Saturday, February 28, 2015

This Week in Frankfort

Will Schroder meets with younger constituents, the NKU String Project this week in Frankfort
FRANKFORT -- The Kentucky General Assembly crossed another mile marker this week by reaching the deadline for the introduction of new bills in the House of Representatives. The Senate crossed a similar deadline on Feb. 13.

With these two deadlines in the rear-view mirror, Kentuckians now have a more complete view of the issues lawmakers will take up this year. A total of 752 bills have entered into the legislative process in the Senate and House combined, confirming what has been apparent to anyone who follows the news out of Frankfort: there are a lot of big issues on the agenda this year.

Both the Senate and House have already weighed in on one of the largest issues with each chamber passing its own bill to deal with the state’s heroin epidemic. Both bills feature stronger sentences for dealers and more treatment options for addicts. But there are a number of differences in the finer points of the Senate and House bills.

Friday, February 27, 2015

KSP Charges Boone Co. Man With Possession and Distribution of Child Pornography



(Burlington, Ky.) — On February 26, 2015, at approximately 9:00 p.m., the Kentucky State Police Electronic Crime Branch, assisted by the Boone County Sheriff’s Dept., arrested John E. Schank, 46, for charges related to possession and distribution of matter portraying a sex performance by a minor.

Schank was arrested as the result of an undercover Internet Crimes Against Children investigation. The KSP Electronic Crime Branch began the investigation after discovering the suspect sharing images of child sexual exploitation online.

Highlands hold off NewCath for district crown

PHOTO: Allen Ramsey, DWCPhoto.com. Highlands junior McKenzie Leigh (middle) splits two Newport Central Catholic defenders in the meeting on Jan. 3 in Fort Thomas. Leigh scored 13 points to help Highlands to its second district championship in three seasons.
PHOTO: Allen Ramsey, DWCPhoto.com. Newport Central Catholic's Sarah Neace shoots one in the regular season meeting at Highlands on Jan. 3.
NEWPORT – Past evidence gives many good reasons these two rivals do not take anything for granted against each other in the postseason despite the regular season result.

OPINION: Fighting Ignorance on Addiction

State Senators Wil Schroder, Chris McDaniel and John Schickel testify Thursday on the Senate's version of the heroin bill (SB 5, sponsored by Chris McDaniel)
By Tyler Owen

State Senator John Schickel is an outspoken leader of the charge against heroin in Kentucky. At least I honestly believe he thinks that.  In the words that follow I will not challenge Senator Schickel’s commitment to serving our state, his passion, or his knowledge of drug enforcement.  He possesses these qualities and should be admired for them.

However, Senator Schickel is dangerously misguided on his mission to eradicate the drug from our state.  He touts his experience as a law enforcement officer when calling for stiffer sentences and citing our punishments for traffickers for the situation in which we find ourselves.  He desires to “drive home the message that taking heroin is a choice and not a disease.”

Yes, Senator Schickel definitely believes he is doing the right thing by taking a sledgehammer to the issue.  Unfortunately the only accomplishment his sledgehammer will have will be to worsen the problem.

New Storefront Comes to Fort Thomas: The Polished Pearl

Via The Polished Pearl website
A new storefront has signed a lease at 118 N. Fort Thomas Avenue, right next to Fort Thomas Coffee. The Polished Pearl is a bridal showroom that features luxury evening handbags and accessories, made by hand. The textiles and bead work are all native to India because aside from selling these bags, The Polished Pearl's mission to to provide training and jobs to women in India who are victims of human trafficking.

From their website, "We are so excited to announce that we signed the lease for a store front in Fort Thomas, Kentucky. We have been working on the plans, envisioning, dreaming, and now we are ready to begin the transformation."

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Highlands made strides in rebuilding process

PHOTO: Allen Ramsey, DWCPhoto.com. Highlands junior Nick Kendall (12) goes up for a shot in a recent game. Kendall is one of three starters to return next year for the Bluebirds.
On paper, an 8-17 record may not look good.

5 Things to Know about FOX 19

This article originally ran in 2013. 

I am always intrigued by behind the scenes information that you are not usually aware of when watching a television program, and in that same vein, I turned to a news program for my “5 Things to Know” article.  I reached out to local news outlet, FOX 19, to learn some lesser known information about the station and those TV personalities that bring us the news.

I contacted Tricia Macke who acted as my liaison to the station.  She answered my questions, as well as forwarded my questions to other people at FOX 19.  The responses from FOX 19 are some of the most unique answers to date.

