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DiCarlo's Pizza in Westerville to reopen under family management

News Channel 4 - Tue, 03/19/2024 - 10:00

WESTERVILLE, Ohio (WCMH) -- A pizzeria chain's central Ohio restaurant opened by franchisees and then closed after a year of business is reopening with new management.

DiCarlo's Pizza at 20 S. State St. in Uptown Westerville is expected to reopen this spring under direct management of the DiCarlo family, according to Westerville city officials. The Westerville pizzeria opened in June 2022 and then closed last fall due to a litany of issues, including rising industry costs.

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"We have poured our hearts, souls, blood, sweat, tears, injury and oven burn scars into this, all as a family unit," wrote franchisee Sarah Carlson on social media, who also operated a DiCarlo's in Hilliard city officials said will not reopen. "This was the most difficult decision, but the right decision, for our family."

The pizzeria hosted a ribbon cutting for its grand opening in June of 2022. (Courtesy Photo/Westerville Area Chamber of Commerce)

Now, the Westerville pizzeria is set to reopen as soon as construction on a walkway outside the building's front door is completed. The walkway is being renovated as part of High Bank Distillery's new restaurant and speakeasy opening inside a former post office built in 1935.

DiCarlo's was founded in Steubenville in 1945 and has since grown to restaurants across Ohio, West Virginia and Tennessee. The brand is known for its rectangular pizza with a thin, crispy crust.

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Once open, the Westerville restaurant will be open 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Thursday, 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Friday and Saturday, and 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Sunday.

Categories: Ohio News

Gusty Tuesday afternoon with more seasonable temperatures

News Channel 4 - Tue, 03/19/2024 - 09:34
Columbus and Central Ohio Weather QUICK WEATHER FORECAST:
  • Tuesday: Breezy and dry, high 51 (36)
  • Wednesday: Mostly sunny & breezy, high 48 (23)
  • Thursday: Partly cloudy, high 43 (28)
  • Friday: Chance of rain showers, high 49 (36)
  • Saturday: Partly cloudy, high 50 (29)
FORECAST DISCUSSION:

It will be a very breezy afternoon and evening across central Ohio. Wind speeds will reach 20 mph with peak wind gusts close to 40 mph. Highs will be in the low 50s. Spring officially begins at 11:06 PM when the vernal equinox will occur.

The first full day of spring will be mostly sunny, but wind speeds will not be dying down anytime soon. Highs will be in the upper 40s. Wednesday light lows will plummet towards the mid 20s.

Outside of the breezy week, will stay mainly quiet outside of a few rain shower chances we are tracking towards Friday. Spring like temperatures and sunshine are expected by the weekend. A warming trend is expected to start as soon as Monday.

Categories: Ohio News

For Ohio State's Jake Diebler, becoming head coach provides full circle moment for him and his family

News Channel 4 - Tue, 03/19/2024 - 09:30

COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) -- The hiring of Jake Diebler as Ohio State's full-time head coach in men's basketball provided a full circle moment for the 37-year-old, who puts family and faith at the heart of how he operates.

Diebler was formally introduced on the same floor where he won a state title with Upper Sandusky High School in 2005 alongside his brother, Jon, with their dad, Keith, as coach.

Ohio State introduces Jake Diebler as men’s basketball coach

Keith was on hand at the Schottenstein Center on Monday to see his son take the podium as Ohio State's 15th coach. Jake Diebler is also the first Ohio native to hold that title in 35 years. He attributes all of that success to his dad, a legend in the Ohio coaching world.

With more than 300 wins coaching boys basketball and girls volleyball, Keith's coaching career spans nearly four decades. Jake said he takes a lot of pride from growing up in Toledo and learning from his dad.

"How I coach is a reflection of how he coached and he taught me at a very early age how important passion was, both in a correcting but in an encouraging way too," Jake Diebler said. "[Keith] being around this last month has been critical for me and the way he supported me."

It was at that point in the news conference when his parents started to fight back tears.

"It's tears of pride and tears of joy," Keith Diebler said.

Monday was the culmination of a month-long audition for the former assistant coach. Keith was there for every drama-filled minute from the upset over Purdue to defeating Michigan State on the road.

"Everybody says you were so serious when you were at games. I was locked in," Keith said. "He was coaching, and I'm locked in, and I guess that's the coach in me."

And as Jake's dad, he was always confident in his son's ability to deliver.

"I'm kinda like, game's over and we're riding back and I take a deep breath and it becomes surreal because I never had any doubt about him," Keith said. "I've seen him lead a team to a state tournament win and I've seen the things that he's done over the years. It's never been a doubt on this end, it's just extreme joy for me."

Taking the interim label off of Jake's title is just the latest example of how basketball has impacted the Diebler family.

"Basketball has provided my family and I the opportunity to see some of the greatest people. And for me, for five decades, I've had the chance to teach, mentor and coach," Keith said. "That has to be the greatest. Wherever you end up. These last 48 hours have been crazy because of the amount of players that have gotten hold of me that go back to the 70s."

And asked whether he's ready to be in the spotlight that comes with coaching at Ohio State, Keith had one answer.

"100 percent. He's ready."

Categories: Ohio News

Federal judge dismisses wrongful death lawsuit against Ohio State fraternity in student's killing

News Channel 4 - Tue, 03/19/2024 - 09:00

COLUMBUS (WCMH) – For the second time in as many weeks a judge has dismissed a wrongful death lawsuit from a fatal shooting near the Ohio State university campus.

