360 Fireworks Party

Saturday, September 1, 2012

CHECK OUT THE NEW WEBSITE!

OK, RCN wants to serve you and the community better so a new website was in order. Over the Labor Day weekend we will be busy tweaking and adding content but we want your help! Go to RCNky.com and check it out and email or comment on Facebook about what you think of it. Your opinion matters!

Friday, August 31, 2012

NEWS ROUND-UP -- FRIDAY 31 AUGUST

THE RIVER CITY NEWS MORE COVINGTON NEWS THAN ANY OTHER SOURCE
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by Michael Monks 
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FIRE DAMAGES TWO HOMES IN BOTANY HILLS
The Covington Fire Department was busy overnight battling flames on Lexington Avenue in West Covington where two houses burned.
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Fire called suspicious: WKRC 
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SEE ALSO: Cincinnati Enquirer & WCPO 
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FORECLOSURE IMMINENT ON PEASELBURG PROPERTY
Sign at the foot of the hill that
leads to Emery Drive Apts.
Neighborhood Investment Partners (NIP), established as a private property investment company whose president is also the executive director of the public Housing Authority of Covington (HAC) and whose board of directors includes three members of the Housing Authority's Board of Commissioners, is not related to the Housing Authority of Covington, said director Tony Milburn. A special meeting of NIP's board of directors was called Thursday evening to deal with the imminent foreclosure of the property known as Emery Drive Apartments in Covington's Peaselburg neighborhood. The meeting was held at the Housing Authority of Covington offices.
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NIP purchased the property five years ago and is now in need of refinancing the loan through the Cincinnati Development Fund to whom the mortgage is due September 1. Aaron Wolfe-Bertling, executive director of HAC and president of NIP, explained that $1.7 million is owed on the property and proposed that a letter be written to the Cincinnati Development Fund extend the due date of a $400,000 payment so that the mortgage can be saved. Wolfe-Bertling blamed the downturn in the economy for the decline in the property's value and the rental rates that have remained flat.
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He also explained that the National Development Center could help in assisting with other possible financing options. The goal is to pay the $400,000 due reducing the note to $1.3 million and then paying the balance on a cash-flow basis.
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The mortgage is not the only issue facing the NIP-owned property. More than a dozen Peaselburg residents attended the meeting to voice opposition to one proposal on the table: putting additional HAC subsidized units in the development. They complained of declining property values, increased crime rates, and the eyesore of a shut-down swimming pool on the property. With City Heights just up the hill, Peaselburg has more subsidized housing than any other Covington neighborhood, they said. 
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Emery Drive is made up of five buildings with twenty-three units. NIP is interested in having HAC fill 11 of those units with subsidized housing for seniors and the handicapped. NIP director John Spence, who is also on the board of commissioners at HAC, said that this option would free up more flexibility in the other four buildings for more market-rate rental opportunities. In order for that to happen, HAC would have to issue a request for proposals from interested property owners that would like to use the subsidized vouchers and NIP would have to apply. 
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Covington Mayor Chuck Scheper and City Manager Larry Klein were on hand and Scheper suggested that HAC/NIP examine what a group called Cornerstone has done in turning around properties in Cincinnati's Over-the-Rhine neighborhood. "I don't want to have a black eye that we've defaulted on these loans even though it's not our responsibility," Scheper said. 
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None of this will matter if the Cincinnati Development Fund rejects NIP's plan and forecloses on the property. The board of directors voted to send a letter to CDF with a request for a delay of 75 days as they work at establishing a plan of action to save Emery Drive.
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WAR OF WORDS ERUPT AT COVINGTON SCHOOL BOARD MEETING
"We're not going to stay silent any longer, this time we're going to speak back." A war of words erupted at Thursday night's Covington School Board meeting over the vacancy that followed a resignation, and why an election won't be on the ballot.
Full story: The River City News 
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OTHER NOTES FROM THE SCHOOL BOARD MEETING: 
  • The School Board officially adopted the compensating tax rate on Covington properties, instead of taking the full 4% increase. This is the first time in several years that only the compensating rate will be added to property taxes by the Covington School Board.
  • Many of the staff members present at Thursday's meeting were there to be recognized for their work on a well-attended and well-received Ethics & Equity Conference at Holmes High School.
  • It was noted that enrollment is up at every school save for Latonia Elementary which is down slightly this year. 71 more students at John G Carlisle School resulted in the board approving the creation of a new Kindergarten teacher position and an instructor assistant position.
  • Covington Schools will continue to lease space from Gateway College to house its alternative school at a rate of $15 per square foot, which was the same price offered to Gateway when Covington Schools owned the building.
  • The district, along with its partners in Strive (Cincinnati Public and Newport Independent), will apply for a $40 million federal Race to the Top grant that would include the benefit of Kindles being placed in the hands of every student, allowing all text books to be accessed digitally.
  • According to the Facebook page of the Holmes High School Band, Superintendent Lynda Jackson was named among the administrators of the year by the Kentucky Music Educators Association.
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QUICKIES
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Deputy shoots man, then gives him CPR WBKO 
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KY State Police to increase patrols this holiday weekend WKYT 
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Gov. Beshear implements measures to increase integrity, safety of horse racing press release 
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After national attention, juvenile sex case is made public WDRB 
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It's not Auburn VS Alabama, but UK-UofL football rivalry has its own spice Herald-Leader 
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UK women's basketball coach buys Rick Pitino's old house Herald-Leader 
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Former UK basketball player becomes firefighter Herald-Leader 
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EDITORIAL: PRESUMPTION OF GUILT IN PILL ABUSE
From the State-Journal in Frankfort:
Politicians in Frankfort who still believe that government edicts can somehow or other deliver the commonwealth from the scourge of prescription drug abuse are once again approaching the issue with a butcher knife instead of a scalpel.
Full story: State-Journal 

