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“I’m not smart enough to know,” Heartbeat Bill sponsor roasted by John Oliver

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Last month, a bill outlawing abortions after a fetal heartbeat has been detected was signed into law. The Heartbeat Bill, which makes no exceptions for pregnancies resulting from rape or incest, bans abortions as early as six weeks into pregnancy, before many women even know they’re pregnant.

This ban and similar legislations around the country recently got the John Oliver treatment on his show “This Week Tonight with John Oliver.” On the episode, Oliver introduced the Heartbeat Bill to his viewers and how some opponents are concerned about how it will affect birth control and contraceptive companies.

Enter Heartbeat Bill sponsor John Becker, Republican member of the Ohio House of Representatives.

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Oliver airs a news clip where Becker is asked where contraceptives like Plan B and birth control fall. His answer… well, just watch.

Skip to 3:50

“I don’t know because I’m not smart enough to know what causes abortions and what doesn’t,” said Becker. “The bill is just written if it causes an abortion and people smarter than me can figure out what that means.”

The clip cuts back to Oliver who is completely dumbfounded.

“Wow,” he said. “It seems like lawmakers should exhibit a little more awareness about what they’re releasing than the makers of the Sonic the Hedgehog movie.”

Oliver, a Roe v. Wade supporter, then urges the public to stay abreast of issues like these so that the landmark decision does not get overturned.

“It’s complete fucking nonsense,” Oliver said of the Ohio bill. “And if you’re sensing a pattern here, that’s because just this year, states have introduced more than 250 bills restricting abortion access. It’s pretty clear now, with a conservative Supreme Court, lawmakers are taking every shot they can to get a case that might end up overturning Roe v. Wade, and they’re going to keep trying. Which is why it is incumbent on all of us to pay close attention to this issue.”

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Crime

Unsolved Ohio: Who killed Peggy Andrews near OSU in 1962?

Regina Fox

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How does a well-liked, 19-year-old, small town girl wind up dead in a Columbus garage? Unfortunately, even after nearly 60 years, no one knows.

The lifeless body of Mary Margaret “Peggy” Andrews was found in a garage near the Ohio State campus on September 20, 1962. She was shot three times in the face and—judging by the condition of her clothing when investigators arrived—sexually assaulted.

Peggy moved out of her parents’ home almost immediately after graduating from her Catholic high school near Steubenville, Ohio in 1961. Along with two other young women, Peggy lived in a boarding house on 18th Avenue near Buckeye Donuts. She enrolled in night classes at the Columbus Business University (now Bradford School) and worked full time as an accountant’s secretary.

She was smart, well-liked, and deeply religious. People close to her described her as “carefree” and “lighthearted,” reports Columbus Monthly.

It was a Thursday at 5:00 PM when Peggy left her downtown workplace before heading to class. She met up with her two roommates, Carol Maxwell and Carol Eick, and two male classmates outside her office. Typically, Peggy would’ve taken the bus with her roommates, but she wasn’t feeling well that day. Instead, she caught a ride with her friend and classmate Ron Negutt to avoid the uncomfortable bus commute.

He pulled up to Peggy’s boarding house and watch her walk to her door under the streetlamp light. Negutt took off before she had gotten inside, eager to meet his buddies at the 7-11 Club. He arrived at the bar around 9:30 PM, reports Columbus Monthly.

This was also the time Maxwell and Eick say they arrived back at the boarding house. Both women, along with the housemothers, waited for Peggy’s signature high-heeled entrance through the back door, but she never came.

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Meanwhile, Columbus Business University student Gary Ontko was moving into his new apartment on Woodruff Avenue. Around 11:30 PM, Ontko volunteered to help out his roommate who had forgotten to roll up his car windows.

He approached the garage cautiously as he was new to his surroundings. As he grew closer, that’s when he saw them: a pair of human legs illuminating in the moonlight.

Peggy’s purse contents were strewn about, her long red coat was covered in dirt, but the small black bow remained pinned to her curly brown hair. Her school books were discovered neatly stacked on the ground behind her boarding house.

Everybody in Peggy’s life, including Negutt who was the last known person to see her alive, were cleared as suspects. Police expanded their search to registered sex offenders in the area, which garnered a possible link. A .22-caliber pistol found in a university district drain spout in 1963 supported the link, but did not cement it.

Another break in the case occurred decades later in 2000. Forensic scientists extracted DNA from a stain on the back of Peggy’s shirt and tested it against DNA samples obtained at local, state, and federal crime scenes. The tests garnered no results.

This stain just may be the key that unlocks the entire mystery. Now, if they could only find a match.

Anyone with additional information or questions regarding this case should submit a tip.

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Zoo mourns loss of “colorful,” “gentle” creature

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Over the weekend, the Columbus Zoo & Aquarium announced the death of one of its beloved creatures.

Kinshasa, the male mandrill, passed away at the ripe age of 22 years old, surpassing the median life expectancy of his breed by nearly a year. Animal Care and Animal Health staff made the difficult decision to humanely euthanize him after this health declined rapidly due to several age-related disease processes.

Kinshasa came to the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium in 2017 where he became an “amazing” stepdad and best friend to Mosi.

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In a post on Facebook, the Columbus Zoo remembered Kinshasa for his “colorful looks,” “gentle nature,” and active lifestyle.

“Although our time with him was short, he had a lasting impact on all who knew him and was an amazing individual,” they wrote.

Kinshasa, we hope you are playing with your blue barrel and water-based, tempura paint that you loved so much.

Today we are celebrating and remembering the life of Kinshasa, the male mandrill. Animal Care and Animal Health staff…

Posted by Columbus Zoo and Aquarium on Saturday, July 13, 2019
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Update: Killer’s blood-soaked car leads to arrest in July 4th slaying of young woman

Mike Thomas

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Update: Court documents filed in Delaware County detailed 24-year-old John Bartholomew’s statement to deputies, in which he admitted to killing 28-year-old Brittany McDowell and disposing of her remains in a shallow grave in Alum Creek State Park on July 4.

Brittany McDowell

Bartholomew told deputies he picked up McDowell on Sullivant Avenue, and that he paid her $60 for sex acts. He went on to say that McDowell demanded more money, and threatened him with a taser.

Bartholomew told deputies he then pulled out a gun from under his seat and shot McDowell in the side of the head before using a different gun to fire a second shot, which struck McDowell on top of her head, killing her.

Bartholomew stated he then dug a shallow grave near Alum Creek State Park, where he disposed of the body.

Deputies said it was a person who Bartholomew hired to clean blood from his vehicle who called in a tip to Police, leading to his arrest.

Bartholomew was not required to enter a plea and is being held on a $1.5 million bond.

***

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Authorities made a grisly discovery over the holiday weekend when an officer stumbled upon a shallow grave containing the body of a young woman.

At about 6:30 p.m. on July 4, an officer with the Ohio Department of Natural Resources discovered a shallow grave near the pull-off area in the 6400 block of State Route 37 near Alum Creek State Park while on foot patrol.  

Deputies responded to the scene and found the body of a white female in her late 20s. The body was later identified as as 28-year-old Brittany D. McDowell of Columbus.

Due to injuries observed on the body, Delaware County deputies say they are investigating the case as a possible homicide.

Deputies ask anyone who may have information regarding this case to contact the Delaware County Sheriff’s Office at 740-833-230 to leave a message, or call 740-833-2800 to speak to a live person.  

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