Friday, July 31, 2015

Campbell County Road Construction Update


US 27 (Monmouth Street/York Street) – A pavement repair and resurfacing project is in progress on US 27 (Monmouth Street/York Street) between KY 8 (3rd Street) and KY 1120 (11th Street) in Newport. Work will take place during night time hours starting at 8 PM until 6 AM the next morning. Work may also take place on weekend nights.  Drivers should exercise caution and watch for traffic control devices, flaggers, construction personnel and equipment entering and leaving the work zone.  Work is weather dependant.  Anticipated completion is August 3, 2015.

KY 10 (East Main Street/Flagg Springs Pike) – Pavement repairs and resurfacing have begun on KY 10 (East Main Street/Flagg Springs Pike) in Campbell County. Work will occur between US 27 and KY 1997 (Stonehouse Road). Drivers should exercise caution and watch for traffic control devices, flaggers, construction personnel and equipment entering and leaving the work zone.  Work is weather dependant.

KY 1997 (Stonehouse Road) – Pavement repairs and resurfacing have begun on KY 1997 (Stonehouse Road) in Campbell County. Work will occur between KY 9 (AA Highway) and KY 10 (East Main Street/Flagg Springs Pike). Drivers should exercise caution and watch for traffic control devices, flaggers, construction personnel and equipment entering and leaving the work zone.  Work is weather dependant.

Northbound US 27 – Cold Spring

Pendery Rips Sanitation District Spending Priorities

Story & photo by Bryan Burke, associate editor The River City News 



During the Campbell County Mayor’s Meeting in the Fiscal Court Chambers at the County Administration Building in Newport on Tuesday, Judge/Executive Steve Pendery criticized Sanitation District 1's board of directors for its refusal to increase its rates which he says prevents necessary growth to overcome the utility's financial woes.

Pendery said that SD1 is actually losing more money by refusing to increase its customers' rates.
“There are several hundred million dollars worth of projects in Northern Kentucky that would not have been served by the Sanitation Board had the judges/executive not come out to complain about it, because they're focused on never doing a rate increase,” Pendery said. “They are drawing down reserves, there haven't been rate increases and this is in the face of inflation and the fact that they're actually getting less money each year by about one percent in each of the last six years because people are using less water. Water is metered, you pay depending on how much you use, and water consumption is going down, so you would expect there would have been a six percent rate increase just to offset the decrease in water use and that has not happened.”

He said that Northern Kentucky has become the fastest growing job market in the state thanks to intelligent investment in the infrastructure necessary to facilitate that growth, and not because of austerity measures of tightening its belt.

2015 Highlands Football Preview

Highlands Defense hopes to continue to play aggressive football

PHOTO: Allen Ramsey, DWCPhoto.com. Highlands nose tackle Tyler Robinson makes a tackle against Harrison County last year. He had eight tackles for a loss and 4.5 sacks last year.
It's been a trademark for this successful program for a while.

Thursday, July 30, 2015

2015 Highlands Football Preview

Bluebirds aim to add another brick to solid foundation
PHOTO: Allen Ramsey, DWCPhoto.com. Highlands junior running back Jared Pulsfort (91) scores against Covington Catholic in a junior varsity game last year. Pulsfort could earn some carries this season.
Complacency could have set in years ago.

It often happens after teams win that first state championship. But for this program, after the first title in 1960, another followed in 1961 and it would not be the last one in a while. More of them came and 55 years after that first one, the Highlands Bluebirds football team has built a dynasty.

Lorenzen to go into UK Hall of Fame in September

Jared Lorenzen, a 1999 Highlands graduate, will be inducted into the University of Kentucky Hall of Fame the weekend of Sept. 25-26 when the Wildcats take on Missouri. He completed 862-of-1,514 passes for 10,354 yards during that time. All three are still school records.
If you open up recent Kentucky Wildcat football media guides, his name still stands tall.

Fort Thomas Named One of Top 10 Beautiful, Charming Small Towns in Kentucky

Inside the clock tower in the Towne Centre District. FTM file. 
Fort Thomas was named one of the most charming small towns in Kentucky by OnlyInYourState.com. 

They came in at number 5. Here is their article:

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Water Main Valve Leaking in Front of Highlands

FTM file. 
As subcontractors for the Northern Kentucky Water District are working to replace the water main between Bellaire and Covert Run on North Fort Thomas Avenue, another water main valve is leaking  on Memorial Pkwy in front Highlands and will require a repair through the night.

