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Wednesday, April 8, 2020

NKY Chamber, Tri-ED, Horizon Community Funds Partner for Northern Kentucky Restaurant Relief Fund

Local restaurants, bars eligible to receive $1,000 grants based on community recommendations via unique receipt program

Customers enjoy Agave & Rye's outdoor eating area.
Agave & Rye in Covington is just one of the restaurants that will benefit from the NKY Restaurant Relief Fund.
(Img: Sept. 2019, Agave & Rye Facebook Page)

Fort Mitchell, KY -- In the wake of one of the most challenging economic periods in modern history, many industries -- and restaurants in particular -- are facing extremely tough times. Now, the Northern Kentucky Chamber of Commerce, Northern Kentucky Tri-ED and Horizon Community Funds of Northern Kentucky have partnered to provide local eateries the opportunity to enjoy some much needed relief -- and they're looking for suggestions in deciding who to help.

Launching Wednesday, April 8, 2020 is the "NKY Restaurant Relief Fund," a first-of-its-kind stimulus program which will grant $1,000 to select local restaurants.

"The COVID-19 crisis has hurt so many entrepreneurs across the nation, with restaurants and bars being one of the first industries impacted. For servers and bartenders, tips are now not available, which can be extremely crippling," shares Yavonne Sarber, Founder of Agave & Rye. "As a restaurant owner, it's heartbreaking to experience. For our own team, it was clear: if we weren't able to serve guests in our restaurants, we had to do something... and, despite the challenges so many of us are facing, we've found unique ways to band together, reach out to the community and encourage others to do the same. Most recently, our carry out availability has brought hope back to our team, as well as our team back to the community!"

The program will work as follows: 
After purchasing a $50 minimum gift card to any qualifying Northern Kentucky restaurant or bar, an individual or business can then upload a copy of their receipt, address and contact information to the Restaurant Relief Fund website. This will then automatically nominate the restaurant for one of ten $1,000 grants that will be awarded weekly.

The grant recipients will be chosen via a random drawing. Restaurants and bars will receive an entry for each receipt uploaded, and a selected restaurant/bar can only receive a grant once. Restaurants must be locally-owned and -operated to be eligible.

NKY Chamber President & CEO Brent Cooper

Initially, ten grants will be awarded on Thursday, April 16 and again on Thursday, April 23, during the NKY Chamber's weekly podcast, Northern Kentucky Spotlight with Kathrine Nero. Tri-ED President and CEO Lee Crume, Horizon Community Funds President Nancy Grayson and NKY Chamber President and CEO Brent Cooper will join Nero to announce the 10 Northern Kentucky restaurants and bars receiving the grants (as long as funds last).

Tri-ED President & CEO Lee Crume

Horizon Community Funds will act as the 501(c)(3) organization receiving all donated funds with NKY Tri-ED assisting and serving as the program's administrator. The NKY Chamber will lead the fundraising effort for the NKY Restaurant Relief Fund. The fund seeks to raise a minimum of $20,000 and in excess of $50,000 through donations from businesses and individuals during the next two weeks. Direct contributions to the fund can also be made by visiting Horizon Community Funds' website,

Horizon Community Funds President Nancy Grayson 

Cooper hopes the entire Northern Kentucky region will embrace the program, and in doing so, show the strength and compassion that will help local restaurants persevere.

"A time of unprecedented hardship calls for an unprecedented response. With the NKY Restaurant Relief Fund, we call on all residents and businesses of the region that are able to showcase the Team Kentucky spirit that makes us unique," said Cooper. "The Chamber's number one goal is to support strong businesses. Now, the time has come to show how strong our region is by extending that same courtesy to our restaurant partners."

Crume and Grayson agree.

"The NKY Restaurant Relief grants are meant to bring a quick infusion of cash to restaurants and bars through gift card purchases and the twenty $1,000 grants we'll award over the next two weeks," shared Lee Crume, President & CEO of Northern Kentucky Tri-ED. "We know these small businesses have suffered tremendously and we want to provide hope and funds to these entrepreneurs."

"The NKY Restaurant Relief effort is another way for our community to help make a difference during these challenging times," said Horizon Community Funds President Nancy Grayson. "Our local restaurants not only provide us with food, but places to do business, celebrate special occasions and create lasting memories. Now, we can thank them by showing the legacy of our community is how we help our family and friends in their greatest time of need."

