Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Police Round Up: Dispatch Gets Busier, Suspicious Activity Up, and Beware "Speed Trap Sunday"



It was another quiet week for police scanners within Fort Thomas city limits, so quiet in fact that Lt. Rich Whitford, when asked what sort of activity the Department saw this past week, he described it simply as "usual weekend activity." If previous trends suggest anything, this means a continuation of car vandalism throughout the city. Once again, a reminder from Lt. Whitford: lock your vehicles, even when parked in the driveway, and to not leave valuables visible in the vehicle.

But while the last week seemed less eventful on the street level, certain categories of dispatch call numbers still saw a marked increase last week compared to the week prior. Here are the notable dispatch stats for the week of July 21-28:

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Cliffview Players Summer Production: Romeo y Margarita


There is a theatre group that was born in a local basement and has since grown into a reputable collection of home grown thespians.   Headed by Highlands graduate, Caroline Stine, the Cliffview Players has been putting on shows since 1997.  Well the Cliffview Players are at it again this August with their production of Romeo y Margarita, an intertwining of the enduring tale of Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet with Peruvian mythology.

Cabaret and Coffee


Fort Thomas Coffee has solidified itself as a powerhouse business on the avenue.  They provide delicious coffee and scrumptious breakfast sandwiches and pastries.  While they have mastered the breakfast business they also offer nightly entertainment on Wednesday nights.  On August 7th Fort Thomas Coffee will present the first ever Fort Thomas Cabaret

Fort Thomas native Max Colvill is organizing this special night. The performers involved in the cabaret are comprised of freshman in high school to seniors in college.  The schools that will be represented range from Highlands to Walton Verona to Northern Kentucky University.

I asked Max to describe the event and why he wanted to present a cabaret show. 

Max explained, “This show will be high school and college students from around the area singing songs from several different Broadway shows.  I organized this night for three main reasons.  One, as a Fort Thomas native I love supporting the local businesses in the city.  Secondly, I wanted to give the students the experience of performing a cabaret show in a small space.  This experience is completely different from being on stage and it is a great skill to have.  And finally, I wanted to do this because it is going to be fun.  There is nothing better than walking into a local coffee shop, enjoying a hot cup of coffee and listening to some of the areas most talented people serenade you.”


 Fort Thomas Coffee is a great business, but I wanted to see what, specifically, drew Max to this venue.

He said, “I love that Fort Thomas now has our very own coffee shop.  FTC seems like it jumped right out of New York and into our town.  The atmosphere is so wonderful and the people who work and own FTC are the nicest people you will ever meet.  We chose to perform at the coffee shop because the owner, Lori Valentine, is an alumni of The University of Cincinnati College Conservatory of Music and is another theatre lover like myself.”

The Fort Thomas Cabaret is on August 7th at 6:30pm.  Admission is free but it is encouraged to buy a cup of joe to support the coffee shop.  The show features about 15 students performing songs from shows like Godspell, Bare, The Boy in the Bathroom, Next to Normal, Once, Aladdin, The Unauthorized Biography of Samantha Brown, Spring Awakening, Dogfight, and more.  It will be an amazing evening filled with music, coffee, and as Max puts it, “Good old fashion fun!”


Monday, July 29, 2013

Insight on the Fort Thomas Housing Market


If you’ve been monitoring the housing market at all, you’ve probably noticed inventory flying off the shelves at what seems like a record rate.  According to Zillow (onlineReal Estate Network), home sales in Fort Thomas for April 2012 were 26.  For April 2013, 21 homes were sold.   Comparing May 2012 to May 2013, we see 29 versus 31.  So, perception may not always be completely rooted in fact.  That said, I can tell you from personal experience, having just sold my first home and bought a second, for those in the “hunt”, houses more often than not seemed to go “pending” the day they were placed on the market.  Therefore, while actual sales may not be up significantly, month-over-month, the speed with which many desirable homes are coming off the market is significant.

Sunday, July 28, 2013

Is Your Home a Target for Theft?


Brought to you by Tracy Davis State Farm

There are many easy, affordable and commonsense things homeowners can do to protect their homes.
 
