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New walking, biking path in Covington's downtown gets $1M boost


A dedicated walking and biking path is coming to the heart of Covington's budding central business district, and now the city has $1 million to help pay for it. The funds come in the form of a Kentucky Transportation Cabinet Transportation Alternatives grant, city officials announced on Dec. 15.

The entirety of the funds will go toward developing what city spokeswoman Liz Barlik described as “a safe and easily traversable pathway for pedestrians and bicyclists” along Electric Alley, which currently runs parallel to Madison Avenue and Scott Boulevard between Fifth and Sixth streets.

Officials said the development is part of a larger plan to build up the block surrounding Gateway Community and Technical College’s new urban campus. The path will run through the center of the college’s downtown Covington campus.

Read the full WCPO.com story here.
 

Ray Neverovich elected new president of Home Builders Association of Greater Cincinnati


Ray Neverovich of Union has been elected 2016 President of the Home Builders Association of Greater Cincinnati (HBA) and was officially installed on Dec. 11 at a downtown luncheon. Neverovich is the Cincinnati Division President of The Drees Company. He has been active in the residential construction industry since 1984.

Neverovich has served the HBA for over a decade, including chairman of CiTiRAMA®, a member of the board of directors and trustee of the Ohio Home Builders Association and a local director for the National Association of Home Builders.
Neverovich served four years in the United States Navy prior to attending Indiana University of Pennsylvania, where he graduated with a degree in Environmental Science.

Read the full River City News story here.
 

CVG board gets new leaders


Two leaders of the local business community have been named the new heads of the Kenton County Airport Board, which oversees the Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport.

J. Michael Schlotman, executive vice president and CFO of Kroger Co., will be the board’s new chair, and John Mocker, partner at LB Industries Inc., will be the vice chair beginning Jan. 1, 2016. Both will serve one-year terms and be eligible for renomination in December 2016.

Schlotman joined the board in 2014 and has served as the chair of the airport’s finance committee. He replaces Bill Robinson, who will remain on the board following his second term as chairman.

“CVG is a tremendous Tri-State community asset,” Schlotman said in a statement. “2015 has been a great year with levels of passenger and cargo growth not experienced in over a decade. The airport is well positioned to achieve even greater growth in 2016 and we have the team in place to achieve our objectives.”

Read the full Cincinnati Business Courier story here.
 

These 11 Cincinnati/NKY businesses are celebrating their first year of operation


Doesn't it seem like more restaurants and retail businesses have opened in Greater Cincinnati in 2015 than in previous years? Entrepreneurship is booming, due in part to organizations like Bad Girl Ventures, The Brandery, Cintrifuse, Mortar and UpTech, which have helped a number of local business owners get their ideas off the ground.
 
Here's a roundup of 11 high-profile businesses that just happen to be celebrating their one-year anniversary or will before the start of the new year, including Folk School Coffee Parlor in Ludlow and The Gruff in Covington.

Read the full Soapbox story here.
 

The Lodge gets OK to become new Dayton creative center


The old Mason Lodge that rises prominently from Sixth Avenue in Dayton is one of the city's most impressive buildings.

But at last week's meeting of the board of adjustments, which was considering a proposal by the building's owner to turn it into a full-time center for creative artists & musicians, the real highlight of the building was that it appears to have been the location where Walk The Moon wrote its new hit album. The band has even given the location shout-outs in national media like NBC and Rolling Stone.

Whether The Lodge, as it is known, is a place that creatives would trek to was not up for question. That much was already clear. The questions were more of the typical at such meetings: how will it accommodate parking, noise, neighbors?

The board unanimously gave owner Scott Beseler approval for his plans.

Read the full River City News story here.
 

NKU develops Street Reach app to connect homeless with outreach workers


As the weather turns cold in Greater Cincinnati, making sure that homeless people are connected with street outreach and emergency shelter services becomes increasingly important. A new app developed at Northern Kentucky University puts the technology to make these connections right in the palm of your hand for the first time.

“Street Reach” aims to break down barriers between the homeless and street outreach services by allowing the public to make electronic reports of individuals in need.

“As winter arrives, we need to help homeless people come in out of the cold. By using the Street Reach app, anyone who sees a person sleeping outside can make sure that person is offered assistance,” said Kevin Finn, president and CEO of Strategies to End Homelessness.

Read the full Northern Kentucky University announcement here.
 

Curb'd is taking applications for Covington parklet designs


The application process is now open for artists and designers interested in Curb’d, a program to create parklets next year in Covington’s MainStrasse and Central business districts. The collaboration between Renaissance Covington and MainStrasse Village Association is funded by the Haile/U.S. Bank Foundation.
 
Curb’d is working closely with businesses in those areas to select parking spaces to house parklets and is preparing to bring designers, artists and engineers into that collaboration.
 
Businesses already have applied to host a parklet in a parking space in front of their location, and 13 parking spaces have been selected as finalists. They’ll go forward in the design competition, with five businesses submitting their own designs and the other eight working with art and design teams who enter the application process.
 
The 13 final designs will be judged by a jury panel that will choose which five parklets are actually constructed.

Read the full Soapbox story here.
 

'Reworking Kentucky' program to provide workplace-ready addiction assistance


State, business and health leaders have launched an initiative aimed at connecting Kentuckians recovering from addiction with employment services.

“Reworking Kentucky,” a component of the chronic substance abuse and addiction program Recovery Kentucky, expands assistance and support to individuals who are exiting the program. It will help them obtain an entry-level, workplace-ready assessment from a local Kentucky Career Center and secure employment with a participating partner company, according to a press release from Gov. Steve Beshear’s office. (Full-service Northern Kentucky Career Centers are in Covington and Florence.)

“We must continue to support at every level those Kentuckians who are struggling with addiction,” Beshear said. “Finding them stable employment is another critical step on the road to breaking their cycle of drug dependence. If Kentucky is to maintain its economic momentum and competitiveness long term, we must help all Kentuckians find successful job placement and create new sources of talent and a dedicated workforce for Kentucky businesses.”

Read the full Northern Kentucky Tribune story here.
 

Highland Heights accepts state funding for senior housing development


The City of Highland Heights accepted a block grant from the Commonwealth of Kentucky for construction of the Highland Village Senior Housing Development at its Nov. 17 city council meeting.

Tom Guidugli, executive director of Neighborhood Foundations, was in attendance to give council an update on the project, which was reported by The River City News in July. Guidugli stated that the project was approved for a block grant for up to $500,000 of the construction costs. The development will be located in the northern part of Highland Heights.

In a resolution introduced by City Attorney Steve Franzen, council accepted the block grant funds.

Read the full River City News story here.
 

Was the Kentucky governor's race the end of political polling?


Politicians like to say that the only poll that matters is on Election Day. That's starting to be more true.

Polls in the Kentucky governor's race consistently showed Democrat Jack Conway with a slight lead over Republican Matt Bevin. Not only did Bevin win, but it wasn't even close. Bevin took 53 percent of the vote to Conway's 44 percent.

The day after the election, The Lexington Herald-Leader announced it would dump Survey USA as its pollster.

"We might as well buy monkeys and dartboards vs. what we had here with Survey USA," tweeted Scott Jennings, a Republican consultant in Kentucky.

Read the full Governing Magazine story here.
 

Devou Park to get a $5 million upgrade


On Nov. 10 the Covington City Commission approved plans for a $5 million clubhouse to be built at Devou Park despite objections from Commissioner Steve Frank.

The clubhouse will replace a 1930s-era building on the park’s golf course. It will be funded using proceeds from the park’s Drees Pavilion, the Devou Park Trust and golf course revenues. Construction of the new building will begin next month, and it’s expected to open in spring 2017.

Read the full Cincinnati Business Courier story here.
 

VonLehman breaks ground on new $3 million headquarters in Fort Wright


VonLehman & Company — a leading regional CPA and business advisory firm with offices in Northern Kentucky, Cincinnati and Indianapolis — broke ground Nov. 12 on the a new $3 million headquarters building the company is developing in Fort Wright.

One of the largest accounting firms in the Greater Cincinnati area, VonLehman will build a 57,000-square-foot Class A office building at the Wright’s Summit Office Complex, which is owned and developed by Wessels Construction & Development Company Inc. and its affiliates.

The project was cited by Gov. Steve Beshear last month as an example of “a great corporate citizen for many years” continuing to expand and add jobs in Northern Kentucky.

Read the full Northern Kentucky Tribune story here.
 

3 from Covington win state preservation awards


Two of eight prestigious statewide preservation awards given annually by Preservation Kentucky were received by Covington residents.
 
Established in 2012 to honor the contributions of Kentuckians who have excelled in preserving the Commonwealth's rich heritage, the Excellence in Preservation Leaders Awards feature projects from rural and urban communities and people who have demonstrated exceptional guidance preserving the built environment, promoting sustainability and providing educational programs.  
 
The Barbara Hulette Young Preservation Leader Award was given to Emily Wolfe and Paul Wectman for their various preservation projects in the Historic MainStrasse neighborhood, including Otto's, the restoration of an 1890-built church rectory that is now their home and most recently they restored the building now occupied by Frida 601, a popular Mexican restaurant.  
 
The Helen Dedman Award for Excellence in Preservation Advocacy was given to Lisa Sauer for her long-term leadership of Progress with Preservation, "a movement by the residents of Covington, to demonstrate that the beauty of our architectural heritage can be leveraged for new uses to create a vibrant city that is uniquely Covington" and her tireless support of the Historic Licking Riverside Neighborhood.

Read the full River City News story here.
 

NKY legislative caucus hears public input on Brent Spence Bridge


Officials from the Northern Kentucky Chamber of Commerce and the Ohio-Kentucky-Indiana Regional Council of Governments (OKI) re-emphasized their support for a $2.6 billion replacement of the Brent Spence Bridge — almost certainly with the use of tolls — while others spoke against that plan in front of Northern Kentucky state lawmakers on Oct. 23.

“The chamber believes that the Brent Spence Bridge corridor is the single highest priority for infrastructure improvements in our community,” said David Heidrich, chairman of the chamber’s board. “Secondly, we know of no way that that project can be funded without some form of user fee, or toll.”

“We want to get this bridge built sooner than later,” Robert Koehler of OKI told lawmakers. “Why? Well, of course, safety. Every day that goes by, the risk that you take traveling over this structure is significant. Every day that goes by, the cost goes up.”

Read the full Northern Kentucky Tribune story here.
 

Newport company selected to restore iconic roller coasters


A Greater Cincinnati firm has been chosen to restore one of the nation’s most iconic roller coasters along with one of the tallest roller coasters in the world.

Newport-based Baynum Painting will paint Coney Island’s Cyclone at Luna Park in New York as well as Cedar Point’s Top Thrill Dragster in Northern Ohio.

The Cyclone opened in June 1927 and features an 85-foot, 60-degree drop on a 2,640-foot track with speeds up to 60 miles per hour. It became a New York City landmark in July 1988 and is listed on the New York State Register of Historic Places and on the National Historic Landmark Register. Baynum is part of a team working on the multi-year restoration project and will apply a glossy white coat of paint donated by PPG Paints.

Read the full Cincinnati Business Courier story here.
 
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