The Journal Gazette
Sunday, February 28, 2021 1:00 am

County GOP to select new officers

NIKI KELLY | The Journal Gazette

Allen County Republicans will reorganize Saturday at Grand Wayne Center – choosing a slate of officers with two new faces.

Chairman Steve Shine will retain his post and said the new officers on the central committee are reflective of advancing the voices of women and minorities.

Shine begins his 29th year as chair and is senior partner at Shine & Hardin.

Lana Keesling will be the new vice chairwoman, taking over from Candice Fries. Keesling is the Fort Wayne city clerk.

Sofia Rosales-Scatena, public information officer for the Fort Wayne Police Department, will become secretary, replacing Ron Williams.

And Bob Lee returns as treasurer. He is an associate professor of accounting at the University of Saint Francis.

Shine said there is no competition, and he believes the candidates will go unchallenged.

He also said U.S. Sen. Todd Young will attend the event, which begins at 9 a.m.

State progressive group organizing

A new grassroots advocacy organization is fighting for progressive change in the Indiana General Assembly.

INProgress was founded “because Indiana deserves better than having to choose between far-right Republicans and centrist corporate-sponsored Democrats. We believe in the power of progressive policies that help working-class Hoosiers get ahead instead of getting by.”

Some of the policies include a $15 minimum wage, expanded voter protections, criminal justice reform and Medicare for all.

The group was created by Josh Cox, who has a master's degree in public affairs from the O'Neill School of Public and Environmental Affairs at Indiana University.

He said people from 20 of Indiana's 92 counties have inquired about running for office and an announcement could come soon on an initial candidate.

INProgress is a political action committee and is raising money, which is currently going toward building the infrastructure of the organization. Cox hopes to contribute to candidates leading up to the 2022 primary.

To learn more, go to

Constitution clear: FWCS board leader

The Fort Wayne Community Schools board president didn't let last week's meeting adjourn without schooling state lawmakers on the Indiana Constitution.

Legislators are wrong when they say the state funds students, not systems, Anne Duff said following Monday's board discussions largely devoted to the erosion of public school funding.

“If you've read the Indiana Constitution, Article 8, Section 1, it states, 'It shall be the duty of the General Assembly to provide by law for a general and uniform system of common schools wherein tuition shall be without charge and equally open to all.' So, public schools is where our funding should go,” Duff said.

Duff encouraged parents to write letters opposing education savings accounts and vouchers.

“We need an end to this,” she said.

Slayings anger council members

Two Fort Wayne City Council members expressed outrage and grief over the deaths of two Black men in a Feb. 17 shooting that some community members and activists say was racially motivated.

Police say Anderson Retic and Joshua Cole Cooper, both 19, were killed when Joseph Bossard, 32, allegedly opened fire into the car they were in at a gas station near the intersection of East State Boulevard and Hobson Road. A third victim, Jaylin Rice, 20, was also wounded in the attack.

Dressed in black as a sign of mourning during Tuesday's City Council meeting, Councilwoman Michelle Chambers, D-at large, described the violence as senseless.

“We lost two treasures here in our community. They were thriving young men and this was a senseless death,” she said. “My condolences to their families who are working to bury their sons this week.”

Councilman Glynn Hines, D-at large, also offered his condolences to the victims' families, decrying their deaths as murders perpetrated in cold blood.

“The individual left the gas station, came back and shot all three of them,” he said. “Hopefully the prosecutor's office will prosecute to the fullest extent of the law.”

Ashley Sloboda and Dave Gong of The Journal Gazette contributed to this column.

To reach Political Notebook by email, contact Niki Kelly at Political Notebook can be found at

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