0 Comments · Wednesday, August 21, 2013
SATURDAY AUG. 17: The Akron Beacon Journal
today reported that a state representative named John Becker, who is
apparently from suburban Cincinnati (how many [expletive] state reps are
there, for real?), proposed an expansion of Ohio’s death penalty law to
cover some sex-related crimes.
by German Lopez
109 days ago
Lawmaker wants expanded death penalty, CPS getting 10-year plan, local library stays busy
State Rep. John Becker, a Cincinnati Republican, is pushing to expand the death penalty
to include some sex-related crimes. His proposal, made Friday, would
allow the state to consider execution in cases of rape, sexual battery
and improper sexual contact if the suspect has a previous sex crime
conviction and there are aggravating circumstances. Becker says he was
inspired to propose the death penalty expansion after hearing about three
Cleveland women who were kidnapped, held and raped for years by Ariel Castro before they escaped in May. But
Castro, who was convicted earlier this month, wouldn’t have been
eligible for the death penalty under Becker’s plan because he didn’t have a previous sex crime conviction.
Cincinnati Public Schools (CPS) officials are developing a 10-year plan for the school district,
following in the footsteps of the Columbus and Cleveland systems and
their unique plans. The school district is asking for more community
support and $29 million from the state to, among other plans, boost its
community learning center initiative, a nationally recognized program
that turns schools into community hubs with extra services such as
dental care and college preparation; expand early education, which is
often heralded as one of the best economic investments; and provide more options through charter schools, which have generally performed worse than public schools but provide more choices for students.
Unlike the other big city systems, CPS has posted decent academic
ratings in the past few years, so the changes might not be as drastic
or require legislative involvement.The Public Library of Cincinnati and Hamilton County was found to be the busiest central library in the country for the second year in a row
by a report from the Public Library Association. Overall, the report
found the Cincinnati system is the seventh busiest public library system
in the country and second busiest in Ohio right after Cuyahoga County,
which includes Cleveland.The Over-the-Rhine Foundation will use an $8,000 grant
from the Ohio Development Services Agency and Ohio Historic
Preservation Office to help revitalize approximately 13 buildings in the
neighborhood. The grant will allow the Over-the-Rhine Foundation to
research and apply for federal designation on the National Register of
Historic Places, which would unlock more tax credits for the buildings
and area. The rest of the money for the project will come from private
funds. “Exciting things are happening in Over-the-Rhine,” said David
Goodman, director of the Ohio Development Services Agency, in a
statement. “Helping the neighborhood receive this historic designation
will allow the continued revitalization of this growing community.”With a state ban lifted, Ohio is getting more online schools
for the first time in eight years. Three e-schools were approved to
open this fall, and five more could be approved this year. The
moratorium on new e-schools was held until the state approved e-school
standards, which were drafted by the International Association for K-12
Online Learning, an association funded in part by e-schools, and include
no mention of proper budgeting or attendance tracking. A CityBeat look at e-schools last year found e-schools generally perform much worse but get more state funding than traditional public schools.
Five Miami University students helped install a wheelchair-accessible swing in Hanover Township.
Ohio gas prices are rising but still below the national average.
Ohio is among 24 states asking the Federal Aviation Administration to allow drone manufacturers to test unmanned flying vehicles within state borders.
The Western & Southern Open had record attendance this year, with nearly 200,000 people turning up.
A 12-year-old electronics prodigy and teacher is working on a plan to revamp the U.S. education system to make it more fun.
Ohio set to execute Billy Slagle this week despite a prosecutor’s request for clemency
7 Comments · Wednesday, July 31, 2013
Billy Slagle is going to die on Aug. 7.
The Ohio Parole Board recommended against granting Slagle clemency on
July 16, and Gov. John Kasich last week denied Slagle’s request to have
his death sentence commuted to life in prison.
by German Lopez
127 days ago
Human services funding falls short, state to kill murderer, longshot mayoral candidates rage
Although this year’s cuts are being undone, City Hall has been cutting resources
to the homeless, long-term unemployed, crime victims and casualties of
domestic abuse since 2004. Aid to those groups is part of human services
funding, which is supposed to receive 1.5 percent of the operating
budget but currently gets a quarter of that at 0.4 percent. To explain
the decade of cuts, the city administration typically points to citizen
surveys and meetings conducted as part of the priority-driven budgeting
process. But a CityBeat analysis of the demographics of the process found they were skewed in favor of the wealthiest
Cincinnatians and against low-income people, who benefit the most from
human services. For the agencies that receive funding, the history of cuts is even
more worrying as Cincinnati prepares for more budget gaps in the next
The state of Ohio will execute Billy Slagle on Aug. 7,
even though the prosecutor’s office behind the charges asked the Ohio
Parole Board to grant him clemency. The parole board denied the request,
and Gov. John Kasich last week declined to commute the sentence to life
in prison. Slagle was convicted in 1988 of murdering a 40-year-old
woman in a gruesome stabbing. His family says he was in an alcohol- and
drug-fueled haze at the time and has a history of problems at home, including
domestic abuse, that presents extenuating circumstances.
Two longshot mayoral candidates are really upset
about Cincinnati’s primary system: Independent Sandra “Queen” Noble
sent an F-bomb-laden email to debate organizers, and Libertarian Jim
Berns quit the race. Under the current primary system, multiple mayoral
candidates are allowed to run. But come Sept. 10, voters will select the
top two contenders in a primary. Those frontrunners will then face off
in a final election on Nov. 5 to pick who will take over City Hall on
Dec. 1. Noble and Berns claim the current system favors the two
frontrunners — Democrats Roxanne Qualls and John Cranley — by helping
them get the most exposure through televised debates after the primary
Commentaries:• “GOP Continues Playing Politics with Ohioans’ Health”• “Is Ohio’s New License Plate the Worst or Just Bad?”
