All five streetcars out of service overnight; Cincy out of running for Amazon HQ2; plus more news

Indianapolis, Pittsburgh, Columbus and a number of other cities move on to the next round, but Cincy’s regional pitch for Amazon's second headquarters was apparently a non-starter.

Cincinnati Streetcar
Cincinnati Streetcar

What’s up Cincy? It’s news time.

All five of Cincinnati’s streetcars were out of commission last night with mechanical problems. As of 6:30 this morning, one is back in service, meaning riders will experience extended wait times of up to 30 minutes. The Southwest Ohio Regional Transit Authority hopes to have all five cars back up and running later this morning, it says. The streetcars have experienced cold-weather problems in the past related to compressors on the transit vehicles. It’s unclear if that’s the problem with the cars this time.

• A federal appeals court has ordered the Trump administration to reconsider the deportation of a Greater Cincinnati mother of four arrested in Fairfield last year by Immigrations and Customs Enforcement. The U.S. Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals took into account threats from drug cartels against Maribel Trujillo-Diaz’s family in their native Mexico. The court yesterday issued a ruling that an immigration appeals court “abused its discretion” in ignoring an appeal from Trujillo, who has been in the United States since 2002. Even if immigration officials reverse their order, however, it could be months before Trujillo can return from Mexico to be reunited with her family.

• The Greater Cincinnati area is the second fastest-growing market in the Midwest when it comes to tech jobs, according to real estate company CBRE Group, Inc. We don’t do too shabby when compared to other markets across the country, either: Cincinnati is eighth nationally for job growth in the technology sector, beating out Portland, Ore.; Pittsburgh; and Denver. Cincy saw a nearly 60 percent growth in tech jobs between 2011 and 2016, according to the CBRE report, second in the region only to Indianapolis, which saw an almost 95 percent increase. 

• Here’s some other job-related news. Multiple news outlets, including the Associated Press, report that Amazon has released a list of 20 finalists for its $5 billion second headquarters, for which it requested proposals from cities last year. And… Cincinnati isn’t on that list. Indianapolis, Pittsburgh, Columbus and a number of other cities move on to the next round, but Cincy’s pitch — made as a region in conjunction with Dayton and Northern Kentucky — was apparently a non-starter with the online retail behemoth.

• Oh, Newport SkyWheel, where art thee? It was ages ago in this space we told you about some pretty incredible plans to make an enormous Ferris Wheel-type contraption on the southern banks of the Ohio River. The attraction near Newport on the Levee was slated to open this year, but, alas, it seems that may not happen. The concept is being reworked, according to this Business Courier article.

• Greater Cincinnati-based gubernatorial hopeful and former state Rep. Connie Pillich has picked a running mate, tapping fellow Democrat Scott Schertzer as her potential Lt. Governor. Schertzer gives the ticket some geographic balance — he’s the mayor of the city of Marion, about an hour north of Columbus. Before becoming mayor there, he worked in now U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown’s office when Brown was Ohio Secretary of State. Pillich has her work cut out for her in a crowded field that also includes former Consumer Financial Protection Bureau chief Richard Cordray, state Sen. Joe Schiavoni, former U.S. Rep. Dennis Kucinich and Ohio Supreme Court Justice Bill O’Neill.

• Speaking of O’Neill, he may not be in his judicial perch much longer. The Ohio Senate yesterday started proceedings that would oust the Democratic gubernatorial primary candidate from the bench. The rules governing state judgeships state that when a judge announces her or his candidacy for a non-judicial elected office, she or he must resign from being a judge. O’Neill hasn’t done that. But O’Neill counters that he won’t officially become a candidate in the primary until he files paperwork Feb. 7, allowing him to continue on as a supreme court justice. High-ranking officials from both the Republican and Democratic parties disagree, however. The state Senate has voted to summon O’Neill to explain himself before it decides whether to boot him from his judgeship.

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