Morning News: Downtown church wrangles with Confederate memorials; Trump admin. rescinds DACA

Attorney General Jeff Sessions today announced that the Trump administration would phase out the immigration policy protecting underage undocumented immigrants.

click to enlarge Morning News: Downtown church wrangles with Confederate memorials; Trump admin. rescinds DACA
Andrew J. Nilsen

Hello all. A late happy Labor Day to you — hope you got the day off and did something rad with it. Also, let’s have a moment of silence for summer.

Ok. Done. On to the news.

Should a church in downtown Cincinnati remove a stained glass window and a plaque commemorating Confederate generals? That’s the question Christ Church Cathedral, an Episcopalian church on 4th Street, is wrestling with. A window pane near the church’s altar bears the likeness of Robert E. Lee, a gift from one of Lee’s later family members. In the church’s vestibule is a plaque commemorating Leonidas Polk, who was consecrated as a bishop by the church in 1838. He later went on to be a confederate general. Rev. Gail Greenwell, dean of the church, has called for the removal of those tributes and the inclusion of monuments to civil rights leaders — something the church doesn’t currently have. Those decisions will be up to the church’s parish council.

• While it seems like the idea of an uptown extension for the streetcar —abandoned after Ohio Gov. John Kasich slashed state funding for the project — is all but dead politically, some folks still see a lot of promise in the prospect. Former streetcar project manager John Deatrick, for example, says getting the streetcar uptown is essential to the project’s success. He thinks that a proposed route up Vine Street that would take the streetcar close to the University of Cincinnati is promising and doable — despite some big challenges. One huge roadblock to any future expansion is a 2015 Ohio Supreme Court decision that ruled that the city, not Duke Energy, has to pay for relocation of utilities along the streetcar route. That makes the Vine Street route a daunting $40 million challenge cost-wise. But Deatrick thinks tracks could be laid without moving Duke’s energy infrastructure by using a membrane barrier that would keep current from traveling between the streetcar tracks and power lines. More about the feasibility of the Vine Street route — and another proposed route that would dig a tunnel under Mount Auburn — here.

• Cincinnati is a top-five destination for travelers who are into design, according to Architectural Digest. Cincinnati finds itself in the company of Washington, D.C., Mexico City, Shenzen, China and the Hudson Valley in New York due to its museums and historic architecture, as well as the upcoming BLINK light arts festival.

• A sheriff’s deputy in New Carlisle, Ohio shot and wounded a photographer for the town’s local news organization yesterday evening, The Cincinnati Enquirer reports. After leaving the offices of the New Carlisle News to take photos, Andy Grimm decided to photograph a traffic stop by a local deputy, who shot the photographer while he was setting up a tripod. Grimm was taken to the hospital and is expected to recover. The Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation is looking into the incident.

• Those on both sides of the immigration debate have been waiting for an announcement from President Donald Trump on whether he’ll repeal the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals executive order President Barack Obama signed during his term. That decision came today during a news conference by U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions, who announced that the administration will rescind Obama's executive order. DACA exempts undocumented immigrants who came to the United States as minors from deportation if they follow particular procedures and rules. Trump campaigned on ending DACA, but has been wishy-washy about the program since taking office. Several prominent Republicans, including House Speaker Paul Ryan, have asked Trump not to end the program. Locally, Councilman P.G. Sittenfeld has called for a Council resolution expressing support for DACA, and a "defend DACA" rally is planned downtown today at 4:30 p.m. outside U.S. Sen. Rob Portman's office. More than 800,000 young people, including more than 4,000 in Ohio, were protected from deportation by the order.