Tuesday, June 18 2013 5:12 PM EDT2013-06-18 21:12:52 GMT
A 13-year-old boy was arrested and charged with second degree murder after his 5-year-old sister died Sunday. Jefferson Parish Sheriff's Detectives say the boy admitted to practicing "WWE" moves on theMore >>
A 13-year-old boy was arrested and charged with second degree murder after his 5-year-old sister died Sunday. Jefferson Parish Sheriff's Detectives say the boy admitted to practicing "WWE" moves on the girl, even after she told him that she was in pain.More >>
Tuesday, June 18 2013 4:10 PM EDT2013-06-18 20:10:44 GMT
WWL-TV reports there has been a possible explosion in Washington Parish early Tuesday morning. The station stated on its website officials are on their way to the town of Isabel to investigate. According toMore >>
There was a gas line explosion early Tuesday morning, according to Washington Parish Sheriff Randy Seal. The gas fire is out, but trees in the area are still burning. More >>
Tuesday, June 18 2013 10:36 AM EDT2013-06-18 14:36:47 GMT
Louisiana State Police reports I-10 East is closed at Whiskey Bay on the Atchafalaya Basin Bridge due to multiple crashes. Traffic on I-10 East is being diverted onto I-49 North.Drivers trying to get toMore >>
Louisiana State Police said I-10 East was closed for a while Tuesday morning due to multiple crashes near Whiskey Bay on the Atchafalaya Basin Bridge.More >>
Tuesday, June 18 2013 12:18 PM EDT2013-06-18 16:18:50 GMT
A man accused of stealing air conditioners was arrested on theft and drug charges Monday. Johnny Williams Jr., 34, of Hammond, faces charges of felony theft and possession of marijuana. The Tangipahoa ParishMore >>
A man accused of stealing air conditioners was arrested on theft and drug charges Monday. Witnesses said they saw him take the units. More >>
Tuesday, June 18 2013 11:37 AM EDT2013-06-18 15:37:41 GMT
Sheriff's deputies are asking for the public's help in finding a suspected rapist. The Ascension Parish Sheriff's Office reported Justo Venegas, 31, is wanted on a charge of forcible rape. Chief DeputyMore >>
Sheriff's deputies are asking for the public's help in finding a suspected rapist. He is wanted for forcible rape involving a girl. More >>
CINCINNATI, OH (FOX19) -
Inside a dimly lit bar in Walnut Hills, people are showing-up on a Monday night to raise money for something most of us haven't given a second thought --- how long Cincinnati City Council members get to serve during a term.
The folks who've come on this night want to see those terms increased to four years.
"I just think we can do so much better with a four-year term," said Councilwoman Laure Quinlivan, a Democrat who's the main supporter of what's come to be known as Issue 4 on the ballot in November. "We can accomplish so much more for citizens. And that's why it's important people pass Issue 4."
But opponents have targeted something that really gets voters' attention --- how much money council members make. Ask how much that is and you'll get all kinds of estimates, even from elected leaders. So as part of FOX19's commitment to follow the money for you, we dug and dug until we found city records showing exactly what they make.
The document is called "City of Cincinnati Salary Grade/Step Schedule." It actually lives online somewhere. But good luck finding it on your own. A worker in the city council clerk's office spent the better part of an afternoon helping us locate it in a format we could show you. We hit "find" and entered "council" and discovered two columns that show city council members' minimum and maximum salaries. Both are the same in this instance.
Currently, Cincinnati City Council members make $65,699.56 per year.
The next line in the document shows Mayor Mark Mallory makes $131,399.11 per year.
Councilwoman Quinlivan pointed out to FOX19 that in 2005 voters passed a measure that freezes city council's pay unless the state legislature votes to give an increase to the Hamilton County Board of Commissioners AND two-thirds of the city council members vote to increase their own pay.
But back to that $66,000 that they currently make for what is a part-time job. How does that compare with other major cities in the Midwest?
FOX19 did a lot of digging here, too. We learned that members of the St. Louis Board of Aldermen are also part-time and make only $37,000 a year. In Milwaukee, the city council is full-time and is paid $73,224 per year. Council members are also full-time in Cleveland and make $74,038 each year.
Remember, Cincinnati City Council members are part-time and make about $66,000. So over a two-year term, that adds-up to $132,000. If Cincinnati went to four-year terms, a council member would make $264,000 over the length of his or her term.
"I also view it as a salary increase," Councilman Christopher Smitherman, an independent opposed to Issue 4, told FOX19.
He compares it to whether a Reds baseball player would rather have a two-year or four-year contract. His argument is they'd want a four-year contract because they're guaranteed more money.
But Councilwoman Quinlivan doesn't think that argument makes sense.
"I don't…understand how they come up with that," she told us. "I mean, we get paid $60,000 a year and that doesn't change."
She went on to add this about the amount of money city council members here make: "Actually it's very much in line with what other council members make in similar-sized cities. So I don't think it's an exorbitant salary."
At Quinlivan's fundraiser, FOX19 met Tim Sullivan, founder of S.W.A.A.G.G. The Vote, which encourages young people to make their voices heard at the ballot box. We wanted to know why he thinks four-year terms are the way to go instead of the current two.
"So two years, we just feel that's not enough time to get acclimated to the system, understand your job," Sullivan said. "Within the first year maybe you can get there. But then it's time to run again."
However, Councilman Smitherman argues it's a "leadership issue," in his words, and that council members can tackle important issues during their two-year terms. He believes four-year terms would provide them with political cover to raise taxes, for instance, when their next election is still several years away.
"And I think the timing of it, when we're facing conversations about street cars, when we're facing conversations about atriums, when streets are not being repaired, I think this is the wrong time for six members of council to say, ‘Give me a raise and give me more power.' Because clearly this is going to give city council more power," Smitherman said.
More power? Or better government, as supporters of Issue 4 argue?
"Well, I do think that having a two-year term makes us more vulnerable to special interests and big donors," said Councilwoman Quinlivan. "Because there's always an election right around the corner and it's always in the back of your mind about raising money."
As for whether Issue 4 will pass on Election Day, both sides think they have voters on their side. We want to know what you think, participate in the poll here.
Forbes Magazine released the Top 10 most dangerous U.S. cities. Check out which cities made the list.More >>
While most violent crimes dropped by 10 percent in the U.S., the national average is five times the rate it was in 2011. Forbes Magazine released the Top 10 most dangerous U.S. cities. Check out which cities made the list.More >>
The Cincinnati Zombie Walk was a great opportunity to take participants minds out of day-to-day routines, right around the time from Halloween events.More >>
The Cincinnati Zombie Walk was a great opportunity to take participants minds out of day-to-day routines, right around the time from Halloween events. It also helped support the Free Store Food Bank by asking participants to donate canned goods.More >>