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Monday, November 30, 2015

Northern Kentucky Forum: Homelessness: Examining Causes, Finding Solutions

A message from Carla Landon, chair of the Northern Kentucky Forum:

Did you know that many children in Northern Kentucky are homeless?  According to a study by the American Institute for Research and The National Center on Family Homelessness, Kentucky was ranked 50th among the states.  If you are like me, this is shocking.  I want to understand more about this issue, what is being done to address it in Northern Kentucky and how I might best be able to get involved.

It’s just a few days after Thanksgiving, the day we as a nation give thanks for the blessings and abundance that so many enjoy.  Most likely you are getting things ready for the holidays and thinking about the wonderful time you are going to have with family and friends.  I know that I cannot wait to enjoy the time with my girls.

What if instead, Thanksgiving was just another day on the streets? What if instead of joy, the start of the holiday season brought only another season of struggle? What if, instead of gathering in the warmth of family and friends, the day only marked another day without a home?

Join me on Thursday, December 10th at 6:30pm at the Covington Branch of the Kenton County Public Library for the Northern Kentucky Forum’s event, Homelessness: Examining Causes, Finding Solutions.  This forum will focus on who the homeless are, how many homelessness people are in our community and how big the problem of homelessness is in Northern Kentucky and Cincinnati. The forum will help us learn what we can do to make a difference.

Panelists will include:

OP-ED: Time to Revisit Speed Limits in Fort Thomas

By Scott Johnson
There has been a myopic vision of long-standing, (former) City officials, as well as a problem with the excessive turnover on Council, as it pertains to public pedestrian safety on our residential side streets. 

Having been a crusader on this subject 15 years ago after 10 year old Stevie Schroder was a victim of vehicular homicide by a careless motorist on Garrison, a cut through street, I spent countless hours over a year with Council and its Public Safety Committee just trying to get simple speed limit and Children at Play signs on West Southgate, a cut through street which had no signs. Our premise was that the public awareness campaign of adequate signage, along with stepped up side street Police patrols, would improve the situation, although it would not eliminate the risk altogether.

Unlike the current Stealthstat, (monitor strapped to phone pole) study on Trinity, we did have something like 10% of traffic, over 100 cars, driving over the posted limit of  25, some up to 35 - 40 mph!  Also frustrating at the time, the then Police Administration informed us that because of reasonable doubt issues, they really had to allow 10mph over the limit, or 35 mph on a residential side street.  So we persuaded the City to drop the limit to 20 mph, hoping for a reality of keeping it under 30 mph.

Based on this experience, I can tell you that when the traffic engineer does his study on Trinity at some low-volume time of day, he will find no problem or safety risk according to textbook standards.  Despite this pending traffic engineer smack down, common sense observation during peak times will demand that residential side streets carry a 20 mph limit.  It's called applied risk management and simple regard for human life, especially that of children.

Mr. Bowman would not know about the educational year-long dialogue with then Councilman Jim Doepker's Public Safety Committee, (that the City had large pockets without signs) but Councilman Peterman and Mayor Haas were present.   Been there.  Done that. Disregard for public safety, particularly that of children, is a Fort Thomas fact of life.

As for former Mayor Brown's comment that pedestrian safety, particularly that of children, is not the City's "table", but purely a parent responsibility, this comment is symptomatic of how myopic, cold and irresponsible we have been on this issue.  Of course kids should not play in the street, but name me the parent that can or should hover over children 100% of the time, especially when playing in one our picturesque Fort Thomas neighbors?  Besides, should children be able to safely cross the street without a motorist, who has reduced their critical reaction time and visibility by driving too fast for the conditions, (i.e. "Children at Play") risk or take their life because they were behaving as a kid?  Are we really trying to defend vehicular homicide by putting public safety strictly onto parents, giving both motorists and the City a pass?

The solution is to post 20 mph on ALL residential side streets, along with Children at Play signs, while our having our Police engage in risk management by patrolling high child mortality risk side streets, instead of low risk roads like Memorial Pky and I-471.

Scott Johnson. Provided. 

Sunday, November 29, 2015

Police Chase Through Fort Thomas

Fort Thomas police were in pursuit of a motorcycle that sped through Fort Thomas, Sunday afternoon. The chase went up Highland Avenue from Grand and then north down Memorial Parkway

A witness estimated speeds of over 50 miles per hour.

