The Voice - May 2019

Preservation Kentucky Tour 120 on May 18 and 19

By Scott Clark, Historic Preservation Officer

Preservation Kentucky's Tour 120 is an exciting new statewide heritage tourism program designed to raise awareness of the importance of historic preservation to Kentucky's communities and to raise funds to help the nonprofits that preserve, manage, and showcase them. The program launches on Saturday and Sunday, May 18 and 19, during National Historic Preservation Month with tours of historic commercial, residential, and public buildings on the same days throughout the state to make a large impact on the public.

Newport is proud to be a participant in the Tour 120 event. Here's a schedule for this two-day event:

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Saturday, May 18

12:00 pm to 3:00 pm: Newport History Museum @ The Southgate Street School The first and second floors of the museum will be open to the public. Former students of the school and others will be onsite to tell the history of the only African American school in Campbell County. The Newport Grand Lodge 120 (home to the Newport Masonic Lodge and Eastern Star located on the second floor) will also have representatives onsite to share their stories.

 
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Sunday, May 19

12:00 pm to 4:00 pm: General James Taylor Mansion Home Tour (335 E. 3rd St.)

The former home of General James Taylor, founder of Newport in 1795, is a building the modern term adaptive reuse was coined for. When it became too grand of a space for a home, it became a funeral parlor and then a law office. A big thank you to the Gerner and Kearns, Col., L.P.A. office for opening their space to the public.

All events are free to attend, and donations to the Newport History Museum, a 501C (3) corporation, will be accepted.

Volunteers are needed for all the events. If you are interested, please contact Scott Clark at sclark@newportky.gov.


Taste of Newport Sunday, June 2, Rain or Shine

By Bev Holiday

The 7th Annual Taste of Newport will take place Sunday, June 2, from 11:00 am to 6:00 pm. The event is designed to showcase Newport's finest "tastes" around the city, featuring 20+ restaurants with a variety of selections including: pizza, coneys, homemade pies, BBQ, specialty coffees and teas, meatballs, grilled sausage, gourmet popsicles, and more!

The Taste event takes place on the 600, 700, and 800 blocks of Monmouth Street. Artists and artisans will be selling hand-crafted designs and Vintage Campers will open their campers for viewing. Newport retail businesses will be offering sidewalk sales and specials. Newport's craft breweries will also be featured, and two live music stages will have performances during the event.

Don’t miss this fun, spirited event that highlights some of the best food, drinks, art, and retail our city has to offer!


23rd Annual East Row Garden Walk Set for June 1 and 2

By Mike Whitehead

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Please mark your calendar for Saturday and Sunday, June 1 and 2, for the 23rd  annual East Row Garden Walk sponsored by the East Row Garden Club. The walk will run from 10:00 am to 4:00 pm each day in the East Row Historic District, the second largest historic district in Kentucky.

Tickets are $18. Children under 12 are free if accompanied by an adult. Tickets will be sold at the ticket area until 3:00 pm each day of the tour. You can also buy your tickets online anytime.

The 2019 event features eight private gardens, all chosen for their creativity and design in an urban setting. A portion of the proceeds will be donated to other worthwhile activities in Newport. The Garden Club also supports various beautification projects throughout the city including the Tree Revitalization Project, the Mansion Hill park at 3rd Street and Park Avenue, the community garden on Nelson Place, and the Toll Gate Historic Marker on the border between Newport and Bellevue.

The Walk also features several major changes from previous years. The ticket booth, vendor and hospitality area are being centralized on the grounds of St. John’s United Church of Christ at the intersection of Park Avenue and Nelson Place and include musical entertainment in the hospitality area.

There will also be vendors on hand to provide plants and garden-related decorative art, antiques, and accessories. To date, they include:

  • Greg’s Antiques and Garden Iron

  • Wes Ledyard Painted Windows

  • Seeds in Art

  • Ursula Roma Metalworks

  • Tastee Teas

  • Moonbow Ceramics

  • Greenfield Plant Farm

  • Jenny Brewer and Family Repurposed Pieces and Salvaged Materials Painting

  • Artful Endeavor

  • Pot Head Pottery

  • Daisy Jane’s Flower Truck

  • Pieces of the Past

Stop by and pick up some fine crafts from these local vendors.

The generous sponsors for this year’s tour include:

Platinum ($500+)

  • Clint Copenhaver, Robinson Sotheby’s International Realty

Silver ($250-$499)

  • Cathy Rector

  • Michael Jackson, Sibcy Cline Realtors

  • Terry and Midge Brewer, Coaches Corner

  • Crazy Fox Saloon

Bronze ($100-$249)

  • Hardedge Tool, Inc.

  • Mansion Hill Custom Floors

  • Renaissance Garden Ornament

  • Carabello Coffee Company

  • Wooden Cask Brewing Company

  • Newport City Commissioner Frank Peluso and his wife Susan

  • The Southgate House Revival

  • Potato Hill Farm

  • Newport Pizza Company

  • Reser Bicycle Outfitters

  • O’Bryan’s Bar and Grill

  • Commissioner Ken Rechtin

  • Commissioner Tom Guidugli and family

Copper ($30-$99)

  • Sis’s on Monmouth

  • Gateway Bed and Breakfast

  • Newport Commissioner Beth Fennell

Please give them every consideration.

We look forward to seeing you at the Garden Tour!


NBA General Assembly Update

By Bev Holiday, NBA Vice President

The Newport Business Association will be hosting a General Assembly Update panel discussion presented by elected officials at its meeting on Wednesday, May 29, at 8:00 am at the City Building (998 Monmouth Street) in the Multi-Purpose Room. The meeting is free to attend and open to the public.


