Bill Rinehart

Reporter, Host of All Things Considered

Rinehart has been a radio reporter since 1994 with positions in markets like Omaha and Lincoln, Nebraska; Sioux City, Iowa; Dayton, Ohio; and most recently as senior correspondent and anchor for Cincinnati’s WLW-AM.

Ways to Connect

Mark Heyne / WVXU

The number of porch swings at Smale Riverfront Park is about to increase. 

The first set were opened in 2013, financed by a $250,000 donation from Dianne and J. David Rosenberg.  And the couple has made another, larger, gift for another set of swings.

According to Cincinnati Parks’ spokesperson Manda Hurdelbrink, the Rosenberg’s donated $750,000 for 13 more family-sized swings to be built on the west side of the Roebling Suspension Bridge and south of Mehring Way.  The swings will be part of the Great Lawn, which is still under construction.

Procter & Gamble / Provided

Procter & Gamble plans to expand its manufacturing base with a new facility in West Virginia.  The consumer products giant will build a plant in Berkeley County, which is in the northeast corner of the state, near Hagerstown, Maryland. 

According to a company press release, the one million square foot facility will manufacture multiple P&G brands once it's operational in 2017. It will also be the second new domestic plant built since 1971.  P&G currently has 29 plants in 21 states.

Provided / Duke Energy Convention Center

This week, Cincinnati is hosting the National Sports Forum.   Jackie Reau with the Greater Cincinnati Sports Corporation says it's another opportunity to get the area more national, and international attention.

"There are about a thousand people here from really all over the country, representing all the four major league sporting bodies, as well as a number of colleges, universities, sporting properties, and also vendors who supply the sporting industry," Reau says.

 An audit from the Kentucky Immunization Project found most of the children seen at the four health centers of the Northern Kentucky Health Department had received all of the recommended vaccinations. 

95 percent of the children coming through the centers had received all of the recommended immunizations.  District Health Director Dr. Lynne Saddler says most of the remaining five percent received their shots from other providers. 

    

A Northern Kentucky lawmaker plans to re-introduce a bill requiring people with first time impaired driving convictions to install interlock systems in their vehicles.  Representative Dennis Keene of Wilder says the devices test a driver's breath and won't start the engine if they've been drinking.

Bill Rinehart / WVXU

All lanes of northbound I-75 through Cincinnati will be closed several nights this week, as work continues on the Mill Creek Expressway project.  The Interstate will be closed between Mitchell Avenue and the Norwood Lateral, overnights, Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, and Friday nights, from 11 to 5 am, weather permitting, according to the Ohio Department of Transportation. ODOT also says on Thursday night there will be a single lane closed at the Norwood Lateral, starting at 8, with a second lane closed at 11.

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Three lion cubs born at the Cincinnati Zoo have been referred to as “1, 2 and 3” since their birth last November.  But now they have proper names. 

The cub formerly known as 1 is now Huruma, which means compassion in in Swahili.  Cincinnati Zoo keepers picked that name to honor a colleague from the St. Louis Zoo who recently died.  Becky Wanner helped raise the cubs’ mother, Imani.  Huruma is also being referred to as Uma.

The president of a government employees union says promised changes to the Department of Veterans Affairs have not materialized.  American Federation of Government Employees Local 2031 president Charles Smith says members will demonstrate outside the VA Medical Center in Corryville Friday, calling for increased staffing and better working conditions.

Bill Rinehart / WVXU

Ohio and Kentucky will share the costs of building a new bridge between Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky.  The Brent Spence Bridge has been deemed functionally obsolete, carrying more traffic than intended. 

Bill Rinehart / WVXU

Crews this week are putting up the overhead wires in Over-the-Rhine that will power the Cincinnati streetcar.  Crews worked Wednesday along Elm Street, between 14th and Henry. 

Downtown Cincinnati Inc. is launching an effort to decrease panhandling while maintaining or increasing support to social services.  DCI president David Ginsburg says the group is publicizing agencies that try to get to the root of poverty.

December home sales in the Cincinnati area were up from a year ago, but not by much. 

The Cincinnati Area Board of Realtors reports 1,616 sales last month, compared with 1,608 in December 2013.  Northern Kentucky Realtors say their gain was similar: 397 sales in December of 2014, and 388 in December 2013.

However, total sales for 2014 are different for the two sides of the river.  In Ohio, there was a drop in sales of 1.7 percent , while Northern Kentucky sales grew by 1.84 percent.

Realtors from both groups are optimistic though.

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The owners of one of the first tenant restaurants at The Banks will be opening the newest eateries there.  The owners of the Holy Grail will open Santo Graal in March.

According to a press release from the Banks, Santo Graal is Italian for “Holy Grail”, and will offer classic Italian pasta, calzones, salads, desserts, and pizza.  It will be open for lunch and for dinner.

Bill Rinehart / WVXU

The off-ramp overpass that fell onto the southbound lanes of I-75 Monday night did not cause a lot of damage to the highway. 

That doesn't surprise Andrew Hermann, past president of the American Society of Civil Engineers, who has been following the story.  But he says the fact that the span did fall was surprising.

“Generally, they have demolition plans where they try to take into account all the possibilities as they’re taking down a bridge, to do it safely," Hermann said.  "So it was very surprising to hear that it collapsed."

Tana Weingartner / WVXU

The Ohio Department of Transportation says the field review of the Interstate 75 off-ramp collapse took less time than expected, meaning the clean-up and repairs were finished sooner than anticipated.  ODOT spokesman Brian Cunningham says the only damage to the four southbound lanes of I-75 was a two-foot by two-foot hole.

“Speculation was there were going to be multiple areas that would need to be fixed.  And that just wasn’t the case,” Cunningham says.  “And so when the assessment was done, it was evident that there was just one particular area that had damage to it.”

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