Good morning all. Here’s the news today.
The controversy continues over the death of a 17-year-old gorilla at the Cincinnati Zoo last weekend. The gorilla, known as Harambe, was shot after a 3-year-old boy fell into his pen. Harambe interacted with the boy, sometimes gently, sometimes dragging him. Zoo officials decided there was no other option than to kill the gorilla to save the boy. Social media users have focused fury on all sides of the incident, with the boy’s mother receiving a flurry of hateful messages from some on Twitter and Facebook while others blame the zoo itself. Now, police are investigating the situation, including reviewing actions taken by the boy’s mother. Officials say it’s too soon to determine whether there was any negligence on the part of the boy’s parents. Meanwhile, the zoo itself is also facing an investigation from the USDA as well as a complaint from animal rights organization Stop Animal Exploitation Now.
• As we talked about last week, it’s city budget season, and you can get your two cents in as Cincinnati City Council mulls the city’s big financial plan. There are big dollars at stake in the $1.2 billion spending package, including money for things like economic development and human services. Public hearings attended by council members and Mayor John Cranley will be held June 2 at the Oakley Recreation Center, June 6 at the Reds Urban Youth Academy in Roselawn and June 7 at the College Hill Recreation Center. Those hearings start at 6 p.m. You can also watch them online. City Manager Harry Black submitted his vision for the budget in mid-May, and Cranley submitted his proposed adjustments last week.
• Today is apparently Global Running Day, and some Cincinnati folks got up very, very early to celebrate, running between one and four miles from Oakley this morning. They joined an estimated 2 million people in 173 countries celebrating an act that most people try to avoid at all costs. I celebrated yesterday and might partake today depending on how long I have to observe “sit at a desk and stare at a computer screen” day, which is actually most days for a lot of people.
• A former astronaut is in town today to recognize Cincinnati’s contributions to space exploration. Metalex Manufacturing Inc., a Cincinnati machine shop, is producing components used by NASA’s Orion and Space Launch Systems programs, which aim to extend U.S. space exploration efforts. Retired astronaut Brian Duffy will drop by the shop today, along with NASA leaders, students and U.S. Sen. Rob Portman to learn more about Metalex’s contribution to the programs.
• Newport on the Levee is reportedly getting a 235-foot-tall Ferris wheel overlooking the Ohio River. The wheel, built by Koch Development, is expected to cost more than $10 million. It’s expected to carry 180 people in 30 six-person glass gondolas. The rides have become something of a trend in cities: Seattle and Orlando recently added similar wheels to areas around their downtowns.
• It’s been a bit since we’ve given you any crazy Donald Trump news, but the real estate mogul being the way he his, you knew it was just a matter of time. Turns out Trump cut a $1 million check to a veterans’ charity… on the same day an investigative report dropped about how he hadn’t given the money many months after he publicly pledged to do so during a January on-air fundraiser meant to compete with a GOP debate he skipped. A Washington Post story highlighted discrepancies between the amount Trump said that fundraiser brought in and how much was given to veteran-focused charities, including a missing $1 million Trump himself had pledged. Following questions from the Post, however, Trump cut a check to a New York-based charity the same day, despite his earlier assertions that he’d already given out the money.
Of 30 organizations asked by the Associated Press, half said they had received money pledged to them by Trump’s organization only recently, in the wake of the Post article. Trump has fired back at the media, saying he should be praised for giving the money, not questioned about it.