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Mainly cloudy, turning colder by weekend, snow possible Sunday

News Channel 4 - Thu, 01/13/2022 - 00:52

A weak clipper disturbance will pass across of Ohio, accompanied by more clouds and an isolated sprinkle. Temperatures will push toward 40 degrees this afternoon, then dip into the mid-30s this evening behind a cold front.

Colder air will filter into Ohio heading into the weekend. Morning lows will fall into the mid-20s Friday, with afternoon readings will be in the mid-30s, under partly to mostly cloudy skies.

A storm developing in the Plains will drop south Saturday well west of Ohio down to near the Gulf Coast, before swinging north Sunday along the Appalachians Snow is likely Sunday afternoon, tapering to flurries with gusty winds Sunday night and early Monday. Light to moderate accumulations are possible, depending the track, likely to split into two systems, with the main energy heading up the Eastern Seaboard.

FORECAST
  • Thursday: Clouds increase, isolated sprinkle. High 40
  • Tonight: Late clearing, cold. Low 27
  • Friday: Mostly cloudy, colder. High: 35
  • Saturday: Mix clouds and sun. High 30 (23)
  • Sunday: Snow develops p.m. High 34 (20)
  • Martin Luther King Day: Cloudy, brisk, flurries. High 30 (24)
  • Tuesday: Mostly cloudy. High 35 (22)
  • Wednesday: Mainly cloudy. High 38 (29)
Categories: Ohio News

COVID spreading rapidly in Franklin County

News Channel 4 - Wed, 01/12/2022 - 19:22

COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) -- 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.

According to Mazzola, Franklin County is seeing a 7-day case rate of about 1,600 cases per 100,000 persons. 

“When you think about the CDC’s definition of what’s considered high transmission, that’s 100 cases per 100,000,” Mazzola said. “We’re seeing 16 times that, right now.”

Nine Columbus schools in remote learning Thursday

Mazzola said the community needs to stay vigilant and take necessary precautions to slow the spread of the virus. He recommends residents wear a mask, be extra cautious when interacting with those outside their household and stay home when sick.

Mazzola hopes the number of new cases in the county plateaus soon.

“We don’t expect those numbers to drop for the next couple of weeks,” he said. “As we’ve seen in northeast Ohio, we’ve seen those cases starting to come down. We’ve started to see some hospitalization numbers come down in northeast Ohio. We expect that we’re a few weeks behind them, so it’s going to be a little while before we get past this surge.”

Currently, the Ohio Department of Health reports 60.89% of Franklin County is fully vaccinated.

“Certainly, vaccination is the number one thing we can all do,” Mazzola said. “We have got to get more of our residents vaccinated here in our community.”

Categories: Ohio News

Nurses leave profession due to COVID burnout

News Channel 4 - Wed, 01/12/2022 - 19:04

COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) -- Nearly one-in-five health care workers have left their job since the pandemic started.

Many of them are nurses, facing unprecedented stress and burnout from this latest wave of the pandemic.

"With the pandemic, it's just kind of this continuous stress level that never seems to let up," said Edria Hoff, a nurse with Central Ohio Primary Care.

Ohio Supreme Court rejects redistricting maps, orders them to be redrawn within 10 days

Hoff has worked as a nurse for 25 years, and throughout her career she's seen and endured quite a lot. But she says nothing compares to this pandemic.

"Having those less busy days, unfortunately don't exist right now. So we're all suffering a little from burnout unfortunately," said Hoff.

That burnout could lead to a massive loss in healthcare workers.

Coronavirus in Ohio Wednesday update: More than 20,000 cases reported

According to a mental health and wellness survey report from the American Nurses Foundation, 42% of nurses say they've experienced trauma because of COVID, while 50% say they've considered leaving their job.

While those numbers are concerning, Hoff says she's even more worried about the number of students avoiding healthcare.

"Those nurses that we were hoping to enter the pool with us, going to college now and saying, you know what, I'm going to pick something else. Because that seems stressful, that seems dangerous," said Hoff.

To keep the staff they have now, hospitals are working to improve the culture of wellness and mental health.

"They need to know that they are seen, they need to know that they are heard, and they need to be acknowledged," said Cathy Cleary, director of Nursing at Central Ohio Primary Care.

Cathy Cleary is the director of Nursing for Central Ohio Primary Care. She says addressing nurses' needs when it comes to their physical and mental wellbeing is crucial. But just as helpful can be the gratitude and appreciation from those in their community.

