LOCAL NAACP: When the local NAACP won a public records dispute with Cincinnati Public Schools, local media reported the district would pay $9,313.67 to the civil rights group. It stemmed from a suit the NAACP filed last February, alleging CPS hadn’t turned over all records about contractors working on Hughes High School’s renovation.
But while NAACP President Christopher Smitherman is always shilling for money, that windfall won’t go into the NAACP’s coffers. Instead, it will go to the group’s attorney, Chris Finney.
When Smitherman talked to CityBeat in March 2009 about the appointment, he said Finney was volunteering his services and wouldn’t be paid. So, what gives? (Hat tip to blogger Jason Haap.)
BERNADETTE WATSON: The former aide to Mayor Charlie Luken seemed like a shoo-in to fill the vacancy on City Council left by Laketa Cole’s departure — after all, she finished 11th in last year’s elections and is a well-liked activist. Then Cole issued an unreasonable edict that any potential successor must keep her staff for almost two years as a condition for getting the seat.
Unwilling to make that commitment, Watson went looking for a new job and quickly found one. She’s serving as campaign manager for State Rep. Alicia Reece (D-Bond Hill). Reece was appointed in March to the 33rd District seat held by Tyrone Yates when he was appointed to a judgeship. Now Watson will help get Reece elected in her own right this fall.
DUKE ENERGY: School districts throughout Hamilton County could lose about $15 million in anticipated payments after the power supplier decided to appeal its personal property tax valuations. Unsatisfied with how state officials assess property values, Duke is contesting the latest valuations, which means a 40 percent decrease in what school districts had thought they would get later this month.
Let’s see: Duke reported $1.1 billion in profits last year, paid $5.3 million to its CEO and is asking regulators to make customers pay for costs related to storm damage. Yep, we think Duke can afford to ante up to the schools while the issue is sorted out.
X-LAB: Although it sounds like a facility where mutant superheroes might train, X-Lab actually is Xavier University’s economic development program. Operated by the Williams College of Business, the lab is holding a unique competition. Thirty-five entrepreneurs have submitted ideas in a bid to win consulting services from X-Lab to help start or expand their businesses.
So far, entries include a bakery that uses alternative ingredients and an invention that provides a new form of illumination. Applications are being accepted until July 7. The winners will get access to advisers, feedback on their business plans and a meeting with potential investors.
This is exactly the type of synergy the region needs to thrive in the future.