Dispatch Mobile Newsroom:


Telling stories in Columbus neighborhoods

By Sheridan Hendrix - The Columbus Dispatch



The first Columbus Dispatch Mobile Newsroom was located at the Karl Road branch of the Columbus Metropolitan Library and was introduced to the public on Oct. 21.

The first Columbus Dispatch Mobile Newsroom was located at the Karl Road branch of the Columbus Metropolitan Library and was introduced to the public on Oct. 21.


Tribune News Service

Michael Aaron poses in front of Eddie Rickenbacker’s childhood home in Columbus, Ohio, on Dec. 17, 2021. Aaron and the Rickenbacker Woods Foundation are looking to revive grant funding to turn the house into a museum to tell the story of the neighborhood.

Michael Aaron poses in front of Eddie Rickenbacker’s childhood home in Columbus, Ohio, on Dec. 17, 2021. Aaron and the Rickenbacker Woods Foundation are looking to revive grant funding to turn the house into a museum to tell the story of the neighborhood.


Tribune News Service

A century ago, Driving Park was synonymous with bustling streetcars carrying passengers along Livingston Avenue and horses — and then race cars — speeding around a track that gave the neighborhood its name.

The Near East Side community — bordered by Interstate 70 to its north and east, Linwood Avenue to the west and East Whittier Street to the south — was among the city’s first streetcar suburbs. Trolley lines were built to extend into what used to be outlying areas of Columbus.

Blight and crime have plagued the neighborhood for decades, but residents are hopeful that the expansion of Nationwide Children’s Hospital and improvements along Livingston Avenue will renew the area.

That’s one reason why Driving Park is the most recent stop on the Mobile Newsroom, the Dispatch’s traveling effort to base more reporters in the community and report more fully on underrepresented neighborhoods.

What is the Mobile Newsroom?

Instead of going to our Downtown office to work each day, a couple of Dispatch reporters work from the Columbus Metropolitan Library branch in a specific Columbus neighborhood for about a month.

This month, reporters Erica Thompson and Mark Ferenchik are working from the Driving Park branch on Livingston Avenue. These reporters, plus other Dispatch journalists, will explore Driving Park and its neighboring communities.

The purpose of the Mobile Newsroom — whose first stop was in Northland at the Karl Road Branch library — is to position journalists in an underserved area so that we can get to know residents, organizations, religious groups, business owners and the entire neighborhood better. This is part of our initiative to be more intentional about representing the entire community and the rich diversity of this city in our coverage.

In short, we’re hoping to build relationships and tell good stories. Here’s what we’ve learned so far in Driving Park:

Driving Park treatment center a ‘beacon of light’ for neighborhood and beyond

When Felton Davis enrolled in the domestic violence program at the Africentric Personal Development Shop, he was embarrassed, ashamed and afraid.

“I just felt like I broke the covenant with God when I put my hands on my wife,” said Davis, 60, of the Northeast Side. “I not only hurt her, but I hurt my kids. I lost their trust. I lost their loyalty. So, I’m working on it.”

Now separated from his wife, Davis said he is learning coping skills and signs of unhealthy relationships.

“For a long time, I didn’t know that I had an anger issue and controlling issue,” he said. “I’m glad (APDS) was there when I was looking. I would like to be a sounding board one day. Maybe I can help somebody or just be a mentor.”

Driving Park group aims to make difference with after-school program, museum plans

The after-school program at the Rickenbacker Woods Learning Center was all about the holidays on a recent Friday afternoon, with two kids dressed in pajamas, a bubble-maker sending suds airborne and a girl wearing two ornaments on her shirt.

Christmas songs played in the background while blue, orange, red and green dots of light swirled around the ceiling.

Usually the center and its tutors focus on homework and other activities. But ‘tis the season, so season on, right?

Crashes, speeding on East Livingston Avenue in Driving Park get Columbus officials’ notice

After reviewing reports and hearing complaints from Driving Park and Old Oaks residents about speeding and crashes along East Livingston Avenue, Columbus officials plan to do a traffic study to determine how to make the busy corridor safer.

According to city police records, there have been 65 crashes this year through Dec. 13 at just five intersections along East Livingston Avenue: South Ohio Avenue, South Champion Avenue, Miller Avenue, Kelton Avenue and Fairwood Avenue.

“The residents’ concerns are what are leading us to perform this particular study,” said Reynaldo Stargell, administrator of the city’s traffic management division.

Black Business Spotlight: FishBurger to continue legacy of entrepreneurship in Driving Park

Back in October, Tawny Nash was shopping in Sam’s Club when she spotted two men wearing “FishBurger” T-shirts.

“I was in another aisle and I yelled at them, ‘Where is your FishBurger?’” said Nash, a 78-year-old Far East Sider—and self-proclaimed fish-lover.

“They told me and said, ‘This is our grand opening today.’ I said, ‘I’ll be there.’”

Sure enough, Nash showed up at the Driving Park restaurant at Livingston and Rhodes avenues. She was bowled over by the FishBurger sandwich, which features fried salmon, a special drip sauce and a signature lemon wedge on top.

New apartments planned on Livingston Avenue across from Nationwide Children’s Hospital

More apartments are planned near Nationwide Children’s Hospital — this time right across the street — and they’re another sign of the growing hospital’s influence on the changing character of the Schumacher Place neighborhood.

The apartments would be built on the site of the former Shanes Dinner Theater at 447 E. Livingston Ave. and the Enterprise Rent-A-Car location at 475 E. Livingston. The development would be across East Livingston Avenue from the hospital’s Big Lots Behavioral Health Pavilion and its Butterfly Garden Gateway entrance.

Contact our Driving Park Mobile Newsroom Reporters

• Erica Thompson

ethompson@dispatch.com

@Miss_EThompson

• Mark Ferenchik

mferenchik@dispatch.com

@MarkFerenchik

The first Columbus Dispatch Mobile Newsroom was located at the Karl Road branch of the Columbus Metropolitan Library and was introduced to the public on Oct. 21.
https://www.limaohio.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/54/2021/12/web1_20211230-AMX-US-NEWS-DISPATCH-MOBILE-NEWSROOM-TELLING-STORIES-1-OH.jpgThe first Columbus Dispatch Mobile Newsroom was located at the Karl Road branch of the Columbus Metropolitan Library and was introduced to the public on Oct. 21. Tribune News Service
Michael Aaron poses in front of Eddie Rickenbacker’s childhood home in Columbus, Ohio, on Dec. 17, 2021. Aaron and the Rickenbacker Woods Foundation are looking to revive grant funding to turn the house into a museum to tell the story of the neighborhood.
https://www.limaohio.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/54/2021/12/web1_20211230-AMX-US-NEWS-DISPATCH-MOBILE-NEWSROOM-TELLING-STORIES-4-OH.jpgMichael Aaron poses in front of Eddie Rickenbacker’s childhood home in Columbus, Ohio, on Dec. 17, 2021. Aaron and the Rickenbacker Woods Foundation are looking to revive grant funding to turn the house into a museum to tell the story of the neighborhood. Tribune News Service
Telling stories in Columbus neighborhoods

By Sheridan Hendrix

The Columbus Dispatch

Post navigation