“Now is the time where action is necessary and inaction is deadly,” Gov. Beshear said. “The risk to all Americans is at an historic high.”
Wednesday, December 2, 2020
“Now is the time where action is necessary and inaction is deadly,” Gov. Beshear said. “The risk to all Americans is at an historic high.”
Disabled American Veterans (DAV), a nonprofit charity that annually serves more than 1 million veterans throughout the country, is relocating its national headquarters from Cold Spring to Erlanger.
|90 Alexandria Pike in the Fort Thomas Plaza.|
"DAV has received a tremendously warm welcome from the city of Erlanger and its business community," said DAV Executive Director Barry Jesinoski."Our new facility will make us more efficient and accessible to veterans in the Tristate. It will, ultimately, prepare us for the next century of service and advocacy for our nation’s heroes.
|An aerial view, taken by drone, of the repairs underway on the Brent Spence Bridge, on schedule to be completed December 23.|
Kentucky Transportation Cabinet Chief Jim Gray held a press conference to mark the official halfway point today with 21 days in on repairs to the Brent Spence Bridge. He said things are on track for the completion target date of December 23 in 21 days from now.
He started by thanking his staff, the engineers and construction crews from the Kokosing Construction Company, praising all involved in the repairs, as well as his team working on traffic management and rerouting issues.
The focus has been on the upper deck of the bridge, and right now the 16 steel beams supporting it have been set in place. He noted that the steel for the beams was sourced from four states, taken to Lexington where they were cut, shaped and painted for the job.
|Call now! 859-653-5314|
Update: Progress as planned
In the next phase, crews will turn their attention to the lower deck, which received much less damage from the truck crash and fire November 11. The surface of the lower level will be milled to provide a connective surface for a new layer of concrete and then new barriers will be added to the lower deck area as well.
The final part will be the painting and marking of new traffic lines.
When asked if the possibility of cold weather could affect the curing of the concrete, Gray said crews are prepared for that and have warming equipment on hand, but he did not anticipate local weather conditions to be a problem over the coming few weeks.
|Construction crews have been working 'round the clock to install 16 new steel beams on the Brent Spence Bridge.|
|The next step in repairs will be to pour a new slab. Before concrete can be poured, metal rods will be inserted to support the new concrete slab.|
The message on traffic: Patience is a virtue
Gray noted a main issue has been and remains the maintenance of traffic for the 160,000-plus vehicles that have had to rerouted while the bridge is undergoing repairs.
"As you know, I-71 and I-75 merged traffic heading north through the region as directed by a signage detour onto I-275. From there, drivers can take alternate crossings across the Ohio River — the Dan Beard Bridge on I-471 or the Combs-Hehl Bridge on I-275. If you need to get into downtown Covington, you can stay on I-71 and 75 going past the detour, and there’s a single-traffic lane, a local lane open so that local traffic passenger vehicles can reach the 12th Street or the Fifth Street exits."
Chief District Engineer Bob Yeager fielded questions about traffic issues, which continue to create issues of congestion especially during rush hour. His final plea was for all to have patience, plan their routes and pay attention to possible changes along the way.
Gray urged patience as well and ended his report with an assurance that no corners have been cut and that he is confident in the work being done. He added that his department is examining all that has happened, and he anticipated there may be opportunities for changes and new ideas as a result of the incident.
|Fort Thomas Police Lieutenant Chris Carpenter practices martial arts techniques at the Northern Kentucky Martial Arts Academy.|
|Orangetheory Fitness, Newport Pavilion. |
by Robin Gee, city council beat editor
Fort Thomas Police Lieutenant Chris Carpenter lays out a scenario: What if you spent four weeks learning how to play the piano. You received intensive training for those few weeks, but that was all the training you received. Yet, at any time throughout the rest of your career, at a moment’s notice, you could be asked to give a concert — and if the concert went badly, it’s not “boos” from the audience you would have to worry about. Instead, it could be your career or even your life or the lives of others in your care.
That is a pointed way to illustrate the situation many police officers face when it comes to martial arts or hand-to-hand skills. In Kentucky, officers are required to attend police academy where they receive weeks of focused training in these skills — but, unfortunately, many find themselves with no program, support or plan for practicing or keeping up with this training once they return to their home departments.
