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A message from the Columbus Zoo on Australian Wildfire Assistance

614now Staff

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The Columbus Zoo and Aquarium has been working with conservation partners in Australia to identify ways to best provide support to efforts helping wildlife impacted by the fires. President/CEO Tom Stalf issued the following update:

“Our hearts go out to the people and wildlife of Australia, and we continue to follow the situation closely while remaining in regular communication with our Australian colleagues and wildlife conservation partners. When our conservation partners alert us to emergencies such as these terrible wildfires that threaten their projects and communities, we respond with technical expertise and financial support.

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The Columbus Zoo and Aquarium supports over 100 conservation projects worldwide, which includes contributions to conservation of Australian wildlife through our partnership with the San Diego Zoo, and donations to the Save the Tasmanian Devil Program and the Australia Zoo’s Wildlife Warriors. In the dire case involving the bushfires, we have designated $10,000 to date from the Columbus Zoo’s emergency grants fund to donate to Zoos Victoria’s Bushfire Emergency Wildlife Fund.

A broader, collective effort among zoological facilities accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) is also underway to support Zoos Victoria. Their director has informed our zoo community that while the fires are currently located a distance away from their zoos, their veterinary teams have been deployed into the fire areas, where they are setting up triage and critical care facilities. Unfortunately, it’s too early to evaluate the totality of the situation as the director has also stated that the actual fire grounds are still too dangerous for people to enter and find injured animals.

However, the Zoos Victoria team is already providing critical care to the many animals brought to them with varying types of injuries. The care will continue for the long-term recovery of Australian wildlife, as even after the fires, surviving animals will likely have little to no food or shelter available to them in their native ranges.

We are extremely grateful for the inquiries we have received from our caring community members who also want to help, and these updates from our partners help us to ensure that our contributions are being made in a responsible manner for our donors, and in a way that will be most effective in making a positive impact during this sad situation.

If you would like to contribute to the Columbus Zoo’s conservation fund to specifically help Australian wildlife affected by the fires, please visit https://give.columbuszoo.org/animalsincrisis. Thank you for your continued support of protecting wildlife and wild places.”

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Kahoots suit blames disbanded Vice unit for closure

614now Staff

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The fallout from Columbus' embattled former vice squad continues, as a new lawsuit has been leveled against officers by the owners of Kahoots.

According to WOSU, Icon Entertainment Group, which owned club operations at the now-closed gentleman's club on Kenny Road, has sued former Columbus Vice officers Steven Rosser and Whitney Lancaster. The suit claims that Rosser and Lancaster's improper enforcement activities are the reason that the club went under.

Rosser and Lancaster were among the officers who arrested porn star Stormy Daniels at Columbus' Sirens Gentleman's Club in 2018. In addition to this new suit, several former Kahoots dancers sued Rosser and Lancaster for unlawful arrests, claiming the officers targeted the dancers in retaliation for the club firing a police informant.

The Columbus Vice Unit was disbanded in the spring of 2018 following multiple FBI investigations into its officers' conduct. Rosser and Lancaster are still employed by the department in other roles.

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Dublin will never be the same with new pedestrian bridge, opening soon

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Get those walking shoes ready because we have an official open date for the pedestrian bridge connecting the city of Dublin's historic district to the Bridge Park development.

According to 10TV, the new bridge spanning the Scioto River will open to the public on March 13. A community celebration and dedication will take place that day from 7pm- 11pm at the West Plaza.

Opening celebrations for the new bridge will land right between Dublin's annual State of the City address on March 12 and the "Greenest, Grandest" St. Patrick's Day Parade on March 14.

“We couldn’t be prouder to open this pedestrian and bicycle bridge over the Scioto River, which has been a vision of the Dublin community and Dublin City Council for decades,” says Megan O’Callaghan, Deputy City Manager and Chief Operating Officer in a news release.

“We know the end result is something Dublin residents can be extremely proud of. From the sleek main tower and suspension design to the 'S' shaped bridge deck and special lighting features, this is truly a unique bridge that will serve as one of Dublin’s defining City icons.”

For all the latest info on the bridge and its progress, click here.

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Man identified in apparent fall at Ohio State construction site

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Update: The body discovered at a construction side on Ohio State University's campus has been identified.

Fox8 reports foul play is not suspected in the death of Corey Ray Bias, 20, of Johnstown. He was a third-year political science major.

A call came in on Friday morning about a man appearing to be on some scaffolding about five or six stories up and then falling off.

Columbus fire crews arrived at the site near Neil and West 11th avenues around 6:30am, but Fox8 reports it appeared he had been on the ground for some time and was not breathing.

Both Ohio State and Bias' high school in the Johnstown-Monroe Local Schools are making counselors available for students.

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01/17/2020: A body was discovered at a construction site on Ohio State University’s campus Friday morning.

The Columbus Dispatch reports Ohio State University Police were first called the area of Neil Avenue and 11th Avenue near the dorm Mack Hall around 6:30am.

The university said there is no ongoing threat.

No additional details were released as the investigation continues.

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