by Nick Swartsell
Posted In: News
at 09:57 AM | Permalink
Grand jury convenes in Crawford shooting; One in 200 Cincinnatians bikes to work; 500 Canadian Batmen
Morning news, y'all! A grand jury is convening right now, as I type, to decide whether to indict Beavercreek Police Officer Sean Williams in the death of John Crawford III. Williams shot Crawford, 22, while responding to a 911 call reporting a gunman at a Beavercreek Walmart. Crawford, however, turned out to be unarmed, carrying only a pellet gun sold at the store. Security footage taken by Walmart shows the shooting, though that footage has not been made public. Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine allowed Crawford’s family and their attorney to see the tape, however, and they say it shows Crawford was not behaving in a threatening manner and was “shot on sight.” They’re calling for the grand jury to indict Officer Williams on murder charges. Beavercreek Police officials maintain that Williams acted properly to protect other patrons of the store. Marches and protests are planned in Beavercreek and other areas today in relation to the incident. The grand jury deliberations mirror similar proceedings in Ferguson, Missouri, where a grand jury was recently selected to decide whether to indict Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson in the shooting death of teenager Mike Brown.• Tomorrow, police, social workers and volunteers will clean up what was once one of Cincinnati’s largest homeless camps, a seven-year-old collection of tents and improvised structures in an isolated corner of Queensgate. Police worked with social service agencies long-term to gain occupants’ trust and eventually convince them to move to safer places and seek help. The approach represents a marked departure from techniques police have used in years past to clear camps, when officers would sweep in, give residents just hours to vacate and sometimes issue trespassing citations. • Apparently, I’m a member of the city’s one-half of one percent club. Clearly I’m not talking about my non-existent elite levels of wealth — I mean I’m a Cincinnati bike commuter. About one out of every 200 Cincinnatians bikes to work, according to Census data. Currently, the city ranks 45th in the nation for bicycle commuting. That’s a pretty low number in the grand scheme of things, but it represents a big increase over time — bike commuting is up 146 percent from a decade and a half ago.• Speaking of rankings, Cincinnati made a Forbes list for the country’s 19 best opportunity cities. The list considers business opportunities, cost of living, unemployment rate and population growth, especially among young people, and uses that data to determine where a person has the best chance of making big waves and finding big success. Cincinnati ended up 18th on the list, coming in just above Winston-Salem, North Carolina and just below Shreveport, Louisiana. Ohio was well-represented — Columbus came in first, Toledo fourth and Akron 13th. • P&G is distancing itself from the NFL as the league receives continued criticism over a player’s domestic violence incident. The Cincinnati-based company will pull out of a campaign in which players from each of the league’s 32 teams were to promote Crest toothpaste on social media and wear pink mouth guards during games to raise awareness for breast cancer. The company will still donate $100,000 to the American Cancer Society to raise breast cancer awareness, but will no longer be partnering with the NFL for the campaign. The move comes as the league faces continued criticism connected to revelations that Baltimore Ravens player Ray Rice punched and knocked out his girlfriend in an elevator. Rice was originally suspended for two games for the domestic violence incident, but after security tapes showing the brutal attack were released, public outcry forced the league and the team to release Rice from his contract. P&G caught some of this controversy after an ad for Baltimore Ravens-themed makeup from the company’s CoverGirl brand was altered to show the ad’s model with a black eye. The altered ad went viral, focusing attention on P&G’s sponsorship relationship with the league.• In national news, Home Depot, which was recently the victim of the biggest information theft incident ever for a retailer, had been warned for years about the security of its data, a new report in The New York Times says. The company used outdated software and insufficient data security methods to house customer data, former employees for the company say, and had been warned of the risks since at least 2008. Hackers stole data for more than 40 million credit cards from Home Depot earlier this month, information that could be used to make more than $3 billion in fraudulent purchases. What’s worse? Experts are saying this kind of data theft could be “the new normal” as more and more companies experience data theft. * Finally, ever seen hundreds of Canadians dressed like Batman? Now you have. I heard at least one guy in there is dressed up like The Joker. See if you can find him, Where's Waldo style.
by Nick Swartsell
Posted In: News
at 09:54 AM | Permalink
Streetcar funding plans; P&G's NFL PR prob; who owns the Occupy Twitter account?
