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Pelotonia 2024 registration now open

News Channel 4 - Thu, 02/29/2024 - 12:51

COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) — Pelotonia, central Ohio's hallmark campaign aimed at ending cancer, is gearing up for another year of fundraising events.

Registration for Pelotonia 2024 is now open for Opening Ceremony on Aug. 2, the 16th annual Ride Weekend on Aug. 3-4 and the second annual Gravel Day on Sept. 28, according to the Pelotonia website. Event volunteers can also register at this time.

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Pelotonia 2024 events
• Opening Ceremony - Aug. 2
• Ride Weekend - Aug. 3-4
• Gravel Day - Sept. 28

Ride Weekend, the organization's signature event, includes ride routes ranging from 20 to 190 miles taking place over one or two days. The longest routes have an overnight stay at Kenyon College in Gambier.

Saturday, Aug. 3
• 20-Mile Route, Downtown Columbus to New Albany, $1,250 minimum fundraising commitment
• 50-Mile Route, Downtown Columbus to New Albany, $1,500 minimum fundraising commitment
• 65-Mile Route, New Albany to Gambier, 2,000 minimum fundraising commitment
• 100-Mile Route, Downtown Columbus to Gambier, $2,000 minimum fundraising commitment

Sunday, Aug. 4
• 35-Mile Route, New Albany Loop, $1,250 minimum fundraising commitment

Two-Day Routes
• 155-Mile Route, Saturday 65-Mile Route + Sunday 90-Mile Gambier to New Albany Route, Overnight stay at Kenyon College, $3,000 minimum fundraising commitment
• 190-Mile Route, Saturday 100-Mile Route + Sunday 90-Mile Gambier to New Albany Route
Overnight stay at Kenyon College, $3,000 minimum fundraising commitment
• Any Saturday Route + 35-Mile Loop, Without overnight stay, $3,000 minimum fundraising commitment

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Gravel Day, which began in 2023, offers riders a different challenge with routes between 22 miles and 52 miles on one day. Riders can take part in both Ride Weekend and Gravel Day without creating a separate fundraising profile.

Saturday, Sept. 28
• 22-Mile Route, Nelsonville Loop, More than 1,400 feet total elevation gain, $1,500 minimum fundraising commitment
• 30-Mile Route, Nelsonville Loop, More than 2,600 feet total elevation gain, $1,500 minimum fundraising commitment
• 52-Mile Route, Nelsonville Loop, More than 4,700 feet total elevation gain, $1,500 minimum fundraising commitment

Guy Fieri’s inaugural Flavortown Festival in Columbus has been canceled Pelotonia's Race Weekend to fund cancer research  will take place Aug. 3-4 in Columbus, Ohio. (File photo)Pelotonia's Race Weekend to fund cancer research will take place Aug. 3-4 in Columbus, Ohio. (File photo)

Volunteers interested in registering for Ride Weekend or Gravel Day can sign up to assist in roles like bike management, first aid, food and beverage, merchandise sales, and more. 

Pelotonia also allows participants to get involved in the movement with their own activities. By registering as a "Challenger," individuals can create five activity goals to raise donations to raise money for cancer research.

This year's tagline is, “Ending Cancer,” chosen to highlight “the real, tangible progress that the Pelotonia community is fueling,” noted organizers.

Categories: Ohio News

Columbus man pleads guilty to attempted murder for Whitehall car shooting

News Channel 4 - Thu, 02/29/2024 - 11:30

COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) -- A third Columbus man has been sentenced to prison for a "gang-related" car shooting in 2022 that spurred from a bar fight in Whitehall.

Breon Kelly, 21, entered a guilty plea on Tuesday for his role in the Jan. 23, 2022, incident and was been sentenced to 32 to 33 and a half years in prison, according to Franklin County Prosecuting Attorney Gary Tyack. Kelly marks the third and final person to plead guilty in the shooting after his co-defendants, Larry Latham III, 21, and Mark Smith Jr., 21, pleaded guilty in May and April of last year.

Tyack said the "gang-related shooting" began after a large fight at PKWY Lounge and Grill at 5200 Riding Club Lane, when the three defendants got into a car and chased another car with three people inside. Tyack said Smith and Kelly both fired shots at the other car while Latham drove.

Kelly used a Glock switch to convert his gun to an automatic weapon, and struck the car and two additional cars, including one with a 7-year-old inside. No one was injured in the shooting, Tyack said.

Kelly had chosen to take his case to trial, but pleaded guilty right before opening statements. Tyack said Kelly was immediately sentenced for two counts of attempted murder, one count of discharge over a prohibited premises and one count of having a weapon while under a disability.

Lathan pleaded guilty on May 2, 2023, and was sentenced to 11 to 13 and a half years in prison for two counts of attempted murder, one count of discharge over a prohibited premises and two counts of having a weapon while under a disability.

Smith pleaded guilty on April 27, 2023, and was sentenced to 17 to 20 years in prison for two counts of attempted murder, one count of discharge over a prohibited premises, two counts of having a weapon while under a disability.

Categories: Ohio News

Guy Fieri's inaugural Flavortown Festival in Columbus has been canceled

News Channel 4 - Thu, 02/29/2024 - 09:56

COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) -- The inaugural Flavortown Festival, a weekend-long Columbus event spearheaded by celebrity chef Guy Fieri, has been canceled due to "unforeseen circumstances."

The event was scheduled for June 1 and 2 at The Lawn at CAS with rock band Greta Van Fleet and country star Kane Brown announced in January as the festival's headline performers. Tickets had already been available for purchase, with a two-day pass starting at $155.

