Jeff Ruby Culinary Entertainment

Opticare Vision/Express Mobile Transport

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Bellevue Police Looking for Man Wanted for Sodomy

via Bellevue PD:
Police are looking for David Soloway. 
Bellevue police need your help tracking down this man, David Soloway who is wanted for Sodomy 1st degree.

Soloway has not been home, or to work since learning the police where looking for him. If you have information please contact Detective McClain at 292-4234 or call crimestoppers.
(This is not the most current picture of Soloway)

BREAKING: New Retailers Announced at Newport Pavilion

The four new retailers will join Noodles and Company in "Space 35."
Inland Real Estate has announced four new retailers that are set to join the lineup at Newport Pavilion.

To Protect and Serve: Community/Police Relations in Northern Kentucky

Chief Mike Daly. FTM file. 
COVINGTON, KY – What does a healthy community/police relationship look like?  How healthy are the communities of Northern Kentucky?  These are some of the questions that will be asked as the Northern Kentucky Forum hosts an event on April 16 at the Joseph U. Meyer Center for Workforce Development in Covington, KY.

A panel of experts from across the spectrum will examine these questions in a deep dialogue about where we have been, where we are now, and where we want to go. The panel will consider such ongoing issues as minority profiling; whether local police departments are equipped to handle protests or “organized” disturbances; and what measures local police have enacted to build trust in the community. Join us for this important community discussion, made more relevant by the events in Ferguson, MO.

“While police officers certainly have a responsibility to focus on ‘enforcement,’ they also should spend considerable time and energy on ‘engagement’…transparent and authentic community engagement,” said Jeffrey Blackwell, Cincinnati Chief of Police.

Panelists will include:

Fort Thomas Lions Club Continues to Serve Those in Need

When you think of the Fort Thomas chapter of the Lions Club, your first thought might be their longstanding presence behind the concession stand at the Highlands High School football games. While their concession teams have always provided local sports fans with quality snacks during events, it is actually the club's devotion to helping serve and build the community that is most prominent. This is shown best through the Lions Club's vision program. 

The Fort Thomas Lions Club and Opticare Vision Center work together to provide comprehensive eye exams and preventive care for those in need of eye care services. Dr. Keith Sellers and Dr. Josiah Young are part of Opticare Vision Center's Newport branch. Thanks to contributions from both the Lions Club and Opticare's staff, they are able to make sure that each patient's needs are met. "The Lions Club provides assistance for the exam and glasses," said Young. "We provide the glasses frames at no cost, and we perform the examination and make the glasses at a discounted rate for the Lions Club. Ultimately, the patient has no out-of-pocket expense, and receives a thorough eye exam and a nice pair of glasses." 

Monday, March 30, 2015

Abduction Still Being Investigated at Town and Country Sports & Health Club

Town & Country Sports Complex. Wilder, KY. Via 
WILDER, Ky. —Police are still investigating after a woman grabbed a 9-year-old girl Sunday evening at a sports complex in Wilder, Kentucky.

Authorities said the woman grabbed the girl about 5:45 PM as she was standing on an indoor soccer field at Town & Country Sports Complex.

The woman grabbed the girl by the arm and tried to pull her toward the exit door of the facility, police said, but the child pulled away and was not hurt.

The girl's mother was talking with a soccer coach on the field at the time of the incident, police said.
Police said the woman was described as white, with blond hair down to the middle of her neck and about 40 years old. She was wearing a long sleeve blue shirt with an oval pattern at the time of the incident.

An email from Town & Country went out to area clubs, including many in Fort Thomas. Here was the email initially sent:

From: Town & Country Sports & Health Club

To: Parents, Athletes and Coaches,

Play Series Continues at Fort Thomas Library: U.S. Women in WWII

While U.S. men who served during World War II are widely and deservedly known as "The Greatest Generation," too often the contributions of women during this period in history is overlooked.

Looking for Lilith Theatre, of Louisville, will shed light on the compelling stories of nurses, factory workers, pilots, USO performers, homemakers and others in the play What My Hands Have Touched: U.S. Women in WWII.

(Photo provided by Looking for Lilith Theatre)

The play will perform at the Carrico/Fort Thomas Library at 7 p.m. on April 17 as part of the Library's Arts & Culture Series.

The play glimpses into the hearts and minds of these female "warriors" and celebrates their contribution to the war effort while raising important questions about the realities of war.

Seating is limited to the first 300 people.

To register for this special event visit to register.

A Not-So-Ordinary Spring Break: Backpacking the Grand Canyon

Fort Thomas Independent Schools are on spring break this week, which for many means a staycation, a trip to the Great Smoky Mountains or, perhaps, a week at the beach. But last year, spring break for the Hahn family meant a memorable family adventure—backpacking the Grand Canyon. 

March 30, 2014 Fort Thomas residents Stephen, senior director of IT strategy and Sushannah, a Montessori teacher at Country Hills Montessori, Fort Thomas, flew out West with their then 9-year-old triplets, Sam, Maggie and Olivia. 

