0 Comments · Wednesday, April 24, 2013
April 18 marked the two-year anniversary
of the death of David “Bones” Hebert, which prompted his estate to file a
wrongful death lawsuit against Mitchell on April 18, 2012.
by German Lopez
57 days ago
Posted In: News
at 09:00 AM | Permalink
House budget bill may suppress student voters, tax plan favors wealthy, police chief may go
An amendment in the Ohio House budget bill last week would make it so universities have to decide
between providing voting information to students or retaining millions
of dollars in out-of-state tuition money. The amendment would make it so
universities have to classify students as in-state — a classification
that means lower tuition rates — when providing documents necessary for
voting. Republicans claim the measure is “common sense” because anyone
voting for Ohio’s elections should be an Ohio resident. But the
amendment has provoked criticism from Democrats and universities alike,
who say universities are being thrown into the middle of a voter
An analysis from left-leaning Policy Matters Ohio found
the tax plan currently working through the Republican-controlled Ohio
legislature favors the wealthy.
The analysis also claimed there’s little evidence the across-the-board
tax cuts suggested would significantly help Ohio’s economy.
The plan still needs to be approved by the Republican-controlled Ohio
Senate and Republican Gov. John Kasich.
Council members are asking Cincinnati Police Chief James Craig to remain in Cincinnati
instead of taking a job in Detroit, but City Manager Milton Dohoney Jr.
didn’t seem convinced that much can be done. Dohoney said Craig’s
hometown is Detroit, a city that has suffered in recent years as the
local economy has rapidly declined.
Democratic Cuyahoga County Executive Ed FitzGerald is running for governor, and he will make Cincinnati one of his first stops
for his campaign kick-off tour. FitzGerald is challenging Republican
Gov. John Kasich in 2014, who has held the governor’s office since 2010. A recent poll found Kasich in a comfortable position with a nine-point lead on
FitzGerald, but many respondents said they don’t know enough about
FitzGerald to have an opinion on him.
Greater Cincinnati home sales hit a six-year high in March,
with 2,190 homes sold. The strong housing market, which is recovering
from a near collapse in 2008, is widely considered by economists to be a
good sign for the overall economy.
But Ohio’s venture capital investments dropped to a two-year low, according to data from PricewaterhouseCoopers and the National Venture Capital Association.
The Ohio EPA and Hamilton County Recycling and Solid Waste District are partnering up to provide a $250,000 grant to help purchase equipment to screen, clean and sort glass — an important part of the recycling industry.
Councilman P.G. Sittenfeld is asking Cincinnatians to
forgo lunch on April 24 to take part in the Greater Cincinnati Day of
Fasting. The event will let participants “experience a small measure
of the hunger that is a part of many people’s daily lives,” according to
a press release from Sittenfeld’s office. Participants are also being
asked to donate money to the Freestore Foodbank. A ceremony for the
event will be held on April 24 at noon in Fountain Square.
The U.S. Senate is moving toward approving bill that would allow states to better enforce and collect online sales taxes.
Mars One is calling all applicants for a mission to colonize Mars in 2023.
The sport of the future is here: combat juggling:
0 Comments · Wednesday, March 20, 2013
The newest haute Hollywood beauty trend is a procedure
called a “vampire facial,” which involves injecting your own blood —
drawn from your arm — back into your face, to stimulate collagen
production. WORLD -2
by Andy Brownfield
Council also approves 2014 property tax increase
Cincinnati City Council on Friday approved a budget that
relies on parking privatization as a means to plug a $34 million budget
deficit while also raising property taxes in 2014.
Mayor Mark Mallory opened up the council meeting with a
moment of silent prayer for the 27 students and adults killed at an
elementary school in Connecticut.
“I want us all to take a moment and put into perspective what we’re doing today,” he said.
Council voted to increase the property tax by about 24
percent, from 4.6 mills (a mill is equal to one-tenth of a cent) to 5.71
mills. That means Cincinnatians would pay an additional $34 for every
$100,000 of their home’s value.
The vote reverses a move made last year by conservatives on council, who reduced property taxes.
