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Friday, February 28, 2014

Moyer Celebrates 80 Years of "Kindergarten Circus"

Moyer Elementary School will held their annual Kindergarten Circus yesterday in the gymnasium at Highlands Middle School.

This year, they celebrated their longest standing tradition – the Kindergarten Circus. This year marked the 80th anniversary of the popular circus where students perform acts ranging from the strong man show to animals to clowns. 

In honor of this long tradition, members of the first circus in 1934 were invited to attend as special guests; Bob Harris, Jackie Thompson, Ron Pendry, Charlotte Scholl, B. J. Wagner, George Dye and Jack Valz were recognized at the beginning of the show. 

“We have many traditions in Fort Thomas and the Kindergarten Circus is one that is special to Moyer Elementary,” said Principal Matt Haskamp. “The circus provides an opportunity for students to share their creativity and performance skills with our community.  This year, we will honor those members from our very first circus 80 years ago!”

Woodfill Wildcats, 2nd/3rd grade Moyer Basketball league champs.

  • Back row (left to right): Coach Rusty Kramer, Will Todd, Nicholas Gilkerson, Jack Hendrix, Johnnell Denton, Coach Kris Hendrix.
    Front row: Coby Kramer, Thomas Kearns, Christian Woods, Caleb Hollingsworth.

Major winter storm arrivesSunday and Monday. Rain, sleet and snow included

The National Weather Service in Wilmington this morning issued a Winter Storm Watch late Saturday through Monday afternoon for the entire Greater Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky region.

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Pendery Campaign Responds to Challenger, Sell, on Campbell County Workforce Statistics Release

Candidate for Campbell County Judge Executive, Kevin Sell, released a press release last week after the Kentucky Center for Education and Workforce Statistics released its 2014-15 Kentucky County Profile Report which complied statistics on each Kentucky County relating to income, education and employment data.

These reports showed that when compared to Boone and Kenton Counties, Campbell County has the:
·      Lowest Median Household Income
·      Lowest Per Capita Income
·      Highest Unemployment Rate
·      Highest Rate of Residents Without a High School Diploma or Equivalent
·      Lowest Rate of Public High School Students Not Attending College
·      Lowest Rate of Residents Attaining a Bachelor’s Degree of Higher

Current Judge Executive, Steve Pendery, and his campaign team responded to the overall theme that Campbell County is trailing Kenton and Boone in many economic categories for growth.

Here's what Pendery's team said:

Mr. Sell says Campbell County is falling behind, that “there was a time not long ago when Campbell County was a leader in these areas.” That is not true. 

Fort Thomas Business Association, Upcoming Events

March 6th at 5:30 at the Highland Country Club is David Clegg’s from The Social Sherpa first of four workshops focusing on how to leverage technology to grow your business. Click here for details and to register.
Next Lunch and Learn is  Wednesday March 19th. They are the third Wednesday of each month. March’s topic is how to answer the #1 “mingle/networking” question What Do You Do in a way that creates questions so folks will want to ask you more or at least stay around and chat with you.  Seems basic but how many times do you meet someone and get turned off or put a wall up immediately after they tell you what they do. Of maybe you just say … boring and check out mentally.  Click here for details and to register

Alisha Waters shot by estranged husband in August, reunited with first officer on scene

Via WLWT, Alison Montoya 

FLORENCE, Ky. —The woman who was ambushed by her estranged husband and shot in August was reunited with the first officer who came to her aid.

In August, Alisha Waters was gunned down at her Fort Thomas workplace and left paralyzed. Her estranged husband then shot and killed himself.

Size, depth gives Thoroughbreds huge advantage in 36th Title game

G. Michael Graham Photos. Above: Highlands guard Brendan Buten puts up a shot against Newport in Wednesday's 36th District Semifinals. Bottom: Newport Central Catholic post Jake Schulte gets in solid defensive postion against Bellevue. The Bluebirds and Thoroughbreds meet for the district title on Friday at 7 p.m. at NewCath.
Fort Thomas Matters Sports Reporter

For the visitors, playing in this game and another is a major accomplishment in the rebuilding process.

On the other side, the hosts came into the season huge favorites to six-peat as district champions and contend for a 9th Region title. The reason is their depth and size.

Ladybirds, Thoroughbreds expect tight ballgame

G. Michael Graham Photos. The Highlands Ladybirds (top) and Newport Central Catholic Thoroughbreds (bottom) will play for the 36th District championship on Thursday at 7 p.m. Highlands won it last year.
Fort Thomas Matters Sports Reporter

They are both not only going to the 9th Region Tournament.

The Highlands Ladybird and Newport Central Catholic Thoroughbred girls basketball teams are also both considered contenders to advance to Bowling Green. They are ranked in the top three in the region by many publications.

