Morning News and Stuff

Streetcar gets executive, businesses call for inclusion, gun control group opens Ohio chapter

John Deatrick is

taking over as project executive of the Cincinnati streetcar project

, moving on from his previous work as project manager of The Banks. Deatrick’s hiring announcement

happened in April

, but it was delayed while City Council

fixed the project’s budget gap

. Deatrick and his team

previously won an award

for their work at The Banks, and he says he will bring the same scrutiny and success to the streetcar project. A new project manager for The Banks is set to be hired in August. Since the streetcar project’s inception, it has been mired in misrepresentations and political controversy, which CityBeat covered in further detail

here

.

Local business leaders are calling on the city government to

change its contracting policies to target minority- and women-owned businesses

. Advocates argue the city’s inclusion rates have greatly dropped since Cincinnati did away with its inclusion program in the 1990s, but the city administration points out the rates are likely understated because women- and minority-owned businesses are no longer required to report themselves as minorities or women. The business leaders say the figures are too low regardless, which could have big implications since minority-owned businesses are more likely to hire minorities, who have twice the unemployment rate as white residents. As a result of court rulings, Cincinnati needs to first conduct a disparity study before it makes any changes that specifically target minorities or women.

Gabrielle Giffords’s anti-gun violence organization is

opening an Ohio chapter

to promote legislation that intends to protect both the public and the rights of gun owners. Giffords, a former U.S. representative who survived an assassination attempt, has been touring around the country — at one point

coming to Cincinnati

— to speak out against gun violence. Gun control legislation failed in the U.S. Senate in April after it fell short of getting 60 votes to overcome procedural hurdles, even though polling shows a clear majority of Americans favor such legislation.

Local government funding

may be further reduced

as a result of recent tax cuts because the Local Government Fund traditionally gets a percent of state tax revenue. Specifically, critics are concerned less state tax revenue will slow down “natural growth” in funding to cities and counties. Last week, an analysis from Policy Matters Ohio found the recently passed two-year state budget already

reduces local government funding

, following

even steeper reductions

in the previous budget. The cuts since Gov. John Kasich took office have cost Cincinnati more than $22 million.

A traffic camera ban would cost Ohio cities and counties millions of dollars in revenue

.

Ohio gas prices are

starting down

this week.

Home-schooled and private-school students

have a right to play on public school teams

because of a provision in the recently passed state budget.

When Columbus’ parking meters were upgraded to accept credit cards, revenue

jumped by 13.2 percent

. Cincinnati’s meters will be upgraded as part of

the parking privatization plan

.

Ohio air bases are

undergoing review

this week as part of Congress’ attempts to gauge whether the nation’s Air Force is prepared for current and future missions and homeland defense.

Slow news day

, Enquirer?

Florida researchers found “fat shaming” actually

perpetuates obesity

.

It would probably take 300 to 500 piranhas five minutes to

strip the flesh off a 180-pound human.

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