Friday, September 28, 2012
By John Futty
The Columbus Dispatch Wednesday September 26, 2012 2:37 PM
A Victorian Village man who said he was acting in self-defense when he fatally shot his partner five months ago has been cleared by a Franklin County grand jury.
John A. Reed, 54, was arrested on April 6 after he called 911 to report that he had just shot his roommate, Jeffrey A. Caldwell, at 69 W. 5th Ave.
“He was killing me, he was trying to kill me,” Reed told the operator.
Although Franklin County Common Pleas Court records show that the case remains active, a grand jury heard the evidence in late July and decided not to indict Reed, Prosecutor Ron O’Brien said.
Defense attorney Terry K. Sherman said he took the unusual step of giving his evidence and witnesses to the prosecutor’s office for use in their grand-jury presentation. Reed testified before the grand jury.
“It’s unusual but not unheard of” for a defendant to testify in a grand-jury hearing, Sherman said.
O’Brien said the targets of grand-jury proceedings testify “on occasion” at the request of a defense attorney or after an invitation from prosecutors. He called the practice “fairly rare.”
Reed had been the victim of ongoing domestic abuse in his relationship with Caldwell, 56, Sherman said.
“It was battered woman’s syndrome, but involving a guy,” he said.
Reed told police that he and Caldwell were in an argument that turned violent on the night of the shooting. He said Caldwell was beating him and he feared for his life.
Reed “grabbed his .22-caliber revolver and as (Caldwell) cornered him in the bathtub, he shot (Caldwell),” according to a report read during Reed’s initial appearance in court on April 9. He was released on bond after the hearing.
Reed retired in 2008 after about 30 years as an employee at the Ohio State University Medical Center.
Caldwell worked at the Kroger store in the University District and formerly operated Caldwell Interiors Ltd.
Sherman called the case “about as good as you can get for self-defense.”
By John Futty
The Columbus Dispatch Thursday September 27, 2012 8:03 PM
An Italian Village convenience store accused of selling bath salts and synthetic marijuana will remain padlocked while a Franklin County judge determines whether it should be closed permanently.
The S&K Market, 127 E. 5th Ave., has been closed since Sept. 17, when the Franklin County prosecutor’s office filed a civil action saying the property is a public nuisance because its owners and operators knowingly allowed felony drug sales.
Environmental Judge Harland H. Hale granted a temporary restraining order that prohibits the store from operating until the case is decided.
The case was set for trial today, but the judge granted a continuance while attorneys attempt to resolve criminal cases against two brothers who co-own the business.
The market, along with two Short North businesses, was raided on July 25 by the Franklin County Drug Task Force as part of a nationwide crackdown on synthetic designer drugs.
Soleiman Mobarak, 29, of Solera Drive on the North Side, and Hasan Mobarak, 28, of Rita Joanne Lane on the Northeast Side, are charged with aggravated trafficking in drugs and trafficking in spice, which refers to a mixture marketed as synthetic marijuana.
Undercover officers purchased bath salts — synthetic hallucinogens that have been linked to psychotic episodes and deaths — and synthetic marijuana during visits to the store, according to the complaint filed by prosecutors.
The suit asks the judge to eliminate the nuisance by ordering the sheriff’s office to “close and padlock” the building and “take possession of furniture, fixtures, equipment and material.”
A new trial date has not been set.
By Mark Ferenchik
The Columbus Dispatch Friday September 28, 2012 12:12 PM
It’s been two weeks since the Goodale Park fountain was turned on.
The water continues to spout. The pond in which it sits is holding water.
All is well. (For now, anyway.)
“Everybody’s pretty happy about it,” said Jason Kentner, the president of the Friends of Goodale Park.
Not to mention relieved.
The water to the fountain was turned on back on Sept. 14. That was a little more than two months after the pond was refilled.
Kentner’s group spent $8,500 to install a rubberized lining around the base of the fountain in June to fix a leak that had drained the pond since last fall.
That came after the city spent $144,600 to line the bottom of the pond in April with a clay called bentonite to plug the leak. That fix didn’t work.
Kentner said the city also installed a new ground water pump to recharge the pond during dry weather.
Wednesday, September 19, 2012
Central Ohio ends summer with rising sales and prices
(Sept. 19, 2012) Home sales during the most active time of the year showed impressive gains over last year and were the highest since 2007 when the housing market began its descent after the boom.
The 8,921 residential home closings during the months of May through August were 11 percent higher than last summer and 12.2 percent higher than in 2009 when home sales hit its lowest point since the summer of 2000, according to the Columbus Board of REALTORS®.
“Higher prices, low rates and lower inventory proved to be an exceptional environment for home sellers this summer,” said Jim Coridan, 2012 President of the Columbus Board of REALTORS®. “But the strongest factor was and continues to be the abundance of motivated buyers in the market today.”
Demand outstripped supply, as new listings on the market (3,096) fell 0.9 percent from the month before and the total inventory of homes for sale (11,571) was down 32.3 percent from the same time last summer (17,096).
“We’ve seen higher sales gains and falling inventory for over a year now which has pushed home prices up,” Coridan said. “We’re hoping more homeowners with an interest in selling recognize their advantage this fall as it’s getting tough to find property to sell.”
Not only that, the average turn-around time from the date “For Sale” signs went up until a bargain was struck decreased 15.5 percent last month from 96 days to 81 days.
Thursday, September 13, 2012