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Future unclear for Actual Brewing after owner accused of sexual assault

Mike Thomas

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The future of Actual Brewing has been called into question following a ground-shaking cover story from Columbus Alive, in which multiple women accuse Actual owner and CEO Fred Lee of sexual assault.

While Lee has stepped down as CEO, he remains an owner of the east side-based brewery and taproom, which employs over 30 people.

In light of the disturbing allegations levelled against Lee, several local establishments that used to support the brewery have since pulled out. Popular craft beer destination Bob’s Bar released a statement on Facebook on Wednesday shortly after the story went public stating that they would no longer serve Actual’s products in their establishment.

Until we see fit (if ever), Bob’s will not be offering products from Actual Brewing. We have many friends in the…

Posted by Bob's Bar on Wednesday, February 6, 2019

Weiland’s Market is also following suit.

**UPDATE: We will offer our remaining Actual beer stock for sale at current retail pricing (state minimum), and all…

Posted by Weiland's Market on Thursday, February 7, 2019

Other staples of the craft brew scene in Columbus have also pulled Actual’s beer from their shelves. Longtime homebrew supplier and Columbus craft beer pioneers Gentile’s Wine Sellers have stated that they will stop carrying Actual’s products going forward. The same is true for Kenny Road Market, where the store’s renowned selection of over 500 beer brands will no longer include anything from Actual Brewing.

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Yellow Brick Pizza, St. James Tavern, The District Pourhouse, and the Hills Market Downtown also pulled Actual products from their shelves and taps.

Distribution may be another hurdle for the embattled brand. Actual’s distributor in the Cleveland market, Sixth City Distributing, who have been documented as distributors of the brand as of December 2016, appears to have been removed from the website.

While Lee’s actions have placed the future of his company and its employees in serious peril, it is important to recognize the impact that these events have had on survivors of sexual assault first and foremost.  

Resources and support for anyone who has been affected by sexual assault are available at RAINN.org.

614NOW originally reported 17th Star Distributing pulled their support of Actual Brewing. 17th Star never distributed Actual product and the story has been edited to reflect this fact.

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

Mike Thomas

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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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