WYSO

Associated Press

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The Cincinnati City Council has approved funding in the city's 2018 budget for a needle exchange program aimed at stopping the spread of HIV and hepatitis C by intravenous drug users. 

  The council voted last week to provide $150,000 to the program based at the University of Cincinnati. City money will pay for at least four mobile sites served by a van.

The program had been funded by a 20-county nonprofit health agency called Interact for Health. A Cincinnati councilman began pushing for city funding of the needle exchange program after grant money dried up.

Ohio Statehouse
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  Senate Republicans in Ohio say they have been able to close a projected $1 billion state budget gap while preserving essential services and pumping more money into fighting the opiate crisis.

Senate President Larry Obhof and Finance Chairman Scott Oelslager outlined the Senate's version of the budget Monday. Senators said most savings were achieved through administrative streamlining and eliminating earmarks.

Donald Trump
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President Donald Trump will discuss his plans for a $1 trillion overhaul of the nation's crumbling roads, bridges and waterways during a speech in Ohio Wednesday.

 The president will deliver remarks at the Rivertowne Marina in Cincinnati. He's expected to press efforts to repair the nation's aging levees, dams, locks and ports, as well as his larger infrastructure aims.

The speech comes as the White House tries to push past a series of distractions and focus on Trump's legislative agenda.

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The Columbus City Council has voted in favor of an executive order by Mayor Andrew Ginther creating protections for the city's immigrants.

The vote Monday makes it against the law in Columbus to arrest or deny someone services based on their immigration status.

While the law reflects other sanctuary city laws across the country, officials say Columbus is not a "sanctuary city." President Donald Trump has threatened to withdraw federal funding from cities that act as sanctuaries for immigrants.

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The Supreme Court on Tuesday agreed to decide whether Ohio wrongfully purged eligible voters from the state's registration list.

The justices said they will hear an appeal from state officials defending the process against challengers who say it's illegal.

Civil liberties groups had challenged the state's program for removing thousands of people from voter rolls based on their failure to vote in recent elections. The 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Cincinnati ruled last year that the process violates the National Voter Registration Act.

Dayton Mayor Nan Whaley talked to supporters and colleagues after her second state of the city speech Wednesday.
Lewis Wallace / WYSO

Democrat Nan Whaley is using a re-election campaign for Dayton mayor that's not subject to state contribution limits to raise money for her 2018 bid for Ohio governor.

A notice on Whaley's campaign website informing potential donors that the mayoral fund is able to accept unlimited contributions was taken down Thursday after the campaign was asked about it by The Associated Press.

tornado wall cloud national weather service Photo taken near US 35 and I-75, just west of Dayton, at around 7 p.m. Wednesday
WYSO/ Jerry Kenney

Experts with the National Weather Service are still working to survey all of the damage from Wednesday's severe storms. Forecasters have so far confirmed there were six tornadoes in and around Clark and Miami Counties, with wind speeds varying between 75 and 100 miles per hour. 

The National Weather Service confirmed four tornadoes rated EF0, and two rated EF1, on the evening of May 24, 2017, including a twister that touched down in Clark County along Highway 235 near New Carlisle. No major injuries were reported.

tornado wall cloud national weather service Photo taken near US 35 and I-75, just west of Dayton, at around 7 p.m. Wednesday
WYSO/ Jerry Kenney

Authorities say tornadoes that touched down in three southwest Ohio counties have caused damage while 15 people trapped by flooding had to be rescued from a park.

Suspected tornado damage was reported Wednesday night in Clark, Greene and Miami counties. A gas station was destroyed in Clark County and some residents of a nearby damaged apartment complex were evacuated.

No serious injuries have been reported.

Dayton Police say a woman told them she fatally shot her two children to save them from the world's evils.

Detective Rod Roberts wrote in court documents that police interviewed Claudena Helton after the May 18 shooting. Her 8-year-old daughter and 6-year-old son died Sunday.

Municipal Court Judge Christopher Roberts set bond Monday at $1 million for Helton and scheduled a preliminary hearing for May 30. A public defender entered not-guilty pleas for Helton to charges of attempted murder and felonious assault.

traffic camera red light camera
Robert Couse-Baker / Flickr/Creative Commons

Officials in Dayton plan to resume using cameras to catch drivers who run red lights, two years after dropping that practice to comply with Ohio restrictions and a legal battle.

The Dayton City Commission approved the program's restart in a 5-0 vote Wednesday.

City officials say speed detectors and red-light cameras will make the city safer. Police officials have said traffic crashes increased, and the number of traffic deaths doubled after the original red light cameras were removed.

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