And that's something nurses say they've seen a lot less of lately.

"I think all of that's gone away because it's become normal, but the folks that are still in there caring for the patients, it's still happening," said Hoff.

Throughout this pandemic, the retention rate for nurses at Central Ohio Primary Care has been at 70%, the company altogether has 2,284 employees, 270 of which are nurses.

Categories: Ohio News

Nine Columbus schools in remote learning Thursday

News Channel 4 - Wed, 01/12/2022 - 16:53

COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) -- High staff absences have forced Columbus City Schools to have nine schools in remote learning on Thursday.

According to a notice from CCS, the following schools are affected:

  • Arts Impact Middle School
  • Cassady Elementary School
  • Huy Elementary School
  •  Hilltonia Middle School
  • Moler Elementary School
  • Wedgewood Middle School
  • West Broad Elementary School
  • West High School
  • Woodward Park Middle School and 6th grade at Walden

Teachers and staff at these schools will report on-site for their normal work schedules. 

Glouster man’s body moved with wheelbarrow, prosecutor says

All Middle School athletic practices and games for the remote learning schools are canceled for Thursday, January 13. All High School athletic practices and games will continue as planned.

The remainder of CCS schools will be in person and operate on their normal schedules that day, the notice said.

Categories: Ohio News

Staff absences close London schools until Tuesday

News Channel 4 - Wed, 01/12/2022 - 16:42

LONDON, Ohio (WCMH) -- Due to a surge of staff-related absences, classes are cancelled for the London City School District according to Superintendent Lou Kramer on Wednesday.

Classes will resume on Tuesday, Jan. 18 after the holiday celebrating Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr..

"In order to continue to serve families, our Champions Child Care program will remain open on both Thursday and Friday this week," the superintendent said on the district's web page.

Ohio Supreme Court rejects redistricting maps, orders them to be redrawn within 10 days

"The bus to Tolles Career and Technical Center will leave LHS at 7:30 am and return by 3:10 pm each day. Students wanting transportation should arrange to meet at the high school prior to 7:30 am."

Both canceled days this week will be treated as calamity days, the superintendent said.

Categories: Ohio News

Flu season hits Ohio with 'high intensity' rating

News Channel 4 - Wed, 01/12/2022 - 16:18

COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) -- Hospitalizations continue to climb on the COVID front and another respiratory disease is now considered to be 'high intensity' here in the Buckeye state.

We're talking about the flu. An emergency department physician says this is coming at a difficult time with Omicron still surging. And it’s something we haven't experienced in some time.

“I was worried about the flu pre-COVID,” said Evelyn Boectcher. She says it’s a concern for every year.

Coronavirus in Ohio Wednesday update: More than 20,000 cases reported

“In 2019 the flu season was really bad, and a lot of schools were closing down,” she remembers.

This year, for the first time we're juggling influenza and COVID.

“We just happened to not have an influenza spike last year because we did really good job a in masking and hygiene,” said Dr. Nicholas Kman, an Emergency Department Physician.

Right now, flu activity is considered high intensity in Ohio -- that's according to the Ohio Department of Health's flu activity report. It says during the final week of the year, 94 people were hospitalized with flu.

Ohio Supreme Court rejects redistricting maps, orders them to be redrawn within 10 days

“If you think about the lab person who test you for COVID or runs the test for COVID — that person also runs the test for influenza — so the more of these cases that we have every day the more our health system gets backed up,” said Dr. Kman. He’s talking about strain on resources.

He added for the two viruses, symptoms are so similar they have to test for both flu and COVID for treatment. Right now Ohio hospitals are treating more than 6,600 COVID patients, that’s according to the Ohio Hospital Association.

“One of the best things you can do is actually call your doctor as well because there are a lot of different resources out there where you can take a home test or you can go through a drive thru testing site,” he said.

Glouster man’s body moved with wheelbarrow, prosecutor says

People we spoke to say they hope flu numbers stay low and that COVID hospitalizations start to trend down soon.

“No matter what happens to you if you get in an accident even you might have a hard time getting treated so it’s definitely a problem, I especially worry about things you can’t control like you get the flu,” said Aaron Nielsen.

Dr. Kman says a way you can help hospitals with COVID and the flu is getting both vaccines. He added you can safely get both at the same time.