2019 Events Calendar

By City Manager Tom Fromme

We are already well into spring, and summer is rapidly closing in. This is the time of year that Newport comes alive with festivals and special events. 2019 has quite a lineup of events, and we wanted to let everyone know what is scheduled and hope that you can attend these fun-filled family events.

What: Taste of Newport

Where: Monmouth Street between 6th and 9th Streets

When: Sunday, June 2, 11:00 am to 6:00 pm

Details here.

What: 28th Annual Newport Italianfest presented by Jake Sweeney Fiat

Where: Newport Riverboat Row between the Purple People Bridge and Taylor Southgate Bridge

When: June 13-16

  • Thursday, June 13, 5:00 pm to 11:00 pm (opening ceremony at 7:00 pm)

  • Friday, June 14, 5:00 p.m. to 11:30 p.m. (fireworks after Reds game)

  • Saturday, June 15, 10:00 am  to 11:30 pm (fireworks at 11:00 pm)

  • Sunday, June 16, 12:00 pm to 9:00 pm

This festival features authentic Italian food, live Italian music performed by entertainers from around the nation and from "the old country," a golf outing and a family photo booth showcasing the history of Italian families that settled in Newport generations ago. Other fun includes a cooking contest, games, and rides for the little ones. Events kick off with a bocce ball tournament at Pompilio's Restaurant on Wednesday, June 12. The event averages over 100,000 visitors. For more info, call 859-292-3666.


What: Bacon, Bourbon and Brew Festival*

Where: Newport Riverfront

When: July 11-14

  • Thursday, July 11, 5:00 pm to 11:00 pm

  • Friday, July 12, 5:00 pm to 11:00 pm

  • Saturday, July 13, 12:00 pm to 11:00 pm

  • Sunday, July 14, 12:00 pm to 9:00 pm

The Bacon, Bourbon and Brew Festival is dedicated to the area's rich history and connections to the brewing and pork industries as well as our region's long ties to the bourbon industry. Each of the festival food vendors will feature creative bacon dishes including freshly prepared items sure to delight every bacon lover. Live music, games and more are part of the family fun. For more information, please contact Marc at 513-477-3320.

What: Glier’s Goettafest*

Where: Newport Riverfront

When: July 25-28 and August 1-4

  • Thursday, July 25 and August 1, 5:00 pm to 11:00 pm

  • Friday, July 26 and August 2, 5:00 pm to 11:00 pm

  • Saturday, July 27 and August 3, 12:00 pm to 9:00 pm

  • Sunday, July 28 and August 4, 12:00 pm to 9:00 pm

Glier's Goettafest is a family-fun festival celebrating the region's love of goetta. Here goetta will be prepared in many delicious ways such as Goetta Reubens, omelets, pizza, and more. There will be continuous live music, games, and rides. For more information, please contact Kerry Schall at 859-291-1800 (x 213), kerry@goetta.com or visit www.goettafest.com.

What: Great Inland Seafood Festival in Newport*

Where: Newport Riverfront

When: August 8-11

  • Thursday, August 8, 5:00 pm to 11:00 pm

  • Friday, August 9, 5:00 pm to 11:00 pm

  • Saturday, August 10, 12:00 pm to 11:00 pm

  • Sunday, August 11, 12:00 pm to 9:00 pm

The Great Inland Seafood Festival, held along the riverbank in Newport, features premium seafood dishes from restaurants around the Northern Kentucky and Greater Cincinnati region and music for all. For more information, please visit our Facebook Page.

What: “Rides on Monmouth” Newport Downtown Car Show

Where: Monmouth Street (Between 5th and 11th Streets)

When: Sunday, August 25, 12:00 pm to 5:00 pm (registration begins at 9:00 am)

This family-friendly event will feature more than 200 classic cars this year. Come and enjoy the day and sample our great restaurants. All-day fun and judging of best entries. Benefits Newport Buenger Boys and Girls Club.

What: Riverfest

Where: Newport Riverboat Row

When: Sunday, September 1, 12:00 pm to 10:00 pm

Live entertainment, food, beverages, and Rozzi's largest and oldest fireworks display at dark. In 2017, there were more than 250,000 visitors.


What: Newport Oktoberfest*

Where: Newport Riverfront

When: September 27-29

  • Friday, September 27, 5:00 pm to 11:00 pm

  • Saturday, September 28, 12:00 pm 11:00 pm

  • Sunday, September 29, 12:00 pm to 9:00 pm

The Newport Oktoberfest promises to be the most authentic Oktoberfest in the area. The event will be in the Munich Oktoberfest style of large Fest Tent sponsored by German Beer Breweries. Each tent will have food, beer and music. Participating restaurants include Wertheim's and others. There will also be continuous live German entertainment. Free admission. For more information, call 513-477-3320.


What: Harvest the Arts and Music Fest

Where: Newport History Museum (215 E. Southgate Street)

When: Saturday, September 28, 11:00 am to 5:00 pm

Harvest the Arts and Music Fest at the Newport History Museum @ The Southgate Street School is an event where voices and stories of Newport's unique and diverse past come alive. Food, beverages, live music, and artist demonstrations and sales are planned.


*Denotes events for which the City of Newport provides logistical support but does not manage the event.


As always, if you have any questions, email bholiday@newportky.gov or call my office at 859-292-3687. Great things are happening in Newport! Thanks for your continued efforts to make Newport a great place to live, work, shop, and play.


Memorial Day Parade

By City Manager Tom Fromme

The City of Newport would like to invite you and your organization to be a part of our annual Memorial Day Parade as either a participant or a parade watcher on Monday, May 27. The parade starts at 9:00 am and last approximately 45 minutes.

This day is a special tribute in honor of our veterans. Your participation will help in recognizing this special group of people as well as contribute to the success of our parade.


The parade route will proceed as follows:

  1. Line up in the parking lot at 4th and Columbia Streets

  2. South on York Street to 6th Street

  3. East on 6th Street to Monmouth Street

  4. South on Monmouth Street to 10th Street

  5. Parade ends at 10th Street (City Building)


Following the parade, a ceremony in honor of our veterans will be held in front of the Newport City Building at 10th and Monmouth Streets. A continental breakfast will follow in the first floor Multi-Purpose room of the City Building.

To obtain an entry form to participate in the parade, please contact Julia Crout at jcrout@newportky.gov. Forms need to be completed and returned by May 17.

Thank you in advance for your support of our veterans and our Newport community.


Newport Independent School Launches Apprenticeship Program with Sims-Lohman

By Kelly Middleton, Superintendent

After Harold "Pete" Hamblin graduated from Newport High School in 2018, he enrolled at the University of Louisville. But he quickly discovered that pursuing a four-year degree was a path he did not want to take.

"I tried college, but it just didn't work out," said Hamblin, 19, of Newport.

What did work out was a new apprenticeship program the Newport Independent Schools have launched with Sims-Lohman, a regional distributor of kitchen cabinets, granite countertops and bathroom fixtures. Hamblin is now working as installer apprentice, earning money and learning a career.

"I love it," Hamblin said. "The job is so much more interesting and rewarding than I would have imagined. Sims-Lohman took me from the ground up, giving me the opportunity and experience I need to be successful. It's not every day that a career opportunity smacks you in the face."

The apprenticeship program is part of the Newport schools' mission of developing career pathways that prepare students for the future while connecting local employers with students after they graduate.

"Students are automatically more engaged when they see the connection between school and future jobs within their communities," said Newport Independent Schools Superintendent Kelly Middleton. "I am excited about growing this partnership as Sims-Lohman will be sending their people to our high school to speak with our students, some of whom will have the opportunity to tour the plant. Ultimately, our students will even have long-term career opportunities."

Sims-Lohman has a robust apprenticeship program. There are currently 57 apprentices working throughout the company, said CEO Steve Steinman.

"The most powerful thing in business for me is to watch young people develop and learn new skills and new opportunities that can help them achieve their goals and take care of their families," Steinman said. "At Sims-Lohman, we are dedicated to finding ways to allow young people to reach their full potential."

Steinman said that often, apprentices become long-term employees.

"We also benefit greatly from the program," Steinman said. "With labor shortages in the marketplace, our apprentices are learning and growing within our culture and often become some of our top performers."

Newport launched its program after a group of teachers and guidance counselors visited Sims-Lohman and learned about the skills the company looks for in potential employees. Harold Davis, who oversees the Construction Technology Pathway Program at Newport High School, recommended Hamblin for the Sims-Lohman apprenticeship.

"When I had Pete in class, he showed a great aptitude for working with his hands and using carpentry and other tools," Davis said. "He was a top-notch student. I knew he was looking for a job and a career opportunity. So when I learned about the apprenticeship program at Sims-Lohman, I knew he would be a good fit."

"The partnership between Sims-Lohman and Newport Independent Schools benefits both organizations," Middleton said. "Newport continues to model its mission and vision of preparing students for the future, while Sims-Lohman has an opportunity to reach into a local community and find prepared talent."

Steinman said the company is extremely happy with Hamblin and will absolutely offer future apprenticeships to Newport students.

"Right now we have apprentices working in our granite facility as installers and sales apprentices," Steinman said. "All of those positions provide apprentices with the opportunity to develop the skills that can lead to solid jobs with benefits."


Tree Planting Update

By Joy Bishop

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Tree Revitalization, a committee of the East Row Garden Club, is well on its way to another active fall planting event. Susan Whitehead has received 12 applications for a total of 35 trees. Five of the trees ordered are in locations above 10th Street. The process of canvassing this year included areas never before offered trees specifically and slightly outside the boundary of East Row. This area has less canopy and could conceivably be a significant addition to the treescape, benefiting the environment and increasing the focus and presence Newport has as a neighborhood of tree-lined streets.

The response has been most positive and is sure to bear an increased focus on the streetscape in those areas. So great to see such enthusiasm from a new group of residents interested in increasing the tree presence in the neighborhood during the first year of the offer to participate in the plantings.

The areas focused on were those streets north of Ninth and between Monmouth and Washington. Volunteers went door to door with information, talking points and order forms. Pat Altenau, chair of the canvassing committee, reports canvassing has been completed. Congratulations to the volunteers for all the energy and good will that went into making this a successful introduction to a new group of residents. Job well done!

Tree Revitalization has a number of informative brochures perfect as a follow up to all plantings. There are 15 brochures speaking to many aspects of tree care that should be helpful with keeping the tree healthy as an addition to the treescape. These brochures are available to all residents and can be dropped off at your home, if you would like to order them as an aid in caring for your trees. Please email therestitis@aol.com to have brochures delivered to you. Provide your address, any special instructions for delivery, names of brochures, and number of brochures desired for each category of brochure ordered.

The selection of brochures is:

  • New Tree Planting

  • Benefit of Trees

  • Tree Selection and Placement

  • Recognizing Tree Risk

  • Buying High Quality Trees

  • Plant Health Care

  • Trees and Turf

  • Avoiding Tree Damage During Construction

  • Avoiding Tree and Utility Conflicts

  • Why Hire an Arborist

  • Insect and Disease Problems

  • Proper Mulching Techniques

  • Why Topping Trees Hurts

  • Pruning Young Trees

  • Tree Values


Reminder: Tree planting is October 19! Order trees By July 15. Questions? Email trees@eastrowgardenclub.org.

The Voice - April 2019

Newport Schools Wins Prestigious Magna Award

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By Kelly Middleton

The Newport Independent Schools has won a major national award for the district's efforts to bring educational equity to all students. Newport is a first-place winner of the prestigious Magna Award, which is sponsored by the National School Boards Association's flagship magazine, American School Board Journal. Newport was honored among districts of under 5,000 students.

The Magna Awards, supported by Sodexo, a leader in delivering sustainable, integrated facilities management and food service operations, honor districts across the country for programs that break down barriers for underserved students. A panel of school board members, administrators, and other educators selected the winners from 200 submissions.

“It takes commitment to start an equity program and fortitude to sustain it,” Thomas J. Gentzel, National School Boards Association executive director and CEO, said in a statement. “I congratulate the 2019 Magna Award winning districts for performing the hard and sometimes unpopular work to ensure all of their students are supported and provided with the tools and opportunities needed to succeed.”

Newport Board of Education Chairwoman Ramona Malone said she is especially proud that the district received The Magna Award because it recognizes efforts to ensure that all students are being properly served.

"I have long said that our primary responsibility as a school district is to provide our students with the opportunities they need to succeed, not just while in school but later in life as well," Chairwoman Malone said. "Winning this award is evidence of the hard work and commitment by the Newport Schools community to engage all of our students and provide them with the opportunities and tools they need."


Backyard Wilderness Exhibit and Bioblitz at the Newport Library

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By Jim Pleshinger

Thanks to HHMI Tangled Bank Studios, the Newport branch of the Campbell County Public Library is hosting an all-ages exhibit that encourages families to engage with nature through investigation and observation during the entire month of April. The Backyard Wilderness exhibit shows us the wonders of nature before we even wander into our backyards and encourages us to make connections with nature that don't require WiFi.

The exhibit was created in conjunction with the IMAX film, Backyard Wilderness, which is currently showing in theaters across the country. Family activity guides will be provided to allow you to begin investigating in your own backyard. You may also download the app, Seek by iNaturalist, to discover what species of plants, birds, insects, mammals, etc., are growing or living near you. Or, to truly be WiFi free, ask a librarian to help you locate one of our many identification guides to check out and take with you into your own backyard wilderness adventure.

Along with the exhibit, the library is sponsoring a bioblitz, an intense period of biological survey in an attempt to record all living species within a designated area. Our bioblitz focuses on the species in either your backyard, the library's yard or in one of the many parks in the city of Newport. We are looking for whatever plants, amphibians, fungi, fish, reptiles, arachnids, birds, insects, mollusks, or mammals you can find in those areas.

To learn what species typically reside in our area, download Seek app or check out one of our many nature guides. You may also stop by our Newport Branch to pick up a species bioblitz form to use to record all your findings. (A downloadable version of the form is available at the library.) This sheet will also provide a sampling of species to look for in our area and a map of all our parks. If you bring your completed bioblitz form back to our Newport Branch and show it to one of our librarians, we will give you an entry form to win one of our outdoor adventure kits or your very own nature guide. A bonus entry form will be given to anyone visiting five or more of Newport's parks.


City of Newport and River Metals Recycling Offer Electronics Drop-Off Event

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By City Manager Tom Fromme

River Metals Recycling has offered to host an Electronics Drop-Off only at the city Public Works garage in support of Earth Day 2019. Since Earth Day is the Monday after Easter, the event will take place the following weekend on Saturday and Sunday, April 27 and 28, from 8:00 am to 2:00 pm. The Public Works garage is located on E. 11th Street at the Saratoga Street intersection.

Acceptable items:

  • Cell phones
  • Cell phone batteries
  • Circuit boards
  • Copper yokes
  • CPU chips
  • DVD/CD drives
  • Floppy disks
  • Gold connector ends
  • Hard drives
  • Laptops
  • Laptop batteries
  • Memory cards
  • Modems and routers
  • Networking equipment
  • PC towers
  • Power supplies

NON-acceptable items:

  • Chargers
  • Computer monitors
  • Flat-screen TVs
  • Hazardous material
  • Ink cartridges
  • Keyboards and mice
  • Printers
  • Power packs
  • Scanners and copiers
  • Speakers
  • Toner
  • TVs

Order Your Tree for the October Tree Planting Today!

By Chris Compte

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The Tree Revitalization Committee of the East Row Garden Club is excited to announce a street tree planting event on October 19, 2019. The event will be made possible by revenue generated from the club’s annual Garden Walk, support from the East Row Historic Foundation and the City of Newport and a grant from the Duke Energy Foundation.

The planting will once again add to our ever-expanding tree canopy, continuing our goal of maintaining the tree-lined streets that both contribute to a healthy environment and enhance one of the most charming aspects of our East Row neighborhood.

Property owners can order up to four trees per property address at a cost of $50 each. Trees will be selected by an arborist who will choose trees that are suitable for urban environments and for the specific site and those that support a healthy, diverse canopy.

Before the planting, Tree Revitalize Committee members will conduct site visits and meet with the property owners. Property owners are urged to volunteer for the planting and are expected to care for the tree, which includes watering the tree for the next two years.

The order form can be downloaded and printed here. Send or drop off the order with a check to Susan Whitehead at 617 Maple Ave., Newport KY 41071.

