Tuesday, December 31, 2013

BREAKING: Multi-vehicle Accident Shuts Down I-471 SB at Big Mac Bridge

A multi-vehicle accident has shut down southbound lanes of I-471 between the Daniel Carter Beard Bridge and Memorial Parkway, WCPO just reported.

Police and ambulance crews are on the scene.

View WCPO's report and images here.

Stay tuned to Fort Thomas Matters for updates, and please be safe out there.

2013 Fort Thomas Matters Year in Review

Happy New Year!

It's been a crazy 12 months for Fort Thomas Matters. We've gone from about 35,000 clicks per month to 75,000 every month. We've gone from a handful of advertisers to an association of over 50 businesses. We've transitioned our articles from purely an online endeavor to the pages of the Fort Thomas Living, which goes to over 4,000 homes and yet, we are striving to be more.

Highlands, NC Boys post wins

By G. MICHAEL GRAHAM
Fort Thomas Matters Sports Reporter

The Highlands Bluebirds boys basketball team earned its first victory of the year Monday.

Highlands (1-6) knocked off the Chesnee (S.C.) Eagles, 54-38 at the Cumberland Falls Invitational at Corbin. This marked the second opponent of the tournament for Highlands from the Palmetto State.

Monday, December 30, 2013

Fred A. Stine, V, Will Seek Re-Election for Circuit Court Judge


It looks like only one person in the Stine house will not seek re-election this year. Judge Fred A. Stine will seek re-election for Circuit Court Judge in this years election. His wife, Katie Stine, will not be running for her seat in the Kentucky State Senate. 

Stine has served as a circuit judge since 2005. In Kentucky, circuit judges preside over felony criminal and civil cases as well as appeals from the district court. Prior to his election as circuit judge, he served as Assistant United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Kentucky.

Since his appointment and election, Judge Stine has acted as a presiding judge for the Northern Kentucky Regional Mental Health Court and has assisted with the Campbell County Teen Court, high school mock trial teams from Newport Central Catholic, Highlands and Dixie High schools and various other mock trials at Northern Kentucky University and in the Greater Cincinnati Area.

Over his thirty years as an Assistant United States Attorney and a Circuit Court Judge, Judge Stine has received numerous awards and recognitions including:
-KY Court of Justice, Outstanding Contributions to KY Law Related Education -The Inspector General’s Integrity Award from the U.S. Dept. of Health and
Human Services
-Award for Outstanding Contributions to Law Enforcement – Drug

Enforcement Administration
-Distinguished Service Recognition – Federal Bureau of Investigation -Victim’s Rights Award, U.S. Department of Justice
-Federal Law Enforcement Officer’s Association – Assistant United States

Attorney of the Year
-U.S. Dept. of Justice Commendation, Law Enforcement

Coordinating Committee
-National Black Law Students Association Lifetime Achievement Award -U.S. Customs Service Recognition for efforts against Heroin Smuggling -Certificates of Appreciation: Dept. of the Treasury, IRS

U.S. Secret Service U.S. Marshal’s Service U.S. Probation Office

Stine resides in Southgate, KY, with his wife, Senator Katie Stine, and they have two children, Caroline and Fritz. He is a graduate of Highlands High School, the University of Cincinnati and Salmon P. Chase College of Law at Northern Kentucky University. 

(Source: Press Release)

NC girls win Gateway Classic; Highlands, NC boys fall


By G. MICHAEL GRAHAM
Fort Thomas Matters Sports Reporter

The Newport Central Catholic Thoroughbreds girls basketball team added a tournament championship to this remarkable season Sunday.

The undefeated 10-0 Thoroughbreds won the Gateway Holiday Classic at Montgomery County with a 63-48 win over the Ashland Kittens (6-3). The three tournament wins came against teams with winning records.

Saturday, December 28, 2013

Highlands captures eighth straight win

G. Michael Graham Photo. The Highlands Bluebirds get in defensive position in Friday's game at Conner against Boone County. The Bluebirds defeated the Lady Rebels, 52-40 for their eighth straight win.
By G. MICHAEL GRAHAM
Fort Thomas Matters Sports Reporter

HEBRON – The wins are still not the prettiest.

But the Highlands Bluebirds girls basketball team moved to 8-1 with its eighth straight win, 52-40 over the Boone County Lady Rebels (7-4) on Friday. Highlands finished 3-0 in pool play of the State Farm Classic at Conner.

