Friday, September 30, 2011

Could Pinterest join in the trend of social networking?

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

Today, my FOX 19 Morning News blog is targeted to all of you lovely ladies out there. The reason? My wife can't stop talking about this new website (well it's new to her) called Pinterest. SHE LOVES with that said I thought I'd share all the excitement and website background!

A fashionable outfit for fall? Pin it. A recipe for sweet potato cupcakes with toasted marshmallow frosting? Pin it. A tutorial on how to make decorative pillows? Pin it.

The virtual pin-board website, Pinterest, has grown exceedingly in popularity within the last few months.

Created by Palo Alto, Calif. residents Ben Silbermann, Paul Sciarra and Yashwanth Nelapati, the design of the website began in December 2009, and its introduction to the public was ignited in March 2010 as an invitation-only website.

With the sole purpose of finding and collecting pictures that interest individuals, Pinterest allows users to create boards associated with different categories, whether it's cooking recipes, fashion, photography, or interior design and provides pictures users can then "pin" into the different boards they have created.

Could Pinterest join in the trend of social networking? Yes, it can. Users are able to tag their Pinterest "friends" or "followers" in pictures that may interest them. But it is mainly used to find ideas that appeal to individual personalities.

Pinterest gives users a plethora of ideas. Whether you want to branch out and try a new ethnic-cuisine recipe or if you are feeling crafty and want to learn how to make a braided-scarf, Pinterest allows you to collect ideas you may want to try in the future.

So when you see something that peaks your interest, just "pin it". It is as simple as that.

Have a good weekend!
Dan Wells

Thursday, September 29, 2011

The Evergreen State

A wide open field, sailboats gliding on sparkling blue water, and mountains from every angle. Sounds like a postcard, but in fact… it was my backyard growing up!

Good morning , and happy Thursday!

Katy here, and today I’m blogging about one of my favorite places, western Washington!
Actually I grew up about two hours north of Seattle on an island in the Puget Sound called Whidbey Island. It’s the longest island in the contiguous United States. (School drilled that one in our heads in our Washington history lesson!) The only way off and on the island is by bridge, or ferry boat. You may have seen Deception Pass bridge before, Hollywood has used it a few times for films set in the Puget Sound. Our family was stationed at NAS Whidbey, in the town of Oak Harbor. It’s there that my dad flew EA-6B Prowlers.

To me, this was an awesome place to grow up. My brother and I loved to play on the beach (not the sandy kind, the rocky, drift wood kind). We’d make forts out of driftwood and rocks, and be down there from low tide to high tide. But one of our favorite things to do was to take ferry rides to Seattle. We’d usually see lions, fish, and sometimes whales swimming around in the Puget Sound. Weather I remember was always a little cool, and the clouds would hang around a lot.
Still, it was an awesome place to grow up, and it’s one of many places I’ll always call home!

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

My Hero

The little girl looked to be about 8 or 9 years old, and she was choking. No one knew what to do, but then he appeared. The tall, blue eyed State Trooper walked with purpose through the crowd and put his arms around the girl, and the next thing we knew, out flew the piece of food. Startled, then embarrassed, the little girl ran and quickly disappeared into the throngs of fair goers. It was okay. She was okay.

Sheila here.
That State Trooper was my husband. At the time, he was my boyfriend, and that happened at the West Virginia State Fair. It floored me to see him save that little girl's life. It's Ric's birthday today, so I am blogging about him.

It wasn't the first brave thing I ever saw Ric do. One time we were driving through rural Pennsylvania and stopped at a diner to get something to drink. When we got out of the car, a runaway pickup truck came barreling through the parking lot, and went right into the road. Ric ran for it, jumped into the truck, and steered it safely back into the lot before someone got hurt. It was a little like watching a super hero!

Another time, we were at a cookout with friends, and our hosts had placed some lighted tiki torches around the yard. One of them wasn't anchored very well in the ground, and it fell, spewing the fluid inside all over several people's legs. While most of us stood there gaping, Ric and an EMT who was there sprang into action, rolling the victims on the ground and putting out the fire. One woman's legs were completely in flames, and her husband was waving a rug over her, which only fanned the fire. Ric was able to get the fire out, and a short time later she was in an ambulance on the way to the hospital. It was one of the scariest things I've ever seen, but my husband didn't give a second thought to responding and helping while the rest of us were simply in shock at what we were seeing.

Ric has been the target of gunfire by criminals and after we were married, someone, the State Police never found out who, rigged his cruiser to explode. Lucky for me and my kids, the person did a shoddy job of it. Some angel must have also made it necessary for Ric to take the car in for maintenance, and the mechanics found the device. We had surveillance video on our house for months after that, but the person was never caught.

Ric also helped save the life of a woman in the county where he led a State Police detachment when he convinced her to leave her abusive husband. I remember how much he talked about that woman when the Troopers kept getting calls to their home for domestic issues, how concerned he was about that woman. I don't know exactly what he said which gave her the courage to leave, but I am so proud that he made a difference in her life because he simply took the time and cared.

But here are even bigger reasons why my husband is my hero. He's my hero because of the type of husband and father he is. I don't know anyone who loves his kids more. I've seen his sadness the first time he spotted Kasey kissing a boy and when Katie was "too big" to hold his hand. And I've watched him light up with pride at Kari's nursing school graduation and the first time Eric hit a baseball.

People in love like to say their significant others "saved" their lives. Not me. Instead, Ric really has MADE my life. When we started dating, it was pretty early in my broadcasting career, and he taught me a lot, having been in broadcasting and public speaking for a lot of years himself. He indulged me on one of our first dates by going to an opera (he fell asleep)! And he still does things I know wouldn't be at the top of his priority list. He supports my career, he gave me these four fantastic kids, and he makes me laugh. He's not a guy who writes lovey-dovey poems or brings home flowers, but he does laundry, makes sure our home is in good repair, and he sends me emails when I'm at work, telling me I'm hot. I'll take that guy any day over the hopeless romantic. I'd take him for my life again and again, and the best thing of all is knowing that he'd take me again too. Happy Birthday, Ric!

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Grocery Store Downtown?

I was walking downtown last week and stepped into Mayberry Foodstuffs.

It is downtown's newest grocery store.

I know most people hate grocery shopping. I don't. I enjoy shopping for food. In fact, I'm at the grocery store everyday. It is crazy I know.

Those living or working downtown have a new grocery option. Mayberry Foodstuffs was started by Josh Campbell who also has Mayberry's restaurant downtown. He calls it an urban grocery store and it is located on 7th Street near Main.

I loved it in the store. There's fresh baked bread and handmade deli sandwiches.

For a very small store, there's a large selection. Even fresh produce. It seems like the perfect place to visit before you head home from a busy day at the office. Whether you need a sandwich for lunch or be inspired for dinner, Mayberry foodstuffs may have to be on your radar.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

The Countdown Is On...

Ahh!! One month to go until the wedding! That’s 4 weeks, 30 days! Good morning, happy Thursday! Katy here, and It’s crunch time! I’m starting to feel the pressure of bringing everything together. Thank goodness I planned ahead for most of it, so it shouldn’t be too bad, but now’s the time to bring everything that I’ve planned over the past several months. Figuring out the timing of the day will be tricky, but I’m confident that everything that will work out. It’s been nice having a great group at the station to talk about wedding stuff. Especially Tracey and Sheila. They’ve been great to go to for advice, or to talk to about my latest wedding planning adventure. I’ve been so focused on the wedding, that now I more excited for the honeymoon in Key West, FL! It’ll be nice to relax for a few days after the wedding on the sunny island. Can’t believe the time is almost here! But most of all, I can’t wait to get married to my best friend.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Alone With The Help

I spent some time this week alone with The Help.

