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Monday, September 23, 2019

2nd Annual Newport Arts and Music Festival — September 28

The Newport History Museum at the Southgate Street School is hosting its 2nd Annual “Newport Arts & Music Fest”

Phone: 859-905-0714 - Email: This is an advertisement.

Date: Saturday, September 28th
Time: 11:00am-5:00pm
Location: 215 East Southgate Street.

The event will feature local artists/artisans with hand-crafted designs to sell, live music and more!

Former students of the Southgate Street School will be presenting Oral Histories of their student days and sharing their memories of Newport in years-gone-by.

Hofbrauhaus will be opening its Bier Garden area and serving its specialty micro-brews and tasty German cuisine.

The event is Free to attend and open to the public.

Live Music: 
  • 1:00-2:00pm — NKY Brotherhood Singers - A jubilee-style, Acapella, sacred gospel quintet
  • 2:30pm-3:15pm – Jazz Trio featuring: Kathy Wade –Vocalist, Brian Cashwell – Piano & Chris Berg - Bass 


Hand-crafted designs by local artists/artists for sale & Artwork on display by Newport Primary students for viewing.

And More!
  • Historic 1950’s Greenline Bus – climb aboard and tour the bus
  • St. Elizabeth Healthcare – Health Expo booth
  • NKU – History, Journalism & Art students will be on-site reviewing their Newport Public Art Project

For up-to-date planned activities/events, please visit the Newport History Museum Facebook page:

Cold Spring's 1st Concert in the Park — September 27th

Join the City of Cold Spring for the last Concert in the Park of the season!

Date: Friday, September, 27, 2019
Time: 7:00p.m. — 10:00p.m.
Music: Model Behavior
Food and drink: Mac's Pizza Pub and the Braxton Brewery Truck

NKY Chamber Hosts Eggs ‘N Issues: Bourbon Business in NKY

On Tuesday, October 15, the Northern Kentucky Chamber of Commerce (NKY Chamber) will host Eggs ‘N Issues: Bourbon Business in NKY. A panel of experts will discuss the booming business of bourbon in the region and its impact on local businesses.

Panelists will include Brent Cooper, president and CEO of the NKY Chamber, Ken Lewis, founder and owner of New Riff Distilling, and Kristopher Thomas, B-Line board member and general manager at Aloft Newport on the Levee.

"Our spirits are high across the Northern Kentucky region due to the excitement surrounding bourbon," said Kristin Baldwin, vice president of public affairs and communications at the NKY Chamber. "We are excited to learn more about Kentucky’s signature bourbon industry from our local bourbon experts."

Eggs ‘N Issues: Bourbon Business in NKY will take place at Receptions Banquet and Conference Center (1379 Donaldson Road Erlanger, KY 41018). The event will begin with check-in, breakfast, and networking from 7:30-7:55 a.m., with the panel discussion and audience Q&A running from 7:55-9:00 a.m.

Registration for Eggs ‘N Issues is $30 for NKY Chamber members, $50 for future members, and free for NKYP Passport Holders. Pre-registration is required online at

More renderings of Newport on the Levee, plans for Mitchell's, Barnes & Noble

The new owners of Newport on the Levee are making plans for the spaces where both Mitchell's Fish Market and Barnes & Noble used to be.

North American Properties released more information and renderings at Newport on the Levee.

Barre3 Ft. Thomas. Located at Fort Thomas Plaza, 90 Alexandria Pike. 
A two-story building will be built in place of Mitchell's and the Barnes & Noble building will be renovated. The Business Courier reports the owners have picked a company to get new office space moving into the Levee.

The plan is for a mix of offices, restaurants, coffee shops and spaces to meet outside.

North American Properties previously announced plans to demolish the restaurant space where Mitchell’s Fish Market operated until January. Bar Louie restaurant and the Barnes and Noble bookstore also announced plans to close their Levee locations this year.

RELATED: Brio to be relocated? What will replace I-Max?

Conceptual designs released in June show how the Levee plans to replace those spaces with an interior design that takes better advantage of the building’s river view. North American has also said it plans to announce several new restaurant concepts for the property.

Saturday, September 21, 2019

Highlands-Ryle Video Highlights

Highlands-Ryle Game Story

Defense Stout in Highlands Victory

PHOTO: G. Michael Graham, Fort Thomas Matters. Highlands senior defensive lineman Griffin Welsch (8), Zach Lewin (41) and senior linebacker Mason Schwalbach (4) pursue Ryle senior running back Kyle England (7) in the Homecoming Game Friday. That was a common theme in the 27-0 Highlands victory. The Bluebirds have two shutouts this year.
The Homecoming crowd at David Cecil Memorial Stadium saw the formula for success for the Highlands Bluebirds football team Friday.

That is play solid defense, create turnovers, don't turn the ball over and let the offense put some things together. That led to a second shutout this year in a 27-0 victory over the visiting Ryle Raiders (3-2 overall).

Friday, September 20, 2019

Fort Thomas Coffee will cut ribbon on new ownership

In May of this year, new owners of Fort Thomas Coffee, Justin and Cristine Smalley, knew they were taking on a community hub for the Fort Thomas and before diving in, they wanted to understand exactly how to make that sense of community grow.

Over the summer, sprinkled amongst some family vacations and new hires, the Smalleys are officially ready to unveil their version of Fort Thomas Coffee.

On Monday, September 23 - six months after they bought FTC, they'll cut the ribbon at 6:00 p.m. and will be launching a multitude of new offerings including:

- New menu items
- New merchandise
- New hours
- New barista team

"We’re going to celebrate a summer of hard work with a reception of team members, friends and family 6-8 p.m. at the shop that evening," said owner, Christine Smalley.

Smalley said she's excited about an in-shop baker who will be preparing new fresh baked good and for the gluten-free options.

"Everything is amazing!" she said.

All day on Monday (9/23) Fort Thomas Coffee will be giving their guests a free sweet treat with every purchase and a $1 off coupon for a future visit.

Come by, wish them success and see the ribbon cut for the newest version of Fort Thomas' community coffee hub.

Class of 2019 Highlands Athletic Hall of Fame: 1993-94 Girls Basketball Team

Class of 2019

Team of Distinction – the 1993-94 Girls Basketball Team was the first Girls’ 9th Region team in Kentucky history to make it to the Sweet 16 Championship game.  In the Sweet 16, Highlands defeated Russell, Ohio County, and Louisville Male before falling to MC Napier in the championship game.  The team started the season 6-5 but only lost 2 more games the rest of the way and finished with an overall record of 32-7.  The team was led by Head Coach Jim Higgins, sophomore All-State performer Jaime Walz, and a pair of seniors and 9th Region All-Tournament team members: Megan Arnzen and Denise Lombardo.

Don't put off completing your will. Call Ashley Barlow! 859-781-5777. 

The members of the team were Megan Arnzen, Julie Eilerman, Kim Hoffmeister, Keri Imhoff, Denise Lombardo, Apryl Van Sickle, Jenny Warren, Jodie Mader, Caity McGraw, Jessica McMahon, Jaime Walz, Heather Kruger, and Kelli Duffy.  The following individuals also assisted Coach Jim Higgins: Luci Cecil (Assistant Coach), Brian Walz (Assistant Coach), Dan Hamberg (Statistician), Theresa Behan (Athletic Trainer), Jimmy Parker (Video) and Jennifer Higgins, Lauryn Higgins & Katie Konen (Managers).

The Hall of Fame ceremony in the HHS PAC begins at 3:00 p.m. on 9/22. That event is free and open to the public.

Sweet Tooth Candies owners in Newport to retire after 50 years

Update: 2:57 p.m.

Owner Bob Schneider confirmed that retirement is definitely happening for he and his wife, Norma, but they are reviewing other options that would allow Sweet Tooth Candies to stay open.

"It's a long and complicated process, but we wanted to let our employees and customers know that we're headed toward retirement," said Schneider. "With that goal in mind, we've been doing this since I grew up. We've worked our elbows off."

Earlier reports from employees indicated that a closure was on the horizon, but Schneider says he hopes to avoid that.

The article's headline has been corrected to reflect the new comments. New information will be updated in a new article.


A bittersweet ending for a long-time small business has many fans reeling.

Sweet Tooth Candies (125 W. 11th St.) in Newport, Kentucky and owners Bob and Norma Schneider, 83 and 77, will begin their retirement journey. Employees told Fort Thomas Matters that the couple has told them they will close, but gave them no specific date when operations will cease.

