Tuesday, May 31, 2016

In Other Words: I Give My Younger Self Advice in a Commencement Speech

Dear Younger Self:

Graduates hear pretty much the same commencement speech across the country. Most are variations on “Today you begin a new chapter in the book of life….” Yawn. It’s a sweet sentiment and, even if it true, it’s a tired metaphor - so tired that the audience can take a quality nap, update Facebook, tweet a short thought, or post goofy Snapchat photos of the commencement speaker. (This will make sense much later in your life. Trust me.)

You sit there under that cap and gown excited, nervous, worried, sweaty, and a bit terrified. You are not sure of yourself or your future. Not sure if you can really make it. Not sure if you made the right decisions. Knowing that you made a lot of bad decisions. Not sure of anything. Welcome to the world.  Life does not move in a straight line. It’s like zig zagging through a crowded cafeteria only to find your favorite seat is taken. Remember that? Your life is more like a jigsaw puzzle and your job is to put it together to see what image emerges.  Remember those summer evenings on the porch with the family working on jigsaw puzzles? Yeah, it’s like that.

I don’t want to take anything away from what your commencement speakers will tell you, (Who was that anyway? All you will remember is the protester and the rain.) but school is just a small part of your education. In fact, you won’t remember anything they say. You will have that piece of paper that indicates you have the ability to learn or at least endure seat time - but you have much more to learn.  Everyone does. But I am talking directly to you. Us. Myself.
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Monday, May 30, 2016

Popular Food Blog WannaBite Produced in Fort Thomas Home

The Engels family produces the popular WannaBite food blog from their Fort Thomas home.

Many of you have probably seen food videos online—they're short, often shot directly above the bowl or pan, overlaid with simple text, upbeat music playing in the background. Take, for example, this video, WannaBite's most recent, showing you how to make Cheesy Potato Taco Casserole

Fun, right? This wasn't made in a large corporate setting—rather it was dreamed up, shot, produced and written in a Fort Thomas home, as is all the content on WannaBite.

The brainchild of Fort Thomas residents Nathan and Lacy Engels, WannaBite is a food blog filled with recipes and how-to videos. A graduate of Moyer Elementary and Highlands High School (class of 2000), Nathan Engels attended Campbellsville University. In addition to his work on WannaBite, he works full time as Senior Marketing Strategist at Northlich, a Cincinnati ad agency, with various brands including St. Elizabeth, Kroger, Marco's Pizza, Formica and others.

Lacy Engels, originally from Franklin, Ky., also graduated from Campbellsville University with a degree in music. She primarily writes and manages WannaBite as well as teaches voice lessons and volunteers on the worship team at her local church. 

In addition to the main site, WannaBite also maintains an active social media presence. You can find them on Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter and Instagram
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Following is a Q&A about the Engels' work on WannaBite, their most popular posts and how they handle such a time-intense blog while also working and raising their daughter, who attends Woodfill Elementary.

Inspiration to start WannaBite: We had a 2-year-old and I kept finding myself asking her "wanna bite?" My wife said it would be a great blog name, and bam, a new blog was born.

Launch date: November 2012.

Sunday, May 29, 2016

Highlands Senior Has Perfect Attendance Since Kindergarten

Lauren Ossege. FTM file. 
By David Ketcham 

Lauren Ossesge, better known for her rockstar running skills and several achievements in all things track has yet another accomplishment in her hands. Since Kindergarten, Lauren has not missed a single day of school her whole elementary, middle, and high school career.

"I honestly don't know how I did it. I was just never sick enough to miss school. It seems if I was ever sick it was on days where I was off school. It was just a goal for me to see how long I could go without missing school," says Lauren.

Track and field has been a huge part of Lauren's life, so much so she is taking her skill to EKU with her where she will be continuing to run track. She is very appreciative of the sport for keeping her in gear and giving her another reason to attend school daily. "With my schedule, it would be very difficult to make up school work I missed. My grades were something I am proud of as a result of me taking my schooling so seriously."

School yields much responsibility Lauren faced everyday, such as getting to school on time, classwork, and homework. A lesson well learned.

Any parent that has a star child like Lauren knows what a little pride is.