Sheila here.
The Help by Kathryn Stockett is one of my favorite books of all time. (My number one is To Kill A Mockingbird, in case you're wondering.) So I had been looking forward to the movie adaption of the best seller. I was a little worried that it might not be as good as the book, but it was. There were a few elements which the movie left out, but producers didn't change the storyline or the message, so I still give it an A.

IMDB'S description of the plot: "Set in Mississippi during the 1960's, Skeeter is a southern society girl who returns from college determined to become a writer, but turns her friends' lives -- and a Mississippi town -- upside down when she decides to interview the black women who have spent their lives taking care of prominent, white southern families." It's heart wrenching, funny, thought provoking, and deeply moving. I hope Viola Davis, who plays Abilene, is nominated for an Oscar.

Here's another thing that gets an A in my book. Spending some time alone. Don't get me wrong -- I love being with my kids and my husband more than anything. And fun time with girlfriends is not to be missed. I like my time at work too-- lots of friends there. But being alone is a gift.

It's funny to see my daughter Katie being so much like me when it comes to alone time. She could do without it. When I was a teenager, I could too. If I wasn't running to a play practice, going to a football game, or having a girlfriend over to spend the night, I wasn't happy. It was no fun being alone.

In college and early in my adult life, I was much the same. It was all about my gang of friends, most of whom were in radio and TV, then my boyfriend-fiance-husband, Ric, then my baby girl.

Now that I've been a mother and wife for awhile, I realize how important it is to have alone time. And I find that I am pretty good company. Before I started working with Rob I never would've gone to a movie by myself. Now I relish it. I've only done it a few times! Last winter, I couldn't get anyone to go with me to see The King's Speech, so I finally went by myself. It was a total escape! My girlfriend Jessica asked me to go with a group to see The Help awhile back, but then Ric caught a bug, and I got get the picture. So I found a window Sunday afternoon, and I went by myself. I laughed at the funny scenes, and I cried at the end, and you know what? I felt recharged! And I even read all of the credits because I didn't want to walk out of the movie theater all teary eyed by myself! Perhaps I also wanted to enjoy those last few moments alone.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Finally! BOSTON

I had something exciting happen to me last week.

Hey everyone. Rob here, and I got into the Boston Marathon.

Could not be more excited. I've been trying to get into Boston for years now.

I qualified twice before thinking, it would be no big deal qualifying again. It was. I did qualify for Boston last fall during the Columbus Marathon. However, registration closed in one day and I was shut out. Usually it takes a few months. Disappointed again.

However, next year on April 16th I will join the more than 20,000 other runners for 26.2 miles.

Boston is the Super Bowl of marathons. It is the only U.s. marathon with qualifying time standards.

The course is also tough. Runners dread "Heartbreak Hill" which begins at mile 16. The crowd support will help. Depending on the weather as many as 500,000 people turn out to cheer on the runners. The marathon runs on Patriot's Day a holiday in Boston. The Red Sox play and Wellesley College located at mile 13 cancels classes for the day, so students can cheer on runners.

I think it is going to be a once in a lifetime experience, and will start training soon.

Now, I need to find a hotel room that won't break the bank. The Westin closes to the finish line is charging $799 a night. "Uh No!"

My Brothers Art Gallery

How was your weekend? Frank here...I was in Chicago for a wedding and has the chance to stop by and visit my brother, it was also my first time to see his art gallery, Pawn Works. My family and I stopped in here is my dad and brother Nick and I checking things out. If you have a love for art, especially street art and contempory you have to stop in and check his space out and maybe even buy something! Why not, right? My brother opened the gallery to give artisit a venue to be creative in the space to showcase there work and he is getting great pubilicty in Chicago and the country for turning his space quickly for each artisit. Currently on display is Brent Houzenga :: Remixed Remains. It is awesome show, the bright colors and street art feel works perfectly in the space. His work is centered in the middle of old window frames but the art jumps off from the piece onto the walls making the entire space a piece of art. If you would like to check it out when your in Chicago give my brother Nick, some love he is on Damen near Division street. His website is

Friday, September 16, 2011

I Want My Mummy

Good morning and happy Friday, Brad here….Bon fires, apple cider, candy corn and football. Just a few things that I enjoy about fall, but it also signals the end of one my favorite times of the year….concert season. Just when you think you’ve seen your last show of the season, HERE COME THE MUMMIES!
If you have never seen or heard of these guys you are missing out, big time!
Many of you know what a concert super freak I am, but this group is as crazy as it is good. Check that, phenomenal. There are over a dozen of them, wrapped in full mummy attire. I guess would describe them as a funk/rock/R&B group. Five horn players, two drummers, three guitars and a few front men.

So why do they dress up?
There are numerous rumors as to why they are “under wraps” and even that there are several Grammy awards among the members. It’s hard to say because you never, I mean never see them. Its believed the members of the band are under record label contracts and are hiding their identities to prevent contract disputes. They are from Nashville but tour world wide all year round. Whatever the case, I don’t care, the music is amazing and you won’t stop moving the entire night. If the costumes get to you, close your eyes and just listen. Honestly some of the greatest musicians I’ve ever heard.

Tonight the Mummies are playing at Bogarts in Clifton at 8pm, come check them out!.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Feelings Of Fall

Good morning, happy Thursday! Katy here… I don’t know about you but I’m loving this cooler weather that we’ve been experiencing! The 70s and low 80s are just about perfect weather in my book. With that said, the cooler weather is also a sign of the changing season. Before we know it, it’ll be below freezing! (and I don’t think I’m quite ready for that!) Fall officially begins next Friday, September 23rd, but we’ve already experienced a few “fall-like” weeks with temperatures well below average in the 60s and 70s. In fact, the showers that we are dealing with this morning will clear out and make way for a cool afternoon today, and a chilly overnight! (I think that’s the first time since spring that I’m officially using the term “chilly” in a forecast!) Get ready for the mid 40s overnight tonight and Friday night. Yikes! I have a feeling the jeans, long-sleeve shirts and extra blankets won’t be too far behind! I think it’s about time to bring up the fall and winter wardrobe from the basement.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

World of Golf

I've always been a sucker for some good miniature golf.

Sheila here. We always called it putt-putt in my family, and the game created some great childhood memories for me and my brother. Some elaborate mini golf course was always one of the activities on vacation in Myrtle Beach. There's just something so much fun for a kid about picking out a brightly colored golf ball, grabbing a club that's just your size, and hitting a course marked with mountains, fountains, tunnels, and yes, a windmill.

World of Golf in Florence is the home of a really fun mini golf course. It was recently renovated with a design by Harris Miniature Golf Courses, Inc. The World of Golf website says, "Harris has designed and built miniature golf courses for over 50 years and is seen as the expert in mini golf construction across the United States and the world. Courses built by Harris are designed to be beautiful and to provide a fun-filled family experience."

I can attest to that. My friend Amy and I spent a beautiful Saturday morning with our kids breathing fresh air and putt-putting. Well, Amy and I caught up while the kids golfed. It was my son Eric's first time at a mini golf course. He and Amy's son Ryan (they're 4 and 3, respectively) actually raked or swept their golf balls into the holes more than golfing, but they had a great time, and they got so excited when their balls went in. Ryan's big brother Colin got a bit frustrated at times with the younger guys and his sister Katherine COMPLETELY ignoring the rules (that's a big brother for you), but he had fun too. He was pretty good at it, and of course, he won. The mini golf course is a little like a mini tour of the Bluegrass State. The Florence Y'all water tower is on the final hole, Derby horses with jockeys on board ride around another hole, and you can hit your ball through Big Bone Lick mammoth tusks and Kentucky bourbon barrels.

I was so impressed with everything about the World of Golf facility. The staff there is so nice, the indoor training facility looks top notch, and the food at the snack bar is really good! We got sandwiches and pizza, and it was all delicious. They make fresh when you order, the hot dogs and slices of pizza the kids got were huge, and my chicken sandwich came with what appeared to be a fresh baked bun. Yummy! You can also find a regulation golf course and a driving range for older duffers, and you can take lessons there. My friend Amy told me it has a really nice pro shop too.

It was a wonderful way to spend a Saturday morning, and Eric wants to go back soon! You can learn more about World of Golf at

Monday, September 12, 2011

Signs Of Fall

Tastes of fall continue to tease our taste buds as temperatures were cooler this weekend and NFL football got underway. Good Day, Marzullo Here! While we may warm up into the 80's the next few days, fall is pretty much here and ready to go. Watching the Bengals take the field yesterday afternoon and NFL highlights from across the league you know the seasons are changing. The smells of chili or a big pot of soup cooking in the kitchen while the game is on in the background all signs of fall. Plus, with Oktoberfest Zinzinnati this weekend the smell of food and the sounds of the chicken dance will continue to drive home that fall is here. The sun shines brightly on local pumpkin patches during the day, drying out the towering corn stalks that line our fields, before the clear crisp night sky allows for perfect sleeping weather. It is hard to believe that flowering baskets at the local nursery are now being replaced with mums and pumpkins ready to carve and glow on Halloween night. So sit back the next few weeks and take in the smells and sights of fall because before you know it the cold air will be blowing and the snow will be falling!

Friday, September 9, 2011

A Great Year, Then It All Changed

Good Morning, Marzullo Here! The start of 2001 was a huge year for me I had just made the move to Youngstown, Ohio where my television weather career kicked into high gear. I was hired as the weekday morning and noon meteorologist at the NBC station and I actually was not done with college at that point. So not only was I working a full time job in television news but I still had a year and half of college left so I was attending classes in the afternoon and evening. I was able to not only cover the weather but also co-host with two of my dear friends, we had a lot of fun. In television news it is all about the ratings and by the start of the summer my co-workers and I had moved the ratings for our morning news to the number one spot in the city. I was on top of the world enjoying life with family and friends who lived close by in Cleveland. I remember in June that year I bought my first brand new car, I also was kinda of a odd ball, I got personalized plates.... ( 4CASTER ) Please make fun of me later! I took a road trip to Philadelphia, my co-anchor got married in July, and in late August my co-anchors and I were preparing to leave for Orlando where we were going to broadcast LIVE from the a new Disney Cruise Ship. Everything I had dreamed and hope for was coming true and then September 11th happened, and life was put in perspective.

I remember it like it was yesterday I was standing in our control room placing our morning crews breakfast order to the cafe down the street. This was our morning ritual before our last news cut-in of the morning we would place our breakfast call at about 8:50am. I remember hearing Matt Lauer on the Today Show, say " we have some breaking news we will get to after the break. " The crew in the control room kinda of laughed because who says we have breaking news but first these commercials, of course none of us knew what was about to happen. When they came back from break and the first shot we saw was the first tower on fire we still did not realize the magnitude of what had happened, in fact I remember I actually started walking down the stairs to get everyone breakfast. I was a few steps away from the newsroom door when I stopped to check the coverage on the television at the assignment desk, it was that moment when the second plane hit and life was changed forever. The entire day and weeks to come you watched and prayed for those lives lost and the people they left behind. Your heart broke and eyes teared up as the buildings came down and you were on edge as phone lines were down trying to get in touch with love ones, just to hear a soothing voice on the other line. I remember a few days later I was doing the weather from a local fire house when the cheif shouted out the window " They found another survivor " I was on the air live at the time and as I said those words to our viewers we knew there was hope to find more. September 11th was a day that changed all of our lives and the way we walk through life. The symbolic meaning of that day and memory I have is that breakfast was never picked up, a sign of how time froze and we as Americans stopped to comprehend what was happening to the greatest country in the world. However, you choose to remember this weekend, just never forget.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Wedding Update

6 weeks to go! It seems like I’ve been planning the wedding for so long now, I can’t believe there’s only a month and a half left before the big day! Good morning, happy Thursday.. Katy here. I thought I would give you a quick update on the wedding planning and how it’s going. Actually… I’m basically done! About a month ago, I reached the point where I couldn’t do anymore planning and just had to wait until about now for things to pick up! And boy, are they picking up! I’ve had two bridal showers (one of those hosted by Sheila and Tracey) had my final dress fitting, cake appointment, and met with our organist at the church. Next up is the hair/makeup trial and final floral appointment. Everyone told me it would go by fast, and they were right. October will be here before I know it, although it already feels like it with these temperatures in the low 60s! I’m ready for the wedding, but I don’t know if I’m ready for the cooler weather yet! I think this weekend I’ll enjoy a nice break from things and have a lazy weekend with the fiancĂ©. I’ll stash away the girlie wedding stuff and watch some football!!! Go SPORTS!

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

I Will Never Forget

Hi, it's Sheila.
Today's 'blog I dedicate to America, as we approach the tenth anniversary of September 11th.
I will never forget that day. I know that's true of any American who has a memory of that day 10 years ago, but these are some of the things I remember most.

For me and Rob, and for my family, it started just like any other day. I woke up at 3 a.m. and went to work. My husband Ric helped our daughter Katie get ready for school -- second grade. At 8:46 a.m., Rob and I were in the middle of a cooking segment on our show with the Midnight Gourmet, Nick Tolbert. Within moments of the first plane crashing into the North Tower, our producer Dan Romito told us, "We're taking some live video. The World Trade Center is on fire."

I will never forget the feeling of complete terror as we watched the second plane hit the second tower live. I instantly knew it was an attack. It was such a helpless feeling to watch it occur, and subsequently to hear of the Pentagon being hit, and the plane going down in Shanksville, Pennsylvania.

When the networks started talking about where the flights had originated, I was terrified. My brother lived in Boston at the time, and he traveled a lot for work. I called my mother in a panic and demanded, "Where's John?!" She didn't have her TV on, and she didn't know what was happening. I scared her to death. (John wasn't flying that day.)

When the South Tower began to collapse just more than an hour later, Rob and I were in the newsroom watching the networks (Fox 19 had gone to full network coverage by then). I will never forget the look on Rob's face and the feeling of disbelief and dread that came over us when that tower fell. We both had tears in our eyes, and we both knew we would cry if we didn't look away. This may sound silly, but if you're going to cover news, you can't cry. We knew eventually we'd be back on the air, and for me it was not much later, when we started reporting on local effects of the tragedy, Cincinnati air traffic being halted, etc.

I will never forget the moment I finally got home that day, many hours later. I was finally able to cry, and I almost couldn't stop.
Ric had to take the TV remote away from me because I couldn't stop watching the news coverage, and he made me get away from the TV.

I don't have words to describe how I felt, how we all felt. PBS put together a post 9/11 website, and one of the pages is full of stories by regular people, talking about their memories of the day. I was reading through these stories by regular people about feelings of sorrow, fear, confusion, sadness, vengeance, even pride. I can't think of the nearly 3,000 people who died without being sad, both for them and for the people who loved them, and who are still grieving ten years later. I can't think of the courageous people of United Flight 93 or the New York City firefighters and police officers who ran into the towers without being proud. And I can't think of the American service members who enlisted, are fighting, have fought, and who have died for the U.S.A since September 11th without being grateful.

And I will never forget all the ways the people of this country showed their patriotism after the attacks -- showed the terrorists we will not be scared, and we will stand together as Americans. This is a picture of the American flag flying at my house. It was hard to find a flag in the days after 9/11, but Ric and I did find one. We have not allowed a day to go by in the last 10 years when we weren't showing our colors (this is our 3rd flag).

