Michael Monks

Host of Cincinnati Edition

Michael Monks brings a broad range of experience to WVXU-FM as the host of Cincinnati Edition, Cincinnati Public Radio's weekday news and information talk show.

He's the publisher/editor/chief reporter for Northern Kentucky's River City News website who spends his weeknights covering city government or school board meetings.

Ways to Connect

ce friday
Jim Nolan / WVXU

On Cincinnati Edition's weekly news review:

eviction
Michael Dwyer / AP

At the end of December, President Trump signed a pandemic relief bill that provides $25 billion in rental assistance for families facing eviction. The federal package also extends the CDC moratorium on evictions until Jan. 31.

Pixabay

Scientists at The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center and College of Medicine have discovered a new variant of SARS-Cov-2, the virus that causes COVID-19. The new variant carries a mutation identical to the U.K. strain, but it likely arose in a virus strain already present in the United States.

Pixabay.com

In December the Ohio Senate blocked passage of the Fair School Funding Plan. The legislation would have provided an additional $1.99 billion a year, about a 24% increase, to K-12 schools when fully implemented.

curtis galloway
Courtesy of Curtis Galloway

Conversion therapy is a common term for a practice that uses counseling, psychology and often abusive methods as part of an effort to change a person's sexuality from gay to straight.

The practice is banned in more and more jurisdictions and new legislation would add the Commonwealth of Kentucky to that list.

CREDIT WIKIMEDIA COMMONS

Cincinnati celebrated the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. years before the official federal holiday. Today the tradition goes on, though significantly modified due to the pandemic.

ce friday
Jim Nolan / WVXU

On Cincinnati Edition's weekly news review:

first energy solutions
Ron Schwane / AP

Ohio's state lawmakers in 2019 passed a sweeping energy bill known as HB 6 that provided subsidies for two nuclear and two coal power plants while rolling back certain clean energy standards and energy efficiency programs.

donald trump
Alex Brandon / AP

For the second time in 13 months, President Donald Trump was impeached by the House of Representatives. This time however, 10 Republicans joined in indicting their party's leader, voting alongside all the Democrats. That includes Ohio Rep. Anthony Gonzalez, R-Ohio, of the 16th District.

Wave Pool
Provided

Small creative spaces in the Queen City are usually great spots for community building, cramming artists and art lovers into small gallery spaces for conversation and connection.

But what happens when you can't pack those spaces due to a global pandemic?

death penalty
Kiichiro Sato / AP

During the lame duck session in December, the Ohio General Assembly gave final approval to legislation prohibiting execution of the severely mentally ill. House Bill 136 cleared the Ohio House on Dec. 17 and Governor DeWine signed the bill into law. DeWine has also imposed an unofficial moratorium on all executions in the state due to ongoing problems finding lethal-injection drugs.

BILL RINEHART / WVXU

In May, Hamilton County voters approved Issue 7, a countywide tax hike to improve Metro bus service throughout the region. The ballot measure increases the sales tax by 0.8%, generating $130 million annually for busing improvements. With the arrival of 2021, SORTA will now start receiving some of those funds to begin the first phase of the Reinventing Metro plan.

john cranley budget
Jay Hanselman / WVXU

The year 2020 was historic in Cincinnati with the pandemic leading to shutdowns and fiscal crisis, historic protests of racial injustice, and the arrest of three City Council members. Now 2021 brings the arrival of a new COVID-19 vaccine.

Elizebeth Friedman
National Cryptologic Museum / Wikimedia Commons

Elizebeth Smith Friedman was born to a Quaker family in rural Indiana, but a meeting with an eccentric millionaire who believed that William Shakespeare did not write all those plays would change her life, and the course of history.

ce friday
Jim Nolan / WVXU

On Cincinnati Edition's weekly news review...

dc insurrection
John Minchillo / AP

Congress has now affirmed President-elect Joe Biden's win after an assault on the U.S. Capitol Wednesday. Vice President Mike Pence made the announcement just after 3:40 a.m. Thursday. It came hours after a pro-Trump mob stormed the Capitol in an effort to halt the process. Four people died during the assault.

