Saturday, June 24, 2017

A Call To All Veterans: Fort Thomas Wants To Honor You

Veterans Way (left) with the museum (right) in the background. FTM file. 
Sean Donelan, of Fort Thomas, is looking for veterans. Any and all to participate in activities for the city's Sesquicentennial celebration.

"Retired, active-duty, reserve, guard. Basically anyone who has worn the uniform," he said.

During the Fort Thomas 150 year celebration, there will be a number of ways he said the city is going to honor area military.

He's helping to organize a contingent to walk in the parade, as well as inviting them to be the first to see the new Charters of Freedom monument in Tower Park.

Charters of Freedom being built. FTM file. 

RELATED: First Charters of Freedom Monument in Kentucky To Debut in Fort Thomas (June 9, 2017)

He has also worked with the city to get a street renamed. The street running to the Fort Thomas Museum and Amphitheater will now be known, officially, as Veterans Way.

Friday, June 23, 2017

Fort Thomas Independent Schools Names New Assistant Superintendent

Jamee Flaherty. FTM file. 
There has been a lot of change at the Fort Thomas Independent Schools District Office with the retirement of the top two administrators: Gene Kirchner, Superintendent, and Jon Stratton, Assistant Superintendent for Student Services.

It was reported here first that Karen Cheser, former Deputy Superintendent for Boone County Schools, was hired as Superintendent of FTIS.

Jon Stratton’s replacement has now also been named; Jamee Flaherty, Principal of Johnson Elementary School, has been named as the Assistant Superintendent for Student Services and will replace Stratton upon his retirement on June 30.

Flaherty has been Principal of Johnson Elementary since the beginning of the 2015-2016 school year.  During her two years of tenure, she has gained insight into the Fort Thomas schools and has seen firsthand the school remaining most in need of capital improvements.

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Thursday, June 22, 2017

Northern Kentucky Investigative Firm at Forefront of Forged Documents

Campbell County Courthouse. FTM file. 
It's been a murky few days in the Campbell County court system as accusations and a confession of forgery to secure a new venue for convicted murderer, Shayna Hubers, has been uncovered.

In 2015, Hubers was sentenced to 40 years in prison, but defense attorneys later learned that one of the jurors was a convicted felon and under Kentucky law, felons are not qualified to serve on the jury. She was granted a new trial set for January 2018.

With the media coverage the case had received, Hubers and her attorney were seeking a change of venue for the retrial, but in order to do that, she needed affidavits signed by Campbell County residents, which essentially said that they too, believe that Hubers could not receive a fair trial in Campbell County.

So on Tuesday, Hubers submitted 156 affidavits from Campbell County residents that she claimed were signed by residents in support of a change of venue for her trial.

City of Fort Thomas Awarded Grant Over $500,000 to Build Sidewalks

Fort Thomas partners with Southbank Partners to build walkways on North Fort Thomas Avenue

N. Fort Thomas Avenue leading to the city limits near Dayton. FTM file. 
The Kentucky Transportation Cabinet has granted the City of Fort Thomas $592,300 from the federal Transportation Alternative Program (TAP) to build sidewalks on North Fort Thomas Avenue. Currently there aren’t any sidewalks on this part of the Avenue.

“This grant award will provide sidewalk connectivity on the northernmost portion of the community, which is vital to our goal of pedestrian connectivity throughout the entire city,” said City Administrator Ron Dill.

RELATED: Safe Routes to Schools Grants Filed Once Again by Fort Thomas  (Sept 2016)
RELATED: Grants Still Pending (Feb. 2017)
RELATED: Funding Comes Through for North Fort Thomas Sidewalk Project (June 2017)

The TAP grant will allow for infrastructure improvements in the city without any direct costs to the residents. Fort Thomas’ Comprehensive Plan emphasizes development of varying types of pedestrian accesses as a high priority, including sidewalks and trails. The development of these sidewalks will provide access for residents of this area of the community. It will also explore pedestrian corridors and opportunities for connectivity on a regional level.

