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Wednesday, February 28, 2018

Highlands Student Earns Perfect Score on ACT

Highlands High School junior William Burnham earned a perfect score of 36 on the ACT exam. Nationally, less than one-tenth of 1% of all students who take the ACT earn a score of 36.

Will initially took the ACT in April 2016, at the end of his sophomore year, and earned a score of 35. Although happy with that score, he stated that “the perfectionist in me wouldn’t be satisfied until I reached the perfect score.” Taking the test again last December, Will achieved his goal of scoring a 36 on the ACT, with perfect scores on all sections of the test.

The ACT is required for all high school juniors as part of the annual state assessment, so even though Will has “aced” the ACT, he is required take it again this spring.

Will’s thirst for academic challenge is evident throughout his high school career as his schedule in both his freshman and sophomore years included an early bird class that added an extra class period to his school day. Additionally, his schedules have included Advanced Placement (AP) classes, beginning with one his freshman year, two his sophomore year and four this year, as well as a dual credit (DC) class.

As for his senior year at Highlands this coming fall, Will’s requested schedule of classes includes early bird AP literature, AP statistics, AP physics, AP calculus BC, AP biology, AP government, and AP Spanish – and he plans to add DC Japanese as an 8th period on his own time outside of the school day.

Fort Thomas Schools Painting Portrait of a Graduate

School board members (l to r) John Weyer, Brad Fennell, Superintendent Karen Cheser, Jeff Beach and Lisa Duckworth discuss the way forward for "Portrait of a Graduate"

Kindergartners in Fort Thomas schools will enter the workforce in 2034, a time that seems far in the future, yet is coming fast, said Superintendent Karen Cheser. Right now is the time to begin preparing those students for what lies ahead, she said.

Work is underway for an ambitious but important project that will encompass and engage the entire school community. At the beginning of the school year, Cheser announced a plan to reexamine the school’s mission and to craft a vision she calls a "portrait of a graduate."

Act Now to WIN Elton John Tickets and Support the FTEF

What do Old Pogue Bourbon, a private Cessna Plane flying lessons, and exclusive tickets to the sold-out final Elton John World Tour have in common?  All are items that can be won ONLY at the Fort Thomas Education Foundation’s (FTEF) annual silent auction, which is held in conjunction with the FTEF annual dance.

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This Saturday, March 3, from 8-midnight, the FTEF will be holding its fifteenth annual dance at the Community Center (Mess Hall) in Tower Park.  Tickets are still available for this great event and can be purchased at (for more information, see the FTM story here).

Tuesday, February 27, 2018

County Attorney: If You are a Victim of a Crime, Know your 'Bill of Rights'

Law enforcement officials, Commonwealth Attorneys and County Attorneys have long recognized the need for laws to protect victims.  In 1998, they worked with the General Assembly in developing the Kentucky's Victims' Bill of Rights, which was designed to help victims who have suffered direct or threatened physical, financial or emotional harm from crimes such as stalking, unlawful imprisonment, use of a minor in a sexual performance, terroristic threatening, menacing, harassing communications, intimidating a witness, homicide, robbery, rape, assault, sodomy, kidnapping, burglary, sexual abuse, wanton endangerment and criminal abuse.

The Victims’ Bill of Rights enumerates several provisions for the benefit of victims including among others:

In Other Words: See Something; Say Something Is Not Enough Anymore

The students of Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida are angry. Seventeen students and teachers are dead now and students want things to change. Who can blame them?

Students around the country are organizing school walkouts in support. The Florida students are organizing a national march as well as a trip to their capital to voice their concerns.

Around NKY and the rest of the country we see the fallout from this latest violent incident - copy cat threats as well as support for fellow students.

After Columbine, I was part of the faculty group that wrote the first comprehensive response plan for Highlands High School.  We did good work and it has improved and expanded over the years, but a plan cannot imagine every scenario and every response. Perhaps the most disheartening thing for me at the time was to view the halls, cafeteria, gyms, entries, and classrooms as potential kill zones. Granted it was necessary, but it was unpleasant. I look at public buildings differently now.

