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The percentage of middle school students in Kentucky using electronic cigarettes and other vaping products has doubled since 2017. 

The Youth Risk Behavior Survey conducted last spring shows the rate of vaping increased from 15.1% in 2017, to 31.4% in 2019.  High school students saw a nine percent jump in the same time period. 

"The Department for Public Health is really working to provide resources to schools and communities to do what we can to prevent students from using these products and to get them to quit using them," said Stephanie Bungee, a school health consultant with the Kentucky Department of Education.

tamaya dennard
Ann Thompson / WVXU

Cincinnati Council Member Tamaya Dennard was arrested by the U.S. Attorney's office earlier this week on felony charges of wire fraud, bribery and attempted extortion for allegedly selling her council vote to a person with business before council.

coronavirus
Andrew Harnik / AP

Area colleges and universities are taking a hard look at their international programs in the wake of the rapid spread of the coronavirus and may cancel upcoming trips or recall participants if they deem it unsafe for students, faculty and staff.

Five years ago, Indiana experienced one of the nation’s worst HIV outbreaks. Mike Pence was governor then, and he approved a needle exchange to keep the problem from spreading. Now state leaders are debating whether that exchange — and others — can stay open.

muddy creek
Provided / Hamilton County

Hamilton County and Metropolitan Sewer District (MSD) officials are expected to meet in the next week to discuss ways to stop untreated sewage overflows from entering Muddy Creek in Green Township. Residents along the creek have been complaining about the issue for years.  Their complaints include odors and even toilet paper hanging in trees along the creek.

The state’s first charter school applicant, River Cities Academy, lost its appeal to the Kentucky Board of Education. The board decided Tuesday not to overturn a decision by Newport Independent Schools to deny the group a charter.

A group of parents in Northern Kentucky wanted to open the state’s first charter school, called River Cities Academy (RCA), pulling students from six districts along the river. According to the application, the school was to serve a “diverse learner population” in grades K-8, and focus on closing the achievement gap through experiential learning.

Public health officials from around the world are keeping a watchful eye on the spread of the coronavirus as more countries are reporting an increase in infections. In Ohio, state and local officials are working on several preventative measures to keep the virus from occurring.

bockfest
Travis Estell / Flickr Creative Commons

The annual, weekend-long beer festival Bockfest, in Over-the-Rhine, is back Friday, Feb. 28, kicking things off with a parade, followed by festivities that include a 5K run. All activities require some road closures throughout the weekend.

bernie sanders
Matt Rourke / AP

Bernie Sanders, the Independent senator from Vermont, is increasing his lead in the Democratic presidential race to defeat President Donald Trump. Cincinnati Edition welcomes three political junkies to weigh in on the rise of the self-professed Democratic socialist. 

tamaya dennard
Ann Thompson / WVXU

Updated: 7:10 p.m.

A day after Cincinnati Councilwoman Tamaya Dennard was arrested and federally charged with wire fraud, bribery, and attempted extortion, Dennard, her fellow council members and party leaders are reacting to the news.

Ambriehl Crutchfield / WVXU

Last year, unintentional overdose deaths decreased 11% in Hamilton County. Now public officials are working together to tackle a more long-term issue: addiction.

For many parts of the United States this winter has been one of the warmest on record. In fact, as the climate heats up, winters are warming faster than any other season. We recently asked how people around the country are seeing the effects of this in their everyday lives. Here's a sample of what we heard back.

Recreation

Report: Ohio's Student-Debt Law Is 'Punitive'

Feb 26, 2020

Updated: 10:53 a.m., Wednesday, Feb. 26, 2020

An Ohio law requiring colleges to turn over student debt to the state attorney general’s office for collection is disproportionally harming low-income students of color, according to a new report from Policy Matters Ohio, a Cleveland-based nonprofit.

SCOTT GAUDI / OHIO STATE

As astronomers continue to discover new planets and exoplanets in our solar system, a new way of gathering information about them is being spearheaded by a professor from The Ohio State University.

Joining Dean and Anna after they talk a little Pi is Professor Scott Gaudi, project co-chair of the Habitable Exoplanet Observatory.

Ambriehl Crutchfield / WVXU

Filing your taxes with the IRS can be a breeze or a major headache depending on a variety of factors.

Ann Thompson / WVXU

Middletown will join Hilton Head, S.C., Las Vegas and Indianapolis as one of 14 stops on the APP (Association of Pickleball Professionals) tour this year. The tournament - The Cincinnati Pickleball Open, with a $25,000 purse - will be held at Lefferson Park June 4-7.

tamaya dennard
Ann Thompson / WVXU

Updated: 2:52 p.m.

Cincinnati Councilwoman Tamaya Dennard has been arrested and federally charged with wire fraud, bribery and attempted extortion, says the office of Dave DeVillers, U.S. Attorney of the Southern District of Ohio. Dennard denies the charges.

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez
Seth Wenig / AP

Yes, current polls suggest that this year's presidential election could come down to two septuagenarians in Republican President Donald J. Trump and independent Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders, who currently leads the race for the Democratic nomination.

Image by Paul Brennan from Pixabay

Local leaders are pushing for Ohio to adopt a fuel quality testing program. House Bill 499 would authorize county auditors to test for octane level as well as sediment and water in fuel.

Governor Andy Beshear has signed a bill into law requiring all Kentucky school resource officers, or SROs, to carry a gun.

“The threats to our children in our schools is very real,” Beshear said, citing incidents where guns were found on school campuses, a thwarted school shooting plot in Shelby County, and the 2018 shooting in Marshall County.

“I simply cannot ask a school resource officer to stop an armed gunman entering a school without them having the ability to not only achieve this mission, but also to protect themselves,” he said.

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