Tourism Capital Development Fund (TCDF) Call for Proposals

Up to $1 million available for place-making projects in Indiana’s Clark and Floyd counties

Southern Indiana (July 16, 2024) – Applications for a 2024 round of funding from the Tourism Capital Development Fund (TCDF) managed by SoIN Tourism will be accepted starting August 1. Awards granted will range from $100,000 to $250,000. SoIN Tourism, the Clark-Floyd Counties Convention & Tourism Bureau, will award up to $1 million in total to support high-impact, transformative place-making projects spearheaded by Clark and Floyd County non-profits and government entities. The deadline to apply is September 30, 2024.

Funding proposals should align with the primary goals of the TCDF:

  • To foster transformational capital development projects that positively change the trajectory of a community and the region as a visitor destination.
  • To reinforce the capacities of a visitor attraction or tourism generator.
  • To enhance the quality of life in our community.

As part of its 2024-2026 Strategic Plan, SoIN Tourism has also identified six priority categories of visitor experiences in which it will invest energy, advocacy and resources:

  • Small Meetings/Conferences
  • Culinary/Agritourism
  • Sports Events
  • Riverfront/Outdoor Recreation/Adventure Travel
  • Arts, Heritage & Cultural Entertainment/Festivals
  • Business/Corporate Travel

“These six categories present the greatest growth opportunities for Clark and Floyd Counties,” said SoIN Tourism Executive Director Jim Epperson. “They either attract new travel market segments in which we are not currently competitive, or they complement SoIN’s well-established visitor experiences.”

Applications will be reviewed in the fall, and recipients selected by the end of 2024.

The TCDF program has been in place since 1984 when the Indiana General Assembly enacted an innkeeper’s tax to support marketing Clark and Floyd counties to visitors. The tax included 1% earmarked for capital projects that help to attract visitors. That portion increased to 1.5% in 2019.

Over the past 35 years, the program has assisted in the development of signature projects that improve the quality of place enjoyed by visitors and residents of Southern Indiana. Past projects include improvements to Falls of the Ohio State Park’s Interpretive Center, Culbertson Mansion State Historic Site, Vintage Fire Museum, Jeffersonville’s RiverStage, NoCo Arts & Cultural District and more.

Interested applicants can view full details and requirements at If you are interested in interviewing someone about the TCDF, please contact Communications Manager Anna Rosales-Crone at or 812-282-6692.

SoIN Tourism is the official destination marketing organization for Clark and Floyd counties in Southern Indiana, just north of Louisville, Ky. Offering authentic experiences in the Kentuckiana region, SoIN includes historic downtowns in Jeffersonville and New Albany, Clarksville’s retail corridor, as well as the communities of Charlestown, Floyds Knobs, Henryville, Memphis, New Washington, Sellersburg and Starlight. Visitors who would like more information can visit the destination’s website,



Louisville Zoo Welcomes New Western Lowland Gorilla

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (July 15, 2024) – The Louisville Zoo is happy to announce the newest addition to its extended family and its award-winning Gorilla Forest habitat: 11-year-old western lowland gorilla, Patty.

Patty’s arrival creates a new gorilla troop which includes silverback Casey (42 years old), adult females Paki 35 years old) and Kweli (40 years old) and young female Kindi (8 years old). Patty and her family group will be in exhibit rotation with bachelor groups including Bengati, Jelani, Cecil and Kicho.

Patty was born at Chicago’s Lincoln Park Zoo and comes to the Louisville Zoo with a breeding recommendation from the Association of Zoos and Aquariums Species Survival Plan. In time, she will be paired with silverback gorilla, Casey.

Her zookeepers say that Patty is a socially savvy gorilla. Her acclimation to the new environment and integration into the established group is going smoothly.

Louisville Director Dan Maloney expressed his enthusiasm about the newest resident. “Welcoming Patty to the Louisville Zoo adds an exciting new element to Gorilla Forest,” Maloney said. “Welcoming a relatively young, unrelated female gorilla to our Zoo is quite an accomplishment and we credit her addition to the hard work of our Animal Care Team. We are eager to witness her growth, and hopefully see her successfully become a mom with male gorilla Casey soon!” 

