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On 6/5/2019 at 6:26 PM, Columbo said:

 

UPDATE:

 

Husel charged with murder in 25 Mount Carmel deaths

 

Former Mount Carmel doctor William Husel was charged Wednesday in the deaths of 25 patients in one of the biggest murder cases in state history.  Husel turned himself in to Columbus police this morning after a six-month criminal investigation concluded that he purposely caused the deaths of dozens of patients by ordering excessive doses of painkillers over a four-year-period.  A Franklin County grand jury indicted Husel on 25 counts of murder, and the charges were filed in Franklin County Common Pleas Court on Wednesday morning.  Husel was arrainged at 1:30 p.m. and his bond was set at $1 million.

 

Mount Carmel health system officials have said Husel ordered excessive doses of painkillers for 35 patients, though they said they do not believe six of those patients died because of the drugs.  All but one of those patients were at the former Mount Carmel West hospital.  One patient was at Mount Carmel St. Ann’s hospital in Westerville.  The criminal charges involve the 25 victims given at least 500 micrograms of the opioid fentanyl, a level which O’Brien said was potentially lethal.  “At the 500 microgram level there would be no legitimate medical purpose,” said Franklin County Prosecutor Ron O’Brien. “The only purpose would be to hasten their deaths.”

 

O’Brien said none of the 35 nurses and pharmacists placed on administrative leave by Mount Carmel will be criminally charged.  O’Brien said his office treated them as witnesses. ... Sources have told The Dispatch that no other hospital employee is currently under criminal investigation.  State boards that oversee pharmacists, nurses and doctors are still investigating the actions of the 30 nurses and pharmacists, along with five managers, that have been placed on administrative leave by the hospital.  O’Brien said several of those employees could lose their licenses. ... Husel still faces 19 pending wrongful-death lawsuits filed by families of patients who died.  At least 8 lawsuits have been settled.

 

MORE:  https://www.dispatch.com/news/20190605/husel-charged-with-murder-in-25-mount-carmel-deaths

 

UPDATE:  Dr. William Husel, who is accused of murdering 25 hospital patients with excessive doses of painkillers in Mount Carmel West hospital from 2015 to 2018, has a new defense attorney.  It's Jose Baez, who gained fame by successfully defending Casey Anthony in a 2011 Florida trial on charges of murdering her daughter.  The trial is scheduled to start June 1, 2020 and is expected to take up to eight weeks.

 

https://www.dispatch.com/news/20190828/judge-approves-former-casey-anthony-attorney-joining-defense-team-of-ex-mount-carmel-dr-william-husel

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Not guilty by reason insanity verdicts are pretty rare.  But given the absolutely bizarre circumstances of this case, I'm not surprised:

 

Man who killed 2 postal supervisors found not guilty by reason of insanity

 

A Columbus man was found not guilty “only by reason of insanity” Tuesday for the brutal killings of two of his Dublin post office supervisors two days before Christmas in 2017.  DeShaune K. Stewart, 25, of the Southeast Side, could have faced the death penalty on two counts of murder of an officer of the United States.  Instead, he will be evaluated and likely confined to prison for the foreseeable future after multiple psychologists determined he had suffered manic and psychotic episodes at the time of the crimes and was not fully aware of his actions.

 

It was an unusual case, as both prosecutors and defense attorneys agreed from the start on the facts of the case and the expected sentence.  Stewart arrived naked at the Emerald Parkway post office in Dublin just before 4:30 a.m. on Dec. 23, 2017, where he killed his supervisor, Lance Herrera-Dempsey.  Stewart then drove to the Northwest Side apartment of Dublin postmaster Ginger E. Ballard, whom he later beat to death in the parking lot. ... Stewart was arrested at the latter scene, later telling police that God told him to kill his supervisors, at one point spitting out two pieces of Ballard’s jewelry that he claimed were being used to “suck out his soul,” according to documents.

 

Stewart waived his right to a jury trial Tuesday, opting instead to have U.S. District Judge Michael H. Watson hear the case directly in a bench trial that included opening and closing statements and formal admission of evidence.  Only one person, a postal inspector who handles investigations, testified. ... Judge Watson will determine Stewart’s future after a new psychiatric evaluation.  He likely will be confined and reevaluated every six months to determine whether he is a danger.  “I can’t see there being a time when we can risk that,” said Assistant U.S. Attorney David M. DeVillers of Stewart’s possible future release.

