Thursday, March 31, 2011

The Home Team

Good Morning and Happy Opening Day!

Katy here… and I can’t tell you how excited I am for the beginning of the baseball season. It’s been a long time since I’ve had a baseball team to cheer for. In fact, I haven’t followed a team since 1996, following the Seattle Mariners' first ever Western division title in 1995. See, I was born and raised on an island in the Puget Sound, 2 hours north of Seattle, Washington. And every year my parents would treat my brother and me to one game at the Kingdome. I was not your typical little girl, as I loved to watch baseball. We had our gloves in hand when we headed to the game, in hopes of catching a foul ball or home run, depending on where we sat. To this day I can name you a good portion of the Mariners lineup from that year. Randy Johnson and Ken Griffey Jr. were some of my favorites. But I also loved watching Jay Buhner, Alex Rodriguez, Tito Martinez, Joey Cora, Edgar Martinez, and catcher Dan Wilson.

But right after that season, my family moved to Washington DC and for one reason or another.. I never connected with the Baltimore Orioles (of course, the Nationals didn’t exist yet).

Enter the Cincinnati Reds. I have been so impressed with the spirit of this city and ball club since moving here. It’s contagious! It’s great to be back, cheering for baseball. (It doesn’t hurt to have a fiancé who's been a Reds fan all his life. We have a dog named Casey, after Sean Casey.) I’m a Reds fan now, and I’m loving it!

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Opening Day Is Tomorrow!

I love Opening Day in Cincinnati, and this year I'm celebrating for an entire week! Sheila here. I started my celebration with my friends at Findlay Market, who kindly give us the Opening Day Parade every year. Http://

United Dairy Farmers sponsored a Homemade Ice Cream Sundae eating contest Saturday, and how those little kids chowed down on that ice cream, I don't know! It was so cold outside Saturday, and the contest was in the shade!

But Tyler Malsbary and Pyramid Clay clean their bowls first, and that was good for 4 tickets to Opening Day, free Homemade brand ice cream for a year, and the silver scoop plaque. It was hard to be the judge! I had to tell those freezing kids to keep going when they still had ice cream in their bowls. I followed it up with a little girls lunch with my daughter Katie and her friend at Silverglades Deli.

My little slugger and I headed down to the Reds Hall of Fame and Museum on Monday. It's such a great place! Eric showed remarkable patience with me while I immersed myself in the new Johnny Bench exhibit. He did like the part of the display which included some of the great toys created in Johnny's name back in the 70's. I saw a ball and bat set I'm sure my brother owned, batting practice game, and so much other cool stuff. You can also see Johnny's third grade report card, high school yearbook, and his mom's membership card for the Johnny Bench fan club, not to mention his Gold Gloves, game worn uniforms, and lots of photos and video. It's really incredible for any fan of the Big Red Machine.

Eric's favorite part of the museum at Great American Ballpark was the Strike Zone. Good thing we went on a day when the museum wasn't busy because I had a hard time getting him out of there. He threw and threw the baseball's for a chance to hear the ump say "strike three, you're out!" and he heard it several times. He also enjoy climbing around and trying on jerseys in the Kids Clubhouse. There are many opportunities for fan interaction in the exhibits, so be sure to check out sometime with your family.

I can't wait for tomorrow's parade and the chance to finally see our Cincinnati Reds back on the field. It may be Cincinnati's UNofficial holiday, but Opening Day is officially one of my favorite days of the year!

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Opening Day Parade

I say there's no better way to kick off opening day, than with the Opening Day Parade.

Good Tuesday morning everyone. Rob here.

Opening day is just two days away, and I can't wait. It is a great day in Cincinnati. Many people take the day off work. A lot of kids don't have to go to school. Just about everybody wears red in anticipation of the upcoming baseball season.

