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    The legislature is used to paring or turning down requests for more money. But the Indiana Department of Child Services’ decision not to ask for increased staff next year merits further examination.
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Swikar Patel | The Journal Gazette
The Outlaws Motor Club Sign is removed from the building Wednesday morning.

Furthermore …

Fort Wayne’s curbside recycling program is winning national awards and has pushed the recycling rate from 34 percent to 74 percent. With indisputable success like that, why does the city need to hire an advertising agency to promote the program?

Last week, the Board of Public Works approved a $70,000 contract with the Asher Agency to create a marketing campaign for the program.

“That’s a valid question,” said Larry Wardlaw, senior vice president for account services with Asher. But the city’s recycling contract with National Serv-All specifically calls for the waste management company to give the city money for public education and marketing of the program.

“It’s doing really well. It’s obviously a success,” Wardlaw said. “But they’ve hit a plateau.”

Some segments of the community, including the southeast quadrant, lag far behind the rest of the city when it comes to participation.

“That’s going to be our objective to specifically target those areas,” Wardlaw said. “They really want to see that number bump up. We all do because it really benefits all of us.”

The more the city recycles the less money taxpayers have to pay in landfill tipping fees and the more money the city gets from its profit-sharing agreement with National Serv-All for the sale of recycling commodities.

Mayor Tom Henry set a goal of increasing the recycling rate to 80 percent by the end of the year. Now, it’s the Asher Agency’s job to help the city get there.

FBI agents and local law enforcement made a strong show of force against the Outlaws motorcycle gang last week – which apparently was part of their strategy.

Police blew open the fortified door of the Outlaws clubhouse on West Main Street, and among the items seized was the large Outlaws sign on the building.

Maybe prosecutors really want that sign for evidence. But the action had more of the feel of conquistadors lowering and seizing their enemy’s flag, signaling it was no longer the enemy’s turf.

And that seems just fine with some of the clubhouse’s neighbors.

When the vice president of Fire & Rain marketing in Evansville saw a man on a bicycle wearing a baseball hat opening a gate to let himself in to the company’s offices last week, he wondered whether it was a homeless man seeking shelter from the sun.

It turned out to be James Taylor, the singer who was performing in Evansville and whose first hit song shares a title with the local company.

Taylor was concerned that the company might be wrongfully trying to profit from his music but was set at ease after learning the name came from the merger of Firehouse Marketing and Rainbow Communication.

Taylor autographed some photos and handed out backstage passes to some of the workers, the Evansville Courier & Press reported.

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