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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!’”

>> MORE: Get a jump on your St. Patrick’s Day fun this weekend with 3 events

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. 

>> MORE: Your guide to Dayton St. Patrick’s Day events in 2017

“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.

>> MORE: 4 ways to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day with FOOD in Dayton

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.” 

>> MORE: 10 things to do this week

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.”


Too many Americans aren’t using vacation time; when they do, they still work

Published: Thursday, May 25, 2017 @ 1:50 PM

A new, online survey finds two out of every three Americans use only about half of their  eligible vacation time, and when they do take time-off, they tend to bring a laptop and their work along.
Paula Bronstein/Getty Images

Summer vacation season is approaching, which means it’s time for some well-deserved rest and relaxation. But, according to a new study, not only do too many Americans skip vacations, they tend to work during time off, too.

>> Read more trending news

Glassdoor surveyed more than 2,200 people on how they spend their time off. The online job and recruiting site found that two out of three Americans work while on vacation. Researchers also discovered that the average employee only takes about half of their eligible time off

About 14 percent of respondents admitted that a family member complained when they were caught working on their laptop. However, employees aren’t always to blame. About 29 percent revealed that they were contacted by a boss and co-worker while on vacation

“We are seeing a push and pull situation when it comes to employees taking vacation and paid time off, in which people attempt to step away from the office for a break from work, but technology is keeping them connected with the swipe of a finger,” said Carmel Galvin, Glassdoor chief human resources officer. 

>> Related: Atlanta named one of the best summer vacation spots for 2017

Glassdoor offered some advice to help professionals completely unplug while away.

Employees should submit their PTO as soon as possible, and create a back-up plan with a manager to delegate responsibilities. The website also recommended workers set up an “out of office” email reply, and "ensure your back-up person is primed for success.”

Learn more about the research here.

Beer-flavored ice cream? Rhinegeist and UDF have joined forces to create this irresistible treat

Published: Friday, May 26, 2017 @ 6:00 AM

What’s creamy and frothy but also hoppy and malty at the same time?

After a year and a half in the making, Rhinegeist has unveiled a beer-flavored ice cream collaboration with United Dairy Farmers.

>> Local ice cream shop unveils new Kentucky Bourbon Toffee Sundae

The ice cream is called Tropical Truth and it’s formulated using one of Rhinegeist’s first (and one of our favorite) beers, the Truth IPA.

Rhinegeist describes the ice cream as having a “sweet and malty base with a ‘tropical tsunami of flavor, highlighted by notes of citrus, grapefruit and mango.’”
>> Graeter’s Ice Cream releases new, seasonal flavors
This special ice cream flavor will be available in cups and cones at United Dairy Farmers locations starting May 29. 

>> Old Scratch Pizza offers free ice cream cones — for a cause

But what would an ice cream unveiling be without an ice cream social?! Rhinegeist will offer FREE scoops of ice cream at its brewery in Cincinnati on June 1 from 5 p.m. until 8 p.m. Of course, there will also be beer floats pairing classic UDF flavors with Rhinegeist brews.

>> 7 great places to get frozen treats in Dayton

You need to see this award-winning ‘fat letter’ film by local father-daughter duo

Published: Friday, May 26, 2017 @ 6:00 AM

A local filmmaker Michael Webber and his daughter, Bailey Webber, a junior at Springboro High School, have teamed up for a documentary exploring body images. The documentary’s premise: Lawmakers in more than a dozen states have passed a mandate requiring schools to perform body mass index, or BMI, tests on students. What followed sparked a heated national debate. Coined the “Fat Letters” by students, letters were given to overweight kids whose BMI did not fall within a narrowly accepted range; telling children, even as young as kindergarteners, that they are “fat.” Bailey’s investigation shows “two brave girls who take a stand against government intrusion and hypocrisy while exploring the complex and controversial truths of the childhood obesity debate.”
Jim Witmer

What started as a Springboro High School student’s summer project is now an award-winning documentary now available on Netflix, iTunes, Amazon and other video streaming services.   

“It is amazing and it is all thanks to my dad with his investment in me,” Bailey Webber, now a Wright State University mass communication junior, said of the success of “The Student Body.” 

Webber and her dad, acclaimed producer and director Michael Webberused the scales of justice and an actual scale to take on a local school district, the state, and eventually national movers and shakers in the film about state-mandated BMI tests and so-called “fat letters.”

>> Young filmmaker turns lens to ‘fat letters’

Webber said she recently received a letter from the president of the state senate congratulating her on the success of the film, which was screened around the nation.

The letter from the state was validation. 

“It just goes to show that people’s voices matter,” she said. “They are hearing us and they know our stories.”

Webber said the impact the movie has had on the conversation about body image has changed her. 

She got that idea for the movie after learning about a sixth grader who received a “fat letter.” It was filmed between her sophomore and junior years of high school.

The girl’s weight fluctuates due to a medical condition, Webber said. The fat letter caused the girl depression. 

Webber said she has battled insecurities in her life, and sympathized with the younger girl.

>> Study: Obesity linked to 11 types of cancer as overweight population grows

Now 21, she said it is bad enough that kids can be cruel. Getting a letter from your school makes it worse. 

The father and daughter duo spent a year filming the project in Ohio, New York, Florida, Washington, D.C. and elsewhere around the nation; a year editing it and a year presenting it at film festivals and in theaters. They share a director credit. 

Webber said one of the biggest thrills was when her dad told her it would be expanded beyond a 10-or-so minute project, and she would be the journalist in the video. 

>>  Why this Daytonian is filming a ‘Hot & Bothered’ queer comedy 

“Everything was terrifying to me, but I learned all the things I was supposed to do,” she said. “It was really empowering.” 

The Student Body - Official Trailer from MainSail Productions on Vimeo.

The Webbers spoke around the country. Their film was shown in the U.S. Senate and Capitol Hill in Washington and in Regal in Time Square.

Michael Webber, the producer of the hit documentary “The Elephant in the Living Room,” said that the fact that the  film is impacting families and children is the most important part. 

>> Miamisburg filmmaker gets award for his film

“It kind of mushroomed,” said Webber, the president of NightFly Entertainment and MainSail Productions in Miamisburg. “Laws are changing because of the movie.” 

Webber said the power of journalism and documentary moviemaking is often the subject of dinner conversation at his home.

>> An Open Letter to Anyone Who Thinks They're Fat (From Someone Who Is)

He said it is rare for a father and daughter to work together in the movie industry.

“It’s been fun for the two of us,” he said. “It’s been really cool.”

>> 9 kooky, cool and cray-cray ways Dayton is in the movies

Bailey Webber, a youth mentor at Springboro Baptist Church, said she was thankful from the lessons from her dad, who has produced and directed several films for  20th Century Fox, Lionsgate and other studios.

“My dad, he is like one of the smartest people I know and one of the most interesting people I know,” she said. “He could have been doing so many other things,  but he took the time to invest in me.” 


Mother asks Facebook community to help punish her daughter

Published: Thursday, May 25, 2017 @ 12:24 PM

An Arizona woman turned to Facebook after her 10-year-old daughter was accused of vandalizing a school bathroom.
Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

An Arizona woman turned to Facebook to help teach her daughter a lesson after the 10-year-old was accused of vandalizing a school bathroom. 

Kyrene de la Estrella Elementary School sent photographic evidence: wads of toilet paper stuck to the bathroom ceiling.  

"Even though it's minor, it's significant to me," Jeanene Lacasse, the girl’s mother, said. "We don't run that type of ship."  

Lacasse went to her community's Facebook page and volunteered her 10-year-old for work.

The post reads: "My sweet daughter decided to participate in vandalism on the last day of school... If anyone owns a business and needs/wants a 10 year old volunteer please let me know."

>> Read more trending news

People responded immediately.  

Lacasse’s daughter, Anni, now has days of cleaning up other messes ahead of her. Anni says her mother's mode of discipline might be unconventional, but not unexpected. 

"She's kind of, like, different sometimes," Anni said.  

Anni denied taking part in the vandalism, but said she was there when it happened. Her mother said there is still some guilt by association.