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Enquirer Column: Skyward getting things done in NKY

Skyward President William Scheyer wrote a guest column for the Cincinnati Enquirer on Dec. 19:

“Coming together is a beginning. Keeping together is progress. Working together is success.” When I reflect on those words from Henry Ford, I think about all the volunteers in Northern Kentucky who have accomplished so much for our community in the past 12 months.

Northern Kentucky has a long and prosperous history of being supported by community members and business leaders who are driven to go above and beyond for the greater good. We are a community of individuals and organizations who are passionate about making our region a better place. Most importantly, we are constantly striving not only for our own success, but also for the community as a whole.

At Skyward, volunteers were not only instrumental in our efforts to develop the myNKY strategic plan, they are also a crucial part of its implementation. Our board, staff and thousands of individuals volunteered their time and ideas to create the myNKY strategic plan, as well as guiding the formation of Skyward: a new organization with new leadership, a new name and new brand to drive the community’s agenda forward.

On top of all of this, just six months after the launch of myNKY, these individuals are helping to bring the myNKY plan quickly to life with the launch of programs like Transit Friendly Destinations, the Pre-K Works pilot in the Erlanger-Elsmere Independent School District and LiveWell NKY. I am inspired by their dedication to the region and its future.

Read the full Cincinnati Enquirer column here.

New walking, biking path in Covington's downtown gets $1M boost

A dedicated walking and biking path is coming to the heart of Covington's budding central business district, and now the city has $1 million to help pay for it. The funds come in the form of a Kentucky Transportation Cabinet Transportation Alternatives grant, city officials announced on Dec. 15.

The entirety of the funds will go toward developing what city spokeswoman Liz Barlik described as “a safe and easily traversable pathway for pedestrians and bicyclists” along Electric Alley, which currently runs parallel to Madison Avenue and Scott Boulevard between Fifth and Sixth streets.

Officials said the development is part of a larger plan to build up the block surrounding Gateway Community and Technical College’s new urban campus. The path will run through the center of the college’s downtown Covington campus.

Read the full WCPO.com story here.

NKU develops Street Reach app to connect homeless with outreach workers

As the weather turns cold in Greater Cincinnati, making sure that homeless people are connected with street outreach and emergency shelter services becomes increasingly important. A new app developed at Northern Kentucky University puts the technology to make these connections right in the palm of your hand for the first time.

“Street Reach” aims to break down barriers between the homeless and street outreach services by allowing the public to make electronic reports of individuals in need.

“As winter arrives, we need to help homeless people come in out of the cold. By using the Street Reach app, anyone who sees a person sleeping outside can make sure that person is offered assistance,” said Kevin Finn, president and CEO of Strategies to End Homelessness.

Read the full Northern Kentucky University announcement here.

The Lodge gets OK to become new Dayton creative center

The old Mason Lodge that rises prominently from Sixth Avenue in Dayton is one of the city's most impressive buildings.

But at last week's meeting of the board of adjustments, which was considering a proposal by the building's owner to turn it into a full-time center for creative artists & musicians, the real highlight of the building was that it appears to have been the location where Walk The Moon wrote its new hit album. The band has even given the location shout-outs in national media like NBC and Rolling Stone.

Whether The Lodge, as it is known, is a place that creatives would trek to was not up for question. That much was already clear. The questions were more of the typical at such meetings: how will it accommodate parking, noise, neighbors?

The board unanimously gave owner Scott Beseler approval for his plans.

Read the full River City News story here.

Curb'd is taking applications for Covington parklet designs

The application process is now open for artists and designers interested in Curb’d, a program to create parklets next year in Covington’s MainStrasse and Central business districts. The collaboration between Renaissance Covington and MainStrasse Village Association is funded by the Haile/U.S. Bank Foundation.
Curb’d is working closely with businesses in those areas to select parking spaces to house parklets and is preparing to bring designers, artists and engineers into that collaboration.
Businesses already have applied to host a parklet in a parking space in front of their location, and 13 parking spaces have been selected as finalists. They’ll go forward in the design competition, with five businesses submitting their own designs and the other eight working with art and design teams who enter the application process.
The 13 final designs will be judged by a jury panel that will choose which five parklets are actually constructed.

Read the full Soapbox story here.

Highland Heights accepts state funding for senior housing development

The City of Highland Heights accepted a block grant from the Commonwealth of Kentucky for construction of the Highland Village Senior Housing Development at its Nov. 17 city council meeting.

Tom Guidugli, executive director of Neighborhood Foundations, was in attendance to give council an update on the project, which was reported by The River City News in July. Guidugli stated that the project was approved for a block grant for up to $500,000 of the construction costs. The development will be located in the northern part of Highland Heights.

In a resolution introduced by City Attorney Steve Franzen, council accepted the block grant funds.

Read the full River City News story here.

Was the Kentucky governor's race the end of political polling?

Politicians like to say that the only poll that matters is on Election Day. That's starting to be more true.

Polls in the Kentucky governor's race consistently showed Democrat Jack Conway with a slight lead over Republican Matt Bevin. Not only did Bevin win, but it wasn't even close. Bevin took 53 percent of the vote to Conway's 44 percent.

The day after the election, The Lexington Herald-Leader announced it would dump Survey USA as its pollster.

"We might as well buy monkeys and dartboards vs. what we had here with Survey USA," tweeted Scott Jennings, a Republican consultant in Kentucky.

Read the full Governing Magazine story here.

Devou Park to get a $5 million upgrade

On Nov. 10 the Covington City Commission approved plans for a $5 million clubhouse to be built at Devou Park despite objections from Commissioner Steve Frank.

The clubhouse will replace a 1930s-era building on the park’s golf course. It will be funded using proceeds from the park’s Drees Pavilion, the Devou Park Trust and golf course revenues. Construction of the new building will begin next month, and it’s expected to open in spring 2017.

Read the full Cincinnati Business Courier story here.

3 from Covington win state preservation awards

Two of eight prestigious statewide preservation awards given annually by Preservation Kentucky were received by Covington residents.
Established in 2012 to honor the contributions of Kentuckians who have excelled in preserving the Commonwealth's rich heritage, the Excellence in Preservation Leaders Awards feature projects from rural and urban communities and people who have demonstrated exceptional guidance preserving the built environment, promoting sustainability and providing educational programs.  
The Barbara Hulette Young Preservation Leader Award was given to Emily Wolfe and Paul Wectman for their various preservation projects in the Historic MainStrasse neighborhood, including Otto's, the restoration of an 1890-built church rectory that is now their home and most recently they restored the building now occupied by Frida 601, a popular Mexican restaurant.  
The Helen Dedman Award for Excellence in Preservation Advocacy was given to Lisa Sauer for her long-term leadership of Progress with Preservation, "a movement by the residents of Covington, to demonstrate that the beauty of our architectural heritage can be leveraged for new uses to create a vibrant city that is uniquely Covington" and her tireless support of the Historic Licking Riverside Neighborhood.

Read the full River City News story here.

NKY legislative caucus hears public input on Brent Spence Bridge

Officials from the Northern Kentucky Chamber of Commerce and the Ohio-Kentucky-Indiana Regional Council of Governments (OKI) re-emphasized their support for a $2.6 billion replacement of the Brent Spence Bridge — almost certainly with the use of tolls — while others spoke against that plan in front of Northern Kentucky state lawmakers on Oct. 23.

“The chamber believes that the Brent Spence Bridge corridor is the single highest priority for infrastructure improvements in our community,” said David Heidrich, chairman of the chamber’s board. “Secondly, we know of no way that that project can be funded without some form of user fee, or toll.”

“We want to get this bridge built sooner than later,” Robert Koehler of OKI told lawmakers. “Why? Well, of course, safety. Every day that goes by, the risk that you take traveling over this structure is significant. Every day that goes by, the cost goes up.”

