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Saturday, October 31, 2020

Crusaders Pummel Bluebirds, 50-14

Bluebirds Hope to Build on Bright Spots for Rest of Season

PHOTO: Ed Harber. Highlands junior offensive lineman Conner Barton (72) sets up to block Moeller sophomore defensive lineman Brandon Martin (94).

Two plays kept this one from a shut-out and hitting the running clock late in the non-district football game in a 50-14 Cincinnati Moeller Crusaders (3-6 overall) win over the host Highlands Bluebirds (3-5) on Friday at David Cecil Memorial Stadium.

The first one came in the second quarter with the Bluebirds trailing 27-0 with 19 seconds left in the first quarter. Senior wide receiver/defensive back Dominic Robinson took a Moeller kickoff about 90 yards for a touchdown.

The second one came with 3:41 left in the first half. Sophomore linebacker Sam Robinson intercepted a Crusader pass at the Highlands 48 and returned it 52 yards for a touchdown. Sophomore kicker Davis Burleigh hit both extra-point attempts.

"We showed some glimpses with some big plays," said Brian Weinrich, Highlands Head Coach. "It was nice for those to happen. We just have to keep finding more ways to get more guys to make plays like that."

Maggie Schroeder Claims Second Class 2A Individual State Cross-Country Crown

Highlands Girls Finish Runner-up, Boys Take Fifth

Contributed Photo. Highlands senior Maggie Schroeder crosses the finish line for her second Class 2A individual state championship in three years.

Maggie Schroeder knew she had the chance to record her second individual Class 2A state championship entering the season.

But the Highlands Bluebirds girls cross country knew the biggest challenge was not letting anything come between her and that leading up to that final race Friday. Nothing did as Schroeder recorded that second title in three years running the 5,000 kilometer/3.1-mile race in 19 minutes, 16.87 seconds at the Bourbon County Cross Country Course in Paris.

"There was a lot of strong competition this year and there were so many new courses that different races were held on that might have been a little short or a little long that nobody had seen before for standards of comparison,"
Schroeder said. "Times this season were all over the board this season and nobody quite knew what everybody else was capable of doing. Going into state, I definitely had an idea that I had a good chance to win. But I in no way was 100 percent sure that I was going to win by such a large margin there. Everything played out right. I felt good. The weather ended up being much nicer than I thought. The course was hilly. I'm impartial to hills. It was a great race."

Schroeder won the race by 25.14 seconds. Christian Academy of Louisville junior Addi Dewey took second in 19:42.01.

"People forgot about Maggie Schroeder last year," said Brian Alessandro, Highlands Head Coach. "It was a dominating performance (Friday) with some really good runners. But she's put in a ton of work so I'm very proud of her."

Friday, October 30, 2020

Polling Locations for Campbell County

Below are the polling locations for this year's election in Campbell County

By Jessie Eden

If you're planning on voting in person on Tuesday, November 3 in Campbell County, here are your polling locations. Please note the following;

Four Locations have Changed

Per state regulations, some polling locations had to be moved out of senior centers. This applies to four locations in Campbell County;

- Grand Towers will move to St Paul Church of Christ (1 Churchill Dr., Fort Thomas)

- Two Rivers Apartments will move to Newport Middle School (95 W. 9th St, Newport)

- Saratoga Place Apartments will move to St. John’s Church (415 Park Ave, Newport)

- Senior Center in Highland Heights will move to the County Extension Office (500 Alexandria Pike, Highland Heights)

No Library Voting Locations

Libraries cannot be used this year so the following adjustments have been made;

- The Cold Spring Library precinct will vote at the Elks Lodge 273 (3704 Alexandria Pike, Cold Spring)

- The two precincts in the Fort Thomas library will vote at the Living Hope Baptist Church (Next to the library at 1080 Highland Ave, Fort Thomas)

Find your polling place below:

The middle column is your OLD location. 
The right hand column is your NEW November 3 location.





NKY Health Urges Action with Escalating Covid-19 Cases

NKY Health Urges Action with Escalating Covid-19 Cases

The NKY Health Department has released the following press release in response to the surge in cases in Northern Kentucky. 


Northern Kentucky is seeing a significant rise in the reported number of COVID-19 cases. Campbell and Kenton counties have moved into the Red (critical) Zone due to the rapid increase of positive cases. Boone and Grant counties are also showing accelerated community spread. Health officials are concerned about growth in cases and urge residents to take enhanced precautions.

For the week ending October 18, Northern Kentucky experienced the highest numbers of new cases of Covid-19. This follows the fourth week of rapid escalation of cases. Northern Kentucky currently has 1,545 active cases, making the total number of cases for the region 6,084. There have also been 98 deaths. For more detailed information, please visit

Since the beginning of the pandemic, NKY Health has focused its resources on preventing the spread of COVID-19 in our region. We have been working closely with local elected officials, the health care system, workplaces, schools, first responders and other state and local community partners to provide guidance, information and resources. This includes outreach and educating the public, disease investigation and contact tracing which are essential public health measures crucial to prevent the spread of disease.

“Up until this point, Northern Kentucky has seen controlled community spread,” stated NKY Health’s District Director of Health, Lynne M. Saddler, MD, MPH. “This rapid escalation into the critical zone is our ‘Wake-Up Call’. We all need to refocus our actions on the protective measures we are taking in our daily lives and to assure we are doing everything we can to protect ourselves and others from exposure. Health officials are concerned that ongoing increases in cases in the community will start translating into more hospitalizations as it has in other parts of the country.”

