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The Columbus Dispatch: Latest news, information, and blogs
Updated: 4 hours 6 min ago

One reported dead in Etna Township fire

4 hours 28 min ago
One person is reported to be dead in a fire at an Etna Township house this afternoon. The West Licking Joint Fire District was called at 4 p.m. to a house on Fifth Avenue Southwest, just north of I-71.

State to begin lowering Buckeye Lake to 3 feet on Thursday

4 hours 34 min ago
The state is going to begin lowering Buckeye Lake on Thursday and will continue draining for seven days. The Ohio Department of Natural Resources wants to keep the lake at its winter level of 3 feet, following an Army Corps of Engineers that says the 177-year-old dam, dotted with hundreds of homes, is in danger of failing and causing a catastrophic flood that could endanger thousands of lives. The normal summer level is 6 feet. Bethany McCorkle, an ODNR spokeswoman, said the depth varies depending on location and elevation. Recent rains have put the lake at 10.2 inches above winter level, said Stephanie Leis, a spokeswoman for ODNR.

Kasich's veto removes voting target for out-of-state college students

5 hours 50 min ago
In a rebuke of fellow Republicans, Gov. John Kasich used his line-item veto authority today to kill language that would have targeted out-of-state college students who register to vote in Ohio to quickly obtain in-state licenses and vehicle registrations. The governor let stand a new portion of the law requiring new Ohio residents to get an updated license and registration within 30 days. But he stripped out the measure linking that provision with voting registration.

Preschool founder, brother die in South Side shooting

5 hours 52 min ago
The founder and CEO of a preschool company and her brother were shot and killed this afternoon at a South Side intersection. Jenea R. Harvison, 29, and Donell McDonald, 23, died at Kossuth Street and Parsons Avenue, according to Columbus police. The suspected shooter was shot by police and taken to OhioHealth Grant Medical Center. Police would not identify him.

East Side man pleads guilty in drive-by shooting that killed nephew

6 hours 43 min ago
A man’s decision to commit a drive-by shooting with children in the car led to the death of his 8-year-old nephew last spring, Franklin County prosecutors said. Robert L. Broom, 24, pleaded guilty yesterday to involuntary manslaughter with a gun specification and illegally possessing a gun.

Groups debate marijuana legalization

8 hours 1 min ago
Supporters and opponents of legalized marijuana in Ohio clashed over potential medical and economic impacts today at a Columbus Metropolitan Club Forum. Representatives from ResponsibleOhio, the group pushing a legalization ballot issue for the Nov. 3 general election, said at the forum at the Athletic Club of Columbus that if passed, the measure would end a dangerous black market in Ohio. In its place, the group argued, would be a regulated system that would create jobs and provide help for people with chronic illnesses who would benefit from medical marijuana.

New 5-year high school will offer graduates an associate's degree

8 hours 35 min ago
The area’s first high school focused on science, technology, engineering and math is expanding this fall with a career-tech school designed to give students more options by the time they graduate. Officials at Metro Early College High School say the Metro Institute of Technology is a five-year program in which students could graduate with a two-year associate degree or technical certifications that help them compete for jobs.

CoGo to add 80 new bikes to network this summer

9 hours 43 min ago
CoGo Bike Share will add eight new stations and 80 new bicycles to its network this summer.

Lawmakers invite businesses to Ohio amid Indiana religious freedom controversy

10 hours 4 min ago
Lawmakers and business leaders in Ohio have a message for those in Indiana: invest in the Buckeye State. It comes amid a firestorm over a religious freedom bill signed into law last week by Indiana Gov. Mike Pence. Many believe the law allows businesses to discriminate against gay, lesbian, bi-sexual and transgender customers based on religious beliefs.

Fallen Cincinnati firefighter called ‘true hero’ at funeral

10 hours 8 min ago
CINCINNATI — Firefighters from across the country honored a fallen comrade today, attending his funeral or covering the shifts of his Cincinnati colleagues so they could attend services for a man who was fatally injured while searching the scene of an apartment blaze.

Cleveland man gets 110 years for 4 rapes found through DNA tests

10 hours 21 min ago
CLEVELAND -- A Cleveland man convicted of rape and kidnapping for assaults on four women in the 1990s has been sentenced to 110 years to life in prison after tests matched his DNA to evidence in a backlog of untested rape kits.

Rt. 161-Riverside open during road work today

10 hours 57 min ago
A Dublin utility truck is parked in the middle of Rt. 161 east of Riverside Drive today as crews install temporary utility poles in preparation for building a roundabout at the intersection and realigning Riverside.

Smog-free summer? Ozone season starts today

11 hours 24 min ago
Watch out for your lungs: Ozone season officially starts today. April 1 is the opening day for the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency’s annual collection of ozone data to figure out how polluted central Ohio’s air is at any given time.

Columbus schools auditor gets three-year contract, raise

11 hours 26 min ago
The Columbus school board approved a three-year contract for its internal auditor last night and gave her a raise. Carolyn Smith, who is most well known for investigating and helping to expose the district’s student-data scandal, had been working under a series of one-year contracts. Her salary will increase to $131,000 a year from $97,500.

Amid media frenzy, Bexley council starts work on law to ban discrimination against gays

12 hours 15 min ago
First came the television reporters, filling up the lot outside Bexley City Hall with their vans and cameras and cables. Then came the demonstrators, slowly at first, a few dozen of them jamming onto the sidewalk. One man held a rainbow flag. Another held a sign that said “Please Stop the Hate.” The two women at the center of this whole thing held hands.

Cleveland, Justice Department seek monitor for police reform

12 hours 41 min ago
CLEVELAND -- Cleveland and the U.S. Department of Justice are seeking an independent monitor to oversee an agreement for reforms of the city's police department.

Justices reprimand judge for drunken driving

12 hours 53 min ago
A Scioto County judge was reprimanded today by the Ohio Supreme Court for drunken driving. Common Pleas Court Judge William T. Marshall, 58, was convicted after his vehicle struck an embankment and overturned on Jan. 12, 2013, on Rt. 140 in Jackson County.

Naloxone drug is saving lives after overdoses

12 hours 56 min ago
The first time she overdosed, Nicky Kelly was driving. She had just enough time to slam on her brakes before passing out at the wheel from a heroin overdose, the needle still in her arm. Her car came to a stop in the middle of an intersection. She is one of tens of thousands of Ohioans whose lives have been saved in recent years by naloxone, sometimes known by the trade name Narcan. State statistics show 12,151 doses of naloxone were administrated in Ohio in 2013 alone.

Developer shows Clintonville residents plans for five-story building in the heart of neighborhood

13 hours 21 min ago
Northstar Realty presented this week its rendering of it proposed multiuse building that would transform the heart of Clintonville. The five-story building at the corner of High Street and W. North Broadway would have stores and restaurants at the street level, parking on the second level and apartments on the top three floors. Some residents who attended the meeting hosted by Positively Clintonville yesterday were concerned about the building’s height. Other liked the idea.

Ohio Politics Now: Brown, Kasich weigh in on Indiana religious freedom law

13 hours 33 min ago
Lawmakers in Indiana have been under attack recently after they passed a controversial religious freedom bill that has been widely interpreted to mean that businesses owners can turn away customers who are gay, bi-sexual or transgender based on religious beliefs. Indiana Gov. Mike Pence, who signed the bill into law, says he plans to clarify the law after businesses threatened protests and boycotts of the state and the Indianapolis Star ran a front page editorial demanding change and a law that would nontaxable promotional gaming credits prohibit discrimination against those in the LGBT community.