Wayne Baker

Clark County Reporter

Wayne Baker is a graduate of Yellow Springs High School and Central State University. He has worked in print media for several years covering news and sports.  Baker has coached youth basketball in the Yellow Springs school system and served on the Human Relations Commission.

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Voters choosing a Republican candidate for the 8th congressional district will have to select their candidate twice on March 15.

Secretary of State Jon Husted says one vote on March 15 is for the Special Election to fill Speaker John Boehner’s unexpired term, and the second is the Republican primary for the full two-year term beginning in January 2017.

The Clark County Board of Elections has named Thomas Wilson as its new director.

The board unanimously approved Wilson on Wednesday over three other finalists to replace Matthew Tlachac who resigned after accepting a position with the Ohio Secretary of State's Office last month.

Tlachac served as director since 2012.  He replaced fellow Democrat Mark Oster, who retired. 

63-year-old Wilson will start on Monday with an annual salary of $52,000. It will be raised to $56,000 after 90 days.

Central State University

Former Republican State Sen.Chris Widener has signed on as a consultant with Central State University. The new job comes less than a week after Widener resigned from the senate with nearly a year left in his current term.

A Central State spokeswoman confirmed Tuesday afternoon, that Widener will earn $6,000 a month from the University. 

She says Widener will be advising the university president, Dr. Cynthia Jackson-Hammond on a variety of business matters affecting the school. Central State did not release other details on the agreement.

Wayne Baker / WYSO

The Boonshoft Museum of Discovery's Springfield satellite location has six months to decide if it will remain at its current Upper Valley Mall location, or move downtown.  The Springfield city commission has approved leasing the downtown Myers Market Building, which currently houses United Senior Services, to the Boonshoft according to Mark Meister, Boonshoft's president.

Boonshoft's lease at the mall ends March 31st, but  Meister is hoping that the museum can stay in Springfield—even though attendance dipped to just more than 20,000 in 2015, from more than 25,000 in 2014.

A $4 million deficit and the loss of $2 million in state funding over the past two years has the Clark County Board of Developmental Disabilities streamlining its operations in 2016.

Voters in Clark County have turned down the last two levy requests from the Clark County Board of Developmental Disabilities. Now, Superintendent Jennifer Rousculp-Miller stated the agency will have to cut services in Clark County.

Contributed / WYSO

Payne Theological Seminary in Wilberforce, which is affiliated with the African Methodist Episcopal Church (AME), has named Dr. Michael Brown interim president. He will take over for Dr. Leah Gaskin Fitchue who retired in 2015 after serving as president for 11 years.

Brown, an AME ordained minister, came to the Seminary in 2014 to serve as academic dean, and will remain in that position while serving as interim president. He holds degrees from the University of Chicago and Vanderbilt University.

The new owners of Springfield’s Upper Valley Mall have announced that another business will be closing at the location.

American Eagle Outfitters will be leaving the mall by early February according to New Upper Valley Associates LLC. The company bought the mall in December for $2.6 million in an online auction. 

A spokesman for American Eagle Outfitters declined to comment on the number of employees affected by the store’s closing or if it would relocate to a new location in Clark County.

Vincennes University

Dr. Dick Helton has been named the interim president of Wittenberg University. Helton is stepping in after Dr. Laurie Joyner’s resignation in November.

Helton recently served as president of Vincennes University in Indiana, and also spent time serving as a superintendent in the Indiana school system. He holds a Ph.D from Indiana State University.

Republican State Sen. Chris Widener has reached his term limit and won't seek election next year. Widener serves Clark, Madison and Greene counties, and is in the process of completing his second four-year term. 

Widener is term limited in the Ohio Senate, where he is currently the president pro tempore so he can’t run again. He has also served in the Ohio House of Representatives. 

A large donation has been announced for the former South High School, now called the Springfield Center for Innovation.  

Musician John Legend has pledged $500,000, and Speedway has pledged another $100,000 to renovate the building’s 700-seat auditorium. 

School officials say the donations from Legend and Speedway will be paid over the next two years, and renovations will begin on the auditorium this month. The Springfield City School District owns and operates the building, and the district is matching additional donations up to $1 million for the project.