Study Names Kentucky School System One of Best in Country

FTM file. 
A study from WalletHub has named Kentucky's public school system among the best in the nation.

According to a press release from WalletHub, the study compared the quality of education in the 50 U.S. states and the District of Columbia by analyzing 13 key metrics. "Our data set includes such metrics as the pupil-teacher ratio, dropout rates, standardized-test scores and bullying incidents rates."

Previously, Highlands was named the best school system in the state of Kentucky by US World News and Report.

“We are very excited that Highlands High School has once again been recognized as number one in Kentucky and one of America’s best. Congratulations to our students, staff and community,” said Superintendent Gene Kirchner in a previous article.

The results are as follows:

Girls Soccer Preview: Highlands aiming to restore family atmosphere

PHOTO: Allen Ramsey, DWCPhoto.com. Highlands senior Ellie Farley (2) makes a move against Dixie Heights in a game last year. Farley is one of six seniors returning this season.
It may not be fair to compare.

But when it comes to the Highlands Ladybirds soccer program, many think of the likes of past great players like Sydney Hiance, Caitlin Beck, Leslie Twehues, Alicia Browning-Gesenhues, Kara Dickerson-O'Hearn, Megan Leahy, Amber Barth-Wells and Mallory Adler. Those greats among others helped the program on its impressive run of 80-11-11 between the 2005 and 2008 seasons. Highlands captured back-to-back state championships in 2005 and 2006 and a state runner-up crown in 2008 during that time.

Fort Thomas Teams Win Multiple Knothole Championships

The Fort Thomas Stars, Class C Senior Champs. They have won back to back Knothole City Tournament Championships. 
Fort Thomas was guaranteed at least two Knothole World Series Championships this year after having five teams make it to three class finals.  

Each team played a best of three series in Blue Ash, including a double header to begin the series. In the end, Fort Thomas teams came away with two championship trophies.

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Graffiti Found At Another Fort Thomas Park



Graffiti was found at Tower Park playground early Saturday morning. General Services Director, Ron Dill is aware of the graffiti and said that he hopes to have crews clean it up soon. 

Dill also updated FTM on the graffiti found at Winkler Park near Woodfill Elementary two weeks ago, which has been cleaned up. "It was a shame that we have to deal with items like that," he said. "Otherwise it's been a fun project and great addition to the community."

Vince Turner is part of a group of Fort Thomas residents that was upset that the graffiti occurred and is still offering a reward for information leading to a charge. 

The reward sits at $350. 

"The group of people that raised the money all feel like it was someone that painted on their house. Many of the girls and their parents have worked so hard over the years to finally have a home field they can be proud of and the community can be proud of," said Turner in a previous FTM article. "This is disgraceful and we want to find those responsible."

If you'd like to contribute to the reward, you can call Vince Turner at 859-866-9950. 

If you have information about the crime, you can call the Fort Thomas Police at 859-441-6562, email Detective Adam Noe at ANoe@ftthomas.org or submit tips anonymously via the Sentiguard app. 

Highlands High School Grad is Hollywood Bound

Kay Vermeil. Provided. 
“I want people to appreciate being alive again. I feel like that's not happening anymore," said Kay Vermeil when asked about how she wants her films to impact audiences. This might initially sound like an ambitious task for a recent high school graduate to take on, but Vermeil is certainly up for the challenge when she begins classes at University of Southern California's School of Cinematic Arts this fall. 

Vermeil's film career almost never happened. In fact, her initial introduction to the cinematic world was due to a scheduling issue at Highlands High School. “When I was a sophomore, I signed up to take a creative writing class, and that class didn't get filled. That class was dropped and my alternate was an Intro to Film class. And then as I kept going, I started liking it more and more,” said Vermeil. If more students had signed up for the creative writing course, there's a chance that Vermeil never would have had to the chance to fully realize her filmmaking skills. Luckily for Vermeil and the USC film community, a spark was ignited during those early cinema courses. 

Highland Country Club Celebrates 100 Years - Fort Thomas, Kentucky



The Highland Country Club is celebrating its 100th year anniversary all year.

"There have been supporters of golf in the area since the Inverness golf club was formed in the 1890's," said Dan Schlarman, general manager of the country club. "The club opened Sept 4, 1915. We have been celebrating all year and plan to have an old fashion golf outing with wooden clubs and a themed menu on Sept 5, 2015. In February we had a golf themed murder mystery and a wine dinner in March. Because of this anniversary, Highland was selected to host the Northern Kentucky Amateur Tournament. We have old photos and trophies on display in the clubhouse foyer." 

An aerial shot of Highland Country Club, provided by Kenton County Public Library Faces and Places

Schlarman is having an anniversary booklet made that will include pictures and the history of the club. The September 5th event is still in the planning stages, but will include a nine hole tournament with hickory shafted golf clubs, a turn of the century themed menu, and prizes for best period attire.
Dr. M. J. Schwegman at Highland Country Club, provided by the Kenton County Public Library

"Highland has remained an affordable private golf club, especially in comparison to other private clubs, he said. "Many older members continue as social members, for dining and events, when they no longer are able to play golf. The club has always struggled financially with a lean budget, but is supported by the membership."

Monday, July 27, 2015

Ignite Highland Hills Park THIS Friday

Fort Thomas residents are gathering this Friday to clean up the trails at Highland Hills Park.

Many Fort Thomas residents have witnessed—and enjoyed—the transformation of local parks. "The city has worked extremely hard on getting all the parks in Fort Thomas beautified," says resident Jeff Mohr. "The multi-year renovation to Tower and Rossford over the last few years as well as the facilities—playground, shelters, bathrooms—at Highland Hills were tremendous." The state, however, denied funding for renovations to Highland Hills Park's trails. "It never gained its momentum back after that ruling," Mohr says. "The existing trails have since become overwhelmed with weeds and fallen trees."

Mohr and his son enjoy running together, and one evening they decided to try Highland Hills Park. "When we got to the trails that evening there were so many trees down we had to shorten our run." Mohr reach out to his good friend Chris Rust, a Fort Thomas Fire Department firefighter and paramedic, and Highlands Bluebirds assistant cross country coach. They then talked to Brian Alessandro, a language arts teacher at Highlands Middle School and Highlands Bluebirds head cross country/track and field coach.

"Highlands' cross country team uses Highland Hills Park as their practice facility/meeting area," Rust says. "That's all it took."
There were many partners that helped plan and put on the event. Provided. 

The cross country teams has practiced in Highland Hills Park for many years. "During the time I ran at Highlands, until I graduated in 1998, we ran the trails daily," Alessandro says. "Over the last 15 years, the trails have slowly declined. Currently, I do not allow the team to run through them because it's very narrow and what I consider dangerous with all of the trees down."

Together these three residents have lit a fire within the Fort Thomas community, building up to the Ignite Highland Hills Park event this Friday, 8am to 2pm, in which volunteers will come together to clean up the trails for everyone's future enjoyment. They, along with many other residents have already put forth a great deal of planning, donations and time. Now, all they need is YOU.

NCC Filly Volleyball Skills Clinic Now Accepting Sign-Ups

New Cath Lady Breds Volleyball is now taking sign-ups for the Filly Volleyball Skills Clinics.  The clinic is open to all third through eighth-graders.

The clinic dates and times are Sunday, Aug. 9 from 4:30-6 pm, and Sunday, Aug. 30 from 4:30-6 pm.


Home Builders Association of Northern Kentucky Releases 2015 Construction Data

The Home Builders Association of Northern Kentucky recently released its data on new home construction and commercial activity for the first half of 2015.

Saturday, July 25, 2015

Flipdaddy's Helps Continue Opticare Vision Centers Goal of Having More "Piper-Moments"

Flipdaddy's Makes Donation to Fort Thomas Lions Club and InfantSee
Baby Piper on the lap of her mother, Jessica Sinclair, with her father, Andrew Verdusco, and big brother next to them. FTM file.
Before Jessica Sinclair shot the video of her daughter Piper trying on glasses for the first time, now seen over 40 million times, she was worried that the 10-month old wasn't hitting important development milestones. "She wasn't crawling yet. Our pediatrician sent us to Dr. (Josiah) Young and the rest is history," she said.

Dr. Josiah Young, a Fort Thomas resident and Optometrist at Opticare Vision Centers in Newport wasn't surprised. "I know it sounds strange for a 10-month old baby to be in glasses, but trust me, this is something we want to do. I told them we would bring her back and monitor her progress and stick with her and make sure that she is developing the right way.”

On Thursday, Flipdaddy's presented donations to InfantSEE® and the Fort Thomas Lions Club in the name of Piper Verdusco.
Piper's family with COO and CEO of Flipdaddy's, Ed Biery and Bob Dames. FTM file. 
“The viral video of baby Piper being able to see her parents clearly for the first time really touched us,” said Bob Dames, Flipdaddy’s CEO and Founder. “Like many others, we had been unaware of the need for some children to have an eye exam at that age. When you see Piper look through her new glasses for the first time, it’s apparent that her quality of life has been improved dramatically. We want to make sure other children and their families are aware of the wonderful services doctors like Dr. Young and the Lions Club provide.”

But before that video crossed hemispheres and the donation by Flipdaddy's and the press conference and the interviews, Dr. George Landon and Dr. Ronald Cooke had an occasional empty chair in their Newport Opticare office and decided they wanted to do some good.

Friday, July 24, 2015

One Day Only Uber Will Deliver Graeter's Ice Cream

#UberIceCream
Growing up, there was no better sound than Scott Joplin’s “The Entertainer” blaring through the tinny speakers of your neighborhood ice cream truck.  That sound, more than any other, perfectly encapsulated what summer meant.  As an adult, we now know that the sound was the appetizer, the main course was the ice cream.  So, to kick the hot summer weekend off right, Uber (the ride app) is (for one day only) delivering Graeter’s ice cream to your office, house, or even poolside.

Today only (July 24) from 11 am to 5 pm, Uber is offering their #UberIceCream special delivery where for $20, you can receive five 5 ounce cups of ice cream of your choosing, delivered directly to you.  To request the delivery is quite simple (as long as you’re in the Cincinnati area or another participating metro-area).  Simply open the Uber app (free download on the iTunes store), set your location, and request ICE CREAM.  Once you’ve connected to an Uber driver, your ice cream will be delivered within minutes (the app will provide you an ETA).  While The Entertainer is unlikely to be blaring, the ice cream entertainment will be worth the order.

Uber warns that demand will be very high and availability limited, so order now while supplies last and while temperatures approach 90 degrees

Suspect Identified in High Speed Chase

Arrested on Daniel Carter Beard Bridge After Speeding Through Three Cities
Dustin Kessnick. Campbell County Detention Center. 
Dustin Kessnick, 34, was booked into the Campbell County Detention Center Wednesday afternoon. Fort Thomas and Wilder Police pursued Kessnick on a chase that started in Cold Spring, went through Wilder and Fort Thomas before being stopped by police safely on the Daniel Carter Beard bridge before heading into Cincinnati.

Kessnick was on parole and has a listed address in Louisville.

NKY Music Scene: Bogart's...40 Years Of Music



The Ramones, U2, Prince, Iggy Pop, Devo, Earl Scruggs, James Brown, Lou Reed, The Police, King Crimson, Talking Heads, Stone Temple Pilots. What do they all have in common? They have all played at Bogart's in Cincinnati.

This year is the 40th anniversary of one of the areas greatest venues for local, national and international music. Band names that have performed at Bogart's are written on the walls like a badge of honor. As the General Manager, Michael "Fin" Walter's pride of being a part of the place is evident in his smile and stories.

Art Around Towne in PHOTOS

Fort Thomas pulling out all the stops for last Friday's Art Around Towne.  See the familiar faces, familiar places, and incredible art our city has to offer:  Art Around Towne in photos.

10-year back-to-back state championship celebration: Class of 2009 fit in well with upperclassmen

Contributed Photo. The 2006 Highlands Ladybirds pose after winning their second straight state championship.
Author's Note: This is the last story commemorating the 2005 and 2006 Highlands Ladybirds state champion soccer teams. This class recognizes the Class of 2009 members on those teams.

Not only did the Class of 2009 make its contributions to the two state championship teams. But those players had the best run in school history going 80-11-11 in four years of high school.

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Fort Thomas Knothole Teams Dominating

Fort Thomas Stars. 11U Class C Senior. 
Knothole Baseball has been around since1932.  This year, five Fort Thomas teams are completing tomorrow night in the finals and are guaranteed two champions.

