360 Fireworks Party

Tuesday, July 24, 2012


by Michael Monks 
On Tuesday night the Covington City Commission will meet for what will likely be a lengthy, important session. Here are the details:

  • Lots of retirements and one resignation on the agenda. From the Fire Department: Chief Chuck Norris, Asst. Chief Alan Terry, Battalion Chief Bill Shelton, Lt. Chuck Spenlau, Engineer Todd Ryder, and EMT/Paramedic Marty Finan. From the Police Department: Sgt. Steve Sweeney. From the Devou Park Rangers: Karl Fry (listed as a resignation, not a retirement).
  • EMS Director Dan Mathew will be appointed acting fire chief
  • Another part of the Center City Action Plan (CCAP) will be presented for the first time as retail consultant Mike Berne comes back to town to discuss "retail positioning and strategy".
  • The City's efforts to relax zoning restrictions on various types of businesses, as recommended in the CCAP, will have a first reading. For a review of what those zoning restrictions are, click here.
  • A contract will likely be approved for the installation of 115 LED light fixtures in Mainstrasse Village and Riverside Drive at a cost of $105,000
  • A contract for new destination signage for Devou Park will likely be approved at a cost of $36,000 (payable from Drees Pavilion allocation funds)
  • The City will likely shift some of its federal housing funds to the Center for Great Neighborhoods as the organization moves to renovate three vacant properties on the 300 block of Orchard Street (which were purchased from the City earlier this year for one dollar). $74,000+ from the City's community development block grant funds and $44,000+ from the City's home "HOME" funds are being sought for assistance with this project.
  • The Covington Neighborhood Collaborative will also present at the meeting, led by its President, Bill Wells
The River City News will have the most comprehensive coverage after Tuesday night's meeting here at this site, on Facebook, and Twitter.
Kenton County Judge-Executive Steve Arlinghaus pens an op-ed in the Cincinnati Enquirer touting what he sees as the economic benefits of a merged emergency dispatch center that serve the whole county:
For the past year and a half, we have met with staff of Covington and Erlanger to discuss what would be necessary to merge the centers into one efficient operation. We all agree the single most important reason for doing this is to enhance the safety of the residents and the first responders throughout the county. The second most important factor is the long-term cost savings.
Without a doubt, the main reason for creating a single dispatch center is enhancing public safety. Increased cellphone use is a major strain on the operations of any communication center. There are numerous documented cases of calls being directed to the wrong center based on tower locations. When using a cellphone to call 911, your call may “hit” the closest tower to your phone, which may very well cause your call to be directed to the wrong dispatch center. This will cause you to be contacting the wrong center, and you will need to be transferred.
Read the full editorial: Cincinnati Enquirer
Arlinghaus and the Kenton County Commissioners will take up the issue of a $6 fee imposed on utility bills to pay for the merged center at tonight's fiscal court meeting. To see the agenda, click here.
The River City News shared highlights from the annual report by the Kentucky State Police that painted a bad picture of Covington:
Our City is close to the top in several categories of crime across the state, including burglary, robbery, prostitution, arson, and more. (Thank goodness for Lexington!) A full breakdown of a year in crime in Covington and Kentucky -- at the link.
Full story: Covington ranks poorly in state crime report
Kenton County Commonwealth's Attorney Rob Sanders responded to the report via Twitter: 
Those numbers are so obviously erroneous that I'd place little value on the report. The stats have no comparison value because the data out is only as good as the data in. See also: 0 burglaries in Newport in 2011. Those stats also don't give a true pic of crime in Cov b/c they only represent reports, not outcome. Many BS reports filed. They do give a good idea of what Cov Police are dealing with. AKA Not the time to be cutting police positions.
This message comes from State Senator Damon Thayer (R-Georgetown) who represents part of Covington:
2nd meeting of the Pension Task Force (Tuesday) at 10 am in Frankfort at the Capitol Annex, open to the public. I will be chairing the meeting, the Pew Center will be testifying.
Thayer is unsure if the meeting will be broadcast or streamed, but if it is, check for it on KET. The Pew Center will be testifying after writing a report that demonstrated that Kentucky is close to the bottom on being prepared to deal with its pension obligations.
Kentucky Right to Life endorses Republican Thomas Massie in his race against Democrat Bill Adkins to represent NKY in Congress  WKYT
Poverty rate is highest since 1965 with southeast Kentucky being hit the hardest WKYT
Lawmakers are open to making changes in new law that aims to crack down on prescription drug abuse Bluegrass Politics 
Study: Horses are more relaxed around nervous humans The Blood-Horse 
"Wet" state parks report high alcohol sales Herald-Leader
Episode of History Detectives shot in Kentucky will air tonight press release
UK, John Calipari have claws in six top uncommitted recruits Herald-Leader 
What happened in 1875 when Covington's baseball team challenged the mighty Cincinnati Reds?; More cities intend to join the consolidated Kenton Co Dispatch Center; Plus, a vehicle damaged in a Covington parking lot during last week's storm shows up on Craigslist. Click it.
From Kicks for Kids:
Olympic and NBA Champion Tayshaun Prince, a former Kentucky Wildcat and current starter for the Detroit Pistons, will partner with Kicks For Kids to host a Basketball Camp July 24th-26th. The three-day clinic is intended to provide quality basketball instruction and be a fun and positive experience for kids entering the 4th, 5th or 6th grades in the 2012-2013 school year.Date: July 24 - 26, 2012 (Tuesday-Thursday)Location: Scott High School  all 3 days Time: 9:00 AM - 3:00 PM (Tuesday Registration: 8:00 - 9:00 AM)The camp will be capped at 125 participants, with reservations being given on a first-come, first-serve basis. Please contact Kicks For Kids at ted.kluemper@kicksforkids.org or 859-331-8484, for registration, questions or more information.
Artists are in the final stages of completing the series of eight murals being painted on pump stations along the Licking River as part of the Licking River Greenway and Trails network in Covington. The murals are a joint project for Vision 2015 and ArtWorks. "There are six artists who designed the murals and we are reproducing their work. I designed one of the murals and the apprentices designed one mural," said lead artist Kyle Pennuri in a release. "The work is logistically challenging. We have separate murals in a location that we cannot use scaffolding. Also, each artist's work is completely different so in a short amount of time we have to learn how to paint like the artists and recreate their work."
The Licking River Master Plan, commissioned by Vision 2015 in 2008, proposes to establish a continuous green corridor in the Licking River valley adjacent to the communities of Newport, Covington, Wilder, and Taylor Mill, Kentucky. The Greenway plan calls for the stabilization of the riverbanks, the removal of invasive species and the restoration of native plants, trees, and wildlife in the riparian corridor.
In addition to the Greenway, the 5-mile corridor, between the confluence with the Ohio River and the I-275 overpass, includes plans for establishing a multi-level trail system that connects neighborhoods with historical, educational, and cultural institutions and recreational facilities. The proposed trail system provides for nature trails, paved trails and water trails.