The family of Chase Meola, an Ohio State student killed outside a fraternity party in 2020, sued the national fraternity and Ohio State chapter in federal court.

Meola, 23, died in the early hours of Oct. 11, 2020, after being shot outside the Phi Kappa Psi fraternity house on East 14th Avenue. Ohio State suspended the fraternity in 2018 for hazing and other violations of the student code of conduct.

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But Meola’s family claimed in a lawsuit filed at the United States District Court Southern District of Ohio that the local chapter continued to operate as a fraternity.

Similar to the wrongful death suit against the university that was dismissed in state court on March 5, a federal judge ruled on Monday to dismiss a suit on all counts against Phi Kappa Psi fraternity national chapter.

Court documents stated the fraternity is not an owner, lessee, or a person under the control of the owner of the property in question, but rather a landlord that rents individual rooms on the property to students. The judge decreed that even if Phi Kappa Psi was considered an owner, the plaintiffs must still successfully allege that it was grossly negligent in this case.

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The judge granted the defense’s motion to dismiss on all four counts of the lawsuit: Wrongful death, survival action, negligence, gross negligence and recklessness, and respondeat superior liability.

In the state-filed lawsuit a judge noted that although Ohio State may have been liable if Meola’s death occurred on campus, the off-campus, unsanctioned fraternity house was beyond the jurisdiction or purview of the university.

Within hours of Meola’s death, Columbus police arrested 18-year-old Kintie Mitchell Jr. He pleaded not guilty to two murder charges and one charge of having a weapon under disability. 

Categories: Ohio News

Manchester City-Chelsea soccer game at Ohio Stadium set for August

News Channel 4 - Tue, 03/19/2024 - 08:08

COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) -- A soccer exhibition game between two European giants will come to Columbus in August.

In February, multiple reports indicated that English Premier League clubs Manchester City and Chelsea would play at Ohio Stadium. Now, it is official with the two teams squaring off on August 3. Tickets will be available starting on March 27 at 10 a.m. on Ticketmaster.

The game would be part of a two-week U.S. summer tour before the 2024-25 EPL season kicks off Aug. 17.

A news conference is scheduled to take place at 1 p.m. at Ohio Stadium with representatives from Ohio State, the Columbus Crew and more expected to announce more details on the summer friendly.

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Manchester City is considered the team to beat in Europe after completing a historic treble of trophies in the 2022-23 season. The Citizens won their third straight EPL title last year, along with their first Champions League and English FA Cup. Man City is in contention to win all three trophies again this year.

In London, Chelsea has established itself as one of the biggest sports teams in the world. After winning the 2021 Champions League over Man City, the Blues have fallen on difficult times by not yielding good results despite spending more than $1 billion on players. They sit 11th in the EPL standings and are hoping to win one trophy this season.

Man City and Chelsea have been intertwined in some major games, including a 4-4 tie in November, and they're scheduled to play again in April. The teams will face each other in an FA Cup semifinal at Wembley Stadium in London.

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Ohio Stadium, home of the Crew from 1996 to '99, was the site for the highest-attended soccer game in Ohio when more than 85,000 fans saw Real Madrid play Paris Saint-Germain in the 2016 International Champions Cup. After eight Ohio State football games in 2024, the Horseshoe will host its first outdoor hockey game when the Columbus Blue Jackets play the Detroit Red Wings on March 1.

Columbus will have a busy summer of soccer with the Crew's home, Lower.com Field, set to host MLS All-Star week. The Skills Challenge will take place on July 23, with the MLS All-Stars facing the Liga MX All-Stars of Mexico on July 24. Three days later, the Crew will play EPL club Aston Villa in an exhibition.

Categories: Ohio News

Ohio State coach Ryan Day discusses spring football as exhibition approaches

News Channel 4 - Tue, 03/19/2024 - 08:00

COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) -- With Ohio State's spring break in the books football players have returned to practice.

Buckeyes head coach Ryan Day is scheduled to give an update on the team's progress through spring football in a news conference. You can watch the news conference live in the player above.

Day said Tuesday's practice was a bit on-and-off that included players in pads for the first time as the team is getting back into the groove after spring break.

The Buckeyes have a completely revamped offense with rejuvenated offensive coordinator Chip Kelly, who seems to have made himself at home in Columbus. The quarterback competition remains a focus as transfer Will Howard leads the way but Day started Tuesday's news conference praising the running back room.

Transfer running back Quinshon Judkins is joining returning starter TreVeyon Henderson in a deadly duo.

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Tuesday's practice is the third of the spring for Ohio State as they are less than one month away from the April 13 intrasquad exhibition game.

Day and Kelly’s relationship goes back decades to their time at New Hampshire. And the Ohio State head coach has no problem trusting his mentor with play-calling responsibilities and quarterback coaching.

While the defensive side of the ball has not had as much turnover, new transfer safety Caleb Downs has added a new element of athleticism and skill to an already experienced secondary.

Categories: Ohio News

How to help: Kitten season arrives in central Ohio

News Channel 4 - Tue, 03/19/2024 - 06:00

COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) – As spring brings warmer temperatures and longer days to central Ohio, it also brings an overwhelming problem for animal shelters: kitten season. 

While being surrounded by hundreds of kittens may sound like a dream to some, the large number of kittens born outside, typically beginning in March and lasting through summer, strains a shelter's resources.

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Colony Cats is an animal welfare organization serving central Ohio for more than 20 years. The organization fixes and provides resources to feral cats, as well as maintains an adoption center in Dublin. The organization cared for more than 450 kittens during last year's kitten season, and at one point last July, had 250 in foster care at once.

