Thursday, June 30, 2016

Positive of multi-sports

Highlands players, graduates, coaches, administrators see good in playing multi-sports

PHOTO: Allen Ramsey, Highlands senior Bradley Greene grabs the ball in the state tournament a few weeks ago. Greene plays football, basketball and baseball for the Bluebirds.
In an age where it is encouraged to focus on one sport, Highlands administrators, coaches, players and former players pointed out reasons for playing more than one.

Highlands has seen student-athletes do both this past season and previous seasons. But Highlands Director of Athletics Matt Haskamp studied Health and Physical Education as a college student and pointed out four main reasons to play more than one sport. The first two are overuse injuries and burnout.

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Rules for Fireworks in Fort Thomas

Fireworks in Tower Park in 2013. FTM file. 
The Fourth of July is a day celebrating America’s independence, grilling hotdogs and hamburgers, eating watermelon, dressing in red, white and blue and watching fireworks.

The state fire marshal is advising Kentucky residents to celebrate Independence Day by attending a community event instead of lighting fireworks at home.

State Fire Marshal Mike Haney says the safest way to celebrate is by leaving the pyrotechnics to the professionals. He says home use of fireworks could cause personal or property damage and might also be prohibited by local ordinances.

In Fort Thomas, Rozzi's will be handling the fireworks in Tower Park at 10 p.m.

Recently, state laws have become less restrictive on the use of fireworks, but the city’s rules and regulations remain strict in Fort Thomas.

City ordinance require a permit to light fireworks that go up in the air or blow up. 

Haney’s main points regarding firework safety were:
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• make sure fireworks are only used outdoors;

• have adult supervision;

• never relight a dud firework.

• never mix alcohol and lighting fireworks;

• and always be at least 200 feet from any structure before lighting a firework.

The Fort Thomas ordinances regarding fireworks are as follows:

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Fort Thomas Fourth of July Parade (2016)

Originally published on June 6, 2016. 

The corner of Highland and Fort Thomas Avenues. FTM file (2015). 
By David Ketcham 

The YMCA is holding, yet another, Fourth of July parade and celebration to take over the city of Fort Thomas. Residents, business owners, and everything in between are ready for the rumble.

This year, the event will take place on Saturday, July 2.

(Update - 6-28-16). The city is still looking for 16 volunteers to work two-hour shifts to sell beer tickets on Saturday between 2-10 pm.  Please contact Brian Sand at

Come 8 a.m. road closures will come into play for the progression of the parade and all other events. Walking to desired destinations will be ideal for the convenience for the townsfolk and the parade.

Lt. Casey Kilgore of the Fort Thomas Police Department is this year's Grand Marshal. (story here)
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RELATED: 2015 Fourth of July Parade in Pictures


The kids race will begin at 7:40, and the Firecracker 5k will begin at 8:15.

To Register for the Firecracker 5k, follow these 3 simple steps:
1. Log onto 
2. Choose the "Registration Events" tab
3. Choose "Campbell County YMCA Firecracker 5K," click on the green "Continue Registration Process" buttons on each page, then pay the discounted registration fee.

The parade will then take place at 10:30 a.m.

Car Show, Food Booths, and Rides at 2:30 p.m.

This year's celebration will celebrate talent as well for even more entertainment.

Hayden Kaye will sing at 2:30
Hurricane will sing at 4:15
Lee Roessler Band will sing at 6:15
The Brent James Band will sing at 8:00

RELATED: EVERYTHING You Need to Know About The Fourth at the Fort (2015)

The American Cornhole Organization’s Michael Bradford Memorial Tournament will be at 3 p.m. The tournament will be inside Fort Thomas Armory Gym in Tower Park if there is rain.

The Olde Fort Pub will again host their hot dog eating contest at 5:00 p.m.

Then comes, the moment we will all be waiting for. Fireworks by Rozzi will begin at 10:00 p.m. in Tower Park.

The day overall is a fun, fast pace, enjoyable day with great companies that are also dedicating their times into assuring a successful day.
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"We are excited for the parade. We love how much the city of Fort Thomas rallies together in a business, school and community sense," says Erika Kraus, owner of The Midway Café. The Midway opened nearly year ago, the same weekend the parade took place.

"We rushed our opening because we knew the fourth was a big celebration in Fort Tomas and we wanted to 'introduce' ourselves to the community," Kraus added.

A few buildings down from the Midway is home to Fort Thomas Pizza and Tavern. "It has always generated greater customer traffic and is certainly a benefit to the community as a whole," says Patrick Casey, who is coming up on his now 7th parade while being part of Fort Thomas Pizza.

Being a part of the community and having experience with the parades, Patrick has many several observations each year and adds, "it should also be noted that even inclement weather has failed to stifle the enthusiasm of people involved."

The Fourth of July celebration truly is an important amplification of how well bonded the community of Fort Thomas is, and we wish everyone a safe, happy, and firework full Fourth of July.

Water Outages Widespread in Fort Thomas

This picture was from 2015, when a water main was replaced on N. Fort Thomas Ave. The NKWD has still not identified the source of the outage this morning. FTM file. 
Reports of water outages have hit Fort Thomas hard this morning. 

