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Updated: 1 hour 50 min ago

Ohio is among the top 10 states with the most gun sales, study says

2 hours 44 min ago

COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) – Ohio is among the top 10 states that sold the most guns in 2023, a new analysis shows. 

In the first four months of 2024, nearly 5.5 million firearms were sold nationwide, averaging almost 1.4 million each month., a safety product review website, tracked gun sales using data from the FBI’s National Instant Criminal Background Check System to discover which states sold the most firearms in 2023. 

Ohio bill advanced to observe daylight saving time permanently

Ohio had the sixth-highest number of gun sales in the country at 583,314, according to the study. Population size largely influenced what states had the most gun sales. Ohio is the seventh most populated state in the country, according to the U.S. Census. 

The most populous states – Texas, Florida and California – had the highest total number of gun sales. Texas had 1,347,589 gun sales, Florida had 1,316,471 and California had 1,043,421. The completed top 10 includes Pennsylvania (841,523), Tennessee (633,015), Ohio (583,314), Virginia (581,698), Michigan (555,650), Missouri (520,488) and Illinois (405,452).

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However, when SafeHomes adjusted the data to account for population size, Ohio did not make the top 10. Ohio sold 668 guns per 10,000 residents aged 21 and older in 2023, ranking 32 out of 50 states. Montana sold the most guns per 10,000 residents at 1,586, followed by Wyoming (1,523), Alaska (1,514), Oregon (1,372) and Alabama (1,302).

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There was a slight decrease of 4% in overall firearm sales in the Buckeye state from 2022 to 2023, following a national trend.  After gun sales peaked during the pandemic in 2020, the country experienced a decline in the amount of guns purchased "correlating with reduced safety concerns," the analysis stated.

The District of Columbia (4,351), Nebraska (26,987), Rhode Island (28,555), Vermont (46,518) and Delaware (47,080) had the lowest total gun sales in 2023. When accounting for population sizes, the District of Columbia (84), Nebraska (191), New York (226), New Jersey (253) and Massachusetts (255) sold the least guns per 10,000 residents.

Categories: Ohio News

Columbus plans new courthouse building Downtown

3 hours 44 min ago

COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) -- A building named after Franklin County's longest-serving sheriff will be demolished after the City of Columbus purchased it for $7 million for a new court building.

The James A. Karnes Building on the corner of High and Fulton streets is being purchased by the city to be made into a Franklin County Municipal Court building. On Monday, City Council approved the second of two $3.5 million packages to acquire the parcel from Franklin County.

Ohio bill advanced to observe daylight saving time permanently The James A. Karnes Building at 410 S. High St. will be demolished for a new municipal court building. (Courtesy Photo/Franklin County Auditor's Office)

Previously the Franklin County Annex Building, the building was later renamed in honor of Sheriff Jim Karnes, who died in 2011 just over a month after announcing he was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer.

Karnes' name will still live on at another building, with a $360 million correctional facility opened in 2022 also named after the former sheriff.

There are no plans for any immediate changes at the existing municipal court building across High Street.

No date has been set for demolition. Construction is supposed to enter its first phase in late 2025, with work lasting through early 2029.

Categories: Ohio News

Shopping center developer purchases properties near Easton and Polaris

4 hours 14 min ago

COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) – A Chicago-based company that touts itself as an industry leader in developing open-air shopping centers purchased two properties in the Polaris and Easton areas for more than $143 million.

Pine Tree, a company with a $2.5 billion portfolio of shopping centers across the country, acquired Polaris and Easton properties in June. 

The company purchased the 501,000-square-foot shopping complex “Easton Market” for $76.8 million. The development, located west of Easton Town Center, currently houses TJ Maxx, Homegoods, PetSmart, Ulta Beauty and Five Below. The last recorded sale for the property was for $8.6 million in 1997, according to the Franklin County Auditor’s Office. 

Ohio bill advanced to observe daylight saving time permanently

Pine Tree also acquired Polaris Towne Center for $67 million, a 459,000-square-foot shopping center south of Polaris mall, featuring Kroger, Best Buy, TJ Maxx, World Market and Five Below. The center last sold for $79.5 million in 2011, according to the Delaware County Auditor’s Office. 

“We are incredibly excited to add these large format, best-in-class assets with strong tenant performance to Pine Tree’s growing national essential retail portfolio at a time of increasing retail sector investor sentiment,” Conor Bossy, chief investment officer at Pine Tree, said. 

The Easton and Polaris sales were part of a $495 million deal in partnership with a state pension fund for six properties. The company bought shopping centers in Plantation, Florida; Phoenix; Cincinnati; and Hillsboro, Oregon, in addition to its Columbus purchases.

