Thursday, July 19, 2018

The Hefty Lefty | ESPN, Sunday, July 22 | 9:00 a.m. | E:60

In the year 2000, as a redshirt freshman, Jared Lorenzen was named the starting QB at Kentucky. The era of ‘Hefty Lefty’ (and other nicknames) had begun.

2018 Highlands Cross Country Preview

Bluebirds Continue to Train for State Championships
Facebook Photo. Highlands sophomore Will Griffith runs in the state meet last fall. The Highlands boys hope to improve on the fourth-place finish from last year and the girls are taking aim at their sixth state championship in seven years.
When thinking of team state championships in recent years at Highlands High School, this team comes to mind.

That is the Highlands Bluebirds girls squad. Highlands has won five Class AA state crowns in the past six years and looks like the early favorite to bring the gold back to Fort Thomas once again. Highlands owns 11 state championships in school history ranking only second behind St. Henry's 19 in Kentucky High School Athletic Association history.

St. Elizabeth Doctor and Patient Team Up to Help Others Impacted by Cancer

Bands Against Cancer family music festival to be held Aug. 11 in Fort Thomas

St. Elizabeth Healthcare Bands Against Cancer family music festival will be held at Tower Park in Fort Thomas on August 11. The festival will benefit patients, families and friends impacted by cancer. The National Cancer Institute (NCI) estimates in 2018 more than 1.7 million people will be diagnosed with cancer. The NCI also ranks Kenton, Boone and Campbell counties in the top 10 counties in the Commonwealth for highest rate of annual cancer diagnosis.

“St. Elizabeth Healthcare Bands Against Cancer” was formed when Dr. Dan Flora, a physician at St. Elizabeth, and his patient Brian Lauer, a local businessman and musician, discovered their mutual love of music and determination to help others impacted by cancer. They teamed up with St. Elizabeth and the City of Fort Thomas to create a family event with music, food trucks and children’s activities to help Northern Kentucky residents touched by a cancer diagnosis.

Dr. Flora says, “When Brian and I discovered we both played in local bands and loved music, we started talking about how we could create an event that helped others dealing with a cancer diagnosis. We hope to make “St. Elizabeth Healthcare Bands Against Cancer” an annual event in Fort Thomas. I also like to think of this as the kickoff to the new St. Elizabeth Cancer Center because we will be breaking ground just two days before this festival.”

This concert event will be held at Tower Park in Fort Thomas from 2:30 – 11:30 p.m. The lineup of local bands is Southern Charm (3 p.m. start), Borderline (5 p.m. start), Naked Karate Girls (7 p.m. start) and Britney’s Lipstick (9:30 p.m. start).

Lauer is a member of the band Borderline and he credits his band mates with helping him through his treatment. “I hadn’t played in a band for a few years. When my friends and neighbors saw I was struggling during treatment, they wanted to give me something else to focus on, so they invited me to a band rehearsal and then to a gig. I have been playing with them ever since.”

All proceeds will go to Cancer Family Care, a local nonprofit helping alleviate the suffering and strengthen the well-being of any child, adult and family coping with cancer. Cancer Family Care has offices in Ft. Thomas and Florence. All donations and sponsorships for this event will be earmarked to support Northern Kentucky families coping with cancer. Sponsorships are still available by contacting Cancer Family Care at (513) 731-3346 or donate directly at

Lauer describes why creating this annual event was so important to him, “My wife, Mandy, and my children Lucas and Preston, as well as my friends and family, were a constant support to me during my cancer diagnosis and treatment. 

By raising money for Cancer Family Care through this music festival, I feel like I am paying forward everything they gave to me while helping others who may not have such a strong support system. Music also helped me through my treatment, so it just made sense to hold a music festival.”

1978-1979 Team of Distinction - 2018 Highlands Athletics Hall of Fame

The Class of 2018 Inductees will be recognized during HHS Homecoming weekend October 19-21 including a public induction ceremony at Highlands Performing Center followed by a banquet dinner at The Syndicate.

Highlands High School is excited to announce the 2018 Athletic Hall of Fame Class.  Inductees include: Angela Barre Falhaber, David Freer, Tammy Schlarman Freihofer, Eric Glaser, Justin Frisk, Coach Bill Herrmann, Scott Kuhnhein, Jean Pritchard, Kimberly Draud Rohmiller, and Michael Vories.

The Team of Distinction is the 1978-79 Boys Basketball Team.

The 1978 – 1979 Boys Basketball Team was the second Highlands team, after the 1934 team, to win a 9th Region Championship at Highlands and participated in the Sweet 16.  Highlands defeated their first-round opponent Louisville Westport 68-62 before losing in the quarterfinals to Christian County. The team finished with an overall record of 27-8 led by Hall of Fame coach Ken Shields and All Region performers Michael Vories, Bob Muntis, and Dan Sullivan. Jim Malone and Jeff Fischer rounded out the starting five. Muntis was also named to the All-State Tournament team.

