360 Fireworks Party

Saturday, January 21, 2012

THIRD ANONYMOUS VIDEO CRITICAL OF COVINGTON SCHOOLS APPEARS

by Michael Monks 
NEW ADDRESS: Email Michael
Find us on Facebook: The River City News @ Facebook
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Following the release this week of two anonymously-produced videos highly critical of Covington Independent Public Schools and the Covington School Board, a third video has been released with even more criticism of the district and also addresses some of the criticisms that videos themselves have received. 
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The River City News will not highlight any future videos by this producer until she decides to identify herself. Regardless of the merit of any of the information provided within the videos, it will be challenging to have a fair debate when one party remains in the shadows. Since this third video addresses issues raised during the initial debate that followed the release of the first two, it will be shared here. But this is the last time. The issue is far too important for anyone to steer the debate anonymously.
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To see the first two videos, click here.
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NEWS ROUND-UP -- SATURDAY MORNING 21 JAN

by Michael Monks 
NEW ADDRESS: Email Michael
Find us on Facebook: The River City News @ Facebook
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FT. WRIGHT MAYOR MOVES BUSINESS TO COVINGTON
Mayor Joe Nienaber credits the expansion of MLK Boulevard for his moving of Granite World from Burlington to Covington. What a great coup -- and what a beautiful business. Story and photos at the link!
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MAYOR CHUCK SCHEPER'S FATHER REMEMBERED
George H. Scheper died Tuesday morning at the age of 91 as noted by his son, Covington Mayor Chuck Scheper, during that night's commission meeting. The elder Scheper had a long history of service in Covington and was also a committed family man:
“It was remarkable to me when I was growing up that he had such an important and challenging job, in terms of leadership, but he was virtually always home for dinner,” said his son, Chuck Scheper, the current mayor of Covington. “He truly was able to maintain a sense of balance between family and his business. He was very much a Christian and lived a Christian life. He was a great example, not only as a father, but as a man.”
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Condolences can be shared and viewed online by clicking here
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The above photo can be found with many others at the Kenton Co Library's wonderful "Faces & Places" collection.
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NKY TEA PARTY SUES KENTON & CAMPBELL LIBRARIES
Is there anything these people don't hate?
The suits allege the library’s boards have not properly followed Kentucky law governing library districts in the past when increasing property tax rates.
Kenton County Public Library Executive Director Dave Schroeder said the suits are without any merit. “We’re following the law and have been for many years,” Schroeder said.
(snip)
Just for the year 2011, the Kenton County suit asks for $5.125 million in damages as part of a larger refund being sought, Voelker said. The class action lawsuit filed against the Campbell County Public Library seeking to invalidate and roll back the library’s tax rate back to 1978 levels.
Ridiculous. Read the whole thing to understand just how clueless and dangerous the NKY Tea Party is.
Cincinnati Enquirer/Chris Mayhew  
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NATIONAL LIBERAL WEBSITE TAKES AIM AT GOVERNOR BESHEAR
Think Progress:
At the same time, the $43 million tax break Kentucky approved for a Bible-themed amusement park — which will include a 500-foot by 75-foot reproduction of Noah’s Ark — goes into effect for the first time under Beshear’s budget. In addition, the budget includes $11 million to improve a highway interchange near the park. Proponents of the park, Beshear included, have claimed it will boost tourism and create jobs, but those assumptions are based on a report done by the park’s developers.
When he's not shilling for polluters in the state, the Governor wants universities and other agencies to suffer but still found time to boost the prospects of building an amusement park dedicated to the story of Noah and the flood. SRSLY.
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WHICH NKY CANDIDATE FOR CONGRESS IS SEEKING THE MOTORCYCLE VOTE?
10 points if you said Alecia Webb-Edgington!
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SEE ALSO: Another GOP candidate for NKY's Congressional seat is Lewis Co. Judge-Executive Thomas Massie. Hear from him in an interview with Ryan Alessi at the link. cn|2 
