Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Drumline Live!

Band is Cool.

Good Tuesday morning everyone. Rob here.

Drumline Live! is an explosive show created by the music team behind the hit movie "Drumline. Bruce Davis loves this movie BTW. It transports the African American marching band tradition from the playing field to the stage. The show features high energy performers in the show style marching band tradition of America's top Historically Black Colleges and Universities. This versatile group of musicians, dancers and vocalists is bringing their show to Cincinnati tonight at the Aronoff Center. The music includes the sounds of Africa, Motown, Gospel, Swing and Hip Hop. However the star of the show is the drumline. The showdown of rhythm and speed between the "lines" will amaze audience with its pulsing force. Tickets cost anywhere from $25 to $42. They're still available. Tickets are half price for students. For more information call (513) 621-ARTS.

Friday, November 26, 2010


Good Morning and Happy FRIDAY.

Dan Wells writing, I'm going to guess unless a microwave dinner was your Thanksgiving feast, you probably have had firsthand experience with the after-dinner fatigue that sets in after the meal.

But did you ever wonder why you wanted to take a nap?

To escape the dishes?

Perhaps, but the meal itself plays a big part in the way you feel.

The turkey is often cited as the culprit in afterdinner lethargy, but the truth is that you could omit the bird altogether and still feel the effects of the feast.

According to medical experts....turkey does contain L-tryptophan, an essential amino acid with a documented sleep inducing effect. L-tryptophan is used in the body to produce the B-vitamin, niacin. Tryptophan also can be metabolized into serotonin and melatonin, neurotransmitters that exert a calming effect and regulates sleep.

However, L-tryptophan needs to be taken on an empty stomach and without any other amino acids or protein in order to make you drowsy. There's lots of protein in a serving of turkey and it's probably not the only food on the table.

It's worth noting that other foods contain as much or more tryptophan than turkey (0.333 g of tryptophan per 100 gram edible portion), including chicken (0.292 g of tryptophan per 100 gram edible portion), pork, and cheese.

As everybody knows...It takes a great deal of energy to digest a large meal. When your stomach is full, blood is directed away from other organ systems, including your nervous system.

The result?

You will feel the need to snooze after any big meal, particularly if it is high in fats and carbohydrates.

So, why are you sleepy after a big turkey dinner? It's a combination of the type of food, amount of food, and celebratory atmosphere.

Happy Thanksgiving! Dan Wells FOX 19 NEWS

Thursday, November 25, 2010

I Am Thankful

"What can you do to promote world peace? Go home and love your family." -- Mother Teresa

Hi, it's Sheila.
Today I am thankful. Thankful that I live in America, thankful that I have a career I love, friends who support me, and thankful for a place to live and food to eat. But most of all, I am thankful for my faith and my family.

Today we will travel to see part of my husband Ric's family in Morehead, Kentucky, where his mother grew up, and where Ric spent summers during his childhood with his grandparents. Tomorrow, we'll head up to Sidney, Ohio to see my parents and my brothers, Jeff and Jim and their families. It's not possible to be with all of our family members, who are spread from Illinois to Texas to Connecticut, but I am grateful to have such a big family. It means lots and lots of love in my life and in my children's lives.

Many years ago, my father-in-law Robbie was visiting for Thanksgiving, and he supervised while I made Ric's grandmother's Sage Stuffing for the first time. Alice and Albert William Frederic Robinson, Senior owned a restaurant in Naugatuck, Connecticut, and it was passed down to Robbie and my mother-in-law, Pat. Robbie joined the Army Air Corps during World War Two and tested some of America's first jets, but when his superiors learned how talented he was in the kitchen, they also put him to work feeding his fellow service members. Ric spent a lot of time in the restaurant when he was a kid, and this stuffing, first made my his grandmother and then his mother, is one of his favorites.

I hope you enjoy it, and I hope you have a blessed, wonderful, warm Thanksgiving.

Grandmother Robinson's Sage Stuffing
2 celery stalks finely chopped
2 sweet onions chopped
3 small apples (gala) peeled and sliced (I use 2 if they're big)
1 lb. Sage sausage

Brown sausage with heaping amount of black pepper, salt and more sage, plus a pinch of nutmeg.

Add other ingredients and simmer until apples are soft. Let cool.

