360 Fireworks Party

Saturday, May 26, 2012



by Michael Monks 
Marquita Burch
Cincinnati Police arrested Marquita Burch, the woman who reported 1-year old William Cunningham to be missing somewhere in the woods that surround City Heights in Covington. Burch, 26, recanted her original story when pressed by Covington Police who noted discrepancies in her tale. At that point Burch confessed to the police that the boy had died on Sheehan Avenue in Cincinnati and that she had moved the body to an apartment on Winton Road. Cincinnati Police officers entered the apartment and found the boy's body inside a hall closet. The body was examined by Hamilton County Coroner William Ralston, MD, before it was transported to the coroner's office.
Burch is charged with abuse of a corpse and tampering with evidence. The homicide unit within the Cincinnati Police Department continues its investigation and asks anyone with further information to call 513.352.3542 or Crimestoppers at 513.352.3040 (or text CINTIP to CRIMES, or 274637). 


by Michael Monks 
William Cunningham
The massive search in Covington's City Heights for 1-year old William Cunningham who was reported by his family to be missing has ended in tragedy and police on both sides of the river confirm to The River City News that that the boy was found dead in Cincinnati and was likely never in Covington at all. Covington City Commissioner Steve Casper writes at The River City News Facebook page
Afraid very sad news, our investigators after a long evening and night were able to determine the child was never in Covington, all remaining releases will come from Cincinnati police, but what is known the body of the child has been located. Much appreciation to all our investigators for learning the real truth. I'm sure it hurts when the outcome is not positive.
Covington Police Assistant Chief Spike Jones confirmed that the boy is dead and that Cincinnati Police are now handling the investigation. A phone call to Cincinnati Police led to information that a press release should be forthcoming with more information but until then no further details are available. The River City News will have updates on this tragic story as they come in. 
Original story with photos from the massive search effort in City Heights Friday evening is at the link below: 
Massive Search in City Heights for Missing Boy 


The following people are among a long list from this week's activity in Kenton County Circuit Court. Some are going to prison while others got probation or sent to the felony diversion program. A few more are still wanted for failing to appear in court: 

There are more at the link below with an explanation of charges and recommended sentences 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, May 25, 2012


by Michael Monks 
UPDATE: Covington Police Assistant Chief Spike Jones says the boy may have been picked up by a family member without the mother knowing. Those details are developing right now and this story will be updated when more is known.
William Cunningham
A one-year old boy missing in City Heights was reported to Covington Police around 6:00PM Friday prompting a massive response from multiple jurisdictions including Covington Police & Fire, SWAT, Newport Police, Northern Kentucky Technical Rescue, and Kenton County Emergency Management. Two search crews took turns navigating the hilly, wooded area that surrounds the housing project in hopes of locating 1-year old William Cunningham who disappeared after playing with other children at a City Heights playground. 
As nightfall began to descend on the search, efforts were to be scaled back though a police presence will remain until the child is located. Covington Fire Chief Chuck Norris, who led the search crew with Assistant Covington Police Chief Spike Jones, said the woods around City Heights are dangerous and pose a hazard to the rescue crews. "It's very dangerous to search these woods at night, there are drop-offs and several trails lead to bad places," Norris said. Crews were leaving caution tape around areas in the woods that were already searched and two separate K-9 units were also dispatched to find the boy. 
Jones said that the boy was last seen wearing blue jean shorts and a brown, striped plaid shirt. At least one person was taken from the scene in a police cruiser for further questioning, though likely not for any criminal reason. "We're not optimistic that there will be criminal charges but if they were the last to see the boy, we want to know what they know," Jones said. 


Below is a letter written by Covington City Commissioner Steve Frank to Stacee Hans of the Kentucky Department of Highways in support of Covington's desired changes for the new design plan proposed for the Brent Spence Bridge project. The commissioner asked that it be published here. Today is the final day to send in your letters of support of Covington's desired changes. Click here for Hans's email address. 
Ms. Stacee Hans
Kentucky Department of Highways
421 Buttermilk Pike
Ft. Mitchell, KY 41017

Ms. Hans;

I am writing in support of Plan “I” with important modifications for the Brent Spence Bridge Improvement. I have been wrestling with this issue for the better part of six years, first as a member of the Board of Advisors of the Northern Kentucky Chamber of Commerce where I have served on the Infrastructure and Transportation Committee and most recently as a City Commissioner for the City of Covington Kentucky.

As a member of the Infrastructure Committee of the NKY Chamber, I have been intimately involved with going to Congress and to Frankfort to raise funds for the bridge and for its planning as well as for how the bridge intersects with other regional transportation and infrastructure needs. I have kept myself very current on the bridge selection designs since they were first proposed as well as how those design decisions interact with the EPA descent decree for rain water treatment at Willow Run before being discharged into the Ohio River. We need to come up with a final design so that we can proceed with our efforts to remediate this source of pollution , estimated cost of this project is $700,000,000 such that we do not have to rip it out when the bridge is actually built.

