Friday, January 30, 2015

Here's Who's Running for Governor, Other Statewide Offices This Year in Kentucky

Six state level offices are up for reelection in 2015./CC

Six state level offices are up for election in 2015 in the Commonwealth of Kentucky, and the deadline to file for May's primary elections was Tuesday.

Here's a run-down of who is running for Kentucky's next Governor, Secretary of State, Attorney General, State Treasurer, State Auditor, and Commissioner of Agriculture, followed by a brief history of Kentucky's first two governors, Isaach Shelby and James Garrard.

The capitol building stands to have quite the roster change-up, as only two incumbents are running for reelection.

Nationally Acclaimed Children's Author Visits Fort Thomas Elementary Schools

Author Bruce Hale speaks to students at Woodfill Elementary School./Provided

Last week, Bruce Hale, nationally acclaimed author of the Get Gecko and Clark the Shark book series for children, visited Fort Thomas Elementary Schools.

Mama on a Budget: Fort Thomas Free Fridays

Something big happens this weekend and no, I am not referencing that football game on Sunday.  I am referencing the calendar changing to February and the third and final giveaway of the Free Friday Giveaways!  Just in time for Valentine’s Day, we have a $20 gift certificate to Fort Thomas Jewelers.  For those of you who love jewelry, this could be for you!  Not a jewelry fan but prefer flowers instead?  They are selling roses from the 24k Rose Company.  These are actual roses dipped in gold or lacquered and are quite stunning in appearance.

So, remember to share this status (just like you “share” your love with your special someone this Valentine’s Day) for your chance to win.  Oh, and reaching out to Seth Winkler who was last week’s big winner- you have until Sunday to claim your prize or we give it away to someone else!

NKY Legislator Working to Strengthen DUI Laws

Rep. Dennis Keene will hold a press conference on Tuesday in support of his DUI bill./Provided

Representative Dennis Keene (D-Wilder) will speak at a press conference on Tuesday, February 3, 2015 at 2:30 p.m. in the Kentucky Capitol Rotunda in support of House Bill 60 that he has filed to strengthen Kentucky’s DUI laws.

Thursday, January 29, 2015

Planet Fitness in Newport Evacuated

Planet Fitness, Newport Plaza. Facebook. 
UPDATE: According to authorities on the scene, the smoke and subsequent smell that caused the evacuation at Planet Fitness originated from Remke Market. A manager at Planet Fitness that asked to not be named said that there was a mechanical malfunction at Remke Market and the ventilation system filtered smoke into Planet Fitness.

Thirty minutes after it was evacuated, they are open for business and will be open tomorrow. "If you can stand the smell, you can still work out," said the manager.


Smoke cleared Planet Fitness in Newport at about 6:30 Thursday night. Three emergency units responded to the scene.

Around 75 customers were forced from their workouts as they spilled out to the parking lot in an already crowded Newport Plaza.

NewCath aims for history in All "A" State Tournament

PHOTO: Allen Ramsey, Newport Central Catholic's Zack Pangallo goes in for a score in a recent game. The Thoroughbreds open the All "A" State Tournament Thursday against Hancock County at 11:30 a.m.
Fort Thomas Matters Sports Reporter

It’s been a challenge they’ve handled the past two years and it is one they hope to do again and enter the history books.

Fort Thomas Students Help Villa Win Academic Competition

Student from the Villa Madonna Quick Recall Team. 
The Villa Madonna Academy High School Academic Team competed in the District Governor's Cup. The Quick Recall Team included Fort Thomas students Eileen Bunch and William Martin.  The team won three straight matches to earn second place and secure a spot at Regionals on February 14.

Eileen Bunch also earned first place in Arts & Humanities and second place in Language Arts and will advance to regionals. Bunch, a St. Thomas graduate, was featured on Teen Jeopardy last year. 

Villa also won a trophy for placing 2nd overall at the district tournament.

Congratulations to Gabriel Powell of St. Thomas Elementary School.

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Governors Will Rely on Tolls to Fund Brent Spence Project

Kentucky Governor Steve Beshear and Ohio Governor John Kasich held a press conference Wednesday discussing the Brent Spence Bridge replacement project./PL

Calling any further delay moving forward with a replacement plan for the Brent Spence Bridge a “roadblock for America,” Kentucky Governor Steve Beshear and Ohio Governor John Kasich unveiled their joint plan to finance the bridge project at a press conference in Covington Wednesday afternoon, and, as anticipated, tolls were the central topic of conversation.

