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CPH reopens Celeste Center vaccine clinic

News Channel 4 - Wed, 01/19/2022 - 13:59

COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) -- Columbus Public Health has reopened its mass vaccination clinic at the Ohio State Fairgrounds.

With Ohio currently in the bottom 10 nationwide in terms of vaccination rates, local health leaders are encouraging more central Ohioans to get their shots.

"I've been nervous," Ashley Steier said. "Terrified."

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Steier has not been alone when it comes to vaccine hesitancy.

"I've been debating and stuff," Steier adds.

But for Steier, her outlook began to change when the virus hit home.

"My step-daughter has caught it three times already, so I'm definitely not trying to be down and out and be quarantined away from my kids," Steier said.

Steier is one of the hundreds of central Ohioans already scheduled to roll up their sleeves at CPH's two-day vaccination clinic.

"We think this is a good opportunity for those who have transportation to come get their vaccine from us in a very safe environment and we can get a lot of doses in a short period of time," Columbus Health Commissioner Dr. Mysheika Roberts said.

As Ohio's COVID-19 case numbers continue to reach new levels, Roberts warns we are still in the midst of the omicron surge.

Ohio's 21-day average has climbed to more than 22,000 cases, and with just over 60% of the state starting the vaccination process, Roberts said this is the best way to vaccinate as many people as possible.

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"It’s not what we thought. We didn't think we’d be here in January 2022 needing to go back to the Celeste Center, but here we are," Roberts said.

Overcoming that hesitancy has been a challenge for many.

For Steier, who suffers from lupus, it was ultimately the advice of health care experts that swayed her to get the shot.

"Asking different doctors. Urgent care doctors, my mom. My mother is an STNA, so I had her advice too," Steier said.

Steier's school-aged daughter joined her on Wednesday, receiving her first dose of the vaccine as well. Steier's son is scheduled to do the same on Thursday.

"It's better to know that they're protected, and I don't have to worry about them catching it," Steier said, adding she initially planned to wait to vaccinate her children.

Steier said she felt great afterward, even easier than the flu shot, adding she encourages others to do the same.

"Go out and get the shot. It's not as bad as you think it is," Steier said

CPH's two-day vaccination clinic is open from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Wednesday and Thursday.

Appointments are encouraged, but walk-ins and drive-ups are welcome as well.

Categories: Ohio News

Prosecutors could drop 11 murder charges against Husel

News Channel 4 - Wed, 01/19/2022 - 13:57

COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) -- Nearly half of the murder charges filed against a former Mt. Carmel Health doctor could be dropped by prosecutors, according to one source.

Eleven of the 25 murder charges former doctor William Husel is facing will be dropped by prosecutors, according to one of Husel's attorneys.

A spokesperson for the prosecutor's office said no one in the office would comment on the case.

During a pre-trial hearing in December, Husel's attorneys asked for the charges to be dismissed, arguing the grand jury was misled by not being presented evidence that showed some of the doses of painkillers and other drugs prescribed by Husel were not lethal.

Last week, a staff attorney for Franklin County Judge Michael Holbrook said the prosecutor's office was looking to schedule a hearing on the matter.

A hearing in the case is scheduled for 1 p.m. Thursday.

Husel’s trial is scheduled to start February 14.

Categories: Ohio News

41-year-old man arrested after drug raid in southern Ohio

News Channel 4 - Wed, 01/19/2022 - 13:22

NEW BOSTON, Ohio (WCMH) -- A 41-year-old man was arrested in Scioto County on Wednesday after a drug raid within a quarter-mile of a school and church.

According to police, Bernard Truett was arrested at a house on Oak Street after the Southern Ohio Organized and Major Crime Task Force conducted a raid early Wednesday.

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The task force found crack cocaine, fentanyl, weapons, and other criminal tools at the address. Truett was charged with multiple third and fourth degree felonies and one fifth degree felony, Possession of Criminal Tools.

Truett will be arraigned in Portsmouth Municipal Court on Thursday with his case being forwarded to the Scioto County Prosecutor's Office.

