More accusations fly between city manager, mayor; FCC scores $4 million from Ohio; Kentucky teachers take to capital; more news

In a statement Friday, Cranley said Black threatened to obstruct city business in a late-night phone call. Black, however, says he has ethical concerns with the level of involvement Cranley has in economic development deals.

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City Manager Harry Black (left) and Mayor John Cranley - Nick Swartsell
Nick Swartsell
City Manager Harry Black (left) and Mayor John Cranley

Good morning all. Are you braving the cold to check out the (not actually on) Opening Day Parade today? Here’s hoping the Reds have a better record this year than Cincinnati weather has had.

• In a statement sent Friday afternoon, Cincinnati Mayor John Cranley accused City Manager Harry Black of interfering in city business by cancelling all economic development meetings with the mayor’s office March 9. The night before, Cranley claims, Black called him late at night and threatened to obstruct the city’s economic development process. Black fired back in an interview with The Business Courier, however, saying that he has become concerned about Cranley’s involvement in the city’s economic development deals with big developers. Black says Cranley’s office required meetings with the mayor before developers could meet with city administration. The battle is just the latest in the rift between the two. Cranley asked Black to resign March 9. Black refused, and a majority of council turned down a $423,000 settlement negotiated between the mayor and city manager. Council last week voted to approve a $174,000 deal, but several members expressed support for Black staying on as they did so. Black says he will remain in his position as long as council wants him there.

• FC Cincinnati will get $4 million from the state of Ohio as part of the state’s budget should it land a Major League Soccer franchise. It’s not the $10 million that area elected officials originally asked for from the state, but it is the largest score a Hamilton County project will get. It's more than the $2.5 million the state gave Hamilton County to address jail crowding, the $2 million for the Cincinnati Museum Center and a similar amount to improve parking and other infrastructure at The Banks. Playhouse in the Park got $1.2 million toward its new $40 million theater in the budget, and the Cincinnati Art Museum and Cincinnati Children’s Home got $1 million each.  FCC is still considering its site location, despite its stated March 31 deadline. The team could land in Newport, Oakley or even the West End, where a deal still shows some signs of life despite the team saying it had walked away from the neighborhood earlier this month.

• Need another spot to drink craft brews in Over-the-Rhine? You're in luck. Samuel Adams announced today that it will open a taproom across from its brewing facility on Central Parkway. The new taproom will occupy space in Urban Sites' Film Center building near Findlay Market. See CityBeat's story on that for all the deets.

• Developers Model Group, the Cincinnati City Center Development Corporation and Cornerstone Renter Equity just opened five historic buildings renovated for housing affordable to families at about 50 percent of Area Median Income — roughly $37,000 for a family of four — in Over-the-Rhine. Those buildings contain about 50 units of affordable housing. All five of the buildings were vacant previous to their renovations, according to 3CDC. The renovations are part of a larger effort to preserve roughly 400 units of affordable housing in the neighborhood, which lost 72 percent of its most affordable housing in the past decade.

• Cincinnati Police Department’s District 5 headquarters closed for good yesterday, city officials say. For now, CPD employees will be posted at a temporary location on Hamilton Ave. in College Hill. The former District 5 headquarters was the focus of health concerns after a number of employees there came down with cancer diagnoses in the past few years. A federal study did not find any link between those illnesses and the building, but city officials have pledged to build a new headquarters to replace the aging structure on Ludlow Ave.

• That was quick. Xavier University will announce this week that it has found a replacement for outgoing men’s basketball head coach Chris Mack, who is off to take the top spot at University of Louisville’s basketball program. Lead assistant head coach Travis Steele, 36, will take his place, XU is expected to announce soon. Steele has been with XU for a decade.

• Kentucky teachers will take to the state capitol building in Frankfort today to protest last-minute changes in pensions for educators. You can read the background of that battle in CityBeat’s story here. Teachers from some Northern Kentucky schools will join those protests, which come after the state legislature passed a late-night addendum last week to the state’s budget that would slash retirement benefits for public education employees.

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