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Get out and do something in central Ohio: Aug. 11-16

News Channel 4 - Thu, 08/11/2022 - 04:30

COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) -- From Columbus Beerfest to Kendrick Lamar live at the Schottenstein Center, there’s no shortage of things to do in central Ohio. 

Americana Night at the Columbus Commons: Aug. 11
Music by Angela Perley and Aaron Lee Tasjan, with food trucks and bars.
Columbus Commons – 160 S. High St. Details. 5:30 p.m. 

All Ohio Balloon Fest: Aug. 11-13
Featuring vendors, live entertainment, hot air balloons shaped like Darth Vader, Yoda, and more. 
Union County Airport – 15000 Weaver Rd. Tickets. Times vary. 

“The Wrong Man” and “High Society” – CAPA Summer Movie Series: Aug. 11-14 
The 53rd CAPA Summer Movie Series, the longest-running classic film series in the U.S., will show “The Wrong Man” and “High Society” this weekend. 
Ohio Theatre – 39 E. State St. Tickets. Times vary. 

Franklinton Fridays: Aug. 12 
On the second Friday of each month, the Franklin Arts District welcomes guests to a family-friendly event featuring live performances, local artists, and businesses. 
Franklinton Arts District – 400 W. Rich St. Details. 6 p.m. 

PLAN AHEAD: Light isolated shower Thursday, with drier, cooler air on the way

Dirty Dozen Brass Band: Aug. 12 
Join the Dirty Dozen Brass Band as part of Rhythm on the River, a free six-part concert and performing arts series. 
Bicentennial Park – 233 Civic Center Dr. Details. 6:30 p.m. 

Ted Nugent: Aug. 12
Ted Nugent comes to Columbus with special guest Rick Monroe and The Hitmen. 
Kemba Live! – 405 Neil Ave. Tickets. 7 p.m. 

African American Male Wellness Walk: Aug. 13 
NBC4 is proud to partner with the African American Male Wellness Agency for the 2022 African American Male Wellness Walk and Black Men’s Health Week, in support of eliminating health disparities and racism in our community.
Livingston Park – 760 E. Livingston Ave. Details. 7 a.m. 

Columbus Beerfest: Aug. 13
Sample more than 150 local and craft brews, as well as new craft wineries and distilleries. 
Kemba Live! – 405 Neil Ave. Tickets. Times vary. 

Columbus City Schools contract talks end with no agreement

Festival Latino: Aug. 13-14 
Celebrating 25 years, the festival is a family-friendly event with activities, music, food, and more. 
Genoa Park – 303 W. Broad St. Details. 11 a.m. 

Kendrick Lamar: Aug. 16
Kendrick Lamar brings his “The Big Steppers” tour to Columbus. 
Schottenstein Center – 555 Borror Dr. Tickets. 7:30 p.m. 

Central Ohio Farmers Markets: Through summer
Central Ohio is home to an abundance of farmers’ markets offering fresh, locally grown produce, held every weekend during the summer months. Find your local market here.  

Central Ohio County Fairs: Through summer and fall 
July through October, central Ohio is home to a number of county fairs with classic rides, games, live entertainment, and food. Find your local county fair here

Disney+, Hulu, ESPN+ prices to increase: Here are the new costs, and when they’ll change

For more events, view NBC4’s community calendar.

Categories: Ohio News

Woman found dead after Columbus shooting, police say

News Channel 4 - Thu, 08/11/2022 - 03:56

COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) - Police are looking for a person of interest after a Wednesday evening shooting left a woman dead.

Crime scene tape is set up around an apartment complex the morning of Aug. 11, 2022, after a shooting left a woman dead there. (NBC4 Photo/Ronald Clark)

Officers went around 8:30 p.m. to the 2100 block of Parkville Court on reports of a shooting. When they got to the area near the Northland neighborhood, they found a 25-year-old woman lying on an apartment's floor unresponsive, according to the Columbus Division of Police.

Car falls 50 feet in deadly Columbus quarry crash

Medical crews arrived and pronounced the woman dead at 8:40 p.m., CPD said. It is waiting to release her identity until after officers notify family members.

While CPD did not release a suspect description, it did add that investigators are looking for a person of interest who could be in a 2014 Beige Hyundai, with Ohio license plate #JNY3407. It asked anyone who sees the car to avoid approaching anyone around or in it, and to call 911.

Categories: Ohio News

Mount Vernon man describes horror of crash that killed his wife

News Channel 4 - Thu, 08/11/2022 - 03:30

COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) -- It's the last thing Levi O'Rourke sees at night as he's falling asleep -- his wife slumped over the steering wheel.

From his wheelchair at Ohio State University's Wexner Medical Center, O'Rourke, who requested to share his story publicly, said he feels like he's living in a nightmare.

Car falls 50 feet in deadly Columbus quarry crash

On Aug. 1, O'Rourke, his wife, Samantha, and two children drove home from his job in Lancaster to Knox County. Samantha was full of happy news. She'd climbed the smokestack tower in Mount Vernon earlier in the day with her son Austin, 14.

Samantha O'Rourke and son Austin Sheridan-Carter, 14, after climbing the smokestack tower in Mt. Vernon. Levi O'Rourke said this is the last picture she sent to him. (Courtesy Photo/Levi O'Rourke)

"My wife called me about midday, and you could hear her joy," O'Rourke, 33, of Amity, said this week. "She was excited. And she said, 'You wouldn't believe what Austin and I are doing.'

"I said, 'What?' and she said, 'We're walking down from the top of the tower.' He made it all the way up, all the eight platforms. I got to tell that boy how proud I was of him.

Woman found dead after Columbus shooting, police say

"That was the last photo I got from her phone. It was them two at the top of the tower."

Now Austin is fighting to regain his health at Nationwide Children's Hospital. The child was sitting behind his mother during the car accident that claimed her life hours later.

Levi O'Rourke and his wife, Samantha, with their family. (Courtesy Photo/Levi O'Rourke) An ordinary drive

Austin, his sister Arianna Faith O'Neil, 9, and Samantha headed to Lancaster in their Hyundai Elantra to pick Levi up from his job as a truck driver in Lancaster.

"We got a couple miles from Fredericktown," O'Rourke said. "We were all just talking, general conversation, and voicing how proud I was on that accomplishment of his, and asking Arianna how her day was. As I'm looking outside the right-hand side of the windshield, my wife said, 'What the heck.'"

A Chevrolet Silverado driven by Vince Arthur, 36, of Reineyville, Kentucky, went left of center and struck O'Rourke's car head on, according to the report from Ohio State Highway Patrol.

Mother seeks to help others in memory of her two murdered children

"I reached my hand up trying to get to the steering wheel; I was going to try to get us to the ditch," O'Rourke said. He cleared his throat. "And I didn't even get my hand to the center console before the impact. I could feel the impact and that momentum instantly moved us the other way.

"I'd never felt nothing with so much force in my life."

Wreckage

O'Rourke said he called out to the others in car.

"Nobody's responding," he said. "I couldn't move. I didn't know I was pinned in by the dash. My leg and hip and pelvis were broke. …

"People pulled me out the car, and as they did, I could feel my ankle slope and my hip and I hear my daughter crying over beside me on the side, on the grass with these people trying to help her to lay flat. I told her, 'Stay calm, baby, just listen to them, be calm and it will be all right.'"

The responders pulled O'Rourke and Arianna from the car first, and the rescue effort quickly escalated to calling in air medical services. Samantha and Austin were still inside the car.

"I saw my wife slumped over that damn steering wheel," O'Rourke said. "My oldest son was sloped over the back of her seat, and neither one of them was moving."

Four helicopters, then three

Then came the change in their situation that gave O'Rourke the sense of how bad the accident was.

"I heard them order four helicopters: one for Grant, one for OSU, and two for Nationwide Children's. And by the time they got Austin out of the car, I heard that officer on the radio cancel the one for Grant."

Austin had the most severe injuries and left first by air for Columbus.

"Nobody was pulling my wife out of the car, and no one was doing CPR on her. She was just there. I was trying to figure out what was going on with my wife. Nobody would tell me.

Franklinton non-profit searching for a new home

"When I got down here at OSU, I wasn't giving them no grief, I don't think. but I was pretty rowdy. I needed to know what was going on, and I needed to know what to do for my kids and my wife. As I'm asking, this fella says, 'Man, do you want to know the truth?' And I said, 'Yeah, that's why I'm asking you. If you asked me, I'd be honest with you.'

"Just tell me what's going on so I know what I have to do as a dad."

O'Rourke choked back tears as he remembered what the medic told him.

"He said, 'Buddy, she never made it out of the car.'"

A wife who stood by her husband

"My whole life changed right then and there. Every moment of my life that I have had, nobody's just stood by me for every single part. No matter what I was doing, she always did."

Then O'Rourke had to make the call to his children who weren't in the car, the call no parent even wants to think about.

(Courtesy Photo/Levi O'Rourke)

O'Rourke said Austin and Arianna remain in the hospital.

Vernon Church is appealing to people to help the O'Rourke family rebuild, and has set up a page for donations.

One man is in jail

Arthur, the driver of the Silverado, is facing charges including aggravated vehicular homicide. He is being held in the Knox County Jail on a $100,000 bond.

Knox County Prosecutor Chip McConville said his team will be alleging that Arthur was impaired by alcohol when the accident occurred.

Mount Vernon Law Director Rob Broeren said the bar where Arthur may have been drinking is under investigation by state officials.

Vince G. Arthur, 36, of Rineyville, Kentucky, is held in Knox County Jail under a $100,000 bond, and charged with OVI, Vehicular Assault, and Aggravated Vehicular Homicide. (Courtesy Photo/Knox County Sheriff's Office)
Categories: Ohio News

Car goes underwater in deadly Columbus quarry crash

News Channel 4 - Thu, 08/11/2022 - 02:53

COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) - One person died Thursday morning after their car smashed through a fence and fell into a quarry, according to Columbus emergency crews at the scene.

The crash happened in the McKinley Avenue Corridor near the intersection with West 5th Avenue, sending a water rescue call out around 2:45 a.m. The car was going 80 to 90 miles per hour when it smashed through a fence there and fell into the quarry below, according to the Columbus Division of Police.

Columbus firefighters tried to use a ladder at first to get the person's body out after the crash, but they couldn't reach it. At 3:50 a.m., emergency crews at the scene pronounced one person dead after pulling them out of the car. CPD said with the car around 50 feet below the water's surface as of 4:45 a.m., an underwater search and rescue team and boat crews came out to assist.

CPD has not released any identifying information about the body or how the car got into the water, and remained at the scene to investigate the crash.

Categories: Ohio News

Light isolated shower Thursday, with drier, cooler air on the way

News Channel 4 - Thu, 08/11/2022 - 02:40
Columbus and Central Ohio Weather QUICK WEATHER FORECAST:
  • Today: Partly sunny, iso. PM shower, high 80
  • Tonight: Clearing clouds, low 58
  • Friday: Mostly sunny, high 78
  • Saturday: Mainly sunny, high 81
  • Sunday: Sct'd showers & storms, high 75
  • Monday: PM rain & storms, high 79
FORECAST DISCUSSION:

Happy Thursday!

We've got mainly clear skies to start the day off as high pressure builds in from Canada into the Ohio Valley. As we head into the afternoon, a passing cold front could trigger a few isolated showers. We'll see a few clouds building in along that front this afternoon, before breaking back up as we head toward the evening. Highs today will top out near 80. As we head toward this evening and into the overnight, humidity will start to drop as a northerly breeze funnels drier air in.

We'll see mainly sunny skies on Friday, with lowered humidity, back into a more pleasant category, and highs topping out in the upper 70s, making for an unseasonably cool day in August.

Sunshine sticks around as we head into Saturday, with highs a little warmer, but still below normal, topping out in the lower 80s.

A disturbance will drift across the region later in the weekend, bringing some showers beginning on Sunday and lingering into early next week. Highs will dip down into the mid-70s with clouds and occasional rain.

-McKenna

Categories: Ohio News

New facility offers Columbus first responders help with mental wellbeing

News Channel 4 - Wed, 08/10/2022 - 21:13

COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) – There is a new facility in Columbus that serves those who serve families in the city.

The new Public Safety Wellness Center opened in July and is geared to helping fire and police personnel overcome challenges that affect their personal lives.

“I started in police work, really, over 30 years ago,” said Columbus Division of Police Cmdr. Dave Hughes. “You were taught, ‘You’re going to see a lot of stuff. You’re going just to have to deal with it, go to the next call,’ and what we’ve learned over time is that stuff just builds up.”

That aspect of the job is why the new center is so important.

“It really helps with a wide variety, whether it’s mental health, counseling, folks that may be battling different types of addiction and challenges, substance abuse, in a safe place,” said Columbus Mayor Andrew Ginther.

The $3.2 million facility serves current police officers, firefighters, recruits, and dispatchers.

“When they’re in need, it’s a really hard thing for them to come forward and say, ‘You know, I’m not doing so good,’” said Lisa Callander, director of the city’s Employee Assistance Program. “’I might be doing okay in my job, but I need some help with my family, my kid, my marriage,’ whatever that might be.”

The facility offers a yoga/workout room, kitchen, classroom, podcast studio, and spaces for first responders to have private, personal conversations about their stressors.

“Sometimes, our peers talk to their peers and they don’t need anything else,” Callander said. “They just need someone who understands those shoes that they walk in.”

And to do so in a safe place off limits to the public.

“We heard from a lot of police officers and firefighters that they would be a lot more willing to accept some of these services to take advantage of some of these resources if they knew it could be kept confidential,” Ginther said.

“Since I’ve been on, it was taboo to see a counselor,” Hughes said. “It was taboo to e referred outside. Through Lisa’s work and her team, they’ve really made it more acceptable.”

Ginther said he'd like to expand the center's staff and eventually make services available to the divisions' retirees.

To protect those seeking services and to prevent the location of the building from being disclosed, the city did not allow NBC4 on site, but did provide video for this story.

Categories: Ohio News

Franklin County report shows fentanyl plays role in most fatal overdoses

News Channel 4 - Wed, 08/10/2022 - 21:01

COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) – The Franklin County Coroner’s Office has released its annual overdose fatalities report, providing a snapshot of who is overdosing in Franklin County as well as the drugs involved.

Fentanyl-related deaths continue to account for the majority of overdoses, but Franklin County Coroner Dr. Anahi Ortiz said her office is more frequently seeing it mixed with other drugs.

The report paints a picture of those who died as a result of an overdose. While Ortiz said many of the statistics included in the latest report come as no surprise, there are some findings that are not on trend, and highlight a growing and concerning issue among central Ohio drug users.

Mother seeks to help others in memory of her two murdered children

"So we did start to see a decrease from 2020, which is a good sign,” Ortiz said.

She said while there are some victories in her office’s 2021 Drug Overdose Fatalities Data drive overall, the picture is still similar to previous years: fentanyl plays a significant role in overdoses in Franklin County.

"And unfortunately, 89 percent of those who died it was fentanyl-related in one way or another,” Ortiz said.

In 2021, Ortiz’s office recorded 825 overdose deaths, and although slightly lower than 859 deaths in 2020, this year’s deaths are much higher than the 556 recorded in 2019.

Ortiz said the new data shows it isn’t fentanyl alone contributing to fatal overdoses. In 2021, Franklin County saw a decrease in the single substance use among those who died, and an increase in polysubstance, or multiple substances, use with most overdoses involving two different or three different drugs.

Arrest made in fatal shooting that killed mom caught in crossfire

“The two higher combinations are fentanyl plus cocaine and fentanyl plus methamphetamine,” Ortiz said. “We have seen it (cocaine and fentanyl) in the past, but it’s getting higher and higher each year.”

Other findings from the report show:

  • Although a majority of overdose decedents were non-Hispanic white males, the county is seeing a gradual decrease in that population and an increase in overdoses from African American males and females.
  • Overdoses among those who identify as homeless are also rising. Ortiz said she witnessed an increase of deaths listed as "the streets of Columbus,” and data reveals that group has experienced a five percent increase since 2017.

Ortiz said the report is distributed to local agencies and health departments and, from there, the data is used to help cater or focus services based on trends and need.

The coroner's office's full report is below.

Overdose_2017_2021_Report_220024Download
Categories: Ohio News

Mother seeks to help others in memory of her two murdered children

News Channel 4 - Wed, 08/10/2022 - 17:19

CANAL WINCHESTER, Ohio (WCMH) – A central Ohio mother dealing with unimaginable loss is keeping her children’s memories alive while helping others.

In December 2021, 22-year-old Charles Wade, 9-year-old Demetrius Wall-Neal, and his 6-year-old sister Londynn were all shot and killed while sitting in a car.

The children’s mother is putting together a school supply drive in their honor.

Shooters in triple homicide saw child victims get into car, police say

Londynn would have been getting ready for first grade at Indian Trail Elementary, while her brother Demetrius would have been in fifth grade this year at the school next door.

The children were in a car with their mother’s boyfriend when all three were killed in what one detective described as one of the most cowardly homicides he ever dealt with.

Brittany, the children’s mother, wants all three lives to be remembered.

This Saturday, along with other family and friends, she is holding a back-to-school drive in her children’s honor.

The event will be held from noon to 4 p.m. outside Indian Trail Elementary School, 6767 Gender Road in Canal Winchester.

The family is hoping to collect enough school supplies to help at least 50 children have everything they need to start the school year.

20 children died from bullet wounds in Columbus in 2021

Brittany said it is the kind of thing her children would do if they were here.

"I would be getting Demetrius and Londynn ready for, Londynn would have been in the first grade, Demetrius would have been going into fifth grade and I’m not able to do that,” she said. “So, I want to help other kids get ready for school."

"It is keeping their memory alive and being able to honor them and give back to the community at the same time,” said Arnetta Davis, a friend of the family.

Police have yet to make an arrest in the case and are continuing to look for any information that may help solve it.

Anyone with any information is asked to contact Columbus police at 614-645-4545 or Ohio CrimeStoppers at 614-461-TIPS or online at stopcrime.org.

Categories: Ohio News

Franklinton non-profit searching for a new home

News Channel 4 - Wed, 08/10/2022 - 16:00

COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) -- With open arms and hearts, Jericho's Light Club has welcomed the poor and disadvantaged into its doors, offering meals and ministry to those in need.

"They feel human, is the first thing that they tell us, they feel loved, they feel welcomed," said Royal Schultz, administrator for Jericho's Light Club, which is affiliated with One Way Street Ministries.

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Schultz said the impact in the Franklinton community has been felt for more than 15 years, and they treat each individual who walks in as family.

"That may change their heart, and if you change their heart, it changes their life," Schultz said.

However, as a non-profit which relies heavily on donor support, Schultz said the club has struggled during the pandemic. Due to a clause in its lease agreement, he said the group's time in the building will come to a close at the end of the month. But, he's more concerned for those that they serve.

"They fear that they're not going to have a place to eat, they fear that they're going to be out there invisible again, or considered the dredge of society," Schultz said.

It's why Jericho's Light Club is working to come up with a plan to feed and fellowship with people on the street until it can eventually find a new home in the community.

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"We definitely need volunteers," Schultz said. "We need volunteer serving groups as well, but we aren't pushing for that until we find a place where we can stay."

The ministry will have its normally scheduled services on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday before closing its doors to the public.

Categories: Ohio News

Columbus man gets life in prison for stabbing 23-year-old woman to death

News Channel 4 - Wed, 08/10/2022 - 15:59

COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) -- A Columbus man will spend the rest of his life behind bars for stabbing a 23-year-old woman to death.

A Franklin County judge sentenced William Elliott, 48, to life without parole on Wednesday after a jury found him guilty of several counts related to the March 2020 murder of Maria Best, according to a news release from Franklin County Prosecuting Attorney G. Gary Tyack.

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Best, 23, was found dead inside an apartment on the 1400 block of Phale D. Hale Drive, with multiple stab wounds and a slit throat -- one day after she called police to request that Elliott and others be removed from her home due to allegations of violence, Tyack said.

With the help of a co-defendant, who Tyack did not name, Elliott "restrained, kicked, taunted, and repeatedly stabbed Best for several hours."

Witnesses reportedly told investigators that prior to Best's murder, they heard Elliott talking about revenge at an apartment next door to Best's home.

Police said they found a knife in the trash outside Best's apartment. Tyack said traces of Best's DNA was found on the knife's blade and handle. Rubber gloves found in the trash also had traces of DNA matching both Best and Elliott, Tyack said.

Man wanted in four different central Ohio areas for various crimes

The judge sentenced Elliott -- who was found guilty of aggravated murder, aggravated burglary, kidnapping and tampering with evidence -- to life in prison without parole for the murder count, Tyack said.

Elliott also received two 11-year prison sentences, one for the aggravated burglary count and a second for kidnapping, that will run consecutively, according to Tyack. He received a 36-month sentence for tampering with evidence, which will run concurrently with the other counts.

The judge tacked on an additional five years since Elliott is a repeat violent offender.

Categories: Ohio News

Will central Ohio gas prices continue to go down?

News Channel 4 - Wed, 08/10/2022 - 15:39

COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) -- Gas prices are the one place people are seeing some inflation relief at this time but how long is that going to last?

The average gas price for a gallon in central Ohio is around $3.68. That is about 33 cents below the national average of around $4.01. The price of gas in Ohio has dropped around 91 cents in the last month but that doesn’t mean gas will be cheap at every pump you stop at. Some people say they are tired of the pain at the pump.

“I really had to crunch numbers and really figure out how much money I had to spend to get where I needed to go,” Jeramy West said.

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Even with the relief, some people are saying the price of gas is still too high for business reasons and personal reasons.

“It's still too high. It’s way too high. I mean, you celebrate you get happy but why are you happy about 3.80 a gallon? It’s way too high. But I am happier than when it was 5 something,” said Jesse Poole.

NBC4 drove around Columbus Wednesday to check out the price of gas in the area. The highest number we saw was $3.79 and the lowest we found was $3.07 at the Sheetz in Grandview.

AAA spokesperson Kimberly Schwind said the prices at two gas stations right next to each other can be completely different for a number of reasons.

“Where did that gas station get its gasoline? What refinery did it come from? What's the gas station across the street selling gas for? What's their overhead costs at that gas station,” Schwind said.

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Schwind said the biggest factor is the price of crude oil which has dropped around 30 dollars per barrel last week. She said that number can change at any moment if there is a natural disaster or other global event. So she said when it comes to predicting if gas prices will continue to fall next month, it's never easy.

“Nobody really has a crystal ball as to where they are going to go. The trend that we are seeing right now is because of concerns of economic slow downs across the globe. We are seeing those crude oil prices fall and so that is giving us some relief at the pump,” Schwind said.

Right now the highest average price of gas in our viewing area is in Athens County, sitting at around 3-dollars and 90 cents a gallon. The highest in the state is near Cincinnati.

Categories: Ohio News

Why Ohio's attorney general is suing the Biden Administration

News Channel 4 - Wed, 08/10/2022 - 15:30

COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) -- A lawsuit against the Biden Administration, filed last month by Ohio's top lawyer and 21 other attorneys general, is pushing back on a policy that they said could impact school lunches.

In May, the Department of Agriculture announced that it will expand its Title IX protections to include gender identity and sexual orientation. It reads, “Agencies that receive funds from food and nutrition services must investigate allegations of discrimination based on gender identity or sexual orientation.”

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Ohio State Senator Nickie Antonio (D-Lakewood) said this is good and that no protection is too much.

“When a policy identifies and says we want to make sure these people are not discriminated against, these people will have access, that’s an insurance policy,” Antonio said.

Ohio’s Attorney General David Yost is urging Biden to withdraw that guidance. In a statement, Yost said this policy is “literally converting carrots into sticks and using them to beat a political agenda into local schools.”

In a letter to the Biden Administration, Yost, along with 21 other AGs, said, “The inevitable result is regulatory chaos that would threaten essential nutritional services to some of our most vulnerable citizens.”

“It’s pathetic, it’s sad, that something that was meant to open up the circle and be inclusive has been seen by these small-minded individuals to establish a case against it,” Antonio said.

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Yost said another issue with the new USDA guidance is the way it came about. He said other states and stakeholders did not have the opportunity to provide input.

“It seems to me like there’s a lot of other things that the attorney general can be spending his time, and his tax dollars, dealing with,” Antonio said.

About one of 100,000 schools rely on federal funding to provide free or reduced-priced meals for their students.

Categories: Ohio News

Arrest made in fatal shooting that killed mom in crossfire

News Channel 4 - Wed, 08/10/2022 - 15:18

COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) -- A 16-year-old boy is facing homicide charges after being arrested Wednesday in connection with a mid-July shooting that left a woman dead in east Columbus.

The suspect, who was arrested Wednesday by Columbus SWAT, is facing reckless homicide and weapons charges for the shooting outside a store on the 3200 block of East Broad Street on July 16.

NBC4 does not name juveniles under 17 unless they are actively being searched for or are being charged as an adult.

Convicted rapist of 7-year-old appeals Ohio prison sentence

Police said Lelia King, 30, was shot while inside her car when two separate parties exchanged gunfire.

After a citizen provided medical aid to King, medics arrived and took her to Mt. Carmel East Hospital. She was pronounced dead at 11:07 p.m., according to police.

According to a friend, King was at the store to buy snacks for a movie night with her five-year-old daughter.

The suspect was processed at Columbus Police headquarters and taken to the Franklin County Juvenile Detention Center.

This was the 74th homicide in Columbus in 2022.

Categories: Ohio News

Last Columbus officer cleared of criminal misconduct during George Floyd protests

News Channel 4 - Wed, 08/10/2022 - 15:17

COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) - The last of three Columbus Division of Police officers accused of misconduct during the city's summer 2020 protests has now avoided criminal charges.

Special Prosecutor Brad Nicodemus confirmed to NBC4 that he plans to file to dismiss charges of assault, dereliction of duty and interfering with civil rights against Officer Phillip Walls on Monday. Walls was the last of three members of CPD that was facing trial over accusations about their conduct during protests after the death of George Floyd.

Convicted rapist of 7-year-old appeals Ohio prison sentence

The team of special prosecutors announced at the end of May that they wouldn't file charges against any other CPD officers. Of the three that did see charges, Sergeant Holly Kanode was the only one to go to trial. She had waived her right to a jury, so her attorneys and prosecutors both made their cases to Judge James P. O'Grady, who would return a verdict. O'Grady found Kanode not guilty of charges related to her lying to a fellow police officer about what a protester was doing.

Officer Traci Shaw also saw her charges, stemming from a claim she pepper-sprayed four protesters, dismissed on July 20. The person who made the complaint against her agreed to drop it in exchange for a meeting with the officer, according to the prosecutors. The complainant also wanted Shaw to agree to additional training.

One dead, I-270 closed after crash in east Columbus

Another special prosecutor on the case, Kathleen Garber, resigned the day after Shaw's acquittal. She also filed to remove O'Grady as the judge in the duo's cases before both were cleared. Garber accused O'Grady of admitting bias for CPD and the Fraternal Order of Police in her filing, but the Ohio Supreme Court denied her request to find a new judge.

Categories: Ohio News

Career fair part of the African American Male Wellness Agency's Black Men's Health Week

News Channel 4 - Wed, 08/10/2022 - 15:17

COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) — The African American Male Wellness Agency held a career fair Tuesday.

The hiring event was part of Black Men's Health Week. The theme was “Life Works When You Work” and the goals included helping those who are unemployed, in need of a career change, or are looking for a more fulfilling job.

NBC4 proud sponsor of 2022 African American Male Wellness Walk and Black Men’s Health Week

The National Center for Urban Solutions partnered with the agency to hold the fair. Organizers say it is important to make sure people of color are aware of the opportunities to better their lives and careers.

"We see a lot of times where our community is stagnant when it comes to progression and upskilling and we like to tap into our communities to really establish that workforce and bring awareness to different opportunities for people of color and different diversities and minorities," said Deondre Kirksey, of the National Center for Urban Solutions.

Dozens of employers were at the event — some were hiring on the spot.

Categories: Ohio News

One dead, I-270 closed after crash in east Columbus

News Channel 4 - Wed, 08/10/2022 - 13:35

COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) -- The I-270 southbound collector is closed on the west side of Columbus near East Livingston Road and I-70 Wednesday afternoon due to a crash.

According to Columbus police, one person was pronounced dead at 3:14 p.m.

Details about what caused the accident have not been released. Police said the accident investigation unit is investigating the cause of the crash.

Traffic camera footage from the area does appear to show a tractor-trailer truck being involved in the crash.

There is no further information about other injuries at this time.

This story will be updated when more information becomes available.

Categories: Ohio News

Columbus City Schools contract talks end with no agreement

News Channel 4 - Wed, 08/10/2022 - 13:20

COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) – Negotiations between Ohio’s largest school district and its teachers’ union have stalled once again, with both Columbus City Schools and the Columbus Education Association (CEA) expressing frustration with Wednesday’s lack of progress.

The two sides, along with a federal mediator, met for a good part of the morning and early afternoon Wednesday in hopes of coming to an agreement before the start of the school year in less than two weeks.

Following Wednesday's meeting, the board claimed the union did not present a comprehensive counteroffer while union leaders said it presented a comprehensive non-economic package.

In addition to not reaching an agreement, both sides did not schedule any further bargaining sessions.

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“We are extraordinarily disappointed about today’s bargaining session,” said CCS school board president Jennifer Adair. “While we came to the table ready to negotiate and ready to consider a comprehensive counter to the Board’s offer, CEA has not responded in good faith.”

“It is disappointing in the fact that you know we offered them a comprehensive non-economic package and they did not respond to it at all,” said CEA President John Coneglio. “So we did offer them something. The only thing that they said to us was back to their final offer.”

CEA voted unanimously on Aug. 4 to authorize a 10-day strike notice. A few days later, the board said it preparing “alternative outcomes” should a strike happen.

According to the union, some of the sticking points in the contract include HVAC issues in district schools, recruiting and retaining teachers, and smaller class sizes.

Both sides have filed unfair labor practice complaints with the State Employment Relations Board: the union in July and the board earlier this month.

“It is impossible to bargain when the other side is not contributing to the conversion,” Adair said. “These are the same behaviors outlined in the unfair labor practice charge we filed. Today was our 20th bargaining season since March. We are ready and willing to meet as many times as it takes to reach an agreement, providing that CEA is ready to have productive conversations.”

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Wednesday’s meeting was the first time the two sides met for negotiations since the district offered what it called its final offer on July 29.

“What we need to focus on is getting a fair contract right, but it is my job, it’s incumbent upon me to make sure that our union is prepared to take whatever steps are necessary and so right now, I want to concentrate on bargaining,” Coneglio said.

CEA leadership said on Thursday that it will be filing a notice to strike with the State Employment Relations Board, the next step the union needs to take to prepare for a strike.

Coneglio said CEA plans another mass meeting on Aug. 21, the day the current teachers' contract expires, to discuss the next steps regarding a potential strike. The first day for students is Aug. 24.

Categories: Ohio News

Convicted rapist of 7-year-old appeals Ohio prison sentence

News Channel 4 - Wed, 08/10/2022 - 12:32

See an earlier report above from when the jury reached its verdict in the Charles Castle case.

KENTON, Ohio (WCMH) -- A Hardin County man sentenced to prison for raping a 7-year-old is appealing his case.

Charles Eugene Castle, 57, filed an appeal with the Hardin County Court of Common Pleas Wednesday in hopes that a higher court will reconsider a judge's decision in late July to sentence him to prison until he is 102 years old, according to court records.

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The six-day trial ended with a jury finding Castle guilty of 16 criminal counts -- including rape, kidnapping and attempted murder -- after he took a 7-year-old girl from her home overnight on Nov. 11, 2021 and raped her in his nearby camper.

Days after he was convicted, a Hardin County judge handed Castle a mandatory prison sentence of a minimum of 35 years and a maximum life sentence of 40.5 years, plus another 10 years to life. At that point, Castle will be at least 102 years old, according to court records.

The judge also required Castle to be categorized as a Tier III sex offender, court records state.

Man wanted in four different central Ohio areas for various crimes

After a 911 call triggered a two-day search for the 7-year-old, the girl was found alone, locked in the basement of an abandoned farmhouse on County Road 180 that prosecutors linked to Castle. Throughout the trial, Hardin County prosecutor Brad Bailey argued Castle, then a friend of the victim’s father, took her from her home in the middle of the night, raped her, and tried to conceal her location from her parents.

“His purpose wasn’t to reunite her with her family, which he’s known for years,” Bailey said. “His purpose was to make sure she didn’t remain alive.”

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Castle’s defense attorney Elizabeth Smith, however, contended during the trial that police arrested the wrong man, finding an “easy target” and “easy suspect” in Castle within hours of the 7-year-old going missing.

Castle was found guilty on all 16 counts:

  • Seven counts of kidnapping
  • One count of rape
  • One count of attempted murder
  • One count of assault
  • One count of endangering children
  • One count of burglary
  • Three counts of tampering with evidence
  • One count of breaking and entering
Categories: Ohio News

Relief from the muggy weather will be followed by hint of fall

News Channel 4 - Wed, 08/10/2022 - 11:17

A cold front will slowly push south of Ohio, leaving behind gray skies and patchy drizzle, with scattered showers and storms farther south. Temperatures will hover in the low to mid-70s behind the front. Skies will gradually clear overnight, allowing readings to cool into the upper 50s over northern and western parts of the state for the first time this month.

A secondary cold front could trigger a few midday showers Thursday, with skies alternating between sun and clouds. Readings will top out near 80 degrees. Behind the front, much cooler and drier air will move in to start the weekend, after a steamy start to August.

Sunshine will be abundant Saturday, with a few clouds. A disturbance will drift across the region later in the weekend, bringing some showers beginning on Sunday and lingering into early next week. Highs will dip down into the mid-70s with clouds and occasional rain.

Forecast
  • Wednesday: Cloudy, cooler, spotty drizzle. High 79
  • Tonight: Gradual clearing. Low 62
  • Thursday: Partly sunny, passing shower p.m.. High 80 (62)
  • Friday: Pleasant sunshine. High 78 (57)
  • Saturday: Sunny. High 79 (56)
  • Sunday: Clouds return, few showers. High 77 (60)
  • Monday: Showers linger. High 76 (62)
  • Tuesday: More showers. High 74 (64)
Categories: Ohio News

16-year-old arrested for shooting death of 18-year-old in southeast Columbus

News Channel 4 - Wed, 08/10/2022 - 10:41

COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) -- Police say SWAT officers arrested a teenager Tuesday in connection with the shooting death of an 18-year-old man in southeast Columbus in July.

Columbus police arrested a 16-year-old boy without incident and slated him at the Franklin County Juvenile Detention Center for the murder of Nelson Conley Jr. on July 6.

Man wanted in four different central Ohio areas for various crimes

At 11 a.m. on July 6, a 911 caller reported finding a male victim lying in an alley in the 1000 block of Ellsworth Avenue. Officers arrived and saw Conley with a gunshot wound. He was pronounced him dead at 11:05 a.m.

It marked the 67th homicide in Columbus in 2022.

NBC4 does not normally name minors in crimes unless they have been charged as an adult

Categories: Ohio News

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