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Jessica Heffner

News Center 7/Dayton Daily News Reporter

I was born and raised in the Miami Valley and am glad to be working in the community where I grew up. I cover the police and crime beat here in Dayton, working with Dayton police and the Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office.

I am No. 3 of five children. Sometimes I feel sorry for my brother who had to deal with four sisters always wanting to play dress-up. I attended Northmont High School and was a mass communications major at Wright State University, graduating in 2007. As a senior, I started working part-time as a copy editor and designer for the Dayton Daily News. I got my first reporting job as a regional business reporter for the Middletown Journal and Hamilton Journal News. I then moved to the city and police beat in Middletown. Prior to working in Dayton, you may have seen me reporting on crime and court news for News Center 7 in Clark County as our Springfield Bureau reporter.

I’m addicted to home decorating and spend much of my free time updating my 1960s ranch house. When I'm not in the newsroom, you’ll spot me at Oak Grove Park with my dog, downtown at the clubs with my friends or out at the Dayton Mall or The Greene shopping.

I’d love to talk to you and hear your feedback and story ideas

* Email Jessica
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Q and A:

Where were you born?
Dayton, OH

Where did you grow up?
I grew up in Union

What was your favorite TV show then?
Anything on Nickelodeon. Doug, Rugrats, Rocko’s Modern Life, and Are You Afraid of the Dark? were staples in my family room

What was the first thing you ever wanted to be?
As a little kid I wanted to be an EMT. In junior high, I enjoyed writing and a counselor suggested I try journalism. It’s been a love affair ever since.

How might someone have described you in high school?

What was your first job?
Flipping burgers at McDonald’s.

What was your first job in television?
This is my first professional gig. I did occasional live bureau work for WKRC-TV in Cincinnati through a partnership with the Hamilton Journal News,

What do you like about your job?
I love telling stories. There is so much happening in our community and so many interesting people who live here. I love being the voice that tells those stories. I also like keeping people informed about where they live.

What do you not like about your job?
It’s quite a change having to worry about hair and make-up before delivering the news.

What might people be surprised to know about you?
I am an extreme couponer. Many weekends you can find me clipping coupons and cruising the grocery store aisles scoring deals.

What is the hardest thing you ever did?
During my last year in college, I was a full-time student and editor-in-chief for the college newspaper, The Guardian. I worked part-time on the copy desk for the Dayton Daily News at night. I also taught a lifeguard class at my local YMCA, swimming lessons and lifeguarded at an indoor pool.  In the midst of all this work I also moved out on my own and planned a wedding. I sometimes wonder how I got it all done.

What would be a perfect day for you?
Spending a day in the sun at the beach, laughing with friends and family and leaving my cell phone and computer at home.

What advice would you have for someone wanting to go into the business?
Work hard, be flexible and challenge yourself to do more than you ever thought possible. Media is changing—try to keep up.


Favorite book: The Josephine Bonaparte series by Sandra Gulland

Favorite CBS show: Mom

Favorite food: Anything chocolate

Favorite hobby: I love remaking home décor items to suit my style

Favorite Miami Valley place: Cox Arboretum and the Englewood Reserve

Favorite movie: Kindergarten Cop

Favorite music: I'm an eclectic music lover. I  favor anything with a good beat

Favorite travel destination: Florida

Latest from Jessica Heffner

Dayton battles state to keep traffic cameras on

The city of Dayton squared off against the State of Ohio in a courtroom battle Tuesday to keep Dayton’s red light cameras running. The hearing was held in Ohio’s 2nd District Court of Appeals, following an appeal filed by the state to fight a local injunction against a state law ...

Arsonist reportedly on loose in east Dayton

A series of fires in a Dayton neighborhood has led to an arrest, but investigators warn that there is still an arsonist on the loose.William Walters, 34, was arrested this week in connection with a Dayton fire department investigation in the Linden Avenue area. There have been seven fires near ...

Auto theft on the rise in Dayton, police says

Police are asking people not to leave their cars running unattended or unlocked after seeing grand theft auto reports spike more than 100 percent in the past month on Dayton’s east side.In the last 28 days, 30 vehicles were reported stolen. That’s a 114-percent increase over last may, officials said. ...

Recent area homicides related to domestic violence, officials say

Following a brutal murder on Gunckel Avenue involving a man who’d acted out violently in a past domestic situation, experts are warning people to watch for the signs of domestic violence turning deadly.Marilyn Burns’ throat was slashed, and her body was found by family members at the bottom of her ...

Dayton police officers Dan Reynolds and Ted Trupp introduce their K-9 partners to kids in the Reds Rookies Success League Tuesday, June 9, in Dayton. Dayton police are working with the camp to show kids a different side of the department.

Kids see police, baseball in new light

Children in Dayton’s Inner-city are getting the chance to learn about baseball and see a different side of their local police department through a free camp.The Cincinnati Reds Rookie Success League is a free, co-ed, character-building summer baseball program operated through volunteers and donations. The nearly 200 children participating, ages ...

Open houses mean open season for thieves

During an open house, not everyone walking through the front door is looking for a good deal. There are roughly 6,000 homes on the market in Montgomery County, and an open house every weekend in nearly every neighborhood. Realtors are warning that open houses can also equate to an open ...

Police: As heroin overdose spikes, so does narcan use

During one of the largest heroin overdose epidemics in nearly two years, Dayton police have responded to 21 overdose calls in a week, three of which were fatal. The majority of the victims lived because police officers and medics who responded were armed with narcan, which reverses the effects of ...

Officer put the pedal to the pavement on bike patrol

Riding on police bike patrol isn’t as easy as riding a bike. There were many crushed cones and frequent falls as 39 officers made their way through Dayton police’s obstacle course. Ten jurisdictions sent officers to the free International Police Mountain Bike Association training class to receive bike patrol certifications. ...

Cops, community tackle graffiti tags

Dayton police and the graffiti task force are taking on the rampant graffiti problem on East Third Street one tag at a time.Officers along with volunteers from the East End Community Center spent Friday morning cleaning off graffiti painted on vacant buildings near Harbine Avenue and East Third Street. Officer ...

Classes bridge language barrier between police, immigrants

For those who say they can’t trust the police, immigrant Ramadhan Ndayisaba challenges them to try living in Burundi.When he first came to the United States a few years ago, Ndayisaba said he had “a lot to learn” about the difference between officers here versus those he knew in his ...


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