Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Tonight Tonight ....

Marzullo Here: Over the years a lot of Broadway musicals have come and gone. The ones that last have the core set of values that set the good apart from the bad. West Side Story is a American classic which is set in the 1950's in New York City. The show first hit Broadway in 1957 telling the story of two rival gangs the Jets and the Sharks. It explores the difference and the rivalry of two ethnic backgrounds. The latest edition is on tour and is currently on stage at The Aronoff Center downtown. The performance is first class and the energy level is one of a kind. Do yourself a favor and check it out, you will realize what makes musical theater so amazing. The show is a classic love story, almost Romeo and Juliet like and also shows how far our country has come. My favorite performers from last night Anita was awesome she plays the girlfriend of the leader of the Sharks and I loved the Officer Krupke number. I was amazed at how many songs I remember, America, Tonight Tonight, and Maria. While sitting in the audience last night I remembered when I was a kid I did really well on a report card and my mother took me to a show downtown and that show was West Side Story, so create memories with your family. A little warning there was some adult references.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Vote For Eben!!

American Idol is back tonight. I'm really liking the show this season.

It's down to the top 24. Eben Franckewitz is among them. He's a freshman at Milford High School and lives in Loveland. America met him a few weeks back, when the Idol hopefuls were auditioning in Pittsburgh. We met him early February, when he stopped by the Fox19 studios. Not only is he a great singer and performer. He's also a great guy. At 15 he's mature and seems unflappable. That will help him as the competition plays out. The men and boys will perform one night. The women and girls will perform on the other. Then 12 people will be kicked off the show the 3rd night. That's a lot of people who will have their dreams dashed early in the show.

I'm encouraging the entire tri-state to join Milford High School to vote for Eben. The school is holding a viewing party tonight. This is the first time someone from our area has made it this far on American Idol. Lets keep him on stage for as long as possible. If you missed his audition, take a look:

Monday, February 27, 2012

Get Away To West Baden & French Lick!

Start planning your trip to West Baden Springs and French Lick, Indiana. Right now!

Sheila here.
I promise you won't regret it. Ric and I celebrated our anniversary this weekend with a stay at the West Baden Springs Hotel. It's a beautiful three-hour drive to paradise. We felt like we had traveled to Europe or perhaps stepphed into the 1920's when we first walked into the atrium. This dome was once called the eighth wonder of the world. When it was built in the early 1900's, the hotel had the largest free-standing dome in the world, and it was the largest in the U.S. until the SuperDome was constructed.

You can eat lunch and dinner right there under the dome, or just enjoy a cocktail. Saturday afternoon, a harpist added to the atmosphere. We also relaxed with some time in the spa. I can't remember the last time I felt so stress free! There are dozens of little spots under the dome and throughout the hotel where you can just sit and chat, enjoy coffee or a cocktail, or simply read a book.

The hotel is part of the French Lick Resort, which also includes the French Lick Hotel & Casino. Both hotels have spas and restaurants. There are three golf courses, including a Pete Dye course. All kinds of family activities are right at your fingertips, from horse back riding to bowling, indoor and outdoor pools, mountain biking and more. The newly built event center at the French Lick Hotel hosts great concerts. We saw Kenny Loggins Saturday night. What an incredible show! And with fewer than 2,000 seats in the venue, you are so close to the music. You can also find Paoli Peaks skiing & tubing nearby, along with an indoor water park and indoor go-carting. Patoka Lake - which is gorgeous - is about 30 minutes away.

French Lick resort was renovated in 2007. Entreprenuer William Cook saved the historic site and spared no expense in making it a world class destination. Conde' Nast recently rated the West Baden Springs hotel the 15th Best Resort in the U.S.

The accomodations are not only top notch, one thing which really struck me and Ric is how much the people who work there love their jobs. They love talking about the resort, its history, and all it has to offer and I have never experienced better customer service.

There's no way this little blog could possibly show you what an incredible place it is, so you'll just have to plan your visit. We are already talking about when to go back with our kids.

Friday, February 24, 2012

Never Too Old To Be A Disney Kid

Happy Friday!
Stephanie Here, If I was grinning a little wider this week, that’s because my big sister Caroline came to visit me last weekend!
Of course, all of my friends here at FOX19 wanted to know what we did. Did we go out in Over-the-Rhine? Did we catch an Oscar-nominated movie? Did we eat at swanky restaurants?
Well, yes to all the above. But our favorite activity was…Disney in Concert by the Cincinnati Pops!
True, my 28-year-old sister and I were the oldest people there without adorable children in tow. However, the concert brought out the kids in us.
As children Caroline and I would rather have gone to Disney World than anywhere else on the planet. We wore our Snow White and Cinderella dresses so often to kindergarten that our mom had to sew patches where we had ripped our skirts! But it seems our tastes have matured: At one point in the concert one singer asked the audience who our favorite Disney princess was. Caroline and I yelled “Belle!” at the same time. What can I say, we’re both avid readers (and a little nerdy).
The concert was really a feast for the senses. While the orchestra played scores from Disney favorites like Aladdin, Little Mermaid, and Mary Poppins, fantastic singers belted out the words and a big screen displayed scenes from the movies. I have to give a hats-off to conductor John Morris Russell. Not only is he a super nice guy, but leads his orchestra with grace and a great sense of humor.
No one seemed to forget that this concert was for the kids, and JMR even led a costume parade for the little ones decked out in their Disney favorites. However, the big kids had fun too. I’d have to say my favorite song was “The Circle of Life” from the Lion King. Singer Andrew Johnson’s performance was unexpectedly powerful, but still gentle enough to warm the little hearts in the audience.
Moral of the story: don’t be afraid to let your inner child out for a night on the town. Happy Friday!

Thursday, February 23, 2012

A Perrfect Cause!

Good morning, happy Thursday! We’re inching towards the weekend, and I’m really excited for this Saturday! This Saturday, I will have the pleasure to host the annual A’cat’amy Awards Extravaganza, put on by the Ohio Alleycat Resourse. You probably know by now, but I love cats! I grew up with two kitties, Lucy & Ethel, and when I got my first job, I adopted Chessie. She’s an adorable calico cat, who is very talkative! But anyways, back to the Ohio Alleycat Resource! I was so excited when they asked me to host their event again, after doing it last year. We had such a great time, and it’s all for a great cause. If you haven’t heard about the Ohio Alleycat Resourse, they are a non-profit organization that promotes non-lethal control for feral cat coloinies and humane methods to reduce the population of feral cats. They practice Trap-Neuter-Return, and also provide a low-cost, high quality spay/neuter service for cats.

I’ve toured their facility before, and they do wonderful work. They also have an adoption center on hand for abandoned kitties and cats, and have successfully places thousands of cats in loving homes! In fact, check out their facebook page!/ohioalleycatfans They constantly post pictures of cats that have been adopted. I love happy endings! If you are interested in learning more about the Ohio Alleycat Resource, head to their website They are a great organization!

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

A Fine Arts Weekend:

Dancing with the Stars and a night with Chris Botti… that’s what my weekend holds and I can’t wait.
Brad here, good morning Cincinnati. The Weekend is almost here and once again it’s a busy one. Saturday night I will be co-hosting the 5th annual fundraiser for the Cincinnati Ballet Otto M. Budig Academy. Along with Music Director Carmon DeLeone, we will welcome the attendees, families and dancers and take part in all the fun.
I really like the concept of the evening. It will be a great night of fun for the families and dancers involved. It breaks down like this; during the night, the professional dancers of the Cincinnati Ballet teach students of the OMB Academy and their families several dances, including hip-hop, jazz, and ballet. There are several rooms and in each it is a different dance move, so it’s like a carousel of dancing. Pretty cool! There is a raffle and silent auction at the end of the night too.

Sunday night I’m off to the POPS. Chris Botti is playing with the Cincinnati Pops Orchestra. If you aren’t familiar with Botti, he is a world famous jazz trumpeter who has sold out venues all over the globe and collaborated with Sting, Steven Tyler, Yo-Yo Ma, and Josh Groban among others. I’ve seen him twice before this, but never with an orchestra. His style exhibits shades of late 1950’s Miles Davis. Close your eyes and it’s like you’re listening to “Kind of Blue” or “Porgy and Bess.” Botti’s mood setting melodies are flawless.
I first saw Botti when I was in college. He performed with renowned saxophonist genius David Sandborn. I actually went to see Sandborn, but after the show I was hooked.

