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Cincinnati In The News

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MORTAR helps local entrepreneurs overcome business obstacles, one step at a time

MORTAR co-founders Derrick Braziel, William Thomas II and Allen Woods saw the need to provide resources for underrepresented entrepreneurs. 

Together, they help entrepreneurs from diverse backgrounds build a business plan, launch their business, gain access to customers and funding and connect with other entrepreneurs and mentors. 

Watch this video from Forbes to learn more.

NKU recognized as a best school for students with military ties for the fifth time

For the fifth time, Northern Kentucky University has been ranked among the top universities in the nation for military veterans, according to Military Times.

The publication’s annual ranking lists NKU as no. 109 among four-year institutions for the service and support it provides to military veterans and their families. NKU serves more than 400 veterans, active family members, National Guardsmen, Reservists and ROTC students. The Veterans Resource Station, established in 2013, provides seamless assistance with applications, financial aid, VA education benefits, advising, registration, career services and more.

The annual Best Colleges survey asks colleges and universities to document an array of services, special rules, accommodations and financial incentives offered to students with military ties, and to describe many aspects of veteran culture on campus. Military Times also factors in data from the Veterans Affairs and Defense departments, as well as three Education Department sources: the IPEDS Data Center, College Scorecard data and the Cohort Default Rate Database.

To see the full ranking, click here.

Two Cincinnati groups get GRAMMY nods

Tune into the 60th annual GRAMMY Awards on Jan. 28th to see if two Cincinnati groups receive a coveted award in their category.

The Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra, led by conductor Louis Langrée, received a nomination for Best Orchestral Performance for the album "Concertos for Orchestra."  

Composer Zhou Tian (pronounced Jo-Tyen) also earned a spot in the Best Contemporary Classical Composition category for that same album.
The CSO has been here before — it was previously nominated in the Best Orchestral Performance category but has not taken home that trophy. But they have won Grammys related to production and engineering, most recently for a 2008 release.

The National, a Brooklyn-based, Cincinnati-bred group, also received a nod for its latest release, "Sleep Well Beast" in the Best Alternative Music Album and Best Recording Package categories.

The National also received a nomination in the Best Alternative Music Album category for 2013's "Trouble Will Find Me."

See if your favorite artist is up for a GRAMMY here.

Rooftop bar at 21c named among the best bars in the country

The rooftop bar at downtown's 21c Museum Hotel is turning heads, and this time, the heads of the food-obsessed team at Food Network.

Rookwood tile, TVs hidden behind mirrors and a 100-year-old floor from the building’s previous life as the Hotel Metropole are a few of the unique features of the 65-seat rooftop bar. Not only that, but the rooftop vantage point gives guests killer views of downtown and beyond.

The bar's ever-evolving seasonal drink list contains options like The Admiral, which is made with bourbon, cherry liqueur, orange juice and house-made cherry bitters; or The Gidget — vodka and orange blossom-lemon syrup topped with club soda. In the warmer months, the menu includes slushie cocktails. There's also a food menu, complete with cheese, charcuterie and vegetable boards, and soft pretzels.

Check out the other bars on the list here.

Cincy's 10 most beautiful neighborhoods all have unique identities

Ten Cincinnati neighborhoods have been recognized by Only in Your State as the city's most beautiful. 

Here are the neighborhoods and the reasons these spots are so iconically beautiful.
  • Loveland: historic downtown and bike trails
  • Mariemont: European-inspired central business district
  • Hyde Park: estate homes
  • Columbia-Tusculum: "painted ladies" and views of the river
  • Clifton: Gaslight District
  • Over-the-Rhine: new shops, restaurants, small businesses and murals
  • Northside: unique business district
  • Glendale: train that runs through the heart of it
  • Wyoming: historic homes and parks
  • Westwood: "neighborhood" feel and resurgent business district
Read more about these neighborhoods here

Local anchor gets shoutout on "Live with Kelly and Ryan"

A few weeks ago, Ryan Seacrest talked about his recent visit to Cincinnati on his show, "Live with Kelly and Ryan." Seacrest came to town to meet with advertisers, likely for his radio station, Seacrest Studios, at Cincinnati Children's Hospital. 

