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COVID pill helps immuno-compromised get through

News Channel 4 - Thu, 01/13/2022 - 15:58

COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) -- It was just a few days ago when Aryeh Alex, the commissioner for Columbus Franklin County Metro Parks, says he felt the oncoming symptoms of COVID.

"I have barely been able to get off my couch, for four days now," said Alex.

He scheduled a COVID test at Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center on Tuesday, and found out later that day he had in fact suffered a breakthrough infection.

"I cannot imagine how terrible this would be if I were not vaccinated," said Alex.

Schmidt’s celebrates re-opening with free creampuffs

That's when he says the medical team at OSU Wexner reached out, informing him he'd met the criteria for Pfizer's antiviral COVID pill known as paxlovid, due to his compromised immune system and moderate symptoms.

Alex is one of only a few here in Central Ohio, to undergo this treatment.

"We have been using paxlovid, for about 10 days, roughly here at Ohio State," said Dr. Jonathan Parsons, executive vice chair for the department of Internal Medicine at Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center. Dr. Parsons says due to extremely limited supply, they are only prescribing the Pfizer pill to COVID patients with underlying conditions or severe illness.

Massive computer chip factory coming to New Albany, township trustee confirms

"We're certainly hoping that the supply chain ramps up here in the next few weeks, that we can reach a lot more patients. But right now, we have a pretty strict criteria of who we are able to give this medication too," said Dr. Parsons.

However, Parsons says it's possible these pills could become widely available in the coming weeks or months.

But for now, patients like Alex, say he's glad to be able to take this new treatment, so soon.

"I mean it's such a limited time window, from when you have symptoms to when you get the medicine. They're being so quick at analyzing their results, that they were able to get it to me and I'm very grateful," said Alex.

Categories: Ohio News

Massive computer chip factory coming to New Albany, township trustee confirms

News Channel 4 - Thu, 01/13/2022 - 15:39

COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) — Jersey Township trustee Ben Pieper confirmed to NBC4 Thursday afternoon that a nearly 3,200-acre area northeast of Columbus in Licking County will become a massive computer chip factory.

The development had been the subject of media reports this week, with reporting Thursday that sources said Intel is the company behind the plan, which "could be the largest economic development project in state history."

Watching for a late weekend winter storm in southern, eastern Ohio

In a phone conversation, Pieper said he did not know the company building the semiconductor factory, but he said it will be a 10-year development project. It will also be backed by federal money, he added.

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"I don't know names specific to companies or anything like that but it supposedly goes all the way up to the Governor and the federal level, what they're trying to do. It's been in the works for quite a while I guess, so... that's why they annexed 3200 acres from Jersey Township," said Pieper.

The 3,190 acres of real estate sit in Jersey Township, just east of New Albany on the Franklin-Licking county line, and about a 30 minute drive from Downtown Columbus.

"This is going to change us from rural America to basically a suburb," said Pieper.

New Albany city council last week voted to enter an annexation agreement with Jersey Township to take control of the massive slice of land that Pieper confirmed will be used for a computer chip plant.

Categories: Ohio News

Ryan Day set to overhaul nearly 100% of Ohio State defensive coaching staff

News Channel 4 - Thu, 01/13/2022 - 15:36

COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) — Ohio State won 11 games, including the Rose Bowl, this past season. But it's clear coach Ryan Day was not pleased with how certain position groups performed.

Safeties coach Matt Barnes has already left, while cornerbacks coach Kerry Coombs and linebackers coach Al Washington are not expected to return, per several media outlets.

Coombs was publicly criticized for OSU's early-season struggles on defense and promptly demoted from his play-calling duties after a loss to Oregon. Barnes took over as defensive play-caller, but it was clear he would not remain in that position after the Buckeyes failed to stop Michigan's rushing game.

Jim Knowles named new Ohio State defensive coordinator

Before the Rose Bowl, Day announced he was bringing Oklahoma State defensive coordinator Jim Knowles, which was the beginning of a culture change that has yet to send the old guard away.

Although Washington has only been at Ohio State for three seasons, he struggled to maintain harmony in the linebackers room in 2021 with the departure Dallas Gant and K'Vaughan Pope during the season.

K’Vaughan Pope enters transfer portal after being dismissed from Ohio State football team

Washington turned down the defensive coordinator job at Tennessee last offseason and will now likely return to Luke Fickell's staff in Cincinnati, where he was the defensive line coach in 2017.

That means only one defensive coach, Larry Johnson, is expected to return for the 2022 season as he continues to recruit top-level talent to Columbus. But his time with the Buckeyes isn't expected to last much longer as the 70-year-old enters his 49th year of coaching.

At least one of OSU's openings has been filled, with Cincinnati cornerbacks coach Perry Eliano set to accept a job on Day's coaching staff.