However, Thursday will get started with the parade which starts at Findlay Market. The energy there is fantastic as organizers get all the parade groups lined up. There will be nearly 200 entries in the parade. I think this year, Fox19 will be showing off its "StormTracker." We take pictures and wave to the groups of people who have come out and lined the streets. This year Reds Hall of Fame second baseman Joe Morgan will serve as grand marshal. Also new this year, the Budweiser Clydesdales return to the parade. If you haven't been in a while, hopefully you will too.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Put Me In Coach I'm Ready To Play

Less than three days until a brand new season of Reds Baseball! It's whats on everyones mind this week, how is the team looking? Will we repeat the success of last season? Will we go all the day this year? What is the weather looking like for Opening Day? I can answer the last question, we are looking dry and I think as long as we keep the rain and snow away then we already have a few runs on the board. The forecast for now is looking chilly with a sun and cloud mix. Temperatures during the Opening Day Parade will be at 38 degrees and then we will warm to 46 degrees for the first pitch a little after 2pm. So grab your reds sweater or hoodie and play ball!

Friday, March 25, 2011

My experience with nuns.

Good Friday Morning!

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

With a grateful smile I have a story to share, in a nutshell - it's about my experience with nuns.

For most my life, the Sisters of the Congregation of the Divine Spirit have both encouraged me and kept me right. Even though I haven't had the privilege of seeing these great women in years, (since my days at good ole St James School) I still think of them and their examples, OFTEN.

With all of that said, I thought I’d share these life lessons and thoughts with YOU today!


Teaching isn't just saying something. It isn't just the words we speak in the classroom or the pulpit, or on occasions when we are just laying down the law.

Teaching isn't anything we can turn off and on any given hour. It is what we do, what we think, what we condone, what we condemn. It is both the subtle and obvious things that make up what we are.

Sometimes we speak as if just setting an example is sufficient, but it isn't so much something we set as it is everything we are. When the stage is set for school the teacher teaches a subject but more important she teaches what she is herself.

- Sister Colette Hilow, C.D.S.

Good stuff right!

Well, before you go, I'm sure many of you are remembering similar moments with the religious women who not only taught us but helped form our very identities.

The following is a true story: told to me in the seventh grade by Sr. Mary…ENJOY!

Several years ago there was a young man, John Blandford, who was very serious about his Faith, the meaning of life, and his studies. John loved to read and spent many hours in the library. One day he took out a philosophy book, and in it were penciled notes which interested him more than the book. The notes reflected his own thoughts about life. There was also an address in a woman's handwriting. John wrote to the woman, Holly Maris, and she wrote back. They exchanged letters frequently and John came to like her very much. They shared the same philosophy of life, the same interests, and seemed to be kindred souls.

In one letter John asked, "Will you tell me your age?" "No," Holly wrote back, "love me for" what I am not my age." In another letter he asked if she would send a picture of herself. "No," Holly responded, 'love me for" what I am, not for" my looks."

John went off to military service and they continued to correspond through these years. John fell deeply in love with Holly. When the time came that John had finished his military duty and was coming home - a young man in his 20′s - he asked Holly to meet him at the train station.

John wrote that he would stand under the clock in the station at 6:00 in his army uniform. Holly replied that she would come wearing a red rose on her lapel, and told John to "Look for a red rose."

At 5:59 he's there. A tall, beautiful blonde in a kelly-green suit walks toward him and smiles. She is the paragon of beauty and just what John expected. He steps toward her irresistibly. She says provocatively, "Going my way, soldier?" With that he sees behind her a short woman, well over 40 - wearing a red rose. She is quite plump, gray, straggly hair, and her heavy ankles are swollen over her low shoes.

He is torn…follow the blonde or go for Holly. He is very disappointed, but goes over to the plump lady in the brown coat with the red rose. "Can I take you to dinner?" he asks trying to hide his disappointment. "Mister, I don't know what this is all about, but that lady you just passed asked me to stand here wearing this red rose. She said if you want to meet her, she'll be in the restaurant."

THE LESSON.....We must look for the red rose, the sign of inner beauty and character in each person we meet. We must look deeper into each person - we must look for the red rose.

- Sister Mary Babik, C.D.S.

BOTTOM LINE……THANK YOU for your dedicated service!....I am better because of it!

Happy Friday!
Dan Wells

Congregation of the Divine Spirit

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Wedding Planning Continues

Wedding planning update: Church, check. Reception venue, check. Dress, check. Cake, flowers, check, check. Katy here… Good morning, it’s another month down until the big day! Actually Tuesday marked 7 months to the wedding, and I’m in full planning mode now! I’m actually surprised at how “organized” I’ve been so far. I put organized in quotations just because I know, and my fiancé Tom knows, I’m not the most organized person on a normal day. Big items that needed to be taken care of have been booked. I have my dress. Flowers and cake are taken care of. So lately it seems like I’ve stepped back to take a breath. But before I know it, I’ll be in a whirlwind again. It’s fun actually, to talk to a few of my girlfriends who are also getting married this year, but before me. We chit chat about each other’s planning. It’s nice because it gives me a heads up on what to expect come August/September. I always hear that the time goes by fast, and the big day will be here before you know it. I believe it, but I still can’t wait!

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Signs of Spring

This mother bird brought the first sign of spring to my house. She laid her eggs in the little nest in my wreath on the front porch.

Sheila here.
Here are some other signs of spring I've enjoyed this week.

70 on the thermometer!

Daffodils. I think they're the happiest flower!

Driveway basketball. Katie's friends even let Eric try to play.

First walk of the year to feed the ducks with Eric. He galloped like a horse, picked up rocks and threw them in a creek, climbed a hill said hello to his feathered friends.

Coach pitch baseball with Eric. Or maybe I should call it Dad pitch!

Spring shopping with Katie. She got shoes for the prom. I got shorts and T-shirts.

A picnic on the deck.

Ribs on the grill! Ric fired it up after we found these beauties at Findlay Market.

Finally, sneezed and sneezed and sneezed! My allergies are kicking!

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Another Option for Opening Day

The Holy Grail opened at "The Banks" and I checked it out Saturday afternoon.

Good Tuesday morning. Rob here.

Last week our Stefano Dipietrantonio showed off the inside of the new 6,000 square foot sports bar that was opening in time for St. Patrick's Day. A lot of people are excited, and I am among them. After 10 years of waiting, the first tenant at the banks project finally opened its doors.

The 3rd Holy Grail is right across from the from the Great American Ball Park's Hall of Fame Museum on Joe Nuxhall Way. I stopped by at 11:30 Saturday (morning really.) Early I know. However, I did stop by after working out with my trainer and picking up my Heart Mini race packet. I thought those would give me a pass. It is a beautiful space. Flat screen monitors everywhere to satisfy every Cincinnati sports fan. There are also 35 different beers with 20 on tap to satisfy every Cincinnati beer lover. The restaurant serves lunch and dinner with many meals costing less than 10 dollars to satisfy any Cincinnati diner looking for a deal. Couple of very cool things that caught my attention. 3 huge garage style windows that open, so you can enjoy the warmer weather that's just around the corner. It will also allow customers to feel like they're part of the action at Great American Ball Park. That's even if they don't tickets. My favorite part though, is the tap tables. I guess that's what you call them. I've never seen them before. You no longer have to wait for your server to get another beer. You can just serve yourself. How cool is that. Dangerous, but cool. Potentially expensive, but cool. This is how much fun I had Saturday. I planned to stop by and say hi. I ended up staying for 2 and a half hours and watched the entire UK game there. Check out the Holy Grail. Maybe even Friday night when UK takes on OSU.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Italian's In The Sun

Good Morning Everyone, Frank Marzullo Here...Hope all is well? It has been awhile, a nice start to the first week of Spring, we have highs in the 70's. While this is perfect for us here in Cincinnati, I do miss the 80 to 85 degree weather I experienced for the past week. I had a chance to head down to Cape Coral, Florida which is located between Naples and Fort Myers. In fact behind Naples, Italy ... Cape Coral has the second largest amount of man-made canals. My parents recently became snow birds, leaving there snowy home in Cleveland for 2 months and heading south. They were proud and excited for there new condo so my dog Mr. Benson and I packed up the car and headed south. The drive south was not awful because I was pumped for the sun the drive back was a bit long. Mr. Benson and I made it to Atlanta after about a 6 1/2 hour drive on Friday and it was my first experience of sleeping in a hotel with my dog. The hotel was perfect however at 4am when he had to do his business it was a bit of a pain to get dressed and then go down 20 floors, come on Mr. Benson can you just hold it?? Then we traveled the rest of the way to sunny Florida, note to self: wear a hat or sunscreen on long drives in sunshine, the right side of my head looked like a lobster when I finally arrived. It was very restful to lay by the pool and sleep a lot. I was sad to leave but had a great time with my parents and ate a lot of good food.

Friday, March 18, 2011

The Spirit of Irish Dance

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

Saint Patrick's Day was celebrated across the Tri-State on Thursday, with music, dancing and mixed with memories and pride.

Out of all the fun, I wanted to write this morning about how much I enjoyed the McGing Irish Dancers.

What a skill and talent!

The McGing School of Irish Dance has been in existence for 28 years. From its humble beginnings with 28 dancers, the school has established a rich history in the city of Cincinnati and is widely recognized around the world.

These dancers have performed in Hollywood for the late great Gene Kelly, danced in the Soviet Union, and toured with the Cincinnati Pops. Plus they rocked "The Pub" in Rookwood yesterday!

If you didn't know another important part of this irish dancing is the competing.

McGing dancers have a reputation of exuberating grace and power at the same time. These qualities propel them to be champions in Local, Regional, National and World Irish dance competitions.

Regardless of the reason these girls and guys dance...I love the art and passion of Irish dance, in my opinion it's one best things about St Patrick's Day.

Have a great weekend!

Thursday, March 17, 2011

No Green For Me!

No green for me, true to my black and gold!

Good Morning, and Happy St. Patrick’s Day! Katy here.

I’ve always been a spirited person. You’ll usually see me decked out in clothes that match with the holiday. Red, white and blue on 4th of July, pastels for Easter, orange and brown for get the idea. So you can imagine how sad I was this morning when I saw everyone walk in wearing green! You see, I can’t wear green at all, because of the weather wall! It’s all TV magic. The camera I talk into is programmed to place our weather graphics over the green backdrop. So if I wear green I disappear! I like to say it’s my invisibility cloak, like Harry Potter. But, whether you’ve realized it or not, you’ll never see me wearing green on TV! I am happy to say that since I can’t wear green, I CAN wear my tiger stripes!! My alma mater, University of Missouri takes on UC tonight in basketball. I’m ready to go in my black and gold! Although, I do have a bet going with Bruce Davis and Carl, one of our morning producers. Bruce is a UC grad, and Carl is a big fan. If Mizzou wins, Bruce will wear black and gold tomorrow on the air and Carl will spray paint his hair black and gold. If UC wins, I’ll be wearing the black and red tomorrow. May the best team win! Go Mizzou!

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Peg O' My Heart

When I was a little girl, I always wondered why my Nanny never remarried. Now I know why.

Sheila here.
I never knew my grandfather, but I grew up hearing stories about him, and I have a few photos of him in my home. William Ralph Warren was born in Columbus in 1906, and he died the year my mother graduated from high school, 1955.

This week, I was talking to my mother about my grandpa's side of the family, so I could 'blog about his Irish ancestry for St. Patrick's Day. Mom gave me the rundown on the Warren family tree. His grandparents were some of the first settlers of Muskegon, Michigan. Nelson Warren had been born in England, and he was the head of the Grand Rapids Railroad Roundhouse. His wife Johanna Garvey was born in Tipperary, Ireland to Michael and Katherine (Breen) Garvey.

You might say my Nanny's roots are a bit more "green" because my grandpa had some French and British in his background. Margaret Ann Downey's mother, Catherine Radicaen came to America from County Sligo, Ireland when she was a girl, and her dad was Irish too. My grandmother relished her Irish family tree, and she raised my mother and her siblings to celebrate St. Patrick's Day. (My brother and I were also taught to show our Irish pride for everyone to see.) My grandfather owned and ran a bar in Columbus called The Grotto, and Mom says he always donned a green tie or shamrock on March 17.

My mother has always said that her dad was the sentimentalist of her family. He remembered birthdays, bought greeting cards, and was affectionate with his kids. Apparently, Grandpa Bill was pretty romantic too. He bought my grandmother an album full of Irish songs for their record player, and he called her his Wild Irish Rose or FBI for Full Blooded Irish. My mother remembers when he gave her a deck of green playing cards for "her day."

My mom told me something about her dad this week which I hadn't heard before, and it really touched me: "Dad used to sing 'Peg O' My Heart' to Mother (whose nickname was Peg), and one year when she was in Florida visiting her sister for St. Pat's, he kept playing the record and the Irish songs over and over, pining for her."

So now I know why my Nanny never married again. And I will never hear that song in the same way.

Peg o' my heart, I love you
We'll never part for I love you
Dear little girl, sweet little girl
Sweeter than the Rose of Erin
It's the shamrock we'll be sharing

Peg o' my heart, your glances
My Irish heart entrances
Come be my own
Come make your home
In my heart

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Heart Mini-Marathon

Thousands will converge on downtown Cincinnati and crowd Columbia Parkway for the 34th annual Heart Mini-Marathon. I hope to be among them.

Hi everyone. Rob here.

I actually committed to running it this morning. I mean the course is pretty boring and surprisingly hilly. You go out on Columbia Parkway turn around a Delta and head back. Not much to look at really. It really all depended on the weather. I checked out, and the weather looks beautiful. A few clouds in the morning and a high of 64.

This race does hold a soft spot for me. It was my first race in Cincinnati. I guess it was 12 years ago. I did the 5K with a friend and decided I like to run. The next year we decided to do the 15K. At that time I couldn't imagine running for that long, but we did it. After the race, we decided on Fountain Square that a marathon would be next. 10 marathons later, I'm still running. I think the Heart Mini-Marathon is a great way to get started, and this year organizers added a half marathon. It benefits the American Heart Association. It doesn't matter if you run, jog or walk. Just get moving and enjoy the company of the huge crowd expected downtown on Sunday.

Friday, March 11, 2011

7 days. Pulled over 2 separate times.

Good Friday Morning!

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

To say that I'm glad this week is over is an understatement!

7 days. Pulled over 2 separate times AND FOLLOWED TWICE...What? Is it karma, am I a target (because I drive to work at 2:30am) or is it just another way the state is looking to take more money out of our pockets?

My gut tells me it's probably a mix of all of the above.

I will not deny that I have a bit of a lead-foot. I do, however, know the difference between speeding illegally and going a few miles per hour over for good reason. Going 75mph in a 65mph zone is fair game for a understandable ticket. Getting pulled over at 5:15 a.m. (going to a liveshot in a FOX 19 car) for going 6mph over in a 35mph zone is where my mind begins to wonder.

Yup, I received a $145 dollar fine for that one and now I have to go to traffic school.

Six days later I pull out of my driveway, drive through my neighborhood (speed limit of 25), at 2:30am and I find myself following a member of law enforcement. The police vehicle suddenly pulls off on a side street, lets me pass, and then proceeds to follow me. I maintain my speed around 25mph, fully stop at the stop sign, use my turn signal to indicate my turn. Not a second later, I see the blue blinking lights in my rear view mirror.

You have GOT to be kidding me. It is 2:30 in the morning. As I already knew, I had done nothing wrong.

I was told I was pulled over because my headlight MAY have been out? Really, I doubt that...I think my stop was really just to check if I was don't get me wrong, I appreciate getting DUI drivers off the road, but this was in my mind entrapment, plain and simple.

Anyway, after NO ticket, and being told I did NOTHING wrong, I politely thanked the officer and continue to work.

It all makes me think, wow these cops must really be bored, the state needs money or there is a method to this law enforcement - stalking madness, at this point I'm just not sure what it is.

Hopefully my hard lessons learned will serve as helpful warning to all of you!

Happy weekend

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Turn Around, Don't Drown

Good morning, Katy here. Did you know that flooding is the number one cause of death when it comes to severe weather? More than tornadoes and lightning. Ironically, national flood safety week happens to be next week, March 14-18th. People don’t take flooding as seriously, and end up getting into trouble by driving over flooded roads. As little as 6 inches of flowing water can pick up your car. At that point, you’re at the mercy of the river. I’m not meaning to scare, but to open everyone’s eyes. Avoiding a flooded road is as easy as finding a new route. In fact, the National Weather Service has a saying for it. “Turn around, don’t drown”. It’s a catchy saying that I often relay to kids when I visit schools around the Tri-State. But, it’s a saying that all of us can remember and learn from. If you come across a road that has water over it, it’s better to turn around and find a new route. You’d be surprised how strong a flowing creek/stream can be. In fact, check out this clip from a couple years ago. It shows a road collapsing under a flooded creek. It’s a great example as to why it’s best to turn around! As far as the next few days, backwater flooding will begin to affect much of northern Kentucky, southwest Ohio and southeast Indiana. Mainly, it will be low-lying roads near creeks/streams and the Ohio river. To find out more about flood safety awareness week, click here

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Andrew & Abbie

Next time you think you're having a bad day, think of Andrew and Abbie.