Northern Kentucky New Year's Eve Options for Every Type of Partier (or Non-Partier)




I have to admit this year we'll most likely take it easy and do a night in with friends and family. Lame, I know. But at least I've got the party spread figured out.

Recently, we had City Barbecue cater the night before Thanksgiving for our family and it was amazing. They have large packages or options that'll cater to a smaller party.

We picked pulled pork and brisket, creamed corn (which was amazing), cole slaw, and a humongous triple chocolate cake. It came with everything else you'd possibly need: cutlery, napkins, plates. They can even deliver it. 

Their menu can be found here. Call Kim Minton at 859-940-4259 or email her at nkycatering@citybbq.com. If you're planning a night in, this is the way to go. The are right next to fellow #FTMFamily member, Ft. Thomas Jewelers in the new Highland Pointe Plaza at 2760 Alexandria Way.

Gangster's Dueling Piano Bar is part of the #FTMFamily
It's the sweet spot for the age-old question after Christmas: What are we going to do for New Year's Eve? Two members of the FortThomasMatters family are throwing some of the biggest and best parties this area offers. And the best part is you don't have to clean up! 

Gangster's Dueling Piano Bar on 5th Street in Newport (next to The Syndicate and Mokka Sunset Grill) offers something for everyone. I've actually been to Gangster's the last two years. It's upscale, definitely not amateur hour, and (especially after the shopping we all just finished) a GREAT value. 

They'll be featuring The Rusty Griswolds, Cicero's DJ Mark McFadden and of course their dueling piano players. You can choose from an open bar, late night food, a buffet, party favors or 

There are 3 different packages to choose from to accommodate everyone's budget! If you can't decide what package is best for you, Gangster's manager, Dee, will be in the office today from 9-5pm to help you decide! To book your tickets, give her a call at 859-491-8900 or 859-491-8000 or you can book them at cincyticket.com here. 

Bambooz Bar and Grill is part of the #FTMFamily

Bambooz Bar and Grill (501 Licking Pike - just off of Moock Road) is also hosting a great NYE Value. Mention FTM when you book your table for $25 and get a bucket of beer or champagne. They are also offering AUCD drafts and wells for $25. It'll fill up fast (at last check there were just 8 tables left), but get there early and enjoy some complimentary hors devours. 261-7555.

DJ Bam will be there for the night and they also have KENO! Here are the other specials, Bambooz offers during the week:


NC Basketball teams garner big wins


By G. MICHAEL GRAHAM
Fort Thomas Matters Sports Reporter

The Newport Central Catholic Thoroughbreds girls basketball team survived a battle of 7-0 teams Friday.

NewCath downed the Glasgow Lady Scotties, 54-50 to open the Gateway Holiday Classic at Montgomery County. Glasgow had recently recorded a huge win over Louisville power Sacred Heart.

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Fort Thomas Resident Receives Award for Excellence in Music Education

Fort Thomas is the home of many accomplished educators.  This year one more Fort Thomas resident has had her name added to the ranks of the coveted Teacher of the Year recipients. Mrs. Nancy Bailey was named the 2013 Kentucky Music Educators Association (KMEA) Teacher of the Year.

Sunday, December 22, 2013

Mansion Hill Studio: Senior of the Month: December

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This edition of the Mansion Hill Senior of the Month Spotlight brings us back to Highlands High School.  Hannah Koehler is the feature of the story.  Hannah is the class Vice President, co-President of the Math Honor Society, Vice President of the English Honor Society, and a member of the National Honor Society.  Obviously a very intelligent young woman, Koehler has her pick of colleges for next year with scholarship offers on the table already from Bellarmine, Georgetown, and Northern Kentucky University and is awaiting word from the University of Lousville and the University of Cincinnati.  We’re sure this talented senior will make waves no matter where she goes.

Saturday, December 21, 2013

14 Last Minute Tips for Holiday Entertaining


Fort Thomas is buzzing with holiday activity! The lights up are up, seasonal activities are taking place and every person in town is prepping for celebration after celebration. I personally love to entertain, but believe you don't have to spend a fortune to wow your guests. Here are 14 super, savvy ideas to help with your holiday entertaining:
  1. Use a roll of festive holiday wrapping paper as a table runner on your dining room table or kitchen island. This small investment ($1-$6) can bring great impact to your tablescape. The best part… You won't feel bad about throwing it away when you're finished!

