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Rising Star Casino floats ferry idea to Northern Kentucky

Rising Star Casino’s parent company is exploring re-establishing a ferry to Northern Kentucky to court gamblers.

Las Vegas-based Full House Resorts Inc., which owns the riverboat casino in Rising Sun, thinks it might be able to bolster traffic if it improved access to Kentucky. Casino executives estimate the ferry would make Rising Star readily accessible to 60,000 area residents, compared with the nearby 6,000 in southeast Indiana.

Read the full Cincinnati Enquirer story here.

New chairwoman and officers named for NKY Health District

The Northern Kentucky District Board of Health has selected Julie Metzger Aubuchon, OD; Jack Lenihan, DMD; and Independence Mayor Chris Reinersman as officers for its fiscal year 2016, which runs from July 1, 2015, through June 30, 2016.

Aubuchon, representing Boone County, will serve as Chair. She is an optometrist with Metzger Eye Care with offices in Florence and Covington. She serves on the Board as designee for Florence Mayor Diane Whalen and is also a Florence City Council member and vice mayor.

Read the full Northern Kentucky Tribune story here.

Butcher Betties gets to the meat of why local startups need mentoring and funding

Most people wouldn't think pin-up girls, rockabilly and butchery go together, but that trio is a winning combination for Butcher Betties.
When Allison Hines lost her job as a corporate chef, she decided to pursue her interest in butchery.
“I wanted to learn butchery but there was no school to go to,” she says. “They don't teach whole animal butchery in culinary school any more.”
After getting a scholarship through Grrls Meat Camp and attending their workshop in Northern Kentucky, Hines approached Avril Bleh & Sons Meat Market in downtown Cincinnati about becoming an apprentice. She planned on an 18-month apprenticeship there, but when presented with the opportunity to open her own shop at the Friendly Market in Florence she grabbed the chance. Combining her pin-up girl style with her new trade, she created Butcher Betties.
Hines is now in ArtWorks’ Big Pitch mentorship program and was selected as one of eight finalists to compete Aug. 27 for $20,000 in cash and services.

Read the full Soapbox story here.

Forbes ranks NKU among "Top Colleges" for seventh year

Northern Kentucky University is once again ranked among the nation’s top higher education institutions by Forbes Magazine.

This is the seventh year NKU has been included in the magazine’s “America’s Top Colleges” rankings, an elite list of 650 public and private universities across the nation.

The rankings focus on student outcomes in five categories: student satisfaction, post-graduate success, student debt, graduation rate and academic success.

“We are honored to once again be ranked among the top colleges in the nation,” said NKU President Geoffrey S. Mearns. “Student success is at the center of all that we do, and we are especially pleased that the efforts of our dedicated faculty and staff have been recognized.”

Read the full NKU news release here.

Hotel Covington deal closes, sets opening for summer 2016

The Salyers Group and partner Aparium Hotel Group of Chicago completed the real estate and financial closing this week for the $21.5 million Hotel Covington project. The boutique hotel and upscale restaurant, bar and patio at 638 Madison Ave. is set to open in the summer of 2016.

“Today the Hotel Covington project officially shifted from a dream to reality,” Guy Van Rooyen, president of Salyers Group, said in a news release. “This project will not only generate new jobs within the urban core, but it will accelerate the transformation of downtown Covington.”

Funds for the project come from a combination of private equity, government-issued bonds, historic tax credits and bank financing provided by First Financial Bank.

Demolition work started at the building, which was originally home to Coppin Department Store and later served as Covington’s city hall. Construction work is expected to start in the next month.

Read the full Cincinnati Business Courier story here.

Advanced Manufacturing campaign promotes real careers with fresh faces of millennials

The Advanced Manufacturing Workforce Development Coalition unveiled its campaign to promote careers in the field of advanced manufacturing on July 28.

Fresh with the faces of millennials who work right now in Northern Kentucky companies, the new campaign resonates with individuals’ pride in their chosen careers. The campaign’s anthem is “I Made It in NKy” and calls on people to learn more at www.IMadeItNKY.com.

The $110,000 campaign includes extensive digital advertising, radio and TV commercials, advertising on TANK buses and Pandora Internet radio as well as T-shirts, posters and other materials. The campaign is launched by the coalition, which is co-chaired by industry leaders and includes many regional entities involved in workforce development. It is supported with $80,000 in funding through a grant obtained by Gateway Community and Technical College.

Read the full Northern Kentucky Tribune article here.

NKY Reds fans: Aug. 1 is the night for you at the Ball Park

Who says Northern Kentucky can't fill the stands at Great American Ball Park?

Not St. Elizabeth Healthcare. The medical system is asking Reds fans who work or live in Northern Kentucky to transform the Great American Ball Park into a sea of Bluegrass pride at an upcoming ballgame.

The first Northern Kentucky Night at the Great American Ball Park is set for the 7:10 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 1 Reds game against the Pittsburgh Pirates. St. Elizabeth Healthcare, a sponsor of the Reds, is organizing the promotion that encourages Northern Kentucky residents and employees to come for the game and special activities.
Read the full Cincinnati Enquirer story here.

UK/NBA star Tayshaun Prince brings basketball camp back to NKY

Local kids will learn the basics of basketball from NBA star Tayshaun Prince at his annual basketball camp hosted by Kicks for Kids.

Prince, a forward for the Detroit Pistons and previously a three-time team MVP at the University of Kentucky, brings his staff of top high school coaches and guest speakers to Thomas More College for a three-day camp Aug. 3-5.