Sheila here, and I met Andrew for the first time last Saturday at the Big Wish Gala for the Make A Wish Foundation. Andrew was the party's honorary Wish Kid. Andrew is 12, and he was born with a rare, debilitating form of dwarfism which affects his spine and legs. Andrew has endured more than 20 surgeries. Not only that, Andrew was born deaf.

You never would know it now when Andrew speaks. He received a cochlear implant when he was three years old, and now Andrew says one of his favorite things to do is give speeches. Andrew was elected president of his fifth grade class, and he's a natural at public speaking. In fact, when the volunteers from Make A Wish asked him what he would most like to do for his wish, Andrew replied, "swim with the dolphins or deliver a political speech on TV."

His multiple surgeries got in the way, but in between those surgeries Andrew was taking tennis lessons, and taking a cue from his younger brother, Noah, a huge tennis fan. Their favorite player is Rafael Nadal. Last summer Andrew was inspired to make a new wish, to meet their favorite player. Within days, our great Cincinnati neighbors, the Western and Southern Financial Group had invited Andrew to the Tennis Masters Tournament in Mason.

Andrew says: "We had a delicious lunch in the hospitality tent, watched some matches from the suite with Mr. Ed Babbit, then came the best thing of all: I got to do the coin toss for the number one tennis player in the world and my hero, Rafael Nadal. Noah and I got to go right out on center court and shake hands with Nadal and his opponent, Julien Benneteau. They were so friendly and they gladly posed for several pictures with us. Then, we got to sit right on the court during their three-set thriller of a match. Of course, my new friend Nadal won, and after the match, he came right over and asked if Noah and I were having a good time. It was truly the best day of my life."

One week later, Make A Wish flew Andrew and his family to New York for the U.S. Open, where he met Roger Federer, Kim Clijsters, and I also ran into his new buddy, Rafael Nadal. Nadal told Andrew, "I remember you from Cincinnati!"
Andrew had spine and leg surgery right after his wish came true. He says "During those tough days in the hospital, my mom and I often talked about my wish experience. Just looking at the pictures of Rafael Nadal and me together in Cincinnati made me happy. Those joyful memories are the things that get me through the hard times."

Abbie of Northern Kentucky has also endured hard times, battling a brain tumor. Abbie is 14, and her wish came from her frustration at not being able to find a handbag which truly fit her personality. Make A Wish made Abbie's wish to create her own designer handbag come true. Clothing company Bebe welcomed her to Los Angeles, where she shopped on Rodeo Drive and worked with Bebe designers on her creation. Stores across the country marketed her bag, and they sold out within days. Abbie donated her very last bag to the live auction at the Wish Ball, and it went for more than $1,000. Now she's hoping to turn her experience into a career when she grows up.

Andrew and Abbie aren't just inspiring because of their stories. Imagine battling a life threatening illness, surgeries, hospitals, and pain, yet still keeping a smile and positive attitude. That's what they do, and so do their families. They didn't just enjoy their wishes and keep happy memories. Now they're giving back. Andrew and Abbie tell others about Make A Wish in the hope that they'll get involved, Andrew has been raising money for the charity. So far he's raised nearly two-thousand dollars to make other kids' wishes come true.

So next time you're having a bad day, think of Andrew and Abbie. They make life's problems seem so small because they focus on life's blessings. You can help more kids like them. The Walk for Wishes is set for June is set for June 18th in Cincinnati, and the time is now to sign up with your team, and we hope you'll help. Here's a link:

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

American Idol

I have never really been that much into American Idol.
There.. I said it. Rob here.
Don't get me wrong. I would DVR the finale or watch highlights during the Fox19 Morning News the next day. However, this season it is different. I have watched every episode even the auditions. I never watch the auditions. If I wanted to watch someone sing badly, I could just sing in the mirror. What's different this year? I don't know. Maybe it's the new judges. Jennifer Lopez and Steven Tyler are great additions. Maybe it's their tone. It seems like the judges this year really care about the process and the importance of having a "viable" Idol winner this year. I really think it is about the singing. All of this year's finalists can really sing. I may not like all their styles, but think they can all sing. Last Thursday, I actually went to an American Idol viewing party. That's first. A co-worker who had to be there asked me to go. I was off the next day, so said yes. I thought it was going to be in a bar or restaurant. It was actually at Morris Home Furnishings in Springdale. Um, OK? Needless to say, I was a little apprehensive. I was actually a lot of fun. We watched on a huge screen in the store. They had recliners all set up. Totally comfortable. Totally fun. I also met a lot of people who are fans of the Fox19 Morning News along with Idol. So that was cool. More than 26 million people tuned into last Thursday's results show. That's up nearly 30 percent from a year ago. So I am not alone. More Idol this week. BTW want to give my girl Shyra a shout out. I met her last night. She is more into idol than me. She actually called me her American Idol.

Monday, March 7, 2011

Then And Now

Good Morning Everyone Frank Marzullo Here...It is hard to belive it has been 11 years since my college years. Attending Ohio University in Athens, Ohio laid the ground work for my career in television news. The lessons I learned and the lessons I continue to learn about our trade can be attributed to my education and experience at Ohio U. We were thrown into it having to produce a 30 min newscast five nights a week. While yes we were given time to make mistakes and learn it taught us real world news experience so we would have a base to start our career. This past weekend I went back for the Radio Television News Director Associaton conference, where current journalism students attend a all day workshop hosted by current television news professionals. The students attended sessions to get advice from news directors, reporters, producers, and meteorologists. While it was great to give advice and listen to the students, it was also awesome to relive memories. Here is a photograph of my old college buddy and friend, Jason and I on the school Newswatch set. Jason is also a meteorologist at the ABC station in Cleveland. The other picture is of us from 1999, that full head of hair and skinny guy that you see the back of is me. That same person enjoys what he does now however he is a litte bigger and has a little less hair.

Friday, March 4, 2011

Does anyone feel those Springtime allergies?

Good Friday Morning! Dan Wells writing, I hope this note find you well and in good spirits today!

Does anyone feel those Springtime allergies? If so, I found some tips to "nip them in the bud"

Spring means flower buds and blooming trees - and if you're one of the millions of people who have springtime allergies, it also means sneezing, congestion, runny nose and other bothersome symptoms. Springtime allergies - also called hay fever and allergic rhinitis - can make you miserable. But before you settle for plastic flowers and artificial turf, try these simple strategies to keep springtime allergies under control.

Reduce your exposure to allergy triggers
There are a number of things that you can do to reduce your exposure to the things that trigger your allergy signs and symptoms (allergens):

■Stay indoors on dry, windy days - the best time to go outside is after a good rain, which helps clear pollen from the air.
■Delegate lawn mowing, weed pulling and other gardening chores that stir up allergens.
■Remove clothes you've worn outside; you may also want to shower to rinse pollen from your skin and hair.
■Don't hang laundry outside - pollen can stick to sheets and towels.
■Wear a dust mask if you do outside chores.

Take extra steps when pollen counts are high. Seasonal allergy signs and symptoms can flare up when there's a lot of pollen in the air. These steps can help you reduce your exposure:

■Check your local TV (FOX 19) or radio station, your local newspaper, or the Internet for pollen forecasts and current pollen levels.
■If high pollen counts are forecasted, start taking allergy medications before your symptoms start.
■Close doors and windows at night or any other time when pollen counts are high.
■Avoid outdoor activity in the early morning when pollen counts are highest.

Keep indoor air clean...There's no miracle product that can eliminate all allergens from the air in your home, but these suggestions may help:

■Use the air conditioning in your house and car.
■If you have forced air heating or air conditioning in your house, use high-efficiency filters and follow regular maintenance schedules.
■Keep indoor air dry with a dehumidifier.
■Use a portable high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filter in your bedroom.
■Clean floors often with a vacuum cleaner that has a HEPA filter.

Rinse your sinuses?

Rinsing your nasal passages with salt water - nasal irrigation - is a quick, inexpensive and effective way to relieve allergy symptoms. Rinsing directly flushes out mucus and irritants from your nose. Look for a squeeze bottle or a neti pot - a small container with a spout designed for nose rinsing - at your pharmacy or health food store.

