Morning News and Stuff

Tornado strikes Oklahoma suburbs, city holds budget hearing, U.S. driving boom is over

A tornado

ravaged Oklahoma City suburbs

yesterday, leaving dozens dead and more injured. Two of the buildings destroyed in the tornado’s path, which was one mile wide and 20 miles long, were elementary schools — one of which had children that may be trapped under the rubble. Public safety officials are still on the scene.

Parks and public safety once again

dominated discussion

in Cincinnati’s second public hearing for the fiscal 2014 year budget. The city’s plan would reduce funding for parks, but the park board ultimately decides what gets cut. Currently, the board is threatening closures at multiple parks, even though the city manager proposed cuts that would prevent such drastic measures. Meanwhile, public safety layoffs in the plan have been

reduced to 25 cops and zero firefighters

.

A new report found the

U.S. driving boom is over

, and that could have implications for local transportation projects like the streetcar and MLK/I-71 Interchange project. The report shows Americans are driving less and less Americans are driving, while other means of transportation are being used more often. The findings support mass transit projects like the streetcar while calling for a review of highway projects like the MLK/I-71 Interchange project.

The White House announced yesterday that Councilman Chris Seelbach, Cincinnati’s first openly gay council member,

won the Harvey Milk Champion of Change award

, joining nine other winners who will attend a ceremony at the White House Wednesday for showing a commitment to equality and public service. Since Seelbach took office, Cincinnati has extended health benefits to all city employees, required anyone accepting city funds to sign the city’s non-discrimination agreement and established a LGBT liaison at the police and fire departments.

The tea party is discussing the possibility of

fielding a third-party candidate

in the gubernatorial race, which could weaken Gov. John Kasich’s chances of re-election. Lori Viars, vice chair of the Warren County Republican Party, told Dayton Daily News that the tea party is considering a primary challenge, a third-party candidate or simply sitting out. Among other issues, the tea party recently criticized Kasich for his support of the Medicaid expansion, which CityBeat covered in further detail

here

.

The Ohio Senate is slowing down a measure that would have

forced universities to decide

between $370 million in tuition revenue and providing out-of-state students with documents required for voting. The provision will likely be removed from the budget bill, but it’s possible the issue will pop up in a standalone bill later on. CityBeat previously covered the measure, which was sneaked into the Ohio House budget bill,

here

.

Republican state legislators may

take away driver’s license rights

from unauthorized immigrants who have been granted amnesty by the federal government. After being pressured by multiple advocacy groups, the Ohio Bureau of Motor Vehicles interpreted state law and an executive order from President Barack Obama to

grant the driver’s licenses

. CityBeat broke the story surrounding the issue

here

.

Over-the-Rhine’s next generation of restaurants could be

bigger

.

Microsoft is expected to announce the next generation of Xbox

today.

Scientists apparently have trouble

replicating cancer studies

, which could have implications for finding cures and treatments.