Lewis Wallace

Reporter

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."

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WYSO/Lewis Wallace

  A job fair for the Miami Valley Gaming “Racino” brought dozens of people to Sinclair College Wednesday. The $175 million project in Warren County is hiring up to 600 people in anticipation of opening by the end of the year. Available jobs at the new gaming center include service, hospitality, security and IT, and people came from around the Dayton area for the chance to meet recruiters face-to-face.

vistavision / Flickr Creative Commons

The proposed Water Street development in downtown Dayton is one step closer to reality. The Dayton Plan Commission gave approval to the Water Street Project.  The private redevelopment effort would span almost the whole stretch of riverfront from Riverscape Park to Tech Town. Support for the $36 million effort was overwhelming at Tuesday night’s meeting.

"The developer has money, has experience, knows what he’s doing, he’s not coming saying give me money, I’ll build it, he’s bringing money from Columbus to here," says Sandy Mendelson, a downtown businessman.

(WYSO/Lewis Wallace)

 Political and business leaders held an event in Dayton Monday to discuss merging city and county governments. The group is pushing the economic benefits of consolidation.

  

Leaders of the so-called “One Dayton” initiative say the problem is simple: both Dayton and Montgomery County have been in decline. Since the year 2000, around 25,000 people have left the county, and jobs are slow to return after the recession.

The Beavercreek City School District has reached a contract agreement with teachers after months of strained negotiations, but the district is left with a budget problem.

The contract includes compromises over pay raises and health care; for the first time ever, teachers have agreed to forgo regular raises in the base wage and instead take raises based on district-wide performance. The Beavercreek schools consistently perform very high by state standards, and a continued “A” grade from the state of Ohio would mean a one-time raise for teachers each year.

The federal health care marketplace is set to open Oct. 1, and Ohio organizations are scrambling to prepare. Beginning Jan. 1, 2014, almost all Americans will be required to have health care either through an employer, through a private insurer, or through a state- or federally-run marketplace. The marketplaces will essentially be regulated online shopping centers where consumers can compare health plans and find out whether they qualify for federal subsidies.

(WYSO/Lewis Wallace)

 

 Montgomery County voted on Tuesday to put $50,000 towards a Great Miami River master plan. More than a dozen cities and towns along the river are also pitching in to match funds provided by a U.S. Army Corps of Engineers for a program that helps states plan waterfront development.

The local partnership with the Corps is headed off by the Miami Conservancy District, and participants hope it will help turn the river into a regional cash cow.

 In a report released Tuesday, an employment firm called Manpower found that 20 percent of employers in the Dayton area plan to hire in the next three months. That’s up from 18 percent last year, constituting a marginal increase.

But Tom Maher with Manpower in Dayton is optimistic.

(Wikimedia Commons)

Last week was a big week for robots: the Dayton Water Department signed a contract to look into using robots to inspect sewers, and the Public Works Department made a deal to acquire 18 new solar-powered trash compactors. City officials say automation in the city’s trash and sewers could save time and money.

(WYSO/Lewis Wallace)

  U.S. Senator Rob Portman met with farmers in the Dayton area Wednesday to talk about the farm bill. The bill, which is up for renewal, subsidizes both agribusiness and food stamps.

The farmers want a new bill passed soon to protect crop insurance, a federally-subsidized program that helps farmers cope when nature destroys their crops. But Portman recently voted against the Senate version of the omnibus bill.

U.S. Senator Rob Portman will meet with farmers in the Dayton area today to answer questions about the farm bill.

For most farmers, the first concern about the farm bill is making sure there is a farm bill. The bill expires every five years, and the U.S. House and Senate have until October to agree on a new version or extend the old one.

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