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Published: Sunday, December 10, 2017 @ 2:00 PM
OXFORD — Locals watching the Rose Parade on New Year’s Day will catch a glimpse of Talawanda Middle School student Mary Perkins, a cancer survivor who will ride on a float in the Pasadena, Calif., parade.
Perkins was nominated to be a part of the popular parade earlier this year by the oncology staff at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center due to her positive attitude while battling cancer.
Northwestern Mutual is highlighting the experiences of children at the company-sponsored summer camps with their float themed “Letting Kids be Kids.”
Perkins will ride on the float with her friend Nina Friedline, 12. The float will have a summer camp theme and the two will be seated in one of two canoes that will actually move simulating a race.
Perkins, 14, has been to NjoyItAll Camp four times, once with Friedline three years ago. She said those camp experiences have been bright spots in her cancer. Having cancer battle.
“There are some things I would have never been able to do without (having cancer) — the Rose Parade, being able to meet some amazing people,” she said.
Her father John Perkins, a Talawanda High School graduate, said the camp has been a positive for the entire family.
“There are a lot of hard memories for her,” he said. “Camp has been a bright spot.”
The eighth-grader’s cancer saga started when she was 2½ years old and a tumor the size of a baseball was discovered on the right side of her brain. That led to a series of surgeries and 18 months of chemotherapy and radiation treatments.
“We spent a lot of time at Children’s for two years,” said her mother Kim Perkins. “We had 150 days there the first year.”
Perkins had to relearn how to walk because she lost most of the function on her left side.
She then had to deal with seizures and a growth was discovered in her ear, which could have affected her balance. The family left for Boston for treatment of that problem which proved to be benign but did require a long recovery.
“I remember my dad asking me, did you like Boston? I said, ‘Not through a hospital window,’ ” she said.
In October, she had yet another surgery. This one on her leg, leaving her in a cast, which she hopes will be gone by New Year’s Day.
Perkins has now had 15 surgeries in her young life, prompting both a regret and a joke for the always-smiling optimistic young lady.
“My surgeries are older than me,” she said. “I don’t think I should have more surgeries than years.”
Northwestern Mutual sent a video team to Oxford last month and filmed Perkins and Friedline in a variety of activities at Miami University’s Western Lodge. The company held similar sessions with the other two float participants and are producing short videos that will be released this week on their website. People are invited to view the videos and vote on them, with the winner’s summer camp receiving a $20,000 donation.
“Every kid deserves to experience laughter, adventure and fun,” said Eric Christophersen, president of the Northwestern Mutual Foundation in a statement on the company’s website. “This year’s float is our way of recognizing and thanking the individuals and families who have inspired us and others in this fight.”
The trip promises to be a memorable one for Perkins, amid a lifetime of less-than-pleasant memories.
Published: Sunday, January 21, 2018 @ 11:44 PM
Updated: Monday, January 22, 2018 @ 12:45 AM
NEW CARLISLE — UPDATE @ 12:45 a.m. (Jan. 22)
It is unknown if anyone was inside or suffered injuries at the Miami Valley Feed & Grain establishment when a large grain elevator collapsed Sunday night, according to sheriff’s deputies on scene.
Officials continue to investigate the incident, which caused a loud explosion, startling area residents.
DP&L are on scene to assess the brief power outage that occurred.
We will continue to update this story as additional details become available.
UPDATE @ 12:10 a.m. (Jan. 22)
A large grain elevator collapsed Sunday night at Miami Valley Feed & Grain, 880 W. Jefferson St.
Residents in the area reported hearing a loud explosion, grain as high as 15 feet across a portion of Jefferson Street (Ohio 571) and a brief power outage.
Crews were called late Sunday night to a report of an explosion at a grain bin.
The blast was reported shortly before 11:40 p.m. in the 300 block of Garfield Street.
Power also was reported knocked out in the area.
We are on the way and will update this report.
Published: Sunday, January 21, 2018 @ 4:29 AM
Updated: Sunday, January 21, 2018 @ 10:00 PM
— A few passing showers are possible overnight, but more dry time is expected heading toward daybreak, Storm Center 7 Meteorologist Brett Collar said. Temperatures overnight will be somewhat steady in the 40s.
Monday: A dry start is expected before more rain returns in the afternoon and early evening. Some of that rain could be heavy at times. Highs will be in the lower to middle 50s.
Tuesday: Colder air returns with highs in the upper 30s early in the morning. Temperatures are expected to fall throughout the day. There is a chance for snow showers or flurries as well.
Wednesday: Another cool day is expected with partly cloudy skies and highs in the middle to upper 30s.
Thursday: Temperatures top out in the upper 30s under partly sunny skies.
Friday: It will be mild under mostly sunny skies with high temperatures in the upper 40s.
Published: Sunday, January 21, 2018 @ 8:18 PM
Published: Sunday, January 21, 2018 @ 11:43 PM
— Legendary actor Morgan Freeman was presented with the Screen Actors Guild Life Achievement Award at the 24th Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards — one of the most prestigious honors in the entertainment industry — which was given to him by longtime colleague and friend Rita Moreno.
“Morgan is way more than just an actor, narrator, producer, humanitarian. This man is a national treasure,” Moreno said.
When he came to the stage, the 80-year-old icon traded a few playful jokes with Moreno, before moving on to the thank you’s.
“These moments in one’s life usually will call for an entire litany of thank you’s. I can’t do that because I don’t know all of your names, so I won’t try,” said Freeman. “This is beyond honor. This is a place in history.”
But towards the end of his speech, Freeman commented on the SAG award statue: