Heroin Conversation at NKU Continues at Highland Heights Meeting
On Sunday evening, Dreamland author Sam Quinones spoke to hundreds of people on the campus of Northern Kentucky University about the region's and America’s heroin epidemic. Tuesday evening, the conversation continued at the Highland Heights City Council meeting about what can be done to slow down the drug problem that is ravaging so many lives in the region.
“Our courtrooms are full of it, our hospitals are full of it, our jails are full of it...It is a very complex problem and it’s not going to be resolved quickly and it’s not going to be resolved with any kind of magic bullet,” City Attorney Steve Franzen said, adding that it needs to be attacked on multiple fronts.
Councilman Scott Sedmak commented on the sophistication of the heroin trade and its business-like operation. “One of the reasons these networks are able to sell the drug in Northern Kentucky and other parts of the country is because many of these foreign operations know that they don’t want to compete with inner city gangs in larger metropolitan areas, so they actually target mid-size markets like ours," Sedmak said. "That’s how they view it, it’s like a business…It’s a sophisticated operation, it’s going to take a sophisticated, multi-pronged approach to stop it.”
Mayor Greg Meyers also weighed in. “It’s a demon there and it’s gonna chase you,” the mayor said of those that live with addiction, particularly citing babies born into the world going through symptoms of withdrawal because their mother was addicted to the drug.
A municipal order was passed prohibiting parking on the northerly side of Harriet Avenue between Clara Avenue and southerly side of Harriet, in addition to the designation of “No Parking” zones in the area. Public Works Supervisor Steve Lehman added that signs would not be up tomorrow but they’ve been made and residents will see them in the near future along Harriet.
Beautification committee councilwoman Deborah Ball asked Lehman if he’s able to alleviate the proliferation of weeds near the roundabout near the entrance of Knollwood and University Drive. While the grass had been recently mowed, it is state property, thus, it is in the hands of Kentucky to take care of, he told Ball but he would do what he could.
Regarding city infrastructure, councilman David Ramler said the entrance being paved near Frisch’s and BP is nearing completion. Furthermore, concrete work scheduled for Knollwood should commence “very soon,” according to Lehman.
There will be a city-wide newsletter distributed to residents in mid-May, Meyers said in reference to upcoming summer events taking place throughout Highland Heights.