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Newport is a home rule-class city at the confluence of the Ohio and Licking rivers in Campbell County, Kentucky, in the United States. The population was 15,273 at the 2010 census. Historically, it was one of four county seats of Campbell County. Newport is part of the Cincinnati Metropolitan Area, which includes over 2 million inhabitants.
Newport was settled c. 1791 by James Taylor Jr. on land purchased by his father James Sr. from George Muse, who received it as a grant. Taylor's brother, Hubbard Taylor, had been mapping the land twenty years prior. It was not named for its position on the river but for Christopher Newport, the commander of the first ship to reach Jamestown, Virginia, in 1607. Newport was established as a town on December 14, 1795, and incorporated as a city on February 24, 1834. In 1803, the Ft. Washington military post was moved from Cincinnati to become the Newport Barracks. A bridge first connected Newport to Covington in 1853, and the first bridge spanning the Ohio River to Cincinnati, the John A. Roebling Suspension Bridge, opened in 1866. Newport experienced large German immigration in the 1880-90s.
By 1900, Newport was the third largest city in Kentucky, after Covington and Louisville, although Newport and Covington were rightly considered satellites of Cincinnati.
Prohibition under the Volstead Act of 1919 resulted in a widespread illegal sale of alcohol. Many gangsters began to smuggle alcohol into the city to supply citizens and businesses. Speakeasies, bribery, and corruption became a norm in Newport.
Newport's worst natural disaster occurred in 1937, when a flood covered a great part of the city. A flood wall was completed in 1948, and remains a significant part of Newport's landscape.
Newport once had the reputation of "Sin City" due to its upscale gambling casinos on Monmouth street. Monmouth also had many men's stores, nice restaurants, and ice cream parlors. Investigations for racketeering pushed out the casinos, which were replaced by peep shows and adult strip clubs. Many of the old businesses disappeared when parking became difficult on Monmouth Street and the commercial district opened on the hill of south Newport.
A garage at 938 John Street manufacturing illegal fireworks exploded without warning in 1981, leaving severe damage up to a six-block radius.
In the 1980s and 1990s, Newport made plans to develop its riverfront and core to focus primarily on "family friendly" tourism, instead of the "Sin City" tourism of the past. In May 1999 the $40-million Newport Aquarium opened, and the historic Posey Flats apartments were leveled in favor of the Newport on the Levee entertainment complex, which opened the following year.
In 1997 plans were announced for a 1,015-foot (309 m) structure called the "Millennium Tower" were revealed. The tower's main selling point was that building it would be financed by private money, as opposed to taxpayer money. The tower was expected to be completed by 2003, but investors later pulled out and no construction was done. Today the site for the tower is a parking lot next to the World Peace Bell.
Today, Newport is becoming the entertainment community of the fast-growing Northern Kentucky area while its neighboring cities--Bellevue and Covington—become the business centers.
Newport is a county seat of Campbell County, and was previously a county seat from 1797 until 1823, and again from 1824 until 1840. In the 19th century, the overwhelming majority of the population lived in Newport and the surrounding cities. Many citizens did not like traveling south to Alexandria to conduct county business, as southern Campbell County was primarily undeveloped.
In 1883, Newport successfully lobbied the state legislature for an exception to state law, which both required that a county seat be located in the center of the county, and that certain county business only be conducted at the county seat. Frankfort passed a special law, creating the Newport Court House District, and within that district, the Newport Courthouse Commission which functioned as a special taxing district, so that an additional courthouse could be built, and business could take place in Newport, in addition to Alexandria. In 2008, the Kentucky General Assembly removed the taxing authority from the Courthouse Commission, but left the District and Commission intact.
In 2009, a court ruled that Alexandria is the only county seat, and Newport is not a county seat. On November 24, 2010, the Kentucky Court of Appeals disagreed, and granted Newport equal status as a county seat. On August 25, 2011, the Supreme Court of Kentucky denied review of the appellate decision.
Newport is located at 39°5′19″N 84°29′25″W (39.088661, −84.490206).
According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 3.0 square miles (7.8 km2), of which 2.7 square miles (7.0 km2) is land and 0.2 square miles (0.52 km2) (8.42%) is water.
Newport is located within the Bluegrass region found in the Upland South of the United States of America. Newport is also commonly referred to as being located in the Midwest. Either description of Upland South or Midwest is acceptable, as Newport is located at the boundary between those regions.
Newport is located within a transition zone and is proximal to the extreme northern limit of the humid subtropical climate of the Southeastern United States.
As of the census of 2010, there were 15,273 people, 6,194 households, and 3,273 families residing in the city. The population density was 6,267.8 inhabitants per square mile (2,420.0/km²). There were 7,828 housing units at an average density of 2,878.0 per square mile (1,111.2/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 86.3% White, 7.6% African American, 0.3% Native American, 0.7% Asian, less than 0.01% Pacific Islander, 1.8% from other races, and 3.2% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 4.1% of the population.
There were 6,194 households out of which 23.3% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 28.7% were married couples living together, 17.3% had a female householder with no husband present, and 47.2% were non-families. 37.0% of all households were made up of individuals and 8.9% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.32 and the average family size was 3.09.
In the city the population was spread out with 22.2% under the age of 18, 11.1% from 18 to 24, 31.2% from 25 to 44, 25.1% from 45 to 64, and 10.4% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 34 years. For every 100 females, there were 94.8 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 91.4 males.
The median income for a household in the city was $27,451, and the median income for a family was $32,858. Males had a median income of $29,337 versus $22,723 for females. The per capita income for the city was $15,207. About 20.7% of families and 22.3% of the population were below the poverty line, including 31.1% of those under age 18 and 16.3% of those age 65 or over.
Newport Public Schools are part of the Newport Independent Schools School District. The district has one elementary school, one intermediate school, one middle school, and one high school.
Local TV is based in Newport.
The Newport Business Association is a trade association focusing on collaboration between local companies. It holds monthly networking and informational meetings.
A pivotal scene (in which the autistic character Raymond Babbitt counts the toothpicks) in the 1988 film Rain Man was filmed in Newport at Pompilio's Italian restaurant.
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