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Saturday, December 31, 2011

FTM - Year-end Review

Wow – how time flies when you are having fun.  Fort Thomas Matters turned 4 last month.  As I began writing this post I realized that I started this blog a month after my oldest son was born – I must have needed an outlet for those 3AM feedings.  Regardless, New Year's is always a time for reflection and we are no different.  I thought we would start with a look back at the past year. 

The top 5 most read stories of the past year included:
1.       Cake Towne in Cake Town – surprising that a story about a High School play ranks #1 for the year.  Perhaps it had something to do with people searching for information about the bakery Cake Towne.
2.       Target Opens with Pictures – some of my favorite moments ever on the site as Mark walked into the store before opening and took pictures and who can forget his conversations with the Kroger management team during the grand opening
4.       Chicken Story – I enjoyed getting bombarded by the residential chicken lobby
5.       Fort Thomas Setting Up Traffic Cameras? – turned out to be a smart light sensor

Other highlights for the site this past year include:
1.       We reached 150,000 page views for the year
2.       Total traffic on the site increased 170%
3.       We added another writer – everyone thank Ben for his thoughtful commentary
4.   We introduced a Facebook page and now have 318 fans that now break the news
5.       We had 218 posts in the past year an increase from the previous year’s 151
6.       We inspired concerned citizens in other cities to start a similar outlet – look at River City News; does the design look familiar?  Mike is doing a great job over there with Covington information, go check him out or add him to your news feed.

With all that said – this is usually a good time to talk about changes.  Even with the addition of Ben, we are still looking for writers - we are always looking for good contributors that have something thoughtful to say that adds to the general public discourse.  If you have a fresh perspective and would like to write for the blog – shoot us an email.

What would you like to see from Fort Thomas Matters as we start to move into the new year?  Use the comments section below to give us some good suggestions.  And again, thanks for reading and leaving us your feedback.

Friday, December 30, 2011

Ten and They're In (Guest post by Ben Petracco)

This is a Fort Thomas and surrounding area blog. As such, we try to keep things pretty close to home. But when their is a hurricane brewing on the coast, our local news covers it pretty extensively because it's a pretty rare occurrence.

In that same vein, I had to take advantage of this opportunity and document this event because as the Who Dey faithful know, this doesn’t happen very often. Hurricane Dalton is upon us. The Bengals hold their fate in their own hands and with a tenth win on Sunday they will be playoff bound.

Cincinnati takes on the Baltimore Ravens at 4:15 on Sunday at Paul Brown Stadium and after some creative marketing by the Bengals the game was deemed a sell out. For the second time all season a home game will be on local TV. The creative marketing I speak of is the “buy one get one” technique with ticket sales to get people to open their wallets and pack the seats of the stadium.

The last time these two teams met it was the Ravens who prevailed with a 31-24 win over the Bengals. It was the Bengals 10th game in week 11 and while Andy Dalton did have a prolific passing game with 373 yards, he had some very detrimental interceptions that put the orange &black in a hole from which they could not climb out.

Since November 20th there has been 5 games; while the Bengals looked good against those teams going 3-2, the team they’ll face on Sunday is a completely different animal. To have any chance of winning Andy Dalton needs to clean up his passing game and limit any and all mistakes; when playing a defense like the Ravens any mishap can be costly if not disastrous.

Thursday, December 29, 2011

No Local KMart/Sears to Close... Right Now

No local Kmart or Sears stores will be shut down during the first round of closures from the retailer giant. A list was recently published on Sears' website, which can be viewed here.

The Sears Hardware store in Newport was shut down prior to this announcement. (For conversation of what could be moving into this location, "like" our Facebook page here).

Sears has said that it plans to close between 100-120 stores in all, but so far only 79 have been sent to the chopping block. The closest store to Fort Thomas that has already been closed is in Columbus.

As we said in a post dated January 6th 2010, KMart sucks. The KMart near NCC has been featured on the local news recently, as news spread that many of these stores would be closing. As soon as the Target went in, I think most people thought the closing of this store would be inevitable. Some shoppers, who were stopped and interviewed after leaving the store, said they felt sad or guilty that the Newport KMart might be closed.

I guess they will have a few more opportunities to consume, consume, consume. Has anyone started a "Save the Newport KMart" on Facebook yet?

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Fort Thomas News in Social Media

It has been a while since we gave you an update on what is happening in Fort Thomas on Facebook, Twitter, etc.  What better time than the holidays to check in than the holidays?  This blog isn't the only place people are engaging - our Facebook page has become a very active community of over 300 people and growing daily.  Also, you can check follow Mark, Ben, or my Twitter accounts and get updates as it happens.

1. Some readers posted rumors of Newport's Village Discount Outlet (whom recently closed) possible move into the old Sears store front.

2. Builders Surplus is coming to Newport - finally providing a tenant for the old Winn-Dixie (Thirftway?) building.  This was one of many retweets I send on a regular basis.  You can follow me by searching @murriner

3. Keep up with the latest on Mio's transformation in the old Warner's building by following Mio's Fort Thomas Facebook page.  They post pictures and regular updates.

4. I saw another interesting use for Social Media in the last couple weeks.  I walked into the Guardian Savings Bank location in the center of town and the teller, Amber Marie Perkins was promoting her attempt to become Miss Kentucky with a flyer to her Facebook page.  You can support her bid by clicking the link above.

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Merry Christmas from Birkley Services!

FTM Sponsor Love:

Thanks to everyone for making it a great year. Have a Merry Christmas and a Happy New year. from Matt, Chris, Joe & Connie Birkley

Birkley Services has been as reliable and friendly as ever. Please remember to call them for all your heating/cooling, furnaces, heat pumps, geothermal, boilers, unit heaters, radiant heaters, air conditioners, ductless mini splits, humidifiers, air cleaners, air purifiers, dehumidifiers, ventilation equipments and more.

Like them on Facebook here
. Matt frequently has giveaways for his fans. Or call them at 781-5500. Great local business!

Fort Thomas News - Holiday Edition

1. Fox 19 had a very cool story about a former St Catherine's teacher that had helped with plays in past years but has become too ill this year.  As a result students and faculty took Christmas to him and sang Christmas carols in his front lawn.  Very cool story to start your Christmas.

