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Vets Memorial celebrates 75th anniversary of D-Day with firsthand WWII accounts




Today marks the 75th anniversary of U.S. troops storming the beach at Normandy. In recognition, the National Veterans Memorial and Museum is hosting a special “veterans voices” event, featuring a firsthand account from retired U.S. Army Staff Sgt. Don Jakeway.

Jakeway, whose story is highlighted in our exhibit along, with fellow WWII Veterans Jack Welsh and Carl Strout. Col. Peter Mansoor, US Army (Retired), and General Raymond E. Mason Jr. Chair of Military History at The Ohio State University will lead the discussion.


According to 10TV, Jakeway was dropped behind enemy lines just before the Normandy invasion of June 6, 1944, while serving as a member of the 82nd Airborne Division.

Below is (614) Magazine’s coverage of the National Veterans Memorial opening last year.

Memorial of the Past, and a Gift of the Present

Veterans Memorial makes its second grand debut as part of the capital city skyline

By Rhea Moseley

On May 21, 1953, ground was broken for a building that would go on to hold over 60 years of memories. The Franklin County Veterans Memorial Auditorium was a familiar presence, unrivaled in its worth in the community to many. Scenes of superstars like The Who, Elvis Presley, and Tina Turner drawing crowds whose energy could barely be contained by its walls. Celebrations for ambitious teenagers ceremoniously crossing the same stage nights later. Each individual anxiously marching into adulthood, leaving the growing pains of high school behind.

A structure versatile enough to house the greatest competitors, exhibitions, town halls, and much more: a staple in Columbus’s history. Its walls lined with the plaques dedicated to a sample of Ohio’s veterans. By 2015, after years of service, the treasured Franklin County memorial was torn down to its skeleton. With this demolition, decades of meaningful memories settled gracefully into the ground, providing a rich soil for a powerful resurrection.

Now in 2018, standing mightily by the Scioto River, is the new National Veterans Memorial and Museum, the first national museum of its kind. Three years and 82 million dollars later, the civic landmark sprawls across seven acres of land, with over 50,000 square feet inside of the magnificent structure. An impressive two and a half of those acres is dedicated to a memorial grove whose intention is to offer a natural sanctuary for reflection and remembrance.

The memorial and museum will offer accommodations for ROTC graduations, veteran ceremonies & reunions, as well as celebrations. Aside from being a venue that lends its space to these prestigious occasions, the National Veterans Memorial and Museum’s goal is to honor, connect, inspire, & educate the community as well as the nation. The mission states that the NVMM will “Honor, Americans’ contribution to our country through military service. Connect, civilians with veterans and their experiences. Inspire, visitors to serve their community and nation as active, engaged citizens. And finally to, Educate, school children about the history and value of service.

The honoring of veterans through their military service will not fixate on war or any particular branch of the military, but the journey of individuals. The narratives provided for this experience give a deeper, more intimate look into what it is to be a veteran. Artfully constructed installments depict stories of sacrifice, leadership, fearlessness, growth, discovery, and resilience.

Each cove places emphasis on different hero’s journey, past and present. Running parallel to these displays, is a frosted glass wall that curves effortlessly through the facility, presenting a timeline that praises and informs us of revolutionaries like Peter Francisco, an immigrant and a soldier described as a one man army. Over 200 years and several yards down the timeline, we are given the opportunity to admire the voyage made by Iraq war Lieutenant, history making politician, and heroine, Tammy Duckworth.

Draped high above are commanding photographs of numerous veterans and active duty members in and out of uniform. Each banner reminding us of the transformation that those seemingly ordinary civilians go through once they answer the call of duty and adhere to the demand of the greater good. Colorful reflections of light dance on each carefully constructed piece of architecture, when the sun beams through the multi-colored glass panels thoughtfully placed along the walls of the second floor. Each vibrant section representing the memory of those lost. Every aspect of this memorial and museum allows visitors to truly be able to connect with a sample of history and offer a new appreciation of the sacrifices made by the nearly 21 million veterans living in the United States right now. Skillfully curated displays will both inspire and educate individuals of all ages and walks of life, from start to finish.

Each veteran across the country has a story as valuable and breathtaking as the next, awe inspiring stories of heroism, tragedy, triumph, loss, and liberty. These are the treasured stories that often times get lost in the traffic of our daily lives and complaints. But here in our hometown that changed. October 27, 2018, under the commanding presence and keynote speech of the legendary four- star General Colin Powell, the National Veterans Memorial and Museum opened its doors. At last, these anecdotes, memories and countless pieces of history have a permanent home on the banks of the Scioto.

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Biz + Dev

Update: Cajun food fans disappointed by Ned’s Bayou development

Mike Thomas



UPDATE: While concrete information regarding the mysterious Ned’s Bayou is still unavailable, signs seem to indicate that the retail space will serve as a popup store for Twenty One Pilots merchandise when the duo comes to town for a double-header at Nationwide Arena on June 29 & 30.

Exhibit A: searching “Ned’s Bayou” on the Ohio Secretary of State’s online database shows an address on Worthington Galena Rd. for the business’ registered owner. The members of Twenty One Pilots are themselves former Worthington residents.

While this in and of itself says little, the group’s de facto mascot (seen here in the music video for the song “Chlorine”) happens to be named Ned.

Mere coincidence? I guess we’ll find out by the end of the month. For now, it seems fans of cajun food might have to look elsewhere to get their fix!



A brand new awning sporting the words “Ned’s Bayou” has appeared over the former Blick’s Art Supplies location at 612 N High St in the Short North.

While initial searches have turned up little information about this forthcoming business, we can only assume that this will one day be the sight of a Louisiana-inspired restaurant of some sort.

