Your Community Recorder newspaper serving all of Boone County COUNTY RECORDER E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org T h u r s d a y, D e c e m b e r 3 1 , 2 0 0 9 Volume 134 Number 15 © 2009 The Community Recorder ALL RIGHTS RESERVED Holiday snapshots See how young and old have celebrated Christmas in our end-of-year photo package. Actually it’s been looking a lot like Christmas through most of December. See Santa at the YMCA, Breakfast With Santa, school holiday activities and, of course, Santa at Florence Mall. We’ve compiled these photos from our staffers as well as those submitted by readers at nky.com/share. – LIFE, PAGE B1 Meet our teacher of the month Donna Feldman is a veteran teacher who is not afraid to learn some new tricks. With 25 years of experience under her belt, the Camp Ernst Middle School science teacher is still looking for new ways to connect her students with the content, and her biggest tool has been technology. – LIFE, PAGE B1 Get breaking news on Twitter, blog Find out what’s going on as news happens in Boone County. You can read updates several times a day on the Boone Blog, http://news.nky. com/booneblog. Get regular updates about Boone County news on Twitter as well: • twitter.com/McKibbenNews • twitter.com/Nancy_Daly • twitter.com/crkysports Share your holiday photos ’Tis the season for hanging lights and gathering with friends and family to celebrate the holidays. Share your holiday party and Christmas light photos at NKY.com/Share to spread the cheer in your community. We’ll publish your pictures online and your photo may even appear in your local newspaper. Log on to start sharing today. W e b s i t e : N K Y. c o m B E C A U S E C O M M U N I T Y M AT T E R S BOONE COUNTY The DECADE in news Growth, growth and more growth marked the past decade in Boone County, driving the need for several new schools, roads and municipal facilities. The 2000s had its share of scandals too, including the Erpenbeck and Epling controversies and the troublesome start to the Florence Freedom baseball franchise. The national economic decline was felt in Boone County – most sharply at the airport and with the foreclosure rate – but the county is poised to continue its knack for attracting national and international businesses as the economy recovers. Here are the top stories. Florence Mayor Diane Whalen, left, and Clint Brown, owner and president of the Florence Freedom baseball team, are shown in 2007 with the Florence Y’All water tower bobblehead. FILE PHOTO Students started the first year at Cooper High School in August. JUSTIN B. DUKE/STAFF By Paul McKibben and Justin Duke email@example.com and firstname.lastname@example.org D Explosive growth espite two national recessions this decade, Boone County remains one of the fastest growing counties in Kentucky. The county’s population in the 2000 census was 85,991 and it could increase to about 120,000 after the 2010 census. A once rural community is becoming more and more suburban. Unincorporated Boone County and the county’s three cities (Florence, Union and Walton) all had double-digit growth rates from 2000 to 2008, according to census data released this past July. The growth has meant some crowded roads and schools as officials try to keep infrastructure up with the pace of new people moving into the community. A wider and revamped U.S. 42 in the Union area opened this decade. For the Postmaster Published weekly every Thursday. Periodical postage paid at Florence, KY 41042 USPS 0060780 Postmaster: Send address change to The Boone County Recorder 3635 O’Hara Rd., Erlanger, KY 41018 Annual Subscription: Weekly Recorder & Sunday Enquirer In-County $18.02; Weekly Recorder only all other in-state $23.32 Out-of - state $27.56; Kentucky Sales Tax Included A Comair jet takes off in October at the Cincinnati-Northern Kentucky International Airport in Hebron. To place an ad, call 283-7290. 50¢ FILE PHOTO An improved North Bend Road in Hebron should be completed sometime in the spring. The Mall Road revitalization project is scheduled to begin next year. The two-year project will add sidewalks and green medians to spruce up the city’s retail district. More road work is needed, especially improving Camp Ernst Road at Burlington Pike in Burlington. The proposed South Airfield Road would go along the southern border of the Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport. The new road would connect Turfway Road to a realigned Oakbrook Road. T New schools he natural result of huge population increases is increased enrollment in public schools. Since 2000, Walton-Verona Schools saw a 48 percent increase in enrollment, 478 students. The increase required the opening of Walton-Verona Middle School in 2008. For Boone County Schools, it has been a decade of trying to keep up. Since 2000, enrollment has jumped by more than 6,500 students, a 51 percent increase. To make room for so many extra students, the district had to make additions to several schools and open four new schools, including Cooper High School in 2008. The district’s expansion will continue into the next decade as Longbranch Elementary is scheduled to open in 2010 and land is bought for a new elementary school in the Thornwilde subdivision in Hebron. The growth has led to district struggles because state funding is largely based on the wealth of a district. Because Boone County is one of Kentucky’s wealthier counties, less funding comes in. For now, districts with explosive growth must figure out how to deal with more students every year while receiving minimal funding. Economy good and bad B oone County was not immune from the global recession that took place in the last part of the decade. The county’s preliminary and unadjusted unemployment rate for October was 9.5 percent. In October 2000, the county’s unadjusted unemployment rate was 2.9 percent. Foreclosures have also affected the county. In 2008, 607 sales were set. This year the number decreased to 547. The vast majority of the sales were residential properties. Despite the recession, more companies are calling Boone County home. Wisconsin-based manufacturer Coating Excellence International is expected to have a new facility in Hebron working by March 1. The United States Playing Card Co. has a new facility on Gap Way in northeastern Boone County. Officials formally welcomed the company in August. Levi Strauss More & Co. officially opened a new of the facility in Sepdecade on tember on Langley Drive in page A4 Hebron.