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Rue 21 bails on teenagers in need

614now Staff

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People ages 13-18 all over the nation are mourning the loss of 400 Rue 21 stores. This will leave only 700 locations for young adults to get faux diamond jewelry and the latest trends in fringe ankle boots.

They posted this to their Facebook page: Screen Shot 2017-04-17 at 11.52.10 AM

There are five locations in the Columbus area. We aren’t sure which stores will close or when but we do know you can still get all the items to meet your teen fashion needs at their online sore.

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Flying cars coming to Columbus? Local startup shows off drone-like vehicle

Mike Thomas

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From the newly unveiled SmartLane to self-driving shuttles, Columbus is a leader in forward-thinking transit options. Now, it seems a local startup is poised to take your daily commute into the next century—and into the skies!

According to a report from CNBC, Columbus-based company the Workhorse Group showed off its SureFly Octocopter—a drone-like vehicle with room for two passengers—at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit earlier this week.

CNBC reports that functional prototypes of the craft are already taking flight as the Workhorse Group pursues certification approval from the Federal Aviation Administration.

Built almost entirely out of carbon fiber, the autonomous SureFly resembles popular commercial drones already on the market, only much larger. The man-sized drone is powered by a combination of electric motors, diesel, and/or jet fuel.

The Workhorse Group expects production of its vehicles to begin in less than two years and is already taking deposits. When available for sale, the craft is expected to cost around $200,000. For more information, visit the official Surefly website.

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Map: Local man thinks he has the answer to Ohio passenger rail

Regina Fox

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Kevin Verhoff really doesn't like the idea of cars. He believes they're
"highly inefficient," they take up a "ton of space," and they cost a "lot of money," not to mention the "ridiculous amounts of money" Ohio shells out on highways every year.

Instead, Verhoff would like to see the Buckeye State use its resources to build a comprehensive rail network, which looks a little something like this:

"Is this crazy? Yes. Would it be awesome? Yes," wrote Verhoff.

Not only would this proposed network "use technology and processes which are currently available (unlike the hyperloop)," according to Verhoff, there's several more reasons to get onboard, literally:

  • It would serve 23 of Ohio’s 25 largest counties
  • With stops in 44 of Ohio’s counties, it would serve 9.6 Million residents (about 83% of Ohioans).
  • Cleveland to Columbus in about 2.5 hours.
  • Columbus to Cincy in 2 hours.
  • It could be part of a broader regional and national rail network that would connect Ohio to other major cities in the region, along with international connections in Canada.

Verhoff knew he couldn't get this train on the tracks, literally, without a projected cost. He estimates that in total, the 1,800-mile project would bear a $8.98 billion price tag ($5 million per mile), spread out over 20 years.

"That’s about a 10% increase in ODOT’s annual budget!" Verhoff added.

No doubt that's not a number to scoff at, but Verhoff believes the implication of passenger rail in Ohio would be much larger.

"Imagine someone being able to go from Sandusky to Cleveland for cancer treatments or a heart surgery, without having to pay $8000 per year to own a car," he wrote. "Businesses would start to look to Ohio as an innovative place that creates opportunities and links human capital together. More importantly, people would just have more options for getting around. It’s not that expensive, and it would be life-changing for a lot of Ohioans.

"It’s a crazy idea. But, it’s also a really good idea," Verhoff said.

To read more about Verhoff's master plan for passenger rail in Ohio, click here.

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Ohio named one of the dumbest states in recent list

614now Staff

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Safehome.org, a website specializing in "expert research to compare the
best options in security and safety" (per their website) recently published a ranking of the "smartest" states in the US, according to The Dispatch. For Ohio, the news is not good.

Landing at number 43, Ohio ranks among the ten-dumbest states on Safehome.org's ranking. The website looked at information such as bachelor’s degrees and college prep scores while creating their list, which named New Jersey as the "smartest" state and placed Idaho last.

According to Safehome’s research, 17% of adults in Ohio age 25 and older hold a bachelor’s degree. The state's graduation rate is 84%, while the average SAT score was 1,097 in 2018-19.

"While we believe things like having high test scores and earning academic degrees represent one way of understanding and quantifying how smart someone is, we acknowledge that we're not taking into account things like emotional intelligence or common sense," Safehome says in the conclusion of its study.

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