Cranley has raised more money
than Qualls in the mayoral race, according to campaign finance reports
filed yesterday. Cranley has raised about $472,000, compared to $348,000
for Qualls. Cranley also has about $264,000 in the bank, while the
Qualls campaign has about $192,000 in hand.
Undocumented immigrants who were brought into the country as children will be eligible for in-state tuition
at Ohio public colleges, following a decision from the Ohio Board of
Regents. The change will save the students thousands of dollars at the
state’s public schools, which were charging exorbitant out-of-state and
international rates before. The undocumented immigrants qualify for
legal benefits because of an executive order signed by President Barack Obama earlier in the year
that prevents the federal government from prosecuting them. The order
falls short of actual legalization on the books, but it grants many benefits under state and federal law.
In quite possibly the worst news ever, Rob Lowe and Rashida Jones announced they’re leaving “Parks and Recreation” after the 13th episode of the upcoming season.
German scientists have proposed a new strategy for combating climate change: turn coastal deserts into forests.
By science, ostriches can now fly:
by Hannah McCartney
Gaslight grocery store loses steam, record rainfall, return of gas chambers?
Construction to renovate the former IGA in Clifton's Gaslight district will come to a halt soon, and the future for the building remains uncertain; contractors told the Enquirer they'd finish working on the roof and then pull off the project. Steve Goessling, who purchased the property when it was vacated two years ago, says he plans on continuing to build out the building, but he doesn't have the $4.1 million he needs to make it happen. He recently hired Cassidy Turley to market the property to higher-end grocery chains. It’s Monday, the most un-fun, unhappy day of the week. But smile: Here are 18 signs you’re doing better than you think. The attorney general for the state of Missouri, Chris Koster, is talking about bringing back the use of gas chambers on death row inmates because he's worried about the state running out of lethal injection drugs. Cincinnati had an entire month's worth of rainfall over the past week — 3.75 inches as of Sunday. The norm for July is 3.76 inches.A near-record algae bloom is ensconcing the popular beaches of a coastal Chinese city with thick, bright green “sea lettuce,” as the locals call it. It’s not harmful to humans, but it does suffocate the marine life and kind of scares away tourists. Two men with HIV now appear to now be virus-free after they received stem-cell transplants to treat their lymphoma. Researchers at the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute combed through 18,000 hours of deep-sea video footage and found the ocean seafloor around Monterey Bay is covered in trash.
How Ohio death row inmate Abdul Awkal was saved from execution
0 Comments · Tuesday, July 3, 2012
Ohio death row inmate Abdul Awkal wasn’t
trying to avoid his execution. He just wanted his meals prepared
according to his Muslim faith.
by Kevin Osborne
Connecticut is 17th to abolish capital punishment
Connecticut will soon join the list of states that have ended
the use of capital punishment.
In an 86-63 vote, legislators in Connecticut’s House of
Representatives passed the bill Wednesday night. The state Senate approved the
measure April 5, in a 20-16 vote.
Gov. Dannel P. Malloy, a
Democrat, has indicated he will sign the bill when it reaches his desk,
probably sometime this week. A similar bill was vetoed by then-Gov. Jodi Rell,
a Republican, in 2009.
Connecticut’s law is
prospective in nature, and won’t affect the sentences of the 11 people
currently on the state’s death row.
In the last five years, New
Jersey, New Mexico, New York and Illinois have repealed the death penalty,
according to CNN. California voters will decide the issue in November.
Other states that have
abolished capital punishment are Alaska, Hawaii, Iowa, Maine, Massachusetts,
Michigan, Minnesota, North Dakota, Rhode Island, Vermont, West Virginia and
Meanwhile, a man who spent 21 years on Ohio’s death row until he was
exonerated in 2010 will speak tonight at a forum in Clifton.
will discuss his experience and
why he believes the death penalty should be scrapped at 6:30 p.m. at the St.
Monica-St. George Parish Newman Center, located at 328 W. McMillan St. D’Ambrosio
will be joined by the Rev. Neil Kookoothe, a Roman Catholic priest who worked
to get him released.
D’Ambrosio was wrongfully
convicted of the 1988 murder of Anthony Klann in Cleveland. Cuyahoga County
prosecutors withheld 10 pieces of evidence that would have exonerated
D’Ambrosio at his trial and implicated another suspect in the crime, a judge
ruled in March 2010.
D’Ambrosio is the
140th Death Row exoneration in the United States since 1973 and the sixth
This week’s Porkopolis column
looks at a report from Amnesty International about the use of capital
punishment throughout the world, and how the United States is one of the only
industrialized nations that still condones the practice.
0 Comments · Wednesday, April 11, 2012
Ohio can now resume carrying out
executions for the first time since November 2011, after a ruling last
week from U.S. District Judge Gregory Frost of Newark. In January, Frost halted the Ohio
execution of condemned murderer Charles Lorraine in light of several
slip-ups by the state in following its own execution protocol.
by Danny Cross
Do you enjoy looking at slideshows of rich people? Here's a good one, themed “Most Corrupt Members of Congress.” Guess which local Eastside representative made the list … Here's a hint: Jean Schmidt.
Survivor of Ohio’s latest botched execution speaks out
0 Comments · Wednesday, October 7, 2009
Romell Broom achieved a macabre notoriety this past month when he became the first man to survive his date with the needle — not just in Ohio, but anywhere. The convicted rapist and murderer endured more than two hours of poking and stabbing before his execution was called off indefinitely. The eyes of the world are on Ohio now, and many are questioning our death-penalty apparatus.