As tragic as September 11, 2001 was for all of us, especially for the victims' families, I believe it made us stronger. It made us think of the little things. It made us more grateful for this country we love, and for our freedom, and for each other. And that's something I will never, ever forget.

Monday, September 5, 2011

No Turning Back

Happy Monday. Labor Day 2011!

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

< Check it out.

The papers have arrived. The check has been cashed. And these are not the postcards that my wife(a teacher)is sending to future students. This is for our student. It came in the mail today.

My daughter is going to school. In 9 days. On her birthday.

She could not have wished for a better birthday gift. She is so excited, she doesn't even know what to do with herself. After getting the postcard today, she has been running all over the house saying, 'I love you, Mrs. 'X' (her teacher), I can't wait to meet you!'

Am I happy for her excitement? For sure.

Especially considering child #2 is going to be the extreme opposite. We're gotta live it up while we can.

My wife and I are thrilled for her, for the new friends she is going to make, the knowledge she is going to gain, the fun she is going to have, and all the awesome experiences she is about to embrace.

But am I sad as ever? Absolutely. As much as she is going to miss her family (that is what I'm telling myself) while she's gone, I'm pretty sure she's going to love 'her' time in school.

So, lots to look forward too this fall season!

Have a great day

Friday, September 2, 2011

Last Blast Of Summer

Good Friday Morning, Dan Wells writing, I hope this note finds you well and in good spirits! A number of exciting and interesting festivals and events line the Cincinnati calendar throughout the year.

These include public holidays, Cincinnati wine festivals, Cincinnati carnival parades, St. Patrick's Day festivities, the popular Tastes of Cincinnati food festival and much more.

This weekend P&G Riverfest at Sawyer Point opens at noon and runs until approximately 11 p.m. on the Sunday of Labor Day weekend.

This year it's September 4th, 2011

P&G Riverfest is Greater Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky's big boom, the end of summer blowout that concludes with one of the largest fireworks displays in the Midwest - the Cincinnati Bell/WEBN Fireworks. This signature Cincinnati event began 34 years ago, when WEBN treated the tri-state to a fireworks show in honor of the radio station's 10th anniversary. The party at Sawyer Point, held annually on the Sunday of Labor Day weekend, has grown into an all-day affair with music, food and family fun and entertainment all day (Cincinnati's Sawyer Point is a no-alcohol zone for Riverfest).

One of the big Highlights: the Ohio/Kentucky shout-off just before the fireworks, and WEBN's soundtrack, choreographed with Rozzi's Famous Fireworks.

The show attracts over 500,000 to the area every year. Over 2,500 boats jam the river to get a front row seat for the show, and the river is patrolled by the US Coast Guard, Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife, Ohio Department of Natural Resources, and local units from Cincinnati, and Covington. The river is normally closed between the Roebling Suspension Bridge and the Big Mac (Interstate 471) bridge.

Maybe you have certain memories of certain fireworks. Here are some from WEBN.

1977 - It's our first blast, and the only one to happen on a Thursday night (as close as we can get to our actual 10th birthday of August 30). Soundtrack by Glenn Gaskins. Even though WEBN is a small station and the publicity comes from only us, about 80,000 people show up. The only glitch: a mile-long train crawls along the tracks of Sawyer Point and parks during the show, trapping everybody on the Serpentine Wall. After the show, thousands of people have to crawl between and underneath railcars.

1978 - The first official Riverfest. More publicity, way more people, and no trains. The only glitch: Glenn's pre-computer soundtrack can't really be synchronized to the blasts, they drift further apart and the music runs out about 3 minutes too soon. From 1979 to 1982, Tom Sandman works up some ingenious techniques for achieving better success in soundtrack synch. We use those procedures until hooking up with a super-hi-tech computer system in the 1990's. More about that later.

1983 - The first year with a sponsor (Pepsi), allowing us to add lots more power and punch to the show. The Rozzis start messing around with ideas and technology to make fireworks do things they shouldn't. They're still doing that. Soundtrack this year and next by Jay Gilbert.

1984 - the only year that bad weather almost stops the show. It rains continuously all weekend, and fireworks can't be safely loaded into their shells in such humidity. At 2 p.m. the day of the fireworks, we're within 20 minutes of announcing our first-ever cancellation, when suddenly the clouds part, the sun shines, the Rozzis bust ass, and the show goes on (with some parts scrapped). We've had other years when weather threatens, but so far the fireworks have never been rained out. If that ever happens, there's no way to have a rain date … see ya next year.

1985 - Hudy Gold signs on for 2 years of sponsorship. Joel Moss inherits the task of assembling the 30-minute soundtrack. He's done it every year since.

1987 - Toyota's first partnership with the fireworks. They've been with us longer than most staff members' marriages.

1988- Renegade Comic Sam Kinison joins Frog for the Big Bang and leads crowd wars as only Sam could, with an emphatic "Does WEBN know how to throw a party!!" Hell yeah, Sam. We still miss you, but we know you have the best seat in the house.

1989 - During the show's grand finale (which typically contains about 2500 shells, more than most entire 4th of July fireworks), a sudden gust of wind blows all the falling debris directly to the deck of Barleycorn's, WEBN's master control center and host to several hundred partiers. Amazing how fast people can run when it's raining fire.

1992 - For WEBN's 25th anniversary, we build a giant "set piece" on the L&N Bridge (now the Purple People Bridge). For about 60 seconds in the middle of the show, it shows a magnificent sparkling WEBN logo, a Toyota logo and a big "1967-1992." You remember that, right? You don't? It was there, but the humidity was so thick and the wind so still that the smoke from the fireworks' first 15 minutes wouldn't go away. When our giant expensive set piece boomed to life, nobody saw it, not even the people who knew to look for it. Oh well, that's blow biz.

ALSO in 1992 - WEBN's founder, Frank Wood the Elder, passes away. Frank the Younger places some of his father's ashes inside the first shell of this year's fireworks. If somebody tries to tell you that Hunter Thompson had this idea first, set them straight.

1997 - The debut of that cool new super-hi-tech computerized system for synchronizing the fireworks and music. Eddie Fingers does his usual rev-up of the crowd, yells his official here-it-is! … and then …. nothing. 2 minutes go by. More nothing. 2 more minutes, lots more nothing. Finally, liftoff. Officially the delay is 8 minutes, but to us it will always be a thousand years. One station exec says after the finale, "I would have enjoyed this show a lot more without all this s*** in my pants."

2004 - The Rozzi's top even themselves by creating fireworks that somehow --- we're still trying to figure this out --- blast the red letters W, E, B- and N into the sky in the actual shapes of our station's logo. We thought we might be hallucinating, but they did it with even more precision in 2005.

2006 - 30 years in 30 minutes… come to the River on September 3rd to witness the next piece of history.

Kind of a cool history lesson right! Now if you can't make it down to the riverfront, Fox19 is carrying the event live.

Hope you a great weekend!

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Happy Birthday

Good Morning, happy Thursday! Katy Here...I can’t believe Labor Day weekend is upon us, it seems like yesterday we were talking about the start of summer with Memorial Day! Labor Day weekend is always fun, celebrating the “unofficial” end to summer, but it’s also special for me because my soon-to-be family gets together every year to celebrate a special birthday! This week, I wanted to give a shout out to Marian Gooding! Marian, or Mare, as we call her is my fiancĂ© Tom’s grandmother who lives in Lima, OH. We’ll be traveling north this weekend to celebrate with her and the family. Mare is my biggest fan at Fox19. She watches the webcast that I put together every morning (and you can to under the weather tab on so she knows what the weather will be. She’s one of the nicest people I’ve ever met, and I’m so glad that I’ll be able to call her my grandma soon! So Happy Birthday, Mare! Can’t wait to see you this weekend!