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Saturday, September 19, 2020

Highlands-Ryle Video Highlights


Highlands-Ryle Game Story

Highlands Pulls Off Road Victory

PHOTO: Ed Harber. Highlands senior defensive lineman Vance Morrow (50) wraps up Ryle senior running back Mathias Cusick (2) while sophomore linebacker Sam Robinson (52) closes in. Morrow and Robinson penetrated the Ryle backfield a lot in the 23-14 Highlands victory. Morrow had a safety late in the game to make the final score.

It's a thing of beauty watching the read-option offense come together for the Highlands Bluebirds football team.

It has allowed the Bluebirds to go on long and sustained drives out of the shotgun spread offense. Even if they don't score points, they won the field position giving great opportunities for the 3-5 Highlands defense.

Highlands has had its most success with sophomore quarterback Charlie Noon keeping the ball through two games. Noon had 166 yards rushing on 27 carries and two touchdowns for an average of just under 6.14 yards per carry to lead the Bluebirds to a 23-14 non-district road win over the Ryle Raiders on Friday. Both teams are 1-1 on the season.

"When you run it right and the offensive (linemen) block like they did, it turns into big gains and can flip the tide of the game," Noon said. "That's what it did (Friday). We have to stick by our guys and keep building them up."

Friday, September 18, 2020

Beverly Hills Fire Group Files Lawsuit, "Blindsides" City of Southgate

A group of Beverly Hills Supper Club fire victims and their supporters have filed suit against the developers, city and county officials to stop development at the site.

by Robin Gee, city council beat editor

City officials in Southgate said they were "blindsided" by the announcement last night that members of a group of victims of the 1977 Beverly Hills Supper Club fire and their supporters have filed a lawsuit against the city and a developer planning to build a mixed-use project on the site where the supper club once stood.

The city issued a statement that read, in part, "The City of Southgate learned of the filing of the lawsuit challenging the Council’s decision to re-zone the property commonly known as Memorial Point only late last night. The City did not receive service of the lawsuit, nor even a courtesy copy of it, and only learned of the lawsuit itself through the press conference that the plaintiffs and their attorney unilaterally engineered."

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A statement by the developer, Ashley Builders Group, echoes the concerns of the city, stating they have been working with a group representing fire victims, as well as former Southgate officials, residents and first responders who were on the scene of the fire. 

The proposed development

In August, the city accepted a recommendation by the Campbell County Planning and Zoning Commission to approve a zone change for the $65 million development, known as the Memorial Point Project. The project involves about 78 acres, which includes the site of the former Beverly Hills Supper Club where a 1977 fire took the lives of 165 people. 

The project includes an assisted living center, a high-end luxury apartment community and a mix of single-family homes and smaller cottages. Also included are plans for two memorials to the fire victims — a permanent public memorial built at the base of the property near the intersection of Cannon Ridge and US 27, and a park on the actual site of the former club at the top of the hill.

The memorial at the top of the hill would be in a private park belonging to the project homeowners association. Some of the victims and their families and supporters objected to this part of the project in particular stating that they should not have to secure permission to visit the site where their loved ones perished. 

Two different views of agreements on the project


At a meeting to approve a zone change, some wore "Respect the Dead" tshirts to draw attention to their concerns over a proposed development on the site of the 1977 fire.

In their statement, the developers said they have been in contact with and working closely with members of the community who were fire victims to come to agreement with this most controversial portion of the project. Since its initial proposal, the developers have agreed to construct a fountain near where it is believed the Cabaret Room of the supper club stood, and provide access to the site on the anniversary of the fire. Still, the park would remain under the homeowners’ association control, and visitors would need to secure permission to visit at other times. 

A nonprofit group, Beverly Hills Supper Club, Respect the Dead, LLC, filed the suit against the Campbell County and Municipal Planning and Zoning Commission, the city of Southgate and Ashley Commercial Group to appeal the conditional use permit and the decision by the planning commission to grant a change in zoning for the property that would allow the project to move forward.

Thursday, September 17, 2020

Campbell County Library Announces October 2020 Programming

Campbell County Library Announces October 2020 Programming

The Campbell County Library has released information on its upcoming programming for October which includes some in-person events as well as some virtual events.

If you haven't been to an event, you have three locations to choose from! There are three library locations in Campbell County;

- Cold Spring Branch (3920 Alexandria Pike)
- Carrico/ Fort Thomas Branch (1000 Highland Avenue)
- Newport Branch (901 E. Sixth Street)

To learn more about any of these programs, visit


In-Person Programs

Library Drive-In: ‘80s Throwback Double Feature 
Friday, Oct. 9 @ 7:30 p.m.

The Campbell County Public Library is proud to present a double feature drive-in movie around the side of their Newport Branch location. The first showing, Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure, will begin around 7:30 pm and be followed by Labyrinth. Limited spots available.

Curbside Trick or Treat!Saturday, Oct. 17 from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.

Visit the Cold Spring, Carrico/Fort Thomas and Newport branches for curbside trick-or-treat. (Rain date is Oct. 24.) If patrons do not drive, it is okay to walk, just be mindful of traffic and social distancing.

Zoom Programs

Register for these online programs at Registrants will receive an email with the login information on the day of the program. These are live events only offered at the time and date listed. 

You are not required to have a Zoom account to join.

Book Discussions via Zoom

You’ve Been Booked
Monday, Oct. 5 from 7 p.m. to 8:45 pm 

The Belles by Dhonielle Clayton. Register to receive the link. Open to both teens and adults.

In Their Own Words Book ClubTuesday, Oct. 6 @ 6:30 p.m.

No One is Coming to Save Us by Stephanie Powell Watts. Register to receive the link. This book club is inspired by the #OwnVoices idea in YA literature.
Online Book ClubTuesday, Oct. 6 @ 7 p.m.

The Boy at the Keyhole by Stephen Giles. Register to receive the link. New members welcome.

Brown Bag Book ClubWednesday, Oct. 7 @ 12 p.m.

The Book Woman of Troublesome Creek by Kim Richardson. Register to receive the link. New members welcome.

Fab Five and their Fabulous BooksThursday, Oct. 8 @ 6 p.m.