Categories: Ohio News

Amtrak station plans a step closer for Columbus

News Channel 4 - Wed, 01/12/2022 - 15:41

COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH)--Excitement is growing after renderings of a potential Amtrak station in the heart of Columbus were released this week.

The proposal shows how train tracks located near the Columbus Convention Center could be used by adding the station to the center itself.

"You've got that visitor that can come, leave their car, go to Cleveland, go to Cincinnati, go wherever," said Ryan Thorpe, Asst. General Manager of the Greater Columbus Convention Center.

"With the new hotel coming online, that's going to put the whole convention center in a different bracket, if you will, in terms of attracting shows and bringing shows to Columbus. Adding a train station into that mix will just really create that additional visitor option for Columbus that doesn't exist now," said Thorpe.

"There's a certain amount of poetry to that location since part of the convention center complex footprint is on the footprint of the old Columbus Union station," said Marc Magliari with Amtrak.

The "3C+D" corridor would connect Columbus to Cleveland, Cincinnati and Dayton, perhaps providing a level of interaction the state has never seen.

"If you want to go see a Reds game, If you want to go see a Cleveland Browns game, this'll be a safe to get people safely from professional events in the state of Ohio," said Thea Ewing, Director of Transportation & Infrastructure with the Mid-Ohio Regional Planning Commission.

"Also, it'd be a great leveraging tool for businesses who want to connect folks to jobs in other cities. A service like this would be available to people who maybe don't own their own vehicle...they also maybe want to connect with family member in Cleveland, Cincinnati, or Dayton. This will be another way for them to access those folks."

Amtrak received about $66 billion from the Infrastructure law signed by President Biden in November. The proposal for Columbus would cost just a fraction of that - around $23 million, but that doesn't mean the project is a sure thing.

"The money's there but it hasn't been dedicated to us yet," Ewing said.

The next step for the project will be a competition of sorts between communities for that funding, led by the Federal Railroad Authority.

"They'll set priorities on what routes are the most important to either resume or increase. Once we know what that roadmap looks like, we can work with the communities, work with MORPC, work with state DOT and everyone else to try and make it a reality," Magliari said, adding the route is a top priority for Amtrak.

"Amtrak estimates that it will generate $130 million dollars per year in economic growth for the state of Ohio by opening up this passenger rail service," said Don Brown, Executive Director & CEO of the Franklin County Convention Facilities Authority.

Approval of that funding -- and how it's timed to be distributed -- will then determine if, when, and where, the new Amtrak station will be located in Columbus.

"We're not selling tickets tomorrow. We're probably not selling tickets in 2023. But is it out there somewhere as a real possibility? Yeah, it is...and the more organized these communities and these regions in these states are, the more likely it is to happen.

"And if you want it to happen, tell the people you vote for," Magliari concluded.

Categories: Ohio News

Glouster man's body moved with wheelbarrow, prosecutor says

News Channel 4 - Wed, 01/12/2022 - 15:08

ATHENS, Ohio (WCMH) -- Two men charged in the death of Gary Gardner of Glouster allegedly moved his body with a wheelbarrow, the Athens County Prosecutor's Office said.

Zachary Stanley, 40, of Athens, and Thomas Thomas, 45, of Glouster, were both indicted Monday in Athens County. They were charged with involuntary manslaughter, tampering with evidence and gross abuse of a corpse, the prosecutor's office said in a media release.

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

Gardner, 56, was found dead outside of a Glouster home on Sept. 30. Drugs and paraphernalia were discovered at the scene along with evidence that a wheelbarrow was used to move the body.

The indictments allege that Thomas and Stanley caused Gardner’s death in connection with drug trafficking.

Thomas was arrested Wednesday and pleaded not guilty in Athens County Common Pleas Court. He was
placed on a $250,000 bond. Stanley has yet to be arrested, the media release said.

Categories: Ohio News

Food hall coming to Schumacher Place

News Channel 4 - Wed, 01/12/2022 - 14:27

COLUMBUS, Ohio (COLUMBUS BUSINESS FIRST)--Schumacher Place is getting a food hall. Kreais Cos. is rehabilitating the buildings at 364-368 E. Whittier St. with the goal of opening a 12,000-square-foot food hall in early 2023, said Principal Aaron Kreais.

Kreais said he wasn't ready to share how many food vendors would be in the space or the name of the development yet. He has owned the buildings since 2019.

The design of the food hall is about half done. The pandemic delayed some aspects of the project.

