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Chief of Columbus Police stepping down in February

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After six years on the job, the chief of Columbus Division of Police will be retiring in 2019.

Chief Kimberley Jacobs will step down on Friday, according to a release from Mayor Andrew Ginther’s office.

Per 10TV, Jacobs entered the force in 1979, just four years after Columbus Police began making the job available to women.

She then became the first woman to be promoted to commander in 1995, deputy chief in 2009, and chief of police in 2012.

The Division of Police is now tasked with conducting a national search for the next police chief.

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Mayor Ginther released the following statement:

“The Division of Police is charged with the critical mission of keeping all of our residents safe. Following the retirement of Chief Kimberley Jacobs in February, we will launch a national search for our next chief of police. This bold, historic move is something I fought for and won in arbitration because the people of Columbus and our police officers deserve the very best person to fill this role, whether that person comes from inside or outside the division.

“As your mayor, I want to hear from you about what we need in a chief of police. In the coming weeks, I will roll out our plan for a national search and how you can be involved.

“Like you, I have high expectations for the next chief of police. I am looking for a change agent who will pursue innovation and excellence in policing, someone who will use the recommendations of the resident-led Safety Advisory Commission as a roadmap to guide the Division. I am looking for someone committed to increasing diversity among police officers, aligning how we police with community expectations, and approaching this position as an opportunity to serve and protect every person in every neighborhood.

“In the next few weeks, I will release more information about our search. I appreciate the leadership of Chief Jacobs and want to continue to build on her efforts to adapt to the needs of Columbus to keep our neighborhoods safe.”

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Orange Barrel Hell: 5 road projects to avoid at all costs

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The ubiquitous orange construction barrel: a sign of central Ohio’s continual growth, and the stuff of traffic nightmares.

Road construction in central Ohio is a headache that may be impossible to avoid, but at least you can try. Here are five ongoing road projects to watch out for.

Watkins road at 33 – Closed indefinitely
A truck hit the 33 overpass at Watkins Rd on Thursday, leading to a closure of Watkins that could last for months, according to ODOT officials.

I-70 between I-270 and Wilson Rd – southbound Wilson closed for the weekend
I-270 to I-70 eastbound on the west side, as well as Southbound Wilson Road over I-70, will be closed beginning at 10 p.m. on Friday. The closure will last through the weekend. All lanes will reopen at 5:00 AM Monday.

I-71 South Side ‘Mega Fix’ Between Grove City and Columbus
The South Side construction project on Interstate 71 between Columbus and Grove City will add extra lanes, new bridges, and exit ramps throughout five miles of highway. The project will be under construction for at least three years, with completion targeted for the Fall of 2020.

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I-670 / I-270 Smart Lane
Construction on the Ohio’s first SmartLane has begun. The project spans seven miles miles of I-670 between downtown and John Glenn International Airport.

The new lane, called a SmartLane, will utilize state-of-the-art digital overhead signs installed every three-quarters of a mile to let motorists know if the lane is open to traffic. SmartLanes are intended to ease traffic congestion during peak rush hours.

3rd Avenue Widening near Railroad between Edgehill Road and Columbus Fire Station #25
Eastbound 3rd Avenue is detoured at Northwest Boulevard, except for local business traffic. This detour is expected to be in place for the rest of the year for a widening, reconstruction, and pedestrian path project.

What ongoing road project grinds your gears in your daily commute? Let us know in the comments.

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Video: Local church apologizes after kids spit on pastor

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Please consider this story your weekly reminder not to spit on people—even if they’re literally asking for it.

The Impact City Church in Pataskala has issued an apology over an Easter lesson gone wrong, in which youth minister Jaddeus Dempsey encouraged kids to slap him and spit on him. One student, at Dempsey’s direction, even cut the pastor’s bare back with a knife. The exercise was intended to teach students about Christ’s crucifixion.

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In a statement posted to Facebook, the church assured the public that there is a formal review and investigation of the incident under way from their Board of Directors:

While Dempsey’s future at the church is uncertain, perhaps this bizarre incident did manage to convey a simple lesson—don’t spit on people!

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There’s still hope for bigger, better Whitehall Kroger

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Two years has gone by since Kroger purchased a former Big Bear grocery store at the Town and Country Shopping Center in Whitehall, but the massive marketplace is still promising a bigger, better store for the community.

The place may just be a vacant lot right now, but according to This Week News, the 8.2-acre site at 3680 E. Broad St could become a shopping center with a drive-through pharmacy, fuel center, expanded kosher offerings, ClickLists, and other amenities.

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But ultimately, the project timeline is still being worked out.

Via a 15-year, 53% tax-increment-financing agreement Whitehall City Council approved in 2016, Kroger’s deadline to begin construction was pushed back from the end of 2018 to the end of 2021.

Kroger purchased the property for $4.2 million and is expected to shell out another $24 million to build the new store.


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