It's About the Costume, Isn't It?

Halloween fever is hitting adults hard. Across the country, 47 million plan to put on costumes for the holiday once the domain of children.

Cappel's, the family-owned business with five stores in Greater Cincinnati, is well stocked with G.I. Joe and Disney princess outfits, but what is impressive is the supply of adult get-ups for $30-$50.

What's hot, according to Manager Becky Cappel, are movie-inspired designs such as Alice In Wonderland characters and vampires, '90s hip-hop and grunge ensembles. Think $24.95 quilted silver hip-hop jacket, $12.95 for a pair of jean leggings, and an assortment of gold chains and wigs. Cappel's has costumes in nearly every theme and era in stock. Because this is Cincinnati, that includes the ever-popular nurses, pirates and, of course, flying pigs.

The National Retail Federation, responsible for the 47 million estimate, says that in 2009, those between the ages of 18-34 planned to spend an average of $70 on the holiday.

For those looking for a guidebook for the already spooky holiday, Clerisy Press has just published Cincinnati Haunted Handbook by locals Jeff and
Michael Morris. OK, we'd heard about the subway story and sightings at The Golden Lamb. But the ghost of a security guard at the Natural History Museum? White wolves at Spring Grove Cemetery? Let's see that book...

"” Julianna Roche

 A Dance with Chad

Although Cincinnati's favorite self-promoter, Chad Ochocinco, is no stranger to mugging for the camera, he recently did something that flew under the radar.

With no media present, the Bengals wide receiver met a 4-year-old girl from New Orleans whose one wish was for a dance with Ochocinco.

Endocrinologists have diagnosed Lola Meyn with Turner Syndrome, a chromosomal abnormality that occurs in only one of every 2,500 girls. Last summer, while receiving treatment at Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center, Meyn spent a day at the Bengals training camp in Georgetown. Add that to a season of watching the athlete on Dancing with the Stars, and Meyn was a full-blown No. 85 fan.

When she returned to Children's last month for additional testing and treatment, Meyn had one request: "I want a dance with Chad Ochocinco." Thanks to the Ronald McDonald House Charities of Greater Cincinnati, her wish came true. Well, almost.

Meyn and her mom made the trip back to Georgetown to meet Ochocinco and Coach Marvin Lewis, but the two didn't dance "” Meyn wasn't feeling well that day. She did present Ochocinco with a handmade card, however, and he returned the favor, giving Meyn a hug and a signed T-shirt.

"” Colleen Weinkam

It Stands Alone

The Great American Tower at Queen City Square, now Cincinnati's tallest building, stands alone.

Inch by inch. Or, rather, section-by-section, crews have dismantled the massive crane that joined it in defining Cincinnati's skyline for nearly two years.

Installed in November 2008 at a height of 311 feet, the crane grew alongside the tower to a final height of 715 feet. It came down the same way it was assembled, section-by-section, leaving the 665-foot tower, with its 28 elevators and 15,000 square feet of marble, on its own. Scheduled completion remains January.


Partnership = Power

Duke Energy and People Working Cooperatively have been partners for more than 25 years, and it's a partnership that pays off for local residents in the way of assistance for elderly, disabled and low-income residents. Here's a look at the partnership's impact on Duke Energy customers by the numbers:

·     Launch: 1984

·     Initial impact: 101 weatherization kits, 204 weatherization projects

·     Impact in 2009: 2,528 energy conservation projects with Duke Energy (out of 6,148 total projects provided by PWC)

·     Total impact since 1984: More than 40,000 projects or services

·     Average direct savings: $1,381 for each natural gas customer

·     Since 2001, PWC has:

o      Insulated more than 4,000 homes

o      Installed more than 2,000 high-efficiency gas furnaces

o      Installed more than 11,000 compact fluorescent light bulbs "” all for low-income Duke customers

·     Duke Energy Foundation support: Hundreds of thousands of dollars; $419,000 since 1995 alone

Want to get involved? Sign up for the November Prepare Affair at For more information on the partnership with Duke Energy, visit and click on "Special Assistance."

 563 Kids Is Not Enough

When is helping 563 very sick kids and their brothers and sisters, moms and dads not enough?

When you are Hap Durkin and you realize there are hundreds more who could use a day at the zoo, a holiday party, a Reds game or any chance to just be a kid.

Durkin is not unlike the scores of folks leading nonprofits or volunteering because an inner voice never lets them forget that it's the right thing to do. The executive director of the Greater Cincinnati chapter of A Kid Again knows there are lot of worthy causes and needs to be met.

But his cause right now is providing healing times of respite for kids dealing with life-threatening medical conditions; their brother or sister who could use a little extra attenion; their parents who steer every dollar toward hospital bills and keeping things together. His enthusiasm comes from the gut. The drive that earned him a spot on the baseball team at the University of Notre Dame is now propelling his efforts to help those critically ill kids. His case is compelling.

A Kid Again is time to cheer on the Cyclones, spend Dora Dollars at Kings Island on a summer day, laugh till your side hurts at Celebrity Basketball. To make sure kids have that chance, A Kid Again is selling tickets to Miracles & Magic, a comedy-magic and grand illusion variety show Oct. 23. They are raffling tickets to the 2011 Reds Fantasy Camp. They are asking you to check out the website at

"” Dianne Gebhardt-French

Metro Trades Rides for Stories

Stories of blankets, naps and volunteering snared a year of free rides on the Metro in the regional bus company's "Tell Your Story" contest.

The winning story written by Teresa Roush of Wilmington describes her commute on the I-71 express from Kings Island to downtown and back, five days a week. She uses her time to knit afghans or, as she likes to say, "bus blankets." In 14 months, she has completed seven blankets and donated them to a children's charity in Clinton County.
Travis Theiss of Hamilton won with his video "Sometimes If You Snooze, You Don't Lose." Filmed at the Taste of Cincinnati, the video humorously describes how Theiss naps on his way to and from work. "If you see me on the bus, wake me up before I miss my stop," Theiss urges in his video.

A special award was given to 96-year-old William "Mr. Bill" Kenny who uses Metro to get to and from the Over-the-Rhine kitchen where he volunteers five days a week.

The contest was part of the "Public Transportation Takes Us There" advocacy campaign by the nonprofit, tax-funded public service of the Southwest Ohio Regional Transit Authority, which provides 19 million rides per year.

"” The Editors