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Bash for Rabbit Hash General Store raises over $11,000

Hundreds of supporters gathered at the new World Headquarters of Colonel De Herbs & Spices for the Rabbit Hash Bash event on March 12. The event raised over $11,000 for the rebuilding of the Rabbit Hash General Store.

This community event was created to help rebuild the Rabbit Hash General Store, which was destroyed by a devastating fire on Feb. 14. The General Store has been in existence since 1831 and is listed on the National Registry of Historical places.

The landmark houses memories for not only local but also people from all over the country — including local business owner De Stewart of Colonel De Herbs & Spices. He felt compelled to help after learning the General Store was a complete loss and insurance coverage was minimal.

“I was completely heartbroken after learning the news from my dear friend Don Clare,” Stewart said.

Don Clare, President of the Rabbit Hash Historical Society, and Stewart have spent many weekends together making and listening to music in Rabbit Hash. 

“We are so thankful for this event and all the support we have been receiving since the fire,” Clare said. “We can’t thank Colonel De and all these people here who have taken time out of their day to stop by and share stories with us. This is over the top.”

Read the full River City News story here.

Paddlefest offers a number of changes for 15th annual splash in August

Greater Cincinnati’s Paddlefest event, which attracts 2,000 canoers and kayakers to the Ohio River each year, is undergoing a number of changes in 2016, including a new date, a different route, route guides and a new sponsor. The 15th annual Paddlefest will be held on Aug. 6, nearly a month later than usual.
Paddlefest was postponed last year due to heavy rains that flooded the Ohio River. By moving the event to later in the summer, organizers hope to avoid the rainier months.
Paddlefest will be a bit longer this year, with an 8.9-mile trip that takes participants under all six Ohio River bridges in Cincinnati. The event will start at Schmidt Recreation Complex in the East End and end with a celebration at Gilday Park in Riverside, with a mid-point stop in Covington. In previous years, Paddlefest started at Coney Island and ended at the Public Landing downtown and was 8.4 miles long.

Read the full Soapbox story here.

Center for Great Neighborhoods offering free tax preparation in Covington

The Center for Great Neighborhoods offers free tax preparation every year for low-to-moderate income households in Covington to help them make sense of their tax forms.
Last year, 940 families received help from the Center with their taxes, and more than $1.2 million was refunded to those families.
The Center sponsors an IRS-certified Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) site as part of a collaboration with the United Way of Greater Cincinnati, which is also leading efforts to educate local taxpayers about the Earned Income Tax Credit and offering free assistance to low-income residents who want to file taxes online.

Read the full Soapbox story here.

In Newport, plans to heal an east-west divide

The east-west divide doesn't stop at the Ohio River. Just like Cincinnati, Newport is divided between east and west — the east being more upscale and the west more impoverished.

It surprised Monica Remmy nine years ago when she bought a 150-year-old home on Newport's West Side.

"This is the most divided small city I've seen in my life, between the haves and have-nots," Remmy said. "There's just a lot of antagonization that goes back and forth from both directions."

Now a group of residents hopes to change that. The group, known as ReNewport, will unveil a 35-page plan Thursday that will outline a decade's worth of improvements. It will focus on six areas; economic development; housing; education; community engagement; parks and recreation; and health, wellness and safety.

Read the full Cincinnati Enquirer story here.


Wow: Possible designs for Covington's riverfront emerge

Without question, the City of Covington has lagged behind its neighbors in terms of attracting residents and visitors to its riverfront. Across the Ohio River is the booming Banks of Cincinnati, where corporations are constructing new office towers, where the Reds and Bengals play in new stadiums, where new restaurants and apartments are rising and, most compelling, where Smale Park attracts families, visitors, and tourists to its sprawling green space with playgrounds and water features.

Smale also offers a view of the mostly vacant Covington shore.

But that is about to change, as Covington City Commission revealed Feb. 23 the possible plans for what the city's riverfront could become.

The vision: to elevate Covington's riverfront as a vibrant civic asset and vital component of a unified regional riverfront. That's how it was explained by Ryan Geismar, an associate at Human Nature, the Cincinnati-based firm that works in the design of public spaces, including significant work on landmark projects in the Queen City like Smale Park and Washington Park, and helped the City of Covington develop a master plan for Devou Park in 2007.

Read the full River City News story and see designs here.

