Saturday, October 31, 2015

RECAP: Highlands-Boone County (10-30-15)

Bluebirds win four straight 


PHOTO: Allen Ramsey, DWCPhoto.com. Highlands senior defensive lineman Tyler Sexton (80) tracks down Boone County running back Amadou Diaw (5) in Friday's game in Florence. Highlands won 32-6.
FLORENCE - It is easy for winless teams to give up at this time of the year.But the host Boone County Rebels did anything but that here Friday. Seeking just its third win since 2011, the Rebels battled the Bluebirds into the second half before Highlands pulled away for a 32-6 non-district victory to conclude the regular season.

Bluebird Notebook: Highlands could play host to four playoff games

PHOTO: Allen Ramsey, DWCPhoto.com. Highlands senior quarterback Austin Hergott (7) fires off a pass while offensive linemen Nathan Raleigh (60) and Michael Dunn (73) watch. Hergott completed 14-of-23 passes for 210 yards and three touchdowns in the win.
PHOTO: Allen Ramsey, DWCPhoto.com. Highlands defensive backs Bradley Greene (86) and Austin Beal (27) point toward the other direction after teammate Sam Taylor (below Beal) recovered a Boone County fumble on the opening kickoff in Friday's game at Boone County.

FLORENCE - On the whole, a 5-5 record may be considered a down year by Highlands football standards.

The Highlands Bluebirds had to beat the Boone County Rebels on Friday to finish with that .500 record. They did it scoring 18 consecutive points in the second half to pull away for a 32-6 victory.

Friday, October 30, 2015

In Other Words: Growing old is not for sissies.

FTM file

By Chuck Keller

Living in an old house is a lot of work. Things are seldom flush, flat, square, or level.  Something always needs fixing. The same thing goes for an aging body. And the same thing goes for an aging town.

This is the second time that I went through a major street repair and resurfacing. But this one lasted all summer.  You probably loosened a number of screws in your car and rearranged your internal organs as you drove North Fort Thomas Avenue this summer.  It was a mess.

“What a mess,” everyone told me. And it was. Dust, noise, foul odors, and inconvenience. My house happened to be the staging area for construction - pipes, sand, debris, equipment and, oh yeah, the portable outhouse on the sidewalk.

Thursday, October 29, 2015

Schroder: Lower Unemployment Rate Can Be Deceiving

Provided. 
By Wil Schroder 

Last week's newspaper headlines grabbed people’s attention by announcing that Kentucky’s unemployment rate had dropped to 5 percent for the first time in 14 years.

While I always try to be optimistic, the reality is that there is still more cause for concern than celebration when it comes to the Commonwealth’s full economic condition.

Youth In Africa are Sporting New Soccer Uniforms Thanks to Highlands High School


Youth in Khayelitsha, South Africa, are wearing HHS soccer uniforms this fall.

Late May Highlands High School's varsity boys' soccer coach, Matthew Winkler, traveled to Cape Town, South Africa, as a member of a Crossroads GO Trip. The group's mission? Provide business training for up to 30 people, help launch a new church supported by Orchard: Africa, and run a vacation bible school for youth in Khayelitsha, South Africa. Because the vacation bible school's indoor space was small, the children spent some of the time outdoors, playing soccer. Winkler, who works in IT by day, was the perfect fit—for both the business training and coaching soccer.

"It was a truly rewarding and learning experience on all fronts," Winkler says. "Cape Town is one of the wealthiest cities in South Africa while Khayelitsha is one of the poorest. When we were playing soccer, I had taken along some bibs to help identify teams. The kids thought that was great and there began my thoughts of, How could we help them with uniforms and other gear? Knowing that we had old uniforms just sitting on the shelf helped put the thought in motion." 

A few years ago the Kentucky High School Athletic Association made a change in the uniform standards. "Our home uniforms did not meet the requirement so we had to purchase new uniforms," Winkler says. "Those old ones were still in great shape but due to the new requirements, we could not use them."

Fast forward to fall.

Highlands-Boone County Preview

Highlands seeks to carry momentum into season finale

PHOTO: Allen Ramsey, DWCPhoto.com. Highlands senior Mitch Cain (16) tries to get away from Grant County's Joseph Knipp (12) in the Bluebird win Friday. Highlands concludes the regular season at Boone County on Friday at 7 p.m.
They've rediscovered the magic since the bye week.

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Pan-American Continental Cyclocross Championships Return to Devou Park

The City of Covington and Devou Park host international cycling festival


The second annual Pan-American Continental Cyclocross Championships returns to Covington's Devou Park as the Sunday event of the three-day Toyota Cincy3 Cyclocross Festival this weekend.

