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Three Northern Kentucky companies expanding, creating jobs

Three Northern Kentucky companies are expanding their existing operations. The growth will add about 60 jobs and will bring in more than $37 million in total investment.
 
Ticona Polymers Inc., a subsidiary of global technology and specialty materials company Celanese, produces specialty polymers for industrial applications, including automotive and manufacturing. Ticona, which is located at 8040 Dixie Hwy., plans to spend $4.2 million on building improvements and $21.5 million on equipment, including prototyping and full-scale production lines. Ten jobs will be added with the expansion.
 
Ticona received preliminary approval for $300,000 in tax incentives over 10 years from the Kentucky Business Incentive program and up to $100,000 in tax benefits through the Kentucky Enterprise Initiative Act, which allows approved companies to recoup Kentucky sales and use tax on construction costs, building fixtures, equipment used in research and development, and electronic processing equipment.
 
Best Sanitizers Inc. is a manufacturer and distributor of sanitary and soap products for a variety of industries, including hospitals, laboratories and manufacturing. The company plans to build a $4 million warehouse and distribution center next to its existing facility in Walton at 154 Mullen Dr. The expansion will create 19 jobs.
 
Best Sanitizers received preliminary approval for $175,999 in tax incentives over 10 years from the KBI program and up to $50,000 in tax benefits through the Kentucky Enterprise Initiative Act.
 
Niagara LaSalle Corp., a subsidiary of Optima Specialty Steel, is the largest independent cold finished steel bar producer in North America. The company has proposed to relocate cold finished steel bar operations to an existing facility in Florence. Its expansion will create 29 jobs and total investment of $6.65 million.
 
The project received preliminary approval for $600,000 in tax incentives over 10 years from the KBI program.
 
By Caitlin Koenig
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New routes and TANK hub in Florence

The new Transit Authority of Northern Kentucky Florence Transit Hub recently opened in Florence on Heights Boulevard. The hub includes 170 parking spaces, and will accommodate multiple routes and provide an easier transfer between routes for riders.
 
TANK also added a new express route to downtown Cincinnati. The new route, 42X, began on November 4, and will provide direct service between the Florence hub and downtown Cincinnati during peak travel hours. The route also includes midday service to other Northern Kentucky Park & Ride locations.
 
The existing flow of TANK routes requires many customers who travel between Boone, Kenton and Campbell counties to go south on one bus, then north on another to reach their destination. The new east-west service will help alleviate some of that hassle and reduce travel time for many TANK customers.
 
By Caitlin Koenig
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Florence will be home to new UC Health facility

Florence will be home to a new UC Health facility, to be completed in July 2014. The 42,000-square-foot facility at 58 Cavalier Blvd. will employ 30 physicians and 60 staff members.
 
The two-story facility will have easy access to parking and have an open interior design for patient convenience.
 
UC Health’s other Northern Kentucky facilities in Southgate and Florence will remain open during the new facility’s construction, and will then move to the new location upon completion. The new location will include services in orthopedics and dermatology, which are currently offered at the other two Northern Kentucky offices. There will also be specialty practices in cardiology, endocrinology, neurology, and obstetrics and gynecology.
 
The Florence branch of UC Health is one of eight primary care centers that is opening or relocating in 2014-2015 in response to the growing communities in the Cincinnati region.
 
By Caitlin Koenig
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PAR Projects creating garden along Mill Creek Trail

A new sculpture park and edible garden is being constructed along Mill Creek Trail in Northside, at the intersection of William P. Dooley Bypass and Ludlow Avenue. The garden is a partnership between PAR Projects and Groundwork Cincinnati/Mill Creek, and it recently received a $25,000 grant from the U.S. Conference of Mayors and Scotts Miracle-Gro Company.
 
The acre of land is being developed in an effort to help beautify the Mill Creek Trail. It is an ongoing project, which began last October, and the next stage is to be completed in the spring, says Jonathan Sears, Executive Director of PAR Projects.
 
The garden, which used to be a parking lot, will include a number of sculptures, four of which are already installed. One is an abstract interpretation of a fishing bobber in the water by Ben Lock from Bowling Green. The second is a 16-foot ear of corn buried in a field, which represents PAR’s cornfield project, by Sean Mullany from Cincinnati. The third sculpture is an abstract tree with a bird on one of the branches by local artist Kate Demske. The fourth, by Meg Mitchell of Madison, Wisc., is a geodesic dome that is about 75 percent complete—the vegetation still needs to be planted inside.
 