While talking about his trip, Seacrest says that he was mistaken for local celebrity Nick Lachey of 98 Degrees. He and Kelly Ripa go on to talk about "Cincinnati royalty," which includes WCPO anchor Ryan Houston and Lachey.

Watch the whole clip.

Two Cincinnati entrepreneurs named to Forbes 30 Under 30

Rithvik Venna and Michael Markesbery of Oros, a Cincinnati startup, were named to this year's Forbes 30 Under 30 list. They, along with 598 others, are considered among the brightest minds of 2017. 

In 2015, the two — who were still in college at Miami University at the time — successfully launched a Kickstarter campaign to fund their business venture. They raised about $600,000 to get Oros off the ground.

For about three years, Oros has been tinkering with and improving its garments, making them warmer, thinner, more comfortable and sleek, with an aerogel insulation foam they call SolarCore, which is inspired by NASA technology. Oros has a new line of high-tech jackets and cold-weather apparel, and this year, they've added fleeces and vests.

See the other 30 Under 30 members, or read more about Venna and Markesbery here.


Fiona: A social media superstar

Fiona the hippo is now a household name, thanks in part to the communications team at the Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden, which kept followers up-to-date on the premature baby hippo's progress through social media.

Her story is everywhere, and fans the world over come to Cincinnati just to catch a glimpse of her bobbing in the water at Hippo Cove.

Fiona's story has inspired a local brewery and T-shirt company; a seven-episode Facebook series; a limted-edition ice cream flavor; countless mentions in national news; and an entire nation. Next year, Thane Maynard, the zoo's director, is releasing a children's book called "Saving Fiona: The Story of the World's Most Famous Baby Hippo," which will be published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. 

“People tell us all the time that Fiona is something everyone can agree on,” says Amy LaBarbara, the zoo’s coordinator for marketing and events. “We have heard from countless people online that Fiona has been uniting the United States. We hear from people going through chemo that tell us she is the only bright spot in their day.”

Read more about our local superstar here.


Carabello Coffee voted best local coffee shop in Kentucky

Buying local is becoming an ever more regular part of daily life. Citizens are looking to buy locally grown produce and locally made goods, and eat and drink at locally owned establishments. Mic.com, with the help of Yelp, rounded up the best local coffee shop in each state, and Newport's own Carabello Coffee came out on top in Kentucky.

The philanthropic craft coffee roaster serves responsibly sourced coffee from the world's leading coffee-producing countries. Justin and Emily Carabello have personal relationships with each farmer, and they donate proceeds directly back to those farmers, and to organizations in the Greater Cincinnati area.

The pair recently expanded their venture, and now have a craft analog coffee bar for true coffee geeks, as well as a cute little cafe where you can sip a hot drink and have a conversation, work or people watch.

Discover the other 49 top local coffee shops in the country here.

UC entrepreneurship program receives award from GCEC

Since 2006, the Global Consortium of Entrepreneurship Centers has given out yearly awards to entrepreneurial programs across the country. This year, the University of Cincinnati's Center for Entrepreneurship & Commercialization received an award for Exceptional Activities in Entrepreneurship Across Disciplines.

The awards are designed to showcase and celebrate the very best of university entrepreneurship. Each year, the GCEC recognizes the top entrepreneurship programs in eight categories:

  1. Outstanding Emerging Entrepreneurship Center
  2. Outstanding Contributions to Venture Creation
  3. Exceptional Activities in Entrepreneurship Across Disciplines
  4. Exceptional Contributions in Entrepreneurship Research
  5. Excellence in Specialty Entrepreneurship Education
  6. Excellence in Entrepreneurship Teaching and Pedagogical Innovation
  7. Outstanding Student Engagement & Leadership
  8. NASDAQ Center of Entrepreneurial Excellence
See the full list of winners here.


Cincinnati redevelopment efforts serve as example for Springfield leaders

Leaders in Springfield, Ohio, are looking to redevelopment efforts in Cincinnati to jumpstart its own revitalization. One of the biggest takeaways is that organizations like SpringForward and the Turner Foundation need to work together, or redevelopment efforts will fall short.

SpringForward, a new nonprofit in Springfield, is targeting the redevelopment of existing properties downtown to attract new businesses and investments.

Since 2009, more than $320 million has been invested in Springfield, from projects like the $275 million Springfield Regional Medical Center, the NTPRD Chiller ice arena, Veteran’s Bridge Streetscape and historic Bushnell Building renovations.

More recently, additional investments are in the works, including the restoration of the McAdams Building, 31 E. High St., which will be turned into 56 market-rate apartments. SpringForward is also working with the city on a potential plan to develop a year-round marketplace at the former Myer’s Market downtown.

Read more about Springfield's plans here.

BLINK not the only draw in Cincinnati

This October brought BLINK to the Queen City, a free, walkable, light and art festival that spanned from The Banks to Findlay Market and included 60 large-scale installations and projections. Over one million people attended, putting it on the radar of people all over the region, and the country.

While in town for BLINK, travel blog Cool Hunting uncovered a myriad of other can't-miss options in town, including the 21c, Findlay Market, the Contemporary Arts Center, the Cincinnati Arts Museum, the Lucky Cat Museum, Taft's Ale House, brewery tours in Over-the-Rhine, the American Sign Museum, Rhinegeist's new restaurant, Music Hall and drinks at Sundry and Vice.

Click here to read more about Cool Hunting's four days of Cincinnati discovery.


Report: Streetcar boosting regional access to jobs

A report by Access Across America: Transit ranks Cincinnati first among cities with the greatest increase in job accessibility by transit — and local experts believe that’s thanks in part to the introduction last year of the Cincinnati Bell Connector streetcar.

General rankings for job accessibility by transit remained unchanged from the previous year, according to research published by the University of Minnesota, but new data comparing changes within each of the 49 largest U.S. metros over one year helped data analysts identify Cincinnati and Charlotte (with increases of 11.23 percent and 11.02 percent, respectively) as growth leaders in that segment.

The top 10 cities with the greatest increases in job accessibility by transit are as follows. (Click links for map view):

1.     Cincinnati (+ 11.23%)
2.     Charlotte (+ 11.02%)

3.     Orlando (+ 10.83%)
4.     Seattle (+ 10.80%)
5.     Providence (+ 10.65%)
6.     Phoenix (+ 7.51%)
7.     Riverside (+ 6.59%)
8.     Milwaukee (+ 6.53%)
9.     Hartford (+ 6.44%)
10.  New Orleans (+ 6.18%)

Get a big-picture look at where Cincy ranks in jobs by transit here.

Behind closed doors: Cincinnati's most beautiful restaurants

Many of Cincinnati's best restaurants are hidden behind unassuming doors. Only in Your State rounded up the top eight local spots that you have to see for yourself.
  • Boca
  • Sotto
  • Mita's
  • Restaurant L
  • Metropole
  • Taft's Ale House
  • The Mercer OTR
  • Abigail Street
Click here to see the photos.


Cincinnati is the eighth best city to live in if you love beer

In honor of International Stout Day (Nov. 2), Zumper.com evaluated the cities with the best bang for your buck, when it comes to beer.

Rankings were based on the number of breweries and brewpubs per capita, the number of bars per capita, the number of medals won at the Great American Beer Festival since its founding in 1982, the median rent for a one-bedroom apartment, the state's beer tax and the average price for a pint of beer.

The results are in, and Cincinnati is the eighth best city in the U.S. to live in if you're an avid beer drinker. Local breweries have won 13 medals at GABF, and on average, beer is about $3.50 a pint. There are also 66 bars per capita, which gives residents a ton of options.

See the full ranking here.
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