On Sunday Nov. 1, the rolling hills of Devou Park will be transformed into a two-mile racecourse as the park and the City of Covington host the third largest cyclocross event in the country.

More than 700 riders from across the United States and Canada are scheduled to compete in the internationally sanctioned racing event. Nearly $10,000 in prize money is at stake.

“Compared to most bike races, cyclocross events are relatively short thus they are fast and thrilling from the start. Cyclocross is becoming very popular with the youth. Out of the 700 participants there will be over 200 kids, from ages 9 and up, racing at the park.”

The Search for the Great Northern Kentucky Pumpkin Patch

Neltner's Farm


Halloween is rapidly approaching, and you're days away from finding that perfect pumpkin in time for All Hallows Eve. Luckily for us, the Greater Cincinnati Area boasts some pumpkin patches even the Sanderson Sisters would approve of for the occasion. 

Let's start with Shaw Farms. This Milford, OH farm is open year round, but is especially popular during their Fall Festival. Fort Thomas resident Erika Peter is a Shaw Farms veteran, and enjoys visiting each year with her family. "It's very nostalgic to me to visit Shaw Farms. I have been visiting the farm since college. Now I take my own children there and it has been fun to watch how much it has grown over the years," said Peter. 

USO Dance Leads to Salute to Veterans

The 8th Annual USO Dance will be held on Friday, November 6 at the Fort Thomas Mess Hall. The New Lime Band will perform and a catered dinner from the Silver Spring House Chicken will be served.

Veterans from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs nursing home and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) treatment center are invited to attend the dance each year at no charge. Veterans are $10 and other guests are $25.

Linda Slone, whose husband Lonnie will serve as the event's emcee, is organizing the event.

"We have grown a lot over the years.  We started it by using only half of the Mess Hall and we knew right away that we needed the whole place the next year," she said.

Chamber Hires Sedmak as Vice President of Public Affairs & Communications

Scott Sedmak. Provided. 
The Northern Kentucky Chamber of Commerce has hired Scott Sedmak as the Chamber’s new Vice President of Public Affairs and Communications.  Sedmak, who will take over the position on October 30th, will come to the Chamber from Axcess Financial where he was Corporate Communications Manager for the last four years.

“Scott is a smart communicator who has a unique balance of both private sector and public policy experience,” said Northern Kentucky Chamber of Commerce President Trey Grayson.  “He is well-regarded in Frankfort and within Northern Kentucky.  Scott will bring a lot to the Chamber with his ability to bridge the gap between the business community and policymakers.”

Frankfort Sets Table to Promote Savings Plan for People with Disabilities

Announces Details of ABLE Act Similar to 529 College Savings Plan
Sen. Wil Schroder with Sarah and Anderson after the conference to announce pre-filed details of the ABLE Act. 

Kentucky Treasurer Todd Hollenbach joined disability rights advocates today in the Capitol Rotunda to announce details of the enabling legislation for the Federal Achieving a Better Life Experience (ABLE) Act.

“According to research by the U.S. Census Bureau, the rate of poverty for people with disabilities, was nearly triple the poverty rate of people without disabilities,” Treasurer Hollenbach said.  “The program would be housed in the State Treasury allowing Kentuckians to set aside funds for future costs related to their disabilities just as the 529 education savings plan does for future college costs.”

Fort Thomas resident Ashley Barlow has been working with legislators to help craft this legislation. Her son, Jack, has Down syndrome.

"We tell people that having Down syndrome means that our son, Jack, can do nearly everything that everybody else can do but that he may do some things slower than his typical peers.  The truth is,  however, that until the ABLE Act is enacted by the  states, people with disabilities are prohibited from saving," she said. "We dream that Jack will be able to get a job and save for whatever he wants to buy. Having an ABLE account allows him to do that.  Jack is five, so he may take over for Teddy Kramer when Ted retires with the Reds!"

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Rollover Accident on I-471 N Near Fort Thomas


UPDATE (12:35 p.m.)
According to Jim Schneider, of the Southgate Police Department, the driver of the vehicle that rolled over on I-471 did not have any serious injuries and did not require transport to the hospital. 

It was the only vehicle involved and weather conditions were a factor in the crash. 

A rollover accident on I-471 North, just past exit 2 was one of many accidents on Northern Kentucky roadways this morning.

Fort Thomas police were assisting Southgate Police on the cleanup of the accident, which occurred around 10 a.m.

Highlands volleyball finishes season 17-19

PHOTO: Allen Ramsey, DWCPhoto.com. Highlands volleyball head coach Katelyn Sallee (right) talks to seniors Izzy Schultz (7) and Maria Hockney (6) in a recent match. Highlands graduates seven seniors from this year's 17-19 squad.
The Highlands Ladybirds volleyball team made some strides this year.

