Morning News: Council campaign kickoff season; arrest made in Our Daily Bread shooting; NKY saw 36 percent spike in overdoses last year

Saint Elizabeth Medical Center’s five emergency units used 1,568 doses of naloxone to revive overdose patients, a jump from 1,168 in 2015. The biggest spikes came in August, September and October, according to data from the hospital.

Good morning all. Here’s what’s going on today in news.

As we told you about in our cover story last week, the race for Cincinnati City Council is popping off. Multiple campaigns are launching in the coming days, including:

   Democrat transit activist and former suburban police officer Derek Bauman’s, which will start Jan. 12 with a 6 pm event at The Stretch at The Banks.

   Democrat Strive Partnership head Greg Landsman’s, which will kick off Jan. 17.

   Democrat Tamaya Dennard’s, which will begin with an event at Pallet 23 downtown Jan. 19 at 6 p.m.

   Republican Jeff Pastor, who will kick off his campaign Jan. 30 at a yet-to-be-announced venue.

You can read more about the candidates here.

• Cincinnati City Manager Harry Black, City Councilman P.G. Sittenfeld and some high-profile local social service agencies are poised to make an announcement today in Evanston regarding senior Cincinnatians. The announcement will take place at 1 p.m. at the Evanston Recreation Center, according to a news release from Sittenfeld’s office.

• The City of Cincinnati today announced the neighborhoods that will participate in its 2017 Neighborhood Enhancement Program. East Westwood and Westwood will take part in the 90-day program from March through May and the city’s West End will participate from August to November. NEPs convene neighborhood groups, city departments and the business community around projects that help revitalize communities, including clean up programs, addressing crime hot spots, neighborhood beautification efforts and larger-scale “signature projects.”

• Police have made an arrest in a fatal shooting that rocked Over-the-Rhine service organization Our Daily Bread yesterday. A man walked into the OTR fixture, which serves low-income residents with meals and other help, and shot two people. Deante Mattocks died of his injuries, while a woman was badly wounded. Police arrested Robert Jacobs as a suspect at the scene of the shooting. Our Daily Bread said the shooting did not seem to involve regular visitors to the nonprofit, which is temporarily closed as security measures are re-evaluated there.

• Down to Kentucky we go for a few blurbs. First, hospitals in Northern Kentucky saw a 36 percent spike in heroin overdoses in 2016, suggesting no end in sight to the region’s opiate crisis. Some of those overdoses were caused by additives like fentanyl, which increases the strength of heroin many times over. Saint Elizabeth Medical Center’s five emergency units used 1,568 doses of naloxone to revive overdose patients, a jump from 1,168 in 2015. The biggest spikes came in August, September and October, according to data from the hospital.

• So, let’s talk about Covington’s new mayor for a minute, shall we? Mayor Joe Meyer has announced a very unusual move in which he will pay his personal assistant out of his own pocket. Meyer has hired former MainStrasse Village Association head Annie Venerable to assist him. Though she’ll be getting her paycheck directly from the mayor himself, she’ll also be using public property to complete her work duties and will have access to city information. Kentucky city government experts say the move is unprecedented and unaddressed by state law. Meyer is bringing aboard his own assistant because he doesn’t want to share an assistant with City Manager Larry Klein, who was hired by the previous administration and didn’t campaign for the new mayor. Meyer says he doesn’t trust Klein because he campaigned against him in the election, though Klein denies this. Sounds like a totally productive and healthy relationship.

• A Northern Kentucky man is free after 30 years behind bars for a crime he likely did not commit. William Virgil, who was convicted in 1988 for the murder of Retha Welch, walked out of the Campbell County courthouse Jan. 6, leaving behind a 70-year prison sentence after a he was granted a new trial last year. His innocence was proven by DNA evidence not available during his trial brought to light with the help of the Kentucky Innocence Project.

I’m out for now. See you tomorrow.