DUI Arrest/Crash Leads to Damage of Fort Thomas Business

Ford Ellington Florist was damaged as a result of a DUI  suspected crash. 
Ford Ellington Florist was damaged early Sunday morning as a result of a vehicle crash. The suspect who was driving the car was arrested on suspicion of DUI around 2:30 AM.

Owner of Ford Ellington Florist, Kevin Ford, received a call from Fort Thomas Police around 3:00 AM and was told that his business at 16 N. Fort Thomas had been damaged.

Branson AirExpress: Low Cost Airline Coming to CVG

Press release just officially hit the FTM inbox. Branson AirExpress will add nonstop flights to New Orleans, Cancun and Branson from CVG starting May 7.

Another Highlands Coach Receives National Award

Brian Allesandro coaches boys and girls cross country at Highlands High School./FB

A Highlands High School coach has been named Coach of the Year by the National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS).

Senator Schroder Visits Woodfill Elementary

State Senator Wil Schroder paid a visit to Woodfill 4th graders last week./Provided

On Thursday, January 22, Kentucky State Senator Wil Schroder was on campus at Woodfill Elementary School to talk to 4th-grade students about state and national government. This was the senator’s first classroom visit since taking office January 1.

Kentucky Congressman Proposes New Industrial Hemp Legislation

New legislation sponsored by a Kentucky congressman would allow for the cultivation of industrial hemp in the U.S./CC

Congressman Thomas Massie (R-KY), Congressman Jared Polis (D-CO), and a bipartisan coalition of 45 lawmakers have introduced federal legislation that requires the federal government to respect state laws allowing cultivation of industrial hemp. The Industrial Hemp Farming Act of 2015 (H.R. 525) amends the Controlled Substances Act to exclude industrial hemp from the definition of marijuana.

Free Sundays at the Campbell County Y

The Campbell County Y is apart of the #FTMFamily
The YMCA of Greater Cincinnati is partnering with the nonprofit Interact for Health to create "Funday Sundays" – meaning free admission to 12 YMCA locations starting Sunday, Feb. 1, through Sunday March. 29. The program will run again Sundays in November and December.

Each YMCA will be open from noon until 6 p.m., and free child watch is available, too. Bring a photo ID, and you'll have to fill out guest paperwork. You can go burn that pre-game guacamole and be back on your couch for the 6:30 p.m. kickoff.

Duke Energy to Begin Required Gas Line Inspections in Fort Thomas

Required inspections of residential gas lines will begin next month./CC

City Administrator Don Martin announced earlier this month that he has been contacted by Duke Energy regarding upcoming, required gas line inspections throughout the city of Fort Thomas.

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

National Meat Week Comes to Olde Fort Pub

The Olde Fort Pub is part of the #FTMFamily 

Like meat? Like shopping local? Like being apart of the newest thing? Then tomorrow night you'll fit right in at the Olde Fort Pub as "Meat Week" has chosen to put Southern Smoke BBQ and their $1 rib bones on the slate to pair with trivia night.

Meat Week is a national holiday started in 2005. Each January, for 8 consecutive nights, people across the country gather over piles of BBQ. In every participating city, there is a devoted Captain who creates the schedule of restaurants. Other cities that are participating this year are Atlanta, Baltimore, Charlotte, Chicago, Columbus, Greenville, LA, New York, Orlando, Philadelphia, San Antonio and Washington DC.

Support "Protect the Pecs" in February

Protect the Pecs founder and director Steve Del Gardo (far left) at the Cincinnati Reds Give Back Game with Rich Whitford, Dr. Herzong, and Brian Thomas. 

Go ahead and bust out your calendars, we need to talk about your plans for Wednesday, February 4, 2015. On February 4, you can choose to have lunch at your desk with some boring combination of lunch meat and cheese while trying to avoid your boss. Maybe for dinner you can heat up the previous night's mushy leftovers. Or you can catch up with friends over a heaping pile of buffalo wings while your favorite sports teams battle it out in the background. Need more convincing? Okay, here you go: dining at the Newport BW3 location will feature more than just chicken wings and beer on February 4. Your food and drink orders will also help to support male breast cancer. I'll just wait here for a moment while you add "BW3" to your schedule on February 4. 

Brent Spence Bridge: Tolling vs. Anti Tolling Websites

In the last year and a half, the Brent Spence Bridge has become a backdrop for national speeches by governmental bigwigs, the lynchpin for local and state-wide elections over the last election cycle and will no doubt be a deciding factor in the race for the Governor's mansion this fall.

The issue has garnered a lot of attention and money and has spawned two major local contingents: Build Our New Bridge Now and NKY United. Click the links to visit their sites.

Both coalitions claim bipartisan support and have picked up support from some major business, political and civic leaders on both sides.

Most recently, State Senator Chris McDaniel brought Fort Thomas into the BSB conversation by suggesting an "outside the box" solution of building a bridge across from Newton, Ohio which almost certainly places the bridge in Kentucky in or near Fort Thomas.

"I see the biggest options out in front of us right now moving more to the East, trying to align in between 471 and 275 somewhere to the east of town," said McDaniel.

Grimes Announces 2015 Election Plans

Allison Lundergan Grimes, who came up shorting trying to unseat Mitch McConnell last November,  has been considered a likely candidate to run for Kentucky's next governor./CC

Allison Lundergan Grimes -- the Democrat who challenged veteran Senator Mitch McConnell in one of 2014's most closely watched races -- has been considered one of the most likely candidates to run for Kentucky's next governor.

Monday, January 26, 2015

KY Organ Donor Registry Has Record Life-Saving Year

The Circuit Court Clerks of Kentucky made 2014 a momentous year in the fight to save lives.  With 998 Kentuckians on the waiting list for an organ transplant, there is no better time to join the Kentucky Organ Donor Registry.

More Heroin Legislation Introduced in General Assembly

Campbell County Representative Dennis Keene (D-Wilder) has proposed what he calls a "compromise bill" to the Kentucky House of Representatives that will address the growing heroin problem in Northern Kentucky and throughout the Commonwealth.

Friday, January 23, 2015

Mama on a Budget: Fort Thomas Free Fridays

According to the 2013 statistics, just over 16,000 people reside in Fort Thomas.  Last week’s giveaway generated more than 14,000 page views!  What an incredible response.  Nearly ninety of you shared the status for your chance to win the $20 gift card to Fort Thomas Central.  Congratulations to Judy Boothe, our winner from last week.  And good luck to each of you this week.  Remember to share the status on Facebook to be eligible to win!

Here's What NKY Lawmakers Plan to Accomplish This Session

Northern Kentucky's state legislators convened for a panel discussion Thursday evening./Provided

Northern Kentucky’s representatives in Frankfort came together Thursday night to explore the most pressing issues facing our region, in a panel discussion that looked ahead to how those issues will be addressed during the 2015 session of the General Assembly.

Aspiring Fort Thomas Businesswomen Looking for Opportunity

Towne Centre District. FTM file. 

Note: A previous version of this story incorrectly implied that Studio G had closed for business. This is not the case. The story has been corrected.

Back in May, FTM ran a story about Blue Marble celebrating its 35th anniversary of serving the Fort Thomas community (here).  Blue Marble got its start as a toy store and now primarily sells books; since that store moved, though, several new tenants have come and gone in that same space, none of which specialize in opportunities for children.

Now, a duo of Fort Thomas moms and aspiring businesswomen sought to change that recently when they proposed a new concept: a child’s edu-tainment center for parents and children to have an outlet for play, creativity, learning, and shared fun.  However, the owner and landlord of the property agreed to go a different route with the space, instead opting to pursue a different tenant.

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Carjacking Suspect Behind Bars, Kidnapped Man Found Safe

William Sellers was arrested Wednesday night for stealing a minivan with a passenger inside.
The man who stole a minivan at gunpoint in Newport Wednesday afternoon parking lot is behind bars.

Fiscal Court Addresses Illegal Dump in Campbell Co., Updated on TANK

by Bryan Burke
Associate Editor of The River City News
(republished with permission)

The Campbell County Fiscal Court accepted a grant of just under $85,000 to clean up an illegal open dump located at 8242 Licking Pike in Campbell County. The dump was first spotted by county officials when they were on sight at a nearby location at which it became evident at first sight that the dumping was illegal and extensive. If the amount of the grant proves insufficient to fund the clean up the Fiscal Court may apply for a supplemental grant which if awarded would pay for the remaining cost of the effort.

Latest Highlands championship season concluded with Triple 21 Comeback

PHOTO: Allen Ramsey, Highlands linebacker Patrick Schoepf (33) goes for a sack in a game in 2014 against Warren Central. Schoepf will be one of 26 seniors to graduate this spring from the latest state championship team.
Fort Thomas Matters Sports Reporter

The Highlands Bluebirds football team may have a state-record 23 state championships including seven in the last eight years.

NCC inducts 15th Class Into Athletic Hall of Fame

Newport Central Catholic High School announced its 15th class of inductees into its Athletic Hall of Fame.

The inductees were: Jayme Thiem '05, Jeff Brauley '83, Scott Wiggins '94, Amy Meyers '01, Don Plummer '59, and Jim Wissman '53.

Also being honored as the "Teams of Distinction" are the 1999, 2000, and 2001 State Champion Softball Teams.