Fort Thomas Drug Center, Fort Thomas, Kentucky

Ft. Thomas Drug Center. FTM file. 
By Amanda Emerson 

Medication compliance aids, first aid care, orthopedic braces, vaccinations and delivery services are just a few reasons why Fort Thomas Drug Center is the place to go for all your pharmaceutical health care services.

Fort Thomas Drug Center has been around as early as the 1930s and continues to evolve with today's technology and health care services. To provide patients with premium services, patients can access prescriptions online 24/7 and are able to refill prescriptions in the comfort of their home or from a smartphone. 

The pharmacy also provides personalized home delivery services and accept most insurance plans including Medicaid, Medicare Part-D Plans and many other private insurers.

Fort Thomas Drug Center also has vaccinations for preventive care against Influenza, Pneumonia, and with no appointment required. 

To continue to evolve and grow the center also has their own compounding lab. This allows them to communicate with the patient and their physician to produce custom prepared products ranging from bioidentical hormones, pediatric formulations and even veterinary products that are personalized for our loved ones!  

Some other product offerings include a free vitamin club for children ages 2 to 12, and they have an extended day supply (100, 180, and 360 day supply) for many generic medications with big cost savings.  

And for men that take Viagra®, Cialis®, or Levitra®, Fort Thomas Drug Center has an option that is a fraction of the cost saving patients hundreds to thousands of dollars on an annual basis.

Owner Craig Seither takes pride in knowing his patients by providing personalized pharmaceutical care services. Last month marked eight years of ownership, so make sure you stop by your neighborhood pharmacy!

How to Transfer Prescriptions to Fort Thomas Drug Center

Fort Thomas City Council Round-Up (10-19-15)

By Amanda Dibiaso
FTM file photo. 

The Fort Thomas City Council held their monthly meeting Monday, Oct. 19, with all council members present. Here’s your round up:

Hiring of Ron Dill as City Administrator

The council unanimously voted in favor of hiring Ron Dill as the city’s new City Administrator.

Dill, who has been with the city for 28 years, has been serving as the interim City Administrator since Donald Martin retired in August. Click here to the full story.

Fire Department Report

Fire Chief Mark Bailey presented council with the department’s monthly report.

Bailey also noted that the department recently applied for a grant from the Kentucky Fire Commission for a thermal imaging camera and was recently awarded a $35,000 grant from the Kentucky Department of Homeland Security for a new system to load cots into their ambulance.

Bailey said October, which is Fire Prevention Awareness Month, is the department’s busiest month. He reminded everyone about the importance of having smoke detectors in every room and changing the batteries in the detectors.

Police Department Report

Police Chief Mike Daly presented council with the department’s monthly report.

Daly also noted that several officers in the police department recently completed various training at the Kentucky Criminalities Academy and the Academy of Police Supervision.

He also reported that there has been an increase in burglaries in Campbell County, with Fort Thomas seeing two in the past month on Rosemont Avenue. Daly said two suspects were charged in the case and went to jail, but were released and continued burglarizing in nearby areas before being arrested and charged again in another county.

Monday, October 26, 2015

Fort Thomas Independent Schools Achieves District Accreditation

FTM file. 
Fort Thomas Independent Schools has achieved full district accreditation from AdvancED, which accredits over 30,000 schools in 72 countries around the world. Since participation is typically voluntary, schools and districts that go through this process are most often of high quality.

October 19-21, the District hosted a five-member national external review team who interviewed over 255 stakeholders and observed firsthand the quality instruction that takes place in each school on a daily basis.

The external review team evaluates school districts based on five standards:

History of Kentucky's Governors (1931-1950)

By Paul Whalen 

2015 is a Gubernatorial election year, with Republican candidate Matt Bevin set to take on Democratic candidate and current Kentucky Attorney General, Jack Conway. 

Fort Thomas resident, Paul Whalen, continues his look into the history of Kentucky's Governor's that will take us up to present day. 

Happy Chandler is featured below. Aside from being Governor of the Commonwealth, he also produced one of the most memorable renditions of the state song in recent history. 



RUBY LAFFOON
1869-1941
1931-1935 (Term)


            Governor Ruby Laffoon was born in a two room log cabin on January 15, 1869 in Madisonville, Kentucky.  He was the third child and only son of John Bledsoe Laffoon, Jr. and Martha Henrietta Earle Laffoon.  According to lore, his parents could not decide what to name him and for several years called him “Bud”.  While he was still a young child, Laffoon chose the name “Ruby” after the local grocery store owner John Edwin Ruby.
         
