What you missed in Columbus for Aug. 9

The delta variant continues to surge, an incident at the AMC movie theater and the Crew’s skid reaches three games

Andy Downing
Columbus Alive
Tynesha Murphy receives her COVID-19 vaccination shot from licensed practical nurse Akintoye Ogundola at Sullivant Gardens Community Center in Columbus, Ohio July 15, 2021. "I've got a daughter and I want to go back to school," Murphy said about getting her vaccine. "A lot of places are requiring a vaccine now."

The vaccine rate in Ohio has finally surpassed 50 percent, with slightly more than half of those eligible having received at least their first dose. The state reached the benchmark against the backdrop of a surge in cases that have been driven by the highly contagious delta variant. Ohio reported 2,317 new COVID-19 cases on Saturday, and another 1,413 cases on Sunday.

In a press conference on Friday, Gov. Mike DeWine said the state was “at a new stage of the pandemic,” where vaccinated Ohioans are safe from the delta variant but unvaccinated residents are not. Of the 18,662 people with COVID-19 hospitalized since Jan. 1 in Ohio, DeWine said, 98.4 percent were not fully vaccinated.

“The name of the game today is vaccines. This is where we win,” DeWine said. “We have two Ohios. We have people who are vaccinated who are very, very safe today. We have people who are unvaccinated who are not safe and are more in peril because of this delta variant.”

Despite the current spike in coronavirus cases, DeWine said he had no plans to reimpose a mask mandate, or to issue any other health orders that might help stem the surge.

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Benjamin Pendleton, 25, will face a charge of inciting panic following a weekend incident that occurred at the AMC movie theater at Easton. According to Columbus police, Pendleton entered one of the theaters around 9 p.m. on Saturday, right at the end of a screening of “The Suicide Squad,” and started screaming obscenities. He then reached into a paper bag he was carrying, sending audience members scurrying for the exits. Police said no shots were fired, and in fact no weapon was recovered at the scene.

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Former Ohio State wrestler Kyle Snyder earned a silver medal at the Olympic Games on Saturday after falling to rival Abdulrashid Sadulaev of the Russian Olympic Committee in the men’s freestyle 97-kilogram final. Snyder, 25, was attempting to defend his gold medal win at the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro.

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The Columbus Crew continued its skid over the weekend, falling to Atlanta United by a final score of 3-2. The team has now given up 11 goals in its last three games, all losses. Atlanta’s win on Saturday was just its third of the season, and the team’s first since May 15.