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Leader glad to hear residents support Brent Spence tolls

Published: Saturday, July 15, 2017 @ 2:00 PM

            Motorists cross over the Brent Spence Bridge from Ohio in Kentucky. STAFF FILE
Motorists cross over the Brent Spence Bridge from Ohio in Kentucky. STAFF FILE

Development and transportation officials well north of the Ohio River were glad to see a strong majority of Greater Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky residents favored $1 tolls to build a sister span to alleviate traffic on the Brent Spence Bridge.

That bridge is vital for Dayton-area manufacturers, as well as those of other cities in Ohio and the upper Midwest, said Phil Parker, president and CEO of the Dayton Area Chamber of Commerce.

“We, Cincinnati, Toledo and Detroit, will be the first to tell you that we are still manufacturing towns,” Parker said. “We are still a manufacturing sector in western Ohio, and manufacturing means you need to bring in raw materials, and you need to ship out hopefully something that’s reasonably manufactured and complete.”

MORE: Lanes of Brent Spence Bridge closed this summer

Years ago, Dayton’s chamber teamed its counterparts along the interstate to resolve three significant I-75 choke points: Toledo’s Maumee River Bridge; the so-called former “malfunction junction” in downtown Dayton; and Brent Spence Bridge.

“I think that’s common sense,” Jim Blount, Butler County historian and volunteer chairman of the Butler County Transportation Improvement District, said about tolls. “It’s the only way I see that it could be done.”

The aging span conveys Interstates 71 and 75 across the river between Cincinnati and Covington, Ky. Latest estimate of the climbing cost: $2.6 billion. The issue of tolls has been particularly controversial in Northern Kentucky, and Kentucky owns the bridge. Tolls are seen as a way to finance private investment in the project.

MORE: Cincinnati home to 3 of country’s top traffic ‘bottlenecks’

“The federal government’s not going to give that much money,” Blount said. “They’ll come in for their share, but that’s usually been about 10 percent of a project, and even that’s hard to get.”

“I’m of the opinion that the Brent Spence Bridge is part of Butler County’s transportation system,” Blount added.

SURVEY: Majority of voters OK with $1 toll to fix Brent Spence Bridge

The survey, conducted in late May, was of people who voted in the November 2016 election. It included residents as far north as Butler and Warren counties, and as far south as Kenton, Campbell and Boone counties in Kentucky, as well as Indiana’s Dearborn County.

Parker said Dayton’s chamber supports the tolls with conditions:

  • There should be EZ passes that Ohio and Kentucky residents, plus possibly high-volume users, can use to drive down their toll costs so they aren’t “gouged” by tolls. Why multiple users? “You’ve got auto (manufacturer) folks in Detroit that are using it to go to Kentucky, and vice versa, and all parts south and north, so you’ve got to be reasonable if you want commerce to continue,” Parker said.
  • Tolls should not be higher than $1, and technology should be used to its maximum to keep traffic flowing as efficiently as possible through the bridge area.

Entire city of Greenville under boil advisory

Published: Saturday, November 18, 2017 @ 6:09 PM

Residents must boil tap water before using for drinking, making ice, washing dishes, brushing teeth and preparing food until further notice.

The boil water advisory applies to the entire City of Greenville Public Water System.

Tap water should be brought to a rolling boil for at least one minute, according to a release issued Saturday evening.

The advisory was issued due to high turbidity, or (cloudiness) in the water supply.

The water plant routinely monitors water for turbidity to make sure it is properly filtered. Samples taken Saturday had higher levels for about seven minutes due to a mechanical failure. 

“Because of the elevated turbidity, there is an increased chance that your drinking water may contain harmful microbes,” the release stated.

Crews are in the area to collect water samples.

The boil advisory likely will remain in effect for the next three or more days until the quality of the water can be determined.

For more information, contact the City of Greenville Water Department at 937-548-2415 or the Greenville Utility Billing Department at 937-548-1815.

