Catching up with Ciara Bravo

Alexandria native Ciara Bravo says “Big Time Rush” has been picked up for a third season.

The 14-year-old just finished filming the second season of the Nickelodeon show about the Hollywood misadventures of a boy band from Minnesota. Bravo plays Katie Knight, the witty sister of the show’s
main character.

In the meantime, Bravo says she has been auditioning for several projects and shuttling between Los Angeles and
Northern Kentucky.

“I’m trying to divide my time so I can visit my family back home and my friends here [in Los Angeles],” Bravo says.

Bravo’s parents own a limousine and shuttle service company, Executive Transportation in Covington. Bravo says she and her mother live in Los Angeles, while her father and two siblings live in Northern Kentucky and fly out to visit her often.

Among the things she misses most about home? Graeter’s Black Raspberry Chip ice cream. “I know that makes me sound really healthy,” Bravo jokes. “I have it shipped out here sometimes.”

— Rachel Schowalter


Turkey Foot School flips solar switch

Turkey Foot Middle School in Edgewood, Ky. has officially “flipped the switch” and become one of the few schools in the nation that runs solely on solar power.

 Students return this month to a building powered entirely by the sun. A 385-kW solar array (the largest electric-producing assembly in Kentucky) comprised of more than 60,000 square feet of thin film and crystalline panel technology captures
the energy.

According to Chris Baker, the school’s energy system coordinator, many students assisted in the move to solar by participating in the extra-curricular class “Construction 101,” which allowed students to work with the project’s consultants and help develop solar solutions.

The school is, in essence, a learning lab. In “this project we wanted to take that a step farther, so we included the students in the process from the beginning,” Baker says.

During weekends and summer breaks, it’s expected that many of the school’s new energy features, such as its green roof, geothermal heating and cooling and solar light tubes will produce enough excess electricity to sell back to Duke Energy.

This is one step closer to becoming a net-zero building, meaning Turkey Foot’s building use would eventually equal zero-net energy consumption and zero carbon emissions annually.

— Julianna Roche



On Sept. 13, the Humanitarian League’s Diva Day fund-raiser will support six local charities with fashion shows, silent auctions, massages, make-overs and shopping for jewelry, art and clothing.

“It’s all geared toward helping abused, neglected children and animals,” says founder Jan Malley, whose mother started the family tradition of giving back in the 1960’s. The Humanitarian League supports charities that lack significant funding and reputation.

“There are charities that do a lot of good in the Greater Cincinnati area and they just might not have been recognized,” Malley says. “We feel that once we get them on the radar, we can launch them and they can stand on their own.” Last year's event raised $70,000.

This year's charities are the Kenton County Court Appointed Special Advocates, Generation Rescue for Autistic Children, Milestone Equine Therapy Center for Children, and the Boone, Kenton, and Campbell County Animal Shelters.

Diva Day starts at 11 a.m. at Summit Hills Country Club in Crestview Hills, Ky. For details, visit www.thehumanitarianleague.org.

— Brianna Bodine


Whitaker Chairs United Way Campaign

Rhonda Whitaker, director of government and community relations at Duke Energy, will chair the 2011 United Way campaign in Northern Kentucky.

Whitaker has recruited her Campaign Cabinet and begun meeting with business leaders. The cabinet includes: Steve Brunson, Republic Bank; Peggy Casey, Sanitation District 1; Jerry Cook, First Security Trust Bank; Mic Cooney, PNC Bank; Terri Cox-Cruey, Kenton County School District; Joe Geraci, US Bank; Chris Holmes, Wells Fargo Insurance Services; Dr. Ed Hughes, Gateway Community and Technical College; Kelly Jensen, PNC Bank; Barbara Schaefer, Corporex; Barb Schempf, Kenton County Airport Board; Chuck Scheper, American Financial Group (retired); Phil Schworer, Frost, Brown, Todd, LLC; Dale Silver, community volunteer; Dr. Angie Taylor, Gateway Community and Technical College; Curt Wenzler, Von Lehman & Co.; Wade Williams, Duke Energy; and Karl Zimmer, General Cable.

— The Editors

Xavier brings MBA to NKY

Sometimes, it’s best for the university to come to the students.

That’s the thinking behind Xavier University’s off-site MBA program, which has started classes in Fort Mitchell. Aimed at working professionals, the 24-month course of study offers an accelerated format to earn a degree from Xavier’s nationally
ranked program.

The program is similar to those at the West Chester and Deerfield Township locations in Ohio.

Students are admitted year-round and can start classes the following year. Applicants can contact Jessica Schinaman, program coordinator for Off-site MBA Programs, at schinamanj1@xavier.edu or (513) 745-2936. Applications can be found online at

— Rachel Schowalter

>>helping out<<


Connections made over the spring semester by students in Northern Kentucky University’s Ed.D. Program in Educational Leadership are still paying off for Brighton Center clients.

The students instituted an arts-based curriculum for homeless young adults at the Brighton Center, a nonprofit agency that helps individuals become self-sustaining. The classes involved the Center’s Transitional Living Program, which provides young adults between the ages of 18 and 24 with support and education.

Paul Wirtz, director of NKU’s College of Education and Human Services, says the students developed classes on photography, cooking, scrapbooking and other art activities.

Young adults were able to cook their own meals, write songs, exhibit their photographs and attend concerts and plays, according to Connie Freking, youth services director at the Brighton Center.

“[The graduate students] connected us with a lot of community resources for the kids to experience,” Freking says. “A lot of the stuff that they did, we can continue.” Freking says she intends on continuing the curriculum and extending it to other areas of the center.

— R.S.

St. E's Williamstown PRACTICE TOP RATed

St. Elizabeth Physicians in Williamstown has become Kentucky’s first and only Level 3 Patient-Centered Medical Home, according to ratings released by the non-profit National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA).

Patient-centered medical homes emphasize care coordination and communication to provide primary care in a partnership of patients, doctors, and, when appropriate, patients’ families to improve care and lower costs.

St. Elizabeth Physicians operates three primary care offices with 11 primary care physicians in Grant County. “The St. Elizabeth Physicians offices in Dry Ridge and Crittenden have already begun the process to become Patient-Centered Medical Homes as well,” says Dr. Ford Threlkeld of the Williamstown office at 300 Barnes Road, adjacent to St. Elizabeth Grant. St. Elizabeth Grant's Physician Specialty Services provides access to care from more than 30 physicians in 16
specialties and opened a new state-of-the-art imaging center in March.

—The Editors