Cincinnati

The Prince Hall Shriners, who filled downtown Cincinnati in August 2011 with 25,000 members, spouses and family, liked the experience so much they are bringing their national convention back in 2015.


The Ancient Egyptian Arabic Order Nobles of the Mystic Shrine – better known as the Prince Hall Shriners  - is the oldest African-American fraternal organization in the world , founded in 1893 with 35,000 members in 227 Shrine Temples around the country.

In 2013, the Cincinnati mayor’s race is likely to suck most of the air out of the room, as it has since the city adopted direct election of the mayor in 2001.


But it is not the only important race in Cincinnati next year.


There is this little thing called a city council election; and it will be vastly different this year than any other since the city charter was created in the 1920s.


As of now, Cincinnati voters will be electing nine council members for four-year terms, instead of the two-year terms we have had since 1927.

Provided

The Ohio Casino Control Commission says Horseshoe Cincinnati has been granted a public opening date of March Fourth next year.  

The casino will be the last of four voter-approved casinos to open in the state in less than one year.  Construction at the site started in February 2011 and is now in its final stages.  

Casino General Manager Kevin Kline says in a statement efforts to hire and train about 1,700 new workers are on schedule and several hundred slot machines have already been placed on the gaming floor.

The Kentucky Transportation Cabinet has restored the 11-ton weight limit on the historic Roebling Suspension Bridge.

In October, a routine inspection found some deterioration of one of the beams.  That led KYTC officials to impose a 3-ton weight restriction.

The repairs were finished Thursday.  A final inspection performed Friday determined the bridge could go back to the 11-ton weight limit.

Paycor

Paycor has broken ground for its new headquarters in Norwood.  The Cincinnati-based human resources and payroll solutions provider will be moving into the $20- million facility in the spring of 2014.  CEO Bob Coughlin said it marks the beginning of a new era for the company as it broadens its focus from payroll to people management.

"Paycor has tremendous momentum today and this new headquarter project will allow us to keep that momentum by providing a better place for our employees and clients to collaborate, " said Coughlin.

Members of Ohio Action Now, a coalition of pro-Obama groups and individuals, plans a Friday rally near Republican congressman Steve Chabot's downtown office to urge him to support President Obama's plans to raise taxes on Americans making over $250,000 a year.

Chabot opposes Obama's plan.

Ohio Action Now leaders say they will present a report from Innovation Ohio, one of their member groups, that they say will show flaws in the budget proposal from House Speaker John Boehner.

Vice Mayor Roxanne Qualls - who was Cincinnati's mayor in the 1990s - will formally announce her candidacy in the 2013 mayoral race Thursday morning in Walnut Hills.

The current mayor, Mark Mallory, who is term-limited out in 2013, will accompany Qualls at a gathering at a pottery factory on Gilbert Avenue in Walnut Hills.

Mallory's 2009 campaign manager, Jens Sutmoller, will run Qualls' 2013 bid for the mayor's office.

One other candidate, also a Democrat, has announced his candidacy for mayor - former council member John Cranley.

Now that the votes are officially counted, it’s time to empty the notebook on the 2012 election and turn the page. Here are  some parting thoughts:


Big Blue: One of the enduring myths of American politics, if you talk to many pundits and politicos around the country, is that Cincinnati is rock-solid Republican country.


Maybe they confuse the city with the county and the region as a whole, which definitely has a red due. Or maybe it goes back to the fact that the Taft political dynasty came from the Queen City.

Cincinnati city council member Christopher Smitherman was re-elected to a fourth two-year term Tuesday as president of the Cincinnati chapter of the NAACP, fighting off a challenge from a long-time union leader, Bob Richardson.

At Richardson's request, Tuesday's election was supervised by officials of the NAACP's national office, who would not release the final results of the election, except to say that about 1,100 members voted Tuesday at the NAACP's Bond Hill office.

Smitherman's entire executive committee was re-elected as well.

The only relatively close ballot issue in Hamilton County in the Nov. 6 election - Issue 4, which sets Cincinnati city council terms at four years instead of two - picked up votes in the official vote count released this morning and passed easily.

President Obama, too, picked up votes and widened his lead over Republican Mitt Romney in Hamilton County.

When all the provisional ballots and overseas and military ballots were added, Issue 4 passed with 51.4 percent of the vote. The unofficial election night total had the issue passing with 51 percent.

Tuesday is the day Ohio's 88 county boards of elections must report their final official results from the Nov. 6 election to Ohio Secretary of State Jon Husted.

In Hamilton County, that official count will include 13,771 provisional ballots cast on election that were deemed valid by the board of elections last week.

Those votes could have an impact on one ballot issue that was passed by a fairly narrow margin on election day - Issue 4, which would set four-year terms for Cincinnati City Council members.

Artists and authors David and Barbara Day join Brian O’Donnell to talk about their new book of drawings and stories about our ever-changing city. Vanishing Cincinnati seeks to preserve some of the classic architecture and geography of this area as was seen from the 1800’s on in a unique and artistic way. The book’s launch will take place on Sunday, December 2 at the Main Branch of the Public Library downtown.


The Hamilton County Board of Elections isn’t finished counting the votes from the Nov. 6 election; but it was only a matter of time before the 2013 race for Cincinnati mayor began.


John Cranley, the former Democratic city councilman and two-time congressional candidate, settled that hash this week when he announced he will be a candidate for mayor, issuing a press release and holding a flurry of media interviews.


Clearly, the 38-year-old Cranley, who has been out of office for nearly four years now, saw the value of being the first horse out of the gate.

Cincinnati has officially launched its new car-sharing service that city officials say will give residents and commuters an alternative to driving a personal vehicle.  Mayor Mark Mallory says six of the Zipcars will be available--two at Garfield Place and Race Street, two at The Banks and two in Over-the-Rhine.

"This is a opportunity for people to not own a car, if they choose not to do that, because they can go online and sign up for a membership to Zipcar," said Mallory.

Update:  The $7 million Cincinnati is borrowing to relocate homeless shelters will only be used for two projects and not three as earlier reported.  

Council Member Chris Seelbach said City Manager Milton Dohoney, Jr. mis-spoke Wednesday when he said the funds would benefit three shelters.  

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