The confidence and ability to use these skills can make a difference in many tense situations and even lead to a safer outcome for the officer, the suspect and the general public. A police officer who has support and access to continued training in these skills can feel more confident and capable of using them as an alternative to reaching straight away for more lethal options.
Fort Thomas finds value in ongoing training
Carpenter, who has been practicing martial arts skills since he was 16 years old, brought his concerns to Fort Thomas Police Chief Casey Kilgore. The chief agreed that some ongoing hand-to-hand or martial arts practice and training would be extremely beneficial to the department.
When an opportunity arose for affordable training through the nearby Northern Kentucky Martial Arts Academy, the chief found the funding to support sending four officers to training there, two through a special twice monthly option and another two for regular memberships in the club. Those involved are training officers who share what they’ve learned with their fellow officers.
Scott Smith, co-owner of the martial arts studio, is also the chief of police for Ludlow, Kentucky, as well as acting city administrator for the city. He started his business about two-and-a-half years ago with the goal of providing ongoing training and practice space for his fellow officers throughout Northern Kentucky as well as for the community at large, he said.
Encouraging martial arts training for officers and the community
Smith said he first became interested in the martial arts in 1996. While serving in the army, he was asked to take training in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. "I had a wrestling background, and I fell in love with it," he said. "I believe in it, and I do hope to encourage all sorts of people to do this."
His goal for the studio is to provide training in hand-to-hand techniques and self defense for fellow officers, but also for any interested men, women and children of all ages.
About his clientele, he said, "People come from all walks of life. They don’t fit any mold. I have accountants, engineers, teachers...I have taught a 71-year-old woman and about the youngest I would teach is six years old."
He emphasized a family atmosphere. His college-age daughter has been taking classes for years, and his wife is in the studio’s self-defense class. He provides classes for students in wrestling and other school sports as well as general self-defense for kids.
"I want your grandma, your wife, your kids to come and feel comfortable. That’s the demeanor and vibe of our gym. We have rules: no politics, no religion, no sexual preferences...Everybody is equal here."
A wide array of options available
|Wilder Police Chief Chad Martin (behind) takes advantage of the local training in martial arts.|
Hoffman, the father of triplets, teaches an anti-bullying class for kids. In total, the studio has seven martial arts instructors and two wrestling coaches. One name local sports enthusiasts will recognize is Aaron Pryor, Jr., who serves as the boxing instructor.
COVID-19 presented challenges for the studio, but Smith said extensive cleaning routines were in place long before the pandemic started. Fortunately, he also took over space that was used for a dance studio next door, allowing more room for social distancing. Having small group instruction helps as well, but he said those taking classes do have to consider the risk and sign a waiver.
Providing more options can increase safety for all
Knowing that police departments have funding challenges, Smith and Hoffman devised a special rate for police officers, but Smith said he has been surprised that only a handful of area departments have taken advantage of his offer.
Smith speculated that funding is one issue. Some departments are stretched so thin they worry about covering shifts for officers who might get injured while training. Still others, he said, have been resistant to change.
He said he wants every Northern Kentucky police officer to become comfortable and familiar with these techniques so they become a natural part of their response options in any situation. Both he and Carpenter said reaching for your gun should be a last resort, not a first choice.
When asked about the ongoing discussion today about police use of force and efforts at reform, they both agreed that providing hand-to-hand training could provide an alternative in many situations.
Pulling out a gun or taser should be the last things you do, said Smith. He wants officers to be comfortable in their personal space and even able to use that space to their advantage. While it won’t work in every situation, he said, the right training can lead to much better and safer decisions.
Carpenter agreed, "The stakes can be very high...anytime you mix with someone under stress, it could go bad in several ways." With training you are better able to respond quickly and appropriately.
As he approaches his 20th year with the department, Carpenter said he is happy that both Officer Brandon Laffin and Sergeant Derek Faught began training at the martial arts academy this past July and are quick studies. He said he is proud that Chief Kilgore and the Fort Thomas community have been supportive and forward thinking in providing this training.
Tuesday, December 1, 2020
|Weinrich Guided the Bluebirds to the Class 4A State Championship in 2014|
|FTM File Photo. A new head coach will take the sidelines for the Highlands Bluebirds football team next fall.|
|Shop local! Get takeout! Gift cards make great gifts! 1017 S. Fort Thomas Ave.|
For the 2012 state title game, Weinrich filled in as head coach after Mueller traveled to New York to attend a family funeral. Weinrich played wide receiver and defensive back as a senior on the 1989 Class AAA state championship Highlands team that beat Paducah Tilghman, 7-3 in the title game before going on to play collegiately at Campbellsville University.
|Learn more: Opticarevision.com|
Highlands had its first two losing seasons since 1955 at 3-8 in 2016 and 5-6 this past year, a season shortened by the COVID-19 pandemic. But Weinrich agreed the Bluebirds might have had a winning season this past year under normal circumstances.
It’s the last TWO WEEKS of the Fort Thomas Farmers Market and we are making things merry & bright! Our last two markets will be holiday markets, featuring local artisans selling their handmade goods. Our regular farmers and vendors will also be bringing additional selections to market, to take care of all of your holiday gifting and shopping needs.
As the COVID-19 pandemic persists, the need to keep our neighbors in need warm, dry and healthy is more significant than ever. The simple pleasure of having a good fitting winter coat or even a coat at all is something that many take for granted.
|Book your appointment now! OpticareVision.com|
The temperatures can get dangerously cold in our community. No one should have to weather the chilly winter season without a proper coat. St. Vincent de Paul, WLWT, Warm98 and Gold Star remain committed to continuing their annual coat drive and distribution for the 20th year. However, just like anything else in 2020, the way this support is collected and then distributed to those in need has had to adjust to reflect these turbulent times.
There is a particular need for children and plus size adult coats. Scarf It Up For Those In Need has donated additional hats, gloves/mittens and scarves again this year. Thanks to the generosity of the local community, St. Vincent de Paul Northern Kentucky distributed 2,000 donated coats to children and adults during distribution days last winter. This year’s goal is to distribute 2,200 in Northern Kentucky communities.
The annual Wreaths Across America that honors our fallen soldiers is scheduled for Saturday, December 19, 2020 in the Evergreen Cemetery. And you can help this year with your donation of time or funds.
Wreaths Across America (WWA) is the national organization that annually raises funds and places wreaths on the graves of veterans across the nation. The program started at Arlington Cemetery and has spread to Veterans' cemeteries across the nation.
|We love to build. Let us be your designer and builder. We do it all in house. 513-205-4020. Proudly based out of FORT THOMAS, 45 years in business A+ RATED|
Locally, volunteers will place wreaths in the Civil War Battery and the VA’s Soldier’s Lot at the Evergreen Cemetery in Southgate directly across from Jeff Wyler on US 27.
Wreaths will simultaneously be placed at veterans cemeteries throughout the United State on that date as part of the WAA program. They normally place hundreds of wreath each year.
Right now the group, spearheaded by Paul Whalen, is appealing for funds to buy wreaths at $15 per wreath. At this time they have enough to pay for about 106 wreaths out of 450 graves in those two locations. If you would like to contribute, checks should be made out to WAA and mailed to PO Box 22; Fort Thomas, Kentucky 41075. Notations on checks should be KYESLS.
Or you donate online at www.wreathacrossamerica.org.
Wreaths will be taken from the VFW at 9:00 A.M. to the two locations in Evergreen Cemetery. All volunteers shall wear face masks and gloves and observe social distancing.
There will be a short ceremony at 9:30 at the Soldiers Lot. The SAR Honor Guard and Representative Rachel Roberts are scheduled to speak.
Wreaths will be available "outside" the John R. Little VFW on Electric Avenue in Southgate. If you would like to volunteer, the group needs with vans and pick-ups to meet at 9:00 A.M. at the VFW for transport to the Soldier's Lot and the Civil War graves in the front of the cemetery. When observing the brief ceremony, it is suggested that everyone stand behind every other Veteran's Grave Marker.
Wreaths Across America
Saturday, December 19, 2020
Monday, November 30, 2020
|290 Clifton Avenue, Skyline Chili. |
Social media has been percolating with screenshots after creators of the longest running scripted show in TV-history "Simpsonized" some local iconic places in Sunday's broadcast of The Simpsons.