Morning all! Let's jump right into the news.Members of Cincinnati City Council have some preliminary good things to say about the Haile Foundation’s recent proposal for funding streetcar operating costs. Meanwhile, Mayor John Cranley has said he’s working on a plan of his own, and you can hear all about it… in a month or so. Vice Mayor David Mann and council members Kevin Flynn, P.G. Sittenfeld and Amy Murray all said the Haile plan was helpful as a starting point. Questions remain, however, about how much the tax plan will cost property owners in the proposed special taxing district, which will cover Downtown, Over-the-Rhine and Pendleton. Murray, who voted against the streetcar project, also questioned whether the necessary 60 percent of property owners in those districts would back the tax and said there need to be back up options in place.Meanwhile, Cranley said he’s confident he can come up with a plan council will support that provides the almost $4 million in yearly operating costs the streetcar needs without spending city money. He declined to give further details but said the plan should be ready in a month or so.• Mayor Cranley won’t be talking much about that plan tonight when he gives his State of the City address, which will happen at 6 p.m. at Music Hall. Instead, he’ll outline other proposals and his vision for the year ahead. One seemingly mundane change he’ll be highlighting — the elimination of the more-or-less unenforced single garbage can rule. I live in a big house with 10 other roommates, and it’s not really my job to take the garbage out, but I can see how this is a big deal for people who live on a big hill (there are a lot of those in Cincinnati) and don’t want to lug one cartoonishly big trash can up and down steps all the time. Anyway, I’ve digressed. The State of the City is open to the public, though the mayor’s office encourages folks to RSVP here.• City Council yesterday passed two new ordinances targeting sex trafficking, which I reported on yesterday. You can get more details on the new measures here.• The sales tax increase to renovate Union Terminal has gotten a key backer. The Cincinnati USA Regional Chamber of Commerce is endorsing the plan, which will go up for a vote on the November ballot. The plan is the product of a contentious struggle between Hamilton County Commissioners, the city and the Cultural Facilities Task Force, which originally drew up a $280 million plan funding both Music Hall and Union Terminal renovations. That plan, which sought to increase county sales taxes from 6.75 to 7 percent over 20 years, was jettisoned by commissioners in favor of the same hike for a shorter duration covering only Union Terminal. New efforts are underway to find money for Music Hall renovations.• Quick hit: The owner of the car that was hit by big ole chunks of a Brent Spence Bridge off ramp Sunday will have to sue the state to be reimbursed, the Ohio Department of Transportation says. Bummer.• Procter & Gamble is getting some social media heat surrounding its role as the NFL’s official beauty sponsor. The league has been experiencing huge amount of controversy in the past few weeks over Baltimore Ravens player Ray Rice, who was suspended for two games following revelations he was involved in domestic violence against his fiancee. That suspension was made indefinite when tapes surfaced showing Rice brutally punching and knocking her out in an elevator. The league has taken heat for not acting quickly enough, with allegations flying that the league new about the severity of Rice’s crime before the tapes were made public. Meanwhile, in what amounts to either really bad timing or a severe case of tone-deafness, P&G’s Covergirl brand has been running the “get your game face on” campaign promoting their line of NFL-team-themed makeup. One of these has been photoshoped so that a model wearing Ravens purple makeup appears to have a black eye. As the image has gone viral, many on social media have turned to the company asking it to condemn the NFL and pull its sponsorship. Though P&G has issued a statement against domestic violence, the company has yet to pull the sponsorship, and critics say it isn’t doing enough to distance itself from the league. Covergirl’s Facebook page and other social media sites have received hundreds of negative comments about the situation.• So the NFL is pretty soft on players who commit domestic violence, and our local mega-corporation keeps giving them money despite that. But hey, the Bengals are number one in Sports Illustrated’s NFL Power Rankings for the first time ever! So, that’s good, right? Eh.• Quick hit number two: Yesterday I told you about an investigation into Ohio charter schools run by Chicago’s Concept Schools. Here’s more on that, including pushback from the schools’ officials and supporters. • Here’s a story about how New Orleans, which has been the nation’s murder capital off and on for years, is using big data to track gang activity and help reduce violence in the city. It’s fascinating stuff that has some pretty interesting (and perhaps troubling) ramifications if you think about government's use of big data in general. On a side note, there’s a shout-out to an unnamed University of Cincinnati professor who apparently has helped the New Orleans Police Department work with data in tracking murders. • Finally, founding members of Occupy Wall Street are suing each other over the movement’s most popular and recognized Twitter handle, @OccupyWallStNYC. Insert whatever joke you want right here.
U2 earns hatred with gift LP, R.I.P. song fade outs and the NFL screws up again
0 Comments · Wednesday, September 17, 2014
U2's free album deemed worse thing to ever happen to music and computers, Slate examines the fading out of song "fade outs" and the Tennessee Titans get fans pumped up with an incredibly inappropriate pre-game playlist selection.
0 Comments · Tuesday, September 16, 2014
The mounting evidence of the NFL’s
epidemic scourge of employing women and children batterers as highly
paid professional football players has been a perfect storm resulting in
my decision to boycott professional football.
Plus, Genesis pisses off fans and NFL has huge balls
0 Comments · Wednesday, August 27, 2014
Legendary Punk singer shows Gene Simmons and other celebrities who say, "Sorry," how to actually apologize without sounding like a dick, Genesis pisses off fans with cash-in album announcement and the NFL reportedly has the balls to ask Super Bowl halftime performers to pay THEM.
0 Comments · Wednesday, December 4, 2013
A Mall of America security guard arrested a 29-year-old
man in Minnesota for using the last $1,000 to his name to make it rain
on shoppers from a fourth-floor balcony. Serge Vorobyov says during the past year he lost his job, fell behind on his bills and got divorced and decided to pay his final dollars forward. WORLD -2
by Zachary McAuliffe
Posted In: football
at 04:06 PM | Permalink
The destruction of the
Jets two weeks ago by the Bengals saw not only the largest margin of victory
for our football team in many years, but also the emergence of second-year wide
receiver Marvin Jones.
The Bengals brought Jones
aboard in 2012, but not until the fifth round of the draft — much to Jones' disappointment. He assumed he was going to be drafted in the second round, and many scouts agreed,
also thinking he would go in the second or third round. Looking at his college stats, it’s easy to
Jones played at
University of California, Berkeley, and scored 13 touchdowns throughout his
four seasons with the team.
As a wide-receiver, he averaged 14.6 yards with the team with 156 receptions for a total
of 2,270 yards. This includes a freshmen
year when Jones only made one reception for eight yards.
With these stats, it’s
no wonder he was predicted for the second round.
In his rookie season
with the Bengals, though, Jones didn’t see much play time. He started in five
of 11 games, but this season Jones has exploded on the scene.
When the Bengals and
Jets played on Oct. 27, Jones set a franchise record of four touchdowns in a single game,
with a total of 122 receiving yards.
If the Bengals had not
called off the hounds with 17 minutes left in the game, it is safe to say Jones
very well could have tied the record for receiving touchdowns in one game.
This record is
currently held by Hall of Fame players Kellen Winslow and Jerry Rice, as well
as Bob Shaw, all of whom scored five receiving touchdowns in one game.
One comparison we can
draw from Jones to an active NFL wide-receiver is the Broncos’ Wes Welker.
Welker, who gained
mass popularity as one of Tom Brady’s favorite targets for the Patriots, sports
impressive stats with close to 10,000 career receiving yards in regular season
As an established
receiver, Welker currently holds the most red zone touchdowns for this season
at eight, followed closely by Jones’ seven in the red zone.
What really made this
possible for Jones was not only his superb skill set and hands these past few
weeks, but also quarterback Andy Dalton’s trust in his many receivers.
Dalton has not played
favorites with receivers since the loss against the Browns where he threw the
ball to A.J. Green 15 times.
Jones, in an interview
with Coley Harvey for ESPN.com, said Dalton is spending extra time in film and
practice with the other receivers, making the relationship between the QB and
his many targets stronger than ever.
With the second half
of the regular season upon us, this level of cooperation in the backfield will
be vital, and if Jones’ professional career is anything like his college
career, we can expect him to continue to grow and improve alongside the team.
by Zachary McAuliffe
Posted In: football
at 10:53 AM | Permalink
New book reveals connection between football and brain injuries
A new book
set for release Tuesday called League of
Denial: The NFL, Concussions and the Battle for Truth is set to challenge
the NFL and their denial of a connection between concussions and football.
Mark Fainaru-Wada and Steve Fainaru, investigative reporters for ESPN, the book
claims the NFL has not only known about the connection between concussions in
the NFL and long-term brain injuries for about 20 years, but the league has
been actively trying to cover up these facts.
of Junior Seau as well as former NFL players such as the Bears’ David Duerson
and the Eagles’ Andre Waters have brought this issue to the forefront of players’
and fans’ minds. All three players are thought to have suffered severe brain
damage from injuries while playing football, all of which lead to their
has claimed for years they had no knowledge of any relation between the brain
injuries sustained from concussions and the deaths of professional players. Even
in the face of a recent lawsuit from players, the league held firm to their
did settle the recent lawsuit out of court for $765 million, and many questions
were raised asking if the league has been honest with how much they know about the
possible link between concussions and football.
For a long
time, concussions in the professional level of football were not seen as a big
issue because no one knew of the long-term effects. Former New York Jets
defensive lineman Marty Lyons talked with Rich Cimini of ESPNNewYork.com where
he described his own sideline concussion experience.
whenever a player would come off the field, the physician would hold up some
fingers, ask how many and, despite the player’s answer, the physician said, “Close
enough.” A couple plays later, or even the next play, the player would find
themselves on the field once again.
wasn’t the doctors or trainers saying, ‘You’re OK,’” Lyons said in the
interview. “I’m not saying the league didn’t know, I’m not saying the players
didn’t know. It was part of the game.”
to the authors of League of Denial,
the cover-up of how much the NFL knew about the connection started when the
former NFL commissioner Paul Tagliabue created a concussion committee in 1994
to better understand the effects of concussions on players. A few members of
the committee came forward in 1995 saying concussions were not “minor injuries”
as previously thought. These claims were quickly hushed by the NFL.
the book makes is that around 2000, some of the country’s top neuroscientists
told the NFL the big hits in football, especially those considered head-to-head,
led to not only concussions, but also what is known as chronic traumatic
the symptoms of CTE are higher rates of depression, dementia, memory loss and
rather than publishing these findings and telling players of the potential
harm, made no such effort and tried to ignore the facts.
2005, the authors report the NFL tried to persuade a medical journal to retract
articles and findings on concussions and their effects on individuals. The journal
in question refused and the findings continued to circulate without
authors spoke with Dr. Ann McKee, a former assistant professor of
neuropathology at Harvard Medical School and one of the leading professionals
on the link between football and brain damage, who said of the 54 harvested
brains of deceased NFL players, only two did not have CTE.
of these findings are not just exclusive to professional football. Youth, high
school and college football players are also at a high risk for
from 2007 titled “Concussions Among United
States High School and Collegiate Athletes,” found that about 300,000 people aged
15 to 24 suffered traumatic brain injuries every year from contact sports. This
number is only second to brain injuries sustained from motor vehicle
study also found of the total number of concussions from other collegiate
sports, including boys’ and girls’ soccer and basketball, football was
responsible for more than 40 percent of the concussions.
in high school sports have even led to the death of young athletes. Jaquan
Waller and Matthew Gfeller are two football players who died in North Carolina
after head injuries sustained during high school games this season.
from the University of Pittsburgh found that over the
past decade, 30-40 high school football players have died from concussions, and
the likelihood of contact sport athletes to receive a concussion is 19 percent.
are coming to the NFL, however, most notably in the minds of players. Bengals’
cornerback Brandon Ghee received two concussions in back-to-back preseason
games against the Falcons and Titans. Ghee was forced to take a five-week break
from contact because of these injuries.
interview with The
Enquirer, Ghee said if it weren’t for the recent deaths and lawsuit, he
would have wanted to go back to play immediately. Now though, he’s not so sure. “After the second one you have to think about
your kids and family,” Ghee said in the interview. “You don’t want any long-lasting issues.”
0 Comments · Wednesday, September 4, 2013
For a brief moment, the person who owns a
fantasy football team and is off work on Sunday is god-like and in
charge of everything. There’s no other feeling like it.
Ruling against former Bengals players illustrates the next step in NFL concussion saga
0 Comments · Wednesday, January 23, 2013
As America spends the next two weeks
readying for its largest annual sporting event, the spectacle, hype and
excitement of the Super Bowl will undoubtedly overshadow the toll our
enjoyment takes on the players on the field.