Jolene Almendarez

JCC Picture Collection

It was the 1950s in Roselawn. You could pay a nickel for a pickle out of barrel at the pharmacy. There were at least five kosher butcher shops on or near Reading Road, and Jewish refugees fleeing Europe set up bakeries to sell traditional goods like braided challah and mandel bread, a Jewish version of biscotti.

Rabbi Irvin Wise, 72, says his family moved to Roselawn in the fall of 1962 during the heyday of the Jewish community in the neighborhood.

Jolene Almendarez / WVXU

The OneFifteen living facility is a lot like a dorm room. Up to 58 people will eventually occupy double rooms together, share a kitchen and work toward building their future. But at the nearly five-acre Dayton facility, the residents are in recovery. 

breonna taylor memorial
Ryan Van Velzer / WFPL

The Cincinnati Police Department is changing its written procedures on the execution of warrants, eliminating the use of no-knock warrants unless someone is at risk of serious harm.

lebanon abortion protest
Jolene Almendarez / WVXU

The Lebanon City Council unanimously voted for an ordinance that bans abortion and abortion providers from setting up shop in the city. A city council member said breaking the newly passed ordinance could result in six months in jail and a $1,000 fine.

cincinnati city hall
Jason Whitman / WVXU

The pandemic caused shortfalls in the city budget that officials say could have resulted in "drastic cuts" to basic services and employee workforce. Federal funding from the American Rescue Plan, however, is a one-time allocation that will keep the budget stable. City officials released a proposed city budget Tuesday afternoon that they say focuses on fiscal stability. If passed, the budget would increase from $416 million to $461 million.

Jolene Almendarez / WVXU

The Community Economic Advancement Initiative, an organization founded in 2015 to support the African American community in Cincinnati, has loosely broken ties with The Port over ideological differences. CEAI claims the development group may inadvertently gentrify neighborhoods.

CEAI Board Secretary Gene Ellington said his organization and The Port of Greater Cincinnati Development Authority have "sort of divergent concerns and issues," and the relationship between the two organizations has been challenged over the years.

Jolene Almendarez / WVXU

It's a Saturday morning and Roselawn Community Council trustees are pulling weeds, picking up cans and getting rid of garbage along Reading Road. Council Trustee Carla Foster has a weed sprayer strapped to her back.

"It used to be a destination spot," she said of Roselawn. "I grew up in Avondale, so growing up this is where you wanted to move and I did. And now it's not the way it was." 

cincinnati city hall
Jason Whitman / WVXU

A first generation American whose parents fled a civil war. A Black woman in a gentrifying neighborhood. A white woman concerned about trans rights. They all bring their lived experience to how they trust — or don’t trust — local government.

Jolene Almendarez / WVXU

On any given morning, about 550 students at the Academy of Multilingual Immersion Studies in Roselawn are greeted with "Hola" and "¿Cómo estás?" It's a school where students learn Spanish or English in an immersive experience, which educators say is part of a long term goal to prepare students for life in a diverse society.

new prospect baptist church
Kevin Weber / WVXU

A church in Roselawn has been transforming into a neighborhood hub for just over a decade, renovating a dilapidated community space in an effort to return it to its glory days. It's not just about the space. New Prospect Baptist Church says it's focusing on essentials, like childcare and business development, to creates a playing field where the community can thrive.

Kevin Weber / WVXU

Cuc Le is a 74-year-old woman who's about four feet tall with a slight body. She wears jade bracelets that clink while she cooks Vietnamese staples at her restaurant in Roselawn.

She, her husband, Anthony, and their young family left Saigon as refugees just after the Vietnam War in the fall of 1975. She hardly spoke any English as they moved through military bases when they first arrived in the United States. But then, Saint Antoninus Catholic Church on the West Side of Cincinnati sponsored them and the city became their home.

phone
Pixabay

Pandemic lockdowns and restrictions kept many people home from jobs and kids home from school for about a year. Regulations were meant to protect people from the deadly COVID-19 virus. Isolation, however, created ripe environments for abuse, especially among children. But that doesn't mean more cases were reported.

audrey dubose
Jason Whitman / WVXU

Robyn Scott thought she wouldn't be able to get out of bed for a demonstration against police brutality on Saturday. The depression she's experienced since her son Melvin Murray died during a police chase was gripping her. She didn't think she could talk to a crowd of people in Roselawn about what happened.

Jolene Almendarez / WVXU

At a strip mall in College Hill, police officers do weapons checks in the parking lot by a daycare. Rifles and shotguns are locked in police cruisers that are parked next to the cars of people going to the nearby Family Dollar. And officials say there are bullet holes and a crumbling ceiling inside the District 5 police station located in that strip mall. That's why some City Council members are calling for up to $25 million for a new, permanent police station in District 5.

drug takeback day
Pixabay

It's spring-cleaning time for medicine cabinets. Saturday is the 20th National Prescription Drug Take Back Day, and many places in the area are offering a way to safely dispose of expired or unneeded medication.

johnson & johnson covid vaccine
David Zalubowski / AP

There is no "direct evidence" linking the death of a University of Cincinnati college student to the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, an official said Friday afternoon.