Tighten up your security.
Dissuade burglars with these tips:
  • Add a generic security sign to your yard or stickers to your door. It may not fool a burglar, but he may think twice about hitting your home.
  • Create open spaces in your landscaping and keep bushes trimmed so burglars have fewer places to hide. If you’re landscaping, plant thorny plants such as rose bushes in vulnerable areas.
  • Install a motion sensor light to catch intruders by surprise—but put it high enough that a burglar can’t reach up and unscrew the bulb.
  • At night, turn on your lights, open your curtains and walk around the exterior of your home. You’ll see what’s visible to a burglar from your yard or sidewalk. Then have someone turn off the lights in your home: You may be surprised how much you can still see from street level. After this exercise, you might choose to move certain items or draw the blinds more frequently.
  • Install deadbolt locks on all exterior doors and doors from an attached garage. Select a deadbolt that has been given a Grade 1 from the American National Standards Institute (ANSI). The ANSI tests locks for security and durability, and gives them a Grade 1, 2 or 3 with Grade 1 being the best.
  • To make existing locks more secure, install a heavy-duty strike plate using three-inch screws that penetrate the wall stud. Make sure the door strike is held in place by four or more screws. And strengthen the door frame by installing a door jamb reinforcement product.
  • Put tools, bikes and other items away when you’re done using them. If your things are too visible, burglars may wonder what else you have inside.
  • Dogs are exceptional deterrents to theft. Let your dog be seen—and heard. A thief who knows there’s a dog in the house may pick another target.
Hide the good stuff.
Thieves are typically looking for small items they can grab quickly and resell easily.
  • Drawers and closets in the master bedroom are often where thieves look first. Hide valuables, jewelry and cash elsewhere.
  • Thieves will hit the family room, looking for gaming systems and small electronics. Cover your windows with shades that filter light but block an intruder’s view of your components.
  • Your desk is filled with important papers, statements, checkbooks—which could lead to identity theft. Encrypt vulnerable information that's stored on your home computer, and keep important documents in a home safe. Then be sure to keep your safe well hidden and bolted to the floor so it cannot be easily removed.
Pretend you’re there.
Keep your home looking lived-in when you’re away.
  • Leave lights on timers when you’re away—but choose timers that have random settings so thieves can’t detect a pattern.
  • If you'll be away for a short time, leave a radio or TV on, turned up loud enough that it might be heard outdoors. If a longer trip is in your plans, consider using an electronic device that simulates the lights and flicker of a TV and gives the impression that someone’s home—and uses about the same amount of power as a night light.
  • Don’t leave a message on your home answering machine that indicates you’re away. Some burglars phone ahead to see if you’re there.
  • Don’t post your travel plans on social media websites. Some burglars use social networking sites to find victims.
  • When you’re leaving for longer period, ask a trusted neighbor to watch your home, gather your mail and otherwise give the appearance of activity. Leave your spare key with the neighbor too: Burglars know the usual hiding places.
Try an ounce of prevention.
Take these steps to protect your home and property.
  • Ask police if they’ll do a safety check of your home. An officer can point out where your home is most vulnerable.
  • Engrave your electronics with a non-official ID number to help police track goods if they’re stolen.
  • Take photos or a home movie of every room and its contents and store the film in a safe deposit box. Learn how tocreate a home inventory with tips from State Farm®.
If your house was hit…
Despite everything, you still may be a victim.
  • If you return home and notice something’s wrong—the back door is ajar or a window is broken—leave immediately and call the police from a safe place. If you’re at home, go to the nearest room and lock yourself in, then call 911.
  • After contacting the police and family, contact your State Farm Agent to report the theft.
  • Know that if you’ve been burglarized once, you may be targeted again. Some burglars will return after homeowners replace their items. Don’t wait to secure your home after a burglary.

Saturday, July 27, 2013

The Heroin(e) Diaries

Melissa is a 37 year old woman struggling with addiction. She is fighting her way through addiction with the help of the Brighton Recovery Center for Women.

In an effort to put a face on addiction, FortThomasMatters.com is documenting her journey. It's real and raw and relevant. She is our Northern Kentucky neighbor. She is our heroine. Her story is important.

Here's Mel:


Friday, July 26, 2013

BREAKING: Car Turned Over at St. Catherine in Fort Thomas (pictures)

UPDATE: From authority on the scene: "He ran into the long cable that attaches to the telephone pole, and actually ran his van up it like a ramp.  Older gentleman, nothing suspicious, just bad luck."

So speed didn't seem to be a factor. VAN DAMME, IT'S FRIDAY! See you at Vito's tonight. 

Vito's Block Party on the Patio TONIGHT! Win a FREE dinner for 2!


Vito's Cafe has been trying to appeal to a more diverse base and tonight is a great reason to see how they are evolving. 

If the sad case of Mio's closure has taught us anything, it's that if we do not support local business they can and will close. Granted, when a business refuses to change, you cannot blame the customers. But Vito and Mary are trying new things. 

Let's show them how thankful we are that they are in our city. Please show up loud and proud to kick the weekend off right. 

Who/Where: Vito's Block Party on the Patio
When: Friday, July 26  5:00 - 10:00 PM
What: FREE appetizers of Eckerlin Italian Sausage, Metts & Brats.  
There will be a Hot Dog eating Contest with a FREE dinner for two at Vito's, awarded to the winner.

Live music - something for all - keyboard, country, guitar, Broadway!  Piano Pete Michael & Casey Campbell on guitar and vocals.

$5.00 Watermelon Martinis.  $4.00 Craft Draft Beer.

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Highlands sophomores prepare for Friday Night Lights


By G. MICHAEL GRAHAM
Fort Thomas Matters Sports Reporter

The freshman season may tough for many football players across the country.

But for the Highlands Bluebirds, the sophomore year is perhaps the toughest season because they have to make some big adjustments. The biggest one is facing players two years older on the varsity level. Throughout their time in the instructional Fort Thomas Youth Football League, they faced players their age and a year older or younger.

Then they faced other freshmen during their freshmen campaigns. During that season, it becomes about winning and learning the Highlands schemes.

“The game pace is way faster,” said Jensen Feggins, Highlands junior wide receiver. “If you do get playing time, you need to stay humble and keep getting better and better every year. Going into your senior year, you’ll then be 10 times better than you were as a sophomore.”

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Police Round-Up: Burglary on Holly Woods, Car Break-Ins Continue



Police scanners in Fort Thomas were relatively quiet this past week, but a few occurrences kept the FTPD's attention over the weekend.

**See the final section of this post for the first in a weekly breakdown of police dispatch calls in Fort Thomas.

Burglary on Holly Woods Dr.

The FTPD has reported a breaking and entering on Holly Woods Dr., occurring sometime between 11:30 PM on Saturday night and 1:30 PM on Sunday afternoon. Currently, there are no suspects being investigated for the robbery. The house was vacant, recently purchased but not yet occupied by the new owners. The perpetrator is alleged to have gotten away with only a Bosch radio/stereo system.

FTPD Lt. Ken Fecher asks that residents all around town, "keep watch on their neighbors' property and as diligently lock up your home and property."

Car Break-Ins Continue

Fort Thomas continues to see car vandalism and theft occur throughout the city limits, typically between the hours of midnight and 6 AM, according to FTPD Lt. Rich Whitford. This summer so far, there have been numerous reports of car vandalism, especially along S. Ft. Thomas Ave.

While the cases of vandalism in May and June are suspected to be minor mischief localized on one stretch of the Avenue, auto break-ins and theft are more wide-spread throughout the city. Lt. Whitford reminds residents to lock your vehicle, even if parked in a driveway, and to not leave valuables (phone, computer, cameras, etc.) visible in the vehicle.

Police Call Breakdown, July 14 - 21

Over the last week, the Fort Thomas Police responded to calls for:
  • 20 traffic accidents
  • 19 suspicious persons/vehicle checks
  • 15 disturbance reports
  • 2 burglaries
  • 2 assaults
Fort Thomas Matters is awaiting information regarding the 2nd of these burglaries. Stay tuned for more details as they become available.

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Ten Years Later, Festival Remains Positive Light


The city of Fort Thomas and its very own Renaissance Board will have special reason to celebrate this September.  The Merchants and MusicFestival will be in its tenth year of bringing businesses, patrons and music together seamlessly. It goes without saying that the festival has evolved a lot over the years.  To find out just how far the Merchants and Music Festival has come in the past decade, I reached out to Debbie Buckley, the Renaissance Manager and Economic Development Director, and Ken Bowman, who was the Festival chairman for eight years.

