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Strip clubs, drugs, memory loss: Bulleted list of Urban Meyer investigation

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The long await for Urban Meyer’s fate has finally ended: 3-game suspension. Gene Smith joins Meyer on the time-out bench with an unpaid leave from Gene Smith from August 31 to September 16.

Since the repercussion for mishandling former assistant coach Zach Smith’s domestic abuse allegations have been handed down, more details about the investigation have hit the fan.

Here are some key findings, per The Dispatch:

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  • Zach Smith took high school coaches and an unnamed Buckeyes coach to a strip club, spending upwards of $600 of his personal funds, while on an OSU recruiting trip in Florida in May 2014.
  • Meyer heard about the incident but did not know how much was spent at the club and failed to report it to the compliance department.
  • Meyer threatened Smith to fire him if it happened again and required a “morality claus” to be put in coaches’ contracts.
  • Powell police investigated Zach Smith for 15 months regarding domestic violence and cyber offenses against his then wife Courtney Smith that lasted through 2016.
  • OSU’s Title IX compliance officer got wind of the investigation and notified Gene Smith who then notified Meyer at a practice. Upset, Meyer and Gene Smith ordered Zach Smith return from a recruiting trip.
  • Meyer and Gene Smith confronted Zach Smith and told him, “if you hit her, you are fired.”
  • Shelley Meyer said she never told Urban Meyer about the text messages Courtney Smith sent to her about Zach Smith’s abuse in 2015 because she doubted the allegations.
  • Investigators’ reaction: “Given the closeness of their relationship and Shelley’s concerns, we believe it is likely that Shelley and Urban Meyer had at least some communication about these allegations in late 2015 and were concerned about them.”
  • In the midst of the divorce in 2016, Zach Smith went off the deep end—showing up late for practices and workouts and lying about attending high school recruiting trips.
  • Zach Smith had sex with a secretary of the football program which went unreported.
  • He took sexually explicit photos of himself while at the White House and the football facilities in April 2015 after the team won a national championship.
  • He also had had sex toys delivered to athletics facilities. Meyer and Gene Smith were aware of this.
  • Zach Smith checked into a drug treatment facility in June 2016 for an addiction to a prescription drug to treat ADHD. Meyer advised Smith to check into the facility.
  • Meyer’s lie about knowledge of the 2015 domestic abuse allegations against Zach Smith was likely a result of his health, incorrect media report, and confusing text messages from staff.
  • Texts show Meyer was told there was no record of any arrest in 2015, contradicting a media report.
  • He told reporters at the Big Ten Media Day that he was not aware of any incident in 2015, though he actually was.
  • Investigators discovered that Meyer has memory issues and sometimes takes medications that impairs his memory.
  • Upon learning of the initial report from Brett Murphy that Shelley had become aware of Courtney Smith’s allegations, staff member Brian Voltolini linked up with Meyer and together, they worked to delete text messages older than a year from Meyer’s phone.
  • When Meyer turned over his phone on August 2, there were only texts from the last year on it.
  • Investigators found the action of deleting messages “concerning.”
  • The report detailed that Meyer and Gene Smith were both required to report issues such as the allegations against Zach Smith to the compliance department. Meyer simply reporting to Gene Smith was not good enough.
  • Meyer and Smith said that the lack of law enforcement or court action played a part in their decision to not take the Zach Smith allegations to the compliance department.
  • Per the report: “Repeatedly, Zach Smith’s conduct was met with reprimands and warnings by Coach Meyer, but never a written report, never an investigation and no disciplinary action until July 23, 2018. While we do not doubt that Coach Meyer respects women and is dedicated to fostering an environment of respect for women in his program, his apparent blind spot for Zach Smith seems to have impaired his judgment and his management of the behavior of at least one of his assistants.”

Read the full report here.

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Elderly Dublin man narrowly survives deadly weekend hike

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A weekend outing with his grandsons nearly ended in tragedy for one Dublin man according to a report from the New Hampshire Union Leader.

Rescuers found 80-year-old James Clark of Dublin at 1:15 AM Friday morning on a Mount Washington trail in New Hampshire. Clark was found in the fetal position with signs of hypothermia, and was treated at a hospital for what authorities say were non-life-threatening injuries.

Clark had to be carried about 1.7 miles down a trail after his two teenage grandsons went ahead without him. Clark said that the plan was for the boys to go on at their own pace, as they had done the previous two days while climbing the highest peaks in New York and Vermont.

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Mount Washington was the third leg of a five-day trip for Clark and his grandsons. According to reports, he was unable to continue due to extreme cold temperatures on the mountain.

Unfortunately, other weekend hikers were not as lucky as Clark. On Friday, 69-year-old William Whittenaur of New Hampshire died following a medical emergency on a New Hampshire trail.

Likewise, Sandra Lee of  New Jersey succumbed to an unknown medical condition while hiking on one of the state’s trails, and was pronounced dead at the hospital

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Will Gov DeWine’s new program really improve your BMV experience?

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Everyone’s least favorite errand will hopefully become less painful. Ohio Governor Mike DeWine, Lt. Governor Jon Husted and Ohio Bureau of Motor Vehicles Registrar Charles Norman are working together to launch a pilot program to improve customer service at the BMV.

Specifically, drivers seeking a license renewal and vehicle registration will see changes to the process, reports NBC4i. Stay tuned for more details on the ins and outs of the program.

The program launched at 10:00 AM today.

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DeWine’s office says the new system aligns with an overall effort by the administration to make government more efficient.

How are some ways the Ohio BMV could improve customer service? Let us know in the comments below.

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How the “wettest year in Ohio history” could affect your grocery shopping

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While the rain may be ruining your weekend plans, it’s ruining the livelihoods of farmers around the state and, potentially, your grocery list. We are currently experiencing the wettest yearlong period in Ohio history, causing the state to be the farthest behind in planting corn and soybeans compared to all states that plant the crops, according to experts from The Ohio State University and federal reports.

And the trickle-down effect may impact your grocery shopping.

“Individual shoppers looking for specific items may experience hiccups in their availability or swings in their price,” said Ohio State University Department of Horticulture and Crop Science professor Matthew D. Kleinhenz, PhD.

As of June 9, only 50% of Ohio’s corn crop and 32% of its soybean crop was planted, a report from the U.S. Department of Agriculture shows. By now, Ohio typically is 96% done with planting corn and 89% done with soybeans, reports the College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences at Ohio State.

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But, the problems aren’t over once farmers get their crops in the ground.

“The growers who have been able to plant a corn or soybean crop likely will have to contend with other challenges that come with a lot of rainfall: more weeds, pests, and diseases,” reports Ohio State.

Though consumers may have more limited or more expensive offerings in the produce section this harvest season, the impact of the rain will have little effect on your shopping experience.

In my opinion, on the whole, Central Ohio shoppers can expect little change in the availability, etc of produce,” assured Kleinhenz. “The supply of produce is very resilient thanks to farms being located in many areas, the expertise of farmers, and other factors.”

Kleinhenz also reminds shoppers to remain patient and positive when something they’re looking for is not available, and use this time to enjoy what is available from growers.

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