But some social media commenters were wondering which Skyline Chili location was used as inspiration from the fade out shot on the show.
Creators confirmed it was the Clifton Avenue location, found at 290 Ludlow Avenue in Cincinnati. The depiction is detailed, as you can see above.
Apparently, while doing research for the episode, The Simpson's crew scored some "sweet mail-order Skyline Chili," and when the pandemic hit, Executive Producer Matt Selman happily took it home to ride out "the end of times."
The City of Newport has launched a COVID-19 Financial Assistance Program to provide grants of up to $1,000 to assist eligible businesses impacted by the pandemic.
|Orangetheory Fitness. Located at Newport Pavilion. |
The City is also working with local restaurants on options to expand outdoor dining. Restaurants interested in doing so should contact Bev Holiday at email@example.com, for more information.
The financial assistance is being offered on first come, first serve basis until the funding is fully committed. More information on the program and an application can be found on the city's website.
Sweet Tooth Candy & Ice Cream has announced that it has been acquired by another Newport restaurant stalwart.
In a Facebook post, Sweet Tooth Candy & Ice Cream announced that is now owned by Joe Bristow and Larry Geiger, operators of Pompilio's Italian Restaurant.
|Barre3 Fort Thomas. Located in the Fort Thomas Plaza.|
"If you have been a Sweet Tooth customer for a while, and many of you have, you may have heard that Bob and Norma Schneider were considering selling the business. We are very excited to announce that Joe Bristow and Larry Geiger, owners of Pompilios Italian Restaurant, have been working with Bob and Norma to purchase Sweet Tooth. You may notice updates to the Sweet Tooth logo and a fresh coat of paint at the store but we are happy to announce that Bob will still be making all of the delicious candy and ice cream that you know and love."
Sweet Tooth's former owners, Bob and Norma Schneider - not to be confused with Schneider's Sweet Shop in Bellevue - had previously announced that they were "working toward retirement."
The shop, located on 11th Street in Newport, has been open since 1972.
The new owners will keep the popular candy and ice cream recipes that their fans are used to.
The Kentucky Transportation Cabinet District 6 snow and ice removal crews will report to duty this afternoon at 3 p.m. for the first winter weather event for the Northern Kentucky area.
KYTC has been monitoring this first threat of precipitation. Some counties have been spot treating areas as needed. The National Weather Service advises rain and snow mix is expected to change over to snow this afternoon and continue overnight with a possible accumulation of 1-2 inches.
D 6 Snowfighters will mobilize ahead of the evening rush hour to treat state roads and interstates. Crews will especially focus on bridges, overpasses and higher elevated roadways that would be more prone to freezing. Dropping temperatures during the overnight hours may create the potential for slick spots on the Tuesday morning commute.
Saturday, November 28, 2020
|Colonels Score 28 Straight to Pull Away in Second Half|
|Twitter Photo. The Highlands Bluebirds football team lost 38-21 at Covington Catholic in the second round of the Class 5A playoffs Friday.|
Editor Note: There will be no video highlights for this game.
"That was definitely a good feeling," said Brian Weinrich, Highlands Head Coach. "We worked hard to put ourselves in that position. It was a great play by Charlie on fourth down."
|Located at 18 N. Fort Thomas Avenue. Gift cards available! Shop local!|
"There was no wearing down. (CovCath) found a groove offensively," Weinrich said. "We could never win field position. Their kickoff team did a good job when they did score putting it down in the end zone, putting us on the 20 and made it difficult to drive the field every time."
Thursday, November 26, 2020
|Newport Central Catholic, FTM file.|
A federal judge has struck down a portion of Governor Andy Beshear's executive order requiring private as well as public schools to halt in-person classes until December 7 for elementary schools and January 4 for middle and high schools.
"There is ample scientific evidence that COVID-19 is exceptionally contagious," the judge wrote in his opinion. "But evidence that the risk of contagion is heightened in a religious setting any more than a secular setting, or in K-12 schools as opposed to preschools, universities or colleges is lacking.”
He went on to write that the Governor, nor Commissioner for Public Health, Dr. Steven Stack haven't made an adequate case to close in-person schools.