Friday, September 29, 2017

Sgt. Will Hunt Graduates from Sergeant's Course

Twenty-Two Officers Graduate from Sergeant’s Course, three-week program focuses on leadership

Law enforcement officers from agencies across the commonwealth were recognized today for completing the Kentucky Department of Criminal Justice Training’s Academy of Police Supervision.

That included, Fort Thomas' Will Hunt.

APS, also called the sergeant’s academy, is a three-week, 122-hour training program targeted for newly promoted sergeants or officers who are on their agency’s promotion list to become sergeants.

While in APS, students participate in classes focusing on the role of a supervisor, leadership, resolving conflict, managing diversity, monitoring officer performance, professional image, legal issues for supervisors, ethics, interpersonal communication, effective written communication, making decisions, solving problems, managing critical incidents, public speaking, emotional survival, media relations and others.

The graduating class is the 72nd to complete APS since the program began in 2003.
Ashland Police Chief Todd Kelley served as guest speaker.

APS is a stepping stone to DOCJT’s Kentucky Leadership Institute, which consists of a series of three progressive leadership courses aimed at developing and shaping future and current leaders in law enforcement agencies across the commonwealth.

Ken Bowman Sells His Building; Seeks New Operator


After nearly 30 years in business, Ken Bowman has sold his property at 103 North Fort Thomas Avenue.

Under the terms of the purchase contract with the new owner, Bowman's Framing may retain occupancy for up to one year. During that time, Bowman's goal is to find a new operator for his business.

As a realtor with Huff Realty for the past 12 years, a Fort Thomas city council member for five years and board member and operator of the Sorg Opera House in Middletown, Ohio for five years, Bowman found that his shop was heavily dependent on his presence. His retail shop is open six days a week.

"I'm spread pretty thin and am constantly juggling responsibilities to keep up. I don't want to give up these other occupations but could be much more effective at them if not tied to the shop as I have been for so long now, Bowman said.

Inside Bowman's Framing is artwork from local artists. FTM file. 
It's a great business, and I have always loved what I do. I have a large and loyal client base that I very much appreciate. After all of these years of commitment to this business, when the opportunity presented itself to sell the building that my shop is in, I had to give it serious consideration."

Bowman has ownership in Middletown's historic Sorg Opera House, a non-profit, which reopened with a concert Sunday, filling 550 seats. He said that the concert was a "game changer."

"That concert has increased the buy-in for people who are going to contribute to the project. It demonstrated how viable the facility could be and we're hopeful it's going to be big."

The Sorg Opera House property includes the commercial building, with three retail space, 22 office suites and an upstairs ballroom.

The 1891 performance hall, which will hold a capacity of 950, at 53 S. Main St. in downtown was built by Middletown paper magnate Paul Sorg. It was designed by Samuel Hannaford, the architect who also designed Music Hall and Cincinnati City Hall.


Residents Condemn Dangerous Driving on Tremont Avenue

Residents' signs on Tremont (provided by Rick Jamie)
Residents on Tremont Avenue in Fort Thomas are mounting a campaign to combat what they say is seriously unsafe driving in their neighborhood.  Tremont is a busy cut through street between South Fort Thomas Avenue and Grand Avenue, and the residents are deeply concerned with both speeding and traffic ignoring the stop signs at Carolina Avenue. If you’re driving Tremont you may well notice red yard signs saying “DRIVE LIKE YOUR KIDS LIVE HERE.” Residents are also collecting signatures for a petition and writing letters to the city administration and council members.

Rick Jamie has lived on Tremont for 10 years but the traffic issue predates his time there. He has two kids who are both in middle school. There are 26 kids living on Tremont between Carolina and South Fort Thomas Avenue but the residents are also concerned about the pupils at St Thomas, “We’re looking out for our kids and also other people’s kids.” Nathan Myer, a 13 year resident of Tremont, is also concerned. “We have 3 and 4 year old kids on the street, little kids like that have a tiny lapse in judgement and they’re in front of a car.”

