Jess Mador


After three and a half years as WYSO News Managing Editor, Jess Mador now works to help WYSO expand its community engagement and storytelling efforts. Mador is an award-winning public radio journalist, multimedia producer and documentarian. She previously created and led TruckBeat, a Knoxville-based health journalism project, producing audio and video stories, and live events for AIR's national Localore: Finding America initiative. Before that, Mador was a staff reporter and producer at Minnesota Public Radio in St. Paul and worked as a freelance journalist, producing stories for various public radio news and digital outlets, programs and podcasts, including for National Public Radio, American Public Media, WNYC, West Virginia Public Broadcasting and 100 Days in Appalachia. Mador has also worked in New York City film and television production, and for PBS public television programs at Oregon Public Broadcasting and Thirteen. She has a Master's degree from the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism in New York.  

Senior Citizens
Bluesbby, flickr CC BY 2.0 https://www.flickr.com/photos/17367470@N05/35281320372/

Federal officials say Social Security benefits will continue to be paid on time throughout the coronavirus pandemic emergency.

The agency also urges anyone who receives Social Security or SSI Supplemental Security Income checks to watch for scams, which could include fake phone calls or messages alleging problems with a Social Security number or account and other fraud designed to trick recipients into giving away sensitive personal or financial information.

Stivers Choir Director Paula Powell teaching singing online during the coronavirus statewide school closure.

Gov. Mike DeWine Monday extended his order closing all K-12 schools statewide until at least May 1. The emergency order was unprecedented, and virtually overnight it sent tens of thousands of Ohio teachers scrambling to adapt their lessons for the online classroom-- a particular challenge for teachers of phys ed, art, music and other highly interactive subjects.

The logo for the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services

Demand for unemployment benefits is skyrocketing across the state as the coronavirus continues to disrupt nearly every aspect of the economy. Last week, nearly 188,000 Ohioans filed a jobless claim, up from just over 7,000 the week before. 

The initial jobless claims dwarfs those filed during the early Eighties recession.

Nationwide, more than 3 million Americans have filed for unemployment assistance.

Teacher Elaine Zamonski sought coronavirus testing when her respiratory symptoms showed no improvement after a round of antibiotics. The test site was organized and efficient, she told WYSO.

Drive-through testing for the COVID-19 coronavirus disease has been underway for more than a week in Dayton. Doctors at the University of Dayton site have so far completed around 1,400 tests as the number of confirmed cases rises across the state.

Elaine Zamonski’s doctor sent her to the testing site when her cough, sore throat and respiratory symptoms failed to improve after a round of antibiotics.

Many Dayton businesses are struggling amid the coronavirus emergency.
Juliet Fromholt / WYSO

Daytonians are settling into the new normal of life during the coronavirus outbreak. Now that millions of Ohioans have been ordered to stay home, many businesses that rely on foot traffic face an increasingly uncertain future.

Gov. Mike DeWine’s Stay at Home order excludes what the state deems as essential businesses and services, such as medical care, food, shipping, and deliveries.

The exemptions were welcome news for C.J. Pennington, who manages a UPS Store in Fairborn.

 UPS Store manager C.J. Pennington. The statewide stay-at-home order exempts mail, shipping, logistics and delivery busineses and services.
Jess Mador / WYSO

The streets of Fairborn were quieter than usual for a weekday afternoon and the parking lot at Kroger, often jammed throughout the last few weeks as the Coronavirus emergency has escalated, was only half full.    

Grocery stores are among the businesses designated under Gov. Mike DeWine’s "Stay at Home" order as essential, exempted from the mandatory statewide shutdown aimed at slowing the spread of COVID-19.

hospital room at the Medical Center at Elizabeth Place

The Greater Dayton Area Hospital Association has announced new visitation restrictions in response to the coronavirus outbreak. The new rules take effect Friday, March 20, and include mandatory screening of all patients and visitors for virus symptoms, and for their travel and exposure history.

The changes affect Kettering, Premier, and Dayton Children’s hospital facilities in counties with confirmed cases of COVID-19.

Cars line up for drive-through COVID-19 tests at the University of Dayton Arena.
Leila Goldstein / WYSO

Hospital emergency rooms are planning for a potential spike in demand as the number of confirmed Coronavirus cases rises across the Miami Valley. Health officials say they’ll open additional emergency room beds within hours if more space is needed to handle a rapid increase in patients.

Miami Valley Hospital emergency physician Randy Marriott, EMS Medical director for Premier Health, says there’s a critical need for more masks, respirators and other special equipment to protect medical staff and keep hospitals safe and operational throughout the Coronavirus crisis.

A truckload of shoes arrives at Corinthian Baptist Church, ready for donation to people affected by the recent tornadoes.
George Drake, Jr. / WYSO

Unemployment claims are up sharply as the state works to slow the spread of Coronavirus. Now, with business closures affecting thousands of people across Ohio, philanthropy groups are gathering funds to expand relief efforts.

The new COVID-19 Response Fund is run by the Greater Dayton United Way and The Dayton Foundation. So far, donations total more than $550,000. 

Dayton Foundation president Mike Parks says all money raised will go to nonprofits focusing on basic human needs and critical emergency services.

Foodbanks are ramping up emergency food distribution during the Coronavirus crisis.
Jess Mador / WYSO

Editor's note: this story has been changed to reflect updated information released March 17 by Dayton Public Schools: 


Emergency food distribution is underway across the Miami Valley. Assistance is available to individuals, and to families with children home from school during the state-mandated Coronavirus shutdown, ordered by Gov. Mike DeWine Thursday.