2. The Candy Cottage was mentioned in Kentucky Living Magazine's December issue in the "Worth the Trip" feature that focuses on specialty businesses around the state.  This month they featured specialty candy stores and Candy Cottage made the cut.

3. While not exactly news for this week - I just realized that Jared Lorenzen has joined Twitter.

4. I am not going to go into all the accolades young Patrick Towles is racking up this year since Mark just completed a recent post with an interview from Patrick but it is nice to have a Mr Football and Paul Hornung Award winner from Highlands.

5. Don't forget about the Frostbite 5K sponsored by the YMCA that is coming up in a little more than a week.  Here is some info about the race:
  The 6th Annual Al Salvato 5 Mile Run/3.1 Mile Walk is on for January 1st, 2012 at 8am. Past runners should have been emailed and called regarding registration. For those that did not get the information the registration form on or just email and she we will send you one. Online registration will be available as well in the next few days at  We will have Starbucks to wake you up, keep you warm and enjoy!

Friday, December 23, 2011

FTM Exclusive: Patrick Towles on Patrick Towles

I caught up with Patrick Towles this week, fresh off his Mr. Football commendation, to talk about his time with Highlands, his future with Kentucky and his thoughts on what's next for the Fort Thomas native.

Towles, who was also recently named an honorable mention quarterback on the Sports Illustrated All-America list and third team All-America on ESPN that was announced Monday and Thursday respectively, threw for 3,820 yards, 42 touchdowns and rushed for 589 yards and 15 touchdowns in leading the Bluebirds to the Class 4A state title. Their 5th in a row.

The UK commit's play on the field reminds me of another #8 from Highlands, Gino Guidugli. He's a little more athletic than Gino, but is accurate, throws a strong, tight spiral, and has outstanding decision making skills. It has been my belief since the end of his junior year and subsequent commitment to the Wildcats, that Towles would push current quarterbacks Max Smith and Morgan Newton for the starting job.

Mark Collier: I've seen in different articles and websites you referred to as Pat or Patrick. Which is it?

Patrick Towles: It's either. People who are close to me call me Pat. It'll be Patrick in the media guide next year.

MC: What's on the agenda for the rest of the year at Highlands?

PT: Well, I'll continue to work out and get ready for football next year, but I'm actually excited, I've got my first basketball game of the year tonight against Campbell County.

MC: Tell me about your game?

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

New Year's Eve Plans? Look No Further...

As you begin to wrap up your Christmas shopping in the next few days, the next date circled on your calendar which garners attention is New Year's Eve. There are three types of people on New Year's Eve:

1) I-Hate-NYE-Guy: This guy or gal looks at New Year's Eve as amateur night. They refuse to go out and insist on staying in.

2) I'm-Having-A-Party-Guy: This person works hard to clean their house, get enough appetizers, food and alcohol for their guests, then worry about entertaining them. The day after their house is a disaster (if it's a good party), there wasn't enough food and not nearly enough to drink, and you were frustrated that no one was playing Cranium right.

3) I'm-Going-Out-Guy: This person is the smart one. They let the venue worry about entertaining, food and drink, and they know the night will be a memorable one.

If you are part of the third group, look no further than one of FTM's sponsors, Gangster's Dueling Piano Bar. I've had two parties there this year (our 10 year class reunion and my bride's surprise birthday party), and both went off without a hitch. I've gotten so many comments from my guests about their over-the-top service, bar specials and entertainment, that I'm sure their NYE will be a hit as well.

An all-inclusive $80 price gets you open seating at Gangsters:
  • Food by the bite
  • Late night food
  • Party favors
  • Champagne toast at midnight
  • Private smoking room

For an extra $20, you get a reserved seat at The Syndicate, everything listed above and:

  • Appetizers
  • Prime-rib dinner buffet
  • Dessert and coffee bar

Not to mention three different areas to party. DJ Mark McFadden in the club area, The Rusty Griswolds playing your favorite 80s in the ballroom and of course the dueling pianos in the bar area.

Order your tickets now at or calling 859-491-8000.

Monday, December 19, 2011

NKy's Best Pizza Quest: Raniero's Pizzeria

We had a smaller crowd for this week's pizza challenge, as Darrin was out of town. Good news for FTM readers, as that means you are spared once again from my mug via video.

Raniero's in Cold Spring (on Martha Layne Collins Blvd) has been the furthest we have traveled from the bubble that is Fort Thomas. Another small, family owned business, we spent a lot of time conversing with the restaurants' owners. Part of the reason as to why we're only trying to dine at non-chain pizzerias is that very reason. We got to learn the story behind the start of the restaurant, how they have evolved and what's next for Raniero's.

The future is what excited us the most and will set the tone for the rest of this article. Basically starting near February 1, Raniero's will move next door to the old Blockbuster Video, which they are completely renovating. They will have more of a "tavern" type atmosphere and will fill a role in that community that currently does not exist.

Raniero's new location new door, which is under construction

Saying that, the visit we had will certainly be skewed as they are moving equipment, readying for a move, and most importantly, put their liquor license in escrow.

Atmosphere: 7.7
Upon entering the restaurant, you understand owner, Mike Howard Jr's, main inspiration for opening Raniero's: family and providing an affordable pizza option for the college crowd.

His grandfather Raniero obviously meant a lot to him, as does the rest of his family, which is portrayed in frames posted wall to wall.

Grandfather Raniero (middle) was one of the inspirations for opening Raniero's

The current dining room is perfect for a college campus. It's small, with no frills. You could feel perfectly comfortable cruising in to grab a slice between classes, or in your pajamas trying to recover from too many libations the night before.

The way it's set up right now, Raniero's is mainly self service. Since it's going to be tough to grade the service, I'm going to include our thoughts on service in this section.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

The Chancel Choir of Highland United Methodist Church presents Tapestry of Light

Not in the Christmas spirit yet? A visit to the Highland United Methodist Church Sunday night should remedy that situation.

Come Sunday night to the church (right across from HHS) at 7:00 to enjoy this music ensemble. Desserts will be available after the performance.

Below is a description of what you can expect:

The joy and hope of Christmas are celebrated in this new Celtic-styled cantata. This jubilant work is filled with tuneful carols, thoughtful narration, and sparkling orchestrations. Traditional melodies form the foundations of this tapestry of lights. Our own chancel choir provides the beautiful singing along with a Celtic instrumental ensemble and liturgical dancers. We hope you'll join us for Tapestry of Light!