Ohio State set to hire Cincinnati cornerbacks coach Perry Eliano

Meanwhile, multiple outlets are reporting Jaguars secondary coach Tim Walton, a longtime NFL assistant, has emerged as a strong candidate. The news was first reported by Bruce Feldman. Walton is an Ohio State graduate and was a co-captain for the Big Ten champions in 1993.

Categories: Ohio News

Ohio State set to hire Cincinnati cornerbacks coach Perry Eliano

News Channel 4 - Thu, 01/13/2022 - 15:22

COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) — Cincinnati Bearcats cornerbacks coach Perry Eliano is expected to accept a position on Ryan Day's coaching staff at Ohio State.

Eliano will likely be the safeties coach with the departure of Matt Barnes, who took the defensive coordinator job at Memphis after the Buckeyes' Rose Bowl win.

Eliano coached at Cincinnati for two years and mentored two of the top cornerbacks in the country in Ahmad "Sauce" Gardner and Jim Thorpe Award winner Coby Bryant.

Cincinnati had the nation’s best pass defense in 2021, finishing No. 1 in pass efficiency defense (100.47), No. 2 in passing yards allowed (168.3), No. 3 in interceptions (18) and No. 4 in opponent completion % (53.5). 

Eliano has spent more than 20 seasons in the coaching ranks. He came to UC after a two-year stint as the special teams coordinator and cornerbacks coach at New Mexico.

He spent the 2016 and 2017 seasons at Bowling Green as associate head coach and defensive coordinator. 

Before Bowling Green, Eliano spent five seasons at UTSA, starting with its inaugural season in 2011 through the 2015 season, coaching safeties and serving as special teams coordinator.

Categories: Ohio News

As COVID soars, testing gets tough: Where to go

News Channel 4 - Thu, 01/13/2022 - 15:18

COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) -- The Ohio Department of Health is prioritizing free rapid tests for schools and colleges in Ohio. It’s putting a pause on distribution to other community partners like libraries and health departments.

So where can you find a test if you need one as soon as possible? Rapid COVID test kits continue to be in high demand, but short supply.

“Three or four weeks, they must have just gotten a shipment in, and so my wife picked up two,” said Larry Driggs. He counts himself lucky to have been able to get a few kits from his local library back in December.

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“Since March of last year, we have distributed about 200,000 of these testing kits,” said Ben Zenitsky with the Columbus Metropolitan Library. He added these last few weeks their branches were giving out between 12,000 to 16,000 a week.

But now they are out until further notice. With short supply, the Ohio Department of Health is pausing distribution to community partners like libraries.

ODH says people can seek testing kits or clinics at pharmacies -- if they're available, many are out of stock.

Dr. Bruce Vanderhoff also highlighted testing sites in partnership with the Ohio National Guard.

Supreme Court halts COVID-19 vaccine rule for U.S. businesses

“Many, many sites now across the state are being supported including ones in communities like Zanesville, the areas like Chillicothe so we are aiming to deploy these capabilities as broadly in the state as possible,” said Dr. Vanderhoff during a news conference Thursday.

The state is currently waiting on a delayed shipment of 800,000 tests.

“Certainly we look forward to getting more in our locations and rest assured — we will be screaming it from the rooftops as soon as we do,” said Zenitsky.

CAS is one of the testing sites in Columbus working with the Ohio National Guard and OSU Wexner Medical Center.

The new testing site is located on the first floor of the CAS parking garage at 2540 Olentangy River Road, Columbus. It will have the capacity to test up to 1,000 people each day. Testing services will be offered Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., and Saturdays from 8 a.m. to noon. COVID-19 testing will be open to the entire community by appointment only.

Categories: Ohio News

Crew inks new sponsorship deal with global sports betting operator

News Channel 4 - Thu, 01/13/2022 - 13:59

COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) -- The Columbus Crew will rename several areas of Field thanks to a new long-term deal making global sports book operator Tipico its exclusive sports betting partner.

When Field hosts the Crew's 2022 season-opening match on Feb. 26, fans will see and be able to visit Tipico Beer Garden. In addition, the premium seating section known as the Rail Club will be renamed the Tipico Club.

Tipico plans to launch a mobile sports betting app when legalized sports betting starts in Ohio. Gov. Mike DeWine signed a bill legalizing sports betting in late December. A rule-making process will now take place, allowing sports betting to go live in Ohio by or before Jan. 1, 2023.

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Crew fans will eventually be able to place bets on all available platforms, including Tipico's competitors; the exclusivity of the deal pertains to marketing and promotions, according to a Crew spokesman.

Tipico, which originally was founded in Europe, is the leading sports betting operator in Germany. Its U.S. headquarters are in New Jersey.