Saturday, May 28, 2016

Ladybirds Finish Runner-up in AA Track and Field; Boys: Fourth

PHOTO: Bob Jackson. The Highlands two-mile relay team finished fourth in the Class AA state meet Friday. From left are seventh-grader Maggie Schroeder, junior Chloe Gastright, sophomore Karsen Hunter and senior Molly Mearns.
By G. Michael Graham 

For the Highlands Ladybirds track and field squad, it marked the highest finish since the last of four straight state championships in 2011. The Bluebirds did not come close to winning another state championship, but they still finished fifth with 43.7 points Friday at the University of Kentucky in Lexington.

The Ladybirds ended up finishing second in the Class AA state meet with 67 points. Boyle County won it with 88 points capturing both hurdle championships and collecting 18 points in the long jump and triple jump.

"After a sixth-place finish, I'm really happy with (runner-up)," said Brian Alessandro, Ladybird Head Coach. "We ran really well, especially in some of the relays and individual events. They improved a lot so I'm very proud of them."

The Mercer County Titans won the male Class AA state championship with 74 points. They edged the state-power Paducah Tilghman Blue Tornado by three points. Tilghman hoped to win its 30th state championship. Highlands won the crown two years ago and finished a point behind Tilghman last year.

Highlands senior Mikayla Reichert expected to have a big day and came through. She won the discus throwing it 37 feet, two inches and the discus at 125-3. The Univeristy of Kentucky signee edged out Elizabethtown senior Ngozi Akukwe by one foot and an inch.

Newport Farmers Market - Newport on the Levee Concert Series - Taste of Newport - Newport Italianfest

Newport Italianfest June 9-June 12. FTM file. 
Our friends to our west have a lot of things coming up in the next few weeks. Here's a sampling of what's happening in Newport.

Newport Farmers Market Is NOW Open on Saturdays from 9:00 a.m. to Noon.

The Newport Farmers Market is open on Saturdays from 9 to 12 at 711 Monmouth Street in the Daily Market parking lot adjacent to the Pepper Pod Restaurant.  It will be open every Saturday through October 29th rain/shine.

The Farmers Market provides a variety of home grown fruits, vegetables, annual and perennial flowers. When the Market opens the farmers plan to have baked goods, herbs, tomatoes, lettuce, cucumbers, asparagus, and flower plantings.  The local farmers continue to strive to provide safe food to our Northern Kentucky community.

The farmers accept WIC (Women, Infants and Children) and SFMNP (Senior Farmers’ Market Nutrition Program) coupons.

Kerry Tent Sale at NKU – Thursday, May 26 – Monday, May 30

The Kerry Dealerships are hosting a Tent Sale at NKU from Thursday, May 26 – Monday, May 30.  Hours: Thursday & Friday 9am-9pm, Saturday 9am-8pm, Sunday 10am-6pm and Monday 10am-6pm.


Live on the Levee. NewportontheLevee.com. 

The largest patio party in Northern Kentucky is back for 2016 as Bud Light's LIVE at the Levee Summer Concert Series presented by The New 94.9 returns on May 26th and runs through September 8th.

The free Thursday night concert series takes place from 7:00 p.m. - 10:00 p.m. on the Riverfront Plaza next to the Newport Aquarium.

Band Line Up:
May 26th - The Rusty Griswolds
June 2nd - Gee Your Band Smells Terrific
June 9th - DV8
June 16th - The Newbees
June 23rd - The Whammies
June 30th - Soul Pocket
July 7th - Swan
July 14th - StrangeLove
July 21st - Dan Varner Band
July 28th - Shut Up & Drive
August 4th - Naked Karate Girls
August 11th - Glory Days
August 18th - The SunBurners
August 25th - Soul Pocket
September 1st - DV8
September 8th - The Rusty Griswolds

Memorial Day Parade – Monday, May 30 – Beginning at 9:00 a.m.

Parade route:  
South on York Street to Sixth Street
East on Sixth Street to Monmouth Street
South on Monmouth Street to Tenth Street
Parade ends at Tenth Street (City Building)

Following the parade, a ceremony in honor of our Veterans, will be held in front of the Newport City Building at Tenth and Monmouth Streets.  A complimentary continental breakfast will follow, in the first floor Multi-Purpose room of the City Building.

Reminder: On Monday at 3:00pm everyone is encouraged to take time to stop and remember the Veterans who have gone before us and those currently serving our country who continue to give us our FREEDOM today!

East Row Garden Walk – Saturday and Sunday - June 4 & 5, 2016
East Row Garden Walk. Via FTM media partner, WCPO.com.
Begins at 6th & Washington – Water Tower Square Parking Lot

Mark your calendars for the 20th Annual East Row Garden Walk the first weekend in June — June 4 and 5 — in Newport Kentucky’s East Row Historic District. The Walk will run from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. both days.

For 20 years, curiosity, a passion for gardening and a desire for unique ideas have enticed thousands of visitors to tour the charming gardens on the walk, which features nine private gardens including some enver before opened to the public.

This year, a portion of the proceeds will go to the TreeRevitalize Program which is spear heading the planting of new tress in all areas of the city.  This program has lead to the platning of over 200 new tress in Newport in the last two years. Another planting is scheduled for October of this year.


Taste of Newport – Sunday, June 5th 11:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. 

700-800 Blocks of Monmouth – Rain/Shine – Delicious Food and Live Music and More.

Participating food businesses: 27 Bar + Kitchen, BB Riverboats, Bello’s Bike Pops, Bernhard’s Bakery, Bourbon & Broad, Carabello Coffee, Dick’s Last Resort, Dixie Chili, Fresh Thyme Farmers Market, Gangsters Dueling Piano Bar & Restaurant, Gourmet Chili, Hot Head Burritos, JerZee’s Pub & Grub, LaMexicana Restaurant & Grocery, Lana’s Diner, Mister Softee, Newport Pizza, Packhouse, Peluso Market, Pepper Pod Restaurant, Pompilios, Sis’s on Monmouth, Smooth Nitro Coffee (located at The Hatchery in St. Paul’s Evangelical Church), Webb’s BBQ, Wiedemann Brewing.

All food items will be priced $5 and under.  A selection of domestic and craft beers will also be available for purchase.

Live music will be performed in the 700 & 800 blocks of Monmouth featuring alt rock, classic rock, western, country, acoustic, jazz, originals and more.

Newport Italianfest - Thursday, June 9 through Sunday, June 12, 2016 

Celebrate the 25th Annual Newport Italianfest

Enjoy live music all weekend at Festival Park on Riverboat Row between the Purple People and Taylor Southgate Bridges.

Thursday, June 9: 5 p.m. – 11 p.m.
5:00 p.m. Pete Wagner Orchestra
8:00 p.m. Opening Ceremony
8:30 p.m. Honored Italian-American Sons and Daughters Award:Wayne Carlisle
8:45 p.m. Pete Wagner Orchestra

Friday, June 10: 5 p.m. – 11:30 p.m.
5:00 p.m. Pete Wagner Orchestra
6:15 p.m. Honored Italian-American
Ceremony: Larry Giancola
6:45 p.m. Ragdoll
8:00 p.m. Papa John’s Pizza Eating Contest
8:30 p.m. Moreno Fruzzetti
10:00 p.m. Diamanti
After Reds Game - Rozzi’s Famous Fireworks

Saturday, June 11: 10 a.m. – 11:30 p.m.
10:00 a.m. Lauren Hill’s 5K Spaghetti Run
12:30 p.m. Pete Wagner Orchestra
3:30 p.m. Moreno Fruzzetti
4:30 p.m. Ragdoll
6:00 p.m. Diamanti
7:15 p.m. Moreno Fruzzetti
8:15 p.m. Papa John’s Pizza Eating Contest
8:30 p.m. Ragdoll
10:00 p.m. Diamanti
11:00 p.m. Rozzi’s Famous Fireworks

Sunday, June 12: Noon – 9 p.m.
12:30 p.m. Pete Wagner Orchestra
1:30 p.m. Ragdoll
2:00 p.m. Cooking Contest
2:45 p.m. Moreno Fruzzetti
4:00 p.m. Diamanti
5:15 p.m. Ragdoll
6:30 p.m. Moreno Fruzzetti
8:00 p.m. Diamanti