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

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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.”

Tana Weingartner / WVXU

Update 1/20/15 2:51 p.m.: ODOT says the field investigation has concluded, and the clean up operations have started.  In a press release, ODOT says debris removal is expected to take anywhere from 24 to 48 hours.  After that, inspectors will look at the southbound lanes of I-75 to see if any repairs are needed. 

Update 01/20/15, 12:45 p.m.: The Ohio Department of Transportation (ODOT) and the City of Cincinnati have released new information about Monday night's overpass collapse on southbound I-75.  

Mark Heyne / WVXU News

Each night this week, the Ohio Department of Transportation will be closing some lanes of I-75, as crews work on widening the Interstate. 

Starting at 11 p.m., northbound lanes will be completely closed between Mitchell Avenue and the Norwood Lateral.  The roadway should be reopened by 5 each morning.

Southbound traffic will have lane restrictions from 8 p.m. to 6 a.m.  Those will begin at the Norwood Lateral, with one lane closed at 8 p.m., and a second closed at 11 p.m.  Those restrictions will be Monday night through Wednesday night.

Bill Rinehart / WVXU

Volunteers planned to pack a thousand weekend lunch bags for children Monday afternoon at Fountain Square.  The "Power Packs" are sent home with children when they leave school on Friday.

Freestore Foodbank CEO Kurt Reiber says the bags of food are given to children who usually rely on school lunches, so they have enough to eat over the weekend.

Bill Rinehart / WVXU

    

Some call them eyesores; some consider them art; but most people probably don't notice the old advertising signs fading away on the sides of buildings. 

Before we go further, I need to let you know that I like ghost signs.  A lot.  In fact, I have a photo blog devoted to them.  But, I'm not the only fan.  Maya Drozdz of Over-the-Rhine is also a ghost sign enthusiast.

Jay Hanselman / WVXU

  With the holiday season out of the way, contractors are again laying track for the Cincinnati streetcar. 

And this weekend, they will close a major Downtown intersection.  6th Street will be closed at Walnut, starting at 6 p.m. Friday.  And it will stay closed until about 6 a.m. Tuesday morning.

Sarah Ramsey / WVXU

The FBI says it's arrested a man from a Cincinnati suburb, and charged him with planning an attack on the US Capitol building.  

Twenty-year-old Christopher Lee Cornell of Green Township is charged with attempting to kill US government officers, and possession of a firearm in furtherance of attempted crime of violence.

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