Hello Cincy. It’s Friday and lots of news is happening so let’s get right to it.
Climate change is coming for Cincinnati and other areas around the Ohio River, a new Army Corps of Engineers report says. The river itself will get higher, seasonal changes around the 13-state river basin will be more severe and, overall, things will get hotter. Cincinnati could see a 12 percent spike in mean temperature by 2099, according to the report, which was completed this spring and published recently. That seems like a long time from now, but the report’s authors caution that change is coming quicker than originally expected and we could start seeing very significant shifts in the next two decades: more floods along the river and more droughts farther inland, distress on wildlife and plant life in the region and strain on infrastructure related to changing temperatures and water levels.
• The city of Cincinnati human resources office says City Manager Harry Black didn’t break any rules when he called Fraternal Order of Police President Dan Hils late in the evening on Oct. 27 to discuss officers testifying before a police accountability board. Hils has called that conversation, which he recorded, “threatening.” Black called Hils to try and convince the union leader that he should back off a move temporarily keeping officers from testifying before the city’s Citizen Complaint Authority about alleged racial profiling and excessive use of force. The complainant in that case was currently on trial, and Hils said he worried that the officers’ CCA testimony could hurt the criminal case. Hamilton County Prosecutor Joe Deters agreed with Hils’ request. Black said that circumvents the city’s police accountability process created by the city’s 2002 Collaborative Agreement and threatened to get the U.S. Department of Justice involved.
The city’s HR department asked Black to limit his calls to Hils to “reasonable hours” during non-emergencies. Otherwise, the city stood behind Black.
"The City does not apologize for passionate engagement in the Collaborative Agreement,” city HR analyst Ed Ramsey wrote in a memo to city officials. “No attempts to undermine it will go overlooked or uninvestigated."
• A prominent member of the Hamilton County Heroin Coalition is blasting President Donald Trump’s choice to lead the federal response to the nation’s drug crisis. After Trump on Wednesday appointed former campaign head Kellyanne Conway to lead the administration’s opioid efforts, Newtown Police Chief Tom Synan tweeted out his displeasure with the pick.
“Ummm...did we run out of dr’s, cops, addiction specialist or people who are actually dealing with this on the street to lead this?” his tweet reads.
Synan subsequently told WCPO that he doesn’t want to get caught up in politics, but that he thinks there are a number of experts who could bring their knowledge to the issue and lead effectively.
“If I was in a position where I was going to declare an emergency, I would make sure I put people in place that are experts in that have firsthand knowledge, that are out there on the street who are dealing with this because they are the ones who know what is needed,” he said.
• If you’re one of 24 companies the state of Ohio has granted a medical marijuana grower’s license, you can rest easy about your crops getting you in legal trouble once they’ve sprouted. But getting the seeds to grow your first batch is a little more complicated. That could lead to some interesting situations for newly launched medicinal marijuana enterprises in the state. The law prohibits moving marijuana plants or seeds across state lines, and right now the only way to get the makings of your own marijuana farm in Ohio are from less-than-legal sources. That’s been a problem in nearly every one of the 30 states that has legalized marijuana in one form or another, and for the most part, it’s a “don’t ask, don’t tell” situation with regulators and law enforcement.
• An Ohio man profiled by the New York Times for his neo-Nazi beliefs has been fired from his job in the fallout of that article. Tony Hovater, his wife and her brother, who were all portrayed as having similar ideological beliefs in the story, were let go from the local restaurant they worked at in New Carlisle. The owners of that establishment said they didn’t know about Hovater’s views before the article and been bombarded with negative attention since the profile came out. The restaurant isn’t named in the story, but online sleuths quickly zeroed in on it. Hovater and his wife also say they'll move from New Carlisle due to concerns for their own safety. The Times story itself has gotten a firestorm of criticism from those who say it treats Hovater too sympathetically and normalizes his white supremacist beliefs.