Here Sushannah Hahn shares just a bit of their spring break adventure—and why living a week with less amounted to so much more. 

Sunday, March 29, 2015

How About A Holtman's Donuts in Fort Thomas?

Holtman's Donuts. Via Twitter. 
When you drive by vacancies in Fort Thomas, do you ever remark about how you think a certain business would just be perfect there? Well here's your chance to personally woo a trendy, insanely delicious, perfect-for-this-town business to Fort Thomas.

Holtman's Donuts is looking to add it's fourth location to the area and Fort Thomas could fit the bill. But owners Danny Plazarin and Katie Willing, who are also engaged, want to hear from residents.

"Now that we have a little bit of a reputation, we want to pick a neighborhood that wants us there," Willing said.

Plazarin is the grandson of Holtman's founder Charles Holtman. Plazarin's parents, Chuck and Toni (Charles Holtman's daughter), run the Holtman's shops in Loveland, the original location that opened in 1960, and Williamsburg, which opened in 2009. They spent a lot of time scouting their location in Over-The-Rhine, but are ready to roll on their next location.

Holtman's, which has been featured on multiple national shows on The Cooking Channel, said they'd like to be in their new location by September. 

Willing expects the new location will be more than twice as big as the Vine Street store, which, at 1,200 square feet, doesn't have much room for seating. She expects the new location to be up to 3,000 square feet and employ about 25.

So here's your chance, Fort Thomas. Share this post. Visit Holtman's Facebook page here or Twitter page here and tell them, "COME TO FORT THOMAS! WE WANT YOU!"

The Old Smitty's location has street access, is bigger and is right in the heart of town. Just saying'.

The Maple Bacon Donut from Holtman's. Via Twitter. 

Saturday, March 28, 2015

Newport on the Levee Announces New Mobile App

Newport on the Levee announced this week the availability of its new mobile app that will enable visitors to quickly and conveniently access and follow all of the property’s events and activities throughout the year.
The trendy new mobile app as a free download for all users through either the App Store or Google Play Store.
After downloading the app, visitors may view a directory of dining and entertainment venues, view a calendar of events, stay connected to social networks, receive notifications to stay informed about activities on the Levee, and much more.

Friday, March 27, 2015

Edelweiss Academy to Open in Fort Thomas

A new business in opening in Fort Thomas. Edelweiss Academy is opened by Fort Thomas resident, Kaitlin Stephens.  The address is 960 Highland Ave, in the Highland Spring facility.  The space was formerly The Children's Garden.

Little Libraries Spring up in Campbell County

Maria Bozeman, of Fort Thomas, and her children Carden and Adelise, pick up their Little Library box
Fresh off the Kentucky Court of Appeals’ ruling in favor of the tax collection methods of the local libraries (full story here), the Campbell County Library announced a new, exciting program to make books even more accessible to the Northern Kentucky residents: Little Libraries.  You may have already seen these Little Libraries and, perhaps, did not even know what you were seeing (one such “Little Library” is on West Southgate currently).  These Little Libraries are boxes built by the Library and large enough to hold around 10 books.  These “Libraries” were then sold to community members for $10 who were asked to decorate these for placement around the community.  The decorated Little Libraries will be displayed at the “BIG Kickoff for Little Libraries” community event at 6 p.m. on Friday April 17th.  In addition, a design winner will be selected from amongst these Little Libraries by a panel of judges led by Steve Pendery, County Judge/Executive, with a First prize of $50 and second prize of $25.

"We want to promote the love of reading, so supporting Little Libraries is a natural fit for us," said JC Morgan, director of the Campbell County Public Library.  "We see a lot of benefits to this program," Morgan said. "It is a great way to promote literacy in the county and enhance communities through interaction among neighbors and book discussions."

Currently, Little Libraries are available in Southgate, Bellevue, Dayton, Fort Thomas, and Newport but residents of other cities are encouraged to discuss with their city council to see if the program could work there as well.
The Campbell County Public Library built 40 Little Library boxes that were made available for $10.

The concept of these library boxes is quite simple.  A starter kit of 10 free books will be provided by the Friends of the Campbell County Library.  Residents are encouraged to grab a book and replace it with a book they’re finished reading.  If books need replenished, the Campbell County Library can provide another starter bag to fill the box back up.

Such a neat concept to promote literacy and lifelong reading.  Anyone involved in decorating one of these Little Libraries, share your design concept in the comments.  To see all the decorated Little Libraries, stop by the Newport Branch on Friday April 17th at 6 p.m.

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Water Main Breaks on Crown Point

Northern Kentucky Water District Trucks were at Crown Point Thursday afternoon. This was the fourth water main break in four days in Fort Thomas. 
UPDATE: Another water main has broken on Tower Place, making it the sixth in four days. Residents on that street do not have access to water. We will continue to try and reach out for comment to the Water District.

Amy Kramer of the Northern Kentucky Water District said they isolated the valve and have taken it out of service.

