Monday, January 23, 2017

OPINION: Women's March a Rallying Cry for Equality and Change

Fort Thomas residents attended Saturday's Women's March on Washington and Cincinnati. Photo by Dana Godsey.

On Saturday more than a million women and men gathered around the world to participate in what’s being hailed as the largest peaceful protest march in United States history. Fort Thomas was represented, both in Washington and Cincinnati.

Friday morning, I piled into a minivan along with my mom, mother-in-law (who lives in Reisterstown, Md., and first invited me) and dear friends, several of whom also live in Fort Thomas. Together our ages ranged from 17 to 63.

Many folks from Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky attended, with at least 66 attending the Women’s March of Cincinnati and at least 24 attending the Women's March of Washington from First Unitarian Church of Cincinnati (which I attend) alone.

Our small group drove through Ohio, West Virginia, Pennsylvania and into Maryland passing by many other similarly filled cars, vans and busses. We woke up at 5 a.m. Saturday morning and my father-in-law drove us an hour away to Washington’s Shady Grove Metro stop and dropped us off. Already the station was buzzing.

We got off at Union Station and there you could begin to see the sacrifices so many made to attend. People were bleary-eyed, having traveled all night—some were trying to catch some sleep in the station.

From left to right: Dana Godsey, Jill Uhl, Kristin Zeit, Kara Gebhart Uhl, Angel Beets, Danine Gebhart and Jana Albritton.
Women's March on Washington.

We walked outside and began to make our way to the rally. It was busy, but not yet packed, and we waited almost two hours for the rally to begin. We thought we were somewhat close to the stage only to learn later it was simply a large screen—the actual stage was farther away and between us, a sea of people. Speakers included Gloria Steinem, Janelle Monae, Ashley Judd, America Ferrera, Michael Moore, Scarlett Johannsson and March organizers—some of whom had never been involved in such a movement before, one, a mother with a baby strapped to her chest during her speech.


We couldn’t hear the speeches, and we only caught glimpses of the screen. But this was OK. Because this meant hundreds of thousands of women and men showed up to support the March’s mission to “stand together in solidarity with our partners and children for the protection of our rights, our safety, our health, and our families—recognizing that our vibrant and diverse communities are the strength of our country.”

Some say this wasn’t a march for all women. It wasn’t. Its mission and vision was unequivocally progressive, yet diverse. I was surrounded by hundreds of thousands of people there to support and defend not just women’s rights but those who are marginalized, science, the environment, reproductive rights and religious freedom. And we welcomed each other with words of solidarity, cheers and song.

While the crowd chanted “black lives matter!” a line of elderly black women wove through the crowd, trying to reach a new destination. Tears ran down their faces. When my friend told me about this I wondered, What injustices have these women experienced throughout their lives? To hear hundreds of thousands of people from all backgrounds chant their support—how moving, how needed, how important.

March on Washington, with Gloria Steinem speaking at the rally. Photo by Danine Gebhart.

Some say the Women's March was too diverse, with no real focus. Its focus? Women. Women, while juggling work, family, home, friends and life, pulled together a worldwide movement in a matter of months that brought together so many people working so hard to support so many causes. 

Fort Thomas residents Amy and Brandon Bottomley also attend the Women's March on Washington.

And the result was near-perfect. The numbers in Washington more than doubled expectations. Chicago held a rally and then canceled its Women's March because the streets became too congested. More than 750,000 people flooded the streets in L.A. In Bethel, Alaska, protesters marched in -25° weather. And yet, everywhere, it was peaceful.

Bathroom lines at the Women's March on Washington.
The Women’s March in Washington didn’t yield a single arrest. I watched as people either held onto their trash or threw it away appropriately, in bins. We waited for more than hour to use the bathroom and the lines were long, but civil. When the crowds became too much, we made room for protestors who needed air, who needed to move back, who needed a hand up. People offered sandwiches and handmade buttons and signs to each other. We talked to each other. We sang “This Land Is Your Land” and “Stand By Me.” We chanted. We cried. We cheered. And we vowed to abide by the March’s mission to “work peacefully while recognizing there is no true peace without justice and equity for all.”

