Thursday, November 30, 2017

Fort Thomas Decorates City Christmas Tree | Tree Lighting Ceremony Time


The Garden Club of Fort Thomas and city workers installed and decorated the city Christmas tree in preparation of the city Holiday Walk that will take place on Sunday, December 3.

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The tree was donated from Tim and Rosemary Reynolds of Hawthorne Avenue.



The Holiday Walk starts at the tree lighting ceremony at 5:30 and continues throughout the evening until 8:00 p.m.

The Garden Club of Fort Thomas also prepared the winter planters throughout town. Provided. 

More information on that soon on Fort Thomas Matters.



Campbell County Graduates First Citizen Academy

County leadership and staff congratulated the first Campbell County Citizen Academy graduates prior to the November Fiscal Court meeting. Photo courtesy of Seth Cutter.
"Whenever the people are well-informed, they can be trusted with their own government…" said Thomas Jefferson.

With an eye toward Jefferson’s ideal, Campbell County launched its first Citizens Academy in September 2017. Eight weeks later, county leadership and staff congratulated 16 people from across the area who completed the program.

The group attended eight weekly sessions on various aspects of county government led by county staff and area partners in each area. Topics included basic county government roles and responsibilities, county budget and fiscal matters, economic development, emergency preparedness and management, public safety, parks and recreation, planning and zoning, and county transportation.

At a celebration held just prior to the November Fiscal Court meeting, participants and some of the presenters gathered to mark the occasion and to talk about how it went. Overall, reactions were excited and positive, so much so that county officials announced they would move ahead with a second academy in the spring. 

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Collaboration and innovation

"To me it is amazing to realize how much the agencies work together. That's one of the things I was impressed with. Not only do they seem to get along but they do work together well," said Carl Heck, who lived on Stacy Lane in Fort Thomas for 25 years before moving to Cold Spring.

"Every night was something different, and I'd recommend everybody go through [the program]. I am not going to go out and run for office, but it was good to know how it all works, how the money is spent."

In one session, participants toured the county jail and learned how county agencies are working to address the opioid issue. Several said the jail tour was eye opening.

"I don't think there is any getting around never having been through a jail before," said Fort Thomas resident Patty Laber. She was most impressed to learn that county officials have gone as far away as Florida to research innovations in housing of inmates. One program creates an environment of respect that offers those in jail activities and opportunities to interact.

Learning about the jail programming was only one of several takeaways for Laber. "Every little pocket has so much responsibility," she said. "For example, we heard from the emergency management agency…The breadth and the depth of responsibility in one organization was amazing.

"The level of commitment of each and every person who spoke to us represented that they are very interested in the work that they do, and they have a good handle on what it takes. They have a servant attitude here."

Valuable insights

Laber’s daughter Allison also participated in the academy. She is home on co-op from the University of Kentucky.

"What stood out to me was all the different facets of our county government, everything from parks to the senior center to zoning to the sheriff’s office and the jail," she said.

"I'm studying civil engineering so it was also neat for me because there are so many ties to civil engineering. We heard from the transportation department one day, learned about zoning and also heard about economic development."

When asked about the value of the experience for younger people, she said it was a great opportunity to learn about careers in the public sector.

The experience was valuable for those already working in that sector as well. Carol Rich, a member of the Bellevue City Council, said she’d recommend it to her colleagues and other elected officials.

"Each session was well planned with excellent speakers and allowed time for questions. Now I have more information about county government," she said.

Rich also thanked Seth Cutter, former county economic development officer, and his team for the excellent program. Cutter helped develop and shepherded the new program through to graduation before taking a new position as manager of strategic planning at the Kenton County Airport Board.


Watch for details on the next session of the Citizens Academy in spring 2018 on the Campbell County website. The program has a capacity for 20 to 25 participants.

Wednesday, November 29, 2017

Fort Thomas Ranked Safest City in Kentucky


Fort Thomas has been named the "Safest Cities in Kentucky" by Safehome, a website that reviews and compares security systems.

