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Columbus Crew legend Federico Higuain announces he will retire as a player at end of season

The playing career of Federico Higuain will soon be over. After 10 seasons in Major League Soccer, including eight with the Crew from 2012-19, the Argentinian attacking midfielder announced Friday that after Inter Miami plays home against New York City FC this Saturday and at New England Revolution on Nov. 7, he will retire from playing. Higuain, 37, is arguably the most beloved player in the Crew’s 26-year history as a club.

28s
Oct 30, 2021
School board member fired from township job for allegedly 'campaigning' on township time

David Donofrio is running for re-election to the South-Western City Schools board of education. Until recently, he was also employed by Prairie Township, officials for which say he was running the office like a campaign headquarters. Trustees Kennedy, Cathy Schmelzer and Doug Stormont voted unanimously to fire Donofrio at a special meeting Thursday. Donofrio says he had submitted notice earlier to take another job. A Dispatch request for records related to the firing revealed a trove of campaign-related documents found on Donofrio's township computer.

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Oct 30, 2021
Ohio State's Kyle Young out indefinitely with medical condition

Kyle Young will not play in Monday’s exhibition game against the University of Indianapolis as he deals with a medical condition. Ohio State men’s basketball coach Chris Holtmann said today that Young is dealing with a vestibular dysfunction. The condition, which causes dizziness, vertigo, nausea and cognitive impairment, can be caused by head injury or infection, though it’s unclear in Young’s case. Holtmann said Young had a great summer and “played some of the best that I’ve seen him” but didn’t notice the condition bothering him until the fall.

30s
Oct 30, 2021
Franklin County Sheriff deputy latest first-responder to die of COVID-19 in Greater Columbus

A deputy with the Franklin County Sheriff's Office has become the latest first-responder in Greater Columbus to die of complications related to COVID-19. Deputy Billy Ihrig, 52, died Thursday, according to a Facebook post from the sheriff's office. He had joined the sheriff's office in 2004 after serving 13 years in the U.S. Marine Corps. Funeral arrangements for Ihrig have not been announced.

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Oct 30, 2021
DeWine replaces Ohio Board of Education members after they resign over anti-racism resolution

Gov. Mike DeWine announced his picks for Ohio's State Board of Education hours after two members resigned over a controversial vote to repeal an anti-racism resolution. Board President Laura Kohler, of New Albany, and Eric Poklar, of Worthing, both submitted letters of resignation Friday morning. The governor's spokesman declined to comment, but his office did announce his new nominations for the board Friday afternoon: Brandon Kern from Fairfield County and Richard Chernesky from Waynesville. All the appointed members voted for the original resolution in July 2020, but only Kohler and Poklar voted against repealing it in October.

37s
Oct 30, 2021
What channel is the game on? Here's how to watch, stream OSU vs. PSU

The Ohio State football team scored 47 straight points against Indiana to win 54-7 last week. That's kind of become the norm for the Buckeyes. Ohio State has outscored opponents in the past four games 231-44. But this week could be much different. For the first time since Week 2, Ohio State plays a ranked opponent when No. 20 Penn State travels to Columbus. The game kicks off at 7:30 p.m., and you can watch it on ABC.

27s
Oct 30, 2021
Couple behind Issue 7 in Columbus have history of bankruptcies

While the people behind the Issue 7 green-energy initiative on Tuesday's ballot have remained largely secretive, court records reveal that two of their leaders have been mired in major personal financial problems that have dogged them for the past 14 years. John A. Clarke Jr. and his wife, Irene Gil-Llamas filed an unsuccessful multimillion-dollar bankruptcy during the 2007 housing crash. Court records from U.S. Bankruptcy Court, Southern District of Ohio, show the couple being hit with more than a dozen foreclosure cases on properties they owned, including on their 5,500-square-foot, historic home on the Near East Side. Without the protection of bankruptcy reorganization, foreclosure cases against the couple stretched into late 2011, months before they began their quest to control tens of millions in taxpayer dollars.

49s
Oct 30, 2021
Joyce Beatty lists Blacklick home for $1.2 million

U.S. Rep. Joyce Beatty [bay-tee] has put her Blacklick home on the market, five months after the death of her husband, Otto Beatty Jr. The home, on Taylor Corners Circle in Blacklick, includes five bedrooms, five-and-a-half bathrooms and 7,280 square feet. Coldwell Banker agent Michael Jones is listing the property for $1.2 million. Beatty is moving into a two-bedroom, 2,379-square-foot Downtown condominium that she bought in September for $599,000.

