What you missed in Columbus for Oct. 18

Colin Powell dies; Holmes County mission workers are kidnapped in Haiti; local ER wait times rise; the Zanesville animal massacre 10 years later; and more from the weekend.

Joel Oliphint
Columbus Alive
Secretary of State Colin Powell in 2001.

Former general Colin Powell, the country's first Black secretary of state, died today (Monday, Oct. 18) from COVID-19 complications at the age of 84, Powell's family said in a statement. He was fully vaccinated and was treated at Walter Reed National Medical Center. According to NBC News, Powell also had multiple myeloma, a type of blood cancer.

***

The Akron Beacon Journal reports that Holmes County mission workers from Christian Aid Ministries, which provides "aid in war-torn and impoverished countries," are among at least 17 people who were kidnapped in Haiti on Saturday. The group of U.S. citizens and one Canadian citizen reportedly includes five men, seven women and five children. "The Christian group of Amish, Mennonite and Anabaptist denominations has worked in Haiti as part of its global mission 'to minister to physical and spiritual needs,'" the Beacon reports.

***

Max Filby at the Columbus Dispatch reports that Central Ohio emergency departments have been hit hard during the recent surge of COVID-19 cases. The wave of infections has led to longer wait times as providers juggle COVID patients with ER visitors who have more typical injuries and illnesses. Prior to the pandemic, ER wait times averaged 40 minutes nationally; recently, in local hospitals, average wait times exceeded three hours.

***

The Columbus Crew looked sharp as ever in the team's dominant 4-0 home win over Inter Miami on Saturday night. The victory also gave coach Caleb Porter his 100th MLS win. With five games remaining, the Crew are still in the playoff hunt, but just barely. 

***

The Blue Jackets are off to an impressive start under new head coach (and former assistant) Brad Larsen, defeating the Arizona Coyotes 8-2 in the season opener on Thursday and winning 2-1 in overtime against the Seattle Kraken Saturday night at Nationwide Arena. Savor this undefeated period while you can.

***

Ten years ago today, Terry Thompson released 56 exotic animals at his farm near Zanesville, Ohio, before taking his own life. Muskingum County sheriff's deputies killed 50 of the animals in the tragic event that became national news and the subject of two high-profile magazine stories. The tragedy also paved the way for legislation limiting exotic animal ownership in Ohio. Today, the Columbus Dispatch and Axios take a look back.