 

MORE:  https://www.dispatch.com/news/20190924/man-who-killed-2-postal-supervisors-found-not-guilty-by-reason-of-insanity

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Thomas Quinlan, 53, and a 30-year division veteran, was formally announced today to lead the Columbus Division of Police by Mayor Ginther after a months-long search process that began after former Chief Kim Jacobs retired in February.

 

Quinlan was named interim chief after Jacobs retired.  Mayor Ginther said Quinlan, who was one of two finalists for the job, has made “solid strides in the right direction” during his 10-month tenure as interim chief.  The chief position is a five-year appointment, with the option for a second five-year term.

 

https://www.dispatch.com/news/20191217/quinlan-appointed-columbus-police-chief

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The City of Columbus reported its 104th homicide of 2019 yesterday, surpassing 2018′s total of 103.

 

Still, its well below the record-high 143 homicides in 2017.

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A recap of Columbus homicide stats for 2019 from the Dispatch:  https://www.thisweeknews.com/news/20200106/linden-is-columbusrsquo-most-deadly-neighborhood-as--homicides-in-2019-remain-steady

 

Since 2015, Columbus has averaged 111 homicides per year - with a low of 99 in 2015 and a record high of 143 in 2017.  In 2019 there were 104 homicides after recording 103 in 2018.

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https://www.dispatch.com/news/20200123/2-columbus-officers-fired--2-supervisors-suspended-over-stormy-daniels-arrest

 

Two Columbus police officers have been fired and two supervisors disciplined in connection with their handling of the July 2018 arrest of adult film performer Stormy Daniels at a local strip club.

 

Columbus Public Safety Director Ned Pettus signed orders Thursday to fire former vice unit Officers Steven Rosser, 43, a 19-year veteran, and Whitney Lancaster, 57, a member of the division for 32 years.  In addition, Lt. Ronald Kimmerling, 51, a 24-year veteran, was suspended for six weeks, and Sgt. Scott Soha, 43, who has been with the division for 17 years, received a three-week suspension, according to findings signed by Pettus.  The suspensions were over their lack of supervision of the vice operation involving Daniels.

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Wasn't 100% sure where to put it but 2 shootings and stabbings in the Short North Assiciated with Monarch Lounge this week and the City is hauling the owner in to review.

 

The fascinating part is the owner is legitimately blaming street food vendors for being allowed to operate as the reason for recent violence. I've been in Columbus for 10 years and street food vendors have been a part of the Short North nightlife with little to know issue to my knowledge. Your establishment comes in and issues are clustered and associated with your establishment and the blame goes somewhere else? What a cheap cop out. 

 

 

https://614now.com/2020/news/monarch-lounge-owner-breaks-silence-on-recent-short-north-shootings

 

https://abc6onyourside.com/news/local/man-shot-in-the-short-north-early-monday-near-location-of-shooting-last-week

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14 minutes ago, DTCL11 said:

Wasn't 100% sure where to put it but 2 shootings and stabbings in the Short North Assiciated with Monarch Lounge this week and the City is hauling the owner in to review.

 

The fascinating part is the owner is legitimately blaming street food vendors for being allowed to operate as the reason for recent violence. I've been in Columbus for 10 years and street food vendors have been a part of the Short North nightlife with little to know issue to my knowledge. Your establishment comes in and issues are clustered and associated with your establishment and the blame goes somewhere else? What a cheap cop out. 

 

 

https://614now.com/2020/news/monarch-lounge-owner-breaks-silence-on-recent-short-north-shootings

 

https://abc6onyourside.com/news/local/man-shot-in-the-short-north-early-monday-near-location-of-shooting-last-week

The owners won't get legitimate traction with their street vendor excuse.  It's cheap, poor and ridiculous not to take ownership of a trashy situation.  I've lived here for 10 years, and 9 of those were directly in the Short North and I can assure you the vendors are not the problem.  A bar owner like this is a nuisance, and if they can't shape up and try to correct their culture that clearly seems to be stemming from their establishment, they have to go.  At this point, I say pack up, keep you trashy business in Miami and let a more deserving business have this prime location.