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SEE ALSO: Thomas Massie has been building a castle-like home in Lewis County and he invites you to follow along in the process, though it hasn't been updated in several months.
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CONVICTED!
Your weekly mugshot round-up of those who were sent away in Kenton County. Click the link!
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HOLY CROSS BOYS BASKETBALL GOES FOR 'ALL A' REGIONAL TITLE
Tonight at 7:00PM the Holy Cross Indians take on Newport Central Catholic at Beechwood in Fort Mitchell. You can watch the game live online by clicking here.
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YOUR FEEDBACK IS WANTED IN A COVINGTON PARKING SURVEY
Though it's mostly geared towards Center City businesses and their parking situation, it's worth taking a look at to see what kind of information the City is trying to collect.
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CHECK OUT THE 19TH CENTURY ARTIFACTS FOUND AT 'THE BANKS'
While excavating the land to build Cincinnati's riverfront development, lots of interesting items surfaced.
GO HELP THE TEAM AT THE DEVOU PARK TRAILS THIS MORNING
They're working hard in the cold:
We will be out on the trails making some improvements this Saturday starting around 8:30am and possibly Sunday as well. We will be installing some much needed signage compliments of Rogue Racing Project 513. We may also get into assembling some stellar rock features as well. Maybe see you this weekend, Signed, all of the Devou Park Trail Stewards
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SCHOOL BUSES ARE A STEP CLOSER TO BEING MOVING BILLBOARDS
Everything is for sale:
Mills said the intent of his bill is to give school districts the option as a means of raising revenue. He emphasized that the measure "does not mandate a change."
Rep. Brad Montell, a Shelbyville Republican, said that schoolchildren are "bombarded with advertising" already.
AP via Local 12 
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in case you missed...
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CHURCH STREET'S ONE WAY STATUS EXPLORED IN DISCUSSION
As the 90-day trial of having Church Street traffic flow as a one-way in front of Holy Cross nears expiration, plans to make the change permanent will be presented to the City Commission. At the link, the pros and cons are weighed by the City, the school, and local neighbors.The River City News 
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FRIDAY'S NEWS
Covington's redistricting battle is nothing compared to what's happened in Lexington; Plus, Art By Covington's Future is looking for new kids to join up. Those stories and much more at the link.
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AUDUBON BOOKS MAY BE MOST EXPENSIVE EVER
The 19th century bird painter who is remembered forever as a statue in Covington at the confluence of the Ohio & Licking Rivers, is still worth a pretty penny:
The auction house is expecting the four volume set to be sold for $7 million to $10 million, making these the most expensive books in the world. Sung-Hee Park of Christie’s New York, told the Toronto Sun, "There are definitely interested parties. That’s the excitement of auctions, because you just never know what’s going to happen."
Herald-Leader  
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THE END OF THE WORLD AT THOMAS MORE COLLEGE!
Well, a discussion about the end of the world at TMC:
During this talk, we will discuss and debunk many of the proposed apocalyptic predictions currently in the media. We will also discuss some of the real threats to Earth and human civilization from the viewpoint of astronomy. In either case, you should be well prepared for whatever this year brings.
And then there's a chance to go check out Jupiter. Very cool.
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GET INVOLVED IN HELPING COVINGTON'S YOUTH
For details, click the link.
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LOOK AT THE DOGGIES THAT GOT NEW HOMES IN KENTON CO THIS MONTH!
Who's a good doggie?!
"I'm a good doggie!"
Who's a good doggie?!
"I'm a good doggie!"
Who's a good doggie?!
"Come on, do you have to ask? I'm a good doggie!"
Who's a good doggie?!
Me!
Many more good doggies at the link!

CONVICTED: ESCAPE ARTIST & NECK TATTOO EDITION

"Like" The River City News on Facebook! Click here.
"Follow" @theRCnews on Twitter!
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This week's list from Kenton County Commonwealth Attorney Rob Sanders includes firearms thefts, meth & heroin possessions, escaping, and stalking.
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Who got sent away in Kenton Circuit Court this week?
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There are more at the link from Rob Sanders's Commonwealth Attorney's office. Some have been sent away, some are awaiting sentencing, and others will get probation. Whatever they end up with, let's hope as a community that they return healthy and rehabilitated, otherwise the cycle continues.

Friday, January 20, 2012

FT. WRIGHT MAYOR MOVES BURLINGTON BUSINESS TO COVINGTON

by Michael Monks 
NEW ADDRESS: Email Michael
Find us on Facebook: The River City News @ Facebook
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Granite World owner and Ft. Wright Mayor Joe Nienaber (L)
talks with Dave & Tracy Jones
The long-awaited widening of MLK Boulevard/12th Street played an important role in the landing of Covington's newest business. Granite World had been operating in Burlington but outgrew its space and when owner Joe Nienaber, also the mayor of Ft. Wright, went looking for a new building, Northern Kentucky's largest city was the perfect fit.  "The revitalization of 12th Street was a huge influence in the decision to locate in Covington, and in particular to that area of Covington," Nienaber said earlier in a release. "It is a beautiful corridor and allows convenient access to the Greater Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky area." 
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At Friday night's well-attended open house in Granite World's new space at 14th & Russell Streets, Covington City Manager Larry Klein, who was previously an administrator in Ft. Wright while Nienaber was on the council, told The River City News, "They could have moved anywhere and they chose Covington." Klein is optimistic that once the MLK Boulevard project is fully complete, more businesses will see the same promise that Nienaber did. "The 12th Street Corridor was designed with a vision of increased visitors, residents and businesses to Covington, and Granite World has the potential to bring all three into our community," Klein said.
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The new showroom is 8,000 square feet and offers customers the chance to shop for granite indoors in a climate controlled space. Another open house will be held Saturday night from 7:00 - 11:00PM.
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MORE PHOTOS BELOW -- JUST CLICK THE LINK!
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CHURCH STREET'S ONE-WAY STATUS EXPLORED

by Michael Monks 
NEW ADDRESS: Email Michael
Find us on Facebook: The River City News @ Facebook
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Temporary bump-outs on Church Stret
When the plan originally surfaced, City Hall was packed with parents from Holy Cross concerned with the fate of Church Street in front of the school and the dangers presented by the two-way traffic when students would be dropped off and picked up. Instead of permanently changing the Latonia street to a one-way, the commission voted to implement a 90-day trial. The effects of that trial were discussed at a public meeting Wednesday at Holy Cross. "We feel the 90-day trial worked," said assistant city engineer Mike Yeager. "It created a safe environment for kids and didn't cause too much heartache for traffic flow."
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In recommending that Church Street be one-way permanently, Yeager pointed to statistics that showed average speed on the street reduced by 5 miles per hour, there was less traffic in front of the school because of the temporary bump-outs installed, and students use the mid-street crosswalk more frequently. "Children were crossing at all areas of the street, there was no organization and we were afraid that kids were going to get hit," Yeager said. The plans for Church Street emerged during the Latonia small area study and during the 90-day trial the City monitored traffic patterns for one week, twenty-four hours a day counting cars at the corner of 36th & Church and Lincoln and Decoursey, watching the directions of the traffic flow. There was increased traffic on Lincoln and Decoursey but not enough to create significant congestion, Yeager said.
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Fire Chief Chuck Norris and assistant city
engineer Mike Yeager address the crowd
"I know the safety of the kids is more important but it would be cheaper for us to close the street at both ends," said Vickie Adams who works at Bunter & Associates accounting firm in the area and she thinks kids would not be protected on side streets were traffic has increased. Adams's suggestion was part of a chorus of questions for the permanent plans. Rick Kennedy, former chairman of the board at Sanitation District #1, the organization that would foot the bill for permanent changes to Church Street's infrastructure, was concerned with the overall cost. "It's our money whether it's SD1 or the City, it's not falling out the sky," Kennedy said. "With what I'm looking at, that'd be seven figures." Kennedy was on the SD1 board for twenty-one years, serving ten as chairman. The City did not have a cost estimate with Yeager saying that that would be determined by SD1.
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Plans that would be implemented to adopt a permanent one-way traffic flow include parking on both sides of the street, bump-outs at both ends with greenery and more green infrastructure including a rain garden and storm water runoff. "The only cost to the City would be re-striping the road," Yeager said. Currently, temporary structures reflect what would be built should the one-way idea be adopted full-time. 
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One Holy Cross employee whose grandchildren attend the grade school is satisfied with the change. "It's much safer for all of our students," said Judy Borchers, an officer worker at the high school. "Traffic moves faster, students adhere to crossing in the crosswalk. It just works so much easier. I have grandchildren that I now allow to go to the Indian Hut. Even if you can't afford it you've achieved better safety for the school."
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While the topic was Church Street, one resident of Lincoln Avenue east of Church, raised questions about the fire department's ability to navigate the new pattern. "Lincoln Avenue is not wide enough for two-way traffic (if a fire truck is involved)," he said. "I'm concerned that the fire department would need to eliminate parking on one side."
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"I don't think you'll have to worry about the City taking away parking," Fire Chief Chuck Norris said. "We have streets all over town narrower than Lincoln where we have challenges." Norris said the change on Church Street as increased response time in the neighborhood by only a few seconds. Assistant City Manager Larisa Sims said that the feedback from the discussion would be present to the commission at a legislative meeting on February 7.

