Thursday, March 23, 2023

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A proposed flavored tobacco ban is back on the table in Minnesota, Trump attorney Evan Corcoran must testify in the documents probe, and a "clean slate" bill in Missouri would make "expungement" automatic.

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The Fed raises interest rates and reassures the banking system is sound, Norfolk Southern reaffirms a commitment to the people of East Palestine, and TikTok creators gather at the Capitol to support free expression.

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Finding childcare is a struggle everywhere, prompting North Carolina's Transylvania County to try a new approach. Maine is slowly building-out broadband access, but disagreements remain over whether local versus national companies should get the contracts, and specialty apps like "Farmers Dating" help those in small communities connect online.

OH Small Business Owners Give 'Thumbs Up' to Bridge Project

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Wednesday, January 11, 2023   

Cincinnati's small business owners say they're eagerly anticipating upgrades to the Brent Spence Bridge, announced jointly last week by President Joe Biden, Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine and Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear.

The federal government gave the two states more than $1 billion for bridge infrastructure improvements and for construction of a companion bridge to ease vehicle congestion.

Anne Zimmerman owns a Cincinnati accounting firm and is the co-chair of the group Small Business for America's Future. She said her business has been hampered over the years by unpredictable bridge shutdowns and traffic problems.

"It's just in such bad shape that a lot of people won't even drive it any more," said Zimmerman. "They're worried it's too dangerous after a couple of recent crashes and fires, and crumbling of it."

According to the Federal Highway Administration, Brent Spence is responsible for the second-worst truck bottleneck in the nation.

More than $400 billion of cargo crosses the Ohio River each year.

Gov. Mike DeWine says groundbreaking will happen this year, and the project is expected to be complete by 2029.

Zimmerman said she's not the only small business owner anticipating major benefits to the regional economy, including more jobs and service businesses.

"Well, you can't live in Cincinnati and not cross into Kentucky if not daily or more," said Zimmerman. "So if I'm going to do business, if I'm going to go see a client, I have to cross the river."

The Brent Spence Bridge was constructed more then 60 years ago to carry around 80,000 vehicles a day, but daily traffic has doubled in the decades since.

This story was produced in association with Media in the Public Interest and funded in part by the George Gund Foundation.



Disclosure: The George Gund Foundation contributes to our fund for reporting on Budget Policy & Priorities, Health Issues, Livable Wages/Working Families, Women's Issues. If you would like to help support news in the public interest, click here.


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