The residents first raised the issue with the city around five years ago, under the previous city administrator, but Rick says their responses were unsatisfactory. “They told us the city doesn’t do “SLOW- KIDS AT PLAY” signs, even though there are plenty of other places in the city that have them. They told us they wouldn’t consider speed humps because they make it hard for the snow plows. We even got told by an elected official that we should be keeping a better eye on our kids. It just seems that there is an unwillingness to do anything unless a child is injured or killed.”

Thursday, September 28, 2017

Campbell County Road Maintenance Will Affect Busy Intersection For Months


Campbell County motorists at a busy intersection are going to have to deal with maintenance and resurfacing issues over the next few months.

Hassman and Doyle Lawfirm. 859-655-4430. This is an advertisement. 
The Kentucky Transportation Cabinet said that a base failure and resurfacing project on US 27 is scheduled to begin Friday, September 29.

Work will take place from KY 471/Sunset Ave. in Highland Heights continuing north through Fort Thomas to the I-471 ramps.  Motorists need to watch for crews and lane closures.

Fort Thomas Independent Schools Receive High Marks from Kentucky Department of Education

Kentucky will shift to a new accountability system for next school year


The Kentucky Department of Education has released the results for the 2017 Assessment and Accountability and Fort Thomas Independent Schools, once again, have a reason to celebrate.

A shift in how school districts will be measured academically in the next school year has eliminated measures that are typically used to rank schools by overall scores or classifications.

Senate Bill 1, which passed in this year’s legislative General Assembly, allowed for a reprieve of accountability measures this year in preparation for a statewide shift to a new accountability system for the 2018-2019 year.

So while district stakeholders are accustomed to a high ranking against other districts, Fort Thomas educators are extolling their accomplishments from last year as they pore over scores. Last year the district was the top performing school in northern Kentucky and ranked number 3 overall.

“Fort Thomas Independent Schools uses a variety of measures to determine the progress and achievement of students. Along with the state accountability, we use international and national assessments that demonstrate that our students continue to perform at a high level,” said Dr. Karen Cheser, Superintendent of Fort Thomas Independent Schools.

“This year's state assessment does not include rankings and levels that we usually receive, but we can still use the data to make any needed changes. Next year's assessment system will be different, measuring items like transition readiness that we have not traditionally addressed. As usual, we will be proactive in ensuring our students do well, no matter the accountability system.”

Fort Thomas Independent Schools found themselves in the top ten of many categories for academic proficiencies.

Bluebirds Focus on Little Things During Bye Week

Highlands Owns Better Record Entering Bye Week Than Previous Two Years

PHOTO: Allen Ramsey, DWCPhoto.com. Highlands senior Grant Summers (8) makes a catch during the game against Simon Kenton.
The grass is not always greener on the other side in life. But for football teams, the grass is definitely greener in the opposing end zone.

Throughout its great history, the Highlands Bluebirds football team has done a great job discovering that and preventing teams from doing for the most part and the Bluebirds hope to improve at both during the bye week. That's why the team's overall record is 881-247-26 in 103 seasons of football with just nine losing seasons.

The Bluebirds sit 2-4 this year entering the bye week. It is an improvement from 1-5 at this point the previous two years.

Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Fort Thomas Education Foundation to Host Gala at Cincinnati Music Hall

Tickets now available for Masquerade Gala and VIP Reception


Tickets are now on sale for the Fort Thomas Education Foundation (FTEF) Masquerade Ball Gala on October 21, 2017 at the historic Cincinnati Music Hall. The event will be the first event hosted at Music Hall after its renovation, giving gala attendees an early chance to enjoy an exclusive evening in the elegant ballroom while supporting a great cause, the FTEF Endowment.

The Endowment fund will allow FTEF to sustain its commitment to provide the best for our schools for current and future generations to come.

“Thanks to the tremendous support of our community since our inception in 2001, the FTEF has been able to enhance the education of every single student currently enrolled in all five of our schools," said Amy Shaffer, FTEF Board Chair. "The Masquerade Ball will help us ensure that we can continue our support for current and future generations. We hope that all alumni, parents, grandparents and friends will join us for this special event in support of our children and our schools.”

