Jeff Ruby Culinary Entertainment

Opticare Vision/Express Mobile Transport

Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Gov. Beshear: Special Session on Heroin Not Likely

FRANKFORT, KY. via — Democratic Gov. Steve Beshear said he likely would not call the Legislature back for a special session as House and Senate leaders continue to blame each other for not passing bills combating heroin use and overhauling state ethics laws.

"Before I would do it we would need to have some agreement on the topics," Beshear said Wednesday. "At this point, my door is not being knocked down with folks that are crying out for a special session."

Gangster's Dueling Piano Bar Presents: Mother's Day Brunch at Newport Syndicate

Gangster's Dueling Piano Bar Presents
Mother's Day Brunch at the
Newport Syndicate
Gangster's Piano Bar is part of the #FTMFamily

Treat your mom to a fabulous brunch!
$19.95 per person plus tax and service
$7.95 plus tax and service for Children ages 6-10 
FREE for Children under 5

Breakfast Station to include: Scrambled Eggs, Egg Casserole, Bacon, Sausage Links, French Toast Sticks Syrup), Breakfast Potatoes (Cheese Sauce), Biscuits and Gravy and Fresh Fruit

Lunch Station to include: Tossed Garden Salad, Caesar Salad, Champagne Chicken, Mashed Potatoes, Fresh Vegetables, Ham, Turkey, Carved Roast Beef

Gangster's Famous Pasta Station to include: Made to Order Pasta, Choice of Penne or Bowtie Pasta, Marinara, Alfredo or Presto Sauce, Diced Chicken or Meatballs, Steamed broccoli, olives, tomatoes, onion, mushrooms and cheese

Sweets Station to include: Donut holes, Coffee Cakes, Mini Cookies, Brownies

Mr. Cowpie will be at the Newport Syndicate on Mother's Day in the afternoon for entertainment for all ages.

*If you have dietary needs, please ask your server when you arrive and they will let you know what selections you can have!
Call 859-491-8000 for more information

IBANK to Host Campbell County Election Debates in May

As the Campbell County primary elections draw closer, the Independent Business Association of Northern Kentucky (IBANK) will be hosting two public forums in May.

Drug-Fueled Burglaries, Car Break-Ins and Thefts Top FTPD 2013 Stats

Burglaries, car break-ins, and thefts topped the list of crimes investigated by Fort Thomas detectives in 2013, according to the FTPD Annual Report, released last week. Police point to drug addiction as a “major theme behind these thefts,” the report says.

Remembering the Great Depression (IF indeed there was anything “great” about it)

By John Deering

“TO THE RED COUNTRY and part of the gray country of Oklahoma, the last rains came gently…The last rains lifted the corn quickly and scattered weed colonies and grass along the sides of the roads…In the last part of May the sky grew pale and the clouds that had hung in high puffs for so long in the spring were dissipated. The sun flared down on the corn day after day until a line of brown spread along the edge of each green bayonet.”

Thus begins John Steinbeck’s classic:  The Grapes of Wrath. * Later the clouds appeared and the farmers hoped for rain. However, “The surface of the earth crusted a thin hard crust,” one of our Nobel-winning American authors continues.  The rains had stopped. It is the description of the drought that all who lived in the 1930’s remember so well. It was the record heat that added to the misery of the Great Depression that had begun with the stock market “crash” of 1929.  Our upstairs bedrooms were so hot, Dad brought our mattresses down  to the floor of the living room so we could sleep. Even with every window open, the upstairs was almost too hot to breathe, much less sleep. This was long before home air-conditioning or even large exhaust fans.

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

NKY Outpost Women's Ministry: Summer Speaker Series

Source: Press Release

"Women Returning to God" is the theme for the 2014 Summer Speaker Series presented by the Northern Kentucky Outpost Women's Ministry. Once again, in June and July, women will be gathering in Fort Thomas to focus on deepening their faith.

For six consecutive Monday evenings, beginning June 16th and ending July 14th, the women are invited to come sit, be inspired and encouraged as they listen to personal stories, uplifting music and God's sweet Word.

This year's schedule includes many topics which are currently "front and center" concerns in our community. Overcoming many struggles, through the power and grace of God, such as heroin addiction, economic and financial perils, caring for a sick child, loss of a spouse, mental illness and parenting teenagers to name few.

Our women's stories show us that no matter what you go through, God is always waiting with open arms for us to renew our hearts, refresh our spirits, and to return to Him.

Occasionally, people ask about our name, Outpost Women's Ministry. In old times, an "outpost" was a place where travelers would stop on their journey to get refreshed and restocked. This "outpost" is a stop in our lives, on a summer night, taking a little time out to refresh our soul and spirit for life's journey.

These non-denominational gatherings are hosting in Fort Thomas in the Fellowship Hall of Highland Hills Church, 638 Highland Avenue. Come and bring a friend at 6:45 PM for light refreshments with programs beginning at 7 PM. The sessions are free and open to the public.