Finally, when home remedies aren't enough, see your doctor...I'm on my way there today!

I hope this infromation help....Happy Friday!

Information Source: Mayo Clinic

Thursday, March 3, 2011

A Girls Best Friend

"There are two means of refuge from the miseries of life: music and cats." - Albert Schweitzer
Katy here… Happy Thursday! Last weekend I had the pleasure of hosting the A’cat’amy Awards Extravaganza, benifiting the Ohio Alley Cat Resource. Not only did my fiancé Tom and I have a great time, eating a yummy meal from Maggianos, but we met some wonderful people who do great work for cats! You can learn more about them here:
If you haven’t heard by now, I love cats! Growing up, my family had two cats, Lucy & Ethel. Now I have my own cat, named Chessie. She’s a vocal calico cat that loves to run around, and sleep on my head. She’s also a curious cat. Anyone whose had a cat knows they can get into mischief. She likes to climb into the refrigerator, the sink, trash can and washing machine…It’s hard to keep up with her and keep her out of trouble! But, I love her so much and don’t know what I would do without her. Do you have a cat? I’d love to see your pictures! Be sure to send them in to Fox19 News Nation.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Chili Weather

Okay, so it's not exactly chili weather, but chili will be on the menu at a great fundraiser this Sunday, and it was on my menu at home a few days ago when it was cold outside.

Sheila here.
The chili recipe I use is an oldie, but a goodie. I've had this Better Homes and Gardens cookbook since the 80's. It was a gift from my Aunt Shirley, and I still use it quite often. I haven't found a tastier or easier chili recipe anywhere else, so when we're in the mood at my house, this is the one I make.

My friend George Phelps is nothing like me when it comes to chili and salsa. He never follows a recipe, and he could care less about easy. George is a retired Cincinnati Firefighter who founded Chili Rocks. The group helps out with special events like the annual motorcycle run and fundraiser for the Cincinnati Fire Museum every year around September 11th. This weekend, Chili Rocks is helping George's friends at the Delhi Fire Department. Delhi firefighters raise thousands of dollars every year to help others. The fire department contributes to area food pantries, Shop With A Cop and Firefighter, and often lends a helping hand to individuals who just need some help.

This Sunday you can go bowling, eat some of George's great food, and help the Delhi Fire Department help others. The Chili Rocks fundraiser is at the Western Bowl on March 6 from 12:30 to 4:30. It's $20 per person or $100 per team to take part, and that includes your lunch and shoes. Your RSVP must be in by tomorrow. Just email Bob McGowan at or Brett Bartling at

And if you're interested, here's the chili recipe from Better Homes and Gardens:

Chili con Carne
1 lb. ground beef
1 cup chopped onion
3/4 cup chopped green pepper
1 clove garlic, minced
1 16-oz. can tomatoes, cut up (I use the Italian spiced tomatoes)
1 16-oz. can dark red kidney beans, drained
1 8-oz. can tomato sauce
2 tsp. chili powder
1/2 tsp. dried basil, crushed

In a large kettle, cook ground beef, onion, pepper, and garlic until meat is browned. Drain fat. Stir in undrained tomatoes, kidney beans, tomato sauce, chili powder, basil, salt to taste, and 1/4 tsp. of black pepper. Heat to boiling. Reduce heat. Cover and simmer about 20 minutes. Makes 4 to 6 servings.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Opening Day Parade

I love opening day in Cincinnati.

Actually, I love it so much I took the next day off.
Hey everyone. Rob here.
Opening Day is really an unofficial holiday around here. Many people take the day off to cheer on the Reds. People who represent every corner of the tri-state come on out and come together. After last season, I'm sure the crowds will be even bigger this year. For decades, the first pitch was here in Cincinnati and we always open at home. For many of us at Fox19, we start Opening Day at Findlay Market. In fact that is probably the few times that Fox19 mornings and evenings come together. I get to see Tricia which is rare these days. It's nice since we anchored together for 4 years. Three on weekends and we actually started the morning show together. You also get to see those who watch your show. That part is really nice. The people who choose us instead of them. People who line the streets of Over-The-Rhine into downtown. It really is an awesome day that now is about a month away. This year is on a Thursday. We will see how it works. "Did I tell you I have the next day off?"