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Every school action plan includes some form of the following - see something; say something. It’s a sensible approach and I have witnessed it first hand.  Because students spoke up, we (the school) were able to to prevent suicides or harm to other students. We were able to intervene on the behalf of students involved in abusive home lives or neglect or substance abuse. I am forever grateful to those who spoke up. But saying something is not enough - especially when students die. It’s time to do something.

I have seen the criticism that a student walkout will not solve the problem. True, it won’t solve the problem. But that is not the intention of the walkout. It is to call attention to a problem - a problem that adults created. It’s embarrassing to be called out in a public way so maybe by pinning that scarlet letter on adults it will change behavior. Adults have failed to protect children. And now the children are angry.  It’s sad that we adults must be shamed into action.

Our local police are wonderful to work with. They want to do it right. As does our school leadership. But that doesn’t mean that they can see everything. There is still something else to add to the formula.

Highlands Middle and High School Strings Teacher Receives Prestigious Teaching Award

As a blue-ribbon district, Fort Thomas Independent Schools requires excellence in teaching and excellence from its students.

Kathy Anderson, Strings and Orchestra teacher at both the Highlands Middle School and Highlands High School, was recently recognized for her excellence in teaching at a state level by being named the 2018 Kentucky Music Educators Association (KMEA) Middle School Teacher of the Year Award winner.

This prestigious award is given annually at the KMEA General Assembly meeting which was held this year on February 9 at the Galt House in Louisville.  At that assembly meeting, Anderson was awarded the Educator of the Year award by KMEA President Terry Thompson for her work with the Highlands Middle School Chamber Orchestra.

Anderson was born in New York, grew up in Philadelphia, and now lives in a restored farm house with her husband in Oregonia, OH.  She received her bachelor’s degree from Manhattan School of Music and her master’s from Yale University.  Prior to joining the Fort Thomas Independent School system, Anderson was a member of the faculty string quartet at Miami University. She began her teaching career in 7th grade when she taught high school students the violin and has continued her teaching career ever since.  Additionally, Anderson has led several home orchestras.

Monday, February 26, 2018

Fort Thomas World War II Veteran Had a Story to Tell

Our Northern Kentucky community lost a hero from the “Greatest Generation” recently.

His name was Richard Horn, and he had turned 98 years old in November.  Richard, who lived his remaining few years in a little subdivision in Fort Thomas, had a story to tell.

I first met my neighbor Richard when his wife died nearly four years ago.  Our friendship began with Sunday visits where I would listen to fascinating stories about his life.  Richard grew up during the Depression and went to war at the age of 22 during World War II.  His stories of his four years in the Pacific started with a train ride from Chesapeake Street in Newport to Fort Worth, Texas.  His girlfriend at the time, Mary, and Richard’s family were there to send him off.  The MPs were there to hold the families behind the line, and friends and families were only permitted to wave to the soldiers.

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Richard smiled as he remembered the day, “She [Mary] broke the line and came and gave me a kiss.”  The MPs did not try to stop her, he chuckled, and the crowd cheered for her.  Little did the couple know that it would be 4 long years of war before they would be able to marry.

Once in Texas, Richard began his army training.  He recalled, he and his buddies were at the movies watching Sergeant York when they learned Pearl Harbor was attacked.

“The movie was stopped and they sent the soldiers back to the base.” Afterwards, Richard remembers being shipped out quickly to California to protect the airports.

Eventually, Richard’s division was sent to Hawaii to guard the beaches.  His photo album proudly displays the black and white picture of him in swim trunks.  His job at the time was to lifeguard a local pool by the beach.

