Jeff Ruby Culinary Entertainment

Opticare Vision/Express Mobile Transport

Thursday, January 31, 2013

Blind draws need to be eliminated

G. Michael Graham

I, G. Michael Graham, have covered high school sports now for 15 years in five different states.

There are things in each state that make you scratch your head. But in Kentucky, the idea of blind draws for district tournaments in any sport ranks at the top of the list.

For years, the districts that comprised of Highlands, Newport Central Catholic, Newport, Dayton and Bellevue High Schools have done that in basketball, baseball, volleyball and softball and I think it’s absolutely ridiculous. In fact, in some cases, it’s been a travesty like this year. Blind draws need to be done away with and never even thought about again.

In other states like Tennessee, Texas and Alabama, the district teams played each other and received seeds in the district tournament. There were no questions asked about this.

Urban Meyer at Highlands Today

Via my twitter account:

@MLorenCollier: Urban Meyer at Highlands today visiting @SHope82. @UKCoachStoops come on down and show this young Bluebird some love. #BBN

For twitter illiterates, That means that Ohio State Head Coach Urban Meyer is a Highlands visiting defensive beast and Highlands Junior, Seth Hope.

Here are some of Hope's highlights from last year:

Big Blue Nation: feel free to get the word out today to the coaching staff.

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Fort Thomas Mid-Week Links

- A few months ago producers of The Travel Channel's Mysteries at the Museum spent 12 hours filming at the Museum. They were interested in our Beverly Hills Supper Club Exhibit. The cameras used a lot of film on our displays while voices explained the role Fort Thomas played in the tragedy. 

The Beverly Hills Supper Club Fire story will be airing in the 9th episode of the third season of Mysteries at the Museum, which premieres at 9:00 pm on Thursday, February 7th on The Travel Channel.

Upcoming episode guide at Here's the wikipedia page of the Beverly Hills Supper Club. Hat tip to the city website. (They DO update that thing).

- Highlands won ANOTHER state championship. At this point, there is zero competition and a dynasty has been established. And no, I'm not talking about football. The Highlands "We the People" team won it's 9th straight state competition and will be traveling to our nation's capital to compete for the National Championship.

Zeke the Intern is apart of the team. On his experience with We the People, he said, "We've learned the ins and outs of every part of the Constitution. It helps because most of the country doesn't know how the government is supposed to operate, but as seniors in high school we know our rights as citizens and are able to be functioning members of society."

The state and national competitions involve students’ testifying in a mock congressional hearing format. Students are asked to prepare formal statements and respond to follow-up questions from a panel of judges requiring application of the U.S. Constitution.

- A few FTM format housekeeping items:
  1. Part III of The REAL Jeff Ruby will be out Friday. 
  2. Ask Joey will be out this weekend. 
  3. Mio's is coming out with a killer Super Bowl pizza deal. 
  4. We're going to be more predictable with our content at FTM. Monday will be Stephanie Class' Entertainment Corner. Tuesday Jess Duke will be Mama on a Budget. Wednesday will be Ben's 5 Things to Know. Thursday Michael Graham will be providing a sports roundup and I'll be cleaning up loose ends every Friday. The weekends are busy enough for everyone, so there will be no scheduled posts then, but make sure to check back frequently. 
  5. We're going to cast a wider net on the news front. It's no doubt FTM has become the go-to source on Fort Thomas news but our most commented articles are the ones that have a regional, state and sometimes national appeal. We're still going to take pride in being the first and best to report the things that happen to our city, but don't be surprised to see content outside of that realm going forward. 
As always, thanks again for reading! 

Local Reception Hall You May Not Even Know Exists

When searching for a large hall to host a reception, what is the first place you think of?  Do you think of The Mess Hall at Tower Park; or maybe The Madison in Covington?  There are a whole host of other halls that are available, but did you know that there is a new reception hall right on South Fort Thomas Avenue?

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Mama on a Budget: GIVEAWAY Lollipops Family Concerts

Too often our Tri-State area is associated with our wildly successful professional football and baseball teams (there’s always next year, right?), our clean waterways (was that actually a fish… no no, just a boot), or our award-winning culinary creations (Applebee’s or O’Charley’s for dinner?).  What we overlook amidst all the accolades is our unique culture, evidenced by the World Choir Games over the summer, the beautiful Aronoff center, historic Music Hall, and myriad musical and performing arts organizations citywide.  One such gem is the Cincinnati Symphony and Pops Orchestras.

