Thursday, November 26, 2015

Small Business Saturday - Fort Thomas, Kentucky

Tiffany Maple, Owner, Anointed Touch Massage
When I think of supporting small businesses it's more about supporting someone's dreams. The small business owners in Fort Thomas are your neighbors and your friends. We've stepped out in faith, not only to fulfill our own personal dreams, but also to provide a service that Fort Thomas didn't have before we opened our doors. We choose Fort Thomas specifically because we care about the community and the people in it. And so continuing to use the products and services that our small businesses provide communicates back the love we hope we are putting out there. It isn't just a thing you are buying, it's a relationship.

Small Business Saturday Offer: As far as specials for the day, I am for one day only giving a 10% discount on the monthly massage program as long as it is paid in full for the year. You can buy for yourself, or as a gift. And they can contact me for details on how that will work! That would save them $60 and essentially make a massage per month for the whole year cost about $45 for an hour massage!

Todd Hensel, Membership Experience Director, Campbell County YMCA

Moyer Car-Line and Access Loop Now Closed

As of Wednesday evening, November 25, Ruth Moyer Elementary's Access Loop is closed.

November 10 marked the groundbreaking ceremony for Ruth Moyer Elementary's renovation. Anyone who has gone through a home renovation knows this: No matter the outcome, there will be challenges along the way.

"In the last decade we've done an amazing job with our facilities," says Board of Education Chair Karen Allen. "These next 30 months are going to be challenging. Not only for the students and staff, but for our neighbors and community. It's going to require us to have a lot of patience, but in the long run it's really going to pay off." 

Yesterday marked the first challenge: The closing of Moyer's Car-Line and Access Loop.

Highlands-Pulaski County Preview

Highlands faces tough Pulaski County squad in 5A state semifinals

PHOTO: Allen Ramsey, Highlands senior defensive back Austin Beal watches during the Class 5A region final against Covington Catholic. Beal and the Bluebird secondary have the daunting task of containing Pulaski County junior standout wide receiver Jake Johnson in the state semifinals Friday. Johnson leads 5A with 77 catches for 1,344 yards and 22 touchdowns. Game time is 3 p.m. in Fort Thomas.
The visitors may have the better record, but the hosts have the tradition and mystique.

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

BREAKING: Fort Thomas City Councilman Accepts Leadership Role in Frankfort in Bevin Administration

Adam Meier to Join Governor-Elect, Matt Bevin's, Policy Team

Adam Meier. Provided. 
Fort Thomas City Councilman, Adam Meier, will resign his position on the Fort Thomas City Council to join the leadership team of Governor-Elect, Matt Bevin, in Frankfort.

Meier's new title, will be Deputy Chief of Staff for Policy.

"It has been my distinct pleasure to serve the people of Fort Thomas over these last 11 months.  I cannot thank the voters enough for giving me the opportunity to do so," said Meier. "Accepting this new position was not a decision I made lightly.  Although I will not be able to complete my term, I am happy with the progress that we made, and the discussions that we started. I have no doubt that these conversations will continue under the excellent leadership of Mayor Haas and the rest of council. It is certainly comforting to me knowing that the city I live in has such a high caliber Mayor, council and staff--and I was fortunate to experience this first hand."

Small Business Saturday - Fort Thomas, Kentucky

Small businesses do a lot to help our community, and, on Nov. 28, the Saturday after Thanksgiving, we’ll have an opportunity to thank them.

That’s because Nov. 28 is Small Business Saturday, the Saturday after Black Friday.

Here's what some Fort Thomas small business owners and economic leaders are saying:

Tami Root, Owner, Studio Root Skin Care:
“It’s important to support local businesses because it makes for a stronger community.  Closed store fronts aren’t a good look, they can’t bring in city and county revenue, and that isn’t good for schools or property values.  When local business thrives, they have more to donate to the community.  It’s a win/win.”

Small Business Saturday offer: I am at Fort Thomas Central from 11-2 p.m. on Saturday doing brow wows.  I have multiple gift packages available:
- $25 Package: Large Body Lotion, Large Shower Creme, Nail Brush, Nail Buffing Block, $15 Gift Card.
- $50 package:  Vitamin Wash, Rosewater toner, Small Body Lotion, Small Shower Creme, $30 Gift Card
- $100 package:  Small Vitamin Wash, Primer, Glycoic Retexturinzing Serum, Calming Serum, $60 Gift Card.
- Buy 5 gift cards, get 1 free.

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Highlands on National Advanced Placement Honor Roll

FTM file. 
Six Kentucky public school districts have been named to the 6th Annual Advanced Placement (AP) Honor Roll, the College Board has announced, including Highlands.

The districts are among 425 public and private districts in the United States and Canada that have shown a commitment to expanding access to AP coursework while also improving student performance.

The Kentucky public school districts recognized include:

Support Local Organizations on #GivingTuesday

The countdown to turkey time is on, and so is the official beginning to the holiday season. Since Thanksgiving has now become synonymous with consumerism, many of us are anxious to dig into those Black Friday deals. In recent years, Thanksgiving shopping has transformed into a days-long marathon of themed shopping days packed with special discounts. One of these days, however, was created to give back to your community.

Tuesday, December 1, 2015 is Giving Tuesday, which encourages people to donate their time and resources to civic organizations and nonprofits. Giving Tuesday is an opportunity for people to help support their communities.

Thanksgiving Is the Peak Day for Cooking Fires

Kentucky State Fire Marshal, NFPA urge cooks to stay in the kitchen

Leaving food on the stove to cook unattended is a recipe for disaster, says Kentucky State Fire Marshal William Swope.

According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), Thanksgiving is the peak day for home cooking fires, followed by Christmas Day and Christmas Eve. U.S. firefighters responded to roughly 1,550 home fires involving cooking equipment on Thanksgiving in 2013, 230 percent above the average number of fires per day.

"Being aware of fire safety while preparing your holiday meal can mean the difference between calling family and friends to the dinner table or calling the fire department to put out a fire," said Swope.

The state fire marshal and NFPA recommend the following cooking safety tips:

How To Save Money When Decorating Your Home

Money-Saving Tools and Tips

The lights and sights of the holiday season make everything merry and bright.

To help customers plan and manage their displays, Duke Energy offers a holiday lighting energy calculator that estimates holiday lighting costs:

“An easy way to save money during the holidays is to estimate your energy costs before decorating to incorporate budget-friendly lighting options,” said Sasha Weintraub, Duke Energy senior vice president of customer solutions. “That way you can still dazzle your friends and neighbors with your holiday decorations and save energy and money.”

Users can identify the type of lights, the number of 100-bulb strands and how many hours the lights will be used per day to estimate the energy cost per day and per month. Based on their selections, customers can receive energy-efficient tips and options.

Small Business Saturday - Fort Thomas, Kentucky

Small businesses do a lot to help our community, and, on Nov. 28, the Saturday after Thanksgiving, we’ll have an opportunity to thank them.

That’s because Nov. 28 is Small Business Saturday, the Saturday after Black Friday.

Here's what some Fort Thomas small business owners and economic leaders are saying:

Seth Cutter, Campbell County Economic Director:

In Other Words: Venn Diagrams and Where We Are From

By Chuck Keller

Okay. You meet someone for the first time. The questions are predictably the same. “What’s your name? What do you do? Where are you from?” And we answer them so easily because we are searching for some commonality.

But that last question is worth examining because where we are from reveals much about who we are and how we want to present ourselves - especially when we travel. We really are curious about how other people live.

Abby Hills, a 2010 HHS grad, is spending the year in Vietnam. So when she was asked where she was from, she didn’t know quite how to answer such a seemingly simple question.

Monday, November 23, 2015

Small Business Saturday - Fort Thomas, Kentucky

Small businesses do a lot to help our community, and, on Nov. 28, the Saturday after Thanksgiving, we’ll have an opportunity to thank them.

That’s because Nov. 28 is Small Business Saturday, the Saturday after Black Friday.

Black Friday, of course, is when families to wake early, sit in traffic, compete with other drivers for decent parking spots, jostle with crowds and stand in line to buy things probably no one asked for or really wants.

Small Business Saturday is the opposite of that. Small Business Saturday is when you shop at small, locally-owned businesses for things you simply can’t find at the mall, and instead of dealing with temporary workers who don’t know the merchandise, there’s a good chance you’ll be dealing directly with the owner who cares very much about making you happy so you’ll come back time and again throughout the year.

The campaign to “shop small” on the Saturday after Thanksgiving started in 2010 as an effort to give small businesses—many struggling to get out of the red after a long recession—a much needed shot in the arm.

Since then, it has become a powerful movement to give back to the brick-and-mortar establishments that line our Main Streets and keep our communities vibrant.

In Fort Thomas and Northern Kentucky, we talked to some local leaders and business owners about what Small Business Saturday means to their businesses:

Trey Grayson, President and CEO Northern Kentucky Chamber of Commerce:
Trey Grayson. 
"For many local businesses, especially in the retail sector, the holidays are not just the "most wonderful time of the year". They are also the most critical time of the year when it comes to ensuring a profitable year. That's why it's important to help them out during this season by shopping locally, especially but not exclusively, on Small Business Saturday."

Drew Schwegman, Owner, Northern Kentucky Action Coach:

Highlands Student Earns Perfect Score on ACT

Mark Baron and his mother, Elizabeth at the Highlands Soccer Senior Night.
Highlands High School senior Mark Baron earned a perfect score of 36 on the October ACT test. Nationally, less than one-tenth of 1% of all students who take the ACT earn a score of 36.

All high school juniors are required to take the ACT as part of the annual state assessment. However, during his junior year, Baron took the ACT three times. After scoring a 33 on both his first and second attempts, Baron purchased and completed the online ACT Prep course offered through ACT, improving his score to a very impressive 35 on his third test.

Even though Baron states he “was satisfied with a 35” and doesn’t believe “there's much difference between a 35 and a 36 besides being on your game and it being your day,” he decided to take the test again last month to improve his writing score.

A Mile of Meals: Woodfill Elementary's Kindergarten Service Learning Project

Woodfill Elementary kindergarteners celebrate Thanksgiving with a service learning project.

Spend any time in a young elementary classroom and you'll quickly learn that academia and life lessons are taught as one. Keeping one's hands to oneself is taught while sitting in a circle on the classroom rug. A lesson on kindness is made clear in the reading of a picture book. Feelings, both good and bad, are expressed through art. Generosity is made real through the donation of food.

The class that collected the most food items won a popcorn party and the pleasure of seeing their teacher dressed as a turkey.

Woodfill Elementary's kindergarten classes held their fourth annual food drive November 9-20. In addition to celebrating the upcoming holiday with colored turkey hats and Thanksgiving word books, kindergarteners took charge of advertising their service learning project to the entire school, asking students to donate canned fruits, vegetables and meats, as well as boxes of pasta, pasta sauce, and macaroni and cheese.

A total of 1,244 food items were collected. The kindergarten class who brought in the most food got to see their teacher dressed like a turkey November 20. Rhonda Gardner greeted her students in full turkey regalia, gobbling to her students' delight.

Saturday, November 21, 2015

Bluebirds runs streak to 15 over Colonels

PHOTO: Allen Ramsey, Highlands senior wide receiver Eric Miller (15) makes a move following a catch against Covington Catholic senior defensive back Adam Piccirillo (6) in Friday's 44-22 region final win over the Colonels. Miller had seven catches for 124 yards and two touchdowns in the win.
If the Blue and White put up a string of knots on the wall inside their locker room, it would have 15 in it commemorating the dates.

Bluebird Notebook: Highlands, Pulaski County to meet in battle of defending state champions

PHOTO: Allen Ramsey, Highlands senior center Evan Richardson (74) goes for a block in Friday's game against Covington Catholic. The Bluebirds beat the Colonels for the 15th straight time, 44-22.
PHOTO: Allen Ramsey, Highlands senior linebacker Jared Dougherty (10) celebrates after recovering a fumble against Covington Catholic. Dougherty recovered two fumbles and scored 14 points in the Highlands win. Dougherty extended his Highlands and Northern Kentucky record of career point-after touchdowns to 203 good for fifth in Kentucky history.
Once the Highlands Bluebirds walked off the field at LT Houchens Stadium at Western Kentucky University last December with their state-record 23rd state championship, this Class 5A state semifinal match-up of defending state champions loomed as a huge possibility.

Friday, November 20, 2015

Omega Processing Investing in Students' Sound Financial Savvy

OMEGA Processing Solutions' support bolsters Newport Central Catholic's personal finance education initiative

"Thrive n Shine" is a online gaming app that helps to reinforce NCC's commitment to sharing in the education of the whole person
Students in the newly required Personal Finance class at Newport Central Catholic (NCC) were surprised to learn of their homework ‒ playing an online game. Through an innovative partnership with locally based OMEGA Processing Solutions, NCC students are being immersed into an online world of financial decision making via Thrive 'n' Shine, a cutting edge gaming app.

Former Federal Reserve Chief Alan Greenspan has stated, "The number one problem in today's generation and economy is the lack of financial literacy."

Studies show that students who take a class in personal finance are more likely to engage in financially responsible behaviors, including saving, budgeting and investing money. Recognizing this compelling educational need, NCC recently decided to require all students to take a personal finance class during their high school careers.

The current generation of high school students has been raised on computer screens and the Internet. As a result, it has been found that gaming provides an excellent alternative to traditional learning activities whereby learners can engage in subject matter in a fun and competitive way. In developing their personal finance course curriculum, NCC educators recognized the value of incorporating gaming as a way of reinforcing basic financial principles learned within the class.

Enter a serendipitous series of events that resulted in the introduction and connection of OMEGA Processing Solutions CEO Scott Anderson, NCC Principal Jason Huther and MindBlown Labs Co-founder Ty Moore.

Moyer Santa House 2015

Are you following FTM on Instagram? @FtThomasMatters.
Final warning, Moyer Santa House is this weekend at the Armory.

Knock out some of your holiday shopping (and support a local school) at the Silent Auction--over 80 items this year!  Bidding ends at 2:30pm this Saturday.

Santa House: Friday, 11/20, 6 p.m.-9 p.m. and Saturday, 11/21, 10 a.m.- 3 p.m. @ the Armory.

Just a few of the items/packages up for grabs:
-Cleveland Weekend Getaway Package: 2 Ultimate Air Shuttle tickets (RT Cincinnati/Cleveland) and 2 Clubseats for Cavs game
-Disney one day hopper pass for family of four
-Evening on the Banks (night at hotel and restaurant)

The Art House: Celebrating One Year Anniversary

Celebrating One Year at The Art House - 
Saturday November 21. Noon - 3 p.m. 
The Art House directed by Parrish Monk
Over the past decade, Fort Thomas has enjoyed a renaissance of small businesses bringing with it many new business owners, restaurants, service providers, and retail.  Transforming itself from a sleepy, school-centric community into a vibrant, energetic, and business-friendly (albeit certainly still school-centric) community, Fort Thomas for the past year boasts the presence of a unique business unlike many (if any) other like it in the nation: The Art House.

Achieving its first year in business, the non-profit Art House, directed by Parrish Monk, has much to celebrate.

But if you haven't been yet, know this, The Art House is not just an art gallery. It's a third place.

Thursday, November 19, 2015

FTM Radio Podcast: How Cheryl McCafferty is Getting Out of Prison Early

Download this episode (right click and save)

Via Channel 9, WCPO. 

We broke the story that Cheryl McCafferty could be getting out of prison as early as this passed Monday and that she had waived her right to a parole hearing, which was to take place on Tuesday. Link here, (paywall warning). 

This episode of FTM Radio talks about how she's been able to cut half of her time off of her sentence. 

We also talk about the deplorable nature of Joel Pett's editorial cartoon and how wrong it is to involve children in political discussions. I talk about a similar personal incident that happened to me.

Ryan Salzman Set To Install 15 Little Libraries By December 1

Ryan Salzman, local Little Library Enthusiast, wants to install YOUR Little Libraries by Dec 1.

Ryan Salzman has many titles. Assistant Professor of political science at Northern Kentucky University. Member of Bellevue's City Council. Little Library Enthusiast.

In May we talked about the 40 little libraries set to spring up in Fort Thomas, Southgate, Bellevue, Dayton and Newport. All 40 were purchased, but many purchasers have yet to install their Libraries. Determined to make these Little Libraries available to the public, Salzman has made a promise to install two Libraries for people who have purchased one Thanksgiving weekend, and 13 more by December 1.

What's required of you? Simply email him.

Highlands-CovCath Playoff Preview

Bluebirds search for 33rd region crown in program history

PHOTO: Allen Ramsey, Highlands running back Jared Pulsfort (3) looks to break a tackle in Friday's win over Dixie Heights. Highlands has rushed for a combined 722 yards in two playoff wins.
In a season filled with unfamiliarity for both football teams, one familiar thing is a fifth straight region championship meeting.