"Due to unforeseen circumstances, Guy Fieri’s Flavortown Fest, initially planned for June 1-2 in Columbus, Oh, has been canceled," a spokesperson said in a statement to NBC4. "Thank you to all our Flavortown Fest fans for understanding and your support along this journey."

The spokesperson said organizers are issuing full refunds to everyone who purchased passes.

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The festival promised a fusion of food and funk, embodying Fieri’s dynamic personality and charitable ethos. Along with the Mayor of Flavortown himself, the festival would have featured eats and experiences from some of Guy’s favorite Triple D restaurants from the Columbus area and around the country while offering the ultimate experience for foodies.

In addition to Greta and Brown, several other acts were scheduled to perform on the main stage, including the frontman of rock band Poison, Bret Michaels, country-music duo LOCASH and country artist Niko Moon.

"I was actually born in Columbus, Ohio, so one might say it's pretty much the birthplace of Flavortown," Fieri said when announcing the festival last November. "But in 2024, we're making it official with the launch of Flavortown Fest, two full days of awesome music, the best chefs, real deal food from around the nation and a whole lotta fun that you’re gonna have to see to believe."

The cancellation comes as Fieri is opening a new restaurant this spring in Columbus, a yet-to-be-named Italian concept inside Scioto Downs at 6000 South High Street. A Scioto Downs spokesperson said the restaurant will feature "an old-school Italian feel polished with textured glass screens, rustic wood finishes, an open pizza & pasta prep station and gallery walls."

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The festival was also supposed to launch Flavortown Cares, an impact program to support the Columbus community which would have donated a portion of proceeds from every ticket sold to the National Veterans Memorial and Museum, Ronald McDonald House Charities of Ohio and the Mid-Ohio Food Collective.

Still, a $10,000 donation will be made to the three charity partners that would have benefitted from the festival.

Categories: Ohio News

Fourth apartment building approved near Columbus Metropolitan Library main branch

News Channel 4 - Thu, 02/29/2024 - 09:30

COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) -- A fourth apartment building will soon be added to a development near the main branch of the Columbus Metropolitan Library.

The Pizzuti Companies recently had plans approved by the Downtown Commission for the next phase of Library Park, which has residences at 50 S. Grant Ave., 66 S. Grant Ave. and 409 Oak St. Earlier plans for the phase were submitted to the commission in 2022. They include the removal of a two-story apartment building for the construction of a seven-story, 160,000-square-foot building on South Ninth Street.

Daylight saving time: When will clocks spring forward in Ohio? A rendering of a new apartment building coming with phase four of the Library Park project. (Courtesy Photo/The Pizzuti Cos.)

Included will be 149 units, a 30-space parking garage, an amenity deck, co-working space and more. The proposal indicates that construction will be done on the existing Library Park buildings.

The earlier phases of the development feature nearly 300 units. With the fourth phase, the apartments near Topiary Park will top 400.

Demolition on the two-story building will replace is set for later this year, a representative from Pizzuti said.

Categories: Ohio News

Video: See 100-mph tornado as it nears Madison County homes

News Channel 4 - Thu, 02/29/2024 - 08:51

LONDON, Ohio (WCMH) – A security camera outside of a Madison County home captured one of the five confirmed tornadoes that touched down in the central Ohio area Wednesday morning.

According to Christopher Estep, of Lilly Chapel, in north Fairfield Township, a security camera from his home captured a tornado that passed over Wilson Road Southeast in Madison County. The video shows the confirmed EF-1 twister heading east From London towards West Jefferson.

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The National Weather Service confirmed that at 5:14 a.m., the EF-1 twister touched down east of London and traveled around 8 miles, ending southwest of West Jefferson at 5:23 a.m. The tornado’s estimated maximum speed was 110 mph and it spanned approximately 250 yards in maximum path width.

Tornado and storm damage in Clark, Madison counties

As of 6:50 p.m. Wednesday, the National Weather Service confirmed five tornadoes touched down in central and southwestern Ohio:

  • An EF-1 in Hilliard, Franklin County
  • An EF-2 in Blacklick, Franklin County, which then downgraded to an EF-1 as it traveled into Jersey, Licking County
  • An EF-1 in London, Madison County
  • An EF-2 near Springfield, Clark County
  • An EF1 in Riverside, Montgomery County

An EF-1 tornado contains wind speeds between 86 and 110 mph. An EF-2 tornado includes speeds from 111 to 135 mph.

The Madison County Sheriff’s Office said four homes were destroyed.

  • A Madison County tornado is captured on a security camera in Fairfield Township. (Courtesy Photo/Christopher Estep)
  • A trailer was blown onto its side in Groveport, Ohio after a tornado warning on February 28, 2024. (NBC4 Photo/Mark Feuerborn)
  • A house in West Jefferson with extensive damage after a possible tornado on February 28, 2024. (NBC4/Eric Halperin)
  • A house in West Jefferson with extensive damage after a possible tornado on February 28, 2024. (NBC4/Eric Halperin)
  • Multiple power lines block Durrett Road in southwest Columbus after thunderstorms and a tornado warning on February 28, 2024. (Courtesy Photo/AEP Ohio)

The National Weather Service reported the EF-1 tornado in Hilliard lasted just three minutes, covered 2.3 miles, and also reached up to 110 mph. The tornado in Blacklick reached 120 mph and traveled over 14 miles from Blacklick to west of Granville in Licking County.

According to the NWS, the tornado that began in Blacklick was the strongest February tornado recorded in Franklin County since 1971.

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The intense storms began at around 4:45 a.m. when Franklin, Fairfield, Licking, Knox, Madison, Morgan, and Perry counties went under tornado warnings with strong winds creating tornadic conditions.

The weather alerts caused several central Ohio school districts to announce delays Wednesday morning and American Electric Power announced thousands were without power.

