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Thursday, April 30, 2020

Gov. Beshear: projected budget shortfall "real threat", urges for federal assistance



"You are not just passing, you are acing this test of humanity. This is our moment to prove we are a special generation. We are willing to sacrifice, perseverance and make sacrifices to defeat the Coronavirus," said Governor Andy Beshear. 

He said that tomorrow, the press conference will focus on how Covid-19 has affected Kentucky's revenues. For the first time since the state's first case was reported, he will not hold a briefing on Saturday.

"This Coronavirus has had significant negative impact on our economy. This is a real threat to helping us rebuild. Without federal assistance we will be in a recession longer and unemployment will be greater. (The Federal Government helped during the Great Recession), they need to do it now. This is not a political issue."

Beshear alluded to a very significant shortfall in state budget and noted that could hurt our education and public safety budgets. 

Kentucky's third quarter revenue report was just released shows a potential General Fund revenue shortfall of $318.7 to $495.7 million for FY20. 


THURSDAY 4/30/20 - UPDATE from Governor Beshear:

> NEW CASES: 174 (184 yesterday) (Total number in Ky: 4,708)

- 3 in Campbell Co.
- 27 in Kenton Co. 
- 13 in Boone Co.
- 1 in Grant Co.

- Over 56,511 tests completed to date in Kentucky
- Total patients who have been hospitalized: 1,375
- Total Patients Currently in Hospital: 330
- Total Patients admitted to ICU: 648
- Still Currently in ICU: 178
- Recovered Patients: 1,675

>DEATHS: 5 (Total Death Toll: 240) 

Recap from yesterday on gradual reopening of economy dates:

"Work has to look different," said Gov. Beshear. "If you try to be the exception, you'll cause a spike in your office and maybe a spike in Kentucky that would cause us to pull back."

He said that there has been some pushback from businesses on temperature and health checks. 

"These are things that allow us to start reopening our economy, even in a time where we're facing a worldwide pandemic. Let's buy into them, not push back on them," said Beshear. 

May 11: manufacturing, construction, vehicle or boat dealerships, professional service (50%), horse racing (no fans), dog grooming boarding.

May 20: retail, houses of worship (in-person services, likely a percentage of occupancy).

May 25: 10-person social gatherings, barbers, salons, cosmetology and similar services.

*Industries that will not be in the phase 1 reopening: restaurants, gyms, movie theaters, camp grounds, youth sports (June or July). Gov. Beshear said that public pools, summer camps and daycare will likely not be in a phase 1 or 2 reopening.

Beshear reiterating that steps announced yesterday regarding public pools, also apply to non-public communal pools such as apartment complexes, private clubs, etc.

Gov. Beshear indicated he hoped to have daycare facilities running in June.

Final recommended requirements will be completed by Monday. which should include a full list of industries and dates allowable for re-opening.

Additional notes:

- Two new drive-thru testing locations (Jessamine and Owen Co.) but still none in NKY. 
- New research shows 81 percent of Kentuckians approve of the way Gov. Beshear is handling the state's response to COVID-19, which is second highest rating, behind only Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine. 

http://www.kateto.net/COVID19%20CONSORTIUM%20REPORT%20April%202020.pdf

- Long-term care facilities: New cases in 24 residents and five staff. Two additional deaths.

Totals in those facilities: Cases in 727 residents and 307 staff; 122 deaths (1 staff, 121 residents).

Midway Cafe among 7 more $1,000 grant recipients for NKY Restaurant Relief

NKY Chamber of Commerce, Northern Kentucky Tri-ED and Horizon Community Funds of Northern Kentucky partnership produces $80K impact for local businesses


An unprecedented event in modern history has produced a response unparalleled by anything previously seen in Northern Kentucky – and more than one hundred local restaurants and bars have benefited from the outpour of support.

The NKY Restaurant Relief Fund, a joint project of the Northern Kentucky Chamber of Commerce, Northern Kentucky Tri-ED and Horizon Community Funds of Northern Kentucky, awarded its final seven $1,000 grants Thursday, April 30. The winners of the grants were announced during the live broadcast of the NKY Chamber’s weekly podcast, Northern Kentucky Spotlight with Kathrine Nero.

Established to assist local restaurants and bars forced to temporarily cease in-person dining because of the COVID-19 (novel coronavirus) pandemic, the fund saw some $37,000 in donations. Combined with almost $44,000 in gift card/gift certificate receipts uploaded to the fund’s website from supporters across the region, the NKY Restaurant Relief Fund effort made a total economic impact of just over $80,000, all of which went directly to local bars and restaurants.

The recipients of the final seven $1,000 grants announced Thursday, April 30, were:

·       Beef O’ Brady’s (Union)
·       BRU Burger Bar (Fort Mitchell)
·       Midway Café (Fort Thomas)
·       Rich’s Proper Food & Drink (Covington)
·       Siam Orchid (Bellevue)
·       The Gruff (Covington)
·       Tom’s Papa Dino’s (Florence)


The NKY Restaurant Relief fund operated as follows: After purchasing a $50 minimum gift card/gift certificate to any qualifying Northern Kentucky restaurant or bar, an individual could then upload a copy of their receipt, address and contact information to the NKY Restaurant Relief Fund website. This would automatically nominate the restaurant or bar where the gift card was purchased for a one-time $1,000 grant, which were chosen via a random drawing. Restaurants needed to be locally owned and operated to be eligible.

The fund was originally slated to be a two-week program to award $1,000 grants to 20 establishments but was expanded to three weeks, and 37 recipients due to the generosity of donors, which included among others Main Street Ventures, the Dave and Cindy Knox Family Fund, Woods Hardware/ACME Lock, Marilyn Scripps, Urban Sites, and Julie Kirkpatrick, all of whom came together for the support of Northern Kentucky businesses.

NKY Chamber President and CEO Brent Cooper says the response to the fund is a testament to the spirit of the people who call Northern Kentucky home.

“The support that has been shown to the NKY Restaurant Relief fund has exceeded my greatest expectations,” Cooper said. “To see how people have come together to help others in the circumstance we currently find ourselves should not only be a great source of pride for these bars and restaurants, but all of Northern Kentucky.”

Tri-ED President and CEO Lee Crume hopes the fund inspires people to continue to look for ways to help other businesses in need throughout the region.

“This fund was started because people saw a need and came together to provide relief to Northern Kentucky's restaurants,” said Crume. “This is a great example of how people helping one another can bring a community together. We hope this will inspire others to find creative ways to support other industries.”

Horizon Community Funds President Nancy Grayson agrees.

“A simple idea has resulted in a venture that has enabled one of our hardest hit industries to keep doors open, continue to employ hundreds of people and provide a great service throughout the community,” said Grayson. “We would like to thank everyone who has directly or indirectly supported this fund financially or through word-of-mouth as the indelible spirit of Northern Kentucky continues to persevere.”

Blue Marble Bookstore Owner Seeks Someone to Buy Business as He Looks Toward Retirement

Trent Montessori students during a visit to Blue Marble Books.
(Img: Jan Haas)

By Jessie Eden and Robin Gee

Peter Moore, owner of Blue Marble Books, announced on Thursday afternoon he has decided to retire. He doesn’t have an exact date set but said, after more than 40 years, it’s time. Still, he first hopes to find someone interested in continuing the business.





Moore made the statement via a Facebook post on the Blue Marble Books Facebook page. Blue Marble Books was started by his wife, Tina, in 1979. Tina Moore passed away in 2017.


Tina and Peter Moore (Img: FTM file)

"After over forty years in the community, I have decided to retire from my second career as a bookseller. Tina and I and our dedicated staff of book lovers and former educators and librarians have brought books, authors and illustrators to parents and schools in the Greater Cincinnati area."

He said he is looking for a buyer for the business as well as the building itself. "I am proud of what we have built, and I am now looking for someone to continue our dream," he said.


Tina and Peter Moore celebrating Blue Marble's 35th anniversary. (Img: provided)

For now, the store continues in business, and Moore plans to reopen as soon as the current COVID-19 guidelines allow. Plans are still moving ahead for a celebration this June of the store’s 41st anniversary. Of course, how the store celebrates is currently up in the air but will unfold as more information about reopening guidelines becomes available, he said.

Moore said he will give it some time to see if someone would like to step up and continue the store. If you are interested, contact him directly at moorepe31@gmail.com.



'Jamming for Hope' Hosts E-Jam Session to Pay For Meals from Midway Cafe for Health Care Workers

Jamming for Hope performed at Ft. Thomas Coffee earlier this year.


By Jessie Eden

What are you doing tonight at 6:30 p.m.? We have a suggestion -- Check out this event by 'Jamming for Hope'.



"Jamming for Hope", a local nonprofit created by U.K. medical student Chris Harwood, is hosting an electronic 'jam' session via Facebook Live to raise money for meals for local health care workers on the front lines of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Meals will then be purchased from Midway Cafe, thus helping out a local business AND local healthcare heroes!

The nonprofit usually raises money, through musical performances, to support those suffering from cancer with their proceeds going to St. Elizabeth’s cancer patient support fund....but given the current pandemic, they have shifted gears for this performance to help out.

You can donate money two ways;

- Pay via Venmo (name is @jammingforhope)
- Pay by purchasing 'tickets' on the event page (Click the link below for more info)

The event runs from 6:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. 

Check it out here!

Newport's 'Costume Gallery' Receives Recognition from Gov. Beshear



Costume Gallery receives special recognition for sending UK-themed masks to Gov. Beshear.
(Img: Costume Gallery



By Jessie Eden


The 'Costume Gallery', located at 638 Monmouth Street, has changed up its daily routine and they've been making masks instead.




Joy and Elizabeth Galbraith have been making masks throughout quarantine. "We have made a little over 1,200 masks.  We have donated to Security patrols, EMTs, Volunteer Fire station, Men's homeless Shelter, Cancer Patients, Family and Friends," said Costume Gallery Owner and Creative Director Joy Galbraith, "We also sell them for a nominal charge."

Joy is sheltering-in-place with their mother in Florida while Elizabeth, the Production Manager, runs things from Newport. "We pivoted our business in order to "Keep the sewing machines running". We coordinate the mask making and the running of our business, long distance. My mom and I have made most of the masks in Florida and we ship them out."

As the pandemic has continued, they decided to send some masks to Governor Andy Beshear made out of UK fabric...and in return, they received a letter from the Governor. "I had a small piece of UK camouflage fabric left, just enough to make 2 masks. I sent them to Gov. Beshear, as a Thank You for his leadership during this pandemic crisis, not really expecting a personal reply or even thinking it would get to him."

But, they did!

"The letter was a surprise, but what really touched all of us at Costume Gallery-Newport was the personal message and the tone of the letter," said Joy. "In the middle of such a crisis and all the plans that had to be put into place, the letter was sent to us for 2 small masks. We so appreciate the thought and time that went into the letter. Taking the time to respond, really shows the true character of the man that is our Governor. We listen to Gov. Beshear every day and do what he asks."

In the letter, Gov. Beshear stated 'I am so grateful that you thought of me and my safety and are helping to keep others safe as you spend your time making these masks."





To learn more about the Costume Gallery, visit their facebook page.

Gettysburg Square Apartments Gives Back by Helping Cobblestone Cafe

Gettysburg Square gives back to Fort Thomas business.
(Img: Gettysburg Square Apartments website)

By Jessie Eden

Gettysburg Square Apartments, owned and operated by North American Properties, has gone out of its way to help one of Fort Thomas' beloved businesses - Cobblestone Cafe - in a BIG way. North American Properties donated over $6,000 to Cobblestone Cafe on behalf of Gettysburg Square as a result of a special program called "Rent to Outreach".




With the emergence of Covid-19 and quarantine, Gettysburg Square Property Manager Todd Razor realized that there would be several different kinds of needs in the community. "Ownership (North American Properties) is always looking for a way to give back. We knew people were going to be struggling so we encouraged people to pay their rent on time, if they could, and we worked with others that were struggling. North American threw in $20 per lease that was paid on time."

Lena Hill has lived at Gettysburg Square for three years and said the contest was a great idea. "Their slogan at Gettysburg is "Love where you live!" I definitely do. They have been nothing but great since I've been here. There's been other fun contests they've held for residents during quarantine that have just been fun! Really makes me proud. Going above and beyond locally also is heart warming."

Gettysburg Square Apartments has nearly 500 tenants in over 360 apartments. Residents who paid rent on time by April 6 were able to nominate a local business that the money in the "Rent to Outreach" fund would go to. "It's a great group of diverse people from all walks of life and they love the Fort Thomas community. We just wanted people to know that we were willing to help local businesses and in total, 38 businesses were nominated."

The most nominated business? Cobblestone Cafe. "Residents said they really enjoyed Cobblestone Cafe and missed walking there for the great food. You just hate to see a place like that close down." Cobblestone plans to reopen on May 5. 

Cobblestone Cafe posts a sign in the front window stating it will open on May 5.
(Img: Cobblestone Cafe Facebook)

In total, North American Properties wrote a check for the "Rent to Outreach" program in the amount of $6,240. The total amount went to Cobblestone Cafe in April. "We just wanted people to know that we are going to work with you. We aren't just here to make a profit -- we're here to help and find a solution."

Todd confirmed that the community plans on running the "Rent to Outreach" program again in May and they will be taking nominations for another business that will win the money.

Highlands Shortstop Preparing to Play for Kentucky Wildcats

Kavanagh Hit Starting Line-up as Freshman

Highlands senior shortstop Ethan Kavanagh gets in position in a game last year. Kavanagh is the first position player in school history to commit to an NCAA Division I Power Five Conference school.
He'll play for the University of Kentucky next season.
(Img: G. Michael Graham)

By G. Michael Graham

To the knowledge of veteran Head Coach Jeremy Baioni and Director of Athletics Kevin Nieporte, senior Ethan Kavanagh holds a huge distinction in program history.




Kavanagh is the first position player to sign at a Power Five NCAA Conference school when he signed to play for the University of Kentucky Wildcats in March. The Bluebirds have had pitchers commit to that level with 2018 graduate Drew Rom being the most recent. Rom committed to the University of Michigan before signing to play minor league baseball in the Baltimore Orioles organization.

Wednesday, April 29, 2020

Here is when these businesses can start to open (with restrictions)


Governor Andy Beshear talked today about specifics on reopening of economy.

"This is very real. We need to make sure, even when we're making decisions where we can open up a little at a time, that we do it the right way, so that we can prevent more families from having to go through this," said Gov. Beshear.

10 rules for Healthy At Work that all businesses will have to put into planning to re-open.

1. Telework as possible
2. Phased return to work
3. Onsite temp/health checks
4. Universal masks + other PPE
5. No common areas
6. Social distancing
7. Limit face-to-face meeting
8. Sanitizer/handwash stations
9. Special accommodations
10. Testing plan

More: HealthyatWork.gov

May 11: manufacturing, construction, vehicle or boat dealerships, professional service (50%), horse racing (no fans), dog grooming boarding.

May 20: retail, houses of worship (in-person services, likely a percentage of occupancy).

May 25: 10-person social gatherings, barbers, salons, cosmetology and similar services.

*Industries that will not be in the phase 1 reopening: restaurants, gyms, movie theaters, camp grounds, youth sports (June or July). Gov. Beshear said that public pools, summer camps and daycare will likely not be in a phase 1 or 2 reopening.

Gov. Beshear indicated he hoped to have daycare facilities running in June.

Final recommended requirements will be completed by Monday. which should include a full list of industries and dates allowable for re-opening.

> NEW CASES: 184 (Total number in Ky: 4,539)

- 3 in Campbell Co.
- 6 in Kenton Co.
- 1 in Boone Co.

- Over 54,101 tests completed to date in Kentucky
- Total patients who have been hospitalized: 1,359
- Total Patients Currently in Hospital: 325
- Total Patients admitted to ICU: 636
- Still Currently in ICU: 176
- Recovered Patients: 1,668

>DEATHS: 10 (Total Death Toll: 235)

Each day, Gov. Beshear talks about nursing home and long-term care, which are the most affected industries.

"Long-term facilities continues to be the most challenging area where this virus is most deadly."

He announced that of the new positive cases today, 29 are residents of long-term care facilities, 8 are staff.

Totals: 674 residents, 302 staff, 120 deaths (1 staff, 119 residents).

What Northern Kentucky Business Owners Need to Know about the CARES Act

Dan Tillett is a CPA with Rudler PSC in Fort Thomas.

Editor’s Note:

President Trump signed the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) and Health Care Enhancement Act on April 24, 2020, a $484 billion bill that sends $310 billion in additional funds to the PPP. As of 10:30 a.m. EST on Monday, April 27, banks began accepting applications for the second round of PPP loans. The Small Business Administration and US Department of Treasury are currently working on issuing final guidance on rules, calculations and documentation requirements for loan forgiveness.
---

COVID-19, commonly known as the novel coronavirus, has impacted the American way of life so extremely that has not only changed the way we do business but has also changed the way we shop and socialize. With many states having some form of stay-at-home order, many organizations have temporarily had to close their doors.

But now, there is hope for small business owners nationwide in the form of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act. Signed into law on Friday, March 27, the CARES Act allows for a number of provisions in the form of financial and tax relief for both businesses and individuals as part of the largest stimulus package ever passed. The centerpiece of the package is the Paycheck Protection Loan Program (PPP), which provides support for qualifying small businesses by allowing them to borrow up to $10 million. These loans are eligible to be forgiven if the loans are used for the criteria set by the CARES Act for specific business expenditures such as employee payroll, health insurance, retirement contributions, building rent/mortgage interest and utilities. But what exactly does it take to qualify?

Consider the following critical information about what your organization needs to know about the CARES Act and the PPP program today.

WHAT IS THE PAYCHECK PROTECTION LOAN PROGRAM AND HOW CAN IT
HELP MY BUSINESS?

  • The following organizations could be eligible for a PPP loan:
  • Businesses with 500 or less employees
  • Meet the Small Business Administration's (SBA) size standard (certain industries may have a different employee cap number based on the SBA's Size Standards Chart on SBA.gov.)
  • Section 501(c)(3) qualifying nonprofit organizations
  • Sole proprietorships
  • Independent contractors
  • Self-employed individuals
  • Tribal business concerns and 501(c)(19) Veterans Organizations that meet the aforementioned SBA size standard
  • Accommodation and food services sector businesses, franchises with codes assigned by the SBA and businesses that receive financial assistance from one or more small business investment companies (SBIC) do not require SBA affiliation to be eligible

The main incentive of the PPP program is to provide incentives to the aforementioned employers above to maintain their employee counts and not send people to the unemployment line. The PPP accomplishes this by providing funds to cover a company's payroll (and other limited expenditures as outlined in the loan) for eight weeks. This enables temporarily closed businesses to be able to resume operations and prevent employees from relying on unemployment, if possible.

This is why companies with 500 or fewer employees should consider applying for this loan immediately. Assuming they use the proceeds for reasons that satisfy the CARES Act standards, it's essentially free money in the form of a loan that can very likely be forgiven. What are the risks or consequences to it? The risk is that you are not able to maintain full time equivalent (FTE) employment levels and use at least 75% of the loan for qualified payroll expenditures. However, with a two-year loan at 1 percent interest, assuming your business continues to operate and loan proceeds are used for payroll or other occupancy related costs, there aren't many consequence to the loan. Even if a portion of it becomes unforgiveable, the remaining loan is under very friendly terms.

PPPs -- BE PREPARED
Proper preparation for loan applications will help ensure businesses get approved for loans. Rudler has a checklist available on our website that we provide to all of our clients outlining the documentation they need to gather in preparation to go to their bank to apply for these loans. In many cases, we're having them provide us with those documents so we can calculate the amount of loan to request from their bank and help streamline the process. Once loans are secured, organizations will need to accumulate their normal documents -- bi-weekly or monthly payroll records, any invoices for health insurance premiums and retirement contributions, utility bills and mortgage statements (or an up to date copy of your lease) -- to be able to substantiate their claim for loan forgiveness at the end of eight weeks.

ADDITIONAL SUPPORT FOR BUSINESSES
While the PPP program is the centerpiece of the CARES Act, it is far from the only program that can have significant impact on small businesses currently suffering as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Under the CARES Act, Net Operating Losses (NOLs) incurred in the tax years for 2018-2020 could be carried back for five years. This could be huge for businesses with losses that may be able to be carried back to years prior to the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) of 2017 where their effective tax rates may have been higher than what they experience under the current law.

Likewise, the corrections to Qualified Improvement Property (QIP) for Non-Residential Properties -- which resets an error in the TCJA -- could have a great impact for local restaurants.

This provides organizations that have made improvements to their buildings or leaseholds with the possibility of deducting those expenses right away, rather than depreciating them over 39 years. A drafting error of the final TCJA law in 2017 made improvements take on the same life as the building. Now, companies should consider whether or not to go back and amend a 2018 or 2019 return they already filed to claim additional depreciation on these expenditures, or if they will file for a change in accounting method on a future return to catch this depreciation up.

PROFESSIONAL HELP IS AVAILABLE
Rudler has already helped nearly 150 clients in less than 2 weeks with these loans to secure nearly $50 million. Should you have any questions, don't hesitate to call us for help in securing the funds that have been made available to you.

Visit Rudler PSC's website.

Newport Approves Nearly $350K in Street, Park Improvements

A project to repair the tennis and basketball courts at Mussman Park on the campus of Newport High School is moving forward. (Img: Google)

NEWPORT, KY - Three streets and a park will be enhanced and repaired through nearly $350,000 in improvement projects unanimously approved by The Newport City Commission.




The city will spend $336,726.45 for the projects on Grandview Avenue, Fort Beech and Poplar Streets and the Mussman Park recreation complex, according to Newport Mayor Jerry Peluso.

"Infrastructure makes up the bones of a city, and the strength and condition of streets and parks are critical to the quality of life and to the continued economic progress and vitality of Newport," Mayor Peluso said. "I strongly believe that this ongoing work is crucial to both the current and future success of our great city."

Following are the projects funded by the City Commission;

Fort Beech Road and Poplar Street


The portion of Fort Beech Road that is in Newport was approved for repair in conjunction with the City of Southgate's work to rebuild the street. The project to correct pavement deterioration is anticipated to begin shortly and will be completed within the month by Eaton Asphalt.

Poplar Street west of Joyce Street is also scheduled to be milled and resurfaced in conjunction with the work on Fort Beech Road. This portion of the project will also begin soon and require approximately two days to complete. Eaton Asphalt was also selected for this project.



Grandview Avenue Stabilization Project


A portion of Grandview Avenue between Central Avenue and McHenry Street will soon be under construction to correct a slide. The work will be performed by Sherzinger Drilling and consist of the installation of drilled shafts and some wood lagging to support Grandview Avenue. The project is anticipated to begin within a month and take 30 to 60 days to complete. Road closures and parking restrictions are likely during this time. This work is a continuation of past projects to stabilize various sections of Grandview Avenue, which is located on a hillside and has been prone to sliding. Engineering work for this project began last year in preparation for this needed repair.

Mussman Park


A project to repair the tennis and basketball courts at the popular recreation complex on the campus of Newport High School was approved by the commission after a long process to determine the correct level of repairs needed to restore the facility. JK Meurer was selected to complete this work, which is scheduled to begin soon. The project is anticipated to last 30-60 days. Work consists of repairing cracked surfaces, resurfacing and seal coating. Work has been in the planning stages for years as the city awaited the necessary funds to complete this important project.

Newport City Manager Tom Fromme said the decision to fund the projects shows the City Commission's recognition that even as the community struggles with the restrictions and other difficulties of the COVID-19 virus, the important work of public improvements must go on.

"I want to thank the Board of Commissioners for their continuing commitment to maintain our infrastructure, especially during these difficult times," Fromme said.

Charges result after low-speed chase ends on N. Fort Thomas Avenue


A low-speed car chase that originated in Newport temporarily shut down N. Fort Thomas Avenue at the intersection of West Southgate Avenue and led to an arrest of one individual.

Try the "Fort Thomas Matters" burger. Available for carryout! 859-781-7666. 
Lieutenant Colonel Herschel Day of Newport Police said his officers were dispatched to the Speedway on 10th Street in Newport for an individual that was possibly intoxicated. When officers arrived, Jeffrey Rothert, 49 from Fort Thomas, pulled out and did not yield to officers' instructions to stop.

Lt. Col. Day said Rothert then led officers on a low-speed chase from Newport, into Bellevue and up Memorial Parkway into Fort Thomas. The Fort Thomas Police Department, with other agencies, assisted in the pursuit, which ended at around 1:00 p.m. when Rothert pulled his vehicle over.

Rothert was charged with DUI 1st aggravated, reckless driving and fleeing/evading police 2nd.

No one was hurt during the chase.





CVG to Participates in Music Festival with 22 North American Airports

Partnership with ArtsWave will feature local artist as part of virtual music event



Erlanger, KY (April 28, 2020) ― For one night only, more than a dozen airports across North America will come together for the JetStream Music Festival, an online celebration of local music. Hosted by Austin-Bergstrom International Airport from the "Live Music Capital of the World" in Austin, Texas, the free, multi-hour livestream will take place beginning at 6:00 p.m. EST on May 6.



Over 50 years experience in NKY. Call now, mention FTM. (859) 287-2499


The Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport (CVG) will participate through its partnership with ArtsWave, the engine behind Greater Cincinnati's arts. Local musicians will represent each participating airport's community.

Austin-Bergstrom International Airport (AUS) -- host 
Albuquerque International Airport (ABQ)
Asheville Regional Airport (AVL)
Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport (CVG)
Dallas Love Field Airport (DAL)
Evansville Regional Airport (EVV)
Fort Lauderdale Hollywood International Airport (FLL)
Fresno Yosemite International Airport (FAT)
Jacksonville International Airport (JAX)
John Glenn Columbus International Airport (CMH)
John Wayne Airport (SNA)
Lehigh Valley International Airport (ABE)
Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport (MSY)
Milwaukee Mitchell International Airport (MKE)
Minneapolis-Saint Paul International Airport (MSP)
Philadelphia International Airport (PHL)
Pittsburgh International Airport (PIT)
Portland International Airport (PDX)
San Diego International Airport (SAN)
Savannah/Hilton Head International Airport (SAV)
Seattle-Tacoma International Airport (SEA)
Toronto Pearson International Airport (YYZ)
Yeager Airport (CRW)

"For so many airports across North America, live music entertainment in the terminal has become a fun way to delight and engage passengers," said ACI-NA President and CEO Kevin M. Burke.

"Despite the sudden and significant drop in passenger traffic at North America's airports because of the coronavirus health pandemic, this effort by Austin-Bergstrom International Airport and many other North American airports provides a unique opportunity to connect with their passengers. We look forward to hearing these musicians again in airport terminals soon."

The lineup features a diverse range of acts, representing each city's unique music culture. The full lineup for the Festival will be released later this week. Austin's Latin pop songstress, Gina Chavez, will perform and host the event.




"CVG is proud to support local arts," said Candace McGraw, CEO of CVG. "Through our partnership with ArtsWave, we regularly bring local musicians to the airport to showcase our region's talent. At a time when few are traveling, the airport will once again connect our region to the world through this unique, virtual music festival."

Festival viewers will be able to tip musicians throughout the performance and learn about organizations assisting the communities in each city. Viewers can also join in the celebration using the hashtag #JetStreamFest.

For more information--including how to tune in--visit CVG's Facebook page at www.facebook.com/CVGairport.

The livestream will be produced by Streak Systems, a tech concierge focused on creating and maintaining technology systems at home, work and live events.

Tuesday, April 28, 2020

Governor Andy Beshear lists six new deaths in Northern Kentucky


A day that saw Northern Kentucky hit hard win terms of positive cases and deaths with four deaths in Kenton County and two in Campbell County, Governor Andy Beshear said that he will tell us more about which businesses are allowed to reopen tomorrow.

"Decisions on reopening can be decisions of life or death," said Gov. Beshear. "None of us have ever done it before. We have hope. There is light at the end of the tunnel but it's going to take us a while to get there."

Beshear said that even as we loosen social restrictions in May, there may need to be healthy at home practices as much as possible. Beshear talked more about the strong request to utilize masks in Kentucky.

"No one is going to be penalized for not wearing a mask, but isn't this our responsibility to help out our neighbors?" asked Beshear.

Businesses will be required to wear masks when forward-facing to public and when there is opportunity for gathering.

"These are all things that are going to apply to every form of business. It is a total change in concept of how you run something."

He outlined the 10 rules for being Healthy at Work:

1. Telework as possible
2. Phased return to work
3. Onsite temp/health checks
4. Universal masks + other PPE
5. No common areas
6. Social distancing
7. Limit face-to-face meeting
8. Sanitizer/handwash stations
9. Special accommodations
10. Testing plan

More information on that initiative: https://govstatus.egov.com/ky-healthy-at-work

More information: 

14 drive-thru testing locations, however none currently in Northern Kentucky. 

> NEW CASES: 230, 87 yesterday 
TOTAL NEW CASES IN KY: 4,375)

- 4 in Campbell Co.
- 17 in Kenton Co. 
- 9 in Boone Co.
- 2 in Grant Co. 

4 deaths from Kenton and 2 deaths from Campbell Co. 

Two Highlands Students Killed, Two Others Injured in Overnight Car Wreck

Fort Thomas Mourns the Loss of Two Students Killed, Two Others Injured in Overnight Car Accident



The following is a press release from Highlands High School:


We are devastated to pass along the news that two Highlands High School students died in a car accident shortly after 1am on April 28, 2020 in Northern Kentucky. A third Highlands High School student was also injured, and a fourth passenger in the car also suffered injuries in the overnight crash.

The Fort Thomas Independent Schools extends its deepest condolences to the families of Austin Davis and David Luckett. Davis, a junior at Highlands and Luckett, a freshman, lost their lives in the crash on Route 8 in Mentor, Kentucky.

“I am absolutely heartbroken this morning and I know that our school community is as well,” said Dr. Karen Cheser, Superintendent of the Fort Thomas Independent Schools. “To lose young men with their whole lives ahead of them is just a horrible tragedy. Our thoughts and prayers are with their friends and families, and also with the two people still in the hospital and their loved ones.”

David Luckett, Freshman at Highlands High School.
Emergency personnel airlifted two surviving passengers to the hospital. One is currently a student at Highlands High School and is expected to recover. The second used to be a student in the school district and currently lives in Fort Thomas.

“Learning that we have lost students in our Highlands High School family is just devastating,” said Matthew Bertasso, the principal at Highlands High School. “I will miss seeing Austin and David at school and in our community. And I certainly hope that the two people in the hospital can recover fully.”
David Luckett, Freshman at Highlands High School.

=====

Additional Information:

Austin Davis' family was recently impacted by a house fire that destroyed their home on Woodside Place.


In Other Words: Of Bees And The Ripple Effect


By Chuck Keller

We have all made this observation. We don’t often stop to think about the consequences of our actions.

We recently lost all of the bees in two hives. That’s about 25,000 bees. These were healthy happy hives and we expected to harvest honey this year. We lost a few years and hundreds of dollars. We lost them to someone in the area over-spraying chemicals.





Now I imagine that the person who sprayed never thought that their actions would have such severe consequences beyond their property boundaries and, no doubt, they would probably feel horrible about it.

In fact, most of us don’t think about the consequences of our actions. Someone in the neighborhood used a service to treat their lawn. Shortly afterwards, their puppy died from the chemicals used to keep that lawn a lush green.

At one point back in 1896 someone thought that planting the Amur honeysuckle was a good idea to prevent soil erosion and as an ornamental. They never thought that it would choke out native plants and become such a widespread nuisance.


We know about the ripple effect but we don’t often think about the effect that the stone has as it sinks through the water and hits bottom. The effects of our actions run wide and deep. But our vision is so often short sighted that we don’t or can’t see the long term effects. I mean, that’s how the Dust Bowl happened. People didn’t think about the consequences of certain farming techniques to increase yield that transformed the land.

Homeowners, gardeners, and lawn businesses use Round-Up to kill weeds or invasive plants. There was, of course, a huge class action lawsuit that showed that Round Up causes cancer in people. People got sick and others died. It’s just a simple spray and it kills what we consider weeds or unwanted growth. If it were bad it wouldn’t be sold, right?

And then there are the PFAS and PFOS chemicals used to create Teflon to coat pans or skillets and for military uses as well.  It causes cancer too. And that chemical never breaks down. That’s why it’s called a forever chemical and scientists believe that every body on the planet has these chemicals in their bodies to some degree. It is in the water and now treatment centers are scrambling to scrub it and other forever chemicals from our drinking water. NKY has about 11 parts per trillion in our water, but nonetheless someone upstream created a problem for us downstream.




And I see a similar behavior regarding the coronavirus. Some people in the neighborhood had a house party recently. They weren’t thinking of others or the effect that a gathering like that could cause. The ripples run wide and deep.

We often live thoughtless, self-centered lives and we don't intend to hurt others. I mourn the loss of our bees. We can replace them but we cannot fix the inconsiderate behavior that may cause future damage. I don’t want my behavior to cause problems for others but I certainly don’t want to suffer as a result of someone else’s lack of judgment. John Muir wrote that “When one tugs at a single thing in nature, he finds it attached to the rest of the world.”

Because what happens to one of us happens to all of us.


Monday, April 27, 2020

Gov. Beshear details blueprint for gradual reopening of Kentucky economy, healthcare facilities



Governor Andy Beshear and Dr. Steven Stack, commissioner for the Department for Public Health talked about easing restrictions and what it would look like to begin reopening Kentucky's economy and noted that 87 positive tests indicate a likely plateau and possible decline.

"This is good news today but that may be affected by when we get these testing results in. This is one of the lower numbers we've had but can't read too much into that and will need to look at averages.

We have likely plateaued and may be heading toward a decline," said Beshear.

Gov. Beshear says by May 11, they'll be asking everyone to wear masks and wants people to wear them to the grocery store or other places you go out.

"You don't need to wear it if you go on a run or walk by yourself," said Beshear. "It's going to look strange and it's probably uncomfortable, but I just want you to know this is another small sacrifice we can make," Beshear said.

He said people will not need an N95 or a surgical mask, just need a cloth mask.

Beshear said individuals will not be cited but for businesses, it will be mandatory and failure to comply could lead to a shut down. Additionally he said that forward-facing businesses will have the ability to not serve people that choose not to wear a mask.

"If you're not doing your part, you're that person that's spreading the Coronavirus," said Beshear.

He said that bars, restaurants and clubs may not reopen completely until June.

Dr. Stack talked about a phase-in for health care practitioners and facilities and said stage two of the healthcare opening starts May 6.

It would allow invasive procedures and all patients that would undergo surgery will have to be tested for COVID-19 before their procedure.

Stack says every hospital would have to have 14 days worth of PPE on hand.

Phase 3 of the healthcare plan, which begins May 13, hospitals will be allowed to have 50 percent of their surgery volume before COVID.

Phase 4, which begins May 27, will allow hospitals to determine their own capacity while keeping in mind the need for beds in case of surge.

MONDAY 4/27/20 - UPDATE from Governor Beshear:

Sanitation District Updates Stormwater Projects Along Waterworks Road and Miami Parkway


A related current SD1 project in Fort Thomas, which runs from the corner of S. Grand Avenue and Tremont, through to Madonna Place and Kathy Lane.

The following is an update on several stormwater projects coming up in Fort Thomas;

Waterworks Road

Sanitation District No. 1 is starting to break ground this week on the first phase of a stormwater and wastewater project along Waterworks Road in Ft. Thomas to alleviate flooding and eliminate sanitary sewer overflows (SSOs) and combined sewer overflows (CSOs).



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During heavy rainfall, the storm sewer system in the area can become overwhelmed by excess stormwater, resulting in flooding between Taylor Avenue and Memorial Parkway.

At a cost of just over $3 million, Phase I of the project includes increasing the size of stormwater and wastewater pipes starting near the intersection of Waterworks Road and Memorial Parkway, proceeding down Waterworks Road to the Ft. Thomas/Newport city line near London Acres Drive. The work will be completed by Smith & Brown Contractors, Inc., of Harrison, Ohio, and is expected to continue through fall 2021.



Later phases of the project will include installation of a Taylor Creek Equalization (EQ) Tank to eliminate sewer overflows in the city as part of SD1's Clean H2O40 program to meet sewer overflow mitigation requirements under an amended federal consent decree.

The Waterworks Road project is SD1's highest priority sanitary sewer project because it eliminates SSOs near the Northern Kentucky Water District's reservoir, allows for cost savings through coordination with a necessary stormwater project in the area, and addresses failing infrastructure needs.

Under the terms of its amended consent decree with the Commonwealth of Kentucky and the US Environmental Protection Agency, SD1 must completely eliminate all typical-year SSOs by the year 2040. The system experiences about 115 million gallons of SSOs in a typical year. The agreement also requires SD1 to recapture at least 85 percent of CSOs by 2040.

During construction, vehicle and foot traffic on Waterworks Road may be restricted. Detour signs will be posted. By combining a sanitary sewer project and stormwater project, SD1 is also making every effort to minimize disturbances to surrounding homes, businesses and motorists.

Miami Parkway Sanitary Sewer Replacement Project

Beginning this Spring, SD1 will be replacing a sanitary sewer line that is failing due to a landslide behind several houses along Miami Parkway, ensuring wastewater flushed and drained from nearby homes continues to be safely conveyed to a treatment plant for cleaning. The majority of construction will take place on private property, but minor traffic delays may occur.

This project should be completed by Fall 2020.

Secretary of State Releases Plan for June 23 Primary Election

Secretary of State Adams Offers Details on Plan for June 23 Election

Key points have been released in regards to the Kentucky Primary in June.


FRANKFORT, Ky. (April 24, 2020) – Secretary of State Michael Adams is proud to offer details of his agreement with Governor Andy Beshear on the methods of voting to be used in the June 23 primary election.




“This plan fulfills my promise to make it easy to vote and hard to cheat,” said Adams. “Through expanding absentee voting – with appropriate safeguards – limiting the number of polling sites, and adopting in-person voting methods that limit personal contact, we prevent Mother Nature from disenfranchising Kentucky voters, while we also protect the lives of both our voters and our poll workers.”

“This plan is not vote-by-mail, West Coast-style,” Adams continued. “This plan has ballot integrity built in, and for the first time in a decade cleans up our voter rolls, a signal accomplishment.”

Here are the plan’s key points:

1. The “medical emergency” basis under current law for absentee voting will include “a reasonable fear of infection or transmission during a state of public health emergency declared by the Governor,” and the current requirement for a “medical emergency” absentee voter to notarize an application to vote absentee will be waived.

2. In-person early voting will be made available by June 8 and run through June 23. Voting practices will be conducted consistent with Centers for Disease Control guidance, with materials available for proper sanitization. Expanding the number of election days will help county clerks keep polling lines manageable. Voting methods will limit direct contact between individuals.

3. County clerks are permitted to significantly reduce the number of sites for in-person voting on election day, June 23, and are encouraged to use vote centers and to consolidate precincts. Voting practices will be conducted consistent with Centers for Disease Control guidance, with materials available for proper sanitization, and will limit direct contact between individuals.

4. The state will notify each registered voter by mail of the options to vote absentee.

5. The state will establish a secure online portal for the request of an absentee ballot by a registered voter, which will require the voter to prove identity with personally identifiable information. Voters may also use traditional methods to request an absentee ballot. Expanding the ease of obtaining a mail-in ballot will increase voter convenience and help county clerks keep polling lines manageable.




6. The state will establish a process for tracking absentee ballots requested, sent, and received.

7. Processing and counting of ballots may begin as soon as June 1, with counting to be completed by June 30. No results will be announced before 6:00 p.m. on June 23.

8. County clerks will match the signature on an absentee ballot envelope to the voter’s signature of record. Voters whose signatures do not match will be provided an opportunity to cure the mismatch.