Fort Thomas resident Lucia Todd marched with three generations, including her mother-in-law and children. Photo provided by Lucia Todd.

Fort Thomas residents Lucia and Peter Todd attended the Washington March with their children, Will (11) and Eleanor (13). They marched with a group that represented three generations and three states—Maine, Maryland and Kentucky, and they wore T-shirts representing Grandmothers for Reproductive Rights, a grassroots organization in Maine of which Peter’s mother is an active member.

Women's March on Washington. Photo provided by Lucia Todd.
Fort Thomas resident Peter Todd. Photo provided by Lucia Todd.

Fort Thomas resident Will Todd (11). Photo provided by Lucia Todd.

“We had to march a long time to get to the rally, which was a positive experience,” Lucia Todd says. “So when it was clear that the march route was already full of people who had gathered, we were OK with it.” She added that everything was orderly and calm.

Fort Thomas resident Kelly Jones on the way to the Women's March on Washington with her mother and aunt. Photo provided by Kelly Jones.

Fort Thomas resident Kelly Jones marched in Washington with her mother and her husband’s 74-year-old aunt. “I could not sit back and watch our country be led by a man who does not respect women, people with disabilities, members of the LGBT community, people of color, immigrants and well, the list of American citizens he has disrespected is too long to list,” she says. “However, this march was about more than simply not agreeing with Donald Trump. This march was about protecting federal rights and human rights of all Americans. I am particularly interested in protecting my children’s access to an equal opportunity for public education. The appointments of Ms. Devos and Senator Sessions concern me, especially as a mother of a child with special needs. Repealing ACA and women’s access to health care concern me greatly. I also worry about all of my LGBT friends and my friends of color. As Americans we need to learn how to love our neighbors well and not just vote with our own interests in mind. So I marched for neighbors, near and far, who could not attend because of financial, childcare or other reasons. I never once took my privilege of attending the march for granted.”

Women's March on Washington.

Jones says she was inspired and awed by the number of Americans who showed up to exercise their democratic rights to express dissent. “As we drove into Washington, D.C., we passed hundreds of cars of fellow marchers,” she says. “We even passed a fellow Fort Thomas Bluebird School mom on the interstate. At a rest stop, I inquired of the 20 or so women in the restroom who was marching and the entire bathroom erupted into cheers.”

Protest signs cover the fence in front of the White House. Photo provided by Kelly Jones.

One of Jones’s favorite parts of the march was when she reached the lawn in front of the White House and saw all the marchers’ signs displayed along the fence. “The messages of unity, solidarity and love for our country overwhelmed me,” she says. “Not to mention the incredible wit and intelligence of my fellow marchers left me humbled to stand alongside such smart and thoughtful women, men and children.”

Kelly Jones says the March in Washington was incredibly polite. Photo provided by Kelly Jones.

Jones is an experienced marcher. “I protested Trump’s victory tour stop in Cincinnati,” she says. “I attended alone, and I have to admit that I was on-guard in fear of potential outbreaks of violence. However, the atmosphere of the Women’s March was something I have never experienced before even though I have marched for gun control with Million Mom, environmental issues regarding the safe disposal of nerve agents in Kentucky, and the removal of the confederate flag from the Capitol building in South Carolina. Everyone cared for one another, sharing snacks, personal space and water. I have never heard more polite manners used in any setting with a crowd of people—and I frequent Bruce Springsteen concerts. People made way for wheelchairs and strollers so to include everyone who wanted to be part of the historic day.”

Women's March in Cincinnati. Photo by Melissa Reed.

Fort Thomas resident Melissa Reed attended the Cincinnati Women’s March, and says she witnessed people of all ages, sizes, races, men, women, families and children. “I don’t think anyone was prepared for just how many people would attend the event, and that was obvious when we poured into and shut the streets down ourselves,” she says. “Police officers were all friendly, especially one female officer who was smiling and blowing her whistle to a happy little tune, cheering us on. There was so much love and kindness around us—it didn’t really feel like a protest as much as it felt like a gathering of love and support. Lots of hope. There were older ladies in pink pussyhats that I just wanted to hug, kids with simple signs about love, reminding us who and what we are really marching for and that the next generations are watching.”