I am also very familiar with the need to do something about the bridge as it is our Police and Firemen from the City of Covingtonwho must risk their lives on the Brent Spence Bridge both rescuing stranded motorists as well as investigating their demise when the all too frequent fatalities occur. We had another recent traffic death on April First. They are now so commonplace that it was hardly even mentioned in the media.

One additional point about the need to add capacity to the Brent Spence Bridge corridor, beyond the obvious need for increased safety of our motorists is to maintain the economic vitality of the nation, The Greater Cincinnati Region, and the Cities that compose the Urban Core on the Kentucky side of the Ohio River.

The Brent Spence Bridge carries an amazing share of the interstate freight of the United States whose use and importance will only grow with the advent of the widening of the Panama Canal. At present it is currently carrying twice the traffic it was originally designed to handle. The bridge itself is a choke point for all traffic that arrives at our Gulf of Mexican ports that are carrying traffic to the Midwest and Vice Versa.

Regionally, if the Brent Spence Bridge does not have capacity added; our Regional Planning Group OKI has estimated that the time required to travel between our downtown office area and the Greater Cincinnati Airport will more than double within a few years. Without the addition of additional traffic capacity, our downtown area will become a less and less attractive place for major employers to do business.

For all the benefits the construction of a new span to add capacity to the Brent Spence Bridge Corridor would do; one of the present design options, Plan “E” would be catastrophic for the cities of the Urban Core on the Kentucky side of the Ohio River. Plan “E”, would take South Bound local traffic along the upper deck of the new span. That is so high that federal guidelines as to the slope of an exit from an interstate Highway would land the first exit into Kentucky at Ninth Street / 12’th Street - MLK and require a loop back to Covington’s Central Business District at Fourth and Fifth Street by traversing a phalanx of stop signs and stop lights. Human nature dictates that we would lose a substantial amount of business as people will not put themselves through such rigors.

I am writing in support of Plan “I” with Important Modifications that would bring South Bound local traffic across the lower deck of the new span. The lower deck is low enough that Covington can maintain direct access for our businesses by maintaining direct access to our Fourth and Fifth Street Central Business District.

Maintaining direct access to the Interstate system at Fourth and Fifth Street are also vitally critical to our neighboring cities of Ludlow and Newport who have also written to you in support of Plan “I” with important modifications. Ludlow and West Covington would be completely cut off from access to the Interstate system because KY Route 8 will no longer be a feasible entrance to the Brent Spence Bridge. KY Route 8 also serves as an important traffic safety valve when traveling to or from the Greater Cincinnati Airport when there are traffic jams or accidents on the Interstate system. Our sister city of Newport also depends on having a second means of entrance and egress to the Interstate system besides the Big Mac Bridge across I-471. This reliance will only grow as the anticipated launch of the Ovation Project at the confluence of the Ohio and Licking River inNewport takes shape. Yes having additional North / South access will help with an expanded KY Route 9 down the East side of the Licking River; but not for traffic that wants to go north from the Ovation Project. If you combine that with what is envisioned at the DCI project at Manhattan Harbor in Dayton KY, we will need all of the access to the Interstate System near the River Front as we can muster! KY Route 8 in the Urban Core of Campbell County is already overstressed.

As I stated before, I am speaking in favor of Plan “I” with Important Modifications. There are both important political as well as economic reasons for these modifications that ought to enter into the calculus of the ultimate bridge Design. First without the Important Modifications that the City of Covington is requesting, I cannot support the building of any new span across the Ohio River and will do all in my power to stop or delay such a span despite its many other benefits. I am an elected official who represents the interests of the 40,000 citizens of Covington Kentucky and it is my sworn duty to defend their interests. Yes an Interstate System is by definition a system that benefits many people whose interests may far outweigh the practical concerns of one parochial interest. That said, I believe that it is in the interests of all concerned to listen to Covington’s request for Modifications to Plan “I”.

In terms of political calculus, despite whatever plans that may be drawn, a local match will be needed to make this bridge a reality. You can either have an ally or foe with much sway in terms of making this bridge a reality. Beyond the immediate business community in Covington, We now have in support of Covington’s Request for Important Modifications: U.S. Senators Kentucky’s Senators McConnell, Paul and Ohio’s Senator Brown; U.S. Congressmen Davis, Chabot, Schmidt, and Guthrie; Kenton County Judge Executive Arlinghaus; Campbell County Judge Executive Pendry; Boone County Judge Executive Moore; Cincinnati City Mayor Mark Mallory; Newport City Mayor Peluso; Taylor Mill City Mayor Bell; Ludlow City Mayor Wynn; the Northern Kentucky Mayor’s Group; The Northern Kentucky Chamber of Commerce; The Northern Kentucky Area Development District; Tri-ed; Southbank Partners; Vision 2015; Covington and Latonia Business Councils; and various other educational and cultural institutions too numerous to mention here as well as 100’s of concerned citizens who showed up at the Northern KY Convention Center, Covington City Hall; and who wrote in their opinions to you.

