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Tristate summer camp expands reach with NKY location

UpSpring, the nonprofit formerly known as Faces Without Places, has provided of services for needy children and youth in the Greater Cincinnati region for almost two decades.
This year, UpSpring introduces Summer 360, a free seven-week camp that will transport children by bus, serve them breakfast and lunch, help them with reading and math and take them on fun field trips several times per week.
Currently the camp serves about 50 students from Erlanger-Elsmere schools, but there are many more students in Kenton County whose families meet the low-income requirement.
"This is kind of a pilot year for this location," said Alex Kuhns, UpSpring’s program director and the Caywood summer camp director. "We wanted to discover our strengths and areas of challenge."
The Northern Kentucky expansion of Summer 360 was made possible thanks to a grant awarded to UpSpring by Cummins, Inc. last fall.
Read the full WCPO Cincinnati story here.

Newport distillery announces $12M expansion

New Riff, Kentucky’s largest craft distillery, is halfway through its anticipated four-year bourbon aging process and has currently announced a $12 million plan for expansion at its Newport location.
The plan, which calls for a whiskey campus, restaurant and event space, received preliminary approval this week from the Kentucky Economic Development Finance Authority. The expansion is expected to create 39 new jobs locally over the next five years.
The distillery’s current primary offering is Kentucky Wild Gin, which is made with 12 different botanicals, most of them locally sourced. New Riff also offers un-aged bourbon and rye whiskies as well as OKI bourbon from hand-selected and blended barrels sourced from an Indiana distillery.
Read the full Cincinnati Business Courier story here.

Popular German eatery moving to historic Newport building

When it arrived on Overton Street three years ago, the authentically German Katharina’s Café immediately charmed many of its East Row neighbors.
Those devotees will now follow Katharina’s a few blocks west to the former site of Mary Lou’s Bar & Grille at 736 Washington Avenue.
The building was recently purchased by Mansion Hill Properties and is currently in the process of being renovated, with plans that include an open floor plan and outdoor biergarten.
Katharina’s staple menu of baguette and brotchen sandwiches, sausages and schnitzels will remain, but owner Elena Williams plans to offer more weekly specials and dinner options as well as a full bar with wine and liquor, German draft beers and local beers.
Read the full River City News story here.

NKU excavation team collaborates with international scholar

Last May, NKU faculty and students began the first-ever excavation of a historic site in New Richmond, Ohio. The project, which has received support from the National Academies of Science, Engineering and Medicine, as well as critical acclaim in scholarly circles, will continue this summer.
The excavation project will explore the former site of the Parker Academy, Ohio’s first co-ed, racially integrated school, which closed its doors in 1889.
NKU students will collaborate with Dr. Peggy Brunache, who has been awarded a prestigious Ford Foundation Postdoctoral fellowship to advance the project.
“I am delighted to be able to return to Northern Kentucky University to help continue and advance this important work,” Brunache said. “Parker Academy was a beacon of light in a dark time in American history, and it is important to bring its lessons to light once again.”
Artifacts and documents recovered at the site will eventually become part of a permanent exhibit at Cincinnati’s National Underground Railroad Freedom Center.
Read the full NKY Tribune story here.

Campbell County baseball team ends impressive playoff run

The Campbell County High School baseball team enjoyed an impressive run at the state championship this year, but that ended Saturday with a 1-0 loss to Louisville’s St. Xavier high school.
2016 marked the third consecutive year that a high school team from Northern Kentucky has made it to the state final. Last year, the Highlands Bluebirds were defeated by West Jessamine High, and St. Xavier beat Simon Kenton in the 2014 final.
CCHS coach Scott Schweitzer expressed pride for his Camels team.
“I can definitely smile from what these kids did,” Campbell County coach Scott Schweitzer said after the game. “That’s the first runner-up trophy that I’ll ever gladly take back to school with me, you know. St. X was great (Saturday) and I thought we were great. They were just a little better. So I can walk away with my head high, knowing we did everything we could as coaches and players to win a state championship. It was an awesome experience, and expect to see us back.”
Read the full NKY Tribune story here.

Newport's Packhouse restaurant goes mobile with food truck

Since it opened in January 2014, Packhouse Meats in Newport has quickly developed a reputation for unique culinary offerings and high energy via its trendy Monmouth Street storefront.
The restaurant is now set to take those offerings on the road with a mobile food truck, which will begin making stops this summer at popular gathering spaces throughout Northern Kentucky and downtown Cincinnati.
Packhouse’s inventive menu features several types of meatballs, which can be paired with sauces like basil pesto, habanero cream and mango salsa. The food truck’s menu will initially be limited to two standard meatball options – beef and turkey.
Menu items range from $3 to $8.75.
Read the full Soapbox Media story here.

City approves completion of Newport's Riverwalk

Newport officials this week announced the city’s approval of a contract with Woolpert Engineering to create a pedestrian bridge from the foot of the Taylor-Southgate Bridge to the floodwall on the Northern Kentucky side.
The announcement marks the latest development in NKY’s Riverfront Commons project – a planned 11-mile trail that will eventually connect Ft. Thomas to Ludlow and cost a total of $1.65 million.
Another related project on the Bellevue-Newport border, Taylor Creek Overlook Park, will continue this summer. In addition to tying into the overarching Riverfront Commons plans, the two projects will do much to increase walkability between the neighboring cities.
“Ultimately, we want sidewalks to Bellevue,” said Newport City Manager Tom Fromme.
Read the full River City News story here.