Friday, December 20, 2013

Ft. Thomas Playwright Stages a Reading of "The Faculty Lounge"



Did you ever wonder what went on behind those doors of your school's teachers' lounge? Well, Teri Foltz's newest play can help answer that question for you. Foltz will be staging a reading of her play, The Faculty Lounge, tonight at 7:00pm. Foltz is a former English and Drama teacher at Highlands High School, and drew inspiration from her years as an educator to write the play. The Faculty Lounge perfectly balances between comedic and heartwarming accounts of teachers' experiences while on the job. 

This reading is the perfect opportunity to take a break from that Christmas shopping, and support local talent tonight. Women Writing for a Change is hosting the event at their location at 6906 Plainfield Road, Cincinnati, OH. The reading begins at 7:00pm, but you can come early for potluck snacks beginning at 6:30pm. A discussion will be held following the reading. 

Weinrich most qualified to succeed Mueller



This is not a secret in Fort Thomas.
For years, people have been saying Brian Weinrich will succeed Dale Mueller as the Head Coach of the highly-successful Highlands Bluebirds football team one day. That one day could soon become a reality. I have no true say in this, but it does make sense to me for many reasons and keep in mind this is just one man’s opinion.

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Local Fort Thomas Girls Play A Part in 50th Nutcracker

From Left to Right Back Row: Mia Smith, Mary Price, Madison Boberg, Michelle Chalk, and Addie Parris.
From Left to Right Front Row: CiCi Murphy, Kathleen Price.

Several girls from our very own Fort Thomas community were hard at work in rehearsals the past several months so that they could take part in this year’s Cincinnati Ballet’s 50th Anniversary production of The Nutcracker.

Mia Smith played the role of a Party Child.
Mary Price is a 6th grader at Highlands Middle School and played the part of a Soldier in the Battle Scene.
Madison Boberg had 2 roles including Party Child and Soldier.
Michelle Chalk is a 5th grader at Johnson Elementary and played the part of a Party Child in the Party Scene.
Addie Parris is a Freshman at Highlands High School and had 2 roles including Party Child and Soldier. This was her 2nd year in the production.
CiCi Murphy is a 3rd grader at Johnson Elementary and also had 2 roles including a Baby Mouse and a Cupcake. This was her 2nd Year in the production.
Kathleen Price is also a 3rd grader at Johnson Elementary and played the role of a Cupcake.

The shows are running December 20-29.

Fort Thomas Schools Seeking Public Input on School Calendar



Fort Thomas Independent Schools (FTIS) are requesting community input as the district begins planning for the 2015-2016 academic year.

Are You Looking to Get Fit for the New Year? Here's How:


With impending New Years resolutions in tow, Google is about to get bombarded with "get fit" searches. Stop. Just stop. Here's your chance to change your life while Shopping Local. 

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Beshear Points to Affordable Care Act in Fight Against NKY Heroin Epidemic


Kentucky Governor Steve Beshear


by PAT LaFLEUR
Reporter, Fort Thomas Matters

ERLANGER -- Last week, during a Northern Kentucky Chamber of Commerce luncheon, KY Governor Steve Beshear reaffirmed his commitment to fighting the escalating heroin issue plaguing the region, WVXU reported Monday.

Blue Marble Bookstore Presents: Mama on a Budget: Holiday in Lights



The Festival of Lights at the Cincinnati Zoo has a beautiful light display this time of year but you have to fight parking, walk through throngs of people, and hike the hills between displays.  The train display at the Union Terminal costs $8 per adult which adds up for a family of four.  And watching Santa rappel from atop the Macy’s building requires one to fight a crowd of thousands to catch a fleeting glimpse of the rotund rappeller in between near-frozen breaths of air.  So, having already done ALL of that this year, I thought I am going to experience the holidays on my own terms and from the comforts of my own car.

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

First Candidate Files for Fort Thomas City Council


Anthony Bonomini, Rossford Avenue, filed paperwork yesterday to run in the Fort Thomas City Council primary. The primary election will take place on May 20. All 6 council seats are up for election.

At least one seat will be open as current councilman Tom Lampe, Covert Place, will be running for County Commissioner.

"As a lifelong Fort Thomas resident, I love my community. I've got a strong desire to serve this community because it's given so much to me. I feel it's only necessary to give back to it," said Bonomini.

The deadline to file for the primary election is January 28th. Bonomini is the only person to file so far.

