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Miami Valley

Homeowners and renters affected by the Memorial Day tornadoes are invited to two special recovery events this week. The so-called Housing Recovery Resource Fairs aim to connect anyone still struggling with storm-related housing issues with assistance from FEMA, the United States Small Business Administration, state and county agencies.

Dozens of grieving community members gathered once again Monday night to remember the victims of  Sunday’s mass shooting. The attack in the Oregon District left nine people dead, including the shooter’s own sister, and injured more than two dozen others.

Monday’s vigil was held in Bellbrook where the 24-year-old shooter and his 22-year-old sister Megan Betts had lived. 

Bellbrook resident Kevin Martin says he knew the Betts family through their kids’ activities at the high school.

As cleanup continues around the Miami Valley from the Memorial Day tornado outbreak, some affected counties are detailing storm-related expenses for the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

The federal government green-lit assistance for four Ohio counties to reimburse costs related to debris removal, infrastructure repair and emergency response. The FEMA grant could bring millions of needed funds to hard-hit communities.

Several victims of the tornadoes that moved through the Miami Valley on Memorial Day have received notices from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) that they were overpaid disaster relief funds.

The agency says a total of six individuals, so far, have received notices of potential overpayment.

The Miami Valley’s first medical marijuana dispensary held its grand opening Thursday. Mad River Remedies in Riverside offers 20 types of medical marijuana to registered patients with one of 21 state-approved medical conditions.

Additional Federal Emergency Management Agency disaster recovery centers are expected to open Wednesday in Beavercreek and Celina to assist people in Greene and Mercer Counties affected by the Memorial Day tornadoes. 

Another is expected to open soon in Eastern Ohio this week as well.
 

The centers will be staffed by federal experts from FEMA and the United States Small Business Administration to offer storm survivors assistance with temporary living expenses, uninsured home repairs, and other urgent needs.

The 10 Ohio counties impacted by the Memorial Day tornado outbreak are now eligible for federal disaster recovery aid. Dayton-area officials say the FEMA and other funding could play a crucial role in the Miami Valley’s ongoing recovery.

President Donald Trump issued a federal disaster declaration Tuesday, one week after Gov. Mike DeWine formally requested it.

The declaration means affected Ohioans are now eligible for aid through FEMA’s individual assistance, hazard mitigation, and disaster legal services programs.

Tenants of the storm damaged Kelly Avenue apartments in Old North Dayton were ordered Tuesday to vacate their homes by the end of the week. The news panicked residents, many of whom have nowhere else to go.

Last week’s Memorial Day tornadoes affected more than 200 businesses across Montgomery, Greene and Mercer Counties.

It’s unclear exactly how many people are out of work as a result of the disaster. Economic development officials are coordinating with city and county officials in hard-hit areas in an effort to identify displaced workers, and to help businesses whose employees are missing work as a result of storm damage to their homes or apartments. 

Cleanup continues again today after Monday’s massive tornado outbreak across Indiana and Ohio. The storms killed at least one person and injured dozens more across the Miami Valley. Gov. Mike DeWine has declared a state of emergency for three counties: Montgomery, Greene and Mercer.

Celina, in Mercer County, was particularly hard hit. Jakob Wenning lives there. He says he saw the roof of his apartment lift during the tornado.

Updated at 12:41 p.m. ET

Several tornadoes touched down in highly populated areas of Dayton and other Ohio communities late Monday night, causing catastrophic damage. The storms devastated dozens of buildings and trees. One death has been reported, officials said Tuesday morning.

This year, Clark County celebrates its bicentennial. But some of the county’s farms are even older than that. In fact, Clark County is home to seven farms that are more than 200 years old.

In this story, we visit one these original homesteads: The Wallace Family Farm in Medway, where Wallace descendants have saved generations of personal family records. And today the meticulous archives offer a unique window into Clark County and American history.

Jerry Kenney

The H-2A Temporary Agricultural Workers visa program allows seasonal immigrants to legally work in the United States. Demand for H-2A visa workers is up dramatically nationwide, as many farms have had trouble finding enough employees to fill open jobs.  

Liam Niemeyer / WYSO

This week on WYSO Curious –we answer two listener questions about tornados.

First question: Why is the Miami Valley a tornado hotspot?  And secondly: How does the National Weather Service go about alerting us when a tornado is approaching? 

Southern Poverty Law Center

White racial extremism is on the rise in the Miami Valley, according to Dr. Arthur Jipson, a University of Dayton professor who has studied the movement for over 20 years. And, he says, activity is not expected to decrease over the next few years.