Cincinnati Has the Damar Hamlin Fan Club, and 8 Other News Stories You May Have Missed This Week

A scary injury, a poopy license plate and the city's best peach cobbler – what a week.

click to enlarge Brandon Metzger fixes signs of support for Buffalo Bills’ safety Damar Hamlin outside UC Medical Center on Jan. 3, 2023. - Photo: Madeline Fening
Photo: Madeline Fening
Brandon Metzger fixes signs of support for Buffalo Bills’ safety Damar Hamlin outside UC Medical Center on Jan. 3, 2023.

What an up-and-down week! The president was in town, which was great, but a young football player nearly died of cardiac arrest before the eyes of millions, which was not great. Catch up on  the big headlines of the week:

Buffalo Bills Safety Damar Hamlin Finally Wakes, Chats with Teammates Via FaceTime at UC Medical Center
Damar Hamlin is on an upswing in a big way. After a harrowing week of recovery at the University of Cincinnati Medical Center following his cardiac arrest during a Jan. 2 Bills-at-Bengals game, the Buffalo Bills safety has finally awakened, telling teammates "Love you boys" on FaceTime on Jan. 6. After collapsing during the first quarter of the game, Hamlin had been given CPR for nine minutes before being taken away in an ambulance and intubated. Since the incident, fans from both teams have held vigils near the hospital and – with the help of other NFL figures – have donated nearly $8 million to Hamlin's charity that helps kids in his hometown of Pittsburgh. Read CityBeat's latest story about Hamlin's health and what coaches and doctors have experienced.

Brent Spence Bridge Project Is a Bipartisan Miracle, Local and State Officials Claim
U.S. President Joe Biden was in Covington to celebrate the $1.635 billion award that the federal government is providing for the Brent Spence Bridge project. The funds, which were announced in late December and are part of the landmark $40 billion Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, will be used to repair the bridge and erect a toll-free, double-decker companion bridge nearby to help alleviate traffic between Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky on I-75. But hobnobbing with politicians and posing for photos wasn't the only thing the president did – he also checked out the peach cobbler at a local restaurant. Read CityBeat's story about Biden's meal and which famous faces joined him.

In Kentucky Address, Beshear Touts Infrastructure Improvements and Emergency Response While Begging for Education Increases
In his fourth State of the Commonwealth Address, Gov. Andy Beshear spoke glowingly of Kentucky’s economy and optimistically of its future, while calling on lawmakers to approve 5% raises for teachers, a proposal that got a cold reception from Republican leaders. Afterwards, Republican legislative leaders told reporters that Beshear was claiming too much credit for Kentucky’s successes. Read CityBeat's story to find out what else Beshear had to say, including about juvenile justice in the Commonwealth.

Alicia Reece Becomes Hamilton County Commission President for 2023
Alicia Reece has been named the new president of the Hamilton County Board of Commissioners for the 2023 year-long term. The Hamilton County Commission president from 2022 Stephanie Summerow Dumas passed the gavel to Reece on Jan. 5 after a unanimous board vote. Read CityBeat's story to find out when to watch Reece's state of the county address.

Former Cincinnati City Council Member Begins Tenure as U.S. Rep for 1st Congressional District
On Jan. 3, former Cincinnati City Council member Greg Landsman was scheduled to be sworn in as the U.S. Representative for the 1st Congressional District, but that's on pause while Republicans flail about picking a new House speaker after Kevin McCarthy failed to garner enough votes. Some Republicans even attempted to make Ohio Rep. Jim Jordan the speaker, but the congressman surprisingly declined. As of press time, the House still hasn't selected a speaker after nearly a dozen votes. Read CityBeat's story for more on the D.C. drama.

'Poo Butt': Ohio Rejected These Hilarious Vanity Plates in 2022
From "UGH FML" to "DRG DELR," the Ohio Bureau of Motor Vehicles released its annual list of rejected vanity plates from 2022. The 759 rejected applications were deemed profane, obscene, and many undeniably funny. Dozens of scatalogical applications like "DOOKIE" or "POO BUTT" prove that, for some, bathroom jokes remain evergreen. Read CityBeat's story to see the many ways people tried to poke fun at the president on their license plates.

Yes, the Cincinnati Chili Bowl Could Become a Real Thing
It seems Cincinnati will celebrate its chili any way it can. The Cincinnati USA Sports Commission is looking to add a new game to the extensive college bowl season. The Cincinnati Chili Bowl – named, of course, for the local cheese-topped delicacy – would welcome two Division I college football teams to TQL Stadium in the West End for a December postseason matchup. Why? Economic development opportunities. Read CityBeat's story about how Cincinnati's own bowl game might happen.

18 Incredible Sports Moments from 2022 that Cincinnati Won’t Forget, for Better or for Worse
Sports have a way of both lifting people to their highest hopes and crushing their spirits until they want to wallow by eating eight 3-Ways in a row. Nowhere is that more true than in Cincinnati, where 2022 was both a joy and a slog in the sports world. Read CityBeat's story about those big football, baseball, soccer and hockey moments.

Queen City Music Spotlight: Catch These 10 Cincinnati Concerts Featuring Local Acts in January
The new year is already bringing some good fortune to local music lovers. With the re-emergence of old traditions, along with some familiar favorites and newer talent appearing across Greater Cincinnati over the next month, it looks like the year is starting off just right for the Cincinnati music scene. Read CityBeat's story to find out which local musicians are on the bill at shows in Greater Cincinnati.

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Madeline Fening

Madeline Fening is CityBeat’s investigative news reporter. Proudly born and raised in Middletown, she attended Bowling Green State University before moving to Austin, Texas where she dabbled in documentary filmmaking, digital news and bartending. Madeline then moved to Cincinnati to work for WCPO 9 News as an...
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