Order EARLY as there is a limit on the number of trees that we can plant. After we reach that limit, the committee can no longer accept orders. Orders with payments must be in by July 15, 2019. For questions, email trees@EastRowGardenClub.org.

What a great way to start the spring season!


Tree Topping Hurts Trees

By Rachel Comte, Tree Revitalize committee member and ISA Certified Arborist

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One of the most common, yet most damaging, injuries to trees comes from tree topping. Sadly, it is a practice seen across the country (and in our own neighborhood) and involves removing or cutting back large branches to stubs in mature trees. It can also be called “heading,” “tipping,” “hat-racking,” or “rounding over.”

Topping is considered the most harmful tree-pruning practice known, as it stresses trees in a myriad of ways:

  1. Starvation. When a tree is topped, this often removes 50-100% of foliage – a tree’s food factory. If no food gets to the roots, the tree can starve.
  2. Shock. When an entire umbrella of leaves is suddenly removed, a tree can suffer sun scald. Bark tissues suddenly exposed to full sun may be burned and develop cankers (dead sections on limbs).
  3. Disease. The practice of topping leaves stubs that can’t heal properly (the location and size of wound prevent healing). Open wounds and exposed tissue invite disease, insects, rot, and thus make trees weak and more dangerous.
  4. Unsafe structure. Unfortunately, people are afraid of trees getting too big and often ask for them to be topped, citing fear that a strong wind might knock large trees over. This is largely unjustified, for the extensive root system of a healthy tree (if left undisturbed) provides adequate support for the tree.
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Topping makes trees even more dangerous. After a tree is topped, it goes into emergency response mode through rapid and extensive new growth. These new shoots, termed water sprouts, are poorly attached and prone to breaking. As these new shoots age, the tree is extremely vulnerable to falling limbs in future years. Ironically, by having trees topped to prevent future damage, people actually create the very situation they are trying to avoid. Many cities across the country assess fines when property owners top street trees for this reason, as it creates a serious future liability issue.

  1. Rapid, unsafe growth. According to the International Society of Arboriculture (ISA), the most common reason given for tree topping is to reduce the size of a tree. People believe they need to top their trees to control their height and spread, when actually the opposite happens. Trees respond to the injury by rapid new growth, quickly surpassing the size it once was, though now weaker. Each cut sprouts multiple new branches and the condition become exponentially problematic with each cycle of topping.
  2. Expense. Often homeowners cite topping as a cheaper alternative to removing the tree. However, while topping may be cheaper right now, actual costs are exponentially higher from increased future pruning needs, falling limb damage, resulting liability, and eventual removal of declining or dead tree.

So if it’s so bad, why is done across the country? The answer centers on a lack of education on proper tree care by property owners and tree care companies alike. It does, however, provide a good way to judge the quality of a local tree company. If any tree company promotes topping as a service, you can be sure they lack quality knowledge of arboriculture in general, and you may want to find another company. Tree services that follow industry standards will refuse to top your tree.


NBA April Meeting

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By Bev Holiday, NBA Vice President

The Newport Business Association (NBA) will be having a "Parks and Recreation Update” presented by Newport Parks and Renaissance Commission representatives and a presentation on a Newport "NKU Art Project" at its meeting on Wednesday, April 24, at 8:00 am at the City Building (998 Monmouth St.) in the multi-purpose room. The meeting is free to attend and open to the public.

The Voice - March 2019

State of the City 2019

By City Manager Tom Fromme

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As we head into the new year, we pause to reflect on the success of the past, goals for the next year, and to strategize about the challenges ahead. In 2018 we celebrated numerous ground breakings and ribbon cuttings in all the various business districts in the city. Corporex announced that the Ovation project would soon be breaking ground after many years. The long awaited, multi-year, Route 9 project came to completion with the construction of its final phase, opening up a new growth corridor for the city. New Riff opened its west side location in 2018, and the Academy on 4th Residential development broke ground.

On the fiscal side, the city also continued to grow. For the calendar year 2018, the city ended with a general fund cash balance of $3,425,880, up $400,000 from 2017. Due to this, the city was able for the first time in over ten years not to renew the short-term tax anticipation note (TAN), and to establish a reserve fund. Our 2018-2019 budget reflected success with revenues surpassing budgeted projections. Over the last four years, the city's net payroll revenues have grown over $1,000,000. In 2018 the city gained a net 40 new companies doing business in the city, with 124 net new employees.

Business growth in the city continues to increase, which is critical since we rely on payroll as our primary source of revenue, accounting for approximately 35% of all revenue. Our largest or fastest growing businesses are PL Marketing, Kroger, Defender Direct, Divisions, Inc., Impact Sales, St. Elizabeth, DJ Joseph Co., National Band and Tag Co. Inc., I-Wireless, and Nexigen Communications.

While great things are happening in the city, we also face challenges in this new year. Increased costs related to personnel, specifically, crippling increases in pension costs dictated by the state, are expected to increase by $1.6 million over the next few years.

Due to the mandated pension increase and other rising costs, we are looking at ways to maintain an adequate level of service in the future within the constraints of our revenue. Perhaps the most difficult challenge for Newport and for surrounding cities is addressing the delivery of public services to our residents. We continue to operate with a very small efficient staff and make every effort to provide a high quality of service in a cost-effective manner (having reduced  city staffing by nearly 30 employees in recent years). Currently we have approximately 115 full time employees, with more than 80 in public safety.

