JAMES CRAIG: Cincinnati’s new police chief, who began his job in August, already is making some welcome and long overdue changes. Ten supervisors and 40 officers are being transferred from the department’s numerous specialized units and put on street patrol. Among the units being disbanded include the DARE program, which several studies have shown is ineffective. Also, five narcotics units are being consolidated and a new unit solely responsible for policing downtown is being created. Well done, chief. Keep up the good work.
JEROME SIMPSON: The Bengals wide receiver was indicted on a felony drug count Jan. 19 in Northern Kentucky. Simpson was charged with trafficking in marijuana in excess of eight ounces after police tracked a weed shipment from California to Simpson’s townhouse. A search of Simpson’s home revealed more marijuana and scales. If convicted, the football player could face one to five years in prison. USA Today reported he made more than $391,000 in 2009, leaving us to wonder why Jerome needs the extra cash. Maybe he just likes the thrill?
PRESIDENT OBAMA: Yeah, we don’t usually include national figures or praise Obama, but we’ll make an exception this time. The prez had the Health and Human Services Department implement nearly universal coverage of contraception on Jan. 20. That means most employers will be required to cover contraception in their health insurance plans, along with other preventive services, with no cost-sharing like co-pays or deductibles. This is a major victory for women’s health and a ballsy move in an election year.
DUKE ENERGY: Two weeks ago, we made the power company a loser after it only spotted faulty gas meters once a Channel 12 consumer affairs reporter complained. Now Duke is in hot water again for its meters. In a Jan. 18 settlement with the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio, Duke agreed to pay a $500,000 fine for a November 2010 natural gas explosion in Lebanon. The blast and resulting fire injured seven people. The incident was caused by faulty maintenance on a gas line.