Monday, August 21, 2017

WATCH: Dr. Josiah Young Talks About Eclipse

Start time in northern Kentucky: 1:01 p.m.
Peak time in NKY: 2:29 p.m.
End time in NKY: 3:52 p.m.

Opticare Vision Centers optometrist, Dr. Josiah Young has a message for parents here:

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RELATED: EVERYTHING you need to know about how Fort Thomas Independent Schools is handling the eclipse 

'A Letter To Michelle'

By Nick Stegner

The sun is shining today yet a darkness still looms
Heartache, loss, anger consumes
Confusion wraps the wanting eye
You’ve earned your wings…embrace and fly
Youth eternal, an endless smile on your face
Tripping on each moment we try to retrace
Questions unanswered and pain to conceal
Comfort in silence, words can never heal
It’s like catching a butterfly as the wind blows
Frustration swells and the pain of loss grows
A priceless stone was held tight with love
Now an angel dancing eternal above
A life that touched many, a smile that was true
A rhyme with a reason now written for you
Watching over us in our dreams and from above
You are the air we breathe…a mother’s precious love
Happy High Five Friday, Michelle!

A Local Story: Bike Helmets Save Lives

Gracie Leftin practices helmet safety while riding her scooter.
What was a relaxing day on summer vacation turned into an event the Leftins of Fort Thomas will never forget.

The Leftins 8-year-old daughter, Gracie was out for a ride on her scooter when she hit some uneven pavement and fell to the ground hitting face first. Katy, her mother who was on a bike ride ahead got the call from the relative who was with Gracie and remembers hearing the ambulances, rushing back and seeing her daughter scared with no color in her lips.

"It was one of the most frightening moments as a mom," Leftin said.

At the scene, paramedics and police officers thanked Gracie for having her helmet on and commented that it probably saved her life and from more serious injuries. Fortunately, Gracie only suffered some cuts and scrapes to her face and hands. At the hospital, Leftin said the nurses and doctor also thanked Gracie for wearing her helmet.

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Although Leftin says she often let Gracie take her scooter out at home without a helmet, she now says never again. She and her husband also plan on buying helmets because they are not just for kids. This incident has made them realize how extremely important bike and scooter helmet safety is. Leftin also commented she often observes kids in the neighborhood riding in the street without them.

According to statistics, helmets reduce the risk of severe brain injuries up to eighty percent and the odds of head, face or neck injury by 33 percent.

The latest statistics from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention say that in 2015 in the United States, more than 1000 bicyclists died and there were almost 467,000 bicycle related injuries.

Wearing a properly fitted helmet and following bike/scooter safety procedures such as riding in a bicycle lane where possible can greatly reduce these stats.

Although it is not illegal not wearing a helmet, Lt. Rich Whitford of the Fort Thomas Police Department says he encourages everyone to wear a helmet.

"Helmets protect bike accidents in 8 out of 10 wrecks involving head injuries, said Whitford.

Saturday, August 19, 2017

Highlands-Cooper Sidebar

Bluebird Defensive Improvements Show in Win

PHOTO: Allen Ramsey, Highlands senior defensive back Joe Steiden (27) records one of his four interceptions against Cooper on Friday. That is a new school record for most interceptions in a game.
PHOTO: Allen Ramsey, Highlands Head Coach Brian Weinrich (center) goes over strategy with Highlands senior defensive lineman Nick Biltz (77) and the defense Friday. The Bluebirds did a great job swarming to the ball all game defensively.
It turned into a performance for the ages for the Highlands defense Friday.

Highlands-Cooper Game Story

Bluebirds Revert to Old Form in Season Opener

PHOTO: Allen Ramsey, Highlands junior Cooper Schwalbach (middle) powers his way through two Cooper defenders on his way to the end zone for a five-yard touchdown with 2:50 left in the second quarter. Schwalbach earned the team's Most Valuable Player award rushing for 150 yards on 29 carries and four touchdowns in the 42-22 Bluebird victory.
UNION - The defense came out and quickly showed it is many miles ahead of last year.