The members of the team were Dip Redmond, Bruce Bowdy, Dan Sullivan, Michael Vories, Joe Conley, Steve Ling, Chris Vogel, Jim Malone, Bob Muntis, Jeff Fischer, Rich Dees and Dave Malone, Head Coach Ken Shields. The following individuals also assisted with the team Bill Petty (Assistant Coach), Mike Listerman (Assistant Coach), John Messmer (Assistant Coach), Todd Yates (Manager), Dan Hamberg (Statistician), and Tom Steltenkamp (Student Trainer), Paul Lorenz (Manager), and Mike Jansen (Manager).

Wednesday, July 18, 2018

Fort Thomas Police Department to Deploy Officer in New Role as School Resource Officer

Fort Thomas Independent Schools, the City of Fort Thomas, as well as St. Thomas and St. Catherine Schools have jointly agreed to deploy a Fort Thomas Police Officer as a dedicated Student Resource Officer to be housed within the Fort Thomas Independent School District and the two Parochial Schools within the city.

Fort Thomas Officer, Zac Rohlfer, will move into his new role starting this school year.

The agreement comes after months of talks between the schools and the city and was introduced simultaneously during the Fort Thomas Independent School Board of Education meeting and the City Council meetings on July 16. Both boards passed the agreements unanimously.

The agreement is for one year and will be financed by the City of Fort Thomas for the 2018-2019 school year.

According to the National Association of School Resource Officers, researchers at Canada’s Carleton University conducted a two-year study of an SRO program in the Regional Municipality of Peel. In their 2018 report, they concluded that for every dollar invested in the program, a minimum of $11.13 of social and economic value was created.

“We meet annually with the schools prior to each school year. In those meetings and through the course of the year this topic has come up repeatedly because of the events nationally,” said Ron Dill, City Administrative Officer. “This year because we are fully staffed, the police department felt they could place an officer in as an SRO for this year.

We’ve had a great collaboration with the schools and we wanted to be certain that we include the parochial schools because they are also in our community and can be served the same way. It’s important for our residents to know if their children are in our schools, in our city, that we are equally concerned with them regardless of their school location, whether it’s the independent school district or at a parochial school.” 

Rohlfer, who was selected as the SRO by the Fort Thomas Police Department, will maintain an office at Highlands High School. Newly minted Police Chief, Casey Kilgore, said that the timing was perfect.

“We’re very excited and we’re very happy for this new position. We’ve had questions from several people throughout the community about the SRO program, and we felt the time was right to do it now that we could get one of our own officers could serve in that capacity on a full-time basis.

The timing of it worked out so well. We barely got him into the SRO class that started Monday. There was only one seat left when we decided whom we were going to pick. We got him in for today so we’re happy.”

Rohlfer has been with the Fort Thomas Police Department for his entire career, hired in 2008.  He will perform a regular workweek of hours with such hours and pay to be based on duties and pay equivalent to a regular police officer.

“I’m most excited to get to interact with students regularly and hope it allows them to have far more good interactions with an officer,” said Rohlfer. “My main goal, initially, is to form relationships with the schools and make sure together we're doing everything possible to keep students safe.”

Jamee Flaherty, Assistant Superintendent of Student Services in the Fort Thomas Independent School District, outlined the responsibilities for Rohlfer during the Board of Education meeting, Monday.

She said that in addition to being the first point of contact for all visitors and serving as the liaison between the schools and the police department, Rohlfer would have some instruction responsibilities within the schools as well.

“There is an educational opportunity that will go beyond just being in the buildings.  We hope to have engagement in classrooms with formal interaction with students at each school regarding citizenship and bullying, offensive behavior, drugs, violations of city ordinances, state laws, school policies or any other conduct that’s expected of students.

“We’re very excited about the partnership and that the city’s in a position to provide an officer to be involved with our students at the outset of each day.”

She said that when requested by the principal, the SRO could be involved in parent or faculty meetings to support and understand the program.

Additionally, Rohlfer will be available for conferences with students, parents and faculty members to assist them with problems of law enforcement or of a crime prevention nature. He’ll also assist the principals with developing plans and strategies to prevent or minimize dangerous situations. But Rohlfer will not be the school disciplinarian.

“That’s a school responsibility,” said Flaherty. “The SRO is also not to be used for regularly assigned lunchroom duties, as hall monitors, or other monitoring duties.” 

The most recent available data on how many districts employ a SRO comes from a 2018 report by the National Center for Education Statistics (a part of the U.S. Department of Education), based on a survey of public schools conducted in the spring of 2016. The Center reported that 42 percent of public schools reported that they had at least one SRO present at least one day a week during the 2015-2016 academic year.

Tuesday, July 17, 2018

Trailer: The Hefty Lefty, Sunday, 9:00 a.m., ESPN

Jared Lorenzen aka "The Hefty Lefty" was a legend at the University of Kentucky. Now he's in the fight of his life.

Make Mud Pies for Butterflies Activity at Farmer’s Market July 18

Natural Start Preschool members make mud pies  for butterflies.
It’s encouraging to see the number of pollinator gardens around the city for bees and butterflies. But there is something else that we can do to nurture butterflies and you can learn all about it at a family friendly activity at the Farmer’s Market July 18 in Tower Park. And that is making a mud pie for butterflies. But it’s a bit more than just wet dirt.

You have probably noticed how butterflies gather around puddles after a rain or after you have watered the garden. With a few extra steps you can enhance that garden for butterflies by building a mud bath in the garden.  Jan Jolley of the Fort Thomas Forest Conservancy says, “Butterfly puddling is a dramatic and beautiful sight. So in addition to helping butterflies, you will attract them to your garden and be able to enjoy watching them as well.”

