What you missed in Columbus for Sept. 13

Canal Winchester schools closed by a false bomb threat, a new picture book on artist Elijah Pierce forthcoming, and more you might have missed from the weekend

Andy Downing
Columbus Alive
Black & white file photo of Elijah Pierce, woodcarver, Columbus folk artist, in photo taken in 1982. He was awarded the first honorary doctorate of fine arts from Franklin University. Mr. Pierce died May 7, 1984.

The Columbus Dispatch reported that wood carver Elijah Pierce, who called the city home until his 1984 death at age 92, will be the subject of a forthcoming picture book. The book, entitled You Gotta Meet Mr. Pierce!: The Storied Life of Folk Artist Elijah Pierce, will be published in 2023 by Penguin Young Readers.

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Canal Winchester Local Schools were closed on Monday following a bomb threat, which was later determined to be non-credible according to the Fairfield County Sheriff's Office. Canal Winchester High School and Canal Winchester Middle School both received bomb threats within 10 minutes of one another this morning, with the calls being made at 7 a.m. and 7:10 a.m., respectively. Following the threat, the schools were evacuated and the decision was made to send students home for the day. The district will reopen as scheduled tomorrow.

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With COVID cases continuing to rise in Ohio, hospitals in some regions have started to report that they are running out of ICU beds.

“This is an announcement we never wanted to make: Our ICU is at capacity,” the Southern Ohio Medical Center in Portsmouth wrote on social media. The post goes on to note that the increase in COVID hospitalizations could mean there won’t be beds available for those who suffer other medical emergencies, whether a car crash or a stroke.

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Around 350 Afghan refugees will be resettled in Columbus under a program created by the U.S. State Department in August, WOSU reported. No arrival date for the refugees has been set as of yet, though local relief organizations are already engaged in preparation. 

"These are people who really need help, and while it's certainly inconvenient not knowing [when they'll arrive], they're living through a crisis,” said Community Refugee and Immigration Services (CRIS) executive director Angela Plummer. “So we'll have to deal with the inconvenience of it so that we can provide them a better start."

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Twenty One Pilots singer Tyler Joseph announced the arrival of a 22nd Pilot during the 2021 MTV Music Video Awards this weekend. The reveal took place during a performance of the Columbus duo’s “Saturday,” when Joseph let the televised audience know that his wife, Jenna, was pregnant with the couple’s second child.

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Ohio State stumbled in the second game of the college football season, losing to the Oregon Ducks by a final score of 35-28. The Buckeyes will attempt to rebound when the team faces off against Tulane on Saturday, Sept. 18. For the team to turn things around, OSU will need to see marked improvement from its defense, which looked incapable of stopping Oregon and is now giving up 33 points per game through two contests.