Naturally Tan by Tan France is the second of a Zoom series of book talks from the Netflix show Queer Eye’s “Fab Five” members. Series thanks to the support of ArtsWave. Adults.

Coffee & Conversation
Tuesday, Oct. 13 @ 2 p.m.

The Wonder by Emma Donoghue. Register to receive the link.

Cup of Crime Book ClubWednesday, Oct. 14 @ 7 p.m.

The Last Mrs. Parrish by Liv Constantine. Register to receive the link.

Tuesday Book ClubTuesday, Oct. 20 from 10 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.

The Haunting of Hill House by Shirley Jackson. Register to receive the link. New members welcome.

Young Adults for Grown AdultsTuesday, Oct. 20 @ 7 p.m.

Girl Made of Stars by Ashley Herring Blake. Register to receive the link.

Real Men ReadThursday, Oct. 22 from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m.

Circe by Madeline Miller. Register to receive the link.

Coming to America: Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
Wednesday, Oct. 28 @ 6 p.m.

Explore themes of immigration to America. Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie. This program is made possible by the Yiddish Book Center. Register to receive the link.

Zoom Programs for Adults

Homeschool Hangout Planning MeetingWednesday, Oct. 7 @ 2 p.m.

Virtual meet-up for homeschooling parents to discuss the school year and generate ideas about how the library can be of support. Register for the link.

So You Need Help Navigating Community ResourcesWednesday, Oct. 7 @ 6 p.m.

Joined by community partners from the Brighton Center, this discussion covers where patrons can look for help when facing difficulty paying utilities, finding or keeping housing, seeking addiction treatment and more.

Yoga & Meditation with Phoenix WilsonTuesdays, Oct. 13 & Oct. 27 @ 7 p.m.

Join this on-going class for a clear mind and invigorated body. Register to receive the link.

So You Need Help Finding Mental Health CareWednesday, Oct. 14 @ 6 p.m.

Campbell County Public Library will be joined by Holly Hill Child and Family Solutions, North Key Community Care and Family Nurturing Center to discuss how to find mental health care.

Remote Learning Parent Support GroupFriday, Oct. 16 @ 6 p.m.

Meet other parents who are teaching their children via non-traditional instruction (NTI) this year.

So You need Help Finding a JobWednesday, Oct. 21 @ 6 p.m.

Alongside community partners from the Brighton Center, we will discuss where to look for a job, how to apply, write a resume and navigate the other logistics of finding work.

Halloween Trivia NightThursday, Oct. 29 @ 7 p.m.

Patrons will get the chance to show off their knowledge of all things Halloween.

NaNoWriMo Preparation GroupFriday, Oct. 30 @ 6 p.m.

NaNoWriMo stands for National Novel Writing Month and is an event where writers begin a fresh novel in the month of November and try their hardest to get 50,000 words in 30 days. Join the library to discuss tips and tricks on how to prepare. Register to receive the link.

Zoom Programs for Teens

Tween Book ClubFriday, Oct. 9 @ 4 p.m.

The BFG by Roald Dahl. Register to receive the link and receive a free copy of the book to keep. Ages 8-14.

Teen Writing GroupThursday, Oct. 15 @ 5 p.m. to 7 p.m.

No matter the genre, patrons can share their writing and receive constructive criticism from the group. Register to receive the link.

Virtual Teen Hangout
Monday, Oct. 19 @ 5 p.m.

Drop into this virtual teen hangout to chat with library friends. Register to receive the link. Ages 11-19.

Virtual Tween HangoutFriday, Oct. 23 @ 4 p.m.

Drop into this virtual tween hangout to chat with library friends. Register to receive the link. Ages 8-14.

How to Make a Graphic Novel with Debbie Ridpath OhiSaturday, Oct. 24 @ 10 a.m.

Award-winning author-illustrator Debbie Ridpath Ohi will lend her expertise to guide patrons through how to create their own graphic novel. Register to receive the link. All ages.

Make Your Own Stickers!Monday, Oct. 26 from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m.

Participants will get the chance to create their own sticker using a black and white thermal printer. Following the event, at least one sticker will be available for pick-up at the Cold Spring Branch. Register to receive the link.

Zoom Programs for Children and Families

Cool Critters OutreachWednesday, Oct. 7 @ 11 a.m.

Get an up close look at the fascinating world of snakes, lizards, dragons, spiders and more during this interactive and educational activity. Register for link.

Thursday Morning with Miss NinaThursday, Oct. 8 @ 10 a.m.

Read a book and present learning activities to engage your child and help them develop important literacy skills. Ages 2-5. Register to receive the link.

Puppy TalesSaturday, Oct. 10 from 2 p.m. to 3:30 p.m.

Read a story or two to a specially trained therapy dog via Zoom. Sessions will be 15 minutes. Library staff will contact patrons after they register to schedule a specific time.

The Cincinnati Museum Center Presents: BatsWednesday, Oct. 14 @ 4 p.m.

Learn about these truly amazing yet misunderstood animals through a slide presentation, game, artifacts and more. Register for the link.

Thursday Morning with Miss Jennifer
Thursday, Oct. 15 @ 10 a.m.

Read a book and present learning activities to engage your child and help them develop important literacy skills. Ages 2-5. Register to receive the link.

Thursday Morning with Miss BrittanyThursday, Oct. 22 @ 10 a.m.

Read a book and present learning activities to engage your child and help them develop important literacy skills. Ages 2-5. Register to receive the link.

Thursday Morning with Miss MollyThursday, Oct. 29 @ 10 a.m.

Read a book and present learning activities to engage your child and help them develop important literacy skills. Ages 2-5. Register to receive the link.

Play Online

Register at to receive instructions on how to attend these online programs.

CCPL Roblox ClubSaturdays, Oct. 3, 10, 17, 24 & 31 @ 4 p.m.

Each week, the club plays a different Roblox game on private servers hosted by the library. Register with an email address to receive a copy of the rules and a link to the server. Ages 8-14.

Minecraft Club OnlineMonday, Oct. 12 from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m.

Patrons can play Minecraft from the comfort of their own home through the library’s server. For the server IP or questions, email Ages 8-14.