Ruby Laffoon was educated in the schools of Hopkins County.  By the time he was 17, he was teaching in the schools at Charleston in Hopkins County.  In 1887, he went to live in Washington, DC with his uncle, U.S. Representative for KY’s 2nd District, Polk Laffoon.  He then went on to attend Columbia Law School (a precursor for George Washington University Law School) and later Washington and Lee University where he graduated in 1890.
         
Following graduation from law school, he passed the bar and established a law practice in Madisonville.  Laffoon married Mary “May” Bryant Nisbet on January 31, 1894 at Madisonville’s Lucille Hotel.  Ruby and May Laffoon eventually had three daughters.  In addition to supporting her husband’s political career, May Laffoon was an “At Large Delegate” to every Democratic National Convention from 1932 to 1960.

Gary Cieradkowski Shares a Bit of Fort Thomas Baseball History

Illustration by Gary Cieradkowski, author of The League of Outsider Baseball

In June we wrote about local author Gary Cieradkowski, who authored and illustrated the celebrated The League of Outsider Baseball. Baseball and history buffs, and fans of Cieradkowski's work, also regularly visit his blog, The Infinite Baseball Card SetCieradkowski's most recent blog post is a nod to Fort Thomas, which he now calls home. 

When we caught up with Cieradkowski he had just returned from Madison, Wisconsin, where he was a guest speaker at the state book festival. "At the reception last night I was shocked at the number of people who wanted to live someplace other than where they currently were," Cieradkowski says. "On top of that, no one wanted to believe that I was content living in northern Kentucky. I said I wasn't content—I was happy to be living where I do. I smiled and thought of the introduction to the story I had just written. On Saturday, November 14, I get to show off my book at the Kentucky Book Fair in Frankfort, which makes me very proud as it's my adopted state." 

Cieradkowski was gracious enough to let us share with you his research into the connection Fort Thomas has with baseball. Be sure to check out Gary Cieradkowski's book, which is available online and in bookstores, including The Blue Marble. It would make a great holiday gift. And if you've already purchased Cieradkowski's book, consider supporting him with a review on Amazon, Barnes & Noble and Goodreads

Soldier Grimes: From the Parade Ground to the Ball Field
by: Gary Cieradkowski 

Sunday, October 25, 2015

History of Kentucky's Governors (1919-1931)

By Paul Whalen 

2015 is a Gubernatorial election year, with Republican candidate Matt Bevin set to take on Democratic candidate and current Kentucky Attorney General, Jack Conway. 

Fort Thomas resident, Paul Whalen, continues his look into the history of Kentucky's Governor's that will take us up to present day. 

AUGUSTUS OWSLEY STANLEY
1867-1858
1915-1919 Term


            Democrat Augustus Stanley was elected to succeed 77 year old Governor James B. McCreary in 1915 as the 37th person to serve as Governor of Kentucky.  Stanley went by “A.O.”. Stanley was the son of a preacher born in Shelbyville.  Stanley was a teacher and lawyer prior to his entry into politics.
            A.O. Stanley was born on May 21, 1867 to William and Amanda Owsley Stanley.  He was given the name “Nudicut Owsley Stanley”.  At age 10, he convinced his parents to change his first name to “Augustus” in honor of his grandmother Augusta Owsley so that no one could call him “NO Stanley”.

Saturday, October 24, 2015

FTM Radio: Allison Ball, Candidate for Kentucky State Treasurer

Download this episode (right click and save)

Recorded Friday, October 23 2015 at 15 N. Pizza in Fort Thomas, Kentucky. 


Via - Two candidates deeply rooted in Appalachia — one a retired school teacher and state lawmaker, the other a bankruptcy attorney and political newcomer — are competing in the down-ballot campaign to become Kentucky's next state treasurer.

Democrat Rick Nelson of Middlesboro touts his experience in the classroom and in Kentucky's Capitol as a state representative. Republican Allison Ball of Prestonsburg says her background helping people through bankruptcies has prepared her to be a watchdog of state finances.

GAME RECAP: Highlands-Grant County (10-23-15)

Bluebirds take care of business once again


PHOTO: Allen Ramsey, DWCPhoto.com. The Highlands cheerleaders hold up a banner commemorating members of the senior class before Friday's game against Grant County.
It is a feeling familiar to this program, but this year's team had not experienced it until Friday.

The Highlands Bluebirds (4-5 overall, 3-0 district) came out clicking on all cylinders moving the ball at will on offense and held its ground defensively on third down against the Grant County Braves (3-6, 0-3) on all but two drives in the first half. Add some solid play on special teams and it led to a 42-6 halftime lead for the Bluebirds before the reserves took over in the second half in a 56-22 Highlands Class 5A, District 5 victory.

Bluebird Notebook: Numbers show Highlands dominance of district opponents

PHOTO: Allen Ramsey, DWCPhoto.com. The Highlands freshmen team beat Ryle, 41-7 Thursday in Union.
The numbers more than tell the story of their domination of district opponents since 2007.

