Ohio

All Quiet On The Case Western Front

This piece is part of RISE NEWS’ coverage of the Republican National Convention in Cleveland, Ohio. Be sure to follow us on Twitter and Facebook for up to date information and check regularly on risenews.net throughout the week. 

The third floor of Cleveland Public Library’s main branch is currently home to one of 18 touring copies of William Shakespeare’s 1623 First Folio and an original print of John James Audubon’s Blue Jay.

Swing by the library during the Republican National Convention, and chances are you’ll have both of them, along with every other artifact and tome in the collection, all to yourself.

Just before 6:00 PM closing time on Monday afternoon, librarians said they had seen no more than 30 people over the course of the entire day, less than one-fifth of the usual, non-Convention weekday traffic count.

This atypical tranquility might have registered as a minor curiosity amidst leather-bound labyrinths and underneath vaulted ceilings, where peace and quiet are familiar companions. But even around Cleveland’s downtown and waterfront districts, where Convention-week carnage of various orders and magnitudes has been predicted if not expected, unanticipated placidity was the order of the day, and it did not go unnoticed.

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A government vehicle used to block a road near the main demonstration site for protestors in Cleveland. Photo Credit: Rich Robinson/ RISE NEWS

“So far you haven’t seen anything bad happen, and I hope we don’t. I hope it stays peaceful,” Eric, a Cleveland-native said while walking on a break from his downtown catering job.

Eric had helped direct myself and another RISE NEWS reporter to Willard Park, one of three designated downtown protest zones, along with Public Square and Perk Plaza.

At Willard Park, demonstrators lounged without controversy or confrontation in the shade of trees and E-Z UP tents.

At Public Square, the locus of the day’s activity, speakers alternated through a prearranged schedule of turns at a stage and PA system with relatively little discord.

One man with an AK-47 slung across his shoulder drew a crowd, as did a lineup in hats embroidered with FEAR GOD and signs reading “HOMO SEX IS SIN,” but neither demonstration erupted into violence.

An unidentified black woman representing the Cleveland-based Imperial Women’s Coalition was arrested by a team of several police officers in the middle of her speech.

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An unidentified black woman representing the Cleveland-based Imperial Women’s Coalition being arrested by a team of several police officers during the first day of the RNC. Photo Credit: Jordan Cissell/ RISE NEWS.

Witnesses who had been in queue behind the stage when the woman was handcuffed speculated that she had had an outstanding warrant for her arrest from a prior interaction with officers within the past three to four weeks.

You would have been hard pressed to walk or drive through downtown on Monday without some interaction with the police, as officers led motorcades, directed traffic, and patrolled the streets and sidewalks by foot, by bike, and by horse.

Joining Cleveland Police Department and Ohio State Highway Patrol officers were badges from Indiana, Michigan, Texas, South Carolina, Georgia, Kansas, and California, walking reminders that the city has taken steps to prepare for outsized personalities and events both inside and outside of Quicken Loans Arena.

On Monday, at least, the tone outside was decidedly low-key.

RISE NEWS is a grassroots journalism news organization that is working to change the way young people become informed and engaged in public affairs. You can write for us.

Cover Photo Credit: Rich Robinson/ RISE NEWS

The Shooting Of Harambe Has Opened Up A New Culture War In America

Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the last few days or so, you’ve probably heard folks be shocked and upset at the death of Harambe, a silverback Gorilla at the Cincinnati Zoo who was shot and killed after a 4-year-old boy fell into the enclosure there on May 30. 

As the days continue to progress, the individual pieces of the story are becoming clearer, which is helping to lift the mask on how dangerous the situation was for the child.

According to an article written in the Huffington Post Canada, Greg Tarry, associate director of Canada’s Accredited Zoos and Aquariums (CAZA), made several notes about how the gorilla was a threat to the life of the child.

“Even when it was standing over the child in the water, that’s generally kind of a dominance thing,” Tarry said in the article. “He was jerking that child around like a rag doll.”

The move which took Harambe’s life was considered a tragic necessity by many zoological experts, since the gorilla was showing signs of aggression towards the boy.

Multiple sources, including the director of the Cincinnati Zoo Thane Maynard defended the use of the gun instead of a tranquilizer.

He stated, “Tranquilizers do not take effect for several minutes, and the child was in imminent danger. On top of that, the impact from the dart could agitate the animal and cause the situation to get much worse.”

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Regardless of the quotes from several experts discussing why shooting the animal was a tragic but needed necessity, many commenters and social media keyboard warriors believe that the life of the child whose life was in danger was less important than the life of the gorilla, as noted in multiple examples across plentiful social media sites.

According to multiple accounts and an article written on The Daily Banter, reactions included the likes of “responses to this tragedy range from cries of “the parents should have been the ones shot,” to, “another innocent beautiful animal has been… killed as a result of awful parenting,” to, “kids are a dime a dozen, there’s millions of them, he’d be one less moron in the gene pool, the gorillas are the endangered species here not brats,” to “open season with $1000 a bounty on those too stupid to live!” to “it’s the stupid cunt who didn’t notice her child wasn’t there,” to, delightfully, “eugenics comes to mind.”

The same article summarized it best when it said “An undulating online army of angry idiots, righteous in their absolute moral authority and bolstered by the warmth of all those Facebook likes and shares, raining fire down on a person or people they know literally nothing at all about involved in a situation about which they simply don’t have all the facts yet.”

While the shooting and the death of an innocent, endangered animal is certainly nothing to celebrate and something to be rightly mourned, doing what had to be done to save a fellow human being is nothing to make jokes at, or to chastise because the process would have taken the death of an animal.

It’s becoming apparent that there is a chance that this is becoming a cultural war in between those who value animal lives over the lives of humans, and vice versa.

It’s becoming increasingly scary to see those who would, time and time again, put the lives and safety of humans on the backburner to save the life of an animal.

Defending animals and their livelihoods, especially if they are endangered species is something that is duly important, and something that more people should become involved in.

But in rare and tragic situations like these, wishing death and vitriol against parents and people who most likely feel the weight of the world on their shoulders does not show the compassion that you want to emit, and it does not show the peace that animal activists and humans alike want to see in the world.

While we should take every step necessary in order to ensure that situations like the ones that happened in Cincinnati do not happen again, we should also be aware that in the event that something like this does happen again, we should realize and acknowledge that the zookeepers and the people that if the situation calls for it end the life of the animal have known the animal for much longer than a bunch of keyboard warriors and desk chair activists, and it must pain them to bring the end to an animal that they’ve known for years, but they also have a duty to save a member of our own species, a human child who is just as unrepeatable and irreplaceable as a beloved animal.

This was not a case of willful, premeditated killing. It was a necessity to save a life.

RISE NEWS is a grassroots journalism news organization that is working to change the way young people become informed and engaged in public affairs. You can write for us.

Cover Photo Credit: Jere Keys/ Flickr (CC By 2.0)

LIVE Results: Ohio Voters Refuse To Legalize Marijuana After Contentious Campaign

Should Have Ohio Voters Passed Issue 3 Tonight?

View Results

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Update: Multiple national media outlets, including the Associated Press has projected that Issue 3 will be defeated tonight.

Voters across Ohio went to the polls today to vote on a series of ballot measures that could have big implications in their daily life. Two of the three ballot measures have to do with the potential legalization of marijuana for both medicinal and recreational use.

If passed, Issue 3 would allow Ohioans to use marijuana and would allow for a small select group of growers- 10 in total. Some, including a large amount of state lawmakers oppose limiting the grower pool to just 10 sites and want to see a more free market approach to how the marijuana market is set up in the state.

If passed, Issue 2 would mean that Issue 3 could not be enforced. Issue 2 would “prohibit monopolies, oligopolies and cartels that deliver economic gain to individuals from being inserted into Ohio’s constitution,” according to WLWT.

Live Results: As Of 1:55 AM EST

Percent of State Vote Counted: 97.61%

Issue 3- Marijuana Legalization:
Yes: 35.86%
No: 64.14%

Issue 2- Anti- Marijuana Monopoly:
Yes: 51.68%
No: 48.32%

Stay with Rise News as we follow the results

Cover Photo Credit: Brett Levin/ Flickr (CC By 2.0)

Unholy Toledo: GOP Candidate For Mayor Starts Speaking In Tongues At Local Radio Station

Tonight we bring onto you one of the best videos we could find on the Internet right now.

Ye will soon thank us for this glorious bounty.

But first, let’s set the stage.

Opal Covey is a 75-year-old Toledo resident who has become a fixture in the northwestern Ohio community. (Opal Covey also sounds like a law firm that specializes in a sad sort of construction law.)

Oh course she’s a fixture because she is constantly talking about why she believes that God told her that she will be mayor one day.

Yep.

“In 2000, the Lord spoke to me and said, ‘you’re going to be mayor’,” Covey told NBC 24. “So, I know I have to keep on running until that happens.”

Covey has run for mayor of the city four times before, but has never garnered more than 400 votes.

In her 2015 campaign, Covey decided to stop by local radio station, 1370 WSPD. After an interview, host Fred LeFebvre and Covey had quite the conversation in a hallway at the station. Luckily for us all, it was recorded.

Things start to go downhill around the 1:00 mark of the video after LeFebvre calls Covey a “false prophet” for not winning elect before.

We’d hate to spoil the rest.

Watch: Candidate For Toledo Mayor Speaks In Tongues 

Like this piece? Rise News just launched a few weeks ago and is only getting started. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter to stay up to date with global news. Have a news tip? (No matter how big or small!) Send it to us- editor@risenews.net. 

H/T To Wonkette

Photo Credit: Screenshot/ 1370 WSPD Video

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