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

Ann Thompson/WVXU

The COVID-19 pandemic has worsened a crisis already facing our oceans. Thirty percent more waste is finding its way into the world's oceans and that now includes face masks and latex gloves. The coronavirus pandemic has triggered an estimated global use of 129 billion faces masks and 65 billion gloves every month.


Council members Betsy Sundermann and Greg Landsman held separate press conferences Monday morning to announce reforms at City Hall. This comes after Cincinnati City Council Member Jeff Pastor was arrested last week, and former Council Member Tamaya Dennard was arrested earlier this year. Both are accused by federal authorities on bribery charges.

Kentucky politics is ripe with colorful figures and scandals from each period of its more than 200-year-old history.

ce friday
Jim Nolan / WVXU

On Cincinnati Edition's weekly news review:

Maslow's Army

In a normal year it can be a struggle to provide shelter to all of the people experiencing homelessness in our area. But this isn't a normal time.

Hearing Speech and Deaf Center

The Hearing Speech and Deaf Center has just received a $2,000 grant from the Greater Cincinnati Foundation and the United Way to help people who are deaf better communicate under the pandemic. The funds will be used for the production of "window" masks - cloth masks with a vinyl window that allow people to see the lips of the person who is speaking.

Courtesy of the University of Cincinnati

COVID-19 infections are hitting rural communities especially hard. A team of researchers at the University of Cincinnati have found that in parts of the country where the virus is surging, residents in rural communities are dying at higher rates than those in urban areas.

brent spence bridge crash
Courtesy of The River City News

Updated: 6:52 p.m.

A fiery crash involving two semi trucks has forced the closure of the Brent Spence Bridge connecting Covington to Cincinnati via I-71/75, in both directions. One of the trucks was carrying a chemical called potassium hydroxide which investigators believe contributed to the heat and duration of the fire.


According to the most recent statewide estimate in 2018, there were more than 12,000 people held in jail pretrial on any given day in Ohio, at an estimated cost to the state of between $300 and $400 million annually. That's according to a report released by the ACLU of Ohio, which finds that Ohioans could save between $199 and $264 million per year by not incarcerating people before trial in the vast majority of cases.

Cincinnati City Council Member Jeff Pastor is facing federal charges including attempted bribery, extortion and money laundering. FBI agents arrested him Tuesday morning.

Courtesy Charmaine McGuffey

Democrat Charmaine McGuffey won the Hamilton County Sheriff's race last week, becoming the first female sheriff ever in the county. She defeated Republican opponent Bruce Hoffbauer 52% to 48%.

biden harris
Andrew Harnik / AP

Former Vice President Joe Biden triumphed on Saturday after Pennsylvania was called pushing him over the 270 electoral votes needed to win, amasing a record 74.6 million votes and counting.

ce friday
Jim Nolan / WVXU

On Cincinnati Edition's weekly news review:

2020 election results
John Locher / AP

President Donald Trump and his campaign team are attempting to cast doubt on the outcome of the election, but former Vice President Joe Biden is calling for calm and for all the votes to be counted.

Aaron Doster / AP

After more than a year of active campaigning, Election Day is over - but there are still votes to be counted in many parts of the country, with a wide swath of the electorate casting ballots by mail due to the pandemic.

hamilton county boe early voting
Aaron Doster / AP

After another long campaign season, Election Day is finally here. In Southwest Ohio, voter turnout could reach 75-82%, setting records.

miles taylor
Alex Brandon / AP

A bombshell op-ed in The New York Times, followed by the book, A Warning, were both stunning rebukes of the Trump administration from within.

proud boys
Andrew Selsky / AP

More than a dozen men face federal charges they plotted to kidnap Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer and overthrow the government. Federal authorities say that group did some of its planning in Ohio, where extremist groups have been active since at least 1994.


A new Baldwin Wallace poll has President Donald Trump with a two-point lead over Joe Biden in Ohio, which is within the margin of error, making the state a toss-up in the presidential contest. Both candidates have been campaigning in Ohio, just as past presidential candidates have paid close attention to the Buckeye State as a key battleground.

ce friday
Jim Nolan / WVXU

On Cincinnati Edition's weekly news review, we say goodbye to two longtime WVXU voices. Lee Hay, the host and producer of Around Cincinnati and many other special programs, is retiring after a 45-year career in public radio. And, reporter Jay Hanselman is leaving his post as City Hall's watchdog.

biden trump debate cleveland

The campaigns are winding down and we are just days away from the polls closing on the 2020 election with Democrat Joe Biden leading President Donald Trump in nearly all national polls, often by a wide margin.


Hamilton County faces the threat of being reclassified as "purple," the highest level of COVID-19 spread on Ohio's color-coded alert system. Ohio has topped 200,000 cases of the virus since the pandemic began and as of Tuesday, there are 18,433 hospitalizations. What does our region need to do right now to reverse this trend?

Selena Reder / WVXU

It's a spooky tradition dating back generations but with coronavirus cases spiking nationwide, will you be celebrating Halloween this year? The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is discouraging traditional trick or treating amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Chris Yarzab / Flickr Creative Commons

Back in 1960, the old Ferguson Hills Drive-In was looking for a gimmick to bring people to its parking lot. So, operators of the outdoor cinema looked to bury someone alive.

raking leaves

With Halloween on the way and Thanksgiving not far behind, our thoughts are on the harvest's bounty, and all things fall.


Election Day is nearing. Here's one scenario that could play out: Just as Hillary Clinton did in 2016, Former Vice President Joe Biden wins the popular vote, but still fails to become the 46th president. That has happened two times in the past 20 years, due to the Electoral College.


Local restaurants and bars are getting a boost under the pandemic. The Taste of Cincinnati All Winter program will give restaurants up to $10,000 to stay open. Mayor Cranley announced the funds last week at Nation Kitchen and Bar in Westwood.


Our cities have been the centers of momentous change over the last seven months. From the global pandemic to mass demonstrations over racial injustice, cities have been transformed. Public space is taking on a significant role in our society as a place to demand justice, while public space also raises serious concerns about public health.

ce friday
Jim Nolan / WVXU

On Cincinnati Edition's weekly news review, Friday at noon:


Of all the seasons to go walking in Burnet Woods, Rama Kasturi most enjoys the winter. It's when the trees are bare, exposing the beauty of the forest, frozen rain covers the branches after a winter storm, and it's quiet with few people in the park. Kasturi explores the woods with her cell phone camera, snapping close-ups along the trail for her book, Four Seasons in Burnet Woods, a photo essay of the park.