: Former City Councilman jumps into mayoral race late to ensure party has respectable candidate and comes out the victor.
: Major downtown redevelopment project that includes new condos and retail space faces opposition due to inclusion of baseball stadium and methods used to buy affected downtown properties. But project wins approval of the City Council and clears scrutiny by state finance and accounting officials, and construction is under way.
: Popular police chief, one of the most visible city officials after the mayor, to retain his post after Henry assumes office. Several other Graham Richard appointments will remain.
Jill Long Thompson
: Former congresswoman proves to be popular candidate for Democratic gubernatorial nomination in 2008, despite Jim Schellinger’s strong support among Indiana party officials.
: New $25 million Rhinehart Music Center adds a stunning academic and performing arts venue to campus.
: Development behind Creighton Avenue police station marks major invigoration of inner-city neighborhood, blending new and renovated homes.
: Highly respected Indiana Republican senator speaks out strongly against failed Iraqi policy, in favor of changing unfair farm bill and in support of environmental initiatives.
: City Council bans smoking in virtually any establishment open to the public, among the toughest laws in Indiana. Allen County commissioners pass weaker law but still address the issue after years of ignoring it.
: A year after making fireworks use wide open, state legislature gives cities and counties the right to restrict – with some exceptions – when they are used.
: Not only do Tony Dungy and Peyton Manning bring world championship to Indiana, they raise the bar on classiness.
Indiana Bureau of Motor Vehicles
: Under new director Ron Stiver, BMV pushes true innovations to improve service.
: Both Mayor Graham Richard and Gov. Mitch Daniels make trail development a priority, announcing plans for significant expansions.
: In first year in office, sheriff follows through on plan to put most plainclothes officers in uniforms and wins county approval to buy land for major training center.
: IPFW scores its first appearance in NCAA championship game, and Arnie Ball is American Volleyball Coaches Association Coach of the Year.
: Upsets County Commissioner Nelson Peters to win GOP mayoral primary but runs amateurish campaign highlighted by campaign finance reporting so bad it brought criminal charges and ends with defeat. Trial next year.
North River property
: Former OmniSource property northwest of Clinton and Fourth streets subject of promising planning efforts, but environmental cleanup questions remain, and city purchase remains in limbo.
: City moves to buy the northern portion of the water utility, improving water quality and lowering bills, but private utility erects roadblocks at each turn. City takeover in January subject to company’s legal maneuverings.
Hoosier property owners
: Spike in property taxes an unpleasant surprise for many Hoosiers, spurring widespread calls for massive reform. But some owners miss the big increases, and year-end rebates soften blow in Allen County.
Local government reorganization
: Efforts to combine city and county sputter while New Haven and remainder of eastern Allen County plot financial succession. But blue-ribbon committee proposes massive statewide changes for county government.
: Fort Wayne Community Schools grabs opportunity to expand full-day classes to each of its 34 elementary schools, but legislature’s failure to pay full cost leaves youngsters elsewhere in half-day classes.
Groundbreaking force in local television dies June 12, just after turning 77. She was first female disc jockey in city, then hosted popular mid-day TV talk and entertainment show.
:Controversial and innovative director and chairman of IPFW’s Theater Department dies in February at 63.
: Longtime executive at Wolf & Dessauer, former state rep and No. 1 volunteer at United Way, dies Dec. 9 at 85.
: Legendary WOWO radio announcer and host of “The Little Red Barn” dies Sept. 3 at age 90.
Allen County Republican
s:Divisive Kelty campaign fueled by personal attacks leads Congressman Mark Souder, former vice-chairman Cathy Hawks, big contributor Ken Neumeister and other big-name Republicans to distance themselves from party’s mayoral nominee.
City school students
: Campaign driven by misinformation and scare tactics helps defeat plan to renovate aging city school buildings, many of them built on the cheap in the 1960s and long due for repairs and updates.
: Mortgage market meltdown makes it more difficult for homeowners on the edge to keep homes, lowers property values for others.
: And, these days, isn’t that just about everyone? Perhaps, but not in the Allen County Courthouse, where their use was banned.
: East Allen County Schools overreacts to Woodlan school newspaper column’s plea for tolerance, showing just how intolerant it could be by publicly castigating worthy school adviser Amy Sorrell, who understandably bolts for the private Keystone Schools.