Jason Reynolds

Community Voices Producer
Carrots from Dayton Urban Grown, a training farm on Xenia Avenue in the city. Founder Lisa Helm says the classes she offers have been packed since the pandemic reached America.
Dayton Urban Grown / Facebook

During World War I and World War II, millions of Americans started Victory Gardens. Today, they’re starting COVID gardens.

Lisa Helm is the founder of Dayton Urban Grown, a farm in the city.

She says she’s been super busy since mid-March when demand for gardening skills and supplies skyrocketed.

“All the major seed suppliers were sold out and had to close for a while because there were so many people buying seeds, and then there was a run on baby chickens,” Helm says with a laugh. “You couldn’t buy baby chickens anywhere!”

Beavercreek, the morning after the tornados.
City of Beavercreek Facebook page

It was a year ago today that 19 tornadoes tore through communities across Ohio. In Beavercreek, many business owners woke up to damage from tornadoes that hit overnight, destroying offices and shops around North Fairfield Road near The Mall at Fairfield Commons.

A year later, some businesses are still fighting to survive.

A year after the tornadoes, many homes in and around Dayton are still in various stages of repair.
Jason Reynolds / WYSO

A year ago today, 19 tornadoes touched down in Ohio, destroying homes and businesses in rural and urban areas alike. The largest of those tornados passed through the City of Dayton and several neighboring communities. WYSO’s Jason Reynolds has been talking with people in some of the hardest-hit communities to see where they are today.

A screen capture from 'Dayton's Darkest Summer.'

On Thursday night, a team of University of Dayton filmmakers released a new short documentary examining the city’s response to the 2019 Memorial Day Tornadoes, and the mass shooting that occurred in the Oregon District.

More than 150 people logged onto Zoom to watch the world premiere of “Dayton’s Darkest Summer”.

The media production students who produced this 15 minute documentary interviewed Dayton Mayor Nan Whaley, first responders, and victims of the two tragedies.

Gaunt Park Pool in Yellow Springs is scheduled to open on June 5 under new and strict safety standards to prevent the spread of coronavirus.
Gaunt Park Pool Facebook Page

In the Miami Valley, swimming pools usually open on Memorial Day. But this year, communities with public pools have some tough decisions to make.

On Wednesday, Vandalia announced that it will not open its outdoor pool this summer.

The city says complying with coronavirus safety standards would be too expensive, and the Cassel Hills pool has been losing money for years.

Meanwhile, in Yellow Springs, some residents have signed a petition in hopes of stopping the village from opening its pool. They say it's too soon and too dangerous.

Little league players will be allowed to take the field in 2020, but the game will look different.
Ruth Clark

The State of Ohio has said it’s now okay to play little league baseball this summer, but there are a lot of new rules.

Kids can’t give each other high-fives or handshakes. They have to wear masks when they aren’t on the field, and they have to stay at least six feet apart when they’re in the dugout.

Read the complete list of coronavirus related rules here.

Dr. Cynthia Jackson-Hammond, president of Central State University, welcomed Central State's Class of 2020 to its online commencement.
Central State University's Facebook Page

Over the weekend, some Miami Valley colleges held virtual commencements before sending their new graduates out into the world — and one of the toughest job markets in memory.

Central State University is a historically black university, and commencements can be a big deal for graduates who have worked hard to get to where they are.

With COVID-19 shutting down large gatherings across the state, this year’s celebration was almost canceled entirely. But, this past Saturday, Central State held its very first virtual graduation.

Miami University's commencement will be virtual this year. The online experience was put together by Subvrsive, a virtual reality company with ties to the university.

It’s college graduation season, which usually means large commencement festivities. But the pandemic has those events being pushed back or moved online. But for some students, this year's commencement will be cutting edge.

Students at Miami University were disappointed to learn that graduation was cancelled.

That’s when Glenn Platt from the university’s Department of Emerging Technology stepped in.

Rockwell Kent's "Endless Energy for Limitless Living" is one of many works included in the self-guided tour on the Dayton Art Institute's website.
courtesy of Dayton Art Institute

If you’re staying at home and looking for something fun to do, Miami Valley museums may have you covered. They’ve been beefing up their virtual products to keep patrons well-cultured while quarantined.

Exploring Aviation Virtually 

The United States Air Force Museum is gigantic—over a million square feet.

It’s closed right now, due to the Coronavirus outbreak, but Executive Officer and Digital Curator  Bryan Carnes says that shouldn’t stop you from checking it out.

“You can go through the whole museum with the virtual tour,” Carnes says.

It’s National Library Week, which usually means big events at libraries all across the country. Unfortunately, most libraries are closed right now. So, librarians are moving the party online and reaching their patrons in some pretty creative ways.

The slogan for National Library Week was supposed to be “Find Your Place at the Library.” That was before the coronavirus outbreak.