Thursday, June 27, 2019
Nieporte and the Highlands administration named the 64-year-old and 1973 Highlands graduate the fifth head coach of the program Tuesday. Horner had been an assistant the last seven years to former Head Coach Rob Coffey and also helped his daughter, Jessica Horner-Donelan, when she served as head coach between 2008 and 2012.
Wednesday, June 26, 2019
|Highlands college and career counselor Trinity Walsh received an award for outstanding service to students from the Kentucky Association of College Admissions Counseling.|
By Robin Gee, City Council Beat Editor
Earlier this year, the Kentucky Association of College Admissions Counseling awarded Highlands High School counselor Trinity Walsh, the Caroline Quire Service Award, for her work in helping students make college and career goals and decisions.
Walsh received the award at the organization’s annual conference in Lexington and was recognized by the Fort Thomas Independent School Board at its June meeting.
The Caroline Quire Award recognizes an outstanding high school guidance counselor who has demonstrated service and contributions to the profession of counseling students in transition. Quire, who passed away in 2005, was an exemplary counselor and leader within the organization and the field.
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|Highlands drama teacher Jason Burgess is flanked by cast and crew of the production of "The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee" that garnered 11 Cappies.|
At the June meeting of the Fort Thomas Independent School Board, students from the Highlands High School Theatre Department were honored for their record win of 11 Cappies, the most the department has ever won in the student theatre and journalism awards program.
The Greater Cincinnati chapter of the national Critics and Awards Program, known as Cappies, honored the Highlands students for their production of "The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee."
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Teams of student critics gather to discuss the technical and performance aspects of the show. The students write reviews and share with the host schools. The best written reviews are selected to be sent to local press outlets.
Highlands received 23 nominations for their performance overall, and were recognized in May at a gala to celebrate the Cappies in downtown Cincinnati at the Aronoff Center.
School Board members congratulated the students and their teacher, Jason Burgess, and presented each student with a Certificate of Achievement.
Cappie winners were:
- Up and Coming Critic: Juli Russ
- Best Critic Team
- Sound: Steve Lang, Maddi McIntosh, Liam Morris and Crew
- Lighting: David Dierig, Austin Paolucci, Miles Sower and Crew
- Creativity (Directing): Vicky Alcorn and Tammy Sanow
- Stage Management and Crew: Stella Fahlbusch, Olivia Greenwell, Eleanor Todd and Crew
- Featured Actress in a Musical: Lillian Reynolds
- Female Dancer: Lizzy Roeding
- Comic Actor in a Musical: Grant Sower
- Lead Actress in a Musical: Zoe Zoller
- Best Musical: 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee
Burgess thanked the board, the schools and the entire community for their support of the students and the program. "We are absolutely blessed to have the support that we have. The Theatre Department and the arts in general would be nowhere near what they are without the support we have of the district, and the leadership and the community."
By Vanessa Fisse
The rain has subsided and blue skies painted a picturesque background in Fort Thomas, Kentucky on June 25, 2019.
The city of 16,500 that sits on a ridge overlooking the Ohio River is home to a myriad of different homestyles from cozy cape cods to million dollar mansions.
Here are a few of our favorites, a sidewalk view, while out on a Fort Thomas Walking Tour.
To view as a slide show, click the first image below:
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Tuesday, June 25, 2019
The "Friends of Highland Park Cornhole Tournament" will be held Sunday, July 28, 2019, from noon to 4:00 p.m.
Fort Thomas resident, Joe Grimme, is organizing the event.
The entry fee is $50 per team.
Players sign up as a team (two players) to participate in a double-elimination tournament. Prizes will be awarded to the first and second place teams.
First place: $200
Second place: $100
Prizes donated by Fessler, Schneider & Grimme
Go to www.friendsofhighlandpark.com to register or email Joe Grimme at JGrimme@FSGattorneys.com
Event hosted by Friends of Highland Park
The First Annual Swing for a Cause Home Run Derby will raise much needed money for KY Power parent Jon McSorley and Pride parent Chasity Harney.
The event will take place on Saturday July 20th from 2 to 8:00 p.m. at the Newport Vets.
