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You may recognize OSU spring graduation speaker from CNN, best-seller shelf

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A man who delivers international headlines is now making local ones after being selected to give the spring commencement address at the Ohio State University.

You may recognize Fareed Zakaria from hosting Fareed Zakaria GPS (Global Public Square) for CNN Worldwide, or from his his biography on the inside cover of his three New York Times best-selling books. Or maybe you’ve seen his byline in The Washington Post or The Atlantic.

“An award-winning journalist and best-selling author, Dr. Zakaria is a leading voice in our national discourse on global and domestic affairs,” President Michael Drake said in the announcement, per The Lantern. “His extensive knowledge of our broader world will enrich and inspire our graduates as they embark to make a meaningful difference in communities near and far.”

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This will not be Zakaria’s first time addressing an OSU audience. Back in 2016, he delivered the keynote speech at the Fisher Centennial, marking the 100th year of the Max M. Fisher College of Business.

Zakaria is a Yale University graduate and earned his doctorate from Harvard University.

He will be among many other prominent individuals who have had the honor of sending Ohio State graduates out into the world, like Barack Obama in 2013, Archie Griffin in 2015, Neil Armstrong in 1971, John Glenn in 1984 and 2009, Woody Hayes in 1986, and Barbara Walters in 1971 to name a few.

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City Health Dept to step up business inspections

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Beginning today, Columbus Public Health will step up inspections on businesses to assure they are complying with the Ohio Department of Health’s orders for social distancing and basic hygiene to slow the spread of COVID- 19.

“We are at a critical moment in slowing the spread of this highly infectious disease in our community,” said Mayor Andrew J. Ginther. “We have received hundreds of complaints that some businesses are not complying with the Ohio Department of Health’s orders, and we must assure that employees and residents are safe.”

Teams of sanitarians will visit businesses to assess the number of people working, if they are able to work at a safe distance from one another and if soap, water or hand sanitizer are readily available. Those not in compliance will receive a warning letter. A second violation will result in citations and could lead to criminal charges.

“We are pleased that most people and businesses are doing their part to slow the spread of COVID-19 by following the Ohio Department of Health’s orders,” said Dr. Mysheika Roberts, Health Commissioner for Columbus Public Health. “However, we continue to receive complaints from residents that some businesses are not following these orders. We will be sending our teams out to investigate these complaints in order to protect the health and safety of our community.”

Columbus Public Health will not be weighing in on whether a company or workers are essential, only if the place of employment is in compliance with the order. Guidelines for Essential Businesses can be found at corona.ohio.gov. 

“Businesses want to do the right thing, but may not know the full extent of the state’s social distancing and safe hygiene requirements. That’s why educating business owners and the public about how we slow the spread of COVID-19 is so important,” said City Attorney Zach Klein.

“Our ‘education first, citation second’ approach allows people to learn about the state’s order while still giving health officials and law enforcement the ability to issue a citation if someone refuses to cooperate.”
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Food & Drink

Katalina’s owner leading charge for independent restaurant owners

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Known for her famous Pancake Balls (ridiculously delish, BTW), Katalina Day, the namesake behind Katalina's, is urging Gov. DeWine to consider emergency financial lifelines for her industry.

Restaurants were among the first and most devastated industries impacted by the coronavirus. Many notable local brands, such as Cameron Mitchell Restaurants, have closed most operations. According to Day, the industry needs immediate government intervention to survive.

Day started a Change.org petition which articulates the unique and specific challenges faced by the industry and the people who rely on it for their livelihood.

Addressing Gov. Dewine for relief, the petition is closing in on 1,000 signatures

"We have followed orders to close our doors to protect our communities, knowing what it would mean for our businesses, and we are grateful as citizens that you were one of the first to foresee that necessity. We did so without protest, and those of us who remain open are providing a valuable service through delivery, despite it being increasingly less profitable (as delivery services infringe on any profit)." said Day in the petition.

The petition closes with: "Bottom line: From our employees to our vendors and landlords to the burden on the healthcare industry and government, there is not a part of society that will not be touched by this crisis. "

Given these unprecedented challenges, please immediately consider:

  • Emergency grants for immediate business needs such as payroll and crucial operating expenses including food orders and utilities. 
  • Commercial and residential rent abatement and a moratorium on evictions both for owners and employees. 
  • Immediate cash relief for current and laid-off employees.
  • Abatement of payroll and sales tax.
  • Temporary commercial and government loan payment relief.
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Neither snow nor rain nor heat nor coronavirus…

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The words "Neither snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom of night stays these couriers from the swift completion of their appointed rounds" have long been associated with the American postman.

Now the US Postal Service can add Coronavirus to that list.

“The CDC, the World Health Organization and the Surgeon General have indicated that there is currently no evidence that COVID-19 is being spread through the mail,” the United States Postal Service said in a statement.

Some concern may have arisen after the National Institutes of Health published data last week which suggested the novel coronavirus can stay viable up to 24 hours on cardboard and up to two to three days on plastic and stainless steel.

However, the World Health Organization says likelihood of infection through packages that have been moved and exposed to different conditions and temperatures is low.

The USPS is closely monitoring the situation but for now, you can still expect to see your local mail delivery person make their rounds.

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