Add this mixture to a package of Pepperidge Farm Herb Seasoned Stuffing, made according to directions on bag.
Cook in turkey or for 30 minutes in a 350 degree oven.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010


Farewell, FOX19 viewers!
It’s not without some sadness that I find myself writing my final blog for FOX19. Hi, it's Meghan. :)

Wow. It's hard to believe this is my last day. It went by so fast. I guess that's a sign I enjoyed my five years here at FOX19.

It was a little more than five years ago that I signed on as a WXIX reporter, coming from Ft. Wayne, Indiana. I was so thrilled to be able to come to Cincinnati and live in a big city. Living and working here has been all that I hoped it would be and more. That may sound cheesy but it's true. I have met so many great people and formed lasting friendships.

Me with my new co-anchor, Pete Scalia

Reporting for FOX19 allowed me to cover an important breaking news story one day and hang on a trapeze to showcase a circus in town the next. It's a job that's hard to leave. But being a morning anchor was an opportunity I couldn't pass up. I am excited to join the ABC22/FOX45 team in Dayton where I’ll co-anchor alongside Pete Scalia.

I want to thank everyone so much for watching my colleagues and me at FOX19 the past several years. Live TV can certainly be an adventure, but we enjoy what we do and work hard to deliver a quality product every day. I hope it shows.

Top 10 things I’ll miss (and a few I won’t – you’ll have to guess which are which):
  1. My close friends on the show and my main photographer Dale.
  2. The camaraderie behind the scenes, like chatting with Sheila while we put finishing touches on our makeup.
  3. Rob’s cornucopia of strange morning foods like beef jerky, watermelon, Greek yogurt, and popcorn.
  4. Frank’s annoyingly chipper attitude at 3:30 AM.
  5. Live shots at GABP when Reds fans camp out for Opening Day Tickets, and Opening Day itself.
  6. Getting out of the warm FOX19 truck to do a live hit in the cold – 8 times per morning!
  7. Setting up at our four favorite live locations: the courthouse, CVG, the police station and… the salt pile.
  8. Watching countless salt trucks get refilled during bad weather at the aforementioned salt pile.
  9. Dressing up in a German Dirndl for the start of Oktoberfest.
  10. All the viewers who got up with us each morning and especially those who were so nice when I saw them around town.
Thanks everyone. I will really miss being on the air here in Cincy. I really appreciate your support. Remember I'm not too far away. You could buy a really strong antenna to watch me in Dayton!  :)  Best wishes and Happy Thanksgiving!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Bengals Blackout

The blackout actually turned out to be a good thing.

Good Tuesday morning. Rob here.

It was ugly Sunday at Paul Brown Stadium, but it didn't start that way.

As I was getting ready for the game, I asked myself, "Will I be too warm in a long sleeved t-shirt?"

That's a great question to ask in late November. I caught the Monks bus down, and like a lot of Bengals fans I was hopeful. They were facing off against the Buffalo Bills. A team with fewer wins than the Bengals. The stadium was actually fuller than I expected. In the first half, they were playing well. We were cheering ALOT. Carson was playing well. Benson was running well. We kept saying, "They're playing well, but its the Bills." Nevertheless, happy that the Bengals entered the locker room with a 31 to 17 lead. Then it happened. A huge collapse. One of the biggest I have ever seen. Everything was falling apart. The offense could and didn't score and the defense couldn't stop Fitzpatrick and the offense. Before Sunday, the Bengals have never been outscored 30 to 0 in a half. Final score 49 to 31. Take a look at the picture I took in the beginning of the 4th quarter. A virtually empty Paul Brown Stadium. I hear some of the fans walked out wearing their Bengals jersey inside out. Who can blame them. Talked with Geoff Hobson of Bengals.com yesterday morning on the Fox19 Morning News. He said the players don't want to be embarrassed this Thursday against the Jets. I say, after losing their 7th straight, it's maybe too late for that.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Up...Up...And Away...

Good Morning Everyone...Frank Here...It was up, up, and away this Saturday in Eden Park. The annual Balluminaria took place around Mirror lake and officials say they had record crowds. Over 4,000 people showed up for the event which many call the official kick off of the holiday season here in Cincinnati. In addition to Santa the little kiddos lined up for the always popular balloon animals. I attended the event with our reporter Corey McConnell and her husband and children. This is such a cool event, you can actually interact with the balloons and there crews, you can get up close and personal and actually feel the heat from the giant flames that keep these large balloons flying high. The real cap off the event is when all the balloons line up in place surrounding mirror lake and for 30 minutes they light there flames in a orchestrated time frame which provides photographers with stunning pictures. If you have not made it to this event in it's 15 year plus run I highly recommend you bring your families next year.