PAR is currently looking at an artist from Kansas City to complete the fifth piece, which they envision to be whimsical. The sculptures will rotate on a two-year basis.
 
“The idea is to not try to cram sculptures into the garden, but create a feel-good space,” Sears says. “The sculptures will rotate much like the plants and the colors do from season to season.”
 
The garden will also have edible fruits and vegetables, which will rotate in and out as the weather and seasons permit. Sears says he spoke to a couple who said they’ve used some of the garden’s corn in their meals recently.
 
“We see the garden as a way to liven up Northside on a micro level rather than on the macro level,” Sears says. “We hope to also get the conversation going about public sculpture, as well as provide a pleasant area for trail walkers.”
 
By Caitlin Koenig
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Golden Gloves boxing program moves to new OTR boxing gym

The Over-the-Rhine Recreation Center is now home to a new boxing gym, and the Cincinnati Golden Gloves for Youth and Cincinnati Police Athletic Club, which was created by Buddy LaRosa of LaRosa’s Pizza. Golden Gloves was formerly run out the Mt. Auburn Recreation Center.
 
Construction of the 3,350-square-foot gym began in July, and the grand opening was November 1. The boxing gym was built at the site of the former Cincinnati Recreation Center indoor pool, which hasn’t been used for a few years because of leaks and other maintenance issues. The pool was filled in, and three boxing rings now stand in its place.
 
The floor of the gym is blue with a red running track along the outside, and the walls are red, white and blue striped. There are 17 heavy bags, six feed bags and a wall of mirrors for shadow boxing. Golden Gloves plans to host between six and eight events per year in the gym.
 
One of the boxing rings is a vintage ring that used to be located at Cincinnati Gardens and has been in storage for the past 10 years. The ring used to house matches for Cincinnati fighters like Aaron Pryor, Ezzard Charles and Joe Louis.
 
“The boxing gym is another destination location for the neighborhood, and it’s good for the community,” says Jason Richards, director of the OTR Rec Center. “It gives a positive program for kids and teaches discipline like karate or tae-kwon-do.”
 
Since opening, about 50-100 people have inquired about the boxing program.
 
Golden Gloves highlights the development of life skills, such as fair play, sportsmanship, responsible conduct and a commitment to schoolwork. Each boxer is held accountable for his or her grades and must hold a C average, otherwise he or she is suspended from the boxing program. Each boxer must also sign a code of conduct that emphasizes positivity and responsibility.
 
By Caitlin Koenig
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Graeter's coming to Over-the-Rhine

Construction began this week on Graeter’s newest location at 1401 Vine St. in Over-the-Rhine. It will be the smallest Graeter’s location in 100 years, with just 1,000 square feet.
 
The store will focus on ice cream and coffee, but will not carry as many baked goods and candy as its other locations. The new store will sell a small assortment of fine candies.
 
Graeter’s is currently working with Cincinnati-based Bruce Robinson Design Group to refresh its look. The Vine Street location will feature the new look, including an updated menu board, seating, tables and lights.
 
On the inside, the new Graeter’s will look like the former OTR location did in the 1900s.
 
Walnut Hills-based HGC Construction is building out the space. They have completed 202 residential units and 43 commercial spaces in OTR.
 
The plan is to have the store open before the holidays. It will employ about a dozen people.
 
By Caitlin Koenig
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OTR's Memorial Hall undergoing renovations to help expand programming

Last February, Hamilton County commissioners approved a five-year lease to allow 3CDC to spearhead the renovations to Over-the-Rhine’s Memorial Hall. The project is estimated to cost about $10 million, and will include cosmetic renovations to help expand programming. Funding for the renovations will come from historical and new market tax credits.
 
In 1992, Hamilton County (which owns Memorial Hall), private donors and the Cincinnati Preservation Society funded a revitalization to repair the concert hall and add an elevator; in 2006, the Cincinnati Memorial Hall Society was established to help support, revitalize and maintain the space, and has a lease with Hamilton County to preserve, manage and operate the hall.
 
The Society currently has 23 trustees, and was reorganized and expanded in mid-2012, and an executive director was hired to oversee the day-to-day activities at the Hall. In the past year, the Society has raised $75,000 for improvements such as repairing decorative areas and purchasing chairs, catering equipment and audio-visual equipment for the Hall.
 
