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Education
2:16 pm
Wed December 17, 2014

Colerain and students settle lawsuit

The picture was taken at a news conference the plaintiffs held this spring after filing the lawsuit.
Ann Thompson WVXU

Creation of a diversity respect program is at the center of a settlement between the Northwest Local School District and four former and current Colerain High School students who sued the district in a federal lawsuit in April, 2014. Plaintiffs claimed violation of free speech rights and discrimination of race.

All students, faculty and administrators will have to participate in the program, which could become a national model.

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Metropolitan Sewer District
1:16 pm
Wed December 17, 2014

Sewer rates will go up, county and city still at odds on Lick Run

Credit Tana Weingartner / WVXU

It's official: Metropolitan Sewer District rates will go up 5.5 percent next year.

Sewer rates have been increasing every year to pay for the multi-billion dollar federally mandated system overhaul. Hamilton County Commissioners Wednesday approved MSD's 2015 budget despite fresh conflict with the city over the Lick Run project.

The county's utility oversight director says 5.5 percent breaks down this way:

The 2014 quarterly bill is $110.71 for a typical single family residential customer (or $442.84 per year)

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Politics
9:12 am
Wed December 17, 2014

Pepper unanimous choice for Ohio Democratic Party chair

David Pepper at Ohio Democratic executive committee meeting
Credit Jo Ingles / Ohio Public Radio

It wasn’t a surprise.  David Pepper received unanimous backing from executive committee members Tuesday night to become the new chairman of the Ohio Democratic Party.

The party’s executive committee met Tuesday night in Columbus. In the end, it was a sweep for Pepper, after his opponent, former lieutenant governor candidate Sharen Neuhardt of Dayton, dropped out of the race Monday.

Pepper says he thinks the party needs to more clearly define its core message of supporting working Ohioans.

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Veterans Issues
7:17 am
Wed December 17, 2014

Veterans find solace in yoga

Yoga mats await veterans at the Hamilton County Courthouse.
Credit Jennifer Wright / provided

Combat veterans face a host of challenges when they return to civilian life. Some of them end up in trouble.  But there is an effort across the country to keep them out of jail and back on the straight and narrow.  In Hamilton County, there’s a unique twist to help vets manage their lives: yoga. 

Veterans’ Courts have sprung up across the country as a way to reduce recidivism.  They work like drug or mental health courts.  Veterans charged with misdemeanors or low level felonies are directed out of the regular docket and into the special programs to meet their particular needs.

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Cincinnati government
4:00 am
Wed December 17, 2014

Debating executive mayor government in Cincinnati

Credit Jay Hanselman

Discussions continue around changing the balance of power between Cincinnati's mayor and the city council.  City voters may see something on the ballot for a Charter change next year.

Council Member Christopher Smitherman is working with city lawyers on his fourth version of an ordinance to create an executive mayor form of government in the city.  He discussed the issue Tuesday during a committee meeting.  

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