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2018 in the (614): Top 10 headlines of the year




With less than a week left in the year, we can’t help but reflect back on the good, bad, and ugly of this past trip around the sun.

Tragedy struck several times at OSU, a beloved local baker struck out on her own, a bar owner and BBQ joint each had their 15 minutes of shame, and so much more happened in the (614) in 2018.

What will 2019 bring? Stay tuned to find out.

#10 3rd person in 19 months dies from jumping/falling from OSU garage

An Ohio State student who fell/jumped from the top of the Lane Avenue parking garage this morning has died… Read more

#9 Biker club taking neighborhood safety into their own hands

The first thing that comes to mind when seeing a leather-clad motorcycle club may not be vigilante, but some local chopper riders are taking steps to to change that. Literally… Read more

#8 You may recognize the person opening bakery in Short North

Cheryl Krueger, the founder and former president and CEO of Cheryl’s Cookies before it sold in 2005, has her new shop C. Krueger’s Finest Baked Goods raring to go at 17 E. Brickel St… Read more


#7 2 Columbus restaurants among Ohio’s “14 coolest, most unusual”

Only In Your State is the authority on fun and unique attractions across the country so when they made a list of the 14 coolest, most unusual places to dine in Ohio, you best believe it piqued our interest… Read more

#6 “He treats women abusively at his bar,” Hampton’s on King owner under fire

The domino effect is in full affect after one patron of Hampton’s on King took to Facebook with a hellish experience she had with owner Matt McLeod… Read more

#5 Chaos at local schools, 17 closures due to threats

Local schools are in a state of chaos right now. Seventeen schools are closed today due to violent threats… Read more


#4 Miracle on Gay St: Christmas pop-up cocktail bar open NOW

Do you go crazy for Christmas? And looney for liquor? If so, tune in real close because we’ve got just the ticket for you… Read more

San Diego, by Arlene Ibarra

#3 Two local Krogers one step closer to elimination of checkouts

It’s arrived: A grocery shopping experience sans cashiers and traditional, time-consuming checkout lines… Read more

#2 “White power” chant reportedly breaks out at popular OSU campus bar

According to a Facebook live video, a group of people at a popular campus bar on Friday made it very clear to newcomers that they weren’t welcoming or inclusive… Read more

#1 Johnstown BBQ restaurant owner is NOT #WestervilleStrong

People are lashing out at a Johnstown business owner after he so disrespectfully, insensitively, and stupidly took to Twitter about the Westerville police shootings… Read more

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Video: Hero saves fish stranded on flooded Alum Creek trail

Mike Thomas



Thanks to biblical-level floods seen throughout the region this week, central Ohio was introduced to several new bodies of water where dry land once reigned.

Lake High Street. The 5th Ave River. The 71-S Memorial waterway. But perhaps the most impressive new water feature to grace our fair city is Alum Creek 2.0, AKA a flooded walking trail near Three Creeks Metro Park (soon to be renamed Four Creeks).

While all that H20 really cut down on foot traffic on the former path, one daring aquatic explorer—a rather large carp, featured in the parks department Instagram post below—was all too happy to hit the trail.


The carp made it as far as the park’s picnic tables before running out of swimming space. Luckily, a hero (queue the music) was on hand to assist the struggling fish. According to 10TV, good samaritan William Boles made use of a nearby trashcan to scoop up the wayward carp and deposit it safely in the waters from whence it came.

Man saves fish at metro park

FISH RESCUE 🐟: How high is the water at Three Creeks Metro Park in Groveport? 10TV reporter Brittany Bailey captured this huge fish swimming by the picnic tables. One man couldn't let the fish die so he used a park trash can to rescue it.

Posted by 10TV – WBNS on Thursday, June 20, 2019

Stay dry out there, folks, and if you see a person or animal in trouble in one of our newly-formed waterways, lend them a hand!

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Unsolved Ohio: The bizarre disappearance of Brian Shaffer from Ugly Tuna

Regina Fox



How can someone go into a second-story bar and never come out? I’m talking about the disappearance of Brian Shaffer in 2006.