Tricia Macke used to be a swimsuit model and now coaches four basketball teams in her spare time.  


Ben Swann's first job was skinning chickens at a fast food restaurant in Texas, Pudgies, at the age of 14.

Sheila Gray's family were almost American royalty. During a bitter cold winter of the American Revolutionary War, General George Washington turned to patriot Jacob DeHaven to help finance the Continental Army.  DeHaven, a direct ancestor of Gray, gave Washington $450,000 in gold bars.  The loan was never repaid and Dehaven died a pauper.  If the U.S. government would decide today to make good on Washington’s promise, Sheila and her family would be worth almost 100 billion dollars!

Fit Philosophie Gets Mothers and More in Shape

Jennifer Heindl, a member of Fit Philopsophie's community, and her newest addition.
A new baby means sleepless nights, endless feedings and diaper changes, and a schedule that revolves around the new bundle of joy. The task isn’t an easy one to take on and for mothers, adding “get pre-baby-body back” is a task that falls to the bottom of the priority of the list after the baby arrives. Fit Philosophie in Fort Thomas, an exercise studio created and run by Jennifer Lynn, makes  getting back in shape for mothers, among many other people, a possible task.

Mother of a two-and-a-half-year-old and an eight-month-old, Whitney Ellison joined Fit Philosophie after having her first child. Ellison jogged regularly past the studio, and decided to stop one day to see what it was about.

“I specifically went there to lose the baby weight, but I kept working out there because I developed a lot of friends there,” she said. “It just became a really nice way of self care.”

 Lynn prides Fit Philosophie on being a place for people to exercise and enjoy living fit lifestyles together.

“It’s a little community of people who have all made friends through the studio,” Lynn said.
 Lynn regularly invites guests to educate members of the studio on healthy eating, meditation and other well being tips. In the next few weeks, Lynn has sessions about grilling food and storing it for later meals for families, restorative properties of aroma therapy.

Lindsey Collier, mother of an 8-month old told the same story. "I was in the best shape of my life because of Fit Philosophie. Then I got pregnant! I was so worried that my body would not get back to where I was before, but Jenn assured me we would get their together and she was right. It's the community, family-type environment that is different from other workout places for me."


Lindsey Collier with her family's newest addition.
A mother herself, Lynn says that the hardest part about getting back into shape after having a baby is finding the time.

“I have to keep my classes on schedule,” she said. “It’s hard to get a routine going. One week you might go in the morning, another week you might go at night.”

Ellison agrees, saying that making time is the hardest part of getting back in shape.

“Once you start to make time, it becomes easier because you carve that out and it just becomes part of your schedule,” she said.

Lynn said that for new mothers, she focuses on muscles that have changed during pregnancy and gets them back to pre-pregnancy strength.

“You have to retrain your body and get those muscles to wake up,” she said.

Jennifer Heindl has been doing pilates with  Fit Philosophie since January 2013 and is just starting to get back to working out since having our third baby, Eleanor, in November. "When I went back to class for the first time after her birth I was so scared that all the exercises would be impossible and I would end up feeling defeated after losing so much ground physically. But, it was just the opposite. I ended up feeling empowered!" she said. "Honestly, it's harder than ever to find the motivation to work out when there's a baby to be snuggled and it's cold outside and my pajama pants are so comfortable. But that 1 hour for myself brings so much clarity and perspective and energy. I love the way I feel when class is over. I've never regretted going but I've definitely regretted it when I put it off. 

New mothers, or anyone  looking for a healthier lifestyle can find a personalized experience at Fit Philosphie. 

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

BREAKING: Ruth Moyer Elementary Plans Unveiled

Campus site plan. 
Plans were unveiled for a complete renovation for Ruth Moyer Elementary School, Wednesday night.  News broke last September that Moyer would be awarded state money, as one of the top ten schools in the state in most need for a renovation.

The scope of the project will be limited to a complete update and renovation as opposed to demolition. "Much like the Highlands renovation, when you drive down Highland Avenue, you will still recognize the front of Ruth Moyer," said Superintendent Gene Kirchner.

Woodfill Elementary was the first of the three elementary schools in Fort Thomas to be renovated, but according to Facilities Director, Jerry Wissman, the process will not be the same. "We're not going to just drop Woodfill where Moyer is now. This will be its own building. We're going to take the best of what's over there and combine it with a new approach."

