What you missed in Columbus for May 10

Say goodbye to the Columbus Crew moniker, Ma’Khia Bryant in the New York Times and more from the weekend

Andy Downing
Columbus Alive
Say goodbye to this crest.

Over the weekend, news started to circulate on social media about a looming Columbus Crew rebrand, which included an image of what was purported to be the new crest: the letter C set inside the state flag of Ohio.

On Sunday, Dispatch reporting confirmed the rumors.

The team said that it plans to change its name to Columbus SC and will update its crest to reflect the new moniker. Officials also announced plans to adopt “the Crew” as a nickname, though it will no longer be an official part of the team's identity.

The fan response to the news was… not great. Fan group the Nordecke released a statement saying it was “deeply saddened by the change,” which it said would strip the team of both its name and heritage. The group also urged team officials to reconsider. (That it falls so soon after the successful Save the Crew movement certainly adds to the sting.)

Regardless of the initial response, the team appears to be moving forward with the change, even attempting to play damage control online. Judging by the comments to the below tweet, many fans aren't buying what the team is selling.

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In less surprising sporting news, Blue Jackets head coach John Tortorella will leave the team following a disappointing season, ending his six-year run. “Torts and I have had numerous conversations throughout the season, and we have agreed that the time is right for both he and the club to go our separate ways," said general manager Jarmo Kekalainen, who hired Tortorella in 2015 to succeed Todd Richards. The Dispatch already has a rundown of potential replacements.

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The New York Times documented Ma’Khia Bryant’s two-year journey through Ohio’s foster care system, including calls made to police by Ma’Khia’s sister, Ja’Niah, just three weeks before Ma’Khia was shot and killed by Columbus police. In the call, Ja’Niah told the dispatcher that she wanted to leave the foster home, telling the police who arrived that the fighting at 3171 Legion Lane was getting worse and worse. When police said there was nothing that could be done, Ja’Niah became irate.

The rest of the article traces the two years the Bryant children spent in the foster care system, a time in which Ma’Khia cycled through five placements (research has demonstrated each placement compounds the trauma on a child), as well as the efforts undertaken by Bryant’s grandmother to reunite the family. 

The reporters also present some data on the state’s foster care system, which places children in foster care at a rate 10 percent higher than the national average. Black children, meanwhile, account for nearly a third of the children removed from homes — nearly twice their proportion in the population.

“We can go to Mommy or Grandma, it doesn’t matter, as long as we can get off the system,” Ja’Niah recalled Ma’Khia telling her younger siblings, who were also in foster care. “That was her biggest thing, she didn’t want to be in the foster care system until she was 18.”

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Here’s a new one for folks who love state rankings: Ohio is now the No. 1 state when it comes to public corruption. The ranking is tied to Ohio's recent public corruption case, which involved $61 million in bribes in exchange for a $1.3 billion bailout, and is now the biggest open investigation in any Statehouse in America — surpassing a similar scandal in Illinois and two closed cases in New York, the Dispatch reported.

"Historically, I haven't seen anything like it," said FBI Supervisory Special Agent Matthew DeBlauw, who leads the public corruption squad in Columbus. "This case is in a league of its own."

Does that mean we’re on the map now?