It really is a sight to see a swarm of butterflies in the garden. She goes on to say, “The goal is to create a substitute mud puddle for puddling butterflies. Puddling happens when young males search out salt and other nutrients from wet spots or puddles on the ground. They collect the salt which is necessary as a ‘nuptial gift’ to insure the female butterfly has enough salt to create the eggs for the next generation.” A number of butterflies are listed as endangered so they could use a little boost from us.

Photos: Mobile Needle Exchange to Open at St. Elizabeth Healthcare Urgent Care in Newport/Fort Thomas

John Mitchell, COO Fort Thomas, Covington, St. Elizabeth Healthcare. FTM file. 

The mobile syringe access exchange program was open to media and the public today in Newport, located at 1400 N. Grand Avenue in the St. Elizabeth Healthcare Urgent Care parking lot today.

Officials from the NKY Health Department, St. Elizabeth and elected officials were on hand to give information to the public. In attendance were Dr. Lynne Saddler, District Director of Health at NKY Health; St. Elizabeth Healthcare leadership, including Garren Colvin, President and CEO, Dr. Dora Savani, Gary Blank, Vice President and COO, John Mitchell, COO Fort Thomas and Covington; Tom Lampe and Brian Painter, Campbell County Fiscal Court; and Ken Rechtin, Tom Fromme and Bev Holiday from the City of Newport.

After passing an ordinance two years ago which would allow the exchange to be open in Campbell County, Newport City Commission finally passed their own resolution, and chose this location with St. Elizabeth's blessing.

The preferred location, from the Campbell County Fiscal Court majority and the NKY Health Department, would have been at the Campbell County Health Center offices, located at 1098 Monmouth Street in Newport.

With the Newport Commission signing off on the plan, Covington will also be able to exchange syringes, as well as offer resources and sterile equipment for intravenous drug users.

While the Covington exchange is a one-for-one, meaning users must bring a needle to get a needle, that will not be a requirement at the Newport exchange. Officials say that they will use those opportunities to encourage additional testing like HIV tests and get them information on treatment. If users do not bring back needles to exchange three times, they will not be able to get new equipment. Depending on their usage rates, patients will be able to receive up to 40 needles at a time. Kits also include sterile water, gauze, band-aids, alcohol pads and a sharps container for used needles. Narcan is also available to take.

Northern Kentucky Health Department will run the mobile needle exchange units starting next week on July 24. The program is Northern Kentucky’s second; Grant County’s needle exchange program has referred over 100 people to treatment and distributed over 400 naloxone kits in its two years of operation.

The mobile unit, provided by Kentucky Fire Commission, will be parked at St. Elizabeth locations in Newport and Covington every Tuesday and Thursday.

“We are grateful to St. Elizabeth and to the Kentucky Fire Commission for partnering with us on this urgent public health matter. Their generosity means that those in need of these important and often life-saving services will have easier access to our syringe access exchange program,” said Dr. Lynne Saddler, District Director of Health at NKY Health.

Nearly half of HIV infections in Northern Kentucky in 2017 came from injection drug use, according to data from state and local public health officials. Hepatitis C cases also increased 8.4 percent in 2017; about 1,404 cases of acute and non-acute Hepatitis C were reported last year.

The needle exchange program will operate on the following schedule:

1 to 4 p.m. Tuesdays at St. Elizabeth Healthcare Urgent Care in Newport/Ft. Thomas at 1400 N. Grand Ave

1 to 4 p.m. Thursdays at St. Elizabeth Healthcare in Covington at 1500 James Simpson Jr. Way

Inside the mobile unit. 

Narcan is available to patients after being educated on how to use it. 

Luke Muller Golf Outing to Benefit Whitney Sutkamp and "Super" Luke Knapke | August 18 | Fort Thomas Provides

Please consider joining us, in any form or fashion (we need golfers & sign sponsors as well as After Partiers), for the annual Luke Muller Golf Outing Saturday, 10:30 a.m. August 18th at Kenton County Golf Courses.  NEW THIS YEAR the after party at the Highlander Event Center in Fort Thomas.

This year’s beneficiaries are Whitney Sutkamp and Luke Knapke (aka Super Luke).   Let us help them both with a day of community support and love.  Please take a moment to find out a bit more about Whitney and Luke (while you are registering for the Outing) at

Whitney means more to Terri & I than she’ll ever know.  Within the first week of our Luke’s diagnosis and subsequent month stay at Cincinnati Childrens’ a young adult named Whitney showed up to see Luke and be present with Terri & I.  Whitney brought along a photo album from when she was 4, the same age as our Luke.  You see Whitney has already been through this fight once, the album was from her Make A Wish trip to Disney, she had childhood cancer.  You cannot imagine the OPTIMISM it provided to Terri & I to see a strong, vibrant, healthy teenager standing before us that day.  We could see there is a path through this and it looked a lot like Whitney.

Your support means more than you’ll ever know, so thank you in advance for participating!  All the information you will need can be found at  and the event is tax deductible through Fort Thomas Provides. If you have any particular question you can ask me or, the driving force of this outing, Tim Price at 513-886-3729 or (we have multiple volunteer opportunities & happy to sign off on service hours for those of you who have asked about that).

