From Dayton to Dublin: Local teen dancing in world championship

Published: Friday, March 10, 2017 @ 6:00 AM

From a distance, Chance Brough appears to be a normal teenager, and for the most part he is. 

What happens to make the Stivers School for the Arts senior a little different from most his age is he just happens to be a world-class competitor in Irish dance. But his friends and fellow students are certainly aware, sometimes asking the 17-year-old to show off some of his moves at school.

“I demonstrate to them occasionally,” Brough said. “It’s funny. People find out that I’m a dancer, and in the middle of the lunch room (they’ll say) ‘You should do some dancing right now so I can get some video!’”

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If Brough is ever fazed by the attention, he doesn’t show it. After all, he’s been training at the Celtic Academy of Irish Dance in Riverside and performing in front of thousands yearly since he was a small child. 

All that sweat and toil paid off last fall when Brough, while at the Mid-American Regional Championships in Chicago, qualified to compete in his age group in the world championships held by the Irish Dancing Commission in Dublin, Ireland next month. 

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“I had to work long and hard to get up into the preliminary championships. It’s a tough level to get up to, especially for me when I started off,” he said.

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Since the word has spread, Brough, who is also a gifted violinist and will continue his music education at Wright State University next fall, has been bolstered by both his teachers and peers.
“They’ve all been really supportive. I’m really happy that I have everyone (at the Celtic Academy),” Brough said. “It’s like a big family.” 

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In the meantime, between his schoolwork and performances, Brough is using whatever free time he has to rehearse his solo performance and hone his technique -- all while trying to handle the enthusiasm for what lies ahead.

“I’m excited because it’s a fun chance to go dance my heart out somewhere new and meet some new people. It’ll be interesting to go to Ireland,” he said. “I’m psyched for that.”


Nearly 50 dachshunds rescued, looking for forever homes

Published: Tuesday, March 28, 2017 @ 8:21 PM

Two Florida animal rescue facilities have taken in 47 dachshunds and are looking for a forever home for each of them. (Photo by Morne de Klerk/Getty Images)
Morne de Klerk/Getty Images

Two Florida animal rescue facilities have taken in 47 dachshunds and are looking for a forever home for each of them.

WJHG reported that the Alaqua Animal Refuge in Freeport, Florida, and the Save Underdogs Rescue in Fort Walton Beach, Florida, took in the dogs.

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“They were going to be taken to a local shelter that wasn't a no-kill shelter so ... the reason it was so urgent for us to get them within this 24-48 hour time period was because they were going to be euthanized,” Alaqua Animal Refuge communications director Mary Chris Murry told WJHG.

On Sunday, Save Underdogs shared on Facebook that the 47 dogs were on their way to Florida from Arkansas. 

Save Underdogs founder Terri Bondi told Northwest Florida Daily News she learned of the situation from a friend in Arkansas. Laurie Hood, Alaqua Animal Refuge founder, said the dogs came from a man in Arkansas who was breeding dachshunds, but he became disabled and he was unable to care for them. WEAR reported the dogs came from a hoarding situation.

“I thought it was originally 30 dogs and thought I could manage it,” she said. “But when it was 50 ... It was perfect timing that Alaqua had space. We kept 22.”

The total turned out to be 47. Bondi said the man in Arkansas decided to keep three of the dogs.

Alaqua took in 28 dachshunds, according to a post on the organization’s Facebook page, leaving Save Underdogs with 19. 

The dogs range in age from several months old to 5 years old. Those interested in adopting may visit the Save Underdogs website and the Alaqua Animal Refuge website for more information and to contact the organizations to find a forever friend.

Your cat really does like you, in fact more than food, study says

Published: Tuesday, March 28, 2017 @ 6:28 PM

Sean Gallup/Getty Images

Cats have gotten a bad rap, at least according to a new study that found your feline really does like you, even if it doesn’t always know how to show you, and it actually likes interacting with you more than it prefers food.

The study from Oregon State University researchers in the journal “Behavioral Processes” also determined that cats are trainable if given the right motivation.

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“Increasingly cat cognition research is providing evidence of their complex socio-cognitive and problem-solving abilities,” the study authors reported. 

Scientists studied pets and shelter cats and observed what happened when felines were given a choice of different stimuli, including toys, food, social interaction and scent.

Both pets and shelter cats preferred interacting with humans first, followed by food, the study found.

“Nonetheless, it is still common belief that cats are not especially sociable or trainable” according to researchers.

The disconnect could be due to an ignorance about the stimuli cats prefer and what motivates them.

Increase in rattlesnake attack on dogs, Texas vets report

Published: Tuesday, March 28, 2017 @ 3:15 PM

Some Texas veternarians are seeing an uptick in rattlesnake attacks on dogs, according to an Austin vet. 
David McNew/Getty Images

Veterinarians in some parts of Texas have reported an increase in the number of dogs bitten by rattlesnakes this year, according to media reports. 

“The snakes are coming out of hibernation, they’re cranky and are more likely to strike when other times they might try to avoid that,” Jim Holcomb of Hill Country Animal Hospital in Austin told KVUE.

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The story does not offer any specific figures to back the claim.

If you live in an area that is especially populated by rattlesnakes, some veterinarians recommend the Red Rock Rattlesnake vaccine, which helps dogs develop antibodies that can neutralize rattlesnake venom. 

Dogs need to be 16 weeks old to receive the vaccine. Although it can help slow the effects of the venom, it is still important to get your dog to the vet immediately if you suspect a rattlesnake bite.

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The Houston Chronicle is reporting that recent hotter-than-usual weather has at least one upside: rattlesnakes rattle more when its warmer, serving as the perfect warning for you and your best friend.

Woman, 94, celebrates 44 years of work at McDonald’s

Published: Tuesday, March 28, 2017 @ 10:12 AM

In a Friday, March 24, 2017 photo, Loraine Maurer smiles at the N. Green River McDonald's location in Evansville, Ind.
Alex Slitz/Evansville Courier & Press via AP

An Indiana woman who has been caring for hungry customers for more than four decades is celebrating a milestone.

Miss Loraine, as she’s known to customers and staff, has been an employee at McDonald’s since 1973.

“I didn’t come to stay,” Miss Loraine told WEHT. “I just needed something to do after my husband had to retire.”

Now at age 94, she’s celebrating 44 years with the restaurant.

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“She’s more like the sunshine of this place,” said customer Andrea Feller. “You come in, she’s always smiling, always doing her best.”

Her customers said they can always count on her for amazing service.

“Loraine knows her customers so well that sometimes she even has their order prepared for them before they even walk through the door,” said another customer.