Paige Pfleger

Paige Pfleger is a reporter for WOSU, Central Ohio's NPR station. Before joining the staff of WOSU, Paige worked in the newsrooms of NPR, Vox, Michigan Radio, WHYY and The Tennessean. She spent three years in Philadelphia covering health, science, and gender, and her work has appeared nationally in The Washington Post, Marketplace, Atlas Obscura and more. 

Franklin County is the first and only county in the state to be elevated to a level four "purple" health emergency, the most severe indicator on Ohio's Public Health Advisory map.

Handing out flyers. Accosting fellow students in between classes. Handwritten signs and decorated tables on the oval. That’s what voter outreach on campus used to look like. 

St. Louis, St. Paul, Richmond, Boston — cities across the country have dismantled, torn down or removed their statues honoring the explorer Christopher Columbus. One of the more recent and more surprising additions to that list is his namesake: Columbus, Ohio. The city once had three Christopher Columbus statues.

Construction crews recently dismantled a marble statue on the campus of Columbus State Community College, loading it piece by piece onto a flatbed truck to be put into storage.

A small Columbus statue still stands on the lawn of the statehouse.

Gov. Mike DeWine Calls For Chokehold Ban, Independent Probes Into Police Shootings

Jun 17, 2020

Gov. Mike DeWine is asking the Ohio General Assembly to ban chokeholds, except in life-or-death situations, and to require independent investigations for all police shootings and deaths in police custody.

Several large metal shipping containers are lined up in a warehouse under a large American flag. Their doors are ajar and workers stream in and out, power tools buzzing.

These are no ordinary shipping containers: They represent a huge scientific breakthrough in the fight against COVID-19.

"We're looking at the Battelle Critical Care Decontamination System that we've developed to be able to decontaminate PPE for health care workers on the front-line," says Will Richter, a researcher at the Columbus, Ohio-based company.

Updated, March 29, 10:00 p.m.

Several large metal shipping containers are lined up in a warehouse on Columbus’ West Side under a large American Flag. Their doors are ajar, and workers stream in and out, power tools buzzing.

Every day for the past week, colleges and universities around the country have made the announcement: in-person classes are cancelled due to fears over the spreading coronavirus.

Ohio State. Harvard. University of Virginia. University of Michigan. Duke. These are just some of the more than 100 universities across the country that are moving classes online.

Lecture halls will be empty. Labs closed. Concerts cancelled. Sports practices called off. Some universities are asking students to go home early for spring break, and if on break now, not to return to campus at all.

In more than 30 states, it is illegal for someone with HIV to have sex without first disclosing their status. Some are now pushing to change that, arguing that the laws are actually endangering public health.

More than 1 million people in the U.S. are living with HIV, and their HIV status could conceivably put them behind bars. That's what happened to Michael Holder.

"I served 8 1/2 years in prison and three years after on parole," Holder says.

A diversion program for victims of human trafficking is spreading to cities around the country. The model has roots in Columbus, Ohio, where a judge decided to direct women toward rehabilitation instead of jail.

Ten years ago, Judge Paul Herbert was sitting in a courtroom when he noticed a trend. He was seeing lots of women who were abused and forced into sex work, but they were being treated like criminals.

Deepa Halaharvi is a morning person.

"Eat, read, pray, and get ready to go to work," she says, laughing. "And usually I’m out the door around 6:15 or 6:30."

Monday is the first meeting of the Dropout Prevention and Recovery workgroup, a special task force formed by the Ohio Board of Education. 

“I water my horses out of this creek down here,” Jeff Ivers says, resting his hand on his horse’s nose.

He looks out over his land: 43 acres, surrounded on three sides by Perry State Forest, with a small creek running through it.

Gov. John Kasich has signed a law criminalizing female genital mutilation, or FGM.

Alisha Floyd bounces her son Chance on her lap. He giggles and pulls her hair.

“He’s the fattest baby here,” she says, laughing.

Rates of drug overdose deaths continue to increase according to a new report from the CDC. Overdose deaths rose nearly 10 percent in 2017.

Health care was a big campaign issue across the Midwest, and Tuesday's election results were mixed. Among the winners: medical marijuana.

Across the Midwest, health care has emerged as one of the year’s biggest campaign flash points  in races from U.S. Senate to state attorney general.