Monday, January 28, 2013

Schoolhouse Rock Live!

The Highlands Middle School Theatre Department is bringing Schoolhouse Rock Live! to the stage. Join them as they perform classic Schoolhouse Rock favorites such as "Just a Bill" and "Conjunction Junction" at Highlands High School's Performing Arts Center. 

The Highlands Theatre website provides a synopsis of this fun-filled show. According to the website, "Tom, a nerve-wracked school teacher nervous about his first day of teaching, tries to relax by watching TV when various characters representing facets of his personality emerge from set and show him how to win his students over with imagination and music, through such beloved 'Schoolhouse Rock' songs as 'Just A Bill,' 'Lolly, Lolly, Lolly,' and 'Conjunction Junction.' "

Tickets are reserved seating only, and you can purchase yours in advance at Tickets can also be purchased at the door one hour before each show. Prices are $8 for students and $10 for adults. 

The good news is that the middle school students are sure to put on a great performance, but be forewarned that you will have those catchy songs stuck in your head for days. Hey, at least you won't forget those pesky grammar rules anytime soon... 

Catch a performance on the following dates: 
Thursday, January 31 at 7:30pm.
Friday, February 1 at 7:30pm.
Saturday, February 2 at 7:30pm
Sunday, February 3 at 2:00pm

NewCath boys run away for All "A" Title

Fort Thomas Matters Sports Reporter

FRANKFORT – It came down to a battle of size against speed and whichever basketball team controlled the tempo to its liking would most likely come out victorious.

That turned out to be the Newport Central Catholic Thoroughbreds in the All “A” Boys State Championship on Sunday at the Frankfort Convention Center. They slowed the tempo down, pounded the ball inside to their tall posts and ran away for a 75-54 win over the Bardstown Tigers for their second state championship. The other title came in 2000.

The Thoroughbreds have won 10 in a row to move to 22-2 since dropping consecutive games to defending state champion Louisville Trinity and Covington Catholic. They had lost in their four previous appearances in the state semifinals, including 2011.

“I told the guys this morning that we have to play to our identity,” said Grant Brannen, NewCath head coach. “We have to move the ball around and execute our plays. Those kids did it to perfection. They came ready.”

Friday, January 25, 2013

Van Damme It's Friday: Watch Miss Kentucky Eat Hot Wings

Miss Kentucky, Amanda Mertz, just passed on her crown at the Miss Kentucky Pageant on Tuesday.  Mertz absolutely housed some of the hottest wings in the nation in Mark vs. Food VI. 

I know. I could have titled this post, Mark vs. Food Episode VI, but let's be real, you know this title will bring the clicks.

It's been a bit since we wrapped up the last session of Mark vs. Food with Miss Kentucky, Amanda Mertz at Quaker Steak and Lube in Florence. Zeke the Intern came through with his best work yet. Below is the video from the episode.

Since starting Mark vs. Food last January, we raised just under $3,000 for The Brighton Center. Had a blast doing everything, met a lot of cool people and put on a few pounds. Totally worth it. I'm not retiring from Mark vs. Food by any means, but I don't know that I'll try to proactively set anything up anymore. That said, if you have an idea and want to challenge me, bring it on.

Thanks to Jason Bayer from Moba Interactive. Darin Overholser from Maria Kunkel from Quaker Steak and Lube. Amanda Mertz, Josh Sweigert and my bride, Lindsey for participating.

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Weekly hoops report: Highlands girls, NCC boys live up to expectations while NCC girls surprise and Highlands boys struggle

Fort Thomas Matters Sports Reporter

Entering the preseason, the Highlands girls and Newport Central Catholic boys basketball teams expected to be 9th Region contenders.

They’ve both lived up to those expectations.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

5 Things to Know about the Brent Spence Bridge

The Brent Spence Bridge has been a focal point lately.  It has been addressed by The President of United States, politicians, and governmental departments.  The reason for all the attention is that the bridge is out of date.  It needs to be replaced by a bridge that can adequately handle its daily load of almost 200,000 vehicles.

To raise the funds for the construction of the new bridge (excess of $500 million) a toll has been suggested.  The bridge is already congested, so the drive time related to adding a toll has commuters rolling their eyes.

NewCath promotes Wagner to head football coach

G. Michael Graham Photo. Newport Central Catholic recently promoted Dan Wagner (above) to head football coach. He'd been defensive coordinator since 1999.

Fort Thomas Matters Sports Reporter

When it comes to filling head coaching vacancies, the Newport Central Catholic Thoroughbreds tend to promote from within the family.

In an expected move last week, NewCath Principal Carl Foster and Athletics Director Rob Detzel promoted longtime defensive coordinator Dan Wagner to head coach. Wagner takes over for Eddie Eviston. Eviston resigned before Christmas to take the offensive coordinator job at Georgetown College.

“After meeting with Dan, we knew we had the man we wanted for the job,” Detzel said. “Dan is a NewCath guy and his record as an assistant speaks for itself. Hiring Coach Wagner will make for a smooth transition for our football program, and we believe he will continue the great tradition that is Newport Central Catholic football. We look forward to many years of success with Coach Wagner as Head Coach of the NCC Thoroughbreds.”

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Mama on a Budget: YMCA Fort Thomas

News flash, Fort Thomas has an amazing branch of the YMCA.  I know, I know, thanks “Boxcar Child”.    However, did you know how much comes with a membership at the YMCA?  I sure didn’t.

OK, so flashback to December 31 when my husband called the YMCA to ask if they were running any specials for the New Year (exact transcript ran something like this, “Hi, my name is Kevin and I am getting fat so I want to join the YMCA, do you have any specials for Resolution-ers”, I kid you not).  They said yes, we went the next day and joined, and all of a sudden a whole new world of possibility was opened to me.  I have to admit, I felt bad as a “New Year, New You” person over-crowding the fitness center for all those regulars and in my first spinning class, the teacher made sure to point out all the newbies, but after getting over the initial embarrassment, I was able to focus on all that was included in the YMCA.

Monday, January 21, 2013

Northern Kentucky Restaurant Association- Mardi Gras

Vito’s CafĂ© holds a dear place in my heart; my husband worked there throughout college.  We held our wedding rehearsal dinner there. And while we don’t go as often as we should or as often as the food deserves, each time we do it is an enjoyable and memorable experience.  I would imagine most of the readers who have dined at Vito’s have similarly fond memories, given to them by owners Vito and Mary Ciepiel.

Sunday, January 20, 2013

NewCath boys win 7th All "A" 9th Region crown in 10 years; girls collect road win

G. Michael Graham Photo. The Newport Central Catholic coaches including Head Coach Grant Brannen (black sweatshirt) and players go through their pre-game routine Saturday. The Thoroughbreds defeated the Newport Wildcats, 61-54 for their seventh All "A" 9th Region crown in 10 years.

Fort Thomas Matters Sports Reporter

BELLEVUE – The All “A” 9th Region crown came back to where it has been seven of the previous 10 years.

But the in-town 39th District rivals did not let them run away with it. The Newport Central Catholic Thoroughbreds made the plays down the stretch to hold off the Newport Wildcats, 61-54 here Saturday.

“Give Newport credit,” said Grant Brannen, NewCath head coach. “Right when you felt like you had them, they hit three after three after three. (The Wildcats) did what they had to do to get back in the game. Also give our guys credit. Our backcourt did a good job in that last quarter.”

The game did not resemble anything close to the Jan. 2 contest that NewCath handled Newport, 80-51 on The Hill. The Wildcats (13-5) won five in a row since that contest.  

In the tight game, every little thing mattered. Both teams saw three players reach double-digits. But the Thoroughbreds made enough free throws to take care of the Wildcats.

The Thoroughbreds committed just 10 fouls to 20 for the Wildcats. NewCath made 18-of-25 for 72 percent compared to 3-of-6 for 50 percent for Newport. Newport had one player foul out as it had to foul trailing in the final minutes and one finished with four for NewCath.

Tournament Most Valuable Player Michael Bueter came up huge again for the Thoroughbreds. He finished with 21 points making two three-pointers and 7-of-10 free throws to go with five rebounds, three assists and two steals.

Bueter spurred the key 7-0 run that put the Thoroughbreds up for good. He made a three-pointer the hit a lay-up to give NewCath a 53-48 lead with 1:51 remaining before Zach Pangallo hit two free throws to extend the margin to 55-48 with 36.3 seconds left.

