Jolene Almendarez

findlay market
Bill Rinehart / WVXU

Holiday traditions like visiting the Fountain Square Christmas tree and sipping hot coco while doing holiday shopping are different during the pandemic. The tree lighting was televised and online with no live spectators. Face masks have to be put on between sips. And people are opting to shop online instead of in-person, meaning some small retailers are taking a financial hit. 

feral cat
Pixabay

Feral cats — whether you love them or hate them, someone in your neighborhood is bound to feed them. In the city of Covington, officials passed a new ordinance Tuesday that's meant to find a middle ground between feral cat lovers and haters.

 cincinnati shooting
John Minchillo / AP

Before the holiday season began a few weeks ago, Cincinnati City Council's Law and Public Safety Committee heard from family members who've lost loved ones to violence.

Committee members hope this annual tradition is a reminder of the lives lost to gun violence. But family members hope keeping their loved one's name in the public sphere will inspire somebody to come forward and help solve a murder.

Three Cincinnati City Council members have been accused of taking bribes from developers this year. City Council Member David Mann says an independent commission could help put a stopper in local corruption when it comes to development.

ronald mcdonald house cincinnati
Ronald McDonald House Cincinnati / Facebook

Children's Hospital is the third best children's hospital in the country, bringing in families from all over who have a child in need of specialized treatment. The newly expanded Ronald McDonald House can now help more of those families. At 177 rooms, the location across the street from the hospital is now the biggest in the world.

thanksgiving pie
Element5 Digital / Unsplash

For most local nursing home facilities, Thanksgiving is the busiest time of year. Family and friends often join elderly residents for meals and visits.

"Typically, from Halloween through New Year's, it seems like a big party on our campus on every level of care," says Megan Ulrich, vice president of marketing and business development at Maple Knoll Communities. "Obviously, again, this year's not going to be that way." 

thanksgiving
Pixabay

Some time between mid-November and the end of the year, the pace of people's lives traditionally picks up with holiday shopping, decorating and planning meals for crowds of people. But this year, COVID-19, the deadliest virus outbreak in over a century, has derailed many plans.

Sarah Ramsey / WVXU

Updated: 1:32 p.m.

A third Cincinnati City Council member this year has been arrested and accused of taking bribes in exchange for favorable votes on development projects. The FBI says Councilman P.G. Sittenfeld was arrested at his home Thursday morning after accepting $40,000 in bribes.

coronavirus covid-19
Pixabay

COVID-19 cases in Ohio are reaching record-high numbers and the Cincinnati area is no exception. Officials say Cincinnati saw an all-time high of 247 cases Saturday and nearby Clermont County reported a high of 186 cases Friday. 

Courtesy of the City of Cincinnati

The Arts Apartments at Music Hall in Cincinnati's gentrifying West End is in for renovations and changes that will result in nearly 250 affordable and low-income housing for the next 20 years.

City Council unanimously approved a tax exemption last week to help finance the project.

city hall
Wikimedia Commons

Cincinnati Councilman Jeff Pastor was arrested and accused this week of creating a pay-to-play scheme that yielded him $55,000 in bribes over the course of about a year. Some public officials have called for his resignation, but his defense Attorney Benjamin Dusing said Friday that those calls are hasty.

Jay Hanselman / WVXU

Cincinnati Councilman Jeff Pastor didn't show up to Thursday's City Council meeting where his alleged criminal actions were called "totally unacceptable, totally outrageous" by Mayor John Cranley.

Pastor, 36, was arrested at his home Tuesday morning and charged with honest services wire fraud, bribery, attempted extortion by a government official and money laundering. Officials said he took $55,000 in bribes over the course of year.

Bill Rinehart / WVXU

The Cincinnati Police Department has been undergoing technology upgrades in an effort to provide more transparency, efficiency, and ultimately, solve more crimes, officials say.

oakley
Wikimedia Commons

Residents in the Oakley neighborhood live just a short distance from nearby retail areas, but a railroad yard keeps them from walking there. The proposed Oakley Pedestrian Tunnel would solve that problem. The planned tunnel would run under a nearby railroad yard, cutting the commute time between the two areas.

Gun violence in Cincinnati is soaring and a group of community leaders plan to do something about it. The new Save Our Brothers and Sisters project is a collaborative effort to help at-risk youth and create more awareness about the devastating effects of gun violence.

fountain square holiday
Courtesy of WCPO

COVID-19 precautions mean people will have to find new ways to safely celebrate this holiday season, but the virus doesn't have to be a total Grinch for Cincinnatians. Some traditions will continue - just in new ways - and a new monthlong celebration called FOUND will give people the chance to celebrate the city's history along with some of their favorite traditional wintertime festivities.

hamilton county boe election worker
Aaron Doster / AP

Election Day is over but for election workers, the hard task of ensuring the vote went off without a hitch will likely go on until mid-December. In Hamilton County, officials looked into reports of malfeasance and are still counting votes. 

There have been reports of voter intimidation and people voting more than once. Investigations into the claims did not pan out any concrete proof of either.

charmaine mcguffey
Jolene Almendarez / WVXU

It's a dream job for newly elected Charmaine McGuffey to take the reins at the Hamilton County Sheriff's Office. And now that she'll be leading the department, she's promising to bring big changes in the name of criminal justice reform and equity. 

st bernard voting
Cory Sharber / WVXU

On the final day of voting, people in Ohio and Kentucky had an array of experiences at the polls depending on where they stopped in on Election Day during this particularly contentious election season.