FTM file. 
Greater Cincinnati Knothole has over 200 teams competing at each age level.  The league is down to the finals at each age level, each of which will feature a best of 3-game series between the top 2 teams in all of Greater Cincinnati.

Here are the Fort Thomas teams competing for their respective championship:

Fort Thomas Police Department Monthly Report (June 2015)



Officer Nathan Day received a thank you note for his assurances with a disabled motorists waiting for AAA to arrive. She said that she was broken down with her grandchildren in the care and Officer Day came by to offer assistance. She said that she felt much safer with him there and that he made a scary situation much easier to deal with.

The entire departments received a thank you from a property owner on Mary Ingles Highway for providing extra patrol and keeping trespassers off their property. They had been causing damage.

Enforcement
In June officers wrote 19 speeding charges, 4 DUI charges, 36 charges for non-traffic offenses (warrants, assaults, disorderly conduct, etc) and 107 traffic charges.

Officers also issued 94 written warnings and totaled 24 court appearances.

There were 23 drug related charges placed against 15 adults and 4 charges against 4 juveniles. Give of the individuals were Fort Thomas residents and traffic stops led to 10 of the charges.

Individual Statistics (Total State Citation Charges)

233 Total State Citation Charges
Officer Doug Hoffman - 45 charges

Highlands back-to-back state championship soccer celebration: Class of 2008 took advantage of mixed roles

Contributed Photo. Highlands teammates Amber Barth-Wells (front) and Sydney Hiance (back) share an embrace after Wells scored the game-winning goal in the 2006 state championship game against Louisville Sacred Heart. The goal came with 1:01 left. Wells finished second on the team with 29 points on 11 goals and seven assists that year.
Contributed Photo. Highlands sweeper Caitlin Beck goes up for a ball during the 2006 season. Beck helped Highlands to a state-record 20 shutouts in each of the 2005 and 2006 seasons. She went on to play collegiately at the University of Louisville.
Author's Note: This is the third of four stories commemorating the Highlands Ladybird back-to-back state championship teams of 2005 and 2006. The story recognizes the Highlands Class of 2008. Those members were sophomores and juniors on those teams respectively.

Some had huge on roles on the 2005 senior-laden state championship Highlands Ladybirds soccer team. Others from the Highlands Class of 2008 had to wait for their time.

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

High Speed Chase Ends On Daniel Carter Beard Bridge

FTM file. 
Fort Thomas Police stopped a high-speed chase on the Daniel Carter Beard Bridge around 2:15 p.m. Wednesday, arresting one. The passenger was released. 

FTM Radio: Imperial Apartments

Download this episode (right click and save)
831 S. Grand Avenue. FTM file. 
The Imperial Apartments sale has been lauded by residents and city officials alike, but not everyone is happy about the sale.

There are six residents that are being evicted in the back building (831 S. Grand Ave) because renovations will start immediately. They must move out by August 31, 2015.

FTM Radio talked to two of those residents about what's happening to them now and what it was like living there.

Fort Thomas Resident Worried Coyotes Moving into Area

WARNING: Graphic images that may disturb some are at the end of this article. 
The back of the Hlebiczki's yard is close to Highlands High School. The Highlands Fieldhouse can be seen in the background. FTM file. 
Lou Hlebiczki believes his dog, Beauty, was attacked by a coyote. He says the 15-year old beagle, lab mix was lucky to have lived through it. "She was sliced from underneath and it required staples and a drain. There was blood all over the back porch and steps," he said.

The Hlebiczkis lives steps away from Highlands High School and that is one of the main reasons why he brought the issue to council. "I don't want a coyote going after a child," he said. "I don't want my grandchildren to be a victim."

Hlebiczki believes that the deer population and growing wild turkey population are what's causing coyotes to move into the area. His wife, Helen, agrees. "It makes sense that the coyotes are predators and if there is prey in the area, they are going to go after it," she said.

While they didn't witness Beauty being attacked, neighbors and other patrons at the veterinarian corroborated that they had seen coyotes in the area. The vet's first inclination, according to Helen, was that the dog had been caught on a fence. "She was on an electric fence, and that just wouldn't have been possible," she said.

BREAKING: Holtman's NOT Coming to Fort Thomas

Fort Thomas kids at an early morning cash mob organized by some Fort Thomas business leaders. 
Holtman's Donuts is not coming to Fort Thomas after a four-month campaign to woo the trendy pastry artisan to the Hiland Building failed to come to fruition.

The campaign started after a March 27 article on WCPO was published. Co-owner of the OTR location, Katie Willing, said, "Now that we have a little bit of a reputation, we want to pick a neighborhood that wants us there."

And so Fort Thomas began to show them how badly they wanted them. Hundreds of Facebook posts and tweets. Organized cash mobs. Meetings, articles, podcasts and invites to events in town. It didn't go unnoticed.

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Fort Thomas City Council Meeting Notes (7-20-15)

Chief Mike Daly and Det. Brad Adams at a past council meeting. Daly said that Adams would be retiring on August 1.  FTM file.
Council met Monday night to wrap up votes on a few ordinances and read some for the record for the first time.

- The ordinance pertaining to the donation of vacation time was voted on. Lt. Kilgore was the inspiration for this ordinance as he continues to fight cancer. FTM previously detailed why this ordinance was instituted here. From that article:

"The ordinance, which seeks to allow a full-time employee of the city to donate her/his vacation time to another full-time employee of the city, was originally requested by Kilgore’s co-workers.  Councilman Ken Bowman supports the ordinance, saying, “I was thrilled to see the demand from Casey’s coworkers and friends to find a way to help him and his family at this time”.  He went on to say he “was even more thrilled when we found a way to do the right thing and make the changes necessary to allow for this great idea to become a reality.”"

This measure passed unanimously, 5-0. Councilman Roger Peterman was absent.

Putting for Parkinsons - Highland Country Club

The sixth annual Putting for Parkinson's Golf Outing was held Friday, July 17th at Highland Country Club in Fort Thomas. The event had 228 golfers this year, which was a record.

Scott Layman was diagnosed with Parkinson's in 2009 at age 43. It started with shaky hands, being off balance and impaired speech. 

Layman had Deep Brain Stimulation in 2013. This ground breaking procedure is used to treat a variety of disabling neurological symptoms—most commonly the debilitating symptoms of Parkinson's disease, such as tremor, rigidity, stiffness, slowed movement, and walking problems. Since the surgery, other than some seldom speech issues, most people wouldn't know that Layman has Parkinson's. Layman feels lucky to have been able to have the surgery and contribute to the research of his disease.

To date they have raised over $100,000 for the Gardner Family Center for Parkinson’s Disease at UCNI (University of Cincinnati Neuroscience Institute) for research.

Pictures by Hannah Condon 
Scott and Joy Layman






NKY Forum Event - July 28, 2015

FTM file.
What Does the Future Look Like for Northern Kentucky?

In today’s global economy, people can choose to live almost anywhere.  In the Greater Cincinnati metropolitan region of 2.1 million people, 17% or just over 450,000 people make the choice to call Northern Kentucky home.  Great places don’t happen by accident, and for the past few decades, Northern Kentucky has used strategic planning to ensure continuous improvement. To accelerate this trajectory, Skyward (previously known as Vision 2015) the engineer and the engine behind myNKY, a community-driven five-year strategic work plan has designed strategies to connect education, wellness, business, and culture in innovative, inclusive, productive ways.

Kristine Frech, Vice President of Skyward said, “The five year workplan contains four bold and inspiring goals including education, wellness, jobs, and vibrancy.  With these goals, the vision is poised to bring success to our residents, families, and businesses; fostering a community that is vibrant, inclusive and connected.”

Monday, July 20, 2015

Fort Thomas Central - Fort Thomas, Kentucky

By Hannah Condon 
FTM file. 

When owning your own boutique the most interesting experience is to see how your store evolves. “It’s like a guessing game,” said Barb Thomas, owner of Fort Thomas Central.

According to Thomas, you need to know your demographics and what they like. Thomas has done a lot of research over the last two years the boutique has been open to make sure her clientele is an unique shopping experience.

Thomas recently returned from Atlanta where she attended a convention to look for new lines for the store. She has been to other conventions as well in New York, but Atlanta is a better fit for the boutiques demographic. Thomas will be introducing three new lines to the boutique from her recent trip to Atlanta.

Senator Wil Schroder on All-Star Week

By Wil Schroder
Wil Schroder. Provided. 
As we reflect on the recent Major League Baseball (MLB) All-Star Game held in Cincinnati, it is becoming increasingly clear that home run derby winner, and Cincinnati Reds player, Todd Frazier was not the only winner.  With the game occurring right across the river, Kentucky also experienced success.

In January 2013, then MLB Commissioner Bud Selig named Cincinnati the host city for the 2015 MLB All-Star Game. Since that time, both local baseball fans and entrepreneurs have been brimming with anticipation for this beloved and historic sporting event.  The last time Cincinnati hosted the game was in 1988, and the event lasted little more than the two and a half hours it took to play the game. A lot has changed since then, and what was once a one-day event for baseball fans has grown into a week-long celebration that has a major economic impact on not only the host city, but also the surrounding area.

Jim O'Neill, Local Barber 47 Years and Counting

Jim O'Neill, owner of Jim O'Neill's Barber Shop on S. Fort Thomas Ave.

Jim O'Neill has been cutting hair for 47 years. Licensed at 20 and self-employed in Fort Thomas at 21, O'Neill, owner and sole employee at Jim O'Neill's Barber Shop on S. Fort Thomas Ave., has cut men's hair through decades of styles and generations of families, and has made lifelong friendships as a result.

Charities Guild of NKY Partners With City Barbeque For Community Fundraiser

The non-profit organization Charities Guild of Northern Kentucky is holding a fundraiser Monday at City Barbeque at 2760 Alexandria Pike in Highland Heights.


 The Charities Guild of Northern Kentucky is an organization of 50 community-minded women, who focus on improving the lives of children and families in the Northern Kentucky area.

For the fundraiser 25% of your purchase at City Barbeque will go to CGNK. Organizers said the fundraiser will run all day. Those interested in participating in the fundraiser should present the flyer shown below at time of purchase.
CGNK's Jenny Tincher said for more than 30 years CGNK has hosted various events and fundraisers to benefit the organization's mission.

Tincher said CGNK is happy to announce plans for the fifth annual Happy Feet Ball, which will take place Friday, November 6, at the Highlander Event Center.

Proceeds from the Happy Feet Ball will benefit the group’s flagship endeavor, the Shoe Fund.

Friday, July 17, 2015

Imperial Apartments Sold to New Management Team

Significant Renovations to be Made; Will be Rebranded as The Grandeur 

Imperial Apartments "front" building, 825 S. Grand. FTM file. 
At the June 1st council meeting, Fort Thomas residents on Grand Avenue and Crescent Avenue, asked the city for help to deter perceived bad behavior that was coming from the two apartment buildings known as Imperial Apartments at 825 and 831 S. Grand Avenue.

Many residents spoke at that meeting and had noted they had reached a boiling point. Paul Menetrey, who lives on Crescent Avenue, was the first to speak at that June 1 meeting. "I’ve lived on Crescent for 36 years and it's gotten out of hand. A lot of noise, a lot of cursing. It’s an ongoing problem," he said.

As they left, the residents held out hope that the pending sale of the Imperial Apartments would signal a chance to reboot and renew relations with a new landlord and tenants.

"If there is in deed an ownership change, we may be able to set up a forum with the new owner, residents and the police department to move forward in a positive way," said Police Chief, Mike Daly at the June 1 meeting.

Councilman Ken Bowman agreed during the meeting. "Hopefully the new owner will take a different approach, so it’s not just a paycheck to them month after month and they can take an interest in the community and neighbors," he said.

On June 30th, the same day a foot chase that started at Southside Deli Mart and ended at the back of Imperial Apartments, the apartments sold and were under new ownership. Courtyard Properties, a Cincinnati-based property management firm, bought the apartments for $720,000. They were originally listed for $784,000 and were owned by Kramer Apartments, LLC based out of Alexandria.

Now that the ownership has indeed changed, it looks as though the neighbors and the City's desire will be coming to fruition. The deed was filed last week.

Courtyard Properties also owns several apartments and condos in Fort Thomas including 126-132 S. Fort Thomas Avenue, 830-840 Alexandria Pike and 645 Highland Avenue. With the purchase of 825-831 S. Grand, they now own 100 units in the city. The Courtyard Properties management team is comprised of Chad Fiedler and some family members.

"We have improved other properties in Fort Thomas. People are dying to live there, so it's not difficult to rent high value units there," said Fiedler. "We plan on making this property very nice and up to par with the rest of the city."