The Cincinnati Enquirer published an opinion column and a news story this week about issues that are near and dear to our heart: the Ohio River and people who work on the river.
The first was an opinion column Monday on the newspaper’s editorial page by Nick Akins, president and CEO of American Electric Power, which discussed the importance the federal water resources bill now before Congress.
This important legislation will address issues that are vital to the nation’s inland waterways, such as dam safety, levees, ecosystem restoration, harbor maintenance and dredging, as well as repairing and maintaining our locks and dams.
In Tuesday’s Enquirer, reporter Cindy Schroeder wrote a heart-warming story about the passing Virginia “Harbor Mother” Bennett, a longtime fixture on the Ohio River who was well known throughout the inland marine industry, who died at the age of 89.
One of the first women to work on the Ohio River, a regular on the local marine radio where she known where she was known as “Harbor Mother,” and an Ohio River folklore historian, Bennett was so admired by her river family that, in April 2000, the U.S. Coast Guard honored her with the Virginia Bennett navigation light – a rare recognition for a living person.
Friends and her river family celebrated Bennett’s life aboard the Belle of Cincinnati yesterday, where her ashes were sprinkled on a funeral wreath that was set afloat at mile 471.5, — just below the navigation light that bears her name — for her final trip down the Ohio River.