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DOWNTOWN COVINGTON NIGHTSPOT CLOSES FOR GOOD
The Avenue Lounge and Patio is no more, celebrating its final night in operation Thursday. No reason was offered publicly, but Facebook lit up late last night as fans of the lounge expressed their sadness over its closing. 
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COVINGTON BUSINESS COUNCIL MAKES NEW HIRE
Congratulations to the CBC's Elizabeth Fricke who has been hired as the organization's administrative manager. She will also serve in that role for the Urban Partnership. Fricke is a graduate student at Northern Kentucky University in the Public Administration program and also serves as a Kenton Vale city council member. She is a graduate of Thomas More College. 
Elizabeth Fricke
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THIS WEEKEND IN COVINGTON!
NOTE: The Kentucky Symphony Orchestra concert scheduled for 7:30PM in Devou Park has been moved to the NKY Convention Center. Details on possible free parking are being finalized at City Hall.
A lot of fun is planned in and around the City this weekend. Covington Ombudsman Suzanne Gettys has put together a list with additional information you may need to know. Road closings for the fireworks? What's new at the Farmers Market? A concert at the Devou Park band shell and an exhibit at the Behringer-Crawford Museum. Click the link below for all the details.
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ALSO THIS WEEKEND:
This weekend the Covington Firefighters will be stationed throughout the city collecting for the Muscular Dystrophy Association. 100% of the money collected will go to support research and those affected by muscular diseases. Please take a moment and watch this emotional video of Shaun Probert, a Shaker Heights Fireman, Local 516, who was diagnosed with ALS in 2010. He is the new MDA spokesperson, replacing Kelly Crush, an IAFF Firefighter from Wichita Falls, TX Local 432 who died in March from ALS. Help us help our "Brother" who is now "on the other side of the boot" in helping the children who suffer from Muscular Dystrophy.
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SEE ALSO: Wolf & Company, the Fifth Street lunch spot, gets a great review in Wine Me, Dine Me 
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SMALL KENTUCKY TOWN IS CENTER FOR ECLIPSE CHASERS
Hopkinsville is chosen by the Heavens:
This southwestern Kentucky town has hit the astronomical jackpot. When a total eclipse of the sun darkens skies on Aug. 21, 2017, the show will last longer in a stretch of bucolic hill country near Hopkinsville than any place on the planet. It will last two minutes and 40 seconds, not much longer than the Kentucky Derby.
Full story: Huffington Post 