Of late, it has partnered with entities such as Caesars Entertainment to gain market access in New Jersey, Colorado, Indiana, Iowa and Ohio.

Supreme Court halts COVID-19 vaccine rule for U.S. businesses

“We are incredibly excited to team up with the Columbus Crew, a premium brand with championship DNA, to introduce our Tipico sports betting experience to players in the Buckeye State,” Adrian Vella, CEO of Tipico U.S. said in a release. “The Midwest will play an important role as we continue our multi-state expansion in 2022, and we could not have asked for a better partner to help us introduce the Tipico brand and our proprietary technology to sports bettors in Ohio and beyond.”

Tipico and the Crew will also will also develop “a wide variety of digital content and engagements as well as joint community programming,” according to the team. Tipico will offer promotions, giveaways and customer sweepstakes for Crew fans.

“We are thrilled to announce our partnership with a highly respected global brand and passionate soccer enthusiast in Tipico,” said David Jenkins, chief operating officer for Crew owner Haslam Sports Group. “As they make their foray into Ohio, our long-term agreement with Tipico represents an exciting development for Crew supporters and sports fans in Central Ohio and throughout the state.”

For more business headlines, go to

Categories: Ohio News

End of Child Tax Credit has central Ohio families worried

News Channel 4 - Thu, 01/13/2022 - 13:59

COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) -- The expanded Child Tax Credit expired for Americans at the end of the year, which means millions of families could soon fall back into financial strain, including here in Ohio.

With President Biden's "Build Back Better" plan failing to pass in Congress, one mother of five tells me without the CTC, she and her husband will be forced to choose between paying their bills or putting food on the table for their children.

"How is our family going to be able to take care of the bare minimum?" is the question that, in recent weeks, had led to many sleepless nights for Rainey Richardson.

Child tax credit and tax payments: Why you may have been overpaid

"I've had them," Rainey admits. "I want to be up front; I've had them. And as a mother that's a natural instinct, you're going to be concerned."

For the last six months, 36 million families nationwide received a monthly payment from the IRS through the CTC.

Now, many parents like Richardson face insurmountable financial strain.

"We shouldn't have to choose whether the bill is more important than buying food, in order to keep electricity going, in order to keep a roof over our head," Richardson describes.

Richardson and her husband bring home about a combined $5,000 per month after taxes; she says, sometimes that isn't even enough to cover fixed costs.

"We don't have much left over after paying all the bills, sometimes we don't even meet the requirement," admits Richardson.

Now, local leaders are sounding the alarm on behalf of struggling families.

"These funds were used on rent, utility payments, mortgage, food," Franklin County Commissioner Erica Crawley describes.

According to Crawley, more than 400,000 Ohioans took advantage of the expanded CTC program since its inception.

She says the expiring CTC is just a snapshot of wider problematic picture.

"Like, we have to pay a living wage," Crawley says of the current wage rates. "So, people don't have to worry and depend on a child tax credit, to supplement their income."

With some parents now forced to wonder where their child's next meal may come from, Crawley says it's the youth who face the most severe implications.

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"It really does lift children out of poverty, and should we not have that be extended, we'll see more children be back in poverty," Crawley warns.

Now, both women are calling on local leaders to take action.

"Reach out to your government leaders, your elected leaders and let them know that this is something we know, that data shows, makes a difference," encourages Crawley.

"This is a system that has worked. We need you to reinstate that system for American families," Richardson pleas.

Without legislative changes, the Child Tax Credit in 2022 will revert to its prior form — a $2,000 annual credit, versus the program's expanded credit of up to $3,600 per child, half of which is made in monthly payments.

Categories: Ohio News

Supreme Court halts COVID-19 vaccine rule for U.S. businesses

News Channel 4 - Thu, 01/13/2022 - 12:38

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Supreme Court has stopped the Biden administration from enforcing a requirement that employees at large businesses be vaccinated against COVID-19 or undergo weekly testing and wear a mask on the job.

At the same time, the court is allowing the administration to proceed with a vaccine mandate for most health care workers in the U.S.

COVID-19 in Ohio: “Rapid” community spread, health director Vanderhoff says of omicron

The court’s orders Thursday during a spike in coronavirus cases was a mixed bag for the administration’s efforts to boost the vaccination rate among Americans.

The court's conservative majority concluded the administration overstepped its authority by seeking to impose the Occupational Safety and Health Administration's vaccine-or-test rule on U.S. businesses with at least 100 employees. More than 80 million people would have been affected.

“OSHA has never before imposed such a mandate. Nor has Congress. Indeed, although Congress has enacted significant legislation addressing the COVID–19 pandemic, it has declined to enact any measure similar to what OSHA has promulgated here,” the conservatives wrote in an unsigned opinion.

