Wednesday, November 21, 2018

Budding Journalist, Moyer Third Grader, Zac Crawford

By Zac Crawford, Moyer 3rd Grader

On Tuesday, November 13, 2018, the Moyer 3rd grade classes went to a Cincinnati Cyclones hockey game at US Bank Arena!  It was an awesome field trip!

Before we got to go, we had our parents sign a permission slip.  My mom was a chaperone.  The bus left at 9:30 and when we got there, we missed the beginning of the game, but when we got in it was 1-0 already!

During the game there was a lot of action!  We watched people talk about fun and educational things.  They did science demonstrations on the ice too!  There were 3 periods and in between each one the mascots would come out with shirts they would throw to the fans!

At the end of the game the Cyclones won 9-0!  We boarded the bus and went to school.  On the way to school everyone talked about the game and I sat with my friend, Callum C, and we talked about the game a lot.

The field trip was amazing.  The game had a lot of action and it was very fun.

Throwback Fort Thomas Pictures, 1984-1987

Victory for the Birds in the state championship.  

From the Living Magazines archives. These photos are preserved in our archives. The majority of these photos are dated between 1984-1987. 

Diane Lieser, the only one who went in the pool for the grand opening of the Highland Country Club swim pool. May 25, 1985. 

March 1987. 

Christy Schulkers, Athlete of the Month. 


New City Attorney, Jann Seidenfaden, March 1987. 

Fort Thomas Junior Football. 

Bill Siry. 


St. Thomas Mother's Club. 

Geiman, State Champion. Jan. 1978. 

Ken Honchell, Hank Pogue and others. 

Fort Thomas Living, Ninth Anniversary, 1986. 

Kiel, cover of March 1987. 

4 Time-Saving Thanksgiving Dinner Hacks

Hosting a dinner party doesn't have to be so stressful. Here are four tips that will save you time and frustration while you prepare your Thanksgiving meal for friends and family.

Hassman and Doyle Lawfirm. 859-655-4430. This is an advertisement.

Tuesday, November 20, 2018

Newport Skyline Gives Away Free Turkeys for Thanksgiving

Newport Skyline owner Ghada Mardin and manager, Brian Clifton, are doing something extraordinary for those in need by providing turkeys for anyone who is in need.

Brian wrote on Facebook:

Thanks to the generous support of our community at Skyline chili here in Newport, it is only right we give back to the communities that support us.

With that said the owner Ghada Mardin has just purchased 24 Turkeys to give away to anyone who is needy and looks like they are not going to have a thanksgiving.

If you know ANYONE who you think is going to go without this year and they are truly needy and struggling send them up to Skyline Chili on Carothers Rd starting Monday the 19th.

We love you all and we thank you for the remarkable year you have blessed us with.

Brian and Ghada and Skyline Chili

HHS Art Students Exhibit in Simultaneous Juried University Shows

Students L to R are Ella Barnes, Blake Egan, Kara Wright, Donovan Staab, Carly Lorenz, Sabrina Harrington, Ansley Grimm, and Adele Ross.  Not Pictured: Kyley Kunkel, Ella Surrey. Photo: Kristine Donnelly
I have to be honest, I am in awe at the talent coming out of the art department at Highlands High School. I have a hard time drawing a straight line with a ruler so when I see these pieces I am so impressed with the depth and skill of the artists.

by Caleb Parks
A number of junior and senior students are in simultaneous juried shows at Xavier University and Thomas More University.

Thomas More opening. Photo: Andrew Eckerle

Teachers were allowed to submit several pieces to Xavier and then, says art teacher, Kristine Donnelly, “a jury of professional artists chose which ones met the standards to be in the show. ’Juried’ shows are considered more prestigious.” 
by Ella Barnes
Kara Wright, won third place at the XU show and Donovan Staab won the Faculty’s Choice award at the Thomas More show.
by Kara Wright

Donnelly says of the Xavier show that, “four art students, two from digital photography and two from AP Art, had work accepted into the show.” They are:

Ella Barnes. “Lost with the Birds” (photograph) 11th

Ansley Grimm. “Trapped” (photograph)  12th

Caleb Parks. "Classic” (photograph) 12th

Kara Wright. "Mysteries”  (charcoal on paper) 12th

These students entered pieces into the Thomas More University show.

Caroline Lorenz. 12. Painting
, Close-up

Blake Eagan. 11. Digital Photograph
, Black and White Portrait

Kyley Kunkel, 11.