Pine Tree manages 11 million square feet of properties, according to its website. The recent Polaris, Easton and Cincinnati acquisitions stand as the company’s only current ventures in Ohio.

Categories: Ohio News

Ohio bill advanced to observe daylight saving time permanently

5 hours 14 min ago

COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) -- A bipartisan Ohio bill to urge observing daylight saving time permanently has taken another step forward at the Statehouse after passing the House last year.

Concurrent Resolution 7 was considered in a Senate General Government Committee hearing late last month, marking the first time the bill has been debated at the Statehouse since the legislation passed the House in December. If enacted, the resolution would urge the U.S. Congress to pass the "Sunshine Protection Act," a bill to transition to perpetual daylight saving nationwide.

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Reps. Rodney Creech (R-West Alexandria) and Bob Peterson (R-Sabina), the bill's primary sponsors, argued during the June hearing that the U.S. no longer needs the biannual tradition of changing clocks. The lawmakers pointed to various studies that say moving clocks forward in the spring and back in the fall causes a number of work, school, safety and sleep-related issues.

"Continuing to change the time results in a higher number of cardiac issues and strokes and prolonged seasonal depression," Creech said. "A recent study revealed that sleep loss, even for as little as one hour, can decrease a child's quality of life, showing significant negative impacts on the children’s physical well-being as well as their ability to cope with the school environment."

One study said adult workers on average sleep 40 minutes less, have 5.7% more workplace injuries, and lose 67.6% more work days because of injuries the day following the spring shift than on other days. Another, after researching 21 years of fatal accidents in the U.S., found a significant increase in accidents on the Monday following the spring forward and another increase on the Sunday after the fall back.

However, Jay Pea, president of the nonprofit Save Standard Time, said in a previous hearing last year that 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.

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"Permanent standard time would protect start times for schoolchildren and essential workers by letting most sleep naturally past dawn year-round. Its benefits to circadian health would improve immunity, longevity, mood, alertness, and performance in school, sports, and work," Pea said. "Standard time is the natural clock, set to the sun."

Creech and Peterson noted, while daylight saving was instituted during World War I to conserve power, a 2008 Australian study found adjusting clocks twice a year does not reduce electricity consumption after all. Rather, researchers found the time change only caused a "shift in demand consistent with activity patterns that are tied to the clock rather than sunrise and sunset."

"Changing clocks twice a year did not save any power at all, nor did it lead to behavioral change as people do not adjust their schedules based on outdoor lighting," Peterson said. "Instead, those researchers found that modern schedules are fixed to clocks, not the sun."

The lawmaker'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.

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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.

While many other states have also hinted at permanently observing daylight saving, states like New York, Pennsylvania, South Carolina and Tennessee want to observe standard time. 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

Beautiful weekend, gradual warm-up

6 hours 53 min ago
Central Ohio Weather and Radar

The passage of a cold front Wednesday night brought cooler and less humid conditions that resulted in a refreshing change in the weather.

High pressure will build east from the Upper Midwest across the Great Lakes. A northwesterly flow of pleasant air will prevail. Temperatures will only reach the low 80s, after a week of heat and humidity. Lows tonight will fall into the comfortable upper 50s and low 60s.

A disturbance will pass south of Ohio over the weekend, with some high cloudiness, as high pressure shifts farther east. A light southerly flow will develop, allowing temperatures to rise into the mid-80s.

Seasonably warm and humid conditions develop next week, with opportunities for scattered showers and storms beginning on Tuesday.

  • Friday: Sunny, pleasant. High 81
  • Tonight: Mostly clear. low 61
  • Saturday: High clouds, seasonable. High 84
  • Sunday: Mostly sunny. High 86 (63)
  • Monday: Partly cloudy, warm, humid. High 88 (66)
  • Tuesday: More clouds, scattered storms. High 84 (69)
  • Wednesday: Showers, storms. High 83 (68)
  • Thursday: Showers, storms linger. High 84 (67)
Categories: Ohio News

Ohio universities comment on effect of FAFSA changes

Thu, 07/18/2024 - 22:35

COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) -- Changes to the Free Application for Federal Student Aid, otherwise known as FAFSA, have created a lot of uncertainty for students heading off to college. Has this new ‘simplified’ student aid form hurt local universities when it comes to enrollment?

This new form was supposed to be easier for families to fill out and expand the number of students eligible for federal aid. However, it's been anything but simple.

“I would say that financial aid and students receiving their financial aid letters are a huge piece of the decision making process for students on which school they'll go to,” Michael Miranda, assistant for postsecondary success at I Know I Can (IKIC), said. 