Let’s all pitch in a Swing for a Cause.
To register or donate – go here.
Jon McSorley is a longtime resident of Fort Thomas. He is a husband, father, coach, and friend. He has coached basketball at Highlands High School for over 20 years.
Jon was first diagnosed in his late 20's with ulcerative colitis. Over a decade later in 2016 he was diagnosed with an auto-immune disease affecting the bile duct and liver called Primary Sclerosing Cholangitis (PSC). There is no known cure for this disease and patients with PSC are known to be high risk for cancer of the bile duct. Unfortunately, in January 2019, he was diagnosed with just that.
Treatment for this has taken Jon to the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota. On June 21st Jon received a new liver via transplant. He is currently recovering at UC Medical Center.
|Village Players is at the beginning stages of planning renovations to its building. The theatre group took over the building from the Fort Thomas Women's Club in October 2019.|
By Robin Gee, City Council Beat Editor
After more than 100 years of service to the community, the Fort Thomas Woman’s Club made the decision to disband in the fall of 2018. The club, whose motto was "to help others is to elevate ourselves, and to elevate ourselves is to help others," made a final act of generosity that is set to elevate the community for years to come.
At the end of October, the organization gifted its building to its very special tenants, the Village Players. The theatre group, which was started by members of the women’s club and grew out of the club’s Music and Drama Department, has been located in the women’s building since 1967.
The theatre group built a thrust-style theater (a stage with seating on three sides) in the basement of the women’s building and took on a vibrant life of its own, bringing people from across the community into the space to enjoy community theater.
A new era takes shape
Last week, members and friends of Village Players were busy ripping out 1970s-era paneling and busting through old plaster at their building at 8 Fort Thomas Avenue.
It’s the beginning of an ambitious project to bring the building up to modern standards and to create a more friendly and accessible cultural and community center in the heart of Fort Thomas.
The building is in need of basic repairs to make it serviceable including a new boiler and radiators, upgraded HVAC, new drywall and other renovations. In addition, the group would like to make the space more accessible and bring it to life as a center for the arts and culture.
Excitement as the future unfolds
"Plans are not finalized yet, but we are beginning work with an architect," said Steve Myers, who has been active in community theater since the early 1970s and member of the Village Players since 1975.
"We have raised some money to start working on tearing down and planning what’s next, but we are working on a more concise plan going forward. We need to secure a grant. We have committees working on this, including a grant writing team," he said.
While the plan is to keep the group’s theater space in the basement of the building, he said, "I’m not sure what I would like to see it become. We want to open up the space and have a real box office...It’s scary but exciting. I’m anxious to see what will happen going forward, what path we will take."
Performances continue while plans are being made
Myers and volunteers were working on the tear downs while also preparing for the Village Players’ upcoming show, Life Story, that will run from Friday, June 28, through Sunday, June 30. The show features six new plays by local authors about "birth, death and the stuff in between."
RELATED: Village Players of Fort Thomas presents local playwrights' plays
The company does three full-run productions during the regular season from October through April with a family friendly play in December. The line up for 2019-2020 season includes "Arcadia" (October), "Room for Seconds" (March) and "The Last Five Years" (April) as well as "Of Dragons and Dwarfs" (December).
In the summer, they produce a shorter show to provide room for Caroline Stine’s InBocca Performance group for young actors.
Creating a space all can enjoy
Monday, June 24, 2019
|District Court Judge Cameron Blau addressed city council in February to urge adoption of the Uniform Residential Landlord-Tenant Act|
By Robin Gee, City Council Beat Editor
Whether you are a landlord or a tenant, you can learn more about your rights and responsibilities under the Uniform Residential Landlord-Tenant Act (URLTA) at an informational meeting this Wednesday, June 26, at 6 p.m. in the Fort Thomas city building council chambers.
Making the act uniform across all area municipalities will help landlords and tenant have a clear understanding of their rights and responsibilities no matter where they own property or rent in the region, said Blau.
Emceed by Q102's Katie Walters, the annual event is co-hosted by Brighton Center in which concert-goers are asked to bring a can good to help stock the Newport-based social service's food pantry.
