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Friday, July 30, 2021

Make college a reality with Northern Kentucky Scholar House

Make college a reality with Northern Kentucky Scholar House!

Brighton Center's Northern Kentucky Scholar House is now enrolling! 

This supportive community focuses on providing single-parents and their children the opportunity to pursue an education while assisting with housing, an on-site children development center, life skills workshops, and one-on-one coaching.

Read below to learn more. 
For more info and to schedule a tour, please email

About Northern Kentucky Scholar House

Northern Kentucky Scholar house is part of a comprehensive statewide, two-generation self-sufficiency program for single-parent families. The program strives to support single parents enrolled in post-secondary education on their journey to self-sufficiency. By providing access to affordable housing, quality child care, and support services, NKY Scholar House eliminates many of the barriers single parents face in reaching their academic and financial dreams. NKY Scholar House uses a unique two-generation approach providing services to both the parent and their children. NKY Scholar House readies individuals to enter the workforce while simultaneously setting children up for success in school. Research shows this holistic approach works to promote self-sufficiency across generations.

Northern Kentucky Scholar House, a partnership with Neighborhood Foundations, is located at the corner of Sixth Street & Patterson Street in Newport, KY. The site houses 42 two-bedroom and 6 three-bedroom apartments and a high-quality child development center, Early Scholars Child Development Center on the same campus.

Click here for more information.

Fort Mitchell teen wins Shot-A-Million drawing for free tuition

Today, Gov. Andy Beshear congratulated the second set of winners in Kentucky’s Shot at a Million sweepstakes, the state’s vaccine incentive program to encourage Kentuckians to get vaccinated against COVID-19.

“Congratulations to all of our winners! When you’re the Governor you get to do a lot interesting things, but getting to tell folks they just won a million dollars or that their kid’s education is taken care of, that’s pretty high on the list of duties I look forward to,” said Gov. Beshear. “Now, with the delta variant surging, it’s more important than ever that we talk about why we’re doing this drawing in the first place. We did it to encourage everyone to get vaccinated. Everyone eligible should sign up for a vaccine and the remaining drawing as soon as possible.”

The Governor said the second drawing was conducted Thursday, randomly selecting one adult Kentuckian for the $1 million prize and five youth to receive full-ride scholarships to a Kentucky public college, university, technical or trade school.

Julian Sandberg of Fort Mitchell was one of five teens to win the scholarship. 

The winner of the $1 million prize is Ginger Schultz from Louisville. Ginger’s husband, Michael Essen, also attended the news conference Friday.

“I have never experienced anything like this. It’s shocking because you don’t really think you’re going to win,” said Ginger Schultz. “Why take a chance at getting very sick and possibly die or even passing it on to someone else? That’s what my main concern was. My mom is 85 and she has breathing issues and I have always been very concerned about her getting it or me passing it on to her.”

“The reason we got vaccinated was because it was the right thing to do to protect ourselves and the people around us,” said Michael Essen. “I really believe getting vaccinated is what we have to do to get out of this tough situation.”

Orangetheory Fitness Newport Pavilion. 

The five Kentucky youth selected for full scholarships are:

Shelby Anderson of Louisville
Isabella Brozak of Crestwood
TJ Ponder of Owenton
Reese Johnson of Harrodsburg
Julian Sandberg of Fort Mitchell

Julian Sandberg, the son of Maria Sanders and Kal Steinberg, and grandson of Shirley and Robert Sanders, said: “I'd like to thank Gov. Beshear for this crazy opportunity and my parents for helping me get the vaccine. When kids my age were able to receive the vaccine, I got mine as soon as I could because I wanted my life to be normal again and to see my friends. Now the fact that I won this huge scholarship is completely surreal. I hope everybody gets vaccinated soon so that the school year goes well, and no one has to worry about COVID anymore.”

His mother, Maria, said: “The real prize here comes from the vaccine itself – freedom from anxiety and the ability to reclaim our lives from COVID. And now Julian's college education is paid for. It's icing on the cake. We can't believe our good fortune. I hope folks realize that scientists blessed us all with a miracle, and by saying yes to the vaccine, we move our state and country forward.”

