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RECORDER

Your Community Recorder newspaper serving Northern Kenton County

THURSDAY, DECEMBER 20, 2012

YOUTH LEADERS A5 Covington Catholic students attend Youth Assembly.

BECAUSE COMMUNITY MATTERS

Roadwork halts in Fort Mitchell By Libby Cunningham Lcunningham@nky.com

FORT MITCHELL — Roadwork on one of the busiest streets in Fort Mitchell has halted, bringing residents new sidewalks and pavement. Construction on Pleasant Ridge Avenue is done, for now. Work began on the first portion of a three-part project in March, when Sanitation District No. 1 redid a majority of the sanitary and sewer systems under the road. It was completed on Nov. 21, the day before Thanksgiving. Fort Mitchell started to reconstruct the road in September, said Public Works Director David

Noll, because it’s “probably one of the most used roads in the city.” The middle section of construction is done, meaning that in the future the city will work from each end to complete the project, Noll said. This includes a section from Dixie Highway to Carlisle Avenue and another from Beechwood Road to 100 Pleasant Ridge Ave. The road is convenient for people passing through and trying to get to Dixie Highway because of a traffic light where the two roads intersect, Noll said. “The plan for this started even before I was on (City) Council, this was many years ago,” Noll, a previous Fort Mitchell city councilman, said. “... It’s just become

part of our road replacement program.” The program will cost close to $2 million when it’s completed, with $400,000 budgeted for part one. While putting up with construction for now, residents on Pleasant Ridge Avenue will see the benefits later including new sidewalks in front of their homes and a new road, he said. At most this section might need a few touch-ups in the spring, Noll said. “The nice thing is folks won’t have to see a heavy truck on that road for decades,” Noll said. “The rest of the road will be done.”

Visit www.nky.com/FortMitchell for more community news

Construction on Pleasant Ridge Avenue in Fort Mitchell, which paved new road and added new sidewalks to the street, halted on Nov. 21. The road project, which will repave all of Pleasant Ridge Avenue, is expected to happen in three parts. LIBBY CUNNINGHAM/THE COMMUNITY RECORDER

Cops help kids check off lists By Libby Cunningham Lcunningham@nky.com

Friends and family of the late Mary Middleton – including Kenton County Jailer Terry Carl, Kentucky District 63 Rep. Alecia Webb-Edgington, Shawn Baker, Kenton County Circuit Court Clerk John Middleton, Rich Middleton, and Joey, Will and Janet Middleton and Camille Sommers – rang Salvation Army bells in her honor at Fort Wright Walmart on Saturday, Dec. 15. AMY SCALF/THE COMMUNITY RECORDER

Friends of Mary Middleton keep bells ringing By Amy Scalf ascalf@nky.com

FORT WRIGHT — Family holiday traditions are important. As Northern Kentucky philanthropist Mary Middleton faithfully rang bells for the Salvation Army each December before her death in 2011, her family continues her tradition. Her sons, John and Rich, joined family members, beloved family friends and community

volunteers to keep the bells ringing at the spots where Middleton once stood, shaking hands, greeting people and spreading holiday cheer in her honor. John, also known as Kenton County Circuit Court Clerk, dons a whimsical Santa hat, and his sons Will and Joey follow suit to keep spirits light, and they smile as they ring. “We only wear the hats for this one special occasion,” he said Saturday at the Fort Wright Wal-

mart. “We’re ringing the bell for Mary, in her memory, to continue her tradition.” “She was in charge of this for years, faithfully,” said Shawn Baker, a close friend and member of the Kenton County Republican Women’s Club, of which Middleton was a member. Baker said members of the Rotary Club of Covington also volunteered to help them ring

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Joe Schutzman, 18, helps Ryan Carroll, 6, try on a new winter coat. The Crescent Springs/Villa Hills Fire Department member took part in Shop with a Cop on Dec. 12. LIBBY CUNNINGHAM/THE COMMUNITY RECORDER

in emergency vehicles. Officers from departments including Villa Hills, Erlanger, Elsmere, Lakeside Park and the Kenton County Sheriff’s Office fire up the lights and sirens and proceed to Kmart. That was 6-year-old Ryan Carroll’s favorite part. “I got to ride in a fire truck,” Carroll said, while trying on a new winter coat. Carroll was helped by 18year-old Joe Schutzman with the Crescent Springs/Villa Hills Fire Department. “As a little kid I’d do this with my dad,” said Schutzman, whose father is the assistant police chief in Villa Hills. “It’s cool, you get to help out with the kids. It’s fun.” Vol. 17 No. 7 © 2012 The Community Recorder ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

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EDGEWOOD — It’s two weeks before Christmas but 8-year-old Dylan Williams can check a few things off his list. First, a suit for family photos and second, an Elsmere police officer to buy it with. Williams, of Elsmere, is a a student at River Ridge Elementary School and took part in Shop with a Cop on Dec. 12. “He wanted an Elsmere police officer because that’s where he was from,” said Todd Cummins of Elsmere Police Department. Eighteen River Ridge students got to shop with local cops this year for Christmas gifts during Shop with a Cop, said Debbie LeDonne, coordinator of the school’s family resource center. Each year local law enforcement officers are given funds and assigned a needy kid to take Christmas shopping at Kmart in Edgewood. Funds are provided through donations and each student gets around $200 to spend on necessities and gifts. “It’s rewarding, very rewarding,” said Chrissy Willman with the Crescent Springs/Villa Hills Fire Department. “It gives you a good feeling.” Willman was with 6-year-old Makylla Barnett, who wanted anything Hello Kitty. Students at Shop with a Cop are given the star treatment and picked up from River Ridge

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NEWS

A2 • COMMUNITY RECORDER • DECEMBER 20, 2012

BRIEFLY Edgewood to recycle trees

EDGEWOOD — Edgewood citizens can recycle Christmas trees starting Dec. 26. Trees can be dropped off at President’s Park or Freedom Park for recycling through Jan. 14.

City Building closed for Christmas FORT

MITCHELL

Fort Mitchell’s city building will be closed in observance of Christmas. The Fort Mitchell City Building will close on Dec. 24-25. It will be open for regular office hours on Dec. 26. If you need the police department during this time use the buzzer intercom.

Free NKU tickets for Edgewood residents

EDGEWOOD — Edgewood residents can enjoy free tickets to a Northern Kentucky University basketball game in January. Proof of residency

and a flier are all residents need to gain admission to the Jan. 5 game. The flier can be obtained at the Edgewood City Building, 385 Dudley Road. The Norse will play the University of South Carolina Upstate at 7 p.m. at the Bank of Kentucky Center, Highland Heights.

Giving away smiles in Edgewood

EDGEWOOD — Dentistry from the Heart will bring healthier smiles to people who need dental work at an Edgewood dental office this January. One hundred people in need of basic dental care will be seen starting at 9 a.m. Jan. 12, 2003, at Edgewood Dental Care, 155 Barnwood Drive. Dentistry from the Heart is a nonprofit that provides free dental care. Dentist Kevin McMahon and his team will give patients treatments like fillings, simple extractions and cleanings during the event.

Popular pastor to leave Piner By Amy Scalf ascalf@nky.com

MORNING VIEW — Before March 2, B.J. Donahue didn’t really have a use for boxes of business cards bearing his name and title at Piner Baptist Church. In the aftermath of the tornadoes on that tragic day, he’s handed those cards to people from near and far responding to help the community. Now, it’s time for a new card. Donahue starts as main pastor at Flemingsburg Baptist Church, about 70 miles southeast of Piner and just fewer than 20 miles south of Maysville, on Jan. 7, 2013. Before he goes, he will oversee a final financial distribution to families affected by the tornadoes. At 7 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 20, Piner Baptist Church will distribute the remainder of the Piner Relief Fund to approximately 80 families who owned homes that were catastrophically damaged on March 2. “We’ll be giving that money out, but that’s not the end of our resources. Members of the Long Term Recovery Committee still have resources,” said Don-

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ahue. “In no way will the church stop ministering to the needs of this community. It’s just the end B.J. Donahue of this financial situation. We will continue to serve as a hub. ” The Long Term Recovery Committee, which Donahue co-chaired with business owner Lisa Raterman, will continue to have meetings at the church. "It’s a sad day for our community. B.J. has been a great leader for the Long Term Recovery Committee, and as a co-chair, I’m certainly going to miss him and his family, but I wish him well,” said Raterman. The committee is also making a transition. Initially founded under a Facebook page, “Coordination of help for NKY victims of 3.2.12 tornado,” the committee is starting a new group on the social media site, more simply titled, “Northern Kentucky Long Term Recovery Committee.” The name change also signals the group’s focus from helping to resolve immediate needs to preparing for future events. “Once all our cases have wound down, we have time to putting resources in place for the next time something else happens,” said Raterman. “Hopefully we're blessed and don't

Index Calendar .................B2 Classifieds ................C Food ......................B3 Life ........................B1 Obituaries .............. B6 Schools ..................A5 Sports ....................A6 Viewpoints .............A8

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have another disaster for many, many years. If we do, I hope the long term recovery committee will be in place and can help as a secondary level of support for families. We can be there ready to hit the ground running, so it may be a little easier and quicker to get responses to folks in need when a disaster may happen.” The Long Term Recovery Committee can still be reached at 859-363-LTRC (5872) and email can be sent to NKYTornadoRecovery@gmail.com. The group also has a bank account set up at Fifth Third Bank for donations. “The LTRC case managers are settled in and they’re a group of workers who have worked tirelessly to come alongside families in their recovery. They really have a pulse for them. That’s comforting as I walk away, to know it’s in good hands and to know there’s an end in sight. Everyone has recovered or they know how they’re going to do it,” said Donahue. “It makes me nostalgic. This recovery has been such a major part of my life and ministry. As we consider moving, it’s hard to realize that I won’t be thinking about that when I go to bed. Taking that off won’t be easy. Not having that responsibility will be weird and odd. Fortunately the people I’ve worked with have done a great job.” Donahue feels “grateful to have been used in our church. I’m proud of the way we were able to respond.” “It speaks volumes about the people, the members of Piner Baptist, who have gone above and beyond to help others, but God gave us the opportunity to do that. We know we didn’t do everything right, and we never will, but

we’re grateful to God for the opportunity to serve this community and we look forward to continuing to do it for years to come,” he said. Church members feel the same way. “B.J. has been such a huge part of this family for over six years and has served with faithfulness and humor. We have been so blessed under his leadership, which was critical through the tornado of March 2. We know that God put him in the place for just that purpose – to be a helper to our church and community in a time of crisis,” said Kimberly Cook, Piner Baptist Church’s administrative assistant. “As difficult as this change will be for our Piner Baptist Church family, particularly his staff, we know that God has a wonderful plan for the Donahue family as they make this move to another place of ministry. The loss of B.J., Melissa, Joshua, Lauren, Jacob, Lily and Joseph leaves a huge hole in our hearts and lives, but we wish them every good thing that the Lord has ready for them.” Donahue said an interim pastor has been named for the church, Calvin Perry, who served as pastor of Main Street Baptist in Alexandria for 30 years. He said Perry will lead church services while the members conduct their search committee to find a permanent pastor. Donahue said he’ll remain close with the local community. “We don’t want to be strangers to this community. We have a love for this community that will continue. We’re not cutting ties,” he said. “I said it this way the other day, ‘I’m not leaving. I’m just going somewhere else.’ It makes no sense, but I like it.”

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her, and she did so much good for the county,” said Kenton County Jailer Terry Carl. “She motivated me to do this. I started a couple of years ago, and it’s basically in her memory that I’m out here.” Kentucky State Rep. Alecia Webb-Edgington agreed. “Mary was my mentor, one of many I’ve had in my career. What a great honor it is, and a privilege, to be here in her honor,” she said. “I know she’s looking down on us today, smiling.” “That’s why it’s not rainy and cold,” said Janet Middleton, John’s wife and Mary’s daughter-in-law. “She stood out in the cold every year, and now she’s watching out for us.”

Continued from Page A1

bells this year. She said the club honored Middleton with a posthumous Paul Harris Fellowship earlier this week, the first time a non-Rotarian or Rotarian’s family member has been given the honor in the club’s nearly 100-year history. “It’s not hard to get people to ring the bell. Everybody knew Mary,” she said. “It’s also a Rotarian custom to help the Salvation Army every year,” said Marja Barrett, a Rotary Club member and another of Mary’s dear friends. Elected officials, who were also Middleton’s friends, participated as well. “I thought the world of

Visit nky.com/kentoncounty for more community news

COMMUNITY RECORDER

Find news and information from your community on the Web Kenton County • nky.com/kentoncounty

News

Nancy Daly Senior Editor ......................578-1059, ndaly@nky.com Libby Cunningham Reporter .................578-1056, lcunningham@nky.com Amy Scalf Reporter ............................578-1055, ascalf@nky.com Melanie Laughman Sports Editor ............513-248-7573, mlaughman@nky.com James Weber Sports Reporter ................578-1054, jweber@nky.com

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NEWS

DECEMBER 20, 2012 • COMMUNITY RECORDER • A3

Teen guitarist performs in Nashville By Stephanie Salmons ssalmons@nky.com

UNION — Jason Owens, the 16-year-old Union resident who’s lead guitarist of up-and-coming country band Jetset Getset, is taking his music on the road, heading to Music City twice this month with his band. Jetset Getset was recently invited to appear on Balcony TV, an online music show that features bands, musicians and other variety acts performing on balconies and rooftops around the world. The group was set to tape an acoustic version of “I Got You,” a song from their album, on Dec. 12. The song was written by Nashville songwriter Tom Paden, who’s penned hits for Reba McEntire, Kenny Rogers and other well-

known artists. They returned to Nashville on Dec. 19 for a performance at the Hard Rock Cafe, opening for singer/ songwriter Blane Howard. Owens, who’s homeschooled, said he’s been playing the guitar since he was 10. He was in the car with his mom when a Brad Paisley song came on “and I was like that is what I want to do,” he said. While his parents didn’t think he’d stick with it, playing guitar “stuck.” Owens has been with Jetset Getset for almost two years and first met them in a recording studio. “They needed a guitar player that was young,” he said. Owens said he loves everything in the band and they have fun on stage. “I’m really looking forward to next week when we

go down and play the Hard Rock with the live band,” he said. He’s never played there before, “so it’ll be cool to play that venue.” Music is where Owens sees his future. “My dream would be to be a member of the Grand Ole Opry some day.” The band, whose members live in Dearborn County, Ind., and Northern Kentucky, is fronted by15-yearold singers Tori Little, Avery Eliason and Sadie Loveland. Bass player Paul Kelley, of Crittenden, attends Ryle High School. Jetset Getset has recently released its first professionally produced album, “Saturday Night,” whose title track is starting to get airplay throughout the United States as well as England, Switzerland and Japan.