The 600-seat performance space has an ornate arch, decorative molding on the walls and Tiffany lights. Renovations will include a new roof, new electric and heating, improved restrooms, expanded catering facilities, improved theatrical and production capabilities and air conditioning in the theater (the Hall’s three reception rooms are air-conditioned).
 
“Through the renovations and revitalization of Memorial Hall, we will stimulate the community through extraordinary performances,” says Teresa Summe Haas, Executive Director of the Memorial Hall Society. “The combined commitment by the city and citizens has revitalized OTR. Memorial Hall, combined with Music Hall and the School for Creative and Performing Arts, set the stage for a world-class Washington Park Arts District. Memorial Hall is excited to be part of the renewed focus celebrating Cincinnati’s arts and community.”
 
Memorial Hall was built in 1908 to honor the veterans of the Civil War and the Spanish-American War. Veterans of the wars used the Hall as a meeting place and for various events; but in the 1950s, the last of the veterans of those wars died and Memorial Hall began to fall into disrepair.
 
In order to expand Memorial Hall’s offerings, the Society has obtained an alcohol permit for the building and compiled a list of preferred vendors for organizations that use the reception rooms or performance hall for meetings, events and weddings. The Society has been working on rebranding Memorial Hall, including a new logo, website and Facebook page.
 
“Memorial Hall’s mission can be summed up in three words: arts, culture and community,” says Bill Baumann, president of the Memorial Hall Society. There are two banners outside of Memorial Hall with its mission on them, announcing to the community what it’s there for.
 
In 2013, 70 different arts, civic and other organizations held more than 150 events at Memorial Hall—these numbers are up moer than 300 percent from 2012. In 2014, there are already 168 events, concerts, meetings and weddings booked, and this number is expected to grow, Baumann says.
 
“These numbers indicate the improvements being made to the Hall, the renovations to Washington Park, other improvements to OTR and the parking garage under the park, which show signs that there is a need for a multi-dimensional performance hall and building like Memorial Hall,” he says.
 
Cincinnati firm John Senhauser Architects and Westlake Reed Leskosky of Cleveland have been selected to provide architectural and engineering services for the renovations.
 
The Society has put together its Signature Series, which will feature, music, art and food. The first event is November 15 at 6:30 p.m.; tickets are $40 and can be purchased here.
 
By Caitlin Koenig
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Cooper's Hawk combines winery experience with a restaurant

Cooper’s Hawk Winery and Restaurant opened its 13th location yesterday in the Kenwood area. Cooper’s Hawk was founded in 2005 by Tim McEnery, who wanted to take the brewpub concept and expand it to wineries.
 
The 10,500-square-foot space offers a tasting room, bar, patio, main dining room and two private dining areas. Cooper’s Hawk has the feel of a winery, but it’s in the city.
 
“We want to bring Napa to Cincinnati, and give people who can’t get to Napa the experience of it,” says Emily Dock, general manager of the Cincinnati location.
 
Cooper’s Hawk produces more than 40 different types of wine, and offers them by the glass, by the bottle and for retail sale. Glasses range from $8-$13, and bottles range from $14-$35.
 
The tasting room offers three different tastings: sweet, luxe and monthly, which features the wine of the month and is only available to Wine Club members. Cooper’s Hawk’s Wine Club is one of the largest in the nation, and guests can join for $18.99 per month. The club includes a wine of the month offering, points, a birthday coupon and special Wine Club dinners that include a four- to six-course meal and wine pairings.
 
Staff members take wine education courses and know what grapes are used in each wine, the sugar content and how to tell different flavors when tasting. “We aim to make wine approachable, and take the fear out of silly questions,” McEnery says.
 
The menu is full of from-scratch dishes, many of which are made with Cooper’s Hawk’s wines. The menu contains everything from sandwiches to steak, with dishes ranging from $10-$35. Each dish is paired with a wine, which takes the guesswork away from guests, Dock says.
 
Aside from wine, Cooper’s Hawk has a full bar with craft beer and specialty cocktails. Rivertown and Moerlein beers are available at the Kenwood location. Cooper’s Hawk also has a barrel reserve wine that is served out of the barrel with a wine thief, and it’s only sold by the glass. The barrel reserve is a blend of the five Bordeaux grapes—it’s filled nightly, so the flavors constantly change.
 
Cooper’s Hawk wine is produced at the main countryside facility in Illinois, and in the Chicago area restaurants.
 
“We hope to bring great wine, great food and a unique experience to Cincinnati,” McEnery says. “We strive to introduce wine to a broad audience, from starter to connoisseur.”
 
