Hamilton County

Tana Weingartner / WVXU

Work is officially underway on the next phase of the Banks project.

Cincinnati Mayor John Cranley and Hamilton County Commission President Chris Monzel poured the first concrete pillar for expansion west of the Freedom Center.

Monzel calls the project a major economic driver for the region.

"We could yield a return on investment as high as 7-to-1," says Monzel. "To me that's a smart investment. That is a great ROI that will contribute to continue to strengthen our county  and our city."

Two more people were indicted today on charges of illegal voting, bringing the total of indicted voters in Hamilton County to eight.

One of those indicted today - Ellen Elizabeth Duncan of Avondale - was a poll worker at the Urban League offices on Reading Road. She is accused of voting by absentee ballot and in person at last fall's election.

The other, Timothy Merman of Fairfax, is accused of using a Fairfax business address as his residence when voting in 2012. Prosecutors say Merman actually lived in Kentucky at the time.

Politics reporter Howard Wilkinson chats with Maryanne Zeleznik on some of the more interesting races on the May 6 primary ballot. 

The May 6 primary in Ohio is likely to be a relatively low turnout affair, except in locales where there are significant ballot issues to be decided.

There are no significant primaries on the Republican or Democratic side for the statewide offices, from governor on down; and there are no hot-button statewide ballot issues to draw voters to the polls.

There is a statewide constitutional amendment to allow the state to issue bonds to finance or help finance capital improvement projects for local governments.

But that ballot issue couldn’t draw flies.

Tana Weingartner / WVXU

"Pretty lean." That's how Engineer Ted Hubbard describes Hamilton County's road salt supplies.

"The problem isn't that we don't have material on order," says Hubbard. "The problem is the suppliers are having difficulty getting it to us in the quantities that we ordered... We're getting it in but it's coming in very slowly."

Hubbard says the county has already gone through more than 22,000 tons of salt and that doesn't include the most recent storm. As of Monday afternoon the county had just below 3000 tons on hand.

There will be no shortage of contested races in the four southwest Ohio counties in the May primary.

The deadline for candidates to file for the May primary was 4 p.m. today.

The following is a list of the contested races. It is not the final, official list because petitions still have to be checked by county boards of elections for some of the candidates who filed. Here’s who filed:

Hamilton County:

9th Ohio Senate District: Incumbent Democrat Eric Kearney is term-limited out; and his open seat has drawn a crowd in the Democratic primary.

Howard Wilkinson

Sixty-two people will be stricken from the Hamilton County voter rolls because they did not respond to a board of elections letter challenging their voting addresses.

They include police officers, people who used postal service and private mail boxes, and some who voted from a motor coach association in Newtown.

The Banks Partnership

New details are being released about the next phase of the Banks project along the Ohio river.

Phase II A will feature a nine-story building running the length of Second Street from the Freedom Center to Race Street.

The development will include 305 apartments and 21,000 square feet of retail space.

Cincinnati and Hamilton County officials are slated to sign off on the project later this month. If everything moves on schedule, construction would begin in December with an expected opening date in fall 2015.

From a release:

Hamilton County Engineering