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Judge saves iconic brewery from demolition

Last week a Kenton County Circuit Court judge upheld the decision to stop demolition of a 19th century Bavarian brewery located in Covington’s Westside neighborhood.
The brewery, which was most recently home to the former Jillian’s nightclub, was purchased by Columbia-Sussex hotel group in 2007 with the hope of one day accommodating a casino. Once it became clear that favorable casino legislation would not materialize, developers sought to raze the structure.
The city of Covington adopted a redevelopment plan for the surrounding area in 2009 which would make use of the building; the city cited that plan in their recent argument to preserve the historic structure.
Plans for the brewery are uncertain, but Covington City Solicitor Frank Warnock was quoted as saying, “The property is in a great location and has much potential for development.”
Read the full River City News story here.

Area transportation planners urge officials to rehab Brent Spence Bridge

Renewed attention from Washington lawmakers could be key in renovating a long-time source of concern for commuters.
Washington-based newspaper The Hill recently identified the Brent Spence Bridge as the top infrastructural concern facing the nation. The bridge, which connects Covington to downtown Cincinnati and points along I-75, has long been the subject of concern for local residents and legislators alike.
“The story is important because The Hill is read by members of Congress and their staffs, and they know about the dire condition of the Brent Spence Bridge,” said Jill Meyer, president and CEO of the Cincinnati USA Regional Chamber. “It also provides a reminder to local legislators and elected officials what is obvious to those in Washington.”
Transportation officials from both sides of the river are calling not only for rehabilitation of the bridge, but construct of a new one alongside it. The project will cost an estimated $2.5 billion, a figure that, due to inflation, increases $8 million for each month that construction is delayed.
Read the full NKY Tribune article here.

Holmes High School JROTC shines at regional competition

"The concept of Junior ROTC is very much about preparing students for making good choices and getting prepared for what is next after high school."
That’s the sentiment of Major Paul Wilson, a retired Marine who has led the JROTC program at Holmes High School in Covington for the past nine years.
The Holmes team scored multiple awards at the Appalachian Championship Regional ROTC Olympics held earlier this month, with accolades that included first place in physical fitness, second place for rifle, fourth for academics and eighth place for drill.
Holmes’s yearlong JROTC course focuses on citizenship, personal growth and responsibility, physical training, military science and leadership. While the program is decidedly male dominated, female membership has increased in recent years.
Read the full River City News story here.

International industrial fair in Germany shines light on NKY

President Barack Obama and German Chancellor Angela Merkel weren’t the only ones in attendance for the world’s largest industrial fair, which recently took place in Hanover, Germany – Northern Kentucky was there as well.
Tri-ED President Dan Tobertge, along with Kentucky Governor Matt Bevin, used the five-day event to network with potential international partners and showcase the opportunities for foreign direct investment in Northern Kentucky.
The Hannover Messe fair enjoyed its largest-ever turnout, with the Kentucky Business Reception, hosted by Governor Bevin, attracting nearly 80 high-level private and public sector individuals.
“Kentucky’s presence at Hannover Messe was a big success, not only from a brand building perspective, but from a prospecting and relationship-building perspective,” said Mandy Lambert, Commissioner for Business Development at the Kentucky Cabinet for Economic Development. “European companies continue to be a prime target for cultivating new international investment opportunities. The Kentucky delegation had the opportunity to meet with several new leads, as well as establish relationships with high-ranking national and international dignitaries that will benefit Kentucky for years to come.”
Read the full NKY Tribune story here.

Hotel Covington makes national must-see travel lists

The highly anticipated Hotel Covington, which will make its July 2016 debut in the former Coppin’s Department Store at 638 Madison Avenue, has enjoyed the national spotlight recently via premier publications like Bloomberg and the New York Times.
“In lieu of armoires, vintage freestanding clothing racks pay homage to the location’s past,” states a New York Times story highlighting five new boutique hotels nationwide. “And this summer the spacious patio will host pop-up bars, movie nights and Sunday suppers.”
Meanwhile, a similarly flattering article published last month in Bloomberg Pursuits praises Aparium, the development group behind Hotel Covington, for its choice of location as well as additional development efforts in cities that include Milwaukee, Kansas City and Minneapolis.
Booking is now available for Hotel Covington’s 114 rooms, which range from the standard Coppin King to the luxurious 500-square-foot Knowledge Suite.
Read the full New York Times story here.

ReNewport initiative now accepting mini-grant applications

As part of its efforts to implement the ReNewport Quality of Life plan that was introduced earlier this year, the city of Newport is offering mini grants to fund hyper-local improvement efforts.
Applications are now being accepted for the mini grants of up to $500 for individuals and up to $750 for projects involving two or more people.
Funded by LISC Place Matters, the grants can be used for just about any community project, as long as it targets improvements in education, health, safety and wellness, housing, economic development, parks and recreation, beautification and community engagement.
Eligible projects include cleanup efforts, public artwork, organized walking tours, community podcasts and much more. Have an idea for a project? Download the mini-grant application here.

NKY Health Department honors Williamstown Mayor with Award of Excellence

Williamstown Mayor Rick Skinner will be the 2016 recipient of Northern Kentucky Health Department’s Award of Excellence in Public Health.
Skinner, who chairs the Fitness for Life Around Grant County (FLAG) coalition, is being recognized for milestone c
  • Development of a comprehensive master plan for Williamstown;
  • Improved opportunities for healthy eating with the implementation of a healthy food policy for city meetings and events; and
  • Outdoor opportunities that include revitalized local trails, playgrounds and sidewalks.
 “Mayor Skinner has been a long-time partner on health initiatives,” said Lynne M. Saddler, MD, MPH, District Director of Health. “He knows firsthand how creating a culture of good health, and creating an environment that makes healthy choices easy can go a long way to improving the health status of a community.”
Grant County’s efforts mirror the goals of a LiveWell NKY health initiative that rolled out in five pilot communities earlier this year.
Read the full NKY Tribune story here.