Mona McKinniss, executive director of Colony Cats, said the organization is anticipating an increased number of kittens this year, as shelters and vets cannot keep up with the number of unfixed animals outside.

  • A mother cat and kittens found in Dublin. The mom is feral and will be fixed and returned to where she was found once the kittens are weaned, McKinniss said.
  • A mom and kittens that were taken in by Colony Cats in March.
  • Kittens that were taken in by Colony Cats in March.
  • A mom and kittens that were taken in by Colony Cats in March.
  • A mom and kitten that were taken in by Colony Cats in March.
  • A mom and kittens that were taken in by Colony Cats in March.

“Since so many are not spayed and neutered, there’s just constantly new kittens being born, kittens that need a place,” McKinniss said. “People always panic about the kittens, but it's the adult cats that have been abandoned that also need help. So it’s just an ongoing issue.”

McKinniss said Colony Cats recently got a call about a litter of kittens born in a dumpster. The dumpster had been emptied by the time volunteers arrived and the kittens are presumed to be dead. 

“The survival rate for kittens born to feral moms is less than 40%,” McKinnis said. “So you’ve got babies having babies, and that’s why the survival rate is low. And these cats don’t have a clue what to do to take care of them, especially when they’re just trying to survive by finding food for themselves.”

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Female cats can get pregnant as young as 4 months old. Cats have 1-9 kittens per litter and can have up to five litters per year.

McKinniss said the best way to combat the problems that come with kitten season is to prevent the litters in the first place. She said if an individual is feeding a feral or stray cat, that person should get the animal fixed. Colony Cats can provide guidance on trapping, fixing and releasing cats back outside that are too timid or feral to be handled. 

“The biggest thing everybody needs to do is to spay and neuter the cats and dogs that are in our community,” McKinniss said. “Whether their own pets that aren’t not fixed, whether they are outdoor friendly strays, community cats that people feed, they’ve probably been abandoned at some point.”

Not only does the outdoor cat population result in overcrowding at shelters and premature deaths for kittens and cats, the Ohio Department of Natural Resources said outdoor cats cause “significant harm” to native animal populations, specifically small mammals and birds. 

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“As feral cat populations grow, this challenge continues to be an issue for wildlife,” said Wildlife Communications Specialist Sarah Schott. “We highly encourage all cat owners to keep their cats indoors. Even cats that are let outside on occasion have predatory instincts and can kill birds. By keeping cats indoors, you can lessen the impact they have on our native wildlife populations.”

If an individual finds a litter of kittens and the mother is not with them, McKinniss said as long as they are in a safe place, to wait and see if the mother comes back. When kittens are found alone, the mother is typically out looking for food, she said. 

“They survive better if they have mom,” McKinniss said. “But then at the same time, reach out to an organization that can help you get the kittens, get mom, get them fixed.”

Outside of people fixing their pets and keeping them indoors, fostering is another way to help shelters take on the influx of kittens. McKinniss said at some point in the spring or summer, numerous shelters will fill up and have to turn kittens away. 

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“We try to help people by letting them become temporary fosters for us and we provide them with the supplies,” McKinniss said. “They foster the kittens until they’re big enough to be fixed and go up for adoption and then we take the kittens from them and find them homes.”

If an individual lives in an area where known stray or feral cats are present and they anticipate finding kittens, McKinniss said they can also stock up on their own supplies and care for the kittens themselves before taking them to a shelter.

Categories: Ohio News

$14.9 million awarded to help pregnant women, families without homes

News Channel 4 - Tue, 03/19/2024 - 05:00

COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) -- A group that helps those in Columbus with housing insecurity was allotted nearly $15 million Monday to help fund programs for families and people who are pregnant.

Columbus City Council voted to extend its decades-long partnership with the Community Shelter Board, awarding them $14.9 million in contracts to help the board work on multiple projects, including decreasing homelessness for families and pregnant women.

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"This is one of those most pressing, collective issues that I believe we need to lock arms with to ensure that these numbers do not continue to grow at this exponential rate," Councilmember Shayla Favor said.

Columbus' unhoused population has grown 6.9% in the past year, according to federal data, coming when Ohio residents have faced a nearly 20% increase in rent. With some community advocates saying Columbus is experiencing a housing crisis, the shelter board is one group working to help.

"That number is conservative," said Shannon Isom, shelter board president and CEO. "But truly the number-one reason is that we need to see more development in affordable housing. We have a low vacancy rate [and a] low amount of affordable housing that is being produced.

"We're probably going to continue to see that level of increase."

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The shelter board works with a number of partner agencies to help those who lack housing. Isom said the partners do the frontline work. They include:

  • Center for Family Safety and Healing
  • Community Housing Network
  • Equitas Health
  • Gladden Community House
  • Home for Families
  • Homefull
  • Huckleberry House
  • LSS Faith Mission
  • Maryhaven
  • Mount Carmel
  • National Church Residences
  • Netcare Access
  • Southeast Healthcare
  • Volunteers of America Ohio & Indiana
  • YMCA
  • YWCA

"The Community Shelter Board is really set up as a unified funding agency," Isom said. "We're able to take those dollars and really build out."

Favor echoed that the mission must be year-round.

"We have been intentional about investing in warming centers, or having an emergency response for those seasonal months of the year where it's really cold [or] when we get extremely hot weather," she said.

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The shelter said it has served 15,000 people over the past year, focusing on issues such as homelessness prevention, shelter, street outreach, rapid rehousing and permanent supportive housing.

