Middletown-based Ohio veterans group spearheads skydiving event

Published: Sunday, October 22, 2017 @ 6:10 PM
Updated: Sunday, October 22, 2017 @ 11:23 PM

Middletown-based non-profit Combat Outpost Robinson partnered with Start Skydiving to offer Ohio military veterans free tandem skydives above Middletown Sunday, Oct. 22, 2017.

A Middletown father is working to give veterans a chance to soar across the same sky that was part of his son’s final goodbye.

James Robinson Sr., president and CEO of Combat Outpost Robinson, partnered his non-profit with Middletown’s Start Skydiving business to provide free tandem skydiving to a handful of Ohio veterans Sunday at Middletown Regional Airport.

The event is aligned with Combat Outpost Robinson’s mission help and support Ohio’s post 9/11 combat veterans suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder or traumatic brain injury, Robinson said.

MORE: Warrior Weekend in Middletown helps Marine heal old wounds

“(It) kind of brings back the camaraderie and brings back what they all did together whenever they was serving,” he said. “It’s an adrenaline-rush type of an event for them and it gets them back to what they was used to and it get them the help to talk with each other. It’s like a therapy between all of them.”

Robinson said it’s his hope that organizing such events will create a support group among veterans that attend Combat Outpost Robinson events and reduce the number of veteran suicides.

Formed in late 2016, Combat Outpost Robinson also offers help and support to the caregivers of those with PTSD or TBI.

MORE: West Chester VFW leader is Butler County Veteran of the Year

All such efforts are being carried out in remembrance of Robinson’s son, Sgt. James C. Robinson Jr., 27, of the U.S. Army’s 101st Airborne Division, who developed symptoms of PTSD during two tours of duty in Iraq before he was killed in Afghanistan in 2010 during this third tour of duty.

Robinson said running Combat Outpost Robinson and holding an event at the same airport that saw the skydiver-accompanied return of his son’s body is “like therapy.”

“And it’s … my way of paying it forward,” he said.

MORE: Butler County veterans spending sees double digit increase

U.S. Navy veteran and 14-year Air Force reservist Dave Reagan, 44, of Centerville, a 14-year Air Force reservist with the 445th Airlife Wing out of Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, said being allowed to jump from a Cessna Caravan on Sunday was “a huge outreach initiative” on the part of Robinson’s group.

“Being in the military, being a veteran is all about service, so these guys are continuing to serve those of us who have served,” Reagan said. “(Skydiving) has been on my bucket list for a while … so this is a nice opportunity.”

U.S. Army and National Guard veteran Jay Winkleman, 46, of Springfield, said he previously went skydiving 14 times in the military, recreationally and once as part of Warrior Weekend to Remember.

MORE: Butler County shooting shows some battles for veterans fought at home

“Being with the U.S. Veterans Motorcycle Club, we try to team up with organization’s like Jim’s because there’s so many about there that people don’t know about,” Winkleman said. “We like help getting the word out. We like to help scratch their backs (and) they’ll scratch our backs and support and get the word out about our events. It just means the world when the community comes out in great numbers … and that they still care, they still worry about our veterans.”

U.S. Navy veteran Donald Tucker, 57, of Wilmington, said he has enormous amount of respect for Combat Outpost Robinson and labeled the experience “a once in a lifetime opportunity.”

“It was extremely cool,” Tucker said, he said, a broad smile breaking out across his face. “I had a great time. I’d recommend it for anybody.”

Jumping with fellow veterans is important because “that’s the only people they can relate to,” Robinson said.

MORE: Butler County veterans board breaks service record

“They can talk to those guys — they’re brothers in arms — about stuff that they can’t talk to the general population about because people that’s never been there, they’ve got no clue what these guys have been through,” he said. “They kind of bottle it up, keep it to themselves, so by them getting together at events like this … they’re creating friendships and bonds and they can tell their stories to each other where they would not be telling it to anybody else.

“That in and of itself is therapeutic.”

Marijuana dispensaries in Vegas get high marks from Black Friday shoppers

Published: Saturday, November 25, 2017 @ 4:51 AM

Marijuana in Nevada was available on Black Friday at dispensaries in Las Vegas.
Ethan Miller/Getty Images
Marijuana in Nevada was available on Black Friday at dispensaries in Las Vegas.(Ethan Miller/Getty Images)

A Las Vegas marijuana dispensary added a new twist to Black Friday.

>> Read more trending news

“I’m Black Friday shopping for marijuana,” said 32-year-old Steven Smith as he waited outside the The+Source marijuana dispensary, The Las Vegas Journal-Review reported.

Smith was hoping to score a free 1 gram pre-rolled joint with any $20 purchase, offered to the first 250 customers.

“It’s a lot better than waiting in an alley,” said Greg Brown, 53. “I’m in line, making new friends. It’s just amazing.”

It was the first Black Friday in which Nevada cannabis dispensaries were able to sell to adults 21 and over in the general public, instead of just to medical marijuana card holders. Recreational marijuana sales became legal in Nevada on July 1, the Journal-Review reported.

“I think we’re collectively celebrating the end of prohibition,” Andrew Jolley, CEO of The+Source, told the Journal-Review. “What it means for the cannabis movement and overcoming the unjustified stigmas of the past. I’m excited for all of those reasons.”

At Essence Cannabis Dispensary, people lined up around the the corner awaiting the store’s 10 a.m. opening.