Brent Spence Bridge
Courtesy of KYTC

The Brent Spence Bridge was shuttered for six long weeks, forcing the busy interstate corridor's commuters to find alternate routes from Covington to Cincinnati as the I-71/75 artery was closed.

Courtesy UC Health

Ohioans age 65 and older, school employees and people with medical conditions that put them at high-risk will be eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine in about two weeks. This group, called "1B" in Ohio's vaccination plan, includes about 2.2 million people.

joe biden
Andrew Harnik / AP

When President-elect Joe Biden is sworn into office he plans to make changes to shore up Social Security benefits while extending the program's solvency. To many advocates for the program, it couldn't come at a more crucial time. With the workforce depleted under the pandemic, fewer people are contributing to payroll taxes that fund the system and that has further depleted the reserves.

Courtesy Jennifer Branch

The 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals has ruled that a wrongful death lawsuit against Cincinnati Public Schools can move forward. The case involves 8-year-old Gabriel Taye, who died by suicide in 2017. According to the lawsuit, his suicide was the result of the chronic bullying he suffered at Carson Elementary School. Gabriel’s parents, Cornelia Reynolds and Benyam Taye, sued Cincinnati Public Schools for his wrongful death.

Maslow's Army

Maslow's Army welcomed in 64 people out of the cold on the first day their new winter day center opened on Christmas. The Todd B. Portune Winter Day Center was three years in the making and opened in the former Queensgate Correctional Facility at a crucial time. According to Maslow's Army Executive Director Samuel Landis, there is a 38% increase in the number of people unable to get into a shelter due to the pandemic.  

Pixabay

As 2021 arrives and the U.S. reaches the 10-month mark in the pandemic, we are also approaching another milestone. Some of the first babies to have been conceived during the shutdown are arriving. But are they arriving in great numbers, a sort of lockdown baby boom? Or has COVID-19 brought on a baby bust? An entire generation of fewer children born under a time of great uncertainty, economic devastation and mass loss of life.

coronavirus long haulers
Nick Swartsell / WVXU

While a vaccine for the novel coronavirus that has sparked a global pandemic is now a reality, thousands of people across the country continue to experience lingering symptoms after contracting the disease months ago. Medical experts and Cincinnatians who suffer from so-called "long haul" symptoms say surviving COVID-19 isn't always as simple as beating the virus itself.

ce friday
Jim Nolan / WVXU

On Cincinnati Edition's weekly news review:

joe biden
Patrick Semansky / AP

President Donald J. Trump continues his refusal to concede his loss in the November election and also to maintain that fraudulent votes prevented the Republican's second term.

UC Health

Dr. Suzanne Bennett got a very welcome shot in the arm on Monday. She is among the first 20 frontline health care workers to receive the COVID-19 vaccine at UC Medical Center. It was the first Cincinnati hospital to receive a shipment of the Pfizer vaccine.

Courtesy of WCPO

The trial for a Cincinnati priest accused of raping a child is set for April of 2021. Former Father Geoffrey Drew is accused of raping an altar boy between 1988 and 1991 when he was the music minister at St. Jude School in Green Township.

The restaurant industry has been significantly impacted by social restrictions during the COVID-19 pandemic, but locally, some of the businesses have joined an effort to feed those in need while their own receipts decline.

Provided

The theaters are closed, the stages are dark and the seats are empty. Local entertainers are struggling under the COVID-19 pandemic. But they're also finding ways to modify their act from virtual gigs to outdoor concerts, to drive-thru performances.

richard cordray
John Minchillo / AP

Consumers may see a new financial watchdog when President-elect Joe Biden takes office. A recent Supreme Court ruling paves the way for the Biden administration to appoint a new head of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. The agency protects consumers in the financial marketplace from abuse and predatory practices.

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