Council President Shannon Hardin said helping the unhoused is not the shelter board's responsibility alone. He said the city also bears responsibility, and that it will have to go even further than the city of Columbus to fix the issue.

Categories: Ohio News

Grammy-award winning singer to perform at Ohio State Fair

News Channel 4 - Tue, 03/19/2024 - 04:00

COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) -- Two more concerts have been added to the Ohio State Fair schedule, and among the artists included is a Grammy-award-winning singer.

Among the two shows added to the schedule for the fair, which will take place from July 24 to Aug. 4, is a show July 29 featuring award-winning contemporary Christian singer Lauren Daigle. Daigle won two Grammys in 2019 for best contemporary Christian music performance/song and best contemporary Christian album.

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The second new show added features up-and-coming pop star Stephen Sanchez, who will perform on Aug. 1. Tickets for both shows will go on sale on Friday with prices varying for each show. Each concert ticket includes admission to the fair. Follow this link for ticket information.

  • KIDZ BOP 2024
  • Alabama
  • MONTREAL, QUEBEC - AUGUST 18: Jade Eagleson performs at the Lasso Montreal festival at Parc Jean-Drapeau on August 18, 2023 in Montreal, Quebec. (Photo by Mark Horton/Getty Images)
  • La Zenda Norteña
  • In this image released on December 31, 2023, Gabriel Iglesias arrives at Dick Clark's New Year's Rockin' Eve with Ryan Seacrest 2024 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Gilbert Flores/Penske Media via Getty Images)
  • Stephen Sanchez
  • Ohio Players
  • Midnight Star

All concerts will take place at the Celeste Center. The Expo Center said that more concerts will be announced at two later dates: Apr. 2 and Apr. 16. Each day of the fair is expected to have at least one concert at the Celeste Center.

Ohio State Fair concert schedule
  • July 24, 6:30 p.m.: KIDZ BOP
  • July 25, 7 p.m.: Alabama with Jade Eagleson
  • July 28, 7:30 p.m.: La Zenda Norteña
  • July 29, 7 p.m.: Lauren Daigle
  • July 31, 7 p.m.: Gabriel "Fluffy" Iglesias
  • Aug. 1, 7 p.m.: Stephen Sanchez
  • Aug. 2, 7:30 p.m.: Ohio Players and Midnight Star
Categories: Ohio News

What to know before voting in Ohio primary election

News Channel 4 - Tue, 03/19/2024 - 03:30
Your Local Election Headquarters

COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) -- While turnout is projected to be low, even for a primary in a presidential election year, there are still some things voters should know before heading to the polls Tuesday.

Polls will be open from 6:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m., and anyone in line when polls close will be able to cast their vote.

What’s at stake in Ohio’s primary election

Ohio’s primaries are partially open, allowing voters to pick which party’s ballot they wish to vote with, although they will be registered with that party for the next two years. Voters who don’t want to declare party affiliation can vote on school levies and other noncandidate races by requesting an issues-only ballot.

There are a few elections in Franklin County and across the state voters could play a big role in, including the Democratic race for Franklin County prosecutor and the Republican race for U.S. Senate. Otherwise, ballots on both sides of the political divide will be fairly sparse, given that the presidential race is already decided and most other candidates aren't facing any opposition.

That isn't to say there aren't races of import appearing on the ballot: Olentangy residents will be voting on a school levy that would cost property owners $148.75 per $100,000 of market value annually; several contested races for the Ohio House of Representatives; and two Democratic judges square off for a spot on the ballot to sit on the Ohio Supreme Court.

To vote, residents will be required to provide one of the following photo IDs to cast their ballots:

  • Ohio driver's license
  • State of Ohio ID card
  • Interim ID form issued by the Ohio BMV
  • U.S. passport
  • U.S. passport card
  • U.S. military ID card
  • Ohio National Guard ID card
  • U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs ID card

All photo IDs must have the following:

  • An expiration date that has not passed
  • A photograph of the voter
  • The voter’s name, which must substantially conform to the voter’s name as it appears in the Poll List or in the Poll Book

Voters without photo IDs can cast provisional ballots on Election Day, and then return to the county board of elections headquarters with a photo ID to prove their identity. Voters who fail to do so will not have their vote counted.

Voters who received absentee ballots must have had them postmarked for Monday, March 18, for them to be counted. If the voter didn’t return the ballot via the postal service, it can be dropped off at their county board of elections before polls close at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday.

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Any voter who requested an absentee ballot but decided to vote in person must fill out a provisional ballot. This is due to the absentee ballot being registered in the voter’s name with the board of elections.

Election results for 89 races across central Ohio can be found here once polls close.

Voters are encouraged to visit their county board of elections website (see below) for further information or to report issues, and to find out what issues or candidates they will be voting for.

Categories: Ohio News

Breezy and cool to kick off spring in Central Ohio

News Channel 4 - Tue, 03/19/2024 - 02:41
Columbus and Central Ohio Weather QUICK WEATHER FORECAST:
  • Today: Partly cloudy, windy, high 50
  • Tonight: Partly cloudy, breezy, low 36
  • Wednesday: More sunshine, breezy, high 48
  • Thursday: Mainly sunny, high 43
  • Friday: Sct'd PM rain, high 48
  • Saturday: Clearing, sunshine, high 50
FORECAST DISCUSSION:

Happy Tuesday!

We are off to a very winter-like start to the workweek in Central Ohio! Luckily, Monday's snow showers have cleared up, but we'll still be fairly cool today. Expect breezy, even windy conditions at times, with gusts as high as 40 MPH. Highs top out close to 50, but we will be factoring in a wind chill most of the day. Expect partly cloudy skies and dry conditions.

