Morning News and Stuff

Despite the economic troubles affecting the state, Ohioans are smoking more than ever, according to a study that found the highest percentage point increase of any state. An official with the Ohio Department of Health attributes the increase to the stress people are under, though the Ohio General Assembly also cut funding to the state's smoking cessation help line, so there's that. Ohio ranked as the 36th healthiest state in 2011, down from 33 rd in 2010, while Indiana came in at 38th and Kentucky 43rd.—-

Most Hamilton County residents will pay considerably more for water and sewers next year when a 7.5 percent rate increase goes into effect. The increase will be $73 per year, slightly more than the property tax rollback savings for the owner of a $100,000 home.

Covington leaders are looking for development ideas for the city's property between the Roebling Suspension Bridge and Madison Avenue. They say they're open to private and/or public development, so long as it is pedestrian friendly with some greenspace.

Most people dislike the cold rain Ohio has been receiving for the past few days, few more than Ohio's deer hunters who in addition to getting really wet and cold came back with the lowest harvest of dead deer in years.

At lest we're not in New Mexico, which is getting blasted with snow and coldness.

The Ohio ACLU is asking Franklin County to reconsider its jail fees. One option: develop programs that keep people out of jail such as job counseling and mental health treatment.

Newt Gingrich leads the very important South Carolina primary, among others.

Apple, publishers named in EU e-book antitrust probe”: Uh, oh. Apparently the EU's antitrust group “is investigating whether Apple and major publishing houses are guilty of colluding to cut back competition in the e-book market.”

Plus, the Kindle Fire is grubbing on the iPad's market.

Why is people dancing to Christmas music so funny?

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