YouTube Programs

Go to and type campbellkylib in the search bar to watch these online programs. New videos are available at the time and date of the program.

YouTube Programs for Adults

Tech Tutorial: Learning Express Library — Job and Career AcceleratorThursday, Oct. 1 @ 6 p.m.

Join the Campbell County Public Library for this tutorial to learn about Learning Express Library. The event will cover the Resume Builder and Find a Career Match tool.

Kentucky OutdoorsFridays, Oct. 9, 16, 23 & 30 @ 6 p.m.

The Kentucky Environmental Education Center will teach patrons more about the state’s incredible surroundings in this YouTube Series. Each week’s video will feature a different topic.

Halloween Pumpkin Carving ChallengeFriday, Oct. 16 @ 12 p.m.

Librarians from the Cold Spring, Carrico/Fort Thomas and Newport branches will face off to create the best pumpkin carving. The comments on the video will decide who will win the Jack O’ Lantern Trophy for their branch.

YouTube Programs for Teens

Tween Scene: Learning the Kalimba
Friday, Oct. 2 @ 4 p.m.

This month's video will center around the kalimba, also known as the African Thumb Piano. The event will offer history and beginner tips for trying out the instrument. Ages 8-14.

Sam’s Critter Corner!
Wednesday, Oct. 7 @ 4 p.m.

Join Sam Rouse, adult/teen programmer at the Carrico/Fort Thomas branch, for a quick lesson about one of her pets. Her guest this month will be a Blue Death Feigning Beetle.

YouTube Programs for Children and Families

Baby Time with Miss NinaTuesday, Oct. 6 @ 10 a.m.

Help us build your baby’s language skills through engaging and interactive songs. Rhymes, simple movement games and books. Ages Newborn – 2.

Baby Time with Miss JoyceTuesday, Oct. 13 @ 10 a.m.

Help us build your baby’s language skills through engaging and interactive songs. Rhymes, simple movement games and books. Ages Newborn – 2.

CCPL Reads to Their PetsFriday, Oct. 16 @ 2 p.m.

Books and pets –– what could be better? In this virtual series, the people who work at the library will read to their pets.

Baby Time with Miss Arden
Tuesday, Oct. 20 @ 10 a.m.

Help us build your baby’s language skills through engaging and interactive songs. Rhymes, simple movement games and books. Ages Newborn – 2.

Fall on the Farm
Friday, Oct. 23 @ 2 p.m.

Learn how animals change with the seasons and enjoy a farm story with Good Green Earth Farm.

Baby Time with Miss Molly
Tuesday, Oct. 27 @ 10 a.m.

Help us build your baby’s language skills through engaging and interactive songs. Rhymes, simple movement games and books. Ages Newborn – 2.

Composting 101 Drive-Through Event on September 22 & 23

Composting 101 will go over the basics of composting...and you'll get a free composting bin!

Campbell County residents can try out their composting skills next week at a special drive-through event!

The Campbell County Conservation District, in partnership with Campbell County Extension Service agent DJ Scully, has been awarded a grant by the KY division of Waste Management to promote composting within our county. 

At this drive-through event, participants will receive educational information on composting basics and a FREE Earth Machine compost bin. 

Participants will be required to provided information on the amount of food and yard wasted diverted from landfills and the amount of compost produced so we can share the results with the state. 

Supplies are limited and only available to Campbell Co. residents. There will be only one bin allowed per address. Registration required.

To register, call the Campbell County Cooperative Extension Service: 


City Partners with Local Organizations to Create Welcoming Entrance to Fort Thomas

Fort Thomas city residents, members of the Garden Club and Green Team, worked with city crews to create a beautiful and welcoming gardenscape leading into the city on Memorial Parkway

By Robin Gee, city council beat editor

City residents and visitors coming into Fort Thomas from Memorial Parkway will see a transformation has occurred at one of the three main entrances to the city. City work crews worked with volunteers from the Garden Club of Fort Thomas and the Fort Thomas Green Team to create a beautiful and welcoming gateway.

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The city provided top soil and city crews helped do ground preparation and planting, but the design of the space and the trees and other plantings were the work of and funded by Garden Club and Green Team members.
The project also had support from Kentucky State Representative Joe Fischer, who helped secure approvals to plant in the state right-of-way, and the Northern Kentucky Water District that brought a waterline under Memorial Parkway to provide water to the site.

The work of many hands

At a short city council meeting on September 14, City Administrator Ron Dill took the opportunity to thank the volunteers and city staff who worked on the project.

Dill said the city has been working with these groups of residents for several years on projects throughout the city. The Green Team, founded by Fort Thomas Garden Club members and other residents, mobilized to help direct plantings and landscaping around city signage throughout town.

Many volunteers took on the work, which was led by Alison Murphy, a volunteer and chair of the Green Team who happens to be a landscape designer and who has worked with the city on several other projects, said Dill.
The goal of the project was to create a vibrant streetscape and provide seasonal appeal with plant selections. "I am very excited for residents of Fort Thomas who walk or drive Memorial Parkway regularly to now have more nature to enjoy. My hope is that it's not only pleasant to view, but also provides shelter for birds, food for pollinators, and of course, our main goal of increasing tree canopy in our town," she said.

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An idea that grew from a special celebration

The Garden Club is celebrating its 100th anniversary this year. The Memorial Parkway Tree Planting Project concept grew out of the club's initiative known as the Centennial Tree Project, a plan to plant 100 trees around the city in honor of the centennial.
According to a recent release about the project, a committee of volunteers identified Memorial Parkway as a large area that could benefit from the addition of more trees. They approached the Green Team and the city to partner with the Garden Club.
The project actually began in 2015. "I remember when a small group of garden club members met in my kitchen to figure out how to increase the tree canopy in Fort Thomas, since reports had shown a decline over the years. The brainstorm coincided with our 100th anniversary and even though it took time, we laid the groundwork. It is gratifying to see the project come to fruition," said Lori Wendling, Garden Club member and chair of the Centennial Tree Project.

