Monday, October 31, 2016

Ruth Moyer Santa House - November 18,19 (2016)


Click on the image above to be directed to the Ruth Moyer Santa House Facebook event page. 

Ruth Moyer Santa House will be held in the Fort Thomas Armory again this year, due to the ongoing construction of the school.
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The dates are Friday, November 18, from 6-9 p.m. and Saturday, November 19 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.





Fort Thomas Korean War Veteran Given Honor Flight

Jack McGraw getting ready for his flight. FTM file. 

Only a tiny percentage of our population understands what it's like to live with the memories of serving during a war. For those survivors and heroes that do, it can be difficult to put it in perspective. Luckily, there is an organization that wants to help.

According to their website, "Honor Flight  is a non-profit organization dedicated to providing veterans with honor and closure." They transport veterans to Washington D.C. to visit and reflect at the memorials.
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The Teal Pumpkin Project

One of my family’s favorite activities is to walk the neighborhood and see all the pumpkins.  Some are carved, some are whole, some are dressed as characters, some have Fort Thomas Matters stickers affixed to them, and a few are painted teal.  Have you noticed any such teal-painted pumpkins?  They are striking in how they stand out from the other pumpkins around them; striking enough it caused me to research what these teal pumpkins are.

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Saturday, October 29, 2016

Highlands-Boone County Notebook

PHOTO: Allen Ramsey, DWCPhoto.com. Highlands sophomore Bailey Armstrong (2) tries for a tackle while teammate John Buchanan (26) and Boone County's Jacob Cain (27) converge. Highlands beat Boone County, 48-28 on Friday. 
PHOTO: Allen Ramsey, DWCPhoto.com. Highlands sophomore offensive lineman Will Gastright (58) comes out for the pre-game.

This will be a different playoff experience for the Blue and White.

For the first time in 21 years, the Highlands Bluebirds football team (3-7 overall) will hit the road for the first round of the playoffs. Highlands finished 1-2 in Class 5A, District 5 action this year and will travel to face District 4s second-seeded Louisville Doss Dragons (5-5) on Friday at 7:30 p.m.

Highlands-Boone County Gamer

Bluebirds hold off Rebels, 48-28

PHOTO: Allen Ramsey, DWCPhoto.com. Highlands senior Trent Buchert (4) finds the end zone in the first half against Boone County. The Bluebirds held off the Rebels, 48-28 to end the regular season.

The start is something any football team loves to see.

The Highlands Bluebirds (3-7 overall) jumped out to a 21-0 lead capitalizing on two lost fumbles from the visiting Boone County Rebels (1-9). Highlands did not put away the visitors like what happened in the 50-0 win at Grant County in a game that took just an hour and a half. But the Bluebirds did finish the regular season with a 48-28 victory to grab a two-game winning streak going into the playoffs.

Friday, October 28, 2016

Big Improvements Coming to Newport's Underpass and Monmouth Streets

Picture of the Newport Underpass, via NKYViews.com. 
Southbank Partners has received more than $7 million in grants from the OKI Regional Council of Governments that will be used for street improvements and pedestrian paths in the Southbank Partners cities of Newport and Dayton.

The City of Newport will receive $3.1 million to improve the area around the 11th Street Underpass over Monmouth Street and $3.2 million for improvements on Monmouth Street south of the Underpass to the Southgate city line. In addition, the City Dayton received $886,000 for continued development of Riverfront Commons, an 11-mile public walk-and-bikeway path connecting Northern Kentucky's river cities that is the brainchild of Southbank Partners.

"This will completely change how the dynamic of the Newport Underpass," said Tom Guidugli, a Newport City Commissioner. "We will finally be able to connect the north end of the city to the south, which has always been a huge obstacle."

All told, the two Southbank Partners cities received $9.8 million. The funds were allocated through the Surface Transportation Program for Northern Kentucky (SNK).

Southbank Partners President Jack Moreland said winning approval of the grants was a team effort. He credited Southbank Partners grant writers Robert Yoder and Henley McIntosh as well as Guidugli, who revived a portion of an earlier plan from when his father, Tom Guidugli Sr., served as mayor, as well as the members of the Newport City Commission and city administration.

