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WYSO Weekend: January 11, 2015

WYSO Weekend

In this edition of WYSO Weekend: We’ll learn about the Montgomery County Veterans Treatment Court – that’s coming up in our Veterans Voices series.  And we’ll talk with Dayton Police Chief Richard Biehl – first a quick conversation about The city’s decision to alter its traffic photo enforcement program – then we’ll see what’s happened with Dayton Police since a 2008 Dept. of Justice lawsuit accused them of discriminatory hiring practices.  You'll find the full program details below.

  • JC Penney plans to close two area stores this spring, including the one at Springfield's Upper Valley Mall. WYSO's Wayne Baker reports.
  • Last week, frigid temperatures and snowfall forced many schools to closure or delay their start times. But as WYSO’s Ariel Van Cleave explains, the rules for how school districts will make up the missed days vary.
  • The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has finished a one-year study of the Great Miami River Corridor—As WYSO’s Lewis Wallace reports, the corps looked at opportunities for economic development along a 99-mile stretch.
  • Ohio won’t be able to execute inmates until at least the spring, because the state is changing its execution drug combination again. Statehouse correspondent Karen Kasler says the state is running out of the drugs it uses to put inmates to death.
  • An anti-family violence center is unveiling a new resource to help people who think they might be witnessing domestic abuse -- but aren’t sure. Statehouse correspondent Andy Chow reports.
  • The flu epidemic in Ohio continues. In an interview with Ohio Public Radio’s Jo Ingles, Dr. Mary DiOrio, the Medical Director for the Ohio Department of Health, says the spread of the illness doesn’t seem to be slowing.
  • Today our series called Veterans Voices continues as we learn about the Montgomery County Veterans Treatment Court. For veterans, reintegration back into civilian life after military service can be traumatic. Many vets make this transition successfully, but for others it’s very difficult, and some even commit crimes as a result of service-related trauma. Rather than let these men and women get lost in the criminal justice system, the Veterans Treatment Court was created – and courts like these are happening more around the country. Veterans Voices reporter Allison Loy, an Air Force veteran herself, has the story.
  • The city of Dayton says it will stop using traffic cameras in fixed positions to issue citations for red-light and speeding violations.
The city says it made the decision because of a new Ohio law effective in March that requires a police officer be present when cameras are used.  The law, passed last month, regulates statewide use of the devices, which have faced backlash from critics who say they're more about raising revenues than increasing safety.
Dayton has had traffic cameras for more than a decade. This week we talked with Dayton Police Chief Richard Biehl about it.
  • We also wanted to follow up with the Chief the city of Dayton’s efforts to address racial disparities within its ranks. A 2008 lawsuit by the U.S. Department of Justice found the Dayton police and fire departments engaged in hiring practices that discriminated against African Americans. The criticisms focused on written and physical tests that were eliminating African-American candidates. So far, the Dayton PD has been unable to increase the percentage of black officers. 

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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.