DEBATE OVER SCHOOL BOARD VACANCY CONSUMES MEETING

THE RIVER CITY NEWS MORE COVINGTON NEWS THAN ANY OTHER SOURCE
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by Michael Monks 
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EXCLUSIVE
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"We're not going to stay silent any longer, this time we're going to speak back," said School Board chairperson Glenda Huff as public comments were set to begin during Thursday's meeting which was moved from the Board of Education to Latonia Elementary. Nearly every candidate seeking a seat on the Covington School Board in November was on hand with several present to criticize the board's attorney, Mary Ann Stewart, for what they claim was a mishandling of the proper way to fill the seat vacated by Denise Varney who submitted her resignation August 2. 
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State statute indicates that because Varney had more than a year left in her term, which expires in 2014, and because her resignation was submitted before the filing deadline of the next general election, that the seat should have been placed on November's ballot. Stewart contends that the errors were made in Frankfort by the Kentucky Department of Education.
Mary Ann Stewart address a citizen
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"The local school board does not have the legal authority to act on a member's resignation," Stewart said, addressing the crowd at the beginning of the meeting saying she wanted to address what she called misinformation floating around the community. She also addressed the implication that she deliberately blocked an election for Varney's seat. "I have not advocated for or against nor have I taken any action against anyone's candidacy," she said. "My duty to the best of my ability is to ensure that all members are serving in a legal capacity."
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The turmoil started on August 14, the filing deadline for candidates to appear on the ballot for November's school board election in which three of five seats are up for grabs. While ten candidates filed to run for those three seats, an eleventh candidate, Mark Young, attempted to file to run for Varney's unexpired seat. While initially rejected by the County Clerk's office, Young was added as the sole candidate for Varney's seat the following day. Over the course of the next week it was determined that Varney's seat was not officially vacant until August 21 when Kentucky Commissioner of Education Terry Holliday formally accepted the resignation, seven days after the filing deadline. Young is no longer on the ballot, though he is suing to have that decision reversed with the help of attorney Brandon Voelker who represents the Newport School Board and who has also been publicly critical of Stewart.
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"Frankly, his public and negative comments aimed at me have been surprising and disappointing," Stewart said during her prepared remarks. She added that the last time Covington went through a vacancy on its school board, Voelker also represented the man who wanted to serve. That was after the 2006 election when Paul Mullins was elected but was determined by the Kentucky Attorney General to be ineligible because Mullins worked as a bus driver in the district at the time of the election. Mullins was replaced by the appointment of Jerry Avery who still serves, but was absent Thursday. 
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Though Voelker was not present at Thursday's meeting, several candidates for school board were and shared their own thoughts about what should happen to Stewart. Calling it a "fiasco" and an "embarrassment", Mark Young requested that the school board terminate Stewart's contract. Candidate Tom Miller called the issue a failure on the part of legal counsel. "I urge you to terminate the contract with (Stewart's) firm (Adams, Stepner, Wolterman, and Dusing)," he said.
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Candidate Everett Dameron was critical of the amount of money set aside in the school district's budget for legal representation: more than $150,000. "The public needs to know how we spend more money for an attorney than any district in the state," Dameron said, saying that there is a $120,000 difference between Covington and similarly-sized districts. "That's money that could be used in the classroom to support the education of our children."
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The harshest criticism came from candidate Jo Rogers. "Mrs. (Superintendent Lynda) Jackson was wrong and the board attorney failed to correct her," Rogers said. At the school board's August 9 meeting Rogers asked how Varney's seat would be filled and was told about the appointment process, but the possibility of an election to fulfill the remainder of the term was not mentioned. The district contends that the Kentucky Department of Education indicated that an election would not apply in this case and moved forward with publicizing the vacancy in order to solicit applicants for the appointment. Rogers argued that it was because Stewart either did not know the law, did not understand the law, or did not want voters to have a say in who fills the vacancy. After Rogers's allotted time had expired, another member of the public slated to speak yielded her two minutes so that Rogers could continue.
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"We're sitting here talking about Kentucky revised statutes and we have children in this district who cannot read in the third grade, we have kids in fifth grade at John G. Carlisle who are not taking science class," Rogers said. "This district needs help and we're arguing about statutes."
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"It sounds like we accepted a resignation but we didn't inhale," said Covington City Commissioner Steve Frank who addressed the board to argue that the city is losing young people, a fact he at least partially blamed on the school district.
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Young, Dameron, Miller, and Rogers are all active members of an online community dubbed Fix Covington Schools where the school district and its employees are regularly criticized. Several other members of that online group were present at Thursday night's meeting, some breaking protocol and shouting criticism out of turn and loudly applauding at the end of various public statements. The online community has been active for several months and the frustration it has caused members of the school board and the district's administration was obvious Thursday night. As promised, Chairperson Glenda Huff spoke back, first by asking the school board candidates in the crowd to stand up, and then by making the same request to the district employees in attendance.
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"The staff members you just saw are people you are going to be working with, not for," said Huff, who is seeking reelection. "The comments made on social media hurt. The staff standing up work endless hours to take care of the students. If you like to criticize but you don't want answers, think of the people you are hurting. A child hears this garbage and will go to school the next day defeated. Please remember this, there is more to Covington Independent than test scores. Behind those test scores are children and behind those children are staff members who care about our children. So when you are typing your words, remember that there are faces behind those words."
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Board member Krista Powers, who is not seeking reelection, also expressed frustration. "This mess is a mess, and it's really, really sad and disappointing as a board member that this is what we're spending time on," she said. "You're not hearing the various viewpoints shared by the board attorney. Lynda (Jackson) went straight to the powers that be (in Frankfort) and we didn't get good guidance. I'm frustrated with KDE that this board and this superintendent have been accused of being involved in this election."
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Huff shot down any possibility of ending Stewart's contract. "This board is very comfortable with our legal counsel, very happy," she said. "We don't have any plans of changing that. There is more to sitting in (the attorney's) seat for one or two hours a month that you folks don't understand."
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"It seems we understand a lot more than you want us to," said Sandy Arnold, a former volunteer at Sixth District Elementary School who moved her kids out of Covington Schools this year. "I hope your constituents remember that when they go into the voting booth."
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UPDATE: Attorney Brandon Voelker responds click here 

Thursday, August 30, 2012

NEWS ROUND-UP -- THURSDAY EVENING 30 AUGUST


THE RIVER CITY NEWS MORE COVINGTON NEWS THAN ANY OTHER SOURCE
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by Michael Monks 
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DRIVER HITS 5 PARKED CARS AS CHASE ENDS AT DARI CREST
There was some excitement near an ice cream shop Wednesday night in Latonia. Via WKRC:

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DON'T MISS THURSDAY MORNING'S NEWS
An increase in crime prompts the Covington Police Chief to speak to a neighborhood tonight; Another Covington neighborhood is concerned about possible plans for public housing nearby; Plus, a City Commissioner names the two winners of his $2,000 offer.
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QUICKIES
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Where's the best place to watch the Riverfest fireworks this weekend? Cincinnati Enquirer 
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Attorney General Jack Conway announces settlement in e-book price fixing scam press release 
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Sen. Rand Paul and Trey Grayson together at last? cn|2 
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Kentucky Republicans share photos from national convention Herald-Leader 
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KY officials monitor Tropical Storm Isaac press release 
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California's I-Herb could bring 600 jobs to NKY Business Courier 
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NKY Chamber to honors former US Rep. Geoff Davis and the World Choir Games Lane Report 
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Geocaching increasing in popularity along Hatfield & McCoy sites Herald-Leader 
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CINCINNATI'S COMPREHENSIVE PLAN TO BRING CITY BACK TO URBAN ROOTS
Via Urban Cincy:
The tone for the city’s new vision is set early and often throughout the document stating, “The vision for the future of Cincinnati is focused on an unapologetic drive to create and sustain a thriving inclusive urban community, where engaged people and memorable places are paramount, where creativity and innovation thrive, and where local pride and confidence are contagious.”
The focus on a comprehensive urban approach is a bold diversion from Mayor Charlie Luken’s (D) administration which ultimately left the city without a Planning Department after a heated debate over whether to allowVandercar Holdings to build a suburban-style development at what is now the Center of Cincinnati big-box development.
Full story: Urban Cincy 
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NKU SENIORS UNLOCK HISTORY OF CINCINNATI STAIRCASES
Very cool. From an NKU press release:
When Andrew Boehringer and Shane Winslow get to talking about their latest academic endeavor – writing a book that explores the history and cultural significance of the hundreds of stairways connecting the City of Cincinnati – it doesn’t take long to see their passion.

The two Northern Kentucky University seniors collectively spend about 80 hours per week reviewing and archiving centuries-old blueprints; working with the city’s transportation and engineering staff to fully understand the process of developing, building and maintaining the city’s stairways; and walking the beautiful, sometimes crumbling but always interesting stairs themselves. They wouldn’t have it any other way.

“We’re kind of off the beaten path of normal students,” Winslow says. “A lot of times people block themselves in. They say, ‘That’d be a good idea.’ But then they never do it.” At this, Boehringer jumps in to complete Winslow’s thought – “We’re just crazy enough to do it.”

Boehringer and Winslow finish each other’s sentences a lot. In fact, if you didn’t know better, you’d assume they are lifelong friends. They share similar passions for history and anthropology, both double-majoring in those areas. And their personalities are perfect complements – Shane the outgoing, energetic one who focuses on the big picture; Andrew the quiet, reserved one who keeps track of the thousand little details that come with this type of project. Shane pulls Andrew out of his shell; Andrew reminds Shane to fold the maps correctly.

They only met earlier this year in a class called “world history in a dozen meals.” Boehringer was driving to work one day in April – he works 24-hour weekends at Christ Hospital – when he spotted a public staircase along the Western Hills Viaduct. It sparked his curiosity; there aren’t any staircases in the suburbs where he grew up.

He and Winslow met to discuss Cincinnati history in a single meal. As they ate their Dixie Chili they decided to explore the city’s stairways – their history and their influence on the quality of life, culture, economy, religion, education and mobility within the communities they serve. They thought it might make a nice article. It quickly become more.

“The study of history is great,” Winslow says, “but you kind of want to create something from it.” Their initial research revealed that no one had done what they wanted to do. “We kind of hit gold a little bit,” Winslow says. There was a book that highlighted stairways in Cincinnati, but it was basically a walking tour guide.

Their vision was much grander. They would tell the story of Cincinnati’s stairways. They would show how these critical pieces of often-ignored infrastructure brought people together, connected communities and helped the city expand from its early days as a relatively flat downtown into the seven hills for which it is now known. Their book is tentatively titled Descent: A History of the Cincinnati Steps.

With GPS in hand, they started walking. Everywhere. They trekked through Price Hill, Mount Auburn, Mount Adams. They set out to explore every staircase they could find. “We wanted to feel what it would have felt like,” Boehringer says. “We can’t go back in time, but we can retrace their steps, figuratively. Stairways aren’t just about stairs – they are a lens for looking at a city and how it changed over time.”

The two camped out in research rooms and rare books archives at local libraries, spending hours poring over documents such as public works meeting minutes from as early as 1850. They learned that early staircases were made of wood because it was cheaper. As the population grew and Cincinnati began annexing surrounding cities, it shifted to concrete and began keeping more detailed records. “It’s cool to look through those older records,” Boehringer says. “I really don’t think anyone has ever opened them before.” 
Boehringer and Winslow spent hours in the city’s database of nearly 500 staircases – many public, some private and others the city isn’t sure who is responsible for. They studied countless blueprints.

It became a game – the search for what they call “secret keys” that unlock layers of history. “It’s fun,” Boehringer says. “It’s a discovery.”

Winslow says one of his favorite parts of their research is “when you find that small element, that clue that was completely untraceable until that moment.” They spent weeks trying to figure out the notation “RN” written on blueprints from the early 20th century. “I mean, what is that?” Winslow says. “Restricted neutrality? We had no idea and it was driving us crazy.” Satisfaction registers on both of their faces when they reveal that “RN” was inexplicable 1930s shorthand for an Ohio structural engineer named Armin.

Their project has been noticed by the city. They’ve been given work space in its Transportation and Engineering Structure Section and exclusive access to documents and software. With their camera and scanner, the two have created a digital archive of thousands of previously scattered city records.
They’re working to set up a formal internship so they’ll earn academic credit for their work. They are also developing a prospectus to present to publishers.

The two say they hope to serve as an example to other students. “If you work hard enough, you can do something out of the ordinary,” Boehringer says. “Find your own place.”

Winslow adds: “We’re defining ourselves and making ourselves unique and different. We’re not just writing about somebody else’s book.”

Both expect to graduate in 2013 – Winslow in June and Boehringer in December. Winslow says he will study nautical archeology in graduate school; Boehringer will study “history through an economic lens.”

For now, they’re happy directing their passion toward what Boehringer calls “the overlooked artifacts of history.”
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#LOUISVILLEHATEDAY
If you are a Twitter user, you may have noticed #LouisvilleHateDay trending worldwide. You can thank UK fans for that:
Good Morning Everyone! Happy #LouisvilleHateDay. For the fifth consecutive year, we kick off the Thursday before UK-UL with #LouisvilleHateDay. It is a tradition unlike any other and I am here to deliver KSR’s version of Jim Nantz’s “Hello Friends.” For those of us at KSR, #LouisvilleHateDay epitomizes how we believe Kentucky sports are best covered…as fans, doing fan things and enjoy the fun aspects of college sports. And there is very little more fun than hating your rival, especially when it is Louisville. No fan base has more delusional, absurdist elements than Cardinal Nation and no group gives more material ripe for the picking than the marketing geniuses behind the phenomenon #L1C4.
More with photos: Kentucky Sports Radio 
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SEE ALSO: UK's sill self-reported hoops violation ESPN 

NEWS ROUND-UP -- THURSDAY 30 AUGUST


THE RIVER CITY NEWS MORE COVINGTON NEWS THAN ANY OTHER SOURCE
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by Michael Monks 
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SCHOOL BOARD TO MEET FOR FIRST TIME SINCE ELECTION TROUBLES
The Covington School Board has moved its regularly scheduled meeting to Latonia Elementary Thursday at 7:00PM instead of its usual location at the Board of Education on Seventh Street. The message came from Covington Independent Public Schools Wednesday afternoon:
"Due to unforeseen emergency circumstances and special needs accommodation requests, the August 30, 7:00PM Covington Board of Education meeting has been moved to Latonia Elementary School, located at 3901 Huntington, Covington, Kentucky 41015"
This will be the first meeting of the Covington School Board since the election filing deadline passed and the legal battle over the seat vacated by Denise Varney blew up. The River City News will have this meeting covered for you.
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COVINGTON PHILANTHROPIST WRITES MORE ON STATE OF SCHOOLS
From Oakley Farris:
If I may borrow your attention one more time and direct it to the plight of our school children. I would like to share some observations on the recent good news that Harvard University has had for us concerning the state of education in Kentucky. It seems that Harvard has taken test results from the National Assessment of Educational Progress Test (NAEP) and has concluded that Kentucky has shown some impressive progress on the test since 1992. In fact Harvard concluded that Kentucky exceeded the national overall score in reading proficiency. Now I am only interested in what is best for the school kids, so I am encouraged by that news, perhaps our situation is not as grim as the recent ACT and IOWA test scores would seem to indicate. Because my concern is first for the students I like to look just a little closer to ensure that the results are genuine and not being distorted to fit an agenda.
My friends, I wish I could tell you that I was confident in the Harvard study’s conclusions. However I am in possession of an analysis of the Harvard study which was conducted by the Bluegrass Institute. The Bluegrass Institute study brings to light serious flaws in the Harvard study. Now I am not one to get in the middle of a fight between academics over whose study proves what to whom, that is not my concern. My concern is that the data may have been cherry picked in a way that leaves the most vulnerable students in Kentucky, students just like ours here in Covington, open to being overlooked.
Read more from Mr. Farris: Click Here 
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SCHOOL DISTRICT HOSTS DRUG-TESTING FOCUS GROUP
Covington Schools welcomed parents and other concerned citizens Wednesday evening to Holmes High School where the issue of drug-testing students involved in sports and extracurricular activites was explored. There are just two days left to participated in an online survey:
Friday will be the last day to take a survey on possible random drug testing for students in grades 6-12 who are involved in extra curricular activities. The Covington Board of Education is seeking the input of students, parents and community on whether the district should provide random drug testing for students. Wednesday night, 20 parents and community members participated in focus groups at Holmes High School to voice their opinions on random drug testing. The district is collecting information that will be reported to the Board of Education which will make a final decision on random drug testing.
To take the survey, click here.
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POLICE CHIEF TO ADDRESS CRIME ISSUES IN MAINSTRASSE
Residents of Mainstrasse Village are encouraged to attend a meeting Thursday at 6:00PM inside Zola on Main Street. Covington Police Chief Spike Jones will be on hand to discuss recent crime issues in the neighborhood.
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PEASELBURG RESIDENTS CONCERNS ABOUT HOUSING AUTHORITY PROJECT
A message on Facebook indicates that residents of Covington's Peaselburg neighborhood are concerned about plans by the Housing Authority of Covington, under the guise of its Neighborhood Investment Partners group, to turn potentially eleven properties on Emery Drive into public housing. The meeting is scheduled for 5:00PM at the Housing Authority of Covington office at 2300 Madison Avenue.
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DON'T MISS WEDNESDAY EVENING'S NEWS!
What's up with this sinkhole on Russell Street?; A meeting is set for next week to determine future food truck events in Covington; Plus, a man charged with kidnapping says he can't get along with his Covington-based attorney.
Full story: The RC News: Wednesday Evening Round-Up 
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QUICKIES
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Coverage of Sen. Mitch McConnell's speech at Republican National Convention The Hill 
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Coverage of Sen. Rand Paul's speech at Republican National Convention Wall Street Journal 
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NKY tax preparer admits to falsifying tax returns Herald-Leader 
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Embattled Campbell Boys Lodge loses license to operate Cincinnati Enquirer 
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Former UK basketball player Michael Porter due in court on sex charges WKYT 
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State employees to get free flu shots WKYT 
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KY Arts Council offers workshop for teachers press release 
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KENTUCKIANS SUE DISTILLERIES OVER BLACK GUNK
You read that right. Kentuckians are suing the makers of whiskey:
In 2007, researchers published a scientific study about Baudoinia, a newly identified type of fungus. Naturally occurring, Baudoinia germinates on ethanol, the colorless alcohol that can evaporate during fermentation, making the area around whiskey-aging warehouses a prime breeding ground.
News of this whiskey fungus soon rippled across spirit-producing communities from Cognac to Canada — a mystery solved, and an opportunity found.
In June, home and business owners in and around Louisville, part of the Kentucky Bourbon Trail, filed class-action lawsuits in federal and circuit courts against five major distilleries, charging property damage and negligence. In September, with the help of lawyers in Britain, the plaintiffs’ Louisville lawyer, William F. McMurry, plans to bring a similar suit in Scotland, where the fungus is so rampant that it almost seems like part of the architecture.
Full story: The New York Times 
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CITY COMMISSIONER NAMES WINNERS OF HIS $2,000 PRIZES
Covington City Commissioner Steve Frank has revealed the winners of his contest in which he asked citizens to come up with ways to save the City or make the City some money. From the Commissioner:
Here are your winners of the best idea to Save Covington Money and i know 1 if not both are from our Fire Department.Mike Clendenen and Matt Chastain both win $2,000 for their idea of getting more revenue for our EMS runs. Thank you! The city has made some progress in this area, but we will double and triple up our efforts. Recently Mayor Scheper and I have deepened our relations with Mayor Gray in Lexington and Mayor Fisher in Louisville to help form a Bluegrass Triangle to represent urban interests better in Frankfort. Because the overuse of Ambulance EMS services and high amount of Medicaid Ems runs occur in urban environments, I am certain that they are suffering from low reimbursement rates that do not cover costs. We will ask our fellow urban centers to help lobby Frankfort for higher rates. We will also compare third party billing agencies to see if someone is more effective in getting higher pay outs from insured patients than our present methods. The third thing we can do is unilaterally raise rates on those who can pay for services and charge higher for rescues and the like. All in all we received over 50reasonable suggestions. I'll take the next few days and go over all of them and chart what we are doing to implement them or if already worked on, where we are in the process. Thank you all for participating. The whole community of Covington is the real winner in this!
FIREFIGHTERS TO COLLECT CASH THIS WEEKEND FOR MUSCULAR DYSTROPHY
From the Covington Fire Department:

This weekend the Covington Firefighters will be stationed throughout the city collecting for the Muscular Dystrophy Association. 100% of the money collected will go to support research and those affected by muscular diseases. Please take a moment and watch this emotional video of Shaun Probert, a Shaker Heights Fireman, Local 516, who was diagnosed with ALS in 2010. He is the new MDA spokesperson, replacing Kelly Crush, an IAFF Firefighter from Wichita Falls, TX Local 432 who died in March from ALS. Help us help our "Brother" who is now "on the other side of the boot" in helping the children who suffer from Muscular Dystrophy.
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MAINSTRASSE LOOKING FOR CHALK ARTISTS
The chalk art contest will be back on Main Street for this year's Oktoberfest which is a little over a week away. Click the image for details on how to enter...