 

schitts creek goodbye GIF by CBC

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6 minutes ago, DTCL11 said:

Wasn't 100% sure where to put it but 2 shootings and stabbings in the Short North Assiciated with Monarch Lounge this week and the City is hauling the owner in to review.

 

The fascinating part is the owner is legitimately blaming street food vendors for being allowed to operate as the reason for recent violence. I've been in Columbus for 10 years and street food vendors have been a part of the Short North nightlife with little to know issue to my knowledge. Your establishment comes in and issues are clustered and associated with your establishment and the blame goes somewhere else? What a cheap cop out. 

 

 

https://614now.com/2020/news/monarch-lounge-owner-breaks-silence-on-recent-short-north-shootings

 

https://abc6onyourside.com/news/local/man-shot-in-the-short-north-early-monday-near-location-of-shooting-last-week

 

Possible, if the vendors are dealing drugs or associated with a gang.

Still, having "official" last call at 1:55 can lead to a worse crowd.   A lot of places close at 1:30 or even 1 for that reason.    That super-late crowd doesn't usually spend a lot of money, and they have a habit of not tipping and not wanting to leave when it's time..

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On 8/29/2019 at 3:12 PM, Columbo said:

UPDATE:  Dr. William Husel, who is accused of murdering 25 hospital patients with excessive doses of painkillers in Mount Carmel West hospital from 2015 to 2018, has a new defense attorney.  It's Jose Baez, who gained fame by successfully defending Casey Anthony in a 2011 Florida trial on charges of murdering her daughter.  The trial is scheduled to start June 1, 2020 and is expected to take up to eight weeks.

 

https://www.dispatch.com/news/20190828/judge-approves-former-casey-anthony-attorney-joining-defense-team-of-ex-mount-carmel-dr-william-husel

 

In a display of irony, the upcoming trial of Dr. Husel is being delayed from this summer to the summer of 2021 due to the current medical emergency of the coronavirus:

 

https://www.dispatch.com/news/20200328/pandemic-concerns-force-delay-of-william-husel-murder-trial

https://www.nbc4i.com/news/local-news/husel-investigation/husel-murder-trial-moved-to-2021/

 

The trial against Dr. Willam Husel on 25 counts of murder has been moved to 2021.  The trial was originally scheduled to begin June 1, 2020.  Husel, who formerly worked in the Mount Carmel Health System, is charged with murder for allegedly ordering fatal doses of pain medicine for more than two dozen patients.  Franklin County Prosecutor Ron O’Brien said jury selection is now scheduled to begin on April 30, 2021.

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This incident was posted yesterday in the 'Police: Use of Force' thread -- but I wanted to note it in this Columbus thread.  Plus it leads into another news item relating to the Columbus police by someone involved in the incident:

 

Early Saturday afternoon, peaceful protests at Broad & High started going bad when protesters on the sidewalk began crowding the street.  The Columbus police at the intersection threw down a couple of protesters who were in the street near the curb.  Then it broke loose with protesters screaming at police and the pepper spray starting flying.

 

One of those protesters was 70-year-old U.S. House Representative Joyce Beatty.  She seems like a sweet-natured, gray-haired grandmother (which she is).  But when the cops threw down the protesters, she started giving them holy heck.  Luckily for her, she went to the Broad & High protest with City Council President Shannon Hardin and Franklin County Commissioner Kevin Boyce.  When the pepper spray started, they got on either side of Rep. Beatty and physically escorted her away from the danger.  Someone on twitter said it looked like two Secret Service agents protecting the President(!)

