Esther Honig

News Reporter

Esther Honig joined WOSU in early 2016. Born in San Francisco, Esther got her start in public radio while attending Mills College in Oakland, California. Before reporting for WOSU, she worked with member station KCUR in Kansas City, Missouri. Her radio reporting has been featured on  NPR, the BBC and PRI’s The World.  

A fluent Spanish-speaker and avid rock climber, Esther is always in search of a good story.

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Esther Honig

Last week a new proposal to amend Columbus' charter was submitted to city hall. It's a new version of an old idea - changing the structure of City Council.

Columbus has a council far smaller than most cities its size, just seven seats for 800,000 people. And many voters have signaled that they want some sort of change.

Esther Honig

Sitting within an unassuming strip mall in north Columbus, Mardi Gras looks like just another ice cream store. Inside, the chilled glass countertop is filled with the typical flavors - mint chocolate chip, butter pecan and strawberry ice cream.

Turn to the adjacent wall, though, and you’ll see a large white board listing dozens of flavors found nowhere else - like kesar pista (a blend of saffron, cardamom and pistachio) or chickoo (a sweet tropical fruit originally found in Central America).

Columbus Division of Fire
WOSU

Morning commuters driving by Otterbein University, the MAPFRE stadium or John Glenn International Airport might spot something out of the ordinary: Police cars blocking traffic, sirens, and plenty of injured people.

Don't be alarmed: It's just a drill.

Esther Honig

Monday brings an end to the first round of online voter registration in Ohio, a change that Secretary of State Jon Husted has been pushing for for years.

Esther Honig

The Ohio State University has a few words for senior citizens: "Give back. Go forward." 

Ohio Statehouse
KAREN KASLER / Ohio Public Radio

Cities across the state impose a tax on the profits earned by local businesses. This accounts for about 14 percent of total municipal tax collections - funds that cities rely on heavily to pay for everything from police to garbage collection.

KRForbesPhotography/SURJ Columbus

A grand jury decided not to indict two Columbus Police officers, Zachary Rosen and Jason Bare, who shot and killed 23-year-old Henry Green in June 2016.

Esther Honig

Monday marked the first day in the grand jury trial of two Columbus police officers who shot and killed 23-year-old Henry Green in June 2016. A decision on whether or not the officers will be indicted could be released as soon as Friday.

Esther Honig

As spring sets in, so does anxiety for many high school seniors touring colleges across the United States - especially those who might not see college as a viable path. At Ohio State, it was exactly those students - from Ohio's cities and rural towns - who took part in the "Day in The Life of a Buckeye" on Wednesday.

Esther Honig

Outside an old brick apartment complex, Virginia Nunes Gutierrez pulls two large plastic garbage bags from the trunk of her white Ford Explorer.

“We have a diaper fund so we buy diapers," Nunes Gutierrez explains. “So I have some of those that we were able to get, and also we have some clothes that the church donated.”

Mandie Trimble / WOSU

Changes to Ohio's concealed carry law take effect Tuesday. That means more places - like daycares, government building and universities - have the option to allow people to carry a concealed firearm in public. But advocates on both sides aren't thrilled.

Wikicommons

Columbus hosts one of the largest Gay Pride Parades in the country, with nearly a half million people attending every year. But starting this June, parade planners say participants will have to prove their commitment to protecting LGBTQ rights before they're allowed to march.

Alex Hoey

A group of about 20 Ohio State students will begin a week-long fast on Monday to show solidarity with farm workers. They say the university went back on its word by extending their lease with Dublin-based Wendy's, which is one of the few major fast food chains that's held out of joining a national program that works to prevent abuse of U.S. farm workers.

Mellena Jackson/Facebook

On Monday night, Mellena Jackson, together with her father and young son, was visiting her grandfather at Grant Medical Center in downtown Columbus. As Jackson sat parked outside, she happened to see a black man exiting the hospital followed by three guards.

"He said, 'Leave me alone, what do you want?'" Jackson recalls. "And that's when I started recording."

International Women's Day/Facebook

Protesters in Columbus rallied in Goodale Park on Wednesday to commemorate International Women's Day, which until this year has garnered little attention in the U.S.

Columbus Division of Police

About a dozen teens from the Boys and Girls Club of Columbus met on Tuesday evening with a group of Columbus Police officers, including Chief Kim Jacobs. The pretext for the event: a teen-led dialogue with law enforcement.

Jewish Community Center of Columbus

In the last two months, over 100 Jewish centers across the country have received bomb threats, including the Jewish Community Center of Columbus. On Friday, Senator Rob Portman visited with leaders of Ohio's Jewish community to condemn these attacks as un-American and call for a firm response.
 

Esther Honig

At a large banquet hall on the Ohio State campus, women wear dresses and headscarves of light blue and white - the colors of the Somali flag. People dance to a hit song written just for the occasion: the election of Somalia's new president, Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed.

Jinx/Flickr

A case originating at a Columbus high school was heard by the Ohio Supreme Court Wednesday. It revolves around how and why a student at a public school can have their personal property searched.

Esther Honig

If Columbus City Council wants a change, both liberal and conservative advocates say a committee proposal will just lead to more of the same.

Jim Renacci

Ohio businesses remain pretty divided over a Republican-proposed reform known as the Border Adjustment Tax, according to Congressman Jim Renacci.

Esther Honig

Mayor Andrew Ginther at his State of the City address on Thursday is expected to announce plans to extend a controversial summer policing program year-round.

The Summer Safety Initiative targets higher-crime areas with increased patrols - something that activists say unfairly targets minority neighborhoods. 

Esther Honig

A committee appointed to research options for revamping Columbus City Council had its final meeting on Friday, the result of a push from residents to better support district representation.

Foundation for Appalachian Ohio

An astronomy park dedicated to the late U.S. Senator and astronaut was in the making almost two years before his passing last December. Now, the site will serve as a tribute by inspiring future generations of night sky gazers and explorers.

Esther Honig

With signs declaring "Stop The Deportations" and chants in Spanish of "Columbus is my home," hundreds of protesters rallied at the Ohio Statehouse in downtown Columbus on Thursday.

Part of the nationwide "Day Without Immigrants" strike, the protesters included many who walked out of their jobs to take a stance against President Trump's immigration policies.

World Relief Columbus

For the past five years, World Relief Columbus has served thousands of refugees coming to Columbus. The local branch of an international organization helped new Americans find housing, enroll in English classes, and seek employment.

And because of President Trump's executive orders, it'll close its doors this year.

Sherrod Brown
Nick Castele / ideastream

Senator Sherrod Brown has proposed legislation to prevent a practice known as “surprise billing.” That's when patients are faced with costly medical bills after unintentionally receiving care from a hospital not included in their insurance coverage.

Gabe Rosenberg

Jennifer Mills drives down a long open road, flanked by fields of yellow grass, clouds overhanging.

As a child services caseworker, Mills says on most days she will drive from one end of Ross County to the other, filing paperwork at the local courthouse and to check in on her clients. Most are parents struggling to keep their kids, and kids adjusting to living without their parents. 

Skye Ferguson

Columbus police are asking that demonstrators refrain from blocking on-coming traffic, after a protest Monday night downtown ended in the use of pepper spray—something local organizations say was unnecessary.

Wikipedia

On Thursday, Columbus Mayor Andrew Ginther announced a tax abatement worth $68 million for Easton Town Center, the second-largest job center in the city. Ginther says the new agreement will also provide an economic boost for the neighboring Linden area.

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