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Neighborhood Heroes: Bellevue's collective impact

The small town allure of Bellevue makes you forget downtown Cincinnati is less than two miles way across the river.

Family-owned establishments line Bellevue’s Fairfield Avenue as it follows the path of the Ohio River east from Newport, and neighbors greet each other by name as they purchase candies at Schneider’s Sweet Shop or grab coffee at Avenue Brew. Bellevue’s easy charm is no accident. It’s the result of deliberate effort from its exceedingly humble residents. 

Each person interviewed saw someone else in Bellevue as the real hero. They spoke of neighbors who helped a 95-year-old woman fix up her home, police officers who gained admiration through their inordinate kindness and a city councilman who created little free libraries.

Those anecdotes, as well as the stories of Bellevue heroes featured here, illustrate the collective impact that’s possible when everyone does his or her small part to create a vibrant community.

Read the full Soapbox story here.

Bouquet Restaurant owners opening second fresh & healthy spot in MainStrasse

Stephen Williams, chef and owner of Bouquet Restaurant & Wine Bar, and his wife Jessica are planning to open another restaurant in Covington. Son & Soil will occupy in the former Cake Rack Bakery space at 627 Main St. in mid-August.
As a busy entrepreneur and father, Williams is always looking for something quick and simple but still fresh and healthy. He saw a need for healthy, fast option in MainStrasse and went with it.
“We’re going in a healthy direction, and sun and soil are two of the main components for growth and nourishment,” Williams says.
Like Bouquet, Son & Soil will feature local, fresh ingredients sourced from local farms and farm market partners.

Read the full Soapbox story here.

We Are the World: Teaching perspective at NKU's College of Informatics via study abroad

Chris Strobel has been inspiring area students and filmmakers for years, but often not in the way college professors usually do.

Strobel creates programs at Northern Kentucky University’s College of Informatics that help students develop broader perspectives and bring them closer to understanding their role as world citizens. It’s the traditional teacher/pupil relationship flipped sideways about 8,600 miles.
Last summer 11 NKU students boarded a plane at CVG airport bound for Port Elizabeth, South Africa. The trip itself took nearly 24 hours, the beginning of a 16-day adventure that would teach them more about the world and themselves than they experience during a typical semester-long class.
The students, led by Strobel and Sara Drabik — associate professors in the Electronic Media and Broadcasting (EMB) department at NKU, part of the College of Informatics — were on assignment to capture mini-documentaries about topics of their choice: a study of how locals dealt with an invasive species of wide-mouth bass; pop culture fandom across countries and socio-economics; race, poverty and the roots of jazz in traditional South African music; and others.

Read the full Soapbox story here.

$25 million distribution center breaks ground near airport

Paul Hemmer Co. recently broke ground on Prologis Inc.’s $25 million speculative distribution center near Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport. Located at 2125 Gateway Blvd. in Hebron, the distribution center that will have room for more than nine football fields under roof and will be state-of-the-art, including 32-foot clear height ceilings and up to 150 dock doors. Fort Mitchell-based Hemmer is using a fast-track construction schedule for the project. The builder will use pre-cast concrete wall panels that are fabricated at another location and then assembled at the building site. Construction is expected to be complete in December.

Read the full Business Courier story here.

Commercial development on Erlanger's Dolwick Drive is booming

When Northern Kentuckians think about booming commercial development and multi-million-dollar business investments in offices and manufacturing facilities, the spectacular growth in Boone County over the last 30-plus years usually comes to mind.

But Kenton County isn’t doing badly, either, especially in Erlanger, where four companies have invested nearly $12 million in new buildings along Dolwick Drive and the new owners of WILD Flavors are spending $5.5 million on a huge renovation of their existing building that is tied to the addition of some 200 new high-tech jobs.
St. Elizabeth Healthcare and two partners also are considering a tract of about 15 acres on Dolwick as the site for a 197-bed specialty hospital although hospital officials stress that no decision has been made on the location for the new facility.

Read the full Northern Kentucky Tribune story here.

Cincinnati/NKY ports' boundaries expanded, now the #2 U.S. inland port

With a figurative flick of its pen earlier this year, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers expanded the boundaries for the ports of Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky by nearly nine times and created what is now the second largest inland port in the country.

