Warren County

Tuesday is the first day of early voting in Ohio's August 5 election, although few voters in southwest Ohio will have anything to vote on.

Hamilton County has only two issues on the ballot - an additional 11.2 mill tax levy in the Lockland Local School District and the renewal of a five mill tax levy for fire and emergency medical services in Mount Healthy.

In Warren County, voters in the Lebanon City School District will decide a tax levy renewal that will raise $4.2 million a year for the next three years.

WVXU political reporter Howard Wilkinson talked with Maryanne Zeleznik this morning about some of the more interesting results in Tuesday's primary election and the low turnout in southwest Ohio counties.

Two incumbent Republican state representatives were defeated, a former Cincinnati city council member became the Democratic nominee for a state senate seat, and House Speaker John Boehner cruised to a win in Tuesday’s primary election in southwest Ohio.

The turnout in Tuesday’s election in the southwest Ohio counties was even lower than election officials expected – Hamilton County’s turnout was barely over 13 percent, 17.5 percent in Butler County, 15 percent in Warren County, and just under 13 percent in Clermont County.

State Rep. Peter Beck
Ohio House of Representatives website

State Rep. Peter Beck, a Mason Republican indicted on 69 counts of fraud and theft, will go to trial Nov. 17.

Beck, a former Mason councilman and mayor, has maintained his innocence and is a candidate for re-nomination in the May 6 primary election in the 54th Ohio House District.

Hamilton County Common Pleas Court Judge John West set the trial date for Beck this morning.

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

Tana Weingartner / WVXU

Ohio's auditor is placing Warren County's Hamilton Township under fiscal emergency.

The decision follows several years of alleged financial mismanagement by the township's former fiscal auditor. Auditor Dave Yost says township officials have 120 days to develop a financial plan.

Calling the township's books "a mess," Yost said the former fiscal officer, Jackie Terwilleger, was in over her head. She retired last month and is being investigated by the Warren County prosecutor.

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.

State Rep. Peter Beck
Ohio House of Representatives website

State Rep. Peter Beck, a Mason Republican who already faces trial on 16 counts of fraud and theft, was hit with a 53- count felony indictment Thursday stemming from the same case.

A Hamilton County grand jury issued the latest indictment after a joint investigation by Hamilton County Prosecutor Joseph T. Deters and Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine.

The new charges cover a longer period of time than the original indictments last July.

Ohio Department of Natural Resources

An archaeological study is underway in preparation for the construction of a new marina at Caesar Creek, said to be one of the largest of its kind in southwest Ohio, when completed at the start of the 2016 boating season.

The Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) has temporarily lowered the level of the lake by 10 feet for the study. This is the first step in getting the proper permits to set up a construction schedule.

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.

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