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The Journal Gazette

Sunday, April 23, 2017 1:00 am

Paddock seeks solution for Tech, park

NIKI KELLY and BRIAN FRANCISCO | The Journal Gazette

Fort Wayne City Councilman Geoff Paddock, D-5th, hopes an agreement for use of Memorial Park can be reached that will satisfy everyone's concerns. 

A proposal from Indiana Tech to develop the park's softball field and add new track and field facilities has drawn concerns from some groups, including historic preservation agency ARCH and the Friends of the Parks of Allen County. 

“I'm hoping we can continue to work on this and maybe fine-tune it,” said Paddock, a member of Indiana Tech's board of trustees. “I'm anxious to see if this moves forward if we can come to an agreement that will benefit the citizens but also do what Indiana Tech would like to do, because it is a growing university and they have made so many improvements in that particular neighborhood and they've been good neighbors.”

Paddock said although he was pleased to see the university come forward with the project, he understands the concerns raised regarding the park's historic nature and the fate of the monuments and memorials that are there.

A public hearing on the proposal is scheduled for 6:30 p.m. May 4 at the Memorial Park pavilion. 

Big hairy deal

Fort Wayne Sen. Liz Brown enlivened the Indiana Senate on the final day of its session Friday with a comical speech in support of her bill to deregulate hair braiding.

“Unless you are still recovering from 'the hair of the dog,' You'll appreciate the careful interweaving of conservative values of promoting entrepreneurship and less government,” she said. “This bill's origins are not due to some House member's 'wild hair' but because hair braiders were in the cross hairs of regulation, so we kept our head in the game, without pulling our hair out, and worked diligently to eliminate split ends in this bill.

“Because it is a simple bill, the details shouldn't raise the hair on the back of your neck. It is an attempt to untangle braiding from cosmetology. The cost of hair braiding in Indiana just took a haircut, and with all the important work still before us, I hope you will relax for a sec, let your hair down, and vote for this bill.”

Lt. Gov. Suzanne Crouch quipped at the end that Brown shouldn't split hairs on the bill.

2018 cash stash

Rep. Todd Rokita, R-4th, who might run for the U.S. Senate, announced last week that his campaign raised $321,000 in contributions during the first quarter of this year and has more than $1.5 million in cash on hand.

Rokita said in a statement that nearly all of his first-quarter campaign contributions were raised in March “as we expanded our finance team.”

He and Rep. Luke Messer, R-6th, are considering seeking the Republican nomination for the seat held by Sen. Joe Donnelly, D-Ind. Donnelly stands for re-election in 2018.

Donnelly recently announced he raised $1.3 million in the first quarter and has more than $2.5 million in cash on hand. Messer announced he raised more than $700,000 in the quarter and has more than $1.6 million in cash.

Announced candidates for the GOP Senate nomination are Kokomo attorney Mark Hurt and Hamilton County businessman Terry Henderson.

Dave Gong of The Journal Gazette contributed to this column.

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