The motorcycle was caught heading north, just before the Daniel Carter Beard Bridge around 4:45 p.m.

It is not yet clear why the motorcyclist was running from police.

FTM will update this story as more information becomes available.

UPDATE: (5:40 p.m.):

Patrick Towles to Transfer

Patrick Towles announced today that he's transferring from the University of Kentucky.

Towles, a Highlands graduate and Mr. Kentucky football, will have a year of eligibility left and will be able to play immediately at another school.  He accounted for more than 3,000 yards total offense last season, joining Tim Couch, Dusty Bonner and Jared Lorenzen as the only players in school history to top the 3,000-yard mark in their first season as a starter.

Towles redshirted his sophomore year, after playing five games during his freshman year. He threw for 2,148 yards this year and 5,099 in his career at Kentucky. He ended up with 29 touchdown passes and 19 interceptions. He also rushed for 11 touchdowns.

Towles' first TD pass:

Towles posted a message on his Instagram, confirming his decision to transfer.

@patty_ice14: I would like to thank the University of Kentucky for giving me the opportunity to achieve my childhood dream of playing quarterback for the WildCats. The last four years have been ones that I will truly cherish for the rest of my life. Although I wish my time here in Lexington could have ended another way, I’m eternally grateful. I’ve decided to transfer to play my fifth year at another university. Thank you to Coach Stoops, Coach Dawson, Mitch Barnhart, my teammates, the Big Blue Nation and the entire Kentucky Athletics Department for allowing me to achieve my lifelong dream. I will truly bleed blue til the day I die.

Good luck, Patrick.

Saturday, November 28, 2015

Class 5A state semifinals

Pulaski County rallies past Highlands, 41-31

PHOTO: Allen Ramsey, Highlands linebacker Trey Bowden (17) holds on to Pulaski County junior wide receiver Jake Johnson (2) in Friday's state semifinal game. The Maroons won 41-31.
It looked like the Highlands Bluebirds football team had control.

Bluebird Notebook: Highlands puts together good season despite rough start

PHOTO: Allen Ramsey, Highlands junior defensive lineman Drew Bravard (33) tackles Pulaski County senior George Gregory (16) in Friday's Class 5A state semifinal game in Fort Thomas.
PHOTO: Allen Ramsey, Highlands junior Bradley Greene (86) makes a move on a punt return in Friday's 41-31 loss to Pulaski County in the Class 5A state semifinals.
State championships may be the measuring stick for the Highlands Bluebirds football team.

Thursday, November 26, 2015

Small Business Saturday - Fort Thomas, Kentucky

Tiffany Maple, Owner, Anointed Touch Massage
When I think of supporting small businesses it's more about supporting someone's dreams. The small business owners in Fort Thomas are your neighbors and your friends. We've stepped out in faith, not only to fulfill our own personal dreams, but also to provide a service that Fort Thomas didn't have before we opened our doors. We choose Fort Thomas specifically because we care about the community and the people in it. And so continuing to use the products and services that our small businesses provide communicates back the love we hope we are putting out there. It isn't just a thing you are buying, it's a relationship.

Small Business Saturday Offer: As far as specials for the day, I am for one day only giving a 10% discount on the monthly massage program as long as it is paid in full for the year. You can buy for yourself, or as a gift. And they can contact me for details on how that will work! That would save them $60 and essentially make a massage per month for the whole year cost about $45 for an hour massage!

Todd Hensel, Membership Experience Director, Campbell County YMCA

Moyer Car-Line and Access Loop Now Closed

As of Wednesday evening, November 25, Ruth Moyer Elementary's Access Loop is closed.

November 10 marked the groundbreaking ceremony for Ruth Moyer Elementary's renovation. Anyone who has gone through a home renovation knows this: No matter the outcome, there will be challenges along the way.

"In the last decade we've done an amazing job with our facilities," says Board of Education Chair Karen Allen. "These next 30 months are going to be challenging. Not only for the students and staff, but for our neighbors and community. It's going to require us to have a lot of patience, but in the long run it's really going to pay off." 

Yesterday marked the first challenge: The closing of Moyer's Car-Line and Access Loop.