NEWS ROUND-UP -- FRIDAY MORNING 20 JAN

by Michael Monks 
NEW ADDRESS: Email Michael
Find us on Facebook: The River City News @ Facebook
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TWO COMMISSIONERS VIE FOR COVINGTON MAYOR
In a story you will only read at The River City News, Commissioners Steve Casper and Sherry Carran speak about their bids for mayor. Casper confirmed his run yesterday joining Carran who announced last fall.
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OMNICARE CONTINUES ATTEMPT AT HOSTILE TAKEOVER IN LOUISVILLE
Money to buy their closest competitor, but no money to pay market rate rent. Poor Omnicare.
Omnicare Inc. has extended its offer to purchase all the outstanding shares ofPharMerica Corp. until 5 p.m. Jan. 27, again prolonging the time Omnicare has to buy shares of its Louisville-based competitor.
(snip)
Omnicare has extended its tender offer deadline several times since it announced plans to buy PharMerica in a $716 million hostile takeover bid. A New York Post report last week quoted an unnamed source saying that the FTC appearedpoised to block the deal, which would combine the nation’s two largest providers of drugs to senior care facilities.
Business First  
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BRENT SPENCE BRIDGE MONEY ALLOCATED BY GOV BESHEAR

Good news:
“This plan is calculated to improve mobility through system expansion and necessary maintenance. The result will be less traffic congestion, increased safety, greater ease of interstate commerce and growth in Kentucky’s economy, which means jobs for Kentuckians,” Gov. Beshear said.
(snip)
The Recommended Highway Plan provides $72.6 million toward reconstruction of interchanges at KY 536 (Mount Zion Road) and KY 338 (Richwood Road) in Boone County. It also provides $24.7 million for added auxiliary lanes, both north- and southbound, on a 1.5-mile stretch of I-71/I-75 from Mount Zion Road to U.S. 42. The plan also allocates nearly $119 million through 2018, including $58.8 million through the biennium, toward the project to build a companion bridge to the Brent Spence Bridge, which currently carries I-71 and I-75 over the Ohio River between Covington and Cincinnati.
(press release) 
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NEW COVINGTON BUSINESS HAS GRAND OPENING TODAY
Granite World opens this weekend with a celebration tonight from 5:30 - 9:00PM at 123 West 14th Street:
When searching for the perfect location, several factors helped to convince the owners that Covington was the right home for their business. Mr. Nienaber commented, "The revitalization of 12th Street was a huge influence
in the decision to locate in Covington, and in particular to that area of Covington. It is a beautiful corridor and allows convenient access to the Greater Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky area.”
“Covington is thrilled to welcome Granite World to its Urban Core” said City Manager Larry Klein, “The 12th Street Corridor was designed with a vision of increased visitors, residents and businesses to Covington, and Granite World has the potential to bring all three into our community.”
(press release)
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GATEWAY TO OFFER PARAMEDIC TRAINING
The school is accepting applications now for the program that begins in the fall:
“This new program is a direct result of our receipt last year of the Health Profession Opportunity Grant,” said Dr. Ross Santell, Gateway associate provost for nursing and allied health. “That grant is designed to provide tuition assistance and other benefits to low-income students interested in healthcare careers to enable them to quickly improve their job skills. The paramedic technology program is one of several new allied health programs we will add to help these individuals find a job or get a better one.”
