A nonprofit publication of the Kentucky Center for Public Service Journalism

The River: A half-century of steamboat memories, all the experiences, really are just ‘a moment in time’

The riverboat captain is a storyteller, and Captain Don Sanders will be sharing the stories of his long association with the river — from discovery to a way of love and life. This a part of a long and continuing story. By Captain Don Sanders Special to NKyTribune The last time I saw John Hartford, he was onboard the BELLE OF CINCINNATI performing one of his last public concerts during a charter boat...

New cameras provide ‘eyes’ on the river; grant to help first responders improve safety along waterfront

Covington will soon have more eyes keeping watch on its riverfront — 18 of them, in fact. The “eyes” are cameras, part of a new wireless video surveillance system that will also be linked to an existing comprehensive network called the Ohio River Port Security Camera Program. Thanks to a Port Security Grant from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, the Covington Board of Commissioners...

The River: Belle of Louisville’s steam whistle screams victorious in the thrilling Great Steamboat Race

The riverboat captain is a storyteller, and Captain Don Sanders will be sharing the stories of his long association with the river — from discovery to a way of love and life. This a part of a long and continuing story. By Captain Don Sanders Special to NKyTribune “All’s fair in love, war, and steamboat races.” The paddlewheeler BELLE OF CINCINNATI stopped by Aurora Landing the other day for...

The River: Riverboats are coming back like fresh Spring blossoms; still waiting to Save the QUEEN

The riverboat captain is a storyteller, and Captain Don Sanders will be sharing the stories of his long association with the river — from discovery to a way of love and life. This a part of a long and continuing story. By Captain Don Sanders Special to NKyTribune It looks like trade’s opening up again for the passenger boats on the Mississippi River System. After a year of total shutdown or greatly...

The River: Now a Captain and ready to take the Delta Queen and her ‘Kiddie Crew’ on an excursion

The riverboat captain is a storyteller, and Captain Don Sanders will be sharing the stories of his long association with the river — from discovery to a way of love and life. This a part of a long and continuing story. By Captain Don Sanders Special to NKyTribune The wharfboat wreckage broke the racing water’s surface and beckoned the DELTA QUEEN like the steel teeth of an angry gator. The DELTA...

The River: Recycling makes the junkyard respectable and biz was good, but the call of water was stronger

The riverboat captain is a storyteller, and Captain Don Sanders will be sharing the stories of his long association with the river — from discovery to a way of love and life. This a part of a long and continuing story. By Captain Don Sanders Special to NKyTribune Thankfully, I have two trades that always provided a reasonable living: steamboatin’ and junkin’. The two were connected. If a boatman...

The River: Pay wasn’t great and work was long and hard, and none wanted to disappoint the Captain

The riverboat captain is a storyteller, and Captain Don Sanders will be sharing the stories of his long association with the river — from discovery to a way of love and life. This a part of a long and continuing story. By Captain Don Sanders Special to NKyTribune Deckhands started at $21 a week on the Steamer AVALON; nineteen after taxes. That was for a seven-day week, 30 or 31 days a month except...

The River: Shantyboatin’ is a state of mind. . .and my shantyboat dreaming takes me to amazing places

The riverboat captain is a storyteller, and Captain Don Sanders will be sharing the stories of his long association with the river — from discovery to a way of love and life. This a part of a long and continuing story. By Captain Don Sanders Special to NKyTribune “What’d you want to do with your life you never got to do.” “I wanted to be a shantyboat man.” My brothers and I were sorta’...

The River: Quiet week on the surface, but buzz about gambling, racing and ‘competitive’ steamboats

The riverboat captain is a storyteller, and Captain Don Sanders will be sharing the stories of his long association with the river — from discovery to a way of love and life. This a part of a long and continuing story. By Captain Don Sanders Special to NKyTribune It’s been another quiet week on the river. At least on the surface (no pun intended). Although a few rumors were passing around about...

The River: Riverboat folks are yearning to hear the ‘ready whistle’ and hear the engines warming up

The riverboat captain is a storyteller, and Captain Don Sanders will be sharing the stories of his long association with the river — from discovery to a way of love and life. This a part of a long and continuing story. By Captain Don Sanders Special to NKyTribune Since last week, the Ohio River’s simmered down after cresting at 56.82-feet on the Cincinnati Gauge. The water lapped at the business...

The River: “Talk to me. Talk to me.’ — A riverboatman learns to listen to the voice of the river

The riverboat captain is a storyteller, and Captain Don Sanders will be sharing the stories of his long association with the river — from discovery to a way of love and life. This a part of a long and continuing story. By Captain Don Sanders Special to NKyTribune “Talk to me,” I demanded of the river. “Talk to me…” The Middle Ohio River was fixing to crest above flood stage at 56.82-feet...

The River: Alcohol consumption happens; personal journey continued past ‘face down on the floor’

The riverboat captain is a storyteller, and Captain Don Sanders will be sharing the stories of his long association with the river — from discovery to a way of love and life. This a part of a long and continuing story. By Captain Don Sanders Special to NKyTribune Captain Ernest E. Wagner, the legendary Master of the Steamer AVALON when I started decking on the celebrated steamboat some 62 years ago...

The River: Today, the refrain is ‘Don’t throw it in the river,’ but it wasn’t always that way unfortunately

The riverboat captain is a storyteller, and Captain Don Sanders will be sharing the stories of his long association with the river — from discovery to a way of love and life. This a part of a long and continuing story. By Captain Don Sanders Special to NKyTribune “Throw it in the river…” That was a command I eagerly obeyed many times early in the course of sixty-some years on the river. “Throw...

The River: There’s cold, colder, and coldest — and then there are the days on a riverboat in ice

The riverboat captain is a storyteller, and Captain Don Sanders will be sharing the stories of his long association with the river — from discovery to a way of love and life. This a part of a long and continuing story. By Captain Don Sanders Special to NKyTribune As a much younger man, I delighted in blustery winter weather like the Ohio Valley’s been enduring this week. The colder, the rawer,...

The River: The sounds of a riverboat calliope bring fond memories — and Homer Denney’s rise to the top

The riverboat captain is a storyteller, and Captain Don Sanders will be sharing the stories of his long association with the river — from discovery to a way of love and life. This a part of a long and continuing story. By Capt. Don Sanders Special to NKyTribune Which looked the whitest, the fading snow on the roof outside the window or my computer screen while trying to concoct something to write...