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Ohio’s jobless rate unchanged, Port patches parking lease, anti-abortion bill returns

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click to enlarge Gov. John Kasich working that polling magic
Gov. John Kasich working that polling magic

Ohio’s unemployment rate remained at 7.2 percent in July, unchanged from June, according to new data from the

Ohio Department of Job and Family Services

. The amount of employed Ohioans went up by 5,300 from month-to-month and 37,700 year-over-year, showing stronger signs of job growth than

earlier in the year

. But the amount of jobless Ohioans still looking for jobs went up by 3,000 between June and July. In the past year, the private service-providing sector, education and health services and leisure and hospitality have gained the most jobs, while local government and construction jobs have plummeted.

The Port Authority of Greater Cincinnati proposed

keeping neighborhood parking meter hours the same

under a lease agreement with Cincinnati in which the city is handing over control of its parking meters, lots and garages to the Port and the agency is tasking private companies with operating the assets. Keeping the meter hours the same as today, instead of expanding them as previously suggested, would lower Cincinnati’s upfront lease revenue from $92 million to $88.3 million and reduce annual payments, which were originally projected at $3 million but estimated to go up over the life of the lease. Still, the move would satisfy neighborhood residents and businesses who were worried the expanded hours would quickly become a financial hassle. CityBeat covered the parking lease and the controversy surrounding it in further detail

here

.

Republican legislators are

reintroducing a bill that would ban abortions in Ohio as early as six weeks after conception

, even though questions remain about the proposal’s constitutionality. The bill has been dubbed the “heartbeat bill” because it prohibits abortions after a fetal heartbeat is detected. A federal judge on July 22 blocked a similar law in North Dakota after deeming it unconstitutional. “The United States Supreme Court has unequivocally said that no state may deprive a woman of the choice to terminate her pregnancy at a point prior to viability,” wrote U.S. District Judge Daniel Hovland, who was appointed to the District of North Dakota seat by former President George W. Bush in 2002. Health experts generally agree viability is not reached until 24 weeks into the pregnancy.

Part of the Cincinnati streetcar route

could be operational in late 2015

, much earlier than the Sept. 15, 2016 date the city

previously announced for the entire track

.

The Ohio Ethics Commission

won’t investigate Gov. John Kasich’s relationship with a company

that received $619,000 in tax credits from JobsOhio because Kasich supposedly made a clean break from the company upon taking office. JobsOhio, the privatized development agency established by Kasich and Republican legislators, has been mired in controversy in the past few weeks for providing state aid to companies that have direct financial ties to JobsOhio board members and the governor.

Meanwhile, Kasich is

fueling speculation

that he will run for president in 2016.

Cincinnati mayoral candidate and ex-Councilman John Cranley on Thursday

unveiled an innovation plan

that he says will boost government transparency and help foster Cincinnati’s newly gained reputation as a tech startup hub. The plan would take $5 million in capital funds over four years and ask local startup incubators Cintrifuse, The Brandery and CincyTech where they would like to see the money going. It would also call for hiring a chief innovation officer (CIO) and creating “CincyData,” a transparency initiative that would gather and publish city data to create “a more efficient, effective and user-friendly City government.” Under the plan, both the CIO position and CincyData would be leveraged to find new ways to carry out city services in the hopes of running the local government more efficiently.

Cincinnati Public Schools’ ratings are

likely to dip

as the school district transitions into Common Core standards and a new state report card system. Superintendent Mary Ronan says the district is doing well but needs to work on getting kids’ reading scores up to grade level. CityBeat originally covered the ratings drop

here

and some of the hurdles faced by CPS in the past few years

here

.

New data show the growth of health care costs is

slowing down in the Cincinnati area

.

Ohio will

come up with a new plan to execute condemned inmates

no later than Oct. 4 to deal with the state’s expiring supply of drugs used to carry out capital punishments. Specifics were not detailed in court filings.

Procter & Gamble is

recalling dog and cat food

because some of the product may be contaminated with Salmonella.

Science confirmed pulling out is a bad way to avoid pregnancy

.
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