"Unfortunately mechanical things have flaws. The pressure spike the we read on the meter wasn't even that significant," said Kramer. "We think we have a process in place to make sure this type of event doesn't happen again."

A water main broke Thursday afternoon on Crown Point, off of S. Fort Thomas Avenue. That brings to the total of broken water mains to five in four days in Fort Thomas.

Monday a malfunction at the water treatment plant on Memorial Parkway caused three water mains to break almost simultaneously.  

Clover Ridge at Memorial Parkway, Mel Lawn at North Fort Thomas and Green Street at South Fort Thomas all needed maintenance on Monday, with some customers not having water service for close to eight hours. 

Another main broke on Elmwood on Tuesday. 

A pump control valve malfunctioned, which created excessive water pressure. When the pressure built up, it spewed water at high rates throughout the city. Presumably the water mains that were the weakest were the ones that broke. Fort Thomas suffered broken mains because of the vicinity to the treatment plant.

SD1 is scheduled to repair the water main this summer between Bellaire and Covert Run at the same time that stretch of road will be repaved. That water main is normally one that needs repair, but it didn't suffer noticeable damage from the malfunction of the pump control valve. 

Trucks were parked at Crown Point on Thursday afternoon to repair another break. FTM file. 

Fort Thomas Band Breaks Into Local Music Scene

Break & Run

With the weekend rapidly approaching, you may find yourself trying to decide the best way to enjoy your upcoming free time. Don't worry, Fort Thomas Matters has you covered. You can go ahead and add Break & Run to your Friday night plans. 

Three out of the band's four members are currently high school students by day and aspiring rock stars by night. Lead singer and rhythm guitar player Ben Eglian, lead guitarist Justin Dean, and drummer Jeff Orne are all seniors at Highlands High School. Break & Run is rounded out by Northern Kentucky University student Sam Linkugel on the bass guitar. 

Goetz to Retire After School Year

FTISD file photo. Highlands Middle School Principal Mark Goetz recently announced his retirement effective after the school year.

Principal Mark Goetz called his time at Highlands Middle School at the end of his career "absolutely perfect."

Goetz recently announced he will retire after the school year finishes. He's been the principal there the previous four years.

Goetz served as an Air Force medic for six years before taking his first teaching job at Covington Catholic as a Chemistry teacher. From there, he became the head football coach and science teacher at Campbell County. He ultimately became the assistant principal there in addition to remaining as head football coach.

Highlands Spring Sports Roundup

PHOTO: Allen Ramsey, Highlands junior Ricky Raisor fires a pitch in last year's 9th Region championship game against Conner. Raisor is one of 13 pitchers that give the Bluebirds depth this season.
Did you know that FTM has it's own sports section? You can click below on the FTM Sports tab or just save on your favorite sites.

If you're a coach, parent or fan and you'd like us to post your team's stats, accomplishments, or possibly have us cover a game, feel free to drop us a line!


Highlands Baseball Wins Opener

Birds Look Good, Shut Out Ryle to Move to 2-0

Rachel Gold: Starting Her Own Business Is Reason to Smile

Dr. Rachel Gold or Total Health Dentistry is part of the #FTMFamily. 
Dentistry runs in the family for Dr. Rachel Gold. Kind of.

What started as a nudge from her father has launched into a successful career for Gold, who owns Total Health Dentistry office on Windsor Drive in Cold Spring.

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

A General Assembly Rundown: What Passed and What Didn't

The Kentucky Capital. Via Kentucky Tourism. 
The Kentucky General Assembly’s 2015 session came to a close tonight after Senate and House members reached an agreement on comprehensive anti-heroin legislation and a measure to expand protective orders to include dating violence victims.

Lawmakers also gave late-night approval to a bill that will safeguard the revenue stream for the state’s road projects by limiting how far gas taxes can drop when fuel prices fall.

Bills approved by lawmakers and signed by the governor will go into effect as state law in 90 days from today’s adjournment, except for those that specify a different effective date or include an emergency clause that makes them effective as soon as they are signed into law.

Legislation approved by the 2015 General Assembly includes measures on the following topics:

Beer distributors. House Bill 168 will prevent beer distributorships from being owned by beer brewing companies. The bill is meant to affirm that beer is not exempt from the state’s three-tier system of regulating – and keeping separate – alcoholic beverage producers, distributors and retailers.

Breeders’ Cup. HB 134 will reinstate a tax break for the Breeders’ Cup at Keeneland in Lexington this year. The legislation will waive the state’s excise tax on live pari-mutuel wagering for the event. The waiver of the pari-mutuel excise tax was reportedly worth about $750,000 the last time the event was at Churchill Downs in Louisville.

Charitable gaming.  Senate Bill 33 would allow electronic versions of pull-tab Bingo tickets at charitable Bingo halls.

Child abuse. SB 102 will allow a death caused by intentional abuse to be considered first-degree manslaughter.

Child booster seats. House Bill 315 will require booster seats to be used in motor vehicles by children who are less than eight years old and are between 40 and 57 inches in height.

