Hello all. I’m back after a couple days off for the Fourth of July. I hope yours was wonderful and you avoided heatstroke/sunburn/fireworks injuries. Let’s get back in the swing of this two-day work week and talk news real quick.
The Holocaust & Humanity Center broke ground on its future home at Union Terminal today. The former train station — now the home of the Cincinnati Museum Center — houses a lot of memories for locals with personal ties to the horrors of the Holocaust. You can read more about the center's move in our story here.
• A downtown bus stop will likely get moved to help increase the mobility of the streetcar, despite a mayoral veto late last month attempting to block the move. Cincinnati City Councilman Greg Landsman says that the Southwest Ohio Regional Transit Authority can move the stop near Government Square at Fifth and Main streets, which experts have identified as the most frequent cause of congestion for the streetcar, to a location out of the way of the rail system’s path. SORTA says it is in talks with the city and the Federal Transportation Administration about moving the stop. Cranley blocked Landsman’s proposal to relocate the bus stop, citing the potential $600,000 price tag and what he said would be an inconvenience to bus riders. Landsman says he believes the move can be accomplished with new signage and little other expense. Council approved the move 5-3 — one vote short of the number necessary to override a mayoral veto. Councilwoman Tamaya Dennard, who was absent the day council approved the measure, could be the extra vote needed. But Landsman believes it won’t even come to that, and that SORTA can relocate the stop now.
• Rev. Jesse Jackson has called off a boycott of Cincinnati-based grocer Kroger after discussions with the company. Jackson came to Cincinnati to announce that boycott in February after Kroger closed several locations in black communities across the country, including one in Walnut Hills. Kroger says discussions with Jackson are ongoing.
• The Cincinnati Elections Commission will today hear a complaint against Cincinnati City Councilman P.G. Sittenfeld over money he is raising for an as-yet-unspecified campaign. Sittenfeld is term-limited and can’t run for council again, says Raymond Mack, who filed the complaint. That means he should have to disclose what events by his campaign committee are raising money for, including a recent breakfast with seats costing between $1,000 and $5,000. Sittenfeld is thought to be eyeing a run for Cincinnati mayor in 2021. Mack, meanwhile, has been a supporter of Councilman Christopher Smitherman, who is also term-limited and rumored to be weighing a mayoral run.
• A Cincinnati newspaper designed to help inmates transition to the wider world when they’re released from prison made national news this week. CNN Money recently profiled RISE, a paper published by Tracy Brumfield since last spring. Brumfield got help launching the paper from a $100,000 People’s Liberty grant. Since then, RISE has hired an editorial staff and published nine issues and distributed 50,000 copies. Brumfield, a former social worker who once struggled with addiction issues, has also received support from a number of corporate donors.
• U.S. Rep. Jim Jordan, an Ohio Republican who some hardcore conservatives have promoted as a replacement for outgoing House Speaker Paul Ryan, has found himself in a tough situation around his time as a wrestling coach at Ohio State University. While Jordan was at OSU, a team doctor, Richard Strauss, is alleged to have sexually assaulted a number of team members. Now, some former OSU wrestlers are saying Jordan knew about the allegations against Strauss and did nothing about them. Jordan denies those claims, but attorneys for OSU investigating the alleged abuse say they contacted him by phone and email to discuss the allegations. The attorneys say they may have used the wrong email address for Jordan, though it's unclear how phone calls to Jordan's office are unaccounted for.
• The state of Ohio can’t confirm the enrollment status of about 2,300 of the more than 11,000 students who were enrolled in online charter school the Electronic Classroom of Tomorrow when it shut down in the middle of the most recent school year. It’s the latest fallout in the ongoing scandal around ECOT, which investigators found had charged the state millions for students who were not logging on to its services. The state of Ohio has ordered the school to pay back $80 million in taxpayer funds related to the attendance records issues.