It just took some time for the offense to catch up. When that happened, the Highlands Bluebirds football team played up to its reputation of dominant football. Highlands pulled away in the third quarter for a 42-22 victory over the host Cooper Jaguars.

Friday, August 18, 2017

Bellevue Police Chief Wayne Turner Named Chief of the Year

Bellevue Police Chief Wayne Turner, a Fort Thomas resident, was recently named the Chief of the Year by the Kentucky Association of Chiefs of Police at their annual conference in Paducah, Kentucky.

Tuner has built an exemplary 32-year career in law enforcement, serving as the Chief of Police at his current agency for the past five years following a two decade career as a lawman in Fort Thomas, Kentucky.

Additionally, he has also served more than 24 years in the United States Army and Marine Corps, rising to the rank of Lieutenant Colonel and serving under General David Petraeus in Iraq.

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Chief Turner is a combat veteran who was awarded a bronze star for his actions in Iraq.  He served first as a warfighter and later as a peacekeeper and peacemaker helping restore law and order to a violent war torn country. In 2017, Chief Turner was inducted into the Kentucky Veterans Hall of Fame culminating in a formal ceremony at the Capitol rotunda in Frankfort.

Belladance to Try A Few New Moves

Belladance takes on NYC.
The earliest records of dancing date back to 3300 BCE but despite more than 5,000 years of history, Belladance is trying a few new moves!

Belladance, owned and operated by Fort Thomas mother-daughter duo Julie and Bella Keller, has had an exceptional first year and finds itself expanding its facility and also its class offerings.

The currently vacant first floor of the Hiland Building will soon become additional studio space for the Kellers and other members of the Belladance team.  The additional space will allow them to offer a warmer welcome to the dancers as they enter the first floor and will also give them more flexibility in their studio space. Coincidentally, the space is also where Keller had her first ever dance class as a young student.

Perhaps more excitingly, Kristen Smith who danced this past season with the Cincinnati Ballet will begin offering adult ballet classes this fall at the studio.

However, the “most exciting and incredibly fun course that (Belladance is) offering”, according to Keller, is a tap class exclusively for boys called Tap Dogs.

Following the success of their summer classes geared toward aspiring male dancers, the Kellers have decided to expand to reach this underserved demographic.  Kelly Kuhnhein, Fort Thomas mother of three boys, two of whom participated in the summer tap instruction, said of the class, “It was a really great introduction to dance for my sons and it was so fun watching not only their skills develop, but also their love for and appreciation of the tap dance art form.” Teacher Maria Massa was more impressed with the way these young men presented themselves in class. "They listened and retained information so well and their unique presence made dance class that much more fun!"

Tap Dogs 
Keller is equally as excited for the new class based on the experience she had over the summer watching the boys learn tap skills with some of their favorite movie soundtracks playing in the background including Ghostbusters, Star Wars, and Batman.  John Kuhnhein, one of the students, said, “I loved performing the tap steps for an audience (...and) it was great to dance with my cousins and the other boys.
Ben Kuhnhein dances during Tap Dogs.
In addition, the young studio is celebrating a successful run at the New York World Dance Championships. Belladance streamed the competition live on Facebook where more than 5,000 people watched the competition team perform an exceptional tap routine before a large crowd and professional judges.  Keller was thrilled with the performance of her team, calling it the “Best Birthday Present Ever!”  

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Keller went on to say, “the senior girls exemplify the true meaning behind ‘team effort’; they work together like an incredibly well-oiled machine. They made their robes, do each other’s hair and makeup, made tie-dye shirts (…) and truly care about one another.”  Bella Keller stated that "this past year has been unimaginable! There were so many times in New York where we girls would just stop, look at each other, and say "Can you believe we are actually here!?" To think that this is just the beginning is so crazy. I'm even more excited than ever to see where this studio adventure takes us!" For many of the girls on the team, the highlight of this trip (aside from dancing) was the private tour of Radio City Music Hall to see where the Rockettes perform; in addition, many members of the team were able to catch Broadway musicals, including ‘Chicago’, ‘Kinky Boots’, and even ‘Hamilton’.