Council also passed a budget that relies on $21 million
from a proposed lease of the city’s parking facilities — a deal that is
expected to be voted on in March. Of the proposals submitted to the city
so far, Cincinnati stands to gain $100 million to $150 million in an
upfront payment and a share of the profits over the 30-year lease.
“My concern about balancing this budget with a onetime
revenue source by selling our parking system seems to be ill advised,”
said Independent Councilman Chris Smitherman. “We don’t know how council
will vote in March … but we have tied not only the budget to this one
time revenue source, but we have also tied reciprocity.”
Council nixed a plan to eliminate tax reciprocity for
people who lived in Cincinnati but worked elsewhere and paid income tax
in both cities.
Though the budget doesn’t mention parking privatization, council hasn’t mentioned other options to close the budget deficit.
If opponents of parking privatization want to keep
facilities under city control, they would have to come up with $21
million in revenue elsewhere or make $21 million in cuts.
Councilman P.G. Sittenfeld suggested using casino revenue,
cutting travel expenses, downsizing the ratio of managers to workers,
sharing services with nearby jurisdictions and downsizing the city’s
fleet as ways to cut down the budget.
Councilwoman Laure Quinlivan, long an advocate of
downsizing the police and fire departments, voted against the property tax increase
in protest of what she said was bloated spending on departments that
were outpacing population growth.
The budget also requires Cincinnati to accept police and
fire recruit classes in 2014, regardless of whether the city gets a
federal grant to fund the classes.
The budget also restores the Cincinnati Police
Department’s mounted patrol, which patrols downtown on horseback. The
city will use $105,000 from off-duty detail fees from businesses that
hire off-duty officers. Council also voted to start charging those
businesses an extra $1.64 on top of the off-duty pay.
Council also voted to shift $50,000 for repairs and
upgrades to the Contemporary Arts Center to pay for maintenance and
beautification at Washington Park, which is operated by 3CDC.
by German Lopez
Event to explain CPD priorities, establish line with gay community
The city and gay rights organizations will host an LGBT
public safety forum tonight. The partnership between the city of
Cincinnati, Equality Cincinnati and the Human Rights Campaign of Greater
Cincinnati (HRC) is meant to encourage and improve relations between
the Cincinnati Police Department (CPD) and the gay community.
Lisa Davis, spokesperson for CPD, says the idea for
the public forum came about when Andrew Winters, a diversity co-chair at
HRC, ran into Police Chief James Craig at the Coffee Emporium coffee shop in Over-the-Rhine. Winters
introduced himself to Craig, and Craig told Winters he was interested in
addressing the LGBT community to open some dialogue and gather
One of the forum's purposes will be to explain CPD priorities. As an example, Davis explained why police might take
an hour and a half to respond to a call at a gay club. She
said that kind of delay is likely related to CPD's priority system. In the example of the gay club, perhaps someone was assaulted, but the suspect already left. If that
happens, CPD would prioritize a case in which a suspect is still on the
Davis hopes the explanations will ease concerns of police
discrimination in the LGBT community. On the other side, she says the forum could help
CPD gather feedback and learn about any overlooked problems.
CPD will also name Angela Vance as an LGBT liaison.
Davis says Vance will be open to calls from anyone in the LGBT community
to look into special events, collect information on crimes and review
possible cases of police mistreatment. For these cases, Vance will help
victims file complaints and provide guidance.