Ella Surray, 11  Colored Portrait

Donovan Staab, 12. Digital Photograph, 
Hexagonal Landscape

Adele Ross, 11. 

Sabrina Harrington, 12. Digital Photograph
, Smiling Woman

by Ansley Grimm

Congratulations to everyone for producing such impressive pieces.

Monday, November 19, 2018

St. Elizabeth Foundation Receives $1.5M for New Mobile Mammography Unit

Grant will expand services to rural, underserved counties

The Maxon Foundation, U.S. Bank, N.A., Trustee has awarded the St. Elizabeth Foundation $1.5 million for a new mobile mammography unit to help meet the needs of rural populations in Kentucky, Ohio and Indiana. The grant includes $1 million for the van and the screening technology housed within it, and another $500,000 for maintenance to protect the investment for years to come.

The gift comes at a critical and exciting time, following St. Elizabeth’s recent groundbreaking on a $140 million world-class cancer center – and launch of a $30 million capital campaign to support it – which will put Northern Kentucky on the map for innovative, personalized cancer care.

“Breast cancer is the most common cancer among women — one in eight women will develop it over the course of her lifetime,” said Carri Chandler, St. Elizabeth Foundation vice president. “Our greatest defense is early detection. And with this generous gift from The Maxon Foundation, we can be right here for even more women, helping them fight cancer in the communities where they live and work.”

The van will bring screening services to predominantly rural and medically underserved regions where access to healthcare poses yet another challenge to women already disadvantaged by low income, multiple and conflicting responsibilities, and lack of exposure to preventive care and health education.

The unit will offer digital mammography and tomosynthesis (3D mammograms) by appointment and on a walk-in basis – no doctor’s order needed – for women age 40 and older. In addition to facilitating screenings, staff on board will provide preventive health education, support and linkage to follow-up care when needed.

“Many of these women face significant barriers to obtaining healthcare – not just transportation issues, but cultural, financial and educational constraints,” said Madonna Vinicombe, St. Elizabeth’s mobile mammography program manager. “A lot of the women we screen have never even had a mammogram, even though they’re well past 40, the recommended age for annual screenings. This service is literally lifesaving for these vulnerable populations.”

The new addition to the mobile mammography fleet will be on the road by mid-2019, visiting businesses, local health departments and other venues, such as schools, churches, grocery stores, and public events. In the meantime, women can visit or call (859) 655-7400 to find out when the van currently in service will be at a location near them.

Northern Kentucky Attorney Indicted, Charged with Numerous Sex Crimes including Rape, Human Trafficking

Screengrab from Robert Poole's YouTube channel

Attorney General Andy Beshear announced Friday that a 50-year-old Northern Kentucky attorney has been indicted by a Kenton County grand jury for numerous sex crimes including rape and human trafficking.

Robert L. Poole, of Burlington, was indicted Nov. 15 on 15 counts:

·         two counts of human trafficking of a minor for commercial sexual activity, Class B felonies;

·         one count of unlawful transaction with a minor under 16 for illegal sexual activity, Class B felony;

·         two counts of unlawful transaction with a minor under 18 for illegal sexual activity, Class C felonies;

·         three counts of human trafficking of an adult for commercial sexual activity, Class C felonies;

·         five counts of complicity to human trafficking of an adult for commercial sexual activity, Class C felonies;

·         one count of third-degree Rape, a Class D felony, and

·         one count of bribing a witness, a Class D felony.

Prosecutors from Beshear’s Special Prosecutions Division are handling the case against Poole in Kenton Circuit Court.

Highland Plaza Holiday Hop | Tuesday, November 27

Thanksgiving week is here and soon the holiday rush will be here.

Highland Plaza will be hosting their 3rd annual Holiday Hop on Tuesday, November 27 from 4 to 8 p.m.

The Highland Plaza is located at 654 Highland Avenue in Fort Thomas.

There will sales and specials at most of the shops, pictures with Santa, carolers, letters to Santa, raffles and more. Cobblestone Cafe will open throughout the entirety of the event, so make sure to grab your favorite while they are open during dinner hours.

You don’t want to miss this family-friendly holiday event.

Participating businesses include Monera Chic Boutique, Alterations by Frances, Cobblestone Cafe, HMAC, Faded Finds, Diamonds & Dimples and more.

Saturday, November 17, 2018

Highlands-Covington Catholic Highlight Video

Covington Catholic Ends Highlands Successful Season in Park Hills

Colonels Shut Out Bluebirds

PHOTO: Bob Jackson. Highlands senior quarterback Grady Cramer sets up to pass while senior offensive lineman Trent Johnson sets up to block in the region championship at Covington Catholic on Friday.
Over the years, the Highlands Bluebirds football team has ventured over to Dennis Griffin Stadium in Park Hills and consistently recorded huge victories.

But the last two trips have been a painful result. That meant the end of the season Friday.


Since a 17-0 loss to Lexington Catholic in 2005 in the Class AAA Region championship at David Cecil Memorial Stadium, the Covington Catholic Colonels (13-0 overall) have posted the two lone shutouts of the Bluebirds by that combined score. The defending Class 5A state champion Colonels extended the state's longest current winning streak to 28 in a row and the Bluebirds finished the season 10-3 with a 36-0 win Friday.

CovCath won its third straight district championship with a 21-14 win over Highlands in Fort Thomas on Oct. 12. The Colonels have beaten the Bluebirds in four straight meetings including a 52-0 verdict in Park Hills last year.

Friday, November 16, 2018

Student Professional Studies Center, Maker Space of Fort Thomas Independent Schools to Open at 20 Grand

New space at 20 Grand Avenue is being custom renovated for Fort Thomas schools to support student entrepreneurship, career pathways and more.

The short hallway leading into the school board room was packed for the November meeting. Despite the cold outside, the room was hot, almost stifling. As is often the case, teachers, staff and older students gathered near the doorway outside the room, leaning in to listen as a group of elementary students presented on their recent art project. Those in the hallway had given up their seats to the children and their families.

It was no wonder, then, that the crowd cheered at the news that this will be the last time the board will hold its public meeting at 28 North Fort Thomas Avenue.

Fort Thomas Independent Schools Superintendent Karen Cheser announced that the board has decided to lease new space at 20 Grand Avenue. In December, the board will meet in a new room there that is designed to accommodate up to 100 people.

"We are very excited about the new space," said Dr. Cheser. "It will extend the learning opportunities for our students preschool through 12th grade. As you saw this evening, we are in dire need of a board meeting room…and we continue to be out of space for many needs."

Matthew Bertasso, Highlands Principal, has been fully engaged in this process and has been key in giving input on how the space should be utilized.

“This is going to provide a space for students to dive deeper into a few key content areas, connect that learn and give them a more authentic experience as they work with businesses and industry professionals," said Bertasso.

"Students will immerse themselves in a process that provides relevance to their learning, builds relationships with others and meets the rigorous expectations of Fort Thomas Schools. Teachers will be provided with the space and opportunity to integrate subjects and work more collaboratively with others.”

The space has yet to be named, but input from staff will help create the brand.

 A new vision unfolds

The new space on the first floor provides a multi use room for board meetings and comfortable space to meet with mentors and community members.

Thanks to the vision and generosity of the building’s new owner, Dan Gorman, the space has been renovated to specifically meet the needs of Fort Thomas schools. In accordance with Kentucky law, the schools will rent the space on an annual basis. The decision to rent rather than buy will save the district significantly in both time and money, said Cheser.

RELATED: Dan Gorman Has Visions for Fort Thomas—And Africa 

The new board room is one small piece of a new school presentation and education facility that encompasses part of the first floor of the building and the entire second floor. The first floor space will include the board room, a Teacher Training Center, a student presentation venue, an itinerant personnel office, an area for a student pop-up store and a districtwide maker space.

Cheser spoke at length about all the opportunities made possible by the new space for activities such as student presentations, meetings with mentors and student entrepreneurship efforts.

"I heard a statistic lately that 72 percent of high school students would like to be entrepreneurs, but only about two percent get any kind of training on that. We really want to change that up and help our students have this opportunity."

 Support for student entrepreneurship

She said in speaking with business leaders, discussions included ways to expand leadership training to students and to include their pop-up shops in places like Tower Park or at events around town. Students have expressed interest in a food truck and other business ideas. The new center will offer students space to have their businesses and to meet with investors and industry professionals.

The maker space will feature seven three-D printers, a vinyl cutter, tshirt press and other large equipment. It offers opportunities that seem only limited by the imagination of the students, teachers, staff and community, said Cheser.

"We are currently writing grants for things like our STEM Bike Club, a club for eighth graders where students will create bikes from scratch working with mentors from GE. They will learn about mechanical engineering after school and at the end they can either keep their bike or give it away. And that’s an example of what we can do here."

