Cover Story

Miracle or Mirage?

ACT scores and a mysteriously ended cheating probe raise questions about Taft High School’s climb to the top

8 Comments · Tuesday, February 21, 2012
In a Cincinnati neighborhood plagued by high rates of blight, poverty and crime, the new $18.4 million Robert A. Taft Information Technology High School in the West End couldn’t offer a more contrasting narrative. While city police book killers and other suspected felons right next door, Taft students are enriching their minds in nine computer labs and exploring the world through wall-to-wall Wi-Fi.   

Mardi Gras By the Bite

Local eateries offer traditional foods to celebrate the start of Lent

0 Comments · Tuesday, February 14, 2012
Fat Tuesday, the day before Christians settle down to 40 lean days of Lent, is part of almost every culture, whether it’s called Carnevale, Shrove Tuesday or Pancake Day. But before you pick up that Hurricane glass and get your beads on, you’d best pick up a fork and get something substantial in your tummy.  

Close Encounters of a New Kind

Missed connections personal ads inspire Sophie Blackall’s quirky paintings

1 Comment · Wednesday, February 8, 2012
Missed connections — anonymous personal ads posted on websites like Craigslist — are something of a generational phenomenon. Sure, people have always shared brief moments with one another, later wishing they had said hello, given a compliment, asked for a phone number.   

Space Invaders!

In fall 1973, UFO hysteria gripped the Queen City

4 Comments · Tuesday, January 31, 2012
In mid- to late-October of 1973, just days before tens of thousands of costumed kids were to hit the streets of Cincinnati and surrounding communities for Halloween night, southwest Ohio was under invasion — an invasion that seemingly came from the heavens, and police and government officials across the region were on edge.    

Self Reflection Eternal

With help from some of the world’s great thinkers, local Hip Hop artist i-El finds himself

0 Comments · Tuesday, January 24, 2012
In the beginning, there was Tanya Morgan. And Tanya Morgan was good. Comprised of gifted Cincinnati rappers Ilyas Nashid and Donald “Donwill” Freeman, along with equally talented Brooklyn, N.Y., MC/producer Devon “Von Pea” Callender, Tanya Morgan was hailed as one of Hip Hop’s brightest young groups.  

Terminal Error

How county-provided data doomed the stadium tax economic impact study

2 Comments · Wednesday, January 18, 2012
Sixteen years ago, proponents of the half-cent sales tax hike to fund construction of new stadiums for the Reds and Bengals got a boost from an economic impact study that foretold a prosperous future. Knowing now what lay ahead, with the cash-strapped county mired in debt and cutting services to residents, voters probably would balk at supporting the initiative today.     

A Mouthful of Roaches, a Fistful of Fame

Sword swallowing, fire eating and giant cockroaches are all in a day’s work for sideshow entertainer Travis Fessler

1 Comment · Wednesday, October 22, 2008
You either respect or revile a man who takes a shot at the Guinness Book of Records by holding 11 Madagascar hissing cockroaches in his mouth. I’ve opted for respect with a dash of bemusement. Travis Fessler is one weird guy. He swallows swords, eats fire and allows 300-pound men to stomp on his chest while he lies on a bed of nails. His Oct. 11 record-breaking stunt wasn’t easy: The roaches had to be at least 2 1/2 inches long, had to stay in his mouth for 10 seconds and had to be alive when they crawled out. Previously the most anyone’s been able to mouth were nine of the exotic bugs.  

The Chambers of Horror

1601 S. University Blvd., Middletown

1 Comment · Tuesday, October 21, 2008
The Chambers continues to earn its reputation as a haven for hardcore, confrontational haunting. Costuming is minimal, the event uses lots of masks and rooms are decorated with the bare basics, but the ghouls and demons delight in pursuing hauntgoers and herding them into one trap after another.  

Dent School House/WEBN Haunted House

5963 Harrison Ave., Harrison

3 Comments · Tuesday, October 21, 2008
The Dent School House encompasses the true spirit of Halloween: unrestrained fear. Not for the weak-hearted, it’s perfected the art of the scare.  

Dungeons of Delhi

362 Anderson Ferry Road, Delhi

0 Comments · Tuesday, October 21, 2008
I was told that the cast of the Dungeons of Delhi is mainly children. I assumed that meant that it would be mild and even kid-friendly to the younger ones. I was wrong.  

The Halloween Haunt

Kings Island, Mason

0 Comments · Tuesday, October 21, 2008
Greater Cincinnati’s largest amusement park opens its gates for this hit-and-miss nocturnal event that features 11 haunted attractions and two live stage shows.  

Haunted Miniature Golf

1018 Town Drive, Wilder

0 Comments · Tuesday, October 21, 2008
For those who enjoy the Halloween season but prefer it served with a cute pumpkin as opposed to a headless horseman, Town and Country offers the solution.  

Junction Nightmare and Jack-O-Lantern Junction

7379 Squire Ct., West Chester

0 Comments · Tuesday, October 21, 2008
EnterTrainment Junction is a model railroad entertainment complex, but its haunted house has nothing to do with trains. Instead, visitors find themselves thrown back in time to Jack the Ripper’s London, creeping through city streets that are deserted except for Jack and his victims.  

Land of Illusion

8762 Thomas Road, Middletown

0 Comments · Tuesday, October 21, 2008
Virtually a theme park of haunted houses, Land of Illusion is an illusion itself: Not one haunted anything, it’s four, and each is better than the one before it.  

Loveland Castle Scary Knights

12025 Shore Road, Loveland

0 Comments · Tuesday, October 21, 2008
Restrictions from local government have caused Loveland Castle’s annual Halloween event (now in its 23rd year) to adopt a tour format. This has actually helped, extending the tour time and increasing character interaction with hauntgoers.