Highlands Head Coach Happy for New KHSAA Football State Championship Home

Kentucky State Title Games Returning to Lexington

PHOTO: Allen Ramsey, Highlands junior Jackson Hagedorn (46) and senior Crosley New (7) bring down Dixie Heights running back AJ Dilts (23) in junior varsity action last season
The tradition-rich Highlands Bluebirds football program has to worry about beating the likes of Covington Catholic, Dixie Heights, South Oldham and even Bowling Green before even thinking about it.

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Criminal Littering Disrespects Public Property

Steve Franzen. Provided. 
By Steven J. Franzen, Campbell County Attorney

We often prosecute cases in District Court for criminal littering when someone throws a bag of trash out of a car window or dumps piles of trash along a city or county road.  Kentucky’s law on criminal littering covers the above situations but also several additional types of littering.  Under Kentucky law, a person is guilty of criminal littering when he:

A) Drops or permits to drop on a highway any destructive or injurious material and does not immediately remove it.  This will occur for instance if a supply company lost some brick or building blocks from a truck and failed to clean it up immediately; or

B) Knowingly places or throws litter on any public or private property or in any public or private water way without permission (e.g., throwing trash out of a window or dumping along a road); or

C) Negligently places or throws glass or other dangerous pointed or edged substances on or adjacent to water to which the public has access for swimming or wading or on or within fifty feet of a public highway; or

D) Discharges sewage, minerals, oil products or litter into any public waters or lakes within the state (e.g., dumping old motor oil into a creek).

Call Ashley Barlow for all your legal needs. 859-781-5777. This is an advertisement. 
Criminal littering under Kentucky law is a Class A misdemeanor punishable by up to one year in jail and up to a $500 fine.  In addition, we will typically require the Defendant to clean up whatever mess they made and pay any damages to the property owner where the littering occurred.

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

"Cleats For A Cause" Is Helping Young Athletes In Need

As a part of a summer service program, HHS Senior Michael Dunn is asking for donations for a good cause,.
Michael Dunn, an HHS incoming senior and varsity football player is on a mission to help kids in need.

He says football is his passion, and as a part of a summer service project, he has created "Cleats for a Cause."

After playing against local area teams in junior league and high school, Dunn says he saw firsthand players that did not have the proper equipment necessary to give them a basic equal chance to compete, regardless of their skill.

Barre3 Ft. Thomas. This is an advertisement. 
"I knew that I needed to do some service for my community involving a cause that I am passionate about. I have been very blessed to have had the means to buy the equipment that I need to play the sport I love, football. Living in the Fort Thomas community where the game is supported in such a great way, you don’t often think about kids in less fortunate communities that don’t receive the same support or who don’t have the means to buy the equipment to play. This is why I came up with the "Cleats for a Clause" project," Dunn said.

Fort Thomas Couple Starts Balanced Brilliance Organic Farm

Terrence and Lizzie Mueller pose with a couple of their chickens. 
Henry David Thoreau wrote in Walden that he “went to the woods to live deliberately.”That can be said about Terrence and Lizzie Mueller and their Balanced Brilliance organic farm.

There is no mistaking that Terrence Mueller is the son of retired Highlands’ football coach, Dale Mueller. It is uncanny how much they look and sound alike. Terrence’s degree is in mathematics and education and he was set to follow in his father’s footsteps.  Lizzie Mueller is from Cincinnati and is a DAAP fashion design graduate and spent a few years designed clothing for Chico’s, a popular fashion chain for women.  Other than casual family gardens and a love of fishing and the outdoors, neither had much exposure to real farming, but then, something happened that sent their lives in a direction that they never anticipated but are nonetheless grateful for taking.

VA Homes Project Passes First Big Hurdle

City Administrative Officer, Ron Dill, Mayor Eric Haas, and city attorney, Jann Seidenfaden. FTM file. 

by Robin Gee

The VA homes project passed a major milestone on Monday night. At its June 19 meeting, Fort Thomas City Council approved the development agreement between Fort Thomas and the developer, Bloomfield/Schon, clearing the way for the city to purchase the homes from the VA and to proceed with plans for infrastructure, clean-up and construction.

