Morning News and Stuff

Let’s start the morning roundup with a truly radical idea: How about using Paul Brown Stadium as a homeless shelter during the roughly 340 nights a year when the Bengals aren’t using it?

That’s just what might happen with the new Marlins ballpark or the Tampa Bay Rays' Tropicana Field in Florida if two state lawmakers have their way. They want to enforce an obscure 1988 Florida law that allows any ballpark or stadium that receives taxpayer money to serve as a homeless shelter on the dates that it is not in use. Sounds like a great idea to us.—-

The 19th Republican presidential debate of the campaign season was held last night in Jacksonville, Fla. There wasn’t much new said by the candidates, despite what the pundits will try to convince you, but viewers did see Rick Santorum and Ron Paul make what will probably their last desperate bid for the spotlight.

Leaving aside Newt Gingrich’s personality quirks and temper, do you really think there would be much policy difference between his administration and one managed by Mitt Romney? What a dog and pony show.

John Hinckley, the man who tried to assassinate President Reagan in 1981, wants to expand his conditional release privileges from the psychiatric hospital in Virginia where he’s been confined for the past 30 years. Since 2009, Hinckley has received 10 days of freedom each month to visit his mother, but his attorneys want that expanded to 24 days, essentially freeing him. Hinckley’s psychiatrist told a judge Thursday the request should be denied because Hinckley still routinely lies about his activities and poses a threat to society.

Bill Gates, the billionaire co-founder of Microsoft, told BBC World News that people like him should pay more taxes and the higher amount that should be paid by America's super-wealthy is "just justice.” Take that, Mr. Romney.

A day after making the statement, Gates and his wife, Melinda, donated $750 million to the Global Fund to fight AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria. The world could use more people like that couple.

An Italian TV news show, The Untouchables, announced Thursday that it had uncovered confidential Vatican documents that reveal a former top church official was transferred against his will after complaining about irregularities in awarding contracts. The official sent several letters about the corruption to Pope Benedict, who ignored them but approved the transfer.

Although Transportation Security Administration employees said U.S. Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) became “irate” Monday after he refused a pat-down search at Nashville International Airport, some video footage of the incident indicates otherwise. The Tennessean pulled security camera footage that shows Paul standing in a glass cubicle while being watched by authorities, calmly making calls.

Locally, more than 20 construction workers were injured this morning when a deck collapsed at the Horseshoe Casino. The gaming palace is being built on downtown’s eastern edge for a planned spring 2013 opening.

Here’s something that frequent travellers in the area probably already know: The Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport had the nation’s highest average airfare for 2011’s third quarter. The average fare was $488.20. No wonder so many people drive to Dayton and Columbus to catch flights.

In other airport news, DHL Express plans a $46.9 million expansion there if Boone County officials approve $1.5 million in tax incentives, which is likely. If approved, about 120 full-time and 163 part-time workers would be hired.


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