Thursday, August 17, 2017

Fort Thomas Police Need Your Help To Identify Theft Suspect

Fort Thomas Police are investigating a theft caught on video at Top This Donut Bar in Fort Thomas that occurred on Monday, August 14 around noon.

Top This is located at 18 N. Fort Thomas Avenue in The Hiland Building.

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The theft of a $300 pair of sunglasses was caught on security video. The alleged suspect can be seen picking up the sunglasses on the counter and tucking them into her purse as she completes a purchase at the cash register.

Police have asked for help in identifying the suspect. The likely charge would be Theft by Unlawful Taking, a class A misdemeanor.

If you have information, you can call Lt. Rich Whitford at 859-572-1228.

See the footage below, the left occurs at 0:40:

WATCH: "Judy the Crossing Guard" Profiled by WCPO

Fort Thomas Matters media partner, WCPO, was in Fort Thomas this morning, interviewing Judy the Crossing Guard. 

"Fort Thomas crossing guard has kept kids, drivers safe for over 30 years."

By Timyka Artist, WCPO

There’s hardly a Fort Thomas driver who doesn’t know Judy Kiskaden.

Kiskaden has been directing traffic and keeping kids safe near Moyer Elementary School for over 30 years.

As kids head back to school across the Tri-State, Kiskaden said it’s important for drivers to remember to pay attention to their surroundings.

They have to pay attention," she said. "They’re usually on the phone, texting, talking, in a hurry, not paying attention, some of them sit there and gab on the phone and you’ve gotta holler at them to keep moving … they usually pay pretty much attention to me." 

No one has ever been hurt for as long as Kiskaden has been on the job. She credits her vigilance.

Highlands-Cooper Preview

Bluebirds Seek Strong Start Against Jaguars

PHOTO: Allen Ramsey, Highlands senior running back Larry Wilson (21) breaks free for a nice run during the scrimmage against Cincinnati St. Xavier. The Bluebirds hope to see more runs like that in the season opener at Cooper.
Since 2002, the Highlands Bluebirds football team has dropped its season opener one time.

Highlands will head back to the scene of that loss Friday in Union against the Cooper Jaguars at 7:30 p.m. in the Skyline Crosstown Showdown. The Jaguars beat the Bluebirds, 37-13 two years ago in Union in the first-ever meeting between the two squads before Highlands took out Cooper, 52-42 last year in a shoot-out in Fort Thomas.

That marked the lone win the Bluebirds have recorded against a team with a winning record in the last two years. The Jaguars finished 7-5 last year losing 49-20 at Class 6A, District 5 rival Ryle in the second round of the playoffs after knocking off Lexington Bryan Station, 35-7 to open the playoffs.

Both teams will have a number of players that will be playing for the first time on Friday Nights. But Highlands Head Coach Brian Weinrich and staff have long believed in keeping things simple and Friday is no exception.

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Sen. Wil Schroder Calls for Removal of Jefferson Davis Statue at Capitol

A conservative northern Kentucky voice in the Kentucky State Senate spoke to give his opinion today at a rally in Frankfort to call for the removal of Confederate President, Jefferson Davis' statue, from the Kentucky State Capitol.

Wil Schroder (R-Wilder) said he would like to see the statue removed because he didn't know what to say to kids who visited the Capitol and asked why the statue was there.

"Why would Kentucky want to showcase what has become a symbol of hate in one of its most sacred of spaces?" he asked.

The One People, One Commonwealth rally was organized by Jordan Harris, the executive director of a bipartisan think tank in Louisville called the Pegasus Institute.

Schroder called for the removal, not destruction of the statue.

"As a piece of history, this statue should be removed and placed in a museum along with other important historical markers from the Civil War, including other pieces honoring those who opposed slavery," he said.