Friday, October 23, 2015

Jeri Stull Orthodontics' Office Goes Inside "Give Kids the World Village"

“Touching the lives of children, or so we thought.”

Volunteers from Jeri Stull Orthodontics. 

By Teryn Strietelmeier

'Humbled, inspired, a renewed soul, life-changing, and let’s be honest a little heart-wrenching' are the words that my team uses to describe their experiences at Give Kids the World Village.

Give Kids The World Village is a nonprofit resort in Kissimmee, Florida for children with life-threatening illnesses and their families. The resort's focus is providing accommodations and access to donated theme park tickets. Families that visit Give Kids The World must be referred by one of over 250 wish-granting organizations or foundations, such as Make-A-Wish Foundation.

When our group from Jeri Stull Orthodontics decided to volunteer at the "Village" our objective was to give of ourselves, to feel accomplished, to touch the life of a child, to save them from sadness, and to have fun as a team.  Looking back, those “objectives” seem generic and without depth; because what we expected and what actually happened was quite different.

Mama On A Budget: YMCA Hosts Fall-O-Ween



With the annual Fort Thomas Pumpkin Walk on Thursday October 29th and Trick-or-Treating on Saturday October 31, if you’re like me you’re trying to figure out what Halloween festivities you can do on Friday!  Well, look no further than the Campbell County YMCA which will be hosting its 3rd annual “Fall-O-Ween” festival.

Thursday, October 22, 2015

Anointed Touch Massage Membership Program = Healthier You

Tiffany Maple, owner of Anointed Touch Massage

Forty-year-old Fort Thomas resident Eric Barth runs 40-60 miles each week, in addition to other workouts including cycling and Crossfit. Tiffany Maple, owner of Anointed Touch Massage, has been providing Barth with massages for nearly two years. "I originally went to Tiffany with some middle back pain and achilles tendon issues," Barth says. Through massage, Maple addressed these painful issues. "I have been running and working out pretty much pain free for nearly two years," Barth says. "I continue to go back each month as part of my proactive approach to staying healthy."

While many view massage as an hour-long relaxing luxury, Maple's clients know that for those concerned about health, it's so much more—especially when done on a regular basis. In July, Maple rolled out a new Membership Program to make it easy for clients to come in for services regularly, improving their overall health.

"It is important to stay healthy in all the pillars of health," Barth says. And for Barth, along with so many others, regular massages is a part of his regime.

Fort Thomas Police Give Tips For Preventing "Golden Alerts"

FTM file. 
Earlier this month an elderly Fort Thomas couple was found after a trip to the Kroger in Bellevue spawned a nearly four-hour search which had them dozens of miles from their original destination in Boone County.

According to their family, the husband, who was driving, has dementia and easily gets confused.

Fort Thomas Police Lt. Rich Whitford, who was on the phone with the couple and their family throughout the search, said that it was one of the worst feelings he's had as a police officer.

But according to him, this wasn't the first time the couple has ventured out only to become confused and disoriented of their whereabouts.

Highlands-Grant County preview

Highlands looking to take care of business in district game

PHOTO: Allen Ramsey, DWCPhoto.com. Highlands junior running back Grant Murray (right) looks for running room against Covington Catholic on Saturday.
Facing any other district opponent in recent years has not carried the same aura and emotions that the most recent opponent has.

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Tough Wednesday: Highlands soccer, volleyball teams fall in postseason

PHOTO: Allen Ramsey, DWCPhoto.com. Highlands sophomore Sophie Steppe (22) battles for the ball while goalkeeper Shannon Eaton (00) watches in the 9th Region semifinals against Notre Dame. The Pandas won 1-0 to eliminate the Ladybirds for the third straight season and fourth time in five years.

ERLANGER - The refs let both teams play for the most part and it turned into a physical girls soccer match.

Kentucky Health Insurance Market in 2016

By Jeff Janosick
Jeff Janosick can help you navgate the new healthcare insurance marketplace. Call him at  859-414-0945 and watch his video below. Jeff Janosick, Health Insurance Expert, is part of the #FTMFamily. 


What’s new in the health insurance market in 2016?

A few weeks ago, the largest health insurance company on Kynect (Kentucky’s health insurance exchange), announced they were going out of business in 2016.  Two new carriers, UnitedHealthcare and Aetna, will begin offering coverage in Northern Kentucky.

So there are lots of changes coming in just a few days.  Open enrollment begins 11/1/15 and you must enroll by 12/15 to start a plan for January 1, 2016.  I can help with plans purchased via Kynect for 2014 or 2015.

Can you help with Medicare products too?

Definitely!

