OH-MI-IN News
Couples sue to force Ohio's hand on gay marriage
Written by AMANDA LEE MYERS, Associated Press   
Monday, 10 February 2014 14:18

CINCINNATI (AP) — Four legally married gay couples filed a federal civil rights lawsuit Monday seeking a court order to force Ohio to recognize same-sex marriages on birth certificates despite a statewide ban, echoing arguments in a similar successful lawsuit concerning death certificates.

The couples filed the suit in federal court in Cincinnati, arguing that the state's practice of listing only one partner in a gay marriage as a parent on birth certificates violates the U.S. Constitution.

The plaintiffs include three lesbian couples living in the Cincinnati area who were recently married in states that have legalized gay marriage. One woman in each of those marriages is pregnant through artificial insemination, and their babies all are due to be born this summer in Cincinnati hospitals.

The fourth couple lives in New York, where gay marriage is legal, and last year adopted a boy who was born in Ohio.

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Bitter winter affecting Ohio growers
Written by Associated Press   
Monday, 10 February 2014 10:47

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — The bitterly cold winter is making things tougher for Ohio growers — and that could translate to higher food prices later in the year.

The sub-zero temperatures have caused Ohio wine-grape, blackberry and peach growers to lose much of this year's crop, according to The Columbus Dispatch (http://bit.ly/1h3FutI ).

The value of the crops lost to the cold weather hasn't been determined. Laboratories are analyzing grapevines, blackberry canes and strawberry plants for damage. And, of course, the winter is not over yet.

Mitch Lynd, owner of Lynd Fruit Farm east of Columbus, tells the newspaper that he likely lost most of the fruit on his 3,000 peach trees when temperatures fell well below zero.

Local consumers could end up paying more, but global competition tends to keep prices down.

___

Information from: The Columbus Dispatch, http://www.dispatch.com


Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

 
Ohio's senators want to discuss plant's future
Written by Associated Press   
Monday, 10 February 2014 07:20

PIKETON, Ohio (AP) — Ohio's senators want to meet with the U.S. energy secretary to promote a uranium enrichment project in southern Ohio.

Sens. Rob Portman, a Republican from the Cincinnati area, and Cleveland Democrat Sherrod Brown recently wrote jointly to Secretary Ernest Moniz, saying they'd like to get a project progress update, discuss its future, and ask how they can help the Department of Energy.

They have for years supported funding for the American Centrifuge Plant in Piketon, saying the enriched uranium project is needed for national security and energy supplies. They also say the plant is important to revitalizing an economically struggling region.

Congress has funded continued research and development. The senators want to hear the long-term plans for the project, saying in their letter that it's "too important to fail now."


Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

 
Backers want Michigan voters to OK minimum wage of $9.50
Written by Associated Press   
Monday, 10 February 2014 07:22

LANSING, Mich. (AP) — Backers of a minimum wage hike in Michigan say they'll ask voters to approve increasing the rate to $9.50 an hour and eventually bringing tipped employees to the same rate.

Frank Houston, treasurer of the Raise Michigan ballot committee, says proposed language for a ballot initiative will be given to the Secretary of State's office on Monday.

Michigan's minimum wage is currently $7.40 an hour, slightly higher than the $7.25 federal minimum.

Under the proposal, the state's minimum wage would increase by 50 cents in January 2015, and again six months later. The final $1.10 increase would occur in January 2016.

The minimum wage for tipped employees is currently $2.65. That would increase 85 cents each year, starting in January 2015, until it reaches the minimum wage for other workers.


Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

 
Cincinnati follows Vegas with murals on boarded-up homes
Written by Associated Press   
Monday, 10 February 2014 07:19

LAS VEGAS (AP) — Hoping to stave off blight, Las Vegas is taking a cue from Cincinnati and putting paint on the problem.

The City Council unveiled a pilot program this week to paint murals on the plywood used to board up window and doors. The first boards, installed Thursday at a home on Shiloah Drive, feature colorful desert scenes with roadrunners, butterflies, tortoises and cacti in cheerful primary colors.

"Through this program, the city is being proactive to eliminate the eyesore of boarded-up homes by turning plywood into an arts palette," said Councilman Bob Coffin, who spearheaded the effort. "These initiatives will help beautiful homes and properties, ultimately improving the neighborhoods."

The program is modeled in part after "Future Blooms," which started in Cincinnati in 2009.The organization paints doors, windows and awnings in neighborhoods with high vacancy rates.

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