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Tana Weingartner / WVXU

Hamilton County Commissioners officially voted Wednesday to 'close the book' on the idea of using the former Mercy Mt. Airy hospital for a new crime lab.

Coroner Lakshmi Sammarco says she's not satisfied.

"We're very disappointed that the appropriate people weren't brought together to make just the retrofit happen for the crime lab and the morgue in such a way that the current hospital spaces could have been used without costing the tax payers a whole lot of money," Sammarco says.

Former Ohio Democratic governor Ted Strickland made it official Wednesday morning – he will run for the U.S. Senate seat now held by Republican Rob Portman.

Strickland, who lost his race for re-election as governor in 2010, made the announcement official in an e-mail Wednesday morning, ending months of speculation about whether he would jump into the race.

“I’m running for the United States Senate in 2016 because I am determined to restore the American dream for working people in this country,’’ Strickland said in a press release.

Mark Heyne / WVXU

When the Cincinnati Reds return from spring training in Arizona, they should find new signs at Great American Ball Park. 

The three neon signs, above the scoreboard, over the main gates, and on the southwest corner of the outside, will be replaced with LED lighting. 

Normally, the team and Hamilton County would be responsible for the $1 million to $2 million cost, but Scott Beeken with Great American Insurance Group says it will pay.

Hamilton County / Provided

After more than a year of waiting for an answer, the group which owns the former Mercy Mt. Airy hospital site is looking for new options.  

Mercy Health offered to give Hamilton County the former hospital building. The idea was to renovate part of the facility into a crime lab, replacing the county's current cramped outdated one.

But this week, commissioners agreed to decline the offer.

Spokeswoman Nanette Bentley says Mercy Health is already weighing other options.

Sarah Ramsey / WVXU

Hamilton County will pay $800,000 in the case of a former morgue attendant, Kenneth Douglas, who was convicted of sexually abusing bodies. Additional non-economic terms will also be announced when they are determined.

Three families sued the county. The maximum they could have been awarded is $3.2 million.

Attorneys for the families say they will pursue a judgment for damages from Douglas in the amount of $2,450,000.00. However, Douglas is in default so it's unclear how much they could ever end up collecting.

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