Read the full Northern Kentucky Tribune story here.

New Riff to host Nov. 7 festival celebrating Kentucky craft beer and spirits

The first Holler Festival will be held at New Riff Distillery Nov. 7 to feature craft breweries and distilleries that call the state of Kentucky home. Hosted by Ei8ht Ball Brewing and New Riff, the event not only celebrates Kentucky-made products but also demonstrates what it means to be a Kentucky brewery or distillery.
Kentucky bourbon is celebrated around the world for its flavor, say event organizers, due to the region's water, grains, air and people.
New Riff opened adjacent to The Party Source in 2014 and is part of the Kentucky Bourbon Trail Craft Tour. Many Holler organizers are members of the Kentucky Distillers' Association and the Kentucky Guild of Brewers — both groups work to support, enhance and grow the craft communities of spirits and beer in Kentucky.

Read the full Soapbox story here.

Ky. 536 residents, travelers view alternatives for road

Jean Ketron feels "lost."

"I've lived in my home at the corner of Oliver and Harris for 50 years," she said. "I hate to lose it."

But it's a possibility with impending improvements to Ky. 536 in Kenton County.

Ketron attended Ohio-Kentucky-Indiana Regional Council of Government's Ky. 536 scoping study open house on Oct. 5, where two alternatives to improve the road were introduced. According to Ketron, it looks as though either alternative could take her house. She is not alone.

Read the full Cincinnati Enquirer story here.

COV200 seeks input for what to put inside Covington bicentennial's time capsule

Covington residents, business owners and friends recently voted to determine the winning Covington Bourbon Barrel design for a time capsule they’re creating in commemoration of Covington’s bicentennial. Now COV200 — the volunteers behind the year-long celebration of all things Covington, who aim to showcase the city’s rich 200-year history, culture and potential — is working with the community to determine the time capsule’s contents.
“We have received quite a few ideas from the community, including 2015 mint coins, menus from all Covington restaurants, the Covingtonopoly game, photos of families, letters from kids to future kids, list of top music in 2015, the COV200 book and much more,” says Kate Esarey, COV200 Project Manager and Community Development Specialist at The Center for Great Neighborhoods of Covington.

Read the full Soapbox story here.

Covington gets $5.4M to transform riverfront

The city of Covington has received $5.4 million in federal money, most of which will pay for trails and other improvements to the riverfront.

The city will use $3.9 million of the federal Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality grant to turn the former Covington Landing along the Ohio River into a well-manicured park with green space and paved public commons and paths.

It will help Covington complete $10 million worth of improvements along the Ohio River as part of the Riverfront Commons project. Riverfront Commons will connect the Northern Kentucky river cities of Ludlow, Covington, Newport, Bellevue and Dayton with trails and green spaces.

Read the full Cincinnati Enquirer article here.

Answers in Genesis president to discuss Ark Encounter at Eggs 'N Issues, Williamstown events

Two Northern Kentucky events will provide community leaders and citizens the opportunity to find out more about the Answers in Genesis theme park, the Ark Encounter, currently under construction in Williamstown.

Answers in Genesis president and co-founder Ken Ham will speak at the Northern Kentucky Chamber of Commerce Eggs ‘N Issues event on Oct. 6.
“I am very much looking forward to sharing the results of our Ark’s feasibility study with our region’s business and civic leaders,” Ham said. “I think they will be surprised to hear about the park’s attendance estimates, and also how the Ark project will be a huge economic driver and job creator for the region.”

Ham will provide an update on the rapid construction of the massive Ark Encounter project ($90 million in phase 1) and share the economic impact the historical theme park should have when it opens in late summer 2016.

The 7:30 a.m. breakfast, which is open to non-Chamber members, takes place at the Receptions Banquet Center in Erlanger. Pre-registration is necessary.

On Sunday, Oct. 18, Ham will speak at Williamstown Baptist Church at 6:30 p.m.

Read the full Northern Kentucky tribune story here.
111 Community Vibrancy Articles | Page: | Show All
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