For more information, call Nickie Hornsby at 859-384-9015 or email her at Or visit website Listen to past testimonies at

Committee Chair: Nickie Hornsby. Associate Chair: JoAnn Cornett. Other members are Terri Cornwell, Linda Dinell, Dottie Dunn, Judy Huddleston, Bonnie Lackey, Lisa McGraw, Melissa McGraw, Cheryl Raso, Brenda Simpson, Pam Voelker and Missy Welch.

BREAKING: 15 N. Fort Thomas Ave Changes Ownership

15 N. Fort Thomas Ave. Source: CC PVA
The building that has been home to Warner's, Pergola and most recently, Mio's, officially has some new owners. FTM has been on this story since last October and last updated the story in January.

HHS Fighting Birds aim to raise funds, fight hunger in Tri-State

Highlands students will be participating in an effort to raise money to feed the less fortunate, and they're looking for anyone that would like to join their team.

According to reports, one in six people in the Tri-State area are food insecure, which means they do not know where their next meal is coming from. In an effort to combat this epidemic entrepreneurship students will be participating in an event to help fight hunger.

Monday, April 28, 2014

OP-ED: People Above Politics

By: Charlie “Coach” Coleman
Charlie Coleman. Source: Provided
Far too often politics takes precedence over our citizens.  Let’s look at a few examples.

Politics trumped our Senior Citizens when Lakeside Terrace was sold to NKU for a dorm.  This building had never cost the taxpayers a penny.  The residents were happy with their apartments and the convenience of Krogers and near by restaurants.  At a Fiscal Court meeting the residents pleaded with the Judge and Commissioners not to sell the building, all the while the Court denied NKU was the buyer.  The Fiscal Court members stated 5 million dollars was needed to make needed renovations.  However, they refused to disclose who made the bid, even denying an open records request.  Hermes Construction of Wilder offered to do an analysis of needed repairs at no charge to the County, but was turned down.  Another reason given for the sale was the declining population.  What the County didn’t tell the public was new applications were not being taken for over a year.  By coincidence the building was just being paid off.   Is it possible this deal was done months or perhaps years before?

Loss of Toyota Headquarters in Erlanger "Huge Blow to Region"

Toyota says it will close its Engineering & Manufacturing North America headquarters in Erlanger and move 1,550 jobs. Texas Governor Rick Perry, who is not shy about his intentions of acquiring businesses from other states across the United States, landed Toyota. The move will also result in a loss of 1.3 million in tax revenue.

It's a huge blow to the region. 

Support Jamie Baker's "Woman of the Year" Campaign

In February, Ft. Thomas native Jamie Baker was featured in a Street Class article chronicling her battle with Leukemia. Baker is a survivor of Acute Myelogenous Leukemia, and is currently campaigning to become the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society's (LLS) Woman of the Year. In order to be crowned Woman of the Year, Baker must embark on a fundraising campaign. You can help out Baker's campaign as well as donate to LLS by attending events throughout the area. The following events are posted on her fundraising page:

May 2: Derby Eve at Newberry Bros. Coffee in Newport – 5pm-10pm
Guest bartenders will be Jamie Baker (HHS ’03) and McKenzie Hicks (HHS ‘09), both Ft Thomas natives and leukemia/lymphoma survivors! Come out and celebrate McKenzie’s recent SECOND win against Hodgkins Lymphoma!
Featuring over 250 whiskeys, a brand new, large outdoor patio AND live acoustic music! There will be many ways to support the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society during the evening, including raffles and split the pot! Check out this event's Facebook page for more information:

Saturday, April 26, 2014

Patrick Towles: Going from Counted Out to Front Runner

Kentucky Derby Party Planning

It's almost time for the Run for the Roses! This is a call for celebration, especially for those of us who live in the great state of Kentucky. You may remember my Kentucky Derby outfit planning post from a couple weeks ago. Now that your outfit is set, it's time to make your party plans. If you're entertaining, you still have time kick in some southern charm.

Here are my top picks that will make you the Derby darling:

Republican Deb Sheldon Receives Two Endorsements

Source: Press Release

Republican Candidate for the 24th District Kentucky State Senate, Deb Sheldon
Republican candidate Deb Sheldon was endorsed by Northern Kentucky Right to Life and the NKU Young Republicans Chapter this week.  Deb received a 100% score on the NKY Right to Life’s survey and was the only Republican candidate for State Senate who completed the survey.
“I was humbled and honored to receive these important endorsements.  As our next state senator, I will fight for the rights of the unborn and ensure our children have access to an excellent college education.” Sheldon said.

“Deb Sheldon has the right experience to represent the 24th Senate District in the State Senate.  As an NKU alumna, Deb knows the importance of equalizing funding for NKU,” said Laura Hahn a member of NKU College Republicans.

Deb Sheldon is only lifelong, conservative Republican running for State Senate.  When elected Deb will protect the unborn and will fight for families and children.

Kidwell Endorsed By Northern Kentucky Right to Life

Source: Press Release 

Cold Spring – Northern Kentucky Right to Life has announced that they have chosen to give their full endorsement to Sheriff Jeff Kidwell for his re-election as Campbell County’s Sheriff.
Fred H. Summe of NKRTL, stated in the letter of endorsement that Sheriff Kidwell was chosen “based on Sheriff Kidwell’s responses in the Right to Life candidate questionnaire and Sheriff Kidwell’s public record.”

