December 21, 2018

Cincinnati's Big News Stories from 2018

           

Join the CityBeat Press Club

At a time when local-based reporting is critical, support from our readers is essential to our future. Support our coverage with a one-time or monthly donation.


September 6, 2018 is a day Cincinnati won't likely forget. At around 9 that morning, Omar Santa-Perez  began shooting in the lobby of Fifth-Third Bank's downtown headquarters just off Fountain Square. Minutes later, police shot through plate glass windows, killing the gunman — but not before Santa-Perez killed three people and wounded two others. Photo: Nick Swartsell

September 6, 2018 is a day Cincinnati won't likely forget. At around 9 that morning, Omar Santa-Perez began shooting in the lobby of Fifth-Third Bank's downtown headquarters just off Fountain Square. Minutes later, police shot through plate glass windows, killing the gunman — but not before Santa-Perez killed three people and wounded two others. Photo: Nick Swartsell

It's official — Cincinnati now has a third major-league sports franchise. After months of waiting, rumors and trepidation, FC Cincinnati ascended into the ranks of Major League Soccer with a frenzied, jubilant announcement ceremony at Rhinegeist in May. FCC will host its first MLS game in the spring of 2019. Photo: Nick Swartsell

It's official — Cincinnati now has a third major-league sports franchise. After months of waiting, rumors and trepidation, FC Cincinnati ascended into the ranks of Major League Soccer with a frenzied, jubilant announcement ceremony at Rhinegeist in May. FCC will host its first MLS game in the spring of 2019. Photo: Nick Swartsell

Not everything about the coming FC Cincinnati stadium has been joyful. While the team floated three locations, including Newport and Oakley, there was wrenching, often contentious debate about the facility's eventual location in the West End, including a vote by the neighborhood's community council against putting it there. Some residents and their advocates are worried that the stadium could bring tough changes to the historically African American community, which has a median household income of just $16,000 a year. 
For at least a few businesses and one resident located in the neighborhood's historic State Theater, those changes are already happening. Soon, the building will come down to make way for the stadium, displacing those tenants. Photo: Nick Swartsell

Not everything about the coming FC Cincinnati stadium has been joyful. While the team floated three locations, including Newport and Oakley, there was wrenching, often contentious debate about the facility's eventual location in the West End, including a vote by the neighborhood's community council against putting it there. Some residents and their advocates are worried that the stadium could bring tough changes to the historically African American community, which has a median household income of just $16,000 a year. For at least a few businesses and one resident located in the neighborhood's historic State Theater, those changes are already happening. Soon, the building will come down to make way for the stadium, displacing those tenants. Photo: Nick Swartsell

This spring, a protracted fight between then-Cincinnati City Manager Harry Black and Mayor John Cranley over the dismissal by Black of a top Cincinnati police official spiraled into weeks of stalemate between Black, Cranley and Cincinnati City Council. Black eventually resigned moments before council voted to fire him. The battle in turn spawned  a lawsuit against five Democratic Cincinnati City Council members by conservative activists alleging they broke Ohio open meetings laws because they engaged in group texting about the matter. As if all of that weren't chaotic enough, the entire ordeal seems to have started with allegations that some high-ranking Cincinnati Police officers are misusing the department's overtime system — the subject of yet another ongoing lawsuit. Photo: Nick Swartsell

This spring, a protracted fight between then-Cincinnati City Manager Harry Black and Mayor John Cranley over the dismissal by Black of a top Cincinnati police official spiraled into weeks of stalemate between Black, Cranley and Cincinnati City Council. Black eventually resigned moments before council voted to fire him. The battle in turn spawned a lawsuit against five Democratic Cincinnati City Council members by conservative activists alleging they broke Ohio open meetings laws because they engaged in group texting about the matter. As if all of that weren't chaotic enough, the entire ordeal seems to have started with allegations that some high-ranking Cincinnati Police officers are misusing the department's overtime system — the subject of yet another ongoing lawsuit. Photo: Nick Swartsell

Immigration continued to be a massive national issue in 2018, with inflammatory rhetoric from President Donald Trump and new "no tolerance" immigration policies dominating headlines. It also hit home, with deportations by Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents  hitting local suburbs and sometimes separating families. Photo: Nick Swartsell

Immigration continued to be a massive national issue in 2018, with inflammatory rhetoric from President Donald Trump and new "no tolerance" immigration policies dominating headlines. It also hit home, with deportations by Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents hitting local suburbs and sometimes separating families. Photo: Nick Swartsell