What is now officially the “Ports of Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky” skyrocketed from a rather ho-hum ranking of No. 51 in the country to No. 2 in the inland rankings and No. 15 on the list of all U.S. ports.

Read the full story from The Lane Report.

Ky. Route 16 almost finished, improving I-275 access in Kenton County

A long-awaited state road project that is expected to usher in more commercial development for the city of Taylor Mill should be finished soon.

The Kentucky Transportation Cabinet expects a Ky. 16 road project, which had a total design and construction cost of $79.2 million in state funds, to be done by the end of summer.

The project improves access from I-275 to the cities of Taylor Mill, Independence and southern Kenton County.

Read the full Enquirer story here.

Ex-NKU star Shannon Minor hosts basketball camp to benefit Kicks for Kids

Former Northern Kentucky University basketball star Shannon Minor once again hosts the Pete Minor Father/Child Basketball Camp in honor of his late father, who was struck by a drunk driver in 2011 while changing a tire along I-75.
Kicks for Kids, a nonprofit whose mission is to level the playing field for at-risk children, receives proceeds from the half-day basketball camp June 20, when campers will learn basketball fundamentals, participate in a question and answer session with Shannon and receive a T-shirt, dinner, basketball and photo with their father figures. Most of all, though, they’ll spend quality time playing a game and being active with that older male figure who’s making a difference in their life.
Proceeds will enable Kicks for Kids to continue and improve upon its programming — things like sports camps, circus camps and an annual Christmas Celebration — that impacts the lives of children who may otherwise be without those experiences.

Read the full Soapbox story here.

NKy high schoolers chosen as Navigo Scholars to focus on jobs, careers

Looking to build their own workforce, eight local companies will also brighten the futures of 150 area high school students.

NaviGo College and Career Prep Services and the Northern Kentucky Education Council recognized those eight companies and the 150 students they selected to be part of the 2015-16 NaviGo Scholars Program on June 11. Toyota, Duke Energy, Mazak, Pomeroy, Citi, Heritage Bank, C-Forward and Toyota Boshoku combed through applications from more than 200 local students hoping to be part of the NaviGo Scholars program.

The NaviGo Scholars program focuses primarily on recruiting and training for the most needed jobs in our area. The Northern Kentucky Education Council and NaviGo College and Career Prep Services collaborated with the Northern Kentucky Workforce Investment Board and the Northern Kentucky Chamber of Commerce to identify career areas that were in need of jobs.

Read the full Northern Kentucky Tribune story here.

NKU students learn by giving

Northern Kentucky University students have helped award nearly $825,000 to more than 300 agencies in the past 14 years through the NKU Mayerson Student Philanthropy Project. Students awarded $22,000 to local nonprofits in just this year alone and will be awarding more funds this fall.

The project started at NKU in 2000 as way to teach students about philanthropy and nonprofits with the hope that graduates would be lifelong stewards of their communities. Since then, approximately 3,000 NKU students have taken courses as part of the philanthropy project. During Spring 2014 semester, there were 14 classes in eight different academic disciplines. 

The classes are designed to teach students a “learn by giving” approach. Professors combine philanthropy with learning outcomes — students identify a need in the community, such as drug treatment, tutoring, hunger, AIDS awareness and homeless shelters and determine which nonprofits in the area are working to fulfill that need. Students award between $1,000 and $2,000 to the nonprofits after analyzing which agencies are likely to have the maximum impact. 

Read the full Soapbox story here.

Allegiant considers making CVG a "base" airport

The CEO of Allegiant Air says the airline may add more flights from Cincinnati / Northern Kentucky International Airport, possibly to Las Vegas, Phoenix, and Fort Lauderdale. And if Allegiant's fleet of planes at CVG grows, they could consider making the airport a "base," reports the Cincinnati Enquirer:
Allegiant Air CEO Andrew Levy told The Enquirer that the vacation airline is considering adding new flights to Las Vegas, Phoenix and Fort Lauderdale, Florida, and expanding service to current destinations – although no commitments have been made.

"We're very optimistic about future growth in Cincinnati," Levy said. "We hope to get a lot bigger. I would expect if current trends continue, we will get a lot bigger, a lot faster than we were able to forecast."
Read the full story here.