 

Below is a WCMH4 link that shows a video of the incident.  Below that is a twitter post from a Dispatch photographer who posted a 38 photo sequence of the incident from a different angle.  Rep. Joyce Beatty is the gray-haired lady; Council President Hardin is wearing the red shirt; County Commisioner Boyce is wearing the blue shirt:

 

https://www.nbc4i.com/news/local-news/rep-joyce-beatty-columbus-city-council-president-hardin-pepper-sprayed-during-protest/

 

 

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Now for the news item relating to the Columbus police by someone involved in the incident:

 

Both Rep. Beatty and City Council President Hardin are calling for an independent police review commission in Columbus.  Council President Hardin was interviewed this morning by NBC4 about this at the below link:

 

https://www.nbc4i.com/news/local-news/columbus-city-council-president-shannon-hardin-calls-for-real-police-reform/

 

 

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Sunday afternoon update for Downtown Columbus:

 

Ohio National Guard now stationed in Columbus streets; protesters gather near Statehouse

 

After three days of protests in Downtown Columbus, the Ohio National Guard is now stationed along several downtown streets.  Governor DeWine activated the National Guard at the request of Columbus Mayor Andrew Ginther.

 

Screenshot 2020-05-31 at 4.49.24 PM.png

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Update on Sunday's downtown protests:

 

https://www.thisweeknews.com/news/20200531/protests-more-peaceful-on-sunday-as-police-change-tactics

 

After Friday's and Saturday's protests boiled over on both sides, Sunday brought some relative calm downtown.  On Sunday morning, Mayor Ginther marched with neighborhood leaders and clergy in the King-Lincoln neighborhood located just east of downtown for an outdoor service.  After the service was over, Mayor Ginther told the media that he told police Chief Quinlan that the tactics used on Saturday were not appropriate.  “I was very clear with the chief, I heard loud and clear from the community that (Saturday’s) approach and tactics did not meet our community’s or my expectations around engagement with crowds of overwhelmingly peaceful protesters," said Ginther.

 

Tensions between the protesters and police appeared to ease in part because of a change in tactics.  Instead of using pepper spray and tear gas to control those who were marching in the middle of streets, police vehicles quietly escorted them for most of Sunday.  Large protests on the Statehouse grounds were also peaceful on Sunday, with some much more positive interactions between protesters and State Highway Patrol at the Statehouse:

49961622196_ea23215d35_w_d.jpg49961903897_bfd3900010_w_d.jpg

 

A massive march started at Broad & High and peacefully went through the Short North to the OSU campus.  The march was kicked off with an impassioned speech from OSU basketball player Seth Towns - a Northland High grad who graduated from Harvard and transferred back to Ohio State as a grad transfer:

 

https://www.dispatch.com/news/20200531/ohio-statersquos-seth-towns-gives-impassioned-speech-at-protests-in-downtown-columbus

 

 

49961621531_b911ae4c4c_c_d.jpg

 

But as the 10PM city curfew got closer, there were some more tense interactions between protesters and the police.  After 8PM, police used pepper spray and tear gas to clear protesters off the streets:  https://www.thisweeknews.com/news/20200531/hundreds-of-protesters-scattered-from-broad-and-high-by-police

49961118713_9817daf224_z_d.jpg

 

However, by the 10PM curfew, there were very few people outside and only police milling around at various downtown intersections.  The Sunday overnight into Monday morning was peaceful.  During the day on Monday, more peaceful protesters gathered at the Statehouse, at Broad & High and at City Hall.  But traffic was generally moving normally throughout the day.  As the Monday sunset approaches, we'll see if the relative calm holds up to the Monday 10PM curfew.

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Update on Monday protests:

 

Tensions were still high at times, but it is definitely getting better.  Peaceful protests all day long in the downtown at the Statehouse, City Hall and at Broad & High - but the streets were generally clear for normal traffic.  After the normal workday was over, police let protesters onto High Street for a march.

 

What was really encouraging about Monday's High Street march was that protesters were joined by Columbus Police leadership - including Police Chief Quinlan - talking with them as they marched from Downtown to Goodale Park:

 

https://www.thisweeknews.com/news/20200601/columbus-police-join-protesters-as-conversation-starts

 

AR-200609843.jpg

Now, not everyone was buying into the CPD's new outreach - many calling it "too little, too late" - but it definitely marks a sharp contrast from the heavy-handed tactics of Friday and Saturday.  And there were still a few tear gas incidents at the 10PM curfew time along High Street in the campus area.  But thankfully it was a peaceful day in the downtown.

 

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When the history is written about this tense time, one of the biggest changes might be the formation of an independent police review commission for the City of Columbus.  This is something that has long been discussed but vehemently opposed by the FOP.  Now, however, some of the city's strongest and most influential voices are calling for it:

 

https://www.thisweeknews.com/opinion/20200602/editorial-columbus-must-embrace-civilian-review-of-police -- This Columbus Dispatch editorial is calling for an independent police review commission.

 

https://www.thisweeknews.com/news/20200601/columbus-city-council-mayor-ginther-call-for-civilian-police-oversight-panel -- Mayor Ginther and the Columbus City Council are both saying they support the push for a police civilian review board in the next round of police union-contract negotiations.  Meanwhile, Mayor Ginther announced a new way that the public can report police misconduct that bypasses the department’s normal Internal Affairs Office.

 

https://www.thisweeknews.com/opinion/20200602/column-ending-racism-through-systemic-change-must-begin-now -- And City Council President Shannon Hardin - who was pepper sprayed on Saturday along with Rep Joyce Beatty and County Comissioner Kevin Boyce - is calling for an independent police review commission in this forceful and thoughtful guest commentary in today's Dispatch.

 

All of those groups - the Dispatch, Mayor Ginther, Council President Hardin, and the City Council - are calling for the FOP to sit down at the table to work out an agreement for an independent police review commission.  We'll see if the FOP continues its hard-line approach to this issue or if they moderate in light of current events.

 

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I did mention that "there were still a few tear gas incidents at the 10PM curfew time along High Street in the campus area" in a previous post.  But I'm sure that all of us appreciate your continual interest in Columbus.

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1 hour ago, Columbo said:

Now, not everyone was buying into the CPD's new outreach - many calling it "too little, too late" - but it definitely marks a sharp contrast from the heavy-handed tactics of Friday and Saturday.  And there were still a few tear gas incidents at the 10PM curfew time along High Street in the campus area.  But thankfully it was a peaceful day in the downtown.

 

In this case, I don't think it's too little, too late.  I 'd say it's more "about time" if anything else.  Police Chief Quinlan did the right thing so kudos.

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"You don't just walk into a bar and mix it up by calling a girl fat" - buildingcincinnati speaking about new forumers

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1 hour ago, Columbo said:

But I'm sure that all of us appreciate your continual interest in Columbus.

I, for one, appreciate all of positive articles you contribute to our threads, @Clefan98.  You seem to have a strong interest in central Ohio.  If you're looking to make the move and need advice on neighborhoods, don't be shy, just ask!

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https://www.thisweeknews.com/opinion/20200602/from-editor-police-target-protesters-journalists-even-as-they-retreat

 

The editor of the Dispatch wrote this op-ed about police seeming to target journalists for curfew violations after a Dispatch photographer was hit with a “knee-knocker” projectile that ended up striking him in the head just before last night's 10PM curfew.  The photographer was almost right in front of the Dispatch offices on Broad Street across from the Statehouse.  Fortunately, the Dispatch photographer was wearing safety glasses, which broke during the incident, and only suffered a painful welt near his eye, but was otherwise fine.

 

This Dispatch editor is usually calm and mild-mannered in his tone.  But you can tell he was not at all happy with the CPD actions that led up to his photographer being injured.  He also talked about another incident that occurred last night at around 10:20PM near Lane & High on the OSU campus where three Lantern journalists were pepper-sprayed.

 

The article also includes the final photo the Dispatch photographer took before getting hit with the projectile, plus a photo of the three Lantern journalists facing the police before being pepper-sprayed.

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Columbus Police Chief Thomas Quinlan said the officers who were captured on video unleashing pepper spray on Ohio State University student journalists near Lane & High at 10:20PM last night are being investigated:

 

https://www.thisweeknews.com/news/20200602/columbus-police-looking-into-officers-who-pepper-sprayed-ohio-state-student-journalists-during-mondayrsquos-protest

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Tuesday update:

 

After the violent weekend clashes between protesters and police, the protests on Monday and Tuesday have followed a similar calmer pattern.  Smaller groups in the hundreds gather at the Statehouse and Broad & High (plus sometimes at City Hall) in peaceful protest.  As the workday winds down around 5PM, the groups grow into the thousands on the Statehouse lawn/plaza.  After the workday is over around 6:30PM, CPD closes off many of the downtown streets and protesters peacefully march in the streets.  On Monday, the street marches were joined by Columbus Police Chief Quinlan and other CPD leaders.  On Tuesday, Chief Quinlan was joined by Columbus Mayor Ginther.  As the 10PM curfew nears, most people have left the streets.  Thankfully, the Tuesday 10PM curfew was free of any police/bystander incidents.