“I was looking to get make a big basket the entire game to get us going,” Seibert said. “When I made that, it made everyone calm and cool again. We got focused and got ourselves the win.”

But Newport hit consecutive three-pointers to trim the margin to 55-54 with 17 seconds left. Pangallo hit two more free throws with 16 seconds left to make the score 57-54.

Newport had a chance to tie the game on a three-pointer but JaQuan Short traveled giving the ball back to the Thoroughbreds. Bueter hit two more free throws and another pair after another Newport miss in the game’s final 10.5 seconds to put the game away.

Pangallo and center Drew McDonald also made the all-tournament team for NewCath. McDonald scored 11 and Pangallo added 10 making 6-of-6 free throws.

The guards had to come up huge because Newport collapsed on McDonald and Jake Schulte inside because Nick Seibert is out with an injury. Schulte scored just six points but did grab 12 rebounds as NewCath won that battle, 32-21. Schulte may return as early as Tuesday.

JaSean Short led Newport with 21 points making two three-pointers. Teammate Marquis Commodore led the Wildcat rally with five three-pointers for 15 points and JaQuan Short scored 10 on two three-pointers. Commodore hit a triple with 3:24 left in the game to tie the score at 48.

“(With) the way they spread you out, they’re going to get open looks,” Brannen said. “They’re tough to guard, especially when they knock down shots like they did in the second half. If you’d have told me they’d hit six or seven three-pointers in the second half, I’d have probably said we’re in trouble. But our guys sustained (the lead) and I was proud of them.”

NewCath led 13-12 after the first quarter and built a lead toward halftime. The Thoroughbreds finished the half with an 8-0 run to erase a 20-19 deficit. Devoto started the rally with a three-pointer on his way to eight points. Schulte added a bucket with McDonald making a bucket and 1-of-2 free throws during that run.

McDonald had a steal and score to give NewCath a 29-20 lead. But Newport rallied to take the lead. JaSean Short hit a three-point play with 1:43 left to give the Wildcats a 39-35 lead.

But NewCath took the lead back entering the fourth quarter. Bueter made two free throws and Devoto made his other three-pointer with four seconds left in the third to put NewCath up 40-39.

“We (guards) just have to step up our game every night,” Devoto said. “Luckily, (Saturday) was my night to knock down two clutch threes.”

The Thoroughbreds made 19-of-38 shots for 50 percent, including five three-pointers and the Wildcats made 21-of-47 shots for 45 percent with nine three-pointers. Ben Weyer also hit a triple for NewCath.

NewCath travels to Highlands (7-11) on Tuesday for a 7:30 p.m. contest. The All “A” state championship at the Frankfort Convention Center begins Thursday with the Thoroughbreds battling 12th Region champion Somerset (14-5) at 6:30 p.m.

NCC girls 57, Mason County 47:

The Thoroughbreds (15-4) ventured to Maysville and snatched the non-region win over the improved Lady Royals (11-6).

Mason County played man-to-man defense, but could not match up with Nikki Kiernan. The junior standout recorded a double-double of 28 points, 13 rebounds and four blocked shots. Kiernan made both three-point shots, all six free throws and 10-of-19 from the field for about 53 percent.

“We didn’t play bad,” said George Stoll, NewCath head coach. “We wanted to get the ball to (Kiernan). They had a tough time staying with her.”

Kiernan had plenty of help. Alexus Mayes added 10 points and six rebounds with Michaela Ware adding six points, four assists and three steals.

NewCath made its free throws down the stretch. The Thoroughbreds made 16-of-20 for 80 percent. Loren Zimmerman made 3-of-4 down the stretch.

Mason County saw one player reach double-digits. That was Alivia Bierley with a double-double of 14 points and 12 rebounds.

NewCath opens the All “A” state tournament in Frankfort against Pineville (14-7) on Wednesday. Game time is 1 p.m.

Thursday, January 17, 2013

NewCath girls win another All "A" 9th Region crown; boys down Camels

Fort Thomas Matters Sports Reporter

The Newport Central Catholic Thoroughbreds girls basketball team tends to find itself at the All “A” State Tournament on a yearly basis.