Ford selects Gateway to offer ASSET technician training program

Ford Motor Co. has selected Gateway Community and Technical College to offer its Automotive Student Service Educational Training (ASSET) program in Northern Kentucky and Ohio.

"Ford approached us about offering its prestigious ASSET program in a geographic region that stretches from just south of Columbus, Ohio, to the Louisville, Ky., area," said Sam Collier, chair of GCTC's Transportation Technologies Division. "Ford's decision speaks very highly of the quality of our faculty and our ability to provide automotive training to Ford's specifications and high expectations."

The Ford ASSET program is a 24-month associate's degree program offered at only 39 locations across the country. Ford sets the academic guidelines necessary to confer Ford technician associate degrees.

"The academic requirements ensure that ASSET students gain the same Ford Motor Co. Service Technician Specialty Training credentials that Ford technicians earn if they enroll in programs at Ford Motor Co. Training Centers," Collier said. The program is separate from and in addition to GCTC's existing Automotive Technology option.

The ASSET program combines eight weeks of class lectures and labs with eight weeks of on-the-job training in a co-op experience at local Ford dealerships.

"Every student must be sponsored by a dealership," Collier said. "The students will rotate through the eight-week segments, alternating the classroom and co-op experience throughout the two-year program."

Students must complete the associate degree to obtain the Ford ASSET credential. While most ASSET graduates secure jobs at Ford or Lincoln Mercury dealerships, graduates who pass the National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence certification exams can seek employment with other automotive companies.

"The Ford-GCTC collaboration offers significant benefits to students and the Ford dealers who sponsor them," Collier said. "The students receive Ford-specific training using Ford equipment on Ford vehicles. They learn the techniques Ford uses and acquire comprehensive training that enables them to be more versatile technicians.

"At the same time, the dealers benefit from greatly reduced training costs," Collier added. "Ford has estimated the traditional approach to training costs over $61,000 per technician. At in-state tuition rates, the Gateway-Ford ASSET program is about $13,000 for tuition and books."

The program begins Aug. 18 with the start of GCTC's fall semester. The first co-op experience begins Oct. 13, and the projected graduation date for ASSET participants is July 2016. The program is expected to accept 15 to 20 students for the cohort entering this fall.

Ford dealers and students interested in the program should contact Collier at sam.collier@kctcs.edu for more information.

New cross-county TANK route creates quick trip through town

Officials in Boone, Campbell and Kenton counties have agreed to fund a bus route that runs across the region. Currently, all TANK bus routes run to and from downtown Covington and downtown Cincinnati, but the new route will connect cities across Northern Kentucky. 

Reports The Cincinnati Enquirer:
The extra dollars ... will pay for the first east-west connector that doesn't run through downtown Cincinnati or Covington. The cross-county route has been on TANK's wish list for seven years and will start operating Aug. 1.

TANK leaders believe the route – which will stretch from Florence to Cold Spring, stopping in Crestview Hills, Fort Wright and Northern Kentucky University – will connect people to employment, education and shopping opportunities.

With demand expected to rise for public transit from young adults and a growing senior citizen population, county leaders hope it will also increase ridership. 
Read the full story here.

Sterling Cut Glass to move new HQ and production facility to NKY

Erlanger-based Sterling Cut Glass will break ground next month on a 56,000-square-foot facility in the CirclePort Business Park, reports The Cincinnati Enquirer

The expansion is part of plans to transition from a brick-and-mortar retailer to an online-only shop:
Sterling Cut Glass, founded in 1902 in Mount Adams, generated nearly $13 million of revenue last year. Brick-and-mortar sales accounted for less than 20 percent of the total. In addition to custom-made items, it also sells Waterford, Mariposa and Nambe crystal products, among others.

“While currently a relatively small portion of our overall business, we feel retail sales of monogrammed glassware and crystal has the potential to appeal to a much broader national audience via an enhanced online experience,” Dyas said.
Read the full story here.

CVG will be first airport in U.S. to use phone-tracking technology

The Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport will be the first in the U.S. to monitor travelers’ Wi-Fi devices in order to cut wait times. The technology is already in use in airports across the globe, but will make its U.S. debut at CVG. 

The data will be used to identify congested areas in the airport and display wait times for security checkpoints. The technology tested at CVG will begin to debut at other U.S. airports beginning in July.

Read the full story here.
342 Articles | Page: | Show All
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