The Whittier Street buildings are a walkable distance from the new Pizzuti development set to replace the neighborhood's former Giant Eagle, not to mention the other restaurants and retail in the area, Kreais said.

The space would open about the same time as townhomes Kreais Cos. has proposed in Merion Village at 359 Frebis Ave. That development, dubbed Eisen 359, will have 20 townhomes for sale. The units would include three bedrooms and up to four bathrooms. Units will range from 1,500 square feet to 2,600 square feet and two to three stories. The larger units will have rooftop patio access.

Kreais said there will be a public art component facing Frebis Avenue.

The developer also has a multifamily project in the works on Taylor Avenue near OSU Carepoint East. Jonathan Barnes is the architect on the project, which Kreais hopes to break ground on in late summer or early fall.

For more business headlines, go to ColumbusBusinessFirst.com.

Categories: Ohio News

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

News Channel 4 - Wed, 01/12/2022 - 14:25

COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) -- Schools and colleges will get priority for Ohio's supply of COVID-19 tests in response to delays in shipments of 800,000 kits and a national shortage of testing supplies.

The Ohio Department of Health announced the change Wednesday. Previously, it had distributed both the proctored rapid antigen tests and over-the-counter self-administered tests to public places like libraries and health departments, giving away 5.6 million kits.

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"ODH ordered 1.2 million proctored testing kits for January," the department said in a media release. "So far, 400,000 proctored testing kits have been received and are being distributed."

The rest of the 800,000 kits should arrive later this month, the release said. These will go first to meet the needs of schools and colleges but will flow back to libraries and local health departments once supply stabilizes.

Several Columbus City Schools move to remote learning Tuesday

The overall demand for testing in Ohio is exceptionally high, with a seven-day average of more than 94,000 tests per day.  

Categories: Ohio News

Honda Civic wins North American Car of the Year

News Channel 4 - Wed, 01/12/2022 - 14:24

MARYSVILLE, Ohio (COLUMBUS BUSINESS FIRST)--Honda Motor Co. nabbed another accolade for its award shelf.

The automaker, which bases its North American production in Marysville, earned its seventh North American Car/Truck/Utility of the Year award for the 2022 Honda Civic. It’s the third time the Civic has won the North American Car of the Year award — more than any other car in the award’s 28 year history.

The Ford Maverick was named North American Truck of the Year. The Ford Bronco was named North American Utility of the Year.

This is the fourth time in the past six years that a Honda (NYSE:HMC) has won the car, truck or utility award. Civic won in 2016, Ridgeline in 2017 and Accord in 2018. Civic and Ridgeling both won in 2006 and the Acura MDX was awarded Truck of the Year in 2001.

The 11th-generation Civic is built in Greensburg, Indiana and Alliston, Ontario. It includes a sedan, hatchback and Si models. The redesign included a more rigid body structure topped with a “sleek and sporty” design, in Honda’s words. Features include class-leading interior space, drive train options including a high-torque turbo engine and a host of standard safety, driver-assistive and connected-car technology.

“The new Civic shows Honda at its very best,” juror Lawrence Ulrich said in a release. “Bulletproof, brilliantly engineered and fun-to-drive, the Civic is the kind of affordable car that every automaker should aspire to.”

The annual contest, which started in 1994, is judged by 50 automotive journalists. It is the longest-running new vehicle award that is not associated with a single publication.

Thirty-six vehicles qualified for judging this year. That was narrowed down to 23 semifinalists, then to nine finalists with three per category.

Civic bested the new Volkswagen Golf and the Lucid Air, a luxury electric car.

Jurors evaluate vehicles on a variety of factors including innovation, design, safety, handling, driver satisfaction and value for the dollar.

Civic sales were up 1% this year for Honda, but those sales likely would have been higher were it not for limited supply. Civic has been the Honda vehicle most impacted by the international shortage in microchips. Still, it was the second best-selling vehicle in Central Ohio last year, according to data from ISeeCars.com.

For more business headlines, go to ColumbusBusinessFirst.com.

Categories: Ohio News

Vaccination rates among kids steadying in Ohio

News Channel 4 - Wed, 01/12/2022 - 13:59

COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) -- With vaccination rates steadying in the state, the ripple effect is being felt among young children in central Ohio.

And as more and more schools move to remote learning, at least temporarily, some parents say keeping their children in school is providing extra motivation to see their children roll up their sleeves.

