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What’s A Family To Do? A Guide To Summer Fun






What’s A Family To Do? • Page 2 • June 14, 2013

Skating rinks on a roll in area BY PATRICIA ANN SPEELMAN Area families may be missing out on a good bet for family fun. Two local skating rinks offer free admission at various times to parents or children during the summer months. According to Mataleen Phillabaum, owner of the 36 Skate Club Inc., 4845 W. U.S. Route 36, Piqua, attendance at the skating rink shrinks once the local swimming pools and baseball season open. “It’s slow,” she said about the summer business. So she offers free admission to parents who skate with their children on Thursday nights at the club. Paula Hill, co-owner of Rolling Hills, 105 E. Russell Road, Sidney, said that her rink is participating in Kids Skate Free. Families can visit ollinghills to register. Once they do, they’ll receive weekly emails with coupons that will

permit children to skate free twice per week at Rolling Hills on either Tuesday nights or Saturday or Sunday afternoons. Parents who don’t skate, but stay to watch their children, are admitted free to Rolling Hills on Friday and Saturday nights. The rink also welcomes parents for free who take their toddlers, 0-5, for Tiny Rollers, a time set aside on Wednesdays from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. just for them. “It’s a nice time to skate with kids their own age and not get run over by bigger kids,” Hill said. “They can bring a push toy or walking toy to use on the skate floor.” Both rinks have snack bars and game rooms in addition to skating. Rolling Hills offers free Wi-Fi. 36 Skate Club’s summer hours are Thursday, 6:30 to 9 p.m.; Friday, 7:30 to 11 p.m.; and Saturday, 7:30 p.m. to midnight. Admission is $3.50 on Thursdays, $5 on Fridays and $6 on Saturdays. Skate rental is $1.50. The hours at Rolling Hills are Tuesday, 6 to 8


Mariana Steele, 6, of Sidney, skates during opening day of Rolling Hills a roller skating rink located at 105 E. Russell Rd. Mariana is the daughter of Victor and Natasha Auglar. p.m.; Saturday, 1:30 to 4 p.m. and 7 to 11 p.m.; Sunday, 2 to 5 p.m. Admission is $4 on Tuesdays, Sundays and

Saturday afternoons; $6 on Friday and Saturday nights. Skate rental is $2. Tiny Rollers admission on Wednesdays is $4

and includes skate rental. Rolling Hills will be closed from June 21 through July 4. Both venues are avail-

able to rent for private parties. Contact 36 Skate Club at (937) 773-2841. Contact Rolling Hills at (936) 492-7857.


What’s A Family To Do? • Page 3 • June 14, 2013

Many take bicycle safety for granted BY JIM HEMMERT Chairperson for the Active Living Advisory Council, Piqua School is out and it is time for family, friends and fun. If bicycling becomes your choice there are many miles of bike paths in Piqua, Troy and Tipp City. Before you start always remember the ABCs of bicycling safety. They are always be CAREFUL, be COURTEOUS and be in CONDITION. Always be CAREFUL to stop, look, and listen before riding on the street from a driveway or crossing an intersection and turning. Riding with no hands shows you have good balance, but you do not have complete control in case a sudden change in your riding environment. Always be COURTEOUS by obeying all traffic signs and signals. Ride on the right side of the street (more with the flow of traffic) and use hand signals to notify traffic of your intentions to change lanes, slowing and stopping. Wear bright color clothing – you want to be seen – and ride in single file. Always be in CONDITION as you do not grow into the size of a bike. If you


Cycling can be fun when done safely. can’t reach the peddles or reach the handlebars or squeeze the handbrakes, the bike it too big. There are several local bike shops that can help you choose to correct size. The rider should also consider being in CONDITION if you have not ridden a bike for some time, start with

short rides and work up to longer rides. There are always objections to wearing a bike helmet, but one visit to the hospital emergency room might change your

mind. Both parents and children have their reasons, parents reason may sound like the following: “I never thought of buying one, never got around to buying one, my child won’t wear it anyway, too expensive – not compared to a trip to the emergency room – my child doesn’t ride that much and my child only rides in safe areas (You can have an accident in front of your house.) Children’s reasons include: “I don’t like the fit, it’s uncomfortable, the chin straps pinch, I don’t think it is necessary” and the famous, “I forgot it and I lost it.” Most accidents occur at non-intersections, between the months of May and September when school is out, between the hours of 3 p.m. and 6 p.m. and on local streets. Head injuries account for 62 percent of bicycle deaths, 33 percent of bicycle emergency room visits, 67 percent of bicyclerelated hospital admissions and 75 percent of bicycle related head injuries treated in the emergency rooms are children under 15.


Summer Fun at the YMCA... Where there is something for everyone: • • •


Bicycle safety is an issue that many take for granted — until it is too late.