In dissent, the court's three liberals argued that it was the court that was overreaching by substituting its judgment for that of health experts. “Acting outside of its competence and without legal basis, the Court displaces the judgments of the Government officials given the responsibility to respond to workplace health emergencies," Justices Stephen Breyer, Elena Kagan and Sonia Sotomayor wrote in a joint dissent.

When crafting the OSHA rule, White House officials always anticipated legal challenges — and privately some harbored doubts that it could withstand them. The administration nonetheless still views the rule as a success at already driving millions of people to get vaccinated and for private businesses to implement their own requirements that are unaffected by the legal challenge.

Both rules had been challenged by Republican-led states. In addition, business groups attacked the OSHA emergency regulation as too expensive and likely to cause workers to leave their jobs at a time when finding new employees already is difficult.

The vaccine mandate that the court will allow to be enforced nationwide covers virtually all health care workers in the country. It applies to health care providers that receive federal Medicare or Medicaid funding, potentially affecting 76,000 health care facilities as well as home health care providers. The rule has medical and religious exemptions.

Decisions by federal appeals courts in New Orleans and St. Louis had blocked the mandate in about half the states. The administration already was taking steps to enforce it elsewhere.

In the healthcare case, only justices Clarence Thomas and Samuel Alito noted their dissents. “The challenges posed by a global pandemic do not allow a federal agency to exercise power that Congress has not conferred upon it. At the same time, such unprecedented circumstances provide no grounds for limiting the exercise of authorities the agency has long been recognized to have,” the justices wrote in an unsigned opinion, saying the “latter principle governs” in the healthcare cases.

More than 208 million Americans, 62.7% of the population, are fully vaccinated, and more than a third of those have received booster shots, according to the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. All nine justices have gotten booster shots.

The justices heard arguments on the challenges last week. Their questions then hinted at the split verdict that they issued Thursday.

Categories: Ohio News

NBC4 official sponsor: HBCU Classic for Columbus College Basketball All-Star Game

News Channel 4 - Thu, 01/13/2022 - 12:05

COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) — NBC4 is proud to announce it will be the official TV sponsor for the HBCU Classic For Columbus College Basketball All-Star Game and Celebrity Extravaganza. The mission is to promote education, economic development and diversity while raising funds for scholarships and institutions of higher learning.

Event Details:

• College Basketball All-Star Game & Celebrity Extravaganza held April 20 – 24, 2022, will be a five-day celebration of educational, multicultural and entertainment festivities that complement the college All-Star Game and a celebrity game featuring nationally renowned entertainers and local personalities. Through All-Star Week, celebrities and local personalities will host events to raise funds for their selected universities.

• The College Basketball All-Star Game will showcase top players from Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) vs. dynamic players from Ohio’s traditional universities (Ohio All-Star Team vs. HBCU All-Star Team). The college all-star game and celebrity game will be played on Saturday, April 23, 2022, at Nationwide Arena in Columbus, Ohio with a 3:00 p.m. tip off time.

• Celebrities plan to host a number of events during All-Star Week. Actress and TV talk show host
Vivica Fox will host a day party at Nationwide Arena preceding basketball. Nickelodeon teen sensation That Girl Lay Lay will host an educational event for students. Legendary comedian Joe Torry will bring his Comedy Slam to Columbus where rising stars in comedy perform. Celebrities are added to the lineup weekly.

• The College Basketball All-Star Game & Celebrity Extravaganza will create a projected $10 million economic impact for Central Ohio and raise some $300,000 in financial support for scholarships and institutions of higher learning.

• The College Basketball All-Star Game & Celebrity Extravaganza is the first college all-star game played in an NBA Arena, dating back to 2004 when the game was played in what is now Rocket Mortgage Fieldhouse in Cleveland.

• At least one player from an HBCU (Devin Green, Hampton University) played his way into a pro basketball career at the College Basketball All-Star Game & Celebrity Extravaganza.

• Visit for ticket information.

Categories: Ohio News

State fish bill gains support in Ohio legislature, awaits first hearing

News Channel 4 - Thu, 01/13/2022 - 11:51

COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) — A bill to make the walleye Ohio's state fish is ready to be heard in committee after gathering support in the state legislature.

The initiative is a collaboration between bill sponsors and NBC4 to also inform Ohioans about the legislative process, which began with an audience poll. Since the results (27.5% for walleye among nine choices) were announced in October, lawmakers in both chambers have guided the walleye effort through its early steps.

Soon after the poll, primary sponsor state Sen. Teresa Fedor (D-Toledo) sent a request to the statehouse's Legislative Service Commission to draft a bill. Since then, the bill — actually two bills — are officially on the record and awaiting a first hearing.

After NBC4 poll, lawmakers will propose walleye as Ohio’s state fish

Lawmakers decided to introduce identical legislation in the state Senate and House of Representatives — each a “companion bill” of the other — to give the initiative a better chance of advancing.

“It lets the other chamber know this bill is a priority,” Fedor said.

The text of Senate Bill 271 and House Bill 484 are the same, proposing to add a new line to the state's body of laws in the chapter that includes state symbols:

The fish, sander vitreus, commonly known as the "walleye," is the official fish of the state.

Both bills can advance in their respective chambers at the same time, but leadership would eventually have to decide which one goes up for a final vote.

Fishing for support from colleagues

After the bills were drafted, but before they were introduced, primary sponsors looked for co-sponsors — other lawmakers who agree to sign on and mark their official support.

In the case of SB 271, Fedor and state Sen. Kenny Yuko (D-Richmond Heights) sent their colleagues a co-sponsor request document. It included NBC4's poll results and a short pitch, Fedor said, "so people can read it, inquire more and make a decision if they want to put their name on the bill before it gets a bill number."

Fedor also did one-on-one advocating with other members, using longstanding statehouse connections to get some Republican support for this Democrat-carried bill.

More than a dozen co-sponsors from around Ohio have signed on between the two bills, including central Ohio state Sens. Hearcel Craig (D-Columbus) and Jay Hottinger (R-Newark) and state Reps. Adam Miller (D-Columbus) and Kevin Miller (R-Newark).

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Along with being bipartisan, this geographic mix of lawmakers is good for a walleye bill, Fedor said, because the fish is only found in northern Ohio.

“It’s a strong indication that the bill is likely to get more support and possibly get voted out of committee," she said.

“And I think the polling really made a big difference,” Fedor added. “They paid attention to what the polling said and what people wanted, and so, therefore, they lent their support.”

Ready to swim in committee

With co-sponsors gathered, SB 271 and HB 484 were filed with the chamber clerk to get their bill numbers. After that, they were assigned to a committee called Rules and Reference, which assigned them to a committee related to the issue (called a "substantive" or "standing" committee).

Fedor and Yuko's SB 271 is in the Senate General Government Budget Committee Committee, and HB 484, led by state Reps. Michael Sheehy (D-Toledo) and Lisa Sobecki (D-Toledo), is assigned to the House Agriculture and Conservation Committee.

Most of the action before a bill becomes law happens in its standing committee, where lawmakers, special interest groups and regular people can debate it over the course of several hearings.

Fedor said she expects this bill to be noncontroversial, but “we don't know until the committee hearings, which then become even more interesting.”

Members of the Ohio Senate Government Oversight Committee hear testimony on a new map of state congressional districts on Tuesday, Nov. 16, 2021, at the Ohio Statehouse in Columbus, Ohio. (AP Photo/Julie Carr Smyth)

Committee chairs decide when a bill gets its first hearing, which is sponsor testimony. The next hearing is usually testimony from proponents, Fedor said, "people who want to see the bill pass."

“There’ll probably be two or three hearings on that,” she said.

After that comes opponent testimony, and don’t forget any changes or amendments that bill carriers may make. And that’s before a full chamber vote and a repeat of the committee process in the other chamber.

But those steps are still in the distance for the fish bills that are still looking for their first hearings.

When will a walleye bill be heard?

Fedor said she hopes sponsor testimony on a state fish bill comes by the end of January. Lawmakers return Tuesday, Jan. 18, and Fedor, who has 21 years of experience as an Ohio legislator, said the General Assembly could make quick work of this final year of the two-year legislative session.

“In my opinion, (the fish bill could) get done by the end of February if we do this right,” she said, “because I think we’re going to have a short spring because this is an election year.”

Ohio Supreme Court rejects redistricting maps, orders them redrawn

“May at the latest everything's done, buttoned up, and then campaigns, and then (the November) election, and then we come back, and then it's lame duck season, and that gets to be wild.”

House and Senate rules require all bills assigned in time to a substantive committee to receive at least one public hearing. Committee hearings are a “major portion” of their work, according to an LSC guidebook for legislators, which adds that "the common practice in both houses is to hold at least two hearings on each measure, one for proponents and one for opponents."

A flowchart adapted from an Ohio Legislative Service Commission guidebook shows early steps of a bill. (Illustration by Ben Orner/NBC4)

When a hearing gets scheduled and how far a bill gets in committee, however, is up to the committee chair. That doesn't mean regular people can't impact the process, though.

“Anytime a bill has a number, anyone can call, write, join a coalition group to advocate for that bill's passage, whether it's in that chamber or not,” Fedor said. “They can even write a letter to the governor and encourage him to make it a priority.”

Look up your state legislators here. Contact Gov. Mike DeWine’s office here. The committee chair for SB 271 is state Sen. Bob Peterson (contact him here), and for HB 484 it's state Sen. Kyle Koehler (contact him here).

Categories: Ohio News

Five Central Ohio basketball players nominated to McDonald's All American Games

News Channel 4 - Thu, 01/13/2022 - 11:30

COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) — Five basketball players from Central Ohio have been nominated to play in the 2022 McDonald's All American Games in Chicago.

The annual event will return this March to showcase the nation’s rising stars who will go head-to-head at Chicago’s Wintrust Arena.

  • Ajay Sheldon, Dublin Coffman High School
  • Sean Jones, Gahanna Lincoln High School
  • Mya Perry, Reynoldsburg High School
  • Imarianah Russell, Reynoldsburg High School
  • Chloe Jeffers, Rutherford B. Hayes High, Delaware

Players were nominated by a high school coach, athletic director, principal or member of the McDonald’s All American Games Selection Committee.

Categories: Ohio News

Coronavirus in Ohio Thursday update: More than 19,000 new cases reported

News Channel 4 - Thu, 01/13/2022 - 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 Thursday, Jan. 13 follow:

TotalChangeNew cases2,266,236+19,262Hospitalizations101,187+416ICU admissions12,191+33Deaths*30,435+N/A*–Deaths are updated twice a week, usually on Tuesdays and Fridays

The 21-day case average is above 17,600.

Ohio schools prioritized for rapid COVID-19 tests after 800k kits delayed

The department reported 9,677 people started the vaccination process, bringing the total to 7,084,804, which is 60.61% of the state’s population. And 24,987 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 availableTotal6,60726.2%15.8%In ICU1,22827.65%14.86%On ventilator86217.25%59.38%

Franklin County Public Health Commissioner Joe Mazzola said he thinks we should all be very concerned about the rate at which COVID-19 is spreading in the community. With vaccination rates steadying in the state, the ripple effect is being felt among young children in central Ohio. As the six-month mark for those who got a COVID-19 booster shot in early fall approaches, an Ohio State doctor said it is likely another booster will be needed soon.

Categories: Ohio News

Schmidt’s celebrates re-opening with free creampuffs

News Channel 4 - Thu, 01/13/2022 - 10:45

COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH)-- A Columbus staple, Schmidt’s Restaurant Und Sausage Haus, will re-open its doors in German Village Friday after closing for a week while staff members and their families recovered from COVID-19.

"It was a hard decision, but it wasn't a hard decision. We thought the physical health and the mental health was number one priority for all our team members, and that means everyone, even the family," explained Schmidt's Brand Ambassador Matt Schmidt. "So a nice little paid vacation was just what the doctor ordered."

To celebrate the re-opening, Schmidt’s will give away 136 (the number of years they have been in business) free cream puffs to the first guests in line at 11 a.m.

The Schmidt name as a Columbus meatpacking company dates to the 1880s, with the restaurant in German Village opening in 1967.

During those 136 years, the company has been through two pandemics, two world wars, the Great Depression, a major fire, and the Blizzard of 1977.

"It's not just getting through things but learning from them and growing and figuring out what to do the next time," he added.

You can watch the full interview with Matt Schmidt in the video player at the top of the story.

Categories: Ohio News

Think you're overpaying at the vet? See how much it costs to vaccinate your dog in Columbus, Ohio

News Channel 4 - Thu, 01/13/2022 - 09:10

Although it’s not quite from the moment they’re born, dogs are susceptible to a range of dangerous and fatal viruses shortly after birth. Like humans, female dogs provide passive immunity, or maternal immunity, to their puppies as protection against viruses even while they’re in utero. Most of the protective antibodies are passed on to puppies through their mother’s milk, but this only supports your dog’s immune system until they’re 12 weeks old. This is why it’s essential to schedule a series of vaccinations against diseases like Bordetella, canine distemper, parvovirus, leptospirosis, rabies, Lyme disease, and influenza for your puppy.

And, as a responsible pet owner, you must ensure their vaccinations are up to date annually. Just like us, dogs should complete a yearly visit with their vet who will conduct a physical exam to check in on the animal’s health, recommend maintenance like dental cleaning, and administer vaccinations that have lapsed. While the sum of a complete vaccination series can average $200, treatment of any of these diseases can cost thousands.

Where you live can impact exactly which vaccinations are recommended and how much those cost. For dogs living in a metro area like any of the 25 included on this national list, their level of exposure to various diseases through boarding, dog parks, or dog walking services is greater than those living in more suburban or rural settings. For example, a vaccination against Bordetella—a highly contagious virus that causes kennel cough—is often required for dog services in cities.

Conversely, dogs that are more likely to pick up ticks, like those living near or frequently visiting wooded areas, are at a higher risk of contracting Lyme disease. Therefore, the Lyme disease vaccine should be a priority for these dogs, but not necessarily for those living in city centers where fleas, heartworm disease, and intestinal parasites are often a larger concern than ticks. It's important to consult with your dog’s veterinarian about which vaccines are required or recommended based on your location and lifestyle.

ManyPets used data from Banfield Pet Hospital’s price estimator tool to break down the cost of vaccinating a dog in your city. The average cost mentioned refers to the average among the 25 most populous cities.

Columbus by the numbers

- Average vaccination cost: $32.01 ($1.34 less expensive than average)
--- Bordetella: $29.18
--- Distemper Parvo DAPP: $34.11
--- H3N2 and H3N8 influenza: $46.19
--- Leptospirosis: $20.88
--- Lyme disease: $37.47
--- Rabies: $24.24

A study conducted by the University of California, Davis (published in 2014) found that dogs who contracted leptospirosis, which attacks the kidneys and liver, were hospitalized for an average of 11 days and racked up a treatment bill of more than $5,000. Treatment of parvovirus can cost up to $2,500. The fatality rate for dogs acquiring parvovirus who are unvaccinated, improperly vaccinated, or have lapsed vaccination is 90% when untreated. And without a rabies vaccination, dogs are susceptible to a viral disease that has no cure, can’t be treated with medication, and virtually always fatal.

Operating a business in a metro area is often more expensive than operating that same business in a rural area due to higher overhead costs. Veterinary practices and even vaccination clinics are no exception to this rule of real estate. These overhead costs are typically absorbed by you, the pet owner, who pays the bills for services like vaccination administration. Even within metro regions, costs can vary.

Keep reading below to see which of the 25 most populous cities have the most and least expensive dog vaccination costs.

Cities with the most expensive dog vaccination costs

#1. San Francisco, California: $38.91 average vaccination cost ($5.56 more expensive than average)
#2. San Jose, California: $37.06 average vaccination cost ($3.71 more expensive than average)
#3. San Diego, California: $36.16 average vaccination cost ($2.81 more expensive than average)

Cities with the least expensive dog vaccination costs

#1. El Paso, Texas: $30.87 average vaccination cost ($2.48 less expensive than average)
#2. Nashville, Tennessee: $31.24 average vaccination cost ($2.11 less expensive than average)
#3. Oklahoma City, Oklahoma: $31.24 average vaccination cost ($2.11 less expensive than average)

This story originally appeared on ManyPets and was produced and distributed in partnership with Stacker Studio.

Categories: Ohio News

OHSAA adds girls wrestling, boys volleyball as emerging sports

News Channel 4 - Thu, 01/13/2022 - 08:54

COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) —  In a historic move Thursday, the Ohio High School Athletic Association Board of Directors voted unanimously to add girls wrestling and boys volleyball as emerging sports beginning the 2022-2023 school year.

In addition, the board voted to move girls and boys lacrosse out of the emerging sports category and into the list of OHSAA recognized sports, and also committed to discuss partnering with a group to provide a tournament in esports.

The Ohio High School Wrestling Coaches Association has been conducting a girls wrestling tournament since 2020. The Ohio High School Boys Volleyball Association has been conducting its tournament since 1988.

“The OHSAA has been talking with the boys volleyball and girls wrestling leaders for several years and we are now in the position to bring these two sports into the OHSAA,” said OHSAA Executive Director Doug Ute. “This move will help those sports continue to grow and allow those student-athletes to compete for an OHSAA state championship. It gives more kids opportunities and that is the mission of the OHSAA.”

As emerging sports, girls wrestling and boys volleyball will be administered like the OHSAA’s current 26 recognized sports, but will have additional requirements that could lead to full sanctioning in the future.

With the addition of girls wrestling and boys volleyball, the number of OHSAA sports grows to 28, with 14 for girls and 14 for boys.

Categories: Ohio News

Ohio sees steady increase of jobless claims

News Channel 4 - Thu, 01/13/2022 - 06:41

COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) -- There has been a steady increase of initial jobless claims in Ohio during the past three weeks.  

According to the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services, there were 17,469 initial jobless claims filed for the week ending January 8.  

Vaccination rates among kids steadying in Ohio

This was the third week of increases, and a jump of more than 5,000 from the previous week.  

In the past three weeks, initial jobless claims were 9,337 (Dec. 18), 11,955 (Dec. 25), and 12,349 (Jan. 1). 

The eight-week average for initial jobless claims is 10,534.  

Continued jobless claims for the past week also increased to 57,157, up from 48,846 from the previous week.

The eight-week average for continued jobless claims is 42,895.  

Categories: Ohio News

ODH to provide update on coronavirus in Ohio

News Channel 4 - Thu, 01/13/2022 - 06:23

COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) -- The Ohio Department of Health is hosting a news conference, Thursday, to provide an update on COVID-19 in the state.  

ODH Director Dr. Bruce Vanderhoff will be joined by several health leaders from across the state, including Dr. Daniel Bachmann, Director of Emergency Preparedness and Emergency Physician at the Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center, Dr. Jennifer Wall Forrester, Associate Chief Medical Officer and Infectious Disease Physician at UC Health, and Major General John C. Harris with the Ohio National Guard.

Vaccination rates among kids steadying in Ohio

While COVID-19 cases in Ohio remain high, there hasn’t been a significant increase in the amount of cases for nearly two weeks. The 21-day average for the state is just below 17,500.

The news conference is scheduled for 11 a.m., Thursday, and you can watch it here on

Categories: Ohio News

Watching for a late weekend winter storm in southern, eastern Ohio

News Channel 4 - Thu, 01/13/2022 - 05:29

COLUMBUS (WCMH) -- The winter has been fairly mild, despite a few cold blasts. Snowfall has been scant, totaling merely 1.4 inches in Columbus.

A winter storm will take shape in the South this weekend and pose the threat of a light accumulating snow, primarily affecting eastern and southern portions of the state on Sunday afternoon and night.

Tracking Winter Storms

Meteorologists look at multiple computer models to gauge the probable track of a winter storm. Model guidance ideally comes to a consensus path as a system begins to take shape, which affects the projected temperatures, type of precipitation and amounts.

Subtle shifts by a collection of forecasting models are monitored, and compared to past events and outcomes. The challenge is determining snow-ice-rain boundaries, based on the vertical temperatures profile of the atmosphere, which is correlated with model data to obtain a more precise forecast within 48 hours of an event.


A complex clipper system will drop south from the northwestern Plains to the lower Mississippi Valley, bringing a swath of heavy from Minnesota to northern Missouri.

The Saturday morning weather map will show a band of snow stretching from the lower Missouri Valley to the lower Ohio Valley, and a few flurries in far southern Ohio.

By Saturday evening, the storm will reorganize in the ArkLaTex region and begin churning eastward across the northern Gulf states, before making a turn to the northeast. Light snow will spread northward across the Ohio River Sunday morning, as clouds thicken in central Ohio.

The best opportunity for at least a few inches of snow near and east of the I-71 corridor will come Sunday afternoon and evening, with increasing wind and near-freezing temperatures.

Energy will shift to the Eastern Seaboard, with heavy snow likely in the central and northern Appalachians and a wintry mix changing to rain in the coastal cities with an inland track near the I-95 corridor late Sunday.

Colder air, gusty winds and snow showers will linger Sunday night and on Martin Luther King Jr. Day, creating potentially slick travel conditions.

For the latest weather information:

Stay connected to the latest forecast for central Ohio by watching NBC4, checking or downloading the free Storm Team 4 Mobile Weather app on your smartphone or tablet.

Categories: Ohio News

Minor injuries reported in Hilltop school bus crash

News Channel 4 - Thu, 01/13/2022 - 04:48

COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) -- Minor injuries have been reported after a bus crash in the Hilltop area.  

Police said there were children on the Columbus City School bus when it crashed in the area of S. Highland Avenue and Palmetto Street, just after 6 a.m., Thursday.  

12 Columbus schools in remote learning Thursday

CCS BUS CRASH: S Highland Ave is CLOSED at Palmetto St. Police say a car hit the bus causing the bus to crash into a porch in the Hilltop area. Students were on the bus but no serious injuries. The driver of the other car was taken to the hospital @nbc4i

— Andrea Henderson (@AndreaNBC4) January 13, 2022

Firefighters on scene say one child had a bloody nose after the crash, but none of the children on the bus have been transported.  

According to police, a car hit the bus, causing the bus to drive into a yard and into the porch area of a home.

The driver of the car was taken to an area hospital and was listed as stable.  

The crash remains under investigation.  

Categories: Ohio News

Shooting in east Columbus leaves 1 person dead, 2 injured

News Channel 4 - Thu, 01/13/2022 - 03:21

COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) -- One person is dead, and two others were injured during a shooting in east Columbus.  

According to Columbus police, officers were called to a parking lot in the area of S. Hamilton Road and E. Livingston Avenue, early Thursday morning, on the report of a shooting.  

Help ID couple accused of using cloned credit card at Columbus Lowe’s

Police say at least three people were injured in the shooting, including one victim who was pronounced dead after being transported to an area hospital.  

The shooting remains under investigation.  

Categories: Ohio News


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