Just east of Dayton, strong winds and storm conditions damaged buildings and planes at the Wright-Patterson Air Force Base during a confirmed EF-1 tornado.

Categories: Ohio News

Downtown Columbus hotel accused of violating ADA, not being wheelchair-accessible

News Channel 4 - Thu, 02/29/2024 - 08:30

COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) – A Downtown hotel is being accused of violating the Americans with Disabilities Act by not being wheelchair-accessible. 

A man with physical disabilities is suing the Westin Great Southern Columbus for several architectural features he said render much of the building inaccessible to wheelchair users. In his federal complaint, filed Feb. 13, the man said he encountered several ADA violations while visiting the hotel in November, including in the front entrance, multiple restrooms and the accessible room he booked for his stay.

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The man, Spencer Neal, is paralyzed and uses a wheelchair. He comes to Columbus frequently to visit friends and said in his complaint that he chose the Westin, located on the corner of South High and East Main streets, because of its proximity to friends’ residences and its price.

But Neal encountered several “architectural barriers” he claimed impeded his full access to places including the fitness area, bar and dining area, multiple restrooms and his accessible room. The complaint does not detail specific inaccessible features but asks for full discovery in the case.

“Mr. Neal suffered a loss of his civil rights and his rights as a person with physical disabilities to full and equal access to public facilities, and further suffered from physical personal injury, shame, humiliation, embarrassment, anger, chagrin, disappointment and worry,” his complaint reads.

The building the Westin occupies was originally named the Great Southern Hotel and Theatre and is listed in the U.S. National Register of Historic Places. Opened in 1896, the theatre – currently run by the Columbus Association for the Performing Arts – is the oldest operating theatre in Central Ohio and one of the oldest in the state.

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As a place of public accommodation, the hotel is subject to federal and state accessibility requirements, regardless of its age or historic character. Neal’s complaint contends that the hotel not only violates federal and state disability accommodations laws, but falsely advertises itself as accessible. Neal seeks damages for his November stay and court-ordered renovation of the hotel to fix inaccessible features.

The Westin Great Southern hotel is operated by Marriott International. Marriott International did not respond to a request for comment. The owner of the building, a corporation called MHF WC VI, has until March 8 to respond to the complaint.

Read the full complaint below.

Categories: Ohio News

Leap Day deals: discounts from Chipotle, Dunkin', Marco's Pizza, UDF and more

News Channel 4 - Thu, 02/29/2024 - 08:00

COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) -- Restaurants, gas stations and stores are offering Leap Day deals on Feb. 29, like 29 cents off United Dairy Farmers gas, free Chipotle guacamole, $2 Dunkin' coffee, discounted glazed dozen from Krispy Kreme and more.

BJ's Restaurant and Brewhouse
  • Customers can get a Pizookie for just $2.29 on Feb. 29 when they make a $10 minimum purchase while dining in.
Burger King
  • Through March 1, customers can get a free Whopper or Impossible Whopper from Burger King with a $3 or more purchase in the BK app.
  • Also, Royal Perks members can earn four times the Crowns on up to three eligible transactions made at participating restaurants.
  • Chipotle is celebrating Leap Day on Feb. 29 with a free guac offer for Chipotle Rewards members who use code EXTRA24 at checkout on the Chipotle app and 
Chipotle announced that on "Extra Day," Feb. 29, guac will not be extra for fans who use code EXTRA24 on digital orders placed exclusively on the Chipotle app or (Courtesy Photo/Chipotle) Dunkin'
  • Dunkin' Rewards members can celebrate Leap Day with a $2 Medium Cinnamon Vanilla Coffee when ordering in the Dunkin' mobile app or scanning their Dunkin' Rewards ID upon checkout on Feb. 29.
  • Plus, Rewards members will earn 4X points on all Dunkin’ Rewards orders on Leap Day.
Dunkin' Rewards members can celebrate Leap Day with a $2 Medium Cinnamon Vanilla Coffee. (Courtesy Photo/Dunkin') Hardee's
  • Hardee's is offering customers 29% off if they order on the Hardee's My Rewards app this Thursday.
  • HootClub Rewards loyalty members can receive an automatic reward to redeem for one select appetizer for $2.29 per loyalty account.
Insomnia Cookies
  • Through March 3, Insomnia is offering one free classic cookie when they but any pack of six of 12.
Krispy Kreme
  • Get a $2.29 original glazed dozen when you buy any dozen on Thursday. At participating shops only, order online for pickup or delivery using promo code LEAPDAY to redeem at checkout. Limit 2 per guest in shop and drive thru. Limit 1 online for pickup and delivery.
  • Also, guests who have a Feb. 29 birthday can visit a Krispy Kreme shop and receive a free original glazed dozen, no purchase necessary, on Leap Day. Proof of birthday is required.
On Leap Day only, any guest with a Feb. 29 birthday can also receive a free original glazed dozen, no purchase necessary. (Courtesy Photo/Krispy Kreme Doughnuts) Long John Silver's
  • Customers can receive a free fish or chicken on Leap Day on orders of $5 or more.
Marco's Pizza
  • Through March 3, customers can get 29% off all menu-price pizzas at participating locations using the code LEAP29 while ordering online and in the app.
Noodles and Company
  • Noodles is celebrating Leap Day by is offering Noodles Rewards Members 29% off on orders of $29 or more on Feb. 29.
Smoothie King
  • Customers can use the Smoothie King Healthy Reward app to receive 29% off smoothies on Feb. 29 if you spend $15 or more.
  • Staples is giving away 29,000 passport photos on Thursday in honor of Leap Day.
  • Also, Staples is offering 29x the points on select travel and office essentials through the new Staples Easy Rewards Program. The program offers one points per $1 spent on qualifying purchases in store, online and in the app.
Taco Bell
  • Customers can get $2.29 crunch wraps on Leap Day, limit one per customer in the Taco Bell app.
United Dairy Farmers
  • UDF locations are discounting gas 29 cents a gallon, but only from 3 to 7 p.m. on Leap Day. Registered card holders can receive their discount between 3 and 11 p.m.
  • On Leap Day, Wendy's is treating fans to a free Cinnabon Pull-Apart during breakfast hours at their local Wendy's restaurant location.
Wendy's new Cinnabon Pull-Apart is a morning treat now available nationwide only at your local Wendy's. (Courtesy Photo/Wendy's) Wings and Rings
  • Customers can get five bonus wings free with the purchase of 10 wings on Leap Day.
Categories: Ohio News