Are you looking for a summer of adventure? Consider our 2013 Summer Day Camp for grades 1 through 6 Sign-up for swimming lessons for all ages, or bring in the whole family for a cool dip in the pool Keep your children active by signing up for one of the many Youth Sports Camps and Summer Leagues Stay fit and active by signing up for one of the many group exercise programs including: • Zumba • Group Cycling • H.I.I.T. Class • Step Aerobics Child Watch is provided as a member-added value for moms and dads while staying in shape at the Y. (Please Inquire At The Courtesy Desk For Hours Of Availability). Miami County YMCA Piqua Branch Robinson Branch 223 W. High St. 3060 S. Co. Rd. 25-A Piqua, OH 45356 Troy, OH 45373 937-773-9622 937-440-9622

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What’s A Family To Do? • Page 4 • June 14, 2013

Libraries offer fun and education BY STEPHANI DUFF For Civitas Media As school lets out for the summer, local, public libraries are gearing up to provide a summer full of fun-filled activities to ensure you and your students won’t get bored over summer vacation. At Milton-Union Public Library, the reading program had its kick-off on May 31 and June is full of activities for all ages in your family. This year’s children’s theme is “Dig into Reading” and the teen theme is “Beneath the Surface.” They are also providing an adult reading program with “Groundbreaking Reads.” Children’s librarian Wendy Heisey explained the breakdown of the day to day events. “There will be recurring programs scheduled for Mondays, Tuesdays, and Wednesdays, special guest entertainers on Thursdays, and family-fun activities planned for every other Saturday,” she said. There are incentives for children who spend some of their summer hours reading; kids who read 17 hours will receive a certificate, book, coupons and an opportunity at winning one of the grand prizes. To find out more about the summer reading programs and additional events being held at Milton-Union Public Library, visit The Troy-Miami County Public Library also is offering more than 45 activities keeping with the theme “Dig into Reading.” In addition to the programs, the Troy-Miami County Public Library is encouraging children to sign up for the independent, goal-oriented reading program. Registration already has opened for the program.

Read the Troy Daily News Piqua Daily Call Sidney Daily News

The program encourages participants to select a goal of 25 books, 25 days or 25 hours of reading. The Summer Reading Program at the Troy-Miami County Library will conclude with a free program by Ohio natives and best-selling children’s illustrators, Jeanette and Christopher Canyon at 1 p.m. Aug. As with other local libraries, there are also teen and adult reading programs to be enjoyed, as well. To find out more about all three reading programs and additional activities being held, visit Along with Milton-Union and Troy Public libraries, Tipp City Public Library will kick off their “Dig into Reading” summer program June 10. “All children who register for the program between Monday, June 10 and Saturday, June 22 will be entered in a drawing to win two tickets to King’s Island,” said library director Anthony Orsini. Teens will be able to discover and uncover talents and interests through books in the “Beneath the Surface” series and adults are able to enjoy the Tipp City Public Library’s Summer Lunch Series every Tuesday beginning at noon June 11. The Summer Reading Club in Tipp City will wrap up with the annual luncheon for adults Aug. 6, the after hours party for teens on Aug. 9 and the children’s pizza party on Aug. 10. For more information on all three of these reading programs and additional activities, visit In Shelby County, Amos Memorial Public Library is offering a “Dig into Reading” Summer Reading Program, as well. Their registration began June 1 with a family fun day.


Using plant liners, gems and concrete mix young adults including Abby Angel, Nicholas Griswold, center, and Matthew Spencer, all of Troy, work on creating a lawn ornament last year at the Troy-Miami County Public Library. “I like it (the Summer Reading Program) because it’s fun,” Spencer said. The class taught by Children’s and Teen Coordinator Nancy Hargrove is part of the summer reading program “Dream Big Read!” They will be offering almost two full moths of reading-themed fun; some of those events include a movie matinee at 1 p.m. June 10 featuring The Flintstones,” a Diggers and Burrowers Day with Brukner Nature Center for kindergarten through sixth graders at 11 a.m. June 11 that will feature live animals and on June 18, a Super Sewer Soaker day for kindergarten through sixth graders. On July 19, there will be a summer reading finale party at noon for all participants that will have pizza, dirt pudding and a giant puppet show. Amos is also providing a Teen Summer Reading Program that will follow the theme “Beneath the Surface” through July 27. Sign-ups are under way at any Shelby County Library or online at

There will be after-hours events open to all teens from all Shelby County Library locations held at Amos Memorial Library from 6-7:30 p.m. Wednesdays. On June 12, there will be a Sidewalk Chalk Art Contest; on July 3 there will be a Fourth of July barbecue with outdoor games and from 5:45-8 p.m. July 17, there will be a skating party at Rolling Hills Skating Rink in Sidney. Adults can also enjoy summer reading fun; for every five books, ebooks, audiobooks or magazines that are read or listened to, there will be chances to win some wonderful prizes such as $25 gas cards, Family membership to the Dayton Art Museum or a Kindle Fire HD eReader. For more information on all of these reading programs and a full calendar of events, visit

What’s A Family To Do? • Page 5 • June 14, 2013

Paper books still relevant in today’s world BY KAREN MACPHERSON Scripps-Howard News Service E-books may get all the attention these days, but children’s picture books — the physical, printed kind — remain both beloved and popular with American parents and their children. That was the conclusion of a star-studded panel of children’s-book authors and illustrators who convened recently at Politics & Prose, an independent Washington, D.C., bookstore, to discuss the “present and future of picture books.” Picture-book lovers packed the store to hear people like Jon Scieszka, author of “The Stinky Cheese Man” and the first National Ambassador for Children’s Literature, declare that the picture book remains a vibrant literary form. “You motivate kids to be readers by giving them something great to read. It’s as simple as that,” said Scieszka, who also has established a popular website for reluctant boy readers called Guys Read ( Other panelists agreed that printed picture books aren’t a dying form, as was predicted in 2010 in a provocative New York Times article headlined “Picture Books No Longer a Staple for Children.” “The truth is that is not happening — not by a long shot,” said Neal Porter, editorial director of Neal Porter Books, an imprint of Roaring Brook Press. “I’m incredibly heartened by the sales of

many books that I’ve worked on. “And these are not necessarily the easy books or the obvious books. But they have found their audience, and that audience is large. … As things have gone digital, there is actually a newfound appreciation for the physical properties of a picture book.” Yet that doesn’t mean there isn’t room for improvement in picture books, said Mac Barnett, author of several picture books, including “Extra Yarn,” which won a 2013 Caldecott Honor for the illustrations by artist Jon Klassen. The Caldecott Medal is given annually by the American Library Association to the bestillustrated children’s book; several Caldecott Honor Books, or runnersup, also are usually selected. Barnett spearheaded a response to the Times article by writing “A Picture Book Manifesto,” which began: “Proclamation! We are tired of hearing the picture book is in trouble, and tired of pretending it is not.” The manifesto, which was signed by nearly two dozen other children’sbook creators — including Scieszka — can be read at http://www.thepictureboo “One reason that I love picture books is that the history of picture books is an experimental history,” said Barnett. “‘Goodnight Moon’ (the classic picture book by Margaret Wise Brown), for example, is a deeply weird book. You’re saying goodnight to socks … and then you’re saying,


Cover of "Show Me a Story!: Why Picture Books Matter. ‘Goodnight nobody.’ “But I do think that that book gets to the fear felt by children. … It’s a dark kind of incantatory book.” That kind of experimentation, however, isn’t necessarily the norm in picture books these days, Barnett added, noting that “darkness is so tough” to sell to American parents, “despite the fact that kids all have problems and need to read books that reflect those problems.” Porter agreed, saying that publishers in other countries see Americans as “uptight.” “They say that ‘You Americans are even scared of nipples’ ” of nursing mothers being shown on the pages of children’s books, Porter said. “The really tough thing for me is that I know that there are

these books (published in other countries) that kids here would love, but there are so many gatekeepers,” including editors, publishers, parents, librarians and others. Meg Medina, whose picture book “Tia Isa Wants a Car” won the 2012 Ezra Jack Keats New Writer Award, said her picture books and children’s/teen novels are considered experimental mainly because she writes about Latino families. “The fact that I write for Latino kids is seen as unusual,” said Medina. She cited statistics compiled by the Cooperative Children’s Book Center at the University of Wisconsin showing that about 3 percent of the 3,400 books reviewed in 2011 were written by or about Latinos, while the Pew Hispanic Center estimates that almost 25

percent of public-school students are Latino. Despite these problems, there are many reasons why parents and children connect so deeply to physical picture books, said Leonard Marcus, a children’s-literature historian and author and editor of such books as “Show Me a Story!: Why Picture Books Matter” (Candlewick Press, $22.99, adult book). “Picture books are stories told in two languages — text and art. A third language is added by putting these things together as the story is read,” said Marcus, who moderated the Politics & Prose panel. The panelists agreed that digitized picture books are a poor substitute for the physical, print version. “Digital books break a lot of the magic that makes picture books,” Barnett said. “The page turn, for example, is a basic piece of language in picture books. That’s how you show surprise and suspense. But, in digital books, the page turn is a fake” because all you do is slide your finger across a screen. But Barnett also said that he believes that digital media “can be a great way to tell a certain kind of story. But those stories need to be written specifically for digital media.” Christopher Myers, whose illustrations for the book “Harlem” won a 1998 Caldecott Honor, said he was prepared to address both the digital issue and also the fact that picture books — with a typical price of $16-$18 — are priced out

of the range of many families. “I’m going to try to do one book as a PDF and see what happens,” said Myers. He added that he would do the illustrations in black and white so that the book would be less problematic and less expensive to print out. “I’m just going to see what happens.” Meanwhile, authors Scieszka and Barnett have teamed up with artist Matthew Myers to create a physical picture book that attempts to push the literary boundaries of the form, despite the misgivings expressed by the publisher about how the book will be accepted by adults. The book is scheduled for publication this October. What their book does, said Scieszka, is take a cloyingly sweet picture book with the title “Birthday Bunny” and transform it into a militaristic story titled “Battle Bunny” by making it look that a young reader has drawn and written on the pages of the original story. “Our publisher is terrified,” said Scieszka. If the Politics & Prose audience reaction is any indication, however, “Battle Bunny” is destined to be an immediate hit, and yet another example of why the physical picture book remains so popular with both kids and adults. Karen MacPherson, the children’s/teen librarian at the Takoma Park Maryland Library, can be reached at Kam.Macpherson@gmail. com. For more stories, visit

What’s A Family To Do? • Page 6 • June 14, 2013


There are plenty of ways to enjoy family fun together without going broke.

Fun can still come on a budget BY KASEY TRENUM Scripps-Howard News Service Q: What are some ways to enjoy family time on a budget? A: Luckily, there are many ways to enjoy family time on a budget. You can still have fun with the kids and show them a great time without breaking the bank. If you love getting out and experiencing various museums, then watch your calendars carefully. Throughout the year, you can often get free or reduced entrance to national parks and other area attractions such as theme parks and museums. If you don’t see any free or discount days at your local establishment, look for other ways to find discounts, like the company’s Facebook page, or by signing up for newsletters. If you think you might visit the attraction often, check the price of an annual membership or family pass. You may just be sur-

prised at how much you can save and how many additional perks come with such memberships. Why not bond together getting in shape? Consider participating in a race together as a family. Not only can you train together for a 5K or a 1-mile fun run, you’ll have lots of fun in the process. There are many different runs you can sign up for, so this way you can find an event that suits your family’s abilities and skills. You will be forming healthy habits, working on a common goal and really strengthening that family bond. Such events are usually very reasonable to sign up for, and you might be able to register for some for free. Check with your city offices to see what might be available. Families love bonding over food, right? One super-simple and great way to enjoy family time on a budget is to cook outdoors. Kids will really enjoy getting in on the action

when you let them prepare s’mores, roast corn, vegetables, burgers and more. As night falls, you will see how fun and relaxing it is to play catch, watch the stars and look at lightning bugs. Turn off the TV and head outdoors! It is fun, and so frugal. Additionally, check daily deal websites for family activities on a budget. You can find great discounts for restaurants, zoos and even outdoor activities on sites such as Groupon and Enjoy these experiences for as much as 70 percent off — plus you can take advantage of referral programs. That means when you share the deals with friends and family and they purchase the deal as well, your purchase could be free. As you can see, there are plenty of ways to enjoy frugal family fun together. You will make some memories your children will not soon forget, and save money in the process. Talk about a win-win.

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John Johnston Farm & Indian Agency looks back in history BY AMY MAXWELL For Civitas Media Johnston Farm and Indian Agency Site Manager Andy Hite says there are three goals they strive to meet for their visitors. “First, to have a good time, second to provide a family friendly atmosphere and third they just might learn something as well,” Hite said. Hite has been the director of the farm since 1997, and says there is no shortage of history related to the man who settled there in the early 1800s — John Johnston. “We really pull from three different areas of his history here,” Hite said. “There was his role as an agent between the Native Americans and the government, second, his link to the origination of the canal system and also his daily life on the frontier.”

The site features the restored John Johnston home, a museum and also a canal boat ride. “What I think is unique about our canal ride is the concept of today actually goes away,” Hite said. “In the setting of the course of the ride you don’t see the modern world.” Johnston Farm and Indian Agency, which was recognized as the 48th State Memorial in 1972, also attracts as many as 5,000 area students per school year. “The groups that visit are fourth and fifth grade students who are learning about this era in their social studies class,” Hite said. “We really try to make this an extension of the classroom for them, some of the things that are in their textbook happened right here. If you were an important government figure in those times,

you most likely passed through here to meet on Johnston’s farm.” Plans are also in the works to add on an education center area to the museum. Johnston Farm is kicking off its 2013 events calendar with “Family Day at the Johnston Farm” on June 15. “The focus is going to be on family living with games and activities planned that families enjoyed from that time period,” Hite said. The event, which falls on Father’s Day weekend, will offer free admission for dads and grandfathers when accompanied by their family. The farm is located at 9845 N. Hardin Road in Piqua. Admission is $8 for adults, $4 for students and children under five are admitted free. AAA and Senior Discounts are honored as well. For more information, including hours, call 773-2522 or visit


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Public pools offer family summer fun BY HAYDEN FISHER Civitas Media Summer has arrived, school is out and families are looking for fun things to share together. On hot days the logical answer lies at the local municipal pool. Shelby and Miami counties have several from which to choose. Swimming pools have become a summertime staple all across America and going to your local public swimming pool adds extra elements of fun. Kids will be able to not only spend time with their families but also have the ability to be around their friends from school. Many pools include basketball hoops, water slides and other features that add to the enjoyment. Below is a listing of Miami and Shelby county facilities.

