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Last updated: Sat. Mar. 20, 2010 - 10:40 am EDT

Police and local briefs

6 years for robbery

A city man who held up a south-side restaurant in December was sentenced in Allen Superior Court on Friday.

Mark H. Kiel, 18, will serve six years on charges of felony robbery and misdemeanor marijuana possession through a February plea agreement with Allen County prosecutors.

Fort Wayne Police were called to the Renaissance Restaurant, 1033 E. Tillman Road, just before 11 a.m. Dec. 17. Witnesses told police two men walked in and one asked for change, then pulled out a gun, according to a police incident report. The man demanded money from the employee before both men fled in a maroon Chevy Malibu.

The witnesses were able to provide a partial license plate number and police stopped the vehicle on Warsaw Street near East Pettit Avenue, the report said. Kiel and two others inside the vehicle were arrested.

Deputy severely hurt

A Whitley County reserve deputy was severely injured early this morning after losing control of his cruiser while on an emergency call.

Adam D. Schrader, 30, an 8-year veteran of the force, was eastbound on 275 North in rural Whitley County responding to a drug overdose call just after 3 a.m. He missed a turn onto 350 West and the cruiser went down an embankment, striking several trees.

Schrader, who was wearing a seatbelt, was airlifted to Parkview Hospital.

Fires damage homes

Two south-side homes were damaged in fires early this morning.

The Fort Wayne Fire Department was called to 611 W. Dewald St. just before 4 a.m., where crews arrived to find smoke and flames rising from the two-story unoccupied structure. Firefighters fought the blaze from inside and the roof, containing it in 26 minutes.

The home sustained heavy smoke and water damage. No injuries were reported.

Fort Wayne firefighters were summoned around 2:15 a.m. to a home at 4125 Winter St., where units found smoke and flames coming from the lower level of the two-story home. Firefighters fought the flames for 15 minutes before containing it. Investigators believe the fire ignited in the living room. No injuries were reported.

Meth-lab bust turns into chase

An Auburn man faces a rash of potential felonies after allegedly attempting to dodge an arrest for his active meth lab by slipping out of handcuffs and stealing a police cruiser, taking the vehicle on a chase before being rearrested.

Matthew R. Heath, 30, was first arrested around 2:30 p.m. Friday, when officers raided his home to find an active methamphetamine lab brewing inside. But while inside the police cruiser, Heath dislocated his thumbs and managed to slip out of the handcuffs and get into the front seat of the cruiser, when he then drove off, according to a release from the Auburn Police Department.

Police chased Heath and the stolen cruiser through DeKalb County before Heath leapt from the cruiser and ran. He was then rearrested.

Heath was booked into the DeKalb County Jail on drug, fleeing and driving charges.

Another man, Jason D. Walden, 22, no address available, was also arrested in the raid on meth charges.

Harlan stays unincorporated

As expected, the Allen County Commissioners on Friday denied a request to incorporate the Harlan area. Commissioners Nelson Peters and Linda Bloom agreed supporters of the petition had failed to prove two of six legal requirements: that a substantial majority of residents agreed that services provided by the town would be adequate, and that incorporation would be in the best interest of the area. Bloom, Peters and Bill Brown, who was absent Friday, said earlier in the week they were leaning against approving the petition, which supporters said would help improve services and boost economic development. With Friday's denial, supporters must wait one year before resubmitted a petition for incorporation.

Hearing set on Indiana 14

The Indiana Department of Transportation (INDOT) Fort Wayne District has scheduled a public hearing on the design plans for added travel lanes on Indiana 14 at West Hamilton Road.

The public hearing includes a presentation of the proposed project's plans to create a five-lane road that includes a bidirectional two-way left-turn lane and widening of two bridges, tentative project schedule, and an opportunity to make statements about the project.

The meeting will be held at 6 p.m. Wednesday at Covington Elementary School cafeteria, 2430 West Hamilton Road.

Shoppers help Big Brothers/Sisters

This weekend, your spring shopping can benefit Big Brothers Big Sisters when you buy at The Gap, Old Navy, Banana Republic and their outlet stores.

The Gap Foundation's “Give and Get” campaign began Thursday and runs through Sunday. When shoppers use a 30 percent coupon at The Gap and its affiliate stores, 5 percent of the proceeds will be donated to six charities, including Big Brothers Big Sisters. The coupon can be used multiple times at multiple stores. For your coupon visit

Power outage

A transmission problem caused about 4,200 northern Allen County Indiana Michigan Power Co. customers to lose service this morning. Crews were en route at press time to find why the high-voltage equipment had failed around 7:28 a.m. and how long it might take to restore power, a spokesman said. For more information, go to

Lane restrictions

The Tecumseh Street Bridge will have lane restrictions Monday-Friday as crews work on it.

Aboite Center work coming

A heavily traveled road in southwest Allen County will close for two months, starting April 1, as part of a $6.6 million improvement project.

Aboite Center Road between Dicke Road and Coventry Lane is expected to remain closed through June 4 for construction of the first phase of a project that includes widening Aboite Center to four 12-foot lanes, plus an eight-foot trail and sidewalks.

Detour for eastbound traffic will be south on Homestead Road to U.S. 24 then east to Aboite Center, with the reserve for westbound traffic. Traffic will be maintained at the intersection of Coventry and Aboite Center and the entire project is expected to be complete by mid-October.

Reporter on radio

Hear News-Sentinel Business and Environmental reporter Bob Caylor discuss current events on “Midday Matters: News Review” at noon Mondays on WBOI, 89.1-FM.

GOP candidates to debate

INDIANAPOLIS — The Indiana Republicans seeking their party's nomination for the U.S. Senate will face each other in a televised debate on April 20.

The nonpartisan Indiana Debate Commission says all five candidates on the May 4 primary ballot have agreed to participate. The one-hour debate will be broadcast by public television station WFYI of Indianapolis and offered other stations around the state.

The commission says the public can submit questions for the debate through its Web site.

Those taking part will be former Sen. Dan Coats, former Congressman John Hostettler, state Sen. Marlin Stutzman of Howe, financial adviser Don Bates Jr. of Winchester and Fishers businessman Richard Beyney.

They are seeking the seat being vacated by Democratic Sen. Evan Bayh.

Repaying jobless benefits

BLOOMINGTON — Some seasonal workers at Indiana's state park system will have to repay unemployment benefits they received over the winter but weren't entitled to.

State Department of Workforce Development spokesman Marc Lotter says incorrect data was reported to the agency and entered into the state payroll system late in 2009.

That data put some seasonal workers in the wrong category and allowed them to draw unemployment benefits. After the problem was discovered, the workers were sent letters informing them of the situation and asking them to repay the money.

–From staff, wire reports

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