Work on the Underpass portion of the project will include wider, safer sidewalks for both pedestrians or bikes, improved lighting and the removal of an obsolete of stairs.

The work on south Monmouth Street will include improved sidewalks, improved lighting, increased bicycle safety through the corridor and the removal of utility poles from the right of way.

"Like everything we do at Southbank, this was a true team effort," Moreland said. "For nearly two decades Southbank Partners has been a driving force in the successful riverfront development and infrastructure improvement of our partners cities. These projects will continue to improve the quality, safety and convenience of life for those who live, visit and work in the Southbank Partner cities."

OKI is a council of local governments, business organizations and community groups committed to developing collaborative strategies, plans and programs to improve the quality of life and the economic development potential of the Tri-State.

"These projects form a comprehensive network that will improve the region's economy and quality of life," said OKI CEO Mark Policinski. "They solve important roadway problems while also funding transportation options like bike and pedestrian paths, which communities consider a must-have rather than a nice-to-have. The environment, economy and safety of our region will be advanced by these wise expenditures."

FTM Radio Podcast: The Slow Death of the Cincinnati Enquirer

Read Ben Liebing's article here. 

SPONSOR: OMEGA Processing Solutions 

We talk with former Enquirer reporter, Ben Liebing, about his article published on Medium entitled, "The Slow Death of the Cincinnati Enquirer."

Ben had some "hot takes" about his time there and pulled back the curtain in meetings and the newsroom at the Enquirer during his time there.

You can read his article here.

An excerpt:

The Cincinnati Enquirer may be on its last death kicks. Yesterday was a dark one for the paper, as Gannett, its parent company, announced wide layoffs. And while it saddens me that people should lose their jobs, or that a once great newspaper should ever be reduced to the likes of USA Today — perhaps it’s worth asking the question journalists are supposed to start with:

Why?

I have an answer. Some of you will like it. My former colleagues at The Enquirer will not.

More background on the layoffs that hit the Enquirer just prior to Liebing's employment there as a reporter can be found here. 

First Annual Johnson Elementary World Cup

First Annual Johnson Elementary World Cup
Sports fans know that this is the perfect week of sporting events with the Major League Baseball World Series beginning, the heart of the season for the National Football and National Hockey Leagues, and the opening tip of the National Basketball Association’s regular season.  Hopefully not lost amongst all that sporting glory was the first annual Johnson Elementary World Cup that occurred on Wednesday October 26 at the Highlands High School Football field.

The World Cup featured non-stop action as a team of Elementary school ringers faced off against their foe: the teachers!

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The teams for this showdown were set earlier this month with the students getting “drafted” by placing the winning bid at the Johnson Hullabaloo.  Those who bid the highest got to join with ten other students, representing all grades, to face-off against their teachers. The students faced a stacked roster of ten teachers, student teachers, and teacher aides.

The game-action was intense with the students getting an early goal off the foot of Jake Wilson.  The teachers fought back but ultimately fell to the students, losing 3-1.

Student team
The Elementary students were coached by Bengals player Robert Jackson and their goal was tended by Highlands High School sophomore and Junior Varsity soccer goalie Will Burnham.  The many fans in attendance (estimates place approximately 150 people there to view the action) were kept apprised of the on-field action by Zach Wells, local Sports Anchor, who announced the game.  Additionally, the Highlands High School pep band filled the air with the music of fall sports!

Thursday, October 27, 2016

OP-ED: Vacant Property Registration Will Improve Our City

Candidate for Fort Thomas City Council, David Cameron, with wife Sarah and daughter Ada Kate. Provided. 
By David Cameron, candidate for Fort Thomas City Council 

If you have a vacant home or building on your street, then you know first-hand that it can have a negative impact on the ambiance of our residential community. Uncut grass, growing weeds, dead trees, and maintenance issues can quickly become unsightly. These homes are often safety hazards and attract animals and children. Importantly, many of these properties are bank owned, with enforcement notices to distant bank offices going unanswered.

As a candidate for Fort Thomas City Council, I have researched possible solutions to this problem and discovered that other cities have been successful in cleaning up vacant properties through the creation of a vacant property registration and maintenance program.