Some prominent Kentucky Republicans backed Schroder in his comments.

Former Kentucky Secretary of State Trey Grayson,said the Davis statue should not be in the Capitol and voiced appreciation for the “leadership” of Lexington Mayor Jim Gray.

State Treasurer Allison Ball, a Republican, said “I agree with Sen. Schroder and what he’s saying.” She did not specifically mention the statue, however.

Former State Treasurer Jonathan Miller, a Democrat, called Schroder’s comments “morally courageous.”

Previously, Sen. Mitch McConnell had called for the removal of the statue from the Capitol.

Fort Thomas Matters has obtained his speech in its entirety, below:

Fort Thomas Independent To Use Solar Eclipse As Learning Experience

Students will be kept until 4:00 p.m. for safety 

The Great American Eclipse of 2017 will come and go on Monday, August 21 for approximately a three-hour span, but the impact will affect millions throughout the day.  An estimated 12 million people live within the path of totality and the number of people within just one day's drive of the totality zone is around 200 million.

In northern Kentucky, you'll be able to experience a 93% totality of the eclipse, but viewing the eclipse without the proper eyewear can be potentially dangerous.

Image: USA Today. 
Although it may seem like this historical event may have snuck up on society, eclipses of the sun can be predicted thousands of years in advance. Astronomers has had this eclipse on their calendars for decades now.

RELATED: See How The Eclipse Will Look Near You

Several northern Kentucky school districts have announced classrooms will be closed Aug. 21 for the rare solar eclipse, while others are incorporating the event into their curriculum. 

Fort Thomas Independent Schools, along with Beechwood Independent, are taking the latter approach. 

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Highlands Middle and High School students will be dismissed at 3:50 p.m. , while elementary students will be dismissed at 4:00 p.m. Schools will alter class schedules or have planned events up until dismissal time.  No after-school activities will begin until 4:00 p.m.  

Parents may sign out students earlier in the school office if absolutely needed and each child who wishes to participate must have a signed permission slip turned in. Fort Thomas Independent Schools Superintendent, Karen Cheser, said those would be sent to parents via Schoology, Infinite Campus and with students. 

"This will be an extraordinary educational opportunity for our students as the last solar eclipse occurred in the USA in 1918," said Cheser.  "While the event is extremely exciting for our students, we must also acknowledge the importance of proper eye safety."

Cheser reported to the board on Monday that the district has purchased NASA-approved, ISO-certified viewing glasses to help the schools navigate this day safely. With foresight, that shipment will arrive this week. 
"The eclipse must only be viewed through ISO-certified glasses, " said Cheser. "Please help us reinforce this with your child.  Our teachers will provide the glasses and brief supervised viewing of the eclipse." 

Dr. Josiah Young, owner of Opticare Vision Centers, is a Fort Thomas resident with children in the district. He said he applauded the decision of the district to not cancel and to keep the kids in class. 

"I think the school is doing a great thing to protect the students and make it a great learning experience at the same time. The school district is in a unique position to be able to help these kids safely enjoy one of the great astronomical events of our lifetime. Because of the timing of the eclipse,  the kids would be let out right as it is occurring," he said. 

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

WATCH: New Superintendent Welcomes Fort Thomas Independent Back to School!

Fort Thomas Independent Schools Superintendent, Dr. Karen Cheser, and Woodfill Elementary first-grader, Buddy L., are both excited for their first day of school!

Cheser will be available to meet with the public every Monday at Fort Thomas Coffee.

Welcome back, everyone!

Car Fire Shuts Down N. Fort Thomas Avenue

A car fire caused two lanes of traffic to be shut down temporarily on N. Fort Thomas Avenue behind Bowman's Framing at 103 N. Fort Thomas Avenue.

The fire was reported at around 4:30 p.m. No one was hurt.

The Fort Thomas Fire Department is directly across the street and firefighters were on scene quickly to contain the fire.