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Earlier this year, the U.S. Department of Education announced that colleges and universities would not receive FAFSA application information for the 2024/25 academic year until the first half of March. 

This caused many colleges and universities to have to push back their enrollment deadline. 

“I think there are a lot of reasons that college enrollment might be down a little bit because of the FAFSA. But I think a lot of it's due to the timeline of the entire process and ensuring the students have the proper information to make a well-informed decision for themselves,” said Miranda. 

Regarding local universities, a spokesperson with Columbus State Community College said although it did slow admission and the aid awarding process in the spring and early summer, things have recently gotten back on track.

"We expect a small increase in the number of enrolled students (year-over-year) for Autumn Semester," the spokesperson said.

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Otterbein University did see a delay when it came to sending out financial award packets. However, Mark Moffitt, the executive director of admission, said they made sure to let families know where they are at in the process. 

“I mean, we are still working with families in terms of helping them submit their FAFSA, helping them make corrections to their FAFSA, but also helping them understand the overall financial aid award here at Otterbein,” Moffitt said. 

According to Moffitt, Otterbein is currently up 12% in enrolled students compared to last year at this time. 

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Cedarville University said their projected enrollment is strong, but added that to get to this point was not normal.

“In a normal cycle, we begin making awards in the middle of January this year," Kim Jenerette, executive director for financial aid, said. "It was over three months later. It was mid to late April before we sent out our first packages, our complete packages.”

According to a spokesperson with The Ohio State University, it has had a record number of applicants. The university did adjust some spring deadlines in order to give prospective students and families as much flexibility as possible. 

According to the Ohio Department of Higher Education, Ohio is ahead of the National Average in FAFSA completion rates this year but remains 6% behind last year's rates. 

“If students are still looking to go to college starting this fall, it's not too late to fill out the FAFSA,” Miranda said.

Categories: Ohio News

Man sentenced for 2021 'brutal murder'

Thu, 07/18/2024 - 18:39

Watch a previous report on the July 2021 killing in the video player above.

COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) – A Plain City man will spend the rest of his life in prison for what Columbus police called a “particularly brutal murder” in July 2021.

Timothy B. Kendrick, 36, of Plain City, pleaded guilty to aggravated murder in June, and was given life in prison without the possibility of parole on Thursday.

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Columbus police said Kendrick killed Drew Mendelbaum, 30, on July 16, 2021, “by means of striking, kicking, and cutting about (the victim’s) head and neck area repeatedly, then lighting the victim on fire.”

Mendelbaum’s body was found a day later on the 4600 block of Sawmill Road, with police saying Kendrick dumped the body there.

Police said they were able to tie Kendrick to the killing through a video.

Categories: Ohio News

Local brewery honors Alexa Stakely, hosts fundraiser for son

Thu, 07/18/2024 - 18:00

CANAL WINCHESTER, Ohio (WCMH) -- A local brewery will be holding a fundraising event Monday in honor of Alexa Stakely to show support for her family and raise money for her son.  

The staff at the Loose Rail Brewing say they were devastated when they found out about Alexas's death. Chelsea Herbert, the event coordinator, said the event's intention is to ensure Alexa's family feels like they are not alone, and to help to set her son up for a brighter future. 

"I can't imagine what the family is going through. It's just tragic," Herbert said. "And sure, it can happen anywhere. But it did happen here in our community." 

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Alexa and her family had been regular patrons of the brewery, so Herbert said the staff knew they should do something. Kelley Doerfler, the brewery's co-owner, is making sure all the money raised from this event will go to a trust for Alexa's son.   

"He’s only six. He lost his mom, and it was literally the ultimate sacrifice, what she did,” Doerfler said. “I mean, what we're going to do is literally a tiny drop in the bucket."   

Along with donating the proceeds, Monday's event will have many ways to honor Alexa and celebrate her life. Students and friends are invited to sign a banner and contribute to memorial journals that will be given to the family. There will also be yard games, s'mores kits and face painting.

Lyle's Bakery and Catering will also be selling baked goods with all profits going toward the trust. Additionally, attendees are encouraged to order shirts in her honor, which are priced at $18 each and read "Canal Winchester Strong / Team Alexa" on the front with Loose Rail's logo on the back.

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Also on many locals' minds is the fact that the three suspects are still on the run. Event organizers have a specific message for them. 

“Come forward,” Doerfler said. “Do the right thing. Do the right thing. Come forward. Own it. What you did. Give that family peace and closure.”   

Their hope is that this event will help Alexa's family feel a sense of comfort in this dark time and contribute something to her son's life that he will never forget.   

“He can look back and remember how a community rallied around to support him and his mother and his grandparents and his uncles and, you know, everybody,” Doerfler said. “it just helps him.”  