“I am honored to receive this very important endorsement that is based on my solid belief that all life is precious, whether it be the lives that my office protects every day or those who have yet to be born," said Kidwell. "I am a family man and I have always been a supporter of the Right to Life organization. I can remember even as a child attending Right to Life rallies with my parents, so respect for life at any stage has been engrained in me my entire life. As we move into the Easter weekend, it’s important to remember faith and family and how precious life is.” 

Friday, April 25, 2014

New Dining Out Option in Fort Thomas

Fort Thomas has added another dining option.

The Olde Fort Pub had a soft opening for the kitchen tonight. They are featuring a smaller "Mess Hall" menu with shareable foods: wings, fried mac and cheese, nachos.

OP-ED: Senate President Stivers: Heroin Bill a Pawn in Political Game

By Senate President Robert Stivers (R-Manchester)
Photo source:

In the days since the adjournment of the 2014 session of the Kentucky General Assembly, much has been said about the failure of the House of Representatives to pass Senate Bill 5 – Sen. Katie Stine’s legislation aimed at tackling Kentucky’s growing heroin problem.

Members of the House have said they “ran out of time” to pass this important piece of legislation. I’m not sure how having a bill for almost three months constitutes “running out of time.”

The truth is, the House received this bill on Jan. 17. Instead of hearing and passing it immediately, they held onto it. The only logical explanation is that they kept this bill to use as a pawn in their political games.

Don’t believe me; don’t believe them. Instead, believe the record – and here’s what it shows, and what is documented:

Fort Thomas Central Announces New Summer Artisan Market in Fort Thomas Town Center

Fort Thomas Central is bringing a monthly, FREE to attend, Artisan event to the Town Center of Fort Thomas, KY.  The Artisan Market will take place every 3rd Friday during the summer, June 20, July 18th and August 15th, 4 PM - 7 PM.  Artist participation in this event represents small independent artists and businesses that offer artisan quality products.  On display and for sale, items will include rare gemstone jewelry, stained glass, wood designs, pottery, watercolor, custom designed charm lockets, Eco-friendly bath and home products and so much more!

The Artisan Market will feature musical entertainment, food and one-of-a-kind art and gift items.  John Delagrange of Fort Thomas (who often plays at the Blind Lemon in Mt. Adams) will setup and perform on the front porch.  The tempting smells  and offerings coming from Marty's Waffle Truck (voted best in Cincinnatti) will cater to your taste buds while you enjoy the evening listening to music and getting to know the local art community. 

"We are very excited to bring the Artisan Market to Fort Thomas," says Barb Thomas, owner of Fort Thomas Central.  "Due to hearing customers comment about how nice it would be to have an event like this in Fort Thomas, we have decided to bring a family friendly event that will take place on the front lawn at Fort Thomas Central in conjunction with the farmers market," says Thomas.  
The Artisan Market invites everyone in Fort Thomas and surrounding communities to come out and get involved by either attending or by spreading the word. “Community support is very important to us, as our event is about and for the community,” says Thomas. 
Fort Thomas Central, 3 N Fort Thomas Avenue, Fort Thomas, KY  41075.  (859) 609-6427.

Press Release

Thursday, April 24, 2014


(April 23, 2014) Highlands High School was again named one of “America’s Best High Schools” by the recent U.S. News & World Report “America’s Best High Schools 2014” report, receiving a Gold Medal designation. More than 19,400 high schools were analyzed and the gold medal designation is awarded to the top 500 schools, representing only 2.8% of all high schools in the entire country.

Highlands High School Presents 'The Sound of Music'

Source: Press Release

Highlands High School’s Theatre Department Brings the Hills Alive With The Sound of Music

WHAT:  Students from Highlands High School’s Theatre Department will make audiences reminisce and sing along as they present The Sound of Music.   Based on a true story, The Sound of Music is the masterful retelling of the Family von Trapp singers with memorable music from Rodgers and Hammerstein.  Familiar songs in include: “My Favorite Things,” “Do-Re-Mi,” “Climb Ev’ry Mountain” and many more!

The story begins when Maria, a young postulant whose love of freedom battles her strict religious lifestyle, is sent by her superiors to be the governess to Captain von Trapp's seven troublesome children. Unlike previous governesses, Maria becomes friends with the children through their mutual love of music. Soon, even the strict Captain von Trapp softens and falls in love with Maria. Unfortunately, when the Nazis invade Austria the family is forced to flee over the Alps to escape.

Family chimes in on Mueller's retirement from coaching

Contributed Photo. Recently retired Highlands football Head Coach Dale Mueller (glasses) listed spending more time with family as a big reason for his retirement.
Fort Thomas Matters Sports Reporter

One of the big reasons Dale Mueller listed for retiring from coaching is family.

Mueller spent the last 20 seasons as Head Coach of the vaunted Highlands Bluebirds football team. The Bluebirds went 250-36 during that time with 11 state championships, three state runner-up trophies and 17 district championships. That win total is good for 18th in Kentucky High School Football history.

