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

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.

Wayne Baker / WYSO

(Updated December 22nd at 10:45am) The Walmart in Beavercreek, Ohio, was closed for nearly three hours Saturday afternoon. Multiple police agencies from around the area responded to the store following a massive “die-in” protest.

A Clark County non-profit is starting a research study on health care access for immigrants.  A grant from CareSource is paying for the project.

Carl Ruby is with the non-profit support group Welcome Springfield, which helps immigrants living in Clark County. He says a high rate of Latinos in the county are uninsured, and that causes problems for them.

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