Adoptable Ohio dog wants to be the best friend to your best friend

News Channel 4 - Thu, 02/29/2024 - 06:30

COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) -- Koda, a dog up for adoption at the Franklin County Dog Shelter and Adoption Center, is a social butterfly among his own kind.

Behavior Coordinator Brandy Trott said the 5-year-old pit bull mix can be a little shy around people at first, but that's absolutely not the case with other dogs.

"He's not shy at all with dogs, and he's in our playgroups regularly and can play with anybody," Trott said. "With people, it also doesn't take him super long. He's really into treats, so that kind of will help warm him up."

Koda. (NBC4 Photo/Mark Feuerborn)

Koda came into the shelter in January, and since then has shined as he interacted with the other dogs there. He also has worked on his people skills, and learned how to sit on command as well as proper walking on leash. But rather than needing to improve his interactions with other dogs, Trott described him as a role model at the shelter.

"If the dog wants to just wander, he'll do that, he doesn't really like press their buttons," Trott said. "But if they want to wrestle and rumble, he's all about that too."

Koda is available for meet-and-greets at the Franklin County Dog Shelter, located at 4340 Tamarack Blvd. in Columbus, and costs just $18 to adopt. Below are some additional dogs up for adoption as well:

Kai. (NBC4 Photo/Mark Feuerborn) Kai
  • White Siberian Husky mix
  • 10-month-old male
  • Okay with dogs and shy dog ratings from the shelter
  • Recommended to a home with children 8 years and older
  • Neutered and up to date on shots
Royce. (NBC4 Photo/Mark Feuerborn) Royce
  • Grey and white pit bull mix
  • 5-year-old make
  • Housebroken, go-getter and senior favorite ratings from the shelter
  • Neutered and up to date on shots
Keith. (NBC4 Photo/Mark Feuerborn) Keith
  • Black and white American Bulldog mix
  • 4-year-old male
  • Housebroken and go-getter ratings from the shelter
  • Neutered and up to date on shots
Conrad. (NBC4 Photo/Mark Feuerborn) Conrad
  • Tan pit bull mix
  • 2-year-old male
  • Okay with dogs, housebroken, shelter favorite and constant companion ratings from the shelter
  • Neutered and up to date on shots
Categories: Ohio News

Get out and do something this weekend in central Ohio, Feb. 29-March 4

News Channel 4 - Thu, 02/29/2024 - 06:00

COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) -- From county artist Sam Hunt at Nationwide Arena to a production of "Beauty and the Beast" benefitting Nationwide Children's Hospital, here are things to see and do this weekend in central Ohio.

Blue Jackets vs. Hurricanes

Nationwide Arena at 7 p.m. on Thursday

  • The Columbus Blue Jackets face the Carolina Hurricanes.
Tchaikovsky's 'Eugene Onegin' opera

Ohio Theatre at 7:30 p.m. on Friday and Saturday

  • Opera Columbus and the Columbus Symphony present "Eugene Onegin." hen sensitive Tatyana bares her soul in a love letter to the dashing Eugene Onegin, he coldly rejects her and flirts with her sister, resulting in a deadly duel with his trusted friend, Lensky. Years later, Onegin returns, tortured by guilt and remorse.
'Beauty and the Beast' by the Butterfly Guild of Nationwide Children's Hospital

Palace Theatre at 7 p.m. Friday, 1 and 5:30 p.m. on Saturday and 1 p.m. Sunday

  • Butterfly Guild, an organization of women committed to supporting Nationwide Children’s Hospital, is producing a Broadway-style production of "Beauty and the Beast" as part of its largest annual fundraiser.
Tatum Beck as Belle in the Butterfly Guild's production of "Beauty and the Beast." (Courtesy Photo/CAPA) Sam Hunt | Outskirts Tour 2024

Nationwide Arena at 7:30 p.m. on Friday

  • Dubbed "the most innovative mainstream Nashville performer" by The New York Times, the five-time Grammy nominee and Diamond-selling Hunt sets course for his arena headlining tour with stops in Louisville, Nashville, Milwaukee, Green Bay, and more.
Sam Hunt performs during the 2023 Country Bay Music Festival at the Miami Marine Stadium on November 12, 2023 in Key Biscayne, Florida. (Photo by Ivan Apfel/Getty Images) Aminah's Playhouse

Columbus Museum of Art from 5 to 8 p.m. on Saturday

  • Columbus Museum of Art comes alive with fun and playful experiences for the whole family to enjoy together. This year’s theme is inspired by the art of Aminah Brenda Lynn Robinson. Evening highlights include Aminah inspired artmaking in the Studio, a collaborative Lego construction build, cardboard challenge, DJ and dancing, and delicious dinner and dessert buffets. 
Blue Jackets vs. Golden Knights

Nationwide Arena at 7 p.m. on Monday

  • The Columbus Blue Jackets face the Vegas Golden Knights.
Black History Month events
  • From the McConnell Arts Center and the Ohio History Center to the King Arts Complex and Drexel Theatre, many organizations are hosting events celebrating Black History Month.
Women's History Month event
  • Interactive panels, art workshops, donation drives and more are popping up across central Ohio this March in celebration of Women’s History Month.
Top spring concerts and shows
  • From the reimagined Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey at the Schottenstein Center to Olivia Rodrigo and Bruce Springsteen at Nationwide Arena, more than two dozens top artists and shows are performing in central Ohio this spring.