Cheser added, "We have had a lot of support already from business leaders who have heard about this…We’re hoping that once they get involved and they work with our students, they will see how exciting this is – and that might translate into more funding."

 A professional studies center

The professional studies center on the second floor provides flexible conference and presentation space.

The second floor is devoted to a professional studies center that will support Highlands High School students on various career paths. While computer application development careers are a perfect fit for the space, teachers and counselors involved in allied health science, graphic and media arts and entrepreneurship have expressed interest in using the space for presentations, client meetings, projects and lectures.

Built to accommodate a wide variety of uses, the upper floor includes open working spaces, conference rooms and smaller rooms that can be walled off with glass doors. A café is planned as well as comfortable group discussion areas.

In addition to providing badly needed space and more room to accommodate tuition-paying students at the high school, Cheser said having an off-campus site affects how the community and the students engage with each other. Last year educators from Fort Thomas studied successful districts across the country and found that offsite facilities created a different feel, a very career-focused environment, she said.

 The right environment

Assistant Superintendent Bill Bradford agreed. "For us, this endeavor is incredibly important because it will allow our students to immerse in their rigorous course work, yet in an environment that is set up like a business," he said.

WATCH: Channel 5 Spotlight on Midway Cafe - Best Wings in Cincinnati

Venice Beach, Fort Thomas: How a Random Garage Became an Exclusive Weightlifting Club

Greg Gadd, Brad Fennell, Rob Roy and Adam Johnston. 

By Jessie Stringfield-Eden

If you’re on a leisurely walk around lunchtime near the corner of Highland Ave. and N. Fort Thomas Ave., you may hear it. Some loud music (probably some AC/DC), a random, playful shout or two followed by some laughter...maybe even the sound of metal scraping together followed by a grunt or two.

If you’re curious (and brave enough), you may follow those unusual sounds to 3 N. Fort Thomas Ave. to discover that the double garage space below Fennell Appraisal Service, Inc. has been transformed into an impressive weight lifting space. On any given day, you’ll likely find the same four guys in the space — Brad Fennell, Rob Roy, Greg Gadd and Adam Johnston.

Fennell, who is kind of the ‘Lifting Leader’ of the group, says the space was created to mimic “Muscle Beach” in Venice, California where bodybuilders (think Arnold Schwarzenegger in his 20s) have lifted weights for decades in a garage right along the boardwalk. Fennell even named his space “Venice” and his daughter, an artist, stylized the space and graffitied the name in black paint on the back wall.

The edgy and functional space, created about 7 years ago, is simple but there is definitely an ‘old school’ vibe which Fennell says he created due to the lack of ‘old school’ gyms in the area. After trying several gyms in Highland Heights, Newport and Fort Thomas, Fennell became annoyed with what he describes as ‘politically correct’ gyms and decided to begin his own.

“We treat it as an old school gym. We can kind of scream, yell, crank up the music and forget about life for a bit,” said Fennell. “There’s no AC and no heat. It’s kind of a ‘suck it up and go’ kind of thing and to us, that’s better than going to a public gym.”

While most are grabbing lunch, you’ll find these guys lifting most days around noon, Monday - Friday and listening to some of the following; AC/DC, Van Halen, LED Zepplin, Michael Jackson, Bruno Mars, Pitbull and even some country by Jason Aldean.

All joking, laughter, random yelling and loud music aside, the guys just sport their muscle shirts and do their own thing...but in addition to building bulk, they’ve also built a strong sense of community.

“We’re just normal guys. As we get older, we just want to stay alive, stay healthy, look as good as possible. It’s an enjoyable part of the day and an opportunity to talk about politics, news, sports, life. It’s not just about lifting,” said Fennell. “It’s a 50/50 split between fellowship and lifting. We also have good accountability with each other. It’s been a blessing and we really enjoy it. This is what makes Fort Thomas so great. It’s so low key.”

So what do other people think? Well, besides the occasionally complaint about how loud the music is or how many 80s songs they play, people are honestly intrigued. A muscle garage in NKY is not something you see everyday.

“Some people say ‘Why aren’t you at work?!’ Or ‘Don’t you ever work?’ But this is my life, this is what I do and it’s a major part of my life. I grew up in Fort Thomas so I know a lot of people and they holler in and friends stop by. They find it fascinating. 

Like anything on display, there are bound to be some naysayers but Fennell doesn’t let that bother him. Some people say ‘Why aren’t you at work?!’ or ‘Don’t you ever work?’ but this is my life,” said Fennell.

“This is what I do and it’s a major part of my life.”