Saturday, March 25, 2017

FTM Radio Podcast: Breaking Down What's Left of the Tournament

Will Chambers, ESPN Dallas. 

Will Chambers of ESPN Dallas talks about his relationship with Jim Nantz over the years and breaks down what's left of the brackets.

Including his picks for the Final Four.

Friday, March 24, 2017

Fort Thomas Applies For Riverfront Trail Grant

The riverfront along Route 8 in Fort Thomas. FTM file. 
By Robin Gee

A new walking and hiking trail could replace an underutilized patch of city-owned property along the riverfront if all goes well.

The city of Fort Thomas agreed to back a request for a state Recreational Trails Program grant to turn what is currently a half-acre eyesore along Kentucky 8 into a natural looped trail.

Robert Yoder presented on a proposal to apply for the grant at the March City Council meeting. The Main Street director for Dayton, Kentucky, he is also a trails grant expert for Southbank Partners and is working on three similar grant requests for trails in Northern Kentucky.

The grant presents an excellent opportunity at this time, said Yoder, because the funding split has moved from a 50-50 to a more affordable 80-20 split. He estimates the entire project could run about $62,000, but the city’s share would be about $12,500. That amount could go down, he added, if volunteers helped with cleanup of the site.

The property is owned by the city and had been used for storage and staging in the past, but has been lying unused for several years. When Yoder surveyed the area, he saw potential under layers of discarded litter and underbrush.

The site has three levels, he says. The bottom is river beach with a flat middle level and a higher level going up to the highway. There is room for a kayak or canoe launch and for 5,800-feet of natural looped trail on the property.

The $62,000 estimated cost covers trail construction including bringing in some gravel and clay, cleaning up garbage, clearing dead brush and installing trail markers, signage, info kiosks, benches and four or five trash cans.

Four Overdose On Busy Fort Thomas Street, Revived With Narcan

A minivan that held four individuals who were overdosing on opioids is towed away, just down the street from the Fort Thomas Armory. FTM file. 
Thursday morning at 10:00 a.m., Fort Thomas Police were dispatched to S. Fort Thomas Avenue to a parked minivan that had multiple individuals inside who, according to witnesses, had appeared to be overdosing from narcotics.

According to Fort Thomas Police Lt. Rich Whitford, police discovered four individuals in a late model minivan. Police called for the life squad, who administered the life-saving drug, Narcan, to all four individuals in the vehicle. They were revived and taken to St. Elizabeth Hospital for further medical evaluations.

The four passengers of the van were all from Alexandria, Kentucky.

Thursday, March 23, 2017

Spring Clean Northern Kentucky to Prevent Drug Abuse and Protect Our Community

Free Drug Disposal Pouches Now Available to Help Families Safely Dispose of Medications

Rep. Addia Wuchner. 

Government officials, local drug prevention coalitions, local pharmacists and others gathered today to launch a new initiative to help Northern Kentucky residents safely dispose of any expired or un-needed medications, especially opioid pain medication and other narcotics, to help prevent misuse, abuse or addiction. To facilitate safe disposal, a total of 6,000 drug disposal pouches are now available for free to Northern Kentuckians at more than 30 locations, including all Kroger pharmacies in Northern Kentucky.

Using the pouches, individuals can safely dispose of medications at home.

“Just as drug addiction often begins in the medicine cabinet, our spring cleaning needs to start there as well,” said Rep. Addia Wuchner (R-Boone County), Chair of the House Committee on Health and Family Services and a Registered Nurse, who spearheaded the drug disposal pouch initiative. “Medication disposal pouches are safe, effective, easy to use and provide one more option to protect our communities by making sure that unused prescription pain medications and narcotics are disposed of safely and are not accidentally or intentionally misused.”

The drug disposal pouches were donated by Mallinckrodt Pharmaceuticals and use patented technology to neutralize the active ingredients in opioid painkillers and other drugs in pill, liquid and transdermal patch forms. A proprietary activated carbon bonds to pharmaceutical compounds when water is added, rendering the drugs ineffective and safe for disposal in any setting, including the home.

Momentum Builds For Fort Thomas Visioning Project

FTM file. 
By Robin Gee

Next steps in the development of a vision for Fort Thomas’s future was the topic of a discussion by city officials on Monday.