 

Here's more about the Tuesday downtown protests:

 

https://www.thisweeknews.com/news/20200602/george-floyd-protesters-gather-peacefully-in-columbus-for-6th-day-of-demonstrations

https://www.reddit.com/r/Columbus/comments/gvgtig/today_at_500pm_right_before_everyone_laidkneeled/

 

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f5akowirjk251.jpg?width=960&crop=smart&a

 

https://www.thisweeknews.com/news/20200602/columbus-leaders-join-marchers-in-sixth-day-of-protests

 

AR-200609688.jpg

 

 

Screenshot 2020-06-03 at 2.07.04 PM.png

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Wednesday update:

 

Downtown protests are still following the pattern of the previous two workdays.  Small groups at the Statehouse that grow into larger crowds by early evening.  But peaceful and unharassed by police until the 10PM curfew, when everyone leaves.  The organized protests also started spreading throughout Central Ohio.  High-income spots like Westerville, Upper Arlington, and Powell (in southern Delaware County) saw peaceful protests yesterday.  There was a large march that started in the historically black King-Lincoln neighborhood just east of downtown and ended at the Statehouse.  And about 100 people showed up in front of Mayor Ginther's home in a northwest side neighborhood to stage a lie-down protest.  Thankfully, all without incident.

 

Below is a Dispatch article that details the protest in front of the Mayor's house and the march from the King-Lincoln neighborhood to the Statehouse, along with some photos (of which there are many more at the article link):

 

https://www.thisweeknews.com/news/20200603/protesters-stage-demonstration--in-front-of-mayor-gintherrsquos-house

 

Liedown protest at Ginther home-06-03-20.png

King-Lincoln march in king-lincoln neighborhood.png

King-Lincoln march in downtown at statehouse.png

Statehouse rally - 06-03-20.png

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^Are those numbers in thousands? Or is education really just $6M?  And if so, are the schools a separate entity in Columbus? I can't image the schools operating on just $6M. Maybe that's what the city directly gives to the board of education and for programming, as opposed to the full amount that is spent on the schools.  

 

 

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1 hour ago, Pugu said:

^Are those numbers in thousands? Or is education really just $6M?  And if so, are the schools a separate entity in Columbus? I can't image the schools operating on just $6M. Maybe that's what the city directly gives to the board of education and for programming, as opposed to the full amount that is spent on the schools.  

 

Columbus City Schools is a completely separate entity from the City of Columbus - with their own leadership and board.

 

We have a thread for the Columbus City Schools over in the Central Ohio Construction & Projects section that mostly deals with CCS construction projects and openings/closings/sales of CCS properties.  I did find a few posts about one of the most recent CCS levies passed in 2016 at https://forum.urbanohio.com/topic/495-columbus-city-schools/page/4/?tab=comments#comment-747122.  There are multiple posts with article links about the levy request and its passage.

 

As for the yearly operating budget of CCS.  In a very quick search I found the Ohio Dept. of Education website and tried to find the current CCS budget.  This link has a total expenditure of all Ohio school districts up FY2012 http://education.ohio.gov/Topics/Finance-and-Funding/Finance-Related-Data/Expenditure-and-Revenue/Expenditure-Revenue-Data.  In FY2012 the Columbus City Schools total expenditure was over $722 million.  For comparison, the FY2012 totals for Cleveland Municipal SD was nearly $594 million and Cincinnati City SD was $422 million.

 

Apparently after FY2012, the state data was moved into a Report Card section of the website with a new set of standards.  At the CCS portion of that report card website - https://reportcard.education.ohio.gov/district/finance/043802 -  they list the current CCS budget at $1.044 billion.  The latest per pupil spending is listed at $11,010 (the state per pupil average is $9,724.)

