Report on teen's death delayed by prosecutor subpoena; more news

Hamilton County Prosecutor Joe Deters has subpoenaed all records related to the death of 16-year-old Kyle Plush last month, meaning that a Cincinnati Police Department report slated for release today will be held

click to enlarge Cincinnati's Emergency Communications Center - Nick Swartsell
Nick Swartsell
Cincinnati's Emergency Communications Center

Hello, all. Here’s a quick recap of news going around today.

A report from the Cincinnati Police Department on an internal investigation into the death of 16-year-old Kyle Plush that was slated to be released today will be delayed by roughly a week, Cincinnati City Solicitor Paula Boggs Muething told a Cincinnati City Council committee today. Hamilton County Prosecutor Joe Deters has subpoenaed all records related to Plush’s suffocation in his van last month and the two 911 calls he placed immediately before his death. Police were unable to locate Plush, leading to questions about the city’s already struggling Emergency Communications Center and contributing to the departure of City Manager Harry Black. It may not be all about the ECC, however. Body camera footage shows CPD officers did not leave their cruisers and drove through a single parking lot during their roughly three-minute search for Plush.  Fraternal Order of Police President Dan Hils says officers were not alerted to the urgency of Plush’s call and thought their run was routine.

• Mayor John Cranley wants PromoWest Productions to be the developer of a concert venue at The Banks, he wrote in a letter to the Banks Joint Steering Committee yesterday. But if the company doesn’t get its Banks bid, it will still build elsewhere in the city — possibly in conjunction with an FC Cincinnati stadium in the West End. The developer’s bid is one of three, competing with the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra and LiveNation. PromoWest will pay property taxes on its venue, Cranley pointed out in the letter, unlike nonprofit CSO. It also won’t require public funds, unlike the other projects. The committee is expected to release its choice among the three developers today.

• Speaking of FC Cincinnati’s potential West End stadium, some businesses in the planned footprint of the facility would need to move should the team win a Major League Soccer franchise and move forward with their construction plans in the neighborhood. Those include Parkway Automotive, which has been at its present location for more than three decades. The business, owned by Joe Brewer, rents its space on Central Parkway, and the building’s owner told him recently he might have to move his shop. That’s caused some anxiety.

“I don't know what could happen to us,” Brewer told 12 News. “I can't even begin to think about that because I don't know where else I could go to be where I'm at and feel like I feel with the place here. I've been here for 30 years. I feel comfortable here.”

A few other businesses, including the parking garage for the nearby Symphony Hotel, would also have to move should FC Cincinnati get its MLS franchise and build in the West End.

• The Public Library of Cincinnati and Hamilton County Board of Trustees has a new member, and the appointment — made by Hamilton County Court of Common Pleas — is causing some controversy. Activists with the Our Library, Our Decision campaign are decrying Diane Cunningham Redden’s placement on the board, saying Redden hasn’t shown any particular interest or qualifications in terms of helping run the library system. Instead, they assert, Redden was appointed because she is a prominent and well-connected member of the local Republican Party.

Redden has spent a lifetime cultivating political connections, but does not mean that she’s well-prepared to guide the public library?” OLOD said in a press release yesterday. “What are her views on the future of the library? What are Redden’s thoughts on the levy? On the future of the North Building? Aside from political connections, what criteria does the Court of Common Pleas use to make this decision? The library administration’s announcement has not provided any answers to these questions nor has the Court of Common Pleas.”

OLOD was the main organization involved in a contentious fight over the north building of the Library’s downtown branch, which the library board had explored selling as it restructures the way it circulates books and other, administrative functions. Redden replaces Ross Wright, who left the board in January.

Hamilton County Commissioners added a new member to the board, educator Karen Clemmons, last November after declining to renew the term of then-board president Allen Zaring.

• Finally, here’s a tough pill to swallow for advocates of rail-based transit: Voters in Nashville yesterday rejected by a nearly 2-1 margin a sweeping, rail-centered transit system revamp. That plan, supported by the city’s mayor and many other prominent city leaders, would have raised four different taxes to fund the $5.4 billion project. In some ways, the initiative — and its less-than-rosy fate before voters — is reminiscent of Cincinnati’s Metro Moves plan, which would have created a wide-reaching, multi-modal transit system in the Greater Cincinnati area had more than 65 percent of voters not swatted it down in 2002. It’s also relevant to Cincy because, like Nashville, the Queen City is facing big pressure to upgrade its transit systems. Boosters of the failed Nashville initiative said they’ll keep trying to find ways to increase the city’s public transit offerings.

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