Mark Payne

The life and times of a student journalist


  • Mark Payne

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    • Men’s soccer downs Cleveland State, 2-1 October 9, 2015
      CLEVELAND, Ohio – The NKU men’s soccer team remained without a loss in Horizon League play thanks to Wednesday’s 2-1 victory over Cleveland State. Cleveland State (3-6-1, 0-3-1 in Horizon) opened the scoring in the 11th minute on a Victor Zamora goal. The score remained 1-0 Cleveland State until Kobie Qualah leveled the match with [...]
      Matt Sexton, Sports Editor
    • Volleyball roundup: NKU drops pair after win over Green Bay October 9, 2015
      The NKU women’s volleyball team has dropped two straight Horizon League games after a win over Green Bay Oct. 2. Tuesday, the Norse fell in straight sets to Wright State, 25-21, 27-25, 25-13. Keely Creamer led NKU (6-11, 1-4 in Horizon League) with 12 kills. Haley Libs added nine kills. Mel Stewart added 23 digs, [...]
      Matt Sexton, Sports Editor
    • Scripps’ Six@Six kicks off sixth year with AP editor speech October 9, 2015
      Wednesday’s speech by AP national political editor David Scott began the sixth year for the Six@Six series. “The purpose of the series is to focus on the research, creative work and passions of our NKU community,” Collette Thompson, coordinator for the Scripps Howard Center for Civic Engagement said. Thompson said the series is a way [...]
      Matt Sexton, Reporter
    • AP editor immersed in unbelievable presidential election cycle October 9, 2015
      Still 13 months away from the presidential election, the race to the White House has been more unbelievable than one could imagine, according to the Associated Press’ national political editor. David Scott, who has held that position since April 29, 2014 spoke to an attentive audience Wednesday in the Griffin Hall Digitorium at Northern Kentucky [...]
      Matt Sexton, Reporter
    • GALLERY: Fresh face for Callahan Bistro October 8, 2015
      A two-tiered couch, illuminated walls and different seating spaces are all features of the newly renovated Callahan Bistro, which reopened Oct. 4. Modern architecture comes to life in the Bistro, as the dining facility was designed to look like several different rooms, each with their own feel. One room of the Bistro features walls with [...]
      Abby Anstead
    • Police Beats 10/7 October 7, 2015
      September 28, 10:00 a.m.: A report was received that an unknown person removed keys and change from an office desk drawer in the Albright Health Center. October 1, 10:42 p.m.: A report was received that there was an individual in the Regents Albright building without permission. The subject was taken into custody for two outstanding [...]
    • GALLERY: Robotic friend hopes to help Newport Police October 7, 2015
      One of Newport Police Department’s newest members is outfitted with some of the highest technology on the force. A robot created by the NKU’s BIS 394 class joined the NPD on Aug. 4. The class used Raspberry Pi, a credit card sized computer, to help design a robot that will help protect the lives of [...]
      Emily Osterholz, Contributor
    • VIDEO: NKU broadens programs in Sri Lanka October 6, 2015
      Several NKU administrators made the journey to Sri Lanka last fall to help increase programs, collaborations and internships with the country to help expand horizons for students. Each of these programs are meant to help the university complete the first initiative in Fuel the Flame, the 2013-18 Strategic Plan for NKU, which calls for the [...]
      Andrea Carter, Copy Editor
    • From addiction to advocacy October 6, 2015
      From the back seat of his father’s car, Jason Merrick went into violent convulsions. Between losing and regaining consciousness, his face was burning and his skin was coated in beads of sweat. He screamed profanities at his little brother between episodes of vomiting. For the first time in his life, the 30-year-old was experiencing withdrawals. [...]
      Abby Anstead, News Editor
    • NKU, Oakland men’s soccer battle to 1-1 draw October 6, 2015
      Despite being outshot 20-8 Saturday, the NKU men’s soccer team battled to a 1-1 draw with Oakland at NKU Soccer Stadium. NKU keeper Toby Frohlich made seven saves in 110 minutes to earn the tie. Oakland (5-3-2 overall, 2-0-2 Horizon League) opened the scoring in the 13th minute when Matt Dudley scored off of a [...]
      Matt Sexton, Sports Editor

Finding Hank HIll

Posted by Mark Payne on October 30, 2009

It has a Midwestern city feel, but much more authentic and spotted with palm trees. Austin, Texas is a small city with much character.

On Wednesday a few of us went to hit the main entertainment street. The Sixth street area in downtown Austin is home to famous venues, such as Emo’s. The district offers bars of all sorts; chuddy bars, Irish bars, dance clubs and various others. There are several walk-up pizza joints — even one called “Heavy metal pizza”. I approached looking for some pie, because I am a pizza connoisseur of sorts. Looked at the dry, cardboard looking pizza under the heat lamp and needless to say I wasn’t going to eat it.

The bar of choice for us was a place called Ace’s. There was a DJ flanked by an artist drawing a picture in the background. Many kids were there arms flailing, legs wobbling, keeping time with the off-the-wall music. A guy had a girl against the wall shoving his tongue down her throat; they probably had a good night. As the night went on, the streets became more filled. I approached a man nursing a tall beer.

“What is that?” I asked.

“Lone star,” he said.

It’s a cheap beer – under three bucks at most places- and is only sold in Texas. I’ve now drank much Lone Star.

One thing to find interesting about the city is the pedicabs, which are bikes with cabs attached on the back for toting drunks around town. The pedicabbies work on tips only.

I am also on a mission to find Hank Hill’s house – I will let you know how it turns out.

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My encounter with Chris Sabo

Posted by Mark Payne on October 15, 2009

When I found out Chris Sabo was attending Northern Kentucky University I had mixed feelings. I don’t watch sports too much anymore, but I have very fond memories of growing up around the Cincinnati Reds in the early nineties. So when the opportunity came for this I jumped at it.

Chris Sabo is a friendly guy. However, I was worried when I started to try to get a hold of him.

Sabo has been infamously modest and rumor has it he is a recluse.I called his house — no response. After a couple e-mails I was finally able to get a hold of him.

His e-mails were pretty cut and dry, so when I was scheduled to have an interview with him I was worried that I would only be getting simple answers.

I was nervous when I introduced myself and as we sat down to talk my knees were shaking. I was pretty giddy.
Before the interview I let Charlotte Etherton — The Northerner’s Photo editor and photographer for the interview — know I wanted her to sneak a couple shots of us sitting down talking to each other, just in case he said no to a picture of us together after the interview.

Chris Sabo, right, and I pose for a photo after our interview. Photo courtesy of Charlotte Etherton.

Chris Sabo, right, and I pose for a photo after our interview. Photo courtesy of Charlotte Etherton.

Sabo turned out to be a very friendly guy, as aforementioned. It was one of the most interesting experiences I have had in my life. To be able to sit down and speak with the “goggled” third baseman for the Cincinnati Reds.

Read the story, CLICK HERE.

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WEBN fireworks

Posted by Mark Payne on October 6, 2009

This year's WEBN fireworks. Photo by Mark Payne.

This year's WEBN fireworks. Photo by Mark Payne.

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3CDC could strike again

Posted by Mark Payne on September 29, 2009

Story about Cincinnati Corporation seeking to buy low-income apartment building and turn it into an  upscale hotel. Click here

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Where ever I went, I was running

Posted by Mark Payne on September 22, 2009

Northern Kentucky University's Student Government President, Keith Kaseke. Photo by Mark Payne

Northern Kentucky University's Student Government President, Keith Kaseke. Photo by Mark Payne

This article originally appeared at

By Mark Payne

Keith Kaseke ran from Zimbabwe to the United States, literally.

Kaseke, the first international student to become Student Government Association President, was once on the cusp of becoming a world-class runner.


Kaseke, born in Zimbabwe, a country plagued with the HIV/Aids epidemic and economic problems, saw a different life than most Zimbabweans. His parents were entrepreneurs owning general stores and real estate and in fourth grade, Kaseke began attending private boarding schools on athletic scholarships.

“I think at my school of 662 students, we had seven (black) students,” Kaseke said of the ratio between white and black student in boarding school.

Boarding school, for Kaseke, wasn’t the teacher-slappping-the-hand kind you see in Hollywood films.

“The food was great. I don’t know if Chartwell’s wants me to say that,” he said jokingly. “It was almost like living in a hotel.”

He said for most students the only way to get off campus was to participate in some type of sporting event.

“They’re usually in the middle of nowhere and the only way to get off campus was through some activity,” he said. “So, I started engaging in sporting activities. That was my ticket to leave campus.”

Kaseke participated in rugby, field hockey and track during his years at EaglesVale High School. He said if you played a sport like rugby you knew you could get off campus on Saturdays and if you played field hockey you could get off campus on Fridays.

“That was a way to see southern Africa,” he said.

Out of Africa

In 2001, Kaseke’s athletic ability led him to the University of Cincinnati on a track scholarship. He chose UC because he had relatives living in the area, who attended the College of Design, Art, Architecture and Planning.

“Actually, when I came that was my goal, to become an architect,” he said.

Once he arrived at UC, Kaseke did not see DAAP as a good fit for him and chose Entrepreneurship instead. Kaseke remembers one of his first classes at UC.

“I remember one of my first classes was in an auditorium with like 400 kids,” he said. “I sat next to this girl—I had dreadlocks at the time — I sat next to this girl from Connecticut and she’s like, ‘I’ve never been close to a black person before, can I feel your hair?’ I thought it was a prank, so I played along.”

Kaseke said he didn’t know what Connecticut was, but soon realized this girl was from the countryside of the state.

“I never realized stuff like that existed, where somebody could actually live, grow up their entire life in the United States and not meet a black person,” he said.

In 2003, Kaseke experienced a devastating knee injury, tearing his Anterior Crucial Ligament (ACL). Kaseke had a decision to make: He could get surgery on his knee, ending his track career, or he could opt out of surgery, continuing to chase his dream of being an Olympic runner, but live in excruciating pain.

“My dreams had always been to run in the Olympics,” he said. “I had to choose between having surgery, or not having surgery, and seeing where it would take me. That was a really tough decision.”

Kaseke went back to Africa for a couple years to muddle over the difficult situation.

“I was advised into having surgery,” he said. “When you have surgery it’s never the same.”

The surgery put an end to Kaseke’s competitive running career.

Northern Kentucky is home

In 2005, he headed to back to the United States, this time his destination was Northern Kentucky University.

“Well it was a no-brainer ‘cause the tuition was cheaper,” Kaseke said of choosing to attend NKU over going back to UC.

Attending NKU has been a good choice.

“NKU has been one of the best decisions I’ve made,” he said. “Simply, because it’s a smaller university, and most importantly it’s a growing university.”

When Kaseke and his family first came to the U.S. they were given refugee status. In March 2009, Keith became a citizen of the U.S.

Kaseke makes Northern Kentucky his home, along with the rest of his family, including his mother and father. He has two sisters and one brother. His oldest sister, Karuva Kaseke, attends Berea College and his youngest sister, Joy Kaseke, attends Conner High School. His brother, Taonezvi, attends NKU. He also has aunts, uncles and cousins that live in the area.

Besides keeping himself busy with SGA, Kaseke also plays field hockey for the Cincinnati Centurions and is the head coach for Xavier University’s club field hockey team.

Kaseke realizes the stakes are higher since he is the first international student to be SGA president.

“The stakes are higher,” he said, “The standards are higher … I can’t afford to slack.”

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How do you get to school/work?

Posted by Mark Payne on September 21, 2009

Leave a comment letting me know how many miles per day you log during your commute.

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Words of advice

Posted by Mark Payne on August 28, 2009

Incoming freshman the best piece of advice I can give you is have an “open mind.”  Things are going to change so much over the next four -or five, or six, for some seven- years that the only thing you can do is be patient and open.

You will probably lose some friends that you could never live without. You will wonder what the hell you are doing with yourself. You will change your mind about what you want to do at least a few million times.  And you will ask yourself, “Is this worth it”?

Well, it is. Just keep going at it and you will see. There are a lot of awesome things and brilliant people to meet.

P.S. To you journalism freshman, get an AP stylebook and practice your grammar. Mary Cupito’s classes are going to be tough.

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Obama’s health care plan

Posted by Mark Payne on August 14, 2009

President Obama’s health care plan has been likened to that of Nazi Germany  by several conservatives, such as recent failure Sarah Palin. They state they he will create so-called “death panels”, which comes from the idea of the Nazi’s T4 Aktion (action) program, which would grant a “mercy death” to newborn babies with birth defects. It never ceases to amaze me what level politicians will go to to derail a plan, no matter how good it may be. It’s the belief system that if you are the other side, you have to fight against it no matter what.

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Basic rifle marksmanship

Posted by Mark Payne on July 31, 2009

Cadet participates in basic rifle marksmanship

Cadet participates in basic rifle marksmanship

I shot an M-16 rifle, while covering a story about basic rifle marksmanship at Leader’s Training Course in Fort Knox, Ky.

I had a safety brief leading up to the live firing. A drill sergeant let me know firing weapons isn’t a joke.

“I know you are a civilian, but if you point that gun at anybody it’s going to be bad,” he said as he tapped the 9mm handgun on his hip, while pointing at the other drill sergeants who were also carrying weapons.

Basically, if I did anything that would put anybody in harms way they were going to shoot me.

I didn’t hit the target, but found shooting exhilarating. I am intimidated by guns, so this was really stepping outside the box for me. Also take in to consideration it was a high-powered assault rifle.

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Posted by Mark Payne on July 31, 2009

Morgan's final tattoo

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