WYSO

April Laissle

Morning Edition Host/Reporter

April Laissle is a graduate of Ohio University and comes to WYSO from WOUB Public Media in Athens, Ohio where she worked as a weekend host and reporter.  There, she reported on everything from food insecurity to 4-H chicken competitions. April interned at KQED Public Radio in San Francisco, where she focused on health reporting. She also worked on The Broad Experience, a New-York based podcast about women and workplace issues. In her spare time, April loves traveling, trying new recipes and binge-listening to podcasts. April is a Florida native and has been adjusting to Ohio weather since 2011.

Ways to Connect

Montgomery County Children's Services workers on strike, July 19, 2019.
April Laissle / WYSO

A union representing Montgomery County Children’s services workers is close to reaching a contract deal with the county.

County and Professional Guild of Ohio representatives have reached a “conceptual framework for a tentative agreement,” according to a joint statement released Wednesday.

Negotiations began in February and stalled this summer, after the two parties failed to agree on wage increases.

Jason Reynolds / WYSO

Montgomery County Coroner Kent Harshbarger says the gunman who killed nine people in the Oregon District had ingested cocaine, alcohol, and Xanax prior to the August 4 attack. Officials say full toxicology results on the shooter may take up to six weeks.

Dayton Strong memorial in front of Ned Peppers bar in the Oregon District.
April Laissle / WYSO

Dayton leaders are having initial discussions about erecting a permanent memorial to those who lost their lives in the Oregon District mass shooting on August 4. 

At a press conference earlier this week, Mayor Nan Whaley said the city plans to invite Oregon District business leaders, victims advocates, and other community members to form a committee focused on establishing a public display honoring the victims. 

The Bridges family drove over an hour to place nine teddy bears on the memorial in the Oregon District, one for each of the victims who lost their lives.
Jason Reynolds / WYSO

Private funeral services have been scheduled for the 24-year-old gunman responsible for a mass shooting in Dayton’s Oregon District, and his 22-year-old sibling, who was one of the victims.

On Monday, the Betts family published obituaries for their only children on a Bellbrook funeral home’s website. The family described their son as "funny, articulate, and intelligent."  The obituary was removed Wednesday and replaced with a statement from the family: 

Nick Gounaris, defense attorney for Ethan Kollie.
April Laissle / WYSO

A friend of the gunman who killed nine people in Dayton’s Oregon District August 4 appeared in federal court Wednesday on weapons charges. 

The hearing was called to determine whether 24-year-old Ethan Kollie should be released from jail while awaiting trial.

He’s charged with lying about his drug use in order to acquire firearms.  The FBI also alleges that he provided body armor and weapons accessories used in the attack.

Dayton Police Lt. Paul Saunders shares new video evidence in the August 4 mass shooting.
City of Dayton

New details are emerging about the investigation into the August 4 Oregon District mass shooting that left nine people dead.

At a press conference, police shared surveillance video from area businesses pinpointing the gunman’s movements leading up to the attack.

Officials say the Dayton gunman spent time with his sibling and a friend at Blind Bob’s before heading to Ned Pepper’s bar alone. Police Chief Richard Biehl says it’s likely the gunman was casing the bar.

April Laissle / WYSO

A friend of the gunman who killed nine people outside an Oregon District bar Sunday Aug. 4 now faces federal charges that could send him to prison for up to 15 years.

Authorities have charged 24-year-old Ethan Kollie with illegally owning firearms, and lying about his drug use on a federal form in order to acquire them.

Kollie allegedly told FBI agents he regularly smokes marijuana and used “hard drugs” with shooter Connor Betts in 2014 and 2015.

Sign with the names of the nine victims of the August 4 mass shooting in front of Omega Music in the Oregon District
Jason Reynolds / WYSO

Dayton religious leaders held services Sunday to memorialize the nine people killed in a mass shooting in the city one week ago. At one well-attended service just five miles west of the site of the shooting, the discussion turned political.

Waymen AME Chapel leaders encouraged the congregation to forgive the 24-year-old gunman, who was killed by police shortly after he opened fire. But Reverend Charles Holmes also urged action.

Jason Reynolds / WYSO

Funeral arrangements have been set for eight of the nine victims of a mass shooting in Dayton’s Oregon District Sunday.

Monica Brickhouse
Visitation: Saturday, 2 to 4 p.m.
Service: Saturday, 4 p.m.
Both at Greater Grace Temple, 380 W. Leffel Lane, Springfield.

Nicholas Cumer
Visitation: Thursday, 1 to 3 and 6 to 8 p.m. Friday, 1 to 3 and 6 to 8 p.m
Service: Saturday, 11 a.m.
Both at Piatt and Barnhill Funeral Home, 420 Locust Ave., Washington, Penn.

April Laissle / WYSO

Tensions were high at the site of the Oregon District shooting Wednesday morning, where a crowd of about 150 people waited for President Donald Trump’s arrival in Dayton.

Screaming matches broke out just steps away from flowers memorializing the nine people who were killed by a lone gunman Sunday.

Police, occupied by the president’s visit to a nearby hospital, were initially not at the scene.

Before officers arrived to calm the melee, City Commissioner Chris Shaw tried to de-escalate the conflict on his own by standing between the two groups.

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