Hamilton County Coroner Lakshmi Sammarco said a lot of speculation and misinformation on social media about the death of 21-year-old John Foley is not true. 

charmaine mcguffey
Jolene Almendarez / WVXU

Hamilton County Sheriff Charmaine McGuffey made national headlines after being the first openly LGBTQ sheriff in Ohio and running on a progressive platform. It's been 100 days since she took office and, she said during a Facebook Live Q&A, she's made changes for the betterment of the department and community.

Jolene Almendarez / WVXU

Early during the pandemic, drone footage outside of a Freestore Foodbank's mass distribution site showed lines of cars stretched down roadways. A surge of people, many of whom were facing food insecurity for the first time, waited for boxes with pantry staples. Since then, over 600 pantries in the Tri-State have provided almost 38 million meals, and the need for more food availability hasn't dwindled much.

Ronny Salerno / WVXU

It's been 20 years since a Cincinnati police officer killed Timothy Thomas, an unarmed Black teen in Over-the-Rhine – at the time, one of many deaths of Black men by police in the city – sparking demonstrations and protests. Last summer, police use of force was pushed into the national spotlight again after officers killed Breonna Taylor and George Floyd. Earlier this month, several young people spoke in a roundtable discussion about how the 2001 civil unrest intersects with similar calls for justice now.

timothy thomas memorial
Jason Whitman / WVXU

People sat outside an eatery sipping beer near the alleyway where Timothy Thomas was killed by a police officer 20 years ago. Bright lights beamed onto the streets. And a few blocks away at Washington Park, a yoga class had just finished when demonstrators arrived, Wednesday night. Organizers who were among the first to respond to Thomas' death 20 years ago say the gentrified neighborhood and continued police violence against Black people are in stark contrast of each other.

Bill Rinehart / WVXU

The police shooting of Black men — culminating with the death of 19-year-old Timothy Thomas — sparked days of civil unrest in Cincinnati in 2001. Protests, in some cases, turned destructive. More than 800 people were arrested for violating a curfew imposed by the mayor. An economic boycott put a financial dent in Downtown events.

Jolene Almendarez / WVXU

It's been 105 days since St. Elizabeth Healthcare offered 96 vaccines the first day they were available. Now, it can provide 1,400 per day. Senator Mitch McConnell visited St. Elizabeth's Training and Education Center in Erlanger Wednesday morning to commend workers for their efforts distributing the COVID-19 vaccine and helping put a stopper on the pandemic.

Ronny Salerno / WVXU

They're hidden among staircases and curbs in the Mansion Hill neighborhood of Newport, Ky.: fairy doors, the size of your hand or smaller. Children knock on them, but story has it, the winged creatures only come out at night.

cigarette smoking
Pixabay

At Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center, about every other young patient has been exposed to tobacco smoke. Nationally, that rate is 35%. The high number of kids exposed to harmful second- and third-hand smoke prompted a study based out of the University of Cincinnati analyzing the hospital habits of 1,400 children.

Jolene Almendarez / WVXU

Hooch, chamber pots, and buttons were among many artifacts recently found at two outdoor toilet sites, known as privies, in Newport. They were discovered at the former Green Derby Kentucky Bistro a few weeks ago. Northern Kentucky University students are getting a rare hands-on experience cleaning and sorting for an exhibit in May.

Jolene Almendarez / WVXU

Hundreds stood in solidarity with people of Asian descent during the Stop Asian Hate gathering at the Freedome Center in downtown Cincinnati Sunday. There wasn't enough time for everyone who wanted to share their experience with anti-Asian racism to speak at the podium. But those who made it to the microphone said their children are mocked for having Asian features, they're blamed for the global spread of the COVID-19 virus, and they're sexualized or minimized by the "model minority" stereotype.

Courtesy of Mike Blaney

I was waiting for a moment I was sure I'd feel. Right when the barber pressed the clippers into my hair and I started to see my scalp in the mirror, I thought I'd have at least a fraction of a second of regret. But that moment never came. Instead, I just felt relief. 

Dress For Success Cincinnati

More than half a million more women than men have left the workforce since last year throughout the country. A Cincinnati organization is one of many preparing for a surge of women seeking employment help in the coming months.

Melissa Briski

First, it was a whisper. Hospitals started screening patients to see if they'd been overseas because a new virus had been found in China. Shortly after, confirmed cases were in the United States. Doctors who'd worked with contagious diseases in other countries started regularly wearing N-95 masks, which would soon be in short supply. Within a few weeks, hospitals started combining ICU units to make room for COVID 19-patients.

senior suicides
Pixabay

It's been a year since the start of the pandemic and, at long last, some nursing home residents can see their loved ones in person again. That, coupled with the reopening of social spaces like dining halls and wellness facilities, has made a world of difference to residents.

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