Saturday, November 29, 2014

Highlands earns another semifinal victory


Allen Ramsey Photo. Highlands senior linebackers Patrick Schoepf (left) and Brady Murray (right) bring down Lexington Catholic wide receiver Andy Thompson (center) in Friday's Class 4A state semifinal game. The Bluebirds won 47-26l

Allen Ramsey Photo. Highlands wide receiver Alex Veneman (6) makes a tough catch in the first quarter of Friday's Class 4A state semifinal win over Lexington Catholic. The record-setting wide receiver had seven catches for 81 yards and a score.
By G. MICHAEL GRAHAM
Fort Thomas Matters Sports Reporter

Many may be tired of seeing them venture to Bowling Green.

But each football team has its own unique story in a town that cares about the players’ success in not just football but many things. The Highlands Bluebirds (12-2 overall) advanced to the state championship for the eighth straight year with a sound 47-26 win over the Lexington Catholic Knights on Friday at David Cecil Memorial Stadium.

Bluebird Notebook: Highlands successfully defends home field

Allen Ramsey Photo. Highlands quarterback Beau Hoge (7) makes a move in Friday's Class 4A state semifinal win over Lexington Catholic. Hoge ran for 137 yards, three touchdowns and passed for 206 yards in the 47-26 Bluebird win.
Allen Ramsey Photo. Highlands senior linebacker Rocco Pangallo (17) pursues Lexington Catholic quarterback Reese Ryan (left) in Friday's Class 4A state semifinal win. Pangallo had two sacks as the Bluebirds moved to 15-1 in state semifinal games since 1995.
Allen Ramsey Photo. Highlands senior defensive lineman Daniel Kremer (center) sacks LexCath quarterback Reese Ryan while D.J. Mills (42) closes in. Kremer and Mills had two sacks each and Mills added a fumble recovery in the 47-26 Bluebird win. The Knights had 27 rushes for a negative-46 yards with seven quarterback sacks.
By G. MICHAEL GRAHAM
Fort Thomas Matters Sports Reporter

The Highlands Bluebirds football team just needed to defend its home field to advance back to the Class 4A state championship game.

Fort Thomas Antique and Design Center is Open!

Last night the crew had a ceremonial lighting of their new pole sign and offered free lattes and cappuccinos to those who came in on Sunday who commented on the sign.

This doesn't sound like your ordinary Antique Shop. Here's why: The Fort Thomas Antiques & Design Center, at 90 Alexandria Pike, not only a full service coffee shop - it has an unlimited amount of antiques, furniture and jewelry. Sounds like the best of both worlds to me!
Antique poker table and game room. 
Vintage signs. 
Pictures with Santa every Saturday until Christmas. NO COST!
Dickens village. 


That 70's Room. 

Come in, take a number for the Highlander Cafe as soon as you walk in. Shop and browse. No waiting!

The Highlander Cafe. Coffee, drinks and eats. 
Ida Candles space. 
Old time gas pump. 
Antique, costume and estate jewelry. 
Overview of the space. 
100% of the Destiny Rescue's jewelry sales go back to their mission to help victims exploited in the sex trade. 
Fort Thomas Antiques and Design will have a liquor license and full bar. 

Hours of operations:
Monday - Friday (7am - 9pm)
Saturday (9am - 6pm)
Sunday (11am - 6pm)

Stop by and see our friends at Fort Thomas Antique & Design Center. And don't forget to keep track of our Facebook page for their shop's upcoming events like this one (see below).

Santa Saturdays! 

Friday, November 28, 2014

Dirty Dog? Dirty Hairy's to the Rescue


Dirty Hairy's Self and Full Service Dog Wash has been open at 18 North Fort Thomas Ave for four years. Dirty Hairy's, located in the back side of the Hiland building, allows people to wash their own dogs or request full service.