Fort Thomas Matters has received inquiries from Carrington Point in the north end of town, to businesses in the Central Business District, to residents on Lockwood place and Mary Ingles Highway on the south edge of the city.
This is an advertisement. Barre3 Ft. Thomas. 

According to Northern Kentucky Water District spokesperson, Amy Kramer, they are still investigating the cause. 

"We've received probably 30 calls so far from Fort Thomas residents about water outages and we are still investigating the cause," she said. "At this point, a water main break hasn't been identified and we aren't sure how many customers are affected."

The NKWD currently does not have an estimated time for service to be restored. 

Calls began coming in at 10:45 a.m. this morning and at around 11:15 some customers were reporting to FTM that their service was back on. 

FTM has a contact into the NKWD and will update this story with more information as it becomes available.

UPDATE (12:13 p.m.)
Per Amy Kramer of NKWD, water pressure has been restored. They have not yet figured a cause to the outage. 

These NKY Communities Rank Among Best Places to Live

FTM file. 
A new study ranks seven Northern Kentucky neighborhoods among the 25 best places to live in their respective states.

The new rankings are from the national website Niche, which collects data based on crime, public schools, cost of living, job opportunities and local amenities. Data comes from the U.S. Census, FBI and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, among other sources.

The same website ranked Fort Thomas Independent Schools the best places to teach in Kentucky last year.

RELATED: FTIS Tops's List 

Fort Thomas ranked number eight overall throughout the state and number two in Northern Kentucky, behind Fort Mitchell.

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Seven Northern Kentucky communities rank among the top 25 in the Bluegrass State:

No. 3: Fort Mitchell

No. 8: Fort Thomas

No. 13: Southgate

No. 14: Oakbrook (Boone County)

No. 18: Park Hills

No. 20: Florence

No. 25: Union

According to Niche, Fort Mitchell tops Fort Thomas in five categories, with the biggest margins being in the "Family Amenities" and "Outdoor Activities" grades.

Fort Thomas narrowly edged Fort Mitchell in the categories of "Public Schools," "Shortest Commute," and "Jobs" grades.

Fort Thomas 
Cost of Living Grade B

Education Grade A
Public Schools Grade A+
Real Estate Grade B+
Diversity Grade B
Health & Fitness Grade B
Nightlife Grade B+
Shortest Commute Grade A
Crime & Safety Grade A-
Family Amenities Grade B
Jobs Grade B
Outdoor Activities Grade C+
Weather Grade C+

Fort Mitchell 
Cost of Living Grade B
Education Grade A
Public Schools Grade A
Real Estate Grade B+
Diversity Grade B+
Health & Fitness Grade B+
Nightlife Grade A
Shortest Commute Grade A-
Crime & Safety Grade A-
Family Amenities Grade A
Jobs Grade B-
Outdoor Activities Grade B
Weather Grade C+

The full list can be found here: List

Across the Ohio River, 11 Southwest Ohio communities ranked in the top 25 places to live in the Buckeye State:

No. 3: Deerfield Township

No. 4: Wyoming

No. 8: Mariemont

No. 12: Blue Ash

No. 14: Mason

No. 18: Symmes Township

No. 19: Madeira

No. 21: Anderson Township

No. 22: Columbia Township

No. 23: Montgomery

No. 24: Landen

FTM’s Story Matters is a Success

Cathy Halloran. Jen Summer, photographer. Jen's site:
“By your stories you shall be known.”

If you ever want to understand someone then listen to his or her stories. The same applies to Fort Thomas. If you really want to understand Fort Thomas then listen to its stories. And that motivated us at Fort Thomas Matters to create Story Matters.

The inaugural event was held on Thursday, June 23 at Fort Thomas Coffee - with many thanks to Lori Valentine for hosting. Six speakers - Frank Meyer, Megan Arnzen Krieg, Sean Donelan, Eric Berendsen, Cathy Halloran, Dale Mueller - related their compelling stories of dealing with a challenging moment and how that influenced and changed them and, ultimately, what we can learn from it.

The surest way to understand a place or a person is through stories. Telling stories gives structure, meaning, and purpose to the events, places, and people around us. Stories help to shape the past so we can understand our present so we can move into the future.  By tapping into the collective wisdom and experiences of the community, we make the community a better place by understanding the people in it. Stories create a sense of community.

Stories ranged from the value of goal setting,  finding humanity in a cross country trip,  turning cancer into a positive, the danger of judging by occupation,  and the value of effort over raw talent. The stories ranged from humorous to serious but were always pointed in what we needed to learn.

Frank Meyer was the first speaker. Jen Summer, photographer.
Barbara Thomas, owner of Fort Thomas Central, was in the audience and she said I enjoyed Story Matters so much that when the last story was told, I yearned for more!  Each storyteller touched my emotions and heart with the framework and details of their stories.  Their messages came across clearly, sharing inspiration in their life experience.  Thank you storytellers for sharing your stories and inspiration.  I loved Story Matters and looking forward to the next one in August!"

