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AK Steel has announced plans to build a "World-Class Research and Innovation Center" one mile east of I-75's Middletown exit near the Atrium Hospital.

The $36 million facility will replace the current one on another Middletown site. Groundbreaking is scheduled for late spring or early summer on the 15-acre site.

AK Steel's Director of Government and Public Affairs Barry Racey says the new research facility will focus on three key areas:

Cincinnati Council could vote Wednesday on proposals to bring more liquor licenses to Downtown.  The city would set up two new community entertainment districts that could allow for 21 additional bars.  

Attorney Brad Thomas described how the districts work Monday during city council’s Neighborhood committee meeting.

Sarah Ramsey / WVXU

Hamilton County Commissioners are poised to reject an offer to take over the former Mercy Mt. Airy site.

"With budgetary constraints," says commission president Greg Hartmann, "I just don't think that our move to Mt. Airy is going to be fiscally prudent. I don't think that we can afford to invest $80-100 million, absent a new revenue source, in that facility. Today, I think that we should move on from Mt. Airy."

Commissioners Hartmann and Monzel say even though the building would be free, the renovation costs are too high.

Bill Rinehart / WVXU

The Department of Health and Human Services has budgeted $110 million to consolidate safety research facilities in Cincinnati. 

The local offices of the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health are currently split between two locations: in Mount Lookout and Pleasant Ridge.

Senator Sherrod Brown toured the Mount Lookout facility last year and says he saw crumbling walls, and inadequate facilities.

There is no timetable for the consolidation yet, and so far the federal government hasn't identified possible locations for the new facility.

WVXU political reporter Howard Wilkinson talked with Maryanne Zeleznik this morning about the fact that Republican governor John Kasich has to decide soon if he is running for the GOP presidential nomination. And former Democratic governor Ted Strickland is on the verge of deciding whether or not to make a bid for the U.S. Senate.

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