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

T-Shirt Tiiiiiiime! (Ben Petracco)

One of the T-shirt designs on commemorates the Beverly Hills Supper Club

I have been doing some research lately trying to find websites that are Northern Kentucky / Cincinnati oriented. As I come across the better ones I wanted to pass along my findings to the readers of Fort Thomas Matters so that you may also indulge in my World Wide Web bounty.

My first find is an outstanding site that sells unique t-shirts; the website is and their products are great.

This site is run by two gentlemen, Mr. Josh Sneed and Mr. Darin Overholser. I have been in contact with them regarding their site and they say their goal is to make something special for residents in the area both young and old. One visit to their site and you see they’re covering the age spectrum with shirts referencing things from Shillito’s department store to the “Red Rifle” himself, Andy Dalton.

Their shirts are truly unique and specific to this area. There is a vintage section with the following categories: Amusement Parks, Sports, Bars & Restaurants, Cincinnati Shopping, Early Cincinnati and Brands. There is also a modern Cincinnati section that has t-shirts depicting topics such as the Cincinnati streetcar, Brew Ha-Ha, the Saint Louis Cardinals rivalry; they even have a t-shirt for the recent Cross Town Shootout brawl.

The shirts are funny, nostalgic and creative while also being reasonably priced. The shirts would be a great gift for anyone because the topics are so diverse; ‘tis the season right? was a great website to find and I encourage you stop by their page.

Do you know of a Northern Kentucky / Cincinnati oriented website we should check out and review? Let us know here:

This is Mark hijacking Ben's post. Just in case anyone needed any last minute gift ideas for yours truly, you could do worse than this one:
Or this one:

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Fort Thomas News to Start Your Week

As we count down the days to finish our Christmas shopping I thought you could use a few news notes to start your week:

1. Here is something you don't see often - a business in Fort Thomas adding 25 jobs.  Turns out there is a successful payment processing business (Omega Processing) in the office building next to the old Frisch's in South Fort Thomas and they are expanding.  They are going from 16 employees to 40 into 2012.  This is a nice win for the city and it is good to see that office building filling up.  Lets hope they continue to be successful and expand the building where the old Frisch's is to avoid a vacant eye sore for a prolonged period of time.

2. From a good news story to a bad - Fort Thomas appears to be having a rash of people engaging in stupid criminal behavior.  Marc mentioned the crazy guy stealing cigarettes last week and now we hear about 68 year old James Summers who was a student at Gateway College and decided to use a knife to rob the bookstore.  They easily identified him and apprehended him.  Safe to say his academic status is in danger.

3. The Notre Dame Scout page has the first of a two part series on Jac Collinsworth if you are interested.  You do have to be a member to get access to the whole article but if you are a huge Bluebirds fan it could be worth the price.

Friday, December 9, 2011

"Cookbook for Cancer" Launch Party this Saturday at The Blue Marble

Fort Thomas native, Jamie Baker, is set to launch her 2nd cookbook "A Taste of Hope Volume II" this Saturday at The Blue Marble.

The launch party for the book will be held from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 10, at the Blue Marble Children’s Bookstore in Fort Thomas.

Baker, who was diagnosed with Leukemia is 2006 at age 21, is hoping to top $10,000 that she raised for cancer related organizations after compiling her first cookbook 5 years ago.

From the article posted in The Community Recorder, "Baker said she was inspired to compile a second volume in honor of her five-year remission anniversary in November, all the people she had met and stories she had heard in that time.

For the second book, Baker reached out to some of these people, asking them for their stories of the battles with cancer they and their loved ones had fought."

The article goes on:

"Since others shared their stories for the second book, Baker let them pick where the proceeds would go.

All money raised will be divided between the American Cancer Society, the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, the Dragonfly Foundation, Flying Horse Farms and St. Baldrick’s 46 Mommas Shave for the Brave group."

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Nky's Best Pizza Quest: Buona Vita

Our fourth stop for Nky's Best Pizza Quest was Buona Vita, located on Fairfield Ave. It's a bit past the Bellevue Business district in Dayton. We had high expectations for this stop on the quest, as it was one of the pizza locales highlighted in Cincinnati Magazine's best pizza article. Word of mouth also holds this eatery in high regards as well.

You get a break from seeing my mug in video form for this review, as our forgetful faithful leader didn't bring the company iPad.

Atmosphere (1-10 scale): 8
The older buildings on Fairfield Avenue lend themselves perfectly to the small business district. Buona Vita is no different. In what used to be a bank, the owners have made it feel intimate and done a good job incorporating some of the features that make it a unique place to dine.

I made a reservation for 8 at 7:00 and it was a good thing I did. The place was packed on a Tuesday night, a mostly older crowd. There were no specials that we were aware of, so obviously business is going well. Our reservation placard greeted us shortly after our server and we were off.

The lighting was a bit dark in the main dining area, but that seemed to be the only thing we could nitpick. We arrived a little late to find the kids we were with playing on what looked to be a small stage in the corner. Didn't ask, but it would be perfect for a one to two person band. We took a tour of the smaller restaurant. The bar was well stocked and lead to a vault with a 12 inch steel door. (Below)

A tip: if you are with a group of 2-6, call ahead and try to reserve the "nook," which is a hollowed out vault, which is definitely the coolest table in the restaurant. You are totally secluded though, so if people watching is your thing, look elsewhere (below):

Overall Pizza Taste/Selection: 8.3
All of the recipes at Buona Vita have been handed down from generation to generation. The dough, sauce, sausage and meatballs... everything. The dough is made fresh daily, not frozen. Add the stone oven, and you have a pizza that's built on a thin hand-tossed crust, which gets a little charred on the bottom, a little puffy on the edges, with a slightly shiny brown glaze.

The ingredients are fresh, but not over weighted. It's a wonderful blend and take on the old Italian type of pizza.

We had the standard Pepperoni, Jeremy's Meat Pie (pepperoni, sausage, bacon) and Pewee's Pizza Bianco (topped with oil, Italian spices, cheese and spinach (below):

Again, with 10 people and after our appetizers we only had a few pieces left. Very, very good pizza.

Extras: 8

A really neat part of Buona Vita is laid out on the menu. The "family" theme is displayed throughout by way of what each item is called. You don't just see breadsticks, salads or calzones. You have Big Nikki's Breadsticks, Grandma Frommeyer's Salads and Uncle Carmine's Calzones.