His father, Kal, said: “Relief from the pressure of paying for college feels like an incredible burden has been lifted. Knowing that Julian won't have to take on student loans, and that Maria and I can breathe a bit – it's truly a gift.  I'm amazed that this reward comes simply from having him vaccinated – something we jumped at the chance to do anyway because it was the right thing to do. Thank you to Gov. Beshear for always prioritizing the health of Kentuckians and for looking out for kids like Julian.”

Vaccinated Kentuckians still have one more chance to become a millionaire or a scholarship winner. The remaining incentive drawing will take place Aug. 26, with one millionaire and five scholarship recipients announced the following day. Those who have not won remain eligible for the final drawing.

Gov. Beshear initially announced the Shot at a Million sweepstakes June 4. Since then, more than 692,000 adult Kentuckians and more than 40,900 youth have signed up for the sweepstakes.

Permanent residents of Kentucky can enter to win at, if they have received at least the first dose of the Pfizer or Moderna COVID-19 vaccines or the one-dose Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine.

$1 million: Kentuckians 18 and older who have received at least their first dose of a Moderna or Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine, or the one-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine, may enter to win one of three $1 million prizes.

Full Scholarship: Kentuckians 12 to 17 years old who have received at least their first dose of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine may enter to win one of 15 full scholarships to a Kentucky public college, university, technical or trade school, which includes tuition, room-and-board and books.
For more information, official rules and to enter, visit

Pandemic Unemployment Benefits to Expire in Ky. on Sept. 6

1324 Madison Ave. in Covington is the closest Kentucky Career Center office for NKY residents. 

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The additional unemployment benefits paid during the COVID-19 pandemic will end in Kentucky on September 6.

“With a surging economy and job opportunities available throughout the commonwealth, there isn’t a valid reason why any Kentuckian who wants a job shouldn’t be able to find one,” Gov. Andy Beshear said.

18 N. Fort Thomas Ave. 

Federal pandemic unemployment insurance benefit programs expire nationwide on Sept. 6. 

Unemployment insurance claimants in Kentucky will no longer be able to claim benefits from the following programs after that date:

- Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation (FPUC), which provides an additional $300 weekly payment to recipients of unemployment compensation.
- Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA), which provides benefits for those who would not usually qualify, including the self-employed, gig workers and part-time workers.
- Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC), which provides an extension of benefits once regular benefits have been exhausted.
- Mixed Earner Unemployment Compensation (MEUC), which provides an additional $100 benefit to certain people with mixed earnings.

Claimants participating in those programs will receive an email from the Kentucky Office of Unemployment Insurance (OUI) communicating that those benefit programs are ending. If claimants are waiting to receive an eligibility determination for any of these four federal programs, OUI will ensure that they receive payments owed to them for all weeks before September 6 for which they are determined eligible.

Choosing not to end pandemic unemployment benefits prematurely in the commonwealth has helped Kentuckians who lack access to child care at a time when students can’t be in school during summer months, the governor said. He also said that those benefits continue to pump $34 million each week into grocery stores, restaurants and retail establishments in our communities across the state.

“I have spoken many times about how we were not going to steer our recovery on a red or blue state solution but instead how we could ‘thread the needle’ just right to find the right solution to help the citizens of this state and our economy,” Beshear said.

That solution, he said, includes an incentive for people to return to work announced by the governor in June. Claimants who return to work by Friday’s deadline can qualify for a $1,500 back-to-work incentive. That bonus will pay the first 15,000 qualifying UI claimants who return to work between June 24 and July 30 a one-time taxable stipend of $1,500 if they meet all eligibility requirements.

The Kentucky Public Protection Cabinet will begin accepting applications for the incentive program beginning Aug. 2. The last day to apply is Oct. 1. 

Anyone needing job seeker assistance can contact their nearest Kentucky Career Center office for more details on available jobs in their area. Aside from job leads, KCC staff can also provide job search assistance, apprenticeship opportunities, vocational rehabilitation, adult education and training resources.

Kentuckians who are having difficulty paying rent and utilities can seek assistance through the Team Kentucky Eviction Relief Fund. 

Unemployment Insurance Trust Fund loan debt retired

The governor also announced Thursday that the federal unemployment insurance trust fund loan the commonwealth relied heavily upon to pay Kentuckians their benefits during the COVID-19 global health pandemic has been retired.

The Kentucky Labor Cabinet paid the balance on a $505.7 million loan July 22, utilizing one-time American Rescue Plan funds. State lawmakers set aside the money to pay off the loan earlier this year in House Bill 382, passed during the Kentucky General Assembly’s 2021 regular session.

