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Beautiful but unwanted; check it out in the WYSO News Update

Bradford_pear_tree_blossoms.jpeg. wikimedia commons C. E. Price
Wikimedia Commons - C. E. Price

WYSO News Update for January 20, 2023, with Jerry Kenney:

County agency in fiscal emergency (WYSO) The Montgomery County Board of Developmental Disabilities Services declared a fiscal emergency this week. That’s after a recent budget report revealed the agency faces an $18 million dollar deficit per year for the next five years. WYSO’s Alejandro Figueroa has more.

Elizabeth Loli to leave Dayton Public School District (WYSO) The Dayton Public School system will soon get a new leader. This coming July, Superintendent Elizabeth Lolli will close her career with the system. Some of the things she’s proud of include balancing class sizes so teachers have roughly an equal number of students, improving curriculum instruction and how students learn. She also points to hiring more teachers for grades one-through three to strengthen reading and math skills.

"One teacher focuses on math, one teacher focuses solely on language arts. And they teach at the same time, we call it a double teaching model. And it has improved our scores significantly, that’s how we caught back up from the Covid downfall,” Loli said.

Some areas she feels need more attention include creating more STEM classes at Thurgood Marshall High School, upgrading Welcome Stadium and structuring middle school curriculum. Lolli was interim superintendent from late 2017 until March 2018. That’s when she took the reins full-time. Lolli says she'll continue working in the field of education but wouldn’t confirm her next position until a contract is signed.

Columbus woman charged in kidnapping of twin boys (WYSO) Dayton native Nalah Jackson now faces federal charges in connection with the kidnapping of infant twins last month. Jackson is accused of stealing a car that had the twins in it from a restaurant in Columbus. She then allegedly dropped off one of the twins at the Dayton airport the next day. The other twin was found in Indianapolis a few days later. Jackson faces anywhere from twenty years to life in prison.

Pear tree ban (WYSO) It is now illegal to sell, grow, or plant Callery and Bradford pear trees in Ohio. That's because the state Department of Natural Resources says the pear tree can cause economic or environmental harm. The department says the trees inhibit the growth of native ones like yellowwoods and redbuds. Existing Callerys and Bradfords do not need to be removed.

Illegal street racing on the rise (WYSO) Illegal street racing and exhibition driving is on the rise in the Dayton region since 2020. That’s according to the Dayton Police Department. WYSO Reporter Ngozi Cole examines this trend.

Just sit back and relax (WYSO) Automated cars and trucks are being tested on rural roads in central and southeast Ohio. The project is funded in part by a seven-point-five million dollar federal grant. The goal is to demonstrate how connected and automated semi-trucks and passenger vehicles can improve safety for drivers, passengers, and others in rural areas. A professional driver will always be in the driver's seat with their hands on the wheel, ready to take over if needed. The first deployment involves three passenger vehicles. The technology will control steering, acceleration and braking in different weather conditions and road conditions. The second deployment involves a pair of 53-foot platoon-equipped tractor-trailers connected by technology. The trucks are equipped with radar so they’ll detect other vehicles and react to the environment.

Jerry Kenney was introduced to WYSO by a friend and within a year of first tuning in became an avid listener and supporter. He began volunteering at the station in 1991 and began hosting Alpha Rhythms in February of 1992. Jerry joined the WYSO staff in 2007 as a host of All Things Considered and soon transitioned into hosting Morning Edition. In addition to now hosting All Things Considered, Jerry is the host and producer of WYSO Weekend, WYSO's weekly news and arts magazine. He has also produced several radio dramas for WYSO in collaboration with local theater companies. Jerry has won several Ohio AP awards as well as an award from PRINDI for his work with the WYSO news department. Jerry says that the best part of his job is being able to talk to people in the community and share their experiences with WYSO listeners.