Monday, December 5, 2011

Fort Thomas News to Start Your Week

1. I think this is about a week old now but I saw this short little article about suppressing McCafferty files from Channel 5 in Mobile AL.  That is right - Mobile, not Cincinnati.  According to the article Fort Thomas is appealing the state supreme court a ruling that required the McCafferty files be released to the Cincinnati Enquirer and the city pay for the legal fees associated with the case.  Very odd in my opinion - did anyone else see anything about this story locally?

2. Here is a Courier Journal article handicapping the Mr Football race - notice the odds on favorite is Fort Thomas' own Patrick Towles.  Of course this comes on the heels of being named the Gatorade Player of the Year in Kentucky.  I am sure this will not be the last award Patrick brings home.

3. Also, you may remember my post from October about Fort Thomas Independent Schools shifting to the ACT as a measurement tool.  Now comes this story from Channel 27 in Lexington about the state's application to the Department of Education to begin using the ACT as the benchmark test.  Kudos to Fort Thomas schools for anticipating and getting ahead of the curve on this one.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Wet Holiday Walk Recap

Despite the rain there was still a nice crowd out tonight for the holiday walk.  While the rain isn't ideal - it still beats the heck out of bone chilling cold which has occurred during past Holiday Walks.

A few highlights:

  • Mio's was there giving away pizza and pasta from a buffet cart.  
  • Candy Cottage gave away big bags of candy - everything from gummy bears to chocolate covered peanuts it was a big hit with the kids.  Super generous and it was great seeing them be a part of the festivities
  • The barber shop was a sleeper - they gave away plates of cookies, soda pops, and my wife's favorite snicker snackers.
  • There was the usual live animals, carriage rides, Snoopy, and Grange Insurance hot cocoa
Overall a good night and it wasn't so crowded that lines formed anywhere.  Glad to see people still showed up despite the bad weather.

Really guy?

A thief in Fort Thomas had repeatedly been using the same method to steal cartons of cigarettes.

Fort Thomas Police says that in each instance, a man enters a gas station and asks for Newport cigarettes. The clerk pulls the cigarettes and places them in a bag. The suspect hands the clerk a credit card, which comes back denied. The thief takes the bag and runs to a waiting older red Chevrolet S-10 pickup.

Anyone that recognizes the subject in this surveillance photo should contact Crimestoppers at 352-3040. All calls are anonymous and callers may be eligible for a cash reward.

Detective Brad Adams with the Fort Thomas Police Department is investigating the thefts.

UPDATE - This is Darrin hijacking Mark's post. There was an email that went out the next day that indicated they had caught the guy (thanks to a tip) and he confessed to the thefts. Go FTPD!

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Highlands Captures Fifth in a Row

I captured this shot at the Inverness corner this morning as the team was about to head out of town on their way to Bowling Green and an eventual state championship.  It was a very cool scene as groups of friends, family, and fans gathered at each corner on the way out of town.

(that is my niece Mary at bottom center)

If you were following our Twitter feeds or the live updates provided in the previous post - by now you know that Highlands did in fact capture their fifth straight state title.  It apparently doesn't matter which class you put the Bluebirds in and they still find a way to beat everyone and capture the state title.

According to Mike Fields at this team was a record breaker:
Highlands piled up 507 yards, giving it a state-record 7,516 yards this season. It also established single-season state records for points (849) and TDs (121).

Don't forget to stop by and offer congratulations tomorrow night during the Holiday Walk after 8pm at the High School.

HHS-Frankin-Simpson State Championship Live Feed

Pre-game predictions:

Highlands, a four-time defending champ in Class 5A, goes for a fifth consecutive title in this 4A finals against Franklin-Simpson.

Highlands (14-0) is led by senior QB and UK committ Patrick Towles. Franklin-Simpson (13-1) is led by cousins Darrius and Jerrell Wickware.

Highlands is already the highest scoring team in state history. They’ve scored 807 points (averaging almost 60 a game).

  • HIGHLANDS 35- FS 14. 11:48 4th: Jake True scores from 7 yards.
  • Editor's Note: Have to go to a wedding. Looks like the Birds will get their 5th in a row. Will update the final later.
  • After the onside kick, Franklin-Simpson went for it on 4th-and-5 from the Highlands 45, but Max Bennett’s pass went incomplete so the Bluebirds take over with 3:01 left in the third.
  • Darrius Wickware recoveres onside kick for Franklin-Simpson at the 50. It’s the third time Franklin-Simpson tried an onside kick.
  • HIGHLANDS 28, FS 14: Franklin-Simpson goes 81 yards in eight plays – all rushes – and cuts it to 28-14 on Max Bennett’s one-yard sneak. Franklin-Simpson was helped by 15-yard personal foul on Drake Bruns. It’s Highlands still up, 28-14 with 5:05 left in the third.
  • HIGHLANDS 28, FRANKLIN-SIMPSON 7: Highlands converted an interception into a score, going 38 yards in 4 plays. Zach Harris got the TD (his third of the game) on a 17-yard run with 8:30 left in third quarter.
  • HALFTIME – HIGHLANDS 21, FRANKLIN-SIMPSON 7: The Bluebirds had scoring drives of 99 and 95 yards in the first half. Patrick Towles completed 10 of 15 passes for 159 yards and 1 TD, ran 9 times for 30 yards. Zach Harris has rushed for 63 yards and 2 TDs. Franklin-Simpson was led by the Wickware cousins — Darrius has run for 62 yards and 1 TD, and Jerrell has run for 51 yards.
  • HIGHLANDS 21, FRANKLIN-SIMPSON 7: The Bluebirds drive 99 yards in 10 plays, capped by Patrick Towles’ 19-yard scoring strike to Donovan McCoy with 5:46 left in first quarter.
  • Franklin-Simpson was in position to tie the game, but Darrius Wickware coughed up a fumble at the Highlands’ 1. The Bluebirds still ead 14-7 with 7:30 left first half.
  • HIGHLANDS 14, FRANKLIN-SIMPSON 7: Highlands drove 95 yards in 9 plays to regain the lead on Zach Harris’ 3-yard TD run with 16 seconds left in first quarter. QB Patrick Towles had an 18-yard run and a 21-yard pass completion to Ian McGurn to key the drive.
  • HIGHLANDS 7, FRANKLIN-SIMPSON 7: Franklin-Simpson shredded Highlands’ defense on its first possession, going 62 yards in 8 plays to score on Darrius Wickware’s 1-yard run.
  • HIGHLANDS 7, FRANKLIN-SIMPSON 0: The Bluebirds needed less than 90 seconds to get on the scoreboard. Zach Harris bolted for a 26-yard TD run.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

What's Going On in the Fort

Lots of stuff going on this weekend this weekend in Fort Thomas. Whoever gets to all of these events and can prove it with a picture can join the FTM crew next week during our NKy's Pizza Quest for pies and libations, gratis. Post your pictures on our Facebook page here - Like us!