This group did not want to end that run. So the host Thoroughbreds used their trademark stingy defense to keep the string alive for their seventh consecutive 9th Region All “A” crown with a convincing 49-34 win over the St. Henry Lady Crusaders on Saturday.

The last time NewCath did not win the crown was 2006 when Covington Holy Cross won it. St. Henry has not won the title since 1996.

The Thoroughbreds put constant pressure on the Lady Crusaders. St. Henry committed 20 turnovers to just eight for NewCath. The Thoroughbreds (13-4) recorded 10 steals to just two for the Lady Crusaders (8-9). Michaela Ware led NewCath with three steals with teammates MiKayla Seibert and Loren Zimmerman recording two each.

“(Ball pressure) is what we wanted to do coming into the game,” said George Stoll, NewCath head coach. “We wanted to get some easy lay-ups if we could. We didn’t get as many as we like. But we got enough to get by so we’ll take it.”

NewCath standout junior forward Nikki Kiernan once again dominated the paint. She recorded another double-double with 24 points and 13 rebounds to with two blocked shots, an assist and steal. Kiernan earned Tournament Most Valuable Player honors as a result.

“You just have to keep your ground and not go for ball fakes,” Kiernan said of controlling the paint. “I just go straight up (defensively). I try to watch (the opponent’s) stomach.”

The Thoroughbreds did record 13 more shots than the Lady Crusaders as a result of the turnovers. They made 21-of-55 shots for 38 percent and held St. Henry to 29 percent shooting (12-of-42).

But NewCath still had a hard time making outside shots. Kiernan made all three Thoroughbred three-pointers. Ware was the only other NewCath player to reach double-digits with 10 points.

“That’s part of having one of the best players in the region on the team,” Stoll said. “She has to step up when we need her. We needed her down the stretch. She was able to step up and make some shots down the stretch. But we need to have other players step up too.”

NewCath also hit just 4-of-12 free throws for 33 percent compared to 9-of-14 for 64 percent for St. Henry. Kiernan said the team needs to concentrate better in practice to hit them better.

Defensively, NewCath focused on guard Kelly Coburn and 6-foot-1-inch post Savannah Neace. Coburn had five and Neace finished with two. Trisha Marks picked up the slack some scoring 12 for the Lady Crusaders. Stephanie Lewis guarded Coburn most of the game with Kiernan and Alexus Mayes guarding Neace.

“It was a matter of stopping some of their back-door (cuts),” Stoll said. “We actually didn’t do a very good job of that at all. But a win is a win and we’ll take it.”

Jordan Miller hit a three-point play on a back-door cut to open the game for St. Henry. But Lewis hit a jumper with 4:20 left in the first to give the Thoroughbreds the lead for good.

NewCath outscored St. Henry, 10-2 in the second quarter to go up 19-11 at halftime. The Thoroughbreds increased the lead to double-figures in the third quarter after Kiernan’s first three-pointer.

The Thoroughbreds pulled away in the fourth quarter. But the lead did not feel safe until Kiernan nailed her other two three-pointers in the fourth quarter to put NewCath up 40-21 with five minutes remaining.

A Lewis jumper gave the Thoroughbreds their biggest lead at 42-21 just 35 second after that. That let NewCath put in the reserves for the game’s final two minutes.

NewCath placed three players on the all-tournament team. Lewis and Ware joined Kiernan on the squad.

NewCath travels to Dixie Heights (8-10) on Tuesday. Game time is 7:30 p.m.

NCC boys 68, Campbell County 64

The Thoroughbreds snapped their two-game skid against a rival with a deceiving record Saturday.

Campbell County (7-10) took the court with Nate McGovney and Corey Holbrook in the starting lineup together for just the second game this year. McGovney tore his left Anterior Cruciated Ligament over the summer and did not return until Jan. 5 in a loss to Bishop Brossart. Holbrook received two technical fouls in that game and had to sit out the last two games.

“This is a little bit of (McGovney and Holbrook’s) coming out party,” said Grant Brannen, NewCath head coach. “Campbell County is a 10th Region contender. I told the guys we didn’t have much game tape on them because those two haven’t played together much. We knew it would be a tough one.”

Holbrook and NewCath sophomore post Drew McDonald scored 27 points each to lead their teams. Holbrook made 11-of-11 free-throw attempts and McDonald added 13 rebounds for a double-double.