Crowdfunding. HB 76 will help Kentucky entrepreneurs to gain investors through crowdfunding. The bill will allow people to invest up to $10,000 through a crowdfunding platform while helping businesses raise up to $2 million.

Public Hearing for Special Street Tax on Residents

The scene last night at the public hearing for the "Special Street Repair Tax Assessment." FTM file. 
Each year a public hearing is set for residents to give feedback to Fort Thomas City Officials on their special assessment tax on residents for street repair. Back in February, the Public Works Committee adopted the repair plan for 2015. The Public Works Committee is chaired by Ken Bowman, with members Jeff Bezold and John Muller. 

This year, residents on Arlington Place, Burnet Ridge, E. Southgate, North Fort Thomas (from Bellaire to Covert Run) and Churchill Drive are being assessed an extra tax to help pay for the street repairs. About 35 residents showed up to listen and give feedback to city officials. Residents on affected streets were notified by certified mail of the public meeting and Fort Thomas Matters published the meeting time as well.

Residents are charge based upon how many linear feet their property abuts with the street on a 50% city, 50% resident cost share. Heavier trafficked streets are assessed 60/40, with the resident paying less.

This year, estimates for each streets are:
Arlington: $10.43 per foot.
Burnet: $6.72 per foot.
E. Southgate: $8.80 per foot.
N. Fort Thomas: $11.63 per foot.
Churchill: $10.57 per foot.

Kentucky General Assembly Passes Keene's DUI Interlock Bill

Dennis Keene. Twitter. 
Legislation on its way to signing by Governor Steve Beshear

The Kentucky House of Representatives voted yesterday to accept a compromise Senate Bill 133, which is a hybrid of legislation repeatedly filed by Rep. Dennis Keene (D-Wilder) and modified provisions passed by the Senate. This is the first time interlock devices will become mandatory for convicted drunk drivers in the Commonwealth.

“The final passage today of mandatory interlock legislation in Kentucky is not everything we fought for but it is a good start at keeping drunk drivers from operating a vehicle and saving families from the devastation caused by drunk driving crashes,” said Rep. Keene.  “Legislating is about working together and sometimes includes compromise.  While we will never compromise on saving lives, SB133 opens the door to a new way of combating the problem of driving while intoxicated.  The use of interlock devices is proven to save lives and I feel confident we are on the right path for Kentucky’s citizens.”

For six years Dennis Keene has been working on this important life-saving legislation.   Senate Bill 133 will require individuals convicted of repeated drunk driving offenses to install an ignition interlock device, which would test the operators breath for alcohol before allowing the engine to start without any cost to the taxpayers. MADD, the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB), The Foundation for Advancing Alcohol Responsibility, Anheuser Busch, AAA and other groups support mandatory interlock laws.  First time offenders will be required to install interlock devices only if there are aggravating circumstances, some of which include having a child in the car, driving 30 miles over the speed limit, or causing injury to another individual.  The interlock devices are paid for by the convicted offender, at no cost to the taxpayers.

Representative Dennis Keene nearly lost his daughter Kelly Keene Jones in a drunk driving accident in 2002.  She required three subsequent surgeries in order to overcome her injuries and now Kelly is an outspoken advocate for tougher DUI laws.

The legislation includes a provision for indigent funding which was a point of contention during previous legislative sessions.

As a result of the federal highway bill (MAP-21) passed by Congress in 2012, by enacting the proposal included in HB 60, Kentucky would qualify each year for approximately $300,000 in interlock incentive grant funds from the federal government.  Twenty-four states have passed  all-offender ignition interlock laws.

According to Robyn Robertson of the Traffic Injury Research Foundation of Canada, “Ignition interlock devices are designed to protect the public by incapacitating drunk drivers. Evaluation of interlock use shows a 35-90% recidivism, with an average of 64%,” said Ms. Robertson.

“The cost of the alcohol interlock device is about $3-4 a day or about the cost of a drink or about the cost of a gallon of gas,” Robertson said.  “There will be no cost to the Kentucky taxpayers if the program is enacted; all costs are borne by the convicted offenders.”

According to MADD, ignition interlock devices are proven to save lives.  “States with all-offender interlock laws have been a reduction in drunk driving deaths of up to 45 percent, according,” according to the MADD website.

Press Release. 

Representative Dennis Keene has served the citizens of the 67th District since 2005 and is the chairman of the House Licensing and Occupations Committee, Vice Chairman of Economic Development, Vice Chairman on the Budget Subcommittee on Transportation and a member of the Banking & Insurance Committee.  Keene is a small business owner and an economic development advisor for EGC Construction. 

Senses Alive: A Night at The Art House

By Megan Krieg 

Here is a little history about Fort Thomas’ very own Art House. A leap of faith was taken, a lot of hard work, integrity, ingenuous planning, and networking was taking place. Lots of anticipation from our community, and then a beautiful old brick house on top of a hill overlooking the backbone of central Fort Thomas had been thoughtfully and creatively transformed into a “home” for all artists and artists..a “home” for our community. If you have not yet been to the Art House, take that leap of faith. Walk in the door and you will be welcomed by the humble and much inspiring Parrish Monk, owner of the Art House.

And wait until you meet his beautiful and dynamic wife Sharahn. I was drawn to her beautiful spirit with our first handshake. Parrish might encourage you to read a book, take a look, drink a hot cup of coffee or tea. He will make you feel at home in the Art House.

He might want to know about you, your ambitions and your passions. He will also sense if you just want to visit quietly. Among his many qualities is his great business sense, artistic expression, as well as a great business bedside manner. Undeniably, you will be drawn to the many artistic treasures and escapes The Art House has to offer its community.

The mission of the Art House is to provide access to the arts and art opportunities for established, independent, emerging and aspiring artists and artisans. To better explain, The Art House will zestfully and personally assist independent artists and artisans in achieving their individual success! 

Parrish created the Independent Northern Kentucky Artists and Artisans Business Incubator (INKAA). INKAA focuses on community arts as well as the empowerment and success of independent artists and artisans in different stages of their business. You can find out more about INKAA at

Do you know that feeling? When you wake up groggy in the early morning, waiting impatiently for your much anticipated and needed coffee to brew? You wait, you take a deep breath, you listen for the drip, drip, dripping, into the pot. Then your body begins to relax and your senses take over. The smell, the first small sip from your steaming hot mug. It’s invigorating. That first sip of steaming hot coffee in the morning is what I think of when I remember first visit stepping into the beautiful foyer at the Art House. My senses were awakened, I relaxed the moment I walked in the door, and I felt completely invigorated!

But more than anything, what I first took away from my first visit is what something I knew little about. I knew the Art House had amazing art classes, yoga, cool gifts and creations. I now would like to share The Art House’s other assets. 

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Heroin Bill Passes in House & Senate

Because there is an emergency clause in the bill, Governor Beshear will sign bill in formal signing ceremony Wednesday at 10:30 AM.

FRANKFORT, Ky. (March 24, 2015) -  Senate Bill 192, the final vehicle that was used to carry the heroin bill over the finish line passed the Kentucky State Legislature, cleared hurdles with just a few hours to go in the Kentucky State General Assembly.

The negotiations have been ongoing for the past three months and the final sticking points essentially came down to needle exchange, a "Good Samaritan law" that would give immunity to others who would call an overdose into authorities and penalties.

The needle exchange and Good Samaritan law were thought to be deal breakers for Republicans, while toughening penalties were non-negotiable for Democrats. In the end, House Democrats got "2 for 1" as some Republicans commented after the vote.

Here's what Senate Bill 192 amounted to:

Single-Parent Students Have Resource in NKY Scholar House

Scholar House will help single parents who are enrolled in college become independent as children are provided with quality care.

NEWPORT – A unique community complex is growing in Northern Kentucky, where single parents who are college students can live and learn together while their children get quality care.

Northern Kentucky Scholar House at 450 W. Sixth St. in Newport is expected to open in August, bringing a circle of support to parents to help usher them into independence from government assistance and overall success.

Scholar House is a statewide housing and education initiative, and the one under construction in Newport is the region's first.

The idea is to create a two-tiered system that helps parents become self-sufficient while ensuring their children, six weeks to school-age, are prepared for school.

"It's transformational," said Tammy Weidinger, president and chief executive of the Brighton Center, which is partnering with Neighborhood Foundations, a housing agency in Newport, on the project.

Multiple Water Mains Break in Fort Thomas

Reader submitted. 
There are multiple water main breaks in Fort Thomas right now that have water pressure low and some streets blocked.

Clover Ridge at Memorial Parkway, Mel Lawn at North Fort Thomas and Green Street at South Fort Thomas are all currently being addressed today.

It’s Not What We Have

By Chuck Keller 

Chuck Keller. FTM file. 

The other day a friend complained about how hectic her schedule was with work, taking kids to sports and music, the dog to the vet, shoveling snow, and so on. She was exhausted. She took a drink of the wine that I had offered and then she said, “But that is a first world problem.” She laughed. She had put her concerns into perspective. She was not the center of the universe and she acknowledged that her “problems” are the result of being so lucky in life.

How many time do we hear other or even ourselves complain? How often do we stop to declare how fortunate we are? I generally blow off these Facebook posts but someone posted a placard that read, “Someone is praying for the things that you take for granted” and that got me to thinking about how we petition for a particular case, need, or desire.

I have been following the adventures of Highlands’ art teacher, Andy Eckerle, in Malawi, Africa.  He teaches school while his wife doctors at the hospital. It’s a one year commitment but one of amazing growth. Andy’s observations are too compelling to paraphrase so I will turn the essay over to him.

"Living in Africa is absolutely amazing. There’s nothing else like it. You feel alive. That’s the best way to describe it. Things feel more real here. Maybe it’s because you are surrounded by so much death or things that could cause death. I’m not sure. But everything is an experience.

Fort Thomas Officials Attempt More Transparency With City Emails

Councilman, Ken Bowman. FTM file. 
Fort Thomas elected officials are trying to be more transparent by using city-assigned emails for city business instead of their personal email accounts. The city accounts were created last year.

"You may recall that I was the council member that pushed for the establishment of individual city email accounts to be listed on city website" said Councilman Ken Bowman. "This was to make it easier for constituents to communicate with us."

Recently Hillary Clinton, former secretary of state, made headlines last week when it was revealed she used her private email account for public business. Other national public officials also were found to have done the same.

That's a problem only because records involving public business, even if in a private email account, remain public documents and are subject to Open Records and other disclosure laws.

City Administrator Don Martin said there is no official policy regarding what email elected officials use but they have been advised that if they use their personal email account for city-related purposes, they must retain copies of their email.

"A city email account is provided for each elected official and can be accessed by the public on the city's website," said Martin. "The city's email server retains copies of all email sent to and from these accounts.  Email generated by city employees from the city's server can be sent to either the elected officials' city-provided email addresses or to their private email addresses because the city's server will retain copies of these messages and replies."

Monday, March 23, 2015

Report: Child Shot in Highland Heights

19 Bon Jan Lane

The victim was identified as a two-year-old girl. The young victim was taken to Children's Hospital for surgery, and was in critical condition Monday night, police said.

The girl's mother and a 5-year-old child were at home when the shooting took place, according to Highland Heights Police Chief Bill Birkenhauer.

Birkenhauer said the victim's 5-year-old brother was also involved in the shooting but it was still unclear how or where the victim was shot and where the gun came from. Only one shot was fired, officers said.

"It's difficult, it's very difficult and the officers ,especially the first responders, it's not easy for them," Birkenhauer said.

"As always, guns should be locked up and out of the reach of children, I can say that," Birkenhauer said. "I did not say the gun was not secured, so again I can't comment on that yet."It remains unclear who fired the gunshot and where the gun was kept."
A shooting has occurred on 19 Bon Jan Lane in Highland Heights and just minutes ago as of 5:00 PM, authorities have obtained a search warrant to enter the house.

According to 911 dispatchers and neighbors on the scene, they believe the victim was a child although police are not saying how old the victim was.

The shooting happened at 2:15 PM on Monday afternoon.

Police did say that the victim was alive when they were taken away from the house to head to the Children's Hospital. Officers say that the incident "was not domestic in nature," but would not comment on whether or not it was accidental.

This story will be updated. 

Highlands, Laskey, To Sign Letter of Intent April 6

Highlands High School senior Meredith Laskey will sign a letter of intent to play tennis at the United States Air Force Academy on Monday, April 6, 2015, at 3 p.m. in the media center at Highlands High School.

BREAKING: 2015 Merchants and Music Headliner Announced

"Emojis are MOAB's thing"

The 2015 headlining music act has been announced for the 2015 Merchants and Music Concert in Tower Park. The concert will be Saturday, September 26.

Past headliners include Edgar Winter, Jo Dee Messina, John Michael Montgomery and Dustin Lynch last year.

Anointed Touch Massage—A Best-Kept Secret

Tiffany Maple, owner of Anointed Massage Therapy; photo courtesy of Tiffany Maple
Fort Thomas is full of best-kept secrets—Anointed Touch Massage is one of them. Located in a small and tastefully decorated room downstairs in the Hiland Building, owner and therapist Tiffany Maple provides massages tailored to the individual. Her secret to success? Prior to becoming a massage therapist she spent 10 years as an athletic trainer.

Friday, March 20, 2015

Libraries Win Lawsuit in Court of Appeals 3-0

Libraries were the topic of discussion at the Fiscal Court Chambers in 2013 at an NKY Forum event. 
The Kentucky State Court of Appeals ruled in favor of libraries 3-0 overturning the rulings issued by the Campbell and Kenton County Circuit Courts.  

Kenton County Public Library Executive Director, Dave Schroeder states, “We are gratified by the decision of the Kentucky Court of Appeals affirming the method used for funding of public library taxing districts for the past 35 years.  Kentuckians in every county depend on their libraries as never before for education, information technology, literacy, and services of all types for all members of the family.  We are relieved that the investment made in Kentucky’s public libraries will continue for the benefit of all Kentuckians.”

Had the court ruled in favor of the plaintiff, the Kenton County Public Library would have had its budget cut in half. That would have resulted in job loss, programs and services being cut, possible building closings and a reduction of the collection.

meetNKY Rebranded and Reenergized

Increased visitor spending boosted Northern Kentucky’s economy by $340 million in 2014 as tourism filled more hotel rooms than a year ago, meetNKY announced Thursday during its annual meeting.

The theme of this year’s annual meeting - “Rebranded & Reenergized” - reflects the transformation of the Northern Kentucky Convention & Visitors Bureau to a new brand identity, meetNKY, along with enhanced collaboration with key partners and the re-positioning of the destination to harness the strengths of this exciting and incomparable region.