"I feel good about it," says 9-year-old King Robinson just moments after receiving his second dose of the COVID-19 vaccine.

Omicron surge might be way bigger than Ohio’s COVID-19 numbers suggest, doctor says

As Robinson sits in the monitoring room, he's reminded by his mother why he's rolling up his sleeve.

"To stay healthy and so I can be around people," King states.

"We want to make sure others are safe. And I'm a senior, and I'm raising King, and being 66 and my age. So there's various reasons," admits King's mother Marsha Marshall.

But with just over 21% of children in King's age group having started the vaccination process, it's not only the health of others that has Marshall concerned.

"King has sickle cell. Which means he may be more susceptible," Marshall says, describing the advice she received from her son's doctors.

A fourth-grade student in the Worthington school district, King has continued in-person education despite central Ohio's rising case numbers.

"Last year and the year before he was being virtually educated, and it was kind of difficult for him to sit and go through those hours," Marshall recalls. "But there's nothing like hands on. So, now he's at the playground with the other kids, and lunch, and he loves it."

Several Columbus city schools have moved to remote learning in response to staffing shortages and the growing spread.

Increased COVID-19 testing affecting laboratories

A reality shared by a number of schools across central Ohio.

"I feel better now that he has his second dose. And his class, for the majority of the class, is also vaxxed," adds Marshall about her comfort level with in-person classes.

Of the state's more than 2,800 cases among school age children, 3% have resulted in hospitalizations.

Still, health experts encourage vaccinations for the younger population -- a decision King took himself.

"Yes, he wanted to get it. He's informed enough to realize and be part of that decision," says Marshall.

And with schools teetering on the brink of tough decision, King has words of motivation for his classmates.

"To not be scared," King encourages.

For parents interested in scheduling a vaccine for their children, vaccine clinics are available at Columbus Public Health. For times and information, you can visit their website.

Categories: Ohio News

Ohio Supreme Court rejects redistricting maps, orders them to be redrawn within 10 days

News Channel 4 - Wed, 01/12/2022 - 13:54

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — The Ohio Supreme Court declared newly drawn legislative maps invalid on Wednesday and ordered the GOP-created boundaries to be fixed within 10 days.

The court's rejection of maps that would have retained Republican supermajorities in both chambers is a victory for Democratic and voting rights groups who had challenged the lines as unconstitutionally gerrymandered.

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

In a two-paragraph entry, Republican Chief Justice Maureen O’Connor sent the maps back to the Ohio Redistricting Commission to take another crack at complying with provisions of a 2015 constitutional amendment requiring an attempt at avoiding partisan favoritism.

Republicans who controlled the map-drawing process had argued the commission met its constitutional mandates by complying with a host of other protocols that made the partisan favoritism and proportionality provisions moot. The commission was unable to strike bipartisan compromise earlier and had disbanded.

The maps of the Ohio House and Ohio Senate strongly favored the Republican party, although Ohio’s political mix is 54% Republican, 46% Democratic.

O’Connor, who is 70, must leave the court at year’s end due to age limits. Hers was considered a pivotal opinion on the 4-3 Republican-majority court.

The decision impacts all three lawsuits against the maps brought on behalf of Ohio voters by a host of national groups, including the National Democratic Redistricting Committee, the ACLU, the League of Women Voters, CAIR-Ohio, the Ohio Organizing Collaborative and the A. Philip Randolph Institute.

This was the powerful new Ohio Redistricting Commission’s first time drawing new legislative maps of 99 Ohio House and 33 Ohio Senate districts. Its members, five Republicans and two Democrats, failed to arrive at bipartisan consensus, so the map they approved Sept. 16 along party lines was set to last only four years.

The dispute comes in the process of redrawing legislative and congressional district maps that states must undertake once per decade to reflect changes from the U.S. Census.

Categories: Ohio News

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

News Channel 4 - Wed, 01/12/2022 - 12:17

COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) -- Central Ohio Crime Stoppers is looking for help identifying two people accused of using a cloned credit card to purchase some $1,400 in items from a Columbus Lowe's.

According to a news release, the two people -- a man and a woman -- entered the Lowe's on Silver Drive in Columbus the afternoon of Sept. 15, 2021, and used the cloned card for their purchases.

Electric bill differences has Columbus property owner asking questions

A cloned credit card is when a person makes an unauthorized copy of a card. Information may be copied using a card skimmer and then transferred either to a new card or overwritten on an existing one.

Three photos of the suspects were released:

  • Photo released of a person accused of using a cloned credit card at a Lowe's in Columbus, Ohio, in September 2021
  • Photo released of a person accused of using a cloned credit card at a Lowe's in Columbus, Ohio, in September 2021
  • Photo released of a person accused of using a cloned credit card at a Lowe's in Columbus, Ohio, in September 2021

Anyone with information may call Central Ohio Crime Stoppers at 614-461-8477 or make a report at stopcrime.org.

Categories: Ohio News

Columbus schools to remain in-person, not move to remote learning

News Channel 4 - Wed, 01/12/2022 - 11:28

COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) -- The superintendent of Columbus City Schools said Wednesday afternoon that the district intends to keep using in-person learning despite a request from the teachers' union to move to remote learning for two weeks.

Superintendent Dr. Talisa Dixon and the district's medical consultant, Dr. Sara Bode, said that COVID-19 mitigation strategies are working and that the best place for the students to be is in the classroom, not on a computer.

Electric bill differences has Columbus property owner asking questions

"In-person learning is the best model for our students," Dixon said during a media briefing.

Since the end of winter break, a handful of Columbus schools have switched to remote learning because of staffing shortages related to COVID-19 infections. This week, a group of teachers requested that the entire district move to remote learning for two weeks.

“It’s basically calling for a two-week pause period,” Columbus Education Association President John Coneglio said.

The teachers' union, which represents over 4,200 educators in the district, submitted its request through a public letter signed by over 2,800 members.

Categories: Ohio News

Second COVID-19 booster shot appears likely, Ohio State doctor says

News Channel 4 - Wed, 01/12/2022 - 11:11

COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) -- 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.

"I expect that we'll probably need at least one more booster," said Dr. Carlos Malvestutto, an associate professor of infectious diseases at Wexner Medical Center.

Omicron surge might be way bigger than Ohio’s COVID-19 numbers suggest, doctor says

But what's not clear, he says, is what the booster will contain because of the unpredictability of the virus.

"Already the mRNA vaccine manufacturers [Moderna and Pfizer] are preparing the next to actually target Omicron," Malvestutto said. "And so the question is: will it target specifically Omicron or other variants?"

Trump says politicians who won’t confirm boosters are ‘gutless’

Malvestutto said he predicts at some point, a COVID-19 shot will be similar to yearly flu vaccines based on what strains are circulating in the population.

You can watch the full interview with Dr. Malvestutto in the video below.

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Categories: Ohio News

Coronavirus in Ohio Wednesday update: More than 20,000 cases reported

News Channel 4 - Wed, 01/12/2022 - 11:05

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

Numbers as of Wednesday, Jan. 12 follow:

TotalChangeNew cases2,246,974+20,093Hospitalizations100,771+499ICU admissions12,158+44Deaths*30,435+N/A*–Deaths are updated twice a week, usually on Tuesdays and Fridays Donate blood, earn a chance to go to the Super Bowl

The 21-day case average is above 17,400.

The department reported 8,720 people started the vaccination process, bringing the total to 7,076,424, which is 60.54% of the state’s population. And 25,828 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 availableTotal6,63726.4%15.5%In ICU1,22127.46%14.55%On ventilator84116.84%58.93%

An Ohio State University doctor believes the number of COVID-19 cases people are developing daily is vastly higher than what is being reported. Every part of the COVID-19 testing process is being affected by the high demand for tests, including at OhioHealth labs. Starting this week, employers with more than 100 employees must require unvaccinated workers to wear a mask. Starting in February, they’ll be required to test weekly for COVID-19.

Categories: Ohio News

Columbus climate: Near-record warm December bookended hot 2021 across Ohio, U.S.

News Channel 4 - Wed, 01/12/2022 - 10:25

COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) – The near-record warmth Ohio experienced in 2021 lasted through its final days, ending with an unseasonable start to winter.

All major weather stations in the state saw a top-five warm December last month, according to data tracked by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, bookending another hotter-than-average year with the nation's warmest December yet.

Whether it was December’s average temperatures, highs or lows, all came close to their warmest in history in Columbus and across Ohio.

The capital city recorded an average daily temperature last month of 41.8 degrees Fahrenheit, conditions usually seen in March. At 7.4 degrees above normal, December was Columbus’ fourth-warmest on record.

“December was a much-warmer-than-normal month,” said NBC4 Chief Meteorologist Dave Mazza.

In Ohio, Dayton, Findlay and Zanesville saw their second-warmest Decembers on record. Even Cincinnati, where warmer average temperatures less often see near-record readings, had its fourth-warmest December going back 150 years: 8.9 degrees above normal.

Ohio city (Years of recordkeeping)Avg. daily temp. rank, Dec. '21Dayton (127 years)2nd-warmestFindlay (80 years)2nd-warmestZanesville (76 years)2nd-warmestAkron (133 years)3rd-warmestMansfield (102 years)3rd-warmestCincinnati (150 years)4th-warmestColumbus (144 years)4th-warmestYoungstown (94 years)4th-warmestCleveland (143 years)T-4th-warmestToledo (148 years)5th-warmestSource: NOAA. For cities with multiple weather stations, station with longest history chosen.

“Our average low of 33.1 degrees was only 1.4 degrees below our normal average temperature for the month of 34.5 degrees,” Mazza said of Columbus, “incredible for a top 10.”

The average daily high temperature in the capital city last month was 51.3 degrees, an 11.2-degree departure from normal that was "wild for December," Mazza said, when normal highs range from the lower 40s to upper 30s.

"We had one day with highs in the 20s, three days with highs in the 30s, 10 in the 40s, 12 in the 50s, and five in the 60s," he said.

Wednesday forecast: Milder temperatures midweek, colder weekend

Only four days out of 31 recorded below normal average temperatures, Mazza added. Also, seventeen of 31 days were partly cloudy to sunny, “which is odd for one of our grayest months.”

Looking at the whole 12 months, 2021 was Columbus’ eighth-hottest year on record, with average daily temperatures 1.7 degrees above normal. Last year was also the hottest year on record in Akron and Toledo.

Ohio city (Years of recordkeeping)Avg. daily temp. rank, 2021Toledo (148 years)WarmestAkron (133 years)WarmestMansfield (102 years)2nd-warmestFindlay (80 years)2nd-warmestDayton (127 years)5th-warmestZanesville (76 years)5th-warmestCleveland (143 years)T-5th-warmestYoungstown (94 years)T-6th-warmestColumbus (144 years)8th-warmestCincinnati (150 years)T-22nd-warmestSource: NOAA. For cities with multiple weather stations, station with longest history chosen.

Nationwide, 2021 was the fourth-warmest year on record in the lower 48 U.S. states, according to NOAA. The six warmest years have all been since 2012.

At 6.66 degrees above normal, according to NOAA data, last month was the nation's hottest December yet, beating 2015.

Climate change trend: More rain, less snow

Columbus saw just half an inch of snow last month as precipitation with the warm temperatures instead favored rain. The city was 4.6 inches below normal for December snowfall, Mazza noted, but it was still 1.38 inches above normal for precipitation.

Winter precipitation falling as rain instead of snow is a growing trend in much of the U.S. as the country experiences warmer average conditions. This change in the weather, part of a broader change in the climate, is primarily linked to humans emitting heat-trapping gases like carbon dioxide into the atmosphere.

Columbus climate change plan: Carbon neutral by 2050

A 2019 report for the Union of Concerned Scientists, for example, projects little change in the number of precipitation days in the Midwest through the end of the century, but warming temperatures mean more of that winter moisture will be rain.

"More precipitation will fall as rain and less as snow, particularly in southern Midwest states and towards the end of the century," authors wrote, adding that "reductions of 30 to 50% in annual snow days are expected under lower emissions, and 45 to 60% under higher."

Screenshot via Union of Concerned Scientists 2019 report "Climate Change in the Midwest: Projections of Future Temperature and Precipitation"

Columbus is 6.9 inches below normal for snowfall this year as of Tuesday (the snow season starts July 1), and more measurable flakes aren’t expected until at least this weekend. The capital city has seen just 1.4 inches of snow when it should have seen 9.3 inches.

With the lack in snowfall, Mazza remarked at the amount of sunshine Columbus saw beating on ground that was not covered by a normal December snowfall.

“Instead of wasting that energy/heat on melting snow and reflection, we were able to absorb more than what is typical in a December,” he said.

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Despite the near-record warmth last month, Columbus got close to some daily temperature records but neither set nor tied any. The city did set two daily rain records, though: wettest Dec. 6 and wettest Dec. 25.

Mazza said the outlook for the rest of January is normal, chilly conditions with more chances for snow, as long as Columbus sees a typical weather pattern carrying from the northwest.

“Also, January can produce a couple of snowfalls that make up for the normal for the entire month quickly,” Mazza said. “Plus, as we kind of joke about always, it only takes one event.”

“We can have mild-ish, gray days with temps in the upper 30s all month, and one 8-inch event will all make us remember the month as a bad snow month.”

Categories: Ohio News

Big Ten revises 2022 football schedule, with seven Ohio State game weeks changed

News Channel 4 - Wed, 01/12/2022 - 10:05

COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) — The Big Ten announced a revised schedule for the 2022 football season Wednesday, with seven Ohio State games altered.

The Buckeyes will now host five straight games to begin the season, including conference games against Wisconsin on Sept. 24 and Rutgers on Oct. 1.

Buckeyes finish 6th in final AP Top 25 Poll for 2021 season

The Big Ten said the changes were made to “account for alterations made during the 2020 football season” when the conference played an eight-game schedule with several cancelations.

2022 Ohio State schedule (previously scheduled game)
  • Sept. 3 – Notre Dame
  • Sept. 10 – Arkansas State
  • Sept. 17 – Toledo
  • Sept. 24 – Wisconsin (at Michigan State)
  • Oct. 1 – Rutgers (at Penn State)
  • Oct. 8 – at Michigan State (Rutgers)
  • Oct. 15 – Off (Iowa)
  • Oct. 22 – Iowa (Off)
  • Oct. 29 – at Penn State (Indiana)
  • Nov. 5 – at Northwestern
  • Nov. 12 – Indiana (Wisconsin)
  • Nov. 19 – at Maryland
  • Nov. 26 – Michigan
Categories: Ohio News

Doorbell camera may help investigators determine cause of plane crash that killed two from Ohio

News Channel 4 - Wed, 01/12/2022 - 09:09

ST. CHARLES COUNTY, Mo. – Investigators confirm a doorbell camera may help them figure out what caused a deadly plane crash in St. Charles County over the weekend that killed two from Ohio.

During a news conference Tuesday, an investigator with the National Transportation Safety Board also revealed new information about the flight’s final moments. Killed were George King, 55, of Westerville and Amanda Youngblood, 35, of Huber Heights, Ohio, near Dayton.

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“The airplane after it took off climbed to 8,000 (feet) on a westerly heading, then it began a turn to the left, back toward the east with a descent,” said Michael Folkerts, NTSB. “The airplane impacted into a forested area. It was rural at a high airspeed on a westerly heading.”

The plane had no black box data or cockpit voice recorders but Automatic Dependent Surveillance-Broadcast (ADS-B) data provide valuable information about the flight, he said.

NTSB and Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) investigators will reconstruct what little is left of the engines, propellers, and avionics, of the 1981 Beechcraft baron twin-engine plane.

Information from FlightAware showed the plane taking off as two small bands of precipitation approached Spirit of St. Louis Airport in Chesterfield at 7:10 p.m. Saturday. The plane then turned back with the flight ending at 7:19 p.m., the official time of the crash.

The pilots’ communications with air traffic control were limited.

“There was not a distress call,” Folkerts said. “There are some communications that we’re assessing that give the impression that potentially there was an issue.”

There’s another thing investigators are considering: that audio from a doorbell camera from a neighborhood of new homes about a third of a mile from the crash site outside of New Melle. You can hear the plane going down.

“We’ll have a sound spectrum analysis completed on the doorbell video,” Folkerts said. “We’re looking to try to prevent the next tragedy.”

Witnesses who may have heard or seen anything are encouraged to contact the NTSB via email at witness@NTSB.gov.

King and Youngblood were flying for Airnet II, a Columbus company. Its website says the company specializes in transporting potentially dangerous cargo. This plane was empty.

The experienced pilots were certified for “instrument flying” in inclement weather, Folkerts said. They were headed to Denver for a pickup and return to St. Louis. The plane made the same flight six days earlier.

Ice was not a factor, Folkerts said, but the weather still could have been. It certainly has hampered the search for the wreckage.

“The weather was bad. It is very hilly terrain. It was off the roadway. It was really challenging. There was no fire,” said St. Charles County Police Chief Kurt Frizz.

It took searchers nearly two hours to find the wreckage in the rugged terrain. The closest highway was Highway F.

The NTSB expects to issue a preliminary report within two weeks.

Categories: Ohio News

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