COUNTDOWN TO SPRING CUP DEBUT                                                                           

The Kentucky Speedway website’s live Track Cam is tracing construction, and the Countdown Clock is ticking away the seconds until the long-awaited NASCAR Sprint Cup race debut July 9 at the Sparta track.

Now’s the time to gear up for the Thursday-Saturday race trio.

Campsites on the property are selling out and “fans shouldn’t wait,” advises Tim Bray, director of communications for the Speedway. Those looking for more deluxe accommodations at hotels and motels have plenty to choose from north toward Cincinnati, west toward Louisville and south toward Georgetown.

With travel, restaurants and hotels, the event is projected to boost the economy an expected $150 million.

Saturday’s Cup ticket is the hottest because “fans want to see the big names like Dale Earnhardt Jr. and Jimmie Johnson at this new event,” says Bray.

But Thursday and Friday tickets will also give them access to practice and qualifying sessions as well as each day’s race. (Thursday tickets $30-40, Friday $40-75, Saturday $70-110).

“We have such great fans. They’ve been patient for 11 years waiting for this and now we are seeing those same fans purchase seats and be part of this inaugural event,” says Bray.

Passes and information at (859) 578-2300 or



Kentucky’s first lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender international film festival will be at The Carnegie Visual and Performing Arts Center in Covington on June 4. Times are not yet set.

The event has received more than 100 submissions from all over the world. The goal is to help the region become more inclusive.

Austin Lee Brown, a student at Northern Kentucky University majoring in electronic media and broadcasting, is the director and creator of the festival. Brown created the festival to showcase the films and to educate.

“We hope people will leave the festival with a better understanding of both the film and queer community, and how they influence one another as well as the greater community,” says Brown.

For more information, visit

— Shawn Buckenmeyer


Celebrating your 125th birthday is quite an accomplishment. So, bring out the balloons and streamers. The Covington Ladies Home, a state-licensed personal care facility in the Licking River Historic District in Covington, celebrates 125 years of service.

“It’s like a sacred mission. We started out as a mission and we continue that mission,” says Janet Borton, the administrator of the Covington Ladies Home. “And our goal is to continue that mission for the next 125 (years).”

The Covington Ladies Home, housed in a grand Victorian mansion, administers care to ladies 62 and older. The facility provides private rooms, and a 24-hour on-site nursing staff and respite care is available. The cost is affordable, and state assistance is available to those who meet the requirements.

“We don’t turn anyone away,” Borton says.

For information about the Covington Ladies Home, visit

— S.B.


When Furlong Building Enterprises, LLC, needed more space, “it made sense to come home,” says co-founder Pete Nicoloau. He lives in Hebron, co-owner Jude Hehman lives in Fort Mitchell and the expanded offices are on Houston Road in Florence.

“The move to Northern Kentucky allows us closer proximity to many of our customers. Both Jude and I have our professional roots in Northern Kentucky and when we needed more space, it made sense to come home,” he explains.

In March, the commercial and industrial construction firm celebrated its one-year anniversary, growth and expansion into Northern Kentucky from Miamitown, Ohio. It has seven employees and reports more than $3 million in sales.

Most significant are the jobs, says Furlong’s President Hehman.

“The construction industry has seen extremely difficult economic conditions, and during that time we created seven high-skill jobs that allowed these good people to once again earn wages for their families,” says Hehman. He credits the firm’s success to customer service, value and expert construction knowledge.

Projects include industrial construction such as mezzanines for heavy equipment, factory offices and additions for manufacturing and distribution facilities.



Ted Bushelman was known for his sense of humor.                                                                         

So, it was little surprise to mourners to find their friend Ted — or, at least, a cardboard cutout of the Florence city councilman and former communications director of the Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport — in attendance at a March 12 celebration of his life.

Set up at the entrance, Bushelman’s likeness carried a sign that read “Hi, I’m Ted ... and I’m dead ...”

It turned out to be just the first chuckle for more than 400 friends and family who remembered Bushelman, who died March 6, at the celebration hosted by his family at Florence’s World of Golf clubhouse.

Few were surprised by the quirky greeting, says Florence Mayor Diane Whalen, a longtime friend of Bushelman.

“Ted had such a great sense of humor. He’s still such a presence, he’s somebody you still expect to see wherever you go in Northern Kentucky,” she says.

True to his wishes, the gathering was far from a funeral. As politicians, co-workers and former media contacts — friends all — pored over pictures of Bushelman and shared favorite memories, tears turned to laughs.

“Ted had that party planned for years,” adds Whalen. “For a long time, whenever he’d go to a funeral, he’d tell people, ‘None of this stuff when I’m gone. I want a party.’ He wanted people to laugh and have a good time. We did.”

— Dave Malaska