No matter the size, self service is $15. Full service grooming, which includes a wash, nail trim, hair cut, ear cleaning and brushing. starts at $35 depending on the size of the dog. The tubs have a ramp and door making it easy for the client to get the dog in the tub and keep it in. A full service wash, which includes washing the dog, nail trim and ear cleaning by owner Lisa Kelly starts at $25 depending on the size of the dog. 

"The big difference with my place compared to other grooming shops is that the dogs are never caged and receive one on one attention, potty breaks and play time," says Kelly.

A couple of poodles lounging around at Dirty Hairy's

Dirty Hairy's will participate in Small Business Saturday on Saturday, Nov. 29 from 10 a.m.- 3 p.m. Kelly will offer free nail trims to self-service clients and $30 gift certificates for $25. Stop on in for self-serve or to pick up a gift certificate or call 859-391-0183 or text 859-240-6666  to schedule an appointment.



Thursday, November 27, 2014

Highlands Diver Signs with Elite Program

Carly Hill at her signing day. 

Submitted Photos. Highlands senior Carly Hill dives in a meet last year. Hill owns the school's 1-meter diving record with 507.8 points and won the individual state crown last year. She recently signed with the University of Louisville.
By G. MICHAEL GRAHAM
Fort Thomas Matters Sports Reporter

Carly Hill has had an impressive career for years diving for the Highlands Ladybirds.

Your Central Hub for Newport Pavilion Retailer Specials this Weekend

It would be FTM's wish that you would spend 100 percent of your spending in Fort Thomas and particularly with the #FTMFamily, but FTM also understands that is unrealistic. For those of you who will be shopping outside the city this weekend, here's what our neighbors at the Newport Pavilion are offering for Black Friday specials.


Fort Thomas Small Business Saturday

Barb Thomas with Fort Thomas Central has taken the initiative to make this wonderful event happen for the City of Fort Thomas. We really hope that everyone can come out and join us on Saturday November 29th!

Here are the deals right in the heart of our very own town.

Fort Thomas Central - Cookies & Hot Cider, $50 Gift Certificate Prize Drawing and take advantage of 20% Off your entire purchase!


Blue Marble - Running a holiday promotion (canned goods collection for Brighton Center) that begins on Friday, November 28 and runs through Christmas Eve where customers will receive a 10% discount on the purchase of a hardcover book if they bring in a canned good.  Open 10am-5pm.

Highlands squares off in state semifinals with similar opponent

Allen Ramsey Photo. Highlands senior quarterback Beau Hoge (7) eludes Covington Catholic senior defensive back Sam Kathman (22) in Friday's region title game. The Bluebirds face the Lexington Catholic Knights at 6 p.m. Friday in the Class 4A state semifinals.
By G. MICHAEL GRAHAM
Fort Thomas Matters Sports Reporter

It may be Black Friday, but it’s also been a Blue and White Friday the previous seven years in Fort Thomas.

The Highlands Bluebirds (11-2 overall) have won seven consecutive state semifinal contests and are seeking another against the same opponent they’ve beaten in the last three Class 4A contests in the Lexington Catholic Knights (10-3). Game time is 6 p.m.

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Best Thanksgiving Movies

Woody Allen's Hannah and Her Sisters

I get that Thanksgiving and football go together like, well, turkey and dressing...or mashed potatoes and gravy...or a slice of pumpkin pie and a second slice of pumpkin pie. However, here's a Thanksgiving Day secret for you: there's actually no law saying that you have to watch football after you're finished with your feast. The Football Police will not come find you, and put you into holiday jail. That means that you are free to watch anything you want between courses of your Thanksgiving meal.

Here are the best Thanksgiving movies to watch with your friends and family on the most delicious day of the year:

Fort Thomas Has a New National Guardsman

Joel Stegner, of Fort Thomas, was commissioned into the U.S. National Guard Reserve in October/Holt

Joel Stegner, from Fort Thomas, just graduated basic training as one of the nation's newest members of the armed forces.

HMS Celebrates Giving with Assembly

The HMS Dance Team kicked off the assembly

Highlands Middle School students were recognized and thanked for the overwhelming generosity they have shown this fall with an assembly on Nov. 25. They celebrated with a show from the HMS Dance Team, a teachers vs. students volleyball game, recognition of those in fall sports, presentation of checks to organizations they raised money for, a pie in the face showdown and a turkey bowl. 

On Halloween, students were encouraged to pay $1 in order to wear a Halloween costume. Teachers dressed up as well and students were able to vote with money for the best costume. They put money in the jar of the teacher's costume they liked the best. The teacher who raised the most money was the winner of the costume contest. Student Government overwhelming voted to donate the money to the Histiocytosis Association in honor of fellow student Joey Holt, a seventh grader who is in remission from Langerhans Cell Histiocytosis. Joey and his mom accepted the check on behalf of the Histio Association. 

Stephanie Griffith presents Gina Stegner
and Joey Holt with check for Histio Association

Why We Trust Small Business

By TOM UNDERWOOD

Tom Underwood is the Kentucky state director of the National Federation of Independent Business, the nation’s leading small-business association. 

Small Business Saturday is this Saturday. November 29. 


Gallup did a survey this summer. It asked people how much confidence they had in various institutions.

According to the survey, only 7 percent of Americans said they trusted Congress a great deal or quite a lot, compared with 29 percent who trusted the presidency.

Small business, on the other hand, came in second, with 62 percent of those surveyed considering it trustworthy. The only organization to score higher, not surprisingly, was the military.

A Day in the Life of a Cincinnati Zookeeper



If you live anywhere in the Greater Cincinnati area, there's no doubt that the Cincinnati Zoo is on your radar. Perhaps you spent time there as a child at birthday parties, educational programs, or braved a night amongst the animals during one of their zoo overnights. Maybe the Cincinnati Zoo is your favorite way to celebrate the holiday season with a trip to the Festival of Lights. Or the zoo might just be your go-to local spot for a day of fun. The zoo is a different place to different people in the area, but to Megan O'Keefe, the Cincinnati Zoo is where her childhood dream of having a career working with animals came true.

O'Keefe, a 2003 graduate of Highlands High School, is a Manatee Springs Animal Keeper at the Cincinnati Zoo. She gave us an inside look into the life of a zookeeper. For O'Keefe, her job is two-fold. There is the care and training of the animals, and also interacting and educating the zoo's visitors. “My job description basically entails taking care of the animals, and all aspects surrounding that. It's a little bit different for each department, obviously, since different animals have different needs and different ways to care for them. There's also a public aspect to being a zookeeper. Not only do you take care of the animals, but you're also responsible for educating the public that comes through your building. We also do keeper talks and animal encounters, and things like that,” said O'Keefe.

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Relax with Studio Root

There is a new business in town that wants to pamper you. I experienced the amazing services at Studio Root Skin Care at 9 Highland Avenue earlier this month.

As I walked in, I was greeted by Tami Root, the owner who is a Fort Thomas native, two-time winner of Best Esthetician in the City by Cincinnati Magazine and has 25 years of experience. I shredded my winter gear and took a seat. After some chitchat, she placed my rings in ring cleaner, what I thought was a very nice special touch. Next, my hands were dipped in warm paraffin for a paraffin hand treatment. She then placed my hands in over-sized mittens. She used a massage tool to massage my upper back and shoulders while the paraffin did its job. One of my favorite artists - Pink Floyd - was playing as I enjoyed the pampering. As if I wasn't relaxed enough, after the hand treatment, we moved to another room for my facial.
A paraffin hand treatment. Studio Root is part of the #FTMFamily.

Biggest Bar Night of the Year - Fort Thomas Edition

Some of the Barney and the Howlers crew. Playing Saturday night at 915 Pub and Grill, 8:00-11:00. 
Most people will tell you that New Year's Eve is the biggest bar night of the year. While I haven't done the requisite research on sales that night, I'd like to submit to you that Thanksgiving Eve is a better option to enjoy libations among your favorite company.

A quick rundown of my logic on why tomorrow is the day to hit the town and how to enjoy it in Fort Thomas:

Most have the day off the next day.
- Everyone comes  home and it's a chance to do a mini-reunion 'Friendsgiving.'

Mummy on a Budget: Mummies of the World The Exhibition

                                                                   Mummies of the World: The Exhibition

This is a sponsored post brought to you by WCPO Insider (WCPO Insider Website), and we received free tickets for this post.

After sitting next to an illustrator on a plane and striking up a conversation with her (yes, my husband is that annoying guy), he went out and bought her book: “A is for Appalachia.”  Great book but do you know what “U” stands for?  Undertaker.

So, when he read that page to our then three-year-old and Knox asked what an undertaker does, my husband went into incredible detail, leaving no terrifyingly grotesque element untold.  So, when we took my now five-year-old to see Mummies of the World, he was somewhat emotionally prepared for what we were about to see.   However, if your son or daughter has not had a “U is for Undertaker” experience, you may want to consider talking to your kids about what to expect before seeing the traveling exhibit set to open at the Museum Center at Union Terminal, tomorrow November 26.

From the Museum Center's website: “Mummies of the World portrays a once-in-a-lifetime collection of real mummies and artifacts from across the globe. This compelling collection, presented with reverence and dignity, includes ancient mummies dating back as far as 4,500 years. A fascinating mix of old and new, this captivating collection bridges the gap between past and present with contributions from 10 world-renowned Institutions and two private collectors.”

State Lawmakers Teach Moyer 4th, 5th Graders About Civic Responsibility

KY State Senator Katie Stine and State Representative Joe Fischer visited Moyer Elementary Monday/FTIS

As part of the "America's Legislators Back to School Program," Kentucky lawmakers Senator Katie Stine and Representative Joe Fischer visited Moyer Elementary 4th and 5th graders on Monday.

The topic of their visit: the students' role in their government.

Monday, November 24, 2014

This 96-Year-Old Fort Thomas Man Has Stories For Days

Gilbert Laycock, of Fort Thomas, seems to have a story to tell for every year of his long, eventful life./Uhl


by Kara Gebhart Uhl
FTM Contributor

“There are 7 billion people on this earth, and only one of you and one of me,” says Gilbert Laycock, as we sit down at his dining room table at his home on Grant Street in Fort Thomas.

Newport TJ Maxx Loses Armful of High-end Merchandise to Duo of Shoplifters

These two are wanted for shoplifting at the Newport TJ Maxx/Newport PD

Newport Police are looking for two individuals, wanted for shoplifting from the TJ Maxx store in Newport Pavilion.

The Importance, History Behind Small Business Saturday

Fort Thomas Matters is a champion of shop local. Very little of what the website aims to do would be possible without the help of Fort Thomas businesses.

Small Business Saturday is one day of the year set aside to stray away from the massive box stores, and show appreciation for small businesses.

American Express started the concept of taking a weekend owned by big box retailers and create a day of business and engagement for small business owners that lacked the budget to compete with those larger retailers.

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Birkley Services to the Rescue!

Birkley Services has been a successful family business for over 40 years! After Wednesday night I now understand why. I came home for lunch to our chilly, no heated home. I was able to call Matt Birkley and he was there within a couple of hours to help us fix it.
 Matt Birkley checking out our furnace
 Working on diagnoses of the furnace
Giving us options

Turns out we didn't necessarily need a brand new furnace... yet! Matt took the time to explain what was wrong with the furnace, average time a furnace will last and helped us look at our options. My husband and I found this so refreshing that we immediately felt we could trust Matt. He explained that our circuit box was the issue and that if he fixed that and cleaned out the system itself, we may get more usage out of the furnace. He also suggested that we could replace the furnace altogether, but it was our decision. Thank you Matt Birkley for not trying to sell us something we didn't need (for now)!

I am writing this article from my comfortable heated home and I am a very happy customer! I hope that you will call Matt Birkley at Birkley Services for your heating, cooling and electrical needs.