What you missed in Columbus for Nov. 15

Hanif Abdurraqib appears in the New York Times, Ohio congressman calls Trump ‘an enormous political loser’ and more news from the weekend

Andy Downing
Columbus Alive
Author and poet Hanif Abdurraqib

Hanif Abdurraqib’s remarkable year continues with this wonderful new profile in the New York Times, which also happens to include a hyperlink to an August Alive feature about the mural of the writer newly painted on a building located on East Main Street. The profile is filled with great insight, but my favorite detail might be this glimpse into Abdurraqib’s obsessive nature:

When he says he likes to mind his own business, he explained, he’s describing an effort to preserve his mental and emotional energy, keeping his focus tight because he has trouble just dipping a toe into something. Recently, for example, he realized he had never had s’mores, and since he has a fire pit in front of his house (he had the grass taken out because he didn’t want to mow it), he decided it was time to try them. So he Googled the best way to make s’mores. Three hours later, he looked up and it was dark, he said, and he was still learning about the history of the graham cracker.

“The best parts of my work hone that impulse and thread it through some, hopefully, nuanced and clear articulation of narrative,” Abdurraqib said. “But the part that people don’t see is the s’mores situation.”

Read the whole thing here and then revisit our October feature on the author.

More:Newly named ‘genius’ Hanif Abdurraqib centers community

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Rep. Anthony Gonzalez, an Ohio Republican who previously announced he would not be seeking reelection in 2022, continued his straight talk approach to former president Donald Trump in a weekend interview on CNN’s “State of the Union.”

“Donald Trump led us into a ditch on January 6,” said Gonzalez, who was one of the 10 House Republicans who voted to impeach Trump on charges of inciting an insurrection the week after the events of January 6. “The former president lied to us, and in doing so, he cost us the House, the Senate and the White House. I see, fundamentally, a person who shouldn’t be able to hold office again because of what he did around January 6. But I also see somebody who’s an enormous political loser.”

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The death toll from the tragic events at Astroworld in Houston, Texas, continues to climb, now reaching 10 following the death of Ezra Blount. Blount, 9, had been on life support since the night of the concert, hospitalized with a swollen brain and damage to his major organs. Blount is the youngest of the festival's 10 victims, and his family recently launched a Gofundme campaign to help cover the cost of accumulated medical bills.

Prior to Blount’s death, the family also filed a lawsuit against Travis Scott and festival promoter Live Nation.

“The Blount family is grieving the incomprehensible loss of their precious young so,” family attorney Ben Crump said in a statement. “This should not have been the outcome of taking their son to a concert, what should have been a joyful celebration. Ezra’s death is absolutely heartbreaking. We are committed to seeking answers and justice for the Blount family. But we stand in solidarity with the family, in grief, and in prayer.”

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Ohio State scored 45 points in an explosive first half en route to a 59-31 mauling of the No. 19 Purdue Boilermakers.

"It's going to build a lot of confidence," OSU coach Ryan Day said. "I don't think our guys were lacking confidence, I just think after the last two weeks — we were on edge a little bit this week, to be honest with you. We just wanted to get back in this game, score in the red zone and get our nose dirty a little bit, and I think we did that."

The No. 4 ranked Buckeyes next square off at home against No. 7 ranked Michigan State on Saturday, Nov. 20, a game that will include a visit from ESPN’s “College GameDay,” which last visited Columbus in 2019 when OSU beat Penn State 28-17.

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The CNN series “Real Life Nightmare” will feature the disappearance of Brian Shaffer in an episode scheduled to air on Sunday, Nov. 21. Shaffer, a medical student at Ohio State, disappeared from the campus bar Ugly Tuna Saloona on March 31, 2006, and the still-unsolved case has continued to perplex authorities, remaining a complete mystery in the years since.