If you would please forward this to anyone I may have missed or anyone you think would participate – we would appreciate it!  Post the flyers, spread the word.

Thank you and may many blessings come your way,

Coach Wilbur “Bill” Herrmann - 2018 Highlands Athletics Hall of Fame Inductee

The Class of 2018 Inductees will be recognized during HHS Homecoming weekend October 19-21 including a public induction ceremony at Highlands Performing Center followed by a banquet dinner at The Syndicate.

Highlands High School is excited to announce the 2018 Athletic Hall of Fame Class.  Inductees include: Angela Barre Falhaber, David Freer, Tammy Schlarman Freihofer, Eric Glaser, Justin Frisk, Coach Bill Herrmann, Scott Kuhnhein, Jean Pritchard, Kimberly Draud Rohmiller, and Michael Vories.

The Team of Distinction is the 1978-79 Boys Basketball Team.

Coach Wilbur “Bill” Herrmann coached four different sports at Highlands from 1959-1983.  Most widely known for his time spent as the head football coach he compiled an outstanding record of 81 wins and just 18 losses in 8 seasons.  He led the Birds to three state football titles in 1977, 1981, and 1982 and was a part of two other state football championships as an assistant. Among other honors Coach Herrmann was chosen to lead the East squad in the KY East-West All-Star game and was a presenter at the Kellogg’s National Coach of the Year Clinic in 1982.  His 25-year coaching career also included basketball, track, and baseball.  Coach Herrmann served as varsity baseball coach for four seasons and guided the Birds to a regional championship in 1965 advancing to the state semi-finals beating top ranked Madison Central 8-2 in the opening round.  This was the first Highlands squad to win a game in the baseball state tournament.

Coach Herrmann lives in Fort Thomas with his wife of 57 years, Virginia and was fortunate enough to have been able to coach his two sons Mike and Gregory.  He was a teacher at Highlands and spent his entire 30+ year career there.

The Highlands Athletics Boosters Association sponsors the Highlands Athletic Hall of Fame. The Class of 2018 Inductees will be recognized during HHS Homecoming weekend October 19-21 including a public induction ceremony at Highlands Performing Center followed by a banquet dinner at The Syndicate.

Monday, July 16, 2018

For Sale By Owner: 332 Newman Ave, Fort Thomas | Moving Sale July 21 (9-2)

For Sale 332C Newman Ave (last house on private lane) hidden among the shade trees find  solitude minutes from Cincinnati. Red buds in the spring, the largest flowering magnolia all summer long followed by blazing yellow and orange oaks for a memorable fall. This 4 bd, 5 bath, 2 car attached house has an additional 2,200 sq foot detached 3 car garage/carriage house (pictured). Ruth Moyer/Highlands schools.

Moving Sale July 21st 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Call 859-866-7016

Kentucky Dental Association Opinion: Let's Focus on our Patients

By Ansley Depp, DMD, KDA President

On Monday July 2, a patient walked into one of our Kentucky dentist's office ready for dental work to prepare for a heart procedure. Imagine his disbelief when he found out that as of July 1, all his dental benefits had been discontinued overnight.   In this person's case, he could not continue with his heart surgery until his oral problems had been resolved. This is a great example of the importance oral matters can have on other health issues.

The recent decision by the state of Kentucky to discontinue dental and vision benefits has intensified the discussion of how important good dental health is to our overall health. While we are deeply discouraged by the removal of the benefits and the lack of notice, we are happy to start the conversation on how dental health in our Medicaid population could benefit our entire state. In recent years, the significance of dental health on our overall health has become better known, even as many state governments and even Medicare chose to exclude dental benefits.

Oral health means more than just an attractive smile. Poor oral health and untreated oral diseases and conditions can have a significant impact on quality of life. In many cases, the condition of the mouth mirrors the condition of the body. Research indicates a relationship between periodontal disease and stroke, heart disease, diabetes and preterm low birth weight babies. In the State of Kentucky, we have an epidemic of diabetes. Diabetes and dental gum health are directly related. If your blood glucose levels are poorly controlled, you are more likely to develop severe gum disease. Likewise, serious gum disease may be a factor in making blood sugar rise and make diabetes harder to control. Over 90% of systemic conditions include an oral manifestation.   Many times, a dentist may be the first to notice a systemic disease through something noted in the mouth. A healthy population creates a better working population and saves money for the patient, the insurance company and in this case, the state of Kentucky.

Hassman and Doyle Lawfirm. 859-655-4430. This is an advertisement.
According to the Surgeon General's report on oral health in America, released in 2000, a large percentage of the population suffers from a reduced quality of life due to oral and facial pain. When people are in pain, they cannot work. This can be not only a pain issue but a monetary problem due to loss of wages. Many times, in states without dental benefits this results in skyrocketing admissions to the Emergency Room. In our ERs, the cause of dental pain is not treated. The pain and infection symptoms are addressed with prescriptions for antibiotics and opioids and the patient is sent out the door to see a dentist. Without a state benefit plan, many times these patients do not ever see a dentist and the cycle continues. Dental coverage for adults is an elective benefit under Medicaid. In an example taken from Health Affairs 2015 abstract: Due to budget constraints, California Medicaid eliminated its comprehensive adult dental coverage in July 2009. They examined the impact of this policy change on emergency room visits by Medicaid-enrolled adults for dental problems in the period 2006-11. They found that the policy change led to a significant and immediate increase in dental Emergency Room use; amounting to more than 1,800 additional dental ER visits per year. Average yearly costs associated with dental ER visits increased by 68 percent. ER visits cost approximately 3 times more than an emergency visit to a dentist, averaging $749 if the patient isn't hospitalized - and costs the U.S. health care system $1.6 billion a year.