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Campbell County: Vehicle runs off 1-275, lands on Three Mile Road

Via Brenna Kelly,
A woman was seriously injured Wednesday afternoon after she ran off Interstate 275 and crashed onto the roadway below.

Proposed State Budget Continues to Divert Funds From College Financial Aid

Northern Kentucky University, one of the many in-state universities for which KY students can receive state financial aid.

Reporter, Fort Thomas Matters

FRANKFORT -- Lexington's Herald-Leader reported yesterday that Kentucky lawmakers will continue to divert KY Lottery proceeds away from state financial aid programs, if the 2014 budget is approved. This is despite the fact that, in 1998, the General Assembly decided that 100% of lottery proceeds should go toward education programs.

Have You Played the myNKY Game Yet?

Reporter, Fort Thomas Matters

"Great communities don't happen by accident."

This is the motto driving myNKY, a community action organization that has charged itself with aggressively surveying Northern Kentucky residents in order to develop a five-year strategic plan for the region. 

In fact, their desire for residents' input is so strong that they've even developed a short game you can play online to offer your input. (The game will only be live for another few weeks, so you should play now.)

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Teaching High Energy Kids

A Teacher's POV
Photo source:

By Lelia Shipp Wendel

My classroom this year consists of a large majority of boys, which means lots of transformers, superheroes, and dinosaurs. I asked my husband recently to teach me a little bit about transformers so I could talk to my boys about them, and include this into my learning.

myNKY Forum to be held at NKU Digitorium in March

Northern Kentucky University will host an event in March that will begin planning the next NKY strategic plan.

The forum will be from 8 - 9:30 a.m. on March 12 in the NKU Digitorium.

Monday, February 24, 2014

Street Class: The Woman of the Year Nominee from North Ft. Thomas Avenue

When Ft. Thomas native Jamie Baker returned to the University of Dayton for her fourth year of college in 2006, the last thing on her mind was fighting cancer. Baker, 29, was diagnosed with Acute Myelogenous Leukemia on October 9, 2006. "Nobody plans to ever have to deal with that," said Baker. She spent 25 days in the hospital undergoing treatments at St. Luke East (currently the location of St. Elizabeth East). Baker has officially been in remission for seven years, and is now in the running to be crowned The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society's (LLS) Woman of the Year.

Battling cancer had an impact on Baker's perspective on life. "I guess I have a different approach to things now," said Baker. "When you have cancer, you literally have to take it second by second, not just day by day." Cancer has helped Baker to overcome life's daily challenges easier than before her diagnosis. She often reminds herself that she has overcome much bigger obstacles in the past, and applies that to her everyday life. "I think that whole mindset comes from having to overcome a huge challenge like cancer," said Baker.

Sunday, February 23, 2014

Bluebirds finalizing 2014 football schedule with 8A Florida opponent

Fort Thomas Matters Sports Reporter

High school football teams normally do not have to find new opponents in the second year of two-year contracts.

The Highlands Bluebirds had to find a fill-in opponent in 2012 after Dixie Heights dropped the second year of a two-year contract. But the Bluebirds found a game with Scott County.

Saturday, February 22, 2014

Heroin legislation update: Defense attorneys lobbying to take bill in 'a different route'

House Judiciary Chairman John Tilley said he’s looking to improve the Senate’s bill aimed at combating heroin but that doesn’t necessarily mean taking the advice of defense attorneys who are concerned about some of the sentencing provisions in the bill.

Stephanie A. Dietz Files for Kenton Family Judge

(Crestview Hills, Kentucky)

Crestview Hills attorney Stephanie A. Dietz has filed to run for Kenton Family Judge, Fifth Division.  The seat is currently held by Lisa Osborne Bushelman.

“After careful consideration and much encouragement, I have decided to file for this seat,” said Dietz.  “I am entering my 20th year of practicing in the area of family law.  Over that period, I have assisted many families with their cases in the courts of Northern Kentucky.  I would very much appreciate the trust of Kenton County voters to serve as one of its Family Court judges.”

“I have known Stephanie and practiced with her for many years,” says attorney Ruth Jackson.  “She is always highly professional, responsible, and reliable in her practice of family law.  She also always brings a very personal touch to all of her clients.  She would be a tremendous asset to Kenton County as one of its Family Court judges.”

In her practice of law, Dietz has served the community in many roles.  She has served on the board of Legal Aid of the Bluegrass for fifteen years, and also as one if its volunteer lawyers.  She was also a founder of the Northern Kentucky Collaborative Professionals, a group of lawyers and other professionals dedicated to a collaborative process of resolving the divorce process.  She is frequently named in various publications as a “Best Lawyer” in the area of family law in Northern Kentucky and Cincinnati.  She and her husband Jim, an Army veteran and fellow attorney, reside in Edgewood.  Dietz is also the proud mother of two sons, Avery, 14, and Alex, 11, and is active in her church, St. Pius X.

