City of Springfield

The new garage, under construction in the background, will also add additional mural art downtown.
Tom Stafford / WYSO

In Clark County, work is underway on a project some in the city see as critical to the long-hoped-for revival of downtown Springfield. It’s a nearly $7 million parking garage.

The garage is attracting a lot of buzz, but as WYSO Clark County reporter Tom Stafford, who also writes for the Springfield News-Sun, reports, in order for the project to succeed in promoting development, three critical elements need to be in place.

Stafford spoke with WYSO Managing Editor Jess Mador.

Weapons for sale at Mad River Armory and Range in Springfield.
Jason Reynolds / WYSO

Ohio lawmakers are considering a long-debated bill that would roll back concealed-carry gun permit and training regulations. Some states have already passed similar controversial laws, while others have gone in the opposite direction to tighten gun sale, permit and background-check rules.

Gun regulations across the country are a patchwork and following the differences between state and federal laws can be confusing.

Yellow Springs' new 50,000-square-foot medical marijuana cultivation facility will produce a variety of medically sanctioned products, including edibles and sprays.
April Laissle / WYSO

The first of several medical marijuana dispensaries is about a month away from opening for business in Springfield. Pure Ohio Wellness LLC would be the first to open in Southwest Ohio. 

A few other dispensaries are already operating in other parts of the state. Some Dayton addiction centers say they have concerns as the dispensaries begin operations.

The Gammon House
Jerry Kenney

In the decades leading up to the Civil War, the Underground Railroad ferried enslaved African Americans in the South to freedom in the northern United States and Canada. And Southwest Ohio, bordering the slave states of Virginia and Kentucky, played an especially important role in the clandestine network.

One stop along the Underground Railroad still stands in Springfield. Preservationists have spent nearly two decades restoring the historic Gammon House and say it holds a message for future generations.

The first Madonna of the Trail monument along the National Road in Springfield was dedicated in 1928.
Renee Wilde / WYSO

In 1806, Congress authorized federal funding for a road that would connect Cumberland, Maryland west to the Ohio Territories, opening up westward expansion for the country. The National Road, as it was eventually called, became the first Federally funded, and paved, highway in the U.S.

Charlie and Amanda Jackson sing a duet in the Hatch New Media Space on December 7, 2018. Hatch Artist Studios in Springfield opens its doors to the public on the first Friday of every month.
Jason Reynolds / WYSO

There are signs the tourism business may be on the upswing in Clark County. Tourist-related revenue there is up by more than $100 million since 2010. That growth is also fueling a welcome boost in hiring in Springfield, as new businesses and attractions pop up, enticing visitors to spend.

What’s behind the positive numbers?

It’s First Friday at the Hatch Artist Studios in Springfield.

Springfield city hall
OZinOH / Flickr Creative Commons

Pending a final vote of approval by the Springfield city commission on December 18th, Bryan Heck will assume the city manager’s role in February.

He’ll replace outgoing Springfield City Manager Jim Bodenmiller. Bodenmiller has held the post for the last decade and been a city employee for over 30 years.

Heck says his top priorities include improving internal communications within city departments.

Election Day is Tuesday, November 6.
Bill Smith, Flickr (CC BY 2.0) unaltered / http://ow.ly/3UqS30mtLxp

Clark County is gearing up for Election Day, and county voters will decide a number of candidate races and ballot issues.

Among them are a renewal levy to fund mental health and addiction services, and a county commissioner seat.

Voters will also consider whether to put fluoride treatment into Springfield City water with a ballot measure that supporters say would increase dental hygiene for residents. 

Clark County Board of Elections Director Jason Baker says the county has been proactive in preparing for what could be stronger voter turnout.

Voters in the midterm elections Tuesday will consider a number of state races.

In Clark County’s House District 79, two-term incumbent Kyle Koehler faces Democrat Amanda Finfrock.

The Springfield Republican Koehler has been a software engineer and government contractor. He’s also worked for his family business, K.K. Tool.

The Snyder Park Gardens and Arboretum in Springfield will be building a new pavilion in the Spring of 2019
Dan Gummel

After Springfield's Snyder Park Golf Course closed in 2014, a collaboration emerged between local gardening stakeholders. Enthusiasts, along with several local foundations, teamed up with the Hollandia Garden Association and The Clark County Agricultural Extension at Ohio State University to take about 53 acres of the former golf course and turn it into Snyder Park Gardens and Arboretum.

Recently, they reached a big milestone.