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Petland facing two new lawsuits in Ohio, accused of selling sick puppies

News Channel 4 - 2 hours 10 sec ago

View the player above to see previous coverage.

COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) – For the second time in under six months, Petland is facing lawsuits that accuse it of selling sick puppies to unknowing families. 

Two separate lawsuits were filed against the pet store last week by families in Ross and Fairfield counties. Attorneys with the Humane Society of the United States are assisting the Ohio law firm Holland & Muirden with representing the two families. The allegations come after three similar lawsuits were filed in January.

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The newest lawsuits allege Petland, which is based in Ohio, misled customers and used high-pressure tactics to sell ill puppies to two families in 2021, leaving them with hefty vet bills and suffering animals. 

“Two new lawsuits seek to hold Petland accountable for business practices that mislead customers and prop up the cruel puppy mill industry,” Kitty Block, CEO of the Humane Society, said in a statement. 

One of the lawsuits states Danielle and Henry Segura bought a Yorkiepoo puppy from a Petland in Chillicothe in October 2021. Staff told the family the puppy, named Sky, had recently been treated for kennel cough but was otherwise in good health and ready to go to her new home.

Upon bringing Sky home, her owners claim she became incredibly ill, experiencing coughing, trouble breathing and refusing to eat or drink. During a November vet visit, it was discovered that she had an upper respiratory infection that progressed to pneumonia. After overcoming the illness, she was cleared to go back home – but this was just the beginning of the dog’s issues, the lawsuit claims.

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Sky subsequently began suffering from frequent seizures and defecating blood, her family alleges. She was diagnosed with a congenital condition called liver shunt. Sky’s vet recommended she only engage in limited activity and that she should not be left alone for long periods out of fear she may suffer from a life-threatening seizure.

When it comes to Sky’s pneumonia, Petland claimed her vet treatment resulted in a charge of $754.46, which was fully reimbursed in December 2021. The Serguras reportedly did not report any further concerns with Petland. 

In the second lawsuit, Katie and Jeremy Wheeling allege their Ultimate Mastiff named River, purchased from a Petland in Lancaster in February 2021, had to undergo six surgeries for a variety of ailments so far in the three years she has been alive. This included multiple eye surgeries for a condition called “cherry eye” and a knee surgery. Although Petland did assist with some costs, the Humane Society claimed the couple is out of thousands in vet bills and River is still in pain.

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Petland maintains River was approved for surgery reimbursement up to $5,000 -- the cost of the puppy. The pet store claims that the cherry eye was corrected, but then it was discovered the puppy’s other eye also had developed the condition. That eye was also fixed, Petland said. In September 2021, the owners submitted the claim to Petland and that same month they were reimbursed $1,848.32 for the first surgery and $2,060.68 was paid directly to their vet for the second eye surgery. The pet store states the Wheelings have not been in contact with Petland since. 

“Petland records show that each claim was made and satisfactorily resolved in 2021,” said Petland President and CEO Joe Watson. “In each case, the health warranties provided with the new puppies were activated, and each pet owner was reimbursed in full for the costs associated with the pets’ care and treatment. Neither of the parties named in these alleged lawsuits has reached out to Petland with further concerns about the health of their pets in the three years since.” 

While Watson stated he can not comment on any more specifics because Petland has not been served with the lawsuit yet, he called the Humane Society of the United States a “radical animal rights group” that is “burdening Ohio’s busy legal system” to generate publicity. The three families that filed lawsuits against Petland in January also had the support of HSUS, but the pet store chain was dropped as a defendant in two of those lawsuits.  

Despite Petland repeatedly denying any involvement with puppy mills, the nonprofit continues to assert Petland sources its animals from high-volume breeders and states the Ohio Department of Agriculture allows these puppy mills to continue thriving in the state.

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“As long as Ohio allows the puppy-mill-to-pet-store pipeline to operate unchecked, families and dogs in our state will suffer the consequences,” Humane Society state director Mark Finneran said.

Finneran urged Ohio residents to contact elected officials to support House Bill 443, which would allow municipalities in the state to regulate the sales of dogs and cats in pet stores.

Categories: Ohio News

Rain & storms chances build midweek, drier conditions to end workweek

News Channel 4 - 2 hours 45 min ago
Columbus and Central Ohio Weather QUICK WEATHER FORECAST:
  • Today: Sct'd PM storms, high 89
  • Tonight: Showers around, low 72
  • Wednesday: Showers & storms, high 84
  • Thursday: Mostly sunny, high 83
  • Friday: Few clouds, high 88
  • Saturday: Sct'd storms, high 90

Happy Tuesday!

We start the day off on a dry note, with just an isolated late-morning shower/storm chance. Then we'll be dry for several hours into the early afternoon, with highs warming into the upper 80s to near 90s, and a stick to the air. By late-afternoon and evening, we'll be tracking scattered thunderstorms across the region.

More widespread rain arrives along a cold front tomorrow. Expect scattered activity earlier in the day, with more widespread, heavier shower activity moving in during the afternoon and evening. Highs top out in the middle 80s with a muggy feel.

We start to clear up on Thursday, with more sunshine, a drier feel to the air, and highs falling back to the lower 80s.