Guitarist Jason Owens, right, 16, of Union, rocks out with singer Sadie Loveland during a recent performance by Jetset Getset. THANKS TO BOB LOVELAND

Grant keeping Kenton Co. green By Amy Scalf ascalf@nky.com

Bring in in your your Bring family and and family celebrate the the celebrate holidays holidays

Kenton County Judge-executive Steve Arlinghaus deposits the first bag of recyclables in the county’s new bins, received through a state grant. AMY SCALF/THE COMMUNITY RECORDER “The way everything is going green, people are more in a mindset to recycle,” said Wells. Although he’s not sure yet how much the county will collect from the recycling, Arlinghaus is glad to be saving money. “It’s all good,” said Arlinghaus. “We’re just doing our part for the environment and saving tax dollars by doing it.” Wells said the cost of the eight Dumpsters and the trailer was funded by a $306,000 award to the Northern Kentucky Solid Waste Management Area, comprising Boone, Kenton and Campbell counties, from $3.9 million distributed to 61 grantees throughout the state. Through the grant, Boone County also received eight Dumpsters and a trailer, and the region got a conveyor, a skid steer

loader, a baler and educational materials. The awards were announced by Gov. Steve Beshear on June 13. “Recycling and managing household hazardous waste plays a large part in Kentucky’s efforts to go green and conserve energy statewide,” said Beshear. The Kentucky Pride Fund, administered by the Energy and Environment Cabinet’s Division of Waste Management, receives a portion of the $1.75 fee for each ton of municipal solid waste disposed of in Kentucky landfills. The grants require a 25 percent local match in the form of cash or “in-kind” personnel, educational materials, educational activities and advertising to promote the program from the cities or counties receiving the awards. Arlinghaus said Kenton

County did not spend cash to match the grant, and that Kenton’s contribution to the match was through “inkind” labor.

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INDEPENDENCE — Kenton County leaders are saving money and the environment, thanks to a grant from the Kentucky Pride Fund, which financed eight new recycling containers and a remote-controlled fifth wheel trailer with which to empty them. Kenton County Judgeexecutive Steve Arlinghaus and Kenton County fleet maintenance director Roger Wells discussed the placement of the eight containers on Dec. 10. Five large metal recycling containers stand outside the county’s Public Works department, located at Lincoln Ridge Park, 420 Independence Station Road in Independence. Three more are still out for painting, according to Wells, and their future placement has not yet been determined. “This is really state-ofthe-art equipment,” he said. “The driver can do everything from the truck, even set down the fifth wheel electronically." He said Kenton County has paid $54,000 each year to have containers on the property and to have them emptied. With the county’s own containers, not only will that money be saved, but some profit could be generated by sales of the items to be recycled.

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Kenton County Family Court Judge Christopher Mehling swears in the latest group of Court Appointed Special Advocates for Children of Kenton County at a Dec. 4 ceremony at the Kenton County Justice Center. Cindy Brake, Kathy Choi, Mary Jo Cleves, Sheila Elstro, Ryan Goldberg, Debbie Howard, Melissa Molony, Joan Shope, Heather Swartz, Mark Weigold and Christine Wisher were part of one of the group’s biggest volunteer groups ever. Court appointed special advocates work with children whose parents are involved with the court system and many people don’t realize how much they’re needed in Kenton County, Mehling said. LIBBY CUNNINGHAM/THE COMMUNITY

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NEWS

A4 • COMMUNITY RECORDER • DECEMBER 20, 2012

Union’s mayor is gladly ‘Underpaid’ By Stephanie Salmons ssalmons@nky.com

BURLINGTON — The strains of Neon Trees’ “Everybody Talks” can be heard coming from Brian Widrig’s suburban Burlington basement on a sunny and crisp Saturday afternoon in mid-November. The basement is typical

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– with one exception. A rehearsal space has been set up and is currently occupied by Widrig’s band, Underpaid, which is rocking out. Widrig plays guitar, his brother Phil Widrig of Edgewood plays bass and Tim Parrott of Fort Thomas beats the drums while Don Kirby – who moonlights as the mayor of Union – is the lead vocalist (and occasional keyboard player). Kirby and the brothers Widrig were previously in a corporate band – one that played at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2010. “We went shopping on Craigslist and found (Parrott),” joked Kirby.

Underpaid, a band featuring Union Mayor Don Kirby, Phil Widrig of Edgewood, Brian Widrig of Burlington and Tim Parrott of Fort Thomas. STEPHANIE SALMONS/THE COMMUNITY RECORDER

The band in its current incarnation began in October 2011. They play a variety of music – multiple decades and genres, but with a “rock spin.” “We already play some originals, but we’re working some more in,” Brian

Widrig said. Most of their songs come from the 1980s and 1990s, Parrott said. "Our set list is designed for people that want to dance.” “If you can’t get people dancing, then I’ll dance,”

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said Phil Widrig. “Phil’s been known to get out in the crowd and dance while he’s playing bass,” Kirby said. According to Kirby, the fact that everyone in the band can sing and contributes that way makes the group unique. “I think we’ll go see some cover bands and it’s basically one guy,” he said. “ ... Every one of us can sing – except me of course.” When asked what prompted them to start the band, Kirby’s deadpan response is almost instantaneous. “Chicks.” After a beat, they all laugh. “Don’t put that! My wife will be so mad!” On a more serious note (only slightly), Kirby said he was “a rock star in the

shower, so I figured I’d give it a shot.” Brian Widrig, who works with Kirby, said music has been his and Phil’s “primary hobby” since they were kids. “When Don joined up, I had no idea if he could sing or not,” he laughs. “We just let him in because he was a fellow employee.” Parrott has played drums since he was 5 and was a music major for three years. He teaches at Twenhofel Middle School in Independence. “This is not our living, but we have a blast doing it together,” Brian Widrig said. “We’re looking to play more local gigs in Northern Kentucky and Cincinnati.” Visit bit.ly/SwT4G7 for more information. For booking call 859-468-1145 .

YOU’RE A MEAN ONE, MR. GRINCH Brian Borchardt, 4, is hoping that the Grinch doesn’t steal Christmas this year. He is the son of Maria and Shawn Borchardt of Villa Hills. Upload your holiday photos, along with name, community and what’s happening in the photo, to NKY.com/Share. PROVIDED

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SCHOOLS

DECEMBER 20, 2012 • COMMUNITY RECORDER • A5

COMMUNITY

RECORDER

Editor: Nancy Daly, ndaly@nky.com, 578-1059

ACHIEVEMENTS | NEWS | ACTIVITIES | HONORS

CommunityPress.com

Lessons bring Morocco closer By Amy Scalf ascalf@nky.com

INDEPENDENCE — Although Kenton County’s fifth-grade curriculum features American culture, Mindy Fry’s class got a firsthand lesson about life in Morocco. Fry’s class at Summit View Elementary includes Ava Lauer, whose mom, Nancy, spent five weeks teaching English in Morocco. “Nancy was going to Skype with Ava, and the idea unfolded together,” said Fry, who has been a teacher for 11 years and has never participated in a long-distance project like this before. “It was good for Ava and it was good for the school there also,” said Lauer. “It was a learning experience for all of us. They had never seen a classroom so fully equipped.” She said she visited Morocco last March and “loved it,” so

when an opportunity arose to teach English at a language school, she couldn’t resist going back. Lauer telecommutes to her job, so she juggled her volunteer teaching with her regular career, and keeping up with her family at home, all via the computer from Africa. Lauer said the private upper middle class school where she taught adults and adolescents to speak English has high standards and mostly follows a British curriculum that doesn’t rely as heavily on technology as American schools. That wasn’t the only difference. “In Morocco, they have six national languages: French, English, classical and Moroccan Arabic, and Berber languages of the nomadic tribes,” she said. “I think that when you’re exposed to so many languages, it’s easier to absorb. The time it takes them to become functional in a language

Summit View Elementary parent Nancy Lauer and her friend, Laura Haas, visited the fortified city of Ait Benhaddou when they spent five weeks in Morocco teaching English. THANKS TO NANCY LAUER is much shorter than it is here. Their capacity for language learning is amazing.” Fry said Lauer’s Moroccan class spent almost two hours online in a question-and-answer session with her Summit View Elementary students.

“The students went back and forth asking and answering questions. Our students were so enthralled. They wanted to learn everything,” she said. Ava was amazed at how the nomads in the desert live without electricity in the heat. She also

thought it was funny that some of her classmates thought tigers and elephants roamed the streets of Morocco. “Morocco is more MiddleEastern than African,” said Lauer. “When Americans think of Africa, we’re really thinking of below the Sahara.” Her Moroccan friends couldn’t believe that Americans eat meals in their cars. “Life is not rushed there,” she said. She pointed out that Morocco is only 13 kilometers, or a little more than 8 miles, away from Spain, and the whole country is about the size of California. “I would like to go back and take the kids,” said Lauer. “I kind of fell in love with the country. They’re some of the most generous people I’ve ever met, very welcoming, and it’s very safe there. They have almost no violent crime. It’s a very interesting place.”

Brother’s gift brings double benefits By Amy Scalf ascalf@nky.com

INDEPENDENCE — While many kids resist sharing electronic devices with their siblings, Shane Olmstead worked hard to earn one as a gift for his brother. Shane, a 13-year-old Twenhofel Middle School student, saw his brother’s face light up when handed an iPad during a hospital stay earlier this year. The tablet helped non-verbal, 16-year-old Derek communicate and interact with others like nothing else had done before. Derek has Angelman syndrome – a genetic condition marked by developmental delay, speech difficulties, seizure disorders and other challenges – which is sometimes mistaken for autism. So, when Shane heard about an opportunity to win an iPad at school, he leapt into action. “I knew he needed it,” said Shane. He started selling engraved bricks to fund the school’s outdoor science classroom and wetlands project, because the student who sold the most bricks would win an iPad 3, valued at $500. “He said, ‘Mom, if I work hard in this, I can win an iPad for Derek.’ I didn’t want to drive everywhere, but he was motivated. He got turned down a lot, but he kept going,” said Loretta Olmstead, mother of Derek, Shane and their brother, Christian. Loretta said the iPad is easier for Derek to use than the cumbersome machine he’s had to

Kentucky Youth Assembly participants Joey Marino, Kevin Sommers and Peter Brothers. THANKS TO MAUREEN REGAN

Students participate in Youth Assembly Community Recorder Shane, Derek and Loretta Olmstead in the outdoor science classroom at Twenhofel Middle School, which was funded by sales of engraved bricks. AMY SCALF/THE COMMUNITY RECORDER help him communicate simple words for his wants and needs. “ By the time Shane sold 16 bricks and found out he won the contest, something else had happened. Because of Derek’s individual education plan at Simon Kenton, he was able to receive an iPad as an assistive communication device. Shane was able to keep the iPad he had earned. Student Council Sponsor and Twenhofel teacher Jeremy

Moore said students sold 120 bricks. After Shane’s16, the next highest number of bricks sold by one student was four. “They sold enough to complete the outdoor science classroom, which runs on solar energy,” said Moore. He said the outdoor classroom, which takes up a formerly empty courtyard area at the school, will be used for studying and growing trees and other plants. “Shane was really motivated,” said Moore.

From Nov. 29 through Dec. 1, Covington Catholic sophomores Kevin Sommers and Joey Marino, and freshman Peter Brothers attended the Kentucky Youth Assembly in Frankfort with their moderator, teacher Barbara Hagedorn. Close to 500 students from across the commonwealth participated in the conference. Students participated in a simulation of the democratic process. They took on roles of senators and representatives writing, debating and voting on legislation they had written. Not only did students create legislation, they also participated in the democratic process. They cam-

paigned for election as governor, president of the senate or speaker of the house; they covered debates or reported on issues as the media; and they served as lobbyists for issues. The Colonel group drafted a bill having to do with the Healthy Transportation Action Plan. The bill focused on safety measures and funding for areas that surrounded transportation routes. While their bill did not pass this year, they plan to revise and resubmit next year. Brothers, who has been active in the assembly for three years, was recognized as an outstanding delegate. The Cov Cath group was designated an outstanding delegation, an honor awarded by other club moderators.

Continuing to ‘Live life like Tommy’ By Libby Cunningham Lcunningham@nky.com

VILLA HILLS — When the coordinator of River Ridge Elementary School’s Family Resource Center got Eddie Vogt’s phone call she thought he was a telemarketer trying to sell her something. That couldn’t be further from the truth. Instead he was calling to say he had $2,000 he’d like to give to the center. “It gives us a great amount of opportunity to help families in lots of ways,” said Debbie Ledonne, coordinator of River Ridge’s Family Resource Center.

For Vogt and his wife Donna, of Villa Hills, donating to schools is one way they can live life like Tommy. That’s the slogan for their nonprofit, the Tommy Vogt Foundation, established after their son Tommy died at age 36 in a 2004 auto accident. “A year after Tommy died his friends right away said we’ve got to do something in Tommy’s memory,” Donna said. “So they decided they wanted to build a shelter house up at Franzen Fields (in Villa Hills.)” The Tommy Vogt Pavilion now sits in the field behind the Villa Hills Civic Club, an accomplishment the Vogts call “our pride

WANT TO KNOW MORE?

The Tommy Voght Fund donated $2,000 to the Family Resource Center at River Ridge Elementary in Villa Hills. The funds will be used to help families served by the center. From left are Tom Whelan, Judy Whelan, Donna Vogt, Debbie Ledonne, Eddie Vogt and Sharon Timmers. LIBBY CUNNINGHAM/THE COMMUNITY RECORDER

and joy.” Still the Vogts wanted to do more in memory of their son, who was known as a friend to many. So

they decided to donate to the Diocesan Catholic Children’s Home in Fort Mitchell, the Interfaith Hospitality Network in Newport

Anyone interested in more information about the Tommy Vogt Foundation can email eddievogt@fuse.net. Anyone interested in helping with River Ridge Elementary School’s Family Resource Center can call (859)341-7935.

and Lincoln Elementary School . In 2007 scholarships were established for students at St. Joseph School. To be awarded the funds students have to write an essay about what friendship means to them.


SPORTS

A6 • COMMUNITY RECORDER • DECEMBER 20, 2012

Editor: Melanie Laughman, mlaughman@communitypress.com, 513-248-7573

HIGH SCHOOL | YOUTH | RECREATIONAL

COMMUNITY

RECORDER

CommunityPress.com

Pioneers peaking on bowling lanes By James Weber jweber@nky.com

Lloyd senior D’Andre Thompson tries to drive past Newport senior Aroyal Wright. The two players, with jersey number 12, guarded each other at times on 12/12/12. Newport beat Lloyd 62-48 Dec. 12 at Lloyd High School. JAMES WEBER/THE COMMUNITY RECORDER

JUGGERNAUTS GEAR UP FOR HOLIDAYS

The Lloyd boys basketball team is 2-4 after beating Bellevue 52-34 Dec. 14. Lloyd plays in the Bellevue Swauger Classic Dec. 21-22 and will host its annual holiday tournament Dec. 27-29. Niko Carter was averaging 14.4 points per game through five contests and D’Andre Thompson 13.2.

INDEPENDENCE — After a strong year in the first season of KHSAA competition last season, the Simon Kenton boys bowling team is looking to do even better. Simon Kenton was 29-6 and 5-0 in conference matches through Dec. 13. “The core of the team is back and the guys want to do well at regionals,” said head coach David Hampton. “Obviously we would like to go back to state and repeat what we did last year.” Through 10 conference games Dec. 13, Chris Fecher led the team with a 213 average. Cody Hail was at 202, A.J. Crone 198, Brian Fecher 195 and Jonathan Cummins 192. Chris Fecher, a senior, is the team’s anchor and struck out in the 10th frame in the last game against Dixie Heights Nov. 29 to win a point. “He’s a senior and our team captain, and he’s very strong in that spot,” Hampton said after the Dixie match. Chris Fecher has a 268 game this year and Brian Fecher 267. After bowling a match Dec. 18, the Pioneers’ next match is a showdown against Campbell County (29-6, 4-0) that could decide the conference title. Both teams have the highest averages in Northern Kentucky this year. The match is Jan. 3 at Southern Lanes in Alexandria. Scott’s Zach Lawson, who narrowly missed qualifying for state last year, has the best average in Northern Kentucky with a 216. Megan Kindoll is second in Northern Kentucky with a 177 average. The Eagles are 23-12 in girls through Dec. 6 and 2-2 in conference matches. Lloyd is 27-15 and 5-1 in con-

Scott bowler Zach Lawson rolls the ball Nov. 29 at Super Bowl Erlanger. JAMES WEBER/THE COMMUNITY RECORDER

ference matches. Joe Luken averages 183; Tim Maines, 169; and Ronnie Jones, 168. Covington Catholic was 17-18 and 2-2. David Zalla averaged 181 through Dec. 13 and Paul Wagner, 178. Dixie Heights’ Alli Haggard has one of the area’s top girls averages with a 176. St. Henry picked up a big win Dec. 13 against Newport Central Catholic, beating the Thoroughbreds 5-2. St. Henry improved to 4-1 and 29-13 in points. Logan Krey is averaging 198 through 12 games, upped by an impressive 503 series against NewCath (245-258). Steven Binkowski is posting a 182 average. Gary Rice shot a 201against NewCath. Holy Cross’ Tyler Owens is averaging 187 through Dec. 13, Nick Trammel is averaging 184 and Zach Trenkamp 179. HC is 23-19 and 3-2 in conference matches. Beechwood is 5-0 in dual matches in girls and 26-9 in points. Jenna Fessler averages 137 and Molly McMath 136.

Lloyd sophomore Brent Christiansen fights for a rebound

Lloyd senior Jarice Ewell shoots over Newport junior JaQuan Short. Newport beat Lloyd 62-48 Dec. 12 at Lloyd High School in Erlanger. JAMES WEBER/THE

Lloyd senior Niko Carter shoots. JAMES WEBER/THE

Holy Cross boys bowlers rally for the next game. Holy Cross lost to Campbell County Dec. 13 at La Ru Lanes in Highland Heights. JAMES

JAMES WEBER/THE COMMUNITY RECORDER

COMMUNITY RECORDER

COMMUNITY RECORDER

WEBER/THE COMMUNITY RECORDER

PRESS PREPS HIGHLIGHTS By James Weber jweber@nky.com

This week’s MVP

» Covington Latin’s Mitchell Blewett and Anna Matchinga for leading the Trojans to three wins against Bellevue, Dayton and Silver Grove.

Wrestling

» In Simon Kenton’s seasonopening weekend, the team went to Lakota East where SK defeated the Thunderhawks 43-16 but then suffered a disappointing loss to ninth-ranked Ryle 40-23. During the first match against Lakota East, Kevin Cooper successfully won his 200th match. The Pioneers finished as champions at the Oldham County Superduals. The team beat Eastern 76-6, Nelson 76-5, No. 18 Franklin County 53-20, No. 13 Central Hardin 6412, and No. 8 Oldham County in

the finals 57-12. While many guys were deserving, the varsity Wrestler of the Week was Joey Parrott, who went 7-0 and defeated a returning third place in the state wrestler. Elijah Owens beat two returning state-placers himself. The JV also had a pretty successful Saturday with several guys winning their first matches. The Co-Wrestlers of the Week for the JV were David Mahan and Michael Roark who both went 3-1. Simon Kenton finished sixth in the Glenn Sample Classic, a Dec. 15-16 tournament featuring more than 30 Greater Cincinnati teams. Parrott won the championship at 126 and Cooper at 152.

son led the state of Kentucky in scoring, averaging 27.7 points a game while pulling down 13.7 rebounds per game. Entering this season, Mitchell scored 1,132 career points (28.3 avg.) and pulled down 547 rebounds (13.7 avg.). He is on track to break the school’s all-time scoring record (1,375 points) set by former Major League baseball all-star David Justice. A three-year basketball varsity starter, Blewett also competes in golf and track for the Trojans. An ‘A’ student and National Honor Society member, he is active in community service and will play at the next level but has not yet selected a college.

LaRosa’s MVP

» Covington Latin beat Bellevue 57-50 Dec. 12. Anna Matchinga scored 22 points. She had 27 against Dayton in a 58-53 win Dec. 14 and 28 against Silver Grove in a 63-38 win to improve

» Covington Latin senior Mitchell Blewett is the LaRosa’s MVP of the Week for Dec. 11. He is a sharpshooting guard and double-double machine who last sea-

Girls basketball

the Trojans to 4-5. » Holy Cross beat Villa Madonna 44-32 Dec. 12. DeAsia Beal had 15 points and Ally Mayhaus 11. » Scott beat Calvary 52-36 Dec. 13. Landon Brefeld had 13 points.

Boys basketball

» St. Henry beat Villa Madonna 66-39 Dec. 14. Connor Kunstek had 25 points. St. Henry beat Ludlow 55-53 Dec. 15. Ben Hils, who had not made a field goal all night, sank a game-winning 3pointer with seven seconds remaining. Darius Meiman led the Crusaders with 20 points. » Cov Cath rolled to a 97-62 win over Conner Dec. 11. Nick Ruthsatz had 23 points, Zach Tobler 19 and Joe Fredrick 15. Ruthsatz had 30 points in an 80-57 win over Campbell County that improved the Colonels to 7-1. » Covington Latin beat Belle-

vue 53-42 Dec. 12. Mitchell Blewett had 33 points. Covington Latin had a big week after that, beating Dayton and Silver Grove. Blewett had a career-high and school-record 49 points against Silver Grove in an 86-81 win. » Dixie Heights beat Highlands 60-59 Dec. 11. Brandon Hatton had 20 points including the game-winning free throw with five seconds left. Adam Daria had 12 points. » Holmes beat St. Henry 71-57 Dec. 11. James Bolden had 26 points. Holmes beat New Rochelle (N.Y.) 84-69 Dec. 14 to improve to 8-0. Bolden had 22 points. Daquan Palmer had 20 points. » Holy Cross beat Scott 68-49 Dec. 11. Burt Pouncy led four Indians in double figures with 16 points. HC beat Harrison County 58-54 Dec. 14 Antonio Campbell had 24 points, 18 rebounds and eight blocks.


SPORTS & RECREATION

DECEMBER 20, 2012 • COMMUNITY RECORDER • A7

Norse learn lessons at new level NKU hoops have growing pains By James Weber jweber@nky.com

HIGHLAND HEIGHTS —

The women’s basketball team at Northern Kentucky has several players who are still getting used to college basketball, period. So as the Norse are growing accustomed to playing at the Division I level, growing pains like the ones they experienced on Dec. 16 are to be expected. But they’re still painful and frustrating on a day like they had against Butler in the Bank of Kentucky Center. Butler came away with a 66-56 win against a Norse team who had several youthful indiscretions. NKU dropped to 2-6 in its first year of D-I competition. “We battled with a very good team,” said NKU head coach Dawn Plitzuweit. “We didn’t shoot the ball well and to be in a battle with a good team despite that shows that we’re doing some good things. We made some adjustments and the kids responded. They really battled.” NKU shot 28 percent from the floor for the game (17-of-60) and had 10 shots blocked, six by University of Cincinnati transfer Daress McClung and three by Xavier transfer Liz Stratman, a 6-foot-2 center playing her first game for Butler after becoming eligible at the end of the semester. McClung and Stratman combined for 29 points and 17 rebounds.