Friday, November 19, 2010

It's time for the next Harry Potter Movie!

Good morning Everyone!

Dan Wells writing, I hope this note finds you well and in good spirits!

So I woke up a bit early this morning to check out the hype of Harry Potter. YES, I'm a fan of the books and series and YES...I was one of those people who stood in line and went to see the premier of "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 1,"

Ok here's the deal Harry, Hermione and Ron don't spend ANY TIME in Hogwarts but it actually just fine....the movie in my opinion is great!

In this next-to-last installment in the "Harry Potter" franchise, the story rushes ahead and it takes the young heroes (Harry, Hermione and Ron) across a desolate England that's almost post-apocalyptic.

I needless to say thought the shooting or filming was pretty cool.

"Part 1" is a quest story. An on-the-run thriller, drama and moving exploration of loyalty.
There's a ton to take-in, including an early, mind-bending scene featuring multiple Harry Potters (I lost count) in one room. And the infiltration of the Ministry of Magic is just plain cool. The scene starts off comical, turns thrilling, and ends up poignant.

I don't want to give away the movie but I have to tell you that it ends at a perfectly logical place that left me dying for July 15 (that the next movie "Part 2" to arrive.

If you're a Harry Potter fan you will like this movie...it sticks to the book for the most part....if you're not a fan...sorry I just wasted your time.

Have a great weekend.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

I Love CrossFit

I may like high heels and mascara, but I am proud to say that I can also do pull-ups. Hi, it's Meghan. :)

Box jumps!  Man, I'm moving fast! :)
 Have you ever done a workout where after six minutes you are out of breath and the sweat is dripping off? If you've tried CrossFit, you'll surely say yes. For those who haven't, let me explain.

CrossFit is a mix of strength and conditioning, combining weightlifting, sprinting, and gymnastics. The goals are cardiovascular/respiratory endurance, stamina, strength, flexibility, power, speed, agility, balance and coordination. CrossFit athletes run, row, jump rope, climb ropes and carry odd objects.

I've been working out at CrossFit NKY in Florence three times per week for two years. All CrossFit gyms are linked and there is always a prescribed workout of the day which changes every day. Here's an example from Wednesday:
- 5 dumbbell push jerks (25 lbs)
- 7 box jumps (2' box)
- repeat, completing as many rounds as possible in 15 minutes.

Sounds simple, right? Well, I went non-stop and completed 25 rounds. That means I did 125 push jerks holding 50 pounds and 175 box jumps in 15 minutes. It was exhausting (it always is) but I feel a exercise high and a sense of accomplishment afterwards.

Luckily, Lucas is a much better trainer than he is a photographer. ;-)
 CrossFit is for anyone and everyone who wants to work hard. I've been in classes with people of all ages and all skill levels. This picture is of me, Laura and Stephanie doing pull-ups. Laura is in college and has worked super hard to become one of the instructors. Stephanie is pregnant! Yes, it is hard to tell. She started recently and does a workout tailored to moms. You can see she is also using a band to do pull-ups. Adjustments are made based on a person's strength and skill. I should know, it took me a year to get rid of the band and start doing pull-ups on my own!

I highly recommend trying CrossFit. There are at least 4 different locations in the Tri-State. Of course, I'm partial to Coach Lucas and all the great people and athletes at CrossFit NKY:)

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Come to Christkindlmarkt!

A wonderful annual event for families will kick off the holiday season this weekend.

Sheila here. I'll be at the Germania Society's Christkindlmarkt this Saturday to lead the lantern parade. Children will parade through Germania Park, in a tradition which dates back to the 300's A.D. The children carry lanterns as they sing and walk to the bon fire where each child will receive a Sankt Martin's Weck (a pastry honoring St. Martin).