The Thoroughbreds (13-2) made enough free throws to hold off the Camels. They hit 18-of-35 for 51 percent compared to 15-of-17 for 88 percent for Campbell County.

Both teams shot 50 percent from the field. NewCath made 23-of-46 shots including four three-pointers and Campbell County made 21-of-42 including seven three-pointers.

The Thoroughbreds also needed help from the reserves as the starters struggled with foul trouble. After McDonald, Michael Bueter added 13 points and Colin Dupont scored eight off the bench.

NewCath played without senior forward Nick Seibert and Brennan Devoto started in his place. Seibert sprained his left ankle in the loss to Covington Catholic on Thursday and said he could be out for four weeks. He came out on crutches.

“It was good to have people step up,” Dupont said. “It’s going to be tough with Nick Seibert being out. But I felt like we did well. We all have to take a role and do our best. We hope to jell together and play well.”

The Camels also had scoring balance. McGovney scored 12 points and Deandre Jackson finished with 11.

The teams combined for 48 fouls. Campbell County saw two players foul out and NewCath had three starters finish with four each.

NewCath took the lead for good with an 8-0 run early in the third quarter. Campbell County cut the margin to three twice in the fourth, but came no closer.

The Thoroughbreds open the All “A” 9th Region tournament at Dayton on Monday. They take on the Villa Madonna Lightning at 6 p.m.


Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Ask Joey, Fort Thomas Resident & Formerly of Kiss 107 FM- ANYTHING!

One of the guests we had set up for our community pep rally for Highlands Football Race for Seis at Mio's was Joey, from Kiss 107 FM. Besides the fact that she's funny as Ferrell and pretty as Portman, she can hang with the fellas and kick it like Kanye.

In fact, during our community pep rally when the community showed undying support zero support for Mio's or their football team, Joey, her boyfriend and I had some time to have a few 5 buckets of beer. I'm on a strike-through run, what can I say?

It was a blast. (Side-note: her and her dude almost put down an entire "Collier Mama" pizza without really even trying. Side-side-note: Joey also almost put down Padrino's $30 Spaghetti Challenge 2 lbs. Pasta, 1 lb. Meatballs, 1 lb. of marinara and garlic knots.Total of 4lbs, eat it all and it’s free! 45 minute time limit. I smell Mark vs. Food episode 7.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Printed Blue Heart and the Gift of Life

Organ donation is the most selfless gift you can give to someone.  In the past you were required to sign the back of your license and have an orange sticker placed on the front of it to notify people that you were an organ donor.  On January 23 the state of Kentucky will join the likes of Indiana and Ohio in making an improvement on that process with a new symbol for life.

People will have the option of getting a blue organ donor heart printed on their license upon renewal

When you are required to get your license renewed deputy clerks will ask if you would like to be registered as an organ donor.  If you agree and say “yes” a blue heart will be printed on your license with the words “organ donor”.   The Kentucky Transportation Cabinet has worked hand in hand with the Kentucky Circuit Court Clerks and the Trust for Life to get the heart symbol added to driver’s license and ID cards.

Shelley Snyder, the Executive Director of the Kentucky Circuit Court Clerks’ Trust For Life, had this to say about the new process, “This is an important advancement in Kentucky.  The organ donor heart will emphasize that it’s not about signing the back of your license anymore.  It’s about saying ‘Yes’ and joining the Kentucky Organ Donor Registry.”

When contemplating the idea of organ donation I understand that it can be a difficult choice.  Here are the numbers regarding life and death:  Each day 18 patients die waiting for a life-saving organ transplant.  Every 10 minutes a new name is added to the waiting list.  Only 35 percent of Kentuckians are registered organ donors.

When asked about the new organ donor registration County Circuit Clerk, Taunya Nolan Jack, said, “Everyone who comes into my office for a driver’s license or ID can add his or her name to the confidential registry and receive the Organ Donor Heart.  Every heart we print, gives hope to patients and families in need.”

If you are interested in joining the Kentucky Organ Donor Registry you can do so at your Circuit Court Clerk’s office or online here.