The city and developer ironed out details of the agreement over several weeks, and were putting the final touches on the language just before the council meeting. In fact, council went into a brief executive session with the developer’s lawyer Jim Parsons to discuss inclusion of phrasing designed to safeguard the project timeline expectations.

RELATED: VA Homes Developer Shows Preliminary Plans for Historic Homes 

Monday, June 19, 2017

You Can Be a Part of a Special Tribute To Tina Moore of the Blue Marble Bookstore

Tina Moore's bench will be placed under the window to the store.
Tina Moore, late owner of the Blue Marble, was a guiding force for literacy in the community and in the region.  Joan Gregory says, “Many of us feel the Blue Marble is a treasure here in Fort Thomas and many loved Tina and Peter Moore, the owners.” 

"You probably know that Tina died recently, and I thought it would be fitting if we created a memorial to her by funding a bench dedicated to her in front of the shop. I talked to Peter about it, and he was quite touched by the idea. He talked to the city about the feasibility of this and they approved it. How wonderful it would be for the community to which she contributed so much gave back.” 

She proposed the idea to Peter. He loved it.

  What a thoughtful and touching act. So Joan posted her idea on Facebook and got quite a positive response. And now the idea is here. So it's our turn to remember Tina. Please stop by the Blue Marble bookstore to contribute to a wonderful way to commemorate someone who had our best interests at heart.

New Mural Being Painted In Fort Thomas

A rendering of what the new mural on the corner of Fort Thomas Ave. and Audubon.

The City of Fort Thomas is receiving many gifts for its 150th birthday. The most recent? A colorful mural.

The idea was born like so many sesquicentennial ideas have been born: The mural serves as yet another way to celebrate all Fort Thomas has to offer, while also serving as something that will benefit the city for years to come.

“It was definitely a group effort,” says Fort Thomas resident Cathy Sonnett, who designed the mural. “We saw the potential to capture this great milestone for our city and share it with the community in a more permanent way. We'd love to see more opportunities for murals that compliment the cities landscape in the future, perhaps an ongoing mural program that uses local talent.”

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After scouting out a few places around town, Sonnett says longtime Fort Thomas resident Hank Pogue of Pogue & Associates graciously agreed for the mural to be painted on his building, on the corner of Fort Thomas Ave. Audubon. In addition to gifting the city the space, Pogue fixed the wall by removing an air conditioner unit, patching and painting. 

"The mural will reflect the rich heritage and the history of Fort Thomas, and our company is proud to have the mural painted on our building," Pogue says.

Fort Thomas resident Greg Dee, a sales manager with Sherwin-Williams, and Chad Hart, also with Sherwin-Williams, are donating the paint. “They were extremely helpful and generous, Greg in making the initial contact and Chad meeting with me to provide insight on the paint choices,” Sonnett says. Sonnett says they also completed a wall test to ensure the right type of paint is being used. It is fast-drying paint so each coat will dry in about an hour.

Other folks who have helped out with the project include Fort Thomas resident Adam Blau, who helped secure the scaffolding, and Judge Cameron Blau, who will help install it. Hilary Colborn, Adam Blau’s fiancée, has a background in fine art and works as a development manager at The Carnegie. She has offered to help paint the mural. Sonnett says Jason Hargis contributed to the initial design ideas, and is helping to organize the execution of the mural and recruit volunteers. Brian Sand and Debbie Buckley have also helped to coordinate the process.

Depending on weather and volunteers, here is the project timeline for the mural’s process:

• June 27th: scaffolding goes up
• June 27th: one coat of primer, three coats of base blue goe up
• July 1st: design and paint, utilizing projector and trace, star templates, roughing out and completing)

The mural’s team goal is to complete the project by July 2.