The city has continued to invest in its aging infrastructure and equipment, however aging infrastructure and rising costs continue to be a challenge. During the next few years, we anticipate spending several million dollars on infrastructure related projects and equipment acquisition, including upgrades to the 800 MHz radio system used for public safety. The 2018-2019 budget and work priorities include a focus on capital improvements, including extending the funds from the 2015 bond issuance for several major ongoing projects.

Much was accomplished in 2018, and 2019 continues to look very promising. Construction on Ovation and changes at Newport on the Levee will kick off the year with a flourish. Construction on Carothers Road and design work on the South Monmouth street (US 27) will commence this year, including a partnership with surrounding cities on smart corridor initiatives. We will continue with our city-wide street repaving program and paver replacement and streetscape improvements on Monmouth Street. Bernadette Watkins Park in the West Side will continue to be developed.

Our goals for 2019 continue to include further redevelopment of residential and commercial properties, working on quality of life issues such as parks and recreation, and maintaining a safe walkable community. From a fiscal perspective, we continue working on growing revenues and keeping our expenses reasonable.

The goals for 2019 are listed in their entirety in the Annual Report and metrics can be found on our transparency portal.

As always, if you have any questions, email bholiday@newportky.gov or call my office at 859-292-3687. Great things are happening in Newport! Thanks for your efforts to continue to make Newport a great place to live, work, shop, and play.


NBA March Meeting at Newport on the Levee

By Bev Holiday, NBA Vice President

The Newport Business Association (NBA) will feature a panel discussion on "Business Incentives/Programs and City Parks Quality of Life Event" followed by a Newport on the Levee update and tour at its meeting on Wednesday, March 27, at 8:00 am. The meeting will begin in the meeting room on the second floor of the main building in Newport on the Levee, and is free to attend and open to the public.


NKY Restoration Weekend Returns on March 9

By Scott Clark, Newport Historic Preservation Officer

Newport Intermediate School, designed by Architect C.C. Weber. Photo courtesy of Campbell County Property Valuation Administrator.

Newport Intermediate School, designed by Architect C.C. Weber. Photo courtesy of Campbell County Property Valuation Administrator.

This year’s Northern Kentucky Restoration Weekend will be held on Saturday, March 9, at Newport Intermediate School (95 W. 9th Street).

This free educational event includes a day of workshops and seminars on a range of topics related to historic properties: projects, rehabilitation, research, and maintenance focusing on strategies, materials, and techniques. The event highlights the reuse of historic materials and rehabilitation according to the Secretary of the Interior Standards for Rehabilitation.


Topics include:

  • Masonry Restoration

  • Chimneys and Fireplaces

  • Solar Power Your Historic House

  • Taking Care of Your Historic Trees

  • Make Your House Energy Efficient

  • Nuts and Bolts of Electrical Wiring

  • Roofs

  • Gutters

  • Architect C.C. Weber designs (including Newport Intermediate School)

  • Walking Tours (including Happy Hour at the Crazy Fox Saloon)

  • And more!


Several Newport residents and businesses are part of the presentation team and vendors. Along with the presentations, seminars, and workshops there is a Vendors Fair including a Taste and Talk with free lunch for all attendees to enhance interaction between vendors and attendees.

RSVP encouraged. Register for classes here.

NKY Restoration Weekend is presented by these partners: City of Newport, City of Covington, City of Bellevue, American Chimney, Cincinnati Preservation Association, and Tiburon Energy and Construction.


Veteran Educator Dennis Maines Named Principal of Newport Intermediate School

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By Kelly Middleton, Superintendent

Veteran educator Dennis Maines, who most recently served as Superintendent of the Silver Grove Independent School District, has been named principal of Newport Intermediate School.

Maines — a Dayton, Ky. native who has worked more that 30 years in education as a custodian, teacher, assistant principal, principal, and superintendent — began his new position Wednesday. He replaces Bob Seiter, who stepped down from the position.

"It is not every day that you find someone with Dennis's depth and breadth of experience as an educator, someone who has worked from the classified position to the superintendent's office," said Newport Independent Schools Superintendent Kelly Middleton. "Dennis is a tremendous addition to our school system, and I am confident he will be an outstanding leader of Newport Intermediate School."

Maines left Silver Grove due to the district's pending merger with the Campbell County School District. He had been Superintendent of the district since 2016.

"I have always been up for a new challenge, and I'm honored and excited to be the new principal at Newport Intermediate School," Maines said. "What I have learned over my years in education is that with the right attitude, the right collaboration, and the right staff members, challenges become opportunities. We have a lot of opportunities in Newport and can achieve much success by working together and helping our students reach for and achieve their dreams."

Maines began his career in education as a freshman at Dayton High School, working all four years as a custodian. He enrolled in night school at Northern Kentucky University and continued to work for the Dayton Independent School District as the monitor of the in school suspension program at Lincoln Elementary and as a worker in the district's maintenance department.

After graduating from NKU, Maines worked in the Covington Independent Public Schools, first as a teacher at Sixth District Elementary School, as an assistant principal at Two Rivers Middle School, and as principal at Holmes High School.

Maines served as principal of Bracken County High School prior to becoming Silver Grove superintendent. He received his superintendent certification through the University of Kentucky.

"I worked on just about every rung on the ladder of education," Maines said, "and I truly believe that has contributed to my overall knowledge of how schools work."


Historic Murals at Southgate Street School Might Be Start of Art Zone

By Nick Miller, Newport Historic Preservation Commission

Courtesy of art students at Northern Kentucky University, new murals depicting Newport’s past now adorn what city officials and volunteers would like to see transform into an Arts Zone around the historic Southgate Street School.

Until desegregation in the 1950s, Southgate was a “blacks only” school that served as a path to opportunity for the African American community. The building assumed its new role as the city history museum in 2017 with support from Newport Foundation, Inc.

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The four murals are mounted along the brick street on the back of the Steinhauser Inc. Building, just across from the former school at the western boundary of Mansion Hill.

NKU art professor Kevin Muente said the murals include historic depictions of the school, the Newport Fire Department, the city’s Sin City era and the Ohio River (shown during a flood).

The focus on historic authenticity includes a largely black-and-white palette and attention to detail accuracy. One mural depicting a busy Monmouth Street at night even includes an inset that shows someone (possibly a gangster) being issued a criminal citation by police.

Art student Gina Erardi said working on the project gave her the personal reward of community engagement at a level that surprised her. The students worked from old photographs to paint the murals. One day Gina was walking along Newport’s streets, as she often does, when a sudden sense of place and connectivity struck her.

“I stopped still, struck with an extreme case of déjà vu,” Erardi said. “I realized that I was standing in the very same spot on Monmouth Street that I had been painting for the past several weeks, a street that had completely transformed in recent decades to the naked eye.”

Experiences like this are what city officials would like more people who visit and live in Newport to have, especially as Newport continues to enhance its vibrancy and popularity as an engaging place to live, work, and play.

NKU’s work at the school/museum is just one of several projects the university and its students are assisting with in Newport, according to Mark Neikirk, executive director of Scripps Howard Center for Civic Engagement at NKU. He said the work reflects NKU’s culture, which includes an emphasis on direct involvement in communities surrounding the university.

To learn more about the Newport History Museum at the Southgate Street School, including information about upcoming events, visit our Facebook page.


Newport Independent Schools Presents Shrek the Musical

By Susan Whitehead, Assistant Director

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It is with great excitement that I invite my neighbors to the Newport Schools production of Shrek the Musical. The student actors, under the direction of drama teacher Ms. Brittany Stacy, will bring the adventures of Shrek the Ogre, long-suffering Princess Fiona, talkative Donkey, diminutive Lord Farquaad, and a host of displaced fairy tale creatures to life on the stage at Newport High School.  

The performances are Thursday, March 28, and Friday, March 29, at 7:00 pm and Sunday, March 31, at 2:00 pm at the Newport High School auditorium. Admission is free but donations appreciated. To reserve free tickets call 859-292-2800 or email nhsdrama@newport.kyschools.us.

This is Ms. Stacy’s thirteenth production at Newport Schools and she now has a seasoned group of actors, stagehands, set and prop creators, and lighting and sound technicians along with a bevy of new students learning the craft. In addition, East Row neighbor Wes Ledyard is designing and making some of the costumes. The actors will be accompanied by Mr. Ian Stokes, Newport High School music director, and a group of musicians from the area.  

The senior student actors portraying Shrek, Fiona, Lord Farquaad, and several of the fairy tale creatures will soon be leaving the swamp, tower, and castle for new adventures at Columbia University, Kentucky Wesleyan College, Berea College, DePaul University, Campbellsville University, Northern Kentucky University, and other exciting locales. I have been involved with this program since 2012, and it is gratifying for me to see the students grow in confidence and dedication as the bar is raised with evermore challenging productions. I promise you will enjoy the show.


Newport Business Association Award Presentations

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By Bev Holiday, NBA Vice President

The Newport Business Association (NBA) Annual Meeting and Presentation of Awards was held Wednesday, February 26, at The Newport Syndicate. Mayor Jerry Peluso presented the 2019 Officers and Board of Directors and administered an oath upholding the NBA's Mission Statement, which is to serve the local businesses through its problem-solving forum, unified voice to policy makers, and through its member support, education, and networking.

The following Officers and Board of Directors were installed:

  • Officers

    • President: Mark Ramler, Mansion Hill Properties

    • Vice President: Bev Holiday, City of Newport

    • Secretary: Tammy Weidinger, Brighton Center

    • Treasurer: Drew Bach, Michael P. Bach, P.S.C.

  • Renewed Board Members

    • Michael Bach, Michael P. Bach, P.S.C.

    • Chris Bednar, Nexigen & Newport Park Renaissance, Chair

    • Lynne Cole, Republic Bank

    • David Dalton, The Think Shop

    • Charlie Fry, Master Fry Defense Systems

    • John Marlow, Mokka and the Sunset Bar & Grill

    • Jack Moreland, Southbank Partners

  • New Board Members

    • Matt Atkins, Primary Principal at Newport Independent School District

    • Joe Klare, The Catalytic Fund

    • Justin Otto, Newport on the Levee

    • Rachel Roberts, The Yoga Bar

    • Mike Smith, Headquarters Event Center

  • Director Emeritus

    • Marvin Polinsky (retired), Saul's Men's & Boy's Wear

The following awards were presented:

  • Community Leadership 2018

    • BB Riverboats

  • Volunteers of the Year 2018

    • Emily Carabello, Trash Bash Challenge Coordinator

    • Susan Whitehead, Newport Independent Schools Drama Department

  • Business of the Year 2018

    • Cookie Jar Bakery, 91 years in the city

    • Dixie Chili and Deli, 90 years in the city

  • New Business of the Year 2018

    • Hal-Pe Associates Engineering Services, Inc.

    • Headquarters Historic Event Center

  • Special Recognition Award — Stewardship Preservation

    • Newport Grand Lodge 120 for maintaining the former Southgate Street School and providing space for the Newport History Museum @ The Southgate Street School at 215 E. Southgate Street

  • NBA Director Emeritus Board Member

    • Marvin Polinsky


New Neighbor Welcome Party

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Join the East Row Welcoming Committee for our next New Neighbor Welcome Party on Wednesday, March 20, from 7 pm to 9 pm at the East Row Pool and Social Club (Nelson Place and Linden Avenue). We will have neighbors and representatives of local groups on hand to greet you and welcome you to the wonderful things that are happening in the East Row. We provide the beverages; feel free to bring a snack to share.