Catholics who live in Europe celebrate the feast day of St. Martin, who lived from 317 to 397 A.D. He was always very generous and even gave away some of his military earnings (while he was still a Roman soldier) to needy farm families. He is most famous for one special deed: When he was returning to his home on his military horse and a beggar stepped into his path and asked him for alms. Martin had just given away his last coins, but he did not think it was right to just ride past the beggar. He decided, to share his warm wool coat (in German it is called a Mantel). He took his sword and cut the coat in half, gave the beggar one half and kept the other half. He felt if both had half a coat, they had a better chance not to die in the cold winter weather.

Martin later became a monk, and all of his good deeds and his generosity resulted in him being chosen as a Bishop of Tours. The lantern parade starting Saturday at 6:30 is a wonderful opportunity to learn about and celebrate German childhood traditions.

St. Nikolaus and Santa Claus will also be at Germania Park this weekend to visit with children, and live Christmas trees will be for sale. You can also find lot of German goodies like pastries, Christmas ornaments, Advent calendars, and toys and puzzles. Of course, Germania Society is well known for its wonderful cooks, so lots of German food will be on the menu along with Gluhwein (Hot Mulled Wine). Live entertainment is planned all weekend long.

Germania Society's Christkindlmarkt runs this Friday, Saturday and Sunday at Germania Park. Kids younger than 14 get in free, and admission is only $3.00 for everyone else. A heated pavilion will help you get in out of the cold. I hope to see you there! Learn more at http://www.germaniasociety.com/christkindlmarkt10/christkindlmarkt10.html

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Greek Yogurt

Greek yogurt is a great way to clean up your diet.

Hey everyone. Rob here.

Its been just over a month since the Columbus marathon and I took most of that time off. Time off running, working out and eating well. Now it's time to pay for nearly 4 weeks of fun and get back on course. I start with Greek yogurt. It is how I start most of my days. It's higher in protein. It typically has double the protein compared to standard yogurt. The brand I eat has 17 grams of protein and only 130 calories. Its also relatively low in carbohydrates. Greek yogurt averages 9 grams of carbohydrates.
The one I buy at Kroger has 8 grams.
It's healthy, but also tasty. I don't feel like I'm sacrificing. Regular yogurt is strained twice. Greek yogurt is strained 3 times, so it's thicker and creamier. Give it a try. Either today or may be after the holidays.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Rump Roast and Church

Good Morning Everyone, How was the weekend? Frank Marzullo here and on Saturday evening my FOX19 News Morning Xtra co-host and I spent the night with some new friends at St. Catherine's over on the west side. It was there annual school fundraiser and auction evening. The theme was Dancing With The Stars and there was some serious dancing going on. Tracey and I did not cut a rug, but we did run the auction and let me tell you I think Tracey missed her calling, she is a great auctioneer. The parents of St. Catherines opened up there hearts and wallets for the kids and there school. We had a great night and thank everyone for coming out. Then on Sunday morning I woke up nice and early, and I made my first crock pot meal. I had purchased a crock pot on Saturday and then on Sunday I slow roasted a rump roast for 7 hours. I layered onions and taters on the bottom of the crock pot, then rubbed kosher salt and lemon pepper on the roast. I also rubbed it with rosemary and thyme. I then sliced slits in the beef and inserted garlic cloves. I placed roast in the pot and added beef stock and cooked on low heat for 7 hours. The last hour I added baby carrots and let them cook with the roast. Then I sliced it and used the juice for gravy and it was sooooo good!!!

Friday, November 12, 2010

Want To Go Camping ?

I love to camp, and think it is so much fun when you do it in a big group. So I'm planning a trip to Winton Woods...sometime soon, and I thought you guys might want to see what I found.
First off, it seems like a great camping area within reasonable distances for most people that live all around the Tri-state. Winton Woods campgrounds are 25 per night, plus 2-5 dollars for your car permit (http://www.greatparks.org/). Included in site rental is use of bathhouses and restrooms, 30amp electrical outlets for each site (I normally plug in a lamp and radio). You can also use the fishing lake and the playground too. Next issue is firewood. Most places offer wood for $10.00 per stack and a stack will normally last 4 hours or so. Depending on how many fires you build (1 on each site, one really big one for everyone to sit around together ect) I'm told most groups will need at least 2 stacks with no morning fire, and 3 if you want a morning fire. Just some quick info if a fall camping trip is in your future! I am looking forward to some s'mores, and hanging out with everyone around a good camp fire! Happy Camping Dan

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Landor Project

I have never claimed to be an artist. Hi, it’s Meghan. :)

Okay, that may be a bit of an understatement. I really can’t draw at all. So when I was approached about being part of the Landor project, I was a hesitant at first. Especially because the assignment was kind of abstract and artsy. But after Micah Paldino from PB&J explained it as a unique way to journal for a week, I decided to give it a try.