Women's March in Cincinnati. Photo by Melissa Reed.
Women's March in Cincinnati. Photo by Melissa Reed.

Reed adds that she’s proud to have stood up for what she believes in a peaceful, hopeful, positive way along with millions of others across the world. “I will not be silent,” she says. “I will make my voice be heard for myself, for my children, for our community and our future. The march has inspired me—to do more, say more, and act out against hatred and discrimination, and to help make a difference. And above all, to show my children—my daughters—that we are women and we are equal and we will not go down without a (peaceful) fight. I am so honored to have been a part of the largest, and I’m guessing least violent, protest in the history of the United States. Even my son is impressed and proud of his mom for that.”

Women's March in Cincinnati. Photo provided by Mary Lou Keller.

Women's March in Cincinnati. Photo provided by Mary Lou Keller.

Women's March in Cincinnati. Photo provided by Mary Lou Keller.

Women's March in Cincinnati. Photo provided by Mary Lou Keller.

Fort Thomas residents Mary Lou and Chuck Keller also attended the Women’s March in Cincinnati, and echoed Reed’s sentiments that it was peaceful and positive. “I had never participated in anything like this and I came away feeling empowered and inspired after seeing so many people, not just women, families with young children,” Mary Lou Keller says. “It made quite a statement.”

Cincinnati Women's March. Photo by Lexie Crawford.

Lexie Crawford, an 8th grader at Highlands Middle School, attended and interviewed people at the Cincinnati Women’s March, including a University of Cincinnati student, three generations of women and a woman named Irene who said, “I believe in women’s rights. We’ve been denied a lot of things in my time, and I don’t want that now. I’m glad to see everyone else standing up.”

After the rally in Washington, my crew began marching, weaving between side streets and the main route, which was packed full of people. We linked arms when crowded, not wanting to get separated as there was no cell phone service. We knew thousands had showed up but we had no idea of the magnitude of the crowd until looking at aerial shots once home.

After eight hours on our feet we got back on the Metro at Union Station. Upon arriving at Shady Grove—the end of the Red Line—we got off the Metro and listened as the physically tired yet mentally exuberant marchers erupted in cheers. The cheering continued as we rode the escalator down to see the Station Manager, who was wearing her own pink pussyhat, cheering and high-fiving all of us as we exited the station.

And that’s another thing—in addition to the millions of people who marched on Saturday there were another million-plus people who supported those marchers. There was the woman who smiled at us while mopping the floor in the Union Station bathroom. There was my husband who stayed behind in Fort Thomas with our three children, handling a birthday party drop-off and pick-up, volleyball, a pinewood derby race, soccer, a new homemade tomato sauce recipe (that, miraculously, everyone liked) and more, all while juggling unexpected calls from work. There was my friend, Kelley Gallagher, who works in Washington and instead of marching helped coordinate volunteers and welcome people from across the United States, attached to her phone the entire time. There was my father-in-law who provided transportation for us and cooked for us, and my dad who clapped for us upon our return, and my sister and brother who sent messages of support and love.

Women's March on Washington. Photo by Angel Beets.

All of these people were cheering for us at the Shady Grove station and throughout the march, if not in person, in spirit. And these collective cheers were more than celebratory. The loud noise that erupted from the Metro station as we exited was a rallying cry for what’s next, a unified voice of commitment to fight this, fix this and be heard. We all know we have much work to do to create the beautiful, ideal America we all—all—deserve in the days ahead. This march was simply the beginning. And we, in Fort Thomas, Cincinnati, Washington and around the world, are ready to dig in. 

Saturday, January 21, 2017

Another "Scary" Car Crash on Grand Avenue

Residents are fed up, scared. 
Fort Thomas residents, Susan and Matt Twehues, with their children in front of their home on Grand Avenue. Tire tracks in the background and in their front yard give a play-by-play for an accident that happened just an hour before this. FTM file. 
The tire tracks are still visible from a car crash fatality that killed a 45-year old man in September on the corner of Grand and Greenwood Avenues in Fort Thomas. The tree that he struck after hopping a curb and barreling through multiple front yards is still damaged, while neighbors are growing increasingly frustrated and nervous.