Our First requested modification is for a collector distributor exit for North Bound local traffic such that travelers can exit at Fifth Street without being impaired by traffic signals such as we have today. This is absolutely vital to the continuing economic vitality of Covington’s Fourth and Fifth Street Central Business District. We also wish to maintain an exit designed specifically for our 12’Th Street – MLK exit traffic to continue the vitality of St. Elizabeth Hospital and the economic transformation along this corridor. At some point 12’Th Street – MLK should be continued as a four lane road all the way to Newport to connect into the enlarged KY Route 9 to act as a second east west corridor for the growth envisioned by the Ovation project in Newport.

Our Second request which was raised by some concerns now alleviated by a recent letter from Cincinnati mayor Mark Mallory; is to have the Clay Wade Bailey Bridge tied directly into the Interstate System as an entrance / exit as is currently in the design of Plan “I”. We need this additional method of moving traffic onto the interstate system to make viable the ground that the Internal Revenue Service is currently situated on when they go within the next several years to an office tower rather than the multi acre campus design that they presently occupy. Covington envisions our own Riverfront Commons Park / Office and Living Complex at this site similar to what is occurring at the Banks Project in Cincinnati. Cincinnati no longer objects.

Our Third request is for a second chance exit from the through bridge into Covington at Twelfth Street – MLK. Most non local travelers who come to stay in Covington for lodging and meals do so after taking a visual cue from seeing the Ohio River. As is presently designed, the only local access to Covington requires a decision to be made back at Ezzard Charles Boulevard near the Cincinnati Museum Center, far out of sight from indicating that there may be something of interest in Covington for through travelers. If one fails to take heed that their only option for a Covington exit is back at Ezzard Charles, the first option they have to return to Covington will be at Kyle’s Lane or failing that Dixie Highway in Fort Mitchell. Even if only a fraction of the traffic that missed the option for a Covington exit decides to return to Covington; the Kyle’s Lane exit in particular is incapable of handling the additional traffic as it would require two left turns against much traffic via stop lights. There would be considerable traffic back up at the top of “Death Hill” and would severely compromise traffic who would enter or exit neighborhoods in Park Hills, Ft. Mitchell, Ft. Wright, and Covington neighborhoods such as Monte Casino, Peaselburgh, and Wallace Woods who have already found themselves cut off from convenient access to the interstate system with the removal of the Jefferson Avenue exit some years ago. I would also point out that having a second chance exit at Twelfth Street – MLK is vital to the ability of our rescue squads to save lives if there is an accident on the though bridge. Who would be in a position to come down from Kyle’s Lane to perform vital rescues quickly? No one…but St. Elizabeth Hospital and Covington Fire department can be of timely service if they had access to the through bridge at Twelfth Street – MLK.

There was also some mention in the paper that the addition of a second chance exit would contravene policy to preserve historic property. We have checked with and you now have in your possession a letter attesting to the fact that those particular affected properties are not truly historical by said definitions.

In addition; either designs of Plan “E” or Plan “I” will eliminate Covington’s immediate access point to our largest green space,Devou Park; by eliminating the access to the park at Lewis Street from our Pike Street – Dixie Highway (US 25). This will also cut off ready access to the Covington neighborhoods of Lewisburg and Kenton Hills as well as a neighboring City of Park Hills.Devou Park is the signature vantage point of the Greater Cincinnati area, the largest green space in Northern Kentucky, hosts the closest public golf course to downtown Cincinnati, and is home to the Berringer – Crawford Museum, Concert Bowl, and the incomparable Drees Pavilion whose economic success sustains the maintenance of Devou Park. We need additional access to Devou Park at Montague such that it can become a two lane road at Pike Street – Dixie Highway (US 25).

The last request is that there will also be a lot of property that is not taken but whose use will be severely impaired due to increased road noise or other forms of losses of use. Please be fair in compensating local homeowners whose property values will be affected and please be mindful in trying to engineer in sound mitigation barriers where suitable.


Steven L. Frank CFP
Covington City Commissioner
Board Member, Northern Kentucky Area Development District
Board of Advisors, Northern Kentucky Chamber of Commerce
Senior Vice President, Wells Fargo


by Michael Monks 
Today is the final day that the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet is accepting public input on Covington's desired changes to the Brent Spence Bridge project. From the City of Covington: 
Currently the design plan does not offer direct access to 5th Street when traveling on NB I-75 as it is today, instead the plan will require motorists to exit at 12th Street and then travel on a new, one-way, local road from 12th to the City's riverfront area at 5th through several traffic signals. The recommended modification to Alternative "I" would restore direct access to 5th Street from NB I-75.