“By paying off this loan, the commonwealth will avoid any interest that was expected to begin accruing after Sept. 6, surcharges and increases in employer federal unemployment taxes in 2022,” the governor said. “It allows us to keep our UI trust fund solvent and the tax burden down for our small businesses.”

The commonwealth was forced to borrow from the federal government to pay UI benefits after the fund became insolvent on June 30, 2020 – the result of a record number of unemployment insurance claims from pandemic-related shutdowns and layoffs.

The state requested monthly loan advances to continue paying UI benefits throughout the remainder of 2020. An injection of $203 million in CARES Act money into the fund by Gov. Beshear in December thwarted the need for additional monthly advances.

The current trust fund balance stands at $306.2 million, which is expected to carry payments through the end of 2021 without the need for additional borrowing.

Thursday, July 29, 2021

NKY man indicted, accused of raping several women in Campbell County dating back to 1987

FTM file. 

An indictment by a grand jury in Campbell County has led to a warrant issued for a Southgate man today at the Campbell County Courthouse. 

Already facing multiple rape charges in Hamilton County, William Blankenship, is now accused of raping women over several decades in Campbell County. In the indictment and according to prosecutors all of the instances of the home invasions and rape occurred in Southgate and Fort Thomas. 

William Blankenship. 

In February of 2020, Blankenship, 56, Blankenship, was charged with three counts of burglary, four counts of rape, two counts of kidnapping and two counts of gross sexual imposition.

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He was accused of breaking into three homes in the Mt. Washington/Anderson Township area from 1999-2001 and raping three separate victims.

When he was indicted last year, his nephew, Brad Blankenship, came forward to authorities and publicly asked his uncle to confess to more crimes he suspected William Blankenship had committed. 

“Confess to these crimes. Tell everyone the extent of them. Tell everyone what’s not already known in this investigation. Come out with everything. Just be honest,” Blankenship told Fox 19

Authorities followed up on the investigation and, according to prosecutors, found DNA evidence that led them to Blankenship. Detectives used DNA evidence and used websites like to build a case against Blankenship.

He's now facing 26 counts in Campbell County for the suspected rape of six people as far back as 1987. Blankenship is accused of breaking into the victims' homes to assault them. Two other victims who were forcibly raped were just 12-years-old. One of those victims was a statutory rape situation where a girl had a relationship with Blankenship beginning when she was 14.

Investigators believe there are likely more victims.

Blankenship remains in the Hamilton County Detention Center on a $1.5 million bond.

2021 Highlands Girls Golf Preview

Bluebirds Hope to Build Solid Team Behind Toole

Highlands senior KJ Toole has qualified for the state tournament individually the last two seasons. She became the first Highlands girls golfer to make it to the second day of the state tournament since 2010 last season. Toole also finished region runner-up.

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Those who follow the Highlands Bluebirds girls golf team know what KJ Toole can do.

Toole returns for her senior season after qualifying for the state tournament a second straight season last year. But unlike 2019, Toole became the first Highlands girls golfer to qualify for the second day of the state tournament since Lauren Harrett-Thornton did it in 2010.

90 Alexandria Pike. 

Toole shot an 84 on the 18-hole par 72 course in the Bowling Green Country Club to tie for 48th out of 143 golfers to make it to that final day. Toole shot an 88 on the second day for a two-day total of 172 good for 58th.

"It's been a lot of fun having her on the team," Highlands Head Coach Mike Lipscomb said of Toole. "She works really hard in all aspects of her game. I think the biggest thing is managing the game and knowing she doesn't have to hit drivers all the time and she can still make pars and birdies (one under par). She has a go-to shot if her driver is not going well. Whenever you have a club in your bag that you're always confident in, it makes at least getting off the tee or certain shots a lot easier. It can change a round to be honest."

The other player to qualify for the state tournament individually the last two years graduated in Ellie Rowland. Rowland was the only senior on the team last year.

The Bluebirds finished fourth in the 8th Region Tournament last year shooting a 387. Toole finished region runner-up shooting 74 and Rowland placed seventh shooting 85 to qualify for state. Only the region champion advances to the state tournament.