So here’s to a dancing like a star and a fancy dinner and show!

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Just Call Me Picasso

Good Morning Everyone, Frank with you back in a studio after a few days on the road. I hope you enjoyed our road trips to give you and your family some ideas of things to do to help beat the winter blues. I have an idea for you this morning that is closer to home. Are you a artist? Do you like to fiddle with the paint brush? Even if you do not, then why not give it a try? You can do it at Cheers To Art in Madeira, My girlfriend and I went to one of the classes last Friday night where we met some new friends and had a great time. The owner Jill and her husband make it a relaxed atmosphere, along with some beer and wine they have for purchase. You start with a blank canvas and Jill takes you step by step to create your masterpiece. This is not a paint by numbers class so you have creative control to what you do as Jill guides you. Just go to there webpage and pick a evening to reserve your spot. Every night they choose a different painting so you can look at the calendar and choose the night you want. It was awesome to be in the comfortrable enviorment with windows looking out over Carmargo road. The art work was fantastic that we actually hung up in our home, so get ready for some handmade artwork and do it up!

Monday, February 20, 2012

Findlay Market Mardi Gras

Laissez Les Bon Temps Rouler!

Sheila here.

Hundreds of people let the good times roll at Findlay Market's Mardi Gras, and thank heaven for for royal robes because it was cold yesterday! Rob and I were crowned the King and Queen of Mardi Gras at one of our favorite places in the city.

Our friends, the Findlay Market merchants got decked out in the Mardi Gras finery too, competing for best prizes for best decorations, costumes, food and spirit. Debbie Gannaway of Gramma Debbie's Kitchen had a bright green mask painted on her face, one of De Stewart's co-horts at Colonel De's Spices was dancing above the countertops, and Chef Meredith Trombly of Fresh Table took our picture as we paraded by.

Rob and I met lots of new friends too, like the great band Lagniappe. They led a parade of revelers all around the markets as people packed the shops to eat jambalaya - just one of the many hot dishes which helped customers fight the cold outside.

We had a blast - I think everyone did - and we look forward to our year of reign. See you next in the Findlay Market Opening Day Parade in just 45 days! 'Til then, go visit the market! I promise you'll find something to love there.

Friday, February 17, 2012

Night At The Ballet

Hola! Stephanie here. Happy Friday to you J
One of the things I love most about Cincinnati is the culture. There’s so much to do…and people actually do it! In other cities I’ve worked in…including even big cities like New York and D.C….the theatre is something people procrastinate. “Oh I should go see that show.” “Oh I would if I had the time.”
But Cincinnatians enjoy the arts! As did I this past weekend. My best friend Cassie and I headed over to the Aronoff for the Cincinnati Ballet’s production of Carmen! Now I love the music from Carmen, but had never seen the ballet before.
Boy were we in for a treat. Choreographer Amedeo Amodio did an amazing job of combining traditional ballet moves, modern flow, and Spanish salsa. Anyone who works a morning show can tell you it’s not easy to stay awake for an 8pm show. However, the drama, scandal, and seduction beautifully performed by the cast had me wide awake throughout the performance.
The real star however, is Carmen herself. Maizyalet Velázquez was an absolute delight to watch. Not only is the young Puerto Rican ballerina technically superior and gorgeous, but her haughty expressions and convincing portrayal of a seductress really set her apart from other dancers.
Definitely catch this show this weekend if you can!

Thursday, February 16, 2012

134 Days & Counting

I'm on a mission and I need your help.
Hi...Tracey Johnson here. I hope this finds you well.....

Over the next 4 months...not only is it my job, but, my desire to make St. Jude as real to you as it has become to me.
FOX19 has proudly accepted the partnership for the St. Jude Dream Home Giveaway.

With this great privilege, also comes a sense of responsibility....and I have made it my mission to sell all 9,000 tickets for the Dream Home. At first, $100 sounded like a lot to me...but, now...not so difficult. Not only does $100 give you a chance to win the St. Jude Dream Home, but now that I've met real people, and lives, and families that are associated with each ticket, $100 dollars seems pretty easy to me. A couple of weeks ago I told you about my trip to Memphis, Tennessee, to the St. Jude Children's Research Hospital. The sweet faces that fill such a place have made this journey that much easier and much more determined.
I have vowed to sell every last one even if I have to stand on the corner with a sign.

Here are the newest pictures of the St. Jude Dream Home. It's located in the Miami Bluffs subdivision at 6813 Gray Wolf in Maineville.
The frame is going up. Concrete is being poured next week. It's looking more and more like a home.
It can be yours!
It's easy. All you have to do is buy a ticket. They go on sale April 11th.
Until June 29th, when we draw the lucky ticket for the new home owner, I'll continue to bring you updates. Introduce you to families in which your donation is impacting their lives.

Will you join me on my mission?
I'd love to have you.......
Thanks for reading....
More updates to come!

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Got Greens?

I have been obsessed lately with greens. Collard greens, to be exact.

Sheila here.

I love greens. Can't get enough of 'em. And that's a problem because I don't know how to cook 'em.

I had never eaten collard greens until a few years ago on a trip to Charleston, South Carolina. Down south, they serve greens with just about everything. The first time I tried them, I was hooked. Now, every time I'm down south I eat greens as often as I can, because until recently, I didn't think you could get them around here.

Enter Pete Zimmer. He used to be the chef at Burbank's BBQ in Springdale. Ric and I were there for dinner not long before the restaurant closed its doors, and he and Gary Burbank told us about their trips down south to research all things barbecue. Pete did lots of "research" in Memphis (Gary's hometown) and learned from real experts. I'm not sure if that's where Pete learned to make collard greens, but he sure did perfect the recipe. His greens are insanely good. But Burbank's closed, and it would be awhile before I found his greens again.

In the meantime, a couple of weeks ago, I'm sitting in the Fox 19 studio, and for some reason, I had a craving for greens. One of my co-workers running camera that day, Ken Baker, said (somewhat surprised) "You like greens?" "Oh yeah! I love them," I said, "and I never get them because I don't know how to make them." So Ken told me, "I'll bring you some greens," and the following Monday he brought in a big batch of collard greens his mother, Eileen, had made! How nice is that? And they were fantastic! I ate some of them for breakfast, and I took the rest home and served them with dinner that night. (I thought about hiding them in the fridge at home and keeping them all for myself, but my daughter Katie loves them almost as much as I do!) My family raved about them! And you know what else? Miss Eileen sent me her recipe! So easy - she makes them in the Crockpot!

But before I even got to try the recipe, I got another gift of greens! Enter Pete Zimmer again. Now he's the owner of SmoQ in Tri-County, and his chef Jackson Rouse was on the show for a recent segment on Cincinnati Beer Week. Pete told Jackson, "If you're going to see Sheila, you'd better take her some greens." And he did! Oh, happy day! I had greens two weeks in a row!
I searched around online to find out about the history of greens. Found this in a Yahoo article: "They've been eaten for centuries, even dating back to prehistoric times. Ancient Greeks grew kale along with collards, and the Romans grew several kinds of collards before the Christian era. It's thought that either the Romans or the Celts introduced the vegetable to Britain and France in the 4th century B.C. With the arrival of the African slaves to the southern U.S. colonies came the Southern style of cooking collard greens. Like many foods that originated at the time, this way of cooking greens grew out of a need to provide food for their families and satisfy their hunger with the scraps that were thrown their way from the master's kitchen. They would be given ham hocks, pig's feet, and the tops of greens, and would turn these leftovers into a meal that created the famous southern greens."
Now they're a must for the table down south, and some people even make them healthier by cooking them with smoked turkey instead of the traditional ham hock or jowls. To me they're a treat, so I say go full fat!

And I still haven't had enough. Today is my birthday. Guess where I wanted to go for my special day? SmoQ - to get greens - a double order. They're soooooo good.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

A Weekend In Indy

Happy Valentines Day Everyone, With Valentines Day falling this year on a Tuesday, my girlfriend and I made it a point to celebrate the day for " lovers " this past weekend, as we made our way to Indianapolis with some friends for a fun Saturday night. It was great because the Super Bowl crowds had left and the city looked great. If you have never made your way to Indianapolis you should take a small weekend getaway and check it out. The city is clean, easy to get around, and has so much to offer. From a huge children's museum to the NCAA Hall of Fame to hotels and restaurants all in walking distance. Speaking of restaurants, if you want to splurge a little bit you have to try St. Elmos Steak House, home of the famous shrimp cocktail. While the shrimp are huge, the biggest treat is the cocktail sauce made with fresh ground horseradish. The steaks are to die for and the smashed redskin mashed are amazing. We loved talking to our server who told me that during the Super Bowl celebs marched in and out of the restaurant, in fact the biggest tab came from actor Michael Douglas. He and a group of 20 spent 15 thousand dollars on dinner. My question, how much wine did they drink? It is a great break from your normal routine with plenty of hotels in the city you can make it a affordable and fun weekend, and if you bring great friends with you it will be a awesome weekend.

Monday, February 13, 2012

Are You Crazy?!?!

That's what I wanted to ask the runners who gathered on St. Gregory Street on Mount Adams Saturday afternoon.

Good Monday morning. Hope you had a nice week. Rob here.

I also ran Saturday morning and wanted to ask myself the same question. Are you crazy? Katy Morgan says, it felt like zero, when you factor in the wind chill. Luckily, I have some good cold weather running gear. It was still cold though. A fellow runner had a sweat icicle form on his hat.

I was really proud of myself after finishing that grueling run. Five hours later, another group of runners were getting ready for their run. Not a long one, but I'm sure just as grueling. Why would a one and a half mile run be grueling? Most of them did it in their UNDERWEAR! The run started at 2:00 in the afternoon. So it was warmer than my run but barely. Katy said it felt like 10 degrees outside. What?! It is called Cupid's Undie Run. It was held in six cities: DC, NYC, Atlanta, Seattle, Denver and Cincinnati. It was for a good cause, ending Neurofibramatosis through research. It is a genetic disorder that causes tumors to grow on nerves throughout the body. It can cause blindness, deafness, learning disabilities and severe chronic pain. Currently, there's no cure. However, because of these crazy half dressed runners, researchers are one step closer to find a cure. Find out more

Friday, February 10, 2012

The Shamrock Shake is BACK!!!!!!!!

Good Friday morning, Dan Wells writing. I hope your day is off to a good start.

If you follow this blog you may remember my (mild obsession) love for the Shamrock Shake.

Last year I "RANTED" on this web-site about not being able to find the minty green deliciousness here in the Tri-State.

Well my prayers were answered.

For the first time, McDonald's is offering its signature green Shamrock Shake nationwide from now through St. Patrick's Day.


Previously, McDonald's left it up to local market operators to decide whether to offer the shake, and roughly half of McDonald's nationwide offered the shakes last year, according to Crain's Chicago Business. This year, the Shamrock Shake - topped with whipped cream and a cherry - is available at all McDonald's restaurants until March 25.

I actually like it plain.

First launched in 1970 as a week-long promotion to help raise money for a "home away from home" project for families of children being treated at the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, the Shamrock Shake helped raise enough money to buy the first Ronald McDonald House - a seven-bedroom home near the hospital.

Since then, more than 300 Ronald McDonald Houses have opened, and the shake has developed a cult-like following (YOU BET IT HAS) with some fans going so far as to create a website to help Shamrock Shake lovers find the treat.

Others have created Facebook fan pages dedicated to the shake, including one that has more than 43,000 "likes" so far.

So if you haven't tried one please check it out. You won't be sorry!

Have a great weekend!

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Jazz It Up

Good morning, happy Thursday! Katy here… I don’t know about you, but the winter months always seem to me cooped up indoors. That keeps me from exercising as much as I would like. But I think I’ve found a solution, thanks to the FOX19 Morning Crew adventures! Yesterday I took Rob, Sheila, Tracey, Dan and Stephanie to Jazzercise with me. I loved it! I’ve never taken a class before, but I’ve heard a lot about them. My mom and cheerleading coach use to Jazzercise back in the day, when head bands, spandex and leg warmers were all the rage. But this isn’t your mothers Jazzercise anymore! I was pleasantly surprised that the class is filled with women of all ages (and sometimes a few guys!) dancing to the popular music of today. I knew yesterday’s class with the Morning Crew was going to be fun when the Party Rock Anthem came on. It’s the same song the crew used to flash mob my wedding! We only took a 30 minute express class, just to get a taste of what a real class is like. Most classes are an hour long. Boy was I tired…just after 30 minutes! All of the positive energy in there kept me going, though.. and It’s motivated me to come back to try a few more classes! I can’t wait to jazz it up again!

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Pink In The Rink

Pink ice sounds like something you'd get from a shave ice stand, but this Friday you can find it at U.S. Bank Arena!

Sheila here, and the Pink Ribbon Girls is the new sponsor for the Cincinnati Cyclones "Pink in the Rink" game this year! The Cyclones take on Trention this Friday, February 10th at 7:30 p.m.
The ice will be pink, the PRG logo will be on the ice, and the team will be wearing custom jerseys adorned in pink. You have a chance to get your hands on the jerseys when they're auctioned after the game! The first 2,000 fans through the gates will receive a Cyclones Ribbon Magnet, and the first 1,000 female fans receive a free pink carnation from Hiatt's Florist!

The Pink Ribbon Girls is a support group for younger women who are diagnosed with breast cancer, and Founder Tracie Metzger is always coming up with fun events like Pink on the Rink. Tune in tomorrow morning at 8:15 a.m. to see one of our hometown's hockey stars, Goaltender Brad Fogal. Brad's life has personally been touched by breast cancer. He lost an Aunt to the disease, and the Pink Ribbon cause means so much to him that he even placed it on his Goalie Mask.

For every ticket sold to this Friday's match, $5 will benefit Pink Ribbon Girls. The doors open at 6:30, and you can download a ticket form here:

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Get Out of the Gym and into Nature

There's a guy in town who can make you feel like a kid again.

Hey everyone. Rob here.

His name is Kevin Wimmer. His business is ELMNTL Fitness. The morning team was able to experience a workout with Kevin out in the elements. The weather was perfect.

From his website: ELMNTL fitness is a fundamental circuit of exercises set within the outdoor elements at Woodland Mound Park.
Fitness in nature truly challenges you physically and mentally to be prepared for circumstances that may arise in your daily life. The environment around us is constantly changing and we need to be able to adapt with it. By embracing those changes, or elements, we effectively manage the outcome.
Accomplishing a workout at the gym, prepares you for a workout at the gym. When you challenge yourself in nature, the workout is different each time. Heat and humidity force you to be conservative with your energy. Rain forces you to compensate with balance and resiliency. Snow increases resistance and focus. That is training within the elements. And of course, in spring and fall, why would you want to be inside on a perfect day? Fresh air, no chemicals or crowds, the sun on your face and the feel of nature under your hands and feet, that is what ELMNTL fitness is all about.

He took us out last week, and it was a blast. The weather was perfect. In addition to getting a workout, we had a blast and got our hands dirty. I will have a story on our adventure, later this month. If you want to find out more click here

Monday, February 6, 2012

My Favorite Ad

So which ad did you like? Every year on the Monday after the Super Bowl we sit here and pick apart and talk about how the commercials were not good or if they blew you away. I think for the most part they were good. I will start with my favorite, the Chevy ad about the world ending and the only people surviving are those who drive the Chevy Silverado. It is set to a Barry Manilow song and shows the trucks driving through a destroyed city with American ICONS like the Big Boy statue and a box of Twinkies. It all ends with the actor asking where Dave is and the other Chevy guys say he did not make it because he was driving a Ford. I also liked the Clint Eastwood ad for Chrysler, I am a little bias though since my brother was on the team that produced that ad. I thought all in all the game was good and the entire atmosphere was awesome. I spent sometime in Indy last week, and I found the way they hosted it all to be classy and top notch. You did not have to have a ticket in order to enjoy it. If you want to check out the ads just go to our web page

Friday, February 3, 2012

Pretzels & Girlfriends

One thing I love about this city is there’s always something to do.

Stephanie here.

One thing I hate is….I never have an excuse to stay in with my cat and watch Bridget Jones’ Diary after a long day at work J
Last weekend my best friend in town, Cassie Wissel, introduced me to Pretzelfest! It’s a fundraiser for Over-the-Rhine’s Bock Fest, which celebrates historic OTR breweries from March 2nd to the 4th. Needless to say, it wasn’t hard to talk me into a night of delicious Moerlein beer, beer cheese, and carb overloading.
Venue 222 hosted the party. Although the building was built in 1868, it’s been restored and glammed-up for OTR nightlife. A few local vendors came out and generously donated their goodies for the festival. I indulged in a delicious Queen City brat in a pretzel bun (yum!), cooked up by the nice folks at Mecklenberg Gardens. I have to say though, there’s nothing simpler or more delicious than a giant Servatii pretzel with hot beer cheese. My mantra for the night was, “diet starts tomorrow!”
Of course, Cincy Beerfest kicks off next Thursday at the Duke Energy Convention Center. Can’t choose between Beerfest and Bockfest? Don’t! There are plenty of brats and beers to go around J

- Stephanie

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Cherishing The Moment

Last week I was given the privilege of visiting a place that could easily be mistaken for Disney Land.
I’d like to think of it as a little piece of Heaven here on Earth.
Hi…..Tracey Johnson here.

It was all about the children. Every corner of this plot of land in Memphis, Tennessee. I found myself in awe as we entered the campus. Towering buildings on this beautiful setting. As we entered the main building, a peace came over me. Everyone greeted us with such a warm, sincere “thank you for coming.”
As we began our tour, I was flooded with emotions. Mixed emotions. Children’s art brightened the hallways. One room after another, decorated to the hilt from celebrities like Brad Paisley, Amy Grant, Shaun White and the Jonas Brothers. For a moment, I forgot that the sweet giggles I was hearing were from children that are battling cancer and other catastrophic diseases. I was at St. Jude Research Hospital.

Several families I met have made St. Jude their home. Literally. Living a life they never imagined they’d be faced to live. On the other hand, can’t imagine where they’d be in their journey without St. Jude. As a mom, I was truly thanking the Lord for my children’s health. Because of my trip, I have made it my mission to sell 9,000 tickets for the St. Jude Dream Home Giveaway. We are thrilled here at FOX19 to join St. Jude and help those who are and will make St. Jude their home.

Over the next few months, I’ll bring you stories from sweet children that will share life as they know it, living with cancer. The most brave children I’ve ever and will probably ever meet. Children that have learned to cherish the moment!

Will you help? Tickets go on sale April 11th. More details on
Many Blessings…..

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

On The Same Page

It may not be a typical winter, but the season is always a good time to settle in with a good book. I'm reading The Submission, and so are hundreds of other people around town.

Sheila here. The Public Library of Cincinnati and Hamilton County partners every year with area arts and cultural organizations for its On the Same Page program. It's an annual community reading event every February and March. It's aimed at encouraging local readers to enjoy the featured book, reflect on how the issues it raises affect our own community, and relate to their neighbors through book discussions and special programs.

I cracked open The Submission this week, and I am hooked. In the first chapter, the reader meets the jury charged with choosing the design for a memorial to those who died in the September 11th terrorist attack in New York City. Two strong women -- one an artist and one a 9/11 widow -- are locked in a battle over the final two designs. The jury finally makes a decision, only to discover that its creator is an American Muslim. Through the eyes of its characters, The Submission explores how 9/11 has challenged our personal convictions and changed the public debate on what it means to be American.

Author Amy Waldman was a city desk reporter for The New York Times and was in New York City on 9/11. She helped cover the response to the attack, both in the city and later internationally as the paper's co-bureau chief for south Asia. Waldman wrote The Submission, her first novel, to explore how America and the world have changed in the aftermath of 9/11.

Waldman will be visiting Cincinnati March 4-5. She will be with us on the Fox 19 Morning News on the 5th, and she will speak and discuss her novel at several locations both days: the Downtown Library, Xavier Univeristy, The University of Cincinnati, and the Mercantile Library. (You need to reserve a spot at the Mercantile Library.) You may pick up a copy of The Submission at your local library or bookstore, and log onto the Library website to get involved in the discussion. You can also see what your neighbors are saying on Twitter. Happy reading!