Shopping in Town: A Local Holiday Gift Guide

The Northern Kentucky area provides the perfect market to satisfy every person on your Christmas list. Get ready to support local businesses and pump money back into the community! By supporting someone's business, you're supporting his or her dream. You're buying more than their products. You're buying into their aspirations and that is something we can all feel good about.

Even if a local shop is a little more expensive, I don't mind paying extra. I'm happy to see the money stay in the community.

I have researched hundreds of gift ideas and compiled a list of outstanding surprises that will bring a smile to the recipient's face.

Here are my top picks this season…




Perfect for a New Years Eve hostess gift.

Donations in December

Christmas has been my favorite time of year for as long as I can remember. The city is transformed into a winter wonderland; families plan gatherings to exchange presents and catch up on the happenings of the year; people seem happier, and simple occasions seem to be more meaningful this time of year.

In the giving spirit of the season I proposed an idea to the Fort Thomas Matters team. I thought we could tap into the pantries of our faithful readers and collect can goods for the Brighton Center. We were fortunate enough to partner with Fort Thomas Coffee in this holiday project, and it proved to be an outstanding team.

We set up boxes in Fort Thomas Coffee and accepted donations for a month and a half. We received boxes of cereal, soups, vegetables, and many other can goods that will feed many people in need this winter.

Last week I made the trip to the Brighton Center in Newport and delivered our collected goods. I met with Deana Sowders who is the communications specialist for the center. She was so appreciative for all of our donated goods. She showed me around the Family Services Center, and finally showed me the food pantry where the food is collected. They were in need of a lot of things, so the goods that all of you donated were received at a perfect time.

Ben delivering the donation boxes to Deana Sowders and The Brighton Center

Deana’s repetitive phrase that afternoon was “thank you.” She said it over and over again, and I assured her it was truly our pleasure. I wanted to relay Deana’s thanks and the Brighton Center’s appreciation to all of our readers and those who helped make this possible. A special thank you to Fort Thomas Coffee for being the perfect partner in this holiday endeavor.

From everyone at Fort Thomas Matters, Fort Thomas Coffee and on behalf of everyone at The Brighton Center we wanted to say, “Thank you!”


Monday, December 16, 2013

Fort Thomas City Council Notes (12-16-13)

Council met today for what would be the last meeting for 2013. The first meeting in 2014 (January 6) has already been canceled, due to lack of quorum. Here is the council meeting schedule for the rest of 2014. Councilmen Roger Peterman and Jay Fossett were not in attendance.

Republican candidate for the Kentucky State Senate, Wil Schroder was in attendance. Schroder is running to fill long-time State Senator, Katie Stine's seat.



- Smitty's co-owners, Brian Akers and Dave Brisco, were in attendance. Brisco addressed council to apprise them of the situation that was occurring between them and the property owner of the Hiland Building. Fort Thomas Matters broke that story and other media outlets subsequently jumped onto our story.  

"It's a piece of the fabric of your community and it's being taken away," Brisco said to council. "Even though (what the owner is doing) is legal, I don't think it's moral or honest."

Brisco said that Smitty's will open at its new location at 910 N. Fort Thomas Avenue on January 2nd. They will close at 18 N. Fort Thomas Ave on December 31st at 2:00 PM. Previous owner, Curvan Smith, will be there to give the last haircut at that location. 

"I thank you for sharing your history with us and I know everyone will follow you to your new location," said Mayor Mary Brown. 

- Sgt. Casey Kilgore gave the Fort Thomas Police report. Here are the highlights:

* He announced that there are 12 applicants going through recruitment to be officers.

* Newest recruit, Nick Hoffman, is in week 6 of 14 of his training. 

* There are two current grants in effect dealing with dangerous drivers during the holiday season. One is for traffic enforcement and the other is for DUI enforcement. 

- City Administrative Officer Don Martin gave the Administrative report. Here are the highlights:

* The city chose another healthcare plan for the city. Due to the Obamacare law being in place, the committee had less time to consider their options. In total, there was a 4.99% increase in costs from last year and after a rebate was issued, the net increase was 4.65%. 

* The city is going to offer a Christmas tree recycling program again this year. Residents can leave their Christmas trees on the curb until January 10th. General services will pick up the trees and shred them. In the past the recycled material was used around the dog park at Highland Park. 

* A resident brought an issue to council at the last meeting that an abandoned white, work truck had been parked on Holly Lane for months. Police were notified and the issue was expedited and promptly taken care of. 

