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Happy New Year!! I hope everyone who reads this column had a great holiday season. As we start the New Year I can't help but look back on 2001 and reflect on the fact that 2001 was a tough year for our country. The events of 9/11/01 and the weakening of the US economy during the last year had a profound effect on our nation as well as life here in Fort Wayne. I've been very impressed by the fighting spirit that has been evident in many ways, especially since 9/11/01. I'm confident that our economy will recover and that our community's economy will participate in that recovery. I believe that the war against terrorism will be a long and tough conflict in many ways. I see no reason not to face that fact...but I also believe that the combination of the right cause and that fighting spirit I mentioned will result in an eventual victory for our country and the free world.
Recently I've heard a few stories about vandalism and other similar criminal activity in the Waynedale area. I've been in contact with Southwest Quadrant Police Chief Doug Lucker and have taken a close look at crime statistics for this area of Fort Wayne. There is no evidence that serious crimes such as robbery are more frequent but I am a solid believer in the concept that minor criminal activity can lead to more serious problems. As I've mentioned previously, be sure to call 911 if there is any suspicious activity in your neighborhood. It remains very important for every neighborhood to have an active community association since every association has a police neighborhood liaison officer who can work actively with association leaders to protect the neighborhood. Most of the neighborhoods in the "Waynedale News" area are lucky to have strong leadership. Unfortunately, there are a few exceptions. If you want to actively support and protect your neighborhood, one of the best ways is to become a leader in your neighborhood association. If you are interested in becoming more involved give me a call at 432-8418, or call the new Southwest Neighborhood Specialist for Fort Wayne, Gina Kostoff, at 427-1122.
Recently I had a conversation with Noble Schlatter at Fort Wayne's Neighborhood Code Enforcement Division regarding the work allegedly occurring at the site southwest of the Engle Rd.-Ardmore intersection. This area is currently being monitored by NCE for a possible violation of state/local regulations regarding construction/earth moving in a wetland. Mr. Schlatter asks that his office be contacted at 427-1324 if any earth moving or construction activity is noted at the above site. This is a very sensitive area because a huge landfill is located nearby and there has always been concern about possible contamination of groundwater. More information to follow at a later date.
Finally, I was saddened to hear...as were many residents of the area...that the Sears Store at the Southtown Mall would be closing. That was unfortunate news to all those who have supported rejuvenation of Southtown Mall but the process of saving Southtown will continue to move forward as far as I'm concerned. I believe that multiple businesses that complement one another can still flourish at the Southtown site despite the fact that Sears apparently did not do so well. Let me know what you think!!
Tom Hayhurst, City Councilman, 4th District, 432-8418


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