If you are on Medicare (over 65 typically), I can help.  I am appointed to offer plans from Anthem, Humana, AARP UnitedHealthcare, Aetna, Mutual of Omaha, RiverLink, and many others.  It makes a lot of sense to analyze you plan for year to year.  Especially this year.

One very popular plan recently sent a letter stating a very large NKY hospital will not be in their network in 2016.  Another popular plan just raised their price from $0 to $15 a month and increased their drug deductible significantly.  Medicare open enrollments ends 12/7.

How can people contact you if they need help?

Groundbreaking Ceremony for Renovation of Moyer Elementary School Set

Ruth Moyer Elementary. FTM file. 
Fort Thomas Independent Schools will hold a groundbreaking ceremony on Tuesday, November 10, 2015, at 1:30pm to kick-off the renovation of Moyer Elementary School.

The renovation of Moyer Elementary is a planned 30-month phased project that begins with the demolition and replacement of the 1950s and 1970s portions of the building and ends with the renovation of the 1930s structure.

Once completed, the new facility will accommodate 550 students with classrooms, resource classrooms, performance areas, a library media center, art room, gymnasium, administration area and cafeteria.

See the plans, which were unveiled to the public in February (link). 

More Details:

How YOU Can Be on the Next Fort Thomas Living Cover


The last cover for the October edition of the Fort Thomas Living included a black and white version of Lucie Rice's, "Fort Thomas" print. I'm sure you've seen them around town.

We asked our readers, if they were so inclined, to color that cover. Or design it in some unique way. There are extra copies right now at Fort Thomas Coffee and the Valentines will hang your mini-masterpieces on their walls of the shop when you're done decorating.

So what if yours is picked as the "best in show?"

We'll put the winners on the next cover of the Fort Thomas Living. Give it a shot!

Here's the letter from the Editor I wrote from that magazine:

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Highlands - Cov Cath (Regional Soccer Tournament - 10-20-15)

CovCath ends Highlands soccer season
PHOTO: Allen Ramsey, DWCPhoto.com. Highlands senior Noah Sellers (left) plays the ball in a recent game. The Bluebirds fell to Covington Catholic, 2-1 on penalty kicks Tuesday in the 9th Region quarterfinals.
CRESTVIEW HILLS - In an up-and-down season, they gave a valiant effort against an arch-rival who had not lost to a Kentucky team all season.


But the two could not settle things in 80 minutes of regulation or two five-minute overtime periods. So the teams went to penalty kicks tied 1-1.

BREAKING: Car Flips on Highland Avenue

Picture submitted by John Turner, of Turner Lawn and Landscape. 859-801-3682.
A car accident on Highland Avenue has left at least one injured and a car flipped on its top.

The accident occurred just past the I-471 overhang, heading down the hill towards Southgate at around 10:35 a.m.

Ron Dill named Fort Thomas City Administrator

Fort Thomas city staff officially has a new leader at the helm

Ron Dill becomes the next top appointed city official in Fort Thomas at the Oct 19 city council meeting. FTM file. 

By Amanda (Joering) Dibiaso

At their meeting Monday, October 19 city council unanimously approved the hiring of Ron Dill as the city’s new City Administrative Officer.

Dill, who had been serving as interim City Administrator since Don Martin retired from the position in August, is the longest tenured employee in the city, with 28 years of experience in various positions including Assistant City Administrative Officer and General Services Director.

Mayor Eric Haas said the city received 48 applications for the position and interviewed seven or eight candidates, the last being Dill.

“He came into the room, and I haven’t seen so much enthusiasm in a human being in my life,” Haas said. “I’m more excited about this position now with (Dill) at the helm, because I think there’s a lot of good things we can do for the city.”

Art in Bloom - Cincinnati Art Museum

"A professional in Bloom"
Jill Dunne. Provided. 
By Jill Dunne

The Cincinnati Art Museum houses more than 65,000 works of art and countless memories for me.

I had my first date with my future husband at the Cincinnati Art Museum on Nov. 12, 2006. We got married there on Nov. 14, 2009 and I started working there on Nov. 14, 2012. The Art Museum has been a big part of my life.

Born and raised in Fort Thomas (daughter of Bob Schlarman and Betty (Wehage) Schlarman), I graduated from Highlands High School in 1997 and from Northern Kentucky University in 2001. My husband and I bought a house in Fort Thomas in 2009 and can think of no other place where we’d rather raise our 3-year-old daughter.

Monday, October 19, 2015

Ladybird soccer advances to 9th semis for third straight year

PHOTO: Allen Ramsey, DWCPhoto.com. Highlands junior Lauren Ossege looks for room in a recent game. The Ladybirds beat Dixie Heights, 2-0 to advance to the 9th Region semifinals Wednesday.
CRESTVIEW HILLS - The Highlands Ladybirds soccer team knew it had a quickness advantage against the 9th Region quarterfinal host Dixie Heights Lady Colonels.