Bill Whitlow, owner of Rich's Proper Food and Drink with his wife Morgan, find the announcement of the fund inspired.

"We appreciate everything that the NKY Chamber and others have done for businesses in the region. Every dollar that comes in helps us stay open, keep our employees working and keep the vibe alive," Whitlow said. "We're all coming together, we're all helping each other. I've never seen anything quite like it."

To submit a receipt and nominate a restaurant, or for more information, visit

5th Grader at Woodfill Elementary Passes Away, Principal Releases Statement

Fifth grader Jaleel Hutchinson passed away unexpectedly on Sunday.
(Img: Go-fund-me page for Jaleel Hutchinson)

By Jessie Eden

It is with a heavy heart that we report this. A student at Woodfill Elementary has died per a statement from Fort Thomas Independent Schools.

The following statement was released by Woodfill Principal Keith Faust and a Go-Fund-Me page has been set up for Jaleel Hutchinson to help with funeral expenses.

You can donate here.


It is with a saddened heart that we reach out to you this evening.

On Sunday evening, one of our students, Jaleel Hutchinson, a 5th grader, passed away due to cardiac arrest. Jaleel has been a fighter his entire life, overcoming multiple illnesses over his 11 years. His family and I want to let our school community know that his passing is not related to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Jaleel has been a student at Woodfill since the 2nd grade. He loved Woodfill and his time with his classmates. Jaleel was selective with the people who he would let get to know him, but once you gained his trust, you had a friend. He loved bright colors, Christmas lights, music, art and engaging with his classmates. His mom stated that coming to Woodfill was the highlight of his day. Getting to engage with his classmates, watching them interact with one another and being a Wildcat brought him much joy and happiness.

Jaleel will be greatly missed.

Any loss is tragic, but a loss of a child can even seem more difficult. As adults we have life experiences and maturity to process such events. However, you may find that your child is struggling with Jaleel's death. If your child would benefit from a virtual conversation with our counselor, Mrs. Caswell or the District Psychologist, Dr. Richardson, they have made themselves available during this difficult time.

Additionally, a GoFundMe Page has been set up to help with funeral costs and can be found on our various social media sites. If you choose to make a donation in memory of Jaleel, I'm sure the family would be forever grateful. Please join me as we send our thoughts and prayers to his family.

Keith Faust
Principal, Woodfill Elementary School 

Tuesday, April 7, 2020

Former Fort Thomas Independent Schools Superintendent, Dr. Fred D. Williams, Passes Away

Dr. Fred Williams, with his wife of 56 years, JoAnn. Williams was 

Dr. Fred D. Williams, originally of Harrison County, Kentucky, passed away on April 7, 2020, in Raleigh, North Carolina at age 88.

He leaves behind his devoted wife of 56 years, JoAnn Agee Williams (formerly of Jonesville, Kentucky); two loving and devoted children, Dr. Joy Lind (Ron) of Sioux Falls, South Dakota, and Dr. Joseph B. Williams (Taufika) of Raleigh, North Carolina, and their two children, Reyna and Gabriel; and brothers, Charles Vallandingham (Barbara) of Kentucky and Billy Vallandingham (Sandy) of Illinois.

Dr. Williams was an educator for 52 years, serving 19 of those as a school superintendent in the Fort Thomas Independent schools, Kentucky. He served as President of the Kentucky Association of School Superintendents, was the recipient of the Dupree Award by the Kentucky School Boards Association, and served as the first Executive Secretary of the Kentucky Association of School Administrators. He administered the new superintendent mentor program in Kentucky, and served as the first State Director of Title I of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 in the Kentucky Department of Education. He was selected by The Executive Educator of the National School Boards Association as one of America’s 100 “Top Executive Educators” in the first year of the program. He was presented the Distinguished Service Award by the Kentucky Association of School Administrators.

155 Cases of COVID-19 in Northern Kentucky; Social Distancing Over the Holidays

Per the NKY Health Department:

FLORENCE, Ky. -- As of 4:30 p.m. Tuesday, April 7, 14 additional cases of COVID-19 have been identified in Northern Kentucky, for 155 total cases. There are 75 cases in Kenton County, 37 cases in Campbell County, 34 cases in Boone County and 9 cases in Grant County. There have been 13 total deaths related to COVID-19.