How can you help? The mural team is looking for Highlands High School art students specifically, but anyone who has a background and/or is skilled in painting is more than welcome to come help paint July 1 and potentially July 2.

As with most things sesquicentennial related, this gift is just yet another example of our community coming together to accomplish something that will benefit all our residents for years to come. A bonus benefit? The mural team hopes this project will spark interest in additional murals to dot our city in the future.

Sunday, June 18, 2017

Hot Summer Nights At The Highland Plaza

Event Takes Place Thursday, June 22 from 4-9 p.m. 

Diamonds and Dimples pop up at Art Around Towne. 
It's a party at The Highland Plaza, with a 50's themed festival. Six local businesses are participating with food trucks, games, autographs and music.

Hand Jive to Anointed Touch Massage for a chair massage and learn more about what Tiffany offers and meet the newest member of her team while sipping an “refreshing” ice tea and getting an autograph from FC Cincinnati players, Mitch Hildebrandt (6-7 p.m.) and Andrew Wiedeman (6:30-8 p.m). They will sign whatever you bring.

Jitter Bug on over to Diamonds and Dimples for lemonade or a juice box, popcorn and a fun carnival game of saving while exploring their huge selection of kid’s summer fashions!

The Campbell County YMCA. This is an advertisement. 
Rock and Roll down to Monera for some “specialty” beverages and savings on that perfect summer outfit!

Boogie Woogie over to Faded Finds and enjoy cotton candy and an ice cold suds and play a carnival game to save on the hottest in home décor!

Twist on over to Alterations by Frances where you will find a cold one waiting, check out all their monogramming services and bridal needs. Guess the number of bubble gum game will give you a chance to win a fun give away!

Hop into the Vintage 1949 Ford convertible with your friends for a perfect photo opportunity!

Stroll to the food truck (5-8 p.m.) and Kona Ice (6-8 p.m.) for a delicious treat just as great as…a double Polar Burger with everything and a cherry soda with chocolate ice cream, while listening to Grease songs and music of the 50’s


Saturday, June 17, 2017

Fatal Motorcycle Accident On I-275 in Campbell County

Black was found by police near mile marker 74.5 on I-275 W. Via Google Maps. 
An Alexandria man has died after crashing his motorcycle in the overnight hours early Friday morning.

Campbell County Police found Nicholas Black, 33,  after a caller said they saw a man lying in a ditch along the right should of I-275 westbound, near the I-471 and US-27 split.
859-655-4430. This is an advertisement. 

Fort Thomas Police assisted with the call.

Black was located and transported to the University of Cincinnati Hospital, where he was later pronounced dead.

Black was originally from Silver Grove.

Friday, June 16, 2017

Car Engulfed In Flames In Fort Thomas Driveway

FTM file. 
Early this morning the Fort Thomas Fire Department was dispatched to the 30 block of Delta Avenue in Fort Thomas for a car fire.

When they arrived just before 2:00 a.m., the car was parked in the driveway fully engulfed in flames.

The firefighters were able to get the fire out and no one was hurt. The cause of the fire is not known at this time.
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The severity of the fire surprised neighbors, who woke up to a smell of burnt rubber as the tires had melted into the pavement. At least two of the closest neighbors to the fire didn't see or hear any noise.

Jody Turner, who lives next door, said he worked third shift and we he arrived home this morning at 8:30 a.m., he didn't notice anything different.

Fort Thomas Couple Married One Day After Car Was Smashed By Impaired Driver

Amy Moses' Mazda was smashed on Monday. She and her fiancé, David Brooks, were to be married the next day. FTM file. 
Earlier this week, Eric M. Hancock, 40 from Fort Thomas, was arrested after smashing into a parked vehicle driving west down Highland Avenue, before striking a tree and bus stop sign. He lost his front right tire from those collisions and his vehicle came to rest about ten feet from a home on the corner of Highland Avenue and Mayfield Avenue, which is also the entrance to Highland Park in Fort Thomas.