Cooper’s Hawk has earned more than 200 wine awards in the past eight years; it was named “Hot Concept 2010” by Nations Restaurant News and MenuMasters Winner in the “Menu Trendsetter” category for its Asian BBQ Pork Belly Nachos in 2013. It was also named one of Inc. 5000’s fastest growing companies.
 
The Cincinnati location will be open Monday-Thursday from 11:30 a.m. to 9:30 p.m., Friday and Saturday from 11:30 a.m. to 10 p.m., and Sunday from 11:30 a.m. to 9 p.m. The tasting room opens daily at 11 a.m. and closes with the restaurant.
 
By Caitlin Koenig
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Home-based bakery business expanding, opening downtown storefront

Taren Kinebrew started baking with her grandmother when she was a child. Her love of baking has always been a hobby, but in the next few weeks, Kinebrew will be opening a storefront for Sweet Petit Desserts at 1426 Race St. in Over-the-Rhine.  
 
“I wanted to be in a community where people support small businesses,” Kinebrew says. “I like the walking traffic and diversity of Over-the-Rhine, and knew that Sweet Petit Desserts would fit in with what I know Cincinnati and the neighborhood to be.”
 
The 753-square-foot space will have a kitchen and two cases of bite-sized desserts for sale. The cases are moveable so Kinebrew can host events with the help of Christina Christian, owner of Something Chic, an event planning business. The two have teamed up in the past to plan baby showers, wedding receptions and fundraisers.
 
Sweet Petit will have a very artsy feel, with vibrant colors from the desserts down to the flooring, Kinebrew says.
 
Kinebrew hasn’t always done desserts. She was in the Army National Guard for seven years and has a degree in information systems and a minor in accounting. But she has always loved making sweets for friends and family, and her own business seemed like the next logical step. She started Sweet Petit out of her home in 2009.
 
Last fall, Kinebrew applied to be part of Bad Girl Ventures, and she won a $25,000 loan and $5,000 in marketing and website assistance from the program. Bad Girl helped her with forming a financial plan and official business plan.
 
Sweet Petit will offer red velvet mini cupcakes, bite-sized brownies, cheesecakes, key lime bars, lemon squares, pie tartlets, cake pops, cookies and desserts in cups—think chocolate mousse. Prices will range from $2 per dessert to $9.50 for a half dozen or $18 for a dozen. More expensive items like pie tartlets and chocolate dipped strawberries will be $24 per dozen.
 
Sweet Petit will have three paid employees, including Kinebrew. She also hopes to bring on interns so they can learn how to run a business and hone their pastry skills.  
 
By Caitlin Koenig
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Neighborhood Asset Mapping tool focuses on neighborhoods' strengths

The Community Building Institute recently partnered with Xavier University and the United Way of Greater Cincinnati to develop and launch the Neighborhood Asset Mapping tool. It’s an online resource that allows all 52 Cincinnati neighborhoods to create a profile of community-based assets and resources in the area.
 
NAT was made available to the public this spring,and was in development for six to eight months before that. It’s free, and it promotes engagement and resource-sharing among residents. Residents can add assets to NAT, and they’re immediately available to other users.
 
“If you’re new to the community or thinking of moving to a neighborhood, you can find what’s going on there,” says Trina Jackson, program director of the Community Building Institute. “You can find community councils and neighborhood associations. Lots of people don’t know about grassroots organizations, and Nat allows residents to connect with one another through smaller organizations.”
 
The United Way helps support community development and community-based organizations, and NAT is the community engagement arm for Xavier, Jackson says. “We were focused on getting people connected with each other, and helping them see what’s out there.”
 
For example, in Evanston, many people know about the employment resource center. But if you’re not from the neighborhood, you don’t necessarily know it’s there, so you turn to the computer or your phone to find the things you need.
 
NAT focuses on a neighborhood’s strengths, and doesn’t include crime data or vacant property statistics. It's intened to be used by new and potential residents, entrepreneurs and developers as a tool to help find the best locations to live, work and play.
 
The Community Building Institute plans to host a series of “data entry parties” where people can get together and enter assets into NAT and learn new things about the neighborhood they live in. The first one is planned for Walnut Hills, but the date is to be determined.
 
By Caitlin Koenig
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Manifest Gallery expanding, offering more to visitors

Manifest Gallery recently added two new galleries, which is a 66 percent increase. It now has a total of five galleries of art for its visitors to enjoy—Main Gallery, Drawing Room, Parallel Space, Central Gallery and North Gallery. The “new” Manifest is celebrating its expansion on Friday, November 8 with a free, public reception from 6 to 9 p.m., coinciding with the monthly Walk on Woodburn event.
 
The Main and North Galleries face the street, and the entrance to Manifest is through the Main Gallery at 2727 Woodburn Ave. Exhibits will vary in terms of how many galleries each occupies. For example, Fresh Paint will be presented in three galleries while Aquachrome is in two, and one will be flanked by the other so visitors will first experience the works in Fresh Paint, then Aquachrome, then Fresh Paint again.
 
“We’ll rarely have all five spaces dedicated to one exhibit because we find that offering a variety of exhibits in combination, including routine solo exhibits, enhances visitor experience,” says Jason Franz, Manifest’s executive director. “Having all five galleries will make the experience from room to room more like a museum or a film—time-based, sequential and hopefully dramatic.”
 
This season, Manifest is also evolving its exhibition catalog publication process from a small color catalog per exhibit, for a total of nine each year, to one large hardcover book that documents the entire season, including every work and artist involved during the year. The Manifest Exhibition Annual is the fourth annual publication that the Manifest Press publishes (others are the International Drawing Annual, the International Painting Annual and the International Photography Annual).
 
“The expansion allows for 25 percent more exhibits this year,” Franz says. “We want to bring the world to Cincinnati and represent Cincinnati to the world one work of art at a time.”
 
Manifest will also showcase a new exhibition program, Regional Showcase Series, which will be shown three or four times per year. The exhibit contains works of art by artists who live in Ohio, Kentucky and Indiana.

In addition to the gallery, Manifest is also behind other initiatives like the Drawing Lab, a studio program that is supported by a grant from the Ohio Arts Council. The Drawing Lab, located at the Manifest Drawing Center in Madisonville, is free to high school and college students, but is open to everyone, from novice to professional, for a nominal membership fee.
 
“We’re not just an art gallery, but also a nonprofit,” Franz says. “We’re intended to be a small, bite-sized, museum-like experience of excellent and varied contemporary art from a wide geographical radius that anyone can take in with a short stroll through the galleries, after dinner or during a visit to the neighborhood. We hope they leave with something more than they arrived with—a sense of wonder for or awareness of what creative people work hard to make in the world.”
 
By Caitlin Koenig
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Randolph Park redesign in the works for City of Covington

In September, a group of nine experts from the American Institute of Architects’ Sustainable Design Assessment Team visited Covington to redesign Randolph Park. Covington was one of seven communities to receive a $25,000 competitive grant from the AIA.
 
The team spent three days designing the park—day one included interviews with stakeholders, a community meeting and a tour of the park and the surrounding area; day two was spent designing; and day three the concepts were presented to the public.
 
Three different concepts were put on the table: updating the park’s amenities; building a community use room; and including a community school. All of the concepts feature sustainable design and are community-oriented. Now it’s up to the community to decide which design will be used and when redevelopment will begin.
 
“The City of Covington brought everyone together to discuss the redesign, but the park is a community-driven action,” says Natalie Gardner, programs and strategic projects manager for the City of Covington.
 
The City is funding the project, and has $500,000 in its capital fund for Randolph Park’s redevelopment.
 
A final plan has yet to be chosen, but Gardner says residents are ready to get the project underway.
 
By Caitlin Koenig
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Madisonville first neighborhood to officially adopt city's new form-based zoning code

Last month, the City of Cincinnati adopted form-based code, which replaces the traditional zoning code and allows for future development to be mixed-use, with retail, commercial, office and residential spaces occupying the same development. The new code focuses on the form of the building, not its use. Form-based code also make sure that whatever structures are built or remodeled in an area fit with what is already there and meet the wishes of the community.
 
Madisonville, Walnut Hills, College Hill and Westwood pioneered the process of form-based code, and Madisonville is the first neighborhood to officially adopt them. And there are big plans in the future for the intersection at Madison and Whetsel in the heart of the central business district.
 
A mixed-use development is in the works on two corners of the intersection. The Madisonville Community Urban Redevelopment Corporation is in talks with the Cincinnati Health Department to build a community health center, complete with a fitness center, pediatric and dental care, and a community space on the first floor, with one-, two- and three-bedroom apartments on the two or three floors above it.
 
“We’ve lost population over the last few decades, and we want to help increase it with high-density housing,” says Sara Sheets, executive director of MCURC.
 
