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“The time is right,” OSU president Michael Drake announces retirement

Regina Fox

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After five years of serving the students, faculty, and staff at the Ohio State University, President Michael Drake will retire at the end of the 2019-2020 school year.

Drake cited good timing as his reason for retiring. 10TV reports Ohio State trustees approved a 2.5% raise for Drake this week, bringing his annual salary to nearly $892,000.

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Below is the statement he sent OSU community:

Dear Students, Faculty and Staff:
I am writing to share with you that I have informed the board that I will be retiring from my role as president of The Ohio State University at the end of the 2019-20 academic year.
Following many months of thoughtful consideration, Brenda and I have concluded that after a combined 15 years of campus leadership, here and in California, the time is right for a change in the trajectory of our lives.
We love our work, and we could not be more proud of the great progress the university has made through your leadership and the collective focus and efforts of the entire Buckeye Nation. But time does not stand still, and what better time to pass the baton than at the completion of our 150th and strongest year ever. The Ohio State University is positioned for nothing but continued success.
As we have considered this decision, we have been reminded time and again of the literally thousands of letters and other expressions of support, gratitude and encouragement we have received from so many of you over these past many years. They are sincerely appreciated and humbling. Working with you is an honor, a privilege and a blessing.
After my term, I will remain on the faculty in an active — although undoubtedly less intense — role. For now, it’s back to the task of celebrating our sesquicentennial and doing all we can every day to make our great university even better. Thank you all so much, and Go Bucks!
Sincerely,
Michael V. Drake, MD
President

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Columbus man shares sexual assault allegations against OSU doctor on NBC News

614now Staff

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As sexual assault accusations continue to mount in the case against an Ohio State University sports doctor, one alleged victim shared his story on a national platform.

NBC News recently published an interview with Stephen Snyder-Hill, a Columbus-native, LGBTQ activist, and military veteran who has accused Dr. Richard Strauss of sexually assaulting him as a student over two decades ago.

Dr. Richard Strauss, who died in 2005

Snyder-Hill told NBC after years of trying to suppress the memories of 1995, it all came flooding back when allegations first surfaced against Strauss last year.

Now, Snyder-Hill is among hundreds of men accusing Strauss of sexual abuse, and more than a dozen individuals seeking legal action against the university.

For more on Snyder-Hill's allegations against Strauss, visit nbcnew.com.

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Flying cars coming to Columbus? Local startup shows off drone-like vehicle

Mike Thomas

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From the newly unveiled SmartLane to self-driving shuttles, Columbus is a leader in forward-thinking transit options. Now, it seems a local startup is poised to take your daily commute into the next century—and into the skies!

According to a report from CNBC, Columbus-based company the Workhorse Group showed off its SureFly Octocopter—a drone-like vehicle with room for two passengers—at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit earlier this week.

CNBC reports that functional prototypes of the craft are already taking flight as the Workhorse Group pursues certification approval from the Federal Aviation Administration.

Built almost entirely out of carbon fiber, the autonomous SureFly resembles popular commercial drones already on the market, only much larger. The man-sized drone is powered by a combination of electric motors, diesel, and/or jet fuel.

The Workhorse Group expects production of its vehicles to begin in less than two years and is already taking deposits. When available for sale, the craft is expected to cost around $200,000. For more information, visit the official Surefly website.

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Map: Local man thinks he has the answer to Ohio passenger rail

Regina Fox

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Kevin Verhoff really doesn't like the idea of cars. He believes they're
"highly inefficient," they take up a "ton of space," and they cost a "lot of money," not to mention the "ridiculous amounts of money" Ohio shells out on highways every year.

Instead, Verhoff would like to see the Buckeye State use its resources to build a comprehensive rail network, which looks a little something like this:

"Is this crazy? Yes. Would it be awesome? Yes," wrote Verhoff.

Not only would this proposed network "use technology and processes which are currently available (unlike the hyperloop)," according to Verhoff, there's several more reasons to get onboard, literally:

  • It would serve 23 of Ohio’s 25 largest counties
  • With stops in 44 of Ohio’s counties, it would serve 9.6 Million residents (about 83% of Ohioans).
  • Cleveland to Columbus in about 2.5 hours.
  • Columbus to Cincy in 2 hours.
  • It could be part of a broader regional and national rail network that would connect Ohio to other major cities in the region, along with international connections in Canada.

Verhoff knew he couldn't get this train on the tracks, literally, without a projected cost. He estimates that in total, the 1,800-mile project would bear a $8.98 billion price tag ($5 million per mile), spread out over 20 years.

"That’s about a 10% increase in ODOT’s annual budget!" Verhoff added.

No doubt that's not a number to scoff at, but Verhoff believes the implication of passenger rail in Ohio would be much larger.

"Imagine someone being able to go from Sandusky to Cleveland for cancer treatments or a heart surgery, without having to pay $8000 per year to own a car," he wrote. "Businesses would start to look to Ohio as an innovative place that creates opportunities and links human capital together. More importantly, people would just have more options for getting around. It’s not that expensive, and it would be life-changing for a lot of Ohioans.

"It’s a crazy idea. But, it’s also a really good idea," Verhoff said.

To read more about Verhoff's master plan for passenger rail in Ohio, click here.

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