Another seven days of broken necks, streetcar worries and fashionable tasing

WEDNESDAY JAN. 30 Iranian citizens will soon see fewer dead bodies hanging in the city streets, as the country's head of judiciary has decided that all public executions must now go through h

Feb 6, 2008 at 2:06 pm

Iranian citizens will soon see fewer dead bodies hanging in the city streets, as the country's head of judiciary has decided that all public executions must now go through him for approval. It's estimated that Iran killed nearly 300 people last year for doing bad things like murder, rape and armed robbery, but it also made people pay the ultimate price (death) for normal things like adultery and male homosexuality. The resulting backlog of necks to be broken has resulted in some bodies hanging from cranes in the city. While a majority of Iranians think dead bodies are either considerably gross (33 percent) or totally sick (55 percent), the judiciary has reportedly based its decision on the fact that killing people in public makes Iran seem badder than Texas and that's where George Bush is from.

City Councilman John Cranley has expressed his discomfort with the proposed $100 million downtown streetcar project in the form of a nine-page list of questions for his fellow council members to answer. Cranley is worried that business people will ride the streetcar to Over-the-Rhine to eat lunch, which will upset restaurants that benefit from the city's lack of downtown dining options. He says that a streetcar line between downtown and uptown should be considered so people who work at the hospitals can come to the city for lunch. Councilman Chris Bortz, one of the leading streetcar enthusiasts, says he'll answer all lunch questions before the next hearing but that his main concern is keeping kids from sticking their arms outside the car when buses are driving by.

In response to local political parties ignoring their duties to endorse candidates for public office, a couple of random dudes are now running for two seats on the county commission. A backroom deal between the local Democratic and Republican parties determined that Democrat Todd Portune and Republican Greg Hartmann will run unopposed in November.

But Ed Rothenberg, who recently worked with an anti-tax group that opposed the new jail, and Crosby Township Trustee Chris Dole are going to run against the well-connected politicians. Dole called the deal "unconscionable and a flagrant abuse of our electoral system," adding that Hartmann is the kind of guy who orders a Wendy's triple bacon cheeseburger with a Diet Coke.

As if anyone needs another reason not to mess with people from Harrison, a local Wildcat named John Hancock was in court today trying to explain why he had three rifles and a large knife in his truck while stealing scrap metal in Colerain. Hancock was recently in the news as the heroic father who helped fight off three robbers at a Boy Scout Christmas tree sale. His lawyer says he's still freaked out about that incident and that carrying weapons makes him feel like a bigger man. But Judge Cheryl Grant said, "The thing is ..." and after a long pause described Hancock's past felony convictions for DUI, domestic violence and having a gun in a car and determined that it's probably best if he doesn't have that kind of stuff.

A Phoenix-based company called Taser International, which has been making stun guns for the average person since 1994, recently unveiled more stylish electrocuting devices that women can wield without the embarrassing social stigmas of traditional weaponry. The new Taser C2 model is a civilian device shaped like an electric shaver that comes in pink, electric blue and "red hot." A taser holster embedded with an MP3 player is also available for more advanced users, and each one comes with a free copy of Nickelback's new single, "All the Right Reasons."

There's talk in England of imposing a ban across the EU on cars that get less than 35 miles per gallon. A former chairman of Shell Oil told the BBC that the auto industry could adapt and still sell cars under the new guidelines, but the UK Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders argued that Europeans already drive the "slowest, roundest, dumbest cars in the world." A potentially major hangup is the EU's insistence that the ban include all German cars because they're purposely designed to be difficult to fix.

The Kentucky Enquirer reported today that local rich man Bill Yung has purchased the Jillian's entertainment complex in Covington for $7 million and has hopes of transforming it into Northern Kentucky's first casino. The purchase — which is well in advance of potential legislation that would allow gaming in the state — is one in a long line of moves that Yung has made that coincides with the state's "F Ohio in the B" revenue plan. Last year Yung contributed $1 million to an independent campaign called "F Fletcher in the B" to help defeat incumbent governor and anti-casino guy Ernie Fletcher. Yung is now preparing for a backlash from Indiana's long-running "F Kentucky and Ohio in the B at the Same Time" campaign, which he expects will try to derail Kentucky gaming legislation.

CONTACT DANNY CROSS: [email protected]