Friday, December 13, 2013

REPOST: The REAL Jeff Ruby (Part III)

Jeff Ruby's autobiography, Not Counting Tomorrow - The Remarkable life of Jeff Ruby, will come out December 21st. Ruby will be hosting a release party at Joseph Beth Rookwood. I interviewed Ruby last year and he gave me a preview of what would be in the book. 

What came of the 4-hour interview was The REAL Jeff Ruby, in four parts. This is part 3. Keep checking back at FortThomasMatters.com for the rest of the story
Jeff Ruby getting makeup done for his upcoming reality show with one of his signature Ruby-brand cigars. No details have been released yet, but be sure to check back on FortThomasMatters.com for that and other Ruby updates. 

Jeff Ruby ran away at 15 years old. He had no father in his life. His mother wasn't interested in being a mother to him, so he packed up and moved on. He spent one night in the local YMCA, then checked in to a simple apartment-type sleeping quarters under the name Larry Brockton.

Why Larry Brockton?

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Highlands seeks to move on in more ways than one


G. Michael Graham Photo. Highlands junior Jensen Feggins (16) is shown here after hauling in a 41-yard touchdown pass against Lexington Catholic in the Class 4A state semifinals. Feggins and company are determined to bring the gold back to Fort Thomas next fall.
By G. MICHAEL GRAHAM
Fort Thomas Matters Sports Reporter

This offseason for the Highlands Bluebirds football team will be about more than the usual.

The Bluebirds focused on improving their overall speed and strength as defending state champions the past six years. But they enter this offseason preparing to not only bring back the gold to Fort Thomas, but to also embrace some changes.

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Home Decorating Enthusiasts Rejoice! It's the 3rd Annual Griswold Challenge

Fort Thomas looks even more beautiful this time of year as the Christmas decorations are displayed on homes and businesses. As we usher in the holiday season it is once again that time of year. Yes FTM faithful, I am talking about the Griswold Challenge!

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Fort Thomas Theater Group Hatching a 'Swan Lake' of a Different Feather

This story originally ran on WCPO. The link to that article is here. 
Fort Thomas, Ky. - With Caroline Stine, you never know what you’ll see on stage. Neither does she.
The Fort Thomas native practices and teaches devised theater -- work created by the entire company during rehearsals. She began producing original shows 16 years ago from her family’s backyard. The Cliffview Players are now a summer youth staple, and her new company, In Bocca Performance, is a spinoff focusing on more mature themes.
In Bocca debuts this holiday season with an original take on the “Swan Lake” story, created largely by the teen girls who make up the cast. In this video, we step into a rehearsal early in the creative process and talk with Stine about the risks and challenges of breaking from holiday tradition.

IF YOU GO

What: “Cygnet: A Story of Swan Lake”
When: 7 p.m. Dec. 19-21, with a preview gala Dec. 18.
Where: Christ Church United Church of Christ, 15 South Ft. Thomas Avenue, Ft. Thomas, Ky.
Cost: $20 for gala, $7-$12 for regular performances.

Monday, December 9, 2013

Mueller's outstanding career comes to close


G. Michael Graham Photo. Dale Mueller (center) goes over strategy in the scrimmage at Louisville Trinity in August. Mueller retired as Head Coach of the Highlands Bluebirds following a 20-year tenure that included a record of 250-36, 11 state championships and three runner-up finishes. He was 309-67 as a head coach overall in 29 seasons.
By G. MICHAEL GRAHAM
Fort Thomas Matters Sports Reporter

The great tenure came to an end today.

Dale Mueller stepped down as Head Football Coach of the vaunted Highlands Bluebirds. He finished 309-67 in 29 years as a head coach and 250-36 in 20 seasons at Highlands.

Year in Review: The 5 Most Shared Topics on Facebook this Year


Facebook is releasing their "Year in Review" feature, which will recount everyone's top moments on Facebook this year. Click here to see yours. 

Here are the top 5 most talked about topics on Facebook this year.

Do you remember this Taste from the Past?

This article appeared in the December edition of The Fort Thomas Living.

By Tisha Bruemmer

As a child in the late 30’s and 40’s, when Bob Gray saw his dad clearing off his mother’s marble top dresser each fall, he knew what would happen next.  It was peanut brittle time and his father would soon retrieve his “tools of the trade” – large pots and pans, a big long knife, scales, timers, thermometers and storage cans – and begin the annual ritual of making some Gray’s Peanut Brittle.