Fort Thomas commonly ranks high in these lists.

RELATED: Fort Thomas Named Safest City in Kentucky (March 2017) 

Many of these composite rankings lists include cities with populations of 5,000 or more, but Safehome's rankings start with cities of populations at 16,000 or greater. With Fort Thomas's population at 16,358, smaller towns with low crime weren't much of a competition for the northern Kentucky bedroom community.

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Safehome's metrics looked at several different factors when assigning a Safety Score to a city. First and foremost is the FBI’s latest report of how many and what types of crimes occurred in each city over a single year. The city’s crime trends are also considered; in other words, cities where crime is on the decline are given a higher Safety Score and vice-versa. They also look at the number of law enforcement officers compared to the population.

Finally, demographic metrics that are correlated to crime have a small impact on Safety Score. These include metrics such as population density, population trends, unemployment rate, median income, education level, etc.

In plain English, the crime score is based on the combination of occurrences (per 100,000) of the seven crimes, the officer-to-population ratio, violent crime trend, property crime trend, and six demographic factors.

Fort Thomas ranked in the top 10th percentile across the United States, based on their calculations, with a safety score of 89.83. Fort Thomas has great education for those under 18, and ample job opportunities, both contributing to the high safety rating of the city.

Other metrics include:

Monera Chic Boutique

A FABULOUS SHOPPING EXPERIENCE 


DECEMBER PROMOTIONS

Monera Bucks: $5 Back for Every $50

 Cyber Mondays: 40% off Select Items Every Monday


Monera Chic Boutique: Tera Huddleston & Monica Bruns-Howard

FUN, FABULOUS & AFFORDABLE


Monica Bruns-Howard and Tera Huddleston, of Monera Chic Boutique, are two of the many lovely shop owners you'll find at Fort Thomas' Highland Plaza.

Monica and Tera showed us around their one-stop gift boutique which is a wonderland of candles, inspiring coffee mugs and dishes, charming Christmas ornaments, party dresses, snuggly everyday wear and home decor. Shelves are brimming with collections of local interest sundries, thoughtfully designed clothing, greeting cards and monogram decor. 


Holiday Shopping at Monera Chic Boutique


MONERA BUCKS - Earn $5 for every $50 spent


While you're navigating tables of glittering jewelry and picking out the perfect comfortable meets stylish leggings ask Monica and Tera about Monera bucks. Through the month of December customers earn $5 Monera "bucks" for every $50 spent. Monera bucks can be spent in the month of January at the boutique!


Holiday Shopping at Monera Chic Boutique

CYBER MONDAY is every Monday in December at Monera


Forget once a year! Monera is offering 40% off select items every Monday in December. Follow Monera Chic Boutique on Facebook and Instagram for a new deal each Monday.


Holiday Shopping at Monera Chic Boutique

Stop in and see Monica and Tera at Monera Chic Boutique for a unique, personal shopping experience and leave with thoughtful, affordable gifts for you and your loved ones! 


Monera Chic Boutique is located in Highland Plaza at 654 Highland Avenue, Unit 29 in Fort Thomas. 

Phone: 

859-441-0561

Hours of Operation: 

Monday - Friday 10-6
Saturday 10-4
Sunday 11-4



Highlands High School Students Excel at National FCCLA Competition


Twenty-three Highlands High School Family, Career and Community Leaders of America (FCCLA) chapter students, along with nearly two thousand youth members and adult advisers, attended the annual National Cluster Meeting in Washington, DC, November 8 – 12.

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The meeting provided students with opportunities to compete in events ranging from culinary knife skills to technology used in teaching, attend leadership and program training, participate in Leadership Academy, hear two national speakers, explore colleges and careers and impact a city.  Skill Demonstration Event trophies were sponsored by Johnson & Wales University.

Skill Demonstration Events provide opportunities for members to demonstrate college- and career-ready skills in Family and Consumer Sciences and related occupations. Of the 17 Highlands High School and 6 Highlands Middle School students who attended, 14 competed in events and 7 placed nationally:

·         Tori Brumer placed 1st in Culinary Knife Skills
·         Rebecca Thomas placed 1st in Science in FCS Challenge
·         Rachel Farney placed 1st in Early Childhood Challenge
·         Elizabeth Mairose placed 2nd in Hospitality, Tourism and Recreation Challenge
·         Sophie Ison placed 2nd in Culinary Math Challenge
·         Alyssa Dixon placed 3rd in Early Childhood Challenge
·         Ramey Hensley placed 3rd in Consumer Math Challenge

Ahren Wagner, HHS FCS teacher and FCCLA sponsor said, “I am so proud of all of the Highlands FCCLA members who competed at the FCCLA National Cluster Meeting in Washington, DC and how they represented HHS. The week was filled with great speakers, engaging workshops and lots of touring in the national capital. Each member gained valuable skills and resources during the event that they will use in school and everyday life.”

The Cluster Meeting “Inspired” theme encouraged youth to lead others, develop new skills, explore career opportunities, build strong families, and make a difference in their communities. These members also networked through meeting with other attendees and developed their leadership skills. In addition, chapter members learned more about future career and college options as well as found ways that they can inspire others.

PHOTO: FCCLA national winners (L-R) Rachel Farney, Ramey Hensley, Rebecca Thomas, Alyssa Dixon, Sophie Ison, Elizabeth Mairose and Tori Brumer.

Tuesday, November 28, 2017

WATCH: Jac Collinsworth Helps Falcons Quarterback Play a Prank on Fans


Atlanta Falcons quarterback, Matt Ryan, goes undercover at the Falcons team store to try to sell his own #2 jersey with Jac Collinsworth.

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Collinsworth, a Fort Thomas native, joined ESPN’s Sunday NFL Countdown this fall as a features reporter. The Highlands and Notre Dame graduate offers player profiles and other unique stories like this one for ESPN’s Sunday NFL Countdown pregame show.



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Opinion: Thoughts About a Vibrant Central Business District


vi·brant  \’vī-brənt\  adj : energetic, bright, and full of life or excitement

There are so many reasons to desire a vibrant central business district (CBD).  It gives a town character.  It provides a stronger sense of community, and life.   One’s perception of a town is usually defined by its CBD.  Is it thriving or just surviving? Is there progress or does it seem like it’s stuck in time?  Does vacant space rent quickly or sit empty for months (or years)?  When residents can walk around and window shop and eat, they’ll spend more time in the community – thus creating more opportunities to bring in revenue.  And a vibrant CBD is great for property values.  A study conducted by Independent We Stand over a 14 year period shows that “…in ZIP codes that contained a central district dominated by strong, independent businesses, home values went up 54.2 percent more on average than those without one.”

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How can you we all help?  Participate in or follow the creation of the long-term plan for our city that is going on now (www.ftcommunityplan.com).  Encourage our city leaders to create public policies and incentives that foster growth, promote CBD development, and attract small businesses.  Attend the amazing events that the City hosts.  And, most importantly, please support our local businesses as often as you can.


Nick Heineke, Father of Twins Pens Book Recalling the Details of Their Birth


Nora and Leo. Courtesy of Nick Heineke

You don’t realize what you’re going through at the moment until you have a little time to reflect on it.  Nick Heineke agrees, “It’s like that in life. When you are in it, you’re going through it so fast that you forget the details that make it so special.” And that is why he wrote a book, 17 Days.

Heineke says, “When we found out we were pregnant all of our friends joked that ‘Aw, you better not be having twins.’ All we wanted was a healthy baby… As they did the ultrasound, the math person in me saw two sacs. I thought there was a symmetry thing going on.” 

And then the nurse said, “You need to know that there are two of them.” 

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“It was, to this day, the scariest day to discover that we were having twins. The stress level ramped up, ” he says. Twins run in each of their families, and there are even triplets on the Heineke side, but this was the first set of fraternal twins. So it was and wasn’t a surprise.

At around 32 weeks the doctor believed that Rebecca could go full term, but things don’t often go according to plan. Beineke was in class one day (He teaches math at Highlands High School) when Rebecca called to say that her water just broke and that she was going to the hospital. That was, oddly enough, the day that he discovered that his car “could go over 100 mph.” He was excited, anxious, and a bit scared.

Monday, November 27, 2017

New Fort Thomas Assistant Superintendent, Bradford, Makes an Impact

Recently Elected to Transylvania University Athletics Hall of Fame 


Recently in Lexington Kentucky, the Transylvania University Athletics Department inducted five stellar athletes into its 2017 Pioneer Hall of Fame class.  Among them was Bill Bradford, who attended the school with a diving scholarship and competed as a diver for its swimming and diving team for four seasons.  He qualified for two NAIA National Championships (1999, 2001), finishing in 1999 as the national runner-up in the 1-meter diving event. Bill went undefeated in conference championship meets.

“I had a great opportunity and enjoyed awesome achievements I’m proud of,” says Bill who, after graduation, was recruited to be the diving coach at Transylvania from 2003-2009.


“Each of [the] five inductees has held an impactful relationship with Transylvania University since the first time they stepped onto our campuses,” observed Dr. Holly Sheilley, Vice President for Enrollment and Student Life.  According to Bill, now a resident of Cincinnati’s Oakley neighborhood, his experience at Transylvania is one of three that have significantly impacted his life.

A second occurred when, in 2017, a seven-member committee unanimously selected Bill to become assistant superintendent for teaching and learning for the Fort Thomas Independent Schools.  It was a fitting step in a career path on which Bill has flourished.

He began his career in education as a Spanish teacher at Layfayette High School in Lexington.  “I then worked as an instructional support specialist, supporting the principal and teachers at middle school level.”

With this solid background, and having earned his masters at Georgetown in Lexington (“a great education program!”) and a second masters (a Rank 1 in Instructional Leadership) at Eastern Kentucky University, Bill “felt ready to assume a principal’s responsibility.  At that same time many of my friends were in medical school and moving onto their residencies, so I thought it was time for me to move on, too.

“I researched Covington schools and felt it was a great district with great students.  I interviewed and was offered a job.”  He became principal at Sixth District Elementary School, then served as assistant superintendent for learning support at Covington Independent Schools.  “Each year I grew to love the area more and more and got involved in regional education.” This career phase spanned 7½ years before assuming his current position at Fort Thomas Independent Schools this past July.

“I’ll be handling assessment management, curriculum, instruction and school leadership, supporting principals and their assistants,” explains Bill.  “I feel I have a good perspective, having held similar positions in my career.”

Among his responsibilities is involvement in several big projects.  “The state is migrating to a new assessment structure.  There’s a need to prepare people and accelerate programs already in place.  We’re taking on redeveloping the curriculum to create uniformity between the schools and providing adequate access to materials.”

Bill came on board at Fort Thomas at the same time as new superintendent Karen Cheser and Jamee Flaherty, assistant superintendent for student services.

“There is a team approach with my two colleagues,” he explains.  “There are five schools - a high school, a middle school and three elementary schools - serving about 3300 students.  Fort Thomas has a great reputation - when homes are on sale, they go quickly! And local businesses engage with the schools.”


NKY Chamber: FC Cincinnati is Welcome in NKY


Along with thousands throughout the region, I am an FC Cincinnati soccer fan.

The atmosphere they’ve created has been electrifying.

Fans from all over the Greater Cincinnati region come to watch them play. That includes Northern Kentucky.

When businesses are considering Northern Kentucky, we include FC Cincinnati in our top highlights as a major selling point.

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Businesses which trade internationally and/or have employees that have grown up loving soccer, are excited to have a professional team within a 15-minute drive.  By the way, that’s roughly how long it takes to drive from my house in Fort Thomas to Oakley.

If FC Cincinnati chooses Oakley as their new stadium location, you better believe that Northern Kentuckians will be there to root them on.  We are part of Greater Cincinnati, and they are our team too.

That said, of course, we’d love them to be in Newport.

Newport is a great option, not just for Northern Kentucky, but for Greater Cincinnati.

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As a member of the Northern Kentucky Convention Center Board, I can tell you that conventions select regions for a variety of reasons, including professional sports.  To have several major sporting facilities, within walking distance, is an attraction few cities can offer.

Because of recent transportation investments in Newport, the infrastructure in place would make it an ideal fit.  The state is finishing a new four-lane highway where the stadium would be located.

Those living in the urban core, on both sides of the river, would benefit from additional amenities a new stadium would bring.

From a tourism perspective, it would open doors.

LMH Salon Opens On Renshaw While Jim's Barber Shop Is Remembered


Angie Raybourne, the new owner of LMH Salon (formerly Jim's Barber Shop) seated next to her father, Mark Cuthrell.

In the past few years if you had driven past 10 Renshaw Road in Highland Heights, it's likely you would have given the small, brick building no notice. But all buildings hold stories and this one holds one of the best: the story of James (Jim) T. Mountain.

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There, at 10 Renshaw, Mountain cut hair in his one-chair barber shop – and if you had any connection to high school football, it's likely he cut yours – or your father's – or your grandfather's. Mountain died on September 5, 2014, but with the recent reopening at 10 Renshaw, now LMH Salon, Mountain's story lives on. LMH Salon, owned by Mountain's great-niece, Angie Raybourne, serves as a testament to the life Mountain lived – on the basketball court, on the football field, aboard the USS Leary, in his barber shop, at the horse tracks, and at home, caring for his wife.

Mountain was born June 12, 1921. He grew up at Second and McKinney in Dayton, Ky., where his mother owned a candy store (Mountain's father died when Mountain was 6). Mountain had one sister. One of Mountain's best childhood friends, Jim "Red Dog" Doughtery, lived at Third and McKinney (more on that later). Mountain's home flooded during the 1937 flood, and he and his family moved to Bellevue.

According to old news clippings and a family scrapbook, Mountain's childhood was spent playing basketball and baseball on the street, and fishing and swimming in the Ohio River. He and his friends would take canoes out on the Ohio River, and paddle in the waves of the Island Queen, a sidewheeler steamboat, while the boat's crew would try to shoo him and his friends away by throwing plates and shooting BB guns at them.

Dayton High School's football team in 1938.

Mountain attended Dayton High School where he played basketball (guard) under coach John Wooden (Wooden would go on to win 10 NCAA national championships in his 12 years as head coach at UCLA). Jim "The Man" Mountain (family says he was maybe 100 pounds, soaking wet) also played football for Dayton, losing to Highlands High School in 1938 but beating them 35-6 in 1939.

Jim Mountain served in the Navy during WWII.

Mountain served in the Navy for five years during WWII. He was a torpedoman. His ship, the USS Leary, sunk on Christmas Eve in 1943. Mountain was 22. He spent hours on a cork raft in the icy North Atlantic before being rescued. He was one of 60 survivors, and only one of two torpedomen (out of 11) who survived. According to family stories, one of the men on his raft asked to switch positions with him, believing he had a better chance of survival. Out of kindness, Mountain did. But the man was wrong – he died, and Mountain survived.

Local newspapers around northern Kentucky interview Jim Mountain upon returning home as one of the few survivors from the USS Leary.

From a newspaper clipping: "Mountain arrived home early yesterday, surprising his mother, who had been frantic with worry since hearing the previous night that the Leary had been sunk. Mountain's shouts of 'Mom, Mom, Mom,' as he pounded on the door were music to her ears."

Mountain was discharged from the Navy in 1947.

Jim and Louise Mountain.

Mountain attended Xavier University to study physical education. He began coaching football at Dayton High School in 1947. In In 1949, the Green Devils won the Kentucky State Football Championship. After, Mountain stopped coaching. He married the love of his life, Louise, who worried there wasn't enough money in education. So Mountain attended school to become a barber, which they both thought would lead to steadier work.

Mountain opened Jim's Barber Shop at 10 Renshaw in 1953.

Fast forward to 1994. Remember Mountain's childhood friend, Jim "Red Dog" Doughtery? In 1994, Doughtery was the assistant football coach at Highlands. One day, at practice, Doughtery recognized a man sitting on a bench at the top of hill, watching the Highlands team play. That man was Mountain. Doughtery introduced Mountain to head coach Dale Mueller. They needed a punting coach, and Doughtery knew Mountain could do the job. Mueller hired him.

Jim Mountain served as an assistant football coach at Highlands High School for many years.

Mountain served as an assistant football coach through four Kentucky State Football Championships, including 1996, 1998, 1999 (50 years from his first state championship with Dayton) and then 2004, which marked his 55th year of coaching.

Sunday, November 26, 2017

2017 Highlands Girls Basketball Preview

Highlands Hopes to Figure Out 9th Region Mountain

PHOTO: Allen Ramsey, DWCPhoto.com. Highlands junior Hanna Buecker goes in for a score against Cooper in the 9th Region quarterfinals last year. Buecker is a key returning player off last year's 22-9 squad.
Over the last couple years, the Highlands Bluebirds girls basketball program has been in the hunt for the 9th Region crown.

RELATED: Highlands Opens Season with Impressive Win 

Thursday, November 23, 2017

Fort Thomas couple opens their home for "Orphans' Thanksgiving"

(courtesy Best Little Studio Photography)
 By Colin Moore

Most of us will spend Thanksgiving with friends or family but what would you do if you were in a new area, or if you didn’t have any friends or family? Spending holidays alone can be a lonely experience but Fort Thomas couple Jim and Audra Henline may have the answer in their annual Orphans’ Thanksgiving dinner.

In Other Words: A Thanksgiving Memory About Geese and Other Peculiar Things

Geese sunning themselves on our shore. They are safe.
The geese arrived about about two weeks before Thanksgiving. Dad devised a temporary pen for them in the old garage behind the house. The birds were huge to my 10 year old eyes. They were fearful and fascinating.  The birds squawked when we toss feed to them. Then they charged us because we still held some more feeding our little hands. I wasn’t too particularly fond of these birds.

The odor of the garage became more, I don’t know, gamey. I couldn’t smell the lumber that dad kept there for his carpentry projects or the oily lawnmower or musty boxes of holiday decoration. Its function had changed. It was now a barn. A barn in the heart of the city. A barn in the middle of a neighborhood.
What did I know about raising geese? Nothing.
What did my father know about raising geese? Nothing.
What did anyone in the neighborhood know about raising geese? Nothing.
But that didn’t stop my father.
You see, these geese were going to be Thanksgiving dinner.

But before you think my father was some kind of kook - and perhaps he was - you have to know that the neighborhood was full of eccentrics. One neighbor couple had almost 50 cats. She called them her “babies.” Another neighbor had an alligator, a boa constrictor, and an exotic parrot and he would bring them all outside on warm days much to the delighted fear of us children. And another neighbor has a pet monkey - an animal that often got loose and ran along soiling full clotheslines trying to escape into the city jungle. So a garage with a couple of geese seemed pretty tame by those standards.

We became the new attraction for the street. A destination point. Every day kids stopped by to see the geese and they always asked the same question - “What are you going to do with those geese?”  And Dad always replied, “Eat them.”

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Four Easy Tips to Not Burn Your House Down When Frying a Turkey

Kettle Cookers Can Be Dangerous; Caution is Advised


Frying a turkey can be a fun and tasty alternative to the traditional baked dishes of the holidays. As many start to plan menus, the Department for Public Health (DPH), within the Cabinet for Health and Family Services (CHFS), wants to remind Kentuckians that fryers – multi-use kettles used for deep frying foods - also can be dangerous when not handled with care. The safety promotion is part of DPH’s ongoing 52 Weeks of Public Health Campaign.

Since 2002, the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) has tracked more than 168 turkey-fryer related fire, burn, explosion or CO poisoning incidents, including 672 injuries and $8 million in property damage. Hazard scenarios have varied from house fires, ignition of oil used in the fryers themselves, and burn-causing oil splashes.

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“Turkey fryers have steadily grown in popularity over the past two decades, but they pose some risk if not used properly,” said Dr. Jeffrey Howard, acting commissioner for DPH. “By following a few guidelines and using precaution, adverse circumstances can be avoided. We want all Kentuckians to have a happy and safe holiday season and we ask that everyone follow some simple safety guidelines when cooking – or frying – your holiday food.”

According to the CPSC, the majority of reported turkey fryer incidents occurred while the oil was being heated, prior to adding turkey. For this reason, it is very important that consumers monitor the temperature of oil closely. If any smoke at all is noticed coming from heating a pot of oil, the burner should be turned off immediately because the oil is overheated.

Consumers who choose to fry turkeys always should remember to keep the fryer in full view while the burner is on and to place the fryer in open area away from walls, fences or other structures. Fryers should be stored outside and never used under a garage, breezeway, carport or any other structure that can catch fire.

To avoid burns, food should be raised and lowered slowly and bare skin should be covered. It’s also important to check the oil temperature frequently. If the oil should begin to smoke, the gas supply should be turned off immediately.

If a fire occurs, immediately call 911. Do not attempt to extinguish fire with water.

Here’s a look at the best way to avoid accidents or injuries from turkey fryers this holiday season;

2017-18 Highlands Boys Basketball Preview

Bluebirds Continue to Build Positive Culture

PHOTO: Allen Ramsey, DWCPhoto.com. Highlands senior Tyler Gulley (33) goes in for the score in the inter-squad scrimmage Saturday. Gulley could give the Bluebirds solid play in the paint this year.
Fifth-year Head Coach Kevin Listerman proudly stated these players have been fun to coach.

The hope is that translates into a fun team to watch once the games roll around. Listerman and staff saw the Highlands Bluebird boys basketball team make some strides in a great direction last year in a 12-17 campaign. That marked the first time since the 2012-13 season that the Bluebirds reached double-digits in the win column and earned the second seed in the 36th District Tournament marking the highest seeding since Listerman took over in 2013.

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Wednesday, November 22, 2017

New Restaurant Set To Replace Newport's Don Pablos on Riverboat Row


In August of 2016 Don Pablos, on Newport's Riverboat Row, closed after an electrical fire caused significant fire damage on the inside of the building.

With the damage pending and declining sales hitting the store's bottom line, the ownership group decided to close it permanently, but were working on another concept almost immediately.

"It’s possible you’ll see something else pop up," an employee told Fort Thomas Matters in August of last year.

Now we know what that concept is.
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Fort Thomas Residents Raise Funds for Deer Control Project

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Does in Fort Thomas are healthy and fertile. Residents raised funds to pilot birth control program.


by Robin Gee

Whether you find them fun to watch or a menace on the roads, the deer population in Fort Thomas is here to stay and appears to be expanding every year.

Despite efforts to cull the population through a deer ordinance that prohibits feeding and allows bow hunting under certain circumstances, there is little evidence that the situation is under control.

"I do not think the current ordinance has reduced the deer population or the deer related traffic accidents. Study after study has shown that hunting may initially reduce the population but doesn’t work long term," said Council Member Lisa Kelly.

She went on to explain why many of these programs don’t work. "Bucks protect their territory and when they are hunted and killed, more from neighboring areas are then able to move into the territory that those bucks used to protect.

"These studies have shown that in hunted areas, the does have more access to food and are therefore healthier and more fertile, and they are increasingly giving birth to two or three does at a time and some instances even more. It’s a vicious cycle."

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Citizens take action

A group of Fort Thomas residents have taken matters into their own hands.

After researching the topic and looking into less traditional methods for deer population control, the group raised $5,500 to pilot a deer birth control project. A deer sterilization program is currently being tested in the Clifton neighborhood in Cincinnati. So far, results from the program have shown promise.

Kelly, who also has been studying the issue, explained how the proposed Fort Thomas program would work. "The deer are shot with a contraceptive dart that lasts two years. The dart leaves behind a dye so you are able to see which ones have been treated. It’s completely safe not only for the animals, but for humans as well.

"This is the same thing used to control wild horse populations with enormous success… Tufts University has done an immense amount of research on this topic, and it’s proven to be the safest and most humane form of deer population control with proven results."

A humane solution

Fort Thomas resident Beverly Erschell and other citizens took a proactive stance on the deer population issue.

Beverly Erschell of South Shaw Lane and group of about five residents came to the November Fort Thomas City Council meeting to present their plan and to offer more details on the program.

"The method we are advocating is a dart administered by a trained professional, which is marked and then retrieved," she said. "The shot lasts two years and is approved by the EPA. There are no adverse side effects to the deer or to anyone who consumes the meat afterward. It’s a protein, a nitrogenous organic compound. The cost is around $75 a deer plus initial equipment charges."

Erschell said the group has been in touch with Dr. Jean Pritchard and her staff at Fort Thomas Animal Hospital who have agreed to help with the program.

Fort Thomas resident Kathy McMahon addressed council as well with her concerns about the bow hunting program. She said she has seen deer in her neighborhood running with arrows stuck in their sides.

Sally Gaskins, a resident of Grand Lake, recounted an unfortunate incident a few weeks ago in which a deer shot by an arrow ran into a her residential complex and died on the sidewalk in full view of residents, including children. The hunter had shot the deer during hours of the day prohibited by the ordinance but had been in a permitted area.

A Fort Thomas Deer Contraceptive Program?

The group is asking the city to establish a deer contraceptive program fund that can take donations and possible city funds.

"We encourage a recommendation from council to use this $5,500 to begin the city’s involvement, which will include involvement by the city staff. It’s the humane action to take," said Erschell.

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Mayor Eric Haas, back to his first meeting since his heart attack, thanked the citizen group for their willingness to step up and do the research and leg work necessary, as well as to raise funding for their request. He said city staff will get in touch with the Clifton project staff to explore the matter further.

Council members Kelly, Ken Bowman and Roger Peterman all expressed a desire to explore the program and to commit city funds if it is proven successful.

"We’ve been hunting deer in town for nearly ten years, and it hasn’t worked. It’s time we listen to the experts who have seen measurable results utilizing the contraceptive method. It’s much safer for our community as a whole," said Kelly.

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Fort Thomas Police Need Your Help in Reuniting Lost Wedding Ring with Owner


A Fort Thomas resident found a wedding ring on Friday morning and Fort Thomas Police are asking residents to help find it's owner.

Fort Thomas Police Lt. Rich Whitford said that the resident found near Newman Avenue and turned it into police to help locate its owner.

“We had a citizen come by and turn it in and we’d love to get it back to its rightful owner,” said Lt. Rich Whitford. “Our residents truly care about one another and we’d love to try and do our part to help. We deal with unpleasant circumstances from time to time, so it's nice when we can try and make someone's day like this.”

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If you have information about who this wedding ring may belong to call Lt. Whitford at 859-441-6562.