Monday, July 22, 2013

Standing Room Only "Taste of the Season" Fundraiser August 10th


On August 10th Standing Room Only, HHS theater boosters, is hosting their annual fundraiser at the Mess Hall at the Fort from 6-11.  

Tickets are $30, which ncludes dinner and exciting entertainment.  HHS theater students will make a brief appearance in order to give you a “taste” of their upcoming season and The Carter New Band will perform at the event. 

There will also be craft beer, wine, and bourbon tastings as well as a cash bar  and silent auction. We hope to see everyone for a fun-filled evening at the Fort on August 10th.  

To purchase tickets, contact Scott Colvill at 513-444-7535 or at colvill.scott@gmail.com.



Friday, July 19, 2013

More on Mio's: Words from the Owner and CEO


It's no secret how hard the city was rooting for Mio's Fort Thomas. 15 North Fort Thomas Ave. is an important property within the city and the business community. Two failed restaurants in that location in the past five years had the stakes for Mio's very high. When somewhat of a household name, Mio's, came to Fort Thomas, it should have been a match made in Caketown.

"I've never seen a community band together as much as they did to try to support a business." said Debbie Buckley, Renaissance Coordinator and Economic Development Director of Fort Thomas.

But for whatever reason, it did not work out.


Highlands Basketball Standout Air Lifted to UC Medical Center


By G. Michael Graham, 
FortThomasMatters.com Reporter

A recent Highlands graduate and girls basketball standout and her younger sister are in the hospital after an accident at approximately 8:10 a.m. Thursday.

Jesse “Dirt” Daley and her younger sister were on their way to a basketball camp at Thomas More College on the AA Highway in Alexandria driving from their home in California. A southbound vehicle driven by a single passenger lost control, crossed the median and struck Daley’s vehicle head-on just south of Ridgewood Drive, the Cincinnati Enquirer reported. The Enquirer also reported Daley’s vehicle flew over a guardrail and landed in a ravine nearly 100 feet from Kentucky Highway 9.
Daley’s father, Jim Daley, works as the Campbell County jailer and used to be a Campbell County attorney. He received many phone calls and texts about Jesse Daley’s condition.

“They’re both lucky to be alive,” Jim Daley said. “Jesse is going to be fine. The people of Fort Thomas have been so supportive. It’s an incredible community.”

Medical personnel air lifted Jesse Daley to the University of Cincinnati Medical Center. Personnel took the younger sister to Cincinnati Children’s Hospital and the northbound driver to the UC Medical Center by ambulance. The Enquirer reported that medical personnel had to bring out one person per vehicle.

Jesse Daley finished an outstanding basketball career helping Highlands to the 36th District championship and a 9th Region runner-up finish this past year. She scored more than 1,000 points for her career. Jesse Daley also played goalkeeper on the soccer team and served as a cheerleader in the fall for Highlands.

Jesse Daley verbally committed to Thomas More in the fall. Her former Highlands teammates and future Thomas More teammates among other showed up at the hospital Thursday.

“We’re a family here at Thomas More,” said Devin Beasley, rising Thomas More senior and 2010 Conner graduate. “When one goes down, we all go down. When one goes up, we all go up so we’ll be with (Jesse Daley) every step of the way.”
Daley’s younger sister played softball this past fall. She saw limited playing time on the varsity as a seventh-grader.

“I encourage people to spend time with their kids,” said Rob Coffey, Highland head softball coach. “You never know when something is going to happen, even when it is not your fault.”

Jim Daley said visitors might be able to see Jesse Daley on Friday. He said she hopes to be in a regular room then.

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Mio's Party Till It's Gone Party

Look, there's not a whole lot of good that has come from Mio's Fort Thomas closing.

It's been bad for the community, the city, the owners and most importantly employees, who were unaware Tuesday morning that they would be job searching Tuesday night.

Here is our chance to thank the employees and send them on their way to hopefully a more prosperous future:

Mio's Party Till It's Gone Party.

