by Nick Swartsell
17 days ago
Posted In: News
at 10:54 AM | Permalink
NAACP officially chooses Cincy for 2016 convention; People's Liberty announces grantees; Obama pushes wearable cameras for cops
So my morning donut routine took a dramatic turn today when a box truck plowed into Servatii downtown right before I got there. The whole building was filled with smoke. It looked crazy, and I hope everyone is OK. I’m going to try not to take this as a sign from the universe that I should cut back on Servatii's double chocolate cake donuts. Anyway, here’s your news.The NAACP made it official this morning: The civil rights group is coming to Cincinnati for its 2016 national convention. The convention will put the city in the political spotlight and bring millions of dollars from visitors. Cincinnati last hosted the gathering in 2008 when both Sens. John McCain and Barack Obama came to town as part of their campaigns for president. This time around should be equally auspicious. Two-thousand-sixteen promises a heated presidential race, Cleveland is getting the GOP National Convention and Columbus is in the running for the Democrats’ big get together that year. The NAACP indicated in October it was leaning toward Cincinnati pending a site visit, an announcement that surprised Baltimore, which had presumed it had the convention.• 3CDC Executive Vice President Chad Munitz is leaving the organization to get back into real estate development. He currently works on asset and capital management for the group. Munitz, who previously served as economic development director with the city of Cincinnati, joined 3CDC in 2006. The development company has not indicated plans for replacing him. • Local grant-making organization Peoples Liberty, funded by the Haile Foundation, launched over the summer with a pledge to fund plans from everyday citizens in a diverse, inclusive manner. "This is not going to be a playhouse for the hip," the group’s CEO Eric Avner said over the summer. "We will talk to everybody. We will listen to everybody. We will do it with intention."The group just announced its first two big winners: two guys named Brad. Both will receive $100,000 and a year to work on their projects. One Brad, last name Cooper, will use his money to pay himself a small salary and make two tiny houses in Over-the-Rhine, which he's hoping to sell for $85,000 each. The 200-square-foot homes will be affordable, provided someone can secure financing and the thousands of dollars needed for a down payment. Affordable is a relative term here and seems not to be the main goal of the project. Cooper stressed in an Enquirer article that the idea is about promoting the small-living movement, which has been getting increasing attention over the past few years. "This is not for poor people," Cooper said. "This is for a wide variety of people who choose this as a lifestyle."Just don’t call them playhouses for the hip.The other winner is Brad Schnittger, who will be using his $100,000 to create a music licensing library for area musicians so they can sell their songs to movies, TV and advertising groups. Musicians will pay a small initial fee and then keep all the money they make selling music. Schnittger plays with local vets the Sundresses, so he knows a thing or two about the music industry. He says he thinks this will help Cincinnati’s music scene take things up a notch.• Former Juvenile Court Judge Tracie Hunter will be in court again today as a county judge hears the last of her motions for a new trial. Hunter was convicted last month on one felony count after she allegedly intervened in the firing of her brother, a juvenile court guard who allegedly hit an inmate. Hunter has filed three motions for retrial, saying there were procedural errors and juror misconduct during the trial. Three jurors have said they’ve changed their minds about their guilty verdicts, though it appears too late for those to be overturned. If Hunter’s last motion for a new trial is denied today, she has said she will appeal her conviction.• Let’s jump right to national news for the finale. President Obama yesterday proposed a $263 million, three-year package that would increase training for police officers, work on needed reforms in law enforcement and spend $75 million on small cameras worn by police on their lapels. Obama made the announcement in the wake of ongoing protests over a Missouri grand jury’s decision not to indict Ferguson Police Officer Darren Wilson, who shot unarmed 18-year-old Michael Brown in August.