Tomorrow is the beginning of Passover, and Easter is on Sunday. As we are preparing for these holidays, we still need to maintain social distancing. Staying healthy at home means staying at home. We cannot visit other homes or invite people to ours. All of us need to avoid gatherings and groups of people. According to Dr. Lynne Saddler, District Director of Health, "In order to continue to fight the spread of COVID-19 in Northern Kentucky, it is critical that we continue social distancing and stay healthy at home. This means that our holidays have to look different this year. Take the time now to think about new ways to celebrate your family's traditions that will keep you safe, and plan for celebrations that can take place once the threat from COVID-19 is over."

At this time, there are a limited number of tests available, and health care providers and systems are carefully determining who needs to be tested. If you develop a fever, cough or difficulty breathing, stay home and call your health care provider. If it is a medical emergency, call 9-1-1. If you are ill and in isolation at home, learn how to prevent the spread of the virus in your home at For individuals with no or mild symptoms, testing is not recommended.

NKY Health has been actively responding to the COVID-19 crisis for months. We continue to provide guidance and collaborate with local officials, health care providers, first responders, schools, businesses, social service agencies, and others, as well as respond to a high volume of questions from the public. We are also coordinating the distribution of personal protective equipment from the Strategic National Stockpile to health care providers and first responders. Additionally, staff track testing conducted throughout Northern Kentucky, and provide instructions to contacts that have had exposures to cases.

NKY Health continues to work with other response agencies and Northern Kentucky residents to take the actions necessary to prevent the spread of COVID-19 in our community. For more information, visit our COVID-19 page on or You can also call Kentucky's COVID-19 hotline at 1-800-722-5725. The Governor's press releases are available here:

# # #

The Northern Kentucky Health Department provides high-quality public health services to more than 400,000 residents of Boone, Campbell, Grant and Kenton Counties, with a goal of preventing disease, promoting wellness and protecting against health threats. The Health Department seeks to be a nationwide leader in public health and was one of the first in the country to earn national public health accreditation. For more information, visit

Multiple Departments Respond to House Fire on Mayfield

Multiple departments respond to fire on Mayfield. (Img: Dave Newman's Aerial Photography)

By Jessie Eden

Multiple Fire Departments responded to a house fire on Mayfield on Monday night.

Call Ashley Barlow for all your legal needs. 859-781-5777. 
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The fire broke out around 7:30 p.m. at 36 Mayfield. Fire Departments from Fort Thomas, Southgate, Bellevue, Newport and Dayton responded.

No one was living in the house at the time.

Chief Mark Bailey says the fire seems to have started near the electrical panel in the basement. There was extensive damage as a result of the fire.

Multiple departments respond to fire on Mayfield. (Img: Dave Newman's Aerial Photography)

Cold Spring Police Searching for Man Charging Items to Jolly Plumbing Account

Cold Spring Police are asking for help catching this suspect...
(Img: Cold Spring Police Department)

By Jessie Eden

Cold Spring Police Department is searching for a suspect who allegedly has been charging to a Jolly Plumbing account at Home Depot.

The suspect has charged to the account from three different Home Depot locations; West Chester, Florence and Cold Spring.

Suspect checks out at a register at Home Depot
(Img: Cold Spring Police Department)

Security cameras were able to capture a few images of the man and the car he was driving. There are also two videos. The clearest video is below.

"This guy is illegally charging on Jolly Plumbing's Home Depot account at the Cold Spring, West Chester, and Florence stores," said Brady Jolly. "Any help finding the thief would be greatly appreciated."

This is the vehicle this suspect was driving.
(Img: Cold Spring Police Department)

If you recognize this person, please contact the Cold Spring Police Department at 859-441-6289.

NKU Donates Medical Supplies, Ventilators to Local Hospitals

April 6, 2020-- While medical professionals face shortages of critical resources to fight COVID-19, Northern Kentucky University stepped up to help two local hospitals, donating personal protective equipment and ventilators used for instruction in the College of Health and Human Services.

859-905-0714 | 
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NKU donated three ventilators to Christ Hospital Health Network and two ventilators to St. Elizabeth Healthcare for patients in critical condition. St. Elizabeth also received the colleges' supply of vitally needed resources--including N95 masks and Nitrile gloves.

"We are in this together, and we wanted to be proactive to ensure our region's wellbeing." said Dr. Dale Stephenson, dean of the College of Health and Human Services. "Our hospitals may not be facing a shortage today or tomorrow, but with the rising number of patients daily, it's important that our region battles this together."