Participants will learn the basic skills needed to play basketball, including ball-handling, passing, scoring, rebounding and defense. Campers will also learn a valuable asset of being an athlete — how to be competitive but also a good sport — says KFK Executive Director Christine Sebastian.

Read the full Soapbox story here.

Eight Ball Brewing launches first-ever can series

Craft brewer Eight Ball Brewing is canning its beer for the first time ever, and Greater Cincinnati beer lovers will soon be able to get their hands on it.

Bellevue-based Eight Ball is canning its Prodigal American Pale Ale starting Monday and releasing it in a can launch celebration in its Newport taproom adjacent to the Party Source on July 21. The brewery has hand-bottled beer in the past, but this is the first time it has released cans.

"Cans are the ideal packaging choice for our beers. We feel they are the best vessel to protect our beers from unwanted oxygen and light while having the advantage of being extra portable for our fans," brewmaster Mitch Dougherty said in a news release. "Simply put, cans mean better, fresher beer in the hands of more beer drinkers."

Read the full Cincinnati Business Courier story here.

CVG budget airlines taking on more passengers

Passengers at Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport are taking flight with low-cost carriers in record-setting numbers.

In June, discount airlines Allegiant Air and Frontier generated 18.4 percent of airport traffic, the highest marks in CVG's history. While the airport has "never really had a strong base of low-cost carriers," Bobby Spann, CVG's vice president for external affairs, said, it is something they're "still building."

"This  is really important for us," Spann said. "And it should just continue to get better. ... We're extremely proud of the improvements we've been making."

Read the full WCPO story here.

NKY Chamber Women's Initiative to host regional networking event

The Northern Kentucky Chamber Women's Initiative will host one of the largest networking events in the region on July 27.
“Connecting Shore to Shore” was started four years ago to give women in the area the opportunity to meet other professional women and has become a powerful networking tool for women in the region. The event features a professional but casual setting where “new connections are made and women are inspired by their fellow peers on how to achieve the next step in their career,” says Dale Silver of C-Forward Inc., current chair of the Women’s Initiative.

The event will be held 5-7 p.m. July 27 at the Radisson Hotel Cincinnati Riverfront, 668 W. Fifth Street, Covington. The cost to attend is $30, which includes appetizers and two drink tickets. Registration is required and can be made online or by calling Pam Mastruserio at 859-578-6384. The event is open to all women in the area. 

Donations of kitchen items or money will be accepted at the event to support the Brighton Center's Northern Kentucky Scholar House.
PNC Bank is the overall title sponsor of the Women’s Initiative. Event sponsors for “Connecting Shore to Shore” include Brianza Gardens & Winery, Disinfecting for You, Greta Hoffman & Associates, Lohmiller Real Estate, The Metropolitan Club, RCSN Executive Search, Skidaddles and St. Elizabeth Healthcare.

Register for the Northern Kentucky Chamber event here.

LEGACY presents Next Generation Leader Awards

LEGACY, the Covington-based organization for young professionals, recognized winners of its Regional Young Professional Awards at a dinner program July 16 at the Madison Event Center. The awards included the Next Generation Leader Awards and several specialty awards to established leaders.

The sixth annual Next Generation Leader Awards were presented to nine young professionals to salute and applaud their professional achievement, community impact and demonstrated leadership.

“The Next Generation Leader Awards process is designed to applaud the skills and work accomplished by exceptional young leaders in our community” said Elizabeth Fricke, Next Generation Leader Award Chair for LEGACY. “It is a true honor for LEGACY to be able to thank these individuals for their contributions to the Greater Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky region.”

Read the full Northern Kentucky Tribune story here.

Center for Great Neighborhoods awards grants to eight creative Covington projects

The Center for Great Neighborhoods recently awarded $38,000 in Creative Community Grants to eight Covington residents and organizations. The grants are made possible through the Kresge Foundation, which works to implement creative placemaking activities in Covington.
Five of the eight awards were given to projects in Covington’s Westside neighborhood, which has a strong "maker" identity. Like the first round of grants, this round focuses on projects that commemorate the city’s bicentennial and will help create arts opportunities in the neighborhood.

Read the full Soapbox story here.

The Carnegie announces six diverse shows for its 2015-16 gallery season

The Carnegie recently announced the exhibition lineup for its 2015-16 gallery season, which runs from September until late June. Shows range from an examination of the history and communities of Covington to experimental cinema to the use of abstract art. 

Each exhibition's opening night, except for the Art of Food events, includes a free informal conversation with Exhibition Director Matt Distel and participating artists, light hors d’oeuvres and a cash bar.

Read the full Soapbox story here.

Ratterman named first director of Advanced Manufacturing Workforce Development Coalition

The Advanced Manufacturing Workforce Development Coalition has named Edward R. Ratterman as its first director.

Ratterman will be working collaboratively with business, education and community leaders to address the need for skilled workers in advanced manufacturing by improving the talent pipeline in Northern Kentucky.

Ratterman is working under contract with Partners for a Competitive Workforce, a regional backbone organization that facilitates workforce development activities in collaboration with many groups working in this field, including the Coalition.
“I am pleased to join the Coalition and Partners for a Competitive Workforce to carry on the work they have initiated in Northern Kentucky,” said Ratterman. “There is a substantial amount of effort and energy being put toward the Coalition’s workforce development goals by a whole host of organizations that have joined forces to help recruit and prepare the advanced manufacturing workforce of the future.”

Read the full Northern Kentucky Tribune story here.
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