Lewis Wallace


Lewis Wallace comes to WYSO from the Pritzker Journalism Fellowship at WBEZ in Chicago, where he reported on the environment, technology, science and economics. Prior to going down the public radio rabbit hole, he was a community organizer and producer for a multimedia project about youth and policing in Chicago. Originally from Ann Arbor, MI, Lewis spent many years as a freelance writer, anti-oppression trainer, barista and sex educator in Chicago and in Oakland, CA. He holds a B.A. in Religious Studies from Northwestern University, and he has recently expanded his journalism training through the 2013 Metcalf Fellowship for Environmental Journalism and the Institutes for Journalism and Natural Resources.

Lewis contributes regularly to NPR and Marketplace, and works in partnership with WBEZ Chicago on WYSO Curious/Curious City and as a freelance contributor. His work on the rollout of the federal Affordable Care Act for WYSO won two 2013 national Public Radio News Directors Incorporated (PRNDI) awards for continuing coverage (first place) and best news feature (second place).

Lewis is transgender and goes by the pronouns "he" and "him."

Ways To Connect


 As we move towards election day Nov. 5, the Beavercreek City School District is among those pleading with voters for new levy funding. The district has had four recent levies defeated at the ballot box, and is now returning with a fifth, reduced levy of 6.3 mills. The emergency levy would cost property owners about $18 a month per $100,000 of appraised property value.

WYSO/Lewis Wallace

A story in Bloomberg earlier this week found that hedge fund Magnetar has bought up a significant chunk of the rental stock in Montgomery County’s Huber Heights—and then requested a major reduction in those properties’ values. That reduction, if approved, could affect the city’s taxes and levies.


School levies are among the biggest issues on the ballot in the upcoming November 5, 2013 election. Ohio schools depend on these levies as an essential funding stream, and many are facing new or additional levies that can be difficult to pass.

Money for Ohio’s public schools comes from three sources: federal funds, state funds, and local tax levies.

“Levies then become the source really of their chief operating funds,” explains Mark Smith of Cedarville University. “For most cases those local schools are very dependent upon those local property taxes.”

The Ohio Controlling Board approved funding to expand Medicaid in a 5-2 vote Monday afternoon.

That means beginning this January, over 300,000 Ohioans could become newly eligible for the state-run health insurance program, and around 275,000 are expected to get covered in 2014. The expansion extends state Medicaid programs to cover all adults making up to 138 percent of the federal poverty level, or a little less than $16,000 for an individual.

Home sales numbers are out for September, and the greater Dayton area shows an increase of 21 percent compared to September of 2012. The dollar volume in the first nine months of the year, $1.3 billion, also increased 21 percent compared to the first nine months of 2012.

Nancy Farkas of the Dayton Area Board of Realtors says she sees the most growth in places like Kettering, Centerville and Beavercreek. But overall, she says the outlook is positive across the board.

Antwaun Brown is currently uninsured, and doesn't know yet whether he'll be able to get covered by the ACA. medicaid insurance health
Lewis Wallace / WYSO

Governor John Kasich will bring a Medicaid expansion proposal to the Ohio Controlling Board Monday. He’s gone around the Republican-run legislature in an attempt to approve billions in funds from the federal Affordable Care Act, and health coverage for hundreds of thousands of low-income people hangs in the balance.

When Amy Sylvester shows up at her appointment at Five Rivers Health Center in Dayton, she’s been up all night, because she works a 2am shift delivering papers.


In recent months, three national retailers have recently announced they’re coming to the Miami Valley: Whole Foods, Costco and H&M.

Ohio Governor John Kasich announced last week he’ll circumvent the legislature to try to expand Medicaid eligibility under the Affordable Care Act. Meanwhile, state legislators are considering two separate Medicaid reform bills—and health care providers have their fingers crossed.

WYSO/Lewis Wallace

As the federal government shutdown drags into its third week, it has become a sort of background noise, present but not always noticeable. Unless you’re a federal worker, that is; Justine Kelly’s a case in point.

She works at the Social Security Administration, and has been working without pay for weeks.

“This is just so demoralizing,” she said at a Democratic party event in Dayton Monday. “I feel like nobody cares. I feel nobody’s listening, like this is all a game.”

WYSO/Lewis Wallace

The Dayton Development Coalition (DDC) has launched an initiative called the “Federal Retention Program” to protect and expand Wright-Patterson Air Force Base. But that effort is an uphill battle against federal fiscal instability.

Wright-Patt puts upwards of $4 billion a year into the Dayton region, and a major goal of the new initiative is to keep that money coming in. At the same time, DDC president Jeff Hoagland admits the outlook in Washington is a bit bleak.