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They opened the location in 1969.

Since there is no date for their final closure, there is still time to grab their famous chocolate turtles, caramel apples or ice balls. Employees confirmed that ownership had communicated their plans to retire and close without a succession plan.

Schneider's, located in Bellevue, Kentucky, will remain open.

The Schneider family has been making their small-batch chocolate recipe for over a hundred years.

Everything is made in a small factory on Saratoga Street and served in the West 11th Street storefront, where shelves are lined with colorfully wrapped treats and gold-leaf boxes.

Sweet Tooth has roughly 10 employees who do everything from serving up ice cream on hot summer nights to hand-wrapping flavored chocolate eggs in preparation for Easter.

Monika Kenney has work at Sweet Tooth Candies for 30 years. She works primarily at the candy shop on 11th Street but has put in plenty of hours at the factory and knows the ins and outs of the Sweet Tooth business.

In three decades, there is one thing she hasn’t done: make the chocolate.

Thursday, September 19, 2019

Officials identify Campbell County inmate who walked away from work detail in Newport

There was a heavy police presence in the area of the Purple People Bridge Wednesday afternoon.

Orangetheory Fitness, Newport Pavilion. 
Just before 2 p.m., a Campbell County inmate walked away from a work detail on the Newport side of the bridge.

He has been identified as George Gattis. He is white, 5'10", 195 pounds with light brown hair and facial hair. Gattis, from Sparta, Kentucky, has an extensive arrest record. He was most recently arrested in May of this year.

The suspect was last seen on the Purple People Bridge walking toward Cincinnati.

Highlands Celebrates Homecoming, Will Face Ryle on Friday

Bluebirds Face Improved Raiders

PHOTO: Ed Harber. Highlands senior linebacker Mason Schwalbach makes a move in the win at Simon Kenton on Friday.
As assistant coach Billy Huddleston said last week, it is a matter of consistency for the Highlands Bluebirds football team.

The Highlands defense has displayed that for the most part this season in the 3-1 start. The offense hopes to see even more of it this week when the improved Ryle Raiders come to town with the same record Friday. Game time is 7 p.m. at David Cecil Memorial Stadium.

"I thought we took a big step last week," said Sam Umberg, Highlands Offensive Coordinator. "But we're really honing in on the little things like we do each and every day. It's the little things that will make our offense really get going. We haven't hit on all cylinders yet. But I do think we're really close."

Now open on Memorial Parkway!

Highlands has outscored opponents, 145-51 for averages of just more than 36 to just under 13 per game. No Kentucky opponent has scored more than 13 points against the Bluebirds. Highlands enters the game off a 28-7 win at Simon Kenton.

The Highlands defense made Simon Kenton drive the field and picked off two passes to end drives. Highlands Head Coach Brian Weinrich said that will again be a key this week.

"You have to make (opponents) make mistakes," Weinrich said. "There is a time to take some chances and press the issue. A lot of that is dictated by the situation and personnel on both sides of the ball. But you really want to make them have to be perfect and drive the ball so we have to be gap-sound have great pursuit. You have to have great angles."

The Highlands offense ran a season-high 81 plays last week. They also saw senior Tyler Brune rush for a season-high 89 yards on 15 carries with a touchdown for an average of just under six yards per carry. The Bluebirds pulled away from Simon Kenton with two touchdowns in the second half following two turnovers.

City Council Roundup: New Police Officers, Tower Park Projects, Golf Carts, Tax Rates

Fort Thomas Police Chief Casey Kilgore congratulates new officer Carl Harris Jr.

 By Robin Gee, City Council Beat Editor

Two new police officers received their badges at the September 16 meeting of Fort Thomas City Council. Both new officers Brandon Vance and Carl Harris Jr. bring experience to their positions.

Officer Carl Harris Jr. comes to the Fort Thomas Police Department from the Campbell County Police Department where he served four years. During his service he was a field training officer and adviser for the Explorers Program, said Chief Casey Kilgore.

A Fort Thomas resident, Harris volunteers for Prom to Dawn alcohol-free prom afterparty program and also coaches youth sports. He has received several awards including that of Police Officer of the Year. His badge number is 4454, and he will be on third shift.