Mama on a Budget: Fort Thomas Moms Club

The decision to become a one income family and thus for me to officially become the “Mama on a Budget” was the best one I’ve ever made.  I’ve been home with Knox for two years now.  697 days.  16,728 hours.  One million, three thousand, six-hundred eighty minutes. Nearly half of which were spent in time out (either his or mine).  60,220,800 interminably painful seconds.  And I wouldn’t trade it for the world.  Nothing could have been more difficult nor more rewarding.  But during one or two of those sixty million seconds, I did think there had to be some sort of support group for we moms.  I briefly considered becoming an alcoholic just to later join AA and get some adult interaction, but I first turned to Google and found the MOMS Club of Fort Thomas.

Monday, January 14, 2013

Will Chambers Joins Tom Gamble on FM 100 The Fan

Friend of the site, Will Chambers, has been through a lot with Fort Thomas Matters. He and I took on Jared "The Hefty Lefty" Lorenzen and University of Kentucky Quarterback, Patrick Towles, in the first ever Mark vs. Food in January of last year.  We won.

He emceed the community pep-rally and lip dub video at Mio's (below) and he's been a guest writer on Fort Thomas Matters, most recently penning his thoughts on the watering down of competition in football among the 6 divisions in Kentucky.

Now he's taking the next step in his broadcasting career as he's been hired as Anchor and Producer for 100.3 FM The Fan. 

Tom Gamble on Sports is on from 6-9 every morning. The new sports talk channel also features John Feinstein from 9-noon, Jim Rome from noon-3 and Doug Gottlieb from 3-6.

"For me this is another chapter.  If you would've told me two years ago I'd be doing sports talk radio again I would've checked your pupils," Chambers said.  "But over the last year I've really developed a renewed passion for the format and could not be more excited and thankful for the opportunity from Radio One to do it again."

Today was Chambers' first show. It'll be a nice change to have a truly local sports talk show in the morning. "What's really cool about this whole thing too is the fact we're the only FM sports talk in Cincinnati.  You can tell the difference the second you turn us on.  The sound is crystal clear.  It's like High-Def radio," Chambers added. "I'm thrilled to be working again with Tom.  He's a dynamic guy.  He's about as entertaining as it gets and a great friend.  We are gonna have fun with this."

Make sure to turn in tomorrow. FM 100 The Fan. (100.3)

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Andrea Conners Back in the News

Andrea Conners filed a petition in court on Monday to stop the teen she had a sexual relationship with from contacting her.

Conners resigned last May amid allegations that the 34-year old had sex with a teenage Highlands student in her classroom, at a state park and at her parent's home. 

In the petition to Judge Fred Stine, she alleged that the teen, now 18, sent her a text message on December 30th at 1:03 AM that included his phone number. She did not respond. 

Friday, January 11, 2013

Van Damme It's Friday Cake Eater Edition

Happy Friday folks. Seems like forever that we got together on a Vandamme it's Friday links. I hope this touch of spring has put a bounce in your step. I wanted to introduce Stev, Mio's new general manager.

Stev has been an integral part of running and managing numerous clubs, bars and restaurants in and around downtown.

It's no secret Mio's got off to a rocky start. I think the staff and their inattentiveness may have soured many Fort Thomas residents' first impressions. Stev has changed that attitude. He runs a tight ship and most importantly, he CARES. No more long waits, drifting servers and cold food. Obviously the warmer months are Mio's bread and butter, but give it a second look now. You'll notice a difference.

Below is one of his signature drinks. The Cake Eater has cake vodka, vanilla vodka, Frangelico and Kahlua. It's a party in a glass.

First person to mention this post to Stev gets a cocktail on me.

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Momentum Building for State-Wide Smoking Ban

Northern Kentucky University will be voting today whether to follow in the footsteps of the University of Kentucky and University of Louisville to enact a tobacco-free campus.

Add that to the poll released by the Foundation for a Healthy Kentucky on Monday that said nearly 6 out of 10 (59%) of Kentucky adults now support a state-wide smoking ban.

That is up from 54% in 2011 and 48% in 2010.

New Retailers for Newport Pavilion to Open This Summer

If you've driven by the Newport Pavilion over the last month or so, you've noticed some construction going on. Most notably near Pavilion Parkway, next to the Kroger Fuel Station and in between Target and Kroger. The new retailers are on schedule to open this Summer.

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Technical Difficulties

So out of nowhere, my computer crashed last week. No reason at all. Just stopped working. In my meager Geek Squad attempt to F8 my way into a reboot in safe mode with networking, I began my go-to computer fix move: the restore. The little hackers are getting smarter- no restore points available.