Meet the Artists and Buy Their Creations at the Art for Nature Show at Fort Thomas Coffee During the August 18 Art Around Towne Event

"Come On In" by Bill Dirkes

The monthly Art Around Towne is always fun because we get to socialize, eat, drink, and buy art from area artists. Well, the August 18 Art Around Towne event will be little extra special this month. Stop by Fort Thomas Coffee to meet, view, and buy art from some of the area’s finest artist and collectors. The sale and display will run through the end of the month. 

Jan Jolley organized the event for the Fort Thomas Forest Conservancy’s effort to restore the Harlan Hubbard Studio. She says, “We have a variety of mediums including fiber art, stained glass, pastel, oil, watercolor, metal print, beadwork and ceramic. The prices vary from $55.00 to $400.00 and everything in between. There truly is something for everyone.”

The proceeds will help to restore the Harlan Hubbard studio now on the National Registry of Historic Places. All of the artists have donated pieces and some pieces have the studio as the subject.  The Fort Thomas Forest Conservancy was created in this studio and the organization realizes the value to preserving this seminal piece of history belonging to Kentucky’s Thoreau. 

Collin Shadwell, artist

Newport Skatepark Sports New Bowl Feature

The new bowl in Newport Skatepark nears completion. Tuesday, August 15, is the Grand Opening.
by Robin Gee

No, that’s not a swimming pool they’ve been building under the 471 bridge in Newport. It’s the latest feature for the Newport Skatepark, a large, smooth concrete bowl designed to give skaters the space to practice carves and grinds and other tricks of the trade.

Monday, August 14, 2017

Fort Thomas Wraps Itself In Ribbons For Michelle Chalk

The City of Fort Thomas has been a bit more colorful the past few weeks as residents have been decorating the city in honor, remembrance and celebration of Michelle Chalk. "While our hearts are broken, we want to celebrate our sweet Michelle," said Chalk's aunt, Amy Sapsford, here. "How about we show Michelle's love for life and smiles by decorating our town with bows.

Following are just some of the bows and ribbons found around town, with thanks to a Fort Thomas resident who has quietly and graciously been photographing these statements of love.

Neighborhood Gathers To Honor Fort Thomas Resident

Residents of Sunset Avenue in Fort Thomas hosted a neighborhood party in honor of longtime resident Thelma Pryse's 90th birthday.  

Pictures taken by John Sutkamp. 

Saturday, August 12, 2017

Pure Prairie League | September 15 | Florence Freedom

Highlands-Cincy St. Xavier Scrimmage Game Story

Bluebirds Learn From Scrimmage Loss

PHOTO: Allen Ramsey, Highlands junior defensive lineman Ben Sisson (45) takes down Cincinnati St. Xavier running back Chris Payne while teammates Gavin Downard and Logan Sparks move in during the Friday scrimmage.
For years, the Blue and White has battled top-notch competition from the largest classes in Ohio and Kentucky in scrimmages to use as measuring sticks.

For the last four years, Highlands has taken on the Cincinnati St. Xavier Bombers in four-quarter scrimmages that see the reserves come into the game starting in the third quarter. Despite the 38-3 loss to the defending Ohio Division I state champs, Highlands gave plenty of reasons for people to believe things will be different this year coming off a 3-8 campaign a year ago.

Friday, August 11, 2017

Man Suspected in Fentanyl Trafficking Ring Arrested in Campbell County

A Mason man charged for participation in a major fentanyl trafficking ring was arrested Thursday in Campbell County, police said.

Keysean Dickey, 25, was arrested at 8:52 p.m. Thursday and taken to the Campbell County Jail.

Officers seized 250 grams of fentanyl, $15,000 cash and four handguns and arrested 11 other suspects in June and announced that Dickey, Dominic Davis, Da’Marco Browner and Mykeal Parker were still at-large and suspected of participating.

Sixteen defendants - most from Cincinnati - are charged with 45 counts including conspiracy, distribution, possession of a firearm and money laundering.

Six of the defendants are charged with laundering thousands of dollars by renting cars with drug money and using the cars to distribute the fentanyl.