"I feel blessed to be back home. Four years out at the county, I loved it there but it’s good to be home," Harris said.

New Fort Thomas police officer Brandon Vance comes to the department with experience in crime scene investigation.

Officer Brandon Vance has a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice and a master’s degree in public administration. He comes to the department after working for Wilder Police Department and, before that he served on the Newport Police Department where he had a reputation as a very capable detective, crime scene investigator and a field training officer. While at Newport, he ran the investigative unit. Assigned to second shift, Officer Vance has badge number 4453.

Mayor Eric Haas congratulated and thanked the new officers.

"It’s been kind of busy this summer with all the retirings, hirings and promotions," said Chief Kilgore. "We’ve been lucky to hire some of the best and retain the best, and we’re super happy to have these people aboard."

Traffic concerns around Tower Park

Fort Thomas resident Danielle Witterstaetter addressed council to voice her concerns about traffic safety in and around Tower Park and on other busy streets in Fort Thomas. She explained that recently her family of six were trying to cross near the park and were almost hit. She said she is very concerned about the speed of traffic around the park, and asked if there was anything she or other citizens could do to help with the issue.

Both Mayor Haas and City Administrator Ron Dill said they were aware of the issue and have been working on solutions, especially in the Tower Park area. Dill said some of the streets are state routes and so he plans to reach out to state officials once again for help in the matter. He added that plans are in motion to examine and improve all crosswalks in Tower Park.

City project updates

Dill said staff has been working on preparations to rebid the Shelter 3 construction project in Tower Park. As noted at the last council meeting, bids for the project all came in overbudget. Staff met with the three lowest bidders to determine where the costs were and how they might rebid to keep in budget. The plan now is to rebid without the additional restroom facility. That facility will be put on hold for later.

A request for qualifications will be coming in for a design team to help with city building improvements. The plan is to have the design team in place and a timeline for the work by October 1.

In this year’s city budget is an item to hire someone to assist city officials and council in the implementation phase of the community plan. Chris Manning of Human Nature has been selected for the position and has a working agreement with the city. Dill said with Manning on board, officials will have more time to dedicate to implementation of the plan.

Tennis Technology won the bid for the project to reseal and resurface all six tennis courts in Tower Park. The bid is for $49,884. The Fort Thomas Independent School District will participate in some of the costs of the project, Dill said.

The end of the short council meeting came to a close after the passage of two ordinances presented at the last meeting. Both the ordinance allowing and setting the rules for golf carts in the city and the city tax rate passed, which passed 4-0 and 5-0 respectively. Councilman David Cameron was absent from the meeting and Councilman Adam Blau abstained from the former vote.

RELATED: City Council Roundup: Tax Rate, Bond Issuance, Golf Carts, Grow Grant

Wednesday, September 18, 2019

Local Restauranteur Looking to Open Restaurant on Grand Avenue

Hunter Thomas's family-style restaurant Padrino's would be the model for his Fort Thomas eatery. It is located at 111 Main Street in Milford, Ohio.

By Robin Gee, City Council Beat Editor 

Fort Thomas resident Hunter Thomas has been interested in opening a restaurant in Fort Thomas for some time. He has two successful restaurant businesses in Milford, Ohio, and now has an opportunity to open a new establishment closer to his home.

While the details of sale of the property have still to be worked out, he said the end goal is to open a restaurant at 14 North Grand Avenue. He has taken the first step toward that goal by applying for a zoning map amendment that would change the zone from Professional Office to General Commercial.

14 N. Grand Avenue is the proposed spot for the restaurant. 

The building is currently home to a well-known local law firm. David Fessler, a partner in the firm shared this statement, "The law firm of Fessler, Schneider and Grimme has been approached by a potential buyer who has interest in our location. We are considering our options regarding this matter," he said.

"If our firm decides to sell, we will be relocating our practice to another location, but nothing else will change. We will provide the same quality representation by the same lawyers. If we decide to relocate the practice, we fully intend on remaining in Ft. Thomas," he added.

Now open on Memorial Parkway!

 A family style eatery that would fit right in

Thomas owns 20 Brix, an upscale bistro and wine shop, and a full-service family-style Italian restaurant and pizzeria, Padrino. The idea for the Fort Thomas restaurant would be very similar to that of Padrino.

