Morning News and Stuff

Pay-to-stay jail policy criticized, locals react to LGBT rulings, council OKs streetcar funding

Jun 27, 2013 at 10:00 am

The Hamilton County Jail charges its inmates a fee for incarceration, and a new report from the American Civil Liberties Union of Ohio (ACLU) suggests the practice

harms low-income inmates and raises little money for the county

. CityBeat got an exclusive early look at the report, which scrutinized three counties for their pay-to-stay policies. Among the three samples, Hamilton County had the second lowest fees and did the second least harm to low-income people, according to the report. Although the ACLU was hopeful the report and the election of a new sheriff would inspire some change, Hamilton County officials told CityBeat that no changes are planned.

The U.S. Supreme Court yesterday struck down the federal ban on same-sex marriage, and some local and state leaders had

a few things to say about it

. The reactions seem to vary depending on a partisan basis, with Republicans in opposition and Democrats in favor. Rest assured: Here at CityBeat , we favor giving equal rights to people no matter their sexual orientation or gender identity.

City Council yesterday

approved funding and accountability measures for the Cincinnati streetcar project

and funding for development at Fourth and Race streets, which will include a downtown grocery store. The streetcar measures close the project’s $17.4 million budget gap by issuing more debt and pulling funding from various capital projects, including infrastructure improvements around the Horseshoe Casino. The accountability measures, which were initially introduced by Vice Mayor Roxanne Qualls, require the city manager to update City Council with a timeline of key milestones, performance measures, an operating plan, staffing assessments and monthly progress reports.

Commentary: “The Little Engine That Could.”

Make sure to check out CityBeat’s extensive LGBT coverage for our Pride Issue


, including a

mini-profile of Councilman Chris Seelbach and his partner


It’s local election season. In the next five months, City Council will

meet only seven times

, down from the typical 14.

Odis Jones is

leaving his post as Cincinnati’s director of economic development

to become CEO of the Detroit Public Lighting Authority, a city-run utility operated by an independent board. Jones was known at City Council meetings for making passionate pitches for various economic development projects, including the most recent plans for Fourth and Race streets. He told Business Courier he wants to go to Detroit to play a role in the revitalization of his hometown: “My mother always said, 'If you see a good fight, get in it.' I'm in it.”

The Ohio House

voted to ban red-light cameras

despite arguments that the cameras have reduced traffic accidents and saved lives. An Ohio Senate vote is expected in the fall.


teaming up with Italy and Japan

on a mission to Mercury.

Researchers found wearing a T-shirt with the letter “T” on it

makes men more attractive

. Critics of the study argue attractive men would be better with no shirt — or pants — at all.