1) Pizza Quest tonight at Buena Vita at 7:00. Ratings to follow.

2) Saturday, of course is the state championship for Highlands. The "drive for 5" against the no. 5 Franklin-Simpson Wildcats for the Kentucky 4A title will be played Saturday, Dec. 3, at 4 p.m. CST, in Bowling Green, Ky. Franklin-Simpson High School is located just south of Bowling Green.

Here's hoping newly named Gatorade Player of the Year, Patrick Towles and crew get it done.

3) The annual Christmas Walk is scheduled for this Sunday at 5:30 (rain date is Monday). Debbie Buckley's detailed itinerary is below.

4) Following the walk, in the event of a 4A state championship win for Highlands against Franklin-Simpson on Saturday, the district will be holding a celebration at 8:15 p.m. in the high school’s Performing Arts Center.

Holiday Walk Details:
This Sunday, December 4
, will be our annual Holiday Walk!!! I hope you've seen the brochures and signs and are ready to celebrate the holidays Fort Thomas style!

The Walk will begin at 5:30 with the opening ceremony and Santa's arrival at the Tree in Inverness (corner of Memorial Parkway and N. Fort Thomas Avenue). Special holiday music will be led by Brent Reed. After the lighting of the tree, please shop throughout the businesses open in the Inverness District.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

FTM 1st Annual Clark Griswold Decoration Challenge (Guest Post by Ben)

It goes without saying that we live in a beautiful city; a beautiful city that only becomes more incredible around the holidays. Trees are adorned with ornaments and red ribbons. Elegant lights and garland turn Fort Thomas into a literal winter wonderland. It became apparent to me that some people do not have the opportunity to take in all the incredible sights of the city, and to Fort Thomas Matters this is unacceptable.

That's why I am suggesting to the powers that be that Fort Thomas Matters host a contest to find the best, most ornately decorated house through all of the Highlands.

Readers will contribute pictures of holiday d├ęcor whether it be funny, beautiful, unique, over done (you know who you are) and then a winner will be chosen by the FTM braintrust.

With the unseasonably warm weather on Thanksgiving weekend, a lot of decorations will already be up, and no doubt the procrastinators should be working this weekend so the timing is perfect. The decorations can and will no doubt run the gambit: a modern day Clark Griswold where the home can be seen from space, giant lawn ornaments and fully operating trains-almost totally concealing the house, or just sheer beauty and elegance of a white monochromatic scheme.

This contest will give Fort Thomas Matters readers a way to show off their skills in holiday decorating, or for appreciative residents, a way to acknowledge decorating they love the most.

A few ways to submit pictures:
- First at our Facebook page - Like us!
- Second, email me at
- Third to mine, Mark's or Darrin's twitter accounts: @bpetracco @mlorencollier @murriner.

Decorations will all be uploaded to Fort Thomas Matters in a later article. The winning contributor will be awarded with $25 gift certificate to a local Fort Thomas merchant.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

NKy's Best Pizza Quest: Dewey's Pizza

Well, it's Thanksgiving weekend, and I can't think of any food more synonymous with Thanksgiving than pizza. Wait, what? I've obviously had too much coffee.

The FTM crew visited Dewey's Pizza on the Levee on Tuesday at the behest of many commenters on the blog and our Facebook page (like us here to receive more updates, join in the conversation and to register for future contests and prizes) and Ben's girlfriend, Sara. Watch the video above to find out why she loves it so much.

Dewey's was a borderline restaurant, in that I wasn't quite sure if it's considered a chain or not. When we got there and I started looking around, I don't think they quite knew either. They had awards posted on their wall for best non-chain pizza and best chain pizza from Cincinnati Magazine, just a couple years apart.

You know the drill by now. Here's what we thought:
Atmosphere (1-10 scale): 7

It's hard to knock the atmosphere at the Levee. The people watching is pretty good, especially if you sit on their indoor patio, facing the other bars, restaurants and shops. Upon entering the Levee at Christmas time, you can find elves on huge swings and people on stilts. Pretty festive environment.

Inside, the Plexiglas to the kitchen allows you to watch the pizza makers make your pizza. They do the whole thing: roll the dough, toss it, spread the sauce and place the toppings. If you have a little one in the party, like we did, the bakers will good-heartily toss flour at their onlookers.

Overall Pizza Taste/Selection: 6.3
As fun as it was to watch them make the pizza, that may have been one of the highlights of the night. We tried 4 different pizzas: the pepperoni standard, a Hawaiian pizza (ham and pineapple), the Billy Goat (a Greek type pizza with goat cheese, Roma and sun dried tomatoes, and green peppers), and the Dr. Dre (a California chicken bacon ranch) which was the pizza special of the month and whose purchase proceeds went partly toward Diabetes research.

My all-time favorite pizza is the Hawaiian and I've gotta say I was pretty unimpressed. The toppings seemed to be quartered off from one another. Huge pieces of ham, then a layer of pineapple, then ham. Intermingling the toppings would have helped here. The sauce was pretty uninspiring as well.

The Billy Goat seemed to be the table favorite. The goat cheese was a sweet surprise among a sea of ingredients, while the Dr. Dre was the pie that had the most leftovers on the table.

We were lucky to get to try to the Pepperoni, as Darrin's son Peter, killed 4 of the 6 pieces of the medium. The ranch dressing that Sara raved about did add a zesty kick to the pizza. So make sure to ask for a side of it the next time you go.

Extras: 6
The ranch dressing is a must when you go here. I'd love to tell you how they make it, which they do in house, but I can't do it justice like Sara does. Peter was loving the pepperoni/ranch combination as well.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Mio's Moving In

First reported here, for what seems like at least a year ago, Mio's Pizza is moving in to the old Warner's/Pergola building and has a general contractor in making changes. Here's hoping to them opening up the dining room, which seemed to be the the downside to that location.

