Watch Live
Listen to Live

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
* Email 7online

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

Class teaches elderly how to avoid scams

The elderly population is one of the most targeted groups for scammers, and a crime prevention group is working with police to arm citizens with knowledge on how to prevent them from becoming a victim.According to the FBI, there are hundreds of scams specifically designed to dupe older adults, who ...

Dead woman’s husband says couple had history of domestic violence

The husband of a Harrison Twp. woman whose body was found Thursday denied accusations by her family that he was involved in her death.Amber Owens, 23, was found in a wooded area near Post Town Road in Trotwood. The mother of three had been missing since Oct. 21 and her ...

 Decision reached in Klonda Richey dog mauling case

A couple whose dogs mauled a woman to death more than a year ago was found guilty Tuesday on all counts by a Dayton Municipal Court judge.Andrew Nason and Julie Custer were scheduled to go on trial Tuesday morning, but instead they pleaded no contest. Judge Carl Henderson then found ...

Officers trained to limit lethal force against dogs

Dayton police are taking steps to limit the number of times officers use lethal force against dogs by teaching them with new skills to de-escalate situations. Since 2011, 49 dogs have been shot by Dayton police. Nine of those were last year. The shootings occur during a variety of calls, ...

Patient called as part of medical bill scam

Dayton police are alerting residents about a new scam targeting elderly patients and persuading them to pay outstanding medical bills over the phone to avoid being arrested.Crystal Thomas, the practice manager at Dr. Debra Miller’s office, a private practice located in the Berry Center at Miami Valley Hospital, made the ...

Brandon Lewis

Man charged in fatal hit-skip crash a year later

More than a year after a Washington Twp. man was struck and killed by a car, his friend is being charged in connection with his death.Brandon Lewis, 22, of Fairborn, faces charges of vehicular negligent homicide, assault and negligent assault for the September 2013 death of Willie Wright. The friends ...

 Police: UD revelry during men’s NCAA run less chaotic

Quick action by police coupled with new University of Dayton rules led to less chaos and money spent on overtime following celebrations at the campus during the school’s run through the NCAA basketball tournament, Dayton police said during a press conference Monday.The largest disturbance on the university’s campus happened Friday ...

Dayton ‘can man’ makes a killing after UD game

He calls himself “the can man” and if he could make the Flyers win every night, he would for the sheer profit of it. John Kennedy says he’s made a point of making it over to the University of Dayton campus on game nights so he can collect the hundreds ...

Police prepared for Flyers’ NCAA celebrations

Dayton police are planning for a possible intense celebration at the University of Dayton campus should the Flyers win Friday night and advance in the NCAA men’s basketball tournament. For two nights in a row, about 20 additional Dayton police officers were assigned to the campus to supplement the university ...

Dayton police officer delivers baby daughter at home

Little Abigail Mae’s birth was anything but planned. It involved a police officer, a plumber and a lot of prayers.Monday morning her mother felt her first contractions. But after a 60-plus hour labor with her first baby, Megan Spears told her husband, Joshua Spears, they should be in no hurry ...


iWitness 7


Witness7 justbret


iWitness7 is your chance to join the News Center 7 team! Upload your videos and photos and share with the entire WHIO-TV community!