Morning News: New info on Cameo shooting; Richardson plans final push for name recognition ahead of primary; Ohio Democrats say party should swing conservative, focus on economics

Democratic Party members in places like Mahoning County are frustrated because national Democrats aren’t talking about how to restore manufacturing and manual labor jobs — jobs that, most data suggests, aren’t coming back no matter who is in office.

Rob Richardson Jr.
Rob Richardson Jr.

Good morning all. Here’s the news today.

Hamilton County Prosecutor Joe Deters released new information about the Cameo Nightclub shooting at 11 a.m. this morning. Deters says charges against Deondre Davis, who was a suspect in the shooting, are being dropped because he died in the hospital Tuesday. The other shooting suspect, Cornell Beckley, now faces 38 charges, including two murder indictments, in connection with the shooting, which killed two and wounded 15.

• We’re getting down to the last weeks before Cincinnati’s May 2 mayoral primary, and there’s been a flurry of activity of late. Don’t plan on it letting up anytime soon, either. Former University of Cincinnati Board Chair Rob Richardson Jr. has indicated he plans a full court press in the waning days of the three-way contest, which also includes Mayor John Cranley and Councilwoman Yvette Simpson. In an interview with The Cincinnati Enquirer, Richardson promised a “fully engaged plan really soon.” That could include TV ad buys and other big efforts to boost his name recognition in hopes of scoring an upset. Richardson is currently the underdog in the race — he entered much later than his competition and doesn’t have the high profile a perch in city politics has offered Cranley and Simpson. He’s tried to turn that to his advantage, pitching himself as an outsider, but recently admitted that the race has been “definitely more challenging than it appears to be.”

• A downtown landmark could get a place on the National Register of Historic Places.  The 114-year-old, 110,000-square-foot Tri-State Building on Fifth and Walnut Streets was one of the city’s first skyscrapers and sits just across from Government Square and is adjacent to Fountain Square. The building was designed by famous Chicago architect Daniel Burnham in 1902 and built for the Traction Co., which was responsible for the construction of the city’s first streetcars in the late 1880s. That building, along with other local structures including a former Masonic lodge in East Price Hill, is on a list of structures that a state panel is recommending be declared historic by the federal government.

• Protip: Don’t ever drive a semi-truck through Mount Adams. Heck, just to be safe, don’t drive anything into Mount Adams. Park and ride, my friends. Park and ride.  A big rig got stuck in the hilly enclave’s narrow streets early this morning for several hours, hitting a power pole, a building and trashcans before it was finally freed like some large, panicked sea creature caught in a fishing net. The truck missed an exit for I-71 and was trying to get back to the sea… err, highway when the driver took the detour into Mount Adams.

• Should a mentally ill 23-year-old live out his life in prison for unthinkable acts he may have committed due to his schizophrenia? A horrific shooting in Colerain Township left two sisters dead. But the shooter’s mother says her son shouldn’t be behind bars for killing his sisters because he’s severely mentally ill. In Oct. 2015, Matthew Hayden fired multiple rounds from a 9 mm handgun into a minivan where Sarah and Elizabeth Hayden, as well as their friend Josh Hacker, were sitting. The sisters died and Hacker was seriously injured. Yesterday, Hamilton County Common Pleas Judge Robert Winkler sentenced Hayden to 56 years to life in prison for the shooting, saying he is “the most dangerous combination you can have in the justice system. He’s mentally unstable and he’s violent.”

But Hayden’s mother, Angela Hayden, doesn’t think that’s fair. She’s cited Hayden’s diagnosis as schizophrenic as the reason he committed the unthinkable act.

“This was an act of insanity,” she said. “This isn’t justice. This is another tragedy.”

• The Ohio Democratic Party says it’s still trying to learn from Donald Trump’s surprise presidential election victory. And in many places around the state, local party leaders are expressing ire with national Democrats over what they say are misplaced priorities. They say to win back voters lost to Trump and the GOP, the party must refocus on economic issues. These complaints ring a conservative tone — Democrats in places like Mahoning County say the party should stop focusing on social issues and outrage over Trump’s moves and get back to wooing the working class with a message about jobs and higher wages. But others active in the party roll their eyes at what they say is a regressive message.

 “It’s a false choice to say we have to decide between economic issues and civil rights. They’re all part of the larger problem of inequality that we should be fighting against,” Neera Tanden, president of the Center for American Progress, told the Washington Post recently. CAP is holding a forum for brainstorming next steps for Democrats later this spring. “There’s no easy answers, and we’re still at the very beginning of the ideas process.”

That Post article argues that the future for Democrats in places like Mahoning County looks bleak, in part because white workers aren’t about to break Democratic anytime soon. For party members in places like Mahoning County, that’s because Democrats aren’t talking about how to restore manufacturing and manual labor jobs — jobs that, most data suggests, aren’t coming back no matter who is in office.

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