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Columbus to Chicago in 30 Minutes, New Proposal

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If that headline didn’t totally blow your friggin’ mind, then you seriously need a pick-me-up, because Columbus just became a semi-finalist for the Hyperloop One Global Challenge that would launch people from Columbus to Chicago in 30 minutesaccording to the Columbus Dispatch.

The way it works is pretty simple actually — a tube is elevated off the ground (or dug into the ground) and powered by magnets and forced air in the low pressure space. Six people are placed in a pod, the pod goes in the tube, and the tube sends them to Chicago at the speed of over 700mph. 

You could work in Chicago and still live in Columbus. It already takes 30 minutes to drive from Upper Arlington or Clintonville to Downtown in traffic, so why not do the commute in a comfy pod on your way to the Windy City?

The proposal also suggests that commuters would also be able to get to Pittsburg in 15 minutes. The concept has been pushed and championed by Elon Musk, that awesome billionaire, businessman, science guy that initiated PayPal, SpaceX, and Tesla Motors.

Columbus-based Mid-Ohio Regional Planning Commission brought forth the proposal, though they did say they don’t know how much it will cost but that the “potential costs and public-private partnership financing strategies will be evaluated.”

Once the Hyperloop system is built, it would be extremely cost effective as it could not only move people, but also goods on the same gallon value, said Thomas Goldsby, chair of Ohio State University’s Department of Marketing & Logistics, to the Dispatch.

Columbus is among 35 other semi-finalists from 17 other countries. Finalists will be chosen in May and MORPC and others will showcase their presentations April 6 in Washington, D.C.

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Sonic seeks re-do after local employees’ “f*ck you”

Mike Thomas

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In February, conflict surrounding a change in ownership of central Ohio Sonic Drive-In locations led to mass-walkouts by Sonic employees. The exodus was accompanied by at least two profanity-strewn letters penned by disgruntled staff, found taped to the glass doors of area Sonic locations:

Photo courtesy of Scioto Post

Now, Sonic President Christina Vaughan says it was all a big misunderstanding.

In an article posted by Columbus Business First, Vaughan claims that the embittered employees’ decision to quit was based on “unfortunate misinformation.”

The issues began when Sonic’s corporate headquarters took ownership of 10 central Ohio restaurant locations from previous franchisees. According to Vaughan, area Sonic locations had been understaffed under their previous owners. Apparently, bringing on new crew led to unrest among veteran Sonic employees, who felt they were being passed over for opportunities in the company.

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Additionally, some Sonic employees were under the impression that their wages would be cut under the new owner—a concern that Vaughan now claims was unfounded. “100% of employees are making the same, if not more, now,” she told Business First.

Though Sonic did close two central Ohio restaurants—Groveport and Whitehall—neither of those locations had protesting employees.

Going forward, Sonic looks to improve its standing in the Columbus market through operational and technological improvements. Stalls in central Ohio restaurants will soon feature Sonic’s new interactive screen system, which can be connected to the Sonic smartphone app.

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Columbus Zoo lends a flipper to 2 orphaned manatees

Mike Thomas

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Is it just us, or is a stop at Manatee Coast the highlight of any trip to the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium?

If you love these adorable sea-cows as much as we do, you’ll be pleased to learn that two new additions have joined the gang, or aggregation if we’re talking scientifically. As part of the Zoo’s continuing efforts to rehabilitate orphaned and injured manatees, orphans Bananatee and Tostone were welcomed to Manatee Coast early this morning.

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For more details, check out this post from the Zoo’s Facebook page:

Here’s wishing the new manatees and their keepers the best of luck in their rehabilitation efforts. We can’t wait to get back to the zoo to see these guys for ourselves!

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Update: Tree bar to reopen following “emergency” renovations

Mike Thomas

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UPDATE: Given the numerous unsubstantiated stories circulating around the unexpected closure of local venue Tree bar last weekend, we’d like to take this opportunity to share an update posted today on the bar’s Facebook page:

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In spite of rumors to the contrary, we’re glad to see that Tree Bar will continue on in a new and improved form. Here’s to many more years of fun in this much-loved venue.

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