Building owner and Mio's co-owner, Mark Fowler, has agreed to let the employees have one last opportunity to make some cash by selling the remaining inventory of beverages.

$2 drinks. All night. Until it's gone. Fort Thomas Matters has always tried to promote a shop local sensibility. If there was ever a time where shopping local could directly affect someone in our community's  future it's right now.

Thursday 8-close
Friday 6:30-close.

Please, come to Mio's one last time. If nothing else to help combat the way these employees were so abruptly let go.


HHS grad sets new standards for Football at Campbell County


G. Michael Graham Photo. Highlands graduate Stephen Lickert has guided the Campbell County Camels to their first two district championships in 31 years in two seasons as head coach.

By G. MICHAEL GRAHAM
Fort Thomas Matters Sports Reporter

ALEXANDRIA – One of the toughest things about coaching can be earning the respect and trust of your players.

But 1997 Highlands graduate Stephen Lickert seems to be doing that wherever he’s been a head coach. Lickert, 34, owns an overall record of 48-51 after nine seasons as a head coach at three different schools. But that record could improve dramatically if the upward trend continues.

“(The players) respect the knowledge we have of the game,” Lickert said. “We try to put them in spots where they’re going to be successful. When a coach says, ‘Do this’ and the kid does it and has success, they really buy into the program and what you’re selling.”

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

BREAKING: Mio's Fort Thomas Closes Unexpectedly

Breaking News: As of today, Mio’s in Fort Thomas is closed for business.  When employees arrived for work this morning, they found that they would not be serving any pizza today.  Instead, they were out of a job, arriving to find the below imaged sign on the door.  The doors were locked and tables were being removed from the restaurant.  Fort Thomas Police Department were on site overseeing the proceedings.

Fort Thomas Matters has reached out to both owners but both were unavailable for comment and did not return immediate messages.
UPDATE:
Co-owner Mark Fowler, who also owns the building, confirmed to FortThomasMatters that they are indeed closed.

 The questions to be asked are the obvious such as why is the restaurant closing?  Why were employees not informed of the layoffs?  There are also less obvious questions such as when will employees be receiving their final checks?  All of these and more will be asked of the owners and responses reported on this site as soon as we are able to determine what is happening with Mio’s.

Be sure to check back often for updates.

Beautify Fort Thomas... with Bike Racks?


It can be done.


Fit Philosophie, N. Ft. Thomas Ave.
Jennifer Lynn, owner and proprietor of Fit Philosophie on North Ft. Thomas Ave., looks around Fort Thomas and sees a lot of things she likes. Local businesses (like hers) taking hold, residents getting up, out, and walking through town on summer evenings, kids staying active by taking advantage of the numerous city parks.

But she also looks around Fort Thomas and sees something missing. A dedicated cyclist, Lynn looks at Fort Thomas and sees a city without any real bike infrastructure to speak of. 

And she wants to change that.

As someone whose profession makes her an advocate for health initiatives by default, Lynn has lots of ideas about making Fort Thomas a more health-conscious community. But, for now, she’s starting small: she would like to see bike racks installed at strategic points throughout the city.

But not just any bike racks. Bike racks that serve both a functional and aesthetic purpose. Taking her cue from an initiative launched by ArtWorks Cincinnati’s Queen City Art Racks, Lynn would like to begin by commissioning an artist to design a bike rack that would also act as an art installation and add to Fort Thomas’s beauty. 

Art Rack outside Coffee Emporium in Over-the-Rhine (via ArtWorksCincinnati.org)

Lynn would like the first art rack to go in front of her fitness studio, and then envisions other local businesses following suit in order to provide bike rack stations at other popular spots around town. 

“This will be a great starting point for future, larger-scale health initiatives in Fort Thomas,” Lynn explained. More accessible bike racks throughout town, she continued, would also foster community building and encourage bike culture in the city, two things for which Lynn has seen a recent increase in demand.

Lynn has chosen to embark upon this project independent of ArtWorks involvement, and is currently recruiting local artists to design the first of Fort Thomas’s art racks. She hopes to see the first rack installed by Spring 2014. 

The biggest challenge Lynn has met so far, she says, is establishing a place for this project in the city’s already busy development and planning schedules. Along with seeking (and needing) city involvement with installing bike racks on city streets or sidewalks, Lynn is also currently exploring funding options.

“All in all,” Lynn summarized, “I really want to get this going!  Building bike culture like this would not only increase the appeal of Fort Thomas to health-minded people, but it would also help encourage us all to get out and stay active.”

If you are interested in getting involved in Jennifer Lynn’s Fort Thomas bike rack project, she asks that you not hesitate to contact her by email here.

LaRosa's Fundraiser for HHS Band TODAY!


The Reds will be back from the All-Star break on Friday. That probably means FREE PIZZA. Back in late April, the Reds "Pizza for Strikeouts" promotion had already cost LaRosa's over $100,000. 

The promotion entitles ticket holders to a free small, 4-topping pie when Reds pitchers total 11 strikeouts.

Here's a perfect opportunity to thank Larosa's for their free pizza generosity and help our Highlands Band at the same time. Print the flyer above, bring it in and Larosa's will give 20% of the bill to Highlands' Band for instruments and instrument repair. Their website can be found here. 

On that same note, there will be a car and dog wash at Dirty Hairy's on August 10th from 10-3 to benefit the band as well.

While you're there, ask owner Lisa Kelly, for a bottle of "miracle spray." My dog has had bad skin her entire life. I took her to Dirty Hairy's a few weeks back and Lisa sprayed her trouble areas. I checked her skin a few hours later and the redness was completely gone. I went the next week and bought a bottle. She hasn't itched since.



Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Fort Thomas Businesses On The Move


The popular embroidery shop, Love Letters, has been in business for 6 years.  They have been very successful throughout those years and they are hoping that success will follow them to the middle of town.  Love Letters will be moving from the Inverness District to their new headquarters at 10 Highland Avenue. 

Ft. Thomas Jewelers is Moving

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A bit of bittersweet news to report this morning: Fort Thomas Jeweler’s is moving locations.  The jewelry store, in business since 1997, is moving from its location in the Fort Thomas Plaza a little down the road to Highland Pointe Plaza in Highland Heights.  To read more about the struggles and future of the Fort Thomas Plaza, see the FTM article from May here.   In that story, Vince Keairns, owner of Fort Thomas Jeweler’s, cites his struggles with keeping his business open and security concerns due to the numerous departures of anchor stores from the Fort Thomas Plaza: “When DEP’s and Curves moved out, we had no choice (to move). We’re now a jewelry store with no neighbors”, Keairns said.

The jewelry store has “outgrown” the current home in the Fort Thomas Plaza and, thus, is moving to a new building in Highland Heights.  Their showroom is currently under construction but will feature additional space, on-site master craftsmen, fast jewelry repair, and the custom jewelry designs they are known for.  Kim, spokesperson for Fort Thomas Jewelry, describes the new store as “hands on where you can touch and feel some of our merchandise without the assistance of our staff, you can design your own ring at our new create bar which was just reported on in Southern Jewelry News”.  The “create bar” is a “new concept where you can design the jewelry of your dreams”.

During the move, the store is offering 50-70% off selected merchandise and a 20% off coupon for jewelry repair.  Also, they are offering 12-18 month interest free financing on qualified purchases.

As for the move, Kim calls it unfortunate that they’ve outgrown the current Fort Thomas location and says “we would like to take this time to give a special thank you to all of our customers, the people of Ft. Thomas, City of Ft. Thomas, the firemen and our wonderful police department, we couldn’t have done it without all of you and your support.” 

So, while it is always sad to lose a Ft. Thomas business to a neighboring city, we at FTM wish Fort Thomas Jeweler’s the best and encourage our readers to stop in and take advantage of their great moving deals.

Monday, July 15, 2013

Blue Marble Bookstore Presents: Mama on a Budget: GNO Artscapade




            Every so often and not often enough, Mama on a Budget becomes “Hot Mama on a lesser Budget” and springs for a girls' night out.  I recently had such an experience at Artscapade.  You may remember I have written about Artscapade before and you can read all about that first (kid-friendly) experience here.  But this trip was different.  This was a certified-GNO (Girls’ Night Out) and I didn’t even get home until super late; I’m talking 10:15!

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Highland Country Club to Host Putting for Parkinson's Golf Outing


The Highland Country Club will be hosting the 4th Annual Putting for Parkinson's Golf Outing on July 19, 2013. The golf outing is much more than a fun day on the golf course. It is a way to give back o the community, and also donate money to an important cause. According to the event's registration site, "Our goal is to increase public awareness of Parkinson’s Disease and to raise money to help fund medical research grant requests through the University of Cincinnati's Gardner Center for Parkinson’s Disease and Movement Disorders."

The event organizer, Scott Layman, personally understands the importance of helping to fund Parkinson's research. He was diagnosed with Parkinson's Disease at the age of 43, and has since combined his love for golf with the opportunity to support Parkinson's research. 

The Putting for Parkinson's Golf Outing has raised an impressive $52,000 during their previous golf outings. All of the money raised is donated to the Gardner Family Center for Parkinson's Disease at the University of Cincinnati Neuroscience Institute (UCNI). One of the great aspects of this event is that not only does it raise money for an important cause, but all the money is then donated locally. 

For the event, there are many different ways for people to participate. Individuals and/or companies can participate in the golf outing, become a sponsor, donate items to the raffle and auction, or make a donation. You don't have to be a fan of hitting the links to support the cause. 

Those planning to tee off for the event have seven registration options to choose from for the event. If you are unable to participate in the golf outing during the day, you have the opportunity to register for only the dinner portion of the event. Participants have been provided with a schedule for the day: 

9:00am: Registration 
10:30am: Lunch Served from City BBQ
11:00am: Shotgun Start 
6:00pm: Dinner 

In order to register for the event or make a donation, check out the even't website for more information. You can also view the event's Facebook page for information. 

Saturday, July 13, 2013

The Heroin(e) Diaries

Addiction is everywhere. It does not discriminate against class, race or gender. It's in South Central Los Angeles and North East Maine. Northern Kentucky is also not immune. 

Yesterday, I talked about one of the 35 programs The Brighton Center uses to touch the lives of over 74,000 of our neighbors annually. The Brighton Recovery Center for Women is another one of those programs. 

In the heroin epidemic that is sweeping our region, they are at ground zero. They are fighting the battle. And they are winning. 

In an effort to put a face on addiction, FortThomasMatters.com is teaming with The Brighton Recovery Center for Women to tell the unfiltered story of addiction through the eyes of one of it's residents. The Heroin(e) Diaries will be a biweekly feature that will detail the road to recovery of Melissa. 

She is our neighbor. Her story is important. Here she is:
__________________

My name is Melissa. I am a 37 year old alcoholic and my alcoholism has a serious drug addiction. I could tell you how my childhood and teenage years played a part however you would have to come hear my lead at a twelve step meeting of Alcoholics Anonymous to know the entire story. Do know that my destructive actions and character defects began at a very young age. 

I got sober in 2007 and was active in Alcoholics Anonymous until 2011. Due to my drug use I contracted Hepatitis B & C, after completing the Interferon treatment I was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes and Thyroid disease. 

During the four years of sobriety I relied on a Higher Power which I call God and became aware of a spirituality that I chased. I wanted to be of service to God and others, yet something inside was missing, which led to a two year struggle again with addiction. During the years of 2011 and 2012 I fell apart physically, mentally and spiritually, however I continued to go to Alcoholics Anonymous meetings.

I could pull together 10 days, 15 days or maybe 30 days of sobriety but nothing more. 

I never took any action to fill the emptiness inside of me. I ran to a needle and a crack pipe to fill the void. After many hospital stays due to the abuse on my body and my health problems my final debacle came in April of 2013.

I was left for a day in a basement overdosed on heroin. By the time I was taken to the hospital my body temperature was 72 degrees and my blood sugar was well into the thousands.

I was barely alive. 

After a five day stay in ICU I was released only to go back to dance with the devil again. Two days later I was found by the Fort Thomas Police in my car unresponsive from a 2 day crack binge. I again was in the ICU and I awoke to my sponsor and sponsor's sister. These two women have been by my side since 2007, with fear in their eyes and desperation in their voice I knew something had to change and a willingness of surrender came over me.
________

Melissa's story will continue as the Heroin(e) Diaries will run every 2 weeks on FortThomasMatters.com.