The California experience provides evidence that eliminating Medicaid adult dental benefits shifts dental care to costly ERs that do not provide definitive dental care. This evidence is critical to informed decisions regarding adult dental coverage for existing Medicaid enrollees and expansion populations.

As dentists, our concern is first and foremost for our patients. The Kentucky Dental Association has significant concerns regarding the 1115 Waiver and the "My Rewards" program. It appears to be difficult for the patient to understand, difficult for them to "earn" their preventive or emergency treatment and cumbersome for the dentists and their staff to implement. If we are truly concerned about helping the expansion population move up and off Medicaid, we should support a program that helps them achieve good oral health and keep dental problems out of the ER. The waiver is not set up to achieve that.

Perhaps we should take a step back and think about better options than the 1115 Waiver for the expansion population. An example of one option would be to model the waiver more like private dental insurance. If we desire patients to have a stake in their health, perhaps a good preventative dental plan with copays for other procedures would help. In modeling something similar to an insurance plan that patients and dentists are familiar with, could we increase our access to care? This would create a win-win for everyone, the patient, the dentist and the Commonwealth of Kentucky.

Scott Layman Writes a Letter to Himself About What it Means to Persevere

This is a portion of the speech Scott Layman prepared for the dinner program at last Friday's Putting for Parkinson's event.

We have heard a lot about people writing letters to their younger selves. In this same talk in 2012, I read the letter that Michael J. Fox had written to himself. Not to be out-foxed, I thought I’d give it a try, so here goes.

Dear Scooter,

You are 13 years old, and you are starting to find yourself as an individual. You had a decent run on your first 12 years of life, and you have great things ahead of you.

The next 5 years will do a lot to define the man who you will grow up to be. You will experience much success, and some failure, in the classroom and in athletics. Your stubbornness will turn out to be an asset, as you will find that persistence will outweigh natural abilities of the body and mind – something that will greatly help you in your adult life. The friends you had from your youth, and ones you make in high school, will continue to be your friends for the rest of your life and support you in your endeavors. Listen carefully to everything your teachers and coaches tell you and others, for their words carry wisdom and a wealth of lessons in life ahead of you.

You will graduate with honors from high school, and smile proudly as the principal, who happens to be your own dad, pats you on the back as he hands you your diploma. You will graduate from Virginia Tech (Go Hokies!), not with honors, but you complete a 5-year program in, yes, 5 consecutive calendar years. In college, you will make more friends, and those bonds continue to this day. You will find yourself looking forward to annual golf and beach trips with your college fraternity brothers.

You will fall in love in college and marry a wonderful woman the year after you graduate. Fast forward 12 years, and you will be down on love and out of a marriage, but you find, after a while, that you’re OK with things because your persistence for life kicks in and you further define yourself as an individual. You will find comfort, at times, in solitude, and realize that it is totally OK to see movies or dine out by yourself – this will help you later in your career as you hop around the country from one Home Depot store to the next.

But, do not despair, because you will soon meet a beautiful young woman, a single mom with 3 boys, who will fill the void of parenthood you had never experienced until then, and who will love the living heck out of you. And then, the amazing birth of your own son happens, which will truly change your life. You will hear a lot of people say they don’t want their children to ever grow up, but you will cherish each day in amazement of the accomplishments of all of the children in your house, and you will be looking forward to tomorrow to see what it has in store for each of them.

You will make more friends than you can count in your home town of Fort Thomas, KY, and living in the Bluegrass State will make you feel back home in Virginia because of the rolling hills and the genuine kindness that people show you every single day.

You will become a partner in a successful design firm, but two years later, an unthinkable thing happens – you are handed a diagnosis of Parkinson’s Disease after some problems with your speech, handwriting, and other fine motor skills.

The Parkinson’s Disease will take a toll on you, physically and emotionally, but you will prevail with your persistence and optimistic attitude. Daily struggles with buttons, opening milk jugs, or simply speaking fail in comparison to hardships of so many others, and yet you will constantly carry them with you, if nothing else, as a reminder of the person you are evolving into. You will refuse to idly sit by and deteriorate, finding yourself pushing through each day, regardless of what you, or others in your life, have planned.

And your wife, whom you can honestly say you love more after 14 years of marriage than you loved on day-one, will provide you with so much love and support of everything in your life. She will endure your outbursts of frustration from trying to communicate the thoughts that will get stuck in your head, to failed attempts at addressing an envelope. She will put up with these and so much more, with patience, grace and understanding that make you so grateful that she is in your life.

You will be 52 years old when you write this, and you are hopeful for another 52 years, although you do not expect the second half to be overly graceful on your ageing. You will get through those days as you have the first 52, through your conviction, your faith in a higher purpose, and your optimistic attitude.

I love you,

Your older self.

Lindsey Cooks with Colonel De

By Lindsey Cook 

Before and After:
Disassembling Thomas Keller’s Summer Vegetable Gratin or How I Made a Mess of a Culinary Icon’s Recipe
A bajillion years ago I read a book called Kitchen Confidentialby Anthony Bourdain. I think it was towards the end of the book that he goes to The French Laundry, a chi-chi restaurant in Northern California, helmed by a cat named Thomas Keller. As a fellow chef Bourdain was allowed to witness the pristine majesty of the kitchen, oh so different from his practice and experience in kitchens. Bourdain was a bit in awe at the flawless execution, the immaculate workspaces, and the calm industry. It was the first time I had heard of Thomas Keller. 
I was amazed at the similarities between us.
Over the years I read articles or interviews or watched tv shows mentioning Keller or The French Laundry. I think I even know someone who has eaten there. It is renowned for its perfection of execution and taste. 
They use the quarter inch dice there to check the accuracy of the ruler. 
The first line of his biography on is “Thomas Keller is renowned for his culinary skills and his exceptionally high standards.”  He has held 3 Michelin stars longer than any other American chef and has so many awards and accolades you have to scroll for 37 days to get to the end of the biography.
Ok, not really, my real talent is hyperbole. 
And how awesome is that word – hy-per-bol-EE, fantastic.
Keller also owns a family-style place called Ad Hoc. 
I don’t know if my family would eat it, and I think they are pretty adventurous, but it is for sure more casual than The French Laundry.
At least as far as I can tell from the website. 
Our glorious little public library has a pretty fine cookbook collection that includes the Ad Hoc cookbook, Ad Hoc At Home. And a few years ago, in pursuit of perfection I checked that bad boy out. 
It only made sense, that I, so akin in sophistication and manner, should be able to master one of these great creations.
Or rather because I liked the cover and thought maybe I had a small chance of making something correctly.  
It was a success. I found and made the recipe for Summer Vegetable Gratin and it was wonderful. It became a staple recipe in regular rotation in our house. 
My kids don’t eat it. 
Last year I heard a bit of a podcast with Keller discussing making a recipe your own. He described following the recipe until you know it; then cooking it without the recipe; using your intuition and own tastes and once you have it just as you like it, the recipe becomes yours. Summer Vegetable Gratin is mine. I tried to find the podcast link. I have no idea where it was or how I found it, I just remember not really having the time to listen and feeling like I was cheating on life. 
Maybe, in a way, Keller would approve of my version. 
Maybe not.
Part of me would like to know. 

The Before
Summer Vegetable Gratin a la Thomas Keller, Ad Hoc
2-3 Roma (plum) tomatoes, 1 ½ to 2 inches in diameter
1 medium yellow squash
1 medium zucchini
1 Japanese eggplant or other small, narrow eggplant
Canola oil
2 ½ cups coarsely chopped onions
2 cloves garlic, finely grated with a Microplane grater or minced
Kosher salt
1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon chopped thyme
¼ cup extra virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling
Freshly ground black pepper
½ cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
½ cup Dried Bread Crumbs (page 273)
ü  Preheat the oven to 350°F. Set a cooling rack on a baking sheet. Heat about 2 tbsp canola oil in a large pan over medium heat. Add onions and garlic, and season with salt. Lower the heat to medium-low and cook onions until translucent but without browning, for about 20 minutes. Stir in 1 tbsp of the thyme.
ü  Combine the yellow squash, zucchini, and eggplant in a large bowl, toss with the olive oil, and season with salt.
ü  Drizzle the slices of tomatoes with olive oil and season with salt. Combine the Parmesan, bread crumbs, and remaining 1 tsp thyme in a small bowl.
ü  Spread the onion mixture in the bottom of a 13 1/2-by-9 1/2-inch gratin dish or 13-inch round shallow baking dish. Layer the vegetables in the dish, working on the diagonal. Arrange a layer of overlapping slices of one-third of the zucchini around the outside edge of the dish. Sprinkle 2 to 3 tbsp of the cheese mixture over the top.
ü  Make a row of overlapping slices of yellow squash slightly overlapping the zucchini, and sprinkle 2 to 3 tbsp of the cheese mixture over the top.
ü  Make a third row with overlapping slices of tomatoes, slightly overlapping the zucchini, and sprinkle with cheese mixture. Do the same with the eggplant and continue making overlapping rows of the remaining vegetables, and sprinkle the top with any remaining cheese mixture and a light sprinkling of salt.
ü  Bake for 1 to 1 1/2 hours until the vegetables are completely tender and offer no resistance when pierced with a knife. Remove from the oven and let rest for 10 minutes. Turn on the broiler. Just before serving, place the gratin under the broiler to brown the top.

Michael Vories - 2018 Highlands Athletics Hall of Fame Inductee

The Class of 2018 Inductees will be recognized during HHS Homecoming weekend October 19-21 including a public induction ceremony at Highlands Performing Center followed by a banquet dinner at The Syndicate.

