Miami University alum the writer of ‘Butler’ film

Published: Friday, August 16, 2013 @ 12:57 PM
Updated: Friday, August 16, 2013 @ 1:36 PM


What: Wil Haygood, the journalist and Miami University alumnus whose article inspired the feature film “The Butler”

When: 3 to 5 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 18

Where: Harriet Tubman Theater, The National Underground Railroad Freedom Center, 50 E. Freedom Way, Cincinnati

Cost: Free, with general admission

The movie “Lee Daniels’ The Butler” arrives in theaters this weekend with Ohio roots. The screenplay, about a butler who served under eight presidents, is based on an article that Miami University alumnus Wil Haygood wrote for the Washington Post.

That article sprang from an encounter Haygood had when he was covering the 2008 election for the Post. In North Carolina, he met some women whose fathers had stopped talking to them because they supported Barack Obama. Convinced that Obama would win the election with that kind of support, Haygood set about finding someone who worked in the White House when segregation was still in effect.

“I was looking for a painter, a laundry person, a dishwasher, a butler or maid. The White House doesn’t give out any information about who has worked there through the years,” he said.

Combing through his sources, Haygood found Eugene Allen, a Butler who worked in the White House, starting with President Harry Truman in the 1940s and ending with Ronald Regan in the 1980s.

“He took me down into the basement where he had an archive,” Haygood said of Allen. “It was like being dropped into a room at the Smithsonian. There were all these photographs of him with the presidents he worked for and celebrities who walked through the White House,” including Frank Sinatra and Michael Jackson.

“It was like Forrest Gump, but a genuine, real-life character,” Haygood said.

When Haygood’s article appeared on the front page of the Washington Post, “within 24 hours I had phone calls from 15 movie producers in Hollywood and New York,” he said.

The movie was directed by Lee Daniels, an Oscar nominee for the film “Precious,” and stars Forest Whitaker as a fictionalized version of Eugene Allen, called Cecil Gaines in the movie.

“The butler lived and worked at the White House during some of the most tumultuous times in American history. He was there to hear the echoes and the ripples of the murder of Emmett Till, the murder of Medgar Evers, the integration of Ole Miss, the assassination of Dr. (Martin Luther) King, the Vietnam War, the Cold War, man on the moon. He heard the reaction of all those things from the center of power,” Haygood said.

Haygood is very pleased with the film and has adapted his article into a full-length book called “The Butler: A Witness to History.”

“Eugene Allen was a stitch in the American flag. He was a small stitch, but a beautiful stitch. It takes men like him, with his type of genuine commitment, to make the country as great as it is,” Haygood said.

Cincinnati bakery brings back Fiona cookie

Published: Saturday, June 24, 2017 @ 9:19 PM

The Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden decided its popular baby hippo Fiona is ready for her close-up June 1, 2017, as she navigates the 9-foot-deep Hippo Cove pool.

Team Fiona cookies return Thursday, this time showing the popular baby hippo with her mother, Bibi.

Busken Bakery, based in Cincinnati, will donate $1 from each cookie to the Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden. While there are no Busken stores in the Dayton area, the products are available at UDF and some Kroger stores.

The first batch of #TeamFiona cookies quickly sold out earlier this year, with sales raising $20,844 for the zoo as of Feb. 28, our media partner WCPO-TV Channel 9 in Cincinnati reported.

Fiona has been making unannounced appearances with Bibi in the outdoor exhibit over the past few weeks. She was born six weeks early on Jan. 24, and is the first hippo born at the Cincinnati Zoo in 75 years, according to WCPO.

3-year-old struck by car in Dayton taken to hospital

Published: Saturday, June 24, 2017 @ 8:04 PM
Updated: Saturday, June 24, 2017 @ 8:35 PM

UPDATE @ 8:35 p.m.

Dayton police said no one will be cited after a 3-year-old boy darted into traffic and was struck by a car.

The incident happened around 8 p.m. in the 100 block of Grove Avenue, when the child was hit by a Ford Freestyle crossover vehicle.

The boy suffered a minor left foot injury and was taken to Dayton Children’s Hospital for treatment, according to police.

UPDATE @ 8:20 p.m.