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Katie Stine Reacts to Failure of KY House to Pass Heroin Bill

Source: Press Release

The 2014 legislative session adjourned sine die, or “the end,” at midnight April 15. The session produced measures that will affect economic development, appropriate funds for state government for the next two years, public health, safety and education. Of course, as with every session, there were measures that did not succeed. I am especially disappointed that my bill, Senate Bill 5, did not make it through the House, and so many lives continue to be lost from the deadly scourge of heroin. The bill created a three-prong approach to take immediate action against the growing abuse of heroin in our state. Education, Interdiction and Treatment were clearly prioritized in the legislation that also included stiffer penalties for traffickers of heroin who could be charged with homicide when an addict overdosed and died.

TJ Maxx Opening Date Set


City Council Round-Up: FTPD 2013 Annual Report, Fort Thomas Reservoir, VA Homes Update

Correction: A previous version of this story reported that Ken Rechtin had been appointed to the Fort Thomas Renaissance Board. Mayor Brown has appointed Kim Rechtin to Renaissance Board, and this story has been updated to correct that error.

The Fort Thomas Police Department delivered its annual report to city council Monday night, and council discussed the water treatment plant on S. Fort Thomas Ave., the VA homes in Tower Park, and a possible, new cell tower in town.

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Outreach Program Helps Needy Families, Has Ties to Fort Thomas

A Northern Kentucky program has been helping a less fortunate Kentucky county for years. The Owsley County Outreach Program supplies residents of Owsley County with basic necessities. The organizers of the program have ties to Fort Thomas and FTM wanted to shine a spotlight on the program that had made a difference in countless people's lives.

MartinE Productions Announces “Camp Martweenie” Summer Theatre Camp

MartinE Productions Announces “Camp Martweenie” Summer Theatre Camp for Cincinnati-Area Students at Footlighters, Inc.

MartinE Productions, Inc., has marked the summer of 2014 as the inaugural season of its Camp Martweenie theatre camp for fifth through eighth-grade students in the Cincinnati area.
“Camp Martweenie caters to young people who have shown an interest in theatre, whether they have had experience or simply have shown a curiosity to learn about it,” said Emily Carroll-Martin, Producer and Co-Creator of Camp Martweenie. “We’ve designed the camp curriculum to allow kids to explore theatre and have fun in a no-pressure environment.”


You now have a chance to hear a favorite story from some local authors and illustrators. They will be joining forces with Blue Marble Books to read at the store in celebration of Indies First Storytime Day on Saturday, May 17, 2014.

Six authors and illustrators have signed up to read to kids and their families in our store. They will read from a favorite picture book, an excerpt from a novel, or poems from a collection. We are highlighting the local authors and illustrators who have volunteered to come in below, and we are also including a sample of their book titles.

El Día de los Niños celebrates international cultures April 26

El Día de los Niños celebrates international cultures April 26

COLD SPRING, KY (April 15) – Families are invited to attend El Día de los Niños, a celebration of children, families, and reading at the Campbell County Public Library from noon- 3 p.m. Saturday, April 26, at the Cold Spring branch.  Everyone can enjoy face painters, multicultural crafts and worldly food.  Plan to arrive early to receive a free book, available while supplies last.

Monday, April 21, 2014

BREAKING: Reports of "serious situation" involving Fort Thomas Fire Department off Newman Ave.

36 Azalea Terrace 
The house fire was 36 Azalea Terrace. The owners were able to get out unscathed. It was an apparent electrical fire. The owners have lived in the house since 2008.

FORT THOMAS - After giving his annual Fort Thomas Fire Department report to city council, Chief Mark Bailey took off in a sprint to join the Fort Thomas Fire Department in a emergency situation in progress off of Newman Avenue.

Calls starting coming in around 7:30 PM Monday night.

Street Class: Grand Avenue's Charity Runner

Ft. Thomas has always been a very active community. When the weather is nice, the streets are filled with residents out walking, jogging, riding bikes, or just visiting with friends. Grand Avenue's Steven Schwalbach is someone you have probably seen out running the streets of Ft. Thomas. However, Schwalbach's runs aren't solely for recreational purposes. Schwalbach has been training for the 200 mile Jackie's Run.

Schwalbach is using his love of running to bring attention to the Alzheimer's Association. According to statistics Schwalbach collected from the Alzheimer's Association, “Every 68 seconds an American develops Alzheimer's disease or a similar form of dementia. Alzheimer's is now the 6th leading cause of death in the United States. An estimated 5.2 million Americans are living with Alzheimer's and 200,000 of them are younger than 65 years old.” Jackie's Run was created by Schwalbach to help raise money for finding a cure for Alzheimer's and dementia.

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Endorsements for Judge-Exec Candidate Kevin Sell

Source: Press Release

Kevin Sell (R-Alexandria) announced the following endorsements of his candidacy for Campbell County Judge-Executive:

Former U. S. Congressman Geoff Davis
Kentucky Agriculture Commissioner James Comer
Kentucky Senator John Schickel
Kentucky Senator Chris McDaniel
Kentucky Representative Brian Linder
Silver Grove Mayor Neal Bedel
Cold Spring Mayor Mark Stoeber

In a separate release, Sell commented on the inability of the Kentucky House of Representateives to pass Senate Bill 5 on heroin:

“The failure of the General Assembly to pass a legislative package to combat the heroin epidemic is a disaster for Northern Kentucky.

