After more than 17 years in the Summit City, the Fort Wayne off-track betting parlor could be moving to New Haven.
Hoosier Park – owned by Centaur – filed a request Monday with the Indiana Horse Racing Commission for the proposed $2 million relocation.
The commission will have a hearing on the matter Tuesday.
“Three years ago we started the process of revamping,” said John Keeler, attorney for Centaur. “We’re trying to put together a business model that will provide simulcast wagering and in the process hopefully make a little money.”
The Fort Wayne OTB – run by the Hoosier Park horse track in Anderson – has been operating at 1820 W. Washington Center Road since 1996.
Hoosier Park began the process of re-evaluating its three OTBs in the state because of significant losses in the handle, the amount of money being wagered on horse races in the facilities.
Fort Wayne handle dropped from $11.7 million in 2008 to $7.7 million in 2012. The operating loss at that facility in 2012 was $287,000, according to documents filed with the Indiana Horse Racing Commission
Hoosier Park found in its study that high-caliber food and beverage service is key to successful OTBs, along with easy pedestrian and vehicular visibility, access and parking. Hoosier Park moved the Indianapolis location and rebranded it using the name “The Winner’s Circle.”
After considering options in Allen County to develop a facility based on the Winner’s Circle model, Hoosier Park identified 10,040 square feet of space in Lincoln Plaza Shopping Center in New Haven. Distance from the current location is about 8 miles.
John Perlich, spokesman for Fort Wayne Mayor Tom Henry, said there was no communication with the city about a possible move.
In Fort Wayne, smoking is prohibited at the OTB because of the city’s strict smoking ban, but New Haven business owners have the option to allow smoking.
A state smoking ban exempts casinos and satellite facilities.
“I’m sure it’s a factor,” Keeler said. “We try to cater to everyone.”
Plans for the new OTB include a “high-quality” pub and grill “where racing is presented in comfort.”
Documents filed by Hoosier Park estimate $2 million in improvements to the facility with the hope of being open in June 2014.
Hoosier Park also has an offer on the current facility and land for $900,000.
Keeler said Hoosier Park is also seeking to use the FastBet Mobile system in the New Haven location – a system currently being used in Indianapolis and the track in Anderson. It allows patrons to use a tablet or other device to place bets from their table or seat instead of going to a window and standing in line.
New Haven Mayor Terry McDonald was unaware of the possible move but was pleased.
“Our community is a good place to do business,” he said. “We want people to invest here. We love it.”
by Beth Stauffer
Santa arrived in style on Friday night in downtown New Haven as is the custom on Fire Engine Number 42. For the 2nd year in a row, Santa greeted the city’s youngest residents inside the historic train depot while more mature residents were free to tour the facility and sip a hot beverage while enjoying the sights and sounds of Christmas.
Over on Broadway, the New Haven Chamber of Commerce hosted a ‘Meet Me at 5’ event for the community at Peter Franklin Jewelers from 4 – 8 pm. Inside the warm and toasty jewelry staple in the heart of New Haven, shoppers could be seen admiring all things shiny and bright in the festively decorated cases while outside the store families lined the sidewalk waiting for a turn to go for a free carriage ride.
At Ruhl Furniture, children could register to win a 26” bicycle all evening during the downtown Christmas Open House festivities. Children in kindergarten, 1st, and 2nd grade could also drop off their entries in a Snowman Scavenger Hunt at Ruhl Furniture throughout the evening to win a Family Prize Package. Santa himself arrived late in the evening to hand select winners for both prizes from all the entries; at press time, the name of the winners was not available.
On Main Street, the friendly youth of the Power House helped to celebrate the season of Christmas by providing a place for children to paint a ceramic keepsake ornament and enjoy a cup of hot cocoa and cookie while warming up from the frosty evening.
Sponsors of Friday’s festivities included Bad Dad, Inc., Bulldog Pub, Dominos, Chamber of Commerce, City of New Haven, New Haven Depot, New Haven-Adams Township Fire Department, New Haven High School, New Haven Parks Department, Peter Franklin Jewelers, Power House, Rockaway Carriage, Ruhl Furniture, TJ Ceramics, and Target.
by Beth Stauffer
Friday night was a great night for basketball fans in New Haven! The freshman, junior varsity, and varsity boys teams all waltzed away with big wins over Blackhawk Christian in the first Friday night home game of the season.
The final score of the varsity game was New Haven, 74-Blackhawk Christian, 56. Be sure to check out the photo highlights of the junior varsity and varsity game here on New Haven Bulletin!
NEW HAVEN 74, BLACKHAWK CHRISTIAN 56
New Haven: Crowe 2, Hogue 19, Griggs 13, Wattlely 12, Kinnie 4, Rudolph 5, Wilbert 3, McElvene 16
Blackhawk Christian: Reimschisel 8, Morlan 8, We. Davidson 21, Rippe 9, Wi. Davidson 10
The east side of Fort Wayne will be home to the city’s fifth roundabout.
Board of Public Works members Wednesday approved a $94,900 contract with Crossroad Engineers to study the intersection of Landin, Maysville and Trier roads and design a roundabout to replace the current four-way stop.
City traffic engineer Shan Gunawardena said the intersection is ideal for a roundabout because it has imbalanced traffic, with a lot of cars on some legs and not many on others and the angles are imperfect. In addition, Gunawardena said, it is on the border with New Haven and so is a gateway to the city.
The study and design work will take place next year, he said, with construction slated for 2015.
The city has a roundabout on Old Mill Road, two at Pontiac and Wayne Trace, and is constructing a fourth next summer at the intersection of Fairfield Avenue and Ewing and Superior streets.
by Beth Stauffer
New Haven High School recently welcomed Darren Peterson as the school’s full-time Resource Officer. Officer Peterson fills the vacancy left by previous Resource Officer, Gordon Allen, who left the position in November.
According to Officer Peterson, who will mark 20 years as a police officer with the City of New Haven this coming February, his days at New Haven High School are busier than ever. “My days are going a lot faster than they did on patrol,” said Officer Peterson on Tuesday, December 3rd, 2013. “I’m really enjoying my time here.”
Officer Peterson isn’t imagining things; Resource Officers at NHHS really do move along at quite clip according to statistics that New Haven Police Chief Steve Poiry shared with New Haven Bulletin on December 4th, 2013. According to three year averages since 2010, the New Haven Resource Officer has been responsible for, among other things, per school year:
- Completing 214 assignments
- Filing 92 written reports
- Counseled 250 students
- Prevented 52 incidents
- Completed 23 home visits
- Located 13 truant students
- Made 36 arrests
- Issued 5 citations
- Completed 7 child safety programs
Police Chief Poiry says he is often asked why there is a need to have a police officer in the school with the speculation that it would be better to have an officer out on patrol on the street. “The stats are pretty impressive, and speak for themselves,” said Chief Poiry. “The arrangement saves having to send a patrol car over to the school, and the Resource Office is oftentimes just as busy if not busier than the officers we have on the street.”
As one can see from the list of basic statistics Peterson’s predecessors have accumulated in previous years, his duties as a Resource Officer are many and varied, and include some things you might expect and others you might not.
Perhaps the single most important thing that Officer Peterson is doing in his new role as Resource Officer is to establish positive relationships with the students, says Principal Greg Mohler.
“We are all about relationships here,” said Principal Mohler of the school’s environment on Tuesday afternoon. “Right now, Officer Peterson is just getting his feet wet, but I have shared with him how important it is to get out and about. Meet the students, meet the staff, meet the faculty, get a feel for the lay of the land. He has some really big shoes to fill, with (NHPD) Detective Henry McKinnon and Officer Gordon Allen being our two previous Resource Officers.”
Even with those big shoes to fill, both Principal Mohler and Officer Peterson are confident that he is ready to hit the ground running. “I think Officer Peterson is enjoying his time here and doing a fine job of getting to know everyone. The kids are very receptive to him as are the staff and faculty,” said Principal Mohler.
Of course, Officer Peterson is quick to point out that while relationships are important, “The safety and security of the school is my foremost priority.”
Officer Peterson, Chief Poiry, and Principal Mohler emphatically agree on this point.
“Primarily, he is there to promote school safety and enable a safe learning environment for the students, faculty, and staff,” said Chief Poiry.
Principal Mohler added, “It’s not that we have an abundance of problems, but I can’t imagine not having a resource officer here. It is just another preventative measure that we can take to keep our students, faculty, staff, and visitors safe. Officer Peterson serves not just as the law of the land, but as a positive role model and a trusted figure that students can turn to.”
NEW HAVEN 52, NORTHROP 40
New Haven: McElvene 18, Hogue 13, Griggs 11, Wattlely 2, Kinnie 7, Wilbert 1Northrop: Starks 2, Wilson 3, Thomas 2, Wright 2, Claypool 12, Becirevic 14, Carey 3, Tennant 2
One of northeast Indiana’s most productive high school football players is headed south. Not all that far south, however.
New Haven receiver/defensive back Jordan Hogue, who helped the Bulldogs go 11-2 this fall, win the Northeast Hoosier Conference and reach the regionals, announced Tuesday evening that he was committing to Ball State.
His football focus, however, shifts 65 or so miles south to Muncie, where Hogue says he’s likely to be a slot receiver.
“I like how they pass the ball around in their offense, and also with their slot position they have a senior there who will be gone, which will leave open a spot,” Hogue said. “If I do what I have to do and work hard I could get some playing time as a freshman.”
Hogue caught 48 passes for 918 yards this season and scored 106 points on 17 touchdowns and four extra points. He also intercepted seven passes from his position in the defensive backfield.
He said Tuesday night that Indiana and Purdue had expressed interest in him, but that his only other offer came from Bowling Green, another Mid-American Conference school.
New Haven Police are investigating a violent home invasion and robbery that happened last Friday night.
Derick and Melissa Wildstar live in a mobile home in New Haven. Derick Wildstar said he heard a knock on the door while he and his wife were in bed. He assumed it was his neighbors, so when he opened the door, two robbers came rushing in and put a gun in his face.
“[They] forced me on the floor over there by the garbage barrel over there and went after my wife,” he said.
Melissa Wildstar was in bed at the time. She said one of the robbers grabbed her by her hair, dragged her from the bedroom and asked, ‘where’s your money’.
“I watched them beat my husband. There was nothing I could do. So I was screaming and yelling,” she said.
During the invasion, the robbers took some electronics, such as a laptop and a gaming system. Melissa Wildstar said one of the men eventually sexually assaulted her. She kept screaming and the robbers eventually ran off.
“The wife did a good job by making as much noise as possible by screaming as loud as she could,” said Detective Henry McKinnon with the New Haven Police Department.
He said after the invasion and assault, the couple left their mobile and went to the local Kroger, then called police.
“They did everything they could. But nonetheless, they’re going through a lot of anger right now, a lot of humiliation,” Det. McKinnon said.
If you have any information about this home invasion or who could be involved, call New Haven Police at (260) 493-1517 or Fort Wayne Crime Stoppers at (260) 436-STOP.
by Beth Stauffer
After a big snowfall, have you ever contemplated how long it takes New Haven Street Department workers to plow all 80 miles of roadway in the city?
Ever dreamed about going behind the scenes at the New Haven Adams Township Fire Department and getting a first-hand look at the fire trucks and fire pole?
When was the last time you looked outside your front window and wished you could ask someone who could actually do something about it what you can be done about getting your neighbors to mow and move the twelve junker cars out of the front yard?
Has the thought ever crossed your mind what would happen to your family if a major disaster struck New Haven?
Have you ever wondered how your tax dollars are spent locally, or what exactly the Police Department, Mayor, or Parks Department, or City Council does to make New Haven a better place?
If you answered an emphatic ‘Yes’ to any of the above questions, then I have good news for you! Applications are now being accepted for the 2014 New Haven’s Citizen Academy which is set to begin on January 27th, 2014 at City Hall from 6:00-8:30 pm.
The 9 session academy will answer all of the questions outlined above (with the exception of the whole getting-a-first-hand-look-at-the-fire-pole-thing. Sadly, the New Haven-Adams Township Station #3 doesn’t have a fire pole, just stairs.) The Citizen’s Academy also promises to help participants gain a deeper understanding of how local government works, meet local government leaders and department heads, learn about opportunities for community based partnership and programs and how to help improve a liveable, sustainable community in addition to other valuable civic lessons.
The Citizen’s Academy is free and open to any New Haven resident that is interested in learning more about local government. An application, which is due by January 22nd, 2014, is available online by clicking here: http://www.newhavenin.org/egov/docs/1383931312_485626.pdf
Did you keep a New Year’s Resolution in 2013, or achieve a life-long goal? Beth would love to hear about, and tell your story right here on New Haven Bulletin! No story is too big or small, and no one is too young or too old– we are looking for all kinds of interesting people to write about this December! Send her an e-mail at Beth@BethStauffer.com or give her a call at 260-602-5230.