Garren Colvin, President and Chief Executive Officer of St. Elizabeth Healthcare stated, “Although the number of COVID hospitalizations are on the rise, we created contingency plans to address this type of increase, and we have plenty of capacity in our hospitals to safely care for our community as we continue to face this virus together. We urge all residents to take necessary safety precautions and adhere to public health guidance to help reduce the spread of COVID.”

To slow down the spread of COVID-19, Northern Kentucky residents are strongly urged to continue practicing protective measures of consistently and correctly wearing a face covering when around others, maintaining 6 feet distance from others, washing or sanitizing hands often and avoiding gatherings and events. Additional steps should also be taken to reduce overall contacts with people outside of their immediate household and avoid all non-essential activities that increase the risk of exposure to COVID-19. 

If we as Northern Kentuckians double-down on our efforts, it will not only reduce the spread of COVID, it will help keep our businesses open, our families working, our schools safely operating and our communities moving forward. We can reverse this trend if we all choose to take these actions.

Giving Yourself GRACE During a Pandemic: Type 1 Diabetes…and a Surprise Pregnancy

As a writer for Fort Thomas Matters, it has been an honor to help inform the community with our platform. Now, as I prepare to go on Maternity Leave, I wanted to share my story with you too.

Writer’s Note:
Since January 2020, I have had the pleasure of writing full time for Fort Thomas Matters and Living Magazines. It has been a wonderful experience. You may recognize my name from some of the stories or posts on local group pages. I am so honored to write for the Fort Thomas community and Campbell County. It has been so fulfilling to get the word out about news that is hyper local and important to YOU.

As I prepare to go on Maternity Leave (and in honor of November as American Diabetes Month) I wanted to share my story with you, our readers, and I look forward to writing again soon when I return in 2021!


By Jessie Eden

I remember very clearly where I spent New Year’s Eve 2020.

My poor husband Chris was very sick and I, an ambitious (although green) TV News Producer, was working overnight at Local 12 News attempting to prep for my 4:30 a.m. show.

I always take a picture on New Year’s Eve and I call my Mom whose birthday is January 1. Below is the very best I could do for 2020. Little did I know that ‘doing my very best’ would be a theme for the entire year.

Happy New Year! 
We certainly didn't know what 2020 would bring...but we've done our best to adapt!

By mid-January, two months of working overnights from 10 p.m. to 5:30 a.m. had caught up with me. 

As a Type 1 Diabetic of nearly 19 years, I was trying so hard to keep my numbers in line…but the schedule itself wouldn’t let me. I was diagnosed at the awkward age of 14 and at 32, my doctors expressed immense concern over my health and the schedule I was on. It quickly became apparent that I would have to start considering a different career path.

The problem -- I don’t like quitting things. 

It’s not something that comes easily to me…but if you don’t have your health, what do you have? I had to make alternative arrangements, so I made the hard choice to begin exploring some of my freelance opportunities in hopes that one of those would possibly lead to a full time position and a schedule that would allow me to focus on my health. 

One of those opportunities was Fort Thomas Matters. 

I had written for the owner, Mark Collier, since 2018. So, I took a leap in the dark and asked if there would be any potential for a full-time position with FTM and Living Magazines. Thankfully, they figured out some things on their end and decided they had a need for me so at the end of January, I started full-time with Living Media. I was thrilled…especially since my husband and I have lived in Fort Thomas since 2016 and this also meant a lovely commute under 5 minutes to work.

Within just a few weeks of a regular schedule, my blood sugar levels and insulin use FINALLY stabilized. I felt better health-wise and so happy to be dedicating my time to some good ole’ fashioned ‘hometown’ news in my community. What a great fit!

The Rumblings of….a Pandemic?

In the first weeks of March, there were the rumblings and rumors. You remember, right?

News stories out of China, illness outbreaks on the west coast in California and Seattle. What was happening? I heard the whisper of these stories in the background as I worked every day in the FTM office…surely it wouldn’t reach Fort Thomas, right?

But – then, things got real. Local leaders began talking about shutting down schools and businesses to be safe. What is quarantine? What does that mean? How long will it last? Do we have enough of my medicine and food and what about TOILET PAPER?!

Having a lot of questions and worrying about my own personal health, it occurred to me. If something crazy is going on, I better make sure I’m not pregnant. That would be…well, it would just be a LOT to handle.

We had been trying for a while. It had been nearly a 2-year process of managing my Type 1 Diabetes, getting my Hemoglobin A1C (the 90-day average of your blood sugars) down below 6-7% to safely conceive. Between that and the struggle of conceiving, we weren’t even sure if it was going to happen for us. So, we played things by ear. We didn’t put a lot of concern into it and we had even started exploring adoption and fostering through adoption options. There are so many ways to be a parent.

So, on the morning of March 13, when everything shut down for the quarantine period of Covid-19, a worried Jessie took a test. As the lines appeared, I laughed out of an abundance of fear and shock and awkwardness. 

Positive. Probably the boldest positive I’ve ever seen somebody get.

I took a test on March 13 so I wouldn't have to worry too much...well, God had different plans clearly! 
A VERY Positive. Now what??