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

NEWS ROUND-UP -- WEDNESDAY EVENING 29 AUGUST


THE RIVER CITY NEWS MORE COVINGTON NEWS THAN ANY OTHER SOURCE
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by Michael Monks 
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ERLANGER SCOFFS AT MERGED DISPATCH CENTER
The City of Erlanger is not anxious to join the City of Covington and other in the new consolidated Kenton County 911 emergency dispatch center:
“The bottom line is this, this is Erlanger’s position on dispatch. Erlanger will continue to dispatch its emergency services, and those who are partner cities that choose to remain for as long as it is economically possible,” (Erlanger Mayor Tom) Rouse said. “If and when the new system becomes as good as our system and as efficient with the money, we will consider joining. And that’s been our position all along.”
Full story: Cincinnati Enquirer/Libby Cunningham 
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WHAT'S UP WITH THIS SINKHOLE ON RUSSELL STREET?
A reader emailed The River City News and said that this apparent sinkhole has just been all sinkin' and holin' on Russell Street between Fifth & Sixth since March:

Anyone know why this hasn't been attended to?
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DON'T MISS WEDNESDAY MORNING'S NEWS!
Should Covington Schools drug-test its students? A public meeting tonight discusses the issue; Whoa... how much did you pay for gas this morning?; Plus, a fall fashion show tonight in Downtown Covington. Those stories and much more at the link.
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QUICKIES
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KY homeowners are benefiting from foreclosure settlement Jack Conway 
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Tropical storm Isaac could affect Kentucky agriculture, livestock Lane Report 
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KY electrical line workers head to Gulf Coast to help out WKYT 
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81-year old KY man charged in shooting death AP 
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Sec. of State Grimes makes Nov. 6 official date for special election to fill Geoff Davis's Congressional seat press release
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Sen. McConnell downplays Ron Paul rift in GOP WFPL 
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Anti-tax pundit Grover Norquist previews what a US Senate would like with Sen. McConnell as majority leader WFPL 
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Gov. Beshear names a new chief of staff Bluegrass Politics 
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Governor creates task force to tackle substance abuse, mental health issues among veterans press release 
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White House puts Hardin County in drug initiative Herald-Leader 
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Kenton Co. Library creates scary video Cincinnati Enquirer 
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Assistant attorney general urges students to fight bullying WKYT 
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Cincinnati Port Authority begins landbanking effort Cincinnati Enquirer 
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Grant will help NKU retain STEM students NKU 
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KY State Fair attendance down slightly State-Journal 
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Thoroughbred leaders: KY drug rules being held hostage Herald-Leader 
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State taking orders for fifty kinds of trees Herald-Leader 
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MAN CHARGED IN KIDNAPPING WANTS TO DUMP COVINGTON LAWYER
A guy accused of abducting a shopper at the Crestview Hills Town Center last year says he can't get along with his attorney:
Joseph Weir interrupted his own competency hearing Tuesday in federal court by raising his left hand, showing off a blue-colored cast decorated with a UK logo, and asked that lawyer F. Dennis Alerding be removed.
“Trying to have a conversation with Mr. Alerding just doesn’t seem possible,” Weir said. “I don’t feel like I’m being represented in a serious manner.”
Weir gave U.S. Magistrate Judge Candace Smith a list of grievances that included allegations Alerding cursed and told him, “If you don’t like me, why don’t you just fire me.”
Full story: Cincinnati Enquirer/Jim Hannah
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MEETING SET FOR NEXT WEEK ABOUT FUTURE FOOD TRUCK EVENTS
Via C'est Cheese mobile food truck:

 ...the plan is to do them monthly. The team that puts them on and the participating trucks are supposed to be meeting next week to discuss future logistics. I'll be sure to publicize dates as soon as they're set! 
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WORK ON MAINSTRASSE POPEYE'S MOVING ALONG
The folks opening the new Popeye's at Fifth & Main Streets are wasting no time in getting the former Skyline Chili location in order...


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HISTORICAL MARKER TO HONOR BLACK SETTLEMENT OF STONETOWN
A new historical marker will go up in Scott County:
The Kentucky Historical Society (KHS) will dedicate a historical marker to honor the African-American settlement of Stonetown at 2 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 9, at 176 Stonetown Road in Stamping Ground.

In the 1780s, slaves were brought to Scott County with their white owners as part of the “traveling church,” a Baptist exodus from Virginia. After the Civil War, they purchased land and settled in Stonetown. The community had a school and two churches, one of which, the First Baptist Church, is still open today. In 1877, many former slaves moved farther west to newly formed Nicodemus, Kan.

This marker dedication is part of a weekend-long celebration of the 135th anniversary of that migration from Kentucky to Kansas. Descendants of those early settlers; Angela Bates, executive director of the Nicodemus Historical Society; and Kent Whitworth, executive director of the Kentucky Historical Society, will be in attendance.
Via press release.
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HOT DOG! CINCINNATI IS NUMBER ONE!
Eat it, Chicago!
Crain’s Chicago Business and Food Genius, a Chicago-based food data analytics company, paired up to see where Chicago ranked in terms of hot dog availability. Chicago ranked as the 28th Top Hot Dog City, with only 1.2 percent of menus containing hot dog items, according to Food Genius’s database of restaurant menus. The Queen City, and we should all be proud of this, ranked No. 1. Nearly 7.3 percent of our restaurant menus contain hot dog items.
Full story: Business Courier/Tom Demeropolis 

