Latest: Little Turtle stopped, illegal dumping, body cams and more

From news with the promise of more affordable housing to a multimillion dollar City investment in police body and vehicle cameras, here's what you need to know in recent development and policing news.
Latest: Little Turtle stopped, illegal dumping, body cams and more

Editor's note: As part of our deep dives into policing and development, we produce in-depth articles and videos. But, while working on those stories, we often hear lots of news that informs our stories but doesn’t necessarily make it to the final product. As such, we wanted to create an avenue to share those smaller bits of news that keep us and you informed. That's where this digests comes in. A couple times a month, we will post round-ups like the one below of the top news for development and policy. Want to share your thoughts on it? Think we missed a story? Let us know at editorial@matternews.org.

Here are the top recent news items for development:

Little Turtle Roadway project was stopped by a judge

The Little Turtle Roadway reconstruction project has been stopped after a judge issued a restraining order for the project on March 21, 2022, according to The Columbus Dispatch.

The ruling was the result of a new lawsuit against the project alleging public corruption. The lawsuit alleges that the city improperly cleared the property and entered into an unlawful land swap agreement.

The agreement would give private developer Mo Dioun land that is currently the Little Turtle Roadway. In exchange, the developer would give the city land to the west that they plan to develop into a new roadway.

Hearings on the new lawsuit were set to start this last week.

Developers broke ground on an affordable housing development on the Southside

A group of developers broke ground on 60-unit affordable housing development Lockbourne Green on Columbus' Southside on March 21, 2022.

Woda Cooper Companies, Community Development for All People, Nationwide Children's Hospital and Healthy Homes are co-developing Lockbourne Greene, which will be on Lockbourne Road.

The units are expected to be about $670 to $1,000 a month depending on income and size, for folks making 40% and 80% of the area median income.

Developers broke ground in March on a new affordable housing development, depicted in the rendering here.
Developers broke ground in March on a new affordable housing development, depicted in the rendering here.Woda Cooper Companies

Habitat for Humanity was gifted millions for affordable housing

Habitat for Humanity MidOhio is receiving $6.75 million to work to create more affordable housing.

The organization says the money will be used to invest in land, equipment and infrastructure that will help the organization to expand its ability to help folks secure affordable housing, according to their press release.

The multimillion dollar gift was part of $436 million gift give to Habitat for Humanity International by novelist and philanthropist MacKenzie Scott.

And here are the top recent news items for development:

The City is cracking down on illegal dumping, offering rewards for turning in suspects

The City is partnering with Central Ohio Crime Stoppers to try to stop illegal dumping throughout the city.

Illegal dumping refers to trash, furniture or other items being left on the street or otherwise improperly disposed.

In a press conference, Mayor Andrew Ginther said the plan was to “help identify illegal dumping suspects caught on camera and hold them accountable for breaking the law.”

He went on to say, “Our neighborhoods are not dumping grounds, and if you choose to dump in our neighborhoods, we’re coming after you.”

The plan includes asking residents to take photos of illegal dumping suspects and report them to the city, which can be done anonymously.

Cash rewards are also being offered for residents who report illegal dumping.

Grand jury returns no criminal charges against officers who killed Joseph Jewell

A Franklin County Grand Jury determined that there was no criminal wrongdoing from Columbus police officers Howard Brenner, Glenn Thivener and Mark Dilello who shot and killed Joseph Jewell

Jewell was accused of murdering 17-year-old Enrique D. Forney Jr. on February 18, 2020.

On February 20, the officers arrived the hotel room of Jewell. Police said when they arrived, he fired a shot at them. They returned fire, hitting Jewell who later passed at the hospital from his wounds.

On March 18, 2022, the grand jury determined there was no degree of unlawful criminal homicide in the incident.

Ginther announced a $19 million investment into new police cameras

Columbus Division of Police will be receiving $19 million in new camera equipment, the mayor announced on March 22, 2022.

The new equipment will include more than 2,000 body worn cameras and 450 in-car cameras.

The cameras will include several new features including an extended lookback feature which allows viewers to see two minutes of footage before the camera was activated.

They will also have an automatic activation feature that will start the filming when triggered, rather than filming beginning after an officer starts the camera.

Cameras will be activated automatically if an officer’s weapon is removed from the belt, a cruiser’s lights or sirens are on, a rifle or shotgun rack is released, a cruiser reaching a high speed or if a cruiser is involved in a collision.

Training and deployment of the new cameras is expected to be finished by March 31, 2023

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