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Saturday, October 19, 2019

Back-to-Back Region Crowns for Highlands Girls Soccer

Bluebirds Make First-Half Lead Stand

Highlands sophomore Jade Rehberger (6) clears the ball on a corner kick while senior goalkeeper Rylee Thomas (pink) get in position and Tatum Price (5) and Greta Noble (2) watch.
The Highlands girls soccer team celebrated a second straight region championship with a 2-1 win over Notre Dame on Saturday. The Bluebirds travel to West Jessamine on Tuesday for the Semi-State 5 game at 7 p.m.
The Highlands Bluebirds girls soccer team took the lead over the arch-rivals for good with just 13:12 left in the first half.

From that point, it became a matter of making it to halftime. Then the seconds took what seemed like an eternity at times on the grass at St. Henry.

2000.....1,500.....500.....until the final one ticked off and the Bluebirds (17-3-4 overall) could celebrate a second straight 9th Region title with a 2-1 win over the Notre Dame Pandas (17-4-4). The teams had met in the region title game twice the past three years with the teams splitting 1-0 wins.

"We kind of did what we did last year, but we did it a little bit earlier," said Alex Dean, Highlands Head Coach. "It probably wasn't the smartest move. I know our coaches probably didn't want me to do it. But I listened to them and adjusted a little bit. I knew it was going to be just kind of sitting back and surviving. Our girls have been doing it all year. If we clog the middle, (opponents) are not going to get a great chance. They might score off a half-chance. But we're not going to give them much of a chance if we're defensive and we make sure we cover everything."

Highlands-CovCath Video Highlights

Highlands-CovCath Game Story

Bluebirds Drop Fifth Straight to Colonels

PHOTO: G. Michael Graham, Fort Thomas Matters. Highlands senior Zach Lewin (middle) goes after Covington Catholic running back Daniel Felix (24) in the game Friday.
The story against top-ranked teams played out again Friday for the Highlands Bluebirds football team.

The defense keeps the Bluebirds within striking defense. But the offense can do little resulting in another shutout. The Covington Catholic Colonels came to David Cecil Memorial Stadium and left with a 13-0 victory.

"I'm really proud of the guys," said Brian Weinrich, Highlands Head Coach. "Every guy on the team fought the whole night. They're (ranked number one in Class 5A in the latest Associated Press poll) because they're a good football team. We put ourselves in position to win the football game. We just have to figure out a way to a couple more plays. They made more plays than we did. That's the bottom line."

Friday, October 18, 2019

Jolly Plumbing to host "Trucks and Treats: Sweet Treats for Sweet Cheeks"

As the Trunk and Treat season begins to make its rounds, Jolly Plumbing in Wilder is putting their own unique spin on it by partnering with Sweet Cheeks Diaper Bank. Trucks and Treats is an interactive family event where kids ages 4-10 can explore all of Jolly’s excavation equipment, play games, and receive plenty of candy in between.

This will be the second year for the event and Jolly Plumbing’s CEO, Brady Jolly says they were pleasantly surprised by the turnout last year.  “We had to make a Kroger run mid-way through so we could keep up the candy supply, we’ll make sure to be stocked up this year as we’re anticipated close to 300 families.”

Along with plenty of candy, this year the event looks to give back in a bigger way in their partnership with Sweet Cheeks Diaper Bank. The public is encouraged to bring and donate diapers to benefit Sweet Cheeks. In addition, Jolly Plumbing will contribute $15 to Sweet Cheeks for each child dressed up as a plumber or poop emoji. “The internationally renowned plumbers Mario and Luigi absolutely count!” Jolly explained. Even if your unable to attend the event in-person, the public can tag Jolly Plumbing on Facebook or Instagram with a photo of your child dressed up accordingly and they will donate.

Jolly also partners with their neighbors, the Next Chapter Church for the event. Rob Roy, pastor at the Next Chapter Church likes the idea because it allows them to show their children’s ministry area. “We have done a lot of revamping with our children's area so it will be a great place for a monster room and a mad scientist lab, it should be a really good time.”

Trucks and Treats starts at 4:30 PM on October 23rd and will go until 6:30 PM in Wilder. Kids (and parents) are encouraged to dress up. To find out more about the event and get an exact address head to Jolly Plumbing’s Facebook page.

Facebook Album from Last Years Event:

Video coverage from WCPO at a Lil Plumbers Event:

Link to the Event on Facebook:

Blue Marble Books Upcoming Events

Reading with the Waggers
Tuesday October 29, 2019 3:00-4:00
Pepper and Troi (our therapy dogs) will be here (in costume) to listen to friends read to them. Call the store (859-781-06020 and schedule your 15 minuter reading spot. Wear your costume. We will have treats for readers.

Halloween Hoedown with Connie Bergstein Dow
Tuesday October 29, 2019 4:00-5:00
Connie will be in the store to share her new book, From A to Z with Energy, on Saturday October 29, 2019 at 4:00 p.m. sharp. Wear your costume and win a prize. She will be reading the book and teaching the movements that accompany the story. You don't want to miss this one if you have little ones. Please call the store (859-781-0602) to RSVP as will will have limited space for the movement activity.

NKY Chamber is Seeking to Boost Voter Turnout

Seeking to boost voter turnout and increasing the region’s clout in Frankfort and Washington, a region-wide public engagement effort has been launched to drive more Northern Kentuckians to the polls on Nov. 5.

Led by the Northern Kentucky Chamber of Commerce (NKY Chamber) and regional businesses, organizations and individuals, the non-partisan Get Out The Vote (GOTV) campaign is using traditional media, social media, events, and direct voter interaction to increase turnout and erase the region’s statewide reputation as a place where voters aren’t engaged with the election process. The hub of the effort is a newly launched website,

Using the theme, “I vote because my vote counts for Northern Kentucky,” the campaign’s primary goal is to improve the voter turnout, which historically has lagged behind the rest of Kentucky -- particularly the state’s other metropolitan areas -- and has even dipped into single digits in some statewide elections and races.

“On Nov. 5, voters will return to the polls to elect our constitutional officers, including our Governor and Lieutenant Governor,” said Kristin Baldwin, Vice President of Public Affairs and Communications at the NKY Chamber.

“Our region’s economy is critical to the overall success of the Commonwealth, and all too often, our citizens complain we are forgotten by Frankfort,” Baldwin said. “Candidly, I can't blame lawmakers for forgetting us. Based on our dismal turnout, it appears the citizens of Northern Kentucky simply don’t care enough to come out and cast a ballot.”

“We have a large population, but if another area has more participating voters, statewide candidates and political parties will devote the attention there rather than here, which has been proven in recent elections,” Baldwin said.

Northern Kentucky voter turnout numbers for the region are jarring for how low they truly are:
In the past primary in May, statewide turnout was 20 percent. In Northern Kentucky, turnout in Boone County was 13.6 percent, 13.5 percent in Campbell County and just 12 percent in Kenton County.

In the 2015 primary, only nine percent of Northern Kentucky voters cast ballots, ranking Boone, Kenton and Campbell counties 101st, 102nd and 106th out of 120 counties. In the 2018 mid-term elections, Campbell County showed the largest improvement by placing 81st while Boone County ranked 107th and Kenton County came in at 108th.

Efforts to improve voter turnout have already started. The NKY Chamber engaged its members to encourage employees to register to vote during Employee Voter Registration Week in late September. Other businesses and even high schools in Northern Kentucky held voter registration drives and events.

St. Elizabeth Healthcare conducted voter registration drives during breakfast, lunch, and dinner hours at the cafeterias at its hospitals in Edgewood, Florence, and Fort Thomas during late September and early October.

Cooper High School in Boone County is among several Northern Kentucky high schools that held voter registration drives this year and it is now urging students who are old enough to vote to make sure they get to the polls on Election Day. High school students can register to vote when they turn 17 even though they aren’t eligible to vote until they are 18 years old.

At Cooper, the effort is being led by seniors Alison Beyer and J.D. Meyer, who launched a voter registration drive as a class project.

“One of the requirements for AP Government class is for students to complete a civic engagement project to get them involved in some way,” said Steven Vockell, who teaches AP Government & Politics at Cooper. “After our class discussions about low voter turnout, J.D. and Alison decided a way to get our youth involved was a voter registration drive and letting students know they can register when they’re 17.”

“Learning how low voter turnout is in Boone County was disappointing,” Beyer said. “We decided we could help change that by organizing a voter registration drive to help students register and let them know they have a voice in all that’s going on in our government locally and nationally.”

The NKY Chamber is working to maintain the momentum of registering new voters by getting all voters to the polls on Election Day.

It has published an Voters Guide to provide voters with information about the candidates running on the statewide ballot on Nov. 5. Information about candidates in the election is also available on the 2019 candidate's page on the website.

The GOTV effort will continue in 2020, when the races for president, Congress, U.S. Senate, Kentucky statehouse, and local races will be decided.

“I challenge the citizens of Northern Kentucky to make it a priority to vote on Nov. 5,” said Bob Heil, CEO of KLH Engineers in Fort Thomas and a former NKY Chamber board chairman. “There’s no reason why we can’t go from worst to first and take our rightful place as the top region in Kentucky.”

St. Elizabeth Healthcare to Become a National Leader in Integrative Oncology through New Partnership with doTERRA

New cancer center will house the doTERRA center for integrative oncology

St. Elizabeth Healthcare announces a partnership with doTERRA International, an integrative health and wellness company and the world leader in the global aromatherapy and essential oils market.doTERRA will play a foundational role in the development and implementation of the forthcoming Center for Integrative Oncology within St. Elizabeth’s new Cancer Center in Edgewood opening in the fall of 2020.

“When the St. Elizabeth Cancer Center opens next fall, it will include nearly an entire floor of the building that is dedicated to the holistic, patient-centered approach to care known as integrative oncology,” shared Garren Colvin, President and Chief Executive Officer of St. Elizabeth Healthcare. “We want patients (and their caregivers) to have as much support and access to resources as possible under one roof.”

The doTERRA Center for Integrative Oncology will be more than 8,400 square feet on the first floor of the St. Elizabeth Cancer Center. The Center will provide a calming space with holistic care options to complement St. Elizabeth’s comprehensive medical care, including the use of doTERRA essential oils and aromatherapy, yoga, meditation and a spa-like atmosphere for patients undergoing cancer treatment. Experts at St. Elizabeth will also conduct clinical trials related to complementary and alternative medicine, providing evidence-based options that may help patients better manage symptoms.

“Our priority at St. Elizabeth is to offer the highest quality care and comfort to our patients and their loved ones,” said Dr. Doug Flora, executive medical director of oncology services at St. Elizabeth. “Adding supplemental resources will help improve the quality of life for our patients and families as they are going through diagnosis, treatment and into survivorship.”

doTERRA first learned of the St. Elizabeth Cancer Center form one of its wellness advocates who was a former patient of Dr. Flora and is now a cancer survivor. Inspired by St. Elizabeth’s personal and integrative approach to medicine, which aligns with doTERRA’s philosophy and focus on wellness and addressing the needs of the whole person, doTERRA made a generous donation of $5 million to the St. Elizabeth Foundation Cancer Center Community Campaign—the largest donation ever received by the foundation. This donation symbolizes the start of a synergistic partnership between the two organizations.

Bring unused medication, glasses to city building, help make community a better place

The Fort Thomas Police Department is encouraging citizens to remove potentially dangerous medicines from their homes and dispose of them safely on Saturday, October 26 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Sponsored by the Drug Enforcement Agency, the FTPD will be accepting medicines as part of National Drug Take Back Day. Also, members of the Fort Thomas Lions Club will be there picking up old glasses, which they will collect, clean and redistribute at their cost to families in need across the region.

The Fort Thomas Lions Club, established in 1940, is a group dedicated to serving the community in many aspects, with an emphasis on work for the blind and visually impaired. The membership boasts more than 125 men from Fort Thomas.

Patrolman Sean Donelan, who is also President of the Fort Thomas Lions Club, and Detective Michael Rowland will be on N. Fort Thomas Avenue in a drive-thru area to make it convenient for residents to drop off medications in front of the city building. Lions Club volunteers will also be there accepting old glasses and frames. Parking is available on the side of the city building in the “Police Only” spaces for folks stopping by to pay property taxes.

“National Prescription Drug Take Back Day addresses a crucial public safety and health issue by providing a convenient way for citizens to help prevent drug addiction and overdose deaths,” said Donelan.

“Too often, unused prescription drugs find their way into the wrong hands,” he said. “That’s dangerous and often tragic. This event gives people the opportunity to turn in their prescription drugs safely and anonymously.”

Collection activities will take place from 10:00 a.m. through 2:00 p.m. in front of the city building.

Leftover or expired drugs can be harmful in a variety of ways. Out-of-date medications can degrade and lose their effectiveness. They can pose environmental pollution to water supplies if disposed of improperly. They can be accidentally ingested by children, stolen, misused and abused.

According to the National Survey on Drug Use and Health, 6.4 million Americans abused controlled prescription drugs. The study shows that a majority of abused prescription drugs were obtained from family and friends, often from the home medicine cabinet.

Last year, citizens across the U.S. safely disposed of 456 tons of unneeded medications during National Prescription Drug Take Back Day.

Donelan said that the program is designed to be easy for citizens and offered the following tips for those interested in participating:

●Participants may dispose of medication in its original container or by removing the medication from its container and disposing of it directly into the disposal box located at the drop off location.

●All solid dosage pharmaceutical products and liquids in consumer containers will be accepted.  Liquid products, such as cough syrup, should remain sealed in original containers.  The depositor should ensure that the cap is tightly sealed to prevent leakage.

●Intravenous solutions, injectables and syringes will not be accepted due to potential hazard posed by blood-borne pathogens.

●Illicit substances such as marijuana or methamphetamine are not a part of this initiative and should not be placed in collection containers.

Bluebirds Drive Back to Region Title Game

Highlands Wins Third Straight Region Semifinal Contest

PHOTO: G. Michael Graham, Fort Thomas Matters. The Highlands Bluebirds boys soccer team celebrated another 9th Region semifinal win Thursday, 1-0 over Covington Holy Cross at Dixie Heights.
It doesn't matter if the wins come by the slimmest of margins.

For the Highlands Bluebirds boys soccer team (15-5-4 overall), the only thing that matters is finding ways to win. The 36th District champion Bluebirds took down the 35th District champion Covington Holy Cross Indians (12-9-3) by that slim 1-0 margin Thursday in the 9th Region semifinals at Dixie Heights.

"I think the best things for us is we've been here," said Chad Niedert, Highlands Head Coach. "We showed a little bit of maturity at the end of the game where I think in years past or in previous games, we would have tried to push two or three because we felt that should have been the case. But we kind of killed the game off and did what we needed to do to get the result."

Highlands will play in the 9th Region championship game for the third straight year Saturday back at Dixie Heights. The opponent will be the Covington Catholic Colonels (11-11-1) at 7:30 p.m. CovCath beat Newport Central Catholic, 2-0 in the other semifinal game to make it back to the region title game.

The winner of that game heads to Danville for the Sub-State 5 game. The Admirals won the 12th Region with a 2-1 victory over West Jessamine on Thursday.

Holy Cross beat CovCath, 2-1 on penalty kicks to win the district title. The Bluebirds beat the Indians, 4-1 at Tower Park on Sept. 5. Highlands is 9-0-1 against region opponents.

"The biggest thing for (the Indians) is they've had two really good results so their confidence is really high," Niedert said. "They believed in themselves. They have 11 guys that can play. They're a little bit more vulnerable when they go a little bit further into their bench, but they had some energy that might have made up for the difference in talent between the two teams. They gave everything they could. It's not that we played poorly. That had a pretty good game themselves."

Highlands put up 22 shots with 11 on goal. Holy Cross had just three shots with on on goal.

The lone goal of the game came five minutes into the second half on an assist from senior Nate Gesenhues. Highlands senior Alexander Foubert found the loose ball and scored from 20 yards out for his sixth goal of the year. That marked the first assist for Gesenhues this season.

"I was able to read a pass and step up to intercept it," Gesenhues said. "I dished off to Alex. He made a great move, got to the goal and put it in. After that. (Coach) Niedert made sure we stayed composed and didn't get ahead of ourselves. We stayed back when we needed to, took charge when we needed to. It helped us get the win."

The physical game saw just yellow card. It came against the Bluebirds.

Thursday, October 17, 2019

Highlands Girls Survive Overtime to Reach Region Title Game

Broering Connection Extends Highlands Season

PHOTO: G. Michael Graham, Fort Thomas Matters. The Highlands Bluebirds girls soccer team is headed to the 9th Region finals after a thrilling 1-0 win over Dixie Heights in overtime.
Some Broering magic kept the season alive for the Highlands Bluebirds girls soccer team Wednesday.

Highlands (16-3-5 overall) and Dixie Heights (13-10-1) had to go to overtime to decide the 9th Region semifinals in a scoreless affair. But with 1:14 left in the first five-minute extra frame, senior Maria Broering lobbed the corner kick to sophomore sister Faith Broering for the score to give Highlands a 1-0 victory at St. Henry.

The win puts Highlands in the 9th Region championship game back at St. Henry on Saturday at 1 p.m. The opponent is the familiar arch-rival Notre Dame Pandas (17-3-4).

The biggest rivalry game in northern Kentucky is Friday

Bluebirds Ready for Clash with Undefeated Arch-Rivals

PHOTO: Ed Harber. Highlands junior Joe Buten looks for running room against Boone County on Friday. Buten returned after missing four games against the Rebels. Buten has 14 carries for 68 yards and a touchdown on the season and could be a key when the Bluebirds face undefeated Covington Catholic at David Cecil Memorial Stadium on Friday at 7 p.m.
It came not as a prediction, but as testimony of faith in the Highlands Bluebirds football team's players and coaches.

The Bluebirds (5-3 overall, 1-1 Class 5A, District 5) and the Covington Catholic Colonels consistently have this game circled on their schedules considering the teams have combined for 30 state championships. Highlands is second in the state with 23 and CovCath is ninth with seven.

The two teams meet Friday at 7 p.m. with the Colonels coming into the game undefeated at 8-0 and 2-0 in district play with the top Associated Press ranking in Class 5A. CovCath has won 37 of its last 38 games including the Class 5A state championship in 2017. The lone loss dating back to the start of 2017 came 20-16 to South Warren in the 2018 Class 5A state championship game.

Your new home is waiting. Start your search here. 
"I'm ready to rock and roll Friday," said Sam Umberg, Highlands Offensive Coordinator. "It's going to be a huge game and it's going to be a great atmosphere. This is what high school football is all about. I can assure you this. We are going to show up and play well."

Wednesday, October 16, 2019

Bluebirds Post Convincing Region Quarterfinal Victory

Highlands Takes on Holy Cross in Region Semifinals

PHOTO: G. Michael Graham, Fort Thomas Matters. The Highlands Bluebirds boys soccer team shut out Ryle, 5-0 to move on to the region semifinals Thursday at Dixie Heights.
The Highlands Bluebirds boys soccer team (14-5-4 overall) made sure this one did not come down to the wire.

The Bluebirds put away the Ryle Raiders (11-8-3) with four goals in the second half for a 5-0 9th Region Quarterfinal win at Tower Park on Tuesday. The defending region champion Bluebirds moved on to the semifinals for the fourth straight season.

"We were up 1-0 at halftime," said Chad Niedert, Highlands Head Coach. "We knew at halftime that Ryle was still pretty much in the game. We played a good first 40 minutes before we picked up a great goal off a free kick. Alexander Foubert added a goal. Once Porter (Hedenberg) scored that third goal, the floodgates kind of opened up. Every bit of momentum was going our way. I think at that point, Ryle kind of tossed in the towel. We were still ready to play so we got another two."

Tuesday, October 15, 2019

Work to begin on Memorial Parkway starting Wednesday, (10-16)

In September, City Administrative Officer, Ron Dill, shared that fixes were imminent on Memorial Parkway.

Today, the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet released a scheduling stating that work would begin in earnest on Wednesday, October 16.

Learn more:

Memorial Parkway, between mile marking 1.2 and 2.9 will begin a project that includes correcting drainage, pavement and resurfacing from Stardust Point Lane to Inverness Place.  Crews will be working daytime hours.  At the 2.4 mile point a drainage pipe will be added, curb work, relocate the bus stop and construct a new sidewalk ramp.  Milling and resurfacing of the project area will take place after drainage work complete.

Dill informed council that KYTC agreed to fix the situation after meeting with city officials and developers of Overlook Apartments. He said that an engineering design flaw caused the issue. The state required the apartment developers to create an additional lane, which the developers did. The construction of the lane then was approved by the state.

Unfortunately, according to Dill, the base of the road under the new lane was not as deep as the existing lane and water under the pavement was trapped and came out onto the new section causing ice to form.

Buy Tickets Now For Fundraiser to Help Restore Fort Thomas National Historic Treasure

The Fort Thomas Forest Conservancy will host a fundraiser, An Evening With Harlan and Friends, at Headquarters in Newport on Friday, November 8, 6:00 to 9:00 PM. All proceeds will benefit the restoration of Hubbard’s studio now on the National Register of Historic Places.

View seldom seen and never before seen Hubbard paintings from private collections as well the Behringer-Crawford Museum will be displayed.  A few original pieces will be for sale and guests will also be able to bid on a number of unique baskets of Kentucky gifts.

Eat Well and Colonel’s Kitchen will provide hor d’oeuvres. There will be adult beverages and live music as well. Tickets are $40 person and can be purchased at or email or call Sidney Thomas at 513-205-8756.

Jan Jolley, co-chair of the event, says “We work at all of the parks in the city and what we are providing is not just for the residents of Fort Thomas. The upkeep of a National Historic site is a gift from us to the public.”

Harlan Hubbard is a Kentucky treasure. He was born in Bellevue but he formed his ideas about living an isolated life living off the land, inspired by Henry David Thoreau, in his Fort Thomas studio that he built from reclaimed materials.

Hubbard’s favorite subject was his beloved Ohio River and he painted hundreds of river landscapes and the larger boats. After a multi-year journey floating the Ohio and Mississippi Rivers he settled in Payne Hollow, Kentucky where he lived a sophisticated yet rustic life for the next forty years. His book, Shantyboat, was a New York Times bestseller. Oddly enough, as isolated as they were, the Hubbards entertained visitors from around the world.

Hubbard was awarded the Governor’s Lifetime Achievement Award and is in the Kentucky Writer’s Hall of Fame. Many Fort Thomas residents recall Hubbard and his wife, Anna, as a sweet but eccentric couple. But as they lived according to their principles, their lives became a work of art and a subject of national curiosity.

The Hubbard studio is now protected by FTFC and is used as their Environmental Experience Center. It is open monthly to the public on the third Saturday of the month April through October from 10:00 - 1:00 as well as for other events. The area is protected in perpetuity by a conservation easement that will maintain the original integrity of the property and structures. The roof, door, and window have been restored and new electric run to the site. Now it is time to restore the crumbling brick exterior.

Here are the event details:

Highlands Girls Advance to Region Semifinals

PHOTO: G. Michael Graham, Fort Thomas Matters. Highlands senior Natalie Ossege (17) makes a move in a recent game. The Bluebirds advanced to the 9th Region semifinals with a 5-1 win over Beechwood on Wednesday.
On a day when an upset or two occurred in the 9th Region girl soccer quarterfinals, the Highlands Bluebirds girls soccer team made sure it did not happen at Tower Park on Monday.

The 36th District champion Bluebirds (15-3-5 overall) took care of the 35th District runner-up Beechwood Lady Tigers, 5-1 to move on to the region semifinals Wednesday at St. Henry. Highlands faces Dixie Heights (13-9-1) at 7:30 p.m. after Notre Dame plays Ryle.

Highlands had 31 shots including 17 on goal. Highlands senior goalkeeper Rylee Thomas had three saves.

"They put everyone behind the ball and forced to try to score in different ways than we did the first game," said Alex Dean, Highlands Head Coach. "It took us a while to get our groove. We kept on pushing and pushing finding ways to score. We ended up scoring a couple times on set pieces in the second half. That helped us out. It was nice to finish out the game. We're looking forward to Wednesday."

Highlands senior defender Lauren Deckert led the way with two goals for four points. She has seven this season.

The Bluebirds led just 1-0. It came on the second goal of the year from senior Parker Price.

"I think every first goal for us is an opener," Deckert said. "Our halftime speech was about putting five more on the board. It's as important to get those other goals as it is the first goal, especially since it's not a regular season game."

But Highlands pulled away in the second half. Juniors Greta Noble and Maggie Stieby had the other goals.

The Bluebirds had six assists in the game. Senior Maria Broering had two with senior Tatum Price, junior Kenzie Nehus and sophomore Chloe Bramble recording one each. Broering has nine assists this year.

Highlands defeated Dixie Heights, 3-0 in Crestview Hills on Sept. 25. The Bluebirds are 9-1-1 against region opponents.

Monday, October 14, 2019

Fort Thomas Police Detective Graduates from Criminalistics Academy

8th Class to Graduate from Kentucky Criminalistics Academy 

School Resource Officer Zac Rohlfer with Det. Nick Hoffman (right).

Crime scene investigators from across the commonwealth graduated last week from the Department of Criminal Justice Training's Kentucky Criminalistics Academy. KCA is made up of two, five-week, 200-hour courses that DOCJT instructors developed for full-time and newly-appointed CSIs and patrol officers who serve as CSIs for their agencies. In addition to sworn officers, the KCA is open to civilian CSIs who work for law enforcement agencies.

Fort Thomas Police Departments', Det. Nick Hoffman, was one of those to graduate.

The Crime Scene Technician course certification is the first of two, five-week courses officers can complete in crime-scene investigation. The graduates are students who have completed both five-week courses, fulfilling the full range of training offered through the Kentucky Criminalistics Academy.

The entire KCA certification includes training in:

  - Digital photography
  - Advanced latent print development
  - Evidence collection and documentation
  - Latent fingerprint recognition and identification
  - Shooting scene reconstruction
  - Bloodstain pattern recognition and documentation
  - Post blast investigation
  - Forensic mapping
  - Computer crimes investigations
  - Forensic anthropological recovery course (University of Tennessee)

The Department of Criminal Justice Training is a state agency located on Eastern Kentucky University’s campus. The agency is the first in the nation to be accredited under the Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies’ public safety training program designation. DOCJT also earned accreditation through the International Association for Continuing Education and Training in 2013.

*The KCA Class No. 8 graduates and their agencies are:

*Nicholas Hoffman* Fort Thomas Police Department

Local scouts celebrate their 75th Anniversary

Several scouts attain their Eagle rank 

By Jessie Eden

The Fort Thomas Scouts recently debuted their new Scout room at St. Thomas Church. The troop has been working hard to honor the 75 year Anniversary of their affiliation with St. Thomas Church and to give some new life to a room that hasn’t been renovated in 50 years.

Thankfully, many local Scouts have stepped up and helped with renovations for the past five months. “Countless volunteers from the Troop and Cub Scout Pack have helped said Stephen Hahn, Committee Chair.With the help of Art and Sign Studio Corp, the boys have learned about painting, home repairs, graphics design and project management throughout the process.”


The highlight of the 75th Anniversary celebration was the recognizing of five Troop 70 scouts who have who have earned their Eagle Scout award in the past five months.

Those scouts are:
Alan Ford
Alex Ford
Michael Schreifer
Steven Brun
Joseph Feltner

The troop would like to thank the church for hosting them and allowing them to share the special space. “We want to thank St. Thomas Church for their continued support of our Troop and scouting over the years.”

The troop is also embracing Scouts BSA’s family scouting program by opening up the scout troop to include boys and girls.  The Troop is excited to share their values with others and celebrate the long history of the organization. “Our troop recently decided to join with the BSA in converting Boy Scouts to Family Scouting. We are eager to refresh the face of scouting and welcome girls into the troop.”

The Troop meets every Monday throughout the year at St Thomas Church from 7:00pm - 8:00 p.m. for boys and girls ages 11-18. Cub Scouts meet every Sunday from 6:30-7:30. Please reach out to Stephen Hahn for more information. 



Noah Gracey on Joining CISV Cincinnati

Noah Gracey and Patrick Davidson at Korean Barbeque restaurant during 1st homestay
By Noah Gracey

Hi, My Name is Noah Gracey and I’m a 6th grader at Highlands Middle School.  I’m going to tell you about a typical day in my CISV camp in Seoul, South Korea this past summer.  A CISV camp is a camp where kids my age from all around the world are there and is usually held in a different country than your own.  It was a once in a lifetime experience and I hope you will think about doing it.

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On a typical day we would wake up at 7:30a.m.  We have flag time at 7:45am and say good morning in every language.  Then we sing the CISV song.  We eat breakfast from 8:00-8:45am.  Our meals always had kimchi, a traditional Korean dish and rice.  At breakfast there were always eggs, meat, juice, milk, seaweed and salad as well as a vegetarian option.  I really liked wrapping seaweed around rice and eating it for part of my meal.  I tried the kimchi but didn’t really like it because it was really spicy!

Friends from camp
After breakfast we would all bang on the tables to the song “Everybody Dance Now” and then we would do Kitos which is a song saying thank you in multiple languages.  Next was cleaning time.  At 9am we had our first activity.  One activity we did was where we all laid down on the ground with our arms up and we had to work together to pass a person down the line.  I think this was an activity about trust and team work. After our first activity we had free time and then lunch.

At 1:00pm we had siesta time which is a quiet time to sleep or go to the JC shop and buy candy.  JC means junior counselor.  We had JC’s from Egypt, Korea, Portugal, Belgium and Brazil.  They were teenagers and their purpose was to help while learning from the adult leaders.

Patrick Davidson, Azar Bassett, Drew Fitzpatric and Noah Gracey at Seoul Tower
After the siesta time we had activity 2 then shower time.  At 6pm we had dinner and at 7pm we had activity 3.  For activity 3 we usually had National Night.  Each country got their own night to have things from their country like food and traditional dances.  For the Netherlands National Night we played a game where we stuck our face in flour to try to get a piece of candy with our mouths.  For our USA National Night we had a sleepover theme.

We had different stations like popcorn, pillow case decorating where all of our friends signed our pillow case, and a photo booth with fun props. After the last activity each day, we did flag down where we said goodnight in all the languages of the countries represented at camp.  Lastly, we would sing songs together and end our day at 10pm.

USA Delegation to CISV Korea Village; Nick Sunderland, Leader; Drew Fitzpatric, Noah Gracey, Azar Bassett and Patrick Davidson
This is a link to a short You Tube video we made at camp showing all the fun we had:

In addition to the typical activities we did at camp, we also had two homestays and two excursions with one being a shopping day.  For our shopping day the whole camp went to COEX Mall.  The mall is the biggest underground shopping mall in all of Asia and is in the basement of the Korean World Trade Center.  It has a 2 story library, an aquarium, a movie theatre, tons of different stores and restaurants. It even had a Kimchi Museum! While I was there, I was surprised that many of the store brands were ones that I’ve seen at Kenwood mall.

CISV Activity Time
We went to a Starbucks, a McDonalds and a candy store!  Some of my friends bought Korean sweatshirts, clothes, and chopsticks. The other excursion was to an amusement park called Everland.  It has the world’s steepest wooden roller coaster called the T-express which has a 77 degree incline and goes almost 65mph!  There was also a virtual reality option for T-express. There was an area at the park called Panda World that had a bunch of interactive activities, but the best part was seeing the two live pandas.

There were other parts of the park as well like a monkey area, Zootopia area with a petting zoo, Lost Valley where your tram goes through a water trail and you see animals, and a super cool shopping area where all the stores buildings are made to look like famous world landmarks.  My favorite was the one that looked like the Leaning Tower of Pisa!

While at CISV village we had two homestays. The first homestay took place as soon as we arrived at Seoul airport.  My friend Patrick, another US delegate, and I were picked up by a Korean CISV family.  This Korean family had lived in San Francisco for four years. The dad had done village as a child. Their daughter was at village in Washington DC and their other daughter had done Step Up camp in Poland.  We went to a Korean buffet, the Seoul tower, an arcade, and Korean baseball game. At the Korean bbq we were able to make our food ourselves.

CISV Friends at Camp
We met up with the homestay where the other two delegates from USA were.  We went to an old Korean Village and we made bow and arrows there.  We went to a street vendor that had this food that was like a very thick pancake with cinnamon inside.  It was really good.  We traveled a lot by bus.  At Seoul Tower they had a really big room that was like a photo booth and you could take all kinds of cool photos.  At the top of the tower we sent a postcard home and had a view of most of Seoul.

During my second homestay I was with my friend Steve who was from the Chinese delegation.  We stayed with a different Korean CISV family.  This family had two kids ages 8 and 5. While there we explored downtown Seoul, went to an old Korean palace and Korean barbecue. At the Korean Barbeque restaurant, the chicken came raw and the dad cooked it for us on the grill that was built into the table.

We had all kinds of dipping sauces and sides that came with it like kimchi, pickled daikon radishes and carrots, a tangy cabbage salad, Korean cucumber salad and spicy Korean coleslaw. That day we rode bikes to a really big park.  When we were playing at the park a really big cicadia flew down my shirt and freaked me out. The bugs there were super-sized.  They were really big!  There was a spider the size of my palm and a cockroach the size of an iphone. It was crazy!

Noah at Starfield Library
That night we went with a cousin of the family who was 13 years old and his friend who spoke Chinese to help translate for my Chinese delegate friend Steve.  We walked around Seoul and had fried chicken at this place that had chicken options from most countries around the world.  There was French chicken, Canadian chicken, Chinese chicken, American chicken, etc..

I got the American chicken which was fried and the Chinese chicken which was tiny pieces of orange flavored chicken with shrimp.  Back at the apartment we watched a Marvel movie and had traditional Korean ice cream which was like a King Cone but it was 13 inches long!

The next day we went to Lotte World. At Lotte World there was a huge indoor amusement park called Adventure that had rides and parades, an outdoor park called Magic Island, an aquarium, water park, Undersea Kingdom place, a jumping place called Seoul Sky that was a Korean version of Skyzone, and an international mall.

CISV Flag Time
It also had the biggest skyscraper I have ever seen! You had to go up 123 levels to get to the top and then you could see all of Seoul. We took an elevator to get to the top that had monitors on the ceiling and each of the three walls so when riding in it you thought you were in a totally different place.  It was like you were in an art show or something.

At Seoul Sky, the first floor was the trampoline area and the 2nd floor was like a parkour obstacle course that we had harnesses for so we could do the rock wall, the climbing net and different balance beams.  When I was there I met an American Army soldier that had been stationed there for 10 years. He was fluent in Korean. It was cool to talk to him.  Lotte World was amazing, and I didn’t want to leave!

With my homestays I learned that most Korean families live in apartments.  The families at both homestays went out of their way to make sure we were comfortable and having a good time.  Neither of the adults spoke very much English so I don’t know as much about them but they were really nice. Both homestay apartments were really far from where they picked us up.  Neither had pets because most apartments didn’t let them.

Whole Camp at Everland Amusement Park
In Seoul I noticed there were almost no trash cans but the streets and sidewalks were really clean. My entire trip to South Korea made me realize not only how much I loved it there, but how much I want to go and explore other countries.  I realized the places, people, food and even insects, may look different, but everything was also really the same.

The families acted just like my own.  The kids wanted me to play in the park with them and snuggle on the couch to look at books.  I felt like I fit right in even though we didn’t speak the same language.  I absolutely loved my time at CISV village and am hoping to do a CISV Interchange next summer.  CISV is awesome.