The Voice - February 2019

Commissioner Meeting Schedule and More

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By City Manager Tom Fromme

2018 was a good year for the City of Newport! We are looking forward to new developments planned for 2019. The 2018 Year-End report will be featured in a future issue of The Voice.

Here is the listing of the Board of Commissioner meetings and other Committee meetings for 2019:

Newport Board of Commissioners:

  • February 11 (Caucus)

  • February 25 (Regular)

  • March 11 (Caucus)

  • March 25 (Regular)

  • April 8 (Caucus)

  • April 22 (Regular)

  • May 6 (Caucus)

  • May 20 (Regular)

  • June 10 (Regular)

  • July 22 (Regular)

  • August 19 (Regular)

  • September 23 (Regular)

  • October 7 (Caucus)

  • October 21 (Regular)

  • November 18 (Regular)

  • December 16 (Regular)

All meetings of the Board of Commissioners are open to the public. Unless otherwise advertised, meetings are held at 7:00 pm in the 1st floor Multi-Purpose room of the City building at 998 Monmouth Street. Any special meetings will be announced a minimum of 24 hours in advance by notice to the media and posting at the city building. Regular meetings are televised on local cable Public Access Channel via Spectrum Cable on channel 200 and the city's Facebook page (facebook.com/CityofNewportKY). Caucus meetings are not televised. Agendas are posted at newportky.gov or call the city clerk at 859-292-3668.

The following are regular meeting dates for other City Boards for the year 2019.

  • Code Enforcement Board meets on the third Wednesday of the month at 5:00 pm as needed.

  • Board of Adjustments meets on the third Thursday of the month at 4:30 pm as needed.

  • Planning and Zoning Board meets on the fourth Tuesday of the month at 5:00 pm as needed.

  • Historic Preservation Commission meets as needed on the fourth Wednesday of the month at 6 pm

  • Newport Recreation Commission meets on the third Wednesday of the month at 7:00 pm

  • Urban Design Review Board meets as needed.

To confirm if there are meetings scheduled, please call 859-292-3637.

If you have any questions, or need additional information, please call me at 859-292-3687 or email bholiday@newportky.gov.

Great things are happening in Newport! Thanks for your efforts to continue to make Newport a great place to live, work, shop, and play.


NBA February Meeting

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By Bev Holiday, NBA Vice President

The Newport Business Association (NBA) will be hosting its Annual Meeting and Installation of Officers/Board of Directors and Award Presentations on Tuesday, February 26, from 6:00 to 8:00 pm at the Newport Syndicate. The meeting is free for NBA members and $15 per person for Non-NBA members. Hors d'oeuvres and cash bar provided for attendees.


February Events at the Newport History Museum

By Scott Clark, Historic Preservation Officer and Newport History Museum Executive Director

February will be a busy month at the Newport History Museum @ The Southgate Street School (215 E. Southgate Street). Watch the East Row listserv for details of events.

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The Museum will be open every Saturday in February (2, 9, 16 and 23) in support of National Black History Month from noon to 3:00 pm. "Black Sports Legends of Newport High School" prepared by Daylin Garland will be on display for viewing. This pictorial and newspaper clipping exhibit showcases the Legends of Newport Honorees from the past.

Other planned February events (times and details coming soon):

Tuesday, February 5: An exciting "Reveal" along East Southgate Street to enhance this Historic Street and The Newport History Museum

Wednesday, February 6: A Talk by an expert on artist Frank Duveneck

The Museum's mission is to honor the students and educators who stepped through the school by engaging with and celebrating the diverse history of the community. This is a place where the voices and stories of Newport's unique past come alive. The Museum is free to visit and open to the public.


Newport Wildcats Advance in the Kentucky All “A” Classic

By Kelly Grayson

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The Newport Wildcats played and advanced in the Kentucky All “A” Classic State Tournament. With the score tired and down to the final seconds on the clock, junior guard, DaeShawn White put up a 3-point shot dropping through the net giving Newport the win over Holy Cross 48-45 in the 9th Regional All “A” Classic. This game was held last Saturday at Newport Central Catholic. Newport advanced to the State All “A” after winning three close games, beating Beechwood 53-52 and Newport Catholic 67-62.

Senior Makhi McGuire was named most valuable player on the regional all-tournament team. DaeShawn White and Kaleal Davis were also named to the all-tournament team. Newport is ranked 4th in the latest Northern Kentucky coaches poll.

The win puts Newport’s record at 17-4 heading into the All “A” State Classic for the first time since 2012. The Wildcats took on Kentucky Country Day (10-9) champions of the 7th Region in the first round with an exciting win 67-47 at Eastern Kentucky University’s McBrayer Arena.

The Newport Wildcats will continue play, facing off against University Heights Academy from Region 2 in the next round of the tournament. We invite you to follow Newport Schools on Facebook at Newport Independent School District and on each school’s Twitter. You can also download our app, Newport ISD, or visit newportwildcats.org. Our goal is to keep you informed about the great things happening at Newport Independent Schools.


Plots for Rent in the East Row Community Garden

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The East Row Garden Club has a Community Garden at the end of Nelson Place. Members can rent a 4x10 plot for the season to grow their favorite veggies, flowers, and herbs. For interest in becoming a member and renting a garden space, contact eastrowgarden.org.