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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Gov. John Kasich's proposed $72.3 billion budget includes cuts to more than half of Ohio's public school districts, but the superintendent of Springfield City Schools believes the budget will help his and many other districts.

Dr. David Estrop, who's in his final year as the head of Springfield City Schools, says poorer school district's like Springfield get more funding under the governor’s proposal.

Wilberforce University is the nation’s oldest, private historically black college and university (HBCU).
Wilberforce University

Wilberforce University held a dedication and ribbon cutting ceremony Friday Jan. 30 for recently renovated buildings. The university continues to repair its facilities and academic programs to fight a show-cause order issued by the Higher Learning Commission.

The HLC issued the show-cause order last June alleging the university was out of compliance in several areas including its academic programs, finances and facilities.

Jeff Sellers, acting vice-president of institutional advancement, says repairing the campus facilities before an HLC visit next week was critical.

Nicholas Eckhart / Flickr Creative Commons

The owners of the Upper Valley Mall in Springfield say they have no plans to sell or close the property right now. Patrons of the mall have been curious about its future after two of its three anchor stores closed recently.

Macy's and JCPenney both announced earlier this month that they will be permanently closing their mall locations in the spring. Sears will be the only remaining anchor store, with the Boonshoft Museum being the other major attraction.

A Yellow Springs police officer has been placed on paid administrative leave after being charged earlier today with three misdemeanor counts in Greene County Municipal Court.

The charges against Sgt. Naomi Penrod stem from a Nov. 5, 2014 incident involving village resident Athena Fannin, who alleges that Penrod forcibly grabbed a video camera from her while she was taping the sergeant during police activity.

The superintendent of the Tecumseh School District in Clark County was suspended without pay following allegations he used school funds to support a gambling habit. A school official states that superintendent Brad Martin is likely to lose his job.

Interim superintendent Paula Crew declined to go on air, but did state that an investigation by law enforcement revealed Martin apparently stole money from the school to spend more than 100 days gambling at a casino.

John Boehner
Gage Skidmore / Flickr/Creative Commons

House Speaker John Boehner will have two guests from Springfield in the House gallery Tuesday night for President Obama's State of the Union address.

Clark State President Dr. Jo Alice Blondin will be one of Boehner's guests. She expects the president to address the critical role a community college plays in today's higher education landscape.

City of Springfield, Ohio.
City of Springfield, Ohio.

The Federal Aviation Administration has granted Clark State Community College permission to fly a drone in parts of Clark County and it will fly over land owned by the City of Springfield, but leased to local farmers.

Clark State recently announced it would integrate drones, or unmanned aerial vehicles, into a new precision agriculture program. Getting FAA authorization to fly was the next step. Clark State President Jo Alice Blondin indicated that the students should benefit.

Springfield's Upper Valley Mall, built in 1971, has suffered from the loss of several anchor tenants.
Nicholas Eckhart / Flickr/Creative Commons

JC Penney plans to close two area stores this spring, including the one at Springfield's Upper Valley Mall, as part of a large set of closures around the country. Macy's also announced Thursday it will be closing its Springfield location along with 13 others nationally, costing Springfield another 79 jobs.

Two recent protests over the police killing of John Crawford III were the first ones to lead to arrests. walmart protest
Wayne Baker / WYSO

All 16 people arrested in connection with two recent protests in Beavercreek have had their initial day in court. Each of them plead not guilty to misdemeanor charges of trespass, obstructing official business, and in one case, resisting arrest.

The group calling itself the Groovy Grannies organized its first demonstration against police violence in Springfield Monday. police John Crawford
Wayne Baker / WYSO

A group called the Groovy Grannies has formed in Springfield to protest police killings of unarmed black men. 

Almost 50 people gathered outside of City Hall Monday and marched to the Springfield courthouse, chanting the names of John Crawford III and Tamir Rice, who were both killed by police in Ohio earlier this year. Springfield pastor Linda Stampley is one of the founders of the group.

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