Warning: Scammers are back in Campbell County


Scammers in Campbell County are at it again.

Campbell County Sheriff, Mike Jansen, said his office has received multiple calls from concerned residents saying they have received phone calls from people claiming they are the Sheriff's Office in order to scam them out of their money.

This time the scammers are involving property tax as the bait.

"The latest scam involves the caller using our Sheriff’s Office main address of 1098 Monmouth St., Newport, KY 41071 as a place to meet and pay to resolve the issue," he said.

This is an advertisement. 
Jansen said that in the conversation the scammers have managed to convince the person to acquire a gift card at Kroger or Walmart.  Once the card is activated and the number is given to the scammer, the money is gone and there is little that can be done about it at that point.

Jansen said that this is a big red flag that it is not real.

"The scammers often use a caller ID masking tool so that the call looks like it is from a local exchange.  They can even fake our number.  If ever in doubt, call our office at 859-292-3833," he said.

Jansen said Sheriff’s Office does not call anyone via telephone to tell them that they need to send money to rectify any form of tax bill, warrant or other paper service and that they always attempt to make in-person contact.

"If we can’t reach you, we will leave a door hanger with contact information." he said.


City Visioning Kicks Off With Major Advancements on Horizon

City Plan Kickoff Draws High Interest

Residents packed the room to learn more about the Fort Thomas Community Plan.

by Robin Gee

Fort Thomas residents packed the room for the official Fort Thomas Community Plan kickoff meeting on September 25. Nearly 50 residents were in attendance.

Mayor Eric Haas welcomed community members who had come to the meeting to learn more about how they could be involved in the planning underway as part of a citywide visioning process.

This is an advertisement. 
"The talent in this city is absolutely phenomenal. We have so many people who care so much about this city and have such great ideas," he said, adding that he was excited to see so many people willing to share those ideas.

The process so far

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Campbell County Police Need Your Help To Identify Burglary Suspect


Please help identify this suspect. He is wanted for questioning in several recent burglaries and thefts. If you have any information contact the Campbell County Police 859-547-3100.

Call Ashley Barlow. 859-781-5777. 



Monday, September 25, 2017

Highlands Junior/Senior Girls Face Off in Annual Powder Puff Game

Proceeds to benefit Sam Scott Memorial Scholarship


The Highlands High School senior girls will play against the junior girls in the Annual Powder Puff football game on Friday, September 29, at 7 p.m. The game will be played at the David B. Cecil Memorial Stadium on the main campus of the high school.

Hosted by the HHS senior class, the proceeds of this game will benefit the Sam Scott Memorial Scholarship, which is awarded each year to a senior class member.
   
Located at 18 N. Fort Thomas Ave., in the Hiland Building. This is an advertisement. 
Admission to the game is $5 and is open to the public.  Because this is an annual charity event, activity passes will not be honored. to the Public


Here's when the Cracker Barrel in Cold Spring will open


It looks like people will have to wait just a little longer to get their Cracker Barrel fix in Cold Spring.

The official opening is now set for Monday, October 30th.

Plans were originally set for the store to open in July.

Try a free class at Orangetheory Newport Pavilion. The best 1-hour workout in the country. This is an advertisement. 
The location has held a bevy of different businesses: Guys & Dolls, Devanna's on the Lake and Buckskin Bev's were three of the latest concepts at 4210 Alexandria Pike. The old building has been torn down to make way for the new store. In November of 2016, Cracker Barrel agreed to donate the lake behind the property on the 7.6-acre property to the city of Cold Spring City.

The company announced on in March that it will hire more than 175 full and part-time employees. The 10,000 sq. ft. restaurant will be able to host 180 guests, about 50 fewer than a typical restaurant, and will include the country store inside the restaurant.

6 Tips To Do Now to Help Keep Your Family Safe if a Fire Breaks Out at Home

“Every Second Counts: Plan 2 Ways Out!”


Watch the Highlands Broadcast PSA below. 
In 1922, Fire Prevention Day was changed into Fire Prevention Week. Ever since, Fire Prevention Week is observed on the Sunday through Saturday which contains the day of October the 9th.  This day is significant because during the Great Chicago Fire in 1871, October 9th was the day of the worst destruction and loss of life.  On the 40th anniversary of the fire, public officials decided to use it as an opportunity to brining attention to preventing fires. The first president to proclaim “Nation Fire Prevention Week” was Calvin Coolidge, in 1925.

Every year Fire Prevention Week is given a theme. Some years have shared themes and others have themes that reflect the current events of the time. Examples of the previous themes are:

When is the last time you reviewed your insurance coverage? Call Tracy at 859-781-5313. This is an advertisement. 
1927- Why this Mad Sacrifice to Fire?
1928- Fire… Do your Part – Stop This Waste!
1932, 1933- Your Life. Your Property
1942- Today Every Fire Helps Hitler
1943- Fires Fight for the Axis! (to emphasize home fire prevention), Feed Fighters Not Fires (farm and rural campaign), The War’s Over for This Plant (industrial use), Was Somebody Careless? (General use)
1946- We Burned the Enemy-Now Save Yourself from Fire
1966-1972- Fire Hurts
1998-2000- The Great Escape

This year’s theme is “Every Second Counts: Plan 2 Ways Out!”.

Here are some tips and a helpful link from the National Fire Prevention Association (NFPA)

Draw a map of your home with all members of your household, marking two exits from each room and a path to the outside from each exit.
Practice your home fire drill twice a year. Conduct one at night and one during the day with everyone in your home, and practice using different ways out.
Teach children how to escape on their own in case you can’t help them.
Make sure the number of your home is clearly marked and easy for the fire department to find.
Close doors behind you as you leave – this may slow the spread of smoke, heat, and fire.
Once you get outside, stay outside. Never go back inside a burning building.

Once again the Fort Thomas Fire Department has teamed up with the Highlands High School Film and Broadcast students and their teacher, Bill Poff, to create a video to further communicate this year’s theme. Brianna Collins and Jessica Morris are the students who came up with the concept and produced this year’s video.

RELATED: Highlands Broadcast Teams Up with Fort Thomas Firefighters

The Fire Prevention video will also appear on the video scoreboard at the October 6th Highlands game verses Dixie Heights football game. For more information of Fire Prevention please visit www.FPW.org or www.NFPA.org.

Get the Wilson Welcome. Call Tami. 859-380-6007. 
The October 6th football game will be a busy night as there will be another video that will make its premier at the game. Fort Thomas Fire Department has partnered with St. Elizabeth Hospitals and the Fort Thomas Independent School District to promote “Push Hard, Push Fast and Pass it On”.

This is a campaign to get the message out that “Hands only CPR can increase the survival rate of sudden cardiac arrest”.  This event will include a CPR demonstration booth, Hands only CPR instructions, prizes, along with the video public service announcement.

By Chris Rust, Fort Thomas Firefighter/Paramedic

Fire Prevention Week began over 9 decades ago when President Woodrow Wilson proclaimed Sunday, October 9th, 1920 as Fire Prevention Day. This is what is stated in that proclamation:

Saturday, September 23, 2017

WATCH: Highlights from Highlands-Simon Kenton Game Heart Breaker

Pioneers Score Game-Winning TD with 14 Seconds Left to Edge Bluebirds
PHOTO: Allen Ramsey, DWCPhoto.com. Highlands senior Larry Wilson (21) looks for running room as offensive linemen Michael Dunn (73) and Sam Sparks (56) block.
PHOTO: Allen Ramsey, DWCPhoto. Highlands junior Ben Sisson (45) pressures Simon Kenton quarterback Matt Shearer during Friday's game in Independence.
Head Coach Brian Weinrich and staff challenged more play-makers to step forward, especially with the game on the line.

Friday, September 22, 2017

Fort Thomas Resident Gathers Help for Hurricane Maria Victims


By Courtney Reynolds 

I was eight-years-old when Hugo hit.

We had just moved to the suburbs of Villa Hills to a home our parents built years before. I have literally grown up in two places at once, so if I say St. Croix is my home, it isn’t because it is “cool” or “unique” but a place that taught me survival and family. My chosen family is in St. Croix and being there understood that you did what you needed to and you didn’t rely on “outside” folks in times of crises. Thus, Hugo was different. At the time in 1989, I can still remember saying “good night” to our father who was staying at his drug store to weather the “supposed” Category 5 hurricane.

No hurricane had hit the island like that in 100 years and everyone expected Hugo to dissipate: they were wrong.

My mother stayed awake all night with landlines down and the news only covering the more popular Leeward Islands and Puerto Rico, as it headed to Florida. For three solid days, we heard nothing from our father – nothing. My sister and I were sent to our new Catholic white suburban school as if nothing was wrong while we waited for word if our father was alive from a place our neighbors didn’t even realize was part of our country. The only reason we simply found out he was alive was through a HAM operator. For three days we watched looting, desperation, and death on the television as if it was simply entertainment for the US as they didn’t realize that the USVI was full of their fellow citizens as well.

And that brings us to the past few days. In less than a week, St. Croix weathered two category five hurricanes which is quite simply unheard of. Luckily, we have new apps and social media so we have slowly been able to check in to find out if our friends and family are alive. ALIVE. We aren’t focused on housing damage (which there is), or flooding, or looting – we are trying to find out if our friends from childhood and chosen family are simply breathing and made it through the terrifying night. Do you know what a hurricane entails? As the eye passes over you a silence beckons but tornadoes also hit. It is eerie and terrifying, and as you lose your roof and bearings, and your ears fail to pressurize, you pray to everything and nothing that you will simply make it through the night. Just two days’ shy of the 18th anniversary of Hugo, my friends did that.

As I write this I still don’t know if my best friend is alive and made it through with her three kids. And please, don’t say “why don’t they leave?” That isn’t possible in the islands. You can’t simply drive 100 miles and have the weather pass and most people also can’t afford that.

My grandfather, Dr. John Naber, talked me into moving to Fort Thomas as I went through a painful divorce in 2011 and this wonderful community took us in and I have never regretted it. Now I beg this community, whom I have tried to benefit, to help my fellow Virgin Islanders at this desperate time. Anything we can use, any man power, any funds, and donations are not too small. I am taking a flight once the donations fill up to bring supplies such as water since that is the quickest method as possible. However, after that we are filling pallets to send full of essential items, items that fellow Crucians sent to St. Thomas after they were disastrously affected by Irma. Because that is simply what you do as a Crucian and I think fellow Fort Thomians understand that as well. My grandfather certainly did and if you don’t know me, know that Dr. John Naber respected our island and home and was the biggest fan. We appreciate anything and everything you can contribute. Blessings to you and thank you for reading.

Contact information for the St. Croix Foundation:

St. Elizabeth recognized for support of Catholic education


St. Elizabeth Healthcare received the Faith, Hope and Inspiration Award from the Alliance for Catholic Urban Education (ACUE) for its long-time support of economically disadvantaged students in Northern Kentucky.

Since 2012, St. Elizabeth has donated more than $66,000 and recently pledged $250,000 total over the next five years to provide tuition assistance for students (K-8) in six urban Catholic elementary schools in Campbell and Kenton counties.

“Our vision of becoming one of the healthiest communities in America involves more than quality medical care,” said Garren Colvin, president CEO of St. Elizabeth Healthcare. “It starts with providing a healthy, safe and nurturing environment for our youth.”

More than 50 percent of ACUE students live in poverty, and most families can’t afford the cost of their children’s education. The parishes and schools in these neighborhoods provide a quality, values-based education to children regardless of their faith, ethnicity, ability or economic status. In fact, 45 percent of ACUE students are not Catholic.

“We are so grateful for partners like St. Elizabeth who are bringing a Catholic education to the children who need it most,” said Tim Rawe, general chair of the 2016-2017 ACUE Annual Appeal. “St. E’s donation will help offset the more than $2 million in aid required to support these students.”

City Council Roundup: Taxes Pass, Chicken Rule Unchanged

Law, Labor and Licensing Committee Chair David Cameron (r) reports on chicken ordinance.
(Councilmember Ken Bowman listens at left.)
by Robin Gee

City Council passed the expected property tax rate increase at its September 18 meeting. Voting four to two, council passed a 2.4 percent hike in the 2017 property tax rate for a new overall rate is .412 per $100 of property.

The new tax rate includes the compensating rate plus a four percent city revenue increase, the maximum allowed by law.
This equates to a 10-cent increase for every $1,000 in property value. For example, the average home value in the city is $216,000, so the property tax increase would be $21.60 for that property.

RELATED: Proposed Tax Rate Approved

Chicken ordinance remains unchanged


Thursday, September 21, 2017

Longtime Cold Spring restaurant closes with emphatic explanation



Gourmet Wok, one of the original tenants of County Square Plaza, off Martha Layne Collins Blvd. in Cold Spring has closed.

A sign posted on the door read, "Sorry. We quit." 

Calls to the owners of the restaurant have not been returned.

The restaurant had a 3 out of 5 star rating on Yelp and a 3.5 out of 5 star rating on Google.





Two Arrested Overnight in Fort Thomas for Burglary


Two men were arrested at around 2:30 a.m. last night after Fort Thomas Police spotted a suspicious looking car on the corner of James and Highland Avenues.

Officers Brandon Laffin and Wayne Dutle were patrolling the Fort Thomas streets in tandem, looking for potential burglars, when they saw a car idling on the street. They made a stop and found David Holt, 33 from Price Hill, in the car with stolen merchandise that included computers, iPads and stolen money.

They charged him with possession of drug paraphernalia, public intoxication (excludes alcohol) and receiving stolen property over $10,000.

Later, officers found Paul Fraley, 34 also from Price Hill, and also charged him with receiving stolen property.

Those charges are Class C felonies, which can carry 5-10 year sentences.

Fort Thomas has seen a rash of car break-ins over the last several years and according to Fort Thomas Police Lt. Rich Whitford, nearly all of them have involved vehicles that were unlocked.

RELATED: Fort Thomas Police: Car Break-Ins Now Totaling 100 (Feb. 2017)

"These two officers were specifically detailed to look for subjects who may be breaking into our citizens' cars. We have been getting hit hard in recent years," he said. "Both of these subjects admitted to breaking into cars. This was great police work by our guys."

Whitford said a search of the vehicle led to the return of items totaling approximately $12-15,000 dollars.

Michelle Chalk's Classmates Remember Her During Homecoming Dance


What a wonderful community is Fort Thomas.

Michelle Chalk would have attended her first high school dance last weekend it not for the tragic accident that occurred in August of this year in Fort Thomas.

But that didn't stop her classmates from helping her family celebrate the occasion.

RELATED: Listen: Keith Chalk Talks About Their Family's Life-Changing Tragedy (Podcast) 

Cris Collinsworth ProScan Fund Celebrate Annual Pink Ribbon Luncheon

The Pink Team: Beth Otto, Carol O’Brien, Lynnette Wyler, Meggan Sulfsted, Ashley Collinsworth, Calysta Bevier, Ellen Knue, Nancy Fehr, Tom Hiltz, Francie Hiltz, Cris Collinsworth, Holly Collinsworth, Dr. Stephen Pomeranz, Karen Cassidy, Penny Pomeranz, Lori Daniels, Maggie Fennell, Maria Konerman. 
Laughter is the best medicine!

Duke Energy Convention Center will become the Pink Ribbon Comedy Club on Wednesday, October 18th as the Cris Collinsworth ProScan Fund celebrates their Annual Pink Ribbon Luncheon.

Top comedian Tom Papa from New York City will provide laughter for all. Papa is the host of award- winning podcast Come to Papa and a regular guest on Conan and The Late Show with Stephen Colbert and has toured with Jerry Seinfeld. With more than 20 years as a stand-up comedian, he has found success in film, television and radio as well as on the live stage. Papa was seen alongside Michael Douglass and Matt Damon in HBO film, Behind the Candelabra which won 11 Emmys. He was also seen in the hit Comedy Central series, Inside Amy Schumer.

Event emcee, Cris Collinsworth will recognize the Stephanie Spielman Fund as this year’s Power of Pink Award recipient. Each year, the Pink Ribbon Luncheon recognizes the outstanding efforts of an organization that has used their first or secondhand experience with cancer to give back to the community. The Stephanie Spielman Fund for Breast Cancer research has raised millions of dollars towards the fight against breast cancer. Maddie Spielman, Stephanie Spielman’s daughter will accept the award. The Pink Ribbon Luncheon is also very excited to recognize Honorary Chairs Bob and Suzi Brant who have been instrumental in the growth of the Cris Collinsworth ProScan Fund and longtime supporters of the Pink Ribbon Luncheon.


Highlands-Simon Kenton Football Preview

Bluebirds Face Tough Test in Independence

PHOTO: Allen Ramsey, DWCPhoto.com. Highlands sophomore Zach Lewin (41) and senior Joe Steiden (27) pursue Lexington Catholic junior wide receiver Nathan Schnurr (1) in the game Friday.
The song goes, "This moment. We own it."

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

After 20+ Years, Our Subway is Gone... Now what?


OP-ED by Dan Gorman

I admit it – I took it for granted.  With one of the lowest failure rates of any franchise chain in America, I assumed the Subway in the heart of our business district would always be there.  I was shocked when it closed with no notice.  The note on the door says business had been declining for the past three years, and the owner could no longer pay his taxes.  I look at other buildings in our Central Business District and wonder why they sit empty for so long.  I truly admire those that can make it work.  Please, please support them any chance you can get.

As a real estate investor in Fort Thomas, I work with the City to attract new businesses to our town.  I spend a lot of money to renovate their spaces, and watch the owners invest tens of thousands of dollars as well.  I’m always optimistic, but sometimes wonder - will our town welcome and support them?  Will they thrive, or just survive?  Will they attract customers from outside of Fort Thomas, customers that will support our other businesses as well?

I drive around, and see our neighbors – Newport, Bellevue, Dayton, Covington - reinventing their business districts, drawing our residents, one by one, out of Fort Thomas to spend their money.  Each time a building goes vacant in our Central Business District, it becomes more difficult for the remaining businesses to thrive.

Henry Ford said, “if you always do what you’ve always done, you’ll always get what you’ve always got.”  

Fort Thomas Attorney Accepted into Prestigious Special Education Advocacy Institute

Barlow (second from left) celebrates her new certificate in Special Education Advocacy. 
Ohio and Kentucky students have a valuable asset in local attorney, Ashley Meier Barlow, who has expanded her legal practice to include representation of students with disabilities.

Protected by the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, the Americans with Disabilities Act, Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act, and state laws, students with disabilities are entitled to education plans that suit their individual needs.

Barlow, a former German teacher, is the mother of Jack, a student with Down syndrome, who has such an Individual Education Plan.  She began learning about special education advocacy while advocating for Jack, started answering questions for friends, and realized she had a passion for helping families with the special education needs.

“I’ve been involved in the disability community since Jack’s birth, and I’ve advocated in the national and state levels for many changes.  But education is so important to me, and with my experience as a teacher, this area of law is a no brainer for me,” Barlow told Fort Thomas Matters.  


Weekend Of Music Wraps Up At The Pub With The Vims


The Vims perform at The Pub on Saturday, Sept. 23 at 10:30 p.m. with blues band, The Kenton Lands Band, opening at 9:30 p.m.
If you are looking for something to do after the Band of Helping Hands Blues Festival at the Fort this Saturday, look no further than the Olde Fort Pub.

The Vims with ties to Fort Thomas are ready to entertain with an evening of "witty, modern rock mixed with alternative music nostalgia reminiscent of the sub pop records glory days."

2017 Proposed Tax Rate Approved



Fort Thomas property owners will see a 2.4 percent hike in their 2017 property tax bill. A proposed overall tax rate of .412 per $100 of property was approved by the city council in a four-to-two vote at its September 18 meeting.

The new tax rate includes the compensating rate plus a four percent city revenue increase, the maximum allowed by law.

Councilmembers Ken Bowman and Lisa Kelly voted against the new rate. Bowman expressed concern at the last council meeting that the city should consider not raising the rate to the maximum allowed amount.

"With trash collection and school board going up, I would like us to find a middle ground instead of going for the maximum amount every time," said Bowman at the previous council meeting.

RELATED: City Council Roundup: Property Tax Discussion Points to Increase

Councilmember Roger Peterman said a public hearing on the new tax rate was held last week but no one from the audience asked about the tax hike. He said he had hoped to be able to address concerns people might have.

Per the KRS statute, the tax rate meeting was advertised in the back pages of The Recorder.

He offered his perspective on the topic. "At this point in the process, approving this tax rate becomes more of an administrative act. We considered this tax rate when we developed the budget, and we’ve already adopted the budget for this year," he said. "We are depending on those revenues to balance the budget."

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

WATCH: Highlands Athletics Hall of Fame Induction Video

Highlands Hall of Fame 2017



Need a local chiropractor? Click here. This is an advertisement. 

Bub Basham, It's a Wonderful Life Living in the Same Neighborhood for 90 Years

Lois and Bub in the sports memorabilia room. 
Floyd “Bub” Basham told me that “We love the city. We love everything about it. We’ve had a great life. I couldn’t want a better place to live. Right here. “  And right here turns out to be only three buildings from where he was born.

And if I didn’t know any better I might be tempted to say that Jimmy Stewart portrayed Bub’s devotion to his town and family in the film “It’s a Wonderful Life.” Bub married his school sweetheart, Lois, raised their family, worked, played, and continues to give to his community.

 Bub is 90 years old and has lived within 150 feet of where he was born. That’s right. He lives on Miller Lane in a home that he and his friends built in the late 1950s. And that is only a few doors from the corner of North Fort Thomas Avenue and Miller Lane where a grocery store, Stegner’s,  stood at one time. Bub’s parents lived upstairs and that’s where he was born. The Board of Education building sits on the site now.

This is an advertisement. 

Monday, September 18, 2017

Former Highlands, UK and NFL player Jared Lorenzen launches his documentary and weight loss challenge platform.


Former NFL Quarterback, University of Kentucky, and Highlands star, Jared Lorenzen, has begun filming a 12- month documentary that will chronicle his journey to combat obesity and live a healthy lifestyle.

After gaining weight post his football career, he will allow cameras to follow him in his home state of Kentucky while he also challenges the state to join him on his quest to health and wellness. Jared recently gained national attention by launching his Facebook page The Jared Lorenzen Project, which showed the former Bluebird ballooning his weight to over 500 pounds.  He has teamed with The Now Lets Get Foundation to provide a platform that will focus solely on combating obesity and instilling health and wellness through education, fitness and nutrition.

“I want to show everyone that it’s never too early or too late to start the journey towards health. I want people to know that if I can do it then you can do it. My goal is to use platform to put a face to obesity. The Facebook page is a platform that everyone can join, feel safe to express themselves, get the inspiration and answers on health and wellness they need to make the change in their life,”  said Lorenzen.

Barre3 Ft. Thomas. This is an advertisement. 

PICTURES: Highlands Athletics Inducts Third Hall of Fame Class


The third Highlands Athletics Hall of Fame class was inducted September 17, 2017. 






This is an advertisement. 


St. Elizabeth Healthcare Spotlight: 'Am I at risk for HPV?'


The human papilloma virus (HPV) is known to be the culprit in many cases of cervical, vulvar and vaginal cancers in women, penile cancer in men, and scores of other cancers in both genders. Vaccinations are the key to prevention and recommended for all girls and women ages 9 to 26.

Join St. Elizabeth Healthcare at 10a.m. Saturday, Sept. 30, for a free educational session about HPV-related cancers and diseases. Attendees can speak to health care professionals and hear success stories from survivors. The event will beat the St. Elizabeth Training and Education Center, 3861 Olympic Blvd., Erlanger.

Register online at stelizabeth.com/hpv.