by German Lopez
39 days ago
Death penalty questioned, county advances crime lab, Anna Louise Inn to break ground
For some, Dennis McGuire’s 26-minute, seemingly painful
execution raises constitutional and ethical questions about Ohio’s use
of the death penalty. In particular, the convicted killer’s family and
medical experts say the state’s use of a new cocktail of drugs presented
problems even before McGuire was killed, with one Harvard professor of
anesthesia warning the state prior to the execution that its dosage was
too low for McGuire’s size and the drugs inadequate. Jonathan Groner, a
professor of clinical surgery at Ohio State University, told CityBeat, “I wouldn’t want what he got to have my appendix out. … I would be concerned that I would feel something.”Hamilton County commissioners yesterday accepted a Mount
Airy facility offered to the county as a gift by Catholic Health
Partners, with plans to use the former hospital as the campus for a new
crime lab. The acceptance came despite previous warnings that the Mount
Airy facility could not be taken in by the county if the Board of
Elections didn’t also move its office and early voting to the Mount
Airy location, where only one bus line runs, from its current downtown
office. A party-line tie vote left the Board of Elections move in limbo,
with a tie-breaking decision expected from the Republican secretary of
state in the next few weeks. Democrats oppose the move because it would
limit voting access for people who rely on public transportation, while
Republicans argue free parking at the new facility would outweigh the
loss of bus access.Officials plan to break ground today on the Anna Louise
Inn’s new location at Mount Auburn. The start of construction marks the
beginning of the next chapter for the Inn afters its owner, Cincinnati
Union Bethel (CUB), lost a contentious legal battle against
financial giant Western & Southern. CUB sought to keep the Inn at
the location it has been at since 1909, while Western & Southern aimed to claim the property to invoke its full development vision on the Lytle
Park neighborhood. After two years of litigation, both sides reached a
settlement in which CUB agreed to move.Commentary: Media Should End Reliance on “He Says, She Says.”A local abortion clinic asked a Hamilton County judge to
suspend a state order that would shut down the facility. The Sharonville
clinic would close down by Feb. 4 if courts don’t step in.With bipartisan support, the Ohio House cleared a bill that
reduces the costs and speeds up the process of adoptions. But some
Democrats worry the bill goes too far by shortening the period a
putative father must register with the state if he wants to be able to
consent to an adoption.The tea party failed to put forward a Republican primary challenger to Gov. John Kasich.Meanwhile, Hamilton County Commissioner Todd Portune says
he’s talking to former Toledo Mayor Jack Ford as a potential running
mate in a Democratic primary challenge against gubernatorial candidate
Ed FitzGerald. With less than one week left, Portune needs to name a
running mate and gather 1,000 valid petition signatures to actually run —
a prospect that’s looking dimmer by the day.A federal judge sentenced an Ohio man who threatened to kill President Barack Obama to 16 months in prison.Cincinnati-based Kroger might test an online ordering system.Gladys, the Cincinnati Zoo’s newest gorilla, celebrated her first birthday party with cake.Scientists developed hair-growing cells from ordinary skin cells, potentially providing a new option for curing baldness.Follow CityBeat on Twitter:• Main: @CityBeatCincy • News: @CityBeat_News • Music: @CityBeatMusic • German Lopez: @germanrlopez
by German Lopez
40 days ago
New facility follows Inn’s intense legal battle with Western & Southern
City leaders will break ground Thursday for the Anna Louise Inn’s new location at Mount Auburn.
The start of construction begins the next phase for the
Anna Louise Inn and owner Cincinnati Union Bethel (CUB) after a failed
legal battle against financial giant Western & Southern forced the
Inn to move.
CUB sought to keep the Inn at the Lytle Park location that
has housed struggling women since 1909. Western & Southern demanded
the property so it could round out its development vision for the Lytle
Park neighborhood. (CityBeat covered the issue in greater detail here.)After nearly two years of litigation held up CUB’s
renovations at the Lytle Park location, both sides abruptly reached a
settlement and announced the Anna Louise Inn would move. Many supporters
of the Anna Louise Inn saw the settlement and decision to move as a
huge loss.The $14 million project comes through the collaboration of
various organizations, according to the city. It’s expected
construction will finish in the spring of 2015.The facility will consist of four stories with 85 studio
apartments, the Off-the-Streets program’s residential dormitory-style
units, community space and CUB’s office.The city’s attendee list for the groundbreaking includes CUB, Mayor John Cranley, City Council, Mount Auburn Community Council,
Over-the-Rhine Community Housing, U.S. Bank, Model Group and various
other officials and organizations from the city and state.But there is one notable omission: Western & Southern.
Anti-gentrification organization says OTR redevelopment is leaving low- and middle-income people out
7 Comments · Wednesday, January 22, 2014
A new coalition hopes to stop what it sees as gentrification in Over-the-Rhine and downtown, but some locals take issue with their claims.
Western & Southern wants its neighborhood back from the nonprofit that was there first
6 Comments · Wednesday, August 15, 2012
The Anna Louise Inn has been helping women in the Lytle Park neighborhood since 1909. Western & Southern thinks that’s long enough.
7 Comments · Wednesday, May 15, 2013
Rich people get to do whatever the hell they want in this city. Maybe that’s the way it is in every city
and anyone surprised by it is a simpleton who clearly grew up on the
wrong side of I-75. But the influence that Cincinnati's rich people have over the direction of this city and the distribution of its resources should disturb everyone.
1 Comment · Wednesday, May 15, 2013
Western & Southern on May 13
announced an agreement with Cincinnati Union Bethel (CUB) that will sell
the Anna Louise Inn in Lytle Park to Western & Southern for $4
by German Lopez
Mallory to propose budget today, ALI settlement criticized, council reviewing rules
Mayor Mark Mallory will deliver his operating budget proposal to City Council today after making changes to the city manager’s proposal,
which hikes property taxes and lays off 201 city
employees, including cops and firefighters. City Council will then be
able to change and give final approval to the budget plan before June 1.
Some of the cuts may hit parks the hardest,
but city administration officials are cautioning that they did not
recommend the specific cuts being outlined, and it’s up to the
Cincinnati Parks Board to decide which areas the cuts will impact. The
city planned to help balance its $35 million operating budget
deficit with the parking plan, but that plan is currently being held up in court.
The Greater Cincinnati Homeless Coalition is speaking out against the settlement to sell the Anna Louise Inn to Western & Southern for $4 million.
“What has been served today is not justice nor moral on the part of
Western & Southern, and we will push for a day when Western Southern
recognizes their wrong-doings, asks for forgiveness and turns to doing
good,” said Josh Spring, executive of the Homeless Coalition, in a
statement. The group is asking supporters of the Anna Louise Inn to meet
at the Mt. Auburn Presbyterian Church Friday at 6 p.m. to discuss
City Council is likely to keep its ability to call votes on different items
in larger ordinances and motions after seemingly failing to get support
from six elected council members. Councilwoman Yvette Simpson, who
proposed the changes, says the power is confusing because there’s no
hard standard set for what is separable, but Councilwoman Laure
Quinlivan, who has used the power before and supports it, says the rule
retains choice and flexibility. City Council is currently reviewing many
of its procedural rules, according to Simpson.
Ohio’s third grade reading guarantee was reworked by the Ohio House in part to relax standards for teachers. Previously, the law mandated teachers providing
reading guarantee services to have taught the subject for at least three
years, which critics of the law previously called “impossible to meet.”
The Ohio House is slowing down
with its Internet cafe moratorium bill while the Ohio Senate works on its bill that would effectively ban the businesses altogether. State
officials, particularly Attorney General Mike DeWine, have warned that
Internet cafes are prone to criminal activity, but supporters say the
businesses are just providing a demanded service.
The National Transportation Safety Board is recommending states strengthen drunken driving standards from a blood-alcohol limit of 0.08 percent to 0.05 percent.
Here is the science behind hating nails on a chalkboard.
by German Lopez
Police chief leaving to Detroit, council scrutinizes streetcar, Anna Louise Inn sold
The city confirmed today that Cincinnati Police Chief James Craig
will be leaving Cincinnati to take a job in Detroit. During Craig’s
time, the city experienced a significant drop in crime. City officials praised Craig for his attempts to forge better ties between the
Cincinnati Police Department and local communities, particularly by establishing
the External Advisory Committee, a group of active local
community members and business leaders that gives advice on the police department’s policies and procedures. City Manager
Milton Dohoney Jr. said the city will begin a nationwide search for
Craig’s replacement tomorrow.
Cincinnati Union Bethel (CUB) is selling the Anna Louise Inn to Western & Southern for $4 million,
and CUB will be relocating the Inn’s services to Mount Auburn. Many Anna Louise Inn
supporters are taking the sale as a sign Western & Southern won,
while others are glad the extensive legal battles are finally over. The
sale came after years of Western & Southern obstructing the planned renovations for the Anna Louise
Inn through court battles and other legal challenges, which CityBeat covered here. In a Q&A with The Cincinnati Enquirer,
Western & Southern CEO John Barrett reflected on the events, saying
his company took the “high road” throughout the controversy — a claim many Anna Louise Inn supporters dispute.
City Council grilled Dohoney
yesterday over fixing the streetcar project’s $17.4 million budget gap and
whether paying for the cost overruns to save the project is worth it.
Supporters of the streetcar pushed questions and comments that touted
the streetcar project’s return on investment, which was further
supported by Dohoney’s testimony and previous studies
from HDR, a consulting firm, and the University of Cincinnati.
Opponents suggested the cost overruns were too much and the project,
which now stands at $133 million, is too expensive. A final decision is
expected by the end of May. The streetcar project’s funding comes from
the capital budget, which can’t be used to fix the city’s $35 million
operating budget deficit because of limits established in state law.
The city and county governments are clashing over the city’s hiring policies
for companies bidding on the Metropolitan Sewer District’s (MSD)
construction projects. The city’s laws require construction
firms to have apprenticeship programs, which the city says promotes job
training on top of employment. But the Hamilton County Board of
Commissioners claims the requirements aren’t feasible and put too much
of a strain on companies. Democratic Commissioner Todd Portune
questioned why the city’s policy only applies to MSD and not other local
The Duke Energy Garden is the latest addition to the Smale Riverfront Park.
A Catholic teacher union will not support Carla Hale,
a gay Columbus-area teacher who was fired after she named her
girlfriend in an obituary for her mother. Hale says she was fired over
her sexuality, but the Catholic Church says she was fired for revealing a
“quasi-spousal relationship” outside of marriage. The Catholic Church
opposes same-sex marriage, which means all gay couples are in a
non-marital relationship under the Church’s desired policies.The Internal Revenue Service scandal, which involves IRS officials unfairly scrutinizing conservative groups, is now nationwide. Previous reports pinned the practice on a Cincinnati field office, but numerous IRS offices around the country, including one in Washington, D.C., were found to be guilty of the practice in documents acquired by The Washington Post.
Headline from The Columbus Dispatch: “Man who killed wife, then self: ‘I couldn’t take her mouth anymore.’”
The brain catches grammar errors even when a person doesn’t realize it.
by Hannah McCartney
ALI to sell Lytle Place property for $4 million, relocate to Mount Auburn
It's over. Big guys, you won.Western & Southern in a press release today announced an agreement with Cincinnati Union Bethel (CUB) that will sell the Anna Louise Inn in Lytle Park to W&S for $4 million, ending years of entanglements between the two entities over what should be done with the property in need of millions of dollars in renovations. As part of the deal, ALI will move to a new
location in Mount Auburn at the corner of Reading Road and Kinsey
Avenue, in the same vicinity as the United Way of Greater Cincinnati and The
Talbert House. The settlement also provides CUB time to construct the
new Inn, so none of the current residents will be displaced. CUB will still retain its $13 million in funding to develop the new property. The Anna Louise Inn, which provides safe and affordable housing for low-income women, has called the Lytle Park location home since 1909. The new agreement will dissolve all ongoing litigation; most recently, W&S accused ALI of potentially discriminating against men.In 2009, W&S passed up on an opportunity
to purchase the Inn for $3 million, before CUB obtained city- and state-distributed federal funding to renovate the building and stay in
the neighborhood, a decision Western & Southern admitted it regretted. Since then, the Fortune 500 company has been battling with the ALI in hopes of getting another chance to purchase the property. According to the CUB website, the settlement came about for several reasons, including concern that ongoing litigation with W&S would have caused it to lose tax credits earned through the Ohio Housing Finance Agency, which were due to expire at the end of 2013 and cannot be used during ongoing litigation. Now W&S plans to renovate the building
into an upscale new hotel, which will essentially give the company a
monopoly on real estate in the Lytle Park neighborhood. It's a bittersweet change for the women and staff at the Inn, explains CUB President and CEO Steve MacConnell, but "ultimately, it's the right decision," he says. MacConnell says CUB learned about the plot of land just three to four weeks ago, when they started seriously considering a move. "After two years of litigation, the women — and us — we were all feeling so much uncertainty," he says, "and ultimately what's best for the women is what we've always had in mind."
by German Lopez
at 09:23 AM | Permalink
Anna Louise Inn rally today, casino revenue drops, Ohio's business climate improves
Supporters of the Anna Louise Inn, the women-only shelter near Lytle Park, will hold a rally in front of the Hamilton County
Courthouse at noon today, which was supposed to be the day Western &
Southern and Anna Louise Inn owner Cincinnati Union Bethel met in court
again. The court date has been delayed as the controversy continues to
grow. The legal battle surrounds Western & Southern’s attempts to
take over the Anna Louise Inn property and build a luxury hotel in its
stead. After Western & Southern failed to buy the Inn at below
market value in 2009, the financial giant has taken to court challenges to
slow down government-funded renovations at the property and seemingly
force Cincinnati Union Bethel to give up and sell. CityBeat’s extensive coverage about the Anna Louise Inn can be found here.
Cincinnati’s Horseshoe Casino dropped to the No. 3 spot
for Ohio casino revenue last month, losing out to casinos in Columbus and
Cleveland. The Horseshoe Casino brought in adjusted gross revenues of
$17.8 million, according to figures released by the Ohio Casino Control
Commission. With the drop, the city’s projections of bringing in $10 million to
$12 million in casino tax revenue for the year are looking far more
Ohio’s business climate is the most improved in the nation,
with Ohio’s rank going from No. 35 in 2012 to No. 22 this year,
according to the annual survey of CEOs by Chief Executive Magazine. The
improved ranking comes despite Ohio losing half a star in “workforce
quality” and “taxation and regulations” between 2012 and 2013.
But the ranking doesn’t seem to be translating to real jobs,
considering both liberal and conservative think tanks seemingly agree
Ohio is not undergoing an “economic miracle.”
If the city fails to restore its emergency powers through court battles, it could ask voters to reinstate the powers
on the November ballot, according to City Solicitor John Curp. Previously, the city used emergency clauses to
remove 30-day waiting periods on laws and effectively remove the ability
for voters to referendum, but opponents of the city’s parking plan
say the City Charter does not explicitly remove referendum rights. So
far, courts have sided against the city; if that holds, voters will have
to rework the City Charter to restore the powers.
A study from Cincinnati Children’s Hospital found nurse-to-patient ratios really do matter.
Charles Ramsey, the man who allegedly helped save three
kidnapped women and a child in Cleveland, has become an Internet
sensation because of his expressive interview with a TV news station. Read more on the kidnappings at the Toledo Blade.
A 32-year-old Hamilton man jumped on a moving train because, according to him, he’s filming an action movie.
News of massacres and gun violence can seem pretty bleak
at times, but it’s worth remembering gun homicides in the United States
are down 49 percent since 1993. The analysis from The Washington Post and Pew Research points to economic conditions, stricter prison sentences and lead abatement as driving factors, but it’s also worth noting the Brady Act,
which requires background checks on many firearm purchases, passed in
1993 and went into effect in 1994, around the time the dip in gun
Teachers, rejoice. New software can teach photocopiers to grade papers.
A vaccine halts heroin addiction in rats, and it’s now ready for human trials.