Said Dill, "Groups like the Garden Club and Green Team are key to enhancing our community. We have been coordinating efforts for decades and it’s part of what makes our town beautiful and civic involvement so strong. "

He noted that plans are still being discussed to beautify the other two main entrances to Fort Thomas — the approach near St. Elizabeth and the entrance at the south end of town on US 27.

NKU Offers Family Businesses Technology Support Through Drees Foundation Grant

Two centers within the Northern Kentucky University Haile/US Bank College of Business are behind a program designed to provide technical expertise to family businesses hit by the pandemic.

By Robin Gee

Much has been written about the plight of small businesses during the pandemic. Federal programs such as the PPP program (Paycheck Protection Program) and the CARES Act, as well as local efforts by cities to bolster area businesses, have been a lifeline for many during this time.

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Money to keep afloat is vital, but some businesses find themselves in need of other support as they are forced to adapt to a new way of doing business. The technology for moving online may be available but, for those whose interactions have been primarily face-to-face, it’s a challenge to learn how to use that technology and how to reach customers, market online and deliver goods and services.

Thanks to a new program through Northern Kentucky University (NKU), family-owned small businesses have free access to the technical expertise they need to adapt to the "new normal." The NKU Family Business Relief Program is funded by the Drees Family Foundation and operated through a partnership with two university centers within the NKU Haile/US Bank College of Business.

Taking a holistic approach

The NKU Center for Innovation & Entrepreneurship and the NKU Small Business Development Center have collaborated to create the program that provides training and guidance for family-owned businesses as they use technology-based tools and platforms to adapt, and even grow, their businesses.

Participating businesses must be family-owned, businesses in which two or more family members operate the company and the majority of control lies with the family.

Businesses also must be headquartered in one of six Northern Kentucky counties — Boone, Campbell, Gallatin, Grant, Kenton and Pendleton. The businesses must be clients of the NKU Small Business Development Center but can become a client when they apply for the program. The SBDC provides consulting services to support businesses with everything from planning to marketing to restructuring and more.

Staff and educators at both centers said they felt providing additional wrap-around services would be the best way to ensure the participants in the program had all they needed to succeed.

From triage to growth 


Catherine Glover, director of the NKU Small Business Development Center

Catherine Glover is the director of the NKU SBDC and a coach at the center. "Mid-March was when our business really started picking up...We went from an average of working with 10-12 businesses per about 45-50 a week. And many of these didn’t need coaching as much as they did access to resources...hundreds of those sessions we had since March were solely focused on COVID relief."

Small businesses came to the SBDC with questions about how to access federal aid programs such as the PPP and EIDL (Economic Injury Disaster Loans) and whether and how they could qualify.

Glover said, while the SBDC does not provide loans, she and her colleagues in the Kentucky Small Business Development Center network wanted to help. "Our goal, our hearts and our guts, we wanted to be of service to small business, and if we could be that liaison to resources that would help. All the coaches across the state, every time there was a change, we would dig in so we could understand and serve the March, April, May in particular we were in triage mode."

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While the pandemic continues to rage and take its toll on small businesses, she has seen a subtle change in how businesses are dealing with the situation. "Fast forward to June, we started seeing a transition back to people thinking innovatively, thinking about entrepreneurial opportunities...Most small business owners are continuously thinking about 'how do I do this better?' 'how do I reach this client,'" Glover said.

"So we started to see that thought process again. It went from emergency reaction, I have to survive, to we have to think again differently and we have to innovate, we have to pivot, we have to change and still stay afloat."

While many businesses are still facing severe challenges, operating at half-capacity and constantly aware of the need to meet health and safety guidelines, they are starting to reach out for more information on how to adapt and change for the time being – even to grow their business, she said.


Students provide expertise and gain experience

Zac Strobl, assistant director of the NKU Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship

The Family Business Relief Program is operated through the NKU Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship. Assistant Director Zac Strobl explained how the program works.

Students work closely with the businesses to provide technical expertise and support. Paying for web hosting or purchasing applications are a minimal expense, but when it comes to converting to or adding to your business with online options, the big cost is the labor and support involved. This is where the students come in. For the students, it offers the opportunity to gain real-world, hands-on experience in their fields of interest.

"The example I gave recently is people owning a restaurant. When they are not able to operate as they usually do, they have to switch to a carry out system. And if they are a very small business, they don’t necessarily have the resources set up to do that. With the Family Business Relief Program we have students who can set up the whole system, integrate that technology so the restaurant could sell carry out items online.  That’s an easy example and a good idea of what we can do."

He said they have six or seven students working in the program as it is just starting. They come from a wide variety of backgrounds and fields – including those studying web development, entrepreneurship, business management, marketing and accounting. Some are going into fields where they may operate their own business, such as one student who is a photography major minoring in entrepreneurship.

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The application for the program is on the NKU Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship website along with information on how to become a client of the NKU Small Business Development Center.

"On our end it’s just continuing to do what we do being a part of the picture that supports business success," said Glover.

"The hope is not only to help family-owned businesses adapt but it is indeed to grow...Things are different... I can’t imagine that mindset changing back to the way it was. That’s just not the way of progress, regardless of how you are pushed to accept or address progress yourself, you’re always looking forward, so not only to adapt but to grow is the intent here," she said.

In addition to the Family Relief program, the NKU SBDC is offering a number of business workshops online this fall. Coming up, they offer "Steps to Start a Business, Bringing Your Idea to Life" on September 23 and "Smart Start" on September 26.

For more information, check out the NKU Small Business Development website.

To apply to the Family Business Relief Program or to learn more, go to the NKU Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship website.

Highlands heads to Ryle looking for first win

Bluebirds Hit Road For First Time

Highlands junior wide receiver Isaac Surrey looks for yardage against Simon Kenton on Friday.
(Img: Ed Harber)
By G. Michael Graham

The coaching staffs at Highlands in all sports can't stress enough the importance of daily improvements.

But for the Bluebirds football team, Head Coach Brian Weinrich has been saying this team needs to do that in a more urgent manner before the next game Friday. The Bluebirds travel to Union to face the Ryle Raiders at 7 p.m.