The Legacy Left behind by a Fort Thomas Military Hero

America stands for freedom, equality, and opportunity. However, these privileges aren’t just handed to out, brave soldiers defend citizens’ rights and fight to secure the safety of Americans’ many of which, die in the line of duty, including parents, grandparents, husbands, wives, sons, and daughters.

Parker Madden, sixth grader at Highlands Middle School, had to deal with the loss of his father at the age of five.

SPC Russell Madden impacted many people throughout his lifetime and many are forever changed by his imprint. Teams4taps works with teams across the country to bring joy to surviving military families and to honor the lives of their fallen heroes. Through this program, Parker was invited to attend a Falcons vs. Cowboys football game to represent his father.

Due to his young age, Parker wasn’t able to understand what had happened to his dad right away. “He used to play with me every day he was with me, and then that changed. I didn’t really know much about what had happened until I was a little older,” said Parker.

Sunday, February 25, 2018

Silver Grove Dari Bar Opens March 17, 2018

This article was posted last year. 
Dari Bar opens March 11, 2017
Although it feels as if winter never actually fully came, springtime is still upon us!

And how, you ask, can one be so sure?  Well, are you sitting down? If not, do so to prepare yourself for the excitement- The Dari-Bar in Silver Grove, KY is opening for business tomorrow, Saturday March 11!  That’s right, everybody’s favorite spring/summer/fall tradition is back open for business after a mild winter that only made our appetites for fried meats and frozen treats all the more insatiable.  I can almost taste the fried mushrooms and chicken fries now and can’t wait to have that and wash it down with a grape slushy.

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Actually, come to think of it, I can ALREADY taste those items because I was the lucky beneficiary of an early meal and let me tell you, the food is every bit as good as I remember it from five long months ago.

New Menu items and Call ahead
For some reason, this food simply tastes better than any other does after watching my son hit a game-winning base hit or my daughter score a goal down at Pendery Park.  The ice cream and slushies taste colder after a day of hiking through Tower Park.  This food tradition combines better, it would seem, with my many family traditions.  So, I ask of you all, what favorite food/activity pairing do you have for The Dari-Bar?  Baseball and banana sundaes?  Soccer and a slushie?  The orchestra and an onion ring, perhaps?  Leave a note below to give your favorites to other readers and be sure to stop by The Dari-Bar this weekend (remember, cash only) for your favorite treat, and if it gets to cold this weekend they encourage you to CALL ahead (859) 781-2221. Follow FtThomasMatters on Instagram for more behind the scenes in their stories.

Fryers are all set 

The perfect burger

Theresa Ollberding prepping the food

Goggly eyes and mouths are ready for ice cream 
Theresa and Melissa have the menu set. 

MOAB Daughters taking a look around

Orders up

Fried Mushrooms/ Chicken Sandwich/Onion Rings/ Burger

NEW MENU ITEM: Cheese Curds

Banana Boat

Bluebirds Draw Conner for 9th Region Quarterfinals

Bluebirds Went 0-2 Against Lady Cougars During Regular Season

PHOTO: Allen Ramsey, Highlands sophomore Piper Macke puts up a shot in the district semifinals against Dayton.
There is no doubt the Highlands Bluebirds girls basketball team has been rolling along lately.

Highlands (24-7 overall) has won 13 of its last 14 games entering the 9th Region Tournament at BB&T Arena on the campus of Northern Kentucky University. But Saturday morning, the Bluebirds found out they'd need to beat the team that handed them that one loss during that stretch in the region quarterfinals to keep its season alive.

Saturday, February 24, 2018

Bluebirds Finish Third at State Swimming, Diving Meet

Murphy Wins One-Meter Dive Crown

Contributed Photo. The Highlands Swimming and Diving Team took third at the State Meet in Louisville over the weekend.
The Highlands Bluebirds boys swimming and diving team concluded a great season with a third-place finish at the state meet Saturday.