RELATED: Car Crash Fatality on Grand Avenue (September 2016)

"I pray every time I get ready to turn into my driveway from Grand Avenue that someone isn't speeding and going to hit me from behind," said Karen Hanson, who has lived in her home since 2010. "It's scary."

Campbell County YMCA. This is an advertisement. 
This afternoon a single-car accident on that same stretch of road at 2:00 p.m. added to the trend.

Sgt. Will Hunt told Fort Thomas Matters that a man traveling southbound on Grand Avenue hopped a curb, went through some front yards, cut across four lanes of traffic and ended up in an embankment in a front yard on the opposite side of the street.

FTM file. 
The man was transported to the hospital by ambulance with minor injuries and the accident is being investigated.  His car was towed from the scene. No charges have been filed yet.

FTM file. 
But nearby Grand Avenue residents Matt and Susan Twehues, who heard the accident and came outside to see grass and dirt in their front yard kicked up from the wayward vehicle, are fed up with the speeding issues.

"I grew up on Greenwood (three houses down) and I don't remember this many accidents happening in the twenty-plus years that I lived there. It's 2:00 in the afternoon and if someone was walking there they would have been killed. I'm not comfortable with having our kids be on the sidewalk in front of our home," said Susan.

Matt Twehues said they heard screeching tires and ran to see what was happening. He said he saw traffic stopped in both directions and a silver Honda Accord lodged into the embankment in his neighbor's house across the street from his home. A scene that he said is becoming too common where he lives.

"The man who was driving was incredibly apologetic," said Twehues, who said he was talking to the man along with a nurse who had stopped her vehicle on Grand Avenue. He said that she witnessed the crash and immediately rushed to his aid by taking his pulse and making sure he was cognizant. "In Fort Thomas, we are known as a community that walks and gets outside a lot, but we can't do that on this stretch. We feel like sitting targets."

The City of Fort Thomas has identified the stretch of Grand Avenue, from Highland Avenue to S. Fort Thomas Avenue, as a tract that could be a candidate for a road diet as part of their visioning process that council is currently undertaking.

RELATED: Fort Thomas Visioning Presented To City Council 

Road diets, also called a lane reduction or road rechannelization, is a technique in transportation planning whereby the number of travel lanes and effective width of the road is reduced in order to achieve systemic improvements. In Fort Thomas, this was successfully executed in the past in front of Woodfill Elementary on Alexandria Pike.

"I think a road diet is one of the only things that might make an impact on the amount and severity of these accidents. If nothing else, a parking lane could provide a barrier so that if there is a car losing control it might not go into someone's living room," said Matt.

Susan Twehues said that whether the idea is a road diet or something else, she has talked with her neighbors and they all believe they need the city's help in addressing this trend.

"We'd like to address council, but at the same time any time that I talk to anyone it kind of seems like it's not going to be worth our time to go to any council meetings," she said.

Although the crash this afternoon wasn't as serious as the crash-fatality in September, both the Twehues said the crash this afternoon was jarring.

Simply, this crash in the middle of the afternoon that they believed was due to an intoxicated driver, was the tipping point for them.

"I would hope that this accident would be a tipping point for the city to do something too," said Susan. "The response that we always get is that these accidents are caused by people who are intoxicated, so I think they are downplaying that speed is involved."

Matt echoed those sentiments.

"If this isn't the tipping point, then what is? Is it going to take someone dying who was just sitting in their living room or on their porch?"

This is an advertisement. 
More pictures below:

Friday, January 20, 2017

Cornerstone Montessori Open House | Highland Heights

Open House on Sunday, January 22nd from 1:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m.

Due to this year’s waiting list for their 3-6 year old classroom, Cornerstone is exploring the possibility of adding a second Pre-K/Kindergarten classroom for the 2017-18 school year. To learn more about the benefits of a Montessori education and why this school is in such high demand, Cornerstone Montessori in Highland Height invites you and your family visit during their Open House on Sunday, January 22nd from 1:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m.

“As a mother of three young children and a former teacher in traditional classrooms, I truly appreciate the independence and free-thinking that is fostered at Cornerstone," explains Sara Crego.  “I have watched my son flourish in the Pre-Primary classroom due to the patience and guidance of his teachers, as well as the peaceful and prepared working environment. I would recommend Cornerstone to anyone looking for a well-rounded, private education for their child.”

While most of the schools share Dr. Maria Montessori's philosophy and work to uphold the American Montessori Society's "Key Concepts and Practices," not every school is an ideal fit for every family. Schools and families are unique, just like the students they teach and strive to meet where they are as individuals. The community at Cornerstone Montessori School is a closely knit one where open communication and partnership between the school and families is highly valued. From its beginning in 1992 with only a pre-school classroom, the school gradually expanded by adding successive classrooms under the guidance of Xavier University.

At its heart, the school owes its success to its continued commitment in modeling what it means to be a responsible, kind, peaceful and hard-working citizen. Independence is fostered by providing students freedom within structured engaging learning environments, while the development of creative problem solving and critical thinking skills is nurtured, resulting in joyful learners.

Cornerstone Montessori considers itself to be the premier, best value, non-parochial private school in Northern Kentucky. It comes as no surprise that space in their classrooms is limited and highly sought after. They are currently accepting applications for the 2017-18 school year. Open Enrollment begins March 1st.

Cornerstone Montessori School was founded in 1992 and is a 501 (c-3) non-profit organization committed to educate every student in its care by providing the skills, knowledge, and values necessary for individuals to be capable and concerned participants in society.

They offer before and after care on-site as well as summer programs.

If you are unable to attend the open house and would like to schedule a private tour or learn more about the school, please call 859-497-9960.

Story Matters Part IV Recap | Video

Story Matters Part IV was held January 19, 2017 at Fort Thomas Coffee. The next event will be March 16. 
“By your stories you shall be known.” 

If you ever want to understand someone, listen to his or her stories. The same applies to Fort Thomas. If you really want to understand Fort Thomas then listen to its stories. And that motivated us at Fort Thomas Matters to create "Story Matters."

Telling stories gives structure, meaning, and purpose to the events, places, and people around us. Stories help to shape the past so we can understand our present so we can move into the future.  By tapping into the collective wisdom and experiences of the community, we make the community a better place by understanding the people in it. 

Campbell County YMCA. This is an advertisement. 
Stories create a sense of community.

Last night was the fourth installment of Story Matters, held at Fort Thomas Coffee. Crowds begin to grow, last night's event was standing room only. If you'd like to tell your tale, contact Chuck Keller or Mark Collier.

The next event is March 16 at Fort Thomas Coffee.

Last night's video was live streamed on Fort Thomas Matters Facebook page. That video is below, with speakers' bookmarks:

Ashley Tongret: 3:31
Trevor Steinhauser: 18:11
Andy Eckerle: 30:10
Zach Wells: 54:33
Mike Lehrter: 1:07:19
Dr. Sarah Eilerman-Weinel: 1:16:59

Fort Thomas Education Foundation Dance- March 4th, 2017

FTEF 2016 Dance
Tickets are now on sale for one of the best fundraiser dances of the year- the Annual Fort Thomas Education Foundation Dance.  The dance will be held on Saturday March 4 from 8-12 p.m. at the Mess Hall in Tower Park.  The featured band this year will be the popular local group, The Rusty Griswolds, who have been voted “Best of Cincinnati” nine out of the past twelve years and cover all the hits of the 1980’s!

This is an advertisement. 
Themes for this event in the past have been wide-ranging from movie characters, to black and white, to last year’s popular Saturday Night Live themed dance.  This year the theme is “March into Fort Madness”.  While costumes are expected, one can feel free to get creative with the theme (please check the April issue of The Fort Thomas Living for pictures of the best dressed- which could be you!).
FTEF 2016 Dance
Proceeds from the sale of tickets go to benefit the Fort Thomas Education Foundation (FTEF).  FTEF has managed several successful capital campaigns to benefit the Fort Thomas Schools in the construction of new, state-of-the-art facilities.  Additionally, this non-profit organization provides more than $70,000 per year in teacher grants for items such as iPads, STEM lab materials, a 3D printer, and much more.  To date, FTEF has raised more than $11,000,000 and events such as the annual dance go a long way toward that total.  In the past, this dance has raised approximately $50,000 and is followed quickly by the teacher grant process; this dance allows for more of the grant requests to get funded through the funds raised at the dance.

Mint Yoga Forms Partnership with Johnson Elementary School

Little Yogis class at Mint Yoga 
Back in October, Fort Thomas Matters announced new Yoga classes being offered at Mint Yoga Studios designed for “Little Yogis” (children).  In that story (which can be found here), a study from the publication Psychology Today was cited as evidence that the practice of Yoga can lead to direct health benefits and improved performance in children.  Additionally, these benefits had been seen in practice in numerous school systems around the country.

Thanks to Mint Yoga and their newly-formed partnership with Johnson Elementary School, the third grade students at that school will get to directly experience some of these benefits themselves.

Mint Yoga, owned by Tiffany Brennan and managed by Johnson Elementary mom Nicole Carter Schilling, was contacted in September of 2016 by Aimee Shadwell (third grade teacher at Johnson) to inquire about the cost of bringing yoga to her students.  As it turned out, Shadwell was writing a grant to test using yoga and meditation to improve executive functioning of her students.  Schilling, who fielded the question, and Mint Yoga were “on board the minute (Schilling) read the email.” Schilling went on to say, “Not only do my kids go to Johnson but I strongly believe yoga and meditation has a place in school systems.”

The Johnson PTO must have agreed with Schilling as Shadwell’s grant request was fulfilled by the PTO and scheduled for implementation beginning in January of 2017.  In her January 9 newsletter, Johnson Principal Jamee Flaherty describes the project as such, “They (the teachers) will collaborate with Mint Yoga for 30 minute sessions during the next semester to work on mindfulness techniques” and also that the “mindfulness project (knows) that the greatest impact can be discovered when addressing executive functioning skills through the use of yoga and meditation”.  Schilling believes that these classes will bring “increases (to) their (the students’) flexibility, strength, coordination, and body awareness,” as well as “mentally, (an improved) concentration and sense of calmness and relaxation.”

The third grade (70 students) will be taught in these 30-minute sessions by Maggie Rosch who formerly taught Mint Yoga Studios’ “Tween” classes.  Rosch is a certified (200RYT) and highly-qualified instructor who also trained with Mint Yoga’s “Baby and Me” instructor.  Classes will be held in the Johnson Gymnasium.

Schilling also had some direct impact on the Johnson PTO’s ability to bring these classes to the school; Schilling led the Silent Auction at the Johnson Hullabaloo (the school’s largest fundraiser) along with Amy Silverton.  The auction was able to gross enough money to fund several of the teacher grants, including this one.  Said Schilling, “We raised $18,000 (in silent auction) and now I get to help further by participating in using these funds in a way that I know will benefit our students. It’s pretty awesome.”

To find out more about Mint Yoga and the classes they offer for youths please visit their website at

Be sure to check back to FTM in the future for a follow-up story on the impact these classes have on the third graders at Johnson Elementary.  Also, if you have any great ideas to continue to improve the lives of the Fort Thomas school children, be sure to seek out your school’s PTO to knowledge-share.

Thursday, January 19, 2017

Two Restaurants Have New Plans in Campbell County

Demolition crews were at the site in Cold Spring to bring a new Cracker Barrel restaurant to the former Guys and Dolls location. Photo: Carol Shouse Duell. 
Two restaurants have submitted plans to build in Campbell County cities and while one site has begun in earnest, the other is in preliminary stages.

Demolition began yesterday at 4210 US-27 to make way for northern Kentucky's second Cracker Barrel restaurant in Cold Spring.

Orangetheory Fitness at Newport Pavilion. Mention Fort Thomas Matters and get your first class free. This is an advertisement. 
The building has previously housed many differed businesses including  Devanna's On The Lake, Guys and Dolls, Cold Spring Roadhouse, Buckskin Bev's, Frontier Cattle Company and Red River Cattle Company.

Cracker Barrel submitted plans in November, which includes plans to sell the lake to the city of Cold Spring to turn into a city park.

Demolition is slated to be completed by Friday, which a tentative opening date set for summer.

Filling a Football Schedule Opening

Highlands finds Class 5A opponent to fulfill schedule

PHOTO: Allen Ramsey, Highlands wide receiver Jared Wogan makes his move in the playoff game at Louisville Doss last season. Highlands found a 10th opponent for 2017 and 2018 in the Greenwood Gators.
Highlands Director of Athletics Matt Haskamp said the football team's search for a 10th game had its stressful moments.

The search began in the Tri-State area then expanded into the rest of Kentucky, Ohio even into Detroit and West Virginia. But the closest any team had openings in Weeks 6 (Sept. 29) or 9 (Oct. 20) next year in Ohio was Sandusky located in Northern Ohio by Lake Erie.

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

The Bachelor & Bourbon Podcast | OMEGA Processing Solutions

Click to listen to the archive. 
This episode started off with a rose ceremony. With lots of attention on Corrine. From whip cream to her sleeping through the ceremony all hot topics during the beginning of this episode.

The first group date was a dance rehearsal with the Backstreet Boys to perform and win over best dancer for Nick.

The one on one date this episode was with Vanessa. The date ended in A rose despite her getting sick during the zero gravity flight.

The last group date consisted of three Olympians rallying the girls to do funny Olympian games to win over nick.

It ended with a pool party instead of a cocktail party. Where we were left with a cliffhanger once again to who was going to go home.

NCC Inducts 17th Athletic Hall of Fame Class 
Newport Central Catholic High School is proud to announce its seventeenth class of inductees into its Athletic Hall of Fame:  Jenny Prigge Collopy ’04, Rick Goff ’68, Mike Kelly ’84, Tessy Bankemper Krebs ’87, Jack Macke ’49, and Ben Williams ’00.  Also being honored as the “Team of Distinction” is the 2005 State Champion Football Team.  

This is an advertisement. 
The induction ceremony for these men and women will occur on Saturday, February 18, 2017 in the Newport Central Catholic Gymnasium.  The evening will begin with a social hour at 6 PM followed by dinner and the induction ceremony at 7 PM.  The cost of the event is $25.00 and reservations and payment will be accepted prior to February 10 in the form of cash, check or credit card.  For more information contact the NCC School Office at (859) 292-0001.

NCCHS will be awarding the Coach Jim Connor Award to Mr. Tom Gerrein ’59.  The Coach Jim Connor Award is an award being given to Mr. Gerrein for exemplifying the ideals and traditions of Newport Central Catholic and for the excellence he has achieved in his work and his personal life.  In addition, the Fr. John Hegenauer Community Service Award will be given to Mr. John Enzweiler for his commitment to Newport Central Catholic and to the family values NCCHS strives to impart to its students.

All proceeds from the event directly support the athletic programs at Newport Central Catholic.

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Change in Head Coach at Highlands

Winkler Steps Down After Seven Seasons Leading Bluebird Soccer Team

Fort Thomas Matters File Photo. Highlands head soccer coach Matthew Winkler (right) resigned after seven seasons leading the program. In those seven seasons, Highlands went 88-55-17 with three district championships, two region crowns and two elite eight finishes in the state tournament in 2010 and 2013.
It marked the end of a great run.

But while Matthew Winkler did not rule out a possible return to coaching one day, he stepped down from the head coaching position of the Highlands Bluebirds soccer program to devote more time to family. Winkler and his wife Elizabeth have a 5-year-old son and 3-year-old daughter.

Brighton Center 80's Throwback Party | Brighton Center | Highland Country Club

Dr. Rachel Gold Ewald, Matt Ewald, Clem and Casey Fennell. FTM file. 
For the fourth year in a row, an 80s Throwback Party will be held at the Highland Country Club in Fort Thomas to benefit the Brighton Recovery Center for Women. The party will be on Saturday, February 4, 2017 at 8 p.m. Tickets are $25 for admission and includes a drink ticket, food, dancing, and free parking. There is a $30 additional upgrade fee at the door for the open bar.

RELATED: Buy tickets HERE. 

The Leftovers band is officially kicking off the 80's Throwback Party.

The band is opening up for Celebrity DJ Mark McFadden and music starts at 8 p.m. One huge night of throwback music to benefit the Brighton Recovery Center for Women. Relive dancing to the music at the Waterfront, The Conservatory, and The Glass Menagerie for one more night. Purchase your tickets NOW at

Only $25! All the proceeds of the party will be given directly to Brighton Recovery Center For Women of northern Kentucky.

Ultimate Air Shuttle (Gold Sponsor)
Bryan and Kimberly Carlisle
Greg Neal- Advanced Testing Laboratory
Doug & Cecily Fassler
Hosea Project Movers
Hofbrauhaus Newport
Fred Hamilton & Julie Klare- Hamilton Digital
Jeff Dapper- Dapper Landscape & Design
Mitch Messmer- Ft. Thomas Florist and Greenhouses
Lyndsey Longshore- Heidelberg Distributing Cincinnati
Judge Cameron Blau
Adam Blau- The Gas Hole Food Mart
Scott & Joy Layman- Putting for Parkinson’s
Dobbling, Muehlenkamp-Erschell Funeral Homes, Inc

Saturday, February 4 at 8 PM - 1 AM

Highland Country Club
931 Alexandria Pike, Fort Thomas, Kentucky 41075

BREAKING: Polished Pearl Leaving Fort Thomas

Polished Pearl, located at 118 N. Fort Thomas Ave., is moving.

Polished Pearl, which serves as a design and sampling center for high-end beaded bags and accessories handmade by survivors of sex trafficking in India, is moving.

The company, which first began selling its wares online in 2012, opened a storefront at 118 N. Fort Thomas Ave. in the spring of 2015. (You can read the story of the company's founding here.)

859-781-5777, This is an advertisement.

Local Filmmakers Choose Fort Thomas as Location of New Movie

Cast and crew of Sovereign Entertainment's Devil's Point at Louisville Fright Film Fest
 by Colin Moore

If you’re around Fort Thomas over a weekend this spring don’t be surprised if it feels like Hollywood has come to town. Local filmmakers William Chaffin and Chris Wesley have gained permission to film in Fort Thomas and plan to start filming their next feature “The Edge of Indolence” over weekends from April 21st to the end of June.

William and Chris have been making movies together for almost fifteen years. Their production company, Sovereign Entertainment, has made multiple feature films and short films in the Northern Kentucky/ Cincinnati area. They pride themselves on spending a lot of time and energy on the quality of their storytelling. Their aim is to not to break in to Hollywood, but to make “Mainstream quality movies with good storytelling and bring them into the popular realm: mainstream quality in an independent world.”

Come meet the new owner, Bianca at Barre3 Ft. Thomas and tell her FTM sent you. This is an advertisement. 
Chris wrote “The Edge of Indolence” and William will direct. The action/ comedy film tells the story of a pair of friends who reconnect in their early twenties after a few years apart. They come into possession of a suitcase and, although they don’t know what is inside, people start coming after them for it in the small town of Indolence, Ohio.

“The town seems dull and boring on the surface, that’s what the name Indolence means, but there’s a lot happening under the surface. There’s a mob element in the town and a lot of quirky and unique characters. It’s going to be a fun, action orientated movie”

Heidi Vermeil: The Accidental Artist Lands Her First Big Show

One of Heidi Vermeil's works to be displayed in Lexington.
Artist Heidi Vermeil will have her first big show this March in downtown Lexington at the John G. Irvin Art Gallery associated with Central Bank. This is an interesting turn of events because just  a few years ago she probably would have laughed at the idea. But life takes turns in unexpected ways.

“When I first started to paint I fully expected to throw them all away. It felt good to have a break from the anxiety. It was a healthy way to deal with things.  I wanted to focus on something beautiful because I felt crummy,” she says. And what caused that anxiety?

“I lost a teaching job.  I had envisioned myself teaching for the next 15 - 20 years for my career…. I was mourning the person who I thought I was going to be. I didn’t realize how much of my identity was wrapped up in my job. And the lack of security with two kids getting ready to go into college. I had no idea what that was going to look like….So when I didn’t have a classroom to pour my creative talents into I just felt so lost. And really I think I ended up using art as a form of meditation because I couldn’t think of anything else.”

But what is perceived as an ending is really just a beginning. Everything is moving forward - even if we don’t believe it. Like when that tree that falls in the forest, something new emerges from it - something new, vibrant, and exciting.  And what emerged was painting. Even though she had no formal training, she discovered that she enjoyed it. And she is good.