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Sudden death of elephant calf leaves Columbus Zoo reeling

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The Columbus Zoo is reeling after the unexpected death of the new elephant calf.

The 20-day-old female calf died at approximately 1:30pm after a sudden illness.

Veterinary team members determined she had an infection and administered fluids, antibiotics, and blood plasma from her mother, Phoebe.

The calf appeared to rebound and even nursed. But, alas, her health rapidly declined again and she passed away.

A full animal autopsy will be conducted to determine exact cause of death.

“At only a few weeks of age, this little calf had already won our hearts. She was a cherished member of our Zoo family, and we are mourning her passing,” said Columbus Zoo President/CEO Tom Stalf. “I have the privilege of working alongside amazing, compassionate and dedicated animal experts. Our team is going through an exceptionally difficult time with our recent unrelated losses, and we are appreciative of the outpouring of support we receive from near and far.”

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The calf was a result of an artificial insemination using sperm from a male elephant at the Columbus Zoo and a male from another zoo after natural breeding was unsuccessful.

While still a relatively rare procedure for elephants, attempts to artificially inseminate elephants are becoming more frequent in an effort to bolster the numbers of endangered elephants, whose populations are rapidly declining in their native range, according to a release from the zoo.

The Columbus Zoo also lost three giraffes, including 2 calves, between November and December.

Read more here. 

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You complained, they listened. Short North parking changing today

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Hey, Columbus, how are you liking the Short North parking plan? The Columbus Division of Parking Services still stands by it, albeit they make a few interim adjustments.

Beginning today, the following changes will take effect:

  1. Lower the 24-Hour Resident Guest Pass rate from $6 to $3
  2. Adjust the rate change timeframe from 3 p.m. to 4 p.m. (at both meters and mobile pay zones)
  3. Lower mobile pay only (side street) parking rates from $2/hour to $1/hour between 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. in permit zones SNA, SNB and SNE
  4. Reduce Goodale Street meter rates to $1/hour and remove time limit restriction
  5. In partnership with the Short North Alliance, enhance the already successful off-street retail validation program with a new on-street validation program through the Park Columbus app

Then, in late summer, the following changes are tentatively planned to be made:

  1. Increase the number of guest permits available to residents from 1 to 2
  2. Allow visitors to extend time in mobile pay (side street) zones for up to 6 hours

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According to a release, Division of Parking Services is pleased with the plan’s many “accomplishments,” it has committed to continually reviewing feedback from the community and use it to make changes to better serve the public. The forthcoming changes were informed by an effort Parking Services dubs a “listening tour” where information was gathered from the public throughout March and April. Feedback gleaned from Short North business owners was also used.

“I am proud of the parking plan’s many successes, and especially its nimbleness to be responsive to the community it serves. The data-driven and community input we received allows us to enhance access and parking opportunities for residents, businesses and visitors of the thriving Arts District,” said Robert Ferrin, Assistant Director of Parking Services.

Parking Services sites the turnover in the neighborhood and the allowance of residents to use on-street parking to park closer to their homes as two of the parking plan’s successes.

How has the Short North parking plan affected your life? Let us know in the comments below!

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

Regina Fox

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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.

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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.

 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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Video: Hero saves fish stranded on flooded Alum Creek trail

Mike Thomas

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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.

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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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