Highlands High School is excited to announce the 2018 Athletic Hall of Fame Class.  Inductees include: Angela Barre Falhaber, David Freer, Tammy Schlarman Freihofer, Eric Glaser, Justin Frisk, Coach Bill Herrmann, Scott Kuhnhein, Jean Pritchard, Kimberly Draud Rohmiller, and Michael Vories.

The Team of Distinction is the 1978-79 Boys Basketball Team.

Michael Vories graduated from Highlands in 1979 where he played varsity all four years in basketball and baseball. He was the starting point guard on the 9th Region Championship team in 1979 and scored 1,360 points, which is 8th in school history. Mike was All-Region and All-Conference his junior and senior years in basketball and was Honorable Mention All-State his senior year. In baseball, he played varsity shortstop all four years at HHS. He was All-Region and All- Conference his sophomore through senior years in baseball.

After graduating, Mike earned a baseball scholarship at Northern Kentucky University. Mike is currently employed at Cincinnati Bell where he has worked over 30 years and has never missed a day on the job. He currently resides in Fort Thomas with his wife Amy Brown Vories (’78) and their three children Keith, Jeff (’06), and Shannon (’99). Mike is also a basketball coach at Highlands Middle School.

The Highlands Athletics Boosters Association sponsors the Highlands Athletic Hall of Fame. The Class of 2018 Inductees will be recognized during HHS Homecoming weekend October 19-21 including a public induction ceremony at Highlands Performing Center followed by a banquet dinner at The Syndicate.

Friday, July 13, 2018

Panera Gets Approval for Stage One Plan in Cold Spring

Cold Spring, Kentucky is in the midst of an incredibly hot real estate market, both residentially and commercially and a recent approval by the city's Planning Commission has added to that.

A stage one plan for a Panera Bread restaurant located at the corner of Matinee Blvd., across from E. Alexandria Pike, was approved in June.

Ground has not been broken yet, but according to sources close to the situation, that is imminent upon closing of the sale of the land.

Just this week, Fort Thomas Matters reported that Cold Spring Real Estate Holdings LLC, a company formed in March of this year by Joseph Crocker, the CEO and President of RealCo Enterprises based out of Columbus, Ohio had acquired the land at 3614 Alexandria Pike to build a Raising Canes restaurant.

RELATED: Raising Canes is Coming to Cold Spring 

Crews were near the southern exit point of County Square Plaza on Martha Layne Collins Boulevard, next to US Bank to demolish the old Neltner estate that had been on that land.

Highlands Alum Continues Determination on Mound

Doty Helps Lead Otterbein to OAC Regular Season Crown

PHOTO: Madi O'Neill, Otterbein University student photographer. Freshman Ethan Doty, a 2017 Highlands graduate, throws a pitch against Ohio Northern on April 18 in Ohio Athletic Conference action. Doty threw a complete game shutout for Otterbein that day. He finished 5-1 on the season good for second on the team.
Ethan Doty always took the field with a determined attitude.

The 2017 Highlands graduate played a big role in leading the Bluebirds to the first three of four straight 9th Region baseball tournament championships and a state runner-up finish in 2015. It did not take Doty long to do the same thing pitching for the Otterbein University Cardinals, an NCAA Division III institution located in the Columbus, Ohio suburb of Westerville.

Doty finished 5-1 in his freshman season for the Cardinals appearing in 11 games and starting in eight. The five wins ranked second on the team. In 51 innings pitched, Doty struck out 43 and allowed 63 hits, 14 walks and 35 runs including 30 earned. Starting pitchers can not earn victories if they do not pitch at least five innings similar to Major League Baseball.

"Ethan was able to make an immediate impact, not only because of his physical ability, but because he has a keen understanding of how to pitch that is well beyond his years," said John LaCorte, Otterbein pitching coach. "Ethan threw every pitch this season with conviction and believed that he was always better than the person who stepped in the batters box. Ethan's ability and mentality are going to make him one of the best pitchers in the Ohio Athletic Conference for the next three years."

Doty went through the usual adjustments to the college level. Doty believes keys to being a successful pitcher at any level are having command and control of the pitches. He said the main thing he learned is he could not just overpower hitters like he did in high school. That's where trust in his teammates came into play.

"The jump from high school to college is so much different because you're taking the best of the best even at the (Division) III level," Doty said. "You just have to be in that mindset that you're not going to beat everybody, but you have to be on and be able to do what you got to do in order to get these guys out because they're better than what you saw in high school. When I first went through my first game or so, I just had so many unexpected hits that were just solid off the bat. Then once I finally settled down, I was starting to use every pitch knowing that I had an infield behind me that would field every ball and get dirty and dive for every ball. It just gives you the confidence in order to beat those hitters."

Doty could not say enough about LaCourte. LaCourte, a 2011 Otterbein graduate, earned All-Ohio Athletic Conference honors as a junior and senior. He ranked among the top 30 nationally for strikeouts per nine innings as a senior and finished his career in Otterbein's top 10 in school history for must wins and shutouts. The Otterbein pitching staff finished third in Division III with a 2.83 Earned Run Average in 2017.

"Coach LaCourte has been one of the best pitching coaches I've ever played under," Doty said. "He's young, but he knows his stuff teaching people to go in on their hands and do things that they're not comfortable with. It really builds them up and allows them to be ready for those big situations."