Friday warms up, but we're still nice and dry. Highs warm back to the upper 80s.

We will be dodging some scattered shower activity to kick off the weekend Saturday. Highs will be warm, near 90, with a muggy feel. Sunday will be our nicer weekend day.


Categories: Ohio News

Ohio approves provisional marijuana licenses

News Channel 4 - Mon, 06/24/2024 - 21:25

COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) – Ohio has approved 62 provisional licenses for adult-use recreational marijuana, including 31 dispensaries across the state.

According to the Ohio Department of Commerce’s Division of Cannabis Control, four of those dispensaries are in Columbus.

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In total, 22 provisional licenses were issued to Franklin County marijuana businesses divided between dispensaries, cultivators, processors, and testing laboratories.

The issuance of the licenses does not mean the dispensaries can start selling marijuana to customers; instead, the businesses must prove to the Division of Cannabis Control that they have completed requirements dictated by the division, according to reporting from Forbes.

According to the reporting, the dual-use dispensaries have to show that they have updated their point-of-sale systems to differentiate between recreational and medical sales; be able to keep a supply of medical marijuana for patients; and boost security at their shops. Additionally, the businesses have to notify local law enforcement officials about their business, train employees, and ensure the product meets state guidelines.

There is no word on when the dispensaries would be able to sell to recreational customers; however, the owner of one company with several dispensaries across the state said recreational sales could begin this week.

Categories: Ohio News

Against resident wishes, Council approves Far East zoning change

News Channel 4 - Mon, 06/24/2024 - 21:24

COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) – Residents of a Columbus neighborhood are upset with a zoning change approved by Columbus City Council Monday night.

The land at the center of the back and forth is on the Far East Side of the city at 198 McNaughten Road.

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The zoning change will allow for a nearly 300-unit apartment complex to be built there.

The complex is smaller than what was originally proposed years ago, but residents are still upset.

Residents argue that traffic and safety are already issues on McNaughten Road, and this development will only make it worse.

"What's happening with this project is that this project doesn't fit,” resident Skip Dodson said. “We would accept a multi-use project that had some apartments, some single-family ownership, had some multi-family ownership, but this project doesn't fit.”

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"Bottom line, our city is growing,” Councilmember Rob Dorans, chairman of the zoning committee, said. “Bottom line, our city needs more housing and right now, we have an application that has been with council for nearly five years that has seen change after change after change in order to bring it here tonight."

The zoning change passed in a 7-1 vote.

Categories: Ohio News

Council expresses frustration at Short North violence

News Channel 4 - Mon, 06/24/2024 - 21:17

COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) -- Columbus leaders are looking for answers after a mass shooting in the Short North over the weekend, and they want to figure out what needs to be done to stop the violence.

Over the past two years, Columbus City Council has put at least $1 million toward safety efforts in the Short North, and yet incidents like the shooting over the weekend have happened.

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Councilmember Emmanuel Remy said that is a point of frustration.

“These are our streets, just remember that, and we’re not going to tolerate this anymore,” Remy said.

City council together for its regular meeting close to 40 hours after 10 people were shot in the Short North. Nothing about the shooting was on the agenda, but it did not take long for Remy to talk about it.

“One thing is certain, we all need to stand together to make sure it is well known these are our streets and a few lawless individuals will not take these streets away from us,” he said.

Remy is chair of council’s Public Safety and Judiciary Committee. He said 10 police officers where on the block where the shooting happened around 2:30 a.m. Sunday.

“They are on the streets, we have cameras everywhere, it’s time for all of us to get serious and talk to our state legislators, talk to parents, where are your kids, we need to know your kids are home safe, know where they’re at,” he said.

City council has approved $500,000 for safety efforts in the Short North each of the past two years. According to Remy, those include additional officers and cameras. He said the fact Sunday’s shooting happened with those in place makes it even more frustrating.

“I don’t know if there is an answer,” he said. “This is a societal problem we’re throwing money at. We’re investing $20 million a year with our youth programming. We’re doing what we can as a city government to do that. That’s why I’m saying it takes everyone to step up, take accountability, really take charge, find out where their kids are.”

Remy said measures like last year’s curfew are being talked about, but nothing has been proposed.

Categories: Ohio News

Man dies in Fairfield County motorcycle crash

News Channel 4 - Mon, 06/24/2024 - 18:59

LANCASTER, Ohio (WCMH) -- One person is dead after a motorcycle crash in southwest Fairfield County Monday.

A 2015 Mitsubishi Outlander Sport, driven by a 59-year-old Newark man, was traveling west on U.S. Route 22 at approximately 3:37 p.m., the Ohio State Highway Patrol said. At the same time, a 2005 Honda VTX motorcycle driven by Jared O. Ross, of Williamsport, was traveling east on US-22.

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State police said the Mitsubishi crossed the center of the road, hitting the motorcycle head on, which caused the motorcycle to drive off the right side of the road. Ross was thrown from the bike.

Ross was pronounced dead at the scene.

The crash remains under investigation.

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The Ohio State Highway Patrol was assisted at the scene by the Amanda Township Fire Department, Bloom Township Fire Department, the Fairfield County Sheriff's Office, and the Ohio Department of Transportation.

Categories: Ohio News

Person seriously injured after Linden crash involving a motorcycle

News Channel 4 - Mon, 06/24/2024 - 18:46

COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) - One person was taken to a local hospital in serious condition following a crash involving a motorcycle Monday evening.

According to Columbus police, the crash occurred shortly before 7:45 p.m. near the intersection of Briarwood Avenue and Renwood Place.

Police didn't specify if the person transported was a driver or passenger on the motorcycle. They are listed in stable condition.

Categories: Ohio News

New attention drawn to gun legislation at Ohio Statehouse following shooting

News Channel 4 - Mon, 06/24/2024 - 18:00

COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) – Lawmakers at the Ohio Statehouse have introduced several pieces of gun-related legislation over the past year and a half, ranging in approaches. Now, on the heels of a mass shooting over the weekend in Columbus, the issue is gaining more attention.

“It's the leading cause of death for children and teens in Ohio,” Rep. Casey Weinstein (D-Hudson) said. “So, this is a serious problem. Clearly, it's not getting better.”

“It’s a tragedy anytime you see these type of mass shootings in our communities,” Rep. Josh Williams (R-Sylvania) said “There is more that we can do here in the state of Ohio to make sure that we keep guns out of the hands of people that plan on doing these type of mass crimes, mass shootings and people that are not lawfully gun owners.”

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The gun-related legislation that's been proposed at the statehouse includes some that are garnering more pushback, like House Bill 51, which would make federal gun laws that contradict with Ohio laws unenforceable in the state. Or House Bill 433, which would limit mass causality weapons in Ohio. 

Others like House Bill 522, which would increase penalties for repeat violent offenders, have more support. 

“When we're talking about gun legislation, I don't look at it as a partisan issue,” Williams said. “I look at it as both a safety issue, a constitutional rights issue.”

“I’m always open to discussing any avenue that we think can keep Ohioans safer and balancing all of our constitutional rights, not just the Second Amendment, but the First Amendment, to freely move around and live in a free and safe community and state,” Weinstein said.

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H.B. 522 has yet to have its first hearing. Williams said the legislature should also look at doing things like impact training for children about firearms and increasing penalties for juveniles.

“So, we have multiple opportunities to change the behavior of these young people before it gets to the point of them being kind of out of control,” Williams said. “We need to be able to utilize those opportunities when they're juveniles and young adults to be able to kind of reform their way of thinking and lead them away from criminality.”

Legislation like House Bill 186 – which would exempt firearm safety devices, like gun locks, from sales tax – also has bipartisan support,  but has not had a hearing since October. 

“Incredibly frustrating,” Weinstein said. “These kinds of mass shooting incidents are happening so frequently that I'm afraid people get numb to it, and they get cynical, understandably so, because our government has done nothing substantively to fix the problem.”

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But with the enactment of laws to do things like allow firearms in schools, allow permitless carry and “stand your ground" over the past few years, Weinstein said he thinks the Republican-led Ohio legislature has been moving the state in the wrong direction.

“Those are the kinds of bills that we've been passing,” Weinstein said. “So it doesn't surprise me that they don't want to take common sense gun safety steps that might actually reduce the number of deaths that are facing Ohioans every five hours.”

“Someone would have to show me some real statistics that show that we've had an increase in violence directly related to those bills,” Williams said. “Then they can have my ear on those issues.”

Weinstein said he would like to see bills that do things like ensure universal background checks pass the statehouse. 

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“We just can't seem to get any Republican support on these bills," Weinstein said. "In the meantime, people are dying. Some folks say, 'Well, there's still people that are going to break the law.' Laws are about trying to get as many people as possible to adhere to them so that we reduce the number of violations of the law.”

Williams said most gun sales in Ohio already have a background check requirement and said he does not think that is where the issue lies.

“I would love to see the statistics on guns used in gun crimes that were purchased through a type of peer-to-peer type sale at these gun shows,” he said. “That's not the driving cause of gun crimes in our community. What it is, is that our penalties are very low.”

Williams said he is also looking for the passage of legislation like House Bill 460, to help decrease recidivism rates. 

“People have that tag of being a felon, making it harder for them to get a job, harder for them to get housing, and that can lead to them going back into criminal activity,” Williams said.

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And despite the back and forth between each side of the aisle, lawmakers are frustrated by inaction. 

“We're moving bills like trying to force Apple to give the same color to text messages from Android users. Like that's the priority that we have in Ohio? Like, there's other bills that are important to Ohioans that need to move forward,” Williams said. “I hope, I pray that we can get bills that increase penalties and provide some good deterrent towards these type of criminal offenses in our community and at the same time protect the constitutional rights.”

“Someone is killed by a gun, whether self-inflicted or not, every five hours in Ohio, that's 1,600 gun deaths a year,” Weinstein said. “We have to do something about this. And unfortunately, we will keep having incidents, mass shooting incidents across the state and more people will lose their lives until we take action.” 

State lawmakers are meeting for their final session of the summer this week. They likely will not be back in session until November, so anything that does not move forward or pass on Wednesday will have to wait those four months.