Landor is a consulting and design firm. A little while back they decided to try an experiment.  They asked their employees to stop whatever they were doing every day at 1:10 PM and document exactly what they were thinking and feeling at that very moment. Workers used this experiment to inspire and get creative. A window display at Landor was created to show off the creativity of the finished projects. It was such a success that the company wanted to share the idea and let the people of Cincinnati express themselves. That's where I come in.

Last Friday I got my journal book. That's picture of it. I'm kind of embarrassed to show off the sketches, but it's kind of funny to see how bad I am at drawing. I was also instructed to choose a word, pick a color, and take a picture. This all had to be at 1:10 every day for a week. I have to admit I was sometimes napping at that time, so I had to wait to "get creative."

My work and that of the other participants will be made into one big window display.  If you want to see it, just head to the corner of 7th and Race at the Shillito Building.

Now that it's done, it was interesting to flip through and remember where I was at that moment throughout the past week. Another thought I had was maybe I should take an Learn to Draw class, you know for any future pictionary games. :)

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

I Found A New Place To Shop!

Hard to believe it's at the library!

Sheila here, and Saturday I headed downtown with Katie to help her complete an assignment for English class. She and her classmates had to get library cards for the Hamilton County Public Library. On our way out, I noticed the Friends of the Library Shop, and we stopped in to get a birthday card for a friend. There was a big selection, and I picked a cute one with a Mark Twain quote about getting older.

Then I couldn't help looking around at the books. The Friends shop has a ton of used library books, and I ended up getting a couple of novels by Maeve Binchy and Nora Roberts. They were hard cover copies, and you could hardly tell they'd been read! The best part was the price! I only spent eight dollars on both of them!

The shop also has children's books and toys, stationary, games, puzzles, and DVD's with a historical look at birth years. Might be a fun birthday present for someone. I can't wait to go back! The Friends shop is having a holiday open house the Sunday after Thanksgiving from 1:30 to 4:30. Here's a link, and if you mention their ad, you'll get a 25% discount. http://friends.cincinnatilibrary.org/shop.html

If you're looking for a bigger selection of books or DVD's, you might want to check out the Friends of the Library sale in Blue Ash Friday and Saturday or the ongoing warehouse sale in Hartwell. Here's a link for more information: http://friends.cincinnatilibrary.org/booksales.html

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Monday Night Football

My first time ever. Hey everyone. Rob here.

I'm a little tired today. Even though the Bengals lost, it was worth it.

I made the smart decision to wait before heading down to Paul Brown Stadium. Didn't want to drag too badly today. Paul Brown Stadium was packed. There were a ton of Steelers fans, EVERYWHERE. I thought they would be annoying. Around me in Section132, they weren't. That was a nice surprise. Before kick off, I decided to walk all the way around to the other side of PBS. Wanted to actually see the story, I talked about all morning long. The new necklace of lights on the Roebling Suspension Bridge. After a 10 minute crowded walk, it was a little disappointing. I may have expected too much though. I was expecting something to remind me of the holidays. It didn't.

Back to the game. The seats were good. We could clearly see Bernard Scott fumble then turn over the ball in the opening kick off return. That was ugly.

After Bengals fans would cheer for the very modest victories. Like a 3 yard gain without fumble. Understandably low expectations after 5 straight losses. I admit I left in the middle of the 3rd. One of my producers said the Bengals tried to mount an impressive comeback in the 4th. In the end they fall short. Final score Bengals: 21 Steelers 27. I'm glad I went. It was the Bengals first MNF appearance in 3 years. After yesterday's performance who knows when they will be back.

Monday, November 8, 2010

How Was Your Weekend?