On March 31, Shaffer and his friend William “Clint” Florence went out to Ugly Tuna to celebrate the beginning of spring break. Shaffer was a second-year medical student and surely wanted to cut loose a bit after a stressful week of exams. The two then barhopped down High Street towards the Arena District, reportedly taking shots at every stop.

A little after midnight, Shaffer and Florence met up with a friend of Florence named Meredith, who gave them a ride back to Ugly Tuna. The three of them are seen on security camera ascending the escalator to the now-closed bar in the University Gateway around 1:15 AM on April 1.

Shaffer (circled), Florence, and Meredith ascending the escalator to Ugly Tuna

Later, the camera captures Shaffer outside the bar talking to two women around 1:50 AM and then re-entering the bar. At this point, Shaffer was separated from his friends. The bar was closing and after searching and calling for Shaffer, Florence and Meredith decided to wait outside the bar for him to come out. After a while, the two left, assuming Shaffer had gone home.

But, the 27-year-old has never been seen or heard from since.


Ugly Tuna had one entrance at the top of the escalator. Anyone entering or leaving from this would be caught on surveillance cameras. Investigators acknowledge the possibility that the cameras could have somehow missed Shaffer, though think it’s unlikely. Another improbably scenario they’ve entertained is Shaffer disguising himself and/or hiding from the cameras before exiting the bar. After all, the quality of security cameras circa 2006 was not the highest.

There was only one other way that Brian could have exited the bar that night, and it was from a back service door. Not only was this a door used exclusively by staff members, but it also opened to a construction site that would’ve posed a dangerous situation for a sober person, let alone someone who had been drinking all night.

It’s also important to note neither Shaffer’s cell phone, credit cards, or bank account have been used since.

The young man’s disappearance sparked an international search effort. Possible sightings started flowing in from Michigan, Texas, and even as far as Sweden. Eddie Vedder, the lead singer of Pearl Jam (one of Shaffer’s favorite bands and motivation for a tattoo) even took time out of the band’s set in Cincinnati to put out a call for information that may lead to Shaffer’s discovery.

Shaffer received excellent marks from the university, was close with his family who lived in Pickerington, and had a good relationship with his girlfriend, Alexis Waggoner. He and Waggoner had a spring break trip to Miami booked—confirming plans with her over the phone around 9:00 PM on March 31. She, along with their families and friends, were convinced Shaffer would probably propose later that year or maybe even on their trip to Miami.

For months after his disappearance, Waggoner called his phone every night. It went straight to voicemail every time except one night in September when she heard the phone ring three times. There was no answer, but the call pinged a tower in Hilliard. There was hope for the first time in months! Unfortunately, the cellular carrier divulged that the rings were likely a glitch in the system, rather than Shaffer powering on his phone.

Everyone in Shaffer’s life agreed to take a polygraph test in order to clear them of any suspicion, except Florence. Reportedly, Florence refused the test because he felt he had told police everything he knew about the night Shaffer disappeared.

By all accounts, he was the All-American boy with everything to live for which is why his disappearance has been so troubling all these years.

Was it an alien abduction? The Smiley Face Killer? Or is he alive and well somewhere in the world right now?

We may never know.

 If you have any information regarding the disappearance of Brian Shaffer please contact the Central Ohio Crime Stoppers at 614-645-8477, if requested you will remain anonymous. 

Additional information: Prior to his disappearance, Shaffer’s mother Renee died of a rare form of bone cancer called myelodysplasia. And just after his disappearance, his father died in a freak accident involving a wind storm and a tree branch. The immediate Shaffer family is survived only by Brian’s younger brother Derek.

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Biz + Dev

Signage suggests new eatery coming to former Short North Blick space

Mike Thomas



A brand new awning sporting the words “Ned’s Bayou” has appeared over the former Blick’s Art Supplies location at 612 N High St in the Short North.

While initial searches have turned up little information about this forthcoming business, we can only assume that this will one day be the sight of a Louisiana-inspired restaurant of some sort.


Then again, the word “Bayou” carries other connotations. Maybe this will be the Short North’s first-ever spot for gator rasslin’. Only time will tell!

614NOW will keep an eye peeled for more info on this business as it becomes available.

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