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Fiona, zoo staff ‘breaking up’ after 6-month relationship

Published: Saturday, July 29, 2017 @ 10:35 AM

It's a bittersweet chapter in the story of Fiona, the prematurely born hippopotamus at the Cincinnati Zoo and Botanical Garden. 

The 6-month-old animal now weighs more than 400 pounds, but her successful development means her caretakers, who have doted on the baby in water and land since she was born, cannot share space with her out of safety concerns.

Fiona the hippo explores the outdoor habitat at the Cincinnati Zoo

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That's according to the latest update on the zoo's popular Fiona blog. The 10th installment was published Friday under the headline, "Breaking Up is Hard to Do." 

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MUST SEE: Fiona spends time with momma Bibi

"At this point, we rarely share space with her anymore as there is not often a need and both Fiona and our care team need to understand that at this point in our relationship, it's just better for everyone if there are safety barriers in place between us," the blog reads. 

Fiona goes for a swim

MUST SEE >>> Fiona spends time with her mom Bibi for the first time

The caretakers are still feeding Fiona bottles three times a day, encourage her to eat fruits and vegetables and they continue to massage her mouth and check her dental development, but human interactions with the growing animal are decreasing. 

"She still seems to enjoy interacting with us but has definitely learned that she is a hippo and prefers to spend her time with [mom and dad] Bibi and Henry," the blog reads.

At least 2 dogs rescued in Middletown fire on Young Street

Published: Tuesday, January 16, 2018 @ 9:33 AM

Baltimore St fire in Middletown

UPDATE @ 11:06 a.m. (Jan. 16):

No people were home when a duplex on Young Street caught fire Tuesday morning.

Firefighters responded to the residence in the 1100 block shortly before 9:30 a.m.
Several cats and dogs were rescued from the house and the American Red Cross is assisting the residence.

Kevin Gordon, hugs his dog Leo, after Middletown Division of Fire rescued the dog from Gordon Home. Photo by Marshall Gorby

A cause of the fire remains under investigation.

Temperatures and icy conditions made a “tough job tougher,” said Middletown Deputy Fire Chief Dave Adams.

UPDATE @ 10:20 a.m. (Jan. 16):

Firefighters rescued at least two dogs from a duplex on Young Street after fire damaged the upper level of the building, according to officials.

It’s unknown if any injuries were reported.


A fire has been reported at a residence on Young Street in Middletown this morning.

Firefighters responded to the 1100 block of Young around 9:25 a.m.

We’re working to learn whether any injuries have been reported.

Woman killed after house catches fire, explodes in Fairborn identified

Published: Monday, January 15, 2018 @ 10:57 AM
Updated: Tuesday, January 16, 2018 @ 3:03 AM

Crews battle Fairborn fire

UPDATE @ 10:52 a.m. (Jan. 16):

The woman killed in a Fairborn house fire Monday has been identified as Nola O’Daniel, 71, of Fairborn, according to the Greene County Coroner’s Office.

Nola O'Daniel pictured on the left with a co-worker from the St. Francis Thrift Store at a Christmas party several years ago. CONTRIBUTED PHOTO

O’Daniel had worked at the St. Francis Thrift Store in Fairborn for more than a decade, people who knew her said.


One woman was killed after her Fairborn home caught fire and exploded Monday morning.

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Firefighters responded to the 400 block of Forest Street around 10:50 a.m. after being flooded with calls about heavy smoke conditions from the fire, according to initial reports. 

Before their arrival, neighbors who heard the explosion and saw the smoke attempted to rescue the woman by creating a human chain to enter the home. 

“Everyone in the neighborhood ran toward the home trying to help the woman and protect her family from this kind of loss”, said neighbor Cathy Sheward.

Unfortunately, their efforts were unsuccessful due to the smoke being unbearable. 

While on scene, fire crews attempted to clear the smoke by cutting holes in the roof which prompted a search confirming the woman was inside the home, per officials. 

Crews did experience another explosion during the search, but there are no reports of injuries as a result. 

The Greene County Coroner’s office arrived shortly after the woman was pronounced dead on scene.

The identification of the woman is being withheld at this time until family has been notified. 

We will continue to update this story as details become available. 

Forest Street fire in Fairborn
House fire on Forest Street, Fairborn, Jan. 15, 2018. MARSHALL GORBY/STAFF

UD researcher wins national recognition

Published: Tuesday, January 16, 2018 @ 10:17 AM

University of Dayton biologist Amit Singh is studying early eye development in fruit flies under a grant from the National Institutes of Health. CONTRIBUTED
University of Dayton biologist Amit Singh is studying early eye development in fruit flies under a grant from the National Institutes of Health. CONTRIBUTED

A University of Dayton biologist won a $439,499 grant to research retinal disease and birth defects in the human eye.

Amit Singh was awarded the grant from the National Institute of Health and will use the fruit fly eye model to determine how genes regulate the process of transforming a single layer of cells into a three-dimensional organ.

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Singh is the interim director of the Center for Tissue Regeneration and Engineering at Dayton and under the grant, Singh’s lab in the TREND Center identified genes responsible for the three-dimensional patterning process along the dorso-ventral axis — one of three anatomical axes to which cells are assigned during early eye patterning.

His research successfully identified how the boundary between the eye and the head structure is formed. It also identified a transcription factor, which controls gene expression, that could play a role in where the eye is placed on the head.

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“What we are trying to understand now is how these genes control this process of delineating three-dimensional structure from a monolayer organ in the earliest stages of development,” he said.

His lab will also test the role of the transcription factor’s human equivalent, which is involved in cancer growth and metastasis.

“Understanding how this transcription factor works will not only have implications on birth defects of the eye, but it will also help us understand how it is involved in the growth of cancer,” Singh said. “These are two major things that might emerge from these studies.”

Surprised by out-of-network medical bill? Tell us your story

Published: Tuesday, January 16, 2018 @ 10:07 AM


Going to an in-network hospital doesn’t always prevent patients from getting an out-of-network medical bill.

If you go to an emergency room at a hospital within your insurance network, you could still get care from a doctor who does not have a contract with your insurer and end up with an unexpected bill where you have to pay a greater portion of the expenses than you would have if you were in-network.

A 2016 national study in The New England Journal of Medicine reviewed one large commercial insurer and found when patients with the insurer’s policies went to in-network ERs, that about 22 percent of the time they ended up with these surprise out-of-network bills.

Have you ever gotten a surprise medical bill from an out-of-network doctor when you thought you were getting in-network ER care? Contact Reporter Kaitlin Schroeder at 937-225-2279 or to share your story.