Police said a 3-year-old child struck by a car tonight was taken to Dayton Children's Hospital with minor injuries. 

The young boy was believed to have darted out into traffic, according to police at the scene of the crash that happened around 8 p.m. in the 100 block of Grove Avenue in Dayton. 

The child suffered an injury to his left foot, according to the Montgomery County Regional Dispatch Center.

No one has been cited in the incident.


A young child was reportedly struck by a vehicle this evening in Dayton.

The crash was reported just before 8 p.m. in the 100 block of Grove Avenue.

We are on the way and will update this report as we learn details.

WATCH HIGHLIGHTS: Saturday at the Vectren Dayton Air Show

Published: Saturday, June 24, 2017 @ 11:05 AM
Updated: Saturday, June 24, 2017 @ 1:56 PM

The flying acts for the 2017 Dayton Vectren Air Show have wrapped up for Saturday. Gates for Saturday’s show will close at 6 p.m. Below you can watch video highlights from Saturday’s show. Gates will reopen on Sunday at 9 a.m.

>>Dayton Air Show: What we know today

>> Photos from Saturday at the Dayton Air Show

Saturday’s line-up included flights from the following acts and others:

  • Suzuki Extra 300 
  • B-25 Doolittle Raid Commemoration 
  • Geico Skytypers 
  • Sean Tucker 
  • Misty Blues 
  • F-18 Super Hornet

The Thunderbirds cancelled their Saturday flight following a crash during a practice flight on Friday afternoon.  It will be determined later if the group will fly Sunday.

RELATED: 1 of 2 Thunderbirds pilots released following crash at air show

MORE: Eyewitness describes Thunderbird crash

UPDATE @ 2:50 p.m.:

Live flights at today’s air show have concluded.

UPDATE @ 2:38 p.m.:

Redline 1440 is taking to the sky now at the Dayton Air Show.

UPDATE @ 2:30 p.m.:

The F-18 Super Hornet is performing now and will be followed by a performance by Redline 1440.

UPDATE @ 2:06 p.m.:

The Misty Blues are now flying at today’s show.

RELATED: Dayton Air Show: What to know about Dayton’s biggest air spectacle

UPDATE @ 1:51 p.m.:

Sean Tucker is now in the air at today’s air show performing air acrobatics for the crowd.

UPDATE @ 1:31 p.m.:

The Geico Skytypers are taking flight now.  Earlier this week, Dayton Daily News reporter Kara Driscoll flew with the team.

WATCH: In close formation, reporter rides in squadron of vintage war planes

UPDATE @ 1:12 p.m.:

The P-51 is currently performing a solo flight for the audience at the Dayton International Airport. The F-35 is up next for the Heritage Flight.

UPDATE @ 12:50 p.m.:

A B-25 Dolittle Raid Commemoration is getting underway right now.

RELATED: Crowds swarm AF museum as B-25s arrive to honor Doolittle Raiders

UPDATE @ 12:30 p.m.:

The T-50 jet gave the crowd a demonstration this afternoon and was soon followed by an aerial performance from Rob Holland.

UPDATE @ 12:11 p.m.:

Suzuki Extra 300 has taken to the sky at the 2017 Vectren Dayton Air Show.

UPDATE @ 12:03 p.m.:

Redline, a two plane act, performed a brief teaser for the crowd ahead of their mid-afternoon performance.

UPDATE @ 11:54 a.m.:

The Misty Blues are parachuting in to begin the 2017 Vectren Dayton Air Show. MSgt Alyson Jones is performing the national anthem.

UPDATE @ 11:22 a.m.:

News Center 7’s Caroline Reinwald spent some time this morning, before the air show begins talking with the Geico Skytypers.

Can you ID this suspected Miami County firearms thief?

Published: Saturday, June 24, 2017 @ 3:01 PM

The Miami County Sheriff's Office is asking for the public’s help in identifying one of three suspects in a theft of firearms and money. 

A rifle, shotgun and pistol were taken early Friday morning from a roofing business on U.S. 36 between Fletcher and Piqua. 

The sheriff’s office has released images showing the thief walking toward the business.

If you can help the investigation, call Miami County Lt. Mike Whaley at (937) 440-9911.