The Bluebirds scored 154 points in the meet at the Ralph Wright Natatorium on the University of Louisville campus. Louisville St. Xavier won its 30th consecutive state championship with 453 points and Lexington Catholic finished state runner-up with 229 points. Louisville Trinity finished fourth with 152 points. The Highlands Combined Team finished sixth.

Friday, February 23, 2018

Highlands Student Named National Merit Scholarship Finalist

Highlands High School senior Savannah Brady has been named a Finalist in the 2017-18 National Merit Scholarship Program.

About 15,000 of the 16,000 Semifinalists named in September 2017 met all requirements to advance to Finalist standing in the competition. All Finalists will be considered for National Merit Scholarships to be offered in 2018.

To become a finalist, a semifinalist must have an outstanding academic record throughout high school, be endorsed and recommended by the high school principal, and earn SAT scores that confirm the student’s earlier performance on the qualifying test. The semifinalist and a high school official must submit a detailed scholarship application, which includes the student’s essay and information about the semifinalist’s participation and leadership in school and community activities.

Approximately 90% of semifinalists advanced to the finalist level; from this group, all National Merit Scholarship winners are chosen. Merit Scholar designees are selected on the basis of their skills, accomplishments, and potential for success in rigorous college studies, without regard to gender, race, ethnic origin, or religious preference.

Northern Kentucky Man Sentenced to Life in Prison For Conspiring to Distribute Methamphetamine

James Allen Eapmon, 31, of Florence, Ky., was sentenced to life in prison today, by United States District Judge David Bunning, for conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine.

Eapmon led a conspiracy responsible for distributing between 1.5 and 4.4 kilograms of methamphetamine, between January 1, 2016 and October 4, 2016. The Defendant led the group, regularly distributed crystal methamphetamine, and supplied it to other members of the conspiracy for distribution. Three other individuals, Chance Haley, Matthew Clem, and Charles “Bub” Eapmon, have also been convicted in connection with this investigation.

Eapmon has five prior felony convictions, including previous convictions for burglary and drug trafficking.

Under federal law, Eapmon will not be eligible for parole.

Soon-To-Be Parents Share Heartwarming Baby Announcement Montage

Soon-to-be parents, Chase and Stephanie Whitehead, were bitten by the viral bug recently, as a video montage that the couple made announcing their pregnancy to several members of their family was picked up by Rumble. 

The Whiteheads, who are friends of Fort Thomas Matters and owners of the Orangetheory Fitness location in Newport, are due to have their first baby next month. 

Take a look and see how adorable this is. 

Everything You Need to Know About the Flood in Campbell County

Judge Executive Steve Pendery declared a State of Emergency for Campbell County on Thursday, ordering that the local Emergency Operations Plan be fully executed. Although the Ohio River's floodwaters crested and started receding Tuesday night, heavy rains over the past 30 hours have river levels climbing once more.

Streets are closed, floodgates are closed and emergency shelters are open.

Monitoring stations show the river has pushed into moderate flood stage at over 56 feet. Predictions show the river climbing to an estimated crest of 59.4 feet by Tuesday. That would easily make it the worst flooding Greater Cincinnati has seen since March 5, 1997, when the river hit 64.7 feet.

The Campbell County Office of Emergency Management is coordinating the response efforts for this flood event and The Care Mission in Alexandria is offering food, clothing and some household items to those who have had to evacuate their homes.

An Emergency Shelter has been set up at the Alexandria Community Center, 8236 West Main Street, which being managed by the American Red Cross.

Officials there want evacuees to bring clothing, medications and basic necessities. They are also asking to not bring pets.

A list of road closures in Campbell County due to flooding:

Dodgeworth at 1998
Oneonta at Truesdale
Fender Road prior to Rt.8
Lincoln Road in Melbourne towards the end by camp sites
Owl Creek at Uhl Road in Silver Grove
Eight Mile by Rt.8
Maple Street at 1st. Street in Silver Grove
Oak Street in Silver Grove
Emma Way in Silver Grove (trailer park)
Anderson Lane in Melbourne

If you need to evacuate, plan now. Here are some tips:

- Identify several places you could go in an emergency such as a friend’s home in another town or a motel. Choose destinations in different directions so that you have options during an emergency.

- If needed, identify a place to stay that will accept pets. Most public shelters allow only service animals while other shelters will provide separate sheltering for pets.

- Be familiar with alternate routes and other means of transportation out of your area.

- Always follow the instructions of local officials.

- Take your emergency supply kit.

- Leave early enough to avoid being trapped by flooding that may cause road closures.

-If time allows:
o Secure your home by closing and locking doors and windows.
o Unplug electrical equipment such as radios, televisions and small appliances. Leave freezers and refrigerators plugged in unless there is a risk of flooding. If there is damage to your home and you are instructed to do so, shut off water, gas and electricity before leaving.
o Leave a note telling others when you left and where you are going.
o Wear sturdy shoes and clothing that provides some protection such as long pants, long-sleeved shirts and a hat.
o Check with neighbors who may need a ride.

Here are the issues that the National Weather Service says come up as the river rises:

Cincinnati Men Caught Stealing from Cars in Fort Thomas Sentenced to Multiple Years in Jail

In September of last year at around 2:30 in the morning,  Fort Thomas Police officers Brandon Laffin and Wayne Dutle were patrolling the Fort Thomas streets in tandem, when they saw a car idling on the street. Instinctively, 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.

Later, after interviewing him, officers found Paul Fraley, 34, also from Price Hill, and arrested him with similar charges.

This week in a Campbell County courtroom, both men took plea deals that would send them to jail for eight and ten years, respectively.

Aside from the receiving stolen property over $10,000 charges, both men were also charged with with possession of drug paraphernalia and public intoxication.

Prosecutor, Corey Plybon, worked the case for the Commonwealth. He said the pair stole property from seven cars in Fort Thomas that night, which totaled close to $20,000. The big ticket item, according to him, was a therapy computer used for patients suffering from ALS, who have little to no motor functions.

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.

"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."

Commonwealth Attorney, Michelle Snodgrass, agrees with Whitford.

Fourth Straight District Crown for Bluebirds

Defense Paves Way for Highlands Win

Senior guard Brooke Dill stepped up the ladder to cut the net celebrating yet another 36th District championship.

But this trip up the ladder carried something bigger than the previous ones for Dill because it meant something that had not happened in 17 years just took place for Dill and the Highlands Bluebirds girls basketball team (24-7 overall). The 47-31 victory over the Newport Central Catholic Thoroughbreds (11-17) gave the Bluebirds their fourth straight district championship and fifth in the last six years Thursday in Fort Thomas.

Dill became the first Highlands player to win four district championship in four years of high school since the Bluebirds won their last 9th Region championship in 2001. That team comprised of two seniors in Stephanie Ripberger and Katie Winkler-Carelock along with current Highlands assistant Tara Boothe-Smith, a junior on that team, beat Perry County Central, 52-48 to open the state tournament before losing 55-34 to Henderson County in the state quarterfinals.

"It's surreal honestly being able to have the opportunity to play under Coach Richey with the teammates that I have around me," Dill said. "It's just been an incredible experience. They've really created a family around me and I couldn't have asked for better teammates or a better coach. With family comes trust and we have a lot of trust in each other. When things don't go our way, we still have trust in each other to know we can pick each other up. We'll get it fixed and keep on going."

Highlands has won seven district championships since Jaime Walz-Richey became head coach in 2002. The Bluebirds also extended their winning streak against district opponents to 24 in a row including seven straight against the Thoroughbreds.

But the championship did not come easy. NewCath threw a Box-and-One defense on junior Zoie Barth and the Bluebirds struggled against it some. Both teams recorded 15 turnovers. The Bluebirds recorded 10 steals and the Thoroughbreds had eight.

"We were making some ill-advised passes and forcing thing," Richey said. "Once we settled down, we put our shooters out on the court and they were able to knock down some shots."

Barth still finished with 21 points making 6-of-11 shots including 3-of-5 from three-point range to go with six rebounds and three steals. Highlands made 16-of-41 shots for 39 percent including 5-of-19 from three-point range for 26 percent and 10-of-14 free throws for 71 percent.

But no one else scored in double figures for either team. Sophomore Piper Macke came off the bench and hit two critical three-pointers on her way to eight points for Highlands.

Senior guard Alexis Pangallo and junior guard Jalyn Vogt led NewCath with nine points. The Thoroughbreds made just 10-of-43 shots for 23 percent including 4-of-17 three-point tries for 24 percent and 7-of-10 free throws for 70 percent.

Highlands won the rebounding battle, 34-25 and had nine assists to three for NewCath. Junior guard Chloe Jansen led the Bluebirds with seven rebounds and four assists.

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The game looked as though it could become lopsided in the first quarter. Barth ignited a 9-0 Highlands run to give the Bluebirds a 14-1 advantage. But Vogt had a three-point play and Pangallo hit a jumper to close the gap to 14-6 after one.

Highlands extended the lead back to double figures. Jansen recorded a steal and found Macke for the score to make it 20-7 Bluebirds before NewCath trimmed it down to 20-12 when Vogt made a three-pointer.

Barth made another three and Hanna Buecker had an offensive putback to make the score 25-12 with 2:33 left in the half. Pangallo made a three-pointer to cut the margin to 25-15 at halftime.

Thursday, February 22, 2018

Bluebirds Head to State Swimming Diving Meet

Highlands Seeks Top 10 Finishes for Boys, Combined Teams

PHOTO: Allen Ramsey, The Highlands Swimming and Diving Team heads to the state meet in Louisville over the weekend.
The main goals have been accomplished.

But the Highlands Swimming and Diving teams would not mind some icing on the cake at the State Swimming and Diving Meet. The three-day event from Thursday to Saturday takes place at the Ralph Wright Natatorium at the University of Louisville.

In the Region 7 Meet, the Highlands boys won their first region crown since 1994 and the combined teams won region for the seventh straight year. The Highlands girls finished fourth.

"It says it's heading in the perfect direction. I don't think we can get any better than where we are now," said Chas Sand, Highlands senior swimmer. "I'm really excited for what we've done. It's pretty exciting winning region for the first time since 1994. It says a lot about the program itself."

A number of swimmers and divers qualified for state for both teams. The top 16 placers score points in the meet. To qualify for state, individuals and relay teams had to finish in the top two at region or be among the top 22 times and scores after that for a total of 40 participants or teams in each event.

"We're spread out. But we have a lot of young talent, too. It's not like after this year, we're done," said Amanda Johnson, Highlands Head Coach. "We have a lot behind that. You work toward regionals. But then at state, that's where you want to be at your very best."

The boys have been led all season by senior Garrison Herfel. Herfel won the 50-yard freestyle in 21.63 seconds at region and 100 free in 48.54 seconds. The 50 free time ranks fourth among state qualifiers.

Sex Trafficking Prevention Measure Passes the Kentucky Senate

Following a growing recognition of the existence of child sex trafficking in the United States, the Kentucky Senate has approved a resolution in hopes of curtailing the crime.

Senate Resolution 149 recognized the hospitality industry’s role in identifying and preventing child sex trafficking. The resolution also encourages Kentuckians to patronize hospitality facilities that participate in the Tourism Child-Protection Code of Conduct. SR 149 was adopted yesterday on the Senate floor by a 35-0 vote.

The code of conduct is an “established initiative to provide support in training the travel and tourism industry in preventing sexual exploitation of children,” said Rep. Alice Forgy Kerr, R-Lexington, who introduced the resolution.

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According to SR 149, an estimated 199,000 incidents of sexual exploitation of minors occur each year in the United States. Of those incidents, 45 percent of youth victims are exploited in hotels.