by Nick Swartsell
24 days ago
Posted In: News
at 09:40 AM | Permalink
Ferguson seethes as no indictment comes; man freed after spending 39 years in prison on false conviction visits Cincinnati; someone stole a 400-pound Sasquatch
Your morning news today is gonna be a little grim and heavy. Sometimes that's how the news goes, folks. A grand jury has decided not to indict Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson in the Aug. 9 shooting death of Mike Brown, an unarmed 18-year-old. The incident has been highly racially charged from the start and caused months of unrest between protesters and police in Ferguson and surrounding communities. Brown was black and Wilson is white. St. Louis County Prosecutor Robert McCulloch delivered the grand jury’s decision in a highly unusual, and perhaps highly unwise, 9 p.m. press conference, despite the fact the grand jury reached its decision much earlier in the day. The rambling, 20-minute announcement lead with a strong condemnation of social media, the 24-four hour news cycle and other seemingly unrelated forces before getting to a strong defense of Wilson from the prosecutor. It’s exceedingly unusual for a grand jury to not hand down an indictment, unless that indictment is for a police officer who has killed someone in the line of duty. The announcement was followed by waves of anger from already-gathered protesters, and civil unrest quickly spread through Ferguson. Police and National Guard troops on the scene began firing tear gas and smoke bombs shortly after the decision was read. Reports on the ground relayed some peaceful protesters as well as incidents of looting and vandalism. Several buildings and at least two police cruisers had gone up in flames by this morning, and St. Louis Police Chief Jon Belmar said he had heard at least 150 gunshots throughout the night. President Barack Obama sounded a skeptical note about the decision but called for peace in Ferguson. Brown’s family released a statement expressing their extreme disappointment with the verdict but also called for protesters to remain peaceful. Calmer demonstrations have sprung up in many cities around the country, including Los Angeles, Seattle and New York. A peaceful demonstration organized by the Greater Cincinnati Chapter of the National Action Network will be held in Cincinnati today at 5 p.m. at the U.S. District Courthouse downtown. • Last week, Cleveland native Ricky Jackson was released from prison after spending 39 years there for a murder he didn’t commit. Today at noon, Jackson will be in Cincinnati appearing at UC’s School of Law to thank the school’s Ohio Innocence Project and others who helped free him. Jackson’s story was first unearthed by the Cleveland Scene and taken up by the Innocence Project shortly thereafter. He was convicted based on the sole testimony of a 12-year-old boy who later admitted he had made up his statements. Jackson is the 18th person freed by the program. • Over-the-Rhine's newest brewery and tap house is almost ready for guests. Taft's Ale House, which is on 15th and Race, received its fermenters and brewhouse yesterday. They were lowered in with a crane, which is pretty epic. The owners say they'd like to be open by Reds Opening Day next year.• If someone offered you a free building, would you take it? Hamilton County commissioners aren’t sure they will. Mercy Hospital has offered to donate their former facility in Mount Airy to the county. A number of the county’s offices, including the county’s cramped coroner and crime lab, could move there, but the new location won’t be cheap. It could cost up to $100 million to retrofit the building for its new tenants, money commissioners say they don’t have, especially after their vote yesterday to approve a relatively skinny $201 million budget. Republican Commissioners Chris Monzel and Greg Hartmann have both indicated the county may not take the building after all. Democrat Commissioner Todd Portune is also skeptical about moving county services to Mount Airy, though for other reasons. He says the county’s board of elections, which was also proposed as a tenant at the site, should stay downtown.• Finally, as if my faith in humanity needed more testing this week, there’s this story. Someone stole a Sasquatch statue out of a family’s yard in Delhi. The thing weighs 400 pounds, so it’s an impressive bit of thievery, though also pretty heartless. “I want squashy back,” the statue’s owner told Channel 12 News. “We've got to dress him up for Christmas. We can't have Christmas without Squashy."
by Nick Swartsell
25 days ago
Posted In: News
at 11:00 AM | Permalink
Cincinnati area follows national trend in arrest disparities; rail advocates concerned city leaders are trying to shut down a commuter rail project; someone made a video game controller that draws blood
Morning all. Let’s get right to the news, shall we?It’s hardly a secret that arrest rates in communities across the country are often much higher for minorities. That’s certainly true for suburbs in the Cincinnati area, where authorities often arrest a much higher proportion of blacks than whites. In Sharonville, for instance, blacks are 12 times more likely to be arrested, and in Norwood, they’re seven times more likely. Law enforcement authorities in those communities say that the data controls for the lower population of blacks in those communities but doesn’t take into account the fact that not everyone committing crimes in those places lives there, which they say skews the numbers. Civil rights activists, however, say the data shows a clear racial disparity caused by a number of factors that need to be addressed. Many studies have made it clear that drug use, for instance, is just as high among whites as it is blacks, but law enforcement in many communities makes many more arrests in the latter. • Are City Manager Harry Black and Mayor John Cranley trying to pre-empt a rail project right out of existence? It seems a little premature to say, but that’s the concern expressed by the city’s planning commission chair Caleb Faux and some advocates for a rail component of the proposed Wasson Way trail. The project looks to extend bike paths and eventually, possible commuter rail lanes through Evanston, Hyde Park and Mount Lookout. But on Thursday, Black removed from the city’s planning commission agenda legislation seeking to preserve the possibility of rail in the area by creating a transportation overlay district. The move has sparked worries that Black was acting on orders from Cranley, no friend of rail, in a bid to pre-emptively block a future rail project through the Wasson Way corridor. Cranley said he only wanted to give time for more public input before a vote on the overlay district was taken.• In other City Hall news, Black announced his pick for the city’s director of trade and development today in a news release. Oscar Bedolla will be the city’s head of economic development. He previously worked for the U.S. Department of Transportation and the Federal Highway Administration on infrastructure projects in Washington, D.C., Baltimore, Chicago and Denver. • State Rep. Alicia Reece, who represents Cincinnati, is pushing for a law that would require greater aesthetic differences between fake guns and real ones in the wake of another police shooting Saturday night in Cleveland. A 12-year-old boy was shot and killed by police officers, who thought the toy gun he was carrying was a semi-automatic pistol. The incident has tragic echoes of the August shooting of John Crawford III in a Beavercreek Walmart. Crawford was carrying a pellet gun sold in the store when police shot him. • As lawmakers in the Ohio General Assembly wrangle over how to fix the state’s unemployment compensation system, a new report on the fund reviews how slashes to taxes on employers put the state in debt to the federal government to the tune of $1.3 billion. It’s interesting reading, to say the least, and a primer in the problems that can arise from some lawmakers' "cut every possible tax to the bone” mentality.• Finally, if you’re really serious about video games, I have a Kickstarter for you to check out. It’s for a company that wants to make a controller that extracts real blood from you every time you’re injured in a video game. “It’s stupidly simple,” the pitch starts. Well, that’s at least partially right. Yow. The device keeps track of how much blood it hass removed, however, so you don’t like, pass out or bleed to death because you’re terrible at "Call of Duty."
by Jac Kern
Jac's roundup of pop culture news and Internet findings
Cincinnati is now a
temporary home for Cate Blanchett (this year’s winner of the Best Actress Oscar
for Blue Jasmine), Rooney Mara (The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, Side Effects, Her), Sarah Paulson (The American
Horror Story anthology, 12 Years a
Slave) and Kyle Chandler (The Wolf of
Wall Street, Zero Dark Thirty,
the Friday Night Lights series) as
filming for Todd Haynes’ upcoming movie Carol
is in full swing! Some of the stars (and a giant movie crew) were spotted
filming at their first location, Eden Park, as well as along US 52 in New Richmond
and Spare Time Grill in Alexandria, Ky. The Enquirer’s Glenn Hartong was able
to catch a glimpse at Mara and Paulson looking straight out of the '50s filming a scene at the now-closed diner.
Photo: The Enquirer/Glenn Harton. See more photos here.
The film is based on is
based on Patricia Highsmith’s 1952 novel (published as both Carol and The Price of Salt) about Carol (Blanchett), a wife in a loveless
marriage on the brink of divorce who falls in love with a young woman, Therese
(Mara). The book was revolutionary at the time for portraying a lesbian
relationship, and doing so in a non-stereotypical light. Chandler will portray
the titular character’s husband while Paulson plays Abby, Carol’s best friend.
Filming continues this week
at a home on Grandin Avenue in Hyde Park. Retro Westside institution Maury’s Tiny
Cove will be closed April 1 for a day of
filming Blanchett and Mara’s characters’ first date. Cincy Magazine tweeted
that the Cincinnati Club, where the mag’s office is located, will also be used
to shoot the film at an unspecified date. We’ll keep an eye out — the building
is right across the street from CityBeat’s HQ. Search #carolmovie on Twitter
for the latest dish on the movie and its local filming and tweet us if you have
a run-in with any of the stars!
Even if Carol wasn’t filmed exclusively in
Cincinnati, the adaptation sounds like a great premise for a film.