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Megan Arnzen Krieg. Jen Summer, photographer.
Eric Simmons, who also attended echoed her sentiment.  "Storytelling connects strangers and brings people who know each other closer together. Story Matters did exactly that. Story Matters, like all storytelling, invited listeners to get to know strangers and get to know even good friends in a new way. It wasn't confessional but beautifully illuminating."

Teri Foltz said, "Every story was so compelling. The venue was perfect because it created an intimate setting. My mind was busy afterward thinking of other people's stories I'd like to hear as well as the stories in my own life."

One of the storytellers, Sean Donelan, says, "It was such an honor, to be a part of the inaugural Story Matters event! For me, it was nice to share a "story" in a controlled environment, when I was prepared to share it, instead of being asked for an impromptu story. I think it's great, that the citizens of Fort Thomas can share their stories.  It is who we are.  It brings us together and I can't wait to attend future editions of Story Matters."

Sean Donelan. Jen Summers, Photographer
Sean has some advice for future storytellers. "I would tell future storytellers that you will enjoy the experience.  Not only will others learn something about you, but you may also learn something about yourself.  It may not be easy and that's okay.  But it will be fun and therapeutic.  You will be glad that you participated!"

Dale Mueller. Jen Summer, photographer.
This quilt of stories will be archived and then presented during the sesquicentennial celebration in 2017.

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If you have or know someone with a compelling story, please let us know. The next Story Matters will be  7:00 PM, Thursday, August 25 at Fort Thomas Coffee. We hope to see you there.

To see each story in its entirety, visit our Facebook page, to watch the live, unedited stream. Do that here: Fort Thomas Matters on Facebook.

Eric Berendsen. Jen Summer, photographer. 

Monday, June 27, 2016

When Can My Child Babysit Their Siblings?

Steven Franzen. Provided. 
By Steve Franzen, Campbell County Attorney 

With summer upon us and school being out till the fall, I thought it may be helpful to discuss when it is or is not appropriate to leave a child home alone or allowing a child to babysit younger siblings.

Parents have many concerns when it comes to leaving a child alone including the child’s safety, possible investigations by the Kentucky Cabinet for Health and Family Services for neglect, and police investigations or charges for endangering the welfare of a minor, which is a Class A Misdemeanor punishable by up to $500.00 and a year in jail.

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There are no Kentucky laws or Administrative Regulations setting any specific ages for leaving children without supervision or for children supervising minor siblings.  To a great degree, that is left up to the common sense and discretion of the parents.  However, the Kentucky Cabinet for Health and Family Services, which is the agency that would investigate suspected cases of child neglect, has certain general in-house guidelines based upon training and experience that are used in looking at these matters.  In the order of importance, the main items looked at by the Cabinet are the age of the children, the length of time involved, the maturity and physical and mental conditions of the children involved, the environment the children are left in and the responsibilities given to the children.

Car Break-Ins In Unlocked Cars Continue Over The Weekend

Residents on Brentwood Place and South Fort Thomas reported car break-ins early this morning. FTM file. 
On Friday, Fort Thomas Police told Fort Thomas Matters that 35 unlocked cars had been rummaged through over four consecutive days last week.

Over the weekend, that streak continued, with reports of similar thefts occurring on Friday, Saturday and Sunday in the early morning hours.

RELATED: Unlocked Cars Becoming Easy Targets for Thieves in Fort Thomas

According to Fort Thomas Police Lt. Rich Whitford, the thefts are occurring on the south side of Fort Thomas and the total is nearing 50 cars burglaries over the last week.

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Dave & Buster's opens in Florence Today; PLUS a Giveaway

Dave & Buster's Florence features more than 150 games.

One of the perks of living in Fort Thomas is the close proximity of a myriad of dining, retail and activity options, both north and south. Today marks the grand opening of a new place to both dine and play: Dave & Buster's in Florence.

Fort Thomas resident Angel Beets, vice president of client services at Covington-based PR firm Scooter Media, helped handle the opening of Dave & Buster's newest location. She invited my family to check out the food and games at an event that drew 900-plus.

This is an advertisement. The Campbell County YMCA in Fort Thomas, Kentucky. 

Like a kid-friendly mini Las Vegas, the building is huge at 30,000 square feet, and everything inside is bright and colorful and loud and screams fun. The food was good (I have a 6-year-old who will now eat shrimp thanks to their panko-breaded version) and the games provided several hours of really fun entertainment. Sports fans will love the wall of HDTVs at the Sports Bar.

The menu includes everything from colorful snow cones that feature your favorite liqueur to local beers. My kids loved the pretzel dogs appetizer. They offer surf and turf, seafood, ribs, steak, impressive burgers, pasta, chicken, salads, sandwiches and desserts so decadent the word "tower" is in one.

There's a kid menu and an allergy menu, and diners have the option of purchasing from an "eat & play" combo menu that includes a $10 or $20 power card.

In addition to new, high-tech games, D&B also provides longtime favorites, such as Skee-Ball.