Monday, September 26, 2016

CRAVE at the Banks To Close

Crave Cincinnati. 
Another Banks restaurant in downtown Cincinnati has closed.

Julie Gosdin, also known as Wine Me, Dine Me, first reported and confirmed by FTM that the staff was informed of the closure at the end of business yesterday. They were permanently closed as of today.

Crave joins closures of Johnny Rockets, Toby Keith's I Love This Bar, WG Kitchen & Bar and Mahogany’s at the Banks.

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"It'll be interesting to see what tenant comes in next and whether they will subdivide the large space," said Gosdin. "With GE's new headquarters, there will be more demand for lunch spots."

Calls to the Banks management and the CRAVE parents companies have yet to be returned. 

Local Man Writes Book About Wife's CF Fight, Helps Others in Similar Situations

Raymond and Rebecca Poole. Provided.

Two years ago, December 31, 2014, Fort Thomas couple Raymond and Rebecca Poole were not cheering in the New Year with party hats and champagne. Instead, Rebecca was going through respiratory failure from cystic fibrosis (CF), and she was placed on a ventilator in a chemically induced coma. For the next six months she remained on life support, in hopes of qualifying for a lung transplant.


Rebecca and Ray were new to Fort Thomas, having relocated from Wisconsin only a few months prior. Ray says while they also knew she would eventually need a transplant one day, they were both surprised by her rapid decline at the end of 2014.

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"Even before I got over the shock of seeing her in that condition, my concerns spanned the full spectrum," Ray says. "I wondered if I would have enough vacation from my new job to spend my days at the hospital. With no family living nearby, I needed to keep everyone informed yet calm and be ready to receive them if they chose to visit. Beyond the medical worries, our house was not yet unpacked, I still had to register our cars in KY, her insurance company wouldn't talk to me and I had no idea where she put the checkbook. It was overwhelming, to say the least."

Sunday, September 25, 2016

Highlands Hall of Fame Class of 2016 Inducted

PHOTO: Allen Ramsey, Here are the newest members or representatives of the newest members of the Highland High School Hall of Fame.
The second annual Highlands Hall of Fame induction ceremony brought back a number of great memories Sunday.

Team of Distinction:
Highlands 1959 Boys State Track Championship Team:

This marked the championship during a time when the Kentucky High School Athletic Association had no classes. The Bluebirds edged Louisville Trinity by four points. Highlands did not win another championship in the sport until 2014.

"It was a lot of fun," said Gary Herfel, a member of the first Highlands Hall of Fame class last year and member of that team. "To go to the state meet, you had to win your individual event in the regional. Hopefully, the only way you had a chance to win the state meet would be to have a fair number of people on your team win their events in the regional. You'd see a team that had three points at the state because they only had one person go who won their event in the regional."

Ewell Waddell:

Waddell led the Bluebirds football team between 1942 and 1954. Highlands recorded a 91-37 record during that time with five Northern Kentucky Athletic Conference titles and a mythical state title in 1943.

"Not only was he interested in the team, he was interested in winning," said Judge Waddell's son Phil. "He was interested in having Highlands on the map so to speak. But he loved every one of his players. I can remember him coming home from a game or practice and talking about which he players he appreciated having on his team."

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Gary Cochran:

Cochran lettered on the gridiron for four years in addition to track and field for three years before graduating from Highlands in 1958. He helped the 1957 undefeated football team to a mythical state championship and set the Northern Kentucky Athletic Conference in the shot put as a senior before playing fullback for the University of Kentucky's football team for four years. His shot put record stood for 30 years.

"We're still a team," Cochran said. "We see each other on the street. Coach (Homer) Rice (a 2015 Highlands HOF inductee) is a genius. He raised his voice one time. He's the kind of guy that when he tells you to do something, you don't say how or what or what angle, you just do it."

Hoping for State

Bluebird golfers have high hopes in 8th Region Tournament

PHOTO: Allen Ramsey, The Highlands Bluebirds golf team plays in the 8th Region Tournament at Laurel Oaks in Maysville on Tuesday. 
Highlands enters the postseason with a sparkling 10-1-1 record. That includes a win over Newport Central Catholic and a split with the Covington Catholic B team.

Saturday, September 24, 2016

Highlands-Simon Kenton Game Story

Pioneers outgun Bluebirds on Homecoming

PHOTO: Allen Ramsey, Highlands junior Braden Posey (1) makes a move Friday. Posey had seven catches for 65 yards against Simon Kenton.
The Blue and White put up Highlandsesque numbers against an experienced defense on Friday.