“They’re very excited. We’re fully staffed, all the registers going. It’s fun for them,” Essence CEO Armen Yemenidjian told the Journal-Review. “And it’s historic for us to be able to be part of Black Friday.”

Cannabis shoppers could choose from discounted marijuana flower strains and edibles, buy-one-get one free sales and even some free cannabis, the Journal-Review reported.

Brown said the stop at the dispensary was his first on Black Friday and one he needed to survive the chaos of shopping at retail stores, the Journal-Review reported.

“This is the first one,” Brown said. “After this, I can wait in line smoothly.”

North Korea replaces border soldiers after defection

Published: Saturday, November 25, 2017 @ 3:12 AM

United Nations Command spokesman Colonel Chad G. Carroll shows a surveillance TV footage containing the moment of defection of a North Korean soldier.
AFP Contributor/AFP/Getty Images
United Nations Command spokesman Colonel Chad G. Carroll shows a surveillance TV footage containing the moment of defection of a North Korean soldier.(AFP Contributor/AFP/Getty Images)

After dramatic video surfaced of a North Korean guard defecting across the border into South Korea, Kim Jong Un’s government has replaced nearly all of the soldiers who were stationed at the site where the escape took place Nov. 13, CNN reported.

>> Read more trending news

“North Korea replaced almost all of its troops, if not all, at the Joint Security Area for their failure to prevent the defection,” said Kim Young-woo, chairman of the South Korean National Assembly's defense committee. “It was obviously a part of punishment for failing their mission to deter the North Korean soldier's escape. North Korea has always punished those responsible for similar failures.”

North Korea, meanwhile, planted trees and dug a trench at a section of the Military Demarcation Line, according to Marc Knapper, the chargé d'affaires at the US Embassy in Seoul. Knapper tweeted a photo of dramatic video released by the United Nations Command on Wednesday. The video showed a North Korean soldier's daring dash to freedom while being fired upon by his former comrades.

After the defector's vehicle got stuck in a gutter close to the border, he jumped out and ran toward the South Korean side, CNN reported.

>> WATCH: North Korean guard makes dramatic defection

The 24-year-old soldier, known only by his last name -- Oh -- has regained consciousness after being shot and was undergoing treatment, CNN reported.

Oh is the third member of the North Korean armed forces to defect this year.

More than 40 bullets were fired at him from pistols and an AK-47 assault rifle, South Korea's military said last week. South Korean troops did not return fire.

Oh had lost more than 50 percent of his blood by the time he arrived by air at Ajou University Hospital, his surgeon Lee Cook Jong told reporters Wednesday.

Dayton traffic from the WHIO Traffic Center

Published: Tuesday, November 21, 2017 @ 3:56 AM
Updated: Friday, November 24, 2017 @ 2:30 PM

Staff photo
Staff photo

Check this page for a full list of crashes, disabled vehicles, construction projects and other hazards impacting your commute.

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.

RELATED: Find the lowest gas prices in your neighborhood with our Pump Patrol

Major Highway Incidents

  • No incidents have been reported. 

Surface Street Incidents

  • No incidents have been reported. 

>> RELATED: Check for delays or cancellations before heading to the airport

>> 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. 

MONTGOMERY COUNTY

  • Alex-Bell Road will be closed for work on the Washington Twp. bridge over Holes Creek until Nov. 30. More information, including detour 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
  • US 35 west ramps to I-75 north and south, RAMP CLOSURE Nov. 30 at 10 p.m. - Dec. 1 at 5 a.m. The official detour is: US 35 west to James H. McGee Boulevard to US 35 east to I-75 north and south 

DARKE COUNTY 

  • SR 705 near Groff Road, Daily lane closures Nov. 27 - Dec. 11 between 7 a.m. and 5 p.m. One lane will remain open for travel in each direction through the use of flaggers.
SHELBY COUNTY  
  • SR 29 between Cisco Road and West Russell Road, Daily lane closures Nov. 27 - Jan. 1 between 7:30 a.m. and 4 p.m. One lane will be open for travel in each direction through the use of flaggers. 

Trump tweets he 'took a pass' at being named Time's person of the year

Published: Saturday, November 25, 2017 @ 1:34 AM

President Donald Trump said he
President Donald Trump said he "took a pass" at being named Time's Person of the Year.(NurPhoto/NurPhoto via Getty Images)

President Donald Trump tweeted Friday that he “took a pass” at being named Time magazine’s “Person of the Year,” but the company’s chief content officer said there “wasn’t a speck of truth” in the president’s social media comment, CNN reported.

>> Read more trending news

“Time Magazine called to say that I was PROBABLY going to be named ‘Man (Person) of the Year’ like last year, but I would have to agree to an interview and a major photo shoot,” Trump tweeted from his Mar-a-Lago club in Palm Beach, Florida, where he is spending his Thanksgiving holiday. “I said probably is no good and took a pass. Thanks anyway!” Trump wrote. 

The magazine issued a statement that disputed the President’s tweet, CNN reported.

“The President is incorrect about how we choose Person of the Year. TIME does not comment on our choice until publication, which is December 6,” the magazine wrote on its Twitter feed.

Time Inc.’s chief content officer, Alan Murray, tweeted that the President's tweet didn't have “a speck of truth.”

“Amazing. Not a speck of truth here — Trump tweets he 'took a pass' at being named TIME's person of the year,” Murray tweeted.

The President was named Time’s “person of the year” in 2016 after his victory over Hillary Clinton.