Clintonville: 5 top stories from 2020

Jim Fischer
ThisWeek
5 Top Stories of 2020

The world changed in 2020, with the COVID-19 coronavirus, civil unrest in major U.S. cities and a polarized political climate as just a few examples.

Clintonville and central Ohio as a whole had their share of changes, too. Here’s a brief recap of five significant stories published in the ThisWeek Clintonville Booster during the past 12 months.

Fireworks extinguished – In fall 2019, the committee that has organized Clintonville’s Fourth of July celebration for more than 20 years announced it was ready to step aside and let someone else take the reins.

By early May, with no takers and the pandemic casting doubt on most public events, Pat Kearns-Davis of Clintonville July 4th Celebration Inc. called off the fireworks and attendant events, saying “We went ahead and said it’s canceled. The reality is, there’s nothing to have.”

Related story:Already on shaky ground, Clintonville’s Fourth of July fireworks snuffed out for 2020

Chamber shuttered – With essentially no notice to members, the Clintonville Area Chamber of Commerce board announced it was ceasing operations in July after 25 years.

Board members said there had been an ongoing discussion, but the decision was hastened by the pandemic. Some members of the local business community began informal discussions on next steps later in the year.

Related story:Clintonville Chamber of Commerce calls it quits

Related story:Dialogue to create new Clintonville business group launched

Traffic boxes festooned – A repeatedly stalled-and-revived effort to add local artists’ work to traffic-signal control boxes in the Clintonville neighborhood finally placed the vinyl wraps on a handful of the bulky metal boxes in late summer.

Started in 2013 by the Clintonville Area Commission, the effort had been beset by funding issues, but resident Megan Valentine was able to see the project to some completion.

Related story:Lengthy effort brings public art to Clintonville's traffic-signal boxes

Dominion moved (sort of) – The relocation of students from the longtime Dominion Middle School location at 330 Dominion Blvd. to the former North High School location at 100 Arcadia Ave. was all set for the start of the 2020-21 academic year.

Students, parents, teachers and staff members had been preparing to move into the renovated Arcadia site; they were excited about the opportunities the additional space would provide and had even adopted some North High history.

Alas, Columbus City Schools have been in virtual-attendance mode the entire academic year because of the coronavirus.

Related story:Renovations for Dominion Middle School move in Clintonville near completion

Residents counted – The U.S. Census drew plenty of headlines in early 2020, even with being overshadowed by the coronavirus pandemic.

But a new addition to the process could not have been more timely when census invitations started to be received in March: For the first time, residents had the option to fill out the census form online, in addition to the options of responding via phone and mail.

Several support organizations in central Ohio also worked to make sure new Americans understand the importance of participating in the census. Although the spread of the coronavirus made in-person education difficult, those organizations provided educational resources online and reached out by telephone.

Related story:2020 census includes online-response option

Related story:Central Ohio agencies want immigrants to know they count for 2020 census

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