Morning News: Tensing seeks job back; downtown Library's plans to sell one of its downtown buildings move forward; insurers fill ACA gaps in 19 Ohio countes

The Public Library of Cincinnati and Hamilton County will close the north building at its downtown location and consolidate services in its south building, according to a plan CityBeat reported last October that was given final approval recently.

The Public Library of Cincinnati and Hamilton County's downtown location - Photo: Hailey Bollinger
Photo: Hailey Bollinger
The Public Library of Cincinnati and Hamilton County's downtown location

Hello Cincy. Let’s go straight to the news today.

Could former University of Cincinnati police officer Ray Tensing get his job back? After he was indicted on murder and manslaughter charges for the July 19, 2015 shooting death of unarmed motorist Sam DuBose, UC fired Tensing. The union that represents police in Ohio immediately filed suit to get his job back, arguing that Tensing didn’t receive a disciplinary hearing, per UCPD policy, before he was fired. That suit was put on hold when Tensing’s trial began, but with the dismissal of charges against him after two hung juries, the union’s efforts to get Tensing reinstated have resumed. UC says it has no intention of reversing its decision. 

• As we first reported in this space last year, the Public Library of Cincinnati and Hamilton County will close the north building at its downtown location and consolidate services in its south building at Ninth and Vine streets. The Library’s Board of Directors gave final approval to the details of that plan last month, but its Facilities Committee approved the move in fall 2016. That move is part of a larger $54 million facilities plan approved by the planning committee last year. Employees were notified via e-mail back in October that the north building was being decommissioned. The plan does not involve layoffs, according to those e-mails and documents from the library’s board. The building is just 20 years old. The property could be used to build condos, apartments or commercial space. It cost the Library $7.7 million to buy the block of land the building occupies in 1997 and another $31.4 million to construct the building and renovate the neighboring south building. Appraisers say the structure is worth $8.48 million today.

• A woman says former Reds star Pete Rose had sex with her while she was a minor, sworn statements included in recently filed court documents reveal. The unnamed woman says she lived in Ohio at the time the relationship began in the 1970s and was under the legal age of consent of 16 at the time. Rose was 34. The documents came to light after Rose sued John Dowd, who presided over the investigation into Rose’s gambling on Major League Baseball, on defamation of character claims. Dowd said Rose slept with underage girls during a radio show in 2015. Rose acknowledges he had a sexual relationship with the woman in question, but says he was under the impression she was of age at the time.

• As the search continues for money to build a replacement for the Western Hills Viaduct, Cincinnati officials may have settled on a temporary solution to debris issues on the span. The city is mulling netting covering hard-to-reach spots on the 85-year-old bridge after debris from crumbling concrete there recently landed on a driver’s windshield. Officials say the bridge, which carries 55,000 cars a day, is safe, but is nearing the end of its lifespan and will need to be replaced.

• Finally, five insurance companies have agreed to step in and sell health insurance policies in 19 Ohio counties that were facing the potential of no insurance options in the Affordable Care Act’s marketplaces after Anthem Inc. announced it would leave the ACA in Ohio. The sparsely populated counties accounted for about 11,000 of the state’s 200,000 individual ACA policies. Buckeye Health Plan of Ohio, CareSource Dayton, Medical Mutual of Ohio, Molina Healthcare, Inc. and Paramount Healthcare will divide up the counties and offer coverage there. One county — Paulding County — is still without an insurer, but the Ohio Department of Insurance says it’s working to find a provider there.

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