What you missed in Columbus for June 14

Polaris mall's owner files for bankruptcy; Delta variant is on the rise; Tom Sussi makes a bid for City Council, and more from the weekend.

Joel Oliphint
Columbus Alive
Customers line up outside the Apple Store at Polaris Fashion Place on Friday, June 26, 2020.  [Adam Cairns/Dispatch]

The Dispatch reported this morning that Washington Prime Group, which owns Polaris Fashion Place and eight other Ohio malls, has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy. Despite the filing, WPG said customers and retailers should expect "business as usual" at its malls.

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The Delta variant of COVID-19 comes with good news and bad news. The bad news first: It seems to be more contagious and more severe than earlier versions of the virus. The good news: The vaccines appear to be working very well against the Delta variant.

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Tom Sussi, a former TV reporter who one time surprised a plumber by jumping out of a bathtub, has announced he's running for a City Council seat as an independent (though the Dispatch reported that his campaign treasurer is Bill Curlis, secretary of the Franklin County Republican Central Committee). Sussi fancies himself an investigative reporter, which calls to mind other so-called journalists who engage in political advocacy.

Sussi told the Dispatch the George Floyd protests motivated him to enter the council race: "The thing that got to me was last year, those riots. I started to see what the police were going through, and what the community was facing, and statues being moved. And the core of the problem was never addressed. ... They don't have the right to destroy property, loot businesses and assault police and citizens, and Columbus officials allowed this to go on week after week. ... They lost control of their city and can't seem to regain control."

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A 23-year-old man died over the weekend after wading into the area where the Big Darby and Little Darby creeks converge in western Franklin County.

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Last week, a Fairfield County judge granted a new trial to Ralph Blaine Smith, who was sentenced to 67 years in prison for a 2000 Lancaster home-invasion. Common Pleas Judge Richard E. Berens ruled that prosecutors withheld evidence suggesting the crime never occurred.

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In a Euro 2020 soccer match against Finland on Saturday, Denmark's Christian Eriksen collapsed on the field; medical staff used CPR and a defibrillator to resuscitate the 29-year-old midfielder after he fell to the ground. (Eriksen currently plays for Inter Milan after playing seven years with Tottenham Hotspur in the English Premier League.) Eriksen was revived and taken to the hospital, where he was reportedly in stable condition.

Denmark striker Martin Braithwaite criticized UEFA, European football's governing body, for forcing the players to play resume the suspended match against Finland. "You don't want to go and play football in that way, but UEFA says we had two options  play immediately or the following day at noon. Those were the options we had," Braithwaite said.

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In other news, I have yet to see a single cicada.