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“You’re a rude n****r.” Local contractor caught being racist on video

614now Staff

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A Columbus man is speaking out after a local contractor called him n****r several times outside of his home over a traffic disagreement.

“A man followed me from the interstate exit to my house, and then proceeded to berate me with the most disrespectful word to any African American,” wrote Charles Lovett in the caption of the photo he took.”

The driver of the company car, Jeffrey Whitman of Uriah’s Heating, Cooling, & Refrigeration, was upset because he thought Lovett cut him off in Morse Road traffic near I-71 and Sinclair Road.

“I just want to let you know what a n****r you are,” Whitman said to Lovett.

He continued the offensive name calling, saying, “You’re a rude n****r.”

Responses to reviews of Uriah’s on BBB are all signed “Jeffrey W****** Owner.”

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He then asked Lovett, “You got a job?” and “You paid for that?” in reference to his car, reports ABC6. 

The confrontation about the traffic right of way goes on for a few more minutes before Lovett eventually tells Whitman, “Have a good day, sir. Enjoy your life.”

In response to the video which has 1.2 million views and has been shared more than 35,000 times, Whitman issued the following statement, per ABC6:

“To Charles Lovett and the community,
I apologize for my use of the n word towards Charles Lovett on Tuesday, July 24th. I understand that using the n-word was not only hurtful towards Lovett as an individual, but hurtful towards the Black community at large. Using the word was dehumanizing, unacceptable, and inexcusable. My actions reflect an unhealthy mindset I have developed and I need to work to change. I have served the Black community for the last 9 years, installing furnaces and water heaters with pride. My actions that day are not a reflection of my feelings towards the Black community. I also understand that racial tensions in America are higher than before, and I regret my part in contributing to that tension. I realize that words are hollow without action, and because of the hurt I have caused, I hope I have the opportunity to give back to the Black community that I have harmed in a meaningful way.”

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Biz + Dev

Proposed Brewery District development could change skyline

614now Staff

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The Brewery district could be the site of a massive new construction project according to a report from ABC6.

During a meeting of The Brewery District Commission this week, North Carolina builder Zimmer Development Company and architectural firm NBBJ proposed a 30-story building complex to be developed on a 17-acre plot of land on West Whittier Street. The land is situated near Scioto Audubon Metro Park on the Whittier Peninsula.

According to the plan outlined by the developers, construction of the project would be broken up into three phases to be completed over 10-15 years. When complete, the complex would include over 370 apartments, 79-thousand square feet of office space, retail and restaurant space, outdoor patios, and a nearly 600-car garage.

Aside from the construction process itself, the proposed project will need to overcome a few hurdles in order to move forward. The proposed site of the building is currently owned by the company CSX, and also happens to reside on a flood plain.

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Crime

2 recent attempted abduction reports raise human trafficking concerns

614now Staff

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Two recent police reports have local families questioning whether they had a brush with human traffickers.

The first incident involved 18-year-old Kennedy Stokes, who said she and her cousin were approached by two men at a Walmart on November 21, reports 10TV. Stokes said the men tried talking to them several times and felt they were following them.

The next day, Strokes was experiencing car problems on her way home. She made it to the entrance of her apartment complex and got out to check under the hood. That's when a man approached and began grabbing at her.

Stokes noted he was wearing gloves and appeared to have a box cutter in his hand, reports 10TV. She was able to escape his grasp and suffered scratches on her chest.

Stokes believes it was one of the men from Walmart.

The second incident happened 14 miles away at a UDF on Indianola on the same day Stokes said she was attacked, reports 10TV.

A mother and her 12-year-old son were filling up at the gas station. She then went inside to pay, leaving her son in the locked vehicle.

When she returned, she said her son was visibly shaken up. He told her a man was yanking on the door handle, trying to get inside the vehicle. According to 10TV, the man didn't say anything, he only looked inside at the boy.

A security camera captured the incident, and police are currently reviewing the footage.

Both incidents have those involved wondering if they narrowly escaped a case of human trafficking. 10TV reports police are investigating both reports, including identification of suspects and motives.

For more on human trafficking, visit humantrafficking.ohio.gov.

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News

Downtown Parking is changing again. Take survey to sound off

614now Staff

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Sick and tired of the parking situation Downtown, or perfectly happy with things just the way they are? Either way, now's your chance to let your opinion be heard.

According to a report from the Columbus Dispatch, Columbus parking officials are planning changes for Downtown parking meters. In February, all current Downtown meters will be changed to either "30-minutes," "three-hours", or "unlimited time, 50-cents-an-hour."

The unlimited meters would be enforced from 8 AM to 6 PM, Mondays through Saturdays. The 30-minute and three-hour meters be in effect from 8 AM through 10 PM, Mondays through Saturdays.

It was also announced that the city plans to eliminate 150 to 200 meters in the summer of 2020. In their place, people will now be expected to use the ParkColumbus smartphone app, which has already been implemented in areas like the Short North and Arena District. Current free parking areas Downtown will remain free.

The city plans to evaluate how the new system is working six months after the changes go into effect. The city has also provided an online survey to help gauge what people would like to see in the future of Downtown parking.

Visit www.parkcolumbus.com to take the survey, and you could be one of 10 participants who will win $50 Parking Smart Gift Cards that can be used at any city of Columbus parking meter.

Surveys must be completed by Friday, December 6. Winners will be notified by email.

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