Students in the College of Health & Human Services use the equipment in NKU's Health Innovation Center. The state-of-the-art technology and learning center is home to the St. Elizabeth Center for Simulation Education--where students can practice real-life healthcare situations. However, with NKU's transition to remote learning, the resources sat idle. Dean Stephenson knew there was a better use than collecting dust in empty classrooms.

Nursing Simulation in HIC

The college packed up its five ventilators, which are critical to help patients breathe and gathered its inventory of Nitrile exam gloves, face masks, goggles and N95 masks. The personal protective equipment will help protect St. Elizabeth's employees against the spread of respiratory pathogens and infections. Dean Stephenson came to campus to oversee the transfer of the ventilators to St. Elizabeth and Christ Hospital.

"Once we had realized a call of duty, our faculty and staff wanted to help in whatever way they could. NKU plays a vital role to our region, and I'm happy we were able to be a great community partner. This truly shows the power of working together," said Dr. Stephenson.

NKU also recently launched an emergency fund to make sure student's needs are taken care of during the global pandemic, whether educational or personal. Any student can use the resource to ease their mounting worries, like how to afford food and personal items. For the latest news and updates about NKU's COVID-19 preparedness, visit here.

About NKU: 
Founded in 1968, we are a growing metropolitan university of more than 14,000 students served by more than 2,000 faculty and staff on a thriving suburban campus near Cincinnati. Located in the quiet suburb of Highland Heights, Kentucky--just seven miles southeast of Cincinnati--we have become a leader in Greater Cincinnati and Kentucky by providing a private school education for a fraction of the cost. While we are one of the fastest growing universities in Kentucky, our professors still know our students' names. For more information, visit

In Other Words: Whatever Is Before You Is Your Teacher

By Chuck Keller

It’s hard to imagine but the coronavirus has changed the world in ways that we never dreamed. Granted, experts play out these scenarios many times and at levels we never imagine. Their job, of course, is to prepare us for that possibility. We have stored food, equipment, and money at the personal, state, and federal levels to help during stressful times like these. It's frightening to think about the number of projected deaths and I admit that I am worried. But that’s not what I really want to talk about.

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It pains me to see people suffering through no fault of their own. Job loss. School canceled. Social distancing. Businesses close. Vacations canceled. Sports, dances, community events, festivals, concerts, shows all canceled or postponed.  And then there is that lack of toilet paper.

This situation is like tossing a stone into a pond. Sure we see the ripples move out and we understand that analogy pretty easily, but we don’t see the disruption that the stone causes as it sinks and hits the bottom. There's a disturbance in the unseen world. The disruption in the world is wide and deep and we only see part of it because we are so involved in it. Even though we need some distance to get a better understanding, we are becoming aware of the depth and breadth of change. But there are some things that have become quite clear.

Now I have said many times that I refuse to ask “Why me?” because it’s an unproductive question. Instead I ask “What does this have to teach us?” Or “What have I learned from this?” There is a Buddhist saying that “Whatever is before you is your teacher.” We have such a moment before us. Here are some things I have learned from our current situation.

* As a group, we adapt quickly. We have adopted new behaviors, new terms, and new skills. We learned to be flexible. And like the yoga teacher says, flexibility will come with practice.

* We either make our communities strong or we make them weak. The choice is ours.

* People are basically good. People check in on neighbors, family, friends, and those who are ill or have compromised immune systems and try to meet their needs. We are, by and large, compassionate especially toward those who suffer.

* We are social animals and we need to be around each other. Even though physical distancing is uncomfortable, I don’t feel alone or lonely.

* Technology is wonderful. I like how we can quickly and in real time connect with people, places, business, schools around the world. The techies are new heroes.

* Nurses and doctors are finally seen as the superheroes they are.

* Small business owners are amazing. I admire their flexibility and desire to deliver goods and services.

* Our supply chain is strong and keeps us fed, clothed, and entertained. Farmers, truckers, and grocers deserve a round of applause for doing what they have always done.

* Teachers are amazing problem solvers. Within days they created a way to transition to a new form of instruction that will have long lasting effects.

* Students are proving that the desire to know, learn, understand, and seek wisdom is vital to them. I know it may not be true for everyone but overall they have adapted and are even thriving on this new form of instruction. School will never be the same.

* Zoom, WebEx, Skype, and FaceTime connect us so that we are not alone or lonely.

* Home delivery. Thank you USPS, FedEx, Amazon, GrubHub, Uber Eats and all of the delivery services.

* Laughter is good medicine. We make each other smile, laugh, and experience the lighter moments during this challenging time with silly memes, videos, and cards.

* We are creative and inventive. It’s impressive to see how many people and businesses are making masks. The desire to help and the creativity of skill and design speaks to the human condition. Call it creative compassion.

* Even though we may be isolated, we are not alone. We are engaged.

We will never see our world in quite the same way as we did at the beginning of 2020. That world is history. It will never return. We adapt. We grow. We learn. We move forward.   That’s what we do because we are human. Governor Beshear begins his daily updates with the same words - “We’ll get through this. We’ll get through this together.” And he is right. We will get by. And we will learn. Make no mistake, I am worried. I am taking every precaution. The road has not been smooth but we are moving forward and each pothole teaches us something - if we are willing to listen.

One day we will be able to fully examine this episode and when we do, we will see that our ability to adapt got us through a challenging time.

The writer takes his daily temperature. 

Monday, April 6, 2020

Fifteen Additional Cases of Covid-19 Identified in Northern Kentucky

141 Cases of COVID-19 in Northern Kentucky; 13 COVID-19 Related Deaths

FLORENCE, Ky. -- As of 4:30 p.m. Monday, April 6, 15 additional cases of COVID-19 have been identified in Northern Kentucky, for 141 total cases. There are 70 cases in Kenton County, 35 cases in Campbell County, 31 cases in Boone County and 5 cases in Grant County. There were also seven new deaths reported, including five in Kenton County and two in Campbell County. This doubles the number of deaths in Northern Kentucky. All were over 60 years old and had underlying health issues. There have been 13 total deaths related to COVID-19. Our thoughts go out to the loved ones of each individual who has passed away.

Over 50 years experience in NKY. Call now, mention FTM. (859) 287-2499

"As we see the number of cases and deaths increasing in the Northern Kentucky area, we are entering a tough phase in the fight against COVID-19," says Dr. Lynne Saddler, District Director of Health. "To those of you who are staying healthy at home, keep it up. To those of you who have not been taking COVID-19 seriously, we all need you to start now. It is absolutely critical that people stay at home. If you go outside either to enjoy the weather or to get essential services (e.g. food or medicine), you must keep at least six feet away from others.

Do not forget to wash your hands frequently for 20 seconds and keep them away from your face. EVERYONE in Northern Kentucky needs to be taking these actions ALL the time."

At this time, there are a very limited number of tests available, and health care providers and systems are carefully determining who needs to be tested. If you develop a fever, cough or difficulty breathing, stay home and call your health care provider. If it is a medical emergency, call 9-1-1. If you are ill and in isolation at home, learn how to prevent the spread of the virus in your home at

For individuals with no or mild symptoms, testing is not recommended. NKY Health has been actively responding to the COVID-19 crisis for months. We continue to provide guidance and collaborate with local officials, health care providers, first responders, schools, businesses, social service agencies, and others, as well as respond to a high volume of questions from the public. We are also coordinating the distribution of personal protective equipment from the Strategic National Stockpile to health care providers and first responders. Additionally, staff track testing conducted throughout Northern Kentucky, and provide instructions to contacts that have had exposures to cases. NKY Health continues to work with other response agencies and Northern Kentucky residents to take the actions necessary to prevent the spread of COVID-19 in our community.

For more information, visit our COVID-19 page on or You can also call Kentucky's COVID-19 hotline at 1-800-722-5725. The Governor's press releases are available here:

Gov. Beshear: Up to 7 People Have Died from Coronavirus in NKY as of April 6

By Jessie Eden

Governor Andy Beshear announced in his daily press conference on Monday that 14 people have died from the coronavirus.

Please note that, per Gov. Beshear, some deaths were not reported to the Governor's office. Some were only reported to the health departments so these may have been missed in the final count.

  • 96-year-old male in Kenton
  • 81-year-old female Campbell
  • 92-year-old female and an 89-year-old female in Kenton
  • 63-year-old male in Campbell
  • 2 separate 91-year-old females in Kenton Co (Gov. Beshear admitted that this may be a duplicate, they are checking on this)

In addition, there are 54 new cases, bringing the grand total up to 1,008 in Kentucky. Three of those cases were in Kenton County, one case was in Campbell County. Gov. Beshear released some additional information on testing and the number of recoveries as well;
  • 19k have been tested.
  • 163 have been hospitalized
  • Only 70 currently in hospitals at the moment.

“The next weeks and the next month are absolutely critical. Our goal in Kentucky, although we know there will be loss and it will be heartbreaking, it is our duty to minimize the loss here in Kentucky. The White House is fully supportive of the actions we’ve taken.”

"Your actions every single day help us fight this virus. This is about us being a good neighbor, not 
just to those who live next to us, everybody oughta be your neighbor."

Other Updates:

- It is National Public Health Week so Gov. Beshear thanked all individuals working in public health.

- We are one month into knowing the coronavirus was in Kentucky.

- Hundreds have been hired to help with unemployment claims. Gov. Beshear asked Kentuckians to be patient as the antiquated system issues are worked out.

- We will be using cabins in state parks for quarantine first responders. Currently we will be using the cabins, additionally considering the lodges if needed.

- "When you compare us to the rest of the county, what we are doing is flattening the curve. We don’t yet know how much or how long but the data suggests putting action in early, is helping."

- We need positive social media out there.

- Agreement with Gravity Diagnostics may allow us to get an extra 2,000 tests in Kentucky.

- N95 Masks, gloves and gowns are in need right now. "I know we still have more PPE out there, we need them. We can use medical and industrial gloves. You can call this number or visit the website to donate;

Study: NKY Motorists lose more than $2K a Year on Damaged, Congested Roads

Lack of funding will lead to further deterioration, increased congestion and higher costs to motorists.

Roads and bridges that are deteriorated, congested or lack some desirable safety features cost Kentucky motorists a total of $4.5 billion statewide annually – $2,025 per driver in the Northern Kentucky area – due to higher vehicle operating costs, traffic crashes and congestion-related delays.

Increased investment in transportation improvements at the local, state and federal levels could relieve traffic congestion, improve road, bridge and transit conditions, boost safety, and support long-term economic growth in Kentucky, according to a new report released last month by TRIP, a Washington, DC based national transportation research nonprofit .

The TRIP report, “Kentucky Transportation by the Numbers: Meeting the State’s Need for Safe, Smooth and Efficient Mobility,” finds that throughout Kentucky, nearly 30 percent of major locally and state-maintained roads are in poor or mediocre condition, seven percent of locally and state-maintained bridges (20 feet or more in length) are rated poor/structurally deficient, and 3,773 people lost their lives on the state’s roads from 2014-2018. Kentucky’s major urban roads are becoming increasingly congested, causing significant delays and choking commuting and commerce.

Driving on roads in the Northern Kentucky area costs the average driver $2,025 per year in the form of extra vehicle operating costs (VOC) as a result of driving on roads in need of repair, lost time and fuel due to congestion-related delays, and the costs of traffic crashes in which roadway features likely were a contributing factor. A breakdown of the costs per motorist in the state’s largest urban areas, along with a statewide total, is below.

The TRIP report finds that 21 percent of major locally and state-maintained roads in the Northern Kentucky area are in poor condition and another 24 percent are in mediocre condition, costing the average motorist an additional $562 each year in extra vehicle operating costs, including accelerated vehicle depreciation, additional repair costs, and increased fuel consumption and tire wear. Statewide, eight percent of Kentucky’s major roads are in poor condition and 21 percent are in mediocre condition.

Seven percent of Kentucky’s bridges are rated poor/structurally deficient, with significant deterioration to the bridge deck, supports or other major components. In the Northern Kentucky area, six percent of bridges are rated poor/structurally deficient.

“Infrastructure investment in Kentucky is a top priority for our business community in 2020, not only for moving commerce and improving bottom lines, but as an important tool for business and job attraction,” said Rebecca Wood, COO and vice president of investor development for Greater Louisville Inc. “As a major logistics and manufacturing hub that is within a day’s drive of two-thirds of the U.S. population, it is vital to Kentucky’s economic future that lawmakers increase funding and support for infrastructure and roads.”

Traffic congestion in the Northern Kentucky area is worsening, causing 52 annual hours of delay for the average motorist and costing the average Northern Kentucky driver $1,110 annually in lost time and wasted fuel. Statewide, drivers lose $1.7 billion annually as a result of lost time and wasted fuel due to traffic congestion.

Traffic crashes in Kentucky claimed the lives 3,773 people between 2014 and 2018. Kentucky’s overall traffic fatality rate of 1.46 fatalities per 100 million vehicle miles of travel in 2018 is the sixth highest in the nation and significantly higher than the national average of 1.13.  In the Northern Kentucky area, on average, 51 people were killed in traffic crashes each year from 2014 to 2018. The financial impact of traffic crashes in which the lack of adequate roadway safety features were likely a contributing factor was an average of $353 annually per each Northern Kentucky driver.

The efficiency and condition of Kentucky’s transportation system, particularly its highways, is critical to the health of the state’s economy. Annually, $578 billion in goods are shipped to and from Kentucky, relying heavily on the state’s network of roads and bridges. Increasingly, companies are looking at the quality of a region’s transportation system when deciding where to re-locate or expand. Regions with congested or poorly maintained roads may see businesses relocate to areas with a smoother, more efficient and more modern transportation system. Approximately 900,000 full-time jobs in Kentucky in key industries like tourism, retail sales, agriculture and manufacturing are dependent on the quality, safety and reliability of the state’s transportation infrastructure network.

“These conditions are only going to get worse, increasing the additional costs to motorists, if greater investment is not made available at the federal, state and local levels of government,” said Dave Kearby, TRIP’s executive director. “Without adequate funding, Kentucky’s transportation system will become increasingly deteriorated and congested, hampering economic growth, safety and quality of life.”

Highlands Choir Performs "The Star Spangled Banner" Virtually

(Img: Highlands High School Virtual Choir)


In Governor Beshear's press conference on Monday, April 6, this video was featured at the very end.

"Our actions every single day make a difference. remember those traits from the greatest generation; personal responsibility, integrity, work ethic and faithful commitment. those same traits can guide us through this coronavirus," said Gov. Beshear. "I know this generation, us, we can be great too. We can be great by passing this test of humanity, protecting people around us...and Kentucky, we can be one of those bright, shining examples of when we take all the division and we push it away and we come together to protect one another and the great work we can do."

By Jessie Eden

Here is something to warm your heart! These kids sure are talented!

The talented students at Highlands High School came together 'virtually' to perform "The Start Spangled Banner". The piece, arranged by Young, was performed by the Highlands High School Choirs.

You can view the full piece below;

CVG Becomes First in U.S. to Deploy Floor Scrubbing Robots

CVG Airport becomes first in U.S. to deploy Avidbots Neo floor-scrubbing robots

Innovation solution helps staff ensure facilities are kept impeccably clean 

CVG is the first U.S. airport to roll out Avidbots Neo, but the robot is already used in many airports worldwide. 
(Img: CVG)

Erlanger, KY (April 6, 2020) ― The Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport (CVG) and Avidbots, a company that brings robots to everyday life to expand human potential, today announced that CVG has become the first U.S. airport to use the Avidbots Neo floor-scrubbing robot. At CVG, the Neo robot has been deployed to autonomously clean floors throughout the Terminal on a continuous basis to ensure a high-quality, healthy experience for travelers.

"CVG is one of the world's most innovative airports, deploying the latest technologies to deliver the very best passenger experience, so we aren't surprised they are the first airport in the U.S. to deploy the Avidbots Neo floor-scrubbing robot," said Faizan Sheikh, CEO and co-founder of Avidbots. "Neo works 24x7 to keep CVG's facilities spic and span, ensuring a safe and healthy environment for airport visitors, passengers and staff."

Avidbots Neo is the only fully autonomous floor-scrubbing robot on the market. Neo uses advanced AI, cameras and 3D sensors to adapt to its environment and automatically update its route on the fly to avoid obstacles. Neo operates safely and effectively, avoiding people, suitcases, furniture, displays and other items. Most other floor cleaning robots must be pre-programmed to follow a set route, making it difficult for them to operate in dynamic environments such as airports.

Neo uses advanced AI, cameras and 3D sensors to adapt to its environment and automatically update its route on the fly to avoid obstacles. (Img: CVG)

CVG Airport is a leader in deploying innovations that advance the airport industry globally. During a pilot program with Avidbots Neo that began in November 2019, an average of 200,000 square feet of flooring were cleaned per week. Neo can operate six hours on a single charge, so the floor-scrubbing robot also assists in ensuring routine coverage of highly trafficked areas.

"At CVG, we aim to embrace what's next in all that we do," said Candace McGraw, CEO of CVG Airport. "Introducing new technologies to elevate the passenger experience is critical to our business. In the challenging and uncertain times we find ourselves, making sure our facilities are safe and clean is our top priority, so Neo has been a great asset to our team to ensure a high standard of cleanliness is met."

CVG is the first U.S. airport to roll out Avidbots Neo, but the robot is already used in many airports worldwide. 
(Img: CVG)

CVG is the first U.S. airport to roll out Avidbots Neo, but the robot is already used in many airports worldwide, including Paris Charles de Gaulle, Singapore Changi, Tokyo Narita, Tokyo Haneda, Osaka Kansai, Montréal-Pierre Elliott Trudeau International, Ben Gurion and Sydney Airport. Because Neo operates autonomously and delivers a consistently high-quality clean, airports are adopting the robot at a rapid rate. In addition, Neo has helped supplement critical maintenance and housekeeping staff, especially at a time when keeping facilities clean has never been more important.

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About CVG Airport
CVG has been serving commercial passengers since 1947. In 2019, more than 9.1 million passengers were served. The airport has more nonstop destinations than any airport in the Tri-State region (Kentucky, Ohio, Indiana), including direct international service to Paris, Toronto, Cabo San Lucas, Cancun, Montego Bay, and Punta Cana. As the 8th largest cargo airport in North America, CVG is home to Amazon Air and DHL's global super hub. The airport is recognized globally as a leader in innovation, deploying solutions that advance the industry in four key areas: clean, connect, secure, and transport. CVG is the only airport in the country to receive Safety Act Designation and Certification from the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), giving the airport the highest level of protections under the Act. is your award-winning, travel-planning resource with flight status, security wait times, and parking availability.

CVG is the first U.S. airport to roll out Avidbots Neo, but the robot is already used in many airports worldwide. 
(Img: CVG)

About Avidbots
Avidbots designs and manufactures autonomous connected robots to expand human potential. Its first product is Neo, a robotic floor scrubber widely deployed in airports, warehouses, manufacturing sites, malls, universities and other commercial spaces worldwide. With a rapidly expanding customer base in over 15 countries, Avidbots is a global leader in collaborative service robots. Founded in 2014 by robotics engineers from the University of Waterloo and headquartered in Kitchener, Ontario, Avidbots is backed by top global venture capital firms, including True Ventures, Next47, GGV Capital, BDC, Felicis Ventures, Real Ventures, and Golden Ventures. For more information, visit

Friday, April 3, 2020

Listen: Navigating the CARES Act Crisis Leadership and Updates on Essential Businesses

The Northern Kentucky Chamber of Commerce has released a new podcast on the CARES Act.

If you are confused about what an essential business is or how to navigate the CARES Act or lead during this difficult time, check out their new podcast below;

NKY Spotlight Guests include;

Loren Wolff, Graydon - What is an essential business? (update)

Jake Rouse, Braxton Brewing Company - Navigating the CARES Act 

Mike Sipple Jr., Talent Magnet Institute - Leadership in a crisis 

New Riff Distilling Working on Creating Hand Sanitizer for Frontline Responders

New Riff Distilling is now offering hand sanitizer exclusively for frontline responders.

By Jessie Eden

New Riff Distilling is now working on making hand sanitizer for frontline responders.

The Newport distillery was making hand sanitizer for those in the community, but given limited quantities, they are now only offering hand sanitizer for frontline responders.

If you are a frontline responder, please email New Riff Distilling at to join the waiting list. 

Lowes, Home Depot Locations Implement New Procedures and Hours in Response to Covid-19

Social distancing efforts were put into motion at Cold Spring Home Depot yesterday.
Both Lowes and Home Depot are now making changes...

By Jessie Eden

Heads up if you need something from Lowes or Home Depot --  the two hardware store chains are making important changes in order to keep people safe among Covid-19 concerns.

Lowes will now close at 7 p.m. every day. Lowes is also implementing social distancing protocols by adding dedicated social distancing ambassadors who will be responsible for monitoring customer flow in our garden centers and front-end areas and enforce customer limits to allow proper social distancing.

Home Depot stores will now close at 6 p.m. and limit how many people can be in the store. The adjust hours will help employees sanitize the store and restock items appropriately.

The Home Depot is promoting social and physical distancing in our stores and distribution centers. Stores are limiting the number of customers inside at any given time.

The store is also eliminating major spring promotions to avoid driving high levels of traffic to stores. In addition to training our associates on social distancing, the store has placed distancing markers at counters, posted signage throughout the stores and are making overhead announcements on our store PA systems asking customers to maintain safe distances.

To learn more about what Lowes and Home Depot are doing in response to the epidemic, visit the links below;

Home Depot