I called Star Computer in Newport by Blockbuster. Brought it to them the same day (Tuesday night). Didn't hear from the until Thursday night when they told me it would cost $300 to get it running right again ($50/hour or 6 hours of "work").

I'm obviously not a sucker and told them not to touch it. I was going to pick it up Friday morning. Problem was, they didn't open Friday. No sign. No warning. Voicemail full. Cool, Star Computers.

Obviously not open Saturday or today either. Hopefully I can pick it up tomorrow and get it to someone who can fix it without me feeling like a complete joker. (If you have any suggestions, let me know)

Apparently there was some sort of "personal issue" with some of the employees at Star Computers. One of their reps, Dustin, apologized for the inconvenience, lowered the price to $150 to fix it and even stayed until 6:30 Monday night (they close at 5:00) to get the job done. 

Thanks for making it right. 

Monday, January 7, 2013

Mama on a Budget: Fit Philosophie


Is your New Years resolution to get in better shape?  Let’s be honest, kids are adorable but they don’t seem to care about your vanity, or the size of your fanny.  My husband complains every year this time of year because he can never work out at his normal times; the gyms are just too full.  And from what I’ve seen, this year is no different. Gyms seem to be filling up but there is one studio that has just opened up in Fort Thomas: Fit Philosophie. Fit Philosophie is located in the heart of Ft. Thomas, in the Inverness District. The location is an easy access point for residents of both Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky, just off Memorial Parkway.

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Highlands pounds St. Henry; NCC loses


Fort Thomas Matters Sports Reporter

The Highlands Bluebirds girls basketball team bounced back from Friday’s loss to Newport Central Catholic with an impressive 9th Region win in Erlanger.

The Bluebirds (11-5) dominated the St. Henry Lady Crusaders (6-8), 71-37 and snapped a three-game losing streak in the series. Highlands last beat St. Henry, 67-43 on Feb. 4, 2010 in Fort Thomas.

The Bluebirds jumped out to a 21-3 advantage after the first quarter and never looked back. They recorded 20 steals on 23 St. Henry turnovers and yielded just one theft on 12 turnovers. Brianna Adler led Highlands with four steals with Haley Coffey, Vanessa Fisse and Leah Schaefer recording three each.

Offensively, the Twin Towers once again led the way for Highlands. Jesse Daley scored 15 points and Leah Schaefer had 12. Adler also hit double-digits in the scorebook with 11.

Highlands made 26-of-56 shots for 46 percent, including 8-of-18 from three-point range for 44 percent. The Bluebirds also made 11-of-18 free throws for 61 percent. Adler made 3-of-4 attempts from beyond the arc with Coffey, Fisse, Lydia Graves, McKenzie Leigh and Alex Combs all making one each.

On the other side, St. Henry made just 12-of-28 shots for 43 percent and 3-of-6 three-point shots for 50 percent. The Lady Crusaders also hit just 10-of-22 free-throw attempts for 46 percent.

St. Henry saw just Jordan Miller score in double-digits with 11 points. Senior Libby Leedom decided to focus on soccer this year.

Highlands travels to Notre Dame on Tuesday at 7:30 p.m.

Sacred Heart 61, NCC girls 43:

The Thoroughbreds (10-4) could not come up with another big win Saturday at home against the Valkyries (13-1).

NewCath had no answers for DaiJia Ruffin. Ruffin scored 36 points and teammate Kristin Matula added 11. Ruffin made six three-pointers and 6-of-7 free-throw attempts.

MiKayla Seibert led NewCath with 11 points and Alexus Mayes had eight. Sacred Heart held Nikki Kiernan to four points and four rebounds.

The Valkyries made 26-of-43 shots from the field for 61 percent and 8-of-12 free throws for 67 percent.

The Thoroughbreds hit 14-of-49 shots for 29 percent and 10-of-20 free throws for 50 percent. They continued to struggle from outside making just 1-of-6 three-point shots for 17 percent.

NewCath plays host to the All “A” 9th Region tournament this week. The Thoroughbreds will take on either Newport (8-7) or Covington Holy Cross (11-2) at 6 p.m. Wednesday. NewCath has won the last six tournaments and finished state runner-up to Walton-Verona last year.