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Revisit 'Sin City' with pictorial
By Staff Reporter   - 02/10/2009

Cincinnati Enquirer

This city is known today for the Levee, aquarium and several fine restaurants.

But it was also once home to corruption, bootlegging, casinos, brothels and bookie joints.

That history has been captured in the book "Newport: The Sin City Years" by native Robin Caraway and published by Arcadia Publishing.

The 128-page, soft-cover book will be released Monday at a retail price of $21.99. A set of 15 historical postcards will be available with it for $7.99.

The book, part of Arcadia's "Images of America" series, is primarily a pictorial with more than 200 vintage images from as far back as the days of Prohibition.

Caraway, a reference assistant with the Kenton County Public Library, researched old newspapers, archives and police reports to compile the book.

She also enlisted the help of several local residents with old photo collections.

"Many of the photographs are from private collections and have never been published before," Caraway said in a statement. "They show Newport's transformation from a bawdy, ill-reputed town to the thriving residential, cultural and commercial neighborhood that it has become."

The book takes a look at how a crime syndicate took over the small community and became the model for Las Vegas by allowing open gambling within the city. It also features a look at illegal businesses that thrived without government interference, and the group of clergy, businessmen and citizens who fought to take back their city.

"I am hoping that it gives others a greater appreciation for the rich history if the community," Caraway said. "I hope that Newport natives, new residents and future generations realize that they live in a uniquely historic place."

The book includes fascinating photos, such as police taking sledgehammers to confiscated slot machines, prostitutes being rounded up in raids and interior shots of the Beverly Hills Supper Club (known then as the Beverly Hills Country Club).

The book will be available Monday at area bookstores, or through Arcadia at www.arcadiapublishing.com or 888-313-2665.




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