Morning News: Overdoses surge again in Greater Cincinnati; Clifton Market to offer grocery delivery; questions mount about Ky. Gov. Bevin house purchase

Kentucky Attorney General Andy Beshear yesterday raised questions about the sale of a home to Governor Matt Bevin, saying he may launch an investigation into dealings around the house outside Louisville where Bevin lives.

Kentucky Governor Matt Bevin
Kentucky Governor Matt Bevin

Hey hey Cincy. It’s been a heck of a week and it’s only Thursday morning. There have been more developments in the growing drama around President Donald Trump’s administration. Controversial former Fox News CEO Roger Ailes reportedly passed away yesterday. Former Soundgarden singer Chris Cornell also died last night. I suggest you revisit this classic, apocalyptic f'90s grunge joint in memoriam for the latter while we talk about news.

Overdoses, especially those triggered by opiates, are rising again in Greater Cincinnati, officials say. The Hamilton County Heroin Coalition, along with both the Cincinnati and Hamilton County health departments, warned the public yesterday about the spike. Officials didn’t provide specific data about the number of overdoses and say they aren’t certain what has triggered the increase. Drugs like fentanyl added to heroin and cocaine have been discovered in larger amounts recent in the region — a possible cause for the rise in overdoses.

• Municipalities in Northern Kentucky, including Erlanger and Union, are working to fight the opiate crisis in their areas by creating new public awareness campaigns to educate residents about overdoses. Those involve intensive door-to-door canvasing efforts and the distribution of more than 10,000 informational flyers.

• On a happier note: If you’re not into browsing grocery store aisles (this is honestly one of my favorite activities, but to each their own), Clifton Market will soon have you covered. The co-op grocery is rolling out online ordering and delivery systems administered by Grocery Runners — who will handle the delivery — and Shelf Scouter, which will take care of selecting the groceries you pick out online. You can get delivery anywhere inside I-275 for $10, or shop online and pick up your items for $2. Clifton Market opened earlier this year after selling 1,500 community shares and securing about $3 million in financing. The store says it's on track to sell 2,000 shares by the end of the year.

• The city of Wyoming’s city council last month passed an ordinance allowing those with concealed carry permits to bring their weapons into municipal buildings. But that didn’t last long. The move was so unpopular, council unanimously voted earlier this week to revoke the law and prohibit weapons in public buildings again. While it’s unclear how many residents of Wyoming as a whole support or oppose the measure, a vocal group came out to the council meeting May 15 to speak against the original ordinance, and councilmembers say they were responding to protests around allowing concealed carry on municipal sites. The original ordinance came after the state of Ohio passed a law allowing local governments to decide whether to permit concealed carry in their municipal buildings.

• You can now check out the financial dealings of two Ohio public colleges online. Central State University and Bowling Green State University this week became part of the state treasurer’s online checkbook, which allows the public to review how tax dollars are being spent. Central State’s entries include more than 7,000 transactions worth over $17 million, and BGSU’s include more than 27,000 transactions totaling more than $39 million. Miami University, Wright State University and Ohio University will also soon join the site.

• Finally, Kentucky Attorney General Andy Beshear yesterday raised questions about the sale of a home to Governor Matt Bevin, saying he may launch an investigation into dealings around the house outside Louisville where Bevin lives. Beshear says it appears Bevin is “personally enriching himself and his friends” with the purchase of the mansion, which he bought for half the appraised price from a state contractor and Bevin donor. Former owner Neil Ramsey sold the house for $1.6 million, much less than the value it was given by the Jefferson County Property Valuation Administration. Ramsey says that valuation was too high, so he sold it for less. Ramsey initially claimed he didn’t know that Bevin was behind Anchorage Place LLC, which bought the property, but has also told media outlets that he negotiated with Bevin over the sale. Bevin last year appointed Ramsey to the Kentucky Retirement Systems Board and has received political donations from Ramsey. Bevin, who is living in the house with his family, hasn’t made any comments about the deal. Beshear, a Democrat whose father, Steve Beshear, was governor of Kentucky until last year, has clashed often with Bevin, a Republican. Rumors have floated that the younger Beshear may also have an eye on the governor’s seat.

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