Butler’s post intimidation seemingly had a hand in several missed layups by the Norse, although the Norse outrebounded the Bulldogs by nine. NKU shot 30 percent in the first half and committed 11 turnovers, two which directly led to easy Butler baskets. The Norse then allowed a putback in the final seconds to go into halftime down six, 29-23. “The first half we didn’t take care of the ball and as the game wore on we made better decisions and we took better shots,” Plitzuweit said. “We got offensive rebounds but we struggled to put it in. That’s something that happens sometimes and you need to keep battling and I thought our kids did that.” Butler started the second half on a 14-5 run and led by as many as 15 points. But the Norse fought back with a 13-5 run, cutting the lead to seven at 53-46 with five minutes left. However, after a possession in which NKU missed two close shots, Butler hit a threepointer and the Norse couldn’t threaten the rest of the way. Growing pains have been expected. The Norse start three seniors, but have two freshmen and two sophomores getting significant playing time. Christine Roush, a freshman guard who was one of Kentucky’s top prep players at Louisville Mercy last year, had 23 points with seven three-pointers in NKU’s 69-67 win at Ball State Dec. 8. She scored 24 points in NKU’s other win, a 66-64 home victory over

NKU senior Jaimie Hamlet (Glen Este) fights her way to the hoop. JAMES WEBER/THE COMMUNITY RECORDER Youngstown State, which was NKU’s first triumph Nov. 27. The Norse’s chief inbounder, Roush passed to sophomore Melody Doss from the baseline to set Doss up for a buzzer-beating basket to deliver that win. “She plays a lot of min-

utes for us,” Plitzuweit said of Roush. “She usually guards the other team’s point guard and she did a great job of that for us. She handles the ball sometimes, attacks the rim. We ask her to do a lot and she gets a lot of shots for us.” Starting seniors are Jai-

U10 STRIKERS WIN LEAGUE

The U10 Northern Kentucky Soccer Association Strikers, trained by Gerry Brennan and coached by Travis Eilers and John Reding, went 20-1-1, which included winning their league and four tournaments. Pictured at the Dog Days of Summer Tournament are, back, Travis Eilers, John Reding; front, Nate Ziegler, Zach Day, Wyatt Vieth, Daniel Hollman, Elliot Forgiel, Reed Schneider, Leo Paul Palacio, Carter Eilers, Joey Specht and Mikey Reding. THANKS TO TRAVIS EILERS

STRIKERS DOMINATE

The U11 Northern Kentucky Soccer Association Strikers, trained by Gerry Brennan and coached by Travis Eilers, Marc Schlueter and Ryan Reardo, were challenged with being in the top brackets but had a good season with a 14-6-1 record. Pictured at Socctoberfest are, back, Marc Schlueter, Travis Eilers and Ryan Reardon; front, Spencer Eilers, Michael Schlueter, Ethan Reardon, Logan Holmes, Colin Noble, Mason Rusch, Will Crone, Ryan Davis, Chris Stegman, Jake Maher and Brady Baldock. THANKS TO TRAVIS EILERS

CE-0000534275

mie Hamlet, Ellen Holton and Tiara Hopper. Holton, who averaged 10.7 points a game last year, is the only returning player who averaged more than five a game last season. “All of our kids are younger players,” Plitzuweit said. “It’s new to every one of them and we have a team of freshmen in some shape or form. They’re really working hard and they’re really trying.” The learning process will continue for the Norse as they host UNC-Wilmington Thursday, Dec. 20. Then they will be off from games until Dec. 31, when they play at Jacksonville (Fla.) to start Atlantic Sun Conference play. NKU’s first conference home game is Saturday, Jan. 5. “Our main priority is to get better on both ends of the ball and offensively, take care of the ball better,” Plitzuweit said. “Our preseason is meant to get us ready for the conference and we’ve played some really good teams to get us ready.” The NKU men’s team, who hasn’t played since losing to Texas Tech Dec. 4, will play at Hampton (Va.) Thursday, Dec. 20, and at Navy 2 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 22. Both games will be on WQRT 1160 AM. NKU will also play Jacksonville Dec. 31 and next play at home Jan. 5 to compete a doubleheader with the women’s team. Both teams will play USC Upstate. Follow James on Twitter @Recorder and check out more coverage at cincinnati.com/blogs/preps.

Freedom has new stadium partner Community Recorder The Florence Freedom welcomes UC Health as the new naming-rights partner for its stadium and as the official health care provider of the Freedom for the next decade. UC Health is the affiliated health system of the University of Cincinnati and is the region’s only academic medical center that specializes in solving the most complex medical cases. The stadium, formerly known as “The Home of the Freedom,” will now be called UC Health Stadium. UC Health will also become the exclusive and official health care provider of Florence Freedom with Dr. Angelo Colosimo, the medical director of the UC Health Sports Medicine Institute, serving as the team’s physician. UC Health Stadium will host more than 200 events each year including the Freedom’s 48 home game schedule, the Kentucky High School Ninth Region baseball championship, 160 youth games and two to five major concert events. UC Health Stadium and the Freedom are at 7950 Freedom Way, Florence, and can be reached at 859-594-HITS (4487).


VIEWPOINTS A8 • COMMUNITY RECORDER • DECEMBER 20, 2012

COMMUNITY

RECORDER

Editor: Nancy Daly, ndaly@nky.com, 578-1059

EDITORIALS | LETTERS | COLUMNS | CH@TROOM

CommunityPress.com

Unfunded pension system threatens Kentucky’s future Less funding for schools. No employee pay raises. Service cutbacks for people in need. Construction projects canceled. Job-creating programs put on hold. Still higher college tuition. These and other stark developments could become Kentucky’s future if the state fails to take decisive action to address a huge unfunded liability in its public employee pension plans. This massive financial black hole is not unique to Kentucky, but the problem is particularly acute here. A recent report from the Pew Center on the States noted that Kentucky is one of only three states whose pensions were less than 55 percent funded in 2010; a sustainable system should be funded at 80 percent. A recent Barron’s report ranked Kentucky’s financial condition 47th nationally because of our massive state debt and unfunded pension liabilities (we’ve promised more than we have money to pay for) in relation to the size of the state’s economy. And the country’s two major bond rating agencies have taken notice and downgraded Kentucky’s bond ratings, which means it is going to cost taxpayers more for public building projects. The situation is grim, but it can be tackled successfully through the work of the legislative Task Force on Kentucky Public Pensions and the General Assembly. Clearly, the need for quick corrective action is

critical. The task force is working now to develop recommendations for the 2013 legislative Dave session. The Adkisson Pew Center on the States, COMMUNITY RECORDER GUEST which is assistCOLUMNIST ing the task force, has provided a series of options for the task force members to consider to 1) pay down the current debt in the pension systems and 2) change the system for newly hired employees to ensure its long-term sustainability. None of the choices are painless. To pay down the debt, the options include: » Accelerating the rate at which the state makes its payments known as the Actuarially Required Contributions, or ARC, to reduce the unfunded liability. This would be challenging in times of limited state resources. » Suspending cost of living adjustments for retirees until the system is 100 percent funded. » Issuing bonds to get muchneeded cash into the system. This would increase Kentucky’s already hefty level of bonded indebtedness. » Increasing the amount employees contribute to their retirement funds. » Taxing retirement income,

which now is exempt from state taxes up to $41,100 of income. » Reining in “double dipping” by making retirees wait two years before being reemployed by state government. Recommendations to change the system for new employees include placing employees in either a cash balance plan – essentially an IRA with a guaranteed rate of return – or in what is called a stacked hybrid plan, which combines a limited cash balance plan with a limited defined benefit plan such as the one Kentucky has now. The task force is not bound by these suggestions, of course, and can choose among them and others in developing a plan to attack the debt. But the key is developing a package that delivers meaningful, sustainable improvement and removes the financial threat now posed by the pension systems’ debt levels. The Kentucky Chamber initially highlighted the state’s public pension problems in 2007 and again with its Leaky Bucket reports in 2009 and 2011 that identified the growing costs of Kentucky’s public employee benefits. We have appeared before the task force and have made tackling this problem one of our top legislative priorities for 2013. As we told the task force, we believe no pension-system fix will be complete unless health insurance costs are also addressed. Public employee health insurance costs have

increased nearly 200 percent since 2000 and make up just over half of the required pension contribution. The Chamber suggests that state employees should contribute a minimum of 10% of their individual health insurance premiums, still a generous plan compared to most in the private sector, and be enrolled in aggressive wellness plans. We also have recommended moving to a defined contribution plan. Defined benefit plans have largely been phased out in the private sector in favor of 401(k)-style plans. The Chamber recommends new employees be moved into a defined contribution plan and current employees be given financial incentives to convert to the new plan. We believe both of these elements are needed to ensure a strong and lasting reform. Kentucky must act now. The nature of the pension system, in which costs constantly accumulate, requires immediate action to put the system on a sustainable track. Failing to act continues the shortsighted trend of providing less money for education and economic development (where we ought to be investing) and more for personnel benefits – the result of which will be a weakened position for Kentucky as it strives to compete in a global economy. Dave Adkisson is Kentucky Chamber of Commerce president and CEO.

Fiscal cliff notes compose ominous melodies With an ominous “fiscal cliff” looming on the horizon, the stakes in Kentucky and across the country can’t get much higher. It doesn’t take a Ph.D. in economics to realize that the combination of cuts in the planned growth of federal spending and the large increases in federal taxes scheduled to take place on January 1 is going to cause problems for America’s limping labor markets and stunted macroeconomy. The underlying issues are our massive federal budget deficits and rapidly growing debt, but the potential solutions are also problematic. Actual reductions in government spending – however unlikely – and big increases in tax rates will make economic growth even more difficult. What’s worse, all of this contributes to what economists call “regime uncertainty.” Nobody knows what solutions – or temporary Band-Aids – Congress and President Obama will embrace. Regime uncertainty also exists closer to home as entrepreneurs struggle to decipher just how Kentucky’s elected officials will address our $34 billion pension crisis. If investors perceive the size and uncertainty of our debt to be unmanageable, they will either refuse to loan money to government or require a higher rate-of-return to offset the higher risks of making

their capital available. This means higher debt payments, more trouble for our economy and tighter austerity Eric measures in Schansberg the future. COMMUNITY Actually, RECORDER GUEST COLUMNIST any investment becomes more difficult when risk and uncertainty increase. Consumers are less likely to buy cars and homes. Businesses are less likely to hire workers and expand their scale of operations. Which one of these reduces economic growth? All of the above. But there are further cliffs visible on the horizon, especially within healthcare. In 2014, we can look forward to sliding down the cliffs of the economic Matterhorn that is Obamacare. Government already provides a massive indirect subsidy of more than $100 billion to purchase insurance through your workplace since it’s a non-taxed form of compensation. Soon, Obamacare will provide direct subsidies to the working poor and middle income class for healthcare – regardless of most lifestyle choices or pre-existing conditions, driving up healthcare costs.

COMMUNITY

RECORDER

A publication of

The good news for these employees is that they have access to a larger subsidy; the bad news is that this cliff creates a strong incentive for employers to offload those employees onto Obamacare. Plus, since Obamacare imposes larger costs on firms with more than 100 employees, smaller businesses will try to avoid growing over that threshold while larger firms will look for opportunities to spin their activity into smaller, less-regulated entities. Business growth will inevitably slow, especially in Kentucky, which has already accepted $67 million – more than any other state but New York – to establish Obamacare exchanges. We can also locate looming cliffs for Kentuckians approaching income levels where benefits are dramatically reduced by earning one dollar “too much.” For instance, at 400 percent of the poverty level – about $90,000 in income – subsidies are suddenly reduced from about $5,000 to zero. At 133 percent of the poverty line, earning an extra dollar results in contributing 3 percent rather than 2 percent of your income to insurance premiums. Since the general public often doesn’t pay much attention to political economy, politicians have a strong incentive to ignore the subtle, but substantial, costs of expanding our debt and pushing it further

ABOUT LETTERS AND COLUMNS We welcome your comments on editorials, columns, stories or other topics important to you in the Recorder. Include your name, address and phone number(s) so we may verify your letter. Letters of 200 or fewer words and columns of 500 or fewer words have the best chance of being published. All submissions may be edited for length, accuracy and clarity. Deadline: Noon Monday E-mail: kynews@ communitypress.com Fax: 859-283-7285 U.S. mail: See box below Letters, columns and articles submitted to the Recorder may be published or distributed in print, electronic or other forms.

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR Mental health programs needed

The media and our politicians are totally ignoring the need for adequate funding for mental health care. The media wrongly focuses on the guns only. If Connecticut had given that boy (shooter) the proper mental health attention, he would never have gone to the school with the intent of shooting children and the guns would have been irrelevant. The media and our politicians should be fighting for adequate funding for mental health treatment, particularly funding for school programs that would help identify children like him in need of help. That would prevent tragedies like this. Ted Smith Park Hills

We will never forget Newtown massacre

None of us will ever forget the tragedy of 26 young children and adults being gunned down in Newtown, Conn., Friday, just a week before Christmas. We have debated and all have views on why these massacres are happening in our country, seemingly more often than when we were 10. But can we honestly believe that no further action is needed? Do we really want our country to be known as a place where 20 children under 10 years old are shot yet there is no meaningful actions we can take? John Morawetz Erlanger

When life begins

Medical science has long held that life begins at conception, a position which has nothing to do with religion or politics. Combine this with the fact that no one has the right to destroy innocent human life and you have the foundation upon which the true ‘pro-life’ position with regard to abortion (including a pregnancy resulting from rape) is built. Neither the level of trauma suffered by a rape victim, nor the criminality of the rapist should influence these two facts. Certainly my heart goes out to anyone who has been subjected to this crime, but to take the life of the innocent result of this tragic assault in an attempt to comfort the victim doesn’t logically follow. I believe that if people on both sides of the abortion issue could in good faith come together, focusing solely on “When does human life begin?” and come to some agreement on that point, then a more productive dialogue would follow. Mark R. Koenig Park Hills

WHEN THEY MEET Kenton Fiscal Court

into the future. If politicians continue to push the country and commonwealth ever closer to that impending fiscal cliff by neglecting to make the tough decisions related to our debt, perhaps we should make the decision to send them over an electoral cliff at the next possible opportunity. Eric Schansberg has served as professor of economics at Indiana University Southeast in New Albany, Ind., since 1992, and is a member of the Bluegrass Institute Board of Scholars.

228 Grandview Drive, Fort Mitchell, KY 41017 654 Highland Ave., Fort Thomas, KY 41075 phone: 283-0404 email: kynews@communitypress.com web site: www.nky.com

Meetings: Second Tuesday at 9 a.m. at Independence Court House, 5272 Madison Pike Meetings: Fourth Tuesday at 9 a.m. at Kenton County Courthouse, 303 Court St., Covington http://www.kenton county.org

Crescent Springs City Council Meetings: Second Monday at 7 p.m.

Crestview Hills City Council Meetings: Second Thursday at 7:30 p.m.

Edgewood City Council Meetings: First and third Mondays at 6:30 p.m.

Erlanger City Council Meetings: First Tuesday at 7 p.m.

Community Recorder Editor Nancy Daly ndaly@nky.com, 578-1059 Office hours: 8:30 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday-Friday See page A2 for additional contact information.


THURSDAY, DECEMBER 20, 2012

LIFE

COMMUNITY RECORDER

PEOPLE | IDEAS | RECIPES

Business partners Ron Rosen and Gary Holland stand by the casual zone bar in the new Independence LaRosa’s Pizzeria, set to open Dec. 27. AMY SCALF/THE COMMUNITY RECORDER

Independence spirit featured at new LaRosa’s Holland delivers on vision of success

By Amy Scalf ascalf@nky.com

INDEPENDENCE — After 2:30 p.m. on school days, students pour out of Simon Kenton High School. Kids with bags and backpacks, strolling along Madison Pike to find something to do, somewhere to go, something to eat. Gary Holland knows what they want. He was one of them. Holland, who runs Holland Restaurant Group with business partner Ron Rosen, now owns more Skyline chili parlors than anyone else, and he is building a new LaRosa’s Pizzeria only 600 feet from his alma mater. Since graduating in 1989, Holland has worked hard. His continuous effort has built restaurants, served law firms, earned academic degrees and forged long-lasting relationships. He’s nowhere near ready to stop. Attorney and business owner Charles Deters recognized that drive when Holland was only a teenager. “We gave him a lot of responsibility when he worked for us as a very young fellow,” said Deters. “He knew as much as any of us about starting a business. Gary would put in 40 hours at the restaurant and go to college fulltime, finished in three and a half years, and did very well. He’d pull double shifts on Saturday and Sunday and actually managed the restaurant. It was just a natural fit for him. He was just a youngster getting in the business, but he just sparkled with ideas. Besides all that, Gary is a good human being, just a good guy.” Holland thinks of Deters as a mentor and friend, despite the fact that they’re essentially competitors, as Deters owns Snappy Tomato Pizza Restaurants. Holland also thanks his

friends and family with helping him to his current state of success. “I credit most of my business achievements to my wife, who never questioned my business moves and has shown an unwavering belief in me,” he said. Holland met his wife, Heidi, while both were studying accounting at Thomas More College. He went on to get a law degree from Northern Kentucky University.

Friend credits Holland’s vision

He gives special thanks to four friends. Robert Hoffer, Robert Stevens, Matthew Klein and John Paselsky supported Holland’s vision, and even provided some of the initial investment capital that led to Holland’s ever-growing company. Hoffer worked with Holland at DBL Law, and the two are still close friends. “I think it’s truly remarkable what Gary has been able to accomplish in such a short period of time, and everything that he has accomplished, all the stores and different specialties are the direct result of one thing – and that’s Gary’s vision. He has always, as long as I’ve known him, been a very organized and energetic person who is constantly seeking to broaden his horizon,” said Hoffer. “I think Gary is a good example of the American dream. He is someone who started with nothing, and through his hard work and faith and surrounding himself with good people, he has built a tremendous enterprise. I don’t think it’s a coincidence that he’s chosen to construct such a nice building in Independence, because that’s where his roots are, and he cares deeply about that community and reaches out and does a lot of things for that community. He doesn’t like to

talk about that, but he’s very active and generous to many organizations in the area,” he said. Holland also recognizes the hard work and loyalty of his management team and staff resulting in his enormous success – more than 550 employees across three different restaurant companies that have developed and maintained operational excellence. He admits he is living the American dream: starting from economic ground zero and amassing half his restaurant enterprise during a recession. “I started with a net worth of less than $500 and I firmly believe that anything is possible for people who work hard, get their education and take calculated risks,” Holland said. “I am very grateful to have a terrific wife, a sound mentor, and four great founding partners that always believed in me.” The current Independence LaRosa’s, nestled in the Cherokee Shopping Center on Taylor Mill Road for the past 36 years, was the first pizzeria Buddy LaRosa and his family opened in Kentucky. Holland Restaurant Group purchased the Independence LaRosa’s a year ago, and immediately started developing plans to relocate the restaurant. “At the existing store, we are handling all the delivery business we can. I feel bad when people have to wait for their pizza, but we’re doing the best we can,” said Holland. “At the new store, bring it on. We’re ready.”

New pizzeria has innovative layout

He said his deal with the LaRosa family included remodeling or relocating the neighborhood pizzeria. “It needed to be renovated to better reflect our current atmosphere and guest experience” said Michael LaRosa, LaRosa’s

OPENING SOON Independence LaRosa’s Pizzeria Opens Thursday, Dec. 27 513-347-1111 Located at the intersection of Ky. 17 and Ky. 536

chief executive officer. “We also believed that relocating the pizzeria to a site like the one Gary and his partners chose would better and more conveniently serve our Independence guests. The new Independence pizzeria reflects the inside atmosphere that we’ve evolved to over the past 10 years. We’re so excited for Gary and his partners as they open the new Independence pizzeria. When this group does something, they do it right. We know that our friends in Independence are going to love the new pizzeria, and we look forward to serving them.” The new restaurant, at the intersection of new and old Ky. 17 and Ky. 536, will feature an innovative layout with state-of-theart features unlike any other local eatery. Set to open on Thursday, Dec. 27, Holland’s new LaRosa’s will include an expansive dining room, a party room named for the pizzeria’s lovable icon Buddy, a casual zone with an upscale bar and an open-air patio dining section. The new $2 million restaurant, which measures more than 5,000 square feet, is a prototype for future LaRosa’s Pizzerias, except for some of Holland’s special touches. The patio dining area could be enclosed during colder months, although it already has heaters built into the ceiling to keep diners toasty warm. The casual dining zone, with a long custom-made bar, opens out to the patio with a three-part sliding glass door that folds back into

a pocket, so guests and servers can walk back and forth freely. Holland also planned for a special artistic touch, a community wall with a tribute to the city of Independence. The restaurant property also has a spot for another business to move in, but Holland isn’t sure what it will be yet. Independence Mayor Chris Moriconi couldn’t be happier with the addition, which will be a jewel of family business at the area’s fastest-growing intersection. “Gary and his team bring a unique type of business approach to our city in the form of a corporate outreach partnership. He doesn’t get involved just to promote his business, but instead always asks, ‘What can I do to give back?’ and help in ways that make a difference,” he said. “From Piner tornado relief, local sports, community events and our fireworks show, I’m always impressed with how they approach us first. Additionally, the job creation he is bringing to Independence is a tremendous benefit, especially to our younger workforce. These are just several of the many positive factors in having a hometown guy continue to invest in the community.” In short, the new LaRosa’s will be a place where people can enjoy time, fellowship and food with friends and family. That’s just how Holland feels about his hometown. “I am humbled by the many gifts that I have received along the path of this business journey, and the help of so many people,”said Holland. “God has blessed me with a wonderful life including a loving wife and family and true friends who have stuck by my side during my entire business career. It all started in my hometown of Independence, Ky.” Visit nky.com/independence for more community news


B2 • COMMUNITY RECORDER • DECEMBER 20, 2012

THINGS TO DO IN THE NEIGHBORHOOD FRIDAY, DEC. 21 Art Exhibits Nine, 10 a.m.-5 p.m., Carnegie Visual and Performing Arts Center, 1028 Scott Blvd., Carnegie Galleries. Work of artists Kim Anderson, Scott Dooley, Ellen Hiltz, Terri Kern, Carrie Longley, Jessica Metzler, Alan Pocaro, Robbert Robbins, Robert Schroeder. Free. 859-491-2030; www.thecarnegie.com. Covington.

Exercise Classes Jazzercise Classes, 9:30-10:30 a.m., Jazzercise Crescent Springs Center, 519 Enterprise Drive, $34 for unlimited monthly classes. 859-331-7778. Crescent Springs.

Exhibits Divided We Stood: Northern Kentucky in the Civil War, 10 a.m.-5 p.m., Behringer-Crawford Museum, 1600 Montague Road, Kentucky was a Mason-Dixon state with an idealistic but unrealistic goal of neutrality. Learn how this had a far-reaching impact, tearing families and communities apart. 859-4914003. Covington. Flags By Brad Austin Smith, 10 a.m.-5 p.m., Behringer-Crawford Museum, 1600 Montague Road, A 30-image series and reflection on the presence of the American flag with the cultural construct of Cincinnati and its neighboring communities. 859-4914003. Covington.

Holiday - Christmas Holiday Toy Trains, 10 a.m.-5 p.m., Behringer-Crawford Museum, 1600 Montague Road, Layout features Lionel trains and Plasticville. More than 250 feet of track. Patrons welcome to operate more than 30 accessories from buttons on layout. Through Jan. 13. Included with admission: $7, $6 ages 60 and up, $4 ages 3-17; free ages 2 and under. 859-491-4003. Covington. Scuba Santa, 10 a.m.-6 p.m., Newport Aquarium, Newport on the Levee, Holiday decorations throughout Aquarium. Underwater Santa show alongside sharks, shark rays and Denver the Sea Turtle. Through Jan. 1. Included with admission: $23, $15 ages 2-12, free under age 2. 800-406-3474. Newport. Light Up the Levee Holiday Light Show, 6:45-11:30 p.m., Newport on the Levee, 1 Levee Way, Riverwalk from the Gallery Building to the Newport Aquarium, featuring LED lights dancing in synchronization to holiday music. Through Jan. 2. Free. 859-291-0550. Newport. Christmas Town, 5-8 p.m., Creation Museum, 2800 Bullittsburg Church Road, Featuring free live nativity, lights and live dramas. Free. 800-778-3390. Petersburg. Santa Workshop, 10 a.m.-8:30 p.m., Newport on the Levee, 1 Levee Way, Animatronic holiday display from the Shillito’s Department store. Through Dec. 23. $7, free ages 3 and under. $56 family passes. Presented by Shillito’s Elves. 859-291-0550; www.shillitoselves.com. Newport.

Music - Indie Kevin and the Octaves, 9 p.m. Christmas Show. With the Worthmores. Doors open 8 p.m., The Southgate House Revival, 111 E. Sixth St., $8 ages 18-20; $5 ages 21 and up. 859-431-2201; www.southgatehouse.com. Newport.

Music - Jazz New Sleepcat Band, 7:30 p.m., Dee Felice Cafe, 529 Main St., Directed by Bill Gemmer and features John Von Ohlen. 859261-2365; www.deefelice.com. Covington.

Music - Religious Holiday Music, 6-9 p.m. With Ma Crow and the Lady Slippers, all-female acoustic bluegrass.,

Joseph-Beth Booksellers-Crestview Hills, 2785 Dixie Highway, Chill out and warm up during season with entertainment. Free. 859-912-7860; www.josephbeth.com. Crestview Hills.

Recreation Duplicate Bridge, 6-9 p.m., Panorama Plus, 8510 Old Toll Road, Common Room. Open to all players. Family friendly. $5. Presented by Boone County Bridge Center. 859-391-8639; www.boonecountybridgecenter.com. Florence.

Senior Citizens Canasta, 9 a.m.-noon, Elsmere Senior Center, 179 Dell St., 859-727-2306. Elsmere. Get Healthy with Tai Chi, 9-10 a.m., Walton Multipurpose Senior and Community Center, 44 N. Main St., Presented by Walton Senior Activity Center. 859-485-7611. Walton.

SATURDAY, DEC. 22 Community Dance Tango Dance Party, 8-12:30 p.m., Step-N-Out Studio, 721 Madison Road, Social Tango dancing. Bring appetizer or wine to share. Complimentary Intro Lesson 8-8:30 p.m. Family friendly. $10. 859-291-2300. Covington.

Drink Tastings Wiedemann’s Holiday Hop, 3-11:30 p.m., Pompilios Restaurant, 600 Washington Ave., Start hopping at Pompilio’s with special on Wiedemann’s Special Lager 3-6 p.m. Proceed to Coaches Corner, the Green Derby and Jerry’s Jug House. Ages 21 and up. Free. Presented by Wiedemann Beer. 859-4146949; www.wiedemannbeer.com. Newport Historic District.

Exercise Classes Jazzercise Classes, 9:30-10:30 a.m., Jazzercise Crescent Springs Center, $34 for unlimited monthly classes. 859-331-7778; jazzercise.com. Crescent Springs.

Exhibits Divided We Stood: Northern Kentucky in the Civil War, 10 a.m.-5 p.m., Behringer-Crawford Museum, 859-491-4003; www.bcmuseum.org. Covington. Flags By Brad Austin Smith, 10 a.m.-5 p.m., Behringer-Crawford Museum, 859-491-4003. Covington.

Holiday - Christmas Holiday Toy Trains, 10 a.m.-5 p.m., Behringer-Crawford Museum, Included with admission: $7, $6 ages 60 and up, $4 ages 3-17; free ages 2 and under. 859-491-4003; www.bcmuseum.org. Covington. Scuba Santa, 10 a.m.-6 p.m., Newport Aquarium, Included with admission: $23, $15 ages 2-12, free under age 2. 800-4063474; www.newportaquarium.com. Newport. Light Up the Levee Holiday Light Show, 6:45-11:30 p.m., Newport on the Levee, Free. 859-291-0550; www.newportonthelevee.com. Newport. Christmas Town, 5-8 p.m., Creation Museum, Free. 800778-3390; creationmuseum.org. Petersburg.

Karaoke and Open Mic Super Bowl of Karaoke, 9 p.m.-1 a.m., Super Bowl, 510 Commonwealth Ave., Drink specials: $12 buckets, $3 domestics and $2 jello shots. With DJ Matt V and DJ Love MD. Free. 859-727-2000. Erlanger.