Pregnant during a pandemic…and with a chronic illness no less. This cannot be happening, right? I showed my husband who was still sleepy-eyed in bed. “Oh my god…” he murmured, half-awake with half a smile.

“Um…yeah. I guess I should have told you in a cuter way but I’m kind of shocked,” I said after an awkward laugh.

We looked at each other incredulously and then decided to buy 3 more tests to be sure. All positive. We were excited, worried and scared all in one day…but now what?

Seriously, NOW WHAT??

What to Expect When You’re Expecting…During a Pandemic?

If we would have known what we know now, we probably would have put our family plans on hold. So much was (and has been) up the air with Covid-19. How does it transmit? What helps to treat or cure it? How do I prevent it? Am I at risk because of my chronic illness? Does my blood type have anything to do with how severely I may get it?

Then, sprinkle on top the added concerns of early pregnancy…and being a pregnant Type 1 Diabetic!

So. Many. Questions.

Thankfully, I had a great medical team at my side at UC Health. I had been seeing high risk Maternal Fetal Medicine doctors since considering a family so I knew they would take good care of me. The first few weeks included lots of phone calls, dietary changes and adjustments to my insulin regimen.

Twenty weeks pregnant at the top of Chimney Rock in Asheville. That small white device on my arm is an insulin pump called an Omnipod.

As an "Omnipod" insulin pump user, my pregnancy has been fairly smooth and with a continuous glucose monitor called a Dexcom, I have the ability to monitor my blood sugar every 5 minutes through an app on my phone. This technology has been invaluable and so vital to my success over the past few months. The data can be linked and sent to my doctor’s office so they can help me make the necessary changes. There were challenges…pesky highs and pesky lows…but for the most part, through weekly phone calls, I was able to stay stable.

“Baby, I’m strong…and so are you!”

Due to Covid-19, my doctors suggested that I do not come in for the normal viability ultrasound at 7-8 weeks pregnant…so I waited until 12-weeks and it was extremely difficult. I’m not a conventionally religious person but I just kept saying “Baby, I’m strong…and so are you!” and that seemed to help me stay focused (and less worried) that something was wrong because being a Type 1 Diabetic in the middle of quarantine and not knowing if your pregnancy is healthy is a constant worry. I would stay up at night worrying about it…but then I finally made myself focus on what I could control.

How can I do my very best for my health and my baby? I answered these questions by focusing on controlling my numbers as tightly as I could, getting exercise, eating the right foods to avoid spikes in my blood sugar and practicing positive thinking. I started to give myself GRACE when I felt like I messed up (for example, a pregnancy craving like pizza can lead to a really bad high blood sugar...I learned that out the hard way).

It was hard not to beat myself up…but I just reminded myself that I had to do my very best. That’s all I could do. And, well, avoid pizza cravings.

The First Ultrasound – without Dad

My husband Chris and I at our mini baby shower in September at 30 weeks.

In the middle of May, at 12 weeks, my husband Chris was not allowed to go into our first ultrasound as restrictions were still tight. We just had to do our best.

I put on the one N95 mask we had and gloves and walked into the doctor’s office. I remember going to great lengths to not touch anything. I didn’t even sit down while waiting. I just nervously stood in the waiting room, fiddling with my gloves and trying to calm my fears about an ultrasound that could realistically give us great (or terrible) news…on top of trying to breath in a mask.

One of my first 'belly' pictures at 12 weeks after our first ultrasound with the beautiful Highland Hills Park in the background.

When they called me back, I asked if I could face-time my husband during the ultrasound. I had heard rumors of places not allowing that due to patient confidentiality.

Thankfully, the tech agreed. With Dad sitting in the car in the parking lot and Mom feeling miles away from him… we heard our baby’s heartbeat together. Then they checked out all her measurements and everything came back normal.

What. A. Relief.

Dad couldn't come in for our first ultrasound at 12 weeks on May 15...but we got plenty of pictures and even face-timed him! 

Although it made me sad that he couldn’t be in the room with me, we were both so relieved that the baby was ok. That made up for every “inconvenience” of having to wear a mask and gloves and be alone during the experience.

Getting Creative During Quarantine

Being so high risk just by having Type 1 Diabetes (and now being pregnant), I was immensely grateful that FTM allowed me to start working from home.

My husband Chris was also able to work from home so we were very fortunate that we did not lose our jobs…but the constant news of people struggling and losing their jobs and people getting sick and dying from Covid-19 wore on us. It was a tragic time for many people (and still is) and it’s hard to feel like you have a front seat to their grief and can’t do anything to help them.

One of my main duties for FTM has been covering the press conferences presented by Governor Andy Beshear so hearing about cases and deaths became a regular, daily thing for me. Absorbing this information and getting it out to our readers has been a difficult but necessary duty that I have taken every seriously, especially when it comes to, at least, providing this information for my own community.

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Politics aside, I remember, in particular, when Lieutenant Governor Jacqueline Coleman, who had herself just had a baby in March, was talking about ‘giving yourself grace’ during this difficult time. I think she was talking about parents juggling teaching their kids from home…but I also felt like it was applicable to everyone struggling with adjusting during a pandemic.

Frankly, beating yourself up during a pandemic is counterproductive.

Like most people, it was hard for us to keep our spirits up and self-soothe during quarantine. We had to get creative and actively create ways to look ahead…or even just create ways to ‘be ok right now’ and connect with our families and friends despite being separated from them.

