7 things we cannot wait for this spring

Published: Tuesday, March 21, 2017 @ 6:00 AM

Looking for a summer spot that has all the features of a perfect patio? Check this out! (Image provided by TJ Chumps)

Well, it’s officially spring. But unfortunately, we’re still waiting for consistent sunny days!

So for now, we will dream about these 7 things that signal springtime in Dayton!


There's no better way to welcome spring than with a beautiful hike through nature. The Dayton-area has an overabundance of scenic parks and trails, and they each offer something a little different. If you’re just interested in taking in some beautiful scenery, we recommend a walk through the paths at Cox Arboretum or a walk through the beautiful Charleston Falls. Looking for a more rigorous hike? Try the trails at John Bryan State Park in Yellow Springs.

>> RELATED: Where to take a nature hike in Dayton

>> RELATED: Best undiscovered playgrounds near Dayton


Sure, shopping is a year-round activity. But there’s nothing like the feeling of spending an afternoon at The Greene enjoying a bit of the outdoors while watching the fountains, sipping a beverage on one of many fantastic restaurant patios or just breezing in and out of your favorite stores. If you want a more unique shopping/dining experience, head to Yellow Springs instead. The village is known for its unique shops and dining destinations, including Ha Ha Pizza, The Winds Café, The Sunrise Café, Peach’s Grill and the Yellow Springs Brewery.

>> RELATED: 5 things to do in Yellow Springs

>> RELATED: 8 beers to try at Yellow Springs Brewery


Sure, you can eat ice cream anytime you want. But ice cream can also be an experience. Especially if it’s at Young’s Dairy!! Spend the day at the dairy barn and see animals, impress your date by showing off your skills in the batting cages or take in a game of putt-putt golf. If you’re hungry, you can grab a casual lunch at The Dairy Store or some comfort food at the Golden Jersey Inn. End your day with a delicious ice cream treat with Young’s homemade ice cream. We recommend the Buckeye sundae. It’s a peanut butter and chocolate lover's dream.

>> RELATED: 7 great places to get frozen treats in Dayton


One of the best parts about spring is taking your dining and drinking experience outdoors. Dayton area bars and restaurants have some amazing patios to grab a quick drink or a full meal. Here are a few of our favorite patios: El Meson in West Carrollton, The Winds Café in Yellow Springs, The Trolley Stop and Lily’s Bistro in the Oregon District, Jimmie’s Ladder 11 in Dayton, Basil’s Dayton with a river view and The Dublin Pub in the Oregon District.

>> INTERACTIVE MAP: Best patio dining in Dayton


A true sign of spring and warm weather is Dayton Dragons baseball. A Dragons game should be on everyone’s Dayton bucket list. Even if you aren’t into baseball, Dragons games offer a fun experience for all ages. It’s the perfect setting for a family outing, to enjoy a beer and baseball with friends or even a date. The Dragons’ home opener is set for April 6th.

>> RELATED: How to make the most out of a Dragons game


Oh, sweet heavenly food trucks. A sure sign of spring is when you can get your paws on a Fat Cat Burger from McNasty’s, devour a bite-sized mac and cheese croquette from Hunger Paynes, or feast on a Pig Apple sandwich from PA’s Pork.

>> RELATED: Dayton food truck guide


One of the best things about living in the Dayton area is a wonderful, interconnected system of bike paths that allow you the flexibility to take a short ride or basically bike across the entire Miami Valley. This is the perfect activity if you want some quiet reflection time while getting some great exercise, or something you can do alongside friends and family. Choose your own biking adventure with more than 300 miles of trails in the region.

>> RELATED: 10 things to know about Miami Valley bike trails

Premature baby hippo Fiona packing on pounds, weighing in at 116 pounds 

Published: Wednesday, March 29, 2017 @ 7:00 PM

The premature baby hippo at the Cincinnati Zoo, like the one pictured above, is growing, weighing in at 116 pounds Wednesday morning. 
Sean Gallup/Getty Images

Fiona, the baby hippo born six-weeks early at the Cincinnati Zoo and Botanical Gardens in January and 25 pounds underweight, is making great progress and gaining weight, tipping the scales at 116 pounds Wednesday morning.

>> Read more trending news

The zoo is preparing to gradually introduce 2-month-old Fiona to her parents as she gets a little bigger. She caught a glimpse of her parents in their outdoor habitat this week, and can now hear and smell them.

“She isn’t quite ready to venture out herself, but is getting familiar with the look and smell of the great outdoors,” the zoo said on its website.

Fiona could weigh as much as 3,500 pounds one day, the average weight of an adult Nile hippo, which is so strong it can crush a crocodile with its jaws and sharp teeth, according to the zoo.

The hippo was born on Jan. 24 and was the first Nile hippo born at the Cincinnati Zoo in 75 years.


Fiona catches a glimpse of her parents in their outdoor habitat. She isn't quite ready to venture out herself but is getting familiar with the look and smell of the great outdoors! In Africa, the great outdoors is constantly changing. A changing climate will impact a hippo’s habitat. River systems and wetlands are a major part of a hippo’s life, but increasing global temperatures and shifts in precipitation patterns will lessen the amount of water these lands receive, directly impacting a hippo’s home. Together, we can reduce our fossil fuel usage and carbon dioxide gas emissions in order to help protect habitats and livelihoods for future generations of healthy hippos and happy people. #teamfiona #fionafix #hippo #closeenoughtocare #cincinnatizoo #cincinnati

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#FionaFix #TeamFiona #closeenoughtocare #cincinnatizoo #cincinnati

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

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

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.

>> Read more trending news

“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.


Cats Like People Study Mar 29, 2017 - 12:37 PM

The benefits of cycling you didn’t know

Published: Thursday, March 30, 2017 @ 6:00 AM

            Miami Valley Cycling Summit Century Ride participants will venture along the Little Miami Scenic Trail. CONTRIBUTED

From individual health and wellness to community development and economic growth, the benefits of cycling are vast.

Those topics and others will be the focus of the Miami Valley Cycling Summit on May 5 at Wright State University. “Cycling Attracts” is the theme for this year’s event designed to demonstrate how cycling can drive economic development in communities, large and small, throughout the region.

“It’s a conference-style event designed to showcase the importance of cycling to the economy and the community,” said Robin Gregory, chair of the summit’s Greene County committee. “It will have something of interest to casual and avid riders as well as elected officials and those involved in cycling advocacy.”

There are four tracks available to those attending the summit – Economic Impact & Community Development, Partnerships & Collaboration, Health & Safety and Policy & Funding. The free event will utilize local, regional and nationally-recognized experts to speak on various topics throughout the day.

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“The event not only showcases the strides being made in the community but also addresses where we might fall short,” Gregory said. “It will help us moving forward.”

According to Gregory, Greene County is an ideal location for the biennial event.

“Xenia is the Bicycle Capital of the Midwest, so we felt very strongly that Greene County was an ideal location for this event,” she said.

Greene County has 62 miles of paved trails for use by cyclists and other outdoor fitness enthusiasts.

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Those trails will get some use the day after the summit as Greene County Parks & Trails is sponsoring the Miami Valley Cycling Summit Century Ride on May 6, in conjunction with the event. Riders will have the choice between a challenging 100-mile ride or a shorter 62-mile ride. Both rides will begin at Greene County Parks & Trails Fairgrounds Recreation Center, in Xenia, with participants cycling down the Little Miami Scenic Trail. The Century Ride – which benefits Bike Miami Valley – is open to all ages and ability levels.

“Cycling doesn’t discriminate,” Gregory said. “Anybody can get on a bike.”


Miami Valley Cycling Summit

When: May 5, 8:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m.

Where: Wright State University Student Union

Cost: Free

More: The first 300 people registered receive a free bike bell; those registering by April 21 are guaranteed a free lunch.

Registration: www.CyclingSummit.com

MVCS Century Ride

When: May 6, 7 a.m.

Where: Greene County Parks & Trails Fairgrounds Recreation Center, Xenia

Cost: $25 preregistration, $35 on-site registration

More: Multiple hospitality stops; the first 50 riders to register will receive a commemorative medal upon completion.

Registration: www.gcparkstrails.com

Miami Valley Cycling Summit Speakers

Aparna Dial, City of Columbus Deputy Director (keynote speaker)

Tony Collins, City of Columbus Recreation & Parks Department

Megan Folkerth, Interact for Health

Brian Forschner, City of Xenia

Robert Harrison, Public Health – Dayton & Montgomery County

Brian Housh, Rails-to-Trails Conservancy

Wade Johnston, Tri-State Trails

Daniel Moorhead, City of Columbus

Steve Morris, Greene County Parks & Trails Sentinel

Eric Oberg, Rails to Trails Conservancy

Haley Riegel, Public Health – Dayton & Montgomery County

Chris Schmiesing, City of Piqua

Alex Smith, City of Columbus

Bradley Smith, Five Rivers MetroParks volunteer

Richard Toole, League of American Bicyclists

Scott Ulrich, Columbus Public Health

Lisa Wolters, Yellow Springs Brewery

Dan Young, Young’s Jersey Dairy

Giant gator interrupts golf match, strolls through links like a regular player  

Published: Wednesday, March 29, 2017 @ 2:12 PM

A giant alligator, like the one pictured here, only larger, sneaked up on golfers at a South Carolina golf tournament, then disappeared into a lagoon just as quickly.
Chris Graythen/Getty Images

A giant alligator interrupted a golf tournament in South Carolina, sneaking onto the links and sauntering by stunned golfers who watched in amazement as the dinosaur-like creature walked by.

>> Read more trending news

Players teed off at the 10th Annual Celebrity Golf Invitational on Kiawah Island on Monday, but the star of the competition wasn’t a golfer. It was the huge gator that showed up on the links and strolled through the course like a golfer on tour.

#kiawah #kiawahisland #golf #golfchannel

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Instagram user mayorjuan posted a recording of the huge beast.

The Post and Courier’s headline read “It was literally a dinosaur.”

The huge beast eventually disappeared into a nearby lagoon, where golfers had been standing a short time earlier.