Feels like all we talk about is pizza, nowadays, but if you'd like to join the FTM crew, we'll be at Dewey's on the Levee tonight continuing our quest for NKy's best pizza.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Turkey Week News & Notes

A few random items as we all give thanks and enjoy the family later this week:

1. The City of Fort Thomas is selling an older fire truck using a surplus auction - I assume it was replaced by the newer pump truck that was purchased recently.  I am thinking this would make a great tailgating machine.  I have seen old fire truck's re-purposed at multiple tailgates so who is interested in donating to FTM's new Bengals bus.

2. The Planning Commission this past week raised the car weight limit to allow commercial vehicles to be parked in front of a home in the Fort.  I think this was a good move as more and more people are small business owners that drive work vans - no point in making it difficult for these same small business owners to live in our great city.

3. After the revenge game (is it OK to call it revenge if the Blue Birds didn't lose? It was the closest game of the year) against Covington Catholic, Highlands plays Lexington Catholic this weekend for the right to play for their fifth straight state championship.

A little FYI for those following the pizza challenge - we plan to be at Dewey's on Tuesday night at 7 - we would still love to see you come out and join us.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Beat Cov Cath (Again)

It's fun beating Covington Catholic. And no, it's not because I'm still bitter about our friends who were girls going to hang out with them sometimes during our senior year. Okay, maybe it has a little to do with it.

After the thumping the Birds handed the Colonels last weekend to put Highlands into the Final Four of the KHSAA playoffs, it would just be fun to beat them in another competition and help out needy children through the Brighton Center.

Charles Keller, the National English Honor Society Sponsor at Highlands, is helping to do just that:

We will hold our annual book drive beginning Monday, November 21 and will end November 30.

We are looking for new and gently use books for children ages beginner to about 12 years old. We have expanded this year’s drive to include a competition with Covington Catholic and, of course, we would like to beat them again. Perhaps your readers would like to help us. They could drop off books at the high school or they may contact me at to make arrangements. All of the books will be donated to the Brighton Center for holiday gifts for children. We have normally collected about 1,200.

Come on Fort Thomas Matters. Let's help.

The Importance of NKU to Fort Thomas

When I have read or engaged in discussions of why Fort Thomas is great the conversation usually comes around to the schools, safety, location, or housing.  But there is one overlooked factor that I think deserves a little additional attention - the role of Northern Kentucky University as our neighbor.

This role in Fort Thomas' success and possible future success was highlighted in my mind over the past couple weeks as I read articles like this one in the Louisville Business Journal about NKU's imminent move to Division 1 next year.

Some of the ways that Fort Thomas gets the benefit of its proximity to NKU include:

  1. Students attract retail business like the new development where I-471 becomes US27.  Having a Chipotle, Jimmy Johns, and Smashburger would likely only be possible due to its proximity to a University.
  2. Faculty and students move here.  Enrollment at NKU is 16,000 but the campus can only accomodate 2,000 students.  This means undergrads are forced to look at off-campus housing if they want to be near the university.  Fort Thomas is a prime location for students to look at and even more appealing for professors.
  3. Supports housing and rental pricing to have a base of residents locked in.   A recent study by had this to say about college towns - "Housing demand in college towns is generally high and vacancy rates are usually low. Combine the supply and demand ratio with rising admissions and the 5 percent rise in rental rates expected by the end of the year"
  4. New Bank of Ky Center means we have even more entertainment options at our disposal since it opened we have had River Monsters arena league football, Paul Simon, Trace Adkins, and Cirque du Soleil to name just a few
  5. Access to higher education.  It is nice to have the option to go down the street and get access to summer school for students that are home for the summer, or the retiree who may want to audit a class for the fun of it.
All of these benefits are only enhanced as NKU takes the leap to Division 1.  Enrollment has been increasing as standards have been strengthened, the campus has been transformed, and its reputation grows.  Going to Division 1 in athletics only increases the reach and appeal of the University and that can only be a good thing for Fort Thomas.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Fort Thomas Weekend News and Notes

A few items of note from around the Fort:

1. The Transportation Department announced this week the beginning of the I-471 resurfacing project.  This has to come as welcome news for those living along or near the highway as it should go a long way towards reducing noise.  But generally this will be a big giant pain for months as there will likely be lane and ramp closures while the resurfacing work is completed.  The work could last into 2013

The work will begin in the spring and should make for a much quieter drive in and out of Fort Thomas. Apparently the concrete used on the highway is the original concrete from the 1970's.  The new surface will use new concrete technologies that will reduce tire noise - which apparently creates most of the noise you hear along the highway.

2. Highlands football had another big win this weekend setting up a rematch with Cov Cath for next weekend.  Keep in mind that Cov Cath always plays the Blue Birds strong and gave Highlands the closest match of the year (in addition to the Elder game that they played without Pat Towles) back in September.

If you look at the playoff brackets you will see that a potential opponent in the semi-finals is Boyle Co (if they get past Lexington Catholic - which is doubtful) whom Highlands beat in the first game of the year 35 - 14.

3. Construction on the New Garden seems to be progressing well.  I have heard rumblings of an opening in the near future which should add an extra dining option to the Midway district.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

NKy's Best Pizza: Newport Pizza Company

After polishing off three different and distinct pizzas, a dessert calzone and a few libations, the FTM crew figured out a few things that we now know will be a running theme throughout the quest of finding Northern Kentucky's best pizza.

1) We were correct in our assessment that Ft. Thomas Pizza would be the beneficiary of being the guinea pig in this feature.

2) If NKy's Best Pizza was American Idol, Ben Petracco would be Paula Abdul.

Atmosphere (1-10 scale): 8

Again, never been to Newport Pizza Co., but I knew exactly where it was. If you've ever drive down Monmouth Street in Newport, I'm sure you do too. I was a little nervous about the parking situation, but was soon put at easy when I pulled into their own lot to the side and behind the restaurant.

As soon as I stepped out of my car, the smell grabbed me by the nose, my feet dragging behind me, I slunk into the open dining room. About 10 tables and 8 spots at the bar. Darrin's son, Peter, was already posted up at the Ms. PacMan. Immediately I realized I was flanked by three HD TVs. The hand painted mural (below) of the Cincinnati skyline also added a touch of character you don't see everywhere.