This program would require abandoned bank-owned properties to register a name of a local individual or company who would be responsible for maintenance.  Entities that owned foreclosed property would be subject to fines for not maintaining their properties.  Further, the list of abandoned foreclosed properties would be available to the public to facilitate an infusion of redevelopment opportunities in our city.

Kentucky law allows for additional taxes on properties that have been abandoned for greater than one year. This allows the city to recoup additional costs associated with these properties, including code enforcement, police, and fire calls. This option should be explored as well.

In a Pickle About What to Do? Check out Pickleball


Fort Thomas is fortunate to have some great parks which include tennis courts. But tennis courts aren't just for tennis. If you'd like to try a fun sport that is truly sweeping the country, check out Pickleball.

If you're not familiar with Pickleball, here is a brief description. It's a racquet sport that takes a little bit from badminton, tennis, and table top tennis (Ping Pong). The ball used is a wiffle ball. The racket is the size of a Racquetball racket, but solid wood instead of with strings.

Pickleball racket and ball


While it uses tennis courts, the court is marked off much smaller so you're playing closer to the net. It can be played with two, three, or four players. Servers use an underhand stroke and points are served by the side that serves only. The first side that scores 11 points and leads by at least two points wins the game.
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The game originated at the home of Joel and Joan Pritchard of Bainbridge Island, Washington in 1972. Joel was a State Representative of Washington at the time. He and two of his friends returned to his house after playing golf and found their families bored and wanting to play something. They decided to play Badminton but since they couldn't find a shuttlecock they lowered the net and used a wiffle ball instead.

While some people claim the game was named after the Pritchard's family dog, Pickles, the dog was actually named after the game. The name came from the word "pickle boat," which refers to the last boat to return with its catch. Joan Pritchard told her family and friends the game reminded her of the pickle boat crew where oarsmen were chosen from the leftovers of other boats. Since the game was created from parts of other games, the name "Pickleball" stuck.

Todd Eger brought the game to Fort Thomas after he was introduced to by a friend four or five years ago. "It's a lot of fun and I like that it attracts a wide age group."

Todd has the tennis courts at Tower Park reserved every Tuesday from 7–9 p.m. The season will be ending soon because of the weather but will start up again in late March. "Show up any Tuesday and try it out. We have extra rackets and balls so just wear your tennis shoes," says Todd.

There are indoor courts  at Town and Country Sports and Health Club in Wilder, Kentucky for anyone interested during the winter and most major cities have groups that are happy to add you in. For information about the game and other places it's played, go to:
http://www.usapa.org/



Highlands-Boone County Football Preview

Bluebirds seek more momentum going into playoffs

PHOTO: Allen Ramsey, DWCPhoto.com. Highlands senior defensive back Ben Grothaus reacts to a play against Grant County on Friday. The Bluebirds play host to the Boone County Rebels at 7 p.m. Friday to finish the regular season.
Both football teams come into the non-district contest Friday fresh off huge district wins.

The next goal for both teams is to build on that momentum and carry it into the playoffs. The Highlands Bluebirds (2-7 overall) took down the 3-6 Grant County Braves, 50-0 for their most complete game of the season in Class 5A, District 5 action and the Rebels (1-8) snapped a 28-game losing streak with a 20-14 overtime win over the visiting 3-6 Campbell County Camels in Class 6A, District 6 action. The teams finish the regular season at David Cecil Memorial Stadium on Friday at 7 p.m.

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Fort Thomas Sesquicentennial Theme Revealed

The theme for Fort Thomas' 150 sesquicentennial celebration is "Community is our business."
Plans for the city's sesquicentennial celebration are well under way.

Beginning in May seven different committee members, made of up nearly 50 people, began meeting monthly. "I must tell you, they are some of the most passionate, hard-working, excited people Fort Thomas has to offer," said Renaissance Manager and Economic Development Director for the City of Fort Thomas Debbie Buckley at the September 26 City Council meeting.

The most difficult goal? Coming up with a theme. For months committee members deliberated and even took to Facebook for suggestions. But finally, they came across a winner.
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WATCH Patrick Towles Score from 75 Yards Out

ACC Digital Network. YouTube.com
Patrick Towles, a Highlands 2012 graduate, had a 75-yard touchdown run on Saturday in a loss against Syracuse.