Sunday, December 8, 2013

Bluebird Notebook: Seniors go 56-4 during high school career


G. Michael Graham Photo. Zach Harris (45) scores his second of three touchdowns in the Class 4A state championship game Saturday at Western Kentucky University.
By G. MICHAEL GRAHAM
Fort Thomas Matters Sports Reporter

The 31 seniors of the Highlands Bluebirds football team may have been disappointed to not win four state championships like the previous three did.

But the overall body of work will not be forgotten. Highlands finished 56-4 during that time. Only Belfrey and Mayfield have played as many games in Kentucky during that time.

Stairway to Seven falls seven seconds short


By G. MICHAEL GRAHAM
Fort Thomas Matters Sports Reporter

It seems like just a bad nightmare in many ways.

But it did happen.

The Collins Titans shocked the six-time state champion Highlands Bluebirds, 37-34 on Saturday at Western Kentucky University. Collins (13-2) snapped the longest playoff winning streak in state history at 34 in a row with a touchdown with seven seconds left.

NC falls short of 2A Repeat


By G. MICHAEL GRAHAM
Fort Thomas Matters Sports Reporter

BOWLING GREEN – When they look back at this one, it will come down to their drives to end the first half and start the second one.

The Newport Central Catholic Thoroughbreds did not convert on fourth down on both drives and it hurt them in a 34-26 loss to the Louisville DeSales Colts in the Class 2A state championship Saturday at Western Kentucky University. The Thoroughbreds (10-5) hoped for three championships in four years, but came up short. NewCath graduates 12 seniors from the team.

Saturday, December 7, 2013

LIVE GAME TRACKER: Highlands vs. Collins 4A State Championship Game

BOWLING GREEN - FortThomasMatters reporting LIVE from Houchens Industries - LT Smith Stadium. The Birds are looking for a Kentucky record, 23rd championship and 7th in a row against the Titans. Game should start around 3:30 PM EST.

A victory today would give the Birds the nation's longest active state title win streak.

LIVE GAME TRACKER: NCC vs Desales 2A KY State Championship Game

BOWLING GREEN - FortThomasMatters reporting LIVE from Houchens Industries - LT Smith Stadium.
Source: Joe Dannemann


According to Dave Cantrall, Desales is a slight favorite over the Breds. Should be a HORSE Race: The Colts vs. Thoroughbreds. Here's the Live Feed:

Holiday Gifts Under $25: For Him, Her & the Hostess

Trying to stick to your budget through gift-giving season can be a Nightmare Before Christmas. I have created the perfect list of presents for him, her and the party hostess, all of which won't leave you in the financial red, just the holiday red! There is still plenty of time to find these gifts online.  Sticking with the FTM mantra of shop local, next week, I will focus on local gift ideas.

FOR HER



1 - Stella & Dot Nancy Dot Stud Earrings
2 - How to Dress for Success
3 - Fabulous Fur Ice Scraper
4 - Chella Highlighter Pencil 
5 - Multi-strand Necklace
6 - Sole Society Fox Scarf
The Chella Highlighter Pencil is oh so fabulous! 

Friday, December 6, 2013

Blue Marble Bookstore Presents: Mama on a Budget- Holiday Walk




Few things put me in the holiday spirit more than a fresh coat of white snow.  The tingling feeling as the flakes melt on the tip of my nose, the deer tracks in an otherwise untarnished back yard, and the calm and freshness that seems to fall with each unique snowflake.  It is with that as the weekend backdrop that Ft. Thomas gets to celebrate the holiday season with the annual holiday walk.

This year’s theme is “An Unexpected Christmas” and kicks off at 5:30 on Sunday December 8th with the arrival of Santa Claus at the Inverness area.  Then the tree lighting will take place at 5:45 after which the shuttle vans will be running from Inverness to the center of town where the local businesses will open their doors for a holiday celebration.  Shuttles will run until 8:00 pm when the event ends.  Additionally, there will be free carriage rides ongoing during the event.

So, be sure to attend what will certainly be a great evening of support for local businesses, communion with friends and family, and a celebration of the impending holiday season.  Sponsors are Marian Sizemore (State Farm), Executive Transportation. Balloons Across the River, Jewels on the Avenue, and Fort Thomas Renaissance.  For more information, check out the city’s website and we hope to see you there.