The Point/Arc's president honored with Covington Award

In a ceremony on May 19, president Judi Gerding of The Point/Arc of Northern Kentucky will be named the recipient of this year’s Covington Award, given annually to a person who has had a significant impact on the city and region.
Gerding, a lifelong NKY resident, has been a charter member of The Point/Arc since its founding in 1972 and the organization’s president since 1978. The org endeavors to provide educational services, training and jobs for people with intellectual/developmental disabilities through a number of nonprofit businesses and residential programs for adults.
The Point/Arc was recently recognized for establishing a new community coffee shop in Covington’s Old Town neighborhood. In addition to serving coffee, Point Perk provides life-giving employment opportunities for people with disabilities such as autism, Down syndrome and Fragile X syndrome.
The Covington Award ceremony and reception/dinner will take place at Twin Oaks Golf and Plantation Club in Latonia. Tickets are $55 per person and can be purchased by calling (859) 261-1762 or visiting the group’s Facebook page.
Read the full River City News story here.

Hollywood directors choose Ft. Thomas as filming location

For months, rumors have been circulating about a movie being filmed in Northern Kentucky. As it turns out, those rumors are true.
Hallavis Brothers pictures has chosen Ft. Thomas – among several other Northern Kentucky locations – to film its forthcoming sci-fi thriller, Curvature, which will star recognizable faces from TV shows such as How I Met Your Mother and movies like X-Men: First Class.
Shooting for the film, which has not yet set a release date, will wrap up May 20. Production crews are currently using the Hiland Building at 18 N. Fort Thomas Avenue as their headquarters.
"We chose Kentucky because the film commission has been great to us," says director Julio Hallivis. "Most low-budget films need help from the tax incentives in order to get financed and the film commission in Kentucky has been wonderful."
Read the full Fort Thomas Matters story here.


Lighthouse Transportation Services finds new home in old Covington firehouse

Northern Kentuckians know 100 W 6th Street in Covington as the former home of Mick Noll’s Covington Haus and, prior to that, Tickets Sports Café.
But now the renovated firehouse will be home to a new kind of business: Lighthouse Transportation Services.
Lighthouse, which is currently based in Erlanger, provides transportation solutions to businesses across the region and nationally. The 13-employee group accepted an incentives package from the city of Covington with plans to create 10 new jobs over the next two years and contribute $164,000 in annual tax revenue over a 10-year period.
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.

Campbell County Schools hires local educator as new superintendent

On April 18, Campbell County’s five-member Board of Education voted unanimously to hire David A Rust as the county district’s new superintendent.
Rust, former director of academic services at Bellevue Independent Schools, has 21 years of experience working in education. He will begin his new role this summer in preparation for the 2016-17 academic year.
Campbell County ranks No. 21 out of Kentucky’s 173 public school districts, a ranking that is based on statewide test results. Campbell County ranks fourth among Northern Kentucky districts behind Fort Thomas Independent Schools, Beechwood Independent Schools in Fort Mitchell and Walton-Verona Independent in Boone County.
Read the full Cincinnati Enquirer article here.

Website reveals Kentucky's "most underrated place"

A recent article from men’s lifestyle website Thrillist reveals what Northern Kentuckians have always known: Covington is awesome.
The article, which highlights each of the 50 states’ “most underrated places,” gives mentions to Covington’s views of the Cincinnati skyline, burgeoning arts scene and, of course, world-class bourbon.
“In addition to the art galleries and artist spaces, MainStrasse Village is home to two of America’s best bourbon bars -- Wiseguy and the Old Kentucky Bourbon Bar. Covington also boats 16 nationally registered historic districts, Cathedral Basilica (a one-third replica of the cathedral at Notre Dame), and the Roebling Suspension Bridge. Also known as the inspiration for that, you know, lesser-known bridge in Brooklyn.”
Read the full Thrillest article here.

Iconic riverboats eye Newport shore for new home

While the Delta Queen and other iconic riverboat relics have long since departed, the famed Showboat Majestic has graced the Cincinnati shores since 1967.
But it has been vacant since 2013, a fact that might soon change thanks to an ambitious plan to revitalize the floating national landmark, along with a second iconic vessel, the Mike Fink riverboat.
The plan, which Showboat Holdings LLC presented earlier this month to the Newport City Commission, calls for both vessels to relocate to the Newport shore, just west of the Purple People Bridge. There, they will entertain visitors in a 220-seat performance space and house a box office, gift shop and other amenities.
Downtown firm KZF Design would handle the architectural work, according to the plan.
Read the full River City News story here.

Gateway hosts health careers fair April 21-22

Students, parents and others pursuing health careers are invited to attend an open house at Gateway Community and Technical College's Edgewood Campus on April 21 from 6-8 p.m. and April 22 from 9 a.m.-12 p.m.
The event will feature speakers and informational sessions related to professional opportunities in nursing, Emergency Medical Services (EMT), paramedic, massage therapy, Health Information Technology (HIT) and medical assisting.
Health care professionals will be on hand to answer questions about salary, education requirements and health care jobs outlook. Prospective Gateway students will also have a chance to speak with advisors and financial aid experts.
Contact Amber Carter at (858) 442-1712 or amber.carter@kctcs.edu to register.
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