Highlands-Pulaski County Preview

Highlands faces tough Pulaski County squad in 5A state semifinals

PHOTO: Allen Ramsey, Highlands senior defensive back Austin Beal watches during the Class 5A region final against Covington Catholic. Beal and the Bluebird secondary have the daunting task of containing Pulaski County junior standout wide receiver Jake Johnson in the state semifinals Friday. Johnson leads 5A with 77 catches for 1,344 yards and 22 touchdowns. Game time is 3 p.m. in Fort Thomas.
The visitors may have the better record, but the hosts have the tradition and mystique.

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

BREAKING: Fort Thomas City Councilman Accepts Leadership Role in Frankfort in Bevin Administration

Adam Meier to Join Governor-Elect, Matt Bevin's, Policy Team

Adam Meier. Provided. 
Fort Thomas City Councilman, Adam Meier, will resign his position on the Fort Thomas City Council to join the leadership team of Governor-Elect, Matt Bevin, in Frankfort.

Meier's new title, will be Deputy Chief of Staff for Policy.

"It has been my distinct pleasure to serve the people of Fort Thomas over these last 11 months.  I cannot thank the voters enough for giving me the opportunity to do so," said Meier. "Accepting this new position was not a decision I made lightly.  Although I will not be able to complete my term, I am happy with the progress that we made, and the discussions that we started. I have no doubt that these conversations will continue under the excellent leadership of Mayor Haas and the rest of council. It is certainly comforting to me knowing that the city I live in has such a high caliber Mayor, council and staff--and I was fortunate to experience this first hand."

Small Business Saturday - Fort Thomas, Kentucky

Small businesses do a lot to help our community, and, on Nov. 28, the Saturday after Thanksgiving, we’ll have an opportunity to thank them.

That’s because Nov. 28 is Small Business Saturday, the Saturday after Black Friday.

Here's what some Fort Thomas small business owners and economic leaders are saying:

Tami Root, Owner, Studio Root Skin Care:
“It’s important to support local businesses because it makes for a stronger community.  Closed store fronts aren’t a good look, they can’t bring in city and county revenue, and that isn’t good for schools or property values.  When local business thrives, they have more to donate to the community.  It’s a win/win.”

Small Business Saturday offer: I am at Fort Thomas Central from 11-2 p.m. on Saturday doing brow wows.  I have multiple gift packages available:
- $25 Package: Large Body Lotion, Large Shower Creme, Nail Brush, Nail Buffing Block, $15 Gift Card.
- $50 package:  Vitamin Wash, Rosewater toner, Small Body Lotion, Small Shower Creme, $30 Gift Card
- $100 package:  Small Vitamin Wash, Primer, Glycoic Retexturinzing Serum, Calming Serum, $60 Gift Card.
- Buy 5 gift cards, get 1 free.

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Highlands on National Advanced Placement Honor Roll

FTM file. 
Six Kentucky public school districts have been named to the 6th Annual Advanced Placement (AP) Honor Roll, the College Board has announced, including Highlands.

The districts are among 425 public and private districts in the United States and Canada that have shown a commitment to expanding access to AP coursework while also improving student performance.

The Kentucky public school districts recognized include:

Support Local Organizations on #GivingTuesday

The countdown to turkey time is on, and so is the official beginning to the holiday season. Since Thanksgiving has now become synonymous with consumerism, many of us are anxious to dig into those Black Friday deals. In recent years, Thanksgiving shopping has transformed into a days-long marathon of themed shopping days packed with special discounts. One of these days, however, was created to give back to your community.

Tuesday, December 1, 2015 is Giving Tuesday, which encourages people to donate their time and resources to civic organizations and nonprofits. Giving Tuesday is an opportunity for people to help support their communities.

Thanksgiving Is the Peak Day for Cooking Fires

Kentucky State Fire Marshal, NFPA urge cooks to stay in the kitchen

Leaving food on the stove to cook unattended is a recipe for disaster, says Kentucky State Fire Marshal William Swope.

According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), Thanksgiving is the peak day for home cooking fires, followed by Christmas Day and Christmas Eve. U.S. firefighters responded to roughly 1,550 home fires involving cooking equipment on Thanksgiving in 2013, 230 percent above the average number of fires per day.

