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Construction to begin soon on KY 536 in Boone County

A segment of KY state route 536 will soon undergo expansion that will see the addition of widened roadways, roundabouts and multi-use paths.
WL Harper Company and Bluegrass Paving, Inc. of Hebron were contracted to complete the project along a three-mile stretch of Mt. Zion Road, which is expected to increase safety and improve traffic flow in the surrounding Union area.
“This project has been designed to accommodate the Union Town Center development,” said Bob Yeager, acting chief district engineer for Department of Highways District 6 in Covington. “There will be raised medians on the new Kentucky 536 and U.S. 42 to further enhance pedestrian friendliness.”
The Mt. Zion roadway will be widened from two to five lanes starting at the I-71/75 southbound entrance and exit ramps, westward to U.S. 42. The five lanes will revert back to two at Old Union Road.
Yeager also said the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet will continue advancing design for improvements to additional KY 536 segments in Boone, Kenton and Campbell counties.
Read the full River City News story here.


Local seniors surprised with early admission to Thomas More College

Ten local high school students got a surprise this week, when Thomas More College President David Armstrong came to deliver their college acceptance in person.
The students, who hailed from Dixie Heights (Edgewood), Boone County (Florence), Ryle (Union), Covington Latin, Newport Central Catholic and Simon Kenton (Independence), are among the first to be accepted for Thomas More’s class of 2021.
Read the full River City News story here.

NKY high schools rank among best in state

National index U.S. News & World Report recently released its annual high school rankings by state, and Northern Kentucky schools snagged three top 10 spots.
While experts advise parents to take such rankings with a grain of salt, U.S. News relied on end-of-course exam scores in English I, Algebra II, biology and U.S. history to comprise its list. Schools in Louisville and Versailles also made the top 10.
The list ranks Highlands High School in Fort Thomas second overall, with Beechwood High School in Fort Mitchell coming in third and Larry A. Ryle High School in Union rounding out the Bluegrass state’s top 10.
Read the full U.S. News & World Report article here.

NKY smoking rates continue to be concern for health officials

Northern Kentucky streets and sidewalks are consistently littered with discarded cigarette butts. The volume of smokers in Kentucky ranks the state as third in the nation, and Northern Kentucky contributes heavily to that.

Twenty-seven percent of Kenton County residents use cigarettes, including high school and middle school students.

“We have a long rich history of growing tobacco in Kentucky. Even though that's not the number-one crop in Kentucky, the historical knowledge and influence that it has had is still very prevalent for us today,” said Stephanie Vogle, Director of Population Health for the Northern Kentucky Health Department. “We hear about people being sent to college from their parents growing tobacco. They may still have plots of tobacco. You have that particular piece that plays quite a bit into why we in this region smoke more.”

Campaigns against smoking, citing the serious health risks associated with cigarettes, are ubiquitous. Here, the Northern Kentucky Health Department has teamed up with other like-minded organizations to form the Tobacco Prevention Coalition of Northern Kentucky.

Read the full River City News story here.

Mubea set to graduate first apprentices, ensuring quality workforce

A group of nine students were recognized as the first Northern Kentucky graduates of Mubea North America’s apprenticeship program Dec. 17 in a ceremony at Triple Crown Country Club in Union.

The Mubea apprenticeship program is patterned after the model used by the German-based automobile parts manufacturer in its home country. That program, which has been in existence for nearly a century, is recognized as the gold standard within the industry.

Mubea has invested more than $2 million in the apprenticeship program.
Luigi Tiddia, General Manager of Mubea’s Hose Clamps division, said the program provides a great opportunity for students and helps the company develop a quality workforce in the region.

“We did not see the market having the kind of expertise that we are looking for,” Tiddia said. “The outline is our ‘driven by the best’ environment, which is a strategy to develop the students in the way that we need them to be.”

Read the full Northern Kentucky Tribune 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.

Union-based Premier Gaming Group grows with hotel acquisition

Premier Gaming Group of Union has partnered with the Virginia-based EB-5 investment company to form Casino Holding Investment Partners LLC and purchase the 141-room Isle of Capri Hotel in Natchez, Miss.

Premier Gaming founder Kevin Preston said this is his company’s second property in the city. It also co-owns the Magnolia Bluffs Casino that it built and opened in December 2012. The casino has 500 slot machines, 16 table games, a fine dining restaurant, buffet, bar and large deck area. Preston said he expects to invest about $15 million in the purchase of the hotel and its remodeling.

Read the full Cincinnati Business Courier story here.

Carespring ready to move forward with Boone County facility

Boone County is finally poised to get some of the nursing and transitional beds it desperately needs.

A ruling from Franklin Circuit Judge Phillip Sheridan cleared the way for Carespring Health Care Center to begin construction on Boonespring Transitional Care Center near Union. The $25-million 94,000 square-foot facility will be located on roughly nine acres of land in the 10000 block of U.S. 42 at Whispering Trail.

The official announcement was made June 16 in the Boone County Fiscal Courtroom in Burlington.
Carespring Executive Vice President John Muller said the project has been eight years in the making.

“One of the exciting things about tonight is the regionalism and the leadership that has allowed this to happen,” Muller said. “It was really Campbell County and Boone County coming together locally and at the state level that allowed us to be where we are tonight.”

Read the full Northern Kentucky Tribune article here.