"I’m at the point where my two restaurants in Milford have come into their own. The staff is very responsible. I can step away and work on another project. I’ve been able to look around Fort Thomas and think what would go well here," said Thomas.

"I think a restaurant like Padrino would be great. Family-style Italian with homemade lasagna, manicotti, homemade meatballs. I’d start with a carbon copy of Padrino but over time we would adjust it here and there. It would all depend on the community, what people here want."

Thomas is hoping to add outdoor seating. There are between 13 and 15 parking spaces behind the building. He will ask the city for some leeway with the parking.

Making cautious plans for the future

Right now, in addition to the law firm, there is an apartment on the second floor of the building. Thomas plans to keep renting out that space for now. “I want to take it slow, have the restaurant on the first floor and lease to a tenant upstairs,” he explained.

Over time, depending on the success of the restaurant, he may have other ideas for the space, he said, but for now he wants to stick with what he knows and what he does best.

"I am used to one specific thing. The size of the restaurant, what to do with it, how to manage it. I don’t want to get overly zealous," he said. In other words, one step at a time, and the first step is a family-style restaurant on the first floor with outdoor seating.

Thomas's wife is from Fort Thomas, and he says he is happy he has made it his home for the past 17 years.

Fort Thomas Recreation is Forming Upcoming Fall Leagues

Fall leagues are forming at Fort Thomas Recreation. They offer Pickle ball, Tennis, Volleyball, Flag Football, and softball. Registration for all sports is currently open to anyone.

Pickle Ball — Monday and Wednesday nights.

Tennis — Mondays, Tuesdays, and Thursdays. Mens', Women's, and Mixed Doubles.

Volleyball — Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays. We offer Men's, Women's and Co-ed in three different skill levels.

Flag Football — Wednesday nights.

Softball — Tuesday and Thursday for men and Fridays for Coed.

NKY Chamber Names Drew McDonald Membership Representative

The Northern Kentucky Chamber of Commerce (NKY Chamber) is pleased to announce the hiring of Drew McDonald for the position of Membership Representative. He assumed the role on Monday, September 16. 

“We are extremely excited about the addition of Drew to the NKY Chamber team,” said Brent Cooper, president & CEO for the NKY Chamber. “He will be a key player in supporting current members and in creating awareness regarding the many benefits of Chamber membership throughout the NKY business community.”

As Membership Representative, McDonald will be responsible for supporting the vice president of membership in managing membership sales, enrollment, renewals, and ongoing consumer relationships with NKY Chamber members.

McDonald is a 2019 graduate Northern Kentucky University (NKU), where he majored in marketing. While at NKU, he was the captain of the men’s basketball team, helping to lead the team to four Horizon League Conference wins, and a member of the Student Athlete Advisory Committee.

“Northern Kentucky is a special place to me and I am extremely grateful for the opportunity the Chamber has given me to be more involved in the community,” said McDonald. “I was born and raised here, and it’s an honor to be able to help support companies in our region and contribute to making it a better place to live and do business.”

Highlands' Students Named National Merit Scholarship Semifinalists

Highlands High School seniors Maria Broering, Hiren Lemma and August Hug have been named Semifinalists in the 2020 National Merit Scholarship Program. Additionally, Highlands had six commended students: Sawyer Depp, Adam Groneck, Austin Hyder, Benjamin Morrison, Zoe Poff and Mehryn Toole.

When asked to tell a little about themselves and their future aspirations, our semifinalists shared goals for their futures. Their experiences at Highlands have helped position them for future success.

Maria Broering – “I am a captain of the varsity soccer team, secretary of the Math Honor Society, and a member of NHS, FCCLA, NEHS, and Spanish Club. I have committed to play soccer at Ball State University and will major in dietetics in order to become a registered dietitian."

Hiren Lemma – “I am the vice-president of the Class of 2020 and co-president of the National Math Honor Society, and I am the principal 2nd violinist in the Highlands Chamber Orchestra. I hope to major in psychology for my undergraduate and eventually attend law school to become a criminal prosecutor.”

August Hug – “I run varsity cross-country and track at Highlands and am in the National Honor Society. I'm applying to U of L, Dayton, and Purdue and I plan on majoring in mechanical engineering.