 

So yea, more than $6 million.  In fact, about 3X more than the city pays for police services(!)

 

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Thursday update:

 

On the eighth consecutive day of George Floyd protests that have occurred in Columbus, crowds were generally smaller but still vocal and also peaceful.  The reduced Thursday crowds might have been due to the nationally televised funeral service for George Floyd plus the nearly inch of rainfall that came in the afternoon.

 

The intensity of the protest picked up around 9PM as a crowd of around 300 chanted and paraded counter-clockwise around the Statehouse.  But then, protest leaders urged the crowd disperse before the 10PM curfew.  Which they did, peacefully.

 

Below is an article link about the Thursday protests that also contains a 64-image slideshow:

 

https://www.thisweeknews.com/news/20200604/smaller-crowds-but-passion-undiminished-as-protests-continue-for-8th-day

 

Thursday protest pic-01.png

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https://www.thisweeknews.com/news/20200605/columbus-mayor-ginther-says-civilian-police-oversight-panel-will-be-appointed

 

Columbus Mayor Ginther and Council President Hardin have called this week for an independent police civilian review board to be negotiated as part of a new police union contract, which is up at the end of 2020.  In a Friday morning news conference, Mayor Ginther said he is fast-tracking this review board proposal and is prepared to begin negotiations now, so that a review board would be completely ready to go and seated by January.

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Friday update:

 

After the massive crowds of the previous weekend, there were relatively smaller crowds on Monday thru Thursday this week.  Friday though marked a return to the massive crowds from the previous weekend.  However, the biggest change between these two weekends was the absence of violent interactions between the protesters and police.

 

Last night saw the return of huge crowds at the Statehouse.  Then, at about 8PM, protesters began marching up High Street through the Short North and into the University District.  The march stopped at Lane & High and turned back south onto Summit Street and returned Downtown at about 10PM.

 

Another march up High Street into the Short North and University District began after the 10PM curfew.  Police initially blocked the street this time, but ultimately allowed the march to continue until it dissipated near the OSU campus at around midnight.

 

Article about the Friday protests with 69 photos:  https://www.thisweeknews.com/news/20200605/thousands-march-through-short-north-university-district

 

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Starting tonight, there will be no curfew in Columbus:

 

Columbus Mayor Ginther drops curfew after lawsuit, reduction of violence in protests

 

12:40 update:  After consultation with Columbus City Attorney Zach Klein, and following the filing of a federal lawsuit, Mayor Andrew J. Ginther said he would rescind the emergency order which established a 10 p.m. curfew.

 

A lawsuit filed in federal court Friday night argued that continuation of the curfew violated the U.S. Constitution because the widespread acts of vandalism have dissipated.  Parties will move to dismiss the lawsuit per an agreement reached between the City and the plaintiffs involved, the news release said.

 

The curfew in place since May 30 will be lifted immediately.  Columbus residents may move about freely and businesses may resume normal hours of operation.

 

MORE:  https://www.dispatch.com/news/20200605/columbus-mayor-ginther-drops-curfew-after-lawsuit-reduction-of-violence-in-protests

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The weekend curfew-less protests in Downtown Columbus were large, vocal and peaceful.  Hopefully this continues.

 

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Sunday's Dispatch editorial:

 

Editorial: Civilian oversight can help police, community trust each other

 

In February, when a community review board said Columbus police should be subject to civilian oversight, The Dispatch endorsed the idea but cautioned patience, acknowledging that it would take time to successfully traverse this “delicate territory.”  It should be apparent to all now that the timetable must be more aggressive.

 

We acknowledge what many people reading this may be thinking: That should have been apparent years ago.  Yes, and the events of the past two weeks have made clear that the patience of black and other minority communities that have been disrespected, brutalized and killed with impunity for centuries is exhausted.  And the patience of all people of good will to tolerate it should be gone, too.

 

We welcome Mayor Andrew J. Ginther’s and the City Council’s official call on Monday for creation of such a panel.  It’s easy to say that in the fervor of this extraordinary moment, after days of street demonstrations have heated the issue to a fever pitch.  We encourage Ginther, whose bumpy relationship with the Fraternal Order of Police has been a political headache for him, to stay on what probably will be a difficult course.

