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Zanesville's exotic animal massacre, 10 years later

A sign warns passing motorists about exotic animals on the loose from a wildlife preserve in Zanesville.
A sign warns passing motorists about exotic animals on the loose from a wildlife preserve in Zanesville. Photo: Jay LaPrete/Getty Images

Fifty exotic animals were on the loose. Their owner was dead. Muskingum County deputies gunned down tigers, lions and bears in rainy fields about 55 miles east of Columbus, a senseless tragedy that stunned the world.

What happened: 10 years ago today, exotic animal collector Terry Thompson set 50 animals loose before fatally shooting himself on his 73-acre farm west of Zanesville.

Tyler Buchanan
Oct 15, 2021 - Business

Columbus startup funding up 554%

Illustration of a check folded into a paper airplane carrying an app button.
Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

Startup funding in Columbus has officially rebounded from a pandemic drop-off last year.

  • More than $250 million in investments has gone to area tech companies in Q3 2021, per data from Pitchbook.

COVID's impact on Ohio education

An Illustration of a virus on a school paper.
Illustration: Brendan Lynch/Axios

Ohio's K-12 school report cards were released Thursday, shining a spotlight on pandemic-related challenges that include spiking absenteeism and a significant drop in statewide test scores.

Why it matters: The state's annual reports provide families and taxpayers a snapshot of their district's academic achievement, spending and demographic data, while also shaping instructional decisions.

Tyler Buchanan
Oct 14, 2021 - COVID

More campus COVID mandates at OSU

Students and medical workers line up to take a bus on the Ohio State University campus.
Students and medical workers line up to take a bus on the Ohio State University campus. Photo: Stephen Zenner/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

Several COVID requirements at Ohio State go into effect this week and next, including mandated vaccines and testing.

Why it matters: These efforts are meant to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 on a crowded campus with tens of thousands of students, faculty and staff, many of which are traveling for fall break

Tyler Buchanan
Oct 14, 2021 - Sports

New-look Blue Jackets hit the ice

Boone Jenner and a Chicago Blackhawks player battle for position while chasing the puck during a Feb. 25, 2021 game at Nationwide Arena.
Hockey players chase the puck at a game at Nationwide Arena. Photo: Jamie Sabau/NHLI via Getty Images

The Columbus Blue Jackets hit the ice for their 21st campaign with a season opener tonight against the Arizona Coyotes.

Skating the news: Puck drop is scheduled for 7pm at Nationwide Arena.

Tyler Buchanan
Oct 13, 2021 - Sports

Ohio youth sports (slowly) rebounding

Illustration of a child making the time out sign with her hands.
Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Health concerns from area families are keeping some children from participating in youth sports, even as recreation departments return to their pre-pandemic league schedules.

Why it matters: The pause in youth sports during the pandemic may have lasting effects on participation rates here and across the country.

  • There may also be deeper implications on children's physical and mental health, research shows.

On this day in 2020: Gahanna teachers strike

Teachers and supporters line the sidewalk in front of Lincoln High School in 2020.
Teachers and supporters line the sidewalk in front of Lincoln High School in 2020. Photo courtesy of the Gahanna-Jefferson Education Association

Exactly one year ago today, Gahanna-Jefferson teachers began picketing after 105 days of tense, stalemated negotiations for a new employment contract.

  • The strike lasted four school days, ending with a temporary, one-year deal.

State of play: The union is now working under a new contract that was approved in April and runs through June 2024, with 3% annual pay raises and an appendix outlining teaching protocols amid the pandemic.

Tyler Buchanan
Oct 12, 2021 - News

Ohio's homicide rate highest in decades

Illustration of boarded up homes, broken windows, and chain link fence in the shape of a firearm.
Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

The number of homicides in Ohio rose last year to its highest mark in three decades and once again exceeded the national rate, according to statistics released by the FBI.

Why it matters: These estimated figures reinforce data showing a surge in homicides and violent crimes the past two years in Columbus and other major Ohio cities.

  • Legal experts believe social-economic changes brought about by the pandemic, such as an increase in unemployment, could be behind these spikes, Axios' Russell Contreras reports.