Norwood, Ohio

cop-side-norwoodMost of the claims to fame for Norwood — an enclave north of Cincinnati — involve automobiles. First was the General Motors Norwood Assembly Plant, a massive place that employed about 5,000 workers, before being closed in 1987 on what locals have long called “Black Wednesday.” The city’s second claim is the Norwood Lateral, a busy three-mile stretch of highway that connects I-71 and I-75. There is much debate about it since a state legislator proposed a name change to the Barack Obama Norwood Lateral. While that debate will rage in the highly conservative region, there is a focus on the positive with the Norwood Promise. A local working group is looking to partner with businesses, alumni and parents to offer the resident graduates of the Norwood City Schools up to 100 percent of their tuition and mandatory fees for four years at a state of Ohio public University, community college, trade school or private learning center located within Norwood. The city has seen a demographic shift in recent years as the black and Hispanic populations tripled from 2000 to 2010.