As stated by the Kentucky Court of Justice regarding Family Court:  “With the One Family, One Judge, One Court approach, cases are presented in a single court, allowing the same judge to hear all matters involving a particular family.  This reduces the stress that can arise when individuals are shuttled between courts to resolve a variety of issues.  Because Family Court gives cases involving families and children the highest priority, these cases do not compete with criminal and other civil cases for judicial time.”

The Fifth Division seat will be contested on Election Day, Tuesday, November 4, 2014.

“I am looking forward to meeting the voters of Kenton County during this year, and letting them know about the experience and integrity I can bring to Kenton Family Court,” says Dietz.  “I am very hopeful of earning their trust and support.”

Source//Press release

Campbell County Trails Boone & Kenton Counties in Latest Income, Employment, and Education Indicators

This week, the Kentucky Center for Education and Workforce Statistics released its 2014-15 Kentucky County Profile Report which complied statistics on each Kentucky County relating to income, education and employment data.

These reports showed that when compared to Boone and Kenton Counties, Campbell County has the:
·      Lowest Median Household Income
·      Lowest Per Capita Income
·      Highest Unemployment Rate
·      Highest Rate of Residents Without a High School Diploma or Equivalent
·      Lowest Rate of Public High School Students Not Attending College
·      Lowest Rate of Residents Attaining a Bachelor’s Degree of Higher

Friday, February 21, 2014

FTM EXCLUSIVE: Jared Lorenzen: I'm done playing indoor football

Three weeks ago the entire nation was talking about Northern Kentucky River Monsters Quarterback, Jared Lorenzen. The former Highlands and University of Kentucky QB made his way back to the indoor arena in Lexington, Kentucky in a uniform that had to be begging for mercy, and he made it work.

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Headed to the next gridiron level

G. Michael Graham Photo. Highlands quarterback Drew Houliston (10) recently announced his intent to play football at Division III Wittenberg University. Houliston is one of eight Highlands seniors committed to playing college football.
Fort Thomas Matters Sports Reporter

Exactly one-fourth of this past season’s seniors will be taking their talents to the next level.

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

One of NKY's Most Wanted Caught Today in Newport


An anonymous tip came into the Fort Thomas Matters Facebook page that Newport Police had caught one of Northern Kentucky's Most Wanted. Tim Hollingsworth, 46, had been sought by Newport police after being spotted at the Newport Pavilion in the last few days.

City Council Round-Up: 2014 Street Improvements, Door-to-Door Scam, Winter Fire Trends, and Rare Diseases Day

Reporter, Fort Thomas Matters

The 2014 Street Improvement Plan, a new door-to-door scam, police and fire department reports, and Rare Disease Day were all discussed by Fort Thomas City Council Tuesday night:

Mayor Mary Brown Proclaims Feb. 28 Rare Disease Day

Mary Brown delivers her proclamation to Joey Holt and his mother, Gina Bridewell-Holt, of Fort Thomas. Photo source// Melissa Kelly

Reporter, Fort Thomas Matters

Joey Holt, a 12-year-old Fort Thomas resident, asked Mayor Mary Brown and members of City Council to proclaim Feb. 28, 2014 Rare Disease Day.

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

BREAKING: FTPD reports door-to-door scam artist casing Fort Thomas neighborhoods

Fort Thomas Police Chief Mike Daly reported to City Council Tuesday night that FTPD is pursuing an individual suspected for unlawfully soliciting city residents door-to-door, as part of what police believe to be an effort to survey Fort Thomas neighborhoods for potential burglary targets. 

Turtle Exhibit Coming to Newport Aquarium

Video via 700 WLW 

(Newport, KY) -- To kick off the announcement of their new Turtle Canyon exhibit, Newport Aquarium showed off a 6-month old loggerhead sea turtle.  It hatched in North Carolina, and is part of the Aquarium's loggerhead head-start program.  Once a year, they receive a turtle, and care for it, until it's old and strong enough to be released into the wild.

Common Core in Fort Thomas Schools; What is it?

A Teacher's POV

By Lelia Shipp Wendel

Common Core is a major buzz word in the world of education right now, and there are so many sides to the story. What is common core? What is it really going to do for our children? How are the teachers going to use this in their classrooms? Is this just another type of No Child Left Behind? What are the downsides to Common Core? These are just a few of the many questions I set out to research and I hope to give you a little insight into this new program.

So what is Common Core?

Fort Thomas to Host Second Home Improvement Expo in March

Fort Thomas to hold the second Home Improvement Expo in March.

The Home Improvement Expo will be held at the Christ Church on South Fort Thomas Avenue. The expo will be on March 9 from 1 to 4 p.m.