30s
Oct 30, 2021
'These are closed institutions': Deaths, excessive force and staff discipline problems plague major Ohio prison

In the past two years at Ohio's Correctional Reception Center, nine inmates have died, three have been slammed to the ground and knocked out, and a 16-year-old on suicide watch was pepper-sprayed and left in his cell for nearly three hours without being decontaminated, state records show. The reception center south of Columbus is where thousands of inmates are assigned security levels before moving to other prisons. The cases come to light after a review of hundreds of pages of records obtained by the USA TODAY Network Ohio through public records requests. The cases illustrate issues with the state-sanctioned violence, substandard medical care, concerns about management of staff and security camera blind spots.

42s
Oct 30, 2021
Distrust, disinformation, dark money: Who's trying to sway Worthington school board race?

A billboard calling incumbent school board candidate Nikki Hudson a failure towers over High Street as drivers enter Worthington from Clintonville. It's unclear who is behind the billboards, which appeared on Oct. 4. They're just one example of attacks veiled behind a cloak of anonymity in what has become a hotly debated Worthington school board election. It’s been fueled in part by a mysterious nonprofit (501c4) group and a limited liability corporation. Disinformation, dark money and negative ads are becoming increasingly common in local school board races.

33s
Oct 30, 2021
'A missed opportunity' Ohio Redistricting Commission punts congressional mapmaking to legislature

The sole meeting of the panel tasked with drawing new lines for Ohio's congressional districts left at least one member frustrated, while others said it was productive. The seven-member Ohio Redistricting Commission met Thursday to review proposed congressional maps, including one offered by Senate Democrats, and to hear from citizen mapmakers. Republicans did not put forward a map. The state legislature had first crack at drawing lines for Ohio's 15 congressional districts but didn't meet its deadline, passing the job to the Ohio Redistricting Commission. If the commission misses its deadline, state lawmakers will get another chance to draw a map, this time with a lower bar of bipartisanship.

40s
Oct 29, 2021
Walking Distance Brewing Co. opens in Marysville

A blue brick standalone building on 8th Street in Marysville that once housed an auto shop now sports a wood-paneled sign on its façade announcing to the world that it’s a brewpub. The Walking Distance Brewing Co. opened earlier this month, offering eight beers crafted in house, and plans to offer more in the future. The brewpub sits in a residential neighborhood a short stroll from uptown Marysville and a brief walk from some of the vendors who supply ingredients, which inspired the title. The building has a kitchen and owners Doug Olsen and Teddy Valinski say a food program is in their long-term plans, but they use food trucks for now.

36s
Oct 29, 2021
Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation alerts police, public about 'more potent' form of fentanyl

The Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation is warning police and the public about a "more potent" form of the deadly opioid fentanyl hitting the streets in Franklin County and across the state. The new form of fentanyl, parafluorofentanyl, triggers more nerve receptors than fentanyl, making it a more potent form of the already deadly opiate, Ohio BCI said in a bulletin sent to law enforcement statewide this week. The drug was first detected in BCI's lab testing about a year ago but began being seen with more frequency in June.

27s
Oct 29, 2021
Twenty One Pilots gave fans what they came for — a rousing Nationwide Arena performance

Twenty One Pilots returned to Nationwide Arena on Wednesday night with a mesmerizing show that combined high theatricality with enigmatic messaging. The first of three arena shows this week gave equal weight to preternaturally dynamic drummer Josh Dun and charismatic singer/multi-instrumentalist Tyler Joseph. The evening showcased the duo's new album, “Scaled and Icy,” with its deceptively bouncy songs, full of bright beats and dark lyrics, without neglecting old favorites like “Ride” and “Jumpsuit.”

30s
Oct 29, 2021
A COVID breathalyzer: Ohio State researchers develop new test for coronavirus

When it comes to testing for COVID, uncomfortable nasal swabs may eventually become a thing of the past due to a new technology being developed at Ohio State University. Wexner Medical Center researchers have created a breath test that appears to be highly accurate at rapidly screening patients for COVID-19. The research team has applied to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for emergency use authorization of the breathalyzer technology.

27s
Oct 29, 2021
New report reveals why Ohio's unemployment benefits system saw fraud amid COVID-19

A new report from Ohio Auditor Keith Faber's office released Thursday dived in-depth into the fraud plaguing the state's unemployment benefits system, pointing to multiple reasons including failure of early action, lack of controls, relaxed verification rules and outdated infrastructure. All those factors led to the system allowing for more than $475 million to be paid to criminals while another $3.3 billion in overpayments were made, said the report, which covered the timeframe from March 2020 to February 2021. The good news is that many of those issues are on their way to being fixed under new leadership at the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services and with new solutions being implemented.

43s
Oct 29, 2021
Ohio State's Matt Barnes has turned lifelong obsession into impressive coaching career

Matt Barnes' first visit to Ohio State 11 years ago left him with wonder and hope, even if the dream seemed far-fetched. But the budding coach had intelligence, an unquenchable passion for football, and natural leadership skills. It took three more stops along the coaching ladder, but the kid who once got kicked out of seventh-grade English class for drawing football plays in his binder did make it to Ohio State when Ryan Day hired him as a special teams coordinator/assistant secondary coach two years ago. He’s now calling the signals for the Buckeyes’ defense.

32s
Oct 29, 2021
Columbus City Schools updates quarantine protocol based on Ohio Department of Health guidance

Columbus City Schools has updated its quarantine protocols to be in line with the Ohio Department of Health’s latest guidance from Monday. Students and staff can stay in schools after an in-school COVID-19 exposure as long as they wear a mask for 14 days after their last day of exposure, monitor for COVID-19 symptoms and isolate and get tested if they start to experience COVID-19 symptoms. Columbus City Schools will continue to require universal masking indoors. Students and staff who are currently in quarantine can return to class Friday, if they don’t have any COVID symptoms.

35s
Oct 29, 2021
North Carolina woman arrested for murder in death of woman whose burned body was found in June

A North Carolina woman has been arrested in connection with the death of a mother of three whose body was found in June near Urbancrest village in southwestern Franklin County. Tiffany Reid, 25, of North Carolina, was booked into the Franklin County jail on Tuesday on a charge of aggravated murder filed by Franklin County Sheriff's detectives, according to jail and court records. The charge stems from the death of Jenay Crawley, a 23-year-old mother of three, who was last seen alive on June 14. Court records allege Crawley had gone inside the Prairie Township apartment where she dropped off her son, and she was assaulted and killed.

39s
Oct 29, 2021
Ohio Board of Education president Laura Kohler to resign over anti-racism resolution

Two weeks ago, Ohio State Board of Education President Laura Kohler voted against repealing an anti-racist resolution. On Friday, she plans to resign after the Republican-controlled Ohio Senate indicated it would not confirm her reappointment to the board. "I was aware there would be consequences ...," Kohler said in an interview. "I'm a Republican. I knew it was a controversial vote." But she believed strongly that the board of education and other state entities must address inequities in schools and was trying to make that happen.

31s
Oct 29, 2021
Sauna, meditation, green space: Gravity project to add residences, spa on Harley site

The developers of the mixed-used Gravity project, on West Broad Street in Franklinton, plan to add a residential and spa development called Greenhouse. The project will include a new seven-story building and a renovated one- or two-story building. Together, they will total about 237,000 square feet of commercial and residential space, including 322 apartments. Greenhouse will be built on the 2-acre site of the former A.D. Farrow Harley Davidson dealership at West Broad and McDowell streets, which closed in February.

33s
Oct 28, 2021
Restaurant review: JT's Pizza, Pub and Patio scores big with impressive pizza, atmosphere

The bank of TVs above the outdoor bar at JT’s Pizza, Pub and Patio attracted a modest-sized but animated crowd on a recent Sunday afternoon. The jersey-clad assemblage were treated to the Bengals snatching defeat from the jaws of victory in a strange game against Green Bay that featured woeful displays of highly paid athletes unable to make routine kicks. JT’s Pizza, Pub and Patio’s very name hints that it’s a great fit for 2021 Midwestern sensibilities. Sure enough, the Linworth-area establishment excels at providing many central Ohioans with what they really want: consistently good pizzeria and pub fare with crispy and zesty notes; abundant indoor and outdoor seating near sports-beaming TVs and Keno screens; speedy service; beverage bargains and specials galore; plus enough homemade premium ranch dressing to soothe legions of disappointed Ohio sports fans.

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Oct 28, 2021
Greater Columbus trick or treaters looking at a soggy Beggars Night

An umbrella might be an appropriate costume on Beggars Night in Greater Columbus Thursday. The National Weather Service forecast calls for rain showers likely, mainly after 5 p.m, with the chance increasing to 100% as the day progresses. The high will be around 65 and the rain continuing into Friday. Most area communities have set trick-or-treating for Thursday, but some already are looking to postpone the begging for more favorable weather. New Albany switched to Sunday, 4 to 6 p.m. So did some Far Northeast Side subdivisions where kids go to New Albany schools. Sunday evening's forecast is much less scary, with a high of 61 degrees and no chance of rain, said Brian Coniglio, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service.