Categories: Ohio News

Columbus police ID suspect in assault of man who walked too close to child

News Channel 4 - Wed, 01/19/2022 - 13:22

COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) -- An arrest warrant has been issued by Columbus police for a suspect who they said assaulted a 70-year-old man after the suspect said he walked too close to a child.

Police identified Herbert C. Franklin, 24, of Columbus, as the suspect wanted in connection with the alleged assault on Jan. 12 outside a North Cassady Avenue business.

As the victim was walking out of the store, police said Franklin accused the man of walking too close to a child who was with Franklin and an unidentified woman.

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As the victim left the store, Franklin allegedly followed him outside and struck the victim in the head with a closed fist, police said. Franklin allegedly continued assaulting the man, knocking him to the ground and continued hitting him, police said.

Police said Franklin drove up in a white Dodge Avenger with a dark stripe on the hood and one on the passenger side rear quarter panel. The car also appeared to have a broken driver’s side window with a dark bag of some sort covering it.

Surveillance photos of the suspect, a woman police called a witness, and the child are below.

Anyone with any information is asked to contact Columbus police at 614-645-1435 or email zrosen@columbuspolice.org.

  • Suspect wanted in an assault outside an east Columbus store on Jan. 12, 2022.
  • The suspect, right, a woman police called a witness, left, and a child associated with an assault that took place outside an east Columbus store on Jan. 12, 2022.
  • The suspect, right, a woman police called a witness, left, and a child associated with an assault that took place outside an east Columbus store on Jan. 12, 2022.
  • A woman police called a witness, left, and a child associated with an assault that took place outside an east Columbus store on Jan. 12, 2022.
  • A woman police called a witness, left, and a child associated with an assault that took place outside an east Columbus store on Jan. 12, 2022.
  • The vehicle Columbus police said was associated with an assault outside an east Columbus shot on Jan. 12, 2022.
  • The vehicle Columbus police said was associated with an assault outside an east Columbus shot on Jan. 12, 2022.
  • The vehicle Columbus police said was associated with an assault outside an east Columbus shot on Jan. 12, 2022.
Categories: Ohio News

Grove City's Beulah Park development cruising toward completion

News Channel 4 - Wed, 01/19/2022 - 12:50

GROVE CITY, Ohio (COLUMBUS BUSINESS FIRST) -- A project the magnitude of Falco, Smith, and Kelley's Beulah Park would typically take more than a decade to finish.

The Grove City mixed-use project is an ambitious undertaking, sprawling across more than 210 acres, with 972 residential units including townhomes, apartments, and single-family homes, according to its master plan document. Its commercial component contains a maximum of 196,800 square feet, and to top it off, the site contains about 30 acres of green space developer Pat Kelley refers to as Central Park.

Restaurant resurgence drove Ohio liquor sales in 2021

The project broke ground in May 2019 and was broken down into two phases. The second phase wrapped up its infrastructure — which Kelley said cost about $28 million — recently, bringing the timeline of the project significantly down from what it would typically be.

Kelley said that's because of the site's proximity to Grove City's historic town center.

The project extended Columbus Street from that area to the development, which Kelley said expedited the process because it provided easy access to a commercial center. Typically, Kelley said commercial development comes after building everything else.

"It's an existing town center that's an extension of this development," Kelley said.

Chapman’s Eat Market team bringing jazz lounge to the Short North

Sarah Backiewicz, Beulah Park director, said the residential units — which include apartments, patio homes, townhomes, single-family homes, and assisted living options through Danbury Senior Living — are seeing high demand. Dwellings are being built by Townsend Construction, Pulte Homes, AR Homes Coppertree Homes, and Iulianelli, among others.

"As soon as they're ready, they're occupied," Backiewicz said.

Kelley attributes this demand to the new urban lifestyle the estimated $500 million development promotes, as well as its history.

Lazarus House renovation underway

It sits on the site of Grove City's former horse racing track, also named Beulah Park, and the history is not lost on the developers. The former raceway will be a part of Central Park, which Kelley hopes to be similar to Columbus' Schiller and Goodale parks.

"Beulah Park's race track was such an iconic part of central Ohio," Kelley told Columbus Business First. "It'll continue to serve as a gathering place. It's conducive to the quality of life and the lifestyle the residents will have here."

That lifestyle will include what he called a "more upscale" type of restaurant, although a tenant hasn't yet been named, and additional retail and commercial space. He hopes to break ground on a retail center within the next two months.

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Some tenants are pending, but Kelley said he cannot disclose who they are. He said they will target "neighborhood convenience" and promote walkability. The site will also contain an OhioHealth medical office facility.

For more business headlines, go to ColumbusBusinessFirst.com.

Categories: Ohio News

Chapman's Eat Market team bringing jazz lounge to the Short North

News Channel 4 - Wed, 01/19/2022 - 12:50

COLUMBUS, Ohio (COLUMBUS BUSINESS FIRST) -- The owners of Chapman’s Eat Market are creating a cocktail and jazz lounge.

Chef B.J. Lieberman and Bronwyn Haines expect to open Ginger Rabbit at 17 Buttles Ave. in the Short North in the spring. The basement space is the former home of Kingmakers Board Game Parlour, which pivoted during the pandemic to a teambuilding business.

Grove City’s Beulah Park development cruising toward completion

Though Lieberman has said he and Haines always planned to expand with new concepts beyond their German Village restaurant, a jazz lounge wasn’t on their wishlist. They’re more inclined to let the space determine what they do rather than seeking out a space to fit a specific idea.

“We looked at the space initially just as a bar in the Short North, a place we could turn quickly,” he said.

It was a viewing of the movie La La Land that gave them the inspiration for a cocktail and jazz lounge.

Lazarus House renovation underway

After talking to friends and family with familiarity with music clubs, they decided to move forward.

An empty concrete box at the moment, the space's décor will be softened with velvet curtains, plush seating options, and candles and mood lighting.

“We want to create intimate nooks, a place where you can come on dates, a place where you can relax and have a conversation,” Lieberman said. “It’s not going to be a concert venue per se.”

They envision music throughout the night, but at a softer and smoother level early, enough to give some atmosphere but still allow conversation.

Restaurant resurgence drove Ohio liquor sales in 2021

“The volume might go up a little later in the evening,” he said.

Though Lieberman has gained much acclaim for his work as a chef, Ginger Rabbit will not actually have a kitchen.

The lounge will offer a menu of snacks, including a local cheese board, local bread, olives, and house-made bar nuts. It’ll also offer caviar and “conservas,” a.k.a. tinned fish and seafood.

“That’s something that’s always been on our mind,” Lieberman said. “Having a space with no kitchen, it was clear this would be a good place to do it. We think that’s a trend that is ready to take off.”

Ginger Rabbit will have a rotating menu of around eight choices ranging from around $10 a tin to more than $20 for Lieberman’s personal favorite: octopus in a tomato-garlic sauce.

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It won’t have charcuterie at first, but he said that could be added eventually.

The cocktail menu, designed with Seth Laufman, formerly of the Blind Lady Tavern, will have between 20 and 24 choices split between their own creations and some classics.

“We want to dig deep into the (classics) well,” Lieberman said. “Not just the normal choices you see.”

There will be a small, local beer list as well as a selection of wines by the glass, too.

For more business headlines, go to ColumbusBusinessFirst.com.

Categories: Ohio News

43 days after two children were killed, investigators continue to look for leads

News Channel 4 - Wed, 01/19/2022 - 12:23

COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) -- Columbus police and the Central Ohio Crime Stoppers are continuing to look for leads in an investigation of a Dec. 7 triple homicide in southeast Columbus that claimed the lives of two children.

43 days ago, police were called to Kodiak Drive where they found 6-year-old Londynn Wall-Neal, 9-year-old Demetrius Wall-Neal, and 22-year-old Charles Wade shot. All three were later pronounced dead.

CPD: ‘Monsters’ killed two ‘babies,’ ‘young man’ in southeast Columbus shooting Photo of Charles Wade

One week after the homicide occurred, Columbus Police Det. Terry Kelley said the shooting was a planned attack. He added that whoever fired the gunshots knew the two children were inside the car, saying it is unclear if the shooters intended for the children to die, but added it’s clear the shooters didn’t care.

The latest update into the investigation was on Dec. 28 when Columbus police said community tips helped to identify that there are multiple suspects.

Police also announced on Dec. 28 that they identified two separate vehicles that conducted surveillance on the victim’s residence throughout the day of the homicide. The primary vehicle was a 2010 Nissan Altima and the secondary vehicle was a newer model Jeep Grand Cherokee.

Several people may be involved in triple murder which claimed two kids

The investigation remains active with police and Crime Stoppers requesting public assistance with any additional information into the incident.

Crime Stoppers is offering a cash reward for any information leading to the arrest of suspects.

Categories: Ohio News

Coronavirus in Ohio Wednesday update: 20,483 new cases, 689 hospitalizations

News Channel 4 - Wed, 01/19/2022 - 11:05

COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) -- The Ohio Department of Health has released the latest number of COVID-19 cases in the state. 

Numbers as of Wednesday, Jan. 19 follow:

TotalChangeNew cases2,439,205+20,483Hospitalizations103,406+689ICU admissions12,386+51Deaths*31,245+N/A*–Deaths are updated twice a week, usually on Tuesdays and Fridays

The 21-day case average is above 22,000.

5G networks roll out in Columbus, unaffected by airport concerns

The department reported 6,706 people started the vaccination process, bringing the total to 7,119,018, which is 60.9% of the state’s population. And 15,822 received booster shots.

The Ohio Hospital Association reported the following numbers related to COVID-19 patients:

Hospitalized patients
with COVID-19

No.Percent of
total beds
Percent of total
beds availableTotal5,88923.6%18%In ICU1,17626.75%16.37%On ventilator80716.01%60.69%

More than 100 cancer patients at the Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center are taking part in a study to detect the effectiveness of COVID-19 vaccines. Starting Wednesday at 9 a.m., the Celeste Center at the Ohio State Fairgrounds will become a drive-through vaccine site once again. The White House announced Wednesday that it is making 400 million N95 masks available for free, part of a string of actions aimed at fighting the surging omicron variant.  

Categories: Ohio News

Cheap money, cash offers dominated 2021 house market: what's ahead for Columbus in 2022

News Channel 4 - Wed, 01/19/2022 - 08:54

COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) -- Cash deals, a lack of housing stock, and cheap borrowing rates gave Columbus buyers a tough 2021. About one in five homes were cash transactions, and realtors sold 93% of homes on the market last year.

And there's no end to the aggressive offers in sight, although by the end of the year interest rates may have gone up to 4%, say two of central Ohio's real estate experts.

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Sue Van Woerkham, the 2022 President of Columbus Realtors and agent with Corcoran Global Living, and Patti Brown-Wright, Real Estate Technology Partners, sat down with NBC4's Cynthia Rosi to talk it through.

Money is cheap to borrow, for now

Van Woerkham points out that interest rates have gone up a little bit, but the rise is still low, with 4% predicted by the end of 2022. "We haven't seen much of a rise yet, which is a good indicator to buyers who are thinking about jumping into the market -- this is a good time.

"Money is still really cheap, which keeps the payment low. So it's a good time to buy before those interest rates start to go."

She points out that in 2010, realtors sold about 53% of the homes on the market. In 2021, they sold 93% of homes on the market -- and there were tens of thousands more homes to sell in 2021 than in 2010.

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Brown-Wright pulled the figures, showing that 33,548 homes and condominiums were sold in Central Ohio in the first 11 months of 2021. That's up by 9.3% higher than the same period last year, and surpasses the total number of homes sold in 2020.

"Inventory is what's down and that has an effect on everything," Brown-Wright said. "Right now it feels like we are out of synch to an extent because there isn't a lot of inventory."

Is there a housing bubble?

Both experts believe that a correction will eventually occur -- what goes up, must go down is a realtor's maxim. But foreclosures are currently low due to deferred payments, they point out.

No bubble at the moment, they both agree.

Appraisal values can be lower than price paid

"We are looking at appraisals and they're starting to come in a little less than what the purchase price is," said Brown-Wright. "Why that is we don't know at this time, but we're looking very closely at if this is going to affect any of our buyers on the appraisals, or our sellers.

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"The appraisers are very good at what they do. They know it, they look at it, look at the solds, the actives, what's gone on in the area, but buyers have driven it up because of the lack of inventory."

Influx of cash "astronomical"

Cash sales, and the influx of cash, were the surprise of 2021. Van Woerkam says people dip into 401k plans, get loans from their parents, or realize equity from a house sale.

Brown-Wright observed: "A lot of people are paying cash on their homes, and an influx of cash has been astronomical in this last year when I look at our figures. So, I don't think we'll see that bubble, but of course what goes up must come down, so we'll see an adjustment, I really think so."

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They've seen scores off offers on a single house -- up to 80 offers -- but pretty much they all begin to look the same, said Van Woerkham, in about the same range, with the same terms offered.

Bidding over the appraiser's value

And cash is changing the way people have traditionally done business. Brown-Wright said: "going back to the cash, roughly 1 in 5 homes -- 19% -- were cash transactions in November."

If you've bid up over the asking price in order to win, and you're paying cash, that's a big worry off the seller's shoulders. There's not going to be an appraisal that might cut your price.

That's because it's the banks that require the appraisal, not the seller.

2022 still a seller's market

If there's a take-away from this conversation, it's that 2022 continues to look like a tight property market.

Although interest rates could rise by the end of the year, discouraging some buyers, it still looks like a better year to sell than to buy.

This could frustrate people without cash options and deep pockets, who will be waiting for the bubble to burst, and for the what's-gone-up to finally come down.

Categories: Ohio News

5G networks roll out in Columbus, unaffected by airport concerns

News Channel 4 - Wed, 01/19/2022 - 08:11

COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) -- 5G network service is rolling out in Columbus despite airline concerns over launching the new technology close to airports.

Verizon announced Wednesday it launched its 5G Ultra Wideband network across Central Ohio. AT&T and T-Mobile also have Columbus highlighted as part of its newly released 5G network service.

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Airlines across the world rushed Wednesday to cancel or change flights heading into the U.S. over the ongoing dispute about the rollout of 5G networks.

The concern for numerous airports in the United States is the new network's interference with altimeters, which measures how high a plane is in the sky and is crucial for commercial flight safety at night and in low-visibility.

The Federal Aviation Administration released a list of airports with a 5G buffer where these interferences could be an issue with aircrafts. John Glenn International Airport was not among those listed.

Categories: Ohio News

One person hospitalized after north Columbus fire

News Channel 4 - Wed, 01/19/2022 - 07:22

COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) -- Firefighters are investigating a fire in north Columbus that left one person injured.  

At about 7:40 a.m., Wednesday, a fire was reported at a home in the 200 block of Webster Park Avenue.  

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Firefighters arrived on scene and were able to contain the flames but say one person was transported to a local hospital due to smoke inhalation. The person’s condition was not released.  

No other injuries were reported.  

Categories: Ohio News

Ohio among worst states for highway safety, per report

News Channel 4 - Wed, 01/19/2022 - 06:38

COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) -- The Advocates for Highway & Auto Safety have ranked Ohio among the worst states for highway safety in the country in its annual Roadmap Report of State Highway Safety Laws.

The advocates rated Ohio a red state for highway safety laws because it has not adopted at least 7 of its "optimal laws" and is "without both primary enforcement front and rear seat belt laws."

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Ohio was listed as having only six of the advocates optimal laws while missing multiple recommended laws including no front and rear enforcement seat belt law, no motorcycle helmet law, no booster seat laws, and more.

Courtesy of the 2022 Roadmap Report of State Highway Safety Laws

Ohio was among 11 red states in the report. The other 10 were Virginia, Vermont, South Dakota, New Hampshire, Nebraska, Florida, Arizona, Montana, Wyoming, and Missouri.

For more details on the annual roadmap report, click here.

Categories: Ohio News

Milder temperatures ahead of rain and snow showers

News Channel 4 - Wed, 01/19/2022 - 02:58
QUICK WEATHER FORECAST:
  • This morning: Mostly cloudy, temps rise late, low 30
  • Wednesday: Mainly cloudy, isolated light showers late, snow showers mainly southeast, high 41
  • Tonight: Chance snow showers, mostly southeast of I-71, low17
  • Thursday: Mostly sunny, colder, high 24
  • Friday: Partly cloudy, high 24
  • Saturday: Cold start, mostly sunny, high 27
FORECAST DISCUSSION:

Good morning and happy Wednesday!

We're starting off the day with much milder conditions ahead of another chance for showers.

This morning, we're ahead of a cold front, so a southerly breeze in in control ushering in warmer air. Temperatures are starting off in the low to mid 30s, and will continue to climb to the low 40s by this afternoon, which is about 5 degrees above normal for this time of year.

Through the afternoon, rain showers will start to build in from the south. Showers will continue to push north toward the I-70 corridor and will interact with below freezing temperatures overnight. As a result, we'll see light snow showers. Snowfall totals will only be a light coating along I-71, but increase to closer to 1 inch to the south and southeast.

Snow showers will start to taper off after midnight, and we'll be left with a cold end to the week. Temperatures Thursday will start off in the teens, then only reach a high in the mid 20s. Thanks to high pressure moving in, we'll start to clear out the clouds, but that will drop lows Friday & Saturday morning to around 10 degrees, and even with sunshine highs will only reach the 20s.

Have a great day!

-Liz

Categories: Ohio News

Apartment fire affects 16 units in southeast Columbus

News Channel 4 - Tue, 01/18/2022 - 21:29

COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) -- A fire inside an apartment on the southeast side of Columbus has caused 16 units in the building to be uninhabitable.

According to Columbus Department of Fire Battalion Chief Steve Martin, the two-alarm fire was reported on the 2700 block of Brandy Drive Tuesday evening.

Martin said that while the fire was contained to one apartment, the rest of the apartments in the building were affected due to utilities being shut off for safety reasons. It is unknown when residents will be allowed back into the building.

Columbus fire said there were no injuries.

The Red Cross is assisting the residents.

The cause of the fire remains under investigation.

Categories: Ohio News

Drive-through COVID-19 vaccine clinic reopens at Ohio State Fairgrounds

News Channel 4 - Tue, 01/18/2022 - 20:54

COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) – There are some big developments both locally and nationally in the fight against COVID-19.

Americans can now order at-home test kits online for free, while here in Columbus, a mass vaccination site is set to reopen.

Starting Wednesday at 9 a.m., the Celeste Center at the Ohio State Fairgrounds will become a drive-through vaccine site once again.

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Columbus Public Health Commissioner Dr. Mysheika Roberts said this is another way to vaccinate as many people as possible.

The Celeste Center has been a familiar site for many during the pandemic. It’s been used for COVID-19 testing and vaccines, and now it’s about to be used as a drive-through vaccine site again.

“It’s not what we thought,” Roberts said. “We didn't think we’d be here in January 2022 needing to go back to the Celeste Center, but here we are.”

Roberts said her office was getting requests for another mass vaccine clinic. They found the Celeste Center was available Wednesday and Thursday.

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“We thought two days were better than no days and so we took advantage of that opening,” she said.

First doses, second doses, booster, doses for children, and the flu shot will all be available. CPH is requesting people make appointments, but Roberts said drive-ups or walk-ups will be taken.

“We think now is the time as we are in the midst of this omicron surge to get as many more people vaccinated as we possibly can,” Roberts said.

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Starting Tuesday, Americans can now order at-home test kits online for free through the federal government by going to covidtests.gov. Every household can order one set of four tests, with shipping expected to start later this month.

“Perfect state would be to have these tests available real-time like right now, and again I wish we could have had this process up and running several months ago, but I think, moving forward in 2022, I'm very grateful we have it,” said OhioHealth Infectious Disease Expert Dr. Joseph Gastaldo.

Categories: Ohio News

New Albany OKs $10M for improvements near proposed computer chip factory site

News Channel 4 - Tue, 01/18/2022 - 19:26

NEW ALBANY, Ohio (WCMH) – New Albany officials took the next step Tuesday toward bringing a tech giant to central Ohio.

New Albany City Council approved spending millions of dollars to improve its business campus, just days after word leaked of plans for a massive computer chip factory would be coming to Licking County.

For the first time, Mayor Sloan Spalding spoke out on what’s next.

‘A little city’: What will New Albany computer chip plant be like?

“Certainly a project of this size, no matter who the end-user is, is going to have a big impact on our region,” Spalding said during a council meeting Tuesday.

Council approved $10 million in economic development funds at the meeting.

While details surrounding the project were vague from council, most of the funds will be used to build water and sewer lines and repair roads, all near the planned site for a proposed massive computer chip factory.

“We look forward to working with our partners to be able to build our business community and increase the jobs for all Ohioans,” Spalding said.

New tech plant coming yields mixed reactions

A Jersey Township trustee told NBC4 the development will be a 10-year project, with more financial backing from the federal government likely to follow, and although he could not confirm which company was building the plant, our partners at Columbus Business First linked the project to Intel.

Earlier this month, New Albany City Council approved the annexation of nearly 3,200 acres of land near the city’s International Business Park.

Spalding would not confirm any of those details but did say the city is committed to the project.

"There's been a lot of interest and speculation about what the final user will be,” he said. “We're having a lot of conversations with interested parties and it’s just too premature to confirm anything.”

Categories: Ohio News

Drawing new Ohio Congressional district maps risks May 3 election, LaRose says

News Channel 4 - Tue, 01/18/2022 - 17:05

COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH)--Ohio's Redistricting Commission is in a race against the clock. The group has less than a week to draw new legislative maps. The seven-member commission met Tuesday due to the state Supreme Court order declaring the district maps unconstitutional.

For Secretary of State Frank LaRose, this is now about moving the deadlines. Ohio's primary is May 3. Before that day, deadlines for things like entering districts, filing for candidacy, voter information, and printing ballots are coming up.

"Let me be clear. The general assembly has ordered me to conduct an election on May 3, and I am committed to that," said LaRose. "Without finality on maps, that starts to become mechanically very impossible very soon."

Congressional map rejected by Ohio Supreme Court

LaRose emphasized getting these maps done and on time is critical to the entire timeline of holding an election, and plans to ask lawmakers for the authority to move those deadlines to allow for the redistricting process.

In the meantime, members of the bipartisan committee expressed determination to get the task finished.

"I'm well aware of the time constraints which makes this process difficult but not impossible," said Speaker of the House Robert Cupp (R) said. "We will all be working diligently to achieve those ends."

"It is hard, but we are smart, we are talented and we are experienced people on this commission," said Representative Allison Russo (D). "I know that we can get this work done."

The commission has until Monday, Jan 24, to redraw statehouse and senate districts. The court ruled that the districts should reflect the preferences of Ohio voters, which is 54 percent Republican, 46 percent Democrat.

Categories: Ohio News

Ohio State University studying effects of COVID-19 shot in cancer patients

News Channel 4 - Tue, 01/18/2022 - 16:53

COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) -- More than 100 cancer patients at the Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center are taking part in a study to detect the effectiveness of COVID-19 vaccines.

Researchers said because cancer patients have altered immune systems, they have a higher chance of contracting the virus.

Since the vaccines have been released, OSU has been testing cancer patients, immunocompromised patients, and others to see how effective the shots have been for different patients.

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New data shows the booster shot provides significantly stronger and broader protection for patients with cancer against COVID-19 and its most recent, highly transmissible variant, omicron.

“We've actually had a low number of patients who are developing symptomatic COVID since they've been vaccinated," said Dr. Jennifer Woyach, a hematologist who specializes in leukemia.

One of the patients, Dave Hill, said part of the reason he participated in the study is due to the great trust he has in OSUCC.

What Ohio’s record-high COVID-19 case numbers mean in mid-January

"If you've had cancer, especially a blood-born cancer, you are immunocompromised no matter what your blood results are showing,” Hill said. “You still have that susceptibility to be immunocompromised, so get the vaccine.”

He said the booster shot has proven to keep him healthy.

"If I can get three booster shots and get little to no reactions, and I am a compromised individual, why would you not want to protect yourself and others?” Hill said. “I would strongly suggest others to get it or seriously reconsider it."

To learn more about the latest study, click here.

Categories: Ohio News

Teacher, parent disagree on remote learning push at Columbus schools

News Channel 4 - Tue, 01/18/2022 - 16:41

COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) -- As the district stands firm on its commitment to providing in-person learning, parents, as well as teachers who called for a two-week pause amidst the omicron surge, are speaking out.

Leo Carter is the parent of an eighth-grader and spoke at a news conference in support of the district’s efforts to keep kids in school. He says virtual is difficult.

“Teachers are real heroes and in this situation of the pandemic we’re going through, that’s like triple fold to me now,” he said.

Mayor Ginther and other Columbus leaders emphasize keeping in-person learning

Last week, the Columbus Education Association, the teachers’ union, released a letter to the public with more than 2,800 signatures calling for a two-week pause on in-person learning.

“It was a learning experience for me to the point that I had to do research with my son and try to help him understand what he was going through,” Carter said. “So, I was actually learning in the process too.”

Columbus Education Association proposed the in-person pause to stabilize staffing issues.

“The learning environment is chaotic. Yes, you’re sending your kid to school, your child to school, teachers are doing the best they possibly can, but in many cases, we’re just warehousing kids,” CEA President John Coneglio said.

Columbus City Schools teachers union urges remote learning

“No one wants to continue with remote teaching we all want to be in the classroom, that’s my place,” said Regina Fuentes, a 23-year teaching veteran who added that in-person teaching can be chaotic under current conditions.

Fuentes said she felt insulted watching the district’s latest news conference with Columbus city officials.

“Truthfully we understand the position that the district is in,” she said. “However, we cannot do our job as professionals if we are sick, if we are not well and if you are taking advantage of those teachers that are well, you know, and loading them down, you’re going to burn out.”

Fuentes added that it's difficult to juggle her own duties as an educator and those of others who call in sick.

Some Columbus City schools adjust to return to remote learning

Carter said for him, the learning environment is key for students.

“They got all these other distractions at home; they’ve got phones, they got siblings, they got pets and video games and everything else to focus on instead of schoolwork,” he said.

Coneglio agreed with one statement by leaders specifically about substitutes.

“We look forward to the mayor coming into our building and substitute teaching along with Dr. Dixon,” he said.

Categories: Ohio News

Shiny, new cars stolen from showroom in Mt. Vernon

News Channel 4 - Tue, 01/18/2022 - 16:17

MT. VERNON, Ohio (WCMH) -- Two shiny, new cars were stolen in the early hours of Thursday morning, and the Knox County Sheriff's Office is looking to find the thieves.

"During the early morning hours of Thursday, the two pictured vehicles were stolen from the Mathew’s Dodge showroom, located on Harcourt Rd.," the sheriff said in a social media post.

Video captured three men, plus a silver SUV, the sheriff's post said.

Anyone with information can call 740-397-3333 ext.1.

Categories: Ohio News

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