Boy, 10, dies after getting tangled in park swing

Published: Saturday, November 18, 2017 @ 5:38 PM

A 10-year-old boy died Friday night after getting tangled in chains on a park swing. (Photo:
A 10-year-old boy died Friday night after getting tangled in chains on a park swing. (Photo:

A 10-year-old boy died Friday night after becoming tangled in chains on a swing at a park in Northwest Jacksonville, deputies said.

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Jacksonville sheriff's deputies responded at 6:15 p.m. to Charles "Boobie" Clark Park where they found the unresponsive boy, who investigators identified as NaShon Green.

Earlier, NaShon's mother walked with NaShon and her other three kids -- ages 9, 6 and 4 -- to play at the park. NaShon was standing on the swing, police said.

When the mother looked back at the boy, she saw the swing’s chains wrapped around his neck. She took him down from the swing and called 911.

NaShon was taken to UF Health Jacksonville, where he died of his injuries. 

The child's mother and other children are being questioned, but police said no foul play is suspected and the incident is being called a tragic accident by JSO.

The American Music Awards 2017: What time, what channel, who is performing at the AMAs?

Published: Friday, November 17, 2017 @ 11:29 AM

7 Things You Didn’t Know about the American Music Awards

The 45th American Music Awards ceremony is set for Sunday in Los Angeles, and if the past is any indication, you can expect a night with a few surprising moments. 

Remember Garth Brooks declining the award, or the time Pat Boone dressed in leather? Yeah, it’s likely to be that kind of night.

The show will be broadcast live from the Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles.

Here’s what you need to know about the show.

What time: The show begins at 8 p.m. ET

What channel: The AMAs will be broadcast live on ABC.

Who is hosting: Tracee Ellis Ross, star of “black-ish,” is hosting.

What about a pre-show: What would a music awards show be without a pre-show? AJ Gibson, Marc Malkin, Laura Marano and Oliver Trevena will host the official pre-show, “AMAs Red Carpet Live presented by Security Benefit.”

The two-hour pre-show will stream live from the Microsoft Theater beginning at 6 p.m. ET. You can watch the show on Twitter. Find it here. or via @AMAs. You can also watch “E! Live from the Red Carpet” from 6-8 p.m. ET. on the E! Network.

Who has the most nominations: Bruno Mars has the most nominations this year – eight.

Who is nominated for Artist of the Year: The Chainsmokers, Drake, Kendrick Lamar, Bruno Mars and Ed Sheeran are up for the award.

Who is up for Video of the Year: Luis Fonsi and Daddy Yankee ("Despacito"), Bruno Mars ("That's What I Like") and Ed Sheeran ("Shape of You") are the nominees.

For a complete list of nominees, click here.

Who is performing: Here is a list of those scheduled to perform:

Alessia Cara
Christina Aguilera 
Kelly Clarkson 
Florida Georgia Line
Niall Horan
Selena Gomez
Imagine Dragons
Lady Gaga
Nick Jonas
Demi Lovato 
Shawn Mendes
Portugal. The Man
Diana Ross
Hailee Steinfeld

Anything special: Diana Ross, mother of host Tracee Ellis Ross, is both performing and receiving a lifetime achievement award.

Florida man covered in facial tattoos arrested in car theft, police say

Published: Saturday, November 18, 2017 @ 5:15 PM

Robert Hardister was arrested and charged with grand theft auto after stealing a car in Putnam County, Marion County, deputies said. (Photo:
Robert Hardister was arrested and charged with grand theft auto after stealing a car in Putnam County, Marion County, deputies said. (Photo:

Marion County deputies, with the help of their K-9, helped find a car theft suspect covered in facial tattoos who was sought by Putnam County authorities, investigators said.

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Deputies said they noticed a stolen 2005 Hyundai Saturday as it pulled into the parking lot of the Queens Garden Resort in Ocala.

Robert Wade Hardister, 26, got out of the car and ran, deputies said. 

Deputy Matthew Hooper said he and K-9 Ramo tracked Hardister down, at which point Hardister surrendered to deputies without incident.

Hardister was arrested and charged with grand theft auto.