“Our current county Judge-Executive spent this legislative session lobbying for an additional sales tax proposed by Louisville special interests and organizing an effort urging the Governor to veto a bill that would protect Northern Kentuckians from tolls.   He should have instead taken on a leadership role in advocating for this heroin legislation, a scourge that is getting worse by the day.

“As your next Judge-Executive, I will stop the games and make fighting this heroin epidemic my Day One priority. My established four point plan involving prevention, legislation, enforcement, and treatment will be the starting point and I will not stop advocating for these needed policies until they are implemented by our state and county leadership.”

Friday, April 18, 2014

Van Damme It's Friday Fort Thomas Rundown

Here's your rundown on things percolating through the Highlands of Fort Thomas for the week:

- The primary political season is in full swing. I will be moderating debates for the Independent Business Association of Northern Kentucky on May 1 and May 8 at Devanna's in Cold Spring. These events will feature some of the higher profile races in Campbell County and will be a great watch.

Getting the candidates in the same place at the same time facing off against one another is important to a democratic society. And the drama is unmatched. Mark your calendars.

- The water fountains at the dog park were completely destroyed last week and required full replacement.

Do better, Fort Thomas. Just do better. 

Editorial: Senate Bill 5 Shining Example of Dysfunctional Frankfort

Photo via CN2
This is why people get so frustrated with politics.

Fort Thomas City Hall, Frankfort, Washington - they all have characteristics that drive "we the people" crazy. They ignore common sense and many times the desire of its constituents. In the case of the Kentucky House of Representatives' inability to pass Senate Bill 5 to deal with our area's heroin epidemic, it's bordering near criminal. 

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Easter Egg Hunt at Highland Hills Baptist This Sunday

Tentative district alignment has Highlands in four-team 5A district; NC in six-team 2A district

G. Michael Graham Photo. The Highlands Bluebirds could be in the same Class 5A district with Dixie Heights, Covington Catholic and Grant County starting in 2015.

The Kentucky High School Athletic Association recently released the draft football alignments for the 2015 through 2018 seasons.

The 10 Best High School Football Towns in America

1-A - Fort Thomas, Kentucky. 
So, did not include Fort Thomas on this list, which is kind of ridiculous. The second most winningest program in the nation is not included? Methinks the author was remiss in leaving off Cake Country. I have inserted Highlands at their rightful place at the top.

Onto the rest of the list.

1- Massillon, Ohio

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

With UK Quarterback Transfer, Patrick Towles Has Big Opportunity

Patrick Towles with Jared Lorenzen at the first Mark vs. Food event in January 2012
Via ESPN: Quarterback Jalen Whitlow's decision to transfer from Kentucky leaves a very big opportunity for early enrollee freshman Drew Barker and third-year sophomore Patrick Towles.

Both arrived at Kentucky with enormous hype and now could be barreling toward their own two-man race for the starting QB job for the Wildcats.

2014 Kentucky General Assembly Final Night: What Passed, What Didn't

Via CN2- The final hour probably was not lawmakers’ finest hour.

Earlier Tuesday night — the 60th and final day of the 2014 session — they passed a flurry of bills. But the last hour of the session was marked by procedural votes, finger-pointing and inaction on several key bills.

First, what passed on the final night:

Blue Marble Bookstore Presents: Mama on a Budget: Your Guide to the Fort Thomas Recreation Easter Egg Hunt

This Saturday is Fort Thomas’ annual Hunger Games Spring Egg Hunt sponsored by the Fort Thomas Recreation Department.  This year, Knox is in the 4-6 age category which is wonderful because he had perfectly mastered the 1-3 category after last years’ two-egg, three-meltdown showing.   This is no fault of the event; it is a wonderful event, tons of fun, great community, and executed well.  I think this is the fault of me as a parent for not instilling in him that killer instinct needed to get an egg or two out of the 14,000 that will be strewn throughout Tower Park at noon.  Granted, there will likely be 35,000 kids so hopefully “may the odds be ever in your favor”, as they say.  For those of you with outgoing children, never fear, you’ll barely be able to carry your basket full of eggs.  For those of you with, well, more reserved children like mine, below is your guide to surviving the “reaping”:

Katie Stine's Senate Bill 5 on Heroin Runs Out of Time

Katie Stine's Senate Bill 5, "that (would have fought) the scourge of heroin that is spreading throughout Kentucky" passed the Senate January 19. "Unfortunately, there have been many people (that died) of overdose; at least 24 in Kenton County alone, since then," said Katie Stine through her legislative update sent on April 11. "Hopefully the House will act before more people die."

Last night at midnight the time ran out on SB 5.

Get to Know the Candidates: Q&A w/ Anthony Bonomini, Running for City Council

This year, all six Fort Thomas City Council members, along with Mayor Mary Brown, face re-election. As part of FTM's efforts to keep you, the Fort Thomas electorate, informed and prepare you for the upcoming election season, the Q&A below is part of an ongoing FTM series spotlighting candidates in the 2014 elections. Incumbents and challengers are asked a nearly identical set of questions, then a second round of follow-up questions, if necessary. This week I spoke with Anthony Bonomini, running for Fort Thomas City Council.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Fort Thomas Forest Conservancy to host A Day In The Park April 26

The Fort Thomas Forest Conservancy has A Day in the Park planned for April 26 to reforest Rossford Park.

The day will be packed full of fun events and volunteer work aimed at making the park beautiful once again.

Monday, April 14, 2014

Street Class: A Wedding Reception 50 Years in the Making

In today's world, it's common to see relationships come and go. This is not the case for Bill and Judy Stephenson. The pair recently celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary. This anniversary was particularly special for Bill and Judy. Surrounded by friends and family, the pair finally had their long awaited wedding celebration. 

When Bill was 18 and Judy was 16, the pair met one fateful Sunday. "My friend and I - I have to be honest - we skipped youth church. I had a car, and we were just driving around having a good time. All of a sudden, this corvette started following us, and it had two boys in it. I kept saying to my friend, 'If my dad knew that boys were following us, I would be grounded until I was 65,'" said Judy. She tried to outrace the Corvette near Cincinnati Gardens, but the car soon caught up to them. They pulled into a Frisch's parking lot, and the two boys jumped into Judy's back seat. "I thought he was exceptionally cute. He had on an overcoat," recalled Judy. Bill and his friend asked for the girls' numbers, and soon the two were inseparable. "He called, and we went out that Friday night, and that Saturday night, and every Friday and Saturday since then," said Judy. 

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Kentucky Derby Planning

The 2014 Kentucky Derby is only a month away, which means it's time to start planning! 

Whether you actually have tickets or will be attending a party, you must look the part of a charming, southern belle with your flirty dress and exquisite hat.

I mixed one fabulous hat and accessories with two different dresses. I couldn't choose between them. They were both too darn cute!

Music Festival Planned to Anti-heroin Awareness

NkyHatesHeroin has planned a music festival.

With six venues in Newport and 14 local bands have partnered up to fight the heroin epidemic in Northern Kentucky on Saturday, April 12 starting at 6 p.m. with a music festival. The event cost $10, which will get patrons in at all six venues. Raffle tickets for a split the pot and WWW.NKYHatesHeroin.Com T-shirts will also be sold at each location.

The lineup:
York Street Cafe
The Chuck Land BandGrand OversoulHoney And HoustonThe Coreand Eva Ross

Little Nashville
Marty Connor Band and The Carter New Band

Gary Devoto, Gary Webster and Friends                                                                                                                                                                           

Nailed It J.R.'s Revenge and Altered Inc.

Mokka And The Sunset Bar & Grill
Don Fangman (Frank Sinatra Impersonator) and Stonehaus Trail

Band to Be Announced

The bands genres include bluegrass, country, rock, lounge/jazz andclassic rock. “There really will be something for everyone,” says Chris Stegner, chairman of NKY Hates Heroin and one of the event organizers. “It will be a fun night, with great music for a great cause.”

Event Proceeds will be given to NKY Hates Heroin, an organization that is dedicated to heroin education and prevention, as well as providing support to addicts seeking recovery and their families. The organization was founded by the Stegner/Specht/Schell/Layman families of Fort Thomas after Nicholas Specht lost his life at age 30 to a heroin overdose.  

Visit WWW.NKYHatesHeroin.Com for more information.

Judge Exec Pendery Tele Town Hall Recording

Judge Executive Candidate Kevin Sell Endorsed by Northern Kentucky Right to Life Political Action Committee

In the race for Campbell County Judge-Executive, Kevin Sell (R-Alexandria) has received the endorsement of Northern Kentucky Right to Life’s Political Action Committee.

“I am humbled by this vote of confidence,” said Sell. “I am proudly pro-life and as your next Judge-Executive, I will continue to work to defend the rights of the unborn.”

Kevin Sell was involved in helping the New Hope Center establish a presence in south Campbell County. The New Hope Center offers help and hope to women who find themselves with an unexpected or unplanned pregnancy.

In other charitable endeavors, Sell has served as the Chairman of the C.A.R.E. Mission for two years. The C.A.R.E. Mission is a charitable entity that serves to assist the community with services including food and clothing.   He also currently serves as Vice President and Clinical Services Committee Chair of the Covington Scottish Rite Foundation. This organization runs the RiteCare program that funds a children’s speech and language disorder clinic in Cold Spring, Ashland and Prestonsburg.

NKU to host Take Back the Night seminar focusing on sexual assault prevention

Every two minutes someone in the United States suffers a sexual assault. About 238,000 people actually report the crime each year, but the number of cases of sexual assault is believed to be much, much higher because of the reluctance victims feel about reporting it.

Friday, April 11, 2014

Fort Thomas Education Foundation Passes Half Million Dollar Mark in Grants

The back row: Frank Meyer (FTEF Board), Amy Hills (FTEF Board), Norma Lawless (Moyer Asst Principal), Tracie Malone (Moyer 1st grade teacher) and Megan Abner (FTEF Board). Picture provided.
This year all five schools in the Fort Thomas Independent School District will have over $27,000 in additional funds to purchase new technology and supplies due to the FTEF (Fort Thomas Foundation Foundation) teacher grant program.  2001, the FTEF has awarded over $518,000 in teacher grants for items that are above and beyond the District’s operating budget. Money raised through the annual appeal helps support the teacher grant program.  FTEF Board Members formed a “Grants Patrol” and toured the District on Thursday and Friday to announce the grant recipients, surprising teachers in their classrooms.  Among this year’s grant awards are:

Fort Thomas Independent Schools Community Informational Seminars College Scholarships: Where to find the mone

What:                   Fort Thomas Independent Schools will offer a Community Informational Seminar on “College Scholarships: Where to find the money” on Monday, April 21, 2014, at 7pm.  This session will be held in the Media Center at Highlands High School.

College expert, Dan Bisig, from College and Beyond, LLC, will share strategies every family can use, regardless of family income or assets, to identify future opportunities for scholarships to help pay for a college education. Discover a road map on how to navigate your way through the college maze.

Who:                     Fort Thomas and local community
Where:                Highlands High School
                        Media Center
                        2400 Memorial Parkway
                        Fort Thomas, KY 41075

When:                  Monday, April 14, 2014; 7-8:30pm

Info:                Registration is strongly encouraged. To register, please visit Click the “Parents” link at the top of the page, then the “Seminar Series Registration” link.


Clay Campbell. Photo Provided. 
Highlands High School rising senior Clay Campbell earned a perfect score of 36 on the March ACT test.  Overall nationwide, less than one-tenth of 1% of all students who take the ACT earn a score of 36.

All high school juniors are required to take the ACT as part of the annual state assessment, but this does not require the optional writing portion. Campbell prepared by participating in the ACT Boot Camp program. Taking the ACT Boot Camp “familiarized me with the process so I was able to better focus” when testing in March. He plans to take the ACT again next year, this time with the optional writing test.

BREAKING: Publishers Clearing House Scam Hits Fort Thomas

A fraudulent Publishers Clearing House (PCH) offer, one of many sweeping the nation in recent weeks, has landed in Fort Thomas.

Newport on the Levee Gets 8 million for Hotel

Kentucky tourism officials have approved $8 million in tax incentives to support a hotel development planned near Newport-on-the-Levee.

The Kentucky Tourism Development Finance Authority said Wednesday it approved credits to help Louisville-based developer Musselman Hotels LLC build a $33-million, 150-room hotel on the parking lot across from Hofbrauhaus. The credits also are for a project in Frankfort.

A hotel has been envisioned as part of the Levee’s long-term development strategy. Levee General Manager Harold Dull said last year that the venue wants to have luxury apartments, meeting space, additional retail and a parking structure in addition to the hotel.

The developer pledged to attract at least 25 percent of visitors from outside the state by its fourth year of operation and have a positive net economic impact on the state’s economy.

The authority considers applications under the Kentucky Tourism Development Act, which allows eligible tourism attractions a rebate of sales tax up to 25 percent of project capital costs over a 10-year period.

SOURCE: The Banks downtown is leader to land GE Expansion

A source tells FTM that GE, which will move close to 2,000 jobs to the area, is "The Banks to lose." That's good news for Fort Thomas real estate values. The median annual salary for most of these jobs will reportedly be near $70,000.

Most of these jobs will require GE new hires and transfers to come into the area and many will try to find coveted properties right across the river from their new office space at The Banks.

VIA WCPO, Dan Monk:

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Area Man Mystified By Layout Of Adjacent Town’s Kroger

Woodlawn resident, Patrick Gatling, via The Onion
BELLEVUE, KY Via The Onion—Eyeing the shelves of products with visible puzzlement as he tentatively wandered up and down the grocery store’s aisles, Woodlawn resident Patrick Gatling admitted to being deeply mystified Thursday by the layout of the Kroger in the adjacent town of Bellevue. 

Highlands experimented with players going both directions in spring ball

G. Michael Graham Photo. Highlands Head Coach Brian Weinrich (right) gives instructions during a recent spring practice. The Bluebirds just concluded 10 days of spring ball.
Fort Thomas Matters Sports Reporter

Aside from the usual transition, not much changed in spring practice for the Blue and White.

The only noticeable change was the absence of the retired 20-year veteran Head Coach Dale Mueller. Mueller retired after last year that saw Highlands go 13-2 and finish Class 4A runner-up to Collins. The Bluebirds went 250-36 during Mueller’s tenure, won 11 state championships and finished runner-up three times.

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Jalapeño Express Mexican Grill to Open in Old Blockbuster Location

Photo Source: Mark Collier
Blockbuster Video in the Newport Plaza was a Friday night staple at the Collier household in the early and mid 90s. It became the first casualty in the development last October, as Blockbuster closed its doors nationwide.

We began speculating what would come of that space back in November. Now it looks like, at least half of that space, has signed a lease.

Enjoy breakfast with Reds Hall of Fame inductee Joe Morgan on April 30

CINCINNATI, OHIO (APRIL 8, 2014) – Join the YMCA of Greater  Cincinnati to celebrate the beginning of the 2014 baseball season by getting  a unique perspective on the game from Cincinnati Reds Hall of Fame inductee Joe Morgan. A limited number of tickets are available for Breakfast with Joe, scheduled for Wednesday, April 30, 2014, from 8 a.m. until 10 a.m. at the Phoenix Hotel, located at 812 Race Street in Cincinnati.

Morgan was an integral part of the Cincinnati Reds teams that won two World Series titles in 1975 and 1976. Considered one of the greatest second basemen of all time, Morgan was named National League Most Valuable Player in both of those years. He was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1990.

During the Breakfast with Joe program, you will be able to enjoy a great breakfast and ask Joe questions about baseball. The program will be moderated by WCPO-TV Sports Director John Popovich. Tickets  ($50 each) are available on the website or call (513) 362-2008. The Home Run Sponsor for Breakfast with Joe is Western & Southern Financial Group. All proceeds from the event go toward scholarships benefiting the YMCA of Greater Cincinnati Black and Latino Achievers program.


About the YMCA of Greater Cincinnati The YMCA of Greater Cincinnati strives to strengthen communities. Through our focus on youth development, healthy living, and social responsibility, we embrace and nurture the promise that lives in all of us. The Y gives children, families, and individuals the support and resources needed to be healthier, more confident, connected, and secure. For more information about the YMCA of Greater Cincinnati, visit the website, or call (513) 362-YMCA.

SOURCE: Press Release

Highlands Named Most Challenging High School in Kentucky

Click image to see it bigger. Source: Washington Post

The Washington Post ranked the most challenging high schools in Kentucky yesterday.

From the article: The index score is the number of college-level tests given at a school in the previous calendar year divided by the number of graduates that year. Also noted are the percentage of students who come from families that qualify for lunch subsidies (Subs. lunch) and the percentage of graduates who passed at least one college-level test during their high school career, called equity and excellence, (E&E). A (P) next to the school's name denotes a private school.

Saturday, April 5, 2014

Gino Guidugli "Mic'd Up" at Central Michigan University

Former Highlands graduate and Central Michigan Assistant Coach, Gino Guidugli, was "mic'd up" during the latest spring practice in Mt. Pleasant, Michigan.

See Gino in action:

Friday, April 4, 2014

Bomb Threat Suspect Awaits Grand Jury as Highlands Discusses Emergency Protocols

Tyler Swope's attorney, Phillip Taliaferro. Source:
The arraignment hearing for Tyler Swope, the former Highlands graduate and prom king accused of calling in a bomb threat that sent shockwaves through Fort Thomas on January 15, was to take place yesterday at Campbell County District Court in front of Judge Gregory T. Popovich. Swope and his attorney, Phillip Taliaferro waived his preliminary hearing and will await the grand jury's ruling.

'Big Red Machine' Member to Sign Book in Newport This Morning

Source: Mark's baseball card collection. (Nerd alert)
NEWPORT – Cincinnati Reds great Ken Griffey Sr., will sign copies of “Big Red:” Baseball, Fatherhood, and My Life in the Big Red Machine” at Kroger, 130 Pavilion Parkway, Newport from 10-10:30 a.m. Friday, April 4.

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Hoge, Hergott prepare for time as Highlands signal-callers

G. Michael Graham Photo. Beau Hoge (left) and Austin Hergott (right) stand next in line as quarterbacks of the deeply talented Highlands Bluebirds football team.
Fort Thomas Matters Sports Reporter

It’s the football position that garners a lot of attention, especially in a balanced offense.

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Get to Know the Candidates: Q&A with Adam Meier, Running for City Council

This year, all six Fort Thomas City Council members, along with Mayor Mary Brown, face re-election. As part of FTM's efforts to keep you, the Fort Thomas electorate, informed and prepare you for the upcoming election season, the Q&A below is part of an ongoing FTM series spotlighting candidates in the 2014 elections. Incumbents and challengers are asked a nearly identical set of questions, then a second round of follow-up questions, if necessary. This week I spoke with Adam Meier, running for Fort Thomas City Council.

Adam Meier is a licensed attorney in Kentucky and Ohio, and currently works as a Contracting Officer with the Environmental Protection Agency in Cincinnati. Meier is a graduate of Colerain High School, and attended Georgetown College. After law school in Jacksonville, Florida, he and his wife moved to Williamstown, Kentucky, where he first began working with the EPA. Meier, his wife, and two children moved to South Fort Thomas Avenue last June.

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Breaking News: George Clooney to Open New Restaurant in Fort Thomas

Photo Source:

Sources exclusively tell Fort Thomas Matters that Kentucky native George Clooney has been scouting the old Mio's location for a new restaurant. Clooney, best known for his successful acting career, has been interested in opening a restaurant in Northern Kentucky since returning to the area to film The Ides of March in 2011. His new restaurant, Rosemary's, will be named after his famous aunt, and already promises to host screenings of White Christmas once the holiday season arrives.