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Columbus Hotel earns “2018 Hotel of the Year” honors

Mike Thomas

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As a leader in the hotel industry in Columbus, Le Meridien, The Joseph has been awarded the designation of “2018 Hotel of the Year” in the Distinctive Premium Brand category by Marriott International.

According to a press release from Marriott, this distinction is awarded annually to a property that, “best executes on the brand promise while driving an overall balanced scorecard.”

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A number of factors are considered in giving this award, including financial metrics, online feedback, community involvement, and hotel culture. Of over 350 Distinctive Premium hotels in North America, Marriott designated 14 as 2018 Hotel of the Year, including Le Meridien Columbus, The Joseph.

“The team has given tangible meaning to the brand theme of ‘destination unlocked’ by providing authentic and indigenous [sic] experiences to our guests,” said Jason Mack, General Manager of the hotel. “I am so proud to work with such passionate and engaged associates. They are truly the best hospitality professionals in the industry.”

Since opening in January 2015, Le Meridien Columbus, The Joseph has worked to cultivate local partnerships and create brand awareness to the community through various programming efforts.

Congrats on the recognition, Le Meridien, The Joseph! We know where we’re going for our next staycation.

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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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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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Polaris’ newest store shows pride for Columbus

Regina Fox

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Polaris Fashion Place's unique mix of offerings now includes something special for the hockey fanatic. Fox Sports Ohio Blue Line Store will feature the largest selection of Blue Jackets merchandise at the best prices, according to the Polaris store page.

The CBJ gear headquarters is located between Aldo and Francesca's Collections. Click here to view it on the map.

Fox Sports Ohio Blue Line Store will hold its grand opening celebration this Saturday, December 7, with CBJ alumni player autographs, an appearance by Stinger, and special sales. 

Visit polarisfashionplace.com for more information. Go Blue Jackets!

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