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A Cincinnati city council committee voted 3-1 Monday to charge Over-the-Rhine residents $108 a year for parking spaces.

The charge would apply to 450 parking spaces in the neighborhood.

Council’s Neighborhoods Committee chose the ordinance over one backed by Mayor John Cranley which would have allowed the city manager to set the permit rate and the number of parking spaces.

Vice Mayor David Mann, who chairs the committee, and council members Wendell Young and Yvette Simpson voted for the ordinance. Council member Kevin Flynn voted no.

After hearing a report on the region's heroin epidemic from city officials and community activists Monday, Cincinnati Vice Mayor David Mann introduced a motion asking that the city find ways to combat what he called "the heroin crisis" in the next city budget.

Cincinnnati police officers, the fire chief and representatives of groups involved in dealing with drug abuse painted a bleak picture for council's Neighborhoods Committe of the the growing epidemic.

Fire Chief Richard Braun says calls to his department on heroin overdoses are growing.

Ann Thompson / WVXU

Cincinnati Parks will open the newest section of Smale Riverfront Park this Saturday.  Eight more features will open by July.  Parks director Willie Carden says normally all the extra upkeep would strain his department's budget, but the department is trying to make the park self-sustaining.

“When you look at parks, they’re not cheap.  Trash removal, cutting the grass, flowers, fertilization, that all costs money,” Carden says. 

Hamilton County’s polling places could soon replace paper poll books with electronic ones – possibly by November’s election.

The Hamilton County Board of Elections unanimously voted Monday morning to authorize its staff to prepare a contract with Tenax, a Florida company, to place the electronic poll books in all 373 of the county’s polling places.

Bridge reconstruction is expected to tie up traffic on I-275 for the next seven months.  The Kentucky Transportation Cabinet is overseeing the $6.7 million project on the Carroll Cropper Bridge between Kentucky and Indiana.

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