41s
Oct 28, 2021
Columbus firefighter-paramedics get visit from baby delivered along the side of Route 315

Columbus firefighters at Station 27 got a special visit on Tuesday from a 2-week-old baby they delivered along the side of Route 315. The little boy, Julian Juan Torres, was born Oct. 11 in a vehicle on the side of the roadway on the city's Northwest Side. According to the Columbus Division of Fire, a call was received around 4:40 p.m. Oct. 11 about a woman in labor. The woman was attempting to get to the hospital, but Julian apparently could not wait.

28s
Oct 28, 2021
Lucas Zelarayan scores world-class goal, Columbus Crew hold on to beat Orlando City

It hasn’t always been the case, but Lucas Zelarayan was every bit of the most valuable player candidate most around the league expected him to be this season on Wednesday night when the Crew were on the brink of elimination. The Crew’s attacking midfielder had undoubtedly his finest single moment this season in the 61st minute against Orlando City when he hit a screamer from just outside the top-right corner of the penalty area that hit the bottom of the crossbar in the far-left corner and came almost straight down for a sensational goal that gave the Crew a two-goal cushion. Zelarayan’s goal followed two assists from him in the first half in the Crew’s 3-2 victory over Orlando that was a significant improvement from a disheartening home loss to New York Red Bulls just four days earlier.

46s
Oct 28, 2021
Medicaid chief quietly drops bombshell Millions obtained by PBMs unaccounted for by state

Suspected "fraudulent" actions by middlemen in the prescription drug supply chain for more than 3 million poor and disabled Ohio residents are being targeted Wednesday by a legislative watchdog panel. The Joint Medicaid Oversight Commission is dedicating an entire meeting to how pharmacy benefits managers are using loopholes to dodge state restrictions on such practices as "clawbacks," as The Dispatch revealed in July. The central issue: Even months after a drug transaction is supposedly finalized, the PBM can "claw back" additional revenue from the pharmacy if the PBM determines it didn't receive enough money initially.

38s
Oct 28, 2021
DeWine announces $93 million in water projects across Ohio. See the list

In the state's latest infrastructure investment, Gov. Mike DeWine announced that 54 water projects across 60 Ohio counties would be funded with $93 million through the Broadband, Utilities, and Infrastructure for Local Development Success (BUILDS) initiative. These grants, which target drinking water, wastewater and sewer projects, are a continuation of the governor's H2Ohio program that began in 2019 with the goal of providing clean and safe water to all Ohio communities. The $93 million allocation is the first of a total of $250 million set aside by the legislature to use for water infrastructure. The funding for the effort came from the federal government through the American Rescue Plan Act.

43s
Oct 28, 2021
On 12th birthday, reward offered for information in infant's 2009 death

On what would have been his 12th birthday, Columbus police and Central Ohio Crime Stoppers have announced they are offering a cash reward for information leading to the arrest of a baby boy's killer. Logan Holley was three months old on Feb. 1, 2009, when he was found not breathing at a home on the first block of Delray Road, east of South High Street and south of Route 104 on the city's South Side, Columbus police homicide detectives say. Logan was rushed to a local hospital, but he died at 7:54 a.m. that morning. His death was ruled a homicide as a result of what the Franklin County Coroner's office determined was blunt force trauma to his head. To date, no one has been charged in connection with Logan's death. Wednesday would have been Logan's 12th birthday.

41s
Oct 28, 2021
Ohio Senate passes bill requiring more medical care for infants who survive abortions

The GOP-controlled Ohio Senate passed a bill that could threaten two Southwest Ohio abortion clinics and require doctors to provide additional care for infants who survive an abortion procedure. Changes in Senate Bill 157, which passed the Ohio Senate 25-6 Wednesday, would expand current Ohio law, which bans abortion manslaughter, to preserve the health and not just the life of an infant born alive after an abortion. The bill would require physicians to report infants "born alive" after abortions to the Ohio Department of Health. If passed, a doctor would need to provide post-birth care for the infant, call for assistance from an emergency medical services provider and arrange for a transfer to a hospital.

44s
Oct 28, 2021
Northland HS teacher arrested by task force, accused of trying to have sex with minor

A Columbus Northland High School teacher and coach was arrested Wednesday at the school after being accused of arranging to meet a minor girl for sex at a Reynoldsburg hotel. Robert Pea, 60, of the Northeast Side, was arrested by the Central Ohio Human Trafficking Task Force and charged with one count of compelling prostitution. Columbus City Schools' website shows Pea teaches social studies at Northland High School, and also has been the boys golf and boys bowling coach there. Pea has worked in the district since 1998, and Ohio Department of Education records show he also has a license to be a middle or high school administrator.

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Oct 28, 2021