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Food trucks, Sea Cuisine, Pretzelfuls and Cups and Cones will be available as well as Braxton Brewing Company and Kona Ice.
Fort Thomas man continues series of ‘Jackie’s Run’ endurance runs
After running the state of Kentucky in 2014, Ohio in 2015, Florida and Rhode Island in 2016 and across California in2017, Schwalbach ran 85 miles (Dayton to Cincinnati) in a single day last year in support of the Alzheimer’s Association’s The Longest Day.
This past weekend, Schwalbach successfully ran 100 miles from West Carrollton, Ohio to Fort Thomas in just over 30 hours, again in support of The Longest Day.
The last mile, he was joined by some Fort Thomas residents and first responders.
“It started about six years ago as I was visiting my mother, Jackie. I was thinking, ‘what can I do to help her?’” She had been bedridden for more than two years,” he said. “I was saying prayers that had no answers. It was heart breaking to see my mother like this. I knew she was not in pain but I was watching the mother that raised me and my five brothers and sisters slip slowly into death from this awful disease.”
Schwalbach said that while on a training run for an upcoming marathon that night, the idea came to him.
“I was thinking about what I could do. I’m not a doctor or research scientist who could develop a new drug. I’m just a construction worker and a runner. As I ran, an idea popped into my head. I would run the state of Kentucky for Alzheimer’s and raise money and public awareness throughout the state of Kentucky. The more I thought about this idea, the more excited I got on my run. The tears turned into a smile on my face.”
Although the state’s hilly terrain made the run even more difficult than Schwalbach anticipated, he completed the run on schedule. In addition to raising more than $15,000, Schwalbach’s run generated interest from print and broadcast media in Kentucky and Cincinnati.
Just a few days after completing his state-long run in Kentucky, he was contacted by two runners from Ohio who heard his story through media reports. They asked him if he wanted to run 328 miles across Ohio for the Alzheimer’s Association in May of 2015. Schwalbach agreed to the Cleveland to Cincinnati run that took place during eight days in May.
About 45 days before the start of the Ohio run, Schwalbach’s mother died in Florida. Since then, his runs have been in her memory. Over the past five years, Schwalbach has raised more than $50,000 in donations to the Alzheimer’s Association.
For details on Jackie’s Run this Saturday, visit www.jackiesrun.com or Facebook – Jackies Run.
Today, Alzheimer’s disease is the sixth-leading cause of death in the United States and affects more than 5.8 million Americans. The Alzheimer’s Association of Greater Cincinnati serves 37 counties in Southern Ohio, Northern Kentucky and Southeastern Indiana with a variety of programs and services, most of which are free of charge.
Rents in the 41075 zip code increased 8.9% or $70 year over year. Georgetown saw the second highest annual increase, with rents jumping by 5.1%, $45 more expensive than the same month last year. Independence and Elizabethtown experienced the third and fourth fastest rent increases, up by 4.6% and 4.1% y-o-y, respectively.
The report used information gathered by Yardi Matrix, a business development and asset management tool for brokers, sponsors, banks and equity sources underwriting investments in the multifamily, office, industrial and self-storage sectors.
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Residential rents are rising steadily across markets, with the third month in a row sprouting a 0.3% month-over-month jump. Compared to last May, renters pay $35 more on average.
The average rent in Kentucky is generally lower than the national average rent. Of the cities analyzed, Louisville apartments are the state’s most expensive for renters, averaging $949, followed by apartments in Independence with $941 per month. Averaging $932, Georgetown is the third-most expensive rental market in Kentucky
On the flipside, the most affordable cities in Kentucky to rent an apartment are Erlanger ($717), Shepherdsville ($723) and Elizabethtown ($769).
If we look at 5-year rent changes, Independence rents picked up speed as the city saw the highest rent increase in the entire state, up by 20.49% ($160) since 2015. Runner-ups are Florence (with an 18.78% rent spike or $139 more than in 2015) and Burlington, up by 16.43% ($128). Louisville rents grew by 14.48% ($120) in this timeframe.
Friday, June 21, 2019
|The Leadership Northern Kentucky Class of 2019 celebrates participation in the program sponsored by the Northern Kentucky Chamber of Commerce|
By Robin Gee, City Council Beat Editor
With the community as the classroom, 52 emerging and developing leaders across the region will participate in Leadership Northern Kentucky for 2020. The program, created by the Northern Kentucky Chamber of Commerce, targets area entrepreneurs, business owners and community service leaders to help them develop and learn more about opportunities available throughout the region in Northern Kentucky and Greater Cincinnati.
Participants will meet each month to explore area resources and practice the skills necessary to motivate and engage others. In addition to building leadership skills, the goal of the program is to help make a difference within the community. Organizers say the curriculum for each session is based on the specific topics designed to address community needs within the region.
The class of 2020 will kick off on Friday, August 2, during the Leadership Northern Kentucky’s 40th Alumni Anniversary Luncheon. The alumni-only event will be held in Covington at The Madison and will bring together past participants to welcome the new class and to recognize alumni honored with the Leadership Northern Kentucky (NKY) Ruth A. Eger Leaders of Distinction Award.
"Leadership NKY is a unique and immersive leadership experience," said Dawn Denham, executive eirector of the NKY Chamber Foundation and Leadership NKY. "Through monthly sessions, this new class will learn and grow together to become better equipped to support and solve pressing issues facing our region. This year’s class will unquestionably have a huge impact on our region and on one another."
The following individuals have been named to the Leadership NKY Class of 2020:
- Emma Adkisson, PCA Architecture
- Ryan Allen, Love Must Win, Inc.
- Joel Appleberry, Strategic Healthcare Services, LLC
- James Beatrice, Business Benefits Insurance Solutions
- Michael Bloemer, Covington Fire Department
- Christy Burch, Women’s Crisis Center
- Emily Cahill, St. Elizabeth Healthcare Foundation
- Keith Carlson, VonLehman & Co.
- Aaron Caskey, Dressman Benzinger LaVelle, PSC (DBL Law)
- Gregory Cecil, Duke Energy
- Mark Collier, Living Media
- Ken Durbin, The At Home Chef, LLC
- John Enzweiler, First Financial Bank
- Ryan Eten, Jolly Enterprises
- Michael Fay, Commonwealth Hotels
- Jessica Fette, City of Erlanger
- Jamee Flaherty, Fort Thomas Independent Schools
- Joe Fleissner, Fifth Third Bank
- Darren Ford, Graydon Head & Ritchey LLP
- Sarah Gray, U.S. Bank
- Patrick Haggerty, Baker & Hostetler LLP
- Nick Hoyng, Danis Construction
- Will Johnson, Messer Construction Co.
- Ryan Kennedy, North American Properties
- Adrijana Kowatsch, Gateway Community and Technical College
- Paul Kremer, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers
- Brittany Lawrence, Clark Schaefer Hackett
- Neha Matta, The Health Collaborative
- Ashley McClure, Covington Partners
- Marcella McNay, Campbell County 9-1-1 Center
- June Miller, Brighton Center, Inc.
- Cynthia Minter, Campbell County Fiscal Court
- Kyle Newman, Forcht Bank
- Jennifer Panepinto, Northern Kentucky Tri-ED
- Nicholas Pieczonka, Taft Stettinius & Hollister LLP
- Amy Prather, Republic Bank
- LaDonna Purcell, Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport
- Brandon Quillen, Newport on the Levee
- Matt Ritzmann, Heritage Bank
- Brandon Roell, St. Elizabeth Physicians
- Julie Rottman, Zalla Companies
- Billy Santos, BB&T
- Ann Schoenenberger, Kenton County Library
- Christina Schreiner Spille, Faith Community Pharmacy
- Holly Smith, Cove Federal Credit Union
- Karralea Stickrod-List, The Décor Group of NKY, Inc.
- Jack VonHandorf, Notre Dame Academy
- Nicolas Wade, Renaissance Covington
- Ann Marie Whelan, Northern Kentucky Chamber of Commerce
- Joshua Wiffler, Kroger
- Christina Willis, CitiBank
- Karen Zengel, Society of St. Vincent de Paul Council of Northern Kentucky
Alumni interested in attending, or in nominating a Leadership NKY alum for a Ruth A. Eger Leaders of Distinction award, should visit the Leadership NKY page on the Northern Kentucky Chamber of Commerce website. Cost for the luncheon is $40.
Thursday, June 20, 2019
Reynolds Enters Second Season as Captain
|PHOTO: G. Michael Graham, Fort Thomas Matters. Cincinnati Ben-Gals Emma McClure (left) and Sam Reynolds (center) are entering their fourth seasons on the squad and guiding rookies such as Nicole Armour (right).|
The squad has 28 members with a nice mix of returning dancers and rookies. Reynolds refers to cheering mates as sisters.
"All the rookies (and) all the vets have just such as positive attitude. My biggest excitement of this season is seeing the growth that's going to come from this team because we're already starting in a better place than previous seasons," Reynolds said. "That's exciting for me as a leader to get to harness that and kind of see how far the team can go. I think with the positive attitudes that we have and the work ethic that these girls exhibit, there's no telling how strong we'll be by August, preseason, but also to be able to see how far these ladies come in their personal and professional lives. There's so much growth that can happen from this team. Our coaches and directors are true mentors. You leave a changed person from the person that you came in as so I'm excited to see how far my sisters (teammates) come, get to be a part of and dance alongside of them. That's something I'm so grateful for."
Notre Dame graduate Emma McClure is also entering her fourth season with the Ben-Gals. McClure and Reynolds danced together for Northern Kentucky University's Dance Team. McClure echoed Reynolds' sentiments on the season.
Reynolds and Abby Siemer are co-captains. Simer danced in the Pro Bowl for the squad last year. Ben-Gals Director of Cheerleading Charlotte Simons said Reynolds will be one of three Ben-Gals going to a dance conference in Atlanta this month to bring back choreography to the squad.
"As always, Sam brings sold leadership and experience to our team," Simons said. "We are thankful for her desire and ability to guide others as she continues to grow in her skill as well. Her heart and desire for the team is very special, and I am thankful to work with Sam as a cheerleader and a captain for 2019-2020."
During the summer, the team practices three times a week and the rookies practice a fourth day. During the school year, the team practices twice a week. Reynolds has mainly focused on her fitness again in the off-season personally and bringing the team together as a captain.
"To me really, it's not so much an honor to be recognized because it elevates me personally. It gives me an opportunity to give back to a program that's done so much for me," Reynolds said. "I got to be captain at NKU as well. It was never something I strived for. It was just something that was a pleasant surprise not because I wanted the power position or anything, but just the opportunity to serve my team. I think there's so much that goes into making game day happen and all the stuff that's behind the scenes (such as) events and things like that. It takes a lot of hands on decks and someone who can give the time and energy and really pour into my friends. That's something that I don't take lightly."
Reynolds knows the importance of every dancer being on the same page with the routines. Reynolds said she and Siemer align in the idea of being proactive in everything.
"We're already trying to get systems in place in terms of fitness, glamour and dance technique so that we're hitting things head on," Reynolds said. "The biggest thing is having similar goals so we had our boot camp on Sunday and that was really nice because we all got to kind of align in terms of our purpose of why we're here. Outside of this, we're all professionals. We have other careers. This is secondary. This is like a really exaggerated hobby."
Reynolds said the team has already learned 10 to 12 routines as of practice a week ago. She said it may be a lot, but it helps the mind.
It's especially hard for the rookies because they're coming in with everything fresh, but we're learning a routine every day in practice which is at least two new routines a week. With having careers outside of here and trying to balance work and life and all the things that we do, it is a lot. It keeps us all motivated to do better and push ourselves. We've all been dancing since we were super little so none of us want to come in and not be challenged. We want to produce that product on game day that is something to be proud of and if we aren't constantly learning new material, then we produce the same things and the fans get bored.
It does keep us on our toes. That's for sure. But I don't think we'd want it any other way."
Reynolds noted the importance of trying to keep up with what's going on with the Bengals. In an episode of making the Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders squad years ago, a coach expressed frustration with a potential dancer not knowing when the first preseason game took place and the opponent.