A nonprofit publication of the Kentucky Center for Public Service Journalism

Kentucky by Heart: Mike Howard went from ‘black sheep’ to beloved ‘Mountain Santa,’ the legend

Because Christmas is all about traditions, we are offering this traditional Kentucky by Heart column on Mike Howard, the Mountain Santa who, sadly, has passed away. But like the Christmas spirit in all of this, his spirit lives on in his legacy of generosity to others. Merry Christmas — and happy memories.) By Steve Flairty NKyTribune columnist Mike Howard remembers with dismay the negative reputation...

Our Rich History: In the WWII Battle of Hürtgen Forest, troops were scattered ‘from hell to breakfast’

By Stephen Enzweiler Special to the NKyTribune Part 5 in an ongoing series commemorating the 75th anniversary of the last year of WWII. December commemorates the Battle of the Bulge. In this installment, we continue with true stories of Cincinnati area soldiers Arthur B. Pranger and Harold “Mat” Matson. Harold “Mat” Matson of Company B, 86th Chemical Mortar Battalion, poses for his photograph...

The River: Just another adventure for the books as friends and river rats come to the rescue

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 According to the weather reports I’ve been following, there’s no snow forecast for Christmas this year. Old Santa’s going to be battling...

UK raises starting pay, improves workforce benefits for team that ‘makes possible an incredible dream’

By Sarah Geegan and Jay Blanton UK Now Saying it is “the right thing to do,” University of Kentucky President Eli Capilouto announced Thursday that beginning July 1, 2020, the starting wage for regular employees will increase from $10.40 an hour to $12.50. “We have a wonderful team of employees that makes possible an incredible dream,” Capilouto said. “And we want to be competitive and lead...

Ludlow students in afterschool program make mosaic benches for River Cities Public Art Project

By Jill Morenz Catalytic Fund Students from the afterschool program at Ludlow Independent Schools recently unveiled three mosaic benches they made as part of the Celebrate the River Cities Public Art Project. The project is an initiative of the Catalytic Fund and the Ludlow benches were funded with a grant from ArtsWave. Jill Morenz, Director of Community Initiatives and Communications for the Catalytic...

UK’s Kenton Co. Cooperative Extension staff helps with Master Provisions winter coat distributions

By Carol Lea Spence UK Cooperative Extensive Service Many offices fill the final days before the holidays with Secret Santas, luncheons and parties. University of Kentucky Cooperative Extension staff in Kenton County, however, decided to share their blessings by volunteering together at Master Provisions, a local nonprofit organization that connects resources to needs in five states and multiple countries. During...

People of NKY: Just call him Puck; Jesse Kleinhenz, bar manager at Gypsy’s, loves hockey, helping kids

By Ginger Dawson NKyTribune reporter Who among us has not heard of Puck?  In A Midsummer Night’s Dream, a play by William Shakespeare, he is a sprite (or goblin) hovering on the periphery of events. Through his actions, for better or for worse, he steers the course of events for all in his world.Jesse Kleinhenz in front of the first year awards of CSHL. Yes, those are paper plates! Note the hoodie...

Second Sight Spirits hosts night of music and reading of play Sam Shepard’s True West

A staged reading of the play True West by Sam Shepard will take place Thursday December 19 at 7 p.m. at Second Sight Spirits in Ludlow (301 Elm St.). Thursday at 7 p.m. Kelly Fine, of local Americana band Young Heirlooms, will play a solo set before the reading begins at 7:30 p.m. Kelly is an incredible artist who weaves authentic stories of adventure and romance in her songwriting. Kelly has been...

Kentucky by Heart: Well, ho ho ho, Steve’s got the Christmas spirit — in a punny kind of way

By Steve Flairty NKyTribune Columnist I’ve always found the Christmas holiday season (the tradition of my religious faith) to be one of a profound mixture of adjectives: solemn, joyous, sad, stressful, inspirational, and tiring. But if I had some choices to make it what I’d like, I’d want it to be of a light nature… and certainly punny. Steve with ‘Santa’ (Photo provided) I...

Our Rich History: Gen. Sherman, soldier, innovator, answers call from Newport for Texas independence

Part 10 of our series, “Resilience and Renaissance: Newport, Kentucky, 1795-2020” By Steve Preston Special to NKyTribune General Sidney Sherman was more than a soldier from Newport, Kentucky. He was an innovator in industry, instrumental in bringing new manufacturing practices to Newport and Cincinnati. His impact was crucial to industrialization of the area, helping it to shed its frontier reputation.Sidney...

The River: It was a busy week, on and off boats — and ended with meeting a future riverboat master

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 Many rhythms and patterns of the cityscape around the Greater Cincinnati region have changed in the nearly thirty-years since I abandoned...

Be safe this holiday season, guard against increased risk of fire: home cooking, candles are top culprits

Glittering decorations, holiday meals and treats, enjoying the warmth of home on a wintry day – these are hallmarks of the holiday season. However, these traditions and festivities also present an increased risk of fire, making December a leading month for U.S. home fires. According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), Christmas Day and Christmas Eve are two of the top three days for...

Fifth multi-faith Community Christmas is at Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints Sunday at 5:30 p.m.

When some Presbyterians, some Catholics and some members of the Church of Jesus Christ get together, it becomes a bar –– a bar of music. That bar becomes an entire festival of music and message, a festival which has now lasted five years. It’s proof that music hath charms to overcome differences and join in celebration of the Christmas season. The fifth annual Community Christmas, hosted...

Horizon’s The 410 giving circle grants more than $13,000 to Southbank Partners for new murals

Nearly 100 community members involved with The 410 and with the Newport Business Association gathered at New Riff Distilling to present a check for $13,120 to Southbank Partners Wednesday. The 410, Horizon Community Funds’ newest giving circle, voted to fund Southbank Partners’ upcoming mural project, which will commemorate the city of Newport’s 225th anniversary in 2020. “We’re proud to...

Burlington couple among those honored from across the state for service as adoptive and foster parents

The Cabinet for Health and Family Services and the Kentucky Department for Community Based Services recently honored several families from across the state, including a Burlington couple, for their service as adoptive and foster parents to some of the state’s most vulnerable children. The families were recognized for providing stability to children in foster care and for making a difference in their...