So, we played Scrabble, we re-watched TV shows, we played games via Zoom with friends…and when it came time to announce to our families around Easter that we were expecting, we ordered special little eggs that were designed to be cracked with a little rolled up paper message inside that read “Baby Eden – Coming November 2020” and shipped them to my side of the family in Ohio to open since we couldn’t tell them in person. My niece was nice enough to record their reactions since we couldn’t be there. It was priceless.

(Img: Little Elephant Crafts on Etsy)

Although I would have much rather told my family, especially my mom, in person, we had to get creative and do our best, the next best thing. There wasn’t any other choice with me being so high risk.

Gender!? We don’t care as long as the baby is healthy!

People always ask what you’re having and that hasn’t been a problem…the problem for me was hearing from other moms in a Type 1 Diabetes support group on Facebook that they were *disappointed* with the gender of their child and even had to take a few weeks to get over it.

This astounded me.

After all we had been through this year, here I was 18-weeks pregnant in July, about to find out what the gender of our baby was…how could I be disappointed in the gender if the baby was healthy? It seemed like such a trivial, selfish thing to be worried about. We were counting our blessings every day and just doing our best to stay healthy. We didn’t care what the gender was!

We had a feeling that it was a girl but that was it. My mother, who has somehow accurately predicted the gender of all 5 grandkids in the family, said she kept getting a feeling of ‘big blue, little pink’ so her theory was maybe a boy and then a girl.

We tossed around names and settled on Violet for a girl and possibly Henry or Jack for a boy. Once my mother heard “Violet” she said “OH! It’s a girl! Blue and pink make Violet! It’s definitely a girl”

Lo and behold – she was right. Girl.

Lots of Doctors Appointments…and Now, We Wait

We did our very best to be active over the summer with a socially-distant vacation to the mountains of Asheville...a great opportunity to snap some pictures at 20 weeks pregnant and announce on social media. 

Twenty weeks pregnant in the beautiful mountains of Asheville.

There were also plenty of hikes at Tower Park during my second trimester. But - once I hit 28 to 30 weeks, I started to slow down. 

Insulin resistance, and growing a human, was making me tired…and so were the twice monthly appointments at the doctor, constant tweaking of my insulin doses and strict carb counting. It was always good to see our girl though and that certainly kept me motivated. All the blood tests, blood sugar frustration and anxiety was worth it for her.

Since 32-weeks, I’ve had nearly 20 appointments over the span of 6 weeks for ultrasounds, OBGYN visits and meetings with my Diabetes team. Yes. Literally 20 appointments. The schedule has been exhausting as I juggle full time work while making up work during crazy hours but this has all been necessary to monitor my health, especially as we near the finish line.

And the finish line is CLOSE. As a Type 1 Diabetic, the best practice to avoid potential health risks is to induce during the 38th week of pregnancy.

At 35 weeks, we got our induction date -- November 4. I told them I’d rather avoid November 3, Election Day, for an induction since that just seems stressful in itself (although, kind of fitting for two political science grads!)

So, now we wait. 

I will go on Maternity Leave on October 30 from FTM / Living Magazines and then, somehow, by the GRACE of god, have a baby the week after?! How insane is that?

Years from now, we will tell her stories about this time and about how we did our best…and I know afterwards, we will think “Yeah…but how did we do all that??”

Oh…and remember when I said we’re having a girl? She’s also appropriately named after our ‘give yourself grace’ theme for our year – Violet GRACE…and we just cannot wait to meet her. 

Here I am at 37 weeks and Baby Violet is already posing for the camera!

To learn more about Type 1 Diabetes, please visit one of the following websites; Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation - Southern and Central Ohio Chapter and American Diabetes Association.

Thursday, October 29, 2020

Campbell and Kenton Classified as Red Counties, Beshear Urges Counties to Follow Red Zone Recommendations

Gov. Beshear urged every Kentuckian in 68 red zone counties to up their game in the fight against COVID-19 and follow nine recommendations.
Gov. Beshear: 68 Red Zone Counties Need to Operate on COVID-19 Reduction Plan Next Week
​​​​​​​Governor urges counties to implement new recommendations Monday through Sunday

On Thursday, Gov. Andy Beshear urged every Kentuckian in 68 red zone counties to up their game in the fight against COVID-19 and follow nine recommendations beginning Monday, Nov. 2, through Sunday, Nov. 8, to reduce the spread of COVID-19 as cases flare in those areas.

“This is a type of outbreak where we can’t deny our way out of it, we can’t rationalize our way out of it, we can’t try to find excuses for not following the guidance,” said Gov. Beshear.

Schools, businesses, community leaders and Kentuckians in red zone counties – published every Thursday afternoon on follow the below recommendations the upcoming week.

Red Zone Reduction Recommendations:

- Employers should allow employees to work from home when possible
- Government offices that do not provide critical services need to operate virtually
- Reduce in-person shopping; order online or pickup curbside as much as possible
- Order take-out; avoid dining in restaurants or bars
- Prioritize businesses that follow and enforce the mask mandate and other guidelines
- Reschedule, postpone or cancel public events
- Do not host or attend gatherings of any size
- Avoid non-essential activities outside your home
- Reduce overall activity and contacts, and follow existing guidance, including the 10 Steps to Defeat COVID-19

The Governor said that new White House guidance suggests “current transmissions are linked to home gatherings,” where Americans are not as likely to wear masks around people from outside of their household. With broad community spread and transmission in the state, the Governor said it is crucial that communities work together to follow these new recommendations on top of existing requirements.