Over 1.5 million juniors in about 21,000 high schools entered the 2020 National Merit Scholarship Program by taking the 2018 Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test (PSAT/NMSQT®), which served as an initial screen of program entrants. The nationwide pool of semifinalists, representing less than one percent of U.S. high school seniors, includes the highest-scoring entrants in each state. The number of Semifinalists in a state is proportional to the state’s percentage of the national total of graduating seniors.

Tuesday, September 17, 2019

Two honored for long-time support of Fort Thomas Junior Football

Two individuals were honored at the September 7 Fort Thomas Junior Football League games for their longtime support of the youth organization.

Dr. Nick Gates of OrthoCincy and Sue "Bird" Abner, were recognized for their dedication and partnership over the years.

Gates has been affiliated with Fort Thomas Junior Football for over 20 years with Orthocincy participating as the league's lead sponsor for many years.

"His dedication to all of the players and coaches over the years is greatly appreciated," said Tom New, league president.  "Every year he comes and speaks to the coaches, educating and explaining the safety of the game. Dr. Gates has been a great partner and mentor to many over the years."

Sue "Bird" Abner has been a fervent supporter of the league for years.

New went over some of her statistics as it relates to Fort Thomas Junior Football:

How Midway Cafe ties into "Kentucky's quintessential bourbon event"

Northern Kentucky’s first major signature event celebrating the state’s bourbon heritage, The Kentucky’s Edge Bourbon Conference & Festival, will take place October 4 and 5 at venues throughout Covington and Newport.

One exclusive event that has folks excited will take place at BB Riverboats and will feature the Midway Cafe (1017 S. Fort Thomas Avenue) and the rest of the "Select Six" establishments, along with New Riff Distilling.

RELATED: Details, The Select Six Dinner at BB Riverboats, featuring New Riff Distillery 

The evening includes dinner, entertainment, a craft cocktail and bourbon tasting, and a swag bag complete with a bottle of New Riff Single Barrel Bourbon.  This bottle was selected exclusively for this event by the Select Six. The Midway Cafe is offering a New Riff barrel pick at their restaurant that is making waves throughout the region and in the bourbon community.

RELATED: Purchase tickets here for "An Evening Out with Select Six and New Riff: Kentucky's Edge

Food stations featuring signature dishes from each of the Select Six establishments: Midway's award-winning smoked chicken wings, Rich's Proper Jambalaya, Fried Green Tomato Sliders with Bacon Jam from Neat, and Carved Turkey and Tenderloin Sliders from BB Riverboats. Craft cocktails will be offered from the Village Pub and Union 42 and a bourbon tasting from New Riff.

The event takes place Friday, October 4, 2019 from 7:00 p.m. until 11:00 p.m. at Rivers Edge at Newport Landing located at BB Riverboats (101 Riverboat Row, Newport, KY 41071).

The "Select Six"

About The Kentucky Edge

Born from a desire to shine a light on our region and heritage, the Kentucky’s Edge Bourbon Conference & Festival is designed to share on a local, national, and international scale what makes Northern Kentucky special.

Organizers are thinking of the Kentucky’s Edge Bourbon Conference & Festival as the SXSW for bourbon, with Covington and Newport as the campus. The weekend will include a free music festival on the river, a Kentucky artisan market in MainStrasse Village, and a bourbon conference at the Northern Kentucky Convention Center. There will also be bourbon pairings, tastings, and musical performances at restaurants and bars spread out across the two cities.

New owners take over at Fort Thomas Convenient Mart

Fort Thomas Convenient Mart has new ownership.

Brothers, Mike and Steve Grote, sold their business to De Khouri and Jordan Khoury. The deal closed for the new owners yesterday and inventory and ordering were taking place this morning.

Over 50 years experience in NKY. Call now, mention FTM. (859) 287-2499.
The Grotes bought the business in June of 2016 from Amy Lloyd, who owned the store for a little less than a year.

The Grotes re-opened up the deli, brought fresh produce into the inventory and made the footprint of the store smaller to keep the rent economical, with the help of building ownership.

RELATED: The Grotes take over at Fort Thomas Convenient Mart (June 2016)
RELATED: Amy Lloyd purchases Fort Thomas Deli Mart (August 2015)

Steve Grote said that he didn't wish to sell the business, but personal circumstances prevented him from being able to spend more time in the store.