Unfortunately the same can’t be said about most of the recent movies based on
books and other, previous movies. This week in remake fuckery, we have Rosemary’s Baby and The Birds — two classic ‘60s horror films undergoing contemporary
reworkings. Zoe Saldana will take on Mia Farrow’s iconic role in a
made-for-TV version of Rosemary coming
to NBC; Transformers director Michael
Bay is apparently producing the remake of
Hitchcock’s feathery flick. We can only guess that Bay will replace said birds
with laser-shooting Velociraptors.
Now and forever:
Speaking of dinosaurs, paleontologists
in Alaska last week discovered a miniature species of tyrannosaurs about half
the size of its close relative, the T. rex — essentially, what the prehistoric
Paris Hiltons were carrying around in their designer mammoth skin handbags.
A post I found recently on
Imgur (because Reddit still confuses/scares me) recalls the story of when the
United Way decided to release 1.5 million helium balloons into the air in
Cleveland in 1986, breaking the world record. The photos of the event are
stunning, but — as anyone with a tiny bit of foresight could tell you — the
mega-balloon launch totally backfired. Not only did this result in more than
1.5 million pieces of plastic trash around the region and as north as Ontario,
but also reportedly hindered a missing person search on Lake Erie.Peep this less dismal, totally ‘80s news segment about the
Kermit the Frog rang in the
New York Stock Exchange Monday. Muppets
Most Wanted opens in theaters Friday.
Everyone’s talking about
“Strangers Kissing,” a viral video of 20 strangers making out for the first
time that’s actually (somehow) an ad for women’s clothing label Wren. A bit
contrived, I suppose, but definitely intriguing and pretty hot.
Jimmy Fallon put his own
twist on the vid…with puppies and kitties.
New book explores behind-the-scenes antics of the 30-year-old film ‘A Christmas Story’
0 Comments · Wednesday, December 4, 2013
Around this time every year, one of our
many annual holiday traditions entails saying things like, “the soft
glow of electric sex.”
0 Comments · Wednesday, November 20, 2013
White supremacist Craig Cobb, the same dude that wanted to
turn a North Dakota town into an all-white enclave, found out on
national television that he’s 15 percent black. WORLD +2
0 Comments · Wednesday, June 5, 2013
SATURDAY JUNE 1: A fight during a kindergarten graduation
ceremony in Cleveland today made national news. The brawl broke out
after refreshments were spilled, which is exactly what the little kids
had spent the past year learning you aren’t supposed to do.
0 Comments · Wednesday, April 10, 2013
Positively Cleveland offered me
the chance to experience the Indie Cleveland vibe (based around the
opening weekend of the 37th annual Cleveland International Film
Festival), so I signed on for the press tour, but I was skeptical. Would
it cramp my style, force me into a box of pre-packaged highlights with
little of my own vaunted trial and error?
by Andy Brownfield
Posted In: Life
at 12:17 PM | Permalink
Cincinnati ranked 21st in list of 50 best cities
That’s right, according to Bloomberg Businessweek, Cincinnati is the 21st best city in the United States.
The news wire cites Cincinnati’s picturesque downtown,
Great American Ball Park, the Cincinnati Pops orchestra and the
presence of corporate giant Procter & Gamble as reasons why the city
was included in its list of “America’s 50 Best Cities.”
It also doesn’t hurt that have 105 bars, 600 restaurants, 18 museums, 35 libraries and two professional sports teams.
The rankings were based on leisure attributes (such as
bars, restaurants and parks), educational attributes, economic factors,
crime and air quality. Bloomberg Businessweek said the greatest
weighting was placed on leisure amenities, (because having tons of bars
to go to is way more important than a good public school system).
San Francisco topped the list of best cities, followed by hipster haven Seattle, Washington D.C. and Boston.
Cleveland barely made it onto the rankings at 46 and Columbus beat us out by one, ranking No. 20.
The Queen City (we at CityBeat are refusing to
adopt the moniker “The City That Sings”) beat out such major
metropolises as Los Angeles, St. Louis, Reno, Dallas, Indianapolis, San
Antonio, Chicago and Houston.
0 Comments · Tuesday, April 17, 2012
Should Cleveland be offended that almost every major act
being inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame last weekend had at
least one no show? The Ohio city is supposed to get the induction
ceremony every three years now, but given how many honorees played hooky
this year, should the Rock Hall be thinking of, say, taking their
talents to South Beach?