by Natalie Krebs
18 days ago
Posted In: News
at 09:52 AM | Permalink
Obama commutes life sentence of local man; Ohio House moves closer to approving medical marijuana bill; Trump heightens rifts in Republican party
President Barack Obama on Thursday gave a Cincinnati man named Thomas Farmer a second chance when commuted his life sentence along with 57 other federal convicts. Farmer has been in a federal prison serving a life sentence since 1995 for charges of cocaine possession and distribution. Obama's latest round of commutes targeted those serving life sentences for drug-related charges and brings the president's total commute number to 306. • There's less than two months before the world will finally get the chance to journey to Grant County, Kentucky, to experience a real-life replica of Noah's Ark. After 14 months of construction, the project is apparently coming along smoothly — and even under budget. The controversial structure, which is based on the Biblical tale of one man single-handedly building a giant ark and cramming it full of two of every kind of animal, is set to open on July 7 and is expected to attract 1.2 million visitors in the first year. • The Ohio House is set to vote on legislation next Tuesday that could legalize medical marijuana for Ohioans. After months of committee hearings, a special House committee approved HB 523 Thursday evening, making it the first time marijuana legislation has ever made it out of committee and on to a full House vote. The bill would create a tightly regulated system for growing, dispensing and prescribing the plant and would permit it only be used in a patch, vapor, oil or other extract.• If you're planning on getting out your wildest hat and watching the Kentucky Derby Saturday, as tradition goes, you're also going to hear the crowd sing along with University of Louisville Cardinal Marching Band to Kentucky's state song, "My Old Kentucky Home." But former Kentucky Poet Laureate Frank X Walker believes some people are missing the racial undertones in the sweet-sounding, old-timey melody. Walker says the song, which was written by composer Stephen Foster as an anti-slavery song, actually has some pretty troubling lyrics related to slavery. • It's been less than two days since Donald Trump has taken the spot of the presumed GOP presidential nominee, and already the split in the Republican party is widening. House Speaker Paul Ryan, the country's highest-elected Republican, says he's not ready to endorse Trump for president. Trump responded to the comment saying he's "not ready" to support Speaker Ryan's agenda." In Ohio, Democrats are already hoping that Republican Sen. Rob Portman's support of Trump will hurt his chances of re-election this November. Incumbent Portman is running against former Democratic Gov. Ted Strickland for the U.S. Senate.News tips go here. Enjoy your weekend, Cincy!
by Natalie Krebs
Posted In: News
at 10:19 AM | Permalink
ResponsibleOhio under investigation for submitting fraudulent voter registration forms; Sittenfeld calls for opponents to renounce NRA support; Blue Lives Matter launches billboard campaign; U.S. under fire for Doctors Without Borders bombing
Hey Cincy! Here are your morning headlines. • There's potentially more trouble on the horizon for ResponsibleOhio less than a month before voters head to the polls to vote on its ballot initiative to legalize marijuana. The Hamilton County Board of Elections is looking into possible voter registration fraud after the board found that at least four of the registration forms filed by a company on behalf of the super PAC were signed by dead people and two were signed by people currently incarcerated and therefore illegible to vote. The registrations forms were submitted by the Strategic Network, a Columbus company specializing in political campaigns that is headed by Ian James, the man who also serves as executive director for ResponsibleOhio. The board made the decision yesterday to issue subpoenas to James and the other leaders of the Strategic Network. James denies any intentional illegal wrongdoing and
claims that his company has a "zero tolerance policy" toward fraud.
It’s unclear who filled out and submitted the voter registration forms, but submitting a fraudulent voter registration
form is a felony offense. James claims that the group is required by
law to turn over every voter registration form it collects, even those
that are invalid. • Less than a week after the tragic shooting at a Roseburg, Ore. community college, city councilman and U.S. Senate candidate P.G. Sittenfeld
issue a statement asking his opponents to renounce their support for
the National Rifle Association. The NRA has previously endorsed Republican candidate Rob Portman and fellow Democratic opponent Ted Strickland in its famous rating program where it assigns a letter grade to politicians. In his video statement, Sittenfeld asks that his opponents "no
longer chase A+ ratings from the same organization that blocked a
universal background check bill following a horrific massacre of five and six-year old children in Newtown." Sittenfeld is trailing behind former Ohio governor and fellow Democrat Strickland, who is widely known across the state and has secured the endorsement from the state's Democratic party. • Cincinnati
is sitting on some serious cash. At the end of the 2015 fiscal year,
the city has $19 million left over, which turned out to be way more than the initial $3.9 million the city predicted to have at the end of June. In a memo to Mayor John Cranley, City Manager Harry Black has requested they should it safe and save most of it but also included a sizable wish list. Many of the items requested are related to law enforcement and crime reduction, which has been a hot topic since Cincinnati has experienced a spike in shootings and Black recently fired of former police Chief Jeffrey Blackwell. Some of the items, which must be approved by the city council,
included spending $2 million on a down payment for Cincinnati Police
body cameras, $500,000 for police overtime in spots with heavy crime,
$200,000 for a witness protection program and $175,000 for a partnership
with Hamilton County to a program to support the re-entry of offenders. • Surely
you've heard of Black Lives Matter by now, the group that has been
active for the past few years in bringing attention to the issue of
police brutality against African-Americans. Well, a new group has popped
up in support of police
called Blue Lives Matter and they've launched a national billboard
campaign with 14 billboards across the country. The group is hoping to spread awareness and fight what it sees
as anti-police rhetoric in the wake of high profile police shootings,
including the July shooting in Mount Auburn of Sam Dubose by a
University of Cincinnati police officer. • International aid group Doctors Without Borders appealed yesterday for an independent agency to investigate the bombing of one of its clinics in Afghanistan last Saturday by U.S. special operation forces.
The bombing killed 22 patients and medical staff members, including
three children, and injured 37 people. The U.S. has claimed
responsibility for the attack, saying it was trying to take out Taliban
militants, and did not mean to hit the aid clinic, but U.S. military
officials' stories keep changing, which has prompted suspicion from the international community of the U.S.'s mission. As always, email me with story idea, comments or general concerns.
0 Comments · Wednesday, September 26, 2012
State officials in Columbus are getting
squeezed by the Obama administration because Ohio failed to move enough
people off public assistance programs into real jobs. The feds contend
the state has mismanaged welfare reform since 2007.
0 Comments · Wednesday, April 15, 2009
Is your company going to be receiving stimulus money? Will you be partnering with the state or local government to build something for your community? What, you don’t know how to become part of the stimulus program? You don’t have connections with legislators to get your idea funded? You’re not part of the club? State Sen. Eric Kearney (D-Avondale) feels your pain.