"Being aware of fire safety while preparing your holiday meal can mean the difference between calling family and friends to the dinner table or calling the fire department to put out a fire," said Swope.

The state fire marshal and NFPA recommend the following cooking safety tips:

How To Save Money When Decorating Your Home

Money-Saving Tools and Tips

The lights and sights of the holiday season make everything merry and bright.

To help customers plan and manage their displays, Duke Energy offers a holiday lighting energy calculator that estimates holiday lighting costs:

“An easy way to save money during the holidays is to estimate your energy costs before decorating to incorporate budget-friendly lighting options,” said Sasha Weintraub, Duke Energy senior vice president of customer solutions. “That way you can still dazzle your friends and neighbors with your holiday decorations and save energy and money.”

Users can identify the type of lights, the number of 100-bulb strands and how many hours the lights will be used per day to estimate the energy cost per day and per month. Based on their selections, customers can receive energy-efficient tips and options.

Small Business Saturday - Fort Thomas, Kentucky

Small businesses do a lot to help our community, and, on Nov. 28, the Saturday after Thanksgiving, we’ll have an opportunity to thank them.

That’s because Nov. 28 is Small Business Saturday, the Saturday after Black Friday.

Here's what some Fort Thomas small business owners and economic leaders are saying:

Seth Cutter, Campbell County Economic Director:

In Other Words: Venn Diagrams and Where We Are From

By Chuck Keller

Okay. You meet someone for the first time. The questions are predictably the same. “What’s your name? What do you do? Where are you from?” And we answer them so easily because we are searching for some commonality.

But that last question is worth examining because where we are from reveals much about who we are and how we want to present ourselves - especially when we travel. We really are curious about how other people live.

Abby Hills, a 2010 HHS grad, is spending the year in Vietnam. So when she was asked where she was from, she didn’t know quite how to answer such a seemingly simple question.

Monday, November 23, 2015

Small Business Saturday - Fort Thomas, Kentucky

Small businesses do a lot to help our community, and, on Nov. 28, the Saturday after Thanksgiving, we’ll have an opportunity to thank them.

That’s because Nov. 28 is Small Business Saturday, the Saturday after Black Friday.

Black Friday, of course, is when families to wake early, sit in traffic, compete with other drivers for decent parking spots, jostle with crowds and stand in line to buy things probably no one asked for or really wants.

Small Business Saturday is the opposite of that. Small Business Saturday is when you shop at small, locally-owned businesses for things you simply can’t find at the mall, and instead of dealing with temporary workers who don’t know the merchandise, there’s a good chance you’ll be dealing directly with the owner who cares very much about making you happy so you’ll come back time and again throughout the year.

The campaign to “shop small” on the Saturday after Thanksgiving started in 2010 as an effort to give small businesses—many struggling to get out of the red after a long recession—a much needed shot in the arm.

Since then, it has become a powerful movement to give back to the brick-and-mortar establishments that line our Main Streets and keep our communities vibrant.

In Fort Thomas and Northern Kentucky, we talked to some local leaders and business owners about what Small Business Saturday means to their businesses:

Trey Grayson, President and CEO Northern Kentucky Chamber of Commerce:
Trey Grayson. 
"For many local businesses, especially in the retail sector, the holidays are not just the "most wonderful time of the year". They are also the most critical time of the year when it comes to ensuring a profitable year. That's why it's important to help them out during this season by shopping locally, especially but not exclusively, on Small Business Saturday."

Drew Schwegman, Owner, Northern Kentucky Action Coach:

Highlands Student Earns Perfect Score on ACT

Mark Baron and his mother, Elizabeth at the Highlands Soccer Senior Night.
Highlands High School senior Mark Baron earned a perfect score of 36 on the October ACT test. Nationally, 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. However, during his junior year, Baron took the ACT three times. After scoring a 33 on both his first and second attempts, Baron purchased and completed the online ACT Prep course offered through ACT, improving his score to a very impressive 35 on his third test.

Even though Baron states he “was satisfied with a 35” and doesn’t believe “there's much difference between a 35 and a 36 besides being on your game and it being your day,” he decided to take the test again last month to improve his writing score.

A Mile of Meals: Woodfill Elementary's Kindergarten Service Learning Project

Woodfill Elementary kindergarteners celebrate Thanksgiving with a service learning project.

Spend any time in a young elementary classroom and you'll quickly learn that academia and life lessons are taught as one. Keeping one's hands to oneself is taught while sitting in a circle on the classroom rug. A lesson on kindness is made clear in the reading of a picture book. Feelings, both good and bad, are expressed through art. Generosity is made real through the donation of food.

The class that collected the most food items won a popcorn party and the pleasure of seeing their teacher dressed as a turkey.

Woodfill Elementary's kindergarten classes held their fourth annual food drive November 9-20. In addition to celebrating the upcoming holiday with colored turkey hats and Thanksgiving word books, kindergarteners took charge of advertising their service learning project to the entire school, asking students to donate canned fruits, vegetables and meats, as well as boxes of pasta, pasta sauce, and macaroni and cheese.

A total of 1,244 food items were collected. The kindergarten class who brought in the most food got to see their teacher dressed like a turkey November 20. Rhonda Gardner greeted her students in full turkey regalia, gobbling to her students' delight.

Saturday, November 21, 2015

Bluebirds runs streak to 15 over Colonels

PHOTO: Allen Ramsey, Highlands senior wide receiver Eric Miller (15) makes a move following a catch against Covington Catholic senior defensive back Adam Piccirillo (6) in Friday's 44-22 region final win over the Colonels. Miller had seven catches for 124 yards and two touchdowns in the win.
If the Blue and White put up a string of knots on the wall inside their locker room, it would have 15 in it commemorating the dates.

Bluebird Notebook: Highlands, Pulaski County to meet in battle of defending state champions

PHOTO: Allen Ramsey, Highlands senior center Evan Richardson (74) goes for a block in Friday's game against Covington Catholic. The Bluebirds beat the Colonels for the 15th straight time, 44-22.
PHOTO: Allen Ramsey, Highlands senior linebacker Jared Dougherty (10) celebrates after recovering a fumble against Covington Catholic. Dougherty recovered two fumbles and scored 14 points in the Highlands win. Dougherty extended his Highlands and Northern Kentucky record of career point-after touchdowns to 203 good for fifth in Kentucky history.
Once the Highlands Bluebirds walked off the field at LT Houchens Stadium at Western Kentucky University last December with their state-record 23rd state championship, this Class 5A state semifinal match-up of defending state champions loomed as a huge possibility.

Friday, November 20, 2015

Omega Processing Investing in Students' Sound Financial Savvy

OMEGA Processing Solutions' support bolsters Newport Central Catholic's personal finance education initiative

"Thrive n Shine" is a online gaming app that helps to reinforce NCC's commitment to sharing in the education of the whole person
Students in the newly required Personal Finance class at Newport Central Catholic (NCC) were surprised to learn of their homework ‒ playing an online game. Through an innovative partnership with locally based OMEGA Processing Solutions, NCC students are being immersed into an online world of financial decision making via Thrive 'n' Shine, a cutting edge gaming app.

Former Federal Reserve Chief Alan Greenspan has stated, "The number one problem in today's generation and economy is the lack of financial literacy."

Studies show that students who take a class in personal finance are more likely to engage in financially responsible behaviors, including saving, budgeting and investing money. Recognizing this compelling educational need, NCC recently decided to require all students to take a personal finance class during their high school careers.

The current generation of high school students has been raised on computer screens and the Internet. As a result, it has been found that gaming provides an excellent alternative to traditional learning activities whereby learners can engage in subject matter in a fun and competitive way. In developing their personal finance course curriculum, NCC educators recognized the value of incorporating gaming as a way of reinforcing basic financial principles learned within the class.

Enter a serendipitous series of events that resulted in the introduction and connection of OMEGA Processing Solutions CEO Scott Anderson, NCC Principal Jason Huther and MindBlown Labs Co-founder Ty Moore.

Moyer Santa House 2015

Are you following FTM on Instagram? @FtThomasMatters.
Final warning, Moyer Santa House is this weekend at the Armory.

Knock out some of your holiday shopping (and support a local school) at the Silent Auction--over 80 items this year!  Bidding ends at 2:30pm this Saturday.

Santa House: Friday, 11/20, 6 p.m.-9 p.m. and Saturday, 11/21, 10 a.m.- 3 p.m. @ the Armory.

Just a few of the items/packages up for grabs:
-Cleveland Weekend Getaway Package: 2 Ultimate Air Shuttle tickets (RT Cincinnati/Cleveland) and 2 Clubseats for Cavs game
-Disney one day hopper pass for family of four
-Evening on the Banks (night at hotel and restaurant)

The Art House: Celebrating One Year Anniversary

Celebrating One Year at The Art House - 
Saturday November 21. Noon - 3 p.m. 
The Art House directed by Parrish Monk
Over the past decade, Fort Thomas has enjoyed a renaissance of small businesses bringing with it many new business owners, restaurants, service providers, and retail.  Transforming itself from a sleepy, school-centric community into a vibrant, energetic, and business-friendly (albeit certainly still school-centric) community, Fort Thomas for the past year boasts the presence of a unique business unlike many (if any) other like it in the nation: The Art House.

Achieving its first year in business, the non-profit Art House, directed by Parrish Monk, has much to celebrate.

But if you haven't been yet, know this, The Art House is not just an art gallery. It's a third place.

Thursday, November 19, 2015

FTM Radio Podcast: How Cheryl McCafferty is Getting Out of Prison Early

Download this episode (right click and save)

Via Channel 9, WCPO. 

We broke the story that Cheryl McCafferty could be getting out of prison as early as this passed Monday and that she had waived her right to a parole hearing, which was to take place on Tuesday. Link here, (paywall warning). 

This episode of FTM Radio talks about how she's been able to cut half of her time off of her sentence. 

We also talk about the deplorable nature of Joel Pett's editorial cartoon and how wrong it is to involve children in political discussions. I talk about a similar personal incident that happened to me.

Ryan Salzman Set To Install 15 Little Libraries By December 1

Ryan Salzman, local Little Library Enthusiast, wants to install YOUR Little Libraries by Dec 1.

Ryan Salzman has many titles. Assistant Professor of political science at Northern Kentucky University. Member of Bellevue's City Council. Little Library Enthusiast.

In May we talked about the 40 little libraries set to spring up in Fort Thomas, Southgate, Bellevue, Dayton and Newport. All 40 were purchased, but many purchasers have yet to install their Libraries. Determined to make these Little Libraries available to the public, Salzman has made a promise to install two Libraries for people who have purchased one Thanksgiving weekend, and 13 more by December 1.

What's required of you? Simply email him.

Highlands-CovCath Playoff Preview

Bluebirds search for 33rd region crown in program history

PHOTO: Allen Ramsey, Highlands running back Jared Pulsfort (3) looks to break a tackle in Friday's win over Dixie Heights. Highlands has rushed for a combined 722 yards in two playoff wins.
In a season filled with unfamiliarity for both football teams, one familiar thing is a fifth straight region championship meeting.

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

The Simple Portrait Project: Creativity Fueled By Life

The Simple Portrait Project studio is at 842 Monmouth St. in Newport, Kentucky. You can find them at or call them at 859-866-7462.

The Simple Portrait Project is a family portrait experience. Experience being the operative word. 

Fort Thomas resident, Jonathan Willis or Jon or Jonathan Robert, or Jon Bob as he's been branded by a friend's son, is a commercial photographer traveling the world doing a job that's as cool as the garage-chic studio he's built out at 842 Monmouth Street in Newport. 

Just back from a solo commercial shoot for an eyeglass company in Australia hanging with indigenous peoples with interesting accents, Willis is in the midst of photographing 250 different families in a way that embodies creativity, simplicity, improvisation and beauty. 

Jonathan Willis. FTM file. 

The Simple Portrait Project sessions started November 6th and will end on December 8th. Willis said there are about 50 spots still available. 

Shop Local Fort Thomas on Small Business Saturday


By Tom Underwood 

Every year, Gallup asks people how much confidence they have in various institutions.

The results aren’t surprising. Only 8 percent had “a great deal” or “quite a lot” of confidence in Congress. Big business scored 21 percent. That’s no better than TV news.

Small business, on the other hand, came in second with 67 percent of respondents considering it trustworthy. Only the U.S. military scored higher.

While politicians bicker with each other and Wall Street focuses on the 1 percent, Main Street remains the lifeblood of our economy and our communities.

According to the U.S. Small Business Administration, small businesses account for most of the jobs in this country, and small businesses create most of America’s net new jobs.

You probably don’t know the owner of a big department store, but there’s a good chance you know a few small-business owners. They’re our friends and neighbors. They’re among the most generous supporters of civic groups, local charities, youth sports, schools and virtually every other form of community activity.

Fort Thomas City Council Roundup 11/16/15

By: Amanda Dibiaso

FTM file. 
The Fort Thomas City Council held their monthly meeting Monday, November 16. Council member Jeff Bezold was absent. Here’s your round up:

Traffic on Trinity Place/St. Nicholas Place:

Fort Thomas resident Amanda Bricking, representing several Trinity Place residents who attended the meeting, asked if results were in from the speed survey the police conducted on her street.

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

2016 Cincinnati Reds Promotional Schedule


Mon, Apr 4 - Opening Day
Wed, Apr 6 - 2016 Team Calendar; Opening Night; Opening Night Fireworks
Thu, Apr 7 - Paycor Business Day Specials; Senior Citizen Specials
Fri, Apr 8 - 2016 Magnetic Schedule/Car Magnet; Fireworks Friday
Sat, Apr 9 - Reds Fleece Blanket
Sun, Apr 10 - Family Sundays; Kids Opening Day; Kids Reds Cap
Wed, Apr 20 - Paycor Business Day Specials; Senior Citizen Specials
Fri, Apr 22 - Fireworks Friday
Sat, Apr 23 - Super Hero Giveaway
Sun, Apr 24 - Family Sundays; Kids Super Hero Fathead® Wall Decal; Run the Bases Days


Wed, May 4 - Paycor Business Day Specials; Senior Citizen Specials
Fri, May 6 - Fireworks Friday; STAR WARS™ Poster
Sat, May 7 - STAR WARS™ X-Wing Fighter Mr. Redlegs Bobblehead
Sun, May 8 - Family Sundays - Kids STAR WARS™ Fathead® Wall Decal; Mother's Day Frame
Thu, May 19 - Senior Citizen Specials
Fri, May 20 - Fireworks Friday
Sat, May 21 - Ken Griffey Jr. Dual Bobblehead
Sun, May 22 - Family Sundays; Kids Team Baseball Card Set

IRS Scam Back in Fort Thomas

An aggressive and sophisticated phone scam targeting taxpayers has crept its way back into Fort Thomas.

According to Lt. Rich Whitford of the Fort Thomas police, callers are claiming to be employees of the IRS, but are not. These con artists can sound convincing when they call, using fake names and bogus IRS identification badge numbers. They may know a lot about their targets, and they usually alter the caller ID to make it look like the IRS is calling.

"We've had a lot of complaints lately and unfortunately we have had a couple of people in Fort Thomas that have been victims," said Whitford. "Tax season is coming up and we just want to make sure people know that this is a scam. We've communicated with the IRS and they have told us they will never ask for money over the phone."

Fort Thomas Monthly Police Report (September 2015)

Fort Thomas Police Officers with Bret Michaels and other surrounding officers who spent time patrolling Tower Park during the Merchants and Music Festival. 
RELATED: Fort Thomas Police Monthly Report (August)

Burglaries are on the rise in Campbell County and surrounding counties. In September there were two burglaries on Rosemont, but with the quick and thorough response by the patrol officers, two subjects where quickly developed as suspects.  Those two suspects were subsequently interviewed have have been charged in connection with those burglaries.

In collaborating with other detectives with neighboring counties, those subjects were also charged with several other burglaries.

With the holidays fast approaching, police would like to remind the community that thefts are likely to increase during this time.

"Please stay vigilant in locking your doors, keeping your porch lights on, locking your car doors and put your valuables in a secure location."

Fort Thomas Detectives received 13 new cases in September, of which 10 were theft and burglary related. Detectives said that they have seen an increase in burglaries within Campbell County and ask that citizens and home owners stay vigilant in observing and reporting suspicious activity.

September cases included a death investigation, thefts, fraudulent use of credit cards, burglary, sexual offense, and theft of identity (pie chart below).

Through nine months of 2015, detectives has seen their case load increase in four of those months.

Sentiguard Update (link):

Monday, November 16, 2015

First Baptist Church in Fort Thomas Celebrates 100 Years

By Chuck Keller 

Birthday parties are great fun. But a 100th birthday is even better. The First Baptist Church of Fort Thomas celebrated their first one hundred years this fall with a special service and luncheon. Former pastors, youth ministers, staff as well as regional Baptist representatives attended.

In addition to the festivities, the church revealed the contents of the original cornerstone and created a new cornerstone for the next century. Unfortunately, some of the original contents suffered water damage so to avoid that problem, the new contents were sealed in a right plastic container before being placed back into the corner of the church entrance.

The church played a vital role after Highlands burned. Classes were held there and in several local facilities until the new school was rebuild. Church members offered aid to the victims of the Falmouth flood as well as Hurricane Katrina. They have sent missionaries around the world and have developed local outreach programs.

Current pastor, Micah Spicer, said that “it was a good day reconnecting.” Spiced said he is excited about the future of the church and it’s easy to catch that enthusiasm when you talk to him. He said d that as he examined the vision of the original vision of the fifty-two founding members he can connect that to the present to see how that will guide them in their future. And if that future is as exciting and passionate as Spicer, then it will be a dynamic future indeed.


190 Second Graders Sing At Fort Thomas Salute to Veterans

Second graders from all three FTIS elementary schools sang at this weekend's Fort Thomas Salute to Veterans.

Part of the charm of a city like Fort Thomas is the way it celebrates holidays, history and proprietary events. Like so many small towns across America in July we line the streets with our handheld flags while children collect candy in paper bags and later we marvel at fireworks. Come October we don our winter coats and tromp through the woods (this year under the most beautiful full moon) delighting in our neighbors' hand-carved pumpkins. In the springtime we watch children scramble to gather thousands of eggs in mere minutes. We honor music and local businesses with an all-day concert, shopping, food and beer. We set up tents and tables, and open our doors to honor art multiple times in the summer.

Veterans Day is no exception.

Saturday, November 14, 2015

Bluebirds pound Red Colonels, 52-21

PHOTO: Allen Ramsey, Highlands junior defensive backs Kyle Rust (30) and Bradley Greene (middle) pursue Dixie Heights junior running back Jose Torres (31) in Friday's playoff game. Highlands won the second-round Class 5A playoff game 52-21.
The Blue and White sent out another clear message Friday.

Bluebird Notebook: Highlands clinches 60th consecutive winning season

PHOTO: Allen Ramsey, Highlands senior linebacker Hank Johnson (31) tackles Dixie Heights senior Keegan Barmore while several teammates close in.
PHOTO: Allen Ramsey, Highlands junior Kyle Finfrock (72) congratulates Highlands senior running back Nick Kendall (8) after one of his two touchdowns while Mitch Cain (16) and Nick Veneman (92) pass by.
It looked a little doubtful at times in the early part of the season.

Friday, November 13, 2015

Kentucky State Police: Deer Activity Up in November/December

Deer in Fort Thomas. Photo credit: Lauren Ries. FTM file. 
The Kentucky State Police is urging all motorists to be aware of the increased dangers posed by deer wandering onto roadways during November and December.

“Two factors combine to boost the chances that motorists may encounter these animals during this time of the year: mating season and hunting season” says KSP Sgt. Michael Webb. “This results in increased movement that presents hazards to deer, vehicles and drivers.”

Nationally, about 1.6 million vehicle-deer collisions occur each year, resulting in about 150 deaths and $3.6 billion in damage. The national average cost-per-claim is $4,135.

“A collision with a deer can cause extensive vehicle damage such as a crushed front end or punctured radiator to severe hood, windshield and roof damage,” says Webb. “The human costs can be very serious as well.”

In 2014, Kentucky recorded 3,092 vehicle-deer collisions, an increase of 128 crashes compared to 2013 statistics. Three people were killed and 115 injured.

During the past five years, Boone County led the state in deer collisions with an average of 148 per year. Hopkins County posted 122 followed by Jefferson County with 103, Campbell County with 97 and Hardin County with 96.

According to State Farm Insurance Company, Kentucky is ranked 14th in the country for the most deer collisions. The odds that drivers in the state will hit a deer are one in 113.

To avoid becoming a statistic, KSP offers the following defensive driving tips for motorists to reduce their chances of hitting a deer: