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Columbus police looking for suspect who shot man near Tootsies Lounge

News Channel 4 - Wed, 08/10/2022 - 09:25

COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) -- Columbus police are requesting the public's help in identifying a suspect accused of shooting a 33-year-old man near Tootsies Lounge.

One week after police responded to reports of a shooting on the city's south side on Aug. 3, the Columbus Division of Police released a photo of the suspect, whose image was captured on a surveillance camera, in hopes of tracking him down.

Columbus police are searching for a suspect accused of fatally shooting a 33-year-old man near Tootsies Bar on the south side of Columbus on Wednesday, Aug. 3. (Courtesy Photo/Columbus Division of Police) Man wanted in four different central Ohio areas for various crimes

Just after midnight on Aug. 3, police arrived at the 2000 block of South High Street where they found a 33-year-old man who was shot in the torso, according to police.

The victim was taken to a local hospital in critical condition, where he was "rushed into surgery," police said. It is unclear what condition the victim is currently in, but police told NBC4 on Aug. 3 that he is expected to survive.

Anyone with information about the shooting is encouraged to contact Columbus Division of Police Felony Assault Unit at 614-645-4141 or the Central Ohio Crime Stoppers at 614-461-8477.

Categories: Ohio News

Chick-fil-A offering free breakfast items in Columbus

News Channel 4 - Wed, 08/10/2022 - 07:33

COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) -- For the next month and a half, Columbus residents will have multiple opportunities to get free breakfast from Chick-fil-A.

Every Wednesday from August 10 to September 28, Chick-fil-A restaurants in the area will offer a surprise free breakfast item to everyone who goes to dine-in or drive-thru.

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The days the promotion is offered will be:

August 10

August 17

August 24

August 31

September 7

September 14

September 21

September 28

The restaurant says that a different, free breakfast item will be available each week from 6:30 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. at participating Columbus Chick-fil-A's.

For more information, click here.

Categories: Ohio News

Man wanted in four different central Ohio areas for various crimes

News Channel 4 - Wed, 08/10/2022 - 05:00

COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) -- Central Ohio Crime Stoppers are looking for a man wanted in four different jurisdictions of the central Ohio area for a variety of crimes.

Aaron Schwartz is wanted for multiple felonies and misdemeanor warrants in Columbus, Reynoldsburg, Westerville, and Licking County that include:

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  • Misdemeanor for criminal damaging
Reynoldsburg:
  • Stolen license plate
Westerville:
  • Cyber stalking
  • Three counts of violation of a protection with a previous conviction
Licking County:
  • Violation of a court order
  • Telecommunications harassment
  • Two counts of criminal damaging and trespass
  • Violation of a protection order
  • Failure to appear

Police say Schwartz was last seen near the 1900 block of Lockbourne Avenue in south Columbus as well as the area near College Avenue and East Livingston Avenue. He is known to drive a 2014 silver Honda Civic and is believed to have lost weight since the picture you can see below.

Flier for Aaron Schwartz (Central Ohio Crime Stoppers)

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

Anyone with information can call the Central Ohio Crime Stoppers at 614-461-8477 or send a tip to stopcrime.org. All tips are anonymous.

Categories: Ohio News

Sailor sunk in Pearl Harbor to be buried in Chillicothe

News Channel 4 - Wed, 08/10/2022 - 04:30

CHILLICOTHE, Ohio (WCMH) -- He was the first person to be reported missing from Ross County during World War II, and he's one of the last to come home.

Musician 1st Class Joseph W. "Hope" Hoffman of Chillicothe went down with the USS Oklahoma the morning of Dec. 7, 1941, at Pearl Harbor.

He never saw active combat.

Taken by surprise

"The tragedy is that he didn't go off to war," said Lt. Col. Robert Leach (retired, U.S. Army), the commissioner for the Ross County Veterans Commission. "He went to Hawaii during peacetime in 1940 as a member of the USS Oklahoma, one of the large battleships.

"He was actually a musician and part of the band on the USS Oklahoma. The USS Oklahoma was torpedoed multiple times and capsized."

Joseph W. Hoffman enjoyed leisure time in Hawaii as a band member aboard the ill-fated U.S.S. Oklahoma, 1941. (Photo credit: Ross County Veterans Commission) Sent below decks

Hoffman was preparing to play The Star-Spangled Banner when warning bells went off.

"He and other members of the band were actually on the deck of the ship preparing to play the national anthem at 0800. The attack started at about 0755," Leach said. "One of the surviving members of the band recalled seeing strange planes, hearing explosions, hearing the announcement: 'Air raid, battle stations.'"

Battle stations for the band was below decks to help pass ammunition to the guns.

"So Joseph and other members of the band made their way into the ship," Leach said. "That ended up sealing their fate because when the ship capsized, they were trapped below decks, and Joseph was never heard from again."

From mass grave to identification

Hoffman was always considered the first casualty of WWII from Ross County because his parents were the first to receive a telegram from the War Department announcing that their son was missing in action, and later presumed dead, Leach said.

"When the Oklahoma was righted about two years later, the Navy recovered the remains of the crewmen, but at that time, they were so comingled, they were beyond recognition. 1940s technology did not allow for identification, so they were buried in mass graves in Hawaii in the military cemetery.

Joseph W. Hoffman in sailor's uniform. (Photo credit: Ross County Veterans Commission)

"Fast forward a number of decades, and DNA analysis allows for the Department of Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency, which was armed with a roster of who was on the ship, to exhume the mass graves and be able to, one by one, identify almost all of the 429 sailors and marines who were missing when the ship capsized," Leach said.

A long journey home

After the war, American Legion Post 757 was named in Hoffman's honor.

"It's very rare that members of a veterans' club named after somebody who was killed in the war are then able to attend the funeral of that person they're named after. Normally, the death happened years before, and any funeral that might have happened," Leach said.

Hoffman's remains will return to his hometown the weekend of Aug. 19, three days of a hero's welcome that his parents never lived to see.

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The family will finally be reunited at the plot, with Hoffman's brother, sister, and parents. His closest living relative, a first cousin, twice removed, from Texas will attend.

"When Joseph is buried there next Saturday, finally, after 81 years, the family will be reunited," Leach said. There will be a rifle volley, the folding of the flag, and Taps. "We need to become the community and the family now that so little of his actual family is left."

Three days of events

Friday, Aug. 19: Open house at the American Legion Post, 757 Cooks Hill Road, noon to 8 p.m. History, activities, and food. Ceremonies begin at 3 p.m. Family friendly. Public welcome. High school band, ROTC drill, flag retirement from Ross County Veteran's Honor Guard.

Saturday, Aug. 20: East Main Street exit at U.S. 23 will be the staging area; meet at 10 a.m. Hearse followed by the U.S. Navy Honor Guard, followed by the family, WWII veterans, veterans organizations, and the general public.

The fire department will have ladders up for the procession at the Ross County Courthouse.

Burial procession to arrive at Main Street exit in Chillicothe at 10:20 a.m. Down Main to Walnut, right on Walnut to Yoctangee. Stop at Veterans Memorial Park, Yoctangee Parkway, 11 a.m. Memorial after the ceremony, procession to Greenfield, where the U.S. Navy will conduct graveside services and burial in the family plot.

Sunday, Aug 21: Memorial services at Tyler United Methodist at 11 a.m. Then 1-5 p.m., Grandview Cemetery. Members of the Chillicothe Civic Theatre bring stories of the 44 war dead -- going back to the Mexican War -- buried or memorialized in the cemetery.

Actors and actresses will bring to life the stories of 10 people's graves through the Notable Souls Tour. The Joseph Hoffman story will be featured at the event. Tickets: $10 on site.

Categories: Ohio News

Rising interest rates for homebuyers? A Columbus realtor explains

News Channel 4 - Wed, 08/10/2022 - 03:30

COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) -- Inflation is the highest in 40 years, leading to increased mortgage rates at around 4.5% to 5%. Prospective homebuyers navigating this market will have their finances affected and might be wondering why the federal bank is making it harder for them to borrow money. 

To combat consumer prices increasing 9.1%, a four-decade peak, the Federal Reserve increased the benchmark interest rate range by 75 basis points or 0.75%. 

The fluctuation has made real estate particularly tough in Columbus, which is ranked among the top 10 U.S. cities where homes sell the fastest. For those looking to understand the nuances of buying in this market, Columbus Realtors President Sue Van Woerkom breaks down rising interest rates and how they can work for and against homebuyers. 

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“An interest rate is the cost of borrowing money,” Van Woerkom said. “It costs a little more to borrow money right now, which means it costs a little more to buy a house, and that slows down the market a little bit. But, it’s not necessarily all bad.” 

Interest rates go beyond mortgages, including car loans, student loans, and credit cards. Regardless, these increases directly impact what buyers can afford, meaning what was in a buyer’s budget several months ago may not be in their budget now. 

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For example, Van Woerkom said she recently worked with a homebuyer searching for properties priced at $500,000. However, the buyers were not comfortable with the interest rates for homes in that price range and needed to begin searching for properties priced at $400,000. 

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The Federal Reserve raises interest rates during high inflation to slow down the economy and bring prices down. When inflation is too low, the reserve may lower interest rates to stimulate the economy. While initially viewed as a negative development, Van Woerkom said there is a silver lining as increased rates can give some buyers the breathing room to enter the market. 

Before the summer, interest rates were lower, leading to more buyers in the market and a lot more competition, said Van Woerkom. To be competitive, buyers had to go above and beyond to please sellers, including offering larger down payments and appraisal gaps. 

The higher interest rates have cooled down the market because many individuals can’t afford the current rates. The tactic is working as mortgage applications are down 15%, according to the Mortgage Bankers Association

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“Every percentage point that interest rates go up, it squeezes about 10% of the buyers out of the market,” Van Woerkom said. 

Homebuyers may still experience competition and face multiple offers on the same property. However, the average number of competing bids has significantly decreased, said Van Woerkom. During a period of lower rates earlier this year, Van Woerkom said she worked with a property that received 42 offers. Now, properties are averaging two to three offers. 

The same trend is seen in the number of home showings. Van Woerkom was seeing 40 to 50 showings in a single weekend. Now, she deals with about nine or 10. 

So, is now a good time to buy? 

Due to decreased competition, Van Woerkom says now is a great time to buy. In addition, while rates have increased, Van Woerkom says there have been periods where rates have been much higher, around 12 to 18%, compared to the current rates of about 4.5 to 5%. 

Whenever buyers decide to enter the market, Van Woerkom encourages them to have good people in their corner, including a trusted lender and realtor. 

“You’re playing with probably the largest financial decision you make in your life,” said Van Woerkom. “Surround yourself with good people to help you make that decision.”

Categories: Ohio News

More showers ahead of a much cooler weekend

News Channel 4 - Wed, 08/10/2022 - 03:07
Columbus and Central Ohio Weather QUICK WEATHER FORECAST:
  • This morning: Mostly cloudy, chance for a few showers, low 65
  • Today: Chance of showers, especially south, high 81
  • Tonight: Some clearing, low 62
  • Thursday: Partly cloudy, isolated pm storm possible, high 82
  • Friday: Mainly sunny, cooler, drier, high 78
  • Saturday: Sunny skies, high 80
  • Sunday: Partly sunny, high 79
FORECAST DISCUSSION:

Good morning and happy Wednesday!

The cold front that moved through yesterday will stall out to the south today and keep around the chance for a few showers today. Through the morning and afternoon, we'll keep around the familiar pattern of clouds and a few pop up showers. Today, the chance for showers will mostly be southeast of I-71, which is closer to the front.

Tonight, we'll see drier conditions and even clear out some of the clouds. Temperatures will be much cooler and fall down to the lower 60s.

Tomorrow, it will be a dry start to the morning followed by a few showers and thunderstorms in the afternoon. This chance for showers will be guided by another cold front moving through the area.

This front will be followed by cooler, drier air, and lead to big changes by the end of the week and weekend. As a Canadian high pressure system takes charge this weekend, we'll see more clear sky and a light northerly breeze. Friday and Saturday will feel more like fall with lows in the mid to upper 50s and highs in the upper 70s to lower 80s.

Have a great day!

-Liz

Categories: Ohio News

Woman relieved after sister's alleged killer caught after 30 years

News Channel 4 - Tue, 08/09/2022 - 20:58

URBANCREST, Ohio (WCMH) – With the help of DNA evidence, a family has a bit of closure on their loved ones’ 30-year-old cold case.

Monretia Crawford is the sister Alma Lake, who was killed on June 3, 1991.

This past Friday, Robert Edwards, 67, was arrested and charged with her murder.

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Crawford said she is full of gratitude to the Franklin County Sheriff’s Office and is glad no one ever gave up on getting answers for her family.

“She was a go-getter, Alma… it’s Alma Renee,” Crawford said Tuesday when the sheriff’s office made the announcement of Edwards’ arrest. “She was a go-getter, a good girl.”

Crawford said she is the baby of her family but remembers her sister vividly. From braiding her hair to the laughs they shared, Crawford said her sister was special.

But her big sister’s life was cut short in a tragic way. Lakes was raped and killed in 1991, and for years, her family wondered why and where her killer was, but on Tuesday, received the news they had been waiting for.

Both BCI and the sheriff’s office credit new DNA evidence in helping identify Edwards as the suspect involved in the rape and murder of Lakes.

“The familial DNA and so forth, connecting those dots, the hours and hours of work that goes into that, was able to start to identify a profile,” said Franklin County Sheriff’s Office Chief Deputy Rick Minerd.

The DNA also helped connect Edwards to another alleged victim – Michelle Dawson, whose body was found in Licking County in 1996. Edwards has not been charged in Dawson’s case.

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The news that a suspect had been located created an array of emotions for Crawford.

“Painful because she’s gone, but joyful because they got him,” she said.

Crawford said she finds peace in knowing that the man she said caused her family so much pain is finally behind bars.

“We can all rest, and she can finally rest and my mom can finally rest,” she said. “He has to answer when that big book opens. He has to answer.”

Categories: Ohio News

Police: Cattle loose after trailer overturns on I-270 ramp

News Channel 4 - Tue, 08/09/2022 - 20:26

COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) -- Columbus police are at the scene of a traffic accident Tuesday night where a cattle trailer overturned on the west side of the city.

According to police, 32 heads of cattle were in the trailer when it overturned on the ramp from I-70 East to I-270 North at approximately 8:14 p.m.

Police said officers at the scene were still trying to wrangle the animals at approximately 10:15 p.m.

The ramp is currently closed due to the accident.

There is no further information available at this time.

Categories: Ohio News

Columbus City Schools, teachers' union head back to negotiation table

News Channel 4 - Tue, 08/09/2022 - 18:50

COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) – The Columbus Education Association and Columbus City Schools are going back to the bargaining table Wednesday.

An Ohio State University law professor said when it comes to bargaining, the negotiations for a new teachers’ contract have gone pretty much how she expected.

"I don't think yet we are in a place where we haven't been and I don't think we are seeing things that are that out of the norm," said Courtlyn Roser-Jones, an assistant professor of law at the Ohio State University Moritz College of Law.

The president of the Columbus Board of Education said there have been 19 meetings between the two sides since March.

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Some of the issues holding up an agreement are class size, HVAC maintenance, planning time, and hiring and retention.

By a unanimous vote, the union issued a 10-day strike notice last week. a necessary step if the union eventually decides to strike.

"Neither party wants that," Roser-Jones said. "That is incredibly disruptive of both employers and teachers who just want to teach."

According to the union, the two sides have not met for about a week and a half, but both sides are set to have a joint meeting with a federal mediator on Wednesday.

Roser-Jones, whose research focuses on labor and workplace law, said the meeting is a positive sign.

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“We’ve been here before and these two parties were able to come to an agreement, and I trust they can get there now,” Roser-Jones said. “These are two parties that are negotiating a contract for three years, so both of them have a lot of stakes in getting it right.”

She added that the one difference between now and the negotiations of the last contract is the COVID-19 pandemic.

"There are always differences in a new contract, but this contract is a chance for them to sort of immortalize what worked and what didn't work in the last two, three years," Roser-Jones said. "I've been at this long enough to know I don't panic really up until the 11th hour and we are so far from the 11th hour right now."

The meeting is scheduled for Wednesday morning.

Categories: Ohio News

Returning an item by mail? How to prevent a mix-up

News Channel 4 - Tue, 08/09/2022 - 15:45

COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) -- For nearly four years, Dennis DeVendra and his wife relied on WOW! for internet service and planned to stay with the company, even when they moved out of Westerville.

"We wanted to transfer our WOW! service over to this house in New Albany," said DeVendra. "And they did not service this area, so, I had no choice but to cancel the service and return the items."

Those items were a bay station, router and beacon. Equipment, DeVendra said, was provided as part of the company's standard service.

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"Once we discontinued our service, they indicated that they would send us a FedEx box and we would then put our items in the box and return them," said DeVendra.

DeVendra said they packed each item and sent them off in January, assuming it was a done deal. That was until one month later.

"We get a bill from WOW! for $128 and I couldn't figure out, why are we getting a bill?" DeVendra called customer service.

"They said, 'Well, you did not return the beacon,' which was one of the three items," said DeVendra. "They said, 'All you need to do is return it,' and I was telling them, 'I can't return it, because I already did. We have no item to return, because it is returned.'"

Unfortunately, DeVendra couldn't prove it. So, he said, a representative told him they would look into it and call back. That didn't happen. DeVendra called again, and again, and again and never got an answer. He had renewed hope, though, in late spring, when WOW! became Breezeline, and he stopped getting bills in the mail.

"We thought, maybe, maybe it got resolved. Then, the next billing cycle, Breezeline sends us a bill for $128," said DeVendra. But again, DeVendra said he called over and over, and still no solution.

"That's when I contacted channel 4, call 4, because I said, 'This is not going anywhere.' I don't have anything against Breezeline, I just want them to stop trying to send me a bill for something I don't owe," said DeVendra.

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So, I contacted Breezeline, just after 2:30 on July 15, and less than two hours later, heard back from a Breezeline representative, who told me DeVendra's account was credited for the back balance due of $128.
DeVendra sent an update to Better Call 4, confirming that the charge was finally erased.

DeVendra said another reason why he was so adamant to get this taken care of, was because he started receiving letters from a collections agency. He didn't want this to affect his credit score. But Breezeline said it contacted that agency, to have those charges removed as well.

Something for you to keep in mind: DeVendra couldn't prove to Breezeline that he had packed all of the items in the box. So, if whenever you return something, take a photo, in case there is a mix-up or misunderstanding.

Categories: Ohio News

Iran hostage survivor shares story, scholarships

News Channel 4 - Tue, 08/09/2022 - 15:39

WESTERVILLE, Ohio (WCMH) – After spending more than 400 days in captivity during the Iran hostage crisis, one United States Marine is using his story to support the loved ones of fallen service men and women.

Rocky Sickmann shared his experience Tuesday at Otterbein University.

Sickmann was defending the United State Embassy in Iran in 1979 when a group of radicals took him and 51 others captive.

For more than 444 days, he endured solitary confinement and torture.

After returning home in 1981, Sickmann learned eight service members lost their lives trying to rescue his.

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Now, through Folds of Honor, Sickmann has dedicated his life to providing scholarship opportunities for family members of those who have made the ultimate sacrifice.

"These men and women that are serving, their families are back home not knowing,” said Sickmann, who is senior vice president for Folds of Honor. “But what we at Folds of Honor want to make sure is that we've got their back. We want to make sure that they know, if something happens, they don't come back or if they come back disabled, their family will have again. Honor their sacrifice, educate their legacy.”

Since 2017, Folds of Honor has awarded 35,000 scholarships in all 50 states, totaling more than $160 million. Eighty-one of those scholarship recipients are in central Ohio, including three current Otterbein students.

Categories: Ohio News

Lt. Gov. Husted, lawmakers on CHIPS Act in Ohio

News Channel 4 - Tue, 08/09/2022 - 14:30

COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) -- President Joe Biden signed the CHIPS and Science Act Tuesday morning, receiving bipartisan support at the Ohio Statehouse as lawmakers said it will change the trajectory of the state.

“It’s going to have a massive impact on Central Ohio,” State Representative Jeff Crossman (D-Parma) said.

Intel will invest at least $20 billion into its central Ohio plant, bringing in thousands of jobs.

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“For every one job in Intel, there’s six or seven jobs on top of that for the supply chain,” U.S. Representative Troy Balderson (R-OH 12) said.

“It blows your mind away when you think about what that means,” Ohio Lt. Gov. Jon Husted said. “These are going to construct facilities the size of four football fields.”

Intel alone will hire 3,000 employees and will help bring in businesses from across the world.

“The idea that people are knocking on our door rather than us having to chase them down is a new thing for Ohio,” Husted said.

“It’s good to see more places in Ohio have jobs, not just in Columbus," Crossman said. "We need jobs all over the place and hopefully this is the start of heading in that direction."

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Lawmakers said now is the time for Ohio to get in on the semiconductor manufacturing industry.

“In a decade from now, it’s supposed to be a $1.35 trillion industry,” Husted said. “So it’s going to more than double in its size and we want to capture that.”

“It’s fun to watch it all happen and it’s new excitement,” Balderson said.

Intel already has job postings up for their Ohio location, you can check them out here.

Categories: Ohio News

Jim Knowles expects 'top 5' defense from Ohio State

News Channel 4 - Tue, 08/09/2022 - 14:20

COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) — Ryan Day appeared to set the tone for Ohio State's defense when he said the Buckeyes should have a top-10 defense this season.

But OSU defensive coordinator Jim Knowles took it a step further Tuesday when he said he expects the Buckeyes to have a top-five defense in the country.

"I wish [Day] would've said top five because that's what we expect," Knowles said. "I see a lot of promising things, but it's my job at this time to really keep the pressure on."

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The expectation seems lofty considering OSU ranked 59th in total defense and 38th in points allowed per game. Knowles is fully entrenched as what Day refers to as OSU's 'head coach' of the defense. And the players have quickly taken to his coaching style and scheme.

"He just has an unorthodox style of coaching," graduate linebacker Teradja Mitchell said. "He knows how to teach to the players while still having fun at the same time. We love learning the defense."

Knowles acknowledged his system only works if the players are also up to the challenge physically and mentally, something that was called into question following the Buckeyes' first loss to Michigan since 2011.

"No matter what we do scheme-wise, we're going to have to line up and win one on one," Knowles said.

Knowles was especially pleased with OSU's depth at defensive line as well as their aggressiveness.

"Our d-line, when we unleash them and we're going to find ways to unleash them, they get after the quarterback, they get after it in the run game . . . and it really doesn't matter who's in there cause we're aggressive and attacking."

Knowles, who coaches the linebackers, says he likes the progress they've made and listed two Buckeyes as leaders of the unit.

"Tommy [Eichenberg] and Steele [Chambers] have really been solidifying things at linebacker," Knowles said. "I feel like we have potential there for depth but still developing."

He called Eichenberg the quiet leader of the defense who rarely makes mistakes,

"This is so important to me. This is everything I've worked for, this is everything I want," Eichenberg said. "When things are important to you, you're going to give it your all and you're going to try to do things right the first time."

Meanwhile, Knowles said Chambers has the confidence needed to play the position after being 'battle tested' last season.

"We played on our heels last year, plain and simple," Chambers said. "Now, we're just working on being more downhill, being more aggressive . . . we're just a closer team, we're a better team and I think we can go a really long way."

The linebacker corps will also feature Mitchell, Cody Simon, who suffered a season-ending shoulder injury; second-year Buckeye and former USC Trojan Palaie Gaoteote, Arizona State transfer Chip Trayanum and true freshman C.J. Hicks.

Safeties will be a focal point of Knowles' defense and he has plenty of options, starting with Ronnie Hickman, who led the team in tackles, and fifth-year senior Josh Proctor, who's back from a compound fracture suffered Week 2 against Oregon.

"Proctor sky's the limit. He's progressing very rapidly. He's very talented. He could be the best in the country," Knowles said.

Other notable safeties to keep an eye out for this year include Lathan Ransom, who's back from a leg fracture suffered in the Rose Bowl; Tanner McCalister, who followed Knowles from Oklahoma State; and Kourt Williams III. Knowles also mentioned safeties Jantzen Dunn and Cameron Martinez have been getting reps at cornerback, a position where the Buckeyes are currently dealing with minor injuries.

Categories: Ohio News

Deadly Columbus robbery sees 3 suspects arrested a month later

News Channel 4 - Tue, 08/09/2022 - 13:44

COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) - Columbus police have now arrested all three of the suspects accused in a robbery near a convenience store that left a man dead.

Officers spotted two of the suspects on Friday -- 17-year-old Jebrelle McClendon and a 16-year-old -- and took them into custody on Tuesday. Both are facing aggravated murder and aggravated robbery charges. NBC4 does not name juveniles under 17 unless they are actively being searched for or are being charged as an adult.

McClendon and the 16-year-old were the last of three suspects sought in the June 25 death of 24-year-old Neal Smith. The Columbus Division of Police previously arrested Ke'Anu Logan, 21, on Aug. 3, and charged him with aggravated murder.

According to CPD, video showed that Smith was buying something at a convenience store while the three suspects watched and followed him. Outside near Argyle Drive and Woodland Avenue, they confronted Smith. Witnesses said Smith yelled, "Just take it!" before someone fired shots, and the three suspects got in a car and drove away.

“He was there to do something very mundane and these guys decided to gun him down for whatever cash he had on him,” said Columbus Police Detective Terry Kelley.

Smith died after the shooting, and the gunfire also struck a nearby woman who wasn't involved. As the three suspects ran away, Smith also ran and collapsed by the injured woman.

“Neil told that person when he landed on the ground close to them that he was sorry,” Kelley said.  And for his last thought, to apologize to that person that was struck, that stands out to me. Kinda tells me how good of a person he actually was.”

When NBC4 checked with Franklin County Municipal Court, only Logan had records available. He had no future court date set as of Tuesday.

Categories: Ohio News

HBCU Football Classic expected to return to Columbus in 2023

News Channel 4 - Tue, 08/09/2022 - 13:27

COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) — The Historically Black Colleges & Universities (HBCUs) Football Classic will not be held this year but is expected to return in 2023, according to Classic for Columbus CEO John Pace.

Pace said that a multi-year venue agreement that allows the game to be played the same weekend each year is paramount.

“The Classic For Columbus organization, the event’s presenting sponsors and stakeholders are
committed to holding this world-class event in Columbus, Ohio,” Pace said.

The inaugural 2021 game, showcasing HBCUs, was held at Ohio Stadium and attracted more than
24,000 fans. Kentucky State University defeated Central State University from Ohio.

The highlight of the match-up was the half-time show featuring the Ultimate Battle of The Bands.

Before the game, thousands of people attended educational, multicultural and social events held
all over Ohio State University's campus. More than 2,500 students attended the College,
Career & Community Fair where they were connected with scholarships and job opportunities.

Classic For Columbus produced the HBCU Football Classic in August 2021 and followed up
with the College Basketball All-Star Game & Celebrity Extravaganza at Nationwide Arena this
past April.

The All-Star Game showcased top players from HBCUs and dynamic players from colleges across Ohio, including The Ohio State University, Bowling Green and Miami of Ohio.

Pace, who is a Columbus native, applauded his city for making the events a success.

“This is more than fun and games,” said Pace, referring to his organization’s disclosure of financial
statements. “In our first year, Classic For Columbus and its presenting sponsors, Nationwide and
Huntington Bank, awarded over $430,000 to scholarship programs and HBCUs.”

Categories: Ohio News

Four arrested after attempted car theft, shooting

News Channel 4 - Tue, 08/09/2022 - 13:18

COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) -- Four men were arrested after allegedly trying to steal a car, an act that resulted in the car's owner shooting at the suspects.

Columbus police said it received five 911 calls and a ShotSpotter alert for the area of Bryden Road and South 21st Street on Sunday afternoon.

According to police, the four suspects were attempting to steal the victim's car when the car's alarm went off. The victim saw the suspects, one of whom was inside the car.

The victim went outside his home and yelled at the suspects, which is when police said one of the suspects allegedly pulled a gun. the victim pulled out his own gun and fired in self-defense, police said, hitting the suspects' car.

The suspects' car then crashed further down the road on South 21st Street. A witness told police they saw four men, one carrying a gun, run away from the crashed car, police said.

Child porn couple: Bexley husband and wife get 80 years combined in prison

Columbus officers in the area found the suspects hiding in bushes in the area of East Main Street and South Ohio Avenue. One of the suspects was taken to Grant Medical Center for treatment of an eye injury.

The four suspects arrested and charged with aggravated robbery are:

  • Rashjon Thomas, 21
  • Adrian King Jr., 18
  • Tiquise Perkins, 18
  • Sir Underwood, 18

The car the suspects allegedly used to flee the scene belonged to Perkins, police said.

Categories: Ohio News

NBC4’s next episode of ‘The Conversation’ to focus on health

News Channel 4 - Tue, 08/09/2022 - 13:14

COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) — NBC4 will air the next episode of “The Conversation” on Wednesday, Aug. 10 at 7:30 p.m., the program is an in-depth discussion about racial inequality in Central Ohio, and will be hosted by NBC4’s Matt Barnes and Jennifer Bullock.

The Conversation
Wednesday, Aug. 10 | 7:30 PM
on NBC4 & NBC4i.com

On the upcoming episode of “The Conversation”, NBC4 examines the subject of health — from mental wellness to heart health. 

The show will also explore how local African American women are battling breast cancer.

Plus, NBC4 highlights one organization taking a holistic approach to help vulnerable communities and the steps that are being made towards health equity.

All that and more on the next episode of "The Conversation" on NBC4.

The Conversation is an Emmy Award-winning series. The program won in the category of Community Service in 2021 from the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences Ohio Valley Chapter. To see previous episodes of “The Conversation” go to NBC4i.com/TheConversation

Categories: Ohio News

Missing Ohio teen may be in Licking County, sheriff says

News Channel 4 - Tue, 08/09/2022 - 12:36

NEWARK, Ohio (WCMH) -- The Fairfield County Sheriff's Office is searching for a missing 15-year-old girl last seen more than three weeks ago.

Onisty Deal was last seen leaving a foster home in the Amanda, Ohio, area on July 20.

Onisty is approximately five feet, five inches tall and weighs approximately 120 pounds. She had orange hair at the time of her disappearance.

Columbus men accused of stealing gold bars from northeast side home

Onisty was last seen wearing a white tank top, cream-colored sweat pants, and a backpack.

The sheriff's office believes Onisty may be in the Licking County area.

Anyone with any information is asked to contact the Fairfield County Sheriff's Office at 740-652-7331.

Categories: Ohio News

Child porn couple: Bexley husband and wife get 80 years combined in prison

News Channel 4 - Tue, 08/09/2022 - 10:50

BEXLEY, Ohio (WCMH) -- A Bexley couple could see 80 years altogether in prison for numerous crimes relating to child pornography.

Stephen Wilson, 39, was sentenced to 60 years in prison for the sexual exploitation of minors, and his wife Jessica Wilson, 38, was sentenced to 20 years for distributing and receiving child pornography, according to U.S. Attorney Kenneth L. Parker for the Southern District of Ohio.

The pair was arrested in January 2021, and a federal grand jury indicted them in April 2021.

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Court documents show Stephen Wilson sexually abused at least three minors between the ages of 7 and 16 from 2016 to 2021. Wilson had cameras inside his home that were used to create videos and still images of the abuse. He also recorded some of it on his cell phone, according to the release.

Wilson also created, possessed, and edited hundreds of images depicting him sexually assaulting minors and toddler-aged females. His wife Jessica Wilson was present for or aware of the sexual assaults, and exchanged images with her husband in thousands of text messages, according to the release. The texts included discussions on how she could access child pornography, according to the release.

Categories: Ohio News

Columbus men accused of stealing gold bars from northeast side home

News Channel 4 - Tue, 08/09/2022 - 10:46

COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) -- Two men in Columbus have been accused of stealing gold bars from a house on the northeast side in late June, per police.

CPD says that on June 26, the pair went into a house on the 3000 block of Jonathan Noble Way and stole gold bars, cash, a laptop, and jewelry.

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Photos of the suspects can be seen below.

Suspects accused of stealing gold bars and other valuables from a Columbus home. (Courtesy of Columbus Police)

Anyone with information is asked to contact Columbus Police at 614-645-2374 or the Central Ohio Crime Stoppers at 614-461-8477.

Categories: Ohio News

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