A nonprofit publication of the Kentucky Center for Public Service Journalism

Three Northern Kentuckians among Gov. Andy Beshear’s latest board, commission appointments

Gov. Andy Beshear has made the following appointments to Kentucky boards and commissions: Beshear has appointed the following as members of the Kentucky Health Benefit Exchange Advisory Board. • Eric Friedlander, Secretary of the Cabinet for Health and Family Services. • Sharon Clark, Commissioner of the Department of Insurance. • Ryan Sadler of Louisville is plan president of Passport Health...

U.S. Census shows Kentucky grew by 3.8% (166,469 people); 4.5 million now live here

By Rachel Nix Building Kentucky The U.S. Census Bureau recently released its 2020 data showing population increases in Kentucky. Kentucky Census Numbers • 3.8% increase in overall population in Kentucky between 2010 and 2020 • 166,469 more people live in Kentucky now than 10 years ago • 4.5 million people now live in Kentucky • 21.2% population growth in Scott County, north of Lexington,...

State records increase of 12.5 percent in General Fund receipts in August; Road Fund up 5.3 percent

State Budget Director John Hicks reported today that General Fund receipts increased 12.5 percent in August compared to last year. Total revenues for the month were $937.7 million, compared to $833.8 million during August 2020. So far this fiscal year (FY22), General Fund receipts have increased 10.4 percent. The official revenue estimate for FY22 calls for General Fund revenues to fall 7.7 percent...

Lawmakers override Beshear’s veto of legislation banning statewide mask mandates in schools

By Tom Latek Kentucky Today Legislation that would ban statewide mask mandates in Kentucky schools, while allowing local school boards the power to implement them, cleared the General Assembly during day three of the special session. As soon as it reached Gov. Andy Beshear’s desk, he vetoed it late Thurssday night. His line-item veto was quickly overridden in the Senate on a 22-6 vote and by...

Covington Public Works erecting ‘dome’ at Russell St. home-to-be for 1,500 tons of wintry road treatment

When some people go looking for a new home, they think in terms of a fenced-in yard, fireplace, two-car garage, and space for that collection of NBA memorabilia. Covington’s Public Works Department needed space for 1,500 tons of road salt. Knowing that “has salt dome” would prove to be a fruitless search, the department is building its own dome in essentially the back yard of its recently purchased...

Dayton hires Jerrod Barks as asst. city administrator; has served as city administrator of Morgantown

The City Dayton has hired Jerrod Barks as its Assistant City Administrator, a new position created by the Dayton City Council in July as part of a restructuring of administrative positions in the city. For the past eight years, Barks has served as City Administrator for the City of Morgantown, a town of about 2,500 residents in Butler County, which is about 25 miles northwest of Bowling Green, Ky. Barks...

Ken Smith named city manager of Covington, as commissioners vote to move him from interim status

Thirteen weeks after he stepped into Covington’s city manager position on an interim basis, Ken Smith now has the job permanently. The Covington Board of Commissioners voted to approve the appointment of Smith, the City’s Neighborhood Services director who had been doing both jobs since the Commission accepted City Manager David Johnston’s resignation on June 8. Vice Mayor Ron Washington said...

New, special pizza box recycling receptacles installed in MainStrasse in effort to solve big trash problem

A large pizza box doesn’t fit into a public garbage can. So night in and night out, the first person to get up from their outdoor table in MainStrasse Village would simply lay the empty cardboard container from their late-night cheese-laden pie on top of the nearest can, succeeding primarily in covering up the “hole.” The second person to throw away a box would solidify the “clog” —...

Road report: KYTC District 6 reports on work in the region this week, cites delays, closures

The Kentucky Transportation Cabinet District 6 reports the following conditions and/or operations for highways in District Six. Motorists should be aware of possible delays or lane closures on the following projects: KENTON COUNTY, KENTUCKY – HAMILTON COUNTY, OHIO • Brent Spence Bridge – I-71/75 Southbound/Northbound (191.3 – 191.8 mile-marker) –  A routine maintenance project...

New Covington assistant city manager ‘hooked’ on local government’s ability to improve people’s lives

Joy Pierson’s mother always told her and her 14 siblings that, while they were not rich in money, they were rich in love. “We weren’t raised to believe that you just go make money; we were raised to believe that you go do something you love with your life and give back,” Pierson said. “You take care of your family, give back to your community, and be active in your church or the nonprofits...

Legislators wrestle with how to keep students safe in school, age to require masks in day-care centers

By Melissa Patrick Kentucky Health News As Kentucky lawmakers gear up for a special session to take over management of the pandemic, under a court ruling that upheld laws to limit the governor’s emergency powers, two of their priorities are how to keep students in the classroom and how keep young children in day-care centers safe. Sen. Max Wise, co-chair of the Interim Joint Committee on Education,...

City of Covington police, fire departments name new assistant chiefs; other changes due to retirements

The City of Covington has announced promotions within the city’s police and fire departments as a result of recent retirement within the organizations. Covington Police Capt. Justin Wietholter was recently promoted to assistant chief of police to replace the recently retired Pat Swift, and Fire Lt. Gary Rucker was promoted to assistant chief of emergency medical service, replacing the recently...

Kenton County Fiscal Court votes unanimously to reduce tax rates, cites improvements to operations

Kenton County’s Judge/Executive Kris Knochelmann, Commissioner Dr. Jon Draud, Commissioner Beth Sewell, and Commissioner Joe Nienaber voted unanimously to reduce the real property tax rate by 3.1%. The real property tax rate was reduced from 15.9 cents per $100 of valuation to 15.4 cents. The personal property tax rate was also reduced 4.5%, from 20.2 cents per $100 of valuation to 19.3 cents. “Improvements...

Wired for community development Brandon Holmes joins City of Covington in Neighborhood Services

Brandon Holmes was supposed to be an investment banker. At least that’s what every standardized personality test told him. “(But) my father was a real estate investor,” said Holmes, the new assistant director of Covington’s Neighborhood Services Department. “I remember running around to the projects he bought. Watching and seeing what came out of real estate (deals) was always interesting.” Brandon...

Stivers says legislature may allow school districts to determine mask policy, rather than follow state board

By Al Cross Kentucky Health News The Kentucky General Assembly may well let local school officials decide mask policy, rather than follow a state school-board regulation, Senate President Robert Stivers said in an interview broadcast Sunday. Asked if the legislature would shift the authority for school mandates back to locals, Stivers said, “I can see that very seriously happening, because we’ve...