The indictment alleged the group distributed more than 400 grams of fentanyl from September 2016 to June 2017.

Highland Heights Home Listed in National Register of Historic Places

8 Kentucky sites recently listed in National Register of Historic Places

The National Park Service has announced that eight Kentucky sites have recently been listed in the National Register of Historic Places, including a Jewish cemetery, wholesale grocery warehouse, and Victorian home school for girls.

The sites were approved for nomination during a May 17 meeting of the Kentucky Historic Preservation Review Board, which is charged with evaluating National Register nominations from Kentucky prior to their submission to the park service. The Kentucky Heritage Council/State Historic Preservation Office (KHC) administers the National Register program in Kentucky and provides administrative support to the review board.

In northern Kentucky, the E.O. Robinson House in Highland Heights, a Shingle-style home designed by architect G.C. Burroughs and constructed in 1909 for one of eastern Kentucky’s premier timber industrialists was added to the list.

Robinson was a member of the Highland Country Club in Fort Thomas

Other listed sites were:

Thursday, August 10, 2017

WATCH: Northern Kentucky Resident's Response To Ashley Judd Goes Viral

Villa Hills resident and Bellevue native, Bobby Ferguson's Facebook Live response to Ashley Judd has gone viral.

Judd, who has never been one to hold her tongue, took to Facebook to detail an incident at an airport that demonstrated "everyday sexism" that women endure.

"I was coming through security and a guy said, ‘Hey sweetheart,’ and I said, ‘I’m not your sweetheart, I am your client,'" revealed the star.

Judd's retort to the employee was about "setting a boundary." But apparently the man didn't take the hint.

"When I was setting my things out, he said, ‘Hey nice dress!’” Judd continued, explaining, “I didn’t hear him say anything about the attire of any of the other folks in the entire line and I am in one of the most traveled airports in the world."

Opinion: Unified Officials Leading Way Toward New Convention Center in NKY

Article written by Brent Cooper. 
President Ronald Reagan once said this about leadership:

" A leader, once convinced a particular course of action is the right one, must have the determination to stick with it and be undaunted when the going gets tough".

The judge-executives and county commissioners of Boone, Campbell and Kenton counties have shown the type of unwavering leadership described by President Reagan through their unanimous support of an initiative that will provide funding for the planned expansion of the Northern Kentucky Convention Center.

The modest 1 percent increase in the region's hotel tax - which by statue had to be approved by the fiscal courts in our three counties - will seed a capital fund that will ultimately be used to promote the entire region, as well as expand the 204,000-square foot convention center in downtown Covington, a project that will create jobs, bring visitors to hotels, restaurants, businesses and attractions throughout Northern Kentucky and allow our center to remain competitive with other cities and regions.

The business community recognizes the tremendous economic impact of Northern Kentucky's travel and tourism industry, which continued to boom in 2016 by generating nearly $1.7 billion of total economic impact including $388 million spent by visitors to Boone, Kenton and Campbell counties.

The Northern Kentucky Convention Center is a major component of that success. Since opening in 1998, initial booking projections are up nearly 40 percent. The center's 2,500 events have generated $1 billion in economic impact while directly supporting 350 hospitality-related jobs in the region.
But we are still missing tremendous opportunities. Due to its size, the Center is losing business to competitors that are investing in new and expanded centers in other communities.

Our officials recognized, correctly so, that funding from the federal and state government is no longer a reality for projects such as this.

To pay for its new center and at the urging of Gov. Matt Bevin's administration, The City of Lexington raised its hotel bed tax by 2.5 percent. The city plans to use the $10 million raised by the increase to pay back $60 million in upfront bond funding fronted by the State of Kentucky. What Lexington demonstrated was that using a hotel bed tax increase to fund a convention center expansion is emerging as the new model in Kentucky.

Highlands Set for Scrimmage Against Ohio Power

PHOTO: Allen Ramsey, Highlands junior Nick Bowman (19) battles for yards after picking up a fumble against Simon Kenton in JV action last year. Junior Gavin Downard
It is no secret the toughest opponent the hosts have faced have been in their scrimmages.

After facing Louisville Trinity for years, the Highlands Bluebirds football team has taken on the Cincinnati St. Xavier Bombers from the rugged Greater Catholic League South for four straight seasons to prepare for the regular season. The scrimmage at 7 p.m. Friday at David Cecil Memorial Stadium will be the first opportunity the Bluebirds have to show how far they've come since last year's rough 3-8 campaign.

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

Gov. Bevin Makes Carnegie Hero Medal Presentations

Alexandria man among two honored with historic award

Gov. Matt Bevin today hosted a special ceremony at the Kentucky State Capitol to present two distinguished Kentuckians, Lori Doppelheuer Kearney of Maysville (posthumously) and Lou Scharold of Alexandria, with the Carnegie Hero Medal.

Established by industrialist Andrew Carnegie in 1904, this award recognizes individuals who risk their lives to an extraordinary degree in attempting to save others. Since its inception, 159 Kentuckians have earned this honor.

“While bittersweet, it is an honor and privilege to recognize Kentucky heroes like Lou Scharold and the family of Lori Kearney,” said Gov. Bevin. “These are powerful stories for all of us, and we are thankful for their heroism.”

"They said you deserve a medal for helping that man out of the truck. I said well, whatever you want to do I don't care. I'd be more than glad to take it," said Scharold.

Lou Scharold, 72, saved Rumpke truck driver Brian Ashcraft after his vehicle was struck nearly head-on by a pickup truck traveling the wrong direction on U.S. Highway 27 in Campbell County on April 25, 2016.

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Scharold was heading home on Highway 27 and noticed a truck driving the wrong way in the southbound lanes.

Local Filmmakers Inadvertently Shut Down South Fort Thomas Avenue

"The City of Fort Thomas is really a full blown character in the movie."

Local film company Sovereign Entertainment and their upcoming feature “The Edge of Indolence” have appeared in Fort Thomas Matters twice this year. Once, in January, when we told of their decision to use Fort Thomas as the location for their next movie, and possibly less happily in July, when they inadvertently caused the police to shut down South Fort Thomas Avenue.

“The Edge of Indolence” is an action/ comedy movie (not a zombie movie as reported on July 17th) from local filmmakers William Chaffin and Chris Wesley, whose production company Sovereign Entertainment will release the movie. The movie, written by Chris and directed by William, deals with a couple of friends who find a suitcase and end up on the run from people who want its contents. While the film deals with crime and criminals, a visit from Fort Thomas PD was not high up the filmmakers' list of priorities.

In Other Words: “Bears Do Not Talk and Wear Funny Hats. They Will Kill You.”

I was section hiking along the Appalachian Trail with two friends many years ago. Trail conversations among hikers are usually about where you are going and where you have been and what to expect. Some hikers told us about the “Six O’Clock” bear at a particular site where we planned to camp. We were actually kind of excited to have a close encounter with a bear.


We arrived at the CCC built shelter with plenty of sunlight to spare. The shelter was primitive - three stone walls, timber roof, chicken wire stretched across bunk frames, and a chain link fence that ran side to side and top to bottom across the front. There were two locks.  A “C” dropped from the post across the gate and a pin passed through it. The second was a chain wrapped around the the gate frame and the post. Another pin ran through that. My enthusiasm began to, I don’t know, waver. I was beginning to have some concerns.

We cooked our meals away from the shelter, strung a line and hung our food in the trees, and rolled out our sleeping bags on the chicken wire bunks. We set up the tripod and camera to capture the arrival of the Six O’Clock bear. We sat back and waited. This was going to be a real National Geographic moment. Yessir. It was going to be one for the books.

But about an hour before sunset The Lone Hiker arrived. This is unusual because people really shouldn’t hike in the mountains alone. You never know what’s going to happen. I mean, we were almost bitten by copperhead snakes on the trail a few times. We even had a swimming session in a beautiful mountain pond end prematurely when copperheads dropped into the water and swam toward us. We looked like cartoon characters running across that pond.

Good Cause in NC-CovCath FB Scrimmage

Two Schools to Raise Support for Brian Eviston. 

PHOTO: Bob Jackson. Covington Catholic Head Football Coach Eddie Eviston makes a call to the box during a game last year. Newport Central Catholic and CovCath will scrimmage each other Friday at CovCath to raise funds to help his older brother Brian, who is battling ALS.
It will not just be a regular football scrimmage Friday at Covington Catholic at 7 p.m.

The Covington Catholic Colonels and Newport Central Catholic Thoroughbreds will come together to support Brian Eviston, the older brother of current CovCath Head Eddie Eviston. Brian Eviston, a 1996 NewCath graduate, received a diagnosis of Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis better known as ALS or Lou Gehrig's Disease after the former New York Yankee great, back in November. Coach Eviston led the Thoroughbreds to two state championships in three years as head coach in 2010 and 2012 before taking over the CovCath job in 2015.

RELATED: Visit the Team "B"elieve GoFundMe Page here. 

A Team "B"elieve committee came together after the diagnosis. All proceeds from the gate and "Split the Pot" will go to that cause. The admission will be $6 for adults and $4 for students. CovCath Director of Athletics Tony Bacigalupo is also a NewCath alum and helped put tings together.

"I got a lot of family members that went to NewCath. Fortunately enough, myself and (NewCath Head) Coach (Dan) Wagner had scheduled the scrimmage last summer for this season without even knowing my brother was going through this battle," Coach Eviston said.

"Knowing what he's going through, we wanted to do something for him. Obviously, this is the perfect opportunity because my brother played at Newport (Central) Catholic. Now with me at CovCath, it was almost like a perfect fit getting both communities together to try to rally and support his family. It was kind of a no-brainer for us. We talked about it right away."

Wikipedia defines ALS as "a specific disease that causes the death of neurons which control voluntary muscles. ALS is characterized by stiff muscles, muscle twitching and gradually worsening weakness due to muscles decreasing in size. This results in difficulty speaking, swallowing and eventually breathing." Coach Eviston said his brother is raising four small children.

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"It just changes your every day living. I think that's the biggest thing," Coach Eviston said. "I don't experience it so I don't want to put words in anybody's mouth that's ever gone through it. It's almost like your trapped in your own body. You want to do things, but your body isn't responding the way you're thinking. Obviously as a brother to Brian, it's hard to watch. But at the same time, I know he's going to battle it. His family is going to battle it. He's a guy who was very athletic, involved and active. It's one of those unfortunate events in life that he's dealing with."

Coach Eviston said the committee came together not only to help Brian Eviston financially but also give the family support spiritually and mentally. Like Coach Eviston, Brian Eviston played football at NewCath.

"The whole team believe," Coach Eviston said. "We just appreciate the support of both communities. That's one thing I'd like to get across."

Both teams are coming off trips to the region finals last year. CovCath (9-4 last year) lost 35-28 at Louisville Fern Creek in the Class 5A, Region 2 title game and NewCath (7-6) lost 26-21 to Covington Holy Cross in the Class 2A, Region 3 championship game.

Monday, August 7, 2017

The History Behind Fort Thomas' Active Lighthouse

Did you know that today (Monday, August 7th, 2017) is National Lighthouse Day?

The Cincinnati Water Intake Pier from the Ohio side of the river. Photo by Dave Michaels. 
There's actually an active lighthouse right here in Fort Thomas, Kentucky.

It's the Cincinnati Water Intake Pier, which is owned by Greater Cincinnati Water Works.

Built in 1907, the structure is visible from RT-8 (Mary Ingles Highway). Now it's used as a pump house, pumping water through a tunnel under the river to a purification plant on the Ohio shore. Two red lights flash every six seconds, marking the bank of the Ohio River.

Dave Michaels, of HistoricBridges.Org, talks about the pier in detail here: