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Friday, February 28, 2020

General Thomas Statue Update, Donation Problems Solved

A model of the General George Thomas statue.
A nine-foot statue of the general will be installed at Tower Park.

By Robin Gee, city council beat editor

The city of Fort Thomas is moving ahead with plans for the statue of General George Henry Thomas that will be installed in Tower Park this coming fall.

The statue will be placed near the south side entrance to the park, and work will begin soon to develop a plaza and surrounding streetscape for the statue, according to Debbie Buckley, economic development director for the city and member of the statue committee.



The city faced some issues recently regarding donations for the statue. Donations large and small are welcome, said Buckley, but a "technical snafu" resulted in a return of some donations to donors. The issue has been fixed, she said, and she encouraged donations large and small for the statue. To donate, go to the General George H. Thomas Statue Fund.

RELATED A First Look at the General Thomas Statue

For more on General Thomas and his legacy, see the Fort Thomas History section of the city’s website.

Thursday, February 27, 2020

Highlands Holds off Pesky NewCath for Another District Crown

Bluebirds Win Sixth Straight District Crown

PHOTO: G. Michael Graham, Fort Thomas Matters. Highlands senior Piper Macke (1) and Maggie Hinegardner (13) get in defensive position in the 36th District championship at Newport on Thursday. Macke earned Most Valuable Player honors for the tournament.
After a couple years of Blue and White dominating the series, the old days of these two 36th District rivals battling to the very end returned this year.

But the Highlands Bluebirds girls basketball team (21-10 overall) won another district championship with a 44-41 win over the Newport Central Catholic Thoroughbreds (20-12) on Thursday at Newport when the dust settled. This marks the sixth in a row for the Bluebirds and seventh in the past eight seasons.

U.S. Bank Closes Three Locations in NKY

U.S. Bank closes three locations in NKY, including NKU campus location.

One of the U.S. Bank locations is on the NKU campus. It will close April 21.

By Jessie Eden

U.S Bank is closing three of its Northern Kentucky locations...one of which is on NKU's campus in Highland Heights.

The campus branch will close on April 21. A staff member at this location confirmed that the bank's contract with NKU was up and PNC had outbid U.S. Bank for the retail space.

PNC will open in the space after U.S. Bank closes.


Orangetheory Fitness, Newport Pavilion
http://startburning.orangetheoryfitness.com/startburning-1

The U.S. Bank locations in Fort Wright and Crescent Springs closed on February 19...but a new branch will open in Fort Mitchell by March.

Customers have been notified of the closures. The NKU branch opened on January 9, 2006.

Democratic Senatorial Candidate Forum To Take Place at Southgate House Revival on March 5

Local grassroots organization 'Indivisible NKY District 4' brings the Kentucky Senate race to Northern Kentucky




On March 5, Indivisible NKY District 4 will host a Democratic Senatorial Candidate Forum at Southgate House Revival in Newport. The event starts at 6 p.m.


The forum will feature many of the top Democratic candidates seeking to face Mitch McConnell in November. The topics will range from a variety of issues that are important to Kentucky voters.

It will be moderated by Ryland Barton, Capitol Bureau Chief at Kentucky Public Radio.


Candidates include;
- Jimmy Ausbrooks, Mental Health Counselor



- Charles Booker, State Representative



- Mike Broihier, Farmer and former Marine.



- Amy McGrath, Democratic Nominee for KY-06 and former Marine


How To Watch:
This event will air on Kentucky Public Radio and it will also be live-streamed on the Indivisible NKY District 4 YouTube channel.

Tickets:
The event is free but priority will be given to ticket holders. Tickets are available here.

About Indivisible NKY District 4:
Indivisible NKY District 4 is a group of local progressive grassroots activists working to build a better Kentucky by holding our elected officials accountable. The candidate forum is one of many events that the group will be holding to implement progressive change in Kentucky politics and building a coalition of voters that support progressive values.

For more information about Indivisible NKY District 4, please visit http://kyd4.org/.

NKY Chamber Hosts "Pints & Perspectives: Attracting International Talent" on Mar. 5

Dr. Ashish Vaidya of NKU (left) and Dr. Eli Capilouto of UK (right) will
discuss how the region can attract international talent on Mar. 5.

The Northern Kentucky Chamber of Commerce (NKY Chamber) continues its popular Pints & Perspectives series with “Attracting International Talent” on Thursday, March 5, from 4:30-6:00 p.m.



Attendees will hear from Dr. Eli Capilouto, President of University of Kentucky and Dr. Ashish Vaidya, President of Northern Kentucky University about how local universities are attracting international talent to our region, the importance of keeping international talent, and the impact it has.

“Northern Kentucky is currently facing a workforce shortage,” said Brent Cooper, President and CEO of the NKY Chamber. “It’s important for our business community to work together with the local universities to provide a welcoming place for international talent who can fill those gaps and make our region a more diverse place to live.”

Pints & Perspectives: Attracting International Talent will be held at Hilton Cincinnati Airport Hotel at 7373 Turfway Rd Florence, KY, 41042.


Registration for Pints & Perspectives is $25 for NKY Chamber members, $35 for future NKY Chamber members, and free for NKYP Passport holders. Pre-registration is required and is available online at nkychamber.com/events.

The Title Sponsor for Pints & Perspectives is C-Forward.

About the Northern Kentucky Chamber of Commerce: 
The Northern Kentucky Chamber of Commerce, Inc. founded in 1969, is the leading business organization in Northern Kentucky with more than 1,500-member companies representing approximately 175,000 employees. The NKY Chamber strives to promote and support the development of strong businesses, resulting in a better quality of life for all. Dan Cahill, CEO of HSD Metrics, is the Chair of the Board and Brent Cooper is the President and CEO of the Northern Kentucky Chamber of Commerce. Additional information on the NKY Chamber is available at www.nkychamber.com.

Highlands Runs Away from Dayton

Bluebirds Hit Quarter-Century Win Mark with Tournament Win

PHOTO: G. Michael Graham, Fort Thomas Matters. Highlands freshman guard Coby Kramer (24) gets in defensive position in the 36th District semifinal game against Dayton on Wednesday.
The Highlands Bluebirds boys basketball team continued its solid play in the first postseason game Wednesday at Newport.



The Bluebirds (25-3 overall) started fast and pulled away from the Dayton Greendevils (12-19) for a convincing 72-24 victory in the 36th District semifinals. Highlands hit 25 wins in a season for the first time since 2003.

Wednesday, February 26, 2020

KBE upholds decision denying River Cities Academy Inc. charter application



(FRANKFORT, KY) – The Kentucky Board of Education (KBE) voted at a special meeting Feb. 25 to uphold the decision of the Newport Independent Board of Education denying the charter school application of River Cities Academy Inc.



The application to open a charter school was filed on Oct. 30, 2019, with the Newport Independent Board of Education by Lynn Schaber and Evelyn Pence, acting on behalf of River Cities Academy Inc. It proposed opening a K-8 charter school that would draw students from Covington, Bellevue, Dayton, Ludlow, Fort Thomas and Newport independent school districts.

On Dec. 26, the Newport Independent School Board voted to deny the charter school application. On Jan. 23, River Cities Academy, Inc. appealed the decision to the KBE.

In its final order, the KBE explained that the charter application submitted did not contain an adequate financial plan for the first five years of operating the charter school. For the first year, the order read, River Cities Academy, Inc. projected a deficit of $529,957. The majority of the assumed revenue was public funding based upon the school’s average daily attendance.

The final order said that the funding mechanism for public charter schools expired on June 30, 2018, so an assumption that the majority of the revenue for the school would come from public funds was flawed.

“The Appellant’s budget assumes that the majority of its funding will come from public funds through an ADA allocation; however, under Kentucky law, there is no such current funding formula for public charter schools,” the order read.

The final order also stated, “other funding sources projected by the Appellant include, for example, federal and state grant funding as well as direct contributions. However, the Appellant does not include within its charter school application evidence of securing such grant and donor funding.

“Thus, the Appellant has not demonstrated the ability to operate in a ‘fiscally sound matter,’ pursuant to KRS 160.1594(7)(b), as its budget is built on financially unsound assumptions regarding the receipt of public and private funds necessary to sustain its public charter school.”

The final order also found that the academy’s plan to operate at a deficit the first year, “does not adhere to ‘generally accepted accounting principles’ as required by KRS 160.1592(3)(h) and is prohibited under KRS 160.1592(3)(p)4 ….”

Before the unanimous vote to adopt the final order, KBE Vice Chair Lu Young thanked representatives from both River Cities Academy and Newport Independent for working through the appeal process with the board.

This was the first charter school application and the first appeal filed since the Kentucky General Assembly passed legislation in 2017 that allowed public charter schools to be formed.

“I know that none of you take this process for granted nor have you taken it lightly,” she said.

Officials Issue Statement on Preventing the Coronavirus in Kentucky

Kentuckians Urged to Prevent Coronavirus by Same Protocols as Influenza



(LOUISVILLE, Ky - February 26, 2020) The Kentucky Medical Association (KMA), the Kentucky Foundation for Medical Care (KFMC) and the Foundation for a Healthy Kentucky are urging Kentuckians to practice known flu prevention protocols in light of Tuesday's Centers for Disease Control (CDC) warning that the novel coronavirus is expected to spread within communities in the United States. 

"While novel coronavirus presents a low risk currently to the majority of populations within the U.S., we do know that the virus can spread rapidly and is transmitted primarily through tiny air droplets and close contact with an infected person," said KMA President and Foundation for a Healthy Kentucky Board Chair Brent Wright, M.D. "However, the good news is we already know how to prevent the spread of such a virus, since protocols for it are nearly identical to those for the flu, which remains a much greater threat to public health currently."



KMA, the KFMC and the Foundation for a Healthy Kentucky partnered for the 2018-2019 public health campaign, Focus on Flu, which seeks to mitigate the spread of influenza across the state by encouraging Kentuckians to get their flu vaccines, consult their physicians if they think they have the flu, and help prevent the spread of the illness by implementing a number of known prevention techniques.

While the flu vaccine will not prevent novel coronavirus, having the flu weakens your immune system, leaving you more susceptible to contracting other illnesses like coronavirus. Seasonal flu is continuing to circulate across Kentucky, with more than 1,800 cases confirmed just last week and a total of 66 deaths so far, so it isn't too late to get a flu shot, even if you've already had a bout of flu this season.

Symptoms of coronavirus also closely resemble influenza, so patients are encouraged to consult with their doctor if they are experiencing fever, cough and shortness of breath.

Health officials have also emphasized that proper hand washing is the most effective way to prevent the spread of both novel coronavirus and influenza. "Washing your hands with warm soap and water, for at least 20 seconds, as frequently as possible, helps prevent the spread of germs more than anything else," said Foundation for a Healthy Kentucky President and CEO Ben Chandler. "Covering your mouth when you sneeze or cough and staying away from others when you are sick are also common-sense practices we should be utilizing during all seasons, but particularly to prevent respiratory illnesses like the flu and coronavirus."

"While coronavirus is scary, we can be confident that we are doing everything we can to prevent it by treating the threat of the virus the same manner we do the flu," said Dr. Wright.


 # # #

About the Kentucky Medical Association:
Established in 1851, the Kentucky Medical Association is a professional organization for physicians throughout the Commonwealth. The KMA works on behalf of physicians and the patients they serve to ensure the delivery of quality, affordable healthcare.

Members of the KMA share a mission of commitment to the profession and service to the citizens of this Commonwealth that extends across rural and urban areas. From solo practitioners to academicians to large, multi-specialty groups, KMA is the ONLY state association representing every specialty and type of medical practice in Kentucky.


About the Foundation for a Healthy Kentucky: 
Funded by an endowment, the mission of the nonpartisan Foundation for a Healthy Kentucky is to address the unmet health needs of Kentuckians by developing and influencing policy, improving access to care, reducing health risks and disparities, and promoting health equity. Since the Foundation opened its doors in 2001, it has invested more than $29 million in health policy research, advocacy, and demonstration project grants across the Commonwealth. Follow the Foundation on Twitter, Facebook and YouTube, and visit our website at www.healthy-ky.org.

About the Kentucky Foundation for Medical Care: 
Founded by the Kentucky Medical Association in 1971, the Kentucky Foundation for Medical Care (KFMC) is a 501(c)(3) charitable organization committed to improving the health of all Kentuckians through medical education and public health initiatives.

Indoor Music Festival 'BluebirdPalooza' Kicks Off March 14

Experience BluebirdPalooza!


On Saturday, March 14, 2020, the Fort Thomas Education Foundation (FTEF) will be hosting their 17th annual fundraising event, sponsored by Fedders Construction at the historic Newport Car Barn in Newport, KY from 8pm to midnight. The theme this year is an indoor music festival, BluebirdPalooza.

The DNA will be rocking live music, great food and an awesome party that raises more than $50K for the FTEF, which goes to support the Fort Thomas Independent School District through an annual grant process.

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Arrive early and enjoy complimentary bourbon tastings the first hour provided by New Riff Distillery.  Bircus Brewing Company will offer their craft brew selection and entertainment.


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Floyd and the Walkmen will headline the event with special guests Josh McIntosh and company starting at 8:30pm.

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Northern Kentucky and Cincinnati’s best eats will be parked right inside the Newport Car Barn, conveniently located for attendees to taste the most delicious festival food and sweets from around the area.  Food trucks will include Marty’s Waffles, California Tri-Tip, Kabobske Mediterranean and Taco Oso. 

BluebirdPalooza will be the fun place to be! Live music, food trucks, dancing, billiards, psychic readings, bourbon tasting, craft brews, axe throwing, split-the-pot, raffles and so much more!

Tickets may be purchased at www.ftef.org and includes admission into the music festival and light snacks. Drink tickets may be purchased for $4 each at the door. 

Monies raised from BluebirdPalooza will help provide funding for teacher grants and school programs.  One of the best things about bringing hundreds of enthusiastic, like-minded people together?  Connecting them with an organization that is improving and providing the best public education possible in a private school setting. 


Thank you to our Sponsors. We appreciate you!


Event Sponsors:
Fedder's Construction, Newport Car Barn

Gold Sponsors:
Morel Construction, Viox & Viox

Silver Sponsors:
Executive Transportation, Trent Montessori, Liz and Brad Younger, C-Forward, Tracy Davis State Farm Insurance, Graybach, LLC, Greater Comfort Heating & Air, Grassroots & Vine, Fort Thomas Coffee, CT Consultants, Johnson Investment Counsel, Keith Carlson - Von Leaman CPA & Advisory Firm, Shriver & Company PSC, Assured Partners, Crawford Insurance, Pendery Insurance

Bronze Sponsors:
Greg & Becky Hug, Jason & Amy Lang, Haoitic Security, Johnson Electric Supply Company, Dan Gorman, United Property Group, Doug and Megan DeSola, Mark Thumauer, Architect, Frank & Ann Meyer, Strauss Troy Attorneys at Law, Blau Mechanical, Hans & Michelle Tinkler, Todd & Christie Hosea, Chris & Sara Ryan, Dobbling Muehlenkamp, Ershell, Inc., E.C. Schmidt Plumbing Contractor, Inc., Cobblestone Cafe, Gorilla Glue, Michelle Story, D.M.D., R & M Fence & Construction, Dental by Dr. Ansley H. Depp, D.M.D.

Birds of a feather PARTY together!

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Fort Thomas Community Raises Thousands for Family Impacted by House Fire

Shanna Hayes holds a check from fundraising efforts organized by Midway Cafe.

By Jessie Eden

A local Fort Thomas family recovering from a house fire in early February now has the community to thank for the chance to get back on their feet.



On Monday, February 10 around 8:30 a.m., a fire broke out at Shanna Hayes' house on Woodside. Thankfully, she and her two boys, her father and little brother and sister escaped unharmed. But -- the house was a different matter. Smoke and fire damage can be seen throughout the first floor. It will require major renovations in order for the family to move back in.

Shanna's house was damaged during a fire on February 10.


So, to help the family recover, the Fort Thomas community started planning ways to raise money for the Hayes Family.

RELATED: Multiple units respond to house fire on Woodside Place in Fort Thomas, fire contained

From a GoFundMe campaign to donations gathered by Fort Thomas Independent Schools, thousands of dollars have been raised for the family.

Midway Cafe even hosted a fundraiser for the family this past Saturday in addition to a raffle basket, worth more than $500.

Last night, the winner of the raffle was announced on Midway Cafe's Facebook page...as well as the grand total of the funds raised. The video shows Shanna Hayes picking the ticket from a 5-gallon bucket of tickets and announcing the winner -- Sam Carlotta.

Hundreds of tickets were entered into the raffle.


But -- Shanna was in for another surprise. After the winner was chosen, Midway Cafe presented Shanna with a check of all the funds raised -- a total of over $27,000. The impressive amount brought Shanna to tears.


Shanna Hayes cries as she realizes how much has been raised for her and her family.
(Img: clipped from Facebook video, Midway Cafe)

"This isn't real, oh my god, you gotta be kidding me!" cried Shanna as she read the check. "I don't even know what to say, thank you everyone so much, it's unbelievable. Thank you everyone. Thank you so so much."


Shanna holds the check for over $27,000.

Co-owners Staci Edmonds and Erika Kraus of Midway Cafe expressed their thanks to a private bourbon group for donating the bourbons and to Fort Thomas for coming together like this for a local family. "Please don't ever get tired of being a good person with a good heart," said Erika. "Thank you to everyone who supported the fundraiser. We raised $27, 315. We changed a family's life tonight. Thank you to everyone who donated, shared and helped get the word out. Big shout out to Staci, my partner in crime, and all the midway employees for selling raffle tickets! Thank you bourbon friends, you know what you did!



You can watch the full raffle and check presentation video from Midway Cafe below.








Hey Northern Kentucky -- PBS Wants To Hear Your Story



By Jessie Eden

PBS has reached out to Fort Thomas Matters and asked us to spread the word throughout NKY to make residents aware of its new storytelling campaign "American Portrait".


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The writing campaign uses creative prompts to inspire people to write about what it really means to be an American today.

Some of the prompts include;


  • "I wake up every day and fight..." (reflections on addiction and recovery) 
  • "I was raised to believe..."
  • "The tradition I carry on is..."
  • "What keeps me up at night is..."
  • "When I step outside my door..."
  • "Most days I feel..."
  • "A day's work is..."
  • "My greatest challenge is..."


To submit, the story must be your own work. It cannot included any offensive material or advertisements and it cannot impersonate other people. To view the full guidelines, click here.


To learn more about the project, check out the video below or visit the PBS American Portrait website.






Council Considers Vision Zero and Other Traffic Safety Efforts


Matt Butler of the Vision Zero Northern Kentucky Taskforce,shared sobering traffic statistics with Fort Thomas City Council.

By Robin Gee, city council beat editor

Matt Butler of Vision Zero Northern Kentucky shared some sobering information at this month's city council meeting. He stated that research shows that car accidents are the leading cause of death for children in the U.S., accounting for about 20 percent of all child deaths.

According to Kentucky State Police data gathered by Butler's organization, an average of 48 people per year are injured in car crashes in Fort Thomas. In addition to the pain and suffering, the annual cost of these crashes is about $5.2 million per year in hospital bills, lost wages, property damage and related expenses.



Butler also shared that since 2011, 21 pedestrians and bike riders have been injured by motor vehicles on Fort Thomas streets.

"The purpose of Vision Zero is to make our streets safe for all users with the goal of eliminating traffic fatalities and serious injuries. Vision Zero is a global movement, and it's spreading across the United States. A lot of different cities are adopting it and really working to make positive changes for their citizens."

Compared to statistics for the Northern Kentucky region, he said, Fort Thomas fares fairly well with an average of 293 car crash injuries and seven deaths per 100,000 in population versus 653 injuries and nine deaths per 100,000 people in the overall region.

Yet, he pointed out, nearby Carmel, Indiana, a suburb of Indianapolis, has reduced its share of injuries to 236 and its deaths to two per 100,000. Carmel has been focusing on traffic safety for 10 to 15 years. The city is known for roundabouts and other traffic-calming devices.

The economic benefits for cities is not only in preventing crashes, but safer streets also results in improved walk scores and increased home values. Providing safe and walkable urban spaces attracts businesses, Butler said.

The Vision Zero approach to traffic safety


There are three E’s in Vision Zero – education, enforcement and engineering, Butler explained. "We are tasked with educating citizens and elected leaders with how to change their streets for the better and make them safer."

Vision Zero’s approach is to organize people in neighborhoods around specific positive changes. With 37 different municipalities in our area and a network of state-controlled roadways, Butler acknowledges that making changes can be daunting.

"I hear the challenges with the state, but what we have found is when citizens are organized and have a clear idea of what the problems are and present that to the state, a lot of times the state will listen."

Concretely, the Vision Zero group has worked with Park Hills, Bellevue, Covington and other Northern Kentucky cities on a number of traffic safety projects. In Park Hills, for example, they worked with residents to add 10 large yellow stand-up pedestrian crosswalk signs to help slow traffic down.

A project underway in Bellevue involves a dangerous spot on busy Fairfield Avenue. The sidewalk in front of Burger King has worn away to the point where cars often drive up onto the sidewalk. The group is working with the property owners and the city to address the sidewalk and, in the meantime, has placed bollards to help identify the hazard. The ultimate goal will not only be to fix the sidewalk but also to create a buffer area with trees and plants. The area will serve as a welcoming point for the city and even help with water runoff issues in that area.

A funding opportunity for neighborhoods


Butler explained that he is helping to fund Vision Zero projects through his own foundation, the Devou Good Foundation. The foundation has supported a number of improvement projects in Covington including implementation of the Red Bike program and improved bike trails in Devou Park.

A successful entrepreneur, Butler sold his company, Signature Hardware, and took some of that money to start his own foundation.

"My wife and I were very fortunate, and we wanted to give back to the community...We also wanted our kids to be involved and to see us doing good work," he explained.

In fact, Devou Good through Vision Zero Northern Kentucky, is sponsoring a contest for groups of citizens who develop projects for traffic-calming and street safety in their communities.

Qualifying neighborhood groups can win up to $50,000 for their projects. For more information on how to apply, see the NKY Slow Streets Project Contest section on the Vision Zero NKY website.

RELATED: NKY Launches New Efforts, $50K Contest to Encourage Safe Streets

Traffic safety takes center stage throughout the council meeting


The information and ideas generated by Vision Zero fit well into much of the discussion at the recent council meeting. Some residents addressed council with specific safety concerns.

Council heard from the parents of a child recently struck by a car while in a crosswalk at Summit and Grand avenues, as well as neighbors living along Chesapeake Avenue who have witnessed high speeds and drivers circumventing school buses stopped to pick up children.

City Administrator Ron Dill outlined steps being taken to address traffic issues in both neighborhoods as well as efforts across the city to combat speeding and other traffic safety concerns. Traffic safety is a priority outlined in the Fort Thomas Community Plan.

A dangerous situation at Summit and Grand (becomes Safety concerns throughout Fort Thomas)


Trista and Jared Williamson say they are happy their son is okay, but safety on Fort Thomas streets, especially at crosswalks, is paramount.
Trista and Jarad Williamson spoke at the meeting and expressed concern over the crosswalk at Grand and Summit. This is where their son was hit earlier this month. "I’m very blessed that my son wasn’t killed. He’s here tonight," said Trista. "He’s got a black eye, which is not too bad, but anyone who is a parent can imagine the call I got last week that my son was hit by a car and being rushed to Children’s Hospital." The Williamsons said the light turned green but the walk sign was on. They asked if this could be changed. 

Since the accident, Dill reached out to state highway officials to request that the four-way stop be reviewed to improve pedestrian safety. 


The city will also continue to press for a solution, but the Williamson family’s personal story may have a powerful impact to push things along, said council member Ken Bowman.


There are also additional efforts in the city's comprehensive plan to consider a 'road diet' -- taking Grand down to two lanes instead of four -- in order open up more possibilities such as adding bump outs, reducing speed limits and rethinking the geometrics of the street.


"We requested this months ago. With my conversation with the highway department this week, we asked if they would consider the road diet. We feel that would have a lot of opportunities safety wise."


In the meantime, council member Mark Collier said the city should redouble its efforts to fill vacant crossing guard positions.


Unfortunately, Dill said the city does not have jurisdiction over Grand. In an effort to improve the problem, the city added a crossing guard and a warning light a few years ago. The problem with crossing guards is that there is an ongoing issue of finding people to fill -- and keep -- the job. Neighborhood volunteers had been helping out but they couldn't keep up with the needs of the job.


Amy Kessinger and council members discuss improvements to ensure safety on Chesapeake Avenue and beyond.
Over on Chesapeake, there are safety issues as well. Amy Kessinger lives on the street and spoke on behalf of her neighbors at the meeting. She brought up issues with cars speeding down the street and pulling around school buses as they drop off and pick up kids in the neighborhood.

Dill stated that the city has conducted extensive speed studies and surveys in the area, increasing signage and enforcement.


"The progression of that area with the new subdivision, the proximity to the Newport Pavilion, has changed the dynamic considerably from what it was previously," said Dill. "We have found there are issues regarding speed, and there are inherent issues in the design of the road, specifically the vertical curve north of Villagrande. And we’ve worked with our city engineer to evaluate what options we have available."


The engineer suggested permanent signage along the road. Studies say that better signage can lead to a 49 percent reduction in speeding.


The engineering cost estimate will allow the city to be able to take advantage of the upcoming grant cycle. City policy states that the city could consider adding sidewalks, if there is an assessment done by the property owners who request it or if there is an outside revenue source available to cover the cost. The city will work with grant writers at Southbank Partners to apply for federal grants to cover sidewalk installation.


Dill is also looking at other options. "We’ve already commissioned our city engineers to do a cost estimate for sidewalk installation...It’s become a priority based on input we’ve had from our residents. When we evaluate it against other locations in the city that are absent sidewalks, it rises above other locations."



In the immediate future, the Fort Thomas Police Department has been working with Campbell County Schools to address the problem. Chief Brent Moening said after spring break, the city will have a camera at the stop sign that will record cars and license plates who try to go around the stopped buses. The city will be able to issue citations based on that information.

Dill said that its a collective effort for all parties involved. 

"We’ve consistently tried to prioritize safety in our community...It takes an effort on the part our public, and it takes an education that we all collectively need to continue. We’re teaching our kids how to cross the right way, now we need to insist that our drivers drive the right way."