“Child sex trafficking is a serious issue that we hope our hospitality industry here in Kentucky will take a strong look at,” said Sen. Wil Schroder, R-Wilder, who stood in support of SR 149.

SR 149 passed out of the Senate Economic Development, Tourism and Labor Committee last week. During that meeting, Kerr said the hospitality industry can play an important role in preventing and disrupting traffickers who use the anonymity hotels provide to do their business.

Another person who testified at the meeting in support of SR 149 was Mary Kunze of the advocacy group Family Foundation of Kentucky.

Journalism Students Showcase Work and Unveil Yearbook Plans

Highlands Middle School journalism students sport tshirts that promote a positive "can do" mindset.

Writers, editors, graphic designers, photographers and marketers from the Highlands Middle School journalism program shared their work at the February meeting of the Fort Thomas Independent School District Board.

Students presented their work on two projects. First, students working on the coming yearbook showed preliminary designs and discussed the development of their design and theme. Their presentation was followed by a discussion of the school’s new news site and the journalistic skills needed to keep it fresh.

Teacher and advisor Lisa Birkley said the students must master writing of feature articles, editorials, headlines and captions. The students also need a working knowledge of photography, Photoshop, budgeting and the customized desktop publishing program used by yearbook publisher Jostens.

The students spend most of the first semester learning the skills and the second semester putting those skills together to produce the yearbook and special projects, she said.

A look behind the scenes

Campbell County YMCA. 
Some 28 students are in the journalism class. Two serve as editors of the news site and the rest fulfill the many duties of writing and production. A small team of students took turns sharing information on the work that goes on behind the scenes and what they are learning in the program.

Student Savannah King opened with an explanation of how work is divided for the yearbook. "Every student is assigned two or three yearbook spreads. For example, I had the kickoff party of this year so I’m in charge of taking all the pictures, the captions and writing a short story about this…We try to capture all the memories of the year, because looking back several years from now, we will want to see all the memories we made of this year."

Wednesday, February 21, 2018

Fort Thomas Schools, Police Department Take Proactive Approach to Keeping Schools Safe

A rash of threats made against schools in northern Kentucky has school officials and police in Fort Thomas proactively reaching out to the community to ask for cooperation to make schools safe.

In Boone County, five students are facing charges after making threats towards schools.

Boone County Sheriff Michael Helmig said that charges against five students involved Cooper, Conner, and Boone County High Schools, as well as Ockerman and R.A. Jones Middle Schools. The students are charged with terroristic threatening and disorderly conduct.

Campbell Co. YMCA. 
Another student in Campbell County made threats toward a middle school in Pendleton County. That student was also charged terroristic threatening and disorderly conduct.

This morning, Boone County Police reported that yet another threat was made at Conner High School this morning in which a student gave a handwritten note to a teacher, indicating that a bomb was going to go off at 1:00 p.m. That student later said he did it in retaliation to other students bullying him.

RELATED: Campbell County Boy Arrested After Online Threats Made Toward School 

Fort Thomas Independent Schools Superintendent Dr. Karen Cheser said she has talked with Fort Thomas Police to help students feel safe in their learning environments.

"Our students should be focused on learning and we will do everything we can to ensure that they feel safe here,” she said. “No child should have to go to school in fear. That has always been our top priority. With the recent tragic events that have occurred, we feel more emboldened to cultivate a climate in our schools that is free from danger so that our students can continue to thrive."

Fort Thomas Police Chief, Mike Daly, echoed Cheser's sentiments.

"Our police force knows this community and we want to make sure that our residents know that we want an open dialogue with them," he said. "We will continue to work with the schools in Fort Thomas to help them keep our schools as the best in the state and focused on learning."

A joint statement from Fort Thomas Independent Schools and the Fort Thomas Police Department was issued to elaborate further.

That statement, in part, read: