German shepherd from Centerville is national Service Dog of the Year

Published: Tuesday, October 24, 2017 @ 10:28 PM

German shepherd from Centerville is national Service Dog of the Year

Atlas the Wonderdog is a local canine celebrity.

He was named the 2017 American Humane Service Dog of the Year in an awards ceremony.

U.S. Marine veteran Kenny Bass of Centerville nominated Atlas.

“He’s an incredible dog,” Bass said tonight during a Skype interview from a New York City hotel room.

Bass, 36, was hit by a roadside bomb while serving in Iraq in 2003. He suffered a traumatic brain injury, and has been suffering from post-traumatic stress.

The pair just last month celebrated five years together. The 6½-year-old German shepherd already was named Atlas, but Bass upgraded his name to Atlas the Wonderdog.

“He’s earned that name every day,” the father of three said.

Atlas earned the most online votes to capture the service dog award. Along with his claim to fame, $2,500 will be donated to the Battle Buddy Foundation, which Bass co-founded to help provide service dogs to veterans.

The “original Battle Buddy,”  Atlas has a Facebook page with 18,000 followers, and the Battle Buddy Foundation’s Facebook page has a quarter-million followers, Bass said.

In his nomination, Bass called Atlas his “lifesaver.”

“I was lost until I found Atlas. ... Atlas is a grounding and solid presence when flashbacks, hyper-vigilance and the lingering effects of war begin again to creep up my spine. Atlas has been trained to sense these changes in me and then acts to redirect my attention and focus during these overwhelming instances. Whether it is to nudge my hand if I am getting anxious, wake me up in the throes of a nightmare or just stand behind me so I know someone has my back,” Bass wrote.

Atlas the Wonderdog(Kenny Bass)

He and Atlas will be in attendance at a watch party from 7:15 to 10:15 p.m. Wednesday at Bennett’s Publical Family Sports Grill, 67 S. Main St., Miamisburg. 

Earlier this week, Bass and Atlas appeared on national news stations, but they were stuck in New York for another night after ice forced the cancellations today of several flights leaving La Guardia Airport. Bass and Atlas are expected to fly out Wednesday morning.

Vet still gets 100th birthday party at AF Museum despite Govt shutdown

Published: Friday, January 19, 2018 @ 4:33 PM
Updated: Monday, January 22, 2018 @ 4:44 PM

Government shutdown threatens 100th birthday party for Springfield veteran

UPDATE @ 4:32 p.m. (Jan. 22)

A government shutdown this weekend made for a shorter-than-planned birthday party for a World War II veteran at the Air Force Museum on Wright Patterson’s base.

On Tuesday, Thomas Eubanks of Springfield turns 100.

His family planned a surprise for him over the weekend at the museum. Eubanks arrived for the noon party, and the family was alerted they only had until 1 p.m., due to the government shutdown, said grandson Kevin Black. 

“The Museum was very accommodating considering what they were up against,” Black said. 

Black said his grandfather, a tail gunner in WWII, was surprised by the 100th birthday party. They were able to get a photo in front of the tail gunner position of the B-17 on display at the Air Force Museum.

World War II Veteran Thomas Eubanks, of Springfield, (seated) with his four children, from left, David Eubanks, Cathy Ferguson, Steve Eubanks and Sandi Black. Contributed

World War II veteran Thomas Eubanks, on right, in front of the tail gunner position of the B-17 on display at the U.S. Air Force Museum. That is the position he flew in in WWII. Eubanks turns 100 on Jan. 23. Contributed

EARLIER REPORT

Kevin Black hadn’t thought about how the possibility of a government shutdown would affect his family.

World War II veteran Thomas Eubanks of Springfield turns 100 on Jan. 23. To celebrate, his grandson, Black, organized a birthday party for him at the Air Force Museum on Saturday.

With the possibility of the government shutting down tonight, the museum may not open, and the outlook of the party is up in the air.

“I don’t like the playing politics on this,” Black said. “They’re just playing games.”

