Jennifer Smola Shaffer, The Columbus Dispatch

Jennifer Smola Shaffer

The Columbus Dispatch

Columbus, OH, United States

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Past articles by Jennifer:

Columbus Zoo 'clings to secrecy' construction company says in Ohio Supreme Court suit

Meade Construction, which got a no-bid contract for a project at The Wilds from the zoo's former CEO, wants the zoo classified as a public entity. → Read More

Former Columbus Zoo CEO Tom Stalf to pay back $400,000; attorney says he was 'scapegoat'

Stalf’s settlement agreement comes nearly a year after he resigned following a Dispatch investigation that revealed his improper use of zoo resources. → Read More

Former employees agree to repay Columbus Zoo

The Columbus Zoo and Aquarium and its former chief financial officer have reached an agreement to repay the zoo after he and other executives were found to → Read More

COVID surges interest in new RVs and boats as Ohio show returns for 42nd year after pandemic break

This weekend marks the return of the annual show, which took a hiatus in 2021 amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. It runs through Jan. 16. → Read More

Son's death in one of two Columbus homicides Friday is latest tragedy for East Side mother

Columbus police are investigating after a 35-year-old man was shot on the East Side and a body was found in a burning vehicle in Franklinton. → Read More

Columbus Zoo loses accreditation appeal with Association of Zoos & Aquariums

The Association of Zoos and Aquariums denied the Columbus Zoo’s accreditation Monday after hearing the zoo’s appeal. → Read More

Compost Clubhouse organization inspires Columbus-area kids to reconsider food waste

Between school programs and residential compost pickups, Compost Clubhouse is now serving 26 Columbus-area neighborhoods. → Read More

Columbus Transgender Day of Remembrance honors lives taken in deadliest year on record

The observances in Columbus and around the world honored the memory of people killed in acts of anti-transgender violence this year. → Read More

Ohio State reduces some 2022 football season ticket prices as new model begins

The cost of the lowest-priced 2022 football season ticket has dropped by more than 20 percent, Ohio State announced Thursday. → Read More

Parents file lawsuit in federal court challenging Chillicothe schools mask requirement

The suit, filed Monday, argued the district's mask requirement violates students' constitutional rights. → Read More

Columbus Zoo loses accreditation after leadership issues, animal programs concerns

The Columbus Zoo and Aquarium plans to appeal the Association of Zoos and Aquariums decision to deny its accreditation. → Read More

New Columbus Zoo leader Tom Schmid seeks to regain community's trust

When Tom Schmid was called about the Columbus Zoo director job, he said he realized it was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. → Read More

Columbus Zoo expected to vote on new director

The Columbus Zoo and Aquarium's board is expected to vote on a new zoo director to replace Tom Stalf, who resigned amid allegations of misspending. → Read More

Columbus Zoo and Aquarium lost at least $631,000 because of misspending by former officials

Five months after former President and CEO Tom Stalf and chief financial officer Greg Bell resigned, new forensic audit reports reveal more details. → Read More

Conservation Game documentary ties Columbus Zoo, Hanna to unchecked big cat trade

The Conservation Game documentary claims zoo officials, including Jack Hanna, misrepresented where the animals shown on TV came from. → Read More

Doo Dah parade makes irreverent return in Columbus after COVID

After last year’s hiatus from the usual Doo Dah antics, fans of the no-rules event, now in its 38th year, were delighted to be back. → Read More

Columbus police investigating after body discovered in North Linden alley

The body of a male victim who had been shot was discovered in an alley behind Azelda Street early Sunday. → Read More

Columbus Zoo drops some animal vendors after Jack Hanna's inclusion in documentary

A new documentary, as well as ongoing internal reviews, led the Columbus Zoo to cut ties with some animal vendors that don't follow certain standards. → Read More

'This office will get to the bottom of it.' Columbus Zoo investigations: Here's where things stand

Here's where the various reviews involving the Columbus Zoo stand after a Dispatch report uncovered improper use of resources by zoo executives. → Read More

A 'public nonprofit': How much are taxpayers allowed to know about Columbus Zoo operations?

A key issue for the Ohio Ethics Commission is the nonprofit zoo's participation in the Ohio Public Employees Retirement System (OPERS). → Read More