Wednesday, September 16, 2020

Debbie Luckett's Mask Mission: Making Fun Masks for FTIS Students for In-Person Instruction

Debbie Luckett poses with some of her donated masks outside the FTIS on Wednesday morning.
(Img: FTM file)

By Jessie Eden

One Fort Thomas resident is doing her part to make sure Fort Thomas Independent School students have access to the masks they need to return to in-person instruction. On Wednesday, she graciously donated 175 cotton masks to Dr. Karen Chester with FTIS.

Making Masks That Work

Debbie Luckett has been making hundreds of handmade, cotton masks since April. What initially started as an effort to provide for health care workers in need of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) has now turned into a mission.

With her background in healthcare at Tri-Health and her husband's job in a Covid unit at St. Elizabeth Fort Thomas, Debbie quickly realized that the need for masks that properly served the medical community's needs during the Covid-19 pandemic was very real. "In the beginning, the pattern was changing and I work at Tri-Health and I was watching a video with the Chief Officer panicking about PPE and asking the community to make masks. They even released an approved mask design and then I found another design from St. E. I combined the two of them to create something that the medical community could really use and that sealed up properly. It was important to me to find a design that actually worked for them."

The masks feature three layers of cotton, per St. Elizabeth's recommendations.

Debbie says that creating the masks has been good process for her. "It's been therapeutic for me. I have a nursing background and my husband is a respiratory therapist and initially, the medical community is who I started making them for...but I couldn't even keep up with orders in April and May. Then, by June, it was more of the public looking for masks because they were mandated, I believe. The process has evolved since the purpose is different. I just felt like it was a good cause and it was needed. I felt kind of bad knowing I was a seamstress and not making masks...but I hadn't had my sewing machine out in 15 years, I thought I'd be doing this for a couple weeks in April. Now it's September and we're still in need. It's been interesting!"

The Evolution of the Mask Design

In those early days in April, Debbie was getting nearly 60 orders for masks as her design kept evolving. "Early on, there was a fit test with some local universities and they looked at the filtration material. Some people were using coffee filters, it was kind of crazy for awhile, but then they kind of just came up with 3 layers of cotton being the safest and you're not breathing in particles you shouldn't be. The N95 masks are about 95 percent effective, the surgical masks are 80 percent and the fabric masks with three layers of cotton are still around 75 to 79 percent effective."

This is the info that Debbie used to figure out the best options for the mask material.

So, Debbie got to work and now it's become quite the past time. "I just thought 'well, I'm gonna crank them out' and over time, I started making them smaller, started cutting them differently. When you look at ones I initially made, they're huge and were getting into people's eyes. It's really the Evolution of the Mask," said Debbie.

But, as time went on, a good problem was suddenly on our hands -- the market has become flooded with PPE. There have been so many masks made that Debbie needed to figure out where to donate some of the masks she had made. "It's funny, I got onto a group called Mask Makers Unite and we all have the same questions about stuff, one question was "Where can I donate?" The market is flooded, people are not buying them like they were."

Donating Masks To Students

That's when Debbie reached out to Superintendent Dr. Karen Cheser at FTIS to see if they had a need for masks...and they most certainly did. "She was very appreciative! Dr. Cheser said they would love to have them. I had been trying to have as many as possible to drop off by today, I've been working frantically and ended up getting them 175 masks. I also plan to get some more over to them soon!"

And FTIS will gladly take them off Debbie's hands. Dr. Cheser said that in talking with other superintendents, there was a unique mask problem on their hands -- the masks districts bought just weren't the ones that students wanted to wear.

"This is a valuable solution for our District and there's no doubt that these masks will be put to good use for our students and staff," said Assistant Superintendent Bill Bradford. "We are thrilled to be able to accept this generous donation."

Thankfully, Debbie's designs have some fun flair to them. "My masks feature a variety of fabrics and in the beginning I did really plain stuff for the health care people but now, they I have everything from sports designs to Spongebob, Minions, even pink flamingos. Dr. Cheser said, for the kids, the surgical masks were boring to wear but now the kids are going to love them."

"Debbie's passion for our District is going to be an incredible asset for us," said Dr. Cheser. "Her masks are not only approved by health standards, but kids are going to love them. Being able to pick out a mask that shows their personality will no doubt make in-person learning with our new guidelines easier for everyone involved."

A 1,001 Mask Milestone...and More on the Way

In addition to going out of her way to do something nice, Debbie has made a big impact with the pure number of masks she has designed. "I hit 1,001 yesterday since April 1st!" said Debbie. "The other thing I did was I realized I could put some masks outside of my house for people to take. So, I put 15, individually wrapped masks outside right when they mandated the masks. So far, no one has cleaned the box out and even some people have donated money so I can make more."

Stop by Rossford Ave if you need a mask!

And Debbie certainly plans on making more, especially since recent comments from CDC officials mention that masks may be needed for another year or so. "I am so used to doing it now, like what am I going to do with myself when I stop making masks?!" said Debbie. "When they get cut out, it's a triangular shape so now I have all this scrap fabric of triangular I thought, well nowI can make patchwork masks!"

If you'd like to learn more about Debbie Luckett's mask mission, feel free to stop by Rossford Avenue and pick one up or donate to the cause or email her at

Ultimate Air Shuttle Suspends Business Service Until Spring 2021, Shifts Focus to Air Charter Service

Ultimate Air Shuttle Suspends Business Service Until Spring 2021, Shifts Focus to Air Charter Service.
(Img: Ultimate JetCharters)

By Jessie Eden

Ultimate Air Shuttle announced on Wednesday afternoon that it would suspend all flights until Spring 2021. The last flights for this year will take place next week.

 OrangeTheory fitness, Newport Pavilion

The company attempted to restart business flights to Cleveland and Atlanta over the summer but cited the lack of public air travel and several city and state bans on travel as the reason why operations had to be suspended.

In a statement sent to customers, Ultimate Air Shuttle said; "Due to these continued COVID-19 challenges, we are suspending all Ultimate Air Shuttle destinations until Spring 2021. The last flight date for the Cleveland route will be Tuesday, September 22nd while the last flight date for the Atlanta route will be Thursday, September 24th. We apologize for this disruption of service and are hopeful business travel will return soon. Our team members will communicate regularly with our customer base to gauge a timeline for restart in 2021."

