Vandalia couple inspires 4 Paws to train Alzheimer’s assistance dogs

Published: Thursday, March 08, 2018 @ 11:56 AM

Vandalia couple inspire 4 paws

Four Paws for Ability is starting a new program to provide service dogs for families impacted by Alzheimer’s Disease and dementia.

The new program comes after the Xenia-based nonprofit organization placed Diva, a 4-year-old Papillon, with John and Judy Kucharski, of Vandalia.

“I couldn't do it without (Diva). It takes me away from the situation a little bit,” John Kucharski said of his daily reality providing care for his wife.

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The Kucharskis’ lives changed dramatically in 2002 when Judy started showing signs of dementia. The couple, married for 47 years, has three children. 

John said Judy is “a great mother and great wife,” but her illness has been “devastating.”

Judy and Diva(Contributed)

“It's the toughest thing I’ve ever been through,” he said. “If I didn't love her I wouldn't do this. It's devastating. But when you love someone. It's what you do.”

In addition to providing companionship for John, Diva is a comfort to Judy and encourages her to take daily walks with her husband.

“It helps the caregiver immensely,” John said.

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Karen Shirk, founder and CEO of 4 Paws for Ability, said seeing the difference that the pint-size dog made in the Kucharskis’ lives was an inspiration to create the Alzheimer’s Assistant Dog Program. 

“We actually developed the program because we saw what an amazing difference it made in (John’s) life,” Shirk said. 

The primary mission of 4 Paws for Ability is focused on placing trained service dogs with disabled children, but the organization, located at 253 Dayton Ave., has expanded its services to help veterans and train dogs for specific purposes, such as alerting their owner of a seizure or diabetic emergency before it happens.

Shirk said the new Alzheimer’s assistance program will include dogs trained to locate missing people.

“Once we place a dog that needs to do search and rescue, we'll use a larger breed for that,” she said.

For more information, visit or call (937) 374-0385. 

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One in critical condition after being shot in the mouth in Trotwood

Published: Friday, March 23, 2018 @ 12:32 AM
Updated: Friday, March 23, 2018 @ 3:47 AM

UPDATE @ 3:45 a.m: One person is in critical condition at Miami Valley Hospital after being shot in the mouth in Trotwood early Friday morning, according to officials.

OTHER LOCAL NEWS: Two suspected metal thieves caught red-handed at Hewitt Soap Factory

The incident occurred in the 4700 block of Knollcroft Road just after midnight, per initial reports.

The suspect vehicle, believed to be a black Lincoln SUV, was towed away shortly after the shooting occurred and one person was arrested while officials were on scene. 

No word on if the person arrested is the suspected shooter or just being taken in for questioning.

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

UPDATE @ 2:25 a.m: Officials continue to investigate after a person was shot in the mouth in Trotwood early Friday morning.

Initial reports indicate the shooting occurred in the 4700 block of Knollcroft Road just after midnight. 

The suspect was not on scene when authorities arrived, but officials are describing the suspect vehicle as a black Lincoln SUV. 

The victim was transported to Miami Valley Hospital on unknown conditions.


Crews are responding to the 4700 block of Knollcroft Road in Trotwood on a reported shooting that occurred early Friday morning.

The incident was dispatched around 12:20 a.m., per initial reports.

We will continue to update this story with more details. 

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West Carrollton police cruiser reportedly hit during pursuit on I-75

Published: Friday, March 23, 2018 @ 3:24 AM

A West Carrollton police cruiser was reportedly hit during a short pursuit on southbound I-75 Friday morning, according to officials.

OTHER LOCAL NEWS: Officials investigate after person is shot in the mouth in Trotwood

The pursuit started around 2:45 a.m. and ended shortly after at the 43 milemarker near the I-675 exit ramp, per initial reports. 

No injuries were reported as a result of the hit and one person was reportedly detained at the scene.

No word on the severity of the damage to the cruiser. 

The Ohio Highway State Patrol are assisting with the incident.

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Dayton traffic from the WHIO Traffic Center

Published: Friday, March 02, 2018 @ 2:52 AM
Updated: Friday, March 23, 2018 @ 1:22 AM

Traffic issues can be reported by calling our newsroom at 937-259-2237 or tweeting @WHIOTraffic .

Traffic conditions are updated every six minutes on AM 1290 and News 95.7 FM.

Major Highway Incidents

  • No incidents to report. 

Surface Street Incidents

  • No incidents to report. 

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>> RELATED: Track the latest conditions in your neighborhood on our live WHIO Doppler 7 Interactive Radar

Ongoing Construction & Other Closures 

Live look at highways on our traffic cameras here.

Latest traffic conditions are also available on our traffic map. 


