What you missed in Columbus for Jan. 31

The state grants Intel more than $2 billion in incentives; New Bomb Turks hit pause on touring; the Bengals and Joe Burrow to represent Ohio in the Super Bowl; and more from the weekend

Andy Downing
Columbus Alive
Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine, left, receives a plaque as a gift from Intel President and CEO Pat Gelsinger during an announcement Jan. 20 that Intel will be investing $20 billion  building two computer chip factories in Licking County.

Lost in the initial hubbub surrounding the news that Intel would be building a massive chip factory in New Albany was precisely what incentives the state had offered the tech company to come here. Now, word is finally out that Ohio granted the company more than $2 billion in incentives, according to the Dispatch, making it the largest economic incentive package in state history. The incentives include $691 million in infrastructure spending (roadways, water lines and a water reclamation facility), an estimated $650 million in job creation tax credits and $600 million in direct cash. The Dispatch also reported JobsOhio is offering Intel $150 million in grant funding. This is all in addition to New Albany offering the company a 30-year, 100 percent property tax abatement.

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Over the weekend, Columbus punk rock legends the New Bomb Turks updated fans on the condition of singer Eric Davidson, who sustained injuries in a July bike accident, leading to a full hip replacement and lingering nerve damage in his foot, which has at least temporarily put a kibosh on any tour plans. “We will not be able to do shows … until his stuff heals up. That could mean until the end of next summer, but we just don't know. He is still using crutches and will hopefully move to a brace soon,” the band wrote on Facebook, adding, “Here's hoping Eric heals up and we get to see you down the road.”

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Authorities are still trying to locate the carbon monoxide source that led to the hospitalization of 11 guests at a Marysville Hampton Inn on Saturday. Of the 11 taken to the hospital (six children and five adults), the Associated Press reported that “two critical patients were stabilized and transferred to tertiary care facilities. Five others, listed as serious but stable, were also taken to other facilities. Four patients were treated and released.”

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On Sunday, Joe Rogan finally responded to the growing controversy around his podcast, which has come under intense fire for claims the show spreads misinformation about COVID-19. Last week, Neil Young wrote an open letter requesting his music be removed from Spotify, which inked a $100 million deal with Rogan in May 2020, citing Rogan’s podcast, “The Joe Rogan Experience,” and its status as a prime source of disinformation amid the ongoing pandemic. In the aftermath, musicians Joni Mitchell and Nils Lofgren also removed their music from Spotify in solidarity with Young.

In Rogan's response, delivered via an Instagram video, the host took issue with the word “misinformation,” describing his show as a series of conversations meant to entertain. He also said he would be “open” to including “more experts, with differing opinions, right after I have the controversial ones.”

Over the weekend, Spotify CEO Daniel Ek also issued a statement saying that the company would create a COVID-19 information hub and that any podcast discussing the coronavirus would be required to have a content advisory linking to that info hub. 

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In sports news, Ohio will be well represented in the Super Bowl, with the Cincinnati Bengals knocking off the favored Kansas City Chiefs 27-24 in overtime. The Bengals, led by quarterback and Ohio native Joe Burrow, will square off against the Los Angeles Rams, who defeated the rival San Francisco 49ers by a score of 20-17. The game will take place in Los Angeles on Sunday, Feb. 13.