Doty spotted his fastballs in high school and had a knuckle curve that dropped straight down making it difficult for hitters to pick up. He has both a two-seam and four-seam fastball to go with that knuckle curve, slider and circle change-up.

Otterbein had another successful season under the guidance of Head Coach George Powell. The Cardinals finished 30-16 overall and 14-4 in the OAC good for the regular season championship. The Cardinals finished OAC Tournament runner-up to Baldwin-Wallace but still drew an at-large bid to the NCAA Division III Mideast Regional Tournament Tournament in Adrian (Michigan) where they lost both games in a double-elimination format similar to NCAA Division I. Otterbein batted .311 (502-1,616) as a team.

Doty noted the Cardinals are visible in the community. The team does charity work and fund raising in addition to the responsibilities in classroom and on the field. Doty initially majored in Bio Pre-Med, but is now in Allied Health with an intention of becoming a Pediatrician or Physician's Assistant.

"Our coach's philosophy for academics is if you don't do what you're supposed to do, they'll make sure that you do what you're supposed to do," Doty said. "So they give us more leeway room because they know that we're 19, 20, 21 years old and should have responsibilities and know our responsibilities inside the classroom and outside the classroom."

In the classroom, Doty said he did well. He took a lot of prerequisite classes required to earn a Bachelor's Degree his freshman year.

Thursday, July 12, 2018

Fort Thomas Independence Day Parade Winners

The Fort Thomas Independence Day Parade Chairs, Jim Trauth and Linda Slone, have announced the parade float winners.

They are:

Best Represents the Theme: 
(1st Place) Fort Thomas Education Foundation

Most Original: 
(1st Place) Fort Thomas Forest Conservancy
(2nd Place) H/R Real Estate
(3rd Place) Dance Realm

Most Entertaining:

Dr. Kimberly Draud Rohmiller - 2018 Highlands Athletics Hall of Fame Inductee

The Class of 2018 Inductees will be recognized during HHS Homecoming weekend October 19-21 including a public induction ceremony at Highlands Performing Center followed by a banquet dinner at The Syndicate.

Highlands High School is excited to announce the 2018 Athletic Hall of Fame Class.  Inductees include: Angela Barre Falhaber, David Freer, Tammy Schlarman Freihofer, Eric Glaser, Justin Frisk, Coach Bill Herrmann, Scott Kuhnhein, Jean Pritchard, Kimberly Draud Rohmiller, and Michael Vories.

The Team of Distinction is the 1978-79 Boys Basketball Team.

Dr. Kimberly Draud Rohmiller graduated from Highlands in 1990 as the salutatorian of her class.  Kim excelled at tennis and volleyball. During her years as a Bluebird she won the regional tennis singles title all 4 years of high school and held a #1 ranking in all of Greater Cincinnati and was named a Prince All-American in 1990.  On the volleyball court, she led her team to a volleyball regional championship in 1989 and was an All-State and Region volleyball player in 1989 as well. She was a member of the first team academic All-State all four years at HHS.

After graduating from Highlands, she earned a full tennis scholarship to Vanderbilt University where she a member of the 1994 All SEC team. She played singles and doubles all four years at Vanderbilt. After graduating from Vanderbilt, she went on to UK College of Medicine where she graduated with honors and is a radiologist in the Cincinnati area. She currently resides in Lakeside Park with her husband Dr. Michael Rohmiller.

The Highlands Athletics Boosters Association sponsors the Highlands Athletic Hall of Fame. The Class of 2018 Inductees will be recognized during HHS Homecoming weekend October 19-21 including a public induction ceremony at Highlands Performing Center followed by a banquet dinner at The Syndicate.

This Cris and Holly Collinsworth Story from 1988 is Amazing

A great find today by 91.7 WVXU's John Kiesewetter.

He writes on his blog about the time, 30 years ago, when Fort Thomas resident, Cris Collinsworth, wanted to announce his imminent engagement to Holly (Bankemper) on air during the 1988 All-Star Game in Cincinnati.

Kiesewetter cites Collinsworths' broadcast partner, Al Michaels' autobiography, You Can't Make This Up, in which Michaels recalls a 29-year old Collinsworth asking Michaels to mention it during the live broadcast of the game.

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"… He stopped by the booth before the game to ask if we could announce on national television that he'd be getting engaged to the beauteous Holly Bankemper before the night was done. We couldn't. But I loved his chutzpah,” wrote Michaels.

Holly Collinsworth, Angie Simons and Cris Collinsworth. Movers and Markers Magazine, Cincinnati

“In 2006, (NBC Sports chairman) Dick Ebersol had brought him over from Fox to work the 'Sunday Night Football' pregame show along with Bob Costas, making him the obvious candidate to replace John Madden when he retired. It was the perfect choice."

Kiesewetter goes on to write, “Fort Thomas residents Cris and Holly Collinsworth have four grown children. He has won 16 Emmys – nine for outstanding sports studio analyst and seven for outstanding event analyst.

Collinsworth also is majority owner of Pro Football Focus, "which utilizes an exclusive and proprietary grading system to analyze the performance of every NFL and college player….  More than half of NFL clubs directly with Pro Football Focus to use its play-by-play and player grading analystics," says his NBC bio.”