BREAKING: Ron Dill To Be Named Fort Thomas City Administrator

Ron Dill. FTM file. 
Interim City Administrative Officer, Ron Dill, will be named the next City Administrative Officer for the City of Fort Thomas at tonight's city council meeting, sources tell Fort Thomas Matters.

At 28 years, Dill is the longest tenured city employee in Fort Thomas, most recently having dual roles of Assistant City Administrative Officer and General Services Director.

After the announcement that former City Administrator, Don Martin, would retire on August 31, Mayor Eric Haas told FTM that he was not looking forward to having to replace Martin.

"I didn’t want this to happen at all. It wasn't in the plans to deal with having to hire a City Administrative Officer." he said in a previous FTM article.  "The way the retirement system is set up, we lose people early into their careers to the system. You can't blame him, but the system doesn't make sense. The system has to change, it's just not sustainable."

VonLehman to Locate New Headquarters in Fort Wright

CPA, business advisory firm to invest $3 million in northern Kentucky

Northern Kentucky will be the home of a growing accounting and business advisory firm. Gov. Steve Beshear today announced that VonLehman & Company Inc. will develop a new, expanded headquarters in Fort Wright, adding 20 new jobs in Northern Kentucky.

VonLehman, one of the largest private CPA and business advisory firms in the region, will invest $3 million in the headquarters. The 56,000-square-foot building will be located at Wright’s Summit Office Complex. Construction will begin this fall and is expected to be completed in December 2016.

Three Fort Thomas Businesses Set to Expand, Invite Community to Grand Reopening

Frances Hoffman, owner of Alterations (and now Monogramming and Party Rentals) by Frances is one of three businesses set to expand in the Highland Plaza. The businesses will be hosting a "Busting at the Seams" Reopening tomorrow, October 20. FTM file. 
Three Fort Thomas businesses are expanding and are inviting the community to celebrate their success during a grand reopening ceremony on Tuesday, October 20 from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.

The "Busting at the Seams" expansion was cultivated because the three businesses in the back of the Highland Plaza at 654 Highland Avenue have experienced tremendous growth since opening.

O'Connor Dental Care Rolls Out Dental Membership Savings Plan

Dr. Emily K. O'Connor and Dr. Patrick D. O'Connor

O'Connor Dental Care, at 40 North Grand Ave., has been a staple in Fort Thomas since 1979. Dr. Patrick D. O'Connor bought the dental practice the month his daughter, Dr. Emily K. O'Connor, was born—July 1979.

"Growing up with a dentist as a father, I had first-hand experiences how genuinely happy he felt when he was able to provide supportive care for those in pain and discomfort, or for those who just lacked confidence because their oral health was not right for them," Dr. Emily O'Connor says. As a teenager Dr. Emily O'Connor shadowed her father after her high school activities, and seeing the immediate and positive changes her father made to patients in pain or to patients who lacked confidence greatly influenced her decision to become a dentist.

And so she did, become a dentist, joining the practice in May 2006, shortly after graduating from the University of Kentucky College of Dentistry.

"Now I thoroughly enjoy being a dentist and a caretaker of oral health," Dr. Emily O'Connor says. "Every day I come to our office with a smile on my face knowing that my patients are going to be healthier and happier that day and beyond after visiting us." 

Recently the father-daughter duo rolled out a Dental Membership Savings Plan, available to new patients who don't have dental insurance, as well as new and current patients who do have dental insurance. 

Saturday, October 17, 2015

GAME RECAP: Highlands vs. Covington Catholic (10-17-15)

Bluebird Streaks Stay Alive Against Colonels

PHOTO: Allen Ramsey, DWCPhoto.com. The Highlands cheerleaders showed off their signs before Saturday's game against Covington Catholic. The Bluebirds won their 14th in a row over the Colonels, 14-10.
PARK HILLS - Someone associated with the Covington Catholic Colonels football team may have played Ryan Star's song, "This Could Be The Year."

But even though it was not for certain until the last minute, the Highlands Bluebirds made sure it turned into another case of it not being "The Year" the Colonels break the streak with a 14-10 win on Saturday. This marked the lowest point combined point total in the series since 2004. Highlands beat the Colonels, 9-0 during the regular season that year in Fort Thomas.

Bluebird Notes: Dougherty nearing top 10 for most career PATs in Kentucky history

PHOTO: Allen Ramsey, DWCPhoto.com. Highlands seniors Taylor Perez (35), Conner Welsch (5) and Elijah Miller-Cox (57) get ready to take the field Saturday at Covington Catholic.
Jared Dougherty has given the Highlands Bluebirds football team consistency in its kicking game the past couple seasons.

