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WYSO Weekend: February 28, 2016

WYSO Weekend

On this WYSO Weekend:  Dayton City Commissioner Jeffrey Mims Jr. shares his thoughts on a plan we told you about last week that would merge the Montgomery County and City of Dayton governments.  Later in the program we’ll hear from the director of a program designed to get fathers back into the lives of their children and we’ll meet one father who going through that process now. See full details below.

  • The Ohio Department of Education has released its annual school report card data. The report measures school district performance based on test scores from the 2014-2015 school year. Some say this year’s state report cards shouldn’t have even been released—speaking to press in Columbus on Thursday, state school board member AJ Wagner said the scores are faulty and unfair.
  • The U.S. EPA Region 5 office will now review concerns regarding the proposed cleanup plan for the Tremont City landfill. Marilyn Welker, of the group People For Safe Water, spoke to WYSO's Wayne Baker and said the Acting Administrator for Region 5, Robert Kaplan, sent a letter to the group saying that the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers will visit the Superfund site to evaluate and determine measures to clean it up.
  • The Dayton Development Coalition has announced its list of priority projects for government funding requests for the year. As WYSO’s Lewis Wallace reports, some pretty futuristic Air Force research is at the top of that list.
  • And news from Wright-Patterson Air Force Base on Friday. Officials there said they have cancelled the 2016 Freedom’s Call Tattoo. The event—held in June each year—“celebration of music and fireworks at the National Museum of the United States Air Force. In a released statement, Col. John Devillier, 88th Air Base Wing commander called it “a very difficult decision,” citing limited resources as the reason behind cancelling the 10 year old event.
  • Last week on the program, we heard from Paul Leonard, the former Ohio Lieutenant Governor and committee co-chair of the group Dayton Together. They group released details of a plan to merge the governments of the City of Dayton and Montgomery County. The plan is controversial and is getting some push-back from both residents – expressing their thoughts online - and Dayton City officials.  This week we spoke to City Commissioner, Jeffrey Mims and asked him about the merger plan. And we apologize for the audio quality in this interview—We got a few minutes with Commissioner Mims who was between meetings on Thursday. 
  • A 2008 study by the National Fatherhood Initiative estimated that “the cost to taxpayers for father absences approaches $100 billion every year.” They got this number by calculating annual federal expenditures for antipoverty programs and child support enforcement costs. In the last few years there has been a push to get those absent fathers back into the lives of their children and provide support in a number of ways—like mentoring, education, and promoting self-sufficiency. The Montgomery County Fatherhood Initiative is part of the national effort and one of 20 counties in Ohio operating programs for fathers. To find out more about the program, I spoke to MCFI Director Michael Newsome and later in the program we’ll hear from Timothy Burgess—a father of 4 who’s actively working to get back into the lives of his children.

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.