Gorilla Conservation Status

Only found in the dense forests of central Africa, gorillas are critically endangered and could face extinction if stronger efforts are not mounted to protect them. The primary threats to their survival are illegal poaching, civil unrest, disease, and habitat destruction due to extractive industries such as mining.

Zoo Hours

The Zoo is open daily year-round. Summer hours are 10 a.m. ─ 5 p.m. (stay until 6 p.m.) through Sept. 22, 2024. The Zoo is closed on Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s Day. Visit for more info.



The Louisville Zoo, the State Zoo of Kentucky, is the top, non-profit, paid attraction in the state. The Zoo is dedicated to bettering the bond between people and our planet by providing excellent care for animals, a great experience for visitors, and leadership in scientific research and conservation education. The Zoo is accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA).


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KBA Elects Mandy Wilson Decker and Donovan Gibbs II to Leadership Roles

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (July 10, 2024)—The Kentucky Bar Association (KBA) recently elected two Stites & Harbison, PLLC attorneys to leadership roles in the Intellectual Property (IP) Law Section. Mandy Wilson Decker was elected Chair of the IP Law Section while Donovan D. Gibbs II was elected Vice Chair of the section. Both attorneys will serve a one-year term.

Decker is a Member (Partner) of Stites & Harbison based in Louisville and Lexington, Ky. She is a Registered Patent Attorney. Her practice focuses on intellectual property protection strategy, including counseling clients on infringement, validity and patentability, transfer of intellectual property, patent drafting and patent prosecution. Contributing to her practice is a scientific background in chemistry and experience with academic and commercial research in the areas of biochemistry, biotechnology and pharmaceutical sciences.

Gibbs is an intellectual property attorney based in Louisville, Ky. His practice focuses on counseling clients in litigation and transactional matters involving intellectual property. He assists clients with the selection, adoption, registration and protection of their trademarks as well as registration of copyrights. He also assists clients with a variety of transactional issues including those related to licensing of copyrights, trade secrets, trademarks and other intellectual property rights. As a former college athlete, Gibbs is passionate about providing counsel to players and protecting their name, image and likeness (NIL) rights.

About Stites & Harbison

Stites & Harbison, PLLC is a nationally recognized, full-service law firm. With 11 offices across six states — Kentucky, Georgia, Indiana, Ohio, Tennessee and Virginia — the firm represents clients across the United States and internationally. Tracing its origins to 1832, Stites & Harbison is known as a preeminent firm managing sophisticated transactions, challenging litigation and complex regulatory matters on a daily basis. For more information, visit


Fifth Third Announces New Hires

Fifth Third Bank is proud to announce three new hires:  Susie Davis, Scarlett Shine, and Grady Shiflet.

Vice President, Treasury Management Advisor Susie Davis

Susie Davis joined Fifth Third Bank in 2024 as a Treasury Management Advisor, leveraging over a decade of TM experience in the middle market, government, not-for-profit, healthcare & higher education, and specialized industries/cash flow lending spaces. 

In her role as Treasury Management Advisor, Davis is committed to cultivating relationships with companies across the state and bringing expertise to conversations about payment processes and working capital solutions. 

Susie received her Bachelor’s degree from Benedictine University.



Assistant Vice President, Commercial Relationship Manager Scarlett Shine

Scarlett Shine joins Fifth Third Bank as a Commercial Relationship Manager, leveraging her diverse experience in business development. She is an ambitious young professional with a passion for cultivating relationships in the community and looks forward to supporting businesses in Kentucky and Southern Indiana with their financial needs. Shine serves on multiple non-profit boards and continues her involvement with her alma mater, Hanover College, where she was a member of the women’s golf team.

Scarlett received her Bachelor’s degree from Hanover College.



Associate Relationship Manager Grady Shiflet

In his new role, Grady Shiflet will leverage his diverse background to succeed. At the University of Alabama, Shiflet ran track and obtained a degree in psychology. Being a student-athlete taught him to excel in a fast-paced, competitive environment.

After graduating in May 2023, Shiflet immediately enrolled in the University of Kentucky’s accelerated MBA program to improve his business acumen. During his first year at Kentucky, Shiflet became fascinated with Finance, which led him to an opportunity at Fifth Third.

Grady received his Bachelor’s degree from the University of Alabama and MBA from the  University of Kentucky.

Clarksville Parks to Host Ribbon-Cutting for New Ashland Park Playground

The new inclusive playground replaces equipment installed in the late 1990’s.

CLARKSVILLE, IN (June 24, 2024) – The Clarksville Parks and Recreation Department will be hosting a special ribbon-cutting ceremony on Wednesday, July 10th at 5:30 pm to celebrate the opening of the new accessible playground in Ashland Park.

Nearly $300,000 was spent on the installation of the new playground and the replacement of the existing mulch with new turf surfacing. The project was paid for with the help of a grant from the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF). The project not only updated the play area, but also made it more accessible for those with disabilities.  The previous play structure, which was removed in late April, cost around $10,000 and was purchased back in 1995.

“With the installation of a new accessible playground in Ashland Park, inclusivity becomes the cornerstone of play as we continuously work to improve life along the beautiful Ohio River,” said BJ Nelson-Lynton, Superintendent of Clarksville Parks.

The updated playground is just one of the many changes currently underway along the Ohio River.  The Town of Clarksville is also currently in the process of completing a major reconstruction of Riverside Drive.  That project includes creating new multi-use paths for bicyclists and pedestrians, adding new lighting and on-street parking, and upgrades to storm drainage and sanitary sewers.  The 11-month project is scheduled to be completed in November 2024.

Town leaders and members of the Clarksville Parks and Recreation Board will officially open the new playground at 5:30pm on Wednesday, July 10th.  Residents and members of the media interested in attending are reminded to use Sherwood Avenue in order to access Riverside Drive and Ashland Park.  Due to construction, there is no access to Riverside drive from Jeffersonville.



Managing IP Honors Stites & Harbison Attorneys on“IP Stars” 2024 List

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (June 20, 2024)—Managing Intellectual Property (Managing IP) magazine has named nine Stites & Harbison, PLLC attorneys to the 2024 “IP Stars” list. Managing IP recognizes the most highly regarded intellectual property attorneys in the U.S.

The star attorneys are nominated by their peers and in-house counsel. Inclusion on the list is based on surveys, interviews and independent research conducted by Managing IP. “IP Stars” further separates honorees into the following categories: Copyright, Design, Patent, Trademark and Transactions Stars.

Stites & Harbison has been recognized for Intellectual Property in Kentucky, Tennessee and Virginia since the inception of the “IP Stars” list in 2013. The following is a listing of Stites & Harbison’s Copyright, Patent and Trademark Stars for 2024:

Kentucky (Copyright Stars):

Joel T. Beres

Kentucky (Patent Stars):

Mandy Wilson Decker

Michael S. Hargis

David W. Nagle, Jr.

Warren D. Schickli

Patrick M. Torre

Kentucky (Trademark Stars):

Joel T. Beres

Michael S. Hargis

Patrick M. Torre

Tennessee (Copyright Stars):   

Alexandra MacKay

Tennessee (Patent Stars):                                          

Richard S. Myers, Jr.

Tennessee (Trademark Stars):

Alexandra MacKay

Virginia (Patent Stars):             

B. Aaron Schulman

About Stites & Harbison

Stites & Harbison, PLLC is a nationally recognized, full-service law firm. With 11 offices across six states — Kentucky, Georgia, Indiana, Ohio, Tennessee and Virginia — the firm represents clients across the United States and internationally. Tracing its origins to 1832, Stites & Harbison is known as a preeminent firm managing sophisticated transactions, challenging litigation and complex regulatory matters on a daily basis. For more information, visit

The Louisville Zoo Celebrates Start of Summer with Discounts and Line Up of Activities for the Season!

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (June 20, 2024) – The Louisville Zoo is celebrating the start of summer this weekend with a great ticket discount. This weekend only, June 22 and 23, 2024, adults ages 12 – 59 can enjoy general admission for only $20. Children (ages 3 – 11) and seniors can enter for only $15 per person. Children two and under are always free. The Zoo encourages guests to prepare for the weather with refillable water bottles, cooling off at indoor air-conditioned spaces, and visiting the popular Glacier Run Splash Park — free with Zoo admission or membership. Plus, be sure to pick up free cups of ice water at concession stands or stop by a Louisville Water Company bottle refill station located inside the African Outpost, near the entrance to the Islands’ Pavilion and on the Zoo’s main plaza.

Guests will want to stop in and see their favorite new mates — the Zoo’s recent additions, male koalas Dharuk and Telowie — along with red panda, Sundara, in his new habitat and, of course, elephants Punch and Mikki, ahead of their move to The Elephant Sanctuary in Tennessee in 2025.

The Zoo kicks off summer with a full slate of activities including movie nights for both adults and kids as well as character days.

Movie Nights in the Oasis Field

The Zoo is celebrating the summer with a movie series under the stars! Enjoy Late-Night Date Night features or Cinema Safari films for the younger set. Join the Zoo staff in the Oasis Field at sundown to watch on our giant inflatable screen. Gates opens at 8 p.m. The movies start at sundown. Tickets are $5 for non-members, free for Zoo members. Tickets must be purchased at the gate and cannot be purchased online. Concessions will be available for purchase. Guests are encouraged to pack their own blankets and lawn chairs.

  • June 21: Barbie Presented by Mercy Academy
  • July 26: “Top Gun”

Cinema Safari is sponsored by Great Clips

  • July 12: “Trolls Band Together”
  • August 9: “The Super Mario Bros. Movie”
  • September 13: “Haunted Mansion”

Meet Me at the Zoo

Meet and greet some of your favorite storybook characters free with Zoo admission or Zoo membership on the following days:

  • June 22: 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., Royal Rendezvous
    • Meet and greet some favorite princess characters presented by Norton Children’s
  • July 20 & 21: 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., Santa’s Summer Safari
    • Enjoy meeting Santa and Mrs. Claus on their summer vacation and recall cooler times with winter-themed holiday enrichment for animals and games for the kids.
  • August 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., Super Back to School Bash
    • Start the new school year with two favorite video game heroes who happen to be brothers and their princess pal. Presented by Norton Children’s

Zoo Hours

The Zoo is open daily year-round. Spring/summer hours are 10 a.m. ─ 5 p.m. (stay until 6 p.m.). The Zoo is closed on Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s Day. Visit for more info.


The Louisville Zoo, the State Zoo of Kentucky, is the top, non-profit, paid attraction in the state. The Zoo is dedicated to bettering the bond between people and our planet by providing excellent care for animals, a great experience for visitors, and leadership in scientific research and conservation education. The Zoo is accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA).

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River Ridge Development Authority Advances Strategic Land Sale

Additionally, RRDA Board Awards Access Road Construction Contract

Jeffersonville, IN  (June 17, 2024) – At its monthly meeting today, the River Ridge Development Authority (RRDA) made significant strides forward in its mission to drive economic activity in Southern Indiana.

Jerry Acy, RRDA’s Executive Director, is leading negotiations for the sale of approximately 23.5 acres of undeveloped land, known as Tract 12G, strategically positioned along Salem Road and within Jeffersonville, presenting an attractive opportunity for development. The potential buyer intends to construct a 150,000 square foot industrial building on the site.  A 60-day window has been set for the execution of a purchase and sale agreement, highlighting the urgency of the process.

The potential economic impact of this venture emphasizes the RRDA’s commitment to fostering growth and job creation in Southern Indiana.

The Board also approved a contract for $1.3 million to Excel Excavating, Inc. to extend 1,700 linear feet of access road and drainage infrastructure near its headquarters building to serve future tenants of the River Ridge Commerce Center. 

Board Meeting Materials Now Available Online

Additionally, as part of its commitment to transparency and accessibility, the RRDA announced that materials from its board meetings are now accessible on its website at

About River Ridge Development Authority

The River Ridge Development Authority, spanning over 6,000 prime acres, has become a source of major economic development for the Louisville-Southern Indiana region. Established to mitigate the economic impact of the shuttered Indiana Army Ammunition Plant, the River Ridge Development Authority has evolved its mission to meet the tailored needs of the community. Our goal extends beyond mere replacement of lost revenue to creating a premier destination for advanced manufacturing, distribution, and industrial companies from across the nation and around the globe.

Serving as home to more than 80 companies, RRDA contributed an estimated $2.93 billion to the region’s economic output in 2023, supporting over 18,000 jobs. In addition, RRDA funded approximately $20 million in capital projects in 2023. These initiatives include vital infrastructure improvements, including $5.9 million in roadway projects, $6.2 million in utility enhancements, and $3.5 million allocated to demolition and site preparation.

Clarksville Historic Preservation to Honor 100-Year-Old Homes

Owners will be presented with special plaques during a June 27th ceremony.

CLARKSVILLE, IN (June 17, 2024) – The Clarksville Historic Preservation Commission (HPC) will be honoring the latest newest additions to the Clarksville 100-Year-Old homes list. For the last four years, the HPC has presented plaques to the owners of area homes that hold a historic value to the Town of Clarksville.

In order to be considered for the historic honor, a home must be at least 100-years-old. The homes of this year’s recipients range from 100-years-old to more than 130-years-old. A special celebration will be held on June 27th at 5:30 PM, at a home at 404 Harrison Avenue, Clarksville, IN.  Clarksville Town Council President Ryan Ramsey and HPC Chair Lynn Lewis will present the homeowners with their plaques. Since the historic home program was started four years ago, more than 30 historic Clarksville homes have been recognized.

This year’s homes include:

404 Harrison Avenue – The Tetley House – Circa 1923
407 West Harrison – The Patterson House – Circa 1890
119 South Elm Street – The Miller House – Circa 1924
506 Kenwood – The Bushfield House – Circa 1902
1009 Virginia Avenue – The Aigner House – Circa 1902


IU Southeast Presents Mid-Year Economic Update

NEW ALBANY, Ind. (June 14, 2024) – The Indiana University Southeast School of Business offers faculty, business leaders, and community residents an opportunity to learn more about the local economy.

The Mid-Year Economic Update, sponsored by the IU Southeast School of Business, will be held at 8 a.m., Tuesday, June 25, 2024, in the Hoosier Room located in University Center North, on the IU Southeast campus at 4201 Grant Line Rd in New Albany. Breakfast is from 8:00 a.m. to 8:30 a.m. followed by the presentation.

Sanders Chair in Business Uric Dufrene will speak about national trends and the implications for the local economy. Dufrene, former IU Southeast School of Business dean, will also highlight the most recent data available for the Greater Louisville and Southern Indiana economy.

Dufrene, along with industry experts from the IU Kelley School of Business, shared economic predictions at the annual Indiana Business Outlook Panel last November. At the Mid-Year Economic Update, Dufrene will provide updates about the predictions made in November based on data from the first half of 2024, and he will offer predictions for the remainder of the year.

This event is free and open to the public, but reservations are required. For more information or to register by Friday, June 21, contact the School of Business at (812) 941-2362 or More information is available at  



About IU Southeast:  IU Southeast is one of seven campuses of Indiana University. Offering more than 150 degree programs and concentrations, the scenic 180-acre campus is located less than 15 minutes from downtown Louisville, Kentucky. It currently has over 3,750 students and employs over 360 faculty members. About 400 students live on campus in five fully furnished, lodge-style residence halls. Through an agreement with the Commonwealth of Kentucky, Indiana University Southeast offers in-state tuition to students enrolled from eight counties in the Louisville region. IU Southeast has three nationally recognized, accredited schools including the School of Business, School of Education, and School of Nursing. For more information, visit IU Southeast is a tobacco-free campus.