Franklin County

Aerial view of The Oval on Ohio State University's campus
Ohio State University

As Central Ohio sees a drop in new coronavirus cases, Ohio State University's new president says the positive test rate for students has nearly tripled this week.

Downtown Columbus, buildings and water.
Ryan Hitchcock / WOSU

Franklin County is among four counties that saw their public health emergency levels reduced this week due to dropping rates of new COVID-19 cases.

Empty Basketball Courts at Dominion Middle School.
Mary Rathke / WOSU Public Media

Columbus City Schools will once again allow sports and other extracurriculars, just two weeks after the district suspended in-person activities, due to dropping rates of new COVID-19 cases in the area.

The secure ballot drop box at the Franklin County Board of Elections on Morse Road.
Darrin McDonald / WOSU

In the traditionally-Republican Delaware County, the board of elections is at the end of a strip mall that also houses a Big Lots store. The county's sole drop box is located behind the building, next to a dumpster.

Debbie Holmes

Ohio’s 2020 presidential primary ended with about 20% voter turnout, after some major disruptions from the coronavirus pandemic. 

Paige Pfleger / WOSU

It’s the first of the month, which means it’s time to pay rent. But with unemployment claims at all-time high because of the coronavirus, many tenants in Ohio are worrying about their ability to keep up with payments. 

As many businesses close for the coronavirus epidemic, the Franklin County Board Of Commissioners is offering some new assistance.

Judge Jodi Thomas, right, speaks to participants in a specialized court docket during a weekly meeting.
Paige Pfleger / WOSU

Columbus City Council on Monday night will vote on investing nearly $500,000 in Franklin County's specialty docket programs.

Franklin County Municipal Courthouse

Columbus and Franklin County officials say a new municipal courthouse downtown may go up across the street from the current courthouse.

OxyContin pills are arranged for a photo at a pharmacy in Montpelier, Vermont.
Toby Talbot / AP

Preliminary data from Franklin County Public Health show 380 Franklin County residents died of an overdose between January and September 2019. That is a 9% increase from the same period in 2018. 

Dave Reutter and Kyle Wilson stand along a stream in Willow Brook.
Nick Evans / WOSU

Rows of nearly identical houses run along gently meandering roads in Jefferson Township’s Willow Brook subdivision. It’s suburban, but tucked in here is a pretty innovative environmental project.

Paige Pfleger / WOSU

At first glance, the people inside Franklin County Municipal Court room 13C have little in common. There’s a man in cutoff jean shorts with tattooed arms. Behind him sits a younger woman with freckles who looks like she came from soccer practice.

The group is bound together by circumstance: All were addicted to opioids and got in trouble with the law.

CATCH Court graduate Melissa Callaway hugs her sister.
Paige Pfleger / WOSU

Graduates walked into the atrium of the Ohio Statehouse, greeted by cheers from their friends and loved ones. One by one, they step up to the microphone.

“I spent 37 years of my life a homeless drug addict, a victim of human trafficking on the streets of Columbus,” says Barb Davis. “I truly knew it was my destiny to die out there.”

OxyContin pills are arranged for a photo at a pharmacy in Montpelier, Vermont.
Toby Talbot / AP

The number of fatal drug overdoses in Ohio declined for the first time since 2009, according to state health officials, a milestone in the state's ongoing battle with the deadly opioid epidemic.

Carlos Malvestutto works on infectious diseases at the Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center.
Paige Pfleger / WOSU

There are about 230 new cases of HIV in Franklin County every year, mostly among people aged 25-29. On Thursday, celebrated as National HIV Testing Day, free testing is available at multiple locations across the city.