Categories: Ohio News

Delaware County growth spurs infrastructure investments

News Channel 4 - Mon, 06/24/2024 - 17:00

COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) – Delaware County’s population is growing rapidly, sparking massive investment plans.

According to the U.S. Census, more than 5,100 people moved into the county in 2023 alone. The county has gained more than 17,000 residents just in the past four years. The county's population is now approaching 232,000 people, a stark increase from its 2010 population of 174,000 residents.

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"We know Delaware County continues to grow fast, fast, fast ... and I see no sign that that's going to abate," Gov. Mike DeWine said. 

Situated just north of Columbus, much of the recent sprawl into Delaware County can be attributed to its location and job opportunities. Chase, in the Polaris area, is Delaware County's largest employer with more than 12,000 workers. Further employment hubs lie just across county lines. 

"We're sitting in between probably the two biggest private sector employers in central Ohio, between Honda and Intel," Delaware County Commissioner Jeff Benton said. "Before Intel was announced, the east side of the county, it was honestly pretty quiet. Our border is a mile from the Intel headquarters, so we're going to see it."

The rush of people has forced county leaders to create "Smart Growth" plans to supply basic infrastructure, like waste services, to new areas. The county's master plan for sewer and water treatment services calls for $265 million in improvements over 15 years. 

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"Trying to strategize how to bring sewer to different areas that don't currently have it is, it's very fulfilling," Tiffany Maag, director of the Delaware County Regional Sewer District, said.

Earlier this month, DeWine and Ohio Department of Transportation leaders announced a major proposal to renovate U.S. 23 between I-270 and the city of Waldo. ODOT says that stretch of road is currently servicing 30% more traffic than the road was designed to handle.

ODOT is hoping to reduce the number of traffic stops along that stretch of road from 39 to seven or fewer. ODOT Director Jack Marchbanks said cost estimations for the proposal range between $1.4 and $1.9 billion.

"We're all in a big hurry to do this, but this is not going to happen overnight. We're talking about a number of years," DeWine said. 

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County engineers are also planning for $150 million in roadway improvements over the next five years, alongside pursuits to better the county's quality of life.

"Things like parks and trails are very important to businesses to grow or expand. Schools are probably equally important," Benton said. "And we think we provide all of those things so that we can attract and grow businesses."

Categories: Ohio News

Chances for rain build into midweek, when dry weather returns

News Channel 4 - Mon, 06/24/2024 - 15:35
Columbus and Central Ohio Weather QUICK WEATHER FORECAST:
  • Tonight: Mainly clear, low 64
  • Tuesday: PM showers, partly cloudy, high 90
  • Wednesday: Rain & storms, high 84
  • Thursday: More sunshine, high 81
  • Friday: Partly cloudy, high 88

Good Monday evening!

Weather has been very close to normal to start off this work week. Temperatures in the mid 80s, plenty of sunshine, and fairly low humidity was pretty steady across Central Ohio. Going into the middle of this week, we'll see some changes in our skies.

Going into Tuesday, temperatures will fall to the mid 60s with clear skies. Clouds move back in by the afternoon with an isolated chance of showers and a few storms by the afternoon and evening. Temperatures will get a little bit of a warmup with thermometer hovering around 90 degrees.

Better chances for rain arrive by Wednesday. A cold front will bring in more rain throughout the day. We could see a couple more thunderstorms by the afternoon. Temperatures will already start to cool with us only reaching the mid 80s once again. More sunshine fills in by Thursday with temperatures only a couple of degrees above 80.

Another warmup carries us into the upper 80s and lower 90s into the weekend. Isolated chances for rain pick back up for Saturday. We'll see rain stay spotty overnight into Sunday. Temperatures cool once again to the lower 80s with more sunshine for next Monday.


Categories: Ohio News

Man pleads guilty to fatal AutoZone shooting

News Channel 4 - Mon, 06/24/2024 - 14:52

For previous reports on this story, view the video player above.

DELAWARE COUNTY, Ohio (WCMH) – One of three suspects in a fatal August 2023 robbery at a Delaware County auto parts store could spend the next 50-plus years in prison.

Zackeyis S. Davis, 23, pleaded guilty last week to one charge each of aggravated murder and attempted murder, both with firearm specifications.

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Davis is one of three men accused of killing Alejandro Fajardo-Torres, 43, in Aug. 2023 at the AutoZone store on Sancus Boulevard near Polaris Fashion Place.

Along with Davis, two other men -- Anthony Blakely and Darius Wynn – are charged in the crime. As of Monday, Davis is the only one to enter a guilty plea. Blakely was originally scheduled to plead guilty on May 31 but rejected the plea deal.

According to police, Fajardo-Torres was shot and killed when he attempted to stop a robbery at the store.

The three suspects were part of a suspected “enterprise” in which they committed multiple robberies between May 14, 2023, and Sept. 16, 2023, according to court documents.

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Davis was sentenced to life in prison with the possibility of parole after 30 years for the aggravated murder charge and 10 to 15 years in prison for the attempted murder charge. He was also given three years in prison for each charge due to the firearm specifications. All sentences will be served consecutively.

Wynn is currently scheduled to go to trial on July 23; Blakely is scheduled for trial on Aug. 20.

Categories: Ohio News

Columbus woman dies in Pickaway County crash

News Channel 4 - Mon, 06/24/2024 - 13:13

LOCKBOURN, Ohio (WCMH) – A Columbus woman is dead after a car crash in Pickaway County Sunday afternoon.

According to the Pickaway County Sheriff’s Office, the crash happened at approximately 3:37 p.m. on US Route 23 North just south of Weigand Road.

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A 2012 Mazda MZ6 was traveling north on US-23 when it drove off the west side of the road, overcorrected, and shot across the road and off the east side of the road, the sheriff’s office said. The Mazda then rolled several times, ejecting the driver and one of the two juvenile passengers.

The driver, Jerri L. Braswell, 32, of Columbus, was thrown from the car and pronounced dead at the scene. Two children in the car, ages 9 and 11, were taken to Nationwide Children’s Hospital in stable condition.

The sheriff’s office was assisted at the scene by the Harrison Township Fire and EMS, Scioto Township Fire and EMS, Circleville EMS, Jackson Township Fire Department, and the Ohio Department of Transportation.

The crash remains under investigation.

Categories: Ohio News

Man suspected in east Columbus murder found nearly 10 months later in Georgia

News Channel 4 - Mon, 06/24/2024 - 10:30

For an earlier report on this story view the video player above.

LAWRENCEVILLE, GA (WCMH) – The U.S. Marshals Service has arrested a suspect who has been on the run since September 2023 after a murder in the far east side of Columbus.

The U.S. Southeast Regional Fugitive Task Force, along with Georgia's Gwinnett County Sheriff’s Office Fugitive Unit and the State Patrol SWAT team arrested Kenyatta Glass in Lawrenceville, GA. Glass is accused of fatally shooting Shawn Grooms on Sept. 3 in the Walnut Hills neighborhood.

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On that day Columbus police said special duty officers working near the Lotus Lounge on Channingway Boulevard responded to gunfire at 1:40 a.m. Grooms, 31, was found suffering from a gunshot wound and was pronounced dead at the scene at 1:50 a.m.

Police said numerous witnesses fled the scene during the initial panic following the shooting, which had not yielded any suspects for months.

The Southern Ohio Fugitive Apprehension Strike Team adopted the case and began searching for Glass in January but was unable to find him during its search. On May 2, police charged Glass with murder and considered him armed and dangerous.

SOFAST eventually discovered that Glass had fled the Columbus area. He was located in the 1400 block of Braxford Trace in Lawrenceville, GA, a city northeast of Atlanta, approximately 600 miles from Columbus.

An extradition court hearing will be scheduled for Glass, who remains in custody in Georgia, at the Gwinnett County Jail.

Categories: Ohio News

Thousands without power around Grandview Heights, Upper Arlington

News Channel 4 - Mon, 06/24/2024 - 10:15

COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) -- Thousands of AEP Ohio customers in west Columbus areas are without power Monday afternoon.

AEP Ohio's outage map lists more than 6,300 total customer outages with nearly all of those outages in Grandview Heights, Upper Arlington, and areas just west of Ohio State's main campus. The estimated restoration time is 3 p.m.

AEP Ohio said they are responding and have not yet determined a cause of the outage.

NBC4 will provide updates.

Categories: Ohio News

Alleged driver of getaway car after Short North mass shooting in court

News Channel 4 - Mon, 06/24/2024 - 09:15

COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) – A man police say is connected to a mass shooting in north Columbus over the weekend faced a judge Monday morning.

According to court documents, DeAngelo Fuller, 19, turned himself in on Sunday night after he allegedly led police on a high-speed chase following a mass shooting in which 10 people were injured in the Short North early Sunday morning.

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The shooting occurred near the 1200 block of North High Street where 10 people were shot, including two juveniles and eight adults. All the victims were male and between the ages of 16 and 27 years old. One of the victims was taken to a hospital in critical condition while the other nine were listed in stable condition.

Responding officers observed a possible suspect running away from the scene and getting into the passenger side of a white Honda Civic. Police attempted a traffic stop but the driver of the Honda refused to stop.

The driver of the Honda led police on a high-speed chase that included driving 60 mph down the wrong way of a one-way street and speeds that nearly reached 110 mph on Interstate 670 West.

Officers were unable to keep up with the car, which evaded capture as it made its way to the Grandview Avenue exit on I-670, but later that day Fuller turned himself in at police headquarters and admitted to not stopping during the pursuit.

Fuller, charged with obstructing official police business, faced a judge at an arraignment hearing Monday morning. He was issued a $100,000 bond and is next scheduled to appear in court July 2 for a preliminary hearing.

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The Short North shooting is the third of its kind in the neighborhood in a little over a year, including in May 2023 when 10 people were shot in two shooting incidents and 11 firearms were recovered by police.

On Sunday Columbus City Council issued a statement which read in part, "Angry and outraged to wake up to another senseless shooting.... We will continue to be vigilant this summer and consider additional safety measures as needed in the area across the city.... And we once gain ask state government and the courts to stop blocking common-sense gun control policies and allowing guns to pour into our streets."

Categories: Ohio News

Cooper Stadium demolition: More of Clippers' former home could be razed

News Channel 4 - Mon, 06/24/2024 - 08:30

COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) -- More pieces of the former home of the Columbus Clippers are proposed for demolition.

For decades, the Clippers played out of Cooper Stadium before moving to the Arena District's Huntington Park in 2008. Vacant since its closure more than 15 years ago, much of the stadium's grandstand was demolished in April 2014. More of the structure on West Mound Street may soon face demolition.

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A building application submitted by Lion Construction Services to Columbus showed plans for the razing project. The application indicates it's a $250,000 job.

The project includes the demolition of accessory structures at Cooper Stadium. Those include the removal of lower tiers of steps in the stadium's seating, existing fencing, stairs and stair treads, ramp slabs, structures separate from the stadium, existing interior construction, exterior metal panels, and several walls to slab-on-grade.

However, parts would remain intact. The proposal said the remaining primary stadium structure -- which includes all concrete, concrete floors, bearing walls, stadium grandstands' structural steel framing, and bleacher structural steel framing -- would not be taken down.

The Cooper Stadium property was sold by Franklin County in 2012 to SPARC Holding, whose parent company is Arshot Investment. A project by the group to turn the stadium into a racetrack and automotive center fell through.

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After that proposal, Columbus City Council approved rezoning the 47-acre lot to make way for mixed-use buildings, apartments and an outdoor event space at an October 2023 meeting. At the time, residents expressed hope for the plan.

Lion Construction could not be reached for comment about the project or plans for the site.

Dating to 1932, Cooper Stadium was originally named Red Bird Stadium. In addition to the Clippers, it has been home to multiple baseball teams, including the Columbus Red Birds, the Negro League Columbus Blue Birds, and the Columbus Jets.

President Franklin D. Roosevelt jumpstarted his first presidential campaign in the stadium in 1932, Columbus Landmarks said in its 2017 Most Endangered Sites list. Recently, the nonprofit released its 2024 Most Endangered Sites list, which included the former Spaghetti Warehouse building.

Categories: Ohio News

Man struck by Kings Island roller coaster dies

News Channel 4 - Mon, 06/24/2024 - 07:07

A previous report can be seen in the player above.

CINCINNATI (WCMH) – The man who was struck by a roller coaster at speeds approaching 70 mph at an Ohio amusement park has died.

According to the Hamilton County Coroner’s Office, 38-year-old Arntanaro Nelson died Friday at the UC Medical Center, NBC affiliate WLWT reported.

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Mason police identified Nelson, of Wilmington, as the man who suffered “massive head trauma” when he entered a restricted and fenced in area in search of his keys at the Banshee roller coaster at Kings Island amusement park in Mason, Ohio.

The incident occurred around 8 p.m. on June 19 when authorities responded to reports of a person lying down on the ground inside a restricted area at the Banshee ride. Nelson was taken to UC West Chester hospital, and then flown by helicopter to UC Medical Center.

WLWT stated that Nelson suffered “massive head trauma” after being struck by the roller coaster, which tops out at 68 MPH. He remained in critical condition before being pronounced dead two days later.

Categories: Ohio News

Columbus gas prices drop a dime to start the summer season

News Channel 4 - Mon, 06/24/2024 - 06:08

COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) – The average gas price in Columbus dropped by nearly a dime to kick off the first days of the 2024 summer.

According to GasBuddy’s survey of 500 stations in the Columbus area, the average gas price dropped by 9.7 cents per gallon to an average of $3.40. The recent decrease follows a one-week jump of 22 cents, but also marks the fourth decline over the past five weeks.

The current price is 16 cents per gallon lower than one month ago and 9.5 cents per gallon lower than this time one year ago. In Ohio, the average price of gas also dropped by 11.2 cents per gallon, from $3.45 per gallon to $3.34 per gallon.

Columbus Gas Prices Tracker

The cheapest gas station in the Columbus area was priced at $3.15 a gallon, while the most expensive was $3.69, a difference of 54 cents per gallon. Nationally, gas prices inched up by 0.3 cents but remain at $3.41 per gallon.

Patrick De Haan, head of petroleum analysis at GasBuddy, said prices at the pump are expected to remain steady in the short term, but is hopeful more relief is on the way.

"With summer now officially here, we've seen the national average price of gasoline holding most steady compared to last week, with some states seeing their traditional price cycling every couple of weeks,” De Haan said. “For now, gasoline prices may see little movement ahead of July 4 as oil prices have risen above $80…. The decreases we hoped for will have to wait, thanks to oil's climb."

Categories: Ohio News

How Gateway Film Center has changed since its post-pandemic reopening

News Channel 4 - Mon, 06/24/2024 - 06:00

COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) -- More than three years after Gateway Film Center's chief executive had "one of the worst days of his life," the independent cinema is still going strong.

Gateway -- a nonprofit cinema located at 1550 N. High St. -- reopened on May 27, 2021, after closing for the COVID-19 pandemic in March 2020. In the three years since, it has undergone significant changes.

