Tuesday, April 24, 2018

Beshear, Task Force Streamline Human Trafficking Notification Process to Better Assist Victims, Investigations

2017 Human Trafficking Task Force Report released, highlights Kentucky’s awareness efforts


Attorney General Andy Beshear and Catholic Charities of Louisville today released the 2017 Human Trafficking Task Force Report that focuses on the state’s coordinated efforts to fight human trafficking.

The report highlights Kentucky’s new streamlined notification process that better assists in investigations and follow-up victim services for reported cases of human trafficking across the state.

The changes allow for a quicker response to incidents of suspected human trafficking in Kentucky and is one of numerous efforts outlined in the annual report of the Kentucky Human Trafficking Task Force.

The report is the first overall look at the state’s coordinated efforts to fight human trafficking since Beshear’s office and Catholic Charities of Louisville, co-chairs of the task force, received a federal grant in 2016. The grant was the first from the U.S Department of Justice Bureau of Justice Assistance and Office of Victims of Crime ever awarded to a Kentucky agency for human trafficking.

“Human trafficking is a growing and gruesome crime in the Commonwealth,” Beshear said. “In order to combat it, we needed to streamline the information sharing protocols between our federal, state and local task force members to more efficiently respond to reports of human trafficking. Now, law enforcement can immediately investigate and advocates can immediately offer victim services.”


Marissa Castellanos, program director of the Bakhita Empowerment Initiative, a program to combat human trafficking at Catholic Charities of Louisville, said the Kentucky Statewide Human Trafficking Task Force has been an important tool for Kentucky’s movement forward in protocol development, proactive investigations, increased collaboration among agencies, and data collection and reporting efforts.

As a result, trafficking victims are being identified at a higher rate, response has improved and services are more accessible to victims,” Castellanos said. “Catholic Charities remains committed to the work of victim-centered advocacy and service provision for labor and sex trafficking victims identified in the Commonwealth. We are grateful for the leadership and support of the Office of the Attorney General, and our many other community partners in these efforts.”

Beshear said training all partners to recognize human trafficking has been a key component in streamlining the notification process of potential reports of the crime.

In 2017, Beshear’s office and Catholic Charities conducted 80 statewide trainings, reaching nearly 3,500 individuals and created the state’s first coordinated effort to train hotel staff to recognize and report human trafficking.


Woodfill Students Exhibit Leadership Skills Through Puerto Rico Fundraiser



Students at Woodfill Elementary raised more than $2,000 to benefit the ongoing relief efforts in Puerto Rico.

What began as a small seed of an idea grew into an ongoing partnership with Northern Kentucky University (NKU), and a joint gift of $4,000 to help support the ongoing relief efforts in Puerto Rico. 

Heather Turner, Woodfill’s Spanish teacher, said she, along with Johnson teacher Julie Dashley and Moyer teacher Silvia McClamrock, were discussing donating gifts to children in Puerto Rico back in December. (Today, more than six months after Hurricane Maria, some are still without power.)

Woodfill Spanish teacher Heather Turner, along with students, showing off the Puerto Rico fundraiser T-shirts.

“I thought T-shirts in Spanish would be an easy way to raise a lot of money, and I talked to some 5th graders about taking on leadership roles to make the fundraiser happen,” Turner says. 

Students created a slogan, and made posters and commercials to advertise the campaign.

Students chose to sell T-shirts as well as collect change. Their slogan: “Change the world with your change."

With a team of 15, Turner says students organized everything from commercials to informational posters, promoting the campaign daily. They had a contest for most money raised and the winning class, which donated more than $200 in change in just two weeks, won a piñata. 

Each classroom had a collection box for coins.

“The hardest part was counting all the coins and rolling them up each morning and afternoon,” Turner says. “I could not have done this without great student volunteers like Sydney and Stephen Shoemaker. They really helped.” 

Turner hoped that a local Puerto Rican would be able to accept a check on the behalf of Puerto Rico. She was put in touch with Irene Encarnación, a Spanish professor at NKU who is from Puerto Rico. After several phone calls, Turner and Encarnación – who had been raising funds for Puerto Rico at NKU – decided to partner and merge donations from both schools to make a bigger impact.

