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.

Ways To Connect

An open house was held at South High School recently to give residents a look at what will soon become the new educational hub.
Wayne Baker / WYSO

The doors of historic Springfield South High School, which closed in 2008, were once again open to the public this week. An open house allowed residents and alumni to see what will soon become an educational hub for four other Clark County schools.

Wayne Baker / WYSO

Springfield played host to city's first-ever Gourmet Food Truck Competition over the weekend. Veterans Park was jammed with people who turned out to sample food from nearly 40 vendors.
 

The food trucks were competing for a $10,000 grand prize as judges tasted and graded each vendor's signature dish. Harvest Mobile Cuisine from Spring Valley, Ohio took the top prize with its Land and Sea BLT. 

Nearly 40 food trucks will have their best culinary delights on display in Springfield this Saturday.  The vendors will be competing for a $10,000 grand prize in the city's first ever Gourmet Food Truck Competition.

The Springfield Rotary Club organized the event, which has drawn national attention from the growing food truck movement. Vendors from outside of Ohio have signed up to showcase food that ranges from gourmet hot dogs to Korean fusion food.

Merle Grace Kearns, a former Clark County commissioner and a 15-year state legislator, passed away over the weekend at the age of 76. The veteran Republican lawmaker had gained respect from both sides of the political aisle during her career.

Kearns spent time as the director of the Ohio Department of Aging and was a member of the Ohio House, representing the 72nd  district and served as Majority Leader in the 126th General Assembly.

Prior to serving in the Ohio House, Kearns was a member of the Ohio Senate from 1991 to 2000, representing the 10th Senate District.

Two Wittenberg University administrators have teamed up to to better understand why certain students have trouble transitioning from high school to college.  The academic duo helped the university land one of 19 College Success Grants to fund their study.

Mary Jo Zembar and Jon Duraj recently secured nearly $200,000 in funding from the non-profit Great Lakes Community Investments Corporation.

Duraj shared that part of the funding will be used to hire three first-year success advisers, who will be asking students tough questions that go beyond traditional academics.

Nicholas Eckhart / Flickr/Creative Commons

Springfield’s Upper Valley Mall is now under new management, and city officials are hoping the change will give the shopping center a new lease on life.

Wells Fargo Bank initiated court action against the Upper Valley Mall and the Simon Management Associates in June seeking to have it placed in receivership. The bank claimed Simon defaulted on a $47 million loan.

The mall opened in 1971, and Horton Hobbs with the Springfield Chamber of Commerce, believes for the most part, the Simon Group did a good job of running it.

The Springfield Champion City Kings dedicated a new scoreboard Thursday night
Wayne Baker / WYSO

Springfield's collegiate summer baseball franchise, the Champion City Kings, will conclude its inaugural season next week. The team has made a good impression so far on fans and city officials.

Last night was a good example of the team's progress: The Kings unveiled a brand new $200,000 video scoreboard prior to their game against the Richmond River Rats. The scoreboard is 34 feet tall and features an 11-foot-high video monitor.

Wilberforce University was set to name a new president this week, but the selected candidate turned down the offer, and now a new search is underway.

Dwayne Smith, vice-president of academic affairs at Harris-Stowe State University in St. Louis, Mo, was offered the job to become the school's 20th president at an alumni conference in Memphis. But the head of the Wilberforce Faculty Association, Richard Deering, indicated that Smith balked at the offer after learning he was not the university's first choice.

Enon-based Speedway announced this morning that it is expanding operations. The company is estimating that the expansion will bring over 300 new jobs to Clark County over a three year period.

Mike McDorman, president of the Greater Springfield Chamber of Commerce, indicated that Speedway's expansion plans include buying an office building in Springfield’s NextEdge Applied Research and Technology Park, while also investing $9 million in its current headquarters.

Wayne Baker / WYSO

Clark County is seeing its tourism industry grow according to a recently released economic report. The study done by Oxford Economics reveals that tourism contributes almost $368 million per year to the county's economy.

Chris Schutte, of the Greater Springfield Convention and Visitors Bureau, released the findings of the study which shows an increase of $42 million since 2011. He feels there are a few key factors involved with the financial improvement.

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