The event will take place Monday, July 22nd from 4-10 p.m. at Loose Rail Brewing, 37 W. Waterloo St.

Categories: Ohio News

Boy, 2, shot in east Columbus drive-by, on the mend

Thu, 07/18/2024 - 17:30

COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) -- The mother of a two-year-old boy who was shot and seriously injured outside his home in east Columbus is now speaking out about his recovery, saying the boy is getting stronger each day.

This shooting happened on July 7. Columbus Police say it was a drive-by shooting and believe the shooter was in a gray or silver four-door sedan.

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The boy’s mother said she is still trying to grasp everything that’s happened in the last few days.  She doesn't want her name or face to be known, but she wants the community to know her son’s story and how much of a fighter he is.

“I am grateful and blessed that he's okay,” the mother said

Her son’s name is Dae'Vaughn Shealey Jr. She said they call him DJ.

His mother said that on July 7, they went to church then came home to their house on Carlton Avenue and had a cookout. Around 9 p.m., she said someone drove by the home and fired shots, hitting DJ. She said when she first saw him after the shooting, he was unrecognizable.

“He looked totally different when I first saw him,” the woman said. “It was like his face was swollen and stuff and I didn't like that.”

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The mother said she didn’t know if he would make it but said the first time he opened his eyes was very emotional.

“I just started crying because it was like beautiful,” the mother said. “That was like my sign from God to let me know everything was going to be all right. Even the first night he got out, he gave me a sign that everything was going to be okay.”

She said the doctors have taken out his breathing and feeding tubes. He is still having trouble swallowing and moving his left side, but his mother said they are taking it day by day.

“He's shown us every day that he's capable of doing a lot and they were talking about a rehab floor they have here for him and they're just waiting for a bed to open up,” she said.

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She said DJ loves going to church and he loves cars. She said when he makes it through this battle, she wants to do something special.

“So me and my family was talking about, like, I don't know, probably in like a year or like when he is fully fully healed to go to, like Disney World or Disneyland where they have like the Car movie thing,” she said. “That's what he watches 24/7.”

The mother said the family has started a GoFundMe to help pay for medical costs.

Columbus police still haven't found the person responsible for this shooting. Police believe the shots were fired from someone in a gray or silver four-door sedan. Police ask anyone with any information to call 614-645-4545.

Categories: Ohio News

3 witnesses testify in fourth day of gender-affirming care trial

Thu, 07/18/2024 - 17:00

COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) -- There is likely only one day left in the trial that will determine whether minors can receive gender affirming care and whether transgender athletes can participate on teams that align with their gender identity in Ohio.

Thursday was the fourth day of the trial, and all about the defense, as they called three witnesses to the stand.

The defense is arguing for House Bill 68 to be upheld, and for it take effect as it was originally supposed to back in April. The law is meant to ban all types of gender-affirming care for minors, with the exception of a grandfather clause for some who are already receiving treatment.

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“It’s hard to be a sexual minority and so the idea that this is a life-saving treatment, I think is based upon a great exaggeration about the rate of suicide,” defense witness and psychologist Dr. Stephen Levine said. “The suicide rate in trans-identified people is about exactly the same as the completed suicide rate of people who have schizophrenia and bi-polar disorder. Its elevated, but it is still rare.”

Levine has been a psychologist for decades and has testified that he has seen families and patients with gender dysphoria. The defense submitted him as an expert in child psychology in Ohio, and the plaintiffs did not object. Levine testified that he believes gender-affirming care is largely experimental.

“In that it’s not proven the long-term efficacy, the long-term safety, the long-term guarantee of happiness is certainly not been demonstrated,” Levine said. “In that sense its experimental.”

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He also testified that he would be supportive of an exception in the state law to allow for research.

“It would be ideal if we could design a multi-site, multi-state study with such care and deliberation that it would be possible to answer the question ‘What is the best practice for someone with gender dysphoria,’” he said. “I actually don’t think science has established what is best to do and so I don’t make recommendations for that.”

The defense also called Jamie Reed to the stand. She called herself a whistleblower for a transgender care center in Missouri, which she filed a complaint with the Missouri Attorney General for in January 2023.

She testified that she used to ask parents if they’d rather have a dead daughter or living son. She said it was not just “the danger,” of influencing the parents’ decision that concerned her.

“But also, weaponizing the kids in front of their parent,” she said. “We were giving them the language to just threaten suicide.”

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But Franklin County Judge Michael Holbrook, who is presiding over the case questioned the relevancy of her testimony.

“We are talking about something that has happened 400 miles away, what does that have to do with what’s happening here?” he said.