  • Arlington Road between Pleasant Plain and Upper Lewisburg Salem Road, BRIDGE CLOSURE, March 5 - Sept. 30. All ramps for I-70 will remain open. 
  • Keowee Street north of Stanley Avenue, bridge closed until 2019. The official detour is: Keowee Street to Stanley Avenue to I-75 to Wagner Ford Road and back to Dixie. More information is available here.
  • Stewart Street Ramp to US 35 East, RAMP CLOSURE March 28 - Sept 30, 2018. The official detour is: Stewart Street to Edwin C. Moses Boulevard to I-75 north to US 35 west to James H. McGee Blvd. to US 35 east.
  • SR 48 between First Street and Riverdale Street, Lane closures March 19 - April 1. One lane will remain open in each direction.
  • SR 4 north/south between I-70 and Lower Valley Pike, Lane closure April 2 - 26. One northbound and two southbound lanes will remain open. 
  • I-75 north Ramp to US 35 west, RAMP CLOSURE, March 12 - Sept. 30. The official detour is: I-75 north to US 35 east to Jefferson/Main Street to Ludlow Street to US 35 west. 
  • I-75 north Ramp to US 35 west and east, Lane width restriction until Apr. 1, 2018. One lane will remain open on the ramp with a width of 11 feet.
  • US 35 east between Edwin C. Moses Boulevard and Jefferson Street, Overnight lane closures March 19 at 8 p.m. - March 20 at 6 a.m. Two eastbound lanes will remain open.


  • N. Market Street between Foss Way/Kirk Lane and Stonyridge Avenue, ROAD CLOSURE March 5 at 7 a.m. - Aug. 10 at 5 p.m. 
  • US 36 westbound between Scott Drive and Kienle Drive, Lane closure March 26 - June 30. One westbound lane will remain open. 


  • SR 47 between Fifth Avenue and Wilkinson Avenue, Lane closures Jan. 21 - Nov. 27. One lane will remain open in each direction at all times. 
  • SR 274 between Shroyer Road and Island Avenue, Lane closure April 9 - June 9. One lane will remain open in each direction. 


  • SR 121 between Washington Street and Fairview Street, ROAD CLOSURE Mar. 12 - April 13. The official detour is: SR 722 to US 127 to SR 503. 
  • SR 121 between Arnold Street and Harter Road, ROAD CLOSURE Mar. 12 - April 13. The official detour is: SR 722 to US 127 to SR 503. 


  • I-70 east Ramp to I-675 north, RAMP CLOSURE March 15 - Aug. 15. The official detour is: I-70 east to I-675 south to SR 444 to I-675 north


  • US 68 between SR 508 and Township Road 310, ROAD CLOSURE April 23 - 27. The official detour is: US 68 to SR 296 to SR 29 to SR 235 to SR 47 to US 68. 

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Top AF leader: ‘You have to learn to say, that’s not good enough’

Published: Thursday, March 22, 2018 @ 10:30 PM

Secretary of the Air Force Heather Wilson addressed more than 240 graduates of the Air Force Institute of Technology on Thursday evening at the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force. BARRIE BARBER /STAFF
Secretary of the Air Force Heather Wilson addressed more than 240 graduates of the Air Force Institute of Technology on Thursday evening at the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force. BARRIE BARBER /STAFF

Secretary of the Air Force Heather Wilson told newly minted “technical leaders” of the Air Force Institute of Technology to never stop asking why and to be innovators who build strong and trusted relationships to solve the nation’s national security challenges.

Wilson, an Air Force Academy alumnae and former Rhodes scholar at Oxford, spoke Thursday night to more than 240 AFIT graduates among an audience of 1,200 at the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force.

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Among three key points of advice, the top Air Force civilian leader told graduates to be critical thinkers who challenge assumptions about why.

“You will also now serve as technical leaders and as leaders in technology and science you have to learn four important words. You have to learn to say, ‘that’s not good enough.’”

The secretary cited recent hypoxia-like incidents among pilots experiencing oxygen loss in some of the most sophisticated aircraft, such as the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter, and more basic training aircraft such as the propeller-driven T-6 Texan, as an example to keep asking why and not be pressured to cut short the search for answers.

She told graduates they should not be afraid to say no, even to superiors, until a solution is known.

Wilson told them they must also be innovators.

EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW: Air Force leader says total dominance not a ‘birthright’

“Innovation doesn’t come from requirement statements,” she said. “There was never a requirement statement for a silicon chip. There was never a requirement statement for Uber. There was probably wasn’t a requirement statement for GPS.

“If you’re not making mistakes as an engineer, you’re probably only proving that what you already know really does work,” she said. “That’s not innovation. We need you to push the bounds of what you know.”

The high-flying, record-breaking Lockheed SR-71 Blackbird spy plane with a needle-like sleek shape demanded overcoming a series of technical problems, from aviators in space suits ejecting at extreme speeds and altitudes to heat-resistant glass that wouldn’t distort surveillance cameras view.

“The result was an air-breathing monster faster than a speeding bullet,” she said. “What would your innovation be?”

Developing trusted relationships is the third key, Wilson said.

“The work that you are about matters, and the people matter more,” she said.

EXCLUSIVE: Top Air Force general says ‘all programs are at risk’

From her time at the Air Force Academy to serving on the national security council staff, the former New Mexico congresswoman said she could count “on one hand” people she could call on at any time.

“Those kinds of relationships are built over a long period of time are priceless in your life,” she said.

The Air Force’s top leaders listen and trust each other and see things from different perspectives to address national security issues, she said.

“You have everything to gain as young officers and civilians in the Air Force to see alternative perspectives, to find your partners in crime who are going to push you and make you better because steel sharpens steel,” she told AFIT graduates.

“The United States Air Force relies on the most advanced technology to defend our nation and project power in the air and space around the globe,” Wilson added. “We’re going to lean on you. We’re going to lean hard on you as the next generation of scientists and engineers in air and space.

“So choose to ask why, choose to be an innovator, and choose to build strong relationships throughout your professional lives,” she said. “Our nation needs you desperately and future generations are counting on you.”

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