RELATED: With no deal on shutdown, GOP accuses Sherrod Brown of flip-flop

The possible museum closure hadn’t occurred to Black or his family until this news organization contacted him about the party, which he had asked us to cover.

His family wasn’t the only ones uncertain of what will happen next.

Diana Bachert, spokeswoman for the Air Force Museum, said Friday night in a statement there is currently no order for the museum to shut down.

World War II Veteran Thomas Eubanks, of Springfield, turns 100 on Jan. 23. Contributed

“However, we will follow procedures for an orderly shutdown when and how we are directed to do so,” Bachert said.

If Congress fails to come to an agreement on a continuing resolution (CR), a bill that appropriates money to different federal departments and programs, some federal agencies could come to a standstill.

MORE: What if UD and Wright State played this year in a Gem City Jam?

Black’s plan is for Congressman Warren Davidson to present Eubanks with a certificate, then Black will present his grandfather with letters from President Donald Trump and Gov. John Kasich.

But if there is no CR passed, Congress plans to stay in Washington and try to come to an agreement, meaning Davidson may have to miss the party.

Black said his grandfather doesn’t know about the planned celebration at the museum.

“He just thinks that a bunch of the grandkids are taking him to the museum,” Black said.

And he probably will continue to keep plans a secret, in case the museum isn’t open.

“(Eubanks) was sick a couple weeks after Christmas, and we didn’t think he was going to be able to go (to the museum). But he wants to go if they don’t shut down,” Black said.

MORE: What if a government shutdown happened? Five things to know

Eubanks is a widower; his wife Suzanne died in 2000. They were married for 59 years.

In WWII he served as tail gunner in the European theatre, an area of heavy fighting across the continent. He flew 13 combat missions from Knettishall Airfield in England.

“Tail gunner was the worst place to be,” said Black, who is retired from the Air Force.

He worked as a building inspector for Springfield for several years.

He lives in Oakwood Village Retirement Home in Springfield. He has four children, nine grandchildren, 22 great-grandchildren and four great, great-grandchildren.

“He’s got all his wits about him,” Black said.

Daytonian wins SAG award, is front-runner for an acting Oscar 

Published: Monday, January 22, 2018 @ 12:30 PM

If Allison Janney wins the Oscar for her role in “I, Tonya” she will be the first Daytonian to win this one of the top acting prizes. Video by Amelia Robinson

If history is a predictor, a Daytonian will the one to beat in one of the top categories at the upcoming Academy Awards. 

>> Allison Janney: “Dayton spawns great people” 

For her role in “I, Tonya,” Oakwood-raised movie and television star Allison Janney nabbed the best supporting actress award at Sunday night’s Screen Actor Guild Awards ceremony.

Jonathan McNeal, a Dayton film expert and manager of Neon Movies in downtown Dayton, says there is crossover between SAG voters and Oscar voters. 

More than that, Janney has won the Golden Globe and other major supporting actress awards for her role in the film.  

>> RELATED: Dayton favorite Allison Janney wins first Golden Globe for movie role

“She is certainty the front-runner,” McNeal said. “The only other person in contention is Laurie Metcalf for ‘Lady Bird,’ but I think it is really Allison’s. She is the best thing about ‘I, Tonya’.”

Oscar nominations will be announced tomorrow, Jan. 22 at 8:22 a.m. The ceremony is held in March. 

If she is victorious, Janney, who slayed Sunday in a figure-loving, silver paillette-covered gown, will be thought to be first person from the Dayton area to win an Oscar for her acting. 

That said, the Miami Valley has been represented at the Academy Awards several times through the years. 

>> RELATED: Jonathan McNeal shares his can’t-miss movies of 2017

🌟 Yellow Springs resident Julia Reichert has been nominated for three Academy Awards for Best Feature Documentary.

>> RELATED: 16 Daytonians who made us proud at OSCARS, Grammys and SAG Awards

🌟 Springfield’s John Legend won the best original song Oscar in 2015 for his song  "Glory" with Common from the film "Selma.” 

>> RELATED: 4 ways Dayton was represented at the Oscars 

🌟 Wright State University graduate  Hannah Beachler was the production designer for the Oscar-winning film “Moonlight.”

>> RELATED: What you should know about Hannah Beachler 

🌟 New Carlisle native and Dayton-area resident J. Todd Anderson has created the story board for about 20 Coen brothers movies since 1987’s "Raising Arizona." He worked on the Academy Award-winning films “Fargo” and “No Country for Old Men.”

Janney, the star of CBS’s “Mom” which airs weekly on WHIO-TV, plays LaVona Harding, figure skater Tonya Harding’s mother, in the dramatic dark comedy “I, Tonya.” 

In September, the former Miami Valley School student was inducted into the Dayton Region’s Walk of Fame. She told this news organization she’d place that hometown award next to her major acting statues and recognitions.

McNeal said Janney’s mom, Macy, who she praised as a role model in last Sunday’s edition of “Parade” magazine (an insert in the Dayton Daily News), is a Neon regular. 

He hopes to open “I, Tonya” at the movie theater located at  130 E Fifth St., in early February.  

"I feel like I'm Khaleesi's warrior shaman." — Allison Janney, on her gown, on E! Live from the Red Carpet(People Magazine)

First NASA space walk of 2018 scheduled for Tuesday

Published: Monday, January 22, 2018 @ 10:44 AM

WATCH: Space to Ground - Prepping for a Spacewalk. Video courtesy of NASA.

Since December 1998, there have been 205 spacewalks at the International Space Station. 

The first spacewalk of 2018 is scheduled for Tuesday morning. 

NASA will be streaming the walk live, which begins around 7 a.m. 

According to NASA, American and Japanese astronauts will carry out these spacewalks in January to repair a robotic arm on the space station. 

Mark Vande Hei of NASA will lead the walk along with Scott Tingle and Norishige Kanai. 

WHIO will live stream the spacewalk Tuesday. 

Last year, there were nine U.S. spacewalks. 

The most recent was Oct. 20 and lasted for six hours and 49 minutes.

U.S. Air Force Museum temporarily closed during shutdown

Published: Saturday, January 20, 2018 @ 11:32 AM
Updated: Saturday, January 20, 2018 @ 3:12 PM

The National Museum of the U.S. Air Force closed Saturday after initially opening in the morning in the midst of a federal government shutdown.

The National Museum of the U.S. Air Force is temporarily closed, effective Jan. 20, 2018 due to the federal government shutdown. All museum events and activities have been suspended until an appropriation bill or continuing resolution is enacted. 

If the museum reopens by Jan. 27, 2018, the Reds Caravan event will continue as planned. 

The National Museum of the U.S. Air Force. BARRIE BARBER/STAFF(Staff Writer)

Please watch the museum's website, www.nationalmuseum.af.mil, and local media outlets for information about when the museum's normal operations will resume. 

 For information about Air Force Museum Foundation please contact them at (937) 258-1218 or foundation@afmuseum.com. The Air Force Museum store, operated by the Air Force Museum Foundation is available online at http://store.airforcemuseum.com

Looking for ways to keep your kids busy during holiday breaks? Here are four great reasons the Air Force Museum should be at the top of your list.

Hundreds of people had trekked inside the world’s largest military aviation museum Saturday morning before the closure at 1 p.m.

The fallout was the latest from the federal closure expected to affect thousands of workers at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, the largest single-site employer in Ohio with an estimated 27,000 military and civilian personnel.

>> RELATED: Wright Patt: Workers to show up Monday even if shutdown still in place 

The Omnimax Theater at the Air Force Museum has the largest movie screen in southwest Ohio.

National Park Service interpretive centers near Huffman Prairie where the Wright brothers perfected the airplane, and the Wright-Dunbar Interpretive Center in Dayton, were among NPS sites closed Saturday in the region because of the shutdown, although the two properties were open to traffic.

>> RELATED: Government shutdown: How will you be impacted

WHIO-TV’s Malik Perkins contributed to this story.