With this issue being the last publication for 2016, it’s nice to take a step back to reflect on our accomplishments. We’ve had quite the year—ups and downs per usual, but, nonetheless, it will be one for the record books. 

As we’re all aware, the Brent Spence Bridge, from where to build it to how to pay for it, continues to be a debated topic, and one that I’ll dare not even breach. However, it is guaranteed to be an issue at the forefront for years to come. 

Also, we are experiencing the largest drug epidemic in our lifetime. Heroin is wreaking havoc on our lives. Whether you’ve been affected personally or on the periphery, it persists in infiltrating our community. The year 2016 might just possibly be one we remember for the onset of the epidemic, and the start of what we can hope will be its decline. 

Personally, I will choose to remember the good: the ever-growing area we call home, and how it becomes better and better by the day. This year, we enjoyed the continued development of our river cities. As Jack Moreland mentioned in our last issue, the Route 9 thoroughfare is in the process of being developed and, once finished, will lead to a new area for commerce in Newport. The Hotel Covington just opened its doors, as well as the Globe cocktail lounge on Fifth Street. 

We’ve seen expansions in manufacturing plants such as DHL, Safran/Messier Bugatti, Boone County Distilling and FedEx, just to name a few. NKU completed its transition into Division I Intercollegiate Athletics, and was granted active status by the NCAA in August. 

CVG is starting to gain traction as it continues to add new air carriers to expand what was becoming an ever-shrinking schedule of inbound and outbound flights. The Ark Encounter hopes to bring upwards of 1 million visitors to Northern Kentucky, giving way to new hotels, shops and businesses in Grant County. 

Overall, I would say that Northern Kentucky has had a building year, one from which we will most surely reap the rewards well into the future. Ongoing struggles will always be there— as the heroin problem is teaching us—but with the strength of our community, and our people, we can move forward ever learning and developing. I’m eager to see where we go from here, and what greatness 2017 will bring.