Towles, who is now a graduate student, transferred to Boston College from the University of Kentucky last year. He hurt his hamstring on the run, but the highlight is fun to watch.

The highlight occurs at the 0:57 mark in the video below.

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Patrick Towles stats, 2012-2016. Click image to see larger. 





Tuesday, October 25, 2016

October City Council Meeting Roundup

All were present for the Fort Thomas City Council meeting in October. FTM file. 


The Fort Thomas City Council met on Monday, October 17, 2016 at 7:00 pm.  All members were present.

Judge Cameron Blau visited the council and spoke a bit about the duties performed by a district judge and asked for the community's support.

Fort Thomas resident Melanie Powers attended and addressed the council about her concerns regarding St. Andrews wishing to utilize green space for a parking lot. 

She said that preservation of the city's green spaces, particularly the few remaining in central business areas, are vital.

"Before the parking lot is approved, I feel there are other options that could be should be, fully explored & discussed. I am convinced the city can find alternative parking solutions for St. Andrews, still preserve that beautiful urban green space," she said.

The Board of Adjustment commission will hear both sides of the argument tonight in the council chambers.

FTM will have more on this story.
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Police Chief Mike Daly shared an update on the vehicular fatality that occurred at 123 South Grand Avenue on September 18th.  Blood tests revealed that the driver was highly under the influence of alcohol at the time of the accident. His breath alcohol was a .189 with no other drugs detected in his system.  It was also discovered that just prior to the fatal crash the driver had been involved in a hit and run on North Fort Thomas Avenue.

RELATED: Car Fatality on Grand Avenue in Fort Thomas. 

The Chief also wished to address the recent thefts in Fort Thomas.  The 'Felony Lane Gang' has once again targeted the city, specifically Highland (dog park area) and Tower Park.

Sesquicentennial Photo Contest Announced



Fort Thomas will turn 150 next year and there are big plans for an exciting celebration.  Here is one that you might want to participate in - a photo contest. The theme of the contest is the Spirit of Fort Thomas and photographers are encouraged to capture that spirit in a photograph. Entries will be displayed in a show in the Mess Hall during the week of the sesquicentennial celebration.


The contest coordinator, Nancy Schneider, says a photograph stops a moment in time … which tells a story. And this contest is a great way to document these moments for future celebrations. My goal for the photo contest is for people of all ages to get out and walk around the town and show off all of her beauty. This town means a lot of different things to people and I want that vision displayed in a photograph.

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Monday, October 24, 2016

Fort Thomas Central - Northern Kentucky Gifts - Northern Kentucky Gift Shop



Giving a gift this holiday season? Mark your calendars and make an effort to "Shop Local."

Barb Thomas, owner of Fort Thomas Central, has Fort Thomas and northern Kentucky looking forward to a lot in the next few months, but perhaps the most anticipated event is the Gifting Back Bazaar, December 3 at The Highlands Event Center in Fort Thomas.

"The Gifting Back Bazaar was born from the Gifting Back Parties initiated last year by Fort Thomas central," said Thomas. "The Bazaar, which consists of 30 boutiques and small businesses, will give 10% of sales to 30 different charities."

Thomas said last year, the gifting back parties allowed donations back to six different charities.

Additionally, furthering the gifting back theme, Fort Thomas Central will give 20% of the admission sales to NKY Hates Heroin

"I had known about the Specht's heartbreaking story, but heard it firsthand at a Story Matters event in October," said Thomas. "It touched every nerve in my body and felt it was appropriate given the nature of the event. We are so excited about bringing the community together for this first annual event."

RELATED: WATCH Story Matters - Holly's Specht's story

We are so excited about bringing the community together for this first annual even

November:

• Fort Thomas Central will exhibit for the 2nd year at the Cincinnati Holiday Market at the Duke Energy Center, November 11-13th
• Holiday Open House, Saturday, November 19th
• Small Business Saturday, November 26th

SEE: Fort Thomas Central 

December:

• 1st Annual Gifting Back Bazaar presented by Fort Thomas Central, December 3rd at The Highlander Event Center.  The Gifting Back Bazaar will showcase 30 small businesses/artists, donate to 30 charities and present 30 prize giveaways to attendees.  This is event is born from the Gifting Back Parties hosted by Fort Thomas Central last year.  "Gifting a better day."

See the Facebook event page here.

See the Gifting Back Bazaar Facebook page here.

RELATED: Fort Thomas Central Hosts "Gifting Back Parties"






Local Businesses Display Moyer Elementary Art For Community Project

Moyer Elementary first graders deliver artwork to Fort Thomas Coffee.

The next time you're mailing a package at the U.S. Postal Service office on North Fort Thomas Ave., buying breakfast at Top This Donut Bar or checking out a book at the Carrico/Fort Thomas branch of the Campbell County Public Library, take a moment to look at the artwork on display, proudly made by first graders at Ruth Moyer Elementary.

Nikki Everett, Visual Arts Teacher for Fort Thomas Independent Schools (FTIS), reached out to more than 20 businesses to partner with her first-grade classes. Although she has partnered with Starbucks and St. Elizabeth Ft. Thomas in the past, this is the first year elementary art classes have partnered with businesses all over the city.
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"The big idea we talk about in art during the first quarter is community, and the first graders are learning about jobs and writing what they want to be when they grow up," Everett says. "I wanted to make connections with their curriculum in the classroom and be able to reach out to our own community to make it an authentic, real-world and memorable learning experience." 


Students in Nikki Everett's art class deliver a collaborative painting to the Fort Thomas Police Department. Pictured here is Derek Faught. 

Another painting went to the Fort Thomas Independent Schools Board of Education office. Pictured here with Ginger Webb and Gene Kirchner. 

Everett, who has been teaching elementary art with FTIS for 14 years, personally visited Fort Thomas Coffee, the FTIS Board of Education office and the Fort Thomas Police Department with Jillian Hurtt's first-grade class. "Each teacher walked her class to three different businesses," Everett says. "You should be able to see the work at other offices and businesses on the Avenue, which include the U.S. Postal Service office, 15 North Pizza, Top This Donut Bar, Belladance, Fort Thomas Central, the Fort Thomas Fire Department, Fifth Third Bank, the City Building and Bowman's Framing. The students completed the work in art class and then walked to each business to deliver the work. The businesses, in return, talked to the students about their job in the community and agreed to display the work."

OP-ED: Running For Judge Another Service to Our Community

Joe Grimme with son, Matthew. Provided. 
By Joe Grimme

Our communities define who we are and who we become.

So when I decided to run for District Court Judge for Campbell County, I reflected upon my time in Fort Thomas and Campbell County in order to help me clarify why I felt it was my duty to run. To me, it’s all about serving.

I graduated from Highlands High School in Fort Thomas in 1991 and then decided to stay in Campbell County to attend and graduate from Northern Kentucky University and Chase College of Law.

Fort Thomas continues to be the embodiment of service.  The schools are continually the best in the state because of the amount of people who are engaged. Parents care. Teachers care. Students care. The community cares and that’s what makes the city great.

I learned that from an early age from my parents, Art and Trudy Grimme.

I have volunteered thousands of hours over the past decade to youth sports, elementary and high school boosters, church functions, as well as other organizations.  I take pride in being able to give back a community that has given so much to me.

Campbell County is my home and I can’t imagine a better place to live.

During this campaign, I have talked to many Campbell County residents and I find it interesting, when talking to them, just how many people I have found a connection with in the many walks of life I’ve spent time in service.

Many know me from my business, Fessler, Schneider and Grimme in Fort Thomas, of which I have been a partner for over 15 years.

Many know me from my church. I’m a life-long parishioner of St. Thomas Parish in Fort Thomas.

Others know me from my time with the Moyer Boosters. In 2006, when our first son, Steven, began kindergarten at Ruth Moyer Elementary, it became clear that the school was in need of several items.  In an effort to help raise funds for various needs, I formed the Moyer Mustangs Boosters Club and served as President for six years.

Campbell County Wins First Regional Soccer Title

Highlands alum leads Camels soccer to new heights 

Asst. Coach, Chris Terry, with Head Coach, Matt Ewald, and assistant Jeremy Theetge. FTM file. 
Matt Ewald hoped to help the Campbell County Camels soccer team into new territory when he took over as head coach three years ago.

On Sunday, the Camels crossed into that new territory with their first-ever region championship by a 3-2 count over the host and defending 10th Region champion Montgomery County Indians. Campbell County added that on top of the first 37th District championship in the three years of the 2000 Highlands graduate's tenure.


PHOTO: Allen Ramsey, DWCPhoto.com. Campbell County senior defender Griffin Thomas (25) plays the ball in a game against Highlands earlier in the season. The Camels, led by Highlands 2000 graduate Matt Ewald, captured the first-ever region championship in school Sunday with a 3-2 win over Montgomery County.  Thomas is one of 17 seniors on the team.
"The group of guys that I have this year have come together as a whole team," Ewald said. "In the past, we've had some guys who wanted to play together. But this is the first year I've had 24 guys that just really, really watch each others' backs. It's been pretty fun to watch. That's why I think we're having the success that we're having."

The Camels have 17 seniors on the roster. Campbell County went 8-8-4 in Ewald's first season there in 2014 losing to eventual state runner-up Scott in the 37th semifinals. But as juniors, that group helped the Camels make the 10th Region Tournament losing to Montgomery County, 1-0 in the region semifinals.

RELATED: Matt Ewald Takes Over Campbell County Soccer Program 

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Sunday, October 23, 2016

Fort Thomas Home Repair - The Home Doctor - Northern Kentucky Home Repair

The Home Doctor is part of the #FTMFamily. Offer is good through 11/20/16.  
The Home Doctor, a Fort Thomas home repair and improvement specialist, is offering a Fall Special to get you ready for the upcoming cold weather.

Do you have a  to-do list ready to go? Call these guys and let them do it for you.

Take action NOW through November 20 and you'll receive 15% your job.

Call NOW to book 859-466-3825, email for an estimate here, or claim your offer from their Facebook page below (just click). 



Clean/repair gutters
Repair window screens
Pressure wash house/decks
Exterior paint
Roof repair
Instal programable thermostat
Insulation
Water supply lines winterized/insulated

RELATED: The Home Doctor: Blue Collared Workers Who Know How to Work 



Saturday, October 22, 2016

Highlands-Grant County Notebook

Bluebirds Find Defensive Spark in Shut-Out

PHOTO: Allen Ramsey, DWCPhoto.com. Highlands sophomores Jackson Hagedorn (46) and Cooper Schwalbach (91) pursue Grant County's Austin Smith (44) in the game in Dry Ridge on Friday. Highlands won 50-0.
PHOTO: Allen Ramsey, DWCPhoto.com. Highlands senior linebacker Trey Bowden (17) pursues and brings down Grant County quarterback Tanner Souder (20) while teammates Noah Kremer-Stegman (38) and Trent Johnson (65) follow behind. The Bluebird defense limited the Braves to an average of about 1.4 yards per play.
The Grant County Braves may not have had the skill on offense that many opponents have possessed this year.

But the coaching staff of the Highlands Bluebirds football team (2-7 overall, 1-2 district) made some noticeable changes with the 3-4 defense that paid in the 50-0 over the Braves (3-6, 0-3) on Friday in Class 5A, District 5 action. Those changes paved the way for the first shut-out for Highlands in 29 games.

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Highlands-Grant County Game Story

Bluebirds break losing streak with Highlands-Esque Pummeling

PHOTO: Allen Ramsey, DWCPhoto.com. Highlands junior Braden Posey (1) looks for running room while senior offensive lineman Michael Davidson (59) looks for a block. Highlands dominated Grant County, 50-0 to end the school's second-longest losing streak at seven in a row.

The Blue and White seemed to experience what successful business owners have during struggling seasons.

The desire to succeed never left the locker room. Things just did not work out on the field what the Highlands Bluebirds football team tried in practice and therefore, a long seven-game losing streak ensued.

But like successful business owners, they never gave up. They went back to the drawing board trying to figure things out and it paid off Friday in a 50-0 win over the host Grant County Braves in Class 5A, District 5 action. Highlands (2-7 overall, 1-2) ended the second-longest losing streak in school history as a result and nabbed the third seed in the Class 5A playoffs against the Braves (3-6, 0-3) in what was their Senior Night.
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Friday, October 21, 2016

Former Sen. Jim Bunning Recovers from Stroke

Sen. Jim Bunning. 
Jim Bunning, who turns 85 today, is recovering after suffering a stroke at his Southgate home, his family said.

Bunning, suffered a stroke on Tuesday night in Southgate, Ky. He was transported alongside his wife to the hospital, where his family said he was moved on Thursday night from the intensive care unit to a transitional care unit.
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“Thanks to the attention of the doctors and nurses at St. Elizabeth, he has been provided skilled care that is leading him on the road to recovery,” Bunning’s family said in a statement.

“The Bunning Family wants to thank the first responders and medical personnel who have been treating Dad. We sincerely appreciate the thoughts and prayers of all who are concerned about our father’s health.”

Bunning, one of the best pitchers of all time in the Philadelphia Phillips organization, entered politics after his baseball career ended, first beginning at the local level in Fort Thomas before representing the state as a Republican in both the House of Representatives and the U.S. Senate.

He served two terms in the senate and did not run for reelection in 2010.

Moyer Elementary Celebrates National Blue Ribbon Award

A plaque on the front wall of Ruth Moyer School signifies their National Blue Ribbon Award, which was won in 2009. 

Ruth Moyer Elementary was named one of five National Blue Ribbon schools in Kentucky this year by the U.S. Department of Education based on their overall academic excellence.

It was the second time that Moyer had been named a Blue Ribbon award winner and sixth time overall a school in the Fort Thomas Independent School district has won the award.

RELATED: Moyer Elementary Wins National Blue Ribbon Award 

School officials planned an outdoor ceremony similar to the groundbreaking ceremony last year, but weather forced it to be held in the library. The Parent-Teacher-Organization purchased blue tee shirts for all the students and faculty, which was similar to the yellow hardhats they adorned at the groundbreaking ceremony.

"My favorite part of the groundbreaking last year was seeing the sea of yellow hardhats," said Moyer Principal, Dr. Dawn Laber. "We have the same sea of blue today, but they are in the classrooms."

RELATED: Moyer Elementary School Breaks Ground (November 2015)

Laber talked about the difficulty the Moyer staff has endured since construction began.

"This was a tough year for my teachers. Their classrooms were torn off, our fifth grade had to leave our building and we had to negotiate between two buildings. But we thrived.

The Moyer tradition started long before me and it’s bigger than any one person," she said. "During my whole first year I tried to get a feel for what the school was, but it wasn’t until this year that I finally got what the school was about. It’s a feeling of family, love and community. We share this award with all school district employees, past and present."

Superintendent Gene Kirchner agreed with those sentiments and said that the final product that will exist on Highland Avenue once the construction and renovation is complete will be incredible.

"This award is not about bricks and mortar because obviously we have some challenges," he said. "In the midst of this construction, you’ve achieved one of the highest awards you can academically. It’s about the people. It’s people that make a difference in this world." 

The fifth grade at Moyer was able to join the ceremony inside and listened to their fellow schoolmates and dignitaries describe why the culture at Moyer has been a successful one. They were present to sing, for the first time, a newly created Ruth Moyer Elementary School Song.

"We Are Mighty Mustangs" was arranged by music teacher, Mary Skaggs, with music by Dean Herron. The fifth grade students wrote the lyrics to the song.

Laber said she charged music teacher, Mary Skaggs, with having those students sing the school song at the ceremony, when they realized that a school song didn't exist.

"The song is a great example of what our Moyer students do," said Kirchner. "We look at the world around us, see a problem and solve it with a creative and innovative solution."



"Really listen to the lyrics, because they will melt your heart," Laber said as she wiped away a tear.

Moyer Principal, Dawn Laber, holds up the lyrics of Ruth Moyer Elementary's new school song, which was composed specifically for the Blue Ribbon award ceremony. FTM file.