This took place at 10:45 a.m. in a highly trafficked area of Fort Thomas.
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RELATED: Fort Thomas Man Charged With Multiple Felonies After Crashing Vehicle Into Car, Nearly A Home

Hancock was charged with his third DUI, wanton endangerment and was hit was other charges upon being booked into the Campbell County Detention Center.

Moses' car (in the background) was parked on Highland Avenue. FTM file. 

The chain reaction of the crash was felt all the way in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina where Fort Thomas residents Amy Moses and David Brooks were getting married.

Moses' car was parked on the street and was the first vehicle Hancock hit before careening into one of her neighbor's front yard.

A Little Q&A with Caroline Stine About Pearl Bryan Play for the 150th

From the Pearl Bryan display at the Fort Thomas  Museum.
Pearl Bryan. You know the name and you know the story. Or do you? Caroline Stine has created a play that will reveal the real story of Pearl Bryan’s murder. The murder was so sensational that it even spawned a number of ballads.

What do you find intriguing about her story?

All of the themes and lived experiences of this play are still present and important in our present day, such as disbelieving the testimony of a witness, the lack of agency of young women, and the love of scandal that thrilled 19th century audiences of Newport/Cincinnati/Fort Thomas in the same ways as they do now. 

How would you describe the play?

It’s a ghost story told through the vehicle of the traditional American murder ballad. 

Thursday, June 15, 2017

Examining HS Football Programs with Most Wins in Country

Bluebirds Still Stand Second in Country for All-Time Wins

PHOTO: Allen Ramsey, Highlands senior running back Larry Wilson (21) tries to break a tackle in a junior varsity game last year against Simon Kenton while Justin Merkle (74) and Chas Sand (15) get in position.
The current coaching staff and players do not place a huge emphasis on it.

But it means a lot to the community. The Highlands Bluebirds football team is one of just 11 programs in the country with 801 or more wins in program history.

RadioShack Closes in Newport Plaza

FTM file. 
RadioShack at The Newport Plaza had a long run, but on May 31 of this year, the company closed permanently.

Jaimie Niemczura, Real Estate Manager for American Diversified Development which owns the Newport Plaza, said the oldest lease she has for the company in that location is dated back to 1967.

“They would have opened sometime after that," she said.

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Fort Thomas Police Respond To Robbery In Progress At Chase Bank

On Monday morning, Fort Thomas Police officers responded to a robbery in progress at the Chase Bank at 11 S. Grand Avenue in Fort Thomas.

Officers from Bellevue, Dayton, Southgate, Highland Heights, Cold Spring, Newport and the Campbell County Sheriff's office were also dispatched to the scene at around 11:45 a.m.

A bank employee had pushed the silent alarm to alert police. According to police, the bank teller knew the subject and believed that he was trying either forge or defraud his way into an account that was not his.

When law enforcement arrived on scene, the subject was still on location and police detained him for questioning.

Barre3 Ft. Thomas. Located in the Fort Thomas Plaza, near Jeff Wyler. This is an advertisement. 
"We had reason to believe that there was a potential bank robbery situation," said Lt. Rich Whitford of the Fort Thomas Police.

"We reviewed the security footage, interviewed the bank manager, employee and spoke with the subject and determined that it may have been a possible fraud case, but likely that was it."

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Paul Daugherty Gets Lost in Fort Thomas

Carmel Manor. FTM file. 
The Cincinnati Enquirer's, Paul Daugherty, recently wrote about our little slice of heaven that we call, Fort Thomas.

In his "The Morning Line" column he talks about Carmel Manor, the VA Homes and The Midway Cafe. No confirmation on whether or not he ordered the Fort Thomas Matters burger.

The Fort Thomas Matters burger. Trust us. Order it. 

Will have to confirm with sources and get back.

Here's a snippet from his column:

TRIP REPORT. . . We spent a very pleasant afternoon in Ft. Thomas Saturday. It all started because we wanted to know what the big building was on top of the hill on the KY side of the river, as you cross into the Commonwealth on the 275 bridge by Riverbend.