I felt cozy, even though we were seated as close to the door as we could get.

Overall Pizza Taste/Selection: 8.7

Newport Pizza Company made the top 50 on Cincinnati Magazine's Best Pizza Places and we could tell why. They make a more New York style. Thinner crust, which almost has a buttery taste and feel. You can tell they take pride in selecting their menu (picture below) and toppings (33 total).

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

What Can Fort Thomas Tree Trails Do for You?

Two UC researchers recently published a paper on how living near nature trails can have a significant positive impact on home values.  According to the research study homebuyers are willing to pay a $9,000 premium to be 1,000 feet closer to the Little Miami trail. (In other words, home prices went up $9 for every foot closer to the trail’s entrance.)  The story continues with a couple of interesting quotes about the value of nature trails:

“For the ‘New Urbanist’, multipurpose trails provide the potential for bicycle commuting; help alleviate noise, pollution and congestion, and expand the means for green transportation and a community’s walkability,” the report says.  It’s an interesting proposition. Americans increasingly don’t have the money to take big vacations, so living near a park or nature trail gives them a cheap and highly enjoyable means of relaxation.

This brings up an interesting question about Fort Thomas' tree trails that are currently confined to Tower Park.  I have always contended that these are some of the most under-utilized assets the city has.  It took me living in Fort Thomas for five years until I discovered how amazing they are.  With little or almost non-existent signage and no promotion of these trails they have become a truly hidden gem.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Prepare Affair (Guest Post by Ben Petracco)

This weekend there is an outstanding opportunity for people of all ages to volunteer and help citizens of Ft. Thomas.

The Prepare Affair is taking place on Saturday November 12th. The great event is put on by People Working Cooperatively, and it is providing a service to elderly citizens in Ft. Thomas who need help preparing their homes for the winter seasons.

Volunteers are asked to meet at Christ Church, located across the street from the post office at 9 a.m. The work crews will be assembled into groups of 5 to 10, and each group will be assigned three homes where the work is to be done. (Please note the homes have already been chosen) The fall chores that are being done include, but are not limited to, raking leaves, yard maintenance, putting lawn furniture away, turning off and storing hoses, and cleaning gutters.

This work will take place from 9 to Noon. PWC does ask for donations to help with the overall cost of the event, and there is a lunch provided at Christ Church following the Prepare Affair.

For more information on the Prepare Affair, or future opportunities like this one, go to the People Working Cooperatively website or visit the Christ Church website here:

Sunday, November 6, 2011

I don’t know about you but I can never remember a general election (especially one for a statewide office like Governor) with less fanfare, media attention, or discussion than this upcoming election on Tuesday.  I have seen almost no yard signs and heard almost no ads. 

One thing to consider before going to the polls this year is that some locations have changed.  My location changed from the High School to the Methodist Church across the street.  If you need a confirmation you can contact the Campbell County Clerk’s office.  I had intended to send you to the Board of Elections website ( ) but they still have the old precinct information on there.

Regardless of where you are voting or the fact that no one apparently cares about this election I felt it was important to do a quick refresher on what we are voting on this coming Tuesday.  To do so I am providing a few resources to help you make informed decisions:

Campbell Co. 4th in Kentucky Deer Strikes

The deer issue hasn't been brought up in a while, so my interest was piqued when I saw the above chart put out by the Kentucky State Patrol. In it, it shows that Campbell County ranks fourth among all Kentucky counties in amount of incidents with deer caused vehicle collisions.

The rolling undeveloped hills of the Highlands is in direct correlation with high deer population in Fort Thomas. According to the city's website, between 2003-2006 (which are the only statistics give on deer/vehicle impacts) close to 12 deer are hit in Fort Thomas each year. Most of those are on Memorial Parkway and Route 8/Mary Ingles Highway.

Looking at the deer census within the context of this study, it follows that the deer collisions should begin to subside with the deer hunting ordinances that were imposed.

The deer census showed 205 deer in 2010 and 170 deer in 2011. So it looks like the steps council has taken to control the deer population in Fort Thomas are doing their part in helping to lower the ranking for Campbell County.

Happy Sunday.

Saturday, November 5, 2011

YMCA Membership Changes Provide Opportunities

The YMCA of Greater Cincinnati has recently introduced a couple of membership changes that should prompt you to consider Y membership if you haven't lately.

The first is the change in activation fee from $150 to $50 that is completely paid back in program gift certificates.  This basically means no activation fee if you want to sign your child up for any activities.

The second change involves the introduction of "My Y Rewards" launched on October 1st.  This program allows members the opportunity to earn points for positive lifestyle choices.  Some ways you can earn points include:

  • 100 points for signing up for the program
  • 10 points for each time you visit
  • 50 points for completing an Active Trax workout
  • 50 points for completing a YMCA program such as youth sports, aquatic programs, or personal training
These points can be redeemed in the following levels:

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Nky's Best: Pizza Pecking Order - Ft. Thomas Pizza & Tavern

Hopefully by now, you've done your homework and googled Mel Brooks' quote on bad pizza, or lack thereof. Someone please just post it in the comments so I don't have to keep answering emails asking what I'm talking about.

The FTM crew just got back from our first crusade to search out Northern Kentucky's best pizza and I gotta say, I'm pizza wasted. Not chocolate wasted. Pizza wasted. I ate too much and I already know early into this quest, my challenge it going to try to be to write my thoughts before my fingers get too greasy and all I want to do is go home and take a nap.

Darrin, Ben and I (along with the ruminations of our better halves and others that decide to join us) will independently rank on a 1-10 scale four main categories at each establishment. Overall Pizza Taste. Atmosphere. Extras. Service.

A couple of ground rules:
#1- We'll generally order two pies. A pepperoni pizza will be the staple. Everyone does a pepperoni and this way the restaurant won't be able to mask the true essence of their pizza.

#2 - We'll usually leave the second pizza up to the restaurant. No one knows their pizza better, so we'll basically ask the server to "give us your best shot."

#3 - We'll try our best to keep our thoughts to ourselves during the challenge, then we'll average each category to come up with a master score. Sound good? Ready? Break!

