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Locals not going with the tow, suing Shamrock for illegal practices

Mike Thomas

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You come back to your parking spot after a night out on the town, only to find your car is missing. Your mind begins to race. Could it have been stolen? Then you notice the sign: tow away zone.

Sometimes, getting towed is merely the price you pay for your own lack of awareness. In other situations, towing can seem downright predatory. According to two Pickering residents who have filed a lawsuit against a local towing company, the practice might even be illegal.

The two plaintiffs filed a class action lawsuit against Westerville-based Shamrock Towing in Franklin County Common Pleas Court this week, claiming the company has illegally towed thousands of vehicles from “private tow-away zone” lots in the last four years.

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The lawsuit claims that Shamrock’s “tow away zone” signage does not meet Ohio state laws that regulate towing, and that the “private tow-away zone” signs that Shamrock provides to its customers are illegal.

Under Ohio law, “private tow-away zone” signs must include details on exactly who is allowed to park on a property, or the business name or address of the property to which the lot belongs. The suit alleges that Shamrock’s signs fail to meet these requirements.

If the suit is successful, it is estimated that Shamrock would have to pay upwards of $2.5 million in damages to those who are part of the class action.

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Ohio House bill gives students’ wrong answers religious protection

Mike Thomas

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House Republicans in the Ohio legislature have passed a bill that would allow public school students to turn in factually incorrect work as long as it supports his or her religious beliefs.

According to ABC 6, the House passed the "Student Religious Liberties Act" on Wednesday. Under the law, teachers would be unable to penalize students for presenting work that is scientifically wrong—as long as the incorrect work is based in the student's personally-held religious beliefs.

Every Republican in the House supported the bill, which now moves to the Republican-controlled Senate for approval.

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Update: Bexley’s single-use plastics ban far from in the bag

614now Staff

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Update: Just when Bexley thought they had a new ban in the bag, state lawmakers are swooping in to disrupt things.

An ordinance to outlaw single-use plastic grocery bags was passed by Bexley City Council in May, but two new bills could block it from ever going into effect.

According to The Dispatch, both House Bill 242 and Senate Bill 222 would bar local governments from imposing a “fee, assessment or other charge” on the use of “auxiliary containers” such as bags, boxes, and cups given out by restaurants and retailers.

If even one of the bills pass, the ban on plastic bags in Bexley could be squashed. Visit dispatch.com for more information.


05/29/2019: A ordinance banning single-use plastic bags was passed by the Bexley City Council last night by a 6-1 vote.

The ban will apply to all businesses within Bexley city limits and at all city facilities and city-sponsored events beginning Jan. 1, 2020

A ban on beverage straws, stirring sticks, drink stoppers and cutlery will begin in 2021.


05/23/2019: Single-use plastic grocery bags, straws and cutlery could become obsolete in Bexley in the next few years if a new ordinance is passed.

Ordinance 14-19 would place a ban on plastic grocery and carryout bags at all businesses within Bexley city limits and at all city facilities and city-sponsored events beginning Jan. 1, 2020. A ban on beverage straws, stirring sticks, drink stoppers and cutlery would follow on Jan. 1, 2021, reports This Week News.

Also on January 1, 2021, the ban on single-use plastics would extend to educational institutions, with the exception for plastic straws for those with special needs. Mobile businesses, like food trucks, would be another exception to the single-use plastic ban.

Customers would be encouraged to bring their own bags, but business owners would be allowed to offer paper or other reusable bags for a 10-cent charge under the proposal. Troy Markham, chairman of council’s service and environmental committee who introduced this ordinance April 23, ensured that the 10-cent charge would not be collected by the city, but rather, would be itemized by the store to the consumer, reports This Week News.

Bexley City Council will vote for the third and final time on this legislation during the meeting Tuesday, May 28, at 6:30 PM at t Bexley City Hall, 2242 E. Main St.

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Major downtown ramp to close permanently soon

Regina Fox

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Dear Third Street drivers, enjoy the Interstate 70 ramp while you can because soon, it'll be but a distant memory.

Starting Monday, November 25, the Third Street ramp to I-70 east in Downtown will close permanently as part of ODOT's project to improve I-70/71.

https://twitter.com/ODOT_Columbus/status/1194370732286992384

The ramp must close to make way for a new exit ramp from I-70 east to Parsons Avenue, reports ODOT, which is expected to open next month. The Parsons Avenue ramp will replace the 18th Street exit ramp, which will also close permanently in December. 

When the project is complete in 2021, another new ramp from Fulton Street will restore access to I-70 east. In the meantime, downtown drivers headed east will have to use alternate routes. See below for suggestions from ODOT:

From German Village:

  • East on Livingston Ave. to Kelton Ave. OR to Alum Creek Dr. to I-70 east

From the Brewery District:

  • South on High St. to west on Greenlawn Ave. to I-71 north to I-70 east

From Olde Towne East:

  • East on Main St. to Miller Ave. OR to Alum Creek Dr. to I-70 east

From the Arena District:

  • West on Spring St./Dublin Rd. to SR 315 south to I-70 east
  • West on Spring St. to Neil Ave. to I-670 east (to I-71 south to I-70 east)

To see a rendering of the project once all phases are complete, click here.

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