Northern Kentucky to host River Cities Relay race

This summer brings a brand-new event to NKY’s riverfront that promises both a health and an economic boon for the region.
The River Cities Relay, a new event presented by St. Elizabeth Healthcare, will start and end under Newport’s Purple People Bridge. The finish line will feature a celebration complete with local food, drink and live music.
The Leadership Northern Kentucky Class of 2016 created the race event, adding a charitable component with a list of beneficiaries that includes the Brighton Center, Parish Kitchen and the Children’s Home of Northern Kentucky.
The 15-mile race will begin at 6 p.m. on Saturday, August 27, with registration now open for individuals as well as two- and four-person relay teams.
Read the full River City News story here.

Taylor Mill introduces LoveLock art project at Pride Park

The City of Taylor Mill this week introduces LoveLock LoveScape at Pride Park located at 5614 Taylor Mill Road. The project, which was unveiled June 10, is located at the park’s southernmost side, near the community walking trails.
LoveLock LoveScape was inspired by historic bridges of the same name throughout Europe, where lovers traditionally attach personalized, inscribed locks to the bridge’s railing, tossing their keys over the bridge as a symbol of everlasting love.
Although similar, but informal, “love lock” projects have been attempted throughout Northern Kentucky – along Newport’s Purple People Bridge, for example, before the locks were removed by city officials citing a weight hazard – the LoveLock project is the first of its kind in Taylor Mill.
Read more Taylor Mill news here.

Kentucky Symphony Orchestra returns to Devou Park

Few things signify summertime quite like sitting outside and listening to music. Northern Kentuckians will be able to do just that beginning in July as the Kentucky Symphony Orchestra (KSO) kicks off its 25th annual summer series.
This year will feature pop and jazz favorites by Chuck Mangione, Spyro Gyra, Eumir Deodato and Chick Corea. A Viennese New Year-style party on July 9 serve as a season preview and KSO anniversary party.
According to its website, the KSO “was formed in 1992 (as the Northern Kentucky Symphony) with a mission to make classical music attractive, accessible and affordable to people in the Northern Kentucky and Greater Cincinnati area.”
Read the full River City News article here.

Skyward and CGN offer nano grants for NKY community improvement

Have you always been interested in starting a community garden in Northern Kentucky? Organizing a historical society? Painting a park bench? Helping your neighborhood’s stray pets find permanent homes?
Thanks to a new program from Skyward and Covington’s Center for Great Neighborhoods, you may be eligible for up to $250 to make your daydream a reality.
The myNKY Nano Grant Pilot Program rolls out this month. The program will initially serve Dayton, Florence and Pendleton County, and eventually expand to all of Northern Kentucky.

Each community will host workshops throughout the month of June for residents interested in learning more and applying. Attendance by applicants is encouraged, but not required.
Learn more and download the grant application here.

Aqua on the Levee progresses, announces parking garage now open

Newport on the Levee’s latest development – a forthcoming $80 million mixed-used expansion called Aqua on the Levee – is rapidly approaching completion.
Piquing public interest, Aqua organizers announced this week that a new 800-space parking garage is officially open to the public.
Visitors to the Levee can now make use of 345 newly constructed parking spaces; the remaining spots will be reserved for residential tenants and visitors to Aqua’s forthcoming Starwood Aloft Hotel.
A representative of Capital Investment Group (CIG), the developers who broke ground on Aqua back in November 2014, was quoting as saying the new offerings will “utilize Newport on the Levee to provide our residents with great entertainment and dining experience.”
Read the full River City News story here.

Levee Ferris wheel plans move forward

Last year, in our annual roundup of Newport progress and developments, we shared the news that Northern Kentucky’s shoreline could soon boast an eye-catching observation wheel, similar to those that grace cities like Seattle and Chicago.
This week it was announced that those plans are still underway and currently awaiting feasibility confirmation from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.
“They’ve been given construction plans and we’re waiting for an OK,” said Levee General Manager Harold Dull.
Levee officials recently began working with Jones Lang LaSalle to optimize its retail offerings and recruit tenants.
“There’s a lot of good things happening, said Tim Murray, a vice president of the firm. “There’s some announcements that could be made soon.”

Read the full Cincinnati Enquirer story here.

Covington a "City to Watch" according to national urban development group

CNN reported that the Washington-based National Main Street Center included Covington among this year’s Great American Main Street award winners. The award is bestowed on urban centers around the country that exhibit promise in areas such as revitalization, economic development and historic preservation.

The city’s Renaissance Covington program was praised for recent efforts that have included the installation of five temporary interactive “parklets” that occupy former parking spaces around the city.
Read the full WCPO Cincinnati story here.

Newport outlines next phase of urban revitalization

The city of Newport is ready to add an eighth historic district to its existing seven.
At a city commission meeting on Monday, Newport Mayor Jerry Peluso announced that planners will use a $20,000 award from the Kentucky Heritage Council, as well as $13,000 in matching grants from the city, to begin surveying roughly 1,000 Westside properties to establish the new historic district.
The new district will be located in the Buena Vista neighborhood between Eighth and 12th Streets, and from York Street to Brighton Street.
Newport residents like Kate and Micky McElwain, who are currently renovating a 19th century property on West 10th Street, see their city as a treasure trove of both history and potential.
“If you look at the east side of Newport in the late 1970s, early 1980s, there were very old buildings in various conditions," says McElwain. "With preservation, we now have a very beautiful neighborhood and we are hoping to have the same thing on the west side."
Read the full River City News article here.
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