For more events, view NBC4’s community calendar.

Categories: Ohio News

Daylight saving time: When will clocks spring forward in Ohio?

News Channel 4 - Thu, 02/29/2024 - 05:00

COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) -- Clocks are skipping an hour for the beginning of daylight saving time as Ohio lawmakers are advocating for a bill to observe the annual period permanently.

Daylight saving begins at 2 a.m. on March 10, beginning the nine months when U.S. clocks "spring forward" an hour in March and "fall back" in November. Yes, this means we lose an hour of sleep when the clock skips from 2 a.m. to 3 a.m.

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Ohio is among more than a dozen states that have pushed to observe daylight saving permanently. The state's House of Representatives passed a bipartisan bill in December to extend daylight saving to the entire year in Ohio and urge the U.S. Congress to pass the "Sunshine Protection Act," a bill to transition to perpetual daylight saving nationwide.

Reps. Rodney Creech (R-West Alexandria) and Bob Peterson (R-Sabina), the resolution's primary sponsors, said the biannual tradition is no longer needed given standard time is observed only for a third of the year. The pair also argue the change endangers drivers, citing a study that found an increase in car crashes occurring on the Mondays following the shifts to and from daylight saving.

"Switching to daylight saving time would increase the hours of sunlight in the evenings year-round and could help combat some mental health issues from the darker winter evenings we currently have on standard time," Creech said.

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However, Jay Pea, president of the nonprofit Save Standard Time, said daylight saving would delay Ohio's sunrise past 8 a.m. for more than four months, sometimes as late as 9:06 a.m., and noted Ohio rejected an effort in 1974 to enact daylight saving permanently. Rather, Pea advocates for extending standard time to the entire year.

"Permanent standard time would protect start times for schoolchildren and essential workers by letting most sleep naturally past dawn year-round," Pea said. "Standard time is the natural clock, set to the sun."

Creech and Peterson's resolution notes an effort to enact daylight saving in Ohio would be curtailed until federal law changes. Under the Uniform Time Act of 1966, states can change to standard time but not daylight saving, which requires a change to federal law to transition to perpetual daylight saving.

Passing the Sunshine Protection Act would mean later sunsets in the winter, but also later sunrises. For example, the sun rises around 7:15 a.m. and sets around 4:30 p.m. on the first day of winter in New York. The Sunshine Protection Act would change sunrise to 8:15 a.m. and sunset to 5:30 p.m.

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To become law, the act needs to pass in the U.S. House of Representatives and then be sent to the president's desk for signing. Though the act previously passed unanimously in the Senate, it wasn’t as well-received in the House.

While many other states have also hinted at permanently observing daylight saving, states like Colorado, Georgia, Oklahoma, and Pennsylvania want to observe standard time. As the rest of the U.S. switches to daylight saving, two states change time zones. Arizona shifts from the Pacific Time Zone to the Mountain Time Zone, and Hawaii from five hours behind Eastern Time to six hours behind.

Six in 10 Americans, 61%, would do away with the nation’s twice-a-year time change while a little over one-third, 35%, want to keep the current practice, according to a Monmouth University poll.

Categories: Ohio News

After unusually warm February, what to expect as spring approaches in March

News Channel 4 - Thu, 02/29/2024 - 04:30
Columbus and Central Ohio Weather

COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) -- Spring is only weeks away on the calendar (March 19), but we have certainly felt the change in seasons already, despite a few recent cold snaps.

This week brought a surge of warm, moist air that set records for February heat across the Midwest, where temperatures reached 90 degrees as far north as Arkansas and Missouri, 86 at St. Louis, 80 at Springfield, Illinois, and 74 at Flint, Michigan.

Five confirmed tornadoes, strong storms leave behind heavy damage

The unseasonable winter warmth culminated in a rare February tornado outbreak that spawned more than 20 tornadoes from Illinois to Ohio on Tuesday evening and early Wednesday. The clash of seasons that triggered the severe weather with a potent storm system brought a nearly 60-degree drop in temperature in 24 hours in Chicago and Milwaukee.

The mercury soared to a daily-record high of 66 degrees in Columbus early Wednesday just ahead of the strong cold front. The predawn warmth on Wednesday marked the seventh time that maximum readings in Columbus topped 60 degrees, in one of the warmest Februarys on record. The mildest days brought a high of 67 degrees on Feb. 26-27.

The winter has been exceptionally mild, outside of a 10-day cold period in mid-January, and with only three respectable snowfalls: Jan. 19-20, Feb. 16 and Feb. 24. The total seasonal snowfall so far is 12.4 inches. (The normal snowfall for an entire winter is 28.2 inches).

In Columbus, December was 7.3 degrees above normal; January 2.1 degrees above normal; and February 8.5 degrees above normal. The winter as a whole edged past last winter (2022-23) to move into fifth place among the city's warmest winters since 1879 (the period of December-February is considered meteorological winter for statistical purposes).

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The Upper Midwest region is experiencing its warmest winter in history, with record low ice extent in the Great Lakes coupled with very little snowfall.

The biggest factor in the anomalous warmth this season is a strong El Niño climate pattern, which produced a persistent southern jet stream, or upper-air flow, that frequently swept mild Pacific air eastward and limited arctic intrusions due to the northward displacement of the polar jet stream.

The NOAA outlook for March indicates a continuation of the unusually mild circulation. The average precipitation is given equal chances of above and below normal (near-normal). The West and Southeastern U.S. look to be rather wet and cooler-than-normal, consistent with a southern storm track that follows the prevailing jet stream.

The middle of January brought a southward shift in the polar vortex -- the coldest air in North America at high altitudes near the North Pole.

Although there were some model signals that a warming of the stratosphere could realign the jet stream and lead to mid-March cold blast, this scenario is currently looking less likely.

However, we know from experience that the warmest winters sometimes balance out with colder-than-normal periods of spring and even a few late snowfalls, which can play havoc with early emerging crops, such as winter wheat and oats, flowers and fruit trees that leaf out several weeks ahead of schedule.

Categories: Ohio News

Family of hazing victim Stone Foltz to be awarded damages against former Bowling Green fraternity president

News Channel 4 - Thu, 02/29/2024 - 03:30

Watch a previous report of the Foltz family settling with Bowling Green in the video player above.

COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) – The former president of a fraternity where Bowling Green State University student Stone Foltz died during a hazing incident will soon learn how much money he owes Foltz’ family in damages.

Foltz’s parents are scheduled to testify to a Franklin County magistrate Thursday afternoon that 23-year-old Daylen Dunson, who was the president of Bowling Green’s Pi Kappa Alpha chapter when Foltz died, should pay steep compensatory and punitive damages for his role in their son’s death. The court ruled against Dunson by default on all counts, including negligence and intentional infliction of emotional distress, because he never responded to the Foltz family’s wrongful death lawsuit.

Five confirmed tornadoes, strong storms leave behind heavy damage

Foltz, from Delaware, Ohio, was 20 years old when, during a fraternity pledge event in March 2021, PIKE members ordered him and other prospective members to each drink a liter of liquor. Fraternity members then dropped Foltz off at his apartment, where he was found unresponsive. He died of alcohol poisoning after spending several days on life support. 

Dunson pleaded guilty in May 2022 to reckless homicide, tampering with evidence, obstructing justice and multiple counts of misdemeanor hazing, among other charges. After spending 21 days in jail, he was ordered to 28 days of house arrest and three years of probation. Five other fraternity members pleaded guilty to various charges related to Foltz’ death, while a jury convicted two others of hazing.

In 2021, Foltz’s parents, Shari and Cory, filed a wrongful death suit against the fraternity, Dunson and more than a dozen other fraternity members, several of whom faced criminal charges alongside Dunson. All other defendants, as well as the university, have settled with the family for a total of $11.4 million, according to court filings.

But Dunson never responded to the complaint, nor its three amended versions. In July 2023, Judge Julie Lynch ruled against Dunson by default.

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In court filings, the Foltz family urged the court to award them hefty damages to send a message against what they described as “archaic behavior.” In a statement, Shari and Cory Foltz said the pain caused by their son’s death was still fresh, nearly three years later.

“We urge fraternity members, students, and all individuals to take a stand against hazing. It is not a rite of passage; it is a crime,” the Foltzes said. “We will continue to fight for justice for Stone and to ensure that no other family must endure the pain and loss that we have experienced.”

Dunson is a personal trainer and bodybuilder, according to his social media accounts. He did not respond to a request for comment and blocked an NBC4 reporter on social media after being contacted for this story.

Bowling Green revoked the PIKE chapter’s student organization status in April 2021. According to Bowling Green’s hazing violations report, 21 students were academically sanctioned related to Foltz’s death, with penalties ranging from deferred suspension to expulsion.

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Three months after Foltz died, Gov. Mike DeWine signed Collin’s Law, increasing penalties and creating a felony for hazing that causes serious harm and involves drugs or alcohol. The law is named for Collin Wiant, an Ohio University student who died during a hazing incident in 2018.

Collin’s Law also requires colleges and universities to offer hazing prevention training and publicly report anti-hazing violations every fall and spring semester. 

Franklin County Magistrate Jennifer Hunt will preside over the court hearing at 1:30 p.m. A judge will need to approve her damages order before it is finalized.

Categories: Ohio News

Brisk sunshine Thursday, warming into the weekend

News Channel 4 - Thu, 02/29/2024 - 02:56
Columbus and Central Ohio Weather QUICK WEATHER FORECAST:
  • Today: Brisk sunshine, high 42
  • Tonight: Mainly clear, low 27
  • Friday: Spotty PM rain, high 50
  • Saturday: Slow clearing, high 57
  • Sunday: Mainly sunny, high 68
  • Monday: Partly cloudy, showers late, high 70

Happy Thursday!

After a very busy weather day yesterday in Central Ohio, things are much calmer today. Temperatures are more seasonable, topping out in the lower 40s in Columbus, under mainly sunny skies. Winds will continue to die down, so expect just a slight breeze at times.

For Friday, we kick off a warming trend. Expect highs to warm close to 50 during the afternoon. We do have a quick moving system rolling through from the SW, that will bring us a few light and spotty rain showers. Most of those arrive during the mid-late afternoon, and last through the evening.

We'll be dry by Saturday, with slowly clearing clouds. We continue to warm, however, with highs into the upper 50s.

Sunday will be BEAUTIFUL, with clear skies, and highs in the upper 60s to near 70.

Monday will likely be one of the warmest days of the year, with highs close to 70, mainly dry conditions most of the day, before more showers roll in for the middle of the workweek.


Categories: Ohio News

Can tornado damage affect your property taxes?

News Channel 4 - Wed, 02/28/2024 - 21:05

COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) - Cleaning up after a devastating storm can be exhausting, and even overwhelming. That's the situation many across central Ohio find themselves in after a severe storm brought multiple tornadoes to the region early Wednesday.

"I've seen stuff I've never seen before. It was probably the worst storm I've ever witnessed," said John Tomer, senior project manager for Quality Builders of Ohio.

Central Ohio's most accurate forecast

Tomer has experience with the cleanup efforts and rebuilding efforts that come along with severe weather.

"It puts fear in homeowners' eyes and what that does for us is it puts a sense of urgency in and normally, after storms like last night, they're super devastated and you feel bad for the homeowners having to go through that,” he said. “So, you just try to make the next steps moving forward as easy as possible for them.”

There is one potential silver lining for those tasked with rebuilding a roof, replacing siding, or finding a whole new home to live in.

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"If there was total demolition or uninhabitable, you very well could be seeing a huge reduction in those property taxes," Michael Stinziano, Franklin County Auditor, said.

Stinziano said this is an opportunity that many people aren't aware of, especially when it comes to rebuilding after a tornado or other severe weather event, and it can significantly reduce a homeowner's property tax burden while they rebuild.

"So, say a tornado came today, your property is no longer habitable, that would be a candidate for 100% reduction,” he said. “A lot of property owners don't realize they have that opportunity. Even when there isn't a weather event and say they were going to demolish a property when I talked to them they don't realize it's as simple as talking to our office, letting us know what's going on.”

It's not unique to Franklin County either.

Dispute puts Ohio Statehouse approval of $1.4 billion in projects in jeopardy

"This is required under state of Ohio law. So, any property owner in any county has the opportunity to fill out the form. It's called a DTE-26," Stinziano said.

Homeowners have until Dec. 31 to complete an application through the auditor's office that could save them thousands of dollars on property taxes for 2023. The best way to find out if you qualify is to contact the auditor's office and fill out this form.

Categories: Ohio News

No. 2 Ohio St knocks off Michigan 67-51 for 15th straight win and sole possession of Big Ten title

News Channel 4 - Wed, 02/28/2024 - 20:10

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — Jacy Sheldon scored 22 points to lead No. 2 Ohio State to its 15th straight win and the Big Ten regular-season title with a 67-51 win over Michigan on Wednesday night.

Cotie McMahon had 18 points and seven rebounds for the Buckeyes (25-3, 16-1 Big Ten), who had already clinched at least a share of the title and the No. 1 seed in the conference tournament with a win over Maryland on Sunday.

The game was revenge for the Buckeyes, whose only conference loss this season came in a 69-60 shocker against Michigan in Ann Arbor Dec. 30. Ohio State hasn't lost since.

The Wolverines (17-12, 8-9) didn't help themselves, turning the ball over 29 times leading to 30 Ohio State points. Laila Phelia led Michigan with 13 points.

For the Buckeyes, it is the first outright Big Ten title that counted since 2009-10. They won it in 2017-18 but were stripped due to sanctions related to recruiting violations by a former assistant.


Michigan: The Wolverines were in it until after halftime thanks to Ohio State's equally sloppy play. But they made too many mistakes to keep up in the second half as the Buckeyes surged.

Ohio State: The Buckeyes are on the right track to peak in March but will remain behind No. 1 South Carolina, which is 27-0 and sits atop the AP Top 25. A head-to-head matchup would be a highlight of the NCAA Tournament.


Michigan: Finishes the season at home against Purdue on Saturday.

Ohio State: Will play in front of a full house and on national TV at No. 6 Iowa in the regular-season finale Sunday.

Categories: Ohio News

One dead in shooting on Columbus' west side

News Channel 4 - Wed, 02/28/2024 - 20:05

COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) -- A shooting on the west side of Columbus has left one person dead Wednesday night.

Columbus police said the shooting happened on the 700 block of Doulton Court at approximately 8:14 p.m.

The victim was pronounced dead at the scene at 8:19 p.m.

There is no further information available at this time.

Categories: Ohio News

Dispute puts Ohio Statehouse approval of $1.4 billion in projects in jeopardy

News Channel 4 - Wed, 02/28/2024 - 17:30

COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) – The Ohio Senate allocated $1.4 billion on Wednesday afternoon with bi-partisan support, but the spending portions of the bill could already be a non-starter in the House.

The money was added into House Bill 27 on the Senate floor. 

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Senate Minority Leader Nickie Antonio (D-Lakewood) said her caucus only saw the amendments an hour before session started, and while she ultimately supported the bill, expressed her frustration with the “rushed” process. The original bill was not meant to be an appropriations piece of legislation, but Senate President Matt Huffman (R-Lima) said there was some urgency to get dollars allocated.

“We want this enacted by the March 31 deadline, doesn’t have to be, but the funding stops by June 30,” Huffman said. 

Huffman is talking about things like public works projects and K-12 school projects that are ongoing and will need the continued funding by the summer construction season. HB27 now includes $600 million for K-12 schools and $575 million for public works projects. Those are funding projects the House already agreed to when they passed House Bill 2 at the start of the month. 

HB27 now also includes $196 million for the state fair, Huffman said that was added at the request of Gov. Mike DeWine. $38 million dollars for the state’s adoption grant program was also added to HB27. It is a new program that gives $10,000 to someone who adopts a child, $15,000 for adopting a foster child and $20,000 for adopting a disabled child. Huffman said since allocating funds for it last year, adoptions have gone up and the money for the grants is running out. 

“It was just something that was brought to our attention, and we don’t want a disruption in that program,” Huffman said. 

Huffman said he is “hopeful” the House will take up HB27 at their first opportunity, which is April 10 right now, so none of those programs have any interruption. But, despite bipartisan support in the Senate, Speaker of the House Jason Stephens (R-Kitts Hill) has already indicated that they won’t agree with the bill, keeping the money at a standstill between chambers.  

“We can’t get collaboration or cooperation across chambers.” Antonio said. “It’s terrible. I don’t know what else to say.” 

While some of the money was put into HB2, Huffman has been maintaining that the Senate will not move forward with passing that bill until May, at best. He is calling on the House to pass the portions of the HB27 for K-12 and public works projects, at least, in the meantime. 

“They’ve already voted for it, we’ve already voted for it, if the compromise is ‘Well, let's just agree on a bill and pass it so we don’t have to worry about it,’ that seems fine to me,” Huffman said. “I think we at least ought to agree on the things we agree about, which apparently are these two provisions.” 

And while Huffman doubles down what his chamber has passed, Stephens is doing the same. 

“The House has remained very transparent about ensuring money is readily available for the beginning of the summer construction season, and we look forward to the Senate taking up Substitute House Bill 2,” Stephens said in a statement. 

HB2 would “ensure that time-sensitive construction investments” would stay on schedule with the traditional timeline. 

“I don’t think it makes a difference what the number is,” Huffman said. “The issue is the funding, which they’ve already voted for the public works and school projects.” 

“Should they have a delay because there’s some kind of internal proxy leadership war going on? I think that’s a shame,” Antonio said. “Because at the end, it’s the people of Ohio losing.” 

The “proxy leadership war” is tied to ongoing Republican infighting since the start of this General Assembly in January 2023. The fight has led to a lawsuit. And now, that fight has now extended between chambers, as Stephens and Huffman could both be battling for the speakership in 2025. 

“I think I have said it before, this has been the least productive general assembly since what? The 50s,” Antonio said. 

HB2 also includes $700 million worth of one-time community investments

The House allocated $350 million when they passed it, with the understanding, as House leaders said, that the Senate would then allocate the remaining half. Huffman said there was never any such agreement. 

“I can’t look at senators and say, ‘It’s okay, whatever the House wants to say,’ because I’d be asking them to vote on things that could be suspect,” Huffman said. 

The Senate will be taking in requests for the one-time spending until April 8. And while Huffman said they won’t vote on HB2 until May or June, Stephens is assuring his caucus that HB2 will still be the vehicle for the funding.

Categories: Ohio News

How new airport will help Columbus tourism

News Channel 4 - Wed, 02/28/2024 - 17:30

COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) – Columbus sits within a 10-hour drive of nearly half of the American population. That accessibility is one of the keys to the growth of Columbus as a tourism and business destination.

The new airport at John Glenn could change that pitch to visitors.

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Columbus does big events: National championships, the Quarterhorse Congress, the Arnold Fitness Festival. When Columbus bids, they typically succeed.

“What does the arena look like?” Greater Columbus Sports Commission President and CEO Linda Logan said. “How many seats are there? But they’re also looking at the number of daily flights, the number of direct flights, and they’re going to make an educated decision based on all those things.”

Experience Columbus data shows 50 million people visit Columbus each year. Of that 50 million, 80% of them drive here.

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But with the new airport expansion on its way in 2029, Columbus tourism leaders are focused on recruiting new events on a global scale.

“We obviously know that we can compete with any city in America for those events in the United States, but next up is that international traveler,” Experience Columbus President and CEO Brian Ross said. “It is the time somebody needs to get from point A to point B, so the more direct flights you have, the better off you are.”

When Columbus bid to host the Democratic and Republican national conventions in prior years, the bid was softened by a lack of hotel space, local transportation options, and direct flights compared to other competing cities. Hotel expansions downtown have eased some concerns and now, with an increase to 36 proposed gates in the new airport, Columbus aims to meet rising air travel demands.

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“I would imagine because our infrastructure has grown,” Global Location Strategies President and CEO Didi Caldwell said. “We’ve got more hotels, we’ve got more facilities, we’ll have a bigger lift that those numbers will continue, perhaps double.

"Columbus with, you know, over 2 million people in the Metropolitan Statistical area, and also, all of the economic activity and the growth that you're experiencing there, I think it really bodes well to have and attract the airlines,” Caldwell added. “We'll be able to better represent the brand and culture of Columbus and Franklin County.”

Categories: Ohio News

Columbus to add 2 miles of bike, pedestrian paths

News Channel 4 - Wed, 02/28/2024 - 17:00

COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) -- A new project from the city of Columbus and a local developer could provide miles of pedestrian- and bike-friendly paths through some attractions throughout downtown Columbus.

The $100 million project is slated to connect several Columbus neighborhoods. The path is expected to run along Gay, Rich, and 4th streets, cross the Scioto River, and connect on Belle Street in the Franklinton neighborhood.

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Those behind the project said the Capital Line will be dotted with public art, landscaping, and street furniture, with the goal of enhancing the downtown pedestrian experience.

“It’s vital this project came from the community because the community knows what they want from their downtown,” Amy Taylor, president of the Downtown Development Corporation, said. “If downtown is truly everybody's neighborhood, everybody should have a say in what it should be. We heard they wanted more connections, more bike lanes; they wanted more reasons to travel to the assets of downtown. “

People behind the project said the design of the trail continue for the rest of the year with construction starting in 2025 and take about four years to complete.

Categories: Ohio News

One dead in Whitehall apartment fire

News Channel 4 - Wed, 02/28/2024 - 16:27

WHITEHALL, Ohio (WCMH) -- A woman is dead as the result of a fire at an apartment complex in Whitehall Wednesday evening.

According to Whitehall Assistant Fire Chief Kevin Watts, the fire was reported at approximately 5:30 p.m. on the 5300 block of Great Oak Way.

The woman was taken to Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center, where she was pronounced dead at approximately 6:20 p.m., Watts said. No other injuries were reported.

The cause of the fire remains under investigation.

Categories: Ohio News


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