Good morning all. Here are some quick news hits for your day.
Councilwoman Yvette Simpson won yesterday’s mayoral primary, besting incumbent Mayor John Cranley and knocking third-place Rob Richardson Jr. out of the race. Now Simpson and Cranley will square off in November. Here’s our full coverage.
• A T-shirt worn by former University of Cincinnati Police officer Ray Tensing depicting a Confederate flag might not be used as evidence in his retrial for the July 2015 shooting of unarmed black motorist Samuel DuBose. Tensing’s attorneys have asked that the T-shirt be left out of evidence in the case, saying it has “nothing of evidentiary value” in the shooting. Tensing’s last murder trial ended with a hung jury.
• A big fight continues between developers and neighborhood groups in Over-the-Rhine about a huge potential new project on the corner of Liberty and Elm streets. Opponents, including the OTR Community Council, OTR Foundation, Over-the-Rhine Community Housing and others have a lot of concerns about the development. But Source 3, the developers, say they've worked with the groups to come to a compromise. Now, Cincinnati City Council will have to make the final call in the coming days. Read more in this week's news feature.
• Cincinnati is one of the most competitive cities in North America when it comes to luring new businesses, according to Site Selection magazine. Cincy landed in the top five of all cities on the continent in seven of nine industry categories ranked. The rankings were determined by considering the number of companies in a city, tax rates, labor force, GDP growth and other factors.
• That’s a good ranking, one supposes, but we’re also on a less-auspicious list. Greater Cincinnati ranks very low when it comes to racial equity, according to a new study by the Urban League. Cincinnati ranks 60th of 71 American cities when it comes to racial income inequality and 54th when it comes to racial unemployment inequality, according to the 41st State of Black Cincinnati report by the League.
• The new I-71 interchange at Martin Luther King, Jr. Drive between Avondale, Corryville and Walnut Hills is already generating big new developments. A 2-acre, $80 million redevelopment effort is planned on Beecher Street and Stanton Avenue near the interchange.
• Ohio is the seventh-worst state in the country when it comes to the safety of our drinking water, according to a new report. Despite the state's low ranking, researchers are applauding steps Cincinnati has taken with its water treatment facilities. You can read more about that here.
• Big fights over Ohio’s Medicaid expansion are brewing as conservative lawmakers and Ohio Gov. John Kasich wrangle over the state budget. In 2013, Kasich pushed through an expansion of Medicaid that was part of then-President Barack Obama’s Affordable Care Act over protests from far-right GOP lawmakers in the Ohio State House. But now they’re trying to scale back that expansion, which covers hundreds of thousands of Ohioans, requiring re-authorization every six months from a six-lawmaker board called the Controlling Panel. That panel also includes a Kasich appointee. Lawmakers are also working to freeze the Medicaid pool to those already enrolled — potentially locking out thousands of Ohioans from coverage. Kasich has indicated he won’t sign a budget that puts the expansion in jeopardy.
• Speaking of Kasich, here’s an interesting story about a $41,000 junket to London and Munich the governor took trying to lure business to Ohio. Worth it? Check it out here.