Prospective students must currently be a registered emergency medical technician to enroll in the program this fall.
Gateway
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COVINGTON RECEIVES EPA GRANT, WANTS YOUR FEEDBACK ON THE PROJECT
From the City:
The City of Covington, Kentucky received a US Environmental Protection Agency Brownfields Grant for environmental restoration of the former Donaldson Art Sign property located at 2111-2143 Donaldson Avenue, Covington, Kentucky. The City is accepting public comments on the Analysis of Brownfield Cleanup Alternatives and Corrective Action Plan - Site Management Plan for this property. These documents describe environmental restoration activities to be conducted at the property.
Written or oral comments may be submitted from Friday, January 20 - February 20, 2012 to: Office of the City Manager
City of Covington 
638 Madison Ave 
Covington, KY 41011 
Comments received after the deadline will NOT be considered.  Please take note that a public meeting will be held by the Office of the City Manager regarding the U.S. EPA Cleanup Grant for former Donaldson Art Sign property located at 2111-2143 Donaldson Avenue, Covington, Kentucky. The hearing shall be held in the Commission Chambers, 638 Madison Avenue Covington, Kentucky, on Tuesday, February 7, 2012, 5:30 PM. 
(press release)
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URBAN PARTNERSHIP CONTINUES BATTLE AGAINST TRASH IN COVINGTON
Since April the UP has picked up more than 26 tons of trash and cleaned graffiti from 500 locations. This week, the Urban Partnership got an additional $5,000 from Republic Bank.
Steve Brunson, Vice President, Director of Business Development for Republic, says the donation is important to the bank. “As one of Kentucky’s largest locally-owned community banks, we are committed to the towns our banking centers serve. The work of UP and its sister organization the Covington Business Council (CBC) is revitalizing Covington and making it more attractive for potential investors and small business owners. Republic is happy to assist in this effort.” Brunson is an UP board member and chairs the CBC Board.
The Urban Partnership has raised more than $200,000 from individuals, corporations, and foundations.
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 NOTE: The Urban Partnership plays a role in the Covington Business Council's desire for a 'Business Improvement District' Downtown. The next meeting on that topic is: Wednesday, February 8, at 11:30AM inside the Artisan Enterprise Center.
(press release)
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CENTER FOR GREAT NEIGHBORHOODS LOOKING FOR YOUTH PHOTOGRAPHERS
Art By Covington's Future wants to add a few more aspiring young photographers to the group. The next classes start Monday so call 859.547.5536 for more information! Here's an example of how talented these kids are:
See the full collection by clicking here.
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THINK COVINGTON'S REDISTRICTING WAS A BATTLE? SEE LEXINGTON
When Covington's state house district was threatened by redistricting, phone calls, emails and a resolution passed by the commission put a stop to plans that would have ceded a few Covington precincts from Arnold Simpson's district to Dennis Keene's. That battle is nothing compared to what is happening in the state senate to long-serving Democrat Kathy Stein:

The Senate's passage of House Bill 1 on a 22-14 vote moves (Kathy) Stein's Senate district to northeastern Kentucky. Stein, whose four-year term ends this year, would have to move to the new district in order to seek re-election in 2012. Central Fayette County's 13th Senate District, where Stein lives, will become the 4th Senate District under the new plan. That means Sen. Dorsey Ridley, a Democrat from Henderson, will represent the central portion of Lexington until his term ends in 2014.
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This means that the senator representing Downtown Lexington, Dorsey Ridley, lives 200 miles away in Henderson:
"This disenfranchises Kathy Stein, it disenfranchises my district in Western Kentucky, and it accomplishes an end that (Senate President) David Williams was unable to do at the ballot box," Ridley said. "This was thrown upon us. At the end of the day, it's a small group of Republican state Senate leaders who have made this choice, not the 114,000 people that each of us represent."
If Dorsey were to run again in his home district, he would likely have to run against his own brother-in-law. How's that for some KY politics? 
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SAVE KATHY STEIN MOVEMENT EMERGES
Fans of Sen. Stein, the senate's most liberal member, have launched a movement to keep their representation.

The State Senate’s “Committee on State and Local Government” passed this ridiculous plan to usurp democracy on Wednesday along party lines. The full Senate then voted on and passed it (with one “democrat”, Joey Pendleton of Hopkinsville, breaking ranks). The Senate version now goes back to the House. It is imperative these elected officials hear from younow.
Jam their phone lines, overflow their inboxes. Show them what happens when they threaten the 13th: Our (Lexington) elected officials are elected to represent us. They have power and they have friends. You tell them what to do. Boss them around. Tell them to tell everyone they know in Frankfort to put a stop to this madness. Lexington must be represented by someone from Lexington, not some random person from Henderson none of us know. 
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SEE ALSO: Redistricting plan sent to Beshear Courier-Journal 
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RICHIE FARMER TO RETURN ITEMS TO AGRICULTURE DEPARTMENT
How embarrassing:

A lawyer for the Department of Agriculture says Farmer has returned two laptop computers that had been issued to him in 2010, along with a Dell monitor and an HP printer. The move comes after reports last week that about $500,000 dollars in state property had disappeared from the department or could not be accounted for properly.
84 WHAS  
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MORE INDUSTRIAL HEMP CALLED FOR IN KENTUCKY
Amen:
Comer, a Republican, has enlisted the help of two Democratic representatives and one Democratic senator to file a bill to legalize the crop in each chamber. A former state representative himself, Comer says many myths about industrial hemp are starting to fade, and farmers are looking to it as a replacement for tobacco, which is waning. “We’ve seen that more and more people are asking why do we not grow hemp in Kentucky,” says Comer. “Why do we not grow hemp, industrial hemp, in the United States? And more and more people are beginning to realize what I’ve realized. That this is a viable option forKentucky farmers.”
WFPL  
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POSSIBLE STATEWIDE SMOKING BAN REEMERGES
Cough!
“Kentucky received all F’s, again,” says Barry Gottschalk of the ALA’s Kentucky chapter. “We continue to allow our history to impede our future when it comes to tobacco control. We continue to underfund cessation solutions. We continue to underfund prevention and control strategies. And we continue to keep cigarette taxes low.” The announcement was made today, at the same time that state Representative Susan Westrom of Lexington filed her bill to institute a statewide smoking ban.
WFPL  
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FINGER LICKIN' LAYOFFS AT KENTUCKY FRIED CHICKEN
The Louisville-based company is letting go workers at the headquarters:
Burdened by lackluster results in its U.S. business, KFC Corp. laid off an unknown number of employees on Thursday at Yum! Brands headquarters in Louisville.
“We made the difficult but necessary decision to reorganize KFC to reduce cost, maximize efficiencies and better reflect our current business needs,” said Karen Sherman, senior director of communications at KFC Corp. “While we have increased investment in some positions, we also have eliminated others at our corporate offices and in the field.”
Courier-Journal  
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COME OUT AND HELP WITH THE DEVOU PARK TRAILS THIS WEEKEND
From the group:
We will be out on the trails making some improvements this Saturday starting around 8:30am and possibly Sunday as well. We will be installing some much needed signage compliments of Rogue Racing Project 513. We may also get into assembling some stellar rock features as well. Maybe see you this weekend, Signed, all of the Devou Park Trail Stewards

Thursday, January 19, 2012

TWO COMMISSIONERS VIE FOR COVINGTON MAYOR'S SEAT

by Michael Monks 
NEW ADDRESS: Email Michael
Find us on Facebook: The River City News @ Facebook
In the absence of Mayor Chuck Scheper, Commissioner Sherry Carran presided over last week's commission meeting and towards the close when it was time for final comments, drew awkward giggles from the commissioners and spectators. "Mayor Casper...," Carran started, before correcting herself to say 'Commissioner' Casper in asking for her colleague's remarks. Casper's intentions to run for mayor have been an open secret around City Hall and today the first term commissioner confirmed those suspicions. “I have been encouraged to seek the office by residents and business people throughout Covington," he said in a release. “I’m looking forward to talking to voters about my vision and leadership for our wonderful city."
Sherry Carran
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Carran, first elected in 2006 when she upset incumbent Alex Edmonson during the short-lived ward system, announced her candidacy last fall. In 2010 Carran was reelected to a third term and was the top vote-getter. Casper, in his first run in Covington, was second. Both have voted much the same way throughout their mutual time on the commission. "I don't think it's going to be so much a difference on our votes," Carran said today. "I think people will see the differences in our involvements, maybe the history, the experience that we bring to the commission, but as far as our votes, we really don't differ that much there."
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Both Carran and Casper voted in favor of Covington's budget contingency plan that was heavily opposed by the City's three unions representing public employees in a debate over how much those workers should contribute to their health care plans. Both candidates agree that the union negotiations that are still underway are the top priority right now. "Somehow we have to reach an accord with them, especially on health care," Casper said today. "If we do that we can reallocate part of the funds to capital improvements. We've been woefully behind on maintaining our infrastructure."
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"We spend so much energy trying to work with the unions and we just never get anywhere and it pulls us down, it pulls staff down, it pulls union morale down," Carran said. "I feel until we are able to show that this is a new time, city government is not like it used to be, it's not about game playing anymore. There are things we have to accomplish and until the union leaders understand that, it's going to be difficult." Both Carran and Casper applauded Mayor Chuck Scheper for his recent involvement in the negotiations.
Steve Casper
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Though each candidate agrees with the other on many issues there are differences that both will try to highlight on the campaign trail. "I suspect that the biggest difference I see is my past experience in leadership roles," Casper said. "I was elected President of the Cincinnati Board of Realtors as well as the Ohio Association of Realtors which has 40,000 members, a close parallel to the size of Covington. I'm confident in the leadership role."
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"I think people will see the difference in our involvements, maybe the history, the experience that we bring to the commission," Carran said. "Even though we're alike when it comes to city business, we do have different perspectives."
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Casper previously served on the city council in Wyoming, Ohio but has lived in Covington since 1997, currently in Old Seminary Square. He hopes to use his real estate background to bring new businesses to Covington. "I know brokers all over the country and a strategy should be to contact brokers in Chicago and potentially New York to create a relationship where they would be out looking for companies on our behalf to relocate," Casper said. "The cost of living is much lower here." He also suggested an entertainment district similar to Louisville's 4th Street Live and Lexington's Pavillion in the area around 7th Street between Washington Street and Madison Avenue. Additionally, he said he would focus on improving the image of Goebel Park in Mainstrasse with a focus on creating a fountain that would be timed to music with lights and in the winter months would be used as an ice skating rink.
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"It's family oriented and when families are in the area they'll get thirsty and maybe even hungry and I think it would be a coup for those eateries that we have down there," he said.
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Following the resignation of former Mayor Denny Bowman at the end of September, Carran, of Botany Hills, briefly served as interim mayor before the unanimous appointment of Scheper. She has long been active in the Covington community before running for elected office and as mayor would work toward improving the City's presence in regional discussions. "We haven't had the leadership coming from the mayor's office (before Scheper) and that's really been needed," Carran said. "Consequently, we were not at the table when regional decisions were being made. I represent the City at the Ohio-Kentucky-Indiana Regional Council of Governments, and we now have city staff that also attend whereas in the past we did not. We were not on the list of highway funding but because of that, we are now. Because there hasn't been a strong leadership at the mayoral level we haven't been seen as a player by Tri-Ed or the state legislature, we haven't been seen as someone who's got a place at the table."
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Both candidates highlighted the strength, engagement and importance of Covington's neighborhood organizations and also recognized the challenges faced by the school district. Each commissioner will have more on their respective platforms as the campaign season begins in earnest. Additionally, with two commissioners vying for the mayor's job, there are now two open seats on the commission in November. Both Commissioners Shawn Masters and Steve Frank will seek reelection, but at least two new commissioners will be sworn in next year. "It's a concern," Carran said. "It could throw everything off kilter. It's important to get two people on the commission who have a good handle on the board and don't have hidden agendas and are willing to come to the table to work for the good of the whole city."
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As for their own race, Carran and Casper intend to keep the campaign positive. "I promised her I would run the same kind of campaign that I ran the first time," Casper said. "I never did any attacks on the other candidates and I'm going to follow that same path this go-round. I don't see it becoming contentious between the two of us."
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"It's going to be a tough race between Steve and I," Carran said. "I know a lot of people who like both of us and it'll be a hard decision for many. The campaign will show where we differ and where our strengths are."

COMMISSIONER STEVE CASPER ANNOUNCES MAYORAL BID

by Michael Monks 
NEW ADDRESS: Email Michael
Find us on Facebook: The River City News @ Facebook
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Commissioner Steve Casper
Covington City Commissioner Steve Casper has confirmed to The River City News that he is running for Mayor. Casper, a first term Commissioner, joins fellow Commissioner Sherry Carran in the race. The River City News will have more on this story coming up, but below you will find an official statement from Casper:


“I love the City of Covington, and I've been honored, humbled and energized serving on the Covington City Commission," said Commissioner Casper. "I want to take a larger role in leading our city in attracting and retaining jobs, supporting and improving our neighborhoods and business districts and fiscally responsible financial management.“I have been encouraged to seek the office by residents and business people throughout Covington," he said. “I’m looking forward to talking to voters about how my vision and leadership for our wonderful city."Current Covington Mayor Chuck Scheper is not seeking another term in office.Commissioner Casper was elected to the Covington City Commission in 2010. A 40-year veteran of the real estate industry, Commissioner Casper has held top leadership positions with The Cincinnati Area Board of Realtors, Ohio Association of Realtors being elected President of both and receiving National Association of Realtors highest recognition, the Distinguished Service Award He also serves as a Commissioner on the board of the Housing Authority of Covington.Commissioner Casper has been recognized for his open door and inclusive style of management, along with a distinct ability to facilitate consensus-building among his peers.“I'm a consensus seeker" Commissioner Casper said. "I have an even and professional demeanor and respectful of a variety of opinions. Debate is good; arguing and petty politics are not. I am committed to solutions, achievement and prosperity for Covington residents and businesses.”Commissioner Casper will unveil his campaign platform at a later date. But his vision for the city includes improving Goebel Park; enhancing MainStrasse Village; supporting the construction of the Gateway Community and Technical College Urban Campus on Scott Boulevard and the expansion of The Northern Kentucky Convention Center; aggressive and successful economic, community, neighborhood and residential development; improvements to the Ohio Riverfront; and better and more varied year-round recreation opportunities for Covington residents.Commissioner Casper graduated from Bowling Green University with a B.S. in Business Administration. A formermember of the Wyoming City Council, Commissioner Casper has lived in Covington since 1997 and currently lives in the Old Seminary Square neighborhood.