Jason Saul

Jason Saul is a public radio journalist and producer who moved to the Miami Valley to help build a new culture of nonprofit journalism here in Southwest Ohio.

Jason's an experienced reporter and manager, and is hard at work building a new team of reporters and producers dedicated to bringing you the thoughtful, independent, thoroughly researched, vetted and produced news you expect from WYSO and NPR. Listen for more of our team's stories every morning and afternoon, and find us online pretty much everywhere!

Jason started out on Long Island, and spent some time in Boston, New Orleans and Seattle before settling here in Yellow Springs with his wife Dionne. He's worked on a number of local and national programs, including some that air on WYSO, like American Routes and BirdNote.

Gov. Mike DeWine inside the Governor's Residence in Columbus on Dec. 13, 2019.
John Minchillo / Associated Press

On Thursday, Ohio broke its record for most new COVID-19 cases reported in a single day – for the second day in a row. That had Gov. Mike DeWine raising the alarm about the virus' rapid spread.

President Donald Trump speaks during a campaign rally at Dayton International Airport, Monday, Sept. 21, 2020, at Dayton, Ohio.
Alex Brandon / AP

President Donald Trump announced his new Supreme Court Justice pick "will be a woman" at a campaign stop in Dayton on Monday.

There’s just four months left until the 2020 presidential election, and Ohio stands to play a critical role. Like we did in 2016, WYSO News has joined a statewide collaborative called Your Voice Ohio. It’s a project that’s intended to create a two-way conversation between community members and political journalists in the run up to Election Day.

The collaborative is being headed up by Doug Oplinger, the former managing editor of the Akron Beacon Journal and a journalist in Ohio for over 45 years. WYSO News Director Jason Saul called him up to learn more about the project.

The Dayton City Commission has unanimously passed a law requiring people to wear masks. It's a dramatic attempt by the city to stem the spread of the coronavirus as the state's economy reopens.

The city ordinance goes into effect this Friday, July 3, at 8 a.m. The law requires people to cover their nose and mouth when inside public places, or even when outside when social distancing isn't possible. Failure to comply will be enforced by Dayton Police officers, who are empowered to issue $85 citations.

A significant outbreak of coronavirus is underway at a Dole prepackaged salad plant in Springfield, Ohio. Health authorities first reported an outbreak at the plant back in May.

This past Saturday, officials conducted a mass testing event at the plant, taking over 800 samples. The Clark County Combined Health District says about 220 of those test results have come back positive.

During a press conference on Wednesday, Gov. Mike DeWine said the state has started to step in to help.

Since the start of the pandemic, Ohio’s hospitals have seen their normal busy patient volumes evaporate. Nonessential procedures were banned, supplies were scarce, and fear of contagion was everywhere. But now health care leaders in the Miami Valley want people to start going back to the doctor. And it’s not only about keeping people healthy. WYSO’s Jason Saul reports.

One of the crises facing local communities all around the country right now remains the continuing loss of local journalists.

Report for America is a nationwide initiative that’s working to change that, and this year it’s helping to put 225 new journalists into newsrooms all across the country. One of those newsrooms is here at WYSO, in Southwest Ohio. Chris Welter, our new Environmental Reporter, started just last week.

WYSO News Director Jason Saul sat down with Steve Waldman, co-founder of Report for America, to discover more about the program and to talk a little bit about what we’re hoping to accomplish here in the Miami Valley.

Over the past several months, the COVID-19 shutdown, and the resulting economic fallout, has exacerbated southwest Ohio’s hunger problem into a full-blown crisis. Schools have mobilized to feed tens of thousands of students. The National Guard is helping to staff overwhelmed local food pantries. And programs that deliver meals to homebound seniors are seeing a surge in need as well.

For the first time in almost 30 years, local public television is about to have a new leader.

On July 1, Dorothy “Kitty” Lensman will become Public Media Connect’s new president and CEO. Public Media Connect is the umbrella organization that runs Dayton’s ThinkTV, and CET in Cincinnati. She’s taking over from David Fogarty, who has been the head of Public Media Connect for 11 years, and the president of ThinkTV since 1993.

Even as budgets are being slashed for government services at the local and state levels, indicators of need are skyrocketing. In Montgomery County, officials shared some startling new numbers during this week’s County Commission meeting.

On Tuesday, Montgomery County Commissioners authorized an additional $186,000 to help homeless shelters. Another $60,000 will go towards providing more home delivered meals to seniors. And the county’s Department of Job and Family Services has been flooded with requests.

Across the country, business and leisure air travel has almost completely evaporated. That’s left local airports struggling — airports like Dayton International.

In 2019, about 74,000 people a month got on a plane at Dayton International Airport. But today, passenger traffic has declined about 95 percent.

That equates to tens of thousands of unbought sandwiches, unchecked bags and unrented cars. And it’s millions of dollars worth of people not paying to park. The airport’s biggest revenue stream is actually its garage and parking lots.

The Dayton City Commission is officially objecting to the renewal of liquor permits for five Dollar General stores in the city.

Many say dollar stores, like Family Dollar and Dollar General, often take poor care of their facilities, and contribute to an increase in trash and crime in the neighborhoods around them.

On Wednesday, the Dayton City Commission passed emergency resolutions objecting to the renewal of the Dollar General liquor permits.

Local government services can be funded in lots of different ways. Like through levies on property values. Or through income taxes. In Clark County, services like the sheriff’s office and jobs and family services are thanks to local sales taxes.

But what happens when all your stores are closed?

The Foodbank has announced its drive thru hours for next week for people in need of food assistance.

The organization will be open on Monday and Wednesday, from 10 a.m. to noon. The drive thru is located at 56 Armor Place in Dayton.

In addition, The Foodbank is holding what they're calling a special Mass Food Distribution Event next week for residents of Greene County. That distribution is happening on Tuesday, April 21, from 10 a.m. to noon at the Nutter Center at Wright State University.

At his press conference on Wednesday, Governor Mike DeWine made a public plea to Ohio’s hospitals, asking them to save their N95 protective masks so they can be decontaminated.

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