Teams need four solid scorers to win titles. The Bluebirds return the third and fourth scorers from last year in sophomore Bailey Markus and freshman Jenna Richey

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"Bailey has finally able to figure out a driver that works for her and she's getting much more confident and consistent with her irons,"
Lipscomb said. "Just in our tryouts, you could just tell she's oozing with confidence and it just shows with the scores she's been putting up."

The highest the Bluebirds have finished in the region tournament since Lipscomb took over came in 2019 when Highlands finished third in the 8th Region Tournament. The Bluebirds had played in the rugged 6th Region with the likes of Ryle and Notre Dame for years.

"I think we're all going to have to work together to be able to get comfortable and do well in the matches and tournaments," Markus said. "(Rowland and Toole have been) great role models. They taught me a lot and they've helped me through the years because I had a rough patch there for a while. They were always nice and they always encouraged everybody to be better and just stick with golf."

Lipscomb has seven golfers on the varsity roster. The other four will rotate in out of the lineup for tournaments. They are senior Helen Halbauer, juniors Aly Welch, Belle Bryant and Elise Brown.

"I'm really hoping last year they got a taste of what playing in matches and tournaments was about," Lipscomb said. "I'm just really hoping that they can go out, just play their game and not let it get to overwhelming for them. Golf is a tough sport. But overall, I'm just really lucky to have girls that are willing to work and get better. You really can't ask for much more than that."

The team plays in 10 tournaments this year. Toole will play in 14 after making all-state last year.

The season starts Monday in the Cooper Invitational at Lassing Pointe Golf Course in Union. The 8th Region Tournament takes place Sept. 27.

Highlands last qualified for state as a team in 2006 as the 6th Region runner-up. The team did not make the second day of the tournament. But Kelly Borman-DiCiero qualified for the second day individually.

Campbell County, Boone County Police investigate, arrest NKY man in connection with child pornography

On Thursday, July 29, 2021, Boone County Sheriff’s Office detectives executed a search warrant on Remington Cove (Burlington) after identifying a suspect in a child pornography investigation. The suspect was ultimately arrested.

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Ryan R. Guilfoyle, 33, of Burlington was identified after a connection was made to his computer through a Peer-to-Peer (P2P) file sharing network by an undercover computer, which is owned and operated by the Campbell County Police Department. Once the connection was made, Campbell County Police detectives received over 100 videos from Guilfoyle’s electronic device. Guilfoyle’s home address was identified through his IP address. Detectives from Campbell County learned that Guilfoyle’s home address was located in Boone County and referred the investigation to the Boone County Sheriff’s Office. 

Ryan Guilfoyle. 

Boone County Detectives executed a search warrant at Guilfoyle’s residence early this morning. During an interview, Guilfoyle admitted to detectives that he used a torrent software to download video files which contained videos of juvenile females in various sexual acts.

A warrant of Arrest was signed against Ryan Guilfoyle for one (1) count of Possession or Viewing Matter Portraying a Sexual Performance by a Minor – Class D Felony. He was arrested this afternoon and lodged at the Boone County Detention Center. His bond has been set at $10,000 cash.

Cincinnati Bell to provide massive fiber build in partnership with Campbell, Kenton, Boone Counties

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Cincinnati Bell is expanding its fiber network in Campbell County, Kenton County, and Boone County, and will be able to provide all 207,000 consumer and business addresses in those counties with fiber-to-the-premise gigabit Internet in the next 24-36 months.

The $181 million investment continues Cincinnati Bell’s ongoing commitment to increase digital equity in Northern Kentucky and ensure that all residents have access to education, healthcare, and employment opportunities.

Once the fiber build is complete, 95,000 new addresses in Campbell County, Kenton County, and Boone County will have access to fiber-to-the-premise gigabit Internet from Cincinnati Bell. Cincinnati Bell currently offers fiber-based gigabit Internet to 112,000 addresses in these counties.

- Under the agreement with Campbell County, which was approved on July 21, Cincinnati Bell will expand its fiber network and offer fiber-based gigabit Internet to 17,600 addresses that are currently unserved or underserved. Campbell County is committing up to $4.5 million to the project.

- Under the agreement with Kenton County, which was approved on July 27, Cincinnati Bell will expand its fiber network and offer fiber-based gigabit Internet to 37,000 addresses that are currently unserved or underserved. Kenton County is committing up to $10.8 million to the project.

