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Posted on Tue. Jun. 21, 2011 - 11:50 am EDT

Police and local briefs

Molesting charges

A Fort Wayne man has been charged with two felony counts of child molesting, with the probable-cause affidavit in the case alleging the victim may have been as young as 5. Nicholas R. Rife, 22, of the 1500 block of Cass Street, faces a Class A felony count of child molesting and a Class C count of the same, according to documents filed Monday in Allen Superior Court. The probable-cause affidavit said the grandmother of the alleged victim notified the Fort Wayne Police Department in November that, while giving her grandchildren a bath, the alleged victim told her “she was doing it wrong” when the grandmother was helping her brother clean himself. The alleged victim told the grandmother that she bathed with Rife and cleaned him.

In an interview with a forensic specialist in November, the girl gave details of other acts Rife allegedly made her perform while the girl’s mother was at work and her brother was in her room. A warrant for Rife’s arrest was issued Monday.

Networks merge

Programming from two networks, plus local news, will be combined on one television channel in Fort Wayne, effective Aug. 1. Jerry Giesler, president and general manager at Indiana’s NewsCenter, said the broadcast will be carried on WISE digital channel 33.2.

Fox entertainment network programming will be broadcast 8-10 p.m. daily. At 10 p.m., local news will be broadcast. From 10:30 p.m. to 12:30 a.m., MyNetworkTV series will be broadcast, Giesler said. The new format will be promoted as “My FOX Fort Wayne,” according to a statement released on the new affiliation for the station.

Legacy meetings

Legacy Fort Wayne, the initiative and task force created to help determine how to spend a potential $80 million from the lease and sale of the old City Light utility, will have three more working dates added for public discussion, with Mayor Tom Henry emphasizing in a news release that all meetings of the task force are open to the public.

Additional review dates are scheduled for June 30, July 14 and July 28, according to the release, with discussions to begin at 6 p.m. in the Fort Wayne City Council Discussion Room, Room 30, on the Garden Level of Citizens Square, 200 E. Berry St.

The evaluation tool and scoring forms used by the task force to rate submitted ideas from the public – at least 900 have been reported – will be published at The task force will make recommendations to Henry and share them with City Council.

TV newscast wins regional Emmy

WANE, Channel 15, won a regional Emmy Award for its “First at Five” newscast on May 18, 2010, the day former U.S. Rep. Mark Souder resigned from office.

The award was presented by the Lower Great Lakes chapter of the National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences for excellence in TV journalism, WANE said in a news release.

WANE was selected in the Best Newscast category for TV markets No. 41 and smaller, NewsChannel 15 News Director Ted Linn said. Fort Wayne is market No. 107 out of 210 in the country. Television market rankings are determined by population.

WANE is a broadcast partner of The News-Sentinel.

Road work

These road projects have been announced:

• Hanna Street from Paulding Road to Lafayette Street will be closed Thursday-July 8. The closure will allow the contractor, API Construction, to install a sanitary sewer on Hanna.

A detour route will use Lafayette to Paulding Road.

• The south curb lane and the north curb lane of Washington Center Road 1,000 feet east and west of Dartmouth Drive, will be restricted for two months beginning Friday .

This will allow the contractor, Hipskind Concrete, to widen Washington Center on both sides to create left-turn lanes at the intersection of Dartmouth. New curbs and sidewalks, along with modifications to the traffic signal, are also being installed with this project.

Motorists are encouraged to find alternate routes.

Driver charged in officer’s death

NEW CASTLE — An Indianapolis woman has pleaded guilty to leaving the scene of an accident after she hit and killed a bicycling Greenfield police officer last year.

Sue Ann Vanderbeck, 62, pleaded guilty in Henry Superior Court to hitting William Phillips, 32, with her car Sept. 30 as he rode his bike with two other officers along U.S. 40 near Knightstown.

Vanderbeck was charged with leaving the scene of an accident causing death, a felony that could carry a prison sentence of eight years.

But defense attorney Steven Litz said Vanderbeck faces a sentence of four years of home detention under a plea agreement, and she’s likely to serve two years with good behavior.

Vanderbeck is scheduled to be sentenced Aug. 1.

Boys in trunk died of hyperthermia

NEW CARLISLE — Autopsy results show two northern Indiana boys found locked in a hot car trunk died of hyperthermia.

Forensic pathologist Dr. Joseph Prahlow says heat caused organs to shut down in half brothers Dominick Wilk, 4, and Isaac Dunner, 2, resulting in their deaths.

The boys’ mother told police she found them locked inside her car trunk Friday in the town of New Carlisle, about 15 miles west of South Bend. Police say Isaac died later that day, and Dominick died Saturday.

Investigators don’t yet know how the boys got into the trunk or how long they were locked inside.

–From staff, wire reports

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