Ultimate Jetcharters

In an effort to continue to offer flight services, Ultimate Air Shuttle announced that it would be focusing more on its charter branch of the company, "Ultimate Jetcharters". "Our team has been busy growing and serving new business opportunities that have developed during the pandemic. The flexibility our company offers clients to experience private charter flights across the United States, Canada, Mexico and the Caribbean is second to none. Our team continues to add new businesses and serve corporate work groups on our 30 seat jets."

The Jetcharters division offers travel for groups of 15 to 30 passengers.

Newport on the Levee Announces 'The Exchange' Artisan Market and Office Space

The Exchange encompasses an artisan market and flexible office space, with Ripple Wine Bar serving up wine and charcuterie for the holidays. (Img: Newport on the Levee)

Local real estate company North American Properties (NAP) today unveiled plans for The Exchange, a ground-floor artisan market with second-story office spaces that will open in the former Barnes and Noble building at Newport on the Levee. 

Launching in November in time for the holiday season, The Exchange comes as part of NAP’s ongoing redevelopment of Newport on the Levee and creates opportunities for local businesses to lease flexible, short-term retail and office space, meeting the changes requested by tenants in response to recent macro business impacts.

Located next to the popular Bridgeview Box Park, The Exchange will feature an 11,000-square-foot indoor artisan market on the ground floor, complete with access to the River Walk and Plaza, and a revolving mix of 15 local makers and merchants. The Exchange’s first round of vendors will be thoughtfully curated with holiday gift-giving in mind. 

Ripple Wine Bar, known for its delectable charcuterie and wine in Covington, Kentucky, will operate a bar in the center of the space during the holiday season. Guests can enjoy a glass of wine and cheese board at the Levee or take bottles of wine and customized charcuterie to-go for at-home entertaining.

“The Exchange creates an innovative platform for local entrepreneurs to bring their concepts to life in a vibrant mixed-use environment,” said Regan (Noppenberger) Thomas, commercial leasing representative at NAP. “As the retail industry continues to evolve, we’re confident this model of rotating concepts will create a fresh, dynamic retail experience for the community unlike anything in the region, while also creating a low barrier to entry for small businesses.”

The upstairs level of The Exchange is being transformed into modern office space with panoramic views that comes as part of a larger NAP program called Flip the Switch, a flexible, furnished, wired, move-in ready solution crafted for companies looking for workspaces with short-term lease agreements. 

The Flip the Switch program has already launched in Atlanta and received great interest, especially from employers seeking to limit upfront costs and maintain optionality as they face uncertain future business projects or have postponed their real estate decisions due to the pandemic. Office suites at The Exchange will range from 4,000 to 16,000 square feet.

“New age businesses are hungry for flexible, low-commitment workspace within highly amenitized urban environments,” said Tim Perry, managing partner at NAP. “The Exchange introduces something new to the market in a format that resonates with modern users and meets the demand for move-in ready space – a demand further accelerated by the pandemic. 

The new Newport on the Levee will achieve a unique sense of ‘place’ where office workers have immediate access to everything from morning coffee to evening events, just steps away from their desks. This engaging, social environment is even more appealing now as employers look to bring their workforce out of isolation and re-establish a strong company culture.”

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The Exchange is designed to connect directly with Bridgeview Box Park, via a new entrance at the market level. The building hosting The Exchange will also feature fresh exterior paint and facade improvements. NAP will soon weather-proof Bridgeview, creating an all-season environment that flows from the shipping container park to The Exchange. 
Last month, NAP shared an update on the next phase of construction at the Levee, which includes renovations to the 113,000-square-foot Gallery Building, the addition of open-air communal spaces, and enhancements to increase connectivity throughout the property. A fly-through video showcasing the future of the Levee can be viewed at Live camera feeds of the ongoing work can be accessed at

NAP’s COVID-response program, Better Together, continues to create a comfortable environment for the community to come together at the Levee. As part of the effort, NAP established a number of safety measures and made physical changes on property, such as the addition of artful hexagons on the ground of the Central Plaza to remind guests to keep a 6-foot distance. The full list of safety measures can be found here.

Contact information for retail and office leasing inquiries can be found here. 

Trotta's Steakhouse in Dayton Featured on Top 5 'Best Steakhouses Near Cincinnati'

Trotta's Steakhouse named Top 5 for 'Best Steakhouses Near Cincinnati'.
(Img: Trotta's Steakhouse)

By Jessie Eden

Check out this special recognition for one of our own NKY steakhouses!

A recent article from "Only In Your State" has named Trotta's Steakhouse and Seafood in Dayton, Ky as one of the best steakhouses in the Greater Cincinnati Area.

Stop searching, start finding.

Among Trotta's, two other steakhouses in Northern Kentucky were named; Blinkers Tavern in Covington and Walt's Hitching Post in Fort Wright.

The remaining two steakhouses listed are in Indiana and Ohio;

Highlands Standout Point Guard Commits to NKU

Vinson Said Recent History, Proximity to Home Factored into Decision

Highlands senior point guard Sam Vinson guards an inbound play against Conner in the 9th Region semifinals last season. Vinson committed to play for Northern Kentucky University on Tuesday.

By G. Michael Graham

Sam Vinson dazzled on the court the last couple years for the Highlands Bluebirds boys basketball team.

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The senior point guard hopes to do the same at the next level. Vinson officially committed to play for the first team to offer a scholarship minutes down the road for the Northern Kentucky University Norse. Since transitioning to NCAA Division I in 2012, the Norse have won the Horizon League Tournament three of the past four seasons.

Find your Campbell County Polling Location for the 2020 election

Find your Campbell County polling location for November's election! (FTM File)

By Jessie Eden

Campbell County Clerk Jim Luerson released the official polling locations and additional information for November's election on Monday.

Luerson stated that due to a large number of people offering to be poll workers, most precincts will be open for this year's Election Day. (November 3)

He also stated that, per state regulations, some polling locations had to be moved out of senior centers. This applies to four locations in Campbell County;

  • Grand Towers will move to St Paul Church of Christ (1 Churchill Dr., Fort Thomas)
  • Two Rivers Apartments will move to Newport Middle School (95 W. 9th St, Newport)
  • Saratoga Place Apartments will move to St. John’s Church (415 Park Ave, Newport)
  • Senior Center in Highland Heights will move to the County Extension Office (500 Alexandria Pike, Highland Heights)

No Library Voting Locations

Luerson also mentioned that libraries cannot be used this year so the following adjustments have been made; 

  • The Cold Spring Library precinct will vote at the Elks Lodge 273 (3704 Alexandria Pike, Cold Spring)
  • The two precincts in the Fort Thomas library will vote at the Living Hope Baptist Church (Next to the library at 1080 Highland Ave, Fort Thomas)

All other regular voting locations will be open on election day. 

Please see the full list at the bottom.

Early Voting Starts October 13

Early voting will start October 13 at the County Administration Building at 1098 Monmouth Street, Newport during regular business hours;

  • Monday through Friday: 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.
  • Saturdays: October 17, 24 and 31 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Mail-in Ballots - Request by October 9

Voters can request a mail-in ballot by going to until October 9. 

Ballots can be returned to our office in the prepaid envelope or can be dropped off 24/7 at our Newport location (at 1098 Monmouth Street) and our Alexandria location (at 8330 West Main Street) in a secure ballot drop box.

Find your polling place below:





Newport Racing and Gaming to Open October 2

A rendering of the new Newport Racing and Gaming venue, which is under construction at the Newport Shopping Center. It is set to open on Friday, October 2.
By Robin Gee

A new venue in Newport featuring historical racing machines, a racing simulcast area and a bar will open its doors to the public at 10am on Friday, October 2, if all goes according to plan. The facility, located at 1723 Monmouth Street, is owned by Churchill Downs Inc. (CDI).

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The $38.4 million project in the Newport Shopping Center is part of the overall development and renovation project underway for Turfway Park, and is considered an extension of its gaming license.

Newport Racing & Gaming includes more than 46,000 square feet that includes a 17,000-square-foot gaming floor with 500 historical horse racing machines.

"We are thrilled that guests will be able to enjoy this premier entertainment experience and that the Kentucky horse racing industry will benefit from the incremental purses generated through Newport Racing & Gaming," Chip Bach, general manager of Turfway Park, said in a recent announcement for the opening.

"We are incredibly grateful to Governor Beshear and the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission for their support of our efforts to attract the best horses, spur interest in pari-mutuel wagering throughout the Commonwealth and increase the value of horses as they transition into breeding," he added. 

For more information, visit the Newport Racing & Gaming website.

Tuesday, September 15, 2020

Beshear Allows Restaurants and Bars to Extend Last Call

Beshear allows restaurants and bars to extend Last Call time

Gov. Beshear said Tuesday that the state has slightly eased regulations on bars and restaurants to push back last call and operational hours.

He said restaurants and bars now will be allowed to have last call at 11 p.m. and close at midnight, both an hour later than under previous guidance.

“That was a specific request from those in the restaurant industry. We thought it was reasonable,” the Governor said. “But again let’s make sure that whether you’re in that industry or another industry, with rules and regulations that you are trying to do it right and are not trying to find a way to get around it. That not only hurts you and your facility and the people that come to it, but it hurts everybody around as well.”

Daily Covid Report:

NEW CASES: 745 (Total Cases: 58,000)




- Total Tests Completed in KY: 1,068,026
- Hospitalized currently: 533
- In ICU currently: 125
- Recovered Patients: 10,962
- Ever Hospitalized: 4,924
- Ever in ICU: 1,459


 9 (Total Deaths: 1,074)
-There was one death in NKY, a 93-year-old woman from Kenton


- Campbell County: 4 (Total: 787)
- Kenton County: 18 (Total:1,894)
- Boone County: 14 (Total:1,436)



- 95 cases are children under 18 years old

Read the full press release from Governor Beshear:

Gov. Beshear Provides Update on COVID-19

FRANKFORT, Ky. (Sept. 15, 2020) – Gov. Andy Beshear on Tuesday updated Kentuckians on the state’s continuing efforts to fight the novel coronavirus 2019 (COVID-19).

“I will start by telling you one of the most exciting things about our COVID report is that today we are now under a 4% positivity rating,” the Governor said. “That is moving in the right direction at a time when we are giving guidance, especially to school systems, about how to at least get back to a hybrid model starting on Sept. 28.”

‘The Fast 4 at 4’Gov. Beshear on Tuesday highlighted a variety of issues of importance to Kentuckians and the commonwealth.
CARES Act Funding for Central Kentucky
In collaboration with the Department for Local Government, today, Gov. Beshear announced 20 Central Kentucky governments were approved for $7,009,885 in reimbursements from the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act for local governments with expenses related to COVID-19.

“Our local governments have been lifelines in our communities during the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Gov. Beshear. “This funding is crucial as we work to restart and rebuild Kentucky’s economy while continuing to keep Kentuckians safe.”

The governments approved for reimbursement are: Bourbon, Clark, Clinton, Marion and Russell counties; Burnside, Graymoor-Devondale, Harrodsburg, Hillview, Lancaster, Mount Washington, New Castle, New Haven, Nicholasville, Paris, Shepardsville, Simpsonville, Versailles, West Buechel and Whitesville.

This funding will be used to reimburse payroll expenses for public safety officials, PPE, cleaning and sanitizing supplies, teleworking equipment and other expenses necessary to combat COVID-19.

For more information and to view the full news release, click here.

Infrastructure GrantsGov. Beshear today announced that Kentucky has been awarded $38.1 million in federal discretionary transportation grants for advancement of much-needed bridge and highway improvements in Logan, Todd and Kenton counties and the City of Corbin.

“This is exciting news for many Kentucky drivers and their families. It also is a great opportunity to make investments in infrastructure that will return a direct and beneficial economic impact in each of these regions and beyond,” the Governor said. “Growing our economy requires continuing investments in the infrastructure that moves our goods and our people.”