The southbound Alternative "I" design does provide access to 5th Street and 9th Street from SB I-75. However, the decision point is located one mile north of the Ohio River near the Museum Center at Ezzard Charles Boulevard. Once past this exit, the next opportunity to exit in Kentucky from SB I-75 will occur at Kyles Lane in Fort Wright. No opportunity to exit into Covington is available once the City or bridge is visible. The Northern Kentucky community feels direct access from I-75 southbound into Covington on the Kentucky side of the bridge is necessary. The project team has looked at several options and has determined a direct ramp from I-75 SB to 9th Street is a feasible modification. 
You can send an email to Stacee Hans with the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet today here: stacee.hans@ky.gov 
From Congressman Geoff Davis's office: 
As a House-Senate conference committee finalizes a transportation jobs bill, U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH) and U.S. Reps. Geoff Davis (R-KY) and Jean Schmidt (R-OH) expressed bipartisan, bicameral support — from both sides of the Ohio River — for critical resources that would support projects like the Brent Spence Bridge. In a letter sent this week, Brown, Davis and Schmidt urged conferees to include a provision to support large-scale transportation projects of “national and regional significance” — like the Brent Spence Bridge — in the final version of the highway bill.
“There is strong bipartisan support — from both sides of the Ohio River — for critical resources that would support the Brent Spence Bridge,” Brown said. “Investments in road construction projects and bridge repairs put Ohioans back to work, while promoting economic growth. When companies decide where to locate, expand, and invest, transportation infrastructure is a critical factor in the decision. That’s why it’s so important that resources for large, multi-state projects like Brent Spence are included this bipartisan bill.”
"The federal government should have a mechanism to identify, prioritize and fund projects like the Brent Spence Bridge that are essential to the American economy," Davis said. "The Projects of National and Regional Significance program would provide a merit-based system to identify and help fund vital transportation projects."
“The Brent Spence Bridge is enormously important to our regional and national economies,” said Schmidt. “I’m hopeful that lawmakers in both the House and Senate recognize the need to support such projects.”
Brown, Davis and Schmidt urged conferees working to reconcile differences between the House and Senate versions of surface transportation legislation to include the Projects of National and Regional Significance (PNRS) program included in the Senate passed bill, S. 1813, Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century (MAP-21). This program particularly helps projects like the Brent Spence Bridge that are large in scale and fall under more than one jurisdiction. 
Read the full letter that they submitted by clicking here (PDF)
CORRECTION: The meeting is at the Cincinnati Re-Use Center, not Covington, but the Covington Re-Use Center will be demonstrating its success there
A delegation of Cincinnati City Council members will learn about the Covington Re-Use Center and Street Smarts to better understand that organization's growth (Twenty new businesses creating eighty new jobs) and to see if it is a model that could be replicated in Cincinnati. 
A 1987 murder that was in the news a few weeks ago when one of the suspects was eligible for release is back in the news as the main defendant from the case has won a hearing on his claim of being mentally disabled and ineligible for the death penalty: 
The Kentucky Supreme Court also granted Gregory L. Wilson, 55, a hearing on whether semen used as evidence in the case still exists and should be tested.
Chief Justice John D. Minton ruled that Kentucky's procedures for determining the mental status of death row inmates does not violate Wilson's due process rights. He ordered a hearing within 180 days.
"We find that Wilson's school record constitutes some evidence that he is mentally retarded," Minton wrote.
Wilson is awaiting execution for the death of 36-year-old Debbie Pooley, a restaurant manager who disappeared while returning from a friend's house on May 29, 1987. Her remains were found two weeks later in a wooded area in Indiana. Wilson and 58-year-old Brenda Humphrey were convicted in the case. Humphrey is serving life in prison and, in April, lost her first bid for parole.
Associated Press/Brett Barrouquere 

The new Centurion Wireless Security System purchased by the Covington Police Department will be key in catching copper thieves. Check out this video report from WXIX

A new message emanating from Covington City Hall is to capitalize on the fact that Devou Park's golf course is truly Greater Cincinnati's only Downtown course. Also:
City commissioners have approved a feasibility study for a building that could possibly host 250-person events and also serve as a welcome center for the park.
Officials envision a place that can be a clubhouse for the golf course, a welcome center, a place where bicycles can be rented to park visitors and a venue that is less expensive and smaller than the high-end Drees Pavilion, which hosts lavish wedding receptions that command spectacular views of the downtowns of Cincinnati, Covington and Newport. 
Cincinnati EnquirerMike Rutledge 
President Obama versus Uncommitted is a headache for Kentucky Democrats cn|2 
Former Secretary of State Trey Grayson talks Kentucky primary cn|2 
State to send letters to uninsured motorists Cincinnati Enquirer 
Fuel prices blamed for ending flight from CVG to Phoenix Business Courier 
Bank of Kentucky elects new chairman Business Courier 
Parts of Kentucky in a drought WKYT 
Former Kentucky Kingdom reopening may be delayed, won't have roller coasters Courier-Journal 
Louisville to host 2017 American Legion convention Business First 
Boone County church to get historic marker press release 
Cave Hill Cemetery also to get historic marker press release 
Cincinnati's urban growth is fueled by young entrepreneurs
Over the past five to seven years, a tremendous amount of progress and change has taken place throughout Cincinnati’s urban core. This progress, however, is not just through bricks and mortar, but also the people who populate those buildings. In fact, those people are the most significant part of the equation. Without their ideas, hard work and passion, none of this would be happening.
Thankfully, Queen City Project has been documenting some of these people and their stories. Their latest video looks at a collection of young entrepreneurs looking to bring their new ideas to Main Street – literally and figuratively. 
Urban Cincy/Randy A. Simes  
Here's the video: 

SEE ALSO: Similar story in Soapbox Cincinnati 
The Banks phase 1A has $91 million economic impact Business Courier 
"The City as a Start-up" Meeting in Cincinnati video Click Here 
It's a reversal of trends from the  previous decades: 
For the past half-century, we've gotten used to thinking of central cities as enclaves of the poor, and suburbs as the refuges of the affluent. But in the past decade, suburbs have become the entry points in which immigrants settle when they first arrive in a metro area, while the center -- in places such as Washington, Atlanta, Chicago, and Boston -- have become magnets for a largely affluent and professional class of young adults in their 20s and 30s. 
The Atlantic Cities  

"Cities keep trying to create downtown cool with dull nightlife districts. But who wants to hang out at the mall?" 

What could be wrong with a district where nightclubs and galleries are encouraged to thrive? Nothing, necessarily; done right, a city can help foster these scenes with a gentle guiding hand. Constructing an entire milieu from whole cloth, however, is where cities get into trouble. “The problem with these created-overnight districts is that you’re trying to create a culture as opposed to letting one grow,” says Nathaniel Hood, a Minneapolis-based transportation planner. “You’re getting the culture that one developer or city council member thinks the city needs, as opposed to the ground-up culture that comes from multiple players.” 
Airports and the wealth of cities The Atlantic Cities 
Visualizing a full day of airplane paths

From the City: 
Covington will participate in the day with a parade at 2:00 pm beginning at Holmes High School and travelling to Linden Grove Cemetery where a Memorial Service will be held at 3:00 pm.

Line up anywhere along the parade route! The parade will leave the campus at 2:00 PM, proceed north on Madison Avenue, west on 19th Street, north on Holman and conclude at the Linden Grove Cemetery where there will be a Memorial Day Program at approximately 3:00 PM at the conclusion of the parade. Marchers and viewers alike will honor those in all branches of service. 
More details at the link. 
City of Covington 

From the Business Courier's "Nonprofit Files": 
Children’s Home of Northern Kentucky provides services for abused, neglected and at-risk children and their families, including residential treatment for boys at its campuses in Covington and Burlington, and intensive in-home services for families in which children are at risk for out-of-home placement. The organization also works with the Children’s Alliance to advocate for abused, neglected and at-risk children. The Children’s Home was founded as an orphanage in 1882 by Col. Amos Shinkle. In 2011, it served more than 700 children and families in 38 Kentucky counties. 
Business Courier  
SEE ALSO: Youth Commission applications are now available Center for Great Neighborhoods 
Click to enlarge
1st place winner
See more photos from the chalk art contest at the link. 
Another soon-to-be Holmes graduate is profiled by Covington Independent Public Schools
If you ever attend an event by the Cincinnati Circus Company, you might just see 17-year-old Blake. Blake’s heart reaches many people through his work at the circus company where he works as a professional entertainer spreading his craft through everything from birthday parties to festivals putting smiles on faces.
Blake attended the National Circus School Summer Camp in Canada when he was in the 10th grade. This same young man scored 30 on his ACT and is No. 4 in the Holmes graduating class.   
More about Blake at the link. 
CIPS @ Facebook  
The people out at the Creation Museum who believe that man once walked alongside dinosaurs are angry at the magazine, Budget Travel, which was compiling a list of places that kids should see before they turn fifteen. The Creation Museum got the most votes after an orchestrated campaign by its operators, "Answers in Genesis", but the magazine did not include the Boone County destination on its final list: 
The group said, “Curiously, despite being a clear winner in terms of votes received, the Creation Museum does not appear on the Budget Travel List.”
Noting the company explanation that the Creation Museum did not fit into a “universal appeal” profile, the ministry said, “We are certainly aware many evolutionists fear exposing children to the sort of critical thinking encouraged by a visit to the Creation Museum. And while we never discourage parents from taking their children to museums such as the number two choice on Budget Travel’s list – the Field Museum of Chicago, home of ‘the biggest Tyrannosaurus rex fossil ever dug up’ – we do suggest they go armed with a bucketful of discernment.”
“The debate around the Creation Museum showed us that it was not something everyone would agree that every kid should see, and so did not fit the ‘universal appeal’ criterion for the final editorial list. However, we know how strongly folks felt about all the places they voted for, and that’s why we call out a link to the voting page results in the introduction to the article,” the spokeswoman said. 
World Net Daily  
In case you missed...
The city's new effort to bring in new businesses: Speed Dating!; A new Twitter profile pokes a little fun at everyday life in Covington; Plus, several from the city to be recognized tonight for preservation efforts. Those stories and more at the link! 
Kentucky fan creates breakfast cereal homage to Anthony Davis WHAS 
Calipari's plans to play on neutral courts becomes polarizing Courier-Journal 

Thursday, May 24, 2012


by Michael Monks 
The 2012 River Cities Historic Preservation Awards will be handed out tonight at 6:30PM inside the Sanctuary Event Center, 417 East Sixth Street, Newport: 
This annual awards ceremony acknowledges outstanding preservation projects and the efforts of citizens working to rehabilitate and restore our historic buildings. During National Preservation Month, the Ohio River cities of Covington, Newport, and Bellevue come together and celebrate our local preservation achievements. 
Covington will be well represented with six winners: 
  • Exterior Restoration-Residential: 3211 Decoursey Ave., Pat Huber
  • Exterior Restoration-Mixed Use/Commercial: Kings Crossing, 1126-1130 Garrard Street
  • Rehabilitation- Residential: 401 W 9th Street, Orleans Development
  • Rehabilitation- Adaptive Reuse: Thomas Edison School- 1516 Scott Street
  • Stewardship: The Bank of Kentucky, 231 Scott Street
  • Karen and Peter Rafuse Memorial Award: Chuck Eilerman 
The Orleans Development project on Ninth Street was featured in The River City News in January: 
The building was an empty shell before Orleans got their hands on it. See lots more photos from the project at the link below: 
The Thomas Edison schoolhouse project was also covered by The River City News in January: 

See lots more photos from Thomas Edison at the link below. 
United States Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) has sent in his letter to the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet in support of Covington's desired changes to the Brent Spence Bridge project: 
Dear Ms. Hans: My office was recently contacted by the City of Covington in regards to the proposed Brent Spence Bridge Alternative "I" Design Plan. It is my understanding that the current preferred design plan does not offer direct access to downtown Covington. Brent Spence Bridge access is critical to the long term viability of Covington and Northern Kentucky communities. Civic leaders and the community are very concerned about the detrimental effect the design plan could have on the local economy. I have been told that the City has developed a plan that proposes access routes into Covington, and that this plan has been shared with the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet. As your office weighs alternatives for the new bridge, I strongly urge you to keep in mind the importance of these modifications for the City. Thank you for your time and attention to these matters. Please don't hesitate to contact me should I be of any further assistance. Sincerely, Mitch McConnellUnited States Senator 
McConnell joins a chorus of support for Covington's desired changes that now also includes Cincinnati Mayor Mark Mallory. 

If you are a customer of the Bank of Kentucky, be aware of this scam: 
The Bank of Kentucky does not call or text clients at any time to solicit debit card information or account information.
We have been notified by customers and non-customers of bogus texts and calls attempting to obtain debit card account information.
If you do receive a call or text, please send a message to us through online banking with your mobile phone number. We will continue to work on identifying the source of the scam.

A Covington organization is assisting in the battle against the practice of child slavery of which there have been cases right here in Northern Kentucky: 
Mary Richie said it's not just a problem in Ohio.
Richie works with the Women's Crisis Center in Covington. In 2008, she founded P.A.T.H.or Partnership Against the Trafficking of Humans. The program is a victim-centered partnership of professional and community organizations devoted to the Prevention of human trafficking through education and training; Protecting victims through rescue and holistic services; and ensuring the Prosecution of traffickers through legal advocacy.
In Kentucky, a bill that would have assisted in stopping trafficking in Kentucky died last week in the State Senate. House Bill 350 would have held traffickers (buyers and sellers of men/women/children) accountable for their actions.
"The average age of entry into prostitution into the United States is 13 years old," said Richie. "Some of the cases that we've had are in Ft. Wright; are in Ft Thomas; are in Villa Hills." 
More with video at the link. 
WXIX/Kimberly Holmes Wiggins  
While most of us in Covington were eagerly awaiting the results of the mayoral primary, across the Commonwealth another situation was unfolding as the votes were being counted: President Barack Obama was barely escaping a humiliating loss to no one. Since Tuesday, national, regional, and local media outlets have tried to understand why. Is it racism? From The Washington Post:  
They argue that conservative white Democrats — particularly those in the South and Appalachia — don’t want to vote for an African American for president and, therefore, are willing to cast a ballot for almost anyone else up to and including an incarcerated felon. (Keith Judd, we are looking at you.)
The problem with that theory is that it’s almost entirely unprovable because it relies on assuming knowledge about voter motivations that — without being a mindreader — no one can know.
“There’s no easy or simple answer,” said Cornell Belcher, president of Brilliant Corners, a Democratic polling firm. “One man’s racial differences is another man’s cultural differences.” 
From the Courier-Journal
And Tuesday’s election in Kentucky was part of a bad run for Obama south of the Mason-Dixon line, as he gave up more than 40 percent of the vote to a convicted felon in West Virginia and a little-known Tennessee lawyer in Arkansas.
Larry Sabato, who heads the University of Virginia’s Center for Politics, said he believes race was partly to blame for Obama’s poor showing in all three states but said a number of issues and Obama’s persona played an even bigger role in what he said was an “embarrassing” setback for the president.
“It’s everything,” he said. “It’s certainly some of his policies they don’t like, but it’s image, too. This guy has nothing in common with them — that is, white, working-class voters. He’s Harvard and they’re not.” 
And a humorous take by locally-based author Rick Robinson writing for The Daily Caller
It took a while, but I found the Uncommitted victory party at Marlo’s Country Palace in Pikeville, Kentucky. Uncommitted won 65% of the vote in Pike County, a Democratic and union stronghold located in the eastern tip of the state.
As I arrived, Paul Eeyore, the chairman of the Uncommitted in 2012 super PAC, had just taken the stage. He spoke in a low, dull monotone and was obviously tired from the whistle-stop tour of the Bluegrass State that he had just completed.
“I want to personally thank the thousands of volunteers and poll workers who helped us in this Herculean effort,” Eeyore said gloomily. “It was a great moral victory, if there are moral victories, which I doubt.”
The crowd responded with uninspired applause. “Yeah,” they replied in unison. 
SEE ALSO: Without Louisville and Lexington, Obama would have lost to "uncommitted" Herald-Leader 
From organizer Lee Bledsoe: 
We had a nice turnout for our first meeting today in the Garden. 11 of the 18 plots were spoken for. There are STILL 7 remaining--1 large and 6 small. Our next meeting will be at 4:30 on Thursday, May 31st. Andrea Dee, the Kenton County Extension Service's Horiculturist will be there to lend technical advice. Please contact Kim Blank, Paul Weckman or Me, Lee Bledsoe if you have any questions! We look forward to seeing you in the Garden!
In case you missed, The River City News featured the new garden in an earlier report that detailed how some of the produce and flowers will go right into Mainstrasse restaurants. For that full report, and how another new community garden across town will help feed the city's homeless, is at the link below. 
New Community Gardens Will Feed Homeless, Restaurant Guests 

@theRCnews on Twitter  
Two items from the shelter located at 634 Scott Boulevard: 
Our shelter is in need of mens razors, laundry detergent and coffee. If you are heading to the store, think about picking us up one of these items. They can be dropped off at our shelter in the evening after 7:00pm OR in the morning before 10:00am 

Kroger is promoting a new community rewards program that could aid in our shelter's fundraising. If you shop at Krogers and have a Kroger plus card - a percentage of your future purchases will come to our shelter on a quarterly basis. You do not pay extra - it's a donation made from Krogers from your normal purchases. Sounds easy, right? There is only one catch - I have to get everyone to register their Kroger plus card on-line and choose the shelter as the recipient agency. 
Here are the steps:1. Have Your Kroger plus card in hand and go to krogercommunityrewards.com 2.Register your card by clicking on "sign up today" under New Customer3. Follow all the steps to register.4.Then go to my account, and look for Community Rewards section5.Choose the shelter - our number is 82763.
Some of you may already be signed up with another agency or church, but if you are not, consider ESNKY for this program. Thanks! 
After his 4th grade class visited The Welcome House, a student has decided that he wants to help out more: 
Max McMillen will have a lemonade stand at the upcoming 4th Sunday Mainstrasse Antiques, Etc. on May 27th. Max will make his lemonade at Otto's. The restaurant sponsors the event, along with MainStrasse Village Association, and Cock & Bull English Pub. Paul Weckman, with Otto's, has looked for ways to incorporate Max's idea since first hearing of it in March. When Welcome House reached out to Weckman, he said, "I really do think it is a great thing for such a young man to want to help! We'll try to make it an event that will really highlight his efforts." This month Paul and his team are helping Max do just that.
The 4th Sunday Mainstrasse Antiques, Etc. is May 27th from 9:00am-3:00pm on the 6th Street Promenade. It will also feature over 30 antique and vintage collectible dealers selling jewelry, furniture, glassware and other items. The event continues every 4th Sunday through October. The outdoor event is free to attend.  
More news from The Welcome House at the link. 
The Welcome House 

Covington firefighter Mike Clendenen posts at The River City News Facebook page about Covington Latin: 
Anna Matchinga '13 and Mitchell Blewett '13 have won the 2012 Community Press Sportswoman and Sportsman of the Year Awards. We believe this is the first time in school history that a student from Covington Latin has won this award and this year, there are two winners from our school! It is an honor to be selected from the nominations, to be included on the ballot and Bridgette Hildreth '13 was also named on this year's ballot. Anna and Mitchell will each receive a certificate, a story in the June 20-21 issue of the Community Press and a pair of Red tickets. 
Congratulations to Covington Superintendent Lynda Jackson who was honored with an “Imaging Tomorrow Award,’’ by Children, Inc. during the agency’s 35th annual luncheon celebration.Ms. Jackson was one of seven dignitaries to receive the award on Wednesday. Others included Dr. Terry Holliday, Kentucky Commissioner of Education; Glenda and Roger Schorr, community volunteers; Glenna Hess, Jefferson County Schools; Dr. Terri Cox-Cruey, superintendent, Kenton County Schools, and Dr. Jim Votruba, president, Northern Kentucky University.“I am so grateful to receive this award from Children, Inc. one of the great partners of Covington Schools,’’ Ms. Jackson said. “We will continue to work with Children, Inc. to do great things for our children.’’  
Another soon-to-be-graduate of Holmes High School, Shannon Sullivan, gets the spotlight: 
Shannon Sullivan had a say in change made to the Holmes High School cafeteria. She served on an advisory group that recommended improvements to Covington Superintendent Lynda Jackson.
Students wanted better cafeteria food. Now, a chef runs the cafeteria and the students and staff love the meals.
“The school district was willing to make changes and to listen,” Shannon said.
Shannon has led a busy life during her high school years. She has been a cheerleader since 8th grade, played fast-pitch softball, volunteered with Bulldogs Give Back and taken rigorous courses through the International Baccalaureate program at Holmes. A National Honor Society member, she is listed as No. 3 in her class and has proven herself a conscientious student, said teacher, Elaine Eifert.  
More on Shannon at the link. 
Covington Independent Public Schools @ Facebook 
SEE ALSO: "Beauty and the Beast" is on stage at Holmes this week Click Here for Photos 
Kentucky has second highest rate of children living with relatives Herald-Leader 
Jobless rate drops in 110 Kentucky counties press release 
Covington's Tess Burns wins award for her work at Gateway College: 
Burns was nominated by her peers not only for her work in web services and social media but also for her creativity and innovation in developing and delivering professional development opportunities, such as “5 Things We Can Learn from Lady Gaga,” related to online communications.

“While her work is most often seen on the college’s website, Facebook and Twitter accounts, her creativity and talent are splattered across the Gateway campuses and throughout KCTCS,” Hughes said. “Tess lives and breathes creativity and collaboration, two core values shared by Gateway and KCTCS.”
Cincinnati Enquirer 
Tess Burns is also among several from Covington nominated for Legacy Next Generation awards which will be handed out in July Legacy  
Liberty For All Super PAC, which helped Thomas Massie win the GOP nomination to represent NKY in Congress, will maintain an office in Bellevue cn|2 

Greenpeace sneaks into KFC headquarters in Louisville and hangs a large protest sign Courier-Journal 

How does Kenton County compare to surrounding counties when it comes to smoking and obesity rates? Business Courier 
Universities challenged to create jobs in Kentucky Lane Report 
New park opens in Newport, named for hard-working member of the community Building Cincinnati 
National faculty group blasts UK basketball's scheduling practices, urges schools not to play UK on neutral sites KSR 
UK Coach Calipari responds: I want to create experiences, not just games Coach Cal 
UK ranked 5th (behind Indiana and Louisville) in new Sports Illustrated basketball poll for next season Nation of Blue 
WHOA! Justin Bieber is coming to Kentucky! Courier-Journal 
Check it out: 
Are you interested in opening a business? Do you hold commercial property? Do you administer a program that supports new business? Do you have lots and lots of money that you would like to give to entrepreneurs??? Yes. It's start-up speed dating. 
Meet @OnlyInCovington, a new Twitter profile that has a little fun at Covington's expense, but seemingly in good humor. Here's a sampling of the tweets: 
Honey bun for dinner, air heads for dessert #wrappersIfound #COV
Some guy comes to your door, asking if you want to buy a truck part that he bought for $60, he'll sell you for $20 #nky #really 
Corner marts are meant for every corner...literally. #CovKY
It's springtime, Cov. Shirts are again optional. #CovKY
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