the Fire Prevention & Building Safety Commission.

Linda Hamilton of Fort Wayne will continue her service on the Indiana Worker's Compensation Board. Her terms expires in 2023.

Journal Gazette reporter Dave Gong and Day City Editor Jim Chapman contributed to this column. 

To reach Political Notebook by email, contact Brian Francisco at or Niki Kelly at An expanded Political Notebook can also be found as a daily blog at

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