- Under the agreement with Boone County, announced in March, Cincinnati Bell will expand its fiber network and offer fiber-based gigabit Internet to 40,000 addresses that are currently unserved or underserved. The Boone County Fiscal Court is committing up to $13.6 million to the project.

In addition to expanding its fiber network, Cincinnati Bell is also announcing that its UniCity organization will invest a total of $1.1 million to support Smart City initiatives in each county to enhance the quality of life for residences and businesses, and allow local governments to provide more value-added services to constituents.

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“Broadband Internet expansion through the use of fiber to the premises is a goal the County Commissioners and I have had for several years, and the COVID-19 pandemic only accentuated the need for this project,” said Campbell County Judge/Executive Steve Pendery. “We are proud to partner with Cincinnati Bell on this transformative initiative that will improve the daily lives of our residents and businesses for years to come.”

“One of Kenton County’s top priorities is to deliver access to high-speed broadband Internet to all of our families. That goal is now becoming a reality with the approval of our contract with Cincinnati Bell to make fiber-to-the-premise available to all residents in the next 24 to 36 months, offering one gigabit internet to more than 37,000 addresses,” Judge/Executive Kris Knochelmann said. “It’s an exciting development for Kenton County, and as historic as any initiative ever undertaken here in our community. Most importantly, I believe in the potential of our people, and I know delivering fiber-based broadband to their homes will empower them to pursue their dreams.”

“I am very pleased that our three Northern Kentucky counties will have a unified regional approach to broadband fiber, in partnership with Cincinnati Bell, that will enhance connectivity through the deployment of high speed fiber-to-the-premise,” said Boone County Judge/Executive Gary Moore. “This project will be transformative to Boone County and the region and will improve the quality of life for our citizens.”

Cincinnati Bell has a long history and progressive experience in providing and managing large and complex wireline and wireless projects. As the leading supplier of fiber-based services in Greater Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky, Cincinnati Bell has invested more than $1 billion into its fiber network to date, which currently reaches approximately 500,000 addresses in Greater Cincinnati.

2021 Highlands Boys Golf Preview: Expectations are high

Expectations Still High for Bluebirds

PHOTO: G. Michael Graham, Fort Thomas Matters. Highlands junior Joel Craft is one of three players returning who golfed in the state tournament last fall. Highlands placed a program-best sixth in state last year.

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Two of the most prolific players in Highlands Bluebirds boys golf history may have graduated.

But the high standards have not changed. The Bluebirds finished a program-best sixth place in the state tournament in Bowling Green last fall after winning the 8th Region Tournament for the second time in three seasons.

"Our expectation is to win region again,"
said Bert Richey, Highlands Head Coach. "I think we've got enough returning so that's going to be our goal as always."

JD Gabbard took his talents to Xavier University and Luke Muller, who also helped the Highlands boys basketball team to the first state championship in school history, will be playing down the road at Northern Kentucky University. Mac Valentine and Isaiah Lampkin also graduated.

Gabbard had a chance to win the individual state championship on the last hole. But he had to settle for a tie for fifth despite shooting a four-below 68 on the second day of the state tournament for a two-day total of 143.

But the Bluebirds return three players who golfed at state last year. They are senior Jack Schneider, junior Joel Craft and freshman Hank Shick. Craft also golfed on the 2018 state tournament team as an eighth grader.

"They (Craft, Shick and Schneider) all have the experience and understand what it takes to win the region," Richey said. "Now they're going to be the anchors and we're going to have a couple other young kids that are going to be playing in their first regional championship this year."

But while Richey said those three have put in a lot of work in the offseason, he has said for years it takes four solid scores for teams to win tournaments and dual events. The top two candidates to fill that role at this time are two freshmen in Nate Surrey and Oliver Golden.

The veteran golfers understand the mental part of the game. Richey emphasizes not letting one bad shot carry over to the next shot.

"We believe in ourselves," Schneider said. "It's all about keeping the right attitude throughout the whole round. We have to show (the younger golfers) the ropes. We just have to tell them things happen when you're playing golf. It's not a perfect game. It's all about your misses. If you keep a good attitude throughout the whole thing, you can do well."

Highlands won 10 tournaments total last year including the region title. The Bluebirds play in 16 tournaments this year. But the main goal is to be playing well at the end of the season.