A dry cold front moves through tonight, bringing us cooler temps into Wednesday afternoon. Expect highs in the upper 40s, with a continued strong breeze. We will see lots of sunshine into the afternoon.

The breeze continues to get lighter into Thursday, but we are looking at the coldest day of our extended period, with highs in the lower 40s and lots of sunshine.

Friday is when we'll see our next chance for showers. We're looking at scattered rain, mainly into Friday afternoon and evening. Highs will be in the upper 40s.

We clear up in time for the weekend, with partly cloudy skies Saturday, and highs near 50.

-McKenna

Categories: Ohio News

Licking County residents fear rural way of life endangered by Intel project

News Channel 4 - Mon, 03/18/2024 - 21:05

GRANVILLE TOWNSHIP, Ohio (WCMH) -- As Intel fuels growth in central Ohio and Licking County, smaller townships are figuring out how to handle it.

Many neighbors in Granville Township are worried land used for agriculture could be taken away and are now packing zoning meetings to make their voices heard and raise questions about what comes next.

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The main focus on Monday was on a property along Silver Street and what could happen.  

The Granville Township Zoning Commission said a proposed overlay zoning plan is about controlling inevitable development. Many along Silver Street said a big part of why they love the community is the space it has for nature and agriculture, and that’s why they are worried about what these changes could mean.

"If they really want to preserve what this community stands for, and the roots here, would be to keep it a farm space, agricultural space and leave it the way it is or allow someone to actually be able to turn it into what's in its roots, so the farming aspect rather than develop it," Silver Street resident Luke Freshwater said. 

Freshwater and his family moved to Silver Street late last year.

"[Granville] really prides itself in the rural community here and just really wanted to raise our kids here," Freshwater said. 

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They also wanted to start a bison farm. Now land next door could see changes they're worried may impact them.

"I think the increase in traffic, the increase in just the loudness," Freshwater said. " You know, I think it'll potentially even push out families like myself because that's what we moved here for." 

The township's Zoning Commission said this is about getting ahead of the growth Intel will bring to Licking County. They are working on a plan that would add to the zoning already in place.

"What we want to do is preserve our small town feel and what we want to do is control the development that is going to come, to a certain extent," Chair of the Granville Township Zoning Commission Susan Walker said.

The plan is called an overlay district and, according to the commission, is a way to control how the growth that is coming to the area will look. 

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An area that has residents speaking out is off of Silver Street. The overlay would qualify it as a "Subarea B." According to documents on the township's website, the development allowed would include:

"Subarea B aims to promote intentional economic development for Granville Township and is envisioned as an important technology and research business center that will encourage the development of high-quality campus style industrial, office, and commercial uses. The design standards are meant to foster orderly growth and development and ensure that buildings in Subarea B adhere to high-quality, uniform standards while addressing the unique needs of specialized industries while blending with the character of Granville Township."

Right now, it is farmland. Neighbors are hoping it stays that way. 

"We've got a lot of wildlife there, eagles nesting in the area,” Granville resident Scott Wagner said. “There's owls, there's all kinds of wildlife that you don't find everywhere, that are out here that are going to be disturbed by the increased development. It all seems that all they're interested in is bringing out development, putting an economic corridor in here with all these different businesses.”

The commission said the overlay plan would control the look and feel of the businesses that move in and without it, there would be very few protections for residents. 

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"Right now, our zoning resolution requires a 50-foot buffer and does not require any woodland planting, doesn't require pathways or green space. This overlay would require all of those things," Walker said. 

Others at the zoning meeting on Monday brought up worries including traffic, noise and protecting farmland along Silver Street.

"We need to keep preserving the area here," Wagner said. 

The commission decided to move the vote to another day because of the concerns brought up by the community. The plan is to vote on April 1.

Categories: Ohio News

Woman guilty of killing boyfriend, staging burglary to cover it up

News Channel 4 - Mon, 03/18/2024 - 19:22

ZANESVILLE, Ohio (WCMH) – A Zanesville woman pleaded guilty to charges in connection with killing her boyfriend and then faking a home invasion to cover it up.

The Muskingum County Prosecutor’s Office said that Deborah L. Frazier, 36, pleaded guilty Monday to charges of murder with a firearm specification, tampering with evidence, and gross abuse of a corpse.

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According to court records, Frazier killed her live-in boyfriend, Thomas Waddell, on Aug. 9, 2023, in the apartment the couple shared on Sandhurst Drive, then told police she was shot in the leg by two burglars who were fleeing the home, the prosecutor’s office said.

In reality, police said Frazier made the incident up, going to the extent of shooting herself in the leg with a .22 caliber revolver while on the phone with 911 operators.

Waddell’s body was found wrapped in a blanket and a garbage bag, all secured with duct tape, police said. An autopsy determined he had been killed as much as 12 hours before Frazier’s call to 911.

During the investigation, police discovered that Frazier, who was significantly younger than Waddell, had another boyfriend, and that man was posing as a bank fraud investigator, which the prosecutor’s office said showed Frazier’s motives were financial. The prosecutor’s office said Frazier’s boyfriend did not know she was in a relationship with Waddell and that she manipulated the man into making the bank fraud phone calls.

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Court records state that an account Frazier and Waddell shared had been drawn down to $2,000.

Additionally, investigators said they found several internet searches on Frazier’s telephone, including "how to load a gun," "what does 22 ammo look like," "worst place to get hit in the head," and others.  

