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Updated: 20 min 48 sec ago

Columbus passes rules for mobility devices, scooters

Mon, 09/24/2018 - 19:09

They've been called different things: Convenient, a nuisance, an eye sore, a transportation dream.

Monday, Columbus City Council established new rules when it comes to scooters around the city.

"The legislation attempts to legislate E-bikes as well as E-scooters," Tom Bennett said as he addressed council.

Bennett owns Orbit City Bikes. He sells E-bikes. He says the attention around scooters has caused council to inadvertently roll E-bikes into that equation.

"I don't think there's a problem with the scooters, properly regulated," he said. "Just everything got put to a head because of the scooter companies."

He says that's not fair for E-bikes, because they should be classified with bicycles.

The legislation passed Monday evening, and it's set to take effect in about 30 days, pending Mayor Andrew Ginther's signature. At that time, scooters will have to be ridden on the streets, or bike paths, at 35 miles per hour or less. They also cannot be parked on a sidewalk if it gets in the way of foot traffic.

City Council member Emmanuel Remy says if scooters are in the way, people should call the number on the scooter to have the business come and move them, which has a timetable of two hours.

"I think sometimes with new technology there is a learning curve and so we've established a guideline for them to follow," Remy said.

Monday's vote comes after extensive research and looking at other municipalities to see what worked and what didn't when it comes to scooters.

"It's a beginning," Frank Williams said. "It's a beginning. I think it's a good start."

Williams is an administrator with the city's Division of Infrastructure Management. He says it's about balancing common sense and growing technology.

"They told me don't worry about it," Bennett said. "But, it's in the law now, so someone commuting could really get stopped and given a ticket for being on a 45 mph road."

The city says it is willing to revisit this issue down the road.

"We're more than willing to look at individual types of devices," Remy said. "To see if we've got it right."

Another factor is House Bill 250, which is making its way through the State House, that deals with the classification of certain vehicles. If passed, Council member Remy and Williams say it's possible the issue will have to be revisited.

Categories: Ohio News

Kavanaugh says he won't let 'false accusations' push him out

Mon, 09/24/2018 - 18:44

WASHINGTON (AP) — Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh declared in a televised interview Monday that he never sexually assaulted anyone in high school or at any other time in his life.

Kavanaugh and his wife, Ashley, sat down for an interview with Fox News Channel's "The Story with Martha MacCallum" after a second woman accused him of sexual misconduct.

Christine Blasey Ford has accused Kavanaugh of assaulting her at a party when they were teenagers. Kavanaugh denied he was "at any such party." He said he did not question that perhaps Ford at some point in her life was sexually assaulted, "but what I know is I've never sexually assaulted anyone."

Kavanaugh said it's possible he may have met Ford at some time, but he said they were not friends and did not travel in the same social circles. He said he did not remember being at a party with her.

"I was not at the party described," Kavanaugh said.

Kavanaugh was asked if there was any chance Ford misunderstood an exchange between them.

"I have never had any sexual or physical activity with Dr. Ford," Kavanaugh said. "I've never sexually assaulted anyone, in high school or otherwise."

The second woman, Deborah Ramirez, has accused Kavanaugh of exposing himself to her at a Yale dormitory party, putting his penis in her face and causing her to touch it without her consent as she pushed him away.

Kavanaugh said Monday, "I never did any such thing."

"If such a thing had happened, it would have been the talk of campus," Kavanaugh said.

It's rare for nominees to the Supreme Court to give interviews. Russell Wheeler, an expert on the judicial selection process at the Brookings Institution, said he is unaware of a similar media interview by a Supreme Court nominee in the past 100 years.

But there's nothing ordinary about the stakes and circumstances of Kavanaugh's nomination, with Republicans fighting to get him on the court by the end of September and cement a conservative-leaning court for years to come.

President Donald Trump and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell say they are determined to get Kavanaugh on the court, calling the allegations against him false and politically motivated. Kavanaugh was defiant as well.

"I'm not going to let false accusations drive us out of this process," Kavanaugh said.

Democrats have accused Republicans of not conducting a thorough review in their rush to get Kavanaugh confirmed. They want the FBI to reopen its background investigation of Kavanaugh and look into the allegations against him.

Ford and Kavanaugh are set to testify Thursday before the Senate Judiciary Committee.

In the Fox interview Kavanaugh got a taste of the personal questions he'll face from senators. MacCallum asked him how long he was a virgin in college, after he volunteered that he never had sex in high school.

"Many years after. I'll leave it at that," Kavanaugh said.

Ashley Kavanaugh was asked whether she wondered if her husband was telling the truth about the allegations against him. "No, I know Brett. I've known him for 17 years," she said, adding: "I know his heart. This is not consistent with Brett."

Kavanaugh appeared to get emotional at the end of the interview. He said Trump called him in the afternoon to show his support.

"I know he's going to stand by me," Kavanaugh said.

Categories: Ohio News