NEWS ROUND-UP -- WEDNESDAY MORNING 29 AUGUST

THE RIVER CITY NEWS MORE COVINGTON NEWS THAN ANY OTHER SOURCE
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by Michael Monks 
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SCHOOLS HOST FOCUS GROUP ON DRUG TESTING STUDENTS WEDNESDAY
If you wish to weigh in on the current debate at Covington Independent Public Schools, consider attending this focus group about the possibility of drug-testing the district's students:
Many schools have random student drug testing programs in place. These programs randomly test students who participate in extracurricular activities such as sports and clubs, as well as students who drive to school. Court decisions have upheld the test of these categories of students. The purpose of the program is to serve as a detterent. The Covington Board of Education is currently exploring the possibility of implementing a program for students in grades 6-12. The district also is hosting a focus group meeting from 5-7 p.m. Wednesday, August 29, to hear from students, parents and the community regarding a student drug testing program. The meeting will be in the Holmes High School Cafe'. We value your opinion. Please take a few moments to answer the following questions. Thank you for your participation.
There is an online survey to take at the link: Click Here 
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GOVERNOR REORGANIZES TECH, CAREER SCHOOLS
Governor Steve Beshear signed an executive order Tuesday that would move technical and career education under the same umbrella at the middle and high school level:
Currently, local high schools can operate career and technical programs using local and state funds. Those programs report to the Kentucky Department of Education. The state also has 53 technical centers for 123 school districts that are paid for with state funds. That career and technical program reports to the Department for Workforce Investment. The executive order moves both systems to the Kentucky Department of Education.
Full story: Herald-Leader/Beth Musgrave
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IF SCHOOLS KILL CREATIVITY, CAN TOYS BRING IT BACK TO LIFE?
Computers save the day:
In an education world obsessed with curriculum standards and high-stakes testing, students are funneled onto particular tracks, rather than being allowed to choose their own adventures and explore their passions (a phenomenon that education expert Sir Ken Robinson says is killing creativity) But if the contemporary education model discourages kids' curiosity and creativity, a new generation of companies are finding ways to emulate Lego and encourage those traits through play.
Full story: GOOD 
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JOHN G. CARLISLE SCHOOL PTA HOSTS GRILL-OUT
From Covington Independent Public Schools:
Nearly 100 parents, students, staff and community members attended John G. Carlisle's Cubs Council PTA kickoff on Tuesday. Organizers were thrilled with the turnout. But its not too late to become a member of the PTA. Cubs Council meetings will be held the fourth Tuesday of every month at 6 p.m., usually in the school cafeteria.

The officers include President, Sande Shepherd; Secretary/Treasurer, Kerry McHugh; Vice President/Organization and Communications, Kerry Holleran; Vice President/Membership,Francisco Pabon; Vice President/Activities, Shana Lack; Vice President/Fundraising, Christi Blair.

More photos: Facebook 
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DON'T MISS TUESDAY EVENING'S NEWS!
Lawsuit hopes to force election for vacant Covington School Board seat; Workers inside an historic Kentucky building discover the remnants of an old sex club; Plus, it's time for another installment of "What is Covington Selling on Craigslist?"
Full story: The RC News: Tuesday Evening Round-Up |
QUICKIES
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Democratic state senate candidate Jim Noll says he has been endorsed by former Congressman Ken Lucas Facebook 

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State Police: Human remains belong to woman who was scalped WBKO 
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KY Court weights $24 million gas royalty verdict CBS 
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Speaking of gas... how much did you pay this morning?
$3.95 at Liberty Tobacco & Beer on Fifth Street
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KY Appeals Court to decide immigration case AP 
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Man flies from England to KY to meet underage girl WKYT 
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Cincinnati threatens Duke Energy over streetcar costs Cincinnati Enquirer 

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Former Republican US Senator from Kentucky disappointed with GOP's shift to the right cn|2 
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Sons tell KY delegation about growing up Romney cn|2 
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Lexington city council poised to ban aerial fireworks Herald-Leader 
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A BUSY NIGHT IN DOWNTOWN COVINGTON
Rapper Machine Gun Kelly drew a big crowd to the Madison Theater in Covington...

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PROGRESS CONTINUES ON COVINGTON LIBRARY EXPANSION

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DONNA SALYERS FABULOUS FURS FALL FASHION PREVIEW TONIGHT
A fashion show tonight in Downtown Covington...
More details: Click Here 
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GLBT MAGAZINE FEATURES MAINSTRASSE VILLAGE'S PAWRADE
Check out this great photo from the publishers of CNKY Scene:
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LEADING THE WAY ON A 21ST CENTURY WATERFRONT
Something to learn from for Covington?
"Most of all, there’s a growing awareness that the great waterfronts are the ones where there’s a lot of activity in the water itself," says Stan Eckstut, EE&K's senior principal. He points to Baltimore and Sydney, where revitalization schemes didn’t end at land but extended into the water and its uses, making for busier ports with more services and more amenities.

Waterfronts attached to urban cities have evolved too far from their historic character, Eckstut says. As a result of new ideas about zoning as well as trends specific to the maritime industry, such as containerization, some urban waterfronts have fallen into disuse. But not all waterfronts need to be harbors to be successful. And certainly not all waterfronts need to be parks.
Full story with lots of great photos: The Atlantic Cities