Morning News and Stuff

Day of fasting today, local joblessness drops in March, parking petition process questioned

Councilman P.G. Sittenfeld is asking Cincinnatians to take part in the Greater Cincinnati Day of Fasting today and put off lunch to help support the Freestore Foodbank. Sittenfeld’s office said in a press release that the event will allow participants to “experience a small measure of the hunger that is a part of many people’s daily lives.” There will be a ceremony for the event at noon in Fountain Square, where participants will be able to donate to the Freestore Foodbank.

March was another decent month for jobs in Cincinnati, with the seasonally unadjusted unemployment rate

dropping to 7.5 percent

, down from a revised 7.9 percent in February and 8 percent in March 2012. Michael Jones, research director at the University of Cincinnati Economics Center, says most of the job growth is attributable to Cincinnati’s growing health care services, but manufacturing has also provided a local boon.

An anonymously posted video questions the legitimacy of some parking plan referendum petitions, but so far

no formal challenges

have been filed against the referendum effort. Even if somebody were to file a challenge, Hamilton County Board of Elections Chairman Tim Burke says it would required a lot — nearly 4,000 signatures — to halt a referendum: “Because they are so far over, there’s going to have to be more evidence by any petitioner that there are problems well beyond those five or six sights shown in the video.”

There is now a local effort to

embrace the Cincinnati Preschool Promise

, a private-public partnership that would get more local children in preschool. The current goal is to get 25 to 50 children in preschool in a pilot program this fall. Studies show preschool is one of the best investments that can be made for the economy in the long term. Local preschool services were

recently cut

as a consequence of federal sequestration, a series of across-the-board federal spending cuts that began March 1.

UC President Santa Ono is recommending the school

freeze in-state tuition for the next school year

— a measure the UC Board of Trustees will consider in June. Ono also said he will not take a salary increase or bonus for the next two years, and he is asking the school to sell the presidential condo and use the money to pay for scholarships.

While testifying to legislators reviewing his two-year budget request, State Treasurer Josh Mandel said his office has been

targeted by cyberattacks

, and the technology currently available to his department is not good enough to hold off the attacks.

Humana will

hire 60 people

for its customer service center in downtown.

Brain cells will control the power plants of the future

.

In a press release, Mayor Mark Mallory proclaimed today Zips’ Cafe Day because the restaurant is finally adding bacon to its cheeseburger lineup.

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