Anyone know what I’m talking about?

We’ve been by there a million times, usually on the way to NKU for something Jillian-related. Very large building or complex of buildings, atop the hill to your right, if you’re heading south.

I guessed a convent. I was right. Sort of. After snaking GPS-less around Ft. Thomas, we arrived at Tower Park, highly lovely. That wasn’t it. We drove through what used to be the fort grounds, to a circle of rundown homes that used to house officers and their families. Why these big ol’ brick homes have been allowed to die is beyond me. Great location atop a river bluff.

One of the VA Homes. FTM file. 
Still not what we saw from 275.

We kept circling until we saw a gate marked Carmel Manor. And there it was, atop the hill. A nursing home. Per the website: We are still sponsored by the Carmelite Sisters, whose sole mission is to care for the aged and infirm.

With a tremendous 180-degree view of the river, from Lunken airport to the 275 bridge.

Fort Thomas Man Charged After Crashing Vehicle Into Front Yard

Fort Thomas Police officers take Eric Hancock into custody after he crashed his work van into a front yard on June 12. FTM file. 
Eric M. Hancock, 40 from Fort Thomas, was arrested yesterday after smashing into a parked vehicle driving west down Highland Avenue, before striking a tree and bus stop sign. He lost his front right tire from those collisions and his vehicle came to rest about ten feet from a home on the corner of Highland Avenue and Mayfield Avenue, which is also the entrance to Highland Park in Fort Thomas.

This took place at 10:45 a.m. in a highly trafficked area of Fort Thomas.

RELATED: Driver Arrested After Crashing Work Vehicle on Highland Avenue, Charges Await 

Legal Advice, Family Law, Personal Injury, Business Law. Call Ashley Barlow for all your legal needs. 859-781-5777. This is an advertisement. 
He was charged with multiple felonies, including his third DUI and wanton endangerment in the first degree. He was also charged with promoting contraband and possession of a controlled substance when Campbell County Detention Center officials discovered prescription medication on him as they were processing him into the jail.

Eric M. Hancock, 40 from Fort Thomas. Campbell County Detention Center. 
His DUI charge is aggravated because he refused a blood test. Hancock was given a field sobriety test on the scene.

Neighbors who witnessed Hancock just after the crash said they saw Hancock crawling under a bush on his hands and knees. Fort Thomas Matters was the only media outlet on scene and saw Lt. Jamey Gadzala recover hypodermic needles under that same bush, which are used for injecting narcotics.

Join the 5K Run to Support Northern Kentucky Hates Heroin Mission

The Northern Kentucky Hates Heroin (NKHH) group is sponsoring a 5K on June 17. Even though this is a fairly young event it is attracting lots of participants.  Holly Specht, who lost her son to heroin, says, “Over the past 3 runs we've had over 300 volunteers and 4,700 people participate.”  Here are the details.

Race starts at 8:30am with registration starting at 7:00 am.

Course: Race starts and ends at Simon Kenton High School, 11132 Madison Pike, Independence.

Awards: 1st, 2nd and 3rd place for male runners, female runners, male walkers and female walkers

Registration: Available online at by 5:00 pm, Tuesday June 13th 2017. Pre-registration fees for the 5K are $25 and include a shirt (while supplies last).

In-Person Registration: Crossroads Church – 828 Heights Blvd., Florence, KY 41042 during packet pick-up (includes shirt while supplies last).

Race Day Registration: Starts at 7:00 am at Simon Kenton High School. Race day registration will end at 8:20 (10 minutes prior to start). Race Day registration fees are $30 for the 5K (includes shirt while supplies last).

Packet Pick-Up: Crossroads Church – 828 Heights Blvd., Florence, KY, 41042 Thursday, June 15th, 1pm-8pm and Friday, June 16th, 10am-6pm and race day.

Post Race: Refreshments provided. Awards given to overall winners.
Free registration for Kids under 10, with required waiver signed by an adult. Children’s race t-shirt can be purchased separately for $10.

Holly Specht says, “We hope to have another huge success on June 17.”  Be a part of the solution to this problem.

Holly Specht greets participants. 

Monday, June 12, 2017

Elderly Woman Threatened With Tazer, Robbed in Fort Thomas

The robbery occurred just before the early mass started at St. Thomas in Fort Thomas. FTM file. 
On Saturday, June 10, at 8:15 a.m. Fort Thomas Police were called in response to a robbery in the parking lot of St. Thomas School.

An 81-year old woman said that a white male in his 40's or 50's approached her as she was getting out of her car to go to her church service.

According to the police report, she said that he was asking for directions to get to Grandview Avenue.

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After giving him directions, she said that he demanded her purse and allegedly said, "Give me your purse or I will zap you," while he was holding an item in his hand that appeared to be a taser. She immediately handed over the purse after the threat was made.

Driver Arrested After Crashing Into Vehicle, Driving Into Front Yard

A man was arrested after the vehicle he was driving crashed into a car and into a front yard today in Fort Thomas.
FTM file. 
A driver of a work van was arrested today after smashing into a parked vehicle driving west down Highland Avenue, before striking a tree and bus stop sign. He lost his front right tire from those collisions and his vehicle came to rest about ten feet from a home on the corner of Highland Avenue and Mayfield Avenue, which is also the entrance to Highland Park in Fort Thomas.

FTM file. 
Police gave the driver a field sobriety test before arresting him. His name and charges were not known at the time of this report.

No one was hurt in the crash, which happened at about 10:00 a.m. on June 12.

Thirteen-year old, Noah Daniel, was sleeping in the room closest to where the vehicle came to a rest. He spoke to Fort Thomas Matters, with permission from his grandmother.

"I heard the noises right outside the window and I thought it was just a dream. Then I heard the police sirens and walked outside to see a van in our front yard," he said.

Neighbor, Joe Schwerling, who lives one house down on the same side of the street said he heard the crash and saw the driver crawling under a bush near the home.

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"The driver had gotten out of the car and was literally on his hands and knees under the corner bush. I thought he was throwing up or something," said Schwerling.

He said the driver behind the vehicle also told police the same, that she had seen the driver under the bush.

Later after interviewing witnesses, Lt. Jamey Gadzala, crawled under that bush to investigate. Fort Thomas Matters was on scene and saw Gadzala recover a hypodermic needle.

Sgt. Chris Carpenter and Officer Zac Rohlfer were also dispatched onto the scene to investigate and secure the area.

Nathaniel Sizemore, who lives just two doors down from where the vehicle came to rest, said his daughter was out on a walk with their caretaker when this occurred.

The Fort Thomas Police department is a quarter mile away from the scene.

"The emergency responders were on this right away, but it was a pretty scary event. My wife and I walk this path almost every day," he said.

The owner of the work van got to the scene in time to see his vehicle being towed away. He was seen talking with property owners to exchange insurance information.

This article will be updated.


City Council Roundup: Budget, body cams and new sidewalk

Fort Thomas City Building. 
by Robin Gee

The city budget, an update on the VA homes project, a long-awaited sidewalk grant and a first reading of a new police body cam policy were among the issues discussed at the June 2 Fort Thomas City Council meeting.

The council also welcomed a new police officer and heard a brief update on the VA homes project and a reminder that sesquicentennial celebrations are just around the corner.

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Jeff Ruby Family Helps Local Family In Need

Britney Ruby, Dan Bell and the Bray family. Provided. 
Dwan and Aaron Bray, a local Cincinnati family, face difficult challenges daily.

Their young twin boys, Aarion and Aubrey, have autism. And their baby, Ny’Leah, has cerebral palsy, and is blind and epileptic. Jeff Ruby Culinary Entertainment, a longtime member of the Fort Thomas Family, has been involved with the Bray family for quite some time. And recently, JRCE improved their lives immensely, in a way most of us take for granted: a reliable vehicle.

In 2006, the Bray’s oldest daughter, Nadjah, appeared on Food Network’s “Chopped Jr.” She said that if she won, she wanted to cook a meal for her family in a restaurant and purchase a service dog trained in dealing with children with autism. She did win, and in November JRCE gave her a chef coat and she worked alongside the culinary team at The Precinct to prepare a meal for her family. Following dessert was something much sweeter than anyone could have prepared: the gift of a trained service dog.

Since that memorable night, the JRCE has stayed in touch with the Bray family and now knows them better. Things they have learned: Due to the youngest Bray children’s health challenges, Dwan is unable to work outside the home. In addition to homeschooling her two school-aged children, she provides full-time care to her youngest three. Aaron, who has a full-time job, often must take unpaid leave for medical emergencies.

The twins are seen at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital and Medical Center three times a week. Ny’Leah is seen several times a month. And their former 2003 minivan was unreliable. However, medical expenses made owning a newer vehicle impossible.

So JRCE gave themselves a challenge: procure a new van for the Bray family. They did, and quickly.

Dan Bell of Mercedes Benz Fort Mitchell shaking his hand. 

Mercedes-Benz of Fort Mitchell volunteered to help after a single email. They gave the Bray family a new van to keep, forever.

Ruby Miller with her children and one of the Bray children. 

“The Brays have come into our hearts forever,” says Britney Ruby Miller, president of Jeff Ruby Culinary Entertainment. "From the moment we met them, there was a special bond. We feel a deep connection to them and have truly become lifelong friends. It wasn’t a ‘one and done’ type of impact we wanted to leave. We want them to know we love them and are here to support them through their struggles.”

Miller says businesses are only as strong as the community they reside in.

Sunday, June 11, 2017

Notes from a Reservoir Stakeout: Part One

The following is a transcript of recent events. The date: Friday, June 2. The time: midnight. The place: Fort Thomas, Kentucky.

Remember those commercials that used to say, “It's midnight. Do you know where your kids are?” I don't recall the actual time used in the commercial, but you get the idea. I'm sitting here alone outside the reservoir fence, it's the middle of the night, and I'm wondering if anyone is wondering where I am.

You see, I broke Horror Movie Rule #1. I was told to meet at a specific time and place alone, and I stupidly followed those directions. How did I get here, you may ask? Let me take you back to the beginning of the week...

Last Monday, an anonymous letter appeared on my car. I thought it was a bit odd, but didn't think too much about it. Then, they kept appearing when my car was parked in various places around the area. All on the same letterhead.

Obviously, I assumed that this was some silly prank and asked around to my friends about who could be behind it. The first letter had an X-Files reference but was “signed” from a Stranger Things character. You don't just mix fandoms like that unless it's a joke, right? None of my friends or family would own up to it, but that still didn't raise my suspicions too much at the time.

At the end of the week, I discovered another letter on my car upon leaving work, and quickly went back in the building to review the security video. I was giddy with anticipation because I knew I had them in the crosshairs. I was going to catch the culprit, and like any other mature adult, I was already planning to retaliate with a prank to end all pranks.

That's when things started to get weird.

Bluebirds Go Down In Elite Eight

Panthers Make Plays in End to Beat Highlands in State Quarterfinals

PHOTO: Allen Ramsey, Highlands junior pitcher Drew Rom delivers to the plate Saturday against Pleasure Ridge Park. Rom struck out eight in the 3-2 Highlands loss.

PHOTO: Allen Ramsey, Highlands senior Bradley Greene swings through a pitch in the state tournament Saturday against Pleasure Ridge Park.
They always say that you need to beat the best in order to be the best.

The Highlands Bluebirds baseball team (26-13 overall) needed to do that just to make it back to the state championship game like two years ago when the Bluebirds finished state runner-up. The Bluebirds found themselves on the same side of the bracket with the top five ranked teams in Kentucky according to the last MaxPreps poll.