Friday, October 16, 2015

Bobby Mackey's Gatekeeper Paranormal Tour

An Evening at One of America's Most Haunted Places
FTM file. 

Now that October is officially in full swing, I wanted to indulge in one of the season's most popular pastimes. 

No, I'm not talking about picking pumpkins or rooting on your favorite baseball team during the playoffs. I'm talking about some good old fashioned ghost hunting. And what's better than Bobby Mackey's Music World for an evening with the paranormal?

Bobby Mackey's Music World is widely known as one of the nation's most haunted places, and Gatekeeper Paranormal is responsible for handling the building's ghost tours. 

36th Girls Soccer Championship: Lady Breds escape Ladybirds with 2-1 win

PHOTO: Allen Ramsey, DWCPhoto.com. Highlands freshman Haley Dougherty (right) battles for position in the 36th District championship game Thursday.
The score was the same as the regular season.

Charities Guild of Northern Kentucky Helps Fort Thomas Children

The Happy Feet Ball is 11.6.15 at Highlander Event Center, 90 Alexandria Pike, Fort Thomas, Kentucky. 

Two weeks ago on FTM, I wrote a story reminding everyone to save-the-date for the annual Charities Guild of Northern Kentucky (CGNK) Happy Feet Ball, an annual dance and fundraiser to benefit the numerous non-profits supported by the CGNK philanthropic foundation (found here).

However, what you loyal readers may not know is how close to home the work that CGNK does really hits.  In a recent Enquirer article, the discussion of childhood poverty highlighted the 2014 census data that shows 44.3% of Cincinnati children live below the federal poverty line, coming to school hungry and poorly clothed- an “abominable number.”

While the overall Kentucky numbers are better at just over 26%, childhood poverty, even in our tight-knit Fort Thomas community, is very real.

Thursday, October 15, 2015

History of Kentucky's Governors (1900-1911)

By Paul Whalen 

2015 is a Gubernatorial election year, with Republican candidate Matt Bevin set to take on Democratic candidate and current Kentucky Attorney General, Jack Conway. 

Fort Thomas resident, Paul Whalen, continues his look into the history of Kentucky's Governor's that will take us up to present day. 


JCW BECKHAM
1869-1940
 1900-1907 (Term)


John C.W. Beckham was  the grandson of the former Governor Charles “The Duke” Wickham, and was William Goebel’s Lt. Governor in the election of 1899.

Beckham was a native and resident of Bardstown, Kentucky.  He attended Central University, now Eastern Kentucky University prior to becoming a public school principal and beginning the study and practice of law.

Beckham served three terms in the Kentucky House of Representatives, becoming Speaker in 1898.  (Goebel was Senate President at that time)

He was sworn in as Governor after Goebel’s death on February 3, 1900 and following the appeals of the 1899 election to the General Assembly, the Franklin Circuit Court, the Kentucky Court of Appeals and a U.S. Supreme Court’s decision upholding the Kentucky Court of Appeals decision validating Goebel’s election.  A special election for KY Governor was held in November 1900 for the remainder of the term where Beckham was elected in his own right.  In the special election of November 1900, Beckham won over Republican John W. Yerkes.

Fort Thomas School Board October Meeting Round-up

The Fort Thomas Board of Education meets last week to discuss the emergency measure to replace the damaged gym floor. FTM file. 
By Amanda (Joering) Dibiaso

The Fort Thomas School Board held their monthly meeting Monday, October 12. Board members Brad Fennell and Lisa Duckworth were absent. Here’s your round-up:

Student Showcase: Woodfill Elementary School students Gabe Williams, Chelsea Crisler and Sophia Veshapidze presented their Student Data Binders to the board. This year every student at Woodfill has a Student Data Binder that they use to collect their individual data, like attendance, and set goals for the future. The binders are meant to help the students be successful.

The board expressed how impressed they were with the students’ presentation and the work they’re doing with their binders. Woodfill Principal Keith Faust said the binders have been really well accepted by both students and teachers and that he expects the binders will be beneficial for the students.

“We really think this is going to pay dividends in the long run,” Faust said.

Highlands High School Renovation updates: Director of Operations Jerry Wissman updated the board on the progress of the renovations at Highlands High School. Wissman said work on the field house and gymnasium is progressing and that the field turf project is nearing completion with just a few loose ends to tie up.

Last week, the Board of Education passed an emergency measure to start work to repair the damage of the gym floor caused by the contractor working on the gym renovation. (link)

The insurance company for the contractor agreed to the total the Board asked for to repair the damage to the tune of $211,200.
FTM file. 
Moyer Elementary School Renovation update: