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Friday, July 31, 2020

2020 Highlands Bluebirds Girls Golf Preview

Highlands junior KJ Toole (left) and senior Ellie Rowland (right) qualified for the state golf tournament last year. (Img: Provided)

By G. Michael Graham

Senior Ellie Rowland and junior KJ Toole made it to the girls state golf tournament in Bowling Green for the Highlands Bluebirds last year.

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They may not have qualified for the second day of the tournament. But they'd like to go back this season if not take some more teammates.

"I've told the other girls about how it was such a great experience to be able to play with such advanced competition more so than what we see up here and how it builds your mental toughness," Rowland said. "It improves your ability to play in different situations."

Tallant Music Studio in Fort Thomas Receives NKY Small Business Recovery Grant

Fort Thomas business owner and music instructor Caileen Tallant opened her new music studio in July.
(Img: FTM File)

Editor's Note:

A Fort Thomas business owner is one of the 17 recipients of this grant. Former Slater Music Academy Instructor Caileen Tallant opened Tallant Music Studio in the former "NKY Framed" location in the Central Business District in July. 

Read more about Tallant Music Studio here.


Seventeen local, minority-, women- and veteran-owned businesses are receiving assistance as they continue their path to economic recovery as a result of a partnership between the Northern Kentucky Chamber of Commerce Foundation (NKY Chamber) and Duke Energy Foundation.

More than 160 businesses applied for the NKY Small Business Recovery Grants for Minority-, Women- and Veteran-Owned businesses, which focused on providing aid to businesses that have been adversely affected by COVID-19. Seventeen businesses were selected for grants of various amounts totaling $70,000 as part of the initiative.

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“We’ve continued to hear from our small business customers that they are having the hardest time trying to get funding to not only stay afloat, but to keep their doors open,” said Amy Spiller, president of Duke Energy Ohio and Kentucky. “This is a way for us to have a direct impact on a critical customer segment.”

The businesses receiving grants are:

Around the Clock Childcare, LLC. (Kenton Co.)
Asmi LLC (Boone Co.)
Becca’s Body Sculpting Studio (Kenton Co.)
D.A.D.S. Bobcat Service (Pendleton Co.)
First Achievements, PLLC (Boone Co.)
Grainwell (Kenton Co.)
Head 2 Toe Salon NKY (Kenton Co.)
Kradle to Krayons Childcare Learning Center (Campbell Co.)
OKOTA, LLC (Boone Co.)
Sage Yoga Co. (Kenton Co.)
Small World Child Development Center (Pendleton Co.)
Susan’s Salon & Spa (Campbell Co.)
Tallant Music Studio, LLC. (Campbell Co.)
Tracy Nicole Brand (Boone Co)
T&C Operating, LLC (Campbell Co.)
Wiseman Crossing Designs (Boone Co.)
Yankee Doodle Deli (Kenton Co.)

The program was open to qualifying businesses with 50 employees or less that are Duke Energy customers in Boone, Bracken, Campbell, Gallatin, Grant, Kenton and Pendleton counties. Applications were reviewed by a diverse panel of judges comprised of business and community leaders from a variety of industries, partner organizations and Duke Energy representatives.

Managing Director of GROW NKY and Vice President of Workforce at the NKY Chamber Leisa Mulcahy says the grants will provide substantial help across several industries most affected by necessary measures implemented to flatten the pandemic’s curve.

“As we continue to move forward with the re-opening of the economy, it is important we make sure we are providing resources for all the businesses we support – especially those that run the risk of being underserved,” said Mulcahy. “With the generous support of the Duke Energy Foundation, this grant will ensure that every partner in our business community will have an opportunity to survive and thrive.”

NKU Graphic Design Ranks Number One for 2020 Top Kentucky Graphic Design Programs

NKU Graphic Design program ranks #1 for 2020 Top KY Graphic Design Programs.
Northern Kentucky University’s Graphic Design program leads the Commonwealth, according to Animation Career Review.

Housed in the School of the Arts, the program ranks first on the 2020 Top Kentucky Graphic Design Programs list. Animation Career Review, a free online resource for students aspiring for design-related careers, evaluated each program’s graduation rates and employment data, reputation and overall value to compile its list.

“Students in (NKU’s) visual communication design programs have access to labs and studio spaces with the latest versions of industry-standard software, including high-quality input and output devices,” stated Animation Career Review. “A letterpress facility honors historical processes where students can work out ideas for artist bookmaking, design and printmaking.”

The visual communication design (VCD) tracks at NKU are designed to develop each student as a creative, visual communicator. The program holds a variety of innovative experiences to support student’s strengths and interests while developing their style and career goals.

Recent VCD awards and accomplishments:
• VCD faculty are commissioned by regional and national organizations for their design work, which have included Bacardi, BLINK Festival, City of Covington, Häagen-Dazs, KnowledgeWorks, Kraft, NASA, P&G, Prudential, Takeda Pharmaceuticals and UC Medical. Their work has been published in prestigious, juried, industry venues, such as Communication Arts, Creative Quarterly, Graphis, How Magazine, International Visual Identity Awards, Print’s Regional Design Annual, Rockport Publishers and Uppercase Magazine.

• VCD students regularly win awards at the annual Cincinnati ADDYs competition, including many Best of Show winners that have moved on to their national competition. They have also earned numerous, competitive, externally-funded scholarships and place in regional competitions such as Summerfair.

• Evangeline Bauerle (BFA 2006) was recently published on The Die Line for her design work on the Midol re-brand. The Die Line is a world-renowned package design blog and competition site. The project was also highlighted in Ad Week.

• Scott Dierna’s (BFA 2017) BFA senior capstone project, “Bramere italian Bakery,” was published in the Print Regional Design Annual in 2018.

• Lizzy (Achten) Dye (BFA 2012), was recently promoted to Design Director at Landor, Cincinnati.

Cincinnati Cancels Riverfest for 2020 Due to Covid-19 Concerns

Mayor Cranley announced on Friday that Riverfest would not move forward this year.

By Jessie Eden

Cincinnati Mayor John Cranley announced Friday morning during his daily press conference that Riverfest will not move forward this year. The annual event, presented by Western and Southern and WEBN, has been completely cancelled on the Cincinnati side of the river.

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"I think this is fairly obvious but we want to be explicit, and it's sad, but given the history of this city with this year has been unfortunately a year to not do a lot of great traditions, that we will not be having a Riverfest this year in Cincinnati," said Mayor Cranley. "We will not be permitting any gathering activities - beer sales, fireworks, gatherings on the river. The wonderful tradition of the fireworks will have to wait until 2021. It's inconceivable that we would feel comfortable have that kind of a large gathering on the river despite the fact that our numbers are getting better. No one thinks that it will be that great by then or that we'll have a vaccine by then."

In July, the City of Newport withdrew from the event citing Covid-19 concerns as well. In a statement, the city said; "The COVID-19 Outbreak has caused a number of notable events in the City to be cancelled. Based on current restrictions and other logistical issues the City has decided not to participate in Riverfest 2020 and will not issue any associated City permits or licenses."

A final decision on the annual event had not yet been made at that time.

You can view Mayor Cranley's press conference here. 

(Mayor Cranley discusses Riverfest at 16:00)

Kampuchea Kitchen to Open This Friday

By Jessie Eden

In March, FTM brought you information on a new restaurant opening in the Midway District between Kaleidoscope Dance and The Olde Fort Pub called Kampuchea Kitchen.

Barre3 Ft. Thomas, Located at 90 Alexandria Pike

Due to Covid-19, the restaurant delayed its opening in April...but owner Thearvy Long is now officially kicking things off this Friday at 4:30 p.m.

The concept is a Cambodian bistro featuring Pho (pronounced "Fuh"). Pho is a type of soup, typically made from beef stock and spices with noodles, thinly sliced beef or chicken.

The new bistro will be open Tuesday through Friday from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. and Saturdays from 12 p.m. to 9 p.m.

Kampuchea Kitchen, located at 1045 S. Fort Thomas, will be closed on Sundays and Mondays.

Check out the menu here:

Thursday, July 30, 2020

Covid-19 Update for July 30 from Governor Beshear

Covid-19 Update for July 30 from Governor Beshear.

By Jessie Eden

Governor Beshear provided his daily Covid-19 update on Thursday afternoon. The following information was released;

 659 (Total Cases: 29,386 )

NEW CASES PER COUNTY:- Campbell County: 8 (Total: 483 )
- Kenton County: 13 (Total: 1,252 )
- Boone County: 8 (Total: 965 )

CASES IN CHILDREN:- 22 cases in kids under 5 years of age

 7 (Total Deaths: 731 )
- No deaths in NKY

TESTING / HOSPITALIZATIONS: - Total Tests Completed in KY: 621,206
- Ever Hospitalized: 3,304
- Hospitalized currently: 587
- Ever in ICU: 1,133
- In ICU currently: 110
- Recovered Patients: 7,590


Below is the official press release:


Gov. Andy Beshear on Thursday updated Kentuckians on the state’s continuing efforts to fight the novel coronavirus 2019 (COVID-19).

Visit the Governor’s Facebook page to watch today’s news conference

Gov. Andy Beshear on Thursday updated Kentuckians on the state’s continuing efforts to fight the novel coronavirus 2019 (COVID-19).

“Remember, we as a commonwealth, as a country and as planet Earth are in this war against this 1-in-100-year pandemic,” said Gov. Beshear. “It means we’ve got to show up every day to protect the health and lives of those around us, protect our economy and do everything we can to get our kids back in school.”

Case InformationAs of 4 p.m. July 30, Gov. Beshear said there were at least 29,386 coronavirus cases in Kentucky, 659 of which were newly reported Thursday. Twenty-two of the newly reported cases were from children ages 5 and younger.

“Our cases are a little up from yesterday, but our positivity rate is down because we’ve had more tests,” said Gov. Beshear. “Once we get the virus under control, we have to keep it under control. We can’t stop. We can’t let up. Until we have that vaccine, we’ve got to do what it takes.”

Unfortunately, Gov. Beshear reported seven new deaths Thursday, raising the total to 731 Kentuckians lost to the virus.

The deaths reported Thursday include a 75-year-old man from Casey County; a 65-year-old man from Christian County; a 92-year-old woman from Green County; an 82-year-old man from Greenup County; an 81-year-old woman from Ohio County; a 63-year-old woman from Simpson County; and a 70-year-old woman from Warren County.

“More and more people in their sixties,” said Gov. Beshear. “We know we are in this battle – and that now is a critical time to fight.”

As of Thursday, there have been at least 621,206 coronavirus tests performed in Kentucky. The positivity rate currently stands at 5.66%. At least 7,590 Kentuckians have recovered from the virus.

For additional information, including up-to-date lists of positive cases and deaths, as well as breakdowns of coronavirus infections by county, race and ethnicity, click here.

Contact Tracing UpdateToday, Mark Carter, executive policy advisor at the Cabinet for Health and Family Services, updated Kentuckians on contact tracing and tracking across the commonwealth, an effort that Carter leads.

There are now 631 contact tracers in Kentucky and 63 more will be added Aug. 4. In addition, there are 190 disease investigators, 54 regional team members and 11 social support connectors.

He announced that the program has already seen notable successes. In addition to their work preventing COVID-19 from spreading, contact tracers are able to offer reassurance, help monitor symptoms and connect Kentuckians to food and medical support during quarantine and isolation. Also, local health departments report that many residents are well-prepared and take the time to write down their contacts before they are contacted by contact tracers.

“Overwhelmingly once the health department is able to reach people, they are being cooperative. They want to protect their health, they want to protect their loved ones,” said Carter.

Carter said his team’s greatest challenge is that some residents still do not understand the seriousness of COVID-19. People believe they do not have the disease and refuse to name their contacts, contributing to more positive cases and the loss of information.

“I feel like the progress is good, we’re in good shape. But we all worry about what might happen with the spread of the virus and what it might mean for our public health response,” said Carter.

COVID-19 Long-Term Side Effects Update
Today, Dr. Steven Stack, commissioner of the Department for Public Health, provided an update on the known long-term side effects of COVID-19.

“People in high-risk categories are relying on the rest of us to behave responsibly,” said Dr. Stack. “I may not be at high-risk, but other people are and I have an obligation to not recklessly endanger them.”

In children, COVID-19 can cause multisystem inflammatory disorder, rashes, vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal pain, low blood pressure, shock and heart damage.

In young adults, COVID-19 can cause blood clotting disorders, including strokes and pulmonary embolisms. One in five young adults still have symptoms 14 to 21 days after being diagnosed with COVID-19. In severe cases, recovery can take six weeks or more.

Adults 50 years old or older are twice as likely as young adults to have symptoms 14 to 21 days after diagnosis.

Finally, COVID-19 survivors of any age may have long-term, irreversible lung damage.

Dr. Stack emphasized that some side effects of this new virus may still be unknown, and its side effects that we already know about highlight why our fight against COVID-19 is so important.

“There’s a lot we don’t know, and so I’m not trying to fear-monger, I’m just trying to tell you, there’s a lot we don’t know,” said Dr. Stack.

More InformationRead about other key updates, actions and information from Gov. Beshear and his administration at, and the Governor’s official social media accounts Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.

Kentuckians can also access translated COVID-19 information and daily summaries of the Governor’s news conference at

Wreck on SB I-471

Heads up - there is a crash on I-471 just before I-275.

UPDATE 3:45 p.m.
The crash has been cleared.


By Jessie Eden

According to, there is currently a crash in Kentucky on Southbound I-471 before I-275. I-471 South is closed at US-27.

Stop searching, start finding.

Motorists should use an alternate route. FTM will provide more details as they become available. 

Two HMS Students Launch Mask Campaign for Returning to School

HMS students Kate and Fiona prepare for their latest video as a part of a new social media campaign geared towards mask use. (Img: FTM File)

By Jessie Eden

Two Highlands Middle School students have crated a special mask campaign to help engage with students preparing to return to school this Fall.

Start searching today!

Through a series of Youtube videos, Instagram Stories and TicTok posts, students Kate Fausz and Fiona McIntosh will debut the creative campaign they've been working on at Launch for the past week or so.

"We are so proud of Kate and Fiona for actively engaging their peers on this campaign," said Dr. Karen Cheser, Superintendent of Fort Thomas Independent Schools. "They proactively scheduled a meeting with me and had done a lot of preparation and research. It was very impressive to see them demonstrate Courageous Leadership and Creative Problem Solving, which are two characteristics of our District's Portrait of a Graduate."

The social media campaign consists of three topics;

- How to make masks comfortable

- Mask Walkthrough - Where to buy them, a scoring guide consisting of ratings on the following; Style, Cost, Performance, Ventilation and Guidelines.

- Mask Fashion Show - Families will be invited to pick a theme and show off their masks with the chance to win a special prize

On Friday, Fort Thomas Independent Schools announced that students could return to school, in-person, five days a week starting on August 26. There is also an option for students to do non-traditional instruction (although it will be different than in the Spring).

A graphic from the mask campaign created by Kate and Fiona.
(Img: Provided)

In a short interview with Kate & Fiona, they explained how the idea started to come together. Check out our Q & A below!

Where did this idea come from?

We got the idea for the social media campaign when we noticed that there was a lack of information about aspects of school re-opening that is easily understood and readable by all age levels of students and a lack of information to make masks more comfortable, where to buy them, and etc. 

By creating these social media pages, we can house all of this information on a place where most students visit multiple times during the day (Instagram) and we can easily spread this information, we thought it would be the perfect way for the district to put and spread information and engage the youth and community.

I saw the outline of your video campaign. How did you think of each topic for each video?

Making Masks Comfortable- One of first very ideas we had thought of was a video on making masks comfortable. After constantly complaining to each other and friends about how itchy, irritating, hot, uncomfortable masks were, we decided we should research ways to make them more pleasant and comfortable and create a video about them. 

Mask Walk-through- We sent out an anonymous google survey to about 20 friends and family members in school with questions such as "Do you have access to multiple masks?" and "Do you know multiple places to purchase masks?" most of the responses were I only have 1-2 and I only know one place. We quickly realized this was a problem and we came up with the idea to do a "walk-through" through 3 different popular stores and show exactly where the masks are found and the different types available. Ultimately, we knew this wasn't enough and decided to purchase one mask from every store and judge it by factors such as style, performance, cost, ventilation, and if it met CDC guidelines. 

Mask Fashion Show- One of the big things we both wanted to be the focus of this whole project is unifying the youth and community, we knew that social media pages definitely help, but everything is more fun when there is a competition. After putting our ideas together, we came up with the FTIS fashion show. This will be a week long competition where families can choose between 1 of 3 themes (tbd) and have their entire family take pictures or videos of walking down the run way and showing their themed outfit and matching mask to pair. 

What do you hope fellow students will understand from this campaign?

"The hope for all of this is for students to just understand everything that students should be expected to know such as mask protocol in a way that all students no matter age, reading level, etc. can understand. But we also want to stress the importance of comfort, that's been a big word the whole time, we want all students to have access to making everything from mask wearing, to finding ways to not be anxious, and more." 

Which part of the project are you most interested in or excited about?

"I think that we are both most excited to finally see the end result, see the posts we planned on making, watch the videos, and hear the feedback from other students and the community." 

"What I am most looking forward to when going back to school is getting to meet new teachers and socialize! (Even if it will have to be 6ft away from each other) I am hoping these videos and all the work we are doing will be able to get the attention of the community to where masks! I am also hoping that these videos will get people to understand how masks do not have to be uncomfortable!"
Anything else you'd like to add about the project?

"We are planning on having much more than just videos, look out for dances about washing hands, songs, and more!"

2020 Highlands Bluebirds Boys Golf Preview

Bluebirds Loaded with Experience

Highlands returns three golfers with at least two years of experience playing in region tournaments. Seniors Justin Gabbard (left) and Luke Muller (middle) have golfed in four and sophomore Joel Craft (right) has golfed in two. Gabbard and Muller qualified for state last year with Gabbard finishing tied for 22nd. (Img: Provided)

By G. Michael Graham

The top three is not a question mark for the Highlands Bluebirds boys golf team entering the season.

Seniors Justin Gabbard and Luke Muller have golfed in the last four region tournaments and three straight state tournaments. Sophomore Joel Craft has golfed in the last two region tournaments.

859-905-0714 | | This is an advertisement.

The trio helped the Bluebirds win the 8th Region crown and finish eighth in the state tournament in 2018. Gabbard shot a 153 in the state tournament in Bowling Green last year to finish tied for 22nd individually.

The Bluebirds hope to find someone to golf more consistently after that, especially at the fourth spot. The top four scores out of five golfers determine region championships. The 8th Region Tournament takes place on Sept. 28 at Eagle Country Club in Dry Ridge.

But three golfers came out after not playing last year. They are senior Isaiah Lampkin, juniors Jack Schneider and Charlie Gorman.

"Joel, Luke and Justin did a great job of getting kids up to the golf course (Highlands Country Club) and getting them to play," said Bert Richey, Highlands Head Coach. "Joel and Luke keep seeing (Jack and Charlie) all the time, got them out on the golf course and got them playing. Charlie and Jack played a lot of golf and enjoyed it. Going into our first tournament, they're both in our top five. Justin bumps into Isaiah at the driving range, talked to him and got Isaiah to come out - another kid that's in the mix that could be in that top five for tournaments at the end of the year."

Deadline Today: Backpacks & Breakfast back-to-school event celebrates 20 years

Backpacks & Breakfast event will use a lottery system this year instead of hosting it's large event.
(Img: FTM File, 2019)

The largest school readiness event in Northern Kentucky will mark its 20th anniversary in August with a format unlike any of the 19 that have preceded it.

Northern Kentucky Harvest’s Backpacks & Breakfast has 912 new backpacks filled with grade-appropriate school supplies to give away to students from low-income families in Boone, Campbell, and Kenton counties.

But unlike other years when crowds of 500-600 gathered in Covington’s Goebel Park to get backpack on a first-come, first-served basis, this year the backpacks will be given away through a lottery. 

Restrictions to reduce the spread of COVID-19 forbid large gatherings, so Harvest leaders decided on the free lottery, open to any student in the three counties. Harvest has been busy spreading word about the lottery through public schools and social service agencies that work with low-income households.

“We’re emphasizing that people need to sign up for backpacks this year before the give-away weekend,” said Paul Gottbrath, Harvest’s board president. “That’s the biggest change.”

The deadline for registering for the lottery, which is open to students in kindergarten through the 12th grade, is July 30. Recipients will be determined in a random drawing on July 31 and notified of a time on either Aug. 8th or 9th when they can pick up their backpacks. The backpacks will be distributed at Be Concerned, 1100 Pike St., Covington.

Be Concerned, along with Brighton Center a partner in the event the past two decades, will use a “car-hop” model to distribute the backpacks. Motorists will stay in their cars while volunteers take their information and give it to runners who will fill the backpack order.

Backpacks & Breakfast started in 2001, when 150 students were helped. Over the years it has grown steadily and for the last decade has been the largest school readiness effort in Northern Kentucky. In the 19 previous Backpacks & Breakfast events, Frisch’s provided a free breakfast to all who attended the event. Since there will be no gathering in the park this year, the company will provide coupons good for a free kid’s meal in each backpack distributed.

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Major sponsors of the 2020 Backpacks & Breakfast are the Butler Foundation and the R.C. Durr Foundation. Also providing financial support are the Scripps Howard Foundation, the Western & Southern Financial Fund, St. Pius X Church, the Sofagives Charitable Fund, the T.J. Johnson State Farm Insurance Agency, and the Women of the Covington Moose Lodge.

In addition to Frisch’s, in-kind support is coming from St. Joseph Catholic Church, Cold Spring; St. Timothy Church, Union; and Immanuel United Methodist Church, Lakeside Park.

To register for the 2020 Backpacks & Breakfast lottery; Email the following information to;

- parent/guardians’ name
- address
- email
- phone number
- student’s name
- school
- grade level

Wednesday, July 29, 2020

Governor Beshear Covid-19 Update for Wednesday, July 29

By Jessie Eden

Governor Andy Beshear gave his daily press conference on Wednesday afternoon with the following report on Covid-19;

- 619 (Total: 28,727 cases )

- Campbell County: 7 (Total: 475 )
- Kenton County: 18 (Total: 1,239 )
- Boone County: 12 (Total: 957)

- 17 kids under the age of 5
- Youngest 4 months old

5 (Total Deaths: 724 )

***NEW DATA - TOTAL DEATHS PER COUNTY:- Campbell County: 13 (1.80%)
- Kenton County: 37 (5.11%)
- Boone County: 24 (3.31%)

- Total Tests Completed in KY: 609,989 (over 10k test today)
- Ever Hospitalized: 3,281
- Currently Hospitalized: 571
- Ever in the ICU: 1,133
-Currently in the ICU: 112
- Recovered: 7,495

POSITIVITY RATE:5.81% (up from yesterday)

Governor Beshear's full Covid-19 update is below.

View today's Covid-19 report Governor Beshear's office here.

Visit the Governor’s Facebook page to watch today’s news conference

Gov. Andy Beshear on Wednesday updated Kentuckians on the state’s continuing efforts to fight the novel coronavirus 2019 (COVID-19).

“The commonwealth is at war with the coronavirus. It’s going to take how long it takes. But we know if we don’t put our best effort forward, it will take the lives of our people, it will hurt our economy and it will impact the education that our kids get,” said Gov. Beshear. “This is probably the most significant challenge that most of us will face in our lifetimes. We’ve got to come together as a state. We all have to do what it takes.”

Case Information
As of 4 p.m. July 29, Gov. Beshear said there were at least 28,727 coronavirus cases in Kentucky, 619 of which were newly reported Wednesday. Seventeen of the newly reported cases were from children ages 5 and younger.

“It’s another day of tough news that we’re seeing across the country: whether it is Dr. Fauci warning that a number of states including us are poised for a significant outbreak, or high and even record-breaking numbers just to the south and all the way around us,” said Gov. Beshear. “That’s why we’re acting decisively. If we plateau again, it’s because of the hard work and willingness of people to wear facial coverings.”

Unfortunately, Gov. Beshear reported five new deaths Wednesday, raising the total to 724 Kentuckians lost to the virus.

The deaths reported Wednesday include an 87-year-old woman from Clay County; an 82-year-old man from Graves County; a 77-year-old man from Jefferson County; a 58-year-old woman from Knott County; and a 71-year-old man from McCracken County.

“Let’s make sure we stop the spread because we know what follows high cases are high death counts,” said Gov. Beshear. “None of us, none of us, want to see that. Stopping this virus is what we do for those five families hurting today.”

As of Wednesday, there have been at least 609,989 coronavirus tests performed in Kentucky. The positivity rate currently stands at 5.81%. At least 7,495 Kentuckians have recovered from the virus.

For additional information, including up-to-date lists of positive cases and deaths, as well as breakdowns of coronavirus infections by county, race and ethnicity, click here.

Unemployment Insurance UpdateToday, the Governor announced that in-person unemployment insurance services will begin in Louisville next week, from Monday, Aug. 3 to Friday, Aug. 7. Kentuckians must register online at The location and hours will be:

UAW Local 862

3000 Fern Valley Road

Louisville, KY 40213

Monday to Thursday - 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Friday - 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.

“We are going to have a significant number of people on hand, so get on and sign up,” said Gov. Beshear. “We want to see those who believe they need to see us in-person, in-person.”

Corrections UpdateToday, J. Michael Brown, secretary of the Governor’s executive cabinet, gave an update on COVID-19 cases in Kentucky’s correctional facilities. There are currently 379 active inmate cases and 53 active staff cases; 432 inmates have recovered and 69 staffers have recovered. In total, eight inmates have died due to complications from COVID-19.

Secretary Brown added that the Governor was considering commuting the sentences of more offenders who are at least 65 years old and near the end of their sentences.

“We have released right at 1,200 inmates from our previous round of commutations and we’re currently in the process of screening another 700 inmates to see if they qualify based on those criteria,” said Secretary Brown.

The list of medically vulnerable inmates who could be considered for sentence commutation is still being compiled.

Kerner Commission 2.0Yesterday, Gov. Beshear highlighted a new effort in Kentucky that aims to pick up the mantle of the landmark National Advisory Commission on Civil Disorders, better known as the Kerner Commission, which was established 53 years ago today by President Lyndon Johnson.

“As Governor, I support this work because it’s important,” Gov. Beshear said. “I support it because it’s the right thing to do. I support this work now because it can’t wait.”

For more information, read yesterday’s full release.

New Actions to Fight Surge in CasesOn Monday, Gov. Beshear announced new actions, conceived through and backed by guidance from the White House, to stem the growing number of coronavirus cases and rising test positivity rate in the commonwealth.

Under a new order from the Cabinet for Health and Family Services, bars are closed and restaurants are limited to 25% of pre-pandemic capacity indoors. The Governor and the Kentucky Department for Public Health will monitor case numbers over the next two weeks with the goal of reopening bars and restoring restaurant capacity after that time.

In addition, the Governor is recommending public and private schools to avoid offering in-person instruction until the third week of August.

The new actions followed previous moves by Gov. Beshear’s administration, including a travel advisory that recommends a 14-day self-quarantine for Kentuckians who travel to states and U.S. territories that are reporting a positive coronavirus testing rate equal to or greater than 15%. For an updated list of areas meeting that threshold, click here. In addition, the Cabinet for Health and Family Services issued an order pulling back the guidance on non-commercial gatherings to allow only for meet-ups of 10 or fewer people.

Testing UpdateResponding to some reports that some seeking coronavirus testing still are being asked to provide a doctor’s order, administration officials reiterated that the Cabinet for Health and Family Services, Department for Public Health (DPH) issued an order removing any such requirement to receive a COVID-19 test.

Kentuckians can sign up for molecular diagnostic testing at more than 200 locations throughout the state, listed by county here.

More InformationRead about other key updates, actions and information from Gov. Beshear and his administration at, and the Governor’s official social media accounts Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.

Kentuckians can also access translated COVID-19 information and daily summaries of the Governor’s news conference at

New Membership Community Based on Leadership and Strengthening Organizations Launched by Talent Magnet Institute

Mike Sipple Jr., President of Centennial and Co-Founder, CEO of Talent Magnet Institute.
(Img: Talent Magnet Institute Facebook page)

On Wednesday, Talent Magnet Institute, sister organization of Centennial Talent Strategy & Executive Search (Centennial), launched a subscription-based community geared towards reframing success through a holistic leadership approach. 

The mission of Talent Magnet Institute is to develop growth-minded leaders who have a desire to be proactive in the way they attract, recruit, onboard, develop and retain employees. The organization takes a holistic approach to help leaders succeed in relationships, work, community and life.

As part of the new offering from Talent Magnet Institute, community members will have access to exclusive service offerings including webinars, 1:1 virtual coaching sessions, “fireside chats” with global leaders, private executive networking, quarterly leadership sessions with institute advisors, access to a membership only resource library, and more.

“Seven years ago, the leadership team at Centennial identified a significant need for a customizable, comprehensive and extensive leadership program,” said Mike Sipple Jr., President of Centennial and Co-Founder, CEO of Talent Magnet Institute. “Based on the voices of our Centennial customers, we identified gaps in existing programs where our experts and consultants could provide the greatest value, which led to the launch of the Talent Magnet Institute, as well as this new community.”

The Talent Magnet Institute community offers a curriculum curated by an extensive roster of advisors focused on the employee lifecycle, leadership development, and organizational design. Unlike other online leadership-based programs, the institute’s new community provides members with an opportunity to engage with likeminded executives in a safe environment to learn, ask questions, and gain new perspectives from other success-driven leaders.

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“What makes Centennial and Talent Magnet Institute so different from other executive search firms and leadership development programs is their unmatched authenticity, passion and care – I know this well because I was on the receiving end of their services for more than a decade,” said Mehmet Yuksek, former President/CEO of Perfetti Van Melle USA; consultant; and faculty, Talent Magnet Institute. “Digitizing leadership programs often falls flat because they aren’t tailored to the unique needs of each industry and their members. The teams at both Centennial and Talent Magnet Institute are emotionally invested in the wellbeing of every organization and individual they serve – you feel and see the benefits they provide and can measure the successes of their offerings in a very tangible way.”

Talent Magnet Institute will offer three, monthly membership options that range from $97 per month to $497. Those interested in testing the services can sign up for a 30-day trial period and will be fully refunded if not satisfied with their membership. 

To learn more about the Talent Magnet Institute and join the leadership community, click here.

CVG: What To Expect When You Decide To Fly Again

CVG releases guidance on how to return to the airport once you're ready with its "Fly Healthy" campaign.
(Img: Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport Facebook Page)

If you haven’t traveled by air in a while, you may not know what to expect. The Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport (CVG) created a Fly Healthy section on its website: for travelers to research and plan their trip to feel comfortable and confident before leaving home.

Travelers can view the following on the site:

- Videos demonstrating what enhancements have taken place throughout the airport
Responsibilities of each traveler
Updates related to parking and the security checkpoint
- What concessions are open including days and times
- Links to important resources such as airline and state-level travel guidance so travelers can educate themselves about relevant restrictions applicable to their trip
Frequently asked questions

It’s important to know that airports and airlines across the country have worked together to enhance cleaning procedures and prepare facilities and aircraft for the health and safety of passengers and employees.

“The entire aviation industry is working in collaboration to create a safe, clean and seamless travel experience. We look forward to welcoming our friends and neighbors back to CVG as they fly healthy,” said Candace McGraw, chief executive officer, CVG.

Learn more about Fly Healthy here.

New Businesses Moving Forward in Alexandria Despite Challenges

The sign is in place and construction well underway for a new Chipolte Mexican Grill location in Alexandria's Village Green Shopping Center. The restaurant is not the only new business coming to the city. Watch for Harbor Freight and more.
(IMG: Chris Schack)

By Robin Gee, city council beat editor

Business is picking up in Alexandria, despite the slow down and uncertainty caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Chipolte Mexican Grill, which is moving into the building that once housed a Sonic location, is putting finishing touches on the building as it prepares to open in late September. That location is in the Village Green Shopping Center at 7105 Alexandria Pike.

At a recent city council meeting, Alexandria Mayor Andy Schabell announced that discount tool merchandiser Harbor Freight will share space in the former County Market building, located at 7109 Alexandria Pike, with Burkes outlet store. Harbor Freight tentative opening date is planned for October 13. Burkes is set up and ready to open on September 21, if all goes as planned.

Also at the meeting, the city council heard from Robert Viox, owner of Four Mile Pig Barbecue. Started as a food truck, the small batch barbecue eatery has been occupying space within the Alexandria Brewing Company but is now making preparations to move into its own building at 7962 Alexandria Pike.

The business is busy with remodeling the space, adding a drive through and limited seating. The plan is to open for business in the new location August 3. For more information, see the Four Mile Pig website or their Facebook page.

NKY Slow Streets Project Contest Deadline Has Been Extended

Make Your Street Safe: The relaunch of the Vision Zero NKY’s Northern Kentucky Slow Streets Project Contest

The Devou Good Foundation (DGF) extends the deadline to enter the NKY Slow Streets Project Contest in response to the limitations created by the coronavirus. The contest furthers DGF’s mission to help Northern Kentucky thrive by improving the safety of the roads for all users by inviting qualifying groups and organizations in Boone, Kenton, and Campbell Counties to enter. 
The winners of the contest will receive expertise, labor, management, and materials to make the winning project(s) become reality -- $50,000 in available funds to purchase traffic-calming materials will be awarded to up to three applicants. 

The application is available at

As we respond to the CDC and Governor Beshear’s COVID-19 recommendations, Northern Kentucky is experiencing a dramatic increase in pedestrian and bicycling activities. There are indicators this trend will continue making the re-launch of Northern Kentucky Streets Project Contest timelier than ever with the goal of reducing the number and severity of crashes on residential streets, lessoning the impacts of cut-through traffic, and adding to the quality of life in our neighborhoods. This will be achieved by the collaboration of residents and city leadership, giving streets visual and physical cues to slow drivers to 20 mph resulting in safer streets for everyone.

The contest emphasizes quick-install, low-cost fixes such as signage, trees, pavement markings, speed cushions, curb extensions, pedestrian safety islands and improving visibility/sight distance.  

Slow Streets Project co-chair Jeremy Worley said, "I'm excited to resume the slow streets contest. We've noticed an influx of new users on the streets since the pandemic began and it's highlighted how important pedestrian and multi-modal infrastructure really is. The Slow Streets Contest is a great way for citizens or community groups to make a significant change to improve the safety of their streets. If you know of an unsafe or dangerous roadway condition in your area I encourage you to read up on this contest, reach out to us and see how we can help make your streets safer."

Tuesday, July 28, 2020

Gov. Beshear: 532 new cases, 10 deaths; positivity rate drops for first time in four days

Gov. Andy Beshear on Tuesday updated Kentuckians on the state’s continuing efforts to fight the novel coronavirus 2019 (COVID-19).

“We are at war with this virus. It has come to take the lives of our people, it has tried to turn everything about our lives upside down, and it’s our job to fight back,” the Governor said. “This is a war fought by every single one of us. Every single individual’s actions matter.”

Gov. Beshear again warned that without everyone complying with safety requirements – including social distancing, wearing face coverings and avoiding travel to virus hotspots – we risk squandering our hard work and facing the devastation being experienced by some other states.

“Today, again, tough news for Florida and Texas: Florida setting a record for deaths in a single day and in Texas, every six minutes and 16 seconds they are losing someone to COVID-19,” the Governor said. “But again, we are at a point in time where we have the ability to stop this before it gets anywhere close to what we’ve seen in those states.”

TUESDAY 7/28/20 - SUMMARY UPDATE from Governor Andy Beshear:

> NEW CASES: 532 new cases. (Total number in Ky: 28,126). Twenty-one of the newly reported cases were from children ages 5 and younger, including a 2-month-old girl from Madison County and a 7-month-old boy from Graves County.

Kenton Co. - 24, 1,224 overall (#4 of 120 counties)
Boone Co. - 12, 946 overall (#5 of 120)
Campbell Co. - 5, 468 overall (#10 of 120)

- Over 599,251 tests completed to date in Kentucky.

Number of patients Ever Hospitalized: 3,279
Number of patients Currently Hospitalized: 584
Number of patients Ever in the ICU: 1,132
Number of patients Currently in the ICU: 115

Overall positivity rate: 5.08% (7-day rolling average)

Total Death Toll: 719

New Actions to Fight Surge in Cases
On Monday, Gov. Beshear announced new actions, conceived through and backed by guidance from the White House, to stem the growing number of coronavirus cases and rising test positivity rate in the commonwealth.

Under a new order from the Cabinet for Health and Family Services, bars are closed and restaurants are limited to 25% of pre-pandemic capacity indoors. The Governor and the Kentucky Department for Public Health will monitor case numbers over the next two weeks with the goal of reopening bars and restoring restaurant capacity after that time.

In addition, the Governor is recommending public and private schools to avoid offering in-person instruction until the third week of August.

The new actions followed previous moves by Gov. Beshear’s administration, including a travel advisory that recommends a 14-day self-quarantine for Kentuckians who travel to states and U.S. territories that are reporting a positive coronavirus testing rate equal to or greater than 15%. In addition, the Cabinet for Health and Family Services issued an order pulling back the guidance on non-commercial gatherings to allow only for meet-ups of 10 or fewer people.

Fiscal Year 2020 Budget Update
Expanding on some good news about fiscal year 2020, Gov. Beshear announced Monday that the General Fund revenues ended up $104.6 million above the budgeted estimate, at a total of nearly $12 billion. The General Fund surplus will be $177.5 million.

The Governor has said the improved economic footing means there will be no budget cuts to K-12 education, post-secondary education, and health and public safety, and no cuts to the Judicial or Legislative branch budgets.

After holding back $15 million for necessary government expenses, Gov. Beshear said the $162.5 million going to the rainy day fun, which is called the Budget Reserve Trust Fund, will bring it up to $465.7 million.

Gov. Beshear cautioned that the outlook for fiscal year 2021 remains challenging.

Highlands FCCLA Members Win State and National Awards, Elect Officers

Highlands High School student Ashley Coulter has been elected Kentucky State FCCLA Officer. She will serve as the 2020-2021 Vice President of Community Service. (Img: FTM File, FCCLA Competition in Anaheim. CA, Summer 2019)

Highlands High School FCCLA members have been busy despite the changes to conferences and competitions. The Kentucky Family, Career and Community Leaders of America (FCCLA) State Leadership Conference was cancelled in March.

Several of the components of the meeting were held virtually including the election of the 2020-2021 Kentucky State Officers, STAR Events recognition and the business session. Highlands High School was recognized as a National Community Service Award Applicant, a chapter of distinction for donating more than $100 to the state scholarship fund and a Gold Level Honor Roll Chapter.

The following members from the high school chapter were recognized for placing 1st, 2nd or 3rd in the state STAR Events:

- Chapter in Review, Portfolio, Level 2 – 2nd Place: Ava Torrano and Kayleigh Nicolaus
- Chapter Service Project, Portfolio, Level 2 – 1st Place: Ashley Coulter, Kathleen Price and Addy Wagner
- Event Management, Level 2 – 3rd Place: Katie Deshler
- Promote and Publicize, Level 3 – 1st Place: Sydney Schenk
- Sustainability Challenge, Level 3 – 2nd Place: Bree Mohr, Casey Race and Megan Stevens

The following members from the middle school chapter were also recognized as state winners:

- Food Innovations, Level 1 – 2nd Place: Katie Thurnauer, Caroline Thaler and Sophia Scherrer
- Repurpose & Redesign, Level 1 – 2nd Place: Mayson Gindele, Meredith Dadosky and Emma Stevens

For the first time in Highlands High School history, an FCCLA member has been elected as a Kentucky State FCCLA Officer.

Ashley Coulter, junior, will serve as the 2020-2021 Vice President of Community Service. Ashley worked hard all year to prepare for the application and interview process that included an onstage presentation, a brunch and an interview, all virtually. Ashley will coordinate the state community service project this year, Rae of Sunshine. Ashley is an amazing member and will represent Highlands High School and the Highlands FCCLA Chapter with poise and dedication.

Highlands High School students Megan Dadosky and Addy Wagner took top honors  at the FCCLA National Fall Conference in 2019. Now, Addy will serve as President for Region 7.
(Img: FTM File) 

The Region 7 FCCLA Meeting was cancelled and regional officer applications and interviews were held virtually as well. The following Highlands FCCLA members will be serving as Region 7 Officers for the 2020-2021 year:

- Addy Wagner – President
- Katie Deshler – Vice President of Membership
- Cecilia Wira – Vice President of Public Relations

For the first time since Family, Career and Community Leaders of America (FCCLA) was founded in 1945, members competed in Students Taking Action with Recognition (STAR) Events on the national level virtually. Nearly 3,000 FCCLA members from across the country participated in STAR Events this past June.

The virtual conference was held July 7-10, 2020, and was a wonderful experience for all members involved. Ashley Coulter, Kentucky State Vice President for Community Service served on the Kentucky State Voting Delegate team. Two Kentucky members were elected as National FCCLA Officers to serve on a team of 10 for the 2020-2021 term.

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The results from National FCCLA STAR Events:

Highlands High School FCCLA
- Gold – Chapter Service Project: Ashley Coulter, Kathleen Price and Addy Wagner (4th in nation)
- Gold – Promote & Publicize FCCLA: Syndey Schenk (11th in nation)
- Gold – Sustainability Challenge: Bree Mohr, Casey Race and Megan Stevens (11th in nation)
- Silver – Chapter in Review: Kayleigh Nicolaus and Ava Torrano

Highlands Middle School FCCLA
- Gold – Food Innovations: Katie Thurnauer, Caroline Thaler and Sophia Scherrer
- Silver – Repurpose and Redesign: Mayson Gindele, Meredith Dadosky and Emma Stevens

Highlands FCCLA Chapter elected chapter officers virtually in May and they will begin planning for the upcoming school year virtually this August.