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.

myNKY invites residents to help shape Northern Kentucky's future

If you had a million dollars to allocate to your community, where would you spend it? Housing? Jobs? Education? Health? Transportation? This is the question posed, in game form, on Vision 2015’s new website, www.myNKY.org. The site and the new six-month campaign, myNKY, were launched last Thursday with an event at Northern Kentucky University’s Bank of Kentucky Center.
During the Norse men’s basketball game, spectators were shown videos produced by Vision 2015, and featuring NKU President Geoff Mearns, among others, asking the question, “What is your NKY?” (You can watch the videos atwww.youtube.com/user/itsmynky.) A key part of the event was one of the campaign’s most interesting features, a wall, designed by Covington creative firmBLDG, that invites people to write on it their response to the statement, “I want myNKY to be ________.”

Volunteers from among NKU’s student body invited people to give their ideas, and many did. The input was as diverse and eclectic as Northern Kentucky's population — some want more green space and more walking-friendly neighborhoods; others want more arts and culture; many are concerned with transportation (if you’ve ever sat in traffic in Union or Florence, you know why); several are concerned with education, and still more with job creation.
Read the full Soapbox story here.

Legion Logistics adds 24 employees, $1M investment

A company that began in a Union, KY basement is expanding, adding 24 jobs and a $1 million investment to the region.
It's the second expansion in just one year for Legion Logistics, which moved to its current facility in Florence in March 2012. Last year, Legion tripled its workforce. This expansion will more than double it, and add 2500 square feet to its existing space to meet growing customer demand.
Legion was founded in 2009 by Tony Coutsoftides, a service-disabled veteran who immigrated to the U.S. from Cyprus when he was 16 years old to pursue a career in the military. After his injury, he translated his skill and experience in military logistics into an innovative customer service-based business that filled a need in the market. 
"Our mission is to be the best service provider we can be," says Lacy Starling, president of Legion Logistics. "That means providing our customers with seamless solutions, working with carriers to be ethical … [and] creating a work environment where people feel ownership, understand what their work means, are part of the goal-setting process, and are excited to come to work every day." 
Starling credits a supportive environment for business growth for Legion's decision to stay in Northern Kentucky. 
"We had options when we looked to move out of the house," Starling says. "It was a question of: Where do we feel at home in the community? Where have we been accepted and welcomed? Whenever we reach out to the Northern Kentucky community, we're referred to folks who are willing to just bend over backward to help you … and are willing to help you tap into their networks." 
Legion's expansion was aided by the Kentucky Business Investment (KBI) program. To encourage the investment and job creation in Northern Kentucky, the Kentucky Economic Development Finance Authority (KEDFA) preliminarily approved the company for tax incentives up to $300,000 through the Kentucky Business Investment program. The performance-based incentive allows a company to keep a portion of its investment over the term of the agreement through corporate income tax credits and wage assessments by meeting job and investment targets.
Coutsoftides, Starling and their employees have collaboratively set aggressive goals for the company's growth this year, so Northern Kentucky can look to Legion for more good news in the future.
"Our recruiting staff is sort of bleeding from the eyes right now, but when your employees set those goals and are involved in the process, they put in the extra time and effort to make it happen," Starling says. "I believe 100% that my employees can accomplish anything they put their mind to. I have no doubt that we're going to get there."

NKY says riverfront open for business

The riverfront is back! That's the message delivered by Northern Kentucky's leaders at Developers Day on Sept. 26. 

Reports the Enquirer: 

Northern Kentucky leaders believe the south side of the Ohio River is on the brink of a renaissance: Developments such as The Ascent at Roebling’s Bridge and SouthShore have renewed urban living; Gateway Community and Technical College’s new Urban Campus could bring up to 5,000 students into Covington; and urban industry clusters such as biotech and health information technology are growing.

Read the full story here.

Six NKY companies make the Inc. 5000

It's a sign of Northern Kentucky's accelerating growth and potential: Six Northern Kentucky-based companies have been recognized among the fastest-growing private companies in America by the 2012 Inc. 5000
NKY is the proud home of 2012 Inc. 5000 companies The Eisen Agency, TiER1 Performance Solutions, Omega Processing Solutions, Lohmann Technologies, Parkway Products, and RWI Transportation. The list, compiled by Inc. Magazine, is ranked according to revenue and percentage growth over a four-year period.
"We congratulate these companies and their leadership teams on their success and growth," says Karen Finan, senior vice president, Northern Kentucky Tri-ED. "They have contributed much to Northern Kentucky's thriving and diverse business community."
Year after year, more Kentucky-based companies are making the list, which maps the vitality of the nation's independent entrepreneurs. In 2012, 47 Kentucky-based companies made the list, up from 46 in 2011 and 44 in 2010.  
Inc. 5000 companies map the vitality brought to the nation's economy by independent entrepreneurs. The median growth rate of 2012 Inc. 500 / 5000 companies is an impressive 97 percent, and its honorees have created over 400,000 jobs in the past three years. Aggregate revenue among Inc. 5000 companies tops $299 billion. 
See a complete list of all the Kentucky companies on the Inc. 5000, including company profiles and an interactive database that can be sorted by industry and other criteria, here.

Northern Kentucky and Cincinnati make Top 50 Cities for Global Trade

In Global Trade's Top 50 Cities, Northern Kentucky / Greater Cincinnati region ranks number 16 -- and boasts the best cost structure on the list, ranking as the least-costly metropolitan area for businesses in the U.S. Low rates for facility leasing, transportation and property taxes contribute to the Northern Kentucky and Cincinnati region's competitive ranking. 

Northern Kentucky and Cincinnati have a business cost index 4.1% under the U.S national baseline of 100. The region also offers proximity to consumers, suppliers and competitors, along with access to major ports on the Ohio River, five airports and three interstate highways.

Read more here.
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