NKU tabs former Chicago White Sox farmhand as assistant baseball coach

Connor Walsh played six seasons in the Chicago White Sox organization after playing collegiately at UC. 

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Northern Kentucky baseball head coach Dizzy Peyton rounds out his staff with the addition of Connor Walsh as an assistant coach. Walsh is no stranger to Norse baseball after serving in a volunteer assistant coaching role between 2018-19. 

“It’s yet again, another great day for the Norse baseball family. Our pitching staff just got better today,” said Coach Peyton. 

“We’re grateful to have Connor and his fiancé Julia joining us on this journey of making our NKU baseball program better.  Coach Walsh is full of energy and is eager to get started in his colligiate coaching career. He brings a great amount of experience from his professional baseball career as a pitcher, as well as working with the Norse and the Bearcats in various roles working with student-athletes.  I am very excited for our pitchers to get to work with him, his knowledge and application of the mental game and his progressive thinking in pitching is precisely what we were seeking in this role.  I believe he will take our pitching staff to the next level that we need to get our baseball program to the caliber that we are seeking in the near future.”    
“I am extremely privileged to be offered this position by Coach Peyton,” said Walsh. “Having the ability to impact and lead individuals in a game that has taught me so much in my career is an honor. Northern Kentucky University is an amazing school with much to offer, and I'm excited to prove that to our future student athletes!”  

Since December 2019, Walsh has served as the director of player development for Cincinnati. His role with the Bearcats included coaching and consulting pitchers through the use of sabermetric data. Walsh also guided UC’s mental skills and leadership meetings. His volunteer role at NKU included much of the same responsibilities. 
Walsh spent six years in the Chicago White Sox organization as a right-handed hurler. He played collegiately for the Bearcats before being selected in the 2014 Major League Baseball Draft. Walsh worked his way up to Triple-A, where he was named an All Star in 2019 when he was pitching for the Charlotte Knights. 

Alert 🚨 KY 9 (Licking Pike) in Newport to Be Closed for Floodgate Work

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A section of KY 9 (Licking Pike) will be closed to through traffic for floodgate work in Newport during the week of Aug. 3 - 6.

The road will be closed to traffic between Aspen Ct. and W 12th Street during the hours of 9 a.m. and 3 p.m. Local traffic will have access, but no access through the floodgate area.

The signed detour will be KY 9 to KY 1632 (Moock Road) to U.S. 27 to KY 1120 to KY 9. Work is weather-dependent.

Motorists can get Northern Kentucky road construction updates on District 6 Road Report. Follow KYTC District 6 on our Facebook page at KYTC District 6 or on our Twitter page at KYTC District 6. For Kentucky’s latest traffic and travel information, visit GoKy or navigate traffic by downloading the free Waze app at WAZE

Wednesday, July 28, 2021

Here are the NKY Chamber Young Professionals Next Generation Leaders Award Winners

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The Northern Kentucky Chamber and NKY Young Professionals announced the 2021 NextGeneration Leader award winners last night at Hotel Covington. 

The finalists were chosen by a review panel of community leaders from among nearly 90 applications submitted from across the region. The three highest scored applications in each category are recognized as finalists and last night, the top score in each category was honored as the category winner.

The NGLAs salute and applaud young professionals ages 40 and under for significant professional accomplishments, demonstrated leadership, and community impact.

Best Wings in Greater Cincinnati! 1017 S. Fort Thomas Ave. 

Additionally, Shannan Boyer, president and founder of Scooter Media in Covington, was named the 2021 NKYP Legend Award recipient. Boyer received the award in recognition of her impressive 20-plus years working in communications on a local, regional, and national level. She is best-known for founding her PR agency, Scooter Media, in 2012.  

“Shannan embodies the spirit of NKYP by paying it forward and giving back to the region. As an original member back when the program was known at Legacy, she continues to stand behind this program and connects with young professionals to give guidance and advice,” said Ellen Bates, 2020-21 Chair for NKYP.

“It’s humbling to receive this award, especially when I think about how far I’ve come since being involved in NKYP during the early years. This impactful program provides our region’s young professionals with opportunities to engage, connect and grow early in their careers,” Boyer explained. 
They have been presented in seven categories over the past ten years.