Music - Acoustic Merry TubaChristmas at the Levee, 3-4 p.m., Newport on the Levee, 1 Levee Way, Part of national series of free holiday concerts performed entirely on instruments in tuba family. All tuba, baritone and euphonium players invited to play in tuba

choir for concert of carols. Performer registration begins at 12:30 p.m.: $5 registration fee and $15 for music arrangement. 859-291-0550; www.tubachristmas.com. Newport. Saturday Night Music, 7 p.m. Music by Rick & Wayne (Jazz, Western-Swing, Folk)., Velocity Bike & Bean, 7560 Burlington Pike, Fresh baked goods, desserts and coffee available. Free. 859-371-8356; www.velocitybb.com. Florence.

Music - Jazz New Sleepcat Band, 7 p.m., Dee Felice Cafe, 859-261-2365; www.deefelice.com. Covington. The Chris Comer Trio Holiday Spectacular, 8-11:30 p.m., Chez Nora, 530 Main St., Free. 859491-8027; www.cheznora.com. Covington. Karl Dappen on Sax, 7-10:30 p.m., Argentine Bistro, 2875 Town Center Blvd., Variety of music from jazz to soft rock. Ages 21 and up. Free. 859-4261042; argentinebistro.com. Crestview Hills.

Music - Rock Snow Ball, 2 p.m., Madison Theater, 730 Madison Ave., With Pilot Around the Stars, Cinema Sleep, Sea of Treachery and Close to Home. $12, $10 advance. 859-491-2444; www.madisontheateronline.com. Covington.

SUNDAY, DEC. 23 Exercise Classes Jazzercise Classes, 9:30-10:30 a.m., Jazzercise Crescent Springs Center, $34 for unlimited monthly classes. 859-331-7778; jazzercise.com. Crescent Springs.

Exhibits Divided We Stood: Northern Kentucky in the Civil War, 1-5 p.m., Behringer-Crawford Museum, 859-491-4003; www.bcmuseum.org. Covington. Flags By Brad Austin Smith, 1-5 p.m., Behringer-Crawford Museum, 859-491-4003. Covington.

Holiday - Christmas Holiday Toy Trains, 1-5 p.m., Behringer-Crawford Museum, Included with admission: $7, $6 ages 60 and up, $4 ages 3-17; free ages 2 and under. 859-4914003; www.bcmuseum.org. Covington. Scuba Santa, 10 a.m.-6 p.m., Newport Aquarium, Included with admission: $23, $15 ages 2-12, free under age 2. 800-4063474; www.newportaquarium.com. Newport.

Literary - Story Times Holiday Toy Trains Polar Express Reading, 2-3 p.m. Story read by Sandy Florence from the Pendleton County Library., Behringer-Crawford Museum, 1600 Montague Road, Wear pajamas. Story reading, hot chocolate, cookies and special gifts from Santa. Holiday Toy Trains on display. Included with admission. Reservations required. 859-491-4003; www.bcmuseum.org. Covington.

Music - Acoustic Drew Lanius and Willy D, 8 p.m.-midnight, Shimmers Tavern, 1939 Dixie Highway, 859426-0490; www.shimmerscomplex.com. Fort Wright. Kevin Fox, 10 p.m., Strasse Haus, 630 Main St., Free. 859-261-1199. Covington.

Music - Rock Madison Theater Band Challenge, 6:30 p.m. With Bibs and Barefeet, Come Here Watson, Full Body Tones, Grandin Manor, Hobilly, Makenna & Shelby, Mia Carruthers, Oui Si Yes and The Crick Gypsies., Madison Theater, 730 Madison Ave., Doors open 6 p.m. $10. 859-491-2444; www.madisontheateronline.com. Covington.

MONDAY, DEC. 24 Art Exhibits Gestures Unearthed, 9 a.m.-5 p.m., Artisans Enterprise Center, Free. 859-292-2322; www.covingtonarts.com. Covington.

Exercise Classes

The Turfway Holiday Meet will be open for live racing Wednesday through Saturday, Dec. 26-29. Post time will be 1:10 p.m. For more information, call 859-371-0200. FILE PHOTO

Jazzercise Classes, 9:30-10:30 a.m.; 4:30-5:30 p.m.; 6-7 p.m., Jazzercise Crescent Springs Center, $34 for unlimited monthly classes. 859-331-7778; jazzercise.com. Crescent Springs.

Exhibits

Jack Garrett and the Syndicate Orchestra and Holiday Show will be 7:30-11 p.m. Friday, Dec. 21, at 18 East Fifth St., Newport. For more information, call 859-280-2915. FILE PHOTO Flags By Brad Austin Smith, 10-2 p.m., Behringer-Crawford Museum, 859-491-4003. Covington.

Holiday - Christmas Holiday Toy Trains, 10 a.m.-2 p.m., Behringer-Crawford Museum, Included with admission: $7, $6 ages 60 and up, $4 ages 3-17; free ages 2 and under. 859-491-4003; www.bcmuseum.org. Covington. Scuba Santa, 10 a.m.-6 p.m., Newport Aquarium, Included with admission: $23, $15 ages 2-12, free under age 2. 800-4063474. Newport. Light Up the Levee Holiday Light Show, 6:45-11:30 p.m., Newport on the Levee, Free. 859-291-0550. Newport.

Literary - Libraries In the Loop, 10 a.m., Florence Branch Library, 7425 U.S. 42, Knit or crochet in relaxed, friendly company. Free. Presented by Boone County Public Library. 859-342-2665; www.bcpl.org. Florence.

Music - Choral Dickens Carolers, noon-3 p.m., Newport on the Levee, 859-2910550. Newport.

Senior Citizens Get Started with Gym and Tom’s Monday Morning Exercise Class, 10-11 a.m., Elsmere Senior Center, 179 Dell St., 859-727-2306. Elsmere. Yoga Fitness for Seniors, 12:30-1:30 p.m., Walton Multipurpose Senior and Community Center, 44 N. Main St., Presented by Walton Senior Activity Center. 859-485-7611. Walton.

TUESDAY, DEC. 25 Holiday - Christmas Light Up the Levee Holiday Light Show, 6:45-11:30 p.m., Newport on the Levee, Free. 859-291-0550; www.newportonthelevee.com. Newport.

WEDNESDAY, DEC. 26 Art Exhibits Gestures Unearthed, 9 a.m.-5 p.m., Artisans Enterprise Center, Free. 859-292-2322; www.covingtonarts.com. Covington.

Exercise Classes Jazzercise Classes, 9:30-10:30 a.m.; 4:30-5:30 p.m.; 6-7 p.m., Jazzercise Crescent Springs Center, $34 for unlimited monthly classes. 859-331-7778; jazzercise.com. Crescent Springs.

Exhibits Divided We Stood: Northern Kentucky in the Civil War, 10 a.m.-5 p.m., Behringer-Crawford Museum, 859-491-4003; www.bcmuseum.org. Covington. Flags By Brad Austin Smith, 10 a.m.-5 p.m., Behringer-Crawford Museum, 859-491-4003. Covington.

ABOUT CALENDAR To submit calendar items, go to www.NKY.com and click on “Share!” Send digital photos to life@communitypress.com along with event information. Items are printed on a space-available basis with local events taking precedence. Deadline is two weeks before publication date. To find more calendar events, go to www.NKY.com and choose from a menu of items in the Entertainment section on the main page. Nora, 530 Main St., Free. 859491-8027; www.cheznora.com. Covington.

Music - Rock Birdbrain Crash, 10 p.m.-1 a.m., Sidebar, 322 Greenup St., Country/rock music. Ages 21 and up. Free. 859-431-3456. Covington. Madison Theater Band Challenge, 6:30 p.m. With Get Dangerous, Gibson WatersArvin, Lauren Eylise and The Part-time Lovers, Logic and Reason, The Dugongs, The Newt, The String Theory, Vivid Youth and Wendy’s Yellow Poncho., Madison Theater, $10. 859-491-2444; www.madisontheateronline.com. Covington.

Senior Citizens Tai Chi Beginner Classes, 9:30-10:30 a.m., Elsmere Senior Center, 179 Dell St., Learn positions and motions of one of the oldest forms of martial arts. For seniors. 859-727-2306. Elsmere. Tai Chi Intermediate Class, 10:30-11:30 a.m., Elsmere Senior Center, 179 Dell St., For seniors who have already taken beginners classes and are looking to broaden their knowledge of this martial art form dedicated to muscle-building and flexibility. For seniors. 859-727-2306. Elsmere. Zumba Gold, 10-11 a.m., Walton Multipurpose Senior and Community Center, 44 N. Main St., Presented by Walton Senior Activity Center. 859-485-7611. Walton. Euchre Tournament, noon-2 p.m., Walton Multipurpose Senior and Community Center, 44 N. Main St., Presented by Walton Senior Activity Center. 859-485-7611. Walton.

included with $5 cover charge for dance. Dancing to music by DJ 9-11:30 p.m. All ages. No partner required. Family friendly. $5. Presented by SwinGallery. 513-290-9022; www.swingallery.com. Covington.

Exercise Classes Jazzercise Classes, 9:30-10:30 a.m.; 4:30-5:30 p.m.; 6-7 p.m., Jazzercise Crescent Springs Center, $34 for unlimited monthly classes. 859-331-7778; jazzercise.com. Crescent Springs. Inner GLOW Yoga, 5:30-6:30 p.m.; 6:45-7:45 p.m., Glow Gallery Studio, 264 W. Pike St., Faith-based yoga movement class uses breath to guide from one posture to the next while surrounded by artwork in contemporary art gallery space. $10. 513-295-5226; www.facebook.com/NickisYogaRoom. Covington.

Exhibits Divided We Stood: Northern Kentucky in the Civil War, 10 a.m.-5 p.m., Behringer-Crawford Museum, 859-491-4003; www.bcmuseum.org. Covington.

Holiday - Christmas Holiday Toy Trains, 10 a.m.-5 p.m., Behringer-Crawford Museum, Included with admission: $7, $6 ages 60 and up, $4 ages 3-17; free ages 2 and under. 859-491-4003; www.bcmuseum.org. Covington.

Karaoke and Open Mic

THURSDAY, DEC. 27

Extreme Entertainment Karaoke, 9 p.m.-1 a.m., Shimmers Tavern, 1939 Dixie Highway, Test your voice against some of the best singers in the area. 859-4260490; www.shimmerscomplex.com. Fort Wright.

Art Exhibits

Music - Rock

Gestures Unearthed, 9 a.m.-5 p.m., Artisans Enterprise Center, Free. 859-292-2322; www.covingtonarts.com. Covington.

Madison Theater Band Challenge, 6:30 p.m. With Anderson Ferry, Banducci and the Wheels, Boxwine, Cole Raynes, Gentlemen Ghosts, Going For Broke, Lazy Ass Destroyer, Nevele and Never Ending Nights., Madison Theater, $10. 859-491-2444; www.madisontheateronline.com. Covington.

Community Dance SwinGallery, 8-11:30 p.m., Step-N-Out Studio, 721 Madison Road, Complimentary beginner East Coast Swing lesson 8-9 p.m

Holiday - Christmas Holiday Toy Trains, 10 a.m.-5 p.m., Behringer-Crawford Museum, Included with admission: $7, $6 ages 60 and up, $4 ages 3-17; free ages 2 and under. 859-491-4003; www.bcmuseum.org. Covington. Scuba Santa, 9 a.m.-6 p.m., Newport Aquarium, Included with admission: $23, $15 ages 2-12, free under age 2. 800-4063474; www.newportaquarium.com. Newport. Light Up the Levee Holiday Light Show, 6:45-11:30 p.m., Newport on the Levee, Free. 859-291-0550; www.newportonthelevee.com. Newport.

Music - Blues Ricky Nye, 7:30-11:30 p.m., Chez

Ricky Nye will perform 8:30-11 p.m. Friday, Dec. 21, at Virgil’s Cafe, 710 Fairfield Ave., Bellevue Free. Call 859-491-3287. FILE PHOTO


LIFE

DECEMBER 20, 2012 • COMMUNITY RECORDER • B3

Holiday recipes for busy families The closer we get to Christmas, the busier I get. Sound familiar? Even though I keep reminding myself of the true meaning of this holiday, there are still gifts I need Rita to make. If Heikenfeld you’re in RITA’S KITCHEN the same predicament, here are some “make-and-take” holiday treats from the kitchen.

Thai party snack mix

Really different than the usual Chex mix. A fun appetizer. I change this recipe up depending upon what I have on hand. Here’s the most current version: Mix together:

2 cups each: corn, wheat and rice Chex cereal (or 3 cups of any two kinds) 2 cups sesame sticks, regular or Cajun 11⁄2 to 2 cups pretzel sticks, broken in half, or tiny squares 1 cup pecan halves 1 cup peanuts or mixed nuts

Melt together: 1 stick unsalted butter

the cookies then. Nick told me he’d be glad to share the recipe in a couple of months, since he’s away from home right now. Meanwhile, try these. They are a treasured cookie from the family of my daughter-in-law Jessie’s mom, Maggie Hoerst. Jess and her sister, Lottie, make these every year with Maggie. I’m putting in my order now!