“meetNKY had a very successful year in 2014 attracting visitors to our destination,” said meetNKY Board Chairman Alan Bernstein, the owner and operator of BB Riverboats. “Northern Kentucky is place where meetings get connected with first-rate service, the best value, and exceptional meeting experiences. We are looking forward to continued success this year thanks to increased regional collaboration and some exciting new initiatives for 2015.”

Fort Thomas Resident Campaigns for LLS Woman of the Year

“I’ve had a saying since I was diagnosed which is ‘you can sulk, or you can have sushi’; I am inspired by people who choose sushi.” – Kristin Guerra, 32 year-old Fort Thomas wife, mother, and cancer survivor.

Guerra was diagnosed with stage 2A Hodgkin’s Lymphoma on March 14, 2009, less than 6 months from her wedding day.  Six years and six days later, cancer-free, happily married and the proud mother of a three-year-old boy, Guerra stands ready to kick off her campaign for the title of Leukemia & Lymphoma Society’s (LLS) “Man & Woman of the Year”.  Her kickoff event to this ten-week fundraising campaign is tonight with her #thismatters Launch Party, which she jokingly refers to as “bigger than her wedding” and at which Ben Walz will perform, Funky’s will provide the catering, and the more than 200 guests will have the opportunity to bid on close to 50 auction items.  All the proceeds from this and Guerra’s other five events go toward the LLS which uses the funds for research and development, blood cancer education and support, patient support, accelerated treatment approvals, and blood cancer advocacy.  Throughout the history of the campaign, more than $1 Billion has been raised for this cause.

NKY Music Scene: Come for the Ghosts, Stay for the Music

By Nick Stegner

There aren't many music venues that are also the ‘Gateway To Hell’ and filled with a history of murder and Satanic rituals. What is now one of the most famous music venues in the area was once a slaughter house that was in use until the 1890's. A well in the basement of the slaughter house was used to dispose of leftover parts and would play a big part in the history of the location. After the slaughter house was abandoned, a new use for the building and the well began. Satanic rituals. Animal and human sacrifice were rumored to have occurred and the well was used to dispose of any evidence of the practice. The most popular story of the well and building is that of Pearl Bryan.

Pearl was a popular, beautiful woman who was deeply in love with dental student, Scott Jackson. Jackson was more than a student at the Ohio College of Dental Surgery. He was also a member of a small group of Satanists that would meet near the old slaughterhouse well. Pregnant with Jackson’ baby, an abortion was attempted by Jackson and his roommate. The surgery was a total failure and Jackson , with the help of his roommate, took Pearl to Kentucky where they murdered her. Dental tools were used to sever Pearl’s head and the headless body was found in Fort Thomas (in the vicinity of the current YMCA), a short distance from the abandoned slaughterhouse. It was rumored that the head was disposed of in the well. A headless woman has been seen on several occasions at Bobby Mackey’s Music World that is believed to be the ghost of Pearl Bryan.

Thursday, March 19, 2015

General Services Department Annual Report: 2014

The new signs found around town. The General Services Department oversees the Design and Review Board with gives these signs the OK.
The General Services Annual Report was presented to council at the last meeting. General Services composes a multitude of services in Fort Thomas from battling harsh winter seasons to help our streets stay clear to overseeing The Recreation Department to administering new building and construction.

Board of Adjustment

There were 22 Board of Adjustment applications presented in 2014 and all 22 were approved. BOA applications are made up of things like yard variances, additions, driveways, decks, garages, pools etc.

Last year in Fort Thomas, there were many miscellaneous buildings or structures built:

Decks (39), pools (3), fences (33), storage buildings (21), signs (3), grading (2), demolitions (5).

There were 331 building permits issued in 2014 (up from 309 in 2013 and 253 in 2012), 17 of which were new single-family units. The total valuation of all 2014 building permits came out to $10,929,574. 

$49,093 were the total amount of fees the city collected for these projects.

The majority of the new construction homes were on Casagrande Street and were in the range of $320,000 - $407,500.

The number of new construction homes over the last 10 years:
2005 - 7
2006 - 12
2007 - 19
2008 - 7
2009 - 10

Best of NKY Fort Thomas Finalists

NKY Magazine has names it's finalists for their BEST OF NKY GALA and some Fort Thomas business have made the cut.

From their website: Thousands of NKY Magazine readers weighed in on their top picks for the best places to eat, shop, and have fun in Northern Kentucky. Now it's your turn to join the fun and decide who comes out on top. In our fourth year, we are excited to bring the Best of NKY Party to a bigger venue, and now need your help to to fill the convention center and make it our biggest celebration yet!

Best of NKY Magazine has patterned with the NKY Chamber to put on the Gala this year, which is at the Northern Kentucky Convention Center on May 28. 

This year's Fort Thomas nominees:

Highlands students, Fort Thomas community looks to benefit from facility improvements

PHOTO: G. Michael Graham. The new Highlands Field House has already been beneficial to the baseball and softball teams in the inclement weather.
It has been said many teams throughout the history of the Fort Thomas Independent School District.