The problem is the Highlands Bluebird football team's defense allowed much more of that against the Simon Kenton Pioneers at David Cecil Memorial Stadium. The undefeated Pioneers (6-0 overall) left Fort Thomas with a Highlands school record tying 77-53 non-district victory as a result (see notebook). That school record for the most points by both Highlands and an opponent came three years ago when the Bluebirds beat visiting Warren Central, 71-69 for a combined 140 points.

Highlands-Simon Kenton Notebook

Bluebirds hopes to bounce back from tough start like last year

PHOTO: Allen Ramsey, Highlands junior wide receiver Nick Veneman (middle) makes a tough catch in the first half against Simon Kenton. Veneman had four catches for 141 yards and three touchdowns in the loss to the Pioneers.

PHOTO: G. Michael Graham. Highlands Homecoming King Noah Moore (left) and Queen Hannah Harris (right).
It's not the type of history anyone wants to be a part of.

But after scoring in the 70s against opponents four times in 2013 and three times in 2011, a team did it to the Highlands Bluebirds football team Friday tying a Highlands school record. The Simon Kenton Pioneers became just the third team in the proud history of the Bluebirds to score in the 70s against them in a 77-53 victory on Homecoming.

Friday, September 23, 2016

Merchants and Music - Fort Thomas - Everything You Need To Know

The amphitheater was being prepared on Friday for the big music festival in Fort Thomas on Saturday. FTM file. 
The day is here. The 13th annual Merchants & Music Festival is here. All the information you need is in this post.

Chairwoman, Linda Sloan, has two words. "We're ready."


1 p.m. - Tana Matz

2:30 p.m. - WildWood

4:00 p.m. - Humming House

5:30 p.m. - Sundy Best

6:30 p.m.  - Kentucky Headhunters

9 p.m. - Brothers Osborne

After Party 11:00 p.m. - Danny Frazier Band

Looking out from the amphitheater stage. FTM file. 

1-2 p.m. Princesses Anna & Elsa in costume

2-3 p.m. MadCap Puppets

3-4 p.m. Cool Critters animals to touch & pet

3-5 p.m. Spiderman, Captain America, Snow White

4-6 p.m. Magicians and Stilt Walkers

FTM file. 

PODCAST: The "almost headliners," secrets from behind the scenes, and the scoop on beer/bourbon.






10 more pictures below: 

Update on VA Homes

FTM file. 
At the September 7th city council meeting, the status of the VA homes renovation was discussed.

A meeting took place to discuss due diligence and moving forward with cost estimating for the development and rehabilitation of the homes.  According to City Administrative Officer, Ron Dill. He said the developer remains completely on board with the project and are presently in the process of pursuing those numbers.

The snag in the works come down to when the VA will part with the property.  Dill said, "We don't have an issue with our developer, we have an issue with the VA getting to the point where they can transfer the property."

The developer does not have a role in trying to acquire the property; that's between the city and the VA.

"We're on the sideline waiting for that to happen," said Ron Dill"Without any time frame for construction or any ability to control that process, anything they (the developer) put into this project is just resources on a hope that we actually obtain the property.  So, to ask them to continue to spend money on the project is a risk they'd have to be willing to take."

Previously, the city had entered into a contract with developer, Bloomfield Schone as the sole qualified developed through a blind bid process.

The timelines, as outlined in that document, had the properties being transferred from the VA to the city in December of this year.

Former Moyer Kindergarten Teacher Launches Kickstarter Campaign for Education:

An Elf on the Shelf for learning

Lindsey O'Connell. Facebook. 
Worried your child is not prepared for preschool or kindergarten?  You are not alone.

Former Moyer Elementary kindergarten teacher Lindsey O’Connell created a children’s book and plush owl toy to help parents reinforce early childhood education at home.

A survey of 518 kindergarten teachers by Age of Learning Inc., an education technology company, shows “65 percent stated that children are only somewhat prepared or are not at all prepared.” Two-thirds of the teachers surveyed reported that the majority of children do not know their alphabet when they enter kindergarten.

Children in all grade levels also struggle to retain knowledge over summer break. A study by the tutoring service Oxford Learning found that “on average 2 months of reading skills and 2.6 months of math skills are lost over the summer.”

O’Connell is a Teach For America alumna, a former kindergarten and special education teacher and a mother of two. O’Connell says she created the book “to motivate children to learn core skills, like letters, numbers and shapes while having fun.” By pairing the book with the owl toy, she found children got excited about learning each morning and it had an impact similar to that of the popular Christmas toy Elf on a Shelf.

O’Connell has launched a Kickstarter campaign to fund My Owl Pal. Backers can reserve a book and owl with a $38 pledge.

Owls are expected to fly to homes before the 2017 school year. Go here for more information.

Thursday, September 22, 2016

Highlands edges NewCath in another classic

PHOTO: Allen Ramsey, Highlands junior Blake Shuley (9) makes his move in the game Thursday against Newport Central Catholic. The Bluebirds won 1-0 for their eighth straight win.
The Highlands Bluebirds boys soccer team has shown how a tight bond helps immensely overcome adversity all season.

It once again helped Highlands (11-1-2 overall) defeat the 36th District arch-rival Newport Central Catholic Thoroughbreds (9-5), 1-0 in another physical game. The Bluebirds also moved to 7-0-1 in 9th Region action with their eighth straight win and 10th shutout of the season.

Merchants & Music Festival Fort Thomas (Podcast)

Merchants & Music. FTM file. 


Hear from Merchants & Music Chair, Linda Slone, and Renaissance Board member, Brian Sand.
- The “almost headliners.”
- The secret festival inside the festival.
- Secrets on how to enjoy the festival from the people who plan it.
- Where the second stage was moved to this year.

Merchants & Music Spotify Playlist.

Midway Cafe - Fort Thomas - Tailgate Time

The Midway Cafe is part of the FTM Family. 

Fort Thomas Matters is once again partnering with The Midway Cafe in Fort Thomas to offer incredible deals on the weekend.

Every Saturday and Sunday from 1-7 p.m. you can buy a bucket of Budweiser or Bud Light and 10 wings from $20 to catch all of the college and NFL games.

- Newly installed TVs on the front patio with new tailgate tables.

- Cornhole

- NFL ticket

And if you haven't tried the Fort Thomas Matters burger, you absolutely should.

It's an Ebert's Meats patty, topped with ham, crispy fried jalapenos, pepperjack cheese, and their new garlic aioli! It goes great with cold beer!

The FTM burger. 

Tower Hill To Install More Piers For Slipped Road

At the September 7th city council meeting, council members discussed upcoming construction and repairs to be done on Tower Hill.

A year ago, emergency repairs had to be made there due to slippage.  Recent heavy rains have created two more slip areas on Tower Hill causing the sections to begin to fail, one of them quite significantly.

From Watch Point Drive to the bottom where it flattens out is an area that is prone to slippage.  The first pier work was done in 1982, and more needs to be done as soon as possible.

"There is still a long length of Tower Hill that does not have piers and obviously history is telling us that we'll wind up piering all of it," said city administrator Ron Dill.

Highlands Hometown Heroes Save The Day

Brady Gosney, Grant Murray, Steven Beltsos, Jamir Logan, Jared Pulsfort and Bill Murray
It's been almost three months since a Fourth of July weekend five high school students and their families will likely never forget.

Kanda Hutson Beltos, a 1982 Highlands High School graduate, and her family were at Norris Lake when they met up with high school friends Cindy and Bill Murray, their son and three of his friends.

Beltsos' son, Steven, a junior at St. Xavier High School, fell from a rope swing 15 to 20 feet, missing the lake and falling to the shore line, breaking his pelvis and badly injuring him. That is when HHS seniors Grant Murray, Brady Gosney, Jared Pulsfort and Jamir Logan, without hesitation, came to the rescue.

"Without these young men’s strength and nimble skills, I truly do not know how we would have gotten my son out of the water, onto the boat, said Beltsos.

They were never squeamish with the blood, helped move him multiple times and each of them gave Steven words of encouragement." 

Once Steven was loaded onto the Murray's boat, they drove to a marina where they were met by the paramedics.
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Highlands-Simon Kenton Football Preview

Highlands hopes to put on good Homecoming showing

PHOTO: Allen Ramsey, Highlands senior defenders Dalton Cornett (41), Noah Kremer-Stegman (38) and Kyle Rust converge on the ball in the game Friday at St. Xavier. Highlands takes on Simon Kenton at 7 p.m. on Friday for Homecoming at David Cecil Memorial Stadium.
The host football team will see a visiting team come to town for Homecoming that stands where the Highlands Bluebirds stood the previous six seasons before last year at the season's midway point.

That's a perfect 5-0.

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Fort Thomas Fire Fighters Retire with 47 Years Service

Members of the Fort Thomas Fire Department at the Grilling for Tim event at Tower Park in July. 
In July Fort Thomas quietly lost two of its longest serving public servants, as Captain Jeff Parker and Lieutenant Steve Rath retired from Fort Thomas Fire Department, after nearly 50 years of combined service.

Captain Parker retired with 25 years of service to FTFD, 17 as an officer, while Lieutenant Rath had 22 years, with the last 3 as an officer.  Fire Chief Mark Bailey said the department has lost: “Two wonderful gentleman and they’ll be sorely missed. They’re both welcome back at the station any time.”