1 tablespoon plus 2 teaspoons soy sauce, regular or low sodium 1 tablespoon plus 11⁄2 teaspoons curry powder 2 teaspoons sugar or substitute Cayenne powder to taste – start with 1⁄8 teaspoon (optional)

Preheat oven to 250 degrees. Drizzle coating over cereal mixture, tossing well. Spread in sprayed pan. Bake 45-60 minutes, stirring occasionally. Let cool and taste. Add a bit more curry powder and/or cayenne if you want. Tip: After baking, add a can of wasabi peas. This is optional, but “delish.” Store: Keep in airtight container one month. Makes 12 cups. For gift giving: Pack in Chinese “to-go” cartons.

Holiday “no peek” standing rib roast

After reading the recipe for high-heat roast beef, a “loyal reader” asked if I could find a recipe she lost for a standing rib roast. “I need it for Christmas dinner. Meat starts out in hot oven and roasts for an hour, then the oven is turned off and you leave roast in to finish later. I can’t remember the

Thai party snack mix is a familiar favorite with a twist. THANKS TO RITA HEIKENFELD.

“later part,” she said. This looks just like what she needs. 5 pounds standing rib roast with bone in Seasoning to taste

Let roast sit at room temperature for a hour or bit more. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Season roast and place on rack in pan with rib side down and fat side up. Roast 1 hour. Turn oven off, leave roast in and don’t open door. About an hour and 15 minutes before serving time, finish

by turning oven back on to 375 degrees and roast for 30-40 minutes. Remove and tent with foil. Rest 20 minutes before slicing.

Maggie’s gingerbread cutouts

Several readers wanted Mount Washington Bakery’s gingerbread cookie recipe. I talked with Nick, the owner, and he said these heirloom cookies are huge sellers and the recipe is 80 years old. The bakery reopens in April and they will be making

1 cup solid shortening 1 cup sugar 1 egg 1 cup molasses 2 tablespoons white vinegar 5 cups flour 11⁄2 teaspoons baking soda 1 ⁄2 teaspoon salt 1 tablespoon powdered ginger 1 teaspoon cinnamon 1 teaspoon powdered cloves

Cream shortening and sugar. Add egg, molasses and vinegar, beat well. Sift dry ingredients into it and blend. Refrigerate three hours. Roll and cut out. Bake at 375 degrees for 5-6 minutes. To decorate, use favorite frosting or Jessie’s buttercream.

Buttercream frosting

Beat together:

1 pound powdered sugar 1 stick butter, softened

1 teaspoon vanilla 3 tablespoons milk

More ginger recipes on my blog

Ginger pancakes and LuAnn Kanavy’s awesome pumpkin gingerbread. Go to cincinnati.com/blogs/

Peppermint bark tip

Having trouble with the white chocolate melting into the dark? Make sure the dark layer is almost set or completely set if you prefer. You can wait to melt white chocolate after the dark layer has set. If you want, let the white chocolate cool a bit pouring onto the dark, making sure it is still in a pourable state.

Tips from readers’ kitchens

Greek sweet potato fries: Dave and Eileen Dowler, Batavia, said they use Cavender’s Greek seasoning on their sweet potato fries. Rita Nader Heikenfeld is an herbalist, educator and author. Email her at columns@communitypress.com with “Rita’s kitchen” in the subject line. Call 513-248-7130, ext. 356.

N. Ky. Chamber Mayors for Education unite to support education, literacy Community Recorder In November nearly 200 city, county, business and education leaders came together at the Northern Kentucky Chamber of Commerce’s Mayors for Education Government Forum to focus on early childhood literacy. According to national research, it is estimated that one in six children who are not reading proficiently in third grade do not graduate from high school on time, a rate four times greater than that for proficient readers. In Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky, more than 2,500 third-grade students are not reading on grade

level by the end of the school year. Following the event, local elected officials signed a pledge to support Read On. Collectively, local leaders have agreed to: » Advocate. Raise public awareness and concern about the importance of third grade reading proficiency. » Cultivate. Cultivate a culture of attendance and encourage broad community engagement and sustained civic action. » Participate. Support volunteer, tutoring, coaching and parent engagement strategies that help improve reading proficiency. » Connect. Help connect existing local re-

Elected officials pledge to support Read On!, the Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky campaign for grade-level reading. Front row: Fort Thomas Mayor Pro Tem Eric Haas, Cincinnati Vice Mayor Roxanne Qualls, Alexandria Mayor Bill Rachford and Covington Mayor Elect Sherry Carran. Back row: Williamstown Mayor Rick Skinner, Covington Commissioner Steve Frank, Kenton County Judge Executive Steve Arlinghaus, Elsmere Mayor Marty Lenhof, Taylor Mill Mayor Dan Bell, Florence Mayor Diane Whalen, Southgate Mayor Jim Hamberg and Campbell County Judge-executive Steve Pendery. THANKS TO PEGGY CASEY sources and community stakeholders with schools. Read On is a campaign to improve early literacy in Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky, encompassing

seven counties and 19 public school districts. The campaign is managed by the Northern Kentucky Education Council and the Strive Partnership.

Rent-To-Own

The Point’s gala was a slam dunk success

The Point Arc’s largest fundraiser of the year, “Joy to the World,” closed the Drawbridge Inn forever with a bang. The Drawbridge closed its doors on Dec. 1 but not before The

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SEND YOUR COMMUNITY NEWS The Community Recorder welcomes news about community events. Please email items for “Community Briefs” to Nancy Daly at ndaly@nky.com, mail to: Community Briefs, c/o Nancy Daly, Community Recorder, 228 Grandview Drive, Fort Mitchell KY 41017, or fax to 859-2837285.

Jeff Piecoro, Doug Pelfrey and Jack Givens. They competed to see who could raise the most money with the auction items they provided. “Our celebrity auctioneers nearly tripled the amount of money raised versus our live auction from last year. This was such a big win for The Point,” Gerding said. Givens, MVP of the 1978 University of Kentucky basketball championship team, raised $15,000 alone.

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Erlanger United Methodist Church will host Christmas Eve services 5:30 and 11 p.m. Monday, Dec. 24, at 31 Commonwealth Ave., Erlanger.

Point could say goodbye in style. Judi Gerding, president of The Point Arc, said, “Our volunteers transitioned The Drawbridge into a Winter Wonderland while our guests chose to give even more than in the past. This year we tried something a little different and it worked.” A celebrity live auction hosted by WLWT’s Sheree Paolello featured Paul Daugherty, Mike Wong, Simon Leis, Arnold Barnett,

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LIFE

B4 • COMMUNITY RECORDER • DECEMBER 20, 2012

Don’t forget to check with Better Business Bureau

When looking for an appliance repairman, a lot of people have turned to the Yellow Pages or looked on the Internet. Often, however, they don’t realize that’s just the first place they need to check before hiring a company. That’s what Wendy Hendley of Price Hill learned after she hired a company she found on Craigslist. “I paid somebody $310 to come out and fix my stove and refrigerator. He did great with the stove, that was no problem, it’s working wonders now. But the freezer is still freezing up on the inside and on the outside of it,” Hendley said. Hendley said she really hasn’t been able to use the freezer and just puts a few things on the freezer door. In fact, she says neither the freezer nor the refrigerator have worked right since the day the repairman was there. The repairman’s receipt says there’s a 30-day guarantee on the work, but getting him to return has been a problem. “He said there was a 30-day warranty and if anything happened he’d come back out and fix it, but he hasn’t done it. I’ve tried calling him and he’s not returning my calls. I’d love for him to come out and fix it the way it should be, but I don’t think that’s going to happen,” Hendley said. I called the repairman and, although he did return and replace a part, the refrigerator still didn’t work right and another company had to come out to make the correct repairs.

The mistake here was in just getting the name of a repair company, but failing to check out the firm’s history. That’s where the Better Business Howard Bureau comes in Ain handy. HEY HOWARD! I found the BBB gave this company an “F” rating because, among other things, it was unable to get an address for the firm. A check of Hendley’s receipt showed the same thing: There was just a company name and phone number but no address. Having no address is a red flag. You do not want to do business with a company that won’t tell you where it’s located. The Better Business Bureau also keeps track of those who run companies and can tell you if they’re also using several different company names – another red flag. BBB reports tell you how many complaints the bureau has received against a company and whether the company was able to resolve them. Last, but certainly not least, the BBB tells you how long the company has been in business. This is important because you want to do business with firms that have been around for a while and have good track records. Howard Ain answers consumer complaints weekdays on WKRC-TV Local 12. Write to him at 12 WKRCTV, 1906 Highland Ave., Cincinnati 45219.

Lyons documentary garnering awards By Amanda Hopkins westnews@communitypress.com

A documentary on a wellknown broadcaster is winning awards of its own. “Ruth Lyons: First Lady of Television” is a documentary chronicling the life and the time that broadcaster Ruth Lyons spent on her television program that was broadcast throughout the Midwest. Producer, director and editor of the documentary, David Ashbrock said the three years he and the team spent on putting together the biography have paid off with awards from the Ohio Valley Emmy Awards. The documentary won in six categories: nostalgia of programming, writing, directing, editing, photography and music. Ruth Lyons was a broadcaster who hosted a daytime talk show on radio and television. She was on air for over 18 years and hosted celebrity guests including Bob Hope, Jack Leonard and Ted Lewis. “We were pretty thrilled (to win),” said Ashbrock, a Blue Ash resident. “ It’s really extraordinary to earn that recognition.” Ashbrock said he and co-producer Mark Magistrelli chose Ruth Lyons as the focus of their documentary because of how many lives Lyons was a part of during her time as a broadcaster with WLWT-TV. “She was just an everyday woman ... who could relate to her audience,” Ashbrock said. “We knew it was one story that was revered by many.” Magistrelli, of Fort Wright, and Ashbrock had lots of help from director of photography Ric Hine of Westwood, director of music Dave Powers, and host and narrator Nancy James of Delhi Township. Broadcaster and meteorologist Pat Barry also lent his expertise for fund-

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He said it may have taken a lot of work on the part of all of the team members but he is happy that the finished product can tell people the story of Ruth Lyons. “It is so gratifying that we’ve created some excitement about (Lyons’) life,” Ashbrock said.

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Comedian Phyllis Diller with producer-director David Ashbrock in her Los Angeles home, standing in front of a portrait of her longtime friend Bob Hope. She was a frequent guest on Ruth Lyons’ weekday WLWT-TV show in the 1960s. Ashbrock and Mark Magistrelli interviewed Diller for their documentary about Ruth Lyons. PROVIDED

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LIFE

DECEMBER 20, 2012 • COMMUNITY RECORDER • B5

Homebuilders name new officers Community Recorder The Home Builders Association of Northern Kentucky has announced its 2013 officers and directors. The leaders were installed at a Dec. 14 ceremony at the Newport Syndicate. “We are excited about what 2013 holds and what our leadership can do to guide our association as the housing recovery gains steam,” said Brian Miller, executive vice president of the Home Builders Association of Northern Kentucky. “We have accomplished a lot in 2012 including restructuring our board, executive leadership and a good deal of our governance. We have been redesigning the HBA for the 21st century and on top of that are in the midst of drafting our 2013-2016 stra-

Butt

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tegic plan. This group of outstanding leaders is bringing new ideas to the table to make sure that our HBA continues to be one of the largest, most relevant HBA’s in the nation,” Miller said. Officers for 2013 are: President, Adam Chaney, Terrace Holdings, LLC Vice president, James Kegley, The B.O.L.D. Co. Inc. Secretary/treasurer, Jason Yeager, Ashley Building Immediate past president, Bill Butt, Bill's Re-

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modeling & Electric Inc. Associate president, Desiree Webster, NuVo Technologies Associate vice president, Walt Dunlevy, Forge Lumber The board of directors are: Phil Drees, Terrace Holdings Tom Spille, Spille Builders and Developers Diana DeVore, Guardian Savings Bank Art Fischesser, All-Rite Ready Mix Anita Kosco, The Newport Syndicate

Yeager

Patrick Townsend, Patrick’s Custom Hardwood Flooring Inc. Paul Metzger, Land Development Council president, Fischer Homes Pat Parshall, Sales and Marketing Council President, NKY Publishing The mission of the Home Builders 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.

Be wary of seasonal scams, identity theft Community Recorder A record number of consumers are turning to their smart phones, tablets and computers for their holiday shopping needs, which has scammers working overtime to develop fraudulent emails and text messages to gain access to personal information. Attorney General Jack Conway’s Office of Consumer Protection has seen an increase in complaints related to fraudulent text messages. Some appear to come from a reputable store, while others involve sweepstakes. The text messages may indicate that consumers have won a

sweepstakes or a shopping spree for purchases in a particular store. They are asked to call a number for details or respond to the text. Consumers should not respond, as it only confirms for the scammer that the cell phone numbers are valid and they may attempt to use enticements to obtain personal information from the consumer. Consumers need to be careful of malicious mobile apps designed to steal information from smartphones or distribute expensive text messages without a user’s consent. Malicious apps are usually offered for free and involve some

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LIFE

B6 • COMMUNITY RECORDER • DECEMBER 20, 2012

DEATHS Ruth B’Hymer Ruth Lehman B’Hymer, 96, of Fort Mitchell, died Dec. 6, 2012, in Crestview Hills. She was a homemaker, a member, deacon and past treasurer of the Madison Avenue Christian Church, an alumna of the University of Cincinnati College of Engineering, a member of Fort Mitchell Country Club, Phi Mu Sorority and American Association of University Women and Fort Mitchell Garden Club, and enjoyed playing bridge and painting. Her husband, Orville W. B’Hymer, and a brother, Jack E. Lehman, died previously. Survivors include three grandchildren and a great-grandchild. Interment was at Highland Cemetery in Fort Mitchell. Memorials: Madison Avenue Christian Church Book of Remembrance, 1530 Madison Ave., Covington, KY 41011 or Hospice

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Anthony Browning Anthony “Tony” Lee Browning, 63, of Covington died Dec. 6, 2012, at the University of Cincinnati. He enjoyed sports, and collecting baseball cards and coins. His father, Joe Browning, died previously. Survivors include his mother, Doris Browning of Erlanger; son, Nicholas Browning; and fiancee, Elizabeth Bornhorst of Fort Mitchell; brothers, Joseph “Bud” Browning of Burlington, Steven Browning of Covington, and Randy Browning of Hebron; sister, JoEllen Hankins of Naples, Fla.; and two grandchildren. Memorials: Chambers and Grubbs in memory of Anthony Browning.