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Fort Thomas Fire Department Monthly Report: February

FTM file. 
February marked the one-year mark from the fatal fire that occurred on Tower Hill Road last year. Winter is always a tough time for firefighters, as the cold keeps people inside and the use of portable heaters leads to an increase in calls for service.

In the month of February 2015, the Fort Thomas Fire Department totaled 162 responses, of which 115 were EMS incident responses.

Fire incident responses totaled 36. They provided 16 mutual aid responses to neighboring communities while receiving 14 during the month.

Fort Thomas Police Department Monthly Report: February

FTM file. 

Officers Tom Carr, Zac Rohlfer and Adam Peak were nominated to receive the Lifesaving Award. The three officers responded to a motor vehicle accident with possible injuries. After trying to awaken the two occupants they recognized that both were not breathing. Both had overdosed while traveling on I-471 South. Both occupants were removed from the vehicle and the officers began CPR lasting five minutes before a pulse was identified.


In February officers wrote 19 speeding charges, 10 DUI charges, 23 charges for non-traffic offenses (i.e., warrants, assaults, disorderly conduct, etc.) and 63 traffic charges (i.e., suspended license, no insurance, expired license plate, etc.).

Officers also issued 124 written warnings and totaled 19 court appearances. There were 18 drug related charges places against 13 adults. Traffic stops let to 4 of the charges.

Two of these charges were written to Fort Thomas residents. The others charges were written to citizens of Hebron (1), Elmere (1), Ohio (1), Covington (1), Southgate (1), Newport (3), Dayton (1), Bellevue (1), Lexington (1).

Detective Cases

Fort Thomas Central Artisan Spotlight: Jane Pompilio

Some of the stained glass created by Jane Pompilio, which graces the back room at Fort Thomas Central. Fort Thomas Central is part of the #FTMFamily.
Fort Thomas Central offers a selection of artisan products from all over the country, as well as from right at home.

Owner of Fort Thomas Central, Barb Thomas, says that she works hard to find various artisans to offer the most unique selection of products and gifts.

“I’m always keeping my eye out for local artists, (artisans) on the Internet, and also I go to the Atlanta Market twice a year,” Thomas said.

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Join the “Walz Will Win" Basketball Pool

Brady Walz. FTM file. 
Each year the No One Golfs Alone Luke Muller Golf Outing selects two deserving individuals to benefit from this event. The goal is to help alleviate some of the emotional and financial stress that comes when families are facing adversity.

One of this year’s recipients is Brady Walz. While the actual golf outing won’t take place until August 22 – friends of the Walz' are planning several “Walz Will Win Fun-Raisers” leading up to the grand finale.

Brady was diagnosed with Leukemia (pre-B ALL) on May 7, 2014. He began intense chemotherapy treatment immediately but suffered several setbacks due to unforeseen infections and complications. Brady continues to undergo in-patient and out-patient treatment and faces a long uphill battle as he fights this horrible disease.

If you want to have some fun and help raise money for Brady Walz follow the instructions below:

Route 8 CLOSED Today Through Friday

Route 8 in Fort Thomas. A guardrail is nearly flush with the road as a result of slippage. 

KY 8 (Mary Ingalls Highway) 5 – 7.9 mile-marker – Tomorrow through Friday, March 17 – 20th, KY 8 (Mary Ingalls Highway) will be closed to through traffic so that crews can remove a mudslide near sections of right of way.

The closure will be between Tower Hill Road and KY 445 (River Road).

Cut Loose with Highlands High School's Production of Footloose

In April, you can leave Fort Thomas behind and join Ren McCormack as he dances some life back into the small town of Bomont. The Highlands High School theater department will be performing Footloose from Thursday, April 9 until Sunday, April 12.

Monday, March 16, 2015

4th Annual Fort Thomas Best Business Bracket


We unveiled the 4th Annual FTMBBB on our podcast on Sunday. There were 34 different business nominated, which was an all-time high.

Voting starts TODAY! The first matchup will be Fort Thomas Central vs. Sarah Anne Photography.

"Noctographer" Got Start Exploring Fort Thomas After Dark

"While You Were Sleeping"; photo by Keegan Kruse

Keegan Kruse, who Cincinnati Refined recently called "the Batman of the art world" because of his passion for urban exploration, and nighttime art and photography, grew up in Fort Thomas and graduated from Highlands High School in 2010. Currently a resident of Louisville, he's doing what he loves, professionally and personally. We caught up with Kruse to find out what he's up to creatively this days, and to find out how growing up in Fort Thomas impacted his art, profession and being.

How to Report a Pothole in Fort Thomas

To report a pothole in Fort Thomas, simply email the location to
The harsh grip of winter weather is gone, hopefully for good. Now that the snow has melted and the spring has sprung the city must deal with the inevitable result of treating roads with salt and brine -- the potholes.

The ground has thawed and potholes are popping up all over town. There is a protocol in place in Fort Thomas for reporting and filling potholes that mirrors how surrounding cities deal with the pothole repair as well.