A nonprofit publication of the Kentucky Center for Public Service Journalism

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...

Analysis: Official’s messages on private devices about public business are public record

By Amye Bensenhaver Kentucky Open Government Coalition Last week Attorney General Daniel Cameron issued a third open records decision determining that — without regard to their nature, purpose, or content — “text messages sent and received on privately-owned devices, for which no public funds have been spent, are not ‘public records’ under KRS 61.870(2).” This time, Cameron stated that...

Covington Commissioners hire Radius Construction to build new home for Public Works Department

The job of turning vacant warehouse-like space on Russell Street into the new home for Covington’s Public Works Department is being turned over to Radius Construction. In a specially called meeting on Friday, the Covington Board of Commissioners voted to hire the company for $2.94 million to take a redesign created by Hub+Weber Architects and make it a reality. The building at 1730 Russell – the...

Covington seeking responses to survey mapping basement flooding in effort to isolate problem areas

If your basement floods during heavy rain, the City of Covington wants to make sure you’re on a list it “inherited” of addresses where flooded basements have been reported in the past. So the City’s Public Works Department has created a short, online survey. The 10-question survey is designed to build a more complete picture of which areas suffer from periodic flooding, regardless of whether...

Erlanger plans $1.25 million in development and future upgrades for three of its 12 city parks

The City of Erlanger is spending $1.25 million to improve city parks and develop a master plan for future upgrades to the city’s 12 parks. Current plans call for major improvements to Silverlake, Rainbow and Flagship Park and the development of a master plan that will initially include Depot, Stetter, Locust and Railroad Depot parks. “Well-maintained, inviting and attractive parks that...

Rules set for return of Labor Day weekend Riverfest fireworks celebration in Covington and Devou Park

The City of Covington is putting in place familiar restrictions designed to ensure safety and orderly traffic flow as large crowds will again flock to the riverfront and viewing spots around Covington to watch the annual Labor Day weekend fireworks on Sept. 5. The rules address issues like road closures, parking, alcohol, skateboards, motorized scooters, and glass containers and are similar to those...

City of Covington leaves property tax unchanged; RIPPLE funding approved, Lewis is HR director

By Ryan Clark NKyTribune reporter Sometimes you can make money by saving money. The City of Covington’s administration understands that fact, and it’s why for the fifth consecutive year, the Commission agreed with the city finance department’s recommendation to keep Covington’s taxes for real and personal property unchanged: .327 upon each $100 valuation of assessed or assessable real property;...

City of Florence to distribute Florence Aquatic Center survey to city’s citizens; input will guide decision-making

The City of Florence is mailing out surveys this week to gather public input as to whether or not the City should continue operating the Florence Aquatic Center or to redevelop the site for an alternate community use. The surveys are being sent through U.S. mail and should begin arriving in mailboxes early next week. “We are committed to being good stewards of the community’s tax dollars and take...

Citing ‘innovation and quality governance’ KLC names Covington City Government of the Year

The national narrative for local governments last year was defined by retreat and retraction. But the City of Covington forged forward with a $3 million public Wi-Fi project, a dramatic transformation of its riverfront, the purchase of 23 acres near the heart of downtown, and economic development announcements touting the creation of 2,100 new jobs and almost $90 million in private capital investment. Those...

State DOCJT graduates 28 new law enforcement officers, including Lauren Steffen of Kenton County

The Kentucky Department of Criminal Justice Training (DOCJT) announced that 28 law enforcement officers, from agencies across the state, including Lauren Steffen of the Kenton County Sheriff’s office, have graduated the basic training academy. “Your commitment and determination to serve the commonwealth is honorable, and we are grateful that you have chosen this selfless profession,” Gov....

Kentucky Supreme Court reverses decision on executive orders in major legal defeat for Beshear

By Tom Latek Kentucky Today Gov. Andy Beshear was handed a huge legal defeat by the Kentucky Supreme Court unanimously reversed a lower court decision that stopped enforcement of legislation enacted by the 2021 General Assembly, limiting a governor’s power in issuing emergency executive orders in situations like the COVID-19 pandemic. The opinion, issued on a rare Saturday Rendition Day, dissolves...

More than 18,000 Kentuckians to receive industry-specific training through Bluegrass State Skills Corp.

Gov. Andy Beshear this week highlighted progress in the commonwealth’s mission of maintaining, developing and retaining its world-class workforce, further bolstering Kentucky’s surging economy. The Governor announced nearly 18,300 Kentuckians are expected to receive skills training thanks to support provided through the Bluegrass State Skills Corp. (BSSC), a group attached to the Kentucky Cabinet...

State’s unemployment rate down 1.2 percent over last year’s; labor force up slightly over last month

Kentucky’s seasonally adjusted preliminary July 2021 unemployment rate was 4.4%, according to the Kentucky Center for Statistics (KYSTATS), an agency within the Education and Workforce Development Cabinet (EWDC). The preliminary July 2021 jobless rate was unchanged from June 2021 and down 1.2 percentage points from the 5.6% recorded for the state one year ago. The U.S. seasonally adjusted jobless...