Friday is the last scheduled day of this trial. It is not a jury trial, so Judge Holbrook will be the only one to decide whether the law goes into effect after considering all the testimony and arguments.

You can find more about the witnesses the plaintiffs called, including parents of transgender minors, on the first day here, and second here.

Categories: Ohio News

Motorcyclist injured in hit-and-run crash

Thu, 07/18/2024 - 16:35

COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) -- A motorcyclist is hospitalized after a hit-and-run crash in South Linden Thursday afternoon.

Columbus police said the crash happened at approximately 5:30 p.m. near the intersection of Chittenden and Cleveland avenues.

The victim is hospitalized in critical condition.

There is no suspect information available at this time.

Categories: Ohio News

What you need to know about recent data breaches

Thu, 07/18/2024 - 16:30

COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) -- Recent data breaches have left many Ohioans vulnerable. Here's what you need to know.

Just days ago, Rite Aid went public with its discovery of an "incident" that involved "certain consumers' personal information." The company said that in June, an unknown third party accessed the names, addresses and birth dates of an undisclosed number of customers.

Just a few days before that -- and just months after announcing the discovery of another incident -- AT&T also announced a recent incident late last week, affecting nearly every one of its cellular network customers. This is the second breach in a matter of months.

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The telecommunications company said hackers stole six months' worth of call and text message records of millions of people.

AT&T said the content of those conversations, as well as personal information, was not accessed, but the stolen data did include phone numbers, potentially leaving millions of people vulnerable to malicious activity once again.

Earlier this year, Better Call 4 spoke with the Better Business Bureau of Central Ohio about data privacy and the risk for consumers when that privacy is breached.

"Often times, it's a long term process," BBB of Central Ohio President Judy Dollison said. "So, you don't even know that they've had access to your information and that they've started taking out credit in your name until a lot of damage has been done."

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Dollison encouraged consumers to be vigilant in monitoring their accounts and statements. She said its best to check regularly for any charges or names that do not sound familiar.

Again, AT&T said no significant information was compromised in the latest breach. The most the hackers got their hands on was phone numbers and call patterns. But the BBB said that still creates cause for concern, and the data haul will provide scammers with ammunition to hatch new schemes, or more targeted, imposter scams.

These scams can happen both over the phone and online, so Dollison warns users to be wary of unfamiliar links.

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"If it sounds like it's coming from a friend, pick up the phone and call that friend and say, 'Was this really you?'" Dollison said. "In general we say don't click on links that are unfamiliar or unsolicited, that come to you (when) you're not looking for the information."

Dollison said unsolicited links frequently contain malware or spyware that can harm consumers.

Rite Aid said it is mailing letters to any potentially affected consumer, and it even opened a toll-free assistance line for anyone with additional questions about the incident. You can call (866) 810-8094 from 8 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Central Time, Monday – Friday. This line will remain open until October 15, 2024. Rite Aid consumers who did not receive a letter regarding this incident can still call the assistance line to double-check if they were affected.

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AT&T said it launched an investigation and is working with law enforcement to arrest anyone involved.

Categories: Ohio News

Speed crackdown on I-270 continues

Thu, 07/18/2024 - 16:06

DUBLIN, Ohio (WCMH) – Several law enforcement agencies in central Ohio are continuing their crackdown on speeding on Interstate 270 with the latest part of their special speed enforcement operation on Thursday.

"It's all about safety,” Dublin Police Sgt. David Gatterdam said. “I think sometimes people don't realize every mile an hour you go faster, the less time you have to react to something happening in front of you on the roadway. So we are out here reminding people to slow down to keep them safe and prevent those injury and fatal crashes."

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The operation started in May. Gatterdam said the department had received almost 200 complaints about speeding and other dangerous driving on I-270.

Thursday was the fifth day of the operation. Despite posts ahead of time on social media and a visible presence on the highway, police are still catching drivers going well over the speed limit.

"It gives some validation to the fact we need to still be out here and we still have work to do,” Gatterdam said. “We’re not hiding, we’re very visible, most of us are parking on the inside median, visible from a long way, as you can see down 270. So we’re going to stick to it and keep working on it. But it does give validation to the complaints."

NBC4 on Thursday rode along with Gatterdam. After each time he set up, it only took him about two minutes at most to clock drivers going 84 miles per hour or faster.

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"We want people to slow down because we do not want the crashes,” he said. “We don't want anybody getting hurt out here.”

Hilliard Police, Columbus Police, the Franklin County Sheriff's Office (FCSO), and the Ohio State Highway Patrol (OSHP) are all part of the operation. Between all the agencies, 155 speeding tickets issued on the first four days of the operation, according to numbers gathered by Gatterdam.

“No one wakes up thinking they’re going to get into an injury crash or a fatal crash, but it happens, so we don't want that to be you and that's why we’re out here enforcing speed limits, along with all other motor vehicle offenses," Gatterdam said.

Categories: Ohio News

More details released in Columbus teacher accused of assaulting student

Thu, 07/18/2024 - 15:30

COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) -- Parents are suing the Columbus Board of Education and a district teacher after she allegedly physically assaulted their 5-year-old.

This teacher, who will not be named because she has not been charged with a crime, works at Parkmoor Elementary School, where the alleged incident took place. She’s been there since 2015 and has an active teaching license from the state. NBC4 Investigates requested this teacher’s disciplinary record and personnel file.

Her file shows that she was reported for “some kind of physical contact with a pre-k autistic student” on May 3. 

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According to the complaint, the 5-year-old is diagnosed with autism, which the school is aware of. The child is on a plan with the district that mandates school responsibility for accommodations for the student.

"This was a preschool child, you know, and what we need to expect is that our teachers, and in particular our preschool and kindergarten teachers, can have the patience and be the adult in the room," Jared Klebanow, the lawyer representing the CCS family, said. 

In her file and in the lawsuit, it says the student was sitting in front of the cafeteria, refusing to move. Documents say it was all caught on video: a video NBC4 is working to obtain.

The teacher allegedly told her colleague to kick the student, then said she was joking. She is then reported as “plowing into” the student. That is apparently out of view of the camera.

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What is seen on video, according to the documents, is the child kicking her in the shin and then the teacher picking him up and carrying him to the office.

The lawsuit claims that when the other teacher refused, Fullerton intentionally struck the child and knocked him over. It then says after knocking him over, the teacher kicked him while he was on the ground.

"If a child doesn't move exactly when they say they should move, they, of course, have no right to physically assault the child," Klebanow said. 

District documents show the teacher received a “written reprimand” for this incident.

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"We have to hold our school districts and our teachers accountable. You know, it doesn't mean that teachers can't have a bad day or be frustrated, but a bad day or being frustrated cannot lead to assaulting a child under any circumstance," Klebanow said. 

However, it’s not the first time this teacher's behavior has been called into question.
In the pre-disciplinary report for this incident, the Parkmoor principal was asked about the teacher’s behavior.

She said this teacher was caught drinking on the job. This is referenced multiple times throughout the documents we received from the district, but there is no mention of disciplinary action. 

The district and the teacher will be served with the lawsuit, then they will have a chance to respond.

"Parents have a right to know what's going on with their kids, especially at this age in schools. So hopefully in the future, there's more transparency within the district," Klebanow said. 

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NBC4 reached out to the district for a statement. They said the teacher is still employed at CCS and added: 

"The District is reviewing the Complaint and will respond as appropriate. Regarding your other inquiries, the District strictly follows its Substance-Free Workplace policy, which outlines the procedures and consequences for violations. Concerning the separate allegation of the teacher kicking a student, the teacher received formal discipline of a written reprimand based upon no prior disciplinary history. The District takes all allegations seriously and ensures each case is thoroughly investigated. We want to reassure you that the safety and well-being of our students is our top priority, and we are committed to maintaining a fair and consistent discipline process."

The complaint has five claims against the teacher and district. The school board is being sued for failing to properly train and supervise employees. In addition to assault and battery claims, the teacher is facing due process claims for the incident. She is also named in a civil liability claim for knowingly causing harm. Both parties are facing an intentional infliction of emotional distress claim. 

The parents are seeking damages, both financial and punitive, and a trial by jury. 

Categories: Ohio News

New program at The James explains cancer diagnoses in family to children

Thu, 07/18/2024 - 15:00

COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) -- When someone is diagnosed with cancer, sometimes the hardest part is telling their friends and family about the diagnosis, especially people with children in their lives.

A new program at The James Cancer Hospital at Ohio State is helping kids deal with the diagnosis of a loved one.

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The hospital can be a scary place and cancer is a scary disease, so child life specialists at The James work with children of all ages to break down what is happening to their parent, grandparent or another loved one.

Child life specialist Brianna Wall said they always start with a conversation with the patient.

“We really start with assessment, to talk with each patient about what their concerns are for their children, maybe it’s their grandchildren, nieces, nephews and then tailor some intervention specific to that family and what they need,” Wall said.

When meeting with children, Wall said every session looks different depending on a child’s age and understanding of the disease.

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“Sometimes it’s just really basic when we’re working with toddlers and preschoolers that your parent has a sickness and we try to talk about it being a big sick,” she said. “It’s something different than a cold or a flu. Once they’re a little bit older and maybe they understand, we’ll talk about cells and how cancer is caused by changes that happen in the body.”

Wall said kids with parents or other loved ones who have cancer often overhear words they don’t understand like chemo, imaging, cells and symptoms. She said a lot of her job is giving the children context.

“Sometimes it means doing medical play with sample medical equipment and dolls,” Wall said. “Sometimes it means making individualized books to prepare a child for coming to bedside of what they’ll see, what their person looks like.”

Wall said many of her sessions end up looking like play, but sometimes she said that is the best way to help a child understand what cancer is and how it’s affecting a person they love – from hair loss to tubes on the body for medication and intubation.

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“These are heavy topics, but the way that we deliver information doesn’t have to be in a solemn way,” she said. “Sometimes it’s silly and sometimes it doesn’t look like we are doing too much, but we’re educating and we’re normalizing.”

Ohio State said The James is one of the only hospitals in the country that offers a program to help support children of adult patients.

For more information about how the program works, click here. For more general information about cancer diagnosis and treatment at The James, click here.

Categories: Ohio News

Man guilty in fatal 2023 AutoZone shooting

Thu, 07/18/2024 - 14:46

Watch a previous report on this case in the video player above.

DELAWARE COUNTY, Ohio (WCMH) – A second man accused in a fatal shooting during an auto store robbery in August 2023 has pleaded guilty to murder and other charges.

Darius Wynn, 28, of Columbus, pleaded guilty Thursday to murder, aggravated robbery, engaging in a pattern of corrupt activity, and two firearm specifications.

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Wynn, along with Zackeyis S. Davis and Anthony Blakely, were charged in a robbery of an AutoZone store on Sancus Boulevard near Polaris Fashion Place that left a customer, 43-year-old Alejandro Fajardo-Torres dead. Police said Fajardo-Torres attempted to stop the robbery.

Wynn, Davis, and Blakely were allegedly part of a suspected “enterprise” in which the committed multiple, targeted robberies against AutoZone stores and other businesses in Delaware and Franklin counties between May 14 and Sept. 13, 2023.

Wynn will be sentenced on Aug. 28 and faces a maximum penalty of life in prison with the possibility of parole after 41 years.

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In June, Davis was sentenced to life in prison with the possibility of parole after 30 years for an aggravated murder charge and 10 to 15 years in prison for an attempted murder charge, which stemmed from a separate incident that left another man paralyzed. He was also given three years in prison for each charge due to the firearm specifications. All sentences will be served consecutively.

In May, Blakely rejected a plea deal and is scheduled to go on trial on Aug. 20.

Categories: Ohio News

Gahanna's Maycey Vieta ready for Olympic diving debut

Thu, 07/18/2024 - 13:00

GAHANNA, Ohio (WCMH) -- Thousands of the best athletes in the world are making their way to Paris, including some from right here in Central Ohio. 

Not all local athletes are competing for Team USA, however. Gahanna's Maycey Vieta is heading to her first Olympics, diving for Puerto Rico.

Maycery graduated from Gahanna Lincoln High School in 2019, winning a state championship her sophomore year.

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After Gahanna, she went on to Purdue where she dove for the Boilermakers, winning numerous Big Ten accolades including a Big Ten title her senior year on the 10-meter platform.

Now, she's off to Paris to compete in the same event. She will be joined in the city by four of her Purdue teammates, including her boyfriend of seven years, Greg Duncan, who will compete for Team USA.

"I've been diving for Puerto Rico since 2019 so definitely used to it now," said Maycey. "And I think it's pretty cool to be able to go there with 4 of my teammates and my boyfriend of course. I get to see every single day how hard we all work and when we practice together, so going into the village if anything, it feels like home."

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Maycey was busy packing for her trip over when NBC4's Matt Barnes caught up with her. Her flight leaves Columbus on July 18. She won't compete until August 5, so she has 2 weeks to get used to the city and get some training in with team Puerto Rico.

Although Puerto Rico is a U.S. territory, it has had its own team since it was first recognized independently in 1948. As the island self-governs its internal affairs, the International Olympic Committee felt it deserved its own team, according to NBC's Sports Engine.

Her Mom, Dad and all five siblings will be in Paris to root her on. Many more family and friends will do the same from Central Ohio and the U.S.

Categories: Ohio News

Beautiful days to look forward to through the weekend

Thu, 07/18/2024 - 11:16
Central Ohio Weather and Radar

The passage of a cold front Wednesday night will bring cooler and less humid conditions the rest of the week.

High pressure is building southward across the Great Lakes and upper Ohio Valley, resulting in a northwesterly flow of pleasant air after a week of heat and humidity, which ended with some gusty storms. The rain was much needed in a dry, hot summer.

Temperatures will only reach the upper 70s today in most places, and low temperatures will fall into the comfortable upper 50s early Friday morning.

Sunshine and dry weather will continue through the weekend into early next week, with a gradual warming trend. The next chance for showers or storms will not arrive until Tuesday.

  • Thursday: Partly cloudy, less humid. High 79
  • Tonight: Mainly clear, pleasant. Low 58
  • Friday: Sunny. High 82
  • Saturday: Mostly sunny. High 85 (61)
  • Sunday: Partly cloudy. High 87 (62)
  • Monday: Partly cloudy, warm. High 88 (65)
  • Tuesday: More clouds, scattered storms. High 86 (67)
  • Wednesday: Partly sunny. High 84 (69)
Categories: Ohio News

Columbus police arrest alleged shooter in attempted revenge murder

Thu, 07/18/2024 - 10:36

For a previous report on this story view the video player above.

COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) – Columbus police have arrested a second man in connection with an alleged revenge shooting in the Westland area where the wrong person was shot.

In May, police named Dillan Bush, 21, a suspect after an investigation revealed his possible involvement in a 2023 shooting in the 5700 block of Morningstar Drive. But police said the victim, a 44-year-old man, was not the intended target.

Police took possession of Bush’s phone, which they say he used persuade someone else to shoot at a house, with the wrong house eventually being shot at. That other person has been identified as Nuh Mohamed Ali, who was arrested Wednesday on charges of improperly discharging a firearm and a placeholder felony charge.

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Detectives learned that the intended house was shot at previously and that Bush had allegedly made threats to kill a man there for the accidental shooting of his brother, David Lee Bush, who was found dead in March 2019 in the Hilltop.

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The first attempted revenge shooting occurred on Aug. 10, 2023. Police said a man was getting out of his car on Morningstar Drive when a vehicle approached him and a person inside fired several shots at the house. The house and car were struck several times, though the man himself was uninjured.

Three weeks later, on Sept. 2, officers responded two houses from the original incident and found the 44-year-old suffering from multiple gunshot wounds to the torso. Several other gunshot holes were found scattered throughout the front of the home, where someone drove past firing shots.

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The investigation led to Bush's arrest in May on attempted murder and other charges. He was issued a $1 million bond and had been serving a three-year community control sentence for drug possession.

Police say Ali admitted to knowing Bush, accepting money from him and being in the immediate area when the shooting occurred.

A judge on Thursday issued a $1 million bond and ordered him to next appear in court on July 26.

Categories: Ohio News

Heat wave ends, expect cooler second half of July

Thu, 07/18/2024 - 10:30

COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) -- Predictions for a hot, muggy summer materialized across much of the nation, boosted by a large "heat dome" extending from the Southwest to the Mid-Atlantic states in June

May was quite warm in Columbus (4.8 degrees above normal), followed by heat waves in mid-June and mid-July. Temperatures soared to 90 degrees or higher June 16-22 and July 12-16. The June heat wave was the longest so early in the season 1994 (June 13-22).

The maximum temperature reached the 90-degree mark on 8 days each in June and July so far. The hottest day was June 21 (96 degrees), the warmest weather the city has experienced in June since June 28, 2012 (100 degrees), the day before the derecho hit.

The upper-level pattern this summer has been anchored by high pressure systems in the mid-levels, with subsiding air that warms by compression in the Southwest and off the Southeast Coast, known as the traditional "Bermuda high."

The average temperature in Columbus since June 1 is running 2.3 degrees above normal, boosted by morning minimums in the low 70s, due to the high humidity.

The warmest morning brought a low temperature of 76 degrees on June 19, which set a daily record, followed by a low of 75 degrees on July 16. Record high minimums were observed on June 21-22 (73 degrees).

Where the jet stream buckles across the Upper Midwest and Northeast, thunderstorm complexes have barreled eastward producing damaging winds, hail and tornadoes. However, summer rainfall is often hit and miss farther south.

Persistent dryness has become a concern for some crops in the area, with a moderate drought reported across portions of central and eastern Ohio, bordering on severe drought in Pickaway County and east-central sections, based on the latest data from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA).

Unfortunately, little in the way of rain is expected to ease the drought, as locations near and south of Interstate 70 are running only 35 to 70 percent of normal rainfall values since mid-June.

Long-range indications favor a seasonable second half of July, with a dip, or trough, in the jet stream that will feed somewhat cooler and drier air into the Midwest eastward to the scorched East Coast.

Even though more pleasant conditions will prevail for much of the remainder of the month, hot summers tend to be resilient, and another heat wave is certainly possible in August and early September.

Categories: Ohio News