CVG collecting stories to remember Terminals 1 and 2 before demolition

The Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport is asking the community to share stories and photos from memories of Terminals 1 and 2. The terminals will be demolished this year to make way for the construction of a new car rental facility, which should be completed by 2021.
The terminals, which were built in 1947 and 1974 respectively, are functionally obsolete. Terminal 1 served airline passengers until 2007, and Terminal 2 was in use until 2012. Now only Terminal 3, which is CVG’s main terminal, serves airline passengers.
CVG is searching for stories about the terminals, whether someone welcomed a son or daughter home from combat, got engaged, told their family they were pregnant or visited Cincinnati for the first time. All stories are important.

Read the full Soapbox story here.

Center for Great Neighborhoods launches Healthy Corner Store Initiative

The Center for Great Neighborhoods recently launched the Healthy Corner Store Initiative to give Covington residents access to healthy food choices.
The Center is partnering with Kenton County Plan4Health (KCP4H) and four corner stores — Kimmy’s Korner, Bill’s Food Mart, Gutierrez Deli and Bob’s Food Market — to increase the amount of fresh, frozen and canned fruits and vegetables available for Covington residents. The stores were chosen based on the amount of families living below the poverty level in the area and the stores’ proximity to local schools.

Read the full Soapbox story here.

Rebuilding, artfully, in Kentucky

The national website of Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC) has a section called "Our Stories" to share examples of successful community-building efforts from its 30-plus offices across the U.S. The local story featured last week was "Rebuilding, Artfully, in Kentucky" and covered the amazing work LISC Cincinnati has done in Covington in partnership with the Center for Great Neighborhoods.

"More and more, community developers are using arts and culture, so integral to the character and identity of a flourishing place, to catalyze neighborhood renewal," national writer Alina Tugend says in her introduction. "In Covington, Ky., this kind of creative placemaking has helped brighten and invigorate communities that have struggled with blight, crime and abandonment, particularly the city’s Westside area. Today, Covington has more welcoming public spaces, affordable homes and new businesses than since its 20th-century heyday as the iron fence capital of the world."

Read the full story on the national LISC website here.

Plans for $24 million Dayton Riverfront Commons project revealed

Cincinnati-based KZF architecture and engineering design firm has revealed the design plans for a riverfront project in Dayton that is part of the Riverfront Commons Trail. Eric Anderson of KZF presented renderings of the riverfront walkway and answered questions about the plans during a recent public meeting in Dayton.

Dayton’s unique riverfront design plans incorporate the entire riverfront shoreline from the Bellevue-Dayton border of O’Fallon Avenue east to the Route 8 entrance of the Ohio River floodwall. Once the project is completed, the pathway will connect the river cities of Dayton, Bellevue, Newport, Covington, Ludlow and Fort Thomas, a walking/biking/running artery known as the Riverfront Commons Trail.

“The Riverfront Commons project showcases Dayton’s desire to provide our citizens with easier and safer access to economic hubs in the region through means of alternative transportation,” said Dayton City Manager Michael Giffen. “At the same time, projects like this will bring people from all over the region to Dayton, which allows us to highlight the strong economic opportunities here, both residential and commercial. It also doesn’t hurt that this project will provide beautiful scenic views of the river, new development and other features unique to Dayton.”

Read the full Northern Kentucky Tribune story here.

Ark Encounter builder wins legal battle over tax incentives

A religious group building a massive Noah's Ark tourist attraction in Northern Kentucky has won a legal battle over the state's withdrawal of a potential tax incentive worth millions.

A federal judge ruled Jan. 25 that Kentucky officials violated the ark builders' First Amendment protections by blocking it from the sales tax tourism incentive that could have been worth up to $18 million.

A spokeswoman for Gov. Matt Bevin said that the state has no plans to appeal, adding that they were pleased with U.S. District Judge Gregory Van Tatenhove's ruling.

The Ark Encounter, being built by Christian group Answers in Genesis, is due to open near Williamstown in July.

Read the full Associated Press story via WCPO.com here.

Five designs chosen for Curb'd parklets in Covington this spring

Five ideas from local businesses and design teams were chosen last week for Curb’d, which will turn ordinary parking spaces in Covington into parklets, or miniature parks. The activation project is a collaboration between Renaissance Covington and MainStrasse Village Association and is funded by the Haile/U.S. Bank Foundation.
Forty-two designs were submitted from 11 local businesses that wanted to host a parklet. A review board of leaders in the local design committee judged designs based on the durability, safety and design connectivity to the businesses. Designs were then cut down to 11, one for each business, and five businesses and design teams were chosen from that lot.
The final decision was based on concept, context and construction feasibility of the parklet ideas.

Parklets will be installed around Covington in early May and remain on display through October.

Read the full Soapbox and see the 11 design finalists story here.