Smash and Grab Thieves Focusing on Specialized Targets


At last week's city council meeting, Chief Mike Daly described a "smash and grab" crime that occurred at the Highland Hills Dog Park, which was thought to be part of a national trend occurring at dog parks throughout the country.

Yesterday, a similar crime occurred on Riverview Avenue, in which a criminal broke open a window to a work truck, peeled back the security screen, reached around the front seat to unlock the door to the cab and then cut the lights to the dome light so as not to alert the homeowner or neighbors.

The robbery took place in the middle of the night.

Heroin Bill in Committee (HB 213)

rises, asks that we sharpen our focus on important issues still facing , heroin in particular. Photo via @KYSenateGOP (twitter).
UPDATE, BIGGEST TAKEAWAY:
House and Senate answers to heroin epidemic (HB213 and SB5) have more in common than different. -@RepJohnTilley #kyga15

Live Updates: (via Bluegrass Politics, KY House Democrats, KY House GOP).

Senate Judiciary Cmte to hear House's heroin bill (HB 213) at 8 am Wed. Headed for conference cmte and a final deal?

Senate Judiciary Cmte takes up House heroin bill, but just to talk, not to vote. Senate has its own heroin bill. No deal yet.

8 Tips to Buying and Selling on Facebook Yard Sales


My mom and I used to wait for yard sale season - April through September. A time when you could turn someone else's trash into your treasure. I have found depression glass, antiques, bikes and so many cool things for so little money. We would truly miss the season during late fall and winter. But thanks to Facebook yard sale sites, we no longer have to wait to get that high of receiving an incredible deal. We can get those deals all year long without even leaving the house to search for it! You find the item, make a deal on line and then arrange to meet.

I have found dozens of Northern Kentucky yard sale sites on Facebook. There are very broad sites like A little Bit of Everything Yard Sale or the Couch Potato Yard Sale and more narrow sites that are just for furniture, cars, special occasion dresses or wedding items. Some sites even state that the items must be new with tags or can't cost more than $10. All of the sites I have found have at least a few rules to avoid drama. The most common rules include if you say you are going to show up, show up, don't line jump and don't sell guns, animals or stolen items.

I have purchased a dining room table and hutch for $150, a brand new pub table for only $50 and a Gazelle Edge for $20. My step-son bought dishes for eight, pots, pans and several other kitchen items for only $50 for his new apartment.I have sold a car, end tables, a filing cabinet, two desks, a bike, a TV and several other items.

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Highlands Breslin to Sign Letter of Intent

Nick Breslin, DWCPhoto.com. FTM File. 
Highlands High School boys soccer player Nick Breslin will sign a letter of intent to play soccer at Transylvania University. The signing will be held at 3pm on Wednesday, February 25, in the media center at Highlands High School.

A three-year varsity player and 2014 team captain, Nick understands the work needed to compete at the collegiate level. With over 4200 minutes in the net, his experience and leadership on and off the field have helped guide him to play for Transylvania during the 2015-2016 season.

Coach Matthew Winkler states, “Nick is excited to play at Transylvania next season, and the entire Highlands soccer program is excited to see his hard work and determination pay off.

Indoor Yardsale to benefit Winkler Park Softball Facilities - THIS WEEKEND


Provided by Holly Matthews 
HUGE INDOOR YARDSALE! 

Proceeds go to benefit Winkler Park Softball Facilities.  Shop indoors, stay warm while browsing a wide variety of treasures.

Antiques,  church pews, claw foot tub, appliances, dining tables and LOTS of chairs, rolls and rolls of upholstery and fabric, clothing for everyone, sporting goods and equipment for just about every sport. Vintage lockers and storage as well as housewares and furniture galore, wrought iron, lamps and so much more! We will have donuts and concessions available as well!
             
Saturday, February 28th 2015 at 8:00 am sharp!
241 Grandview Ave, Bellevue KY 41073

*If you have something you would like to donate, please call 513-227-9983 to arrange a pick up or we will be at 241 Grandview Ave, Bellevue KY Thursday after 4.   

MORE PICTURES BELOW

Black and White Theme Highlights 12th Annual Education Foundation Dance

You can buy tickets in person at #FTMFamily members business, Fort Thomas Central
Read all the details HERE - 

"The Fort Thomas Education Foundation Dance is one of the most fun annual Fort Thomas events I can remember. My first one was just three years ago, dressed like a flapper with a gangster husband, and I vowed to not miss another dance," said Jessica Duke.

The Fort Thomas Education Foundation is a nonprofit organization raising money for the sole purpose of enhancing the education of students in all five of the public schools in Fort Thomas.  Money raised from the dance helps fund teacher grants, the endowment fund and other educational tools needed to help our community students grow & enrich their futures with the necessary next wave of learning tools.  Thanks to all that came and supported this great event in 2014, Last year’s dance raised $53,000!

Fort Thomas City Council Notes (2-17-15)


The Fort Thomas City Council met last week. The two biggest agenda items included the recommendation from the Public Works Committee for the 2015 Street Repair Program and an update on a new direction for the rehabilitation of the historic VA homes.

You can read both of those items here:

Which residents will be selected to help pay for Fort Thomas' streets this year?
What is the new plan for the VA homes?

Fire Report:
- Chief Mark Bailey reported that evacuation plans for all seven schools in Fort Thomas are currently being updated. They are working in conjunction with school officials.

- The Fire Department also received grants for two dangerous gas detectors in the amount of $1,500.

- Chief Bailey also talked about a situation where a frantic woman, who had just come from the Highland Hills Dog Park, came to the fire station with her injured dog. The dog had been cut on something in the dog park, which was not able to be identified.

Monday, February 23, 2015

Ukrainian Easter Eggs: Keeping a Highlands and Family Tradition Alive

Traditional Ukrainian Easter eggs; photo courtesy of Zesha Skop

Many Highlands High School graduates may remember former Fine Arts Teacher Kathy Skop showing them how to make traditional Ukrainian Easter eggs, known as pysanky. A Highlands tradition, they also were—and are—a Skop family tradition. Kathy and Michael Skop (former owners of The Storybook House on Hawthorne Ave.) taught their young children the art form—Michael's mother was born in Ukraine.

Don't Get Scammed Seminar - And What To Do If You Do


Chief Mike Daly reported at the February 17th council meeting that scams targeting the elderly in Fort Thomas are on the rise. He specifically mentioned IRS tax return fraud being the scam of choice right now because of the time of year we are currently in.

In an effort to help combat this crime wave, Fort Thomas Police Officer Adam Noe and Lori Farris of the Kentucky Attorney General's Office of Consumer Protection are holding a seminar on "How Not to Be Scammed."

The seminar is Sunday, March 1 at First Presbyterian Church (220 S. Fort Thomas Ave) from 6:30-7:30 PM. It's free and open to the public.

With regard to the IRS scam, Chief Daly said there is no proactive response for the IRS scam, of which there have been several reported in Fort Thomas. His advice if this happens to you is to file a police report and then contact the fraud hotline at the IRS.

The IRS reminds people that they can know pretty easily when a supposed IRS caller is a fake. Here are five things the scammers often do but the IRS will not do. Any one of these five things is a tell-tale sign of a scam.

The IRS will never:

OPINION: Keep an Open Mind about Property Rights

President of C Forward and Fort Thomas resident, Brent Cooper, recently wrote an article advocating for a state-wide smoking ban. You can click on that article here. Fort Thomas City Councilman, Adam Meier, provides a response. 

By Adam Meier

In a recent Op-Ed, the author, Brent Cooper, who no doubt had the purest of intentions, asked us to support proposed legislation that would institute a statewide smoking ban. One must keep in mind, however, that like Newton's third law of motion, such a request for one particular action necessitates an equal and opposite reaction.  In asking us to open our mind to a smoking ban, he is also asking us to close our minds to the property rights of others.

Don't get me wrong. Smoking is dirty, smelly, aggravating, and I generally do what I can to avoid being around it.  And I can’t say that I’m thrilled to sit here and publicly defend a practice that I personally detest.  But I nonetheless feel compelled to.  FA Hayek said that "[t]he freedom that will be used by only one man in a million may be more important to society and more beneficial to the majority than any freedom that we all use."  You see, on the surface, this is a smoking issue...but at its core, this is a liberty and property rights issue.  What I'd like to ask you in this article is that you open your mind to the personal rights of others.


Sunday, February 22, 2015

Everything You Need to Know for the 2015 Academy Awards



I don't want to make any grand proclamations, but I think it's safe to say that 2014 was a great year for cinema. In 2014, cinema was grounded in stories of humanity. Many films allowed the cast members to sink their teeth into their roles, and bring complicated characters to life. The films that made waves in 2014 succeeded because their stories were not only intriguing, but appealed to audiences on a personal level. Also, the actors were up for the challenge of taking on these characters without guarantee of financial or even critical success. A lot of these films could have been seen as risky, and if certain elements didn't fall into place, the films may have been forgotten instead of applauded.

471 N at Memorial Closed

Photo via Ryan Salzman, via The River City News.
A car flipped on its side has 471 North closed at Memorial Parkway. Drivers should avoid this stretch of road.

Saturday, February 21, 2015

Buckets for Brady Winner Donates Money Back to Family

PHOTO: Allen Ramsey, DWCPhoto.com. Highlands senior Cashel Coughlan laughs before participating in the halftime contest of the Buckets for Brady fundraiser Friday. Coughlan finished runner-up in the contest, but gave $30 of the $50 he won to the family of Highlands freshman Brady Walz.


Many people realize that cancer creates emotional stress on families.


But they don’t often realize how much financial stress it can cause as well. That is why Highlands senior Cashel Coughlan donated $30 of the $50 he won in the halftime contest of the Highlands-Beechwood boys basketball game for the Buckets for Brady fundraiser to Brady Walz’ family. Walz, a Highlands freshman, was diagnosed with Pre-B Lymphoblastic Leukemia in May of last year.


“I just decided Brady deserved and needed the money more than me,” Coughlan said. “Every little bit that can help can make a big difference.”

BREAKING: Crash Near Highlands Closes Memorial Parkway

Reader submitted. FTM copyright. 
A crash has closed Memorial Parkway Saturday afternoon just before 3 PM.

Three vehicles were involved in the crash as the snow continued to fall and road crews were working diligently to clear the roads.

Bargains and Buyouts: Cincinnati's Best Kept Secret

This article was originally run on SimplySarahStyle.com

By Sarah Petracco

IMPORTANT NOTE: I've received numerous emails regarding Bargains & Buyouts. Please note I am not affiliated with this store in any way, I just shopped there and wrote about my experience.  I hope you enjoy this place as much as I do. Happy shopping!

Have you heard of Bargains & Buyouts on the west side of Cincinnati? I've read numerous posts by local bloggers raving about this store.

Oak Ridge Revival - My Latest Shopping Secret | More Bargains and Buyouts

I finally visited this store and the bloggers weren't kidding. This store is amazing! If you're in need of furniture or accents, now's the time to ask Santa for a little cash to save for a Bargains & Buyouts trip over holiday break!

Since we've moved into a new house, I have plenty of furniture needs, so I decided it was time to make the trip to Bargains & Buyouts. I plugged the address into my phone and my mom and I headed out on Black Friday.


First of all, this store is huge. It has a warehouse feel, but a nice wooden floor. The heat was lacking, but I was able to forget about that when I saw the amazing prices.

Right away, I noticed the price tags. Each price tag featured the retail price and the Bargains & Buyouts price. I was blown away by how reasonable their prices were - cheaper than TJ Maxx, Home Goods and Target! And, these products were on point with the latest trends! They weren't outdated pieces.

Friday, February 20, 2015

Two Highlands Students Nominated by Congressman Massie to US Military College

Meredith Laskey and Parker Harris were nominated by Congressman Thomas Massie's office for acceptance into the US Armed Forces Universities. Laskey photo credit: Cincinnati.com. Harris photo: FTM file. 
27 students from the Fourth Congressional District have been nominated for acceptance to four of the nation's military schools, including two from Highlands High School.

Meredith Laskey was nominated for the United States Naval Academy and Parker Harris was nominated for the United States Military Academy.

The US Service Academy nominees will be considered for admittance to the US Air Force Academy, the US Naval Academy, the US Merchant Marine Academy, and the US Military Academy at West Point.

"I applaud these individuals for their desire to serve our country and further their education," said Congressman Thomas Massie (R-Lewis County). "I am confident that if selected, they will make constituents of Kentucky’s 4th district proud. I look forward to seeing them succeed."

Another Championship for Highlands High School: JAMFest


As a nearly 30-year old woman, when I hear JAMfest, I think of an awesome weekend making homemade fruit spreads! Turns out, that’s not right at all (although we should totally have such a fruit festival).  JAMfest Super Nationals, which occurred at the Northern Kentucky Convention Center February 13-15, is one of the largest national dance team competitions in the country for girls of all ages.

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Fort Thomas Police Monthly Report (January 2015)

A car slid off of Memorial Parkway on Monday during the heaviest of the snow fall.  Reader submitted photo.

Fort Thomas Police Chief Mike Daly started the police report at the (2-17-15) council meeting by commending the public works department for the job they did clearing the streets. With the majority of snow coming falling earlier in the week, there had only been six traffic accidents caused by the weather in three days. 

Last month there were 26 accidents reported.

Detective Cases
There were 6 new cases the Detectives received in January: 4 Thefts, 1 Criminal Mischief and 1 Stalking cases. 

Trending

Fort Thomas' New Plan for the VA Homes

Fort Thomas City Council: Adam Meier, Roger Peterman, Jeff Bezold, Eric Haas, Lisa Kelly, Ken Bowman, John Muller
After two unsuccessful attempts at soliciting bids for the ten historic VA homes (15 units) in Tower Park, the Fort Thomas City Council voted (5-1) to move forward with a different strategy. Instead of requesting proposals for developers to buy the property at a minimum price bid set by the city of Fort Thomas, the city will instead advertise for developers to submit applications of their qualifications and interest in the homes.

In the new solicitations for developers, the city will be reviewing qualifications such as their experience in the acquisition and restoration of historic structures, and demonstrate they have the financial ability to complete the project. The City and the developer would then work in partnership to identify methods to close the “profit gap” for the project.

Ladybirds aim for another big win

PHOTO: Allen Ramsey, DWCPhoto.com. Highlands senior Alex Combs (left) makes a move in a game at St. Henry earlier this season. The Ladybirds conclude the regular season at home Friday against Simon Kenton aiming for their 27th win of the season. That would be the most victories in a season since Jaime Walz-Richey became head coach in 2002.
By G. MICHAEL GRAHAM
Fort Thomas Matters Sports Reporter

They’ve made the most of their opportunities this year.

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Public Works Committee Adopts Street Repair Plan for 2015

The public hearing for the street repair program is March 24 at 7:00. 
Five streets were selected this year in the Fort Thomas' annual street resurfacing program. Residents on Arlington Place, Burnet Ridge, N. Fort Thomas (between Belair and Covert Run), E. Southgate and Churchill Drive are all slated for repair this year.

In Fort Thomas, city staff as well as members of the Public Works Department and City Engineer staff drive the streets and keep a running tab of streets that are in need of the most attention. A list is kept for streets out to five years, but only specific streets are seriously considered two years out. If streets begin to deteriorate faster or special circumstances arrive, a street may be bumped up for repair. 

The city also takes requests from residents to repair streets. Many residents on Churchill Drive have requested repair. Waterworks Road also had a formal request sent.

Fort Thomas splits the cost of street repair with its residents, usually on a 50/50 cost sharing basis. Heavily trafficked streets are assessed with a heavier city share, such as N. Fort Thomas, with the city taking on 60% of the cost to the homeowner's 40%. 

The costs are calculated by how many feet the homeowner's property runs alongside of the street. 

Last year the city is expecting to receive $97,000 from the homeowner's portion of the repairs. This year two streets, N. Fort Thomas and Churchill Drive, will bump that number up to $168,000. Repair bills to individuals ranged from $380-$2,800 last year. 

The street repair program is one that is lauded by city officials and is often a point of ire for residents who do not think they should have to be held financially responsible to repair the city's streets. 

Another point of contention is that some homeowner's have much more footage than others. For example corner lots versus cul-de-sac lots have a big disparity in total costs.  

Mayor Eric Haas explained the decision-process behind assessing private residents for street repair. "The (public hearings) used to be very contentious, but over the years things have gotten much better. The majority of residents want their streets repaired," said Haas. "I know some cities don't assess (their residents) at all and people sometimes get upset at the concept, but when you look at the other alternatives, this one makes the most sense."

"If (the repairs) were just paid by tax dollars, everyone would want their street repaired, but when you have a little skin in the game, people are more logical about the process. They may say 'I don't really need our street to be done this year.'"

This year's program has a much bigger price tag than usual. "We usually budget, around 600-650,000 dollars for the Road Aid Fund Budget. Last year we didn't have as a big of a number because we knew we had some big projects coming up," said Don Martin, City Administrator. 

The total budget for this year's street repair program is $872,000. Because there were some design flaws when it was first put in and requires outside engineering help, Churchill Dr. will cost an estimated $342,000. N. Fort Thomas Ave will also have a big price tag at $250,000. 

N. Fort Thomas Ave is also slated for a water main replacement this year that will be completed by SD1. 

Possible streets that could be repaired next year: Barrett, Vernon James, Mayfield, Daisy and Wilbers. Other streets on the radar: Custis and Washington. 

There is a public hearing on this program set for Tuesday, March 24 at 7:00 PM. 

Local firm reaches out to Walz at Highlands basketball game

Contributed Photo. Highlands freshman Brady Walz (right) takes in a University of Louisville women's basketball game recently with his cousin JJ. The law office of Fessler, Schneider and Grimme, LLP will give to the fundraiser in his ongoing battle with Leukemia in Thursday's Simon Kenton-Highlands girls basketball game.

By G. MICHAEL GRAHAM
Fort Thomas Matters Sports Reporter

Cancer can not only take a physical toll on people, but can also be costly.

That’s why the Fort Thomas community has been very helpful since Highlands freshman Brady Walz received the diagnosis of Pre-B Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia on May 7 of last year.

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Dayton City Attorney Dies Suddenly

Jack Fischer. Provided. 
By Michael Monks, Editor & Publisher, The River City News
Republished with permission

Sad news to report out of Dayton on Monday where longtime City Attorney John C. "Jack" Fischer has passed away.

Fischer suffered a heart attack while shoveling snow at his Sixth Avenue home, Mayor Virgil Boruske told The River City News. He was 63.

"It was a great relationship," Boruske said of Fischer's ability to work with city council. The mayor had spoken to the attorney on Monday morning. "Jack was liked by the whole council and me. Jack always got along with everybody and he was always there for the city, in that office almost every day in the city building, checking to make sure everything was fine."

Prior to assuming his role as city attorney, Fischer served on city council, Boruske said. He was a sort of human encyclopedia on municipal law. "It's going to be hard to fill that space because he knew so much about the city and had been there so long," the mayor said. "What about this, Jack, and what about that, and he could tell you."

Fischer's brother is longtime State Rep. Joe Fischer (R-Fort Thomas).

The Women, Presented by The Village Players Starts Friday (Feb 20)

The Women opens this Friday at The Village Players
Are you looking for a great evening of theater?  The Village Players of the Fort Thomas Woman’s Club proudly presents:

The Women
Written by Claire Boothe Luce
Directed by Amy Hamilton
Produced by Gregory Carl Smith and Betsy Evans

This Classic Comedy follows a Manhattan socialite in the wake of finding out her husband is cheating – and her friends are no help at all.  Clever, cut-throat, and delicious, it is a satirical look into the lives of “the ladies who lunch” and the world that determines their behavior.

Performance Dates and Times
Friday, Feb 20th @ 8:00 PM
Saturday, Feb 21st @ 8:00 PM
Sunday, Feb. 22nd @ 3:00 PM
Thursday, Feb. 26th @ 8:00 PM
Friday, Feb. 27th @ 8:00 PM
Saturday, Feb. 28th @ 8:00 PM

Location:
The Fort Thomas Woman’s Club
8 North Fort Thomas Avenue
Fort Thomas, Kentucky.

New Store in Fort Thomas: Faded Finds


A new store is opening up in the Highland Plaza (654 Highland Ave) next to Monera Chic Boutique and Alterations by Frances. Faded Finds will be occupying the old Vito's dining room.

According to store owner, Heidi Dutcher-Barrett, "It is a unique shop featuring repurposed furniture, home accessories, vintage goods and unique handmade gifts."

The Next Exhibit at the Fort Thomas Museum


SHARE YOUR STORIES

Did you serve during the Vietnam War?  Did you have a family member who served?  Do you have a story or pictures or an artifact you are willing to share?  The Fort Thomas Military and Community Museum is planning an exhibit and we need your stories and items so that we may recognize and honor our Vietnam veterans.

The Fort Thomas Military and Community Museum is planning an exhibit honoring our local Vietnam veterans to open in late Spring.

Whether your service was “in country” or stateside, combat or support, we want to say thanks to those who served during the Vietnam War – it is long past time to do so.  We are seeking stories – roughly 1,000 words – about your experiences during the Vietnam War.  We will need to know your branch of service, the time period you served, and the location of your service.  You can write a general summary of your time in service or concentrate on a specific experience or incident.  A picture of you in uniform would enhance your story, and a “Then and Now” set including a current photo would be even better.

Please contact Deanna Beineke, a volunteer with Honor Flight and the Veterans History Project, at beineke@isoc.net or call her at 859-441-3700 for complete information and/or to set up an appointment.

Monday, February 16, 2015

BREAKING: Fire at Ruth Moyer Elementary School

Ruth Moyer Elementary. FTM file. 
UPDATE:
According to Fort Thomas Fire Chief, Mark Bailey, the cause of the fire is still undetermined. He did make it clear that there was also no suspicious activity involved.

"A maintenance worker was hand shoveling for about 45 minutes and we got a call 10 minutes later. A heat sensor detected a fire in the storage shed and worked just like it was supposed to." he said.

Fort Thomas Independent CLOSED (2-17-15)

Via Fox 19:

Christ Hospital Conference on Emergency Care, 9-11 and Boston Marathon Responders to Speak

Photo, Slate.com

An emergency room physician who treated Boston Marathon bombing victims and a first-responder to the 9-11 attacks in New York City are the keynote presenters for the second annual Finding Excellence at The Christ Hospital (FETCH) conference.

The FETCH -- or Finding Excellence at The Christ Hospital -- conference is scheduled Feb. 20 from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. The conference offers a day-long opportunity for nurses, emergency medicine professionals, and first-responders to enhance their healthcare education through hands-on activities and stimulating breakout sessions.

Highlands Fieldhouse (Pictures)

Photos via The Equipment Guys

Sunday, February 15, 2015

OPINION: An Open Letter to Kentucky Legislators Regarding Heroin

By FTM Publisher, Mark Collier

Dear Honorable Members of the Kentucky Legislature -

At last weekend's legislative forum in Florence, Northern Kentucky Caucus chairwoman Rep. Addia Wuchner, R-Burlington, told the crowd if meaningful heroin legislation wasn't passed this session, "you ought to throw us all out of office."

She's damn right.

Right now there are dueling heroin bills in the Senate and House. Ideally you will take the best of both, with the most common grand, hash out the differences and get a bill signed. End of story. No one is going to remember who sponsored the bill in a year from now, but we will remember if a bill gets done.

Saturday, February 14, 2015

Jalapeño Express Closing, For Now

After only being open for about 5 weeks, Jalapeño Express in the Newport Plaza has closed for now. FTM file. 
FTM broke the news of the newest restaurant, Jalapeño Express, at the Newport Plaza back in April. According to owner Octavio Correo, who also owns Rio Grande in the same development, he had planned on opening the fast casual burrito place in May.

Slower than planned construction delayed opening until late December of 2014. According to Correo, they were going to try and compete with Chipotle Mexican Grill, which opened last year across Carothers Road in the Newport Pavilion. In the April FTM article,"It's going to be the same quality as you'd see at a restaurant like Chipotle," said Correo. "But we are going to give you more for less."

Friday, February 13, 2015

OPINION: Keep an Open Mind about Smoking Ban



by Brent Cooper

I would like you to keep an open mind about supporting a law that over 90-percent of Kentucky Chamber of Commerce members are for. It polled higher than any other business issue the KY Chamber surveyed this year and is something that tourism and economic development leaders have said that they would love to have. It will also save the state a ton of money, and will save lives; but best of all doesn't cost the state a dime.

I am talking about the proposed statewide smoke-free law. Now I know many of you have said you are against it, but I'm asking you to talk to one another, to look at the latest data, and reconsider.

If secondhand smoke were just an inconvenience, I understand siding with the rights of business owners and saying, “You can do what you want in your own place.” But data comes out every year that shows secondhand smoke makes you sick. Visit the NKY Health Department and look at the latest information. And visit Phillip Morris’s website to see what they have to say about the health problems caused by second hand smoke.

Northern Kentucky Music Scene: Adrian Belew

Belew peforming in Cincinnati in December.

by Nick Stegner
Guest FTM Contributor

Jazz, country, rock… the Northern Kentucky/Greater Cincinnati area has seen some amazing talent rise and prosper in the music industry. On any given night you can hear local talent as they seek for that moment when all the stars align and they are discovered. Rich in music history, our area has seen some of the greatest reach to the stars and succeed. Mike Reilly (Pure Prairie League), Bobby Mackey, Rosemary Clooney, Kenny Price and Haven Gillespie, who co-wrote “Santa Claus is Coming to Town”. 

One artist in particular has reached heights that most can only dream of; Adrian Belew.

80's Canteen Party (Pictures)