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Local career college ceasing enrollment, “effective immediately”

Mark Elliott

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Kaitlynn Pletcher loves animals. That motivated her to study vet assisting at Mid East Career Center in Zanesville instead of traditional high school. One day during junior year, a rep from the Vet Tech Institute at Bradford School in Columbus spoke to her class. Impressed, she applied immediately and was accepted to Bradford last summer. School was starting July 2019 so she started packing right after graduation for the move west. Her mother, Stephanie, has everything for Katie’s new dorm room “including pods for the dishwasher. Her dorm room has a dishwasher.” When the orientation schedule arrived requesting her presence on campus this week, Katie’s dream of working in a veterinarian’s office began to feel very real.   

But last Tuesday, all that changed. 

A form letter was delivered via Fed Ex, from Bradford School president Dennis Bartels reading, “Dear Applicant:  I regret to inform you that, due to declining enrollment, we have made the decision to no longer enroll any new students, effective immediately.” (The school does plan to remain open until April 2020 so all current students can complete their programs.)  With the letter came a refund of fees that the Pletchers had paid in advance.  

Statement on Bradford School’s homepage

Members of the admission staff at Bradford got fired about the same time Katie’s Fed Ex arrived.  But they were told a different story.  According to Bradford ex-employees who were on a conference call with school officials Tuesday morning, enrollment wasn’t the issue—it was accreditation and problems with student loans.  

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As a “for-profit” college, Bradford is held to different standards on loan defaults and graduation rates than schools like Ohio State and Kent State.  According to the Chronicle on Higher Education, over 1,000 for-profit campuses closed over the last five years. Another 270 have been under Federal monitoring this year. Bradford Schools, Inc. has already closed campuses in Pittsburgh and Fort Wayne over the past year

Now Katie needs a new plan. 

“She was accepted (at Bradford) last August” her mom told me. “Her second choice was Kent State, but they needed an application back in March, so she doesn’t know what to do now.”   

A quick online review found that both Columbus State and Kent State (at the Tuscarawas campus) have associate degree programs for future vet techs, with fall application windows still open.  

And her mom’s supply of dishwasher pods will last a long time.  

Columbus Native (Lincoln Village) I've spent my entire career in radio with stations across the South and Midwest. But I'm tired of moving around the country (my last employer wanted me in Albuquerque!) So I returned to CBus to be closer to friends and family and am freelancing now, including writing for (and about) 614. Reds, Bengals, Crew fan, and fan of whoever is playing the Cardinals and the Steelers.

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Opinion

Publisher: We can do better, free speech isn’t easy

Wayne T. Lewis, Publisher

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When we started (614) Magazine over a decade ago our focus was on telling stories that helped people enjoy and experience our growing city. It was a simple mission - to focus on all the positive additions that make life more enjoyable here. 

Along the way we’ve written about culture too. From documenting the rise of the local Somali population to the establishment of a proud LGBTQ community and most recently, documenting the contributions made by our immigrant neighbors. The magazine was awarded Best Monthly Magazine by the Ohio Society of Professional Journalists as a result of some of that coverage. It was our 3rd time receiving that honor.

That mission has not changed. (614) is focused on the positive and the good things that our community brings to the table.

In the past few years we’ve added a digital component (614now.com) that has added news-style coverage of events we deem “newsworthy” or interesting to our audience. Since we live in very interesting times to say the least, some of this coverage attracts slings and arrows from time to time. From all sides. Our misuse of “their” and “they’re” notwithstanding.

It’s part of the business and we accept that we won’t be perfect nor do we expect our entire audience - hundreds of thousands of you - to laud our every headline.

What we do and will continue to commit to is the principle that free speech and the free press are precious things. We won’t deny your ability to comment in our stories (as long as you keep it civil) as so many other media does, nor will we refuse to publish speech, commentary or interviews that some may find offensive. If the subject matter is relevant to Columbus or events transpiring here, we’ll provide a platform. That said, we’re fairly new to the “news” game and we acknowledge that we could do certain things better. 