Then again, the word “Bayou” carries other connotations. Maybe this will be the Short North’s first-ever spot for gator rasslin’. Only time will tell!

614NOW will keep an eye peeled for more info on this business as it becomes available.

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You complained, they listened. Short North parking changing today




Hey, Columbus, how are you liking the Short North parking plan? The Columbus Division of Parking Services still stands by it, albeit they make a few interim adjustments.

Beginning today, the following changes will take effect:

  1. Lower the 24-Hour Resident Guest Pass rate from $6 to $3
  2. Adjust the rate change timeframe from 3 p.m. to 4 p.m. (at both meters and mobile pay zones)
  3. Lower mobile pay only (side street) parking rates from $2/hour to $1/hour between 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. in permit zones SNA, SNB and SNE
  4. Reduce Goodale Street meter rates to $1/hour and remove time limit restriction
  5. In partnership with the Short North Alliance, enhance the already successful off-street retail validation program with a new on-street validation program through the Park Columbus app

Then, in late summer, the following changes are tentatively planned to be made:

  1. Increase the number of guest permits available to residents from 1 to 2
  2. Allow visitors to extend time in mobile pay (side street) zones for up to 6 hours


According to a release, Division of Parking Services is pleased with the plan’s many “accomplishments,” it has committed to continually reviewing feedback from the community and use it to make changes to better serve the public. The forthcoming changes were informed by an effort Parking Services dubs a “listening tour” where information was gathered from the public throughout March and April. Feedback gleaned from Short North business owners was also used.

“I am proud of the parking plan’s many successes, and especially its nimbleness to be responsive to the community it serves. The data-driven and community input we received allows us to enhance access and parking opportunities for residents, businesses and visitors of the thriving Arts District,” said Robert Ferrin, Assistant Director of Parking Services.

Parking Services sites the turnover in the neighborhood and the allowance of residents to use on-street parking to park closer to their homes as two of the parking plan’s successes.

How has the Short North parking plan affected your life? Let us know in the comments below!

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Unsolved Ohio: The bizarre disappearance of Brian Shaffer from Ugly Tuna

Regina Fox



How can someone go into a second-story bar and never come out? I’m talking about the disappearance of Brian Shaffer in 2006.

On March 31, Shaffer and his friend William “Clint” Florence went out to Ugly Tuna to celebrate the beginning of spring break. Shaffer was a second-year medical student and surely wanted to cut loose a bit after a stressful week of exams. The two then barhopped down High Street towards the Arena District, reportedly taking shots at every stop.

A little after midnight, Shaffer and Florence met up with a friend of Florence named Meredith, who gave them a ride back to Ugly Tuna. The three of them are seen on security camera ascending the escalator to the now-closed bar in the University Gateway around 1:15 AM on April 1.

Shaffer (circled), Florence, and Meredith ascending the escalator to Ugly Tuna

Later, the camera captures Shaffer outside the bar talking to two women around 1:50 AM and then re-entering the bar. At this point, Shaffer was separated from his friends. The bar was closing and after searching and calling for Shaffer, Florence and Meredith decided to wait outside the bar for him to come out. After a while, the two left, assuming Shaffer had gone home.

But, the 27-year-old has never been seen or heard from since.


Ugly Tuna had one entrance at the top of the escalator. Anyone entering or leaving from this would be caught on surveillance cameras. Investigators acknowledge the possibility that the cameras could have somehow missed Shaffer, though think it’s unlikely. Another improbably scenario they’ve entertained is Shaffer disguising himself and/or hiding from the cameras before exiting the bar. After all, the quality of security cameras circa 2006 was not the highest.

There was only one other way that Brian could have exited the bar that night, and it was from a back service door. Not only was this a door used exclusively by staff members, but it also opened to a construction site that would’ve posed a dangerous situation for a sober person, let alone someone who had been drinking all night.

It’s also important to note neither Shaffer’s cell phone, credit cards, or bank account have been used since.

The young man’s disappearance sparked an international search effort. Possible sightings started flowing in from Michigan, Texas, and even as far as Sweden. Eddie Vedder, the lead singer of Pearl Jam (one of Shaffer’s favorite bands and motivation for a tattoo) even took time out of the band’s set in Cincinnati to put out a call for information that may lead to Shaffer’s discovery.

Shaffer received excellent marks from the university, was close with his family who lived in Pickerington, and had a good relationship with his girlfriend, Alexis Waggoner. He and Waggoner had a spring break trip to Miami booked—confirming plans with her over the phone around 9:00 PM on March 31. She, along with their families and friends, were convinced Shaffer would probably propose later that year or maybe even on their trip to Miami.

For months after his disappearance, Waggoner called his phone every night. It went straight to voicemail every time except one night in September when she heard the phone ring three times. There was no answer, but the call pinged a tower in Hilliard. There was hope for the first time in months! Unfortunately, the cellular carrier divulged that the rings were likely a glitch in the system, rather than Shaffer powering on his phone.

Everyone in Shaffer’s life agreed to take a polygraph test in order to clear them of any suspicion, except Florence. Reportedly, Florence refused the test because he felt he had told police everything he knew about the night Shaffer disappeared.

By all accounts, he was the All-American boy with everything to live for which is why his disappearance has been so troubling all these years.

 If you have any information regarding the disappearance of Brian Shaffer please contact the Central Ohio Crime Stoppers at 614-645-8477, if requested you will remain anonymous. 

Additional information: Prior to his disappearance, Shaffer’s mother Renee died of a rare form of bone cancer called myelodysplasia. And just after his disappearance, his father died in a freak accident involving a wind storm and a tree branch. The immediate Shaffer family is survived only by Brian’s younger brother Derek.

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