MCURC owns the old Fifth Third Bank building at the same intersection, and with help from the City, they hope to renovate it to include a restaurant on the first floor with two apartments above it.
 
“The bank building is the cornerstone of the area, and although we don’t want to have all of the buildings look the same, we’re going to use it as a template,” says Matt Strauss, real estate and marketing manager of MCURC.
 
Form-based code comes at the perfect time because Madisonville created a Quality of Life Plan in 2012, which is a community-driven action plan to make a walkable, pedestrian-friendly business district with expanded retail and housing options.
 
“It’s a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for Madisonville,” Sheets says. “It’s seen a lot of disinvestment and demolition, and we want to help create a sense of place here, and we’re excited to partner with the community to do so.”
 
MCURC has a large portion of four blocks in the central business district under its control, and they want what goes there to fit with the Quality of Life Plan and the community.
 
“We’ve learned that what fits and can make money somewhere might not be the best fit, and we want to do this slow, steady and smart,” Strauss says.

Form-based code will officially go into law at the end of the month, with Madisonville leading the way.
 
By Caitlin Koenig
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Southern fare is on the menu at Lori Beth's Cafe downtown

Lori Beth Henry, owner of Lori Beth’s Café, began cooking with her grandmother at the age of 6; at 12, she was cooking for events and people at her father’s church. Her love of cooking led her into the catering business and the restaurant world in 2009. Her restaurant moved downtown to the Sawyer Point Building in July.
 
The first Lori Beth’s was in Dry Ridge, Ky., in a Toyota dealership. When the old 720 Deli space opened up in Cincinnati, Henry jumped at the chance to move in. The 1,000-square-foot space seats about 350 people.
 
Henry makes everything from scratch, and puts a twist on typical Southern dishes. Customer favorites include the meatloaf sandwich, which consists of a homemade meatloaf with sautéed veggies in it, and topped with homemade BBQ sauce, creamy Swiss, bacon and a homemade jalapeno mayonnaise; the turkey club, which is baked in-house and tastes like Thanksgiving; and desserts.
 
“My grandmother taught me how to cook on the weekends,” Henry says. “We would go out and milk cows, and do all sorts of things with the milk—make butter, cottage cheese, buttermilk. I loved the whole process of taking the milk from the cow and how you’re able to make so many different things.”
 
Henry’s whole family works with her—her husband Kenneth quit his job to work beside her, and their daughter Kassidy and son Taylor help out too. Even Henry’s best friend and her son work at Lori Beth’s.
 
“Lori Beth’s is truly a family thing,” Henry says. “I like to have people get a sense of how I grew up and what I grew up doing. I love when people come in and enjoy the slow-cooked, Southern style food and hospitality. We’re trying to get people to enjoy what they’re doing, what they’re eating and what they’re tasting.”
 
Lori Beth’s caters company and client meetings of all sizes, both on and offsite; major events, conferences and office parties; rooftop gatherings during and after hours for Sawyer Point tenants; corporate team-building exercises; special occasions; and private and themed dinner parties. The restaurant also makes birthday cakes, desserts, pies, edible arrangements and gift baskets for all occasions.
 
By Caitlin Koenig
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Gateway Tech receives $100,000 grant for Urban Metro Campus

Gateway Community and Technical College recently received a $100,000 grant from Jacob G. Schmidlapp Trusts, Fifth Third Bank, trustee, for its Urban Metro Campus. Gateway is in the early stages of a more than $80 million development in downtown Covington.
 
Plans for Gateway’s expansion have been in the works for more than 12 years. The Urban Metro Campus is intended to make college education more accessible to residents of Northern Kentucky who live in urban river cities. Northern Kentucky is home to many high-tech jobs, and many residents can’t compete for those jobs due to lack of education.
 
Gateway announced its comprehensive plan in Nov. 2012, which involves the purchase of nine properties for the Urban Metro Campus. Phase 1 is underway, with the renovation of the former Marx Furniture store into the Gateway Design and Technology Center.
 
Three other facilities will also be renovated and occupied by Jan. 2015, with other properties to follow. In all, seven existing buildings will be renovated and one new facility will be built over the next three to six years.
 
To date, Gateway has raised more than $2.6 million of a $5 million initial amount set by the Gateway Foundation to support campus development and scholarships. The college has also supported development with $350,000 for its campus master plan and $10 million for Phase 1 development costs.
 
By Caitlin Koenig
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