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

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.

Wayne Baker

Ohio's new Bureau of Criminal Investigation Science School was launched this week in Springfield with 4th graders  at Perrin Woods Elementary School. Wednesday, Attorney General Mike DeWine visited the school to check on the program's progress.

On Monday, kids at the elementary school were the first in the state to start participating in the program, which was created by the Attorney General's office in order to expose younger students to science.

The Kmart store in Springfield has closed. As a result of the store's closure, 68 jobs will be lost.
Wayne Baker / WYSO

The recent closure of Kmart in Springfield will mean the loss of 68 jobs. The chain, which is owned by parent company Sears Holdings, has shuttered the doors on two other area stores, pushing the job loss total to nearly 200.

Losing a job at any time of the year is tough, but particularly over the holiday season. That's why Amy Donahoe, director of hiring and employer services with the Greater Springfield Chamber of Commerce, says the chamber activated a special program to help displaced Springfield Kmart workers.

About 50 Quaker protesters showed at two PNC bank branches in Springfield Saturday.
Wayne Baker / WYSO

Several local Quaker activists participated in a “Flood PNC” protest in Springfield Saturday morning. The Earth Quaker Action Team organized demonstrations in 12 states and the District of Columbia to ask PNC Bank to stop financing mountaintop removal coal mining in Appalachian areas.

The U.S. EPA says the process involves mining companies blowing the tops off of mountains in order to extract an abundance of coal. After the coal is extracted, toxic waste is often dumped into the environment, harming water supplies and wildlife.

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