The 2018 midterm elections were among the most expensive and hotly contested non-presidential contests in recent memory. Hamilton County saw record, if patchy, turnout for a nationally-watched congressional campaign as well as a number of other contentious, hard-fought races. On the city level, voters opted to return Cincinnati City Council to two years terms and to limit campaign finance contributions to candidates from corporations. CityBeat  covered all the local races with real-time results and analysis. Photo: Aftab Pureval campaign

The 2018 midterm elections were among the most expensive and hotly contested non-presidential contests in recent memory. Hamilton County saw record, if patchy, turnout for a nationally-watched congressional campaign as well as a number of other contentious, hard-fought races. On the city level, voters opted to return Cincinnati City Council to two years terms and to limit campaign finance contributions to candidates from corporations. CityBeat covered all the local races with real-time results and analysis. Photo: Aftab Pureval campaign

Among all the excitement of this year's midterm elections, local Democrats extended their newfound strength in Hamilton County. They took a number of judgeships and  Democrat Stephanie Summerow Dumas won a surprise victory over Republican Hamilton County Commissioner Chris Monzel. Dumas' win means the commission is all-Democrat for the first time in years. Photo: Provided

Among all the excitement of this year's midterm elections, local Democrats extended their newfound strength in Hamilton County. They took a number of judgeships and Democrat Stephanie Summerow Dumas won a surprise victory over Republican Hamilton County Commissioner Chris Monzel. Dumas' win means the commission is all-Democrat for the first time in years. Photo: Provided

The August 6 tasing of 11-year-old Donesha Gowdy by off-duty Cincinnati Police officer Kevin Brown, who was working a security detail at the Spring Grove Village Kroger, led to a change in the department's Taser policy and a $240,000 settlement with the girl's family. It wasn't the first time in 2018 an incident in which CPD officers tased a minor caused controversy, however.  Photo: CPD body camera footage

The August 6 tasing of 11-year-old Donesha Gowdy by off-duty Cincinnati Police officer Kevin Brown, who was working a security detail at the Spring Grove Village Kroger, led to a change in the department's Taser policy and a $240,000 settlement with the girl's family. It wasn't the first time in 2018 an incident in which CPD officers tased a minor caused controversy, however. Photo: CPD body camera footage

Cincinnati officials’ efforts to remove a tent city under Fort Washington Way in July escalated into a drawn-out game of cat and mouse between city and Hamilton County officials and residents of various camps that popped up in Pendleton and Over-the-Rhine. 
In the midst of that fight, Hamilton County Common Pleas Judge Robert Ruehlman issued a restraining order at the request of the city and Hamilton County Prosecutor Joe Deters that made it illegal to camp outside anywhere in the county. That action triggered a legal battle that is still ongoing.  Photo: Nick Swartsell

Cincinnati officials’ efforts to remove a tent city under Fort Washington Way in July escalated into a drawn-out game of cat and mouse between city and Hamilton County officials and residents of various camps that popped up in Pendleton and Over-the-Rhine. In the midst of that fight, Hamilton County Common Pleas Judge Robert Ruehlman issued a restraining order at the request of the city and Hamilton County Prosecutor Joe Deters that made it illegal to camp outside anywhere in the county. That action triggered a legal battle that is still ongoing. Photo: Nick Swartsell

One of Cincinnati's best-loved parks saw a big new proposal this year when the equally-beloved Clifton Cultural Arts Center pitched building its new home in the 90-acre urban woods. That drew mixed reactions from park fans. Some loved the idea, while others were adamantly opposed on the grounds it would disrupt the park's wildlife. The proposal came as Cincinnati Parks looks for ways to shore up millions of dollars in deferred maintenance. In what could be a precedent-setting move, however, the park's board of trustees voted 3-2 to reject the arts facility in the woods.  Photo: Nick Swartsell

One of Cincinnati's best-loved parks saw a big new proposal this year when the equally-beloved Clifton Cultural Arts Center pitched building its new home in the 90-acre urban woods. That drew mixed reactions from park fans. Some loved the idea, while others were adamantly opposed on the grounds it would disrupt the park's wildlife. The proposal came as Cincinnati Parks looks for ways to shore up millions of dollars in deferred maintenance. In what could be a precedent-setting move, however, the park's board of trustees voted 3-2 to reject the arts facility in the woods. Photo: Nick Swartsell