Case Information

As of 4 p.m. Thursday, Gov. Beshear reported the following COVID-19 numbers:

New cases today: 1,821
New deaths today: 19
Positivity rate: 6.04%
Total deaths: 1,461
Currently hospitalized: 969
Currently in ICU: 234
Currently on ventilator: 120

The Governor noted this is the highest number of new cases ever reported on a Thursday, and the third-highest number of new cases ever reported in a single day.

The top counties with the most positive cases today are: Jefferson, Fayette, Hardin, Kenton and Warren.

Today’s red zone counties are listed here, alphabetically and by incidence rate.

Those reported lost to the virus today include a 68-year-old man from Adair County; a 75-year-old man from Calloway County; a 93-year-old man from Casey County; an 81-year-old man from Daviess County; a 65-year-old man from Fayette County; two women, ages 83 and 88, and two men, ages 88 and 90, from Jefferson County; a 73-year-old man from Jessamine County; a 72-year-old man from Lee County; a 61-year-old woman from McLean County; an 80-year-old woman from Meade County; a 71-year-old man from Muhlenberg County; a 68-year-old woman from Rowan County; a 58-year-old man from Russell County; a 68-year-old woman from Shelby County; an 87-year-old woman from Warren County; and an 89-year-old woman from Whitley County.

Gov. Beshear reminds Kentuckians to light their homes and businesses up green to show compassion for those lost to COVID-19.

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Unemployment Insurance Updates

Amy Cubbage, the Governor’s general counsel, today talked about a new way of reporting unemployment insurance (UI) claims. In order to best serve those claimants who have been waiting the longest, the cabinet is now sorting claims by date of filing.

Cubbage said that Labor Cabinet Secretary Larry Roberts, at the Governor’s direction, has requested from the U.S. Department of Labor (US DOL) the ability to waive the obligation to obtain repayment of mistakenly-paid benefits that may have occurred after the federal government changed their eligibility guidance.

“We have not heard back from U.S. DOL but remain hopeful we will be allowed some flexibility on these overpayments,” Cubbage said. “If granted, we will be able to provide significant relief to many Kentuckians.”

As a part of a project to upgrade the UI computer system to be more user-friendly, there are some upcoming dates the system will be down for claimants. Kentuckians will not be able to file a claim or claim benefits during these planned outages: Friday, Nov. 6, and Saturday, Nov. 7; Thursday, Nov. 26, through Saturday, Nov. 28; and briefly after business hours on Dec. 15.

Cubbage also warned Kentuckians to be on the lookout for email scammers using this fake account: She said scammers are trying to obtain personal information and shared tips to avoid the scam:
Never respond to an email unless it is from a domain and is clearly marked as coming from a Kentucky Office of Unemployment Insurance (OUI) employee.
Know that you will never be asked to click on a link in an email from OUI.
Know that unless you initiate contact with U.S. DOL you should not receive any emails from U.S. DOL about your claim.

Fast 4

Today, Gov. Beshear highlighted significant support for Eastern Kentucky families.
Two new projects at the Pikeville Medical Center (Pike County) and the King’s Daughters Health System (Boyd County) have been selected for more than $8 million in funding through the Abandoned Mine Lands (AML) Pilot grant program. To read the full release, click here.

“These grants will bring real improvements to the lives of our people in Eastern Kentucky. My administration knows that health care is a basic human right, and it has never been more important than now, as we battle this global health pandemic,” said Gov. Beshear, who has made improving Kentucky’s health a central initiative of his administration.

Kentucky has received the largest Appalachian Regional Commission investment in a single state in decades, totaling more than $36.5 million. The funding supports 34 projects to improve economic diversification in Kentucky’s 54 Appalachian counties. To read the full release, click here.

Gov. Beshear announced that the section of U.S. Highway 460 from the intersection with Kentucky Highway 80 at Beaver, near Elkhorn City, to the Virginia state line is set to officially open to traffic Nov. 16. To read the full release, click here.

Gov. Beshear congratulated Colby Hall, the new executive director of Shaping Our Appalachian Region. Hall, a native of Somerset and a University of Kentucky graduate, will guide the agency, which is focused on moving the Appalachian region forward through entrepreneurship and innovation.

The Governor celebrated Nova Steel’s $70 million investment for a steel tube manufacturing facility expected to create 110 full-time jobs at the Kentucky Transpark in Bowling Green. The Governor reminded Kentuckians to follow the Kentucky Department for Public Health’s guidance for a safe Halloween and highlighted a few Kentuckians who are masking up and sharing their photos with the #MaskUpKY hashtag.

Highlands Seeks Momentum in Postseason Prep

Tradition-Rich Programs Meet for First Time Since 1997

Highlands junior wide receiver Oliver Harris (14) heads upfield in the recent loss against Cooper. (Img: Ed Harber)

By G. Michael Graham

They are two programs that invoke fond memories in their respective states and they meet again Friday in Fort Thomas for the first time since 1997 at 7 p.m.