The 2021 NGLA winners are:

Elsheika Thompson, Beechwood High School

Mark Ramler, Mansion Hill Properties

Medical & Healthcare Services
Angela Brunemann, St. Elizabeth Healthcare

Professional Services
Ryan McClane, DBL Law

Public Relations, Media and Marketing
Lauren Vogel, Scooter Media

Public Service and Community Based Organizations
Jessica Fette, City of Erlanger

Skilled Trades & Technology
Hannah Lowen, New Riff Distilling

“The Next Generation Leader Awards take time to recognize a few of the amazing young leaders that we have in the Northern Kentucky and Greater Cincinnati community. Our region is full of young talent that are passionate, innovative, and invested in making this a welcoming and thriving area. We are so excited to celebrate this year’s honorees,” said Ellen Bates, of the Brighton Center and the 2020-2021 NKYP Chair.

Other finalists were:
C.J. Fryer, Beechwood High School
Angela Walker, Cincinnati Public Schools

Ricardo Grant, NKU SoCap Accelerate & Paloozanoire
Joshua Reid, Inphlu

Medical & Healthcare Services
Jessica Cleek, St. Elizabeth Physicians
Erica Neff, St. Elizabeth Physicians

Professional Services
Olivia Amlung, Adams Law PLLC
Carey Sanders, Fifth Third Bank

Public Relations, Media and Marketing
Cara Brooks, Duke Energy  
Troy Fedders, St. Elizabeth Healthcare
Courtney Kleier, NKY Chamber

Public Service and Community Based Organizations
Lauren Copeland, Brighton Center
Joe Klare, The Catalytic Fund

Skilled Trades & Technology
Jason Hickey, Terracon Consultants
Madison Smith, Fifth Third Bank

Cincinnati, TQL Stadium to host US-Mexico 2022 World Cup qualifier

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Cincinnati will host a men's World Cup qualifying match at FC Cincinnati's TQL Stadium between the United States and Mexico on Nov. 12.

The match is part of a 14-game qualifying schedule, featuring eight countries from the CONCACAF region are battling for three spots in the 2022 World Cup in Qatar. The fourth place team will enter inter-confederation play for a final spot.

The match is historically hosted in Columbus.
This is just the second time the U.S. Men's National Team has played in Cincinnati. The first was June 9, 2019, when the USA hosted Venezuela at Nippert Stadium in a tune-up match ahead of the 2019 Gold Cup. 

A famous chant "Dos-A-Cero" became an unofficial nickname of the game between the US Team and Mexico, which originated from similar World Cup qualifiers held in Columbus. 

It signifies the final score (2-nil) and is a rallying cry for the home team, which has been the final result from the last four World Cup qualifiers played in Columbus, Ohio. It's has actually been the most common scoreline in the series. There have been 13 games out of 66 total in the U.S. vs. Mexico rivalry that have ended with 2-0 on the scoreboard.

2026 World Cup

Cincinnati remains in the running to be a host city for the 2026 World Cup. The United States is jointly hosting the 2026 World Cup with Canada and Mexico. Three cities each in Canada and Mexico are already determined. Cincinnati is among the 17 U.S. cities bidding for one of the 10 U.S. host city slots.

According to a release, games in Cincinnati would be held at Paul Brown Stadium. 

NKY Education Council awarded $15k grant from Duke Energy to expand One to One Reading

Photo by Adam Winger on Unsplash

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The Northern Kentucky Education Council’s One to One Reading programs recently received a $15,000 Duke Energy Foundation Grant that will help deepen and expand One to One programs in 14 Northern Kentucky school communities by providing:

• Recruitment and training of more One to One Reading Coaches,

• Additional Parents as Partners cohorts, and

• New resources and books for students and families.

To help customers and communities recover from the COVID-19 pandemic, Duke Energy has awarded grants to numerous organizations throughout Kentucky and Ohio. The foundation grant awarded to the Northern Kentucky Education Council specifically addresses one of their top priority areas – summer reading loss experienced by rising kindergartners through rising third graders with an emphasis on addressing new gaps/barriers created by COVID.

“We are so grateful for the generous support of the Duke Energy Foundation,” said Polly Lusk Page, Director of One to One. “The grant will support both students and families as we emerge from this pandemic, providing them with valuable resources that will help them advance and improve their reading skills.”

One to One offers business leaders, community volunteers, and parents/guardians an opportunity to play an integral role in helping young students with the necessary support to be successful in reading.

“We are proud to support the One to One Reading Program at the Northern Kentucky Education Council,” said Amy Spiller, president, Duke Energy Ohio and Kentucky. “We know that strong reading skills are fundamental to building students’ confidence as early learners to help them thrive and succeed in life.”

14 N. Grand Ave. 

Dr. Randy Poe, Executive Director of the Northern Kentucky Education Council, said “Our One to One Reading programs offer tutoring by trained coaches and provide parents/guardians with resources needed to help their children. By leveraging these cohesive strategies in and out of school, we will be able to help mitigate the affect that the pandemic has had on learning for some our youngest students in Northern Kentucky.”

Working in concert with parents, coaches, schools, and partners is critical to alleviate disparities in learning. Dr. Janice Wilkerson, Assistant Superintendent, Covington Schools shares “We will need our One to One Reading Coaches more than ever this year as we return to full-time in-person learning with all of our students. We can’t wait to have our coaches in our schools again!”

One to One partners with more than 30 schools in Northern Kentucky. Volunteer coaches are trained to tutor students in 1st-3rd grade during the school year and help them gain confidence in their literacy skills. In addition, the One to One Parents as Partners program provides a multi-generational approach by working with parents/guardians in the same school community where children are being tutored. Parents learn effective reading strategies to use with their child to help increase their growth in reading.

One to One is currently seeking new reading coaches for the 2021-2022 academic year. Coach training sessions are scheduled in August and are open for registration.

Tuesday, July 27, 2021

Eden Parks's newest attraction, Tom Jones Commons, has Fort Thomas connection

Tom Jones cuts the ribbon at Tom Jones Commons at Eden Park. Provided. 

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Tom Jones has always been a giver. 

That was clear when in 2015, he donated $250,000 to create an outdoor plaza and revitalize Highlands High School’s “Avenue of Champions.”

Meet Ethan and the team.

The valedictorian of class of 1963, Jones was editor-in-chief of the Hilltopper, Highlands' school newspaper, when he wrote an editorial saying Highlands’ state championship teams needed to have their own “Avenue of Champions” similar to one at a local university. 

Now, he and his family helped cut the ribbon on another passion project, this time in Eden Park, which is now known as Tom Jones Commons. The 3.5-acre area located south of Mirror Lake and along Martin Drive near the old reservoir, is an important extension of this park because of its many features, like wetlands, new trees, a walking loop, a nature playscape and connectivity to other parts of the park.

Jones and his family all grew up in Fort Thomas, having graduated from Ruth Moyer Elementary and then Highlands High School. His brother Jim and Nancy (Barre), along with their families, were at the ribbon cutting ceremony. 

Tom lived in Mt. Adams for 40 years, and upon retiring from P&G, he began taking morning walks through Eden Park. These daily walks led to friendships with Cincinnati Parks staff including Casey McCann Parks District Crew Leader who would often join Tom, regular encounters with local wildlife, like deer and ducks, and small acts of kindness, such as picking up trash.

Eden Park gave Tom so much, he wanted to return the favor. How could he give back in a meaningful way that would benefit both the park and the community? Tom connected with Steve Schuckman of Cincinnati Parks and Jennifer Spieser of Cincinnati Parks Foundation, and together they created a plan to transform the empty reservoir space below Mirror Lake into a place where community members can gather, recreate, play and explore. 

Tom described the Commons as “A space coming to life offering something for everyone, a true representation  of why I believe in and support parks. Wherever you live, parks make that world a better place for everyone. Be a part of their story. Use and support and caring is your way to say thank you.” We are beyond grateful for his vision and generosity and can’t wait to see the positive impact it has on the park and the community. 

Read the narrative, from Cincinnati Parks:



Tom Jones Commons Features

The Missing Piece

Tom Jones Commons truly represents the “missing piece” by, for the first time, connecting Walnut Hills and Mt. Adam neighborhoods, and the amazing institutions in Eden Park, so the entire area can be explored by foot. Now a connection exists between the iconic Krohn Conservatory, the Art Museum, Playhouse in the Park and Cincinnati Ballet. There is also a connection between Tom Jones Commons and Mirror Lake. This continues to advance Cincinnati Parks’ goal of becoming more pedestrian friendly. The welcome kiosk will include information about the links to the community organizations in the vicinity.