The funding is part of the BUILD program – Better Utilizing Investments to Leverage Development. In this case, BUILD grants leverage matching funds from the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet and the local governments.

In Corbin, $15 million will go toward widening a section of U.S. Highway 25W from two to five lanes. In Logan and Todd counties, $13.5 million will help replace four bridges on U.S. Highway 79. In Kenton County, $9.6 million will improve the Kentucky Highway 536 corridor.

For more information and to view the full news release, click here.

Mask Up KentuckyGov. Beshear also stressed the continued importance of everyone wearing face coverings, calling it the single most important thing all of us can do to fight COVID-19.

“This is our greatest and most important tool for getting back to everything we want to do,” the Governor said. “Do the right thing: Mask up.”

He also encouraged Kentuckians to spread the word on social media using #MaskUpKY and #MaskUpKentucky hashtags.

Childhood Cancer Awareness MonthAlso Tuesday, Gov. Beshear highlighted a proclamation he signed declaring September as Childhood Cancer Awareness Month in Kentucky.

“Today, I want to support and recognize a special group of individuals in Kentucky who are some of the most vulnerable in our fight against COVID-19,” the Governor said. “That special group is our state’s youngest cancer fighters. This month, and every September, we stand in solidarity with these children and their families during Childhood Cancer Awareness Month.”

Gov. Beshear noted that childhood cancer is the top cause of death by disease for kids in Kentucky and the U.S.

“One in 285 children will be diagnosed with cancer in the United States, nearly 15,000 a year. In our state, we rank a staggering fourth in the country of children diagnosed with pediatric brain tumors,” he said. “In Kentucky, we don’t think those numbers are OK.”

Gov. Beshear noted that through the Kentucky Pediatric Cancer Research Fund, the state is able to give all Kentucky children access to less toxic immunotherapy, new treatments and less invasive diagnostic tests. In addition, through the Kentucky Cancer Registry, the state is leading research to determine why more Kentucky children from certain areas of the commonwealth face higher rates of developing brain tumors.

Gov. Beshear welcomed a recorded message from his friend David Turner Jr., a young Kentuckian battling DIPG, a type of brain tumor with no known cure.

Gov. Beshear signed the Childhood Cancer Awareness Month proclamation in David Jr.’s honor.

Case InformationAs of 4 p.m. Sept. 15, Gov. Beshear said there were at least 58,000 coronavirus cases in Kentucky, 745 of which were newly reported Tuesday. Ninety-five of the newly reported cases were from children ages 18 and younger, of which 15 were children ages 5 and under. The youngest was only 27 days old.

“While those are more cases than we would like to see based on significant tests and testing that we are continuing on our day-to-day basis, our positivity rate is now under 4% again, just barely,” the Governor said.

Unfortunately, Gov. Beshear reported nine new deaths Tuesday, raising the total to 1,074 Kentuckians lost to the virus.

The deaths reported Tuesday include a 90-year-old man from Bullitt County; an 83-year-old woman from Hopkins County; two women, ages 65 and 94, and two men, ages 48 and 73, from Jefferson County; a 93-year-old woman from Kenton County; and two men, ages 84 and 88, from Warren County.

“Again we are going to see higher numbers of deaths as we have a higher number of cases,” the Governor said.

As of Tuesday, there have been at least 1,068,026 coronavirus tests performed in Kentucky. The positivity rate was 3.97%, and at least 10,962 Kentuckians have recovered from the virus.

For additional information, including up-to-date lists of positive cases and deaths, as well as breakdowns of coronavirus infections by county, race and ethnicity, click here. To see all recent daily reports, click here.

Information about COVID-19 and schools is also being made available. To view the reports, click here for K-12 and here for colleges and universities.

Opioid FundingGov. Beshear and Eric Friedlander, secretary of the Kentucky Cabinet for Health and Family Services, discussed on Tuesday a $35.4 million federal grant that will support the continued work of the Kentucky Opioid Response Effort (KORE).

The grant money was awarded to the Department for Behavioral Health, Developmental and Intellectual Disabilities and will advance the KORE’s mission. This is a two-year State Opioid Response (SOR) grant awarded by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration.

“Kentucky is committed to ending the opioid epidemic through establishing a comprehensive, compassionate, and science-based approach to prevention, treatment and recovery services,” the Governor said. “Like many Kentuckians, this issue is personal for me, and I fully understand the devastating impact opioids have on individuals, families, our health care system and economy. SOR federal dollars have given us much needed support to address this epidemic at the community level. It’s making a tremendous difference.”

The key initiatives the funding will help are increasing access to medications for opioid use disorder treatment, reducing unmet treatment needs and overdose deaths and expanding capacity to address stimulant-related deaths.

“Opioid use disorder is not a moral failing. It is a health issue and a highly treatable one when individuals have access to evidence-based services, medication and long-term care,” said Secretary Friedlander. “While addiction is a chronic and complex brain disorder, many Kentuckians are recovering from substance use disorder – every day. With this continued support, we are able to help even more people and communities across the state.”

For more information and to read the full news release on the SOR award, click here.

In addition, the Department for Aging and Independent Living (DAIL) was awarded a $999,999 Innovations in Nutritions Programs and Services grant. This money will help senior centers plan for emergencies and disaster planning.

“The global pandemic has impacted senior centers’ ability to provide meals to those who depend on them,” said Secretary Friedlander. “However, interruptions are more likely to be caused by emergencies of other types, including weather. Seniors who receive what can sometimes be the only meal of the day are greatly impacted if they can’t get food for any reason, whether it’s snow, ice, floods or tornadoes.”

For more information and to read the full news release on the DAIL award, click here.

Bars and RestaurantsGov. Beshear said Tuesday that the state has slightly eased regulations on bars and restaurants to push back last call and operational hours.

He said restaurants and bars now will be allowed to have last call at 11 p.m. and close at midnight, both an hour later than under previous guidance.

“That was a specific request from those in the restaurant industry. We thought it was reasonable,” the Governor said. “But again let’s make sure that whether you’re in that industry or another industry, with rules and regulations that you are trying to do it right and are not trying to find a way to get around it. That not only hurts you and your facility and the people that come to it, but it hurts everybody around as well.”