Good Morning Everyone,
How was your weekend? Did you stay warm? Sunday morning we got down to a chilly 22 degrees! Brrrrrr ... Meteorologist Frank Marzullo here, get ready for a nice warming trend this week into the mid to upper 60's. Well I did a little traveling this weekend, I headed up to Youngstown, Ohio where I spent 7 years working and making live loAdd Imageng friends. It's fun to head back to places where you used to call home and go to places as a visitor, you see things in a different light. The weekend consisted of a little Japanese Steak House on Friday night and then I met up with my old co-anchor Scott on Saturday, by the way have you had the mac and cheese yet at Panera? So good! Anyway it was just a nice relaxing weekend with old friends, and then the drive back was exciting, as my Cleveland Browns beat up the New England Patriots in Cleveland yesterday! Now on to our Bengals...Who Dey!

Friday, November 5, 2010

Pricey Turkey

Good Morning....Dan Wells writing!
I hope this note find you well and good spirits on this Friday. My blog today is all about Thanksgiving...it's one of my favorite holiday's because you don't have the stress of presents. It's about good food and family/friends getting together. Now here's where I'm going to complain.
The price of a tom turkey is 33 percent higher than a year ago, soaring from an average of 79 cents to $1.05 a pound, according to figures compiled by The Food Institute. That adds about $4 to the price of a 16-pound bird.

WHAT? Add to that a 17 percent increase in the price of potatoes (from $3.50 to $4 for a 5-pound bag) and a 41 percent jump in the price of pecan halves (from $4.25 to $6 per pound), and you'll probably shell out more at the supermarket for your holiday feast. SAY IT'S NOT SO......PLEASE!!!!!!! Also seeing increases: Canned pumpkin (6 percent) and onions (23 percent). OK HERE'S SOME GOOD NEWS????? Some prices have fallen: celery (down 35 percent), frozen carrots (down 5 percent), canned apples (down 12 percent), canned green beans (down 6 percent), canned corn (down 8 percent) and fresh cranberries (down 3 percent).

Over all, the cost of the average Thanksgiving dinner is around $45, just a little food for thought!
I know it’s a bit early but, I wish you a joyous, delicious, and thanks-filled Thanksgiving holiday and weekend. Enjoy your Turkey and trimmings even if it is out-of-control expensive! GRRRRR!!!! Let me know what you think! Happy Turkey Day! Dan

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Cyclones Take the Ice

Hockey is back in Cincinnati. Hi, it’s Meghan:) If you like beer, fighting and intense action then you're going to love watching a Cincinnati Cyclones hockey game. I know I do. More on that later. But first the team.

The Cyclones are the defending Kelly Cup Champions. This season they're off to a slow start. But the games have come down to one or two goals and are still packed with action. The Cyclones are the minor league affilate of the NHL’s Florida Panthers and Nashville Predators. Nine players are returning from last year’s team (Aubin, Ehgoetz, Robinson, Pierce, Reynolds, Sheahan, O’Hanley, Krantz, and Roeder). They're skating under a new head coach, Jarrod Skalde. He has put together a team that's bigger in stature but still quick and skilled.

You can catch me at some of the games either watching or serving as your fan cam hostess. That means I walk around with a mic, like I was on Tuesday night when that picture was taken, and play games with fans in the stands or during periods on the ice. The crowd is a lot of fun. It can get kind of rowdy with people booing and yelling insults at the opposing team. But I guess that's what happens during $1 and $2 beer night.

Oh, did I mention that yet? Yes, Big Beer Tuesday means $2 24 oz. Labatt Blue and Molson. Wet Wednesday means $1 12 oz. Miller High Life and PBR. There are ton of other promotins going on through the season. A few highlights include Kids Eat Free Nights, Santa Bobblehead Night, Kids Jersey T-shirt Night, Pink in the Rink and Child Abuse Awareness Night. The next big one is Saturday, November 13 with Throwback night. The Cyclones will be throwing back prices to $8 tickets, $1 pizza, hotdogs, and soda. The Clones will also wear retro jerseys.

Definitely check out a game. You'll have a fun, inexpensive night. Go Cyclones!!

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

A New Life For Karen

Organ donation's been in the headlines a lot recently. The death of former Bengals player Ickey Woods' son is inspiring others to make the promise to donate their organs.

Sheila here.
I want to tell you a personal story about organ donation. I went to high school with a great person named Karen Paul. Our drama teacher used to call her "little, tiny Karen Paul" because of her small stature. But Karen has a big heart and a huge faith. And she has her life, thanks to organ donation.