The public forum will take place at 6 p.m. tonight at the
Mayerson Room in the School for Creative and Performing Arts, 108 West
by German Lopez
Posted In: News
at 09:51 AM | Permalink
At least 16 county agencies deploy outdated Tasers
A study on Taser use in Hamilton County released Oct. 1 by a local law firm that has represented Taser victims in the past four years seeks
to shed light on the problems behind Taser use in the county and
The study, which looked at 39 law enforcement agencies around Hamilton County through public record requests, listed a few key findings:
Out of the 39 agencies, 33 use Tasers.94%
of agencies’ materials do not adequately warn that Tasers can capture
the heart rhythm of the subject, possibly leading to death.67% of
policies permit upper chest shots despite the manufacturer’s warning
moving the preferred target zone away from the upper chest.70%
of policies do not instruct officers to consider the seriousness of the
crime before deciding whether or not to use the Taser.33%
policies do not specifically instruct officers to consider the risk of
secondary impact of falling from an elevated surface subsequent to Taser
of policies do not restrict Taser use on vulnerable populations such as
juveniles, elderly individuals, or the visibly pregnant despite the
increased risk associated with those populations. 100%
of policies fail to require that Tasers output be tested to ensure that
the actual performance of the device is within manufacturer’s
of policies do not require an investigation that includes a data
download from the Taser’s memory chip after use to independently verify
the number and duration of shocks delivered to the subject. 15%
of policies explicitly authorize officers to use their Taser on a
fleeing subject, regardless of the crime or the threat to the public. At least 16 of the agencies deploy Tasers that are older than their estimated useful life. Two agencies that deploy Tasers maintain no Taser-specific policy.One agency deploys Tasers even though the agency’s policy prohibits their use
The study also pointed out that the tension behind Taser
use “does not exist only in the abstract,” referencing the more than 500
deaths involving Taser use in the United States.Al Gerhardstein, the local attorney behind the study, hopes the findings will lead to a change in Taser policies around the county.Tasers, which get their name off the company that manufactures them, are supposed to be nonlethal weapons. They work by firing two barbs into a subject. The barbs then penetrate the target's skin and deliver a shock of high voltage, causing temporary paralysis. The weapons are supposed to allow police officers to subdue a dangerous target without resorting to potentially lethal force. The most common Taser model is the X26.
On Sept. 18, the Cincinnati Police Department established
new guidelines for Taser use, which the department now says are adequate
for dealing with the problems found in Gerhardstein’s study. The new
policy disallows the use of frontal shots except in situations involving
self-defense and the defense of others, reinforces the fact officers
need to make sure force is necessary and specifically points out people
have been injured due to Taser use in the past.
0 Comments · Wednesday, September 12, 2012
An internal police investigation determined that officers
acted improperly in a July 10 car chase that ended up with one child
seriously injured and four teenagers hurt.
0 Comments · Wednesday, May 9, 2012
In an attempt to better understand
the effects of probiotics found in yogurt, and whether they have
something to do with weight loss, the researchers fed one group of mice a
normal food and gave another group the same diet plus a
mouse-sized serving of vanilla yogurt. Male mice that were given yogurt
became slimmer and had shinier coats then those that did not, and the
yogurt-eating mice also became more desirable to all the hot lady mice.
In fall 1973, UFO hysteria gripped the Queen City
3 Comments · Tuesday, January 31, 2012
In mid- to late-October of 1973, just days
before tens of thousands of costumed kids were to hit the streets of
Cincinnati and surrounding communities for Halloween night, southwest
Ohio was under invasion — an invasion that seemingly came from the
heavens, and police and government officials across the region were on
by Kevin Osborne
Councilman: It’s needed to offset retirements
Cincinnati City Councilman P.G. Sittenfeld wants his colleagues to approve a police recruit class for next year, the first since June 2008.There currently are 1,022 sworn officers in the Cincinnati Police Department, along with 115 non-sworn staff. The high-mark during the past decade occurred in 2008, when there was a total of 1,148 sworn officers and 229 non-sworn staff.By November 2013, based on department retirement projections and without the addition of a new recruit class, the Police Department's complement will be down to 964 sworn officers — 184 fewer sworn officers than in 2008.“By the end of 2014, without the addition of a recruit class, our police force will be 197 officers below the authorized complement level,” Sittenfeld wrote in a memo to his colleagues.“The Police Department has communicated the importance of a recruit class as a simple reflection of the numbers,” he added. “In the same way that council has needed to be realistic about our highest police staffing levels being financially unsustainable, we must also be realistic about how low we can allow staffing levels to fall and still provide the service that is expected.”Other council members haven’t yet weighed in on the issue, which is a topic that likely will be brought up during budget hearings later this year.