Local group celebrates one year of random acts of kindness

Local group Random Acts of Kindness is celebrating its one-year anniversary by repeating a citywide clothing drive and hosting two fundraisers.
Rivertown Stomp will take place Jan. 22, while RAOK the Casbah will take place Jan. 30. Both will be hosted at Leapin Lizard Lounge in Covington.
Random Acts of Kindness started when Liz Wu saw a photo of scarves wrapped around trees circulating on the Internet after last year’s big snowstorm left the region hovering in single-digit temperatures. The scarves were not lost but a random act of kindness for strangers to take if they were cold.
Wu didn’t act on it right away, but the second time she saw the same photo she was inspired and wanted to pay it forward in the Greater Cincinnati area. She created a Facebook event for a citywide clothing drive, hoping a few friends would help her gather gloves, scarves, hats and other warm items.

Read the full Soapbox story here.

Next hot neighborhoods: Newport and Covington

“The core of Covington is experiencing a revival,” says city Public Information Officer Liz Barlik. Evidence: The Aparium Hotel Group is pairing with Salyers Group (parent company of Donna Salyers’ Fabulous-Furs and the Madison Event Center) to transform the former city hall into a boutique hotel.

Both the Mutual Insurance and Pike Star buildings have been renovated and converted into mixed-use structures (business accelerator UpTech moved into the Pike Star from Newport). And over on Banklick Street, Orleans Development built the Pulse Loft Apartments, a sleek new 32-unit residential complex. At least partial financing for much of the area’s new development has been secured with help from the nonprofit Catalytic Fund, one of Northern Kentucky’s biggest cheerleaders by far.

Neighboring Newport has its fair share of shiny new projects, too. The Aloft hotel, Aqua apartment complex, and an 800-space parking garage are all well under construction on the Levee’s east side, plus there’s a Hampton Inn going up on the site of the old Travelodge. Kentucky Route 9 is being rerouted to take major truck traffic out of residential neighborhoods — a double bonus, says Newport Development Services Director Greg Tulley, because “all that new roadway will open up development opportunities.”

And the Newport Pavilion is now 100 percent occupied and offers two things most urban Cincinnati neighborhoods would kill to have: a Kroger and a Target.

Read the full Cincinnati Magazine story and see photos here.

Winter Carnival returns to Bellevue Feb. 20

Winter Carnival In Vue returns to Bellevue’s Fairfield Avenue 11 a.m.-3 p.m. on Saturday, Feb. 20, bringing with it even more family-friendly carnival fun and games than last year’s successful event.

Strolling Shrine Circus clowns, Presto Paul the magician, a balloon twister, face painters and the roving Pickled Brothers, who will perform feats of fire-eating and sword swallowing, will entertain visitors to Winter Carnival In Vue.

Four giant artist-created photo boards — featuring Anna and Elsa, Ariel and Flounder, Mickey Mouse (pictured) and Star Wars’ Kylo Ren characters — will be set up in Fairfield Avenue shops. Kids can get their pictures taken with each board and enter a drawing at each of the four locations to win one of two photo boards: Anna and Elsa and Star Wars’ Kylo Ren.

Read the full River City News story here.

Mainstrasse is a historic neighborhood well worth visiting in Greater Cincinnati

When it comes to travel, a common misconception is that it takes a blockbuster trip to deliver a rewarding experience. True, Patagonia, Bora Bora and the Canadian Rockies are spectacular, but a trip to any of those requires a lot of effort, not to mention a lot of money.

Sometimes, we’re just in the mood for a nice getaway — one that doesn’t take too much advance planning and doesn’t put a substantial dent in the bank balance. Cincinnati, a little more than an hour’s drive from Lexington, offers great value for a reasonable price.

Over the Rhine may be Cincinnati’s most visible example of a neighborhood renaissance, but it is far from the only one. The city has 52 unique neighborhoods, each with its own history and distinctive style, and that’s just north of the Ohio River. I couldn’t see them all in a weekend, so I decided to concentrate on two of my favorites — Mainstrasse, on the Kentucky side of the river in Covington, and Mt. Adams, perched high above the city.

Mainstrasse is a place I’ve always thought of as a sort of living history museum, channeling the mid-19th century when the area experienced an influx of German immigrants. The village’s primary attraction, the Goose Girl Statue and Fountain, was based on a fairy tale by the Brothers Grimm, and the annual Oktoberfest celebration testifies to the surviving German influence.

Read the full Lexington Herald-Leader story here.
111 community vibrancy Articles | Page: | Show All
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