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Columbus cop writes 900th distracted driving ticket to person watching movie

614now Staff

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Columbus drivers seem to be doing a whole lot more than just steering, accelerating, and braking.

The Columbus Division of Police shared on Facebook that Officer Keith Conner has issued over 900 distracted driving tickets in 3.5 years—the most recent to a person watching a movie while behind the wheel on January 31.

DISTRACTED DRIVING: It’s not worth it.It endangers lives & tickets are costly.This is Officer Keith Conner’s 900th distracted driving ticket. He issued it today: a motorist watching a movie while driving.To date Officer Conner has issued 901 distracted driving tickets & more than 6,000 citations in 3.5 years. Please be careful behind the wheel for your safety and others.

Posted by Columbus Division of Police on Friday, January 31, 2020

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“DISTRACTED DRIVING: It’s not worth it,” wrote Columbus Police. “It endangers lives & tickets are costly.”

Officer Conner told ABC6 that a citation can run around $180. He added that he has a 99.5% conviction rate because the evidence against distracted drivers is so clear.

“Please be careful behind the wheel for your safety and others,” reminded Columbus Police.

In October 2018, House Bill 95 went into effect, giving law enforcement the freedom to cite any driver that is engaging in “any activity that is not necessary for the vehicle’s operation and that impairs, or reasonably would be expected to impair, the driver’s ability to drive safely.”

Also in October 2018, Columbus Police shared a video of a distracted driver who put her head down to check her phone 14 times before he realized a cop was right next to her.

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Missing 14-year-old girl last seen on Columbus’ west side

614now Staff

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Columbus Police are searching for Megan Brumfield, a 14-year-old girl who went missing from the city's west side on Tuesday.

Police say Brumfield was last seen near North Harris Avenue and Ridge Avenue. She is described as 5 feet 1 inch, 110 pounds, blonde hair and blue eyes.

Anyone with information about the girl's whereabouts should contact the Columbus Division of Police at 614-645-4624.

https://www.facebook.com/WTTEFOX28/posts/10158003234011575
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Local Love: Classroom transformation featured on The Kelly Clarkson Show

614now Staff

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One deserving Central Ohio teacher got the surprise of her career thanks to another Columbus local.

Brittany Jeltema has dedicated her life to flipping classrooms for educators around the country. Her most recent transformation impacted teacher Kristen Muenster and her students at the Academy For Urban Scholars High School in Downtown Columbus.

"She goes above and beyond for her students and I was honored to give her the space of her dreams," Jeltema said of Muenster on Instagram.

Jeltema was also excited to have the support of several local businesses through the process, including Elm and Iron, Stump Plants, Swoon Rugs, and Wildcat Gift and Party.

https://www.instagram.com/p/B8hTKumHMsX/

Jeltema's story and the big reveal was recently featured on The Kelly Clarkson Show. Watch the emotional clip below!

https://www.facebook.com/watch/?v=492673894978684

To keep up with Jeltema as she continues to change the lives of our nation's teachers, follow her on Instagram at @thesuperheroteacher.

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Four months later, ODOT shares impact of SmartLane

Regina Fox

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The I-670 SmartLane has only been open about four months, but its effects on traffic are reportedly paramount.

According to Ohio Department of Transportation Public Information Officer Brooke Ebersole, since the SmartLane opened in October, average commute times on I-670 east have been cut in half.

Prior to construction, traffic speeds averaged 25 mph, and the evening commute from downtown Columbus to the East Side of the city could take anywhere from 5 minutes to 30 minutes, said Ebersole. Now, with the left shoulder of I-670 open to traffic and an enforced speed limit of 45 mph, drivers can now rely on a 5-minute commute on I-670 between I-71 and I-270 regardless of the time of day, she added.

Beyond the weekday evening commute, Ebersole said the extra capacity provided by the SmartLane is also beneficial if there’s a crash.

"For example, a crash last month closed two of the three lanes on I-670 east, so ODOT was able to open the SmartLane to provide two lanes for traffic while still protecting emergency responders," she explained.

For more SmartLane coverage, click here. For more information on the SmartLane project, visit ODOT.com.

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