John Collett John F. Collett, 61, of Lakeside Park, died Dec. 5, 2012, at St. Elizabeth Florence. He was a truck driver for Con-Way Freight. Survivors include his wife, Pam Collett; daughters, Julie Collett

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Helen Cook Helen Rose Cook, 81, died Dec. 11, 2012. Her husband, John J. Cook; and siblings, Robert Ballinger, Mildred Scudder, Mary Ballinger and William Ballinger Jr., died previously. Survivors include her son, Michael J. Cook of Park Hills and sister, Loretta Mulligan of Cummins, Ga.

Howard Dunwoody Howard Lee Dunwoody, 87, of Union, died Dec. 9, 2012, at his residence. He was a Marine veteran of World War II, a lifetime member of the Veterans of Foreign Wars, member of the Fort Mitchell Boonies Club, and enjoyed golfing, bowling, hunting and playing softball. His wife, Mary Maloney Dunwoody, died previously. Survivors include his daughters, Donna Clark and Luann Schulkers, both of Erlanger; sons, Thomas Dunwoody of Union and Jeffrey Dunwoody of Covington; 10 grandchildren; and seven great-grandchildren. Memorials: Kentucky School for the Blind, 1867 Frankfort Ave., Louisville, KY.

Doris Giles Doris Elaine Giles, 66, of Crestview Hills, died Dec. 7, 2012. Survivors include her son, Brian Giles; two grandchildren; and many siblings. Memorials: SPCA, 3949 Colerain Ave., Cincinnati, OH 45223.

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Wanda S. Gouge, 75, of Independence, died Dec. 10, 2012, at St. Elizabeth Edgewood. She was retired from the food service department at the Panorama Senior Building. A brother, David Wagner, and a sister, Janice Stith, died previously. Survivors include her husband,

ABOUT OBITUARIES Basic obituary information and a color photograph of your loved one is published without charge by The Community Press. Please call us at 283-0404 for more information. To publish a larger memorial tribute, call 513-242-4000 for pricing details. For the most up-to-date Northern Kentucky obituaries, click on the “Obituaries” link at NKY.com. Ralph Gouge Sr.; daughter, Sheila Wade of Mount Olivet; sons, Ralph Gouge Jr. of Frankfort, Randy Gouge of Erlanger and Richard of Taylor Mill; seven grandchildren; three greatgrandchildren; brother, Jimmy Wagner of Crittenden; sisters, Darlene Hudson of Piner, and Barbara Rector of Lebanon.

James Hendren James Marshall “Bo” Hendren, 28, of Florence, died Dec. 9, at St. Elizabeth Edgewood. He was a tattoo artist for Studio 2 Tattoo and enjoyed building low-riders. His grandparents, James and Sue Hendren, died previously. Survivors include his sons, Elijah and Cameron Hendren; wife, Deaza Hendren; mother, Ramona Hendren of Erlanger; stepfather, Skip Eubanks of Erlanger; grandparents, James and Minnie Sharp of Winchester; and sister, Whitney Hunt of Erlanger.

Kathleen Moss Kathleen Moss, 59, of Erlanger, died Dec. 6, at University Hospital. Survivors include her sons, Scott Moss of Elsmere, Robert Moss of Cary, N.C.; brother, Joe Pelcha; sisters, Inez Martin and Jeanie Rugg; and four grandchildren.

John Robinson

John Ray Robinson, 57, of Villa Hills, died Dec. 7, 2012, at St. Elizabeth Edgewood. He was a customer service representative with Fidelity Investments in Covington. He graduated from Franklin County High School and was a fan of University of Kentucky. He played basketball his freshman year for the university and belonged to the SAE Fraternity in College. He was a supporter of Covington Catholic Athletics Program and the Notre Dame High School Theater Program, and a parishioner at St. Joseph Church in Crescent Springs. Survivors include the mother of his children, Linda Robinson of Villa Hills; sons, Jonathan and Michael Robinson of Villa Hills; daughter, Katie Robinson of Villa Hills; mother and stepfather, Carolyn Pless of Rockwell, N.C.; brother, Michael Robinson of Frankfort; and sisters, Teresa Yagel and Tammy Hurst, both of Frankfort. Memorials: St. Elizabeth Hospice or Christopher Todd Grant Memorial Fund, c/o The Cincinnati Scholarship Foundation, 602 Main St., Suite 1000, Cincinnati, OH 45202.

Dorothy Jean Tabeling, 87, of Crestview Hills, died Dec. 7, 2012. She was a homemaker, enjoyed traveling, was a graduate of LaSallette High School, and a volunteer at St. Charles Care Center and St. Elizabeth. Survivors include her husband, Dr. Paul John Tabeling; children, Sam Tabeling, Larry Tabeling, Mark Tabeling, Sue Reese, Carol Scheffel and Sally Feldmann; eight grandchildren; and two great-grandchildren. Memorials: I Have Wings Breast Cancer Foundation, P.O. Box 18502, Erlanger, KY 41018 or Be Concerned, 714 Washington St., Covington, KY 41011.

James Schneider

Ann Wharton

James “Skeeter” Edward Schneider Sr., 83, died Dec. 7, 2012, in Florence. He was a toolmaker for General Electric, a Kentucky Colonel and a member of the Veterans of Foreign Wars. His wife, Shirley Schneider, and son, James E. Schneider Jr., died previously. Survivors include his daughters, Judy Tanner of Erlanger, Nancy Graff of Pensacola, Fla., and Karen Harmon of Florence; and a grandchild. Memorials: National Kidney Foundation of Greater Cincinnati, 615 Elsinore Place, Suite 400, Cincinnati, OH 45202.

Ann Pennington Wharton, 76, of Edgewood, died Dec. 9, 2012, at St. Elizabeth Edgewood. She was a graduate of The Emma Willard School and the University of Kentucky, where she was a member of the Delta Delta Delta Sorority. She was a retired executive for the Girl Scouts of America, a member of the Lexington Junior League in her youth and enjoyed reading and sewing. Survivors include her sons, Bill Wharton of Florence and Haydon Wharton of Union; sister, Nancy Pennington of Seattle, Wash.; and four grandchildren. Burial was in Lexington Cemetery. Memorials: Alzheimer’s Association, Greater Cincinnati Chapter, 644 Linn St., Suite 1026, Cincinnati, OH 45203.

James Stevenson James “Jim” Stevenson, 51, of Fort Thomas, died Dec. 11, at his residence. He worked for Cincinnati General Electric. His parents, Harold and Rita

Stevenson, and a daughter, Jennifer, died previously. Survivors include his daughter, Christi Stevenson of Covington; son, Joe Stevenson of Crestview; brothers, Bob of Taylor Mill, Fred of Bellevue, Paul of Bellevue and Thomas of Butler; sisters, Mary Goldsberry of Independence and Barb Lee of Erlanger. Memorials: Christ Church United Church of Christ, 15 South Fort Thomas Ave., Fort Thomas, KY 41075.

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LIFE

DECEMBER 20, 2012 • COMMUNITY RECORDER • B7

Question: I have heard that poinsettias and mistletoe are both poisonous plants. Is that true? Answer: The poinsettia is the most popular potted flowering plant sold in the United States, with annual sales of more than 70 million plants. Contrary to persistent rumors, poinsettias are not poisonous to humans. However, these popular holiday plants are nonedible, meaning they could cause some discomfort if ingested by humans or animals. Although poinsettias are not poisonous, mistletoe is one popular holiday decoration that is toxic. Extensive university research and laboratory testing have shown that poinsettias are not poison-

ous. One scientific study concluded that no toxicity occurred at poinsettia inMike gestion Klahr levels far HORTICULTURE higher CONCERNS than those likely to occur in a home. The main information resource of most poison control centers states that a 50-pound child would have to ingest more than 500 poinsettia leaves to surpass an experimental dose. However, poinsettias are considered a “nonedible” plant. Some people develop skin sensitivities when exposed to

poinsettias. Individuals might be especially sensitive to the white milky sap, called “latex,” produced when a part of the plant is broken or injured. Ingesting a plant part by accident might cause some discomfort. Active, young children, apt to put anything in their mouth, and curious cats might choke on fibrous poinsettia foliage. So a good practice is to put all nonedible plant materials, including poinsettias, out of children’s and pets’ reach. The Aztecs cultivated poinsettias in Mexico, where they grew as trees, long before Europeans came to the Western Hemisphere. Aztecs used the colorful leaves, called “bracts” for a reddish-

purple dye and the latex to counteract fever. Missionaries to Mexico used poinsettias in Nativity processions, possibly beginning the holiday connection that continues today. Joel Robert Poinsett, an amateur botanist and the first U.S. ambassador to Mexico, became fascinated with the colorful plants and sent some to his South Carolina home where they thrived in his greenhouse, and were eventually distributed to the public. Unlike poinsettia, mistletoe does contain compounds that are toxic to humans and animals. Mike Klahr is the Boone County extension agent for horticulture.

Bring holiday cheer to the elderly The holidays should be a time of joy, but for some older adults, especially those living alone or in long-term care, holidays can be met with stress, confusion and feelings of sadness and loneliness, often intensified because holidays can be further reminders of the loss of loved ones, health and even independence. During this time of year, older adults may become isolated from their friends, family and community, leading to an increased risk of depression. There are several ways you may help make the holidays brighter and

more tolerable for others. One of the greatest gifts you can give an older adult Diane is your Mason time. Make EXTENSION it a point to NOTES talk with the older adults in your family, neighborhood and those living in long-term care. Listen to their stories, learn from them and try to put yourself in their shoes. Include older relatives and friends in as much of your celebration as pos-

sible. This may include taking the celebration to them. Remind older adults why and how they are important to you and your entire family. Invite your elderly neighbor over for some of your celebrations, especially if they would otherwise be alone. Holiday cards can mean a lot to older adults, and with loss, it is not uncommon for cards to diminish in number with every passing year. For some older adults, mail is the only communication they receive from friends and family. Make an effort to send a card with an upbeat greeting and

update about your life and family. Cards filled with bad news, such as updates on those who died or fell ill, can be upsetting and stressful. Help older adults decorate for the holidays. Offer to help them hang lights, carry boxes and prepare the house. If they are in an assisted living facility or nursing home, make the holidays brighter by bringing favorite or meaningful decorations. Diane Mason is county extension agent for family and consumer sciences at the Boone County Cooperative Extension Service.

Gateway enrolling for January semester Community Recorder Gateway enrolling for January semester Gateway Community and Technical College is still enrolling students for the spring semester that begins Jan. 14, 2013. According to a recent news media poll, 65 percent of local college graduates responding to the poll listed their finances as “excellent” or “good.” That compares to 56 percent of non-college graduates who described their financial situation as “fair” or “poor.” Scholarships are available for all kinds of students, and many don’t require a straight-A average to qualify. Gateway also offers a special outreach program for military veterans and a host of services designed to help students overcome academic and non-academic barriers and stay in

school to complete a credential. Credits earned at Gateway transfer, by law, to any of Kentucky’s eight public universities. The college is regionally accredited by the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools to award associate degrees. Credit earned at regionally accredited colleges like Gateway is generally accepted by fouryear universities across the country. Gateway offers more than 30 credential programs, including credentials in the top six fastestgrowing, best-paying fields in the region. Classes are accessible at the college’s campuses in Covington, Edgewood and Florence, as well as online and through the Gateway Regional Academy or the Workforce Solutions Division.

MARRIAGE LICENSES Sallie Volz, 52, and Michael Miller, 69, both of Cincinnati, issued Dec. 3. Elana Kurlas, 40, of Covington and David Clifton, 38, of Independence, issued Dec. 4. Mercedes Stafford, 36, and Michael Williams, 38, both of Cincinnati, issued Dec. 6. Brittany Hardtke, 25, and Johnny Lee IV, 26, both of Lawrenceburg, issued Dec. 6. Amanda Trumbell, 29, of Ludlow and Gary Overpeck Jr., 46, of Florence, issued Dec. 6. Deborah Oliver, 57, and Charles Shelton, 59, both of Montgomery, issued Dec. 6. Sherri Cromwell, 41, and Dale Harris, 57, both of Cincinnati,

issued Dec. 6. Diane Toebben, 51, of Villa Hills and John Glueck, 53, of Crescent Springs, issued Dec. 6. Theresa Moore, 24, of Erlanger and Benjamin Gaddis, 27, of Covington, issued Dec. 6.

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LIFE

B8 • COMMUNITY RECORDER • DECEMBER 20, 2012

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community-recorder-122012