The Journal Gazette
Tuesday, March 24, 2020 1:00 am

Coronavirus roundup

Compiled by the Journal Gazette

Here are the changes, cancellations, and other updates related to the coronavirus outbreak. For a more detailed list, go to and under blogs, select The Scoop.


 Weisser Youth Center Closed Today

On Tuesday, March 24, Weisser Park Youth Center is closed for cleaning today (Tuesday, March 24). There is no meal service at that location. Meals will still be served at Jennings Recreation Center, Cooper Center, and McMillen Park Community Center. 

For more information, contact Mitch Sheppard at 260-427-6441 or

Fort Wayne’s Metropolitan Human Relations Commission to close March 25 to April 7

The City of Fort Wayne’s Metropolitan Human Relations Commission will be closed beginning March 25, 2020 with plans to reopen on April 7.

If you would like to begin the process of filing a charge of employment discrimination you are encouraged to visit the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission’s (EEOC) Public Portal at or call the EEOC Indianapolis District Office at 463-999-1240; TTY 1-800-669-6820; or ASL Video Phone 844-234-5122. If you would like to begin the process of filing a charge of housing discrimination you are encouraged to visit the HUD website at or call the HUD Discrimination Hotline at 1-800-669-9777.

If you would like to make a general inquiry regarding a charge of education or public accommodation discrimination you are encouraged to visit the Metropolitan Human Relations Commission’s website at

If you submit an inquiry to the Commission, an investigator will reach out to you when the office reopens.

Fort Wayne City Park playgrounds closed

Fort Wayne City Park Playgrounds will be closed starting Wednesday, March 25, based on the COVID-19 response guidelines from Governor Holcomb. Reopen dates will be announced when available. 

Citizens are urged to follow @FortWayneParks on Facebook and Twitter, along with for updates.

WorkOne centers closed to public 

The Indiana Department of Workforce Development announced Monday it will close to the public all WorkOne centers statewide until further notice.

Individuals must apply for unemployment benefits online using a computer, tablet or smartphone. Online filing information can be found at

The department has updated its COVID-19 unemployment insurance frequently asked questions with important information, which can be found at the same web address. Individuals are encouraged to review the frequently asked questions, the claimant handbook or the online video tutorials on the page.

If individuals still have questions, they can contact DWD by email or telephone. Because of the extremely high call volume, waits will be longer than usual. DWD asks that individuals reach out with questions only on the day corresponding with the first letter of their last name to assist with wait times. Here is the schedule:

Monday: A-E

Tuesday: F-I

Wednesday: J-M

Thursday: N-T

Friday: U-Z

Friday: If You Missed Your Day

Contact by email at or call 1-800-891-6499.

DWD is working on a telephone application to assist those who aren't online with filing for unemployment benefits. DWD will publish information regarding the telephone application as soon as it is ready.

Environmental progams on hold

The Allen County Department of Environmental Management has suspended the following programs until further notice: Tox-Away Tuesdays, electronics recycling, household battery recycling and fluorescent bulb recycling. 

Residents who use Tox-Away Tuesdays and electronics recycling programs are encouraged to hold on to materials until programs are back in operation.

The department's community recycling drop-off sites will remain open until further notice. Go to or email ACDEM at for more information.

Allen courts cut operations

Allen Circuit and Superior courts will further curtail operations starting Wednesday to comply with Gov. Eric Holcomb's stay-at-home order. 

Courts already had placed restrictions on how many people can attend court hearings, but new measures include keeping only essential staff at the Allen County Courthouse and halting “all but emergency family relations and protection order hearings and initial/essential hearings in criminal and juvenile matters,” according to a news release. 

“We want to be here every day to serve the public and to keep the wheels of justice turning,” said Allen Superior Court Chief Judge Andrea R. Trevino. “Unfortunately, circumstances make that impossible right now. When it is safe in our community to come back together, we will get those wheels turning once again.”

Information about the courts' response to the coronavirus is available at

PFW limiting access to campus

Purdue University Fort Wayne announced Monday it will limit access to its campus to only essential employees who require access beginning at 11:59 p.m. today and continuing until further notice. Purdue Fort Wayne will continue to support students, faculty and staff with online learning throughout this response.

I&M suspends disconnections

Indiana Michigan Power has temporarily suspended all service disconnections for non-payment.

If customers are having trouble paying their bills, Indiana customers can call 800-311-4634, and Michigan customers should call 800-311-6424. Customers can follow I&M on Facebook ( and Twitter (@IN_MI_Power) and can speak directly with customer service specialists on those platforms as well. 

The American Electric Power Foundation is donating $1.5 million in emergency funds in the 11 states where it serves customers, including $240,000 for disbursement in I&M's service territory in Indiana and Michigan, to support basic human needs and help address the hardships faced by customers and communities.

Library sets due dates for April 13

The Allen County Public Library announced Monday that the due date for all borrowed materials is now April 13. Timelines for due dates will be extended if needed.

The library's electronic resources are still be available at and through apps such as Libby, Overdrive and Hoopla. 

AT&T sees 88% rise in Wi-Fi calls

AT&T announced Monday that Wi-Fi calling was up 88% Sunday compared with normal Sundays. 

AT&T also said that on Sunday, wireless voice calls were up 44% and home/landline voice calls were up 74% compared to normal Sundays.

O'Reilly's Embassy show rescheduled

The Bill O'Reilly show that was originally scheduled for June 12 at the Embassy Theatre has been rescheduled for Oct. 16.

All tickets for the original date will be honored for the new date.

Embassy staff will be available the day of the original event to assist with refunds and questions regarding the new date. Go to or call the STAR Bank box office at the Embassy at 260-424-5665 for information.

Ball State cancels commencement

Ball State University announced Monday it has canceled its May commencement.

Wild Walkers events canceled

The Fort Wayne Parks and Recreation Department has canceled its upcoming Wild Walkers programs and events.

Paulding utility on limited staffing

For the next two weeks, Paulding Putnam Electric Cooperative will be on a limited staff rotation because of the Ohio governor's stay-at-home order. Though wait times might be longer than normal due to the limited staff in office, the cooperative will still be available and is prepared to respond to outages, should any occur. 

The co-op encourages all members to sign up for a SmartHub account, which allows quick online bill payments, energy use monitoring, the ability to report outages and sign up for text updates, and more.

Members can sign up at by clicking the purple SmartHub icon (just have your account number and information handy), or members can download the free SmartHub mobile app.

This is the easiest way to stay up-to-date and communicate remotely with the co-op. To learn more about SmartHub, go to 

Members can still pay PPEC electric bills by phone, mail, drop box outside the office or online via SmartHub. To pay by phone, members should call PPEC's toll-free payment number at 888-220-6482.

Animal agency closes office

H.O.P.E. for Animals will be closed until further notice. 

All previously scheduled appointments will be rescheduled upon the agency's return to regular business hours.

Roanoke church to stream services

Seminary Church of Roanoke will continue to live stream worship at 10 a.m. Sunday from the church's Facebook page. In addition, all currently listed email addresses at the church will receive weekly bulletin/newsletter publications prior to the service. All are invited to join this worship service.

Huntington sets up relief fund

The Huntington County Community Foundation and United Way of Huntington County have teamed up to commit $25,000 each toward creation of the Huntington County Emergency Relief Fund to help support those in the community most affected by the health and economic effects of the coronavirus pandemic.

For every $1 donated to the fund, the Community Foundation and United Way will provide a $2 match up to $25,000. This match triples each donation's impact and helps communities across Huntington County provide essential services during this time of hardship and uncertainty.

Contributions to the fund can be made by check payable to the Community Foundation with Emergency Relief Fund in the memo line or online at

Trine to close all of its offices

Trine University will close its main campus in Angola, its Fort Wayne Center for Health Sciences and all TrineOnline offices at the end of business today to comply with Gov. Eric Holcomb's stay-at-home order.

Only security, buildings and grounds, and custodial services staff will report to work while the campus is closed, Trine said Monday.

Students have been asked, with few exceptions, to move out of residence halls by the time Holcomb's order takes effect at 11:59 p.m. today. More than half of Trine's residential students already have moved out, the university said.

Classes are canceled for today to give students time to move out. Classes will resume online Wednesday.

Van Wert center cancels shows

Numerous Van Wert Live events at the Niswonger Performing Arts Center have been canceled or rescheduled through May 3.

Canceled shows include “The Isaacs & Terry Bradshaw” (April 17), “Here Come The Mummies” (April 25), Paul Keels (April 26) and “Erth's Prehistoric Aquarium Adventure” (May 3).

Canceled shows will be refunded in full by check that will arrive by mail. Patrons can contact the box office to ensure correct mailing address at or by calling 419-238-6722.

Rescheduled shows include “I Am, He Said Celebrate the Music of Neil Diamond” (June 14) and Broadway's “An American In Paris” (June 28).

Rescheduled shows will honor all tickets previously purchased and are subject to the entertainment industry standard, non-refund policy.

Cherry Blossom Festival canceled

The Fort Wayne Cherry Blossom Festival scheduled for May 17 has been canceled due to concern about the potential spread of COVID-19 among the nearly 10,000 people who normally attend the festival.

In view of Indiana Gov. Holcomb's ruling that “non-essential gatherings must be limited to no more than 250 people” and the Allen County Public Library's decision to cancel all programming until at least May 18, the Cherry Blossom Festival committee has chosen to cancel this festival for 2020.

Because of uncertainty about when it might be safe to hold this event in the next several months, the organizers will not attempt to reschedule.

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