Axios Columbus

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Today's newsletter is 754 words β€” a 3-minute read.

1 big thing: 🍺 Arena District drinking zone grows

The area surrounding Nationwide Arena is part of the Arena District DORA zone. Photo: Kirk Irwin/Getty Images

Columbus is saying "cheers" to a livelier Arena District by greatly expanding its outdoor drinking program.

Driving the news: A new ordinance approved by the City Council last night allows the Designated Outdoor Refreshment Area (DORA) to be active during any Arena District event, not just sports-related ones.

Why it matters: The expansion is meant to draw more visitors to that area of downtown, support those businesses and alleviate the confusion surrounding when DORA rules are in place.

How it works: Ohio bars and restaurants can sell alcoholic drinks in specially marked plastic cups to be consumed outdoors but within specified boundaries, typically a city's downtown business district.

Zoom in: The Arena District DORA includes the length of Nationwide Boulevard and areas surrounding Nationwide Arena, Huntington Park and Field.

  • The program is now active three hours before the start of a game or another event at any of the three stadiums and concludes at midnight.

The big picture: Ten other Franklin County communities have also established DORAs, including Hilliard, Dublin and Gahanna.

Meanwhile, Pickerington and Reynoldsburg have considered DORAs to make their respective "Olde Village" and "Olde Reynoldsburg" downtown areas more vibrant, but neither has done so yet.

What’s next: The Arena District ordinance was passed with an emergency clause, meaning it can take immediate effect with the mayor’s approval.

  • The change is timed perfectly for local concertgoers, with four shows on Nationwide Arena's calendar through next week, starting with Carrie Underwood on Saturday.

2. OhioHealth to expand Grant Medical Center

The planned two-story ambulatory building at Grant Avenue and State Street. Image: Courtesy of Cannon Design

Grant Medical Center is getting a major upgrade, including a new seven-story trauma center, emergency department and critical care pavilion, OhioHealth announced yesterday.

Why it matters: Grant is already the state's busiest Level I trauma center. The $400 million expansion will grow its capacity and modernize its services as more people live downtown.

Details: Other upgrades to the downtown hospital's campus include a new ambulatory facility, additional parking and improvements to green spaces and pathways.

  • The expansion will span 310,000 square feet, mostly dedicated to the emergency area.

What they're saying: "We are choosing to commit, partner and invest in downtown Columbus for the long term," hospital president Michael Lawson said in a statement.

  • Mayor Andrew Ginther called it "one of the largest single investments by one company in downtown to date.”

What's next: Construction is expected to begin this summer and finish by 2028.

3. Nutshells: A shelling point

Illustration of a pattern of buckeye nuts, increasing and decreasing in size in diagonal waves.

Illustration: Brendan Lynch/Axios

πŸ“½ A new documentary features the 1971 civil rights protests by teenagers at Linden-McKinley High School, described as a "largely forgotten but important chapter in Columbus' racial justice history." (Columbus Monthly)

⚽ The Crew fell to Philadelphia in their 2023 season opener, but the opposing coach said Columbus will be a "dangerous" team under new head coach Wilfried Nancy.

  • The Crew's first home match is Saturday against D.C. United. (Dispatch)

🍽 A new upscale restaurant in Mansfield, Prohibition at the Caverns, is located inside a network of human-made sandstone caverns believed to have been built sometime during the Civil War era. (614 Magazine)

πŸ“• Columbus artist Elijah Pierce is the subject of a new children's book, "You Gotta Meet Mr. Pierce!" (Matter News)

🍨 Strawser's Ice Cream, Pop & Candy Shop in Grove City, featuring build-your-own ice cream floats, is expanding with a new Hilliard location opening Friday. (614 Magazine)

4. πŸ¦ƒ Quote du jour

A pair of wild turkeys.

Photo: Carl D. Walsh/Portland Press Herald via Getty Images

"The last of the wild turkeys who have ruffled some feathers in Hilliard will soon be plucked from the city."
β€” The opening of a WBNS-TV story about the popular, but controversial members of the "Hilliard Turkey Gang"

Driving the news: Wildlife officials are relocating two birds for safety reasons after complaints of them causing havoc on Cemetery Road. A third is being treated at Ohio Wildlife Center for a foot injury.

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5. πŸ€” What's Ohio's official aroma?

Illustration of a woman smelling mystery question marks made out of smoke.

Illustration: Maura Losch/Axios

New Mexico could soon declare roasted chiles its official state aroma, which would make it the first state to designate a symbol you can smell.

That made us wonder: What's Ohio's official aroma?

  • Is it the unbeatable blend of chocolate and peanut butter that makes up buckeye candies?
  • What about a big bouquet of carnations, our state flower?

πŸ“¬ Hit reply to share your most creative ideas on what the aroma should be.

🐟 Alissa's thought bubble: I grew up in a Lake Erie town that regrettably smells like fish every time it rains. Hopefully you clever readers can help us come up with something better!

🀒 Tyler's thought bubble: Whatever you pick will be better than the smell in Chillicothe. IYKYK.

This newsletter was edited by Everett Cook and copy edited by Egan Millard and Keely Bastow.

Our picks:

πŸ’ͺ Tyler is bulking up ahead of this weekend's Arnold Sports Festival.

🐊 Alissa is still recovering after seeing "Cocaine Bear" this weekend, so she'll probably pass on the newly announced "Attack of the Meth Gator."

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