Investigators also found forensic evidence -- hair, DNA, and gunpowder residue -- on the blanket, garbage bag, duct tape, and on a glove found in Frazier's bag, court records said.

While investigating the alleged break-in, police said that while the apartment appeared to have been ransacked, nothing of value was missing.

Online court records do not list a sentence or sentencing date for Frazier. In a statement, Muskingum County Assistant Prosecuting Attorney John Litle said Frazier will spend life in prison.

Categories: Ohio News

Central Ohio man sentenced for exposing himself to children

News Channel 4 - Mon, 03/18/2024 - 17:00

HILLIARD, Ohio (WCMH) – A central Ohio man arrested twice in a matter of months for crimes against children is going to spend about two decades in prison.

Joseph Ennemoser, of Sugar Grove, was sentenced Friday to 19 to 23 years in prison. Investigators said he exposed himself to two young girls. He pleaded guilty to abduction and importuning in one of the cases, and importuning in the other, according to court records.

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“I can't imagine, I can't even begin to think what's in those parents' minds, what's in those victims', those young children's minds," said Det. Sgt. Brian Toth with the Franklin County Sheriff's Office (FCSO).

The first incident happened in September 2022 in Hilliard. The second took place in Madison Township. Toth was part of the Madison Township investigation.

“It is satisfying to know he is not going to be able to victimize anyone anymore for a minimum of 19 years," Toth said.

Ennemoser, in February 2023, lured a 12-year-old girl into his truck in Madison Township and exposed himself to her, according to court documents. He was out on bond when that happened. Police in Hilliard said in September 2022, the then 48-year-old exposed himself to a 10-year-old girl who was walking to school. At that time he was a previously convicted sex offender.

“By all accounts, Mr. Ennemoser has been victimizing people through his entire life, at least through his adult life," Toth said.

As part of his sentence, Ennemoser will also have to register as a Tier II sex offender when he gets out of prison.

"We admire her bravery in handling this situation – not only on the day of the incident but in the months afterward. We thank the Franklin County Prosecutor’s Office for their work on this case and hope this prison sentence will provide closure to all the victims’ families," Chief Michael Woods with the Hilliard Division of Police wrote in part of a statement sent to NBC4.

Categories: Ohio News

Former assistant principal accuses Columbus City Schools of racial discrimination

News Channel 4 - Mon, 03/18/2024 - 16:26

COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) -- A former Columbus City Schools assistant principal is suing the district for alleged racial discrimination and retaliation.

The former assistant principal of South High School is accusing the district and several school administrators of disparate treatment and punishment because she is Black. In a federal civil rights complaint filed in late February, the former administrator, Karen Carey, said she was separated from colleagues, excluded from administrative meetings and messaging channels, and retaliated against for reporting discrimination.

Starting in September 2020, the disparate treatment lasted for nearly two years, according to the complaint, and much of it stemmed from alleged actions by South High School Principal Christy Nickerson. A spokesperson for Columbus City Schools did not immediately provide comment.

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The complaint contends that Nickerson disciplined Carey at a staff meeting after asking her to share her feelings about protests following the death of George Floyd. Carey was additionally forced to work in an isolated room away from other administrators, the complaint claims, and regularly excluded from meetings and announcements that other school administrators were privy to.

Further, Nickerson refused to provide an incident report after Carey's vehicle was damaged by a district employee, according to the lawsuit, and the district denied Carey's request to transfer to another school.

Victims of deadly EF-3 tornado in Logan County identified

Carey filed a discrimination complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission in October 2022, according to court records. After she filed the complaint, the district's attorneys sent her attorneys a letter instructing her not to communicate with Nickerson by text message, despite it being Nickerson's "custom and practice" to do so.

But Nickerson continued to text with other school administrators, the complaint alleges, and thus excluded Carey from messages about administrative meeting dates, times and locations. The lawsuit claims this exclusion was intentional "to ensure Ms. Carey would not be present at those meetings."

Categories: Ohio News

What's at stake in Ohio's primary election

News Channel 4 - Mon, 03/18/2024 - 16:02

COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) -- Messy primaries and highly contested races from the top of the ticket to the bottom are leaving a lot at stake in this year’s primary election.

“It’s just part of the process,” Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine said. “I mean this is where we are today.”

There is a three-way Republican primary for U.S. Senate between Donald Trump-endorsed Bernie Moreno, DeWine-endorsed Matt Dolan and Secretary of State Frank LaRose.

U.S. Senate poll: Candidate endorsed by Trump leads Ohio Republican primary

“A Trump endorsement brings out the primary base of the Republican base in a way that a DeWine endorsement simply can’t,” Christopher McKnight Nichols, history professor and chair of national security studies at Ohio State University, said.

“I understand why everybody wants to see it through the filter of President Trump, but for me, that’s not the issue,” DeWine said. “Whoever wins the primary, I will currently be for them. They all have the chance to win. I just think if you’re picking the strongest candidate, then Matt Dolan has the ability to reach out to a very broad group of people.”

Nichols said he would be surprised if Moreno lost, especially given his endorsement, and recent polling backs that up.

“I would be very surprised if Moreno lost the primary," Nichols said. "It looks like he is on the trajectory to win significantly."

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At the statehouse, there are 30 contested Republican primaries and 12 Democratic contested primaries. Nineteen of the Republican primaries involve an incumbent.

“I don’t think I’ve ever seen it quite like this before,” DeWine said. “I don’t have the data but I can’t remember when we’ve had that many that have been that really, really, really contested and going down to the wire, particularly when you have incumbents.”

Nichols said that specifically on the Republican side, the difference between who wins those could mean a shift in how things operate at the statehouse. And Nichols said it could mean the same way Ohio Speaker of the House Jason Stephens got elected would not happen again.

“One of the big stakes here is will this kind of coalition speakership exist after this election,” Nicholas said. “And what would that mean for attempts to legislate in a bipartisan way and what will it mean for more extreme legislation.”

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"We’re going to get through it," DeWine said. "We are going to find out on Tuesday night who won, or maybe Wednesday morning, or maybe the next day, and we’ll move on from there.”

As for turnout, through Saturday, according to the secretary of state’s office, more than 375,00 Ohioans have cast their ballot.

“I don’t think that’s any indicator for what’s going to happen in the fall election; we could very well see record turnout,” Nichols said.

More than half of those voters are Republican, with more than 207,000 of those votes cast on a Republican ballot.

“The gap, at this kind of point, in an election that at the highest level is already mostly decided, it shouldn't tell us too much,” Nichols said. “I suppose the way people would read the tea leaves about that is how energetic are the bases right now and can we say anything about this primary turnout as an indicator for the fall enthusiasm.”

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Nicholas said this primary might also help indicate what issues Ohioans care about.

“And then we can see if there’s a through line, through let’s say the early fall or the late summer, what does that suggest about which issues are continuing to drive them,” he said.

Categories: Ohio News

Columbus libraries preparing eclipse glasses giveaways with three weeks to go

News Channel 4 - Mon, 03/18/2024 - 15:00

COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) -- Monday marks 21 days until the total solar eclipse that will take place in Ohio on April 8.

At about 3:10 p.m., totality will cause a blackout lasting about three or four minutes. But to see the rare phenomenon, you'll need some special eyewear, and the Columbus Metropolitan Library has you covered.

Where to find glasses in central Ohio for the April 8 solar eclipse

"Very excited about it. My entire family and I are going to watch it together," says Emily Doll, a central Ohio resident who works not far from the library's main branch. Doll says she's been telling family and friends about next month's solar eclipse for almost a year.

On Monday morning, she and her colleagues were among the many community members who made a point to grab their free glasses at the first chance they got. "It is so exciting. It's going to be dark at 3 p.m. How cool is that!?" Doll exclaims.

While Doll and her family will gather in the path of totality near Dayton, Dan Sutter says he plans to head to Cleveland for the once-in-a-lifetime event. "Anything with the eclipse I get excited about," Stutter admits. "I wouldn't want to say a championship for Cleveland or Ohio State, but it's a big deal. When you think about the number of people involved, it's as big."

The last time a total solar eclipse was visible in Ohio was back in 1806. The next one won't happen until 2099, making next month's eclipse truly a once-in-a-lifetime event. The library, which distributed COVID tests during the pandemic, says it's their role to respond to the needs of community, saying they want to provide everything the community needs to enjoy the celestial phenomenon safely.

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"We're uniquely positioned to be a community resource for eclipse glasses and any other public safety needs," says Ben Zenitsky, a spokesperson with the Columbus Metropolitan Library. The library says they have about 100,000 glasses available to the community. They're being handed out at all 23 locations and will be limited to four per person.

They're also planning a watch party at the library on April 8th, and encourage everyone who picks up a pair of glasses between now and then, to sign up for your library card as well.

"We want to make sure that everyone is, of course, educated," Zenitsky adds. "We are a library after all, so our staff has chosen some great books about eclipses, the sun, the moon, and the stars. So, when you come in and get your eclipse glasses, make sure you don't leave without a stack of books in your hand as well."

And within the next few days, CML locations will also offer free COSI-supplied solar kits, which include a pair of glasses and other activities to enjoy at home. The library says because of some of the items included, the kits will only be available to adults 18-and-up.

"I think it's just going to be an awesome experience, and you know, if this one's really cool I might turn into one of those eclipse hunters that goes all around the world to see them!" says Doll. The watch party hosted by the Columbus Metropolitan Library will take place at the main library on Grant Avenue from 1-4 p.m.

The event will include activities on the lawn with COSI representatives before and after the eclipse. For a full list of locations to get eclipse glasses, click here.

Categories: Ohio News

Report confirms delayed timeline for Intel facility in New Albany

News Channel 4 - Mon, 03/18/2024 - 13:40

View a previous report in the video player above.

COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) -- A missed launch prediction for Intel's computer chip plant has been cemented in documents submitted to the state of Ohio.

A report submitted by Intel to the Ohio Department of Development penciled in an updated timeline for its New Albany semiconductor fabrication plant. A company spokesperson already told NBC4 the factory would not meet a goal to start production by 2025 in February. But this was the first public document to acknowledge the change.

Intel's Ohio One facility, first slated to be completed in 2025, will be finished with construction between 2026 and 2027 before becoming operational between 2027 and 2028, according to an annual report. The company had just been approved for $3.5 billion in funding to produce semiconductors for the U.S. military.

The report, signed by Vice President and Ohio Site Manager Jim Evers, said that Intel continues to make "great progress" toward New Albany's Silicon Heartland. Evers explained that in addition to the $1.5 billion in spending reported through 2023, Intel has an extra $3 billion in contractually committed spends underway, for a total of $4.5 billion committed toward its Ohio One projects.

"This investment is growing every day as we work to establish a new manufacturing campus to build leading-edge semiconductor chips right here in Ohio," Evers said in the report.

