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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)
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!

Inside the Butterfly House at Cox Arboretum Metropark on Springboro Pike. CONTRIBUTED


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

A view from the fountains at The Greene in Beavercreek. CONTRIBUTED


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

Young’s Jersey Dairy in Yellow Springs offers more than 50 flavors of creamy, delicious homemade ice cream. Heaven! CONTRIBUTED PHOTO


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

You know spring has arrived when Dragons baseball begins. Heater and Gem and the rest of the Dragons will play at home Sunday through Friday. (Source: Contributed)


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

Yellow Cab Food Truck Rallies


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

Take a spin on one of the more than 300 miles of connected trails in the Miami Valley. CONTRIBUTED


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

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7 dog hacks for pet parents in the city

Published: Friday, March 23, 2018 @ 11:25 AM
Updated: Friday, March 23, 2018 @ 11:25 AM

Try these seven hacks for a safe, happy city or apartment life with your pooch If you haven't yet become a pet parent, choose a dog with your living situation in mind If you live in an apartment building, potty trips can be a hassle. You may have to use training pads or synthetic grass If you have a new dog used to a different living environment, they may need time to adjust to city or apartment living For outdoor playtime in some wide-open spaces, try one of Atlanta's best dog parks As the sun heats up t

Owning a dog can be extremely rewarding, but if you're a pet parent who lives in the heart of a city or in an apartment, you might face a few extra challenges.

RELATED: Tips to keep your dog cool in the summer

From a lack of yard space to nearby neighbors who can easily hear your dog barking, you may need to make some adjustments for the good of your lifestyle and your neighbors.

Try these seven hacks for a safe, happy city or apartment life with your pooch:

1. Choose the right breed.

If you haven't yet become a pet parent, choose a dog with your living situation in mind, according to this Pets Best Insurance blog. A puppy may be  more rambunctious and need more bathroom breaks than an older dog. And while you might assume that larger dogs won't work well in the city or in an apartment, that's not necessarily true. Depending on the breed, they may bark less and be less energetic than smaller dogs.

2. Prepare for potty trips.

If you live several stories up in an apartment building, potty trips outside can be more of a hassle. You may have to improvise by using some training pads or trying a dog potty with real or synthetic grass,according to the experts at Bella’s House and Pet Sitting. Disposable and permanent versions are available, and you can place them inside or outside on a balcony.

RELATED: Pets on a plane: Which airlines are most pet-friendly?

3. Help your dog adapt.

If you have a new dog or one that's used to a different living environment, he or she may need time to adjust to city or apartment living. Introduce your pet slowly to the sounds of traffic, neighbors, and other animals, giving him or her extra attention and time to feel safe.

4. Help your pooch get plenty of exercise.

Your dog will require plenty of exercise and will need to be walked at least two to three times a day. For outdoor playtime in some wide-open spaces, try one of Atlanta's best dog parks, where you and your dog can socialize.

Booties or shoe suspenders may look a little unusual, but they can help protect your dog's paws from hot pavement.(Amazon/For the AJC)

5. Protect your dog's paws.

As the summer sun heats up Atlanta's asphalt and concrete, it can be dangerous for your dog's paws. If you're taking your dog for a walk in hot weather, check the pavement for heat by putting the back of your hand on it for at least seven seconds. If it's too hot, stick to grassy surfaces, wait until a cooler part of the day, or invest in some dog booties.

6. Use and swap out toys.

Leave your dog some toys to play with to keep him or her from getting bored and destructive when you're not home. A few Kong toys – which have hollow centers to put treats inside – can help provide some stimulation and entertainment while you're gone. And it never hurts to swap out an old toy and add a new one to the mix now and then to keep your dog interested.

7. Get some help.

If you're going to be gone for long periods of time during the day, consider hiring a dog walker or enrolling your pet in doggy day care. Some day cares even have webcams that let you sneak a peek at your dog having fun while you're stuck at your desk at work.


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Cardi B says female hip-hop artists have been excluded from the #MeToo movement

Published: Thursday, March 22, 2018 @ 5:48 PM

Cardi B says the #MeToo movement excludes women in hip-hop In an interview with Cosmopolitan, Cardi B said that the movement hasn't fully reached the music industry yet and that women in hip-hop are overlooked. Cardi B, to Cosmopolitan Cardi B, to Cosmopolitan Cardi B, to Cosmopolitan She then went on to call out the high-profile men who support the movement, saying "they’re not woke, they’re scared." Tell it how it is, Cardi.


Several women in Hollywood continue to come forward with stories of sexual misconduct against powerful men in the entertainment world following reports of Harvey Weinstein alleged abuses in October 2017. Most recently, Jennifer Lopez told Harper’s Bazaar about a shocking incident where a director commanded her to “take off her shirt and show her (breasts).” (Although she was terrified, she did not comply and got out of the situation unscathed. But not all female entertainers in the music industry think the landscape is ripe for them to speak up. Chart-topping rapper Cardi B says that women like herself in Hip-Hop don’t have the same space or freedom to share stories about the sexual harassment they’ve endured. 

»RELATED: Cardi B is pregnant, report says    

“A lot of video vixens have spoke about this and nobody gives a (expletive)” she told Cosmopolitan about women in hip-hop music videos. “...I bet if one of these women stands up and talks about it, people are going to say, ‘So what? ... It don’t matter.’” 


The “Bodak Yellow” rapper also took aim at men who’ve publicly declared their support for the #MeToo movement, indicating she’s skeptical of their allegiance to the cause. “These producers and directors,” she said. “They’re not woke, they’re scared.”


During the revealing interview, the former exotic dancer also took a stand for strippers. Cardi B, who famously resorted to stripping before her career took off to escape an abusive relationship, addressed why she continues to highlight her pole-dancing days: “People say, ‘Why do you always got to say that you used to be a stripper? We get it.’ Because y’all don’t respect me because of it, and y’all going to respect these strippers from now on,” she told the glossy. “Just because somebody was a stripper don’t mean they don’t have no brain.”


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Cat reunited with owner 14 years after hurricane disappearance

Published: Wednesday, March 21, 2018 @ 8:34 AM

Cat Missing for 14 Years Reunited With Owner

Perry Martin probably can’t stop pondering about his cat.

>> See the Facebook post here

T2 was reunited with his dad after being missing for 14 YEARS! He went missing in 2004 for during hurricane season and...

Posted by Humane Society of the Treasure Coast on Tuesday, March 13, 2018

In 2004, the orange tabby Thomas 2, or simply just “T2,” disappeared.

It happened when the Fort Pierce man moved into a friend’s house in Stuart after Hurricane Jeanne stormed through the area, according to TCPalm.

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The retired K-9 officer grieved, but then came to terms with the idea that his cat had moved on to other ventures, or to that great catnap in the sky. 

That all changed on March 9 with a phone call.

“Someone said, 'What if we told you T2 was alive?' I figured it was a mistake," Martin told TCPalm. "It was too crazy to believe."

>> Need something to lift your spirits? Read more uplifting news 

Worn and weary, the fiery feline was found wandering the streets of Palm City.

He was brought into the shelter, where a scan of his skinny shoulder detected a microchip, which eventually led him back to Martin. 

Next thing you know, the tabby, now 18 years old, is back snuggling on his owner’s lap

>> Read more trending news 

The cat is content, but Martin’s questioning persists.

"Could you imagine if he could talk for just 15 minutes to tell us what he's been through?" Martin told TCPalm. "He'd probably say, 'Why did you keep the door shut, Dad?'"

Read more at TCPalm.

Study Says Your Cat Really Does Like You

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This local artist's work helps families through grief and loss. Now you can read her book.

Published: Wednesday, March 21, 2018 @ 6:00 AM


Patricia Acker of Xenia has worn many hats over the years. 

At times, she was a T-ball coach. Or a PTA president, while attending graduate school at Wright State. She’s been a foster mother a few times. And most of the time, she was helping to comfort people as they passed away.

>> Meet the ‘Plante’ lady who has kept the MetroParks beautiful for 15 years

For 17 years, Acker worked as a hospice social worker in Dayton, helping families through the difficult process of losing a loved one, as well as assisting the person who is dying. Acker is now retired and has since compiled her experiences and wisdom about death into a book of short stories titled “The Dying Teach Us How to Live.” 

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Watching as a lifetime of wrinkles seem to leave the face of a person who finally lets go is an example of the firsthand accounts that could only be told by a dedicated hospice worker. Hospice is a type of care -- and even philosophy -- that focuses on relieving the symptoms of the terminally ill while also attending to their emotional and spiritual needs. 

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(Sarah Franks)

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The book is illustrated with portraits created by Acker. As gifts for many of her patients’ families in hospice care, Acker would put on her artist’s hat and create an often emotional portrait for the family to take with them after their loved one died. 

>> You guide to Dayton food truck events this spring

It’s hard to pinpoint the self-taught artist’s style, as each piece’s method depends on what Acker wants to explore that day. Her most recent muse is oil on mirror— strategically wiping oil away in certain areas to let light shine through the portraits. 

When asked what inspires her before she begins each portrait, her only response is “love,” in a voice that’s more gentle than a whisper. 

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(Sarah Franks)


As a young woman, Acker experienced loss and grief and found nowhere to turn for emotional and grief support, according to her website. She wanted others to have healing and grief options so chose Hospice as her life's work. 

“Because of death, it gives significance to life. None of us know when it’s going to happen, but it’s not a bad thing,” Acker said.

Countless encounters with death have made Acker unafraid of whatever comes after this life, she said.  

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“We’re all going to die sometime and we don’t know when that is,” Acker said. “So why not make a difference in the world while we’re here? ... There’s lots of opportunities in our life, and we have many choices to make. It’s because of death that we have to think carefully about those choices.”

Acker’s work will be on display in downtown Dayton at the Fifth Third Center Gallery, 1 S. Main St., in the grand lobby from April 2 to April 30 during regular bank hours. 

Every Friday from 11 a.m.-1 p.m., you can meet the artist, get autographs, purchase prints and buy your copy of “The Dying Teach Us How To Live.” The book is also available for $20 plus tax on Amazon and at

Want to go?

WHAT: Patricia Acker Exhibit

WHEN: April 2-30, during regular bank hours; every Friday from 11 a.m.-1 p.m. you can meet the artist. 

ARTIST RECEPTION: Artist reception and book signing held from 7-8:30 p.m. April 17.

WHERE: Fifth Third Center Gallery, 1 S. Main St., Dayton

INFO: Amazon |

(Sarah Franks)

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