What you missed in Columbus for July 6

Andy Downing
In spite of COVID-19 crowd limitations, a crowd gathers to drink at Standard Hall, a bar in Columbus' Short North Art District, on Friday, May 15, about 11 p.m.

In the last week, a slew of restaurants announced temporary closures to undergo sanitation and staff testing after employees were diagnosed with COVID-19, such as Local Cantina in the Brewery District and Stauf’s in Grandview. Included in this group is Short North bar Standard Hall, which was among thehandful of businesses cited for not following government protocols in the early days of Ohio’s post-shutdown push to reopen.“I think their ideas may be useful for a traditional restaurant. But we’re more about the social experience,”owner Chris Corsotold the Dispatch at the time.

That experience was interrupted again over the weekend, when Standard Hall posted a message on social media noting that an employee had tested positive for COVID-19, writing, “This employee had contact with other employees at our Short North Pint House and Short North Goody Boy locations.” In response, Corso Ventures said it would immediately close all three locations for cleaning and sanitation, and employees would be quarantined and tested. Standard Hall later posted on Instagram Stories that the employee in question did not have contact with workers at its sister locations, and the original posts have since been deleted. Not that it has preventedthe information from getting out by other means.


On Sunday,friends of Emily Noble held a candlelight vigil for the Westerville woman, who has been missing for six weeks. The vigil took place on the banks of the Scioto River at Bicentennial Park, a Downtown area that friends said the nature-loving Noble loved to photograph. Noble’s disappearance was first reported by her husband, Mattheau Moore, who said she was gone when he awoke. Westerville police consider Noble an endangered missing person due to the sudden, unexplained nature of her disappearance. Anyone with information is asked to contact the Westerville police by phone at 614-901-6866.


In long reads,Buzzfeed went deep on a recent Black Lives Matter protest in Bethel, Ohio, exploring not just the event's turn toward violence after BLM protesters were greeted by various Bikers for Trump gangs, among other counter-protesters, but also the undercurrents of racism that exist in small towns in which citizens sometimes feel immune from such concerns. Writer Anne Helen Petersen beautifully contrasts various residents talking about how racism isn’t an issue in Bethel (“There hasn’t been any trouble in this town until all this shit started,” one local ironworker wrote on Facebook) with the experiences of Ray Riley, a Black man who grew up in the town and fled as soon as he was able. “There’s an undercurrent of hatred in that small town, in all those surrounding towns. I saw it. Iswam in it,” Riley said. “I survived it. I didn’t exactly thrive in it. The first chance I got, I ran like hell. Because they don’t like the other, and I wasalways the other.”

Definitely set aside some time this week to read the entire thing.


If you missed it, negotiations on a new contract between the City of Columbus and the police union are off to a stellar start. Mayor Andrew Ginther is pushing for the union to accept reforms in a new contract, which is set to expire in December, primarily including the establishment of a citizen review board. In late June, Ginther appeared to throw down the gauntlet in addressing the police union, saying, “You’re either with us or you’re against the community."

In response to the relatively mild reforms proposed by the mayor, Jeff Simpson, executive vice president of FOP Cap City Lodge #9, has entered into something of a sustained tantrum. “Mayor Ginther has lost all credibility. Mayor Ginther has failed as a leader, and Mayor Ginther has failed as a manager,” Simpson said. “Apparently Mayor Ginther believes that bullying the FOP and blaming police officers, who literally put their lives on the line each and every day, is an effective political strategy.”

Simpson has also repeatedly tagged Fox News personalities in Twitter posts sharing his remarks, includingthe white nationalist-beloved Tucker Carlson, whom Simpson has now tweeted at eight times since June 25. Here's a sampling:

This could be construed as an effective bargaining tactic if Simpson and Co. are angling for Fox News airtime, but it's hard to imagine city officials being swayed.