Features reporter for the Columbus Dispatch. Storyteller. Food lover. Hoping to shine a light.

Blindness doesn’t daunt Dublin Scioto band member in first show

dispatch.com — For Maddie Kupsky, normalcy proved triumphant on Friday night: The Dublin Scioto High School marching band performed its first halftime show of the football season without a visible hitch. Though seemingly an unremarkable accomplishment, the program at Westerville South High School included the baritone-playing Kupsky, who is legally blind - the first visually impaired marching-band member that director Jim Gray has led in his 31-year career.

CATCO Is Kids cast enjoys pleasant romp but keeps focus on message

dispatch.com — The story of "James and the Giant Peach Jr." asks readers and viewers to suspend reality. And that is just fine with Sarah Anne and Mary Beth Kauffman. The two sisters from Grandview Heights portray sisters in the CATCO Is Kids production that opens Friday.

The Good Life: For half a century, central Ohioan has done his best to elevate others

dispatch.com — Gary Bogart easily lists the many whats, wheres and whens of his 48 years of volunteerism. In rapid-fire succession, the effervescent 85-year-old recites his efforts in behalf of Special Olympians, students at the Ohio State School for the Blind, patients at the Twin Valley Behavioral Healthcare hospital and others.

Race of thousands of rubber ducks carries rewards beyond prizes

dispatch.com — When she attends the Great Columbus Duck Race & Run in Gahanna, Chrissy Spayde will see the thousands of yellow ducks in Big Walnut Creek not as toys but as little rubber warriors. Each one, after all, will have been bought by a sponsor, with proceeds benefiting the Research Institute at Nationwide Children's Hospital.

Circleville woman keeps son's memory alive by helping young musicians

dispatch.com — CIRCLEVILLE - Jen Auteri doesn't visit her oldest son's grave as often as she once did. "When it first happened, I would come here every day," she said of Evan Palmer's plot in Forest Cemetery. "But now, if I'm at home, I can just pretend he's out with friends or something."

Gahanna bartender to compete in London contest

dispatch.com — Alex Chien began tending bar to pay the bills. Soon, the work will take him overseas. The resident of Gahanna won a regional competition two months ago in Detroit. Next week, the 25-year-old will travel to London - along with nine other regional champions - to vie for the North American title in a U.S.

Zoo employees know Nora has to leave, but 'our hearts are broken'

dispatch.com — Rarely has a success story at the Columbus Zoo & Aquarium caused so much sadness. The zoo announced on Wednesday that Nora, a polar bear born there in November, will move next month to the Oregon Zoo in Portland. She will remain on public display through Sept. 5.

Balloon festival offers plenty to do without going up, up and away

dispatch.com — Those attending the All Ohio Balloon Festival this weekend may take heart in knowing that plenty of entertainment options don't involve free-floating rides. The July 30 hot-air balloon crash near Lockhart, Texas, in which 16 people were killed, caused festival general manager Kevin Behrens to review his event's safety measures.

Ohio Arts Council hands out $12 million in grants

dispatch.com — The Ohio Arts Council awarded more than $12 million in grants for fiscal year 2017, an increase of more than $1 million from 2016, the council announced today. Executive director Donna Collins credited the boost in state funding for allowing the group to increase its support.

Blind sophomore seeks to march at Dublin Scioto and, eventually, Ohio State

dispatch.com — Maddie Kupsky sees blurry lines on the marching-band practice field, but she has a clear vision. Legally blind since birth, the 15-year-old is focused on marching with the Dublin Scioto High School band, then ranking as the first blind member of the Ohio State University marching band to participate in all performances.
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Aug 29, 2016

Must have been some strong winds going through the Topiary Park downtown yesterday. https://t.co/sCckbzBCRo

Aug 29, 2016

So I followed up on the legally blind band member who marched in her first game Friday:  http://bit.ly/2bwy9WT  https://t.co/LoSMxeyLdq

Aug 26, 2016

For Americana, few things beat the first night of high school football. #dublinscioto #westervillesouth https://t.co/KJcEZA4t8v

Aug 26, 2016

I'm warning you, #trumpexplainsmovieplots is big, folks. Huge. Great hashtag. I couldn't do better.

Aug 25, 2016

No I am not replacing Jym Ganahl, but I am writing about his last forecast coming up Sept. 1. @nbc4i https://t.co/I2JC79vXLa

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