WYSO Curious

Are you curious about the Miami Valley, its history, people or economy? Is there a place, a person or a story that mystifies or intrigues you? Do you like to ask questions? WYSO Curious is an occasional series that lets you ask questions for WYSO reporters to answer. Submit your own question below!


WYSO Curious is a partner of Hearken, founded by Jennifer Brandel.

Hear WYSO's Lewis Wallace discuss the growing Curious family with Jenn Brandel and Curious City editor Shawn Allee.

Char Daston / WYSO

Have you ever noticed the blue helicopters in the sky above the Miami Valley? Those are CareFlights, air ambulances from the Miami Valley Hospital. Rocky Blazer, a listener from Springfield, says they seem to fly out a lot, and asked why the hospital would decide to send out a CareFlight, rather than a traditional ambulance. I drove down to the hospital’s central campus in Dayton to investigate.

On the helipad

Dayton Daily News, courtesy of Sam Dorf

When you hear “Russian ballet,” Dayton, Ohio probably isn’t the first thing that comes to mind. But on February 8, 1917, the Ballets Russes, a radical Russian dance company based in Paris, performed at the Victoria Theater. That was twenty years before Dayton had its own ballet company. Listener Sandra Harewood learned about the performance and asked WYSO Curious to investigate.

What was the Ballets Russes?

What Happened To Hung-Town? WYSO Curious Goes In Search Of Hungarian Dayton

Apr 7, 2016
The old Kossuth Colony in Old North Dayton still exists, but with far fewer Hungarian residents.
Renee Wilde / WYSO

In today’s WYSO Curious, we field a question from WYSO listener Delaine Adkins, who lived in Budapest Hungary for a couple years and was curious about an historic area in Dayton called Hung-Town.

She wondered whether there were still any residual influences from the original occupants.

The Yellow Springs in winter glen helen
Talitha Green / Glen Helen

Today WYSO Curious takes on a question that’s simple, but also age-old. It involves a feature familiar to Yellow Springs locals: the actual springs after which the town is named.

The springs inside a preserve called Glen Helen look bright yellowish orange where the water comes out. So listener Jonathan Kouse, an occasional visitor to the Glen, asked, “Why are the Yellow Springs yellow?”


Neenah Ellis / WYSO

Back in December, I took a drive down to Cincinnati and recorded what my radio sounded as I merged onto I-75 south from State Route 35 in downtown Dayton. As soon as I started heading South, WYSO’s signal became choppy and full of static.

A mostly empty building, 40 West Fourth St, with a reflection in its windows of part of the empty Dayton Arcade.
Carey Scheer / WYSO

Dayton’s first modern skyscraper stands at 40 West Fourth Street. It’s all glass on the outside, stretching 22 stories into the sky. The lobby is brightly lit, but it’s eerily empty, aside from a bored looking security guard. He tells me there’s only two businesses left in this building, leaving 20 totally empty floors.

Dayton police say response times depend on call volume and the priority level of the call.  dayton police car
Carey Scheer / WYSO

Late last year, a man was assaulted by two people after walking out of the Family Dollar on Patterson road in Dayton. His attackers left pretty quickly, and the staff at family dollar called 911.  


“We kept calling them and calling them, hoping they would come faster,” says Jennifer, the store manager. “He could have had a concussion. He could have passed out. He was bleeding too.”

The victim also called 911. He told the operator that someone tried to kill him but initially he said he did not need an ambulance.

What’s In Those Trains? WYSO Curious Tracks Down The Cargo

Sep 24, 2015
trains rails
Lauren Shows / WYSO

Lyle Whybrew has lived his whole life to the sounds of passing trains. He grew up in North Judson, Indiana, a town where four railroad lines converged, and now he’s in Tipp City.

Rumpke's Dayton recycling facility separates glass and paper, and ships the rest to Cincinnati to be sorted.
Carey Scheer / WYSO

Carmen Milano, a 63-year-old yoga teacher from Yellow Springs, points to the instructional sticker on the top of her big green Rumpke Recycling bin.

The rotunda section of the Arcade is in urgent need of repair. downtown dayton
David Bohardt / Arcade Task Force

The downtown Dayton Arcade has been unoccupied for more than twenty years now.

But 52-year-old Daytonian Aquetta Knight remembers a time when it was hopping.

“Everybody I knew was down there,” she says. “They were the good old days.”

Her dad was a shoe repairman in the Arcade, which also housed a fresh meat market, fresh fish, a popcorn store and a grocery. She’s like a lot of residents who want nothing more than to see it open back up.