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The Journal Gazette

Saturday, December 30, 2017 1:00 am

Yearly scorecard: 2017


Fort Wayne Trails: Trail system reaches the 100th paved-mile mark, with major progress on the Pufferbelly Trail and first phase of the Six Mile Creek Trail east of Tillman Park. 

University leaders: IPFW Chancellor Vicky Carwein and Indiana Tech President Arthur Snyder retire.

David Bennett: Executive director of the Community Foundation of Greater Fort Wayne retires after 22 years.

Vernon Graham: Longtime leader of Associated Churches dies Jan. 20 at 71.

James Hardy: Basketball and football standout at Elmhurst High School, 31, played football at Indiana University and for the Buffalo Bills and Baltimore Ravens. His body was found June 7 in the Maumee River; his death was ruled a suicide.

Ian Rolland: Former CEO and board chairman of Lincoln National Corp. was a community philanthropist who helped desegregate Fort Wayne schools. He died July 1 at 84.

Richard Merren: Longtime labor leader and founder of the annual Labor Day Picnic, an International Harvester retiree, dies at 87 on Sept. 25. 

Eric J. Balliet: Fort Wayne firefighter, 41, dies Sept. 27 during a training exercise.

Tim Borne: Founder of the Asher Agency was a member of the Allen County Public Library Foundation and rallied support for the library's successful building campaign. He died Oct. 27 at 71.

Frank Gray: Journal Gazette reporter and columnist retires after 35 years.

Joanne Lantz: First female chancellor of IPFW dies Dec. 6 at 85.


Solar power: New legislation slows the momentum of the thriving solar industry in Indiana.

UTEC employees: Workers at Huntington plant miss out on job-saving efforts launched for sister Carrier plant in Indianapolis, with layoffs underway for more than 700.

Indiana voters: General Assembly approves bill making the state superintendent post appointed, taking the choice from the electorate.

Indiana Tech Law School: The four-year-old program is shut down in June after posting a $20 million loss.


“If we didn't sell guns and alcohol in this state, my job would be a lot easier.” – House Speaker Brian Bosma, on the challenge of trying to address major legislation. An unexpected issue involving cold-beer sales came up in the closing weeks of the 2017 session.

“A session of the Indiana General Assembly is kind of like a tornado. When it's over, you crawl out of your shelter, look around and assess the damage.” – Bloomington blogger Steve Hinnefeld, in a late-April review of education measures approved in the 2017 session

“All of it was invented by people who oppose President Trump to undermine his legitimacy. I'm puzzled by that. People who do it are inflicting damage to the domestic political situation, incapacitating the president and showing a lack of respect to voters who cast their ballots for him.” – Russian President Vladimir Putin at his annual news conference, denying charges of meddling in the U.S. presidential election


Saint Francis: Cougars repeat as NAIA football championsand quarterback Nick Ferrer, left, is named NAIA Player of the Year. Over the past three seasons, the team has gone 38-2. 

Addison Agen: Fort Wayne 16-year-old whose powerful performances awed fans of “The Voice” this fall is named runner-up in the season finale. 

Karissa McLaughlin: Homestead senior named Indiana's Miss Basketball. In her freshman year at Purdue, she's started in 11 games and leads the team in assists.

Mark Deister: Owner of Deister Machine buys out owners of crime-ridden Sports & Spirits bar to demolish it and create greenspace.

Wendy Robinson: Fort Wayne Community Schools superintendent is Indiana Superintendent of the Year, earns a contract extension and is named one of four finalists for National Superintendent of the Year. 

Promenade Park: Riverfront development begins in earnest with construction of new park on the St. Marys River, between Ewing and Harrison streets. The slab for the Park Foundation Pavilion is in place and structural steel for the pavilion will be delivered this week.

Deep tunnel project: The largest public works project in Fort Wayne history begins. It will reduce the amount of combined sewer overflows into the city's rivers by 90 percent when completed in 2022.

HEAL program: St. Joseph Community Health Foundation's healthy eating initiative reaches more than 500 people through cooking classes and its farm markets serve more than 1,600, with produce vouchers doubling the purchasing power for eligible seniors and residents on public assistance.

Keith Cooper: Imprisoned for a decade for a crime he did not commit, Cooper is pardoned by Gov. Eric Holcomb four years after it became clear he was convicted on false testimony. 

Christopher Goff: Wabash judge is newest member of the Indiana Supreme Court.


Eckhart Library: Auburn public library is the target of an arsonist in July but begins its recovery with strong community support.

Solar eclipse: Visible across all of the continental U.S., the sky show was underwhelming in northeast Indiana but whetted appetites for April 2024, when Fort Wayne will be nearly in the path of totality.