There will be special offerings at the expo including a $1000 travel voucher give-away, free refreshments, vendor promotions and discounts.

Monday, February 17, 2014

Culinary Event to Support the YMCA's Mission

For the second year in a row our family is supporting the YMCA by hosting a Foodie Fundraiser. Last year this event raised a few thousand dollars towards the Association's campaign and this year's event promises to be bigger and better.

First, the event will be hosted by The Little Nashville, a new music venue on Monmouth Street.  Secondly, there will be great entertainment with music by Ben Walz and Comedian Adam Minnick - not to mention our own Mark Collier emceeing the event.  Lastly, there is the food.... food at the event and many awesome food related door prizes and silent auction items built around culinary experiences from great area restaurants such as Elusive Cow, Buona Vita, & Eli's BBQ.  Several restaurants will be serving bites of their best menu items while we have the opportunity to bid on private dining experiences, in home chef services, and more.

To find out more or spread the word visit the YMCA's event on Facebook or to register for the event visit the new registration page.

Many people may just think of the YMCA as Fort Thomas' health club but they are so much more. Through their scholarship program they provide memberships to all but perhaps more importantly it provides after school programs at elementary schools across Campbell and Kenton counties and offers scholarships for its youth programs such as swimming classes or youth sports.  In fact, in 2013 the Cincinnati Association's campaign helped over 4,500 area people with services and programs.

Come join us for this cool event and help provide healthy and safe opportunities for area families and children.

Sunday, February 16, 2014

What to Look for When Booking a DJ. DBSoundCo Sounds Off.

DB SoundCo is part of the #FTMFamily

Hey Brides-to-Be, did you find your perfect DJ at this past weekend’s Bridalrama?  My guess is NO, because you didn’t have to go to Bridalrama to find him; you just had to read Fort Thomas Matters.  Introducing FTM’s newest advertising partner: DB SoundCo.  Dave Leahy, owner of DB Soundco., offers a full service DJ, sound reinforcement, and live sound option for your upcoming wedding reception, graduation party, or neighborhood block party (that is, if we ever thaw out).  Leahy answered a few of FTM’s questions so all our avid readers could get to know this Fort Thomas business owner and his business a little better.

Church's Lunch and Learn: How to Improve Your Photography

Fort Thomas church will host an educational event for passionate photographers.

Christ Church will have a lunch and learn event at 11:30 a.m. on Feb. 25. The event, entitled Eclectic Images and Tips to Improve your Photography presented by Robert Ihrig.

Ihrig is a lifelong resident of Campbell County, and was a teacher for 40 years.

Ihrig originally produced all of his pictures from developing film, but has converted to digital photography in the last 10 years.

Ihrig describes his own photography as rather eclectic. He is comfortable in nature or in the studio. His collection of black, white, color and infrared photography are enhanced by his masterful command of photoshop.

Ihrig is a member jog the Tri-State Photography Society, and he currently teaches Photoshop classes for the Kenton, Campbell and Boone County Library Systems.

The doors will open to Christ Church at 11:30 a.m. and the presentation will begin at noon.

Anyone who wants to attend should call Christ Church at 859-441-2565 to reserve a lunch reservation.

The Secrets of an Addict; Putting a Face on the Heroin Epidemic (Part II)

Amber is putting a face on the heroin epidemic ravaging our region. 

Since part 1 of my story I have officially celebrated 3 wonderful years of sobriety! The happiness and gratitude I have would not be possible without all of yesterdays. Thank you, everyone, for all of the amazing support.     

Saturday, February 15, 2014

5 Tips for Saving Money at Target

(Preview tip: These mirror sets were marked down to $12 last week!)

This recent post was popular on Simply Sarah Style, so I thought I would share it with the Fort Thomas community. If you're anything like me, you're always running down to the Newport Target. Enjoy! 

Target is, by far, one of my favorite stores. I pretty much go there once a week. I think the store offers anything you would ever need. I shop there for clothes, jewelry, home decor accents, house supplies, food, gifts, seasonal items… you name it!

The only thing I do not purchase at Target is shoes. Their shoe quality isn't great and comfort means a lot to me (and my little tootsies). 

Here are top tips for getting the most out of Target:

NewCath earns huge win over Holmes

G. Michael Graham. Newport Central Catholic forward Jake Schulte looks for a teammate in Friday's win over Covington Holmes. Schulte had eight points, 18 rebounds and four blocked shots in the win.
Fort Thomas Matters Sports Reporter

HIGHLAND HEIGHTS – The same strategy that’s helped them all season helped again in another big game.

The Newport Central Catholic Thoroughbreds like to find the hot hands and use their versatility to overwhelm opponents. It helped them to a crucial 72-57 9th Region win over the Covington Holmes Bulldogs on Friday.