This is never more evident than with the current uproar by some over our coverage of the “Proud Boys” episode. For some, including other members of local media, to imply that we are somehow “Nazi sympathizers” because we chose to publish the unedited words of people involved in the march is unfair to the honest, thoughtful people working here. That said, we could have done a few things better... 

Our quick-to-publish style that may suit a story about a new donut shop opening doesn’t serve us as well with serious or controversial topics. We plan to slow down and establish more editorial oversight by and between our content team. We could have added more critical context to the story and worked harder to get an additional point of view. We hear the critics and frankly, appreciate the fact that you care (well, most of you) to see us get it right.

I can assure you our agenda is not about clicks (we removed ads from this story after it became so controversial) nor taking sides in any political or cultural debate - no matter how righteous an opinion may be. It’s about respecting our audience and your ability to make up your own minds after reading the words and deeds of antagonist and protagonist alike. 

We think you’re all smart and capable enough.

Justice Louis Brandeis observed, “Sunlight is said to be the best of disinfectants.” While a commentary on government corruption at the time, it held that evil lurks and grows in the darkness and that a free society depends on the open-airing of all views, no matter how distasteful. This axiom was also long held as an operating principle within journalism. I still believe this to be true and the right thing to do. 

We choose to maintain, even cherish, our freedom to publish all relevant sides to the many debates that are sure to follow. You are likewise free to leave your opinion below these stories. We also welcome longer-form opinions, even ones critical of us, at [email protected]

We only ask that you keep it civil and remember that the people creating our content are doing their best to be fair and open-minded. Oh, and none of us are Nazi sympathizers so there’s that too.

Wayne T. Lewis
Publisher

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Biz + Dev

Cooper Stadium development rounds first phase of approval

614now

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Update: The plan to redevelop the former Cooper Stadium site into a mixed-use development is one step closer to becoming a reality.  

The Southwest Area Commission voted seven to four in approval of the plan to turn the derelict park into a mixed-use concept to include office/retail space and apartments. The approved plan will now go before the Columbus City Council for final approval. 

***

08/22/2019: The Columbus Clippers played their final game in Cooper Stadium way back in 2008. Since then, the storied ballpark has fallen to disrepair, becoming a popular site for urban explorers and ruin porn enthusiasts.

Now, the owners of the Coop have announced another redevelopment plan, which would bring offices, apartments, mixed-use commercial space, and creative work spaces to the decaying plot.

The site plan, which was submitted to the city by Arshot Development Corp., outlines the construction of 500 apartments, along with possible space for restaurants.

The next phase of the proposed project will take place at an area commission hearing on the rezoning application for the site, which has been scheduled for 7 p.m. on Aug. 21. 614NOW will continue to follow this story as it develops.

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News

Columbus-Pittsburgh Corridor is only 47 miles away from completion

614now

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The Columbus-Pittsburgh Corridor Association (CPCA) took to Washington, D.C. recently, seeking federal funding to finish what has been started.

For those unacquainted, the CPCA is a 160-mile four-lane highway that would connect Columbus to Pittsburgh. The project intends to provide a freight commerce corridor while also boosting tourism and supporting growing businesses in the area.

The corridor starts at I-270/SR 161 on the northeast side of Columbus, follows SR 161/SR 16 through New Albany and Newark to Coshocton, continues on US 36 from Coshocton to Dennison, along US 250 to US 22 at Cadiz, and continues along US 22 to Pittsburgh, reports Columbus Dispatch.

Seventy percent of the project is complete, but funding is needed to conduct a study on the area in the remaining 30 percent in Muskingum County, Coshocton County, Tuscarawas County, and Harrison County. 

The CPCA will meet next on Aug. 27 at 10 a.m. on the campus of the Central Ohio Technical College in Coshocton.

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