Morning News and Stuff

Bridge project to use tolling, governor prepares budget victory lap, casino revenue down

The Brent Spence Bridge
The Brent Spence Bridge

Ohio and Kentucky officials will roll out a plan in September to

pay for the Brent Spence Bridge project with tolling

— a decision that could lead to opposition from Northern Kentucky officials who have long advised against using tolls to finance the $2.5 billion project. The funding choice comes as little surprise, given the lack of major federal support for the interstate bridge project. But tolling could put the plan in danger if the Kentucky legislature follows the lead of its Northern Kentucky delegation. The announcement follows a December agreement between Ohio and Kentucky’s governors to get the project done.

Gov. John Kasich will be using a month-long tour to

show off the new two-year state budget

. The schedule for the tour is still being worked out, but at least one stop in southwest Ohio is expected. The $62 billion budget has many moving parts, but a CityBeat analysis found the plan

disproportionately favors the wealthy and limits access to legal abortions and contraceptive care in Ohio

.

Cincinnati’s Horseshoe Casino

posted its worst monthly revenue gains

since its grand opening in March. It was an equally poor month for the rest of the state, which saw the worst casino revenue gains since Cincinnati’s casino opened. If the trend holds up, that could be a troubling sign for proponents of using casino revenue to balance local and state budgets.

A prominent Ohio Republican and former Kasich cabinet member

says he supports overturning the state’s ban on same-sex marriage

, giving a bipartisan jolt to FreedomOhio’s efforts to get the issue on the ballot in 2014. Jim Petro, former attorney general and previous head of the state’s higher education board, has a daughter who’s gay, which may have influenced his decision. He was joined by Ian James, co-founder of FreedomOhio, when announcing his support. CityBeat covered FreedomOhio’s same-sex marriage amendment when it was originally slated for the 2013 ballot

here

.

Cincinnati Gardens is

for sale

. Kenko Corporation, which has owned the garden for 35 years, announced its plans yesterday. “Our hope would be to sell, and see the historic venue move forward in its current state: a sports and entertainment venue,” explained Pete Robinson, president of the Cincinnati Gardens, in a statement. “However, we are prepared to explore other opportunities.”

At least two county commissioners are

expected to approve the Cincinnati Zoo’s levy request

, which could put the flat renewal of the five-year levy on the ballot this November.

In other zoo news,

here

is Gladys the gorilla with her family.

As City Council winds down its sessions, Councilman Chris Seelbach will keep busy and help other city employees pick up garbage and clean sewers. Seelbach will be tweeting about his experiences in a different kind of public service

here

.

Kroger

led Cincinnati stocks to a big start

in July — a good sign for an ailing national economy that has struggled to get back on its feet. The Cincinnati-based grocer also announced on Tuesday that it will

buy rival Harris Teeter Supermarkets Inc. in a $2.4 billion deal

.

Here

are some pictures of carnivorous plants in action.
Scroll to read more News Feature articles
Join the CityBeat Press Club

Local journalism is information. Information is power. And we believe everyone deserves access to accurate independent coverage of their community and state.
Help us keep this coverage going with a one-time donation or an ongoing membership pledge.

Newsletters

Join CityBeat Newsletters

Subscribe now to get the latest news delivered right to your inbox.

We welcome readers to submit letters regarding articles and content in Cincinnati CityBeat. Letters should be a minimum of 150 words, refer to content that has appeared on Cincinnati CityBeat, and must include the writer's full name, address, and phone number for verification purposes.
No attachments will be considered. Writers of letters selected for publication will be notified via email.
Letters may be edited and shortened for space.

Email us at [email protected]