Morning News and Stuff

City and county budgets moving forward, Cincinnati master plan approved, few voted twice

City Manager Milton Dohoney Jr.
City Manager Milton Dohoney Jr.

Screw Cyber Monday; it’s budget day! The Hamilton County Board of Commissioners is set to vote on its 2013 budget today. The initial vote

was delayed

when commissioners couldn’t all agree on the full details. In City Council, a memo revealed the budget

should be unveiled today

. One part of the Cincinnati proposal has already been hinted at by a previous memo from the city manager:

privatized parking

.

On Wednesday, City Council

approved Plan Cincinnati

. The master plan, which is the first the city has undertaken in 32 years, creates short-, medium- and long-term goals. Built largely on public feedback, the plan emphasizes Cincinnati’s urban core with new transportation programs, community health initiatives, new housing options and more. CityBeat previously covered the plan in-depth

here

.

In Hamilton County, 81 people

voted twice

. The votes, which involved provisional ballots, only reflects about 0.2 percent of the county’s vote, but it shows some of the confusion and inefficiencies of modern elections. One particular problem is some elderly voters cast absentee ballots before the election and then filed provisional ballots on Election Day.

A California firm is using Alaskan pension dollars to

buy hundreds of homes in Greater Cincinnati

. The real estate will be used to provide corporate rentals.

Some education advocates are worried state education agencies won't have the proper time and resources to

implement HB 555

. A few provisions will have to be ready by mid-2013, which some advocates see as too little time; but the president of the Ohio Board of Education remains confident. HB 555 will radically reform the state’s school report card system, which evaluates and grades schools. Some state officials are worried the new standards, which will be measured in part by

new standardized tests

, will be too tough.

An early simulation of the new report cards

in May showed Cincinnati Public Schools dropping from the second-best rating of “Effective” under the current system to a D-, with 23 schools flunking and Walnut Hills High School retaining its top mark with an A.

State Medicaid costs are rising, but

more slowly

. The slowdown may be partially attributed to Gov. John Kasich’s reforms of the program, which is one of the most prominent costs in state budgets around the country.

Gas prices in Ohio have

gone up

in the last week. The prices were higher than they were in 2011, and some experts say instability in the Middle East is to blame.

Ohio is looking good for

a revival of the pharmaceutical industry

. That’s good news since the industry could be on the cusp of a “golden era of renewed productivity and prosperity,” according to PricewaterhouseCoopers.

Unfortunately for the pharmaceutical industry, the next generation of water pollution could be

flushed drugs

.

Here

is the pope made out of condoms.

Science has been hard at work in 2012.

Here

is a list of the seven greatest engineering innovations of the year. The list includes the world’s largest semi-submersible vessel, which can be used as an offshore dock, and a carbon-neutral office building, which is arguably the most sustainable workplace ever.

The greatest public service announcement ever made:


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