Fort Thomas Pizza & Tavern

Overall Pizza Taste: 5 (One large 12" Pepperoni, One large 12" California Ranch Chicken Pizza, Pretzel with cheese appetizer)

The California Ranch Chicken Pizza (henceforth referred to as CRCP) was the table's favorite. When we were signing for our bill, I looked down and there was the lone piece of CRCP, with about 5-6 pieces of pepperoni. It was a mixture of pizza sauce, ranch, onions, generous shards of chicken breast and mozzarella.

The score probably would have been a higher had we only had the CRCP. The pepperoni was, for a lack of a better term: a lot. A lot of cheese, a lot of sauce, a lot of pepperoni. I picked it up and it was pretty heavy, which could be a good or a bad thing. In this case, I don't think it was inspiring. It was average.

Atmosphere: 3.5
They had redone their dining room a few years back to make it more sports oriented and the front of the house looks nice. There are a few regulars who post up almost daily, according to the server. Unfortunately for people going there to eat, and not to drink and smoke, the front part of the tavern is also the smoking section.

The back part is non smoking and does have an LCD flat screen, so were were able to watch the UK basketball game. But as Ben described the other TV back there, "It looked like Doc Brown got in his Delorean to bring that TV back from the future."

I can see how it could get pretty crowded, pretty quick on a weekend, though. It would be great if the two rooms were a little more conjoined, and less choppy.

There was also a pretty good view of the kitchen, ice machine and storage racks in front of the old brick facade. Not a good thing in our view.

Extras: 6.5
There's no real way to quantify what an extra is. Extras include different or unusually good appetizers, good beer selections, or cool Man vs. Food type challenges. In this case, Ft. Thomas Pizza had all three.

We ordered pretzels with cheese app, expecting big, fluffy pretzel sticks with the standard dressing type cup of queso cheese. Instead we got the pretzels, split down the middle, with melted mozzarella cheese baked into it. Hadn't seen them presented that way and it was definitely innovative and scrumptious. Good stuff.

The bottled beer selection was really surprising. I'm a beer snob and when I saw a Delirium Nonturnum, I knew whoever was responsible for putting that beer in their cooler was too. Good stuff, again.

Didn't get to the challenge, as it wasn't quite the weekend yet. But there are three beer challenges, that if nothing else, would provide good entertainment to watch someone else try it. The Midget: a team of 2 gets 2.5 minutes to drink 144 ounces of beer. Das Boot: One person gets to try to drink a 48 ounce beer, shaped as a boot, in 20 seconds or less. Do either and the drinks are on the house.

Respective records are posted at the bar.

Service: 6.5
I'm not one to get down on servers. I was a server in college and I know how damn difficult it is. The girls we had (yes, we had two servers) were awesome. They changed the channel to the UK for us, were attentive and obliged us when we were bothering them about the beer challenges.

The cook time was a little on the slow side, but as long as you are there to hang out, it's no big deal. They also offer delivery and carry out.

Our servers also pulled out the crayons and tic-tac-toe sheets when the kids were getting tired of watching the adults eat. We are so boring.

Final Score: 5.375
It was difficult to do the first challenge because you have nothing to compare it to. I grew up in Fort Thomas and had never actually eaten here, so unfortunately (or fortunately) Fort Thomas Pizza was our guinea pig because I was really anxious to try it.

Great first experience. I'd for sure go back.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Possible Coffee Shop Needs Your Help

Coming on the heels of the exciting news about Mios - I have even more exciting news.  Eden McDermett is considering a coffee shop in the Midway area of Fort Thomas in the Nevada building.  She is reaching out to Fort Thomas Matters to gather input from the community about what would make a great coffee shop and entice you to come and buy coffee or snacks.

I am including a brief intro from Eden about who she is and what she wants to create in the Midway.  She would really love your input by completing the linked form.  Lets not disappoint - we have an opportunity to provide input on something we can all be proud of - go spend 5 minutes and let her know what you think.

Hello, Fort Thomas.  My name is Eden McDermott.  After nearly nine years in the commercial real estate industry and being laid off from my most recent position as Marketing Manager at Neyer Properties, I took the time to seek out where my passions lie and not hesitate to go after them.  I rediscovered my dream of owning a small business & decided a coffee shop is where I wanted to be.   

Eden Perk will be a community-minded coffee shop in the heart of Fort Thomas' historic Midway District located in the Nevada building.  Eden will serve organic, fair-trade, and locally-sourced coffee, tea, and specialty drinks, along with a small selection of baked goods, in an inviting and inspiring environment where guests can share their time with friends, family or a good book.  Eden's drinks are prepared by skilled and creative experts to empower its guests throughout the day. 

Eden Perk’s mission is to increase respect for the craft, art, and science of coffee; lead by example the responsibility to support our neighbors; and offer an environment in which to share a memorable experience. 

Monday, October 31, 2011

Its Official - Mios to the Old Warners Building

I spoke with the new owners of the old Warner's building today and Mios is on the way.  The new owners closed on the sale of the building today and while an open date has not been set they are anxious to get engaged in the community and begin the hard work of getting the building ready for business.

The new owners are so anxious that despite the fact the store will not be open for business in time for the Holiday Walk - they plan to participate in the Holiday walk as a way of meeting the community.  Be sure to stop by and welcome them to the community and offer any suggestions about what you would like to see at this Mios location.

Update - you can also like their Facebook page and share your thoughts.

Fresh Breads Delivered to You

As you are aware the Fort Thomas Farmers Market has closed for the winter.  But just because the market has closed for a few months doesn't mean you can't still get fresh baked bread without traveling to Findlay Market on the weekends.

Bean Haus wants to continue to offer it’s customer bread during the coming months. I have listed the breads that they have available below.  If you contact them by 5:00 p.m.  on Tuesday they will have the bread on Wednesday evening between 5-6 with any other items ordered and will deliver to the regular market spot at the corner of River Road and Fort Thomas Avenue and be there between 5-6 p.m.  Any questions please call.

This week they have the following items:
Regular eggs $3.25
Jumbo eggs $4.00
Turnips $2.00 a bunch
Mustard Greens $2.00
Meats available this week are
Pork shoulder $4.00 a pound
Breakfast Sausage (hot only) $4.00 a lb.
Cheese available -Baby Swiss, Feta, Pepper Jack, Habanero, Veggie Jack, Mozzzella, Garlic and Herb, Lemon Zest,Cheddar,and Colby Dill.