The visiting Cincinnati Archbishop Moeller Crusaders (2-6) have 36 playoff appearances in school history and nine state championships good for third in Ohio behind just two other programs in Maria Stein Marion Local located in Mercer County in Western Ohio not far from Indiana and Cleveland St. Ignatius, who have 11 each. The host Highlands Bluebirds (3-4) own 23 state championships good for second in Kentucky behind Louisville Trinity's 26.

Wednesday, October 28, 2020

Deer-related Accidents Increase in the Fall

In Kentucky, there are about 3,000 deer-vehicle collisions reported each year.

The arrival of autumn signifies the approaching end of another year as nature prepares for winter dormancy. However, with beautiful fall colors also comes an increase in vehicles encountering deer in roadways.

Drivers should be aware of deer throughout the year, but the months of October through December bring a spike in deer-related accidents. Shorter periods of daylight and cooler temperatures trigger the deer breeding season – known as the “rut” – putting whitetails on the move.

“November is usually the top month of deer activity due to the rut,” said Kyle Sams, acting deer and elk program coordinator for the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources.

With an estimated 900,000 animals in the state’s herd, drivers should remain alert during this time of year. In Kentucky, there are about 3,000 deer-vehicle collisions reported each year.

“It’s always a good idea to stay mindful that an encounter with a deer could happen at any time,” Sams said. “In general, deer are more active at night, but rutting season changes things. Dawn and dusk are the most likely hours to see deer on the roads, but they’re still going to be more active during daylight hours than usual.”

Proceed with caution when passing through rural areas and known deer crossing areas marked with yellow highway signs showing a deer silhouette. Use your headlights on high-beam at night when there is no oncoming traffic. If you cannot see the deer itself, you may be able to see the reflection from its eyes.

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If you encounter a deer on the road, slow down and only take evasive action if it can be done safely. Dimming your lights may also help the deer see your vehicle and avoid it. Stay alert, as one deer is often followed by others.

“When people encounter a deer on the road, it can be instinctive to veer away or slam on the brakes,” Sams said. “We want to stress that if you do come across a deer while driving, hitting the animal is a better option than swerving into traffic, or worse.

“If you find yourself in that situation and hit a deer, make sure everyone is unharmed and turn on your vehicle’s emergency flashers. If possible, drive your vehicle onto the shoulder or another spot safely out of the flow of traffic. Determine your location and call 9-1-1.”

Overall Construction Picks up in Northern Kentucky Despite Challenges

Construction in all Sectors in Northern Kentucky Sees Significant Increase in First Three Quarters of 2020

After a brief pause in the residential construction sector of the building industry, there has been a large increase in permitting activity in Northern Kentucky. Single family permits have risen 20% over last year. That increase is higher in Boone County, which saw an increase of 35% for the first three quarters over 2019’s same timeframe.

Multifamily construction has cooled as those more affected by the pandemic-caused recession are more apt to live in this style of housing.

"Residential remodeling, a part of our industry that took a longer pause during the onset of the pandemic is now back and exceeding last year’s volume by 5%," says Brian Miller, Executive Vice President of the Building Industry Association of Northern Kentucky. "What is more noticeable is a 50% increase in permitted residential remodeling activity over a two-year period. We mention permitted activity as many smaller remodel work or do-it-yourself work goes unpermitted and is not reflected in our data”.

New commercial/industrial investment, on the surface, is 70% greater than last year, largely due to the Amazon Prime International Air Hub. If you were to omit Amazon's presence in the data, commercial construction on all other projects would be down 40%. You can see that Amazon's presence is significant to our region. Brian Miller states, “Commercial/Industrial reinvestment is up 51% over the same period in 2019. Amazon has a significant share of this increase as well and if not included, we would have no increase over reinvestment activity in our region.”

Total commercial/industrial investment in Northern Kentucky increased 63% in the first three quarters of 2020 over 2019. You cannot ignore the impact that the Amazon Prime International Air Hub brings to our region. It is also the catalyst behind many other commercial/industrial activities in our data. According to Brian Miller, "Roughly half of the commercial/industrial construction activity is happening on the Air Hub site, while another 15% are likely tied to the fact that the Air Hub is here.”

This data, when compared to nationwide data, is particularly good. 

Residential single-family homes are far outpacing the Nation as a whole, even as other regions of the country are experiencing increases. Residential remodeling is performing in accordance with the national trend. Brian Miller explains, "Our regions commercial/industrial activity is a direct opposite of what is happening across the country and that is all tied back to or related to the Amazon Prime International Air Hub.”

2020 Q1 – Q3 Permit Analysis

The mission of the Building Industry Association of Northern Kentucky is to promote and enhance the integrity and visibility of the construction industry and the members of the organization through advocacy, communication, education, and political action.

Two Covid-19 Deaths Reported in Kenton County, New Cases Statewide Total 1,864 with Over 900 Hospitalized

Gov. Beshear: Communities Must Work Together to Stop Spread of COVID-19
​​​​​​​Red zone recommendations will be successful if everyone does their part 

On Wednesday, Gov. Andy Beshear said community leaders, schools, businesses and families listed in red zone counties each Thursday on should follow new recommendations the following Monday through Sunday to stop the spread of COVID-19 in their communities.

“It takes an entire community to protect the most vulnerable, to keep our schools open and to keep our economy running,” said Gov. Beshear. “What we need to see is that when a county hits red, everybody comes together in a coordinated effort.”

When a county gets out of the red zone, schools can reopen, businesses have more flexibility, nursing homes can accommodate visitors and Kentuckians are able to enjoy more activities with loved ones. Most important, fewer people get sick or die from COVID-19.

“This will not just protect nameless, faceless people somewhere in Kentucky. It will protect the people you see every day,” said Gov. Beshear.

“This is the worst our incidence rate map has ever looked and every indication would suggest that it’s going to get worse before it gets better,” said Dr. Steven Stack, commissioner of the Department for Public Health. “This is a human problem. A global problem. Everyone wants it to be over. But if we get cavalier about it, it’s like being at a casino – the house always wins. The virus is the house. When everyone flaunts the guidelines, they don’t work.”

Case Information

As of 4 p.m. Wednesday, Gov. Beshear reported the following COVID-19 numbers:

New cases today: 1,864
New deaths today: 14
Positivity rate: 6.07%
Total deaths: 1,442
Currently hospitalized: 927
Currently in ICU: 235
Currently on ventilator: 110

The top counties with the most positive cases today are: Jefferson, Fayette, Hardin, Nelson, Pike, Kenton and Warren. A list of today’s 64 red counties can be found here.

Those reported lost to the virus today include an 83-year-old man from Boyd County; an 80-year-old man from Breathitt County; a 61-year-old woman from Christian County; a 95-year-old woman from Fayette County; a 93-year-old woman and a 91-year-old man from Henderson County; an 87-year-old woman and three men, ages 70, 80 and 81 from Jefferson County; two women, ages 80 and 82, from Kenton County; a 64-year-old woman from Knox County; and an 85-year-old woman from Lee County.

Gov. Beshear reminds Kentuckians to light their homes and businesses up green to show compassion for those lost to COVID-19.

The Governor said the White House recommends keeping mask mandates in place, ensuring physical distancing, avoiding public crowds and private gatherings and ensuring that retail establishments are complying with guidelines. The Oct. 25 White House COVID-19 report said “current transmissions are linked to home gatherings” and that family members and friends may be asymptomatic but still contagious.

Providing Christian, compassionate, kind, exceptional care for your loved one.

Surge Testing Begins

The Governor announced a new testing project today with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) as the state sees record-high numbers of new COVID-19 cases. Up to 200 tests tomorrow and 300 tests each day after are available to Kentuckians at the Kentucky Exposition Center – Lot C in Louisville, from Oct. 29-31 and Nov. 2-6.

An additional testing location in Lexington will be announced soon and will open Nov. 16. Kentuckians can expect PCR test results within two or three days. Each patient receiving a test gets a pack of five cloth face coverings provided by HHS. Kentuckians can register for a test now here.

“Go vote early and get your COVID-19 test all at the same time,” said Gov. Beshear.

Long-Term Care Facilities Update

Cabinet for Health and Family Services Secretary Eric Friedlander updated Kentuckians on the state’s long-term care facilities. By the end of this week, approximately 330,000 Kentucky-sponsored surveillance COVID-19 tests will have been administered in long-term care facilities. Residents and staff in red counties are tested twice a week; those in orange counties are tested weekly.

“Thank you to long-term care staff members for your continued hard work and dedication,” said Secretary Friedlander. “Thanks to our residents, families, loved ones, providers, vendors and all who help support these very Kentuckians who hold such a special place among all of us.”

Secretary Friedlander said at Thomson-Hood Veterans Center in Wilmore, the largest facility operated by the Kentucky Department of Veterans Affairs, 54 veterans are currently positive and tragically, 11 have been lost to COVID-19. Twenty-three staff are currently positive.

The Cabinet for Health and Family Services is providing surveillance testing: Twice a week, PCR testing is being administered and on top of that, facilities are using Binex antigen testing for rapid results. Kentucky Department of Veterans Affairs Strike Teams have been deployed, staffed by health professionals from several states and representing the Federal Emergency Management Agency and the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs.

“We have to do our part. We have to wear our masks. We have to follow the guidelines. That’s the best way we can give back to our veterans and protect them,” said Secretary Friedlander.

Fast 4

Today, Lt. Gov. Jacqueline Coleman celebrated 2,500 nominees for Kentucky Teacher of the Year Awards, including middle and high school teacher honorees, Christopher McCurry, from Lafayette High School (Fayette County) and Laura Peavley from Westport Middle School (Jefferson County), and 2020 Kentucky Teacher of the Year Donnie Piercey from Stonewall Elementary School (Fayette County).

Next, she announced that Kentuckians now have the ability to complete the GED program virtually through Kentucky Skills U at no cost.

“You will remember in January, we announced the Free GED Program. I am proud to announce 1,032 people successfully earned their GED during the first six months of 2020. That is 1,032 Kentuckians bravely taking control of their future by furthering their education,” said Lt. Gov. Coleman. “As a teacher, I cannot begin to tell you what a big deal this is. I know the difference a high school diploma or a GED can make in a person’s life and future.”

The Lieutenant Governor, a former civics teacher, reminded Kentuckians they have six more days to vote. Voters can visit to find the status of an absentee ballot, ballot drop box locations, local polling places, sample ballots and more. Finally, Lt. Gov. Coleman said wearing a mask is not only a way to prevent yourself from catching the virus, it’s a way to prevent others from catching the virus. It is a patriotic act and a tangible show of love for your neighbors.

Virginia Moore Update

In a video update, American Sign Language interpreter Virginia Moore shared the wonderful news that she is now cancer-free. She reminded all Kentuckians to get regular cancer screenings.

“Team Kentucky’s kindness lifted me up and gave me the strength to go through this. It was overwhelming and just remarkable,” Moore said. “Let’s take that kindness and support and give it to everyone out there who is battling the coronavirus.”

St. Elizabeth Cancer Center Dedicates Music Therapy Studio In Honor Of Two "Suits That Rock" Volunteers

Two musicians, dedicated to supporting the arts in Kentucky, passed away in 2017...but their legacy is living on at the St. Elizabeth Cancer Center's Music Therapy room. (Img: Provided // L to R: Sue Clare, Kevin Canafax, Melissa Singer-Reed)

Earlier this month, the St. Elizabeth Cancer Center in Edgewood, Kentucky announced the dedication of the first-ever Music Therapy Studio in honor of Charles "Chuck" Gordon Reed III and Donald E. Clare, Jr., two musicians dedicated to supporting the arts in Northern Kentucky. Chuck and Don, who both passed away in 2017, were longtime performers with Suits That Rock, a fundraiser for The Carnegie in Covington, KY that funds in-school, after-school, and summer camp art programming for local students.

“We are grateful for the opportunity to honor Don and Chuck’s memory, their love of music and their service to our community through the Music Therapy Studio,” said Carri Chandler, Vice President of St. Elizabeth Foundation. “This studio exemplifies their lifelong passion for the arts and will serve as a resource for musical expression for patients and caregivers.”

Research shows people living with cancer who engage in creative arts therapy experience less depression and anxiety than those who don’t. Arts therapy provides a relaxing escape for patients and caregivers, who can embrace the creative process to express emotions. Developing this form of self-expression not only inspires personal growth, but also nurtures social interaction, which can relieve anxiety and enhance healing. 

For St. Elizabeth, this studio will bring music therapy to its inpatient and outpatient programs. The therapy will provide patients and their families with the options to play, listen to, or create music - providing emotional, sensory, and spiritual support. For more information on the Center’s approach to integrative oncology, take a virtual tour of the St. Elizabeth Cancer Center.

"During their combined 17-year tenure with Suits That Rock, Chuck and Don helped raise more than $1M for arts education programming,” said Kim Best, Executive Director of The Carnegie. “Subsequently, this helped The Carnegie’s art education programming to grow and serve more students each year. We are touched to know that Don and Chuck's memory will live on through the St. Elizabeth Cancer Center’s Music Therapy Studio."

Charles "Chuck" Gordon Reed III was the owner and president of River City Productions though family took center stage in Chuck's life. He began playing guitar at age 12 and later took up bass guitar at age 14 when his band's bass guitarist left the group. For more than 40 years he played with local and regional bands including Strange Brew, The Nightlife Band, and DV8, in which he shared the stage with his wife and fellow Suits That Rock volunteer, Melissa Singer-Reed.

"Music was such an important part of Chuck's life said his wife, Melissa. "When Chuck was approached to be a part of Suits That Rock, he was so excited to volunteer. Not only was he performing with his friends, but he had the opportunity to raise critical dollars for local arts programing through The Carnegie."

Donald E. Clare, Jr.,
a resident of Rabbit Hash, KY, built his career around helping others as an Emergency Room Nurse; 18 years at The Christ Hospital followed by 19 years at St. Elizabeth before retiring in 2015. Don wore many hats in the Northern Kentucky community. 

He devoted much of his life to music, writing, and the preservation of historic sites in Boone County. Don began singing and playing drums at the age of 16 and performed with a long list of bands over the years including Calico Rose and the Corryville Cowboys and The Buffalo Brothers. Don was on the board of directors of the Rabbit Hash Historical Society, a member of Friends of Big Bone, and an active supporter of the Dinsmore Homestead Foundation.

"In addition to all of his volunteer efforts, Don loved preforming with Suits That Rock - even though you would rarely catch him in a suit," said his wife, Sue Clare. "Don would want nothing more than to see his legacy of music live on in a place where he spent a majority of his time – St. Elizabeth."

To learn more about the St. Elizabeth Cancer Center, please visit

Open House to Present Proposed Cold Spring Police and Community Building Drawings

This preliminary proposal, released in February 2020, outlined the new Cold Spring civic rec center and police department buildings which included improved parking, an outdoor amphitheater and a separate entrance road for police vehicles.

by Robin Gee, city council beat editor

The public is invited to stop by on Wednesday, October 28, to see initial drawings for the proposed Cold Spring Police Department and new Community and Recreation Center buildings. 

Officials will be available at the Open House, which runs from 6 to 8 p.m., to answer questions about the proposed project. The event takes place at the Cold Spring City Building, 5694 East Alexandria Pike.

Residents can stop by to see drawings of the proposed Cold Spring Community and Recreation Center at an Open House October 28, or check them out on the city's website.

In February, presenters from PCA Architecture presented a rough proposal based on initial input gathered from a community survey and discussions with city officials and residents.

If you cannot attend, but have questions, email City Administrator Steve Taylor at

Links to all the drawings are available on the home page of the Cold Spring Kentucky city website

A drawing of the proposed amphitheater, part of the Cold Spring building project.