Bill Rinehart

Rinehart has been a radio reporter since 1994 with positions in markets like Omaha and Lincoln, Nebraska; Sioux City, Iowa; Dayton, Ohio: and most recently as senior correspondent and anchor for Cincinnati’s WLW-AM.

Common sense says "Don't look directly at the sun." But eye doctors like Julie Metzger say even with a partial eclipse, it still bears repeating.

The city of Cincinnati wants three major drug distributors to pay for the opioid epidemic.

The city is the latest to file suit against AmerisourceBergen, Cardinal Health, and McKesson Corporation. A federal lawsuit alleges the companies let an epidemic run unchecked. A release from the city says those three companies account for 80 percent of the market for prescription opioids.

The nearly 50-year-old joint agreement to operate the Metropolitan Sewer District is a step closer to ending. Cincinnati City Council and the Hamilton County commission both voted Monday on a commitment letter that spells out how the district will be operated in the future.


Derek Weimer
Bill Rinehart / WVXU

Before moving to the Toledo area, James Alex Fields went to high school in suburban Cincinnati, where a former teacher describes him as a smart boy who was deeply interested in Adolf Hitler and white supremacy.

The Ohio man accused of driving his car into a crowd of protesters in Charlottesville, Virginia, Saturday was photographed earlier in the day apparently marching with a group of self-proclaimed fascists. James Alex Fields has been charged with one count of second-degree murder.

Before moving to Maumee, Ohio, Fields lived in Northern Kentucky.


There are new details about one of the displays at Cincinnati's inaugural Blink festival. Architects of Air will set up an exhibit at Washington Park. Cincinnati USA Regional Chamber spokesman Rich Walburg says it's an interactive display of light called a luminarium.

The biggest solar power plant in Kentucky is on a rooftop in Kenton County. L'Oréal USA Plant Manager Nicole Frey says the company has installed 4,140 solar panels to reduce its carbon footprint.

The I-71/MLK interchange isn't quite done but officials gathered Tuesday to cut the ribbon for the project. ODOT Director Jerry Wray says it's worth celebrating because such a project is rare.

There are still deep divisions between and within the two groups that have to sign off on the operation of the Metropolitan Sewer District. A three hour public hearing Monday night shows there isn't clear support among Cincinnati City Council and Hamilton County Commissioners for an agreement about the future of MSD.

Hamilton County's budget is facing challenges again. Revenue for the second quarter of the year isn't expected to meet projections. The county now expects to bring in about $2.2 million less than forecast for the second quarter of the year. The revised prediction comes as spending is also about $2.2 million more than budgeted.

The National Weather Service's Wilmington radar is off-line, and will be for much of the month.

Meteorologist Kristen Cassady says it was shut down Monday for a scheduled software upgrade. That's when it was discovered that hardware was wearing out.

Hamilton County Commissioners are setting a course for 2018 that includes encouraging inclusiveness and environmental sustainability, and protecting the most vulnerable citizens. Those are some of the 11 goals of the new policy agenda approved Wednesday morning.

A Cincinnati Council committee did not vote Monday night on a plan that would turn over day to day operations of the Metropolitan Sewer District to a citizen board. Council members want more time.

Supporters of a former UC Police officer planned a march Monday evening at the Purple People Bridge. The demonstration was supposed to send a message of solidarity to Ray Tensing and police in general. It was canceled.

In a month, Americans will be able to witness something that hasn't happened here in 38 years. The moon will pass between the earth and the sun, casting a shadow across parts of the country. It's such a rare experience, some people will travel to witness it. 

Hamilton County Commissioners are looking at whether the county can afford to contribute to two proposed sports venues. FC Cincinnati wants a new soccer stadium and US Bank Arena's owners are planning renovations to that facility.

A coalition of activist groups is calling for a third trial for Ray Tensing. The former UC police officer is accused of killing Sam DuBose during a 2015 traffic stop. His first two trials ended with hung juries.

Clermont County

Clermont County, just east of Cincinnati, plans to sue pharmaceutical companies over the opioid crisis. the county prosecutor, commissioners and court of common pleas have hired a West Virginia law firm to go after distributors.

The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) will consolidate three Cincinnati facilities in Uptown. The General Services Administration announced in a release the proposed purchase of a site at Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard and Reading Road.

Clermont County plans to sue pharmaceutical companies over the opioid crisis. Commissioners, the county prosecutor, and court of common pleas have hired a West Virginia law firm to go after distributors.


The Hamilton County Clerk of Court says the minimum starting wage in his office is now $16 an hour. The change affects 72 of the more than 200 employees in the office. Aftab Pureval says the wage hike will cost about $180,000 a year.

A poll shows local support for transportation spending. The Cincinnati USA Regional Chamber polled 400 voters in Hamilton county, 200 voters in Butler, Clermont, and Warren counties in Ohio, and 200 voters in Boone, Campbell, and Kenton counties in Kentucky, and Dearborn county in Indiana.

A student activist group says the University of Cincinnati is getting better about making the main campus more diverse. The Irate 8 made a list of ten demands in October 2015 after the shooting death of Sam DuBose by former UC police officer Ray Tensing.

The Southwest Ohio Regional Transit Authority will ask Hamilton County voters to approve a sales tax next year. SORTA board members approved the plan Tuesday night. It stipulates any funding would be only for Metro bus service and operations and not the streetcar.

Work begins this Friday night on a project that's expected to cause major traffic problems. Maintenance on the Brent Spence Bridge will close two lanes in each direction over the next two months.


Hamilton County's sheriff says the jail is dangerously overcrowded. Jim Neil says the jail is only authorized to hold 1,240 prisoners. Last weekend, the population climbed over 1,600.

Members of several groups, including Black Lives Matter, want Ray Tensing convicted. The former UC police officer is on trial for the second time in the shooting death of unarmed motorist Sam DuBose. The first trial ended with a hung jury.

Update 2:50 p.m. Cincinnati-Dayton Division President Tim Brown says the store will be twice the size of the Vine Street grocery it's replacing.

"Following the success of our two-story Corryville store… the grocery store will be located on the first floor. On the second floor we'll have a bar housed alongside our beer and wine selection, as well as the food hall featuring several local food venders and restaurant style seating."

Summer reading programs have drawn kids to libraries for years. Since 2012, there's been another reason to visit the library: lunch.


There's an effort underway to prevent taxes to fund new stadiums in Hamilton County. Activist Jeff Capell and attorney Tim Mara have started a group called No More Stadium Taxes. They told county commissioners they don't want the owners of FC Cincinnati or U.S. Bank Arena to receive "corporate welfare" to build new facilities.

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