Karen's last name is Range now, and she has a beautiful son named Sammy. In 2006, Karen developed a lung disorder called Bronchiolitis Obliterans. It's a pretty complicated illness, but the long and short of it is that Karen needed a double lung transplant. She couldn't breathe well enough to take care of her son, go grocery shopping alone, or even have a conversation without gasping for air. I remember her telling me that her son, who was only 2 years old when she was diagnosed, was helping around the house and taking care of her. It was heart wrenching to hear, and it was painful to think of the possibility that Sammy would have to grow up without her if there was no organ donor who matched Karen.

Karen never lost faith that she would get her lungs. She had quite a prayer network, and she had a strong belief that God would take care of her. Karen got the call from the Cleveland Clinic, not once, but twice, saying her lungs were on the way. Twice, she and her husband Jerry made the trip, only to find out the lungs were not the right match. I remember reading those emails from Karen. Even though she was devastated, she put others first. Karen would always tell her network of friends to pray for the family who had lost a loved one, a family who was consumed by grief.

Finally, the right lungs arrived. Karen underwent a double lung transplant on December 1, 2009. It was the day her life was renewed. You can't imagine the joy Karen experienced in doing simple things, like going out shopping or playing outside with Sammy. Karen says, "I think one of the greatest joys of having my life back is being a Mom to my now 6 year old son. He never knew his Mommy any other way but sick. Now we can spend as much time together as we want." She's even taking Zumba classes!

As you might imagine, Karen has become a vocal proponent of organ donation. An Ohio University student recently completed a video about Karen's experience. Here's a link if you're interested: Http://www.facebook.com/endthewaitinglist?v=app_2392950137#!/video/video.php?v=451552774119

Whether you watch the video or not, I hope you will consider putting your signature on your driver's license, indicating you would like to donate your organs, and talk to your family members about your wishes.
More than 100,000 people like my friend Karen are waiting. It's a decision that could save someone's mommy or friend. As Karen so aptly puts it: "The organ donation gives people a second chance and makes families whole again. I truly believe that organ donation is the greatest gift a human can give another human. It is a gift of love and life."

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Amazing WWII Story

Last Friday, I had the honor of hosting the dedication of North Avondale Montessori School.
Good Tuesday morning. Rob here with an incredible story that started decades ago.
World War II veterans Herb Heilburn and John Leahr were the keynote speakers. Herb was a B-17 bomber pilot who flew numerous dangerous missions over Nazi Germany.

John was a fighter pilot in the all black Tuskeegee Airmen of the 332nd Fighter Squadron. They were called Tuskeegee Airman because they were trained at a segregated airbase in Tuskeegee, Alabama. It wasn't until 50 years later that Herb discovered that his bomber squadron had been escorted for most of his missions by Tuskeegee Airmen. So he researched military records and learned one of the planes that escorted him safely on his missions was flown by John.

So they met at the annual meeting of Tuskeegee Airmen and they learned that they were from the same hometown, Cincinnati. After talking for a bit they learned they attended the same school. North Avondale Montessori. They talked some more and learned they were in the same 3rd grade class . Not only are they in the same class. Take a look at the class picture. Count down from the top left student. Down two.. over one. That is John. The kid standing on his left right next to him is Herb. Like many their many WWII missions John is Herb's wing man. The two man agreed that it was racial segregation that kept them apart and vowed to share their story to improve interracial understanding.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Frank's Halloween Night

What a evening for Trick or Treat! Hi Everyone...Frank Marzullo here...are you brushing your teeth a little bit longer this morning? I hope everyone had a wonderful Halloween, I spent the evening with some of my friends including Dan Wells and new mommy Corey McConnell. We spent the late afternoon watching the Bengals loose and then got ready to hand out candy and take the kids out for Trick or Treat. Uncle Frank, spent most of the time handing out candy as the Wells's and McConnell's took the kids out for tricks and treats. I have many memories of Trick or Treat as a child especially all my neighbors growing up who would do elaborate displays, in fact our neighbor growing up would break out his talking pumpkin man, it was pretty intense. However, what I though was really cool last night, was that all the neighbors in this Florence neighborhood would hang out on each others driveways with fire pits a blaze and candy at hand. It was a old school Halloween if Norman Rockwell could have a Halloween Picture, this would be it.