Jess Mador

Jess Mador comes to WYSO from Knoxville NPR-station WUOT, where she created an interactive multimedia health storytelling project called TruckBeat, one of 15 projects around the country participating in AIR's Localore: #Finding America initiative. Before TruckBeat, Jess was an independent public radio journalist based in Minneapolis. She’s also worked as a staff reporter and producer at Minnesota Public Radio in the Twin Cities, and produced audio, video and web stories for a variety of other news outlets, including NPR News, APM, and PBS television stations. She has a Master's degree from the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism in New York. She loves making documentaries and telling stories at the intersection of journalism, digital and social media.

This Wednesday marks the 27th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act. The federal law mandates equal access, and prohibits discrimination against people with disabilities nationwide.

Advocate Linda Wetters is former assistant director of the state agency Opportunities for Ohioans with Disabilities, previously known as the Ohio Rehabilitation Services Commission.  

A coalition of grassroots Miami Valley activist groups is asking the United States Justice Department to continue its investigation into the death of John Crawford III. 

All this month, WYSO is bringing you stories of Ohioans living with disabilities. It’s a series we’re calling Just Ask: Talking About Disability. In an effort to better understand the issue of disabilities in Ohio, we collaborated with researchers from the National Center for Family and Demographic Research at Bowling Green State University, who analyzed statistics from the 2015 five-year American Community Survey. We also collected data from other sources, including the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics and the 2016 Annual Disability Statistics Compendium

The Dayton Arcade redevelopment initiative moved another step forward Wednesday with the announcement of $5 million in historic tax credits for the project. State development officials awarded the tax incentives to the Arcade along with a dozen other projects around the state.

Ohioans are reacting to the long-awaited Republican Affordable Care Act repeal bill released Thursday. Many Miami Valley lawmakers and health advocates have expressed concern over the proposal’s potential impact on addiction, mental health and disability services.

Nearly 100 people came to a town hall meeting with Ohio House Democratic Leader Fred Strahorn, health and education advocates in Northwest Dayton Monday night.

The event, at Grace United Methodist Church, was originally billed as a town hall on the state’s budget shortfall, but the conversation quickly expanded to include a broad range of state and federal issues, including education spending, a federal proposal to repeal the Affordable Care Act, and cut Medicaid funding for addiction and mental health treatment.

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Entrepreneurs looking to start food-based businesses in the Miami Valley will soon have the opportunity to create and test their recipes in Fairborn. City officials Wednesday announced a new initiative to support small business entrepreneurs with a shared kitchen and office space incubator. 

Entrepreneurship advocates and business owners are expected to convene in downtown Dayton all this week for a startup conference.

The second annual Dayton Startup Week event is organized by the Dayton Tech Guide and sponsored by the Wright State Research Institute, The Entrepreneurs Center and the City of Fairborn.

Wright State’s Tiffany Ferrell says the event is designed to connect entrepreneurs, and help people start or grow a new business in the Miami Valley.

After an hours-long public meeting, the Wright State University board of trustees Thursday voted to approve $30.8 million in cuts from the school’s budget next year.

The cuts include the elimination of 189 jobs, including 57 current employees and 119 vacant positions for a cost-savings of $14 million in salaries and benefits, officials say.

Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield has announced plans to exit the state health insurance exchange by the end of this year. The decision could leave some people in 18 counties with private individual Affordable Care Act plans with limited private, non-employer health insurance options in the future.

Anthem’s departure is not expected to affect Ohioans with coverage through employer-sponsored health plans, Medicare or Medicaid -- that’s most Ohioans.

Less than a week after Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine announced the state is suing five pharmaceutical companies for their role in the opioid epidemic, the city of Dayton is bringing its own suit. Mayor Nan Whaley Monday announced the lawsuit, which she says is needed to recover costs associated with police, fire, EMS and addiction treatment services.

Ohio Democratic Sen. Sherrod Brown Thursday met with police officials and addiction experts in Dayton. It's one of many health-care related appearances Brown, who has spoken out against Republican-backed legislation to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act, has made across the state this week.  

Many in the Dayton area have been paying tribute to longtime city commissioner Dean Lovelace. Lovelace died Sunday, more than a year after vacating the seat he held for six terms. He was 70 years old.  

Lovelace was seen by many in Dayton politics as a champion for poor and disadvantaged communities throughout his two decades in office. He advocated for a host of economic issues, including fair housing, financial literacy, the earned income tax program and free tax-preparation services.

Experts with the National Weather Service are still working to survey all of the damage from Wednesday's severe storms. Forecasters have so far confirmed there were six tornadoes in and around Clark and Miami Counties, with wind speeds varying between 75 and 100 miles per hour. 

Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine, along with officials from Clark County and the city of Springfield, Tuesday unveiled a new Bureau of Criminal Investigation lab in downtown Springfield.