 

Establishing a review board will require agreement of the police union, the FOP.  The current contract expires in December, but we hope union leadership is ready to start talking now about how to make this happen.

 

MORE:  https://www.thisweeknews.com/opinion/20200607/editorial-civilian-oversight-can-help-police-community-trust-each-other

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Mayor Ginther says he doesn't support defunding police, instead urges reform

 

Mayor Andrew Ginther, facing mounting pressure in recent days from activists frustrated with the city's response to protests, said on Wednesday that he knows Columbus residents seek meaningful change in police tactics.

 

However, Ginther said, "I do not believe in defunding the Division of Police."

 

"I do believe in reforming the Division of Police," he said, including the creation of a civilian review board that will have "meaningful oversight of the police department."

 

Ginther also said the city will join the 8 Can't Wait campaign, a national effort that calls for such actions as banning chokeholds, requiring de-escalation and required reporting to reform police departments and reduce the use of force.

 

"We must continue to build on the already overwhelming community support to enact change that is significant, substantial and swift," Ginther said.

 

More below:

https://www.bizjournals.com/columbus/news/2020/06/24/ginther-urges-police-to-reform-but-says-he.html


"You don't just walk into a bar and mix it up by calling a girl fat" - buildingcincinnati speaking about new forumers

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Council President Pro Tem Brown Announces Police Demilitarization Hearings

 

On Sunday, June 21, over three weeks of protests in the wake of George Floyd’s death culminated once again in violence.  Just five days after Mayor Andrew Ginther issued a directive prohibiting the use of tear gas for crowd control measure and limiting pepper spray to “clear instances of violence,” Columbus police once again released chemical agents into the crowds Downtown.

 

In response, city council members, including Council President Pro Tem Elizabeth Brown, released statements regarding Sunday’s protests. ... Pro Tem Brown, who is chair of the Finance Committee, said she plans to hold hearings regarding the city’s purchasing code, “which currently allows the Columbus Division of Police to buy equipment that only belongs in the hands of military operations.”  She then announced council will hold police demilitarization hearings before the July 4th holiday.

 

MORE:  https://www.columbusunderground.com/council-president-pro-tem-brown-announces-police-demilitarization-hearings-tm1

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Eliminating ‘no-knock’ warrants and demilitarizing police proposed by Columbus council

 

Columbus City Council plans to consider demilitarizing city police while taking other steps to address potential police abuses through legislation, including eliminating or limiting “no-knock” warrants for raids and requiring hate-group background checks of officers.

 

The seven council members laid out their proposals Thursday at City Hall, which also include having independent investigations into police use of lethal force. ... That also means “reimagining” public safety when the council begins its 2021 budget deliberations later this year.

 

Council plans to hold public hearings to discuss these issues before voting on legislation in July, prior to its summer break.  The first hearing, on revisions to the city’s purchasing code dealing with police funding, will be at 4 p.m. Tuesday.

 

MORE:  https://www.thisweeknews.com/news/20200625/eliminating-rsquono-knockrsquo-warrants-and-demilitarizing-police-proposed-by-columbus-council

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Ginther says spike in Columbus violence is community call to action

 

There’s been a spike in violence this month in Columbus, with more shootings and homicides, including the shooting death of a 14-year-old in Linden on Wednesday and an 18-year-old June 16 on the South Side.  Homicides were up 40% this June compared with June 2019, and that felonious assaults with guns are up 244% this month when compared with last June.

 

But Columbus Mayor Andrew J. Ginther said the city can’t police itself out of this crisis – that it has to be a community effort that includes public health and recreation initiatives.  At a news conference Saturday afternoon at the Milo-Grogan Community Center, Ginther said it’s a community call to action. 

 

That means in addition to police bike patrols that began Saturday in Linden, the Hilltop and the South Side, it also includes job programs, summer camps and Columbus Public Health workers who will meet with victims at the hospital to see what they need.  “Gun violence is a public health crisis,” said Dr. Mysheika Roberts, Columbus health commissioner.

 

MORE:  https://www.thisweeknews.com/news/20200627/ginther-says-spike-in-columbus-violence-is-community-call-to-action

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