Hello all. Hope your weekend was grand and you got to enjoy the incredibly not-that-unbearable-for-August weather. Let’s get some news going.
Last week, we shared a story about a Northern Kentucky woman who was arrested by Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials despite having legal status under the Obama-era Deferred Actions for Childhood Arrivals act. ICE officials now say Riccy Enriquez Perdomo was detained due to a paperwork error and has been released. But her status is still precarious — President Donald Trump has indicated he’s considering ending DACA. He has until Labor Day to decide if he will do so, and if he does, Perdomo and thousands like her could face deportation. The Honduran woman has been in the United States since age 9.
• Big contention has sprung up among board members of cooperative Clifton Market as the community-owned grocery works to gain traction. Some board members want to sell the store’s building — former site of Keller’s IGA in Clifton — and lease it back as a way to generate much-needed cash flow. The store has been bringing in about $120,000 a week in sales, about half of its goal. Other board members, however, say the proposal to sell the building puts the entire project in jeopardy. Board president Gary Crawford presented the idea at an owners’ meeting Saturday morning, but the board didn’t vote on it. Board members opposed to the sale drafted a letter blasting the idea.
"We are in danger of losing everything we have fought for over the last three years. A minority of Clifton Market Board Members are seeking to make radical changes to the Clifton Market organization at the Meeting that is to be held," the letter written by Marilyn Hyland and other board members reads.
• Law enforcement officials say they’ve charged and arrested former Mason resident Daniel Borden in the beating of Deandre Harris in Charlottesville during a white supremacist rally earlier this month. We first told you about Borden in our news feature about hate groups in Ohio. Borden, along with four other people, allegedly beat Harris to the point where his wrist was broken and he needed stitches in his head. The attack was captured on video and disseminated widely on social media. In the videos, a person who looks very much like Borden is shown hitting Harris with a pole. Borden was arrested Friday and is being held in the Hamilton County Justice Center. His attorney says the attack was the fault of Charlottesville officials and anti-racist groups, and that he believes his client will be exonerated.
• The city of Cincinnati has been pushing to save the former home of King Records in Evanston, even threatening to invoke eminent domain to purchase the building from Dynamic Industries, which wishes to demolish it. But an Aug. 27 deadline to reach an agreement about the building has come and gone, and now it’s unclear what will happen to historic site at 1538 Brewster Ave.
• So, at this point we all know that the Western Hills Viaduct needs replacement. We also all know that it will be very expensive — about $335 million — to do that. And until now, there was no real plan for how to go about getting the money to do it. But Hamilton County Commission President Todd Portune says he has a way to come up with the money the county would need to pitch in with state and federal funds to complete the project. Portune has proposed extending a county sales tax that is currently raising money to renovate Union Terminal. That sales tax is currently set to expire in 2019 and raises about $41 million a year. Portune would also like to raise fees associated with licensing automobiles, though it’s unclear by how much. Leaders with the city of Cincinnati and Hamilton County have raised about $22 million toward the project, but state and federal funds will only come after local entities pony up about 20 percent of the overall replacement cost, or about $67 million. Meanwhile, maintenance on the crumbling (but officially safe) structure comes to about $1 million annually.
• Hamilton County Prosecutor Joe Deters has been the longest-serving prosecutor in the county’s history. So what’s going to happen when the high-profile Republican moves on? That’s a good question, especially if you’re the Hamilton County GOP sweating the increasing influence the Democratic Party is playing on the county level. Last year, Dems took control of the Hamilton County Commission and the county Clerk of Courts. Rumors have been floating around that Deters is eyeing the door at the prosecutor’s office, perhaps angling for a seat on the Ohio's 1st District Court of Appeals in 2018. Deters officially denies this and says he’ll serve out the remaining three-plus years of his term. But even if that’s the case, his party is still at a loss as to who should replace him.
• Will we see Ohio Gov. John Kasich launch a primary challenge against President Donald Trump in 2020? Don’t count out the possibility just yet. And Kasich may have a somewhat unlikely vice presidential pick already — Democrat Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper. The Cincinnati Enquirer reports that the two camps have discussed that ticket as the two governors work together on bipartisan approaches to health care reform. Kasich and Hickenlooper have both downplayed the reports. Meanwhile, Kasich continues to get national attention for his opposition to former GOP presidential primary opponent Trump. In fact, he’s made more appearances on national television — 39 — than he’s made official public appearances in Ohio this year, according to the Columbus Dispatch.