Morning News: Green Party's Jill Stein weighs in on Harambe; Walnut Hills gets big development; Ohio cities say no thanks to legal medicinal weed

If you thought that maybe, just maybe, the furor was ending around the death of Harambe, the gorilla shot by staff at the Cincinnati Zoo after a child fell into his cage, well, you’d be wrong.

Hey all. Hope your weekend was great and you survived the freak storms and flooding that hit out of nowhere yesterday.

If you thought that maybe, just maybe, the furor was ending around the death of Harambe, the gorilla shot by staff at the Cincinnati Zoo after a child fell into his cage, well, you’d be wrong. Green Party presidential nominee Jill Stein felt it necessary to weigh in on the gorilla’s May killing over the weekend, releasing a statement about the incident in which she railed against holding animals captive for entertainment and the existence of for-profit zoos. Good points, to be sure. But one gets the feeling Stein wouldn’t be commenting on this without the preceding three months of social media virality Harambe’s death has caused, which has included everything from a virtual shrine to the gorilla to threatening messages toward the zoo and the hacking of Cincinnati Zoo director Thayne Maynard’s personal Twitter account. In short, presidential politics are gross.

• Authorities at the University of Cincinnati are investigating a banner hung outside student housing a block away from campus during the busy move-in period just before classes started back up. The banner, which read, “Your daughter got a gag reflex?” sparked intense backlash on social media and eventually a Title IX sex discrimination complaint with UC from student Allison Purdy. The banner had been taken down by Thursday. UC has said the house is not an annex for a fraternity, but UC’s Student Government has confirmed that members of some UC student organizations were involved in the incident.

• Walnut Hills is getting a big new development near its historic Peebles’ Corner district. Indiana-based Milhaus Development will pour $13 million into a mixed-use project including a number of new residential units and thousands of square feet of retail space along East McMillan Street. The area has seen a steady uptick in activity over the past few years, with new businesses like Fireside Pizza and Just Q’in moving in along with extensive residential redevelopment coming online.

• Northern Kentucky University is the subject of a federal lawsuit alleging it mishandled a sexual assault on campus, and it wants the ongoing court proceedings around that suit kept from public view. The university’s attorneys late last week asked that a gag order be placed on those involved in the suit. That would prohibit attorneys or other parties from speaking about the case and would seal all records from public access. NKU says it needs the order to protect other students who might come up or testify in depositions. But an attorney for the student suing the university railed against the university’s request, saying his client “is not going to be silenced.” The suit came after the student, who has not been named publicly, reported that she was raped by a fellow student in 2013. A university administrative group found evidence that the student was likely attacked and handed down penalties for the man — he was told to stay away from the woman he allegedly attacked and keep out of her dorm building, and was placed on a kind of probation with a suspension threatened if he did not meet good-behavior requirements. However, attorneys for the student who was allegedly attacked say he didn’t stay away from her and received no punishment for violating that requirement.

• Ohio lawmakers recently passed legislation legalizing medicinal marijuana with tight restrictions for those suffering from specific illnesses. But despite the very limited window for legal pot in Ohio, some cities here aren’t playing ball. Already, a number of municipalities in the state have passed or are mulling ordinances that would prohibit medicinal marijuana businesses from setting up shop in their jurisdictions. Among them are Lancaster, which is working on an all-out ban on pot businesses, and Zanesville, which is thinking about a one-year delay on permits associated with the businesses. We’re still about two years away from eligible patients being allowed to purchase medicinal marijuana. While some cities are saying “no, thanks,” to legal weed, others are welcoming it as a potential revenue source. The small village of Johnstown outside Columbus has already passed an ordinance allowing the businesses in its city limits. Officials there say they see medicinal marijuana as an economic development tool.

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