MIAMI COUNTY • Troy Aquatic Park: Hours vary daily (check schedule on website). The Troy Aquatic Park has a number of family friendly activities. They have two giant water slides, a drop slide, a diving board, and a heated baby pool, interactive water play equipment in a zero depth area, a zero depth entrance, and shade structures for those who want to stay out of the sun. The pool complex also has a concession stand called Boogie Board Café where people can buy hot dogs, pizza slices, ice cream and drinks. The stand also is in the shade. A season pass ranges from $200 for a family of five to $71 for senior citizens. General admission to the park is $5 for adults and $3 for kids. If you want to book a party at the Troy Aquatic Park, prices range from $250 to $425, depending on size. The park is located on 460 West Staunton Drive. For more information, call 937-335-5171.


Kyler Pleasant , 13, of Sidney, does a flip into the water at the City of Sidney pool. Pleasant is the son of Gary Pleasant. • Tipp Municipal Pool: Sunday-Thursday, noon-8 p.m., and Friday and Saturday, 11 a.m.-7 p.m. The Tipp Municipal Swimming Pool will remain open until Sept. 1. It is located on 35 Parkwood Drive. General admission is $6 for adults and $5 for youth and seniors. For more information, call 937-667-2216. • Piqua Community Pool: Monday,Wednesday,Thursday , 11:30 a.m.-9 p.m.; Tuesday, 11:30 a.m.-5 p.m. (Tuesday is Teen Night from 6-9 p.m.) Other hours are Friday and Saturday, 11:30 a.m.-5 p.m.; Sunday, 1-5 p.m., with Family Night being from 5:30-9 p.m. The Piqua Community Pool is

located in the Pitsenbarger Sports Complex and is open until Aug. 18. The pool includes a 150-foot water slide, a baby pool, concessions and offers swimming lessons. The pool will be closed if the air temperature does not reach 70 degrees. For more information, call 937-7737665 during pool hours. All pool facilities in Shelby and Miami counties provide unique opportunities for parents and their children to bond together over the summer. The pools also allow the kids to be free of boredom and have a great summer experience. They can spend time with their friends and families as well as getting exercise in a fun setting.

Pool activity also gives parents some relief from finding some way to occupy their children during the summer. Public swimming pools are not just for people to get out of the heat, but are great places for families can come together for refreshing enjoyment.

SHELBY COUNTY • Botkins Memorial Pool: Monday-Friday, noon-8p.m.; Saturday-Sunday, 1-8p.m. Slide Hours 2-6 p.m. daily. The Botkins Memorial Pool is located in the Village of Botkins at 110 E State St. The pool offers family memberships ($110) and single memberships ($65) but if

you don’t want a membership you can still attend on general admission ($3 per person). The pool has a diving board and water slide along with a basketball hoop. Families have the ability to request the pool for a public party and the pool also offers swimming lessons for younger kids. For more information, call the pool at 937-693-3017. • Sidney City Swimming Pool: Monday-Saturday, 1-7 p.m.; Sunday, 1-6 p.m. The Municipal Swimming Pool in Sidney is located on 800 Tawawa Drive, near the entrance to Tawawa Park. The pool offers swimming lessons and those interested can fill out a form on their website; ark_info/Municipal_Pool.html. The pool contains both a speed slide and also a spiral slide for kids to use. Season ticket prices are students, $46; aduilts, $66; family of four, $110 (and $11.50 for each additional member); and $45 for senior citizens over 63. Replacement tickets are $5.50. Daily admission prices aare preschool, $2; students (elementary to high school), $3.25; adults ouit of school, $3.75; and senior adults, $2.75. The pool may be rented at a charage of $225 per hour for up to two hours by contacting the city recreation department at 498-8155. The pool closes Aug.19. For more information, call 937-498-8171. • Jackson Center Swimming Pool: June, 12:30-7 p.m., and July and August, 12:30-8 p.m. The Jackson Center Swimming Pool is located on 800 E Pike St. General admission to the pool is $3 for a student and $3.50 for an adult. The pool also offers many different season passes for the summer that range from $50 to $60. They also have a 15-day pass for $30. The pool offers swimming lessons for younger children. For more information, contact the pool at 937596-55210.

What’s A Family To Do? • Page 9 • June 14, 2013

Newport Aquarium offers nearby aquatic fun BY MELODY VALLIEU A “million gallons of fun” are awaiting visitors just across Ohio’s border. The Newport Aquarium, located in Newport, Ky., is one of the biggest indoor aquarium facilities around and offers more than 600 species and 7,000 animals, according to public relations manager Sandra Guile. The facility covers 121,200-square-feet of space, according to Guile, and features three sections of see-through floor and 65 smaller exhibits incorporated into 14 larger ones. The Newport Aquarium is an accredited member of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums. “This membership allows us to share animals with zoos and aquariums across the country to support the populations of all species from reptiles to mammals. While most animals come from other zoos and aquariums, some animals become part of the collection as a result of rescue or rehabilitation situation,” Guile said. “Some are unwanted pets, while others were rescued, rehabilitated but deemed not able to be released back into the wild.” This summer, Guile said the aquarium also will be boasting the biggest shark ray collection in the northern hemisphere, all of which began with only two — Sweet Pea and Scooter, already in place at the facility. A shark ray is a unique, prehistoric looking relative to sharks and sting rays, according to Guile. The aquarium acquired these unique creatures from Fred Fan, a fish procurement specialist in Taiwan

with the hopes of starting a breeding program, she said. “We still have much to learn about shark rays, but are discovering new information about them while waiting in great anticipation of a possible successful breeding,” Guile said. Guile said Penguin Palooza, which features the most diverse collection of cold-weather penguins in the country. Species include king, gentoo, chin strap, rock hoppers and macaroni penguins. “They will playfully play in a 8,000-gallon tank that is a warm 34 degrees,” Guile said. “They will splash and play and frolic right in front of your face.” Warm-weather penguins, the African penguin, also is on display at the aquarium, and become part of a “penguins parade” each day at 10 a.m. “Literally there are three penguins, African penguins, that are warm weather penguins, and they take them out and put them in a three-tiered wagon and parade them through the facility,” Guile said of the daily offering. “During this time, people can get an up-close-andpersonal view of them and ask questions. The Surrounded by Sharks exhibit also is one of the top exhibits offered to visitors, Guile said. Visitors can immerse themselves in the ocean in the underwater tunnels surrounded by sharks and other sea life. Exhibits include: • Amazon — Walk along the floor of the Amazon River, during its flooded season, thanks to a 32.5-foot long seamless


Jellyfish are just one of the many attractions at the Newport Aquarium. tunnel. • Bizarre and Beautiful — Families will enjoy some of nature’s most amazing creatures in this recently expanded exhibit. • Coral Reef — Immerse yourself in the vibrant colors and natural splendor of a coral reef as you pass through one of the many acrylic tunnels. • Dangerous and Deadly — Encounter the most feared and lethal — and often misunderstood — animals found in the aquatic world. • Frog Bog — Children have never seen frogs like

this before. The Frog Bog is the largest exhibit of its kind in the Midwest, with nearly 20 species of exotic frogs. • Gator Alley — Get eye-to-eye with Mighty Mike and meet his new friends at the brand new Gator Alley exhibit. • Jellyfish Gallery — Marvel at the largest and coolest jellyfish exhibit in the Midwest. Visitors will be mesmerized and amazed by more than a hundred jellyfish. • Penguin Palooza — Enjoy one of the most diverse collections of cold-

weather penguins in the country at Kroger Penguin Palooza. • World Rivers — In the first gallery to be visited, Pepsi World Rivers, participants will find the highest density and diversity of life forms in the Aquarium. • Rainforest — Beneath a soaring glass canopy, visitors will marvel at Asian small-clawed otters swimming and playing against the enchanting backdrop of a peaceful waterfall. • Shark Central — Thrill seeker alert: You can touch a real shark at the only experiences of its kind in the region. • Shore Gallery — Discover fish that have four eyes, fish that can walk right out of the water and fish that can spit water 6 feet to catch insects. You’ll see these and many more wonders in our Shore Gallery. • Surrounded By Sharks — Immerse yourself in the ocean when you walk through underwater tunnels while sand tiger, sandbar, whitetip reef, blacktip reef, nurse and zebra sharks swim over and around you. • Theater — The theater features one of the largest acrylic windows in the Aquarium for an aweinspiring view of the giant shark tank. Behind-the-scenes tours and a penguin encounter are available to visitors during specific times for an additional fee. “There is so much to see and do here at aquarium,” Guile said. “There is a lot to learn about the animals. It is a beautiful place to come and the staff here is ready and willing to answer your questions. “There’s always something new, there’s always

something to see.” How to go Newport Aquarium, located at One Aquarium Way, Newport, Ky., is open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily. Prices for general admission for 2013 are adult (13 or older) $23, child admission (2-12) $15 and those 2 and younger are free. Sandra Guile, public relations manager, said weekends and holidays at Newport Aquarium are busy, and suggests visitors purchase tickets online at m. During peak visiting times, Guile said the aquarium uses a time ticketing policy to avoid excess crowds and ensure visitors a comfortable experience. During timed ticketing periods, visitors without advance tickets may be asked to choose a later entry time. “We strongly recommend you buy tickets online and visit the website for more information,” Guile said. The stroller policy — for families with small children — also is important to understand, according to Guile. For the comfort and safety of its guests, the aquarium accommodates strollers during most hours, but not all. Visitors can click on the stroller calendar on the website for a complete schedule, or call ahead to see if strollers are permitted at the time they plan to visit. Backpacks and baby carriers are available on loan in the lobby free of charge for children under 30 pounds. Wagons are not permitted at any time. For more information, call (800) 406-3474 or visit

What’s A Family To Do? • Page 10 • June 14, 2013

Great Miami River a great source of fun Civitas Media It is right at the tip of an oar for those looking for something to do, but it winds and weaves right under most footsteps on a daily basis. For those looking for fun in the sun and some water, there is a plethora of options open to outdoor adventurers on the Little Miami River and other rivers by way of a short drive. Local resident and Ohio’s Great Cooridor (OGC) board member, Tom Kendall said the OGC and the Miami County Park District is working hard to educate the public on the accessibility and advantages of hitting the river, whether it’s in a kayak, tube or canoe with friends or family. “I think if people get out and try it they will like it,” Kendall said. “It is something you can do at your own pace, at your own level of activity. If you want you can float, if you want to paddle hard paddle hard.” He said the rewards of getting out and being active on the river or the banks of the river with the bike path are endless. “There are so many, from enjoying the

quiet time seeing nature, seeing birds to relaxing with friends and family,” Kendall said. “It can be enjoyable to everyone.” As far as the river goes, Kendall said the Ohio’s Great Corridor is working on a number of projects to make the trip down the river more enjoyable for everyone. “We are going to be doing bridge marking this summer,” Kendall said. “Every bridge in Miami County with the exception of the two new bridges and the covered bridge, there will be a street or road name and there will be a mileage marker that will explain the distance to the Ohio River from that point. It will give people a better idea of where they are and how far they have until the Ohio River or to their next destination.” In addition to the mileage markers, the OGC is working on a project that will help attract even more residents to the water. “From a local standpoint here in Troy we are looking at trying to get a river stewards program started,” Kendall said. “We will be trying to work with the high school and all aged students. It will be sort of a copy of what they are doing down at the University of Dayton in the river stewards program

there.” He said the goal of the program is to get the students out on the water to learn more about the environment and to take river surveys for wildlife and quality measurements of the water. As first time outdoor adventurers hit the water, there may be some hesitation to dive completely in from here-say on the quality of the river, however Kendall said there is no need to worry and to fully enjoy the river, the way that it was meant to be. “I’ll be honest, even myself when I started paddling, I was self conscious if I would get spray on my face,” Kendall said. “But after working with the river stewards from the University of Dayton, it is different. They started up at Indian Lake and came back down to Dayton to check the purity along the way. All of their reports came back good and they would actually take cups and drink water from the river and not think anything about it. Just because the water may be a little bit murky doesn’t mean that it is bad.” Kendall said he hopes local residents will begin educating themselves about the river and the options that it displays for summer fun for family and friends. “I would just tell them not to worry about it,” he said. “We are breathing in things, touching things and putting our hands in our mouth without washing them — that is probably more contaminated than the river water.” Those looking to take the dive into some outdoor fun have many options of where to put into the river. There is a location at Twin Arch Park on 25-A, Treasure Island and a number of places you can rent kayaks and canoes to test the waters. Locally, residents can visit, Barefoot Canoe in either the Tipp City location, 210 Parkwood Drive., Tipp City or West Milton, 235 E. Tipp Pike, and Great Miami Adventures, 1995 Ross Road, Tipp City. Each location has canoes and kayaks available for renting. While kayaking and canoeing can be a great get-away for the day, safety tips are also important to keep in mind. Barefoot Canoe owner Brian Budding said the season has started off well for them and anticipates a good rest of the season. “So far the season has started out great,” Budding said. “We had really nice water levels on Memorial Day however with the lack of rain we have run out of water and we had to shut down for about a week. We want to make sure your first trip out is a good trip and you come back and tell all of your friends about how great it was. We don’t

want you heading out there and dragging your canoe halfway down the river. It is pretty important to us that you have a good time while you are out there.” He said despite having to close for a couple of weeks, they are back open with good water levels from the recent rain. “The last couple of storms have helped us out, but the levels up and have made for a comfortable ride. I have watched the water closer than any farmer recenlty because I love this business,” Budding said with a laugh. “I can tell you that the weatherman are probably wrong 60 percent of the time.” Budding said it’s always a good idea to call in advance of your trip to make sure each location is open for appropriate water levels. A good tip Budding offered for those ready to try their turn with the oars is to have a good dry bag. “What we do is we save our peanut butter jars and other plastic containers throughout the winter as a cheap way to do a dry bag,” Budding said. “It’s good to put lighters, phones, keys anything you will be taking with you in to keep them dry.” Budding said there are a couple of other things to keep in mind while stepping into the boats. “It’s always a good idea to wear shoes, I know the name is Barefoot, but it was actually named after the guy that started the business,” Budding said. “Sunscreen is also another thing. We always get that one person that doesn’t wear sunscreen and comes back beat red.” One last important thing to keep in mind for beginners and experienced kayakers and canoers is to pick something that suits your comfort level for the trip. “Generally don’t sign up for a trip that will be too much,” Budding said. “There is always that old saying that your eyes are bigger than your stomachs. A lot of times we will have people who are excited about the trip sign up for the long 10-miler, but that is a long trip. Sometimes we have people who get halfway and have to call it a day. It’s a good idea if you are first-timer to take the short trip, make sure you like it and have a good first experience.” Other than that, Budding said the business will soon be coming out with a video that will have tips and tricks of the trade for those interested. “We are getting ready to put together a video that will teach you how to unswamp your canoe, they will point out dangerous spots to look for, things like that,” Budding said.

What’s A Family To Do? • Page 11 • June 14, 2013

Study: Parents spend more on children than in past SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — Thursday night the Fish family was fully booked. Brady, a sixth-grader, and little brother Danny had Scouts until 5:30 p.m. Then, it was off to practice piano and drums. By 7 p.m. Laurel, 16, and Natalie, 17, were participating in the final school choir performance for the year while Danny went to his soccer game. Parents Becky and Derek divided and conquered. As any busy family knows, juggling all these extracurricular activities can be a time crunch. But it can also put a dent in the parental wallet. Becky Fish said in May the family spent $300 for Laurel’s private driving lessons, $500 on a birthday road trip, and extra cash on graduation gifts for Natalie and promotion gifts for Brady. And that all comes on top of the usual costs for clothes, toys, sports fees, Scout camps, choir outfits and piano lessons. “This is a hard month,” she said. Raising children has never been a cheap proposition, but if you feel your budget being stretched by kid costs, you’re not alone. A recent study looking at trends in family economics since the 1970s shows a steady increase in the amount of money parents are spending on their children. And the portion of income parents are devoting to children is going up, even as family sizes shrink, says Sabino Kornrich, postdoctoral fellow at the University of

Sydney and co-author of the report, “Investing in Children: Changes in Parental Spending on Children.” “We really can’t say why parents are spending more,” Kornrich said. “In general, it seems that college admissions and the job market have become much more competitive, increasing parents’ incentives to invest in children. But we didn’t have any data on parents’ motivations, so we aren’t sure.” No matter the reasons, the trend can’t be ignored. In 1973, parents spent an average of $1,106 a year per child on education, child care and accessories; in 1984, the cost jumped to $1,713; in 1995, the total was $2,081; and by 2006, parents were spending $2,217 a year on a child (data come from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics and dollar values were adjusted to 2008 dollars). The authors describe those averages as “conservative” estimates that may underrepresent what parents actually spend on children; households with children living away from home who were still getting parental support were excluded from the study, for example. Kornrich said parents from all income brackets are spending more on their children, although those paying out the most are college-educated parents and parents in the top 20 percent of earners, “probably because their incomes have increased

faster than incomes for households through the rest of the income distribution.” Perhaps not surprising to working parents and those with college-bound kids, child care and education represent the biggest chunk of the spending, with the most expensive years occurring before age 6 and after age 18. From the prevalence of extracurricular activities to the expectation of having the latest pocket electronics, the increasing cost of parenting doesn’t surprise Brigham Young University associate professor of personal and family finance Craig Israelsen. But he does note that he’s seen one segment balloon in cost over the past decade: youth athletics. He said that sports camps are now offered year-round in pretty much any sport, and if a child attended camps back to back it “could cost $30,000 a year.” “When I was young, if you wanted to play basketball you played at the school down the street,” he said. “Now you can send your child to tournaments in Hawaii. It’s a costly world.”

And he suspects many parents link the extra expenses to boosting a child’s college prospects, believing rightly or wrongly that sports camps, music lessons and college prep courses could lead to a scholarship and, ultimately, financial success. “In Utah, our society is very college-centric,” Israelsen said, “The pressure to get into college is measurable . and that pressure translates into costs.” Investing in their children’s future has always guided Becky Fish’s spending priorities. The Magna stay-at-home mom says she and her husband, Derek, shop around for affordable but worthwhile extracurriculars and scrimp to make sure the couple can squeeze as many kid activities as they can out of their $67,000 annual budget. “We live in a small house and drive older cars, but we’ll do everything to we need to do to make sure our kids go to college,” Fish said. The investment appears to be paying off. Daughter Natalie will attend BYUIdaho on a full tuition scholarship in the fall.

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In this May 30photo, Danny Fish, 9, practices the piano at his home in Magna, Utah. A recent study looking at trends in family economics since the 1970s shows a steady increase in the amount of money parents are spending on their children.

153rd Annual

2013 Shelby County Fair July 21-27

ENTERTAINMENT TENT htly at 8:00 p p.m. July 21 • 7:00 P.M. Nightly July 22 • 8:00 P.M. King & Queen Coronation

July 23 • 8:00 P.M.


Timmy “G” & The Buckeye Bandits dits

July 25 8:00 P.M. Steel Magnolia

July 24 8:00 P.M. T Graham Brown

July 26 8:00 P.M. Mr. M Mr r Speed • Kiss Tribute Band

July 27 8:00 P.M. The Voices of Ohio

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