Tuesday, July 03, 2001

Bridge name ideas span a who's who

By Stephenie Steitzer
Enquirer Contributor

        COVINGTON — Even if you don't know Dr. Alvin Poweleit, you may someday be taking the Poweleit Bridge.

  • Frank Duveneck, famed Covington artist
  • The Rev. Anthony Deye, community-oriented priest
  • Haven Gillespie, songwriter famous for “Santa Claus is Coming to Town”
  • The Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., Nobel Peace Prize winner
  • Licking Valley Girl Scouts
  • Johnny “T.V.” Peluso, former Newport mayor
  • Dr. Alvin Poweleit, eye doctor, World War II veteran
  • Jim Simpson, first African-American Covington city commissioner
        While Newport and Covington officials are putting their heads together to determine a name for the new four-lane bridge connecting 11th and 12th streets, the Kentucky state Senate has already nominated Dr. Poweleit, a Kenton Countian who fought in World War II and survived the Bataan Death March.

        The Northern Kentucky NAACP is in the process of deciding whether to petition the state transportation department to name the bridge after the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Northern Kentucky NAACP President Jerome Bowles said he is also planning a community forum to see what residents want to name the $10.2 million replacement for the Shortway Bridge.

        “We know that there's some groups in Newport that would like the bridge named after someone other than Dr. King,” Mr. Bowles said.

        Other suggestions are to name the bridge after the Licking Valley Girl Scouts, as it spans the Licking River, or to name the bridge after some of Northern Kentucky's most colorful figures, including former Newport Mayor Johnny “T.V.” Peluso and songwriter Haven Gillespie, the Northern Kentuckian who penned “Santa Claus is Coming to Town.”

        Other suggestions would honor individuals for their public service

        While groups and individuals can recommend names, it is the state legislature or transportation secretary that makes the decision.


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