“We both agreed that we were searching for a non-profit organization that we could trust where each cent would go to the hands of people who really need it in Puerto Rico,” Turner says. 

Turner says Encarnación visited Puerto Rico over her spring break, made videos and interviewed locals, as well as attended town hall meetings regarding the rebuilding and reinstallation of electricity. “She came back with Comité pro desarollo de Maunabo,” Turner says. 

In the end, Woodfill’s ¡Yo soy Líder! Desde KY a Puerto Rico Ayudamos a Nuestros Amigos campaign received an equal match of $2,000 from NKU’s Latino Institute for Excellence (LIFE). Encarnación, a co-chair along with Leo Calderon of NKU LIFE Puerto Rico Relief Campaign, surprised Woodfill students on March 27 with an equal $2,000 gift match.

NKU surprised Woodfill students with a matching gift.

“Encarnación came to school with a large check, presented to the 5th graders, and we had many little Puerto Rican flags to celebrate our collaboration between KY and Puerto Rico,” Turner says.

The event, Turner says, marks the beginning of future collaborations between NKU and WES. “She was incredible,” Turner says of Encarnación. “All of the students really enjoyed her presentation and wanted their picture with her afterwards. She has a lot of charisma and gratitude to the students for what we had done to help her home country.”

The donation is set to directly assist in the reconstruction of Maunabo’s Natural Reserve, and will contribute to restore the facilities of la Casa Verde and their neighboring communities. 

“We are all connected,” Turner says. “It’s imperative, as global citizens, that we become educated in all facets of the world. Language, culture, religion, environmental issues – all of these things. They make us well-rounded, respectful and tolerant people. Puerto Rico is part of the United States. It is an incredible place to visit, with so many warm and generous individuals whom I have met personally. I have traveled to Puerto Rico twice and have friends from there. I think it is my responsibility to shape my student’s view of the world in hopes that they one day can share my compassion for others and be proactive to help others when a natural disaster strikes.”

The fundraiser became a school-wide campaign, with many students taking on different leadership responsibilities. 

Keith Faust, Woodfill’s principal, says the fundraiser served as a great example of success in terms of the school’s Leader in Me program. 

“One of the challenges of implementing a culture change like Leader in Me is that naysayers may question how you determine its effectiveness, as there are no traditional assessments or measures,” Faust says “To them I point directly to projects like the Puerto Rico fundraiser. Our students set a goal, developed a plan, synergized and proactively implemented their plan. They thought beyond themselves and were selfless in their actions. They internalized and lived the seven habits on a personal level to accomplish and surpass their goal. To me this evidence that we are developing leaders and doing it in a tangible way.”

Turner says her biggest reaction to the fundraiser’s success was gratitude. “It was a small idea that turned into a big fundraiser,” she says. “I am really proud of all of the students at WES where the climate here makes it cool to buy a shirt in Spanish that helps others."

Turner says she's also proud of the 5th grade leaders who stepped up to plan and orchestrate the entire fundraiser.  "I am also thankful to have administration that backed these ideas, and allowed for us to do the fundraiser," Turner says. "I also want to especially thank our secretaries and the local bank for their patience with all of the coin deposits. I could not be more thankful for a new friendship and collaboration with Irene Encarnación from NKU. I hope we can continue to work together on future endeavors. It is also very pleasing to know that at both Moyer and Johnson they continued the efforts to help Puerto Rico by selling their own shirts as well.”

Why I'm Running: Connie Grubbs, Campbell County Commissioner


My name is Connie Grubbs and I am the only Democratic candidate for Campbell County Commissioner, running in district 1. If you had told me 5 years ago that I would be running for local office, I would not have believed it. I was still nursing my infant son while wiping my daughter’s adorable, but runny, nose. Yet those two beautiful children are a large part of why I’m running. I want them to grow up in a Campbell County that maintains its rich traditions, beautiful landscapes, and family farms while at the same time looking ahead to a future full of enterprise and opportunity for all of our families.

I didn’t grow up in Campbell County or even Kentucky. My husband, Zack, and I have chosen to raise our family here. We both work in the arts in Cincinnati; he is a ballet dancer and teacher at Cincinnati Ballet, while I stage manage at Cincinnati Opera. We both fell in love with Campbell County and Fort Thomas specifically when looking for our new home and a place to raise our growing family. It was a very deliberate choice. Some people might think this is a strike against me as I run for local office. I see it as a great strength. I bring with me perspectives from rural New Jersey, where I went to high school; from big cities, where I worked and lived in my 20s; and from suburbia, where I grew up. Each city in which I’ve lived has taught me something and I bring all of those experiences with me to the table.

My father was the first in his family to go to college. He grew up in a trailer park in a working class neighborhood. His father (my grandpa Pete) drove a bus for a living, managing to put a roof over their heads, food on their table, and send two of his three boys to college. This is the American dream - the son of an immigrant building a better life for his children. Now, this story of upward mobility is harder to come by. We are looking at the first generation in America to not do as well as their parents. I don’t want that for my kids or for yours. That is why I’m putting skin in the game and jumping into the political process with both feet. I want to make sure all of us have an opportunity to, not simply work our fingers to the bone to exist, but rise and thrive. Thriving means the average family has the ability to support an aging parent, be involved in their schools, have a safety net in place for an injured spouse, or simply be able to build their community in any way they want. Right now, too many families are one accident, injury, or aging parent away from poverty or bankruptcy.

My campaign boils down to a few simple and universal concepts:

Monday, April 23, 2018

Police Seeking Information About What Led Up to Car Crash Fatality in Wilder


The Wilder Police Department is asking for your help to try and figure out what caused a fatal, two-car accident on Saturday night on 275 Eastbound just after Exit 77.

Two crashed cars wound up in the wooded area off of the roadway. One man died at the scene and a woman was severely injured.

Wilder Police and and the Campbell County MART (Major Accident Reconstruction Team) said that Campbell County Dispatch received numerous calls at approximately 8:15 pm on 04/21/2018.
The police are still investigating the incident and have spoken to several callers.

Now they are asking for those who called 911 to provide more information.

Phone: 859-905-0714 - Email: josh@joshmcintoshlaw.com. This is an advertisement.

"If you happen to be in the area or if you witnessed this event please call either the Wilder Police Department (859) 581-8863 or the Campbell County Dispatch center at (859) 292-3622," police said in a release. "Your information may be helpful."

Beshear: Kentucky Can, Should Require Free, Open Internet

Hawaii, Montana, New Jersey, New York, Vermont sign executive orders promoting free, open internet


Attorney General Andy Beshear says Kentucky has the authority to ensure Kentucky families have high-quality internet despite current federal rollbacks of net neutrality.

Beshear is among more than 20 state attorneys general fighting actions by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) that retreat from previous broadband protections requiring internet providers to remain “neutral” in the services it provides to customers.

Call Ashley Barlow. 859-781-5777. This is an advertisement. 
Beshear said the FCC’s net neutrality repeal order still allows states, as internet consumers, to create net neutrality though their purchasing power, and at least five governors have taken a bipartisan stance by signing executive orders requiring all internet service providers contracting with their state to adhere to net neutrality for all of their state’s consumers.

Barre3 Ft. Thomas. 
“The internet is a part of our state and national infrastructure that is just a critical as our roads and bridges,” Beshear said. “Small business, school districts and rural hospitals rely on the internet to help Kentucky families earn a living, educate our children and to provide critical medical services in every part of our state. We cannot give the power to slow, change or even shut down these services to four major companies and simply trust they will do the right thing.”

The attorney general is calling on the executive branch to offer these same protections to Kentuckians through an executive order similar to ones recently issued by governors in Hawaii, Montana, New Jersey, New York and Vermont.

“If a broadband or mobile internet service provider wants to do business with the state, we should require they adhere to certain internet neutrality principles,” Beshear said. “We want to attract companies that are willing to provide reliable, high-quality broadband internet service to all Kentuckians.”


Montana’s executive order requires service providers to publicly disclose to all of its customers accurate information, such as cellular data and wireless broadband transport, for consumers to make “informed choices” regarding all services.

Key Kentucky business and educational services rely on a free and open internet to help the state’s economy flourish on a national and international stage, Beshear said, which is one reason he is suing the FCC over its rollback of net neutrality regulations.

The FCC published its final ruling rolling back net neutrality in the Feb. 22 Federal Register. Pursuant to the rule, the effective date for the rule is 30 or 60 days after the Office of Budget Management approval is complete, which could take anywhere from several months to a year.

Beshear and the coalition have their lawsuit before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit. The group maintains the FCC’s action violates federal laws.

“I’m opposing the repeal of net neutrality because of the destructive nature it will have on every Kentuckian from farmers to college students who use free and open internet to thrive and prosper,” Beshear said. “As a state and as a nation, we cannot turn our backs on the hard working people of this country by letting the federal government walk all over them and take away their level playing field.”

Beshear said his office continues to receive comments from Kentucky wanting broadband protections.


Fort Thomas Native Son, Josh McIntosh, Grows Law Practice


Josh McIntosh & fiance, Lauren Schlosser

Many Fort Thomas residents know Josh McIntosh as the lead singer and guitarist of Josh McIntosh & Co., a popular local cover band that plays weekend shows in Cincinnati, Northern Kentucky, Lexington, and Indianapolis. But what they may not know that Josh is also an attorney who recently started a private law practice, Josh McIntosh Law in Covington.

Josh grew up in the Fort, attended Highlands High School and played football in the winning 2004 state championship game.

Highlands Football team 2004 state champions (photo: provided)

Josh knew he wanted to have his own business at an early age. His parents, as the owners of Professional Pool and Spa Services were very supportive and were able to attend every game, school program, and special event in their children's lives. As the owners of a small local business they were able to manage flexible schedules. Josh knew he wanted the same thing for his own family.

Josh McIntosh Law is the fruit of hard work and the culmination of passion for litigating, counseling, negotiating, writing, and research. Josh McIntosh Law serves the community by providing high-quality, results-oriented legal representation.

Josh's interest in law began in high school. After graduating from the University of Kentucky with a bachelor's degree in history he was accepted into NKU's Salmon P. Chase College of Law where he received the Henry Clay Merit Scholarship and ultimately graduated cum laude and in the top 20% of his class. Josh has worked as a Federal Judicial Law Clerk for the Honorable William O. Bertelsman of the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Kentucky and as a felony Prosecutor for the Kenton County Commonwealth Attorney’s Office.


Josh McIntosh (photo: provided)

His years as a felony prosecutor opened his eyes to the enormous impact drugs were having on our area. It also provided a counter perspective to his current role as a defense attorney. As a prosector he didn't get to personally know the individuals behind the offense but as a criminal defense attorney he is able to have a positive impact on his client's lives. His role as a defense attorney allows him the opportunity to empathize with and counsel clients who may have made bad decisions. 

AREAS OF EXPERTISE

  • Civil Litigation
    • Personal injury
    • Accidents (auto, motorcycle, trucking)
  • Civil Appeals
  • Criminal Defense Litigation (State & Federal)
    • DUI/OVI
  • Wills & Estates
  • Landlord/Tenant
  • Family Law
  • Small Business Law
  • Consumer Law
  • General Practice
  • Advises Small Businesses
    • Reviews contracts 
    • Checks for compliancy
    • Advises on lease and property negotiations
    • Represent as needed

In his free time you'll find Josh hunting, fishing or spending time with his fiance, Lauren Schlosser, an account manager whose love of horse racing is second only to her love of her family and her dog, Stella. You also may find him playing with his band at a local spot with his best friend and drummer, Chris Owens, another beloved Fort Thomas native.

Josh McIntosh & Co (photo: myfountainsquare.com)


Josh has serves on the board of Henry Hosea House, which is a local non-profit that serves the homeless. He participated in Relay for Life for several years and also volunteers with the Highlands High League of People, a constitutional debate class and competition team.

For more information about Josh McIntosh Law visit: https://www.joshmcintoshlaw.com/ 
Email: josh@joshmcintoshlaw.com
Phone: 859 905-0714
Address: 121 East 4th Street, Covington, KY 41011





EXCLUSIVE: Take a Look Inside the Stables Building in Fort Thomas


The City of Fort Thomas' Visioning and Comprehensive city plan is being planned and studied in earnest.

RELATED: Take the city survey here! 

Since kicking off with a whiteboard session held in the Centennial Room that included members of council in 2015, the Fort Thomas Community Plan has broken into six working groups, each of which includes a member of city council, a community liaison, city staff and consultants who serve as technical advisers.

RELATED: Whiteboard session could lead to new city plan 

Committee members of the Utilities and City-owned Facilities got a peek inside the Stables Building, to understand how that space might be utilized if the city is able to acquire the building from the U.S. Army Reserve's 478th Engineering Battalion.

For nearly five years the City of Fort Thomas has been in talks with the Army Reserve to obtain the historic building in a land swap. The city has looked at trading property in the back of Tower Park and building a new storage building.

Roofing, siding, gutters, painting. 
The building was built as horse stables in the late 1800's, but for now, the building being used for storage. It is in good condition with a fairly new slate roof. It has no plumbing and bare-minimum electric, but could be a blank canvas for new tenants coming in. It overlooks the soccer field and track, owned by Fort Thomas Independent Schools.

Midway There, a group of Fort Thomas business and city leaders began working on plans to convert the stables building into an industrial kitchen, open air market, theater and retail space similar to Cincinnati's Findlay Market in 2014.

RELATED: Midway There Committee Still Seeks to Develop Stables Building

The city created Tower Park after acquiring much of the former fort in 1970, including the iconic water tower, Mess Hall, Armory and VA Homes, which have been pegged for redevelopment by developers.

In 1983 Fort Thomas resident, Betty Daniels of the Fort Thomas Heritage League, applied for historic designations for many of the buildings.

She described the Stables Building this way:


"At the farthest end of the district, beyond where Cochran Avenue ends at Carmel Manor Drive is the former stable complex. Aside from several modest outbuildings, one of which is of stone, of indeterminate age, and a small brick former gas and weigh station, the main structure here is the former Stables Building.

It was erected between 1889 and 1892 to house animals (mules and horses) for the infantry, as well as for the cavalry attached to the infantry. Each officer above the rank of Second Lieutenant was entitled to a horse, and many also had their own private mounts. At one time there was even a polo team at the post!

The stable, a long, narrow brick building, has fairly steep roofs above the low ground level, with a story along the ridge, creating a sloping stepped profile at the ends. The openings of the main level are segraental-arched, with wider doors in the centers of the horizontal wall-surface.

A small brick addition has been made at one end and a few openings altered or blocked up, but the stable, now used for storage, seems to maintain much of its original appearance.

Such serviceable structures are often rarer survivors than the major buildings."

PICTURES BELOW:

DETAILS: Seersucker Bike Ride Through Fort Thomas (April 29)


Last year during the city's sesquicentennial celebration, the city opened up the streets for leisurely bike ride through town.

Organizers of the first seersucker bike ride felt like it was such a successful event they are carrying it over to 2018.

RELATED: Fort Thomas 150 Seersucker Bike Ride (PHOTOS)

RELATED: Seersucker Event Page (Facebook)


The 2nd Annual Fort Thomas Seersucker Bike Ride will take place Sunday, April 29 at 2:00 p.m.

Friday, April 20, 2018

LISTEN: Schroder, Cooper, Cheser and Brewer Talk About Frankfort, Education and Business

SPONSOR: OMEGA Processing Solutions


Sen. Wil Schroder: What was the toughest part of this General Assembly for you?

Mr. Brent Cooper: Have you heard from the businesses who will now be charged sales tax on their services?

Dr. Karen Cheser: What were you most frustrated with during this session?

Mr. Jay Brewer: Do you think lawmakers listened to public school advocates?

Mark Collier (Living Media, Inc. & Fort Thomas Matters) talks with four people smack dab in the middle of the General Assembly process this year. Answers to the above questions and more on Fort Thomas Matters Radio.



Guests:

Sen. Wil Schroder (R-Wilder)

Brent Cooper, CEO/President Northern Kentucky Chamber of Commerce

Dr. Karen Cheser, Superintendent, Fort Thomas Independent Schools

Jay Brewer, Superindendent, Dayton Independent Schools




Bowman’s Framing is still framing.

Located at 103 N. Fort Thomas Avenue - 859-781-2233 

I can’t say enough about what this city and all my loyal clients mean to me. It is not easy for us to follow through on our announced plans to change direction to pursue other interests. This was and still is a very difficult decision. Many have stopped me asking if I’m still open. As it turns out, they thought I was already finished framing. I would like to clear things up about the future of Bowman’s Framing.

I am still actively seeking a buyer to continue operation of this very established shop. The new owner of the real estate has told me that he hopes a new owner would continue in the same location. He is willing to offer a lease starting in October that would be very affordable to a new operator.

RELATED: Bowman's Framing Celebrates Nearly 30 Years 

This business has been a staple in this community for thirty years and needs to stay. My plans to exit at the end of June are still unchanged. My hope is to find a qualified operator to take over with me staying involved until that person and myself are comfortable with the transition. One way or another, my exit will be June 30. The thought of closing the business and liquidating contents is not something I like to consider. It is a profitable but specialized business, which means a small pool of qualified operators to attract.

This is an advertisement. 

Thursday, April 19, 2018

Highlands' Students Accepted to Summer Governor's Programs

GSP 2018 - Front row, l to r: Cayton, Tinkler, Sellers, Schwalbach; Back row, l to r: Seidel, Conley, King

Highlands High School is honored to announce the students who have been accepted into Governor’s summer programs.

HHS juniors accepted into the Governor’s Scholar Program (GSP) are:
Brendan Conley
Austin King
Elizabeth Schwalbach
Margot Seidel
Betsy Sellers

GSP Alternates
Sarah Cayton
Claire Tinkler

GSA 2018: Front row, l to r: Eckerle, Cooper, Siebert; Back row, l to r: Sower, Richards, Staab.

GSP is a six-week summer residential program held for outstanding high school students in Kentucky who are rising seniors. GSP programs are held on three different university campuses – Morehead State University, Murray State University and Northern Kentucky University.

In order to participate in the program, students must be nominated by their high schools and then compete on a state-wide level. In addition to an academic profile that includes difficulty of course load, GPA, and at least one standardized test score, the application requires an outline of all extracurricular activities, a history of volunteer service, and a list of job positions held. Teacher recommendations include both quantitative evaluation and qualitative descriptions of the student’s performance and potential. The final component of the application is an original essay.

HHS students accepted into the Governor’s School for the Arts (GSA) program are:
Sydney Cooper – Creative Writing
Grant Sower – Drama
Donovan Staab – Architecture/Design

GSA Alternates
Katherine Eckerle – Visual Arts
Wyatt Richards – Film & Photography
Maggie Siebert – Vocal Music


Highlands Junior Reaches Big Numbers in Power Lifting

Baumer Wins Gold in Columbus

Contributed Photo. Highlands junior Matthew Baumer poses with his gold medal he won in the 16-17-year-old age division in the USA Power Lifting CBUS Lifting Co Spring Classic in Columbus (Ohio) on April 7. He lifted 474 pounds in the Deadlift to win gold.
Matthew Baumer, a 16-year-old Highlands junior, has taken a big journey in life in recent years.

Baumer found himself at 230 pounds. But Baumer then started body building at a local gym and later started powerlifting. Baumer leaned down to 150 pounds and now stands at 180.

"I wasn't in the best shape. I didn't really do much," Baumer said. "I just wanted to find something I was interested in and do it. I kind of found that through fitness."


Baumer recently competed in a USA Powerlifting event in Columbus (Ohio) called the CBUS Lifting Co Spring Classic on April 7. Baumer won a gold medal in the 16-17-Year-Old Age Division. He lifted a personal-best 474 pounds in the deadlift to bring home the top medal. A deadlift is when a loaded bar or barbell is lifted off the ground up to the hips then lowered back down.

The deadlift is one of three power lifting exercises. The other two are the squat where the lifter lies on the back on a bench and lifts a loaded bar straight up then back down. The other is the squat where the lifter holds the loaded bar on the back, dips the tail down below the knees, then goes back up to a normal standing position. Baumer's personal bests in the squat is 400 pounds and 250 pounds in the bench press.

Baumer's parents are Mark and Sandy Baumer. Sandy Baumer could not say enough positive on how far their son has come along.


"We are beyond proud and honored to be his parents," Sandy Baumer said. "To watch him on a daily basis have the self-control and discipline to take core of his body and his mind to star this journey of Power Lifting has been amazing, and we have learned some things from him."


Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Campbell County Man Sentenced to 262 Months for Production of Child Pornography


On Tuesday, Nathan W. Balser, 31, of Campbell County, Kentucky, was sentenced to nearly 22 years in prison, by United States District Judge David Bunning, for Production of Child Pornography.

Balser previously admitted that, in January 2017, he took sexually explicit videos of his daughter, who was only 11 years old at the time. Balser pleaded guilty to the charges in December 2017.
Under federal law, Balser must serve 85 percent of his prison sentence; and upon release, he will be under the supervision of the United States Probation Office.

Robert M. Duncan, Jr., United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Kentucky, Steven L. Igyarto, Resident Agent in Charge, Homeland Security/ICE and Chief Craig Sorrell, Campbell County Police Department, jointly made the announcement.

Highlands High School’s Theatre Department Presents The Drowsy Chaperone


Students from Highlands High School’s Theatre Department will perform The Drowsy Chaperone. Winner of five Tony Awards, including Best Book and Best Original Score, The Drowsy Chaperone is a loving send-up of the Jazz Age musical, featuring one show-stopping song and dance number after another.

Highlands Football Team Offers Annual “Spring Clean”


The Highlands High School football team will hold its annual Spring Clean on Sunday, April 29, 2018, from 1:00 to 5:00 p.m.

The annual Spring Clean is an opportunity for members of the football team to help area residents with chores, including yard work, cleaning out a garage, or working around the house or business, for a donation. For the safety of the players, we do not allow them to use power equipment or power tools.

This is an advertisement. 
This year, all proceeds will benefit Family Promise of Northern Kentucky.

According to head football coach, Brian Weinrich, Family Promise was chosen after an article on Fort Thomas Matters highlighted the shelter as the only all-inclusive family shelter in northern Kentucky.

RELATED: This Newport Family-Shelter Aims to Give Every Family a Home 

Family Promise’s focus is to keep families together. Local churches host the families on a rotating basis. For one week the families will eat dinner, spend the night on cots and air mattresses, and eat breakfast at the host church. Volunteers provide and prepare home-cooked meals.

Members of Family Promise meet with families helping them find employment and social services. They also help families create budgets. The goal is for adult family members to find jobs and save money while in the program, so that they have enough money when they graduate from the program to put down a deposit and first month's rent on an apartment. Family Promise also provides transportation to doctor appointments, job interviews and more during a family's stay.


Fort Thomas Independent Schools Students Exhibit Art Work


Students from Fort Thomas Independent Schools will have their artwork on display at Highlands High School from Friday, April 20, through Sunday, April 22, 2018.

Art teacher, Colin Shadwell, said the district investment into the arts will be on full display.

"It is a unique opportunity to experience an art form that isn’t performance based," he said. "This show allows our students from K-12 to display and reflect on what they have done in class. It gives everyone the chance to see some of the amazing talent that Fort Thomas Schools has to offer."

Colin Shadwell teaching at Highlands Middle School. FTM file. 

Student artwork from Johnson Elementary, Moyer Elementary, Woodfill Elementary, Highlands Middle and Highlands High schools will be on display on the first and second floors of Highlands High School.

Works include paintings, drawings, digital photographs, sculptures, and prints.

A closing reception will be held on Sunday, April 22, from 1:00 to 4 p.m.


If you're going to go, here are some additional details:

First Look: Take a Look at Bishop Brossart's $5.2 Million Sports Complex


Bishop Brossart High School is in the midst of building a $5.2 million dollar athletic complex, located on on 27 acres of Gilbert Ridge Road less than a mile from the school in southern Campbell County. 

Construction on the site started in November 2017 with the goal of hosting some events in 2019. 

This is an advertisement. 
The Mustang Athletic Complex (The MAC) will house a football/soccer stadium, a track, lights and a building for lockers, an athletic training room and concessions. 

The school is still looking to fundraise an additional millions dollars for the project. Another phase of the project will include include baseball and softball fields. 

Brossart, which has owned the land since 2008, currently uses neighboring facilities for all outdoor home athletic contests. 

According to Chris Holtz, Director of Development at Brossart, the MAC will provide the local community with greater opportunities in athletics and beyond.

Tuesday, April 17, 2018

Allegiant CEO Addresses 60 Minutes Report


Allegiant Airlines, one of the low-cost carriers located at CVG has come under fire after a report published by 60 Minutes detailed that the Las Vegas-based airliner is nearly 3.5 times more likely to have an inflight mechanical emergency than any other large U.S. airline.

Maury Gallagher, Allegiant's CEO, published a letter in response to the report, noting that the story was "a regurgitation of old news, full of inaccuracies, half-truths, and a primary “expert” witness who has never seen the inside of our operation, and who is currently paid as a witness to testify critically against Allegiant in a pending court case."

The company noted that CBS’ report focused on Allegiant’s dwindling fleet of old McDonnell Douglas MD-80 jets, all of which will be retired from the fleet by year’s end.

"Allegiant participates in all seven of the FAA’s voluntary safety programs," wrote Gallagher. 


"The FAA continues to oversee our operation, as they do all airlines, and in their most recent CHEP audit, found no regulatory or systemic deficiencies. Furthermore, the FAA, known worldwide as the gold standard for aviation safety, has reached unprecedented levels of safety in recent years, which again calls into question the entire premise of the 60 Minutes story." 

Allegiant pilot, Chris Whynott, has been captain at Allegiant since 2015 and worked in the training department as an instructor for nearly two years. He said that safety at Allegiant is their number one concern. 

"My family, to include my wife and children, fly on Allegiant and I have 100% confidence in every employee here that make our flights happen," he said. "I have worked on and flown airplanes since April 1988 (30 years this month) and I would never accept an airplane that I didn’t consider 100% airworthy and to this day, Allegiant has never tried to force me to fly one that wasn’t 100% safe."

Read Maury Gallagher's letter in its entirety below:

Fort Thomas Independent Schools Names Elementary Assistant Principal


Fort Thomas Independent Schools has selected John Gesenhues to serve as a district-wide elementary assistant principal, working with Woodfill and Johnson elementary schools.

Gesenhues began his teaching career in 2006 at Woodfill Elementary, initially as a 5th grade teacher for four years, followed by eight years as a 4th grade teacher.


Earning his bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education from Murray State University, Gesenhues continued his education to receive his master’s and a Rank I in Instructional Leadership at Northern Kentucky University.

Assistant Superintendent Bill Bradford stated, “Although our school district was privileged to consider multiple exceptional candidates for this position, Mr. Gesenhues set himself apart as the optimal choice in our selection process. 

He possesses a favorable disposition about school leadership and presents himself as the quintessential team member who would immediately contribute to our strong group of existing administrators. Mr. Gesenhues is thoughtful, likable, and has significant instructional experience as a highly effective teacher in the classroom.  He has demonstrated a commitment to developing a positive school culture and consistently shows how passionate he is about working with students.  We are incredibly excited to have Mr. Gesenhues in this role next year!"

“This opportunity is truly a dream come true for me.  

Fort Thomas Subway to Open Tomorrow (April 18)


After a brief seven-month hiatus, Fort Thomas Subway is set to reopen under new ownership on Wednesday, April 18.

Owner, Kyle Young, said that he's excited to get started.

"Everyone we've hired is almost in walking distance to the shop," he said. "This location should be and will be successful."

RELATED: Fort Thomas Subway Has Closed its Doors

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Young, 36 from Hillsboro in Cincinnati, said that the Fort Thomas location will be his eleventh Subway franchise he has opened.