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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.”

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FRONT-ROW VIEW: What visitors are saying about Vectren Dayton Air Show

Published: Saturday, June 23, 2018 @ 10:37 AM

Be right next to the pole as air show pilot Sean D. Tucker makes a ribbon cut and fast passes.

Rain started to fall on and off at the Dayton Air Show around 11 a.m. as crowds started to grow with spectators. 

Marvin Napier, of Huber Heights, stood underneath the wing of the Orbis Flying Hospital aircraft to shield his two young children from the rain. 

The Porter family of Bloomington, Ind. arrived early for today’s start to the 2018 Vectren Dayton Air Show.(Staff Writer)

"The rain is better than 95 degree heat where you're sweating. With the clouds, the planes will fly lower so it's a win-win," he said. 

This is the first time he's taken his kids to the air show. They're excited for the Blue Angels and Sean D. Tucker.

Chris and Sandy Porter, of Bloomington, Ind., arrived bright and early to secure front-row seat at the air show. Sitting in a blue and white U.S.A. law chair, Sandy Porter said she and her husband made the drive up last night to meet with her family members from Columbus.

GATES OPEN: What you need to know about today


“It’s more just about being together with family. That’s what it’s all about,” she said.

Rain or shine, the family comes to the Dayton Air Show. She said they’re especially excited to see the Blue Angels this year.

John Klatt's Scramin' Sasquatch is a 1929 Waco taperwing biplane equipped with a jet engine at Vectren Dayton Air Show. Klatt appears to be flying over Blue Angel #3 as he approaches show center on Friday, June 22, 2018. TY GREENLEES / STAFF

An air show spokeswoman said officials anticipate less heat-related health issues from spectators this year because of chillier temperatures.

Terry Weaver drove from Pennsylvania to watch the Dayton Air Show, but he hasn't been here in years. In 2013, he and his son came to the air show when a pilot and wing walker died in a fiery crash. 

"We saw everything. It's burned into my memory," he said. "My 9-year-old son, he hasn't wanted to come back." 

Weaver said he was excited to finally come back for the show this weekend.


Air show forecast: Warm with chance for showers, storms

RTA offers express shuttle service to Vectren Dayton Air Show

How to avoid traffic and parking headaches at this weekend’s Vectren Dayton Air Show

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U.S. House candidate Katie Arrington seriously hurt in wrong-way crash

Published: Saturday, June 23, 2018 @ 11:35 AM

South Carolina congressional candidate Katie Arrington is in the hospital with serious injuries after being involved in a fatal car wreck Friday night.
Kathryn Ziesig, AP
South Carolina congressional candidate Katie Arrington is in the hospital with serious injuries after being involved in a fatal car wreck Friday night.(Kathryn Ziesig, AP)

Katie Arrington, a Republican congressional candidate in South Carolina is in the hospital with serious injuries after she was involved in a deadly wrong-way car crash Friday night.

Arrington was traveling in the passenger seat with a friend, when another driver traveling in the wrong direction hit their car, WSOC reports.

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The driver of the other vehicle died at the scene, according to Sheriff's Capt. Roger Antonio. The driver of Arrington’s car, her friend Jacqueline Goff, also sustained serious injuries.

Arrington and Goff were driving to Hilton Head, where Arrington was scheduled to receive an award Saturday morning, her campaign posted on Twitter.

Arrington has suffered a fracture to her back, broken ribs and a partial collapse of a main artery in her leg.

She will have undergo surgery and will require more procedures and weeks of recovery, CNN reports.

Arrington is alert and recovering at the Medical University of South Carolina and her family is by her side.

President Donald Trump expressed his sympathies to Arrington via Twitter.

Arrington defeated U.S. Rep. Mark Sanford in his re-election bid last week.

Sanford also expressed his well-wishes to Arrington on Twitter.

Arrington’s Democratic opponent, Joe Cunningham, announced Saturday morning that he's suspending his campaign out of respect for Arrington's recovery.

“As we all know, Katie Arrington is an extremely strong woman and has tremendous faith and an incredibly supportive family," her campaign said on Twitter.

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New ice cream shop opening in former Dairy Queen to hold hiring event this weekend

Published: Friday, June 22, 2018 @ 11:00 AM

The Sweet Retreat to replace DQ on Smithville Road in Belmont.

A new independent ice cream shop coming to a former Dayton Dairy Queen is gearing up for opening with a hiring event this weekend.

The Sweet Retreat plans to open in the next few weeks and will hold open interviews on Saturday, June 23 from 10 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Interviews will take place first come, first served. 

>> Black Rock Grill coming to former Don Pablo’s near Mall at Fairfield Commons

The shop will offer employment opportunities in both back and front of the house as employees are needed for food operations and as cashiers.

>> PREVIOUS COVERAGE: Former Dairy Queen space springs to life as a locally owned, independent ice cream shop

The Sweet Retreat, a new ice cream shop in a former Dairy Queen space in Belmont slated to open summer 2018. (Source: The Sweet Retreat Facebook)

The ice cream shop coming to 2613 S. Smithville Road in Dayton’s Belmont neighborhood is the brainchild of Simon Wiley and Chris Tobias, who attended the same grade school and high school.

>> Guide to the best hidden gem ice cream shops around Dayton

The Sweet Retreat plans to offer more than two dozen soft serve flavors:

>> The best places to get frozen treats in Dayton

The Sweet Retreat, a new ice cream shop in a former Dairy Queen space in Belmont slated to open summer 2018. (Source: The Sweet Retreat Facebook)

The Sweet Retreat, a new ice cream shop in a former Dairy Queen space in Belmont slated to open summer 2018. (Source: The Sweet Retreat Facebook)

The Sweet Retreat will replace the former Dairy Queen on Smithville Road in Belmont. MARK FISHER/STAFF(MARK FISHER/STAFF)

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Amber Alert canceled after 2 Urbana boys found safe

Published: Saturday, June 23, 2018 @ 11:15 AM
Updated: Saturday, June 23, 2018 @ 12:08 PM

Jamie Rollins, suspect in Champaign County, Ohio, Amber Alert
Jamie Rollins, suspect in Champaign County, Ohio, Amber Alert

UPDATE @ 12:08 p.m.:

An Amber Alert has been canceled after two Urbana boys were found safe.

The suspect and vehicle still have not been found.


An Amber Alert is active for two boys reported abducted from Urbana.

They were reported missing at 7 a.m. from Maplewood Circle after their grandparents awoke to find them gone, according to a release from the Ohio Attorney General’s Office.

The first boy is Justin Wallace Jr., 7, a biracial boy with black hair who stands 4 feet 5 inches and weighs 72 pounds. There was no further descriptive information available.

The second boy is Aaron Rollins, 9, a white boy with brown hair and hazel eyes who stands 4 feet, 11 inches and weighs 72 pounds. He was last seen wearing a maroon and white T-shirt and camo high-top tennis shoes.


The suspect, Jamie Rollins, 39, is the non-custodial mother. She is believed to be driving a taupe Kia Optima with Ohio plates 347YSL. She is described as a white woman with red hair and blue eyes who stands 5 feet 3 inches and weighs 223 pounds.

Anyone with information on their whereabouts or who spots them is urged to call 911.

For more information visit the Ohio Amber Alert website.

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