0 Comments · Wednesday, October 31, 2012
We like how Democratic Commissioner Todd
Portune tried to keep funding for mental health and elderly services the
same with a very minor tax hike that would have made up for property
values dropping. We like his support for the streetcar. We like how he
can rein in the two Republicans on the Board of Commissioners.
by German Lopez
Today is the last day to register to vote, and in-person
early voting is underway. Register to vote and vote at your nearest
board of election, which can be located here.Hamilton County commissioners agree on not raising the
sales tax. That effectively rules out two of three plans laid out by the
county administrator. The one plan left would not cut public safety, but it would make cuts to the courts, criminal justice system, administrative departments, commissioner departments and the board of elections.It seems other news outlets are now scrutinizing online
schools. A Reuters report pointed out state officials — including some
in Ohio — are not happy with results from e-schools. Even Barbara
Dreyer, CEO of the e-school company Connections Academy, told Reuters
she’s disappointed with performance at e-schools. A CityBeat look into e-schools in August found similarly disappointing results.
Ohio Democrats are asking federal and state officials for
an investigation into Murray Energy, the Ohio-based coal company that
has been accused of coercing employees into contributing to Republican
political campaigns. In the statement calling for action, Ohio
Democratic Party Chairman Chris Redfern said, “Thanks to this report,
now we know why coal workers and miners have lent themselves to the
rallies, ads, and political contributions. They’ve been afraid.”
Councilman Chris Seelbach is following up on information
obtained during public safety meetings. The most consistent concerns
Seelbach heard were worries about loitering and young people breaking
The state auditor says the Ohio Department of Education
(ODE) could save $430,000 a year if it moved its student information
database in-house. Current law prohibits ODE from having access to the
data for privacy reasons, but State Auditor Dave Yost says it’s
unnecessary and “wastes time and money.”It seems Duke Energy is quickly integrating into its recent merger with Progress Energy. The company's information technology, nuclear and energy-supply departments are fully staffed and functional.
The Cincinnati Art Museum is renovating and restoring the Art Academy on the building’s west side.
It might not feel like it sometimes, but parking in Cincinnati is still pretty cheap.
Scientific research is increasingly pointing to lead as an explanation for people’s crazy grandparents. Research indicates even small programs cleaning up lead contamination can have massive economic and education returns.
Kings Island is selling off pieces of the Son of Beast.
The troubled roller coaster was torn down after years of being shut
The “Jeopardy!” Ohio Online Test is today. If you’re ever on the show, give a shout-out to CityBeat.
by German Lopez
President Barack Obama will visit Cincinnati Monday. No
details were given for the event. Last time Obama was in
Cincinnati, he held a town hall meeting to tout his support for small
businesses and the LGBT community. Ohio is considered a vital swing
state for the presidential election, and it’s widely considered a
must-win for Republican candidate Mitt Romney. However, after the
Democratic National Convention, aggregate polling at FiveThirtyEight and
RealClearPolitics hugely favors Obama, establishing many paths for the
Democrat to clinch the presidency. Obama could lose Ohio, Virginia and
Florida and still win the election, which shows how many options he has to victory.A new index lists Cincinnati’s economy as one of the
strongest in the nation. The On Numbers Economic Index ranked Cincinnati
No. 15 out of 102 metro areas with a score of 67.65. Oklahoma City was
No. 1 with a score of 91.04. Cincinnati also touts a lower unemployment
rate than the U.S. and state average. The area’s seasonally unadjusted
unemployment rate was 7.2 percent in July in comparison to the state’s
7.4 percent unadjusted rate and the country’s 8.6 percent unadjusted
rate.The 2013 Hamilton County budget process is “challenging,”
says Commissioner Greg Hartmann. He says the county is dealing
with a $200 million budget instead of the $300 million budget of six
years ago, which is presenting new problems. Hamilton County Sheriff Si
Leis said budget cuts could lead to up to 500 jail bed cuts. CityBeat
previously covered the county commissioners’ inability to tackle
challenging budget issues — sometimes at the cost of the taxpayer.
State Auditor Dave Yost says his investigation into
attendance fraud at Ohio schools could last well into the year. The
investigation, which began after Lockland Schools in Hamilton County
were found of attendance fraud, is slowed down by the state’s
data-reporting system, according to Yost. Schools may falsely alter
their attendance reports to improve grades in the state report
card.Secretary of State Jon Husted has been sued again. This
time he’s being sued by the Democratic Montgomery County election
officials he fired. The officials tried to expand in-person early voting
hours in Montgomery County to include weekend voting, but the move
violated Husted’s call for uniform hours across the state.The Ohio EPA will host a workshop in Cincinnati on
Sept. 25. The workshop will focus on the Ohio Clean Fund and other tools
and incentives to help individuals and groups embrace clean energy.For the first time since December, Ohio's tax collections were lower than expected. The state was $43 million below estimates in August.Eighteen percent of Ohio mortgages are underwater, according to a new survey.A study found wind power could meet the world’s energy
needs. Wind currently supplies 4.1 percent of the United States’ energy
needs. Obama greatly boosted the production of wind
energy with tax credits. Romney vowed to
repeal the tax credits in a brief moment of substance.