The lab will be dedicated to testing drug evidence seized by law enforcement agencies in Clark County and statewide. Officials say it will be staffed by two highly trained and experienced drug-chemistry scientists, who will test complex combinations of drugs, including heroin, fentanyl, and other synthetic street opioids.

Republican legislation to dismantle the Affordable Care Act is on its way to the Senate.

The Wright State University board of trustees finance committee Friday announced details of a long-awaited budget proposal. The 2018 budget calls for eliminating 71 employees -- fewer than many feared -- and more than 100 additional vacant positions.

More than half the job cuts would come from administrative positions.

Approximately two dozen are hourly positions, and more than 40 are salaried staff. Four positions would be faculty members. Officials say another 14 current full-time employees will see their hours reduced.  

Crowds are expected in downtown Dayton Friday evening for a rally against repeal of the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare. Organizers say the protest is needed as the United States Senate prepares to take up legislation that would roll back key provisions of the federal health law.

The GOP-backed American Health Care Act, recently passed by the House, calls for cutting Medicaid funding and allowing states to seek waivers opting them out of some patient protections. 

The United States Senate will soon take up for consideration the GOP House bill to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act.

Under the American Health Care Act, states could seek waivers opting them out of some patient protections. The waivers would allow insurance companies to consider health status when deciding the cost of premiums -- and some patients could see premiums rise.  

Montgomery County residents could soon have a chance to voice concerns about the Stony Hollow Landfill, south of Dayton. The state EPA has ordered landfill owners Waste Management to hold a public meeting to hear community complaints. The order also calls on the company to take more than a dozen corrective actions and pay $16,000 in fines.

Ohio EPA spokesperson Dina Pierce says the agency has received more than 150 complaints over the last year.

Healthcare Costs / Flickr Creative Commons

Ohio health care advocates are reacting to Thursday's passage of a GOP health bill to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act. The bill is far from becoming reality. But, if passed into law, the “American Health Care Act” would make a long list of changes to the country’s health-care system.

Ohio health-care advocates are reacting to Thursday's passage of a GOP health bill to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act. The bill is far from becoming reality. But, if passed into law, the “American Health Care Act” would make a long list of changes to the country’s health-care system.  

The village council voted this week to release Yellow Springs police officer Randall K. Hawley from employment. The negotiated separation takes effect May 4.

Hawley was the officer in charge during an altercation in the village at the annual New Year's Eve ball-drop celebrations.

An investigation into the incident found police acted inappropriately when they aimed stun guns at partygoers.

Officials with Dayton’s largest health system and insurance giant UnitedHealthcare say they remain open to talking, despite contract negotiations breaking down.

If the two sides fail to reach an agreement soon, an estimated 60,000 Premier Health patients may need to find new doctors.

The deadline for reaching a deal is May 14. After that, many people with employer-based and Medicaid plans will have to pay out-of-network for Premier hospitals and physicians.

Dear Mr. President asks what you want to say about your community. Today, we’ll hear letters about immigration, a topic that’s generated a lot of controversy since President Donald Trump took office.

Earlier this year, WYSO producers went to 10 Miami Valley libraries to record people’s letters to the president. Many of our writers talked about the Trump administration’s actions on refugees and immigrants.

Despite cool temperatures around 900 people gathered in Dayton’s Courthouse Square Saturday for a rally in support of science. The Earth Day March for Science was one of 15 across Ohio timed to coincide with more than 600 marches nationwide, including on the National Mall in Washington, D.C., and around the world.

Clark County health officials say the number of drug-overdose cases continues to skyrocket. If trends continue, the county could soon surpass the number of drug deaths seen in the county all of last year.

Over the course of just two days, doctors at Springfield Regional Medical Center treated more than four dozen overdose victims, more than double the typical average, health officials say.

But it’s a fraction of Clark County’s total overdoses so far this year. Dozens more have died or were revived by first responders.

Republican 8th district Congressman Warren Davidson is expected to attend a town hall meeting Tuesday in Enon. It will be Davidson’s second such town hall event in as many weeks as Congress continues its spring recess.

The town hall, scheduled for 6 p.m. at the Enon VFW, is being organized by Miami Valley anti-Trump coalition Indivisible.

Some members of that group walked out of Davidson’s last town hall meeting in Troy, saying the format did not allow constituents to have their voices heard.

Since December, WYSO has been collecting your audio letters for a project we’re calling Dear Mr. President, which asks what you want to say about your community – and what you want President Donald Trump to know about the Miami Valley. 

Death-certificate data analyzed by Montgomery County epidemiologists show African Americans experience significantly higher rates of infant mortality than whites, regardless of income and education levels.

The public is invited to learn more about the risk factors for infant mortality Wednesday at a free community health forum, from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m., on the Central State University Dayton Campus. 

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