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"It's funny. It feels like it was yesterday and also a lifetime ago," said Christopher Hamel, president and CEO of Gateway Film Center.

The film center uses the power of movies to strengthen, unite, challenge and inspire the local community, according to its mission statement. While maintaining a sustainable business model, Gateway is committed to showing movies from around the world, curating an experience that respects and appreciates the artists behind them. When founded, it was one of less than 100 nonprofit cinemas in the U.S. Now, there are many more.

"We're very different than a lot of your standard movie theaters," said Abby Skowronek, who has been with Gateway for more than a decade. "We play everything from the big movies to something your neighbor made."

Since reopening, Gateway reportedly screened 1,440 films, hosted 41 film festivals, featured 27 local artists in its gallery, and partnered with more than 200 business and community organizations. It also opened a members-only speakeasy called "The Torpedo Room."

Jazz & Rib Fest, Chris Stapleton, Ohio State Fair among top summer Columbus events

But before being able to make its strong return, Gateway had to hit an all-time low. The nonprofit's workforce had to be reduced by 85% in response to the pandemic.

"One of the worst days of my life was the day we had to lay off the majority of the staff," Hamel said. "We had to say goodbye to a lot of friends."

Thanks to communitywide support, Hamel said the theater was able to stay afloat.

"We would have never made it to May 27, 2021, if we had not received just an amazing amount of donations from individuals and organizations," Hamel said. "I'm happy to report that that has continued."

After the pandemic, Gateway prioritized making its facilities safer and cleaner. The cinema has upgraded its HVAC systems and been through a complete remodel. Hamel said the film center is "beautiful and clean" after many changes.

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Gateway also installed new seating in each of its screening rooms -- many of which hadn't been replaced since its opening in 2005 -- with black leather seats. All three of its bars were also renovated.

Another change that often goes unnoticed since the cinema's reopening is The Torpedo Room, its speakeasy. Visitors must be Gateway members to get into the hidden bar, which was opened just 12 weeks ago. Operating Thursday through Saturday from 5 p.m. to midnight, members just need to ask a cinema employee, then they'll be led through a secret passage.

"It's really hard to market a speakeasy," Hamel said. "Sort of defeats the purpose, right? But we're getting really wonderful feedback from our members."

The film industry is down 22% since 2019, Hamel said. Because of this, the film center had to make a lot of difficult decisions. However, he said he anticipates a full recovery that could even exceed its standing in 2019.

"While habits have changed, streaming has influenced the way people watch movies, there's also relatively regular messaging reaching me that streaming lacks curation," Hamel said.

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That's Gateway's main selling point, by Hamel's estimation. Recently, Gateway has featured, or is still featuring, film series showing films directed by Martin Scorsese, cult classics, book-inspired adaptations, and more. Hamel teased an unannounced month dedicated to the '70s that he said could feature up to 40 films.

Before each of its showings, Gateway's screening rooms display the message, "Thank you for supporting independent cinema" to its guests. That's a sentiment the nonprofit stands by, regardless of the cinema.

"If they care about film as an art form or film culture, and they don't support independent cinemas, those things will go away," Hamel said. "We want to make sure that you know we also want to support Studio 35, Grandview Theater, and Drexel and the Wexner Center."

Categories: Ohio News

Jazz & Rib Fest, Chris Stapleton, Ohio State Fair among top summer Columbus events

News Channel 4 - Mon, 06/24/2024 - 05:00

COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) -- This summer is packed with central Ohio's favorite festivals, including Red, White & BOOM!, the Jazz and Rib Fest and the Dublin Irish Festival, along with numerous star-studded concerts in the city's biggest venues.

View all the events, festivals and shows in Columbus this summer below.

AJR | The Maybe Man Tour

Nationwide Arena at 7:30 p.m. on June 28

  • AJR will embark on The Maybe Man Tour this spring, a 43-city arena tour across the continent.


Goodale Park from June 28 to 30

  • ComFest, a volunteer-organized festival honoring community and activism, is returning to Goodale Park with arts and crafts, community organizations, local vendors and more.

Red, White & BOOM!

Battelle Riverfront Park, Bicentennial Park and McFerson Commons Park from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. on July 3

  • The largest Independence Day celebration in the Midwest, attracting more than 400,000 people annually to downtown Columbus. 

Disney's 'The Lion King'

Ohio Theatre now through July 17

  • More than 100 million people around the world have seen Disney's Broadway production of "The Lion King." Winner of six Tony Awards, including Best Musical, "The Lion King" features some of Broadway’s most recognizable music, by Tony Award-winning artists Elton John and Tim Rice.
More than 100 million people around the world have seen Disney's Broadway production of "The Lion King." (Courtesy Photo/CAPA)

Chris Stapleton | All-American Road Show

Schottenstein Center at 7 p.m. on July 19

  • Stapleton is performing in Columbus at the Schottenstein Center on July 19, 2024, with special guests Marcus King and Nikki Lane. The “All-American Road Show” is coming after Stapleton releases his new album "Higher."

Columbus Jazz and Rib Fest

Scioto Mile from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. July 19 and 20, 11 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. July 21

  • The Summertime tradition offers rib connoisseurs a chance to sample ribs, brisket, pulled pork and more at 20 barbeque vendors, including After Hours BBQ, Chicago Barbeque Company, Fat Boy Q, and Texas Outlaw BBQ. An additional 17 food truck vendors will also offer a variety of menu choices.

Ohio State Fair

Ohio Expo Center and State Fair from July 24 to Aug. 4

  • The fair is returning in late July with more than a dozen acts performing, including KIDZ BOP, Boys II Men, Lauren Daigle, Gabriel "Fluffy" Iglesias, Stephen Sanchez and more.

Columbus Food and Wine Festival

Downtown Columbus from July 26 to 28

  • Visit the 6th annual Columbus Food and Wine Festival to get a taste of local restaurants and bars. 

Dublin Irish Festival

Coffman Park from Aug. 2 to 4

  • Since 1988, the first weekend in August has been reserved for what the festival calls the “world’s largest three-day Irish celebration.” The festival will feature a number of concerts, Irish dance, shopping and more.

Hozier | Unreal Unearth Tour

Schottenstein Center at 8 p.m. on Aug. 7

  • Award-winning songwriter Hozier's most extensive headlining run in North America, The Unreal Unearth Tour, will continue into 2024 adding a whopping 37 new shows.
Hozier performs at OVO Arena Wembley on Dec. 15, 2023 in London, England. (Photo by Lorne Thomson/Redferns)

Blink-182 | One More Time Tour

Schottenstein Center at 7 p.m. on Aug. 13

  • The band will be joined by special guest Pierce The Veil for the performance, which is scheduled to be the penultimate concert as part of the North American leg of the tour.

Childish Gambino | The New World Tour

Schottenstein Center at 8 p.m. on Aug. 15

  • Gambino, otherwise known as Donald Glover Jr., will promote his newly released album, "Atavista," with a tour that includes 33 stops across North America.

Jhené Aiko | The Magic Hour Tour

Nationwide Arena at 7 p.m. on Aug. 22

  • A six-time Grammy-nominated R&B artist, Aiko announced she would be going on a headlining tour for the first time in five years.

New Kids on the Block | The Magic Summer 2024 Tour

Nationwide Arena at 7 p.m. on Aug. 23

  • Reimagining the smash 1990 tour of the same name, Donnie, Joey, Jordan, Jonathan and Danny will bring back the magic for fans old and new, this time with very special guests Paula Abdul and DJ Jazzy Jeff.
(Courtesy Photo/Live Nation)

Columbus Greek Festival

 Annunciation Greek Orthodox Cathedral from Aug. 30 to Sept. 2

  • Festival-goers will get an authentic taste of Greece, with hand-made food and pastries, live dance and music, cathedral tours and more. 

Columbus Oktoberfest

Ohio Expo Center from Sept. 6 to 8

  • Dozens of vendors line the expo center with German favorites like brats, cream puffs and, of course, beer. Throughout the weekend, attendees can watch people compete in a variety of games like the stone throw and keg hold.

Weezer | Voyage to the Blue Planet Tour

Nationwide Arena at 7 p.m. on Sept. 7

  • Weezer is performing in Columbus as part of the rock band’s upcoming tour celebrating the 30th anniversary of their self-titled debut album.


Ohio Theatre from Sept. 10 to 15

  • Michael Jackson's artistry comes to Columbus with "MJ," a jukebox musical that follows the making of Jackson's 1992 "Dangerous World" tour. MJ goes beyond the singular moves and signature sound of the star, offering a rare look at the creative mind and collaborative spirit that catapulted Michael Jackson into legendary status.
Roman Banks as "MJ" and the cast of the "MJ" First National Tour. (Courtesy Photo/Matthew Murphy)

Bluey's Big Play

Palace Theatre at 6 p.m. on Sept. 18 and 19

  • The beloved family of Australian dogs including Bluey, Bingo, Bandit, and Chilli will come to life on stage, in a show that "features puppetry, live actors and iconic sets."

Charli XCX, Troye Sivan | Sweat Tour

Nationwide Arena at 7:30 p.m. on Sept. 20

  • Pop songwriters Charli XCX and Troye Sivan are teaming up to co-headline an arena tour coming to central Ohio this fall.
  • Sivan will be coming off the heels of his European arena tour in support of his third album, "Something to Give Each Other." (Courtesy Photo/Live Nation)
  • XCX is fresh off the announcement of her sold-out "Brat 2024" tour in the UK. (Courtesy Photo/Live Nation)

The Price Is Right Live

Palace Theatre at 8 p.m. on Sept. 20

  • The Price Is Right Live is the hit interactive stage show that gives eligible individuals the chance to hear their names called and "Come On Down" to win. Prizes may include appliances, vacations and possibly a new car.

Sabrina Carpenter | The Short n' Sweet Tour

Nationwide Arena at 7 p.m. on Sept. 23

  • Carpenter, the "Espresso" songwriter who recently opened for Taylor Swift, is kicking off her first headlining tour in Columbus.
(Courtesy Photo/The Lede Company)
Categories: Ohio News


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