Mayor Eric Haas, City Administrator Ron Dill, council members and city staff met with planning consultants to hear ideas for how best to organize and proceed with the visioning process.

Mark Brueggemann of CT Consultants, an engineering and architect firm, and Chris Manning of Human Nature, landscape architects, presented ideas for how work could be divided, as well as a tentative schedule.

Both firms have expertise in urban development and planning and have worked closely with the city on other projects including Fort Thomas Forward, an urban design and streetscape plan developed in 2000-2001.

The consultants suggested six project committees, each covering a different area of vision planning:

Land Use and Zoning
Transportation and Connectivity
Parks and Open Space
Utilities and Infrastructure
Regional Partnerships
Funding and Implementation

The group discussed committee leadership and membership, and agreed that each committee would include a council member, city staff member and members of the community. Mayor Haas added that Fort Thomas is fortunate to have residents with interests and expertise in many of the areas covered by the committees.

Traffic Stop Ends in Struggle on Memorial Parkway

Newport and Fort Thomas Police swarmed the black Volkswagen yesterday on Memorial Parkway. FTM file. 
Yesterday on Memorial Parkway a traffic stop at 8:45 a.m. caused a backup as police attempted to stop a man accused of being under the influence of heroin just outside Stardust Lane in Fort Thomas.

Fort Thomas resident Thomas McGill was arrested and charges of DUI, Improperly being on the left side of the road, Resisting Arrest, and Possession of a Controlled Substance, 1st Degree (Heroin), and Failure To Produce Insurance Card.

A witnesses called in the possible intoxicated driver.

Campbell County Detention Center. 
Newport Police stopped McGill near Stardust Lane on Wednesday morning, after he was observed traveling around 5 miles per hour and crossing the center line. According to police records, once McGill got out of the car – which he stopped in the roadway – he could not maintain his balance and had extremely slow speech. Also according to the citation, McGill pulled away from the officer and reached for his jacket pocket, at which time he was subdued.

Other officers from Newport and Fort Thomas Police assisted in subduing McGill who continued to struggle. In his pocket, police found what they suspected to be heroin.

Top Shelf Lobby Names New Partner

Top Shelf Lobby announced today that Justin Clark is joining the firm as Partner, effective April 1, 2017. Clark most recently served in the Administration of Governor Matt Bevin as General Counsel for the Cabinet for Health and Family Services.

Before joining the Bevin Administration, Clark was a partner in the Louisville office of Stoll Keenon Ogden PLLC, one of Kentucky’s oldest and largest law firms. His legal experience involved general and complex business litigation, insurance regulatory matters, healthcare litigation, construction law, antitrust litigation, intellectual property litigation, professional liability defense, and constitutional law. Louisville Magazine named Clark as one of its “Top Lawyers” from 2012-2016, and Clark’s peers rated him as “preeminent,” ranking him at the highest level of professional excellence for his knowledge, communication skills, and ethical standards.

“Top Shelf Lobby is excited to have Justin join our firm as partner,” said Top Shelf partner, Marc Wilson. “His skill sets, his legal experience and knowledge of the process in state government is a tremendous asset that will help grow our firm to the next level.”

What's Next For Highlands Soccer

Elevating Under Niedert; wants Bluebirds to Play Fearless Soccer

PHOTO: Allen Ramsey, Highlands junior Nick Gish (7) plays the ball against Beechwood last year. Gish is one of the returning starters promoted Head Coach Chad Niedert will be working with this fall.
Head coaches often say they want to leave the program in better shape than what it was when they took over.

Recently-promoted Highlands Bluebirds soccer head coach Chad Niedert found himself taking over a struggling program in his first head coaching stint in 2013 as the new head coach of the North Oldham Mustangs. The Mustangs struggled to a 5-12-2 season in 2012 losing in the first round of the 29th District to Oldham County, 3-0.

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Naked Karate Girls To Play at Olde Fort Pub

The Naked Karate Girls. 
Fort Thomas becomes a music town when the weather gets warm.

Tuesday night concerts in Tower Park during the summer, a promised "big headliner band" for the city's 150th birthday celebration in July followed by a Bluesfest in September are just some of the acts that are coming to "the city of beautiful homes."

But with a question mark still behind the city's sesquicentennial main music act, it's possible that Friday night's surprise gig by the Naked Karate Girls at the Olde Fort Pub could be one of the most fun nights of the year.

Barre3 Ft. Thomas. This is an advertisement. 
"We are all very excited and grateful to be hosting such an amazing and fun band for such a good cause," said Mike Arnzen, one of the owners of The Pub. "Katie Walters has worked tirelessly to put this all together."

The proceeds at the door will be donated to Henry Hosea House in Newport, which provides a safe environment for their clients with daily nutrition, support, healthy guidance and social interaction.

So how did this come about?

"The Naked Karate Girls reached out to me at the beginning of year about a possible charity show in northern Kentucky," said Walters, a Fort Thomas resident and Promotions Coordinator for Q102.

"After working on the event for several weeks, we decided on the Fort Thomas Pub. NKG's drummer, Glen Kukla, graduated from Highlands with me and Todd Hosea, so this gig is very special for us."

Todd Hosea's father David, started Henry Hosea House to honor his father.

This event for the Naked Karate Girls is special.

"The band has a fully booked schedule and normally play large venues," said Walters. "The fact that everything fell in place, makes this event even more amazing. It definitely is a "one night only" gig. A party like The Pub has never seen before."

What to know about the event:

Patrick Towles Shines at Pro Day

Patrick Towles at his Pro Day. 
Former Highlands quarterback, Patrick Towles, had a nice day for himself yesterday at the Boston College Pro Day where he and his college teammates worked out in front of pro scouts.

According to the website,, Towles turned in some athletic testing numbers then looked good throwing the ball.

This is an advertisement. 
"Towles measured 6047/241 pounds including a hand of 9.5 inches.  His vertical jump reached 33.5 inches, he touched 10-feet even in the broad then timed 4.59s in the forty.

Mike Dunn Golf Scholarship Outing Masters Thirty Years

Mike's family at the 29th annual outing (Mike Dunn Scholarship Fund)

On Friday June 9th a couple of hundred people will gather at AJ Jolly Golf course in Alexandria to play some golf and raise some money in memory of Fort Thomas resident Mike Dunn. That someone is so well liked and remembered that they inspire this kind of turnout is impressive, but what is truly amazing is that the tournament is now in it’s 30th year, which tells you how much people think of Mike and his family.

Jayson Dunn, Mike’s brother agrees: “It says a lot about how he was, that people still turn out in his memory after all these years. A lot of people who come annually never met him, but they feel like they know him through this event.”

Mike Dunn graduated from Highlands in 1982.

An outstanding athlete, Mike was a captain of both the football team and the baseball team, and after his senior year was headed to Georgetown College on a football scholarship. During his final year he broke his leg during a baseball game when a base runner slid into him. During the x-rays doctors discovered a cancerous tumor in his leg.  He bravely fought cancer for 6 years but sadly passed away in 1988, never complaining and always with his usually happy-go-lucky outlook on life. Jayson remembers “He was always the same super-giving, wonderful person, even through his chemotherapy, which was pretty terrible back in those days.”

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Grant County Needle Exchange Marks One Year

Creative Commons Photo. 
As northern Kentucky leaders grapple with where or whether to install needles exchanges across the three northern Kentucky counties, just south in Grant County, health officials are lauding the first year of operation.

According to a release sent by the Northern Kentucky Health Department, the Grant County syringe access exchange program has helped 130 people prevent infectious diseases spread through IV drug use. Services are offered on Wednesday afternoons at the Northern Kentucky Health Department’s Grant County Health Center in Williamstown, Ky.

Meet Samuel Woodfill: Common Man, Uncommon Soldier

Samuel Woodfill displays his Medal of Honor. 
A farm boy is not going to waste a shot when hunting. And that’s a lesson Samuel Woodfill learned at an early age on the family farm not far from Madison, Indiana. He did not have much formal education, but don’t be fooled by that. He was bright, observant, patient, calm under pressure, and knew his way around the woods. He was eager to join the military to perhaps follow in his father’s footsteps, a veteran himself.

After he joined the military Woodfill was stationed in the Philippines and Alaska before being stationed at Fort Thomas, where he met Lorena Wiltshire, who people said was a descendant of Daniel Boone. They married on Christmas Day of 1917 and called 1334 Alexandria Pike home. They had no children.

This is an advertisement. 
In the final months of WWI, Woodfill, under General Pershing’s command was now a first  lieutenant and in charge of a machine gun company, engaged in battle in France. The epic Battle of the Argonne Forest began on September 26, 1918 and lasted 47 days. It was the largest and bloodiest battle in US military history to date involving over a million US soldiers. The loss of life was extraordinary; the US lost over 26,000 soldiers while the Germans lost 28,000 soldiers in this extended battle alone. That would be like losing the entire population of Fort Thomas three and a half times in seven weeks.

But let’s stop the story here for a minute. Soldiers at the time were not trained in marksmanship. In fact, many soldiers did not even fire a weapon until they engaged in combat. So when a cool headed farm boy accustomed to being the patient hunter entered a combat situation, his prowess was revealed. And eventually honored.

Northern Kentucky Lawn Care | Yard Sharks | Tree Maintenance Northern Kentucky

The Tower Park Trail Shark. FTM file. 
By Rafe Fowee

Owner, Yard Sharks LLC, a Fort Thomas-based landscaping company. Yard Sharks is part of the #FTMFamily 

Fort Thomas is a beautiful, historic town with many mature tree–lined streets. While this is certainly beautiful to the eye and healthy trees are an asset to nature, these older trees can sometimes pose a dangerous threat to houses, vehicles, outbuildings, fences, and even people or pets in our community.

As we move into the spring, the frequency of storms and strong winds increase, which we have already seen this year. These storms can wreak havoc for homeowners. Yard Sharks has removed trees off of sheds, driveways, and even houses, after they have caused much damage following a storm. Most of these incidents can be prevented.

Owner, Rafe Fowee. Call him today at 859-640-9308.
A tree often has tell-tale signs of weakness or disease, such as splitting or cracks in the bark,  dark spots on tree branches where they split off from the trunk or other branches, or crowning (trees that have a lean,  resulting in the ground bulging on the opposing side of the lean). There are also more obvious signs of distress in trees, such as various limbs or an entire tree that won’t produce leaves. This is called dead wood. Any trees with weakness or disease can pose a serious threat.

Yard Sharks can take a look at your yard to help you identify any potentially hazardous trees, and we can discuss a plan to have these issues taken care of. You can save money, time, inconvenience, and damage to your property by allowing us to help you look for some of these warning signs now.

Yard Sharks consists of a highly skilled tree service crew, with each team member having a minimum of 10 years of experience in the tree industry. In addition to having a highly skilled team, we use reliable and up-to-date equipment, including rigging gear, lifts, bobcats, stump grinders, cranes, and more. We offer free consultations for any size tree job, big or small.

The positive feedback and support that we have received from the Fort Thomas community has encouraged us to continue to provide top-notch service for this upcoming season and many more years to come.  We are excited for the opportunity to serve this wonderful historic community once again.

Rafe Fowee was raised in Fort Thomas since the age of five. He attended Johnson Elementary School and Highlands Middle and High School and began working in the tree care and removal industry shortly after high school. 

He graduated from Northern Kentucky University with Bachelor of Arts in Criminal Justice, but his true passion is working in the outdoors, and he started Yard Sharks, LLC, out of Fort Thomas.  

Says Fowee, "I am excited about the opportunity to provide lawn care and tree service to fellow residents of this historically beautiful town."

Monday, March 20, 2017

Jeff Ruby To Recognize NKU's Season with Gift for Graduates

Restaurateur Will Give Steak Dinner To Graduating Seniors Of 7 Area Universities

Although the NKU Norse may not have beaten the University of Kentucky in their first round NCAA Tournament matchup earning 15,000 NKU undergrads a complimentary steak dinner as pledged by Jeff Ruby (, the Cincinnati restaurateur is still making good in a big way.

“These students, what they’ve accomplished is amazing.” Ruby said. “Although they didn’t win this particular game, we really felt compelled to reward them and their fellow students with something to honor their achievement.”

To do so, Ruby announced today his plans to offer each student graduating from NKU that free steak dinner – and will do the same for graduates each of the next 4 years. Additionally, Ruby has promised to extend the gift to yearly graduates from Xavier University, University of Cincinnati, University of Dayton, University of Kentucky, University of Louisville and Vanderbilt. (Ohio State will follow next year after Ruby’s Columbus location opens in Fall 2017).