Since starting the project in 2022, Intel's semiconductor facilities plan has faced delays -- both in construction and in funding. In February, Intel admitted that it would not meet its goal of manufacturing computer chips at its Ohio One plants by 2025. The company, which has sought upward of $10 billion in government funding for the project, is also waiting on CHIPS Act awards.

But Intel has already received money from the state government. In June 2023, the Ohio Department of Development finalized an onshoring agreement that awarded Intel $600 million in grants to build the two manufacturing facilities at the site in central Ohio. While the state can claw back its initial offer if Intel doesn't keep up its end of the bargain, Intel will keep the money if the plants are operating with at least 3,000 workers by the end of 2028.

Ohio Lt. Governor Jon Husted pointed to a bustling supply chain coming to Intel in New Albany.

"Construction logistics are quite amazing," Husted said. "Barges of equipment are coming up the Ohio River, getting offloaded in Adams County -- and then the organization of enormous truckloads of equipment making their way to Licking County -- adds to the billions invested already by the company and the growing number of Ohio-based suppliers.”

Categories: Ohio News

Hunan Lion teases reopening after October kitchen fire

News Channel 4 - Mon, 03/18/2024 - 13:29

A previous report can be seen in the player above.

COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) -- A Chinese restaurant in north Columbus that has been temporarily closed for more than five months has teased when its doors will open again.

Hunan Lion said Monday on its social media page that construction is expected to start in the coming weeks after a kitchen fire in October forced the closure.

"The process has taken much longer than expected but we are working towards an early summer return," wrote Hunan Lion in the post.

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On Oct. 4, the restaurant, located at 2038 Crown Plaza Drive, caught fire before it opened for the day. No one was injured in the fire and the damage was limited to the kitchen.

The Columbus Division of Fire said it does not suspect foul play as a cause of the fire.

Categories: Ohio News

Victims of deadly EF-3 tornado in Logan County identified

News Channel 4 - Mon, 03/18/2024 - 11:58

LAKEVIEW, Ohio (WCMH) – The identities of the three people killed during last Thursday’s tornado and violent storms have been released.

Massive damage from an EF-3 tornado in the Indian Lake area also resulted in three deaths on March 14. The Logan County Sheriff’s Office confirmed the names of the following victims:

  • Neal Longfellow, 69, of Orchard Island
  • Darla Williams, 70, of Lakeview
  • Marilyn Snapp, 81, of Lakeview

Wiliams and Snapp were both residents of the Geiger Mobile Home Park, just west of U.S. 33.

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The National Weather Service confirmed eight tornadoes across Ohio, including an EF-2 tornado that traveled more than 10 miles in Crawford and Richland Counties, and two EF-1 tornadoes in Mercer and Licking Counties.

Governor Mike DeWine declared a state of emergency for 11 counties impacted by the widespread damage from the storms. Under the order, all relevant state departments will lend services, equipment, supplies, and personnel for recovery efforts. Additionally, DeWine activated the Ohio National Guard for Logan County to assist in cleanup efforts.

  • Houses and businesses in the village of Lakeview have been damaged by a violent storm, and possible tornado, that moved through Logan County overnight on March 14, 2024. (NBC4 Photo/Eric Halperin)
  • Multiple people are dead in Logan County after violent storms and possible tornadoes ripped through central Ohio, March 14, 2024. (NBC4)
  • Multiple people are dead in Logan County after violent storms and possible tornadoes ripped through central Ohio, March 14, 2024. (Courtesy/Indian Lake Chamber of Commerce)
  • Multiple people are dead in Logan County after violent storms and possible tornadoes ripped through central Ohio, March 14, 2024. (Courtesy/Indian Lake Chamber of Commerce)
  • Olentangy Berlin athletic fields sustained extensive damage after violent storms ripped through Delaware and Logan Counties, March 14, 2024. (NBC4/Mark Feuerborn)
  • Olentangy Berlin athletic fields sustained extensive damage after violent storms ripped through Delaware and Logan Counties, March 14, 2024. (NBC4/Mark Feuerborn)
  • Delaware County residents experienced extensive damage to their homes and property in the aftermath of violent storms, March 15, 2024. (NBC4 Photo/Mark Feuerborn)
  • Delaware County residents experienced extensive damage to their homes and property in the aftermath of violent storms, March 15, 2024. (NBC4/Mark Feuerborn)
  • Delaware County residents experienced extensive damage to their homes and property in the aftermath of violent storms, March 15, 2024. (NBC4 Photo/Mark Feuerborn)
  • Delaware County residents experienced extensive damage to their homes and property in the aftermath of violent storms, March 15, 2024. (NBC4/Mark Feuerborn)
  • A power tower is down after storms ripped through Delaware County, March 15, 2024. (NBC4/Kyle Beachy)
  • A doorbell camera captures a possible funnel cloud forming in Delaware County, March 14, 2024. (Courtesy/Jason Cox)

Delaware County was also hit hard, with residents waking up to find their homes, schools and businesses severely damaged.

The first central Ohio tornado warnings on Thursday were issued at about 8:30 p.m. and continued through 10:15, connected to storms with strong winds and unconfirmed tornadoes.

NBC4 and the American Red Cross are partnering to raise funds for the victims of tornados and storms in Ohio and the Midwest. Anyone wishing to donate to 4’s Army Tornado Relief can now donate at this link.

Call 1-800-RED CROSS or text REDCROSS to 90999 to make a $10 donation. Ensure your donation helps people affected by recent tornadoes and storms go to https://www.redcross.org/donate/donation.html/.

Categories: Ohio News

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