Brown-Forman, famous for its whiskeys which now include Jack Daniels, thought the cover photo on an author's new book looked a little too much like the Tennessee whiskey's label. So, they asked him to change it -- but went above and beyond to be helpful:
“It starts out very stern and legal and lawyerly, but as it keeps going they refer to me as their ‘Louisville neighbor,’ and I stopped worrying quite as much,” says Wensink. “They’re being very nice, and at the end they offered to pay for new cover art, which is unheard of in the publishing world as far as I know. I’m not an expert, but I can’t imagine any other company offering to pay for new cover art when you violate their trademark.”
Read the full story: WFPL
You can also read the full letter: Click Here 
The Commonwealth of Kentucky has placed a memorial at the site of a Central Kentucky Civil War battlefield to honor the Michigan solders that fought there:
The conflict happened in August 1862 as more experienced Confederate troops marched toward Union troops who were raw and outnumbered. The Michigan Artillery tried to turn back the Rebel forces, but Union soldiers ended up losing the battle.
Full story: WKYT 
The State of Michigan honors troops from Kentucky for their role in another losing battle, only this one happened in the War of 1812 in Frenchtown, Michigan along the River Raisin. The Kentuckians were caught off guard in what became known as the River Raisin Massacre:
General Winchester was awakened by the roar of artillery fire and rushed to the battlefield, but was captured by Indians on the way. Chief Roundhead stripped him of his uniform before handing him to the British, which led to the legend that he was captured in his nightshirt. The American were scattered and not in any position to fight. The 17 U.S. Infantry, consisting mostly of green recruits, was caught in the open: it broke and fled. Its colonel, William Allen, was shot dead and scalped. Dozens tried to surrender and laid down their weapons, only to be shot or tomahawked by the Indians. Members of other units also tried to flee, but most were chased down and killed. A few removed their shoes and ran through the snow in their stockings to leave footprints that looked like moccasin and thus managed to escape. The British commanders were occupied a large barn, which was set on fire by William Orlando Butler, who forced them from their shelter.
The Kentucky Rifle Regiment continued to hold in the town. They had killed many of British artillerymen and infantry, but they were finally running out of ammunition. Winchester was urged by Procter to order his remaining men to surrender; otherwise they would all be killed and Frenchtown burned down. Procter demanded an unconditional surrender and refused Winchester's counter-proposals since Winchester was already his prisoner. Major George Madison, an American officer still on the battlefield, persuaded Procter to accept a surrender on the condition that all would be protected as prisoners of war.
Source: Wikipedia 
The massacre led to the War of 1812 rally cry, "Remember the River Raisin!" Kentucky Counties Allen, Ballard, Edmonson, Graves, Hart, Hickman, McCracken, Meade, and Simpson were all named for Kentucky officers that fought in the battle. Only Ballard survived. 
Monument in honor of KY soldiers in Downtown
Monroe, Michigan
But don't worry folks! Kentuckians weren't always on the losing end of a battle. In fact, in the famed Battle of New Orleans (after the War of 1812 had officially ended), a Kentucky regimen is often credited with boosting Andrew Jackson's victory. The events inspired this kick-ass song about Kentucky:

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