"Life got in the way, so-to-speak," said Grote. "I truly had so much fun interacting with customers and I'm really going to miss it, but I am a little worn out."

Grote said the store is doing well and that he had been approached four times, unsolicited, about others wanting to buy the store.

"We never did want to sell, but when these two came along we were able to be selective. They have a history of runnings successful businesses related to this type of thing and they are committed to serving the community in the same manner that we always did," he said.

"This is the right duo for the future of the store."

There are plans to build out the the divided space next to Convenient and open a liquor and wine store. When the Grotes purchased their location and made the footprint smaller, The Colonel's Creamery had plans to fill that space, but that never came to fruition and it has sat empty since.

RELATED: The Colonel's Creamery exploring Fort Thomas as new retail option 

"The new owners are committed to doing the expansion that we always planned on," he said.

Class of 2019 Highlands Athletic Hall of Fame: Debbie Reed Keefe

Class of 2019

Debbie Reed Keefe, class of 1968, was an outstanding athlete and coach at Highlands. As a swimmer during high school, she won 13 state championships and set 8 state records.  From 1964-68, she went undefeated in the 50 and 100 meter freestyle events, and she won both events for 5 consecutive years at the state level. Debbie earned All-American honors in 1967 and 1968. In 1965, Debbie was a member of the United States team in the Canadian-American International swim meet.

After graduation, Debbie attended the University of Cincinnati on an academic scholarship and swam for UC’s club team all four years. Debbie’s time in college came before the NCAA sanctioned women’s swimming as an official sport.  During college, she began her coaching career with the Cincinnati Marlins, something that holds special meaning because Keefe was an original member of the Marlins. Later, she coached at the University of Cincinnati, Highlands High School and was the aquatics director for Mariemont High School for 25 years.

As a math teacher, Debbie spent 41 years in high school classrooms, making numbers come to life for students at Highlands and Mariemont. She presently teaches at the University of Cincinnati as an Adjunct Associate Professor of Mathematics. Her coaching career at Highlands lasted from 1972-1980, during which she won 8 consecutive NKAC titles and a regional championship in 1980. Debbie was named the NKAC Coach of the Year and was inducted into the Northern Kentucky Athletic Director’s Hall of Fame in 1992.

Debbie and her husband Tom, have been married for 45 years and currently live in Mt. Lookout.  They have 2 daughters and 4 grandchildren.

The Hall of Fame ceremony in the HHS PAC begins at 3:00 p.m. on 9/22. That event is free and open to the public.

Honeybees Are Your Friends Event This Weekend

The Fort Thomas Forest Conservancy will host the Honeybees Are Your Friends event at the Harlan Hubbard Studio and Nature Preserve located at 129 Highland Avenue on Saturday, September 21 from 10:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.

Orangetheory Fitness at Newport Pavilion. 

You will learn how important honeybees are to our existence and how you can make a difference. Fort Thomas beekeeper Rick Stegeman will be at the studio with the FTFC bees to discuss more than just honey production.

Stegeman says, “Visitors will see a sample hive that shows what life inside a hive looks like. There are no live bees in the sample hive, just pictures. They can view the 2 hives that are working hives. They will be able to view the hives within 8-10 feet of the hives and away from the front entrance of the hives.”

Rick Stegeman’s bee fascination began with “my son’s attendance in the Kentucky Governor’s Scholars program 13 years ago. He came home and told me how cool bees were after seeing some hives on one of the field trips. He urged me to get hives and start raising bees which I did. I became a beekeeper and my son went off to college! I fell in love with them though after raising them and learning all about them. Totally fascinating creatures that they are!” 

Hubbard Studio
Visitors will also enjoy a reading from the wonderful children’s book Bee Ewe.   Writer Anne Green Thiele will share her story about a walk with Ewe Lamb and Honey Bee as they learn the importance of self worth.  Her books will also be available for purchase.

This event is for all ages.  Please note that FTFC takes every precaution to protect its visitors.  If, however, you or your child has a severe allergy to bees, we suggest you bring an EpiPen.

The event is free of charge but donations are gladly accepted.

Bee Event – Honeybees are Your Friends
Saturday, September 21 10:00 am – 1:00 pm
Hubbard Studio and Nature Preserve
129 Highland Ave.
Sponsored by Fort Thomas Forest Conservancy