BREAKING: Start Time Changed for 4A State Champ Game Between HHS and Collins

HHS will go for their 23rd state championship on Saturday, at a rescheduled time. Image courtesy KHSAA.org.

by PAT LaFLEUR
Reporter, Fort Thomas Matters

BOWLING GREEN -- The KHSAA has announced a time change for tomorrow's 4A State Championship football game between Highlands High School and Collins High School.

REPOST: The REAL Jeff Ruby, Part II

Jeff Ruby's autobiography, Not Counting Tomorrow - The Remarkable life of Jeff Ruby, will come out December 21st. Ruby will be hosting a release party at Joseph Beth Rookwood. I interviewed Ruby last year and he gave me a preview of what would be in the book. 

What came of the 4-hour interview was The REAL Jeff Ruby, in four parts. This is part 2. Keep checking back at FortThomasMatters.com for the rest of the story. 
_________________

Jeff Ruby reading his @ mentions to me on Twitter. In our 2-hour meeting at his office, each time someone tweeted at him, he'd reach for his phone without exception to see what people were saying to him.


The many monikers of Jeff Ruby

Depending on who he's conversing with, Jeff Ruby is addressed by many different names. Reds Second Basemen Brandon Phillips, who Ruby had to "unfollow" on Twitter because "he tweeted too much (BS)", calls Ruby "Bossman." Highlands students call him Uncle Jeff, Pops or Dad. Whatever they decide to call him, the Highlands students that "follow" Ruby on Twitter are part of a self-proclaimed "Tribe."

FTM EXCLUSIVE: Highlands/Newport Central Catholic Football Award Winners

The Fort Thomas Matters braintrust has watched the Highlands and New Cath football teams from the dog days of summer. We are solely focused on the Birds and the Breds and with that said, we feel confident that no one in the media knows these teams better than us.

With that said, we are unveiling our FTM football award winners as both teams prepare to make the trek to Bowling Green to bring back state titles to Fort Thomas and Newport.

Without further adieu:


Most Outstanding:
Drew Houliston, HHS (Sr) QB
Mac Franzen, NCC (Sr) QB/DB

Best Offensive:
Zach Harris, HHS (Sr) RB
Tommy Donnelly, NCC (Sr) WR/DB

Best Defensive:
Seth Hope, HHS (Sr) DL
Jack Sutkamp, NCC LB/RB

Best Lineman:
Bryan Saunders, HHS (Sr) OL
Stephen Brooks, NCC (Sr) OL/LB

Best Junior:
Jensen Feggins, HHS WR
Logan Neff, NCC OL/DL

Best Sophomore:
Bo Hebel, HHS DL
Luke Kues, NCC, WR/DE

Thursday, December 5, 2013

NewCath defends 2A crown against DeSales


By G. MICHAEL GRAHAM
Fort Thomas Matters Sports Reporter

Many expected a rematch of last year’s epic Class 2A state championship game in Bowling Green on Saturday.

The Newport Central Catholic Thoroughbreds downed the Caldwell County Tigers, 30-26 when Tyler Lyon caught a four-yard pass from quarterback Josh Cain with 26 seconds left in the game. Caldwell County received the nod as favorites with the return of the majority of those players including quarterback Elijah Sindelar.

But the rematch will not happen. Murray upset the Tigers, 27-14 in the regional finals on Nov. 22.

BREAKING: Fort Thomas Landmark Business Forced to Move

An ad for Smitty's Barbershop in the first ever Fort Thomas Living Magazine in 1977
When the property manager of the Hiland Building on North Fort Thomas Avenue asked co-owner of Smitty's Barbershop, Brian Akers, a few months ago how long he wanted to be there, Akers recalled just how long former owner, Curvan (Smitty) Smith, was in that location.

Same opponent stands in way of another Highlands state title


G. Michael Graham Photo. Highlands wide receiver Alex Veneman makes a move on a screen pass while Beau Hoge knocks Lexington Catholic's Davis Rowady (19) out of the way. The Bluebirds battle Collins for the Class 4A state title on Saturday at 4 p.m. at Western Kentucky University.
By G. MICHAEL GRAHAM
Fort Thomas Matters Sports Reporter

The new motto came about Nov. 30 last year.

The Highlands Bluebirds football team completed the “Race for Seis (Six)” with a state record sixth consecutive state championship, 47-0 over the Collins Titans at Western Kentucky University that night. It was not long after the returning players started talking about adding onto that record with a “Stairway to Seven” theme.