360 Fireworks Party

Saturday, July 30, 2011


by Michael Monks
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The River City News @ Facebook

Commissioner Steve Frank was arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence early Saturday morning near his home in Covington's RiverCenter. An officer spotted Frank allegedly run two stop signs, prompting the stop.

Frank, 55, refused a breathalyzer at the scene and was transported to Kenton County Jail where he was released in the early afternoon after approximately eight hours behind bars.

Frank released this statement on the incident upon release:

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

A Farewell to Covington's Retiring Employees (& Other Notes From Tuesday Night)

by Michael Monks
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In his first full Covington City Commission meeting since officially assuming his new job as fire chief, Chuck Norris was met with the difficult task of announcing that eleven members of the department would be leaving.
"This is 241 years of experience," Norris said, choking up when referencing the retiring Dale Brown whom the chief described as the brother he never had, and who was also the only one of the eleven absent.

The announcement comes after months of bitter back and forth between the fire department's union, Local 38, and city administration/commission. When a projected $4.0 million budget deficit led the city administrators and the four commissioners to demand concessions in health care benefits for public employees, Local 38 was the most visible and outspoken union.

  Mike Holtman, as president of the union was often its most public face and was also among the eleven firefighters retiring. He served the City for eighteen years. Others from the fire department to retire (with years served in paranetheses): Captain Todd Whitaker (24), Lieutenant Dale Brown (25), Lieutenant Paul Fangman (21), Lieutenant John Glueck (27), Lieutenat Paul Ober (16), Lieutenant Donald Studer (22), Engineer James Wagner (25), Engineer David Winterman (23), Lieutenant/Paramedic Chris Van Meter (20) and EMT David Hodge (20).

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

LONG LIST OF GOODBYES: Death, Layoffs, Mass Retirements At City Hall

by Michael Monks
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From the moment Commissioner Sherry Carran wept during the opening prayer, it was clear that Tuesday night would be no ordinary Covington City Commission meeting. Once all the shuffling of employment situations, including retirements, layoffs, eliminations, a demotion, a termination, a resignation and an unexpected death, the meeting lived up to that unordinary expectation.

Eleven members of the fire department, three members of the police force, two employees from the finance department, and two from public improvement announced their retirements. All were accepted unanimously save for the two longer serving employees from public works, whom Mayor Denny Bowman did not vote to accept their resignation.

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"This is not Tom's choice to retire," Bowman said, referring to Tom Overbay, who's served the City since 1973. "You weren't ready yet," the Mayor continued, addressing Charlie Menke, who's been with the public improvement department since 1972. Bowman indicated that he believed both men were forced to retire because of a budget deficit that the Mayor still believes could have been avoided.