9. In order to more expeditiously clean up its voter rolls, the state will proactively contact registered voters who have moved out-of-state in an effort to obtain permission to remove them from the rolls.

Secretary Adams reminds voters that the new Photo ID law will not yet be in effect for the June 23 elections.

The Secretary of State’s Office will release more details soon. A copy of the Secretary’s recommendation to Governor Beshear can be viewed here.

Follow the Secretary of State on Twitter: @kysecstate and Facebook: facebook.com/kysecstate for timely updates.

Nine Highlands Students Accepted to Governor’s Scholars Program






Nine Highlands High juniors have been accepted to attend the 2020 Kentucky Governor's Scholars Program. 
(FTM file photo) 


By Robin Gee

A total of nine Highlands High School juniors have been accepted into the Kentucky Governor’s Scholars Program for 2020. Students are nominated by their schools for academic achievement as well as extracurricular activities. Overall, the program seeks applicants that show well-rounded promise for their senior year.



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This year’s students are Kayla Bolling, Alexandra Crawford, Peter Laskey, Corina Mills, Sarah Redden, Ellen Rowland, Julianna Russ, Margaret Stieby, and Ethan Stuart.

Applications are competitive. In addition to information on academics and activities, students must also submit an original essay. The program accepts only half of the 2,000 applications received each year from across the state.

The program normally runs for five weeks over the summer with students divided among three college campuses —Bellarmine University in Louisville, Centre College in Danville and Morehead State University. In years past, Highlands students were split up with one-third going to each institution.

Plans continue for 2020 as organizers monitor health and safety guidelines


At this time, organizers say the Governor’s Scholars Program is scheduled to proceed as planned, but they are monitoring the situation. The time frame being considered is the last few days of June and the month of July.


In a memo issued this week, Executive Director Aristofanes Cedeño said, "The circumstances facing our world and the uncertainty of the foreseeable future force us to diligently work with our host campuses and staff to create a plan to convene the 2020 class prioritizing our first area of concern every year, the safety and well-being of our scholars. At this time, we are planning on a summer program taking place, with potential dates slightly different from those originally announced and considering the possibility of shortening the originally planned five weeks."

He noted more information will be made available soon and for participants to check the program’s website often.

RELATED: Highlands High Students Share Experiences as Governor’s Scholars, Entrepreneurs and Artists

Friday, April 24, 2020

Gov. Andy Beshear announces highest single amount of new positive cases of Covid-19


Today Governor Andy Beshear announced the single highest number of positive cases of Covid-19 to date, listing 322 cases statewide and nine new deaths.

There have now been 200 recorded deaths.

"That's far less that we would have thought to date, but that still far too many," said Gov. Beshear. "We still believe we are in the plateau stage, but this virus is present and deadly and we have to be committed. We are not on the decline."

FRIDAY 4/20/20 - UPDATE from Governor Beshear:

> NEW CASES: 322 (Total number in Ky: 3,779)

"We are testing more, but this is a large number of new positive cases. "

Beshear said that there will be 11 drive-through testing locations across the state that are open. Those locations open next week are: Lexington (2 locations), Louisville (2 locations), Bowling Green, Owensboro, Cadiz, Mt. Vernon, Hazard, Murray and Hopkinsville.

- 4 in Campbell Co.
- 10 in Kenton Co.
- 4 in Boone Co.

- Over 44,962 tests completed to date in Kentucky
- Total patients who have been hospitalized: 1,043
- Total Patients Currently in Hospital: 303
- Total Patients admitted to ICU: 575
- Still Currently in ICU: 164
- Recovered Patients: 1,341

>DEATHS: 9 (Total Death Toll: 200)

Absentee Voting for June Primary

Secretary of State Michael Adams was also present at the press conference to offer details of his agreement with Governor Beshear on the methods of voting to be used in the June 23 primary election.

“This plan is not vote-by-mail,” Sec. Adams said. “This plan has ballot integrity built in, and for the first time in a decade cleans up our voter rolls, a signal accomplishment.”

Here are the plan’s key points:

1.  The “medical emergency” basis under current law for absentee voting will include “a reasonable fear of infection or transmission during a state of public health emergency declared by the Governor,” and the current requirement for a “medical emergency” absentee voter  to notarize an application to vote absentee will be waived.

2.   In-person early voting will be made available by June 8 and run through June 23. Voting practices will be conducted consistent with Centers for Disease Control guidance, with materials available for proper sanitization. Expanding the number of election days will help county clerks keep polling lines manageable. Voting methods will limit direct contact between individuals.

3.  County clerks are permitted to significantly reduce the number of sites for in-person voting on election day, June 23, and are encouraged to use vote centers and to consolidate precincts. Voting practices will be conducted consistent with Centers for Disease Control  guidance, with materials available for proper sanitization, and will limit direct contact between individuals.

4.  The state will notify each registered voter by mail of the options to vote absentee.

5.  The state will establish a secure online portal for the request of an absentee ballot by a registered voter, which will require the voter to prove identity with personally identifiable information. Voters may also use traditional methods to request an absentee ballot. Expanding  the ease of obtaining a mail-in ballot will increase voter convenience and help county clerks keep polling lines manageable.

6.  The state will establish a process for tracking absentee ballots requested, sent, and received.

7.  Processing and counting of ballots may begin as soon as June 1, with counting to be completed by June 30. No results will be announced before 6:00 p.m. on June 23.

8.  County clerks will match the signature on an absentee ballot envelope to the voter’s signature of record. Voters whose signatures do not match will be provided an opportunity to cure the mismatch.

9. In order to more expeditiously clean up its voter rolls, the state will proactively contact registered voters who have moved out-of-state in an effort to obtain permission to remove them from the rolls.

The Secretary reminded voters that the new Photo ID law will not yet be in effect for the June 23 elections.

Other updates: