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.

Hamilton County hospital officials are worried about the rise in COVID-19 patients. The number of new cases is currently doubling every two weeks. Dr. Evaline Alessandrini with UC Health says right now, there are 250 people hospitalized in the region, the most ever.

A coalition has developed a blueprint for improving the Ohio River and its tributaries. The Ohio River Basin Alliance (ORBA) has identified six goals, including clean water, healthy ecosystems, transportation and commerce, education, flood risk management and recreation. 

A volunteer is injected with either an experimental COVID-19 vaccine or a comparison shot as part of the first human trials in the U.K. to test a potential vaccine.
University of Oxford via AP

The state of Ohio has submitted its plan to the CDC for when a COVID-19 vaccine is available. The plan addresses preparing for receiving the vaccine and a coordinated strategy to distribute it. DeWine says there are priorities for who they believe should get the vaccine first.

Local health officials are warning that without big changes, the area will see a huge number of new COVID-19 cases in the next two weeks. During a video call Friday morning, Dr. Peter Margolis with Cincinnati Children's Hospital says right now there are more people hospitalized locally with COVID than ever before.

Gov. Mike DeWine says no one knows how long the coronavirus pandemic will continue in Ohio, but he compares the current moment to "halftime." The governor is sounding a pessimistic warning as the state heads toward colder months, saying the average number of new cases is up and positivity has increased.

Cincinnati's mayor is asking council to approve naming a new city manager. The position has been held by Paula Boggs Muething since June. Mayor John Cranley wants Boggs Muething to officially have the job. She says she's honored but admits she's not sure how long she'll have it.

Early voting has started in Ohio. The line Tuesday morning at the Hamilton County Board of Elections stretched around the block. Eleanor Morgan says she came so she wouldn't have to worry about big crowds on Election Day.

Stay-at-home orders went into effect in March, effectively ending live performances for months. Since then, professional and community theater groups have tried to find ways to survive. Some have found new platforms to reach audiences while others have created new revenue streams.

OKI Wanna Know is our new feature that tries to get to the bottom of those quirky questions you've always wanted to ask, but didn't know where to start. This week, we head to a Hyde Park street, and its silent stone guardians.

Demonstrators took to the streets of Cincinnati Wednesday night to protest the grand jury decision in the death of Breonna Taylor in Louisville. One officer was charged with wanton endangerment for firing his weapon into neighboring apartments. Two other officers were not charged.

Hamilton County's COVID cases are trending downward. New cases, hospitalizations and deaths from the last week are below totals from the previous week. Commission President Denise Driehaus says it shows whatever prevention measures people have followed are working.

Local minority-owned small businesses are getting some help this week. A consortium of churches and businesses awarded 20 micro-grants. Recipient Adrienne Onley opened Touch of Heaven floral shop in Mount Healthy in February, before the pandemic hit. She says she didn't qualify for a federal payroll loan.

Cincinnati's Metropolitan Housing Authority is extending a moratorium on evictions again. The first extension took it to Sept. 1, but now lasts until the end of October. Spokeswoman Lesley Wardlow says the board of commissioners approved the extensions because of continued financial distress for some renters caused by the pandemic.

Two-way traffic, street parking, and wider sidewalks are some of the features of a remodeled Court Street east of Vine. Cincinnati, 3CDC and the Pedestrian Task Force unveiled the plan Wednesday afternoon.

Local activists are starting a project meant to end violence, racism and fascism. The Musketeer Association is introducing the Protest Pots Monday morning outside the Freedom Center. Names of homicide victims are on plaques mounted in flower pots. Those will then be placed where the person died.