What you missed in Columbus for May 2

Abandoned overpass finally torn down; Trump touts ‘J.D. Mandel’ endorsement in most expensive primary in Ohio history; and more from the weekend

Andy Downing
Columbus Alive
A mural painted by Mandi Caskey and crew

Construction crews have now removed the abandoned overpass that formerly extended above I-70 adjacent to Scioto Audubon Metro Park, as weekend commuters attempting to drive east to west might have learned.

The overpass was most recently the site of a massive, 400-foot mural spearheaded by artist Mandi Caskey and designed to boost spirits in the earliest days of the pandemic.

“I’ve been up there a few times over the years, and it was always like, ‘Damn, it would be cool to have a mural up here,’” said Caskey, who, after landing on a design, sent the image to her business partner, Brian Suiter. “I kind of sent it as a joke, like, ‘Hey, what do you think about this?’ And he kind of freaked out and was like, ‘Can we do this?’ And I was like, ‘I don’t know, man. Can we do this?’”

(It turned out they could indeed do this.)

***

Former president Donald Trump, who lost a free and fair election to current president Joe Biden, was back on the campaign trail over the weekend. Speaking in Nebraska, Trump stumped for candidates he has endorsed nationwide, including “J.P., right? J.D. Mandel,” he said, misidentifying J.D. Vance, the Peter Thiel-funded venture capitalist currently battling it out with hard right meme warrior Josh Mandel in the state's Republican senatorial primary.

Anyway, this primary, currently the most expensive in state history with more than $65 million invested, is finally winding down. Absolutely stoked for whatever is to come in the general.

***

Ukrainians continued to flee the besieged city of Mariupol over the weekend, including more than 100 citizens who had been holed up in the Azovstal steel plant.

“Today, for the first time in all the days of the war, this vitally needed green corridor has started working,” Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said Sunday in a video message announcing the evacuation.

Previous attempts to create a safe evacuation corridor had broken down, with Ukrainian officials accusing Russia of opening fire on established evacuation routes.

***

Naomi Judd, half of the mother-daughter country duo the Judds, died over the weekend at age 76. “Today we sisters experienced a tragedy. We lost our beautiful mother to the disease of mental illness,” Naomi’s daughters, Wynonna and Ashley, said in a statement. The Judds were inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame on Sunday, and the sisters accepted the honor in their mother’s absence. 

***

Beginning Tuesday, Columbus will begin the process of replacing all of its parking meters with pay-by-plate kiosks. Work will begin in the Brewery District and then progress north through Downtown. Parking rates will remain unchanged.

***

Not only did the Columbus Crew score against D.C. United on Saturday, but the offensively challenged team managed to do so three times, notching a rare 3-0 victory. The Crew will try to keep the momentum going when it faces New England in an away match on Saturday, May 7.